ReMix: Secret of Mana "Thick Jams"
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- Game: Secret of Mana (Square, 1993, SNES)
- ReMixer(s): Kylok
- Composer(s): Hiroki Kikuta
- Song(s): "Did You See the Ocean?", "Into the Thick of It"
- Posted: 2016-08-31, evaluated by the judges
- Terms (BETA): acoustic-guitar flute folk funky live-instruments quirky saxophone singing trombone ukulele vocals-female
MOAR MANA!! Newcomer Kylok (Kyle Okaly) debuts with this very unique, folk-rock arrangement of Secret of Mana with an eclectic cast of instruments that results in something altogether unexpected:
"Long-time listener, first-time submitter here. I've been a fan of Hiroki Kikuta's work on Secret of Mana for a long time, and I finally decided to give this "Into the Thick of It" remix a shot. I thought it might be fun to turn this quick/airy/light overworld theme into a slower groove with a bunch of acoustic instruments, and I ended up with a pretty weird combo: guitars, ukuleles, saxes, vocals, trombones, drumset/shaker/claps, and an alto flute solo to mirror the lead in "Did You See the Ocean?" Thanks for listening!"
What a (spectacularly) peculiar way to debut on OCR! We don't get many like this, that's for sure, and the alto flute solo alone is pretty singular... bring in saxes, trombones, ukulele, and a production aesthetic that almost sounds like a Tom Waits instrumental, and you've got something that's pretty neat & works surprisingly well. Jivemaster writes:
"Crisp mixing and lovely open high end comes to mind when I heard the first few seconds of this mix. Because of the highs, there is lots of perceived clarity here (dare I say almost too much). The odd thing that struck me was the distinct lack of low end in this mix - almost like the bass player didn't show up to the recording session. I thought perhaps some bass would show up later to fill things out after the intro but it never showed. The mix of acoustic and what sounds like sampled drums works well for me and overall, the instrument choices complement each other in a weird way that somehow works."
This mix is decidedly NOT all about that bass, 'bout that bass, as Joel points out, but it didn't bother me... the sampled drums certainly do stand out as being synthetic among a wide palette of instruments which clearly aren't, but it provides a nice textural contrast. Nutritious adds:
"While the arrangement follows pretty closely to the OST in terms of structure and melody, there are loads of supporting parts and additive personalization throughout. Jive makes a good point about lack of low end instruments, but honestly this doesn't bother me. To me, that, combined with the somewhat murky mixing quality and loose performances give this whole thing a 60's/70's-live-recorded vibe to me and I love it."
Me too! These sources work well with this approach; I found myself getting into the jam and focusing on foreground and accompanying parts alike, and just having so many disaparate & rich textures going on makes it a very fun listen. Interesting isolated/heartbeat ending; I like it. I'm very glad Kyle made the transition from listener to submitter, as this is a distinct, surprising mix I think a lot of folks will dig, and I'd love to hear more in the same vein. The jams, they are thick!