Posted 2003-01-16, evaluated by djpretzel
Beatdrop and mp (Matt Pollard) last teamed up back in 2001, with the fantastic result being their Mega Man X3 House Hornet ReMix, a popular favorite here at OCR. Now they're back, and unlike the reunion of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones for the second, flagrantly cash-fishing Men in Black flick, this is a very good thing. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (also known as 'Final Fantasy Lite') is the name of the game this go round, with hardcore electronica being the weapon of choice. Ear-punishingly sweet percussion is the highlight, but before I progress further, some background: Beatdrop and mp share more than just these two ReMixes (and l33t skillz) in common - they're both artists who contributed to Squaredance, an album of Squaresoft electronica with not only a clever name but some good tunes as well, put together by OneUp Studios and KFSS Studios. There's a few other familiar OCR faces on the album, and yes, I pop up briefly with a Cyan mix, then fade away like a stealth ninjitsu. Or something such. Buy it or review it at GameMusic.com - if you dig this mix and others by the contributing artists that are available here at OC ReMix, chances are it'll be worth your time to at least investigate (bzzzzt - end egregious hyperlink-crazy plugging mode - bzzzzt).
Righty-o, then - this track was actually started as a contribution to the album, so it's relevant to mention the context - apparently it was just a touch too late for the deadline. This is one of the rare tracks where my absolute favorite bit is the intro - usually intros are the literary equivalent of character development, setting the stage and introducing the principles but not really going anywhere. Given that for me the percussion was the salient appeal of the mix, it is most exposed and "freshest" when it's introduced the instant the piece starts, with a deadly hardcore kick that gets simply killa distorted percussive accompaniment at 0'15" with lovely gating and programming and even a pitch bend on the rapid-fire hit that comes in. The mix proper enters around 0'46" after some chopped-up wind ambience, and this is where the actual FFMQ material is at play, but I just love those intro drums - more robust than a triple-shot of espresso, speaking from experience. From a "responsible" perspective, that'd be my criticism - those portions of this ReMix that I enjoy the most are the ones that have the least to do with the source material. But if the original tunes can't inspire totally new bits & pieces of musical wonder, what'd be the point? Damn right. Anyway, the usage of brassy textures dominates the main melody in a unique fashion, not something you'd hear too often. It does work, which is saying something in itself, but never in a way that I'm 100% comfortable with. Fortunately, there's Kitaro-esqu synth lead doubling it, some nice delayed synth patterns underneath, breaks for variety, and a no-holds barred approach to mixing that doesn't let up. There's dsp and manipulation brought in often on the underlying drums, keeping them interesting (on top of being poundingly juicy), and the piece ends with the afforementioned brass riffing up - it's here that you'll notice the reverb being applied to this patch, which has a real short trail, like a small room patch or short plate. Again, interesting+deliberate choices made that give this a different identity than your average relentless hardcore techno track. A little more panache at the possible expense of being a little less accessible? Maybe. My guess is that, like me, you'll focus on the beats and subsonic bass and not mind. Good stuff, indicative of the overall high calibre work on Squaredance (I'm not obsessive about the red "e" like some, but I capitalize "OverClocked ReMix" weird, so go figure) - both the album and this behind-the-scenes, related "bonus" ReMix are definitely recommended.
on 2011-12-17 06:28:46
on 2009-11-20 16:12:05
on 2009-02-27 19:50:18
on 2008-03-27 02:55:52
on 2006-01-27 08:50:36
on 2005-04-08 20:54:48
on 2005-02-20 21:53:05
on 2005-02-19 04:12:50
on 2005-02-19 04:11:39
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on 2004-12-03 21:13:25
on 2003-03-21 11:54:14
on 2003-03-18 08:05:48
on 2003-01-27 15:57:33
on 2003-01-27 06:03:04
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (Square, 1992, SNES)
Music by Ryuji Sasai, Yasuhiro Kawakami
- "Mountain Range of Whirlwinds"
- 4,688,622 bytes
- Size: 4,688,622 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 9a5069978bb27cec1728f77d8ffe31e1
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