ReMix: Final Fantasy X 'Endless Skies'

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Final Fantasy X

The third time's the charm for newcomer PrototypeRaptor, aka Jonathan Paulsen, whose previous submissions had some arrangement issues. He started this one off intending to stick closer to the source, but still ended up deviating enough to keep things fresh. The ReMixer writes:

"I'll get one of these up yet! *shakes fist* So after being shot down on my previous two submissions for lack of actual arrangement, I decided to do an arrangement of FFX's Auron's theme by the books. Unfortunately, that's not how it turned out. I was originally going to do a straight trance cover, but then realized that that wouldn't cut it...so it's kinda morphed and twisted and now I really don't know what to call it. The main theme has a riff that uses a piano liberally, so my mix has plenty of trance piano coverage, complete with spacey solos and a weird break."

VERY heavy kick and bass anchor this one, and sometimes overpower the piano and synths. At 1'47" I feel like the timing on the piano solo is a little off, and there are other details like that which could have been improved, but overall the combination of bread-and-butter trance elements with shimmering, swirling pads, piano and glide lead is rather hypnotizing. Furthermore, around the three minute marker, Jonathan throws in some needed variation, finally opening up the filters on his gated synth background and lead as well. The impressionistic solo piano breakdown is very interesting... it sounds a bit like Claude Debussy crashing a rave mid-song, playing a few cryptic bars, then getting back up to dance. Which, hey... why the hell not? I like that the artist had the cajones to attempt a more elaborate piano bit on top of a trance foundation; even if the rhythm strays at points, it's still far more compelling than had it been strictly quantized.

Of course, the mix title "Endless Skies" might remind one of bLiNd's excellent "White Skies (Club Mix)," also from FFX and also trance, albeit a different source track. Unfortunately, we recently learned that Jordan is very sick, suffering from colitis. Please chime in on the thread to wish him & his girlfriend and family the best; he's given so much excellent music to the community over the years, it's downright scary, and I'm personally hoping he gets better ASAP.

I hate to end on a down note like that, but since this is a trance mix with a similar title, it did bring this unfortunate situation to mind. At the moment, the best we can do is wish for Jordan's speedy recovery, and remember all the awesome mixes he's done over the years. At the same time, it's great to see new faces like PrototypeRaptor persisting the trend that Jordan was so instrumental in starting, giving trance the respect and craftsmanship it deserves and making a home for the genre on OCR. In a true "best of times, worst of times" moment, I'd like to express my congratulations to Jonathan for getting his first mix posted, and thoughts & hopes to bLiNd in what must be a difficult time.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
WesternZypher
on 2011-01-14 20:08:14
Bass Bass Bass Bass Bass Bass Bass
transl: LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE
Dazza
on 2010-05-04 14:42:59
WOW, what an epic remix, i know conventially people give it marks out of 5 or 10. But put it this way im having to count the amount of goosebumps this piece has given me, and i've lost count.....

Cheers for the memories.
OA
on 2009-03-17 13:05:29
Killer kick on this one which anchors the whole thing, while all kinds of high frequency madness transpires. I love the interplay between the pads and the piano, and when that beautiful gated synth comes in (awesome transition on it, btw- that was classy), the whole song picks up.
The transition out of that section wasn't as smooth, but the track still works well, and the whole quiet section makes that kick feel brand new when it comes in later on.
good stuff overall, nice work. :-)
Liontamer
on 2008-09-17 19:54:11
ambient;430230 wrote: Tamer,
Honestly, your argument doesn't hold water, and you know it. But for some reason it seems like you are just compelled to argue.
When djp compares it to "White Skies", he says : "also from FFX and also trance". In addition to that, in the last paragraph he once again writes: "this is a trance mix with a similar title." As for the "elaborate piano bit on top of a trance foundation", well, that sentence makes it sound like there actually IS a trance foundation. 4/4 beats and a synth bass do not make trance, they are common elements in many electronic music styles. It is how all the elements come together in the entire piece.

Nah, I'm not compelled to argue. If you feel the writeup was misleading, fair enough on those quotes, though to me the other quotes from both play up that this actually was not meant to be taken as a genre convention. The main thing I've been stressing is that the track not being trance and not being intended as trance doesn't inherently make it weak. It can't be a called a "subpar style adaptation" when that explicitly wasn't claimed to be the purpose. And to say "He seems to have brought the people of OCR exactly what they are looking for" implies we chose this at the expense of other valid stuff, which we haven't.
DragonAvenger
on 2008-08-13 09:42:06
Definately a grooving piece, nice work there. Lot's of points I liked on it, and I liked how the source was converted.
~2:50 with the change in bass is one of the parts I enjoyed. A subtle change, but it worked well.
The dropout to just piano was jarring, and I think the biggest reason for me is because the tempo is lost. If the piano had kept up to speed I think it wouldn't have felt as awkward as it did. It still made a good transition back, but there were a few sketchy moments.
Still a good first remix, hope to hear more from PR.
playingtokrush
on 2008-08-13 01:06:55
If the loud, thudding bass present in about 2/3 of this mix were played at half its current volume, this mix would probably really pump my nads. As it is, there's some interesting melody going on that's drowned out by (to me) needlessly loud, repetitive thumping. Reminds me too much of ffmusicdj's work.
Martin Penwald
on 2008-07-31 16:01:50
Considering the blurriness of genre definitions when it comes to electronica, this whole discussion is moot IMO.
About the mix at hand: I like it. I like it a lot. Even if it is a tiny little tad on the repetitive side of things, I really dig the atmosphere and the great beat it has.
My only gripe is the piano section. While it works very well with the transition back into the trance part, the breakdown where the piano plays on its own seems a little empty to me.
Good stuff, PR, and I hope to hear more from you. In fact, I think I'm going to listen to your C&C WIP now.
ambient
on 2008-07-20 10:58:16
Tamer,
Honestly, your argument doesn't hold water, and you know it. But for some reason it seems like you are just compelled to argue.
When djp compares it to "White Skies", he says : "also from FFX and also trance". In addition to that, in the last paragraph he once again writes: "this is a trance mix with a similar title." As for the "elaborate piano bit on top of a trance foundation", well, that sentence makes it sound like there actually IS a trance foundation. 4/4 beats and a synth bass do not make trance, they are common elements in many electronic music styles. It is how all the elements come together in the entire piece.
Kulaman
on 2008-07-17 13:01:57
Regardless of what you call it, this is a very cool track. I would have enjoyed just a bit more melody and activity in the piano breakdown, but as it stands it's a very powerful and rather beautiful thing. So I say to PrototypeRaptor: "Moar plz!"
Liontamer
on 2008-07-17 05:44:29
ambient;428775 wrote: But since it is referred to as such by both the remixer in his submission email and by djp in his writeup, I think its only fair that people reading reviews are aware that it does not "stick to the genre conventions", and are not in for a letdown, like I was.

No one said this was strictly a praise forum, and you know that anyway. But as far as what you expected, I think you would have been aware it didn't stick to the genre conventions had you read more closely:
PrototypeRaptor wrote: I was originally going to do a straight trance cover, but then realized that that wouldn't cut it...so it's kinda morphed and twisted and now I really don't know what to call it. The main theme has a riff that uses a piano liberally, so my mix has plenty of trance piano coverage, complete with spacey solos and a weird break.

He's knows and says it's not textbook trance. He says it's a hybrid of styles.
djpretzel wrote: Overall the combination of bread-and-butter trance elements with shimmering, swirling pads, piano and glide lead is rather hypnotizing. Furthermore, around the three minute marker, Jonathan throws in some needed variation, finally opening up the filters on his gated synth background and lead as well. The impressionistic solo piano breakdown is very interesting... it sounds a bit like Claude Debussy crashing a rave mid-song, playing a few cryptic bars, then getting back up to dance. Which, hey... why the hell not? I like that the artist had the cajones to attempt a more elaborate piano bit on top of a trance foundation...

He's also knows and says it's not textbook trance, and he also says it's a hybrid of styles.
It's a moot point to go "a-ha! [sic] They said it's trance, but it's NOT!", as if there was false advertising. The word trance was used, absolutely. But no one said it was straight-up trance. They said it had trance elements.
ambient
on 2008-07-17 00:11:46
Hey Ojizzle!
I thought this area of the forum was to write reviews and express your personal opinion on the mix. I'm sorry, if I was wrong. I definitely don't want to start another argument about OCR standards, which I think are fine. You might have not read through my post carefully, as I do say that it is an interesting arrangement, and I made it relatively clear that my problem with it was a personal preference. I think you overreacted and in no way wanted to come across as saying "if it was passed by the judges then it is the best thing since sliced bread and its perfect in every way, unless otherwise noted, and any criticism is invalid."
Still, you did in a roundabout way agree that this mix is not really trance. But since it is referred to as such by both the remixer in his submission email and by djp in his writeup, I think its only fair that people reading reviews are aware that it does not "stick to the genre conventions", and are not in for a letdown, like I was. Once again though, if this really is a "praise forum" and not a "reviews forum", then I'm sorry.
My intention was not to discourage PR. On the contrary, I want to encourage him to better himself. There is nothing wrong with being true to the genre.
Liontamer
on 2008-07-16 22:10:16
ambient;428730 wrote: I don't want to be a hater. This is a pretty interesting arrangement of the source, and I love the source tune. But this is not trance. Maybe its OCtRance. Production is not very trancy. Progression is not really either. Decent mix, subpar style adaptation.
Definitely far from "White Skies" (which was a great mix and a fantastic style adaptation), and makes me feel bad for Siamey.
Not PR's fault at all. He seems to have brought the people of OCR exactly what they are looking for. I just like my dance music to sound like dance music that it claims to be. Call it a pet peeve.

I dunno what OCtRance is supposed to be. The track has some trance elements. But to call it weak because the ReMixer didn't stick to genre conventions is pointless. The track is what it is. It doesn't need to be a textbook example of trance to be a good track. Calling it a "subpar style adaptation" assumes the track was trying to be something it wasn't. So you can't fault it for that, you can just say you would have preferred something traditional.
I also don't know why you're invoking Siamey, who's last mix passed with no problem. The main issue he had with his last two rejected subs was using the source material more substantively in the mix, not what genre the track was.
ambient
on 2008-07-16 21:55:02
I don't want to be a hater. This is a pretty interesting arrangement of the source, and I love the source tune. But this is not trance. Maybe its OCtRance. Production is not very trancy. Progression is not really either. Decent mix, subpar style adaptation.
Definitely far from "White Skies" (which was a great mix and a fantastic style adaptation), and makes me feel bad for Siamey.
Not PR's fault at all. He seems to have brought the people of OCR exactly what they are looking for. I just like my dance music to sound like dance music that it claims to be. Call it a pet peeve.
Liontamer
on 2008-07-16 07:24:48
Jon, you got a nice pimp from Amber Ahlborn of Nerve.com, congrats!
It's a hit with the ladies. Still wanna pull that mix? :lol:
Hy Bound
on 2008-07-14 18:17:59
This is wonderful! I really enjoy the ambiance of it and the general feel/mood that it gives of; great vibe. Can't wait to here more from ya!