Props to newcomer ExperimentalSoundLab (Jamie Anne Leibowitz) for biting the bullet and sending this our way, achieving a musical goal by finally making her OCR debut with a low-and-slow electronic evolution of Metroid Fusion's Serris battle theme featuring a few other themes peppered in for added flavor. Her source tune breakdown follows:
- "Serris Battle", arpeggiator - Starting at 0:26 and through the rest of the track, highlighted in solo at 4:09
- "Sector 4 (AQA) Aquatic Level Control Zone" - 0:32-0:38, 1:49-1:58, 2:24-2:30, 4:39-4:46
- "Sector 1 (SRX)" - Source track very briefly at 0:47, not included in arranged songs because it's a direct source pull
- "Phendrana Drifts" - 1:33-1:36, 2:47-2:50
- "Serris Battle", slow rising melody - 1:58-2:14, 3:04-3:20
But as ESL noted in her submission, it nearly didn't wind up in our inbox:
"I've been sitting on this one for more years than I care to admit, but the announcement of Metroid Dread and the fact that Metroid Fusion is vastly underrepresented on this site finally pushed me to hit the submit button. Be the change you want to see in the world, right?
Part of my hesitance to submit this track was the very limited source material usage; it takes recognizable parts of the source but generally only very small bits of it, especially at the end where technically the arpeggiator melody is still there, but it's more background while the featured part is original composition."
Jamie alllllmost talked herself out of sending this, mistakenly believing that working with a limited part of the primary source tune could be a problem or that 4:09's approach of using the main source tune in the background while adding original composition on top as the focus could be a no-go. These techniques have always been 100% cool here, with ParagonX9's "The Alternate Route" and SGX's "Kick Your A" remaining textbook examples of these two approaches, respectively. But ESL's hesitation makes me realize that developing an itemized breakdown of arrangement techniques, with examples, to demonstrate and clarify the broad range of what's acceptable around here would be helpful. :-)
That said, we always appreciate artists getting over the mental hurdles of submitting their creations. There are countless other worthy VGM takes that I know would deserve a place among so many creative interpretations like this one. A happy accident led to ESL's sonic journey taking some twists and turns for a captivating end result that even has a fun miniature bit of Metroid fanfic story behind it:
"This started out as a much more energetic track, but I needed to slow down the source to make sure I was getting the right notes in that arpeggiator sound in the "Serris Battle", and when I heard it slowed down, my plans changed. :P As it is now, the main focus is that melody with some small snippets of other Metroid soundtracks building up a bunch of layers in a (mostly) ambient track.
There's a plot to this track! The beginning section is Serris sleeping peacefully in its tank, a pleasant dream to the rhythm of its heartbeat, interrupted by a vision of Samus in Sector 1 (that's the sort of glitched radio interference around it). Serris falls back asleep and its dreams grow increasingly violent as it is infected by the X. Finally, the last major section is the actual battle with Samus, ending with a fall off and a brief moment of peace calling back to the beginning before Serris fades away. Hope you enjoy!"
While you can read through the judges' decisions for fuller comments including critiques as well, we collectively loved the approach. DarkSim was full of praise for ESL's concept and writing as well as her production techniques:
"Serene indeed! This is a very slick, well-produced piece of electronica that is definitely something I'd listen to playing Stellaris, No Man's Sky, or any kind of space explore-em-up. The sound design is excellent, and I love how you've used the stereo space with some lush reverb and delay to create a vast, expansive soundscape. It sounds amazing on headphones. The glitching and percussive elements are reminiscent of Phrakture's work, as is the style. Funny how you were considering a faster tempo, when you accidentally landed on this idea. It's a real winner. All in all a really immersive listen, and I thoroughly enjoyed listening on repeat."
With a handle like "ExperimentalSoundLab", there are certainly some expectations and pre-conceived notions baked in. We're happy to say that the art indeed presents as advertised! :-) Jamie uncovered very cool ways to weave several Metroid cues around this tortured tale of the monster Serris, and we all benefit from her showcasing it here!
on 2022-11-06 23:45:48
Really cool drum effects throughout the whole thing. The tensions builds at just the right pace and i think it had a really strong finish. Will dl.
on 2022-10-26 00:03:09
on 2022-10-24 21:29:29
skaven252 meets Solar Fields... I love this!
on 2022-10-24 02:28:02
Sources Arranged (3 Songs, 2 Games)
- Primary Game:
Metroid Fusion (Nintendo
Music by Akira Fujiwara,Minako Hamano
- "Sector 4 (AQA) Water Level Control Area"
"VS. Serris, Yakuza"
- Additional Game:
Metroid Prime (Nintendo
Music by Kenji Yamamoto (I),Koichi Kyuma
- "Ice Valley (Phendrana Deep Lake Area)"
- Effects > Glitching
- 8,578,815 bytes
- Size: 8,578,815 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 096e68413a522a7d9b2091f1337ad7cb
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