ReMix: Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! 'Bash the Bastards!'
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From WillRock comes... world music? The Circle of Life?? I have to admit, based on the mix title I was anticipating something else, but cool to see Mr. Harby step outside his usual (excellent) business & team up w/ Stevo on vocals + guit for a distinct, unique contribution to Donkey Kong Country 3: Double the Trouble! - WillWrites:
"...You see, every now and then, I break out of my 80's butt-rock mold and do something different. In this case, I went with a world music "Lion King" type remix. However, to achieve this, I had to use Kontakt, and I ended up using REAPER as my DAW as a result. This was a drastic change to my workflow, and everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong. Deleting the project file? Sure. Screwing up the tempo and thus my whole project because reaper sucks - uh-huh. Deleting tracks by accident? Why not. Not to mention all the stuff that happened which wasn't even me, such as one day opening REAPER to have all my instances of Kontakt empty. And thanks to my computer not being able to handle this project, it took me over a year to finish it. tl;dr - RAWWWWWR.
Anyway, on to the good points. Stevo Bortz, the single most awesome person in existence, basically went WAY beyond the call of duty when I asked him to collab on this. I asked him after I heard vocals on his track "Twin Seeds Flyby", and thought his vocals were perfect for the style I was going for. However, he not only did that but did some fantastic backing vocals which really added to the character of this mix. He even went on to do his own language of singing when I asked him if he could do vocal parts like Karl Jenkins "Adiemus", which is probably the high point of working on this remix. Finally, he recorded acoustic guitar to replace my seqeunced guitars, which gave the track a very humanistic feel. Sure the remix was my idea, but Stevo took the concept and really made it shine in a way I could have never achieved without him, and I was simply dumbfounded by how awesome his additions were. As a result, I feel like this is probably the most rewarding of all my collabs and remixes in general, but getting there was one of the hardest things i've ever had to endure as a musician."
I think many of us have been there; I back things up pretty religiously these days after some bad experiences with data loss back in the days when (yes, I'm oldish) I stored sequences on floppy disks. Right next to my abacus. Emunator gratefully empathizes:
"I have to hand it to Will. There were very few project artists who went through as many struggles as he did while trying to finish his project contributions. His comments explain the full details of the technical difficulties he experienced, but suffice to say there were many times he could have taken a more predictable approach to the source, or simply given up entirely. It's a good thing he didn't though, because what emerged from that struggle is one of the most surprising style shifts on the album."
Agreed, and yes - triumphing over crappy circumstances, when events seem to be conspiring against you, is an artistic accomplishment in and of itself. Stevo adds:
"Willrock came to me asking me to give some small high-pitched vocals to his mix, similar to what I had done for Twin Seeds Flyby. After hearing his song, which is such a major departure from his familiar synthrock roots, I was inspired to do more. Much more. A whole slew of vocals and inventing a language more! I also added a bit of acoustic guitar to replace the samples he was using, just adding more to the human element of the song. I can say that this is probably the most amount of vocals I've done for a single track thus far, and I'm very happy with the result."
There's actually a lot more Bobby McFerrin here than Lion King, to me - from the playful world jazz style to the harmonies - and the whole thing kinda has a don't-worry-be-happy vibe going on. It's almost stylistically a mashup between 'Under Construction' and 'Destined for Greatness' - some excellent company to be compared to! Kudos to WillRock & Stevo for adding charm, a lil bit o'swagger, and some hakuna matata to the album!