Our final featured ReMix of 2019 is a Moroder-inspired EDM/disco jam from Sir_NutS (Paul Michael Molina), arranging David Whittaker's soundtrack to groundbreaking Amiga platformer Shadow of the Beast, in celebration of the game's 30th anniversary:
"Get comfy, folks, I have a lot to say.
Shadow of the Beast is kind of an obscure game in most places (Me, remixing an obscure game? No way!), but back in the days it was a big deal for the European micro computer scene. There was simply nothing like it when it comes to graphics and sound, it was sort of the Crysis of 1989, at least for home computers. The detailed graphics paired with an art style between Roger Dean and H.R. Giger, amazing special effects like the endless parallax scrolling featured on the first level, and, finally, the excellent, brooding soundtrack by David Whittaker, made Shadow of the Beast a game that pushed past the Amiga's limitations.
The game launched in 1989. I've done some research for the exact date, but I came up empty. Even documentaries on the game don't have an exact date, so I'm just releasing this on this year to coincide with the game's 30th anniversary.
Now, this track is a double tribute, as I've taken cues from some of my favorite songs from Giorgio Moroder ("The Chase," "74 Is the New 24," "Racer") and let it influence my style, so this is half my usual retro style mixed with Moroder's catchy sense for writing and tropes. He's had a lot of influence on how my music has evolved in the past years, so it was only a matter of time before I paid him some tribute in one of my mixes. The mix's title is a reference to him and one of his tracks, as well as the game and its anniversary.
There are no ostentatious synth brass chords to be found here, I switched those for a lot of filtered synth lines and a driving bassline. For the vocal clips, I brought in the always-reliable Stephen Kelly. This song is long compared to my recent submissions, and also slightly on the repetitive side, but that's by design in order to get the feel I was going for. This also marks my comeback to using Reason devices thanks to Reason 11's rack device which I can now load in Bitwig, and which I took advantage of to create some of the synth leads you hear here. I hope you guys enjoy it."
He DID have a lot to say! I was happy to see Reason function as a plugin, too - there's a TON of great synths & effects that are now "opened up" for use in other DAWs, in ways that Rewire always made a little too kludgy for my tastes. Bravo to Reason Studios & Matthias for making that happen, and bravo to Mike on this mix - it absolutely strikes a Moroder tone, with shades of italo-disco, as a comfortable synth bass & meaty beat provide a rock solid foundation for some catchy melodic hooks. It's fortunate that Shadow of the Beast had great tunes, because it was so damn hard you really ended up hearing them. A lot. I'm not entirely sure I ever got past the first stage, but I DO remember trying. prophetik music writes:
"the original melody is obvious throughout, the style is superbly done, and there's a lot of fun things done to keep it interesting throughout over five minutes of music. i particularly liked the breakdown at 2:08, which did a nice job balancing a driving momentum in your synths with lowered dynamics and altered instrumentation. the pitch shifting at 2:33 was delightfully unexpected. i really liked that you took so long to really get back to the melody - nearly two minutes of B section was just what the doctor ordered, and prevented the (repetitious) A melody from getting annoying. this was a great fun listen that deserves the front page."
"With all this fun and attention on the arrangement and production, I can see it on the front page. I'm also shocked that OCR hasn't received a new submission for this game in 19 years, so consider it a refresher on that part too. Good work!"
In the site's first FULL year of operation (2000) we saw not one but two mixes of the game, and then.... 19 years of silence, which Mike has thankfully interrupted with this substantial, well-produced, and FUN mix; I found myself humming the main melody throughout the day after listening through just once. Excellent, addictive stuff from Sir_NutS; 2019 has been a fantastic year, we'll be celebrating our 20th anniversary all year long in 2020, and I think this is a perfect callback to the early days of OCR & a great way to close out the decade!
on 2020-01-02 23:43:08
I only "discovered" Moroder in 2019, but this is a cool tribute! I also just found out about Bitwig; they have a holiday sale until Jan. 7th so I'm taking the plunge, methinks. I'm excited!
on 2020-01-01 04:04:48
An enjoyable ride! Cool to see Shadow of the Beast return to OCR and it's always great to see microcomputers on the front page.
on 2019-12-31 09:11:29
Lately I've had RAF/Laura Branigan's "Self Control" on my mind, and this scratches all of that itch. Top job!
on 2019-12-26 17:31:14
What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Shadow of the Beast (Psygnosis, 1989, AMIGA)
Music by David Whittaker
- "The Forests"
- Dance, Disco, Synthwave
- Electronic, Synth, Vocals: Male
- Effects > Vocoder
Lyrics > Lyrics: Original
Time > 4/4 Time Signature
- 9,531,837 bytes
Shadow of the Beast
Running from the past
His enemies will never cease
Shadow of the Beast
Taking lives to honor one
- Size: 9,531,837 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: cedbfe920e95296c0debedbdb5746a59
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