Posted 2009-10-31, evaluated by djpretzel
OverClocked ReMix & Joshua Morse are proud to present Castlevania: Sonata of the Damned, a seven-track album of Castlevania mixes he put togther that we're releasing as a special Halloween surprise! I know we just released Humans + Gears, and it's odd to see our 16th album coming so soon afterwards, but jm's been working on this for months and today just seemed like the perfect day to spring it on everyone! While it's technically far funkier than it is spooky, the vampiric source material and infectious grooves are sure to get your Halloween thumpin' and bumpin' in a gothic, whip-smackin', toe-tappin' manner. Mr. Morse writes:
"From Kinuyo Yamashita to Michiru Yamane, the composers of this series have done a spectacular job in conveying the demonic atmosphere that Dracula and his minions convey, and I can only hope that I've done their work justice with my own."
Grab the torrent and get your CV on, ASAP! We've got three mixes from the album for you tonight, which represents almost half of the whole thing, but they're all classic jm-quality grooves. Plus, we're posting them in chronological game release order... easy as 1, 2, 3... and starting things off with this arrangement of 'Vampire Killer' from the original NES classic. The artist again writes:
"I actually had an initial version of this arrangement ready to go for my previous Halloween project, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night - Resurrection</shameless-plug>. However, posu yan busted out the gates with 'garlic', which completely blew me away (in every sense of the phrase). I felt as if 2 vampire killer tracks on a single collection might have been overkill, so I saved it for such an occasion."
I did a final run-through of the album files this morning and noticed some distortion due to the large amount of upper frequencies & overtones in the bell pad intro, and there was a moment of panic, but Joshua actually managed to get the track remastered in time for us to still manage a Halloween release, so that rocked. And so does the mix itself... a rubbery, watery, funky groove, complete with retro disco strings, requisite organ bits, jamtastic harpsichord, and... synth brass? If the Belmont family gate-crashed Dracula's party at Studio 54, this is what it'd sound like. Breaks and transitions here are quite playful, and the artist strays from a cleaner sound into using some grittier, period textures. There's of course a plethora of tasty solos, varied instrumentation, and oodles of syncopation. Hell, just check the temporary transition into - and promptly out of - a military/colonial snare cadence, circa 3'05" - great stuff. Joshua Morse + Castlevania + Halloween 2009 = Castlevania: Sonata of the Damned!
on 2012-04-12 10:02:57
Definitely a head-nodder that has a great vibe to it. It's so odd to hear a rendition of this theme in anything other than gothic, but that's not a bad thing. Morse made this work to perfection and I found myself grooving to it. I really like how this is borderline tropical. So cool.
on 2009-12-13 10:51:57
Not bad, but I get the feeling this might have been rushed a bit. There are little weird sound artifacts throughout, the intro bells are overly verbed and echo'd and kind of shrilly, and it feels like some of the rythms are a bit sparse; is the case of the latter, almost as if using a different sample was favored over "awesomeness". Also it seems like the bass is changing volume throughout. Was that a backspin around 3:00?
The arrangement is a winner, thats for sure. Just something to be desired in the execution in places. Also, fade out... I dunno...
on 2009-12-10 22:24:08
To paraphrase my comments in the album review thread, this combines glistening instruments with that ever slimy (but adorable) bass while trying on different hats along the way. It's a spectrum unto itself.
Also, I like how this is the first time djp linked to a mascot bio in the writeup. Coolness.
on 2009-12-08 17:23:14
What's there to say that hasn't already been said? It's Joshua Morse, it's Castlevania, and it's jazzy as hell. Of course it's gonna be awesome
This was one of the 3 tracks from Sonata of the Damned that I recognized the source tune for, so yeah, I'd say that justice has been done to a classic source. My only criticism is that the bells in the introduction went on for too long, I think I was kinda sick of them by the time the guitar came in. Not a dealbreaker, but in the interest of providing some *real* feedback here I thought I'd bring that minor point up.
on 2009-12-08 12:40:31
Chilling intro, pretty cool percussion too. Couldn't help but singing the "Juese Belmont" lyrics during the main section though. Great selection of instruments and it's very lively in feel. That wah'd instrument just reminds me of cats singing the chorus, though, I dunno why. I like all the synth stuff you used but the string sample you used doesn't feel right to me. All else is pretty good, though.
This is the perfect BPM and style to have a line dance designed to it, though. Someone should get on that. Everyone, do the "Vampire Snapper!"
on 2009-12-01 00:36:32
Maybe it's the four on the floor but I find this piece much more accessible than the other remixes on the album.
Instrumentation is diverse, fantastic, funktastic, interesting, and filled with surprises. Sounds like there's a vocoder in here somewhere. Dissonant tones here and there to boot.
Original stuff and solos are interesting and emotional - 2:00 - 2:16 is awesome, then it ties back well to the theme. 3:15 is also the start of sweetness.
If you've heard something else off of this album and you weren't too sure about it, definitely try this one out - it delivers.
on 2009-11-15 15:59:48
This is my favorite from the album as well. Not a huge surprise I guess since it's "THE" Castlevania theme if there ever was one, but this is really great. It sets the stage for the album as a whole style wise, and it's just so... smooth.
It's also nice to know that a song that's been mixed so many times can still sound original, jazzy mixes always seem to be my favorite and this, along with rest of the album is really no exception. Very upbeat, yet that "uptemponess" never detracts from the smoothness this track has going on.
On a somewhat bizarre note,. the ending portion of this song reminds me uncannily of LL Cool J's "Phenomenon" to the point where I have started to say the lyrics of that song over it. Random, but hilarious.
on 2009-11-14 11:06:11
Toe-tapping good. Kudos.
on 2009-11-06 06:44:18
This is my favorite on the album. It is so enjoyable to listen to and the intro is great.
on 2009-11-05 20:11:53
JM, I have long been a fan of your work and this does not disappoint . It is a very fresh take on a theme that has had its fair share of mixes. Nicely done! I really like the build up in the intro, it really sets the mood for the rest of the remix.
on 2009-11-04 14:24:44
Get funky! I like how a lot of the phrases were extended so the different sections had more of a chance to breathe- we've all heard vampire killer a million times, but extending the parts gives everyone a chance to fully appreciate the arrangement. Good stuff, nice solos, and overall a pretty good track.
on 2009-11-04 09:43:56
One thing is for sure - JM doesn't disappoint much with his music. Great unique take on the original - it's upbeat and rolling, and quite jazzy, which is something you don't see really when it comes to Castlevania, much less something that preserves some measure of uptempo.
on 2009-11-02 20:26:14
I'm glad that I'm not hearing an over-used whip-crack throughout this song. Something made me fear that was going to happen (a few too many times through Juese Belmont, I think), but it's obvious that I had no need to think such evil things like that could happen.
JM does some awesome work with jazz, and it's quite obvious here. I think I could almost cut and paste my last review here, change a couple sentences, and I'd be good to go. Fantastic soundscape going on, unique and funky. Transistions are smooth and seamless. Just hard not to tap my foot to this stuff. I'm a little dissapointed in the fade-out though. Not sure how to get a good ending, however, so I'm not very helpful. Otherwise, great job.
on 2009-11-01 15:46:11
I will admit that garlic was pretty kickass, and definately deserved the spot on the other album, but this is a fantastic piece of music. Keep up the awesome work jm!
on 2009-11-01 04:04:32
This is one great track that has amazing written all over it.
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Castlevania (Konami, 1986, NES)
Music by Kinuyo Yamashita, Satoe Terashima
- "Vampire Killer (Breaking Into the Castle BGM)"
- 8,766,941 bytes
- Size: 8,766,941 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: cae208833579f64cc4281dd060a96147
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