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Review by LaLa (04/04/2003)

Okay, I give up: which subtune does this one remix? RKO says it's #6, but I
find that hard to believe as I hear very, very little resemblence. The opening
and closing minutes of this tune demonstrate the archetypal oriental feel very
well, I especially like the subtle use of flutes. But I am more mystified by
the different style that is in the middle, it's a bit like an old MOD with
better instruments. Overall, it's not too bad, but doesn't really capture my
attention.
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Review by LaLa (04/04/2003)

As Homer Simpson would say it: mmmmm, tasty!... Absolutely awesome bass sound
that endangers your speakers and tasteful drums that provide many hints of the
original. Very subtle rhythmic chords add another dimension to this remix. The
lead is also pretty close to the SID original, which in this case is not a
compliment, because at times it feels too thin as compared to the rest.
However, the melody is reproduced very faithfully which pleases me a lot. I
only wish the entire IK tune was represented here, because Yzi decided to
remix only the first half of it...
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Review by LaLa (04/04/2003)

I think the subtitle is misleading, because power it ain't. It definitely
feels more powerful as the guitar lead comes in about halfway through, but
it needs more powerful drums to make it, well, more powerful. Nice use of
those filtered electronic sounds that essentially provide the backbone of the
tune, just like in Hubbard's original. All in all, a forceful remix that falls
a tad short of expectations. Oh, and I think it's also too short.
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Review by LaLa (04/04/2003)

Dreamy, electronic, fantasy-land-like. These are the words the came to my mind
when listening to this remix. But it's not ambient, it's more like something
from a fairy-tale that makes children smile. I think the arpeggios and the
bass feel a little out of place and the drums could use more reverb, but it's
quite good already as it is.
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Review by LaLa (04/04/2003)

Great distorted guitars presented in their raw form. It's a very edgy remix,
but I do not quite think it's like hard rock. I think the stereo space
could've been better utilized, either by panning the instruments wider or by
adding panned echo/reverb. Also, I don't think a lot of post-production was
done on this piece - and it shows.
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Review by LaLa (04/04/2003)

It starts in a style that I like to call "enhanced SID". Then it transforms
into an acoustic affair with plenty of nice guitars, which makes the remix
very organic, very human. It's a nice piece of work for sure, somewhat
reminiscent of early Mike Oldfield, but it has a missing ingredient. I don't
know what, but the lack of it dampens my enthusiasm towards this remix. Maybe
because nothing else is really supporting those guitars. Or because the final
mixing feels unpolished. Nevertheless, it's quite pleasant.
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Review by hbasm (01/04/2003)

Not a typical arrangement, but new things are welcome. Maybe a bit too much reverb and echo. Some instruments sound too far away. It reminds me of the music I did 10 years ago...

Sounds a bit odd at the end, like it's too abrupt. Maybe the upload broke? Anyway, keep up the good work.
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Review by tom (30/03/2003)

Yes, it is a great orchestral remix indeed! It shows that Markus perfectly knows how to work with Strings , Woods , Flutes and stuff ...
I gave it "only" a VERY GOOD vote for the Chart-system - not an OUTSTANDING because even when the Sound-Samples are brilliant and of course the arrangement as well, there is some depth missing technically.
Markus knows what I mean, the overall sound is too dry for my ears but maybe that's a question of taste, but it was the only reason to give it not an OUTSTANDING VOTE!
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Review by beldin (30/03/2003)

Compared with the original sidtune, which is among my favourites, Markus' attempt at creating an orchestral remix based on it, works extraordinarily well. The quality of samples is outstanding and sounds really professional. This alone is worth the download. Many arrangers would be happy if they could use such equipment.

At the same time, the remix could be described best as over-ambitious, which is likely the reason why this particular remix has caused some controversy in public discussion.

The sidtune is a completely different style. It's a fast-paced, powerful and drum-heavy music. Turning it -- or parts of it -- into an orchestral soundtrack is an extremely tough job. Professional equipment alone (and the ability to use it) is not everything. Orchestral arrangements should raise specific emotions and capture you through-out the entire track. This is where the Shadow Skimmer source material was not the best choice. The clearly recognizable theme is there and is the highlight. But it is surrounded by elements that don't focus on a specific atmosphere and which don't raise any emotions except when the fairly majestic Shadow Skimmer main theme kicks in from time to time.

Overall, this is one of the best remixes so far. Markus should not be put down if he expected only outstanding votes. He did an awesome job with this one and we all hope to see more like this from him in the future, whether on CD or not.
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Review by eliot (30/03/2003)

This is IceXuick's best attempt so far. The original is very poor but he managed to improve it. Due it's a dance-track it has a lack of variation but overall it's worth to listen. Nice attempt.
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Review by eliot (30/03/2003)

The original tune has a gloomy touch that completly went away. It's not always a good idea to transform a tune in something "happy-electronic-80ies". For me this tune does not work, next time choose a tune that fits with your style.
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Review by eliot (30/03/2003)

A nice "happy" tune but for my taste to much repeatations, the stereo panorama is quite small, the end of this tune does not fit when you set your player on loop and the MP3-tag, is quite empty.
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Review by eliot (30/03/2003)

We always welcome new arrangers to RKO and I prefer to write a nice, heart-warming review. I'm sorry, there is no reason to do so. This tune is really boring with serious lacks of inspiration. The rhythm of the bass/drum-line does not match with the lead... very curious and I guess not a stilistic purpose. This song ends very abrupt, when you have set your player on loop, it sounds really awful. And besides that: MP3-Tags should contain more useful information.
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Review by eliot (30/03/2003)

The soundfx do not good on the tune, as I have experienced in some other of ifadeo's remixes before, because they "feel" wrong. I recommand a more "classical" approach and leads should lead not drowned by drums and fx.
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Review by eliot (30/03/2003)

It's long ago since Paul's last upload but it was worth waiting for this release. The charme of C-64 revived while he managed a grandious melt of different styles. The only technical disadvantage are some crackles... Besides that there are no more words to discribe, just listen this stunning remix yourself!
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Review by eliot (30/03/2003)

Sometimes it's a great surprise arrangers can make a poor original to something extraordinary. Compared to Glyn the instruments do not sound like "cheap midi" giving the tune a authentic touch. Awesome work and the best orchestral remix so far.
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Review by eliot (29/03/2003)

Concert? Hmm... I like the first half of the tune, the second is quite a mistake or shall I say "junk"? Mixing different styles is a hard task and this time it went to out of direction. And yes, once again there is an empty mp3-tag :-(
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Review by q__ (29/03/2003)

This tune might be; by lack for a better word; perfect, but i find the emotional aspect in orchestral music more important than the technical aspect. That's what i'm missing in this piece compared to Gordians Tomb and Firelord. It has it all, but it's missing just a little to be qualified 'beautifull'.

And maybe it's a little 'over-equalized' cause i could swear i heard instruments 'slide' a little depending on the frequency?
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Review by beldin (27/03/2003)

It's impressive how the arranger has turned the IMO weak source material into a modern-sounding dance-floor track which gets more interesting towards the end. If it just would not take a full minute to build up. A full minute without any drums or percussions. And even when the drums kick in finally, it takes another 90 seconds to get to the first variations. That and an additional 30 seconds of silence at the end are two drawbacks.

[Since I had to look up the sidtune in order to not misjudge this one, the nostalgic value is not considered in the overall rating.]
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Review by beldin (27/03/2003)

First of all, what's the goal of adding 12 seconds of weird babbling at the beginning? Something like that is a definite "NO!" for C64 Remix playlists, for instance.

The rest of the 5:20 long remix is a straight-forward and very repetitive cover-version which adds some monotonous and questionable percussions, such as noise in the background. Why it's called "In Love Mix" is beyond me. The remix has absolutely nothing to offer and is disappointing.
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Review by beldin (27/03/2003)

With a total playtime of 5:46 (!) and a distorted voice saying "Aztec Challenge" again and again, this remix is very repetitive and close too the border of getting annoying. Unless of course the listener is into such stuff. What else to add about this remix? It contains lots of drums which change the rhythm of the original version quite heavily, although the well-known bass-line is there and recognizable. It doesn't capture you like the original does. The flute-like lead sound would fit better into a more calm (and maybe orchestral, again) arrangement.
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Review by craigg (27/03/2003)

Neil Brennan's catchy, oriental-tinged tunes have produced a wealth of excellent C64 remixes and Majkol's treatment of Samurai Warrior is no exception. From beginning to end, it mirrors the inherent energy of the original, overlaying several simple melodies to great effect. The drums, while following the same basic pattern as the original, have a number of important additions, which help to carry the track through its four-minute length.

While this mix wins few points for innovation, it's practically flawless in every other respect and, as such, comes highly recommended.
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Review by Tas (27/03/2003)

A curious tune that spells disaster right from the ofset. A strangely mellow backing to a fast paced lead (barely audiable) which isn't such a bad thing as it sounds terrible. The background and the lead sounds very much seperate which doesn't help matters. i can only guess that he's simply pasted on the lead over a simple backing as they don't come together at all. Also another downside is a lack of variation (especially concerning the backing, it's just the same old loop being replayed over and over again).

nono, it's droll!
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Review by Tas (27/03/2003)

A bright and chearful tune here from IceXuick. Now why does this kinda remind me of the TOP GUN theme?!?! i've no idea, but it does.

Tho the tune doesn't blow you away, there's something strangely apealing about it, there's no fancy gimicks or anything, it's just a damn fine piece of music and an enjoyable listen at that! Thumbs up!
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Review by craigg (27/03/2003)

Schneider's take on Hubbard's classic composition proves that even a fairly unremarkable remix can work wonders if the original source material is good enough. Despite not really straying from the original, the instrumentation is well chosen, and the addition of occasional, haunting female vocals adds some much-needed atmosphere to the mix, helping to move it into the ?chillout zone'. Because of the dreamlike state induced, the repetitious nature of the track isn't a problem, although the lack of bass and over-emphasised mid-range sounds sometimes make the mix feel a little flat. Nevertheless, this is generally a good effort, and a perfect track to relax to.
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Review by craigg (27/03/2003)

Despite sometimes sounding like an Amiga MOD, and some bum notes sitting within the bassline, IceXuick provides a different spin to Aztec Challenge. The frantic nature of the instrumentation and arrangement bring to mind the original's feel. To my mind, this is more appropriate, if perhaps less accomplished, than the orchestral Aztec Challenge arrangements that many remixers seem to favour. The result is a track has plenty of energy and atmosphere, although I could have done without the metallic voice constantly repeating 'Aztec Challenge' over and over again. In conclusion, a decent effort, if flawed, but something that Paul Norman fans will most likely enjoy.
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Review by Tas (27/03/2003)

We are normally used to hearing Aztec Challenge done orchestrally, however this time around it's more upbeat. The concept isn't a bad one either as it does seem to work rather well. The overall feel to this tune is 80's Electro even down to the metal micky styled vocal which repeatedly informs the listener thats it's Aztec Challenge. A nice addition, but massively over used.

Though this remix is a good effort, it doesn't really pull you in, and sometimes the instruments just seem to not quite pull this together like they could. The score at times feels empty and thin which i think is part of the problem. it's a good effort tho, and a nice attempt in bringing a new flavour to Aztec Challenge.
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Review by DHS (26/03/2003)

This orchestral cover is absolutely amazing.
Huge, menacing, powerful.
The orchestration itself is impressive, Markus made this like a real pro.
The best c64 orchestrated cover since today.
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Review by craigg (26/03/2003)

Due to the twee nature of the original, I never thought I'd see a quality KikStart 2 mix grace R:K:O. IceXuick has managed the seemingly impossible by creating a chart-worthy dance track, based on the title screen music of the classic budget game.

It takes a while to get going, but once the relentless rhythm is introduced, its momentum effortlessly carries the rest of the track. While this commercial sounding entity may be too repetitive for some, club aficionados will most likely lap it up, and the track bodes well for future IceXuick mixes and 'Sout' takes alike.
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Review by craigg (26/03/2003)

This is almost a one-to-one cover of the original Ouwehand piece, and includes some SID-like chord pulses to good effect. Elsewhere, IceXuick has wisely decided to move away from the orchestral sound-set used by Ouwehand and several others since, instead concentrating on powerful synth sounds. This has resulted in a rich, emotive and powerful mix that is worthy of the original composition, although anyone looking for an original and innovative take on this track would do well to look elsewhere.
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