ReMix: Conker's Bad Fur Day "Xerrox Salad/Memories of Memories" 4:54

By Michael Hudak

Arranging the music of one song...

"Rock Solid"

Primary Game: Conker's Bad Fur Day (Rare, 2001, N64), music by Robin Beanland

Posted 2020-12-14, evaluated by the judges panel


Michael Hudak gives us an aesthetic sibling/successor to his Persona 3 mix from back in August with this similarly-inclined glitch & experimental take on "Rock Solid" from Conker's BFD:

"Hello! It's me again. This is a weird one, and if it gets posted, some people are going to just hate what I did with the source. Ah, well. I'm very proud of this, but explanation is needed. I've been obsessed with the work of Alva Noto (Carsten Nicolai) for years now, and this is another piece that was heavily influenced by both his Transspray series, such as this, and his piano cut-and-pasting work with Ryuichi Sakamoto, such as this and this. In fact, he has an incredible series of several albums called Xerrox, which has a lot of office machine sounds as part of the pieces, which I obviously drew from heavily here. I don't want to give you a huge rundown of his discography, but to let you know where I was coming from with my own "Xerrox Salad" (an homage to Noto and a pun on Robin Beanland's "Rock Solid"... hopefully that extra r will keep the hounds at bay), it's a combination of the machine sound stuff, the piano stuff, and the source tune.

"Rock Solid" is essentially a 90s club song with a simple repeating chord progression, so I added some heavy sidechained bass... but it's mostly sub, not in the right key, and eventually disappears. It's just as much noise as anything. There are tons of cut-up piano snips here, and much of them have the gain cranked and compressed, which is another EDM trope, but that kind of signal boosting also brings out the strange background noises in some of the sampled piano notes (often it's little noises from the sampling room). Piano is a percussive instrument, and bringing that kind of hidden clamor to the surface and then using snips and stabs of it really creates almost a new kind of instrument that amplifies both the percussive and melodic qualities of it. Not rolling back transients so you get that tasty "pop" when a new clip starts is a big part of that, too. This is also a kind of an "art-damaged" way of composing, but the source is a dance track, so I also tried to keep the pretense down and keep the song interesting and somewhat with a beat. That said, I did add words by Longfellow recited by my great-grandfather in front of his fireplace (from a tape from 1979 - I never met the guy, but he has a great voice) taken from the song "The Legend of the Crossbill." The final section has that sprinkling of nostalgic fairy dust, I think. Whew!

I think this track is ugly and beautiful at once. I'm sorry for such a long write-up."

Very cool; shared inspirations between this and the P3 mix, but this is a little less experimental - for the first minute or so, I kept waiting for a sick trap beat to drop. But it never did. Sick trap beat or not, this definitely could have been the bones of something in the lofi hip-hop arena, but Hudak instead opts for a stripped-down, more minimalist affair. Chimpazilla was a fan:

"I LOVE the approach to this remix. The heavy well-produced glitching, sampling and sub bass gives a wonderfully calming and yet unsettling atmosphere. The piano artifacts fit in perfectly. This sounds amazing on my setup and the soundscape is huge and varied, that perfect combo of full and empty at the same time. The short vocal section is a very interesting, thought-provoking and intimate interlude (wow, your great-grandfather!). This is the kind of track that I really dig but it won't be everyone's cup of tea."

Or coffee, but that's why humans developed a variety of beverage options. The melody ends up feeling both chill and melancholy, due to the isolation & negative space, and the attention to discrete panning is a big part of what makes the sound design tick so effectively. Emunator adds:

"This track is challenging to grasp, but equally rewarding for those who give it a chance, especially on repeat listens. One aspect that particularly stood out to me was the contrast created during moments where you briefly let up on the glitching, such as from :56-1:28 or during the excellent spoken word section at 2:42, where you simply let the notes decay naturally. It gives context to the sonic madness that surrounds it, and also helps craft a more structured, dynamic arrangement. This stylistic choice makes the track all that much stronger as a complete musical statement to me."

It's a transformative, deep-dive into the outlying possibilities that Beanland's EDM-styled source suggests, realized in a unique & arresting fashion. On first playthrough I just assumed that the spoken-word reading was a public domain artifact from somewhere/somewhen, but it's especially neat that it's a personal time capsule from Hudak's family past - the year I was born, even - finding its way to new ears in a radically new context. Another distinct, engaging arrangement from Michael, which stands on its own but also serves as a continuation/refinement of his previous Persona 3 mix. Enjoy!

djpretzel

Discussion

Latest 2 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
avatar
Joshua Sands
on 2020-12-21 11:35:17

This is ridiculous. Bravo!

avatar
Liontamer
on 2020-12-14 11:36:33

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

Sources Arranged (1 Song)


Primary Game:
Conker's Bad Fur Day (Rare, 2001, N64)
Music by Robin Beanland
Songs:
"Rock Solid"

Tags (10)


Genre:
Ambient, Cinematic, Experimental
Mood:
Chill, Quirky
Instrumentation:
Piano, Sound FX, Talking
Additional:
Effects > Glitching
Effects > Reversing

File Information


Name:
Conker's_Bad_Fur_Day_Xerrox_Salad_Memories_of_Memories_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
7,147,362 bytes
MD5:
68a3add7edcf6df6302d186100f24d5c
Bitrate:
192Kbps
Duration:
4:54

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