Posted 2021-10-07, evaluated by Liontamer
The first rule of Mix Club is that you DO talk about Mix Club, and the second is that you can never have enough "Stickerbush Symphony" mixes, especially when they come in the form of sweet, chillax, downtempo/tropical house grooves from MkVaff (Mike Vafeas), who provides a status update then comments on his latest:
"Over the past few years I've slowly been figuring out what directions I wanted to use my creative energy in, and VGM kept on calling to me. I decided to return to covering music - primarily game music for now - and releasing it in the ways that make sense currently (streaming platforms, YouTube, IG, etc.). My work now has much more of a visual / narrative / autobiographical aspect to it that I wanted to create as part of the overall presentation, and so I will be releasing most of that on the platforms on and within the timeframes that I can work with.
I don't know how much of my new/future work will meet the current standards of OCR as it may sometimes be too simple / straightforward or even strange in other circumstances to fit what is expected on the site.
Regardless, I did want to offer what I believed to be my better VGM remixes in case they were deemed worthy of posting and a positive addition to the OCR library. You folks have been so awesome to me throughout the years and although I can't promise that everything I'm creating will "land," I'm more than happy to submit my new material regularly in the case that it may fit your standards, and hopefully be an interesting addition to your ever-growing collection of awesome music.
I will be (hopefully) submitting music more regularly for a while. Please feel free to post whatever fits for the site, whenever it falls in the queue or makes sense. If something doesn't fit here, absolutely zero hard feelings on this end whatsoever. Thanks for everything, as always!
About this remix:
With iconic songs like "Stickerbrush Symphony," I almost hesitate to cover them because (a) the original is already pretty perfect and (b) they've already been covered so much better than I ever could.
But after swimming around in a bunch of creative self-doubt for a while, I found that the song still called to me on a deep level, and resonated with a lot that was going on in my life.
After the past many months of uncertainty, anxiety, and loss, there's a sense of wistfulness and peace in this song that I found beautiful and healing. In parts, the melody seems to ask questions and not really answer them. In other parts, it's like the melody is telling a story about the ups and downs of life, eventually culminating in a feeling of rising hopefulness before bringing us back home to the beginning.
The song felt a lot like what was going on in life for me at the time, so despite all of my apprehensions, I decided to remix it anyway - hoping to capture some of the uncertainty, questioning, and hope that I felt in the original masterpiece."
Definitely check out what MkVaff's been up to; it's been great to see him resurface creatively and branch out with visual presentation & inspiration. Very excited to see all of his output, and to feature on OCR that which he submits & which fits with our approach. Which, if this mix is any indication, should be quite a bit - I love the extended intro here, as Mike opens with a super-relaxed, Latin/Caribbean electric guitar motif, dials in some vocalizing & gated trance chords, and then eventually brings in the full beat & bass. It's an intuitive treatment that doesn't diverge too much from the source vibe/structure, but sprinkles enough additive magic with the guitar, accompaniment, & bass that it feels unique and comfortable in its skin. If I had to pick a nit, by the time the piece is over that gated synth line has quite a few miles on it, but it never reaches the point of being overtly distracting. As his impressive, multi-decade oeuvre proves, he can work in multiple styles/genres, but he's especially adept at building depth & layering in just the right combination of parts for mellower, groove-based jams. This is one of those, where his signature "MkVaff Magic" is in full force, and the vibe is resplendently chill. Enjoy!
on 2021-10-17 10:00:28
Nice. Times change, listener standards change. I can understand how the track would feel simple... after a decade or two of amazing EDM tracks getting normalized in mainstream music, that is. But if this was posted 18 years ago on OCR it would be considered a face melter.
I have reflected on the uniqueness of the source tune many times. I can't come up with something poetic to say about it right now. But 'coming home' works for me. The source does have a strange weave of rising hopefulness that keeps... rising, then weaving back through minor tonality, then rising again. It keeps revolving seemlessly, and you forget where it starts and end, because it always feels like it's moving forward. Never quite gets home, but seems to be telling you that home exists nonetheless, and we'll all get there eventually.
Thanks for sharing.
on 2021-10-07 19:53:28
I originally heard this remix over the summer on McVaff's YouTube channel (and its video includes a very touching personal message, by the way).
This remix is now a permanent part of my summertime playlists (along with a few other MkVaff classics) and I'm happy to see it featured on OCR.
on 2021-10-07 18:09:44
(b) they've already been covered so much better than I ever could.
False. This one is sublime. Definitely one of the best ones ever posted on OCR.
Glad to see MkVaffe still remixing VGM after all these years. Hope to hear more of this great stuff!
on 2021-10-07 16:38:13
Always a good day when MkVaff brings us new music! Love this one. When he shared "Cosmo" back in 2018, it was on constant loop for me. This one is already doing the same thing!
on 2021-10-07 13:47:25
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (Nintendo, 1995, SNES)
Music by David Wise
- "Stickerbush Symphony (Bramble Blast)"
- EDM, House
- Chill, Mellow
- Electric Guitar, Electronic, Singing, Synth
- Regional > Latin American
Time > 4/4 Time Signature
- 6,099,216 bytes
- Size: 6,099,216 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: b9dd95f2a95f829d7c68ee185bf659de
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