ReMix: Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest "Clouds Away"

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Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest

Awesome stuff, here; Palpable doesn't put out many mixes, but each one is always great, well worth the wait, and simultaneously enjoyable while also being very refined & polished. Here he takes on "Hot-Head Bop," a source with some great existing arrangements, and takes it in an entirely new & fresh direction, blending EDM, hip-hop/rapping from DiGi Valentine, and breathy, intimate singing from newcomer Bekah Jones. The minimalism and restraint exercised, in particular on the chorus with Bekah's vocals, makes this an uber-classy, completely transporting ReMix that does a superlative job blending influences AND vocal styles (singing/rapping) into a dramatic pop production that keeps the source evident while re-purposing it into a new, svelte beast. Vinnie writes:

"This is the first non-album track I've done in a while, but sometimes an idea hits you so hard that you can't shake it till you make it. In this case, it was a track with a male rapper and female vocalist, and I had a very specific lyrical concept in mind. Problem is I can't rap or write rap lyrics. Niyazi was a godsend, he immediately understood what I was going for, nailing the lyrics and the delivery. Bekah was recommended to me by audio fidelity, and she was an awesome counterpoint to him. It was a true pleasure to work with these two amazing vocalists and the song really hinges on both of them. Major props to Jay, who not only lined me up with Bekah, but recorded/produced her vocals and went above and beyond to give me feedback and ideas on the mixing. And of course, props to inspirations: this draws heavily from Massive Attack and especially The XX, who I was listening to a lot last year."

The simple & clean kick serving as an exposed heartbeat at 1'43" is perfect, and the vocal contrast in transitioning from Niyazi to Bekah and back really just clicks & gives the whole track a great flow. The interplay between the two vocal parts also has an excellent lyrical contrast as well, with Digi's character expressing doubt and regret and pain while Bekah repeatedly offers hope & optimism. Larry writes:

"We're gonna miss Vinnie being on the East Coast. :'-( Bekah's performance is excellent, and I loved the ethereal treatment of her chorus vocals, which contrasted nicely with DiGi's more forceful style. Props to audio fidelity for getting her involved with Palpable's piece. If you check audio fidelity's mixes, the collaborators he pulls into projects are always great, and Bekah's no exception! DiGi really hits the contemplative mood of his lyrics well with his vocal delivery. Ever since "New Jack Mantle," I've been a huge fan of his rapping, and I enjoy hearing him surrounded by talent that help those skills shine.

Props to Palpable for really reaching outside of his previous musical boundaries on OCR and coming through with yet another excellent arrangement. Let that be a lesson to other people who have big ideas but need help bringing their vision to life. Go outside of yourself and collaborate, collaborate, collaborate! Palpable's mixes are rare, so you really never know what Vinnie will come up with next, but you know it'll be extremely well-executed. It doesn't hurt that he gets by with a little help from his friends. :-)"

When Vinnie told me he was doing a vocal arrangement of this source, I was worried about comparisons to "A New Place," which was also a collab and which also features male and female vocalists, albeit both singing. That ReMix is and will forever remain legendary in my mind, but Vinnie's written a NEW legend to give it some company, and the parallels I've noted don't begin to speak to the chasm of difference between the mixes, both of which have something very distinct to say. A highlight of 2014, a brilliant collaboration that intelligently integrates each vocalist's contributions, a blending of EDM, pop, & hip-hop, another great arrangement of one of DKC2's standout compositions, and another fantastic ReMix from Palpable!

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 13 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Moguta
on 2014-11-09 17:55:10

This mix is incredible. I keep coming back to it again and again. If someone wants to know what OCR does, just point them right here!

Diodes
on 2014-10-09 16:42:09

Kudos to everyone involved, because this is an awesome remix, in all aspects. Palpable, you just keep getting better and better, and it's been wonderful to see your growth as a producer and arranger over time. I love the vocals, and think both vocalists knocked it out of the park. Ms. Jones's voice somehow has this haunting beauty that is absolutely perfect for this song, conveying so much emotion in its purity.

Palpable I'm particularly proud of you because I believe this is your most expressive piece of work to date. It really evokes feelings of personal struggle and has depth, and I find it to be quite moving.

DarkSim
on 2014-09-04 05:47:57

It never ceases to amaze me how different each remix can be of the utterly godlike soundtrack that is David Wise's DKC2. This is an all-round superb composition, and the gritty, dark atmosphere that palpable sets up in the intro works so well with the melody that I get goosebumps every time it comes in. I love DiGi's rapping style, and the peaceful chorus vocals are like a breath of fresh air in amongst the intensity of the rest of the track. Doesn't get much better than this, really!

DetectiveTuesday
on 2014-08-21 20:17:37

Dope mix all around! Love the production, very versatile. I feel like the beat got in the way of Digi's first verse though. Speaking of which, solid lyrics and a good flow. And damn, Jones can sing!

SuperiorX
on 2014-08-14 22:03:20

Oh man yeah, I love this track! Awesome vocal work by DiGi and Bekah. I love the minimalist instrumentation too, it really fits the vibe and vocals perfectly. Back when we were doing Temporal Duality, DiGi said he was working on a track with Palp and that's why he had asked him to do "Extraordinary", so I'm glad to finally hear what this track they were working on was :-). Nice work everyone!

Crulex
on 2014-08-07 11:35:45

DiGi's accent in this was interesting to hear. I haven't much in the way of British rap, so that was a cool treat. I love the grittiness to the sound during the raps, adding to the overall tone and how Bekah's beautiful voice is the cherry on top of all the vocal work, bringing in the light to the darkness here. Awesome. Speaking of which, I love the lyrics in this ReMix because I know people (as well as being one of those people) who have felt some of these emotions and feelings, and I can understand the message here. When a song resonates with you on those levels, it's a powerful thing. To hear it with Hot-Head Bop's melody is pretty fun. Outstanding ReMix, guys.

OverClocked PodCast
on 2014-08-05 23:04:19

Oh man, DiGi Valentine and Palpable together again! You guys did fine, fine work Temporal Duality. :)

I never would have thought to include a voice like Bekah's in the mix, but the contrast created is a beautiful thing. Her calming, melodic performance made Digi's unbeatable rhythm filled with frustration all the more convincing. The build up of 2:01 is a really impressive example of this.

Fantastic collaboration as far as I'm concerned! I'd like to see this trio reunite in the future.

timaeus222
on 2014-08-05 16:36:39

Gotta love British rap! :D The execution was excellent. The production sounded purposeful; Bekah comes in more upfront than DiGi each time, but each time it works. I guess my only real crit is that maybe Bekah's vocals could have had a little more reverb on them.

evktalo
on 2014-08-05 14:50:26

I always love Palpable's mixes. Great vocals from both performers. I like how the second verse raises intensity, and how the third verse is also different - very nice, natural, unconventional structure. I like the understated ending. The only crit I can think of is that the first verse is a little buried in the mix.

Mirby
on 2014-08-05 13:48:28

All I can say is damn.

Allx360
on 2014-08-05 13:05:45

I usually dislike OC remixes with lyrics but this is just beautiful. Its capture's the essence of the original song but adds new twists! Also no Vulgar so that is a plus. Finally being a christian the lyrics in this song have a christian undertone. This song is one of my favorites!

Chimpazilla
on 2014-08-05 12:32:14

Super nice, detailed mix. Both vocals are top notch. Very enjoyable listen!

Liontamer
on 2014-08-05 12:13:05

What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.