An Interview with FTC

by Neil Carr

FTC may have only just entered the scene but he's been knocking out tunes at a fair rate and with some class.

Real name: Jan Kruiver
Handle: FTC
Born: 1973
Nationality: Dutch


What were your favourite c64 composers?

When I think of C64 composers then several composers come to mind. But the composer who made the first and best impression on me was: Rob Hubbard. And then I heard the amazing sounds of Martin Galway and I thought it was really amazing what kind of sounds he could squeeze out of the SID chip of the C64, brilliant !
Jeroen Tel (Maniacs Of Noise) is also very cool, because of his complex and original lead melodies. There are several other cool composers, but the three I mentioned are the top three of my favourite c64 composers.

FTC
What are your favourite sids?

My most favourite sids are (of course) tunes from Martin Galway: Rambo first blood part 2, Green Beret, Parallax, Arkanoid, Yie ar kung-fu 1&2. And tunes from Rob Hubbard: The Human Race, Chimera, Crazy Comets, Commando. There are several more tunes I could mention but then there wouldn’t be enough room for this interview ! ;-)

What other arrangers do you like?

I have not heard all of the arrangers who are available on the site yet, so here’s a small list of people, who I think are very good (or better than myself)
Again there are quite a few. All names are in no particular order of course: THC Flatline, The Dead Guys, Lman, Instant Remedy, Honorabili, CZ Tunes, Jarno Beurner (DaTucker), Glyn R Brown, Krister Nielsen, Plough, Sonic Wanderer.

What arrangement of your own are you most pleased with?

Well, that’s a real hard one to answer !. I think that the last arrangement I’ve made is actually the best and that would be: Infodroid from Fred Gray, because it is not exactly like the original sid although there are original elements in the mix. But I do like all of my mixes or remakes.

What other arrangements do you like?

Generally I like all arrangements of my own and I like all arrangements of other people because everybody has a different approach of style and instruments.

What equipment/software do you use?

I’ve received several e-mails and in all the mails there is this question and to be honest: I do not own any professional studio equipment or synthesizers. Currently I’m using a Pentium 3 computer at 800Mhz with a Soundblaster 128 PCI soundcard. I use downloaded samplepacks (sounds in 16-bit wav originated from real synthesizers like Roland Juno, Jupiter 4/8, TR909, etc.) and use them in software like Fruityloops 3 from ImageLine. It is really an amazing piece of software and it produces very clean and high quality sounds with all kind of excellent FX ! fx like reverb, delay, phaser, flanger.. to name but a few and realtime filter fx, etc. It has the feel and complexity of Steinberg’s Cubase, but I find FruityLoops easier to play around with. But that’s all in the eye of the beholder ofcourse. 😊

Do you feel that sid should be used in remixing?

The answer to this question is bugging me for a while too and I think it depends on what kind of SID it is. Sometimes it’s better to stick to the original to get the authentic feel and the accuracy of the original sid. On the other hand it is sometimes better to completely ‘redo’ the sid and use synthesizer sounds instead of sid and play in a different tempo and style. I use a lot of original sid sounds in my mixes and if you listen closely then you hear that my mixes or remakes are in the same speed as the original sid. Any future releases of mine will contain less sid and more synth because I think it sounds better without the original sid sounds in most cases. Still it also has it’s charm to use the original sid sounds. 😊 Not really a conclusive answer. A bit of both worlds (nice title for a cd release!) would be nice.

How did you find the scene?

For a while I wandered if there were any remakes or remixes of c64 tunes, so I searched the internet and came across many c64 sites and the site that captured my interest was www.c64audio.com . Back then you could download many c64 remixes in mp3 format from that site and I thought it was great! And I downloaded a lot of mixes. Recently I was thinking if it might be possible to upload a tune instead of only downloading and I decided to send an email to Chris Abbott of c64audio.com and asked him if it was possible to upload a tune I already finished earlier. He send a reply and he said that I could upload to http://remix.kwed.org .

What are your likes/dislike regarding the scene?

There are no dislikes in the scene I think. I only had positive experiences. Most importantly: Everybody treated and treats me with respect and all the emails I received are very positive and friendly.

How would you best describe your musical style?

I didn’t know I had one !. I can’t really describe my musical style. Sometimes I feel like house and at other times I like to slow it down a bit. I don’t think that I would hang-on to one particular style. I try to establish different styles in each mix I create.

What are your fondest memories of the c64?

All the hours I spend behind my trusty c64 are the most fondest ! And of course to show off to my friends at school which games I had that they didn’t. I think that copying the latest games was more important than playing them at the time ! 😊 But the fondest memory is the day is when I got my first c64. The day before I couldn’t sleep, I was so excited. Nowadays, I wouldn’t be that excited anymore. I am older and more in control of my emotions I guess.

How do you get your inspiration?

I don’t invoke my inspiration in any way. It comes and goes. Most of time I start with mixing and the inspiration starts flowing. Cliché answer but it’s the truth.
It depends on how I’m feeling at the moment. I don’t force it to happen.

What non c64 music do you like, and does this reflect in your own music?

I like all kinds of music actually. Music like: Drum & Bass (Roni Size), Synthesizer (Jean Michel Jarre, Vangelis, Kraftwerk), Pop music (Depeche mode, Dire straits, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Stranglers, Genesis, Peter Gabriel), Rock, Hard-rock, Metal, House, Trance, Triphop, Big Beat, Rap, Hiphop, R&B, New Age, Lounge and even classical music !
Does it reflect in my own music ? I’m not aware of it. It’s hard to tell. I like so many other musicians. I don’t think that my mixes are much influenced because most of the time they are very close to the original.

What aspects of a tune do you look at when remixing it?

That’s an interesting question. I think the bassline catches most of my attention or a catchy lead. Is it happy or sad, fast or slow. Again, very hard question to answer. The overall feel of a mix: Does it stay close to the original or is it going to be completely different. Your guess is as good as mine.

Who do you think gives the scene the biggest boost?

All the people who are involved in the scene. People who make the websites and all the people uploading & downloading. Without them there would not be a scene.

Why do you remix c64 music?

First of all, c64 music is very original. The tunes you hear are quite different from commercial music you hear on the radio, etc. The sound of the sid chip is quite unique I think. I just love the originality of the sid music

How best would you like to see the scene develop?

I’m rather new to this remixing scene and I think I like to see more competitions. Maybe there should be releases of Remix.kwed.org CD’s stacked with mp3’s of all the people who has made a remix of a c64 tune. Downloading all the mp3 files takes a lot of time.

If the scene became more commercial would you welcome it?

See the above question. Maybe in the sense of merchandising, like T-Shirts with some slogans, or t-shirts with pictures of famous sid musicians like Fred Gray or Martin Galway or Rob Hubbard, etc. (just a suggestion, don’t laugh too loud!) 😊. CD releases other than BIT and all the other great releases. Other then that I have no idea how to make it more commercial. I am not much of a business man myself. I’m more attracted to the ‘underground’ feel I guess although I like the BIT releases and NEXUS for instance, so don’t get me wrong, I’m not against commercialisation.

) Is there a sid that has not yet been remixed that you would like to hear?

I haven’t heard all the remixes that are available for downloading. I couldn’t tell at the moment. It’s just a matter of time before all sids are remixed or remaked. But still even when all 15,000 sids are remixed then you could remix them in different styles, so it can take a very long time before we are ‘finished’.

Lastly what would you like to say to the scene?

Thanks for all of your encouraging emails and tips. And thank you for downloading my c64 remixes/remakes !! Keep it up and I download of course all of your remixes as well !! C64 forever !!


Unsure of using too much sid his next wave of remixes is sure to offer something a little different with a more synth and less sid. Now if he can sustain the quallity with this new way of working will be interesting to hear.

- Neil

Interview date: 22.08.2001