Posted 2018-01-08, evaluated by the judges panel

This epic, unexpected hip-hop/rap/funk take on "A Curious Happening" from Resonance of the Pure Land was an absolute highlight of the album, pairing director Jorito's explosive, flamboyantly funky & synth-laden jam with Smooth4Lyfe's rapping, singing, & bars for a sweet treat that dials the original up like crazy. Co-director The Nikanoru writes:

"Ah, the Scorpion Army, the oft-forgotten sub-villains of Secret of Mana. Jorito has taken this short, jazzy interlude and given it a while lot of pizzazz - it's suddenly a smooth, hip landscape ready for S4L (Smooth4Lyfe) to deliver the Scorpion Army to us once again in all their glory - even going so far as to try to steal the spotlight from the rest of the album!"

This wasn't the type of source one necessarily expected would inspire such an over-the-top, thoroughly badass vocal mix, but DAMN if it didn't turn out slick & infectious; from the funky swing & delicious synth bass to some of the more modern EDM treatments to the synth solos to the lyrics/vocals, along with processing, everything is *just* *so*. It gets thick at times, with maybe a lil clutter, but this is nitpickery - these fellas DELIVERED. Jorito (Jorrith Schaap) writes:

"I ended up with this funky backdrop where I intentionally chose to go for a kind of retro FM-synth-meets-chiptune vibe, rather than the more obvious acoustic instruments, because I felt it would work better and would be easier to pull off. For climax, I added a part with messy distorted drums and screeching (bass) synths, just because it felt like the track needed a bit of extra spice. Even though it stands out when compared to the rest of the track, I love the contrast and tension it brings.

Of course, I had the crazy idea early on to add raps to that same climatic middle part of the track. Since I can't rap, and the Eminem vocal placeholder vocals I put in there were funny but getting old, I reached out to Joey (Smooth4Lyfe). We quickly started working out some ideas on how we could pose the Scorpion Army (this is their theme song in the game) as the comic relief and a band of bandits whose plans always fail. Joey did a great job in writing catchy lyrics to drive home that concept and we even added some extra vocals and ad-libs to spice up the track even more.

For me, this was the first time ever I worked with raps in a track and, even though it took a few tries to get it in its final form, I'm really happy with the final result. I also dig how the narrative and the arrangement work closely together to tell you what a bunch of losers the Scorpion Army are. Collaborating on it with Joey was a pleasure and his vocals really make the track shine where it needs to!'

Source breakdown:

  • 0:00-0:38 - intro, bell-like arp plays the same line as the atonal marimba-like instrument in the original
  • 0:38-0:44 - buildup, no source
  • 0:44-1:02 - melody from the source (0:21-0:41), without the ending but a repeat of the first line
  • 1:02-1:12 - breakdown from source (0:41-0:52)
  • 1:12-1:31 - melody from source again
  • 1:31-2:09 - uses the breakdown chord stabs in the chip sounds
  • 2:09-2:57 - solo part, bell-like arp from the intro + breakdown chord stabs in second half
  • 2:57-3:16 - buildup
  • 3:16-3:36 - melody again
  • 3:36-3:45 - buildup
  • 3:45-4:03 - melody improv + repeat of melody from source

Smooth4Lyfe (Joey Ofori), who debuted with an excellent solo Kingdom Hearts ReMix back in April of last year, adds:

"I really liked working on this project. It was a new experience for me coming up with lyrics with a game I'm not 100% familiar with, and working with Jorito to turn it into a finished product. Overall, I think it turned out amazing and I'm very happy with the final result!"

Judging was basically a formality; MindWanderer sums it up nicely:

"Yep, this is pretty fantastic. There's not much to this source, so props for building it out into a full song that still clearly makes use of that source throughout."

One of my favorite aspects of Resonance of the Pure Land is how several of the less familiar sources were still arranged with 110% enthusiasm & creativity, resulting in some of the most memorable and unexpected moments. This is an OST that plenty of folks are familiar with, so I think having surprises and not just emphasizing the "hits" makes the experience much more compelling. Fantastic work from Jorrith & Joey, who make masterful, musical mischief together; highly recommended.



Latest 3 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2018-01-15 12:44:52

Another great track from the SoM album (which I'd rate as like the 2nd best remix album on OCR). I don't recognize the source tune at all but this is still great and the hip hop lyrics are a real highlight for me.

on 2018-01-10 01:27:23

What just happened?! I'm sitting on my @$$ trying to reconcile this piece with the source. Okay, so doubtlessly this is one of the most innovative/crazy takes on the SoM source you could possibly come up with. At times I really felt like I fell into Sonic The Hedgehog 2/3! But holy crap, at least listen to 1:33-2:01, which is just a wonderfully dirty run. I went back and listened to that section three times!

Overall, I have to give props even if I'm still flabbergasted how anyone came up with this - a vision outside the norm, thought, and executed... to excellence!

on 2018-01-05 12:09:41

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

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Secret of Mana (Square , 1993, SNES)
Music by Hiroki Kikuta
"A Curious Happening"

Tags (12)

Hip Hop
Chiptune,Electric Guitar,Electronic,Singing,Synth,Vocals: Male,Vocals: Rapping
Lyrics > Lyrics: Original
Origin > Collaboration

File Information

7,244,391 bytes

C'mon, c'mon, c'mon
Uh, uh, uh, uh, let's go!

Allow us to reintroduce ourselves, you know that
We're the Scorpion Army
Breaking all the rules just to get to the top, but
You know we ain't no dummies

Some people wanna think we're the comic relief, I mean
We don't try to be funny
Thinking it's a joke, but we'll get the last laugh
But let us first make a plan, so get ready!

Let's go!

Uh, c'mon
That's right
C'mon, c'mon
Drop the beat

Dr-dr-dr-dr-drop, drop it, drop it (Yeah!)
Let's go (Yeah!)

Yeah, yeah!

Yeah, yeah!

We the Scorpion Army
We the type of dudes that'll ruin your party
Takin' candy from a kid without sayin' sorry
Oh, we're naughty naughty
Money and the Power, just give us the world

We the Masters of Mischief
In case you missed it
You mess with us and we'll give you the business
Oh, no! Looks like our plan is ruined again
So close, but we just never win
It ain't fair, come on!

Dr-dr-dr-dr-drop, drop it, drop it
Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ahh, jam on it!
Dr-dr-dr-dr-drop, drop it, drop it

Let's go
Uh huh

That's right
That's right

Dr-dr-dr-dr-drop, drop it, drop it
Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ahh, jam on it!

Uh uh uh!
Uh uh uh!

We're the Scorpion Army
You better know the name (Yeah!)
We're the Masters of Mischief
You know you want the fame (Uh)

Better give us your money
You know it ain't a game (Yeah!)
Gonna rise to the top now
The Power we will claim (Yeah, yeah!)

Uh, yeah!
C'mon, uh
That's right, yeah!
Yeah, yeah!

C'mon, yeah!
Uh, uh
Drop it, let's go

We're the Scorpion Army and remember that


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