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  #1  
Old Jul 4, 2013, 05:13 AM
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Default Recommend me some Sakuraba tracks like these two:

"House of Cards" from Baten Kaitos (2-03)
"Expiration" from Star Ocean 3 (1-03)

In general, I'm just not a fan of Sakuraba. However, the two mentioned above are not only my favorite tracks by Sakuraba, but some of my favorite video game tracks ever. I love the fresh, polyrhytmic feel of "Expiration", whose skillful melody sounds so unlike most of the composer's other work (mostly his melodies follow closely and predictably to a series of spastic modulations). The composition has a special energy to it, and it's exciting to listen to. I love the low-key, grooving, smoky 70s prog-rock feel of "House of Cards", where Sakuraba strikes gold with experimental guitar textures and moody harmonies backed by a totally laidback and expertly arranged rhythm. I especially love the bass part.

But based on my knowledge of Sakuraba, these tracks are complete anomalies. I want to find more like them, but it's been a miserable search so far. These are the Sakuraba soundtracks I am most familiar with:

Star Ocean 2 and 3, Baten Kaitos, Mario Golf, Valkyrie Profile, Golden Sun, End of Eternity/Resonance of Fate, Tales of Phantasia, Symphonia, Dawn of the New World, Vesperia, and several of his small contributions to omnibus-composer game soundtracks. I will eventually be familiar with BK Origins and Shining Force III, as both games are on my backlog. I'm also considering playing SO4, despite its lukewarm reception, though I've already listened to a lot of its music and it sounds like more of the same.

I'm currently playing Tales of Graces f, but I literally turned the music off because I don't think I can stomach any more Tales music, ever. Aside from the somewhat above-average Phantasia, I find Tales music to be indescribably boring.

So, please give me some recommendations! I really like those two tracks I listed above, which proves that Sakuraba is capable of great things outside of his comfort zone. But where are they? Share with me your knowledge.
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  #2  
Old Jul 4, 2013, 05:46 AM
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you're familiar with some sakuraba soundtracks, but you still want recommendations?
so you're not really familiar with them otherwise you'd already have your own opinion on at least a lot of them, no? but whatever

I could give examples of tracks but I don't think it's what you seek (sorry for being no help)
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Old Jul 4, 2013, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phonograph View Post
you're familiar with some sakuraba soundtracks, but you still want recommendations?
so you're not really familiar with them otherwise you'd already have your own opinion on at least a lot of them, no? but whatever
I haven't heard all Sakuraba soundtracks. I want to hear more of his music that's like the two tracks I referenced. I listed the soundtracks I know because... I know them already.

So if a Sakuraba expert came upon this thread and was going to give me some recommendations, they would know which soundtracks not to recommend, because I've already heard them. Does that make sense?
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Old Jul 4, 2013, 08:16 AM
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actually, I had thought it were like the whole discography you mentioned and you wanted recommendations from those ;p
but if you mean albums he made but you didn't mention because either you don't know their music (you only know their name) or their existence (you never heard of)
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  #5  
Old Jul 4, 2013, 04:01 PM
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"House of Cards" is an anomaly insofar as it's a piece right at the crossroad of Sakuraba's more repetitive sequencing composing style and picking up the higher quality sounds possible using streamed music. I'm sure he'd be readily capable of doing more in that style, but I don't recall that kind of structural simplicity with that instrumentation/soundscape being used in another track. Maybe Weißkreuz Glühen iirc, but that used the piano/cello combo instead.

For "Expiration" I'm not really hearing what makes it stand out compositionally, imo it's in Sakuraba's common style. What's different is its performance, he settled with different musicians starting with the live concerts making the performances in SO3 (not DC) sound different to most anything after it.
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Old Jul 4, 2013, 04:12 PM
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Maybe it's the Iwao style of play, but Expiration has always reminded me of May's themes from Guilty Gear, though obviously not as full blast. I'm honestly surprised you're a fan of this one, I thought it came off as pretty standard instrumental rock. That and "Divine Spirit of Language" from SO3 were always like brother/sister track to me on that OST.
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Old Jul 4, 2013, 04:38 PM
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Datschge is pretty spot on. House of Cards isn't something Sakuraba normally does, and I know thousands of his tracks and this one is pretty unique.
Expiration sounds like something from his Mario Golf/Tennis works. Pretty standard Sakuraba sound, so I don't know why you wouldn't like most of his other rock stuff.

All of the stuff you mentioned is pretty recent. IMO Sakuraba had his best works for Wolf Team, so maybe you'd like that era more? Almost all of the Tales music is bland because the directors of the series limited Sakuraba to making more ambient type music. Sakuraba's true musicality shows up on his solo works (Gikyokuonsou).

Last edited by dissident93; Jul 4, 2013 at 04:41 PM.
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  #8  
Old Jul 4, 2013, 05:20 PM
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I guess one thing I can see about Expiration is that it's definitely a brighter/happier Sakuraba rock track (it's an area theme early on, not sure if it shows up later). hence why it reminds me of May's GG themes (which are lighter than most of the other music from the game). Sakuraba usually used his rock stuff for battles and more intense dungeons.
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Old Jul 4, 2013, 06:09 PM
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I can't recommend any tracks like those for you, but I can say that I think House of Cards is probably my favorite thing Sakuraba ever composed. Well... okay, he's done some good stuff and with a repertoire as big as his that's hard to say. But like others have said, House of Cards is so different from any of his other stuff, making it both fresh and hard to recommend similar songs. Expiration is a really fun song! Even if you're not a fan of Sakuraba, you have a good ear for some of his best tracks.

So you're not that much a fan of his stuff like Rust Color or Around the Wilderness, both from SO3 Vol.2? Around the Wilderness can probably be described as typically Sakuraba schmaltzy stuff with the keys and all that, but Rust Color is really genuine, I feel it's another track in a style not so common for Sakuraba (but then I'm not a professional on his whole discography or anything). Its chill western feel is something I seldom hear from him.
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Old Jul 5, 2013, 05:20 AM
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Hm, if it's about "a brighter/happier Sakuraba rock track" the various Mario Tennis games have plenty of them. More on the melodic prog rock organ side and far from the production values of "Expiration" though.

Re "Around the Wilderness" -> "Mirage Valley" from We Love Golf. "Rust Color" for me always has been like a ToS track with more effort, probably due to the lead oboe.
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  #11  
Old Jul 5, 2013, 11:55 AM
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While absolutely nothing on it stylistically resembles either of the 2 tracks you cited, I'd still recommend checking out the Dark Souls soundtrack. As someone who shares a strong apathy to Sakuraba outside of a handful of isolated tracks (like the 2 you mentioned), Dark Souls was almost a revelation to me, and completely atypical of his style. It's full of a dark melancholy, stillness, and adventurous dissonance I'd never associated with his music before. May not be what you're after, but if you want "non-standard Sakuraba", I'd at least give these a listen... If you like them, the rest of the soundtrack pretty much follows suit.

Daughters of Chaos - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8y0o...A086CFD60E8862
Dark Sun Gwyndolin - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTXzQ...E8862&index=16
Firelink Shrine - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxctU...A086CFD60E8862
Nameless Song - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmHXY...A086CFD60E8862
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  #12  
Old Jul 5, 2013, 02:47 PM
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Dark Souls was also only the second time he got the budget to rely on live musicians for all instruments (first was SO3). While the result is outstanding sound (which I certainly hope he'd get to use more often), compositionally it's not really all that unique imo.
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Old Jul 5, 2013, 03:48 PM
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I dunno... The Ancient Dragon is something pretty special. In-game particularly.
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Old Jul 5, 2013, 06:26 PM
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Compositionally that's standard Sakuraba slowly brooding dissonant chords with hints of harmonic development. Wonderfully carried by the live choir admittedly (he usually uses that style with brass or piano). So actually a good example of what I was referring to.
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  #15  
Old Jul 5, 2013, 08:00 PM
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Could you point out some tracks that sound similar to the DS score? I've truly never heard anything by Sakuraba that sounds like it, but I certainly haven't heard anything close to the man's entire discography. If he's got other stuff similar to this style, I'd like to check it out.
Although I've gotta say, I feel like I've heard enough to say something like "Ancient Dragon" is pretty far removed from his signature sound...
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Old Jul 5, 2013, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psychonotes View Post
Could you point out some tracks that sound similar to the DS score? I've truly never heard anything by Sakuraba that sounds like it, but I certainly haven't heard anything close to the man's entire discography. If he's got other stuff similar to this style, I'd like to check it out.
Although I've gotta say, I feel like I've heard enough to say something like "Ancient Dragon" is pretty far removed from his signature sound...
I'd say that Star Ocean The Last Hope's "I Do, Therefore I Am" is very similar to what you'd hear on Dark Souls. It's the major boss theme for that game.
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Old Jul 1, 2015, 12:34 PM
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I've spent some time with the suggestions in this thread.

Weiss Kreuz Gruhen
I could only find samples of OP/ED themes and no BGM on youtube.

Dark Souls
Not really what I'm looking for. Of all Sakuraba's music, I can tolerate his orchestral music least.

SO3
"Divine Spirit of Language"
Expiration has a very different feel than this one, which sounds like standard Sakuraba to my ears.

"Rust Color"
Agreeable, but I can't take it for too many repetitions.

"Around in the Wilderness"
I don't remember this one at all, and I like it a lot.

Gikyokuonsou
This is what I was looking for. Very colorful album in general, I enjoy it a lot. It's true prog-rock. This is the kind of material I wish showed up more on his game work (why doesn't it?) Honestly, a whole RPG in this style would be magnificent.

Graces f
I found a battle theme I like: "Epic Release". Not so much the alternate version.

Mario Tennis 64
No.

Mario Golf/Mobile Golf
Double no.

Mario Tennis Power Tour
Didn't care for most of it, though I did like both "Composition Court" tracks.

Mario Power Tennis
Really did not like this one.
("Gooper Blooper Court Results Loser"-I thought I was suddenly listening to the Secret of Monkey Isle soundtrack)

We Love Golf!
The more contemporary style, prog-like tracks are enjoyable. I made a list of the ones I liked:
Birdie Try, Camelot Links, Character Match, Clubhouse Inside, Competition Room, Eagle Try, End Loop, Jungle Hills, Luxor Desert (my favorite), Main Theme, Mirage Valley


In conclusion:
Thank you for all the suggestions! I need more stuff like Gikyokuonsou. Sakuraba just needs to do that in his game music. Always.
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  #18  
Old Jul 1, 2015, 02:54 PM
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That's some old thread. Yeah I agree, he definitely needs to do more stuff like Gikyokuonsou (I wish he'd get typecasted for that style). And glad you found something to like in We Love Golf!, similar favorites as well. ^^ Have you heard Labyrinth no Kanata already? By your picks so far I think you might like some of its tracks as well (though they are more on the repetitive and less on the jazzy side).
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  #19  
Old Jul 24, 2015, 09:48 AM
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I am also a fan of Sakuraba, I even have posters of them all over my room! LOL. Well, I like Expiration better than House of Cards, it's more on tune for me.
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