"Street Fighter Alpha 2 Underground Mixxes: Da Soundz of Spasm" marks the first time a fully arranged Japanese game soundtrack has been given a U.S. release. The makeup of almost every track can be described as follows: dance beats, prominent bass, ample voice samples and game-synth melodies. Though the approach each remix follows is similar, the results vary widely.
The remixes for Dhalsim, Ryu, and Birdie are the most subdued of the bunch. Ryu's stage music gets a drum 'n bass remix so chilled and low-key in "(Beyond Nature Mix) Ryu Stage" that you might not even catch the theme at first. "Birdie (Subterranean Mix)" takes a similar approach, but with a less familiar melody and almost obsessive bass. Both mixes are professionally produced but aren't terribly exciting. "Dhalsim (Head in the Clouds Mix)" differs little from any standard goa trance track out there, aside from a plethora of "Yoga flame!" voice samples.
"Sakura (Hot Thigh Mix)" takes the album's "beats, bass and game synth" formula to the absolute max (probably too far for many), while "Sakura (Spilt Poppers Mix)" is brighter and more accessible, with a bouncy beat and some catchy voice sampling.
The remixes for Ken and Dan are easily the highlights of the album. "(Beyond Nature Mix) Ken Stage" merges pseudo-natural ambient sounds with a brisk breakbeat and his memorable theme from the original Street Fighter II, used teasingly at times to great effect. "Dan (Old Skool Mix)" makes the rest of the album - even Ken's energetic remix - seem downright lethargic. After leading with a frantic succession of percussion, bass and hyper-active synth, the track kicks into full gear with a pounding drum 'n bass beat and some catchy, high-energy piano melodies, accompanied throughout by Dan's goofy but amusing taunts and exclamations.
It's difficult to neatly qualify Street Fighter Alpha 2 Underground Mixxes. Though the mixes tend to rely too heavily on particular elements (mainly the bass), there are times when they demonstrate dance music remixing in peak form. Dan's and Ken's excellent remixes should get any Street Fighter fan's blood pumping, though the album as a whole will be best appreciated by serious dance music listeners with a taste for drums and bass.