ReMix:Metroid "Cancer" 3:33

By Redg

Arranging the music of one song...


Primary Game: Metroid (Nintendo , 1986, NES), music by Hirokazu Tanaka

Posted 2014-09-15, evaluated by djpretzel

Oh, the sound design!! Redg has already made a name for himself doing cutting-edge arrangements that have an explicit emphasis on texture & atmosphere, and has in fact already arranged this very same title source tune from Metroid as part of a previous mix that was all sorts of disturbing, in a good way. He revisits the piece here with a different arrangement that has some almost EDMish qualities earlier on, and then descends into aliased, DTMF territory towards the conclusion:

"This is a take on the scary part of the classic Metroid title theme with a focus on experimental sound design. It's got a kind of film score-ish feel. The vibe I was going for was a combination of the vast emptiness of space with the organic mutation of disease. So it's pretty dark. I hope you all dig it!

The use of source material gets a little abstract, so here's a breakdown:

0:00-0:24 - Just sitting on a lonely bass note in the vacuum of space...
0:24-0:40 - Here is the title theme. It is mangled quite a lot, but it's there.
0:40-1:28 - And here is where there may be a problem. for this whole stretch there is no source theme usage at all. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?
1:28-end - From here on I've got the source going constantly. It morphs through several permutations, but it's always floating around there somewhere."

Some of the textures remind me of certain SFX from Aliens, which is a nice ambiance to conjure. Larry writes:

"I had one suggestion to make the source tune usage more apparent in the second half, which was increasing the volume of the notes playing the actual source tune during the "beep" section from 2:16-3:04. I get that the melody there isn't necessarily the focus, but because it overlaps a lot in the same frequency range, you don't hear it at all unless you're actually listening specifically for it (especially as the beeps get louder and louder). When I asked Brent about it, he said "You've got a legit point about that beepy section. But I've always really liked how the random beeps alter how you hear the original source tune. It is to the point of obscuring the source, but I would argue that the spirit of the original is still totally there. Also, I'm finding that re-rendering the track keeps giving me different random beeps every time, and I've kinda gotten attached to the ones on SoundCloud. :)" In any case, the source usage was overt for most of the piece, and that criticism didn't hold this back from being posted.

This was definitely successful at creating a cold, mutating atmosphere. Whether you're thinking about the disease the ReMix's named after, or just a journey into space by Samus that's gone unforgivingly fubar, the potential imagery here all works. Whereas Brent's previous arrangement of Metroid's title, "Dex," was more melodic in spite of the mangling, this starts and stays in a deep, dark place. Brent's certainly his own artist, but in the VGM arrangement scene he's somewhat of a next-generation Children of the Monkey Machine. And THAT is a really cool thing."

If you were imagining Metroid as an epic space adventure, you'd probably go with the more explicitly orchestral and melodic style that Sam Dillard has employed on many of his (excellent) arrangements. If you were going for something more twisted & terrifying, this is a nice alternative that offers a starker, more psychological vision. A very interesting companion piece to "Dex," since both ReMixes are heavy on sound design and texture and not concerned with providing any sort of hook or anthemic payoff; I'd agree with Larry that this is a bit darker & starker, in fitting with its mix title, but every bit as worthwhile. Haunting.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Mr. Hu
on 2020-03-18 22:32:39

I am just hearing this now and it is SO deliberate and SO deathly serious. It's everything I'd want in a remix of this song. 11/10.

Nathan Allen Pinard
on 2016-06-23 09:58:43

This wasn't entirely musical at all. The distortion seemed to be literal distortion. I would've preferred fuzz or some kind of soft bitcrushing effect or at the very lest using an EQ to make the distortion more hollow. Overall the piece was kind of a mess, it kicked in with a beat but only for a moment, and the rest was basically sound design in my eyes.

on 2016-06-12 20:03:45

Amazing themes for this mix, love the dark and formless direction. unique stuff; very good.

on 2014-11-17 21:29:23

Brilliant - great to hear someone taking a remix in entirely unexpected directions. Stellar work.

on 2014-10-22 22:05:48

Unsettling it is not.

Damaging to my speakers it is. I was not expecting to find a song that actually physically damaged my sound system.

If you meant this to be an EXPENSIVE troll, you got it.

I would suggest recalling this entire thing or dulling the reverb garble.

on 2014-09-20 12:57:21

This certainly creates an unsettling atmosphere and I can definitely hear the whole Aliens/Sci-fi vibe with certain sounds. This is a nice, gritty, dark ReMix that deserves the name "cancer". Great Metroid mix.

Uffe von Lauterbach
on 2014-09-17 20:23:08

I was reminded of the trailer theme of Prometheus the first time I took a listen. Not really sure why. I like the granular and distorted sounds.

on 2014-09-17 15:11:00

While listening to it, I got the feeling deep in my gut that ...something... had hatched inside me and was beginning its morbid conquest to devour my internal organs while growing larger and moving towards its goal of wresting control of my empty body. It also made me want to re-contemplate my place in the vast, unknown vacuum we call the universe. It may not exactly be the best ear-candy, but that wasn't the purpose. It's purpose was to give you a slightly lingering three-minute nightmare.

on 2014-09-17 15:03:47
I think this is awesome and very well executed. It makes me feel downright uncomfortable, and that's the whole point of this track.

Yes: exactly. I vote awesome.

Cephalo the Pod
on 2014-09-17 14:51:20

This is a lot more sinister than Redg's previous Title mix. Gives it more of a personality.

I have a question. In the last minute of the Mix, the notes get faster. Is this supposed to be an arrangement of the later part in the Title music, or are the notes from the beginning just being played faster? The melody is just so distorted that I cannot tell.

Anyway, I could totally picture this playing for a Metroid adaptation trailer. Maybe one of the Primes, because all of the crackling sounds like a geiger counter going off.

on 2014-09-17 07:29:06

i don't usually post much but i had to say it this time. this is possibly the worst track i have ever heard. cancer alright that's what it sounds like! i cannot believe this got approved...

OverClocked PodCast
on 2014-09-16 23:15:38

Gaahhhhhh, this ReMix is a monster; meticulously stitched together and altogether terrifying. The crackling distortion that kicks in at 0:17 had me cringing and involuntarily thinking of corrupting disease, partially thanks to the stark title of "Cancer". After the more comfortable (but still hard-hitting) dubstep disappears, you're left with nothing but unnerving tones that just barely follow along familiar theme, which feels impossible to escape from. The whole creation was practically painful to hear and could not have been more brilliant.

on 2014-09-16 00:19:41

I think this is awesome and very well executed. It makes me feel downright uncomfortable, and that's the whole point of this track.

on 2014-09-15 22:58:24

This is absolute genius, had goosebump on the first listen. It is INSANE. AWESOME!!!

on 2014-09-15 19:34:05

The distortion caught me off guard for a few seconds but I quickly understood where you were going with it. Honestly this is a breath of fresh air and totally worth a listen, if only to hear the excellent sound design. I can see how it could turn some people off and I also had a little trouble hearing the main theme at some points, but still, I really dig this.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Metroid (Nintendo , 1986, NES)
Music by Hirokazu Tanaka

Tags (4)

Sound FX,Synth

File Information

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