From the creators of Kong in Concert comes the latest adventure in remixing the grandiose tunes of the DKC trilogy: Serious Monkey Business. Serious Monkey Business, a project in the works since late 2007, is a collaboration of many artists as they do new interpretations of the amazing DKC 2 soundtrack. And, if that wasn’t enough, “Donkey Kong Rescued,” the credits theme, was done by David Wise, Grant Kirkhope, and Robin Beanland.
Watch the trailer below, get hyped, and go to the Source link below to get your listening on:
What ever happened to the DKC3 remix album? Why has it been delayed so severely?
I'm assistant/co-director of the DKC3 project, and honestly things kept coming up. We had to wait on just a few tracks to do gapless playback/album mastering for the whole album, and getting those few tracks in took several months. That and the artwork portion (specifically The Maverickk's stuff) took much longer than anticipated, and in fact we're still waiting on it to be finished. We're also waiting on Drew Gourley, the video guy, to finish up the final video preview. Not sure what's taking so long; I recorded the gameplay footage and Emunator cut sections of tracks accordingly back in May. Five months ago. Drew apparently is close to done, so we'll see how that goes.
The album should definitely be out by January-March 2012, which isn't too far away. It's being evaluated by OCR as we speak and it's a smooth ride from there on, even with a slew of behind-the-scenes stuff that Emunator and I have to take care of. So yeah, you can pretty much bet on an early 2012 release since there's really nothing at all preventing it from coming out :)
Time for a mini-review of SMB, in which I'm going to review it based a few factors: how they're done musically, how they reflect on the original tracks they were based off of and how they met my standards:
1. Strum Und Kong - eh, I'm kinda torn on this one. I like what djpretzel did melodically with the source, and the orchestral bit at the beginning and end is really nifty, but I'm not a big fan of the electronica elements. I feel like he could have taken an entirely orchestral approach and had a better effect. Cool intro though, very nostalgic either way. 7/10
2. Simian Soiree - interesting istrumentation, but it doesn't really feel like a remix of Klomp's Rhomp to be honest. First and foremost, a remix is a complete reconstruction of a track using what makes up its foundation in new ways. This track doesn't do that, but instead feels like it was based on Klomp's Rhomp, using very little source. 6/10
3. Party's Over Here - not a fan of the spoken intro, but the rest of it is pretty nice! Really captures the feel of the original Cranky's Conga despite having no conga elements whatsoever heh. 7/10
4. Rare Respite - beautiful without a doubt; you can tell Patrick Burns really got inspiration and poured his heart out emotionally into this track. This is one of my favorite tracks on the album. 9/10
5. How K. Rool Went Insane - this doesn't do much for me. Nice attempt, but doesn't do anything at all interesting with the original source. It's as if the directors needed someone to remix this track and said "ok, fine, we'll take it!" without thinking things through (in fact, that's how a few other tracks feel to be honest). 5/10
6. Tetanus - an epic, epic rendition of an epic source tune. All of the beautiful musical colors bounce off of each other gracefully. It's like a musical kaleidoscope. For this to have not passed the OCR panel I'll never understand, especially considering tracks like Trapped in the Minds did. Anyways, Tetanus is great. 8/10
7. Old School - manages to be highly nostalgic without being anything like the original stylistically. Captures the melodies of the original extremely well, and in general this is one of those times where something different simply works. 7/10
8. Monkey Merengue - not much to say here, but I'm a huge fan of the instrumentation and the way it captures the original is brilliant. 8/10
9. Token Up - zykO's my favorite remixer, but this one is a hit or miss. Felt a bit uninspired as it takes more elements from DK Island Swing than not, and the actual Token Tango theme doesn't come up until about 4 1/2 minutes in. From then on it's a smooth ride to the finish, and it's actually quite nice. I felt there might've been a bit too much going on though. 7/10
10. It's a Jungle Out There! - With excellent hand percussion, a prominent melody and naturalistic sound design, this does everything the source tune did and more. Captures the huge Jungle Jinx feel seamlessly. 9/10
11. The Apes of Wrath - This zykO mix feels kinda uninspired as well and doesn't much with the source. However, what it *does* manage to do, really hits home with me. It's a pretty good mix. 6/10
12. Welcome to the Funky House - now this... you can tell it was rushed, and it was. The original has one of the most hard-hitting intros in VGM history, and this really doesn't do anything with that OR anything interesting with the melodies. Sorry djp, but you can do loads better. 5/10
13. Beneath the Canopy - The original Web Woods is highly psychedelic what with its euphoric sound design, and this tune sounds like Pink Floyd mixed with the original's melodies. However, the melodies aren't what made the original as good as it was: it was the sound design. That said, I feel this was a good effort, and still a solid track, but it sadly didn't 'wow' me as much as a few others. 6/10
14. A New Place - a duet between Diddy and Dixie set in the lava levels makes this track highly memorable. The source is kinda minimalistic and nearly non-existent if you take out the vocals, but other than that it's really a work of art. 7/10
1. Roller Dicso - pretty much anything one would want from the original. I kinda hoped for a rendition of the Diddy Ending at the end, and to my surprise it ended up coming true. I thought it was quite the treat. 8/10
2. This Chase is Haunted - eh... this seems really generic, both-stylistically and as a homage, as doesn't do much with the original honestly. Why wouldn't symphonic rock have been a better choice? 6/10
3. Paleolithic Park - WOW--this really surprised me upon the first listen. Sound design is superb, which is what one would expect from a skilled musician like bustatunez, and it very surely captures the mysterious jungle-esque feel of the Lost World. Source could've been a bit present, but it's a highly beautiful rendition. 8/10
4. Rhumba Rumble - a rather tropical take of the original Steel Drum Rhumba turned out quite nicely. Melodies are prominent throughout and you get a nice little Cranky's Conga cameo somewhere in the song! Very enjoyable. 8/10
5. Us Monkeys Together - the lyrics have only a fleeting connection to the ice levels (and were sung in Mandarian, I believe) and the track itself isn't anything like the original. Sometimes I wonder what the developers were thinking when they accepted certain WIPs and denied others. 6/10 for effort.
6. Club Klubba - fun fact: Diggi Dis rushed this track in just a few hours after struggling with how to tackle it, and he actually hates it, heh. Music-wise there's barely any source, and the track has nothing to do with the original theme whatsoever (unless you connect Klubba being a bouncer with guarding the Lost World or something). For the lack of, well, being anything but a filler track, 4/10.
7. Swamp Gases - seems to be "based off of" Bayou Boogie, but it's still a very Shpongle-ish mix with a ton of love and heart. Emphasizes the bassline of the original well and a few of the melodies. The original is so good because it segues together seamlessly, which this doesn't, but this is still a solid mix on its own. 7/10
8. Backwards Room - fitting lyrics and musical execution makes this one of the very best mixes on the project. If only it didn't have any clipping though... 8/10
9. Trapped in the Minds - :(
I... really, really don't like saying this, but the lyrical execution is horrible, the track seems extremely unspired (especially considering the original was so beautiful) and the track mastering is anything but perfect. I appreciate the effort displayed by the artists involved, but this was clearly unfinished... and for it to not only be on the album but meet the main OCR page as a *mixpost*.... gah. I don't even know. I understand they were trying to rush the album, but sacrificing quality for release time was a bad idea I felt. 4/10
10. Crystal Swamp - while it's beautiful musically, this has barely any of the original Snakey Chanty present at all, and seems like it just 'borrowed' a few elements and was submitted just so the developers wouldn't have to beg someone to do a remix of it or something. I'm just taking a guess but there's gotta be a reason why it was on the project. Anyways, I wish the track was done in a country style (as it would fit the original perfectly) but oh well. 7/10 for being an amazing mix otherwise.
11. Dance of the Zinger - HOLY SHIT, this was incredible. virt really knows how to make a kickass tune and I'm more than happy we got something like this on the project and not another Club Klubba heh. 9/10
12. Dead Raggening - one of Mazedude's best. It's just about anything I could ever want from a remix of the original, and more. Feels like a dark conflict between Squawks and Screech more than the actual race, but the fact that I feel it fits the game makes it even more appropriate. This might be one of my favorite mixes ever. 9/10
13. High Seas - beautiful and epic -- beautifully epic! Captures the 30 second track and expands tremendously. Nutritious, be happy -- you made a really nice mix that'll be in my heart forever. 8/10
14. Exit Row - I've always been indifferent about this mix. It has kickass sound design and is quite a good remix, but the original never did anything to me so it's hard to base it off of anything. It deserves something high, though. 8/10
15. Pickin' Out the Fleas - gah. Its execution was done well, and it has plenty of source, but I just don't find myself listening to this one at all. Definitely not bad, but... eh, I don't know. It just feels so uninspired. 7/10
16. Bramble Reprise - beautiful. I couldn't imagine a better or more appropriate bramble remix. 9/10
17. Castle Crescendo - pretty much an enhanced version of the original, which is never a bad thing. Expands on it very well while keeping the same general tone. 9/10
18. Monkeys Disarm Their Kremlings - death metal is just about the last thing I listen to, so I approached this track with an open mind. I honestly don't see what the big deal is. The vocals are surprisingly great and the lyrics are pretty cool, and the instrumentation expands on the original as well. I adore the Bramble riff at the very end, so fitting. I can definitely see why one wouldn't like this mix, but I wouldn't want anything different.
19. Re-Skewed - *prepares to get tomatoes thrown at me* - this didn't do much to me, I think. Sure, it's Dave, Grant and Robin, but... it's not really a remix as much as it is a cover of the original. Grant's guitar work was stellar, and Dave's saxophone is beautiful... and Robin's a beast at the trumpet... but those live performances pretty much made the song. I expected something a bit different I guess, but at the same time I don't think I was disappointed. It's really hard to explain where I'm coming from. I guess I was pleasantly surprised despite the fact that I can tell it wasn't really that good a remix, if that makes sense. 7/10
In all, the album had a lot of good tracks, as well as a lot of mediocre tracks, and the balance isn't all that good what with the bizarre tracklisting. Many of the tracks seemed clearly uninspired whereas others are complete works of art. It's kinda strange.
Highway, I agree that Re-Skewed isn't so much a remix as it is a cover arrangement, but I like it nonetheless.
I like the album overall, even if some of the tracks aren't as good as I hoped they would be, but on the whole I think they did a pretty good job with what they had. I've learned not to judge OC Remix by how faithful they are to the source material but how good the songs are by themselves. With that in mind, all the tracks, even the low ones, can be appreciated...except for one.
Trapped in the Minds. Oh, how I hate this one. I can't say anything about the song itself beyond what Highway said, but I will say this: Why, out of all the tracks they could've screwed up, they had to pick the ONE track that was missing from the original soundtrack release? Really?
For whatever reason, I feel like rating the tracks as well.
1. Strum Und Kong - A pretty damn good track. I have to disagree with Highway about the electronic elements. At first I felt the same, but over time it grew on me, and I now think the orchestral and electronic elements blend well. Except maybe the drums, which honestly are rather dull. 8/10
2. Simian Soiree - I have mixed feelings about this track, but overall I think it's solid. I think it drags a bit at the start, and I don't dig the goofy bass line, but after the horns hit it really picks up. 7/10
3. Party's Over Here - Eh. It's not horrible, but in all honesty I think it comes off as a bit obnoxious and a little too nauseatingly cute. 6/10
4. Rare Respite - It's okay. But in my opinion, it tries to re-capture the majesty of the original just to fall flat. It also has a shitty ending. 6/10
5. How K. Rool Went Insane - I like this one a good bit. Sure, it doesn't really do anything spectacular, but it's got a great feel that fits really well with DKC2. 8/10
6. Tetanus - One of the best on the album, and one of the best remixes I've ever heard. Just incredible. I get chills every time the synth pulsates. 10/10
7. Old School - I love this track. It captures the source material well, and yet does something completely different. Fantastic remix. 9/10
8. Monkey Merengue - Nice and laid back. There's nothing particularly stand-out about it, but it's pleasant. I'll be generous and give it 8/10.
9. Token Up - This one took a while to grow on me. At first it felt sloppy, and hey, it's more of a remix of Jungle Hijinx than anything else!. But upon closer listen, it's brilliant. It's got a very loose, free feel to it. It really sounds like zykO had a lot of fun making it, and I have a lot of fun listening to it. 9/10
10. It's a Jungle Out There! - This is certainly solid, but it doesn't really feel different enough from the original. It feels more like a re-instrumentation than anything. 7/10
11. The Apes of Wrath - I agree with Highway in saying this feels uninspired. Also, too much uninteresting banging. 6/10
12. Welcome to the Funky House - This is the track that stuck out to me the most on first listen. It's got a great feel, even if it's rather simplistic and a bit similar to the original. It's groovy, man. 8/10
13. Beneath the Canopy - Gorgeous. I can listen to this one over and over. Using a guitar for the lead line was a great choice, and damn does it have a great atmosphere. I do think the mastering is a little weak, but it's forgivable. A worthy tribute. 9/10
14. A New Place - This is a track I begrudgingly like. The vocals, particularly the male vocals, sound cheesy and generic as hell. The sound starts out like a tryout for American Idol, BUT... once the female vocal hits, with its mellow, chorused tone, the track really picks up. Then the guitar and synths kick in, and you realize the song is actually rather beautiful. Then the male vocal comes back in and things cheese up again. Eh, oh well. 7/10
1. Roller Dicso - I don't care for this one. It just sounds like the original made more flat and generic. That said, I love the ending. Being generous.... 5/10
2. This Chase is Haunted - I mostly just find this song nerve-wracking. 4/10
3. Paleolithic Park - It's neat how bustatunez created this as a dual remix. It's essentially a cross between the Lost World: Jurassic Park theme and the Lost World: DKC2 theme. The best part is where he mimics the T-Rex scene. Good stuff. 8/10
4. Rhumba Rumble - It's not bad. It doesn't add a lot, though, and it doesn't really go anywhere. 7/10
5. Us Monkeys Together - Hmm. The instrumentation isn't bad. It more or less captures the spirit of the original. I have mixed feelings about the vocals. I just can't decide if they work or not. 7/10
6. Club Klubba - Boring. 5/10.
7. Swamp Gases - Great mix, technically and musically. I love the synth work, and you just gotta dig that bassline. It pays proper tribute to the original while doing something completely its own. A model remix. 9/10.
8. Backwards Room - The best metal song on the album by far. A great remix in the sense of it being true to the source, as well as being great on its own. 8/10
9. Trapped in the Minds - Ho boy, the big one. The track that divides the entire fanbase. Well, here it is: I like it. Yes, the mastering/production is lacking, and yes, the lyrics are goofy and corny as hell, but so what? It's got a great groove, and the rapping is actually pretty solid. It also has solid guitar work and a well designed rhythm track. Also, it's a game about monkeys stomping on crocodiles and eating bananas, so I can forgive the goofy-ass lyrics. Except for maybe the chorus, which is way too emo. Anyway, a good song overall. 7.5/10
10. Crystal Swamp - This track is full of mixed feelings for me. I really like the synths and the general direction of the song, but I do not like the percussion at all, and it isn't very faithful to the original. 6.5/10
11. Dance of the Zinger - I seem to be in the minority when I say that I don't particularly like this remix. I don't feel like it adds anything to the original besides a hardcore techno beat and a choppy, strung together feel. I do like the breakdown when it first hits, but it falls apart rather quickly for me. 6/10
12. Dead Raggening - My favorite of the album. FUCKING BEAUTIFUL SONG. So atmospheric, yet so musical. Goddamn, what a remix. 10/10
13. High Seas - A pretty good orchestral mix. Hard not to dig it. 8/10
14. Exit Row - I really want to like this one, but I have a hard time listening to it. It's technically impressive, but that's its downfall as well as its strength. I'm sorry, but I just find the percussion in this song annoying as hell. Is it impressive? Absolutely. Is it pleasant to listen to? Not at all. 6/10
15. Pickin' Out the Fleas - I don't dislike this song, but it doesn't really do much for me, either. It is what it is, I guess. It's a rock remix of Swanky's Swing, nothing more or less. 7/10
16. Bramble Reprise - A very mellow remix of Stickerbush Symphony, which is appropriate. It doesn't approach the beauty of the original, but it does have a jazzy, electronic beauty of it's own. 8.5/10
17. Castle Crescendo - A pretty good song. I definitely enjoy it, but honestly I would listen to the original over this remix any day. 8/10
18. Monkeys Disarm Their Kremlings - I feel like the "singing" in this song ruins an otherwise decent mix. I especially like the lead guitars, and the sound is pretty great. But.... goddamn, that voice is just ridiculous. It's almost humorous, but in the end it's just incredibly irritating. 6/10
19. Re-Skewed - Eh. No disrespect towards Wise, but this isn't really a remix, and what it does change is mostly for the worse. I liked the original much better, with the exception of the short but sweet saxophone bits. Out of respect I'll give it... 7/10
1. Bonus Bop- A great little rendition with a real big band. You gotta love it. 8/10
2. Monkeys Disarm Their Kremlings- Much better just because it lacks the horrendous vocals. Unfortunately, it's clear the song was written around them, and it feels lacking without the vocals leading it. Also, I find the drums annoying when they're going 10,000 miles per hour. 6.5/10
According to my calculations, that's an overall rating of 7.3, which seems about right. The album struck me as a mix of several good to great songs, and several mediocre to poor songs. A true mix bag.