ReMix: Banjo-Kazooie 'Malevolent Mansion'

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Banjo-Kazooie

So, as you might surmise from the mix title, this was originally going to be a Halloween mix, but we drove to Philadelphia Friday night, missing the festivities and cutting short my mix postage action. If we're supposed to make Earth Day every day, however, I don't see why that can't be extended to other holidays as well. This Banjo mix is actually well-timed for other reasons, seeing as we just interviewed series composer Grant Kirkhope. It's a collab from Audix and "newcomer" Nekofrog, who's been active (for better and worse) on our forums and actually had another solo submission earlier in the queue that you'll be seeing eventually. Greg writes:

"Ordinarily, Pendulum and Banjo-Kazooie's soundtrack would seem to be just about as opposite on the music spectrum as you could get, but I felt that Grant Kirkhope's great BK score--especially Mad Monster Mansion--would lend itself perfectly to frenetic Pendulum-inspired dnb/rock, with the usual necessary orchestral work. :)

The snare in particular took some time to develop, but I think the end result was worth it. I took special care to keep the original melodies somewhat intact, trying to use the uniqueness of the arrangement and interaction of melody lines and harmonies to define the creative side of it.

I had finished the majority of the track when I realized that some good metal guitar would really push the rock factor. I had worked with Neko on one of the tracks on my recent album release "One Day Millennium" (www.protagonistrecords.net/audix), and knew it was just a matter of time before we collaborated on an OCR sub. He laid down some licks that sounded great, and after some final production tweaks on my end, it was done.

Neko adds:

"Only took about a day and a half to lay the guitar tracks down, the project was kind of dropped into my lap at the last minute. But that's a good thing, I work best when there's pressure ;)

Production wise, I did my standard thing; quad tracked the guitars (boo double tracking!), and beat the hell out of my guitar. And yes, that is a low Ab note you hear in the 1:16 section -- I love 7 string guitars :)"

This one's monstrous - the quick pace makes the relatively normal 4'37" runtime seem copious, in a good way. This sorta sounds like crazy evil carnival music... almost an electronica take on the oft-overlooked soundtrack to Killer Klowns from Outer Space, which (not joking) *is* a compliment. Actually, if you harken back to Mega Man 2 'Nuclear Flash', which was also a collab between a primarily electronica artist and a guitarist and was also inspired by Pendulum, you'll notice some similarities. The source material is different, as this has a more Kefka-esque "happy evil" melody, but the production and arrangement have some definite parallels. Specifically, the tendency to switch in and out of half tempo and the integration of guitars, though I'm sure there are others. It was great there and it's great here; Jimmy writes:

"Pretty obvious call here. Fantastic expansion of the original. This is right up there with Monstrous Turtles. Both could sit nicely on any custom Halloween OCR playlist. I was chatting with Greg before about DnB, and how fun it is to make DnB tracks, he definitely brought it to the table here. And Justin's guitars only add more kick to this cup of awesome."

Pretty much; great stuff, an over-the-top collab that blends Justin's guitar in quite well and draws effectively from its influences, resulting in some excellent, evil electronica that's right for any day of the year.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
TillyFun
on 2014-05-09 19:15:17
It's got a gnashing bite and never lets up. >:3
Favourite part at 2:02 to 2:22. The backing(?) melody reminds me of Parathin from Magi Nation.
Mirby
on 2011-12-25 07:28:45
This song... just thinking about it makes me want to play the game. It's a fantastic rendition of the track, capturing the creepy feel of the source and the area it represents. Fantastic collaboration; you two work well together! :3
DaMonz
on 2011-11-09 14:23:14
Dammit. My badassometer just exploded.
OutSpoken
on 2011-07-05 02:02:02
http://reoganworks.blogspot.com/2011/01/song-of-week-27.html
An author from my blog did a fairly lengthy writeup of this. I love the insanity, awesome interpretation of a source.
Sansato
on 2010-12-16 02:06:26
Good gravy, this ReMix is sweet. Like DarkSim said, the energy of this piece makes the time fly by. I guess it's that energetic style that has kept me hooked to this song ever since I downloaded it. Also, this song sorta makes me think of a carnival run by The Joker from Batman for some reason. Can't say I know why.
Anyway, it's definitely something that's worth a good listen and download.
DarkSim
on 2010-12-15 10:18:47
This is one of the tracks that brought me back to OCR one day a couple of years ago (and played no small part in me sticking around) when I was bored, and it remains in my top 10 favourite OCReMixes of all time for so many reasons.
For one thing, the sheer energy of the piece is incredible - it makes 4:38 fly by! The half-tempo sections serve as brief respite from an absolutely storming ride. It's like the aural equivalent of being on a ghost train with a brake failure.
The instrumentation is also top-notch, giving it just enough edge to be taken as a drum n bass style tune, but also playful touches such as the xylophone firmly reminding you that it's a BK tune. Those off-beat staccato strings are delicious, and help spooky-up proceedings, as do a lot of the staccato instruments in there. The chunky distorted guitar helps give weight and cohesion to the track (if anything I'd have liked a little more bass out of the power chords) and the ending is perfection, just a little teaser of a guitar solo.
Another thing I love about this is the depth, and attention to detail. It seems like every time I hear this I get something new out of it, and I've listened to it over 100 times now. Keeping the intensity up for over 4 minutes isn't easy, but this makes it seem effortless. Really nice percussion variation throughout the track as well, which is hugely important and much appreciated!
This has also been an inspirational track for me as an aspiring ReMixer, and this piece was the major influence in my first effort at an OCR submission, so for that I am also grateful!
Skinner3D
on 2010-11-06 10:50:54
A lovely fast speed rendition of the Mad Monster Mansion track :-D I can't help but think that this is probably how Mozhand would have played this song if he hadn't been so busy trying to kill you. :whatevaa: :mrgreen:
Benjamin Briggs
on 2010-08-28 17:10:21
this track is fantastic! great work from both artists :D
Serpico
on 2010-08-28 13:22:05
great mix!! a more fast-paced version of the theme. i could see it be used for a boss battle.
tweex
on 2010-08-09 00:24:18
Nekofrog Review:
Being a HUGE fan of B-K, I loved this remix all the way. Greg make the perfect choice by bringing in Justin for some guitar goodness. The metal guitar added so much to it. The playing is executed perfectly. The sound is a little thin, but for everything that's going on in the track, it's not a bad thing as it sits very nicely into the mix. The power chords just gave it a new level of drive. The Pendulum sound is never really lacking drive, but the guitar opened it up to new heights. I would have loved to have heard a bitchin solo in there somewhere to give a mix a little variation, not that it needed it, but that dynamic shift would have been awesome. The rhythmic guitar lead at the end was a good middle ground. All around, a great first mix from Neko!
Rob C!
on 2010-08-07 19:07:36
What a F'n ride! Awesome mix!!!!!!!
42
on 2009-12-26 22:18:57
By and large this reminds me of the Dark Matter battle from Kirby 64, except a little more haunted-house-esque.
I'm also quite impressed with this. While it is very energetically in your face and keeps a fast pace, it keeps a very pleasingly varied texture and soundscape (which I have to admit I wasn't expecting for a track with as "thick" textures/soundscape as this one has, if that made any sense) I also appreciate the slower tempo pauses for the listener in an otherwise exhausting track.
This is a really amazing track and highly recommended.
Emunator
on 2009-12-03 00:51:03
I'm a little disappointed that the guitar didn't get as prominent of a treatment in the track, but I understand its use as a background element. I just enjoyed it so much when it took center stage toward the end of the song that I was left wanting more :-P
The rest of this is expertly arranged and sticks close to the source tune in terms of arrangement and mood (sorta) but, in signature Audix style, gets completely beefed up with extra embellishments out the wazoo, and the end product is just a spectacle to behold.
You guys really killed it here, brilliant job! :-D
Sir_Downunder
on 2009-12-02 22:02:49
Ah... Banjo-Kazooie, this song takes me back...
*cough* Right, with that out of the way. I love this track to bits, definitely has that 'mad' feeling about. As I've never listened to Pendulum I can't compare this to them, but the combination of Sole Signal's production and Neko's shredding, this is a solid track that's more than able to stand on it's own.
Great work from the both of you!
OA
on 2009-12-01 17:08:20
Rockin stuff- definitely has the Greg signature on here, and it reminds me of Survival Instinct from the FF4 album. The live guitar is a nice touch and is well performed, and the shifting tempos keep you wondering what will happen next. There are a lot of production flourishes, and details everywhere.
Super good and highly recommended.