Posted 2015-08-20, evaluated by the judges panel


How cool was it to see David Wise return to the DKC series by co-scoring Tropical Freeze? ICE COLD. Our first ReMix of the game comes from Pumpkin King (Joe Dumpe), who offers an upbeat, semi-tropical orchestral take on the "Windmill Hills" theme:

"I was very happy to hear that David Wise was coming back to compose for Tropical Freeze. He is one my favorite video game composers out there. So, I decided to try out an orchestral arrangement for one of his tracks. The music in Tropical Freeze is great. "Windmill Hills" immediately stood out to me, because it closely resembled some of his earlier works for DKC, such as "Stickerbush Symphony" in particular.

In the beginning, I wanted to keep fairly true to the source material, while adding my own orchestral touch. I started to really have fun with the arrangement as I went on throughout the second half. The repetitious melodies I arranged do spawn from ideas in the source, it just might be hard to tell at first. As far as the production, I tend to stray away from realism (when it comes to orchestrations). Some of the samples I use can be very synthetic sounding, so I embrace that fact. Hope you guys enjoy!"

Great to see some more Wii U action on the site, and also to see Joe return with his third featured mix; he definitely uses his samples well, opting for an aesthetic that doesn't lean on realism and which allows for some agile & fun sequencing as a result. Chimpazilla writes:

"Yep no problem with source use! It's a very cute, upbeat track. Track ends up sounding a bit stiff and choppy due to mainly staccato samples being used, with really no legato to glue things together. The only remotely legato element I hear is the flute starting at 1:38. I think adding just one legato element like some blocked violin chords would improve and fill out the soundscape quite a bit. But, the staccato feel goes perfectly with the feel of the source tune, it sounds very DK."

Nutritious adds:

"OK, I'm digging this. The arrangement & composition work here is deceptively complex - trying to get the percussion (used more in the foreground than traditional orchestral percussion) to balance well with the rest of the more traditional orchestral instruments is no easy task. The way it's been done here just sounds effortless.

Samples may not be 100% super realistic LASS or anything, but they were very competently utilized and nothing stuck out as being significantly problematic. I thought the woodwind leads starting at 1:38 and later were particularly well written/executed. Coming from someone who tendes to us reverb as a bit of a glue/mask for unrealistic samples, I really like hearing an approach from the opposite side of the coin."

The arrangement does get progressively more interpretive; first half plays it pretty close, but even then the instrumentation swap, especially on lead, ends up changing the overall feel. Second half can feel a little sparse at times, but introduces some new material that gels with the source and takes it in some new directions. I particularly love that, freed from the surly bonds of striving for absolute realism, Joe can sequence can some faster runs & nimble phrasing, both on strings and woodwinds - kinda conjures a Warner Brothers, cartoonsy feel that reminds me at times of Archangel's work. Great, fun stuff from Joe!

djpretzel

Discussion

Latest 8 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
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Pumpkin King
on 2016-12-03 12:32:20

Hey, thanks guys! Didn't realize people here commented... Much appreciated! Since the tune is already well written and produced, I felt an orchestral version would suit it best. (I've actually done more DKC arrangements, so feel free to look them up!)

On 7/17/2016 at 1:54 AM, tabuhli said:

I didn't find this all that great to be honest. The first half was way too similar to the original source, while the second half sounded nothing like the source. I've heard a lot of remixes on this site that found that perfect balance between creative vision and having inspiration from the source of the remix. This wasn't one of them imo. Normally I wouldn't expect so much, it's just that the original music was already very high quality and up to date, so it's a lot harder to enjoy this as much as other remixes that I feel like are more necessary.

You're entitled to your opinion. No hard feelings!

Just thought I'd point out, that I did use lots of inspiration coming from the original track in the second half of my remix. First half of the mix was mostly true to the source. But I took inspiration from the lead melody at 1:38 in the original, to create the string patterns at 2:10 in the remix. Even at the end of the remix (3:32), I used the same notation as used in the source (1:52). Just played it differently.

Only reason I'm pointing these out, is because it's not easy to hear the similarities. I was pretty happy with how it turned out and always wanted to share how I came up with these ideas.

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Crulex
on 2016-12-02 19:20:53

Ok, cool, yeah I totally dig this. Taking a theme that sounded like nice easy backwoodsy stroll and giving it a bit of a tropical kick with some orchestration and a bit more energy was a great choice. I've never really had a problem with mixes that are more conservative so long as they get some form of interpretation somewhere, and I feel like the style and some of the samples do enough of that for me here. I really liked how the percussion and flute played off each other in the end, and all around this was a pretty upbeat mix that complements the original track while having it's own moment. Nice!

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tabuhli
on 2016-07-17 01:54:35

I didn't find this all that great to be honest. The first half was way too similar to the original source, while the second half sounded nothing like the source. I've heard a lot of remixes on this site that found that perfect balance between creative vision and having inspiration from the source of the remix. This wasn't one of them imo. Normally I wouldn't expect so much, it's just that the original music was already very high quality and up to date, so it's a lot harder to enjoy this as much as other remixes that I feel like are more necessary.

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nitrozsz
on 2015-12-28 12:14:37

Great use of the xylophone in this track. The flute at the beginning of the latter half seemed a little soft, but once the strings started to compliment the flute, it wasn’t as bad. And that was quite a build up to the percussion/flute ending there. Overall, it was a nice track. Reminds me of a summer beach party.

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Chernabogue
on 2015-12-06 14:07:31

Really interesting remix, especially when I primarily know the artist for his piano-only remixes. Great atmosphere, both tropical and chilly -- fits the game's title I guess! I love the percussion work -- it's not overwhelming, but still quite present as well. Some samples are not too realistic (the flute), but it's far from being a problem. Very nice one.

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timaeus222
on 2015-12-02 02:25:53

I think this was successful in evoking the tropical carefree environment from the original. Maybe some instruments are a bit stiff, but it's executed fairly well overall.

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YoshiBlade
on 2015-12-02 02:16:43

Original track is a new car, this Remix is that new car smell. One after another, but both equal pleasurable to the senses. I came to this track with no reference point other than a love on the new DKC games. So I listened to the original and the Remix and then the original and the Remix and am now currently listing to the remix....this game is not but a year old, and already someone has created a track that I would expect to hear in the game itself, It's a strange feeling, but a welcome one!

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djpretzel
on 2015-08-20 14:20:38

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

Sources Arranged (1 Song)


Primary Game:
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Nintendo, 2014, WIIU)
Music by Daisuke Matsuoka, David Wise, Minako Hamano, Riyu Tamura, Shinji Ushiroda
Songs:
"Windmill Hills"

Tags (9)


Genre:
March
Mood:
Happy
Instrumentation:
Chromatic Percussion, Hand Drums, Orchestral, Strings, Woodwinds
Additional:
Regional > World
Time > 4/4 Time Signature

File Information


Name:
Donkey_Kong_Country_Tropical_Freeze_Windmill_Advisory_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
5,695,310 bytes
MD5:
59f7cfa7ca3c75548c5e9bc268334907
Bitrate:
192Kbps
Duration:
3:54

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