Ah yes, Donkey Kong Country 3. The last entry in the series, and one of the best looking games on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. And, much like the other games in the series, this one got its own remake on the Game Boy Advance. However, unlike the previous remakes, this one had its own unique soundtrack by series composer David Wise. It also had a new world called Pacifica with unique level layouts. It was a fun remake, and added a lot to the already stellar original.
Why is this important, you ask? OverClocked ReMix has albums for both the original Donkey Kong Country, entitled Kong in Concert, and for DKC2, entitled Serious Monkey Business. So when the time came to complete the trilogy, there was a question to be asked. Should they stick to the SNES original, or take on the GBA remake’s soundtrack as well? The answer was actually quite simple: why not remix both? As a result, this is the largest OCR album to date. 77 tracks spread across 5 discs comprising nearly 5 1/2 hours of music… this is quite the gargantuan album. As usual, you can grab it for free right here!
Now if you’re familiar with my past album reviews, you should know the deal already. If not, here’s how it goes. My reviews are on a track-by-track basis, inspecting each track and writing out my train of thought as I listen to each track. Ordinarily this wouldn’t be an issue, but for some reason I said I would review this album in one sitting. And I did just that… well almost. I took breaks between each disc. Regardless, here it is: my review of Donkey Kong Country 3: Double the Trouble, done in one night. Enjoy~
Editor’s Note: Although the daunting task of completing this massive review was completed in one night, an editorial decision was made to divide the full review into five separate posts (one for each disc). This way, it will be easier for you to follow the details on each disc reviewed, without fatigue. This is part four for disc four.- But make sure you read all five! It’s definitely worth it.
Disc 4 (Pacifica)
1. Undercurrent (Enchanted River GBA) – Pot Hocket [3:00]
This is quite the beautiful acoustic jam, and it’s quite faithful to the source material as well. I’m really feeling this track, I have to say. The fact that it’s just two acoustic guitars makes it all the more mystical. The end begins at around the 2:40 mark.
2. Aquatic Transformations (Water World GBA) – halc feat. Level 99 [5:01]
halc’s chips kick this track off, with Level 99′s guitars coming in at 0:38 or so. The source is highly evident, and the backing rhythm sounds beautiful with everything else that is going on in this track. Some great guitar at 2:03 really shows off the ties the source has to DKC1′s Aquatic Ambience. It all gets switched up at 2:43 or so, changing up the feeling of the track, followed by a guitar solo comes at 2:28 or so. Everything calms down at 4:21 or so, signaling the coming end to the song.
3. Heart of the Cave (Cavern Caprice GBA) – Rozovian [8:21]
This still isn’t the longest track on the album! It starts off rather mystically, with the source slowly coming in piece by piece. The raining effect drops out at 1:20 or so, only to return a few seconds later. 2:10 makes everything into quite the driving rhythm, including the rain effect. There’s a change-up at 3:14 or so, as the mood of the track changes a bit. Some of the previous instrumentation returns at 3:42, some of it to new purpose and pattern. It all calms down once again at 4:58, giving way to another mood, another feel. 5:46 brings some of the instruments back and introduces a new happier feel. 6:42 drops out some instruments while retaining the cheerful rhythm, only bring them back at 7:10. The end of this song is certainly near, as the raining effect returns at 7:27. From here on out, it’s quite calm as the same rhythm continues until 8:09, leaving only the rain.
4. Cranky’s Mojo (Cranky’s Dojo GBA) – Peach [4:04]
For some reason, Cranky runs a dojo in the GBA game, deflecting spiky foes with a shield. Lovely piano starts the song off, with some nice woodwind following soon after. It’s certainly slow and deliberate in its pacing, until 1:12 when the action kicks in. It’s quite exciting, and captures the feeling of the minigame. After all, it can get somewhat tricky to block those porcupines, especially in later worlds. 2:07 brings a slight breakdown; this is mixed up at 2:58 with quite the change in feeling from intense to jazz. This gives way at 3:34 as everything returns to the calmness of the start, preparing for the end of the song soon thereafter.
5. Chasing Waterfalls (Cascade Capers GBA) – Blue Magic [3:26]
This is quite the soothing beginning, fitting of the source. 0:36 fills up the soundscape a bit, and 1:04 brings in some thick bass. 1:23 has some lovely acoustic guitar. There’s a slight breakdown at around the two minute mark, and it picks back up at 2:30 or so. The finale begins at 3:04.
6. Cornfed Kong (Rockface Rumble GBA) – zykO feat. Diggi Dis, diotrans [6:01]
Acoustic guitar kicks in immediately, with some nice source usage appearing at 0:26. The soundscape fills up at 0:54 or so, bringing the feeling right into force. 1:17 brings some great source usage to the forefront of the soundscape, with a few things dropping out at 1:34 or so. Piano kicks in at 1:48, creating a bridge between the previous part and the next. The source returns at 2:24. This really has the sound of a jam session, just everyone rocking out in their own little way. 3:18 brings in some violin courtesy of the lovely diotrans, with complementing electric guitar joining shortly after. The violin is quite prominent at 4:18 or so, as the song keeps building up towards its climax. 4:57 calms everything down, removing it all but acoustic guitar and piano, with guitar and violin not long after. Then 5:18 lets the piano take control, with the end becoming evident at 5:38 with the finale.
7. Spanish Jitters (Jungle Jitter GBA) – David Wise feat. Robin Beanland, bustatunez, Daniel Rosenqvist, Diggi Dis, Harmony, JJT, Level 99, OA, prophetik, zykO [5:43]
This has to be the most contributors on a single remix ever. Regardless of which, it’s quite the awesome song, especially with the little 80s section Dave Wise said he threw in for some reason. Acoustic guitar kicks the song off, with the some nice flute at 0:53 or so. There’s a definite buildup here, and we reach the top at 1:23 with some nice brass courtesy of several folks from the community. Robin Beanland joins in with flumpet as well. 3:07 kicks off the aforementioned “80s section” with style and finesse, only to be joined by some more wonderful flumpet. The brass returns at 4:15, and is followed by prophetik on saxophone at 4:32 with a beautifully moving solo. Diggi Dis comes in on keys 4:53, with the main brass part returning at 5:15. There’s another piano solo at 5:30 that takes us to the finale of this wonderful song.
8. Sea Breeze Concerto (Stilt Village GBA) – Monkey Kong feat. David Wise [4:40]
Here’s another Dave Wise remix, except this time he’s just featured on it instead of orchestrating the whole thing. It starts out calm, but explodes 0:35 with some nice electric guitar, only to drop out and go to acoustic at 0:54 or so. This is quite the lovely jam; I can’t help but move along to the rhythm. 2:33 brings in a breakdown, slowly building up to something. But the question is, what is that something? It’s probably pretty awesome… I’m sure if we listen to this synth solo long enough, it’ll reveal itself. It does just that at 3:28 when it culminates in a grand saxophone solo by Dave Wise himself. The main song returns at 3:48, with synth accompaniment. By accompaniment I mean, “Going all over the place because it can.” This leads into the end at 4:33.
9. Beneath the Moonlight (Stilt Village GBA) – Theophany feat. Harmony, some1namedjeff, Fishy [8:54]
Now THIS, this right here… At nearly nine minutes long, this is the longest track on the album. Much like Rozovian’s mix earlier, it starts out calm with an aquatic feeling to it. Some flutes come in at 0:50 or so, with some building drums. The tension created by these drums explodes at 1:41, when some nice violin and acoustic guitar mix together to add the beautiful atmosphere created in this song. It all calms down 2:32, when source usage finally kicks in. Fun fact: this song’s name continues the trend set by Beneath the Surface on Kong in Concert and continued with Fishy’s Beneath the Canopy on Serious Monkey Business. The naming trend also shows a path of reaching higher, going from underwater into a forest, only to scale the trees to end up beneath the stars and the moonlight. 3:43 brings a change-up that continues the growing feeling of the soundscape. 4:32 brings a slight breakdown in that some instruments drop out, only to continue this trend about twenty seconds later. Jeff’s violin really carries the song forward here, and transitions in the nice acoustic guitar at 5:15 or so magnificently. There’s definitely something coming at this point, as we’re nearing the climax. Everything’s coming together to bring something forth… 6:00 has a breakdown to set the stage for that something to take center stage, which it does at 6:22, with a grand guitar solo courtesy of Fishy. Then at 7:30, the solo ends on a victorious note. Everything begins its descent into silence as the song winds down. And then it all stops at 8:44, bringing an end to that wonderful track.
10. Distant Dreams on Stormy Seas (Game Over GBA) – Emunator, Theophany, Cody Wedel [3:47]
Here we are, at the final track of the album proper. Transitioning from the previous track with an aqueous ambience magnificently, the song begins with a feeling of peace. 1:00 brings in the first notes of the source track, only to be accompanied by the rumbling of thunder and the static sound of a constant downpour starting at 1:30. This all fades away at 1:54 to give way for some calm piano, retaining the peaceful feeling of the start. Source returns at 2:32, with a building soundscape preparing for the end of the song a short while later. This finale begins at 3:12, as everything fades away and the roaring sound of the ocean sends us off to lands unknown, to songs unheard.
Editor’s Note: This brings us to the conclusion of disc four. Make sure to read the rest of the reviews (that means all the way to disc 5!) for full impressions and concluding statements!