ReMix: Banjo-Kazooie 'Malevolent Mansion'
5,635,245 bytes, 4:38, 160kbps
Streaming preview on YouTube
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.
"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.
- Mirby on December 25, 2011
- DaMonz on November 9, 2011
An author from my blog did a fairly lengthy writeup of this. I love the insanity, awesome interpretation of a source.
- OutSpoken on July 5, 2011
Anyway, it's definitely something that's worth a good listen and download.
- Sansato on December 16, 2010
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!
- DarkSim on December 15, 2010
- Skinner3D on November 6, 2010
- Benjamin Briggs on August 28, 2010
- Serpico on August 28, 2010
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!
- tweex on August 9, 2010
- Rob C! on August 7, 2010
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.
- 42 on December 26, 2009
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
- Emunator on December 3, 2009
*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!
- Sir_Downunder on December 2, 2009
Super good and highly recommended.
- OA on December 1, 2009
I wouldn't say DnB was a perfect fit for Mad Monster Mansion; simply because it's a tad too optimistic and upbeat played at that speed. For me, DnB is appealing because it usually cuts through the breakneck energy through registering darker, lower tones into it. As well as that 'In the Darkness Lies' showed that the MMM melody is versatile, slowing it down and bringing out the morose nature of the piece.
This mix enblazons the 'mad' part of Mad Monster Mansion, influenced noticeably by Pendulum (sounds like it is stuck between the sounds of their two albums) While some areas click into place more than others, the source and the intended sound of the mix did eventually align and I was happy.
I thought the more rock-based stuff at the end was the strongest part, but generally, everything is of pretty high caliber. I really like the original melody, which is why hearing it be raced through is a little offputting for me, but that's what you get when you download a DnB mix, I suppose. It's DnB without the edge, which shouldn't be a turnoff really, but I've heard better examples of the genre by Audix himself.
- Marmiduke on October 7, 2009