avaris

OCRA-0015 - Xenogears: Humans + Gears

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Im about half way in to the Humans disc. And so far its all been very good. Never am I disappointed with the work done by you guys.

I have never heard the OST for this game or even played it for that matter, and still I find it enjoyable...

Another amazing album

Thanks OCR.

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I've had this album on at work all week. It is simply beautiful. I don't want to mention any tracks as favorites because the entirety of the album is incredible. I started to do that, but I found myself writing out paragraph after paragraph of praise because I wanted to mention each track that I enjoyed. It quickly got out of hand.

So I'll keep it simple. Thank you so much to each of the artists that spent their time and great effort to produce these amazing pieces. You've created something wonderful here, and it's a joy to experience.

EDIT: I will comment on one track because I think it warrants it. "Daijiru" is indeed hot. The...percussion took me aback when I first heard it. However, by the middle of the track all the various elements blended so well that I'd forgotten how ridiculously obscene it all sounds. I'm a huge fan of both artists' work, and I love this piece, but...damn.

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am i crazy for wanting the Of Sea and Fire remix played at my wedding?

Wondering blasting that song will even sound good through whatever speakers will be there....

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Almost every time I listen to the whole album, I find a new favorite that I overlooked the first listen. My recent discoveries: "Crash / Restore" is absolutely fantastic, and I all but dismissed it at first. The same goes with "Dreamscape". I'm sure others will suddenly occur to me that are also fantastic.

Thanks, glad you liked it :). Dreamscape is one of my older songs (and it shows, I think), so I'm glad to hear it's still enjoyable.

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Okay, fell a little behind with doing other things but I definitely need to wrap up these song reviews. I’m fighting that habit of starting things and not finishing them, so here goes!:

The Treasure That Must Be Seduced: Originally I had the impression this would be another song similar to AnSo’s Too Hot for Clothes mix, since I heard that one first, but while I may have been assuming incorrectly, I was not let down with the song. Nearly everything here is gorgeous, and even the acoustic guitar sample, which is not fantastic, suffices just as well due to excellent delay and the fact that all the other instruments used are great. It is probably impossible, in my opinion, to get sampled guitars to sound as good as real guitars would, or as convincing, and this one only suffers a small amount because of it. The song is extremely soothing, very nice work.

In Joy and Sorrow: I have to echo some small concerns that have been brought up about this song by others: the production is a bit lacking in areas. This is mix is definitely unique in that it takes a southern folk-polka-rock approach with vocals. Some really cool ideas here, and the lyrics are quite comical, which is a nice break from the serious nature of many of the other songs. Again, production holds this back from really breaking through though. Another one to throw to the learning process and it is still enjoyable if you’ve got an open mind. My own opinion is that this also feels like it was rushed and could have been polished and expanded a bit more. Some ideas feel like they were thrown in there just for experimentation and not truly tested to see how they mesh over time. Just keep progressing and learning from things like this!

New Day: While still very good, I think this is the weakest of Ziwtra’s songs on the project. Everything is mastered well, but the panning threw me off a little. Also, it feels like this took just a little too long to get started. A cool mesh of synth and organic stuff none-the-less, and the majority of the orchestral stuff reminds me a lot of Iwata’s and Sakimoto’s work on FFT. The bells are great too, and crescendos in the song are not jarring. It’s a faster-moving song but somehow still retains a good bit of a chill vibe.

Welcome to the Human Race: ….wow. John Revoredo, Paul Weaps, a ridiculous song here. You really do love those sound bits, don’t you? This song is awesome. The percussion and rhythmic reinforcement from synths gives the song a very pressured and “under fire” feel. The guitar is awesome, and fits the song great. The reverse speaking wasn’t my cup of tea, but that one small part I can live with. The strings…so simple but so great. Welcome to the Human Race, indeed. *hits repeat*

First Meeting – The Shadowed Forest: Soothing piano, reminds me simultaneously of writing for a mime-play and something from silent hill but with less dissonance. Not an uplifting song but it stirs the soul, the performance is pretty amazing. I can’t pick away the performance much since I am not very well versed in piano, so I’ll just call this like I hear it: beautiful. One instrument can truly convey so many things.

Akkadia Rising: Crazy processed saxophones. Well, looks like I have to jump on the bandwagon, cause this stuff is very cool. As it stands, I’m a fan of the full Akkadia Rising on Gears disc more than the solo sax edit, simply because this is still pretty but also seems a little too empty, even with all the delays, reverbs, and parts playing at the same time. A cool experiment to say the least. Bleeding Gums Murphy would be proud. Performance seems pretty flawless from a non-saxophone-knowledgeable standpoint, and it is well-mastered, with a cool arrangement on the source.

A Trace of Tears: Wow, what an all-star collab. No complaints here at all. I demand you listen to this song. I wouldn’t be surprised if I heard this in a movie soundtrack or on the radio at some point (if I listened to the radio, that is). Ending the disc on such a strong note…very yes.

End of Humans Disc, on to Gears Disc…

Zeno Paradox: Yeah, this is another song that I just can’t put into words due to overwhelming awesome, and yes I realize I use that word a lot. Shut up. Just listen to this one, I can assure you that you will find something to enjoy about it, if not enjoy everything. E-Bison has musical powers like a psycho crusher to the face.

Daijiru (Too Hot for Clothes): Ballsy move with those vocal samples, man. It paid off in my book, but I get the feeling not everyone will appreciate or enjoy it like I do. Arrangement is very cool, and you did a good job with keeping the locale’s feel and still adding some great spin on it. This a great car groove for me. Sexy!

And I'll hopefully be finishing this up soon enough.

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People keep asking me what the lyrics are to my Xenogears track, and I don't have a file saved so I'll transcribe it from the MP3. I realize I have a fairly horrible lisp but I recognize my own voice enough to know what I'm saying, heh.

In Joy & Sorrow

I do not remember what happened; my memories have all gone away

I was a liability inside the gear that day

We set out to defeat the evil that culminates in our doom

A perilous trek from here to heck through the cloudy sky with you

[Chorus]

Above there was an explosion, a dimensional erosion

For you I can extend my hand and deliver you from destruction

"ahh"

[Chorus --

In joy and sorrow we find our way

underneath the sky so blue

there's nothing that I would rather see

than the sky, the clouds, and you ]

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And part 3!:

Crash + Restore: Not as good as “Of Sea and Fire” to me, but still very catchy. My only big complaint comes from being a guitarist: I really wish the acoustic guitar wasn’t synthetic and that it was an actual guitar. Other than that, this starts off very unassuming and then grows and never stops growing. Unique mixing of textures and hard-panning makes this mix stand out for me, and is very catchy once the grooves start to set their course. The latter half of the song is the strongest once the melody starts to switch up, a little after 2:30. Great “harmonic distortion” on the lead; Ziwtra truly is a jack of many trades.

Dreamscape: This did not immediately stand out to me. I actually called Avaris up after my first listen through and said “I love Nutritious’s work, and it was satisfactory but just didn’t grab me.” Then, I had the craving to listen again. And again. And then it didn’t leave my head for a solid week. This has to be laced with some kind of audio-crack, cause I needed a fix every so often for a while. While not an epic mix by any sort, this is one you can listen to on loop by itself for hours. The sax is great above all else, and the choice of pads and synths throughout is spot-on. There’s so much layering going on it’s hard to dissect it, but Mr. Nutritious-and-Delicious made something totally addictive here.

Wounded Soldier: the strings and brass were a bit harsh on my ears, but I found this mix to be satisfying from a dancey-standpoint. Not one of my more favorite tracks, but it’s still pretty good. Also a bit too short, now that I think about it. Please sir-or-ma’am, make it a little longer next time. It’s over before it gets really good!

Smooth Criminals: Two words – bad ass. This is a bad ass mesh of late 80’s early 90’s pop and indie-electronic style. I can’t figure out the best way to describe it as a whole, but the chopping throughout the entire song is masterful and shows true attention to detail. Nothing feels sloppy whatsoever. Great title as well.

Sleeper Dreamer: Now THIS is a nice long trance song. This got a lot of playtime on my trips to and from college park ever since I got my hands on the project files for Xenogears. Great chopped strings, subtle choice in leads, and overall just feels very well-arranged. It has that especially-good flow of staying the course without being entirely predictable. The swells were also mighty gorgeous during the breakdown. I bow to you, Siamey. I will personally request this song be played at some point this year to get the jamspace room bouncing.

Omen (R3Mix): If Avaris hadn’t showed me the original WIP of what you had planned, I’d say this was masterful. As it stands, I really wish you finished that first WIP! This song, however, is still fantastic on its own. Haunting and, somehow, it retains both human and gear qualities. The instrument wails are great for setting the mood, and the piano is processed to a fantastic degree to get this mechanic feeling. Very well done, though I also feel it is a little short. I have no problem hitting the repeat button though.

Akkadia Rising: Interesting groove here. Unique, to be sure. I like this version better than the solo sax because this just feels a good bit fuller and more rounded. Masterful sax playing though, and the production on this is great. Nice e-piano as well, every supporting bit does its job here. A must-listen for the originality here.

Devil Flare: I don’t even know if this counts as a call and response between the lead and the strings-buzzsynth, but its definitely SOMETHING like that. This has a very raw and aggressive feeling to it, which is both a good and bad thing – great for feeling aggressive, bad if you want to calm down when driving. It makes me feel like something urgent is going on and I need to get up and do something. The orchestral instruments used here are GREAT, hands-down.

Binary Chain: Another one of those mixes I just can’t describe in words. Listen. Listen now. The piano-lead sections alone make this mix a must-have on my playlist. For some reason, I’m reminded a good bit of Phil Collins, but only in a good way.

October Rain: Having this back-to-back with Binary Chain causes overwhelm-of-awesome. My only complaint is the snare sounds too processed and doesn’t have enough punch. Great collaboration otherwise, and everything is proper. Another “Listen now” track.

Of God and Man: Creepy way to start off, and didn’t take off early enough for me, but I guess that was not the intention of this mix. Makes feel genuinely unsettled, very very cool stuff nrich.

Dogma: Interesting opening, can’t say I was the biggest fan due to the detuning, though I know that was definitely intentional. Once the drums kick in, I started to enjoy it, and this was another genuinely creepy and unsettling mix.

Defective: This is a story told in music. Gorgeously done, folks. The center focus felt a little much during certain parts of the song, but that didn’t detract from the final result for me. And thus would end a great project for me…though there is one last song…

Shit on Citan: *sigh* Oh CHIPP Damage…I really used to be into this kind of music, and whether this be joke or not, I just can’t say it fits anywhere on this disc. I just….ahh man, why?! This kinda leaves a sour taste in my mouth, no matter how funny certain parts are, it really makes the album seem a little tainted in retrospect. I’m not trying to offend here, but I just really did NOT dig this song. Frowny faces from me here. Sorry, dude.

And thus ends my elongated reviews of the entire project. I’m going to go get some ice for my wrists now, that was a lot of typing.

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Binary Chain: Another one of those mixes I just can’t describe in words. Listen. Listen now. The piano-lead sections alone make this mix a must-have on my playlist. For some reason, I’m reminded a good bit of Phil Collins, but only in a good way.

October Rain: Having this back-to-back with Binary Chain causes overwhelm-of-awesome. My only complaint is the snare sounds too processed and doesn’t have enough punch. Great collaboration otherwise, and everything is proper. Another “Listen now” track.

I think you may have confused these two. But thanks for the "Listen now" :)

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Hello there good remixers, organizers, and all others who made this project possible! I have listened to this album several times now and have found it to be undeniably awesome in both individual tracks and as an album as a whole. To the latter point: the flow between tracks was seamless, and my worries about the division between sides and non-chronological flow was quickly assuaged. To the former: I would like to comment on a few tracks that I found to be excessively awesome. No offense intended to any I don't mention, of course; the vast majority were at least entirely awesome!

104, Prometheus - Cybernetic Love.

How someone comes up with such an idea confounds me, but the new style (or, more appropriately, styles) worked completely. Swanky. Ranging from dirty guitar to delicate piano, as well as (considering the title) an appropriately fitting synth, this is one sexy piece. Well done, John Revoredo. I wouldn't mind putting my current handle on this one if I were you.

106, Vampire Hunter Dan - Ship Of Emotion And Song.

One of my favorite remixers covers one of my favorite vgms! And he does some stuff before then too :)! VHD is one of those remixers whose works are so incredible that they drive me to learn more about music so I can fully appreciate them. Also, VHD: it's what's for dinner (sorry, I had to). Not to end on a joke: you absolutely nailed Flight. I wish it were longer, but what is there is perfect.

109, Fishy - Echoes.

I heard that Gilmour. Well played, sir, on both counts.

115, Jormungand - First Meeting; The Shadowed Forest.

Oh, the restraint! The deliberate pacing is impeccable: it brings forth the suspense and mystery of the original in full color. And, as bLiNd commented in the listening party, the use of dynamics is excellent. Great interpretation, great playing.

203, Ziwtra - Crash/Restore.

Too much to say! To me, this is the most delightful work on the entire album; I find myself needlessly head-bopping along to it almost the entire way. But to simply say it's 'happy' would be a disservice; the intricacy and care taken in the creation of each section screams to be noticed. Every sound font, every layer fits; every melody is offset, balanced, or countered appropriately; and each varied section leads intuitively into the next. But to the emotions (oh, pun!): the feelings of longing (or fond remembrance), hope, and perseverance flood this work. I enjoy your remixes Ziwtra, but if this sheer brilliance is in part the product of computer problems then I would be willing to sabotage your files anytime!

206, The Vagrance - Smooth Criminal.

Stop-motion listening. That's how much I get that into this one. So yes, those beats are absolutely disgusting, so much so that sometimes when it comes on I'm so absorbed that I forget I'm listening to a remix. Then, once I realize that I go 'whoa, bonus!'. Quite silly, really. I also really like the use of same/similar sounds that were in the original. Not keen on the accelerating pace at the end, but it works within the album and it's a small thing in comparison to the sweetness that is the rest of this track.

207, Siamey - Sleeper Dreamer.

Five minutes out of fourteen seconds. How you people do something like this astounds me. I wish I could better praise this track, but I don't know my trance (or electronica in general), so suffice it to say that I thoroughly enjoyed every second of this.

208, R3FORGED - Omen (R3 Mix).

I want my subwoofer back... you killed it. It was worth it though. This is so oppressive and chilling that it makes the original Omen sound as comforting as a lullaby. This is a horror unfolding. The atmosphere starts to close in, the stark realization comes that this is very wrong and this isn't a dream, the shadows take form, and then the pace quickens to somehow leave this behind. And 2:22 is the pause at the edge of the abyss; a single rock clacks down the cliff. Then there is the struggle, frozen with fear, to turn around... and the sudden jolt of adrenaline that allows a desperate surge back through the darkness. It's futile. But they're not after blood, they're after the mind. And there is never, ever any escape from that. That's what I hear, anyway. I figure painting a picture depicting how utterly wicked and hopeless this is would work better than me fumbling for musical terms. This is horribly, horridly incredible.

211, Wintermute and Troy Lawlor - Binary Chain.

Welcome back, Wintermute! You've been missed! (And welcome, Troy Lawlor!) The electronic and the instrumental come together magnificently in this track. A very classy ending as well.

215, Avaris and Blue Magic - Defective.

Phenomenal. Everything builds, everything transitions into something more. But the panning! Starting at 0:35, it's use creates an entirely different atmosphere. 0:00 to 0:35, you have the real. 0:35 onward, the illusory, the unconscious suppression is highlighted in increasingly overriding monaural sound. With menace. And then it fades - into stereo, into the unknowing consciousness. And then the real and the imaginary intertwine until nothing is certain. A more fitting tribute to the source tune I could not imagine.

Thanks again to everyone who had a hand in this. This is one of my favorite games, and one of my favorite soundtracks, and you all have done it more than justice.

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This album makes me glad I check back to OCremix every once in a while.. I'm only onto the second song of the album and I'm already inclined to comment on it :D

update: after listening to these, I have to comment on how great Binary Chain is. Just can't stop listening to it..

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Shaun, why was there a Last of the Mohicans theme cameo in "The Last Fatima"? Sure sounds like it; just found it interesting, as I haven't seen that movie in maybe 12 or 13 years.

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Shaun, why was there a Last of the Mohicans theme cameo in "The Last Fatima"? Sure sounds like it; just found it interesting, as I haven't seen that movie in maybe 12 or 13 years.

Haha, yeah I am a huge fan of that movie and its main theme. I had a goal of making a song in the vein of that theme and found the Aveh source tune to have the proper traditional irish motifs to achieve the necessary feel for the mix. :) Given that this was a project track I thought it was a great opportunity to take a chance and make a mix that paid homage to different inspirational tracks. I started this track in the fall of 2006 and finished in early 2007. By far my oldest track amongst my stuff up on OCR.

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211, Wintermute and Troy Lawlor - Binary Chain.

Welcome back, Wintermute! You've been missed! (And welcome, Troy Lawlor!) The electronic and the instrumental come together magnificently in this track. A very classy ending as well.

Thanks very much! Glad you enjoyed the track.

update: after listening to these, I have to comment on how great Binary Chain is. Just can't stop listening to it..

Best praise I can possibly receive. Thanks for downloading the album!

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Thank you for a wonderful album. I normally don't log into the forums, but I just had to, today. I can't even begin to imagine the headaches associated with making this into reality. Keep up the great work!

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It is a really good album, better than average musics published on the site. I usually hear all the musics except for two or three songs. Nice Work!!! :nicework:

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You ruined FFVII and now this??.. how dare you even touch such a great soundtrack like that? it's one of the best soundtracks by Mitsuda.. you just ruined it with your lame originality.. why can't you make the recognizable remix?? don't try to be original by adding non-fitting chords or any bad sample choices.. please stop doing it!!!!!:-x

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You ruined FFVII and now this??.. how dare you even touch such a great soundtrack like that? it's one of the best soundtracks by Mitsuda.. you just ruined it with your lame originality.. why can't you make the recognizable remix?? don't try to be original by adding non-fitting chords or any bad sample choices.. please stop doing it!!!!!:-x

When I watched the Lion King 1 1/2 it ruined the original for me, and ever since then I've made it my personal goal to ruin anything and everything for everyone else. I take this as a compliment.

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You ruined FFVII and now this??.. how dare you even touch such a great soundtrack like that? it's one of the best soundtracks by Mitsuda.. you just ruined it with your lame originality.. why can't you make the recognizable remix?? don't try to be original by adding non-fitting chords or any bad sample choices.. please stop doing it!!!!!:-x

best review so far.

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You ruined FFVII and now this??.. how dare you even touch such a great soundtrack like that? it's one of the best soundtracks by Mitsuda.. you just ruined it with your lame originality.. why can't you make the recognizable remix?? don't try to be original by adding non-fitting chords or any bad sample choices.. please stop doing it!!!!!:-x

I'm sorry, it was my first actual remix and I didn't know what I was doing and I didn't put nearly enough time into it... Sorry avaris. I'd remake the song if it would make any difference at all today. :(

I still don't completely understand why you included it with the production issues being so bad (something that everyone always points out so it's pretty common knowledge at this point)

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You ruined FFVII and now this??.. how dare you even touch such a great soundtrack like that? it's one of the best soundtracks by Mitsuda.. you just ruined it with your lame originality.. why can't you make the recognizable remix?? don't try to be original by adding non-fitting chords or any bad sample choices.. please stop doing it!!!!!:-x

Just listen to the OST then. That's obviously what you want to hear.

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You ruined FFVII and now this??.. how dare you even touch such a great soundtrack like that? it's one of the best soundtracks by Mitsuda.. you just ruined it with your lame originality.. why can't you make the recognizable remix?? don't try to be original by adding non-fitting chords or any bad sample choices.. please stop doing it!!!!!:-x

dude i'm so sorry! i'll stop mixing now. lame originality is seriously an issue on the internet - i just want to hear the same shit that's been around for eight hundred years...none of these non-fitting chords.

now get off my porch.

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This has been nagging at me for a while now, so I might as well throw this one out there: is Prometheus' track at all inspired by Daft Punk's "Digital Love" from the Discovery album? ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVP7N9_Q6hs ) I can see a stylistic similarity between the two tracks, not to mention the title, and the resemblance in the opening sweeps followed by the bass and drum line...

Perhaps I'm reading a bit too far into it, but it'd be interesting if anyone else had spotted this.

In any case, it's a fantastic track on a fantastic album :nicework:

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dude i'm so sorry! i'll stop mixing now. lame originality is seriously an issue on the internet - i just want to hear the same shit that's been around for eight hundred years...none of these non-fitting chords.

now get off my porch.

That was epic.

This has been nagging at me for a while now, so I might as well throw this one out there: is Prometheus' track at all inspired by Daft Punk's "Digital Love" from the Discovery album? ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVP7N9_Q6hs ) I can see a stylistic similarity between the two tracks, not to mention the title, and the resemblance in the opening sweeps followed by the bass and drum line...

Perhaps I'm reading a bit too far into it, but it'd be interesting if anyone else had spotted this.

In any case, it's a fantastic track on a fantastic album :nicework:

Yup, that was the inspiration behind it, but somehow ended up pretty differently. Next time I'll get myself an effin' vocoder!

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