Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Donkey Kong Country: DK Island Swing; Jungle Theme ~ Waxing Lyrical

I love the Donkey Kong Country series and it has been a part of my childhood. I still remember playing a demo for the game at a local Zellers years ago and playing through Ropey Rampage. Much like Super Metroid, Donkey Kong Country's graphics were far more subdued then Super Mario, making the player feel as if they were in the jungle.

However, as nice looking as the game was, what stood out for me was the music. Much like Super Metroid, the Donkey Kong Country soundtrack draws you in. The music is far more primal with heavy use of drum beats to give the music a jungle beat. While synths are used for some of the songs, the main instrument for the album are drums.

The on song I keep coming back to and remembering would be DK Island Swing ~ Jungle Theme. It is a unique blend of jungle drums with a hint of Jazz mixed in. The Jazz elements in the song are not overbearing and lasts for less then a minute, but its inclusion is what gives the game its unique sound. I applaud David Wise's idea of meshing jungle rhythms with jazz and any other artist might not have been able to pull it off, but Wise was able to. Not only did he mesh the two genre's together, he was able to make it memorable.

That is what is important here. The music is memorable. When I listen to these songs, I am taken back to that era of my childhood. That time when trying a new game was extremely exciting and unsure of what to expect as all our news came from magazines such as EGM and Nintendo Power. There was no Nintendo Direct informing what was happening. No internet for up to the second game coverage. I miss that era, where games were a mystery.

That is why I enjoy listening to the Donkey Kong Country music. It takes me back to that era of ignorance. Where age and experience has not turned me into a cynical adult, but a idealistic child.

Last weekend I picked up Donkey Country Returns 3D and I haven't been able to put it down. The game is a wonderful return to it's roots as a sidescroller. The music is top notch and playing the game makes me feel I am 10 years old again, running off at the local Zellers with my kid brother to try this new game on the SNES. The composers for Donkey Kong Country Returns did a fantastic job on the album and pays tribute to its roots.

This is Daimo Mac and I am lost in the music.

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