ReMix: Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest 'Re-Skewed'
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Lades and gentlemen, without further ado, I give you Donkey Kong Country 2: Serious Monkey Business!! And what better way to start things off than with OCR02000, a ReMix by none other than David Wise himself, featuring performances by Grant Kirkhope and Robin Beanland!
How freakin' awesome is that!?! As the proprietor & administrator of OCR, I try to refrain from embarassing fanboy gushing and musical pants-wetting, but to release a fantastic DKC2 album and debut the whole thing with a mix by one of my personal VGM gods, Dave Wise? Hell yes. HELL YES. Oh, and he happened to bring fellow geniuses Mr. Kirkhope & Mr. Beanland along for the ride? When we promised you we'd rock all year long and treat 2010 like one big ten-year anniversary, this is definitely a big part of what we meant! First things first, if you haven't started already, please help us seed the torrent. Now, let's hear from the project directors - Wesley says:
"Serious Monkey Business has been in the works since around November 1, 2007, when initial invitations were extended. Since that fateful beginning, artists have poured hundreds, if not thousands, of hours into the music until shaped into its final form of this album. It's with much gladness that finally Geoffrey Taucer and I are able to bring this album to fruition and to all the listeners out there.
Whether it be new age, trance, rock ballad, or orchestral, I hope this album offers something for the listener & perhaps in a genre the listener may not normally be enthused to listen to. If so, then the album has accomplished its purpose, however small. As a co-director, I would like to see people explore the possibilities offered by music of various genres, and I think we have succeeded in putting together a melting pot album with a lot of accessibility. So without further ado, bon appetit!"
A huge congrats to Wes & Jeremy for pulling this off... this is a great day for OC ReMix, VGM, and even fan works in general, and after listening to the album I'm really loving the creativity and diversity the project attracted. I'd also like to take a second and point out a few notable things:
- We definitely need to give a nod to those involved & responsible for the original Kong in Concert album; while it wasn't the very first OC ReMix album, it took the concept originally established by Relics one step further and made many intelligent decisions regarding the playlist, website, and overall package/presentation that I think have been very influential. Relics was the conceptual innovator and set the overall precedent, but KiC ran with that and has served as a blueprint & barometer for many albums since.
- This album not only has Rare legends Wise, Kirkhope, and Beanland, but it also marks the OC ReMix return - after many years - of Mr. Jake Kaufman, with his arrangement of 'Flight of the Zinger'. That may not be a complete endorsement on his part of every last aspect of what OCR is and how it operates, but it's pretty historic (not to mention awesome) nonetheless. As a side note, you'll definitely wanna check out the recently released arrangement album Contra 4: Rocked 'n' Loaded, which features a lot of familiar names, including virt himself, mixing the critically acclaimed C4 OST that he composed. I'm sure Wes and Jeremy feel the same, but from me personally, a big thanks to virt for contributing to Serious Monkey Business!
- There are so many other artists to be excited about on the album, I don't know where to start, but I'd like to simultaneously thank Wes & Jeremy for inviting me and apologize to everyone involved for taking so long with my tracks. I'm really happy to finally be releasing some mixes of my own, and while I tested the patience (and poking abilities!) of many, I hope you all feel like my contributions were worth it!
- OMG, it's OCR02000! Just yesterday it seemed like we were amazed at the numerical significance of OCR01000 and marveling at how far we'd come. What I said back then remains true today - ultimately, it's "just a number" that in and of itself holds no grand significance - but human psychology doesn't work that way, and we like focusing on milestones and landmarks, and it is absolutely flooring that we get to celebrate this particular milestone in this fashion! I couldn't be prouder.
And on that note, on to the music! Taucer discloses how Mr. Wise got involved:
"After reading David Wise's OC ReMix interview awhile back, I thought "he seems pretty cool with the arrangement scene -- I wonder if I could talk him into doing a mix for this..." I e-mailed him asking if he was interested. His initial response was that he might be able to if he could find time. I sent him a follow up awhile later, to which he replied that he had a substantial chunk of work done, and that it would feature Grant on guitar and Robin on trumpet. To say I was psyched would be an understatement. This project is, first and foremost, a tribute to Mr. Wise -- to have him contribute a track was a real honor."
Well said! This track's an awesome rock jam with mean lead solo guitar, shimmering synths, silky smooth saxophone, shining fanfare trumpets, dynamic mixed percussion and drums, and a wide, expansive stereo production. It's crystal clear, rock solid, the performances are brilliant... everything I would have hoped for and more. The fact that this track even exists, and that I'm even posting it, is pretty surreal, but taking a step back for a second, it's also a fantastic arrangement that shows just how musical & talented David Wise, Grant Kirkhope, and Robin Beanland are. It's brilliant, and a stellar way to kick off the release of a fantastic arrangement album of a classic game soundtrack. Further superlatives escape me, and overusing a thesaurus is lame, but suffice it to say that I'm blown away on all levels. Check out the site, grab the torrent, tell your friends, tell their friends, blog/tweet it to the world, and above all else, enjoy & have fun with Serious Monkey Business!
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