ReMix:Ghosts'n Goblins "Wanka Factory" 2:55

By Shael Riley

Arranging the music of one song...

"Flat Area BGM (1 . 2 Stages)"

Primary Game: Ghosts'n Goblins (Capcom , 1986, NES), music by Ayako Mori

Posted 2005-04-30, evaluated by the judges panel

There are incontrovertible and mysterious laws governing our universe which dictate that it can only contain a single Shael Riley at any given point in time - something that allows all of us to sleep more soundly at night, to be sure, but also a credit to his wholeness and oneness of being, so to speak. For better or worse. It's been two and a half odd years since Shael last graced our halls, a fact which he croons lamentably yet musically about in a lovely original self-deprecatingly titled "World's Worst Drum Programmer" that I had the pleasure of enjoying awhile back. In one line of the lyric, herein negated, Shael sings "and they don't post my ReMixes anymore" - so, one has to wonder, was this a successful illustration of reverse pscyhology, or does his finally-approved-by-the-panel GnG ReMix cut the mustard? To answer the question of whether Shael truly has a golden ticket and bears gobstoppers that indeed last forever, we need to take a step inside his Wanka Factory and do a little exploring - all euphemisms reconciled at the reader's own risk... First thing to note is that this is a collab with Compyfox, who pulled his usual assist on the engineering/production side of things. One thing I'll say about Compy is that, when I've been privy to the before and after results of tracks he's helped out on, his contributions invariably do make the mix stronger, crisper, and cleaner. He's mixing the mixes - he's actually churning the mixes! This is a strange little track which attempts to blend hip-hop, electronica, and various samples from soon to be Tim Burton-ized Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. It ends up reminding me at times of Cibo Matto's "Candyman", a similarly irreverent construction which also drinks from the lore of Roald Dahl's celluloid interpretation. With a glassy glide lead, ensemble strings, heavy beats (which incidentally dethrone Riley from contention for world's worst drum programmer), an orchestral break down at 1'21", and most conspicuously a last minute that as previously mentioned quotes the great Gene Wilder at will in addition to some seemingly random words that begin with "T" (because hey - why not??), it does actually work pretty well, and I again think back to Cibo who play around with vocal samples in a similar fashion quite often. Mr. Riley revised this several times, with feedback from judges and myself, so it's been in the works for awhile. The final product is considerably more polished and artistically cohesive, but there's things like the vocal samples that are really a matter of personal preference - you're either cool wit 'em or not. I think they're at least well-implemented here, and contribute to the playfulness of the overall vibe. Quoth zircon:

"...there are a lot of strong points here. Very interesting uses of effects and soundclips, for instance, and the layering of the different instruments changes rather than repeating again and again (which, given the simplicity of the original, could have easily happened). The overall production is solid, and the arrangement is certainly strong."

With Shariq adding:

"The synths in this piece have a nice balance; they lock together quite nicely. You would think that with all the stuff going on stuff would sound messy, but it doesn't.

Oh man Gene Wilder; wtf awesome. XD"

Wonkabiased? Perhaps - you be the judge. It's certainly a different take on a well-known theme, it certainly represents a strong revision process that also benefitted from collaboration, and it certainly contains that essence, that nature, that effervescence that can only come from a man who wrote a song about how Link smells like his parts. Good stuff.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2009-12-22 14:57:57

dang a lot of text in the reviews for this one, so in order to not overfill the thread, i'll just say it was pretty good.

ella guro
on 2009-12-05 04:32:46

Quite a review thread here.

This one ain't doin' it for me. Good ideas, but I feel like the mixing could use some work. I think some of the sounds are kinda thin and could be more well chosen, and I also think those damn orchestra hit violins are kinda mechanical and overused.

I like some of Shael's other mixes too...I think here it just sounds less inspired. Like he's deliberately trying to do something of a particular genre but he doesn't quite get there. So it sounds like kind of an approximation of that style, where you can hear what the ideas are trying to be, but they're never quite executed well enough to get there.

With "Technomancy" I felt like he was just having fun with what he had and used his sounds really well, and I like it a lot because of that. With this mix it sounds like he's trying to do something more epic and respectable and it just feels like a crude approximation of epicness rather than what it wants to be.

I'm gonna ramble a little bit since this thread already has some of it: sometimes it seems like people are encouraged to make a certain kind of music, even when it goes against their instincts. I love OCR and video game music but I can't help feel like I'm insane when I listen to something that I feel is kind of uninspired and everyone else seems to really dig it. I think people always interpret non-positive comments about something as an attack, but to me it seems just better to take comments about the music at face value. I want people to grow, I want to hear them doing something interesting and fun and original, and I don't want to feel like they're just trying to make the kind of music that they think will make them more respected. I'm not necessarily saying that applies to this mix, just I don't think people should shy away from constructive criticism. It doesn't have to be about ego at all as long as people don't make it about that.

on 2009-01-20 18:45:40

It sounds like a some weird possessed techno circus. almost.

The clips from Willy Wonka were a nice, if quasi-creepy, touch.

Definitely not a bad mix.

on 2005-12-29 18:37:59

Shael, gimme some more of that shimmy-soft synth rock.

Or horror hip-hopesque beats. Whatever the hell it may be.

on 2005-05-06 02:52:41

I love remixes of horror type beats and this one was really nice and creative in my opinion!

It's good to stay away from the repeating loops of sounds and added beats like some remixers do.

It's just sweet all around!

You can always learn somthing if your not too careful.
on 2005-05-05 00:53:12

In so many parts of the song I just wanted to just bust out rapping! If only I were any good at freestyle I would sing to the song but I ain't so I guess I'm outta luck... I seriously think this song would be perfect for some freestyle vocals over top like say come in with a pick up at 0:39. Am I the only one who's thinking this?!

on 2005-05-03 20:30:08

And when I use reason I only find samples that dont help me 8O o well nice song, I like it alot, simple but fun

on 2005-05-03 12:06:34

this song rules... cool20.gif

ella guro
on 2005-05-02 17:03:55
Also - i'm positive that certain people with certain opinions wouldn't feel that way if they were judges. What better way to show that the judges are inept than heavily criticizing an accepted song? And how ironic that the artist has himself been critical of the judging process?

Dunno if this part is supposed to be a jab at me and the thread about the judges I made awhile ago, but if it is I'd like to say that it's a pretty erroneous conclusion to draw. I talked to Gray about this mix right after he voted in the panel, and I told him that despite my problems that I mentioned with the mix, I still would've voted "YES" on it if I were him.

That being said, if I write a review of a mix, it's implied that everything I say in the review is my opinion (and I find it annoying and redundant to say "but that's just my opinion"). No one in this community is the ultimate authority, so I certainly am not and I'm not claiming to be. You also have to understand that I'm going to be more harsh on something that's been accepted onto OCR, because the review forums generally garner a lot of praise and not much else, so I want to present my opinion on things. Whether other people consider them to be valid or not is completely up to them. Obviously saying the the rearrangement was "annoying" was an opinion, and I didn't expect anyone to think otherwise of it, because using a word like "annoying" that you can't exactly prove suggests that it's an opinion.

As far as the "personal vendetta" stuff, I don't know where you're coming from with that. I find Shael to be incredibly irritating and unfunny and his campaign for judge equally as irritating and unfunny. But that doesn't carry over at all to a review of his mix, and I'm a little insulted that someone would think it does. It's not like I'm going through and reviewing each of his mixes saying "this sucks". I like to see people improve regardless of how I feel about them personally, and I still think Shael has a lot of problems (a lot of which can be fixed using something like Reason to it's capability) that neither him or Compy are willing to acknowledge, or even respectfully disagree with.

And the panel thing? Did you even understand what the thread was about that I made? What would I gain from posting in this thread criticising this mix only out of personal vendetta and "to make the panel look bad"? The better question is, why would I care about proving the panel wrong and why would anyone else care that I had a dissenting opinion? If you connect the dots, you'll see that none of it makes any sense.

Anyway, this is assuming that was directed towards me. It's too vague and veiled an attack for me really know if it's specifically talking about one person or more than one person. If you have any issues with something I write, please PM me and you can sort whatever out with me you need to sort out.

But for God sakes, don't do it here. It's bullshit to try to spend my time figuring out what I did to piss someone off and if they're making an attack at me or not. It hurts more than it helps, it makes more things vauge than it clears up, and you should know better. The only irony in this is that someone who's accusing others of being pathetic is making a lot of pathetic accusations. Do the math, talk to me, and don't make up shit.

on 2005-05-02 16:39:14

I agree with my mom, who said, "Oh my, are you listening to that ethnic music again?" Just kidding, I don't have a mom. Am I at 200 yet?

on 2005-05-02 13:25:47

it is ok. i agree, the words are kind of different.

on 2005-05-02 11:07:59

I didn't flame Gray, dammit. He's a friend if mine so why should I? I only commented his opinion that was a bit off (didn't I say partially in my last post?! I guess I said something like that!), told what work was put into and that I do not agree with certrain comments that were made. I mean this mix was over 2 years (including waiting times on OCR) in the making and Shael asked me to help out in the end. Now all are like "suck! next track please - gimme something more creative" as if they're "gods at (re)mixing".

I also wrote that this mix has issues too. Even though I did some work on it but I can only "fix issues" if I get a good root material for my editing. And now the critism is all like "oh man just SFTU and stop flaming Gray" what I really can't believe. Now I'm the bad guy that tried to show off as "uber-mixer". Thanks again, tells me not to comment a remix anymore.

But oh well... like Danny B. said if you want LA productions, you're totally wrong here (even though this mix works perfectly on the air). This mix is obviously a joke remix and aimed at that. But I guess you're already too spoiled with highend standards, trance, orchestra and piano material. But then again you're mad at the panel if your mix doesn't get posted. Shael showed endurance and worked on the track... And it got posted, even with issues. Can you show that much patience too?!

In the end... it's just music. But the last posts showed me that making music can be an outragous (profilation) war too.

on 2005-05-02 10:49:08

Messed up man. Glad too. There's not enough crazy stuff round here. I mean it kind of makes you ask why? But then again why not, right? Trippy, all that needs to be said for those who hear it.

danny B
on 2005-05-02 05:15:48

I see a lot of pointless bitching here, and a lot of bleeding-heart propaganda serving several different persuasions. My feelings on this song are outlined in the judgement, and I don't think it's necessary to state them again.

But i'm seeing people write criticisms along the lines of "I don't like how your snare drum sounds, so the mastering sucks". This thread has been about 10% constructive and 90% self-serving personal-vendetta bullshit. You CANNOT tell me that this mix doesn't contain an appreciable amount of originality, style, and effort. I'd like to paraphrase djp in saying that sometimes a tune is not served by a flawless LA production job. Also - i'm positive that certain people with certain opinions wouldn't feel that way if they were judges. What better way to show that the judges are inept than heavily criticizing an accepted song? And how ironic that the artist has himself been critical of the judging process?

I'm seeing a bunch of undeserved criticism of graylightning as well. More pointless personal vendettas. Anyone who has talked to Gray for more than 5 minutes knows that he is a wonderful human being. I don't see how anyone can even construe his conduct as being hurtful or spiteful. Again, ridiculous behavior by disenfranchised individuals.

It's a bunch of bullshit - and serves no purpose here. At the risk of losing my own post, i'd hope that the mods delete all the irrelevant posts. Behave yourselves - quit acting like such miserable little shits, and get back to enjoying the reason you should be here. The Music.

To quote the brilliant Gene Wilder, "Good DAY, Sir!".


on 2005-05-02 00:32:37

I gotta say the first thing that stuck out to me is that the drums are way too squashed in my opinion. Too much compression. The snare sounds weak to me. It sounds like someone slapping a wet towel on the floor and not a snare gettin smacked. The midrange of the snare has been eq'ed out which also adds to the lack of punch. I don't like the kick sample either. The rest of the song is pretty funky stuff. Good bassline. Enjoyable arrangement. Some of the synths are weaksauce. The drum programming is pretty decent. Ayayay.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Ghosts'n Goblins (Capcom , 1986, NES)
Music by Ayako Mori
"Flat Area BGM (1 . 2 Stages)"

Tags (3)

Hip Hop

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