djpretzel

OCR04008 - *YES* Lufia 2 "Such Sweet Sorrow" *PROJECT*

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Had a lot of fun with this one, which is my personal take on a genre-staple synthwave/retrowave arrangement of this MUCH slower source from Lufia II, for the album.

Big bass, big drums, lots of different synths, filters, modulation, sidechaining. Lots of those things. Plus a couple of sleazy, big-hair fakey-guitar solos, courtesy Orange Tree's Evolution: Infinity. Normally I'd use Shreddage but this particular lib is tailor-made to a certain 80's sound I would then have had to recreate, etc. Source connections should actually be pretty apparent, even with the genre shift, speed up, & changes to the progression... original melody is chill & relatively straightforward, so I was happy with how it worked under considerable re-tooling.

Title is a fun Shakespearean nod, and I associate car revs w/ the 80s & synthwave in general, so why not? Credit to https://freesound.org/people/manychefsbroth/sounds/151877/

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- djp

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Yeah, source connection works for me.  It's significantly transformed but recognizable, and there's plenty of it.  Checks pretty much all the boxes arrangement-wise, a very fun retro synth interpretation.  Tricky to balance the chill progression with the driving energy of guitar+synthwave, but I think this does so.

The ending feels a little empty; it's an almost exact copy of the intro, so it's meant to be a bookend, but there's something unsatisfying that I'm having trouble putting my finger on.  It just sort of trickles off instead of having a climax or a proper ease-out.  It's also a tad weird to have that car-rev opening without a callback at some point (either the climax or the conclusion).

Bass is meaty, but there's a lack of presence in the highs.  Several of the synths (leads, sweeps, pads, and the call-and-response bits) are clearly intended to cover that part of the spectrum but lack the high-end shimmer, as do the claps, and I'm not hearing hats at all.

There's 10 seconds of silence at the end that doesn't seem to have any reason for being there.

None of my crits are dealbreakers, though I sure wouldn't mind some more oomph in the highs.  A solid and unique approach to a simple source.

YES

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Very minor thing, but I thought the tail of the faux geetar at 1:15 should have been longer. Agreed that the bookend section could have done a little something more, but it was another minor thing, and there was some differentiation from the opening.

Melodically straightforward, so no stopwatch needed. Cool interpretive arrangement approach, one that would have made me think this source tune was from the Mega Man X/Zero series rather than Lufia II. :-) It even made me want to fire up melody's MMZ4 ReMix, "resolut(-ion)"; guitar soloing was also a nice similarity to that one as well. Nice work, djsynthwave, welcome aboard! ;-)

YES

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It's a tremendously transformed source, but the melodies' framework is there and able to tear through the arrangement. Yes, that even includes the breakdown at 1:48 easing off on the energy to pick up again just over 20 seconds later. And to add to the palette, the countermelody/arpeggio combo adds a delicate balance with being a tonal match to the harp in the source material.  No source variation is identical and the synth leads and faux guitar all sound well manipulated in the larger picture.  I'm also not too sure where MindWanderer got 10 seconds of silence from, as I detected three at best - and that's perfectly fine for a track submission.

The choice of timbres here is so chill there are only two leads in the entire track that use legato, letting the other synths ring out and add a sense of calm.  A lot of the sounds are typical for synthwave, but it feels unusual to hear them utilized in a mellow synthpop way.  There's also a seamless balance with delicate attention to the faux guitar's harmonics, with the frequency tamed well to prevent harshness.  Ultimately, this setup sits on the fine line between the source material's melancholy nature and the retro energy associated with synthwave - and it's proud of it.

All sounds cohesive here, so consider this golden for when the Lufia 2 project (eventually) goes live.  That's one less thing for Gario to get stressed over at night!

YES

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Mmm, lovin' the eclectic 80's sound you got going here, with a healthy blend of rock guitar and classic synths throughout (with heavier emphasis on them synths). I'm definitely a sucker for this style, especially with that rich, thick bass tying everything together. The car leaving in the beginning of a song about "parting" is a nice touch, too.

I mentioned this on an early listen through on this track (though I wasn't specific; my last few weeks have been punishing at work and leaving me drained during the weekends, I do apologize), but one or two leads to punch through too much at certain points in the track. Specifically, at 0:37 - 0:38, 0:48 - 0:49 (as well as similar phrases) the lead sounds considerably loud in comparison to anything preceding and proceeding it, which makes it sound oddly out of place. It's not a frequent occurrence, but when it's there in an otherwise excellent track it's certainly distracting.

Minor lead mixing issue aside (which again, my apologies for not getting back on that), I think this is a solid track for the album. Thank you so much for your participation on it!

YES

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