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OCRA-0013 - Tales: Summoning of Spirits


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Kyle, you've done a good job with the first post, I definitely like to read all those and it also shows you're quite proud of the project, as you all should be, collecting all the little blips and bleeps SoS makes around in everybody's radars.

Why I'm posting is this post by Roz, where he mentions Gentry is a Five Letter Word is in 5/4. What?! I didn't even realize that! And I have an annoying habit of counting unusual time signatures and pointing them out and whatever. Nice work there Rexy!


Hey, thanks. I thought it seemed kind of pretentious at first, but I really wanted to make sure that the remixers especially got to see all of the feedback out there for their hard work. Plus I myself am really interested in what folks are saying about the project, both good and bad. I might've taken it to extreme (I mean, seriously: Linking to every minor blog announcement that gives no feedback is a little silly, no? ;-)), but I wanted to make sure I got everything.

What, someone actually reads my blog? Don't you people have lives? :D

Really, I just do periodic Google searches and see what comes up. :-P Hasn't been much new lately though...

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I've advanced in my voyage slightly.

Disc 2, trak 6: Just Go

This track has a fantastic sound right from the bat. Gorgeous strings right at the start, with a subtle synth enhancing the mood. It slowly begins to consend, with strings and brass coming in with a 6/8 figure on top of the straight timed strings. That's how I hear it, especially as the beat that comes in is 4/4. Slow bass and fast beat for the win! The whole track has a gliding feel, and the smooth sound helps the impression. Love those brass staccattos, both high and low. And then there's the guitar - I'd probably have liked this track even without it, but it's really the icing on the cake. I love the sound, and I also like how it sort of stands out. The sound is quite full, it overshadows the backing when it plays a bit, but that works - it's supposed to be the lead, right?

I find this track an examplary blend of orchestral/electronic/rock sounds and styles. This is because it incorporates all these elements, but sounds like it's own piece - I didn't think of it in genre terms before writing this, and I feel a lot of orchestral/electronic/rock blends rub their genre fusion aspects on my face as I listen. (Ulgh, sounds dirty..) That's alright in itself but I do think this piece is a notch above a lot of the "competition".

Larry in the panel thought this one could use more hooks. OA said in the review thread that the lead guitar without having a rhythm part on the guitar makes it sound a little floating - and that this was an oversight. I mention this as my experiencing of this track makes both of these things, lack of obvious hooks and lack of rhythm guitar, assets. They help the overall gliding feel, which is the essence of this piece. It is so well executed that the piece as a whole is one giant meat-hook for me. Certainly, I can't be sure how much better the piece might be if some hooks or rhythm guitar was added. But perfection comes not when there's nothing more you can add - it comes when there's nothing more you can take away. Well, at least in classic Japanese gardening I hear. :)

Disc 2, track 7: City of Vigor

A solo piano piece that starts out very somberly. I absolutely love those blue notes (if that's the correct term). From the beginning's minor feel, it changes into mostly major feel around halfway (with a very nice "premonition" towards the beginning). This transformation works extremely well! It gives the piece a succesful storylike structure. While the playing isn't quite as eloquent as the top solo piano pieces in OCR, the arrangement, the pacing (I love the tempo changes) and the dynamics are definitely up there.

This track is well placed between Just Go (high-energy, enermous sounding track) and New Technology (harsh, enermous sounding track). It's obviously not a slow or chill-out piece by itself (with the fast middle section), but the fact that it's a solo piano piece between those two tracks makes the sequence quite dynamic.

Now I haven't checked most of the source tunes for the pieces, but I did for this one, Vigorous Town from Youtube. Is that the sole source for this piece? i.e. did you change the source into minor for the first half?


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Thanks for the feedback and the kind words :D

Yea, Vigorous Town is the (only) source and I did change the first bit (after the original stuff) into minor.

I did however, end with a bit (credits/ending) from Zelda 3, but that's just the final 30 seconds or so

GASP, sneaking inferior game series' references into our project? THIS WILL NOT STAND! YOU'RE FIRED!

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OK, I'm ready to try this. TRACK-BY-TRACK REVIEW. I wish I was familiar with either of these games, so I could say anything about the arrangement of the sources, but I can't. :sad: With four discs, I also can't really get into the detail I do on votes, so I'm just gonna highlight things I thought were unique for each track. Have to say, awesome sequencing on the whole project, there were a lot of good transitions.

Disc 1:

The Unholy Wars - Intro is a great mislead, especially knowing that dhsu had a part in this. Thought it would be more piano-focused, augmented by light instrumentation. Should have known Sixto would throw in massive guitar and synths pretty soon, bombarding my ears. Great track to open with.

Crisis Healing Salve - Typically remixes that blend orchestral instrumentation with guitars tend to be bombastic, so I thought it was cool that this track was more scaled back and moody, almost like chamber music. Haven't heard many songs like this.

The Koan of Drums - I actually think this one of djp's weakest tracks of the last few years, though his quality tends to be pretty high and there's still a lot to like here. The blend of ethnic instruments with light electronics hits an interesting subset of emotions, and there's some cool moments, but it's not as full sounding as it feels like it should be.

Airborne - Very wistful, playful track, and I think it's pretty different from the typical piano arrangement we get, which tends to be darker. Good stuff, well-played like dhsu's stuff usually is.

Arche Angel - With its short length and background-y sound, this comes off like an album interlude, but it's still a pretty track. I like the way it winds down.

Chronometrical - The clock ticks are a great element to build a track around. I like how rigid a lot of the synths and drums are, which plays up the mechanical nature. Great mood and chords; I thought the fadeout ending could have been more interesting though.

Setting Sail - Cinematic and bombastic, very strong melodies and composition. Reminds me of several classic movie scores. I have no idea how much of this comes from the original game, but TheDeath did an excellent job selling it. One of my favorites from the project.

Mirror Image - A little disjointed, but boy, does it kick ass at 1:04. I appreciate the hazy, uneasy mood that is trying to be reached in the beginning and end, and the mix of instruments is interesting, but I don't think it was quite pulled off.

Frozen Heart - Loud piano, but a great beat and vibe. Very crisp production. The detuning of some instruments gives it a interesting, unsettling mood, similar to Mirror Image.

Momentary - Feels like another interlude, but again, not a criticism. Thought the piano could have had a fuller sound, but I liked the gentleness and brightness of the song.

Gentry is a Five Letter Word - Nice segue from the previous track. I hear a lot of good arrangement ideas here, and 5/4 done well is always fun to hear, but the instruments could be higher quality. Sequencing is solid though, for what is used.

Wind Dry My Tears - The guitar tuning bothered me a little, but there's some nice playing and arranging here once I got past that. Cool change-up at 3:05. Slow and sad, good way to close disc 1.

Other discs to come another day.

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Thanks for the first CD's writeups, Vinnie. :) Don't worry about unfamiliarity with the source material, I felt exactly the same way when I passed my feedback on Rise of the Star.

To be fair, my current home production setup is still being built upon, so I'll take the tech crits aside regarding the soundbank for Gentry. Still, thanks for the feedback regarding that.

If you thought the transition to there from Momentary was good, wait til you reach Disc 4 :D

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Vinnie acquired new status: Über-Awesome.

Well, my job is done. See you suckers later!


Disc 2:

Beyond Absentminded - I always love hearing vocal mixes, especially mixes with multiple vocal parts, and this one doesn't disappoint. The guitar part fifths (I think those are fifths?) in the middle are a great addition, a little unsettling. A deceptively simple, well-done song.

Summoned Without Reason - This song throws us into the thick of it right away. Nothing wrong with that. The lovely synth and chime parts contrast the high-energy backing track nicely. Another great Sixto solo pretty much clinches this as a standout track.

Middle-Aselia Biology - Nice mood-building and woodwind work; like Rexy's first track, I like the ideas even if the production could stand to be improved.

Cold Memory - Beautiful atmosphere, nice interplay of instruments. Love the subtle ambient washes and bells peppered in there. It would easily fit into a modern RPG.

Simplified Design - Solidly put together rock song, with good energy and crunch. Sorry to say, but I thought some of the small detours in here like the detuned piano and horn blast didn't work, which was disappointing, because the detours are the really unique elements. The rest of it works.

Just Go - Another standout for me, a gorgeous mix of atmospheric orchestral work, beats, and the Greatest Guitar Tone Ever. I gushed enough in the decision thread.

City of Vigor - A moody piano piece that shifts between loneliness and optimism. The chords are pretty and they transition naturally - the shifts never feel sudden. Not that ambitious a song, but good for what it is.

New Technology - Can always count on Overcoat for some textures I've never heard before. I really like the wavering thing coming in at 0:23, the slightly distorted beat, the gated synth that gets up in your face at 2:25. Head-melting.

Horizon's Walk - I love how staccato the song is without losing its natural, live feel. Very comparable to Craig David, if you've heard him. It's neat how the piano and acoustic guitar fill out the song throughout, playing a background role, yet are still distinct and beautiful if you pay attention to them.

Riddles in the Dark - Another ambitious juxtaposition of electronic beats with natural instruments (= good segue!). Lot of unexpected but engrossing changes, like the jazzy piano halfway through and the harsher textures and double-speed towards the end. It's hard to believe all that fits in one song.

As Time Goes On - Sexy sax and lonely vocal over an intriguing backing track built of tremolo guitar and organ. Somehow it works. :-P There is some melody clashing, but I enjoyed the unique mix of sounds and emotions in this in spite of that.

Deity - Trance like this would almost seem out-of-place on this album, but the piano in the beginning and the dark mood tie it in. High energy and epic without being too flashy, very easy to listen to, even at seven minutes.

Sweet Dreams - Just kidding, this is easy to listen to. Lovely way to round out two discs full of darker material and some harsh elements. Very soothing and expertly-played - this is fire-side music.

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Hi Guys(and Gals),

I've been getting music from OCRemix since... well since the site was all about the comic, but I felt like I should register and say great job.

According to my work computer & home computer I've listened about 35 times to the album in its entirety (select songs over 60). I'm a tax accountant :sleepdepriv: and since the album was released I haven't actually listened to anything else at work (all 12 hours of it... work that is). I could start humming the next song just from how the one I'm listening to ends by now. My biggest complaint was No Better Time Than Now is only a bonus track since it is my favorite song! I do wish all of that other bonus music on the site was in the torrent though, I didn't even see it until this thread (just assumed it was all the the torrent D: ) It is so hard to pick out what songs are my favorite; Gentry, Beyond Absentminded, Chronometrical (which has a CT feel to me but honestly that might just be the clock and that I've been doing CT DS on the rides home), Desert Nights, Koan of Drums, well I could probably just say all of them. Really the only thing I didn't like was the website in the album metadata instead of in the comment area, and thats just because of my portable music player. And thanks for giving us FLAC too!

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My biggest complaint was No Better Time Than Now is only a bonus track since it is my favorite song!

I don't think the fact that it's a bonus track ruins the excellence of the song (which is one of my favorites as well). The only reason why it's a "bonus track" anyway is because it's not from the two main games the album covered (Tales of Phantasia and the original Tales of Symphonia), but rather an extra arrangement from the new Tales of Symphonia Wii sequel. We weren't trying to downplay the 3 bonus tracks, just making sure it was known that they're separate from the rest of the rest of the project.

Anyway, glad you enjoy the album so much!

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I don't think the fact that it's a bonus track ruins the excellence of the song (which is one of my favorites as well). The only reason why it's a "bonus track" anyway is because it's not from the two main games the album covered (Tales of Phantasia and the original Tales of Symphonia), but rather an extra arrangement from the new Tales of Symphonia Wii sequel. We weren't trying to downplay the 3 bonus tracks, just making sure it was known that they're separate from the rest of the rest of the project.

Anyway, glad you enjoy the album so much!

Well now I feel bad as I didn't mean it that seriously; I didn't think you guys were slighting the bonus songs. Definitely a good way to spend 4 hours. Or 144 hours in my case. And climbing.

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I don't really have time to give my full impressions of the album, which I'd like to do at some point because it's one of my favorite album projects ever, but I've got one question about a particular track that's been eating at me.

On VGMDB, it says that injury contributed vocals to "Altar Perception" (which is, by far, my favorite track on the album and one of my favorite songs of all time) but honestly, I can't hear any vocals whatsoever. Can someone help me find them? This has been killing me for quite some time now :P

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