'Epic Themes 2' CD 1 (9 tracks - running time 74 minutes 08 seconds).
1. Lightforce (Rob Hubbard) - 7 mins 31 secs.
Rob Hubbard has provided the opening track for 'The Epic Themes 2', just like he did for the original 'Epic Themes' compilation! Lightforce is an excellent 'cosmic' piece of C64 music and is a great way to get things going. The track features clever use of filters including an effective 'muffler' effect on the lead voice. Despite being quite a long and 'spacey' piece of music 'Lightforce' never seems to be repetitive. The tune also features an excellent 'winding down' section from around 5 minutes onwards. Superb! (This track actually acted as the main theme for the Binary Zone Interactive website for a good while too!)
2. Turbo Outrun (Jeroen Tel) - 7 mins 52 secs.
YES! This fantastic piece of C64 music is on CD at last!! This track is actually featured in the Turbo Outrun intro sequence and has some excellent sampled effects ("One, Two, Three, Hit it!!"). The tune is a rendition of one of the Outrun themes (Magical Sound Shower) and is littered with great moments including a fab bit at 2 mins and a nice beefy section at 3 mins. Interestingly, this tune won the 'Best music on 8 bit computer 1989' award at the PCW show in London! (Thanks to the HVSC for that titbit of info).
Dominator (Matt Gray) - 5 mins 43 secs.
Now we are getting EPIC!! From the second it starts this track means BUSINESS! It features some superb chords, a gritty bassline and a catchy lead which finally makes an appearance at around 3 mins into the track. Things also get interesting at 4 mins 43 seconds when it introduces some weird effects! This track is a treat for Matt Gray fans and for people who like their SID tracks to sound MEAN and PUNCHY!
4. Thrust (Rob Hubbard) - 6 mins 49 secs.
THRUST! (Oo-er). Another marvellous track from one of the MASTERS of the SID chip, Rob Hubbard. This is the 100% uncut version of the track complete with the "Cheeeeooowwww" at the start and the "WhooOOOooOOOO" right at the end! Listen out for the brilliantly catchy lead section and an AMAZING drum section at 3 mins 20 secs!
5. Space Epic Theme (Paul 'FeekZoid' Hannay) - 4 mins 04 secs.
Sometimes a track doesn't have to be long to be epic, it just has to SOUND epic - which is exactly what this track does. FeekZoid has managed to deliver a sort of "film Style" track which fits in very nicely with the theme of this CD compilation (the name "Space Epic Theme" actually helped get this one onto the CD!) Good stuff.
6. Last Ninja 2 Mansion (Matt Gray) - 7 mins 52 secs.
For this excellent track Matt Gray has actually covered the start of the track 'Alchemy of the Heart' by Tangerine Dream (from the album 'Tyger'). This is the longest track from the game 'Last Ninja 2' which made it ideal fodder for 'The Epic Themes 2'. This superb tune features good use of a 'flutey' main voice, yet another excellent Matt Gray bassline and some great 'wibbles'. There's a gorgeous eerie section at 3 mins 24 seconds and there's even a little tribute to the original 'Last Ninja' music at 4 mins 8 seconds!! An outstanding track.
7. Times of Lore (Martin Galway) - 9 mins 13 secs.
This track definitely gets a high rating on the 'WOW-O-METER' (if there is such a thing). The track is divided into three distinct sections - a lush 3 minute 23 second intro, then the powerful Galway-esque (hehe!) middle section which leads into a nice spooky bit and the 'virtual guitar' laden end section. If the stunning opening section of this tune doesn't get the hairs on your neck prickling then the guitar at the end will!
8. Kinetix (Jeroen Tel) - 12 mins 52 secs.
Another killer track from Jeroen Tel here. It's an extremely lengthy 'trance' type piece complete with catchy bassline which conjures up images of plunging along at breakneck speeds in a frenzied attempt to get ... somewhere! It takes a couple of minutes for the lead section to arrive but Jeroen keeps the listener interested by dropping in some cool (and sometimes bizarre) effects along the way. There's even some Hubbard style lead voices scattered throughout this pacey track!
9. The X-Files (Jon Wells) - 11 mins 51 secs.
Based on the theme from the cool TV series Jon has delivered a spooky 12 minute remix! (Not bad considering the TV version lasts for under 45 seconds! The track starts off nice and slowly and Jon builds the track up by adding crashing drums and a great bassline. Listen out for a cool bit at 4 mins 20 seconds, some inspired bits of remixing and re-working of the 'X-Files' theme throughout the track and a neat ending. Jon composed this track for issue 6 of Commodore Zone (The X-Files themed issue).
'Epic Themes 2' CD 2 (6 tracks - running time 73 minutes 16 seconds).
1. Cybernoid (Jeroen Tel) - 6 mins 38 secs.
This is a CLASSIC game theme and has been requested by quite a few SID fans for a CD like this. The style of the tune suited the original game perfectly and was definitely a taste of things to come from this former 'Maniac of Noise'! What more can I say? It's spacey, it's catchy and it's a winner!
2. Flash Gordon (Rob Hubbard) - 6 mins 23 secs.
Rob composed some of his best tunes for Mastertronic releases and this is no exception. The weird beginning gives way to a superb and unforgettable main section! After two minutes it sounds like it's all over but don't be fooled! An eerie part leads into the second half of the tune which is just as good as the first half (there's a nice break at 4 mins 20 seconds too). Rob delivers the goods yet again.
3. Sceptre of Baghdad (Paul 'FeekZoid' Hannay) - 9 mins 29 secs.
Now things get REALLY creepy with this highly rated track from FeekZoid. The spooky intro lasts for around a minute and a half before the main theme kicks in. Things quieten down at the 3 minute mark with a lovely tinkly section which features some nice 'sequencers'. The tune then goes a bit more up-tempo for a few minutes before introducing a cool bassline. Listen out for the great ending too section too!
4. Dark Side (Wally 'Hagar' Beben) - 10 mins 27 secs.
This track starts off slowly and features good (and subtle) use of 'wibbles'. It then gradually moves up a pace with some nice 'sequenced' effects in the background. At around 4 mins there's a cool lead section which gives the track quite a purposeful feel. This is a very nice 'laid back' SID piece, perfect to listen to in the background.
5. International Karate+ (Rob Hubbard) - 8 mins 10 secs.
As the music from the first 'International Karate' game was featured on the original 'Epic Themes' compilation I thought it would be nice to have the sequel on, er, the sequel! I was surprised to see how long this tune actually was! Rob has packed so much into this remix it sounds a lot shorter than it actually is. I also made sure I recorded this one from my old 'breadbin' C64 so you get to hear those excellent old style filters! A cool remix this one ...
6. Gordian Tomb (Thomas Detert) - 31 mins 57 secs (!)
And now we have what is in my opinion the highlight of 'The Epic Themes 2' ... This is one of the LONGEST C64 game themes in existence and was actually TOO EPIC for the first 'Epic Themes' compilation (I just couldn't fit it on with the other tracks!) This track contains so many cool moments I'm not going to waffle on about them here, you will have to get the CD and hear them for yourself! This is an incredible lengthy and varied piece of Commodore 64 music. 'Epic' is putting it mildly!
The Epic Themes 2 (2CD)
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