ReMix: Perfect Dark "Killing Hope"
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It's been awhile since our last Perfect Dark mix, or for that matter our last trip-hop mix, and it's been a LOOOOOONG while since our first AND last mix from Zas, who follows up his orchestral Zelda 64 debut from 2005 (!!) with this brooding, atmospheric piece. He splains the mix title:
"Named after a book of the same name, not meant to be a creepy message toward composer Grant Kirkhope, who is the video game trip-hop champion, IMO."
I really love Palpable's comments from the judge thread, so let's START there:
"On the surface, this is a standard remix of the Perfect Dark source - it follows the structure of the original pretty closely. But what you brought to this is a remarkably haunting mood created with some unorthodox instruments and FX. The drums were excellent - distorted, panned strangely, and echoed to sound truly unsettling. There's an art to making them sound weird without putting off the listener, but you balanced that line perfectly. On top of that, they had endless tweaks to keep them from getting stale. Nothing really threw me here, from the saw lead to the slightly off-key section. Everything worked."
Indeed it did/does. We don't get a ton of trip-hop or DJ Shadow-style, downbeat & sample-laden VGM arrangements, but one of my favorites is Skrypnyk's Super Mario RPG classic, "Last Night a DJ Kidnapped Mallow" from 2007 - really great stuff. This track has some of that same sleepy-ominous dark energy going on; Chimpazilla memingly agrees:
"Wow... so dark... much depress... very creep... I love this. I'm not a huge fan of the lead at 1:35 as I feel it breaks up the mood and instrument cohesiveness just some. Something less piercing and sawlike may have been a better choice, yet it fits with the creepy ideas here. The glitching, sfx and old vinyl crackling are divine. The choir and whistley sound are great. Even the bit of distortion on the piano-esque arp is a fit. Plenty of source, very good arrangement. Love it."
Not much else to say - judges were unanimously digging this, and rightly so, and it's great to see a refreshing trifecta of a game we haven't seen mixed lately, in a genre we don't hear often, from an artist who's returning after 8+ years!