Composer Grant Kirkhope has released an updated version of his original Banjo Kazooie soundtrack.
This piece originally ran on Kotaku Australia on January 5, 2022. It has been retimed as a weekend read.
Yes, I know this came out last year. I only just heard it yesterday so it’s new to me, and maybe to you too.
It’s called Banjo Kazooie: Re-Jiggyed. It features modern reworks of ten of the game’s most beloved tracks, including Spiral Mountain, Treasure Trove Cove, and Click Clock Wood. Kirkhope released the album onto streaming services in late October last year.
Kirkhope’s orchestral version of the Spiral Mountain theme for Smash Bros Ultimate was beloved. It was a sweeping, soaring version of a beloved track. In Re-Jiggyed, Kirkhope shuns that aural spectacle and attempts instead to modernise the original song. It moves through several sections, instruments, and sounds, just the way it would in the game. The Banjo Kazooie soundtrack was famed in its day for its amorphous design, the way it would change as you played, remoulding itself to the player’s surroundings in real-time.
On other tracks, Kirkhope changes the genre up entirely. Originally an upbeat wintery polka, Freezeezy Peak becomes a summery, horn-driven ska bop. Gobi’s Valley loses all of its kitschy twang, becoming an operatic metal track.
As a composer, Kirkhope has a legendary list of video game credits. He joined Rare in 1996, producing music for Killer Instinct 2/Gold and Donkey Kong Land 2, before working with Graeme Norgate and Robin Beanland on the GoldenEye 007 score in 1997. Over the next three years, Kirkhope would deliver memorable soundtrack triple-shot on Banjo-Kazooie, Donkey Kong 64, and Banjo-Tooie. He would then reunite with Norgate and new composer David Clynick on Perfect Dark.
He began freelancing in 2012, creating music for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, Yooka-Laylee, World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, and Minecraft Dungeons.