If you follow game music remixes at all, you’re no doubt familiar with the acapella game music arrangements from artist Smooth McGroove. He’s covered Mega Man, Super Mario, Undertale, Final Fantasy, and many more of our favorite game soundtracks. Last year a group of ten music artists collaborated to create a remix album of some of Smooth’s game arrangements, titled Smooth McGrove Remixed. Yes, it’s game arrangements of game arrangements. Cue the Inception music!
While all of the tracks on this album are worth a listen, I’ll be highlighting the track that put the collection on my radar in the first place. This particular remix comes from Ben Briggs who adapted Smooth McGroove’s cover of the “Super Mario Bros. 2 Overworld Theme.”
While this is a remix by Ben Briggs, McGroove’s vocal performances remain the focal point for a majority of the track. The source tune itself was already upbeat and energetic, but the combination of McGroove’s interpretation and the chiptune sounds and drum beats from Briggs brings up that energy even more. There are some other fun sonic touches like the use of the New Super Mario Bros. vocal pads and Mario voice clips that add to the charm as well.
Ben Briggs brings in some melodic musings of his own to the remix, including references to other Mario games like Paper Mario and the original Super Mario Brothers. As the track progresses the synth instruments start to take over more of the remix, with some instances of the original vocals dropping out completely. It’s a fun mashup of styles and this remix along with the others on the Smooth McGroove Remixed album are worth checking out if you haven’t already.
You can check out the full Smooth McGroove Remixed album on the GameChops page and you can of course find Smooth McGroove’s own acappella arrangements on his YouTube channel and on Loudr. Additionally, you can find more remixes from Ben Briggs on his Bandcamp page.