744 (Ben Brownlee) follows up his debut ambient/orchestral take on Twilight Princess from June of last year with an equally compelling take on DKC's "Fear Factory," where he represents the factory lights switching on & off by changing from downtempo to a more upbeat groove, hence the title:
"I wanted to highlight the level in Donkey Kong Country in which the lights (and presumably power) to the factory are switched on and off. So this remix goes back and forth between high energy and darkness. The beginning of the track is more like walking in and the whole place is asleep, then someone hits a power switch somewhere and everything springs to life, with even the firey oil drums having their own rhythm. But that soon fails, only to come back on briefly and then sputter out again.
Anyway, it was one of the levels I think of when I think DKC. When I was about eight years old, this level (and the cave level with the elevators after it) was the bane of my existence. I spent hours making blind jumps into pits. I got to the point where I'd just get the song stuck in my head for hours on end. One of the major musical themes of my childhood. I hope I did it justice."
Neat concept; the arrangement definitely oscillates between a subdued, floating vibe and a more intense pulse, and I think using that mechanism to structure things was crafty & effective. As a sidenote, I've got six or seven uninterruptible power supplies at home, and when we DO lose electricity, the whole house turns into a massive choir of obnxious beeping. Fun! Judges had some minor issues with the mixing, in particular the drums, on the more energetic sections, but overall the consensus was positive; DragonAvenger writes:
"Overall the track is a chill rendition that expands on the mood the original source presents. The pacing between the slower and more energetic sections really works to keep the track moving, and there's a lot of personal touches. I'm good to go on this one."
While generally a bit minimalist, the lower-key sections are atmospheric and sound pretty lush; for the more EDM-ish bits, I think three specific things could have tightened things up:
- More movement on the bass, with a pop or slap here or there to accent the line.
- More modern production aesthetic, with sidechaining & EQ to make things pop.
- Rebalance & vary the drums a bit more - wider stereo field, maybe some hat rolls, etc.
I don't usually get line-item like that, but I've been listening to some different genres like future bass and retrowave lately, and couldn't help think how some of those production techniques could have been applied here & enhanced the contrast between the lights-on sections & the ambient dark. Just food for thought, really, since this is already clicking & Ben's vision comes through. I dug it, especially some of the soaring synth solos, the automated filtering on drums, and good use of dynamic panning on background pads; all enhancements that help create movement & fluidity. I was looking forward to a follow-up from this artist after a memorable debut, and this doesn't disappoint. Enjoy!
on 2018-06-25 11:57:41
I have to strongly agree, justice IS done to the original...very much so.
The hype and downgrade in tempo as you say, is what really curves
this piece properly. Then of course, there's the
professional's statements and suggestions.
on 2018-05-18 08:30:36
Yes, you did do it justice. Very nice mix. Keep it up!
on 2018-05-17 19:07:12
If there is one soundtrack that hits me right, it's DKC1. And I've heard great and not-so-great remixes of songs from it. But this one... Ooh boy I didn't want it to end. Probably gonna put it on repeat for a bit...
on 2018-05-17 13:30:51
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Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Primary Game:
Donkey Kong Country (Nintendo, 1994, SNES)
Music by David Wise, Eveline Novakovic, Robin Beanland
- "Fear Factory"
- Ambient, EDM
- Chill, Energetic
- Electronic, Piano, Synth
- Time > 4/4 Time Signature
- 6,879,303 bytes
- Size: 6,879,303 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: c5709096543a9960b80ea4caff3cdea7
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