stratos

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  1. Are we counting MMORPGs? I think that if we are we should definitely list certain creatures from games like Everquest as the hardest boss ever. It takes hundreds of people to beat some of those guys.
  2. I believe it's called "quoting." I also thought I heard suggestions of Castlevania at other parts of the soloing. I'm sure that these subtler quotations weren't intentional on the part of this artist and are actually integrated portions of his improvisational style. I find myself inserting Castlevania in my guitar riffs from time to time as well. They're powerful, dark lines, and my subconscious likes to bring them out whenever I'm in that kind of musical situation. The guitar work in this remix demonstrates lyrical ability AND technical prowess. I applaud the remixer for not simply ripping through the piece in a flurry of mindless high speed 16th notes. It shows maturity and sensitivity, even in a "harder" genre. It also allows for us to pick up on the artist's creativity. I think this remixer is on the right track. I would just say that some of the guitar patches were a little hollow, especially the clean, reverb-laden one toward the end. It doesn't fit and perhaps could be mixed/mastered better as well. That's really just a recording issue, and therefore skirting the edge of my expertise. All in all, a good example of guitar work on OCR.
  3. I usually stay out of the review section of this site only because I have been accused of being an elitist snob for some of my criticisms. That being said, let it be clear that I think this remixer is a talented individual. I'm not really competent to speak about the orchestral sound quality that has preoccupied some of the other reviews. I'm of the opinion that anything one can do to make the instruments sound less digital is a plus. Perhaps some of DJP's suggestions in his review would do the trick. It is clear that you are a talented guitarist. As a longtime player myself, I have a few items of constructive criticism. First, develop your sense of harmony. For the most part you do okay with this, but it is obvious that you are reaching for something beyond what you understand. For instance, the run from 5:20-5:27 bears no relation to the song at that point. The rest of the solo is better, but still rudimentary when compared to your apparent technical ability. You can address this problem by learning arpeggios and WEAVING them. Do the same thing with modes. Make sure you have them down cold first, then move on to weaving. Most importantly, do it continuously until you feel your mind go into a mild trance. That's when you know you are getting it. If you don't know what I'm talking about you should ask/get a music teacher. The second item relates to the first in that my suggestion from the last paragraph will solve it as well. I'm guessing that one day you realized that you were able to play fast and that if you heaped on the compression you could sound exactly like some of your metal heroes. This has led to some cliches in your style. For one, you don't have to display your right hand dexterity every time you need to fill up space. High BPM sixteenth notes of the same pitch can put one to sleep just as easily as the slowest nursery rhyme. This goes for your runs as well. The other thing that I could mention is for you to take off the hyper compression on your guitar and go with a sound that allows you to control the volume of your notes. It will really allow you to express yourself a lot better once you pay attention to that aspect of the music. Right now you have the equivalent control over your guitar as a pianist has over a keyboard without touch sensitive keys. I know that that's the metal style, but there's a whole world beyond that type-casted compressed distortion that you might find very interesting. To conclude, I admire your compositional risk-taking in this song. I also appreciate the humanity in your guitar work. I think that you have a great musical mind. Though, I also think that there is a whole world that you might miss if you "settle" for your already impressive abilities. This is not condescension (I would probably have to practice some of your runs quite a bit in order to get them clean), but rather some hopefully helpful suggestions based on my analysis of your playing.
  4. Nice work! I had no idea what to expect because I really have never played this game, but the rhythm absorbed me right from the beginning. Tasteful use of melody and patches, although I thought the horn patch that began around 1:30 was a bit out of place. The only other thing that I seemed to crave as the song went on was a patch with some more sustain, although that is an artistic decision that is totally up to the remixer. Again, I really liked this mix. Keep it up.
  5. Look, if this is piercing to your ears then just adjust your graphic EQ....sheesh. Unless there is something seriously lacking in my sound setup, which I don't think there is, the piano doesn't seem to be piercing anyway. Anyway, I liked this tune. I guess I have a soft spot for impressionistic pieces. However, I think the artist suffers from a common problem that I seem to have whenever doing something similar - the melody loses its distinctiveness within the newly arranged chord voicings. Now that the new chord voicings are present, some of the old tensions caused by the melody have become unisons (the same note) and at other times I feel like there are some unintended dissonances that threaten to derail the mood. In addition, some of the new harmony is not as provocative as the original. I seriously admire the artist for his vision in the piece. Honestly, these types of impressions aren't always that clear, and when you can articulate them like this artist has, it lends an honesty to the music that some more straight-forward arrangements don't have. However, something we often forget in our excitement over our impressions is that the original composer didn't make up the harmony by accident. The melody is an integral part of the harmony and in some ways restricts our ability to alter the tune without carefully consideration. Yeah, it's a pain in the butt, and it has slain many a composition for me, but we all gotta deal with it. Good job...this was enjoyable.
  6. Wow, I really enjoyed this. I've only listened to it once, but it felt like the improv got better as time went on. As an avid jazz fan I have to say the horn work was quite enjoyable. I'm a big Trane fan myself, so the neat lines were not lost on me. Surprisingly, also, I liked the organ, and I don't usually like organ at all...something about the sound disturbs me. This organ kinda sounded like the one they use in Phish sometimes. Guitar was a nice feature on this track too. Understated as it was, I wish there had been more focus on it. Bass kept things moving and certainly articulated the chord changes as the rest of the tune did its things. I was happy about the drums as well. Nice to see some real musicians on this site, as more often than not we get good production and weak overall content. I would love to see this "remixer" dig into some more obscure stuff...like the Elle theme from Terranigma (random, I know). Chrono Trigger would benefit from a jazz interpretation too. The only thing I would have to say, though, is that these cats should play more in the classic jazz style like when Miles Davis was playing with Coltrane around the time of "Kind of Blue" and "Miles Ahead". That would eliminate any residual "elevator" feel that the tune might have had. As for my song requests, it doesn't have to be those specifically, but dig through the archives and find some more interesting songs where you can really cut loose. I know, however, that actually finding five people that are actually real musicians AND enjoy obscure video games is next to impossible. You don't get as good as these guys by sitting in your room and playing Bubble Bobble all day.
  7. This remix was good, but I felt like the buildup could have been compressed to a shorter length. Some parts skirted the edge of being somewhat cheesey. Specifically I am referring to the echoey pad thing during the last part of the mix. It wasn't so much the patch as it was the simplistic harmonic progression. In other words, the "vertical" aspect of the notes on the staff was not as engaging as I would have liked. This surprised me because the The Wingless can put together some harmonically dense and interesting things such as Teardrinker, which is his kick-ass interpretation of the Bubble Man stage from Mega Man II. Still, I enjoyed one of my old school favorites from those days when the most important thing in my life was trying to feel a girl's boob for 10 seconds in a dark movie theater. I'll give this mix my stamp of approval, but I know the Wingless can do better.
  8. This is, musically, the best remix on the site...and I have listened to them all. In fact, this might be the absolute best mix on the site but I know someone is going to blast me about subtle sound quality issues. For people who find themselves getting bored by the musical simplicity of many VG remixes, this mix was custom designed to your neural pathways. I'm a tough customer to be captivated by a mix - my idea of easy listening is John Coltrane in his early days. This arrangement is soooooooooooo ENTERTAINING. Seriously, I felt myself connecting with the artist...something that I rarely do with VG remixers. The Wingless is a guy who seems to be about the music first. This is a moving mix that manages to avoid sentimentality...perhaps I should write my posts more like The Wingless writes his tunes.