By buzz_clik 8 Comments
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! ]