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*NO* Donkey Kong Country 2 'The Forest That Never Sleeps'

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ReMixer name: halcyon

Real name: Andrew Wheeler

Email address: andrew@joename.com

Userid: 13226

Name of game arranged: Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy Kong's Quest

Name of individual song arranged: Forest Interlude


Wrote this song specifically for submission. Originally, this was going to be a straight-up trance mix of the forest theme from DKC2. Well, it sounds a little different than I planned on it sounding, but I'm happy with the way it turned out. Please enjoy!


http://snesmusic.org/v2/download.php?spcNow=dkq - "Forest Interlude" (dkq-10.spc)

Opens up with some really abrasive beats. I see the concept there from :07-:23, but the end result was too abrasive. Otherwise, cool techno-style build leading up to :56.

After :56, I wasn't feeling the sound choices or texture of the piece. Lots of loud, whiny sounds that didn't combine well, and a fair amount of empty space in the back despite the effects and volume. IMO, the end result didn't sound melodious enough, with many spots where the harmonies sounded somewhat off. The changeup at 1:36 started sounding better, but not by much. Heh, I recognize that drumloop used at 1:52. These electronic textures weren't really getting any more cohesive as the track went on.

All of a sudden the track completely changed at 2:59 to some NES stuff, then went off on its own thing until 3:24. I've got no inherent problem with original sections, but when they don't thematically connect well with the arranged material, we've got a problem. :lol: Moved back into arranging the original until 3:42-4:11 had an original section with some allusions to the source, then wrapping this up with a little more arrangement for the finish.

To me, the whole thing wasn't particularly cohesive at all, even minus that weird part at 2:59. I liked the cameo of the hand drums, xylo(?), piano, and sitar from 2:13-2:38, which was a highlight. Things were a lot more cohesive on that level.

Other than that, it seemed like you meant well, but were kind of throwing ideas on the wall to see what would stick. The end result was just busy without being focused, plus grating and tough on the ears. Too bad, because when the texture were more organic-sounding, you had some brief but good grooves going on. Perhaps you need to stick with some core sound ideas, then have them evolve into different things, rather than change the texture every few bars, usually to something that doesn't quite work.

JigginJonT mentioned in the judges channel that the sound was really raw, which definitely summed it up well. You gotta improve your ear toward picking sound combinations that work, as well as watching that notes aren't clashing in your attempts to interpret the source material and have that interact with the other instrumentation.


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I was a little more amped on this than Larry. There are a lot of very cool ideas and textures in this remix.

However, for every effective texture, there was probably 3 others that didn't work. Basically, this is like taking an ice cream sundae and pouring carrots, salsa, peanuts, cottage cheese, and barbecue sauce all over it. It's just too much.

The abrupt change at 2:59 was also pretty wtf. You could've ended the whole song right there and it would've felt right. Definitely a case of over staying your welcome.

My advice would be to just pick a couple ideas, focus on those, and make the overall remix a little more unified and concise.

Though the intro was a bit abrasive, I like the concept. Maybe soften the edge on those drums a little bit.I really like that first chiptune segue, and the part with the koto(?), the backing piano, and the hand percussion is killer.

Don't get discouraged. I thought this was pretty good, and it reminded me a lot of the way some Toronto based indie groups like Broken Social Scene combine a lot of different textures to create a unique soundscape. You've just got too much going on that doesn't work.


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  • 2 weeks later...

This song strikes me as a bunch of breakdowns. Every time I think it's building toward something, it starts over in a totally different direction. I know that feeling of having so many ideas for a song that it's hard to figure out which ones to use (which is why my own songs tend to be a little disjointed), but this desperately needs some reining in. This will work better as bullet points, so without ado:

  • Intro has a very nice sound to it, though a little harsh (as mentioned). Turn down the volumes a little and it's a fine way to start.
  • Instrument starting at 0:56 really takes over too much. I didn't like the way it dominated.
  • 1:20 is where the problems really start for me. The NES sounds are a dramatic shift and the song hasn't even really taken off at this point. It's the kind of section you expect after a good solid minute of the song firing on all cylinders. The problem is that you lose all your energy every time you have a breakdown like this.
  • Another breakdown at 1:52. Very different from what precedes it.
  • ANOTHER breakdown at 2:17. This acoustic-esque breakdown was my favorite of the three though, and I think this one works best because it builds back to the main groove. That's the sort of thing the song needs to focus on.
  • Another breakdown at 3:00, and this one an original section that sounds like the start of a totally new song. Sorry to say, but the piece is stronger without this section at all. By contrast, the original writing at 3:42 works because it connects better.

Summed up, your ideas are cool, but the piece has to move more organically. It works best when the sections tie together, like in the first minute of the song. This song has sort of a groove that comes back from time to time - try messing with that groove by altering just one or two instruments at a time and keeping the rest of the groove intact, rather than changing every instrument at once. I think that'll help you make more sense out of a kitchen-sink approach. If you're willing to put some work into this song, I think you can achieve great things with it.

NO (resubmit)

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