The Geek Squad have carefully crafted a tribute to Sonic the Hedgehog music that tips its hat to the past whilst arranging the works into a modern-day twist.
Opening with “Bonus” the iconic tune is arranged into various different heavy beat laden versions. Mostly it’s a low riding bass heavy hip hop beat that starts getting a real swing in its step into the last-minute. It’s a simple sampling on the surface but there’s a lot going on under the bonnet. “Dr Robotkicks” takes the boss music and starts glitching it into a tribal dance track. It works really well as it appears to be sampling the original chip track and the tribal beats don’t go overboard and keep the right rhythm going. “Final Bout” is far more dramatic and fast paced with its drum n bass styled rendition of the up and down arpeggios of the original final boss. There’s a thickness to the synths here as well that really rises the production. “Flyer Than Knuckles” takes things into a soaring epic scale in places but the drums here, whilst very dynamic, aren’t quite as well produced and it feels like too much is overbleeding the speakers and pushing too hard. That coupled with the glitch effect makes some of the track feel a bit uncomfortable.
“Lost Your Marbles” is the quiet track on the album. Piano that echoes away and crisp drum beats, the synths and sampling work well but that overbleed on the kick drum breaks the production down a point sadly – only in the choruses. “Rings Over Everything” is the most accomplished track on the release. It takes the original track and really improves on it in every way. “Sonic’s Way” takes the level end track and a lot of the sound effects from the game to make a very pretty track too. “Tails’ Swag” is a similarly inventive track with lots of whoops and come ons over Tails’ jump noises.
The Geek Squad know their audience and play to their strengths. The production of the kick drums needs to be sorted out for future releases because it detracts from the rest of the work but as sampling, remixing and reinventing goes, they’ve got a great foundation to build on.