ReMix: Final Fantasy VII 'Damn Those Turks!'

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Final Fantasy VII: Voices of the LifestreamFinal Fantasy VII

Danny B's last track back in 2006, the superlative Knuckleduster, debuted our last album project, Sonic 3 and Knuckles: Project Chaos. If you haven't already, when you're done checking out Final Fantasy VII: Voices of the Lifestream of course, you should give it and all the other OverClocked ReMix albums a listen; there are some excellent cuts off many of them that aren't here at OCR as formal submissions but nevertheless will rock ya booty. Of his latest opus, Mr. Baranowsky writes:

"My mindset for this remix was along the lines of Prodigy meets Morricone. That probably isn't where it ended up, but I wanted to use every part of the source while making it into a more electronic and menacing mix. I had the idea that the Turks' theme, re-imagined, would be abrasive and threatening, while the middle section is more reflective, sort of how they do seem to have a hidden shred of good intentions. The fadeout at the end is indicative of how they just kind of fade away when their work is done.

The mix was made entirely with Reason, and I used a public domain Gregorian plainchant sample to back the piano section. The guitar riffs are all samples that were cut up, rearranged, and processed w/ automated distortion to make it sound all live (there are no actual live parts in the mix). For the foundation of the mix, I took the (very) few ideas of the original and extrapolated chord progressions from them."

Prodigy meets Ennio Morricone... I'll say it again: I love this community. Danny B.'s damning of our beloved Turks, who played a great comedic role in Advent Children, does indeed combine twangy wild west guitars, wicked wah leads, and acoustic guits with electronica elements, fulfilling the intended juxtaposition. The deep bass/kick hits are badass, but things start really kicking in when DB goes all Enigma with some Gregorian vocalizing paired up with gated synths - nice. This is a fantastic example of one of those tracks from the original score that I would have had a damn difficult time arranging myself; it's not exactly accessible, narrative, or catchy. But there's life outside the sharp hooks of power melodies, and the ReMixer does an exemplary job of conceptualizing a texture that enhances Uematsu's original piece. I'm not amazingly keen on the fadeout ending; although I'm not one of those purists who think fadeouts are always taboo, here I think something minimalist, perhaps reductive, would have worked better. Nevertheless, Dan's taken tricky source material and done it justice, and especially from a sonic perspective, come up with something compelling and original.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 14 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
OutSpoken
on 2011-07-05 02:33:17
http://reoganworks.blogspot.com/2011/05/song-of-week-36.html
I really enjoy the choir and piano near the end of this track. Well done.
Sir_Downunder
on 2009-12-03 22:20:54
Ohhh, that guitar is naaaaasty :twisted:
This takes the source tune and enhances it so much, giving that grittiness yet flair that the Turks exude (Well, Reno anyways). Would've like a little more guitar, but still love this mix all the same.
Great work from DannyB. :nicework:
bjnartowt
on 2009-08-17 13:35:54
What the title said: I'm 100% pro-choir for this song. It's something that 1) IMHO is awesome and 2) I would never think of, which adds an order of magnitude to the awesomeness : )
Evil_Cronos
on 2009-01-05 15:30:29
Interesting almost western-like intro, and then bam the track hits you in the face. I don't think that the choir fits in all the well with the track as a whole, but overall the song sounds good. Perhaps the only real issue is that it seems like there are too many idea in this piece and because of time, not all of them are fully explored.
DragonAvenger
on 2008-11-23 15:21:09
I can see why the Turk's theme would be so difficult to mix. I give Dan a ton of credit for what he's done with this track, it's quite impressive. The mood at the beginning is perfect, and really brings some flavor into the original. Much more badass, which is great.
I can't, however, fathom the gregorian chant. I read the write-up, and no one else really seems to have an issue with it, but I find it to be very random and out of place. I can't say it does it for me. The ending also is quite sudden, what with a nice introspective breakdown that leads back to the main riff, only to fade out very quickly.
I think the first half of the track is really great, but those two issues kinda kill it for me. Otherwise it's some impressive work with a difficult original.
evktalo
on 2008-08-26 08:56:54
Guhhh, what the hell was that previous post about? I apologize and take that back. Embarrassing.
A fine track and now I feel it does work as a whole. I *do* still much prefere those guitar parts of the tune, but the piano and choir bit works very well. It's not meandering at all.. I still don't like the fade - I like the idea that's explained in the writeup, but the fade just feels premature.. maybe that's because I'd just like to hear more of that delicious guitar. :) I personally would like a reremix or something of this material, trimmed a bit and focused on the guitar portions with an "I Want You"-style approach, but that's just me, and the piece is good as it is.
--Eino
evktalo
on 2008-07-19 16:34:05
Heavily opinionated post ahead.. :)
Just listeining to this now, I definitely remember a lot of these riffs, they're memorable and sound good. But this is not one of my favourites from the project. The reason is that it doesn't come together as a whole for me.
The acoustic guitar lick in the beginning is a great figure, it's memorable and incredibly effective, it sets the mood instantly. The piano/guitar figure at 00:28-00:37 is very powerful, and only grows each time it's repeated. 00:55-01:30 is a fantastic variation/counterpoint to that part. I really like the wood-sounding percussion there.
Another poster lauded the gated synth + choir part. I on the contrary really really dislike it.. my problem is that it feels like it's from a different piece completely. As itself it's not bad at all, but combined with the other material it just doesn't mesh. There's no sense of continuity and any tension that might be there is totally ruined with the premature fadeout of the repetition of the killer guitar figure that follows. Gneh.
Some of my favourite parts of the VotL project are in this track, but it doesn't rank very high as a whole. This piece is soundtracky in a very bad sense - it tries to sound big when it doesn't need to: super-reverby industrial-like percussion doesn't fit in, neither does the choir bit nor the delayed piano.. Also, it's meandering and it messes up it's potential. At it's best it reminds me of I Want You (She's So Heavy) by The Beatles, at it's worst I just want to forget it.
Your mileage may vary. :)
--Eino
Knives
on 2007-11-07 14:46:53
I really like this song, especially when the choir and gated synth come in, and then the awesome piano.
OA
on 2007-10-25 15:08:56
This track would be perfect for the showdown in the game's sewers; I totally get the modern spaghetti western feel to the intro, and though it goes throughout the mix, I think it could have been even more prevalent. More slide guitar and stuff, please. Once the mix got going, the guitar lead was great; super dirty and nasty sounding. I like the concept of the vocals, but I think they should have been a little more present in the mix, with more of a high end to them. The ending was a bit anticlimactic, with the components breaking down, only to segue into the main riff and then fade away.
Overall though, a good mix. I think you should have gone a little further with the western motifs, but as is, still a keeper.
Nec5
on 2007-09-18 21:24:30
The chorus makes the piece. Nicely done.
big giant circles
on 2007-09-15 20:07:14
never heard of this danny B guy--he must be new.
anyway, definitely a fan of this one--especially the gated synth and chanting at 1:31. also, the delay on the piano, not to mention the piano sequencing in general, was rad.
needed more timbal licks tho
Hyperion5182
on 2007-09-15 11:31:18
The Turks actually sound like the badasses they are supposed to be... o.O
Master_Yoshi
on 2007-09-14 14:46:33
Danny B is one of my favourite remixers, and after his awesomeness in the S3K project, I had high hopes for this. And somehow he managed to exceed those hopes in every way. This is easily my favourite Danny B song (even passing Invertebrate Retreat) and one of my all-time favourite remixes.
djpretzel
on 2007-09-14 12:09:02
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