ReMix: Kirby's Dream Land 2 'Puffball Promenade'
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Belated bday wishes to DrumUltimA (TwentyOneUltimA! DrinkUltimA!!), several other folks, and OA, who gives us this alliteratively titled Kirby 2 ReMix, our second from the pink one's Dream Land sequel. Andrew writes:
"The original GB version is mixed really crappily, with the counterpoint cranked, and the melody buried. Even so, it's still one of the best songs from the Kirby series. :O"
It's true: he provided a link to a YouTube vid of the game's ending, where the tune is from, and the melody's pretty overpowered. Could be the emulator in question, but either way, it's a good source tune that no one's covered yet. Watching said video I also learned a lot of minor character names from the game: "Blipper," "Shotzo," "Rocky," "Flamer," and "Floaty the Drifter" are among my favorites, although they all do sound like thinly veiled homophobic slurs. But I digress; OA puts almost everyone to shame in terms of offering feedback through our reviews forum (come on people, get interactive!), and it's been cool to see his own work progress as well. His previous mix took us on a tea-and-biscuits journey into propriety and the company of Snapple's mom; this is similarly upbeat but more aggressive, with nice electric guit elements adding some edge & grit. Gameboy arrangements are always fun because the source tends to be more minimal than even older NES and C64 tracks, so there's usually a lot of room for interpretation and augmentation, both of which OA provides. This is easily his best drum work to date, with some awesome rolls and fills towards the end, nice changeups and syncopation throughout, and intelligent dynamics. The gated guitar and shreddier stuff juxtaposes against the softer, more intimate bits quite well, adding the occassional oasis of epic in a pool of pleasant instrumentalism.
All told, it's a big step forward for Andrew, whose previous mixes had strong arrangement ideas but production that wasn't as consistent at times. Shariq's probably the judge closest to all things Kirby, given that he also directed Rise of the Star, and I think he put it best:
"Wow man, huge improvement over your other stuff. I'm totally impressed here. Very cohesive, rockin' arrangement. The texture and blend of sounds perfectly captures the essence of Kirby; he's a plinky-piano cute creampuff, but he's also a axe-rockin' badass hero. Very nice."
Even after skimming through judge comments, after repeated listens this track really exceeded my expectations, and does the source material (especially if the YouTube emulation is accurate) all sorts of justice, capturing the Kirby vibe perfectly and taking OA's game to the next level.
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