"Agent Sprawl"

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Dead Space 2 (PS3)Composer: Jason Graves
American Pixels
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* Note: this track is not available for free download due to the fact that it is part of the licensed American Pixels album. The project is available through Bandcamp, iTunes, Spotify, Deezer, and Amazon.

Here's the story. A few years back, shortly after I'd started concepting this album, I was in the car with Joe Cam and Kunal Majmudar. (You may know Kunal from Pixel Noir, Pixeltone Music, etc.) We were heading from our respective locations in the Northeast (NY, PA, NJ) down to a music event in Baltimore. It was rather late when this particular conversation began - probably close to midnight. We were talking about composers, and Kunal asked me if I was familiar with the work of Jason Graves. At the time I wasn't, so he proceeded to fire up the Dead Space music so I could listen.

So here we are. Tired from a long drive, it's dark, it's late, we're in uncharted territory... and now through the car speakers I'm introduced to the Dead Space 2 soundtrack. It's sweet, it's scary, it's well written, and... it's damn weird to drive to, I'll tell ya that. Check out the original and imagine hearing it while the night sky flies past your window, clouds proceed cover up the moon, the car starts to rumble and shake... well, you get the picture.

Needless to say, it made an impression. Before long, I bought the games to check them out. (Actually I played Dead Space 2 before the first one, which in retrospect made the story kinda confusing, but still, it was fun.) And while the survival action/horror genre isn't one that's typically remixed, there were several pockets of very sweet and somber melodies that not only balanced out the horror music, but also lent a nice, serene, emotional balance to the game itself.

So, I decided to remix a theme from Dead Space 2 for the album. I knew from the start that I wanted to bring an acid jazz element to it (wouldn't be a complete Mazedude album without some acid jazz in there), and I knew that I wanted to have Kunal himself solo on it. Have you heard that guy play keys (or drums, for that matter) in concert? It's insane! And I've heard him go off the deep end with some weird, weird solos too, so I knew he could nail this no matter how weird the chord progressions got (which they do).

Additionally, there's a nice tune by Maniacs of Noise tracker Laxity that I've always liked, entitled "Agent Zed." So in connection with the above, there's a stylistic homage there as well. And, that's where the title comes from, in part.

Lastly, I borrowed some actual satellite noises that our friend Mustin gathered for the Metroid Arrange album, mixed in a splash of Miles Davis, gave it some creepy heartbeats and distorted Mazedude percussion, and the end result is a foray into Dead Space jazz that jams on for a good five and a half minutes.

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