Remix Month: Ice Cap April
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!