ReMix: Super Mario Bros. 3 'Pipes'
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Not to be confused with 'Da Pipes' from way back in Year One, this arrangement from newcomer band Seventh Epic is actually inspired by the arrangement of the underground BGM specifically featured in SMB3, not the original. Submitting band member Josh Queen explains:
"We've been enjoying the site for years, to the point where it has influenced our original scores. We have been wanting to add a cover to our live act, couldn't resist doing the game cover, and went ahead and followed this mix all the way through to production. What resulted is "Pipes". What originally inspired this mix wasn't necessarily the melody (the one strait from SMB1) but more that early 90's hip/hop beat that was added when SMB3 was released. The rest was fairly easy and more fun than killing hundreds of mutant turtles. Enjoy."
If you're in the NC/SC area, you can check 'em out live this summer - sample tracks & dates/locations @ http://www.myspace.com/seventhepic. I dug what I heard, specifically 'Abstract Skies' - it's great to get submissions from VGM cover bands, but equally awesome when non-VGM bands deviate a bit and do a one-off - though I certainly hope there'll be a follow-up track, in this case. Perhaps something from the The 7th Guest or The 7th Saga... you know, to keep the whole "7" vibe running strong? At any rate, by now you've heard this theme covered a zillion ways, and while you've probably encountered arrangements somewhat similar to the approach Seventh Epic have taken, the devil's in the details. Jesse's pretty jaded, but he sums up my intial reaction and eventual conclusion:
"I was ready to not like this mix listening to the intro, but I was pleasantly surprised at all the really interesting and unexpected turns this mix took. Not at all what I was expecting. Great juxtaposition of hard rock guitars and more spacey electronic elements. Well conceived and well executed."
"I'm definitely feeling the arrangement; there are tons of great variations on the source, with some great new parts, and a cool ending. Great creativity in mixing things up while still being recognizable. From the production end, the snare might be a bit too prominent, but other than that, it's definitely over the bar, with a varied soundscape, some nice 7 string lowness that still sounds crisp, and great synths. The organ during the solo was also a nice touch in keeping the track sounding fresh."
I think the blend of heavier, distorted rock/metal elements w/ pure chiptune is great, but then adding soloing, variation, the aforementioned organ, and just keeping things fresh - that's what sets this mix apart from similar approaches to a ubiquitous source. Some of the twisted, tortured textures conjured give the mix a more modern, even industrial feel, and overall I think the band pulled off their vision QUITE well.
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