ReMix:Mario Kart 64 "Frappe Cafe Vibe" 3:14

By Joshua Morse

Arranging the music of one song...

"Frappe Snowland/Sherbet Land"

Primary Game: Mario Kart 64 (Nintendo , 1996, N64), music by Kenta Nagata

Posted 2004-01-23, evaluated by the judges panel

As a bit of a sidenote, you may have noticed that towards the bottom of every ReMix detail page we now have "Evaluation Method" information, thanks to judge Digital Coma - this indicates whether the mix in question was evaluated by the judges panel or posted directly by me, and if it was evaluated by the panel provides a link to the judges decision thread in our forums so you can see what they said. Might be more beneficial for ReMixers and would-be ReMixers than Joe Listener, but who knows...

Joshua Morse gives us an interesting, jazzy MK64 arrangement with a bit of Christmas flavor and some fun brass stabs. The bass here is definitely doing some odd chromatic things, which at times sounds a little funky - in general there's a lot of chromatic tonality a happenin', which gives the piece a schmaltzy style that could remind one of a cafe but for me conjures images of Vegas (baby) - i.e. Mario and company cruisin' past the Luxor in style, looking for Elisabeth Shue and quoting Swingers extensively. Luigi is so money, and he doesn't even know it... but I digress: this is certainly chock full' o interesting ideas, in terms of tonality, the decision to integrate Jingle Bells, and the overall style/genre, which is pretty unique. Digital Coma, whom some of us call "Arvind", writes:

"I always cringe when I hear emulated brass exposed to a great degree, and is the brass ever exposed here! I can't quibble too much over it, it may be tonally a bit nasal but it's not god awful. Cool vibe, many mature harmonies present. I didn't find the mastering noteworthy; there is some audible clipping during a few trumpet/tuba runs and the instruments tend to bleed into each other. Smart transitions and lead-ins. Sneaking in jingle bell before the end was clever."

I especially liked some of the additional percussion towards the end - very groovy. Interesting panache and style from Morse - different kind of mix, but very viable, and interesting. Good stuff.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2023-09-15 18:23:31

Perfect holiday season ReMix with a solid breakdown. Small production bits aside, this was pretty cool and the small snippet of Jingle Bells fit nicely.

on 2015-02-05 13:53:25

I think this is a great remix. It's not overly intricate, it doesn't dive too deep in the mix, and the instrumentation is fairly straightforward, but it fills that need for a emotionally placid track. It serves the source well too. And I have to say, I think the length is just right. Could be longer sure, but I don't think that would necessarily add to the quality of the track.

on 2013-04-29 11:28:22

Runs a little short, but tastes like a peppermint cafe mocha during the Holidays : )

on 2010-12-09 14:53:55

I'm surprised I never posted in this thread - I've always loved this song, and it seems almost every holiday season, if not every, I've always found myself listening to this again. Sometimes even in the summer!

This is a silky smooth rendition of Frappe Snowland that is pretty easy to love, unless you just hate holiday music. I think it is this song that cements Joshua Morse in my mind :smile: .

Garrett Williamson
on 2010-09-28 14:14:59

Sorry to say, but I am not diggin' the arrangement. :( The mallets or whatever at the beginning are actually pretty neat though, and I love the bass arrangement. The mallets actually almost sound sorta creepy but not creepy in a way. It is quite strange but unique. But I don't really like the way it was mixed, and I do not like that keyboard saxophone. Sorry. Just not diggin' it. :(

on 2008-02-11 13:09:15

This would be so great is that bass didn't go out of tune every few notes. :-(

The arrangement itself is great, with some nice comping and some groovin' bongos. Even the synthsax is pretty nice, and the brass works too.

The drumkit is pretty mechanical as well, so the only time this mix really shines for me is the breakdown sections. I think if this one was looked at again and had a few adjustments made it'd be a winner, but the bass intonation kills it. :-(

Martin Penwald
on 2007-07-01 16:08:42

Another nice jazz-remix by Joshua Morse. The saxophone sounds good to me, and the bongo sections add a certain something to the arrangement.

The only real complaint I have is the occasional clipping/crackling in the background, as it is clearly audible when listening to the song using headphones.

Nice work.

on 2007-05-01 17:42:28

I could absolutely fall asleep to this song! It's so calm and it has the perfect jazzy feel. This song should be playing in Starbucks or a bookstore. I mean, I could drink coffee and read to this! Brilliant! And also they should play this at christmas time, right when you wake up to see tons of presents under that tree. Snowy, calm, jaaazzzyyy, and overall, EXCELLENT!!!:mrgreen::-D:mrgreen::-D

lady zelda
on 2006-01-09 01:07:40

This is one of my favorite low-key remixes. It's a perfect jazz remix, it's mellow, yet it's got definition to it, like a tune you can easily catch and enjoy. And the motifs derived from the original tune fit perfectly well one after the other. However, I do have one concern. This remix has not been played at any coffee shops, and it so should be. Actually, it deserves some serious stage time at a jazz club. I mean, I got bored of jazz after a while, but this got me back into it. Love it, Joshua!

on 2005-11-08 04:05:53

I liked the beginning very much, mmyess, nice trumpet that certainly gives that good´ol jazzfeel. Actually makes me think of a scene where it is a café and a band outside just plays to give the air some feeling.

Other things I liked was that african drum, also a typhical jazz instrument, very clatchy. But about those synths...they sounded well in the beginning, but when the trumpet came, they didn´t quite cooperate, they was more like disturbing noises behind the trumpet.

But this is a decent remix, I can fully reognize what track it is, something that I like with a remix. And overall this remix gives a nice feel to it, just sway along the rhytm.

Well done, Joshua.

on 2004-12-17 06:41:45

Good Jazz. I like saxophone. The trumpet are pleasant and great. In 2:56 up to 3:00 I perceived a "Christmas trace" in this remix. Nice work!

on 2004-02-28 14:02:53

This song reminds me of what it's like to sit in a cafe and sip coffe and eat cheesecake. Mmmmm.....cheesecake. Oh um anyway, my only complaint is that it just sounds like it's a bit shorter than it really is. 7/10.

Al Capwn
on 2004-02-27 14:09:42

Remix just rubs me the wrong way :(

on 2004-01-29 15:24:20

Like a lot of other people have been saying, I believe some of the chords use are pretty suspect; they didn't hit my ear well. Nonetheless, this is a fairly good mix. I went into this one more in-depth on VGMix, so here's my review:

The opening notes honestly don't sound very melodic, and even when they're joined with the melody at 0:10, they don't really seem to match up well. Maybe those notes in a major key style would have worked better. When they're relegated to the background though, it's not as much of an issue for me. The "Frappe Snowland" saxophone melody, along with the backing drums however, are composed very well, not to mention the subtle but quality bass guitar notes.

While you're just laying out the basics that people are expecting with the melody from 0:10 to 0:40, the little saxophone bits in between the melody that are pure arrangement are pretty nice. Once the next part of the source melody comes into play with the switchup at 0:45, I had a problem with the dissonant notes being used. I didn't feel that the notes were changed "for the sake of changing the notes", but compared to the major key style of the melody you began with, they really clashed with the sound you started off with. It gets easier to not have a problem with upon repeated listening. Also, I know the feel of the song was supposed to be different as compared to earlier, but some more velocity on the trumpets and sax from 0:45 to 1:03 would have made them seem more natural sounding, as the notes seemed to end a little abruptly.

As a fan of SuperGreenX using the bongos, I liked the mini-section from 1:08 to 1:25, although again, the horns/trumpets from 1:16 to 1:25 had notes that just didn't match the major key feel that the main melody has. I'm no musician, but my ear just doesn't go for that stuff.

2:00 had an even more impressive bongo section, and while it wasn't 100% natural sounding, it's hard to program them that way, so I was still appreciative of what went into it. 2:21 segues into pure arrangement (those these synth piano notes are very sparse sounding) and while I'm down with that, a few notes felt out of place from 2:39 to 2:42 as the track got fuller once again. Kinda nitpicky, but the little things stick out. Otherwise, I really enjoyed the sixteenths from 2:48 to 2:51, and working in some of "Jingle Bells" from 2:56-3:00, since it gelled very well with the mix and the Christmasy feel it had. The cymbals from 3:00 until the end sounded very fake (though I'm not a big fan of cymbal usage, since it's so hard to get cymbals to sound good if they're not live), as well as the little horn toots that finished the mix off, since they were in some very high octaves (and I guess a little more exposed).

Overall this was pretty well done, and I'm a fan of Joshua's stuff, even if my knowledge of it's limited to "Where Destiny Meets". I thought that some of the notes here didn't vibe well within the broader sense of the mix, but it pretty much achieved both the Kenny G and Christmas styles that Josh was going for. I thought sleigh bells would have worked a lot better here instead of the tambourine to convey more of that holiday feel, but as an instrument they may have been hard to work alongside of a jazz setting, I wouldn't be sure. I enjoyed the second half of this one more than the first half, if only because more original arrangement aspects were featured there, so when I had a problem with some of the notes, it wasn't as strange sans the comparison to Frappe Snowland.

on 2004-01-24 11:21:35

I honestly think there is nothing really wrong with the chords. I actually enjoy the way they are as is, and gives a more creative feel to me.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Mario Kart 64 (Nintendo , 1996, N64)
Music by Kenta Nagata
"Frappe Snowland/Sherbet Land"

Tags (4)

Electric Piano,Saxophone
Usage > Winter Holiday

File Information

3,193,453 bytes


8-bit Jazz Heroes - Press Start
View All

Latest Albums

View All

Latest ReMixes