DISC ONE Review ~ part I
01 - Full Moon Cello:
The album starts off with this beautiful and very cinematic piece from Theophany.
An appropriate use of the bells swiftly conveys the feeling of loneliness.
The strings carry the main melody with eloquence, and the underlying emotion is adequatly chaneled through the cello.
The percussion elements, in conjunction with the smooth bassline, hit the mark and keep things linked and in motion throughout the entire piece.
Clever use of the trademark 'secret' jingle in the second half of the song, which adds an extra layer of suspense and mystery, making for a pretty diversified listening experience.
02 - Lucidic:
A peaceful and mesmerizing piece, sporting a unique sound design and an intricate composition that shows a lot of though went into its creation.
Featuring an assortment of pleasant sounding synthetizers, a sweet rhodes piano, some subtle atmospheric pads and a variety of effects, the arrangement slowly manages to develop a dreamworld of its own.
Drums are also an important part of the equation, and through carefuly crafted groove, tight sequencing and precise timings, Benjamin Briggs successfully set the stage for this tribute album to link's most surreal adventure.
03 - Threshold of a Dream:
If there is a song defining this project and encapsulating its message, it's without the shadow of a doubt this collab between Prophetik and Level99.
Threshold of a Dream is probably the most moving interpretation of the main theme from the Legend of Zelda that I've ever heard.
Not only it is a magnificent tribute to one of the most iconic melody in the history of gaming, it's also a superb acoustic performance sure to captivate listeners and capture their imagination.
A tearbringing, yet truly heartwarming piece, likely set to become a monument of nostalgia among remix enthusiasts and zelda fans alike.
04 - Oceanfront View:
A short yet quite enjoyable piano arrangement from Iggy Koopa, with a distinctive touch of romantism to it.
As the piece progresses, it triggers a gradual (and monochrome) recollection of fond memories from interacting with all the wacky NPCs/support characters who made this trip to Koholint so lively and memorable.
A song that slowly but surely brings a little smile on your face, similar to the one you get while remembering good times spent in the company of old friends.
05 - Animal Counterpoint:
One cannot possibly grab the whole meaning behind a painter's masterpiece in one glance. I believe that Brad's Animal Counterpoint is one such piece.
It is possible to miss the point of this song entirely, if you only listen to it superficially, or wait for the source to be rolled in verbatim.
You just have to let it develops and maturate, give the time to all the pieces to come together, let your ears and mind get used to the taste, like a good wine.
It's a very reflective song, one that require patience, like the many trials of life that leave an indelebile mark in your memory afterwards.
A very unorthodox and truly unique gem, which is also one of the most innovative and audacious work that I've had the chance to listen to since joining the VGremix community.
06 - the Wind Outside:
With such a dramatic and sinister source (and stage), one would think that things couldn't get much shadier. Well, think again, as Ten19 manages to delve even deeper into the dark reaches of the human subconcious with his arrangement.
It's slowly building a tense atmosphere, successively adding then substracting elements, making you feel uneasy and lost (much like when you're in the Egg).
Everything seems the same but is in fact slightly different when you pay attention.
It's an interesting creative process that forces you, as a listener, to find new waypoints as the mix devellops, because it's as if the whole aural floor, ceiling and walls are constantly switching places.
The arrangement has a survival horror flair to it, and it's definitely thrilling to be able to explore yet another emotional venue.
A dark and moody piece that is certain to leave you unsettled.
07 - Eviglio Insperatus:
In a quasi Akira Yamaoka-esque melodic-ambient style, this latin named arrangement of Dream Shrine by The Joker is taking us for yet another ride down the memory lane.
With its soothing piano and angelic pads, the song begins by painting a heavenly sky filled with giant clouds and dreams.
But before long, the track switches abruptly through a tortured scream to an alternate/darker soundscape, evoking the nightmare that, unavoidably, awaits Link at the end of his quest.
Meanwhile, the industrial drums are slowly growing restless and their core sound is evolving along with the flow of events and emotions, much like the "Arm Mimics" inside the shrine, mirroring your every move.
The fractured nature of this piece and its omnipresent allusion to duality, imo marks the frontier between the world of dreams and the reality to which our hylian hero must return.
A strongly symbolic song, which should resonate with the ambivalence present in each and every person.
08 - Climb my Mountain, this High:
One of the most revered source in the entire soundtrack subsequently comes with skyhigh expectations.
But as true as no mountain is too high for Link to climb, Mr Ben Briggs (previously known as chtonic) is here to prove that no bar is set high enough to stop him.
This arrangement is a fusion of multiple genres that stylishly and seamlessly blend technicality with art the same way you can take several small gold pieces and blend them into, say... one big solid gold bar.
This song will bang you on the head with the thunder drum, throw you with one heart left from the top of Mt Tammaranch, catch you on the way down with a grappling hook, then toss you back into the sea while the Wise Owl and everyone in Mabe village call you THIEF! :D
I invite all personel to cease their current activity and succumb to the insidious groovy infection therein.
Please quickly get atop Mt Briggs to witness for yourself this thing called artistic maturity.
09 - Spare Key:
Key Cavern is notorious for two things: lots of keys and crazy ominous arpeggios! ;D
In his arrangement, Sound Test explores this in great detail as he expands on the oppressing feeling that you may run out of spare key at anytime and meet an horrible fate...
The direction makes this interpretation way crazier than the source, and the overall tone is also definitely more menacing.
The low piano in its craze is joined by some mad bass drums, ethnic percussions and a couple of random (and at time dissonant) sounds clips that are sure to give you the creeps.
You never know what to expect in the next couple of measures, and this feeling of being chased by the music rather than chasing it (by actively listening) is possibly one of the cooler concept I've experienced.
This piece has an undeniable experimental side to it that is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time.
10 - Fierce Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya ~ T.o.a.D. brigade:
So, I have one really important question here: who the fuck let this noob ruin my childhood?!
Brad, I want my rupees back. All of them! xD
11 - Liftin' Them Pots:
Bottle Groto is, I believe, a variation on the dungeon theme from ALTTP, mixed with the regular LA cave music, which makes for a somehow bland source.
But boy oh boy: Artem Bank here sure knows how to raise the bets and turn odds in his favor.
While the track starts up relatively slow and dark, fear not, for as soon as you hear the sweet sound of the fender, greatness is about to be bestowed upon your ears.
And sure enough, that bluegrass rickenbacker style guitar comes from nowhere to kick you in the nut and get you to respect its authoritah!
This totally unexpected twist gives the arrangement a kind of rebellious feel that would almost make Link look like a cool kid... if he wasn't totally tripping about some whalefish with wings hidden in a giant ostrich egg that he have to wake up using the Kontakt 4 library. ;D
This right here is the most badass Bottle Grotto has ever sounded. Loved this trash, 'down in the mud' take on the source.
Very visceral and masterfully crafted arrangement.
12 - Facies Templum:
Here's a great exemple of how to add emotion to a fairly straightforward source.
The original Face Shrine was a dark tune containing a subtle reference to the dungeon theme from the first Legend of Zelda, which was constructed in a static way that followed a very mechanical pattern.
This arrangement shifts the focus to a much more natural and unpredictable approach, with beautiful piano phrases, peaceful strings and brass section support, and some unforgettable solos, making the best of Prophetik's instrument of choice: the saxophone.
While the song retains an underlying moody atmosphere, it now possesses this touch of melancholy and uniqueness brought forward through the effort in humanizing and harmonizing all th element of this small orchestra.
It's a moving and very personal piece that blossoms at an even pace, shining by its simple beauty, and bringing along just the right dose of nostalgia to let your mind wander while watching the raindrops rolling down the window.
13 - Sköldpaddsklippan:
This arrangement is well suited to evoke the dream aspect of the game, with its airy synths and blurry strings forming a suitably foggy soundscape. A nice round bass comes in to sweeten the deal, while the fastpaced drums accompany the listener through its oniric voyage.
The piano break coming near the end is a real treat and adds a nice layer of emotion, grounding the piece in the earth rather than letting it roam in the sky.
And this is made even more appreciable by the fact that the song had been eluding reality many times, creating this emotional void by staying above the tree line.
The date at which the remix was produced might, at first, give the impression that it would have had a hard time fitting in with more recent addition to the project.
But to the credit of both Dafydd and Prophetik, this is surprisingly not the case here.
This arrangement, much like the game, has proudly stood the test of time to see the light of the day once again.
14 - Sunrise in Mabe:
Mabe Village is yet another iconic tune that has a lot to live up to.
Xenon Odyssey, continuing the work of fellow pianist and remixer Dhsu, delivers an hommage worthy of every Links Awakening fan's praise.
The piece has a nice and distinctive jazz flavor that fits the theme like a powerbracelet, and that I personally find very compelling.
For a little over four minutes, you will drown in a whirlpool of nostalgic memories.
From the moment you had this long talk with Marin (and probably didn't realize you were playing the first portable dating simulator), to the time you thought Bow wow was going to eat you for lunch, and even that time when you walked toward the shop with the firm intention of getting a bow...despite having only 38 rupees in your pocket. :D
It will all come back to you as the arrangement takes you through a day in Mabe.
A peaceful and evocative interpretation, that will have you feel like you were there, watching the sun rises over Koholint while listening to the echoing sounds of the ocean nearby.
Best served on a cold day with a nice cup of cofee to reminisce about the fourth time you saved the world.