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David Wise (author).

David Wise is an English video game music composer and musician. He was a composer at Rare from 1985 to 2009, and was the company’s sole musician up until 1994. He has gained a following for his work on various games, particularly Nintendo’s Donkey Kong Country series. Wise is known for his atmospheric style of music, mixing natural environmental sounds with prominent melodic and percussive accompaniment.


  • 1 Career and influences
  • 2 Works
  • 3 References
  • 4 External links

Career and influences[edit]

Wise has said that he has had a wide range of musical influences, though the first instrument he learned to play was the piano, before later learning the trumpet, and then learning to play drums during adolescence. He played in a few bands during his youth, and was still active in a band as of 2004. His career at Rare began when he happened to meet its two founders, as he explained in response to a question posted on its company website: “I was working in a music shop demonstrating a Yamaha CX5 Music Computer to a couple of people, Tim & Chris Stamper. I’d written and programmed the music for the demonstration material. They offered me a job.”[1]

While working at Rare, Wise soon gained wide attention and acclaim for his work on the Donkey Kong Country game series. In addition to the percussive and ambient ‘jungle’ influences that serve as a thematic undercurrent for much of the series, the games feature a wide variety of different musical styles that are reflective of the various areas and environments they appear in. In the January 1996 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly, Wise stated that his travelling experiences largely shaped the sound and mood of each Donkey Kong soundtrack, further saying that the music for Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest was composed during what he called his “experimental Paris phase”. He has also composed the soundtrack for the Game Boy Advance port of Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble!.

In late October 2009, it was announced by the OverClocked ReMix community that Wise was remixing a track for Serious Monkey Business, an unofficial Donkey Kong Country 2 remix album. Grant Kirkhope and Robin Beanland also collaborated on this track, playing guitar and trumpet respectively.[2][3] On 15 March 2010, Serious Monkey Business was released and Dave Wise’s track, ‘Re-Skewed’, was featured as Track No. 33. Much like his contribution to Serious Monkey Business, Wise later remixed his own composition, the GBA version of “Jungle Jitter”, for an unofficial Donkey Kong Country 3 remix album titled Double the Trouble!, which was released on 1 December 2012.[4] Wise also provided a saxophone solo for another remix, in addition to mixing and mastering the track.

On 14 November 2009, Wise announced his resignation from Rare, feeling as though the company has “changed a great deal” and there was no longer an opportunity to create music tracks that Rare is most known for.[5] In December 2010 Wise created a personal studio called the ‘David Wise Sound Studio’.[6] In June 2013, it was announced that he would be composing for Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, after receiving a call from Retro Studios president Michael Kelbaugh, who previously worked at Rare.[7][8] Wise also composed for Yooka-Laylee along with Kirkhope and Steve Burke.[9]



  • ^ Rare: The Tepid Seat – Rare Music Team (December 2004) Archived 6 December 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  • ^ .mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url(“//”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url(“//”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url(“//”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url(“//”)right 0.1em center/12px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:none;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .citation .mw-selflink{font-weight:inherit}”OverClocked ReMix Presents ‘Serious Monkey Business'”. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  • ^ “Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest “Re-Skewed” OC ReMix”. Retrieved 16 May 2020 – via
  • ^ “Donkey Kong Country 3: Double the Trouble!”. OC ReMix. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  • ^ “MundoRare | David Wise, composer since 1985, leaves Rare (November 2009)”. Archived from the original on 19 November 2009. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
  • ^ “Game Music :: Interview with David Wise (December 2010)”. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  • ^ “David Wise composing Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze”. Destructoid. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  • ^ “David Wise Explains How He Got His Job on Tropical Freeze”. Gamnesia. 6 March 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  • ^ “The Team So Far…” Playtonic Games. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  • ^ Rare: Scribes (December 21, 2005) at Internet Archive
    “Robin did Funky’s Fugue, Eveline did Simian Segue, Candy’s Love Song, Voices of the Temple, Forest Frenzy, Tree Top Rock, Northern Hemispheres and Ice Cave Chant, and the rest was the doing of Mr. Wise.”
  • ^ Rare: Scribes (February 9, 2006) at Internet Archive
    “…everything is by Eveline except for Dixie Beat, Crazy Calypso, Wrinkly’s Save Cave, Get Fit A-Go-Go, Wrinkly 64, Brothers Bear and Bonus Time (along with Bonus Win and Bonus Lose), which were by Dave.”
  • ^ “Tengami Soundtrack”. nyamyam. Archived from the original on 26 March 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  • ^ “Former Retro Studios Developer Opens Squarehead Studios”. IGN. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  • ^ Wise, David (16 February 2017). “Music of Snake Pass with David Wise”. Twitch. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  • ^ admin (March 2020). “Yooka-Laylee and Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair Soundtracks Released”. Playtonic Games. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  • ^ “NEW GAME: Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair”. Playtonic Games. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  • ^ “Tamarin conjures Jet Force Gemini vibes and features music by David Wise”. Destructoid. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  • External links[edit]

    • Official website
    • David Wise discography at MusicBrainz
    • Profile at MobyGames
    • David Wise at IMDb

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