Posted 2024-02-06, evaluated by the judges panel

The concluding track of the epic 5-disc, 80-track Final Fantasy VIII: SeeDs of Pandora album is a sinister tour de force from the whirlwind herself, The Vodoú Queen, spurred on thanks to a suggestion by her musical partner-in-crime ZackParrish (who handled drums & SFX):

"And so, we once again reach the apex of the mountain...

It's been almost a year since I revisited my half of this album's "The Extreme" remix, "All Existence Denied". I hadn't planned on revisiting it, nor planned to add a revised version of it to the 5th bonus disc. *All* of this came from a private DM with Zack, and him asking about the remix and what my contribution to the collaborative effort was, directly. I do not think he had even heard the remix itself of the original 69, but I gave him an MP3 render that I had to dig out of the recesses of my old Seagate HD (the PC I had done the work has since imploded, although, thank the gods, the hard drive still worked!)

And then, he asked: "would you like to reignite your vision for the 5th disc?"

I was a bit hesitant; partially because of just how insanely large the DAW file was alone (145 tracks... it wasn't easy mixing all of those beforehand...), and how intricate the BPM changes were within said file... and he was asking this about 3-4 days *before the due date* for our work to be mastered and turned in for evaluation. But after some kindly chatter, I relinquished, and said: "f*ck it, why not?"

Not only did I want to -after thinking on it- go back and see if what I've learned in mixing and post-production since after its inception could actually crank it from that 11 threshold to a full 12 banger (and I hope it did!), but to see if I could utilize *solely* the EDM aspects of the original, and kind of re-add my original plans for the piece itself. I believe what Capt'n Shred and I had done was beautifully married together, and a great, solid remix that went beyond the realms of usual remixes for "The Extreme", and we had accomplished not falling into the category of sounding 'like another The Black Mages' rendition of the source.

But... what else could *I* bring to the table? How could I make it evolve and grow, and in turn, show my growth as a musician and music producer?

Zack and I batted ideas back and forth. He implored me to completely rework the Interlude/Trap section from the original and have it much more focused, much more simplified - and to add a rap to it!! And well, since Darkflamewolf mentioned before that they *really* thought a "sorceress rap" would be cool, and I've done it once before... I figured to try and put more of what bit of vocal/singing talent I've got and do my best at it. Synths were strengthened, leads and basses I tried to tweak and fix by having better call/response action to each other. FX chains were re-examined and ripped apart and envelopes built back again...

... And here we are, once again at the final precipice of this 10-min "magnum opus".

My hope is that this shows a stark contrast to the original, but also is an homage *to* the original by having those callbacks, whilst being a remix in its own right. I hope it keeps people's interest, and they find something new or something they hadn't noticed before, every time they listen to the song. I did my best to make it distinct and have something different and fresh every time the vibe and flow switched gears, and I'm actually very proud of the vocal work I did with this, and all that I've managed to accomplish in wrangling the Frankensteinian beast I had created...

I cannot express how thankful I am for Zack coming to me, just having a talk with me, and wanting me to push myself, express myself, and get my work out there. If it wasn't for him, (or his fantastic ability to fix my horrible transposing and MIDI mistakes, or his truly kick-ass, epic drum creations, OR those wonderful beginning sound effects that lead into the Overture!), I don't think this dream would have come true. The entirety of this album has been one hell of an experience -for better, and almost not at all for worse- and what I've learned in the interim, and the extremely kind people I've met and became friends with has been one of the best experiences in my 30-or-so-years of living on this Earth...

Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart. Please enjoy, and always remember...

Your Existence. Is still. Denied. <3"

If you need a source usage breakdown, there's additional comments in the album liner notes and the MP3 here, so we've always got your back. Big kudos to Zack for lifting VQ's spirits up in their collaborative journeys for SeeDs of Pandora; when you feel out of your depth and swimming in imposter syndrome, sometimes you just need a helping hand to nudge you toward the intended outcome. We can overthink about ambitious ideas all day, but the added perspective, refinements, and encouragement helped steer VQ toward the actual realization of her wonderful ideas. The unanimous judges panel sentiment was best articulated by Emunator (HEY, stop being so articulate!):

"This is deeply ambitious and very well well executed, brimming with atmosphere and personality without foregoing the vibe of your original source material. We had a conversation over Discord at one point where you were questioning what your strong suits were as a remixer, and I'd argue this arrangement exemplifies so many of the things that make you stand out as an artist. You are a very talented arranger and know how to synthesize many disparate ideas into something that actually flows and takes you through a journey. You have a gift for throwing everything at the wall in the name of ambition and experimentation and *making* it stick. You play nice with collaborators and know how to come in with a clear vision that others can actually work with. You are bold and brave - there's really no other way to pull off something this grand *without* a good amount of fearlessness.

All of it comes together to make something that's extremely satisfying from start to finish, even if there are some technical wrinkles in the execution. Bravo!!"

Arrangement-wise, it's just a wonderfully varied presentation. Crazy stuff, or as judge prophetik music put it, "the overall experience is really something special." Rumble, young lady, rumble. :-)



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on 2024-02-06 00:28:52
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Sources Arranged (6 Songs)

Primary Game:
Final Fantasy VIII (Square , 1999, PS1)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu
"Force Your Way"
"The Castle"
"The Extreme"
"The Loser"

Tags (14)

Synth,Vocals: Female
Arrangement > Medley
Lyrics > Language: English
Lyrics > Lyrics: Existing
Lyrics > Lyrics: Original
Origin > Collaboration
Time > 4/4 Time Signature
Time > Tempo: Variable

File Information

16,954,712 bytes

(All existence? Denied.)

[Backwards lyric of Time. Will. Compress.]
Time. Will. Compress.

Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec
Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec

Time? It will not wait.
No matter how hard you hold on,
It escapes you...

I am Ultimecia.
Time shall compress.
All existence? Denied.

This is reality!
No one can help you!
Sit back...
And enjoy the show!

Welcome to Hell!

My name is Ultimecia,
Lyrical genius.
The Mistress of Rhyme,
Usurper of Time.

You have no hope in this battle,
Such a thorn in my side...
I'll crush you like weeds.

Think you have a chance?
Oh, pleaze...
Maniacal laughter!
You're such disease.

There's no hope to be had here,
Cease your miserable pleas.
Be gone with you,
Or get on your knees.

Sorceress Queen.
Your end is nigh,
Pitiful SeeDs...

(Fithos...) I. Am. Ultimecia.
(Lusec...) This. Is. Reality!
(Wecos...) No one can help you!
(Vinosec.) Existence. Still. Denied!

album cover
Published 2023-05-08
By OverClocked ReMix


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