‘SID CHIP SOUNDS – THE MUSIC OF THE COMMODORE 64’
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Release date: 20th February 2012
Format: 2 X LP / CD / Digital
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‘SID Chip Sounds – The Music Of The Commodore 64’ is a compilation of music from classic Commodore 64 computer games. The 18 original pieces of music have been remastered for this release on gatefold double vinyl, CD and download.
When people talk about “Commodore 64 music”, it’s easy to forget they’re not talking about a musical style: they’re talking about a delivery mechanism. What that convenient phrase hides is the sheer amount of originality and creativity that went into creating the music for games on the Commodore 64.
The majority of games produced for the Commodore 64 made use of the machine’s revolutionary SID chip, devised by engineer Bob Yannes who later co-founded the Ensoniq digital synthesizer company, and named by PC World Magazine as one of computing’s most important inventions. Although it was advanced for the time composers had to overcome many challenges. For example, the hardware only allowed three voices at once so composers assigned one voice to play quick arpeggios so listeners believed they were hearing sustained chords. It’s well documented that humans are at their best when overcoming limitations or under deadline, and the classic C64 composers pared music to its essence. They had their own sounds and their own way of playing them.
Revolutionary composers such as Martin Galway, Rob Hubbard, David Whittaker and Ben Daglish rose to prominence during the 80s for their technology defying masterpieces whose sounds ranged from simple clicks and beeps to complex musical extravaganzas. Included on this compilation is some of their most celebrated work including music from games ‘Arkanoid’, ‘Comic Bakery’, Last Ninja’ and ‘Sanxion’.
Influence in modern music is widespread. The sub genres of 8-bit, chiptune, gabba; the lo-fi sounds of DJ Scotch Egg, the rapid arpeggios of Rustie, Crystal Castles’ warped glitches and even the beats of international pop hits such ‘TiK ToK’ by Kesha are all informed by developments made during the early years of home gaming.
As relevant as ever, ‘SID Chip Sounds – The Music Of The Commodore 64’ is a vital collection for fans of remarkable electronic music whether retrospective or modernist.
A1 Ben Daglish – Last Ninja (Wastelands)
A2 Ben Daglish – Last Ninja (Wilderness)
A3 Ben Daglish – Trap
A4 Chris Huelsbeck – Giana Sisters (Intro)
B1 Chris Huelsbeck – Katakis (Song 3)
B2 David Whittaker – Glider Rider
B3 David Whittaker – Panther
B4 Tim & Geoff Follin – Gauntlet 3 (1)
B5 Tim & Geoff Follin – Gauntlet 3 (2)
B6 Tim Follin – LEDStorm (Title)
B7 Jeroen Tel – Cybernoid 2
C1 Martin Galway – Wizball [*vinyl only]
C2 Martin Galway – Comic Bakery
C3 Martin Galway – Parallax
C4 Martin Galway – Arkanoid
D1 Matt Gray – Dominator (Song 2)
D2 Matt Gray – Last Ninja 2 (Song 2)
D3 Rob Hubbard – Commando
D4 Rob Hubbard – Sanxion