Back In Time 3 - CD Review

Chris Abbott plus various artists
Published By: High Technology Publishing
Price: Out of print

While Bit 1 and 2 are regarded as superb CD's it's really nothing compared to what has been achieved on Bit3. Away goes the more recognisable note by note creation using accurate depictions of the original sid sounds. Here the collaborators have succeeded in creating an epic CD that depicts a spacey storyline while enforcing their own idea's and identities. Thus creating an orchestral and occasionally symphonic CD that brings new concepts into practice. These tracks are all inter-linked with each other quite fantastically. While the tunes follow a pattern of events equalling the magnificent scores throughout. Enter this CD with an open mind, close your eyes and feel the emotion of what BIT 3 is!
Back In Time 3 Live Poster


Track 1 - Agent X2 (Tim Follin) - Jogier Liljedahl. Guitars: Jan-Henrik Bang

Announcing the Launch, jogier has created a track full of emotion and power. The emotion comes from the synth side and power comes from some really impressive guitar playing by Henrik. A mix of atmosphere and pumping basslines within this track, creating an immensely enjoyable and foot tapping melody. Strong in almost every department with special attention going to the powerful bassline and varied main lead. A tremendous start to the CD.

Track Rating: 9

Track 2 - WAR (Rob Hubbard) - Steve Scherer/Rob Hubbard

WAR gets the orchestral treatment with this new completely re-worked version. A slow moving, melodical and immensely atmospheric cover with the all feeling of tension and anticipation that has suited the CD's flavour and storyline. Starting off moody and withdrawn with strings this starts to build with the employment of flutes and attacking backgrounds. A mix of soft and aggressive sections with fine use of cymbals and various strings. While this may not appeal to all tastes it's certainly ambitious and realises what Rob had in mind from the original sid version. Clever and immensely rewarding.

Track Rating: 9

Track 3 - Ancestors (Zoids) - (Lary Fast/Rob Hubbard) - O2

Spacey, Dreamy, and ambient with a hint of Jarre here and there. Imagine floating off into space and I think you'll grasp this concept completely. A wonderfully moving piece that complements the flavour of the CD beautifully.

Track Rating: 9

Track 4 - Shadowfire - (Fred Gray) - Darren Izzard/Chris Abbott/Boz

A spooky and spacey start. Then comes the familiar frantic baseline and chords that you'd expect from Shadowfire. A slight industrial feel to this with some unusual but effective cymbals. A powerful and highly addictive cover of a tune that always gave you a warm feeling. This cover is not an exception to this warm feeling. Somehow these guys have managed to re-create this warmth in its entirety. Superb what else can I say.

Track Rating: 9

Track 5 - Armalyte - (Martin Walker) - Fabian Del Priore/Chris Abbott. Guitar and Drums by Puffy64.

Rocky and powerful is what best explains this track. This is an explosive and complex track with a fantastic harmony between synth and hard guitar. Rarely has a combination of styles and sounds worked as well as this. The drums on this are excellent; Puffy has done a great job in disguising the samples to sound almost real. It also gives this tune a frantic pace. Well worked and industrious that is attacking and inspiring, as it is complex.

Track Rating: 9

Track 6 - Phantoms Of The Asteroids - (Rob Hubbard) - Chris Abbott/Marcel Donne.

The link Between Armalyte and Phantoms is quite unbelievable changing between hard rock to soft orchestral then it burst into life with the typical bouncy power that you'd associate with Phantoms. A mix of accuracy and added Jarre complements this track exceptionally well. The industrial percussion and sounds fx make for a full and distinguished cover. The bouncy bassline and typical sid-like lead add to the whole experience of what is an astonishingly well produced cover.

Track Rating: 9

Track 7 - Parallax Stroll - (Martin Galway) - Chris Abbott/Boz.

An ambient and beautifully arranged piece of work that actually is more atmospheric than the original. An amazingly rich and tranquil version that adds some of the most beautiful instruments that has ever been witnessed on a cover. A spacey background and amazingly atmospheric lead bring give this cover a dream-like state where a stroll in space is certainly is the flavour of the moment.

Track Rating: 9

Track 8 - Ancestors (Zoids) - (Larry Fast/Rob Hubbard) - Chris Abbott/Boz

A tremendous military like composition, which mixes hard attacking basslines and leads with soft flute and string sections. The use of fading instruments in and out is evident in this mix creating a feeling of a hard fought battle. Aptly named Desert Battle Chris and Boz have realised the perfect score for the theme. Beautiful at times and at others immensely powerful which gives this track variance and a uniqueness to a cover that has never been arranged as well as this before. I will never understand how together these guys have produced such a quality cover and re-arrangement of a classic. This classic has got even better. Definitely the best cover that I have ever heard. Amazing!!

Track Rating: 10

Track 9 - Flash Gordon (Rob Hubbard) - Chris Abbott/Marcel Donne/Boz

Cinematic moody and highly atmospheric. There is much tension and power to found on this track. A brilliant mix of soft leads with powerful attacking backgrounds and drums. The Variance to this track is also quite unreal, Rarely have I heard so many different instruments employed to a single tune. Not only that but the variance also comes from the tune itself, dancing between styles and power, hard and soft, moody yet tense. Full of emotion and atmosphere in a fantastically arranged and performed cover. Sensational.

Track Rating: 10

Track 10: One Man And His Droid - (Rob Hubbard) - Chris Abbott/Marcel Donne

Another fine workout from the Pairing of Chris Abbott and Marcel Donne. This Frantically paced tune has been recreated brilliantly, keeping faithful to the tune yet adding to the score with some terrific backgrounds and sound fx. After the four-minute mark this tune really comes into it's own with a terrific attacking solo and fast paced mayhem. Brilliant in every sense of the word.

Track Rating: 10

Track 11: The Last V8 - (Rob Hubbard) - Fabian Del Priore

Quite a stunning version of V8. Right From the offset this attacks with vigour and meaning. Starting terrifically with an excellent drumroll and builds with strings and one heck of a thumping bassline. The drums on this are of the highest quality too. Brilliantly worked and implemented producing what I would call a definitive version.

Track Rating: 10

Track 12: Delta (in-game) - (Rob Hubbard) Chris Abbott/Boz

This is a very dark cover of what was already a moody tune, creating so many different emotions and feelings within 11 minutes. Chris and Boz have implemented this emotions well providing a mix of ambience and hypnotic melodies. The tune is terrifying at time and very very dark and chilling. Incredibly the tune remains faithful to the original yet imprints a new flavour which is both surreal and innovative.

Track Rating: 9

Track 13: Trap - (Ben Daglish) - Ben Daglish/Chris Abbott

A cinematic score which starts very slowly and emotionally. This slowly adds new instruments along the way and builds before slowing down again. This style is evident all the way through the tune, which gives a brooding and meaningful tune. Again a tune that mixes attacking baselines and lead with some excellent attacking drums, with slower sections that ads tension and emotion. A millateric approach has been given to the theme/epic that envisages the ideals of what Ben would have wanted from the original sid. Brilliantly arranged and a tune that has been implemented quite astonishingly.

Track Rating: 10

Track 14: Wizball (high Score) - (Martin Galway) - Iridium, Vocals: Kenz and Frenz.

Crazy!!!. One word Crazy!!. A mix of sid and basslines and some of the most bizarre effects and vocals ever to be witnessed on a remix yet. Popping sounds play throughout this song giving it yet more weirdness. The mid section adds a rave style which is a pleasant change from the weirdness of it all. Strumming guitars and unusual styled drums are worked into the track. Now although this tune is absolutely mad it tends to be a tune you can't get bored with. It'll certainly give you much amusement. All in all it's very different to what is on the CD, but within this mayhem there is something strangely addictive about it.

Track Rating: 9

Track 15: Zoids - (Rob Hubbard/Larry Fast) - Mike Andrews

Yet another version of Zoids here. All three however are very different to each other. This version is guitar all the way through on a synthy background and occasional operatic vocals. A pleasant and moody piece that on occasions reminds me of Mike Oldfield, A beautiful end to a fantastic CD.

Track Rating: 9

The main thing that you'll notice with this CD is that with the exception of Wizball that it's jam-packed with emotion and atmosphere. A big change from the previous two albums and for one I think for the better. Special note must be made to the pairings of Chris Abbott and Boz who when they appear together have produced some of the most remarkable covers on this CD. Special note too must be given to Marcel Donne who has proved he can produce the goods time after time. This CD is so good it's beyond belief and will set the standards of what is becoming a series of incredible CD's. If you only buy one remix CD this year… Make sure it's this one! Outstanding.

CD Rating 9.5 / 10

Remix64 Gold Seal Of Approval
Reviewed by Neil Carr