ReMix: Mario Kart 64 "Holiday Frappe"

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Mario Kart 64

Merry Xmas! Hopefully you're all basking in the warm glow of your holiday haul already, or will be soon, but if you didn't get exactly what you wanted, felt like you were just ONE gift short, or simply don't celebrate the 'mas, Tweek's gone and given you a present to fill that void. Upbeat, jazzy, holiday-style 'Frappe Snowland' from Mario Kart 64, to be specific. Morse covered this source in a jazzy style himself way back in 2004, and it's fun to compare that mix with his later stuff and see how he's progressed. Brian works in some 'Frosty the Snowman' in much the same way The OneUps incorporated holiday tunes into their SMW 'Sleigh Ride' mix even further back, in '02. You've got vibes, a jazz brush kit, and a really nice example of a walking acoustic upright bass line, plus some brass that does both stabs and swells, always good to see. It turns out that Brian was actually playing the system, taking advantage of our last-minute need for some sort of holiday festivities:

"Greg 'Audix' Michalec said it best: "The best way to have a mix posted on OCR: do a holiday mix or something for a special occasion." Well, here is a festive holiday mix. Haven gotten the girlfriend a Wii for her birthday, we've been playing a lot of Mario Kart, so I decided to take one of the retro track themes. A wintery and blustery Mario Kart track with a healthy dose of classic Christmas tunes mixed in with a sprinkle of jazz is what emerged. This style is very different from my typical compositions, but I enjoyed toning the intensity down for this mix! Happy Holidays OCR!"

I prefer to think of this mix as emanating from the goodness of Brian's heart, for the children of the world to enjoy, as opposed to the sullied manifestation of an opportunistic attempt at getting a mix posted quickly... but that's just me. It's a good thing the dose of holiday tunes wasn't TOO healthy, as we'd have grinched out and not posted it due to our pesky standards and what not. Fortunately there's much more 'Frappe' here than otherwise, it's a creative & festive interpretation of the source that makes sense with the wintry context, and the production and sequencing are both groovy. There must have been some magic in that old mushroom he found, for when Mario put it in his mouth... he began to dance around. What's cool is that even when Mr. Arnold piles on the Xmas cameo tunes, the source arrangement is still going on underneath. Enjoy it like you would a honey-baked ham, egg nog, or chocolate-covered... anything, and here's wishing you a happy holidays from OC ReMix!

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Crulex
on 2010-02-19 11:04:55

I'm not one to go "oh huzzah!" for Christmas music. It's overplayed and just a tiny bit too happy. All the time. It's no wonder that I like Carol of the Bells (the only seemingly not too happy x-mas song around.) That being said, I really enjoyed this ReMix, because while I do hear some Frosty, Merry Christmas and Frappe Snowland in it, it's all wrapped up tight in a wonderfully jazzy present. Very good work on this. If any song can put me in the spirit, it's this, and that's saying something.

Emunator
on 2009-12-11 20:44:59
I didn't feel it was that much like most Christmas songs, but instead suggested a quiet Christmas by the fire. Very gentle and well put-together, and a great addition to OCR.

Yeah, I'd have to agree with this. It's one of my favorite lounge jazz remixes on the site. Honestly I had no idea Tweek had this in him, but it's ended up being one of my favorite mixes of his. The drums are a particular high point for me, they're very exciting for such a laid back track.

You can bet I'll be listening to this one a lot in the coming weeks!

Dafydd
on 2009-10-14 20:24:17

I'll ask again... how was this made? Are you using some crazy sample packs or is this actually being played live? It sounds incredibly real, all of it.

Dafydd
on 2009-04-06 19:04:24

...I didn't comment on this yet?

Well, all I have to say is it's absolutely brilliant. Are all the instruments live?

MechaFone
on 2009-02-15 12:28:52

I love the Frappe Snowland song from MK64, and this is a fine remix of it. Awesome 'Ratpack' sound to it. I'll probably play this at the next Christmas party I attend :D

Rozovian
on 2009-02-09 10:30:09

My first reaction to this, the first seconds of it, was that I was somewhat put off by it. Then it actually got started, and it's really... cool, no pun intended. Chill. Makes me wish it was before christmas so there's more reason to play this for ppl. :D

Palpable
on 2009-02-07 07:43:56

I didn't feel it was that much like most Christmas songs, but instead suggested a quiet Christmas by the fire. Very gentle and well put-together, and a great addition to OCR.

Martin Penwald
on 2009-01-10 15:57:58

I absolutely love jazzy remixes, and this one is no exception. You really do capture the christmas atmosphere without losing the Mario Kart-esness. Very well done.

OA
on 2009-01-08 10:38:01

I remember you showing me this right before you subbed it, and I thought "wow, how completely shameless to game the OCR system like this". ;-)

Great incorporation of the themes, they fit together perfectly. The various Christmas staples mixed in with the also-familiar Mario Kart theme is classy, and the style is spot-on. The piano and drums are especially convincing. I feel a little weird about listening to this one at other times of the year, but while it's still snowy, and i'm drinking my ghetto mocha, this is the way to go.

GG dude, can't wait to hear more from you. :-)

dfcentre
on 2009-01-05 19:57:12

Very nice arrangement. I've been listening to the big band tracks in GTA4's Jazz Nation Radio lately and felt this could stand alongside those!

Having said that, I kinda wish the trombones(?) had a greater presence. I think I understand having them more muted/ambient was your intention as background holiday music. Yet, for me, I was a bit frustrated that it was a bit too "far back" and echoy as if playing from the other side of a tunnel.

Does that make sense? I think you're really onto something with this tho. Kudos for doing something different!

LuigiFan
on 2009-01-01 20:37:49

Oooh, yeah, this is some nice stuff here. I especially love your piano solo - that was well done. Arrangement is very good. I've always been of the opinion that OCR lacks Jazz compared to everything else that gets posted - 'tis the season for awesomeness. I want moar!

tweex
on 2008-12-31 00:00:44

Thanks for the comments everyone. The mix was a joy to make and I'm happy to see it up here!

Master_Yoshi
on 2008-12-30 17:41:30

I honestly would have to say I hate the source material solely because penguins jumping in front of me was one of my pet peeves with the game.

Also, not a fan of christmas music.

HOWEVER if I was a fan of either this source tune or Christmas music, I'd be able to appreciate the extremely good instrumentation, the balanced sound, the fun and upbeat melody and the general awesomeness of this mix. Hell, I'd almost be able to forgive you for using this source tune since you use it in such a nice expansive way, really fleshing out the tune and making it your own, just having fun and getting to play with it. This is good stuff, seriously!

jintoreedwine
on 2008-12-27 13:16:38

I love a good Christmas remix and this does not disappoint. It doesn't hurt that I also love the source material, but I can safely say that I would have liked this mix whether I had heard the original or not :) .

Jaybell
on 2008-12-26 19:17:26

Oh man, you totally nailed the christmas-lounge style. Believe me, at work they've been playing lounge-christmas nonstop. This is such a dead ringer it's almost scary.

Well done.