Hashel Interview: Creating a Timeless Album
This past weekend, Pixel Mixers released their 26th community album, Timeless Ocean, a celebration of the Ecco the Dolphin series. All four games were represented on the album which featured 30 different musicians and 28 tracks. Album producer Hashel is a veteran when it comes to community albums, but I wanted to find out what made Timeless Ocean special to him.
How did the idea for an Ecco the Dolphin album come about?
Pixel Mixers wanted to make an album dedicated to Sega games (as we mostly do Nintendo games and a lot of J-RPGs) so we created a poll with only Sega games, and Ecco won.
When did production on Timeless Ocean start?
The production started in late September 2018.
What is the recruiting process for Pixel Mixers?
We usually share on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Reddit) that we're starting a project and that anyone is welcome to join. Anyone interested is free to join our projects.
What makes Ecco the Dolphin's music so appealing?
I don't really know; I personally love how weird and creative the Genesis OSTs from Ecco 1 and 2 are, and I love those synthy sounds. It reminds me of Pink Floyd or Vangelis.
If they were to make a modern Ecco, who would you want as the composer?
Lena Raine, maybe? Her style could fit pretty well I think.
Were there any unique challenges for this album?
It's probably the most niche project we have done so far, so I wasn't sure of how people would react to that, but a lot of people who didn't previously know about Ecco music (like me) just felt in love with the OST and wanted to work on the project.
Describe Timeless Ocean in one word.
What were some of your favorite tracks from the album?
Ah sorry that's Top Secret, you'll have to listen to make your own opinion ;)
How does this album compare to some of the other Pixel Mixers albums?
It's certainly more coherent in term of styles, due to the source material. Also, we usually like to have a lot of variety within our albums, but for Ecco we kept the tracks with the same music style together, whch even increased the feeling of cohesion.
What was your goal with this album? Do you think you achieved that goal?
We don't really have specific goals when we make albums, other than hoping it's going to be fun to make, that it's going to sound good, and that people from inside and outside the community will enjoy it. I'm personally really happy with how it turned out.
What's next for Pixel Mixers?
The next release will be a MegaMan X tribute album, and we’re are also working on a Valkyrie Profile 1 & 2 album right now. Lastly, our side project is a FFVII album to celebrate the Final Fantasy VII remake.
As with all Pixel Mixers albums, Timeless Ocean is completely free, so take a dive and find out what mysteries lie beneath the waves. If you’ve heard the album, what are your thoughts?