ReMix: Jade Cocoon: Story of the Tamamayu "Legend of Arcana ~ Tale of the Nagi"
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Just got back from the Philly meetup, where I got to hear Taucer & Jose's latest mixes, do some bowling, grab some BBQ, and more... good times, even if the heat prevented our going to the Manayunk Arts Festival as planned and seeing the giant metallic pretzel that apparently resides there.
Beatdrop's mix and interview have been up for awhile and hopefully you've had the occasion to enjoy both, so on with the show. There's been an official announcement already, but I thought I'd mention that several judges have stepped down and a couple more have stepped up. We recently saw the departure of JJT, TO, and pixietricks and the addition of newcomers Fishy and Another Soundscape, doing their part to increase European representation on the panel. It's hard enough to try to encapsulate both my appreciation and the significant contributions of a singe judge in written form; anything I could possibly say about the exit of these three talented artists would thus be threefold as inadequate. Fortunately, all three of them are still around and active in the community, and simply needed a breather from the more regular commitments of mix evaluation. AnSo and Fishy should be no strangers, both having played active roles on VotL and Mattias being one of the most prolific mixers since the beginning of time; hopefully that can carry over to his voting. So long live the ex-judges, and a warm welcome to Cain and Mattias, who'll do their best to keep the torch burning bright.
"It's been three weeks since Groove Sweet Groove and I'm back again. I must say, I really love the Jade Cocoon soundtrack. It's like a treasure chest of short, moody and memorable sources and that's what I love the most (in case you missed it)! Short sourcetunes gives you a lot of room for your own ideas and I've got loads of ideas. :) Since People Made of Stone was posted I've gotten some amazing feedback, something I didn't think was possible with such an unpopular game. Guess I was wrong! So, here it is, the spiritual follower to People Made of Stone, aptly named (oh come on, play the game already) "Legend of Arcana ~ Tale of the Nagi".
...The remix contains the following (in no special order): The now mandatory Rhodes solo, 909-kick, bubbly Virus textures, a toybox sound, some ethno percussion without quantizing, the same lead as in Golden Feathers, an extremely long build-up, Shariq's pan flute soundfont, gated trance synth, soloing through an arpeggiator and some actual chord changes, something I tend to forget."
I love writing up his mixes because he always gives me a lot to work with in his submission emails ;) Chimes and clockwork chromatic percussion intro this piece, which drops a four-on-the-floor kick at 0'57" - a bit surprising given the syncopated groove preceding it, but definitely works - along with a pentatonic synth monoglide synth. Though the melody is fairly Eastern, AnSo can't resist jazzing it up here and there. You can almost hear his inner groove saying "c'mon, just let me toss a riff in right here... it won't hurt!" - fortunately his inner composer gives in and we get lovely, hybrid arrangements with polished ethnic and pop elements that incorporate just enough jazz elements to keep things fresh without seeming gratuitous. That EP run at 1'52" even reminds me of the title theme to Ocarina of Time a bit. While the heavy downbeat is minimal and straightforward, the ethnic percussion picks up the slack with some great syncopated grooves that pack in runs and triplets, forming a moving, grooving bed for strong, almost anthematic melodic direction. Fading out on the synth groove for the ending works well enough, and at any rate shows the attention to detail even in the tertiary, accompanying components.
All of AnSo's pieces have the feeling that loving care was applied to both production and arrangement, and that furthermore he had a hell of a lot of fun making them. This one's no exception, and is just plain fun to listen to, bringing even more light on Kimitaka Matsumae's underappreciated OST.
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