ReMix:Tales of Phantasia "The Koan of Drums" 4:10

By djpretzel

Arranging the music of one song...

"Desolate Road"

Primary Game: Tales of Phantasia (Namco , 1994, SNES), music by Motoi Sakuraba, Ryota Furuya, Shinji Tamura, Toshiyuki Sekiguchi

Posted 2006-08-29, evaluated by djpretzel

We're back. After a drought of mixes, a server migration, and months of headaches and coordination, OCR01500 is upon us, and along with it quite a few changes, some big, some small, to OverClocked ReMix in general. Where to begin? About four months ago I was having a rough time with "big life questions" and what not, and felt like I had reached a point where I needed to decide where to focus my energy - where to invest myself, if you will. I've always felt like I could accomplish a lot if I put my mind to it, but I've never been 100% sure what "it" should be, in other words. I looked at what I'd done and what I felt I could do, and essentially decided that OverClocked ReMix was still something I could pour my heart and soul into and feel good about.

That decision's been vindicated by several events since then: we had a wonderful time at Video Games Live in Philly, our Otakon panel went swimmingly, and we've had some generous donations that have allowed us to migrate to our own dedicated servers for the first time in the site's seven-year history. I'm personally proud of what I've been able to do for the site recently, and I'm just as proud of everything our listeners and staff have done as well. Being on our own server should give us a good deal more technical flexibility to experiment with dynamic functionality, and we still plan to migrate our forums to vbulletin soon, as well. We're also looking into an arrangement with to get reliable international shipping of OC ReMix T-shirts, hoodies, and bumper stickers running.

The site's been redesigned with more of an emphasis on content, getting rid of the vertical space previously allocated for an ad banner and placing more information directly at your fingertips. There's a new store where you can buy good stuff from merchandisers we trust and at the same time help support the site's bandwidth costs. There's more emphasis on information about our site, including our staff, and more consistent presentation of our numerous site-related projects like our VGDJ podcast, Ormgas streaming radio, and numerous album projects.

Speaking of site projects, our newest initiative is called Chipamp - it's an all-in-one chiptune plugin installer for Winamp that gets you up and running with chiptunes for the NES, SNES, C64, Genesis, and many other systems/formats in no time at all. It also creates file associations so you can just double-click on an NSF chiptune, for example, and Winamp will be launched automagically. It's designed to make chiptunes more accessible - I found myself always looking for the right plugin, reinstalling multiple plugins on multiple machines, etc., and wanted something that was just a no-brainer. It's a project that's in keeping with OCR's goal of spreading appreciation of game music; check it out at

All of this represents a huge amount of work by myself and our staff, and while there may still be some rough edges here and there that'll be worked out in the following weeks, I think we've taken a big step forward. Somehow, miraculously, I've actually had time to get back to ReMixing, and OCR01500 represents my first official contribution to one of our site projects, Summoning of Spirits, a musical arrangement project featuring songs from Tales of Phantasia and Tales of Symphonia. It's not officially out yet, but Kyle gave me permission to release my track, an arrangement of Desolate Road, as part of the OCR01500 festivities and what not. Check the site out for a fantastic preview track from Hale-Bopp - this project is going to be fantastic when it's finished, guaranteed.

The mix itself represents a long goal of mine - to create a techno arrangement that heavly blended in Eastern influences, particularly with a very strong taiko section. I've always thought the notion of taikos just busting out in an electronica track would be cool, and this mix fills my taiko quota for... the rest of my life. There's also shakuhachi, koto, duduk, violin, and a variety of percussion and synths. There's a bit of a Yuki Kajiura influence earlier on, but 2'45" deviates and is arguably the reason I made the mix in the first place; it's quite a bit of fun played as LOUD as your headphones or speakers will safely allow, and embarassingly involved me playing "air taiko" whilst I was working on it. The crux of the arrangement itself involved altering the melodic phrase to include a descending passage at the end of the second iteration that has some fun up-down intervals. I had a blast making the mix, thank Kyle and Kureeji for the opportunity to work on the project, and hope all of you enjoy the piece along with Chipamp and the latest incarnation of OverClocked ReMix. We've got a lot more to accomplish before 2006 is over, but this has been an amazing summer.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2013-05-04 18:19:43

Very nice mix! The eastern influence gives it a nice atmosphere and the percussion was very cool.

on 2010-10-08 11:37:48

I just absolutely adore this song. Whenever I ride my bike and listen to it, the gallop of the beat makes me feel like I'm riding a horse.

Other than that, the tonality, the sharpness of the strings, and the foggy winds just make this a great remix in general. I'm already a huge fan of DJB, most particularly through Pachelbel's Ganon (both songs happen to be the two most played songs ever on my itunes). Keep up the fantastic work!

Melbu Frahma
on 2010-05-07 12:24:34

I just discovered this mix today, and already I've listened to it four times. Great stuff, love it! DJP delivers!

on 2010-05-07 12:19:38

Easily tied for my favorite DJP mix along with Sturm und Kong, I love the electronic backing mixed with more organic ethnic elements, and the pace, feel, and arrangement all feel just right. The taiko break is great, and the melodic treatment is very nice.

Super good. Waay better than Fortuna Favors the Funk. ;-)

on 2009-06-22 08:35:13

I love the intro for this one: an inclining build that establishes the tribal and dance influences, and also works to a very adequate support for the main weight of the mix. I really can't envisage a better way of executing it.

Some of the samples are very classic djpretzel, which is both a joy and a hindrance, but in all, I think this one is a side-step in style from the signature pretzel sound. Maybe just because there is a percussion solo where there would normally be one of those meandering lead instrument solos. It's a breath of pretzel scented air regardless, if not structurally but the way it has been approached. The end result is some quite uplifting jungle dance with a very memorable chorus. Awesome stuff.

on 2009-04-07 07:00:08

Lovely tune that really has a nice melody, the violin is my favorite part of the song.

on 2009-04-07 05:29:59

Awesome stuff. I really love this remix and would probably label it as one of the pretzel man's best. Segments such as 2:07 to 2:36 were simply amazing. Love it.

on 2009-03-07 17:40:21

Pretz (can I call you Pretz?), I don't know how you do it. Everything you do is sheer gold. And no, that's not just empty flattery. I'm always, always, ALWAYS completely blown away by your mixes on this site, no matter how old or simple or crazy they may be, and this is by far no exception. I can definitely hear the Kajiura influences in this one, and I am digging it. You did an amazing job of blending a repertoire of instruments, and I too was strongly tempted to start air taiko-ing, if it weren't for the fact that my roommate is currently present and it would give her even more of a reason to doubt my sanity. Beautiful, breathtaking, mind-blowing work here.

on 2009-02-01 22:03:57

Wow, this is on SoS, and this was released three years ago.


Still, it's interesting. I can't really decide if I like it or not, though.

It's trying its best to sort of be techno-Asiatic, but I don't think it quite meets those specifications. :?

I'd be better without the drumming "tictictic" that's so pervasive.

I'd ultimately say that it's pretty decent but not quite one of my favorites.

Snowbound Rhino
on 2006-11-14 15:42:45

Initially I was kinda put off by it. The time between the 'big moments' was setting me on edge with the breaks caused by the high hat.

Turns out with some tweaking of slider settings (turning the 12 and 14khz slider way down, and bumping the 60-600 up a bit) its one HELL of a track. It was causing my poor (abused) one-way headphones to dump everything so all I heard was the 'tic tic tic' of the hat. Once I burnt it to disk and put it in a good system (3 way /w a 12" sub) it was far and away better and didnt need any tweaking.

Personally Id have liked the Taikos to have been 'fuller' but hey, cant have everything at once. Plus I cant imagine they record well, with all the over/under tones they generate.

The Instrumental Light
on 2006-11-12 13:42:56

The percussion instruments along with the symphonic tune made an outstanding remix, the best remix by djpretzel yet! Good work,Dave! P.S. what is up with all the language being used this isnt a profane language party!

Nobbynob Littlun
on 2006-09-28 16:55:52

This song is really emotive and energetic! Oddly enough, it evokes much of the feeling of Donkey Kong Country. Laying something slow and solemn over a fast'n'furious electronic bass line does that, I suppose. Particularly the first 40 seconds, and the stretch from around 2'00-2'40.

I don't think the electronic "bow-nene-bow" that starts at 0'50 fits though.

EDIT: Weeks later I came back to say that this song has one of the best intro sequences evar. Figured I should post as much after the umpteenth time rewinding just to hear that first minute again.

Martin Penwald
on 2006-09-13 10:01:46

Nice song, but I think the taikos are way too quiet/thin, except for the solo beginning at 2:45. Taikos are powerful instruments that are loud; they make your heart beat to their rhythm (at least when you listen to them live), but in this mix, they somehow drown in the other instruments.

Also, the techno-esque bass drum just didn't really fit in there, but that's my very personal opinion.

on 2006-09-10 13:33:53

I still love this mix. djp's mixes, especially in my opinion, these last few (Twoson, "Town Life" and this one) are some of the most emotive on the site. It's something I forget about too much when I'm listening to...most of the stuff I listen to. Haha, just looking over the list of his mixes I'm remembering all this brilliant stuff I freaking forgot about, but I think this is still my favorite djp mix.

I really have to agree with the comment about how well the mix fits the mood of the game. For some reason most of my favorite games make me feel pretty melancholy (except Landstalker lol) and ToP is no exception.

Haha, love the title on this too.

on 2006-09-09 03:23:45

Excellent track! Although I'd appreciate a little less drum beat, but more flute, violin and guitar instead. :-) Any chance of getting a non-beat version of this song?


Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Tales of Phantasia (Namco , 1994, SNES)
Music by Motoi Sakuraba,Ryota Furuya,Shinji Tamura,Toshiyuki Sekiguchi
"Desolate Road"

Tags (6)

Regional > Japanese

File Information

6,169,768 bytes


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