Some people would argue that remixes of of original works shouldn’t be allowed and detract from the original piece as it deviates from what the original composer intended it to sound like. Some would also say that this a fair argument. In some ways I agree with these people as a bad remix of an original piece can detract from the original and, if people haven’t heard the original, put them off listening too it.
Remixes come in two distinct forms, the made with love fan remix and the professional re-orchestration. The vast majority of remixes that you will find on the internet are of the fan made kind. Site likes Overclocked Remix, RKO and Remix64 host a vast selection of these remixes. OCRemix hosts remix from almost every format while RKO & Remix64 are both dedicated Commodore C64 remix sites. If you are interested in remixed music and you haven’t visited either of these websites then I highly recommend visiting them.
The remixes that I am going to cover in this special feature will be music from games that I have already featured in this blog. I chose to do this as it allows a proper comparison of the originals with the remixes. Perhaps in a future article on remixed music I will cover other remixes where the originals aren’t featured on this site.
For my first piece in this special feature I am going to start with my last blog entry; Donkey Kong Country – Aquatic Ambience.
I’ve only recently discovered this remix as it only arrived on the scene within the last month.
It is a stunning piano arrangement of Aquatic Ambience and has very quickly become one of my favourite remixes, but then I do enjoy piano arrangements.
Prior to listening and enjoying Depth of the Deep, I was always stuck with a hard choice as to which Aquatic Ambience remix was my favourite. The very first remix that grabbed my attention was Blue Vision by bLiNd it is a great remix that while adding a lot to the original piece doesn’t massively deviate from it, which is no bad thing. My other choice would’ve been Beneath the Surface by Vigilante as this is a stunningly mellow and very relaxed take on the original. It’s quite a choice as Blue Vision was one of the first remixes that I’d ever heard so it’ll always have a fond place for me but using my head I do think Beneath the Surface is the superior remix.
So how do I follow-up Aquatic Ambience the mellow and relaxed musical epic? Let’s go back to the start of my blog and very first blog entry, Saboteur II and a tune that it at the opposite end of the scale as it is very upbeat.
This is actually the second remix of Saboteur II that Marcel has done as he wasn’t entirely happy with the original;
As I was listening to the old version of Saboteur II, which was uploaded in 2000, I decided that i just had to redo it again as the older version had some serious MIDI timing problems.
As you would expect this is a very up-tempo number and a great remix based on the C64 SID original. My only gripe is the intro, i’m not overly keen on it as I prefer the one in Marcel’s original remix, oh well!
Enjoying the music so far? I do hope so.
The next piece to fall under the remix spotlight is from the game Rastan. With this post I am going to show two very different remixes of the same tune, the first piece is a professional studio remix by Taito’s in-house team, Zuntata and the second remix is by Glyn R. Brown.
Wow! Two very different pieces based on the same musical track. While the Zuntata arrangement is, suitably, very aggressive the remix from Glyn takes a more epic approach and it reminds me of something your more likely hear in a film soundtrack – a very impressive piece. I wouldn’t be able to pick which one is my favourite though as I enjoy them both equally.
For the final piece I am going to look at a re-orchestration of a classic Amiga track – the title screen/intro music from Shadow of the Beast. This track is taken from the very first Immortal CD which was released in 1999! The original track was composed by David Whittaker with the arrangement by Ruben Monteiro. It is a superb arrangement.
The audio capabilities of the Amiga were outstanding for its time and it is hard to imagine how you could improve on the original but Ruben has produced a stunning arrangement that adds many layers and nuances to the original to produce a haunting and very memorable musical opus. It is worthwhile tracking down a copy of not only the very first Immortal CD but numbers 2-4 as well.
Well, I hope that you have enjoyed my special feature on remixes and I really would like to hear you thoughts about the pieces that I have featured. If you have a favourite remix I’d really like to hear about!
In the future I may well talk about remixes again as there are some truely stunning arrangements and remixes to be found.