ReMix: Phantasy Star II "Boss Uniform" 3:29

By Quinn Fox

Arranging the music of one song...

"Promised Mystery ~ Hidepipe"

Primary Game: Phantasy Star II (Sega, 1989, GEN), music by Tokuhiko Uwabo

Posted 2004-11-21, evaluated by the judges panel


Quinn, my brother in arms when it comes to Phantasy Star homage, gives us a chill Phantasy Star 2 jam that intros with lonely effected electric piano and reverbed acoustic, as pads introduce bass, a chord progression, and eventually a nice drum pattern that's layered at times with mixed verbs itself. The ReMixer writes:

"I've been listening to tons of modern jazz lately, and this song is certainly inspired by it; most of my music HAS been since 'Smooth Alexander.' But I've tried even harder this time to get that smoooooth, head-bobbing, foot-tapping sound going, yet keeping enough planetary squeaks and pads to give it that distant, starry Phantasy Star feeling, as if on another planet... I'm rather proud of this, as it's the best product to come from my new music software, and it represents my favorite gaming series rather well, I believe. Please enjoy!"

Production is cleaner than some of Quinn's previous efforts, with no audible hiss and a very clean, spacious expanse of smooth jazz with a trip-hop/synth bent. Though not particularly minimalist in terms of instrumentation, the arrangement itself leaves a lot of what in the graphic design world would be called 'white space', primarily due to the absence of dominant pads or a running counter melody or harmony. The tone gets a bit more dramatic at 1'42" with a synth bass coming in on top the upright acoustic and the pads getting layered up as well, however, which creates more of a contrast to the spartan surrounding sections. The overall vibe is cool, calm, and collected, but this section does serve as sort of a 'climax', insofar as an on-tracks, groove-based jazz tip like this can have one. It adds some linearity, in a good way. There's two main problems that I think the judges panel collectively honed in on - the less problematic issue is that things are mixed a little low, and could have used a bit of post-production/normalization to up the volume levels. The other unanimous and probably more serious criticism was towards the drum pattern, which is a Reason default with some manipulation, but not an overwhelming amount. In other words, a very identifiable usage of a preset pattern. Now, preset usage is always a gray area for mix evaluation - using preset SOUNDS isn't really a problem in and of itself, unless they are ill-chosen, but when a preset pattern (i.e. sounds as well as notes) is used, it means that a more signifcant portion of the overall mix is prefabricated. In this instance, Quinn's arrangement is very interpretive, nothing else is similarly questionable, and the drum pattern itself has at least been augmented and layered, but on the whole I think the panel would have preferred the mixer rolled his own, instead of relying on Propellerheads' beats. Contextually not a showstopper at all, just worth noting. A good, very relaxed groove from Quinn, illustrating slicker production skills, and evoking the interplanetary scope of PS2 quite effectively.

djpretzel

Discussion

Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
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Trouble
on 2010-03-01 17:59:57
I'm still a bigger fan of the original remix, "Slick Uniforms", but I still have good memories with this one. The overall feel of this actually had sadder quality to it compared to "Slick Uniforms".

Aaaaahhhhh

I had another version of this song from an old VGmix website and i was asking myself questions about that, they were very similar

I can't remembered it all but i think that this one 'Boss Uniform' sounds were a tad more living and clean.

But both have a great slick and soothing feeling

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tweex
on 2009-10-16 11:15:37

Awesome intro with the Rhodes keys in there. All it was missing in Barry White and his sexy low voice! Good use of some quiet orchestral elements. Quinn, you know how to make chilled mixes so very very well! I can't help but find the pocket by tapping my foot and I can't seem to stop even while I type. The sound is very similar to your other two previous pieces of work, but as I heard with your second mix, the production polish on this one is even better than the first two. The piano sounds distant and detached, but it still sits nicely in with everything else! Love the bass line. It finds it's groove and it really helps carry the piece rhythmically! Another great job.

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Marmiduke
on 2009-09-10 05:18:44

Ah, it's always good to hear the refelctive side of the remixing scene, as it doesn't show itself as often as it probably should.

This is some glossy chill music with a bit of punch under the hood. There's a touch more power in some sections than what the genre is probably used to. It sounds great and never collapses into the valley of droll notes and thin soundscapes.

I can't say I know the source tune, but I think it's safe to assume the original doesn't sound as moody and sleek as this. A deep and outreaching effort, as well as sounding cooler than cool.

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Liontamer
on 2009-06-12 03:02:25

I'm still a bigger fan of the original remix, "Slick Uniforms", but I still have good memories with this one. The overall feel of this actually had sadder quality to it compared to "Slick Uniforms". Back in '04, I had just joined the judges panel and my laptop had broken, so while I waited for it to be fixed, I spent several weeks up in a computer lab in the neighboring dorm in order to use the net and continue judging. Whenever I was working on assignments, I didn't have my music collection at my disposal, so I'd download a few tracks I really liked and cycle them in Windows Media Player, this being one of them, the OCR version. That computer lab was often just being used by me, so I got to play the stuff pretty loud, and I enjoyed the solitude anyway. Good memories chillin' to this; thanks, Quinn!

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ChaosPlayer
on 2008-01-28 22:28:32

Why I like this music.... Perfect begining and an end.

The melody of a nice beat, rythem, and sound makes it very enjoyable to hear over and over again. A perfect melody of smoothness for any mood between a gray cloudy/rainy weather or just wanting to hit the books and enjoy a music as this one.

Highly recomended for any person out there. :grin: But of course, you need to be the judge of that as well. Don't take my opinion for it... TRY IT. YOU WONT REGRET IT.

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avaris
on 2007-12-07 14:12:20

SO I am sitting in my office and I look out the window and per usual the skies of new england are grey. Then I turn on this mix and damn it fits the mood perfectly. This type of song might not be for everyone, but damn for those who like laid back tracks DO NOT MISS THIS ONE. Excellent mood setting through minimalist elements. Simple sound design that blends and supports each other nicely. Really enjoy all of the subtle elements that are introduced throughout.

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OA
on 2007-04-18 11:21:46

Totally groovin', normally it's tough for a mix like this to really grab me, since it's so between the lines and subtle, but this really did the job. I am digging the drums, but I am not familiar with the default that was used.

Regardless, if I recognize a default beat, It does cheapen a mix for me, so I can understand the trepidation the judges showed. The synths and piano are awesome though, and I have to say overall i'm a fan of the mix.

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Bummer
on 2006-01-07 08:44:48

I don't really know what to say about this song. Quinn has managed to reach a very decent amount of grooveness, and the feeling of being in outer space has not been lost either. Sounds much like a jam session in a jazz club, and I liked the part where it got an even more ambient feel to it at 1:42. The piano was only one-handed, but it did still make a good job making this remix sound professional, by a professional. Seems like your hard work has paid off well Fox. VERY well.

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Diabolik
on 2005-05-08 15:58:14

I like this a lot, it has kind of an outer-space feel to it, especially that synth pad at the beginning. It also sounds a bit like something from an anime movie or show scored by Yoko Kanno or someone else (I've really gotten hooked on her music for Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex lately). A nice piece of chill-out music. I enjoy discovering good remixes of music from games I never played, I was pretty much a Nintendo kid all the way, so I never really discoverd the Phantasy Star games (I remember my curiousity being piqued by things I that I read about them in VG magazines).

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Trepidity
on 2005-02-11 19:51:24

The magic and feeling of the Phantasy Star series by sega has been captured by no other game series. this song represents both wonderfully. Definetly a foot tapping head bobbin experience.

The PS series has always been mysterious futuristic and jazzy and this song compliments all of that. To me the best RPG series out there. Phantasy Star II is efinetly my favorite. This song takes me to Algo everytime i hear it.

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Echo2K4
on 2004-12-03 20:11:31

This is an awesome mix, very very smooth. 8) It sounds like something you'd hear in the background on the Weather Channel or like something from the Saturn version of Sonic 3D Blast. (Or, failing that, Event: The Base from Sonic Adventure 2, you know...the cutscene music with the vibes and everything.)

Was this completely done in Propellerhead Reason? Some of those drums sound like they came from Native Insturments BATTERY 2, but it could also be a ReFill. :) I have no quarrels with the drum pattern (as DJP did) and I really have to compliment the E.Piano...easily the best E.Piano in a OC mix ever. Keep it up!

(BTW someone should do a rock remix of SNES Starfox: Corneria with like real guitars and stuff...that would PWN.)

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H Hog
on 2004-11-24 05:10:33

Heh, took me a while to recognize the track you remixed, but I must say you've chosen an interesting one to work with, and an interesting way to handle it, too.

Way to make an originally suspenseful piece of music a genuinely relaxing experience.

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jordex
on 2004-11-21 12:53:13

Hehe another one from Quinn Fox, and from PSII (I was gonna say PS2 but I decided not too)

This is the kinda music my house from Animal Crossing needs!

This and his Vibe Victory

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Claado Shou
on 2004-11-21 11:38:32

I just listened to this for two hours straight and was still bobbing my head. Damn.

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CykoticZZ
on 2004-11-21 01:22:25

good chill music. reminds me of riding on a bus. or a helocopter ride over some snow covered mountains... although i've never been on a helocopter.

Not something you can fall asleep to, and not something you bring to the Gym.

Very soft, very nice.

2:43 -- LOVE THIS PIANO solo.

This song would be perfect for the credits of PS 2. Scroll the credits, play this song. Ya dig?

Sources Arranged (1 Song)


Primary Game:
Phantasy Star II (Sega, 1989, GEN)
Music by Tokuhiko Uwabo
Songs:
"Promised Mystery ~ Hidepipe"

Tags (7)


Genre:
Ambient, Hip Hop, Jazz
Mood:
Chill
Instrumentation:
Electronic, Piano, Synth
Additional:

File Information


Name:
Phantasy_Star_2_Boss_Uniform_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
4,277,549 bytes
MD5:
1d25321f3bf569f4983ff9f578214b11
Bitrate:
160Kbps
Duration:
3:29

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