ReMix: Sonic & Knuckles "Tomorrow's Wake"
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- Game: Sonic & Knuckles (Sega, 1994, GEN)
- ReMixer(s): Rexy
- Composer(s): Howard Drossin, Jun Senoue, Masaru Setsumaru, Masayuki Nagao, Sachio Ogawa, Tatsuyuki Maeda, Tokuhiko Uwabo, Tomonori Sawada, Yoshiaki Kashima
- Song(s): "Sky Sanctuary Zone"
- Posted: 2005-03-06, evaluated by the judges
- Terms (BETA): piano resubmission solo
Rexy gives us a melancholy yet hopeful piano arrangement from Sonic and Knuckles - not the type of source material you'd think would yield particularly sober, dramatic piano stylings, but Bev makes it work with a strong arrangement and a warmer, clearer piano sample and cleaner recording than her initial version of the track offered. Dynamics were also improved, or rather the soft notes were made a bit softer. The judges were in rare unanimity, however, and I agree, in observing that the piece's one salient flaw is the excess velocity applied to many notes throughout the piece. Particularly when it's part of an already separated melodic passage, fortissimo coupled with staccato is a dangerous weapon, to be used with a bit more reservation than the ReMixer applies. It's not a devastating issue and it fortunately doesn't kill the mix, but at least to our ears, it's a noticeable detractant. Now that THAT'S out of the way, the good news is that the arrangement is lovely, with an intro that begins with Debussy-like simplicity and pacing but gets more elaborate, with dramatic lower voicings forming a foundation for upper-register permutations of the main melody. Some of the progressions are well-implemented, specifically the diminishing ending that concludes the piece, and in general the degree of arrangement compared to the source material is substantive and creative. Binnie writes:
"New sample is better, recording is cleaner, tone is warmer. But the problem of plunkiness still remains, courtesy of the stiff and occasionally spiked velocities on key notes. Thanks to the improved mixing, it's a little easier to ignore. My main problem with this work was and still is the original phrasings and voicings, which aren't too interesting; the arrangement is best when interpreting and improvising on the theme. But as a whole, the rearrangement is fine."
I feel like part of my duty with these write-ups is "selling" each track, i.e. explaining the better aspects, and why you should check it out, but I'd be remiss if I didn't focus on some of the negatives as well. In this instance, it's a testament to Rexy's legitimate interpretation of the original and otherwise eloquent, elegant interpretation that it remains solid (to every last judge) in spite of some performance and voicing concerns.
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