Zone of the Enders ReMix Selection
Zone of the Enders ReMix Selection
October 30, 2012
Buy Used Copy
In 2012, Konami demonstrated that they hadn’t forgotten about the much-loved Zone of the Enders franchise. They produced a new arranged album, released a HD compilation, announced plans for a third game. A bonus with the limited edition of the Zone of the Enders HD Collection was the Zone of the Enders ReMix Selection. It features eight modern electronic adaptations of popular pieces from Z.O.E. and ANUBIS by a range of names. The majority are lifted from the more substantial commercially released album Zone of the Enders ReMix Edition.
The centrepiece of the album is the remix of Maki Kirioka’s incredible main theme for Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner, “Beyond the Bounds”. The first minute of the remix beautifully recreates the exotic, ethereal timbre of the original that encapsulates the utopic aspects of Hideo Kojima’s world so well. But with the introduction of a distorted bass line shortly thereafter, listeners are soon subjected to the harsher, inorganic components that will come to dominate the album. Throughout the remix, Ringmasters’ Eshericks interweaves the phrases from the original with bold electronics and a new vocal performance. What’s more, he pays special attention to building a dramatic arch and maintaining a danceable feel. As with the rest of the release, the remix is also very competently produced, boasting cutting-edge beats, polished samples, and a well-balanced mix. A fantastic way to bring the series into the new generation.
In general, the remixers treat the originals in the perfect way for a remix album. “VR – Wall5 Remix -” is a much harder, beat-heavy take on the original. While the sounds created will be too heavy for some, they’re still compatible with Z.O.E.’s world and will be much-enjoyed by electro lovers. However, this track still features an extended interlude filled with boundless synth soundscaping that captures the more soothing quality of “VR” and engages the listener emotionally. This variety ensures it sustains interest throughout its six minute playtime and is worth many repeats thereafter. With “Leo Leo”, Smooth deconvolutes the original to produce a well-rounded, polished piece of music. Rapid industrial beats, formidable operatic vocals, and dazzling Gradius-inspired build-ups all make their return from the original. But this time, they’re given a chance to breathe and actually sound like they belong together.
Among other selections, onoken’s “Compression Space – evocation mix-” ramps up the tempo and electrifies the mood, but still stays faithful to the central concept of the album: the contrast of organic forces (the radiant violins here) with inorganic ones (yet more oppressive bass modulations). Blending a session orchestra performance with electronic beats, “Vascilia County” is an especially engaging, reflective experience. It’s particularly special since it was not featured in the original soundtrack and includes a reprise of the “Beyond the Bounds” theme. Less impressive is “Chaotic Fight”, which interrupts the clamorous orchestral phrases of the original with various breaks and bass modulations. The final result is decent, but largely due to Akihiro Honda’s compositional choices than any inspired remixing choices. DJ Uraken’s “Ardjet” is also dubious, mixing some genuinely danceable dubstep segments with divisive voice samples.
The album closes with an exclusive remix from Gee Daigo, founder of the music production Ringmasters LLC. Based on “Jehuty Vivid Transparency” from ANUBIS, he blends moody orchestral passages, edgy electronic beats, and uplifting choral segments in an immersive manner, staying faithful to the concept of the original piece and game overall. Nevertheless, the Zone of the Enders ReMix Selection misses a number of other highlights from the main album, including “ALOIVIA”, “Final Battle”, “GLOBAL”. As a result, it isn’t as satisfying as an overall package despite the fantastic bonus.
Zone of the Enders ReMix Selection is a fine bonus with the limited edition of Zone of the Enders HD. The remixes stay faithful to the image of the originals and the game itself. The stylings and production techniques are fresh and worthy of 2012. And the remixers and producers seem to really care about the original material and the album as a whole. That said, major fans of the franchise would be better off with the Zone of the Enders ReMix Edition, which features more tracks and a more balanced order.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Chris Greening. Last modified on August 1, 2012.