Smooth McGroove Releases a Lovely A-capella Rendition of Sonic 2’s Emerald Hill Zone

smoothmcgroove_emeraldhill

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 introduced a number of staples in the Sonic series since it first launched in 1992: the Spin Dash ability, a seventh Chaos Emerald and subsequent Super transformation, the two-tailed fox Miles “Tails” Prower as the Blue Blur. Aside from its prequel, Sonic 2 was the highest selling game on the Mega Drive/Genesis, having sold over 6 million copies on its initial run, and cementing SEGA’s status as a successful and legitimate threat to Nintendo and their plumber mascot.

Like Sonic 1, the sequel title was scored by Dreams Come True musician, Masato Nakamura, and a number of the game’s most memorable songs still resound with fans to this day.

Smooth McGroove, renowned on YouTube for his faithful a-capella covers of video game music, uploaded his mesmerizing rendition of the introductory stage of Sonic 2, Emerald Hill Zone.

McGroove previously covered Chemical Plant Zone from the same game, and Sonic 3‘s Ice Cap Zone Act 1, as well as Sonic 1‘s Green Hill Zone, Marble Zone, and Star Light Zone.

No Mash-Up Monday this week, but if you have any Sonic music mash-up suggestions for next week, you can either share your suggestions in the comments section below, or you can reach me via any of the following to see your choice next Monday:

“Passion & Pride” and “It Doesn’t Matter” Remix now on UK iTunes

Making love to that guitar

Sonic music lovers, get ready to rock! As we reported not long ago, a brand new album titled “Passion & Pride: Anthems with Attitude” featuring a collection of music from the Sonic Adventure era was set for release in Japan – but now it’s made its way across the waters (or rather, across the internet) to the rest of the world too!

That’s right, if you’re happy to forgo a physical disc and avoid all the hassle of pre-ordering from Japan, you can now download yourself a copy of this new compilation from iTunes. The album is split into two separate volumes – Vox Collection and Instrumental Collection – which cost £7.99 apiece, or 79p for individual tracks if you don’t want the lot. The track listing for these albums is as follows:

Vox Collection

  1. It Doesn’t Matter (Sonic Adventure)
  2. Believe in Myself (Sonic Adventure)
  3. Unknown from M.E. (Sonic Adventure)
  4. My Sweet Passion
  5. Lazy Days -Livin’ in Paradise-
  6. Theme of Dr. Eggman
  7. Theme of E-102 Gamma
  8. It Doesn’t Matter (Sonic Adventure 2)
  9. Believe in Myself (Sonic Adventure 2)
  10. Unknown from M.E. (Sonic Adventure 2)
  11. Throw It All Away
  12. E.G.G.M.A.N.
  13. Fly in the Freedom

Instrumental Collection

  1. It Doesn’t Matter (Sonic Adventure)
  2. Believe in Myself (Sonic Adventure)
  3. Unknown from M.E. (Sonic Adventure)
  4. My Sweet Passion
  5. Lazy Days -Livin’ in Paradise-
  6. It Doesn’t Matter (Sonic Adventure 2)
  7. Believe in Myself (Sonic Adventure 2)
  8. Unknown from M.E. (Sonic Adventure 2)
  9. Throw It All Away
  10. E.G.G.M.A.N.
  11. Fly in the Freedom

Now, eagle eyed readers will notice that one track, the much anticipated “It Doesn’t Matter” 2014 remix from Tony Harnell and Jun Senoue – arguably the biggest draw of the entire album – is missing from these digital releases. Well, fear not! You can download the remix on iTunes as well – it’s just listed as its own individual single (priced at 99p) rather than being bundled in with either of the albums. A strange decision, but at least we still get it!

Click on the handy album covers below to take you straight to the UK iTunes links:

passion_A.170x170-75passion_B.170x170-75passion_C.170x170-75

 

Happy listening! Time to rock and roll! If you’re planning on downloading any of the music, let us know in the comments!

Music For Sonic 3’s Ice Cap Zone Has 80s Origin

The great debate over whether or not Michael Jackson worked on the Sonic the Hedgehog 3 soundtrack still rages to this day, however it seems that more and more evidence is surfacing at an ever-increasing rate, in favour of the king or pop’s involvement!

The keen eyes over at Sonic Retro spotted this gem recently; a track named “Hard Times”, by new wave band The Jetzons, who had a brief stint back in the early 80s. This track has apparently sat on the cutting room floor for years (it never made it to a physical release), until the band’s label published a digital version of their EP, including three rare demos. I think the track speaks for itself:

What might not surprise you is that one member of the Jetzons is none other than Brad Buxer, one of the composers of the Sonic 3 soundtrack, and known associate of Michael Jackson.

While this doesn’t undeniably link Jackson to Sonic 3, it will probably amuse many of you that possibly the most remixed Sonic the Hedgehog song is a remix itself (remix-ception?). Perhaps there are yet more secrets of Sonic 3 left waiting to be uncovered…

Sound Test Saturday: 21st Anniversary Edition!

My readers, this day is what all true Sonic fans strive for!

Yes, today is June 23rd, and you all know what that means! The Blue Blur himself, Sonic the Hedgehog, is celebrating his 21st birthday today!

So, let’s have a bit of an extravaganza ourselves! 21 is the magic number, so why not go for that many tracks, just for today? A great number of these tracks have been tipped by you guys, and I thank you all for your contributions!

Due to the sheer amount of music to be featured beyond the jump, I’ll refrain myself from commenting on each track. Instead, I will leave you all with this. If everything goes according to plan here, Sound Test Saturday will be moved to SEGASonic: Radio next week. Yes folks, SS:R will return sooner than you think! And with the big move, we will introduce a new feature on our weekly music column: interviews! First ones up are Freen in Green, followed by xTrickyWolfy and Ring Energy should all go well!

If there is any particular artist you would want featured on a future Sound Test Saturday, if there are any remixes, covers, or originals you want to share, if you have work of your own you would like to see up on the site, then do not hesitate to notify me at vizardjeffhog@sonicstadium.org!

That being said, Happy 21st Anniversary, Sonic the Hedgehog! Still unstoppable after 21 years!

[SG] Green Hill Zone

Title: Green Hill Zone
Author: TheSymphonicGames
Tip: Faseehudeen

Continue reading Sound Test Saturday: 21st Anniversary Edition!

Sound Test Saturday: A Funky Premiere of Green Symphonies!

Hello, readers! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful week through April’s first seven days. If not, then hopefully this is the sort of that is sure to boost your spirits!

Ladies and gentlehogs, you are now reading the premiere article of an all new weekly column: Sound Test Saturday! Just like Mash-Up Mondays feature music mash-ups between Sonic and any other party, Sound Test Saturdays will highlight music – original compositions, covers, or remixes – made by the Sonic community. That’s right! Sound Test Saturdays will concentrate on music created by you!

So, what better way to start things off than to feature one of each from the get-go?

Let’s kick things off with Badnik Factory Zone, composed by TheSymphonicGames!

[SG] Badnik Factory Zone Act 1 (Original Tune)

Check out Badnik Factory Zone Act 2, a groovy drum cover of HydroCity Zone Act 2, and a wonderful reinterpretation of Frog Forest after the jump!

Continue reading Sound Test Saturday: A Funky Premiere of Green Symphonies!

Sonic 2 Game Gear Gets the Epic Music Treatment

When you think about great Sonic music, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on the Game Gear (and Master System, don’cha know?) isn’t usually the game that comes to mind. That’s nothing to do with how good the music is, though – the little S2 has some real forgotten classics.

French jammer SongeReReveur hasn’t forgotten, though. We featured him last year for his mellow rendition of Sky High Zone – that and a somewhat… different Marble Zone – and he recently returned to Sonic with another Sonic 2 gem.

This time it’s Green Hills Zone, which was famously re-jigged for the European and Asian versions of Sonic CD (as well as the worldwide re-releases later this year). SongeLeReveur has a habit of taking his themes in a different direction than most, and this dreamy track is no exception.

Sonic Advance 2 Remixes Because I Feel Like It

I found myself in a Sonic Advance 2 mood today and was happily reminded that its soundtrack is phenomenal.  It’s one of the few soundtracks from recent Sonic games where the melody manages to land in my head and stay there.  Also, it suits the frenetic pace that the game sports.  Let’s share some remixes, because I feel like it.

GeckoYamori’s Genesis mixes have been featured before, but he has got plenty more.  Check out his Genesis cover of Leaf Forest Zone:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-pRIxhXm-4&NR=1

Hot Crater’s melody is awesome.  I went looking for a remix that really ripped it up on guitar, but all I found were a bunch of synths.  Out of the ones I found, I liked this one the best:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XU5gADsackY

Eventually, I did find one with a “guitar” lead at Newgrounds.  Check out this one by BeatDarkX.

Why this post exists in the first place is that I’ve only been able to find only three good remixes between places like OCRemix, VGMix, Newgrounds and YouTube.  I want some more!  Give me your Sonic Advance 2 remixes, knuckleheads.  A Music Plant Zone remix gets you bonus points on the imaginary Sonic Stadium ScoreTron 5000.

Hold right to win.

OCRemix’s Super Sonic 4th!

To celebrate the 4th of July, OCRemix unloaded 4 remixes on their community yesterday, one from each Sonic Genesis game.  Labyrinth Zone, Chemical Plant, Ice Cap and the Death Egg get the remix treatment by some of the best remix artists in the OCRemix community.  Check the new hotness out at the links below:

Labyrinth Zone – “Drowning My Lives Away”

Chemical Plant Zone – “Chemixtrixx”

Ice Cap Zone – “Ice Cold Retro”

Death Egg Zone – Chromium Asphyxiation

Yeah, I know… another Ice Cap remix.  I like this one, however, as it avoids the techno/trance style that everybody does for Ice Cap and uses something straight out of the 80s pop/funk genre.  I also have to recommend the Labyrinth mix because you can’t go wrong with that song.

Thanks to needsemail1 for the tip in the Sunday Poll’s comments yesterday.

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!

A Pair of Splash Hill Remixes

Guess who’s back.  Back again.

Today, in honor of the recent release of Splash Hill screenshots and music, we’ve got a pair of remixes (holy shit, already?).  This first one is a “modern” twist on the latest obligatory green zone by remixing it in the style of  the Adventure games or Sonic Heroes:

Reminds me of Seaside Hill, so big ups on this one.  Seaside Hill is my joint.  P4KO, nice work on this remix and thanks for sending it our way, bronik.

This next remix of “Green Hill: Part 7,000” is by none other than Gecko Yamori.  His interpretation is of the “classic” variety, using the 16-bit sounds found within the Genesis/Mega Drive:

Once again, I am personally wowed at how fan remixes have been making the Sonic 4 songs catchy. I guess I just find the choice of instruments obnoxious in the official tracks, especially the synth.  That’s just me, though, so what do you guys think about the music and these remixes?

Do that shit.

Sonic 3 MegaKONATA Mix & Sonic Doesn’t Need A Story

Ever wondered what Sonic 3 mashed with one of Lucky Star’s most annoying yet funny character would sound like? Akhts decided to try it out in the below video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KZ8iY4XjdM&feature=sub

Direct link
Thanks to Pearl at the SSMB for the heads up.

If that wasn’t enough Alex Day has expressed his thoughts about modern Sonic games in song which even the most hardcore Sonic fans should get a laugh out of.

Direct link

Thanks to Indigo Dude at the SSMB for the heads up.

Calling all remixers and remix enthusiasts – Game Music 4 All

Now while I was in Tokyo I met an awesome bloke who goes by the name Jeriaska who is a correspondent for Gamasutra. As well as being heavily involved in a lot of video games reporting, Jeriaska is also in the midsts of organizing the next Game Music 4 All compilation.

Most of you will probably be aware of some of the tracks that were on some of the previous compilations, particularly the “Loser: A SEGA Genesis tribute album” which includes the likes of the awesome “Sonic” track by The Adventures of Duane and BrandO, and the remixes by the prominent artist Spheres of Chaos. Well, the team at Game Music 4 All are looking for new tracks to add to their compilation! So, if there are any budding remix artists out there who want to get their mixes heard, or if you’re already big on the scene, then get over to the wordpress site and get your tracks submitted!

Do also be sure to visit the site for some of the most up-to-date news on the remix scene across a whole plethora of music cover bands, video game remixers, concerts, reviews, interviews…basically if it’s remix-related, it’s there!

If you’re about at PAX East this year, also keep your eyes open for Jeriaska’s presentation on the project! So come on UK remixers – lets get some representation this year!!! Oh yeah…and tell them T-Bird sent ya!

Game Music 4 All Website.

…and ok, here’s another excuse for Duane and BrandO (parental warning! Naughty words ahoy!)…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNC9dpy2EYU&feature=related

Sonic 4 Title Theme, Sonic CD Version

When I first heard the “Hedgehog Day” jingle, I knew right away that it was going to be the title theme into “Project Needlemouse.”  I also knew right away that something about it was off.  It tried to be a catchy title theme, but it just didn’t sound right.  There was an aesthetic to it that was off-putting.

Tweaker, Sonic Retro admin and author of the Sonic Megamix ROM hack, agreed.  Him and I were up pretty early this morning after some badass sleep.  I decided to voice our opinions of the game in the “What’s In A Name” article (which had been flying around the #retro chat room since the announcement), while he decided to make the “Sonic 4” theme worthy of its title.

So, what happens when you combine the “Sonic 4” theme with the Japanese Sonic CD theme?  Something that gets the melody stuck in my head, a key aspect that the official theme could not do.  He let me put it on TSS to share with you guys.

Download “Sonic 4 Title Theme (Sonic CD Remix)”

Like it?  Hate it?  Comment away.

The Sonic Stadium Soundtrack Squad Review: Crush 40 – True Colors: TBOStH Part 2

True Colors – The Best of Sonic the Hedgehog Part 2
by Extaticus.

There’s absolutely no question that True Colors is a truly mixed bag; not only do the various tracks on the album spread across the different genres of music known to man (ranging from sublime electro licks to romantic jazz), but the quality of the songs also varies greatly throughout. It would seem, then, that True Colors is arguably again another perfect album for any newcomer to the musical side of the Sonic franchise, as it has a hugely diverse tracklist and should be great for anybody who wants to have a taste of what the series’ soundtracks are like. However for every instance of brilliance there is a jarring example of sheer mediocrity, and the undesirably low number of decent pieces of music on this compilation is hugely disappointing.

Right off the bat, the album starts to show its true colours (if you‘ll excuse the predictable pun); Cashell’s disgraceful rendition of Un-Gravitify” is nothing less than the musical equivalent of a start-line burnout. It’s a predictable, messy and downright boring ruination of what could have been a perfectly decent track (as Crush 40‘s far superior version proves). Fortunately, this horrible abomination is followed up by “Dreams of an Absolution” – Bentley Jones’ exceptional vocal aptitude is completely unparalleled by anything else on the album (including Johnny Gioeli‘s mind-blowing performance on the final track; more on that later), and the incredible combination of guitars, synthesisers and harmonies is simply spectacular.

Although the SA1 version of “Believe in Myself” was awesome piece of prime bubblegum rock, this newer edition is riddled with massive flaws and huge imperfections; this does NOT belong on a “best-of” compilation. I’ll also be blunt with Unknown From M.E”; a truly irritating piece of crap rap claptrap, and is by far worst track on the entire album. It provides nothing but blatantly awful tedium for the entirety of its lacklustre duration, and has absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever. It’s messy, monotonous and purely diabolical tripe that should never have been allowed to exist in the first place, let alone put on a commercial release.

Luckily, this disgraceful chain of purely awful songs is smashed to pieces by the utterly fantastic electro masterpiece, Theme of E-102 Gamma”. Mixing upbeat techno and surprisingly calm piano, this track is undoubtedly one of the greatest pieces of instrumental synthesised music ever to have been written. Though it’s usurped by DoaA and eclipsed by the “Open Your Heart K-Club Remix”, it remains one of the best pieces of music on the compilation. Look-a-like” is also exceptionally good – its wholesome and hearty pop-like feel only serves to maximise the listening pleasure that surrounds it, and its senseless yet extraordinarily catchy vocals will get lodged in your head. However this version is an edited version, and this is utterly unacceptable as it sacrifices the guitar solo. The Sonic 3 MegaD Mix” is essentially an updated version of the menu screen theme from (yup, you guessed it) Sonic the Hedgehog 3. Its funky tropical beats are simply guaranteed to make even the least agile listeners amongst you jump up and dance, and its catchy synthesised samples from the original tune will have the more aged of the listening demographic grinning like children as fond memories of the decidedly superb game flood back. All in all, it’s a wonderful track, filled to the brim with SEGA’s trademark musical brilliance; a big well-done to the composers!

Two previously unreleased tracks include Lazy Days ~ Livin’ in Paradise demo version”, and a “Hybrid Mix” of All Hail Shadow (C40 backing with Magna-Fi’s vocals). Both are fairly good pieces of music, although the originals would definitely have been far more well-received on the album. From the mesmerising piano intro ofDreams of an Absolution (Starry Night Remix)”, I just knew that it was going to be a true winner. This upbeat, fluent masterwork from Bentley Jones and co. provides nothing but pure, unadulterated bliss, outshining the original version by a long shot. This new mix is a pinpoint-perfect example of how it should be done.

The album’s climactic finish is certainly that; with a mind-blowing remix of revered Crush 40 song, “Open Your Heart”. Mark my words: this track is truly a magnum opus of undeniably epic proportions; a consistent and pure piece of electro-rock excellence, this is the pinnacle of the album, exceeding even the magnificence of the previous track. Jun Senoue and his band of musical misfits have clearly saved the best ‘till last.

Overall, True Colors is filled to the absolute brim with real corkers, but has an equal amount of garbage accommodating the brilliance. It’s such a shame, too, as this could have been really good had it not been for a few idiotic decisions in choosing songs for the tracklist. Oh well; there’s always a third try, right? [6]

Thumbs Up!: Open Your Heart (again? Jeez…).
Thumbs Down: *Hocks and spits* Unknown From M.E.

JEZMM:
“If True Blue was about the quality of the music in the franchise, this compilation is about the wider variety of the music, covering almost every genre that modern Sonic has touched upon to great success. My only disappointment with the album was that there was only one song that was an entirely original, never-before-heard remix, and it was a song that has been remixed several times already –” Dreams Of An Absolution”. Having said that, it’s a beautiful and inspiring remix, and while we have heard a bit of the almost-new Open Your Heart remix before, that’s still an amazing track too. The other bonus tracks however either aren’t huge deviations from the originals, or are simply rarer tracks from Sonic’s history. On the plus side for long-time fans though, this is the first official release of “E-102’s theme” to have a definitive finish, and “Cosmic Eternity” has a slightly extended ending. As a fan of all varieties of Sonic music, I found it to be a fantastic musical celebration of the extended cast, although those who would rather Sonic stick to one genre may have mixed feelings.” [8]

Thumbs Up!: Fantastic variety of tracks. The new stuff ranges from “nice” to “awesome”.
Thumbs Down!: One too many Shadow-related tracks. New content may disappoint some.
Favourite Track: Dreams Of An Absolution (Starry Night Remix)

BLITZCHRIS:
“Both True Blue and its more recent brother True Colours, interest me for one major reason. Remixes. True Blue did well, but has True Colours stepped up to the plate? I dare say it has, bringing home 4 new and 1 previously released but unobtainable remixes. The long awaited Lee Brotherton remix, “Open Your Heart” attempts to modify the more rock-driven song into something suitable for a club, and does so with flare. Crush40 return with Mike Szuter of Magna-Fi fame to produce a mix most fans will appreciate with a combined cover of All Hail Shadow. There is something almost, ‘complementary’ about the grouping of Mike’s voice with Jun’s guitar. Ohtani’s ‘Starry Night’ remix of ‘Dreams of an Absolution’ was the low point of the album for me, destroying one of the songs that saved Sonic06 from complete embarrassment. It sounded like a mash between two songs that just didnt ever belong together. Lastly, the original demo for Lazy Days just wasn’t as cheesy and doesn’t have the same energy as its original. It was interesting however to hear how the song has evolved since its original release. It’s not a bad mix, just something different. A listenable version of the “Sonic3 MegaD Mix” was a cause for celebration, with the track only previously obtainable through the menu background music of another game. I’m a massive fan of “look-a-like” and I would have loved to have seen a more complete version; it was nice to see its inclusion anyway. ” [8]

Thumbs Up: The track selection for the rest of the disc was fairly spot on.
Thumbs Down: Ohtani’s ‘Starry Night” remix did not impress at all.
Killer Track: All Hail Shadow

T-BIRD:
“Again, like I did with my review for the C40 album, I’m going to pitch from the collector’s end of the pitch. While I can’t faulter the selection of tracks here (indeed, nice to see some unexpected stuff like Gamma’s theme), and a double-whammy of Shadow tracks in the form of Julien-K will always go down well. However it’s the same old Sonic tunes re-packaged, and I think there’s only so much of this the fanbase will lap up. Where are all the classic chip-tune tracks? If I was in marketing i’d be putting together a “Best of Classic Sonic” and stuffing it full of Sonic 1,2, 3&K tracks, and surfing the demand of even the non die-hard fans wanting to purchase a little bit of their childhood in CD form. Am I right? The remix and demo tracks are nice little touches to the end of the album, and it’s good to see some of the more obscure pieces like “Look-A-Like” haven’t been forgotten by SEGA as again this is probably a definitive track for a number of people in the fanbase. I think the real destroyer track on this album is the “K-Club mix of Open Your Heart” as it tears up both the melody and tempo of the original and makes something brand new – something the fans want and this album on the whole fails to deliver. If you’re gonna buy one of the new albums from last year kids, go for the C40 compilation, or better yet Jun Senoue’s “The Works”. [6]

Thumbs Up!: A thoughtful selection of non-Sonic character themes from through the ages.
Thumbs Down!: You’ve probably got most the tracks already.
Killer Track: Open Your Heart (K-Club Mix)

A “truly colourful” collection of new and old tracks. Yet, this is another album on which re-released tracks feature predominantly, with the mixed bag of six new songs splitting opinion.

True Colors is still available for purchase from the Jun Senoue Official Store, as well as play-asia, and CD-Japan.

Are we totally off the mark again?  Or… do you agree with us? Let us know in the comments!

A Hidden Palace Piano Piece for the Ages

Fresh of the OCRemix grill is a remix of Hidden Palace Zone from Sonic 3 & Knuckles.  What makes this piece intriguing is how it squeaked by the judges panel at OCR, as the song plays it real loose to the source material, according to djpretzel:

 Some of you in the peanut gallery may snicker (pun) derisively when the judges get out their metaphorical – and in some cases, actual – stopwatches and break a ReMix down to ensure it’s more arrangement than not.

I don’t see the issue.  I hear Hidden Palace’s melody for a good minute.  I can’t understand why this song was on the judges’ panel so long.  Aside from the hiccup at the judges panel, this piano piece is beautiful.  It’s an emotional, thoughtful, and mellow arrangement of a tune that we’ve all come to know and love.

Download “Hidden Within” by XenonOdyssey at OCRemix

Classic Rock Brings Together Mystic Cave, Chemical Plant

The latest hotness from OCRemix is “Mystic Chemicals,” a real “live” piece who’s sound calls back to the early days of bands like Led Zepplin.  The drums are heavy and loose (sometimes too loose) as the guitar wails away on that familiar Mystic riff.  Chemical Plant gets worked in midway through the song for a rockin’ good time.  XMark did a great job in capturing the feel and sound of 60s/70s rock.

Download “Mystic Chemicals” at OCRemix

“Hydrocity’s Nightclub” All Kinds of Hip

The latest Sonic remix to hit OCRemix, the popular video game music site, is a funky remix of Hydrocity Zone by Dr. Manhattan.  “Down to Hydrocity’s Nightclub” takes the already catchy tune of Sonic 3’s high-speed water level and throws in some killer organ licks, screaming brass, drum fills, and some dirty bass grooves.  This remix is one that you want in your playlist.

Download “Down to Hydrocity’s Nightclub” at OCRemix.

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!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdpaR4cgP3U

“AfriqueDeluxe” Releases Two Songs From His Sonic Remix Album

YouTube user, AfriqueDeluxe, has worked some magic and released a pair of fantastic remixes that utilize the vocals from pop music and the melodies of classic Sonic tunes.  He is planning to release a “Sonic Remix” album later this year.  His first remix takes Fergie’s “Glamorous” and throws Green Hill behind it to make the song actually enjoyable:

The second combines Casino Night’s 2-player theme and Michael Jackson’s “They Don’t Care About Us.”

Awesome.  I look forward to more Sonic remixes from AfriqueDeluxe.

Fanatics: Sand In My Shoe

We are leaving DeviantArt territory for January 7th and are now hitting up OCRemix for some Sonic tunage! Jose the Bronx Rican, a key remixer on the Stree Fighter II: HD Remix soundtrack by the OCRemix community, tackles Sandopolis and succeeds in creating a smooth, jazzy, Middle-Eastern piece. Jose comments:

“After varying degrees of success working on HD Remix and “Freshly Baked,” I learned enough about my soft studio to gain confidence in creating decent tunes in far less time than usual (though still looking for better sounds on the cheap). This is the result. The bare-bones WIP Dave heard way back at Baltimore Meet ’07 was finally worked on again, and, a month later, it’s finished.

I’ve been dying to do another Sonic tune. “Sand in My Shoe” is unapologetically 80’s: an R&B sound inspired by England trio Loose Ends, specifically their 1986 hit “Stay a Little While, Child.” I emulated that song’s style of production. Its middle-Eastern influences, “Lawrence of Arabia” vibe and irresistably incessant 808 drum loop I thought were perfect for an arrangement of Sonic & Knuckles’ “Sandopolis” BGM. Every little thing programmed and mixed in FL Studio.”

That’s some cool stuff, my man. Everybody, go and listen to “Sand in My Shoe”. It will not disappoint.

Fanatics: The Best of Both Soundtracks

YouTube user, sphereballs, takes the January 5th spotlight today for his Sonic remixes. His remixes are not like the ones you would here on OCRemix, though. These two songs that he made take all 7 tracks from both the Japanese and American soundtracks of Sonic CD and mix them all into epic song. The zones that he has done thus far are Wacky Workbench and Tidal Tempest. Be warned, they are awesome. Tidal Tempest is above, hit the jump for Wacky Workbench. Continue reading Fanatics: The Best of Both Soundtracks

Senoue Announces New Sonic Album

Sonic composer extraordinaire Jun Senoue gave visitors to his website a nice surprise on Christmas Day as he announced a new ‘Best Of’ compilation album, to be released soon in Japan. No information has been revealed other than the title, ‘True Blue’, the fact that it has 21 tracks and the rumour it may well include the ‘Open Your Heart’ Remix from Lee Brotherton that had ears wagging way back in 2006. Continue reading Senoue Announces New Sonic Album

Remix of ‘Open Your Heart’ Imminent

Remix Factory, the producers of the E.G.G.M.A.N. and Boss remixes in Shadow the Hedgehog, are to release an exclusive remix of Crush 40’s ‘Open Your Heart’ for Sonic’s 15th Anniversary.

Jun Senoue and LB have been working together for the last month or two on some collaborations, and ‘K-Klub vs Crush 40’ appears to be only one of these projects surfacing. The remix will be promoted during the Summer, as Sonic turns 15.

The decision to use the legendary ‘Open Your Heart’ perhaps has more to do with the fact that this track is the defining theme of not only Sonic Adventure, but the turning point in Sonic the Hedgehog and a firm announcement of the blue blur’s console return in 1999. If anything, it has become part of the soundtrack to a generation of Sonic fans, old and new. Continue reading Remix of ‘Open Your Heart’ Imminent

Sonic 2 Remix Album Released

The Sonic 2 Remix Project recently released their Sonic the Hedgehog 2 remix album, “Hedgehog Heaven”. The group, made up of members of remix site Overclocked ReMix, worked on the album for over a year and a half.

The final album comprises 21 tracks from 18 artists coming to just over 75 minutes. It contains remixes of every piece of music in Sonic 2. The album is available to download for free in MP3 format from the Sonic 2 Remix Project site, but they ask that you use BitTorrent instead to save OCReMix’s bandwidth.