ReMix: Metroid "Sugar, Water, Purple" 5:29

By Shnabubula

Artist Links
Arranging the music of one song...

"Norfair Area"

Primary Game: Metroid (Nintendo, 1986, NES), music by Hirokazu Tanaka

Posted 2006-12-24, evaluated by the judges panel

Ahh, man. Wow. This easily jumps to the top of my lists of Metroid mixes, solo piano mixes, and Shnabubula mixes in one fell swoop. I spoke with Sam recently; cool guy, easy to talk to, and you can tell his mind is constantly working from his speech as readily as you can from his music. I unfortunately won't be able to make it to the Dec. 28 NYC meetup this year, as I simply haven't worked up enough leave at my new job, but hopefully he'll make it down for Magfest somehow and we can hang then. This is a primal, intellectual, and emotional piano arrangement; Jesse mentioned Keith Jarrett, and honestly, I don't think the comparison is the slightest bit outrageous. The artist writes:

"I think the Norfair theme from Metroid I is pretty awesome. I missed out on this game as a kid, I was too busy playing guardian legend and zelda to get to play as a spacefaring chick that can turn herself into a chrono trigger style roly poly to fit through cracks. When I did play the game, it was via emulator, and when I got to Norfair hahahah I certainly noticed the music. Immediately I had to stop playing and f!@# around on my keyboard. When you hear something exciting, it's an itch that must be scratched to take it to the piano. Anyhow... I had lots of fun with this one."

He also notes that the piece is entirely improvised, which means it crosses the line from impressive to downright frightening. Regardless of the extraordinary circumstances surrounding its creation (i.e. something that sounds incredibly crafted and arranged is somehow ad-hoc), the mix stands on its own either way as an interpretation that oscillates between more identifiable arrangement of Norfair and more of what the Killers would call "Sam's Town" - portions where Mr. Ascher-Weiss is going off on a tangent that's far more him than Hip Tanaka. I think Larry somewhat correctly suggests that the portions that more obviously speak to the source material are stronger, but there's nothing that feels disconnected or quarantined, so I feel like the original contributions do have significant synergy and compatibility with their surroundings. If you gave the theme to Yoko Kanno or Hiromi, my expectations wouldn't really be higher, or that different. Some might describe Shna as a ReMixer whose work you either love or hate; honestly, I'd be the exception to that rule, because whereas I like everything he's submitted, there are certain pieces that speak to me far more than others, and this is one such creation. My brain isn't large or fast enough to be able to multi-task and listen to this composition while doing any other involved task, but it's great to just sit and experience with one's full attentive faculty. It's the type of mix you can stare into not with release or escape or fire or love, but with intensity and focus, and while that type of music may only work in certain contexts, when it works, it works profoundly.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2013-01-23 09:01:14



on 2013-01-22 23:19:55

What the eff? This is improvised? WAT.

So many random notes IMO, but they seem to work to me. Never heard the source before, but sounds cool. My god man, calm down, this piece is crazy fast. xD



on 2013-01-22 18:34:14


I love complex stuff (Pharoah Land is still my most-played), and this fits. It's all over the place. And expressive, too.

When I want to play an OCR where my parents can hear, this is the go-to number.

And for some reason I can't figure out, it segues very well into Escape Routes (OCR1513), which is very different.

on 2011-08-06 00:22:39

Just looking through all the old goodies, so that's kinda why this post is at such a disjunct temporally ;)

As has been said before, since this is improvised it is really really good. The improvised part speaks to the artist, though I do think it might be better as a polished version. Maybe that's just me, but its certainly very good as is. A nice piano mix.

As a side note, I'm not particularly fond of this Norfair source. I've always thought Lower Norfair from Super Metroid was much better. But that doesn't stop me from enjoying this mix.

on 2010-04-30 21:48:28

A video to this would be amazing. Best shnab song, aside from Peachy Love and that SMW madness, and stuff. I want to make an audio recording of me singing S,W,P; I could do it accurately, too (after practice), considering my playcount.

on 2009-12-02 16:13:08

With a melodic style like this, it also has to be Schnab- i don't even need to check the credits. I double checked the mix notes just to confirm though. XD

I really love the phrasing at 2:39, it's easily my favorite part of the track. It really does feel improvised, and it's cool how it travels all over the spectrum. Fun stuff, good ideas = win.

on 2009-01-25 20:05:24
This is improvised?





How does this?

How does this happen?

Holy shit. Seriously this was improvised? What?

Quoted for truth.




I knew this was good but...





My respect for this mix just went from "This is an awesome mix." to "Holy Cow!!!!!!!!!1!1!!1!!!!! :shock:"

On a scale of one to ten, this is an "Awesome."


Ending with "Shave and a Haircut" was pure genius.

on 2008-10-26 15:27:39
"christ where's the source tune" ... or the obligatory "why did the judges pass this when XYZ was rejected?"

Fix your ears!

on 2007-11-25 12:31:15

This is improvised?





How does this?

How does this happen?

Holy shit. Seriously this was improvised? What?

This is


There's not a lot that can be said.

Just wow.

I love this song so much.

on 2007-04-28 17:42:28

I've never properly expressed my appreciation for this mix.

The fact that it's improvised is mind-blowing. Thanks for your time and effort - I can't really say much else because this mix is totally unclassifiable.

on 2007-02-07 19:54:15

Came for the Chappelle reference, stayed for the rockin piano.

Fantastic, I'm amazed by the thought of your hands working these keys like a freaking machine.

Benjamin Briggs
on 2007-01-26 09:20:24

hello, my name is shnabubula

I "study piano" and "play very well"

this is ridiculous

you once again cause me to re-assess the musicianship of this entire site with your genius

you can't humble your way out of this one, sam... it's just too damn brilliant

at any rate, consider it saved, backed up on DVD, and somehow transferred to vinyl

on 2007-01-21 03:22:15

As a Metroid fan, (well, at least a fan of the first three games anyway,) I was blown away by this piece.

The original tune out of the game cartrige in and of itself, lends itself to more modern interpretation, doesn't it...

I love how this author takes apart the melody and explores each section thoroughly. And in the end, a familiar but fitting climax.

This should be part of like, a Metroid Sonata, with this as its Allegro piece... heh heh heh...

GREAT job.

Any plans of printing this out and publishing your works???

In response to many comments...

A frequent one I heard on this piece is that "you couldn't sit down and relax to it." Or that "it deviates from the source."

Truly, the definition of a piece is not limited to "something one can sit down and relax, or put on as background music while they wash the dishes." And if something just mimics the source outright, is that not mere repetition, if not plaigerism? (forgive my awful spelling...)

I'm not sure about everyone else, but I heard the main theme be introduced quite clearly, before the player starts to elaborate on it.

The first section is repeated quite thoroughly: dotted half, half, quarter, dotted half, dotted half...

And I believe the second section continues through out as the ostinato in the base.

And finally, in the end, is the concluding third section, with which so beautifully cadances before he slaps everyone in the face with the old ending everyone knows...

MUST have a printed score for this.

on 2007-01-16 19:27:06

For a moment I thought I was listening to Chick Corea. Yes it's THAT good. Granted, there are discernible differences in style.

Still, I was pleasantly surprised. I've been on a bit of a Corea binge lately so this makes my ears very are happy.

on 2007-01-01 12:24:40
Drank n!%$@ that is DRANK! Aint no vitamins or nutrients in drank!... WTF IS JUICE!!! WHAT IS JUICE! SUPRIZE!! YOU DIDN'T THINK I KNEW ABOUT JUICE!

Thanks Mr. Biggler hahahaha first person to get the title as far as I know!

I wasn't yet a part of the fourms, but I too instantly caught on to the title. Keep up the great work!

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Metroid (Nintendo, 1986, NES)
Music by Hirokazu Tanaka
"Norfair Area"

Tags (2)

Arrangement > Solo

File Information

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