Sign in to follow this  
GrayLightning

OCR01403 - *YES* Pac-Man 'Glass Cage'

Recommended Posts

Glass Cage (Pac-Man: Toshio Kai; Namco; Arcade; 1981)- This is a minimalist take on the main Pac-man theme, you know, that short 5 second diddy that plays in the arcade version. The idea of the piece is that the theme would repeat throughout the whole mix in one form or another- and that the theme would gradually become more recognizable as the music progressed. I thought of it like a TV getting a progressively clearer reception (incidently, a TV is one of the things that 'Glass Cage' refers to).

Sure it's a bit creepy and you might think that that doesn't really fit the "feel" of pacman; but c'mon, a guy trapped in a maze while being chased by ghosts, sounds pretty freaky to me.

URL:

- Israfel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Theme from Pac-Man

Fun stuff, especially with the meter.

Starts off with a pretty standard 7/8 feel featuring the occasional switch-up [at 0:09 1 bar of 6/8 and at 0:18 two bars of 4/4] At 0:57 we're given 4 straight beats to set up the next section where there's a whole lot of playing around until finally settling into a hybrid 6 + 4 at 1:36. That lasts for quite a long time, allowing the groove to relax for a while. Finally at 3:16 we're treated to a very simple 6/8 that almost sounds like 4/4 triplet time but it only lasts until 3:27 when another hybrid meter enters, this time 7 + 8 instead of 6 + 4 changing into a more exciting 5/4 at 3:58. All good things must come to an end, and at 4:18 the intense 5/4 vanishes leaving in its wake a playful set of 3 beat patterns with a few 4 beat phrases thrown into the mix [at 4:33, 4:45 and 4:49] growing closer together each time until the final one which ends the piece.

These time signature games are the most significant compositional element in the song. The sounds are pleasent enough [i particularly liked the faux-choral instrument], as are the note choices, but it's the rhythmic tension caused by the constant change of meter that makes this piece work so well. It is a most enjoyable listen!

YeS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Featured this one way back on VGF45. What a gem. Awesome opening with all of the percussion involved. It created a very unique texture. The source tune came in on strings at :28, followed by some male choir vox at :42. I'm really loving the simple yet liberal arrangement here already provided by the xylo lead and strings from :57-1:34.

The arrangement became more conservative/overt (albeit what's conservative for Mike is way more interpretive than most ReMixers get) with the xylo lead from 1:35-1:55. More overt source usage from 2:15-2:55 and onward from there as more ornamentation was added at 2:55.

Loved the xylo really bringing home the source material at 3:15, and building the track exactly as Mike mentioned: alluding to the theme gradually over time and slowly introducing it more prominently as the track progressed. Great stuff at 4:17 also, as the track wound down. The subtle but well-done dynamics throughout the piece was a treat, and the changing time signatures evolved very naturally within the piece as well.

Being the non-musician, I'm not gonna try to name all of the instruments in play as I don't formally know what they are, but all of the percussion was solid, and the strings and vox were haunting the whole way through. The combination of sounds was put together with expertise and an understated but notable flair, not requiring an insanely dense soundfield to nonetheless sound rich and full.

One of the things that really impressed me the most was Mike's "real-world" assertion of the premise of the game, and how that actually does a great job of legitimizing the feel of this mix. Indeed, running around trapped in a maze with ghosts constantly chasing you is actually eerie stuff, much like Shael Riley's more grim and realistic take on Super Mario Bros., "I, Mario." Very intelligent imagery for those seeking underlying creative depth in their music.

I nagged Izz to sub this for a while after first seeing in on VGMix but couldn't make any headway. Despite Mike not liking the thought of subbing older material, I really didn't think the age factor was a big issue here. This stuff still sounds great. Maybe could use a little nudge with the higher frequencies, but it still sounds golden overall. I'm glad I kept making this mix a sticking point as something that needed to be subbed. If we never hear the absolute gold that is Super Mario 64 "Onyx Lips and Cheese Nips" on OCR, then I'm certainly proud that I could get this one brought our way by bugging Gray. You're the man, Mike!

YES

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Loved the xylo...
That's not a slap bass.

Or in this case, not a xylophone, it's a marimba. YE :mrgreen:

Uh you didn't do any hard work larry. I did all the "I could get this one brought our way." :P

Now as far as this mix, the highlight here is the great arrangement. Israfel made something really special out of very little to work with. The mood and vibe of this mix really carries a very mystical energy throughout. Mike's sequencing for marimba needs to be recognized. Very well done on that front. My only minor gripe that has not aged so well are the string short bows, they sound a bit synthy. Loved the choir with heavy vibrato, they really add to the mix.

Production wise this is great. The samples are great, the production, mixing and mastering is all good.

This mix isn't for everyone, but it's an artistic tour de force. It's incredible that this was done 3 years ago, and regardless it still holds up to today's standards - I also suspect it would hold to standards 3 years from now. Quality mix then, now and certainly deserving of a place in OCR history. YES

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't you mean a M'bira?

Africans FTW

~~~~~

I'm always impressed with artists who can mold something out of nothing. I myself was contemplating doing the Pac Man theme, but in a sort of death-defying maximilist style. But enough about you, let's talk about me

Isra always has a keen ear for nuance, emotion, and dynamic-landscaping. I especially enjoyed the different "movements" of the piece, from the opening crawl through the insane asylum where Pac Man has been kept all these years, to the deep spiral of his spider-woven thoughts, deep deep down into that twisted heart that bleeds obsidian tears into a well of irredeemable sorrow.

Daring. Deft. Dood.

YES

It makes me believe, however vaguely, that this is destined for American McGee's Pac Man.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this