17/07/2020rss_feed

Album Releases in 2020 So Far

LaLa - July, 2020


There have been a slew of remix and scene album releases in the first half of 2020, so let's catch you up on what's new!


8-Bit Symphony Pro

8-Bit Symphony Pro
© (C) 2020 C64Audio.com

Let's start with the biggest, and probably most anticipated release of all: 8-Bit Symphony Pro. Following the success of the Back In Time Symphonic Collection Kickstarter, C64Audio.com brought us an even more ambitious project: 20 tracks spread over a double album, all arrangements recorded with the Czech Studio Orchestra conducted by Robin Tait. Yes, you heard that right: SID music properly arranged for a symphonic orchestra and played by a Hollywood-grade, 85 piece ensemble, recorded in Prague on February, 2020 - just before the pandemic hit hard in Europe. And just two short months later the recordings have been made available as a digital download, with a physical CD coming later (as the COVID-19 virus allows).

If you haven't been a part of the Kickstarter of this epic project, fear not: just click the album cover to pre-order yours today!


New Back In Time Albums

Speaking of the Back In Time Symphonic Collection Kickstarter, the project released no less than 3 albums in rapid succession this year:

  • Back In Time 4 - Sidventure is focused on action-adventure games, in a style that can be best described as a movie soundtrack to a movie that exists only in our heads.
  • Back In Time 5 - Escape From SIDs Castle explores passionate themes, very much in the vein of romantic classics, and also some whimsical themes that would not sound out of place in children's cartoons.
  • Back In Time 6 - Throne of SIDs sounds all majestic and medieval, and as its subtitle also implies, explores themes harkening back to the days of kings and queens and magicians and warlocks.

All 3 albums build on a symphonic palette, they are carefully orchestrated and masterfully arranged. In short, they were well worth the wait!


Back In Time 4 - Sidventure
© (C) 2020 C64Audio.com Back In Time 5 - Escape From SIDs
© (C) 2020 C64Audio.com Back In Time 6 - Throne of SIDs
© (C) 2020 C64Audio

Project Hubbard Releases

Project Hubbard Archive front cover
© (C) 2020 C64Audio.com Rob Renders front cover
© (C) 2020 C64Audio.com Hubbard 80 front cover
© (C) 2020 C64Audio.com Robdez Vous SE front cover
© (C) 2020 C64Audio.com

Not to be outdone in the Kickstarter project delivers a bunch of albums in 2020 department, Project Hubbard also made good on its promises and digitally released several of them:

  • Project Hubbard Archive is a 2-disc compilation of previously unreleased and hard-to-find tracks straight from Mr. Hubbard's personal archive. The collection is full of plenty of new tunes, and even some surprises: early synth versions of well-known game tunes like One Man and His Droid and Formula-1 will surely bring a smile to any Hubbard fan's face.
  • Rob Hubbard & Marcel Donné: Hubbard '80 - Imagine an alternate universe where Rob Hubbard had access to all the latest synths available in the year 1980 and he composed a bunch of tunes on them that were eerily similar to his SID tunes from our universe, all made with the help of his faithful studio engineer, Marcel Donné. Well, imagine no more - this is that album!
  • Rob Hubbard: Rob Renders is technically a bonus album for backers of the Back In Time Symphonic Collection Kickstarter full of original orchestrations by the Maestro himself. This bonus album even contains a few bonus tracks, like a wonderful piano medley of Dragon's Lair II by Patrick Nevian, and an original 80s Rob Hubbard recording. It's a fascinating collection of symphonic compositions with Rob Hubbard's unmistakable style.
  • Marcel Donné: Robdez-Vous Special Edition is another crossover album from a different crowdfunded project (Project Sidologie) released as part of Project Hubbard. As its name implies, most of the content here will be very familiar to Project Sidologie backers from Marcel's heavily Jarre-inspired Robdez-Vous album, but he's reworked several of the linkages between the tracks specifically for Project Hubbard.

Matt Gray: Reformation 3

And we're still not done with crowdfunded remix album releases! Matt Gray was also busy getting a digital release out this year, and this latest album in his Reformation series is a beaut. I have been a big fan of Matt Gray's remixes ever since I heard the first notes of a preview track from his Last Ninja 2 album, and this double-disc (!) album follows much of the same energetic style that he has become known for on the remix scene. Twenty-five brand-spanking new remixes from a legendary SID composer - it's a sure hit!

Some lucky backers even received a bonus album along with this release: several of Matt Gray's SID tunes remixed by artists like the Fastloaders, Marcel Donné, Romeo Knight, Slaygon, and others.

And guess what? Some bird at Kickstarter-land told me that his 4th Reformation album has also been funded with a release slated sometime in 2021!

Reformation 3 front cover
© (C) 2020 6581 Records

C64Audio.com Compilations on Spotify

C64 Remix Classics 80s Synth Hits, Vol 1 front cover
© (C) 2020 C64Audio.com C64 Remix Classics Imagine Ocean, Vol 1 front cover
© (C) 2020 C64Audio.com C64 Remix Classics Sci Fi, Vol 1 front cover
© (C) 2020 C64Audio.com Rob Hubbard SID Anthology, Vol 1 front cover
© (C) 2020 C64Audio.com

In addition to brand new releases, C64Audio.com also released several compilation albums on Spotify, a few of these even contain re-engineered tracks (like a much nicer cover of O2's Ocean Loader, Kenz's Game Over, and Rydeen):


Chris Abbott: Arcade Classics Vol. 1

Arcade Classics Vol 1 front cover
© (C) 2020 C64Audio.com

Chris sure has a way of making every one of us quarantining in our homes look super-lazy in comparison! Besides also being involved in pretty much all of the above-mentioned crowdfunded releases, he somehow found time to make even more remixes and release them as an album - you know, just for fun.

Okay, so including his latest album here may be a bit of a stretch for Remix64, since technically this one contains remixes of classic Sega arcade game tunes, heavily leaning on Hiroshi Kawaguchi's genious soundtracks. But, you know, Passing Breeze, Splash Wave, After Burner and a few others were technically rendered as SID tunes, too, so...?

If you are a fan of those crispy FM synth sounds from the late 80s and early 90s, or if you just like the lighter side of remixing, this is the album for you. I am especially fond of all the noodlings Chris has added to Magical Sound Shower, but I'm sure everybody will find their own favorite on this album. Start your engine and ... erm ... insert your Spotify into the ... erm ... streaming player of your Ferrari Testarossa?... (Okay, admittedly, that analogy went south pretty fast. I feel old now...)


Instant Remedy: M1x3d Up

A new album from Instant Remedy that sits somewhere between a full album and an extended EP. But don't fret that it contains only 30 minutes of music, because those are 8 quality tracks: four SID remixes and four original compositions by Instant Remedy. I'll let him describe it in more detail:

Some of the tracks are old remixes which never made it to commercial platforms but by working out the copyright stuff and remastering them now have found a way to your favorite streaming service. 4 of the tracks are original compositions I made some years ago which I remixed/remastered to make them fit your ears better. Although the styles of the tracks are a bit m1x3d (hence the album name), the primary direction of the sound is a classic 90’s dance style with SID sounds and crispy arp chords – the classic IR sound. This is what I think most fans will appreciate.

Instant Remedy - M1x3d Up front cover
© (C) 2020 Instant Remedy

Amiga Power

Amiga Power Cover

You thought we were done with the Kickstarters? Ha! Here's another one for you: Amiga Power - The Album with Attitude. Lots and lots and lots of wonderful Amiga game tune remixes here - 37 of them, to be exact, spread over 2 discs. Plus you also get The Mighty Booklet with the digital release, 100 pages full of illustrated text very much in the style of the Amiga Power magazine, to which this album pays a tribute. And some supporters of the project even got a second album to go along with it titled Amiga Remixed, which yes, contains even more Amiga remixes!

 


LMan: SID Chip Club

Last, but not least, here is the final crowdfunded album release I'd like to draw your attention to: SID Chip Club by our very own LMan. Are there any remixes on it? No. It's all original compositions by the master SID-tweaker: techno and house tracks that represent both an artistic and a technological achievement. Can it be downloaded as a D64 image? Yep. Because you'll hear nothing but the glorious SID chip on this album! Wait, whaa...? All those sounds are coming out of a SID chip? Yep, they sure do! Is it available on vinyl, too, I wonder? Yep, sure is! How about on a C64 cartridge? Check!

In fact, I don't think you can call yourself a real fan of the SID's sound if you don't listen to this album!

LMan SID Chip Club Cover Front
© (C) 2020 Markus Klein

Phiew - that's a LOT of wonderful new music to listen to that is sure to keep fans busy for a while!

 

Let me know if I failed to mention a scene or remix album here that was also released in 2020, and I'll make sure to give it a shout.