Posted 2010-03-16, evaluated by djpretzel

Love it! Nicole collabed on a fantastic vocal mix w/ injury off the first DKC soundtrack, and now they're BACK with reinforcements from Tepid on guitars and newcomer M.J. Ault on male vocals. Nicole's style really works well w/ vocals in general, and this is some of starla's best singing to date, with Mr. Ault also sounding great. Tepid's acoustic strumming is a great folksy addition and makes for an excellent and memorable ending, but I also like the very subtle oboe towards the end, the distant, watery piano lines, and of course the waves. This might be a stretch for some, but the overall aesthetic kinda reminds me of this track by Primitive Radio Gods, only sped up; it has a similar usage of waves and a light, floating feel. Obviously, plenty of elements are way different, but I'm just talking about the general vibe, which I totally dig. Taucer does too:

""Hot-Head Bop" always seemed to me like one of those tracks that was hard to remix just because the original is so awesome, and just doesn't seem like there's much to be done with the track that Wise didn't do in the original. However, Nicole proved me wrong, and took the track in a direction which is both beautiful and original. I've found that, perhaps as a result of remixing for so many years, I tend to listen to music thinking "how would I have done this differently if it were my track?" Both Wise's original and Nicole's arrangement left me unable to think of a single thing I'd want changed."

Wes adds:

"Stripped to just the instrumentals, one might think this song is an atmospheric piece. However, this is not what Nicole Adams had in mind when she crafted this duet with the voices of M.J. Ault and starla. The vocals provide an integral role in adding the drive of mutual perseverance, similar to Diddy & Dixie's effort in rescuing Donkey Kong within the game. The arrangement is crafted well around these vocals, complimenting them with the steady but gentle progress of the beats & the background synth. The guitar, played by Tepid, also adds to the song's ambient atmosphere whether it be by the electric lead in the middle of the song or the acoustic playing along in the background. Personally, I have to say that I love how this song turned out, as one brings up the imagery of a couple moving forward together through tough times, and becoming closer as a consequence."

I think the album's directors summed it up well - when it comes to vocal mixes (and mixing vocals), Nicole really knows what she's doing. I think she brings out the best in starla's voice, which itself juxtaposes nicely with M.J.'s singing. Any time you do alternating male/female vocals, you run the risk of raising the cheeze level OVER 9000!!!, but this is both tasteful and contextually relevant, avoiding that potential pitfall entirely. A very memorable, creative interpretation that succeeds in its vision, this ReMix is yet another of myriad reasons why I'm excited about Serious Monkey Business and what all the many artists involved have achieved.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2015-12-19 00:14:09

Very good song. I think it may be pleasant even for those who don't like vocals-heavy tracks, simply because the vocals are so charming :) The airy/soft nature of this song is just wonderful, and even the electric guitar solo doesn't spoil it at all. Nice relaxing tune - be sure to check it out!

on 2014-08-22 02:33:02

This is excellent; all the background components are on point, and the vocals are pretty spot-on, too.

on 2013-10-30 00:56:04

I keep telling everyone that this is one of my favorite mixes on the site and I haven't even reviewed it?! For shame.

I love the lyrics so much, they help me imagine a close bond between the two characters. The guitar also really reinforces that feeling of fellowship or maybe even love in the song.

If you haven't listened yet what are you waiting for?!

on 2013-01-25 09:26:57

This ReMix is soooooooo good!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! it desreves so much more recognition! Props to M.J. Ault, Nicole Adams, Tepid and injury for this fantastic contribution!!

on 2012-12-13 16:23:14

May I have a version of this remix without vocals? I don't mean to offend anyone, I just prefer instrumental music rather than music that has lyrics and I imagine that an instrumental version of this remix would sound really good. Not that it doesn't sound really good now, but again I prefer instrumental.

on 2011-12-03 21:15:18

wow...this is the first remix I heard with vocals that actually sounded professional and beautiful. And of all the games it's DKC :D that surprised me a lot. Great work! Also this is to everyone...I've been trying to find the song to Hugo Strange's death, when you go down into the alleyway and pay your respects to him a beautiful orchestrated piece plays. If ANYONE finds the name to this piece I'd be very very grateful. I can't find it on the OST which really upsets me. Again if anyone finds the name to me at or just message me on here...

on 2011-01-04 14:50:22
:D I love the harmony and the voices in this remix. I wish the composer had done a bit with the male and female voices singing at the same time. Other than that I think this song is awesome.
on 2010-12-07 22:37:21

I haven't commented on this mix? For shame! ....well, I commented on it for the writeup already :wink: .

It's a spectacular song though, one of my favorites from the album I have to say. I'm still in awe of the final product, as Taucer and I were skeptical originally at how it was going to turn out with just the instrumental, but I think this song is a perfect example of not being hasty. We waited to hear how it would come out, and the final product is gorgeous. It is a testament to the power of vocals when utilized correctly.

I have nothing but high regards for this song, and it makes its mark as a stellar song on OCR.

on 2010-08-18 22:01:18

I love this mix! LOVE IT! I have always liked the original. I love this mix because it is so different from the original but still retains the elements of the original. I really love the lyrics if anyone out there has them. Awesome remix. One of my favorites. I really love how a lot of the newer OC Remixes are incorperating lyrics into the mixes. It's awesome. Keep 'em coming!

May the Force be with you.:wink:

on 2010-06-28 22:33:47

As a rather HUGE fan of Cowboy Bebop, New York Dolls, especially Yoko Kanno and the Seatbelts (I still own the original Cowboy Bebop OST box set, well, one of many), I will take that as a HUUUGEE compliment. STEVE CONTE RULES!!!!

Geoffrey Taucer
on 2010-06-19 00:11:37
Edit: That vocalist I mentioned that M.J. Ault sounds like is Steve Conte.


And you're right, he totally does.

Nicole Adams
on 2010-06-18 22:36:19
First off, Tepid's guitar is a marked improvement from his work on Permutation...

My friend Entheogen did the guitar solo in "Permutation."

on 2010-05-28 02:10:09

Do I know any fancy musical terms? Nope. Do I know a good remix when I hear it? Yep, and this is one of them. I absolutely LOVE this song. Beautiful harmonies, wonderful atmosphere. The lyrics are a bit corny, but the Remixers made it work. Good job to everyone who contributed to this, keep em coming and if nothing else, I'll keep on listening 8-)

Saber Mage
on 2010-05-24 23:11:33

Wow; I haven't been to this site in a few months, but when I heard this mix off DKC2 - SMB, I just had to come comment on its thread.

A New Place makes use of especially awesome ambiance, and both the acoustic and electric guitar by Tepid are done well. Honestly, I enjoy the vocals most of all, but they wouldn't be as good without the instrumentals! M.J. Ault's voice is awesome, and is used very well (especially in the second verse). He reminds me of a very distinct vocalist The Seatbelts (Cowboy Bebop OST) use in a few of their songs, and that's definitely a good thing. Starla's voice is also used very well, and works great together with Ault's. Keep up the awesome work, Nicole and the rest!

Edit: That vocalist I mentioned that M.J. Ault sounds like is Steve Conte.

on 2010-05-13 01:01:16

This is an incredible remix. I could go on and on about it, but I specifically want to comment on the AMAZING ambient noises that you used in the intro of the song. They remind me of the sounds that play in LOST whenever anyone goes near the cabin... hopefully that reference will resonate with someone :-P

EDIT: Well, there's so much to this song I guess I could expand on my favorite parts a bit. First off, Tepid's guitar is a marked improvement from his work on Permutation - the performance is better and the guitar tone is MUCH more appropriate. The acoustic flair at the end of the song is one of my favorite touches in the whole song :-) I'm also highly impressed with both vocalists, though I think they both shined a lot more in the second verse than in the first. Halc's right, it's a huge nostalgia explosion and I just get giddy everytime I listen to this song during the guitar solo and everything after that.

This is everything I've come to expect from a Nicole mix - simple, but with a lot of attention to ambiance and detail, coupled with some brilliant vocal performances... this is one of my favorite vocal mixes on the site! :-D Definitely a standout mix in almost all regards.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (Nintendo , 1995, SNES)
Music by David Wise
"Hot-Head Bop (Hot-Head Hop)"

Tags (7)

Electric Guitar,Electronic,Singing,Vocals: Female,Vocals: Male
Lyrics > Lyrics: Original

File Information

8,168,106 bytes

[M.J. Ault]

We won't surrender
We stick together and we're never gonna fall
We'll brave the weather
Take whatever as we drift along

Light as a feather
We're gonna make it on our way to the unknown
We don't surrender
We don't surrender


Through beaming red light
We take a flight along this silent, glowing land
You're there beside me
We'll find our way back home on these golden strands

Throughout this dark night
We're gonna make it on our way to the unknown
We stand together
We won't surrender

[M.J. Ault]

I'll be there floating away with you
Just take my hand and we'll fly together
We'll learn some things that we never knew
We won't ever look back


Come with me as we sail the breeze
Out of the flames and into a new place
Through foreign lands we will go
And we won't ever turn back


8-bit Jazz Heroes - Press Start
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