Posted 2021-05-18, evaluated by Rexy
Metroid is all about the alien & unfamiliar, so Michael Hudak's experimental, glitched/stitched take on "Sanctuary Fortress" from MP2 makes a lot of sense:
"Quite a bit of experimentation went into this, and there are several different versions that came out of the project, but this one is my fave.It's my third attempt at re-arranging this piece. The first version was almost pure synthwave, which I submitted to OCR but was rejected because it was a bit too source-light. The second swung totally the other way stylistically, and was an extremely intense sound design-y blip fest that I deemed too sterile. THIS final version takes arrangement elements of the second one, and literal finished chunks of the first one (such as the pitched up and down piano runs turned into pad-like sounds), and blends them together with a ton of new stuff. I got some positive feedback from the Majora's Mask "Great Bay Temple" remix I did for OCR, which was percussion-driven, and experimental but dancey (I think?), and tried to take those ideas further with this piece.
I wanted the second half of the tune to be a marked change, so to make the pads stand out more when they arrive, I left the lower midrange fairly sparse in the first half of the song. I think it's effective, and also adds to the scraped together theme. Everything playing in the first half is like flotsam pieced together, like salvage art, then the pads drop in and glue everything together, at least for a time."
First are source times, second are remix times.
- 1:30 = 0:01-0:15
- 1:47 = 0:17-0:31, 1:10-1:24
- 2:18 = 0:48-0:55, 1:00-1:06
- 1:57 = 1:25-2:43
I do love how this piece opens up; the first half is aesthetically similar to some of Michael's previous mixes - still very cool, but I was waiting for him to mix it up (so to speak), and I think incorporating pieces from his synthwave take was just the ticket. Some of the earlier synth burps/squelches are downright rude (in the best way), and the lower distorted tones (0'34") almost hit like dirty 808s - how about some experimental trap next time, Michael? :) I get a Game of Thrones vibe from the later ambient pad chords, due to some passing similarities, but the general approach of finally letting reverb tails extend outwards, without truncation, introduces an expansiveness that contrasts nicely with the first half. Rexy evaluated:
"As noted, the arrangement and presentation approach is very similar to "Machine Wash," where most of the instruments used in the first half are glitch tones - and with a more delicate balance to boot. These techniques are essential for making the interpretation shine, which primarily uses material from the middle of the loop. All melodic uses are straight-forward and recognizable, with advanced techniques like sustained mallet rolls (0:01), using the first attempt's ending as a unique instrument (0:47), and adding harmonies that intensify over time (1:55). The only thing I would've liked to have seen differently is some form of further ex
pression on the pads like on the glitch tones, but that's getting nitpicky on my part.
If it's not apparent, I love what he did here. I thought Michael would go on to revise that first try with some added source, but I didn't think he'd tear it apart and use some of the foundations to make something new. What's better is that listening to the finished result made me feel his efforts on getting musique concrete representation on OCR have kept getting refined with each new sub - and that's impressive progress in the space of a year!"
I'd say this mix actually gets more cinematic/accessible as it progresses, beginning life in a quirkier, more experimental state and then slowly leaning towards more identifiable form. A coalescence, if you will. Really cool sound design on either half, but the juxtaposition is what elevates the whole. Singular, strange, & otherworldly stuff from Mr. Hu, who puts his "scraps" to excellent use!
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (Nintendo, 2004, GCN)
Music by Kenji Yamamoto (I)
- "Sanctuary Fortress"
- Cinematic, Experimental
- Effects > Glitching
- 6,057,737 bytes
- Size: 6,057,737 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 2cc3923dceae3f1fcd90b0416a1f95f6
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