Posted 2024-03-08, evaluated by the judges panel

Happy International Women's Day! After a great Zelda medley steered by RebeccaETripp yesterday, we've want to deliver another epic medley, this time an industrial/rock/orchestral/synthwave composite of three Final Fantasy 8 themes by The Vodoú Queen! (Annnd arrangement, guitar, and percussion assistance, plus some editorial input from ZackParrish!) VQ brings the pain not just with a powerful arrangement of a trio of short source tunes, but epic-length submission comments too:

"This song began as a premise of filling out content for the 5th, last-hour album of SeeDs of Pandora... and I fully believe it became something more than that.

Lucas Guimaraes came to me with a proposal on Discord DMs if I wanted to help out with his and ZackParrish's idea to expand on the original 69 songs, to beat the OCR record of "longest/biggest album/project done" on the site. His reasoning? I can throw out something pretty decent in a very short span of time. I found that a compliment to be proud of, considering he seemed well-pleased with what I had managed with his own project in the works. And -- irony notwithstanding -- *this* song ended up being almost kin to that one.

I asked him: "What sources *haven't been* covered yet from the FF8 OST?"

He had three answers;

"Intruders". "Blue Sky". "Tears of the Moon".

I immediately went onto YouTube to listen to these sources, and laughed. Not because they were bad, but they were incredibly short. Maybe 20-30 second snippets, two of which were made for cutscenes/dialogue-inserts ("Tears" and "Sky"), and one being mostly done in-between the sneaking segments and montages of the game ("Intruders")... but was comprised of nothing but bassline and a couple of string plucks. Once again, I found myself with very small, very short source material... that I somehow needed to make into a full arrangement. He did say, "You don't have to", to which I replied: "Challenge accepted", and immediately went to work.

Few hours down the line, few additions made, few cuts to the sources... and we had something. This one in particular, I wanted to do a different bend to the genre. Still along the lines of the one I did for Lucas's project (futuristic/cyberpunk synthwave à la something from Blade Runner or The Terminator), but with a unique spin. And then I once again revisited the OST for TRON: Legacy... and it hit me.

*Orchestral* synthwave, with heavy aspects of the big budget film score feel. It was something I never tried before, and being a huge fan of Ursine Vulpine (Frederick Lloyd)'s work with Annaca for film and TV, I thought it would marry quite well to the vibe of the three sources, seeing as they come from Final Fantasy VIII's prolific cutscenes. The biggest inspiration for this take/remix is the cover of "Wicked Game" by Ursine Vulpine. :D My hope is -- in the end -- that others will think the same. I'm really proud of this one, and think it comes out full of passion and strength in using (what I felt) were the key, recognizable bits of each source to swell into the film score-inspired opus I set out to create...

A big shout out and thank you to ZackParrish for helping me give this the icing on the cake it needed. (He did the metal guitar work and provided the "beating heart", very cinematic drum samples! Those additions gave the piece so much edge and life, and I cannot thank him enough for those!) Also a shout out to Lucas (Thirdkoopa) for believing in me, my work, and giving me an opportunity to submit more to this lovely album (and let those last unclaimed tracks see the light of day)! Please enjoy the bonus track(s), from all of us who participated in this 11th-hour 5th disc... <3 :)

This resub I had mastered myself with some pointers from Zack... also tried to lean more into the Williams/Zimmer vibe/feel of the film-score orchestration for textures, tonal/cleaning EQs and compression, an added piano flare @ 2:36, and the new ending. This end product is complete with every single piece of critique from the judges and #workshop server on Discord actioned; that is inclusive of talking to people in private. My hope is people recognize it as more than just a "sound upgrade" from the original, be it from the SeeDs album or the first submission -- this is with every fiber of my current abilities poured into this and about a good 3 days' worth of consistent tweaking and fine-tuning (and probably insomnia) in the hopes it pushes this beyond the bar/expectations... Cheers and to good fortune on round 2 (technically 3), LOL."

We dig it and appreciate The Vodoú Queen giving the production some extra attention to make this the best it could be, improved even beyond the Final Fantasy VIII: SeeDs of Pandora version! VQ's comprehensive arrangement timestamps and source tune breakdown are included in the tagged comments, so dig into the metadata and enjoy. :-) Summzaring it though, we have very clever and creative references to the three source tunes throughout, and a very dynamic arrangement, with judge DarkSim strongly endorsing the fascinating instrumentation choices and the mood they set:

"This is right up my alley. I just love the brooding atmosphere, and the texture of those industrial sounds, particularly the tubular bass and scratchy, gated distortion. The arpeggio from Tears of the Moon dances over the top of this dirtiness like sparks on a production line. Beautiful stuff.

There are a couple of times where you experiment with some unorthodox sounding notes in the melody (1:43 on guitar, 3:43 on piano), which at first I wasn't sure about, but actually I like that it adds another edge to the track.

I've listened to a ton of dark synthwave tracks, but the way you've integrated some orchestral elements into this gives it another dimension. [...] Awesome work!"

Can't disagree with that, as I also loved the sound design from the start, with the arranged "Wicked Game" inspiration looming large. This opens with a booming presense, industrial overtones, and lots of impact. The introduction of Zack's guitar at 1:35 was well-handled, another dark presense that raised the level of tension. A very subtle thing, but from 2:00-2:24 there was a understated grinding noise in the background that I really appreciated; the way it was quietly placed and how it was positioned in the soundfield is something 99% of listeners wouldn't have noticed, but it caught my ear and was a nice touch. Enjoyable energy as well from Zack's guitar work returning at 2:47. The bell arpeggio at 3:34 was indeed "beautiful", as described, and the winddown at 4:24 lead to a newly revised dropoff finish that was excellently foreshadowed (and loops comfortably back with the intro if you want to listen to this again).

Credit to The Vodoú Queen & ZackParrish for their respective, extensive work in the stressful scramble to expand SeeDs of Pandora, with this track in particular punching above its weight to fill in FF8 source coverage gaps. It all goes to show that even when the concept appears to be the definition of lunacy, unique creativity emerges from restrictions!



Latest 2 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2024-03-23 20:59:11

The bass in this remix is super ultra cool.

on 2024-03-08 00:05:42

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

Sources Arranged (3 Songs)

Primary Game:
Final Fantasy VIII (Square , 1999, PS1)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu
"Blue Sky"
"Tears of the moon"

Tags (11)

Electric Guitar,Electronic,Piano,Synth
Arrangement > Medley
Effects > Glitching
Origin > Collaboration
Time > 4/4 Time Signature

File Information

8,715,479 bytes
album cover
Published 2023-05-08
By OverClocked ReMix


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