Who likes remixes of Nobuo Uematsu's music? Well, here's a bunch more for you. Project Majestic Mix: A Tribute to Nobuo Uematsu is an album full of remixes created by various individuals at OverClocked ReMix, VGMix and other mixing sites. The remixes are mainly dedicated to the Final Fantasy series, though there are a couple of dedications to Nobuo Uematsu's guest compositions on the Front Mission and Chrono series too. Due to KFSS' crazy marketing approaches, the album was released in a single disc 'Silver Edition' and a double disc 'Gold Edition'. While the latter obviously featuring more remixes and a higher pricetag, the 'Silver Edition' is actually a much more consistent and fulfilling experience overall.
The single disc of the 'Silver Edition' is also the first disc of the 'Gold Edition' edition of A Tribute to Nobuo Uematsu with a few modifications here and there. It is by far the best disc on the project and features a number of excellent interpretations. One of the first highlights is the remix of the original Final Fantasy's overworld theme by JAXX. Quite contrary to the humble chiptune original, this track quickly developments into a rock piece featuring high-pitched distorted guitars and pronounced drum lines. It catches the peaceful type of music preferred by JAXX while still including that rock element and enhancing the original. Reflecting the album's diversity, "Forever Rachel" features orchestrated instruments and military instruments. The remix is rather bland at the introduction and rather anticlimactic at the conclusion, but it is still a decent interpretation overall by Chris Tilton.
There are plenty of excellent battle theme remixes on the disc too. "The Man with the Machine Gun" offers that anthemic electronic remix of Laguna's battle theme everyone has long desired. Jan van Valburg is clear familiar with the mainstream sounds used in European clubs back in the day. Granted, it gets a little repetitive, but it's got a cool beat. The collaborative arrangement of "You're Not Alone" meanwhile is probably my very favourite on the album. It's interesting that it adheres exactly to the structure of the original, but enhances every section with contrasting guitar sounds and epic melodic renditions. Less impressive is Dale North's "Sentinel", which shamelessly rips off Holst's militaristic passages, though it's nice that Front Mission: Gun Hazard at least received a nod here.
Later in the first disc is a pretty good version of Final Fantasy VII's "Anxious Heart" by Jan Van Valburg and Stephen Kennedy. It starts with a soft vocal interpretation of the theme and then transitions into a surprisingly upbeat main part from 0:59. At 2:07, the first part of the melody comes in with a little electric guitar passage as a cool add-on, before there is further development thereafter. I must say the best part is after 4:32 when there is an awesome electric guitar solo in conjunction with the melody. The last track on disc one is a "Prelude" remix, arranged by Sean Stone, from the previous track. It starts off tamely like the original with a little beat added in, but soon enough explodes into a series of electric guitar melodies and solos. Only fan arrangers would dare to offer such a radical interpretation of such a traditional tune.
In summary, Project Majestic Mix: A Tribute to Nobuo Uematsu is a highly ambitious and mostly accomplished collaborative project from the remix community. Though there is quite a bit of inconsistency in the quality of the remixes, both in terms of intricacy and implementation, there are plenty of very diverse and fresh interpretations to counterbalance this. It may be better to stick to the single disc 'Silver Edition' reviewed here rather than the double disc 'Gold Edition'. The album retailed for ten dollars less in its original print and, while no longer officially available, can be found at eBay for reasonable prices. The second disc exclusive to the 'Gold Edition' has its moments, but everything in its sounds rushed barring "Compression of Time", so it is safely skippable. Regardless, one version of the album is a must-buy.