ReMix: Wild Arms "East Meets Western"
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6,244,041 bytes, 4:10, 197kbps
What an interesting, unusual ReMix! I think Jade did an excellent job pulling together so many artists for her Wild Arms album, and what particularly strikes me is how many different ideas & approaches are represented in ARMed & DANGerous's many tracks - it's a big album not just in a purely numerical sense, but also in terms of grokking who did what with what source, how the arrangements fit together, and in learning to appreciate all the different styles. From newcomer Artem Bank comes a piece that's bookended with what reminds me of an independent film soundtrack sort of vibe, with guitar, ambient tones, and a whole bunch of reverb, creating a huge space. I was pretty sure it was going to remain a more drifting, "tone poem" kind of affair, but then a driving beat comes in, the previously-resigned-to-droning-undertone bassline kicks in & starts puling along, and before you know it a synth lead crops up. The ReMixer writes:
"I was having so much fun doing other songs on the project I decided to jump onto this song with about three weeks left in the project. Since the source is only about 25 seconds long (I think it's the main menu intro, but I've never played the game), I decided to do a lot with the very last arpeggiated guitar chord, and turn that into a good chunk of the song - it just sounded so interesting to me. The trumpet lines were turned into what the piano plays, and the hits are there with the guitar strikes in the middle section. The synth even does the melody line through it, but expanded upon."
"At first this felt like a Frankenstein track to me, where there were recognizable bits of the song sewn together, but the more I listened, the more I understood the source use. I don't think the middle synth lead quite fits, but overall the guitar/piano interplay is very nice, and the soundscape feels expansive. Definitely not how i'd envision the source to be dealt with, but it's really nice. The track length is about right, and there is agood progression and flow. This one really won me over, nice work."
I agree on the synth lead - too forward in the mix, stands out a bit too much - but also appreciation the progression & source treatment. Familiar with the source, Justin adds:
"Wow, very creative take on a difficult source. I'd actually originally claimed this track as Jade wanted an orchestral take on it - but a few more listens to it made me think better of attempting to bring anything close to improving the OST. I just judged another track of yours and I must say I really like your use of reverb to give some spaciousness to your acoustic playing. The guitar performance is, simply put, solid. Nice use of effects to give the track a mysterious feel, making the listener want to hear more. Definitely moody in a very good way.
Middle section shifts gears into a higher energy mode. It definitely felt more experimental with the glitched piano and other synthetic elements mixed with the acoustic guitar/drums. While unconventional, I still feel like it works. The lead synth did feel like it stuck out over everything. I think some reverb treatment would've pushed it back enough to blend better with the other elements. Being familiar with the source, the connections were pretty apparent to me. It's such a short tune, and pretty intricate in a sense, that I don't blame you for taking specific snippets of it and fleshing them out, rather than a more holistic approach. Again, you were very creative with the material and presented it well throughout the mix. Love it."
Definitely something different - a challenging arrangement, in some ways, of a challenging source. I was enjoying the more ambient intro/outro a little bit more than the upbeat guts, but it all holds together, and I'm definitely impressed with the vision & treatment of the source material. Looking forward to hearing more from Artem!