ReMix: Super Castlevania IV "Ripples"
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- Game: Super Castlevania IV (Konami, 1991, SNES)
- ReMixer(s): Phonetic Hero
- Composer(s): Masanori Adachi, Taro Kudo
- Song(s): "Limestone Cavern (Stage 3 BGM 1)", "Submerged City (Stage 3 BGM 3)", "Waterfall (Stage 3 BGM 2)"
- Posted: 2015-12-21, evaluated by djpretzel
- Terms (BETA): bells breakbeats dark dnb electric-guitar electronic energetic glitching
It's been an awesome year for Super Castlevania IV on OCR - Vampire Variations III gave one of my personal favorite game soundtracks of all time a worthy full-album tribute, PLUS we've got this non-album arrangement of some of my favorite sources from Phonetic Hero (Pete Lepley), who kills it with a hybrid/dnb IDM take on several themes, making masterful use of the notorious "Amen" break:
"Here's my annual solo remix submission, heh. :P I guess there's a bit of a story with this one: Super Castlevania IV is one of my favorite games of all time, and I'd originally intended to do a 3-part concept album covering Simon's journey through Dracula's Castle with this sort of musical aesthetic. After starting two other tracks alongside this one, I hated the direction they were going and decided to can them, possibly splitting the album concept into two separate personal projects to re-approach later - one more dance-oriented and one more cinematic/orchestral (seriously... I love this game).
This one, I thought was way too cool to pass up though, so I spent the last couple weeks finishing it up and getting the mix where I wanted it. The Amen break drums are always super fun, and I had SO much fun just going nuts with the drum writing (as I'm apt to do). I think IDM as a whole is underappreciated, and I wanted to capitalize on the crazy drum writing and interesting progressions that are (somewhat) typical of the genre, while still keeping melody at the forefront and making sure the tune was solidly structured. The synthesis was a headache at times, but super fun at others, and I'm really pleased with the result. A lot of the cooler synths are GMS, which is A DEFAULT SYNTH IN FL 11. I'm probably most proud of the bass I frankensteined together, and that really prominent phased bass layer is from GMS. The other pieces were a bass guitar sample I put some distortion on, a filtered/processed saw to get some high-end buzziness, and a sub when it was needed. So, yeah, I guess that's about it for now, hope y'all guys enjoy. :D
I seem to be having pretty bad luck when it comes to the Js picking up on my source usage lately, so I'll go ahead and include a breakdown:
- 0:00-0:58 - Intro arps from 3-1 with various layering/texturing as well as interpretations to keep the progression smooth
- 0:58-1:36 - Melody A from 3-1 comes in, 0:04 in the source
- 1:36-1:55 - Melody C from 3-1, 0:36 in the source
- 1:55-2:14 - Back to Melody A from 3-1
- 2:14-2:32 - Melody and lightly interpreted progression from 3-2, 0:18 in the source (fun fact: pieces of the melodies in 3-2 are taken from melodies B and C in 3-1 and reinterpreted). Interpreted arpeggios from 3-3 also start to sneak their way in toward the end of the phrase
- 2:32-2:52 - Original melodic material over the same 3-2 progression with interpreted arpeggios from 3-3 (beginning of source) in the backing sine pluck
- 2:52-3:29 - Back to 3-1 arps for a break with added textures
- 3:29-3:48 - Melody A from 3-1 again, w/ +3 'zazz bonus
- 3:48-4:07 - Melody A from 3-1 with original solo (2 GMS leads layered), adding an ADDITIONAL +4-'zazz (that's +6 total, if you're some kinda math whiz)
- 4:07-4:44 - 3-1 arps again with a delicious new progression and some comparatively laid back groovin'. 3-3 quotes make their way into the ends of the 4-bar phrases in the mono sine
- 4:44-end - Original melody over 3-2 again, with 3-3 in the background"
I for one REALLY hope that Pete follows through on the album plans... or at least sends us more SCIV mixes ;) This one's quite a treat - intelligent, layered arrangement meets twirling, acrobatic breakbeat work and a grisly & grimy bass, with accompaniment that glues it all together & makes it sparkle. As an interesting sidenote, The Winstons (group responsible for the track that the "Amen break" sample is taken from) are finally getting compensated for the world's most notorious breakbeat via a GoFundMe campaign - pretty cool! Pete does an excellent job integrating multiple sources; I'd say 3-1 dominates, which is fine by me since it's one of my favorites, but the other themes serve a purpose, and transitions are very natural. All in all this is one of pH's best arrangements yet - great combination of production skills & smart arranging - and is like icing on the cake for fans of SCIV's soundtrack, augmenting VV3's heapin' helpin of TLC with another dose that's badass in its own right. Great to hear more from Pete, would LOVE to see him follow through on additional plans for SCIV, and I'd like to think him and AGAIN thank the VV3 team for making this the best year ever for one of my favorite soundtracks!
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