ReMix: Touhou Koumakyou: The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil "Devil's Advocate"

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Touhou Koumakyou: The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil

Alright, back to MIXPOST... we last saw PrototypeRaptor kicking our collective ass with the absolutely epic Sonic 2 "Chemixtrixx" mix back in July, but now it's time for something completely different. Mr. Paulsen shows considerable depth & range and takes on some Touhou, giving us our first mix of Touhou Koumakyou: The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil. You gotta love these Touhou game titles... Perfect Cherry Blossom? Phantasmagoria of Flower View? Sure, why not. PR writes:

"ProtoypeRaptor here with a radically different mix than my previous sub: an orchestral remix of UN Owen Was Her?, the theme of an extra level boss in Embodiment of Scarlet Devil, of the Touhou series. I've tried to take what was mentioned on my last orchestral work and try to correct it and, well, embarrassingly enough, there was a switch thrown when I mixed the old one down. It just goes to show to double check the system EQ before you finish something up....sheesh.

Anyway, this orchestration is heavily inspired by Danny Elfman's works (specifically Beetlejuice/Men in Black) and tries to capture the playfully evil nature of a 500 year old vampire child named Flandre as only Elfman can do. While it's not a very complex, intricate piece, I do find it conjures up the dark, brooding, most definitely black and white image of imminent death at the hands of a psychotic who looks like she's 12 quite effectively.

Also she has lasers. Good luck with that."

Nice. I've personally always felt like the Men in Black soundtrack was a watered-down version of Beetlejuice, which is probably my favorite Elfman score - I remember seeing it in theaters and being blown away by the opening credits music, with its prominent & devilish clarinet and bass clarinet part writing. This mix is PERFECT for Halloween, as it's both epic AND really rather spooky. Jagged, staccato piano underscores creepy female vocalizing before things get busy at 0'40" with full choir, triplet-happy piano rhythms and dark, resonating percussion. This might win a superlative for "Most Triplets in a ReMix," but it works. Check out the eery, spine-tingling build at 1'30", then the flagrantly Elfman pattern that ensues at 1'37", complete with brass flares and, when things drop out, playful solo clarinet, oboe, AND bassoon writing. THANK YOU, MR. RAPTOR. Pizzicato (and what also sounds like Bartók pizzicato) is used wisely, and things continue with impish, evil glee as mallets get the spotlight.

Sometimes orchestral mixes are vaguely Elfmanesque, or somewhat sound like John Williams, James Horner, etc. There's nothing subtle about this piece, and the influence is flamboyant and impeccably executed. The diverse instrumentation and specifically the use of mixed solo winds and heavy chromaticism are spot-on. Some folks might enjoy this ReMix on one level, but I've got a feeling a lot of listeners will be grinning ear-to-ear like I was, hearing how Jonathan has channeled his influences so effectively. Whether you've played any Touhou or not, this is a dark, gothic, Elfmanly orchestral playground of an arrangement that's seasonally appropriate and completely distinct; awesome work from PR!

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Black_Doom
on 2015-12-14 14:27:36

Shit, those vocals at the beginning sound downright creepy, the piano is simply incredible, and the whole mix is just crazy! This track can easily be a theme of some mad charachter, haha. Love it :)

Drachefly
on 2013-09-23 20:09:07

Okay, after listening to this an additional dozen times or so, I've got to say, the percussion from 1:54 to 2:06 has definitely not grown on me. It sounds really out of place - the instrument just sounds wrong in this context. What would do better - wood block? Xylophone? Metal block? I don't know, but that just stands out and breaks my immersion.

Drachefly
on 2013-09-20 15:42:10

Heeey! Nice!

I love orchestral, and I love really busy, and I love creepy, and this does all of them well.

Similar reasons for my liking Prancing Dad.

XPRTNovice
on 2013-09-11 13:20:21

This just popped up for the first time in my random, massive OCR playlist, and I really enjoyed it. Very emotionally evocative.

Kuolema
on 2011-05-29 19:45:50

This is awesome. Such a change from PrototypeRaptor's other stuff, but really cool.

The voice at the beginning (Singing? Chanting? I'm not sure what to call it...) really reminds me of the score for American McGee's Alice (Which is awesome!).

The mix really does have a lot of energy though, and a very creepy tone. Not really what I was expecting from an orchestral piece, but probably better :).

shadeslayer77
on 2011-05-03 21:51:23

This mix took my breath away! Absolutely haunting. Sir you are extremely talented.

Chernabogue
on 2011-01-02 06:37:10

I learned the source thanks to some random McDonald's videos on YouTube. And two days ago, I listened to this one on my player.

And I was blown away by this arrangement. This track is a pure madness. As other people said, it sounds like Master Elfman and would fit in a Tim Burton film, haha.

I love PrototypeRaptor's electro stuff, but he proved he can make some f***in' great orchestra arrangement.

DragonAvenger
on 2010-12-19 10:50:08

Talk about good orchestration! PR really pulls out all the good stuff for this mix. I love all the different sections that each have their own flavor, but everything works for a good whole. Definitely a keeper.

Emunator
on 2010-12-17 23:59:08

The thing about PrototypeRaptor is that he's an incredibly diverse remixer, but he ALWAYS gives it 110% and pretty much goes all out in whatever genre he chooses. This is no exception, it's one of the fullest and most intense orchestral arrangements I've heard, and to think that it was adapted from such a quirky and upbeat source... pretty mindblowing all-around.

Moguta
on 2010-12-10 23:28:10

Holy carp, this is definitely up there with the most creative symphonic pieces on the site. I don't think there's anything else on OCR quite like it.

The intro piano simply gives me shivers. I can just envision the pianists' fingers dancing wildly over the ivories. The whole piece has a very motion-inducing rhythm, helped no doubt by the quick bursts of short notes flying here there in loopy patterns. And Prototype even emphasizes the dynamics, with instrument swells that breathe vivid life into the work... Color me enthralled.

Crulex
on 2010-12-07 13:54:07
8-) Oh epic hell. Joy and happiness abound, this is awesome! Freaking UN Owen, one of the best, if not the best Touhou song there is, is here ReMixed in a orchestral Elfman style that combines darkness and the zany spookiness that this style is know for? PrototypeRaptor, you win. You just fucking win. :nicework: I really can't say it any other way. A cool treat for Halloween, even if this review is about a month and a half behind. Oh well, maybe this will help open the flood gates so we can get more Touhou goodness on the site.
OA
on 2010-11-24 08:39:02

really nice rendition of a pretty solid theme. I liked the sequencing a lot, and the flow was excellent. Nice work!

Level 99
on 2010-11-15 15:13:58

Oh, hey, Mr. Elfman. What you doing round this neck of the woods in OCR territory? You've come to remix video game music? And you're not Danny Elfman? Well, shit, coulda fooled me.

I will say this about PR: he's versatile across genres and knows how to achieve the style through instrumentation, arrangement, AND production. Many artists struggle to achieve the same consistency across genres, but PR makes it look effortless. Really, I could have been fooled that this was indeed unused music from a movie Elfman scored were it not for my familiarity with the source because of

.

I'm finding it very hard to level any criticism against this, because it really is that good. Maybe the random female vocalist that sometimes comes in is a bit over the top, but it fits. I got nothing else besides that.

Friggin' awesome.

Acolyte
on 2010-11-12 21:37:18

This is on par in composition I feel with some of my Elfman favorites.

I have never heard the source material, but with no memory or nostalgia tied to this, i still love it. "Perfect in all that it is" is how i describe a piece like this.

Like I said I am not familiar with the source but as its own piece, to me this was just really something else.

Snow Taradien
on 2010-11-07 21:19:47

I found this mix to be really quite well done, that said I'm a bit of a sucker for Touhou music.

I'd always disliked Embodiment of Scarlet Devil as far as the music went, but every now and then somebody like you comes along and proves to me that it CAN be really good.