ReMix:Final Fantasy VIII "Seasons" 6:33

By Ziwtra

Arranging the music of one song...


Primary Game: Final Fantasy VIII (Square , 1999, PS1), music by Nobuo Uematsu

Posted 2010-02-21, evaluated by the judges panel

Ziwtra writes:

"It's been a while (2+ years?) since my last submission. I'm still remixing and there will definitely be some older mixes for people to hear once the Xenogears remix project is released. This is the first mix I've done since putting my head down on the Xenogears OST."

Youngjin's stuff is always amazing, but this mellow, almost transcendental Final Fantasy VIII arrangement of 'Breezy' is, I feel, unique & special among the artist's formidable library of fantastic game mixes. It may not have absolutely pristine production, which is where some of the judges aimed their critiques, but I really dig the overall vibe. Mr. Hahn knows what he's doing, so the thin, somewhat dirty lead piano here is definitely an intentional call on his part; shimmering ambient pads and gated guitar swirl around the lead, while the (very cool) chord progression is consistenty stated by harp arpeggios, stage left. The piece has a pensive, open, meditative feel to it, which jives with the mix title - feels almost like we're traveling through time, seasons are changing, etc. Jesse writes:

"I'm definitely fine with the guitar sound, as well as the piano. Clearly doesn't need to sound realistic. Putting the drums way left is an interesting decision. I love the arrangement. There's a little mud in the low mids; a bit washy, but it's really not egregious. There's a ton of cool stuff going on. Love the backwards strings."

To clarify, while Vinnie objected to the unrealistic nature of the guitar in his decision, I think part of his problem was that it was also very similar to the guitar patch used in the source. It can definitely be problematic when mixes employ instrumentation that doesn't differentiate them enough from the source material, but given the very minimal instrumentation of the original, in this instance I think such concerns are easily outweighed. Youngjin's not lazy, so I take his instrumentation choices as very conscious decisions to either match or deviate from the original in a calculated fashion. He's also not what I would call "gimmicky" - the coda ending here could, in the hands of many (or even just in a different context), come off as being "nifty" or (worse) superfluous, but I really think it makes complete sense in this instance based on HOW Ziwtra has dealt with the source.

I love the space this mix creates, above anything else; it has a distinct feel to it that strikes me as unique relative to both the artist's own work and the site at large, and left me feeling refreshed, calm, & clear of mind. If your life has a lot of clutter, indecision, or haze to it, this is the type of track that seems like it might help lift the fog; great work from Ziwtra.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2013-12-17 08:20:14

I stumbled upon this yesterday for the first time, and I love it. It's like you can let the whole thing wash over you. Excellent mix.

on 2013-01-30 17:02:05

Ziwtra, it's like a prescription for a grey doldrums day, the kind where it's rainy and you just want to huddle under the covers not sleeping or doing anything. This music, this music, it gets you to peek out from the under the sheets- be brave!- get up- be bold!- and get moving- be at ease- again.

on 2012-10-23 02:20:58

Hah, I reacted pretty negatively to this track at first, but damn has it grown on me. I've logged 50+ plays into this track now since it was released and it's pretty much a mainstay on all of my chillout/all-time favorites playlists now :-)

Funny how that works out...

on 2012-07-26 10:24:20

I do like the intro and outro, as well as the low-fi quirkiness of the whole ReMix. It's got a peaceful feeling to it, with something different other than smooth, crispness. Not my favorite thing from this range, but all in all it I liked it. Could have been better, but it could have been worse, too, so it's fine by me.

Juha Kangas
on 2011-05-02 22:23:17

I'm not a fan of the source material, always thought it was a bit annoying in the actual game, but this is fantastic. Not being a fan of super slick productions (I'm the same with all kinds of music) I love the lo-fi feel and roughness.

Thanks for making this.

on 2010-09-13 20:56:23

Ah, the underground hip-hop feel brings us into this mix. It quickly mellows out with the synth guitar in there. There is a lot of gating going on here. It becomes a little overwhelming at times, especially with headphones on; my head feels like it's pounding :). The overdriven piano was a daring choice and I'm kind of split on it. This track shows us what Youngjin seems to value most in a remix: dynamic shifts. There are very few things that we can say are constant in all Ziwtra's mixes, but this is definitely the biggest. This sounds like something in the background of "August Rush" which is pretty darn cool. The break down with the synth harp was nice touch. The slow fade in of the synth guitar was also a nice dynamic shift. The low rumble of the synth builds a tension that helps us feel that this mix is not done! But it never builds back up which is a shame, but personal preference is what it is :). Not bad!

on 2010-05-05 14:21:25

I have been an avid ocr listener for 4+ years and today was the first time I decided to thank someone for the awesome music they put out. This track is terrific. I loved the intro but the rest of the piece was exceptional as well. Thanks for all the effort!

on 2010-04-18 18:15:36

Excellent remix, I especially love the opening and ending pieces of the song.

I cant speak for anyone else but I love the distorted and dirty sound. It reminds me of zeal love the best corridor of time mix on the site as far as the distorted piano goes. There seems to be quite a depth of emotion going on with the piece and I believe that "cleaner" samples and better production value wouldn't necessarily enhance this. The song stands powerful on its own as it is.

Ziwtra is easily my favorite mixer on the site and I imagine ill be chilling while listening to this song while surfing the web for years to come.

Thank you ziwtra.

on 2010-03-26 19:43:17

I'm really digging this song. Others complained about it but I was really happy with the samples. They sounded just right to me.

The outro is one of my favorites.

I haven't really heard this source yet, but something tells me I should go listen to it now.

Martin Penwald
on 2010-03-15 17:11:53

Very relaxing remix with a surprisingly powerful climax at ~ 5:30. The sample quality didn't bother me personally, though I agree with the posters who mentioned that the piano sounds kinda rigid and too upfront.

I enjoyed it.

on 2010-03-09 11:40:00

I feel bad for ragging on this mix so much earlier - I focused a lot on production and didn't spend nearly enough time talking about the things I did like. Sorry about that :\

The drums are, of course, great as I've come to expect from Young. The chord choices are very evocative and give the mix a very nostalgic, pensive feel, which I've really come to appreciate a lot more than I let on in my previous posts. It's a great song to listen to when you want to just sit outside, watch the clouds, and contemplate.

on 2010-02-27 19:21:34

I kinda love this piece. I'm glad despite differences of opinion, the judges panel functions to let something like this through.

The samples don't bother me one iota frankly. Anyone who has tried and failed at remixing a lot (like most of us starting out) and are slightly poor for buying good samples, hit various brick walls. The thing is with this, the dynamics are treated so expertly I find it genuinely touching.

I'm sure there's a lot of budding remixers who only in their wildest dreams could come up with such an awesome arrangement.

If there's any cross over to the original midi nylon guitar, it works as a nostalgic call back to the original as much as anything. This remix for the most part hints at the source through tonics. It's only when the notes of the bridge from the original are picked you feel a strong link with the source.

To sum up. If something like this ever gets rejected, it would be criminal. Also to be clear, this remix kicks the complete ass out of many, many remixes with 'better' samples. I wont say 'better production values', since, the production value here is HUGE.

PS. Ziwtra, do you ever listen to My Blood Valentine? This reminds me somewhat of their style in places.

on 2010-02-24 12:10:24

Oooh, I like this a lot! I will agree with others that aren't fans of the low-fi production, but the melody and overall feel of the song is just great. Really mellow, relaxing, kind of ethereal...Great stuff, just wish it were a little cleaner and it'd be perfect.

(Lyrics) Serotriptomine
on 2010-02-23 18:40:21

I do very much so love Final Fantasy VIII music. And this does do it's source justice when it comes to actually enjoying the song and not particularly judging it by quality or what have you.

I for one am one happy listener to have had the pleasure of experiencing this piece of work.

on 2010-02-23 14:21:32

I'm of two minds about this one.

I like the arrangement for sure, but the production and soundscape just isn't meshing with me. Distortion going on in the drums, altho I know its a style preference... I don't think the guitar or the piano are amazing in terms of sample quality, but I don't think they bring down the mix as much as people are saying... I wasn't sure the piano sounded quite right to me tho, a little bit too upfront for my liking.

Not sure i'm a fan of the mix myself, but for sure its a solid effort that others will like, and I have plenty of Ziwtra in my itunes to keep me happy for now :D

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Final Fantasy VIII (Square , 1999, PS1)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu

Tags (4)

Time > Duration: Long

File Information

7,957,896 bytes


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