ReMix: SD Snatcher "Difficult Move Indeed"
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- Game: SD Snatcher (Konami, 1990, MSX)
- ReMixer(s): Commandcom
- Composer(s): Harumi Ueko, Kazuhiko Uehara, Masahiro Ikariko, Michiru Yamane, Motoaki Furukawa, Mutsuhiko Izumi, Tomoya Tomita, Tsuyoshi Sekito, Yuji Takenouchi, Yuko Kurahashi
- Song(s): "Difficult Move"
- Posted: 2009-06-14, evaluated by the judges
- Terms (BETA): cinematic electronic orchestral strings
Super Deform Snatcher!? But I don't even know her!! (fx)... Following on Mazedude's momentous & memorable Mega Man masterpiece, I'm proud to post our first ReMix from an MSX game, which is also our first arrangement from a Snatcher title AND the debut mix from Spanish composer Jorge Mira, alias Commandcom, who's done some television and film work as well. The MSX was way more popular in Japan and Spanish-speaking countries than it was in the US, and somewhat bizarrely originated with Microsoft - full story over at Wikipedia; in some ways it's a like a (very) distant precursor to the Xbox. There were plenty of great games, and many are unaware that several popular series like Bomberman, Parodius, and even Metal Gear itself all got their start on this platform. In otherwords, respect the MSX - it's a serious bit of video gaming history that many of us missed out on, but we can all enjoy through emulation. Also, let me say a few words about the Snatcher games: Badass. That's actually just one word, you got me, but I had a blast playing the localized Sega CD version way back in the day. It's pure Kojima, through and through, borrowing from Terminator, Blade Runner, and countless other sources of inspiration to create something new and iconic. I am seriously hoping that one day Kojima takes some time away from MGS to return to this series in full next-gen regalia and blow us all away yet again. junkerhq.net is probably the best resource for anyone interested in more about this awesome series.
A lot of Konami's best composers worked on the soundtrack to Super Deform Snatcher ("SD Snatcher" for short), which is an alternate take on the original plot, with different gameplay and, as the title suggests, adorably miniaturized characters. Jorge writes:
"The fact is that I've felt the needing of doing a tribute album since I was 20 or so (I'm 35 now, so It's been a while) and, of course, one of my tribute targets would be Video Game Music, as it has influenced me beyond any measurable reason. I learned so much from those games that I felt they deserved recognition...So my greatest influences come from the MSX age, and, of course, Konami Games. I made up a list, maybe 8 years ago, about the key tunes / games. And one of them is, as you may guess, SD Snatcher (Konami, MSX2, 1990) This was one of the (now ultra famous) Hideo Kojima productions: In fact, it is a remake in an RPG style of "Snatcher", a previous game.
The intro for the game consists of 3 episodes: The song chosen corresponds to the second one, the "Title Sequence" one. Since I heard it, it reminded me of Mission:Impossible, James Bond and Charlie's Angels all at the same time (I wouldn't be surprised if those were the exact references Kojima gave composer Masahiro Ikariko to work with) So, there was the Adam Clayton / Larry Mullen Re-Mix of the Lalo Schiffrin's Mission Impossible theme. And that was the idea! Slow it down, 007-ize it, Charlie-ize it, Orchestra-ize it!
The track name is "Difficult Move", and my mix is called "Difficult Move Indeed" for obvious reasons you'll find into it in the "Charlie's Angels" part. I focused in 3 of the 4 parts of the song. re-enforcing the presence of the "Mission: Impossible" part and just giving a hint on the 007 / Charlie ones. I like to make these mixes feel they actually could be IN the game, so not trying to get them that far away from their original universe and making them proud of their origin. Also, I'm trying to "pop-ize" them, so anyone could find an structure to relate to, even if they are not aware of what they are listening to."
Nice background on the creative process from Jorge that does an excellent job giving you an idea what to expect... so I don't have to. More laziness ensues as I quote select judges, starting with Vinnie:
"I like this one. You hit the nail on the head adapting this piece to the style of the spy songs you mentioned, and the new background writing and complementary writing gives this a great balance of new and old."
And then moving on to Shariq:
"I don't think there's anything wrong with the samples. This is a pretty groovy, piece of work. I love that timpani roll; it's like "HEY LISTEN UP, WE ARE DOING SOMETHING BIG HERE." Piano section does a nice job mellowing things out. Double-time section right after gets me dancing. Very cool stuff."
And finally, Aversa:
"I definitely get that classic "espionage" feeling here. I love the original writing and the arrangement is very creative. If you told me this was on the soundtrack of a new James Bond game I'd believe you. On the production end, the strings and brass aren't perfectly realistic (could use more reverb, in my opinion, to help them sit in better) but otherwise things sound pretty slick and well-balanced to me. Awesome stuff!"
Jorge and the judges said it all better than I could anyway - it was clear that the artist was inspired to create this piece and that he loves the music, the game, and the films that combined to spark this composition. It's taken us almost ten years to get an MSX mix on the site, ditto for Snatcher, and I think the biggest compliment I can pay this track is that, in both instances, it does not disappoint.
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