I like the pensive mood at the beginning. The pacing is a little slow, but the (vox?) effect at :30 was really cool, and I’m enjoying the sense of climax into :53 (even if it died back down again). Nice use of phrasing and reverb, and the sub-bass was cool too. By around 1:20, I’m really itching for some melodic content, though. The intro just really didn’t need to drag on for this long. It finally feels like there’s some sort of direction to it at the 2-minute mark. The production quality is really strong throughout, and you do a good job of using the entire frequency range. My main problem with it is that you could’ve done a lot more with the composition. There are no prominent melodies or lead riffs that capture my attention. It’s a really cool progressive piece with a killer atmosphere, but it just needs more variety and structuring to make it as a stand-alone piece. Keep at it, Jassummisko! ;)
== This is an official NGUAC Review ==
I was already intrigued right when I saw 'minimalistic techno', and you basically fulfilled my expectations to a T.
Can I just talk about sound design for a sec? Cuz yeah the sound design in this piece is excellent. Like every part of this song, the sound design is very minimalistic, and yet it's super effective. The way that you modulate that one arpeggiated pluck throughout the song is really enjoyable and keeps the song interesting. The chordal plucks sound cool too, and the way that they have this weird sort of delayed reverb on them is a really subtle and nice choice. Of course, the real standout in the sound design department is that weird wooshing 'breathing' pad - it adds so much to the atmosphere of the track.
The arrangement is pretty good too - I'm actually pretty amazed by how you keep a song with such few elements constantly interesting, even though almost nothing happens throughout the entire track. The mix is also good, though the bass doesn't really shine through as much as I like - are you correctly high passing all your non-bassey instruments?
My complaint about this song is probably something you saw coming from a mile away. Although the song is never truly /boring/, it never really captures my interest, either. It just sort of sits there, in the background, chilling and doing its own thing. While there's nothing strictly wrong with this, and those sort of songs can totally work in certain contexts (I'm thinking in-game menus, save screens, you know the like), for a contest piece I generally expect a full song that progresses in some way rather than a static snapshot of a scene which is more like what I feel like you've submitted. That progression could come from anywhere - a more sophisticated rhythm on hihats, or a modulation, or a different chord progression, maybe a really low key solo? Just thoughts, of course!
Mini-scores (not used to calculate final score in any way - just so you know what needs improvement):
Sound Design: 4/4
Sounds Fuckin COOL!
Edgy and cool! I'm typically far removed from anything "minimalistic" but this was crisp and engaging. I thought some of your decisions were super unexpected. Really creative stuff. You made alot of atmosphere with very litthe. My favorite thing is either that loud breathing pad or that snare. Sounded like a baseball hat hitting homers ^o^
Oh hey Quarl! I'm happy to see you're still around. Glad you liked it.
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