ReMix: Donkey Kong Country 3 'Beneath the Moonlight'

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Donkey Kong Country 3: Double the Trouble!Donkey Kong Country 3

And now, we come to the end of our journey... at five discs and seventy-seven tracks, I'm sure we'll be hearing more from Donkey Kong Country 3: Double the Trouble! in the future, but a fifteen-track mixflood is a good place to stop, and should give you a solid idea of just how diverse & consistently impressive an opus this final entry in our DKC album trilogy is. It's astounding to me to see all the different personalities & styles that contributed to each successive album, from Kong in Concert in 2004, to Serious Monkey Business in 2010, and now in the final month of 2012, the trinity is complete. Gratuitous Catholic symbolism aside, the three albums really do combine to paint a relatively complete picture of OC ReMix that embodies so much of the talent, the emotion, the coordination, and the dedication that album directors & artists alike have brought to the community ever since Relics of the Chozo started the ball rolling. It's a gargantuan amount of time & effort that, if it weren't so much fun, and the end result so immensely satisfying, would otherwise seem completely insurmountable. My hat is off to Digital Coma, Geoffrey Taucer, Wesley Cho, and the newest members of the "DKC Album Director's Club," Emunator & Cody Wedel. That Grant Kirkhope, Robin Beanland, and Mr. DKC himself, David Wise all contributed music to this series of albums further solidifies this accomplishment in my mind as a part of the franchise's continuum, an enduring, free, fan-made testament to the power of community & an homage to some of the best VGM ever penned. I love you guys, really.

...

Ah yes, the mix - I've said enough, we'll let Theophany take the stage:

""Stilt" had been slated as an album-closer since the early days of 2010, and being the last main track of the DKC trilogy, I wanted the sendoff to be something special. The plan was to recruit as many live performers as possible, because I felt a proper remix of this track needed to be diverse. My concept was to fuse elements of Andes folk music with world percussion, flamenco-inspired guitar, live violin, post-rock and electronic textures.

Thanks to some extremely talented artists like Harmony, Jeff, and Fishy, the result is even greater than what I'd hoped for. I can't speak highly enough of Harmony's work in general, but on this he was a godsend. Straight away he got the concept and the material he came back with was stunning. Jeff's violin performance brought soul and shimmer to the track, and I think his work really helps keeps the listener connected throughout the 6+ minute journey leading up to Fishy's solo drop. For those who can stick around that long, you're in for something special.

My work on DKC3 has been mostly experimental, with the execution being more successful for some tracks than others. "Stilt" was by far the most ambitious of my half-dozen remixes on the album. It took over a year from start to finish - from scrapping my initial WIP and starting over, to reworking the arrangement and album outro, to the logistics of trying to coordinate 4 people from here and overseas on one track. Even as it dragged out months beyond the deadline, Wes remained 100% behind the track, and committed to its evolving direction. There were definitely times we could have called this good enough. All I can say is I am proud we didn't.

I hope you all feel it was worth the wait."

Everything about this album has been worth the wait, and this track is no exception. Each new piece from Theophany tends to impress me even further, and he's outdone himself yet again with this longform, nearly 9-minute meditation that absolutely illustrates how to make excellent use of extended duration. Q: When you've got Fishy, Brandon, and Jeff along for the ride, can the mix really EVER go on "too long"?? A: Hell naw. And if we needed yet another example of why modifying our standards to allow longer arrangements, when justified, was a good (some might say overdue!) idea, now we've got a humdinger. The clarity and space in this mix is breathtaking, the performances are stellar, and the atmosphere, well... this mix ALONE would be an occasion worthy of considerable celebration. The fact that it closes out a flood of fifteen mixes, from an album with seventy-seven total, well... the phrase "embarrassment of riches" was never more appropriate. Emunator writes:

"Jason's arrangement exceeded even my wildest hopes for the source - this 9-minute behemoth seamlessly merges folk, ambient, and prog rock aesthetics together, featuring emotive live instrumentals and solos from some of OCR's most talented performers, and one of the most gratifying climaxes I've ever heard in a remix. "Beneath the Moonlight" is Theophany's magnum opus, and I can't even begin to thank him for his dedication to this concept, and for his contributions to the album as a whole."

And I'd like to thank EVERYONE involved on this album for living up to the high expectations of its predecessors and truly, profoundly, kicking copious amounts of posterior!

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 11 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Fishy
on 2012-12-10 05:43:25
I am so not impressed with that solo as I was after I recorded it...
:S
Crulex
on 2012-12-06 09:14:28
Words can almost not express the beauty of this ReMix. Just paint the picture of a sandy pier under a dark blue sky, with a full moon providing enough light to see the ocean's waves come in and out while listening to this. So gorgeous. I always thought the original had a tad bit of Spanish flair, and I'm glad to hear it here as well. The solo was a pretty cool way to capitalize on the giant build of this song. Worth the wait and certainly a magical track.
ergosonic
on 2012-12-05 22:41:51
Magic. My favorite album remix. It stays true to the original Donkey Kong aesthetic, and yet improves on every aspect of the original track. A beautiful organic blend of the acoustic and electric worlds. Great job guys.
Mirby
on 2012-12-05 05:43:13
Emunator;894151 wrote: A superb album-ending track that, I must reiterate, was unquestionably worth the time we spent waiting for it. In fact, this is perhaps my favorite remix to date, period. I'm so proud that it's a part of the album :-) I hope others can enjoy it as much as I do.
Also, someone caught this on Youtube, but I'll point out the little bit of continuity for anyone who didn't notice:
Kong in Concert - "Beneath the Surface"
Serious Monkey Business - "Beneath the Canopy"
Double the Trouble! - "Beneath the Moonlight"
Each of which are ambient/rock hybrids that are all standouts on their respective album :-)

it's even funnier since 2 of those feature Fishy.
delbuster
on 2012-12-05 02:30:42
hmm... well done.
hmm.....
!!!
SwordBreaker
on 2012-12-05 01:47:14
Wow. Just...wow. Just when I thought I picked my favorite track of the album upon my first listen (Sea Breeze Concerto) this gem comes along. A 9 minute epic. Never grows old and repetitive despite its length. All the playing and instruments just come together nicely here. The haunting violin and vocals, the subtle guitars, the atmosphere and ambiance of this mix -- everything is very well produced and written. Personally, this beats Spanish Jitters as the best collab of the album. Great work.
Emunator
on 2012-12-05 00:16:17
A superb album-ending track that, I must reiterate, was unquestionably worth the time we spent waiting for it. In fact, this is perhaps my favorite remix to date, period. I'm so proud that it's a part of the album :-) I hope others can enjoy it as much as I do.
Also, someone caught this on Youtube, but I'll point out the little bit of continuity for anyone who didn't notice:
Kong in Concert - "Beneath the Surface"
Serious Monkey Business - "Beneath the Canopy"
Double the Trouble! - "Beneath the Moonlight"
Each of which are ambient/rock hybrids that are all standouts on their respective album :-)
Melbu Frahma
on 2012-12-04 22:25:54
Bahamut;894124 wrote: Hands down, this is my favorite mix from the DKC 3 album - it is an unorthodox song in its own right, and pulls off the abstract ambient style off to great effect.
Amazing job by all involved!

Quoted, and seconded for truth - there are some other songs off it that come close, and some that have been growing on me with each listen, but this is definitely my favorite off of it. The interplay between the various instruments was amazing, and I thought there was just the right amount of vocal sfx used to take it up a notch.
Cody Wedel
on 2012-12-04 20:54:06
Ever since the early WIP days I knew this mix had promise... I just didn't know how grand the end result would be. But then having heard completed tracks like Deep Sea Lights, Breaking the Crystal Key,Knautilus, as well as bonus mixes Dive and The Crystal Key is Broken, I knew Theophany would deliver with a masterpiece.
I couldn't have been more right, really. Absolutely phenominal arrangement with some incredibly professional live instrumentation. I love this mix so dearly :)
Bahamut
on 2012-12-04 20:31:33
Hands down, this is my favorite mix from the DKC 3 album - it is an unorthodox song in its own right, and pulls off the abstract ambient style off to great effect.
Amazing job by all involved!
Liontamer
on 2012-12-03 02:18:16
What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.