ReMix: Diddy Kong Racing 'Shiva Nataraja'

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Diddy Kong Racing

This is really quite a cool, unique debut from newcomer Guifrog, aka Guilherme Arcoverde, not only because it's our first coverage of Dave Wise's score to Diddy Kong Racing, but because it has a distinct Indian vibe going on - if the title didn't give that away. The artist explains his unique inspirations & goals:

"As you might notice, I like to mix world rhythms with electronica. This time, I chose the Indian beat to create a nice dancing tune!

In Hinduism, Shiva refers to one of the 3 gods that control universe on a certain aspect; he's the "destroyer" or "transformer", while Brahma's the "creator" and Vishnu, the "preserver". Shiva can be represented in various kinds of symbolism, one of them being Nataraja, which can be translated as "Lord of Dance". So, in order to maintain a cycle, Shiva performs his dance to destroy an old and overused universe, allowing Brahma to start the process of creation.

There's a moment on this remix that I tried to represent Shiva's dance, which is the percussion solo, that gets more and more aggressive as it goes. Once it ends, a few keys re-appear to make a transition to the chorus, that comes in like Brahma's new beginning. You can see the song kinda spins in a cycle, but a key's never exactly the same as another. And I need the song to end, so I re-used the :36 part with a few adjustments =P That's it... Hope you like it ^^"

Again, that's a pretty distinct & interesting submission email - like a mini theology lession and VGM arrangement all rolled into one catchy-yet-informative package. I love the amount of background and thought that went into this arrangement, but the important thing is that it was also executed well - the music embraces the vision rather than bending to its will. Is it now gratuitous and/or inappropriate to quote Vinnie's decision, because he's Indian himself? Nah, because he said it well:

"Arrangement is excellent, samples could be stronger, kick should definitely be more hard-hitting, but because of the strength of the arrangement, I'm fine with passing this. There's a lot of small details in this that really captured my attention, but it's still well-written from a broader scope too. Glad to see this fine game getting some love on the site."

Agreed; this mix is attention-getting, fresh, and full of ideas. It picks an appropriate source that's Indian to begin with and runs with the whole context, and even without the background info that Guilherme provides, you can tell it was labored over and mapped out. Great start from Guifrog, looking forward to whatever's next!

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Crulex
on 2012-04-30 12:31:27

Pretty cool electronic ReMix. The percussion was sweet and the ethnic flavor made this work completely. The breakdown was a great touch with the little monkey yelps and I'm loving the energy of this. Nice work.

CJthemusicdude
on 2011-07-03 12:02:35

I like this a lot, very cool :)

Emunator
on 2010-12-11 04:02:41

If you guys like this, you should hear what Guifrog's been churning out with his improved production setup ;-) It's gonna blow your minds.

That said, this is still a very appropriate take on DKR's source material that plays it safe but still finds ways to keep things interesting (percussion soloing in the middle is definitely a highlight.) Good on you for giving this soundtrack some love :-)

I love Guifrog's approach to remixing, tackling music from different ethnic regions one by one, I'm really looking forward to more from him.

Sarad_Thamia
on 2010-09-04 02:30:34

Awesome song! I just had to dance to it. lol. This one is definately a keeper! ;-)

Modus
on 2010-09-03 10:15:39

The source was always a foot-tapper for me as a kid... well, until it turned to mad stomping because I found DKR so difficult :P Anyway, I loved this arrangement... so powerful and driving with so much great percussion backing it up. This is my first comment on a Remix, by the way. There's some games I always have to say something about and DKR is one of them.

I would love for you to try Hot Top Volcano next.. eh? It's an ethnic-y track too :)

Holy Land
on 2010-09-01 13:16:42

I own the game and played it a lot back then, but I don't actually remember the source. However, it is pretty good and so is this remix.

It doesn't exactly turn the original upside-down, but it has plenty of new, creative ideas that make it sound fresh and interpretative. I absolutely love the percussion work, and the accordion fills, but there are many other small touches that you may not even notice the first time you hear it. Impressive stuff.

This is already one of my favorite pieces of music from this site. Please post more, okay?

UmJammerSully
on 2010-08-20 00:08:28

Freaking awesome. This is easily one of my favourite remixes already. The source is my favourite tune from the game and you've just really made it your own. I applaud originality over most other aspects so absolute props here. Just the idea of mixing different "world" music with electronica tickles me in just the right way.

Martin Penwald
on 2010-08-12 14:28:05

Very interesting combination of ethnic and modern instruments/sounds. Furthermore, thanks to all the variation going on in the remix, it never becomes stale.

Nice work.

a_d
on 2010-08-08 01:44:59

Wow, this really reminds me of Banjo-Kazooie. Nostalgia :smile:

halc
on 2010-07-29 00:20:53

pretty surprised that this is our first DKR mix, actually. very creative arrangement- looking forward to more! :nicework:

EmpyClaw
on 2010-07-26 16:20:46

I'm not familiar with the source music, but I must say that this piece is absolutely delightful. A solid, well-done mix! It fills me with the urge to boogie. The style is a lot fun, and the energy is infectious. Thank you very much for this ReMix.

Flare4War
on 2010-07-26 01:34:10

This brings back soooooo many memories. Great work as well.

Master_Yoshi
on 2010-07-23 03:05:05

Ooh la la.

I'm in love with this mix. I get the same chills as when I first heard Jespyr Kid's ACII soundtrack - that blend of ethnic instrumentation with modern instruments, construction, and presentation is absolutely fantastic.

And might I add: I always loved DKR, more than mario Kart just for the OST. And the hover boat racers. Those were great fun.

Dude, keep at it! I hope you stick with your craft, get better with time, because in a little while you will be one of the big heavy hitters on this site. I for one am excited to see what comes next!

Nobbynob Littlun
on 2010-07-23 00:39:40
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a_d
on 2010-07-22 22:26:56

This is great!!!! Especially for a first time post. It sounds like Guifrog has some experience under his belt though. I'm so happy to hear a DKR remix!