Posted 2004-09-16, evaluated by djpretzel
You probably won't be TOO awful surprised to see this next mix also coming from Donkey Kong Country, it being a proud member of the Kong in Concert family as well. The debut of said project went very successfully, and was certainly kickstarted in terms of media coverage and bandwidth by a slashdotting, which linked directly to the project torrent, amongst other things. This is as good a time as any to mention that the first official OCR torrent surpassed 10,000 downloads recently, which is something of a milestone (especially considering having never been direct-linked by slashdot) - both torrents, as well as the second OCR torrent and Relics of the Chozo, owe their thanks in life to Aubrey, who makes the supertux OCR mirror as well as our bittorrent tracker possible - should be a much-deserved shirt comin' your way soon, man. Speaking of shirts, we've got a new order in, so run, don't walk, to the ZTNet Store - in addition to black and white shirts, we also by request added dark navy hoodies. It says pre-order but we actually got 'em in stock and will be posting photos shortly. Perfect for the upcoming Fall/Winter season. Now that my shameless adulation and plugging is out of the way, on to the ubiquitous GrayLightning's contribution to the juggernaut that is Kong in Concert.
This piece is about as different from Jesse's debut piece as you could get, mixing orchestral timbres with very dramatic percussion. I'm not just saying that, either. There's a lot of percussion here. And it's dramatic. No foolin'. The melodic motifs are direct and not overly intricate, but the layering interweave of the percussive goings on is front and center for the majority of the mix. Gray had a lot to say:
"I have done it in a style combining various influences. Most notably hollywood cinema symphonic, new age and asian/japanese styles. I was most influenced by japanese new age composer Kitaro for this piece. A number of people have commented it sounds like Tan Dun's score for Crouching Tiger. This also ranks up as one of my most complex mixes to date. Like Armageddon numbering near the 50 midi track range - with over 20 dedicated to ethnic, orchestral, chromatic and metallic fx percussion sets alone. The orchestra is made up of full string parts Violins, Violas, Cellos and DoubleBasses of various articulations. There's also an Asian Fiddle here playing the lead at times, also flutes and brasses - new age pads and synth bells round out the instrumentation. I feel fortunate to have been a part of this project. Thanks to Digital Coma and everyone else involved in it. Enjoy. ^_^"
Actually, I was reminded more of a different soundtrack, also (in part) by Tan Dun - the score to The Last Emperor. Similar unabashed use of a variety of chromatic and unpitched percussion, all working in a flowing, mounting clockwork, with strings doing the primary melodic work in a collaborative relationship. There's grandiose brass, pizzicato towards the end, flute, and ambient pads, but the chimes, blocks, snares, and slapped and shaken rhythm section are what's so tremendous, awe-inspiring, and larger-than-life. See 3'04" and immediately following for reference - sounds like the procession of a massive force, something of unearthly scope, marching forward, and woe befall anyone tries to stop 'em. The interpretation is indeed liberal, but totally identifiable at the same time, which is an art unto itself. Makes me glad Gray decided to wander outside his initial new age shell - not that there was anything wrong with his earlier pieces, just that clearly he's broadened his scope and it's paid off. A very visionary arrangement - not at all obvious, but pulled off with all the confidence and style of someone who knows it can work. Excellent.
on 2015-12-22 23:27:06
I like the percussion-driven style, but that may be because I play. I like the tense atmosphere after the intro subsides and how it leads into heavier source usage. The extended percussion section is pretty fun too. Nice work.
on 2010-03-27 21:35:26
Gray Lightning. I think that says it all on the quality of the ReMix itself, but is not even close. It's better! I like the Oriental feeling of this mix, especially since this combines two of my favorite things: Epic Asian Movie sounding stuff and Fear Factory's theme. Although the source doesn't seem to pop up as much as I'd hoped, I can't gripe at all at after hearing this. Sweet!
on 2009-12-24 23:47:17
Now this is interesting....
It's like it's trying to relay the story of how someone infiltrated a factory. There's textural streaks of severity, knowing of consequences, tenseness, pride, duty all running throughout this mix.
Wow, this is really a cool mix. The atmosphere isn't quite as thick or heavy as I was expecting, but what it does offer has a very unique flavor and vibe.
on 2009-12-03 18:10:21
You get the sense that this was inspired by a lot of different genres, styles, and sources but it feels entirely cohesive at the same time. I don't really have a problem picking out the melody, and the percussion especially reminds you that you're listening to a factory remix.
The only thing that's really distracting is the drumrolls, something about them just seems off Everything else feels like a great remix with unity, direction, and a clear sense of identity. It's not as immediately impressive as some of the other KiC tracks, but there's a lot of detail and creativity packed into this unassuming orchestral mix. Recommended!
on 2009-12-03 15:35:51
An awesome subdued piece along the lines Sacratus Bellator. This track doesn't possess the same epicness or evolving textures and climaxes; but it does possess a unique soundscape. All of the little orchestral ornaments are a really nice touch over and increase the listenability of the track. Def one of Gray's better ones.
on 2009-12-03 02:44:27
I haven't listened to a lot of Graylightning's stuff, but I'm big fan of what I've heard do far. This is by far one of my favorite tracks from him.
I love how he's taken what would've been an industrial track and taken to a much more mystical, oriental place and still able to keep the dark, oppressive and mechanical feel of the original track.
Overall, a great track from gray.
on 2008-09-29 12:47:15
Pretty nice soundscape, i really like the strings and textures used. Melodically there isn't much going on, but everything clicks as a whole, and it's a good listen. The overly subtle melody could also be a source issue.
An excellent mood, great sounds used, but I just wish there was something a bit more leading.
on 2007-01-21 09:18:27
What random arrangement of caccophany is this!
There is one thing I must say about it though. My favorite sound in the entire world, I kid you not, is the sound of the Japanese Tsuzumi hand drum.
I hated this song to shreds, but I must say, kudos for trying out something new.
I have as yet been unsuccessful finding a sample of that one sound that's used so much in videogames...
on 2005-09-29 11:01:28
The bells are sweet...
The rest of the song however sucks the big one! (just kidding)
I have already mentioned this before, that this track is one of the best DKC songs. Well now this mix is one my favorite mixes, all thanks to GL. I still don´t get that New Age style, this sounds orchestral to me. The essential strings, some very nice drums, one, two, many chimes and other metal-sounds back there(anyway, this is fear FACTORY) and other instruments I can´t really recognize. DUDE, this does sound like a movietrack, some darn good one by the way. A great piece by gray, really a masterpiece with good rhytm and style.
How can someone NOT like it? (glaring at Azar)
on 2005-07-29 12:52:53
I always remember GrayLightning on this ReMix. The first song that I listened of him, times ago.
My favourite thing here is the arrangement. It has a lot of creativity, a more slow style and more beautiful things than the original source tune. I like the asian ideas on the transition of the mix, as he said that has some New Age influences.
The percussion is very strategic and pleasant; sounds random. The instruments are very powerful and played really nicely. I love what the strings are doing, with the other instruments. Some sounds reminds me of factories, industries and such, like the original track was did to be. The bells are a nice thing. And the pizzicato is a perfect combination as well. All things here are doing a great work with high quality. Very pleasant and strong piece.
I finally listened this ReMix again. Whatever, this is one of my favourites of GrayLightning.
on 2004-11-02 12:51:05
Hmmmmmm...wow, it defenitley has an enchanted pagonda kinda feel. It makes me think of a samurai warrior getting ready to battle *nods thoughtfully*. Yes, indeed. It certainly is a different take on the original, ne??? I like it. It has reeeeeeeeeeeeeally good parts, but...it doesn't seem to click w/me all the way. Oriental music fashods should dl this. Moby fans *stands up proudly*, possibly. But weirdos like me...who knows. Who listens to people who like Moby, anyway *looks down sadly*
on 2004-09-19 09:22:13
This song is awesome. It's got a really cool oriental theme. That won me over
My only complain is that I can hardly hear the original at times.
on 2004-09-18 16:34:01
I always seem to gripe at Gray for the pacing in his mixes. I don't feel that way about this one at all; everything seems well-timed in this one.
As with any GL piece of late, it's full of quality orchestration. A few of my favorite moments are:
- The subtle catharsis at 1:06-1:18. It's so understated I barely noticed it the first time, but it sounds so beautiful.
- The low strings echoing the melody line at 1:46.
- The asian harp (?) at 4:33.
- Switching to pizzicatto strings on the main melody at 2:53.
This is great work, and one of GL's best. Not as complex and daring as Armageddon, but close -- and better paced to boot.
Now.... for the last time, I'm begging Gray to try something upbeat, poppy, and faster.
Not sure if that's a joke or not -- but, if it's not, check out his "Afterlife" remix from Final Fantasy.
on 2004-09-17 18:04:21
A very beautiful and inspiring piece of music. It reaches a very emotional high point that strikes a deep chord with me. Figures...lol. Great work Gray Lightning. Your music continues to impress and amaze.
on 2004-09-17 10:29:28
Thanks for the comments everyone on my 15th OCR mix.
Onputz, you have a good memory.
It was great to be part of the Kong in Concert project. Thanks to Digital Coma and everyone else involved. Be sure to check out the other mixes in the project.
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Donkey Kong Country (Nintendo, 1994, SNES)
Music by David Wise, Eveline Novakovic, Robin Beanland
- "Fear Factory"
- Regional > World
- 7,860,959 bytes
- Size: 7,860,959 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: 38daf51fa38202a169073a47075016d3
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