Diddy Kong Racing: Bootleg Circuit Review

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Introduction: We got a remix album today. It’s Diddy Kong Racing: Bootleg Circuit by Benjamin Briggs. Now Diddy Kong Racing is one of my all time favourite racing games and one I hold dear to my heart. I played the living crap right out of this game. As an example, I beat every developer time with every available vehicle for every single level. Seeing a remix album, even though it’s only 5 tracks long, is a real treat. You can pick up Diddy Kong Racing: Bootleg Circuit at Benjamin Briggs Bandcamp page.

Notes: As with every remix album, I rate it to include what the remixes bring to the table. Also when it comes to nostalgia, the more nostalgic I am for the music, the more likely I am to scrutinize it much more strictly.

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The Tunes:

The original for Hi There! (Lobby) wasn’t exactly one of my favourite tracks when it came to DKR, but I think Briggs brings the song up to code with his remix.  Briggs throws in the pleasing ear massaging starting at 0:37. At about 2:12ish, it really starts picking up, throwing in a more heartfelt synth sax lead that really adds to the tune. Out does the original in my opinion, which always a great thing (and extremely difficult to do) in a remix.

Stupid Monkey Beach Party (Crescent Island) is probably the star tune of the whole album. Briggs makes the chorus very catchy with a great synth styling and smooth percussion built in. The whole song grooves very well and gets you bouncing a bit. It ends up throwing in a lot of variety in the song and keeps things fresh. But my biggest pet peeve of the entire album is on Stupid Monkey Beach Party (Crescent Island) where the song could end climatically with the chorus (it starts at 0:29) but just ends up skipping a great place to put it in before the outro. It really feels like it’s missing and could have brought the song up to a whole other level just by having a crescendo plus the climax starting at 2:33.

On Hot Pockets (Hot Top Volcano) , I really like the beat that drops in at 1:46, very good stuff. but I think the majority of  the rest of the song is slightly lacking and kind of sits in kind of a trance genre with the builds and falls. It’s not that it’s a bad song, I just a little more creativity in the approach to the flow of the song may have made for a better tune.

Royal Rumble (Boss Race) I felt could have brought more to the table. It feels a little anaemic in the counter melody part, but the ‘Pendulum’-like styling do bring it up to a decent song, but not a great song.The song really doesn’t start coming into it’s own from the remix until near the end. And the ‘Jumps’ really make me think of driving off the side of the Volcano when going against Tricky the Triceratops.

Interstellar Dream Disco (Darkmoon Caverns) it’s a pretty good song, but I feel it doesn’t really change much from the original besides higher quality instruments, more intricate beats and a bit of arranging. it starts getting a little bit more creative near the end, but near the end is usually too late for a remix to start standing out from it’s original. Also, on a side note, is it just me or does it sound like the voice is saying ‘Hitler’ at 0:22?

Final Thoughts: I’m a little bit torn on this album. On one hand, it brings some decent upgrades and beats to a soundtrack I never really considered to be exactly one of the best soundtracks on the N64. on the other hand, certain choice arranging and creativity decisions don’t really stand out as shining examples of great remixes. I do like how the whole album flows from one song to the other, that’s a nice touch.It is a decent album, but I’d recommend this album pretty much solely for die hard DKR/N64 fans.

The Good:
Solid remixes.
It’s Name your Price.

The Bad:
Certain creative decisions lead to less variety and a feeling of wanting more from the songs.

Favorite Tunes: Stupid Monkey Beach Party (Crescent Island)

Diddy Kong Racing: Bootleg Circuit: 65 POINTS

1.
65
2.
75
3.
55
4.
57
5.
71

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