SID-licious #10: Breeze of Diogenes

SID-licious is a series of blogs where I post Commodore 64 SID tunes every week. They'll be available for download until the next entry goes up, when I'll be pulling the previous week's files down. I'll probably have the mp3 floating around, though, so if there's some tune(s) you're reading about in a past blog and want to grab a copy, shoot me a PM.

As alluded to in my previous blog, I was a kid who bought (among various C64-based magazines) Zzap!64 on a regular basis. And again, this week's entry is dedicated to something that came on the cover-mounted Megatape. Well, by this stage Zzap!64 had turned into Commodore Force and the Megatape was now called Reel Action, but that's a whole different blog rant and I hella digress.

The Commodore 64 demo scene has always been something I've admired from afar, even to this day. For the uninitiated, a demo is a demonstration (funnily enough) of how a group of coders, musicians and artists are able to push the limits of what a particular machine can do. Demos from the early days are relatively rudimentary, whereas more modern demos incorporate all kinds of mad effects as people have delved into and learned more about the machine. Scaling, rotating, plasma effects and fancy real-time shading on increasingly complex 3D objects are all possible on the C64 in the right hands.

Growing up as I did in a country town in 80s Australia, I didn't have much chance to interact with people who were in the know about cool things I could do with my beige box. The only real outlet for any graphic design aspirations I had was to painstakingly create detailed, animated sprites for games I'd make in the Shoot 'Em Up Construction Kit. I used to marvel at the screenshots in the Zzap!64 demo roundup, and yearn to witness the amazing coding feats described in those column inches. So it was with great joy that I finally got to view some firsthand...

Commodore Force #8 (or Zzap!64 #98 for those playing along at home) came with two cover tapes attached, one of which was dedicated to a bunch of one-file demos. The standout was Breeze of Diogenes from demo group X-Ample Architectures. It was a simple but gorgeous demo divided into two parts. First, a lovely background with a large, rotating X would appear, with sparkles occasionally flashing across one part of the screen or another. A press of the spacebar later, and you'd see a boss-as-all-hell logo for X-Ample below a text scroll and neat graphic equaliser effect which seems to be made up of raster bar slivers. All in all, it's nothing too earth-shattering, but everything is pulled of with such style and acuity that this demo has remained a favourite of mine ever since I first experienced it.

And so to the point of this blog: Breeze of Diogenes contains not one, but two brilliant tunes to accompany the visuals and complete the package. Check 'em out:

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

7 Comments
8 Comments
Posted by buzz_clik

SID-licious is a series of blogs where I post Commodore 64 SID tunes every week. They'll be available for download until the next entry goes up, when I'll be pulling the previous week's files down. I'll probably have the mp3 floating around, though, so if there's some tune(s) you're reading about in a past blog and want to grab a copy, shoot me a PM.

As alluded to in my previous blog, I was a kid who bought (among various C64-based magazines) Zzap!64 on a regular basis. And again, this week's entry is dedicated to something that came on the cover-mounted Megatape. Well, by this stage Zzap!64 had turned into Commodore Force and the Megatape was now called Reel Action, but that's a whole different blog rant and I hella digress.

The Commodore 64 demo scene has always been something I've admired from afar, even to this day. For the uninitiated, a demo is a demonstration (funnily enough) of how a group of coders, musicians and artists are able to push the limits of what a particular machine can do. Demos from the early days are relatively rudimentary, whereas more modern demos incorporate all kinds of mad effects as people have delved into and learned more about the machine. Scaling, rotating, plasma effects and fancy real-time shading on increasingly complex 3D objects are all possible on the C64 in the right hands.

Growing up as I did in a country town in 80s Australia, I didn't have much chance to interact with people who were in the know about cool things I could do with my beige box. The only real outlet for any graphic design aspirations I had was to painstakingly create detailed, animated sprites for games I'd make in the Shoot 'Em Up Construction Kit. I used to marvel at the screenshots in the Zzap!64 demo roundup, and yearn to witness the amazing coding feats described in those column inches. So it was with great joy that I finally got to view some firsthand...

Commodore Force #8 (or Zzap!64 #98 for those playing along at home) came with two cover tapes attached, one of which was dedicated to a bunch of one-file demos. The standout was Breeze of Diogenes from demo group X-Ample Architectures. It was a simple but gorgeous demo divided into two parts. First, a lovely background with a large, rotating X would appear, with sparkles occasionally flashing across one part of the screen or another. A press of the spacebar later, and you'd see a boss-as-all-hell logo for X-Ample below a text scroll and neat graphic equaliser effect which seems to be made up of raster bar slivers. All in all, it's nothing too earth-shattering, but everything is pulled of with such style and acuity that this demo has remained a favourite of mine ever since I first experienced it.

And so to the point of this blog: Breeze of Diogenes contains not one, but two brilliant tunes to accompany the visuals and complete the package. Check 'em out:

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

Moderator
Posted by Mento

Really like the first one. There were always some crazy stuff going on in the demo scene. Atari ST had a lot of that going on too, they showed up alongside the usual game demos and shareware all the time (because of its MIDI support? I think?).

Good find. Or good recall, as the case may be.

Moderator
Posted by buzz_clik

@Mento: Speaking of good finds, I'm thinking of starting a lucky dip experiment soon: I'm going to pick a keyword, search the HVSC and pick the top three tunes from the results it throws up. The first keyword I'm going to use is "luck" but I'll take suggestions for random words from other users then on.

Let's face it, though, you're probably the only person who's reading this enough to suggest words to me.

Moderator
Posted by Mento

@buzz_clik: I wanna say "dragon" as a keyword, but maybe that's because I'm playing too much Skyrim.

Also, pshaw, you have plenty of followers who probably check these things out. I think people don't comment much because they can't think of anything to post beyond "that's a rad SID tune". I know I ran out of interesting things to say some time ago.

Moderator
Posted by buzz_clik

@Mento: Unsurprisingly, "dragon" has returned more than enough results to make it worthwhile. Not least of these is Dragon Ninja, a game with one of my favourite SIDs in it (mainly because it only uses 1 channel). Also, it's made me aware of the tune "Cyberdragon" which I'm listening to right now - it is awesome in both name and composition. Thanks, mate!

Moderator
Posted by sagesebas

really cool i have always liked old computers

Posted by EvilDingo

Listening to the first SID immediately after listening to the Spellcast SID (I fell behind on these blogs), the start riffs sounds almost identical at first.

I like the first SID well enough, but 'm not to found of the second. However I've not been of fan that particular "style" of chip tune... without really being able to better explain what said "style" is - but it's fairly common in post 90' SID's.

Posted by HarlechQuinn

Sorry for the late bump... But it's nice to see some other SID fans here and I am even more delighted by seeing some C64 Demo screens here. And you picked some really nice Thomas Detert tunes here.

My favourite C64 demo tune might be this one here (main part):

The demo even let you chose the SID chip version for the tune, the old 6581or the newer 8580 version. I prefer the old chip, just like the more "rusty" sound of it.