ReMix:Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest "Dance of the Zinger" 5:09

By Jake Kaufman

Arranging the music of one song...

"Flight of the Zinger (Hornet Hole)"

Primary Game: Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (Nintendo , 1995, SNES), music by David Wise

Posted 2010-03-16, evaluated by djpretzel

Q: How long has it been since I did a writeup for a virt mix?

  1. A damn long time
  2. Too long
  3. Geocities was still popular
  4. All of the above

In the many years since the infamous ocremix-vgmix split, a lot of things have happened that make this writeup possible, I think. We all got older, for one, and while age doesn't guarantee wisdom, it can certainly facilitate it. We all got busier, that's for damn sure, and when you're working and focusing and DOING, you simply don't have time or patience for drama. Without speaking for anyone else, I'm gonna credit the healing powers of both alcohol and female companionship as directly contributing to my own mellowing out. Last but never least, Brendan Becker aka MrMAGFest aka Inverse Phase deserves a shout for reaching out and getting OCR more involved at MAG, where all are friend are none are foe and good times are had, year after year.

I debated even saying anything, and instead just posting this mix like it was any other album track, but even if the past didn't warrant some commentary, the truth is that Jake's reputation and growth as a game composer would have demanded some special words, regardless. Mr. Kaufman's been making consistently great music for a long time, but I don't think anyone would argue that a LOT more people bought and played TMNT and Contra 4 on the DS than did Shantae, and it's fantastic to see his deserving talent showcased on ever-larger stages, like his collaboration with a lot of other big names on RFG. From his scary musical versatility to his legendary speed-composing prowess, you just can't deny his sheer, unadulterated musical capability, coupled with genuine interest in and passion for VGM, specifically.

I suppose I've been waiting quite awhile to say all of that, in the right context. Hopefully the few folks that are operating under the misimpression that I feel otherwise or that stale, crusty vendettas are still active can finally come around, as I believe we have.

Now, how about the mix? Wes really covered it well, I think:

"It has been quite a while since we've seen virt with any relation to OCR, but after MAGFest 5, it was only natural to invite him for involvement with the DKC 2 album project. He was excited to hop on board and swiftly took one of the most attractive sources available. The original expectation was that virt was going to do metal, but he had other plans in turning this into "cheesy trance," to borrow from virt's own description of his track. It's cheesy trance that works though, which is the important part: virt makes it work and work well in building up the song to a climax, only to bring it down quickly and leave us thirsting for more."

The first time I listened to this track, I hadn't read the above description, and came in with a different set of expectations. Once I got over those, I enjoyed the track, but still wasn't in the right frame of mind. The SECOND time I ran this track through, it clicked for me, and I really dig the execution and build - when things get going, it's so over-the-top anthemic & melodic, you just gotta smile. Funny how expectations work, too - same thing happened the first time I saw Gladiator. I walked in wanting "Spartacus 2" with a modern facelift, and it really wasn't that at all, and I couldn't process the discrepancy fully in my mind. Next time I saw it, I loved it.

I'm strongly suspecting, though, that most of you will love this one the FIRST time around - great source, great execution, and most importantly a great build & release. If it's cheesy trance, it's a high-grade, refined Brie, from one of the best cheese artisans on the block... who's also a baker, a gourmet chef, and a sommelier, incidentally. This track's presence on Serious Monkey Business makes the album all the more special, and I would love to see more from virt in the future.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2015-01-28 09:58:46

One of my top 5 favorite songs of all time. Awesome buildup and evolution over time. The bridge at 2:00 and the kick at 3:40 are great. You work in a lot of different styles, but I like this quality of this sound best, with the levels being more mainstream and less chiptune/indy. Thank you for making such amazing music for free.

on 2012-11-26 13:06:11

Great take! I love how you've structured the mix. Not staying in any one place for too long while still moving throughout the original structure of the theme, and still maintaining a very nice buildup, leaving room for imagery. I love the segment that begins at 3:13.

on 2012-07-04 13:50:48

Jake struck hot with this mix, bringing a trance assault to Flight of the Zinger. There are layers of attention present in the song, with a nice filled out soundscape and little aspects that add like the background synths. Jake has evolved somehow since the making of this song, but that this song is just a small part of his excellent repertoire just speaks volumes as to how prolific he has been as a composer/songwriter - here's to hoping that there is many more better songs!

on 2011-12-04 00:07:55

Awesome dance music indeed. Although to be frank the original mix sounded like a dance mix as well. I love how you deconstructed and reconstructed it to sound more modern. So, I'm sure everyone can agree with me as I say... "UNCE UNCE UNCE UNCE!" and dance along :D

on 2011-08-26 19:53:35

There's no denying the insane quality of this mix. While it pretty much deconstructs everything the source tune stood for, what it rebuilds with the same materials is pretty astonishing. I suppose I'd expect nothing less than professional sounding music from a professional musician.

You've just got to love those awesome orchestral elements fighting through the barrage of synths and rapid trance. Everything acts as a very fine tapestry; I really love Kaufman's attention to layered detail.

Even though I think Baal Bhaagna showcases more of his technical prowess, you can't go past this one for that pure, adrenalised buzz. /badpun.

on 2011-04-17 06:31:10

I want to say I really love this one. I found it very emotional when I listened to it last evening.

on 2011-02-25 20:10:12

I was gonna post about how warm and fuzzy this mix made me feel but I was beaten to the punch.

But I can definitely say that this was my favorite track from the album and I lovez it so much. :

on 2011-02-17 15:45:40

I like this one. Its much better than the source and feels more urgent. This is one of those ones that is really fun to Audiosurf for those that do that. :D

Tribe Fan
on 2010-11-27 15:15:42

...but virt somehow managed to make this my favorite track on this whole soundtrack. The breakdown at 3:43 gives me chills every time. Such a sick track.

I hope he's back on ocremix for good.

on 2010-05-02 12:39:57

Intro grand. Transitions stellar. Virt manages to bring new thematic material n fx without sacrificing unity. I dig ;)

on 2010-04-16 18:31:03

Check out Contra 4; he did the soundtrack for it. He's a fairly talented person, ya know. Also, this track is epic! ^_^

But I think I already said that in the review of the album.

on 2010-04-16 16:35:20

The original source was never one of my favorites, though I liked it, nonetheless. It had a lot of competition in DKC2. Practically the entire soundtrack was epic and fun to listen to.

But I think this remix, out of all the ones on the album, did the best work taking a source and making it 100x more enjoyable. It accents the best parts of the melody instead of switching it up and, imho, making it sound worse like in other mixes.

Great job, Virt. I gotta check out your other mixes.

on 2010-03-24 00:47:15

I don't know why, but from 3:45 until the end, I always feel like I'm going somewhere really intense, with the wind blowing through my hair. I love that feeling, and I love this remix. I'm really happy it was realized for Serious Monkey Business.

on 2010-03-23 23:20:48

Glad to see Virt is back on OC ReMix after all these years! Love ya Virt!

on 2010-03-19 00:51:16

From 3:13 onward, this track absolutely blows the lid off of its source material. I'd like to be in the club where this was played. As always, Virt excels. And I don't even like trance!

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (Nintendo , 1995, SNES)
Music by David Wise
"Flight of the Zinger (Hornet Hole)"

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