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djpretzel

OCR01322 - Metal Gear Solid "Legend of the Snake"

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Hehe nice too hear all the MGS songs in one

Fave part was around 2 minutes and again around 3:30 when the main MGS2 theme comes in

MGS2 had the best music of the three, I'ld say

Congrats on the probally difficult piece to put together, Reuben Kee!

Oh and I love 4:38!!

I just say the ending could have been made a little more dramatic

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With apologies in advance to Reuben Kee, who seems like an amicable bloke who won't take too much offense, I've gotta cover the Oscars a bit.

That made me chuckle. Ah, must be getting late.

OCR has had some good stuff on the front page this past week. Plenty of variety, which refects on the site and its members pretty accurately.

Anyway! As for the mix, I loved it. It feels vaguely similar to something that Jeremy Soule would write/produce at times. I loved the changes of pace and instrumentation throughout the remix. Damn, this kicks so much ass. If there's anything wrong with this mix, I flew right the fuck over it, because the sheer quality of everything is enough to drown out any flaws that I'd ever notice, even if I looked really really reaalaallyylylyy hard.

Keep up the good work, I look forward to hearing more from you.

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Ah, finally a mix that covers the Metal Gear theme. This is an excellent theme, which makes it hard to change and still cover well. Also it's from a newer series, which means that more skill needs to be involved in the changing of the song. Actual remixing of the piece has to occur, rather than just instrumentalizing a midi, or laying down a dope beat. Thank you for not laying down a dope beat.

I like what you've done with this piece. The opening is your strongest point, although the style and musical ability is excellent throughout. I would say that around the middle you come to an early climax which defeats the later aspects of the piece, it might've been nicer to come to that climax and then drop to a quiet, soft melody for that rest of the piece, then either slowly drop out, or return to the main melody. Yes, I know there are aspects of this, but the feeling of climax never quite leaves.

Still, just a suggestion. I downloaded it, and have listened to it a number of times. An example of great work that can be made better still.

Zipp Dementia

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I have been a growing fan of Rueben's ever since his Shenmue mix. THat one mix made me explore his website and pick up on some other excellent pieces, and ever since then I'm always happy whenever I see a new submission from him. This one just adds on top of everything else - excellently done, very engaging and definitely a keeper. Keep up the great work!

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Feeling lazy, so I'll just post my VGMix review

Legend of the Snake

Reu

Briefing

Reuben Kee is quite famous for his wide variety of piano arrangements, available everywhere from here to OCR to Anime Remix. Having built his name up as a remixer, Reu moves into different territory with his arrangement of various themes from the Metal Gear Solid series, composed originally by the excellent Harry Gregson-Williams. With this arrangement, Reu attemptes to give the themes an Asian feel, though use of various asian instruments and precussion. This mix maintains a conservative stance when it comes to actual arrangement, and, in doing so, falls short, because when one mixes a song in the same style as the original (in this case, orchestral) one has to compete with the original composer's work as well. However, on a purely "average listener" basis, this song is ear candy, lush and emotional. Moving through the heart wrenching passages that have been made so famous in the game, Reuben manages to keep, for the most part, the emotions conveyed by Gregson-Williams. Let's take a look at the different sections of this song.

Section One: Ivory Barracuda

000.00 to 001.28

The first section in this gam--...err song, is typical Reuben Kee piano work, a clean, simple and beautiful take on "The Best Is Yet To Come", the ending theme from the first game. During the first part of this section, we have some high strings in the background, fading out as the introduction continues. One really can't cite any flaws in the piano playing of this section; Reuben is a master of his craft.

Section Two: Conservative Panda

001.28 to 004.09

At 1:28, we get the first real glimpse of the actual nature of this piece, with the introduction of an Asian flute. The precussion that comes in is reminiscant of Hans Zimmer's work on The Last Samurai, with the bass string undertones working with the sudden pounding of the drums to create an eerie film soundtrack feel. The flute that comes in is very convincing as an instrument and works well. Props to you. Then, the Main Theme from the Metal Gear games comes in, over backing strings and the constant pounding of the Taiko drums. Throughout the course of the next few minutes, we pass through a variety of themes from the games, and here is where the mix's fatal flaw comes in; if the Metal Gear themes had been done originally way back on the NES, this would be the most beautiful section of the entire song, however Gregson's work is done with an orchestra, and already beautiful. Reuben's song sounds, for the most part, like a downgrade of the original. Which is not to say that it doesn't sound good. Reuben really shows off some excellent samples in this section; his strings are vibrant and realistic. It's just that this section really tries to be something, but it pales in comparison to the original. I should know this, because I am guilty of trying to do the same thing at times.

Section Three: Liquid Kee

004.09 to 006.29

In my opinion, the song picks up here with a bang, really making up for the faults of the previous section. This is pure ear candy, reminiscant of Jared Hudson's Metal Gear May Cry. The samples range from asian to orchestral, with a good dosage of Reu's piano thrown in for good measure. The build up of this section is well arranged, with some well sequenced drums that really add to the mood. My biggest concern is with the wind instrument that comes in at 5:23. It seems a bit thin and weak to act as the main melody bearer for the climax of the song, especially coming after the plucked instrument that just. sounded. so. damn. good. The song ends, and it's been an emotional rollercoaster, just like playing any Metal Gear game.

Final Decision

I think I've already said it like three times in this review, but, for the average listener, this mix is pure, unadultered ear candy, cocaine for your lobes. I cited some technical issues I had with the mix (the conservative section vs. Gregson's original being the main one), but I have had this song on my playlist for a while now. It really keeps a mood about it that makes it worth listening to. Reuben is pushing his way towards the top; this man is a remixer to definitely look out for in the coming months. If his music shows us anything, it is that he knows what he is doing when it comes to samples and sequencing, knows how to play a mean piano, and likes to arrange music, all signs that point to a future of fruitation.

Final Score: 87/100

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Ah, another Reu mix has arrived here. :D This mix almost reminds me of Ascension to Cosmo Canyon given the instrument structure, and even here I feel more amazed on this than the previous mainly due to the broader scopes on the overall composition and what I feel is a fuller overall performance. Good thoughts to dynamics all around too.

My only gripes with this would be relating to the shakuhachi volume right at the end - didn't seem to stand out too much in comparison to some of the pace as shown on the rest of the instrumentation, but this is still a real pleasure to listen to.

Be sure to keep going with your work, Mr. Kee :)

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I'm afraid I'm lazy as well, so here goes:

January 5, 2005

You gave this song a rating of 80%

I have mixed feelings about this piece.

While my opinion of it is not as dry and harsh as Gwilym's, it certainly isn't as enthusiastic as the other reviewers.

I think this arrangement really shines when the simplistic new-age/oriental parts play. The intro mainly (0:00->2:30) is tastefully done and quite soothing, i love the relaxing piano work; ALTHOUGH (later on) the percussion - while being successfully sequenced - had its weak spots of repetitiveness.. I thought I was in for quite an ethnic ride when I heard this but then...

You decide to - try - to go Harry Gregson-Williams on us, and that is when/where the mix fails for me. While some of the buildups were not essentially bad, they just terribly lacked in terms of instrumentation. As Gwilym said before, it sounded like there were tracks missing; and while your ethnic percussion lines did work in the quiter transition parts, it was not so much of a strong backup for the action parts.

I found that despite the ethnic touches added, that part (2:42->4:03) was fairly disappointing, because it was not as refreshing arrangement-wise and consequently pale in comparison to the originals.

At 4:04 starts a rather pleasant transition/buildup with a beautiful piano/woodwind/string combo (maybe some bass string/instrument could have added to some of your quiet parts, but that's just personal preference). 4:37->4:54 suffers from the same things mentionned in the former paragraph, it's not really adding anything and doesn't stand the comparison.

Starting at 4:55 is a part that reminded me of some action tunes by Tan Dun because of the percussion action, which was rather tastefully done. The woodwind sounds are also a good addition, I wish you had used it more. HOWEVER that part really suffers from a bad koto/shamisen/other sample AND buildup. I realize that koto/shamisen samples are hard to find but the sounds you have used and the way you have sequenced that buildup (really fast fingering) made it sound like... A BANJO :( That part would have been real class for me if that koto issue had been fixed.

The final moments of the track were better than what I had expected, mainly because it was more focused on atmosphere than full orchestra. I especially liked when the brass backing went away and the wind/strings/perc/piano were doing their own thing. It was a good ending.

My review may seem harsh but I've decided to be quite precise and descriptive about the parts that had bugged me in some form or another. This is a pretty nice piece of music, probably better than a lot of stuff on this site, but as an arrangement of those particular themes, I found that it could have highly benefitted from exclusively focusing on the fresh (arrangement, like the ethnic parts) instead of trying to recycle what was already excellent (the orchestra parts).

Definitely worth a listen and attention though, and quite an effort, mixes that last over 6 minutes always deserve respect :) I will be sure to download your future pieces.

So yes, a good piece; I'm not really happy with how it repeatedly went back up to "Stuff of Legends" tier with poorly-written reviews (which claimed they wanted to "bump it back" to tier 1) giving it 100/100 on VGMix, but that would be dishonest to claim that this track isn't worth checking out and enjoying. Still looking forward to your future music.

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I've loved this song since I first saw it posted on the message boards a few months ago however I always had one gripe with it.

At 2:10, there is this horrible sound of a woodwind squeaking. It sounds accidental as it provides nothing to rest of the song, and it's always bothered me.

Other than that, this song is beautiful and it captures the drama and emotion of the original tune quite well.

I'm a bit curious as to why this was added to the list of MGS remixes and not to a MGS3 list of remixes because this seems to have a jungle-type feel that fits in quite well with MGS3: Snake Eater.

Anyway, TAPPY, the original composer of the MGS Theme, should be quite proud if he hears this.

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(...)

Nice, nice work here, Reuben Kee.

The melody and string work sounds good. The synth lines are very fun and the filler for the chords make a nice contrast. It's beautiful and I've always been a sucker for piano. Everything sounds good, no, great. Overall, I liked this mix.

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Hey Reuben. Have been taking note of you since the Shenmue mix, and it was particularly surprising and delightful when I found out where you came from. :)

However, I didn't find this remix particularly impressive. I feel that the instruments could have used a little more clarity; and that you could have employed more distinction in volume throughout the piece. The percussion fill-ins sound very amateurish and don't quite come at the right moments in the piece. I also noticed you're using almost the exact same instrumentation from your COsmo Canyon remix; I'd like to see you be abit more adventurous and branch out abit.

One thing I'd give a plus for is the beginning of the song; it's a little exposed but I think it does well. Apart from that, I hope you continually improve in your arrangement skills.

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Reuben Kee has the best drum samples :) However, I think with them as prominent as they are, you might want to go in and manually tweak individual "strikes", as it were, to deal with the mechanical sound that Baranowsky justifiably mentions.

Good song, though I think Ascension to Cosmo Canyon is better. But then again... that song is better than a good 98% of the songs I've heard in this world of ours.

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One word can describe what i have heard...BRILLIANT! A very well done piece...towards the end though another piece is brought in so dang familar that i cant place it....It compliments this remix perfectly i wish i could place that 2nd piece at about 5:15....

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This is an awesome song. I never expected a piano piece from Metal Gear Solid, and here it is, in full spectacularity. This is awesome the whole way, especially when the new instruments are introduced. I love this as much as I loved Ryu for Four Pianos - hell of a lot.

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Well, I've never played any of the MGS's, so I don't know how far he had to go to get here, but I like what I've got playing. I absolutely LOVE the drums, excellent samples and I enjoyed how they were put to use. The flute was also excellent, and we know by now that your piano will kick ass. The string parts occasionally hit me funny, especially when they first really had the lead at around 2:45. Not sure what it was exactly, but they felt almost.. too.. contained, maybe? Not sure, there was just something to them that was hitting me with that 'these are fake :(' feeling that so often plagues electronic orchestration. Anyway, it quickly faded away and I got back to enjoying the wonderful mix. Definitely a highlight for me with the buildup from 5:30-on, great stuff.

Anyway, I'll admit I'm stuck in a stage of admiration for how the whole thing 'sounds', and not so much how it's written, so don't know if it's got great lasting value, but I've definitely already gotten my money's worth ;). Excellent stuff Reu, as always. Thanks for laying it down :D

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wow, this is something that could be used in the opening of a MGS movie or something, with just a few tweaks here and there to make it sound much more powerful

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I could write pages on how amazing this song is to me, but I don't want to rant. I'll just say that this song is one of my absolute favorites. Then again, I love all of Reuben Kee's music. Amazing work.

I couldn't give it any lower than 98/100. Why not 100? Well there's always the tiniest little tweaks I wish were there.

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