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Gario

OCR03667 - *YES* Secret of Mana "Masters of Mischief" *PROJECT*

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Salutations,

This track will be part of the Secret of Mana: Resonance of the Pure Land album.

Remixer name: Jorito
Real name: Jorrith Schaap
Email: 
Userid: 3899
 

ReMixer name: Smooth4lyfe1987
Real name: Joey Ofori
Email: 
Userid: 33213
 
Submission information:

Name of Game(s) Remixed: Secret of Mana

Name of Arrangement: Masters of Mischief
Names of songs arranged: A Curious Happening (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsHyWOfYsXg)

Link to the remix: 
 
Comments about the mix:
 
Way back when pu_freak was still leading the Secret of Mana album, I had a bit of time on my hands and needed a musical outlet for it. I vividly remember playing and finishing Secret of Mana on an emulator somewhere in the late nineties, but somehow I forgot a bit about the  music. Going over the list of unclaimed tracks, I felt that “A Curious Happening” had a nice funky feel to it, so I went ahead and claimed it, not fully sure yet what to do with it just yet.
 
Fast forward in time, a wild deadline appeared! Time to get busy, so I started jamming out some ideas. I ended up with this funky backdrop where I intentionally chose to go for a kind of retro FM-synth-meets-chiptune vibe, rather than the more obvious acoustic instruments,  because I felt it would work better and would be easier to pull off well. For climax I added a part with messy distorted drums and screeching (bass) synths, just because it felt like the track needed a bit of extra spice. Even though it stands out when compared to the rest of the track, I love the contrast and tension it brings.
 
Of course I had the crazy idea early on to add raps to that same climatic middle part of the track. Since I can’t rap, and the Eminem vocal placeholder vocals () I put in there were funny but getting old, I reached out to Joey (Smooth4Lyfe). We quickly started working out some ideas on how we could pose the Scorpion Army (this is their theme song in the game) as the comic relief and a band of bandits whose plans always fail. Joey did a great job in writing catchy lyrics to drive home that concept and we even added some extra vocals and ad libs to spice up the track even more. 
 
For me, this was the first time ever I worked with raps in a track and even though it took a few tries to get it in its final form, I'm really happy with the final result. I also dig how the narrative and the arrangement work closely together to tell you what a bunch of loosers the Scorpion Army are. Collaborating on it with Joey was a pleasure and his vocals really make the track shine where it needs to!
 
Here’s what Joey has to say about it:
 
I really liked working on this project. It was a new experience for me coming up with lyrics with a game I'm not 100% familiar with, and working with Jorito to turn it into a finished product. Overall I think it turned out amazing and I'm very happy with the final result!
 
Lyrics:
 
Intro

Allow us to reintroduce ourselves you know that
We’re the Scorpion Army
Breaking all the rules just to get to the top but
You know we ain’t no dummies

Some people wanna think we’re the comic relief I mean
We don’t try to be funny
Thinking it’s a joke but we’ll get the last laugh
But let us first make a plan get ready!

1:40 - 2:02

We the Scorpion Army
We the type of dudes that will ruin your party
Takin’ candy from a kid without saying sorry
Oh we’re naughty naughty
Money and the Power just give us the world

We the Masters of Mischief
In case you missed it
You mess with us and we’ll give you the business
Oh no! Looks like our plan is ruined again
So close but we just never win
It ain’t fair, come on!

2:48

We’re the Scorpion Army
You better know the name
We’re the Masters of Mischief
You know you want the fame

Better give us your money
You know it ain’t a game
Gonna rise to the top now
The Power we will claim

4:00 - End

We’re the Scorpion Army and remember that.
 
Source breakdown:
 
0:00 - 0:38 - intro, bell-like arp plays the same line as the atonal marimba-like instrument in the original
0:38 - 0:44 - buildup, no source
0:44 - 1:02 - melody from the source (0:21 - 0:41), without the ending but a repeat of the first line
1:02 - 1:12 - breakdown from source (0:41 - 0:52)
1:12 - 1:31 - melody from source again
1:31 - 2:09 - uses the breakdown chord stabs in the chipsounds
2:09 - 2:57 - solo part, bell-like arp from the intro + breakdown chord stabs in second half
2:57 - 3:16 - buildup
3:16 - 3:36 - melody again
3:36 - 3:45 - buildup
3:45 - 4:03 - melody improv + repeat of melody from source
 

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Aw yeah, we've got Jorito's kickass arranging teamed up with S4L's kickass singing. It's not necessarily something I knew I wanted to have happen, but saying it out loud... Yeah, it's something that I want, and this delivers. The arrangement is pretty easy to recognize (though it's filled with a slick energy), and the production is pretty solid. It's a pretty dense arrangement, so it does feel a little crowded when all the music and singing is going at once (like at 3:46), but even in those moments it seems like you can still hear everything that's going at once pretty clearly.

Yeah, needless to say I'm all for giving this the front page treatment once that album is finished.

YES

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Yep, this is pretty fantastic.  There's not much to this source, so props for building it out into a full song that still clearly makes use of that source throughout.

I didn't think it got excessively busy at any point--at several times, you have to choose where to focus your attention, but whatever you pay attention to, you can hear it just fine.  I did think the dynamic range was a little too much, in that I found the quieter portions to be a little too quiet to hear well when I lowered the volume to the point where the louder sections weren't uncomfortably loud.  It wasn't too severe, though, definitely not enough to hold this back.  A great choice for the album mixflood.

YES

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Ok, the intro (Edit: I don't even remember what I was writing here, so I'll just leave it at that :D)

Wow, :20 really works well with vocals complimenting the track.  Enjoyed the tongue-in-cheek lyrics treatment.  Love the overall groove and feel of this. Breakdown at 1:00 was an excellent change-up.  

1:33 volume level suddenly jumped a bit too high compared to previous section, though i'm not sure why.  It ducks beneath the lyrics a few seconds later anyway, so not sure what was going on with that.  2:30 again felt like it got a bit on the loud side with leads cutting a bit too much for what I'd prefer to hear.  Happens a couple more times with lead synths in the last :45 or so as well.

Arrangement is on point here.  I found the OST forgettable when playing the game, but you've done something special with it, here.  Let's go.

YES

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The timing of the faux-geetar synth at :42 sounded stilted, but it works enough. I agreed with the volume jump at 1:33 being too much, but things pulled back after a few seconds. Mixing could have been cleaner during the densest parts, but I'll live; it was too busy, IMO, but not for long enough to be a dealbreaker.

Appreciated the boldness of the arrangement; I don't think anyone would have expected an approach like this for this theme, yet you integrated it well into this piece. There were some moments where the source inclusion felt like more of a background player, but it wasn't a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Nice job, guys!

YES

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