An Interview with Mixer

by Neil Carr

Mr. Consistant. Mixer produces some fine remakes that constantly pulls votes of around 70% in the charts. All Mixers remakes are well worth downloading.

Real name: Jouni Ikonen
Handle: Mixer
Born: 1974
Nationality: Finnish

What c64 musicians did you like?

Impossible question to answer, It is the tunes I like, not the musicians. But, since you asked:

Rob Hubbard for his arrangements.

The Follins for very personal style and sound engineering

Johannes Bjerregaard for some flawless arrangements.

Laxity for some great melodies.

Zardax for his story-telling way of making music.

What are your favourite c64 tunes?

I listen to lot of c-64 tunes from HVSC every week and there are always some new that intrigue.

When I was very young I remember listening to these game tunes for hours: Rambo, Commando, Thrust, War, Nemesis the Warlock, Zoids, Cybernoid, Parallax..

The last c64 tune I listened to was Alka by Zardax.

Why do you remix c64 tunes?

The 64 music consists of limited number of voices and basic sounds, therefore the c-64 arrangement usually leaves a lot of work to the listeners imagination. C-64 tunes hardly ever sound explicit or self-explanatory.

Another motive is that there are so many incredibly good songs that were done by c64 enthusiasts, also non-game developers. Those deserve some attention also.

What equipment/software do you use?

I used to have 80’s Roland and Yamaha synths and a crappy 12 channel mixer. Now I mostly use various software synthesizers, and samples with some sequencer that is capable of controlling the software synths and effects.

Cubase has been my weapon of choice for years. I currently have only one keyboard - Yamaha AN1X , the rest of my sounds are all binary. I live in a thin-walled apartment, so recently I have only been using good headphones.

All the music stuff acquisitions have to compete with other artefacts, such as food for instance. Only recently I’ve been able to set up a satisfactory music factory.

What other arrangers do you like?

I bet this looks like the top ten of the most downloaded at RKO 😊 Machinae Supremacy, O2, Mahoney, Thomas Detert, Lman, Wobbler, Trauma They all have some special characteristic, or are simply good at delivering their vision, or have great production skills. There are also a few persons I know that are doing great remakes, but have not published their work, I really hope that they sometime will.

Which remix of your own are you most pleased with?

I am terribly bad in judging my own products. Jeff’s Anal’ogue remix took a lot of hours to do and a zillion revisions, so I ‘d say that one. The madness of the original is quite well captured there I think.

If there was a tune that you wish you could claim as your own what would it be, and why?

The original James Bond Theme. It just rocks when the hits come about and the band kicks in swinging.

How did you find the remixing scene?

I was in the process of collecting and mastering the few tracks that I have composed over the years. During this process I found some of my old c-64 covers from c-tapes. Without thinking that I could have done some correcting on them, I dumped them to RKO, and there we go. Got hooked into it.

What are your likes/dislikes regarding the scene?

The idea of re-doing c-64 songs is great, it is like having the unlimited source of ideas to be recycled, however it is too bad that only the most famous songs get public attention.

How would you best describe your musical style?

Not static. Always changing. I basically just put a lot of stuff into a bowl, and sometimes a comprehensible note or sound comes out of it. I like melodic music and music that underlines atmosphere, like the soundtracks of movies and such. That is the goal that I will reach someday, I hope.

What piece of equipment that you do not already own, would you like to own?

A Light sabre

Commercial remixes. Thumbs up or down?

Thumbs Down. Those CD’s go into the simply the best of the 80’s category, or the best synthesizer hits and so on.

What inspires you?

3.00 a.m.

What are your fondest memories of the c64?

  • few kids from a small town get their c-64, begin to program.
  • listen to game music for hours.
  • are amazed by seeing the 1st demo.
  • get kicks about creating the 1st side border scroller of their own.
  • winning a demo-competition in some foreign country while being just about 15 years old.

Who do you think gives the scene the biggest boost?

I think that Jan Lund Thomsen has done important things with creating the RKO.

What makes a good remix?

I wish I knew that 😊 but I think that it is a sum of a great vision and a swamp-credible realisation of the idea, so that arranger’s vision gets well delivered in the outcome.

Apart from remixing, what else do you enjoy?

I spend my days developing Digital Television broadcast technology and services. I spend my evenings doing music. I sometimes spend my nights sleeping, and during the weekends I drink beer and chase women.

Lastly, What would you like to say to the scene?

Do you have an idea? Go do it.

If someone knows a better to do something they have an obligation to do it and prove it. It takes effort to construct a stable bridge between the faults of present and the better way of the future, but that is progress.

OUCH!!!! question 12 eh! no beating about the bush there pal. 😊 - Neil

Interview date: 04.07.2002