ReMix:Xenogears "Dreamscape" 3:14

By Nutritious

Arranging the music of one song...

"After the Soldiers' Dreams"

Primary Game: Xenogears (Square , 1998, PS1), music by Yasunori Mitsuda

Posted 2010-04-16, evaluated by the judges panel

Nutritious must actually eat foods like his nom de plume, because he's somehow got the stamina & energy to keep putting together fantastic arrangements. This mix off of Humans + Gears: Xenogears ReMixed is extra special, though, as it's Justin's first shot at a primarily electronic track. How'd that happen? The artist writes:

"I joined the Xenogears project relatively late in the process, so the open track selection was very limited. This specific track stood out to me the most out of what was left, so I signed up to arrange it for the Humans disc (more natural or realistic instruments) as my forte is/was in orchestral music. However, nearly at the same time, someone else started the same song for the Humans disc (I think it was eventually dropped), so Avaris requested that I do the track for the Gears disc (more electronic oriented). Since I hadn't started on the song yet, I figured I'd give it a shot. This is pretty much my first full-length attempt at a electronic-styled mix. It was a real stretch for me to try and produce a good song in this style, but I've received a lot of great feedback from people on the album, which really helped me get this song to what it is now. Thanks to Avaris, Ziwtra, and eBison for their help."

So how'd it end up? Pretty darn good - we're posting it, aren't we? I was trying to listen to this to see if I could tell, offhand, if it betrayed any particularly "orchestral" approaches that may or may not be misplaced in this context, but I think Justin did a good job of working in a very different style. As he often does, Vinnie summed up my personal take:

"Cool arrangement. It trades the grandeur of the original for high energy, and the synth guitar lead lends the piece some mysticism that the original didn't have. The soundscape was suitably frantic and the quieter sections built up anticipation for the beat again. I think this one really came together well, especially for a first-time full-out electronic mix.

Great processing on those drums and synths, though I was feeling a little more balancing and EQ could have helped the overall picture. But it's hard with a song like this, especially when you're going for a frantic effect. Personally, I wanted those chopped drums to come out of the background and really set more of a groove, but they never did. I ain't holding that against you; it's a personal preference. By and large, this was fine work."

I was particularly worried about the beats - especially in the intro, I think they needed a bit more oomph to cut through and make an impact. That's one of the harder things to manage in a good electronica track, so it's not surprising it wasn't 100% spot-on; the EQ is also definitely a little top-heavy. That being said, the drum sequencing itself is rather fun, and as Palpable points out the pacing is energetic and has good momentum. The key thing is that this stands on its two feet as a solid electronica track, regardless of Justin's established reputation and track record doing great orchestral work - he really stepped up to the challenge and met it head on, with great results. zircon had some similar criticisms he pointed out, but he also said this:

"I'm pretty impressed at your range of styles, Nutritious - this is definitely quite different than your orchestral mixes, but you pull it off well."

Hopefully that feedback alone will be sufficient to inspire more electronica work from Justin, who has more than a few tricks up his sleeves.



Latest 14 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2014-11-01 05:24:55

Solid work. It has a lot of crazy and wild energy. The breakbeats are so damn powerful. And, of course, the sax is a nice touch. One of my favorites from the album.

on 2012-08-18 19:53:35

That electronic opening was pretty damn cool. Lots of action and energy out of this one with it's electronic drum and bass beat, with a sweet breakdown in the middle. Wonderful use of sax as well. It feels like it's short even though it really isn't, but I guess that's just how good it is. Love that synthy guitar.

on 2012-07-26 13:04:26

Could've swore I commented on this - maybe it was to Justin directly though.

This is an approach to the source material that I didn't expect, some drum bass action with a synth guitar paving the way. My only real gripe with the song is that it is too short! I felt like more could have been done with it to make it feel more complete, such as maybe varying the tempo with a marching section before launching into something else. That ending is too unsatisfying for me :( .

The use of the sax in the song was a nice touch to vary things up though. The song as it is is a solid job all around (minus that ending!).

on 2010-12-09 11:32:07

When I heard Nutritious had a song of his featured on the Gears disc of the Xeno project, I was pretty shocked, cause up til that point I'd only heard straight-orchestral material from him. This a shockingly-well-executed change of pace for him, though I do like how he worked in his usual orchestral style into the breakdown sections of the song. The sax was a real nice touch too ;-)

on 2010-12-08 13:09:27

The synths and drums kicking in at the same time was a bit awkward for me, but man that orchestral break with the sax was amazing, nothing short of uplifting. You really kept it strong through the finish. Good job!

on 2010-12-05 15:16:08

Once the sax hits, everything just clicks. It's great up to that point, but as soon as that sax comes in, man, I am all over this. Love it!

on 2010-12-05 14:07:57

Another Nutritious track in the least reviewed tracks on the site makes me :(

Nutritious needs more love people!

His first Electronic remix on the site huh... I gotta say, the drum work on this one is crazy and fantastic, awesome job. Your fusions of classical and Electronic really works well and gives a rather unique soundscape that I can only describe as epic. Production here isn't flawless - there are some piercing leads in there, like the sax and that opening synth, altho the latter isn't as bad.

Pretty awesome stuff man, I dig it! :D

on 2010-10-15 08:33:12

I felt kind of iffy about this track. It's understandable though, this is an amazing debut of a new style of songwriting, so con-freaking-grats on doing this well!

I think the times when it worked the best were when the orchestral section was in the foreground and the electronica was playing more of a supportive role, things felt very dynamic and fluidic, too bad this really only happened towards the end. Still though, this beats the pants off anything I could dream up to do with the track, and for that you get a seal of verification as part of the EarCheck sound diet system.

Yeah, okay. I'll stop trying to be clever.

on 2010-08-16 14:47:36

Nutritious can be really surprising when he wants to be. I love his orchestral stuff, but it's great to hear him be able to write in all sort of genres with success. I love the energy of this one, and the live sax is a really nice touch. Sometimes the mix feels a little crowded, but it's not that big of an issue. Nice work!

on 2010-05-03 00:03:55

Wow great balance n mastering. Mixing electronic n GOOD orchestra palettes can be daunting but this truly shines 2 thumbs up! 8-)

on 2010-04-22 15:27:57

What starts taking place around 1:30 sounds great. Wouldn't have minded hearing even more of the sax. (or so I think it was)

Good job on this one.

on 2010-04-20 10:32:17

The breakdown at 1:05 is excellent, and some well chosen synths. It sounds like live saxophone too in the second half.

I do think the drums should be hitting a little harder, but I did enjoy the track. Nice work. :-)

on 2010-04-16 23:54:13

I really like the orchestral / electronic feel it has to it.

It's really epic to hear especially parts that come in like at 2:05. Great job with this one.

on 2010-04-16 21:30:44

What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Xenogears (Square , 1998, PS1)
Music by Yasunori Mitsuda
"After the Soldiers' Dreams"

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