Newcomer Tweek, colloquially known as Brian Arnold, gives us our first coverage from the SNES's popular permutation of Pajitnov's puzzler Tetris. Brian writes:
"This is Bowser's theme from his stage in Tetris Attack. It is a remix of both his normal stage and his panic mode. The song is a mixture of percussion inspired from Tan Dun and orchestration from Klaus Badelt. I'm actually quite happy with how the fusion worked."
Interesting amalgam of influences; I added in links to IMDB specifically so you can check out each composer's oeuvre; Dun in particular I've been a fan of, even though Tiger should never beaten Gladiator for best soundtrack. He's got a very percussive style that's very particularly Eastern, and I think Arnold gets that completely, and succeeds in channeling it. This essentially sounds like the Tetris Attack source material if it had been written for a large Zhang Yimou / Gong Li epic with sweeping vistas, prolonged shots of the Forbidden City, and beautiful-but-impractical martial arts that eschew gravity. Seriously. Anyone into Asian cinema, particularly of the epic variety (see this film if you haven't, btw), has my back. Or should. Larry writes:
"Who are you and why haven't I heard of you before? The orchestration is excellent, the part writing sophisticated. Brian's got a really strong sense of dynamics here, varying both the instrumentation and intensity of the track many times over the course of the 4 1/2 minutes. The woodwinds from 1:50-2:15 were excellent, and I loved the brass and piano doing their own iterations of those phrases immediately afterward. Nice change in the intensity at 3:18, moving into the very active drums. The arrangement was relatively straightforward, but you see how Brian really built new ideas and phrases from the base of the original to really expand the piece."
Production's no slacker, but the arrangement here is where it's at - it's a novel approach, and results in a unique composition that simultaneously pays homage to Tetris Attack as well as Asian cinema, or at the very least its plethora of quality epic soundtrack work. Very smart, but also very enjoyable first sub from Tweek; definitely looking forward to future submissions.
on 2018-10-04 23:33:51
The transition from the normal version to the panic version made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. Very nice work!
on 2014-11-05 13:38:12
This is what I call a serious debut. The blend of eastern-inspired percussion and symphonic elements is genial. It just sounds like a piece from the OST of a film about war or other conflict. The section at 1:51 was very unexpected, but welcome. Love the flute. Very strong stuff.
on 2012-04-09 07:52:01
Woah, very out-of-left-field approach to this one. Always a good thing.
I liked the Eastern instrumentation a lot more than the grander, symphonic stuff just because the Eastern stuff sounded a little more authentic, or at least more distinct from similar, better samples out there today. Horns and strings didn't really sell me on the mix, whereas the woodwinds and percussion really did.
So it's definitely not a consistently impressive mix, and yet its perfectly competent and easy to listen to. I appreciate what's been done with tempo and arrangement, but this is ultimately a debut mix that fails to break through the ceiling of 'not-badness'.
on 2010-07-06 13:46:26
I literally yelled out "OH SHIT!" at 1:51
Great great stuff here.
on 2008-12-06 22:54:28
Hah, I'm such a sucker for Eastern-influenced orchestra work...
This one is great.
on 2008-06-02 13:04:27
The production on this is really nice, with several levels of texture , and plenty of space for them all to peek through. The sound is nicely balanced, and the space is well defined through panning. Some of the woodwinds and piano seemed to be a bit mechanical in regards to the velocity and could have been smoothed out, most noticeably the flute during it's 8th note run at 1:54, but that things sounded nicely organic. The layered percussion was excellent.
Interpretation was very strong and personalized, with some really good additions to the source. Theme and variations can oftentimes get drawn out, but everything here is kept exciting throughout the instruments, and the varied intensity is a big reason.
Ending was great, it was a very satisfying and exciting finish.
on 2007-03-28 23:01:03
I'm not actually farmiliar with the song, but I really like what you did, it's awesome!
on 2007-03-24 09:22:49
This was fantastic!
I'm a huge Tetris Attack/Panel de Pon fan (barely edged out the beloved darling in a best-of-9 brudge match yesterday) and when I saw that this was a remix of the final boss stage, I couldn't imagine how anyone could get anything out of the original music, which is very mediocre compared to the rest of the tunes in this game. But wow -- this really does have that ancient-China vibe going. Love it.
Now how about remixing the Phoenix (Magikoopa? First boss) and Selene (can't remember the TA name; lunar background) music? Those are great!
on 2007-03-03 16:54:32
Nice work. It really does have a movie-score-ish atmosphere to it, and I can definitely see why you would associate the music of the far east with it.
However, the first point I mentioned is also the song's weak point. Movie scores (usually) tend to stay in the background, improving the atmosphere. For a stand alone song, however, this doesn't really work.
What I want to say is that I really miss some kind of climax in this one. Which is really sad, considering that the drums had a lot of potential for some mad crescendo...
on 2007-03-03 14:51:12
But do I hear an incredibly overdriven FL keys organ at around 3:00-ish?
Considering this track was made in Reason, I doubt it. To be honest, I'm not even sure what you're referring to .
on 2007-02-20 18:38:36
Ahh, this bring back old memories. But this time, the music has grown up. You've turned it into something truly serious and suspenseful and you never let up as you continue to build your idea up to 3:15 where things really pick up. This sounds like something straight out of a good RPG dungeon where you explore and finally get to the boss battle.
Great work and don't stop mixing!
on 2007-02-20 02:13:25
I remember despising the music to Tetris Attack, mostly because I had a roommate that played it for a few days almost non-stop. This pretty much killed my hatred for the game and I broke out the SNES to play it. I also really like the panic ending.
on 2007-02-19 17:49:35
This is like what Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon would have been like if they hit each other with huge foam tetris blocks instead of swords.
on 2007-02-18 17:30:10
very interesting, in the begining of the song it has a scary, mysterious theme(which it keeps throughout the song)and its quality is very premium(it sounds similar to a movie soundtrack theme). essentially, i can see why the judges passed it. very good job! -The Lone Ranger
on 2007-02-18 15:59:11
Wow. I didn't know what to expect when listening to this, but when it got started I was amazed. Probably the first clever over-dramatic symphonic super film style arrangement I've heard of a video game tune. In fact, this piece is very well done. There's a lot of originality in this.
I'm not too keen on the ending, though. It's too abrupt, but that's probably just my desire to hear more speaking.
Sources Arranged (2 Songs)
- Primary Game:
Tetris Attack (Nintendo, 1996, SNES)
Music by Koji Kondo, Masaya Kuzume
- "Bowser's Stage"
"Bowser's Stage - Danger!"
- Orchestral, Piano
- 4,515,940 bytes
- Size: 4,515,940 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 8e266810b33f81569bdfee8a57c4f58b
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