An Interview with Oliver Klaewer

by Neil Carr

Oliver Klaewar composed many tunes on the c64. Floating Point action as described by Oliver wasn't done in just Floating points. This seems to be a common misconception.

Real name: Oliver Klaewer
Born: 1969
Nationality: German


Oliver Kläwer
What other c64 composers do you like?

Are there any others than robb? Robb in my opinion is the only composer
from the 64-era... He
built up his very own style... Perhaps Benn did that too...

What other Sids do you like?

Knuckle busters, War & the rest from Robb. Also some of the Tels... although
they dont sound very good on my laptop... Jeroen needs a big loudness-button...

What in your opinion would you consider to be your best piece of music?

I really liked zero-gravity... but it's hard to hear that stuff today...
(laughs)

I hear that your tune Floating Point Action is composed using nothing
but floating points, is this true and how did it come about?

I remember people suspecting other floating things like bacardi-cola e.g....
I'm sorry... the tune is not composed with floating points... The sid has
another very serious creative source... I took some important words from an ordinary milk box... A little algorithm changed the letters and spaces into musical meaning... played them forward, backward, up and down, thats all... listen carefully to the music to find out which explicit lyrics i used on it...

What were your likes/dislikes regarding the sid chip?

The adsr wasn't very exactly. But after all the sid is the synthesizer i
loved most. The reason is: u could write your own player without giving it
too
much effort. U can build up your own synthesis, None from todayz hightech
toyz can do that, you only have the 3 oscs (i didnt like the
sampleplaying,
it reduced the volume of the rest)... When u have to switch the sound of
your
instrument after every 1-2 tunes u play... and just give every note a second
only percussive meaning... u get a very good impression of what is musically
important for the rhythm and melody structure of a track... throw away all
the
notes from your track that are not really really really nescessary... if u
dont
learn how to compose and arrange on the 64 then u wont learn it anyway... by
now i learnt it, but my first tracks on 64 were... ehm... not one of the
brightest moments of creativity... (smiles madly)

What are your fondest memories of the c64?

I got my first 64 on xmas 1983... and i really pressed play on tape for the
first time... i copied turbotape and jumpman... unforgetable moments...
every
day and every hour of my life was filled with talking to my friends bout
routines, illegal opcodes, border killing, flags, sine-tabs... we were
coding-allniters... nobody can describe that unless he wasn't part of it.


Some Amiga-tunes... and wow: just 2 years ago!!! the midi-sounds on BIING!2
for
holger gehrmann from reline software... great game!

Today im working at home in my own studio called BlackBeatDepot... as u can
see
from the name... most things i do in here are hiphop and rap productions /
remixes... the mcs are out of the german gansta rap scene... but i love
them
all... peace bros!

Far from blackmusic, I will start a new dance-project at 2002 called
BionicBoulevard... If anyone is interested in a collabo please write to
olli@BionicBoulevard.com (THIS PROJECT WILL DEFINITLY USE SID-SOUNDS IN
EVERY
OF ITS PRODUCTIONS! From Quadra-SID and samples...)

What editor did you use on the c64, and what was your opinion on this
editor?

My own assemblerscript with turboass (later makroass)... not really a funny
job,
but there was NO editor which had the flexibility and a short and FAST
player u
could run inside a game using more than 100% of the irq-time itself... the
huelsbeck routine was much too slow. The player nearly needed half of the
irq-time... (300 lines??) who could work with that? I visited him once in
the
later 80s, but i forgot to ask him this question...

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

WAR... it s simply too cool to achieve a composition like this... i never
found
out how to make this high and STEADY flutetriangle(?) sound flying over the
whole arrangement... there wasn't any osc left, but robb just give it a
spacy
dimension like if it was played by 3 oscs... hm... did i mention the breaks
near the end? Never heard that in any other music on this planet... i played
that track about 500 times i guess...

How did you come across the current c64 scene?

I typed klaewer into the google-machine and found that remix-site... i've
forgot
the name... remix.phat... ehm... u know what i mean...

Why did you stop making c64 music?

I bought an amiga... after only 3 amiga tracks (maniax, emeraldmine 1 2...)
i
wanted to return to the c64, but the party was already over... most
companies
stopped producing c64-gamez...

Would you ever consider reworking your c64 music using modern day
sounds?

Nope... ;) do whatever u want with it... unless u start commercial use of
it...
perhaps u give me a link where i can download your tracks...
I would like to rework an old hubbard-tune... perhaps he wouldnt mind
that...
perhaps he would mind, if he hears the result? ehm...

Do you still make any kind of music?

Yapp see above.

What does Oliver do now?

He works in a bank in hannover, germany... he's a webprogger (php/mysql) and
codes his own great portalsoftware... he's a music-producer... he's 32 years
old...
he works too much... but he knows the birthday of his girlfriend!

How would you like to see the current scene develop/improve?

The ol' 64-dudes will die out... i would like to see an emulator giving
people the chance to compete coding assembler-games and demos with sid-like
sounds and lots of sprites in it and so on... with no basic-rom and really
structured irq-features... a new computer running as emulation... perhaps as
a
browser plug-in... the main reason why the coders loved the 64-machine waz
that
they could do things on it that everybody said: would never work e.g.
border-sprites and much more... and they could battle each other by having
the coolest code (i think none of the only-gamerz-company-bosses ever knew,
what his coders were so proud of...)... but thats not exactly what your
question pointed at i guess... ehm... lost...

Who do you think gives the scene the biggest boost and why?

The web and the matrix... who does really know why?

What would you say was your proudest moment in your career?

My pc hung up and i knew why... (related to the last answer in some way...)

How surprised are you that the c64 scene still going strong after so
many
years after the c64 demise?

Not much... there hasn't been any computer-movement like the c64 in the last 20
years.
.. except for the internet of course...

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

We're getting older, we're growing as a family. We're regular, we're
sincere,
we have hearts. That's what keeps us together.


The dance project sounds fascinating. Anyone who is interested should indeed contact Oliver.

- Neil

Interview date: 25.10.2001