shredd (Matias Lehtoranta) makes his OCR debut & lives up to his pseudonym with this surprising & strangely effective metal take on Blanka's theme from SF2. When you stop and think about it, it makes sense, since Blanka is huge, angry, and enjoys electrifying his entire body - which seems pretty freakin' metal, to me - but his stage music has a tropical & South American vibe to it that I really couldn't see adapting well to an aggressive metal arrangement.... until now:
"This arrangement was made as a birthday present to my good friend, whose main character is Blanka in Ultra Street Fighter IV, a game that we are both passionate about. I wanted to avoid making a total copy-paste of the original tune, since I knew my friend likes covers that deviate a little from the original. I even discarded altogether the iconic bassline that starts off Blanka's theme. This is a syncopated, modern metal approach, in the footsteps of Meshuggah and other 8-string metal acts.
I changed the rhythmic mode from straight to a triplet feel. Low-chugging guitar riffs provide backing for Blanka's melodies, played on different synths. I spent time shaping and testing various synth sounds for lead and background layers, which are a big part of the whole arrangement and atmosphere. I did want to retain some of the naturalistic vibe of Blanka's character and his original theme music, reflected in the flute sounds on this arrangement.
There is a fair amount of original content, but it's mostly to provide some framework for familiar Blanka material. There isn't really any traditional guitar shredding - this is, first and foremost, a new interpretation of Blanka's theme rhythmically and tone-wise in the context of metal. Somewhere in the mix, there are small details, for example, the semi-mechanical jungle beat of the intro section appears again during the mysterious, quiet breakdown near the end.
In Street Fighter lore, Blanka is supposed to have gained his shocking superpowers from electric eels in the Brazilian jungles. This arrangement's title originates from a night out, during which my friend was asked, "Why is Blanka green?" He simply paused for bit, and said, "...because eels!!""
Nice context - I had a feeling the mix title might have a story behind it :) I was initially wary when listening to this because I didn't know where it was going, and I didn't hear much connection to the source, but it rewards perseverance with what is ultimately a very creative, interesting, and (in my opinion) successful arrangement; this isn't at all an intuitive or obvious approach to the source melody, but it works in the end, and I also think it channels some of the character's energy & ferocity, too. Nutritious writes:
"Triplet conversion is solid and a great idea. The timing change-ups were very well handled and a nice addition I wanted to single out. Performance was very tight and I can get behind the stop/start guitar style. Being nit-picky on production, I'd argue the rhythm guitar is slightly too overpowering against the drums and could be toned down slightly... Overall, great stuff. Very creative take on Blanka."
I'm happy when a ReMix surprises me & goes somewhere unexpected with a source, in a way that ends up working. This does that, as any initial conceptual uncertainty I had was eventually washed away. Blanka's a pretty br00tl dude, when it comes down to it ("No, not the headbite!"), and now he's got an arrangement of his theme that matches his temperament, if less so his geographical region. Very unique, memorable, and enjoyable debut from shredd - would love to hear more!
on 2018-03-16 02:23:48
This is the version of Blanka's theme I've kinda wanted to hear for a long time, one that reflects what Blanka appeared to be at first glance, a brutal beast that bites, scratches and electrocutes trespassers in his jungle. I liked that this had a serious tone in the guitar, but the synths didn't seem to go along that direction other than to provide a clearer melody. It's a contrast that I liked more during the second half of the original theme (like in 2:26-2:40) then the other parts of the theme. But still, it's a solid mix that gets me closer to the vicious, feral, unrestrained Blanka I've always wanted than ever before, so I can really appreciate this one. Not bad.
on 2015-12-21 14:40:28
This is a very interesting take on Blanka’s theme. Blanka’s theme is very fun, and comical (which, if you don’t know, was Yoko Shimomura’s intent. To make the music in the game a little comical). But this remix makes Blanka seem so much more intimidating and frightening. I love how the artists found a way to make you hear Blanka torture his opponents while listening to this remix.
on 2015-10-27 20:02:01
Yeah, I felt the same way. Really cool bass-driven ambience drives the dark guitar chugs, but then the synth leads are oddly upbeat. The melody starting at 2:12, for instance, was otherwise really enjoyable, it just felt like it was lifted from a different remix. It's also pretty repetitive.
Really hoping to see more from shredd that improves on these issues, since the parts of this I like, I like a lot.
on 2015-10-25 04:55:04
Yeah, I agree that the leads were strangely bright/cheery, and contrast strangely with the darkness of the Meshuggah-style chugs. I'm not really feeling that contrast works though, and I thought the leads could have been darker. Other than that, I do like this metal adaptation. Tight playing, fun low-tuning shenanigans, and cool triplet rhythmic style.
on 2015-10-22 13:09:04
What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
(, , )
- Additional Game:
Street Fighter II: The World Warrior (Capcom, 1992, ARC)
Music by Isao Abe, Yoko Shimomura
- "Blanka (Brazil)"
- Electric Guitar, Flute, Synth
- Time > 4/4 Time Signature
- 10,170,500 bytes
- Size: 10,170,500 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 7bd06aa756bd6c158217f9e5f97b9f4e
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