TDK - Reawakening (2012)
In loving memory of Dorothy Armistice Hanka (1926-2012)
I was an impressionable 11 year old, in 1984, when I first laid my hands on a Commodore 64 but it was about a year later when it really changed my life when I bought a copy of Commando.
This is when I really ‘met’ SID. I was struck by awe when I heard the music to this game, and it wasn’t long afterwards when I started seeking out music programs to allow me to get ‘that’ sound. Sadly, not having a programmers head, I felt most comfortable with a program called Electrosound but I wasn’t able to reproduce the sorts of sounds I was hearing in the games I was buying.
Fast forwards 5 years, and the trusty C64 was replaced with a Commodore Amiga, and again various demos I was hearing amazed me with not only the sound quality, but the musicianship behind the compositions.
I quickly found SoundTracker and started writing my own tunes, using whatever samples I could get hold of and after the usual learning process. Demo composer Warlock was born, joining local Brighton demo crew The Hacking Relation (THR). Admittedly, the quality of composition wasn’t that great and in reality I was still yearning for the sound of the C64, but on the Amiga. I got bored with the name Warlock and changed to TDK. I was a fan of the TDK cassette tape and TDK stood for The Dark Knight which rhymed with Mark Knight, all good.
Having heard 4Mat’s ground-breaking techniques to get chip tunes out of the Amiga, I started playing around with the same ideas and eventually started writing music in the same chip style.
The quality improved and I joined one of the more famous demo crews, or should I say hacking crews - Anthrox, and released tunes for several cracktros (the 90’s equivalent of keygens) plus 2 music disks, Sploosh and Sploosh 1 ½ which contained more of my “full range” Amiga tunes.
It was when I joined Melon Dezign (although I never really left Anthrox) that I wrote most of my ‘memorable’ chip tunes which became rather popular in the demo scene.
I left the scene, and tracker composing in 1993 as I secured a full time job as a games composer the year before, and really didn’t have the desire to compose at home as well as at work.
So, 19 years later, and that love for the SID, or C64 sound, has never left me. During this time I’ve written a heck of a lot of music. Scored a number of well-known games, like Duke Nukem: Total Meltdown, Populous the Beginning and Dungeon Keeper 2, plus a load of personal work which has never been release (yet!)… but…. I’ve had this deep down desire to get back in to the sound which sparked it off, all those years ago.
Reawakening brings everything full circle, but combines my love and experienced that I’ve gained over those years. The sound of SID, the love of catchy melodies, the experience of using modern day production techniques. All self-learnt and never taught.
Some of the tracks on this album, I’ve kept true to the chiptune style. Limited channels (4, sorry, I am an Amiga guy at heart) and no processing, but some I have used more modern production techniques to benefit the overall result. Each track has then gone through a mastering process which (I hope) really brings them to life.
Reawakening is however pure TDK, with (what I hope are) memorable melodies, and I hope you enjoy this album as much as I have enjoyed creating it.
As always, FLIT KILLS MOTHS!
My thanks and love to :-
My Family - Christine, Colin, Colette, Arda and Hope, and my Friends who know who they are.
Heather Cowl - the music teacher who wouldn’t give up on me, even when I handed in my GCSE composition work on a cassette, recorded from a C64.
Andrew Sherwood - the man who really taught me the violin
Rob Hubbard - Commando simply made it for me, at the age of 12
President Hoodie - for your support and help bringing TDK back.
Equipment list :-
Commodore 64c x 2 both with MSSIAH cartridges
Commodore Amiga 1200, OctaMED and Datek MIDI Master
Steinberg Cubase 6.5
iZotope Ozone 5
Sony Sound Forge 10