Music Review: Reyn Ouwehand’s Nexus 6581
Posted by representingpuroresu on 10/12/2009
I’ve been meaning to do some more music reviews lately, and now that I’ve been sampling a lot of “scene/C64 remix” music lately I’ll start introducing you to more. I’ll start here with the first of the albums by noted performer/remixer/arranger Reyn Ouwehand and his first album, Nexus 6581. Have a look…
The first album to really demonstrate how C64 tunes could sound played live, and the first to feature demo music. Reyn (pronounced “Rhein”, and apparently not “Rain” as fellow remixer Alistair Bowness, known to fans as Boz, will humorously let you know sometimes on SLAY Radio) Ouwehand is an ex-member of the famed “Maniacs of Noise”, a C64 composer himself and a successful record producer. His considerable musical skill is showcased here. It was also demonstrated live in 2003 for Stuck in D’80s, his CD arrangements forming the bedrock of their repertoire. Reyn is a 35-year-old musician who has been composing C64 music and remixes for 20 years, and splits time between working with other musicians, major established labels, and out of his own studio-“The Church” near Amsterdam in The Netherlands. This was his first, I think, original release (he has done, to the best of my knowledge, 4 albums to date not counting his many works/remixes on other albums) and features a selection of 11 different tracks covering a variety of different themes and songs, equal parts covers/remixes and original songs.
As for the album itself, it obviously helps if you’re familiar with C64 remix music and SID music/chiptunes, which are songs made using Commodore 64 sound chips and hardware primarily, but sometimes from other old PC systems. Some artists/bands add their own guitars, drums, etc. to complement the chiptune sounds, which generally would sound like something played on a keyboard or synthesizer. There are several different genres covered here, from rock to pop to disco to oriental and so on. Reyn adds a lot of insturmentals himself to complement the chiptunes. Some of the songs sound serious like “Last Ninja 3” and “DMC Demo 4” while some like “Shape” and “Flimbo’s Quest” are very light-hearted and upbeat. Among the better tracks here are the excellent “Asian Legends”, which as a Far East-type sound that mixes songs from several games into one long track (you might recognize the music from the game “The Legend Of Kage” here), the hard-rocking “Aztec Challenge” with it’s heavy guitar riffs, and the catchy and fun “Deflektor”. Only a couple ones I really didn’t like, on the whole this is a decent album and worth sampling. At the very least there are some must-download singles here, if you’re a Reyn fan go for this one, if you’re new to the genre sample this one first and try a single or two before buying the album, but in the end I don’t think you’ll be too disappointed.
Released in 2000 by Prevue Productions. Total running time: 44:12.
Album Rating (1-10): 7.5 (Good).
Recommendation: If you’re a Reyn or Scene Music fan, download it. Otherwise, sample it first and/or download a couple tracks before buying the whole album.
Download These (singles I feel are must-buy from the album): “Asian Legends”, “Aztec Challenge”, “Deflektor”
Available in the US from iTunes for 99 cents per song or $9.99 for full album (11 songs). You can also buy the album on CD or download it from C64audio.com-I only recommend this for those in Europe. They do ship worldwide but it can be rather expensive if you’re ordering from outside England or parts of the EU.
For more on Reyn and his many collaborations/remixes/etc., visit his official website, http://www.reyn.net. You can also find and download some of his songs for FREE on RKO (remix.kwed.org), on their site search for “Reyn” or “Reyn Ouwehand”. Currently RKO has 80 songs he’s credited with-10 that he arranged and performed himself and 70 others that he originally composed but these versions have been performed/remixed by other musicians (FYI on downloading from RKO: To keep bandwidth costs reasonable, the site limits downloads to a total of 50 per hour, so you may not be able to download every song in one sitting). His songs are also sometimes heard on SLAY Radio (slayradio.org) and every once in a long while he will host a live show on the station.