ReMix: Donkey Kong Country 'Permutation'
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Streaming preview on YouTube
Been awhile. Any time more than a week passes without a new mix being posted, I'm always a bit depressed. In this instance work's really been kicking my ass lately PLUS I'm trying to learn Russian, so it's not like I'm just idly shirking my OCR duties, but balancing all three is certainly difficult under such circumstances. Luckily, we've got a three-day weekend, and it's time for an awesome DKC collab from Nicole Adams and Starla. This is injury's first mix since 2002 (!) and our first from Nicole, and it (very roughly) coincides with an interview/feature Larry helped orchestrate that was published over at WomenGamers.com. They spoke with Elaine Li from Select Start, Jill, and Nicole as well about ReMixing, VGM, and gaming in general - well worth a read!! Both artists had some background notes - Nicole writes:
"Early this year, I was invited to join Game Music 4 All's second anniversary compilation. I had started a remix of Donkey Kong Country's "Fear Factory" not long before being asked that GM4A and I thought would be great material for the album. I quickly got to work on the arrangement and once most of the ideas were in place, including a rough lead vocal melody, I contacted injury for lyrics and vocals. I sent her the lyrics I wrote for the chorus and she proceeded to write lyrics for the verses. As the remix was nearing completion, I contacted my internet friend, Entheogen, to perform a screaming electric guitar solo of one of the melodies from the original. He obtained the guitar tone by running his clean performance through Ohmicide:Melohman.
The lyrics center around conformity and the restricted thoughts one woman has about being stripped of her individuality by an oppressive government. People are taken to factories where they are turned into machines in order to keep any sort of conflict from arising. Fortunately, human nature prevails and the power of the human mind enables our narrator to understand what it's like to think and feel with absolute freedom. The lyrics mean a lot to me since much of my life consisted of trying to be like everyone else and feeling embarrassed about things that helped define who I was.
In addition to injury and Entheogen, I need to thank Ross B (rb2k1), SGX and Artificial Artisan for taking the time to critique my demos of the remix and teach me even more about music production. Game Music 4 All also deserves some thanks for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the compilation. Who knows how long it would have taken me to finish this remix if I didn't have a deadline! :)
Other fun facts: I produced this remix primarily in Reason 3. Mastering, global automation, orchestra arrangement and vocal/guitar mixing were done in FL Studio 7. (Eventually I'll upgrade!) I also ran the vocal and guitar files through Melodyne to correct pitch, timing and other things. The song was influenced by many electronic artists, but the ending was especially influenced by Hooverphonic."
"I had wanted to collaborate on a song for some time when Nicole approached me through e-mail. From the moment I first heard her WIP, I was impressed by her talent and skill. I of course agreed to lend vocals to her remix. She had done the hard part, all that was left for me to do was write the remainder of the lyrics (she had already written the chorus), create harmonies and record. Working over the internet is much different than in person, since sometimes it can be more difficult to express certain ideas. After several takes, Nicole was pleased with what we had. It was very interesting seeing the mix grow and change over time into what it ended up as. This was absolutely a fun learning experience for me and I definitely hope to contribute to more remixes in the future."
I've looped this one a dozen times now and it's simply excellent; Starla came through on vocals (you can contrast this with her work from 7 years ago and hear how she's improved), you can't even tell the lyrics were co-written since the chorus & verse blend perfectly (and rock), the production is a tight mix of EP/ballad elements and electronica, and the arrangement is both expansive and easily identifiable. I really hate the current Bud Light ad campaign where they talk about "Drinkability", but honestly, this mix has what I might indeed call "Listenability" - it's really easy to get into, well constructed, and doesn't take any bad turns. At the same time, it's interesting, has a lyric that not only *sounds* good but actually has a message, and sticks in your head afterwards.
I really enjoyed reading the interview with Elaine, Jill, and Nicole, because they were posed with the very difficult question of whether, by focusing on "Women Gamers" (or female ReMixers, for that matter), media outlets end up defeating the purpose of emphasizing equality - that a girl can like games, game music, and making music, and that it's not particularly "newsworthy". It's a topic I consider from time to time, as there's good arguments either way. Ultimately the reality is that demographics in most cases are still lopsided, and if a little bit of extra attention helps address that in any way, it seems like a good idea. Either way, this mix speaks for itself as a refreshing collab, an intelligent arrangement, a production that fires on all cylinders, and a piece of music that transcends gender and that Dixie, Diddy, Donkey, Funky, and Cranky alike would all enjoy.
- Bahamut on December 16, 2011
- Cash and Change on December 16, 2011
- Kuolema on May 29, 2011
- OA on August 16, 2010
-letterONE (that's right, new way of writing things, yo!)
- letterONE on April 23, 2010
- Theophany on March 11, 2010
This one's got me really excited for your collab, "A New Place" off of Serious Monkey Business. You've both set the bar high, but for everybody's sake I hope your next mix is even better!
- Emunator on December 8, 2009
The song does kind of sound sad but these lyrics really change the way I see the stage. It helps that the vocals are up to par as well.
A very good mix of a very cool song.
- duskvstweak on September 19, 2009
- Kinslayer on September 6, 2009
I'm writting with the song playing behind right now and whoooo i like it so much, it's become my anthem
When i do jogging at night, i put it, running along the streets, the beat helps me going, the voice and musics calm me down, and at 3:00..alone on the city ..donkey with me..i feel so good
Thank you so much
Should i add that the beginning is magic, like poetic ?
- Trouble on August 7, 2009
- Crulex on July 16, 2009
- yosefu on May 12, 2009
- metalsnakejuice on April 30, 2009
God knows, but I have to drop in and say how good this is - one of the best more recent ocr mixes by far, great great work :P
- WillRock on April 29, 2009
LuketheXjesse;538075 wrote: I like the weird...crunch sound that comes in from time to time, I'm not sure how to describe it...it first comes in at 0:20, I thought that in particular just gave things a little flair; where did you get this sound if I may ask?
That instrument is called a [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guiro"]güiro[/URL]. If I recall correctly, the sample is from [URL="http://www.equippedmusic.se/smokersrelight.html"]Smokers Relight Deux[/URL].
- Nicole Adams on April 29, 2009