ReMix: NiGHTS into dreams... 'Celestial Entrance'
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Streaming preview on YouTube
Originally intended for Lucid Dreaming, fate conspired against the inclusion of this mix, but we can still enjoy it on its own - all the more musical goodness for NiGHTS fans, methinks. While not quite as dramatic (or boastfully titled) as their previous collab on Chrono Trigger, this follow-up partnership between Brandon Strader & halc again melds the former's guitar/organic approach with the latter's chiptronica textures + beats for a lush-yet-crunchy soundscape. BS is kinda like the milk to Drew's Rice Krispies, though I doubt you could take that simile too far. Actually, this was originally a Strader solo flight, but halc jumped on board when judges had beef with the first submitted version, and then there was a resub, and then another, which is what I'm posting today, so this one's seen some revisions. Brandon originally wrote:
"I have never played a NiGHTS game before, but was asked to create this song by an acquaintance. The original song is very short, and only has the one key change in it. Not a lot going on in it. As a result of this, I went a little overboard with the arrangement while still staying true to the original. I added a lot of extra "flair", especially in the percussion. I recorded live bongos, tambourine, wedding bells, maracas, and I even went as far as using a coffee can as a percussive instrument. I don't usually write in this style, but I thought the contrast between real instruments (percussive and guitar, bass) against the electronic ones (everything else) was an interesting conflict, to say the least. Also, the auto-tuned whistling at the beginning was pretty fun, and a nod towards the hybridization of real and electronic."
So even before Drew was involved, this was envisioned as an electro-acoustic chimera. There were also originally baby giggle FX, but nearly everyone found them out of place and slightly creepy, apparently; Shariq writes:
"Babies are creepy as hell. :\ Nice to hear the source tune actually brought to the forefront this time around. Fairly conservative, but a nice soundscape, so it's not bad at all. Cool percussion too."
I think it's quite fortunate that, even though Brandon got a lot of feedback from a lot of people and implemented all or most of it, this doesn't sound like a Frankensteined, design-by-committee arrangement. Sometimes, with that many changes going on and that much input, you run the risk of compromising the end result by moving towards the lowest common denominator, but in this instance I think the final track is cleaner, more coherent, and really just a mellow, pleasant jam that expands on the source in all the right ways. Props to Brandon for sticking with it, bettering it, and again employing the multitalents of halc to produce a polished & transporting finished track!
Let me start off by saying that this is very different for Brandon's style.
Halc pulls some really warm synths out from under his belt. They make me feel calm.
The calmness is only helped by Brandon's guitar. When Halc brings out his awesome synth lead, it contrasts.
But as contrasting as it is, I still feel calm.
This mix is great to chill to. 'Nuff said.
- Tuberz McGee on December 25, 2011
- Crossing on December 13, 2011
- Crulex on December 13, 2011
It's a nice chill mix that you can zone out to. The guitar is a nice touch to the song, as well as the chiptunes that Drew so loves to add. The song somehow just feels so short, but part of that might be how well the atmosphere is nailed here. I do think I would like to see a little more though.
- Bahamut on December 12, 2011
Anyways, Brandon Strader is secretly becoming one of my new favorite ReMixers, and this ReMix is no exception. Relaxing and soothing, this one would have fit right in with Lucid Dreaming, and I consider it an unofficial addition that really helps me sleep at night.
- HitoriJaNai on December 6, 2011
See, this is the result of constantly pushing through to make sure a track sees the light of day. With some pretty guitar playing on your end and some well-filtered synth writing and bit-crushed additions throughout, it can be seen as a great outing for both of you. I have to say it kinda dragged a bit in comparison to "The Last Schala Mix Ever", but that can be down to the source tune as well - difficult to do [i]anything[/i] with something less than 15 seconds long, so mad props there.
I may have to say though to watch your timing sometimes. You do keep telling me that I have to be realistic even with percussion synching, but on your end it does get awkward with stuff like the coffee can (?) being slightly behind the synth in the intro. But with all the tracks you've been working on lately, I'm sensing that you're steadily working on those improvements and are pushing them up tenfold with newer material.
Once again, a solid effort from you two! And let's not let the 'Strhalc' movement die off any time soon :)
- Rexy on December 2, 2011
But even once the lead guitar enters, the song still stays very chilled and relaxed.
Really enjoyed the chiptune-ish breakdown around 2:40.
- Martin Penwald on October 5, 2011
- Fridge on September 19, 2011
Edit: This post was intended to give insight into the history of the song, not to kill the review thread xD... oops
- Brandon Strader on August 19, 2011
- Kuolema on August 19, 2011
- djpretzel on August 19, 2011