ReMix: Diablo II "Children of Zakarum" 3:28

By Platonist

Arranging the music of one song...

"Docks"

Primary Game: Diablo II (Blizzard Entertainment, 2000, WIN), music by Glenn Stafford, Jason Hayes, Matt Uelmen

Posted 2018-09-27, evaluated by the judges panel


It's been almost SEVENTEEN YEARS since we last featured a ReMix from the Diablo series, the third incarnation of which I'm looking forward to replaying on Switch. Here to end the drought is Platonist (Jonas Loman) with a dark, low-key EDM/cinematic piece that undulates with suspense and which employs equal parts watery chromatic percussion & chiptune leads:

"Docks." Diablo II. Matt Uelmen. <3

Alright, here we go. I've been looking at this source for a while now, wanting to do something with it. I've been a massive Diablo fan since 199X, so why not continue my journey into slow EDM with another, even slower entry with this arrangement of "Docks", a track that's in the original game but wasn't included in the soundtrack until the expansion release due to the time constraints of the CD format. (So don't be fooled by this; it's from the original Diablo II).

The chromatic percussion (especially the marimba) didn't work well with the soundscape I was creating, so I ended up exchanging it for something brighter and more Plato-esque(?), using the same sample for all percs. Working with Schism Tracker has its drawbacks. #NoEQ

Breakdown:

  • The intro is loosely based on the first few moments of the source (atmosphere and some loose chords). I made it as tiny as I possibly could to make the buildup section feel more powerful when it drops at 0:38.
  • The buildup itself is based on the source's final section.
  • As for the theme/main part. This is one of the melodies that are recurring in the game, but, IMO, the context here makes it work as a "Docks" arrangement. I also super-imposed it on a slightly different chord line here, to give it a more chromatic feel.
  • The extra chords are based on the fantastic augmented A 7th chord that appears once in the buildup to the theme in the source, making the tonal progression go from C# to B to A and then to A#/Bb.
  • It's such an expressive line that I wanted to use it somehow; luckily, the second half of the melody fits over it!
  • That said, its introduction at 0:55 the chords are more similar to the original.
  • I also used the small interlude before that in the source as a breakdown after the main section instead, because I think it fits better there in this arrangement.

Wow, that was a long write-up. Enjoy!"

I enjoyed the sparse initial stage that's gradually populated with more characters, especially the later introduction of chip parts with chip-style writing; Gario nails it on the head:

"Holy moley, is this a full blown Diablo II remix? Jeez, I've played that game more than I care to admit, and I have to say while the music in it is great and fitting, it ain't easy to arrange the non-Tristram music considering it's much more ambient than not. Full kudos for giving this some love, here.

As far as the arrangement goes, I'll say that the source does seem to check out. I do appreciate the subtractive arranging that's going on with some of the themes in order to get some mileage out of them without getting too stale (like how the source is handled at 0:38, for example). You don't have much to work with, and you do a great job stretching those motifs. The introduction of instruments gradually throughout the track also helps breathe new life into the arrangement just before it gets too stale."

At first I thought this might be too simple/minimalist, but as Greg writes, Jonas does a good job keeping things moving & shifting in some extra colors to paint with to keep the momentum. Some of the trickery on the chip lead is inspired, and I also dig the unorthodox processing of the bell/ep style timbre which precedes it. Larry sums it up nicely:

"Very cool transformation from a cinematic and jungle-y source tune into an low-key electronic version with a dark feel to it. Nice work!"

I think the Diablo series' music is a bit harder than average to ReMix, with a few exceptions, which might explain the lengthy hiatus from our homepage... but where there's a will, there's a way. Platonist gives us something a bit longer & more substantive than his recent mixes, and digs into a D2 deep cut in an unexpected, creative, & enjoyable way!

djpretzel

Discussion

Latest 4 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
avatar
Platonist
on 2018-09-29 00:31:01
10 hours ago, WesternZypher said:

Gotta say I prefer the original source

I would hope so, Matt is better than me at everything. Thanks for giving it a chance, at least.

avatar
HoboKa
on 2018-09-28 19:21:17

D2 and BoF2 getting love in the same month!!?? I love this! Thanks guys!

avatar
WesternZypher
on 2018-09-28 13:33:09

Gotta say I prefer the original source

This version sounded pared down, simplistic and unengaging.

avatar
Liontamer
on 2018-09-27 11:47:22

What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)


Primary Game:
Diablo II (Blizzard Entertainment, 2000, WIN)
Music by Glenn Stafford, Jason Hayes, Matt Uelmen
Songs:
"Docks"

Tags (12)


Genre:
EDM
Mood:
Dark, Quirky, Suspenseful
Instrumentation:
Chiptune, Chromatic Percussion, Electronic, Synth
Additional:
Arrangement > Minimalist
Effects > Glitching
Effects > Lo-Fi
Time > 4/4 Time Signature

File Information


Name:
Diablo_2_Children_of_Zakarum_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
6,748,945 bytes
MD5:
c06e1950bd3d7168fb14ebca53334c43
Bitrate:
256Kbps
Duration:
3:28

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