ReMix: Banjo-Kazooie "In the Darkness Lies"

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Banjo-Kazooie

When I think Banjo-Kazooie, I think happy-go-lucky, Rare 3D platforming fun... not darkness, nor anything that might happen to be lying in or around it. Nevertheless, DragonAvenger and The Joker have collaborated to create a very, very dark and haunting arrangement of Mad Monster Mansion, our first standards-compliant Banjo K. mix to date. The Joker writes:

"Tell me kid... you ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?"

... sorry, wrong Joker. Here we go:

"I always liked the MMM music from Banjo Kazooie. It just had this really catchy melody. I always wondered what that melody would sound like if it were darker, more "serious" in tone. So, I ended up making a really dark, gothy take on the song. I used every part of the song I could, even rearranging certain parts to make them sound more ominous. I also had the idea to use vocals, as the arrangement was rather minimalist, & I felt the song would be better fir it. So I contacted DragonAvenger, who came through in spades."

DragonAvenger adds:

"The Joker contacted me asking for vocals to his piece. I tried to focus on some elements of the stage, mainly hands that are playing a piano and a ghost that won't turn it's back to you. I wanted to contrast the higher part, the "angels", and using "demons" in a lower part seemed the obvious choice."

It's a shame it's not early October, because this would be absolutely perfect Halloween mixage, no doubt. It's delicate yet edgy and disturbed, at times tonal and gentle, in the vicinity of ambient, at times dissonant and channeling a more IDM mood. The vocals are more atmospheric than lead, the lyrics barely discernible yet haunting, the pace very deliberate, as if the constituent elements are all drifting on a plane and coming together at chance but conducive meetings. Shariq thought the vocals were a little too muted and hence superfluous, but Jesse responded:

"Very dark. Darker than most goth rock i've come across. Good job. I think the vocals work well. It's common in some of the more ambient goth groups to have vocals mixed in such a way that you can't hear the lyrics. (check out "Judgment of Paris") Solid submission. Certainly accomplishes it's gothy goals."

Pretty much; this is a very different piece, period, but the fact that it comes from Banjo-Kazooie makes it a rather peculiar, unique, unusual, singular oddity... if you're feeling particularly dark, it's great brooding territory - just don't tell your significant goth other (gother?) that it's from a video game starring a bear and a bird.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
42
on 2009-12-28 23:16:33

Mmmmmm...

This is like Silent Hill renovated a Super Mario World ghost house.

The pressing atmosphere feels balanced between Mario's familiarity and lightheartedness (if one could ever call a haunted house track lighthearted :razz:) and Silent Hill's icily encompassing of the listener and dread inducing qualities. The vocals here are awesome and feel so appropriate, it's like some barely almost a whisper that one might here from no where while wandering a haunted house.

Definitely a must have for any atmospheric track lover (like me :)

Quizzman
on 2009-04-26 18:13:25
Right after the first 20 or so seconds, when the drum beat starts to kick in, the piano plays the theme. Not for long, though. It's almost like a whole new song just with a few notes from the song.

Ah, yes, now I can hear it, thanks !

youthboy
on 2009-04-19 09:51:41
I can't hear MMM theme here...

Right after the first 20 or so seconds, when the drum beat starts to kick in, the piano plays the theme. Not for long, though. It's almost like a whole new song just with a few notes from the song.

Quizzman
on 2009-03-27 14:30:57

Oh wow...

This song is awesome, it's true.

But it's strange, I can listen it how I want, I can't hear MMM theme here...

youthboy
on 2009-02-21 13:41:02
Here's the thing, it reminds me of Silent Hill music. I have gripes with the atmosphere of Silent Hill music too (the actual music), so maybe I'm just weird.

I also spent too much time on the cons; I apologize. I'm nitpicking.

This really is a great piece, and I'd like to leave that as the bottom line.

Totally agreed, this does sound very Silent Hillish, doesn't it? And I feel your pain - I personally shout out the negatives before going in to the positives, just the way I am.

I really should stop. :banghead:

SLyGeN
on 2009-02-14 01:11:20

I'm not sure how I missed this one. I love dark tracks.

I love the industrial sounds used. Doors slamming, creaking, etc.

I can tell that you went with a dissonant approach to making it creepy. I personally like a little more well-defined melody (which would only increase the contrast between dissonant parts, and the Aeolian key can still create a strong feeling of darkness.)

Personally, I didn't think the vocals fit with the rest of the piece. That is not, in any way, to say DA has poor vocals; I'd actually say her voice ought to be more pronounced when she's vocalizing. Also, something about how it was recorded or post-processed is really accenting the frequencies that sound when she produces the sound of an "s", and those same frequencies are also enhanced with the rest of her vocals. (Pardon the layman terms..) Not so much my thing, but I can understand how that might actually have been something you were going for.

Here's the thing, it reminds me of Silent Hill music. I have gripes with the atmosphere of Silent Hill music too (the actual music), so maybe I'm just weird.

I also spent too much time on the cons; I apologize. I'm nitpicking.

This really is a great piece, and I'd like to leave that as the bottom line.

youthboy
on 2009-01-18 10:23:22

It's probably a sin to not like this. This is awesome! :-P:-P:-P I love BK. If you don't mind, PLEASE do one from Banjo-Tooie. No one else has.

DramaNoMore
on 2008-06-23 16:07:07

This mix is the ultimate irony!! And it's awesome, of course. Really dig it.

evktalo
on 2008-03-26 03:59:12

A pretty creepy atmosphere in this one. I like how the flanging and echoes are deployed. The arrangement gets a bit lost at 01:44-02:21, especially because the vocals don't follow the backing, but the earlier chord progression. The dissonant spots in the backing also sounds a bit random to me. You can hear some of those without vocals at 02:21-02:30 and that point does sound fine, but I feel as a whole the "weird" stuff is not set up that well. It gives a feeling of unsureness of where to go with the material.

03:30-03:33 is another point where the vocals don't mesh so well. I mostly do enjoy the vocals, no worries, and they work really well in my opinion at 03:00-03:20, and also at the beginning. I like the effect of undermixing them. The signing could be stronger, but it works as it is.

Overall, a somewhat succesful mix, but not a keeper for me because of the problems mentioned, they make the music flounder, in a (non-good) way. It's very promising track so I'll be checking out your upcoming stuff!

--Eino

Jaybell
on 2007-11-08 22:20:17

Holy crap, reading through the forums, I realized that, if that's her real name that's appearing in her posts, then DragonAvenger probably has the single coolest name EVER. Seriously.

And it reminded me of this mix and it's awesomeness! My only complaint was that is was a wee bit on the liberal side, but when it ends up like this, THAT IS OKAY. Awesome awesome. We needs some more Banjo mixes! :D

HoboKa
on 2007-04-28 01:00:11

I found the lyrics to be sort of difficult to hear at certain parts, but not as bad as Devil May Cry 1, when the cutscene music practically overlapped the voices. I love dark music and this is definately a must-get if you're into gothy, creepy stuff :D

Genoism
on 2007-04-26 18:38:19

....it was...interesting, not really the stuff im into though. Felt very...'flat'.

Bummer
on 2007-04-12 03:13:20

It's been so long since I've played BK, so I had to find myself a midi of the song to understand how much you have changed the original tune. And quite frankly, I'm amazed. You've turned a goofy and playful ghost theme into a beautiful, dynamic goth symphony. The piano does an excellent job carrying out the melody, while the heavy drums and DA's voice adds more feel to it.

My hat's off to both of you, Banjo and Kazooie needed some more love from the remix departement, and they've finally got what they wanted, and so did I. You get 10/10 and one extra life for this one. Keep it up ya'll.

richter
on 2007-04-12 00:49:53

Hey, great to see you on OCR Joker!

So yeah, this isn't for me. It's VERY quiet and I really dislike the piano samples. The vocals are forgettable, almost inaudible. The whole piece has an awkward flow and the beats sound out of place.

Seems like you made what you intended to though, so well played sir!

Sole Signal
on 2007-04-11 21:02:46

Heh, last thing I expected from a Banjo track. I had been waiting for this one to be posted for a while. Pretty cool brooding ambiance, though; nice production on this.:nicework: