ReMix: Final Fantasy X 'Twilight of Ivory'

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Final Fantasy X

As it turns out, Palpable (a.k.a. Vinod Prabhu, or "Vinnie" as we called him during the VGL meetup) lives walking distance from my house, so we definitely gotta hook up the mad collab action at some point, or at least establish male supremacy through a series of competitive Street Fighter matches. As the only two folk who've ReMixed the Oedo Town theme from Legend of the Mystical Ninja, I feel a special bond. We also ran into each other by sheer chance at a local bar whilst singing karaoke with our respective significant others, so there's that, too. While the judges were pretty close on this one, I really like Vinnie's minimalist style... at times it does perhaps feel like there could be MORE elements present, but everything that's there feels just right, and I'll take Zen simplicity over problematic pluralism any day of the week and twice on Sunday, as I appear to be doing given the date. Palpable writes:

"I realize you already have a couple remixes of this song, but I've chosen some more obscure songs to remix before so cut me some slack. ;) This remix is quite a bit different from the other ones on the site. It's a bit spooky and minimal and in 6/8 time."

A strong downbeat kick dominates the entire piece, with an offbeat bassline, but the devil here is in the details; on top of this solid foundation Vinnie adds a lot of subtleties that, strange as it may sound, remind me of the way different flavors can come out in good wine, whiskey, or scotch... there's a strong and undeniable base, but circling around that are traces of other components. It's true that plenty of mixes are able to successfully incorporate totally discrete but complimentary elements, as opposed to a foundation with satellites, but I think both approaches have merits. I think Jesse was closest to my take:

"...The atmospherics work great. the sweeping pan at 1:23 is beautiful. The mood is very mellow yet engaging. There's plenty of evolution and expansion for my taste...I never get bored with it, and there are plenty of little things going on to keep the listener's attention. The triplet rhythms are at times reminiscent of another song of the same OST *looks it up* Mi'hen Highroad. anyway, this one is solidly above the bar."

The decision thread is well worth reading given that Jesse and I weren't exactly the overwhelming majority, but I personally think Jimmy did the right thing tiebreaking this puppy in the positive, as Vinnie's got a unique approach that I think brings something different to the scene. This mix is enjoyable and contrasts well with the more maximalist methodology often applied to FFX tracks in particular; as a fan of Palpable's previous mixes, I'm diggin' it, and I think others will as well.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
timaeus222
on 2014-08-30 17:14:17
When it first started, yeah, it was pretty minimalist, but it got ridiculously good after the 1:00 mark every time the pads came in. The soundscape is really well done, sound design and all. The bass is nice and low, playing notes that I would actually have done myself if the me of today wrote this back then. The pads fill things out excellently. The reverb on the hi hats is a little off, but that's pretty minor. The piano is rather dry, but it's not detracting (I'm surprised only zircon mentioned the piano). I also love the wobbly pad at 4:29. :)
Black_Doom
on 2014-08-30 15:25:14
Downbeat/melancholic minimal ReMix of 'People of the North Pole' with sweet synth work, catchy beats and some smart piano? That's awesome. I really like such songs because of their mood. Strong stuff.
42
on 2010-12-14 23:09:00
Wow, this is interesting. This is definitely one of those mixes you have to just sit down ant listen to in order to get the full effect. I am having trouble believing that this is "minimalist" too.
The only thing that really stays constant throughout is the driving beat, and it does something different each section.
I'm not 100% sure what to make of this mix; it just leaves me confused and intrigued. But I definitely recommend for anyone reading this to listen to this for yourself and making up your own mind about it.
metalsnakejuice
on 2009-04-18 04:53:44
You have won me over this mix. Great beat that keeps getting better the way through.
yosefu
on 2009-04-18 00:24:53
This remix is just so relaxing and i just love the drums.
Rozovian
on 2009-02-20 08:48:22
I like that 3 subdivisions' sound, swing or whatever you want to call it, it's a nice break from the stale ol' four on the floor types, despite this being a four on the floor remix. There are some great synths used here. 80's synth toms? All good. The repetition? Not as much. The piano feels a little dry and short sometimes, but those two are really my only crits about this. Great track.
K.B.
on 2008-08-25 20:19:19
It never ceases to amaze me how vastly different people's tastes can be. One of my most favorite vg remixes passes by a hair's breadth. Incredible. I suppose I'm just a sucker for what I've dubbed 'dream trance': a heavy, rhythmic beat with higher-pitched instruments, especially a bright piano, that are used in a minimalist framework to create 'dreamy' atmosphere. That's exactly what this track is. And I love it.
To try to be a bit objective, I gave this a couple critical listens before I commented, and the only blemish I noticed was that the deepest bass notes fuzzed-out a bit. But that might be from my speakers. Every little sound, every added instrument and effect... they all belonged. I liked the tiny bit of dissonance. I especially liked how this mix didn't try to do too much; it didn't throw you about, it gently carried you to another place. Hope, longing, sadness, and a quiet persistence all came through my speakers. Doing so without live instruments is a triumph; I don't think it easy to squeeze emotions out of a computer, and though Palpable isn't the only remixer here to have accomplished this, it's still a commendable feat.
Perhaps my evaluation reveals my ignorance of music theory and of music sequencing. And that's fair. But ultimately, to me, it seems there is a disconnect between how the remixer intended his creation to be heard and what many in the audience expected to hear. This isn't an overtly technical piece; in fact, if it were challenging, it would betray its very purpose. The complexity lies in the addition and layering of sounds while still maintaining the invitingly-simple overall structure... to dab with color to enhance the atmosphere, but not to paint over it.
To each his own? Well, I'll take it! Thank you, Mr Prabhu.
Arwen
on 2008-04-15 17:01:15
This track has gotten stuck in my head of late, and I love it. It has this great 80s groove feel to it that creates a cool but energetic feel for the listener. I'm surprised it hasn't received more reviews; this track stood out to me among OCRemixes because of its obvious quality and sheer spiffiness.
Dhsu
on 2008-03-16 02:33:36
Hey, anyone wanna mash this up with Basshunter? :D
Less Ashamed Of Self
on 2007-07-29 02:15:33
Jaybell;289265 wrote: Minimalism is good. This is an awesome mix that is going straight on my Mp3 player. As soon as I can get some batteries for it.
PS. The writeup says that BGC cast the tiebreaking vote, but reading the decisions it seems that zyko cast the last vote instead?

I agree. Minimalism IS good.
Also... this song makes me WISH I had an I-Pod. That makes three portability comments in 1 page. Spooky.
Fan-freaking tastic Palpable. Stick around. Do 1000 more like it.
Martin Penwald
on 2007-07-20 15:35:46
derako;294833 wrote: Robert Miles anyone?

Exactly what I thought of when I listened to this mix for the first time.
Also, exactly the reason why it doesn't do anything for me. It's just too slow, and there's nothing else to make this track interesting.
Not my cup of coffee.
derako
on 2007-07-15 22:58:30
Robert Miles anyone? :-P very nice work

-Derek-
LionheartAce
on 2007-07-03 10:35:27
Great song, very calming. Two thumbs straight up from me.
The Instrumental Light
on 2007-07-02 14:19:05
Very interesting, a set of beats combined with classical instruments; definitely something new and quite remarkable. I honestly can't think of some kind of criticism to give it. Great job!:wink:
OA
on 2007-07-02 11:44:31
This is a very killer track, and fits in well with the mini-flood of remixes that came out this weekend. I like how instead of constantly stacking more and more layers, things drift in and out. The sonic landscape is always shifting, and it makes the song feel more like a journey. The beat stays steady, despite the shifts.
Melodically there are a lot of cool extra ideas. I am really liking this mix.
The chord at :48ish doesn't bother me at all, and I didn't even notice the potential division among other listeners until I read about it. My take is that it is a passing tone that is resolved, and while i'm not going to write out the chord progression here at work and figure out if its "correct", it sounds good to me, and gives the passage a bit of extra color.
However; that metallic snare at the beginning. No. I'll say it again; No. Doesn't add anything to the track and just tends to be annoying on repeat listens. Good thing it only lasts for about 5 seconds, if it had been used throughout the mix, it might have been a dealbreaker.