There’s a good chance your favorite alt-metal band is a level in Mario 64.
Soundfont covers have been in deluge for the better part of a year now. They harness the soul of 90’s games and revive them into the framework of nu-metal songs.
Albeit, nu-metal isn’t the only genre affected by this - but it’s the most saturated. It’s familiar, it’s absurd, it’s a transient concoction of a lot of things. Super Mario 64 is the most ubiquitous, by far, though lately the midi-smiths have been experimenting on Pokemon too. With Mario movie madness in the air intrepid musical nu-metal fans have found a way to twine their passion recursively. The film inadvertently shot these remixes into a new light.
One of the earliest soundfont remixes was On4word’s Boards of Canada “Roygbiv” in 2021, who went on to pixelate Nine Inch Nails, Death Grips, and Massive Attack. Now, It’s hard to peruse through content wells without coming face-to-face with Meteora, Around the Fur, and Fallen re-imagined with lil red plumber doing backflips within them.
It shouldn’t be controversial that more electronic elements can be easily incorporated with nu-metal now. In fact, the genre has never felt more alive.
Benj.mit is a fresh soundfont artist with a few Slipknot flips under his belt, the most recent being Walt and Bleed. His Youtube channel, humbly denoted as “Ben”, is a pocket of surrealism that nurtures the genre comfortably. We had a few questions for him:
NMA: So how does this work? How do you make the songs?
Ben: I have a plugin for Ableton called sforzando which lets you load the soundfont into it and write out the midi notes, then I'll listen to the song and try to recreate it best I can and add sound effects n stuff
NMA: Did you always do nu-metal tracks and albums?
Ben: Yeah the 3 Slipknot ones on my channel are the only ones I've done, I am very new to it haha. Definitely wanna try different genres tho
NMA: Do you create the album art too?
Ben: I did yeah
NMA: How’s that part work?
Ben: I just put the album art into Photoshop and found pngs of mario characters. That part did not take long.
NMA: Were you surprised this seemed to take off like it is? Where’d you get the idea from in the first place?
Ben: Did not expect it to get like 40k views lmao no way. I got videos other people had done in my YouTube recommended and thought it seemed like fun, and it is!
NMA: Last question, can we expect you to branch out into your own original Mario soundfont nu-metal songs soon?
Ben: I'd definitely love to, I make original music as a hobby too so doing that in game soundfonts sounds like fun 🙂
NMA: Before we're done anything you'd like to say to all the kids at home that want to grow up and make this kind of music too someday?
Ben: Sparkle on! Don't forget to be yourself!