Thursday, August 13th, 2015

D.R.A.M. – Cha Cha

Go play a video game…


Thomas Inskeep: Take a “cha cha” setting on a Casio keyboard — the kind I’d see demoed at Glenbrook Mall in Fort Wayne, Indiana in the mid-’80s — and add some 8-bit trills and FX on top (including on D.R.A.M.’s semi-spoken crooning vocals), and you get one of the party songs of summer 2015.

Alfred Soto: I like to cha cha too. I like cha cha presets. This group liked to cha cha. But the result is studio time as idling, not an idyll.

Brad Shoup: He recorded it as a goof, so I gotta slice off some slack. “Cha Cha” plays like Timmy Thomas if he were extroverted, or at least unafraid to lightly strangle his vocal. This beats back the crush of summer air; that it’s half a song put through twice its paces actually helps.

Iain Mew: Singing WiiU karaoke with a fellow Jukeboxer earlier this year and adding Super Mario Bros. coin sounds to songs, we evidently didn’t realise quite how good a thing we were onto! Even before discovering it was missing a Super Mario World sample, though, I felt a wider Mario-ness from “Cha Cha” than just those plinks. Specifically, it feels like Super Mario Bros. 2/Super Mario Bros. USA: off-model, familiar but strange and dream-like, sacrificing simpler forward momentum to instead build a charming sense of place. D.R.A.M.’s carefully spaced out (in both senses) ramble has tourguide and protagonist both covered.

Cédric Le Merrer: The modified Super Mario World sample is a tell: Mario World was a rushed job, and its level design is a bit looser than that of its predecessors. You can take pains navigating the levels, or you can do it like D.R.A.M.: just take the cape and soar, bounce and glide your way to the finish line, discover some surprise coins in the sky. This is no speed-run, rather a chill hangout on some Dinosaur Island clouds. By the end D.R.A.M. reaches winged blue Yoshi levels of cool, riding the bongo assisted beat, 1-UPs raining from the sky.

Patrick St. Michel: The idea that those Mario coin sounds are going to get removed is lame, considering they go a long way to adding to the sloshed sound of “Cha Cha.” This song is a mess in the best way possible, featuring slurred verses bordering on the nonsensical (Magic School Bus references, sure), and cramming in as many SoundCloud staples into its run time. It’s far from great, but it’s great fun, and the thought of any part of it being cut out is a downer.

Katherine St Asaph: I know it’s shitty to take a rap track with even the slightest connection to video games and immediately zero in on that aspect above all else, but man does the coin sample here immediately queue up the Mario Zone backing music in my mind. The cha-cha is enjoyable enough, but it’s just too much of a head trip. The trip subsumes all else. I’m the wrong reviewer for this.

Ramzi Awn: Fun, if simplistic. I’d probably dance to it.

Josh Winters: Here’s a list (in no particular order) of the best Mario Kart tracks to race on while listening to “Cha Cha”: 1) DK’s Jungle Parkway on N64 when you’re jumping riverboats under a tangerine sunset and trying to avoid getting pelted with coconuts. 2) Koopa Beach 2 on the SNES because I’m sure you’ll want to imagine yourself sipping a piña colada as you ride around your own private 16-bit island. 3) Baby Park on Double Dash for when you want to dizzy yourself into a whirling dervish of mindless insanity. 4) Any version of Rainbow Road because the only thing that matters is OOH SHINY SPARKLY COLORS EVERYWHERE. My personal favorites are the MK7 and MK8 versions. 5) Literally any track because who the fuck cares; you’re playing Mario Kart and you’re wearing your comfiest clothes and this is the most fun you’ve ever had on a weeknight slouched on the couch. Now, what’s your Nintendo ID?

Reader average: [8.83] (6 votes)

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5 Responses to “D.R.A.M. – Cha Cha”

  1. I had forgotten about those coin sounds in Wii U Karaoke. Few songs aren’t improved by Mario coin sounds.

  2. BTW Josh my Nintendo ID is Goldfishfight.

  3. YES, Brad! Timmy Thomas! (How did I not make that connection?!?)

  4. @cedric: sweet!! mine is “joshywinty”

  5. I have been sick all week and failed to give this the 10 I would have.