ReMix: Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! "Shenanigans Bananigans"
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Archangel (Jaka Čibej) really knocked it out of the park on this arrangement from Double the Trouble!!, with a spirited blend of mallets & woodwinds that'll remind you of Warner Bros' cartoons from Saturday mornings of yore. Depending on how old you are. I think some of it is lost on both kids AND adults, but the cue-heavy scoring for a lot of those cartoons was really quite amazing - the degree of synergy between the music and on-screen action was so dynamic, with no latency. I can remember thinking how awesome it would be if VGM could have THAT level of predictive/reactive interaction with gameplay; it's been done to certain degrees here & there, since, but technology is actually still limiting in many regards. Jaka writes:
"This song was quite a challenge for me, since I'd never written a cartoon-chase song before (or done a cartoon-chase remix, for that matter). The "Jungle Jitter" track was the only one still available when I checked the project thread. I suppose you could say that it was taunting me, so I claimed it. The simplistic character of the source track allowed me to experiment and improvise quite a lot. I usually don't use much xylophone and marimba in my work (since they sound a little too wacky for my usual soundtrackish sound), so this was a chance to go wild with instruments I rarely use. That's always a plus.
Anyway, I've had a lot of fun remixing this track and I'm honored to be a part of the project team. When listening to this track, people will most likely picture two wacky apes running through the jungle and avoiding all kinds of traps, bees and crocodile mutants, and that's what I did as well. The last part of the track (from 2:45 onward) is my favorite. I like to think that's when our two primate protagonists really get in trouble, and a stampede of Kremlings starts chasing them through the jungle, with Dixie shouting, "Hurry up, Kiddy!" and Kiddy running as fast as possible and then suddenly stopping and casually grabbing a nearby banana at 2:57, only to continue the wild escape through the undergrowth. I'd also like to point out that Emunator has been the nicest project director ever. I hope he at least gets a couple of unofficial brownie points for that!"
Awwww :) Really superb sequencing & part-writing here, with chromatic percussion just tearing it up all over the place. OA writes:
"Pretty fun stuff; it definitely adds a lot of original material to the song, but the source makes a strong enough showing that it's apparent which song it is remixing, and there are a lot of fun arrangement details throughout. I wish it would feel even more animated, with more pronounced dynamics, but it was still pretty good. Nice woodwinds, and the percussion was great too."
I guess I can see the dynamics critique, although for a cartoon chase specifically (as opposed to hide-and-seek or something more narrative), there should be a pretty constant energy level, I would think. So much of the orchestral/classical work that we see is heavy on strings, and if not, then usually brass takes the spotlight. It's nice to hear the winds & mallets get some lovin', and this ReMix offers up a smorgasbord of both. Writing of this nature is a whole different ballgame, and it's a testament to the artist's formidable skills that he handles it every bit as deftly as previous, dissimilar arrangements. Also, the mix title - it rhymes :) Great, playful stuff that added depth & an unexpected element to a fantastic album!