Domination 08 Demo Reviews 2

From C64 Diskmag Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
                                *  Demo reviews 2  *
Presenting once again the reviews section on the
scenes legal releases.
This time hosted by Metal/Vibrants/Camelot.
Since the death of Skyhigh I didn't think I would do any
more articles - but, then out of the blue came Jazzcat
and asked me to conduct some reviews for the
Domination magazine.
As I like Domination and regard it as the only competitor
for Relax magazine (Hi Timo!), I had no long thoughts
about starting to write articles.
Enough about that - I'm back and here's what this is all
about - on with the reviews!
                             Review of the music demo:
  Featuring music from Mitch + Dane of HYPE! and Crest.
                         Reviewed by Metal of Vibrants.
The music-compilation was created mainly by Mitch and
Dane and was released in Autumn of 1996, thus it's
about time someone bothered to review this darn thing.
The demo starts with the by now wellknown sticky-man
which signatures that this is indeed a Crest production
Anyway, you get to choose between the demo itself and
an included note. Well, I'm most interested in the lurking
contents of the demo, so I hit the '1' key. Some chords
turn up and I get a little feeling of some 80's
instrumentation (a bit Rob'ish actually) - quite moody.
Shortly after a powerful bass hits and takes over the
action, which carries over into some classical chords
with a typical Jeroen Tel lead. I later found out that
this was  actually the beginning of the first tune
The screen shifts to the main screen which is rather
boring to look at, even though the colorcycling plasma
or whatever it is (coding is not for me!) looks ok.
Anyway, the "plasma" runs in a regtagular square, and
on top is written the titlesof each of the 5 tunes.
The tune currently playing is highlighted.
Anyway - on with the review - even though I think I
should remark that this review is based on the fact
that Mitch+Dane are perhaps the best team composing
on the C64 these days, so instead of praising their
music I've focused on what could have been different
to add that 4th dimension to the music.
On with the show..
"MAINE" is the first tune, and as I said before it's kind
of a classical tune with a touch of Jeroen Tel (the lead)
The tune itself is very well composed, but I think the
lead has a few soft spots which I think doesn't suit it
very well. As a point the lead makes a little squeak off
like a blues-lead, which I really think should have been
left out. Oh well, besides that little thing I think it's a
good tune! Using my own little review-system, which I
also used while writing for Skyhigh, I will give this
Style: 90/100   -   Skills: 85/100   -   Sounds: 90/100
Overall: 88 1/3 of 100.
"Drown me in love" is the next tune. I had heard some of
this tune before, as Mitch usually sends me lots of
worktunes - and knowing Mitch+Dane's work as I do,
I think this tune is very typical for the 2 of them.
It's because of a funky tune which has some really
catchy chords and a fairly good lead. I'm ofcourse
here to do some critics, so I'll do that.
I think the lead instrument is way to squeaky - and
together with the echos it sounds quite annoying really
The bass sometimes shifts filter-settings, which in
some cases sounds ok, but as with most things you
have to know when it sounds good and when it doesn't -
unfortunately this tune has a few of those shifts
which doesn't sound that good. The lead itself has some
parts which I think is too messy, but still I think that
this tune requires these ratings:
Style: 90/100  -  Skills: 80/100  -  Sound: 80/100
Overall: 83 1/3 of 100.
"Miranda" is up next - and here we have a genuine
lovesong ;) Anyway, this is a very well composed tune,
which has a kind of pop'ed jazz style. The rhythm and
the chords make a fine harmony, which at first may
sound a bit strange for the usual techno-listener, but
as we all know - listen and learn is the thing to do.
The lead is also very relaxed and you can almost
imagine some fancy fake-that singer singing the lead
while the crowd of 14 year old girls scream in the
background... hmm.. well, seriously this is a tune, which
could easily be converted to real-life, even though I
would probably have made those breaks differently:
Style: 85/100  -  Skills: 85/100  -  Sound: 85/100
Overall: 85/100.
"Liptoman" is next. This tune is quite funky and reminds
me of some old danish tv-series called: "En by i
provinsen" - it has some of that mellow feeling that
characterises a detective in his hard work trying to
break the next case with the help of a whiskey bottle.
Anyway, I think the title is a bit off, as I don't really
imagine myself sipping to a cup of Lipton-tea and
feeling like this tune. Oh well, I'm a coffee addict, so I
might be a bit prejudistic about that, so let's get on
with the tune. I think this is the best tune of the bunch
it's close to being perfect performed. The lead is not
too exagerated at any point in time, which both Drax
and Jeroen Tel tend to do on the PC these days (my
opinion). It also has something very important IMO -
namely an easily recognised theme which is so
important in the more mainstream funk-music, which
Mitch+Dane stands for. The funk-style is not rarely
seen, even though techno takes over more and more,
so my ratings are these:
Style: 90/100  -  Skills: 95/100  -  Sounds: 85/100
Overall: 90/100.
"Winona" - last tune in the pack. My first thoughts
were: "Oh? Did they convert a Laxity tune?", because
it sounded a lot like a tune Laxity would have done.
Hell, even the instruments were the same - perhaps
not the lead, but still. The tune is a very laid back pop
tune with an emotional feeling.
I'd say that this is a very good performed tune - in
almost every way. As in some of the other tunes, I think
the lead is a bit too squeaky, which I think is a matter
of taste.. so, these are the ratings:
Style: 85/100  -  Skills:  90/100  -  Sound:  95/100
Overall: 90/100.
This concludes the review of the main part of Bondage
but as there was note included in the demo, we should
also take a look at that. We reload the demo again, and
press "2" for the note..
The note looks unlike most other notes included in
various demos and such. It's good to see that people
still bother to do a nice designed noter for their
productions instead ofjust using some of the noters
available everywhere. The tune playing here is
Mitch+Dane's conversion of Drax's adlib tune "Bus",
and if I may say this tune is very very good, not only
because Drax did it, but because Mitch+Dane
converted it so well, that it sounds better than the
original! I know Drax also liked this c64 version alot,
so I see no other reason than to give this a total of:
Style: 90/100  -  Skills: 90/100  -  Sound: 100/100
Overall: 93 1/3 of 100.
In the note Mitch+Dane write their own ratings to each
tune - these ratings are:
"Maine"                        4.3 / 5 - 86 percent
"Drown me in love"    3.5 / 5 - 70 percent
"Miranda"                    4.0 / 5 - 80 percent
"Liptonman"                 4.6 / 5 - 92 percent
"Winona"                       3.8 / 5 - 76 percent
My rating:
"Maine"                         88 1/3 percent + 2  1/3
"Drown me in love"     83 1/3 percent + 13  1/
"Miranda"                     85 percent + 5 percent
"Liptonman"                  90 percent - 2 percent
"Winona"                        90 percent + 14 percent
Hmm, it seems as if I have rated the tunes somewhat
higher than they themselves did. Oh well, the composer
is always the worst critic ;) That concludes this review.
If you haven't checked this music-demo out yet - go
and do so immediately!
    Review of the music from the music-competition at:
                                     THE  PARTY  6
                      Reviewed by Metal of Vibrants
First of all I'd like to say that each review of the music
that participated at The Party 6 was written while
listening to that particular tune.
"ANAL'OGUE" by Jeff/HYPE!/Camelot
Another quadro-speed hardboiled techno-tune from
Jeff. It's only fair to say that Jeff is the man behind
the absolute best techno-music produced on a c64!
This tune is no exception from the usual stuff Jeff
makes - it's very pulsating and has a lot of great
analogue effects, including a hard 303-like base and
new plings and noises I have never heard on a C64.
The tune itself is simple as with all other techno, but
it's actually quite varied as the beat is not just
stomping away - the snare-markings are heavily
influenced by the jungle-style and I believe that Jeff
used some shuffling in his tune, judging from the beat.
I must say I find it very hard to believe that this tune
only came 4th in the competition..
Style: 80/100  -  Skills: 95/100  -  Sound: 100/100
Overall: 91 2/3 of 100.
"GLORIA" by Mitch+Dane/HYPE!/Crest
The first sequences of this tune are converted from
the pc-tune "stranglehold", which Jeroen Tel made
using only sinus-samples.
I think the conversion together with the rest of the
tune, which btw, is also kind of a conversion as Mitch
had done some sequences of the tune on PC before
doing this tune with Dane. However, the finished result
sounds a lot better on the C64 than the PC version did
I found it a bit too odd even though it's very Jarre'ish
(not the lead!). The tune has a lot of nice melodic
passages which I guess is also why it won the compo -
it's also somewhat inspired by Jeroen Tel I think,
expecially the way the chords play the melody and the
echo on the lead in the breaks must have been some
what inspired by the tune Jeroen Tel did for the intro
in Blackmail's demo "Dutch Breeze". However, I think
that if Jeroen had made a similar tune, this one would
be better, as it's really quite good!
Style: 90/100  -  Skills: 90/100  -  Sound: 90/100
Overall: 90/100.
"SLAPPED BASS" by Fuben/Oxyron
Another Drax like tune from Fuben. The tune is in the
style, which Drax usually makes his funky stuff -
Fuben tries to copy this and I can quickly conclude that
he's not even close to the real thing. Even though
Fuben has made some nice chords and breaks - not to
mention a very jazzy lead, he's made one huge mistake,
and that's to add some air in between all the solos!
Also some more variation in the sequences is needed -
the same chords simply play for much too long.. and
with that lead just jumping around on those blue notes
it gets kinda messy. I must say however, that
comparing to the Drax like tune Fuben competed with at
The Party 5, this tune is way better. So, Fuben - you've
come a bit closer, but still you're far away.. why not
try to create something that is really 'you' - develop
yourself and you'll find that you might want to do stuff
different from what Drax would do. It sounds like you
have the potential and the "ear" to go further!
Style: 80/100  -  Skills: 80/100  -  Sound: 80/100
Overall: 80/100.
"FRUIT FEST DONE" by Simple/Role
The intention was to make a funny and happy tune, and
that was partly achieved, but geez.. those chords!!
Argh... they play way off the melody! I have no further
words than.. go find a music-theory book ASAP!
Style: 60/100  -  Skills: 30/100  -  Sound: 60/100
Overall: 50/100.
"COMPOTUNE 1" by Eco/Excess
This tune starts off very icely with some sinus-like
plings carrying a nice tune, but ofcourse he had to
ruin it with a false chord. Anyway, I though this was
going to be very atmospheric tune, and then that
terrible kick-drum sets in.. well, euro-techno it is, and
besides a few errors it sounds fairly ok - the snare
drum sounds rather interesting. Well, as it turns out I
was right about the tune being atmospheric after all -
the tune would suit a magazine or demo quite well I think
Actually I like it more after a few times. You did ok, Eco.
Style: 70/100  -  Skills: 65/100  -  Sound: 80/100
Overall: 71  2/3 of 100.
"SPACE DREAM" by Idefix/Smash Design
Errr... techno-music sounding like it was made in
Future Composer. This is total crap. Full of annoying
shifts and erros... geez... I can't even hear this to the
Style: 50/100  -  Skills: 25/100  -  Sound: 10/100
Overall: 28 1/3 of 100.
Considering Bordeaux had help from Eco/Ecess, I
still think this tune is helplessly annoying! I know
Bordeaux likes PVCF's music a lot, but comparing this
to any of the work PVCF did, I prefer PVCF's techno
over this, and bear in mind how much I can't stand PVCF
music.. puke.. When I first saw the results from TP6
and saw that Bordeaux came 2nd I wondered if perhaps
he had done something new and innovative (coz I
actually DO like techno and trance - even the hard
stuff!), but then Mitch tells me about a certain guy
fixing a lot of votes and thereby secure himself a high
position. Well, Bordeaux, those tricks might work at a
party, but it sure as hell won't affect my review -
this tune is nothing special, and infact if someone
cared to do a conversion of this and turn it into a
real song I find it hard to believe that it would sound
Style: 50/100  -  Skills: 40/100  -  Style: 40/100
Overall: 43 1/3 of 100.
"SVERIGE" by Cyberbrain/No Name
A load of hardcore samples put together in order to
create a tune.. well, they DID make a tune, and it sounds
ok too, but come on.. this is not the PC - samples suck
on a C64, but someone still hasn't figured that out.
I admit that the sample quality is good, but still I think
that this is not at all what C64 music competition is all
about.. since this tune is all samples, I find no use for
the ratings.
Overall: n/a.
"NITRO" by Soney/Smash Design
Another techno-like tune which sounds like it was made
with Future Composer... what's with those Smash-guys?
Well, this tune is no exception from the other Smash
tune - it's full of harmonic errors which make it hard
to listen to without feeling that ache in your stomach..
Style: 50/100  -  Skills: 50/100  -  Sound: 50/100
Overall: 50/100.
This concludes the reviews of the music from TP6.
As usual I end this by putting up a table which shows the
tune's position in the original TP6 results - and besides
that I put the positions compiled from my overall
ratings. Usually I get a totally different result than the
original, but then again - this is just my opinion..
On the next page is the chart, with the number in the
brackets showing the results from TP6.
1. (4) "Anal'ogue" by Jeff/HYPE/Cml       - 91 2/3 perc.
2. (1) "Gloria" by Mitch+Dane/HYPE/Crest  - 90 perc.
3. (3) "Slapped Bass" by Fuben/Oxyron  - 80 perc.
4. (7) "Compo tune 1" by Eco/Excess    - 71 2/3 perc.
5. (14) "Fruit Fest Done" by Simple/Role   - 50 perc.
    (12) "Nitro" by Soney/Smash Design     -50 perc.
6. (2) "F.p.i.a.f.f." by Bordeaux/Acrise   - 43 1/3 perc.
7. (15) "Space Dream" by Idefix/Smash  - 28 1/3 perc.
n/a (11) "Sverige" by Cyberbrain/NoName   - n/a.
It seems I pushed Mitch+Dane off the number 1 spot -
I think it was caused by the score I gave Jeff for his
sound, but his sound his really quite unique. I think we
all know why Bordeaux ended up at 7.. If we look at the
rest of the tunes I think the positions are approx. the
Personal tools