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OCR03971 - *YES* Donkey Kong Country "OSHA Violation"

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Contact Information
ReMixer name : Reuben Spiers
Real Name : Reuben Spiers
E-mail: 

Submission Information
Game: Donkey Kong Country
Name of Arrangement: OSHA Violation
Name of Original Song: Fear Factory

Featuring Earth Kid on harp and Sean Leffler on strings.

Power drills and wine glasses will forever be my favourite instruments.

 

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The drill SFX cut out abruptly at :36, so watch for sloppy detail work like that. The acoustic guitar handling the "Fear Factory" was nice, and the banjo at :51 brought a smile to my face as soon as it dropped in; very cool idea.

There were some minor mixing tweaks that could have been made for a better balance among the parts, but it was a minor thing in the big picture. For example, the backing string line at 1:05 was too loud relative to the banjo, IMO, but that's just a personal taste thing going on; you can also make the case that you just want that string line to stand out more. Vox and electric guitar arrived at 1:26 for the chorus; very cool instrumentation ideas that are disparate and unorthodox, but ultimately click very well. It was around this point that I also noticed how well the bassline functioned as well. 2:13 included some original string writing loosely derived from the source tune to help vary things up.

Dug the vox hitting some sustained notes at 3:14 for a nice bit of dynamic contrast. Easily Reuben's best concept piece; a hugely interpretive and personalized sound, a very varied sound palette that came together nicely, and good performances by the collaborators.

Never thought I'd hear "Fear Factory" like this. Again, every time you think "this is a cliched source tune choice", people in the VGM arrangement community make you realize there are so many different and creative ways to approach an interpretation. Nice work, Reuben, Natalya, and Sean!

YES

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It's funny; this arrangement really makes it sound like it's the soundtrack of a mill out in the middle of America - same tunage as the original that had more of a "mechanical malice" feel to it, but now it's more "Workin' eight 'til five, got some work to do in the mill". Really, it's just a cool transformation of the source.

If we're looking for issues, I'd have to say the mixing is a little odd at times (like the banjo lead at 0:52 being too quiet), but overall the mixing isn't distractingly bad. With as much unconventional sampling and instruments used throughout it's actually a surprise you managed to make something cohesive at all, let alone sound this good.

I'm all for this, and the fact that the title involves OSHA just makes this so much better in my books. I'm all for putting this up - great work!

YES

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Wow, what a fresh take on this classic tune.  Never thought I'd hear it performed and transformed this way, so you're already getting tons of points for originality here.  The performances are great, albeit a bit loose at some spots, like when the guitar is contrasted against the banjo, it can seem a bit out of time.  I like the inclusion of the electric guitar for the small flourishes.  Some sections in this feel pretty intimate, such as the solo/expansion around 3:20.  Overall excellent arrangement and quality performances.

The production seems clean and without glaring issues.  It feels like it has a lot of open space which fits the mood.  The vocal chorus sections are probably my biggest issue with the production as they seem a bit too exposed for my taste and some sections (i.e. starting at 3:20) drag their usage for too long and feel too static.  I don't think this drags the piece down too much though.  The added sfx work well with this piece as well, together with the ambient pads.

I really enjoyed this.  Super original and with a great delivery, one of Reuben's best for sure in all aspects.

YES

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Power drills and wine glasses?  Sign me the heck up - that automatically makes the soundscape unique!

The arrangement is easily more organic than the original, again due in part to the choice of instruments with only the electric guitar and the power drill providing a subtle synthetic layer.  The framework is also tight, with an intro, two full sections based on the source, and a mellow breakdown at 3:14 complete with a sweet guitar solo and tom groove.  I like how in the second source block (starting at 1:59), Sean saved the track from repetition with playing around with the melody and contributing to the backing instrumentation.  Natalya's role is minimal in comparison, but her harp added a sweet response to both Reuben's acoustic guitar and Sean's lower strings.  Top that with a tight and bouncy banjo lead, and by concept alone, I see it as one of Reuben's best.

The instruments and SFX all feel clear as well and appropriately placed in the stereo field.  I have no problems with the higher strings at 1:05 as I thought they were intended to have the main melody line.  I would've liked more EQ separation between Sean's strings and Reuben's acoustic guitar/banjo, but it's more of a nitpick here.  The track is also quiet with the volume hardly peaking above -6dB, but I can also make a case for organic parts needing room for expression and can function as-is.

It's one of the most standout Fear Factory arrangements I've heard, for sure.  Combined with tight performances, a one-of-a-kind sound palette and one of Reuben's better productions, I'm more than happy to see this on the front page.  Excellent job!

YES

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