ReMix:Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance "Swingin' with Death" 2:51

By Nase

Arranging the music of one song...

"Successor of Fate (Juste Belmont's Theme)"

Primary Game: Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (Konami , 2002, GBA), music by Michiru Yamane, Soshiro Hokkai

Posted 2009-10-26, evaluated by the judges panel

While one can never truly get enough Xenogears, it's still a little liberating to be posting something different; up next we've got a newcomer with a short-but-impressive debut mix from Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance. Nase, aka Joshu Skowronek, has actually been around a good while, but we're finally posting something of his, and a wonderful something it is; he writes:

"Not a whole lot to converts the original into swing, and while I was pretty conservative with the melody (I just like it so damn much), I hope there are enough other variations and additions fitting in with the different style for ya, plus some original content in the middle part. Oh, one more thing: I found this one to be way more enjoyable with the volume cranked up."

Damn straight! Things intro in epic orchestral, but the swingin' starts soon enough. Really, really different arrangement, here: bass is funk, piano is more jazz, and the clav solo... I don't care WHAT that is, it's delicious. Sampled ensemble brass can always be rough, but I find it sounds better when there's a lot of swells, which are used effectively here. Check out 2'26" - WTF? Gritty, malfunctioning synth textures, right in the middle of swing-funk-jazz, that intro'd orchestral? Sure, why the hell not... it's more than a little bipolar, but Castlevania is often so gothic and modal that it's cool to hear this approach taken. In three minutes, Nase has managed to construct an arrangement that dabbles in a few different styles and really nails some specific elements - bass and clav come to mind - while maintaining an overall sense of structure. Vinnie writes:

"Reminds me a lot of old-school OCR subs, including my own Oedo Hop. There's a playfulness with the source material that's downright infectious. You did a lot of filling in of background parts and soloing over the chords that set it apart from just being a funky cover. Sure, there are moments that get piercing and samples that are on the weak side, but it's a pretty easy YES call to me."

OA adds:

"The strength of this track is really the arrangement, all kinds of awesome things happening here. Textures are great, there are some great effects in some parts, and everything sounds balanced to me... I also gotta echo that this is an awesome source track to remix, and you definitely did it justice."

Soloing is tight, infectious, and like Vinnie says, everything seems playful - it sounds like the artist had a lot of fun putting this together, wasn't too self-conscious and experimented a bit, and managed to do both while also honoring the source material. Oh yeah, if you happen to have a fever, and the only prescription involves a certain percussive instrument, Nase got you covered with some hot cowbell action, too. Excellent timbral variety and fine-grained control of bass writing make for a memorable, unique, and refreshing debut mix. Definitely looking forward to more!



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2015-03-08 04:43:12
This does everything right. I want more of this. :) Honestly, the horn at 0:28 didn't bother me as much as the midrange on the one at 0:10, but those are pretty minor nits to pick.

ok, let's look back!

my 2 cents: 0:10 i like just how it is. the horn there even seems like a core element for the switch into swing.

the trumpet however, i think it starts to suck at 0:30. if the phrase ended differently, i might like it all. so this is a point where i could've diverged from the original, imo.

yknow, just in the spirit of the discussion about looking at things from the past and determining how your appreciation of them shifts. so in this case, nothing much changed for me: there's a little bit in there that i think is phrased weakly, or the timbre is wrong for the phrase, or whatever. something's off anyway. you don't really know 'til you hear a better version of it.

cool to hear that you still like it. i'm happy with it, it's a nice little ditty with some surprises in the middle.

on 2015-03-06 04:22:29

This does everything right. I want more of this. :) Honestly, the horn at 0:28 didn't bother me as much as the midrange on the one at 0:10, but those are pretty minor nits to pick.

on 2015-02-20 22:59:46

This is crazy and unexpected in many ways. The first FTW came when the epic orchestral intro suddenly turned into swing jazz. The second one was at 2:26, when I heard that chippy break. But the brass... just mind-bloing. And the playful piano is awesome too. Love it!

on 2012-08-21 23:59:16

This tune SCREAMS Monkey Island 1.

on 2012-04-11 14:57:54

Grand opening that drives right into a jazzy funky little tune? Well, alright! Not a fan of the horn either, but the rest of the instrumentation had me tapping my foot severely. I swear I heard something around 1:30 that reminds me of another game, but I'm drawing a blank on the name. I love how this bounces around and doesn't sit in one place the whole time. Not crazy about the ending, but all in all, this is one fine ReMix.

on 2011-07-05 02:35:55

This was a fantastic debut for Nase. Really brings some flair to a style I haven't heard much of.

on 2011-03-04 12:01:52

Great mix, I've always been a fan of the more funky mixes (djp, Fortuna Favors the Funk FTW!) and this fits in very well. It is a bit crazy with the different styles and all but I like that too. The Eminem sounding bit at 0:54-1:14 and repeated later is pretty cool as well (has nobody else pointed this out?).

ella guro
on 2009-12-04 18:14:47

Awesome! This is same tune Shnabubula remixed (not on OCR, it was on vgmix back in the day).

Nase, you are my new favorite remixer. This arrangement blows my mind. It's even too good for me to say anything intelligent about it. you have reduced me to this: NICE FUCKING JOB DUDE!!

on 2009-12-01 18:28:28

Pachi Risu really nailed it - this track is deceiving, but the breakdown from orchestral to jazz was actually pretty well done :-P I'm personally glad you opted to go for a funkier style rather than what you seemed to be setting up, because you did good. Some of the samples were a bit iffy but absolutely nothing to fret over, considering the arrangement quality :-) Really killer debut track, hope to hear more from Nase soon!

Pachi Risu
on 2009-11-11 00:19:29

The intro was pretty deceiving to what was to come, which caused some chuckling soon after. Again, I love this ReMix for it's jazzy and funk nature. Thumbs up for being entertaining.

Martin Penwald
on 2009-11-06 16:04:41

The intro makes it sound as if you're in for an orchestral remix, but nononono, what follows is actually much better. Lots of variation, lots of different instruments, all around fun. And I have to admit that I wasn't terribly bothered by the horn.

on 2009-11-05 19:59:48

I really dig your arrangement and the personal touches you added to this mix ^_^. The horn does leave a bit to be desired, but no worries, it is still an enjoyable listen :) .

on 2009-10-29 21:48:54
Pal, before I go further, let me say that no one mentioned how awesome the clav is on this track...

uh, for the record:

and the clav solo... I don't care WHAT that is' date=' it's [b']delicious
on 2009-10-29 20:23:51

Pal, before I go further, let me say that no one mentioned how awesome the clav is on this track...anyway: this is one funky swing hippity hop-like mix that Premier would have sampled if the horn samples were more realistic. Unfortunately, horn samples are hard to come by...especially in the funk/swing/jazz/hip-hop category (that reminds me, I wonder where SelectaNovel got his horn stabs; I gotta get me some of those). And were there some chip elements in there too? Buddy, keep on submitting! This track is amazing; and yes, I'm sure you'll find some good horn sounds.

on 2009-10-29 09:39:30

Good, fun stuff, and awesome arrangement, Nase!

It was strange to see your name here on the OCR homepage, though! Nice work!

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance (Konami , 2002, GBA)
Music by Michiru Yamane,Soshiro Hokkai
"Successor of Fate (Juste Belmont's Theme)"

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