ReMix: NiGHTS into dreams... "The Desert Had a Strange Dream"
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From newcomer Dj Mokram comes a funky ethnic jam off of Lucid Dreaming:
"I'm a big fan of some in-house composers at Sega, namely Fumie Kumatani, Hideaki Kobayashi, Kenichi Tokoi and Naofumi Hataya. Lucid Dreaming is a project I'd wanted to join, but didn't think I had what it took to either be a part of it, or honor the composer(s). When the source re-opened very late in the project lifespan, I quickly expressed my interest in tackling it. I wanted to take the song as far away as possible, and noticed that the verse's melody had kind of an oriental feel to it. Immediately, I thought of using instruments from the Anatolian folklore. Dumbeks, darbukas and tablas for percussion. Zurna, baglama and kanun for strings. Added a layer of indian folk with some tremolo sitars coupled to a bar violin and a sarangi for good measure. Then, I introduced a contrasting Asian flavor with some ehru and doubled kotos, playing for a bit with the NIGHTS hook. Later on, I included some orchestral and electronic elements, such as gregorian choirs, a 5-strings lakland bassline and some synthetic drums to complement the piece and make for a more interesting/varied listen.
Thanks to the feedback and encouragements from Stevo, DiGi and others, I managed to find confidence in myself to deliver this little arrangement."
Definitely a cornucopia of world (i.e. non-traditional/Western) instrumentation here, and it all gels together cohesively for a piece that takes NiGHTS - along with the familiar 'Dreams Dreams' motif - for an exotic, cultured ride. halc writes:
"this is probably the most polished mix I've heard from you in terms of samples and sequencing. coupled with (as always) a strong arrangement, I think this one is passable on both fronts. the mixing does get a bit muddy at times but I really enjoy the overall product a lot. nice work."
"Very unconventional direction to take such a weird, difficult-to-mix source tune. Definitely enough source in there when you take into account the Dreams, Dreams cameo. The remix itself make very good use of some unique samples I don't hear very often/ever in remixes. Nice percussion lines too. The ending is kind of a copout, but overall this one's a YES."
It's not easy to sequence all of these instruments into a believable, expressive whole, so there's props due on both the arrangement and the production, which benefits a great deal from sample fidelity, attention to panning, and some licks/phrases that sound sampled themselves, lending the proper articulations for heightened realism. Overall, a new watermark for Mokram & an excellent, unexpected & distinct contribution to Lucid Dreaming!
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