Posted 2006-03-14, evaluated by djpretzel
Darkesword brings us our first Grandia 2 ReMix, arranging a piece by one of my personal favorite composers, Noriyuki Iwadare. Often overshadowed (unfairly) by Squaresoft guys, Iwadare's done a large percentage of the great non-Square/Enix RPG soundtracks out there, in my estimation, and I especially dug his work on the original Sega CD Lunar soundtrack. The Grandia OSTs are not to be missed either, however, and this track really illustrates the depth of material that's out there beyond Sqeenixville. The first version of this mix that was sent in had some minor pops (which were actually part of the oboe sample being used and not a recording faux pas), and I pressed Shariq to fix them quickly and resub, which he did. It was nothing major, and required good phones to spot, but I'm really glad he addressed it, because this is one of his best ReMixes to date, fantastically mellow, and deserves as pristine a rendition as possible to achieve its full, transporting effect. The ReMixer writes:
"This is an update to an old Grandia II mix I did, called "A Deus ex Harpa," which is available on my website (http://www.darkesword.com/). It's an arrangement of "A Deus," a beautiful vocal song that Elena, the priestess character, sings. The old version of my arrangement was pretty basic, and muddy as well, so after a year or two I started working on this new version, called "A Deus ex Harpa (Second Seal Mix)." I've added a lot of instruments, tweaked the parts, and expanded the arrangement to include a faster section with a key change."
There's nothing muddy about this 'Second Seal' incarnation; introing with a beautiful moving harp pattern that stays present for most of the mix and an elegantly minimal accompanying piano, the bassoon and cello solos that enter briefly are harbingers to the longer oboe solo that's brought in at 0'49". At 1'17" the percussion gets layered up a notch, with a nice groove kicking in on top of the previous, semi-industrial pattern. There's an undulating, flowing oboe solo with drum drop-out circa 1'45", then... ahh, well, no point doing the rest of the Madden play-by-play. Suffice it to say, Shariq keeps things interesting throughout, the source material is RIGHT up his alley, and the end result is a great chillout mix with brains to boot. I really think this is one of those instances where the source material and ReMixer paired up perfectly - the flowing, Kikuta-esque harp patterns combined with strong melodic elements jive quite effectively with Darkesword's style. Someone needed to cover this superb piece, and Mr. Ansari was perfect for the job.
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Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Orchestral, Woodwinds
- 6,806,206 bytes
- Size: 6,806,206 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: e0997b81270be32a655decaa2e467e95
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