ReMix: Final Fantasy VI "Greater Alchemic Patchwork" 3:57

By Israfel

Arranging the music of one song...

"Wild West"

Primary Game: Final Fantasy VI (Square, 1994, SNES), music by Nobuo Uematsu

Posted 2005-10-15, evaluated by the judges panel


This ReMix is actually over three years old and is only seeing the light of day now because, prior to his departure, Mr. Dover was convinced to submit it by Mr. GrayLightning. The production is somewhat dated, relative to Israfel's more recent material, but it's not a major sticking point, and the arrangement is rather fun. I consider this almost the photo negative of my coverage of Veldt, which intentionally simplifies almost every aspect of the original and turns it into an 80's synth-jazz Candy Dulfer instrumental. That's not what you'd really expect from Israfel, and indeed things are a little more challenging here, including some "oh-my-god-when-I-tap-along-to-this-there's-an-extra-beat" sections in (relatively) exotic 9/4 time. The ReMixer writes:

"Greater Alchemic Patchwork (Final Fantasy VI) - This is basically a sequel to Lesser Kerubic Patchwork written shortly after the first one was completed. Being a sequel, there are quite a few similarities to Lesser Kerubic- I won't bother to list them all but suffice it to say, the formal structures are quite similar and you have a funky little brass bassline in both pieces (also, notice that both mixes are about the same length; one of the many stupid little details I put in my music that no one ever catches). So anyway, this is just a light-hearted take on the veldt theme that I hope you enjoy."

Mike's got a different definition of "light-hearted" than I do, probably, but you can still sense that there's a bit more whimsy than usual as he works the up-tempo beat mojo. I get outpaced in Larry Oji's world:

"This track showed its age vis-a-vis the standard more than Gray cares to let on, as there's some noticeable dullness to the production, but I still think the product was solid, which is why I'm glad we got it. Those fast strings were definitely not hitting me right, but the drumloops in particular were groove-bias-good, and luckily didn't carry the arrangement of Wild West.

I felt like the instrumentation really picked up strength after 2:08 and no longer strained for credibility so glaringly, even the fast string notes. The brass work was excellent there as well. Nice and intensive pace the whole way through, and the sudden xylophone ending at 3:37 was a nice touch to close it out. "The Sveldt" from djp is booty-shaking fun tackling the same theme, but if you wanna shake your butt EVEN FASTER, Mike makes it happen. It's like dNb with a classy edge that somehow doesn't belong, but clicks regardless."

At any rate, it's definitely a different take on the theme, and while like Gray I feel that Lesser is the greater of the Greater and Lesser respective Kerubic Patchworks, it's still neat to hear the theme so effectively sped up. Not Mike's best piece, as he's certainly progressed in the last several years, but a good, fun one that's stood the test of time well enough, compliments the existing Veldt mixes nicely, and should please FF6 fans lookin' for somethin' a little different.

djpretzel

Discussion

Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
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ella guro
on 2009-12-05 17:58:10

I've had this one for awhile, and it's grown on me a lot since I first heard it. I certainly wouldn't have made some of the creative choices Israfel made here, and I think the production could've used some work.

On the other hand, this makes some really neat and interesting choices of how to interpret the original, stuff that most people wouldn't be crazy enough to do and try to make it work. I really admire what Israfel does, even when I feel like his ideas don't all gel, because he's willing to take a leap and do something no one else would be willing to do. I'm really glad this and his other work is on OCR, because it encourages me and hopefully other listeners to expand their horizons. I also don't to make it sound like I don't enjoy this or don't listen to it from time to time, cause I do.

I remember reading something in post of his that pretty much sums everything up: "Why sound like everyone else?"

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42
on 2009-12-05 16:56:24

Definately feels like some great struggle is occuring while this is supposed to be playing; this mix feels to energetic and panicky otherwise.

While the energy is there, there isn't enough context being created here. It keeps repeating itself to a degree and not changing the sounscape up a bit. Also the ending feels cop-outish.

In the end, this mix doesn't really stick to me. It's not terrible, one could do worse, but I find it fairly unspectacular.

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OA
on 2009-03-17 19:17:33

drums are great, but the rest sound pasted on top, and not completely lined up.

Not feeling this one at all, sorry man. There just doesn't seem to be cohesion at all times. :-(

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evktalo
on 2008-10-31 10:45:06

I don't get this one. Judging by the other comments, it's probably that the chosen tonality is so foreign to me. It makes it sound like random lines pasted on top of another to me. Add rigid (at least by today's standard) string/bass sequencing and I'm confused.

--Eino

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Liontamer
on 2007-10-25 00:16:00
This is just a case of two people using the same drumloops. The drumloops that I used that also appear on Entropy (and that the includes the woodbock "melody") come from Zero-g's Total Drum and Bass CD - http://www.zero-g.co.uk/index.cfm?articleid=176

So, to answer your questions:

1) late 2002/early 2003 - it was done very shortly after Lesser Kerubic which was posted on OCR in 2002.

2) the woodblocks are part of a drumloop from Total DB.

3) Total DB

Hope that clears stuff up.

Absolutely, thanks Mike. I knew it was fine, but wanted you be able to speak for yourself. Just in the way that Entropy was produced, there was no way you could have actually lifted the sounds directly from it.

I was actually going to reply with this, but held off before asking you yourself about it:

A couple of things that make me believe this isn't an issue of theft:

1) As stated in the ReMix writeup that you linked to, as well as in the Reviews thread, though the ReMix was posted in 2005, the arrangement was actually created in 2002.

2) A cursory search of Silexz's site brings up this bio: http://www.silexz-studios.com/silexz/

The artists states he's predominantly an FL Studio user, and he seems an amateur musician. It's not a far cry to infer that they both sampled the same woodblock loop.

It was presumptuous to say that the woodblock loop was not from a sample pack. How exactly would he know that?

Thanks again for the clarification. I would have handled this as a private message, but I feel it's more important to be open about the potential controversy so that it isn't a future issue.

avatar
Israfel
on 2007-10-24 19:02:32

This is just a case of two people using the same drumloops. The drumloops that I used that also appear on Entropy (and that the includes the woodbock "melody") come from Zero-g's Total Drum and Bass CD - http://www.zero-g.co.uk/index.cfm?articleid=176

So, to answer your questions:

1) late 2002/early 2003 - it was done very shortly after Lesser Kerubic which was posted on OCR in 2002.

2) the woodblocks are part of a drumloop from Total DB.

3) Total DB

Hope that clears stuff up.

avatar
Liontamer
on 2007-10-24 15:42:42
Hi there!

I listen to OCRemix a TON, and recently downloaded songs 1-1600 and am sorting them. I came across this song:

http://www.ocremix.org/remix/OCR01415/

and it made me rather angry... The woodblock melody is COMPLETELY ripped off from this song:

http://www.acidplanet.com/artist.asp?PID=414044t=8186

that I remembered hearing ages ago. In fact Entropy is a whole year and 2 months older than Israel's song, so I highly doubt the opposite is true. You only have to listen to the first 5-10 seconds of both songs to hear what I'm talking about.

I'm not sure if that actually goes against the rules of OCRemix - I'm a composer, but haven't done any VG remixes yet and thus haven't read your guidelines, but as an artist it's rather sad to hear someone use the same exact melody with the same exact instrument in another song without giving any credit to the original artist. And the melody and sound aren't from a sample CD, either.

At any rate, I just wanted to bring it to your attention.

Thank you

Can you clarify, Mike, on:

1) the general time period of the song creation

2) where the woodblock sample was obtained

3) where the drumloops were obtained, related to why the core of first percussion pattern of GAP sounds the same as the core percussion pattern at, for example, 1:10 2:40 of Entropy

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apoc
on 2005-10-31 01:33:22

I think the percussion on this piece is definitely sweet and worth noting. I wasn't too impressed, however, by the melody. I think I just felt like it was a little too repetitive and that there was a very small variety in the notes that were played.

I think my gripes are mostly based on taste, though. Nice work overall.

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Eclipse_Wargod
on 2005-10-22 22:15:12

Very good work...

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Martin Penwald
on 2005-10-22 06:26:56

I loved this ReMix from the beginning, because it picks up speed so early. But still, there are some slower parts which nicely build some tension, before it is released in another outbreak of speed.

And then the brass baseline...it makes me tapping my feet all the time.

Great work!!!

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mv
on 2005-10-19 13:54:29

I had grabbed this track when Michael first published it, and still listen to it from time to time. It's good to finally see it here.

Michael's remixes are always a treat, and a very interesting/alternate approach on remixing compared to most of the "upgraded originals" kinds of tracks (which i admittedly have done at times). This Veldt remix stays true to this philosophy, and the combination of the nervous strings and brass along with the catchy percussion work paints a really different picture than the Super NES original. I find this to be an absorbing mixture, and an excellent complement (counterpart?) to Michael's "Lesser Kerubic Patchwork".

This mix will definitely not please all ears, and takes an open mind and some attention to grasp and enjoy totally. Some might argue that the 2002 production is not on par with what Michael can do now, but it's still very honorable as far as OCRemix standards go. Ultimately, I stay loyal to the man's music, and can only recommend it to everyone, if only for curiosity!

edit: edited the comments about percussion, which were originally meant for lesser kerubic patchwork, god knows why. (drugs)

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RimFrost the Tourianist
on 2005-10-17 21:26:43

As others have already mentioned, it's musical style and pace is heavily reminicent of later Bond movie soundtracks. Which is something i really appreciate here. I've kept this FF3-Veldt masterpiece on repeat oh about 10 times now..no need to question it's timing or instrumental quality after the initial reactions it got. It just sound great overall and totally reeks of this familar mystery feel that many of us sense in some 16-bit adventure games.

+1 respect point goes to Israfel 8)

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RoeTaKa
on 2005-10-17 10:06:08

I love this mix, I've been listening to it quite alot as of recent (quite rare for me with oc songs). Really good balance of a unique feel with proffesional qualities that make it stand on the middle of the scales between game music and everything else all those other people like haha.

The brass yes is very sweet, the little crescendos and other things are very bright and make for a cool little change in the melody. I tell ya the sections at 1:23 and 2:38 are so damn wicked, the beats are seemlessly cool and the brass is just plain cool on top of it.

A very cool mix, can't be bothered to write more! Bring on the jungle/d'n'b with orchestration! This is like austin powers meets veldt.

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Zeklan
on 2005-10-16 16:41:53

I have to say before anything else that I loved the Brass usage. Nice.

This Mix feels a little...stange.

I can't put my finger on it exactly.

The original is still there but I feel it was a little under-used.

Not a perfect ReMix, but still good.

That being said, I was still tapping along the entire time.

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MedHead
on 2005-10-16 14:33:00

The timing took a long time for me to finally understand, and while that meant I finally stopped cringing, the samples and arrangement just end up too chaotic for my tastes. I thought there was a lot of repetition in the music, and very few good transitions between the themes. Everything had a looping program feel about it.

Looking back at the melody played in this remix, I don't think it's all that impressive. While simplicity doesn't make for a bad theme (it often is the exact opposite), I don't think this melody was interesting. It really simply sounds like something that would be played as the background chord progression to a much larger production, rather than a foreground melody as it is presented here. To make matters worse, the mixing of the arrangement is grating, highlighting the aged samples used.

If it wasn't for my determination to listen all the way through in order to review these remixes, I wouldn't have made it a third of the way. It was a daring move to try the strange timing, and the piece has a definite speed and high-paced frenetic quality about it, but it was unsettling rather than charismatic to me.

050.jpg

Sources Arranged (1 Song)


Primary Game:
Final Fantasy VI (Square, 1994, SNES)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu
Songs:
"Wild West"

Tags (3)


Genre:
Cinematic
Mood:
Instrumentation:
Brass, Strings
Additional:

File Information


Name:
Final_Fantasy_6_Greater_Alchemic_Patchwork_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
4,836,773 bytes
MD5:
235005d17cc8cee5b8217d709fd654b2
Bitrate:
160Kbps
Duration:
3:57

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