ReMix: Castlevania 'Of Whips and Strings'
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Streaming preview on YouTube
- Game: Castlevania (Konami, 1986, NES)
- ReMixer(s): Super Guitar Bros.
- Composer(s): Kinuyo Yamashita, Satoe Terashima
- Song(s): Heart of Fire (Dracula's Castle Main Building BGM), Poison Mind (Boss BGM), Prologue (Start BGM), Vampire Killer (Breaking Into the Castle BGM), Voyager (Ending)
- Posted: 2012-08-17, evaluated by the judges
- Album: Featured on Vampire Variations: A Musical Tribute to Castlevania
From Vampire Variations, a Castlevania series tribute album well worth checking out, comes this acoustic guitar duet medley from the Super Guitar Brothers. Who they? Let's read:
"The Super Guitar Bros are not actually brothers – they’re bros! Steve met Sam back in 2007 at a local coffee shop he was performing at with a mutual friend. After seeing Sam’s incredible classical skills, Steve knew the two of them had to start making music. After their first jam session together you could tell the two of them just clicked. They’ve been playing together ever since. Not only do they both love making video game covers, they have been working on many original songs, which they plan to share further down the road. http://www.youtube.com/user/SuperGuitarBros"
So brothers from another Super Guitar mother, then... cool. But what about the mix?
"From beginning to end it took us probably about 2 months to learn each of the songs, figure out how we would arrange them together, practice the hell out of it, and then finally recording and mixing the song. As with all the other songs we've done, this one is played from beginning to end in one take: No cuts, no punch ins, no copy/paste, just a straight performance. Because of this we've spent many late nights trying to record the song with as little mistakes as possible. It took us at least 60+ takes before we finally got one we were satisfied with. It was a fun but also incredibly frustrating experience - same with all the other videos we've done so far."
Damn son(s), u crazy... That's gotta be a lot of work, but it also has the added benefit of more-or-less ensuring performability & further honing of killer guitar chops. There are a lot of nice touches that really take advantage of the instrument, good separation between the two guitars that allows for some cool call/answer bits, and medleyitis is always mitigated with fewer instruments - plus transitions are handled intelligently. Bottom line? If you were gonna set out to do a badass acoustic guitar arrangement + performance + recording of highlights from the original Castlevania soundtrack, while staying pretty close to the material, I think you'd be damn proud if you ended up with something this good.
Judges were initially very concerned that this arrangement was too conservative, but that offered us the opportunity to clarify that instrumental adaptations - when done well - usually end up changing enough aspects of the source to work within our standards. Don't get me wrong: this is an arrangement that plays it fairly safe & literal, and I definitely would have preferred more interpretation, but I also think there's enough here, especially given the excellent performances that are dripping with character, that they made it their own. And, bonus, they also made it sound fantastic, and the single-take aspect is all the more impressive. I'd love to see more submissions from the SGB, with a bit more "unleashed" approach to arrangement, but I'm thinking a LOT of people will dig this quite a bit, as I do.
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