Game Music

Arrangement of the Week: Red Barrage Aquarium

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The Sonic the Hedgehog franchise has evolved quite a bit since its emergence in the 90’s. I’m someone who always felt that the jump into 3d platforming was never a good move for the series. Regardless of that view, the one thing I will always say in favor of the Sonic the Hedgehog games is that they always have excellent music. The music of Sonic Adventure had some great pieces in particular, so for today’s Arrangement of the Week we’ll be examining a cover from that soundtrack.

This arrangement covers two tracks, “Bad Taste Aquarium” and “Red Barrage Area,” and features live performances by Peter Fernandes on keys, Richard Hallebeek on guitars, Shane Gaalaas on drums, Ric Fierabracci on bass, and Brett Garsed on guitar solos. The resulting arrangement is “Red Barrage Aquarium.”

The cover has a ton of energy which is helped in part by live performances on every instrument. The contributions from each musician helps build a mix and sound that is greater than the sum of its parts. There’s a good blend of rock, funk, and jazz elements that produces an original sound for the source material, while still sounding like it could easily fit into the areas of Sonic Adventure that the tracks are from.

A big nod has to go to keyboardist Peter Fernandes who also arranged and produced the cover. There’s also some wonderful solo work by Brett Garsed, who gets a good section of solo time starting around 2’19.” Even though the solo goes on for almost two minutes, it never feels out of place with the rest of the track. There’s nothing especially flashy, just a consistently chilled out funk vibe that permeates the whole track. Overall, it’s a great sounding studio arrangement, that featuring some great performances and captures the spirit of the Sonic Adventure games quite well.

Have you heard any good arrangements of music from the Sonic Adventure games? Let us know in the comments below. You can check out more from this group at OC ReMix.

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