ReMix: Final Fantasy VIII "Estharian Airs"

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Final Fantasy VIII

We'll be working on getting our Uematsu interview out in some form; sorta been slacking on the interviews, as we've still got our chat with Hiroki Kikuta from LAST year at Otakon to publish, but we'll make it happen. In the meantime, Fishy goes guitarless (gasp!) with some FF8 prog rock:

"I sense that a small pigeon-hole has formed around me what with all this guitar flying about. I hope to close it one day... unless of course this is rejected, in which case that hole will be immediately filled with an impervious and eternal pigeon.

So Silence and Motion is one of the weirdest but most awesome FF tunes in my opinion. On first listen this may sound a lot more conservative then it is as I didn't play with the structure at all really. I did play around with substitution chords, harmony and general orchestration a lot though. There's also a bunch of reverse stuff around 'cause I barely know any tricks that aren't whammy bar related. I played the majority of the keys in live, which is why they are out of time and heavy handed - but it's on purpose so it's totally cool."

Nobody puts Fishy in a corner; if he just kept playing with his whammy bar all the time, he'd grow hair on his hands and develop lopsided arm muscles, so I think a departure from his usual guitar-centered pieces is a good change of pace. Besides just the instrumentation, this arrangement AND source are a bit of a diversion, with some really funky, interesting transitions and constructs. OA is bald, and I agree with him:

"Really classy stuff, it's definitely more of an expansion than a reinterpretation, but there is a lot of backing material that really is a fun upgrade. It takes the sort of quirky original and makes it into a key-based prog epic. Strong production, great arrangement, very nice vision, solid performances."

The first couple seconds reminded me of American Beauty, and then the descending arpeggio at 2'40" reminds me of The Goonies; the backwards processing isn't gimmicky and gives the ending a sense of uncertainty and fragility. Modulations make this piece feel crystalline & cavernous, and I like the prog touches Cain throws in & the meaty bass he's anchored the track with. AnSo is Swedish, and I'm okay with that:

"Nice of you to use the marimba, more people should use the marimba! Some nice instruments in general, bass sounds ridiculously round but edgy in a good way. Good countermelodies all around, clever takes on the source. Did I mention the organ is a stroke of genius? The organ is a stroke of genius."

Smart, polished, AND enjoyable arrangement, which is a nice trifecta to rock... this is our third FF8 ReMix this year, and it's another great one; good to see this OST getting more arrangement love, and kudos to Cain for putting down the axe, grabbing hold of his organ, and letting the magic happen. You know it.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Crulex
on 2012-11-05 11:26:05

I've been running up on a lot of ReMixes where ReMixers seem to be mixing in a different way than they usually do, and it's pretty refreshing every now and then. Fishy rocks this FF8 track even without his guitar and that organ was great. Good production on the sounds, especially in the drumming. It's pretty impressive to me when a Final Fantasy 8 track is mixed like this, so well done, Fishy.

Bahamut
on 2011-12-15 09:30:32

Fishy without guitar? Say it aint so!

This mix sits in an interesting place. Not only does it lack the guitars, but it goes in a direction not heard by most here from Cain. It's a peaceful mix, but it has a serious feel of moving towards something. The keyboard synths really add a quirky feel to the song. I'm not sure how I feel overall about it, but it is certainly an intriguing listen.

Rexy
on 2011-12-15 03:33:47

When I first heard this, I was all "wut, what's happened to Fishy's guitars?!" and then as I started to get more into it, I started to gel into it more simply for its peaceful nature taken to it.

Evaluating it properly though, while it does indeed to be a straightforward adaptation at first glance, there's been enough done with the background writing to definitely give it substance, between the chord substitution at the beginning, some very classy drum writing, and an additional guitar solo thrown in at 2:10 that may still follow closely with the source material, but the tone done to it managed to fit appropriately with the feel at hand. Even the ending I thought was neat with the gentle builddown, before the strange reversed sounds came in to give it more of an eerie atmosphere as the track was closed off.

So while it is indeed a safe arrangement, to see the style handled with a great amount of execution was still worth the payoff. The only thing I could've really suggested though in regards to the mixing was to probably bring up the guitar just a little bit more for added clarity, and maybe some slackening on the compression for the ride cymbals, but even then they still sounded fine with the rest of the instrumentation really pulling their weight throughout.

Hence, a more experimental Fishy (sorry, Cain) mix in regards to style, but it definitely came together in a remarkable way. Nice work, and we hope to see what you got for 2012 :)

Melbu Frahma
on 2011-12-14 01:33:32

So, confession: FF8's OST is actually one of my least favorite Uematsu scores - certainly my least favorite of those FF games I've played (5-10 and Tactics). While there's definitely some songs that stick out as gems among the rough in it, (Balamb Garden and Fisherman's Horizon coming immediately to mind) as a whole it rather disappointed me.

"Silence and Motion," however, is one of the those tracks that definitely stands out for me; it's an extremely quirky, unique piece that captures the strangeness of Esthar almost perfectly. Fishy manages to capture that quirkiness and preserve it in this remix, while at the same time managing to develop it a bit further - and most interestingly in a way that is very different from what I usually think of as a "Fishy" remix, showing a great range from the artist. Great part writing and great choices of sounds all throughout; if I had to make a negative critique, it'd be that the pause around the 2:50 pointd didn't completely sell me on it. Otherwise, a great piece.

Pogo
on 2011-09-07 22:51:11

I love marimbas, and I love Silence and Motion.

When I first played this part of the game, the goofy sound effects made me completely miss everything else about the song. The Piano Collections set me straight a few years later, and since then it's been one of my favorite songs from the soundtrack.

This is going straight into the rotation.

Martin Penwald
on 2011-08-24 15:16:27

FF8's soundtrack is a strange beast; I remember not being impressed with it at all back when I first played the game. However, when I went through it again about 2 or 3 years ago, there were actually some songs I enjoyed, this being one of them.

Very interesting arrangement, and a very, very nice sounding and well-used organ.

DimeTower
on 2011-08-18 00:55:02

This track shows impressive range and depth. God knows I have rocked out to Aire Tam Break and Who's That Child (and if you haven't heard those, run, don't walk, to your nearest link), but the fact that this is so enjoyable really impresses me. Well done Fishy!!

Nebula
on 2011-08-09 14:05:38

This mix put such a big grin on my face. The FF8 soundtrack is full of gems, and I couldn't be happier to see this one represented here. It's as weird and wonderful as the original.

eshman
on 2011-08-07 16:55:10

This organ just wants to grab you by the throat and scream at you until your ears bleed! I'm really enjoying it and it's nice that someone knows how to actually use it. I'm also enjoying all the other pieces that fit nicely into this pie of a remix you have here. Keep 'em coming!

-Dan
on 2011-08-04 14:34:38

Very sweet and pleasant...

Congratz Fishy! You did it again man!

KnightOfTheRound
on 2011-08-04 13:47:53

Killer track man... I'm really diggin this!

evktalo
on 2011-08-04 11:55:54

Pleasant and tasty, I'm enjoying this a lot right now on repeat.

--Eino

Brandon Strader
on 2011-08-03 18:27:30

This is a sweet mix, I really enjoyed it. Silence and Motion is a favorite song from FF8. I'm really glad to see it covered. But you're missing about 18 minutes!

urdailywater
on 2011-08-03 18:05:58

Ahhhhh Fishy!!!!!

Awesome.

Not gonna lie, this is totally not what I expected (seeing as I clicked on the youtube link first), but I'm not complaining. I absolutely love these light piano mixes. The synths were pleasent.. and overall the song was a kind of weird happy, if that makes any sense. It's almost wavy at some points, which is very cool. Great synth choices! Usually the ones you mix in are great, but this synth work is a step above!

I really like the drums especially, they're mix very well, and the playing is absolutely superb!

I definitely see myself playing this a lot throughout the coming months. Even longer than that. Great job, Fishy! :D

edit: I'd like to note, I'm pretty sure after reading the writeup and stuff, I mixed up the organ with a synth. That just makes it better, though.

djpretzel
on 2011-08-03 17:55:37

What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.