ReMix: Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest "Madcap Magma"

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Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest

I liked this mix the very first time I heard it, when I was helping the judges panel work on the inbox and was taking an initial listen... and I like it even more, now. Fxsnowy (Adrian Bureu) follows up his September debut with this inspired, glitch-pop synth extravaganza cover of "Hot-Head Bop" from DKC2, in collaboration with Skyrpnyk. It's pretty cool... almost deceptively so, because the arrangement itself is so unhinged, exuberant, and risky that any cheesiness or misstep on the production side could steer things into travesty territory quite quickly. It's the type of mix that lives or dies on its ability to execute the vision, because it has a vision, and a dramatic one, especially for such a popular & enduring source from David Wise. In fact, this source has been arranged so many times & so well, it's almost a litle daunting, but Adrian & Andrew (the latter of whom we hadn't seen since 2009 - too long!) came up with something marvelously unlike previous interpretations & very fun, I think. Liontamer writes:

"The opening beats weren't my style, but I dig the arrangement's creativity throughout. It's cramped in places (e.g. 2:54-3:11), but that wasn't a huge deal, and the parts usually had room to breathe. Structurally, it's pretty melodically straightforward, with very nice variance of leads and supporting instruments to keep things fresh while constantly keeping the theme in play. Nice work as a tag team!"

While it might be melodically straightforward, the accompaniment has been very flamboyantly altered to suit the genre & energy, which is cool to see folks doing. If you're gonna leave a melody intact, from an arrangement perspective, you're putting the transformative emphasis on the surrounding parts - if you play THOSE bits safe too, you end up with something conservative; sometimes problematically so, relative to our standards... If you instead inject creativity, original part-writing, and bold statements into the accompaniment and essentially make it a "first-class citizen" of the composition, then you get something like this. That's my two cents, at least; what helps sell the enthusiasm of some of the transitions and grooves is the modern production, with plenty of delicious synth gurgles, tweaks, and long/short form modulation envelopes... the textures breath in a very necessary way, making the whole thing work when stale/static tones would have done the exact opposite. Great attention to detail right where it was needed, in other words... very cool collab from Adrian & Andrew and one I'll be coming back to often!

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 12 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
Chromarin
on 2016-05-30 08:11:49

This has been an instant favorite for me from the first seconds on, I really like this kind of bass-heavy sound, reminds me of 90's/early 2000's cyberpunk in some way. It is very interesting to listen to, lots of things going on indeed.

jnWake
on 2015-12-21 21:15:25

I didn't feel this one as much as the people above me sadly... The intro rhytm doesn't really grab me. Maybe I'm too used to the original but I don't feel like the rhythm really works with straight 8ths. The saw bass is also too loud for my tastes. The clean one that comes later is a lot more pleasant. I'm not a fan of the monkey and other noises but they're an interesting idea at least haha.

I liked the break at 1:58. It's empty but it works IMO. I felt the lead could've used more reverb or delay in that section though to add more depth. Drum work in this section is also pretty cool.

Overall, it's nicely produced but I felt that it was going nowhere. It's probably not my style though since people above me enjoyed it more.

TillyFun
on 2015-12-19 01:34:54

I like how varied it is throughout. :) Strong end.

... And love the funk and monkey sounds at the start. XD

Necrox
on 2015-12-18 22:20:37

Sweet sampling! Gotta agree with Timaeus; that section feels empty. Afterwards is some nice stuff though. 3:21 is a nice impact. The bass is definitely prominent, but I like the tone it lends to the mix. Definitely a bit experimental like DJP said, but pretty solid.

drummermg131
on 2015-12-18 10:37:51

After my first listen of this song, my immediate reaction was "I love it, if only because it reminds me of Siamey's 'Tricky Swamp Style.' " TSS is one of my all-time favorite OCRs, netting 196 plays so far.

It is just a little unorganized in my opinion, but that doesn't lessen the enjoyment any. My favorite part's right around 3:27.

timaeus222
on 2015-12-17 14:37:27

I like the bold arrangement! A bit bass heavy for me, and 1:58 - 2:15 was pretty underwhelming IMO. The glitching of the chimp vox was pretty sweet, Skrypnyk. fxsnowy also did a great job on the original vision too though. Manages to wrastle out what's good about the sounds available. Dat reese!

avaris
on 2015-12-17 10:51:33

Great mix! Some really creative ideas that really enhanced fxsnowy's original ideas. Love it dudes!

Brandon Strader
on 2015-12-17 00:40:36

This is pretty cool. It is a bit straightforward, and the drums seem too clean and subdued.. never really gets into monkey business of a more serious nature. The scratching was awesome, and pairing that with the monkey sounds was both funny and musically enjoyable. The thing that seemed most out of place was that bigass bass saw. The non-saw bass itself is, again, pretty dang clean, like, unjustifiably so. Great variation in the sounds and leads, nice use of sound effects... thumbs up from me. :)

Black_Doom
on 2015-12-16 22:47:41

This mix is just badass - love it right from the intro. The beat is damn tight the usage of scratches and monkey noises @0:42 is very creative. Love your straightforward yet unusual approach. Nice work!

Vaizar
on 2015-12-16 19:36:06

I really like the drastic change from the source, but I think that it works quite well. Definitely a great listen.

The monkey noises are p cool too

Skrypnyk
on 2015-12-16 16:18:26

[16:10:56] Skrypnyk djpretzel: http://tindeck.com/listen/zsat --- that's fxsnowy's original version of the mix
[16:11:13] Skrypnyk everything not in that is what I contributed
[16:11:44] Skrypnyk tl;dr a bit of rearrangement, scratching, vanilla synths, mixing
[16:12:30] djpretzel cool. so the guts are his, you tweaked 'em, mor or less? should chime in on the review thread and spell it out, case peeps are interested

Liontamer
on 2015-12-16 14:53:07

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