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djpretzel

OCR02006 - Donkey Kong Country 2 "Trapped in the Minds"

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A rap-rock remix of the mine theme with THE rap from Jose'? That already gets some good points out of 10. This should be good.

The instrumentation sounds like a lighter but darker version of John Reuben's Make Money Money, only in C rather than A minor and without the quirky banjo loop (there's clang-age and guitar riffs that are very similiar to both songs). The rap is more like very well-written spoken word, but yet with very savage masculine rhymes as djpretzel mentioned in the description. I love "Vanish from opposition like we're magicians." That is poetic sickness, hands-down! Underground rappers will love you, Jose. Not a fan of the whole ape-**** bombs, but the lyrics are focused more on the feel of the war between apes and krocs rather than graphical slug spraying and all that gangsta straight west coastin' Yet there's still some silly battlin' within the mix that does sport some cheese, but nothing lacking phatness though. At 2:23 is where the lyrics really push the emotion of the track over the edge.

"All I know is pain, to give the same

All I have ingrained is hate

Misery of shame forever will remain

So I must regain my fate"

The critique I have for this part is that it portrays Diddy and Dixie as life-less assasins out for revenge rather than heroic chimps on a rescue mission. But it's one of the catchest bridges I've heard in a rap/rock song that WORKS WONDERS the way it is sung. The guitar solo break-down is great stuff and pays homage to the original. And yes, the rap could be louder, but Hale's vocals are great and bright to me (could be just the headphones). It's not my favorite rap track on the site, but it's a great approach to how rap should be spit these days, even in the mainstream. I would have faded out at 4:55, but apparently, we all need to know that Diddy and Dixie are going...you listen to the song and find out yourself.

8/10

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Linkin' Park style ftw! Love this remix track, it's so awesome sauce...it'll definitely be on my list of favorite OC ReMixes for a while...(goes about downloading album) Excellent work from all parties :)

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"All I know is pain, to give the same

All I have ingrained is hate

Misery of shame forever will remain

So I must regain my fate"

The critique I have for this part is that it portrays Diddy and Dixie as life-less assasins out for revenge rather than heroic chimps on a rescue mission.

This is assuming that the lyrics are rigidly defined as required to follow the game story 1-for-1. Creative license, on the other hand, says that they're not. I prefer lifeless assassins.

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Oh man, this is just too sweet! Taucer, Hale-bopp and Jose the Bronx Rican doing a remix on the Mine theme of DKC2!? That's what got me hyped for the album, but when I heard the early verison on DoD, I couldn't get any more excited. I really don't understand people who back away from a vocal remix without giving it a listen, but I love the lyrics and tone of the whole song. I really don't have any complaints about this ReMix, and I'm thinking this made the Top Ten List for me.

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Man, Jose is so good, I wish he was louder in the mix. :/ Hale is also rockin, but is at the right volume. There's a lot of minor production issues i'd change to make this track better, but who cares that much about what I think? Listen for yourself. :-)

This is a great track, with a nice flow, great performances, and a unique feel. I really like it.

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Nu Metal lives! Definitely improved from the DoD version in many ways...and I already loved the DoD one a lot back then. Instruments sound better, guitar sounds better too. The rap sounds tighter...I like the subtle reverb effect on Jose's rapping...feels like he's actually rapping in a mine if you know what I mean. Singing vocals are really good stuff too...this is Hale we're talking about after all. Nothing against Taucer's singing, but Hale's style is more suitable to this type of song. I did like Taucer's voice in that Civ remix awhile back...that style fits him better.

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A lot of people are hating on this track. I don't see what the big deal is - yeah it sounds like Linkin Park, complete with HARDCORE BADASS lyrics! It's pretty cheesy... but that's just the nature of the style.

The chorus section is really cool, the lyrics are great. My personal issue is that the rap sections could have been a bit more tightly aligned with the rhythm (it sometimes sounds out of sync). As DJP it sounds like they were pasted on. But as an overall package this song was really fun to listen to.

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to be very honest, this track probably has the most unused potential in the project. I adore rap rock and this has some great ideas.

but production is pretty bad in general, everything sounds cheap to the point that a much better mix job couldn't do much. the rapping is ok, and I adore the chorus melody though.

I really like the song, but the production value hurts it, A LOT.

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I heard Hale's final mix several times before he sent it off to Jose for mastering, and it was much fuller and brighter than it is now. According to Jose, this is what happened:

I left it up to Dave to mix the choruses to his satisfaction, but in all honesty, I thought they were a bit overpowering compared to the rest of the track, and I made a decision between troubling him to tone it down and compressing to get it to behave more. Looking back, I think the highs suffered somewhat.
It's a real shame, honestly. :( I thought it sounded much better before. To my ears, it's not only missing the high end, but also a lot of the low end, wideness, and overall volume depth. It sounds like I'm listening to it on an AM radio station.

(I'm Hale's wife, btw.)

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Hey there Pong! Rare to see you around these parts! :J

I also agree, the track just isn't mixed as stellar as it could have been. It's still fun though.

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Part of the issue is that I thought we were out of time, so I thought we couldn't go back and re-master the track before the release of the project. At one point though I thought we were gonna get someone else to master it for us, but that fell through for whatever reason. Also, I don't entirely trust my own mastering skills. Also, I thought maybe we'd have a chance to re-master before submission to the site, but I got caught up in real-life stuff and didn't think to say anything to Taucer or Jose in time. Also, I think at one point I thought we'd get NO'd anyways until we cleaned it up a bit and remastered it, haha.

To sum things up: stuff happens.

Regardless of that stuff, I had a ton of fun recording my vocal tracks. I didn't know I could hit that high note until I busted a nut trying. I thank Taucer and Jose for inviting me onto their delicious rock track and I hope to do many more collabs!

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A lot of people are hating on this track. I don't see what the big deal is - yeah it sounds like Linkin Park, complete with HARDCORE BADASS lyrics! It's pretty cheesy... but that's just the nature of the style.

The chorus section is really cool, the lyrics are great. My personal issue is that the rap sections could have been a bit more tightly aligned with the rhythm (it sometimes sounds out of sync). As DJP it sounds like they were pasted on. But as an overall package this song was really fun to listen to.

I can agree, but as far as I can tell, not alot are hating the track. There's a difference between using judgement to write off a track completely and suggestions for improvement. This track does have nasty production issues that needed addressing. There is room for improvement in the area of overall vocal amplification. I can sympathize with Hale-Bopp after reading his post since I do my own vocal mastering and compression myself.

When it comes to Jose however, some rap that is subtly loose over a rythum is fine with me as long as the listener can focus on the lyrics.

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Hmmm.... Who is hating? I actually liked the track, the production doesn't actually bother me that much. Sadly though, the track comes directly after "Backwards Room" on the album which kind of makes it seem that much more unrefined.

Still, this got posted, with good reason. There really isn't anything else like this on the site, and I do want to hear more here with some better production and vocals AT LEAST as tight as these. Well, these are a high standard, but that's what setting the bar is about, right?

Anyways, don't beat yourselves up over the production that much. It's not so bad that it detracts from everything else going on here.

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Hmmm.... Who is hating? I actually liked the track, the production doesn't actually bother me that much. Sadly though, the track comes directly after "Backwards Room" on the album which kind of makes it seem that much more unrefined.

If you actually listen to zykO's non-rap tracks, I think he actually meant to do Backwards Room in a sort of unrefined presentation with slightly distorted vocals and detuned grungy guitarwork. His music generically is quite esotaric, yet keeps a listener hooked in. His lyrics have massively improved in terms of his non-raps.

But back to the original song, usually production doesn't bother me either, unless a song has a key component that's too loud or too soft.

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Part of the issue is that I thought we were out of time, so I thought we couldn't go back and re-master the track before the release of the project. At one point though I thought we were gonna get someone else to master it for us, but that fell through for whatever reason. Also, I don't entirely trust my own mastering skills. Also, I thought maybe we'd have a chance to re-master before submission to the site, but I got caught up in real-life stuff and didn't think to say anything to Taucer or Jose in time. Also, I think at one point I thought we'd get NO'd anyways until we cleaned it up a bit and remastered it, haha.

To sum things up: stuff happens.

Regardless of that stuff, I had a ton of fun recording my vocal tracks. I didn't know I could hit that high note until I busted a nut trying. I thank Taucer and Jose for inviting me onto their delicious rock track and I hope to do many more collabs!

Have you guys thought about cleaning that stuff up and releasing a new version? I for one would love to hear it. Thought the arrangement was great, but the mixing does hamper my enjoyment somewhat.

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I really like this track & the ideas put forth, but as others have said, production really is the weak point in this song, which is such a shame because I think it would sound so much better with the right mixing.

I do recall asking Taucer about the production on this song and to try to get it touched up, but he seemed satisfied with the mixing. I think part of the sentiment was that we were in a rush to complete the project, and didn't expect something else to come along and delay the release.

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It's a real shame, honestly. :( I thought it sounded much better before. To my ears, it's not only missing the high end, but also a lot of the low end, wideness, and overall volume depth. It sounds like I'm listening to it on an AM radio station.

Hello! I agree with you completely here! I didn't hear the final mix, but I do think that Hale's vocals in the mix are... narrow.

Also, the Chorus embellishments are great the first time around, but I would've like a bit more variation from chorus 1 to 2 to 3. It just seems a bit overdone by the time the second part of chorus 2 comes around. Overall, I like it, though! gg

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I'll have to agree with the common opinion. I'm personally quite a fan of the works of all three individual artists involved. I also think that the mix works quite well. The vocal collab is especially appealing (José and Hale-Bopp in one track! Who would have thought?), but I also think that the chorus could have used some variation. A bit of cleaning up and remastering the thing could turn it into pure gold in my book.

Hope you folks are still enthusiastic enough about it. Great work, I'd love to hear more like it!

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Sorry not to comment earlier; I needed time for a full explanation.

This is another of those things overlooked by me until it was too late. I added what I thought was a bit of compression/limiting to the track because Hale's choruses seemed a bit loud to me, but it sounded later as if the entire thing went overboard. "Later" refers to when I started on the trailer a few weeks ago, and heard all the tracks. I said to myself, "wha happa?!?" I submitted the track in December: at the time Taucer was fine with it, and all I heard from Hale was "I barely hear the kick." I wish I heard more: we considered help on the mastering before I finished, but my stubborn streak told me I can't get the experience I need on this sort of thing unless I see it through myself. I can and have done better. I wanted to work on it one more time before release, but thought it too late to say something. I never expected a posting, much less a DP. I knew this was strong enough for OCR, but I really was expecting a "resub." Too late for the album, but if Hale still has his chorus vocals lying around, I really, really would like to try to remove the word "shame" from discussion of this track, and perhaps update for OCR if it's allowed. It makes my collab-mates look a bit bad, and it's my job to make it so that only I look bad.

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Sorry not to comment earlier; I needed time for a full explanation.

This is another of those things overlooked by me until it was too late. I added what I thought was a bit of compression/limiting to the track because Hale's choruses seemed a bit loud to me, but it sounded later as if the entire thing went overboard. "Later" refers to when I started on the trailer a few weeks ago, and heard all the tracks. I said to myself, "wha happa?!?" I submitted the track in December: at the time Taucer was fine with it, and all I heard from Hale was "I barely hear the kick." I wish I heard more: we considered help on the mastering before I finished, but my stubborn streak told me I can't get the experience I need on this sort of thing unless I see it through myself. I can and have done better. I wanted to work on it one more time before release, but thought it too late to say something. I never expected a posting, much less a DP. I knew this was strong enough for OCR, but I really was expecting a "resub." Too late for the album, but if Hale still has his chorus vocals lying around, I really, really would like to try to remove the word "shame" from discussion of this track, and perhaps update for OCR if it's allowed. It makes my collab-mates look a bit bad, and it's my job to make it so that only I look bad.

No worries jose; you did a great job with the time we gave you, and I had a blast working with you (and hope we can collab again in the future). And if you do revisit this, let me know if there's anything I can do to help out.

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Please keep your filthy hands off of classic video game music. Wow, thanks for ruining my favorite song in the game, I could have gone my whole life without hearing rap lyrics over the crappiest beat I have ever heard. The chorus sounds like you are trying to make yourself sound gay. It doesn't sound remotely like the original track. Save crap like this for the mainstream.

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