ReMix: EarthBound 'Practicing Retrocognition'
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Streaming preview on YouTube
Our first EarthBound ReMix of 2012 sneaks in at the eleventh hour but nevertheless ensures that the year (thankfully) won't go without an arrangement from Keiichi Suzuki & co.'s quirky, unforgettable soundtrack. sci debuted with his NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams ReMix back in March of this year, and I'm glad he's followed that up since his ambient style, in this case inspired by Boards of Canada in particular, seems well-equipped to handle the playful surreality of EB; he writes...at length:
"After a lengthy rediscovering of Boards of Canada, I became fascinated by the idea of making music that felt familiar for reasons you couldn't quite place. Somehow or another this accumulated to a remix of Ness's home's theme in BoC style. I was aiming for a "dropped on the ground, stepped on, kicked into a puddle, then dried out in the sun" sort of sound, which lead to a pretty consistent "this is weird" from everyone I showed this to. Hopefully this doesn't come across as a lack of consideration in the production department. <_<
I feel I should explain the ending a bit: what I forgot about "Home Sweet Home" was that half of the song was a sleepy cover of Pollyanna - a song I /did not/ want to remix, because what can I do to it, really? Then I got an idea from Sixtyten - make it a little vignette at the end of the song! and so: monosynth + phaser + detune + mic next to speaker recording = beautiful
About the title: Retrocognition. It's like precognition, but into the past. I made an album full of trippy surreal stuff, and I think "Practicing Retrocognition" works quite nicely as an album title. It feels right. This remix was an untitled end track until I realized: Practicing Retrocognition fits what I was trying to do with this entire remix! And so it became the title track of my album. Whoops. It's a cool album though, you should check it out http://soundsfromsci.bandcamp.com/album/practicing-retrocognition ;)
- Coffee Break
- 0:26 to 1:16 coffee melody
- Ness's House - divided into three sections:
- 0:00 to 0:11 main reason I remixed this song
- 0:11 to 0:43 pollyana cover
- 0:43 to 0:58 close chords
- how I use those in my song:
- 0:00 to 0:48 main reason
- 0:48 to 1:36 coffee
- 1:36 to 1:47 ...
- 1:47 to 2:10 close chords
- 2:10 to 2:37 main reason
- 2:37 to 3:00 pollyana cover"
I'm rather glad Chris provided such detail, since ambient tunes can be harder to analyze, plus EB's music is often on the eccentric, hard-to-pin-down side at times. Actually, though, there's more melodic structure here than you might think - the 'Coffee' theme ('You've Come Far, Ness') provides an identifiable motif & even throws down more of a beat during its stay. That helps give the arrangement more form & function, and at exactly three minutes, makes you wish it lingered a bit longer. Short, sweet, dreamlike work from sci, whose style fits EarthBound like a glove!
- Launch Octopus vulgaris on January 14, 2013
That said, I may never download another EB mix again. I certainly don't want to try remixing anything from the game anymore.... because you, sir, PERFECTLY captured the homely, nostalgic vibe of EarthBound. You also completely expanded upon it in ways I didn't even know possible. djpretzel's [i]Twoson Hits the Road[/i] was always my favorite EarthBound mix but this one I think took the spot.
I *love* that Pollyanna cover at the end, it's so beautiful. I downloaded this mix and I'm gonna listen to it hundreds of times because I can (and want to).
I almost feel like I let myself down since I didn't play through EarthBound at all in 2012 (usually I do at least twice a year)... but this mix makes me want to plug up my SNES right now and play through the game. Twice.
I just can't get over how perfect this mix is.
- Cody Wedel on January 7, 2013
- teronism on January 2, 2013
- WesternZypher on December 22, 2012
- metaphist on December 15, 2012
Incredibly fresh, unique, and comforting. A rare example of where the artist's motives resonate almost perfectly with me as a listener.
- Emunator on December 14, 2012
but hey ok
for anyone listening: I tried to carefully craft the song to sound nostalgic (as mentioned in the writeup!), and ideally you'll still get that vibe even if you haven't played earthbound.
I'd love to know if it worked for you, so do share!
- sci on December 14, 2012
- djpretzel on December 13, 2012