ReMix: Kingdom Hearts "Simply Be-groove-ed"

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Kingdom Hearts

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!"

OA adds:

"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!

― djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 12 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Chernabogue
on 2015-12-15 15:42:00

Very nice, even if I think the groovier approach doesn't fit too much the source. The performance is excellent once again here, and it's well-recorded and produced. The inclusion of other bits (especially Dearly Beloved) works well. Tetrimino is definitively a name to check -- they produce great arrangements and this one is no exception. :)

Another Word Awaits
on 2015-07-03 00:16:54

You can always count on Tetrimino for smart arrangements that make excellent use of all four instruments. Really like the Dearly Beloved breakdown and showcasing each individual band member. I like the tasteful use of cymbals from 5:21-5:24. Really good run up to the ending of a satisfying piece.

Crulex
on 2015-01-03 13:01:06

Oooh, damn! Now this is a groove I can get behind! Such a sexy and cohesive mix, really shows the group's dynamic off well. Love the use of piano and violin throughout the song, and especially in that "call and response" section the group highlighted. Well worth the listen.

OverClocked PodCast
on 2014-12-31 14:36:00

Yeah, everyone here is on the same page and it shows. Each instrument brings something unique and lively to the piece-- lovely work!

WesternZypher
on 2014-12-22 11:41:08

Love the interplay. really jamin' energy.

melodicmadness
on 2014-12-17 16:22:00

Absolutely amazing. it just gets better as it progresses. The blending of the two songs is done so well!

CausticBleach
on 2014-12-13 20:58:21

This has to be the most interesting I've heard in quite a while, especially from mklachu and krissalad! I've already loved their earlier work such as their cover of Hyrule Temple and Corneria, but this takes the cake. I love the bass, the violin, everything. Although I don't like Kingdom Hearts much, this is something worth listening to for a while.

timaeus222
on 2014-12-13 01:58:30

Seems to be a style of these four to start off a little conservative and personalize it later on with rad solos. I checked out their old music, and they kicked up their game since a year ago, and it was already good back then. Totally groove to me. The solos demonstrated plenty of skill, music theory prowess (or just really good ears), and some excellent arrangement flow.

BlackPhantom
on 2014-12-12 21:12:26

An excellent mix! Definitely a keeper.

Black_Doom
on 2014-12-12 15:19:32

Oh, this is amazing! I love most of OCR music, but such jazzy live arrangements as this one blow me away every time. Pretty dynamic, well executed. The bassline is so damn great. I also like how "Dearly Beloved" is incorporated here. Everyone did great job. The length is also right - neither short, not long.

Magnum Octopus
on 2014-12-12 12:16:47

When the tempo kicks up at 0:27 and that sweet bassline kicks in, it really reminds me of the main battle theme from Chrono Trigger. I like it.

The Dearly Beloved breakdown at 2:24 that OA mentioned is executed well. (also it reminds me of Chrono Trigger again, but I probably just have the first track from The Brink of Time ingrained in my head)

I enjoyed how expressive the violin is, I think that adds a lot of character to the piece. Nice work from all four musicians.

(Didn't notice this the first listen, but there's this total disco moment at 4:31. The bassline is all over the place on this song, great stuff.)

Liontamer
on 2014-12-11 00:50:46

What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.