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Arranging the music of one song...

"Kannon's Klaim (Mining Melancholy)"

Primary Game: Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (Nintendo, 1995, SNES), music by David Wise

Posted 2010-03-16, evaluated by djpretzel


Taucer, Bronx Rican, AND Hale-Bopp collab? Sign me up!

Due to the number of (imo excellent) vocal mixes on Serious Monkey Business, there's been the usual, predictable cross-section of listeners who just can't get into any game mixes with singing, rapping, etc. in them. This one happens to have both, so I guess it's a double-whammy. I can't really relate to dismissing anything with vocals, nor do I fully understand it, but I can certainly respect individual preferences. It's also interesting to note that instrumentals are by far the norm on OCR, which is a huge inversion of the ratio in mainstream music. Also, vocals are honestly just damn hard to execute - lyrics are tricky, singing is hard (for me at least), and recording and mixing vocals is a challenging art form unto itself. This perfect storm of obstacles to immaculate vocal mixes also makes it an uphill battle even attempting them, so it's all the more frustrating as an artist when you "go there" and get ignored by some listeners, no matter how good a job you do. However, that's how the world works, and while we try to evangelize open-mindedness and diversity, expecting a full conversion to such faiths by all would be naive.

Sermon concluded; on to the music! Jeremy of course is co-director and creator of the album, so along with Wes he gets the overall credit for getting this whole baby going and seeing it through to the end. He was also the main force behind this mix, but he definitely had help - the breakdown for who-did-what is as follows:

  • Geoffrey Taucer - Direction, guitars (recorded live, mixed seperately)
  • Bronx Rican - Programming (including bass), lyrics, rap vocals, additional mixing & mastering
  • Hale-Bopp - Chorus arrangement, recording, performance & mixing

Providing some background on the origins of the arrangement, Taucer writes:

"I've wanted to remix this track since before I knew what remixing was. The original is utterly captivating. It was minimalistic but still absolutely beautiful. I've thrown around a number of ideas for this track over the years, but the main thing that remained constant was I wanted the chorus to rock the hell out on guitars. At some point I had the idea of doing a Linkin Park-style mix of it, and that's what I ultimately ended up going with."

Mission accomplished! Bronx Rican adds:

"My ideas in addition to Jeremy's concept for this tune, in keeping with always trying to give the listener hollabacks to the source track, included the "junk" percussion for a semi-authentic impression of mine work, as well as the pizzicato sounds and, of course, verses dripping with primate references. Thanks to Jeremy for the additional set of ears during the whole process."

Love the rhymes - snakebit / take it / face hit / ape shit? Hell yeah. Co-director Wes adds that, relative to the preview version first played at DoD/M7 in 2009:

"...re-recorded guitars, rapping, and the addition of Hale-Bopp's backing vocals really make this track much stronger and far more accessible. The title is aptly chosen, as there is talk about Diddy & Dixie going apeshit, with the song winding down into a spiral of craziness. In all, I feel the song does a great job with the source and takes it in an unexpected direction."

I really only have one salient critique, and that's the mixing of the rapping & vocals - it feels a bit monophonic to me. The rest of the instrumentation fills out the stereo spectrum, but I feel like both rapping and singing seem to sit dead center, making them feel pasted in at times. It's certainly not a showstopper, and as I mentioned, recording and mixing the human voice is wildly difficult, but it's worth mentioning. Now, check out the cool "mining percussion" they employed, the excellent counter-melodies, Bronx Rican's eloquent cadences, and the stick-in-your-head catchy vocal hooks. Also note the nice wah guitar and general variety of guitars and processing throughout. You're probably gonna wanna pump this one up a bit since it's mastered relatively low, but there's just a lot of raw melodic power in the those choral vocal hooks, and Bronx Rican's rapping serves as a dense, vocabulary-filled forest of rhymes between them.

This arrangement thinks big and aims high, and while I don't think the mixing & mastering is completely perfect, the overall package delivers on Jeremy's vision and really takes the source from an instrumental to a fully-realized, multifaceted, dynamic rock/pop song that brings the talents of everyone involved to the table and serves up a very satisfying meal.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
José the Bronx Rican
on 2012-12-15 10:04:32
This is the last time I'll ask someone this. Can I have a version of this remix with the vocals removed. Once again I don't mean to offend.

Probably no point making this the last time: there will be others, and it'll be constant.

This is all on me, because I have most of the material required. I have plans for improvement and a possible instrumental, and I made it my sole responsibility. But considering my well-documented history of being just too damn busy, giving any ETA is impossible. I can only hope I won't have the same message this time next year.

R3fan
on 2012-12-14 20:20:43

This is the last time I'll ask someone this. Can I have a version of this remix with the vocals removed. Once again I don't mean to offend.

Javo
on 2012-06-01 18:17:20

Honestly, the way I'm interprating this lyric suits my life very good. My favorite part is "All I know is pain, [...]"; which was written very well. Though I'm not the person who listens often to rap music, this masterpiece reflects my thoughts for the most part. Additionally, I just love to listen to it. I hope my critic isn't too bad at all - I just wanted to share my thoughts.

Sorry for my bad English - but I'm really appreciating this musical piece of art.

Wina A. Kamlongera
on 2010-10-20 07:06:54

The unassuming way that this track starts off in is pretty cool. I'm not familiar with the source itself, but, the way this arrangement stands right now, it transcends a whole lot of levels. It could work as background music for one, as a medium to tell a story in another, and something to reflect on. And it works in all those senses very well.

The rapping style takes a little getting used to, but once I locked in on the flow, I realised just how well crafted the verses are. "I'm a bad boy like Diddy", haha, that wasn't a line I expected and it was pretty neat! I would have liked the rapping brought out a little more to make it easier to listen to but it ain't a major complaint.

The chorus is my favourite part of the song, and props to Hale-Bopp for the singing. His voice hooks you in from the moment you hear him. Besides the Rap-Rock elements that brings Linkin Park to mind, I truly believe the singing here is what really sells me the LP feel.

Maybe I was predisposed to liking this track the moment I read it's in the vein of LP, but kudos to Geoffrey Taucer for an awesome arrangement! The percussive intro is very cool (and I'd like to try something similar one day) and transitions well into the main body of the song. There's small things within each verse to keep you interested as the track progresses, which is really cool! I do wish the track was a touch louder for it feels as though there's a great deal of energy being held back that could have been released.

Like I said, I'm not too familiar with the source so I can't comment on many of the arrangement aspects, but because of this track, I'm gonna check out the rest of the DKC 2 album and the source material!!

I guess the best way to end this review is by saying, I love this bloody song! Great work!!

Sarad_Thamia
on 2010-08-18 22:06:29

Not sure how I miss that. lol. I really have some serious 'blonde' moments like that. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction! I appreciate it.

May the Force be with you.

A-RoN
on 2010-08-12 10:43:55

There's a tab between "Main" and "Download" that says "Lyrics" on the remix detail page. Hope that helps :)

Sarad_Thamia
on 2010-08-11 23:08:10

This song is awesome! I'm not a huge hip-hop or rap fan but this song kicks a$$!!! I would really like the lyrics. Anybody have them?

May the Force be with you8-)

DragnBreth
on 2010-08-09 01:30:28
Seems like we need a "vocal remix alliance" support group (;

Agreed. lol.

I like it. Not a big fan of rap - okay, the only rap I ever choose to listen to is either by Weird Al or from OCR - but nonetheless, this song is awesome.

That being said, compared to Hale-bopp's vocals on "Summertime," this is not exactly his best.

That being said: moar vocal remixes!

hmp22
on 2010-07-13 21:39:19

I don't want to get into a thing here and I think it's really great as is...

Having said that, any chance of an instrumental? Not even an instrumental, the rap is fine... just... without the chorus vocals?

I'm trying to think of a respectful way to phrase "I hate the way your voice sounds" and it's not coming to me, but I don't want to be unkind :\

Mtlbro
on 2010-05-02 12:51:34

Remixing isn't always about "replacing" the original with the remix. Those who remix are, among other things, expressing their creative take on source material and I for one put this on my ipod, I don't know if I'd hear this on a Linkin Park album LOL but that may be a good thing :tomatoface:

animatedjay
on 2010-04-27 13:58:26

sounds like a bunch of white guys trying to rap. Thanks for ruining the song. Would have been better as an instrumental. Isn't that the majority of video game songs and soundtracks? Mostly all of them have no lyrics. There's a reason for it.

If this version of this song was actually in the game, I'd return the game.

duskvstweak
on 2010-04-19 13:07:57

I love this mix (and album)! I've been listening to it all day. At first, the rap parts weren't working well for me but they've definitely grown on me. I was also driving to Boston with a friend of mine and had my shuffle on and this song came up. My friend, who never listens to remixes, thought it was great and was very impressed. Great source track and great mix. Thanks!

Josh Whelchel
on 2010-04-18 18:09:49

Seems like we need a "vocal remix alliance" support group (;

Geoffrey Taucer
on 2010-04-18 17:48:34
Please keep your filthy hands off of classic video game music. Wow, thanks for ruining my favorite song in the game, I could have gone my whole life without hearing rap lyrics over the crappiest beat I have ever heard. The chorus sounds like you are trying to make yourself sound gay. It doesn't sound remotely like the original track. Save crap like this for the mainstream.

Thanks for your opinion.

zanarkanian335
on 2010-04-18 00:05:49

this is one damn great remix :mrgreen:

Sources Arranged (1 Song)


Primary Game:
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (Nintendo, 1995, SNES)
Music by David Wise
Songs:
"Kannon's Klaim (Mining Melancholy)"

Tags (8)


Genre:
Rock
Mood:
Instrumentation:
Electric Guitar, Rapping, Singing, Vocals: Male
Additional:
Lyrics > Lyrics: Explicit
Lyrics > Lyrics: Original
Origin > Collaboration

File Information


Name:
Donkey_Kong_Country_2_Trapped_in_the_Minds_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
9,023,691 bytes
MD5:
6fafc4986131a7384a898aa48cfc2478
Bitrate:
216Kbps
Duration:
5:30

Underground is where you'll find us, a couple'a grinders
Tryin' to find our way out and put this darkness behind us
And underground is my oration, sound integration
But situation is we're surrounded by light negation

It's black as pitch 'cause we're trapped by our violent souls
In a deep mine, where deep rhymes won't keep my self-control
Too many foes, we feel snakebit, and we won't take it
Enemies need their face hit, we goin' ape shit!

[Chorus]

Hell is my confinement within this mine
Now trapped and enshrined by my own mind

Shoot through these tunnels and keep it movin', no knuckle draggin'
It's like a jungle, et cetera; keep ziggin' and zaggin'
These lizards ready to fire, military attire
Heaters, cannons, entire arsenals, bangers for hire

We only got double barrels, but we don't monkey wit 'em
Just throw shots and we hit 'em, to this industrial rhythm
Still searchin' for the light, still more to fight
Still at war with our plight, but still we're sure of our own collective might

[Chorus]

Hell is my confinement within this mine
Now trapped and enshrined by my own mind
Hell is my confinement within this mine
No way out, we're running out of time

Time to get fractious, we practice guerilla tactics
Magilla G's can't match this, so why they tryin' to attack us?
I'm a Bad Boy like Diddy, but I ain't talkin' Sean John
'Cause it's on like Son of Kong, gots to get our chimp on

That means we simply simulate simians simultaneously
And all y'all snakes beastin' to kill us is livin' dangerously
Straight bananas, it's the conflict these opponents hand us
So battle status, in these catacombs we got no manners

[Bridge]

All I know is pain, to give the same
All I have ingrained is hate
Misery of shame forever will remain
So I must regain my fate

This all seems endless, threats come relentless in this zoo
No one defends us, and they won't commend us when we're through
It don't matter, 'cause I'm after something resembling peace
I get madder every other day that this shit don't cease

Since our conception, downward has been my life's direction
Had no protection from evil factions and predilections
Heart of a killer, fo' rilla, pillar of coffin-fillers
Nothin' vanilla 'bout us two thrill-a-minute gorillas

Our main position this mission is to improve conditions
And it's our own volition, we ain't looking for permission
Vanish from opposition like we're magicians
In addition, our plan to see freedom's light comes to fruition

[Chorus]


Hell is my confinement within this mine
Now trapped and enshrined by my own mind
Hell is my confinement within this mine
No way out, we're running out of time

We ain't takin' it
We goin' ape shit
We ain't takin' it
Yeah, we goin' ape shit

We goin' ape shit
We goin' ape shit
We goin' ape shit

album cover
Published 2010-03-15
By OverClocked ReMix
Arrangement

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