Reviews by LaLa

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Review by LaLa (16/06/2021)

I really, really like the 70s funk feel of the intro (reminds me of those 70s cop TV shows), too bad it's not carried forward to the rest of the tune. Also, I keep missing the "...immediately!" from the speech samples, it just doesn't feel complete to me without that, and it drives me nuts! Am I the only one? :) Other than that - top-notch stuff yet again from Johan.
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Review by LaLa (16/06/2021)

First of all: welcome, TweakerRay!

I like this remix from several aspects, but it feels more like an "enhanced SID" to me due to the overwhelming presence of SID-like sounds and SID arpeggios and whatnot. Nothing wrong with that (we like SID sounds!), it's just... largely the same as the already outstanding original SID tune. I like the atmosphere in this remix, I like the sounds - but I also liked those in the original, and here it's not much different. I guess, in summary: plus points for execution, minus points for lack of originality.
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Review by LaLa (27/05/2021)

What a great remix! 😎👍Yet again, Tim hits it out of the ballpark. The first half of this remix is a pretty amazing remix of the SID itself. Then Tim decided to add a second half consisting of his improvs and variations - and it sounds fabulous! Definitely has undertones of Jarre in there (Zoolook, Revolutions), and it's done very elegantly. Well done, Tim, well done!
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Review by LaLa (25/05/2021)

What a great collaborative remix! Andreas on the drums goes crazy as usual. :-) Necro is smoking hot on the guitar, Laxity kills it on the keyboards, Marc on the bass just kicks ass... Well done, everybody! Personally, I think it deserved to finish higher in the Remix 64 20th Anniversary Compo, but at least I can give it all the red smilies I want right here. :-)
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Review by LaLa (21/05/2021)

Wow and holy s**t and whoa!!! People, we need a new smilie: a red smilie is just not good enough any more to express how excellent this is! We need a flaming red smilie for this one! The compo version you submitted to the Remix64 20th Anniversary Compo was already good enough for 3rd place there, and that had "only" a Mordified synth lead. Here with the sweet, sweet vocal you just elevated this remix to a whole new level. Sounds like those singing lessons Lea gave you have paid off - your voice has improved a LOT, Mordi! ;-)

I don't know who came up with the "pop song lyrics" (you, Mordi, or Vir, the singer), but it's absolutely fitting. And you did a fantastic job dressing up the solo vocal with harmonies and effects. I just can't say enough good things about this remix! Superb!

I think from now on when people chuckle at me that I am totally into remixes of nerdy Commodore-64 SID tunes, I will just show them this song and I'll enjoy watching their jaws drop. Suck it, non-nerds!

#DemandAFlamingSmilie
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Review by LaLa (15/05/2021)

I quite like it! A mostly guitar-based arrangement with additional synths. It all blossoms into a nice groove which keeps the tune going. Then there's a nicely positioned break, then the groove picks up again... All in all, it's very nicely done!
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Review by LaLa (15/05/2021)

This is a remix of two personalities. I quite like intro where you went in the opposite direction of the usual horror-themed remixes and created a more mellow choral piece. The electric bass guitar shattered that serenity - but then you went back to being mellow with the flamenco guitar (?). This constant flip-flopping in the arrangement was an odd choice, IMHO. I can't really decide whether that's a good thing or not.
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Review by LaLa (15/05/2021)

Pretty danceable, I like the groove you developed for the remix. But I think it falls short in the mixing department: the overall sound is too 'airy', too 'light', rather than 'edgy' and 'punchy', which is what I would've expected based on the arrangement. Too bad, because you have some really creative ideas sprinkled throughout the remix (like the vocal-based bass starting at 3:08).
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Review by LaLa (15/05/2021)

Very nice guitar licks in the intro. The complete lack of legato in the singer's voice is rather off-putting, though. Then comes a pretty good beat overlaid with some okay-ish instrumentation. Overall, not bad, some neat ideas in it here and there - but not very exciting for me, either.
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Review by LaLa (06/05/2021)

I was fortunate enough to be able to listen to this remix as soon as it was uploaded to the Remix64 20th Anniversary Compo. I listened to it at least 10 times in a row right away. And I still keep listening to it - I just love it! The arrangement is simply amazing, especially considering how differently the original SID was arranged by Rob. The instrumentation is also spot on, and I just can't stop bobbing my head to this tune! It's a wonderful mix of disco, 80's orchestral pop and modern-day synthwave. I'm sure this remix has its flaws, but I'll let other people find those this time - I'll just keep enjoying this remix day after day!
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Review by LaLa (06/05/2021)

Italo Disco style - me like. All the sounds - me like. Except one: the cough. OK, I get it, that's a rip, too, and a signature sound of this style, but along with the subtitle "Italian Infection", personally, I find it distasteful in this age of the pandemic and not funny at all. Remove that, and you get a red smilie.

PS: I had a little chat with Wobbler which made me realize that I apparently misunderstood the message he tried to convey with this remix. It wasn't meant to make fun of the Covid pandemic at all. I'm writing this here in the hopes that nobody else will think of this remix that way, either.

I wish your wife a speedy and full recovery, Wobbler!
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Review by LaLa (06/05/2021)

This remix reminds me of a finely woven tapestry where each strand, each color, each motif was made with the utmost care to ensure that when you step back and look at the entire piece, it remains a beautiful piece of art. All the nuances, all the articulations must've taken Tomsk a long time to get just right in this mostly orchestral remix, from the guitar to the strings, from the piano to the flute. I think the choice of the waltz-like, but 4/4 based rhythm was a fine one, too. I really like what I am hearing here!
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Review by LaLa (06/05/2021)

High energy, indeed! This remix starts strong and it never lets up. It really captures the high-octane tempo of the original (both Jeroen's and Hiroshi Miyauchi's). The instrumentation is prog-rock, and the arrangement is really befitting that genre.

I am also glad Pete had the compo version's mixing reworked by Danko for this RKO release, it sounds so much better now!
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Review by LaLa (04/05/2021)

Perfect soundtrack to the sad movie of the Covid-19 pandemic. The lo-fi piano, the subtle strings, the long intro with the twisted ambient samples... This is a piece that was definitely created by the heart, not by the mind.
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Review by LaLa (28/04/2021)

The more I listen to this, the more I like it. It's highly cinematic in style, and I really like its "slow breathing", up-and-down tempo throughout. The arrangement may be on the simple side, but it's effective. The instrumentation is very nice, and I think the entire piece is just put together rather well.
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Review by LaLa (21/04/2021)

While the arrangement and the instrumentation is the high-quality we've come to expect from Mr. Clarke, something is off with the mixing of this track. Namely, the guitars in the left and right channels sound like they were recorded with mics that were placed far away from the guitars. Or maybe it's some weird phasing issue between them. Bottom line is, they just don't sound as natural as the guitars in your other remixes, their sound has a certain metallic tincan quality to them.
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Review by LaLa (18/04/2021)

Classic Necro, solid stuff. It's baffling to me why it didn't score higher on the R64 20th Anniversary remix compo. How you manage to mix SID sounds and heavy guitars with all that distortion and still getting a clean mix out of it all is beyond me. And your work on those guitars - just damn.
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Review by LaLa (17/04/2021)

Our first RKO entry from the Remix64 20th Anniversary Compo! I am not ashamed to admit that I cried when I saw that Glyn has submitted an entry to the compo, and I was moved even more when I heard what he has submitted. It was truly an honor to have you enter the compo, Glyn! This may be a short remix, but it's ever more impactful. Amazing arrangement featuring a male and a female choir, and even a children's choir. All backed by a superbly arranged orchestral bed. Simply brilliant.
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Review by LaLa (31/03/2021)

I am so glad, Tim, that you decided to keep working at your Task III remix! This "++" version is what I now consider THE "ultimate" Task III remix! It's an absolutely brilliant piece that follows the original very closely. The arrangement is spot on, the instrument selection is superb. And I am glad my little feedback helped you make the final mix sound even better. I just can't get enough of this remix, I keep listening to it over and over again, because it always puts a huge smile on my face. I have always been a fan of the original SID, but I have become an even bigger fan of this remix of it. Just brilliant!
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Review by LaLa (21/03/2021)

Funky groove! Nicely done. I am not entirely sold on the vocoded vocals, though: it's a bit too hard to understand the lyrics. Maybe dial the modulator down a bit to let more of the original vocal through? Definitely plus points for originality, though! And I totally dig the guitar improv towards the end.
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Review by LaLa (21/03/2021)

The flute in the intro is nice. The vocoded voice is hard to understand. The synth parts are okay-ish. The mix gets washed out due to the hi-freq pads. And the ending is abruptly cut off - at least let the reverb ring out.
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Review by LaLa (12/03/2021)

Nice and slow laid-back version with prog-rock ambience (guitar and electric organ). I am hearing some dissonant chords starting at around the 1:55 mark - tsk-tsk. Other than that, rather pleasant and relaxing.
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Review by LaLa (08/03/2021)

This is a hard SID to crack because it's so intricate and so complex, and it's also high-paced. If you listen carefully, this remix is a really good effort, with lots of the subtleties of the original present in this remix. The somewhat chaotic nature of the original also comes through very well.

I find it hard not to compare it to Ocean's excellent version from 2002, which I think absolutely nailed the instrumentation and the arrangement, too. Listening to Tim's version and Ocean's version back-to-back also reveals that Tim's version lacks a lot of punch, which I think can be fixed in the mixing department. All in all, my hats off to Tim for taking a crack at this SID and because he obviously poured a lot of effort into his remix, and the result is a pretty darn good piece.

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Review by LaLa (08/03/2021)

I don't think you amped up the clubby beat on this high enough! Great concept, so-so execution. I think I like the 5:34-6:04 section the best. The part starting at 6:04 was supposed to be crescendo of the entire tune, and your lead here sounds really whimpy, plus it misses all the portamentos badly, too (you did not pay attention to that after your SID2MIDI conversion, did you?).
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Review by LaLa (08/03/2021)

Really smooth bass kicks ass on this remix. That whiny sound, though - ouch, not to my liking. Love your guitar jamming on top of the beat. This remix falls apart badly at 1:30 - you should've stopped the guitar licks at that point. That section sounds too dissonant to my ears, anyway.

At 2:16 we are back to our regularly scheduled Delta, still, that thin hi-freq whiny sound just doesn't seem to fit.

3:05 - silky smooth jamming again, tickles my ears. That provides a strong finish to this remix.

Overall, I think you fell too much in love with your own jamming on this remix, you should've paused it, especially after 1:30.

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Review by LaLa (08/03/2021)

This one sounds really excellent until about the 1 min mark when that synth lead comes in. Does not compute! Then you redeem yourself with a much better guitar lead after the 2 min mark, only to switch back to the synth lead again. I mean, the lead sound would be fine by itself, it just does not fit this track at all, IMHO. At around 3:50 it all gets chaotic to my ears, and then it fades into a jam session. This tracks shows a lot more promise than what it actually delivers.
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Review by LaLa (08/03/2021)

I love this! It's like a jam session over a Parallax beat. Sounds very impromptu, towards the end ever more improvised. You've done something new, something fresh with Parallax in a prog-rock style. Great job!
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Review by LaLa (05/03/2021)

Another Makke classic from days of yore, yet, it sounds as good today as it did 15+ years ago. (Funny how these bits and bytes don't fade with age like my cassette tapes do...) And that vocoder voice totally became Makke's signature. :-) All coupled with lyrics that is spot on.
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Review by LaLa (21/02/2021)

The essence of the original is there, but it's presented somewhat flatly - I wish there was more emotion, more dynamics in it. I also think the male vocal shouts do not fit here, they jolted me out of the otherwise ethereal soundscape. The arrangement is fine, I even like the instrument selection, but the mix could've benefited from some additional tune-up to add some 'unpredictability' to it.
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Review by LaLa (10/02/2021)

This sounds much better than your previous choral remix (Human Race). I love the arrangement, and the performance is full of emotion, it's rather moving actually, I quite like it! However, I am going to be nitpicky about the choirs yet again: I really wish they sounded a bit more natural, a bit more convincing. You have mixed the male, female and children choirs masterfully in this remix, all singing their own lines - what a great idea! But they sound just a tad too robotic to me. I think yet again it's down to the lack of legatos between their phrases. But that piano ending with the soft tones - OMG, that is just brilliant! All in all an excellent piece - and to be honest, I think you made your choir sample libraries sound as good as you could, with proper dynamics and everything. I just wish you pushed them a bit more. I can only imagine how this would sound with a real choir... Really impressive job, thanks for sharing!
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