ReMix: Xenogears 'Pillar of Salt'

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Xenogears

Star's mixes are worlds unto themselves. Each has the feeling of being refined over a significant period of time, polished, built into singular creations that have virtually no self-similarity save that all are stupendously produced and brilliantly constructed. This mix is so conceptual and creative, it's somewhat frightening. He's taken the Dazil and Omen themes, merged them, and juxtaposed arabic and hebrew vocals from biblical verses, building on the brief vocal snippet from Mitsuda's original and extending that into a fully realize universe of prophecy and middle-eastern motifs, achieving a grandiose vision that is at once world music, hymn, techno, industrial, and orchestral, but above all, Star Salzman. No one should hesitate for a nanosecond in deciding whether to download this; it transcends fandom of individual games as readily as it transcends genres. I could write spades on even limited aspects of the mix - the intelligently varied, very strategic use of ethnic percussion infused with electronics, the utterly believable vocals, the natural, effortless transitions and morphing structure, and... everything else. Synths, traditional world instruments, strings... picking out each element is ultimately pointless - they're all on par with one another; that is, all excellent. No repetition, no dead space, and such a flair for the dramatic - numerous pieces of this mix sound HUGE in scope not as much due to their volume, but by the skill Star's applied in constructing builds and making every bit count. Star pisses me off in conversations all the time, as our personalities are quite a bit different, and is not the most humble person in the world (by far); he hardly needs more praise thrown his way, and I'm not going to be biased towards his submissions (not that that really figures in), but I suppose I can express my opinion on this mix most clearly by saying this: Pillar of Salt is a superbly crafted, brilliantly produced ReMix with a wide pallete of high-quality samples, classic AND unique vocals, and all the audio polish you could want, really. But conceptually - conceptually it frightens me, and is something in that sense that I wouldn't have problems calling genius.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
XPRTNovice
on 2012-10-27 10:33:40
Easily one of my top 5 favorite remixes that have ever been made. The Hebrew singing is redonkulously fitting and theres just so much power in this mix that it makes my brain hurt.
Phonetic Hero
on 2012-09-21 00:20:35
Did somebody say Shpongle? This mix is insane. Love it
WesternZypher
on 2010-11-10 17:24:27
This is so addicting. A work of staggering brain melting awesome. LISTEN TO IT NOW.
OA
on 2010-08-27 14:28:57
Crazy awesome. One of the top 5 mixes on the site, no question.

There is absolutely no reason to not download this song.
A-RoN
on 2010-03-27 01:44:44
'42' wrote: (although I do have some objections of using Biblical versus to paint this picture though).


Now that I think about it, so do I. Although the song is good, I find it disturbing that at the time Mr StarBlast created this song, he uses the Bible in an esotaric fashion without actually considering the "real" revelation behind the words used. I say this because a year later, he wrote a juvenille FF6 mainstream rap remix with the term STFU.

My questions to StarBlast would be "What do words actually mean to you as a person? Do you actually consider the fact that words can be used to inspire rather than just entertain?" Please do not treat words in the English language like a baby playing with building blocks. Theyve got way more power than you think when both spoken and meditated upon.
Kerodohi
on 2010-03-26 17:01:42
You know its a good remix when you cant hear the actual Omen without automatically thinking that its Pillar of Salt! Still one of my favorites ever. I love the way it grabs my brain and dumps it somewhere in the middle of an Eastern desert :)
cjlenig
on 2010-01-10 01:07:59
I cant stop listening to this piece. It is a breathtaking soundscape that you just want to listen to over and over again. The instrumentation choices are spot on, and the arrangement just screams desert oasis to me. I really enjoyed this remix. One of the best I have heard on the site, in fact!
42
on 2009-12-02 11:56:20
Bluntly, this mix frightens me on many, many levels. Every time I listen to this, I have to stop and follow along with the lyrics. This feels so authentically Middle Eastern; I kinda wish wed see more ethnically inspired mixes.

I like how DjP described this: "worlds unto themselves"
Admittedly, Ive always liked the image Dazil, City of Burning Sands, has invoked, but this mix takes it and goes crazy with it.
It reminds me a lot of Greek mythology describing how petty and jealous gods can be (although I do have some objections of using Biblical versus to paint this picture though).
WhiteMembou
on 2009-10-13 08:11:21
A music class I had in college asked that we bring in a 5 minute piece of music to play for everyone. The point was to share different views and styles of music and express what the music meant to us. This remix was one of three I considered using for that class, and the only reason I didnt use it was because I couldnt express my connection with the lyrics. Besides that, I found it to be a powerful and moving piece. Thank you for the memory.
yosefu
on 2009-10-09 22:33:37
Very nice vocals and lyrics. The instruments that you used gave me the idea of arabic music, Great job.
Polo
on 2009-10-09 06:22:03
Collectively, the instruments produce a stream of arid imagery (desert, sand, mirages) alongside the Middle Eastern vibe, and its more effective when ones like the glittery sweeps at 1:14+ can delve into both single-handedly. Simultaneous church bell+drum attacks punctuate the tension in such a way that Im flooded with the urge to look to the heavens for either fire raining down or a floating tower, whichever deity machination comes first. 3:46-4:34 casts a sympathetic light on the condemned cities (the strings get so high-pitched they practically shed a tear), then it pulls back in time to mark the moment Lots wife turns into sodium chloride (the drum boom at 4:30).

A fervently pious narrative, both in words and music.
Forderz
on 2009-01-18 19:31:22
That throaty noise right at the end sounds so WRONG. Otherwise, 10/10.
Sam I Am
on 2008-06-12 23:41:59
...

I uh...

er

hmm

yes. The thi...

WHOA:shock:

This is the stuff! Sometimes when mixes use non-Western instruments, it can be gimmicky and fake. This flows so well and melds the styles and timbres effortlessly. Just great.
MechaFone
on 2008-05-01 17:27:43
Awesome. Epic. Granduise -word? bah) Absolutely breathtaking and incredible. Some of Stars songs I like, I love most, and this one, I LOVE. Go check out his other works which are oh-so-notable.
Jaybell
on 2008-05-01 17:12:49
You know what? I am punching myself in the face for not listening to this beforehand. Holy dang ol balls.

Theres not much more to be said that hasnt been. DJP summed it up quite eloquently in his writeup. This is more or less the definitive epic remix.

Love the vocals, also!