Newcomer thebitterroost gives us our first Faxanadu mix in many, many moons, with a solid, crunchy metal cover that dabbles in bitcrushed chiptune & slows down June Chikuma's original into something a bit more sinister:
Made with cheap mics, cheap drums, cheap(ish) audio interface, freeware amp sims. As an experiment/proof of concept, I used a Frankenstein'ed junky drumkit, repaired cymbals, low-end mics, and an entry-level/mediocre interface to record the entire thing. Kind of a medium-slow/sludgier/doomier/whatever metal take on the tune, with just a hint of Opeth and a possibly misguided bit of bitcrushing. And it loops! More or less."
Is bitcrushing *ever* misguided, though? ;) Judges had a variety of takes on both the production & the arrangement; the former, I feel, is a good example of coaxing impressive sounds out of (apparently) ragtag hardware & freeware, and I particularly like the variety of creative FX applied, the doubled/panned acoustic guitar, and the overall crispness & crunchiness. The chip/crushed portions add some textural variety and came off "the right degree of playful" to me, given the otherwise aggressive context. Regarding the arrangement, while the melody is indeed pretty conservative, I tend to agree with the presiding sentiment among judges that other components pick up the interpretive slack, as it were. Rexy's entire vote resonated with me:
"Honestly, I see this as a neat genre adaptation. The performances are tight, the guitar tones both electric and unplugged are expressive, the drum writing never sticks around in one place, and the palette as a whole has this raw garage sound to it. Yes, this track does have more of a bass presence and not so much on the highs, but I didn't sense any glaring frequency overlaps either and can consider this an intentional alt-rock sound that fits its intended purpose.
And yes, the arrangement is minimal, but it's just the melody maintained as it is while the bass does its own thing, and the added rhythm guitars/synth work contributes some fun textures that also shake up through the track's duration. The sustained aesthetic in the second variation felt ominous, the bit-crushed breakdown at 1:23 was out of leftfield, and the half-time drums at 2:17 shaped up an impressive audible climax. I think it set out to tread the fine line between conservative arranging and thoughtful interpretation, and that's impressive on its own.
So yes, it's a gritty sound and minimal arrangement that may not fly with everyone, but I didn't sense anything glaring, so both sides squeaked over the bar for me. But I do hope you take what you've learned from this experience and see where you can push yourself for future submissions. Please stick around!"
Sans the creative DSP utilization, the acoustic guitar bits, & the foray into chipcrushed lands, this would have been a less interesting but still solid & personalized arrangement of the source. I feel like TBR upped the ante & produced a more compelling mix with those specific additions, so I'm a little less on the fence than some of the judges - I dug it, I think you will too, it's cool to see Faxanadu back on the homepage, and I'm looking forward to hearing more!
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Acoustic Guitar,Chiptune,Electric Guitar
- Effects > Distortion
Effects > Lo-Fi
Production > Live Instruments
- 5,475,681 bytes
- Size: 5,475,681 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: ae57ef6a3f482f28c1e20d1b3da50cc1
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