ReMix: Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories 'That's What You Get'

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Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories

Ladies and gentlemen, I'm proud to present OC ReMix's very first mother & son collab mix, from regular DrumUltimA and newcomer... MomUltimA! Clearly the "Ultima" runs in the family; Doug's mom is currently the assistant principal violist for the Hartford Symphony, and her playing here (on violin, not viola) is central to Doug's arrangement. Less historically but still cool, this is also our first mix from Yoko Shimomura's score to Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories; KH fans in particular should dig that, and it's also nice to see the GBA getting some more love. Some background: the original title was actually "That's What You Get (for Eating Nothing But Pizza and Cheesesteaks All Day)" but we had to truncate that a bit. It's a reference to zircon's absence from the epic DC Video Games Live meetup due to having his appendix removed, ostensibly due to very Philadelphian dietary habits, with which I commiserate. Doug confides:

"I made this remix for a contest that involved money because at the time I was very poor. I got second place. I did have fun making this at least. But I still look in the mirror and see nothing but a sellout... I'm pathetic. Oh yeah my mom plays violin in this one too. MomUltimA? Or Sharon Dennison, whichever you prefer. I'm playing snare drum, a bunch of samples I took in the Peabody percussion studio, and my voice."

Don't worry, Doug - plenty of people have done things they regret just for the money, and some of them have communicable diseases to show for it, so consider yourself lucky. Given the artist's focus on and predilection for percussion, this mix definitely delivers in that arena, with thunderous bass drum rolls introing and outroing. Acoustic rock kit enters at 0'50" with a squarish synth bass and accompanying arpeggios. SonUltimA informs me that he also employed crash and suspended cymbals, crotales, rainstick, Chinese toms, and timpani in the middle, all sampled from Peabody's percussion studio. Viva variety, and way to make excellent use of formidable percussive resources.

Ensemble strings establish an initial melodic motif, but synth lead quickly takes over. The interesting bit is that it actually duets with the violin, at least initially, which makes for a pretty fresh sound. Eventually the violin gets the spotlight all to itself, though, soaring over an undulating percussive bed. I'd criticize things for lacking low-end presence on the bass, but it's clear that Doug wanted the drums to have more space to breath in without muddying things up, and breath they do. This is a full percussive exhale, in fact, with a drum solo breakdown thrown in for good measure. The violin solo is expressive and flowing, pulling a lot of slurs and articulations that you just can't emulate with libraries. It's got a good bit of verb on it, so at times some of the detail is obscured, but that seems more stylistic than compensating: the overall arrangement has a big, almost tidal feel to it, so the liberal application of verbs to create a vast space seems appropriate. The vocalising Doug does is really rather good; it's similarly awash in FX, but adds even more to the sense of scale.

Excellent & creative arrangement of a quality source; I also must say that as lucky as Doug is to live in a musical family and have an amazingly talented mother who was willing to help out with this (and cool with the 'MomUltimA' moniker, no less!), we're just as lucky to be listening to the end result. Another first for OCR, and a great, refereshing ReMix as well!

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
tweex
on 2010-08-12 18:48:35
Wow, almost two years between this mix and his first. The intro is excellently done and creates a great vibe. We hear a very similar synth to his first remix come into play right at the start. But then the drums come in and they start rockin with a DK sounding synth. Very cool. The snare playing is solid, and Doug shows his percussion mastery here as well. His voice brings a nice ethereal tone to the mix and I like it. The piano breakdown was wonderful. I like the classic synth sound for the bass mixing with the acoustic drums; very interesting! The lead synth gets a little piercing when it goes up into the higher register and stays there for a bit, but it comes back down again. God, do I love that violin. Your mamma knows how to wail on that bad boy! All in all, not bad, mate (minus the fadeout ;)).
Pachi Risu
on 2009-11-16 19:18:56
Nicely done. Keep up the swell work both you and your mother.
Chernabogue
on 2009-06-15 11:54:21
This mix is just awesome ! A great arrangement of the first Marluxia battle theme and a great family collab ! Good job !
Aninymouse
on 2009-06-14 16:39:34
This is just so fantastic. I honestly have grown to love this more over time.
Easily in my all-time favorites, and I've never even touched a KH game.
TJF588
on 2009-06-14 16:26:00
[moved to original post; tl;dr cool song]
OA
on 2009-03-19 09:45:11
A little too much reverb on a few elements for my tastes, but then again I always like to have at least one thing in the mix pretty dry. Drums and violin are beautiful; great rolling patterns mixed with a soaring melody is a recipe for delicious.
Synth parts are pretty good too. :-)
I played through this game and also had the sound turned off, so I don't recognize the melody either, but i'm sure it's very nice, based off of this remix. :-)
DragonAvenger
on 2008-08-13 09:52:17
MomUltima is the best. Honestly.
Great mix, I love all the percussion, and the choice of instruments fits together very well.
Surprisingly, I played through CoM TWICE, and honestly I can't say I know this piece (mostly having to play with the sound off). Regardless, great job, and I love it.
The Pezman
on 2008-07-23 23:33:34
To be honest, I'm having trouble hearing the source (and I've listened to the original looking for it... I love it so). I'm sure it's me though... could someone point it out?
If a live performance of this ever comes in, I want in on drum set!
Martin Penwald
on 2008-07-23 14:56:52
I love the drumwork here, and I definitely love the synth you are using.
While I really like violins, the one in here doesn't really gel with me. In some places, especially in the beginning and from 4:28 on, it seems somewhat distant, detached from everything else that's going on in the song. However, it works well in some other places, e.g. around the 1:50 mark and especially when it's slowly introduced at 3:38. So yeah, mixed feelings about that one.
Btw, the "background noise" you use in the beginning and the end of the song is really nice when listening with headphones.
Cake_Eater
on 2008-07-18 15:36:57
It's kind of strange but listening to this I find myself thinking of a ton of other games than Kingdom Hearts. The violin in particular reminded me of of the Final Fantasy XIII trailers while some of the more... synth-y(?) parts sounded like Megaman to me. Either way it's fantastic and definitely downloaded.
zyko
on 2008-07-07 18:03:51
this is very, very good.
Aninymouse
on 2008-07-05 00:36:49
I want to hear a lot more from momUltima in the near future.
Promise me.
MechaFone
on 2008-07-04 16:24:33
I'm impressed. How many remixers here can say that they've collaborated on a mix with their mom?
Kingdom Hearts Remix? Awesome.
Getting the KH's violin down? Nice.
Remixing KH with a violin supplied by your own mom? Priceless.
You both did an incredible job! Kudos to you both!
MadGonzo
on 2008-07-04 12:45:50
finally something for the KH fan, not one of the top but I still love you guys for this!
Wolfimus
on 2008-07-04 06:21:13
I'm a sucker for violin, I really am. First remix in a while to make it onto my hard drive after the crash that wiped out my collection of OCRemixes, and certainly instant MP3 player material. [deleted awesome violinist mother comment]