ReMix: Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest 'Tetanus'
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Streaming preview on YouTube
First off, congrats to all who entered Capcom's remix contest for Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 - but especially the OC ReMixers! AE and Prince of Darkness basically tied & will both have their tracks included in the actual game, which is quite badass, but they also had some stiff competition from the likes of Mazedude and several other talented musicians. Kudos to all, and special thanks to Capcom for doing this sort of thing!
Now then, on to the music... Serious Monkey Business had a LOT of great tracks on it, far more than could fit in the debut flood, so you'll be seeing them pop up here and there for the next several months as we work through the queue; even if you've already commented on the album and mentioned each mix, I'm sure artists would appreciate the additional feedback & comments on the mix-specific discussion thread, so do chime in. And for the newcomers who are just joining us, each posted mix will hopefully serve as a great introduction to a diverse & enjoyable album that EVERYONE should check out. And I'm not just saying that because I've got two tracks on it!
In this case, we've got Chris Roman, aka Hemophiliac, with his first posted mix this year, a tight, suspenseful orchestral arrangement. Project co-director Bahamut writes:
"Chris provided us with an orchestral/electronic hybrid for Lockjaw's Locker, using the orchestration to set a calm but tense atmosphere. The song's progression from this initial state to the hurried state towards the second half of the song captures this element from the original greatly, preserving the core aspect that many find alluring."
Chris himself writes:
"For this remix, I was heavily inspired by a track from the anime Gurren Lagann called "Baf baf! Sonna ni moeru no ga...Suki kai?" I used a similar style and structure to the piece. Orchestral opening building to a break into a gated synth/more percussion driven section. Along with my own flavors added piano and orchestral based percussion rather then electronic based. Getting some of the parts to work right really had me pulling my hair out at times. Enjoy."
Hemo's hair loss is our gain, in this instance; solo winds weave around a dark & ominous cloud until epic drums enter at 0'48", along with brass and running strings. Piano later takes over, and choral elements add height, but electronic elements remain relatively subdued. From Chris' description I was expecting more of a hybrid track, but this is far more orchestral, with synths adding unexpected bite & texture at times but never surpassing minority share of the instrumentation. Which is fine, by the way - in some ways, it's more refreshing to see electronic textures used more sparingly in an orchestral setting, because most folks, including myself, always aim for more of a balance. When you think about it, there's no inherent reason such a balance is always required, and I like the surprising & subtle way Chris approached things here. BGC writes:
"One thing I noticed Chris is doing from the start that scores points is automating dynamics on his parts. Even with less than super-epic-quality strings, it adds a substantial amount of emotive power to the track. Right around 2:00 is just epic. I'm gonna be looping this one. Awesome work! My vote is the best, mayne. $5 says DJP quotes it in the writeup."
Someone owes Jimmy five bucks, apparently. Some of the sustained, higher-pitch strings towards the end made me a little uncomfortable, but I dig that Hemo has his own sound and tries riskier concepts, and I think it pays off. Striking good stuff!
- Bahamut on July 4, 2012
- Mirby on December 25, 2011
So the track starts of pretty gentle with some strong clarinet work before working its way into a Graylightning-ish affair with the arrangement. It's hard to make out the source the first few listens, but if you listen carefully a lot of the elements was based around the low horn part of the original, which managed to set itself up in regards to structure. Credit where credit is due for the synth-work - gives in that Harry Gregson-Williams type affair to the track. Excellent work.
The samples have also been handled decently and appropriate to Hemo's vision. One thing I might recommend though would be to watch the strings; it doesn't seem to be the strongest component in a good portion of your arrangements to date, and by manipulating the filters somewhat particularly in fields of decay and sustain, they would sound somewhat more lifelike rather than having this straight expression to them.
But overall, a more arrangement-experimental track, and it's something that manages to pay off in the scope of the Serious Monkey Business album. And in solo effort form too, so that's a major achievement there Hemo! Hopefully you'll keep contributing to the site however you can :)
- Rexy on December 7, 2011
- Emunator on December 9, 2010
This mix certainly does it justice. Terrific atmosphere.
- Holy Land on November 11, 2010
- UnveiledOsiris on November 11, 2010
On a side note, and I'm not sure if it's just me, if it's a coincidence, or if it was planned, but when the percussion first comes in at 0:35 (I think), does that sound like the noise when you come across one of the barrels containing Diddy/Dixie? You know, the sound where they're pounding on the barrel trying to get out, usually followed by some monkey noises? If I'm not just imagining it, then that subtly yet awesomely adds to the sense of urgency of the piece.
- RECKENEFIN on October 10, 2010
- WannaPollkaLlama on September 21, 2010
- Crulex on September 17, 2010
- Sandie Sandwicheadman on September 16, 2010
- DragonAvenger on September 16, 2010
It actually gives me a huge feel of something big about to happen, with the soft opening giving a kind of intro movie vibe, allowing a slow introduction to things as it slowly increases in power the further in the song goes. Building up until 1:55 when it gets darker and feels like it's at that point something should be found out.
It also gives me a strong pirate feel, don't know if that was intentional, but it actually led to me coming up with a huge pirate theme Mafia Scum game purely because I was sitting listening to this track and had some ideas of even creating a video that could potentially go with it.
Rare is it that a piece of music gives me that much inspiration as well, I often hear songs that I think would work well as a wrestling theme, or that would just be good for something, but it's not often I'll hear something that leads to me just having to sit down and work it out.
Wound up having to create the video twice purely because my computer had to be reset to system settings just after I'd finished it the first time due to a virus.
So hopefully I didn't overstep any boundaries, but I'll link the video here too (purely because I feel it also shows how well the song fits as a sort of introduction to something). The names that flash up part way through were the players of the game, which explains the stupidity of at least one of them.
- PranaDevil on September 15, 2010
any reference to Vader in this is purely coincidental, and I didn't even realize it until after I finished the piece. x.x
- Hemophiliac on September 15, 2010
Overall good stuff, nice work, Hemo. :D
- OA on September 15, 2010
- djpretzel on September 15, 2010