Posted 2013-08-03, evaluated by the judges panel

FINALLY!! We've been waiting to get a distortion-free version of this sleek, jazzy Super Metroid arrangement from newcomer Nicholas Tam for over five years! Epic, eh? While there was some interesting discussion surrounding chord voicings, most judges approved the piece, conditional on the noticeable clipping being addressed. Well, here we are in mid-2013, and we finally got a fixed version from the artist, and I'm proud to be posting his unique vision in an incarnation that does it justice. While I've commented on some past mixes having RAD TIMBALE LICKS, this piece is chock full o' CRAZY CYMBAL ROLLS. You want 'em? This mix got 'em. Ride cymbal is ubiquitous & prominent in this piece, which also employs chromatic percussion (stage left), complementing a lead acoustic piano (stage right), with electric piano accompaniment. It's a pretty complex configuration, as the chromatic percussion basically fills in for a bass part, but does some extra work on the side, and the number of simultaneous chromatic & polyphonic parts feels heightened. The artist writes:

"For this jazz combo rendering of "Maridia" from Super Metroid, I set the bass line in marimba to get a more metallic timbre and a more versatile sound in general. The two keyboard parts were fully improvised and recorded in one take apiece. The song's original chord progression is inherently fascinating as it is, so I took the opportunity to stock it full of minor sevenths and deliberately pattern my piano style after the modal voicings of Herbie Hancock, adding some spontaneous rhythmic complexity wherever I saw fit."

I think the decision to go w/ marimba on the bass ended up defining the overall piece to a large extent, and is a big part of what makes this mix rather distinct. Judges had some lively debate on whether this was too liberal, in addition to the clipping, and the decision is old enough to include weigh-ins from zyko & CHz; Waleed writes:

"i understand the concerns being shown but this isn't just jazzy, it is also a good study in the style of herbie hancock. in other words, given the intended style, the original progression is very effectively handled throughout the track... certainly, he changes it up as he experiments with new ways of voicing those chords but it almost always stays an interpretation."

CHz adds:

"To paraphrase and cop zyko, if I of all people can hear it, then it's there. This mix is Maridia."

Jesse really went to bat for this mix, and I think his knowledge of jazz voicings was integral in helping the panel reach its decision. I can see where the difficulty lies, and pieces like this test the panel moreso than others, but I'm glad that some clarity emerged, the mix was approved, and (many years later) we got a version without clipping. Nicholas has crafted a challenging and unique arrangement that deserves to be heard & discussed, and which I'll be coming back to often; excellent debut, and while it's been half a decade, I'm STILL hoping we'll hear more from him in the future!



Latest 13 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2013-08-09 13:10:04

Samus enjoys her favorite drinks in a dimly lit bounty hunter's dive somewhere, listening to this....

on 2013-08-07 19:41:30

Wow, congrats on doing the keyboard parts in one take. You must know the chords inside and out.

I liked how liberal the arrangement was, as it kept throwing out new ideas and kept me listening. The production is solid, and I think the electric keyboard was well situated underneath the piano without falling too far beneath the texture. Though the marimba was substituting for bass, I felt it could have had a solo or two, especially in the sparser parts of the mix! Nonetheless, excellent job and I'm sad this wasn't released sooner.

on 2013-08-06 22:26:51

This is a gorgeous jazzy mix. Absolutely beautiful. I love it! And I was always so curious as to what this legendary "conditional" mix was all these years... It was well worth the wait :)

on 2013-08-05 11:00:56

Pretty cool to finally see and hear this on the front page. Jazzy is damn right, this is a pretty smooth and boppin' rendition of Maridia. Sounds great and never lets up. Great to hear a jazzy ending roll as well.

on 2013-08-05 08:17:52

wait, this got posted? what's next, the fabled V6? :P

seriously though, nice work. 'bout time this finally made it onto the site proper. :D

on 2013-08-04 22:33:27

This is fucking awesome! I couldn't recognize the theme at first but after about a min in, I could be begin to hear it. Very interesting piece and I loved every second of it. Kudos my man.

on 2013-08-03 22:43:01

Holy shit, it's... SHINESPARKS! I literally dropped everything that I was doing in order to give this legendary track a listen. :nicework:


Very nice and different interpretation of the theme that everyone knows so well. The instrument combination is great, and it's smooth as all hell - I can see why it was on the 'conditional posting' list for so long, as I wouldn't want to downright reject it, either.

I would be very happy if Nathan knew that his music was finally posted, and was encouraged to produce more awesome musics for the site!

on 2013-08-03 17:06:35

Dude yessssssssssssssss

This arrangement is still beastly excellent five years later. Great genre transformation of my favorite piece from the Metroid series. I am so hyped it finally got rerendered. 3

on 2013-08-03 16:49:27

Real smooth jazz version of an otherwise (in my opinion) not very memorable source. You can definitely hear the chord progression and the "feel" or the original, only it's MUCH better. Great stuff making this mix from that source

on 2013-08-03 16:00:45

Hehe, he made it by one day. Talk about close. :-D

I really don't mind about source usage all that much when listening to this, as I never played Metroid before anyways. :P Great jazz adaptation. Pretty icy smooth.

on 2013-08-03 15:34:51

it's real :shock:

this is an incredibly sensitive performance, especially considering that all the parts were recorded individually (?) im definitely feeling maridia here, not just the literal theme, but that it somehow manages to be both hauntingly alien yet inviting

though i do think its odd that the percussion is limited exclusively to cymbals, especially given the limited resonant characteristics of the samples, where toms or even a little brushed snare might have given some support to what is otherwise a largely pointillistic texture.

on 2013-08-03 15:27:03


Oh... My... God... That legendary remix that kept silent, sitting right there on the "conditional" corner, never appearing on the frontpage since I first registered to OCR boards... I _had_ to listen to this and comment!

It's... a lot different from what I was expecting. Somehow I thought this would scream EDM, but when I hit play, I laughed hard at that sweet lovely marimba. That said, no matter what genre this should be called, it's still a very pleasant jazzy thing to listen to.

Seriously, this mix has piqued my curiosity for a long time. Glad to know it's finally published!

on 2013-08-03 14:58:00

What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.

Sources Arranged (2 Songs)

Primary Game:
Super Metroid (Nintendo , 1994, SNES)
Music by Kenji Yamamoto (I),Minako Hamano
"Maridia - Rocky Underground Water Area"

Tags (6)

Chromatic Percussion,Electric Piano,Marimba,Piano

File Information

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