ReMix: Final Fantasy VIII "Estharian Airs"
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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.
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