ReMix: Final Fantasy IX "Ambitious Whispers, Immoral Chants"
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- Game: Final Fantasy IX (Square, 2000, PS1)
- ReMixer(s): Archangel
- Composer(s): Nobuo Uematsu
- Song(s): "Devil's Ambition", "Wicked Melody"
- Posted: 2016-08-18, evaluated by djpretzel
- Album: Featured on Final Fantasy IX: Worlds Apart
- Terms (BETA): choir cinematic dark orchestral organ spooky strings suspenseful symphonic
If people are going to chant anyways, those chants should at the very least be immoral. That's certainly how I've always felt, and it seems Archangel (Jaka Čibej) is on board, too, with this dramatic symphonic/choral/organ piece that feels darkly processional... the type of music you might make human sacrifices or consort with Baal to, if you were into that sort of thing:
"This track is actually my project debut. It may not be the first one to get published, but it's the first one I claimed all by myself. I'd been recruited for the Seiken Densetsu 3 project album before that, but that doesn't count. I still remember being really nervous sending that humble request to Fishy (a PRIMARCH, no less!), trying to claim a really important and iconic track despite being a newbie with no posted remixes.
Strangely enough, the claim was accepted, so I decided to really get to business and do Kuja justice. I've always thought that "Immoral Melody" was better than Kuja's actual main theme. It's also my humble opinion that he's a pretty good villain. I don't want to start another stupid discussion on which Final Fantasy villain is the best, because it's as pointless as submitting a straight cover to OC ReMix. However, I do think people should give Kuja a little more credit. He manipulated a powerful kingdom into attacking and obliterating entire cities. He betrayed his "allies," destroyed a world with little effort, summoned a giant horde of white dragons to kill his opponents, and traveled to the center of all existence to erase absolutely everything and everyone. And he did it all with style.
With this multi-faceted approach to Kuja's theme, I wanted to highlight all the nuances of Kuja's character: his violent nature, his ruthlessness and ambition, his frightening ability to manipulate and push an entire world to the brink of war, and - let's face it - his elegance.
I did my best to represent Kuja's elegantly malevolent and, at times, brutally violent nature in this track. He may be a somewhat effeminate character, but I'm not sure why that has to imply that he's weak. He's far from harmless! I hope this track gets that message across well enough. Whether you like Kuja's character or not, I hope you enjoy this eerie rendition of his little ditty. I'd characterize it as majestic, "Imperial March"-like, dramatic-entrance music with just a dash of a scheme-brewing, minion-briefing kind of soundtrack."
Nice backstory, there - you can tell Jaka got into the character & thought things through, which is great to see. Unsettling whispers, faint solo & ensemble choral work (great blend!), bubbling harps, some really cool metallic percussive FX & scraping, an organ that cuts through the darkness, and building intensity towards the conclusion... it's an interesting, narrative arrangement that develops and uses sound design and a blend of instrumentation to tell its story. Larry writes:
"Great to finally post this one as an official mixpost, with it chronologically being Archangel's very first project piece. The brass in particular may betray its age some, but even way back when this was first created, you can readily observe Jacob's great flair for the cinematic. Here, he strikes a nice balance between the more forceful & militaristic sections with the pensive & delicate areas guided by the choir, all coming together as a well-rounded alternate theme for Kuja. Jacob has made a great impact as a frequent album project contributor, and I hope he continues to lend his talents to the community; you know you're going to get something that resonates. :-)"
Agreed; all of Jaka's work has been not only intelligently arranged & effectively produced, but has used a wide palette of less common sounds & articulations that give his ReMix a very distinct atmosphere. This is no exception; great work!