ReMix: Panzer Dragoon Orta 'More Than a Weapon'
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This ReMix may not be immaculate, but it succeeds on probably the most important level - creating a tangible, believable musical atmosphere and keeping it interesting for the listener throughout. SuperGreenX teamed up with pianist-ReMixer Michael Contraveos for this, our first arrangement from the latest in the Panzer series. While not developed by the same programmers as previous installments, Orta did manage to retain the services of Saori Kobayashi, who worked on Saga (aka Azel), and matched them with the talents of Skies of Arcadia composer Yutaka Minobe. So, one good collaboration deserves another, and SGX & MC answer the call. MC apparently helped with chord work and sent SGX some piano excerpts, which were then fit into the context of a sweeping techno mix that begins peacefully, with solo ivory, flapping of wings, strings, solo oboe, and just a very delicate, melancholy tone. Then, with a dragon cry, the beat & bass come in, assisted by some more in-game samples of the lead female speaking. Love the bassline here - it's just a perfect rhythm for sitting underneath the main melody, which is covered by the oboe from the intro, backed by strings, and has some GREAT, very tricky intervals. Reminded me of Yoko Kanno's opening theme to the Record of Lodoss War TV series in this respect. I think kudos are deserved on some level simply for taking a more challenging piece like this and turning it into techno with success. There are some issues approaching the third minute, where Michael's piano playing is inserted into the mix and the timing doesn't quite match up. When I mentioned the mix not being immaculate in my intro, this is specifically what I'm referring to, as it's sort of jarring to hear things out of sync. Both his piano and SGX backing are quality, they just don't line up quite right here. Things segue out after a bit - this isn't a large part of the mix - but that's the one area that I wasn't diggin. Everything else works beautifully - the oboe is replaced by a more synthetic, distorted tone that actually sounds similar, almost like a distorted oboe itself - but again, it works. There's some cool panned stereo percussion around 3'25" that's mixed with in-game speech that's very transporting and well-done. The string hits alone are worth mentioning, as they sound great and are used very effectively throughout, and really increase the sense of urgency and energy. And the mellow ending, which concludes with the fading flapping of wings initially used in the intro, brings it all together. With the very tasteful usage of in-game samples, variety in tone and changes of direction, and round-robin ending, the mix really succeeds on the level of communicating a narrative via music - at the end, you don't just feel like a song is over, but a story - in particular, a battle - which is important. Despite some timing issues, this adventurous, narrative, and very well-constructed ReMix can be recommended for all audiences.
OA;618438 wrote: The voices lend a bit of arrange-album authenticity to it
Want to go ahead and quote that because I get the same feeling from it, especially from listening to MMZ arrangement albums that have had similar stuff in more dramatic pieces. The piano is gorgeous and it has a nice beat that goes against what I normally expect (skips a bit faster ahead of the melody, making it a tad grander and tense, like a battle where the hero just got a second wind). All in all, this ReMix holds up extremely well for being over ten years old and I definitely would recommend this one.
- Crulex on October 30, 2013
- Fun on March 12, 2013
Regardless, these are minor things that don't come anywhere near ruining it; definitely worth giving a listen or two to.
- Melbu Frahma on December 14, 2011
The melody that plays throughout is both relaxing, exciting and enticing.
Especially when the tone became more darker.
I agree, Panzer Dragoon ORTA was a worthy sucessor and that person who composed Skies of Arcadia is definately on my, "must listen list".
- Otaku_Symphonia on October 15, 2010
- avaris on December 1, 2009
- OA on December 1, 2009
- metalsnakejuice on September 26, 2009
Panzer Dragoon always blows me away with it's dreamlike atmosphere, this remix perfectly captures the feeling of flying off to an epic battle while still maintaining the vibe of the beautiful and tragic relationship between Orta and the Dragon.
Can't thank you enough for this work - maximum respect!
- Saurian on December 17, 2007
- IcePak on June 17, 2006
- FinalGamer on February 9, 2005
- Paranoyia on February 6, 2005
This is is instant-transfer to MP3 player quality! Excuse me while I do just that!
- Zenth Relin on January 2, 2005
- arborninja on July 9, 2004
- CinderpawX on May 29, 2004
- PrinnyMan on May 21, 2004