ReMix: Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door "Mare Undarum"
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- Game: Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (Nintendo, 2004, GCN)
- ReMixer(s): Hylian Lemon
- Composer(s): Koji Kondo, Saki Kasuga, Yoshito Sekigawa, Yuka Tsujiyoko
- Song(s): "Aquatic Ambiance", "Space Zone 2", "X-Naut Fortress", "Zora's Domain"
- Posted: 2016-12-12, evaluated by
- Terms (BETA): chiptune edm electronic funky happy pop synth tempo-fast
From Hylian Lemon (Benjamin Hoffman) comes a fun, upbeat, multi-game chip-pop arrangement that blends pieces from several Nintendo favorites (Paper Mario, Super Mario Land 2, DKC, & Ocarina of Time) into a single, focused piece that's got NES-style leads, an FMish bass, and some rather cool FX & modulation going on, to boot.
- "X-Naut Fortress" (Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door) - Arps used throughout, other bits used 1:10-1:37
- "Star Maze" (Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins) - 0:15-0:55, backing also appears 2:18-3:25
- "Aquatic Ambiance" (Donkey Kong Country) - 1:37-2:05
- "Zora's Domain" (The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time) - 2:18-2:46
The list of sources may look weird, but everything found its way into the arrangement by sounding really good on top of the "X-Naut Fortress" arpeggios. It all started when I was replaying Paper Mario 2 and decided to play around with those deliciously chippy arps. I popped the accompanying chords together without referencing the original, only to realize I'd gotten them totally wrong. They still worked fine with the arps, so I decided to see where that mistake took me.
The "X-Naut" arps are the backbone of the track, so I'd consider it a Paper Mario 2 arrangement primarily. P.S. For anyone curious, "Mare Undarum" is the name of a particular splotch on the moon. It means "Sea of Waves.""
Happy accidents are always a great way to stumble on functional, creative arrangement approaches, and we even get a dose of lunar geography with the explanation ;) It's not an intuitive list of sources, but they SOUND intuitive together - admittedly, "Aquatic Ambiance" stuck out to me a little bit during its cameo, but that's largely due to (over?) familiarity. Emunator writes:
"This track takes a really unique approach to remixing - completely disregarding any cohesion or reason behind choosing a source other than "it sounded good" is not something we see very often. However, in this case, it resulted in a surprisingly smooth fusion of melodies glued together by a very memorable arpeggio from a track that always stuck in my head as one of the best parts of Paper Mario 2's soundtrack. Aside from the structure and concept, Ben's production is totally on-point here. I'm hearing a lot more filtering, processing, and glitching than normal which helps prevent the backing arpeggio from growing stale. Great concept & execution here!"
Yeah, gotta agree that production is on-point and that modulation & automation have been bumped up a notch - sounds great! Liontamer adds:
"What a bumpin', flowing track, featuring great bassline presence, 8-bit chippyness, and even some Sega Genesis style FM bits at :56. Anchoring the track with the X-Naut Fortress theme and bringing in these other theme cameos all fit like a glove, particularly Mario Land 2's "Star Maze." Nice to have "Mare Undarum" join "Mare Crisium" on OCR as well. ;-) Nothing sour here from Hylian Lemon; it's all musical candy of the catchiest kind."
In addition to leveraging the same clean chip palette & intricate, creative arranging that Ben's refined over the years, this mix differentiates itself from the artist's other work with some FM additions, more extensive processing, and a pragmatic "whatever works!" approach to source inclusion that I unilaterally dig. Larry & Wes covered all the details; truly great stuff from Hylian Lemon!
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