Arranging the music of one song...

"First Search"

Primary Game: The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Nintendo , 1993, GB), music by Kozue Ishikawa, Minako Hamano

Posted 2011-07-19, evaluated by the judges panel

While this mellow 'Koholint' mix from Benjamin Briggs was released last December as part of Threshold, it was actually one of the earlier tracks contributed to the album, so it's around FIVE years old, believe it or not. How time flies. While Mr. Briggs continually upped & expanded his game in the years since, I think this arrangement stands up pretty damn well. It's now time for RAPID FIRE JUDGEQUOTE ACTION!! - we start with OA:

"Now this is some chill, easy livin' - excellent crunchy percussive textures along with serene pads and a cheerful melody make this a relaxing and pleasant mix. The alterations were well thought out and the flow of the song was very smooth."

We then jump abruptly and without hesitation to Palpable:

"It's pretty funny hearing this after four years of music from Mr. Briggs. It's a perfectly pleasant song, but decidedly light on the crazy that Ben favors more nowadays. It feels a little simplistic, but the textures chosen complement each other, and the arrangement ideas are solid."

... and gracefully segue to exit with the understated Vigilante:

"chthonic has great talent for simple, pleasing composition accented by subtle and complimentary production. This is no different. Perhaps not his most exciting work, but definitely up to spec."

All good points; while the artist may have widened & honed his palette, even his older stuff has the attention to detail on the production side that actually worked quite efficiently with a more stripped-down compositional approach. I dig the bongos, crisp EQ, and watery outro FX, and while I ultimately prefer the more elaborate & varied style Ben's developed, it's nice to hear a straightforward, enjoyable arrangement that does an undermixed source tune justice. Good stuff from BB's chthonic years.



Latest 14 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2015-12-02 14:02:24

The original source is a true VGM legend and Mr. Briggs' did a great job with it. It's so lush and chilling and awesome and blah-blah-blah... I can go on forever - I adore it a lot. The album is set mostly in bleak tones, but this track sticks out a bit due to it cheerfully dreamy nature. And this is quite cool! Nice work, Ben!

on 2012-04-15 14:17:46



Tuberz McGee
on 2011-12-25 00:41:08

The feeling of the mix is interesting. It's hard to determine whether it's a happy or sad mix.

With the Timbre, in places it feels like it's sad. But immediately changes.

I really enjoy the way it's constructed. I'm a huge fan of Benjamin Briggs, and this is definitely one of his best works.

on 2011-12-23 09:44:43

This song definitely captures the feeling of the source. You've woken up on a strange island, no clue where you are. You have your shield back, but you want your sword. So you head to the beach of the island, hoping to find it there. Dodge the octoroks, look out for the spinies and the crabs... and there. Sitting in the wake of the waves lies your sword. All the while you're looking for it, you're still waking up from your involuntary slumber. It's like you're in a dream state.

Once you have your sword, the music changes into something more familiar. And as your journey continues, you start to question the difference between dream and reality. But before then, in your initial moments exploring this island, there's a feeling. You won't ever feel it again, but it's wondrous. And I think this song captures that quite well.

Oh, and my review excerpt:

The artist formerly known as chthonic makes his mark known immediately. Buildup until 0:32, when some nice peaceful and semi-ethereal instrumentation come in. Briggs’ basic style comes in at 1:16 or so, and demonstrates his love for this soundtrack (seriously, listen to It’s My Turn to Dream and you’ll see what I mean). Main melody returns at 1:50. Breakdown at 2:10 or so, with more of his style and touch. True remix comes in at 2:38. Fadeout beginning at about 3:05, with spacey instruments to end.

on 2011-12-15 10:50:45

I really love this mix, and it's decidedly different from the chippy stuff Ben loves to make. It has an organic sound to it, and a vastness. It really is one of the defining tracks for the Threshold album, and a great listen in general. I'm surprised this doesn't have more comments/love :( .

on 2011-12-14 17:40:21

Ahhhh, now this is relaxing and chill. I could probably tune right out and maybe even drift off to this one on repeat. It's a little airy and the ending goes past that and straight into spacey. Enjoyed the soloing around the 1:05 mark as well as the key change later on. Well done, Ben.

on 2011-12-02 11:33:51

It was a priviledge to be a part of this project with Ben Briggs, who brought his A-game not only with the significantly more recent "Climb My Mountain, This High" but also this particular track as well.

With a source that's only 8 measures long, you'd think it would be difficult to find/cfraft a good expansive mix to go along with it, but with some neat additions like the half-speed melody movements during the beginning, key change at 2;13 and the little rhodes solo past the 1 minute mark then you can see even then he had a keen eye for really going deep into the source material and capturing the emotive quality driven behind it.

I even said in the listening party last December this very thing in regards to his mix as well, requoting for awesomeness:

01[23:21] Rexy I was about to think if I ever become a masseuse, lucidic would be a contender for the jukebox _

So for me it's that chill you may find it appropriate for a back rub; it's a shame that he lost the project files to the wheels of a car, but even then it stood the test of time amazingly well, and that's something that a fair amount of the project has. Solid proof that the album was a success, in addition to a firm step on the progression of Ben as a musician. Keep up the solid work :)

on 2011-08-07 16:30:49

Nice, easy listening mix of a great tune that you know and love. Great job!

on 2011-07-25 20:22:11

I've always loved this one. It's probably my favorite off of the album -- yes even more than the Tal Tal Heights remix :P

The harp was very dreamy, and fit nicely in with the whole song. I especially love the drums and the way they're filtered throughout the song. Really, all I can say is it fits together.

Also, I gotta say, the effects remind me of Earthbound a LOT.

Good job Chtho--.. err, I mean Ben.

on 2011-07-20 06:09:16

I love this one! Been listening to it a lot in the last couple of weeks, the synth coming in at 2:15 is pure genius. :)

on 2011-07-19 23:56:49
P.S. this song is great, you should make more like this :-D

This song is great! I need to listen to the album more...

Brandon Strader
on 2011-07-19 20:10:23
3 ocremix


3 ocremix and chthonic and benjamin briggs


P.S. this song is great, you should make more like this :-D

Benjamin Briggs
on 2011-07-19 18:17:37

3 ocremix


on 2011-07-19 13:34:31

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

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Nintendo , 1993, GB)
Music by Kozue Ishikawa,Minako Hamano
"First Search"

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