ReMix:Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse "In the Beginning There Was Jazz" 4:04


Posted 2008-05-12, evaluated by djpretzel

Absolutely fantastic jazz CV3 mix from Shnabubula and a trio he's part of, LSD (Lenwood Turner, Samuel Ascher-Weiss and Dustin Kaufman.) Incidentally, the Swiss chemist who discovered the psychedelic properties of LSD recently passed away at the age of 102. Regardless of your opinion on illegal drugs, one at least has to acknowledge the considerable impact they've had on modern music. As another aside, I'd like to say - if it isn't abundantly clear from my writeups of his work - that I've got the utmost respect for Sam as a composer & musician. He's one of those guys for whom the term "genius" actually doesn't seem like hyperbole. Unfortunately, outside of the music, he's made some bad decisions recently involving attempts to hack the site and compromise user accounts that he may not have been directly involved in, but that he neglected to warn me about when he had ample opportunity to do so. For the record, I don't think he r bad men or anything of that ilk, but I know that I want to spend my (very limited) free time working to make OC ReMix better and posting music, not dealing with problems that arise out of mistrusting those who have different priorities. 'Nuff said.

Speaking of priorities: Music. Blissful, organic, Castlevanian jazz music. You'll find it right here. I'm a huge fan of jazz quartet Neskvartetten, but if they have a downside, it's in their source material to date being restricted to Nintendo/Koji Kondo. There's tons to work with there, but there are still genres/composers/games that go untapped on so strict a diet. I mention this because this mix sounds not unlike what I'd expect Neskvartetten to come up with for CV3, albeit sans additional instrumentation. In other words, it's damn good. Lenwood Turner isn't on this particular track, so it's a duo, not a trio... I supposed it's really "SD" and not "LSD", which could be Secure Digital, Super-Deformed, or a variety of less hip acronyms. So you get "only" piano and drums, but both musicians are fully capable of making that combination fill up the entire space, with tons of left-handed rhythm work from Shna and some extraordinarily organic, tight drums from Dustin. It's a very brief moment in an arrangement that's full of them, but check out the lone snare hit at about 0'48" - it seems for just a split second like they're gonna turn it into a stadium rock motif bit, but it's reigned right back in. The meat-and-potatoes, easily identifiable stuff here is still fantastic, with plenty of syncopation and emotion being infused into the original, but the soloing is phenomenal. Even at a respectable four minutes, this feels short, not because it doesn't accomplish a lot, go places, and sound absolutely classy the whole way through, but because you just want... more. Fantastic arrangement, performance, and recording that I wouldn't feel cheated hearing at a jazz club - with a high cover charge - any day of the week.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2014-07-29 18:12:47

Absolutely incredible......any chance you have sheet music for the Piano part? It's really well done, would love to give it a try.

on 2010-12-29 10:11:06

Deliciously dark and jazzy.

on 2009-01-19 01:05:44

Oh, yeah. This is the good stuff. 8-)

The piano here is mind blowing. Great job.

on 2009-01-01 05:15:00

You've just got to love when you find someone that just owns piano. Not plays, not uses, but PWNS the piano.

Shnabubula's mixes have a lot of surface area and irregularity which really works in a more traditional jazz sound, like it was always made for it. Or more likely because it was influenced by it in the first place.

I've never really noticed what an amazing duo piano and drums are. What an awesome audio relationship. And an equally awesome arrangement of the source. Great job, guys.

on 2008-12-06 19:30:44

A completely awesome mix, I'm a big fan of jazz when it's done right, and this hits the nail on the head.

on 2008-09-16 12:26:21

no one beats sam

he's the progigal son of remixing, atleast that's how i see it

im not sure what he did and what he deserves, cause i don't know the guy at all .. in any case hopefully we'll see him around the forums in the future .. i'd like to hear his point of view on some new material aswell :

Shael Riley
on 2008-09-16 10:56:45

I love it. An interpretation that just screams "life," and a welcome departure from our standard electronic fare.

Exemplary of how to best utilize sparse instrumentation, this track demonstrates how you do it right with just a piano and a drum kit.

Play it again, Sam.

on 2008-06-13 13:31:02

Inspiring work; I do think a bass would have rounded it out, and added some interesting voicings, but I will certainly not refuse this amazingly delicious cupcake.

I'd certainly check out an entire album of stuff like this.

Super recommended.

Martin Penwald
on 2008-05-25 15:56:33

Despite featuring only 2 instruments, this remix never feels empty or lacking. Very nice.

on 2008-05-15 11:45:28
As opposed to a PM, like you suggest. Oops++.


In any case, freaking fantastic mix here. Less than a week ago I started learning the original by ear, but stopped because the original source isn't terribly extensive. Now I'm blessed with more material to pick apart.

I was to say I hope to hear more from these two... but I don't know how that'll turn out given the recent events. Great listen no less.

on 2008-05-14 16:35:07
This is the totally expected brilliance that you always hear out of Shnabubula, but it never, EVER gets old.


djP's rant about Shnabubula in the writeup was totally inappropriate though. Seems to me like if he has a problem with what Shnabubula did, he can talk about it in a forum post, or most ideally, in private messages. Doing it like this is extremely petty and an obvious attempt to rub it in Shnabubula's face.

There was a thread and I spoke with Sam on both IRC and gchat; seems to me you might be uninformed. What I described in the writeup was very... diplomatically phrased, relative to the frustration and amount of time involved in dealing with dramarama on my end. Sam's banned from both the forums and IRC at the moment, and I'm in the weird position of posting the music of an artist who's banned from the site. I thought it warranted some form of comment; petty and obvious are the repeated, incessant attacks on Jill's website (and other sites, including this one), not my measured response to them. At any rate, your message is hypocritical, because if it was petty of me in the first place, it was equally petty of you to point out the pettiness on a mix review thread. As opposed to a PM, like you suggest. Oops++.

on 2008-05-14 15:50:25

Music like this is why I still listen to OCR. This is the totally expected brilliance that you always hear out of Shnabubula, but it never, EVER gets old.

djP's rant about Shnabubula in the writeup was totally inappropriate though. Seems to me like if he has a problem with what Shnabubula did, he can talk about it in a forum post, or most ideally, in private messages. Doing it like this is extremely petty and an obvious attempt to rub it in Shnabubula's face.

Thin Crust
on 2008-05-13 21:38:05

Before, I just commented that LSD was the only one mentioned as an artist in the mp3 file. But I realized that I didn't give any feedback for the actual song. There is nothing I can say except that this is now my new favorite song. Great job pulling it off.

on 2008-05-13 21:17:51

this is def the best arrangement ive heard only utilizing piano drums. good job guys! love jazz. gotta have that swing.

on 2008-05-13 19:42:29

I'm really enjoying this mix, great piano and drums playing by both the performers! Nice flow, this belongs on the radio lol. KJZZ or something, haha.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse (Konami , 1990, NES)
Music by Jun Funahashi,Yoshinori Sasaki,Yukie Morimoto
"Beginning (Church, Town, Graveyard Stage)"

Tags (3)

Arrangement > Duet

File Information

3,977,103 bytes


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