"Liquid Tribes"

Puzzlejuice (iOS) Thumbnail
Puzzlejuice (iOS)Composer: Jimmy Hinson
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.

So, when I set out to do this project, I wanted to—from the beginning—make sure I weave in some indie games, and at the same time, honor some of my friends who have climbed—with much effort—to a degree of notoriety. Now, I'd known Jimmy "Big Giant Circles" Hinson for years before this project even began. Heck, we even battled each other in the Heroes vs. Villains project through the Bad Dudes and Overclocked Remix, where he covered the Samus theme and I fought back with Mother Brain. Good fun.

But yeah, he'd been making a name for himself doing some composition for indie games, and then suddenly, he showed up on Mass Effect 2. And since then, it's been a variety of releases from the guy, ranging in projects from big to small. And they're all pretty darn good.

So, it may have been, well, expected that I tribute his tracks from the "bigger" games, but... nope. I actually happened across his soundtrack for a little game called Puzzlejuice, and I just fell in love with it. It was actually one of those instances where I liked the music so much, I went and checked out the game. And I gotta say, I fell in love with the game too! Scrabble meets Tetris and more, it's a good one.

Interestingly enough, this is one of the first remixes I finished for American Pixels, and it was really a case of everything lining up beautifully. To start, I had just purchased a sample CD of African sounds. Ambient and environment tracks, kids and village noises, singing, hollering, and more. All in all, a cool collection, but... where to use it? Then I heard the Puzzlejuice music, and... I heard marimba playing in my head. And it all fit. Establish a lush, water-infused environment in an African village, with kids and families playing, and then... a marimba creeps in. Then, of course, it gets crazy, electronic beats enter the scene, and the solo goes from nice and easy into something complex and extremely difficult.

(FYI, Jimmy was on board with this when I presented the idea to him as well, so, while it's not originally a direct request, it was definitely crafted with the blessing and appreciation of the composer.)

I'm extremely grateful that local percussionist Jennifer Vacanti was on board to play this challenging piece. Thanks Jennifer, it's great to be able to feature you on this track! (Fun fact, her husband Matt Vacanti is also featured on the album, playing electric bass on "Bernard Electric" from Maniac Mansion.)

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