Sound Test Saturday: Generational Stylings

Sonic Generations was a game that set incredibly high expectations for the fans for one reason, and one reason alone: the stages chosen to represent Sonic’s best moments in two different styles. This stretched not only to the gameplay and level design, but to the music as well.

The final release’s level selection was met with high praise, what with highlighting some of the greatest parts of Sonic’s history… but of course, not everyone is left satisfied. As a result, many people from the music community have decided to take matters into their own hands. Already numerous dubbed “Classic” and “Modern” remixes of Sonic favourites have sprouted around the web.

That is why, for this week’s Sound Test Saturday, we will acknowledge a few of these artists who have payed tribute to Sonic Generations and the history of Sonic in their own special way.

With that, let’s begin with a remix that literally raised the bar much higher than some would favour… a White World mix of Sky Troops from Shadow the Hedgehog!

Sonic Melponterations OST – Sky Troops (White World)

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Sound Test Saturday: CageKame’s Legendary Rock Covers

It’s a given that searching for any given video game track on YouTube will lead you to a big number of assorted covers. Some will seem mediocre, some will seem just “meh”, and some are okay.

Then there’s covers like these.

This week’s Sound Test Saturday takes a look into the musical stylings of CageKame, an extremely talented artist from Italy who favours the guitar. You’ll end up finding tons of rock covers for video game tracks on his channel, all well made.

However, I think the term “rock cover” is too basic to describe this guy’s skills, because they are not your everyday vanilla-flavoured cover. What blows his remixes out of the water over all others are not only the energy and spirit he puts into his playing, it’s how his guitar solos take the spotlight. He truly knows how to make each song he comes across into his own.

If you want proof, check out two of his rock remakes down below: Sky Sanctuary and Ice Cap from Sonic 3 & Knuckles!

Sky Sanctuary Zone – C@gE (Sonic 3 Rock guitar cover)

Check out the obligated (yet still amazingly well done!) Ice Cap Zone cover after the jump!

Continue reading Sound Test Saturday: CageKame’s Legendary Rock Covers

My Little Mash-Up Monday: Music is Magic

Sorry readers, but with me around and this particular subject’s ever-growing popularity on the internet, this was bound to happen at some point! Whether you hate it, love it, or tolerate it, things have just gotten 20% cooler around here, because it is PONY TIME today on The Sonic Stadium!

This week’s Mash-Up Monday brings you a grand total of four mash-ups, all of which combining music under both Sonic the Hedgehog and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic franchises.

The first two mash-up the actual music from the show. Planet WinterWisp sees a lovely combination of Planet Wisp and Winter Wrap Up, while Escape from the Cutie sports the memorable City Escape theme alongside the delectable lyrics from Cupcakes.

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The Sonic Stadium Soundtrack Squad Review: Ice Cap Remix Month

Remix Month: Ice Cap April
by BlitzChris.

Ice Cap. Two Zones, many remixes. Thats right, as of right now more than 50 remixes of Ice Cap available online, recorded by a plethora of community artists. As TSS’s resident expert on sonic remixes, It’s my job to not only introduce the good, but also some of the bad and downright ugly mixes.

The Good:
DCT – Memories Frozen in Time

Ive listened to this song A LOT. Im at the point where I’m confident to sing the majority of it in the car on the way to work even though I havent got every word down right. Interstingly enough, the vocals to this song, written by “Noodle the Innocent Child” were originally written for Eminem’s “MockingBird”. For those who havent heard the song, this is a 5-minute track covering issues facing the youth of today discussing the often greatly underestimated effect of social support. In terms of music, it is a simple slowed down remix of Ice Cap, which softly compltiments the rap. It is a remix of top quality, so much so I managed to trick my girlfriend into believing this track was fresh on the pop-charts!

Aurium – Ice Cap Zone (Instrumental Remix)
For those who like their club-style beats and are looking for a remix of a similar nature, look no further than this little beauty. One of the most clean and clear Ice Cap remixes you’ll hear, Aurium keeps the track down to earth, holding it true to its roots. Its nothing fancy, but the simplicity of it in all the right places makes for a remix you’d be proud to call your own.

TheBlox – Ice Dream
Essentially, a mish-mash of two well known tracks, Ice Dream compiles Ice Cap with the much “fanwhored” Dreams Of An Absolution, to create something which just shouts SPECIAL. The track opens up with an acoustic stumming of DoaA, followed by a synth pad and then three sets of piano. The two pianos play seperate parts of the DoaA, followed by the third one with a segment from ice cap. After a few loops and the introduction of sythetic drums, the song will have you entranced with its perfect proportions of retro and new gen.

The Bad:
Shael Riley – Music of My Icecap Zone (TRACK 17)
Leis Miller – Your Loves Like Snow (TRACK 11)
Liontamer – Wild Wild IceCap (TRACK 18)

While Recapitated (The OCRemix Ice Cap Project) did some great things for the Ice Cap remix scene, these three tracks straight off it should be avoided at all costs. Shael‘s song exploits toilet humour, while Leis‘s remix sounds like somthing he put together within the time it took to read this article. Liontamer‘s mix is that bad I would have trouble actually reviewing it, seeing as its not really a remix. For those that understand the underlying joke, you may want to check out Liontamer’s LIVE version of the track.

The Ugly (also known as “and now for something completely different”):
Smh – Gwilym Running Naked Across the Frozen Tundra (TRACK 7)
This is my favourite 8-bit sounding Ice Cap remix, which can be found on the Recapitation Album. Although simple, it doesnt mimic the Ice Cap tune completely, and its quirks make it special. An “end of stage” jingle and a “pause button” sound at 0:48 just adds to the charm of an otherwise plain remix. The track finishes with a quicker pace and a darker tone – a nice touch which certainly conveys an air of a boss at the end of the stage. All in all, an excellent little package worth investigating especially for all you Master System and Game Gear fans.

ThePianoSkitFiasco – Polar Face
I couldnt review remixes without bringing you a mash-up so here is one for all the Lady Gaga fans. It seems to work surprisingly well, its just a shame the author was lazy towards the end and made Ice Cap loop too soon, mixing up the Ice Cap heard during each chorus.

T-Bird Recommends:
LightKeeper – Ice Cap Final Act
Sonic Remixes are incredibly hit-and-miss in my opinion when it comes to Ice Cap Zone, as I feel on the whole there is a lack of originality in most of what is offered, particularly which regards to the more generic dance remixes. For those of you inclined towards a heavy metal mix, I’d point you in the direction Brazil’s “Videogame metallers” Megadriver, the Metalhog album and the Ice Cap mix therein, but even I think this suffers a fate of being metal for the sake of metal.

My choice track by far is by LightKeeper from Newgrounds, who manages to blend a great variety of percussion and triggered kick-drum along with some interesting tempo changes. I think what I most like about this track though is the bass line that deviates from the usual tedium of that of the original, yet still retains some elements of the scales. That combined with the range of synth instruments utilised creates a rich, atmospheric take on this rather overused track, that I think really does stand head and shoulders above most of the competition out there.

Extaticus recommends:
The Cynic Project – Fire and Ice

The Cynic Project is a hugely respected remixer amongst many members of the Sonic fan community; his countless renditions of the Marble Zone theme and “remastered editions” of specially selected classic Sonic tunes are all of a truly high quality, and his remix of the famous and iconic Icecap Zone theme – entitled Fire and Ice – is also excellent: Right from its sublime synth bass intro, Fire and Ice is a sure-fire winner; its superbly innovative uses of melodic piano, tinny PSG and gentle woodwind make it an absolute joy to listen to, and the decidedly brilliant way that it blends all of these fabulous elements together gives off an utterly incredible and all-round stunning effect that completely eclipses any other remix of the Icecap theme ever to have existed. Hell, it’s even better than The Cynic Project’s alternative (and newer) remix of the same tune!

Starting off slow and eventually escalating to an ultra-climatic concord of both electronic and natural instruments, Fire and Ice offers a pin-point perfect example of how the famous and celebrated Icecap theme should be re-created with modern technology; totally awesome on absolutely every conceivable level, the whole tune quite simply fails to disappoint in any way, shape or form. It’s the epitome of musical excellence – a perfect remix, and a perfect blend of the elements.

JezMM Recommends:
WillRock – Snowboardin’ Sonic

I’ve never been a huge fan of the Ice Cap track; I understand the appeal and it’s a great melody, but it’s just so repetitive that once you’re only 40 seconds in you’ve pretty much heard all the song has to offer.
So, I decided to seek out a fan remix that treads into some original ground to stray away from this dislike of mine, and I found a great one by Willrock.
While most mixes keep the repetitive style of the original song with just a mixture of the underlying beat and the main melody (usually slowly building up to an exciting finale), this mix decides to take on the route of extending and building upon the original theme. All is normal until 1:10 where the mix slowly warps out of the original melody in a very cool way.
Very occasionally the new melodies do stray a little from the Ice Cap vibe, but the tune itself is great throughout regardless. It also doesn’t have a particularly built-up finale, but thanks to the original material it doesn’t really need one. This is a more than solid remix that should please those looking for an extension to the original Ice Cap theme.
What do YOU think? With so many Ice Cap remixes out there, which Ice Cap remixes really send a chill down your spine? Lets us know in the comments!

More Chances To Win Mario & Sonic Snowboard Teased

Sega Europe Community Manager ArchangelUK apparently loves to tease people. For example, I present to you the official Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games branded Snowboard he showcased earlier today.

It looks great doesn’t it? In fact it looks even better if you go here to see them full size. So how about an opportunity to get your hands on this fabulous merchandise? Alas, you can’t buy this thing in the shops but it can be won in the UK Mario & Sonic Sweepstakes. I’d hurry though, the competition is only open until November 17th so you need to be as fast as Sonic himself to enter before the deadline. Terms and conditions for the competition can be found here and should you not be the lucky winner don’t fret, AAUK has also teased that there may be other opportunities to grab one. TSS will endeavour to keep you posted.

Smooth Criminal + Ice Cap = ‘Bad’ Remix

And by ‘Bad’ we mean good (and Michael Jackson’s album of course). The link between Sonic 3 and Michael Jackson (R.I.P) has been documented many times in the community, so it’s always nice to see some fans make use of that and try to merge the two together. This recent remix, by Yuzoboy, mashes up MJ’s Smooth Criminal with Sonic 3’s Ice Cap Zone (Acts 1 and 2) together to make an awesome whole. Apparently Yuzoboy’s remix is a new take on an already-existing Smooth Criminal/Ice Cap mashup by MixerProductions too. Fantastic mixing here.

Note the video includes a sneaky bit of Sonic MegaMix as well. Very nice. And there’s more where that came from if you click here too. Thanks to Rio for the spot!

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