ReMix:Skies of Arcadia "Dungeon Cave (Buried Alive Mix)" 4:33

By Steve Pordon

Arranging the music of one song...

"Dungeon of the Cave"

Primary Game: Skies of Arcadia (Sega , 2000, DC), music by Tatsuyuki Maeda, Yutaka Minobe

Posted 2002-08-04, evaluated by the judges panel

Some judges had some criticisms for this mix, but in the end more liked it than disliked it. It was actually interesting (and indicative of healthy difference of opinion) to see the discord. Steve Pordon gives us our first Skies of Arcadia mix, in an ethno-rock style with excellent percussion and multi-layered guitars, which segues into a hard rock section, kicks booty for awhile, then reverts back into the more sedate, tribal sounds of the intro. I think a lot of the concern had more to do with repetition than with sound quality or the arrangement - Steve's done an excellent job mixing various guitar timbres with syncopated, well-panned percussion, and contrasting that refined, trance-like idea with a no-holds-barred wall of sound middle section. I sorta think of this like I would a techno trance piece - the repetition is part of the appeal, in that it's very hypnotizing - I would say moreso than most trance - and gives one the mental image of spiraling deeper and deeper into a dark, foreboding space. Some will naturally lean towards pieces with more defined structure and identifiable verse-chorus-verse-bridge-chorus-format, but I personally enjoy more freeform stuff as well, as long as the ingredients are compelling enough and there's still some focus and momentum. I think Steve's latest meets all three of those criteria, and is good chillin' music that's guitar-based instead of electronica, something you don't catch too often. Groovy.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2014-11-03 07:32:53

I hear Ali Farka Touré and some Death Note in this, an interesting combination with the distorted guitars.

The intro makes the rest a lot more hypnotic than it would be on its own.

Very evocative - it feels very heavy, yet the percussion causes a bit of a floaty sensation.

on 2012-01-28 15:39:11

ok, i actually like this. just a tad too long of an "into" to it but pretty good overall.

good job though

on 2010-08-24 20:46:36

Ok, right out of the gate, this intro has me groovin! The hand percussion is really cool and it sounds great. THe echo electric guitar also sounds really nice. The performance gets a little hairy here and there, but I can easily get past that. However, it took 1:45 minutes to get into the meat of the song. The sudden change was a abrupt and devoid of high end head room. The intonation/pitch of the solo e guitar is pretty off here and there. The transition back into the percussion and e guitar was also abrupt. I would have LOVED to hear more development of this section as, production wise, it was the strongest. However, the acoustic drums that come in with this section really added a lot but it really needed a bass line in there to keep it going stronger. The fade out took way too long to come in as that section just repeated over and over again. Once again, it's good to hear Steve get away from the GM sounds and I will give him mad props for that alone. The arrangement here was a just a little too empty for me to really get into the vibe of it.

on 2009-12-09 22:11:26

I enjoyed the opening and ending a lot more than I did the middle section. Dave put it right when he said it felt like a descent into darkness for those portions, which I thought was a really cool and mesmerizing affect. The center section felt a bit aimless to me (odd considering the beginning is aimless as well, but IMO in a good way), and it didn't fit with overall with the two outside sections. Too bad, I really liked the intro/ending.

on 2009-10-04 08:01:46

I can see why people minded this, and I certainly have issues with some elements in here, but I also really get something out of it. It's not just repetitive music; it sort of transcends that.

In fact, the only problem I have with the mix is that the two sections don't gel like they should. Transitioning into the heavy part was a lot less jarring than coming out of it, but both left a bit to be desired. Most of it is the fault of differing levels of production quality, or approach to production quality. The result is the disorted guitar work drifting over the acoustic stuff like a murky fog. Aesthetically and cohesively, it creates problems for me; stylistic choice or not. It could have been a much better bridge section if it didn't make everything seem unclear and cloudy. It's like listening to a bad song and a good song over the top of one another.

As for the rest, I understand that it needed some sort of variation shift with the bridge, but I have to say that I liked the drawn out approach and thought the added drumline worked a treat. Pity it didn't knock it out of the park though. A misfire maybe, but an intriguing one nonetheless.

on 2009-01-07 04:20:31

damn this is awesome

and overly snubbed and criticized

if you are easily offended by any hint of repetitiveness in music, never play a video game or judge video game music

and let the rest of us enjoy the splendor


on 2006-12-27 14:35:17

Can't say i'm a huge fan of this one. Sorry. :(

There are some good parts to be sure, but the out of tune lead guitar and the somewhat aimless arrangement left me wanting more. The clean guitar tone was nice, and it was really densely layered, but it seemed to go in circles.

Corporal Eschebone
on 2005-01-17 10:52:54

Very good, wonderful really, but not for close listening - Too repititious if you don't allow it to work its intended effect as background music, at least up until the guitars. Then things get heavy, but in a good way. The guitars are very high-quality with the perfect amount of reverb. Good job.

Dark Heart
on 2003-05-13 07:15:01

This tune did its job to be called "Buried alive" but it could've been done a better job. I won't really want to dl these kind of songs but it was enjoyable while it lasted. Meh...imo it could've been done better but it was pretty good 8)

on 2002-12-24 23:24:46

I thought this was pretty enjoyable. I'd like to see more from this artist, that's for certain. As someone suggested about more Skies of Arcadia music, I don't know about that, since the original is pretty perfect. Hard to top the original, perhaps impossible. Good work though.

on 2002-10-08 22:15:15

I really think this piece is mediocre compared to some songs from this game that could be ReMixed extremely well.. No offense to the DJ, but I know you can ReMix another song that sounds so much better than this did. This was an odd song to ReMix, but of course, if it weren't for daring people like you, this world would be such a boring place.

on 2002-08-11 01:38:34

This little piece remains a puzzle to me, the introduction was not very well pieced toghether, the transition between the many sort of instruments just didnt piece up.

Near the middle the low-quality heavyer stuff kicked in, but its just not enough to make me put up with this mix .. the sound isnt horrendous .. but theres a lot of better remixes out there

thumbs down on this one folks, sorry.

on 2002-08-05 02:22:31

Nice to be hearing from Mr. Pordon again.

First off, this is an excellent mix. The subtle intro smoothly introduces you into some nice heavier juice. My only complaint about this mix is during the heavier parts. The way the percussion is panned natural just doesn't work well with my ears. Panning the kick hard left and the snare hard right just doesn't work for me :) Other than that, it's great. Nothing else I can complain about. Good work :)

on 2002-08-05 01:18:28

Wow, it went up.

This is actually my favorite remix to date. I understand some of the judges' complaints about the "muddy, crowded, busy" middle, but I should point out that I mixed it that way on purpose. It *is* called "Buried Alive," after all, so even if you didn't like it, I'm happy I accomplished my goal. :)

As for the other concerns: some of the lead in the middle was slightly out of tune. I'd like Ailsean to jump in and give me his impression, as he has a good ear for tuning. My guitar's intonation is off a bit, which affects higher notes, and I tried to correct the pitch drift with software. I don't have the best ear for pitch, though, so hopefully it wasn't too far off. For the repetition: the intro was just long enough to let me get the melody sections in (there are two in the original). I tried to make the outro a little different by throwing in the extra drum line over the bongoes, but apparently it wasn't enough to break the monotony.

Anyhoo, thanks for the comments and constructive criticism. I'll keep it in mind next time around (although my Demon's Crest remix is done and I'm too sick of it to mess with it anymore, so there).


on 2002-08-04 22:57:14

I have to agree with the first post. The bongos at the beginning did seem unlikeable. It did drag on for too long. The transitions between the different instuments in the beginning seemed to not connect. It seemed a little jaunty. But then during the song, especially near the middle of the song it sounded good from then on. It's hard to explain you just have to listen to understand. I played Skies of Arcadia about three time and I have to say that this is a fair attempt of a SOA remix. I do hope the DJ will make another one.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Skies of Arcadia (Sega , 2000, DC)
Music by Tatsuyuki Maeda,Yutaka Minobe
"Dungeon of the Cave"

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