ReMix: Super Mario World "Forrest of Illusion"
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Insert mandatory "it's dubstep, btw..." warning here ;) I must say, when posting a mix titled "Forrest of Illusion" by a mixer named "Forrest Fire," one does experience some initial hesitation even before listening. Could this nom de punnery be the high point - is it all downhill from here? It also conjures up alternative incarnations - how about a Canabalt mix named "Run, Forrest, Run!!"? But thankfully newcomer Forrest Shamlian rocks more than just a homophone, dealing some menacing, FX-laden dubstep with the mix title chanted hypnotically. He writes:
"Forrest of Illusion was a track I made for J1 Studios' Mario Dubstep album, "Green Mushrooms and Super Stars". As a youngster, my family would spend a week in the summer at my uncle's beach house in NJ. Aside from playing on the beach and getting ice cream, the activity I would look forward to most was spending the week trying to beat every single level in SMW (including special world ;] ) on their super nintendo set up in the corner of the dark little basement on a tiny Zenith TV. It felt so awesome and retro. I remember being up late and particularly creeped out when I got mario to the Forest of Illusion."
Nice gamer memory; you can tell that being creeped out stuck with him, and I think I can safely he say he was able to translate that feeling from his past into some ominous, disturbing electronica here in the present. Judges were unanimous in their appreciation for FF's ability to stretch out the relatively brief source into a complete piece that develops & gets even more insidious as it progresses. halc writes:
"ooh, trippy. really liking the percussion in the intro, some really nice rhythms. some aspects of the production as well as some of those raunchy bass synths could have been a little cleaner, but I can't overstate how awesome this song is at times. those drops that implement the sfx as part of the dubstep groove are so creative and awesome. great mileage out of a limited source. nice stuff here, looking forward to more."
"Gotta agree with halc & will: tons of creative part writing here. Lots of synth variety and changeups to keep things interesting. There was quite a bit of in-game sfx here, but again, it was used in a very creative way that fit into the flow the track, so I have no problems with it."
The usage of FX here feels distinct; I've heard it done this way before, but some aspect of the processing, rhythms, and perhaps the integration of the repeated spoken phrase all struck me as combining to achieve a unique & specific effect. We're a long ways from October, but I could see this being a great Halloween track - with the disquieting pauses between soft & loud and the unexpected textures at every turn, it's rather like a haunted house itself. Great debut from Forrest Fire - looking forward to hearing more & in the meantime be sure to check out the album!
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