Posted 2021-09-09, evaluated by Liontamer
Happy 25th birthday to everyone's favorite bandicoot, and perhaps the only bandicoot anyone really thinks of one when they think of bandicoots at all: Crash Bandicoot!! Judge, ReMixer, and Crash Bandicoot superfan extraordinaire Rexy (Beverley Wooff) is on the scene to celebrate with a sugary "Food Run" synthwave/synth-pop celebration & our first featured arrangement of Crash Bandicoot 4:
Crash 4 was a ridiculous ride to strive for 106% completion in the best possible way. The team at Toys For Bob broke down what made the IP what it is, then built upon it to update the formula for the gaming climate of the moment. So I felt inclined to arrange something from Walter Mair's score - who utilized a palette so deep you could hear the franchise staples of brass and marimba in one track and then hear field recordings in another.
Though what I did here was handling synthwave tropes - something I'd wanted to experiment with for a while. And it made sense to take that style to the futuristic setting of the Sn@xx Dimension, where story-wise Crash had stopped any more dimensional rifts from spawning and got treated to dinner on the way back home.
I cited a lot of material from Mitch Murder when it came to figuring out my palette. I used analog basses instead of my usual acoustic, processed LinnDrum tones, polysynths in place of keys, and any organic instrumentation kept to a minimum. That said, when it came to lead writing, you can see I still relied on some old faithfuls (i.e. zircon's Zebra patches) to bring the melody re-interpretations to life. You're getting a celebratory feel here - a more optimistic way of looking past a hardship in contrast to the bittersweet tone of "All for Wumpa" (hence your title inspiration).
It's been a wild ride going through those late-childhood-to-adolescent years with the PS1, up towards this current moment. Where Crash would be in 2046 (or where I would be?) would be anyone's guess, but for now it's best to savor the present. Enjoy the festivities, wherever you are. :D"
Wingless had his cheeky "All the World" Metroid mix title pairing back in 2003, and now Bev has her own pair of similarly reflective "Wumpa" mixes ;) Nice to hear Rexy working with electronic drums - she's gotten a ton of mileage from Addictive Drums and has been doing wonders pairing acoustic kits with more synthetic melodic components, but for synthwave you almost gotta have that electronic regularity on the drumline. A large smattering of synths rounds things out, and while I got more of a cheery, explicitly pop vibe than most synthwave I've heard, it was good either way. I love the running arpeggio synth plucks hovering in the bottom left corner, and how pads remain unobtrusive but add fullness/richness as they slide around the center. I also dig that element of warmth/saturation on the main lead, and I like how she avoids lead fatigue (it's a Real Thing!) by swapping between the initial lead, polysynth/bellish keys, and later a spiralling monoglide/sine at 3'00" - good timbral variety on the main melody, and some of the soloing towards the end is just plain old fun.
Plucky, poppy, and brimming with positive energy & vibes, this is a(nother) great musical trribute to Crash Bandicoot from an artist that has really done a superb job advocating for & representing one of her favorite series on OCR! Happy 25th birthday to CB, and a huge thanks to Bev for this and every other CB mix from her that we've featured to date!
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time (Activision, 2020, PS4)
Music by Walter Mair
- "Food Run"
- Pop, Synthwave
- Energetic, Happy
- Electronic, Synth
- Arrangement > Extended Soloing
Time > Tempo: Fast
- 9,266,049 bytes
- Size: 9,266,049 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: adfe046da284ef8faa2388a446120bd9
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