ReMix: Kingdom Hearts "Trinity"
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Newcomer Tspeiro (Tyler Speiran) split the judges panel with this trance arrangement of "Dearly Beloved" from Kingdom Hearts, primarily due to some repetition & sustained gating on the chorus, which aren't entirely uncharacteristic of many works in the genre. I weighed in on the decision myself, and what struck me as unique was the extended, half-tempo intro, which I think could have been developed into a sweet chill/downtempo track without ever blasting off into tranceland. Some nice lo-fi/bitcrushed drums accompany delicate piano and synths for most of the first minute - a solid foundation for what could have been a 9-bit jam. Gated synths more or less take over the mix @ 1'22" after the build & drop, and while the energy is good & Tyler bumps it up an octave after one repetition and includes some nice filter effects, I prefer the detail & variety in the slower sections. Palpable writes:
"I've heard songs before that alternate between high-energy trance sections and ambient or downtempo sections, and as long as it builds appropriately up-and-down, it works fine. Tyler did a fine job here, I wasn't thrown much, nor did I think the synths used were all that generic. The building block sounds may have been, but with some filters, FX, and portamento, they stood out."
Beatdrop went a bit further in the positive direction, and helpfully broke his decision down into three parts:
- "The source doesn’t have a whole lot to it, and I think the arrangement here takes enough liberties with harmony (and, obviously, style) to keep it interesting despite being nearly four minutes long whereas the original was essentially an 8-measure loop. That takes some effort.
- Texturally, although it’s rife with dance music tropes, all the sounds fit together very nicely, and the contrast between the more delicate sections versus the main dancey sections warrants repeated listens. Yes, it's generitrance. But it's generitrance executed really damn well.
- Lastly, and most importantly, it’s just damn catchy. While the original is well and good, it's too short and inconsequential to make an impact. This take on it is probably going to be stuck in my head all day, and I’m not going to complain."
I think it's a good thing that the judges panel still produces split decisions; if there were too many such instances, it might speak to a partisan ideological divide or overall inconsistency, but if there were too few, it might instead suggest groupthink and/or too little flexibility. Dain's three-point breakdown encapsulated with more clarity my own general thoughts, and ultimately I think this arrangement deserves ample credit for making the trance/downtempo transitions work and for blending 9-bit instrumentation with staple trance patches and having it sound relatively cohesive. Your mileage may vary - let us know what you think on the comment thread, and congrats to Tspeiro for a conversation-generating debut that's still pretty darn easy to enjoy!
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