"Expect the Unexpected" is good advice for each new mix from Michael Hudak; here he lays down a medley of Sega jams from Sonic games, Vectorman, AND Jet Grind Radio, in a funky 90's-meets-outer-space aesthetic that marries iconic "whoo" & "yeah" samples with deep-verb pizzicato strings & a funky bass:
"Hello, judges. Me again. VGM Con 2020 just recently ended and it was cool to connect some OCR faces to names. With those good vibes, I wanted to finish this remix up. This piece is heavily inspired by a lot of 90s DJ club sets that I used to listen to in college (on YouTube... I'm not that old!). What better way to do a medley-but-not-a-medley (or a mashup-but-not-a-mashup) of a big handful of 90s and early 2000s SEGA jams than by re-creating a chunk of one of these sets? But here's the rub: it's set a hundred years later. In a giant space dome. I figured we spent the 2010s riding the 80s retrofuturistic synth-wave, so let's see if we can't get a 90s thing going this decade! I guess I already tried that with my Skyward Sword tune, but... let's keep it going. :p
"Space Trip Steps" from the Meteor Herd stage in SA2 seemed like a perfect foundation for this idea, and I had to do a lot of Vectorman as well to finally get it out of my head after 25 years. Really wanted to add something from Vectorman 2 and another Rouge theme from SA2, but couldn't make it work.
Judges hated the "I'm a Spy" lick at 0:47 because it was horrendously dissonant (i.e., bad), and I also toned down the synth stacks a bit at 1:34. I think I was mixing this song and also working on another project at the same time that was essentially walls of distorted white noise, and so I thought, somehow, those things sounded good at the time.
I also changed the synths at 4:41... in the middle of where I added a new ending! "I'm a Spy" doesn't appear a second time anymore; now the final minute features "Emerald Hill Zone" from Sonic 2 starting at 4:09. It's a long section, but I continued using the "Space Trip Steps" elements throughout - pizzi violins, the Dr. Dre sine - and so I still consider this to be a SA2 remix. That sine was tough to mix though... it really cuts through on ear buds, but is almost lost with some other listening devices... for once I decided to air on the side of caution with high frequencies and leave it lower in the mix, for the ending at least. Song ends with the "SEGA" signature tune.
Overall, I'm very pleased with how this turned out. One last thing to mention that I didn't before is that this arrangement was partially inspired by an old OCR jam by Protricity called "Savage Seduction," which I listened to who knows how many times throughout high school!
I apologize for the complicated breakdown. I tried to de-clutter as much as possible.
Songs used in the order they appear:
- Sonic Adventure 2 ("Space Trip Steps"; "I'm a Spy")
- Jet Grind Radio ("Electric Toothbrush")
- Vectorman ("Day 2: Metalhead"; "Day 3: Tidal Surge")
- Sonic Spinball ("Toxic Caves")
- Sonic the Hedgehog 3 ("Knuckles' Theme") - I directly sampled the source tune snares and pitched them a bit.
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2 ("Emerald Hill Zone")
Vocal sample SFX from Sonic 3's "Miniboss Battle" music are also used throughout, as are Vectorman game SFX (like when he blows up the delay pedal and then grooves along... and then dies at the end of the song). "SEGAAA" as well.....
TIMESTAMP BREAKDOWN WITH SOURCE TRACKS:
- "Space Trip Steps" is used from 0:00-2:02 & 3:45-5:00. And the pizz violins pop up constantly throughout the song outside of that.
- "I'm a Spy" coming in on top of "Space Trip" from 0:45-1:00 & 1:10-1:16. (1:17 and 0:35 in the source.)
- "Electric Toothbrush" plays on top of the big pad 1:49-2:02.
- "Day 2" goes from 2:20-3:04. I used the first 24 seconds of the source.
- "Day 3" briefly hinted at several times starting at 1:47 but starts in full at 3:05-3:37.
- "Toxic Caves" - 3:22-3:35 (0:55-1:05 in source) & 3:46-4:08 (first 7 seconds in source).
- "Knuckles' Theme" - 3:38-3:45.
- "Emerald Hill Zone" from Sonic 2 starting at 4:09."
At this juncture, I just appreciate the wide-eyed optimism that human civilization will still be around in 73 years, and apparently in good enough shape to be listening to extended DJ sets. In giant space domes. It's heartwarming, from a certain perspective. Either way, this is the funky, retro-pastiche side of Hudak that we haven't seen as much of, and what I find particularly impressive is how these sources have been fused together such that it feels like one big throwback jam, with tried-and-true 90's vox samples & in-game FX being spray-painted in neon against the soundscape. Michael revised this a bit based on panel feedback, and it's stronger as a result; Emunator corroborates:
"Right on Michael, this resubmission does a great job addressing my writing and mixing concerns with the original submission while also expanding on it in a few unexpected ways! I've always appreciated your pallet of different throwback sounds that transport you directly to a specific moment in time. It's not mindblowingly technical, but this fusion of different SEGA tunes was always strong on a conceptual level, and is now even more solid from an execution standpoint as well! The Emerald Hill sections get a little on the busy side, but overall this is clicking much better than before. Really happy to see this one back on the panel, thanks for sticking with it!"
Rexy's our resident Sega VGM expert; and she concurs:
"I sensed Security Hall better adapted tonally, less abrasiveness on the saw synths at 1:34, and the new Emerald Hill ending working well with both the Meteor Herd backing and allowing the saw synths to adapt to their chord structures. I just missed the cool pitch-bend down from the initial sub, but the rest of the change-ups work well to secure the tail end nevertheless.
The rest of the track is no slouch, either. The sound design is fun, tightly secure, and has various tones throughout to keep us guessing at every step of the way. And the arrangement, even though it's in a medley format, has a significant number of places where parts of other sources (namely Day 3 and Meteor Herd itself) would interact with others - such a creative technique that otherwise gets overlooked.
I'm in favor of the track getting posted in this form as well - excellent work!"
It's still a concept mix, and it's still offbeat, but given the games involved & the general funkiness, this should resonate with many for whom the artist's previous (excellent!) work may have waxed too experimental. Basically, it's like getting (pleasantly) punched in the face with early 90's dance/hip-hop sounds, but in the context of a Sega medley, and many decades in the future, and inside of a dome. I don't know how any sane folk could say no to that :) Enjoy!
on 2021-04-09 13:10:55
Those pizzicatos! Loved them in the original, love them here - pretty cool idea to use them as a kind of glue for the entire track! Also enjoyed the usage of Vectorman sources, pretty cool! Especially the stuff going on at 3:10-3:37. The Emerald Hill outro caught me off guard, but not in a bad way for sure
Very good work!
on 2021-04-07 09:16:42
Woah, so good! This reminds me of the Radio DC album and those medleys you would often hear during the credits of Sega games.
on 2021-03-31 13:34:47
What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.
Sources Arranged (6 Songs, 4 Games)
- Primary Game:
Sonic Adventure 2 (Sega, 2001, DC)
Music by Atsushi Kosugi, Fumie Kumatani, Heigo Tani, Jun Senoue, Kenichi Tokoi, Tomoya Ohtani
- "I'm A Spy ...for Security Hall"
"Space Trip Steps ...for Meteor Herd"
- Additional Game:
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Sega, 1992, GEN)
Music by Masato Nakamura
- "Emerald Hill Zone"
- Additional Game:
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Sega, 1994, GEN)
Music by Bobby Brooks, Brad Buxer, C. Cirocco Jones, Darryl Ross, Doug Grigsby III, Geoff Grace, Jun Senoue, Michael Jackson, Tatsuyuki Maeda, Tomonori Sawada
- "Knuckles' Theme"
- Additional Game:
Vectorman (Sega, 1995, GEN)
Music by Jon Holland
- "Day 2: Metalhead"
"Day 3: Tidal Surge ~ Day 12: Nightscape ~ Bonus Round"
- Dance, Hip Hop
- Energetic, Funky
- Electronic, In-game FX, Sound FX, Synth
- Arrangement > Medley
Origin > Resubmission
- 9,013,431 bytes
- Size: 9,013,431 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: b8e5d73f241caf823acd2c56b52b65dc
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