ReMix: Nier "Kainé (Absolution)"
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- Game: Nier (Square Enix, 2010, PS3)
- ReMixer(s): DigiE, Katskachi
- Composer(s): Kakeru Ishihama, Keigo Hoashi, Keiichi Okabe, Takafumi Nishimura
- Song(s): "Kainé / Escape"
- Posted: 2016-07-18, evaluated by the judges
- Terms (BETA): collab dubstep energetic lyrics-existing orchestral singing synth timesig-6-8 vocals-female waltz
EXCELLENT to see more from DigiE (Maurice Willems & Sanjay Sampatsing), who set their collective sights on the gorgeous, singular soundtrack to Nier with this beautiful vocal orchestral/dubstep hybrid; NemesisTheory (Maurice Willems of DigiE) writes:
"Round 2 for the wubsteps! Although it's more like melodic or harmonic dubstep now, I think. Seriously though. NieR. It's all I have to say, or should say. Probably, IMO, the best soundtrack of 2010 easily, and quite possibly one of the very best of the entire last generation. Keiichi Okabe didn't just knock it out of the park with this soundtrack, he knocked the park out of the city and into orbit.
Ever since 2010, we had the idea of remixing one of the songs, specifically this one (Kainé theme), but, honestly, the mere thought of it depressed us. How could we ever top it? Well, we can't. We realised that this month and just decided to go with it and honor/tribute to it as best as we can. Luckily, we had help! Katskachi (Jeena Frego) is an amazing vocalist who, initially, made me think she just grabbed an a capalla from the void in the internet and sped it up. Really talented individual for sure. Couldn't have done this without her!
Since the song is in 3/4, drum and bass turned out to be a challenge we couldn't tackle. Dubstep is more suitable for this since the rhythm is pretty slow, but "violent" or rather, has a big impact. Since the source itself is such a melodic brilliance of a thing, it seemed like mixing dubstep with orchestral backing and slowing it down (yet speeding it up more than the original, how about that) would work out nicely. We think it kind of did. We hope you agree!
It feels weird writing this. It feels weird knowing we tried to remix NieR. I say tried, because I'll never accept whether it's any good or not. We like the song, we like the result, sure, but the source is too god-tier to believe it actually accomplished anything. But, again, we hope it did! Enjoy the song, guys and girls! <3"
People are VERY passionate about this soundtrack, and with good reason; our only previous Nier ReMix was an amazing vocal collab from Dj Mystix & Sabrina Valenzuela, and that's a mix I return to and listen to quite often, and generally speaking people who love VGM and are familiar with this OST have only the highest accolades to offer. It's odd to hear dubstep elements blended with such prominent melodic & orchestral components, and in 3/4 time at that, but I think the approach worked - it's musical, it's memorable, and while judges pointed out some production issues, overall I think this arrangement pays worthy tribute to the source while offering something new. DarkeSword writes:
"The vocals are excellent, I wish they were louder. They sit a little too much inside the rest of the mix. Great idea going the half-time dubstep approach with a 3/4 time song. Ends up sounding like a beautifully aggressive waltz. I love Nier's soundtrack and this is a great tribute. Really wonderful interpretation of the theme, fantastic forward momentum that keeps pushing and pushing. Other Js have production crits which are certainly valid, but overall there's a clean, uncluttered sound to this piece that I really like. It could have gotten ugly, but it didn't.
The vocal levels would also be my primary mixing/mastering critique; vocals are notoriously hard to get to "sit" right in a mix, and in this case they feel just a little buried at times - ducking is one possible solution to such challenges, but it's not a fatal flaw nor one that detracts significantly from enjoying the mix, at least for me. You can tell from Maurice's email how passionate he is about this soundtrack, and I'm glad he and Sanjay, with Jeena's help, were able to put something together that they were okay releasing, given that passion. The end result is a very unique "melodic dubstep waltz" with distinct, otherworldly processed vocals and a nice ebb & flow to it - great work, check it out!