Comin' at you live from Aruba, I'm taking time out of my hard-earned (I think, at least) vacation to keep the gears of OCR a churnin'. What have I been up to? Anna and I are chillin' at the Occidental and basically just relaxin', and I've been getting deep into Crush, which has to be one of the best handheld games (and game soundtracks) I've ever enjoyed. I was also sure to load up my Sansa wanna-be iPod with tons of tunes, ReMix and otherwise, and one of the tracks I now invariably add to such playlists is Skrypnyk's Mario-RPG-meets-DJ-Shadow gem 'Last Night a DJ Kidnapped Mallow.' So mellow, so atmospheric, glacially paced and yet intricate... definitely fantastic stuff. Andrew's cornering the market on OCR for the particular blend of downbeat, ambient hip/trip-hop he employs in his mixes, and he follows things up with another great track, this time from NiGHTS. The suspended, floating feel the mix evokes works nicely with the nighttime imagery conjured up by the source material; I had a harder time envisioning any material relevant to the game while listening to his SMRPG piece, even if I loved the non-game imagery it did suggest. Here it's a bit easier to put yourself in the game's universe, although Skryp did stray pretty far in terms of liberal arrangements. Larry had some concerns along this line:
"Part of the reason I felt this used enough of the source material was because of the way Skryp retained the (quiet) beat pattern of the original (two pairs of beats on 1 and 3 in "Gate of Your Dreams", if I understand that correctly), but beefed them up and expanded their role. It was viable arrangement to me since the tone and general pattern was derived from the source tune. If those drums hadn't have been involved so integrally, I would have NOed the arrangement for being too liberal overall."
AnSo sees the potential crit but agrees w/ Larry that it's not overly problematic:
"Yeah this is neat. You truly are a master of percussion and it really gets the track to new heights. The production is solid and the deep bass drum really sets a great mood for the piece. This reminds me of the band mum a lot. As Palpable and Larry both pointed out, it's a tad liberal but it's not liberal enough to reject. I thought the source was present most of the time and when it wasn't the track still referenced to the original in terms of chords and mood. Nice harmonization and interesting instrumentation."
Though this isn't from the Christmas NiGHTS version of the game, it nevertheless has a pleasant, somewhat wintry feel to it... I could see it being used as ambient BGM for a futuristic nativity or something such; definitely more upbeat than its rather melancholy Mario predeccessor. Very serene, clear textures and Andrew's amazing drum work make this a piece you can disappear into as a listener, and not want to come back from. Transporting and enveloping - another keeper from Skrypnyk.
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Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
NiGHTS into dreams... (Sega, 1996, SAT)
Music by Fumie Kumatani, Naofumi Hataya, Tomoko Sasaki
- "Gate of Your Dream"
- Electronic, Piano, Synth
- 5,305,063 bytes
- Size: 5,305,063 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 00adc992fc6a08de4765c8f4d86a6e4c
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