Redux Complete Soundtrack

Redux Complete Soundtrack. Box Front (sample). Click to zoom.
Redux Complete Soundtrack
Box Front (sample)
Composed by Andre Neumann
Arranged by Awesome-A / Chris Hülsbeck / CJoe / CZ-Tunes / Space One / Vodkatron Sound Team / Zzr
Published by HUCAST
Release type Game Soundtrack - Official Release
Release date February 27, 2013
Genres
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Overview

The Redux Complete Soundtrack, composed by Andre Neumann, is quite an interesting package. The music featured on the album contains three separate soundtracks for what is essentially the same game, whether it is the original DUX, the updated DUX 1.5, or the remake, Redux: Dark Matters, which is due out for release this year. In addition, the soundtrack features a variety of remixes by various artists. Is this album worth picking up and how much do the various incarnations of the soundtrack differ from one another?

Body

 

DUX

Rather than work in the order of the soundtrack from most recent to earliest, I want to start with the earliest musical vision of Andre Neumann for DUX. The DUX portion of the soundtrack opens with “Title,” which features a very futuristic sound that sets the tone for the album. It’s upbeat and melodic, although not one of the more substantial tunes. The first stage theme, “Entrance to Trance,” is an interesting tune. While it isn’t the strongest theme on the album, it manages to succeed in crafting a fairly strong melody and a slightly ominous, yet adventurous, atmosphere. It has a very retro sound, despite featuring modern synthesizers. The second stage theme, “A Cave Full of Water,” definitely captures the atmosphere of being aquatic in nature. From the water drip sound effects to the ethereal synthesizer that perfectly captures the mood, it is a wonderful piece from start to finish. The melody itself is present, although it largely works with the accompaniment to enhance the mood.

“Material Mine,” the third stage theme, definitely exudes a more sinister soundscape thanks to its industrial percussion, ominous accompanying synthesizer tones, and robotic beats; however, as the piece progresses, the atmosphere of the piece is lightened slightly by the use of some choir and some high pitched synth tones. “Purple Spaces,” the fourth stage theme, is a departure from the previous stage themes. It features more of an orchestral presence, although the majority of the piece is still synthesizer based, and the incorporation of some militaristic percussion helps give it a bit more of threatening tone; however, the overall piece is largely airy, joyous, and adventurous in tone, as if you are discovering this area for the first time. “Radiax’s Den,” the fifth stage theme, is definitely a much more atmospheric piece that showcases a variety of synthesizer and percussion helps paint the picture of infiltrating enemy territory. It still features a melody, but I wouldn’t say that it is the main focus of the piece. It’s a frightening piece, but one that may not be as appreciated on a stand-alone basis.

The final stage theme, “Obviously Obvious,” is one of my favorites on the album. It is a very ethereal, almost dreamy tune, with a very beautiful melody. There are moments when there are signs of omen, particularly towards the end when the music cuts out and it becomes sound effects. This is definitely one of the best pieces on the DUX soundtrack. The “Boss Fight” music is definitely one of the more intense pieces on the soundtrack, and rightfully so. It has that exhilarating pace, contributed to at times by both the melody and accompaniment, but at the same time, it manages to have some more peaceful sounding sections that help break up the tension, all while containing a very futuristic sound. Should you die at any time, the “Game Over” theme will be your “reward.” It is a very somber tune focusing on orchestral tones with subtle electronic accompaniment. Should you beat the game, or score high enough, you’ll be treated to “High Score,” which is used for the name entry portion of the soundtrack, which is an upbeat and exhilarating electronic tune that captures the essence of the more action packed themes quite nicely. Lastly, the “Credits” theme is a bubbly electronic tune that really captures the spirit of the 80s/90s shmup sound. In fact, that’s probably a good way to sum up this version of the soundtrack. It manages to capture the retro vibe, on the whole, while keeping the synths more on the modern side.

DUX 1.5

For DUX 1.5, the “Title” music is a remix of the version featured on DUX. This version adds some beautiful choral tones and some orchestral work to the mysterious synth featured in the accompaniment and melody. The first stage theme, “The Space Ever” is a pumping electronic tune that sports a nice futuristic tone with a minimalist sort of melody, but when present, it adds a nice color to the piece. I also particular enjoy the piano accompaniment, but I’m not going to lie, it reminds me very much of the title screen music for the Japanese doujin series, Touhou. The second stage theme, “Dreamy Cave,” is one of the best tunes on the DUX 1.5 soundtrack. It really manages to capture that mystical, dreamy quality, especially through its striking piano melody, while also providing some references to the second stage theme in DUX. In addition, it has some really slick electronic grooves that really manage to stand out.

“Rockin’ Factory” has this really nice industrial drum and bass vibe with some gritty electronic textures that definitely are reminiscent of some grungier guitar riffs. Unlike some of the other stage themes, this one does drone on a bit, due to its repetitive nature in the bass line, and more of an atmospheric focus, so it may not be for every listener. “Incepted Space,” the fourth stage theme, has a very calming atmosphere to it. It still manages to provide a nice beat, with some wobbles thrown into the mix, but for the most part, this is a very ethereal piece that provides a nice contrast to some of the heavier stage themes on the album. “Ghostly Geiger,” the fifth stage theme, retains the atmospheric nature of “Radiax’s Den” from the first game, but manages to make it a bit more upbeat through its use of electronic beats. I really like the choral tones mixed with the various synthesizers used to capture an ominous sound, yet still manages to keep it on the fresh side.

Another stunning piece is “Space Zoo,” the final stage theme. It is similar in style to the DUX final stage theme, in that it is very ethereal in nature. The piano melody mixed with the choir backing really helps give it a nice dramatic flair, as well as a sense of omen, but for the most part, it is a strikingly beautiful piece. The boss theme for game, a remix of the boss theme from DUX, features an intense electronic beats, a dreamy piano accompaniment, and some choir backing that really helps turn of the dramatic nature of the piece. The high score music for the game has a very Rafael Dyll quality to it. While the original DUX’s comparable music was very upbeat and retro sounding, this one manages to capture the atmosphere of this game’s soundtrack, upbeat and entrancing with hints of danger. The game over music has a very dark sound to it, but unlike the original that was very somber overall, this one incorporates that sort of atmosphere with some electronic beats, ambient synth accompaniment, and some heavy bass. Lastly, the credits music continues the ambient electronic vibe and really reminds me of Donkey Kong Country’s “Aquatic Ambience.” It is definitely a fantastic way to end the soundtrack. In short, while DUX was more akin to 80s/90s inspired tunes, the DUX 1.5 soundtrack manages to capture a darker, atmospheric mood, on the whole, while providing some really beautiful melodies as well.

Redux: Dark Matters

Redux: Dark Matters is a remake of the original DUX and it, too, sports a brand new soundtrack. Unlike the other soundtracks, this one also incorporates an intro theme. This theme is primarily what I would consider drumstep, as it features plenty of drum n’ bass percussion accompanied by bass modulation. This theme also makes a reoccurrence later on in the soundtrack. The title music, on the other hand, is giving me huge Rafael Dyll vibes. I love this combination of crystalline piano hits, electronic textures, choral tones, and some militaristic percussion. The first stage theme, “Shooting Robots in Space,” is by far one of my favorite stage one themes in the DUX universe. It features an extremely engaging melody and a great electronic drive. However, I really like how dynamic the theme is, as it changes up its tone throughout the piece. Just as the adventurous, upbeat melody manages to reel you in, the piece shifts in tone to be a bit darker with some industrial electronic vibes, focusing more on atmosphere than melody, with some luscious synth tones that change frequently during this more industrial section. A truly impressive track and one that Andre Neumann should be very proud of.

“Humid Caverns,” the second stage theme, manages to keep that ethereal vibe of its preceding incarnations, as well as that aquatic vibe. It features a truly stunning melody that is only accentuated by the ephemeral choral accompaniment and chill electronic tones. This is another highlight on the Redux: Dark Matters soundtrack. The third stage theme, “Robotic Haven, Crafted by Death,” has an ominous, industrial tone. Dark choral tones, sinister electronic tones, and industrial sounds help craft one of Andre Neumann’s finest atmospheric tunes on the soundtrack. While it doesn’t focus on melody like other stage themes, this is one of those pieces that really manage to impress with just its focus on atmosphere, unlike some of his earlier attempts on the previous DUX soundtracks.

The fourth stage is split into two different themes. The first, “Spiritual Spaces I: Lost Hope” focuses on heroic, militaristic orchestral themes. While it really manages to capture that sci-fi sound and does so with a decent melody, it does sound a bit out of place on a primarily electronic soundtrack. The second portion, “Spiritual Spaces II: Meteora,” is a return to the ambient electronic soundscape that focuses on beautiful piano work and ethereal choir, synth tones, and somewhat of an R&B rhythm. However, it does manage to tie in some of the orchestral aspects of “Lost Hope” at times, particularly in the percussion. The fifth stage theme, “Alien Terror,” features another industrial sounding electronic piece that focuses a lot more on atmosphere as well; however, what I really enjoy about this piece is its very sinister sounding electronic accompaniment as well as some of the more futuristic aspects of the piece that help to accentuate the overall ominous atmosphere. The piano though, very reminiscent of the Gunlord soundtrack by Rafael Dyll, really manages to stand out with its melody when its featured towards the end of the soundtrack.

The final stage, “Alarming Area, The End,” is a nice drum n’ bass piece that reintroduces some of the music heard in “Intro.” It is intense, engaging, features a fantastic melody, and captures flying headfirst into danger, while at times, also providing a nice calm before the storm atmosphere through its incorporation of some more organic sounds like the violin. I also really enjoy the modulated bass in the accompaniment. It gives it the elements of drumstep while subtly introducing certain aspects of dubstep that some people may not enjoy. “Boss” continues the industrial drum and bass feel of the final stage theme while also incorporating some choral tones that help give it a bit of epic tone. Of all the boss themes for the DUX universe, this is definitely the one that feels most like a boss theme.

"Highscore” has that classic chillstep sound going for it with its deep bass, ethereal passages, crystalline synth and piano hits. The melody is wonderful and I really like how it is varied throughout the duration of the tune, capturing many aspects of the stage themes with it in terms of atmosphere. “Game Over,” however, is one of my favorite pieces on the entire four disc collection. When I asked if there was a reason that it spanned over four minutes in length, as perhaps there was some game meaning behind its length, I was told it’s that long because Andre Neumann wanted to compose it as such. To be honest, it’s really nice hearing game over themes that are longer than the standard. This particular piece is a stunning chillstep piece that focuses on sultry female vocals, a fabulous piano melody, and some bass modulation associated with modern dubstep, although done in a way that fits the overall mood of the piece. Lastly, “Credits” mirrors “Title” in overall execution. As such, it also has that Rafael Dyll feel, but the electronic accompaniment I would say is definitely more unique to this soundtrack. The melody and all the components that go into the piece really work together and manage to capture the feel of the soundtrack as well. The part at 2:15 is particular impressive. Of the three DUX soundtracks, the Redux: Dark Matters soundtrack is definitely my favorite. While some of the tunes do not feel unique to Andre Neumann and seem more inspired by Rafael Dyll’s shmup works, the majority of the soundtrack definitely has a unique sound compared to Dyll’s work and will certainly please fans of more modern style electronic music.

Remixes

Of course, there are a ton of remixes packed into this four disc release, and to mention all of them would be quite a feat, so I’ll only mention some of my standout remixes, although I’d say for the most part, all of them are well made. The first set of remixes is from the original DUX soundtrack and is also featured on that disc. “Bloomin’ Cave,” by Zzr, focuses more on the electronic aspects of the original; however, the more ambient sections are lost. “Dynamite Disco Dux,” by CJoe, has this really funky, retro vibe yet really manages to give it sort of a lounge vibe with some sinister electronic tones and ethereal synths that really capture the atmosphere of the original DUX soundtrack. “Score the Darkness,” by Awesome-A, is a really interesting transformation of the high score music into something very ominous and sinister, a stark contrast from the nature of the original. “Sidastic,” also by Awesome-A, is a really interesting ambient chiptune soundscape that really manages to do the original justice.

The final disc on the soundtrack is full of brand new remixes from a variety of people. “Space Odyssey Medley,” by Matias Castro, gives a nice sort of “story” remix, as it provides snippets of many tunes featured in the DUX universe, although it seems to focus mostly, if not entirely, on Redux: Dark Matters. “Game Over -Horizons-,” by CJoe, is a wonderful transformation of “Game Over” from Redux: Dark Matters. It takes the original chillstep tune and turns it into a pumping trance remix fit for any dance floor. “80’s Pushback Galore RMX,” by Dr. Future, is a really nice “demake” of “Shooting Robots in Space.” It features plenty of classic synth tones that really help give it a sound that would fit in some of the earlier DUX incarnations. “Titel RMX,” by EIZ, turns the original into a nice chill electronic remix with plenty of heavy bass, but one that would fit well in an electronic set to give the dancers a little break from all the high energy. “Credits RMX,” by Chris Huelsbeck, is another treat on the album. It features that Turrican sound full of orchestral tones, catchy grooves, and awesome choral work. If this is what his Turrican Anthology album is going to sound like, or at least the special remixes he’s going to do, then I’m all on board.

 

Summary

The Redux Complete Soundtrack is definitely well worth the investment. Not only do you get to see how the DUX universe’s soundtrack has changed throughout its various incarnations, it also provides a variety of electronic styles ranging from retro inspired shmup melodies with more modernized synthesizers to electronic styles that are currently very popular in the dance scene, such as drumstep. While not perfect, Andre Neumann’s growth as a composer is well captured on this soundtrack and I see a bright future for him ahead, as his sounds are very polished, especially for the Redux: Dark Matters soundtrack. 



Album
8/10

Music in game
0/10

Game
0/10

Don Kotowski

All music composed by Andre Neumann.

12.07.15
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