Posted 2008-02-17, evaluated by djpretzel
I'm proud to announce that OC ReMix Judge, ReMixer, and Director of Final Fantasy VII: Voices of the Lifestream, Andrew Aversa, was recently declared the winner of SquareSound's Uematsu tribute competition. While fellow judge Larry Oji was a guest judge on the panel evaluating submissions, Andy's medley from FF6 actually ranked as high or higher with the other, non-OCR judges involved, so there's no conspiracy. I think when you hear this mix, which wraps several other themes from the game around a central motif on Devil's Lab, it'll be obvious that they made a solid call. On the decision, Larry writes:
"Objectively speaking, I personally felt zircon's track deserved to win, but being a colleague of mine, I was certainly proud the other judges of the competition felt the same way as well. It's definitely speaks to Andy's talent, and he's always impressively represented OC ReMix."
Upon hearing the good news, Andy wrote:
"Man, this was a great way to start my day. I'm really happy. Honestly, I wasn't even 100% confident on my entry because I had actually made no less than THREE attempts at a remix for this before I arrived on this concept, which I started really late into the contest. I ended up submitting about 20 minutes before the deadline :P"
I guess the fourth's time the charm, in this instance. Tim from SquareSound writes:
"With an impressive combined score of 96.22% from our judges for his Final Fantasy VI medley entitled "Dirt Devil," Andrew Aversa is our winner! Congratulations Andrew! ...I personally would like to thank everyone involved in this competition. All your efforts truly shone through, whether as an entrant or a judge. I really appreciate all the hard work each and every one of you has put in."
This was an especially cool competition/event because Tim really went to great lengths to involve other communities, including OCR. Larry got to guest judge and, while all of us were busy, making time for things like this whenever possible is definitely something that makes the whole online game music community more integrated.
Unlike a product bearing the same name, this ReMix doesn't suck at all. Zero sucktion. A bit-crushed beat intros the whole thing, which then gets layered up with cleaner drums before offbeat piano chords come in and an evil-but-funky bass enters. It's the lead, however, that does most of the heavy-lifting, with plenty of sequencing flourishes and twists and turns. There are also a good number of hybrid/orchestral breaks, like 0'49", with pizzicato, harpsichord, and clarinet all playing off each other and a giant modulated synthline gurgling in sync. There's also meaty electric guitar chugs, triumphant major-key refrains, more pizzicato-arpeggio breakdowns, mechanical anvil and related percussive fx, timpani, choral pads, and lord knows what else in here. And it's only 3'37"! No doubt that Andy packed a lot of punch in a tiny package on this one. The weaving of themes definitely makes it one of his more intricate arrangements to date, but his production chops came along for the ride every step of the way, making for a piece that well represents the arrangement/production ratio we like to emphasize so much. Very cool competition that I'm glad OCR had a chance to participate in - download this (awesome) ReMix then go check out the other submissions at SquareSound!
on 2023-08-08 17:50:27
It's been over a decade since this was published; despite all that, it still holds up to this today. In fact, zircon's the main reason why I got into music production!
The song truly feels like it's telling a story, such as entering a ghost house (specifically 50 seconds in). I absolutely love the mixing that enters at 2 minutes and 54 seconds. Just 9 seconds later, and I imagine a transition of falling down from heaven to hell. Not only that, but I also hear what sounds like metalworkers hammering in a factory, which happens so at 1 minute and 54 seconds.
I'm not surprised that Andy won the contest, because this is just too excellent! Outstanding job, zircon
on 2015-02-20 06:35:30
Those crunchy lo-fi beats is a great way to start a truly amazing mix I love when the piano comes in at 0:10. It sounds mean, yet playful. Love the small orchestral break at 0:49. Another break at 1:34 (this time with sorta marching drums) is a nice touch as well. The third bit of orchestra starts at 2:53, which is different from previous ones, sounds like being climax of this mix. The electronica elements sound fine as well. So this mix for me is clearly battle of synthetic and organic, of any two opposites, you name it. Love it!
on 2013-08-16 19:17:54
Been a fan of this site for years and there is some great talent from these artists.. Bridge of Eternity and Jade Catacombs are my top 2 from this site but this one is a very close 3rd.. Keep up the good work
on 2013-06-23 22:02:51
HEY. HEY. HEY.
I could've sworn I said something, like, a year ago, but I didn't. D:
By far the most variations I've ever heard on any one section in a source material. It took a few listens before I could really appreciate the amount of work it took to reiterate the same notes in completely different instrumentation and atmosphere, but this is masterful stuff. 3
on 2012-03-24 10:26:42
This is probably the dogs bollocks of all zircons remixes. Its got a rather cheeky mischievous tone to it, similar to the plants vs zombie soundtrack, but it uses that as a foundation to build up to some fantastically epic climatic moments, for example, 1:20 and 2:13. Dynamics are the focus here, and no one has quite mastered that art in the same way as zircon has, and he excelled at that strength here. The treatment of the source tune is pro as well, changing the meter to compound time (3 measures in each beat... swing feel) was inspired, and compliments the infectious groove. And as always, it has zircons seal of production. The only real weakness this remix has is the ending, particularly when you had such a great potential ending to expand and finish at 3:10, it decides to reintroduce the beat and fade out. Confusing decision based on what you had to work with but its a minor gripe.
Its got groove, its got orchestral, its got rock, its got EVERYTHING... If you were only to download a select few remixes off the site, then this should be one of them... its clearly one of the best the site has to offer. Oh yeah, he did it in 3 hours or something...
Fantastic work zircon, I applaud your effort here.
on 2011-10-24 00:47:26
Lots of people have said it before me, but I'll say it once more. This here is some fantastic shit. Zircon is king of electronic/orchestral integration and while it's becoming a more and more popular style of music, only zircon manages to integrate several types of electronic and orchestral styles together in the one frigging mix. It's a beautiful beast to behold. Things go from retro chip music, to sci-fi synthpop, to chamber music, to baroque, to grand orchestral. It's a whirlwhind of genres that are blended really seamlessly.
I guess it's to do with the perfect arrangement of the main theme. The inclusion of several cameos keeps things fresh for the most part, but the continuous inventions that fill out the mix do most of the work. The main melody plays often, and yet we never get sick of it. That's a sign of a good mixer. This is a mix that makes you look forward to what it around the next corner.
I honestly did feel cheated by the fadeout, but 5 seconds of the mix doesn't change my opinion on the rest of it. Highly recommended.
on 2011-07-31 00:27:41
2:13 - 2:23 = 10 seconds of absolute perfection.
I love the track as a whole but those 10 seconds are simply fantastic.
Agreed. Those 10 seconds may be the greatest musical bit out of any video game remix on here or anywhere else.
Also 2:04 to 2:13 sounds like perfect evil genius laboratory music, followed by the unveiling of the grand scheme at 2:13, followed by the shock and terror aftermath afterward
on 2010-07-11 14:49:44
This is another one of those tracks that completely encompasses what OCRemix is to me - a mix that takes something fairly obscure and geeky, and transforms it into something with attitude and swagger, something that yells "SO I LIKE SNES MUSIC, BITE ME!" The growly bass, the screeeeaming synth solos... man, this has got so much style. I dig hugely. 3
on 2010-05-30 02:08:06
This... is amazing. I can sit and zone out listening to this song... evil villain creating some kind of robot... that's what I see when I hear this.
on 2010-05-05 11:41:52
It's been awhile since I've listened to this one, and I don't remember it being nearly as good as it actually is. The soloing is great, the transitions into completely new instrumentation are solid and not at all jarring, and the pace of the mix is excellent. The only sad face I got during this was the fade out, but I can understand due to the time constraints of the contest this was originally made for. A strong ending would have made this perfect, or at the very least a longer fade.
Good stuff, excellent arrangement.
on 2010-03-22 00:03:34
zircon is easily one of my favorite remixers on OCRemix and I can see why this song won and why so many people love it. It's a really creative piece and I like how all four sources work so well together in this mix. Not my favorite of his, but you still gotta like it. Thanks again zircon
on 2009-12-03 14:00:41
This is probably my favorite of zircon's remixes. Love the bitcrushed drums and the 'assembly line' feel at 1:55. The melodic interpretations are freakin' awesome. I think the fade-out ending is WEAK, but that's easy to overlook considering how amazing the other 99% of this mix is. Awesome track, and a late congratulations on the whole contest thing
on 2009-07-21 12:22:58
While Kefka's Theme and Magitek Factory could be expected to mesh well, credit has been done to the opening theme too. Furthermore, Umaro is a highly unexpected and totally brilliant addition. That damn Yeti finally makes himself useful!
The transitions are awesome, really blending well, and since the core is Magitek Factory - which is one of my favourite tracks in the whole game, alongside Kefka's Theme and a few others - it appeals to me all the more. Kudos!
on 2009-06-07 22:13:35
I hated 3:26, because it starts to fade out and leave. :/
This piece is engaging. You might not expect where it's going in the first dozen measures, but you'll love it when you get there, every step of the way. And when the piece comes to a close... it's like.. the bittersweet feeling of returning home, alone, after an exciting week of adventure that is likely to never happen again (this is why some genius made Repeat).
I'm amazed by how much stuff is going on. Not only are there like uncountable quantities of instruments and drums/percussions/percussive sounds, the automation going on is impressive (well, this is zircon's work...).
This is one of those required listens if you frequent this site, if not for the enjoyment of the work, at least for the appreciation of the workmanship and the creativity involved. I feel so lame for not listening to it with a more open mind a year ago.
Though a tad bit late, congratulations, zircon - you deserve it.
on 2009-04-09 13:34:21
No need for me to say this is an incredible arrangement, but I will, anyway.
This is an incredible arrangement. It is easily one of my favorites on this site. I can't say much about this that hasn't already been said - the seamless transitions, the wonderful interpretation... that damn fadeout that starts a new idea that I wanted to hear more of, yet at the same time I can't imagine ending it any differently.
All I can hope is that you've got more coming later this year for us! (Woo! Power to 2009!)
Sources Arranged (4 Songs)
- Primary Game:
Final Fantasy VI (Square
Music by Nobuo Uematsu
- "Devil's Lab"
- Origin > Competition
- 4,786,750 bytes
- Size: 4,786,750 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 4382d56e310e419f89e12fa24a25016b
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