ReMix: Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest "Old School"

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Donkey Kong Country 2: Serious Monkey BusinessDonkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest

Justin pulls off slower electronica quite convincingly in this track off of Serious Monkey Business; he writes:

"I'm not sure how to classify this one. It was an experiment to try and make a sort of down-tempo electronic sound from one of the two remaining unclaimed tracks on the project. I'm still not convinced it's that great, but Bahamut told me to sub it. :P"

Ah, you're too humble... I think it worked out fine, personally; the source melody is less flamboyant than the rest of the OST, even if the pacing is quick, so it'd be hard to come up with something that really stuck out relative to the rest of the album. I think Justin gave it just what the doctor ordered, with some enjoyable, straightforward electronica that still incorporates a couple key orchestral elements. Wes writes:

"Justin brings an older electronic sound to this track, which was quite a surprise when I heard it originally due to him being synonymous to orchestral in my mind. Nonetheless, it is a solid track, and a pleasure to listen to with its slow & methodical bass and a lead synth that takes on a life of its own."

Justin actually modified the snare employed based on initial feedback from the judges; OA writes:

"Interesting idea to reduce the speed on this one, but I think it paid off, I am a strong proponent of manic arrangements, and the original can definitely qualify as manic, but it goes by so fast, you can't appreciate as well that there is a cool melody in there. You definitely get a lot of mileage off of the A section, which is fine by me, since it's so varied."

Andy closed out the vote:

"I have to say that Justin is sounding more and more pro with every mix he submits. I'm waiting for him to show up with some kind of random genre like Klezmer or didgeridoo ensemble and blow us away with that too."

We DO need a Klezmer mix, dang it, but you can't really do it up proper without an actual clarinetist, in my opinion. But I digress; Andy's right - Justin's sound has been getting both wider and deeper - and his contributions to Serious Monkey Business really illustrated that. Lookin' forward to what's next, as always!

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 14 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Bahamut
on 2012-07-04 14:29:13

This track surprised me when Justin showed it to me since I always had him pegged as more of an orchestral guy. He has developed some diversity along the way and this track was one such step. It's a solid take on Wrinkly's theme that doesn't shoot for the stars, but keeps things light and down low. It doesn't overstay its welcome and is a good effort all around.

Rexy
on 2012-01-22 16:19:05

Wrinkly's classroom often felt rather understated to me, given that it felt more like a mash of melodic ideas than a structured track,, but it's Nutritious and I felt trusting for him to handle such interpretation swiftly.

After that ridiculous bass intro (!!!), the theme's arrival managed to adapt into this more lively setting that had been built into, and even though the original is already messed up as it is, a lot had been done to show the familiarity behind the source within the soundscape. Even going past 1:30, a lot was done with the backing manipulation to really maintain the familiarity and play around with this electronic twist. In fact, the attention to these synths and the manipulation on them throughout blew my mind, and even then he didn't back down on the string placement either, especially considering the orchestra appears to be his main skill card.

I have to say, I'm not really a big fan of the dissonnance at 2:45 though; I understand that the synth does the B melody part and the bass synth does some groove-driven writing, but I would've thought some attention might've been done to the latter to prevent any such clashing. I'm just quite picky in regards to such writing, but with the amount of attention paid to the soundcape it could pretty much be excused.

All in all, the DKC2 project was a great outlet to showcase Nutritious's diversity, and I am glad that he managed to play well with his tracks here. I've understood that he'd kept on improving his synth chops down the line as well so I'm glad he managed to keep a solid grasp on it, and so I'm all set to see how far his skills come in future endeavours :)

Emunator
on 2010-12-09 12:01:08

This song caught me off guard at first. The pacing, the synth choices, the beat... it's one of those mixes that's really hard to pigeonhole. Obviously there was some inspiration here to take the source in an unconventional, unusual direction like this, so I've gotta give you props. This mix took a long while to grow on me, but I've certainly come to appreciate the way it was executed.

justinj212
on 2010-12-09 11:57:32

Interesting track. The slow intro and down-tempo pace seem oddly appropriate, considering that Wrinkly Kong does eventually return as a ghost. The mix has that somewhat eerie sound to it which eventually gives way to a more orchestral feeling. Definitely made me think a bit.

Crulex
on 2010-12-07 12:33:39

Very cool beat in this one. That bass synth......wow! Normally I prefer faster paced electronica songs, but this worked really well. Smooth and crisp, to the point of being enjoyably chilling. Great mix for the project.

EmpyClaw
on 2010-12-05 15:26:18

As I'm going through and reviewing as many tracks as possible for December, I'm finding a bunch of Nutritious' stuff to be not reviewed very much. Why? It's all so awesome. It's always consistently good, solid work; great to listen to, fantastic mixes. This is no exception. I love the blending of electronic and orchestral elements. Great mix. ^_^

GrrDraxin
on 2010-10-18 05:47:34

I was one of the downloaders of the Serious Monkey Business album, and I have to say that this track was my absolute favorite of the entire thing, only one other song grabbed me, but this one did it best. I really liked the synth melody that starts and ends the song. I've found myself putting on my a-b repeater on the end part because it's just that grabbing and in a way relaxing. It does have a feel of a song that uses a similar synth, but for the life of me I can't recall any name or even what the genre of the one this reminds me of.

Though I never got to play DKC2, I did grab the music files to hear the sources and I must say that this was definitely an improvement over the original, Though I'm sure that if I had played the game like I did the first, maybe my opinion would be a little different.

Though personally, I kind of think that the lead synth was probably just a bit hard and unnerving, maybe if it's volume were cut by a sizable fraction it wouldn't make me want to turn the volume down to not hurt my ears, as the frequency of that instrument in particular seems to hit pretty hard in my most sensitive hearing range.

Other than that, I'd give this not just 2 thumbs up, but 2 big toes up as well.

Master_Yoshi
on 2010-10-15 08:50:56

Something feels awkward here. Like, I'm sitting here listening to the song in slow-mo (or whatever the audio equivalent of that is.) Yes, I know it's a downtempo arrangement and all of that, but it shouldn't sound like this, should it?

Am I completely crazy here? Aside from the breakdown that occurs, if you were to speed this track up some I wouldn't at all be surprised to hear it, and have it sound better. Maybe it's the writing, or the sustain in the notes, but it just gets me the wrong way. The pace feels plodding rather than methodical and careful, and the backing feels rather shallow.

Hmph, maybe I'm crazy and this is utter genius! Good try though, you attempted to do something really difficult, and from what I can tell, nearly succeeded!

OA
on 2010-10-05 11:44:26

I love that bass synth that Wwwoooooowwwwws. :-D

The deliberate pacing was good, and the sounds all gel really nicely. Good to see Justin tryin some non-orch stuff, and handling it really well. Great work!

A-RoN
on 2010-10-04 14:41:08

I love the 80s feel this has. The synths and even the snare remind me of a higher quality version of Korg DS. I'll bet it would get virt's grandma on the dance floor for sure!

DragonAvenger
on 2010-10-01 10:45:33

Nutritious always does a good job creating a good soundscape to and a great atmosphere for his music. Loved the overall mood of this one. Nice work.

Melbu Frahma
on 2010-10-01 09:23:31

Unsurprisingly, Nutritious delivers yet again. This isn't my favorite of his mixes, but it'll definitely be ranked near the top. Great work.

ambient
on 2010-09-30 15:40:41

Holy crap. This is awesome!

djpretzel
on 2010-09-29 22:19:53

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