Those of you reading this who are as old as me or the venerable Mr. Rignall will doubtless be well familiar with the Commodore 64. Perhaps you even owned one -- or perhaps you owned one of its rivals and thus participated in some of the earliest recorded instances of fanboyism. (I had an Atari 8-Bit, and was thus contractually obliged to refer to the C64 as the "Crappydore," for example. I have since learned the error of my ways, though the Atari was still badass.)
One of the best things about the Commodore 64 -- and one of the reasons it still enjoys a certain degree of relevance today -- is its astonishingly good sound chip. Known as SID (Sound Interface Device), it was responsible for the distinctive sound of some of the most iconic video game scores of the '80s and '90s. It's still frequently used by chiptune artists today, albeit usually in combination with other instruments or effects.
One big fan of the SID chip and its distinctive sound is Pawel Blaszczak, composer of the soundtracks to Call of Juarez, Dead Island and The Witcher, among others. Blaszczak has taken it upon himself to put together an album paying tribute to the sound of the SID chip and the Commodore 64's 30th birthday.
"After many years of composing music for games and film," said Blaszczak, "I spotted a news item that said the Commodore 64 would soon be 30 years old. I couldn't believe it had been so long! How time flies... and that got me thinking about all the wonderful music from that time, from all the games I loved playing back in the '80s. A few weeks later I was experimenting with some 8-bit sounds, and the album just seemed to evolve from there into a full 15 track monster. I'm really pleased with the way it's turned out, and most people who hear it have been extremely receptive, telling me I've captured the era perfectly, and brought a new dimension to the sound of the time... a really great and humbling tribute."
Days and Dreams, as the album is called, can be streamed in full for free via Bandcamp as well as purchased on a Pay What You Want basis for the next two weeks. It's also available on iTunes for $9.99. It's pretty good, too -- drop by the Bandcamp page to try before you buy.