Yesterday I received my Club Saturn CD from Wal-Mart and thought I’d share my impressions of it. If you don’t know what Club Saturn is, here’s a brief explanation. Back in 1996, Sega wanted to try and win over some of the gaming demographic that was also into the club scene. Obviously, this CD didn’t help, but as a fan of both Sega and dance/club music, I was very interested to see how the CD turned out.
After listening to it at length, I can understand why the CD didn’t do much for Sega or the club crowd in general. This CD is hands down some of the worst club music I’ve ever heard in my life. In fact, the only club CD I can think of that is worse than this is Anime Toonz, a collection of anime theme songs remixed so poorly that if a pregnant woman were to listen to them, her baby would abort itself to avoid the horror of being her child.
The brilliant minds behind Club Saturn decided that the songs (if you can call them that) didn’t really need to sound anything like the music from the games they’re named after – just as long as there were some sound samples taken from the games. Thus throughout the CD, you’ll hear lots of voice samples to continually remind you that it’s not real club music, it’s just video games trying to be hip.
I’ll take a bit about a few of the tracks to give you an idea.
Nights (Drum & Bass Mix) by Expressive Records – Generally, the best track is put at the top of the playlist on a CD, and this is no exception. This is in large part to the fact that it actually takes some of the music from NiGHTS and manages to remix it with a decent back beat and bassline to achieve better than mediocre results. It’s overall a pretty fast paced song, but pretty mellow, which makes it feel more like a chill-out groove than a dance song.
Daytona Racing (House Mix) by Duderella – this song actually sets the pace for the rest of the CD by incorporated the voice samples from the game rather than any actual music. The song itself isn’t terrible, but the voice samples make it cheesier than Velveeta. I don’t need to hear “Select Your Transmission,” “Time Bonus,” or “This is the Final Lap” anywhere at all when I’m listening to club music. Voice sampling done right can be appropriate, but it’s just garbage here. The Virtua Cop song is even worse, shouting “Reload” all over the place.
Baku Baku (Drum & Bass Mix) by Dream Team – Overall, a rather mediocre Drum & Bass song – it doesn’t really have any focus or much of anything to do with Baku Baku… I heard the game over sound effect and menu selection sounds in there a few times, but that was about it. Baku Baku’s music is all about plucky banjos and such, which makes me wonder why Dream Team chose to turn it into a bladder infection.
Virtua Fighter (House Mix) by Marshall Jefferson – This song makes me laugh out loud at how bad it is. Marshall Jefferson teaches us all how to ruin what might otherwise have been a catchy little house tune – take low quality Virtua Fighter scream samples and play them over and over during any part of the music that has a decent drum beat. You really have to hear it to believe it.
Nights (Ambient Trance Mix) by Richard Jacques – The only one of these so-called musicians to still be making music for Sega, Richard Jacques managed to avoid screwing things up too badly with his NiGHTS mix. There are some misplaced samples throughout the song, but they aren’t too bad until the end. Thankfully, Richard Jacques knows that a remix should feature music from the original, and he pushes the “NiGHTS flute” melody throughout the song.
Fighting Vipers (Avant-Garde Beats Mix) by Paul ‘Trouble’ Anderson – The last song I’ll be mentioning here, it’s another case of voice samples gone wrong. ‘Trouble’ took as many voice samples as he could and peppered them throughout the song on top of repetitious back beats. There’s no real melody or song progression to speak of – just four and a half minutes of voice samples and boring beats.
So there’s a brief summary of the CD for you – I just hope it was enough to persuade you not to buy it. And while it’s not the worst thing I’ve ever listened to, it’s at right there at the bottom of the barrel.