We've had this one on the judges panel for a while, but it's finally time for newcomer Tremendouz to make their OCR arrival felt with a creative and evolving electronic/organic hybrid take on David Wise's Star Fox Adventures, originally made for a Pixel Mixers compo organized by Bullicann on the r/VGCovers subreddit. The artist writes:
I've never played a Star Fox game in my life. I should probably play the game at some point on emulator, it looks cool. But when I discovered this magical soundtrack by David Wise, I knew I had to arrange something from it. "Krazoa Palace" immediately stood out to me since I'm a huge fan of minimalistic, atmospheric tracks.
The arrangement idea started from me playing around with a harp VST and way too much delay/reverb. This resulted in an interesting texture. so I kept adding layers of different sounds to it ranging from synth pads to electric piano to Chinese bawu (Embertone Shan Bawu), just to mention a few. Woodwinds and strings work everywhere. Add in some distorted guitars, bass (I'm not sure which one I used here, it was either Eurobass II or Ample Bass J), drums, and the result is this rather strange mix of styles. I like trying weird combos. As usual, everything was done with virtual instruments (what a great time to be a bedroom producer!)."
Self-deprecation will get you everywhere. But, seriously, whenever I read an artist's comments cheekily implying they jacked up an arrangement attempt, I'm thankful they didn't talk themselves out of the potential challenge or stress of submitting it here to OCR. Props to Tremendouz for having enough confidence to send this in and take a chance.
This actually would have been rejected with three unamimous NOs encouraging resubmission, but the piece was also flagged for the judging test that led to us adding on DarkSim, Jordi Storm, and XPRTNovice, so it was held over for extra votes and perspective from the testing pool. In the meantime, more of the judges panel weighed in and felt the effectiveness of the genre change, instrumentation, and textures outweighed the concerns about repetition and production. New judge Jordi Storm praised the combination of sounds:
"Oh harp and bawu, two of my favourite instrument! I don’t think I’ve paired these two together often enough at all, so thank you for the inspiration. I’m certainly not the world’s best bawu player by any means, but I was very impressed with the realism of the performances. Whilst I can hear that you’ve used a bawu sample library, I don’t think that many people would because the ornamentation is confidently chosen and realistically playable, which is not an easy thing to do. I’d go out on a limb and say that you’ve probably listened to a bit of traditional Chinese music or soundtracks, but even if not, colour me impressed."
Fellow newbie judge DarkSim summed the positives up so well:
"The arrangement of the source tune is good, I like the way certain elements have been switched around to form a more flowing progression, rather than designed to be looped as the original was. I might have liked a little more individuality such as a solo, either with flute or guitar, however the source has been beefed up so much that there’s more than enough originality here.
Overall this is an extremely accomplished ReMix. To perfectly blend synth pads, 4 different lead instruments, heavy bass and drums, heavier synth elements, AND do it all with samples is no mean feat. The attention to detail is what impresses me most about this track - not a single element has been neglected, or is there without thought. Everything has a purpose, and execution is outstanding."
"You found a pocket and hit it dead on; there’s a great little mix of new age and 80’s synthwavy stuff going on here."
The community's a more creative place when artists are willing to take part in compos and open themselves up to VGM source tunes outside of nostalgia or metrics-chasing. As Level 99 & LuIzA have already shown, Star Fox Adventures is a soundtrack with inspiring sounds and exciting arrangement possibilities. Through this second ReMix representing the game, Tremendouz truly hits a sweet spot, weaving together some instruments and genre blends we're not used to hearing. Synth electric guitars don't often sound this good, and the harp, bawu, drums, and synths click surprisingly well; everything flows and connects very naturally. It all adds up to an impressive OCR debut!
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Star Fox Adventures (Nintendo
Music by Ben Cullum,David Wise
- "Krazoa Palace"
- Cello,Electric Guitar,Harp,Synth,Woodwinds
- Origin > Competition
Regional > Chinese
Time > 4/4 Time Signature
- 5,426,038 bytes
- Size: 5,426,038 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 3ce633c6ea844ee93e2cefba9a2a6dc0
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