Clannad Remix Album -Memento-
Clannad Remix Album -Memento-
Key Sounds Label
December 28, 2004
Buy Used Copy
Having achieved widespread recognition in Japan through Kanon and Air, Key decided to recruited an ensemble cast of remixers to celebrate the release of Clannad. Clannad Remix Album -Memento- features 17 arrangements, each by a different arranger, across two discs. There are plenty of big names featured here and, furthermore, numerous highlights.
The release opens with Shinji Hosoe’s remix of the opening theme “Mag Mell”. The original track already had a contemporary pop feel and therefore suits Hosoe’s mainstream club beats well. All the electronic beats and flourishes emphasise the magical quality of the original without losing the focus on Riya’s delightful vocals. Fan-turned-pro band MintJam rejuvenate “Two Shadows” with a cool sound; while they preserve the intimate nature of the original, additions such as the howling guitar-based opening and even a few chiptune sounds bring so much colour and attitude. Bermei Inazawa injects some modern flair into the ending theme “Tiny Palm”, transforming the melodramatic balladic original into a subtle ambient mix. Soshi Hosoi’s interpretation of “Ana” is even more experimental, with its warped electronic beats and Drakengard-esque manipulations of Lia’s vocal performance. It’s not for all, but many will find the techniques used in this one innovative and atmospheric.
There are plenty of solid remixes based on instrumental originals. Shinji Orito unexpectedly adapts the solemn piano piece “To the Same Heights” into an upbeat trance piece; while the stylings are stereotypical, it’s a persuasive dance mix and the melodies are as sonorous as ever. ZTS’ “Snowfield” also adopts this style, but with bolder shifts between its elating and reflective moments — this variety certainly helps it sustains its mammoth nine minute playtime. Those with a taste for jazz will enjoy Shoichiro Sakamoto’s “Phase of the Moon” and Kazuhiko Simochi’s “Reduce to Ashes”, the latter especially appealing with its dense and jagged writing. “Meaningful Ways to Pass the Time” is more typical bishoujo fair, with its playful easygoing melody, but certainly has a strong place in a Clannad tribute. Other highlights include the saxophone-peppered R’n’B version of “A Couple of Idiots” and the bright candypop-flavoured “That’s Like the Wind”.
That said, not all the remixes on the album are as satisfying. Blending a quirky synthesizer melody with a groovy bass line, “Hurry, Starfish -PaPiPuPe Mix-” is certainly worth a whistle or two. But despite some satisfying interludes, the main idea is laboured by excessive repetition. “Tea Party in the Reference Room” combines dense jazzy piano improvisations with sleazy jazz fusion guitar passages; while the individual elements sound fine, they sound erratic when combined together. The intimate piano-based renditions of “Nagisa”, “Ushio”, and “Shining in the Sky” are also unexpected on an electronic remix album and perhaps in excess here; however, they bring some depth to an often upbeat album and the former, especially, features some very romantic piano and strings writing. The release closes with “Song of the Cherry Blossoms”, a ten minute original song written by Jun Maeda and performed by Riya. It’s one of the finest examples of Key’s songwriting to be released — deviating from the pop flavours of their other theme songs in favour of a soft pensive performance and ethereal acoustic instrumentation.
Despite a few misses, Clannad Remix Album -Memento- has plenty to offer. It features numerous fan favourites arranged in a fresh and accessible manner. What’s more, there is so much diversity on this release that there is a little something for every fan of remixers. Another solid addition to Key’s discography.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Chris Greening. Last modified on August 1, 2012.