Landstalker finally graces us with its isometric greatness, courtesy of resident panel eccentric extraordinaire, Samuel Ascher-Weiss, perhaps better known as Shnabubula. Again utilizing an unorthodox style that juxtaposes disparate, sometimes even sub-par samples with more elegant, intricate textures, and featuring very tight, quickly adaptive sequencing, Sam's come up with something that's just... different. Listen to a single, small excerpt of it and you might tend to be dismissive, but taken as a whole, structures like this breathe with equal parts creativity and schizophrenia. Brandon offers:
"The bass-play at 0:57-1:20 is chilled magic. Throughout the track the bass is alive with variation and it’s wonderful to follow it as it takes the lead, then morphs into almost a supporting pad then is reborn with a the cleanest of funky slap styles. It meshes well with the seemingly endless array of other sounds that laugh in the face of repetition. One would think that with this many elements present clutter would be inevitable but the hard panning, distinctive EQ on each instrument, sparse reverb and variety of textures keeps the entirety of this mix as clear as a bell…a clear bell anyway…not a busted bell or something."
You've got filtered wah synth zaniness with JAZZ FLUTE, more heavily verbed 70's style synth lead, a slap bass that seems to duet with itself, bass panned right and upper-octave harmonized melody on the left... and that's just the first minute and a half. Sam just has weird, crazy musical ideas that he somehow pulls off, there's no other way to put it, or at least nothing more eloquent yet concise comes to mind. Actually, Jesse did a better job:
"Sam is doing a great service to the community by serving up such unconventional yet entertaining tracks. He challenges listeners to think about music in new ways, using near chaos to hilight convergent harmony. Great stuff."
If you don't have the palate for Shna's stuff and have already come to that conclusion for yourself based on past precedent, this won't be a revelation or deal-breaker, but if like myself and Jesse you appreciate his... I'd almost call it audacity, but we'll say "strangeness"... and find that it challenges your notions of what's "allowed" in terms of both arrangement and instrumentation - even if that's at the cost of accessibility/danceability/comprehensibility sometimes - then I think you'll dig this. Landstalker certain deserves such an opus, as one of the few great hurrahs of the action RPG on the Genesis. Rare, addictive, and... mineral? Sure, why not.
on 2014-04-19 11:22:32
Yes, this is a track to heart. :3
It's very chill, yet reminiscent of a journey or adventure, and just a bit alien sounding.
on 2011-12-27 05:43:58
It's interesting that the sound is getting flak in this thread - I've thought that this style of Shnab-sound is at its best in this particular tune. Everything is clear and airy, there's a huge amount of playful detail that is so much fun to listen to.. Of course much of this is due to the superbly lush, complex arrangement.. this isn't just the rollercoaster ride, this is pretty much the whole theme park crammed into a bit over four and a half minutes.
I've played Landstalker a bit, and seen it played a bit more. I think the spirit in this track does the fun and unique game a great justice.
on 2011-03-31 00:16:12
I can't even express my deep love for this song. I don't know another song to make me feel so physically every time. Not emotionally per say, just really stir a certain momentum in me.
What I look for in good music, specifically, is that it has a message, it doesn't bore me, it emotes, it puzzles, it involves, it progresses, it's original, it finishes making it's statement in a timely fashion without redundancy, and pleases all the way through. This is one of the few tracks that achieves and in fact exceeds in every category.
The only songs I have to compare it to AT ALL are Squarepusher's Boneville Occident and Aphex Twin's 54 Cymru Beats.
In the running for my personal top 10 songs of all time.
Thank you so much Sam.
on 2009-04-02 12:35:33
Some of the sections seem really minimalist, but the arrangement is so interesting that anything too dense would really make things impossible to hear. Great rhythmic ideas, and the interplay between instruments sounds awesome. I loved the section where it dropped out everything but keys and bass, both panned. It was a weird section, but it just really worked. Some of the woodwinds were a little naked as far as modulation it seemed, or it may have just been the samples, but it didn't really detract too much.
The playful ending is great.
This is a lengthy mix with a somewhat steep learning curve, but if you take the time to really listen to it, there's a lot of great ideas here, and it gets better with each listen.
on 2009-01-20 03:49:48
This song is so much win, love it. Just keep coming to it from time to time.
on 2008-12-04 03:51:14
Still an awesome track, doing what great mixes do: generating interest in the original soundtrack. I'd never heard of Landstalker before this one, but I became a big fan of the source tune after this one. Sam can pretty much secure my interest in any piece of video game music based on his ReMixes. He picks his tributes well.
on 2005-12-21 01:40:51
Not one but TWO people have quoted me in this thread?
I R t3h f4m05!
on 2005-08-12 17:50:17
Wow, Shnab, I heart you. I really do. Every mix you make, I just love unconditionally. This song is so quirky, I love it. This mix reminds me of one of my favorite games for the SNES, Big Sky Troopers. I want to call it goofy but at the same time, you could take it seriously. It's confusing.
...now I wonder what a Big Sky Troopers mix would sound like after it was passed through the Shnab Machine.
on 2005-08-11 06:28:28
Hot crackers! Well. This has a complexity and head-explosion capacity that befits the fiendishly difficult puzzles that are Landstalker's signature.
on 2005-08-07 17:05:46
FINALLY Landstalker gets a remix!! Took y'all long enough...
Afaik one more WIP from Usa is still in work. It's an piano-arrangement of "Treasure Hunter Lyle" (2nd Map Theme, Lyle's Theme). Currently it's just completed to 50% and it sounds really great.
And before I forget, the correct name of the Game is "Land Stalker". Anyone can read it in Romanji on the Soundtrack. ^^
on 2005-07-26 23:33:18
For those that don't know, it's the song that plays when the Island Map is displayed.
I started playing because of this mix... and DANG IT you're right!
How does a source tune so beautifully arranged and orchestrated get a part in the OST that's so small while such an annoying repetitive track gets stuck on the dungeon theme.
on 2005-07-25 22:11:15
The flute is awesome! Can't say anything about the bass that already hasn't been said, but the flute is really cool! That really made this track incredibly enjoyable for me.
on 2005-07-22 17:27:59
Good gravy, it's so fantastic.
What a beautiful song.
on 2005-07-22 15:54:59
Excellent remix... this is very much my style of music... random time signatures...random samples... like a remix on crack and acid at the same time. However, the remix is also very consistant in an abstact way... and leaves you wanting more. Shnabubula you have gained a loyal fan, I can't wait to hear your next work.
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole (Sega, 1993, GEN)
Music by Motoaki Takenouchi
- "Mysterious Island"
- Synth, Woodwinds
- 4,581,540 bytes
- Size: 4,581,540 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 7b95b7c01620157dc6fc3f7b8a146dda
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