The Legend Of Austere Guinevere

You are probably thinking what real connection the title of this post has got to do with picture you are staring at above this text. Well, rest easy as I break down yet another manga-inspired beat I made more than a couple of years ago.

For those who don’t know:

Fist of the North Star (北斗の拳 Hokuto no Ken, literally “Fist of the Big Dipper”) is a Japanese manga series written by Buronson and drawn by Tetsuo Hara that was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1983 to 1988, spanning 245 chapters. Set in a post-apocalyptic world that has been destroyed by a nuclear war, the story centers around a warrior named Kenshiro, the successor of a deadly martial art style known as Hokuto Shinken. The manga was adapted into two TV anime series produced by Toei Animation which aired on Fuji TV affiliates from 1984 through 1988, comprising a combined total of 152 episodes.”

FOTNS to me is like the “Rocky” of  anime. The meteoric rise of the under dog despite being placed in impossible situations, oh yeah and with the help of the infamous exploding fist technique. No matter the predicament, the seemingly invincible enemies and mental torture is used. Kenshiro always finds a way to overcome adversity and restore balance to a more or less bleak world.

Besides the animation being a bit “meh”, the story lines somewhat simple (but enjoyable) and the villains being plain megalomaniacs (seems 90% of the world suddenly went power hungry), the other thing that drew my attention was the music. You got to give these guys props for that, unlike most cartoons in the 80s where there was an over reliance on cheesy rock songs. FOTNS took it up a notch, from jazzy tunes to ballads to epic orchestra pieces.

This particular piece I used for The Invisible Enigma’s “Austere Guinevere” was one of those slow ballads. It wasn’t a simple chop and loop cause the way the singer did it didn’t quite match what I had in mind so if you ever hear the original sample you may not even recognise it straight away. I probably made about 4 to 5 beats using samples from FOTNS at the time so expect a few more beats coming this way.

The Invisible Enigma- Austere Guinevere(Lady Killer)

Double Dragon 2: The Revenge (Remix)

I  recall vividly the first time I played this game on the NES. I must have been around 9 or 10 and I was stoked  out of my mind.

The gameplay was truly amazing at the time. As opposed to the usual, run,jump,attack that I was used to, in this scenario you could combine various moves depending on your position. You could attack an enemy behind you (with the back kick) while keeping another in a hold and then there was the famous “Hurricane Kick” and of course “Abobo

 Another feature that captured my imagination was the music. Timeless pieces that capture the mood of each stage and draws you in. Seriously for an 8-bit game, the music was brilliant and for years it was stuck in my head like a mantra. Especially the themes for Stage 2 and stage 4(pictured below)

Fast forward many years later. I became a beat maker and naturally I had to get my hands on the entire Double Dragon 2 music catalogue. The version I sampled on the song “Set It Off RMX” is actually an updated rendition of the original 8-bit music but I also spliced the music used in the game’s interlude to give it that retro feel.

 The original version of Set It Off was recorded for Rhythm 93.7‘s Dj Tommy’s mixtape (still in limbo) hence we never actually put it on any Str8Buttah project. The original was recorded at Jabbarad’s studio after we got kicked out of the first studio for another artist (that’s another story for another day). Unfortunately XYZ was unavailable for the recording as he was still serving in the Northern part of Nigeria so you get to hear only 4 emcees plus me on the hook.

 The remix in question was done about 2 years later(2009) while we were putting the Buttah-Tapes together.

Compare and contrast:

Set It Off Double Dragon Remix