ReMix: Xenogears "Pillar of Salt" 5:31

By Star Salzman

Artist Links
lyrics-existing middle-eastern orchestral singing synth vocals-male
Arranging the music of 2 songs...

"Dazil, City of Burning Sand", "Premonition"

Primary Game: Xenogears (Square, 1998, PS1), music by Yasunori Mitsuda

Posted 2004-07-31, evaluated by djpretzel

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.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
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 there's 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

on 2010-11-10 17:24:27

This is so addicting. A work of staggering brain melting awesome. LISTEN TO IT NOW.

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.

on 2010-03-27 01:44:44
(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. They've got way more power than you think when both spoken and meditated upon.

on 2010-03-26 17:01:42

You know it's a good remix when you can't hear the actual 'Omen' without automatically thinking that it's '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 :)

on 2010-01-10 01:07:59

I can't 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!

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 we'd see more ethnically inspired mixes.

I like how DjP described this: "worlds unto themselves"

Admittedly, I've 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).

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 didn't use it was because I couldn't express my connection with the lyrics. Besides that, I found it to be a powerful and moving piece. Thank you for the memory.

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.

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 it's 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 I'm 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 Lot's wife turns into sodium chloride (the drum boom at 4:30).

A fervently pious narrative, both in words and music.

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...



yes. The thi...


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.

on 2008-05-01 17:27:43

Awesome. Epic. Granduise -word? bah) Absolutely breathtaking and incredible. Some of Star's songs I like, I love most, and this one, I LOVE. Go check out his other works which are oh-so-notable.

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.

There's not much more to be said that hasn't been. DJP summed it up quite eloquently in his writeup. This is more or less the definitive epic remix.

Love the vocals, also!

Sources Arranged (2 Songs)

Primary Game:
Xenogears (Square, 1998, PS1)
Music by Yasunori Mitsuda
"Dazil, City of Burning Sand"

Tags (6)

Orchestral, Singing, Synth, Vocals: Male
Lyrics > Lyrics: Existing
Regional > Middle Eastern

File Information

6,711,267 bytes


El layali ragaitni tani,
The nights brought me back again,
Hob qalbi min gideed.
And renewed the love in my heart.
Baad ghiba, gani, rah nadani.
After he left, he came back and called for me.

[from the original theme]
Oh ne baya
Oh ne baya


Psalm 2, verses 1-4

Lamah rag'shu goyim
Why do the nations rage,
Ul'umim yeh'gu rik?
And the people imagine a vain thing?
N'natkah et mos'roteimo,
Saying, let us break their bands asunder,
V'nashlichah mimenu avoteimo.
And cast away their cords from us.
Yoshev bashamayim
He that sitteth in the heavens
Yis'hak, Adonai
Shall laugh, and the Lord
Yil'ag lamo!
Shall have them in derision!

Genesis 19:24-26

Va'Adonay himtir al-Sedom ve'al-Amorah gofrit va'esh me'et Adonay min-hashamayim.
God made sulphur and fire rain down on Sodom and Gomorrah - it came from God, out of the sky.
Vayahafoch et-he'arim ha'El ve'et kol-hakikar ve'et kol-yoshvey he'arim vetsemach ha'adamah.
He overturned these cities along with the entire plain, [destroying] everyone who lived in the cities and [all] that was growing from the ground.
Vatabet ishto me'acharav vatehi netsiv melach.
[Lot's] wife looked behind him, and she was turned into a pillar of salt.


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