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Three Days of Retro Remix Revue: Day 3 – The Review of the Revue!

September 19, 2008 | | 2 Comments Share thison Facebook Three Days of Retro Remix Revue: Day 3 – The Review of the Revue!on Twitter

It seems like just yesterday that we started our “Three Days of Retro Remix Revue” series, featuring interviews with keyboardist/pianist/arranger Blaine McGurty and recording/mixing/master engineer Davis Jones, but we’re finally closing with our impressions of the Retro Remix Revue Volume 1 album itself.

I can’t tell you enough how great this album sounds, from the production values to the quality of the arrangements themselves, this album has created something that other remix projects should aspire to. It’s all here, from professional musicians to an excellent track list, and I’m already looking forward to Volume 2.

Have you listened to the album yet? Do you agree with me that it sounds pretty amazing?

Hit the jump for the track listi and our full impressions of the album.

You’ll find most of your favorites here, but there are a couple unexpected treats thrown in for your listening pleasure. The full track list is as follows:

1. Super Mario World – “Overworld Bgm, Ending”
2. F-Zero – “Big Blue”
3. Sonic the Hedgehog – “Green Hill Zone”
4. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy Kong’s Quest – “Stickerbrush Symphony”
5. Dr. Mario – “Chill, Fever”
6. Street Fighter II – “Ken’s Theme”
7. Super Mario 64 – “Dire, Dire Docks”
8. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – “Chemical Plant Zone”
9. Super Mario Kart – “Mario Circuit, Rainbow Road”
10. Spider-man & the X-men: Arcade’s Revenge – “Gambit”
11. Mario Paint – “Gnat Attack Level 2, Save & Load”
12. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – “Zelda’s Lullabye, Zora’s Domain”

To start things off, “Overworld Bgm, Ending” is one of the strongest tracks here, adopting a traditional jazz style. Jivin’ piano melodies, lots of hi-hats, and a groovy bassline take listeners through “Athletics” and the ending theme from the game. The healthy dose of reverb gives the track a live feel.

Things shift gears (HAR HAR) immediately with ”Big Blue” from F-Zero, taking on an energetic rock style with blazing synths and electric guitars. “Green Hill Zone” from Sonic the Hedgehog is another one of my favorites with jazz organs and a thin synth melody with some cool vibrato effects. McGurty’s solos that start about midway through the track and continue on to the end are outstanding. Great stuff!

“Stickerbush Symphony” comes next, providing a synth rock arrangement, but I have to admit I can’t get that rap video we posted the other day out of my head when listening to this. Next up, everyone loves some Dr. Mario, and they tackle both “Chill” and “Fever” here with an electric guitar and a rock organ that reminds me of the ball game. “Dire, Dire Docks” from Super Mario 64 starts off mellow, just like the original, but gets moving with a fat bassline, energetic percussion, and even some strings towards the end.

I was actually surprised to see “Chemical Plant Zone” from Sonic the Hedgehog 2, as it’s one of my favorite tracks from the game. Cutting synths appear alongside a chunky bass. McGurty really wails away here, and I love all the solos. Super Mario Kart’s “Mario Circuit” kicks things off with a “Love Boat”-style jazz ambiance before moving into classic the “Rainbow Road.” The bassline is killer and the jazz organs are awesome.

So yeah, “Gambit” from Spider-man & X-men: Arcade’s Revenge? What the hell is that? Who knows, but the track is awesome. You’re in store for a double dose of bass and some rockin’ percussion and electric guitar work. Who would have known? Mario Paint delivers 80s pop with sweet vocals during “Gnat Attack Level 2,” and some thumping techno for “Save & Load.” The album closes with “Zelda’s Lullaby, Zora’s Domain” from Ocarina of Time, and as the title suggests, this one will chill you out after all the action from the previous tracks.

I know a lot of you out there aren’t into the digital distribution thing, but you’re going to have to deal with it this time, because this is some seriously good stuff. Jazz, rock, and everything else included, this album is amazingly well-produced and the track list certainly doesn’t disappoint. It even opens your eyes to something new with the “Gambit” track. Be sure to pick up Retro Remix Revue Volume 1 on iTunes for $9.99 [UPDATE: or on Amazon MP3 for $8.99, thanks Robby!], and look out for a Volume 2 in the future!

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