ReMix: Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island "Plastic Smile"
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That was Wario, now we're gonna turn that W right-side up and hit you with some Mario, as NoTuX (Damon Campbell, formerly Blue Magic) tries on some new styles with a darkly dreaming, disturbed, distorted, dissonant, & devious take on the castle/fortress theme from SMW2:
"This is a mix that is part of my little solo project called My Happy Place. Basically, this project is my attempt at being comfortable with being uncomfortable as I try to tackle a few tracks from the SMW2 soundtrack and remix them in various styles that I'm not all that familiar with. At the time of this writing, I have finished 6 tracks. I'm not sure how many I will end up doing, but I'm hoping to get at least 5 more done.
Anyway, this particular remix is sort of a dark, glitchy, twisted take on the "Castle & Fortress" theme. It's quite different from the other mixes on the project, as they are more upbeat and happy. It was a crazy experiment for me, but I really like how it came out. I normally don't even listen to my own music, but I found myself listening to this on repeat just trying to figure out how the hell I pulled this one off (LOL).
This song was inspired by a crazy dream my wife had of strange people following her around town with a crazy big smile on their faces. One was even crying, but still had a gigantic, fake smile on her face. And they never spoke to her in the dream, just stared, and smiled... The glitchy sounds and overall feel of the song were inspired by the intro for American Horror Story. I love that creepy, unsettling feeling portrayed in the song and I wanted to replicate that in my own way. I felt that the Castle theme would be perfect for this effect. Though the instruments that I chose aren't the best in the world, I felt that they do add to the overall feeling I was going for in this mix. Their fakeness just kinda works, ya know?"
Excellent. I mean, NOT excellent that Damon's wife had what sounds like a freaky, haunting nightmare, of course... but excellent that it inspired this enjoyably twisted arrangement that revels in its carnivalesque macabre. The artificiality of the samples not only works, musically, but thematically jives with the mix title & concept, so no issues there. More than anything else, this arrangement takes the creepy, sinister soul of Kondo's original melody and amplifies those specific traits... very effectively. Some minor repetition issues notwithstanding, judges were feelin' it; Chimpazilla writes:
"I adore music that gives an odd uncomfortable feeling, and wow that dream your wife had!!! This is the perfect soundtrack to that dream. I especially love the out of tune piano, both the melodies and the occasional slam on the keyboard, and the glitching. A bit repetitive, yes, but cool all the way through. Nice work."
"This is pretty cool overall, i like the creative use of sound effects that creates the mood, but married to a decently tight arrangement. There are a lot of surprises that jump out, but the pace and structure is maintained, giving the piece a direction."
Agreed. By their nature, concept mixes - and I'd call this a concept mix, basically - sink or swim based on the strength of the concept and the execution's ability to realize that concept. NoTuX spooks the hell out of all of us with a clever idea, implemented effectively - unforgettable, unsettling, & under four minutes, this is great fuel for your own nightmares, your next haunted house (October is just around the corner!), or any time you just wanna be sucked into a vortex of madness, lunacy, & creative ReMixing!