ReMix: Kingdom Hearts "Simply Be-groove-ed"
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2011 was the year of the album for OCR, with ELEVEN total albums released, including Heroes vs. Villains (made in collaboration with the Bad Dudes), 25YEARLEGEND, NiGHTS: Lucid Dreaming, the first volume of the BadAss series, and Wild Arms: ARMed & DANGerous. Phew. On top of that, we posted 207 ReMixes, breaking the 200-mix barrier for the first time since 2002...
No doubt all those album floods helped; epic year.
Our next 15th anniversary mixpost is from newcomers Tetrimino, taking on modern classics from the PS2 by Yoko Shimomura:
"Hello! This is our very first submission to OC ReMix. Our lineup consists of Michaela Nachtigall (mklachu) on the violin, Kristopher Salada (krissalad) on the piano, Matt Mukerjee (HatTrax) on the bass, and Mitchell Cairns (MaximumHamburgers) on the drums (all instruments are live). The four of us have all met online via YouTube, and we decided to form an online video game band called Tetrimino!
Here is our fusion jazz arrangement on two of Kingdom Hearts' most popular songs, "Simple & Clean" and "Dearly Beloved"! These two songs have already been widely covered before, but we decided to take a more "groovy" approach to spice it up. Here is a video of our performance: http://youtu.be/9BhF00btCzA
The originally slow-tempo introduction is meant to be reminiscent of "Hikari." Then once the verse hits, that's where it gets groovy. While things become much more upbeat, we still managed to create a "mood" that fits the original meaning of both songs.
One particular thing that we find unique about our arrangement is the "call-and-response" pattern during the second verse. While the violin still plays the melody in this section, the piano plays some jazz licks as a response. Another thing we find particularly appealing is the "unison" of the violin and piano during the bridge section. This is where both instruments play the melody, which captures the meaning of the original lyrics ("Hold me, whatever lies beyond this morning…").
Additionally, during the "Dearly Beloved" section in the middle, we decided to include a "solo" section, utilizing all four instruments. Right before that, however, we particularly find our "buildup" into the solo section very appealing as well. Afterwards, we transition back into "Simple & Clean" in order to end the arrangement. We hope you enjoy!"
Well, I hardly add to need commentary of my own - quite a bit of descriptive detail! This is a mix/performance that only gets stronger as it progresses; all four musicians are definitely rockin' out, but I gotta give special props to Matt for the bass work here, which is such a huge part of the arrangement & which surprised me. Deia plays bass, and she concurs:
"Those bass grooves! Love how the style change really works with the melody. Drumming is fantastic and really plays well to the melody. The back and forth between the violin and piano is very tasteful and the backing chords work really well. Love it!"
"The performances were excellent, and the arrangement was classy and personalized. Matt stole the show a bit, but everyone brought it hard in the solo section. The integration of "Dearly Beloved" as a B section was a great choice, and the themes sounded really fresh like this. Excellent work, everyone, I'd love to hear more."
This is an arrangement that really hinges on, and benefits from, the synergy between musicians. From their submission email, it's clear that the group understands core concepts of jazz ensemble writing, but it's also plainly evident in their music. Towards the end, with the quick drum fills and tradeoffs, you can really just lose yourself. These are themes I've heard plenty of times, but Andrew's right - they sound fresh, here, and everything just clicks. Great stuff, hope to hear more, and be sure to follow 'em on YouTube & Twitter!
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