ReMix: Donkey Kong Country "Fearless" 4:26

By Emunator

Arranging the music of one song...

"Fear Factory"

Primary Game: Donkey Kong Country (Nintendo, 1994, SNES), music by David Wise, Eveline Novakovic, Robin Beanland

Posted 2019-06-25, evaluated by Liontamer


Emunator (Wes McDonald) hits us with an energetic, genre-focused house take on "Fear Factory" from DKC, deviating from his more ambient & less overtly EDM style for something different & leveraging some vocal snippets to seal the feel:

"Hey there! Here's another remix I've been toiling over for the past year that I'm not quite satisfied with, but it's polished enough that I'm ready to get it off my plate!

My remixes to date have all been colored with various electronic music styles, but this is by far my most overtly-EDM influenced attempt to date. I've felt the urge to produce a full-blown house track for ages, and I've also wanted to include vocals in a track, so I decided to indulge both of those desires here.

I'm acutely aware of how many times this particular source has been remixed in an electronic style, and after hanging around OCR long enough, I also know that many listeners have a strong aversion to vocal-driven VGM of any kind. I've always been very self-conscious about sharing my music, and as a result, I think I've only been willing to publicly release songs that I knew would be well-received. But for once, I decided to shelve my anxieties and put this out there anyway, even though it's not very "on-brand Emunator" and I don't have a clue what I'm doing with EDM production... hence the title "Fearless"!

As far as arrangement goes, this starts out pretty conservative by my standards and doesn't really tie into any bigger conceptual structure like many of my past submissions. I wanted the vocals (which I sampled from a Vengeance Vocal Essentials pack, hence the nonsense lyrics -- hopefully, they're not too distracting!) to introduce some original melodies to the first half while still sounded vaguely "Fear Factory"-esque. The second part of the mix dives into a darker chillstep territory, driven by a looser, more interpretive take on the original melody, supplemented with vocal ad-libs rather than actual lyrics.

I had a lot of fun putting this together and learned a ton about electronic music production in the process. Even though this isn't indicative of where I plan on taking my music in the future (I definitely intend to bring back the ethnic-ambient vibes for my next submission), I hope you all enjoy this little experiment of mine!"

Neat; the vocal snips did distract me a bit the first time, but I think I was actually biased by his description... on subsequent listens, I was digging them a lot more. This is certainly more "staple" EDM than we've ever seen from Wes, but I enjoyed it, and it ended up bringing a new swing & a new thing for a pretty well-tread source. I can thing of specific tweaks I would like to have seen - more emphatic sidechaining, and dropping the underlying pads at 3'01" - but I dug the preceding synth solo at 2'37" & was bobbin' my head the whole way through. I think that generally the repeated HPF builds don't hit hard enough on the subsequent drops, but I'm also far from an EDM guru myself, so take that with a grain (or two, or three) of salt. Larry writes:

""Aquatic Ambiance" may be the source tune king of DKC, but "Fear Factory" is a close second and an inherently strong composition, so I never get tired of takes on this classic by David Wise. I dug the dynamics here, all while staying very upbeat, and I liked the aggression with some of the grittier sounds. That little dropoff from 2:30-2:37 was a thing of beauty; boy, I would have loved to have heard that expanded out a little longer. I actually think the sampled vocals being non-descript will help some people lose themselves in it, but we'll see how folks react. It's not Emunator's most polished piece in terms of the mixing, as Wes himself implies, but he nonetheless sets a high personal bar for himself, and this is nicely put together. There's an old saying: "Don't make the perfect the enemy of the good." We always encourage artists on the fence about submitting arrangements they feel aren't perfect or ideal. Don't let cool concepts just rest on your hard drive; send them in! Very happy to have this added into the DKC collection. :-)"

EDM is a craft unto itself and I think, especially in the last decade or so, that craft has become increasingly complex & challenging. What some snootier jazz & classical musicians might label as "not real music," etc. has widened in variety & matured in technique, and it can be a bit sobering to wander into & attempt when coming from other backgrounds & emphases. Wes has "fearlessly" done exactly that, and for a first foray OR a twentieth this is a pretty damn solid, enjoyable jam, and serves up "Fear Factory" deliciousness in an accessible, familiar, & still creative package!

djpretzel

Discussion

Latest 5 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
avatar
DjjD
on 2019-07-11 06:26:58

Hell yeah Wes. This is uniquely diverse, this mix. The soft touch of the vocals, the swelling basses, the chimes, clicks, and clacks...all of it just fits into this small world you've crafted with this remix. Super happy you took on this source, man. Well done.

avatar
Geoffrey Taucer
on 2019-06-27 19:48:10

oooh damn this is badass. Love it!

avatar
Phonetic Hero
on 2019-06-27 03:15:00

Wes I fucking love your music, don't be so hard on yourself

avatar
Vlok
on 2019-06-25 19:14:37

Bad moment in my life.. maybe this mix can wake me up again..

avatar
Liontamer
on 2019-06-25 14:20:48

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

Sources Arranged (1 Song)


Primary Game:
Donkey Kong Country (Nintendo, 1994, SNES)
Music by David Wise, Eveline Novakovic, Robin Beanland
Songs:
"Fear Factory"

Tags (8)


Genre:
EDM, House
Mood:
Chill, Energetic
Instrumentation:
Electronic, Singing, Synth, Vocals: Female
Additional:

File Information


Name:
Donkey_Kong_Country_Fearless_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
7,543,922 bytes
MD5:
420a92ce41ff77c7dea0a0c39d042316
Bitrate:
224Kbps
Duration:
4:26

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