ReMix: Super Mario 64 'Pearl Song'

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You've heard this theme ReMixed before, by me and McV, but The Wingless has a decidedly different and VERY quality version of his own that's got something to say. Unlike McVaffe's more ambient take, which is probably closest to the original, and the major-key, orchestral overhaul I opted for, The Wingless has gone for a complex, layered, piano-driven arrangement inspired by another artist's works. The ReMixer explains: "It's inspired loosely by David Lanz's (a kickass pianist) style of composition. Heavy on the interpretation of the original piece. Hurray for me bastardizing songs and making them my own!" - hurray indeed, if you're like me in your appreciation of mixes that play more significantly with the original composition. If this is bastardization, then I'm a bastard! Wait, that came out all wrong...you get the gist. A single water drop opens us up, then joined by piano overtop of wah-filtered piano with a delay, very dramatically evoking an underwater atmosphere right off the bat. Recognizable melody comes in around the first minute, followed by a nice clarinet solo and piano embellishments. There's also very minimal but effective timpani rolls leading into certain bars that are subtle but work wonders. When an actual beat enters around 2'20" it initially sounds kinda chincy, but is augmented swiftly by a counter-rhythm on top that completes it. The rest of the mix sorta stays on a beautiful, chiming piano pattern (seemingly The Wingless' signature device) and fades out. The devil, as they say, is in the details, and they've been paid attention to here - especialy for the first 3/4ths of the mix, there's additions and subtractions and instrumentation decisions going on at a subtle level that creates a great, believable musical environment. The wah/delay processing on the intro is fantabulous, and the restructuring of the melody and addition, similar to SunkenSuite, of original music phrases and harmony on top all work quite well. About the only negative thing I could think to say is that most of the "good stuff" is concentrated in the first half of the mix, and the last quarter lacks any new ear candy or points of comparable interest. But still, the arrangement is intelligent, multi-layered, and creates its own universe and rules. Listening to all three mixes side by side is entirely worth your time, for yet another good look at how the same catalyst can yield such varied conclusions. Recommended.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
SubNormal J3
on 2011-07-14 00:25:50
The Wingless started off strong in 2003 with this track which shows definite maturation over his older (while still enjoyable) tracks. It has more control both in terms of arrangement and production, but it still holds that classic Wingless feel with its subtle dissonances. We have the pianos, bells, drum-kit, and, of course, we get our key modulation at 2:10. A must-have for any Wingless or "Dire, Dire Docks" fan.
OutSpoken
on 2011-07-05 02:14:22
http://reoganworks.blogspot.com/2011/01/song-of-week-29.html
The Wingless constantly surprises me by showing a new way to interpret a source. Nicely done.
Skinner3D
on 2010-10-20 15:40:39
If there was such a thing as an underwater lazy river, this would be the music. :D It's so peaceful.
I have been listening to game/midi music for years and my mom really doesn't like it. This remix actually brought about the for first time ever, my mom coming in and commenting on how beautiful the song was. (She had done it for other songs, but never game music)
She said that she recognized the source music, and didn't realize how good those songs were until she heard one redone with real sounding instruments. :D
So, props to Wingless. :D
DJ Uni Mekaju
on 2010-08-05 03:49:15
Beautiful remix! This was one of my favorite songs on this game! Man, they sure had good game music back in the days. XD
Skyline Drop
on 2010-06-29 01:11:06
I'm far from an expert on David Lanz, but I can definitely hear the influence here. This is probably the ideal way to approach remixing this source track.
OA
on 2010-02-03 12:38:10
A really nice take on a great source, this is calm and tranquil take on a calm and tranquil song. The structure really is expanded here, however, and though certain sections are pretty liberal, the feel and backing parts are pretty seamless, and there are plenty of great moments. I really like the kettle drum rolls, as they add just enough motion to keep the track from plodding, until the light-as-air percussion comes in. Really good stuff; I miss Wingless's mixes, but i'm glad that he got a lot of great mixes out.
42
on 2009-12-11 23:30:07
Ahhh... classic Wingless, so calm, so mellow, so relaxing. I love this mix so much. Everything about this mix seems just a little ethereal, everything bathed in some hazy white light.
Listening to this makes me feel like I'm floating downstream, all my cares and woes washed out and floating off ahead of me, even though the atmosphere feels more attuned for a heavenly realm instead of one aquatic.
Emunator;622028 wrote: this one deserves more recognition than it's gotten.

Amen to that. This truly is a wonderful piece that more should know about.
Emunator
on 2009-12-11 21:05:33
Only 4 pages of reviews? Are you kidding me? This is a really beautiful, monumental piece that I think deserves better than that. No offense to the other two artists that have remixed the theme, but I feel that this conveys so much more emotion, personality, and sadness than the others do.
I really fell in love with this one from the first moment I heard it... great source, perfect interpretation... this one deserves more recognition than it's gotten.
Lucentas
on 2009-12-11 19:32:53
Beautiful piece, I love how it just expands upon the source so exponentially. Lovely.
Ascendancy
on 2009-09-02 23:13:45
progressive;460291 wrote: I don't think people have appreciated just what the Wingless accomplished here. He's given this song a brand new personality through a completely original and nuanced chord structure along with some excellent writing. He's infused it with a level of complexity and maturity of sound we rarely see in video game music and made it contemporary and relevant (after all, isn't that what this site, above all else, aims to do?). It's subtle yet dramatic, and very clever. This song has been mixed over and over, and nothing else I've seen posted or in the WIP forum has come close to its originality. One of my faves.


i completely agree, this has got to be one of the most complex piano arrangement mix i have ever heard. i've first heard this mix back in 2004 and i still listen to it till this very day. starting the mix with the water drop was brillant it gives you that sense of calm and peace. the slow build up into the main theme was phat stuff. nothing short of a masterpiece i have to say. highly recommended

on a sidenote when will we see your next mix????? =OOOO
metalsnakejuice
on 2009-05-18 11:20:53
One of my favorite wingless mixes by far. l really enjoy the atmosphere you brought on the table here.
Good work
progressive
on 2008-10-05 04:31:52
I don't think people have appreciated just what the Wingless accomplished here. He's given this song a brand new personality through a completely original and nuanced chord structure along with some excellent writing. He's infused it with a level of complexity and maturity of sound we rarely see in video game music and made it contemporary and relevant (after all, isn't that what this site, above all else, aims to do?). It's subtle yet dramatic, and very clever. This song has been mixed over and over, and nothing else I've seen posted or in the WIP forum has come close to its originality. One of my faves.
Fiendofthenorth
on 2006-10-12 12:05:04
endblink wrote:
Apperantly, yes. The only problem with The Wingless, it seems, is that he simply can't remix fast enough for my tastes. This guy is incredible.

This is also the only complaint I can make about The Wingless. Every one of his remixes I can honestly say I fall almost instantly in love with. I'm always happy when a Wingless song comes up on my playlist.
In particular with this remix, I very much enjoyed the slow but sure way this remix developed, starting out with a melody that slowly turns into the melody from Super Mario 64, and I very much love the piano work in this remix. Definitely a 10/10.
Nutritious
on 2006-10-04 11:49:32
This is another one of my favorites songs on OCR. The original in the water stages of the game really set the atmosphere and remains one of my favorite (need to stop using that word) OSTs of any game.
I really like how he takes his time in building up the theme on this song. If you remember Dire, Dire Docks in the game, the song would only flesh out once you reached certain areas of the stage. I think The Wingless has done an excellent job of keeping that same slow-building feel. The piano is well integrated with the rest of song - it seems to just barely rise above the rest of the soundscape until about 2:13 when it takes a more dominant role in the song. Minimal drums also keep the same feel as the original. Great work.
avaris
on 2006-09-03 16:03:45
simple instrumentation, excellent arrangement. Really chill song to listen to.