Cloud and Sephiroth having a dance off at the filthest Honeybee Club
Game music remixes are some of my favourite expressions of music. It is because you not only have the original and an artists reinterpretation of it, but you can also have gameplay memories alongside the themes too. It makes things see extra fresh and ultra retro at the same time. Final Fantasy VII gets the heavy dance treatment thanks to RoboRob and a few friends.
This album wants to be dramatic and you’ll get that from the first track down to the last. ‘Prelude’ may have the epic harp arpeggios but it’ll be hidden behind a chugging drum beat and lots of harsh metallic brass stabs. These orchestral thumps and hits are a staple across the album and feel industrial much like Midgar itself. RoboRob continues this tension into ‘Fight On’ which showcases everything that is great about this album. It is aggressive, guttural, mechanical and dynamic. The original brassy orchestration thumps in time with the thick bass lines and punchy beats. It feels fully alive and breathing.
On the flipside ‘Chocobo Theme’ sees TOFIE work with RoboRob to create a joyous club banger of the chirpy tune. It mixes up old 90’s beat rolls with modern-day drops and kicks. Elsewhere ‘Victory Fanfare’ sees James Landino join for bright piano chords that wouldn’t be out of place in a DJ Max soundtrack.
The rest of the album stays in the mid-tempo range and heavily relies on bass lines and that those orchestral stabs I mentioned earlier. Other guests do pop onboard but the original melodies are often quite far back in the mix. ‘Cosmo Canyon’ is only recognisable when the synths join in. ‘Mako Reactor’ builds to a frenzy but then becomes a slower glitch fest. It sounds good but I couldn’t follow the original melodies well.
‘One-Winged Angel’ and ‘Aerith’s Theme’ sees Arthur X Medic join in and for these two tracks, the original melodies are much more prominent and I enjoyed these remixes a little more. It is interesting as usually I enjoy really diverse interpretations and remixes but I was grateful that I could spot the sample easier in these tracks.
Dance and electronica fans, as well people who adore the original soundtrack from Nobuo Uematsu will find a lot to enjoy here. I’d have personally liked a little bit of variety in the density of the arrangements as they all feel aggressively harsh. There is a 20 second piano part at the end of ‘Aerith’s Theme’ and that is literally the only time you are not being attacked at full throttle and I think I got weary. Steampunk clubbers however – your dream is here. If Final Fantasy 7 want to make an endless runner spin-off – the soundtrack is already here.
Recommended track: Fight On
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