ReMix: Bastion 'A 'Kid-pella'

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Bastion

And now for something COMPLETELY different... Newcomer Square Law (Alex Gelinas) sends us our first Bastion ReMix and one of our only a cappella arrangements to date:

"The song I remixed is "Setting Sail, Coming Home" from the Bastion soundtrack by Darren Korb. I've titled this arrangement "A 'Kid-pella" - for (hopefully) obvious reasons, haha. The arrangement was created by listening to the original and creating new counter-melody and pad parts based around the melody and general chord progression. It was then produced by recording myself and a bunch of friends separately singing along with a guide track that I created with a MIDI file, then mixing & mastering was done entirely in Logic."

First off, let me take this opportunity to say that Darren's work on Bastion was PHENOMENAL & definitely a prime example of a great modern game soundtrack with fresh ideas. The game's key component of reactive narration was obviously a defining aspect of the audio, but it wouldn't have worked half as well without his beautiful & complementary score. It's been awesome to serve as an audio judge for the IGF awards the last couple years, where Larry & I have both had the honor and privilege of discussing game audio with Darren, Laura, and a bunch of other uber-talented folk.

The original is a dramatic vocal track with a really distinct progression & male/female vocal exchange that reminds me of Damien Rice; the minimalist, relatively conservative arrangement Alex has come up with makes the comparison to songs like 'Volcano' even more resonant, and I personally count that as a huge plus. The source was PERFECTLY suited to an a capella arrangement, and this might be a pretty straightforward approach, but what's been added is good, what's been subtracted & modified makes sense, and more importantly the performances are clean & emotive. I'm so freakin' glad this exists because I love the original, and this ReMix is like a having a second, Damien Ricey all-vocal alternate take that gains a new gravitas & space from the minimalism. Kudos to Alex & company for putting something together that's intuitive, distilled, and occupies the same emotional plane as the source while offering a different perspective! (Alex details a bit more of his typical creative process over at Giant Bomb. Check it out!)

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 12 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Dodosaur
on 2013-06-10 18:44:49
Wow, that was remarkable! I've been listening to TotalBiscuit's OCRemix tracks on his show and this one definitely is the best I've heard so far. Maybe it's because I'm personally attached to Bastion, but the way you sang it really captures the essence of the song, while presenting it in a new and unique way.
Can't wait to hear more from you.
LuckyXIII
on 2013-06-09 16:18:49
Holy crap... I think this takes the production values and expectations of OCR to a whole new level of credibility.
This is amazing.
Rock on ReMixers!
Melbu Frahma
on 2013-06-07 18:37:28
Before I talk about the track, I've just gotta say that I absolutely dislike 99.5% of a capella music. It's not to say that it's a bad genre (although I've heard a lot of bad a capella in my time), just that I have a hard time enjoying it. Having established that, this easily is in the .5% - a fact that's probably helped by my love for the Bastion soundtrack, but even so. If I had one thing I would've wanted more from an a capella version of this, it would've been length - it felt like it ended too soon. Although, again, I felt the same way about the original, so that could be informing my view as well.
If there had to be a "first" a capella OCR, I'm glad this was it.
Flexstyle
on 2013-06-07 17:42:32
In my defense, this is my favorite OST of all time. So I think I'm entitled to a bit o' emotion. :-P
Again, fantastic work!
Liontamer
on 2013-06-07 17:21:01
Flexstyle;922343 wrote: thirty seconds in, and i've got goosebumps and tears already. beautiful.

We're gettin' all tingly!
But seriously, NICE WORK, Alex. :-) An awesome debut. I hope you and your crew team up for some more, it would be pretty sweet! (Oh yeah, I linked your G-Bomb tutorial to the writeup page. Thanks for mentioning it!)
Flexstyle
on 2013-06-07 16:53:19
thirty seconds in, and i've got goosebumps and tears already. beautiful.
Crulex
on 2013-06-07 16:07:19
Whoa.....haha, now that's cool. I never expected an A Capella song to show up here on the site (not the first thing that comes to my mind in arrangements), but now that it has, it's got to be one of the best one's to introduce it. Fantastic voices and I'm totally digging the male/female vocal exchange. Very nice.
XPRTNovice
on 2013-06-07 16:03:36
I like this. As an a capella veteran and arranger, I might have varied some of the background vowels, but all in all this is good. It takes balls to try something like this. If you need a beatboxer in future arrangements, you give me a call.
bassman2112
on 2013-06-07 15:56:21
I'm the creator of the track, and am really thankful for you guys putting this up! It was a super fun project, and I hope you all enjoy it =)
If you're curious, I actually documented the whole process (more or less) on Giant Bomb. Here is a link if you'd like to see! Feel free to shoot me anything here, or there haha.
Brandon Strader;922312 wrote: This is an impressive arrangement, and very enjoyable despite a little pitchiness in the vocals. :smile: This is vastly different from what I plan to do with the same sources. I felt like there could have been more personalization in the piece to make it your own (apart from doing it as acapella, of course)

That is very fair =) I actually made a point of doing my best to try and keep it as close to the source as possible, while changing the ornamentation with the background vocals to denote the different sections. If I end up doing any more A Capella stuff, I'll try to switch the arrangement up a bit more =) Thanks for the feedback!
Flaglore
on 2013-06-07 15:38:05
I loved the source and don't normally listen to acapella music, but this has to be an exception :D Great work, and the vocals are some of the best I've heard on all this site!
Brandon Strader
on 2013-06-07 14:38:52
This is an impressive arrangement, and very enjoyable despite a little pitchiness in the vocals. :-) This is vastly different from what I plan to do with the same sources. I felt like there could have been more personalization in the piece to make it your own (apart from doing it as acapella, of course)
djpretzel
on 2013-06-07 14:28:37
What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.