Darren contacted me in august of last year about possibly doing a track or two for his site’s upcoming album celebrating 35 years of Metroid and the tenth anniversary of the original Harmony of a Hunter album (to which I contributed two tracks as well).
I spent a bit of time thinking about what tracks were available and settled on ‘Cradle of the Chozo’ for my first contribution. I loved the original’s ethereal quality and really enjoyed the way it played into the level itself. I approached this specifically wanting to do more sound design than I usually do on a remix, and wound up spending quite a bit of time just working with pads and ambiance to get started. I tried overall to keep the energy level down more to reflect the original’s feel, and tried to also incorporate some of the techniques used by Celldweller on his album Offworld – lots of intensity and a driving, heavy beat, but a very low-key presentation that never really gets loud. I’ve been listening to a lot of synthwave recently and wound up combining all these elements into this track.
‘Operation Golem’ is the second track I picked up, after he asked me to take a look at some themes from games that weren’t as popular in the series. I knew little about Federation Force itself, but the main theme was a pretty standard A/B format with some weird ambient stuff in the A section and this big orchestral tutti for the B theme. There was also a lot of nonstandard chords used, which allowed for some interesting chord structures to be layered on top. As i usually do, I started with the beat for the first part, and settled into a funkier feel than I expected. The melodic content here was pretty sparse so it was more just playing with the chords, and that wound up being pretty straightforward. I recognized though that it needed some energy, and I wanted to incorporate some of the synthwave i’ve been listening to during the pandemic, so with the B section I drastically changed vibes and brought in this plodding bass and fat kick, and some really rhythmically-oriented synths. I loved how ominous the bass sounded when I just sat on it on a pedal tone, and how big it felt when it finally did shift. There’s still not a lot of melodic content here, though, so I shifted to a third set of instrumentation for the recap at the end. I was able to get a really interesting tone out of the rhodes I was using with some filters and adding a bit of grit, and it made for a good way to end the track.