ReMix: Tales of Phantasia "The Koan of Drums"
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- Game: Tales of Phantasia (Namco, 1994, SNES)
- ReMixer(s): djpretzel
- Composer(s): Motoi Sakuraba, Ryota Furuya, Shinji Tamura, Toshiyuki Sekiguchi
- Song(s): "Desolate Road"
- Posted: 2006-08-29, evaluated by djpretzel
- Album: Featured on Summoning of Spirits: An Arrangement of Music from Tales of Phantasia and Tales of Symphonia
- Terms (BETA): electronic japanese koto synth violin woodwinds
We're back. After a drought of mixes, a server migration, and months of headaches and coordination, OCR01500 is upon us, and along with it quite a few changes, some big, some small, to OverClocked ReMix in general. Where to begin? About four months ago I was having a rough time with "big life questions" and what not, and felt like I had reached a point where I needed to decide where to focus my energy - where to invest myself, if you will. I've always felt like I could accomplish a lot if I put my mind to it, but I've never been 100% sure what "it" should be, in other words. I looked at what I'd done and what I felt I could do, and essentially decided that OverClocked ReMix was still something I could pour my heart and soul into and feel good about.
That decision's been vindicated by several events since then: we had a wonderful time at Video Games Live in Philly, our Otakon panel went swimmingly, and we've had some generous donations that have allowed us to migrate to our own dedicated servers for the first time in the site's seven-year history. I'm personally proud of what I've been able to do for the site recently, and I'm just as proud of everything our listeners and staff have done as well. Being on our own server should give us a good deal more technical flexibility to experiment with dynamic functionality, and we still plan to migrate our forums to vbulletin soon, as well. We're also looking into an arrangement with eStarland.com to get reliable international shipping of OC ReMix T-shirts, hoodies, and bumper stickers running.
The site's been redesigned with more of an emphasis on content, getting rid of the vertical space previously allocated for an ad banner and placing more information directly at your fingertips. There's a new store where you can buy good stuff from merchandisers we trust and at the same time help support the site's bandwidth costs. There's more emphasis on information about our site, including our staff, and more consistent presentation of our numerous site-related projects like our VGDJ podcast, Ormgas streaming radio, and numerous album projects.
Speaking of site projects, our newest initiative is called Chipamp - it's an all-in-one chiptune plugin installer for Winamp that gets you up and running with chiptunes for the NES, SNES, C64, Genesis, and many other systems/formats in no time at all. It also creates file associations so you can just double-click on an NSF chiptune, for example, and Winamp will be launched automagically. It's designed to make chiptunes more accessible - I found myself always looking for the right plugin, reinstalling multiple plugins on multiple machines, etc., and wanted something that was just a no-brainer. It's a project that's in keeping with OCR's goal of spreading appreciation of game music; check it out at www.chipamp.org.
All of this represents a huge amount of work by myself and our staff, and while there may still be some rough edges here and there that'll be worked out in the following weeks, I think we've taken a big step forward. Somehow, miraculously, I've actually had time to get back to ReMixing, and OCR01500 represents my first official contribution to one of our site projects, Summoning of Spirits, a musical arrangement project featuring songs from Tales of Phantasia and Tales of Symphonia. It's not officially out yet, but Kyle gave me permission to release my track, an arrangement of Desolate Road, as part of the OCR01500 festivities and what not. Check the site out for a fantastic preview track from Hale-Bopp - this project is going to be fantastic when it's finished, guaranteed.
The mix itself represents a long goal of mine - to create a techno arrangement that heavly blended in Eastern influences, particularly with a very strong taiko section. I've always thought the notion of taikos just busting out in an electronica track would be cool, and this mix fills my taiko quota for... the rest of my life. There's also shakuhachi, koto, duduk, violin, and a variety of percussion and synths. There's a bit of a Yuki Kajiura influence earlier on, but 2'45" deviates and is arguably the reason I made the mix in the first place; it's quite a bit of fun played as LOUD as your headphones or speakers will safely allow, and embarassingly involved me playing "air taiko" whilst I was working on it. The crux of the arrangement itself involved altering the melodic phrase to include a descending passage at the end of the second iteration that has some fun up-down intervals. I had a blast making the mix, thank Kyle and Kureeji for the opportunity to work on the project, and hope all of you enjoy the piece along with Chipamp and the latest incarnation of OverClocked ReMix. We've got a lot more to accomplish before 2006 is over, but this has been an amazing summer.
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