[Mixtape Monday] Donkey Kong


Welcome to Mixtape Monday! Along with the beautiful artwork you see on Fridays with Inven Culture, we'll also be sharing some of the best video game-themed music.


It might be my mind subliminally guiding me after watching Godzilla vs. Kong, but I want to start off this week being about Donkey Kong. A staple of Super Smash Bros. and one of the most iconic characters in video games, his franchise has some incredible music — both in-game and out. 



To start off, we have this wonderful hip hop track by forestBound.  A lot of problems with hip hop tracks using video game samples is the risk of coming off as corny. Not here.


Not only do the Donkey Kong Country 2 samples used in the track not undermine it, but they help create a nostalgic and melancholy feel. The track switches it up enough to where you never get bored, while still being consistently relaxing throughout. Emotional, memorable, and heartwarming. Trust me, 45 seconds in will have you blown away. 



Second, we have a remix of Donkey Kong Country's Aquatic Ambience by Kamex. The remix encapsulates the emotion of the track, only amplifying it using modern audio techniques to make an ambient track. It's peaceful and serene but isn't in any way boring. A perfect song to close your eyes and be enveloped in. 



Time to wake up! The next song is Bloated Symphony, a Donkey Kong 64 remix by Astroth Sound. The orchestral music goes great with the samples — creating an exciting and chaotic track. It has an enjoyable dark feel to it that perfectly recalls nostalgic memories of the game. And of course, the occasional scream from Pufftos only adds to the fun. 



This fan arrangement of Donkey Kong music for the Harmony of Heroes project needs to be listened to in full. Taking directions from jazz and swing using live instruments, it's a beautiful tribute. The interesting approach still fits with the spirit of the game. At five minutes in length, the song never overstays its welcome, providing beautiful contrasting solos of guitar, saxophone, and more. 


I love dubstep. I love classic video games. The two usually mix as well as water and oil. Most remixes of Donkey Kong are generic dubstep songs with a Donkey Kong sample thrown in at the drop. Donkey Kong Jungle Japes by Stephen Walking manages to pull it off, however.


The melodies, sounds, and environment are all authentically Donkey Kong! A genuinely fun song that's good for more than one listen.



Paying homage to the latest installment of the franchise, the song Deep Freeze by liltommyj is a wonderful remix of Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze. It's hard to tell it's even a remix. It sounds so authentic you'd mistake it for actual music in the game. The melody lines are superb and catchy, the aesthetic is great, and overall it's a joy to listen to. 



Finally, I want to round off this week with some original music from one of the games. One of the best songs from arguably the greatest game soundtrack in history — Ice Cave Chant from Donkey Kong Country.


What can be said about this track? Adventurous and catchy, it's unlike anything you'll hear before or after. What's amazing is the restored version as part of Jammin' Sam Miller's project to rebuild the soundtrack using the original instrument samples with modern mixing techniques. Listening to the song in studio quality makes it that much more gorgeous. 

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