Posted 2024-06-19, evaluated by the judges panel

S'nice to take a break, but it's time to get back to some occasional vidya game music! As part of DarkeSword's GSM2 compo with help on the sound design from several folks, VARIA whipped up this jungle-y arranged mashup of Aria of Sorrow's "Sacred Cave" together with Metroid Prime's menu theme:

"Artists who helped with production: Paradiddlesjosh, Pixelseph, Mel Decision, and Moebius"

Kudos and golf claps for Mel Decision (involved in her fourth featured ReMix) and OCR's twin sages Pixels & Paradiddles, along with a warm welcome to Moebius, who's got their own upcoming arrangement to be posted! As evidenced during GSM2, we love to hear Metroid music so effectively combined with 'Vania, and this track got VARIA's creative juices flowing to complete their soon-to-be-released Metroid-inspired Dancetroid EP:

"This track was created for OCR's Game Set Mash!! 2 competition back in March, where teams competed in creating mashups of themes from different video games. I was given the task of mashing up the Metroid Prime "Menu Theme", and the "Forbidden Area" theme from Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow as part of a group. After submitting for the competition, I was super-happy with my arrangement, as it is super-fun and adventurous, and I think it stacked up well against our opponents. I was on Team Whip (Castlevania) against Team Gun (Metroid).

I was heading the arrangement for this round, and I set up something a little different than our other tracks. I asked my team members to give me samples; any kind of sample would do. Some gave me clips of sounds from around their houses, clips of singing and humming, samples they found online or recorded of instruments, or things they produced. From these, I created synth instruments, sample instruments, and FX which I used to then write an arrangement of both tracks into one jungle/drum and bass track. This is a method I've found really activates my creativity, and you may have seen its like in online beat-making competitions, where producers are given a sample pack and a time limit and have to make the best thing they can.

The mashup of it all turned out quite fun. I elected to alternate between the source tracks, and kind of use the Metroid Prime melodies as a hype "chorus" that plays interspersed between longer, meandering sections from Aria of Sorrow. The two play off each other very well and all the key changes really make the song feel like a journey; we are "Going Deeper!" (literally, as the song ends one or two keys down from where it starts, haha). Since submitting for the competition, I have added extra instruments and effects, and done a lot of work in the mix to make it sound better and fully realize the vision I couldn't in just the week and a half we had in the competition.

I had a ton of fun making it, I am super-happy with how it's come out, and it'll be featured on my upcoming Metroid dance remix EP alongside "Flooded Caverns" (my last OC ReMix) and 3 (possibly 4??) other Metroid remixes this July! I'm so, so excited to start rolling out tracks for this project that has been in the works for years now, and been a dream of mine for over a decade. I hope you enjoy the track! Thank you!"

A great source tune choice to work alongside Metroid music, "Sacred Cave"/"Forbidden Area" definitely feels like Super Metroid music from another mother. :-D Judge prophetik music thoroughly walked through just how brilliantly VARIA structured this collab, using the CV source tune as the foundation and punctuating it with the Metroid Prime portions:

"opens with some sfx and a gliding synth that really apes the CAoS track well. starts to get some more body around 0:30 and again at 0:54 as it starts to get some beats. beat hits at 1:18 and there's a really fun ambiance going on - the 4/4 influence is clear, but there's some playing with time which is a neat idea. i like the way the bass is used throughout this entire section.

2:14 is a more aggressive feel - continues being pretty spacey in the backing elements, but the bass is more aggressive. the extra distortion edge that's showing here in the bass is really nice. 2:38 is an extended break and feels so metroid - something about the arps and chorused bass really just piques that memory. there's a nice build through 3:35 into 3:45 to a chorus section. there's some extra metroid melodic material as it drops off a bit going into 4:15, another key change, and then we get some outro elements as it trucks back through some source material to get to the end.

this is a layup. the CAoS melodic material is indeed meandering, and your idea to use it as a verse with the Prime track being the chorus was inspired. there's a bunch of subtle production techniques being used throughout which is really fun to hear as well. overall this is a great example of the inspiration that can come from a short timeframe to work on the bones of a track. nice work."

Judge Chimpazilla echoed the panel's general sentiments, praising the strength of VARIA's mashup, while also respecting the track's flow, production, and overall craftwork:

"The two sources are seamlessly combined, and the energy of the piece has awesome dynamics. Plenty of details and ear candy. The writing is varied and cool. The drum writing is great and the filtering transitions are excellent."

Very cool opening sound at :05, as the chirping-style lead is interesting and, frankly, attention-grabbing. The Metroid Prime source on belltones almost sounded off until it resolved at :59 and I understood where it went. This had good bass writing (and presence) during the CV melody from 1:17-1:41, and I'll cosign on this showcasing some nice breakbeats. Don't sleep on the very effective dropoff at 2:39. And, proving that VARIA kept the details and ear candy copious until the end, it was pretty cool how full the texture got when the bass beefed up at 3:44, which was a cool contrast for a stronger finish! Even with Castlevania as the compositional majority here, VARIA's shone a nice spotlight on a moodier, yet spicier version of Metroid Prime's menu music, all the more reason to check out the pending Dancetroid EP! We're proud to have VARIA contribute this catchy sophomore ReMix while also embracing the spirits of collaboration, competition, AND creative compositional combinations! :-)



Latest 2 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2024-06-20 14:27:12

i like how you combined these two themes quite a bit. its seamless, feels like one complete song rather than some attempts at mashing up sources which can sound inconsistent (im very guilty of this)

i like the production on this quite a bit. that bass in particular feels really good and is well composed. the synths on top are very light and quirky at times, but they complement the dark energy of the track very well.

very good job. i like this one a lot.

on 2024-06-19 23:13:40
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Sources Arranged (3 Songs, 2 Games)

Primary Game:
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow (Konami , 2003, GBA)
Music by Michiru Yamane,Soshiro Hokkai,Takashi Yoshida
"Sacred Cave"
Additional Game:
Metroid Prime (Nintendo , 2002, GCN)
Music by Kenji Yamamoto (I),Koichi Kyuma
"Menu Select"

Tags (8)

Drum and bass,Jungle
Sound FX,Synth
Origin > Collaboration
Origin > Competition
Time > 4/4 Time Signature

File Information

9,474,464 bytes


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