What happens when you run a tune backwards? According to some, you get weird messages. If it’s the theme to Skyward Sword, you get “Zelda’s Lullaby.” And if it’s another classic Nintendo theme? Well, apparently it’s metal.
What Is “RETROGRESSION”?
Created by Santa Cruz-based musician Stemage, RETROGRESSION is an exploration of retro Nintendo music in a way not often explored. And it was all because of the aforementioned Skyward Sword.
Stemage noticed that Nintendo’s decision to reverse “Zelda’s Lullaby” didn’t seem to have any thematic significance, and appeared to be a fun experiment. What if he did the same? He started with “World 1-1” from Super Mario Bros. Not only is it one of the most recognizable pieces of video game music ever, it’s also one of the least covered.
Using two guitars, a bass, and drums (as the NES chip has only four usable channels), Stemage gave it a try. As he said: “If the music from 1-1 is so catchy, it has to be somewhat catchy in reverse, right? Maybe?”
Does It Work?
You be the judge.
Personally, we think it sounds super cool! It’s recognizable as the original theme somewhat, but has a unique sound to it at the same time.
Punch Out, Ghosts ‘n Goblins, and Tetris all get the same treatment on Stemage’s new EP, RETROGRESSION Vol. 1. You can name your price on Bandcamp and have a listen. Oh, and in the interest of fairness (and fun), he also plays them the right way around, making for eight tracks in total.
The fact that it’s called “Volume 1” makes it sound like Stemage is planning future volumes — which sounds awesome! We’d love to hear more tunes played around with like this.
If you want to read more about the making of the album, check out his website. And be sure to support the new release so he can make more!
So what do you think? Does the Skyward Sword treatment work for these other Nintendo themes, too?