ReMix: Secret of Mana "Dueling Consoles"
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"Okay.. I think it's necessary that I give an explanation of this song. The idea is this... an NES and a Sega Genesis meet in appallachia and start a musical duel. At first they compete, but then they decide to work together. At 2:00... the synergy is so great that the two FUSE to become something new.... basically the same NES and FM sounds but now featuring effects processing [this was especially helpful with the noise/PCM] So that's the story. The title and intro melody is a reference to "Dueling Banjos" from deliverance.. since it's the same scenario except, instead of the product of inbreeding and a city slicker jamming, it's two different soundchips. I've learned a lot about writing NES chiptunes since "Figaro Chiptune" but it's stuff that most people probably wont care about.
SOOOO it's all made from chiptune sounds but it's not purely chiptune, since it does things that neither chip would have been capable of.... hopefully that'll make enough of a difference for this to be passable. The song being remixed is Danger! from secret of mana.. great song with lots of themes rolled into one short two minute piece [Kikuta rocks.. not as familiar with him as I should be, B1itz Lunar has inspired me to check him out more]. Roetaka pointed out that the theme entering at 3:33 sounds like a quote from FF7 battle theme. Totally unintentional but true none-the-less, guess that's what happens when you listen to too much Uematsu."
Highly conceptual Deliverance-meets-Mana chiptune(ish) piece that came on the heels of one of Shna's rejected pure chiptune mixes. Since then he's submitted another pure chiptune mix which was also rejected - our standards do weigh BOTH arrangement and production - but with this Mana composition, as he mentions, he treads outside the limits of what either chip would be able to do, creating a chimera. As a Genesis fan, I'd like to think that, were this an actual dual, my beloved Mega Drive would be the Burr to Nintendo's Hamilton, but it's more of a mind-meld. JJT writes:
"Again, very impressive, very challenging stuff from Sam. The opening section is definetly the most "out there," but I disagree with the assertion that it's chaotic. The chromatic interludes don't sound particularly pretty, but they're a deliberate choice, and Sam stays within the confines of the harmonic strucuture he lays out. Yes, there are a lot of notes, and it does modulate very quickly at times, but it makes sense. There's no chaos here. Once 2:00 hits, awesomeness ensues. At 3:25 when it shifts into...what is that, 13/4? That's just really great writing."
"...this one moves beyond the limitations of a simple chiptune, similar to the Mazedude Earthbound mix that was passed recently. It takes the good parts of a chiptune and translates them to a better soundscape to give a proper audio experience. Everything flows together pretty smoothly. The arrangement is dysfunctional, but it always comes together in the end. There's no real "climax" to the piece, in actuality it sounds more like Shna is taking the listener on a very intense drug trip, so the piece is one whole orgasmic climax."
I think it's important to mention Mazedude's EB mix as TO did, as it similarly overcame some potentially limiting chiptunish elements via arrangement and also enough attention to production to tip the scale in its favor. You have to love the rather classic and audacious concept of an NES and Genesis dueling it out, Deliverance style; the piece wins bonus cajones points on the rarity of imagination of involved in its conception. A very different, very singular piece that stands out not as Sam's best arrangement, but as one that highlights his skills while at the same time fulfilling the very particular idea his mind unleashed.
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