A review of the Audiophonik CD


The Audiophonik CD was released back in 1999 by Imphobia and Fusecon Records. It is a scene-only audio CD featuring tracks from many well-known demoscene composers. Fusecon is now offering the CD for a lower price (reduced by $2). On this occasion I've decided to publish a review of the tunes on the CD; it's my first music review ever.

Flow by Moby

This is the first tune Moby composed using the Buzz Tracker, and as he writes in the booklet, this music style is quite unusual for him: "[...] it's also the first time I have composed this kind of music. I've always been more into heavy distorted guitars (and I still love that), but I've started to open myself to other musical genres (mostly thanks to my work)." The songs starts off in very mellow manner but soon the volume rises and stays at about the same level for eight minutes. The rhythm and the melody of this song are pretty simple and often repeated. The sample of the bass line sounds horrible to my ears. All in all good, but not the best track on this disk in my opinion.

nr24 by Vic

The song takes off immediately. Also here we have a simple repetitive rhythm, but I like the samples much more than in the previous tune. I find them very atmospheric. The melody is more varied, as well. When you hear this song you get the feeling that you are flying through a tunnel and many different objects, such as leafs and snowballs, are approaching you. I think this tune would fit a demo well.

Spectral Vision by Rez

According to the composer, this song was created very quickly. A very ambient, though not too slow start. The atmosphere of this tune pretty much reminds me of Vic's tune, although this one sounds a bit calmer. Unfortunately after two minutes "nasal" samples like those in Moby's tune appear also in this track. I don't like them. Apart from that, a nice tune.

The Giving Tree by Siren

One of my favourites of this CD. In general, very calm and atmospheric. It even contains vocals saying "giving tree" (what else?) which sound as if the singer is in a state of pleasure, although not unlimited happiness.

Overture by Jogeir

A mix of classic and modern music. In the first minute only an atmosphere is described by many different instruments. Then the lead voice enters the game. As Jogeir writes, many different moods are described in this song. Technically, it is very well constructed. There are no breaks, the different parts of the song flow into one another. This tune was composed in 1992 and still beats many modern tracks.

Little Monkey by Lizardking

It starts with a classical theme accompanied by a modern background rhythm. Then some female sounding voice sample starts to wail. Later she is replaced by instruments again, and then both of them are played together. Also this track is very atmospheric.

Gate 99 (last call) by Zodiak

This is one of the few songs Zodiak ever completed using MIDI gear. And it sounds good, even though the melody played by the guitar is rather simple. It also belongs to the "atmospheric" tunes on this CD.

Pulse by Necros

This tune was done with Impulse Tracker. It's another of the rhythm-based tunes with a rather ugly sounding and way too loud accompaniment. At least people who are more concerned about melody are disturbed by that. The melody samples in this tune are similarly atmospheric as Vic's, but as the bass line is so loud, they do not have the impact they could have.

Third Millenium by Lluvia

After a very atmospheric start with samples of twittering birds, Third Millenium [sic!] develops to a rather rythm-based tune, too, with voice samples that should have better remained unused. Very monotonous and boring. By the end, however, the atmospheric component increases again. This is very nice to listen to. Well, what should I say? This song is simply too long. If the boring parts had been left out, it would be pretty good.

Ephemeral Wanderer by Kc

This one has all three components needed for a good tune: good melody, good rhythm and good atmosphere (i.e. samples). Parts which are more emphasized on melody and parts which focus on atmosphere alternate each other. This track clearly expresses thoughtfulness and optimism. Definitely belongs to my personal favourites!

Space Deliria 99 by Dr. Awesome

Dr. Awesome is known for atmospheric songs, and this one makes no exception. After a long overture of almost two minutes, the track really takes off. Due to its e-guitar samples and the way they are used, this tune is good to listen to if you are in an aggressive mood. Even though it is longer than the average tune on this CD, it does not get boring at all. Even after five minutes, new elements such as voice samples and new melodic themes are introduced. And because of this, I feel this is the best tune on the CD.

Cocoon by Scorpik

Right at the beginning comes a voice sample. Then we hear sounds as if a cooking-pot was just about to boil over. In the background the melody starts. Its volume increases, while the cooking sounds gradually fade out. And suddenly we are in a completely different theme, calm and easy to follow. If one listens closely one can hear "nasal" samples in the background, but fortunately they are not used as extensively as in the other tunes on this CD in which they appear. All in all I have the impression that Scorpik's intention was not to create a track to a particular theme but rather show off the variety of his sound.

Okay, that's it. These are my impressions after listening to this CD twice. They are personal and subjective, so it might completely differ from your opinion. Perhaps I would also think differently about some of the tunes if I listened to them several times more. That's why you had better check out the CD yourself.

Ah, by the way: Fusecon Records only sells the CD to yankees, Euros have to get it from Imphobia.