With a loving nudge from better half frozenflygone, Keenan Lind returns with his sophomore featured ReMix as part of Mario Month! BeanJammin's back with a downtempo take, slowing Super Mario World's "Athletic BGM" to bask in the proud plumber's first 16-bit jumps! (The drum writing alone's worth a seat at the table, so prepare thyself. :-D) Keenan explained the origins of his quirky piece, with some correspondingly quirky influences:
"Saw your call for Mario remixes on Twitter just as I had been working on touching up this track in preparation for my first cover album going on streaming! I originally made this for a Celeste mod I made with my wife called Quickie Mountain 2, which is directly inspired by the Kaizo Mario hack Quickie World. The goal for all of the music I made for that was to cover the same track used in the original hack, but with a Celeste-y, digital fusion twist. I also took a lot of inspiration from Cake's cover of "Mahna Mahna" (yes, the song from the Muppets, it absolutely slaps) to try and create something that was as weird as it is fun!"
Interesting to hear Keenan reference digital fusion, since we just got to post the OCR debut of jneen, another digital fusion disciple. The judges panel dug this, and we shared our feedback with Bean post-decision, so he was kind enough to slide in some quick tweaks to get things sounding their best. With such a relaxed approach, even our resident judge curmudge MindWanderer got won over:
"Nice mellow noodling around with the Athletic theme. Lots of changes in lead, style, and accompaniment to keep things interesting, and the Underground break is well-placed. Normally ping-pong stereo bothers me a lot, but in this case it mostly works. Pretty much everything about this is a textbook synth remix: nothing revolutionary, but no missteps either. Ultimately a fun little jaunt."
It's a subtle thing to be sure, but stereo panning attempts can easily go awry, so pay close attention to the first 38 seconds to hear it done effectively. Judge prophetik music best articulated the other tricks of the trade Keenan showcased that scored unaminous panel support:
"this is a hip arrangement! i really dig the additive intro, and how the melody is getting passed around a lot. there's some small but meaningful updates to the melodic line - the little flips into notes and triplets added really make a huge difference. i also appreciate how much space there is in the implementation - lots of chopped synths, the drums are crisp.
the layering of the Athletic theme with the immediately recognizable Underworld theme is great.
the ending is kind of nonexistent - this is a loop, right? - but it doesn't take away from a good overall package. it's short but fun. wish it was longer! i just wanted to keep listening. easy vote :-D"
Bean admitted that proph "definitely called me out for this originally being a loop for a fan game, but the drum roll ending just ended up feeling more right than any album outros I wrote", which is totally fine, so let's replug Quickie Mountain 2 while also mentioning that Keenan has a propensity for making hit music for fan games, if you haven't already heard him in action with tracks within the smash-hit Celeste fan community mod Strawberry Jam. :-) This piece isn't disconnected from Celeste either -- go out of your way to listen through all the various inspirations and you'll easily be able to tell how Keenan worked to combine the instrumentation influences from Cake alongside the rhythms & cadence of Lena Raine's "First Steps", resulting in quite the surprisingly funky blend with the Mario World soundtrack!
As my J-bretheren noted, Keenan employed nice tradeoffs between more robotic/mechanical-sounding parts and elements that feel live (e.g. the leads at :00, :38, :48, :56, 1:16, etc.). I also dug the interplay of the swirling line at :57 underneath the source melody, and as well as the bassline combining with the syncopated melody from 1:17-1:35, and of course the cameo of Super Mario Bros.' underground theme at 1:44. Keep repeating this one and you'll continue to pick up on subtle details that'll perk up the arranger inside of you. :-) A big thanks once again to BeanJammin for gracing the front page once again; after taking things slow with both his and DCT's pieces, we're going to have to up the speed a notch for our next Mario Month entry!
on 2023-04-29 20:53:33
The athletic theme always had an odd but fun vibe to it, but this takes it to another playful level that I can appreciate. Short and sweet, it does what it needs to, which is good enough for me. Always a joy to see more Mario World mixes.
on 2023-04-21 00:27:32
Sources Arranged (2 Songs, 2 Games)
- Primary Game:
Super Mario World (Nintendo
Music by Koji Kondo
- "Athletic BGM"
- Additional Game:
Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo
Music by Koji Kondo
- "Underground BGM"
- 5,030,048 bytes
- Size: 5,030,048 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: a760df42e030c96ec343fbc4c081cb63
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