ReMix: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim "Those Inkblots Are Pandas!"
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Been a long while since we'd heard from Ross Kmet, so it was quite cool to see this glitched, downbeat chill/hip-hop arrangement of "Whiterun" from Skyrim come our way:
"Hey, OC ReMix! It's been quite some time! I've recently been going through old files and folders, cleaning and organizing, and I came across alot of my old VGM projects. That helped me remember making this little gem a few years ago, and, I have to say, I was rather sad that I had never shared it with anyone!
So, long story short, I return with this current submission, an IDM remix of the Whiterun theme from ES:V Skyrim. Pretty calm tune, nice contrast between the smooth EP and bass, and the very crunch digital drums and synths. I remember loving this theme, because of its simple, quiet power. I remember wanting to capture that feeling as much as possible.
Otherwise, I honestly don't have much to say in the way of the creation process, it was written about 4 years ago. I was about 21. Pretty sure alcohol is clouding my memory of that period. Anywho, a little late to the party, but I had to make sure that I sent this to you guys. Hopefully, I'll be a bit more regular around here again. :) Thanks for listening!"
Nice :) I too love the elegant simplicity & evolution of Soule's work on this source, and turning it into something a little less elegant but still very direct & barebones, while adding a glitched-out, lo-fi aesthetic, and centering that primarily around EP... it's dusty, it's smoky, it percolates, it's... rather strange/unexpected, but still enjoyable and definitely unique. The hard-cut ending makes you think the file got jacked... but it didn't. Brent employs a lot of unusual & grittier textures in his own work, so I was particularly interested in his thoughts:
"Very nice. Good ear on the production. Reharmonization in the theme is cool. Percussion timbres are fresh and punchy. Really raw distortion jumps in on the chorus, yes. The synth layers building the harmony got soul. Stirring interlude into beat development is sick. Outro is sick."
Emunator chimed in with some good analysis, too:
"I've had to sit on this for a long time before I was even able to pass objective judgment on it. Ross' approach here is, as always, very abstract and holds little regard for the desires of your average casual listener, or fans of strictly-conservative remixes... which I think is pretty rad! :-) The world needs a bit more weirdness like this.
The re-harmonization of the Whiterun theme is very clever and surprisingly, really catchy - I've found this stuck in my head at random times throughout the last week. The arrangement leans heavily on the same core melody for most of the duration, but the overall dynamic curve never sits in the same place for long. The way the beat subtly progresses towards a 4-on-the-floor rhythm, or how the lead grows more heavily distorted over time are just a couple examples of how this piece develops without needing to introduce new melodic content.
It's definitely not for everyone, but I'm definitely on board. Welcome back Ross!"
What he said, pretty much; it's gonna rub purists the wrong way - what doesn't? - but if you think about what the source does, how it works, and just how MUCH of the repetitive progression and general vibe has been retained, I think the soul/spirit is still in there, even with this more interpretive, heavily-stylized presentation. I like to see risk-taking and experimentation and novel arrangement ideas, and this falls squarely into that category; as a fan of Skyrim & its amazing music, I'm down with it :) Great to see Ross back; definitely hope he follows this up!