ReMix: Kirby Super Star 'The Kirb Reich'
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Oh the ubiquity!! No, your eyes doth not deceive, it's MORE Brandon Strader! Intent on answering the age-old question as to how much Brandon Strader can be posted on OC ReMix, Brandon Strader himself continues to push the thresholds of sanity. I kid, of course, and the thing about Brandon is that, outside of his oft-eccentric behaviorisms, he's been crunching out some diverse, creative, and highly musical arrangements for a good while now. Take this Kirby Superstar mix - aside from its potentially off-putting title pun, it's actually a rather brilliant minor-key folksy take on the sugary, caffeinated original, completely changing the context from pink platforming euphoria to a strangely compelling WWII-era march sort of... thing. Who thinks this sorta stuff up?? Brandon Strader does. He writes:
"There's a lot that can be said about this mix. Primary source is Green Greens, with a very tiny showing of Run, Kirby, Run near the end. I'd like to change the mix title to [censored] and change the write-up to [redacted]."
As a trivial side note, did you know that the first and second reichs were the Holy Roman Empire, which began with the coronation of Otto I, and the German Empire's unification under Otto von Bismarck, respectively? They decided to go with a name other than "Otto" for the third one, and we all know how that turned out. Not to diminish the tragedy, by the way; Strader gives me these mix titles, and I feel obliged to say SOMETHING, lest you think I'm not even paying attention. But back to the music... 'Green Greens' is a textbook example of hyper, happy VGM. I have to be in the right kinda mood to truly enjoy such unbridled effervescence, but this far more somber & deliberate treatment almost turns comedy into tragedy. Besides orchestral march elements, an acoustic guitar dominates the entire piece, with trumpet accompaniment. The sound effects are relatively ambient, for the most part, but you can certainly make out troops marching, which is a little disturbing if you construe it as any sort of endorsement or even vague appreciation. I don't think it comes across that way at all, personally. Emunator concurs:
"This is actually a super-classy adaptation that really surprised me when I first heard it on the Milky Way Wishes album. It changes up the melody in a way that makes it much more suitable for the style, while managing to keep Green Greens recognizable all the way through. Very solid arranging going on here... the backing instrumentation is made up of solid samples and subtle but effective writing. I really like the brass writing, in particular. I thought the sound effects actually added a bit to the remix overall and I never felt distracted by it overall."
I'm hoping the mix title & sound fx don't rub some the wrong way; it might have helped had Brandon clarified in his submission email more of what he was shooting for, but I don't think artists should be forced to explain themselves, and my take is that from a musical perspective, this is an excellent & interpretive way to go about arranging this particular source. Unique, musical, potentially controversial... in other words: Brandon Strader.
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