If one of the most effective means of instilling fear is through disorientation, then this latest experimental/glitch ambient musique concrète-esque take on Resident Evil save themes from Michael Hudak is appropriately terrifying:
"Experimental RE-mix of the save/typewriter themes from Resident Evil Remake, 0, and 4. My 3 favorite save themes from the RE series (the original PS1 RE had a slightly different arpeggio in its save theme that sounded less sinister to me; I prefer the REmake version). Inspired by the waking dreams (hypnagogia) I've been frequently experiencing over the last year. I went for a more incidental approach here, as if the music is coming to you as you're fading in and out of sleep (I get woken up a lot by street noise on my block, so that's where this is coming from). Almost like dreams within dreams, or maybe several dreams spiralling together, kind of like a 5-pronged DNA strand. Bizarre stuff. That's the feeling I wanted to capture here, rather than just aim to do a simple ambient piece, because there's enough of that already (you can go to YT and listen to whole playlists of RE save music with rainstorm effects in the background). The strange, filtered, bass-only beat from 1:40 to 1:50 represents the cars going down my street blasting music at 1:30 a.m.
"No Sleep Demon" was the working title, but towards completion I realized that I copped Oneohtrix Point Never's style from his album Garden of Delete pretty hard here, so that explains the title. I think a little bit of the very old OC ReMix called "Of Transformants and Brevity" by zykO crept in here too. I listened to that dozens of times in high school. If this passes, I'm sure some people will hate it... I don't even know if I like it! I very much enjoyed making it though. Cathartic experience.
It's mostly source material aside from the final 30 seconds or so. Slowed down a lot using multitap delays though. Here are time signatures indicating where I used each source:
- REmake "Save Theme": 0:00-0:19, 0:24-1:00, 1:21-1:37, 1:50-2:00, 2:06-2:12, 2:38-2:50
- RE0 save theme ("Rest"): 1:00-1:15, 1:42-1:49
- RE4 "Save Theme": 1:38-1:42, 2:17-2:32
The "Whattaya buyin'" is a voice clip from RE4 that I chopped up and pitched down. Other voice clips are of me and a friend messing around with instruments. Thanks in advance for slogging through this one. I'll send a more regular one next time."
He likes to challenge us, he does. I'll say that I wasn't a huge fan of the (brief) talking, but other than that, it's like a spooky, sonic take on MCU's "quantum realm," with different textures & noise levels popping in & out of existence randomly. On headphones, at least, it's quite disconcerting and pretty unnerving, which I suppose maps to both sleeplessness AND the Resident Evil universe writ large. Judges wrassled with it; DarkSim's take resonated with me & referenced Fight Club, even though you're not supposed to:
"I gave this one listen and it instantly evoked images and fragments of my own dreams and occasional inception-like dreams-within-dreams. I absolutely adore the execution of this. It's incredibly abstract, but the way the melody hangs like a thread through the middle of the piece, guiding us on the journey, is superb.
The first deep vocal chop at 0:49 is like that moment when you're falling asleep and suddenly lose balance, even though you're lying down. Or that moment in Fight Club where Tyler Durden is splicing a couple of frames of explicit material into children's movies, making you think "did I just hear that? Was that a dream?" It's followed up with a rapid crescendo, like a deep breath after being startled. The heavy reverb sounds delicious, helping us float off, and then the chops start coming in, shifting the entire soundscape in an instant. It's a clever technique very reminiscent of dreams, in that you can instantly be somewhere else from moment to moment.
The chops do get a bit 'poppy' round 1:51, although I appreciate that's both a stylistic choice, and par for the course when slicing samples so aggressively. I'd also say that the clean vocal at 2:43 sounded a bit out of place, although in my mind I was picturing someone finding an old camcorder in a run-down house, and playing the video. Very fitting of a Resident Evil/survival horror trope.
Definitely not for everyone, but for those who connect with it, it's a fantastic piece of work."
Hudak's proven more than once that he can put together more traditional, structured, "accessible" arrangements, but I'm still glad to see him probing the depths of his imagination. Team Weird! It's also more thematically relevant that he do this for a Resident Evil mix, in particular, as opposed to a series/franchise disconnected from unease/psychological duress. If he's the David Lynch of VGM arrangements, then maybe this is his Eraserhead ;) Very strange, unsettling, and probably polarizing, but still pretty darn engrossing, cool, & memorable; in other words, very Hudak!
Sources Arranged (3 Songs, 3 Games)
- Primary Game:
Resident Evil (Capcom
Music by Makoto Tomozawa
- "Save Theme"
- Additional Game:
Resident Evil 0 (Capcom
Music by Ayumu Murai,Ichiro Kohmoto,Riyou Kinugasa,Ryoue Takagi,Seiko Kobuchi,Shingo Kataoka,Takashi Honda (I)
- Additional Game:
Resident Evil 4 (Capcom
Music by Misao Senbongi,Shusaku Uchiyama
- "Save Theme"
- Harp,Piano,Sound FX,Vocals: Voice Acting
- Effects > Glitching
Effects > Lo-Fi
Effects > Reversing
Usage > Halloween
- 4,886,836 bytes
- Size: 4,886,836 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 907ccf55c5f36bd35d9c3ba0a8a9e2ef
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