ReMix: Chrono Trigger "The Last Schala Mix Ever"
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The last 'Schala' mix... EVAR?!? Yeah, right, and Duke Nukem Forever will come out this year... oh wait. While I'm relatively certain artists will continue sending in unique, worthwhile arrangements of this theme for a good, long time, that doesn't stop this collab between halc and BS from being a great, distinct take on one of VGM's "greatest hits" - Brandon writes:
"I was sittin' around wasting time as usual, and suddenly I had the idea to make a Schala mix... yeah yeah, I know... Everyone gets one, that's my motto. Keep an ear out for my Terra and Ice Cap in the near future. What actually inspired this was that I really enjoyed and fell in love with the clean tones that my 7-string made. I used some different pickups to record each part. There's the one melody that goes throughout the whole source played completely with harmonics, the lead parts, and some nice rhythm parts. The harmonizing chords are my favorite. I made a 4:30 or so long mp3 pretty quick, and decided to send it to halc to see if he wanted to do anything with it... he can tell the rest of the story!"
"I whipped up all of the electronic elements and some of the percussion, and also mixed the track. Brandon always has lots of creative ideas in his arrangements and so I quite enjoy expanding on his work. Please enjoy this Schala mix. :P"
Well since you asked so nicely... The mix of clean guitar tones and similarly pure, warm synths REALLY works well, and the crunchy, chill/urban beat that Drew added is spot-on. It's not really a mystery why 'Schala' attracts so many arrangers - it's a beautiful, memorable melody that stands out even among other great RPG themes from then and now. Some might say it's been mixed to death, but personally I still love Beethoven's 9th every time I hear it, and I think the "classics" of VGM have similar durability and lasting appeal. This arrangement isn't too awful wild, but it's not too literal, either... I'd say it leans, quite effectively, on the relationship between the electronic & plucked/strummed textures, playing both off of the snap-crackle-pop drums, and works more due to the texture & emotion employed than anything else. Vinnie's decision was short, but I think he summed it up well:
"The source was pretty marginalized after 2:29, but with the Schala pattern audible almost the rest of the time, there was no question of what I was listening to a remix of. I liked the approach a lot; we don't have a lot of gentle remixes on this site, and one that combines chiptunes and clean electric guitar is rarer still. The execution was excellent and the song came across smooth as a sunstone."
Yes. Bottom line, don't let the cheeky (cocky?) title fool ya, this is a damn good mix that does gentle-but-soothing justice upon well-tread, but still amazing, source material.
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