It's a well-accepted fact that anyone who plays a real X68000, or even plays an X68K emulator, instantly becomes ten times cooler - at least in the world of Japanese gaming fandom, and especially if you're talking Konami, who released quite a few titles for the Japanese computer platform, including the initial version of Castlevania Chronicles, which was eventually ported to PSX. Our first X68K ReMix comes from none other than Shnabubula, aka Samuel Ascher-Weiss, who continues his stream of impressive, idiosyncratic artistry, now moving into Transylvanian fare. So we all knew Samuel was a cool bloke, but he adds on to that rep by covering the X68K version instead of the more widely-known PSX incarnation, and covering it well. The ReMixer 'splains:
"I'd like to explain the title of this song. I'm afraid it might exceed the character limit though. Recently you had a submission called Xexyz 'Exizk'. It kind of looks like an anagram, but it's not really. I thought it would be funny if I could come up with an anagram for: 'Akumajo Dracula Chronicle' and what I got was: Mucho Dollar Care a Junk CIA. [if this title is too long, the original title for this song was sandstorm, and you can use that instead]I loved the Akumajo Dracula Chronicle soundtrack for the X68000 and I hated the PSX Version. This will be my last submission in a while because I need to really beef up my practicing [I've been writing alot of remixes/originals so my practicing has been suffering]. It has been a pleasure!"
The pleasure's been all ours. Like Israfel's work, to me much of Shnabub's pieces sound like what would happen if you took the idea of game soundtrack arranging to an upper-level college course on music theory - technical, elaborate, challenging, and yet still polished. Binnie writes:
"But the good, and what invariably maks up for the lack of human element: the phrasing. It is both bold and very enjoyable. The acoustic guitar and flutes are very well paired to play off each other and keep the song rolling between dynamic peaks. The hand percussion is simple but seats the beat well."
While Larry took the time to complement the mixer's overall ouvre and pass on the best wishes:
"...in any case, I've got no issues here. Best of luck with the Chopin stuff you're working on, Sam. For the next six months or so, the community can enjoy your four OC mixes along with your other work"
Very cool piece - this is a game mix that, like Hunter's Community Chest, really ends up sounding like very little else I've ever heard, but still works. The integration of the acoustic guitar into the mix is key, and the phrasing, as several judges, is just cool. It harkens back to some of the crazier movie scores like North by Northwest or Touch of Evil with the instrumentation, esp. the very slick latin percussion. The filtering brought in at 2'04" - Samuel is fearless, tries all sorts of ideas that most arrangers, myself included, would dismiss as impossible to implement, and makes them work. Nothing, I mean nothing, else on OCR sounds like this. That's not a value judgment in and of itself as to it being "better" or "worse", but it what does tell you is that, for whatever it's worth, Shnabubula is not only prolific, but also manages to make difficult, highly conceptual arrangements fly. Hear's to hoping his Chopin studies are expedited as much as possible; probably my favorite piece of his work to date. Very sharp.
on 2013-04-08 15:05:49
Big favorite of mine. Weird but loveable sounds and a great arrangement.
EDIT (10/29/14): Sam was nice enough to link the source of the sampled vocals on YouTube, some spoken word clips from Chinese singer Miriam Yeung. It looks like it's from her 2002 EP, M VS M Part I.
on 2009-02-09 09:10:09
What a great mix. Out of the ordinary, of course, this is Snabubula after all, but I think its strangely accessable as well. Fast paced guitar + piano jazz blended up with a zesty Middle-Eastern flavour. That's the sort of craziness that just may work, and clearly does. Complex, asymmertical, unpredictable. Never change that approach and you'll be just fine, Snab.
on 2008-03-31 12:41:47
Very nice textures and ideas, though I almost wish it had a few more hooks in there to really grab my attention. I almost felt like it need some sections that were less rhythmically intense, and there were some nice melodic passages interspersed from the constantly subdivided one, specifically the short phrase where the synth and bass feature prominently.
I realize the need for such cut patterns with a mixed meter and a lack constant percussion to keep the flow (though when it is in there, the bongos are killer, and a mix highlight for me), but some interspersed legato licks would be nice.
Production is a bit mechanical, but overall not too distracting. Panning really helps this stay organized, it's be so hard to follow otherwise.
I dig this one quite a bit, but it would work best as a movement, surrounded by something a little smoother.
on 2006-07-09 19:28:16
I believe Shna creates some of the most complex arrangements in this site, if not THE most. Seriously, you can't predict what's around the next turn when you listen to one of his mixes. The sound textures are great for this piece, even though some are artificial-sounding. But it still have an improvisational feel to it.
on 2006-02-21 19:54:53
This came up in my playlist again just now, and every time a shna track comes through the list I try to hum along with it.
It makes each one 100 times more enjoyable. Try it.
on 2005-10-09 19:47:59
Hmm, this sort of reminds me of that escaping song from Super Metroid (the one that plays where you have to escape from the lab in the beginning).
Hearing this, made me interested in the x68000 and I decided to look for it. There isn't much English side support for it, so it was tough trying to get it set up. But after I found the correct files, it worked and I've noticed that it has some very nice music in it.
And basically, the gameplay is kind of Super Castlevania 4 and Castlevania combined, except the graphics are better than both, and the music is great.
I might be able to help guide peeps here on how to play it if they are interested.
on 2005-08-22 20:27:32
Nice Time Signature
Can I call you Boob?
on 2004-12-24 20:20:10
Agreed, harmony of dissonance. Somehow I fit this'd fit very well inside castlevania. Really.
on 2004-12-24 03:49:47
Sweet. 'Nuff said.
on 2004-12-24 02:03:09
MMmmmm nice tunage !
Being the Castevania remix that it is ,i must emphrasize the meaning of this song by three understandable words :
Harmony Of Dissonance
Good Work Shnabubula !
on 2004-12-23 16:07:44
This is truely different, in a good way tho, it's really nice and all. I got no problems with it. One more goes to my fav list.
on 2004-12-23 10:39:19
I don't like the oboe. It lacks the edge and pagan feel that most CastleVania music has. I'm also lukewarm to all the dissonant guitar/piano chords. It has too many notes!
on 2004-12-22 22:29:15
A very well done remix. Hope more tunes from Chronicles will be featured soon.
on 2004-12-22 17:28:55
Very melodic, and the rising pitches only accents the overall quality of it. I gotta say, I truly enjoy this - it seems to be a great effort with even better results.
on 2004-12-22 15:56:45
Wow. That's all I'm going to say for now.
EDIT: Okay, now that I've listened to it, I'll talk more. I like how the piano and strings are done. The composition is excellent.
I'm not too big on the filters involved, but I guess that's your style. It's not as wierd or interesting as Hunter's Community Chest, but it's still great. I like what you got going. Submit another.
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Akumajo Dracula (Konami, 1993, X68K)
Music by Hiroshi Kobayashi (I), Keizo Nakamura
- "Etude for the Killer"
- Experimental, Jazz
- Acoustic Guitar, Hand Drums, Piano, Strings, Woodwinds
- 3,574,265 bytes
- Size: 3,574,265 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 201c8c81dc8d2a04b39a2f4895c866d5
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