Official 2021 NGADM round 2 review
First thing that I notice and I like is that there’s spots that feel really big and warm, like 0:54. I’m a fan of the funk style and I think you’ve pulled off a nice feel. It’s not overcomplicated, but there’s a lot of fun elements like the walking bass lines you have, a lot of fun details scattered into the mix that help make it unique and full. I don’t think your themes are overused or too repetitive either, but they are a good earworm. When I stopped listening to it I was still singing the bassline over in my head.
A lot of what I think is making this work is your choice of instruments. They’re a nice blend between I’ll dare say cheesy hip hop samples mixed in with jazzy funk retro game synths. It creates something that feels nostalgic but doesn’t feel dated. The bass you picked for your basslines are perfect, I love hearing the orchestra hit samples like at 0:41, your chord synths are juicy, and you have some cheesy sounding brass lead like at 1:58 that simply works. The only thing I don’t like generally throughout the whole song though,and this might be a personal preference thing, is that most of the instruments have a type of distortion or bitcrush happening that makes the song a little less clean that I’d like. Like I said it is personal preference because they way you have it now reminds me of RC Revenge pro for the OG playstation, and if you “cleaned it up” it might lose some of that nostalgia factor.
As I’ve said before, this song doesn’t feel overplayed or repetitive, and some of it comes from the fact that you know when to break away from it or change things up so that each time it comes back it feels different and fresh. There’s some implied dynamics happening, meaning that while the song doesn’t seem to get quieter in spots, there’s a definite contrast in energy and perceived volume. I don’t know if you have a limiter that you’ve got the main mix trying to crowd a bit, but I think what you have works for the most part.
Overall, I love listening to this. Each time I replayed it listening over certain parts I was bobbing along with a smile. There’s a lot of fun details but the heart of the song is just a fun nostalgic groove. It’s like something that’s been around for a while and comes up as a warm memory.