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OCRA-0017 - Donkey Kong Country 2: Serious Monkey Business


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(wow this account is still active^^)

Anyway, just wanted to drop a note to everyone involved, since DKC2 is a thing from heart to hearts and I feel the need to leave a comment here: Thanks for making this possible.

As a listener, I can't say I like every song but I do like the way it's kept. Varying styles make for great accessibility and open lots of space for interpretation. As it is now, I'm liking songs that are shifting towards dance or pop (though I do not like putting musics in special groups) but were originally lounge music. I think it's great having so many great contributions, and not just DKC2 by that, but also all the other great titles hosted here.

As for Serious Monkey Business, I liked the slower pieces somewhat more - like I said, not because of production, sounds or anything else; more of a personal taste in music - Maybe this has come to be because of the original atmosphere breathing throughout the project.

My personal favorites were

- Sturm and Kong (one surprising opener)

- Simian Soirée (atmosphere)

- Tetanus (which got me thinking about military marching krems)

- Beneath the Canopy

- Dead Raggening

- Bramble Reprise

- Castle Crescendo

- Re-Skewed (that one grew on me as I kept listening)

I also liked Trapped in the Minds a lot, but I think it stands out because of its vocals. It's very diverse and complex and should be in an OC vocal compilation, as should A New Place, Backwards Room and Monkeys Disarm Their Kremlings. All are top notch works that stand out of the rest because of their nature. I cannot and I will not compare.

Same goes for the metal songs. While well made, they don't blend in for me as well as does the rest of the pieces. Maybe this is the thing I was looking for since I started writing this post.

Still, thank you for bringing this to us. Thank you for sharing, and thank you to all musicians.

(Will now begin waiting for either Final Fantasy 7 or one Megaman X remix project.)

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The songs you mentioned are (in the same order you mentioned them) Jib Jig, Klomp's Romp, and Snakey Chantey, which WERE covered on the project by Patrick Burns, Joren de Bruin, and Tepid. Don't worry

It is the level clear jingle; but its the special one that plays when Diddy breaks the barrel at the end of the stage, not at the end of the game like you have insinuated. It can play at the end of EV

That's it, I'm going to start an all-vocal remix project. This is getting ridiculous.

This album was ridiculously awesome, and I'm really, really picky. While I've really enjoyed other albums from this site, this was the only one besides the Metroid project where there wasn't a song I disliked. This is excepting the penultamite heavy metal vocal, which just isn't my style of music - but I really liked how the album included what was almost a substitute for it.

On the whole I can't express how much I enjoyed it. Each and every track was extremely beautiful and musically interesting - it was just remixing at its best. Brobdingnagian kudos to the project's director and everyone involved - this album truly is a masterpiece I'll be listening to for a very long time.

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D-Lux tested. D-Lux approved.

Everytime I hear Roller Disco, I can't help but want a 10 minute loop of the monkey sound effects portion. Groovy.

I'm only on board if every mix on it is done in a different language! :smile: NO ENGLISH

I'll volunteer for a Jive track.

Edited by D-Lux
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I have to say, overall, I'm definitely in love with this whole album project. I'm one of those people who've been waiting for years while remixers gradually claimed tracks to work their magic on, and just as I kinda forgot all about it...BAM! It's done! :)

Now, I'm not in love with every single track - hence the "overall" earlier - but there's definitely quality creative workmanship throughout. I can't deny that. Standout favorites for me include "Roller Disco", "This Chase is Haunted", "Rhumba Rumble", "Us Monkeys Together", and "Re-skewed", just to name a few.

One of the things I really love about this site is when I go to check out a new OCR and it hits all the right "notes" in my mind. Like, how I feel the adjusted melody should go and what the dynamics and instrumentation should be like. I have absolutely no composing/mixing experience whatsoever, but I get a great feeling inside when someone else pulls off what I wish I could achieve myself. That said, I feel that "This Chase is Haunted" definitely nailed that. And when my brother hears that song, he will scream and shout in elation, let me tell you.

As for songs I did not mention specifically, some of them I just did not like. Perhaps additional listens are in order (probably all I need), but in some cases (at least for now), it's just my honest opinion that some OCRs that have already existed for a while have remixed those songs better.

In closing, two final remarks:

1) LOVE that you guys somehow managed to get Wise, Kirkhope, and Beanland to do an OCR for this project. That's just awesome.

2) To second a previous commenter's remarks, the artwork for this project is stellar. I love the front cover, the disc art, and especially that "map" inlay. Truly fantastic stuff.

Well worth the wait! :D

Edited by drummermg131
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To quote Taucer:

After reading David's OC ReMix interview awhile back, I thought "he seems pretty cool with the arrangement scene -- I wonder if I could talk him into doing a mix for this..." I e-mailed him asking if he was interested. His initial response was that he might be able to if he could find time. I sent him a follow up awhile later, to which he replied that he had a substantial chunk of work done, and that it would feature Grant on guitar and Robin on trumpet. To say I was psyched would be an understatement. This project is, first and foremost, a tribute to Mr. Wise -- to have him contribute a track was a real honor.

So it sounds to me like Wise decided, "Ya know what, I think I will do that track. That would be cool. I'll just call up Robin and Grant and we'll make many fans have massive nerdgasms."

Also, my favorite five tracks are, in no particular order:

Trapped in the Minds

Bramble Reprise

Pickin' Out the Fleas

Beneath the Canopy

Re-Skewed

Took me a while to realize Re-Skewed was a play on the word rescued. Clever!

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Awesome work. Both the quality and the variety are phenomenal.

I'm quite taken with this album. I haven't listened to it enough times to give proper analysis and praise, but I wanted to at least get out an initial thanks. So thanks. Mixers, coordinators especially, and everyone else who helped turn the cogs (or were the cogs)... you've created something wonderful. This will be queued up constantly for a while, and I'll no doubt return to it many more times after that.

Also, love love love love love Crystal Swamp. Thank you for that, Tepid.

Edited by K.B.
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I forgot I even had an account on these forums but I chimed in just to say how much I love this project. You guys did an amazing job with this. I was waiting for something like this since Kong in Concert. This whole project is so diverse -- this is definitely my favorite OCR project, as great as many others are. Usually there are at least a few songs in a project that I'm not all that into, but that isn't the case with Serious Monkey Business. In all honesty, I think you all made great tracks, although I do prefer some songs way more than others. I'm not a reviewer or anything obviously, I just wanted to praise the artists for their work. Djpretzel's track, Sturm und Kong, did a great job building up an epic feel for the fittingly epic album that was to follow.

I strongly disagree with those bashing the vocal tracks since those were mostly my favorites. One thing I loved about the vocal tracks is they made the songs feel more connected to the game's story IMO.

"A New Place" is definitely my favorite song in the album. It really blew me away. Everyone involved made such an amazing track. The vocals really do add to it and tell a story and I can see what Nicole was saying there. The lyrics are very emotional and added such a touching feeling to an already great track .It reminds me of how closely Diddy and Dixie stick together throughout the game even though they're being attacked by hostile reptiles and barraged with dangerous obstacles. It adds a deep perspective to that situation. 2:45 and onward really hit me hard; that's my favorite part of the original track and the guitar added with the unique vocals sweetened the deal. It has such a romantic and serene vibe to it. Excellent job on this one. I can't stop listening to it.

And I just wanted to say that the death metal track was also fucking awesome. I know death metal isn't some peoples' cup of tea, but it really does take talent. Growling like that takes a fair amount of skill, and the genre chosen for K. Rool's song fits his character as well as the theme really well. The lyrics are comedic and awesome, K. Rool's commentary, like "A New Place" makes you feel more connected to the game's story rather than just the music itself. The part at the end is kind of random, but it isn't bad, it just caught me a little off-guard. I thought maybe the song was going to transfer into a second song, which would have been neat if it weren't so close to the end of the album. Overall, I think this track was an interesting and well-done deviation from the rest of the album. It makes sense that K. Rool's battle theme would contrast with the rest of the album, don't you think? I feel like it did a nice job concluding the album right before David Wise's ending song.

Flickerfall also did a nice job with the remix of Snow-bound Land. I may not know what's being said, but that doesn't take away from anything at all. I can appreciate the beauty of Latin choirs without knowing what's being said. I'm no stranger to music sung in foreign languages and the vocalist has a very nice voice. It has a catchy, pop-like charm to it, making it easy to get the song stuck in my head. I like the upbeat "icey" theme it sounds like you guys were going for. Just out of curiosity, what do the lyrics mean in English?

Tepid's "Crystal Swamp" also blew me away. I was hit with nostalgia at 1:15. Damn, this one is also one of my top favorites. It sounds very magical and beautiful. I really appreciate what's been done with this song. Very fresh

And I was stoked to see that David Wise, the man behind the original songs which largely contributed to the game's atmosphere, had actually made a track for this. It has that triumphant ending feel to it, coming right after the standoff with K. Rool. Dammit Nintendo, it's time to make a new DK game and put this man in charge of the soundtrack.

you peeps really outdid yourselves with this project. This is a quality compilation. I really just wanted to come in and say some things that hadn't already been said and give some feedback on a few of my favorite songs. anyway, I'm out. thanks for the music

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Hey, I've got an idea for a DKC RPG... maybe just maybe...

Anyways, I agree with you on all points there! Also, the lyrics for Us Monkeys Together in English?

ENGLISH:

Snowy day

I want to go outside

Fun in the snow

Us monkeys together

Fly like a bird

Quickly get the banana

Left, right

Watch out for dangerous bees

[Chorus]

Monkeys are the most fun

Always a happy feeling

Just let me STAY LIKE THIS

Monkeys are the best...

The cold outside

Won't scare us

Such an exciting time

Quickly, give me your hand!

We skillfully

Dance on the ice

You and me

Are happiest together

[bridge]

Happy days

I wish to be with you

Happy days

I wish to be with you

FOREVER

Taken from the comments on the mp3!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

EDIT 3/26/10: I now have a hands-down favorite track from this album and it is...

DRUMROLL PLEASE...

*DRUMROLL*

Bramble Reprise

As I see it, it captures the beauty of the source, and also that of the level the source played on, and amplifies it ten; scratch that, a hundredfold. And it still sounds beautiful. Now, if only it would be released as OCRO20XX... I feel it deserves it, personally.

Also, would it be possible to get the... romanization I believe the term would be... of the Cantonese lyrics for Us Monkeys Together. I'd like to sing along...

Edited by Mirby
NEW OPINIONS!
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Good lord. It never occurred to me that vocals might be such a big deal to some people, but in hindsight I can see why since I generally prefer instrumental soundtracks for movies rather than something with lyrics. In my mind, instrumental music requires a bit more attention to detail because it has to find a way to clearly convey an emotion or message. Songs with vocals, on the other hand, are able to "cheat" in that regard because they have lyrics that can tell the story right away and don't have to rely entirely on the music to evoke a particular feeling; sometimes, though, the lyrics are difficult to decipher, the background music is inadequate, and as a result I feel pressured to try to find out what's being said so I can relate to the song properly. Still, that is absolutely not to say that I dislike music with vocals – there are plenty of vocal songs I enjoy and plenty of instrumental songs I do not – I simply find that I personally prefer that film and video game music be instrumental for the above reason.

With that said, I admit I was surprised by the amount of vocals present in this album, seeing as the source is entirely without vocals from title theme to credit theme. Nevertheless, I was quite charmed by most – if not all – of the songs with lyrics, perhaps because the source album was instrumental and everyone kept close enough to the source songs, musically and lyrically, that they were easy to enjoy. I'm not going to pick out an song as my favorite because as far as I'm concerned they all sounded stellar whether or not I completely agreed with the genre or interpretation or inclusion/exclusion of lyrics, but I will briefly comment on "Us Monkeys Together" because I made a particular comment on another song diotrans worked on and feel obligated to do so here as well.

"Destiny Forgotten" is diotrans's OCR debut song, and for me its memorability is not very flattering despite the potential that I could hear in it. I commented on what I felt were the vocalist's pros and cons, and will gladly say that "Us Monkeys Together" sounds much, much, MUCH better than "Destiny Forgotten"; I was very pleasantly surprised when I saw that the vocalist was the same for both songs. There still seems to be a nasal quality to her singing – one that is especially noticeable with the higher notes – that's a bit too pop-culture for my liking, but that's a minor issue. With "Us Monkeys Together" she generally stays within her vocal range and, because of that, sounds wonderful. I do enjoy this song, no matter the language. As for the Mandarin/Cantonese – my media player says it's Cantonese, and I don't know if there's even a significant difference between the two – I have no direct comment as to how the pronunciation is handled; unlike Japanese, I wouldn't know a word of anything Chinese if it slapped me. So I absolve myself of needing an opinion.

~LS

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"Us Monkeys Together" is sung in Mandarin. Being Chinese myself, I can say that there is an English-accent to the Mandarin, but it's very bearable :) (I wasn't expecting there to be a Mandarin song on the album!)

I've been waiting for this album since I read about it 2 years ago? I was not disappointed! My favourites from the album are: Bramble Reprise, Castle Crescendo, Dance of the Zinger, Roller Disco, and Crystal Swamp (all from Disc 2).

I have to mention that Dance of the Zinger blew my Asian boxers off. I used to pause the game on that level just to let the song play in its entirety.

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Just coming in here again to say that I can't... stop... listening... to... this...

Definitely my favorite album on OCR, so far. Shame Roller Disco got pushed to 'Resub' on OCR, but that's their call to make - personally, it's one of my favorite songs on there :wink:. Next to Dance of the Zinger.

Yeah, still completely stoked about it. I honestly can't say anything bad about it... generally there's at least one or two tracks that are ho-hum, but I actually thoroughly enjoyed every track on here. Congratulations again, everyone!

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Also, would it be possible to get the... romanization I believe the term would be... of the Cantonese lyrics for Us Monkeys Together. I'd like to sing along...

Sure! BTW apparently the MP3 says it's Cantonese, but it's actually Mandarin. I don't know how helpful this will be to those unfamiliar to pinyin, and also I think I got some of the spelling wrong anyway. But it's better than nothing I suppose:

duo xue de tian

wo xiang yao chu que wai mian

hen hao wan zai xue li

wo men hou zi zai yi chi

fei fei xiang xiao niao

quai na ne ge xiang jiao

zuo bian you bian

xiao xin mi feng hao wei xian

CHORUS:

hou zi zuei hao wan

zong shi kai xin gan

jiu rang wo STAY LIKE THIS

hou zi zuei hao...

wai mian de leng

bu hui dang zu wo men

zhe me xing fen de shi hou

quai gei wo ni de shou!

wo men yong ji qiao

hen huei zai bing shang tiao

wo geng ni

zuei gao xing zai yi chi

BRIDGE:

quai le de ri zi

wo xi wang geng zhe ni

quai le de ri zi

wo xi wang yong yuan geng zhe ni

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Once again, an extraordinary release from OCR !

I was expecting this one real bad (my F5 key painfully remembers the day of release), and on first listen, I went 'meh, not that good actually'.

What. A. Fool.

This album grew on me as fast as a monkey fired from a wooden barrel cannon, and now I can't stop listening to it ! Just wasn't open-minded enough in the first place is all...

I genuinely love all the songs on this album (well except for Neko's death metal tune, but like a lot of people said before me, it's mainly the genre that's the problem : I actually love the instrumental version, thanks by the way for having included it for those who are not into this kind of vocals :wink:).

Massive congratulations to everyone for a coherent, well-produced, risky album (so many vocal tracks ! Usually not my thing, but they just rock).

I'd like to add my little comment on some of my favorite songs :

@djp (Sturm und Kong) : E.P.I.C. Love the energy and the orchestral/synth duality.

@Patrick Burns (Rare Respite) : Wow. seriously. This is so rich and beautiful. A very original and complex take with so many things going on...

@Fishy (Beneath the canopy) : Shivers. Fuckin' shivers man, down my spine. It sounds like David Gilmour vs David Wise or something. Gorgeous.

@All involved in 'A New Place' : There are no words. Thank You.

@AnSo (Swamp Gases) : YAY a dub/electronica ReMix !! We don't hear enough of these. The result is brilliant, I gotta say.

@Mazedude (Dead Raggening) : shit man that's amazing ! This theme was kinda forgettable compared to the rest of the DKC2 soundtrack, but you turned into something totally different (absolutely love the slow, distorted kicks). Cool piece.

@Skrypnyk (Exit Row) : the rythmic work here is impressive, reminds me of early Autechre or Aphex Twin.

@Joshua Morse (Bramble Reprise) : I loved the constant dreamy feel and the overall quality of the execution. Very nice.

@Sole Signal (Castle Crescendo) : I think this is my favorite track of all. It's just plain awesome. Nice work doing justice to this great source !

Finally, congratulations to Taucer and Bahamut for making this happen (having David Wise feature 8) man that was cool), and to everyone that participated in any way to this project, for their time, energy and passion : the result is more than worth it.

sorryforthelongpost

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Gotta say that this is an enjoyable album (moreso than some of the other recent album releases from you guys), but I have one bitch:

Monkey Merengue is not a fucking arrange of the song. It's a great tune. It really is, but it feels more "inspired by" the track than an actual arrangement of it. As such, it has no place on an arrange album. Maybe I'm nuts.

I mean, it's clearly related to the original, but neither the melody nor a semblance of the actual chord progression in the tune appear throughout its length. It's more of an original tune inspired by the Bonus Intro than an arrange of said song. It's like if I called the metal intro riff that I have running around in my head that's an amalgam of the individual band sounds of Mercenary and The Diablo Swing Orchestra, and that vaguely resembles one of the colossus fight tunes from Shadow of the Colossus an arrange. It's not. It's inspired by, or derived from, but it's not an arrange.

Still. Enjoyable album, which is saying something since I'm not the hugest fan of the originals (still prefer the DKC3 ost), and I love the last tune with all of the Rare guys putting in. Fantastic. And again: Monkey Merengue is a REALLY good song. It really is. Quality-wise, sound-wise, it's great. It's just not an arrange.

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