Why yes, I am that Half-Life 2 Remix guy.

My name Is Andrew Bowers and I compose, produce and remix music under the handle "DJ Dain". Many years ago I was considerably involved in the video-game remix community. At that time, two major websites dominated: OverClocked ReMix, and VGMix. I ended up contributing most of my time and effort to the latter community, which had a much more egalitarian reviewing system, and even offered free hosting for users' mixes. One of my earliest remixes entitled "That Long Train Ride" was an expansion on Kelly Bailey's "Triage at Dawn" - a short transitional song used in Half-Life 2:

At the time, I could not track down the official soundtrack for the game, so I was left to use a program called "GCF Scrape" (or something similar to the best of my memory). This allowed me to unpack the encrypted game files and extract virtually all of the audio within the game, including music, sound effects, and even some dialogue. As such, the song "Triage at Dawn" was actually labelled something more akin to "Track 17" or "suit_song23", so I ignored the filename when I released the remix or review and stuck with a more attractive, invented title "That Long Train Ride". After approximately ten revisions, the track was officially released and received decent reviews achieving a site-chart position  level of bout second or third tier.
 
I went on to produce other remixes to post on VGMix until February of 2006 when the site was closed due to the exploitation of multiple vulnerabilities in the site's database code. "That Long Train Ride" and most of my others video-game remixes wouldn't see the light of day again until I started my own blog in 2008 to promote my mash-ups.
 
Then something I never expected began to happen during the in-between years prior to my blog's launch. "That Long Train Ride" became an underground hit with HL2 fans. I every couple of months I would receive the odd letter asking if I was the guy being the remix and where they could download the track. One gentlemen even requested the piano parts so that he could learn and transcribe them to sheet music. I even stumbled upon several fan forums with whole threads dedicated to discussing and celebrating this remix. One of the most surprising developments came with a message from a fan who said I had been mentioned in the UK edition of PC Gamer Magazine. He even sent me a picture as proof:


Needless to say, I was flabbergasted. The download link they provided may have been broken, but my name and work was published in a magazine! I had never anticipated this remix to generate this much interest.

But it didn't stop there. I eventually stumbled upon several YouTube videos that featured my remix: 
 
       
   
    
  
       
      
Apparently, there has been a considerable amount of confusion throughout the fan community about the origins of the track. Many have argued that it was part of the original beta of HL2, while others thought the track name was entitled "Path of/to (the) Borealis". I have yet to upload and release my own video to attempt to clarify the issue.
 
In the meantime, you can listen and download the MP3 via SoundCLoud: 
 
I hope you've enjoyed the story behind this little remix, and that you'll enjoy the track itself even more.
28 Comments
29 Comments
Posted by Dain22

My name Is Andrew Bowers and I compose, produce and remix music under the handle "DJ Dain". Many years ago I was considerably involved in the video-game remix community. At that time, two major websites dominated: OverClocked ReMix, and VGMix. I ended up contributing most of my time and effort to the latter community, which had a much more egalitarian reviewing system, and even offered free hosting for users' mixes. One of my earliest remixes entitled "That Long Train Ride" was an expansion on Kelly Bailey's "Triage at Dawn" - a short transitional song used in Half-Life 2:

At the time, I could not track down the official soundtrack for the game, so I was left to use a program called "GCF Scrape" (or something similar to the best of my memory). This allowed me to unpack the encrypted game files and extract virtually all of the audio within the game, including music, sound effects, and even some dialogue. As such, the song "Triage at Dawn" was actually labelled something more akin to "Track 17" or "suit_song23", so I ignored the filename when I released the remix or review and stuck with a more attractive, invented title "That Long Train Ride". After approximately ten revisions, the track was officially released and received decent reviews achieving a site-chart position  level of bout second or third tier.
 
I went on to produce other remixes to post on VGMix until February of 2006 when the site was closed due to the exploitation of multiple vulnerabilities in the site's database code. "That Long Train Ride" and most of my others video-game remixes wouldn't see the light of day again until I started my own blog in 2008 to promote my mash-ups.
 
Then something I never expected began to happen during the in-between years prior to my blog's launch. "That Long Train Ride" became an underground hit with HL2 fans. I every couple of months I would receive the odd letter asking if I was the guy being the remix and where they could download the track. One gentlemen even requested the piano parts so that he could learn and transcribe them to sheet music. I even stumbled upon several fan forums with whole threads dedicated to discussing and celebrating this remix. One of the most surprising developments came with a message from a fan who said I had been mentioned in the UK edition of PC Gamer Magazine. He even sent me a picture as proof:


Needless to say, I was flabbergasted. The download link they provided may have been broken, but my name and work was published in a magazine! I had never anticipated this remix to generate this much interest.

But it didn't stop there. I eventually stumbled upon several YouTube videos that featured my remix: 
 
       
   
    
  
       
      
Apparently, there has been a considerable amount of confusion throughout the fan community about the origins of the track. Many have argued that it was part of the original beta of HL2, while others thought the track name was entitled "Path of/to (the) Borealis". I have yet to upload and release my own video to attempt to clarify the issue.
 
In the meantime, you can listen and download the MP3 via SoundCLoud: 
 
I hope you've enjoyed the story behind this little remix, and that you'll enjoy the track itself even more.
Posted by FirePrince

Nice.Welcome to the team.The tracks are quite good!
Posted by TheHT

sounds great. half-life games have always had some 'not-what-youd-expect' but really great music, and that remix just builds on that. :)

Posted by sniping_dreamer

 DJ Dain? Holy crap!
 
I love your remix in the Cave Story Remix project, "Never Die."  Seriously, that was really awesome stuff.

Posted by Toug

Hey, I'm Andy, and I'm all famous and shit. Blah blah blah....

Posted by KarmaticStatic

Hey, Man you really should release the sheet music to this song! its really amazing and I would love to play it

Posted by Azteck
@Toug said:
" Hey, I'm Andy, and I'm all famous and shit. Blah blah blah.... "
Way to come off like a huge jackass and make new people not want to join the site.  
 
@Dain22: Welcome to the site, mate. Hope you'll enjoy your stay and don't let the idiots get to you.
Posted by jorbear

Welcome to GiantBomb. Don't let some of the dicks scare you, they just need to feel like they can have an impact on people's feelings. 
Enjoy your stay here!  
P.S. You can't actually leave GB. Just sayin'.

Posted by SSully

Never heard the track before, but im listening to it now and really wish it was in the full game. Sounds like the closing theme to a movie or something, it would fit perfectly with an ending. 

Posted by zepp

That's pretty cool that you were mentioned in PC Gamer,  oh and welcome to GB!

Posted by MarkWahlberg

The real reason Episode 3 hasn't come out is because Valve wants to use this remix in it, but their lawyers can't find you. Your anonymity is depriving us of quality gaming.
 
Asshole.

Posted by commandercup
@MarkWahlberg:  you win /thread
 
The music is pretty epic, although I think it's too melodic for a game soundtrack, that's not to say that it isn't incredible in its own right.
Posted by Toug
@Azteck: 
Haha. He's a friend of mine. I'm just giving him shit man. 
Really didn't occur to me that people other than him would be reading it.
Posted by Dain22
@Toug said:
" @Azteck:  Haha. He's a friend of mine. I'm just giving him shit man.  Really didn't occur to me that people other than him would be reading it. "
This is all true - in fact I didn't expect this much response from other users on GB! Many thanks to everyone. :)
 
Toug's a cool guy. In fact, you should all go check out his web-comic Aptitude Test. It's awesome.
Posted by Azteck
@Toug said:
" @Azteck:  Haha. He's a friend of mine. I'm just giving him shit man.  Really didn't occur to me that people other than him would be reading it. "
Ohh.. my bad. Sorry 'bout that.
Edited by guiseppe

Those were some excellent songs, made me go look up my old HL2 inspired song ^^. Welcome to GiantBomb :).

Posted by PerryVandell

You've got some real talent there! Welcome to the site! Also, those videos made me remember how much the Half-Life series is similar to the Elder Scrolls series in regards the the limited amount of voice actors.

Posted by Toug
@Azteck: @Dain22:
I mean, I am a dick, but just not specifically for those reasons.
Posted by mr_shoeless

Great songs! Hope you post some more someday.

Posted by valrog

Much respect sir, love that song.

Posted by MistaSparkle
@Dain22: But wouldn't you like to be the Half-Life 1 End Credits Remix Guy also? I definitely think you're qualified! 
Posted by JCTango
@Dain22: Damn.  I'm one year late lol.  Pretty damn cool stuff there Dain!
Posted by SeriouslyNow

Yeah I really like Bronski Beat. I hope that they get credited too eh?

Posted by ckeats

Turns out this dude is from my area and actually a friend of a friend. I'm pretty sure this is the first Giant Bomber I've found who was actually in one of my social circles.

Hopefully you got a show or something lined up next month when I'll be back home, I'll be there and expecting Black Power 2000 to be played.

Posted by Cirdain

you should let someone reformat your post...

Posted by Dain22
@Cirdain said:
you should let someone reformat your post...
Done and done! 
Posted by Dain22
@SeriouslyNow said:

Yeah I really like Bronski Beat. I hope that they get credited too eh?

My mind is blown. I think I must mash these up now... :D
Posted by Callumrides

nice song and welcome

Posted by thefastdrummer

This song is just... amazing!!!

Please write the sheet music! :D