ReMix: Akumajo Dracula X: Nocturne in the Moonlight "Where's the Wall Chicken At?"
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- Game: Akumajo Dracula X: Nocturne in the Moonlight (Konami, 1998, SAT)
- ReMixer(s): Ashikodrum, HatTrax, krissalad, mklachu, Tetrimino
- Composer(s): akiropito, Jeff Lorber, Michiru Yamane, Rika Muranaka, Tomoko Sano, Tony Haynes
- Song(s): "Vampire Killer - Simon", "Vampire Killer Rock"
- Posted: 2015-07-20, evaluated by djpretzel
- Terms (BETA): disco electric-piano energetic funky fusion live-instruments quartet timesig-4-4 violin
Vampire Disco!! Start your week off RIGHT with some Tetrimino!! Everything they've done thus far has been excellent, and this fusion/disco arrangement of fan favorite "Vampire Killer" is no exception. They've got plenty to say, so I'm gonna step out of the way:
"Hello! This is our third submission to OC ReMix. In this arrangement, our lineup consists of Michaela Nachtigall (mklachu) on the violin, Kristopher Salada (krissalad) on the keys, Matt Mukerjee (HatTrax) on the bass, and Everett Leptich (Ashikodrum) on the drums (all instruments are live).
This arrangement is also our contribution to the Multiplayer VG Charity Album for Child's Play. The Multiplayer VG Charity Album consists of 26 tracks of video game music, compiled by over 30 talented musicians discovered on YouTube. Each track begins with each consecutive letter of the alphabet from A-Z. You can find more about Multiplayer on their Facebook page: http://facebook.com/MultiplayerVGAlbum
We were randomly given "V" as our letter, and after much deliberation we decided to cover "Vampire Killer" from Castlevania! Our arrangement is based on the Judgment and Symphony of the Night (rock) versions of the song. Here is a video of our performance: http://youtu.be/ol0HMKyrSzI
As we're primarily a jazz-fusion band, we wanted to embellish the original arrangement in that style. In particular, we tried to go for a bit of a genre shift during the violin interlude segment by adding elements of disco/acid jazz (a la Jamiroquai) in the keys/bass/drums.
The biggest obstacle we run into during arrangement is how to make the song feel new and fresh while limiting ourselves to something that a four-person jazz-fusion combo could play live. This means no wah-wah guitars, no string pads, no extra cowbell (DANG, YO). In this exercise in simplicity, we instead focus on making each individual part space filling and exciting; a sort of "quality over quantity" approach. This is easiest to notice if you listen to the bass and drums.
One major change for us compared to our previous arrangements was having Kris move from playing piano to playing Rhodes, opening up a wider gamut of choices due to the variety of tones present in the instrument. Listen to the throaty overdrive in the Rhodes during the main melody, but pay attention to its gentle playfulness during the keys solo. This variety in tone allows us to do more with less, in line with our "live band" philosophy.
Our intro (0:00-0:04) is stylistically similar to the one from the Sega Saturn-exclusive rock remix in Symphony of the Night. When we start playing the head (0:04-0:19), notice the bass playing a jazzy line similar in style to "Tank!" from Cowboy Bebop. We continue playing the head (0:19-0:26) until we reach the B section (0:26-0:33) where crescendo and diminuendo in the violin give an uneasy, almost seasick feeling to the famous castle. Finally, the triumphant C section (0:33-0:40) has some busy lines in keys and bass that are worth giving a second listen. We go through the head once more (0:40-1:08) with the violin spending time in its higher octave before a full stop at 1:08. Then, things get interesting.
From 1:09-1:24, we hit the first part of the violin interlude, but the real highlight is the groove set up by the keys, bass, and drums. Listen to the acid jazz-style rhythm section really cooking it up! Solid drum work and timely stabs from the keys, but the bass is really where the drive is. Focusing solely on using the instrument as a rhythmic driver, Matt plays just one note (D) but drives the feel of the section, acting more like part of the drum kit than the bass. The chromatic lines and double-stops in the violin really bring it home, as well as the growling glissando in the bass out of the section -- we're going cruising for wall chicken tonight!!
The second half of the violin interlude (1:24-1:38) opens up the groove even further, pulling the snare back in and complicating the bass groove melodically, while the violin does some very disco-esque trills ending on a high note (literally and figuratively -- yeah, we went there).
From 1:38-2:07, we have a light and emotional Rhodes solo (a la Herbie or Chick) over the D minor blues scale. To make this feel a bit more interesting, the part is reharmonized by the bass, which is playing a line in F major. This context ends up providing more contrast to the main melody (in D minor) making the solo feel more uplifting. Again, bass/drum interplay is key in this section, especially as we move out of it.
We move to a bridge made up of two pieces (2:07-2:22 and 2:22-2:37). The first section is lifted in a straightforward way from the rock remix in the Saturn version of SotN, but the second piece (based on the remix in Judgement) features much more input from the bass and drums (in particular some counter-melody and double stops in the bass, and punctuating tom fills in the drums).
Keeping with standard jazz tropes, we play through the head once more (2:37-3:13). The drums help create more energy as we go through the A section (2:37-2:51) by keeping "four on the floor" in the kick. We continue this energy through the B section (2:51-2:58) by having the violin play the melody in its higher octave and push things even further in the C section (2:58-3:13) with busy key and bass lines. We end it with a high energy punch!
We hope you enjoy!
Goodness! I've got little to add, because I think they covered the play-by-play and thought process behind the arrangement with an awesome level of fidelity & insight. I dig the disco turn this mix took, and the switch to EP from piano was a good call that helped make that happen. Emunator writes:
"Color me amazed, guys. Even with such an iconic, over-remixed source, you've managed to breathe new life into it with some very inspired modifications to the original source, as well as standout performances from everyone involved. Even though the main melody is treated fairly conservatively, there's a plethora of details that really make this arrangement your own, from the amazing drum & bass rhythms to the funky work on the keys, and everything in between. I can't sing enough praises about this track!"
What he said; new spin on an old classic featuring everything that makes each of Tetrimino's arrangements fantastic - superb musicianship, inspired performances, and a crafted arrangement that makes the most of those resources. Highly recommended; check it out, and check out the Multiplayer VG Charity Album for Child's Play, too! Oh yeah, love the mix title, as well ;)