ReMix: Final Fantasy 'Sentient Machines'

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Final Fantasy: Random EncounterFinal Fantasy

The title to this debut long-form rock/prog mix from mithius, off Random Encounter and collaborating with director Brandon Strader, reminds me of the TNG "Measure of a Man" episode where there's a trial to determine whether Data is Starfleet property. Yeah, I'm a geek. mithius writes:

"The first draft I laid out was too complex and, in the end, I believe it did not capture what I wanted "Floating Castle" to be. After I sent it in as an update, Brandon brought me back to reality. The 2nd draft was composed from scratch and it contained bells, and these bells are like the machines ticking and working as some kind of harmonious structure trying to stop the heroes. But deciding to start the 2nd draft so late did not give us much time, but, by working together with Brandon's help, we managed to overcome the floating castle. Brandon was mega in this adventure, this was my first collaboration with other remixers and I hope to work on more collaborations in the future at some point. The original name "Floating Castle" itself conjures up many images, and I think we have given justice to the machines that live in the sky to the floating castles in all of our hopes and dreams."

Brandon adds:

"This song was a real t(h)reat, and the idea of people listening to it on the album gives me shivers. Leave it to the incredibly talented mithius to record classical and jazz fusion prog to blow everyone away. When I saw that he was trying to turn in such a big WIP when I was basically winding down and getting ready to turn the album in, I was like "meh," but then I actually listened to his tracks and was blown away. There's too much I could say about how awesome his song is. In the end, I played bass, programmed the drums pretty much uniquely for the entire song, made the acoustic intro/outro, and mixed and mastered it. Everything else was mithius, who sent me over 45 audio tracks and an equal amount of MIDI data to use for EWQLSO, RA, Choirs, and Colossus. It was the largest song I had worked on in quite a while and helped me transition over to my own original stuff of an even greater length in the future. A huge thanks to mithius for all of his help!"

This is definitely a humdinger, there's a lot going on, and what's impressive to me is the dynamic variety - especially with the vocal bits, but even without, this almost feels like a mini rock-opera due to its scope & frequent structural changes. Larry was feeling it, and sums things up nicely:

"I thought this was an excellent arrangement by mithius with good additions by Brandon, and I loved the way the piece constantly morphed and evolved. The opening acoustic guitar work sounded great, I thought the transitions were strong, and the original writing pieced together with this like a glove. At 10 minutes long, some will say it's too long or meanders, but to me there were no meaningful issue with length or development and it's not a criticism I take seriously. Exemplary work here, and a personal favorite from the album."

My personal fave is probably FF:FFF, but there's a metric ton of creativity & musicality packed into this collab, and mithius & Brandon should be proud for completing such an opus in time to be featured on Random Encounter, where it was in excellent company and added its own self-contained micro-journey to the overall narrative.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 6 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Crulex
on 2013-04-15 15:57:46
Certainly has the switch ups of a Final Fantasy ReMix. The introing acoustic guitar was relaxing and such, but then that chaotic mayham that followed was a bit unnerving. Then to go back and forth on that was interesting. There were some points where I felt a bit disoriented, but once it went into the vocals section and beyond, things clicked again. For what was done and the length of it all, I have to say that this is a great addition to Random Encounter.
ZealPath
on 2013-03-05 19:55:36
Definitely the highlight of Random Encounter for me, as I already stated in the official thread way back when it came out. Nice to see it get some single love too, somehow I missed this until now!
Jragyn
on 2013-02-08 22:03:20
The intro part and off and on throughout the 10 minute song(the orchestral stuff that sounds kinda creepy) adheres well to the source and sounds like a remix, but the parts where the mixer tries to get creative it just sounds... messy? The vocals could be more useful if applied with less... force(I guess the word is), or not at all. Maybe because I'm really fond of the source, I don't feel like this mix does it justice. It loses that sense of awe that you get from being in a castle in the sky, for the most part. Valiant attempt, though.
Crono3of3time
on 2013-01-29 19:51:52
Uhm.... o.o;;
err uhm.. eh..
how to... describe... this..??
It sounds like a seasick orchestra that transposes the feelings in their stomach to the slip and slide of the notes as the boat tilts around. Also, there is a feeling that the instruments are not completely tuned which also leads to this sense of believing the orchestra to be heavily seasick and unable to correctly turn their instruments.
I can detect an attempt at being Middle Eastern.. but.. it's overshadowed by the strange sliding noises that almost eclipse the attention of the entire song.
I was utterly confused listening to this.
About halfway through it begins to sound like a haunted clown-house, very reminiscent of Big Boo's merry go round in Mario 64, adding even more to the disorientation.
But eh, opinions are opinions. I'm probably missing something, which is why it sounds so strange to me. Hmm.
GTAHater836
on 2013-01-29 01:21:10
I've waited a long time for this! Sentient Machines was my favorite track on Random Encounter!
djpretzel
on 2013-01-28 14:47:23
What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.