ReMix: Super Castlevania IV 'Shaolin's Cave'
5,834,020 bytes, 4:48, 160kbps
Streaming preview on YouTube
Man, I'm a lucky guy. I love the source material here - it's one of my favorite tracks from perhaps my favorite SNES soundtrack, and now in addition to Nigel Simmons' excellent orchestral coverage of this, the cave theme from Super Castlevania 4, I've got another fantastic mix of the same theme. Nicolas Ferranti, alias Nixdorux, also gives us a compelling orchestral mix. Nix's ReMix takes a bit longer to become recognizable, with an extended, very suspenseful intro that lays down an ominous progression, with the main underlying pattern from the source coming in at 0'57" as we then segue to the more identifiable harp/wind lead combination. Even then, however, Nicolas throws in his own embellishments, with strings ebbing and flowing uneasily beneath the delicate, tentative melody. Circa 2'30" things get more dramatic, with choral/percussive hits and a build towards a second iteration that's got underlying timpani rumblings, a moving wind line, and a general sense of more excitement and direction. I love how Nicolas, with arrangement alone, manages to so adeptly change the tone from suspicious to tense to frantic with common but difficult-to-implement-effectively film scoring techniques. Things end on a more serene note as the tone descends into calmer waters, with only ripples reverberating the previous, more sinister miasma. Nicolas never fails to arrange both very interpretively and creatively, while at the same time ensuring the source material is recognizable, which is a difficult balancing act to get so consistently right. He also manages to construct an equally effective orchestral mix that is nonetheless different from Nigel's take. Both are excellent mixes of one of my favorite SNES tracks; it's a subtle piece, but it fit the specific context in the game like a glove, and represents a unique gem in the more up-tempo world of gothic, organ-driven Castlevanian composition. Great work.
The intro itself doesn't bare much resemblance to the source until the staccato instruments reference to the source's harp at 0:56, though at this point I probably wouldn't care less as Nix's way of bringing in the sweeping instrumentation at the time was a beautiful sight for the community. When the melody came in fully on the flute/english horn parts, it becomes recognisable straight away and with it being mashed with the chord substitution it made for this nice and sinister atmosphere built in. I have to say the build based on the C portion of the melody, starting at 2:55, was by far my favorite part; that really showed one of the greatest sense of dynamics from the mixer that I had witnessed during my time here and managed to add to this building of drama brought all around it.
I also commend you for your excellent percussion writing; it may be minimalist with just the booming bass drums, low piano notes and cymbals, but it had proven affective in being able to work with the atmosphere here and helped provide something somewhat inspirational.
It's a shame the brass couldn't quite be as expressive as it could, though considering back then it was harder to get it realised than most other instruments, something like that can be excused. And for what it was, it all turned out to be a very pretty arrangement overall.
Nonetheless, with tracks like this that stand the test of time easily, I have been hoping to see you resurface in due time, and really add some strength to the ever-present French mixing community. Please come back soon Nixdorux; I miss your orchestration skills D:
- Rexy on December 31, 2011
- Level 99 on December 23, 2009
- Bahamut on November 8, 2009
Many props for a very fine orchestral piece. Loved it.
- Marmiduke on January 16, 2009
Overall, the track doesn't stand out, but it doesn't intend to, so it's great for what it is. I would like to see more people commenting on this one.
- DragonAvenger on November 9, 2008
- OA on June 13, 2007
Allow me to elaborate: I like music. Most of us do. We all like different sorts of music. When you think about hard driving stuff, you typically think a deathmetal band. Not I. I prefer to find my hard driving stuff from classical music. Sounds like an oxymoron, I know, but still. (Don't believe me? Listen to FF9: Hunter's Etude (Scherzo)). The symphony orchestra is capable of producing such a wide range of emotions. In the case of your mix, it's dark, dramatic, exciting, all the things I like. The harp at the end? I really like that. After such a dramatic climax, the harp sort of carries the piece to a quiet decrescendo.
Nicely done, sir.
- ph0sphorousgobu on December 25, 2006
meccaneer wrote: I can almost see the movie now. Peter Jackson directing. Viggo Mortenson as Simon Belmont.
:lol: meccaneer, you are a funny man!
Nix, the mix is excellent, this post will be edited for a more detailed review.
- A-RoN on May 20, 2006
- meccaneer on October 28, 2005
Great job on the instrumentation. I do seem to hear some of the EWQLSO articulations in here, if I'm not mistaken? At any rate, you used the samples superbly.
This one has found a place on my playlist. 9/10
- OchreJelly on February 9, 2005
I guess my only complaint would be the mixing of a few things - the cymbals, in particular, sounded really weak. I suppose it could've also been mastered more as well. Still, this is excellent work and I hope more people take notice of it.
- ella guro on January 18, 2005
- RealFolkBlues on January 11, 2005
- Txai on January 8, 2005
- djpretzel on January 8, 2005