Remember Sidewinder?

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Zephyrean
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Joined: 19/06/2019 - 11:18

Remember Sidewinder?

Post by Zephyrean » 19/06/2019 - 13:41

Eric Gieseke, alias Sidewinder, was involved in the demo scene back in the early-to-mid 90s, most notable for his variety of melodic and raving Protracker modules, aside from his lesser known selection of Amiga female paintings. He published his debut album Future Shock 2 in 1994, all of it 100% Amiga created, featuring a handful of his Protracker modules presented in a more studio-esque stereo format. His music was also featured in Michael P. Welch's popular artillery game Scorched Tanks, although Sidewinder's most notable breakthrough was the 2-part soundtrack in Seumas McNally's DX-Ball 2 on the PC, starting with the 4 title screen songs upon the game's initial release in 1998, followed up by an additional 11 in-game tracks with the Music Pack expansion in 1999.

Sidewinder left the demo scene in late 1995, moving on with the evolution of home computer technology to create and record music with his Ensoniq SQ-2 synthesizer, and later the Sound Blaster AWE32 sound card by the use of MIDI equipment and soundfonts. He published his second album 2BadSheep in 1999, featuring a selection of some late tracker modules alongside a batch of recorded tracks. At the time, Sidewinder was also to be found on the former indie music portals MP3.com and Ampcast.com, promoting his new album and getting some other tunes out there. You may have heard of Crystal Prodigy, which gained some fame after dropping into the abyss of P2P networks, being misinterpret as a collaboration between The Crystal Method and The Prodigy. However, the tide for Sidewinder's music began to ebb not long after, and Eric decided to retire from creating music in 2005.

Myself, I only first discovered Sidewinder in 1999 at the age of 10, having a blast playing DX-Ball 2. His music slowly began to grow on me, and a few years later I caught the interest to study how the songs were made. Long story short, I have a very delicate passion for Eric's music today, feeling a strong connection with the unique, playful and undefined essence of his songs. This passion has inspired in me the desire to remaster and recreate his music, for the fulfilment of hearing his songs as clean and crisp studio-quality versions. After many years of experimentation and hard work, I eventually acquired the rack version of his now long-gone synthesizer, the Ensoniq SQ-R, which has enabled me to recreate many of the songs that were originally written using the Ensoniq SQ-2, and then sampled into Protracker to be completed as tracker modules.

Throughout all these years, I have been in touch with Eric via emails, going back and forth sharing the results of my experiments and getting feedback. Although retired from the music, Eric had expressed his concern about wanting to leave a noteworthy legacy for his music. And likewise, I felt these new recreated versions of Sidewinder's music deserved a proper way to be published and made available for old and new listeners. In 2018, I founded the independent record label Sheep Hour Records to help fulfil this goal. I knew exactly what we needed to do and how to do it, and I have since been following that vision respectfully. We kicked things off late last year with the release of DX-Ball 2 Sound Selection – an EP featuring fully reconstructed versions of the 4 songs that made the soundtrack for the initial release of DX-Ball 2. They were only tracker modules back then, but they are unrestricted studio versions now, recorded and sequenced with help from the Ensoniq SQ-R and digital audio workstation software.

We have since published two more singles, and a freebie for our newsletter subscribers, with more to come in the future. We're also working on the big final Sidewinder album, which will be all recreated remasters, featuring a satisfying selection of notable works. If you like Sidewinder's music, you definitely do not want to miss out on this! You can check out our label's website for all the other info over here.

If time allows it, we might upload a freebie to AmigaRemix later this year. It will likely be one of Sidewinder's mysterious ambient tunes, so be on the look for that.

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