ReMix: Raptor: Call of the Shadows 'PlectraSubCity'

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Raptor: Call of the Shadows

Well, it's late and I'm beat, but I wanted to get a mix in before I head off to Philly this weekend for Video Games Live; spoke with Tommy Tallarico for a good half hour yesterday and it sounds like it'll be a blast, plus I'll hopefully get the chance to meet him and a few other notable game composers as well. I remember playing the shareware demo of Raptor back when Apogee were making waves in the PC game publishing world - anyone else remember Rise of the Triad when it originally came out? Cool stuff. Anyhow, TO sends in our first Raptor mix, recalling the glory days of DOS gaming, long before even the initial 3DFX/voodoo push had begun. The ReMixer writes:

"Tried building a climax, but doesn't work for this style of piece. I decided to get rid of the call to "wake up" halfway through the mix and just let it evolve naturally and serenely through the second half of the mix. I kicked up the strings another level about 3 minutes in and boosted the bass since I thought it sounded flat last time. The vocals are a tad louder since some mentioned that they were subdued last time. They're intentionally subdued in the second half of the mix, they're supposed to take a background role there, where-as they're a focal point in the first half."

You read that right, vocals - no lyrics, per se, but instead vocalizing that plays more of an ambient than straight melodic role. Jesse took issue with the progression/intervals at 2'30", but while it might not be orthodox, it's far from dissonant. Other judges noted the general structural simplicity, but felt that to be an aspect of a groove-oriented genre, and that enough development was present to avoid any auto-pilot syndome. Gray writes:

"One thing I can see some judges possibly having a problem here is the lack of dynamics and building, but for these types of genres, constancy is the name of the game, so I don't have any problem on how this was executed. Definitely reminds me of the early electronica/new age composers like enigma or tangerine dream (to a lesser extent). Having had the opportunity to look at TO's project file, I have to say I came off impressed by the creativity he has in using his tools. A lot of the sounds he used are rather unique and in a solo instance don't sound anything too interesting, but combining all these various elements together makes one one outstanding soundscape. For example how TO made the bell synth sound like a chorused electric guitar."

Generally laid-back, atmospheric piece, where the salient component is really the vocal element that, while not mixed to the forefront, still attracts the ear; I could easily see TO perfecting this sort of addition and adding live vocalizing, or even lyrics, to future mixes, if the arrangement called for it. As it stands, this is a great chill piece that's filled with electrified, organically "squishy" layered percussion, multiple synth elements, a cool little guitar harmonic distortion blip, vocals, and ethereal pads. My biggest complaint is actually that the fade at the very, very end of the mix curves too quickly at 3'47" - felt like it needed just a couple more seconds, on a more gradual decline. Timing a fade perfectly is actually harder than it sounds, however you'd only really notice the (arguable) truncation on headphones, listening closely. Good stuff; transporting in its aesthetic as well as its source material, which deserved the attention.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Palpable
on 2011-12-15 13:06:28
This is awesome. I think the mood created in the first minute is great, but the subtle vocal additions (these are perfect, btw) and strings do a fantastic job in keeping the song interesting and ramping up the emotion.
evktalo
on 2011-08-11 07:25:53
I'm playing Raptor (from GOG.com) right now, so it was cool to hear a ReMix from the game. While I can't recall the source, the mix is pretty cool, with smooth groove and a well-woven soundscape. I especially like the way the vocals were used.
I wasn't able to hear the bad notes Vig discussed in the judging thread, I guess that's a good thing for me, since they're usually a big turn-off for me. I guess they weren't that bad for me.
--Eino
WesternZypher
on 2010-10-27 12:43:39
Love the minimalist, atmospheric approach of this piece.
Marmiduke
on 2009-09-23 10:25:24
Cool, ambient and obscure to boot. I like that in a mix.
The vocals work great with the material, and that little guitar sting at the end of the tail of each of those sections kept things interesting and fresh for the whole piece. It establishes a new theme in its last third, which I think was a necessary move and I'm very glad it's there. As it stands now, there's no hollowness despite a semi-minimalist approach.
It's darkly reflective; always a great combination for when you're alone writing videogame remix reviews at midnight. Sort of a niche market that one, but this definitely has the potential to corner it.
OA
on 2009-03-23 12:37:51
New Age + Industrial? Count me in as a fan. It's like NiN meets Sting or something. I'm absolutely in love with that little chirp, and the bass sound.
Some cool vocals as well; I can't discern lyrics, but really it's about the sound and the atmosphere, which works really well.
I think the snare is a little too loud, but otherwise, no complaints at all. Awesome work! I love it. :-D
Lep666
on 2007-12-06 18:10:06
It's a little too repititive, besides of the fact that it has nothing to do with Raptor: Call Of The Shadows.
The Orichalcon
on 2006-12-19 17:49:42
Liontamer wrote:
Vidilian wrote: I'm confused. Is this song, "You can hear the Cry of the Planet" in FF7 and Raptor?

Of course.

The harp is playing the theme from "You Can Hear The Cry of the Planet" in FF7, but the majority of the song is based on a song from Raptor that has no name apart from "Level 2" or something.
Liontamer
on 2006-12-19 16:35:57
Vidilian wrote: I'm confused. Is this song, "You can hear the Cry of the Planet" in FF7 and Raptor?

Of course.
Vidilian
on 2006-12-19 07:46:47
I'm confused. Is this song, "You can hear the Cry of the Planet" in FF7 and Raptor? Sorry if I'm being an idiot. Great calming song btw.
DarkFrog
on 2006-07-16 22:32:37
This song has been great to listen to while programming, and definitely has lasting appeal.
I was listening to it heavily after first downloading it, but then I shifted it back as new songs became available. But after a couple of weeks, the vocals just kept getting stuck in my head, and I had to track down where I they came from. :)
Great work, keep it up!
-Austin Spafford
Brim
on 2006-06-27 23:49:43
I love it. Very nice atmosphere, and its Raptor, man. Who doesn't love Raptor?
MedHead
on 2006-06-09 02:17:27
I don't remember any of the Raptor music myself, but I did like the game. Therefore, I can only comment on the music as it stands alone, outside of its connection to any game.
I like the song (note the stress on "like" - it doesn't go beyond that). It has a "rainy day" feel to it, and I really like that style. It's a great ambient groove song.
Now, it's not the best ambient groove piece I've ever heard, so I can't say it's my favorite. I'm not sure why, really: it just doesn't rank at the top for me. I do know for certain that I don't like the way it fades out, and the two-minute marks falls apart to my ears. Other than that, I can't really point out a flaw that I can say is the absolute reason I don't put this song in the top ranks. I want to blame it on the samples used, but I can't even be certain of that. Sorry.
However, I do enjoy it despite its flaws, and will be adding it to my playlist.
Arro
on 2006-06-04 09:35:43
Ahhhhh I remember this game! I saw the name of the game remixed and I was like NO FREAKING WAY! I got the demo from my gravix* CD. Nice mix. Really good! Don't remember any of the source music though, that was quite a long time ago.
(* Gamepad callibration and support software)
Souliarc
on 2006-06-01 23:59:07
I think Gray said it best when he dubbed you the "Groove King".
Great job, you are my alternate Enigma :)
SirRus
on 2006-06-01 15:14:26
badass man. I dig your style, and have yet to find a mix from you that I do not enjoy listening to. But this one is hella tight. nice job with the vocals, I hope to hear you in your songs more.