ReMix: Final Fantasy "Just Passing Through"
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We conclude our Final Fantasy: Random Encounter mixflood with a sentimental electronica track from Benjamin Briggs, who provided some very un-sentimental comments:
"Brandon Strader pestered me into doing this remix. The title is kind of a joke about how I thought I had a kidney stone. Remember, kids: if you don't drink enough water, you'll have to pass a Spiny through your pee-pee hole."
Sage wisdom from a world-weary prophet, no doubt. As more of a deliberate, electronic, Celtic ballad, this has that "ending theme" flavor of an epic journey coming to a close, even though it's actually a town theme. As such, it stands out as unique on the album and ALSO seems like a great way to wrap things up. Any good album director is also a pesterer of some degree, by definition - Mr. Strader writes:
"I like Ben's title to this song. It's his way of saying, "Oh, don't mind me, I'll be out of your way in a second." Clearly when people read that we've put together a metal tribute to Final Fantasy and see the name chthonic, they're going to be like, oh heck yea, some Taiwanese black metal is coming our way! Well, it may not be black metal, but Ben did a cool job of putting together a Town theme that will certainly appeal to a lot of folks at OCR who may be less excited about an all-metal album. You can still headbang to it."
I'd hate to think that Brandon solicited this arrangement ONLY because he wanted something for the metal-haters (on OCR *or* elsewhere), since the heart & soul of the album is ultimately metal, but frankly, it almost doesn't matter: this is a great, anthemic (in its own way), chippish electronic jam that's got a strong downbeat, a floaty, dreamlike vibe, and then when the reverb/delay drops out at 3'08" and it's stripped down to more-or-less pure chip textures, it's a great way to climax & end the piece. Deia writes:
"I'm not quite sure this is in desperate need of critique in any way. You have an excellent soundscape, with instruments/synths that all compliment each other well. Balance is good, and mixing as well. Arrangement-wise, you've got plenty of source, and I like how it hints at the source before coming in fully at 1:28. The second half feels a little repetitious, mostly because the soundscape doesnt change up and the arrangement is similar, but that's being nitpicky. Fun listen."
Ditto all that. You'll definitely be seeing more tracks from Random Encounter in the future, and we're going to continue celebrating the 25th anniversary of Final Fantasy with at LEAST one album from a later game in the series before the year is out. In the meantime, a HUGE congrats to Brandon Strader & all the artists who contributed to this refreshingly metal album that still packed in some diversity for an all-around amazing tribute to the one and only Final Fantasy!
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