This album has a very different and fabulous concept, it combines famous 1980s tracks such as 19, Two Tribes, Too Shy, Billy Jean, Broken Wings and I Feel Love along with music from the Commodore 64 home computer. Tracks such as BMX Kidz, Comic Bakery, Sanxion, Arkanoid and Ghouls and Ghosts, resulting in completely new tracks which surprisingly use no samples from the originals.
The CD comes from Remix64, which is a website based community of people who write Commodore 64 and Amiga music remixes, and is available to purchase exclusively on C64audio.com. When you purchase the album, you also get instant access to DRM-free downloads of all the tracks while you wait for the CD to arrive.
When you do get the CD, the first thing that strikes you is the excellent cover design, complete with the ultimate icon of the eighties – The Rubik’s Cube.
This CD is targeted at those who grew up during the eighties, listening to pop music and playing on their Commodore 64s. I’m not sure I fit that target audience, because I missed a lot of music in the 80s because I was too busy playing with my ’64 and didn’t really discover pop music until the late 80s’s/early 90s.
The main thing about this album, is it mixes these tracks, which makes this the album’s biggest selling point, as well as it’s biggest weakness.
I’ll give a brief review of each track below;
This is probably not the best tune to open with as, rather than a gentle introduction of the concept it is a bit of awkward mix of the two tunes it is based on. I am a big fan of both Rob Hubbard’s BMX Kidz and Paul Hardcastle’s “19”, but when they are combined we get something not as good as either tune.
I’m not familiar with either source material, having not played Jethro Walrus or being able to remember Speak ‘n’ Spell by Depeche Mode. However this is a fun track with amusing lyrics, very much like Makke’s excellent Lazy Jones remix..
Comic Bakery mixed with “Broken Wings” by Mr. Mister shouldn’t work, but it does. It’s a nice laid back, excellently produced track.
Flight Path 737
Flight Path 737 is not a tune I remember, so all I can interpret from this track is Art of Noise’s “Moments In Love”, which the end tune is very much like. Even without knowning either of the original source trakcs, It’s a fantastic sounding track
Ghouls and Ghosts
This is a great track, mixing “Ghouls ‘n Ghosts” with Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” works surprisingly well, resulting in a fun track.
I don’t know either original track and not to fond of this track either, but I guess funk just isn’t my thing…
A highlight, somehow squeezing GemX into Milli Vanilli’s “Girl You Know It’s True” produces a great track that is so catchy it makes me want to do the Milli Vanilli dance!
Formula One Simulator
Formula 1 Simulator, in the style of “Two Tribes” by Frankie Goes To Hollywood is another good mix. The track also features a strangle vocal from Alistair “Boz” Bowness and a sample Hubbard talking about the c64.
Another great track. The outstanding thing about this mix of “Tusker” and “Sisters of Mercy” by Black Planet, is brilliant and includes funny lyrics from Slaygon. Any song with the lyric ‘it’s like last ninja in Alaska” is always going to be well worth a listen
Next up is “Sanxion”, in the style of Donna Summers’ “I Feel Love”. Technically it works, the songs mix together well, but there is no real soul here and nothing to get too excited about.
The up-tempo LaserDance stylings of Crazy Comets from Sonic Wanderer, can be descibed as a lively upbeat track.
Now this track, unlike coffee, really is a prefect blend. A prefect blend of Arkanoid and “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash, rather than coffee, obviously.
The original ACE II is another track that occupies a place in my heart, so I was a bit disappointed when I heard this in the style of “Strangelove” by Depeche Mode. I thought the track was a little too slow and overpowered by the vocals.
This is quite a simple mix of “Blackmail” by PowerTrace with some samples from Black Box/Disco added. That being said, it works really well and is a good track.
Now the Shamen’s “Move Any Mountain” is a track I am familiar with, mainly because it’s an early 90s track and not an 80s track, but I’ll forgive them all that because as soon I heard the “Shoot to kill, become a dominator” hook, as then this became my favourite track on the album.
Aspar GP Master
Romeo Knight manages the impossible on this track; he makes Kajagoogoo sound cool. It’s another case of this shouldn’t work, but somehow adding Kajagoogoo’s “Too Shy” to Aspar GP Master gives a poppy, fun track.
Only You-Monotron/Vince Clarke
The final track on the album is a Commodore 64 style remix of Yazoo’s “Only You” with some great vocals from Eliza Zoot.
In conclusion, a large number of tracks on the CD work very well. This album was an ambitious project and one that can be described as a great achievement and one that deserves congratulations.
This CD has been put together with a lot of love and affection for both the 80s and the C64 music, and fans of either music should definitely check this out.