Fresh from pretty much cleaning up in the oldskool competitions at the Assembly ’02 demo-party in Helsinki, Finland, in July (well, 3rd in oldskool music, 3rd in oldskool demo, 2nd in oldskool graphics utilising classic machines like the Commodore 64, Vic20, and Gameboy, you get the idea..), the prodigously talented Aleksi ‘Heatbeat’ Eeben, formerly an Amiga demo-scene legend as part of CNCD, has used his own JohnPlayer ‘tracker’ for C64 to produce this new opus, over eleven minutes of, well.. would it be wrong to call it a heavy metal-orientated bleep symphony?
That’s certainly somewhere around where “The Grand Rules” is orientated, and it’s pretty amazing to consider that the entire piece was composed on a 20-year old home computer with 64k of memory and just five and a quarter inch discs (if you’re lucky!) to keep you company. So, from the first delicate introduction, through the gut-wrenching bass and drum solos, through the almost pizzicato middle section, right up to the triumphant density of the final coda, it’s not only the musicality, but the breadth of sound that astounds.
Sure, it may not be to everyone’s tastes, but a “Good Vibrations” for the C64 in terms of unheard sounds and clarity of vision? Put it this way, Aleksi can come and play in our sandbox any time he wants, with or without the fireman’s hat.
cover by aleksi eeben
01 – The Grand Rules