ReMix: Kirby's Dream Land "Cabbage Salad"
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If you combined the Benny Hill "Yakety Sax" theme with chiptune ska, added in an avant-rock breakdown with random samples, then completely jazzed out the ending, you'd have SOMETHING resembling this eccentric, saxophone-driven descent into "Green Greens" Kirby madness from newcomer band YamaYama, featuring Dario LaPoma, Merlin Showalter, Milo Fultz, and Scott Mitchell. Leave your sanity at the door, because this mix cares not for the trappings of genre, structure, or musical normalcy. They very straightforwardly write:
"YamaYama's original arrangement of the "Green Greens" theme from Kirby's Dream Land (1992) for Nintendo Game Boy."
Yeah, that doesn't really convey the wackiness contained therein, unless you read between the lines on the adjective "original," and take it to mean "giddily experimental" or similar. So that doesn't tell us much. Instead, let us turn to their press kit, available on yamayamatheband.com:
"YamaYama is not only musicians music, drawing from sophisticated harmonies, diverse textures and complex time signatures; their mission is to make everyone move their hips and tap their feet. The four-piece ensemble is founded on the belief that music can still be complex and inventive while retaining a pulse and melody that everyone can groove to. They are strongly influenced by performers such as Mark Guiliana, Parliamente Funkadelic, Dapp Theory, Dave Holland Group, Nerve, Joshua Redman, and many more.
YamaYama fuses a love for electronica, video game soundtracks, modern jazz and funk, forging a sound that doesn't let the audience forget to dance. Since its foundation nearly five years ago by drummer Merlin Showalter and saxophonist/composer Scott Mitchell, YamaYama continues to refine its sound in the quest for groove. They released their first album, "Party Dog EP," in the Fall of 2012, showcasing their songwriting and sensitivity in performance through record."
There we go, that tells us a lot more. These guys even have a bona-fide mission statement up in there, and it's one I can get behind. I was indeed tapping my feet, if not moving my hips, up until 0'58", where I was scratching my head for a second or two until I just decided to roll with it. Definitely a unique treatment of the source, to say the least; it's almost the polar opposite of Brandon Strader's excellent minor-key folksy arrangement that I'm a huge fan of. Brandon completely modified the sugary sweetness of the original into something somber & serious, whereas this mix not only embraces the unbridled fervor, it ups the crazy-happy ante and takes things into "I'll have what she's having" territory. Larry writes:
"The fun-filled nature of Kirby music allows some off-the-wall arrangement ideas to feel pretty natural, so YamaYama's take on "Green Greens" was an immediate winner with me. There were constant dynamic shifts throughout the arrangement, with the first twisty twist at :57 merely previewing a very fun evolution of ideas. After being thrown for a loop at :57 - Kirby probably ingested some poison mushrooms from Mario: The Lost Levels - we got a brief, hazy mellowing out at 1:45 featuring "Castle Lololo" before going back to standard jazz at 1:57, then another change at 2:16 with more aggressive percussion and ominous synth work, followed by ANOTHER hard right turn at 2:27 with an awesome jazz freestyle until 2:40.
If there was ever a case to be made about proving one's range in only 1 piece, the men of YamaYama have made it. Nice work by Dario, Merlin, Milo & Scott, and I hope they bring this unique flavor to some more VGM!"
Well said! Pretty different take on a very familiar theme; definitely looking forward to hear more of YamaYama's unique style!