ReMix: Super Metroid "Brinstar (Dreams in Red)"

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Super Metroid

Well, Xmas has come and gone and the year's almost over. 2002 has of course been a record year for OCR in terms of bandwidth, mixes posted, and most importantly new friends & faces. It marked the debut of the current, database-driven incarnation of the site (aka version "3.0") which was a HUGE step in the right direction, our wild-and-wonderful PHPBB-driven forums, and a whole boatload of fantastic mixes. There were mentions on TechTV and of course EGM, with a bit more mainstream acknowledgement of the "unofficial game music arrangement scene". I could use the phrase "amateur game arrangement scene" but I think 2002 illustrated beautifully just how professional (sounding) and innovative much of this music can be. I won't use this space for any further recap or discussion, but do stop by our forums to reminisce and/or comment on what 2002 was and what 2003 can or will be.

At their best, collaboration mixes can combine the individual strengths of the ReMixers involved to form a whole that could not have been created otherwise. At their worst, they result in schizophrenic, incoherent pieces that unsuccessfully try to meld competing musical ideologies and styles. Fortunately, this Super Metroid ReMix from Cotmm, Beatdrop, and K. Pras falls into the former category. Introing with ambient gurgling and clustered, ominous pads, the basic outline of a rhythm enters around the first minute with a tribal-industrial feel and some trademark Cotmm "interesting static textures". Things get a bit heavier, percussion deeper, with cross-panned bell pads and eventually K. Pras' screaming electric guitar introducing itself with no hint of shyness. Beats pick up with rapid-fire hi-hats and a more techno feel. Each contributing artist was most likely focusing on his respective strength - Cotmm's ambient, unique textures, Beatdrop's beats, and K. Pras' brooding, powerful electric guitar - and it shines through clearly. Things conclude as they began on a primarily ambient note, with percussion and melody fading out very gradually. This is extremely atmosperhic stuff, but it also has some forward motion in its middle minutes and sonic variety with the combination of hard, electronic textures with more organic yet still electrified and energetic timbres. The title suggests a dreamlike quality, which I think the piece has - the gradual intro and outro and the floating, vast soundscape have an ephemeral and tracelike effect on the listener. This could easily be the soundtrack to Samus having a nightmare flashback or something of the sort. Aurally diverse and of considerable, layered depth, this is some heavy shtuff. Recommended.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Necrox
on 2015-12-08 23:56:47

Excellent twisted ambience. I like how the early drums are heavier than a house but buried. It's also nice how that famous background harmony works its way in without much fanfare. The feedback at 3:01 is mean as rotted mincemeat. 4:19 sounds like a light in the darkness, bright but failing to overwhelm the mysterious surroundings. The synth at 5:00 is just great. Another great mix.

SubNormal J3
on 2011-03-21 00:18:22

This was groundbreaking when it came out in 2002. What a way to finish off the year! This mix really sparked my interest in the genre. Someone on YouTube mentioned how 'organic' the mix is. I completely agree; it feels alive. The natural buildup to the ravaging guitar entrance is incredible. I love the interlude at 3:30. It is a very unique and pleasing sound texture. The mix eventually ends in a similar fashion to the intro, and it is very effective in that regard. Congrats to you three talented artists.

OA
on 2009-12-03 11:29:23

Atmospheric and interesting, but after it was over, I couldn't remember what had just happened. Lack of coffee in the morning or not enough melodic content? YOU DECIDE! Actually, i'll decide, and i think it was a lack of melodic content. The melody itself was present, but it's a more ambient style melody, and things felt more like a texture study than an actual song to me. I know a lot of people love this kind of music, and good on them, but unfortunately, i'm not one of them. :-(

yosefu
on 2009-10-29 00:40:57

Very nice work here. The atmosphere is just so great!

tweex
on 2009-10-27 11:16:14

K. Praslowicz Review:

The crunchy glitchy guitar in the beginning is a great texture! The lead is glorious. It stands out well and cuts the soundscape grabbing the listeners attention!. The resulting feedback is another great touch to the tone of the piece. The guitar, as a whole, sits perfectly into the mix here. I really love it. The heavy reverb sections work really well too by changing the mood and tone yet again! In terms of guitar work, I would say that this is KP's best work to date! Excellent work mate.

Marmiduke
on 2009-08-26 10:21:12

I want to champion the intro for this, because I've read some complaints that it's dull, uninspired, boring. I think it contends as one of the best things about the mix. It's brooding ambience at its very best, and the best thing about it is that it is quintessential Metroid. 30 seconds in and there is no doubt we are in the Metroid universe, distorted and dark as hell. The collab team were totally right to see the strength in it and let it play out for such an extended amount of time. It speaks to the mix, as well as the game it derives from in terms of a slow-burning establishment of atmosphere and the connection to the surronundings.

Of course, it's not just the intro that stands out. K. Praslowicz's guitar kicks ass as a menacing lead, and gives the mix a better drive that sustains it to the end. As cool as the intro is, most people need that pitstop of awesomeness, especially with a running length as long as this.

Really great collaboration; I can distinctly hear the strengths of each player and they mesh extremely well. I got pretty immersed in this. A huge success.

Koru-chan
on 2009-05-19 02:25:41

I love this song to death. I fell for this song hard when I heard it in Super Metroid and came on here hoping to find good remixes of this theme. I made the mistake of trying to torrent remixes of it and the biggest issue I've seen with some remixes of this song is they make it too cheerful or make it some kind of style that doesn't suit it, like happy hardcore or even jazzy.

This song's tone is dark and almost suffocating. It was a beautiful choice for the game, but I find myself severely disappointed when a song's main tone is stripped from it. I think it really takes a large amount of talent to make a song your own while still keeping the feel of it for the listeners who loved the original to begin with. Beautifully done.

Bobwillis
on 2006-03-27 23:29:40

WE NEED COTMM TO RETURN!

Gravian
on 2005-11-08 11:55:36

I dunno... ...Something about it screems zombie game. Mabey DMC stage music a little? I don't know, might just be me. Hmpf...

meccaneer
on 2005-10-03 22:59:07

The opening ambience is slick as hell. And then the mist pulls a rhythm out of the ether...Very nice guitar programming; simple and dirty. The remix is tonally balance and retains emotion. I love it!

saris340
on 2005-07-06 04:29:14

extremely awesome. as a hardcore super metroid fan i take my hats off to the creators, i get chills when i listen to it.

SmudgeTheFirst
on 2004-06-26 19:24:47

Extremely interesting arrangement. This is definitely a masterpiece and I would love to stick it into a modern arts museum. There's only one problem. I think I would have trouble keeping the waveforms in a frame. oh well... I guess I'll just have to listen and drool. The ripping guitar and combination of ambience and texture creates a mind-boggling array of intriguing-ness.... and.. I dunno. Pretty much this song is hella cool.

lord-of-shadow
on 2003-10-08 17:34:09

Well, unlike most people here, I actually enjoyed the intro... but that was nothing to compare to the rest of the track ;)

An amazing remix, certainly.

Echan
on 2003-04-10 22:29:34

I'm also glad that someone decided to create an arrangement of the second Brinstar theme. At one point, this was my favorite peice from the soundtrack.

The arrangement itself is interesting. As others have pointed out, the introduction almost turned my anticipation for the melody into a swift click of the "stop" button. I'm glad it didn't, however. The melody was very nicely done. Something about the vocal-like quality of a guitar, especially distorted and sustained, gives a simple melody new life. The only gripe I have with this peice is the lack of the bridge from the original track. The bridge is the part of the track that is played by the piano. This was always my favorite part of the track because it exemplified the somber, dark, ...lugubrious mood that I've always loved from the piano. The melody (of the bridge) itself is also extremely simple - it's just the black keys of the piano (yes, I believe it's in that key). I suppose recreating such a mood might be counter-productive with an upbeat rhythm and a distorted guitar.

If I could arrange, I would make the track into a piano concerto, or maybe just a peice for strings. Something to the extent of Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings." (I HIGHLY suggest listening to this peice if you like that sad, melancholy, gut wrenching feeling).

Well, for what it's worth, I thought this peice was above my initial expectations for the arrangement of this track. Thank you very much.

Prono
on 2003-04-03 13:33:39

I read all replies and a lot of times 'repetitive' was mentioned. And that's a good thing. A Metroid mix should be repetitive, dark and creepy. Listening to this remix I found myself back on Zebes and it reminded me of the nights I spend exploring this planet. This mix rules big time, it's one of the bests i heard until now on the OC site...