ReMix: Chrono Trigger 'Back 2 Skala'

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Chrono Trigger

ambient writes:

"I think it has been a while since my last submission, so here comes my latest collaboration with one of the most talented glitch percussion programmers out there. I started working on this remix about a year ago, and it has its own little story. One time when I was totally bored and hanging in #ocremix, Taucer and I thought of a name for a joke remix - Chrono Wigga. It was intended for OLR, and we planned to put some "white" rapper vocals and wah-wah guitars in there. I started laying down the groundwork, some beats and arrangement ideas using Schala's theme as the source. However, at the time I was listening to a lot of downtempo electronica, and shortly that influence took over the mix completely. One of the thing that remains from the original hip-hop idea is the sub-bass, which has now been toned down a lot. In the process of working on the mix, I couldn't make percussion I was 100% happy with, and that is when I listened to some of Skrypnyk's glitch tracks. He agreed to work on the drums for this remix and I gave him complete creative freedom. At this point, the track formed into more or less what it is today.

So, why Back 2 Skala? Well, when I first played Chrono Trigger, I assumed that Schala's name was pronounced "Skala", instead of "Shala". Now I know that the proper way of pronouncing it is most likely "Shala", since in the Japanese version of the game it was spelled "Sara". To me, though, it will always be "Skala" (you have to admit, it does sound better). Also, Back 2 Skala is a reference to a relatively new track by one of my favorite bands, which other fans will easily recognize. This mix took a long time to complete and it could be my last remix. Or at least my last remix for a long while. There are other priorities in my life right now, and hobbies tend to suffer first. I want to thank Skrypnyk for his great work and dedication to the project. Skrypnyk had only one short message for the panel: "I like drums =)." And it shows. He really exceeded my expectations on the drums and did a great job mastering the track. It turned out to be a successful fusion of Reason and FL. Special thanks goes to Zircon for giving me feedback regardless of how many times I bothered him. Could not have pulled it off without his advice."

That was a lot to quote, but since we might not be seeing Alex for awhile, I thought it was all pretty pertinent. Nice to see what would have been a joke mix turn into something that is clearly not, even if the title maintains a little of the goofiness. The drums add spades to the overall production, here; the minimal melodic, harmonic, and bass elements all rest on the rhythm track not so much as a crutch, but as a bed. BGC loves him some electronica, and ain't too shabby at it, neither, and he says:

"Dang. This rocks. The stutter drums are amazing. Might not be everyone's cup of tea, but this is awesome stuff. Strings opening are cool. Pretty mellow interpretation--seems this mix basically picked up the Schala chord progression and ran with it off into a hybrid-ambient-trance-onica sunset. Really beautiful. Again for emphasis, the stutter drums are awesome. I also love the TLC given to the stereo spectrum. Nice work, fellows. ABSOFREAKINLUTELY"

Often so-called "stutter" drums are used for more of an aggressive approach... what's particularly interesting here is that, while they're all over the place and vary intelligently and subtly, they don't change the overall ambient, laid back feeling the piece has. The tiny little FX and drums sputtering and spattering here and there sound not unlike insects, or some form of nanotechnology run amok, but in a rhythmic way. It's different from ambient's own material and it's different from most electronica on the site, combining lo-fi elements with very intricate yet delicate drum work to create a thing of beauty. I initially felt like perhaps the artists had erred on the side of being too minimalistic, as the bass and fleshed out pads do take their sweet time coming in, but when they arrive it's worth the wait, and things develop with a patience and restraint that seems almost like musical calligraphy. Very Zen, very serene, but not muzak and far from easy listening... ambient and Skrypnyk definitely work well together, and if this is Alex's last mix forever or just awhile (preferably the latter), then it's a good way to exit.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Overdriven
on 2010-08-07 00:32:11
Ok, this has to be THE BEST ReMix on the site so far. The drums are awesome, the mix gives a new feel of an older theme while keeping some of the same personality, the orchestration is amazing......Great job guys!
Liontamer
on 2010-05-14 15:20:49
ambient;677748 wrote: Thanks boss. I'm on it.

I've mailed some mods as well, so we'll hopefully get this taken care of. Thanks, Improb.
ambient
on 2010-05-14 13:56:03
Thanks boss. I'm on it.
Improbability
on 2010-05-14 11:18:43
http://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/266749 < this tard is claiming ownership over this remix
42
on 2009-12-30 21:45:04
The melody here seems to be like flowing over the drums. And that's a pretty cool image actually....
I know this has intentions of electronica, but this feels more specifically like orchestral meets hip-hop plus some electronica to smooth over the cracks and gaps. :razz:
This song has a lighthearted and mellow grove that I like and the soundscape is nice, varied, and pleasingly melody driven.
All in all, this is a really cool track that I wish I had known about sooner.
ambient
on 2009-09-07 15:12:38
Jaybell;586300 wrote: First off, this is one of my favorite remixes on the site I'm pretty sure.
Second, I made this thing out of boredom and also because I wanted to see if the two songs would fit together. (They sorta do.)

Haha, not bad.
Stellos~Core
on 2009-09-06 21:13:39
This song makes me cry every dang time I listen to it. Those deep pads you hear in there twice hit me INCREDIBLY hard. And the little squeaking noises used in the first stage of the song remind me of a little character of mine I'm fond of, so that just amplifies the effect.
There are Great Songs...
There are Champion Songs...
But only a select few manage to achieve the coveted status of "Sacred".
This is one of them.
Jaybell
on 2009-09-02 18:08:56
First off, this is one of my favorite remixes on the site I'm pretty sure.
Second, I made this thing out of boredom and also because I wanted to see if the two songs would fit together. (They sorta do.)
Zidane
on 2009-04-19 10:18:07
Who gives a deuce if "Schala's Theme" has been covered nearly a dozen times? Seriously, if it's good music, it needs to be posted. Considering the source material is pretty boss, I would continue to expect more remixes of this particular Chrono Trigger vein. I really hate coming to the forums trying to find decent input (outside the words of djpretzel and panel) just to read some lame review about how "someone's already remixed this song".
It holds no relevance to the artistry of the track, hard work of the remixer(s), and it turns the newer listeners away. So if you're going to 'boycott' remixes of a specific genre, game, or song title, just because it's been covered time and time again, keep it to yourself. Just to emphasize, saying something like, "nice remix, even though someone else heard this song and got inspired to remix it already" is not a valid, substantial review. We all want people to branch out and be creative, but finding the nuances in all of these same-source tracks should be enjoyed just as much.
This is, of coarse, just my two cents. I've been seeing that kind of hollow feedback here and there, and felt urged to write my thoughts. Throwing it out there; if you don't like it, you can throw it right back. You won't see me fawning over every Final Fantasy remix even though I'm a fan of Uematsu's work (like so many), but if a remix is credible, polished, and up-to-standard, then by god, it needs to be posted! Even if OCR eventually has 10,000 "One-Winged Angel" remixes, get over it.
As for "Back 2 Skala", you guys did an amazing job. She's officially uploaded to the iPhone and has been inspiring to run to during weight-training. Finding music that connects with your mind, body, and soul is nourishment in its own right. Keep it up, and if you haven't already come back into the remixing world, ambient, please do so soon.
Platonist
on 2009-03-07 16:20:01
this track makes me happy :) great score, but over-remixed
this mix, however, is one of the first schala remixes i really enjoy all the way..
DJMadMax
on 2009-03-07 15:53:12
Hi out there and greetings from Germany!
This turns out to be my very first post on this fabulous page! I really love all of the Chrono Trigger Remixes that are available on this site, each one has its own specialty. But this one needs a giant THANKS! I just cant get enough of it, doesnt matter if its on my earphones or on my car stereo (lets just say 18" Atomic APX for a short description). It´s melodic, it has gorgeous bass sweeps and the (as they are named in the main description) stutter drums kick the hell out of my head :)
Thanks again for this special piece!
Cya, DJMadMax
Yilena
on 2008-09-26 04:59:15
Back 2 Skala is one of those remixes that makes you go into a state of trance... I listen to it whenever I need inspiration for another one of my creative works or when in need of a cheerup hug, I love it!
HoboKa
on 2007-09-12 02:41:54
Very nice song. One of the OC songs that I like to blare in my car :D
<---nerdiness ftw
muzikal-phoenix
on 2007-09-04 13:42:12
This Schala MiX...
sumn about it just blew me away.
admittedly this has been re-played numerous times since its release... :roll:
good stuff!
Unmei
on 2007-08-31 01:45:41
I really, really like this one guys. Schala's is such a great theme, and you still managed to make a great mix with different ideas and a different groove. Love! =]