Posted 2015-06-18, evaluated by the judges panel

That's what she said?!? The Rebellion takes a turn for the inebriated as multi-instrumentalist troublemaker XPRTNovice shows up & transports us into a gypsy tavern kinda place, where cranks are ground (get your mind out of the gutter), people mutter things, clarinets wail, vintage organs pump (get your mind out of the gutter again...), and acoustic guitar gets all folksy-like:

"You seriously don't want to hear the first time I tried to mix this. Brandon wanted me to do this, and I thought, "Cool, I'll try my hand at something prog-metal-ish. It was ass. I spent 8 months creating an utter failure, then promptly threw it away and accomplished this mix in less than 24 hours. Many thanks to Brandon for mastering.

Warning: Guitar, clarinet, and drunken yelling are live recorded in my basement, where both of these things go together."

Sounds like a pretty cool basement. When I think of Joe's music, I often tend to think of the soundtrack to Everything Is Illuminated - great film, great score. I've got no idea if he's seen it, but he should, because I think he'd dig it - this mix vaguely reminds me of the aesthetic of groups like Leningrad & Gogol Bordello. Mix-wise, this also reminds me of Brandon Strader's 'The Kirb Reich' - similar starkness to the handling of the melody. zykO's returned to judge some mixes lately, and he had much to say... bordering on free verse poetry:

"poignant living room organ intro, slow-rising and unapologetically serene. it instantly feels intimate, quirky and surreal all at once, like strollin down to the local jr market atop an orange elephant. you've got an XPRT touch at layering the different textures (granted, it's entirely formulaic to marry a mando, accordion and clarinet together. the french have been doin it for centuries and yet somehow you're doing it in a way that doesn't at all feel overused).

the break is sudden and jarring and feels like a horrible NOVICE ending (so you know i dig it lol), takes you to a back corner of the bazaar, a sultry place where you have clever strings in the background coercing the listener to look into the creepy tent made of human skin with the dinklage sitting outside of it (this = good). and when i do......

i am met with a rollicking good time, singing and all. ohhhhhhh i'm in love. take me with you to this crank if this is what crank is then i want to go there."

I'll have what he's having; seriously transporting & visual commentary. Great stuff from Joe... I can understand spending months working on something you just KNOW is going to be grand, then finally realizing it ain't gonna work and doing something far more quickly that's far better. Sounded like it could have been fun, sure, but this arrangement oozes character, dive bar ambiance, & a charming sense of Eastern European post-Soviet decay. I'll drink to that.



Latest 8 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2015-12-26 21:13:05

Ah, I remember this from the album. Very good remix of a source I was looking forward to hearing. 2:21-2:50 is the definition of creepy crawly; screw insects. Fun, twisted stuff.

on 2015-12-08 16:06:55

This is a unique remix -- you never know what you'll get once Joe's the arranger. I like the carnival vibe, the choice of instruments is very interesting and makes this track very particular. The performance is excellent, and the production is solid. I would have removed the voice FX but I guess it fits! Nice job! :)

on 2015-12-05 08:35:15

Magician's Tower: The Wizard's Waltz

For a game that never came to America, you sure took a lot of Freedom with the track, and I love it! It really captures the raucous-ness of a bar in a fantasy setting. And for the record, I think the drunken yelling is pretty cute, if not nonsensical towards the end. Great job overall!

Daniel Caton
on 2015-12-04 21:06:07

Oh my. This is certainly different. There's a lot of cool stuff here. A lot of weird stuff as well - in a good way - but I’m especially liking that drunken tavern bit at the end. The singing is a bit off-key (as can be expected), which would drive the perfectionist side of me absolutely batty. You succeeded in pulling it off, though, so congratulations are certainly in order.

on 2015-07-16 14:44:08

I can seriously picture a side alley of some Eastern European country with all sorts of bizarre stands and people. This is truly peculiar in the best way possible and I love how unique it is. The last minute with the live vocalizing was magical and I had a good laugh for how weirdly joyous this was. Always have a special place in my heart for mixes that explore and create a musical adventure like this one. Awesome ReMix.

on 2015-07-07 13:09:30

Ah, so charming... Each of Joe's mixes is always sort of small universe with its own atmosphere and flavors, and it doesn't matter whether it's a Spanish-themed tune or Pink Panter-ish jam or this... Words cannot express all the feelings, especially during the last minute when all the shit happens. It's simply crazy. And the ending... So neat. You showed us a magical song, Joe. Well done!

on 2015-06-19 23:58:41

Okay, first and foremost, I thought that this source tune, while cute, would NEVER support a full remix. And then this... this.... this. I want to mention that many of my songs I've downloaded from OCRemix that I ended up liking ended up being XPRTNovice, and I was like, 'who is this remixer'? So when I saw the name I knew I had to give it a try.


I cannot impress enough the crazy feeling of - well, the writeup said it well - walking down a bazaar, then taking a wrong turn, getting drunk at a standing kiosk, and stumbling through the streets. It's so perfect. If this is what the artist created in 24 hours, they need to just do that more often.

Also, the ending. What a great, unique song. "I'll show ya a magic tower", indeed.

on 2015-06-18 11:05:22

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

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Final Fantasy II (Square , 1988, NES)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu
"Magician's Tower"

Tags (14)

Accordion,Acoustic Guitar,Brass,Clarinet,Organ,Singing,Vocals: Male,Vocals: Voice Acting
Lyrics > Lyrics: Original
Production > Live Instruments

File Information

6,751,539 bytes

I'll show ya a magic tower.


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