ReMix: Chrono Trigger "But the Future Refused to Change"

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Chrono Trigger

Ugh. Work's been brutal lately and I haven't kept up with the posting schedule I wanted for 2009. Gotta find more windows to get things up and get shizz moving, to be sure. Gotta update vBulletin, gotta get more mixes up, gotta spruce up the site a bit, gotta fix the torrent tracker... it's a good thing I actually *enjoy* doing most of this stuff, or my life would be miserable. Of course, the other compensating factor is that I get to hear and post all this great music, and see artists develop over time. Doug's Kingdom Hearts collab with his mom was a highlight of '08, and now he's back and badder with some proggish CT action. Sayeth Mr. Ultima:

"Hey guys, Doug here.  Here's my resubmit of the remix formerly known as "Lavos is Inconsistent", which I am now calling "But the Future Refused to Change".  I took the crits from my initial evaluation very seriously and I couldn't be more happy with what I've learned.  Special thanks to Palpable for dealing with me for so long :)  I totally reworked the mixing of the drums, switching out samples and working with eq and compressors, as well as doing a ton of balance/eq work with the rest of the instrumentation.

Other runner-up names I was considering include "Stop Eating Planets", "Larry Quits the Judges Panel", and "Hard Taco Supreme" (thanks to f4t4l for that last one).  If you all like any of those better, feel free to make an executive decision and change the name ;)"

I actually misread "Lavos is Inconsistent" as "Lavos is Incontinent", which I think would make a badass mix title, but it's good to be serious at times. I confess that, whenever a song intros with a church organ solo, I always half-expect the acoustic guitar riff from 'Faith' to come in afterwards, but here instead we get a nice modulating synth bass and acoustic rock kit establishing an initial groove, as organ continues and eventually is joined by distorted lead and a really nice synth lead. The stereo imaging and organic nature of the synth patch avoids sterility and really helps it blend with the other elements, all of which have a lot of character & texture to them - which is important, because at almost six minutes long, this track throws a lot of work their way.

Breaking down the arrangement here would take too much time, really, but I can tell you that there are orchestral elements, some lovely acoustic piano, the afforementioned organ makes a resurgence, the drums stay dynamic and interesting throughout, and the last minute - my favorite segment - blends the best of all the elements with some screaming Keith Emerson-style soloing, culminating in a tasteful & artistic ending. I hear ELP and Floyd as influences, but Doug's definitely got his own thing going on, and his passion & multi-instrumentalism has served his compositional vision well. And, as with his previous mix, it's a pretty large vision... this arrangement may run long, but it uses its time wisely and frugally, exploring ideas and returning to motifs in a fashion that feels at once exploratory & satisfyingly narrative. Mr. Hawatky said it well:

"the orchestration is great... especially when it gets more psychedelic later on with that synth. everything is well placed in the soundfield and the piano comes in as a refreshing tone from earlier in the track and again, everything is so well placed. it is one thing to write good music but to make all its parts co-exist is the trick."

Again, a very tasteful and carefully selected tonal palette combined with a dynamic arrangement make for some excellent, meaty Chrono Trigger mixage from Doug, who we'll definitely be seeing more of in '09.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Noisyogui
on 2016-05-12 03:33:57

Love this song

Kuolema
on 2014-04-01 02:29:57

Just wanted to mention that I really love this piece. It's been stuck in my head for the last few days so I've been playing it on repeat!

Melbu Frahma
on 2011-12-13 02:35:24

I could listen to the first 26 seconds of this song over and over again for days without getting tired of it - simply gorgeous music. The variety of instruments and sounds really keeps this piece interesting, bouncing between synths and organ. Epic.

tweex
on 2010-08-12 18:54:09

Great opening with the flute and organ. I've never heard those two instruments really duet before, and it was pretty darn cool. I loved the higher octaved/arpeggiating bass. It's going everywhere. The guitar sample was a bit weak and sounded very exposed, but it wasn't terrible by any means. We're hearing very similar drums tones as we've heard in Doug's past mixes: very acoustic and very peppy, but still soft at the same time. It's an interesting juxtaposition. THis track has a crap ton of dynamic shifts in it. One minute, we're rockin out, then next we're mellow, next we're being gripped by the cinematic organ, and then back to rockin' again. Rinse and repeat. I like it as it gives the track a lot of variety. It's very apparent that Doug's "arrangements" are best expressed in his drumming and percussion work, which considering his profession, much less his remixing name, seems appropriate :). Good job mate.

Melbu Frahma
on 2010-07-01 22:40:08

The first twenty-five seconds of this are absolutely lovely, and the rest of it is great, too. ;-) Great progression, great usage of the sources, great all around!

Overdriven
on 2010-03-14 10:37:44

Great song from an all around great remixer. great transitions with the many themes make this easy to follow and great to listen to, and the organ was a great touch.

OA
on 2010-03-10 15:24:53

Great use of themes to weave a cohesive story, and the seamless transitions really help sell the track. I thought the drums were excellent, with some vibrant patterns and fills, and the collection of instruments was varied but all matched up well. Some of the samples were a little strange, but they were all well humanized, and had good performances.

Good stuff from Doug. Lavos scream was a nice touch. :D

Emunator
on 2009-12-11 20:41:35

I love the way the lead synths mesh with the organ, it really sets up for the epic arrangement that's to come. None of the instruments feel out of place; in fact, it's so cohesive that sometimes when I listen to this in my head I can only imagine it with 2 or 3 different instruments.

Of course, the main draw here is the arrangement, I think, and it completely delivers on that aspect. This is how you do a medley! I would have barely been able to tell it wasn't one long song if I wasn't familiar with the original soundtrack.

One of the most seamless medleys I've heard on the site, and the production and instrument choice is great to boot. Highly recommended! :-D

Grawr
on 2009-10-13 05:23:38

I really can't describe my love for this track better than the other posters. Seconding, thirding, and fourthing everything said. This is quickly becoming the most listened-to song in my entire library.

SmartLX
on 2009-10-04 22:21:57

This thing just BUILDS like almost nothing else on OCR. Like 'Dueling Consoles' or 'Burly Brawl' from Matrix Reloaded, it never loses sight of where it's headed.

Particularly like 'Burly Brawl', the unashamedly electronic instruments with potentially unlimited pitch, control and tempo are nevertheless matched by the human drive of the real (or at least realistic) drum kit.

When things finally come to a head and (again like 'Brawl') the drums drop out completely for the big resolution, we don't get it. The track fades to almost nothing for the key note, then builds from scratch to about the level of the beginning. This is in fact freaking awesome. There's no victory for the protagonist, merely a relieved pause before looking down from the summit to see the monster advancing again.

I dunno, maybe I'm too wrapped up in the dramas of the grand old boss fights to find the understated punchline disappointing. As it is, it's a brilliant 'carry moment'. I'm very happy with this piece, very happy indeed.

Edit: I've never, ever heard a decent synth sax, and unfortunately the one used here isn't the first. I just have to take it in as one of the deliberately electronic instruments, or it's distracting.

BuuUrns
on 2009-06-11 21:19:53

This is probably the best written CT remix I've heard in a long while. It is simply amazing.

I give this an 11/10.

And may I be so bold as to say that this kind of sounds like a Mega Man X style song? Can't you picture this song playing in the background of Sigma's fortress?

Mtlbro
on 2009-04-13 16:16:57

Wow the rock operah quality isn't done so much anymore, but this feels sooo natural. People are saying the transitions are too choppy, but I get the feeling some of them were done that way on purpose, like the transition at 4:16. I really like that one. .

Ascendancy
on 2009-03-17 19:34:17

this is sick....great productions, arrangement, god everything...

the organ at beginning was tight, and every transition into the next music was good. the part at 4:16 and so on was killer man, def loving the sync.

i don't know what else to say that hasn't already been said, fantastic job. 9.5 out of 10

jintoreedwine
on 2009-02-24 19:51:24

Nicely done! During my first listen I wasn't sure how I liked it, but I was in a hurry and didn't get to take it all in. This particular source tune has been remixed quite a bit, but I think this brings something new to the table.

I particularly enjoyed the "Lavos" sound at 2:45 very nice touch! Also, my favorite section is probably the one from 4:16 - 5:34 :) .

Martin Penwald
on 2009-02-23 16:29:08

When I read something about ELP in djp's write-up, I got my hopes up high, but ultimately, I was let down. The organ and the piano are great, but most of the rest of the song doesn't really do it for me. And I guess it doesn't help that I think the source-tune has been remixed to death already.