ReMix: Donkey Kong Country 3 "Cranky's Mojo"
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Peach has had MIDIs on vgmusic.com for a long, long time, but this is his first posted OC ReMix, and after incorporating feedback from the judges panel, it pairs his sequencing chops with some lovely, lively production. The first minute or so of this arrangement is a somber piano & flute meditation, joined by ensemble strings later, but then at 1'14" you've got that staple Japanese Kabuki "yoooo-ooo" segue, with some orchestra hits, and things get rather action-packed. It's kinda like "Dramatic Kabuki Rock Theater Jazz" - and thus I think it quite safely carves out its own stylistic niche here on OCR :) The artist writes:
"Late in Summer 2010, a well-respected OCR community member informed me of the DKC3 album project and suggested that I contact Emunator, despite the fact that all of the tracks were reserved at the time. I was told that a track likely would be dropped, and in this case, it was Cranky's Dojo. It was an excellent opportunity that I was honoured to seize, especially since I had no posted ReMixes on the site.
After many hours of labour, I was quite pleased with the results. A moody first movement, an upbeat rock section with a lot of source, an Oriental part, and a 1940s sassy swing made this remix very dynamic. However, it had much room for improvement. An opportunity arose to enhance Cranky's Mojo, which the director for the album approved. With some advice, I implemented a richer piano arrangement for the opening movement, a more realistic rock drumline using Yamaha Motif ES8 keyboard samples, and a myriad of smaller refinements. The outcome of the extra effort feels much more polished than the previous recordings.
Many thanks go to Bahamut, Nutritious, Emunator, Cody Wedel, DragonAvenger, Flexstyle, and all those who helped make this possible."
It's really cool to be posting a mix by Peach, because many of my own early memories of VGM on the internets were listening to MIDI arrangements by him, and now over a decade later it's almost surreal to be posting a ReMix - it's been a long time coming! This arrangement is flamboyant and shows a certain compositional fearlessness with regard to transitions, but the quick-change drama is part of the show & melds well with the Kabuki aesthetic. Things get even crazier with that swingin' trumpet solo - this is a mix that takes the ball, runs with it, has a lot of fun, and doesn't have time to worry about the transcontinental & transgenerational musical lines being blurred. OA writes:
"I really enjoyed this arrangement the first time through, and I think the updated sounds push this up quite a bit from the original submission. The upright bass in the swing section is a bit mechanical on the velocities, but at this point I am really just picking nits. The trumpet remains really well modulated, and the flute is pretty good as well. The layered sounds are thicker, and the drums have a more powerful feel to them. Overall, it's a lot better. Nice work, Mathew!"
Album Director Emunator writes:
"I suppose if you dig deep enough, you can find weak spots in the mix but I personally feel like that would just be nitpicking at this point. To me, it's an extremely expansive take on a very simple, "filler" source tune that takes it just about every direction it can be taken while still maintaining a nice sense of flow and direction and not feeling too much like a simple medley of ideas."
Agreed; truly creative, unique stuff from Peach, who's polished a dramatic, theatrical arrangement with production that lets it shine!
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