Donkey Kong Country 2: Serious Monkey Business – “Rare Respite” (arr. Patrick Burns)March 19, 2010
Another massively long post title for a massively long remix project. Donkey Kong Country 2: Serious Monkey Business is OCReMix’s latest project, a complete remixing of the entire Donkey Kong Country 2 (1995) soundtrack – which is one of the best vgm albums ever composed. It’s all the more astonishing that the original was composed by only one guy, David Wise. There are over 2 hours and 20 minutes of music in the entire three-disc set, with an incredible amount of variety – every single track has its own unique style that once again redefines how we think about vgm. It’s about enough to make a DKC fan go apeshit. I haven’t had time to dig through the entire thing yet, but one track in particulary caught my ears as I strained to listen to it on my failing earbuds. Now that I’ve had a chance to listen to it using some real equipment, I have to say that “Rare Respite” is so far my favorite piece on the album.
“Rare Respite” is a remix of David Wise’s “Jib Jig”, the theme of the windy rigging stages where players climb through mazes of rigging and masts soaring high above in cloudy mists. Patrick Burns’ take on the piece is a Celtic sailor’s tune with a bewitching flute, pure piano, and bright guitar supported by a harp and a deep, booming drum; it’s astonishingly beautiful and incredibly calming. Patrick Burns also integrates sound effects halfway through the theme (1:55) and again at the end, something that David Wise does in all his Donkey Kong Country pieces, making it a perfect match for his style. This almost seems like how the track might have sounded if it were composed today. Burns gives us some perfect music for sailing under blue skies and misty clouds, Celtic sailors on calm seas. Each second of the piece is full of calm and joy, and is a great way to end the day.