This month, I wanted to shed some light on a really cool and inspiring Atari ST creation I came across this week. Set free to the world on January 24, 2018, ‘Escape Return’ is both a digital and vinyl release by Swiss artist, STU. I listen to a lot of music and, friends, this one really captivated me.
Album art created by DAN from Bleepstreet for ‘Escape Return’.
Classy statements, for a classy album. However, this fantastic Bleepstreet release does for me what I have not been able to find in other recent collections: pure, unadulterated vehemence. In a number of ways, cTrix manages to conceive extreme twists and turns in an immensely enjoyable and thrilling expedition down memory lane back into the early 90s. How he manages to pack such nostalgic, complicated rhythms and such wonderful, prodigious leads in each song, off of an Amiga 500, is just beyond words. The radical melodies generated from this machine (and its user), are just incredible.
When I saw this first, I had flashbacks of After Burner.
To really understand what the background of ‘A For Amiga’ was, I asked Chris Mylrae (cTrix) for a few moments of his time to explain how he got to this concept and how he carried out his project:
“A for Amiga is a project which started life as an “album-on-a-floppy” Amiga musicdisk. The Amiga’s tracking system was what had launched me into the world of digital music production when I was a kid. The aim was to make tunes using samples from the original floppies which came bundled with “The Ultimate Sound Tracker” which was one of the first Amiga trackers (late 80’s). I also decided to use some of the samples I spent weekends of my childhood finding at computer swap meets. Pre-internet / pre-sampler that’s how I got my sounds!”
“…I’d love to give you a philosophical reason to why I made these tunes – but it was mainly a technical challenge purely for fun. Once I got going I spent a long time on some of the melodies and chordal structures… but it all came down tunes that were fun to make.”
No deeper meaning than that, folks. He did this because he wanted to test his limits and make something badass. Personally, I can’t stop listening to “DX Heaven”. It’s super smooth, has some really great dynamics, and this is probably just me, but it totally reminds me of Epic Pinball.
I can’t speak highly enough of this album; it’s just THAT good. Each track is a descent farther and farther into a simpler, far more pleasant past. You’ll be thinking about those good ol’ days where all you had to think about was games, sipping on lemonade, and occasionally treading outside of your dungeon/castle/fortress (yes, your house) to hang out with friends. You owe it to yourself to listen to some damn good music, Christmas was tough.
…and no I’m not just saying that because I waited until the day before Christmas to buy gifts. (don’t judge me)