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djpretzel

OCR01309 - Final Fantasy VI "Return of the Phoenix"

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Once again, GrayLightning hits us hard with another impressive mix. I'm started to see some signature traits to Gray's mixes (no, not just that they are all awesome :P)

Very good stuff. While there are signature GrayLightning elements, there is also some newer influences evident which keep you at your feet while listening, begging to hear the next few seconds.

Very captivating :) Great job Gray!

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If there's a type of mix I will undisputably enjoy- no matter the weather, what I'm doing, or my mood- this GL mix would fit that description perfectly.

I love how smoothly this flows, while keeping a minimal "in your face" sound (which isn't always bad ^^; ), Gray didn't let that energy down to a lullaby level- although the most energetic, dynamic techno-industrial tracks can put me to sleep sometime, too.

In short, gee jay, gee ell. =D

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Good work as always. For the most part, this is the usual matter of Gray doing what he does best. However, the castlevania electronica elements really make this mix -- they provide a degree of ballsiness too often missing in new age music :) I really dig it when an artist effectively borrows from one genre to enhance another.

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Once again, a truly magical GrayLightning ReMix hits OCR. I’m not really familiar with the source material, but this is still a good piece nonetheless. For those who are familiar with Gray’s new age and orchestral pieces will not be disappointed. Gray also throws some electronic stuff in there for good measure, and not for one second does it sound out of place. I can also hear the “Castlevania musical elements” spoken of in the mix write-up; Castlevania music is never a bad thing.

Overall, Return of the Phoenix is an awesome GrayLightning mix (there aren’t too many GrayLightning mixes that aren’t awesome), and a great 5th birthday present for Overclocked ReMix.

-DCT

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O.K. Knowing the FF6 OST fairly well, during the first read through, my mind combed the whole soundtrack searching for the song. Then, I get to this one part at somewhere near 1:20 where I hear just a taste of the melody, but it is so slow and orchestral that it made me second guess myself. No, that's not the boss theme, Cyan, you're crazy. Then, 2:40 rolls around, and I hear a good portion of the melody, and I'm like WHAT??! THIS CAN NOT BE THE BOSS THEME--its soo beautiful and....and not boss like. Very interesting take on the boss theme Gray, excellent idea...its just soo....unnatural that it sounds like that, but its so good too. The only complaint is the section at 1:40 because the electronic section didn't really fit in with the mostly orchestral sound in my opionion. Otherwise great job.

[edit] I'm not really sure if "The Decisive Battle" was the only theme in the piece, but it was the one i managed to pick out and was most surprised by its style of play.

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Time for my review... I finally got to one of Gray's pieces before it got to its second page of reviews! Joy!

So... First, I'm gonna listen to it a few times with my new studio headphones... Damn, this song sounds SO much better with a good pair of phones...

Back on topic... The song starts out soft with flute trills. At first it can seem to be pretty hard to pick out the theme of the song, although it becomes quite apparent at 0:48 when the song picks up. It is Decisive Battle, but it starts out around the middle of the song instead of the beginning. The way Gray blends orchestral with electronic, and then electronic with ethnic, and then back to orchestral instruments is just amazing. This song definitely deserves the title Phoenix, as it definitely lives up to his first remix by the name. The epic feeling is incredible, the percussion work is excellent, the harmonizing of everything is incredible.

Gray's transitions are also incredible. Changing the mood so dramatically in short periods of time, then switching back is no small feat, yet he does it like it's child's play to him... As always, Gray also does a great job at building up the song. He's great at giving songs that epic feel. Somehow, he switches from the epic feeling to electronic and somewhat eerie around 1:20. Then again, switching around 2:15 to an epic but oriental style (but not oriental at the same time), and then into full epic around 2:50 as he slowly builds into it through the oriental part. Pure genius. All the while, the choral sample is being used throughout the piece for good background support further adding to that epic feeling. That percussion is really incredible as well. The asian strings doing pitch bends in the final minute or so also really add to it, although they may be slightly hard to pick out, it's all the little things Gray adds in, all the "goodies" that make his songs so incredible. Putting every little thing in makes a huge difference, and Gray's pieces, especially this one really show how damn well music comes out when you spend the time with those pain-staking details.

Congrats on getting this piece up on OCR for it's 5th birthday. A very fitting birthday present, indeed. Can't wait to hear more of your incredible stuff!

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Wow, the melody was very hard for me to hear at first, which is actually a good thing for me. This is such a moving piece with the orchestrated theme. The transition to the electonic portion was nice but I think it was just a little lengthy for my tastes. The triumphant feeling near the end using the same boss theme is really astounding because Gray was able to manipulate the theme to create different emotional responses with only using one melody. Definetely one of my favorites.

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This is some awesome jawesome stuff. Instrumentation is A+++ skillz and I dig most of the arrangement. I didn't like the electronic stuff so much since I'm a picky bastard. Everything else is great though. yumyum. Keep it up.

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Heard this way back after I joined the judges' panel, so it's great to see this one finally see the light of day, especially in such a timely manner for OCR's 5th!

Smooth handling of the Battle Theme especially and a good foray into uncharted territory from Gray that resulted in some brief but stylish hybrid work. A great follow-up to Phoenix Symphonic to be sure. Man, that was posh.

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Gray you rock! Unlike the picky sgx, I really enjoyed how you blended styles even deeper this time with the electronic breakdown. Your music never fails to excite and inspire (that seems to be my keyword reaction to all your music, but I think that is only fair because that is honestly how I feel about all your works). I don't know what else to say other than this is a perfect tribute to 5 years of OCR. Thanks yet again Gray.

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Hm...let me see...what expression is most suitable for this remix??

WOW

Ok..Gray..You rule..You rock..I like the end..New elements, and new inspiration..I am looking forward to hear the next remix on OC :wink:

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Hot, gray, hot. Quality stuff here. I expect a standard from you, and with each mix, that standard grows. ;)

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A most excellent remix indeed. Loved the percussion, and the random bit of electronica that sorta snuck up on me. Confused my entire sense of music for a minute or two, but that's what I expect and enjoy about Gray's music. Gotta love it.

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Hmmm...more Final Fantasy.

GrayLightning always fascinates me with your excellent orchestra. Now, with more experience in music. The arrangement is fantastic and open my imagination. I never played this game (he is famous, probably). But this song surprise me. So... I have a average vision of the game. Nice work, Gray. Improve in your works, evolving as Remixer. (Better that it, I don´t know). ^ ^

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Quality use of percussion throughout to give the piece a driving force. I also like the use of the choir aahs so that they are not what is the forefront of the music as they always seem to be.

The electronica portion seemed just a little forced, but beyond that, the piece transitions well, and stays fresh all the way to the end. And nice bells of course. :)

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Really nice remix. I liked the variations in speed and beat a lot, but I think it should've been faster. The beginning especially was well done, very planned out. Props.

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... and its not over yet. It is an outstanding track.

The eletronica break is the part I enjoy the most, I can't explain exactly how I feel everytime I heard this little part, but I think is a good blend of distant elements in one remix. And it isn't only for the crazy synths and choirs but also for the drum in that break, somehow it is a very hormonic use of the drum techniques.

The quality and feeling of the rest of the piece is unquestionable.

The Graytest flute flares ever, aha.

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Wow... This remix just blew me away...the song is very beautiful, with the beginning luring you into a peaceful state, and then suddenly blasting off into a evil-sounding stage of music. I tried watching it during a thunderstorm, with no lights (The monitor was turned off)on in the house sitting in front of a huge window, and precisely at 1:20, when the music suddenly turns evil, lightning began to stike evry few seconds...it was so awesome...

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I tried watching it during a thunderstorm, with no lights (The monitor was turned off)on in the house sitting in front of a huge window, and precisely at 1:20, when the music suddenly turns evil, lightning began to stike evry few seconds...it was so awesome...

Interesting. :D Thanks for the comments.

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The Good

1. Excellent sound quality, as usual from Gray...

2. Great instrument selection, especially love the pizzicatos near the end...

3. A ballsy, electronic section in the middle....

4. Did I mention wonderful samples?

The Not BAD, but

Okay, Gray..... I'm going to cut to the chase here....

This particular piece strikes me in a very similar way to many of your others, in that while they sound wonderful and show respectful liberation, the actual composition is sometimes rather plodding, and for me, portions that are given a stomping, almost military feel are out of place. Time after time with your mixes, I keep waiting for a real BEAT, not just the (sometimes seemingly overhumanized) percussion elements. The electric area in the center of the song is a great idea, and I enjoy the switch, but I kept waiting for that chromatic, satisfyingly predictable, "boom-chick, boom boom-chick" of a snare and kick....

I just found this to be a slightly boring listen. It has moments where I perk up and find myself almost envious (the string swells, the asian fiddles and such), but I'm waiting for the moment when there's nothing orchestrated, cinematic, or 'new age' about a Gray piece..... I'm still waiting for you to just JAM, Gray! Ya hip? That middle section with the 'electronica' (which was a tight idea) sorely missed a solid, fierce drumbeat; I felt the percussion that was present was out of place.

In the long run, this IS one of Gray's upper tier pieces, and I'm being a little hard on it, but only because it's not really surprsing me at all.... something Gray did a year ago quite often... it's still worth a DL to any FF fan, and I'm positive that many in this scene will appreciate it much more than I. It's not a bad piece of music at ALL, but this time I'm just not quite 'feeling' it.

Sorry :(

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