ReMix: Grim Fandango "The Enlightened Alaskan"

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Grim Fandango

While you may have already heard VotL in its entirety, chances are you haven't heard this Mazedude mix, our very first arrangement from the legendary Grim Fandango. Yeah, that LucasArts game with all the dead skeleton people in it. I actually never played it, which is a damn shame, because the combination of LucasArts humor/presentation with a somewhat Tim Burtonesque, noir setting seems like it would be right up my alley. Mr. Getman also provided our first (and only, to date) coverage of Day of the Tentacle, also by Peter McConnell but that time with Clint Bajakian and Michael Land. Mazedude's doing wonders for American game composers on OCR, and this recent trend of LucasArts classics in particular is doubtless making many fans of the games happy. As well they should be; Chris got the skills, and proves it yet again. At just over three minutes, this is a little short, but... it's really cool. It blends Chris' love of quirkier, mangled fx with a lot of choral elements, Middle Eastern intonations, and ethnic percussion. I think you'll find that while it's identifiable as a Mazedude mix (for all the right reasons) it's a bit different from his other stuff because of these two motifs. The solo choral entry and minimalist fx intro is perfect, the chopped, unprocessed effect outro (with fading pad underneath) is perfect, and the overall sonic aesthetic is just immensely transporting, well constructed, and effective. Chris writes:

"I'm rather proud of this one, it's been finished for a long time, and yet very few people have heard it. I'm also excited to be the first Grim Fandango remix on the site. :)"

He should be "rather proud" of ALL his mixes, really. I've personally got a few older tracks I'm less than proud of, truth be told, but everything on OCR from MD is hot business, in my humble opinion. This, however, is one of his best, most unique and visionary pieces. It's the ReMix equivalent of opium (comparison not based on empirical evidence), being downright hypnotic, and from start to finish feels like an idea that crystallized in his brain and made the transition from gray matter to WAV matter fully intact. Awesome.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Sir_Downunder
on 2009-12-13 05:46:14

I know I remember seeing or playing this game, but I can't remember for the life of me I'm afraid...

My memory problems aside, this is a very atmospheric mix, and the pitch-bended synths really stand out in the piece. The whole environment that was created was very lush and chilled. Despite the fact that this is short, this is still great and distinctly Mazedude.

Polo
on 2009-10-09 06:54:30

The atmosphere's chilly enough to make it sound like the spirits of the frozen tundra are calling out to me. New pitch-bending leads enter over time, carrying slightly fiercer emotions: 0:30+ hums to itself, 1:23+ is shaky, and 2:20+ begs effusively. I'm quite fond of their moods, but I also welcome the coughing synth in the intro (edgy at 0:26) and the pensive bass guiding the outro, both of which feel like they're in control of themselves.

Sure hides a lot of personality like the Grim Fandango characters.

Martin Penwald
on 2008-03-30 05:41:41

More Mazedude goodness. The track isn't as, well, "disturbing" as some other of his works, so it's easier to get into this one. The kinda egyptian sounding intro is a nice change, and the synths are great. Despite being only barely over three minutes, this remix packs more ideas than most other artists manage to get into a remix twice as long. In other words, Mazedude.

Great stuff.

OA
on 2008-03-12 16:28:07

A great sonic journey, the sounds and textures are excellent. The choir is well used, and the synths are sinuous and hypnotic. I especially love the harmonized synth that comes in near the end. All the sounds chosen are perfect; you never know what will be appearing next, and when it does, it always fits.

There are so many layers that it takes several listens to even begin to get to the core.

Melodically it reminds me a bit of a few Xenogears tracks in a few spots. Always a good thing. :-)

Overall very mysterious and meticulously crafted. Fantastic work.

Moo2u
on 2008-03-11 01:24:47

Sensational! I'll give Mazedude a piece of cake, or any sweet desert of his choosing if he remixed Sam Max next.

Doomguy
on 2008-03-11 00:29:57

:shock:Good god, man! You took your bloody time! I was thinking you'd stopped! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm trying to break the third wall. :banghead:

Hy Bound
on 2008-03-10 20:38:07

This is so incredibly awesome. I can't put how much I love this mix into words. It has such an amazing feel to it and feels like it should be in some incredibly well-done Tim Burton movie; which, from the sound of it would be a Grim Fandango movie. One of my favorite tracks form mazedude and possibly on the site.

Very amazing production as well.

The Orichalcon
on 2008-03-09 23:57:58

Terrific. Groovy, yet somehow rather serene and relaxing. Another Mazedude mix for my ipod.

Reminds me a little bit of Ghosts N Goblins at some points.

Dafydd
on 2008-03-09 12:05:34

Wo0t. I never thought anyone would ever remix this because it would be too diffiult.

Platonist
on 2008-03-08 10:13:30

awesome! i love the dark feeling about this track ..

now i have to play this game .. indeed indeed

that lead that comes in halfway is just crazy

good job !

Jacian
on 2008-03-08 09:00:32

That was really well done, certainly one of my favorite Mazedude remixes! I love the drums; what instrument is that toward the beginning that sounds Asian? (Egyptian?) Was that just a wave or was it an actual sample? Man, I loved it so much!! Especially the dual synth leads :D

Congrats,

~jace

Txai
on 2008-03-08 02:47:38

I just figured out the music of this game last month. Never played this one, but it surely has an awesome soundtrack.

A very cool adaptation it is. The mix brings up new feelings with scary choirs, panned pan flutes and distorted evil leads. There was some tabla percussion on the source tune as well. However, this time it made fusion with noised drum synths and magic wind chimes.

AeroZ
on 2008-03-08 02:30:05

Short n' Good.

I didn't notice when the track was ended really.

Just went on repeat all the way and captured every part in me.

Been listening on this soundtrack for long period a while ago.

A really good OST.

This mix I think is really smooth and breathing.

Love your work with dynamics.

Reminds me a little of your "Minotaur Nightmares" which I adore.

Exotic work.

Really nice flow.

herograw
on 2008-03-08 02:29:52

This is very enjoyable to listen to, much like the original. Also: that bass feels goooooooooood :P

djpretzel
on 2008-03-08 01:29:57

What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.