ReMix:EarthBound "Brainshock" 3:26

By aluminum

Arranging the music of one song...


Primary Game: EarthBound (Nintendo , 1994, SNES), music by Hirokazu Tanaka,Hiroshi Kanazu,Keiichi Suzuki,Toshiyuki Ueno

Posted 2007-01-06, evaluated by the judges panel

I'm writing this after coming home from this year's MAGFest, which has been an amazing opportunity to meet many members of the game arrangement community face-to-face whom heretofore I knew only by pseudonym. Caught amazing performances by Arm Cannon and Powerglove, an inspired-if-belated set from Shael, and, yes, even had a beer with Mustin and Mr. Kaufman. I'm actually in a bit of a rush to head back and catch Wave Theory, but I wanted to post something during MAGFest to commemorate OCR's first "official" attendance/participation.

Continuing in the now downright spooky trend of ReMixers from days of yore returning to mix again comes aluminum, with a kickin' Earthbound mix. The lightweight metal frequently used in aircraft writes:

"Well, it's certainly been a while since I last submitted anything (way back in 07/2004). In order to get back into practice, I thought I'd finish off this Earthbound mix I had started some time ago before being sidetracked by a few hardware failures and a certain MMO which shall not be named. The most time probably went into some of the details, like the sequencing on the hi-hat line near the end, which I'm pretty happy about. Stylistically, it's pretty much all over the place (as usual)."

How many WIPs has WoW laid creative devastation to with its apparently nicotine-trumping level of addiction? The world shall never know. Fortunately, this ain't one of them, and you get some excellent, ethereal-yet-funky electronica to brighten up your weekend. This really is all over the place, but so is Suzuki as a composer, so it's fitting. You've got assorted electronic percussion mixed with acoustic percussion, acoustic and electric piano, ambient new age synths, mellow sections, groovy sections, funky sections, and more. While there's great instrumental and even stylistic variation, none of it seems pasted in or incongruous. Andy writes:

"Wow, some really neat sound design things going on in this mix. I liked aluminum's other stuff and it seems to me that he has only improved. Neat rhythmic gating and stuttering effects, nice non-traditional pads, what sounds like vocoding or formant filtering... man, just props all around on the creative production end. Goes without saying that the arrangement is strong too. I don't think it's liberal at all. The chord progression primarily locks it in, comparing the two side by side I don't think anyone would have trouble figuring it out. Certainly once the melody is showed off, it's not hard. E.Piano is a little harsh but hey, RHODES baby, RHODES!!!"

I was always a WURLITZER!!! man myself, but when it's as gritty and warm and articulate as it is here, the model and make are tertiary in importance. I agree with zircon that this is aluminum's best mix yet; it's very accessible while not being orthodox in the slightest, which is a tricky balance, and it's got an equally tuned balance of soloing to groove passages. It doesn't hurt that the production, while loud, is rock solid. Great stuff; here's hoping aluminum stays in the game and gives us more like it, and here's hoping MAGFest stays in Northern Virginia so I can see more of y'all out here next year.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2018-05-02 14:34:04

Absolutely incredible track that defies any classification :) Pretty interesting intro with that ambience that slowly drags you in, which suddenly turns into hip-hop with a touch of Middle-Eastern vibe, and it also turns into something else, and this chain of transformations doesn't even stop until this track ends! The part @1:31 is really different from the rest of the track, but ironically this is what I consider the highlight of this tune. Especially digging how the brass, EP and somewhat industrial-ish percussion work together. Very good job!

on 2010-04-29 09:43:42

I heard this source for the first time a few days ago actually. It was love at first listen. I actually forgot the monkey but I absolutely hated going back to get him mostly because this song stops playing.

Color me surprised when I find a remix on this song! And by one of my favorite remixers.

This has that aluminum feel to it. My only gripe is with a few of the samples, but it really doesn't bring the mix down that much.

on 2009-12-27 22:22:23

This plays with the textures a lot. Not so much as to cross a line and be annoying to listen to, but more than enough as to make the listener entertainingly dizzy. The listener really gets taken for a ride on this one. This just a fun mix, a whole lot of things are going on.

on 2008-03-22 19:09:34

This is a great example of great sound selection really improving an already good track.

Very interesting how this one works. Melodically, it is incredibly sparse, but it seems to be full enough to never feel thin. The beats are great, and and pads + strings and brass are a great combination.

Overall this is a great way to handle a more atmospheric track. Nice splashes of melody throughout, and a great build.

Great work. :-)

on 2007-02-15 16:30:58

This song sounds like it could fit right in the game. Very good, very good indeed.

on 2007-02-03 02:23:14

I wanted to go to bed, but after hearing this remix, it would have been morally wrong for me to remain silent and not comment.

With that said...fantastic track! This was a great source track too, but the creativity that went into the remix is something that must be recognized, IMO. I absolutely loved it! Fun beat, great dramatic effects, great balanced use of electronic sounds, never boring, good stuff! Absolutely iPod-worthy.

Okay, now I can sleep. :)

on 2007-01-18 14:23:33

The song begins with an ambient feel, repeating it and slowly gaining momentum, so that finally by the 00:41 mark, you have nice drums synths added into the mix. Then the Ambient feel takes a first seat, only for harder sounds to arrive around 1:15. The music becomes more isolated at 1:31, and this is where I would easily say the song is at its best. But right after that, 1:50, a smooth, calming piano sound takes your brain for a ride. This piano lasts throughout a large portion of the song. The song slows down once again at 2:40, only to pick up similarly to how it began. This Remix is simple and fun to listen to. At 3:08, the music slows and allows you to listen to it as if nothing happened if you have it on a loop. The song begins smoothly, and such is how it ends. Be sure to check out aluminum's first ReMix in over two years, here, at OverClocked ReMix. It truly is a gem.

on 2007-01-17 04:02:13

Did go a little quick, however, it's the first Earthbound song that I've actually liked! So maybe straying from the source wasn't so bad after all! Good work!

on 2007-01-16 18:25:11

Really wasn't my thing. It wasn't bad.. but a little too abrupt for me. I had more difficulty finding the musical relevance to actual game's music than other Earthbound remixes that have been made and that was a bit of a set-back for me.

Overall though, it wasn't bad, just not my taste.

on 2007-01-14 20:12:04

Great song, everything fits well together, it's an unorthodox track, but it connects very well. I do feel that it was too short though, it just faded out when I was expecting more. But I guess that's how the original was too.

on 2007-01-09 07:18:08

Very cool, this seems like it could go on for plenty minutes more, time just flew by. Still, kinda loops nicely! Love those rhythmic pads, they fit with the drums really well. Slightly abrasive, but this mix is smoooooth. Have to disagree about the section at 1:31, it's an awesome little section, love that rhythm.

on 2007-01-09 03:05:33

I wasn't too fond of the symphony hits at 1:31, too sharp and jarring, especially with the abrupt pauses. But everything else is liquid cool. Very slick synth work at 0:41. Recommended.

on 2007-01-08 20:24:40

This has got some major flow. It could use a bit more foreground, but I'll be adding that myself with my brand new DGX-220 Yamaha Keyboard that I'm too excited to finally own.

But enough about me. This mix lays down an awesome and fluxuating beat that weaves a psychedelic yet traceable course through the original song. Very Earthbound, and very good.

on 2007-01-08 11:28:10

Wow, I'm loving this. The dynamics are over the top. Very well done.

BTW, virt and DJP actually "shook hands." Way to go on a fresh start. I'd love to see the day Jake submits something here again...nah. Actually I'm kinda skeptical that's going to happen knowing him "personally."

Amayirot Akago
on 2007-01-07 06:05:05

Aluminum rocks my socks. Whether it's Trigun, Doom, or even a game I've never played before, he always makes some great tunes. But I agree on the too short thing.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
EarthBound (Nintendo , 1994, SNES)
Music by Hirokazu Tanaka,Hiroshi Kanazu,Keiichi Suzuki,Toshiyuki Ueno

Tags (5)

Hip Hop

File Information

5,027,812 bytes


8-bit Jazz Heroes - Press Start
View All

Latest Albums

View All

Latest ReMixes