ReMix:Secret of Mana "Smooth Mana" 3:07

By Gux

Arranging the music of one song...

"Fear of the Heavens"

Primary Game: Secret of Mana (Square , 1993, SNES), music by Hiroki Kikuta

Posted 2001-05-26, evaluated by djpretzel

Brother Gux dusts off his lounge chops on this 'Fabulous Baker Boys'-esque interpretation of the main SoM theme. Great comping background chords, moving upright acoustic bass line, brush / cymbal percussion, some crazy sax stuff - I really admire the way the song was turned jazz (this ain't always easy, depending on the theme. His Mana seems to work better than my Mario ^^). There are really intelligent turns, brilliant liberties taken at times, a LOT of personality, but the core of the song is still there. I might even have added some ambient 'drinking and mingling at restaurant' sounds for the 100% lounge effect, but hey, I'm a bit cheesier than most. Alright, lounge acts and 4-piece jazz bands of the worlds - Gux has done the hard part, now go out and follow his example: play this song in the casinos and piano bars of the world and make us all proud!



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2018-06-14 16:45:08

Good stuff in terms of keeping the timing loose. The piano and sax samples were very weak, but the arrangement itself was well done and the bass -- though low-key -- was well executed and filled out the piece well.

Another one of the older mixes where you'd love to hear a band take a stab at this arrangement and give the sound more depth. I wonder if the OC Jazz Collective would ever be interested in something like that?

ella guro
on 2009-12-02 22:02:16

What the fux? It's Gux!

I liked how Gux was always trying something completely different with every mix. Some of his show their age more than others, and I don't think this one is one of his better ones. The arrangement is good, but the samples really detract this time around. It really could have benefited from being played by someone, or at least have better samples/mixing. Still not bad stuff, but I definitely prefer most of his other mixes to this.

on 2009-12-02 19:57:47

As much as this suffers in the production area, I definitely am a fan of the arrangement after all these years. My only area of concern is that the ending gives a hint that it could've gone longer.

on 2009-01-17 22:39:57

I ~could~ nitpick over the piano and sax, but those have already been addressed and more accurately than I could have pinpointed.

And they don't really detract from the mix anyway, so...

I like the truth in advertising here; Smooth, just as prescribed.

This is one of those must-have tracks on an ocr jazz playlist. :D


I really need to get around to doing that.

on 2008-12-23 16:04:47

Yeah, smooth. Great bass. Not sure I like the sax, but it doesn't detract much. Long ending, but I don't mind.

This is o of those must-have tracks on an ocr jazz playlist. :D

SubNormal J3
on 2008-12-01 17:48:13

Jazz ReMixes are often my favorite. I loved this track the moment I heard it. Great Work!


on 2008-09-29 21:52:19

OA hit it on the head with the piano. It sounds like each note is being hit as hard as it can, without any feel to it. More humanization would have really added a good vibe to this.

Nice work on the chords, and the solos are all nice. Sax sounds alright for the most part, though a bit too fake on some of the faster runs and higher notes.

Not my favorite SOM mix, but something I still listen to occasionally. Shame there are so few reviews.

on 2007-05-03 13:08:58

Piano was a bit too dry for my taste, and could have used a lot more humanization, since it sounded like each note was being hammered out. The sax was also a bit too dry, but the arrangement itself was very creative and there were some nice solos.

on 2006-04-17 08:32:34

Yeah, I like it very much actually. Nice walking bass fits the jazz mood, the only thing I can't say I like was the piano. The rhytm it plays something feels a little, uhm, weird. Hard to describe. I also think that the piano should not be so much in the foreground of the sound layers, a little back would do it good. A little brighter piano would atleast suit my tastes better aswell. :) Anyways it was absolutely great work, I admire you that you can make such great jazz songs!! Awesome, keep it up man!

on 2006-04-17 04:56:53

I thought I had reviewed this remix, this is awkward. :oops:

I don't know much of the current jazz world, but I do know some things that a song must have to be jazzy.

Piano: Check

Saxophone: Check

Bass: Check

Groov: CHECK

Issues about how the instruments could more real can always be brought up, but if we need it in the real form, we might as well go to a club. Anyone can get that this is jazz, Gux has taken the basic elements into it and converted the Mana theme into a much more funky concept. Great stuff.

on 2004-11-10 02:24:59

I'm really quite surprised there are not more reviews for this mix considering how excellent it is. The saxophone is simply superb, especially at around the one minute mark and the closing seconds of the mix. I admit at first I did not completely enjoy the piano, but after a while it grew on me and now I find I couldn't imagine the mix without it. If you even remotely enjoy the saxophone, you owe it to yourself to listen to this song.

on 2004-08-23 20:28:25

I am biased towards this because I play in a few jazz bands and love the style; I love the new chord progressions. Interesting take on the song. The samples could have been better, but the remixer did all the hard work and a positive review is warranted. If someone took his midi file and updated the sounds a bit or better yet, made them live, this would REALLY stand out, but as it is, it is a nice rearrangement of the SoM theme.

on 2003-02-13 13:52:04

I'm not a big fan of changing the style of the music completely, like the SoM theme turning into a jazz theme just doesn't sound right, but I still think this is pretty good.

on 2002-06-22 20:50:02

Alright, here's your "good jazz lover".

The sax could definately sound more realistic, but the sax is used appropriately throughout the whole song. The piano solo is very well done, and the sax notes near the end of it are a deacent lead into another sax solo. I would have loved to hear a long sax cadenza followed by a band hold and drum fill to end the piece rather than the piano chord used. The drum solo at 1:37 could have been longer as well, but overall a great remix of the classic Secret of Mana theme.

on 2002-05-21 23:25:54

Secret of Mana 'Smooth Mana'

Hmm, I'm not into jazz. I just don't like it. And I think that's what this is.

Well, regardless of whether it's jazz or not, I really don't like the style.

The mix seems to be well done though. The saxaphone doesn't sound right either. I think we need a good jazz lover to review this track. I just can't cut it. But for what it's worth, there's my 2 cents.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Secret of Mana (Square , 1993, SNES)
Music by Hiroki Kikuta
"Fear of the Heavens"

Tags (9)

Arrangement > Quartet
Time > 4/4 Time Signature
Time > Tempo: Moderate

File Information

4,032,879 bytes


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