WEEKEND MIXPOST!! Something fun, eh? It just so happens that LongBoxofChocolate (Trevor Burch, Daniel Perry, Aaron Schmitt) are the latest artists to be featured on the OverClocked Podcast, which you should REALLY check out if you haven't... and to coincide with that episode, which drops today, we've ALSO got a rock/fusion arrangement of "Mute City," inspired by the SSBM version; Trevor writes:
"Hey, guys. Trying some new recording techniques and creative approaches.... Full disclosure: yes, we know F-Zero predates Super Smash Bros.... but we felt that this arrangement so strongly embodies Melee's incarnation over the others that we'd try and get it submitted there instead. The music video can be found via YouTube if you're interested.
This is our saxophonist's debut arrangement, so here are some words from him:"
Annnnnnd over to Aaron "Hank 'The Spank Tank' Jankerson" Schmitt:
"Ever since my high school years, I have wanted to cover [Mute City]. Since most video game music is designed to loop infinitely, I summed the melody, harmony, and rhythm down to a lead sheet, then started on the energy and form mapping. The problem with arranging stuff like this is how SHORT that loop can be! I realized this around the same time that I realized it starts in an abysmal key for our guitarist (C minor). BUT, since the tune lends itself to frequent tonicizations, I cloned the tertiary chord change in the C section down another major 3rd to get us into E minor - way better key for guitars - and we use the new groove to chill out. After the cool-down, the bari sax and a new synth lead trade 8's, and a face-melting guitar solo takes us through the B section all the way into the C section which rounds out with additional saxophone harmony, and we end with a couple of 2-bar sets that give our drummer, DP, a chance to show his fill chops.
I cannot state enough how much Manny, our keyboardist, and DP added to this arrangement. They brought it to life with their talents in both play style and audio/video production. The instrumental parts are certainly NOT easy, and it took an amount of creativity from all parties involved. As the arranger, I could not be more pleased with how the final take turned out - including the final video, which Manny absolutely crushed. We hope you enjoy our unique take on Mute City from Super Smash Bros. Melee."
Of course, as someone who is downright impaired when it comes to playing Smash but who loved him some F-Zero back in the day, I prefer to think of this mix as the latter :) Very fun stuff; not mixed/mastered to pristine degrees, but captures the feeling of some talented musicians having fun & rolling through a creative, expressive arrangement. Emunator writes:
"The wide variety of lead instruments and keyboard patches that adorn the arrangement give it a lot of texture and hold my attention. The solos are great across the board, but the guitar solo at 2:40 was definitely a highlight. The saxophones seem dominant in the track but at the same time, it didn't feel like a "sax w/ accompaniment" mix either - each band member got a chance to shine."
Agreed with bolded observation; from an arrangement perspective, saxes get a lot of focus, but aren't the only game in town by a longshot. I do think some of the other elements could have used a volume boost, specifcally the bass... this is actually a remastered version of the original sub, which was panned a bit heavily, and while that specific issue was addressed, I think there's still room for improvement on the mixing/mastering front. Arrangement & performances are on-point though, as Sir_NutS sums up for us:
"I wasn't convinced at the start, as this remix starts as your regular mute city fan rendition, but first looks (or sounds in this case) can be deceiving. This remix evolves in ways I didn't expect at all. This arrangement! oh boy! Really original and inventive stuff. The careless, panned sax arpeggios, the synth solo! those synth solos starting at 2:08 are just FUN. Performances are on point, no sloppiness, just a bunch of artists getting together and doing fun, well performed music."
Ditto all that; blistering instrumentals, cool call-and-answer sax stuff, and just a classy, brisk, & satisfying way to approach "Mute City"! Great stuff from LBoC - we'll definitely be hearing more from them in the future, and I can't wait, but in the meantime catch 'em on the podcast, check their YouTube channel for more, and enjoy the mix!
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Super Smash Bros. Melee (Nintendo, 2001, GCN)
Music by Akito Nakatsuka, David Wise, Grant Kirkhope, Hajime Hirasawa, Hideki Kanazashi, Hirokazu Ando, Hirokazu Tanaka, Jun Ishikawa, Junichi Masuda, Kazumi Totaka, Keiichi Suzuki, Koji Kondo, Naoto Ishida, Shogo Sakai, Tadashi Ikegami, Takuto Kitsuta, Taro Bando, Yuka Tsujiyoko, Yukio Kaneoka, Yumiko Kanki
- "Mute City"
- Fusion, Rock
- Electric Guitar, Saxophone, Synth
- Time > 4/4 Time Signature
- 6,123,973 bytes
- Size: 6,123,973 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 26576e0659ab01f216c7f3310646261c
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