ReMix: Donkey Kong Country 3 "Spanish Jitters"
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- Game: Donkey Kong Country 3 (Nintendo, 2005, GBA)
- ReMixer(s): bustatunez, Daniel Rosenqvist, David Wise, Diggi Dis, Harmony, JJT, Level 99, OceansAndrew, prophetik music, Robin Beanland, zykO
- Composer(s): David Wise
- Song(s): "Aquatic Ambiance", "Jungle Jitter"
- Posted: 2012-12-03, evaluated by djpretzel
- Album: Featured on Donkey Kong Country 3: Double the Trouble!
- Terms (BETA): acoustic-guitar brass collab electric-guitar funky jazz live-recording piano saxophone synth
Ladies & gentlemen, boys & girls, silverbacks, bonobos, chimps, monkeys, & orangutans, we're proud to announce the release of OCR's 36th arrangement album, clocking in at five discs & 77-tracks of superb simian splendor, our biggest album yet & YOURS for the low, low price of FREE, it's Donkey Kong Country 3: Double the Trouble!
There've been some amazing trilogies in our times: Lord of the Rings, the original Star Wars films, Toy Story, Naked Gun, Back to the Future... but more recently, events have conspired to compromise the good name of the Platonic threesome and call into question our beloved affection for trifection confection. Pirates of the Carribean (okay there's a 4th, but still), the Star Wars prequels, and they even managed to UNTRILOGIZE Indiana Jones by making poor Harrison hobble around with a LaBeouf, chasing inexplicably douchey aliens. So a twinge of scepticism rightly electrifies the air with suspense - did Directors Wes McDonald (Emunator) & Cody Wedel follow up the brilliance of Kong in Concert & Serious Monkey Business with Jacksonian consistency, or did they pull a Verbinski or even (gasp) a Lucas? I think you aready know the answer...but let's hear from those responsible first - Director Emunator writes:
"The Donkey Kong Country series has always held a special place in my heart. Ever since I first picked up the controller at the age of 3, I found myself in love with everything about the games… the innovative level design, the gorgeous graphics, and especially the music. I would find myself pausing the game mid-level and listening to my favorite songs for hours on end. So, as you can imagine, when I first discovered OverClocked ReMix back in 2004, when Kong in Concert was first released, I was hooked.
Fast forward 6 years… as the release of Serious Monkey Business drew closer, I knew that a DKC3 album was inevitable, and I felt like I could make it happen. At the time, I was merely a lurker on the site, and had no musical talent of my own. Nevertheless, I had the vision and a limitless amount of free time at my disposal, so I took the plunge and started recruiting. After 3 years of tireless work, I couldn't be happier with that choice."
Co-Director Cody adds:
"I somehow stumbled upon the DKC3 project thread on the OC ReMix forums the night it was revealed. I read the intro post and saw that the album was tackling both the SNES *and* GBA soundtracks! I loved the SNES soundtrack, and DKC3 GBA was definitely my favorite game soundtrack ever, so you could only imagine how happy I was. Little did I know the album would have a predominant influence throughout the next 3 years of my life.
As co-director, I didn't directly talk to many of the remixers involved with the project. I instead focused mainly on the backend: that is, the tracklist, promotional media, and directional feedback. Wes would oftentimes integrate my feedback into his regarding the development of a particular track. In any case, I certainly got valuable insight on how the whole album process works, and seeing/helping the album come together over such a long length of time was simply a magical experience."
Mike Birch (Flexstyle) produced the album and collaborated w/ Wes a lot over some Fuddrucker's burgers (NOM) when the two discovered they lived relatively close-by:
"Wes was already a good six months into the project by the time we met, but the next couple years would see me take on another five songs on the project, plus two extra bonus songs, and also tackle the task of mastering and gapless-playback-ing the entire album. Not only that, but I ended up being one of the main quality control voices as well. Talk about a cool responsibility!"
A lot of work, but it really shows... Wes, Cody, Mike, and all the MANY artists who poured their hearts, souls, & bananas into this epic album should be VERY proud. We start things off with a SMOKY, SEXY LATIN JAZZ MEGA-COLLAB w/ DAVID WISE & ROBIN BEANLAND (can I get an "OMFG!"?) that also includes NINE REMIXERS!!!! Caps & repeated punctuation JUSTIFIED. This is David's baby and I'm gonna (wisely, one might say) let HIM do the talking:
"This turned out to be a HUGE mix by the time I eventually had put all the live parts in. It has taken far longer than I originally envisaged, mainly due to trying to find the time to squeeze in enough mixing sessions between writing music for upcoming projects. First of all, a BIG thank you to everyone who contributed so much to this track. Appreciated.
Having had a break from it now for several weeks, I'm listening back thinking how I'd change it if I were to mix it again today. At times, there are almost 50 live tracks running together, with many more contributing to the mix overall. When putting this mix together, I had been listening to a lot of Candy Dulfer, so this is where some of the inspiration comes from. Her drummer just has a great groove going on, so I analyzed this in Cubase, and applied the groove to my drum track. After that, it was a case of taking the "Jungle Jitter" melody, and adapting to suit.
I made a very basic track, and Wes asked several of the OC ReMix community to contribute. There are some very talented musicians and remixers who contribute, and it was great to hear the results as they came in. There was some incredible playing, and whilst I'd have ideally liked to use all of the parts, I had to choose the ones that best suited where I wanted to go. This mix could easily have gone on for a few more minutes.
So let me introduce the band:
- We start with the incredibly talented Robin Beanland who played his flumpet for the "middle 80's section," of which I borrowed some of this also for the intro too. He also did the great flumpet ad-libs @ 2.30.
- Level 99 (Stevo Bortz): Guitar @ 0.16 - The steel guitar gives the track a very Spanish/Latin feel from the off, and sets up a far more laid-back mix than I had originally anticipated. His rhythm work also works well for the other solo instruments to sit above. Stevo's tracks were some of the first to reach me, and I think this influenced the final outcome somewhat.
- bustatunez (Wilbert Roget, II): Flute @ 0.51 - When I first heard this, my initial reaction was "WOW" – I wasn't expecting that! He also contributed the accordion here too – for something a little different. It just works.
- JJT (Jon T.): Trumpet - The trumpet that interjects @ 1.10 is played by Jon. He also adds a brass line to the mix within the main brass section riff too.
- The OC Players: Brass Section
- prophetik (Bradley Burr): Alto Sax @ 1.29, multiple takes
- prophetik: Tenor Sax @ 1.29, multiple takes
- prophetik: Fake Baritone Sax
- OA (Andrew Luers): Alto Sax Parts @ 1.29
- Robin Beanland: Flumpet @ 1.29
- Bradley's sax was just great. Take after take of usable "section material." Whilst Andrew had also contributed alto sax parts, Bradley was up for adding a few more layers. The combined effect makes for a very fluid sound. Bradley even played the baritone parts on his tenor sax, whilst I used the VariAudio in Cubase to make a very convincing fake part to fill out the lower part of the section. Obviously, Robin has extensive experience recording, not only providing the solo in the middle section of the piece, here providing take after take of great flumpet brass section material.
- Harmony (Brandon Bush): Percussion - Brandon provided multiple percussion takes. Whilst I never made a feature of the percussion, you instantly notice it's no longer there when muting it in the mix. It really adds something to the groove, whilst not taking over at the same time.
- And not forgetting the bass: Daniel Rosenqvist (the bassist from the band Monkey Kong) puts in a very solid performance.
- Also @ 2.20 is zykO (Waleed Hawatky) playing guitar. Waleed sent through an absolutely rocking track, which to be fair, warranted a separate remix on it's own. Great tone, great style, cool phrasing. tight timing – fantastic attitude – but there were too many overtones coming from his set-up. Sadly, for me, the sound just wouldn't fit with the rest of the track. Apologies. It would have required a whole different approach. However, the guitar takes I did use from Waleed really add punch to the track.
- 80's Section
- For some random reason, I decided to have an 80's inspired section in the middle. Robin kindly lent his flumpet talents here for the main solo, a very laid back and subtle treatment, which builds strongly before heading back to the main theme.
- prophetik: Sax Solo @ 4.36 - This just falls nicely into place, as though it had somehow always belonged there, long before he'd ever even recorded his solo.
- Diggi Dis (Frank van 't Ende): Piano @ 4.58 - And to finish with, a great piano solo to round off the mix."
Ginormous quote is ginormous, but seriously, how cool to have Mr. Wise himself incorporate the contributed efforts of so many artists from the community into so coherent and svelte an arrangement? And with Robin Beanland chipping in? The comments Wise provides really show how involved he was in making this concept work - assimilating that much recorded material from so many diverse sources and mixing it into something cogent is a minor miracle, but this mix not only works, it sounds fantastic. Will, Daniel, Frank, Brandon, Jon, Stevo, Andrew, Brad, Waleed - y'all collaborated with David Wise & Robin Beanland!! Just let that sink in for a bit - I know I for one am jealous.
There's much more to be said, heard, and posted, but for now head on over to http://dkc3.ocremix.org or just grab the full torrent and start enjoying! As always, any word-of-mouth, from likes to tweets to full-on blog posts/reviews are appreciated!
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