ReMix: Chrono Cross 'Dreaming Still'
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Streaming preview on YouTube
Depending upon your temperament, perspective, and situation, Valentine's Day is either about love, chocolate, or the Bourgeoisie opportunistically using yet another holiday to mass market themed paraphernalia and guilt-trip the masses into squandering their money and dignity for teddy bears and blood diamonds. That last one's a little dark, sorry about that. If you're a professionally licensed curmudgeon, like myself, it's about being extra annoyed at the preponderance of stupidly happy couples sharing meaningful slow-motion stares. And also, chocolate. Single, dating, married, N/A, or otherwise, I suggest we all just consider it a day to eat chocolate and shut the hell up. And it should occur weekly, as well. THEN I wouldn't be such a hater.
But I digress; though she's collabed to varying extents on mixes in the interim, this is only Jill's second solo piece for OCR thus far, an appropriately romantic vocal arrangement from Chrono Cross. pixietricks writes:
"Okay, so several of you know this already, but this mix has actually been sitting around on my computer for quite some time. I showed it to a few people over the summer to get some feedback, and then the next time I tried to open the project file, it was damaged. All attempts at recovery were unsuccessful, sadly. There are still things I wish I could change (i.e. varying up the percussion, tighter snare, reverb on the attack strings, more distinct panning in the choir section...), but I still feel like the piece is in a good place.
So yeah! It's a song about longing/unrequited love... Really original, I know. :wink: Thankfully the lyrics no longer apply in my life, but I'm sure they will reach an audience of sorts. I drew my inspiration almost completely from Dido on this one: specifically her song "Here With Me" from the album No Angel, which was featured as the opening credits track on Roswell, an awesome sci-fi TV series. Hope you like!"
I suppose that's yet another good, sound case for making consistent backups of project files, but honestly this sounds pretty polished and... finished. The tempo and structure remind me of Bjork's Venus as a Boy; the vocal is front and center, drums mixed prominently, and a sweeping, ethereal atmosphere envelopes the whole thing. My favorite line in the lyric is "And how your breath would feel against my eyes" just because I think the specific image it conjures is both accurate and interesting - I can't remember hearing it articulated before. The drum build-up following the last line is well-timed, and the mix overall has exits and entrances that are subtle but very graceful; nothing interrupts the vibe, but things don't stagnate, either. Since it's V-day, and this was Jill's mix, we'll see what Andy had to say:
"The arrangement here is solid. Added harmonies and riffs are there to build on the rather sparse source, and there are several sections with original melody over the source chord progression (a method of variation I typically recommend). Again, I can see Jon's complaint about the chord progression staying pretty static for most of the time, but that's somewhat minor. I'd compare the approach to "Snow Motion" or "Xenosphere" which have relatively static or even NO chord progressions, but still pull it off by building up percussive/synth and other elements on top. Jill worked in progressively more percussive parts, riffs, and harmonies as the mix went on which kept things fresh. My main complaint: where's the rap solo?
Overall, this is a very cool mix in a style that we don't usually see here. There are a couple minor production complaints, but even if she still had access to the project, they're not worth a NO. Personally, I would like to see more people mixing in downtempo, new age, or chillout styles (where are you Gray!) It can be tough to pull off but this mix proves that Jill's got the style down. Great job!"
It definitely is a style, and while things could have been played out more both tonally and rhythmically, that type of divergence can always be risky when trying to create a consistent atmosphere. It's not unlike Jill's first solo piece in its minimalist approach and heavy emphasis on vocals, but there's more substance and recognizable variation. Whoever you are, whatever your romantic predicament (and believe me, there are far worse things than being single), and however you feel about the holiday, set some time aside to check this one out; it's even got a perfect mix title, with a double read on "still" as "motionless" or "as previously" (or a dozen alternate defs that would probably work, too) - very cool.
- 2dark4light on December 31, 2012
- Bahamut on July 24, 2012
- MechaFone on May 29, 2010
anyway, nice mix. vocal mixes don't usually show up on my radar (or my collection) but i downloaded the torrents and this came up. nice mix, very mellow, interesting use of the drum loop at the end. would not normally see that.
- Overdriven on April 9, 2010
That said, I would've like to hear a more polished beat that makes some changes to keep it interesting. Overall, the backing track is pretty basic, but it's the vocals that are center stage here, and they're excellent.
- Nutritious on July 4, 2009
- glasfen on October 10, 2008
- Forgotten on May 23, 2007
Aside: this piece also flows really well into Reuben Kee's "Beauty's Abomination".
- mDuo13 on April 28, 2007
- maestermatt on April 20, 2007
- Theory of N on April 19, 2007
Definitely a standout here on ocremix, one of my faves although I havent played the game. I also love trance and it would be interesting to see if this could be made into a hybrid trance track a la Tiesto.
- JoeRW on April 18, 2007
The rest of the song is top notch, aside from the drums which, as most other people have noted, are kind of overpowering. Otherwise, it moves slowly, is recognizeably faithful to the original material, and has smooth audio. 8/10 on everything but the vocals, 4/10 on the vocals themselves. Sorry, not every review can be ultra positive.
*Edit* Actually, what I said about the vocals is not entirely true, because I really enjoyed the singing in Journey's End, just not in this mix.
- ShrikeArghast on April 5, 2007
I particularly like the harmony. I have not noticed as much use of harmony in pixietricks' other pieces, but I think that harmony helps a lot when you have a voice that is pure like hers. I think it's harder on someone with a pure voice because the ear gets very unforgiving for straying off-key even an ioda, but harmony can help compensate for that.
All in all it's a dreamlike piece with an icy edge that really kindles the imagination!
- Arwen on March 31, 2007
Jill's voice is so beautiful. I could listen to it forever.
Keep up the amazing work Jill. I'm a fan. :]
- Degree on March 26, 2007
- gregfrost on March 11, 2007