Posted 2018-11-26, evaluated by Liontamer
Nine Inch... Plungers? I want to stomp you like a... goomba? Originally intended for Halloween, Chimpazilla (Kristina Scheps) & bLiNd (Jordan Aguirre) team up for a haunted tribute to Mario's darker, ghostlier themes, recreating from scratch & applying the same sound palette as Nine Inch Nails "Closer"; Chimpazilla writes:
"Happy Halloween, everyone! Time to get our spooky on!
When I think of spooky and twisted music, I can't help but think of Nine Inch Nails. "Closer" is NIN's most iconic and creepy yet groovy song. The track's grungy style and Trent Reznor's raw vocals and the message of his lyrics grab onto your emotions and twist them mercilessly, while at the same time, causing you to... dance. "Closer" gets instantly creepier when you realize that the album The Downward Spiral was recorded inside the house on Cielo Drive in Los Angeles where the Manson family murdered Sharon Tate and four other people. Seriously, just ponder that for a moment.
I'm sure everyone here remembers the Mario/"Closer" mashup that was done a few years back. When I first heard it, I knew that one day I had to remake that mashup into a proper ReMix. Fast-forward several years... I'm now getting production tutoring from my good friend and production idol, Jordan Aguirre, a.k.a. bLiNd.
(We interrupt this writeup for a brief advertisement: Hey, guys! bLiNd is now in the production tutoring business! He's so good at production, as we all know, and he's equally qualified as a teacher and mentor. Hit him up and take some lessons! Reasonable rates!) [/advertisement]
So, I sent Jordan a WIP I had started for this idea, and I challenged him to remake the timbre of the classic Moog/303-ish bassline from "Closer." Not only did he accept this challenge (and succeeded with ease), but then he sent ME a WIP of the "Closer" bassline timbre and style playing the Mario Underground theme. What genius! The collab idea was born, we worked closely together (see what I did thar?) and the track was finished 24 hours later. Both of us have now grooved to this ReMix a ridiculous number of times.
There are several nods to Trent's style throughout the track. See if you can spot them. But watch out for the ghosts."
Big fan of NIN & Trent, and I gotta say, Jordan did a superb job recreating the grit, dirt, & atmosphere of some signature sounds - very impressive, and quite critical to making this whole arrangement sparkle... in a sinister, disturbing way. He writes:
"Happy Halloween indeed! Also, if you like spooky -- *shameless plug alert* -- my Super Metroid album is on GameChops, so keep on the lookout for that too!
We submitted "Nine Inch Mushrooms" a while back and the main issue with it was that Larry said the second half represented "Closer" a little closely, hehe.
This was originally Chimpazilla's concept with me helming the production. So, when Chimpazilla came to me for help with her great concept idea, I didn't think much of remaking the bass sound (which is close, but not exact), but once I started nailing the tone, I got pretty excited about adding the Mario riff to it. She already had 3 sources in the original concept which were the underground tune from Super Mario, the main stage tune from Super Mario 3, and stage 1 from Super Mario. I ended up adding the haunted house bit from Super Mario World and the flagpole theme as the ending so the amount of mashing up styles and melodies going on is pretty intense, but the overall feel of the track stays cohesive, IMO.
Native Instruments' Monark did the bass patch that tried to capture the original NIN song. The rest was crafted from scratch and reworked to fit with the Haunted House theme from Super Mario World as well as the Castle theme. The first version used Super Mario 3's level as the main hook, but this one uses the Castle theme. Ever since hearing zircon's remix, I have wanted to touch on it in some way.
Anyway, I haven't been as active on OC ReMix as of late, but this remix became a creation that I got really excited about, so it was finished quickly. Once you have a good concept and production is there, it's hard to stop working on it. ;)
This was intended for Halloween 2018, but whenever it makes it to the listener's ears, it's fine. We worked hard on this and hope you enjoy it. Have a great Halloween and Fall season!"
Great instance of a collaboration going in new directions; Jordan's production assistance was on point, but his arrangement ideas also helped elevate Kristina's original vision. Larry Oji writes:
"It's true, I had to reject the original version of this arrangement for using NIN's music too closely, so changing up the direct "Closer" reference at 3:22 into a soundalike style easily sealed it here as far as NOT explicitly & extensively using NIN's music and not violating our Submissions Standards; thank you for being willing to tweak that. :-)
The "Closer" bassline sound being adapted into the Mario underground theme was clever and hearing how well that was done right from the start hooked me to see how this would turn out when I heard it the first time around. This mix was certainly dark throughout and while the core beat was steady just like NIN's "Closer", there a lot of subtle morphing and changing of the textures, with SMB's underground theme interacting with both of the lead SMW sources. [Side note, it would have been tremendous to throw in a tiny cameo of the Koopa Junior boss fight BGM somewhere in there, because that's the music that plays when you fight namesake Reznors in Super Mario World. ;-)]
Nice swapping out of the SMB3 Overworld to SMW's Sub Castle instead also; the change actually keeps things much more spooky and focused instead of the SMB3 stuff sounding upbeat and disconnected from the rest of the piece just to play into the original Mario/"Closer" parody. Whether your mushrooms are part of a stuffing, or dried up and hallucinogenic like they clearly have to be here, we hope we've been able to supplement your Thanksgiving holiday with something tangentially food-related that's well off the beaten path. :-)"
What I dig about this revised incarnation is that it takes a clever mashup concept and not only nails (get it?) the aesthetic, but makes it work within our standards by drawing primary melodic/harmonic influence from VGM and not the Incredible Mr. Reznor, by recreating instead of sampling all of the primary sonic ingredients, and by leveraging the high-level structure of "Closer" and using it almost as a framing device. Plus it's dark, dank, & deliciously wicked; mad props to Kris & Jordan for making this happen - enjoy!
Sources Arranged (5 Songs, 2 Games)
- Primary Game:
Super Mario World (Nintendo, 1990, SNES)
Music by Koji Kondo
- "Haunted House BGM"
"Sub Castle BGM"
- Additional Game:
Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo, 1985, NES)
Music by Koji Kondo
- "Course Clear Fanfare"
- EDM, Industrial
- Dark, Spooky
- Electronic, Synth
- Effects > Lo-Fi
Origin > Collaboration
Origin > Resubmission
Usage > Halloween
- 9,233,885 bytes
- Size: 9,233,885 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 1ce8ac0ca2dd7bbf666854f8745d155c
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