ReMix: Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure "Mayan Malfunction"
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- Game: Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure (Activision, 1995, WIN)
- ReMixer(s): Phonetic Hero
- Composer(s): David Kneuper, Lee Scott, Robert Higgins
- Song(s): "Lakamul Rain Forest", "Tikal Ruins", "Tomb of Palenque"
- Posted: 2012-08-28, evaluated by the judges
- Terms (BETA): dark electronic orchestral piano strings synth
It's 2012, so I suppose posting a mix titled "Mayan Malfunction" is either topical... or tempting the apocalypse. Given that datekeeping was probably pretty crap in those early centuries, and the fact that the earth has failed to spontaneously combust in 100% of previous faith-based predictions, I'm gonna go with "topical" - don't make me look bad, armageddon. Newcomer Pete Lepley, aka "Phonetic Hero" (hold the "Hooked on Phonics" wisecracks until AFTER the mix, please) gives us our first arrangement of Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure, also our first from ANY Pitfall game. The "franchise" was just reincarnated as an iOS/mobile game that's supposedly pretty decent, so the timing is nice. He writes:
"First of all, when I saw that Pitfall wasn't in the OCR database, I was disappointed but also really excited to start my own mix, since the game had a freaking AWESOME OST. The game also took up a very good portion of my childhood, along with Earthworm Jim, Tekken 2, and Mega Man 8. Now, onto business. So, you guys forgot about that pathetic first sub from me right? Ok, good. Time to start over. I got FL Studio in May, and started the remix halfway through the month. I discovered the Gross Beat demo plug-in for glitch effects pretty early on, and decided to buy it and take the mix out back for a good ol' fashioned Gross Beatin', and I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. The title is a pretty obvious nod to Mazedude's "Wily Malfunction," which is super kick ass. I drew a lot of inspiration from that and "K-Pax for Evermore," and I guess just Mazedude's stuff in general. I also think it's worth mentioning that I learned pretty much everything about production that I now know from the people on the WIP forum, so I'd like to give a huge shout-out to all the people who helped me, you guys are the greatest! I hope this track catches you as off-guard as it did Emunator, and I hope you like it as much as Level 99 did. Until next time, blokes (and ladehz)!"
Each of the other games he mentioned above already have mixes on the site, so I linked them. You can click on those links, to get to those mixes. It's hypertext.
You can't really do any wrong looking to Mazedude for inspiration, as he himself suffers from a chronic surplus of the stuff; doctors don't have answers. He perspires inspiration and inspires perspiration, and it has always been thus. There are definitely a lot of glitchy, quirky percussive snips & pips, a willingness to match up some disparate components & experiment with sound design, and the chromatic percussion has direct resonance with 'K-Pax,' so the influences are apparent even if this mostly electronica sonic journey is ultimately distinct from MZD's style. Cars-style osc-sync'd lead synth gets a lot of playtime, which I wasn't 100% sold on, and Emunator correctly identified the piano patch as being a little anemic, but there are a LOT of sounds packed into this bad boy, and the overall execution is solid. It feels kinda like something that crawled out of the 80s and was then subjected to a battery of modern DSP tropes... but in a good way. I admire the sheer "arrangement cajones" for pairing some of these instruments and textures together in the first place; adding the processing could EASILY have turned into a trainwreck the size of the Chrysler Building, and there were some "teetering on the brink" seconds, but pH pulls it off in the end. Vinnie adds:
"I'm feeling Jesse's criticisms that this is heavy on the compressor but it was pretty easy to listen to IMO and not a whole lot louder than what we normally pass. Lots of fun glitchage to make some jittery electronica. You've got some funky and unusual sounds in this and I like the package."
Roger that; intriguing, creative & solid debut from Phonetic Hero that employs some unorthodox techniques with just enough restraint to let the arrangement shine.
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