The C64-Remixing Scene
Written by Makke
This article isn't really about anything more than to promote the guys who make wonderful C64 covers.
The demo-scene is nowadays divided into smaller scenes. We still call ourselves demo sceners, or just sceners. But the demo scene is split in mainly three scenes: the graphics scene, the coding scene and the music scene. These scenes can then be split into "smaller" scenes. The gfx scene can be split in rendering, pixelling, ANSI, hi-resolution, etc. The music scene can thus also be split into smaller parts. There are actually some "clear" differences in the music scene. For instance the house and hardcore-music-scene, and the less known metal-scene. I know some people don't like splitting "The Scene" into these smaller parts, but my purpose of this article isn't to comment the splitting of The Scene. No, what I'm getting at is the "C64-remixing-scene" or whatever you'd like to call it.
The C64 SID is one of most loved "synths" in the demo scene. It's actually a little hyped to own and use a C64, more about that in another article. None the less many people love the noise that the C64 produced. Heroes like Rob Hubbard, Ben Daglish, Martin Galway and Jeroen Tel, just to name a few, suddenly become "famous" again. And what happens when these songs get "popular" again? Well, people make their own remixes and covers of these songs. Some try to re-create exactly the same noise as in the original SID, with various quality of success. I find the idea of "covering" a C64 SID and try to make a MOD sound just like it silly.
But the idea of remixing songs and giving them a new life with new synths, MIDI-gear and trackers is just wonderful. I myself have tracked many C64 covers, though I don't consider them very good. They are just songs that I make for fun. There are, however, people who make their C64-remixes in a very special way. Trying to really make a remix of them. Groups like "The Dead Guys", which are my personal favourites, have created a whole new sound and feeling for some of my favourite songs. Their style is very interesting.
Then there are guys like Instant Remedy who make the C64 songs like they probably would sound if they were made in the early 90's by a techno-dance band. These are more "covers", though they are very remixed of course. But this style kind of more want to enhance the old songs more than making something totally new of them.
If you for instance compare a remix of The Last Ninja by Instant Remedy and one by The Dead Guys there's a substantial difference in style. (Though I didn't compare the same song from the game...) These new styles give you a whole new perspective on the songs, which all of a sudden can make an old song that you're tired of listening to totally fresh. I say: check these guys out. They rock! Here're a few good C64-remix MP3 links:
The Dead Guys: http://www.tb303.com/tdg/
Triad's C64-remix MP3-archive (the biggest one I've fond): http://www.df.lth.se/~triad/triad/
If you want to check out some MODs instead (which I personally prefer) check out this site:
The BlueNine C64 Module Collection: http://inet.uni-c.dk/~bluenine/c64mod.html