ReMix:Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest "How K. Rool Went Insane" 3:17

By Ross Kmet

Arranging the music of one song...

"Welcome to Crocodile Isle (Map Screen)"

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

Posted 2010-09-17, evaluated by the judges panel

I love this mix because it delivers on the promise of its title - with creeping, insinuating synth lines and a restrained, dark undertow that pulls you in, Ross really captures mental disintegration and downward spiral in musical form. He writes:

"I jumped onto the DKC2 project kinda late, and this was the last sorta-good source tune left to remix. When I started working on it, I tried making it sound sort-of like a film score, but decided that it's Donkey Kong, and not a film score, so I just deviated into a childishly evil sort of tune. I honestly really don't know what to classify this as, or really what I was thinking when I made it, but I think it turned out pretty awesome."

Ross has a good ear for edgy sound design, making harder textures work against softer ones, blending sharp and rounded corners into very complete productions that give listeners a great blend of safe & dangerous. At least, that's what I've observed with his tracks so far, but it's a trend I certainly hope continues. Project co-director Bahamut writes:

"In an unfolding of a tale, Ross gives us a piece that serves to portray a story being told - one might think of a storybook with its introduction. It gradually transitions to a more electronic dominated role, which is fitting given the diversity that the album contains. Ross did an excellent job here in crafting this track as the start of signs that things are amiss with K. Rool."

This piece is all about conjuring the devious, dark, and deceptive, and I'm glad Ross himself deviated from his original plans for something more cinematic and instead went with a more disturbed, dystopian vision. Great track that really stands out on Serious Monkey Business and adds a lot to the album!



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2012-07-04 13:55:12

This track brings in a creepy yet curious aspect to the original source - it leaves you wanting to know what is yet to come in the larger journey, which fits this track perfectly. Ross did a great job applying his electronic skills with some orchestral elements to give us a hybrid that demands to know more that has yet to be unraveled. The title is an apt choice in light of this brooding aspect, and really makes clear to the listener as to what to expect.

on 2011-12-24 16:09:10
Very interesting take on the overworld theme. The title explains it all. Take the source, add a dash of insanity, a pinch of lunacy, and a whole helping of electronica, and this is what you get. And this is the perfect example of the right combination. Pretty cool effects at 1:37… Slows down at about 1:55, and builds back up to the finale. Breaks down at 2:54. Crazy effects for the last 30 seconds; I like them!

I do enjoy this song; it's an eclectic arrangement that I just can't not listen to when it comes on.

on 2011-12-15 13:02:42

The map screen for DKC2 had this definite heroic approach to me, and to see it take a more different direction for the writing for this interpretation showed signs of promise. It's a good blend of source and well polished sounds (if not a little un-dynamic at times), and with some very careful filtering applied on mostly the non-organic instruments it can be quite the soundscape that's developed here.

However, I'm going to say though that I found it really difficult to see if the bass and rhythmic synths even could blend together at all; without much chord distinction in the non-distinct-theme parts, things apparently start to sound rather chaotic sounding in regards to the writing (not in a pleasant way though), a sensation that I have a tendancy to dub "Joker Syndrome". It doesn't seem to have much of a climax either, though the strange rhythm synth at the end was pretty neat and fit the storytelling-like nature done towards it.

So all in all the track's a bit of a mixture for me. It had good promise as an introductory track, but I felt the execution behind it was rather weak. I still see a good amount of promise within the production side though, so I'm hoping you'd be able to take all feedback to heart with future endeavours :)

on 2010-12-20 06:54:37

"If you liked this, you'll love Monstrous Turtles!"

What a great track this is - definitely one of my favourites off the DKC2 album. Really nice brooding intro with a great beat and subtle melody line panned hard right on bells. 1:35 just screams nostalgia to me and is a real highlight. I mention Monstrous Turtles! because I think while it's not quite got the power of that track, it's definitely got the same mood and feel about it.

on 2010-12-19 20:17:12

DJP said this right; it's that evil undertone that really brings this piece alive, and really makes you feel that someone is slowly descending into madness. Even so, the song somehow manages to remain quirky, which adds to that ever-so-creepy description of insanity. Lots of fun listening to this track.

on 2010-12-09 11:35:27

Ross sure has a way of crafting songs that are downright crazy, in perhaps a more literal sense than is usually used to describe music :-) The melodies are spastic and quirky and a lot of fun to jam along to on keyboards actually. Pretty much every synth and bell in the mix seems picked specifically for the purpose of making the song sound even more insane so that the final remix is really a trip to listen to. Perhaps not the most true-to-source theme on Serious Monkey Business, but damn if it isn't enjoyable :-) Good work Ross!

on 2010-12-08 13:37:02

I love how the chimes are used in this mix. I lack the musical savoir faire to describe this properly, but the with the great beat they have a totally different sound to them. Usually I would associate chimes like that with music from cheesy horror flics, but the way they're used here they give the mix a feeling of melancholy while still being an engaging track with a strong beat. Hope I'm making sense _

Great job with the mix!

on 2010-12-05 17:17:33

Wow, the feel here is great - really dark and devious, while it seems to retain some sort of fun edge to it.

Production is solid to me, altho things seem to get overcrowded at points. The arrangement is pretty good tho, there is all sorts of weird synthy effects and automation going on. Again, I'd say that the best thing this mix has going for it is its vibe. Pretty good stuff man.

on 2010-12-05 14:54:42

Deliciously dark and fun. Listening to it again now, the first time with headphones. I can feel all of the difference nuances and everything going on in it. I love the bells throughout. Love the effects at the ending. The title is fitting, giving the feeling of a descent into madness, but it works subtly, which is really nice and unexpected. Fantastic work.

on 2010-12-05 00:09:28
I really love the vibe you created with this song. The title is perfect 'cause it's really like the song is telling the story of how K. Rool lost his marbles.

YES! ^

There's a nice dark atmosphere generated here, like someone has went quietly dangerously insane but just hasn't shown it. You can see the subtle, telltale signs, but you just dismiss them as quirks. Also, I love how the melody is carried via electronic synths over orchestral elements, making the whole thing reminiscent of the aforementioned quirks.

This is just a cool mix, very foreboding and sinister, and well worth listening too.

on 2010-10-25 06:02:35

Currently one of my fav songs on OCR! I really love the vibe you created with this song. The title is perfect 'cause it's really like the song is telling the story of how K. Rool lost his marbles.

on 2010-10-15 16:38:49

Interesting. It does have that evil child vibe to it, with the dark sounds and "tinking" going on. A bit on the "meh" side for me, but well done and gets its point across. The quirkiness of the song does give it the demented atmosphere it needs. Nice.

on 2010-09-28 01:50:59

I just wanted to thank you, Mr. Kmet. This song was the first track I ever heard here, and it sucked me into the world that is OCRemix. I hate to put the usual "It wuz lyk gr8! thx mannnnnnnnnn!!!1!!!111", but I'm new to techno, so I can't really comment on any particular aspect of the song... I guess I'll just say, "Thanks for showing me techno's darker side!" Keep u the good work, man!

on 2010-09-21 15:35:44

I really enjoyed the feel of this one, with some excellent synth choices and a solid groove. The strings in the background lend some additional tension to everything, and the shifting soundscape gives a pretty unhinged feeling to the melody.

Nice work dude! :D

DJ Sydehopper
on 2010-09-18 03:49:24

This track was cool. It didn't really sink in until about 1:00, then the source was VERY clear. Love what you did with this classic tune.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (Nintendo , 1995, SNES)
Music by David Wise
"Welcome to Crocodile Isle (Map Screen)"

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