Discuss | Edit | Feed
Super Mario 64: Portrait of a Plumber
Rated 3.00 by 6 people
Contained in 20 collections
Contained in 3 wish lists
Super Mario 64
Jun 15, 2014 05:16 PM
Jun 16, 2014 05:26 PM
Page built in
halc (1.02, 1.10)
Sir Jordanius (1.04, 1.08)
Theory of N (1.05)
Nutritious (1.06, 2.02, 2.07)
Electric Concerto (1.07)
Sole Signal (1.09, 1.11, 2.06, 2.09)
Fishy (1.11, 2.01)
Brandon Strader (2.04)
The Coop (2.05)
Tuberz McGee (2.10)
Super Mario 64: Portrait of a Plumber
Comments from album director Justin Medford (Nutritious) & ReMixers
Album freely available at http://ocremix.org
Super Mario 64 is an iconic game in many ways. It first introduced us to a three-dimensional Mario. It featured revolutionary controls and gameplay for its time. To this day, it is still a popular title for classic game enthusiasts and speed runners. What's not always recognized or remembered by the broader public is the masterpiece that is Koji Kondo's soundtrack. Though relatively short by today's standards, each theme evokes the feeling and experience of the stage that they are set in. From the upbeat Bob-omb Battlefield music to the calming melodies of "Dire, Dire Docks," even the casual player is likely to recognize these catchy tunes.
I'm incredibly proud to have the opportunity to direct this effort. This album has been a long time coming as we experienced ebbs and flows in progress and times where we questioned whether it would ever come to completion at all.
Though I joined soon after the project's inception as a remixer, I eventually would become the 4th director to take on the project. I'd like to take the time to recognize the previous directors who, without their hard work laying the foundation, this project never would've come to fruition: First, POCKETMAN, who was the project founder and original director. Also, thanks to Fishy & assistant director Sole Signal, who took over after POCKETMAN's departure.
Musically, this album showcases OverClocked ReMix's reputation as a community proficient in a diverse set of genres. Portrait of a Plumber features rock, electronic, orchestral, and more. There's really something here for everyone. I sincerely hope that this will serve to highlight both Kondo's fantastic work as well as the work of the many many talented artists who came together to make this possible.
- Justin Medford (Nutritious)
1.01. Mikeaudio - "The Strange Green Pipe"
Sources: "Opening," "File Select," "Koopa's Road," "Inside the Castle Walls"
Nutritious: Mike's track was a late-comer to the project and a pleasant surprise. He expressed interest in joining the project, but due to the majority of the tracklist being claimed at the time, I suggested a medley/overture type track idea. He delivered far above my expectations. Not only was the song a catchy electronic preview of the OST as a whole, but the intro proved a perfect lead-off song for the album.
Mikeaudio: When I started this mix, I was trying to go for an overture of sorts that summarized the mood of Mario during his journey within this character prop we always see as the green pipe in the Super Mario Bros. games. In many ways, this mix is centered on the green pipe itself and how Mario interacts with it. Within the song production and arrangement, I tried to incorporate moods and moments such as suspense, mystery, clumsiness, and nostalgia. In the Super Mario 64 gameplay, there were many moments of comedy, alongside moments of "Am I going the right way?" to "CRAP, WHAT DO I DO?" I wanted to bring that feel to the arrangement itself, and being that I completed this mix years ago, I am quite surprised that I did as well as I did back then, though there are definitely some things I would change, but at the same time leaving them the same captures the state of mind I was in and also my train of thought for this mix. The Mario 64 soundtrack is one that I am very fond of, and apart from this album project, I will indeed be revisiting it again. :)
1.02. halc - "The Third Dimension"
Source: "Title Theme"
Nutritious: I was very pleased when halc joined up on the project. His upbeat, chiptune-y style is a great fit for this soundtrack. The title screen music is really just an arrangement of the classic Mario theme, so extra props to halc for bringing something fresh and new to an oft-remixed song. Just picture a giant 8-bit Mario head replacing the 3D manipulative Mario head at the beginning of the game and you've got the picture (see what I did there?). So good.
halc: At last, here's my take on the classic SMB theme (or more specifically, SM64's title theme). I used to think it was pretty cool. Then "The Life and Death of the Mario Bros." was posted, and I was no longer impressed with myself. Maybe you guys will still like it though! :P
Jokes aside, I had a lot of fun making this track, and (even though it took FOREVER :P) I'm glad to have been a part of the album!
1.03. Argle - "Roads to Everywhere"
Source: "File Select"
Nutritious: Argle was another latecomer to the project. The "File Select" theme was opened back up near the end of the project and, as iconic and integral to the soundtrack as a whole, I didn't want to close out the project without a take on it. Argle answered the call and did a fantastic job. He opted for an acoustic/instrumental treatment that remains faithful to the original song, while switching instrumentation throughout to keep things interesting.
Argle: I was excited to contribute to this long-running project, to help inch it towards completion. I tried to keep the organic instrumentation of the original while expanding on the short theme in various ways.
1.04. Sir Jordanius - "Peach's House Party"
Source: "Inside the Castle Walls"
Nutritious: In my opinion, Jordan is one of the most unique & creative mixers to join OC ReMix of late. When Jordan joined up on the project, his first draft of the castle theme took me completely by surprise. This fusion of synths, beats, voice samples & organ is not at all the style one might expect from the tight-laced original track, but that doesn't mean it isn't awesome. His style may be an acquired taste, but it's a clear example of how creative he can be and, at the end of the day, is a very cool track.
Sir Jordanius: Next to the Flat Notes project, this was actually the very first thing that I participated in when I finally went from lurker to ninja/occasional-musicdudeman... kind of funny how it ended up being one of the latter-end projects to come out that I was involved with. XD
Anyways, looking back in hindsight the first few WIPs of this were unbearably-awful and daaayum near un-listenable. So the song really speaks for itself (it's obviously a montage of my original ideas being revisited with my more recent production level-ups), but I'd really like to express my thanks and gratitude to the entire project team for bearing with me while I was going through my... intense nooberific "compress and hi-pass the FUUU-- out of everything!!" phase.
I might actually still be going through that phase... >_>
Thanks, and enjoy.
Mamma mia, or whatever.
1.05. Theory of N - "Somebody Set Up Us the Bomb-omb"
Source: "Super Mario 64 Main Theme"
Nutritious: While the Bob-omb Battlefield (a.k.a. "Super Mario 64 Main Theme") song is covered elsewhere in the album in a humorous light, I also wanted a more traditional/instrumental take on the theme to compliment it. I initially took it upon myself to arrange the track. However, having little success, I shared my dilemma with WillRock, who suggested I contact ToN to see if he was willing to take it. Dustin agreed and soon provided me a rough draft that blew me away. This is a sweet chiptune-hybrid mix featuring excellent synth work and a catchy beat to the iconic original. I especially love the transition into the bridge section going from a chiptune breakdown and then suddenly kicking up the energy a few notches. Fantastic stuff.
Theory of N: Funny story behind this one. Way back in '07 when POCKETMAN started this Super Mario 64 project up, I auditioned for a track on this album (specifically "Lethal Lava Land") and got shot down because my music was terrible. Looking back, I completely agree with the decision to reject my audition. Fast forward to about a month ago. 9-bit Blizzard had recently been released and WillRock seemed to have taken a liking to my track, so he suggested me to Nutritious to take his place remixing the main theme. If that's not a testament to progress, I don't know what is!
As for the mix, I've always been a fan of the more liberal side of arrangement and while I've wanted to remix this source for the longest time, I couldn't get much more than a straight cover until now. The best way I came up with to shake myself of cover-itis was to basically take the main melody and completely obliterate the harmonic context. This is probably one of the most inconsistently styled, eclectic remixes I've done to date, but I feel that it all fits together really well and I absolutely love the final product.
1.06. Nutritious - "Through the Flames"
Source: "Lethal Lava Land"
Nutritious: This track is really special to me as a musician, because it was a song that I felt proved to myself that I could do my own music arrangement and succeed. Disclaimer: incoming TL;DR back-story.
This album project started way back in early 2007, which is around the time I started attempting music creation & composition as a serious hobby. I've always loved the music from Mario 64. I took an interest in joining the project later that year, but the only available song at the time was "Lethal Lava Land." While this definitely wasn't my favorite track from the game and wouldn't normally be my first choice to remix, I saw that the track was open on the project and had some sudden inspiration that pushed me forward. It's not the most accessible source by any means, but I came up with an idea for an orchestral take on the theme and was able to claim the track. The fact that I now had a project commitment and that my music was recognized as being a high-enough quality for an album pushed me to go ahead and invest in purchasing music software to really commit to the hobby.
Once completed, I submitted the track to OC ReMix and it passed the judges panel, making it my first accepted remix. Ironically, due to the fact of it being on this project, which was delayed for so long, up until now it has remained unreleased despite my having many other songs released through the website.
Due to the original song having a progressive, almost aimless style arrangement, I chose to focus on specific melody parts and expand upon them. The original track doesn't seem to have any normal time signature or natural progression to the song, but instead sounds like a collection of instruments playing (seemingly) random notes around a general theme. An Indian coworker of mine pointed out that it's a type of classical Indian music (though I forget the name of the genre). Anyway, because of this, it was a very difficult song to remix and the themes used might not be readily apparent. Here's the breakdown:
:00-:08 uses the riff that the sitar plays at the very beginning and throughout the original
:08-:32 consists of variations of that same riff with backing chords and countermelodies
:48-1:51 is from the melody played by the flute-ish instrument that starts around :37 in the original
1:52-2:20 is a combination of both the sitar and flute melodies used together with different instruments
I aimed for a movie score feel for my song, putting out my best effort though utilizing free sample sets at the time. While the song certainly shows its age and doesn't reflect my currently ability level, I remain quite proud of it as my first real music arrangement achievement.
1.07. Electric Concerto - "Supersnowman"
Source: "Snow Mountain"
Nutritious: One of the earlier mixers from the project, Electric Concerto brings his classic dance/trance style to the "Snow Mountain" theme. A twist on the classic dance style, he also incorporates string pizzicato and a violin lead to carry the melody lines as well as some brass support.
Super upbeat and happy, which seems quite appropriate for a Mario mix. Fun stuff.
Electric Concerto: A track that I think really expresses the style I aim for, but it was also a tough track to mix. I think it came out alright and interprets the idea behind the original song.
1.08. Sir Jordanius, G-Mixer - "Hush Hour"
Nutritious: This is another great example of the creative flair of Sir Jordanius with some synth support from G-Mixer. It was nearing the end of the album project when it was looking like the "Slider" track was not going to be covered. That was when Jordan and Garrett stepped in and created this sweet classic big-band-meets-70's-funk track. The intro is a bit long, but the track is worth the wait. So, stop reading this and go check it out.
G-Mixer: Jordanius did a good job. I made other sounds. It was a good remix.
Sir Jordanius: When I first eyeballed the project thread back in 2010, my initial claims were for "Inside the Castle Walls" AND "Slider," but several sources got hot-potatoe'd around often and I hadn't reached level 54 in beatsmithing just yet...
Fast-forward to 2012, and the track opened up again for grabs. I grabbed the phone and dialed "G" for G-Mixer, and he helped me give birth to this traffic/road-rage-inspired arrangement.
G-Mixer's a cool dude... and I'm an even cooler dude, so if you like cool dudes getting together to make babies... um...
Just listen to the dang song.
1.09. Sole Signal - "Find the Red Coin"
Source: "Cave Dungeon"
Nutritious: Greg is one of those musicians who seemed to come out of nowhere and be instantly awesome and arranging and music production from the get-go. This track features his dance music style for the "Cave Dungeon" theme. With big beats and some classic synth work, he makes this minimalist original track shine with an adrenaline boost of energy.
Sole Signal: This track represents nostalgia in song form for me: my favorite game of all time, and one of my favorite levels. This track was completed over about two weeks of work after I decided that I wanted to try a different spin on this source, unique from its counterpart "Grab the Blue Coin!" which is also on the project. Was trying to create a chill downtempo groove, with a focus on bass and the breakbeat.
1.10. halc - "Wings to the Sky"
Source: "Powerful Mario"
Nutritious: Drew's second contribution to the album is another signature halc chiptune-inspired take -- this time on the Wing Cap theme. Again, he's taken on a song that is really an arrangement of a classic Mario theme (star invincibility), but that seems to be no detriment to Drew -- this guy delivers the goods every time. I especially liked how he uses classic Mario SFX to compliment the beat & synth-work. Super fun; super catchy.
halc: another typical halc mix you say? well, perhaps so. it does have chiptunes, zelda-strings, sound effects, and a cheap pseudo-fadeout ending... with an extra dose of untz and boom-wah. please to enjoy. :]
1.11. Sole Signal, Fishy - "Devastation's Duel"
Sources: "Koopa's Theme," "Koopa's Road," "Ultimate Koopa"
Nutritious: Channeling his classic big beat/synth/orchestra style, Greg brings the energy in a huge way with this track. With the support of Fishy (Cain) on the electric guitar shreddage, this track just screams boss battle. Bowser never sounded so good.
Sole Signal: Got another rocking mix for you guys which serves as a sequel to my "Devastation's Doorway" OC ReMix a while back. As seems to be the usual case ("Day's End," "Malevolent Mansion"), I was nearly finished with the song when I decided I needed some guitar to push it even more. Fishy was kind enough to step in with some killer guitar work that really lends it authenticity.
The completion of this remix marks another original track that I knew just had to be remixed. The bridge ties in the "Bowser's Road" theme, and the final battle theme makes a short appearance as well. This is the second part of the three-part Mario 64 trilogy I worked on ("Bowser's Road," "Bowser's Theme," and the "Staff Roll" theme).
I threw a ton of different styles into this track: orchestral, rock, glitch drums, heavy drums, and even some jazz. Enjoy. Thanks for listening! :)
Fishy: Greg was working on this track for the project and suddenly decided it needed some guitar love, so I obliged. The song was actually too low for my guitar, so I had to use my whammy pedal to detune, giving it a slightly lo-fi sound that worked nicely. It's an undeniably badass remix of a badass tune and one of the heavier tracks on the project, which I'm sure lots of people will like.
2.01. Fishy - "Sunken Secrets"
Source: "Dire, Dire Docks"
Nutritious: "Dire, Dire Docks" is one of those special classic themes that can sometimes be an intimidating undertaking to re-envision. Cain really brings it home with a soft rock take on the theme that gives me goosebumps listening to it. This mix was actually the final of three major revisions that he made to the track before settling on this approach. While sticking pretty close to familiar territory with the melodies and chord structure, Cain brings some beautiful electric guitar licks and really nails it on the atmosphere. It was a clear choice to start out disc 2 and a fantastic addition to the project. Cain has been a part of this album project from the very beginning, and even took over directing it for a stretch when things started to stagnate. So, I and everyone enjoying this album owe him a lot of thanks for all of his work and commitment to seeing this project though.
Fishy: This was started way back during my Reason days, and subsequently abandoned for reasons I cannot fathom in favour of several other far less fun arrangements. I think I was feeling the pressure of picking the most popular track or something, I dunno. I realized the first version was probably the best and redid it fairly recently. Apart from the drums, piano and solo at the end, it's more or less unchanged from 2008 - which still surprises me.
It's my favourite blend of conservative structure with subtle layers of expansion, and I hope you enjoy.
2.02. Fratto, Nutritious - "Boo's Cues"
Source: "Haunted House"
Nutritious: Taking on the most difficult source track on the project, Fratto definitely had his work cut out for him. Early on in the project, he managed to come up with some excellent arrangement ideas based around the progression of the vocal drone from the "Haunted House" theme. The piano nails down the progression while orchestral brass instruments expand upon the chords to create a melody line. Needing some additional writing and production assistance to fill out the arrangement, Brian sought a collaborator on the project. I had an idea to bring it to a full-fledged haunted house track complete with creepy orchestra and various SFX work. It's a fantastic arrangement from Brian that I hope I managed to fully realize with the live ambient concept approach.
2.03. prophetik - "junkie"
Source: "Super Mario 64 Main Theme"
Nutritious: Taking Mario in a (more) humorous direction, prophetik lends his voice talents (one of his many musical proficiencies, actually) for an a capella rendition of the main theme. This mix is centered on the player who's unable to balance his life with his obsession with Mario 64. While obviously meant not to be taken too seriously, this song features some very cool vocal harmony work that is quite fun to listen to.
prophetik: this is an arrangement of the theme from super mario 64. i arranged it for nine voices (4+4+1 soloist). there isn't a huge amount of rearrangement - i basically just took the parts and transcribed them, and then added a mixed-meter section.
i was tired, don't blame me for the lyrics. i make joek mix.
2.04. Brandon Strader - "Prog Mario"
Source: "Metallic Mario"
Nutritious: I was excited to have Brandon join the project to take on the Metal Mario theme. He's developed a reputation as a prolific musician and arranger. He's really taken a creative approach to this theme, going with a progressive rock treatment that was quite a surprise to me, given his reputation for metal styles. His clever treatment of the original theme might not be immediately apparent to the listener, but this one is certainly worth the closer look.
Brandon Strader: I bet you were expecting metal... that's too obvious! I called this "Prog Mario," but it's inspired more by funk. I got the chance to do this song super late in the SM64 project timeline. Unfortunately, John Revoredo was moving away and couldn't find his session files for me to help out, so I ended up taking the claim with his blessing. I am happy and thankful that it worked out and I was able to do the song for the album.
I wanted a live feel, like if a band were sitting in a room jamming this. Lots of sweet wah pedal, even on the bass guitar. It amplifies the funk. The parts are pretty similar to the source, but stretched to fit in 7/8 and, eventually, 6/4 and 5/4 time signatures. Had to add a couple synth solos so it wouldn't be boring and some "harmonies" to the source lead in the chorus.
2.05. The Coop - "Mari-O-Round"
Nutritious: The Coop is a prolific presence on the OCR forums who is well-known and loved in the community. He is one of those people who dabbles in many things, like graphical art, humorous GIF sequencing and, in the past on a few occasions, music. With this in mind, to bring some prestige to our little project, former album director Fishy invited him to join as a remixer. Music production being a rare project for The Coop, we were fortunate that he accepted to take on the "Merry-Go-Round" theme.
The Coop went for an upbeat lounge piano type feel for the track, bringing creative arrangement ideas to a repetitive source track and evoking some of the sound of the original soundtrack through the later accordion addition. It remains fairly conservative to the original track, but a fun listen on its own.
The Coop: I remember joining this project a long time ago and picking one of the few remaining songs, which happened to be a rather short one ("Merry-Go-Round"). I had an idea for it to be a four-piece, got it down, and presented it. Sadly, in time, the end result wasn't up to snuff production-wise, and I wound up stepping down so that someone else could give the song a try.
I think it was about two years later, a couple of others had given the song a whirl, but they wound up dropping it. As such, the song was still unremixed, and there was even a possibility that it could be dropped from the project by that time. So, I tried again with some new samples courtesy of the newest version of Music Creator (5 at the time). With some tweaking, feedback from the project leads, and all that good stuff, the song actually ended up being included, despite its rather short duration.
Now, I've never played Mario 64. I know, I know... that's a sin in some circles. But I just never did. So while I don't have any real memories of, or history with, the game, I was still happy to take part in the project. And happier still, that I ended up being able to be a part of the finished product. So with another roller coaster ride behind it, I hope everyone enjoys "Mari-O-Round."
2.06. Sole Signal - "Grab the Blue Coin!"
Source: "Cave Dungeon"
Nutritious: Actually completed far later than its "Red Coin" sister mix, this is Greg's more laid-back take on the "Cave Dungeon" theme. It features a down-tempo electronic style with some excellent synth tricks and a killer bassline. This really shows how Greg's musical style and abilities have evolved over time and is one of my favorite tracks on the album. Great stuff.
Along with myself, Greg has quite a history with this project, joining it early on in the process. Over the years that the project was in development, he has taken on multiple songs and even was a co-director of the album at one point. It's interesting to note that he also took the time to revisit his older tracks on the project to attempt to improve them or bring new ideas to them. This track specifically is an example where he both improved the original, but then later came up with a totally different take on the same theme in a more down-tempo electronic style. When he asked which of the two I preferred I told him I loved them both and wanted to feature each of them on the album. Fortunately, he agreed and listeners can enjoy two exceptional, though different, takes on the same source tune.
Sole Signal: This was my first crack at the classic underground theme that has retained that signature bassline back from the NES version. The N64 version developed the theme but gave it a great ambient feel. My version with this remix takes some liberties, namely using the classic bassline often in half time, while devoting sections of the track to each motif from the original.
The experimental nature of the remix led me to decide to create another take on the theme, in the track "Find the Red Coin" on this same project.
2.07. Nutritious - "Perilous Pathway"
Source: "Koopa's Road"
Nutritious: I took on this source as my personal music style was somewhere in transition between drum 'n' bass and dubstep, which is definitely reflected in the finished project. The "Bowser's Road" theme has a sort of understated menacing energy and I decided to really bring it out full blast. I hope you enjoy.
2.08. Scaredsim - "So Long-eh, Bowser!"
Source: "Ultimate Koopa"
Nutritious: Scaredsim was someone who submitted a completed mix early on in the project, which puts this in the "classic mix" status among some of its peers. In his vision for the song that represents Bowser's final form, Simon opts for heavy piano work and a rock drumkit to get the job done. While not quite as intense as some of the other Bowser-related tracks on the album, this mix certainly manages to convey the menace in Bowser's theme and is a great conclusion to the tension that builds up throughout the album.
2.09. Sole Signal - "See You Next Time"
Source: "Staff Roll"
Nutritious: Greg's 4th(!) mix on the album really wraps up our album "portrait" fantastically. He manages to really channel the upbeat nature of Koji Kondo's work with this track, which really felt like the way a song like this should be approached. Again, major props to Greg for all of his work on this project for a very long time. Without him, this album wouldn't be where it is today.
Sole Signal: This is another SM64 track that I've always wanted to remix, which intentionally turned out similar to my "Day's End" track. Especially with this source, I wanted to keep the feel of the original, though also not just being a sample upgrade. This has been 98% complete since early 2011 and thankfully survived two workstation changes with the arrangement mostly intact. Originally, I had envisioned this remix as the final chapter of some sort of "Devastation's Doorway" -- "Devastation's Duel" -- "See You Next Time" connection. (The "D" alliteration didn't work with this one.) I hope it's enjoyed half as much as I enjoyed producing it!
2.10. Tuberz McGee - "Do Piranha Plants Dream of Electric Italians?"
Source: "Piranha Plant's Lullaby"
Nutritious: An epilogue of sorts to Greg's "Staff Roll" mix, Tuberz McGee was another late-comer to the project. I was ready to cut both "Piranha Plant's Lullaby" and the "Slider" source tunes for lack of artist interest when Callum expressed interest in giving the song a shot. I'm sure glad he did. He retains the feel from the original with a music-box-type take along with some slow electric guitar fade-ins for ambiance. I picture this mix as what plays when you wait on the "The End" screen for a few seconds after the staff roll. IMO, we couldn't have had a better final track to the album. Great stuff for sure.
Tuberz McGee: I saw that this project was missing a mix for this track and, being the egotistical twit who needs to wedge his way into every possible project ever, I decided to take it on. I always enjoyed the track even if I only heard the first 2 seconds of it (before waking up the piranha plants), being the impatient child I am. I decided to take it on with a very French approach, utilising music boxes, accordions and guitars that I reversed the audio of.
I learned this song backwards.
Chat with us!
Our official IRC channel is #vgmdb on irc.psigenix.net
You may use any IRC client such as mIRC to connect. Alternatively you may chat in your browser window using the form below.
If you are unable to run Java applets, please choose CGI:IRC from the dropdown menu. Note that there is a limit to the number of connections allowed for this option.