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*NO* Super Mario Kart 'Pentagon Path'


djpretzel
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(Note about the 'Year' field; I used '2005' guessing that there would be a delay before it was posted. If it does go online before 2004, go ahead and change that.)

Little bit of info about the mix:

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The track is "Rainbow Road" from "Super Mario Kart", an already well-covered piece of music. Most of the inspiration for the mix was given to me from the original track itself - I decided to take the original, and expand on its ideas, by keeping the harmony mostly the same, but adding new rhythms, a different time signature (5/4, which is where it gets it's name 'pentagon'), some new sections (giving the track a longer, more song-based structure), and also gave it a bit of a drum'n bass feel with the percussion. The original had quite a modern jazz feel so I kept that in mind and chose instruments that I felt would be most associable with that, for instance, sax and rhodes, and introduced more electronic synth pads and arpeggiations.

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Remixer Display Name: B1itz Lunar

Real Name: Dave Harris

E-mail Address: daveharris.lunar@gmail.com

... and of course, I hope you enjoy it :).

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http://www.snesmusic.org/spcsets/smk.rsn - "Rainbow Road" (smk-12.spc)

B1itz Lunar's someone I had heard of back when VGMix2 started. I liked his SMW mix "Donut Grooves" enough to review it, so I'm glad to see him still kicking. That older mix was a lot less accessible than this one though, and "Pentagon Path" took a lot of strengths that I observed from "Donut Grooves" and applied them even futher. Excellent sound combinations here, giving off some truly jazzy vibes along with the racing imagery of both Super Mario Kart & F-Zero.

Some won't like the intro, but I liked how it suddenly blasted in, gave off a brief sound reminiscent of karts waiting at the starting line at :05 and used a nice phasing sound at :18 to move into the melody. I initially thought this was reliant on the crazy beatwork and so forth and didn't change up the Rainbow Road melody enough. I could still see some people saying it's too conservative even. But if you're gonna keep the melody essentially intact, altering up the rhythms is an excellent way to change and expand upon the source, which was what Dave did here.

The chorus switches back to 4/4 and could have been more interpretive there, but the arranged freestyle section strarting from 2:09-2:44 in 5/4 time absolutely sealed this, and I wish that could have been revisited as well. I also wish the track would have faded out at 3:35 instead of continuing on for a few more seconds, as that would have been a perfect ending, but I can't hate on that. The instrumentation was insanely spirited, well-seperated and clean-sounding. Cool as fuck with creativity to spare, it would make excellent in-game music for Rainbow Road with 200cc karts and the difficulty turned up to 11.

YES

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what the hell?

ok -- i really dislike how half the instruments sound identical to the original's.

this would be really awesome with evolving synthetic sounds as crazy as the rhythms.

that cheesy sax sound ain't helping.

nonetheless, i'm on my 4th listen of this and i'm still liking it.

i'll pass it.

yes

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Yeah, it almost sounds like most of these samples were ripped from the spc. What's up with that? Melody is straightfoward and directly the same as the original... alright, finally some interpretation ~2:00. This arrangement seems that it could not stand on its own without its frenetic passages, which comes across as gimmicky to me, especially the ridiculous drums.

Some new ideas here regarding movement and pacing, and a decent breakdown in the middle, but this gets a NO foremost for half its soundset sounding identical to the original's, whether it was ripped or inspired by.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is pretty damn creative. Frentic of course, but really tricky and hi-pulse. Yeah, it has SPC sounds, but it also has other synthwork going on, and the percussion sections are really great. Nice arrangement too; varied and dynamic. Good stuff. Cheesy sax fits the texture of the piece. I like.

YES

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Very interesting. I think this is what you would call "mixing it up".. really reminds me of Shnabubula's stuff, and Rellik + Ziwtra too, to a certain extent. Lots of crazy drumwork and subtle stuff going on. Apparently, this was done with MIDI only, with no VSTs or outside samples, which would explain the lack of any advanced processing, and the somewhat lofi sound. And while there are certainly better sounds available.. I think Lunar did a hell of a good job with the limited tools he had, and the arrangement is off the hook. I think the fact that the instruments are similar isn't a big enough deal to merit a no. Good job overall.

YES

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Well, messy is the word of the day here.

It's certainly got a Shnabubula quality to it, but without the "chaos under control" aspect. I'm not too keen on the 5/4. It seems like in some sections the song was made with the time signature in mind, but in some areas it just feels like the melody runs it original course and is followed by a few beats of percussion "catch-up". The whole thing has just about the same timbre going on, except for the breakdown in the middle, which gives us a little break from the monotonous cacophony.

There are some commendable arrangement ideas, with the (nearly) successful utilization of 5/4 and some innovative percussive ideas. However, the entire mix is also flat dynamically. I don't hear very much variation in the velocities on any of the instruments. The percussion is especially "machine-gun". Perhaps it was an intended effect, but I for one am not very keen on percussion without dynamic contrast. Perhaps it's a personal bias, but I can't help but feel that this tune would be far more effective with noticeable crescendos and accent patterns on the drums. The crescendos that are present are just drills that fade in. I agree with Binnie in that it sounds somewhat gimmicky. A lot of flash, not a lot of substance.

Off-the-wall arrangements using low quality sounds have their place, but not without a degree of control over the production. This one needs some tweaks and some more meat in the dynamics department.

NO

-D

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This is a pretty clear NO to me.

The chaos has no purpose and no value. Dynamics and direction need to be mastered in order for something like this to work. This track has no direction. it's just more or less four minutes of headache. the only break, at 2:00 is beautiful, but it's too little, too late.

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I wonder if this is one of the more thought-out cases of phat b33tz overlayed on a theme we've had in a while.

I completely agree with the detractors. Zero variation in the dynamics, especially when you consider the high density of sound, is a no-no. When you've got so much going on, two things really stick the hell out: detail and the big picture. Subtle changes in the details would have brought worlds to this piece, which in turn, would make the big-picture much more effective.

Here's what you gotta do, Pie-zan

Go through this thing with a fine toothed nap-pick and see what you can do with the volume. Crescendo's, decrescendos, pauses, dynamics. The whole shebang. Do that and come back to me and tell me that isn't the best damn song you've ever heard in your life.

NO, but resubby fast

on the grounds that it is chaotic without enough variation and fine-detail to transmute that chaos into listenable high-density goodness.

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When I heard this a while ago, I thought it sounded gimmicky. It's also chaotic and too frantic. But...

After a lot of listens both the arrangement and the chaos really makes more and more sense. I loved the original, and I think this holds its own. I actually liked the instrumental choices in the mix. I think the drums could have been toned down a bit, but it still works here.

Production on the whole is decent. Samples are above average, but the way its used and put together makes it sound better than it actually is, which is a good thing. Some of the samples here remind me of early 90s korg samples.

We have some flaws here, but none large enough that detracts from the mix. The production is passable, and the arrangement is very intriguing. Very enjoyable off-the-wall gimmicky mix that works. Fun. Borderline YES.

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holy shit. i have a splitting migraine - there are so many good ideas in this... especially that break that vig is talking about... its peaceful and gentle and i dug it but too late, man. seriously. this split my head with its poorly written percussion (too much going on, its too intense and they sound like shit). half the instrumentations are the originals and everything is so bright and intense i feel suffocated.

UGAHFbgfob

you had somethin and you obliterated it.

NO

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Wow this is very different. I can see (or rather, hear) why the panel is split over this one. I'm very torn on this one.

On one hand, a lot of the sounds are very similar to the sources, the drum beat is too hectic at times with patterns that don't suit the drum samples. On the other hand, the other instruments sound pretty good, and I love the sound of the whole 5/4 section.

I really like the hecticness, but it's just too much for me at times - the drums are the thing that really spoil it for me. Thankfully us judges have a middle ground now.

NO

(Please resubmit)

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