ReMix:Mario Kart 64 "Watery Graves! Majestic Views!" 2:48

By Michael Hudak

Arranging the music of 2 songs...

"Banshee Boardwalk", "Item Box Determined"

Primary Game: Mario Kart 64 (Nintendo , 1996, N64), music by Kenta Nagata

Posted 2024-05-25, evaluated by the judges panel

Lord knows I love me some experimental stuff, so whenever Michael Hudak arrives with something, it's bound to challenge us in a positive way. 25 OC ReMixes later, prepare thyself for Hudak's spine-tingling, reality-warping sonic salmagundi -- not just a ride around Mario Kart 64's "Banshee Boardwalk", but a trip to another musical dimension entirely:

"This is a "strange" song from Mario Kart 64. For remixing, it's a perfect track with which to explore different sounds without being chained to a melody. I've done a few mini-suite remixes like this before with "The Great Boggly Tree" (very cut & paste-y) and "Ice Cap Zone" (a little more thematic cohesion), and this might be in a similar vein as those, at least in terms of structure.

The source is almost all 16th-note arpeggios: 8 bars of A (A-C-D-F), and then slowly rising and falling through A# (A#-C#-D#-F#), B (B-D-E-G), and C (C-D#-F-G#) as well. At times, I played the arpeggios using a similar log drum sound, but at other times I recreated these arpeggios by recording electronic drum lines and tuning them with EQ notch automation via FabFilter. I also used a harp sample to play the chord progression in moments, layered with a flute at the end (for a Les Baxter - Jewels of the Sea tribute).

The moments in my mix that have those arps/chords are: 0:00-0:44; 1:01-1:23; 2:03-2:07; 2:18-2:38.

Also in the source are some horror strings that play from 0:29 to 0:45 in that source. The moments in my mix that have those strings notes are: 1:45-1:56; 2:03-2:10.

There's a ton I could say about the methods I used and how I experimented with what to get what sound, but I'll just say this - it was a lot of trial and error.

Thanks again to the judges who have to listen to this and figure out if it works for the site or not."

We appreciate the source usage walkthrough just to clarify things, even thought the source usage was very straightforward. :-) Fellow judge Chimpazilla thought "Banshee Boardwalk" would have fit like a glove in Twilight Princess -- do y'all agree? One would almost assume the Zelda-esque source tune vibes carried this across the finish line, yet that would be wrong! She makes it abundantly clear -- it's Hudak's audio smörgåsbord that's done ALL the heavy lifting:

"WHOA. That Banshee source sounds more like something I would expect to hear in Twilight Princess than in anything Mario Kart! Clearly I did not play Mario Kart 64! But it sounds like a tune that would inspire Michael! The source song is full of arpeggio, sharp bells and plucks, creepy strings, ominous bass, and dissonance, very Twilight Princess.

The remix seems to be primarily the arp from the source song played over and over in a billion unique ways, along with the chord progressions and horror strings. Wow, this is super cool. So many different elements, forming a constantly evolving emotive soundscape, with that empty-yet-full feel that I love. So much variation, holds my interest all the way through, making me wonder what is around the next corner. Definitely has a comic-nightmare vibe, which is so unsettling. Production and mastering are ace. Thank you Michael, I dig this maximally."

Just as effusive with high praise was judge Emunator! Emu's no slouch himself when it comes to cohesive music and strong sound design, so if he's this sold, what's anyone else's excuse? :-D :

"Hot damn Michael. You know sometimes when you can't quite find the words for why something sounds amazingly produced, but you can feel it on a visceral level? That's what the production on this track does to me. Every single sound feels deliberately placed, and there's not a single space in the frequency spectrum that feels neglected or overemphasized. "Empty but full" is an absolutely perfect way to describe this, and I think you've made some tremendous strides in the quality of your mixing and mastering to help achieve this effect. The better frequency balance, spatial presence, and attenuation of harsh frequencies is absolutely felt here. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that this sort of triumph simply wouldn't have been possible a year or two ago, and it speaks to the level ups that you've made as an artist in that time.

Even the arrangement itself feels like it flows more naturally than some of your previous genre-bending mini-suite sound design experiments. Would it be going to far to even describe this as a *pleasant* listen? I don't think so. I'm not sure how you do it, but keep doing it."

Great experimental concept per your usual, Michael -- I loved the different sound combinations, and strangely enough, something like this could definitely work in a next-gen edition of Mario Kart! I couldn't have said it any better than Emu: whatever you're doing musically, though we can never wrap our heads around it, we dig it -- don't stop. :-)



Latest 2 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2024-06-14 03:34:50

Wow, this was something fun. It kinda felt like listening to the idea of concept of space and ocean colliding, so dimensional sounds about right. Trippy, weird, neat. I'd file it more under an experience and ambiance than song, but not bad at all considering the sources.

on 2024-05-25 00:50:45
What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.

Sources Arranged (2 Songs)

Primary Game:
Mario Kart 64 (Nintendo , 1996, N64)
Music by Kenta Nagata
"Banshee Boardwalk"
"Item Box Determined"

Tags (8)

Effects > Glitching

File Information

4,890,145 bytes


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