ReMix: Dark Cloud 2 "Before Everything Happened"
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Right then - no doubt many of you are ensconced in FFXIII and can't be bothered, but VGM fan arrangements wait for no man! Or woman! Fresh on the heels of Nubioso's memorable Majora debut, we've got another newcomer - Flexstyle (aka Mike Birch) - going where no mixer has gone before and providing our first ReMix of Dark Cloud 2:
"This came about after a request in the forum. Some newbie (who, I don't believe, ever posted again) requested that the intro song from Dark Cloud 2 be remixed. I took a listen, and loved the original. I decided I must do a remix of it, and this is what came out. If it sounds similar to any of deadmau5's work, this is entirely intentional! I was trying to throw a nod to Faxing Berlin here, with the intro piano and the stacked chords. However, I tried to take it and make it my own, too.
I've never played Dark Cloud 2 (or any related game, for that matter), but I thoroughly enjoyed the intro music and I hope this remix does it justice!"
A couple things strike me about the above submission email:
- Somewhat lol at Mike - who is himself a newcomer (at least in terms of being posted) - using the word "newbie".... BUT:
- OMG a request actually being filled, and resulting in a posted mix?! This doesn't happen often enough! A lot of artists who are caught up in working on half a dozen album projects at the same time should take a break and see about filling some requests instead - refreshing!
- Also interesting to see that the source material genuinely spoke to him even though he hadn't played the actual game; this happens more often than you'd think, and it always surprises me how impressive the results are!
Veteran judge Vigilante always cracks me up, and I'm looking forward to hanging with him at PAX East at the end of the month. He writes:
"Didn't know the source, but after listening, I think you've done an excellent job with it... The piano is really tasteful. The vibe reminds me of that Orbital song (halcyon etc. etc.) that was at the end of every movie that came out in 1995. Impressively done. A dance tune with a groove that never freaking changes, yet I never get bored or want to pull my teeth out from the drums I think the secret to this is that the hi-hat is really subdued, and the mix isn't too bright or brittle."
Of course, as any diehard Hackers fan (hack the planet!) can tell you, "Halcyon" was at the beginning of the film, not the end, and served as the backdrop for Zero Cool's arrest and sentencing. Afterwards, he turned into Sick Boy from Trainspotting and then traveled to the city so that he could hack the Gibson by flying around abstract purple CG cities on his fly laptop with a P6 chip, which is six times faster than the Pentium, while macking on Jolie. Consider yourself informed. Larry, who's been out of action lately due to a faulty laptop power cord he JUST got replaced, adds:
"As for the meat of the arrangement, it was great stuff, and a great example of using using relatively sparse sounds, but producing it to have a very full sound. Nice groove, and nice dynamics. I enjoyed listening to it in the car, it's pretty good driving music. While this was relatively conservative, there was definitely meaningful interpretation beyond the genre adaptation. Props for taking this theme and skillfully adapting it to an electronic sound, Mike, this is a strong debut. Keep 'em coming!"
Really smart electronica, in terms of the arrangement, and I dig the production with the modulated reverb levels and knee-jerk kick/bassline reflex groove. In terms of debuts, you couldn't ask for much more - not only did Flexstyle selflessly fill a user request for a previously unmixed game that he himself had never played, he was truly inspired and put together an electronica mix that goes above and beyond "solid" and really seals the deal. Great stuff, absolutely looking forward to more!
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