ReMix: Final Fantasy VII 'Short Skirts'

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Final Fantasy VII: Voices of the LifestreamFinal Fantasy VII

2007 was SUPPOSED to be the year that I returned to my more prolific ReMix release schedule from days of yore. In actuality, I do have seven or eight works-in-progress sitting around that I need to just FINISH, and up until Andy approached me with this project, my Tifa mix was one of those. Yes, I was actually working on this before the project was created; it was simply fortuitous that Andy invited me to contribute and I already had something in the works. This is my first ReMix collaboration - though Town Life with Taucer was released in July of last year, this mix was already in progress at that time, and Jesse had already visited to record the guitar part. That's a whole story in and of itself, with great imbibing of strong substance and IRC shenanigans, but from a musical perspective, it worked really well. I had a rough sketch of the melody I was looking for, and Jesse worked around that with several permutations. It was a pretty fluid and expedient collaboration, perhaps because we chose to postpone our revelries until AFTER we had finished it.

So, what was I trying for with this? Well, for starters, I love the Tifa theme. I tend to like dominant, memorable melodies, and Tifa's track definitely fits that description, so I was drawn to it. As many of you know, one of my personal goals that I also love to see other artists doing is trying to work in multiple genres. I didn't really have anything on the site yet that represented a truer approach to what I'd call "jazz", and I was inspired to create something in the style of Neskvartetten, whom I deeply admire and respect. While the Tifa theme has wonderful melody and harmony, it's rather static rhythmically, with a constant, quantized feel. That's specifically what steered me towards jazz - I wanted to hear this great melody that Uematsu wrote injected with some rhythmic playfullness. The title, "Short Skirts," alludes both to Tifa's fondness for rather skimpy bottoms (I ain't complainin') and to the concept of doing three consecutive brief variations on the main melody. Jesse's jazz guitar is first, then a duet of sorts between vibes and EP, then finally organ with a drum dropout.

The reason this took a hundred times longer than it should have is that Jesse did perhaps too good a job on his part - after the guitar solo, I was stuck with what to follow with. I finally decided on vibes, but it wasn't until I added in the EP doing a sort of call-and-response bit and livened up the drum track (all parts recorded live into sequencer) that this decision actually started not sucking. From a tonal and rhythmic complexity perspective, I think this is one of my best and most mature ReMixes to date. The cello plays a key role in flying over the underlying, interlocking parts with legato passages that ascend and descend. I had a blast doing drums for this - there's lot of going ahead or behind the beat, particularly on the vibes section, that all would have been lost with any sort of quantization. Quantum Leap Colossus was used for almost everything you hear, and is a great library for those looking to do jazz arrangement in my opinion.

I'm so glad to have been part of this project. When I listen to the other tracks this mix is side by side with, I'm honored to be in such company. I feel like Jesse and I added something different to the album, but something that fits in, too. This arrangement was a major headache for me in terms of finding my focus and coming up with a second half that I could really get fully behind, but - while it's not as accessible or immediately catchy as my other stuff - I feel like the end result is some of my strongest work yet. I'd like to thank Jesse for the excellent Scotch he brought along with him and a guitar part the arrangement couldn't have lived without, Nobuo Uematsu, Neskvartetten, and Yo-Yo Ma for inspiration, and Andrew Aversa for inviting me onto the project, letting me do the artwork and website, and for putting together a project that shows the very best OverClocked ReMix has to offer.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
StreetFlare
on 2012-06-09 23:06:56
Free2shred00;865177 wrote: Wow, this has to be the most awkward way of getting a reply by an admin (the freaking head honcho none-the-less) that I have ever seen...

It's understandable. Not only is it his site, it's his remix.
Free2shred00
on 2012-06-09 02:36:09
djpretzel;864446 wrote: They violated our Terms of Service... and then each other? :dstrbd:
Without going into excruciating, or even somewhat awkward, detail, can you provide a bit more info?

Wow, this has to be the most awkward way of getting a reply by an admin (the freaking head honcho none-the-less) that I have ever seen...
The video didn't credit you or this website either. Not that I remember at least. I am not a member to that website (or any such website for that matter), so I can't tell you if there is mention about the copyrights for the music elsewhere, but I wouldn't count on it. Seems like some low budget erotica website trying to take free music and use it as if it were under public domain. Might be something you would like to contact them about. I am not about to provide a link, but you should be able to google the website if you are going to take action against them.
StreetFlare
on 2012-06-05 03:44:42
djpretzel;864446 wrote: They violated our Terms of Service... and then each other? :dstrbd:

Wait....what???
I love the mix, but eroge-worthy? I don't quite see it. Then again, this is a TIFA mix, being used by a website called COSPLAY Deviants....see what I'm getting at here?
djpretzel
on 2012-06-04 17:44:42
Free2shred00;864383 wrote: Hate to be that guy, but this track was used as the soundtrack for a video by the erotic website Cosplay Deviants. This being one of my favorite tracks from OC Remix, I felt I had to share.

They violated our Terms of Service... and then each other? :dstrbd:
Without going into excruciating, or even somewhat awkward, detail, can you provide a bit more info?
Free2shred00
on 2012-06-04 11:30:47
Hate to be that guy, but this track was used as the soundtrack for a video by the erotic website Cosplay Deviants. This being one of my favorite tracks from OC Remix, I felt I had to share.
SilverSwift
on 2010-08-14 16:55:08
Such a fantastic jazz interpretation, I love the percussion throughout in particular - as you said, there's a vast amount going on. Every section compliments the overall arrangement...brilliant, one of my favourites on the site. Many thanks!
lfroland
on 2009-10-02 14:08:31
My brother DL'd the Voices of the Lifestream set, and I picked my way through them all to make a playlist about 1 1/2 hours long. At the top of my list? 'Short Skirts.' This song is radio worthy, my friends. It's incredible. The sheer talent exhibited, the cheeky title, the call-and-answer between the various instruments...I tell you, I listen to this mix at least once a day. It's relaxing, upbeat, and turns a pretty little theme into something amazing and mature. Job done extremely well you two! You're the reason I finally signed on to the website.
MaxxAndrew
on 2009-09-29 18:39:16
I've been trying to write lyrics to this song for almost a year... This is a really good track. Just so everyone knows, the youtube preview doesn't do overall sound quality justice. Especially with the bass line. Vigilante has some great really moving riffs in this song, but the leading instruments are always overwhelming for me BUT that could be cause by the fact that I like to write lyrics, so I kinda cant share the space. Still, this song has, many of times, given me chills. Its just a nice groove with the melody and the progression(s). It is all very well done.
Mosou
on 2009-06-22 08:08:14
Your track is fantastic. To me, it's a masterpeace. I've never paid attention to the original track. I think it's a bit boring. But your version is wonderfull. I love the jazzy sound it has and you mange to put peace and even sadness in it. A call to introspection, it's extremely rare (even in remix whch are too often tasteless tecno-remix).
THANK YOU SO MUCH for this track
I could listen to it an entire day ^^
carry on your good work, I'm found of it
metalsnakejuice
on 2009-05-03 06:35:15
A very laid back and relaxing remix, this really is one of my favorite songs on the album and l feel that its a great accomplishment.
sefirosu
on 2009-05-02 22:05:01
Great piece. Very nice, laid-back, jazzy feel.
BIAS ALERT...
I love the cello part throughout the piece.
The piece sounds like a bit of what I like to call a "jam-session" maybe cause of the drum in the begining that sounds like a door closing or maybe by the staggered entrances by the different instruments, either way I love it all.
Nice Work!
paperCrane
on 2008-03-12 11:08:22
Most of DJP's mixes pull me in but this one definitely sits up there with Love Hurts and Fortuna Favors the Funk for me. Great rhythms, great playing, great sound. I especially love it when the bells come in. The combination of the bells with the rhythm guitar and everything else at that point makes for a very rich sound that still feels very laid back and approachable. I also have to agree with the other posts that the drums have a lot of nuance and fit the jazz theme perfectly.
Check it out, and don't miss out on the great Funk mixes that DJP has done as well.
OA
on 2008-02-04 14:44:33
Probably one of my top 5 favorites from the Voices of the Lifestream project, mainly because of the added descending chord progression; it's one of my favorite progressions, and to hear it in it's entirety, at about the perfect tempo is awesome. Shallow? Maybe a bit, but there is plenty more to enjoy about the mix.
I agree with the consensus that the cello is a bit too exposed early on, but i think it blends much better as an ensemble instrument once some additional background layers are added in. I think live would have been the way to go for such a prominent part, but as is, it does a good job.
The guitar has a great tone, just a light dusting of grit, and really nice phrasing. Very tasteful.
Organ, vibes, and rhodes finish it off. Excellent.
Very classy and understated. Check this one out, guys.
Crescent Shadow
on 2007-10-02 03:14:51
I have to admit... I was a bit iffy going into this song...Jazz is one of those genre's that, while I don't exactly dislike it... there just hasn't been anything I've heard that I liked either.
Not to mention that Tifa's theme is my favorite song off the original ost... sitting right beside OWA. So I went into this song pretty much expecting not to like it...But i was really surprised... not only did I like, but it didn't mess with that plesant feeling that the original music evoked...
So heres props to DjP and Vigilante...you made someone with no interest in Jazz seriously enjoy a Jazz piece.
zircon
on 2007-09-16 14:19:51
As a bit of history, this song might have been the first one to go up on the project WIP boards back in 2006, yet was the last one to be finished. Dave gets props for that alone ;)
But seriously, ever since the first MP3 demo, I was really excited about it. The drum and bass sequencing is particularly awesome; there's a lot of nuance to the jazz drums that you just rarely hear. I think the Neskvartetten sound was successfully captured. The solos are also highly enjoyable, including Vig's well-played guitar wankery. The whole thing fits perfectly into the scene of Seventh Heaven.