ReMix: Chrono Trigger 'Corridor of Time (Time Warp Mix)'

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Chrono Trigger

The Vagrance debuted with some LoZ:TP action back in December '08 and now returns with a visit to the ever-fertile lands of Chrono Trigger and 'Corridor of Time'. Samuel writes:

"I've always wanted to do a DnB remix of this song, and this is not my first attempt as there has been at least 4 other start-ups that totally sucked. I really felt going a liquid/atmospheric route would be best simply because that means I don't have to devote half my time to the bassline. Plus it gives me an excuse to use the hotpants loop which is about as close to pixie dust a drum loop can get. I could explain some of my choices made in the song, but I've always been told that if I have to explain a part of the song for others to like it, then I didn't do my job."

Interesting; I for one feel like artists can and should be able to describe their works without it feeling like compensation for something missing, but I do also see the "show don't tell"-ish point Mr. Day is making - like so many things, it's really contextual. Either way, explanation or no explanation, this here's a damn fine bit of dnb; while OCR sees a good deal of electronica, this feels like pretty "pure" dnb to me, which we actually don't see too much off. Gotta love the swirling stew of aliased intro arpeggios, filtered hat lead-in, and ridiculously deep sub-bass. There's also some pretty crazy spectral effects going on circa 1'20" - really slick, distant textures. One thing you'll notice is that the intro arpeggios actually get more emphasis throughout than the melody, which is a nice twist - the synths carrying the main theme are softer than most of the other elements, and sort of trace around the outlines of the theme without putting it in your face. This allows the drums, bass, and pads to do their thing, evolving and mutating in style.

Also interesting and even thought-provoking is the two-part quote that rounds the piece out, regarding languages dying out and being lost with each generation. I've actually thought about this topic before, and while I think the placement here suggests it's being articulated primarily to convey the loss, there's also a gain: more people speaking the same languages. Variety of language - while academically interesting and culturally rich - necessarily carries with it the implication that, at any given point in time on the planet, fewer people will be able to understand one another. I think it's important that all human knowledge be preserved, so from a pure archiving perspective, you do have to appreciate what's being lost, but I also feel like the process of language consolidation/mutation itself is quite natural. Of course, I say all that as an English-speaker, so take it with a grain of salt. Still, in terms of dropping pseudo-academic lecture-style quote samples into electronica tracks, you could do a lot worse, so I'm gonna have to give a thumbs-up on that front.

A lot of judges weighed in on this one, so I recommend reading the decision. When it comes to electronica, I tend to lean towards Vinnie's decisions as being closest to my own thoughts, and this was no exception, so here you go:

"Cool concept. I'm a fan of DnB remixes that take the original melody and mess with the underlying chords. In this mix, one gets the sense of hearing the original song through a haze. I agree with Larry that it's a little repetitive, but it didn't bother me that much. I hear enough changes in the drums - missing beats, extra snare hits, filtering, added shakers - to keep me interested. I wouldn't have minded a little more "foreground" to command attention, but I appreciate the haze effect you're going for, and there's a lot of movement in the background."

Pretty much; awesome to see The Vagrance follow-up the promise of his initial cut with some more excellent music. He's tread into some very familiar, oft-mixed territory and come up with something fresh that I think even the most jaded CT listeners should appreciate.


Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2015-12-18 23:04:47

I'm not really into the intro synth, but it's probably an IMO thing. I like the drum loop; nice energy. The buildup was a bit overwhelming, again an IMO thing. I like the reverbed synth; it brings some atmosphere. The sample sounds like a TED talk for some reason. Maybe it's par for the genre, but I feel like this is about a minute too long. It's decent.

Nobbynob Littlun
on 2011-11-20 19:36:18

Whenever my playlist comes to this song, I have to admit, I hit next on the vocal part. But it always gets me thinking about the discussion in this thread, and hey isn't that something ;)

But this time I did think of something. If I were to pick a quote that is relevant to Chrono Trigger and things being lost and forgotten, I'd probably go with Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time:

"The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again."

Or as I would phrase it: Events become memory, memory becomes history, history becomes legend, and legend myth; myth is forgotten until finally events rise to become memory once again.

edit: Bonus points if you could get Keith David to read it for you

on 2011-07-25 03:33:25

Excellent track, I keep thinking I've heard this theme enough but when it's this good it doesn't wear out.


The Vagrance
on 2010-09-07 00:54:19

This discussion pleases me, and the point of the voice sample is more pertaining to the world of Chrono Trigger (the idea that the world was once full of magic and that has since been lost and forgotten) than to make a commentary on our society, and yes it is from a speech from a linguist.

on 2010-09-02 00:09:13

Languages are living entities (almost). They change rapidly. The English we speak now would be hard for people even less than 200 years ago to understand. You could say that old English is dead, but we haven't lost anything else. Besides, old English would be inadequate today. Both language and culture evolve the same way creatures do. Survival of the fittest, and random mutation leading to diversity. You know, it's likely all languages share a common oldest root from when humans first invented it (if you believe "out of Africa"), which means we only ever lose language offshoots. In any case, if only one person speaks a language, no one really does, except to show off.

I think this music is excellent, but whenever it comes up, I can't help but be put off by the voice.

Also, while I'm here:

"However, seeing as how today's youth isn't particularly interested in the old ways [...]"

It's not youth today. It's youth always. Socrates complained about this sort of thing around 400 BC. And almost all youth grows out of it. Then they complain about the new youth. Why on earth do older people never remember that most of them were exactly like this when they were younger? They all worry endlessly, but it never ends up an issue.

Nobbynob Littlun
on 2010-08-04 19:11:24

Eh, it's not a derail, the artist is the one putting pseudo-philosophical jabbering in his ReMix, he can darn well expect some discussion on its merit :b

What you're describing there isn't really a problem with the death of a language. Rather, it's that one generation will not necessarily carry on the full culture of its preceding generations.

It's the same as if my mom died without passing on the recipe for her spaghetti sauce (hint: it's got grape jelly); or if I thought the recipe stunk and wasn't worth keeping (an aside: it's delicious). The language just happens to be one of the things being lost - an accessory to the other bits of culture lost. Of course the guy being quoted in this ReMix is making a big deal out of the language - he's a linguist.

If Cantonese and Mandarin disappear from Earth tomorrow, we'll still be talking about K'ung-fu-tzu's philosophies in English-speaking schools.

An example. Japanese American sansei often don't speak a word of Japanese, but still retain the important parts of their culture that defined the Japanese and made them successful as immigrants: strong work ethic, respect for social structure, deferred gratification, just for starters. And that's not even the obvious stuff (art, music, food, etc) that people focus on carrying over.

Eh, if any bits of culture are only being held by one or two elderly folk in all the world - if none of their descendants cared enough to carry it on - it can't have been that great.

Martin Penwald
on 2010-05-29 12:32:39

Not going to derail this thread, so I'll just say this much: every language is tied to a certain culture, but not every culture has had the fortune of being so prevalent that we're drowning in written examples and studies of it. If the last speaker of such a "small" language dies, the culture and all it's stories, myths and history die with it.

That is, unless you find people who learn, or at least write down and study, the culture. However, seeing as how today's youth isn't particularly interested in the old ways and rather sticks to "modern" languages, there just aren't enough people around to preserve the old languages. A concentrated effort by e.g. universities would be necessary to change this, but unfortunately, they rather continue to analyze Shakespeare for the 500th time.

Nobbynob Littlun
on 2010-05-28 19:06:10

Oddly enough, the bit that I posted about previously as bothering me is a non-issue. On the other hand, the quote about linguistics is bugging me. For one, there's the clear counter-argument that DJP brings up in his review. Then there's the fact that it has a preaching quality to it - but (A) it comes off as sounding very uncertain of exactly what the point of said preaching is, and (B) what exactly am I supposed to do about this disappearing languages thing?

Assuming I even care. Somehow I doubt that any centuries-old philosophies or bodies of knowledge have only an isolated old codger's language for their sole vessel. Languages are after all merely tools with which to communicate thoughts; there is very little in the way of knowledge directly tied to them. I would expect those centuries-old bodies of knowledge got carried through to a more used language, along with the new generations of children moving over.

And of course, that quote says nothing of the births of sub-languages that are developed by groups with specialized interests. Thus, suppose a new generation are leaving a dying language behind. Is there anything that the dying language can communicate that the new language can't? They will most likely carry it with them, adding to the diversity and robustness of that new language.

What I'm saying is, I find myself rolling my eyes at the little speech in this song so consistently that, despite my enjoyment of the music itself, I find myself pressing the skip button as soon as the talking starts.

CC Ricers
on 2010-03-06 02:15:40

Nice one, well you finally got your DnB mix in there, man. The drums are beefy while not sounding out of place with the rest of the instruments. It does sound muddy in some spots but this is probably the best that could've been done. The droning sounds set a good atmosphere and the mix changes up just in time without letting it linger for too long. It's a nice moody piece that takes me back to the atmospheric DnB days. Great stuff.

on 2009-12-22 01:46:16

The intro feels like it was cut right in the middle of something else, I'm not sure if I like how suddenly it starts. Past that though, this one is all about mood and ambience. It's impressive in the aspect that it can somehow do pretty much the same thing for 5 minutes and still hold my attention. It's great study music though, and that scholarly feeling is only heightened by the quotes. Yes, it's cheesy, as OA pointed out, but the message is poignant and you integrated them fairly well into the song.

All of your songs feel grungy and dark, yet relaxing at the same time... this one epitomizes that feel :-) Excellent interpretation!

Martin Penwald
on 2009-07-15 13:05:47

Oh hey, I remember this one from the WIP board. While the source isn't exactly fresh, the arrangement takes it into a new direction. Very nice atmospheric dnb remix.

I might be one of the few people who actually likes the quotes you put into the song, even though they are quite sad (btw, I strongly disagree with what djp wrote about languages etc in the write-up, to the point where I felt physically sick reading it, but I'm not going to fag up this thread).

Nice work, and I hope to hear more from you in the near future.

on 2009-07-13 11:00:54

I'm definately a melody fan, so this mix isn't entirely what I dig. I like the concept of having the melody in the 'haze' (a good term for this mix), but my ears keep asking for more of the main line. Take this with a grain of salt, of course.

I like the combo of the drums with the arpeggiated line. They both compliment each other nicely.

Not my thing, but a good job reguardless.

on 2009-07-01 16:41:35

I dig the hazy atmosphere, always room for another Zeal mix if you ask me! :lol:

Nobbynob Littlun
on 2009-06-30 18:10:56

Gets almost a wall of sound quality at 1:20... I guess that's kind of the idea, but I think it was pushed too far. Actually, I think it's good to have this temporary increase in "density", but if you reduce the volume to match... and then pop the volume right back to normal when the "density" returns to normal at around 1:28, giving it kind of a BAM! effect, that'd be cool.

Right after this bit, there's a sort of vox type thing going on.. starting at 1:38 or so. It's playing the lead part. I think it would have been really cool if you had used samples of monastic chants or overtone singing.

on 2009-06-30 01:21:38

This one's been on repeat on my playlist since it was released. I'm digging the somewhat psychadelic vibe I get from this one. Great music to drive, or work to.

Excelent job. Can't wait to hear more of you. If you can do this to a (very) well known track, I'd like to see what you can do on something a bit less covered! :)