Posted 2018-11-19, evaluated by Liontamer
I'm extremely happy to have a track on Hometown Heroes: Town Themes Arranged - I love the album's concept, I wanted to get back to making music in 2018, and (of course) I love the opportunity to revisit synth/funk & the 16-bit Phantasy Star games; I covered most of what I wanted to say in the liner notes:
"So, which town is right? Why, Funkytown, of course! I took the concept of Hometown Heroes in a specific direction: I wanted to make a mix where I felt comfortable & completely free of expectation. Unconditional, if you will. There's a pattern/tradition with town or village themes, especially when it's the hero or heroine's hometown, to make the music very serene and pastoral. I wanted to subvert that a bit because to me, when I think of home, I think of more than just serenity & tranquility. I think of silliness, of laughter, and really of all manner of things -- even things like disagreements or sadness. I think more of family, I suppose, when I think of returning home, and my concept of family isn't fully captured by serene and pastoral.
So, I chose a game that was near and dear to me -- Phantasy Star III. This was a game I escaped into while my parents were going through a divorce, growing up. It's not regarded as the high point of the series, but I loved it, and I loved the music. The town theme is mostly peaceful, but it has a unique twist to a starker, less intimate progression that is characterized by trills/oscillations. It's a little weird, but that's good for my purposes. And then, well, yeah... if I'm doing whatever I want, I'm probably going to throw in some funk. And why not an old-school beat with a mile-wide kick? And I happen to love electric pianos, so two of those (Spectrasonics Keyscape)... and a clavinet (ditto)... and just the squishiest, moistest synth funk bass I could manage (Trillian) -- somebody get it a towel. Style-wise, this is something like "Broadway Synth Funkstep" and there are glitch FX and risers, and sequenced pitch FX, and a leading EP that operates in a mostly-quantized realm until it's freed up (i.e. played live) for the breakdown... where a choir comes in, with the sound of leaves. This is also the first ReMix I've finished in Ableton Live, which I now love.
So, it's musical passing images from different moments/aspects of family life, but it's also a consciously-indulgent chimera of things I thought would be fun.
Props to DaMonz for resurrecting this unique effort and for a talented team of arrangers & a skilled visual artist for bringing it together in its best form, a worthy tribute to a specific archetype within the world of video game music!"
Along with the Nintendo Switch, Spectrasonics Keyscape is one of the products I went from being lukewarm about on initial announcement to "can't live without" after release & usage. In both cases, I was skeptical about the approach/focus, and in both cases quite happy to be so thoroughly wrong & deeply impressed. Both electric pianos + the clavinet are Keyscape, here, and it's a piece of software that makes me happy just thinking about. The melodic alterations are flamboyant, suggesting not just vocal phrasing but specifically the type you might hear in a musical. Quintuplets! At any rate, it's primarily supposed to be fun & a bit unhinged... don't think too hard, etc. I love the source and find it very memorable and distinct, especially within the subcategory of town themes. Larry writes:
"For any old school OCR fans, this is a blast from the past in terms of classic djp-style arranging, IMO. If you check out Alex Kidd "No One Can Do It Better", you'll hear how far his instrumentation and style reach back when it comes to getting funky. Having first been exposed to this great theme by Quinn Fox's "Nial and Nowhere," I really wanted the source's lead line to stand out more during this ReMix's chorus sections (e.g. 1:08-1:28 & 2:27-3:04), so I'm shaking my fist at Dave for not doing that. But when you hear the electronic ear candy that's a constant presence during those same sections, I'll allow it. By working outside the easy listening box, this paints the town with a very fresh coat. :-)"
It's a little more elaborate in terms of chords/rhythms than my older stuff, but has a similar sensibility w/ regard to funkiness. I had great fun mouse-entering some of the pitchbend automation on the bass, which is something I seldom do, and took this mix as an opportunity to settle into Ableton Live 10 as my primary DAW, with Studio One as alternate. Album director DaMonz adds:
"Super groovy, super quirky, super fun! My favorite part about this track is definitely the deelishious wurly jumping around, closely followed by the short melodic bass highlight starting around 2:08. A genre experiment gone right!"
Thanks; means a lot, and I hope others will dig this as well, and at the very least might be freshly exposed to a pretty awesome source tune. Enjoy it, and enjoy the rest of Hometown Heroes: Town Themes Arranged!
on 2018-11-25 11:23:10
Oh... This is sooooo cool I really love how this track sounds pretty much like some of the older djp's stuff, but with a modern touch to it and even almost a bit of glitch-hoppish flavor (those drops at 1:09 and 2:28 are hella fun!). Not even going to mention the TJE vibes coming from this remix, haha. For some reason, this track slightly reminds me of Bluelighter's "A Kingdom Under the Sea" and djp's "Twoson Hits the Road" and God knows what else. YES, I realize that this one is completly different in terms of genre, but, man, this feels nothing but cute, cozy, happy and warm. So much to love here!
on 2018-11-25 03:50:25
I've played enough of PSIII to appreciate the rhythmic transformation of this treatment ... also I like the shift that is the ending!
on 2018-11-20 18:08:13
This is so different from anything I've heard before. I really like it! Reminds me a little of Toejam and Earl.
on 2018-11-19 02:41:27
What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom (Sega, 1990, GEN)
Music by Izuho Numata
- "Town 1"
- EDM, Funk, Hip Hop
- Energetic, Funky, Goofy, Mellow
- Choir, Clarinet, Electric Piano, Flute, Sound FX, Strings, Synth
- Time > 4/4 Time Signature
- 5,699,357 bytes
- Size: 5,699,357 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: a1b71f3473d5a19b0c596e01c06c7df4
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