If you’re somebody who loves great television and somebody who loves great trance, you’re about to start having a fantastic day. Games Of Thrones, one of the most thrilling and talked about shows on TV right now, and Armin Van Buuren, a legend in the dance community with two decades of experience behind the decks, are now united in epic matrimony as he decided to release his official remix of the HBO series’ theme song. Armin has been playing this track out in his sets and debuted it at Ultra Music Festival, but only now is fully releasing it on Armada for all of the cult-like fans of both him and the show to enjoy. It’s perfect timing, too; after an episode as gripping as “Hardhome,” the buzz about Winter arriving is in full effect.
Stylistically, the track feels familiar for anyone who has been a longtime Armin fan, and maintains powerful high-energy kicks underneath hints of the main melody that are repurposed with synthesizers. The first time I listened to it, I thought it sounded a little weird though. After the break came in with the original strings section, I remembered that the original composition is in a 6/8 time signature. For those of you not versed in music theory, that means that every bar of music has six beats instead of four. Most dance music is counted in 4/4 (hence the phrase “four on the floor”) and is counted “1-2-3-4” before continuing on to the next bar and starting the count over. With 6/8, you count “1-2-3-4-5-6” and place emphasis on beats 1 and 4. Think of it like a waltz. Armin decided to keep this time signature so when the kicks finally came in and I started counting in 4 (like most people probably will), the melody felt as though it didn’t line up. If you are like me in that regard, try counting aloud to 6 each time the melody starts and you’ll notice that it lines up perfectly. This adds a really unique character to the remix, and I’m glad he decided to do something that strays away from the monotonous norm of popular dance music. I’m sure the original composer, Ramin Djawadi, appreciated it too.
Hot off the heels of an intense episode in the series, this remix will surely make headlines around publications that don’t normally cover dance music. Game Of Thrones is turning into a modern cultural phenomenon so intense that it’s almost too hard to ignore anymore. If you’re a trance lover that hasn’t yet gotten into the series, I highly recommend binge watching the first seasons on HBO online. Kristian Nairn, who plays “Hodor” on the show, is actually a touring DJ too. This seems like the perfect track to open a set with, if he doesn’t mind having a little fun with his on-screen character’s persona in real life. Check out Armin’s official announcement in his “A State of Trance” podcast episode 716 below.