ReMix: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 'Agahnim Arsenik'

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The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

For those of you who missed it, AeroZ actually just posted a thread on our forums explaining his absence of late - he's been touring & playing cello with a Swedish band called Timoteij who've gotten fairly popular lately. You can sorta see him rocking out behind the four leggy blondes in a televised performance of one of their songs, which is catchy and even has the patented "Eurovision Home Stretch Key Change" (I coined this phrase to describe the mandatory practice of adding key changes towards the end of almost all entries into the annual European song contest. Watch it some time and do shots every time the key gratuitously modulates to allow for another repetition of chorus or verse - you'll end up plastered.) He's also started his own music business of sorts - check out www.freijman.com for details. Great to see him making his dreams a reality and enjoying some success. I had fun discussing this song w/ fellow Swede AnSo on IRC:

[10:31] <@djpretzel> kom kom kom mebbe som som som boogie dom be weinerschnitzellllll
[10:32] <@djpretzel> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWg3LvVfaIE
[10:32] <@djpretzel> that's my transliteration
[10:32] <anosou> I admit it's a freaking catchy tune
[10:32] <@djpretzel> AnSo, why aren't YOU playing on stage w/ four hot blondes?
[10:32] <anosou> I'm lonely and depresse :[
[10:32] <anosou> depressed*
[10:32] <@djpretzel> It occurs to me that this band is the EXACT karmic opposite of the band "Four Non-Blondes"
[10:33] <anosou> also "Kom kom kom, Medan som-som-sommaren ännu hänger sig kvar, Medan natten ännu är ljum, Och vår längtan lockar och drar, Kom kom kom, Det finns dom dom dom som ser chansen glida förbi, Ta min hand så gör vi allt det som dom låter bli"
[10:33] <@djpretzel> that's what I SAID

And so on; I do hope you enjoy these fleet, uncensored glimpses into the secrets of the private judges' channel. But enough context, on with the mix. Sebastian writes:

"Those haunting strings... the pouring rain sfx... entering the castle...
These are all memories that never will go away for me.
With this ReMix, I try to share with you the energy I felt as a kid while playing this game.

This is a tribute to the game The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
I thank it for an awesome childhood."

I kept his line breaks intact because this is basically a submission email that reads like a poem. The next Swedish Emily Dickinson? Probably not, but I still liked the emotion, which also comes through in all of AeroZ's mixes.'Fallen Dragoon' holds a special place in my heart, but this is the first time Sebastian has covered anything from the Zelda franchise, and if you haven't been looking forward to that, then you're a svendenpööperåren, which is Swedish for "poopy bastard". Actually, I made that up, and it's really immature. I'm gonna start you off with a teaser quote from Shariq that should tell you all you really need to know:

"Those beats+bass are wicked; makes me wanna get up and dance. Awesome gating and rolling kicks. I love how this sounds really old school with the SNES style strings around halfway through. Lots of old console sounding synths, but still a lot of great effects. Awesome. As much as I hate the phrase, I see this becoming an "instant classic" on OCR."

So, this is a 'Hyrule Castle' mix, and the Disco Dan epic 'Triforce Majeure' looms large in any discussion thereof. Seb's gone for a totally different approach, with a lot of his own modifications & additions and some truly sweet, funky lo-fi & chiptunish textures. The level of micro-syncopated percussive effects and anthemic pure waveform counterpoint creates its own, unique vibe, swimming in decidedly different waters than Cabrera's version. It's a fantastic, superbly executed vision that offers something very different that's epic in its own way. Jimmy gets biblical and adds:

"Seb does not share Samson's weakness. I saw that dude with far less hair on his noggin than I remember, but his strength as a remixer appears unaffected."

Jesse was odd man out for some curmudgeonly reason, and the judge's decision is worth a read as it then devolved into assertions about maternal chastity and witless repartee. Someone should crib these decision threads, compile, and write a short-lived sitcom called "Oh, You Judges!" that no one finds funny except for me and the guy who writes Marmaduke. Awesome, ornate, chippish glee from AeroZ, who finally sets his sights on Zelda and comes up with another fantastic mix.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Crulex
on 2012-08-23 11:31:43
Absolutely love the bass and beat to this one! This is the kind of ReMix that just gets you to move, and the arrangement really shined in this. The title was pretty clever and I don't really hear anything wrong with this one. Lo-fi rock that brings back a lot of good memories, since the beginning of Zelda LttP was one of the things I liked about it, music-wise. Very nice.
MTPrower
on 2011-08-25 18:28:22
DarkeSword;804388 wrote: Stevie Wonder is "early rock 'n roll?" Are you accusing Elvis and Stevie Wonder of not writing strong melodies? Have you ever even heard a song by either of those artists? It seems to me that you have no idea what you're talking about.

Alright, I admit much of Stevie Wonder's music has plenty of fantastic melody ("Superstition" comes to mind). In fact, I'm kind of embarrassed that I came off this badly and that my examples didn't really help my point. But my examples are not my point in themselves.
I'm kinda referring to what I call "Rockin' Robin Syndrome", where popular music is-- instead of high-quality music that is built around a good melody-- whatever sounds catchy and rhythmic and moves your body. This kind of music is absorbed by the masses who don't appreciate music for, well, music, and who just want their body and emotions to be moved mindlessly. It destroys the quality of music. Being such an astounding musician as you are, DarkeSword, I think you know where I'm coming from, even if you don't really agree.
Like I said before, this remix is quite good. I just... I've just been alarmed lately by how much people who don't have passion for music and who don't want to understand it have predominance in the music industry, and in music production in general. Regardless, I apologize for miscommunicating myself. It's probably not good for me to rant when I'm already upset...
DarkeSword
on 2011-08-25 14:02:00
MTPrower;804366 wrote: AeroZ seems to be a highly-skilled remixer, and this is a quality mix. There's just one problem...
Whatever happened to the melody?! We never liked the Hyrule Castle tune for the base or chords. It was the melody that stuck out. AeroZ has made a catchy mix, but he has forgotten what made the Hyrule Castle music so memorable.

Uh, the melody comes in around 1:50. What remix are you listening to?
And there is way more to the Hyrule Castle theme than just the melody; specifically the instantly recognizable syncopated brass line that AeroZ adapts to great effect in this mix. There are many ways to approach and arrange a piece of music; adapting the non-melodic elements is one way of doing that.
I find that appreciation for melody decreases at an alarming rate among people these days. At first I thought it was just the teenage crowd that didn't like melody. Then I expanded my opinion and thought it was the whole listening crowd (i.e., not the musicians). Now I find that even the musicians are heading steadily away from melodies and leaving us only bass, percussion, and chords... Then again, I might be able to blame early "rock 'n' roll" (like the likes of Elvis and Stevie Wonder) for that. Not that I'm saying rock has to exist without a good melody...
Video game music and movie soundtracks seem to be the only sure-fire places to market melody and especially orchestrated music. Let's not ruin that...

Stevie Wonder is "early rock 'n roll?" Are you accusing Elvis and Stevie Wonder of not writing strong melodies? Have you ever even heard a song by either of those artists? It seems to me that you have no idea what you're talking about.
If you want to post a review in the review threads, that's great. If you want to leave a constructive review, that's fine. But if you're going to sit here and get on a soapbox and spout ill-informed nonsense about some hypothetical pervasive decline of melody in modern music, you can keep it to yourself.
MTPrower
on 2011-08-25 13:12:31
AeroZ seems to be a highly-skilled remixer, and this is a quality mix. There's just one problem...
Whatever happened to the melody?! We never liked the Hyrule Castle tune for the base or chords. It was the melody that stuck out. AeroZ has made a catchy mix, but he has forgotten what made the Hyrule Castle music so memorable.
I find that appreciation for melody decreases at an alarming rate among people these days. At first I thought it was just the teenage crowd that didn't like melody. Then I expanded my opinion and thought it was the whole listening crowd (i.e., not the musicians). Now I find that even the musicians are heading steadily away from melodies and leaving us only bass, percussion, and chords... Then again, I might be able to blame early "rock 'n' roll" (like the likes of Elvis and Stevie Wonder) for that. Not that I'm saying rock has to exist without a good melody...
Video game music and movie soundtracks seem to be the only sure-fire places to market melody and especially orchestrated music. Let's not ruin that...
halc
on 2010-06-06 17:03:54
this is a well-written and produced mix for sure, and I would think that AeroZ executed his vision here just the way he wanted, but something about it rubs me the wrong way. the melody at 1:50 with the sampled zelda strings was hottness, but a lot of it (although there are lots of little nuances all over the place) just seemed too heavily arranged for me to personally appreciate it as a hyrule castle mix. setting my source bias aside, this is definitely a creative piece with lots of cool lo-fi sounds and crazy attention to detail - high quality stuff as always, but it just doesn't captivate me the way many of AeroZ's other mixes do.
avaris
on 2010-06-02 09:57:30
OA;681422 wrote: If you aren't finding anything interesting going on until 1:08, you are doing it wrong. I was completely rocking for the entire time, and I absolutely love the track. Sure, it's lofi, but it's an intentional choice, and it works really well. I wish there was a bigger ending, but overall this track is sick.

And you sir know how to rock. :ocrgreen:
I almost wish AeroZ's mixes were in surround sound. That way we could really hear all of the microsound details he puts into his mixes. I really enjoy how different ideas are introduced and developed throughout the mix. Really gives the mix a sense of forward motion. Kudos good sir! :)
Martin Penwald
on 2010-06-01 16:06:03
Nice lo-fi sound, solid arrangement. Doesn't really evoke the haunting feeling of Zelda 3's intro, though, and I think the end could've been done better.
Level 99
on 2010-06-01 09:11:09
You've definitely spoiled me in the past with some tremendously out-there arrangements always with that chippy, synthy Swedish charm that I've come to expect from both you and AnSo. The drawback is that ones like this, that take a little while to build up speed, feel a little less spectacular in comparison.
So while not your best track, this is still quite a good one. Favorite part is right after minute 2 when you switch the section you're doing.
The panning feels a little disparate between sides, which creates points of strength and weakness depending on what instruments are playing at any given moment. Interesting but I wasn't the biggest fan of that choice this time around. The attention to detail for the glitchy chip noises somewhat compensates but doesn't fully negate the panning issue.
Overall, a cool new take on the source, and while not the best display of your skills, it is still catchy and quirky.
PS. Needs moar cello.
Bahamut
on 2010-05-31 03:34:56
I don't like how low the volume seems to be overall in this song - it seems like to me that not all of the sounds are crisp, possibly due to some crowding. The song also sounds a bit on the thin side, mainly with the lower frequencies. In this case, I feel like production boosts would help this song immensely for most people's enjoyability.
Some nifty ideas in this song though, and I'm surprised to see an absence of Sebastian's cello. A bit short though.
I know you can do better Sebastian!
Txai
on 2010-05-26 22:54:40
Like the others said there's an uninteresting sound design and stuff. The arrangement wasn't anything really spectacular, from technical nor aesthetical perspectives. AeroZ did a better job with his Heat Man mix.
Master_Yoshi
on 2010-05-26 03:00:28
Cheesy intro, I can see how that would turn people off; you put out the weakest part of the mix (the synths) all pink and naked right off the bat, and people can't help but notice them throughout. Definitely a shot in the groin with a football.
Still, I liked it. It did feel a bit samey in places but that's the genre, arrangement wise no complaints. Good enough to groove to, play zelda 3 to, drive recklessly to, or get into a brawl with several town guards to.
OA
on 2010-05-25 11:09:41
If you aren't finding anything interesting going on until 1:08, you are doing it wrong. I was completely rocking for the entire time, and I absolutely love the track. Sure, it's lofi, but it's an intentional choice, and it works really well. I wish there was a bigger ending, but overall this track is sick.
MessagesFromEarth
on 2010-05-20 09:18:36
This definitely brings back the intensity of storming Hyrule Castle for the first time.


"Someone should crib these decision threads, compile, and write a short-lived sitcom called "Oh, You Judges!" that no one finds funny except for me and the guy who writes Marmaduke."
Pretzel, please never change :lol:
Loning
on 2010-05-17 17:46:16
If anyone is wondering what the heck it actually says in English, here's the translation!
"Kom kom kom, Medan som-som-sommaren ännu hänger sig kvar, Medan natten ännu är ljum, Och vår längtan lockar och drar, Kom kom kom, Det finns dom dom dom som ser chansen glida förbi, Ta min hand så gör vi allt det som dom låter bli"
Come, come, come, when the sum-sum-summer is still (hänger -> hanging...sounds awkward to use in direct translation)here. While the night is still young(ljum doesnt mean young, but still close to the same meaning), and our longing sticks and drags.(Swedish word choice and poetic language sounds weird in English, but that's okay, it's a translation after all.) Come, come, come, there is those those those that see the chance gliding bye, Take my hand so we can do all that they did not.
Hopefully that helps those who are curious! (from a Swedish-American)
-Loning
Rokin2Mordor
on 2010-05-17 15:54:48
Wow… just wow.
I thought for a lopng time that no one could do the Hyrule Castle theme justice.
Then comes aeroz, who did one of the sickest SMW themes I've ever heard, and BAM!, drops this one on me.
Can you say, auditory orgasm?
I think the hairs in my ears were standing up when I listened to this.
Some nice phat bass, an enchanting treble line, and just the slightest bit chiptune, all thrown in a blender and tossed into a cement mixer to amke yet another excellent rearrangement.
If aeroz ever does a Kefka based remix, I'll die a happy man.