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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

To get you in the mood for this cover are some whiney engine FX. Really, there's only one way to do Elektraglide without messing with it, and this is it. The XM format ensures average production values, but Boz's extended mix will not disappoint the fan of this piece, though to be fair it won't knock their socks off either. A safe and thorough cover (though was that an unusual chord I heard in there in the bridge section? I guess it's a matter of opinion! Safe cover for fans of the original.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

More of a reworking of the SID with some chords filling in the obvious melodic sections: the individual parts hold up well accuracy-wise. An original idea is to have a kind of grunting sound here and there to indicate primitive humans. A safe but unexciting cover. A safe cover for fans of the original.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Some nice FX and a Whittaker bassline play round your head, as this quite light piece wends its merry way into a more bassy section. A sid-like lead takes over, and all of the Whittaker twiddles are there. The burble chords are nicely (if subliminally) rendered, and the drums are very Whittaker-esque, with those typical breaks... At 2:00 it becomes clear that there's an 80s breakbeat vibe happening, later accompanied by single voice Whittaker things. Think of this as a 12' development. Not startling, but a pleasant download.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

With a breakbeat and a woman? With the laid back organ, the SID riff present and correct, this pushes all the right buttons to give a retrospective feel to this. Something has ended, we think. And we'd be right. The lead when it comes in is a sax: always a brave or foolish choice of instruments. Here is just about works, though I would have preferred something slightly less icky. Suitable synths play the famous bendy bits, and despite breakbeating this rhythmically straight piece, this is a very pleasant way to spend 6:23 (!). The easiest MOTR High score to listen to.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

A great guitar intro sets the scene nicely. The cover itself is suitable Maniacs of Noise: bouncy bass and choppy chords with a boom-tss drum. As such, it's flawless. However, the tune isn't the most interesting in the world, so Makke has done the best he could with the material. If you're fond of MoN covers, this one's superior. A superior MoN cover.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Some drum lines funk, some don't. This does. Forget about the grandeur of sweeping landscapes, this is Ninja funk. A slightly out-of-time lead filters its way through the tune playing the intro. At 1:17 the tune finally gets started, but the lead doesn't quite work: it's just a little too raw, though you can hear what it's trying to do. Unfortunately when the tune starts, the driving force of the intro drums is lost. Partly that's because the bass and drums don't mesh properly and interact a funky fashion. Ben's guitar solo in the original piece was always a bit out-of-place stylistically, but here, though skilfully played by a human, has way too much modulation, and so sounds ill. Somehow if that bass and those drums could work together, this would have been funky mutha. But instead it leaves me strangely disappointed, especially considering their previous Ninja cover (Wilderness). A superior rework of a samey tune let down by the drums.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Of the many ways Commando can start, a lot choir drone is one of the most unexpected, particularly when it goes into a Jarre-like beginning. The choir sounds cheap, and so doesn't really convey the mystery that it's trying to. Then in comes a sped-up version of the SID with some drums. And... er... that's more or less it, except for the disastrous synchronisation of the melody voice with everything else. Occasionally extra SID voices come in to further maim this already bludgeoned piece. While I was reviewing this in my house, I heard slammed doors all over the house as the piece went on. Incredibly, this one contrives to get more and more ear-battering as it goes on, which considering how it starts is a great feat. OUCH! The piece starts out as a 6, and then dives throughout the tune.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

OK. Let's take a relaxed Samurai game with a spiritual attitude (and one of my favourite games). Let's force-feed it Red Bull and Espresso, and take it to a local loop factory. SID + Drums. Supremely pointless, badly chosen SID... this makes a mockery of anything the original SID stood for. The piss, here, is being taken mightily. Bad in all senses. You wouldn't even dance to it, so what IS the point?? Duck and cover! Incoming travesty!.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

A good cover, but an aging one. From Boz's tracker days, it's an accurate rendition that strains at the boundaries of the format (and the cheap samples) to project some emotion. Occasional ear-candy extra tracks hint at what might have been with more production and equipment. General lack of variety across the cover in dynamics and arrangement relegates this to merely 'nice', but still worth a download if you like Dave W's work. A respectful cover which makes a so-so tune more palatable.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Terrible. Timing is bad, and the SID sounds much better and more balanced than this. Music is about orchestration, correct instruments, harmony and timing. This is devoid of all of these qualities, and the second part of the tune is truly horrific. I hear barrels being scraped.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

A bad conversion, badly done. Excrement of the highest order. Drums are inappropriate, the lead instruments are unclear and the arrangers has no feel for the tune: this is one of the most famous tunes ever, and Sky's treatment of it was inspirational. This is not. Just pointless.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Pretty much each voice of the SID played with different instruments. No additions, no extra material, no extra interest. A rework without much merit, except for the echo lead which is OK. Uninteresting.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Knucklebusters is very easy to ruin. And... poof! It just was. Imagine if you will me wincing in a corner, and you've got my reaction to this remix. Detail? Well, timing sucks, the rhythm is wrong, the synths are irritating and the whole remix hangs together worse than a group of friends in a scary movie. Pretty bad.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

The intro instrument called upon to play the beginning big drums to this piece isn't a drum! In addition, this Peruvian tune has been sucked dry of emotion: the Ben Daglish tune cleverly used vibrato and flutes to convey a beautiful place. This is hell by comparison. It's lucky the Incas are dead: they would have hated this.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Interestingly the ID3 tag for this used to say 'Unknown Artist'. Good description of Rob Hubbard. Still, what of the cover? Well, it's the SID but without any of the performance or dynamics. Complete waste of time, and part of it are truly dreadfully inaccurate. Rob Hubbard turns in his ... seat.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Anything with journey in the title had better be epic! Luckily this is. A simple start has Ben's subtune 3 loading music nicely echoed across the landscape. Then some floating chords come in with the echoes and beautifully complement the SID. At 1:30, in comes a stirring military drumbeat to convey us to the next floaty part of the tune: reminds me slightly of Bolero! Building on that atmosphere, beautiful choirs crash in to convey the scale of the epic journey of the title. Let's face it, it's a classic remix. It tries to convey emotion and it succeeds. Yet it's a simple cover. Classic download.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Wow. Here comes Jarre, but don't tell FeekZoid (he hates Jarre). A gourmet meal based on a tiny bit of SIDtune, this is professional, from the meaty kick drum, to the atmospheric filter usage, the long sweeps over time, the tune building to climax... and relax. Vocoded voices actually fit into this cover along with the floating pads and the rest of the atmospheric SFX, though the tune doesn't have a lot of melody to speak to. One to have in the background, I think. Might not be your cup of tea, but the quality can't be denied.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

It's amazing the difference a good delay can make to a tune. Other arrangers might have rendered this dry and uninteresting, but Feekzoid has simply added strings, timpani, an orchestral feel, bounciness and smoothness to the original SID, all blended in seamlessly. Gorgeous work Feeky: even Galway's patented digis fit in perfectly. Must-download.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

You don't often hear guitar beginning a Ninja track. That's the first surprise with this. The second is that the SID (despite the orchestral track) is still here in FXd form, along with a distinctly Art of Noise set of drums. Then the Orchestral X-files parts starts. It's sublime: great cello, guitar and pianos, wonderful string work, nice X-Files lead, thunder... then it turns into an 80s OMD kind of cover. Well, you can't fault this tune for variety! Oh yes, the guitar solo at the end: marvellous! Must-download.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

One of Jeroen's bouncy tunes is covered here with some suspense by Feekzoid, who cleverly builds to the payoff bassline with decent synths and restrained. The body of the piece is well done with a standard house/club rhythm section giving it a disco feel. Floaty pads and strings do the business, and clever breaks keep the interest in what is a tune you can easily tire of in its original form. I'm not sure about that lead though: or rather that octave duplication of the lead. It pulls down the piece slightly, and should be more staccato. Quality work.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

And Microprose Soccer begat... well, sometimes an idea floats across the Universe, and hits the right person. In this case, that idea was a Microprose Soccer subtune, and the person was Feekzoid. A simple riff that sounds like it came from a Pong game has an entire space station built around it: SFX, vocoded space vocals, whistling wind, beautiful pads, and an entire song structure. It should have been on a Jarre album, but of course, Feekzoid hates Jarre :-) Probably just as well it wasn't then. Just download it: it's not a tune you'd heard in its original form, but it's a great space overture, which builds and builds into a prog rock masterwork: military drums, wonderful powerchords and a theme which never seems to end. One of the best C64-related MP3s ever created.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Do they play this theme to Ninja babies? A musical box version of the Last Ninja, complete with pizz. strings and some gorgeous instrumentation. At 0:35 it stops being so cute and begins to develop a dark side. Further developments take the piece through an Art of Noise section, replete with banging drums and timpani and piano. An odd combination but it works here. It's weird, but it works.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Hmm, didn't like the original, and this cover doesn't persuade me to like it, though it does get much better after the first minute or two. I do however see the improvements that have been made to the tune, and the feel of this cover is such that it hangs together nicely. There's even some cello and strings in there: always a sign of class. It's too muffled in production for me to be totally happy with that, but it's a worthy download if you like the original. STRANGE ending! If you like the original, try it.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Jungle screams and atmosphere permeate this track. The Matt Gray jungle drums are cleverly mixed with other ethnic percussion to create a jungle atmosphere. Most of Matt Gray's SID bass and drums are intact here, but the lead and chords have been re-rendered with a choir-like instrument and FX. Later developments include SIDlike FX that weren't in the SID, phasing, flanging, gated synth and other additions. Some large chords never quite sound large enough. A cool throwaway distorted lead at the end should have been used earlier: it's worth the price of downloading in itself... This remix is well done, but it doesn't float my boat. This is probably unfair on the remix, but it's a reflection of my lack-of-feeling towards the original tune. Quality Matt Gray cover.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Dramatic though very compressed-sounding intro conveys a dramatic intent to this cover. A very 90s-sounding chime-lead does the melodic work, and the drums and bass keep the tune moving. It's a strained sound coming from this cover, as if the sounds were too big to fit into it: that makes it less punchy than it could be. There's a very '80s teen film feel to this'. At least one of my toes was tapping.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Ear caressing strings and choir, and cavernous taikos convey a wonderful atmosphere, though the sound is overemphasised in the sensitive mid EQ range, which makes it slightly painful to listen to. A suitable bell arpeggio continues the theme, and the piece then goes seriously Terminator-esque and heavy: very atmospheric. This is film soundtrack stuff. Quality download: don't miss it.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Slightly tinny beginning (which sounds like a Jarre end-of-album track, strangely) removes some of the suspense and power from this otherwise very nicely arranged cover. There's some real emotion here, struggling to get out. At 1:02, some serious synthy bass works with a church-organesque sound to give a very Vangelis feel. A dodgy pitchbend is needed in the subsequent melody for accuracy, but should have been echoed more, since it doesn't sound right this dry. A varied tune, it's difficult to keep the momentum up, and there are parts where you think 'what's going on here'. The main verse could have been even more powerful with more equipment thrown at it, but what's here is genuine art. A download for fans of real melody.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

This tune has always been a smokey back-alley New York tune to me, so hearing it done so synthily is more difficult to like than it should be. The lead (which should be a smoky sax played by a real cool sax player) is a dry synth which doesn't convey the atmosphere of back-alley melancholia that it deserves. The rest of the backing is rather reminiscent of Sega's arcade work. Very atmospheric synth stabs add a touch of class, taking it from a 6 to a 7 overall. There are more atmospheric versions of this tune, but it's still worth a download.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Massed choirs follow Jeroen Tel's anthemic intro to Myth: an approach which works very well. I'm not sure about the drums which accompany the tune when its gets going though: they don't make my foot tap, and they're a bit random-sounding. This has always been a difficult tune to cover once you get past the memorable intro, and this cover bravely tries to inject ideas and rhythm. It's a competent Myth, but my posterior isn't heating up. Part of this may be the high-frequency challenged overall sound. Worth a download if you're fed up of really bad Myth covers.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

This sounds like Chris Huelsbeck. It might be the piano, the choir or the JV2080 bell-type sounds. However, there's an unpleasant discordant feel here which I don't like at all. It's a subtle wrongness with the instruments: maybe some chords played at too low a frequency, but unsettling all the same. The kick drum and snare also don't go together too well: the snare is sharp in all the ways that the booming, almost tuned, kick is not. Somehow offputting. See if you agree.
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