Editorial - January 2003

The ghosts of Christmas past & Future. (A look back & Forward of the scene)

Ok, so thats just about it for 2003. Now how far exactly has the scene come from one year ago?
Neil Carr

It seems inevitable that the scene would progress, however even the most wisest of people wouldn't have thought that it would progress to the extent it has.

with everyone leading their everyday lives its easy not to notice the Next Big Thing!!!, and to take whatever it is for granted and that the year had more highlights then ever before both comercially and non-comercial.

with this in mind, i'll take a few steps back in time over the year and just go over and highlight the most impactive moments of the year.

Firstly i'll start of at home… Namely Remix64. The voting system came into place earlier in the year with a positive response. After few initial quirks and a redesign of the mathematics the voting system is very popular with Machinae Supremacy receiving over 100 different votes for their table topping gianna sisters.

We also changed the outdated messageboard with a brand spanking new one. At the time of writing this we had nearly 700 messages on the messageboard since it opened, which is staggering, still proving that messageboards are welcomed as much as mailing lists, infact more so it seems.

i can't pass talking about the Remix64 CD when mentioning remix64. Tho, the CD is still selling is now in musical terms quite old now, and naturally sales are starting to slow down. Upon release it won many fans and was generally well taken. It was my first production and i now look back at the CD with pleasure, tho after experience i would have done much very differently. After announcing that their would be no volume 2, i was suprised by the response i got. People wanted more!!!! So last month i started proceedings with volume 2. So thanks to that response their will be a volume 2.

So lets look at who made a bit of noise this year?

Stunning everyone (nearly) was Glyn R Brown who had already shown he was a very capable musician released his remix of Firelord. From the moment i heard the remix i predicted a number one for Glyn, and i was right! For several months it remains top spot, then it traded places with Machinae supremacy for a few more months and now it finds itself loosing out and seems stuck now at number 2. Glyn followed his orchestral arrangement of firelord with another stunning top 10 hit. This time same remixing Thomas Detert's Gordians Tomb. Tho technically better than firelord glyn's GT would never reach the dizzy hights of what firelord has achieved.

IR (Instant Remedy) finally released his long awaited IR CD. It's typically IR, very siddy, very dancey and very impressive.

Press Play On Tape followed their ground breaking CD with another sensational piece of work. The Comic Bakery Boyband video. The video was first shown at bitlive 3 in london and later became available for fownload at ppot's website. It's a great video and as the title suggests boyband is certainly no underestimation.

One of the best remixes this year was Cirdans Last Ninja remix. Upon release it quietly popped in the charts relitively low for what a great piece of work it is. However it slowly has been making its way up the charts into a more realistic position. it's a beautiful remix.

Another musician which has made a noise is mahonney, often pumping fresh and new ideas into his remixes with much success. His best work where he features the sensational voice of Karin is challenging both Glyn and Machinae in the charts. The remix is David Whittakers Armageddon man.

Tho released in January Thomas Deterts awesome remix of Cobra is doing also exceptionally well in the charts, it currently holds a very commendable third place.

Jan at RKO this year introduced the quality filter at rko to much discussion. However the general concensus seems have backed Jan with his decision not to include remixes that are really substandard.

you can't mention 2002, without mentioning Bitlive 3. Bitlive 3 was yet again another great night, tho it did have its problems. one too many maybe. But it did introduce ground breaking concepts such as brining in live acts. Machinae Supremacy, PPOT, Octave sounds, Seth Sternberger, and playing the penny whistle was non other than Ben Daglish himself.

to continue with groundbreaking bitlive stuff. The first bitlive outside the uk has been announced this year. Bitlive germany is already making noise and is already sounding very promising… more on that below with Dr. Future.

Besides the remix64 CD and the Instant Remedy CD. Reyn Ouwehand released his much awaited Galway remixed CD. After the sensational Nexus CD the galway CD failed to impress and was by and large disapointing.

ok, so lets see whats happening for the future. I'll make some predictions on who to look out for and who's gonna make noise.

Glyn R Brown receintly bought new equipment in the form of a Korg Triton. Tho' he hasn't released any music yet, i have been fortunate to hear a few samples of his early (what he calls mess arounds) work. Watch my lips…. Glyn will cause shockwaves!

I also expect Cirdan to improve too, his work since he changed to midi has been outstanding, next year will be a good year for lauri.

Another name to watch out for is Markus Schnider who has been steadily improving and working hard on his music.

Tho o2 hasn't been active. o2 will also prove to continue his fine work this year and be more evident with his work on the sidologie CD, and remix64 V2 CD, where he joins with mahonney's singer Karin.

Markus Holler is also set to light up the stage when remix64 v2 gets released. His beta of Fist tune 2 shows that markus is not just a fine remixer, but also a great musician. The tune features Real vocal from Birgit and markus playing a REAL flute.

Bitlive 4 is set for brighton. i can't go into this too deeply as yet. but bitlive 4 is gonna be the most ambitous event ever, so i suggest you have up your hard earned pennies now, cos you really don't want to miss it!

Well thats it, it's a snippet of what has happened over the year, and somethings to look forward to in the future. The c64 scene is not just a scene, it's a whole new world.

Neil, editor.

Chris Abbott… In The picture.

There's been a bit of discussion recently about eliciting negative emotions from the listener by means
of music. A remix by DoOmAnth and one by Dor-X seem to have set the ravnous cat amongst the extremely well-fed pigeons: both of these remixes were created to be artistic statements designed to make the listener feel a certain sequence of emotions. However, both met with a reception that disappointed their creators, who understandably asked why?. Here's my attempt to explain it. It's just a theory, but it seems to make sense to me.
Chris Abbott

It helps if you think of music as a person: there are some people you invite into your life, and some that repel you. In order to be unsettling/spooky or have an impact other than revulsion on the listener, I would argue that you have to attract them first. Which is more unsettling? Someone who is outside egging your house, or a family friend who has just started to exhibit weird behaviour? The person outside is irritating and repulsive, and maybe frightening, but they don't unsettle you to your very being.

In a spooky forest, the spookiness comes as much from the
juxtaposition of the familiar and cute combined with the effect of the imagination and disorientation. The disorientation can come when the change in lighting removes an element of familiarity from a supposedly familiar thing. The feeling of being lost, and the associated feeling of
tension resulting from the unknown is much more unsettling than if you painted the forest a shade of plaid.

In remix terms, in order to have an emotional impact, the remix has first got to appeal with the familiar or other cliches to persuade the user to allow it in emotionally. That means adhering to the cliches so you can break them down later. Being unsettling from the start is no good, since it automatically turns off the listener. And there are some things which are, far from being disorienting, actually repulsive, such as the drifting out of sync. You can get away with breaking the form if you've first proved you can
adhere to it: otherwise you just look like you don't know what you're doing.

Think of a juggler performing. He may be a very skilful juggler, who has learned the precise timings of how to drop things in a comic manner, and who is an expert at the art of non-juggling (subverting the form of juggling by exploiting the space between the balls, yadda yadda). If the first thing he does when he gets out there is to keep dropping the balls in an artistic manner, he's just going to look like a bad juggler. He can protest until he's blue in the face that he's actually practicing a valid artform and that people aren't smart enough to get it, but until he can show he's actually mastered the artform he's subverting, people will just think he's incompetent.

All you need is a minute of yes, I do know what I'm doing before you can start to muck about with the artform. Though I still contend that the most unsettling thing that can happen is for something to change and for you to not know what
it is, because the unknown is always more frightening: if something in the immediate environment changes, and the person knows something has changed, but doesn't know what, it removes some of the fake feeling of control we assume normally in order to function without being a nervous wreck. Like hearing a door slam in a house when you're on your own. The tension is from the unknown. If, after the slam, a voice went Burglar, then you would move to action mode. Lots of activity but relatively little tension except knowing where the burglar was.

So, if you're manipulating emotions, remember:
1) Subtle is better.
2) Best to lull the listener into a false sense of security before unleashing the sonic dogs
3) The best emotional responses come from varying content within a given artistic form.

If you vary the form, you risk losing the listener. You can have an amazing effect by conveying two contradictory messages at once: conveying through a predictable structure, tempo, etc that everything is normal, and conveying through the content that you should be deeply worried. The unfamiliar is always more frightening when it's expressed in terms of the familiar.

Wooo, deep. And maybe a load of crap, who knows. Maybe I'm just toying with you…look behind you… is that Santa? Or me with a chainsaw…? 😊

Merry Xmas everybody.

Chris Abbott

Back In Time Live Germany – what’s going on?

As you all may have noticed, the unbelievable is confirmed: The well-known C64-Music related Revival-Party ‘Back In Time Live’ (courtesy of Chris Abbot / www.c64audio.com) is held for the first time in Germany. The date to remember is June 21st, 19.00 CET. The place to be is the club Shooters, Rathausplatz 1A, 22880 Wedel/Hamburg.

Get detailed informations and upcoming news on the official hompage http://www.c64audio.com/bitlive/sidology/, the official forum http://forums.nekkidradio.com/c64audio.com/viewforum.php?f=32 and of course right here at remix64, the 1st place for the community.

The official homepage will be relaunched in a couple of days, so keep visiting frequently.

Check out the Theme-Compo we’ve started at remix64, create the ‘Title-Track’, the ‘Hymn’ for BIT Live Germany and win - among everlasting fame - free drinks the whole night at BIT Live!

What more awaits you at BIT Live? Well, as for now we have one Live-Act, performing C64 and Amiga Masterpieces. Also we will (hopefully) have the release of Marcel Donné’s fantastic CD ‘Sidologie’, so exspect some never-heard before, groundbreaking tunes of one of our most-talented remixer.

We’ve planned several competitions and the prices are worth the entrance fee at all: Win free versions of the fantastic ‘Immortal 2’ CD by Jan Zottmann, check out http://www.amiga-immortal.com for more infos.

And last but not least: We’ll give away 50 copies of the famous CD ‘Back In Time 2’ for free (!!!), sponsored by www.c64audio.com.

Remember to contact me if you need a place to sleep & stay tuned.

Dr. Future