ReMix: Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! 'The Submap Emissary'
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Our flood-leading Dave Wise mega-collab was actually our FIRST ReMix from DKC3 GBA - I'm glad Double the Trouble! took both games on, as they're definitely distinct & worthwhile soundtracks, plus it lends the title a bit more creative ooomph. Up next we've got an arrangement from the perhaps more familiar SNES score, from zylance. We last saw John (then under the pseudonym 'Zoola') back in 2005 with a deep solo piano Zelda piece, but it was his participation on DKC2:SMB that caught Emunator's eye:
"Truthfully, when I recruited zylance for this project I didn't really know what I was getting into. At the time, I had only heard two remixes from him; a solo piano Zelda remix, and his fun (albeit straightforward) techno arrangement on "Disco Train" featured on Serious Monkey Business.
Nothing could have prepared me for what John would contribute to this album. He took "Sub-Map Shuffle," one of the most basic and straightforward sources on the entire OST, and transformed it into a lush, cinematic-rock opus that is completely brilliant and different from anything I've ever heard on OC ReMix before. Admittedly, this is one of the more liberal remixes on the project, but zylance's method of adapting the source to a cinematic context fits the album concept extremely well nonetheless, and does justice to the story of DKC3 as a whole. It may seem strange that one of the grandest remixes on the entire album comes within the first 5 tracks, but I couldn't imagine a more fitting prelude to the journey that is about to unfold."
I have to say, based on John's two previous arrangements, this mix definitely comes out of left field, but it does so with bold style & emphatic conviction; he writes:
"When Wes first asked me to be part of this project, it had been a while since I had last played DKC3, so I chose the first track I remembered, "Sub-Map Shuffle." I envisioned my remix as an opening, a grand entrance to a grand Kong adventure, so I threw as many drum samples at the mix as my computer could handle, then added guitar. Done. No monkey samples this time, I promise!"
Introing with an almost Eye-of-the-Tigerlike electric guitar, things quickly flesh out to a wide soundscape that pairs soaring electric guitars with layered rock & epic soundtrack drums, adds in plenty of orchestral textures & chromatic percussion, then goes all choral up in this, as solo piano emerges from the reverence. Some interesting tonal modulations here and there, things really rock out at 2'38" with doubled-up electric guitar... it feels BIG, and there's certainly a lot going on, but it avoids chaos or clutter with JUST ENOUGH control and restraint. This is an arrangement that's as ambitious in breadth and scope as the album that contains it - a surprising, engaging direction from zylance that takes a simple, suspenseful theme to soaring new heights!
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