"Trippin’ on Snails"

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Rygar (NES)Composer: Michiharu Hasuya
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I’ve done a few of these “Trippin’ on” remixes now. The title comes from the off-kilter acid jazz base that sets the tone of the track, first used with “Trippin’ on Rainbows” because I deliberately removed a 16th note from the end of every couple measures. Fairly odd. I’ve used the same naming convention here, and also with “Trippin’ on Alligators.”

Why snails? Well, in this part of the game, you’re in a cavern, and there are creatures that come up out of the ground right in front of you. They’re kinda reminiscent of snails, or at least that’s where my head went when I named the remix. And, if you’re walking along, and don’t block or jump over them, or can literally trip on them, so, the title has a double meaning of both the figurative and the literal.

That said... why this track? I’ll tell ya why. I loved this music as a kid. I was always excited to get to the Caverns of Sagila level, largely in part due to the music. I would be so happy that I finally had the right Rygar items in hand to access this stage, and when I got there, I would savor it. (This also isn't my only Rygar remix, although it's arguably my most popular one.)

Now, as an adult, I can listen to the music and recognize certain familiar chord progressions... the ever-popular minor I, VII, VI, V and then back to I again... it’s not overly original, but it’s always been effective. So while I do enjoy tapping into the more progressive and unconventional, I can still appreciate the overused but catchy riffs once in a while.

As to the style, I think this started one day while I was messing around with samples. I thought it would be fun to import some of the samples from Acid into the tracker and see what manipulation I could get up to. Some of the bass, jazz, guitar and percussion riffs I believe were from the Acid pack, and then I added to them from my tracker library.

Then... trombone? Yep. Actually, back in 4th or 5th grade when I was just learning how to read and write music, I had taken this very theme from Rygar and had started concepting it as a brass quartet or quintet piece. I didn’t get very far, but in my 20s when I was actually remixing this piece, I remembered that childlike concept that this piece could be performed by brass, and I just had to include it. I even deliberately started kinda, well, sloppy given the acid jazz nature of the piece. Then as the piece evolved, the performance got, well, better, higher, and more professional I suppose.

So, there’s the story behind Trippin’ on Snails. I dig this piece a lot. This track has actually been called "industrial jazz" by many, considering it brings in sounds and pallettes a bit beyond the standard jazz fare, taking things to an electronic and slightly metallic level. It's fun, but,here’s something that drives me absolutely nuts. I forgot something. I forgot to include an entire section of the original. I did this entire remix from memory, without consulting any MIDI files or even listening to the original, and in retrospect, I wish I had. There’s a final section to the source material with a very cool rising and falling motif, very kickass, and definitely deserving of inclusion in my arrangement, and yet... I completely forgot. So, to the fans of the game and the original soundtrack, I offer my apologies. Other than that, I truly hope you enjoy the remix!

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