Listener's Reviews

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Displaying Reviews 1891 - 1920 out of 1951
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

OW! A nice first three seconds leads into a painful next three seconds? Why? Because the chord that is being played is wrong! And not just slightly wrong... it destroys what the piece is trying to do: the ambience is nice, the sounds are nice, though still slightly cold, but it's painful to hear. Later drums in the piece accompany some adlibbing of the tune, with some painful discords in the pads here and there, and the whole tune begins to journey towards trance/ambient territory. Once it reaches this point, most connection between the tune and the backing is lost, and the whole piece becomes an unfamiliar SID spinoff. The ingredients are nice, but if you're a fan of the SID, this is not easy to listen to. You might like it. I couldn't.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Kudos for covering a tune that Zzap felt it necessary to comment positively on in their review. However, putting a half-speed syncopated beat on an echoed version of the SID for the first 40 seconds doesn't work. The cover improves when some appropriate chords come in over the SID, but then weird Jarre-like chords fight it out with the SID until the whole thing is a bloody mess on the floor. It's painful to listen to. OUCH!! Painful, when it could have been so much better.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

An utterly forgettable SIDtune, but this cover starts with some nice minor-to-major pads which sound quite like Howard Jones, and some nice bell sounds which give this whole thing a Glyn R Brown 80s soundtrack feel. Nice, and the usual delay makes this lucious to listen to. A throwaway cover of a throwaway tune, but well worth the download, 'cos it's nice. Plus I like minor to major chord sequences :-) Turns a so-so tune into a worthwhile download.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

First: OK beginning, some nice chords. Then it falls apart. Take an ambient tune called Thanatos. Let's take a rhythm from a drunk Hot Chocolate tribute band. Let's put alcohol into the C64 until it can't hold a note. This might be what you'd get when the blender was finished. Ow! I'm mystified by the high marks on R64 for this tune: FTC has done much better (and god knows I love his stuff!). Ow, my ears.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Nice echoes and use of the Turrican speech, along with the growling bassline and great ambience makes this a good cover. There are suspicious similarities to Infodroid here though in places, confirming FTCs pet hates and likes :-) It's a great MP3, and.. revelation coming... FTC sounds like Vince Clark (Erasure)! Recommended.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Hmmm. The lead here sounds a lot flatter than some of FTC's current work, and the trademark delay-large sound doesn't quite work with what is quite an intimate tune. This tune is for fields, outdoors, temples and stuff. It doesn't quite lend itself to large indoor spaces. Some surprising string pads start off nice, but clash quite badly with the tune, and the tune starts to sound painfully messy, especially when odd synth riffs come in. Worth the download, but could have been so much better.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Muffled and unsatisfying, this cover sounds like all that's worst in the 80s. There are some mood-suiting vocals and 80s percussion, but in general this piece leaves no stone turned in its quest for a quality 80s sound. Not good. And attempts to frighten me with samples of news broadcasts threatening Martian Attack won't work you know!.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

First thoughts: it's the BMX Kidz sid with souped-up percussion. Not bad as far as it goes, but the rest of the instruments doing the reproduction work just aren't up to the job. 100% faithful to the SID, but for a ground-breaking piece like BMX Kidz, a few 80s percussion samples, a slightly improved rhythm section and slightly different instruments don't cut it. I guess it's unobjectionable if you like the original, though. Earth-unshattering, but at least it doesn't ruin the original.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Sophisticated chord pads and bell trees, along with ominous percussion give a professional sounding start. When the tune proper starts at 1:35, the yawns set in. I'm not sure whether this is because the original piece doesn't set my ass on fire (it doesn't), but the cover is lacklustre. Simple drum beat, simple bass from the SID, static chord pads, and a weird plinky lead. Colour me unstunned. Uninspiring but competant.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

A cover of Great Giana sisters has much competition. Instant Remedy's version, Chris Huelsbeck's version, Tom Novy's version, and more. How does this one fare? Not well. No ambience, it doesn't capture the ethereal mysteriousness of the title tune: that echo Chris puts in the original to convey a mysterious sense of landscape that contrasted with the cheerful 2Dness of Mario. Somehow the music made Giana a much bigger feeling game than Mario, though this was an illusion. This cover adds some dry drums to the mix, and a 'news at ten' single note backing, but nothing much else.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

It starts with SID... so far so good, it's always a treat. Then the tune is played by erratically filtered and distorted synths, and a pretty apocalyptic breakbeat. Though intriguing, the character of Boulderdash was always conveyed for me by echo and space, mirroring the cavernous spaces in the game. My initial exposure to this music was on the Atari, where it's even more echoey, so this cover just doesn't quite fit into my mental map. It's accurate notewise, but the tune just didn't need this treatment. Towards the end if gets so distorted it's nasty: that's no way to reward people for their endurance is it? Clever but pointless. Brave experiment, but a bit of a travesty.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Unsubtle and unsatisfying version of this seminal Galway tune: the burbles lack the immediacy of the SID, and somehow the wide-open space and lightness of Galway's original is gone. The occasional pleasant harmonies (for instance, on Galway's solo) don't make up for the loss of Galway-ness that's happened here. Was this all done on C64s? It might well have been, in which case: brave move, but why bother? The recording's quite punchy though, and it IS relatively accurate. OK version of Galway's classic.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Synth Firelord? Time has not been a friend to this version. The drums don't work, and it's become clear that this is an orchestral piece. As such, though you can hear the effort in terms of structure, all I hear is how it should have been. Which is unfair of me really, because there's not a lot else wrong with this. Worthwhile download.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

From the very first bars, it's obvious what David is trying here: Magnetic Fields, played live. Considering the essential Fields-ness of this tune, it's an appropriate choice, and it's carried off with panache, though I wish some of the tune was restored (sometimes just the harmony plays). Crowd noises and SFX sustain the atmosphere, though this isn't a full length version. A very clever ending, too. Convincing! Well done, but I prefer my remixes sounding studio rather than live, but that's personal taste. Remixes like this are quite rare.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Hmm, echoey SID. Actually, thanks for the tune he's chosen, this works quite well, but that's nothing to do with arrangement skill. This is one of those remixes that sounds like the SID, but which has quite subtle additions (and the not-so-subtle one of a drum track). Therefore, if you like the original, you'll like this. If not, you won't. Quite pleasant.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Possibly the most inspired C64/arcade remix SID ever. It's a complete piss-take on Bubble Bobble, but it works because (a) the instruments are played really well, and it's well arranged, (b) the vocals and acting are inspired, and (c) the sheep are funny. ROFL! Inspired and unmissable.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Yes!! Those mobile phone tones are SO great I want them played REALLY loud through my Hifi! Yes!! hahahahahahahaha!! Take an ethnic breakbeat, an out of time Nokia IK+ ringtone and an unrelated speech sample, repeat for a few minutes and you have this. Oh yes, and the background chord stab has no relation to IK+ either. I cannot stand covers like this, but unfortunately when c64 music leaves the scene, this kind of cover happens to it all the time (for instance, Output64). So, bearing in mind I've dispatched Ninjas to the person who arranged this to smash up their equipment, here are my marks: So terrible I'm screaming.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Giana Sisters underground SID with a crappy breakbeat. That's it! I thought covers like this had died a death. I was wrong... One mark subtracted for an obviously bugged section.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

It's easiest to say what's wrong with this half-baked dance mix: the parts representing the C64 are far too dry and don't fit with the rest of the mix: the drums might as well not be there. It's not toe-tapping, it just doesn't work. Also, the breakbeat itself is completely out of character with the inexorable nature of the tunes and the rendition of the infamous subtune 21 is laughable. Pales in comparison with other Lazy Jones covers.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Another Lazy Jones remix by DJ Tobi starts off a lot more promisingly than the C-64 remix variant, but there's a puzzling riff, and when the famous subtune 21 sets in, it's obvious that he's tried to work the same sonic effect as Zombie Nation, but failed miserably. This chorus/detuning doesn't work, and the drums are weak and pointless. The kick drum is nowhere near as powerful as it should be (compressesion, try it!), and the whole remix will go nowhere near a dance floor, and with good reason. A poor man's Zombie Nation (I can't believe it, I'm praising Zombie Nation!). OK, but it's way down the list of worthy Lazy Jones covers.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Um, are you detecting a pattern here? I wonder if there's a clinical term for Lazy Jones obsession. This dance mix is more clubby, and yet still not toe-tapping. Maybe it's the bitrate, maybe it's the complete lack of atmosphere (sounds like the whole thing is being played in your living room, and some of the breakbeats are unforgiveably weak). I give up... what IS Deluxe about this?.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

It started with a SID, who would have thought it would come to this? :-) Sid + Drums, that's it. Why? It's not as if this is a good tune. OK, the riff might have made an OK riff around something else, but no one is going to be shaking their little booties to this, even with that breakbeat: getting people dancing is not just a question of drums on top of SID, you know. Pointless cover of a pointless original.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

It started with a SID, who would have thought it would come to this? :-) Sid + Drums, that's it. Why? It's not as if this is a good tune. OK, the riff might have made an OK riff around something else, but no one is going to be shaking their little booties to this, even with that breakbeat: getting people dancing is not just a question of drums on top of SID, you know. Pointless cover of a pointless original. Well, if DJ Tobi is going to do the same thing, I'm going to use the same review!.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

A brave attempt to rework the SID: suitably grungy guitar, spirited organ and appropriate drums. The production quality is a bit lo-fi: I guess if you close your eyes you could imagine yourself in the cafe with the players. An XM conversion which sounds like it: a good rework, but the problem with covers of Skate or Die is that it's obvious how it should sound: like a live band on a big stage. And this cover doesn't sound like that. Reasonably satisfying cover, but the piece deserves so much more.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Boulderdash deserves a better fate than this non-square wave Rockford-bashing it gets here. The sound keeps cutting out too, which is most disconcerting. It should go off and stay off. A mutilation of a great abstract tune.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Sad Bubble Bobble? In the same league as happy Knucklebusters, I think. Quite a clever reworking of the notes from the main theme, and quite an engaging bit of synth noodling (Twin Peaks echo sounds, drum and bass thing, quite eerie FX and production). It isn't Bubble Bobble though. It's not Bubble Bobble, but it is worth a listen.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

A Seinfeld bass kicks off this (apparently funky) remix of... Dallas! There isn't much feel for the actual melody of the piece here, though some of the synths and the general sound carpet is quite attractive. It won't chill your Willy, it sounds silly, but it is worth a lily. I mean, listen.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

This is played on a Vangelis instrument, but it sounds cloudy and messy. The choir seems to be uncontrolled and has occasional discords with the tune. Underwhelming. Thankfully short.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Uninteresting version of the SID replicated almost entirely without additions or subtlety, and without the life and bounce of the source material. Life has been sucked out. Not offensive, just boring.
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Review by Chris Abbott (23/01/2003)

Back to subtune 21, and Zombie Nation territory we go for another DJ Tobi clinical obsession tune. The start riff is very irritating: it certainly winds you up with stress, being a sequence of adjacent semitone notes. The C64 part of this has actually been FXd up quite a bit better in this remix than the other remixes from DJ Tobi, and there's some clever interplay between the various phrases. Or it may be just a delay. Once you get past the Zombie Nation Part, the cover gets weak and dry again. This tune is never going to be played in a club while it lacks this atmosphere. Compare and contrast with Instant Remedy's Lazy Jones. And what's the speech sample saying? It sounds so superfluous... and irritating. Zombie Nation's speech samples fitted into the piece a lot better. Better than the deluxe, but not enough for a mark increase.
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