ReMix: Donkey Kong Country 3 'Corn-fed Kong'
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When I saw a mix by Waleed, Frank, & Amy, and read the title, I was definitely curious as to what style & form the collaboration would take. This arrangement is highly unique and brings a rural, folk-rock groove to the album; the closest mix I can compare it to is actually my own EarthBound mix, but this incorporates live instruments FTW and feels more like a downhome impromptu jam on the farm between like-minded musicians. zyko writes:
"I listen to a lot more country than I let on. More of the Hank Williams III variety, no doubt, but my ears perked up immediately when I saw the opportunity to work with this source. I have a soft spot for the wondrous mix of the piano, violin, and upright bass, and with a little guitar, it's practically gold. The GBA version of "Rockface" is so completely unlike its SNES counterpart and while I was tempted to go off the deep end with the ambiance and SFX (as you'd expect me to), I opted instead to go for writing a song and letting the vibe of the piece do all the table setting instead of my normal dose of meandering scene-building.
I was very blessed to be able to welcome the talents of incredibly talented folk like diotrans and Diggi Dis onto the project. Otherwise, we'd all have been stuck listening to me sequence piano and violin, hahaha. No, but really, their work is PRO, no question about it. WILL DO AGAIN"
zykO's a class-act, through and through, and he really contributed something different & special to Double the Trouble! with this track, epitomizing the spirit of OCR's long-standing emphasis on multiple genres. It's the type of mix that speaks to me on two levels - the music, and then just the sheer creativity & wonder of its existence. The tuning's a little rough around the edges, but that's more or less verisimilitude, since we're going way rustic, and I just love the positive, open-sky feeling of inclusion & good will that permeates the whole thing. Emunator concurs:
"zykO has a style all his own as a musician. I've been a fan of his eclectic, raw style for a long time and I was elated at the opportunity to have him contribute three mixes to the project. Here, Waleed crafted an absolutely gorgeous country-style arrangement of one of the more off-the-wall sources from the OST. The end result was an extremely accessible jam with the power to sway even those with an extreme distaste for country music. Everything about this remix has heart, and I think the additional live performances add to that even further. (On a personal note to Waleed, thanks for putting up with my neurotic requests and critiques during the production of this and your other two tracks. I'm sure that wasn't easy!)
Unfortunately, along the way, the project files for all 3 of zykO's tracks were lost, so there are a couple of unresolved pops and some tuning issues with the acoustic guitars present in the final mix. Still, when the rest of the track is this strong, I have no trouble looking past minor issues and enjoying one of Waleed's finest arrangements to date."
It really is, and I'm a big fan - I listen to his (UNDERRATED! CHECK IT OUT!!) Submarine Attack collab w/ Destiny from 2004 all the time, and that joint is eight years old. He's a versatile dude who CAN do more accessible, traditionally-structured arrangements if he feels like it, but also loves going "off the deep end" as he puts it, so his mixes run a wide gamut of form & execution. You never know quite what to expect, other than creativity, soul, and an unhinged feeling that rules are made to be broken. Getting Amy & Frank to chip in sealed the deal and lends just the right texture of post-hayride campfire collaboration. While it ruffles some folks' feathers in general, and others would appreciate albums that are genre-consistent, one thing I'll never regret - or apologize for - is starting this site with an explicit agenda of promoting musical plurality & diversity, and mixes like this make me really damn proud of our community's ability to embrace that notion. So a personal thanks from me, to Waleed, Amy & Frank for making this one happen, and to Wes for coordinating it - y'all done good.