Posted 2020-04-30, evaluated by Rexy
HALC!!! Or should I say, halc!!!
Drew Wheeler returns after a couple years, and he's rejuvenated, stronger, faster, and ready to blow minds with this 9-bit Super Mario Land ending theme extravaganza, with tons of variety, tempo/groove fluctuations, funky chips, beautiful blips, and even a musicbox ending that sticks the landing with a last-minute reverb trail. It's been too long:
"Howdy, OCR! Been some number of years since I submitted a tune here, yeah?
I've been on musical timeskip for the past 4 or 5 years battling some personal demons (happy, healthy, and sober now, woo-hoo), but I'm back now, all powered-up and stronger than ever!
So, a fan of mine on the Facebook, Kalle Hummasti, shot me some praise and words of encouragement when I jumped back into the halc super-suit, and we quickly connected on several levels and became friends. This remix was actually made on his suggestion; it's not a source I think I would've decided to tackle of my own accord, but I decided to give it a shot - to good results if I say so myself! If you find it at all reminiscent of my age-old SML collab with Ben, you'd be right! I guess you can consider this somewhat of a spiritual sister track. The "toy-box" ending was inspired by the Link's Awakening remake on Switch, which captured my heart in all the right ways.
It's a joy and a blessing to have music back in my life again. Hope you all enjoy the tune! <3"
Well, it's a joy and a blessing to have halc's music back in OUR lives again.... so there :) Sounds like Drew's fought a hard fight but come out on the other side better for it; that takes a ton of personal strength & introspection & hard work, so serious props for escaping the abyss. On a less poignant note, until I am instructed otherwise (and perhaps even afterwards), I'm going to insist on reading this mix title in the style of Salt-N-Pepa's "Push It" - and you should, too. The vibe here alternates between ulta-precise, infectious chip-funk and something more unpredictable, with some compelling, idiosyncratic syncopation applied to the lead melody at 1'43" - neat. Drew snuck an FM-style bass in here, there's a mallet sample that gets a lot of play, multiple ritardandos, sidechaining pumps appropriately, and then the ending takes off into almost metaphorical territory. Along the way there are impeccably applied FX, superb stereo definition, and all the attention-to-detail & polish you'd expect from a halc mix... basically everything you know & love PLUS a more playful relationship with time/variation AND some modern production techniques. Delicious. Rexy evaluated:
"I'm excited to see halc grace the inbox again, and with that "9-bit" sound that he worked with so well - and what a ride! The melody is recognizable almost throughout and manipulated in so many ways. There are small fragments used as builds (0:14), adding more notation while keeping to the structure (0:43), harmonies aplenty, nods to the stage 1 theme, the sudden key change at 2:24, and working with that 3/4 time signature during the toy box outro at 4:45. It doesn't grow stale at all, and it's prepared to throw the listener into a loop at every corner.
The production values also quickly check out, with a clean mixdown, well-balanced parts, and a bubbly sound palette that mixes usage of chiptune tones, percussion (both kit and pitched), and side-chained pads. He went all out on other details, too - sweeps aplenty, chip arpeggios substituting for polyphony, an unexpected tempo change at 2:37, and of course, the toybox outro with the playful choice of timbres. He kept the soundscape as engaging as the source treatment, and it all adds up to an entertaining return that shows he's still got that pixelated magic as a musician!"
You're damn skippy :) SML is one game I actually played the hell out of, back when it originally came out (soooo olllllddddd), doing repeat playthroughs and accumulating 99 lives, etc., and it's a soundtrack I want to arrange myself at some point. Fantastic to see it get some more modern love, but even better to see halc back & better than ever; highly recommended!
on 2020-05-02 05:24:06
halc's back! I'd like to echo the previous comments on the remix, which is classic halc style but with even more accomplishment and playfulness. I love the tempo changes and the music-box ending - you gotta have fun when you're making music, right? I think it really shines through this mix that halc is back on top, and it's great to hear.
on 2020-05-01 01:34:59
Good ol' halc.
This would be perfect for a mini-album. In fact, this makes me want more GameBoy remixes in general.
on 2020-04-30 18:08:12
halc is back! There is a small light in all this darkness after all! Amazing comeback track; feels like a subtle, natural evolution of the 9-bit style we all know and love.
on 2020-04-30 15:52:45
halc is one of the first artists that caught my attention when I first became active in the OCR community, and in spite of all the personal struggles and time elapsed since those early days, his new material doesn't miss a beat! Super groovy and melodically-dense without being too busy, with that classic 9-bit sound pallet that we all know and love. I appreciate the slightly-elevated emphasis on organic sampled instruments throughout this song, it's a really natural evolution for Drew's sound and keeps me engaged.
Drew has some seriously next-level stuff in the oven (check out his Final Fantasy X remix album on Bandcamp if you haven't yet!) It proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that halc is back and stronger than ever! Can't wait to see what comes next.
on 2020-04-30 12:14:07
What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Super Mario Land (Nintendo, 1989, GB)
Music by Hirokazu Tanaka
- "Ending ~ Staff Roll"
- Energetic, Funky
- Chiptune, Chromatic Percussion, Electronic, Sound FX, Synth
- Time > Tempo: Variable
- 9,781,710 bytes
- Size: 9,781,710 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 2db7075102f89d8edce75a4f3c1c4a7e
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