ReMix:Final Fantasy IX "Four Score and Six-Eight" 3:21

By djpretzel

Arranging the music of one song...

"Tetra Master"

Primary Game: Final Fantasy IX (Square , 2000, PS1), music by Nobuo Uematsu

Posted 2015-09-09, evaluated by djpretzel

So honored to be on this album & in such great musical company! Since becoming a father, I've had less free time than before, and on top of that I've been taking a more active role in the development of album art & websites, while building a new studio in my basement, switching DAWs to Presonus Studio One, AND working on the next version of OCR. Add all that up, and it's not exactly a recipe for the type of musical exploration and trial & error that I've employed in the past. Nevertheless this arrangement was still subject to several false starts, in different genres, before reaching a finishable incarnation. Quoting myself, from the liner notes:

"I didn't seek this source out, it was suggested to me, and at the TIME I thought I could put something together rather quickly. Oops? I actually had several ideas that I ran into brick walls with - a Beatlesque vocal arrangement, a disco arrangement, something *vaguely* in the style of Steely Dan, and even an EDM approach... Years later, having been through MANY works-in-progress, I finally settled on a 6/8 conversion & jazz sextet preparation - brush kit, upright, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, vibes, & Rhodes. That's it. I felt comfortable doing this largely due to the playability of the guitars (acoustic is Ilya Efimov, electric is Archtop by ISW), as there's some improvisational noodling involved. It's got a kind of old-timey jazz feel to it that I ended up liking; hope some others dig it, too. The source is playful but lacks a strong melody, so there's substantive original writing that darts about or layers on top; a liberal arrangement, but I think you still get the soul of the progression & some of the whimsicality of the original piece. Couldn't work that guiro in, though!"

I've got no hesitation in saying that arranging this source was a challenge for me - it's not the type of piece I usually work with, it doesn't play to my strengths, and I definitely struggled. I usually go for stuff with a really striking lead melody, and this theme is mostly about the progression, BUT it's playful, it's catchy, and I had some ideas for melodic snippets & leads that I could layer in to make something recognizable but new. Director Cain McCormack writes:

"If you’ve been around OCR for a very long time (certainly longer than I have) you might have caught the release of Dave’s last FFIX arrangement in 2002, and there hasn’t been a great deal of FFIX mixes since then (13 I think). Luckily we’ve remedied this today by tripling the game’s total number of arrangements on the site, yay.

His latest track will be eminently familiar to card addicts, featuring a slightly jazz’d up interpretation of the lounge-y and relaxing backdrop to the equally infuriating and addictive classic mini-game. Damn Oglops. As a guitarist I obviously have uh *cough* reservations about the sampling of such instruments, but the sequencing throughout is characteristically nuanced and effective."

I don't feel that arrangers should be held back by only working in genres they can pull off with absolute realism, and while jazz obviously benefits from live instruments more than almost any other genre, I actually dig some of what's possible with the better libraries out there, and don't mind a partially-sequenced sound - it's something I personally enjoy listening to. Hopefully that describes at least a few other folks out there; at least the solos were all improvised & played in live, eh? Given that this source is repeated often in the game, I hope I've put together something that casts it in a new light (and time signature) but retains the charm & cavalier attitude. Hope you dig it!



Latest 9 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2017-08-03 02:27:54

The quality of the more jazzy and chill tracks on this album is outstanding really (which is what I've needed to hear after these rough few days, lol). I do love that the atmosphere of this one is less smokey parlor and more lounge sounding to me, and truly this ReMix in my opinion outshines over the original source tune. It comes off so relaxing that it can go by really quickly if you just listen and don't think about it, which is cool and makes the mix easily loopable. Smooth and easy-going, very nicely done Mr. Pretzel.

on 2015-12-13 17:15:13

A smooth remix from Mr. Pretzel himself! The samples are top and sound very realistic -- almost too much! ^^ The choice of instruments helps to create a cool atmosphere -- very jazzy. Excellent arrangement, and the production is super clean. What else is there to ask for? :)


djp, Y U NO MOAR RMX? ;)

on 2015-10-07 13:37:52

Oh, this is so delightfully chill. Never been a big fan of the original source tbh. Avoided it if I could ha ha. This just takes it and jazzes it up. So smooth. So sexy.

on 2015-09-16 17:17:52

Boy, this really is impressive! What's ironic is I don't like the source tune, but this remix makes it so much more palatable. I love how things move forward at 1:00 and fall back around 1:35, giving it a feel like you're having a fun chess game with a friend on a tropical beach with a cold drink in your hand - no reason to hustle or stress, just an easy and fun time at your side while you rest on your chair and talk. Easy, relaxing - really enjoyable!!

on 2015-09-14 20:51:24

This mix, however, truly has, as djp hoped, cast the tune in a new light for me. The instrumentation, the liberal arrangement, the overall vibe (and, oh yeah, those wonderful vibes...see what I did there?) make this mix one of my top ten standout tracks from a great project album, and probably the biggest pleasant surprise I've gotten from an OCR album since Balance and Ruin.

That's truly great to hear; I appreciate the feedback, since I wasn't sure if folks would get what I was going for, it's rewarding to know that at least a few did :)

Ybrik Metaknight
on 2015-09-14 17:46:15

This is something truly amazing. I'm not saying this is my favorite mix of all time or anything (that kind of a declaration usually requires a source material I'm already really attached to being handled in a way that feels absolutely perfect to me), but it's definitely something special. Here's why: Until this mix, I always regarded this source material as a forgettable and, yes, boring little ditty that accompanied a minigame that I hate (Triple TriadTetra Master).

This mix, however, truly has, as djp hoped, cast the tune in a new light for me. The instrumentation, the liberal arrangement, the overall vibe (and, oh yeah, those wonderful vibes...see what I did there?) make this mix one of my top ten standout tracks from a great project album, and probably the biggest pleasant surprise I've gotten from an OCR album since Balance and Ruin.

on 2015-09-11 15:14:32

This is probably my favorite remix of yours, just ever. It's got this loose, casual vibe, like the good kind of background music that while not so complex that it asks me to keep prying it apart for details, it still periodically draws my attention for a moment before I go back to doing something else---in the sense that I feel the need to keep shifting my attention toward it so that I don't miss anything. :} This definitely holds up to the caliber of tracks on the rest of the album!

The Orichalcon
on 2015-09-11 11:12:28

So sexy, so smooth. I keep coming back to this tragic (err, that was autocorrect, but I thought it was funny so I left it there) track and XPRTNovice's "Miles and Miles Away" (They're back to back on the album, and it is by far the sexiest section of the album.)

I love this style, Dave, I always look forward to your tracks on these albums.

I'm ashamed to admit it took me a while to figure out why the title is Four-Score and Six Eight.

on 2015-09-09 00:03:52

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

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Final Fantasy IX (Square , 2000, PS1)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu
"Tetra Master"

Tags (8)

Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Electric Piano,Vibraphone
Time > 6/8 Time Signature

File Information

5,578,195 bytes


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