ReMix: Super Mario 64 "Sunken Secrets"
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Arranging perhaps the game's most iconic source tune & the piece I myself mixed WAYYY back in 2001 (yep... old), Fishy's got a lovely & enveloping acoustic "Dire, Dire Docks" jam featuring piano, drums, guitars, and some backing synth swirls:
"This was started way back during my Reason days, and subsequently abandoned for reasons I cannot fathom in favour of several other far less fun arrangements. I think I was feeling the pressure of picking the most popular track or something, I dunno. I realized the first version was probably the best and redid it fairly recently. Apart from the drums, piano and solo at the end, it's more or less unchanged from 2008 - which still surprises me. It's my favourite blend of conservative structure with subtle layers of expansion, and I hope you enjoy."
As a side note, Cain's part of the team responsible for the upcoming Alien: Isolation game that got some rave reviews at E3 - very cool! One of the things that's been particularly neat about running OCR for so damn long is seeing some ridiculously talented people enjoy well-deserved breakthroughs & success; makes me smile. So does this mix, which recreates the joy & wonder of my favorite SM64 stage; PoaP Director Justin Medford writes:
"Dire, Dire Docks" is one of those special classic themes that can sometimes be an intimidating undertaking to re-envision. Cain really brings it home with a soft rock take on the theme that gives me goosebumps listening to it. This mix was actually the final of three major revisions that he made to the track before settling on this approach. While sticking pretty close to familiar territory with the melodies and chord structure, Cain brings some beautiful electric guitar licks and really nails it on the atmosphere. It was a clear choice to start out disc 2 and a fantastic addition to the project. Cain has been a part of this album project from the very beginning, and even took over directing it for a stretch when things started to stagnate. So, I and everyone enjoying this album owe him a lot of thanks for all of his work and commitment to seeing this project through."
This isn't an easy track to tackle, because expectations run high and the original is so damn good. I kinda like how Cain essentially ignores any perceived pressure to deviate wildly, building instead on a conservative core and layering in substantive & interpretive detail. Deia sums it up nicely & closes us out:
"Well used source, but not overrused, IMO. You've stayed close to the original melodically, but there's a lot going on behind the melody, nevermind the instrument changes. Everything is kept fairly simple, but I think that's what makes it work so well."
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