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OCR01955 - *YES* Secret of Mana 'Sea/Sky'

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Remixer: ziwtra

Game: Secret of Mana

Song: the legend / into the thick of it

I've always wanted to remix the overworld track of Secret of Mana. I

think it's quite hard to reconcept the track well because Kikuta's

original leaves such a strong impression on the player. The mix

started just as an arrangement of "The Legend" but it ended up

pointing me in a direction that I think opened up possibilities for

the overworld theme.

yh

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http://snesmusic.org/v2/download.php?spcNow=sd2 - 06a "Into the Thick of It", 24 "The Legend"

Another solid arrangement from Ziwtra. I love that funk guitar that comes in about halfway, absolutely selling how funky that beat is. This song manages to be delicate and airy while persistent and sharp - a nice feat. Oh, and awesome how these two songs get melded together, Frankenstein style. This borders on the edge of too liberal, but I felt it held a connection about half the time:

0:00-0:17

0:35-1:09

1:44-2:00

2:01-2:19 (liberal - rhodes is similar to the opening chords of Thick, while the flute is a liberal take on 0:07-0:11 of Thick)

2:35-3:06 (liberal - same rhodes, piano is liberal take on Thick melody)

3:24-4:25

Counting everything puts this at 51% for the curious. Wouldn't blame anyone who goes NO on this for that reason, I think it just squeaks by and I'd prefer a more overt connection. Unless of course I'm missing something, which I may be and would be appreciated if other judges is to point it out?

YES

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This does seem literally liberal, but I think it's a good example of a track that maintains the feel and connection to it's source tune(s) without literally and immediately citing them. The whole thing still screams "modernized/funkified SoM" to me. And it's in that gritty, lo-fi, superbly-sequenced and moving style that only Ziwtra can pull off so affluently.

The samples might bug some people, and even I was initially thinking "man, even for Renoise, maybe a better string sample might help, but by the time the mix was fully on it's feet and moving along, I realized I not only didn't mind, but it fit in beautifully with the corresponding textures and instruments. Again, I think it's important in some cases to not analyze something like "Hey, those don't sound like real strings" and simply realize that it's just an instrument that's selected to give a particular vibe or effect. And again, they fit the context like a glove.

I'm so thrilled Young still finds time to make music.

YES

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This is heavily reminding me of Secret of Mana +, which if you haven't heard before, is a cool, but weird, 50 minute image album (all one track btw) of Secret of Mana's soundtrack. In that album there are lots of fragmented transitions between tracks, which is where I'm getting that vibe. Your track isn't using typewriters or telephone rings though, so it stays on the saner side of things.

Let's break this down:

0:00-1:09 Joch's Cave, 1:44-2:02 Joch's Cave, 2:02-2:53 Into the Thick of It, 3:10-4:20 Into the Thick of It, 4:20-4:58 - Into the Thick of It (different source sections take melody)

What I like most about this is that the source gets an even amount of time as the predominant melody/instrument, and spends some quality time in the background as well. Most importantly, though is that the source remains recognizable almost where ever it is used.* Plenty of arrangement is thrown into this, all very well done. I kind of hoped that Joch would come back in near the end as a bit of a reminder before the track closes out, but that's just a wish on my part. Arrangement wise, as I mentioned above, the fragmented feeling gives this a feel of the Secret of Mana + image album in a very good and pleasant way. Really digging all of this.

Production is great. My only issue is the crazy panning used right at the beginning, which tends to make me dizzy on headphones. Might be more of personal taste. Aside from that panning is used very tastefully to separate instruments and support the main melodies. One thing I would touch on is the lack of kick out of the bass drum, it's getting drowned out at times. Actually, it seems like the volume of the set never changes throughout the track, which is what is allowing it to get overwhelmed. Some fine-tuning adjustments would be appreciated.

This is an easy yes for me.

*There was an issue at 4:20 where it probably took me 5 or more minutes to figure out what the source was. Once I wrapped my head around it though, I'm hearing it without too many problems. The offbeat feel and the change of rhythm overall makes it confusing. check 3:03 of into the thick of it for the part.

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Definitely a nice selection of warm, lo-fi sounds here. I'm a big fan of this sound (check out Moodoorama for even more lo-fi goodness) and ziwtra pulls it off admirably. The string sample puts me off a bit but it's minor when you look at the big picture. Arrangement is liberal but the breakdown checks out and I thought it all felt cohesive, something very important for a liberal arrangement. Overall a groovy track with a lot to love. Nice work! :nicework:

YES

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