ReMix: Secret of Mana 'Dragon Song'
6,109,184 bytes, 5:02, 160kbps
Streaming preview on YouTube
I'm going to begin this writeup by mentioning Pillar of Salt a bit, but not because Star's magnum opus and Brandon's latest share all that much in common, musically. They're not in the same genre, or from the same game, or by the same composer, and besides involving original vocals, their respective tones and general composition are altogether different. So, where's the relevancy? Well, the simple fact is, I can't really talk about either of these ReMixes without embarrassing myself in a sad cesspool of my own fanboy adulation. They're fantastic mixes, the type I dreamed would one day be made when I started the site, the type that fill (overfill, really) either side of the arrangement/production ratio, and open doors, and conclusively illustrate the possibilities and art present in what we're doing with unofficial game arrangements. They're legitimizing of the time I've invested working on the site. Now, it's important for me to clarify, so are ALL ReMixes. I'm strongly opposed to the idea of ranking or classifying something as emotional and subjective as music, especially on a song by song basis. I think of the many mixes on this site as a continuum, and NOT a hierarchy, and always will. But even in a continuum, filled with amazing work from a variety of distinct voices, there can be tracks that stand out for one reason or another, to any given listener, as quintessentially possessing certain traits and characteristics that one searches for in art. To make a long story short and avoid further pontification, if you know what I think of Star's Xeno mix, that I feel similarly about Brandon's should be enough to communicate the point. If not, just download both without a hesitant bone in your body, and I don't think you'll be disappointed. Brandon writes:
"Yet another tribute to my favorite game, Secret of Mana, this time incorporating both the final Flammie flight theme and a bit from the Kakkara desert theme. Sorya mentioned in the ReMixing forum that remixing music from Secret of Mana is like “taking a little trip back in time.” So true indeed. This mix takes me to the skies above the world as the story climaxes: the lost continent has risen, the Mana Beast is on his way, you’ve gone through so much yet so much is left to do. Ahh, memories.
Thanks to all of the people in the WIP forum who commented on this mix in its infancy, especially Monobrow who provided a simple suggestion that really inspired me to continue.
Hope everyone enjoys!
~This mix is brought to you by:
Cakewalk SONAR 2, FL Studio 5, Casio CTK-551 (used only as a midi controller), Fender acoustic guitar (my new toy), and my sexy man voice"
Actually, this mix doesn't so much rekindle memories of SoM as it does reinvent the entire world before my eyes, vaster in scope and reach, an infinite expanse of land, water, and air. "Transporting" doesn't do it justice - if for some reason you couldn't get away this year, couldn't travel anywhere, see anything new, get away from school, or work, or your life, in one of the traditional ways... this is more than a substitute vacation, more than a consolation prize. Some people view the label of "escapism" as a criticism when it comes to any art form, including music, but when paired with technique and vision, for something this imaginative and flowing, I just can't see it being so. Brandon can sing, play guitar, and arrange exquisitely, and all three of his skills are utilized here to the fullest extent we've yet seen them. Again, as with Salt, when everything comes together and someone's full faculties are applied to a mix that was clearly meant for them, the results are honestly downright scary, on some level. I'm not going to bother with a play-by-play, in this instance, as I'd just prefer everyone listen to this a dozen times in a row like I have, at which point telling you what happens is moot. It's 5/4, which is worth mentioning as the meter is handled so smoothly, you may not even notice. There's acoustic guitar, piano, shuffling drums and latin percussion, simultaneously interesting + supportive bass, a calliope/pan flute lead, a variety of synths that integrate seamlessly with the more acoustic overall vibe, and - oh yeah - an impressive instrument in its own right, Brandon's voice. There's a mixture of lyrics, vocalizing, and background vocal parts, and he's on all of them, and he sounds great. As good as all of Salzman's previous mixes were, I didn't know he had Salt in him until I heard it; the same applies here. Elevating, meticulous, innovative, and representative of what still makes running this site so damn fun: you just never know what you're gonna hear next.
joe_cam;68624 wrote: I've seen better songs
well i've eaten better songs
- melody on January 25, 2011
Fantastic, soothing and highly enjoyable, excellent remix!
- MechaFone on December 4, 2010
And yeah I still like this song a lot! :D
- Monobrow on August 3, 2010
The whole idea of acoustic guitars and vox, though granted the vox in this are more just extra flavor than the lead of the song.
Still, fantastic guitar work, and it just makes me all happy inside, its so mystical. :D
Hiroki Kikuta. ROX.
- Cyril the Wolf on August 2, 2010
- Geoffrey Taucer on August 2, 2010
- Velocifero on August 2, 2010
Liontamer;702437 wrote: I remember all the thread-fighting like, "It was good, but it wasn't THAT good". Except it's Hiroki Kikuta's favorite Secret of Mana OC ReMix. He told djp and I first, then when Harmony showed up 10 minutes later, he sang some of the guitar parts and told him the track was "fantastic."
Winner winner, chicken dinner!
- big giant circles on August 2, 2010
@Hiroki_Kikuta OC-REMIXの連中はほんとに気持ちが良い。ピュアにゲーム音楽が好きなんだということが伝わってくる。「予感」のリミックスアレンジ曲で有名な「dragon song」というのを作ったHarmonyにも会えた。みんな素敵なヤツだった。
Winner winner, chicken dinner!
- Liontamer on August 2, 2010
Emunator;622005 wrote: Yeah, I don't think I'd feel right trying to critique this.
I know how you feel. It just don't feel right to comment on this (and on a few others here, imo).
This is one beautiful, nostalgia filled, transcendental trip. Vocals are simply, sheer amazing. This whole mix feels like some very comfortable, very familiar bed. It's like comfort food for the soul. The jazzy atmosphere is also very awesome.
Dragon Song is a mix that absolutely should belong in everyone's playlist.
- 42 on December 30, 2009
- Emunator on December 11, 2009
I'm getting nostalgic here. I'd better stop.
- Theophany on December 11, 2009
This is great, though. I've listened many times. The way it starts is probably the best part. When the intro builds and he says "HA!" and the drums and guitar just come in, the mix has a maximum level of potential energy behind it. It's like a rollercoaster ride where the intro leads you up to the highest point of the coaster, and then when everything comes in when you fall. I was like "THIS IS GUNNA BE FUCKIN' EPIC" when I heard that.
Well, it isn't quite that epic. Not like multi-part prog rock epic. It's more of one groove that varies a lot. It's still a very good mix, don't get me wrong, just not as mind expanding as one would lead you to believe. It's more floating and breezy and less of an opus, if you catch my drift. But still really great stuff and it deserves the praise it's gotten.
- ella guro on December 7, 2009
A completely epic track that seened to have taken people by surprise when it was released. Awesome work, a must-listen. :-)
- OA on December 7, 2009
The original source was already pretty hard to touch. Well, it's even more now.
Nearly every person I know that isn't a gamer, and who I've played this remix to has fallen in love with it.
This song is a complete living entity. It grows, it grooves, it nutures, it sings, it elevates, it reflects, it learns, it evolves, it reaches, and it succeeds.
No point for me in critiquing what there is to love/hate. It's already past that.
It's up there, soaring high into the sky, sitting on Flammie's back.
The Dragon Song deserves posterity for what it achieves to do, for the worlds it achieves to transcend,
for the people it achieves to bring together, for the joy it achieves to bring.
One true masterpiece.
- Dj Mokram on November 19, 2009
- Pachi Risu on November 10, 2009