Posted by buzz_clik (6991 posts) -

I made a list a while ago with a bunch of my favourite Commodore 64 SID tunes. Obviously not everybody can (or can be bothered) to get hold of the wonderful SIDPLAY application, nor the High Voltage SID Collection where a lot of C64 music is archived. To this end, I thought I'd start up a weekly thing where I share my favourite C64 songs, giving peeps an easier way to get hold of them should they want to. Sometimes I'll just be posting one single song from a game, other times I'll probably get altogether too carried away and post a few because I can't nail down a true favourite.

EDIT: I think I'll only make the song(s) I post available for only one week, and then I'll take it down to make room for the next entry. So if you want to take advantage of this cheap 'n' easy way to download some SID goodness, you've seven days to act on it!

This week, as per my aforementioned list, I'm kicking things off with Fred Gray's twin tunes for Ocean's Mutants. I got this game as part of a six pack that came on the magical format of cassette tape, along with Head Over Heels, Wizball, The Great Escape, Parallax and Double Take. (Side note: some of those games will no doubt be featured in my blog at some point.)

Apart from its interesting gameplay and sleek sense of design, another thing made Mutants stand out against the other five titles. While the data slowly dribbled from the cassette's spools and onto the C64, all the other games had the usual Ocean Loader (version 2) accompanying the loading image. This was not the case for Mutants, though, with the game's main theme replacing Martin Galway's classic pre-game tune. For me, this only served to add to the strange alien atmosphere that already oozed from Mutants.

Fred Gray's musical contribution to this quirky game only consists of two tunes, but they're both hypnotic gems. The main theme is an evocatively epic song, with some unusual sounds used so cleverly you'd swear that more than 3 channels were being used. The other offering is a very driving song, full of urgency and menace but laced with brilliant subtleties.

[ Here's where the music was. I've probably still got the mp3 if you wanna PM me! ]

#1 Edited by buzz_clik (6991 posts) -

I made a list a while ago with a bunch of my favourite Commodore 64 SID tunes. Obviously not everybody can (or can be bothered) to get hold of the wonderful SIDPLAY application, nor the High Voltage SID Collection where a lot of C64 music is archived. To this end, I thought I'd start up a weekly thing where I share my favourite C64 songs, giving peeps an easier way to get hold of them should they want to. Sometimes I'll just be posting one single song from a game, other times I'll probably get altogether too carried away and post a few because I can't nail down a true favourite.

EDIT: I think I'll only make the song(s) I post available for only one week, and then I'll take it down to make room for the next entry. So if you want to take advantage of this cheap 'n' easy way to download some SID goodness, you've seven days to act on it!

This week, as per my aforementioned list, I'm kicking things off with Fred Gray's twin tunes for Ocean's Mutants. I got this game as part of a six pack that came on the magical format of cassette tape, along with Head Over Heels, Wizball, The Great Escape, Parallax and Double Take. (Side note: some of those games will no doubt be featured in my blog at some point.)

Apart from its interesting gameplay and sleek sense of design, another thing made Mutants stand out against the other five titles. While the data slowly dribbled from the cassette's spools and onto the C64, all the other games had the usual Ocean Loader (version 2) accompanying the loading image. This was not the case for Mutants, though, with the game's main theme replacing Martin Galway's classic pre-game tune. For me, this only served to add to the strange alien atmosphere that already oozed from Mutants.

Fred Gray's musical contribution to this quirky game only consists of two tunes, but they're both hypnotic gems. The main theme is an evocatively epic song, with some unusual sounds used so cleverly you'd swear that more than 3 channels were being used. The other offering is a very driving song, full of urgency and menace but laced with brilliant subtleties.

[ Here's where the music was. I've probably still got the mp3 if you wanna PM me! ]

#2 Posted by TheBeast (1931 posts) -

Great idea for a feature!

SID remixes are my staple work background music; particularly on SLAY Radio. There's some pretty good Mutants remixes around too.

#3 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -
@buzz_clik: That second song is ultra haunting.
#4 Posted by Mento (2699 posts) -

Whenever anyone mentions Wizball, I will be there.
 
The C64 was the first PS2. So easy to build an amazing library for next to nothing. The music's pretty great too.

Moderator
#5 Posted by kalmis (1559 posts) -

Awesome! Blog with SID tunes, can't say no to that. Must admit that I don't remember playing that Mutant's game. Although that loading screens seems familiar. Or maybe there were other games that did the same?

#6 Posted by buzz_clik (6991 posts) -

@TheBeast said:

Great idea for a feature!

Cheers! I've been meaning to do it for a while, but I was listening to a remix last night and figured it was time I actually got around to it.

@Mento said:

Whenever anyone mentions Wizball, I will be there.

Amazing game, amazing music. I reckon I'll be paying tribute to it here sooner rather than later.

@kalmis said:

...that loading screens seems familiar. Or maybe there were other games that did the same?

It was pretty common on the C64, although Ocean titles seem to be the quintessential example of it.

#7 Posted by Sweep (8927 posts) -

Sid Licious is my pornstar name.

Moderator
#8 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

A: Sid Licious is the best possible name for this series.

B: That first song is really awesome. I might rip it off.

#9 Posted by Absolute_Zero (242 posts) -

Another great way to listen to SIDs would be Winamp with Chipamp. At least, that's how I roll.

As previously stated by everyone else, the music's great! And on a related note, Buzz, have you made any C64 music? I see you have a WIP mix on SoundCloud...

#10 Posted by buzz_clik (6991 posts) -

@Absolute_Zero said:

Another great way to listen to SIDs would be Winamp with Chipamp. At least, that's how I roll.

Cool tip, cheers mate.

@Absolute_Zero said:

And on a related note, Buzz, have you made any C64 music? I see you have a WIP mix on SoundCloud...

Nah, although I'd very much love to do it at some stage.

#11 Edited by EvilDingo (589 posts) -
@buzz_clik
Aw man... I just discovered you blog-series with #2 and the Arkanoid one. Glad to see you gave this games music some attention too though. 
 
Personally I had totally forgotten about this game until a few months ago. I had just bought a C128 and was going through some old disks. 
Considering I've generally been listening to C64 tunes a lot these last years and think you know everything - It's refreshing to re-descover something you've seem to have forgotten.
 
I do remember playing the game way back... and do remember not understanding anything of it... But as it was with many C64-games, the music provided enough atmosphere to stick with it.
#12 Posted by buzz_clik (6991 posts) -

@EvilDingo said:

I had just bought a C128 and was going through some old disks...

GO 64

@EvilDingo said:

I do remember playing the game way back... and do remember not understanding anything of it... But as it was with many C64-games, the music provided enough atmosphere to stick with it.

Yeah, Mutants is a strange beast. Essentially you're trying to get the little yellow icon in each sector, and to do that you have to strategically pick one of the three weapon types to combat the sector's mutants.

#13 Edited by Mordi (553 posts) -

There was a guy who recorded every SID-tune released (more or less) on all the different SID-chips and encoded them into .mp3 form --> http://www.6581-8580.com/

Not sure if anyone else has brought this up yet, but you should share the mp3-links in your blog-posts.

Edit: Also, I see a lot of people here actually played the C64 and it's games. For me, I'm well planted in the "scene" by now, even though I've never even seen a Commodore 64 in real life. I was more of an Amiga-dude, if even that. I'm probably a fair bit younger than most of you. I got into the scene after discovering RKO around 2005, and eventually I have grown very fond of all the .sid-melodies and the sound of the sid itself. Even started making remixes in 2008.

#14 Posted by buzz_clik (6991 posts) -

@Mordi: Cheers, mate. I'll look into that and see if I can't use that after I take the music out each week. I'll keep posting my own for the actual blog (I like controlling the edit) but it'd be perfect way for people to grab the tunes after they've gone.

Also, that's really cool that you're that into the scene. I would have loved to have grown up around like-minded people when I was growing up with the C64, but back then there was no internet and I was living in a country town in Australia. That said, I've always followed it semi-closely, and obviously much more now that I can access the outside world through a computer. You just a music guy, or coding/graphics as well?

#15 Posted by Mordi (553 posts) -

@buzz_clik said:

Also, that's really cool that you're that into the scene. I would have loved to have grown up around like-minded people when I was growing up with the C64, but back then there was no internet and I was living in a country town in Australia. That said, I've always followed it semi-closely, and obviously much more now that I can access the outside world through a computer. You just a music guy, or coding/graphics as well?

Ah. Guess I'm lucky to live in Scandinavia, which I think was/is the most active area in the scene. None of my "IRL" friends are into the scene, though. I guess I am still into it because of all the cool people in the scene, with all the feedback you can get and the radio-stations and everything. I often pop into the SlayRadio and SceneSat IRC-channels on EFnet. Every once in a while you'll even see people like Drax or Jeroen Tel in there. It's cool to have contact with people you've listened to for years like that. I've even gotten direct feedback from Jogeir Liljedahl and Xerxes after doing some remixes of their tracks! They were mostly Amiga-musicians.

I've always been reeeally into getting to build my own games, so I've dabbled in many programming languages. I've never done anything on a Commodore, though. Found a simple programming tool for Windows in 2004. Right now me and a friend are making a game in C#, using XNA. I've always done graphics for my projects, even though I don't consider myself a very good artist. I guess I am competent enough.