ReMix: Final Fantasy IX "Não Está Sozinho"
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7,585,396 bytes, 5:14, 191kbps
From newcomers Tomo Club comes an atmospheric & immediate live Latin arrangement of "You're Not Alone," from FF9, off their One Blue Pixel album. The group is composed of Sara Fujii, Shaolin Gates, Jessica Arrendale, Elizabeth White, Ben Brown & Kevin Fredericks (Melodious Punk), who has a previous solo ReMix on the site from 2013, and writes:
"We remain very inspired by the tango of Astor Piazzolla and the general musical landscape of small acoustic groups. Tomo Club plays a lot of live shows, and we try to capture a living energy in the studio. This tune is one of our favorites to play. Ben, Jessica, Shaolin, Liz, Sara, and I have different musical tastes, but this tune seems to fall home for all of us."
Plenty of really cool things going on here - there's an intimate space created by the performances, the style has a Latin vibe we just don't see enough of, and from an arrangement perspective it's a different, unique take on a popular favorite. Nevertheless, there's some roughness at points, and more specifically there are some tuning issues in the first 1'30" that, especially on headphones, can be a little jarring. They were disruptive enough for the panel to spend some serious time going back and forth, and I weighed in as well, but I think Palpable's vote summarizes things best:
"I think we're all hearing the same tuning issues here, but the severity of it is the only debate. I am a bit more lenient on live recordings, and everything that was off was constrained to the first 1:30. I think I fall most in line with Larry, that there's so much good here to outweigh the mistakes. The 2:36 section is something that only works in live recording, something so simple that it banks on the charm and nuance of live instruments to keep the listener's attention. It's exactly moments like that that make me want to pass this."
Really cool to hear exposed flute, guitar, violin, etc. in this setting, and there's a rustic, folk dynamic that kinda allows for fleeting intonation issues, at least more than a classical chamber piece might. I dug the exposed staccato & pizzicato portions, and the subsequent tremolo added some nice drama & flair - things definitely build & blossom; this mix lets its hair down. I also applaud the unresolved ending... I was waiting for the last hit, on the edge of my chair, and then I realized it wasnt coming, and that was.... just fine.
For me this conjures images of people dancing around a fire on an Andalusian hillside, with roasted food, deep red wine, and some talented musicians setting just the right mood. That's not a typical vibe for VGM arrangements, but it's one that works especially well with this source, and the unexpected surprise & passion overcome some initial wavering for a spirited, distinct mix!