ReMix:Contra III: The Alien Wars "Dystopian Future" 2:51

By dannyshock

Arranging the music of one song...

"It's Time for Revenge (1st BGM)"

Primary Game: Contra III: The Alien Wars (Konami , 1992, SNES), music by Aki Hata, Masanori Adachi, Miki Higashino, Tappy Iwase

Posted 2010-11-23, evaluated by the judges panel

Wow... a truly compelling Contra III jazz debut from newcomer dannyshock, aka Manu Gerber. I did a double-take on this one, as it sounds not unlike the two superb jazz arrangements LSD sent in last year and the year before that, but it's also got its own style. Judges were unanimous, and I can definitely see why - impeccable timing on both piano & organ performances give this track fantastic energy, and the percussion is exquisite. If you lived in a completely quantized world where every note landed precisely on the beat, syncopation was banned, groove outlawed, and all musical humanization redacted, this is the type of contraband composition that could start a revolution. I love that it's Contra III, too; I mentally equate the Contra series with metal, maybe aggressive electronica, but just as Morse & LSD showed with Castlevania, there's quite a bit of jazz in them Konami hills. At least, if you know how to mine them properly... and Manu does:

"This is my all-time favorite video game music. I remember playing that game as a kid and being totally blown away by its soundtrack. I really like the cool harmonies and the 7/8 beat - this begged for a insanely fast jazz-band version. Although everything's been done in the box, I wanted it to have that "live"-feel as recorded in a jazz club."

Crazy. I'd characterize this as one of those mixes that comes out of left field and really surprises; I'm definitely curious to see what else Mr. Gerber has up his sleeves. OA writes:

"WARNING!! A third ass-pat incoming regarding that percussion - awesome stuff. The piano is really nice, and the entire arrangement has a lot of infectious energy. I am loving it. Great voicings, some subtle backing organ, and prominent but very personalized source. The production was solid, and the room sound was pretty authentic."

I'd say VERY authentic, myself; I certainly didn't have a problem with it, and if Manu hadn't told me, I might have been fooled. It doesn't really matter, one way or the other, as the arrangement has so much verve and kinetic energy it sorta races by before you can inspect the aesthetics that intensely. Judges had some beef with the fadeout ending; always a controversial call to some, usually doesn't bother me too awful much, and didn't really here either. I guess I was still just marveling at how, even after ten years, mixes come in all the time that are in some way or another surprising & new. This is that, in a nutshell - terrific, unexpected, well-concieved & well-executed Contra III jazz. Yet another thing to be thankful for this Thursday, whether you're American or not!



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2015-09-18 16:10:02

Oh yeah! This was one of the first remixes i downloaded from OCR, and i remember that i was pretty impressed. It's the only Contra III remix on the site, and i think i know why, because that soundtrack is pretty complex (that's why i don't remix it lol :tomatoface: ) I really like the energy and the live feel, sounds very authentic, especially the drums.

The only thing that is actually a bit unrealistic (in terms of a live performance) is the piano sequencing, not the way it's "played" but sometimes it sounds like the piano player has three hands ;-) . I think arrangement-wise it stays relatively close to the source, but i know, it's hard to remix a difficult track like this one. Anyways, excellent work!

on 2012-09-24 11:18:22

Yeah, this is one of those jazz pieces with energy to them that, unless you are extremely tired, I can't imagine being able to chill out to or fall asleep to. But it does provide an interesting take on the Contra 3 music. Not exactly my cup of tea, but as for the arrangement and production of it all, I can at least enjoy it for what it is. Nice work.

Martin Penwald
on 2010-12-11 15:25:55

This is what I like to call "nervous jazz". It's not something I can listen to when I'm trying to relax

It is a song that demands your attention, sweeps you off your feet and carries you along for a wild ride.

Personally, I like it, but I can see why some people wouldn't.

Transmogrificational Tune
on 2010-12-11 01:29:26

You wouldn't think that jazz would blend with a shooter. This proves otherwise. It has a nice use of various instruments throughout with the piano as a main focus. Definetely send in more of these :)

on 2010-12-09 13:27:15

This is superlative. It really captures that live jazz band feel perfectly despite being full of sequenced material. The drums are particularly fantastic and perfectly humanized, I wouldn't have batted an eye if someone had told me this was a totally live recording.

A bit repetitiveness on the piano riffs is pretty much the only complaint I can dig up. Really awesome remix! :-D

on 2010-12-09 07:48:50

The claps part at 2:10 or so is a little strange, but the rest of this is absolutely fantastic.

ella guro
on 2010-12-09 06:05:22

I was a little disappointed by this, to be honest. I like the drums a lot but there isn't a whole lot going on top of that. The piano is at times feels little exposed (like there isn't anything to help it carry the tension in some parts), more or less goes through the melody of the original a couple of times with some little additions here and there and then that's it. I mostly just felt like this came and went without an overall arrangement arc, and it really feels like it should've been longer. There's some impressive sequencing (or what I assume to be sequencing) and it's a difficult source, sure, but I kinda wanted more :(

on 2010-12-06 11:08:05

For some reason I missed listening to this track. I also was surprised to find out that this is our first Contra 3 mix.

This is pretty damn good, it's frentic, yet has a definite jazz feel to it as opposed to the more ominous tension feel you get with Contra music in general. The tension is more subtle fitting for the style.

on 2010-12-01 11:18:05

I've always wanted to hear this game remixed, and I can certainly say that this remix hits the mark in a big way. The song itself I always found sort of epic, and the jazz arrangement touches on the epicness. The drums in particular are excellently interpreted to accent the relatively true-to-the-source melody lines.

I like the different tone of the song once the claps punctuate it at around 2:11.

Like many others, I'm not a big fan of the fadeout, but that's far from making me dislike this mix.

Excellent work.

on 2010-11-28 14:00:20

Was hoping to have the first arrangement of this game up, but this is amazing. Great stuff!


on 2010-11-27 13:29:20

Been listening to this on repeat.. nice rhythm (and jazzy feel)

Never heard a Contra tune composed this way before (in a long time).

I remember from some of the old Konami albums, there were few.

Maybe a possible jazz-tra comeback? That would be pleasing to the ears.

=D nicely done!

on 2010-11-27 11:29:22

Wow. This is amazing stuff! Please make more.

on 2010-11-25 10:02:42

Wow, this piece really blew me away...and your midi programming is flat out amazing. If you ever need to get a live drum sound, shoot me a line.

That said, keep 'em coming!

on 2010-11-25 04:23:47

Contra III has a fantastic soundtrack and only the masterful would dare trying their hand at arranging it. This is masterful.

SubNormal J3
on 2010-11-24 18:44:09

Nice debut Manu! It's always nice to see a jazz piece posted on the site.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Contra III: The Alien Wars (Konami , 1992, SNES)
Music by Aki Hata,Masanori Adachi,Miki Higashino,Tappy Iwase
"It's Time for Revenge (1st BGM)"

Tags (4)

Time > Tempo: Fast

File Information

4,195,711 bytes


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