Posted 2021-03-24, evaluated by the judges panel

Newcomers have been killing it on OCR in 2021, and the trend continues as Julien Mulard debuts with an epic hybrid EDM/metal take on "Face Shrine" from Link's Awakening:

"Hello, I'm Julien Mulard, and I would like to submit my track "Hacking the JANUS System" to be posted on OC ReMix.

This mix is a rearrangement of the 6th dungeon theme (Face Shrine) from The Legend of Zelda - Link's Awakening, going through different styles of music along the way, atmospheric, metal, and trance.

I love hybrid styles of music, and wanted to achieve a good synthwave/electronic music/metal track for a long time now. At first, the track was not even supposed to have guitar sounds, just heavily distorted synths. I finally changed my mind thanks to timaeus on the WIP forum, and it made the track even better. :D I'm also very proud of the mixing/mastering, as it has always been what I struggled with the most.

I was primarly inspired by artists such as The Algorithm, Master Boot Record, Igorrr, or even Infected Mushroom (all fantastic bands, but rather extreme), but I think I managed to find my own sound. I shifted to something different along the way, and added some trance elements. In some more obscure ways, there's also inspirations from Rush and Savant, but those are more Easter eggs of sorts.

Regarding Easter eggs, I hid 5 in the specter of the track. Now, I know judges are busy people, so you'll find attached to this email a document detailling where they are, what they mean, and why they're here. You can also look for them yourself, but no pressure at all. ^^ You'll just need a adjustable spectrogram analyser, a binary/text converter, a Morse code alphabet, and some good eyes...

Story-wise, it's kind of a crossover between the story of the game and The Matrix. Link is a hacker trying to find answers by logging into the highly protected JANUS System (Janus is a two-faced god from the Roman pantheon. From Wikipedia, he "is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, and endings," which I found highly fitting given the dungeon is the Face Shrine, the boss is a Face, and it's the turning point in the in-game story, where you learn about what will really happen if you choose to wake up the Wind Fish). Link managed to enter the system, has to face different types of security, and finally manages to break free from the simulation he was in, but with untold consequences.

I hope you'll like it as much as I enjoyed creating this track. Also, thank you to everyone who listened the track and commented, be it on the Discord or the forums, and most particularly to timaeus who played a major role in the production of this remix.

I wish you well in these troubled times!"

In a word: wow. Epic submission email, to go with an epic track! You can almost picture Link as Neo with the "Whoa... I know kung-fu!" ;) The computer-simulation-as-dream metaphor makes total sense, I like the cheekiness of hiding secrets in the track spectrogram, but ultimately what makes this work is a rather insane amount of effort/polish to fit together the different genre-pieces and make each one of them click. The metal bits are *good* metal, the EDM bits are *good* EDM, and even the more ambient intro has you thinking this could make a solid ASMR or ambient/chill piece... until those expectations get blown to bits :) I do love that gradually dialed-in bitcrush on the intro. prophetik music really rose to the challenge and offers up a play-by-play that does a superb job describing what's going on (spoiler: a lot!), so I don't have to:

"love the backstory, really fun idea. very creative. i love this source since it's one of the first original tracks i ever remixed.

the intro is really atmospheric, and i like the feel of how latent the energy is. i think the synth stacks lend a lot of power to that section. the addition of distortion over time is a fun idea too. the transition to metal was handled fine and the melody is still apparent. the mastering in this section is clear and sounds good.

next a shift to 12/8 and electronica. you continue to play with the melody here, which is fun, and i like the detuning to keep it weird. i found the three-step feel to be a nice shift as well to make it more yours. and then a vintage The Algorithm funky stylistic transition, utilizing both distorted kick and a time change to clearly delineate between the sections without making it take too long. i love this transition, it's really well handled and does a good job getting back to the balls of the arrangement without dawdling in transitional territory.

2:56 onward is just a rip-roaring power-metal tribute to what's honestly a really intense and driving theme despite the quiet dynamic of the original. bringing in some sustains in the guitar at 3:26 is a great idea (that i used in Facies Templum fifteen years ago!) to add interest to a source that doesn't have much of a melody. 4:13's gating (obviously post) is another big Algorithm shoutout, and i like that you didn't gate the drums too, but let them ring.

the ending is kind of sudden but i like the fadeout into glitches again. it kinda just ends, but the nature of the original doesn't naturally lend itself to anything other than a fadeout so i don't think it's as egregious as it could be.

this is a great track in a technical, asymmetrical style that i think really fits VGM as a whole. there's little in terms of melodic content that this original track brings on its own, so the work that's done here really demonstrates and emphasizes the underlying movement and force that makes this original so interesting."

What he said; I'm blown away by all the creativity & energy we've been seeing from artists new to OCR this year, and definitely hope it keeps up. This ambitious, multi-genre roller-coaster from Julien Mulard is impressive in both concept & execution, and I admire the work it must have taken to pursue a vision this multi-faceted & expansive. Amazing work, looking forward to hearing more - bravo!



Latest 3 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2021-03-29 05:54:46

Good to see this make it on the front page! Definitely one of the more involved/evolving remixes I've heard.

Geoffrey Taucer
on 2021-03-26 20:49:03

Love love LOVE that lead synth in the first section.

Definitely took a turn I wasn't expecting when those guitars came in. Love the back-and-forth between synthy and metal-ish sections.

on 2021-03-23 00:39:00

What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Nintendo , 1993, GB)
Music by Kozue Ishikawa,Minako Hamano
"Level 6 - Face Shrine"

Tags (10)

Electric Guitar,Synth
Effects > Distortion
Effects > Lo-Fi
Time > Tempo: Fast

File Information

8,838,270 bytes


8-bit Jazz Heroes - Press Start
View All

Latest Albums

View All

Latest ReMixes