ReMix: Chrono Trigger "Subterranean Opus"

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Chrono Trigger

Mr. Aversa writes:

"I've spent more time on this mix than any of my other projects.. over 5 months. It really was a gigantic production for me, and I did my very best to do a fun and exciting arrangement with lots of dynamics. It's an arrangement of "Underground Sewer" which I have not heard any remixes of yet, with a little pinch of "The Hidden Truth". Enjoy!"

I remember spending oodles of time on my third Revenge of Shinobi ReMix and being so relieved when it was finally finished; I certainly prefer to work a bit more quickly, in longer continuous periods of time packed closer together, but occassionally it's nice to have something going that you refine and refine and ensure that everything is just so. This is hybrid orchestral, but mostly sticks to a classical sound palette, incorporating a gothic harpsichord and featuring quite a bit of solo woodwind work as well. Things begin with lower marcato and pizzicato strings, harp, and clarinet, with the harpsichord coming in soon after, along with bells. Accentuating percussion works almost transparently, and the tempo fluctuates fluidly into a ritardando that leads up to a latin-flavored groove coming in circa 1'26". Piano completes the Spanish flavor that's being added to the previously darker texture, and synth bass and lead come in to further hybridize the sound and up the energy. If there's one aspect of the whole enchilada that I'd have told the waiter to hold, it's the tempo change and pickup at 2'36" - too abrupt, needed a segue of some sort. I'm rarely, rarely a fan of abrupt tempo changes, though - I just feel they're to be used very selectively, and are hardly ever the best or only option. The upside of the tempo shift, however, is that Andy has more room to play and throw in more ideas, with tons of variation and exploration, before going back into a chromatic percussion-led reiteration of the introductory theme (at the introductory tempo) that features a stronger offbeat this go-round. I sorta wanted one last bass note, four octaves down, at the very ending - a deep, resonating pizzicato perhaps - for just a smidgin' more closure, but the ending is nevertheless handled tastefully. All in all, a really strong piece from Andy that again blends orchestral and electronica elements, this time with a little more attention given to altering the tempo to further humanize the strictly orchestral passages and make them more emotive. It works, and the result is a unique and distinct CT arrangement that well illustrates the time taken to create it.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Necrox
on 2015-12-26 21:39:22

Here is ANOTHER great mix I never spoke a word about for whatever reason. Just excellent, the most cohesive blend of electronica and orchestral music I have ever heard. The mood is perfect too. The sudden tempo shift is killer and feels just right. Also, The Hidden Truth is the best source (on the OST or even outside it) that could accompany this. Amazing work.

WesternZypher
on 2010-10-27 12:34:17

Love how this segues from orchestral to mad beatz. One of my "you think video game music is lame? Listen to this!" mixes. :smile:

Marmiduke
on 2010-06-30 03:12:05

One of the best things a piece of music can do is surprise you by pulling the wool from over your eyes and revealing its true direction. This is a textbook example of that.

At first listen, I just assumed this was another Elfman-esque exercise for Zircon. Impeccably made, but still, no surprises. And then it began to metamorphosise in ways that made a lot of musical sense; off the wall percussion began to move the orchestra rhythm along, synths began to be introduced and soon powered the entire piece, until eventually it had broken free into something much different. It's quite poetic, if you really want to overanalyse it.

Everything sounds pitch perfect sound-wise, and I'm actually a big supporter of how the mix transitions into its second source tune. The whole mix within a mix concept is the biggest selling point, and to try and betray that whole notion that they are somehow connected in a medley-type relationship would ruin everything it could have been. How it is now is a fantastic surprise.

In my humble opinion, you could probably peg this one near the top of the bunch when it comes to orchestral-electro hybrids. And that's even more impressive when you consider that the other contenders for the top spot are also zircon mixes. Truly a sign of a master of his genre.

OA
on 2010-05-05 12:30:42

Pretty crazy that this was posted a few days after I joined the site and decided to try this remixing thing for myself. :o

There are a few minor nitpicks I have with this track, mainly some of the string articulations and that tempo transition, but for every nitpick I have, there are countless things that are excellent. I loved the beats and the harpsichord passages, especially when they get extra-ornamented with trills and mordents; I love that kind of thing. Synths were tastefully mixed in, though I wish the lead synth had a little more vibrato and swagger to it.

Everything about this mix says quality to me though, i'd say this was 5 months well spent. :-)

Nicholestien
on 2008-04-05 14:35:40

this is just fantastic, the reverb is perfect for the source tune. :]

Particleman
on 2008-03-31 08:53:44

I like it. Reminds me of the Sailor Moon soundtrack for some reason, though.

Jaybell
on 2007-11-28 21:32:12

I think this is my favorite zircon remix thus far (although A Nightmare Before Kefka and Monstrous Turtles! come close. Oh and some of the VoTL stuff, too.)

The blend of orchestra and electronica is seamless. SEAMLESS I say! I can't really explain why this mix is my favorite; it just kinda IS. The transition into the trial theme coulda been a bit smoother, but that is about all I can say wrong about this mix.

This mix never seems to get old no matter how many times I listen to it. I do not know why, but WHATEVER, if it means I get to listen to this mix more, then OKAY.

siven7
on 2007-04-28 00:03:10

Zircon, brilliant...

I really love all of the style changes and fusion of musical eras that all seem to cascade upon each other - it's like a royal rumble between Mitsuda and J.S. Bach, the Danny Elfman comes in with a chair from under the rink, and then MixMaster Mike and Joseph Haydn run down the ramp and pummel everyone...

... Amazing production, great mix, brilliant interpretation, too many good things to say!

DragonFireKai
on 2007-03-21 16:08:10

You know, I had this playing in the background, not paying attention, and I thought it was a tango. There's a section that's pure tango. Then it moved on, and I was dissapointed. Not in the song mind you, the song's fantastic, but I really got my hopes up.

HoboKa
on 2007-01-30 16:34:38

I've had this remix for a looong time, and it hasn't gotten old yet. I just haven't gotten around to reviewing it 'till now and i say that its 10/10 easilly. I like the randomness about it and the different styles used throughout. Grats.

kingcomrade1
on 2006-12-11 14:14:16

This is one of my favorites on the whole site. The only problem I have with it is that the high pitched synth and spastic percussion in the last section don't mesh well with the rest of the song and are a little annoying, but I love everything else about it, especially the first two minutes where the new arragement complements the original melody perfectly. It really brought back some memories of one of my favorite CT tracks and inspired me to play it again.

Nintendo-GuRu
on 2006-05-11 16:07:28

Zircon, you did an effing great job on this song. I absolutely loved the effects you used (along with the perfect mix/mastering). Ugh, wonderful song.

(I swear I got a boner at 2:37, beautiful transition).

razrparasyte
on 2006-05-11 15:32:56

i dunno how to quote people, but BobWillis is on crack, that's like my favorite part of the song

Flare4War
on 2006-04-20 11:02:43

Lucky for us you did. This mix is excellent.

zircon
on 2006-04-20 09:00:18

Yeah, while I was working on everything past 2:40, I figured that some people would have a beef with that section. The fact is that I really had no ideas once I had gotten to 2:40; literally, none. I was stuck for at least a month. The best thing I could think of was a tempo change (which isn't all THAT sudden given that a lot of romantic-era pieces change tempos from measure to measure rather abruptly). I had some ideas that I wanted to implement that could only be done at a higher tempo (everything 3:00-3:30) but there was no logical way to get there that I could find, and believe me, I did try a lot of things.

In the end, I'd say there was probably a better way of going about the transition, but at my current level of musical ability, I was unable to think of one. But I don't think the result was all that bad. I was struggling with whether or not I would give up the mix entirely when I was working on it - after about 10 listens to that part though, I figured it wasn't worth sacrificing the whole mix over, and decided to keep it in.