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SQUAREDANCE (Limited Edition)
Catalog Number: KFSS-704
Released On: October 2002
Composed By: Yasunori Mitsuda, Nobuo Uematsu, Jeremy Soule, Yoko Shimomura, Hiroki Kikuta, Kenji Ito, Ryuji Sasai
Arranged By: Mustin, Dale North, Matt Pollard, mellogear, JAXX, Roger Matthews, djpretzel, FFMusic DJ, Zeratul, Jan Van Valburg, Mazedude, Kaijin, Scott Peoples, Beatdrop, AE
Published By: KFSS Studios
Recorded At: KFSS Studios, OneUp Studios
Format: 2 CDs

Disc A
01 - Hip-Hop Corridor (Itchy Trigger Finger Mix) ("Chrono Corridor" - Chrono Trigger)
02 - Soulless Village ("Soulless Village, Bran Bal" - Final Fantasy IX)
03 - Spacecat ("At the Bottom of the Night" - Chrono Trigger)
04 - Hello World ("10 Print 'Hello World'" - Secret of Evermore)
05 - Cyan (Cyan's Theme - Final Fantasy VI
06 - World of Ruin (No Drum Loops Mix) ("New Continent" - Final Fantasy VI)
07 - Magus (Raw Trance Exhaustion) ("Warlock Battle" - Chrono Trigger)
08 - Cecil's Jinn and Juice ("Main Theme" and "Jinn, the Fire" - Final Fantasy IV/III)
09 - From the Depths of Time ("Radical Dreamers ~ Without Taking the Jewel" - Chrono Cross)
10 - Star Stealing Girl ("Star Stealing Girl" - Chrono Cross)
11 - The Day Will Come ("The Day Will Come" - Final Fantasy V)
12 - To Far Away Times ("To Far Away Times" - Chrono Trigger)
13 - Forest Starlight ("Secret of the Forest" - Chrono Trigger)
14 - Ultimate Being ("UB" - Parasite Eve)
Total Time:

Disc B
01 - Chrono Corridor ("Chrono Corridor" - Chrono Trigger)
02 - Mana Beast ("One of Them is Hope" - Secret of Mana)
03 - Battle for Smithy ("Fight Against Kajidoh" - Super Mario RPG)
04 - Forever Rachel (Club Mix) ("Forever Rachel" - Final Fantasy VI)
05 - Adventurous Breal ("Fight 1" - Final Fantasy Adventure)
06 - Forest Animal Groove ("What the Forest Taught Me" - Secret of Mana)
07 - Mechanicalcobrena ("Dancing Calcobrena" - Final Fantasy IV)
08 - Mystic Mountain (Whirlwind Beat Mix) ("Mountain Range of Whirlwinds" - Final Fantasy Mystic Quest)
09 - Reiterated Inspiration ("On the Banks of a Dream" - Chrono Cross)
10 - This Day ("What the Forest Taught Me" - Secret of Mana)
Total Time:

*Note: I suggest anyone reading this review first check out either http://remix.overclocked.org or www.vgmix.com and expose themselves to the wonderful remixes therein.

I was not a huge fan of KFSS Studios' first work, Project Majestic Mix: A Tribute to Nobuo Uematsu. Most of it felt too low quality, as if all the tracks could have very well appeared on OCRemix or VGMix. That's not to say that either site has poor music; on the contrary, I've gotten countless hours of enjoyment from the fan-remixed tracks up on both sites. However, the fact can't be denied that most of the remixers who submit to those sites lack the resources that most musicians have, such as access to a recording studio and live instruments. PMM definitely had an amateurish feel to it: it was a labor of love that managed to slip just below the minimum standard for a good tribute album.

However, when I read the list of tracks and arrangers to be included in SQUAREDANCE, I noticed two things that made me want to get this album. The first was the breadth of coverage; I noticed tracks that hadn't received much coverage, either professionally or from a fan perspective. Yes, Chrono Cross/Trigger and Final Fantasy tracks do dominate the album, but there are also remixes of Jeremy Soule's "10 Print Hello World" from Secret of Evermore, Yoko Shimomura's "UB" from Parasite Eve, "Battle with Kojidoh (Smithy)" from Super Mario RPG, and Ryuji Sasai's "Mountain Range of Whirlwinds" from Final Fantasy Mystic Quest. These tracks are definitely not standards in the VG remix community, and even less so in the "professional" community.

The second thing I noticed that made me actually want to purchase this CD was the lineup of remixers Stephen Kennedy recruited for this album. Aside from partners in crime Mustin and Dale North and some notable returnees from the first PMM album such as Haroon "FFMusic dj" Pircha and Jan van Valburg, SQUAREDANCE includes remixes by legends of the community, such as Scott Peeples, Matt Pollard, Alex "AE" Esquaviel, and David "djpretzel" Lloyd of OCRemix fame. These were accomplished, experienced remixers taking on tracks that usually lay off the beaten path.

Fortunately, the remixes in SQUAREDANCE were excellent. While I may be biased due to my love of dance music and techno/trance, I found this album to be high quality. Highest in my opinion would have to be "Cecil's Jinn and Juice", which features not only the talents of both Mellogear and Mustin, but a host of others who played real instruments, not simply synthesized facsimiles. Then there's the aforementioned tribute to Jeremy Soule's work, entitled simply "Hello World", and CT favorite "At the Bottom of Night"-inspired "Spacecat" by Mr. North. This album combines talent with excellent compositions to present a tour de force of remixing prowess.

While most of the album's strength comes from Disc A, Disc B has some excellent tracks as well, including "The Battle for Smithy" and "Mechanicalcobrena," both of which stand out in my mind as being innovative renditions of well known compositions by Shimomura and Uematsu respectively.

Reviewed by: Damian Thomas


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