ReMix: Final Fantasy VIII 'White Magic Is for Sissies'

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Final Fantasy VIII

From Knight of the Round comes a metal FF8 ReMix that invites the question: Have we, as a culture, moved past the use of "sissy" as an insult? On the one hand, the word provides a very useful reminder of how, while all you tend to hear about are the pressures society places on young women, there are actually a lot of expectations & impositions on the male side of the fence, too. Personally, I'd wager that machismo & pissing contests have been responsible for more senseless death and suffering throughout history than a wee smidgen of sissiness here or there. I'd also wager that most guys throwing the word around today left and right wouldn't last a week in a world where "sissy" concepts like government, law, science, and technology were no longer around to prevent relative anarchy. Perhaps instead of stigmatizing cowardice (or general aversion to physical conflict) we should respect that it CAN be part of a rational self-interest and value of mutual well-being, and even see it as a potential virtue - Eddie Izzard points out Shaggy & Scooby, and Shakespeare's Falstaff, as rare heroic exemplars.

But PERHAPS I'm thinking too much about it, so let's rock... if you're thinking about my magic it don't matter if it's black or white, but in this case we're definitely coming down squarely on the darker side of things - Justin writes:

"This is actually an older track of mine. I created my first version of this a little over a year ago for my old Myspace page, but I've learned well, a LOT more about recording/engineering since then. It was my first Final Fantasy track that was more of a "remix" than it was a cover, so I decided that I would re-record it and submit it for evaluation.

I love polyrhythms, and had a blast with the 5/4 time signature that this song has by keeping a nasty underlying 4/4 groove for some of the 5/4 parts. For the song itself, it's a pretty conservative remix of the original, keeping most of the original arrangement and 5/4 time sig, with a few changes here and there, along with an original ending based on the original rhythm riff."

Sinister intro gives way to a LOT of aggressive machine-gun chuggery; Justin really had fun with the rhythms on this, and it shows. The section towards the end at 3'31" is GUARANTEED to get your head banging, even if you've never banged it before. Even if you HAVE NO HEAD. Absolutely wicked, that bit is, and the static/scratching textures out in left field that lead up to it add an otherworldly evil to an already malevolent beast. OA writes:

"I think adding even a bit of source into the ending would have been a home run. The 5/4 was excellent, though, and really worked, and the variation between sections was subtle. Also you kids with your 8 string guitars, that's like, what? Half a bass? Love it. :D"

There's rhythmic creativity, some nice attention to detail w/ regard to sound design, and a heapin' helpin' of good ole-fashioned BRUTALITY here, and that makes for a sweet trifecta. Judges were a little bummered that KotR didn't personalize the middle bits more melodically, which I definitely see, but I think this mix - his third posted - still continues a trend of ferocious, unmitigated metal that should have a LOT of fans out there; count me in!

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 7 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Crulex
on 2013-10-16 10:36:54
Very heavy and solid metal ReMix, indeed. There are things I would have liked to have seen expanded upon, but all in all, for something as clean and badass as this, it makes for a great jam that I can get behind. Rock on!
brimtastic
on 2012-11-23 11:13:48
I'm a big fan of the source, don't know why it hasn't been done more. A really solid metal remix where the production really shines. Really powerful and punchy.
I'll agree with the judges that a little bit more variation in the middle would have been nice. I'm not too big a fan of the 8-string djent stylings that dominate the outro, but each to their own.
jnWake
on 2012-11-23 01:33:16
I think this song has like no high notes. Extremely heavy and interesting rhytm, I like it!
Brandon Strader
on 2012-11-16 18:00:13
This song kicks immense amounts of ASS! I expect it'll be brutal to experience in real life at that MAGFest gig too. This song ain't for sissies. ;-)
KnightOfTheRound
on 2012-11-16 16:39:48
I saw most of the judges commented on the ending, and how it would benefit from more source, so I figured I'd go into detail on how I used the source during those parts. The original bit at the end (starting @ 2:50) is actually a variation of the original source "riff", being {ONE - and - a - TWO - and - a - THREE - and - FOUR - and} and replaced the {and -a}'s with triplets and the single {and}'s with doubles (this part is also played during the "solo" section starting @1:11). Everything is still in 5/8 except the china, which is acting as a precursor to the part that starts at 3:31. The 3:31 part is a polyrhythm of the main 5/8 source rhythm (but with triplets and doubles) played on guitars/bass/kick drum, and the snare is keeping it 4/4. The last 2 parts are actually still using the 5/8 source as a base. Aside from the key change, the triples and doubles (the {and} and the {and-a}) from the source are the ONLY thing being played by the rhythm section, the ONE, TWO, etc, are being played by another guitar, faintly. So yes, it's sort of an original part, but it is basically just a variation of the original source rhythm. I hope that made sense!
LazarCotoron
on 2012-11-16 14:03:24
I agree. White magic is for sissies. Prinny can totally be the hero.
Oh, and I like what I'm hearing in the mix. :D Feels a little indulgent after 3:46, but maybe that whole section there just isn't my thing.
djpretzel
on 2012-11-16 13:16:45
What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.