jmabate returns, rocking out and expanding an energetic Motoi Sakuraba theme from Valkyrie Profile, with a vocal assist from Psamathes! Both arrangers are prolific within the Pixel Mixers community -- where the original version of this arrangement originates from -- and expressed mutual admiration for their titanic team-up!
jmabate (Jean Marc Abate): "Cover by jmabate ft. Psamathes as one-woman choir. It's a pleasure to work with you. Thank you very much."
Psamathes (Alessandra Cognetta): "Thanks for having me on such a powerful arrangement! \m/"
After some feedback from the judges (in the midst of needing to have a Squenix voice sample of the title removed), we also had the good fortune of the production getting some additional improvements, now showcasing a more cohesive presentation. Props to all of the panelists who were able to provide detailed critiques to pass onto Jean Marc.
Even in approving this submission, judge MindWanderer felt the arrangement approach was arguably dancing on the line of being too close of a cover; I'd offer that the interpretation we're looking for at OCR isn't solely or always primarily factored in by significant melodic variations, but through combinations of other techniques such as the genre adaptation (rock and vocals) alongside the integration of original writing ideas (new supporting guitar & drum writing as). Judge Emunator was also on board with the panel consensus of this approach being firmly on solid ground:
"I found this to be comfortably above the bar. The guitar performance is incredibly tight, and Psamathes adds a ton of character to the sound palette. As always, I love your ambition with changing up rhythm at a moment's notice while never feeling like you're just tacking disparate concepts together without any glue between them."
There's no doubt a lot of elements to love when comparing this piece to the original, "Take a Flight". Beyond the massive axe energy, jmabate's drum writing was also a major plus; just listen to the energy ramp up in steps and then drop down from :55-1:23. There's nothing on auto-pilot there, which contributes so much energy and momentum. Psamathes' vocals really add a nice dimension as well and are a highlight when they take the spotlight in the intro, middle, and outro, all in all a prolific package that slays!
Fun Fact: we're actually blocked on Twitter by Motoi Sakuraba. :'-( What had happened was, well, we unintentionally fouled up... When we released our community's Golden Sun: A World Reignited album back in 2020, our announcement tweet mentioned Sakuraba's handle to show love & appreciation. The tweet was... let us say... TOO popular. Loads of fans love Golden Sun's music, and we genuinely didn't anticipate that Sakuraba could get over 2,500 notifications as a result of people hyped about the album spreading the word so extensively. I think he got sick of it after 1,000+ pings. We're sorry, Sakuraba-san! If anyone well versed in Japanese would be willing to eloquently send a "Sorry, we didn't mean to overwhelm you, and we hope you appreciated the arrangements" on OC ReMix's behalf to get us out of Sakuraba's Twitter jail, we'd appreciate it. (Or we stay Kamiya'ed, what can you do!) :-D
That's all a very roundabout way of saying do check out jmabate's tribute to another game featuring a memorable Sakuraba soundtrack, and we hope the composer would also enjoy Pixel Mixers' community effort to honor his legendary VGM career! Pixel Mixers' work on their Nibelung Valesti album is powerful stuff, and more people should know about it. Engrave it upon your soul! Just... keep the notifications to a minimum. ;-)
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Choir,Electric Guitar,Organ,Singing
- Origin > Collaboration
Time > Tempo: Fast
- 5,511,081 bytes
- Size: 5,511,081 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 6d2d664efc3d4d32894609223b713c65
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