Posted 2013-07-01, evaluated by djpretzel
While we posted an excellent FF7 ReMix of Joe's (the dude just likes to whistle, ok?) last year, along with a Theophany Majora's Mask mix he collaborated on, I think Balance and Ruin is the true unveiling of just how brilliant & multitalented he is, at least to OCR's audience-at-large. The album's title could almost be "FF6: Balance and Ruin - XPRTNovice Unchained" - he's got four tracks all to himself and collabs on two others. He also became a father DURING the development of the album (congrats to Mr. & Mrs. Z and welcome to XPRTBaby!), he plays every instrument that was ever invented (only mild hyperbole), and does voice-acting too, as featured in this here ReMix. Balance and Ruin wouldn't have been the same without him; everything he's touched on the album has turned to gold, each contribution is clearly distinct, and his skill as a musician has made his AND others' arrangements really come to life. Can't say enough good things, so I'll stop trying and let him talk:
"This was my second remix I ever really tried on OC ReMix, and the FF6 contest was a great inspiration for me to get going. I kept hearing this wild sort of Caravan Palace remix in my head when I was listening to this, and I thought "Wow, there needs to be more clarinet on OC ReMix." So, I decided to make it happen. When I found out I won the contest, I had no idea what I was in for. Balance and Ruin has been some of the most fun I've ever had musically, and the chance to take my classical training and use my powers for evil has been smugly satisfying. And, of course, there's whistling."
But of course :) He was dead right, too: not enough clarinet on OCR! Perhaps that's because it's one of the more challenging instruments to emulate with enough character and emotion to handle a foreground lead part - there's nothing quite like a live player, and Joe's talents let him go there... he's his OWN sample library. I was also super-excited when I first heard an excerpt from this mix because it's very close to being OCR's first klezmer arrangement; Joe wasn't shooting specifically for that genre, but when you've got a sort of gypsy jazz thing going on and there's a lot of clarinet, you're 90% of the way there, basically. McVaffe concurs:
"Wading through this flood of amazing songs, it's nice to find one that can put a smile on your face within the first few seconds of it playing. Remixing a source track that was meant to convey uneasiness and haunting, this piece is playful from the first few notes - and only takes off from there. The atmospheric opening soon gives way to a fantastic klezmer romp, complete with authentic instrumentals and a bassline that could even get the dead dancing. One of the undeniable gems of the project."
This is one of those mixes where you just sort of marvel at the creativity and wonder how on EARTH it came to be... funeral clarinet ensemble intros over train tracks that turn into a sampled rhythm, almost taking the place of tapping, as acoustic strumming gives way to a nice (recreated!) Young Frankenstein reference before lead clarinet takes over. This isn't just a modicum of clarinet...it isn't a trial edition or a starter package or a light dusting of clarinet; this is a full-fledged smack-in-the-face, god-mode, vault-hunter-edition quantity of clarinet. Injustice rectified, scarcity quelled, thirst fully sated, etc. Suffice it to say, the instrument now has its own championing arrangement, courtesy XPRTNovice, who does a far better job living up to the first half of his pseudonym than the second. The bass writing transitions from oompah to a walking jazz line and back without a hiccup, and the tradeoffs at 2'14" between clarinet and... sampled train... remind me of the tap dancing scene FROM Young Frankenstein, where the ritz was put on (see the film!) The mix is not unlike the matrix, in that you really need to experience it for yourself. With a single arrangement, Joe's infused OCR with a heapin' helpin' of clarinet, at least paved the way for klezmer, and offered up one of Balance and Ruin's most unexpected & delightful arrangements; brilliant.
on 2015-12-20 17:38:13
on 2014-10-31 15:38:30
on 2013-08-07 05:42:29
on 2013-07-15 02:51:50
on 2013-07-08 00:15:19
on 2013-07-06 03:34:15
on 2013-07-06 02:56:05
on 2013-07-04 04:03:00
on 2013-07-02 19:15:22
on 2013-07-02 14:38:20
on 2013-07-02 11:41:55
on 2013-07-02 04:31:10
on 2013-07-01 23:17:25
on 2013-07-01 18:58:26
on 2013-07-01 18:06:16
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Jazz, Klezmer
- Acoustic Guitar, Clarinet, Sound FX, Talking
- Lyrics > Lyrics: Existing
Time > Tempo: Fast
- 6,157,370 bytes
- Size: 6,157,370 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 8f552d607155278b4808fc7f76e02f96
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