When I think Italo-Disco I mainly think of Gigi D'Agostino, whom Disco Dan introduced me to on our ill-fated journey to NYC many moons ago, but there's linkage back to bands like New Order, whom newcomer Robbie Sabo, alias AkumajoBelmont, cites in his submission email:
"It's an 80's inspired piece, and it's EXTREMELY reminiscent of classic 80's groups like New Order etc.... With this track, i was originally going to have vocals in place of the familiar Drac's Castle melody... however... things like this can make or break a song, and such, i decided against them. The mixing style is, i'm sure you will agree, completely 80's. An era where the electronic music genre was finding it's feet, and i hope i've captured that imperfect feeling within this track.
Rarely do we get submissions from artists professing to have aimed for imperfection, but I think if you're familiar with the genre you'll know what he means. It's the same sort of charm The Velvet Underground consciously strove for with low-fi recordings back in the day. Here, Akumajo B. applies it to Castlevania SotN, one of the best Castlevanias ever (and fairly undercovered) and comes up with a catchy, kitschy, somewhat campy mix that's nevertheless carefully constructed and which succeeds at emulating the style in question - very overtly, with a man-machine voice directly informing us of the chosen genre in the intro. We don't really have to take his word for it, but thankfully his statements prove true. Orchestra hits are used - and you have no idea how rare this is - tastefully and appropriately. They happen to be a staple of the genre, sure, but given how often I've heard orchestra hits used, abused, and spattered over mixes like blood in a slasher flick, it's refreshing to hear them pop up in a more conducive context. Think Pet Shop Boys' cover of "Always on my Mind" for reference. Shariq invokes Zemeckis' protagonist with his spin:
"Yeah, orch hits could have been punchier and meatier, but I really like what's going on here. It's got a nice beat and you can dance to it. If that's good enough for Marty McFly, that's good enough for me. Anyway, percussion gets the job done nicely with enough change ups to keep things interesting. There could have been less reiteration throughout, but it wasn't a mix killer; it works."
Pretty much; certain genres like trance and yes, Italo-Disco, rely inherently on repetition, though there's clearly room (and call) within that framework for substantial variation and creativity, which Sabo herein applies. It's not an artistic powerhouse of a mix, nor does it break the technique-o-meter or conceptually awe, but it's well-executed fun and should be enjoyed by those who're into the self-consciously saccharine and musically hedonistic land of 80's electronica. Count me in.
on 2011-11-05 23:50:16
I really dig this one, I like the heavy 80's influence. A good listen.
on 2010-06-15 09:19:45
This is Zohan approved!
No really. I like it, except for the repetitious vocals. makes me wanna bob my head to the side in time with the rhythm...
on 2009-09-29 12:10:09
Honestly l love playing this early in the morning for some strange reason.
on 2009-03-24 09:58:16
My favorite track from possibly one of the best OSTs ever, this is pretty great stuff. I hate the vocal samples, but the rest is so strong, i can't help but love it. The style is so different, and there are a lot of rhythmic changes, but what really was great about the source remains intact, and is well showcased. Some really cute homages to some well known 80's songs as well.
If the vocal samples were gone, i'd say it was perfect, but I can see how they lend charm and authenticity to the whole mix. Even with them, it's great, and a whole lot of fun. Nice work.
on 2008-11-09 20:06:45
Haha, awesome! I was thinking of doing a New Order-styled mix because I didn't think there were any on this site and chanced upon this one in the Remix Roulette. This is pretty much what I wanted to do, so thanks for this, dude. Love those Blue Monday kick drum references.
on 2008-07-03 07:29:27
This mix goes against everything I stand for in ReMixes, but I love it anyway.
on 2007-10-31 18:05:01
This track is really amusing. It borrows heavily from New Order and Pet Shop Boys and I'm loving it!
on 2006-10-01 07:16:53
So i was thinking, "how cool would it be to make an electronica remix of Dracula's castle from SotN." i kept thinking of how it might go, then i found this, which put any previous ideas i had to bed. this remix rocks. well done 8/10
on 2005-06-26 23:29:34
Terrific remix AkumajoBelmont! Keep going!
on 2005-05-09 22:04:27
I saw this listed under SotN, and I had to hear it, mainly because I wasn't familiar with anything remotely named as such from the in-game OST. The robot-voice, synth drums, orch hits, and such in the first 30" was an excellent method of hyping this piece up. The next 29" really began to set the mood. It was at 59" that I fell in love with piece. The entrance music for SotN is my favorite game music in all of the Castlevania series, closely followed by that of the Catacombs in CotM. This remix definately does justice to the original. I could listen to it all day if I had to.
on 2005-05-08 18:44:15
Sounds too sampled to be Italo Disco...
Remember...it's Casio CZ-101, not Ensoniq EPS16+!
on 2005-04-18 06:28:56
I was kind of hoping to see a nice mix of "Requiem of the Gods" for SotN, but I'll settle for this. I agree, punchier orchestral hits, distorted guitar is a little TOO imperfect, but still fun song The robot voice just makes me BWAHAHA!
on 2005-04-09 16:33:24
To convert the very subbtle harmonies of this original tune in a disco remix was very daring. At the first listenning, I didn't really like it because I felt the music was too rich for this genre wich emphazises more on the rythms than on the melody. But, after I started to like it. It add a little more strenght that the original laked. And the few extrapolations, for example in the intro, are very good , they fit with the original and they stand by themselves too.
I must add, that in my opinion, the original theme is one of the best ever composed for video game.
on 2005-04-09 11:53:25
ha ha You summarized my review, Kadosho!
I'm diggin' this one! I'll hand it to a Top Dogg Entertainment DJ at their next place I'll attend.
Woops. Maybe the title won't sit with them since they're play only contemporary Christian rap and rock.
on 2005-04-01 08:31:06
80's trip anyone? dang i cant stop listening to this!
I'm hooked to the song.
Awesome job AkumaJoBelmont!
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (Konami, 1997, PS1)
Music by akiropito, Jeff Lorber, Michiru Yamane, Rika Muranaka, Tomoko Sano, Tony Haynes
- "Dracula's Castle"
- Electronic, Synth
- 6,515,383 bytes
- Size: 6,515,383 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 4c88dffd98682f21cab62d4935ee380a
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