Thanks to recent efforts from the likes of Joypad Records and others, we're seeing more and more officially-licensed "cover" tunes. In this instance, London-based GameChops DJ Mykah offers a handful of his best arrangements from his favorite trio of Final Fantasy games: VI, VII, and VIII. Mykah previously worked on one of the three Zelda EPs that, when combined, are known as "The Triforce of Bass."
True to "remix" form, these songs aren't 100% individual covers — the track names don't match those of the songs you hear from the respective FF OSTs. Some tracks use more than one melodic theme. Others are very loose interpretations of the original.
One song that doesn't really expand, but rather is a simple enhancement, is the opening "Prelude" track. Not only have we heard dozens of version of the FF Prelude over the years, I personally have heard at least five dance-friendly/electronica versions of the song. This is not the best of them, but it serves as a good opening for the album, giving us a taste of Mykah's style.
Things go from "meh" to "YES!" in an instant when we hit "Awakening," a mix of Terra's Theme (FFVI) with some very new and interesting bass lines that change the structure of the song.
After that song, the album becomes a big mixed bag for me. Some of the arrangements really resonate with me; others, not at all. Mykah has some versatility in his remix style. At times he reminds me of Mitsuto Suzuki or Baiyon. At other times, he's more in-your-face with crunchy modulated bass (a la Skrillex). Let the audio samples be your guide on whether or not these resonate with you. I will say that I was surprised with "The Landing" from FFVIII.
The album is available digitally via iTunes, Loudr, and other sites. I recommend Loudr, especially if you're looking for a group-discount option with other GameChops releases.
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann