"It's been a while (2+ years?) since my last submission. I'm still remixing and there will definitely be some older mixes for people to hear once the Xenogears remix project is released. This is the first mix I've done since putting my head down on the Xenogears OST."
Youngjin's stuff is always amazing, but this mellow, almost transcendental Final Fantasy VIII arrangement of 'Breezy' is, I feel, unique & special among the artist's formidable library of fantastic game mixes. It may not have absolutely pristine production, which is where some of the judges aimed their critiques, but I really dig the overall vibe. Mr. Hahn knows what he's doing, so the thin, somewhat dirty lead piano here is definitely an intentional call on his part; shimmering ambient pads and gated guitar swirl around the lead, while the (very cool) chord progression is consistenty stated by harp arpeggios, stage left. The piece has a pensive, open, meditative feel to it, which jives with the mix title - feels almost like we're traveling through time, seasons are changing, etc. Jesse writes:
"I'm definitely fine with the guitar sound, as well as the piano. Clearly doesn't need to sound realistic. Putting the drums way left is an interesting decision. I love the arrangement. There's a little mud in the low mids; a bit washy, but it's really not egregious. There's a ton of cool stuff going on. Love the backwards strings."
To clarify, while Vinnie objected to the unrealistic nature of the guitar in his decision, I think part of his problem was that it was also very similar to the guitar patch used in the source. It can definitely be problematic when mixes employ instrumentation that doesn't differentiate them enough from the source material, but given the very minimal instrumentation of the original, in this instance I think such concerns are easily outweighed. Youngjin's not lazy, so I take his instrumentation choices as very conscious decisions to either match or deviate from the original in a calculated fashion. He's also not what I would call "gimmicky" - the coda ending here could, in the hands of many (or even just in a different context), come off as being "nifty" or (worse) superfluous, but I really think it makes complete sense in this instance based on HOW Ziwtra has dealt with the source.
I love the space this mix creates, above anything else; it has a distinct feel to it that strikes me as unique relative to both the artist's own work and the site at large, and left me feeling refreshed, calm, & clear of mind. If your life has a lot of clutter, indecision, or haze to it, this is the type of track that seems like it might help lift the fog; great work from Ziwtra.
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Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Time > Duration: Long
- 7,957,896 bytes
- Size: 7,957,896 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: f92d141517f7ddc4e9ee526c78141395
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