ReMix:Secret of Mana "Secret of Spram (8 Bells Mix)" 4:09

By jaxx, Kassi, Mustin

Arranging the music of one song...

"A Bell is Tolling"

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

Posted 2003-04-24, evaluated by djpretzel

I know we've got a lot of Secret of Mana fans out there, some who specifically cite this song as one of their favorites, so this ReMix from Mustin, featuring Kassie! and a cameo from JAXX should have an instant audience. It deserves it, though, with a great retro-70's feel, well-produced and clean instrumentation, and an overall pleasant vibe going on. I think specifically the rhythm guitar riffs and flute bit give it the sound of lots of 70's lighter funkish-rock. Had the bass been slap and had more motion, in fact, it would have basically crossed over, but as it is it's a little less predictable, with piano (played by Kassie!), flute, strings, a nice warm electric bass, electric rhythm guitar and acoustic guitar, muted trumpet, and (prolly the coolest decision) some great violins to boot. And clarinet. And I'm probably still missing a few things - rarely can one accuse Mustin of under-arranging; the timbral variety is here in spades. Drums are catchy, and more importantly flow with the piece, reacting to it and driving it as well. This isn't really a dancin' piece, but it's not somber or pensive either. It's more of an everyday livin' n' listenin' thing, for driving or other daily activities. It reminds me of some of the better incidental music used in higher-class 1970's television and film, where the happy couple is walking through Central Park, NY in Autumn, completely oblivious to the world and to their own crimes against fashion. Or something like that. Mustin writes: "I'm submitting this for JAXX 'cause it's proly the last thing they'll hear from him. Not that it's very big part, but still. In memory of JAXX, and for Spram (returning a favour)." - you can read more at Recommended.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2010-03-25 21:08:50

This is definitely one of my favorite sources from SoM, so, like the article mentioned, I'm glad I finally got around to checking this out. Much more upbeat than the original, with much different instrumentation, and yet it works so well. As usual I'm going to have to say that the flute parts are probably my favorite, aside from the intro, which I absolutely love.

The intro really reminds of, also like the article, go figure, an oldschool movie, or perhaps even TV-show intro. I can picture it cutting to a bunch of characters doing their thing so coolly and calmly, with credits rolling, if you can visualize what I mean.

Always nice to find old gems, and there are still so many I'm sure I haven't found!

on 2009-12-18 15:38:10

Some of the samples are a bit dated now (specifically the violins), but the live performances are great. The mixing is also a little bass heavy, but I can dig it. No one ever got fired for adding more bass into the mix.

Overall pretty good, and very unique- these kinds of collabs are very cool to hear some new directions that mixers otherwise wouldn't have normally taken.

on 2009-01-07 04:15:00

i frickin love this remix

notice: game music in-game is way more repetitive than any remix on this whole site. it's an easy and overused critique.

imo. considering all the repetition i get while playing the actual game, any remix on this site is nowhere near close as repetitive as who many times you will hear themes looped in game...

on 2006-12-14 18:28:32

This is one of my favorite remixes from Secret of Mana. I find that didn't already post a fan review of the song already. The intro is executed well and goes into a catchy tune. The play between a number of instruments especially with a piano highlight every once in a while is handled very well. I will have to agree that there is some repetition in the remix but only gets mildly annoying when listening to it a number of times consecutively.

on 2006-12-14 15:52:56

hahaha YES, as Mr. Nemo mentioned, when I heard this song just now I was like man, this sound just like Shaft! hahahaha. Very good music guys good work.

on 2006-04-16 09:35:08

I would appreciate a specific number of how many instruments that was used to create this remix, I'm very curious. It sounded a little weird in the beginning when it suddenly decided to release everything at once after the bass and piano, but you got into it pretty quickly. I can see other's point about this remix being repetive, since when the real stuff begin, they go two rounds about it. The guitar session after it was swell, it hit the spot precisely. A new round came straiht afterwards, but I don't bother so much about it. The wide selection of samples and instruments copmensated it, it was amusing to give it a listen.

Too bad that this was JAXX's last OCR debut, but it seems like OCR has survived that loss. Maybe I'll need to listen to more of his work, DyluckComeHome was actually quite good.

on 2005-08-17 04:07:56

To be honest, this is probably one of my favorite remixes. It's one of the very few songs I have that simply makes me want to crank up the volume when I hear it (which I do if no one's around).

I don't believe I had heard the original theme before first listening to this, but after I compared the two I like how this works with it. Good stuff.

on 2004-08-23 20:32:19

Man, this is how a remix should be done. The pads are just so effective. And the ocassional space between the bass guitar riff works so well. Man, when that song comes in, I can just see Shaft around the corner. Very talented remixer, great sequencing, good mixing, pretty good sounds, overall one of my favorite SoM remixes. It definitely sounds like it could have been on an authentic Squaresoft remix of SoM. Love the acoustic guitar.

on 2004-04-01 18:36:22

This is excellent!

A melodic slow start, you think it's going to be a mellow harmonic piece - and when the beat increases and draws you in... you can't get enough.

The wind instrument tune feel like a summer day in a garden. I mean, really - that's the picture I get EVERY time I listen to this remix.

I love it!

on 2003-07-08 17:58:34

This is the mix to listen to on an evening like tonight. Thunder rumbles closer and lightning strikes the sky, bahaha! A silver flash illuminates the dull grey of the world for one perfect second, half-remembered, and is gone.

on 2003-06-12 21:53:29

When it started it was like ok... but after the first time is nice and catchy.. great song!

on 2003-05-04 22:01:41

This gets better everytime you listen to it. Awesome!

Jakob Dorof
on 2003-05-04 21:40:09

Oh man, was this song ever fantastic. That violin really makes it. Thanks to the three who made this one, total 10/10 if you ask me.

on 2003-05-02 21:51:44

This is oh-so-smooth... and I love it. I appreciate that extra bit of 'love' (attention to professional production) that went into it. Even a musical illiterate like me can tell. Also, I agree with the 70's soundtrack assessment, though to me it seems it would be just as at-home on a Stereolab record.

I understand this is not new, but it's new to me, and just may be my new favorite OC Remix. Thanx guys.

on 2003-04-29 11:47:09

Hm... Nothing against the Crew of "OneUpStudios". Jaxx is a great guitar Player, Kassie a really good piano player (check out another collab with Mustin on this site) and Mustin knows a lot in producing. Please don't get me wrong, the song is good, but there are some things that are bugging me a bit. But listen to this song for yourself. Perhaps you have an own opinion about it.

First of all the "70ies" thing:

Okay, Master Pordon was right with the fact that the bass was louder at that time, but it's still a tad too loud. The next thing is the drumset. It's nice arranganged and all, but still too synthetic. If Mustin choosed to use perhaps another set (or the all so loved "Soundfonts"), perhaps this one had a bit more of "70ies Feeling". Not to mention the guitar, for this style a bit too quiet in my opinion. This can really destroy the overall mood sometimes.

To the song itself:

It's well produced - nothing to say against it. I also read two times the words "just professional" on this board. But there're some major problems with volume issues. Especially if some instruments get lost in the volume/compression mumbo-jumbo. A pity somehow.

And Dark Paladin was right. This Remix is not only aviable on "OneUpStudios" but was on VGMix (while it was still up) too.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Secret of Mana (Square , 1993, SNES)
Music by Hiroki Kikuta
"A Bell is Tolling"

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