ReMix: Star Ocean "Space Travel" 4:37

By GrayLightning

Arranging the music of one song...

"What Should Be"

Primary Game: Star Ocean (Enix, 1996, SNES), music by Motoi Sakuraba

Posted 2003-11-18, evaluated by the judges panel

Though we've had several (excellent) Star Ocean 2 submissions, our first arrangement from the series' initial SNES installment comes courtesy of GrayLightning, who imbues his usual new age/orchestral style with some edgier electronica textures including an undulating synth bass that switches to an oscillating double-time, minimal, echoing percussion, and a nice mix of styles. GL writes:

"This time it's not the typical new age mix I usually do, but a blend of a touch of synth, electronica with my usual new age/orchestral style. There's even some R&B, rock drums elements. I enjoy merging different genres to create a new kind of sound. Some people mentioned it reminds them somewhat of Panzer Dragoon or the feeling of flying or traveling in space, which was my intention."

Judges concurred with whomever made those comments, citing an atmospheric vibe that conveys motion. With the very tense intro, I'd also say there's an air of mystery, something larger, and a bit of distance and coldness. Binnie Katti of Virginia (aka Yanni, Digital Coma, etc.) did express some mixed feelings overall:

"I really like the use of a warbly synth as an anchor bass, and I dig the spastic drums. The electro-acoustic soundscape is standard GrayLightning, but is more of an addendum to the melody than a cohesive accompaniment... I'm honestly borderline. I shall enshrine this OCREMIX mostly due to the wonderful nuances of sound detail and stylistic transplant within the confines of this arrangement."

I'd have to say, his Mystical Ninja piece is still my favorite, but what I like here is the less laid-back tone and more disturbing sense of being on the edge of something, the periphery, and the tension and suspense that yields. Good, different stuff from GL - check it out.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2011-09-06 07:47:08

Very, very good atmosphere in this one. Jumped out of my usual random OC ReMix play queue. Has a nice lo-fi feel, though I felt the snare was a little lacking.. dry, perhaps. Subtly powerful track overall.


on 2008-03-04 15:15:19

Wow, I didn't hear the original song because I haven'y played Star Ocean 1 (only the third, which is marvelous)

Well, Well done this remix. I like the slight rising of volume that makes a nice atmosphear and also it recreatess very well the landscape of "space". Really well done, 8/10 pretty good! :P

on 2008-03-04 14:43:34

Nice soundscape going on here, and a pretty memorable theme as well.

I like how how the strings and brass kindof echo each other ever-so-slightly.

Nice varied and driving bassline, and pretty good samples. The percussion didn't quite click with me, but at least it was creative.

Nice breakdowns, and though the ending was a bit anticlimactic, the mix overall was well constructed.

on 2005-03-08 16:10:47

Pretty good remix of "What Should Be" (sound test/SPC track 13.) It mostly removes the somber piano melody in the background, but I like the rendition of the main melody. I didn't like how I couldn't tell what song this was until I was excessively familiar with all the original songs, though. But good job.

on 2003-11-22 01:08:47

This initially started out as an experimental mix for many various reasons. I am especially happy to see this mix up, if only because it sounds really different from my other mixes. I agree with DJP's comments about my Asian Twilight mix being better. Be sure to check that one out, as it didn't get enough reviews. ^_~ That one is technically my newest mix posted, although with new additions as is Dezoris. This mix is actually one of my older ones since some of my recent mixes are direct posts.

One note to mention is that I am very mindful of the fact that I have been getting posted on OC a lot lately. ^_^ These are the results of hard work and submissions over the summer. I feel very fortunate about getting my mixes up on OC like this. Thanks to djp and the judges.

My submission rate has stopped since the summer and the ones I'm currently working on will take time - I simply want to make it clear that I'm not trying to hog the OC spotlight. :P

Thanks for taking the time to comment everyone.

on 2003-11-20 14:39:10

I've been listening to GrayLightning's stuff since before he was featured here on OCR, and I'm as thrilled to hear this Star Ocean remix as I was when I saw his Schala mix was finally posted. GL takes a very neccessary plunge into other genres, while at the same time, keeping his mega-recognizable and unique style. Proud of ya, GL. You just keep getting better.

on 2003-11-20 14:08:06

Can't say I like this one. I do like the uncertain drums and the bells, but the main melody just irks me, both in terms of sounds chosen and composure. Icky. Furthermore, this just doesn't feel spacey to me... It feels wet or misty or airy or some other terrestrial based phenomenon. I don't have the terminology or the teaching to fully describe how this mix seems to me, so I'll just let a 4 out of 10 score stand it its stead.

I like most've GrayLightning's other stuff though. This one just didn't appeal to me.

Kamikaze Noodle
on 2003-11-20 07:24:43

SuperGreenX, you may have had 2 mixes on the front page, but GrayLightning here has you beat. He was on the front page with his FFVii mix, then seven days later, had his Secret of Mana collab posted. So this is his second time with two mixes on the front. I'm sorry SGX, but this time, you are not the winnar. :wink:

Anyway, I liked this mix cosidering its technological handicaps. I'm sure if you could produce a song with Flaming Lips quality textures you would, but seeing as how that's not really possible, this is really damn good. This perfectly captures the image of flying through space on the way to some important event. The repetitive bell noise is like the stars flying by over and over and over, and the breath noise that comes every now and again is like a large planet. The constant bassline and drums are like the engine and the strings give a sense of importance. The bass adds a sort of uncertainty to the mix, as well. So basically, GL has crafted a mix that was exactly what he wanted it to be, and for that, I think this deserves a :nicework:.

on 2003-11-19 21:23:41
Two mixes by the same guy on the front page? That's got to be a record.

I had two on the main page a couple weeks ago. I am winnar.

Anyways, this is definitely a sweet mix. I believe this was the first one you made after you got Reason and it was produced entirely within Reason.

The bass is really cool and unique. I think its my favorite aspect of this mix.

I also really like how the melody is echoed between the strings and the more synthy instrument. Very unique.

Throughout the mix though, I feel that it is somewhat dry-sounding. Sounds like a lot of treble mainly in the string instruments and some lacking midrange. A fuller sound would have been nice.

Other than that, this is sweet stuff. One of my favs from you. yayay

Corporal Eschebone
on 2003-11-19 21:06:54

An excellent, calm, ambient mix....I downloaded this in the WiP forum a long time with It's About Time....

I don't have time for detailed comments right now [my mom's yelling at me to get to bed], so I'll just give you a 90% rating on this mix.

I might go back tomorrow and post a more thorough comment.

on 2003-11-19 20:59:33

I'm lazy, so here's a copy-n-paste of some remarks I have made on this mix at an earlier time!

"As the husband of the tri-Ace Superfan, and being an avid Sakuraba listener, I can say that you've done me proud with this one.

I tip my hat to you, sir. May your gigantic scrotum continue to grow so you can spawn more Sakuraba remixers for the future of music as we know it."

That about sums it up. This mix is very nice indeed!

Homo Pocket
on 2003-11-19 17:27:37


Now here's a mix that took me by surprise, and I LOVE mixes that do that.

Having never played or heard any of the original tracks from the game I wasn't burdened with the task of having to listen for familiarities between the two, so with that I could just sit back and enjoy the music AND BOY DID I EVER!

Even though it was the name of an old game programming book, I think "Flights of Fantasy" would be a more appropriate name for the mix as it evokes the feeling of flight through a fantasy world. I would DEFINITELY love to hear this song in a future Panzer Dragoon game as it sounds like the perfect compliment for the game.

The composition itself is quite SOUND.

I love the fact that the drums/percussion aren't overbearing and the bass is very smooth and purposeful. I say purposeful cause it actually plays an important role in this song rather than just being there just to be there.

I absolutely love the melody, it's quite beautiful.

Although Schala has always been my #1 favorite Graylightning remix, part of me has this one ahead, while the other half of me is clinging onto Schala as #1, so I guess they'll both share the #1 spot. Amazing Work! Thanks for submitting it!

***The preceeding announcement was NOT brought to you by the NEW WORLD ORDER***

on 2003-11-19 12:55:16

My first remix review =D. Im a huuuuge Star Ocean fan, and im a firm believer the first installment was the best. So im excited to see a Star Ocean mix on the site.

Anyway, its not bad. It is done very very well, but the entire song is a little bit too soft for me. I'd prefer something a bit more upbeat. Its also a mix of a very repetetive song, and not one I would pick for a mix. But then again, that would allow for more creativity ^_^.

Still, if your a fan of SO1 and like soft tones, I would definently recommend getting it.

on 2003-11-19 12:08:02

Ah.... I was hoping to see this make it on OCR sometime soon (it has taken quite a while, I must say). I actually played a little of Star Ocean for the SNES, which is an awesome game, and I think I remember this song.

Here we go with the review...

It starts out very peaceful, and I think that it the building done is very awesome, although it doesn't change till the drums come in. Once the drums come in, the atmosphere of the song changes (although gradually) from peaceful to sort of an apprehensive feeling (I think that's the word I'm looking for), as if you're on your toes, a little edgy, you know? It's that synth that changes the atmosphere of the song, not the drums, my mistake. Wait, I think it's both... Ah! Anyways, I'm not gonna think about it anymore... About halfway through the song, the song shifts again, with the absence of the synth, more instruments come in, or maybe they become more apparent that bell-ish instrument or whatever it is, I like it a lot. It's sort of like a break, like the space ship comes out of light speed or something, and then the space ship speeds up again when the synth comes back. Lots of good stuff going on, everything harmonizes nicely, and it flows very smoothly (as I expect from you Gray). At the ending, you fade out with class. I don't know, maybe it's how you make it so gradual, but your fade is really nice, I usually don't like them, but you do it well.

Overall, this song is great. It's very atmospheric, and it's not so calm and soothing as your previous new age works Gray (although you already said that, you mixed a bunch of genres together). While it's very mellow, it holds something deeper inside, if you listen to it, you can tell that it's not just a chill back song. There's something about it that if you actually listen to it, and not listen to it as background music, you can tell there's something there.... I can't put my finger on it, but that's the best way I can describe what I feel when I listen to this song. Wait a second, I think I just figured it out. I think the "something" in the song is that it's taking from so many genres at the same time and mixing them together. If I could describe it in better words, I would, but that's the "something" that I feel in this song, and why you need to listen to it carefully. There's so much going on with the genres being mixed together the way they are.

Well, great work Gray, I hope to see another mix from you relatively soon!

on 2003-11-19 03:56:42
Two mixes by the same guy on the front page? That's got to be a record.

It's not so strange...Only Gray can have 2 quality remix at the index :wink:

As for the Ocean remix, I was waiting to be posted at the index page...I think that finally the OCR finds his professional new age remixer...

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Star Ocean (Enix, 1996, SNES)
Music by Motoi Sakuraba
"What Should Be"

Tags (3)

New Age
Orchestral, Synth

File Information

5,633,751 bytes


8-bit Jazz Heroes - Press Start
View All

Latest Albums

View All

Latest ReMixes