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Gradius House ReMix :: Review by Don

Gradius House ReMix Album Title: Gradius House ReMix
Record Label: Konami Style
Catalog No.: LC-1742
Release Date: February 27, 2009
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Gradius House ReMix is an arranged album mainly dedicated to the first Gradius game. It also features an arrangement of a theme from Gradius II. Released alongside Manabu Namiki's Gradius ReBirth Original Soundtrack, which arranged themes from a variety of Gradius games, it features a variety of different remixers, whom I believe are popular in the club scene in Japan. I got this album mainly due to the fact that it was being bundled with Gradius ReBirth Original Soundtrack at the Konami Style store. I haven't really listened to much Gradius, aside from Gradius V, so I'm not really familiar with the original themes, but I figured I'd take a chance with a remix album, due to the fact it was a house remix album and I like music I can dance to, even if I don't dance.


The most interesting part of this remix album is the fact that it takes you on a journey through the entire original Gradius game through a diverse array of remixes. The first theme, "," arranged by The Barcelona, takes the coin sound effect of all things and turns it into an upbeat Japanese rap vocal track with some awesome beats. Clearly most of the music is original, but the added coin sound effects are mixed and inserted into the theme to give it a nice nostalgic factor. Going a bit out of order is "Sky High," arranged by GOKU. This is a very beautiful take on the aerial battle theme. It features a very spacey and uplifting melody over some catchy beats. It's not at all what I expect from a battle theme arrangement, but oh man, does it really get my gears going!

The stage themes are a mixed bunch, at least to me. "Volcano Stage (Newdeal Remix)," arranged by Newdeal, is easily my favorite theme on the entire album. It's dedicated to possibly the most famous Gradius theme of all time, the first stage theme "Challenger 1985". Unlike some of the arrangements, it takes the chiptune version and overlays it atop the most infectious house beat on the album, creating a theme that really does make me want to dance, at least in my seat. I also like the opening and ending of the theme as it sounds like plane is going to malfunction. The next arrangement, by Techriders, is entitled "Ruins (Techriders Remix)". This is one arrangement that took me a while to get into, possibly because the second stage theme it is based upon was so abstract in the first place. The thing I like most about this theme is how it develops. It starts out pretty bare, featuring a deep house beat; as it advances, the melody is slowly added in different layers until it all comes together to form this pretty awesome concoction!

In a similar vein to the last arrangement, the third stage remix "Moai Funk (Kikiorix "Mutenka" Remix)," by Kikiorix, features a deep house beat with some interesting synth lines in the melody. Unlike "Ruins," this one doesn't really develop in any particularly unique way so it tends to get monotonous after a while. It's one of my least favorites on the album. DJ SODEYAMA contributes his theme, "ONACLOV", and it's pretty interesting. It is a nice fusion of house and industrial sounds with a very spacey and futuristic melody line that also throws in the original soundsource. It's another favorite of mine for sure. Continuing with the awesomeness is Nop's arrangement "Begrimed Basement". It's a nice industrial house beat that features a mysterious synth melody line that has a bit of jazz influence, especially when the piano comes in. mizo's sixth stage remix "grads [Gradius I 6th Stage ReMix]" is another jazzy house theme with a focus on suspended string synth and some jazzy piano elements. With so many awesome arrangements, it's hard to pick a favorite, but on certain days, this is definitely up there. I'm just sad it's as short as it is. I'd definitely like to hear an extended version in a club one day!

Another one that took a while to grow on me was the last stage remix "Light of Fortress" by Velocity. I initially found this one to be hard to digest, due to the vocal work added. Fortunately, the beats, while slow to start, developed into something a bit livelier. It can get a bit repetitive at times, but it's ultimately enjoyable. "LasBo Boss," by DJ Raymond (the samos), is a nice medley of the distinctive coin, boss, game over, and ranking BGMs. It's also a bit crazy featuring some industrial techno influence, some vocal work, the original sound source, and some interesting choice on synth effects. It's one that might take a while to warm up to, but it's quite enjoyable in the end. Lastly, the only Gradius II Gofer no Yabou arrangement, by Jazzin' park, is entitled "Things Are...". Given Gradius didn't have a proper ending theme, this remix of its sequel's "Farewell" compensates. Featuring a combination of crystalline synth, piano, and some house beats, it sends off the album on a noteworthy note, although a subtle one. It's an extremely exquisite arrangement with a beautiful melody and easily ranks up there as one of the better arrangements!


I bought this album on a gamble and I think it pays off on the end. While some of the arrangements took a while to grow on me, many of them were instant hits. It offers a nice mixture of industrial and house arrangements with the occasional surprise. Some arrangers are obviously better than others, such as Jazzin' park or Newdeal, but if you are a fan of house music and Gradius, this should be right up your alley. Now, if only the Gradius ReBirth soundtrack were this good...

Overall Score: 8/10