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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Another interesting and filtered opening, with some actual bass coming through leaves you wanting more, and you're not disappointed. Some really nice synth instruments take the sustained notes, and a nice weird sounding three-note hook gives some of the weirdness that Fred was trying to convey. Somehow the normal strangeness of FTCs arranging meshes with Fred's musical strangeness to produce something special. Sonically I can't fault it except that the bass could be warmer. There's a worrying moment at 2:07 when it sounds like this might turn into Thanatos, but it soon passes. Brilliant.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Another Druid 2 cover? Aargh! It's a personal pet hate of mine, and I just can't see why do many people cover this! Dum dum dum. Dum dum da-dum. What IS the attraction? FTC has an interesting attempt at compensating for this rhythmic tedium by using a sync-delay on lead and bass. This mostly works, but you've got to be careful when doing this, because if the wrong note creeps into the melody, you've got a repeating mess. This happens more often than it's supposed to. The string/pad sound and breakbeat here are very good, although again the bass could be heavier, and the piece has been entirely reworked in an ambient fashion. The main criticism of this cover however, is that the main lead tune is wrong. It must be fixed, because it makes this cover very hard to listen to for fans of the piece. If the lead was fixed throughout the tune, this may very well be my favourite Druid 2 cover. Would be 7 if the lead was correct, but as it is, it will probably annoy fans of the tune.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Every MP3 FTC creates brings him closer to Vince Clark! First impressions are very promising: beautiful arpeggio, exciting sounds, great pads. The breakbeat kicks in, and you think... hmmm, what's going on here? But the piece survives. I'm not sure it was necessary, but it doesn't repel. The lead when it comes in sneaks under the radar and is a bit subdued. However, it comes into its own when the breakbeat stops, and you get an absolutely gorgeous melange of sound: arpeggio, piano, filtered pads, lead and other amazing stuff. Then the breakbeat accompanies a great pan-flute instrument which manages to avoid sounding 'cheesey'. This part is maybe a bit overlong, but it leads into another quite magnificent quiet bit. We had no right to expect a tune this basic to sound this good. A mini masterpiece. A must-download. Pure quality, and from such an unexpected SID!.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Nice echo on the lead doesn't save this unsatisfying cover. It doesn't drag the listener along, the added chords just don't work, and the whole thing fails to satisfy. the whole SID is in here somewhere, so listen to that instead or (plug) the BIT 3 version of Last V8, which is how it should be done. Irritating cover.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

More Vince Clarkiness from the master of the Clarke-ism. As usual beautiful lush sound, dry exciting electronic arps and rough synth-isms filtering into the distance. From 1:00 it gets disturbingly atonal though. Once again this is symptomatic of the chaotic strands running through FTCs work. At 1:30 asthmatic drums come in, the strings fade into a melange and the piece begins to feel very messy. At 3:30 a beautiful synth break comes back to asthmatic drums and synth, but less messy this time. Wait long enough and the messiness if back. Take your time, FTC. Master the piece you're on, and you have the ability to go far... Potentially great, but very messy.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

A very non-FTC breakbeat beginning gets a groove going, and bits of the tune float above a luscious landscape filtering away. Some nice pads and an added melody bit soon come in, and (unlike the Arkanoid cover) add some variety, and a dreaminess to the tune that you'd never have thought was there. A remixer's remix, in that it takes a simple tune and extrapolates it to great sonic effect. Could do with warmer bass though. Essential download.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

OW! A nice first three seconds leads into a painful next three seconds? Why? Because the chord that is being played is wrong! And not just slightly wrong... it destroys what the piece is trying to do: the ambience is nice, the sounds are nice, though still slightly cold, but it's painful to hear. Later drums in the piece accompany some adlibbing of the tune, with some painful discords in the pads here and there, and the whole tune begins to journey towards trance/ambient territory. Once it reaches this point, most connection between the tune and the backing is lost, and the whole piece becomes an unfamiliar SID spinoff. The ingredients are nice, but if you're a fan of the SID, this is not easy to listen to. You might like it. I couldn't.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Kudos for covering a tune that Zzap felt it necessary to comment positively on in their review. However, putting a half-speed syncopated beat on an echoed version of the SID for the first 40 seconds doesn't work. The cover improves when some appropriate chords come in over the SID, but then weird Jarre-like chords fight it out with the SID until the whole thing is a bloody mess on the floor. It's painful to listen to. OUCH!! Painful, when it could have been so much better.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

An utterly forgettable SIDtune, but this cover starts with some nice minor-to-major pads which sound quite like Howard Jones, and some nice bell sounds which give this whole thing a Glyn R Brown 80s soundtrack feel. Nice, and the usual delay makes this lucious to listen to. A throwaway cover of a throwaway tune, but well worth the download, 'cos it's nice. Plus I like minor to major chord sequences :-) Turns a so-so tune into a worthwhile download.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

First: OK beginning, some nice chords. Then it falls apart. Take an ambient tune called Thanatos. Let's take a rhythm from a drunk Hot Chocolate tribute band. Let's put alcohol into the C64 until it can't hold a note. This might be what you'd get when the blender was finished. Ow! I'm mystified by the high marks on R64 for this tune: FTC has done much better (and god knows I love his stuff!). Ow, my ears.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Nice echoes and use of the Turrican speech, along with the growling bassline and great ambience makes this a good cover. There are suspicious similarities to Infodroid here though in places, confirming FTCs pet hates and likes :-) It's a great MP3, and.. revelation coming... FTC sounds like Vince Clark (Erasure)! Recommended.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Hmmm. The lead here sounds a lot flatter than some of FTC's current work, and the trademark delay-large sound doesn't quite work with what is quite an intimate tune. This tune is for fields, outdoors, temples and stuff. It doesn't quite lend itself to large indoor spaces. Some surprising string pads start off nice, but clash quite badly with the tune, and the tune starts to sound painfully messy, especially when odd synth riffs come in. Worth the download, but could have been so much better.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Muffled and unsatisfying, this cover sounds like all that's worst in the 80s. There are some mood-suiting vocals and 80s percussion, but in general this piece leaves no stone turned in its quest for a quality 80s sound. Not good. And attempts to frighten me with samples of news broadcasts threatening Martian Attack won't work you know!.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

First thoughts: it's the BMX Kidz sid with souped-up percussion. Not bad as far as it goes, but the rest of the instruments doing the reproduction work just aren't up to the job. 100% faithful to the SID, but for a ground-breaking piece like BMX Kidz, a few 80s percussion samples, a slightly improved rhythm section and slightly different instruments don't cut it. I guess it's unobjectionable if you like the original, though. Earth-unshattering, but at least it doesn't ruin the original.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Sophisticated chord pads and bell trees, along with ominous percussion give a professional sounding start. When the tune proper starts at 1:35, the yawns set in. I'm not sure whether this is because the original piece doesn't set my ass on fire (it doesn't), but the cover is lacklustre. Simple drum beat, simple bass from the SID, static chord pads, and a weird plinky lead. Colour me unstunned. Uninspiring but competant.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

A cover of Great Giana sisters has much competition. Instant Remedy's version, Chris Huelsbeck's version, Tom Novy's version, and more. How does this one fare? Not well. No ambience, it doesn't capture the ethereal mysteriousness of the title tune: that echo Chris puts in the original to convey a mysterious sense of landscape that contrasted with the cheerful 2Dness of Mario. Somehow the music made Giana a much bigger feeling game than Mario, though this was an illusion. This cover adds some dry drums to the mix, and a 'news at ten' single note backing, but nothing much else.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

It starts with SID... so far so good, it's always a treat. Then the tune is played by erratically filtered and distorted synths, and a pretty apocalyptic breakbeat. Though intriguing, the character of Boulderdash was always conveyed for me by echo and space, mirroring the cavernous spaces in the game. My initial exposure to this music was on the Atari, where it's even more echoey, so this cover just doesn't quite fit into my mental map. It's accurate notewise, but the tune just didn't need this treatment. Towards the end if gets so distorted it's nasty: that's no way to reward people for their endurance is it? Clever but pointless. Brave experiment, but a bit of a travesty.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Unsubtle and unsatisfying version of this seminal Galway tune: the burbles lack the immediacy of the SID, and somehow the wide-open space and lightness of Galway's original is gone. The occasional pleasant harmonies (for instance, on Galway's solo) don't make up for the loss of Galway-ness that's happened here. Was this all done on C64s? It might well have been, in which case: brave move, but why bother? The recording's quite punchy though, and it IS relatively accurate. OK version of Galway's classic.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Synth Firelord? Time has not been a friend to this version. The drums don't work, and it's become clear that this is an orchestral piece. As such, though you can hear the effort in terms of structure, all I hear is how it should have been. Which is unfair of me really, because there's not a lot else wrong with this. Worthwhile download.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

From the very first bars, it's obvious what David is trying here: Magnetic Fields, played live. Considering the essential Fields-ness of this tune, it's an appropriate choice, and it's carried off with panache, though I wish some of the tune was restored (sometimes just the harmony plays). Crowd noises and SFX sustain the atmosphere, though this isn't a full length version. A very clever ending, too. Convincing! Well done, but I prefer my remixes sounding studio rather than live, but that's personal taste. Remixes like this are quite rare.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Hmm, echoey SID. Actually, thanks for the tune he's chosen, this works quite well, but that's nothing to do with arrangement skill. This is one of those remixes that sounds like the SID, but which has quite subtle additions (and the not-so-subtle one of a drum track). Therefore, if you like the original, you'll like this. If not, you won't. Quite pleasant.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Possibly the most inspired C64/arcade remix SID ever. It's a complete piss-take on Bubble Bobble, but it works because (a) the instruments are played really well, and it's well arranged, (b) the vocals and acting are inspired, and (c) the sheep are funny. ROFL! Inspired and unmissable.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Yes!! Those mobile phone tones are SO great I want them played REALLY loud through my Hifi! Yes!! hahahahahahahaha!! Take an ethnic breakbeat, an out of time Nokia IK+ ringtone and an unrelated speech sample, repeat for a few minutes and you have this. Oh yes, and the background chord stab has no relation to IK+ either. I cannot stand covers like this, but unfortunately when c64 music leaves the scene, this kind of cover happens to it all the time (for instance, Output64). So, bearing in mind I've dispatched Ninjas to the person who arranged this to smash up their equipment, here are my marks: So terrible I'm screaming.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Giana Sisters underground SID with a crappy breakbeat. That's it! I thought covers like this had died a death. I was wrong... One mark subtracted for an obviously bugged section.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

It's easiest to say what's wrong with this half-baked dance mix: the parts representing the C64 are far too dry and don't fit with the rest of the mix: the drums might as well not be there. It's not toe-tapping, it just doesn't work. Also, the breakbeat itself is completely out of character with the inexorable nature of the tunes and the rendition of the infamous subtune 21 is laughable. Pales in comparison with other Lazy Jones covers.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Another Lazy Jones remix by DJ Tobi starts off a lot more promisingly than the C-64 remix variant, but there's a puzzling riff, and when the famous subtune 21 sets in, it's obvious that he's tried to work the same sonic effect as Zombie Nation, but failed miserably. This chorus/detuning doesn't work, and the drums are weak and pointless. The kick drum is nowhere near as powerful as it should be (compressesion, try it!), and the whole remix will go nowhere near a dance floor, and with good reason. A poor man's Zombie Nation (I can't believe it, I'm praising Zombie Nation!). OK, but it's way down the list of worthy Lazy Jones covers.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Um, are you detecting a pattern here? I wonder if there's a clinical term for Lazy Jones obsession. This dance mix is more clubby, and yet still not toe-tapping. Maybe it's the bitrate, maybe it's the complete lack of atmosphere (sounds like the whole thing is being played in your living room, and some of the breakbeats are unforgiveably weak). I give up... what IS Deluxe about this?.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

It started with a SID, who would have thought it would come to this? :-) Sid + Drums, that's it. Why? It's not as if this is a good tune. OK, the riff might have made an OK riff around something else, but no one is going to be shaking their little booties to this, even with that breakbeat: getting people dancing is not just a question of drums on top of SID, you know. Pointless cover of a pointless original.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

It started with a SID, who would have thought it would come to this? :-) Sid + Drums, that's it. Why? It's not as if this is a good tune. OK, the riff might have made an OK riff around something else, but no one is going to be shaking their little booties to this, even with that breakbeat: getting people dancing is not just a question of drums on top of SID, you know. Pointless cover of a pointless original. Well, if DJ Tobi is going to do the same thing, I'm going to use the same review!.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

A brave attempt to rework the SID: suitably grungy guitar, spirited organ and appropriate drums. The production quality is a bit lo-fi: I guess if you close your eyes you could imagine yourself in the cafe with the players. An XM conversion which sounds like it: a good rework, but the problem with covers of Skate or Die is that it's obvious how it should sound: like a live band on a big stage. And this cover doesn't sound like that. Reasonably satisfying cover, but the piece deserves so much more.
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