editorial: febuary 2005

Neil Carr

the eye of the beholder

Over the last few months there has been a significant increase of what you can actually call true remixes. It’s an interesting topic, because it divides the scene. While some embrace it, others fail to grab the notion, or simply just feel uncomfortable with the idea. So, what exactly is a remix?

In the true sense of the word, a remix isn’t just a copy of a tune. It’s a manipulation of a previous released tune reworked totally into something completely different, the only difference from it being a totally new tune is that there are certain elements of the original in there. This I think is where confusion often sets in. Where’s commando in this? or This is only the baseline of Thrust! etc… and of course the common wording: This isn’t a remix of Sanxion. Well in fact because the term remix actually is indefinable who’s to say what is and what isn’t a remix?

This is where many people go wrong. They mix up the two terms. Remix and cover. A cover is simply a rework of an existing tune, that is either done slightly differently or the modifications can be quite drastic yet still keep the essence of the original intact (largely).

Should remixes be banned? Should we only allow covers? Well, this is one man's thought, while another man's thought is simply…Hey, this is great - something really different to what’s already out there. Who’s right? I suspect both thoughts are right because it’s a matter of personal opinion.

Over the years musicians have mixed many many c64 tunes and inevitably we’ve heard similar thoughts on certain songs. It now seems that a few musicians out there are also feeling a little claustrophobic keeping within the idea of covers and now are feeling an urge to push the boundaries somewhat. Although mostly musicians are still keeping within what is commonly the right way, its increasingly becoming more popular to experiment more. Is this the future I wonder?

What is kind of ironic in all of this, which quite often raises a wee smile on my face. It is the term: This shouldn’t be on RKO or Remix64, it’s not a Thrust. Well, actually your wrong guys, by definition these tracks are probably the only ones by right to appear on these sites since they are in fact remixes and not covers. In both sites I hasted to point out the wordings… remix: Remix64 in this case and Remix.Kwed.Org for RKO. I don’t know about you, but Cover64 and CKO sound just plain wrong.😉

Like in many cases… Which ever path you prefer your flavour to be, there is very little definition to the word remix. Whatever rocks your boat, let one co-exist with the other, and remember beauty is all in the eye of the beholder.

Have a great month and take life easy!

- Neil

Chris Abbott

Nostalgia ain't what it used to be…

We here are a strange breed, aren't we? In theory, we're here because we're nostalgic for a long-dead (OK, now slightly revived) computer system and are reliving the past. We've got rose tinted specs. We think everything was better in the good old days…

I don't know about you, but that's not why I'm here. Chances are, if you're a musician, you're here because you love the music. Not as a nostalgic thing, but as a full-on-hard-horn lover of the tunes and melodies (and sounds) from the great composers of yesteryear.

The problem we have as creatives is that the general audience we're targeting IS mostly on a nostalgia trip. It's obvious. As musicians, if we go too far we lose our audience.

I'm no stranger to nostalgia: I'll get a strange excited feeling like's 1984 again when I see China Miner or Revenge of the Mutant Camels. But will I play them for more than a couple of minutes? Hell, no. I'd rather play Ratchet and Clank, thanks very much. They give me the kind of gaming freedom I longed for back in the old days. Sure, there's a load of crap around, now and then: but the very best games from now kick the living daylights out of all but the best games back then.

The music, however is different. By its purity (one oscillator sounds, mostly), it manages to avoid being tied to a time period: and is thus timeless. Its continuing appeal to us is to spread it and embark on a personal creative journey by doing so.

Having said that, nostalgia sells products. It's an uneasy equilibrium: how much do you change something for the sake of art before you turn off the casual listener? We'll never really know, since people are so different. All we can do is stab in the dark, produce something we like, put it out there and hope… as we do.

Can't think of a conclusion, so I'll leave you in the capable hands of this gentleman, who here is simulating with the aid of bodily parts the sexual orientation of a leading member of the remixing and radio community. hehe… where do I come up with them? {cheap Xmas crackers? - Boz}

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