ReMix: Wild Arms "Telepath Tower"
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We come to the end of our ten-mix Wild Arms flood/extravaganza with a piece from trance producer Mike Saint-Jules - I'll let Jade make the introduction:
"As a big fan of not just electronic music, but of Tiësto, Armin van Buuren and Ferry Corsten, I'd like to announce the artist who is signed on their labels has joined us at OC ReMix. Thanks to Global-Trance for asking him to join this project and bLiNd for mastering, there's now a known producer on this site. I was delighted to hear Mike Saint-Jules was a big fan of Wild Arms, so he chose to make a club mix for us. Please be well informed that this was the "outsider secret" I didn't declare for 2 years. More producers should remix video game music, so let this be the first step to change!"
VERY cool breakthrough, and of course I wholeheartedly agree! I'd like to personally thank both Jade & Aaron for making this happen, and of course Mike himself for being a groovy, JRPG-loving guy who just happens to also make some world-class trance. Boundaries and preconceptions about who can & can't do what are antiquated - in this day and age, artists from all backgrounds AND markets should feel free to follow their hearts & inspirations, and if that includes VGM tributes, I think OCR is a great outlet for that.
"For those that do not know, my name is Mike Saint-Jules, a Trance producer, who for the last couple of years has released Trance and Progressive-based productions through Ferry Corsten's label, Flashover, and a few others. I'm a huge RPG freak and have been a fan of the genre since 1996. The first true RPGs I played were Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI (III in the US). From then on, I moved to other timeless classics such as Suikoden, Grandia, and of course Wild Arms.
My friend Aaron Wu approached me letting me know there was an announcement regarding remixes to the Wild Arms Original Soundtrack for OverClocked ReMix and I immediately told him that I'd want to do one. Choosing from the list, I decided to go with "Kishum Flame" (which is titled "Telepath Tower"). The original is epic in its own right. Rudy and Co. being able to travel through space to reach other parts in the world of Filgaia. It somehow relates to my own productions, because my works are related to Space in general. My works are dark, atmospheric, fused with Trance. I usually want to take you out of the Earth and experience the unknown during the duration of the track. And that's what I felt with the original.
It's been a great experience playing the first Wild Arms title, and being able to remix an original work from the game is really a cool thing for me. I want to thank Aaron and crew for giving me the opportunity to use my production skills on such a fantastic game. Something that I'll remember for a long time!"
Mike's the real deal, both as a gamer and as a producer - I think his comments prove the first point, and his music the second. My take on trance as a genre boils down to the following: it may in fact be easier to make mediocre trance songs than mediocre songs in most other styles. But good trance requires a spiraling, expansive thought process and technical capacity to execute that are not only legitimate skills, but have depths and breadths unto themselves. Well, this is great trance, by my way of thinking, and in listening to some of Mr. Saint-Jules' other original tracks, I hear a similar attentiveness to syncopation and rhythmic complexity that makes all the difference in the world, for me.
I'll shut up now and let you all enjoy the music, but I want to close with some final comments on the entire Wild Arms: ARMed and DANGerous album. I actually find the sheer amount of amazing music on this album almost disturbing, in the sense that I suspect some misguided & unfortunate listeners might pass it by because they're unfamiliar with the game, or even because they feel like they don't have the time to explore four discs of mixes from any individual game's soundtrack.
Make some time!!
It's not about "owing it" to Jade and all the artists that have poured hours, days, months, and most importantly their hearts & talent into making this a ginormous & brilliant collection - though such sentiments wouldn't be misplaced. It's more about creative interpretations of a classic JRPG score, about taking the time to really get to know a soundtrack that's somewhat less popular but completely deserving of the attention, and most of all, it's simply about great music. It's going to take me well into 2012 to really get my head around what the community has accomplished with this album, but it's going to be time well spent. In the meantime, I offer my heartfelt congratulations to the entire ARMed and DANGerous family; you've done some overwhelmingly impressive work!
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