ReMix: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney "Cross-Examination (Sudden Interjection)"
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PrototypeRaptor, aka Jonathan Paulsen, joined us in 2008 with two pretty awesome mixes from FFX and Star Fox, and now he's back with some Phoenix Wright action. OA was the first to mix this game with his own arrangement of 'Victory! ~ The First Victory' back in 2007, and now Jonathan joins the prosecution with a trip-hop cut of the 'Objection' theme. On first submission, his 'objection' was actually overruled, but the judges had some specific counsel that the artist implemented to ensure his appeal would be entertained:
"I'll admit it, it was a pain to clean. BUT PAIN IS JUST WEAKNESS LEAVING THE BODY, and now I have a shiny new mix of phoenix wright that I hope does the source justice (haha). List o' changes:
- Piano changed to a rhodes and humanized
- Vinyl effect added to spots
- mixing in general made less bass heavy
- drum loops changed, more driving in verses
- the awful string attacks are fixed and actually go in tempo with the music"
Very punny, but a good rundown of what was altered. His original submission email gave more background on the overall approach:
"This is downtempo Trip Hop ala Massive Attack. It's dirty. It's low fi. It has a harpsichord AND a rhodes...and string stabs. The drums don't even try to be real. In fact, they mean not to. Did I mention the fuzz and noise? It's ridiculous. Unbearable....and I love it. :)"
I think the "they mean not to" syntax there is a fairly subtle reference to Bilbo's vacation plans as articulated in the first Lord of the Rings film... but I could just be geeking out. Gotta love Massive Attack, and for that matter DJ Shadow as well, as I can hear a mix of both sounds/approaches here. There's a lot of grit, scratch, ambience, darkness, and texture, conjuring that "dusty attic" vibe, mixed with some gothic harpsichord. Bass and full drums drop at 1'08", adding some meat to the potatoes, but the string runs at 1'31" are the single most badass element and pull the whole piece together. 2'14" gives the flute some time to breath over a rhodes line and tremolo strings... rather gorgeous moment, there. Then the Shaft hats build us back into a funky little synth solo:
Isaac: Who's the super-effective prosecutor that's a litigation machine to all the chicks?
Isaac: Ya damn Wright.
... Except the pun wouldn't be conveyed through audio alone - a shame. Vinnie lays it out simple & direct:
"I knew you would come through, dude. This is excellent. Mixing is much improved and the new changes you added improved the song. I LOVE the background strings that come in at 1:31. Like last time, the arrangement is liberal but well-connected with the nine-note riff, which goes through a couple neat modifications to match the chord. Great work!"
There you go. When I think of this genre on OCR, I mostly think of Skrypnyk, largely due to his SMRPG masterpiece, but it's great to see others working with trip-hop/"downbeat", and I personally think Jonathan's done an awesome job, both conceptually in the first place and also with his revisions. Great, gritty stuff that's hard to object to.
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