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OCR00661 - Secret of Mana "Time in the Clouds DX"

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Secret of Mana 'Time in the Clouds DX'

An interesting mix.. moving around trying to decide just how it wants

to go.. switching between orchestral sounding arrangements to soft

ballad, then to piano and back again. The instruments don't

sound half bad either.

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In my grand tradition of reviewing those songs in which I love, I've decided to take a moment to give a few words to Kailem's new work. Now, I only say new here, because DJ Pretzel says he (she?) has written other things... but those aren't on the site, and since he says this is an improvement on the others, they probably weren't worth listening to anyway.

This one is.

Unless I'm entirely mistaken, this song is based off of "The Upper Lands"... the forest you go to in order to find Sprite's home. You know the one... where you start off in the four seasons land, you fight really hard monsters for your level (at least, for my level... maybe I should have leveled up a bit more before going to the Upper Land?) and you find a moogle town? Yeah that place. Catchy tune, remember? Nice fluty sound throughout it. Well, this peice doesn't have flutes, but it's still catchy and fun...

It starts off with a dramatic series of short repeating piano runs that really grab your attention. That was the first thing I liked about this peice. And then the melody comes in, with what I can only describe as bell tones, mixed in with this shimmery sound that's the aural version of sparkly bits comming out of the top of your camp fire. Then theres a more oriental style bell, with echoey stuff in the background. And then at 1:03, everything cuts out suddenly, dropping you into three seconds of silence...

And then it comes back in with a driving series of repeating chords! I like this piano stuff! It just fits the song so well, even if it wasn't part of the original melody (maybe it was though, and I just don't remember it...). When the snare drum starts in, it just adds to the peice, making it start sounding like a marching band tune. And that bass drum does nothing to disuade me of that!

A nice rythym is beat out on a flat drum of some sort. I'm also enjoying that. And at the end, everything cuts out, except a harp... which slowly fades out....

Ooh! I hope to hear more by this person! Well done Kailem!

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8) Kool ReMix. Love it. This ReMix is taken from the Upperlands level in SoM and is also called 'What the forest taught me' if you'd care to download the original.

I like the extended piano intro then it suddenly kicks in with the famous melody and drums are then added to the beat. It gets better at bout 2'00 when other orchastral rythms enter the melody. Not the most hardcore of ReMix's but definatly a joy to listen to, especially for SoM fans like myself. Reccomended to d/l immediatly.

I would personally like to see Kailem ReMix the SoM theme from the Weird Theif Group also known a 'A Curious Happening'. Keep up the good work Kailem. :)

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I think this song is pretty hip. The ethnic instrument choices really stand out. I like the strong orchestral interlude. The hand percussion sounds pretty cool, too. The marching snare is a nice addition.

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I'm admittedly partial to SoM remixes, but this one is great. It was a good song to begin with, and Kailem only improved on it with his (her?) instrument choice and interpretation. 8/10

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Wow. This is magnificent, Kailem. I have one of two speakers on either side of my computer, and I noticed how your piano flows flawlessly back and forth... not choppily, but gradually fading in one as it pronounces in the other. That was an awesome touch, and almost added a feel of personality to the song.

Your interpretation of this is awesome. You added magic to the Upper Lands, but also kept it fun, as it was meant to be.

Wow, the ending caught me off guard. It just kind of... echoed away... almost as if the entire song is the hero chasing something through the Upper Land, and at the last second, it escaped. Rather interesting, and I think I like it.

Magnificent work, Kailem.

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I love this remix, it's the only one that's based on "What the Forest Taught Me", I got attached to it the first time I heard it. I'm glad that Kailem the positive and joyful feel this track has, the bell pads fits perfectly. The prescense of a piano and drum snares just makes this piece better, I've listened to this so many times that I've lost count.

Great stuff, you gotta listen to this. :D

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Sweet stuff, catchiness is enhanced by the composition a tell-tale sign of a good song. Some FX and other stuff coulda been added.

Some of the slight panning is def a nice addition. This def has the old school OCR feel in a good way. Simple and catchy, it's good music. I really like how the arrangement went places, with all types of similar elements coming in and out, the ideas really fit well with the source. YES MORE SoM LOVE. :D

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Pretty mechanical sequencing, but there are enough cool touches to make it stand out as a good mix. Instrumentation-wise it's very nice, with some very creative percussive textures. The brass is mixed pretty quietly, and sounds really good because of it, it sounds like the samples are being fully taken advantage of.

So despite the unintentional clockwork sound, this is good stuff.

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I never really noticed the panning on this mix until now, and it adds a nice touch at first but, does the song pan back and forth for the entire time, or is that just me? Gets annoying after a while.

The percussion is nice. The hand drums, snare (not entirely crazy about the snare sound, but it's decent), and timpani work nicely together. Changing around from one to another and mixing them keep the piece interesting.

Melody is nicely done, though the main line is left pretty straightforward. Little details here and there, like the pause at the beginning, and the altered bit at the beginning, really bring this piece alive.

Nice work. Not the best SoM mix out there, but worth keeping and a good listen once in a while.

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A pleasant building piece that really doesn't structurally evolve, rather lathering more and more whipped cream on the melody line. And there's nothing wrong with bountiful amounts of whipped cream.

The samples are pretty adequate, and I like the fact this develops into some contained ethnic-style bombasticity, because that is the last place I expected it to go, judging from the first 30 seconds or so.

On paper, this probably would have sounded like an extremely annoying concept to me, but I'm glad to be proven wrong in its execution. A bright mix, albeit not a very deep one.

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"What the Forest Taught Me". A simple source with a lot of high end instrumentation, so it's good to see an interpretation of it down the line.

Suffice to say, it doesn't deviate from the source much, but it did end up swapping away the original woodwinds and flute for mainly pitched percussion and plucked strings. The strings do eventually come through at 1:55 accompanied by a timpani, and the woodwinds much later at 3:00 in the form of a bassoon part, though in both cases they were there to provide some more original backing, which I thought was a good touch.

It does get a little experimental past 1:08 with the strange master panning; it may be seen as a more obsolete panning trick now, but seeing it used in several parts throughout in transitions between riffs was quite trippy and somewhat fitting the more experimental nature of the 2002 era.

To be fair, I have indeed witnessed better patches being used for the instrument sounds at that time too; here, most of the sounds except for maybe the chorused piano came off as rather MIDI-like, so maybe some careful attention towards the controllers for realism and articulation probably would've done this some good if no enhancements could be done towards the original sound.

As it is, it's a pleasant listen (albeit tickly with the chorused rhodes panning through headphones), though nothing too groundbreaking. If you're wanting a Secret of Mana arrangement in any shape or form, then I don't see why you shouldn't go for this one, but don't expect a re-invention of the source.

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