Posted 2018-12-10, evaluated by Liontamer
Our first featured ReMix of Legend of Dragoon since 2013 comes in the form of a playful, trippy, psychedelically-bitcrushed chip/funk jam from Eino Keskitalo off of Hometown Heroes: Town Themes Arranged:
"This track has taken the long way around. Originally, I made it for the Meat 'n Potatoes competition, round #22 back in 2014 to be specific. Big props right here for HoboKa hosting the compo, hey! Blaine picked this track as the source. One of the things about MnP is that you should aim to capture the spirit of the original track, so the source usage is somewhat straightforward in my arrangement.
I wanted to do something quick and simple, so I fired up Renoise, put a C64 drum loop on, figured out an easy, somewhat droning guitar riff off of the source and built from there with a bunch of synth samples. The structure is simple and repeating, but I tried to put in a lot of small-scale variation, especially when continuing the work after the competition. The guitar recording quality is a bit poor, I'm afraid, but I'm into pretty lo-fi stuff anyway..
After the competition, I joined the Hometown Heroes project and continued to work on the track. That time, Hometown Heroes died out, and I moved this to another, PSX-focused project and sent the track in for OCR evaluation. I got some excellent panel feedback, and did a lot of chiseling and sanding away on the mix and some general darling-killing to make parts different from each other, replaced some of that ugly synth, and introduced the marimba instrument into the arrangement. By this time, the PSX project had died, and Hometown Heroes was back up... so, here we are in that regard!
Originally, I didn't address the ending, even though it was a sticking point for all three judges, hoping that changing what went before would make it work better, but since the project director DaMonz felt the unresolved chord at the end was a bit strange, I figured it wasn't doing what I wanted it to do and had it resolve. Even though responding to the feedback meant a lot of work, in the end it's a good way to learn. I'm much more pleased with the outcome and I hope to apply what I've learned into future arrangements... in an earlier stage of the process. Thanks also to Pirjo and Jorito for input! Quite fun to see this track come out after so much time."
I personally love this, and chimed in on the (internal) project evaluation thread to specifically say as much, plus every time you quote yourself an angel weeps, etc.:
"I actually rather love the sound design on Eino's piece. It's appeal is highly textural to me, with layers of elements with varying attack envelopes blending into a larger organism. If that sounds... well, trippy, it's because yeah, I think the mix is a bit... meditative, we'll say. Several melodic elements float in an ethereal plane of bit reduction & filtering/EQ that kinda streams out & over a funky indie/lofi electric guitar groove and some plunky-yet-funky chipdrums, with a watery marimba trading off. So in other words: different elements in unique spaces, but working in sync & in harmony. It's diverse, but diverse in a particular sort of way. At any rate, I think it's designed to be hypnotic, like a large jellyfish moving in slow-motion, and sets to achieve its goals via some unorthodox but well-executed production strategies, with a creative arrangement to suit."
It was late and I apparently was seeing large jellyfish in slow motion... but I do think the observation is sound: paying attention to the sound design & textures on this one is where it's at, and the arrangement is more transformative than Eino lets on, in a good way. Larry writes:
"I hadn't heard any previous versions of this, but this is nice and relaxed goodness here. Even though the original has some tropical and bossa nova elements, Eino slowing this down a touch made it even more laid back than the source tune, even with the chippy aesthetic, because the textures were still simple and left a lot of space to let the different parts breathe. Great job personalizing the sound and nice work getting this into ship shape, Eino! :-)"
So glad this ended up on Hometown Heroes; I feel like Eino often brings not only a distinct musical approach, but one that I personally identify with in terms of weighing melody, harmony, & texture. Excellent work!
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
The Legend of Dragoon (Sony, 1999, PS1)
Music by Dennis Martin, Takeo Miratsu
- "Royal Capital"
- Funky, Mellow, Quirky
- Electric Guitar, Marimba, Synth
- Effects > Distortion
Effects > Lo-Fi
- 5,147,390 bytes
- Size: 5,147,390 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: e5e3134ec4e438de9ca7080b2f40e454
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