ReMix: Xenogears 'Zeno Paradox'
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Streaming preview on YouTube
It brings me great honor to announce the release of OC ReMix's 15th album, Humans + Gears: Xenogears ReMixed!
You want some quick links? Sure thing - already gave you the homepage, but you can grab the whole album (MP3 + FLAC) using the bittorrent distribution, comment on the overall album on the comments thread, check out José's super-amazing trailer, and please do help us spread the word via the Digg article and anywhere else you can think of. And now some words from director Avaris, aka Shaun Wallace:
"Humans and Gears was a lengthy undertaking. The project began in the summer of 2006. Many Xenogears arrangement albums have been released in the past. The albums tries to re-envision the soundtrack in a new yet familiar way. We set out to create two unique albums in one. The first album features songs with a focus on natural elements and a "Human" touch. The second album is dark in tone and electronic in texture, symbolising the fear and destruction of "Gears." Artists were given complete creative freedom to express and reimagine the game in a new sonic format. We hope the listeners relive part of the amazing story and music that is Xenogears through this album. Thank you to all of the artists for your hard work and relentless dedication towards completion of this wonderful project."
Love the concept, definitely good to encourage stylistic variety, and after listening to the finished product, I believe the original vision behind the album was fully realized. This was another album that was in gestation for awhile - I remember Taucer telling me about Ziwtra's badass tracks for the project WAY back when, and now that I've heard them, I certainly agree with his appraisal. To start the project off with a bang, however, we've got E-Bison, who hasn't had a mix posted since 2006 himself. His two existing mixes on the site are both absolute classics, though, so I was looking forward to hearing what he cooked up for H&G. The artist writes:
"By the time I was asked to do this project most of the straightforward themes had been snapped up, which was a good thing because I ended up working with something I wouldn't have chosen on my own. A Light from the Netherworld was created for the games intro sequence and acts as an overture, touching on many of the game's prominent themes and textures.
I picked some of my favorite themes, added some others and did a fairly liberal interpretation of the materials. Despite the changes and additions, the spirit of the track draws heavily from the Xenogears palette."
The initial intro hit, with what sounds like Mongolian throat singing, grabbed my attention RIGHT away, and the choral work that follows reminded me of Kenji Kawai's score to the original Ghost in the Shell film. Things get more electronic later on, with some sick gated processing of the chorus circa 2'16" - very cool. It's the perfect introduction to the overall album, because it actually has a nice mix of "Humans" elements incorporated into a "Gears" framework. Shaun writes:
"I was really stoked when Eliot started working on this track. I remember people on the project, and myself included, being blown away by the track's level of creativity and execution. This track signifies what we were trying to achieve with this project. Mixes that focused on creativity and catchy sounds while paying homage to the amazing soundtrack that is Xenogears. I cannot thank Eliot enough for his patience and professional attitude in this mix that truly 'stands tall' in comparison to other Xenogears mixes."
Love that tribal percussion breakdown ending, too; everything about this mix is rich, dynamic, and dramatic. It serves as a wonderful overture to the album, which has a diverse and creative collection of songs arranged by an equally diverse and creative group of artists. 2009 has been one of the very best years for this site, with Summoning of Spirits, Echoes, and now Humans + Gears; I am continually blown away by what our community is able to accomplish.
Check out the Square Enix Music Online interview with Shaun to learn more about the background & creation of this fantastic album. Major props to Avaris and the entire team of artists behind Humans + Gears - it took awhile, but it was worth the wait!
- Crulex on April 9, 2012
DJP describes it as Mongolian throat singing-esque. It reminds me a lot of what the background music would be for a nature documentary panning across some sun blasted salt flat. Either way, it's absolutely stunning and captivating.
Yeah, I know this was taken from the "Gears" album, but I really love the choir. It really gives this track a human feel to it, and there's probably something to be said for that.
But this mix is dripping with personality, and it does a lot of just unconventional things, like mixing ethnic/choral aspects with a dark industrial feel. And the transition and melding between the two is flawless. This is such a wonderful track because there is nothing else out there like it.
- 42 on December 4, 2010
- phantasia on November 8, 2010
i love it
- delbuster on July 2, 2010
Reading about the amount of work that goes into your songs is pretty insane, Eliot. It's a shining example of how you can take a great-sounding idea and turn it into a great-sounding song. One of my favorite songs, period!
- Emunator on December 21, 2009
Good work E-Bison. :-)
- Sir_Downunder on November 16, 2009
- Pachi Risu on November 12, 2009
- Catharsis on November 12, 2009
- blckmgvivi on November 12, 2009
Great emotive instrumentation, excellent usage of ethnic voices, & overall good progression between parts to keep the listener in it. (I immediately pick up on the CT reference thrown in there ;). The change-up at 2:14 was especially effective given it's unexpected, but is a great contrast to the previous sections.
Overall a track I'm still looping on my mp3 player and a great way to lead out the Gears disc.
- Nutritious on November 1, 2009
I definitely thought of Kenji Kawai's scores when listening to this though. Beautiful stuff.
- Dr.Flintlock on October 27, 2009
- metalsnakejuice on October 23, 2009
- Bahamut on October 22, 2009
- Salluz on October 22, 2009
Yup. All the elements had to be sliced up individually and put back together at a different tempo and sequence.
Kind of like the amen break in drum and bass. The drums are just... more Japanese.
- E-Bison on October 21, 2009