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OCR01503 - *YES* Star Ocean: Second Story 'Into Your Kamikaze'

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ReMixer name: Blake Perdue

Real name: Blake Perdue

e-mail address: Blizihizake@gmail.com

Website: :[

UserID: 8644

ReMix Info:

Game ReMixed: Star Ocean: The Second Story

Individual song: KA.MI.KA.ZE

Link: http://www.vgmusic.com/music/console/sony/ps1/so2_kamikaze.mid

Hello, this is Blake. This is a remix submission of Star Ocean: The Second Story's "KA.MI.KA.ZE.", apparently some dungeon song.

I started this remix because of some PRC competition, whose topic was the song KA.MIZ.KA.ZE. Unfortunately I never met the deadline, and here I am three or four months later finally finishing it up. =D I tried to stick to KAMIKAZE and ONLY KAMIKAZE, to try and get rid of the medleyitis. The first half of this song was made on a whim during the day of the PRC competition. I tweaked it and tweaked it, but never added any length. Until yesterday, I hadn't done anything. Fortunately, I had been playing much Oblivion, and have finally come to fully appreciate Jeremy Soule's work. He's a freakin genius! I absolutely love the whole Oblivion soundtrack. I mention this because I have had the Oblivion soundtrack in mind while making the second half. But hopefully it doesn't show enough in a bad way to disgrace his stuff. So thanks, Jeremy Soule, for inspiring me to finish this ReMix. :D

It certainly felt like the last remix I got accepted here was a major let down, and as one put it in the Chrono Symphonic thread: "Here's a tip, guys: Orchestral remixes can have power, too. They don't HAVE to be boring as hell." He may not have been directly referring to my Door to the End of Time, but if he was he was certainly correct. So I've tried to make improvements upon my technique if you wanna call it that, and make sure my fake orchestral is worth listening to. Hopefully people will not say "Ugh, ANOTHER orchestral remix." to this one, but if they listen to it and it is just another one, well, I am always trying to improve anyway. I've forever disgraced my free sample using ways by using an EDIROL clarinet sample, because the squidfont one or any other free one online is just way too damn honky, and provides no flexiblity or textural relevance. (Is textural a word?) However, the rest of the samples in this ReMix are free and mostly of the florestan and squidfont department. Hopefully this gets accepted. There is clipping, however if I compressed or changed any of the instruments' EQ's, it would ruin any other sections, and would eliminate any sense of dynamics.

Link to the ReMix:

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http://www.tzone.org/~llin/psf/packs2/StarOceanSS_psf.rar - 134 "KA.MI.KA.ZE"

I remember the old PRC WIP for this one way back, so I knew this would be solid once Blake finished it up. Certainly glad he got this one fully realized. Brass in the intro was a little fakey (aren't they all) but used well, alongside the other instruments coming together for the solemn-sounding intro.

After consulting with Blizi about the pops from :41-:49 (and 3:43), he was able to mitigate the problem a bit, but you can still hear them. Might have to work more to fix that issue, but it's minor. DarkeSword had to fix the same issue for his recent Grandia mix, so he'd have the best info on how to fix it.

The intensity picked up dramatically at :54 and set a nice tempo. The writing was nice and intricate and really personalized the arrangement approach despite a relatively conservative handling of the melody to start off. There's tons of great support work and ornamentation to bolster the source arrangement here, and of course Blake did a nice job of seamlessly weaving his other wholly original writing ideas with the source material.

Good transition at 2:13 to the next section, though the fadeout of the cymbal crash at 2:14 (or whatever percussion that was) cut out abruptly at 2:19. Booooo! Despite that flaw, everything else was solid.

Wonderful changes in the instrumentation in the following section kept the listener guessing with some vox, harp, and even a lone xylo note (or whatever it was, redux) supplementing the nice strings and woodwind work from around 2:40 to 3:10.

Very nice variation on the source melody at 3:10 for a quiet but serious take on it, before gradually building it up to some more intricate instrumentation at 3:46. I was just impressed by how the piece continued to develop and evolve very naturally and sensibly. Practically nothing felt forced here.

Soundfield got really cluttered from 4:53-onward though. NOOOOOOOOOOOO! Well the next section at 5:32 got rid of that, but still felt a little swamped at times up until 6:24. The very ending felt a little too quick and didn't really end the track memorably; adding more meat to that thin bell sample would have made it sound better. But overall everything here was excellent.

Some tweaks would be needed to fix the lil' flubs in here like the popping or that one instrument fadeout that cut off, and I thought 4:53-5:32 was entirely too loud. But even then, this was still a very creative, personalized, dynamic and vibrant arrangement. Great use of the sounds, great textures, great writing, it gets the job done. YESs all over this. You should subtitle it "Kamikaze Variation." Strong work, Blake!

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a very pleasant opening. The samples are a bit rough, particularly when the strings go reeeally high they sound quite artificial. I anticipate sample quality will be the weak point for this track. Fortunately the arrangement is particularly solid. There are lots of different sections which are strung together with dynamically effective interludes. There's some degree of discontinuity due to the repeated decrescendos, but the sections come across as elements of a cohesive whole rather than independent ideas.

YES on the strength of the arrangement.

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Wow, was the intro inspired at all by the Princess Mononoke soundtrack? If I didn't know better I'd say this is right out of there. It's very similar stylistically. Anyway, very good job there. In terms of the rest, :54 was somewhat abrupt after the very quiet and mellow section preceding it, more because of that high flute hit. After that point, I like the direction the mix heads. Considering you're still working with not-so-great samples you do a FANTASTIC job of orchestrating things, and your production is very good. The one section that is problematic in regards to sample quality is 2:29 to 2:43 - things just sound kinda fake there. You could have done with a little more reverb perhaps to cover that up.

The middle section leading up to 3:50 was excellent. Really, the arrangement as a whole is VERY well-structured and aside from the abrupt transition towards the beginning, things flow extremely smoothly. This is probably my favorite work of yours so far. You did a fantastic job on nearly every aspect of this remix. Any complaints I have are rather minimal.


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