"Super Double Espresso"

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Super Double Dragon (SNES)Composer: Kazunaka Yamane
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You know that phenomenon where a particular song reminds you of a chapter in your life? I have a lot of those. A particular Sting album reminds me of an ex-girlfriend, various 90s tracks instantly transport me back to the school bus... and more. The same thing can happen with video games, although not as much for me.

However, with Super Double Dragon, I distinctly remember that it was a source of solace for me during a dark period. Fresh out of high school, I went to college at the Crane School of Music in SUNY Potsdam. It wasn't my first choice; I was also accepted to CalArts and Berklee, but, considering I waited way too late to apply and look for scholarships, Potsdam was the only one I could afford. (Word to the reader, apply for college scholarships as early as you can! And, do try to figure out where you want to go prior to the last few months of high school like me.)

Yeah, I wasn't a fan of Crane. It's a great school if you want to be a music teacher, but that was never my calling. The composition program was not great; I was basically required to only compose avant-garde 20th-century neo-classical music. If it wasn't atonal they weren't happy with it, if I integrated a groovy beat they wouldn't like it... ugh. And, I was basically forced to play a ridiculous amount of trombone while I was there, and by this point in my world I didn't want to play anymore, only compose. So having to get really, really good at an instrument I had no more love for really sucked. That, and frankly, I was lonely. While there I didn't meet a single girl I connected with, I made very few friends, and my roommate was quite the odd duck. In this depression, I turned to video games, and I don't know why but Super Double Dragon was a big go-to for me. Don't know how many times I beat it during this era, but it was a lot.

(Incidentally, after one year at the Crane School of Music I transferred to the Purchase College Conservatory of Music, absolutely LOVED it, made a ton of friends, got out of my shell, and had a blast.)

Now, on to the remix. This one isn't attached to any sort of album or project, it was just for fun, and, a chance to honor another tracker via a stylistic homage. The musician specifically is a guy who went by the handle of Norfair. This dude had a very distinct style all his own, kinda this synthy electronic funky jazzy fusion. When I was new to the art form I admired and studied his work, and later we became friends. Here are a few examples of his work; it was "Over Reacted" that I modeled this remix off of.

This was a lot of fun to make. That's actually Norfair's Dad playing the crazy guitar solos and stuff in there, and most of the other samples are by Norfair too. All in all I know it's touchy to use so much fake brass, but I think it works for this. Some folks have mentioned that they feel the track could use a melody that you could walk away humming, but whatever, once in a long while a wall of sound can be fun to jam around for a few minutes, right?

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