SID-licious #8: Phobia

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buzz_clik

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Edited By buzz_clik

SID-licious is a series of blogs where I postCommodore 64SID 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.

No Caption Provided

With the last entry in this series (I swear I'll get this blog back to a weekly thing soon) being a song by Antony Crowther that I didn't mind, I thought this week I'd bring you one of his pieces that I flat out adore. Like Street Gang, the main theme from Phobia is another song I've enjoyed without actually playing the game. However, where Street Gang was something the HVSC revealed to me many years after the C64 was my main platform, my love of Phobia stems back from a file I had as a kid that came on some floppy disk my cousins gave to me.

No Caption Provided

Buried among the game files on this particular diskette were two files that were called Digi-Bust-something-something. When run, both simply played a single song each. The only visual accompaniment was a black background with some basic white text in the standard Commodore font, while some black bars in the coloured border moved in time with the music.

Although I didn't know it at the time, one of these songs was Phobia (the memory of the other has fallen by the wayside, such is Phobia's potency). As a kid, I couldn't really make out exactly what word the pitch-shifted synthesised voice was saying, but that just added to the song's cool sense of mystery. I forget how I ultimately ended up discovering what game this tune was tied to – a gaudy horizontal shooter with some interesting graphics and ideas – but I've never really played it outside of getting the screen caps for this blog/the GB wiki.

No Caption Provided

Interestingly, it was while I was playing the game for the shots that I realised that the song isn't easily found in the game. Well, at least it wasn't on the title screen or the first level, which only has sound effects. Maybe it's on the loading screen for the tape version, or the final screen that greets the player upon beating the final boss. Regardless of its origin, though, Phobia still stands to this day as one of the moodiest SID tunes among the clutch I regularly enjoy.

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

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#1  Edited By buzz_clik

SID-licious is a series of blogs where I postCommodore 64SID 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.

No Caption Provided

With the last entry in this series (I swear I'll get this blog back to a weekly thing soon) being a song by Antony Crowther that I didn't mind, I thought this week I'd bring you one of his pieces that I flat out adore. Like Street Gang, the main theme from Phobia is another song I've enjoyed without actually playing the game. However, where Street Gang was something the HVSC revealed to me many years after the C64 was my main platform, my love of Phobia stems back from a file I had as a kid that came on some floppy disk my cousins gave to me.

No Caption Provided

Buried among the game files on this particular diskette were two files that were called Digi-Bust-something-something. When run, both simply played a single song each. The only visual accompaniment was a black background with some basic white text in the standard Commodore font, while some black bars in the coloured border moved in time with the music.

Although I didn't know it at the time, one of these songs was Phobia (the memory of the other has fallen by the wayside, such is Phobia's potency). As a kid, I couldn't really make out exactly what word the pitch-shifted synthesised voice was saying, but that just added to the song's cool sense of mystery. I forget how I ultimately ended up discovering what game this tune was tied to – a gaudy horizontal shooter with some interesting graphics and ideas – but I've never really played it outside of getting the screen caps for this blog/the GB wiki.

No Caption Provided

Interestingly, it was while I was playing the game for the shots that I realised that the song isn't easily found in the game. Well, at least it wasn't on the title screen or the first level, which only has sound effects. Maybe it's on the loading screen for the tape version, or the final screen that greets the player upon beating the final boss. Regardless of its origin, though, Phobia still stands to this day as one of the moodiest SID tunes among the clutch I regularly enjoy.

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

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#2  Edited By Mento  Moderator

Hooray, this feature's back.

Stephen Fry once said something about the best part of Twitter being that the severe limitation imposed by the character limit actually begets creativity rather than stifles it, because it forces you to be mindful of how best to exploit what little you have to work with. I wonder if it's the same with these musicians and their SID creations.

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#3  Edited By Belonpopo

Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

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#4  Edited By SeriouslyNow

@Mento said:

Hooray, this feature's back.

Stephen Fry once said something about the best part of Twitter being that the severe limitation imposed by the character limit actually begets creativity rather than stifles it, because it forces you to be mindful of how best to exploit what little you have to work with. I wonder if it's the same with these musicians and their SID creations.

Dude that defines Commodore 64 gaming in general. Many C64 games are still better than a lot of modern games which have all their modern trappings.

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#5  Edited By buzz_clik

@Mento said:

Stephen Fry once said something about the best part of Twitter being that the severe limitation imposed by the character limit actually begets creativity rather than stifles it, because it forces you to be mindful of how best to exploit what little you have to work with. I wonder if it's the same with these musicians and their SID creations.

This is pretty much why I love both Twitter and SID tunes - everyone's given the same tools, and it's fascinating to see what people come up with, and how they can twist the tools to (a) suit their purposes and (b) stand out from the pack.

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#6  Edited By SeriouslyNow

@buzz_clik said:

@Mento said:

Stephen Fry once said something about the best part of Twitter being that the severe limitation imposed by the character limit actually begets creativity rather than stifles it, because it forces you to be mindful of how best to exploit what little you have to work with. I wonder if it's the same with these musicians and their SID creations.

This is pretty much why I love both Twitter and SID tunes - everyone's given the same tools, and it's fascinating to see what people come up with, and how they can twist the tools to suit (a) their purposes and (b) stand out from the pack.

Which reminds me. You must make a GB shirt design which is based off the ZZapp 64 logo. MUST. I COMMAND THEE.

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#7  Edited By buzz_clik

@SeriouslyNow: Heh, not a bad idea! But Zzap!64 is a distinctly British publication and Giant Bomb ain't, so I don't know how much traction that'd get in these parts. I am not saying this as if it's going to stop me having a crack, though! :)

Oh, and to activate Sizzle Mode for a second, the next SID-licious blog tune is (quite coincidentally) from a Zzap! Megatape demo for a game that never was.

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#8  Edited By SeriouslyNow

@buzz_clik said:

@SeriouslyNow: Heh, not a bad idea! But Zzap!64 is a distinctly British publication and Giant Bomb ain't, so I don't know how much traction that'd get in these parts. I am not saying this as if it's going to stop me having a crack, though! :)

Oh, and to activate Sizzle Mode for a second, the next SID-licious blog tune is (quite coincidentally) from a Zzap! Megatape demo for a game that never was.

Oh dude! I think I know the game demo. It has green things in it.

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#9  Edited By mordi

@Mento said:

Stephen Fry once said something about the best part of Twitter being that the severe limitation imposed by the character limit actually begets creativity rather than stifles it, because it forces you to be mindful of how best to exploit what little you have to work with. I wonder if it's the same with these musicians and their SID creations.

Several established SID-musicians have said this. Another thing is that it forces the composition to be great, as you can't rely on sound in itself. Even though there are a lot techno and house-ish sids in the HVSC..!