ReMix:Super Metroid "Energy Tank" 4:24

By Matt Drouin

Arranging the music of one song...

"Brinstar - Red Soil Wetland Area"

Primary Game: Super Metroid (Nintendo , 1994, SNES), music by Kenji Yamamoto (I), Minako Hamano

Posted 2005-08-16, evaluated by the judges panel

And now, continuing tonight's late night theme of accessible, rather direct techno, newcomer Matt "i'm not creative enough to think of a remixer name" Drouin gives us some kickin', deceptively direct Super Metroid electronica. He writes:

"This mix was started out pretty randomly, I was messing around trying to come up with various intro techniques for a trance song, and then the song from the brinstar section of super metroid randomly popped into my head and I was like "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH"...... well actually it was more like "hey maybe I should incorperate that melody into this beat somehow" or something. There may be somethings i could have done to this to make it better but all in all i'm pretty satisfied with the way it turned out."

Sounds vageuly similar to the creative process on a couple mixes I've done, where things started off as the structure for an original piece but ended up mutating into a game remix because things just fit right. The general split in the panel over this mix was whether the arrangement was too liberal; usually the problem is exactly the opposite, arrangements that don't change enough, but some felt that Metroid was too obscured in the trance framework and didn't play a pivotal enough role. Judge analoq, who we all can accept as the ultimate, irrefutable, godlike authority on these matters, since his name is after all one consonant away from "analog", provides his two cents:

"...i don't find the arrangement too liberal. let me break it down...
- right from the start (:16) we've got that recognizable background motif from brinstar.
- the remixer uses this on top of a long build section which includes some choir sounds (:30) that seem reminiscent.
- we get a break (1:16), then the build goes on further and we catch a glimpse of the 'B section' melody in the background (1:30).
- this all builds to the 'main' brinstar theme (2:20) and we are delighted with a driving new chord progression for it. (i agree the decay-modulated synth in this section gets a little cluttered when in full swing at around the 3 minute mark)
- the climax finishes off (3:08) and we get a cameo of the main metroid theme (3:20)
- finally we end with an interpretation of the 'B section' melody on piano. nice!"

It's certainly not as direct coverage as some might be used to, but Super Metroid is a rather amorphous soundtrack to begin with, and this can be thought of as applying Impressionist techniques to trance so as to effect a beat-driven, danceable Super Metroid amalgam. It doesn't hurt that production is smooth, with solid mixing, a peculiar + charming little piano-and-orchestra ending, a good variety of synths and application of ambient effects, attention to panning, and trance-o-matic, gradated filtering. There's also variety of the percussive sort, with drums doing some more interesting business around 1'52", even if some of the claps used in the meat-and-potatoes sections are a little cheese wiz at times. Shariq says:

"I think the reverb in this piece is just right. Not too long of a decay, yet it conveys the feeling of expansiveness. Definitely a nice interpretation on the source material too. I mixed this piece myself, and I like what you did. This piece is pretty solidly constructed, IMO. Zyko mentioned the stretches; you've got some nice evolving lines in here that really make this a good upbeat chillout piece."

The panel split on this mix is really worth reading, as there were definitely diverging opinions and arguments with merit on either side. I took a listen, though, and after I closely mapped it back to the source, I concluded that I was pretty cool with what Matt had done from a standards perspective, that it wasn't amazingly more liberal than some of the mixes we've already got on the site, and that it was a rather creative, different approach to take. Metroid purists or those whose ears hear too much reverb may feel a bit differently, and electronica has really become a harder genre to judge consistently, but I don't think too many people will be disappointed with MD's work, and most will be digging the up-tempo yet decidedly chilled vibe.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2016-06-27 19:19:46

Super Metroid meets Extreme G/F-Zero/some other futuristic racer. I can hear the Extreme G bikes in the background while listening to this very loudly. :)

Love this mix. Simple, driving sounds, very pleasing and not obnoxious. Always get chills at 2:20 when everything kicks into high gear. I'm torn on the piano ending; it's not bad but I just don't think it belongs with the rest of the song. Probably still my fav Super Metroid remix.

on 2009-12-03 18:35:02

Wow, what a killer bassline! Wow, this one's really fun to listen to... the transition that OA pointed out is great and the section that immediately follows, where the source is most apparent, is also really catchy :-)

I'm pleasantly surprised by this! When I read "accessible techno remix" in the write-up, I subconsciously groaned and let out a "here we go again..." I'm glad to say this exceeded my expectations in almost every way!

on 2009-12-02 15:27:32

I never think of uptempo tracks when it comes to Metroid, so this was a big surprise to me, but though I don't often hear the source connection (though the included breakdown sure helped), it was a pretty rocking track. Some awesome syncopated beats around the 1:55 point, followed by an absolutely mindblowing transition to the next section. This is how it's done, folks.

Overall really driving and cool. Great work, and "I can't believe it's Metroid!"

on 2007-07-27 12:03:22

Really catchy. I love the synth textures, the pulsing beat, and the wonderful improvisation. The bass really gets me. Standard techno in the best way possible. Wonderful remix of the source material that brought me to OCR a long time ago...

And I love the piano ending. It's classy.

on 2006-08-25 17:07:18

Personally, I love this song. It's one of those songs that's good for working out or running because it has that "pump up" sort of feel.

If there's one thing I would change, I would make the piano melody that's present in the last few seconds of the song present throughout the entire piece.

Overall, I give this song a 9.5/10. It's perfect in almost every way, but still has room for some minor improvements.

on 2006-08-23 01:34:17

i had the part around 2:20 with the main theme stuck in my head all last week and couldn't think of which remix it was from, until i stumbled upon it again just now.

i really think thats the best part, and i wish there had been more development of it than just playing it in the theme once. maybe a shorter intro, then the highlight, then another developmental part and a return to the main section, then finishing after that. i think i just wish i could hear more of it without clicking back to the same spot over and over again =)

but thats just me.

on 2006-08-09 18:59:01

There are some pretty cool ideas here. The texture of the piece established a good metroid-ish atmosphere while still being danceable. I just didn't like the ending. It seemed relatively empty after the rest of the song had established such a dense atmosphere especially with all the bass, and I thought it was disappointing.

on 2005-10-02 15:51:58

It's cool that so much could be extruded from such a skimpy original. The trancy aspect was handled very well. The minimal thing in the middle didn't quite work tonally. But, hey, it's danceable and the piano at the end is purty. Overall an interesting interpretation.

Ruth Loose
on 2005-09-04 20:18:23

I can't stop listening to this mix either. High quality work that goes from adventure to action to resolution so adroitly. I can feel Samus attempting to survive this "boss battle" at first and then coming back to serve the alien all the pain the Chozos can dish out!

on 2005-09-01 23:57:30

I simply can't stand this song. It is the single most basic remix I've heard since I tried to do something! Who can honestly admit that listening to that sound you get from holding many keys on your keyboard for too long is good for a song. I just can't understand this.

Mega(C)Trigger X -SAL-
on 2005-09-01 20:05:49

I CANNOT Stop listening to this song. Props to the mixer

on 2005-08-31 16:06:29

I do have one addition to the previous post, now that a little time has past... my only complaint is that it is too short! Perhaps that's why some of the people think the mix is boring - because there is a lot of what could be considered intro and comparatively there isn't much of a body to the song. As I see it, the body of the song is at 2:20 and ends slightly before 3:10. I remember someone saying that this would be great as a Metriod live-action version of a battle scene or something, and it really works well in this light. If it were to be a standalone track, that portion from 2:20 to 3:10 should be expounded upon. My original opinion still stands, though. I want more stuff like this! :) Ja ne!

on 2005-08-29 23:12:06

Awesome mix! I didn't feel that it was too liberal, especially since the main flute-ish theme comes in once the original material is developed. I might be the only one saying this, but I think the bassline worked really well, as it effectively drove the beat forward.

DJ Riott
on 2005-08-29 04:33:38

A wonderful addition to the Metroid mixes here at OC. I read the Judges Decision on this and was overwhelmed with pros and cons, but I think that the production was solid and it wasn't too liberal at all. This would be my first pick for an action scene in a Metroid movie. Great Track

on 2005-08-28 19:05:22

So I beat Prime 2 Echoes just the other night and I know it doesn't really relate, but it's been making me think about Super Metriod again.. gotta break out the SNES again and try to beat my old time. Always loved the Brinstar theme, and this was a great rendition and variation of it! Awesome work, I want more! :D

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Super Metroid (Nintendo , 1994, SNES)
Music by Kenji Yamamoto (I),Minako Hamano
"Brinstar - Red Soil Wetland Area"

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