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Euro Beats by Richard/Civitas/The New Dimension
See the always-hyper-critical Professor Ugha Sid raving about Richard's music collie. 

by Professor Ugha SID (Wotnau)

Few comments in blue by Umba Sid (CreaMD)

Get the collie here: EURO BEATS (zip+gunzip)

Or here: EURO BEATS (zipped)

???Just divorced? Has she (he) left you for another? Has your grandma suffered a heart attack, your best friend lost his girl or another one's mother died? Do you feel cursed? Do you sometimes feel like deserving to be cursed? Are you sick of the stupid-techno mania in the C=64 world? Hey, man (woman), I know how you feel. Maybe – nono, no one is forcing you, just maybe you might try this … see, it's just a disk, it doesn't harm … yes, put it into the drive, load that file, great, great, relax, type run … and forget about the pain!
???Professor Ugha Sid is extremely happy to bring you a review of Euro Beats, a music collection by Richard/Civitas/T.N.D. I was supposed to write my usual hyper-critical review. I honestly tried to pick on the weak points, I mentioned the real faults – but I blew my mission. This piece of music art is just great!
???Officially, the music collection consists of five tunes – but well, in fact there are two more of them – one in the intro and another in the note. All in all seven pieces of music to have a look and ear at.
???The collection is a one-filer, so there is no endless waiting for a tune to be loaded. It's got a sober design – a simple press-a-number-for-a-tune menu, a scrolltext and some raster. The raster is not coded much precisely – there's the infamous grey dot blinking when changing the registers – it could have been timed out into the border. The weakest spot of the outfit is that when the 4th tune restarts, the collection crashes and you have to reload. This has to be noted and can't be forgiven but somehow the music quality overrules the design's weaknesses.
???Euro Beats starts with ‚Some sort of techno tune‘ – that's not a descriptive expression, it's the tune's name. On the one hand, in a way it's the least great piece, on the other hand, you'll say: „What a start!“ At least I said so, as the first sound to be heard was very moody, bassy, mysterious, bringing you into an unknown land. The beginning reminded me of such immortal classics as Red Devil's medieval-style tunes, Ben Daglish's Trap demo, Syndrom's intro to Tales of Mystery or Shadow of the Beast. Man, does this guy know how to develop a tension in a tune! This all until a sudden break after which the main – sort of techno – melody gives in. The main melody also develops for a while and then loops. Just at the moment when you think „Did he let the nice tune circulate in a loop of a few tacts?“, it turns out that it wasn't a loop but just a long repetitive part and the tune reaches its end. It features the virtues that go through the whole collection – it is not about sounds, it's about the music idea which has a beginning, has a somewhere to go and has an ending. The guy can build a compact and dynamic sound and change your moods according to his desire – right in this piece he can build up a feeling of tension and danger. This particular piece, though, has got two very different parts – the medieval one and the dance-beat one – which are both well done but somehow don't work together and the techno could repeat a bit less times before the tune's end. But this seems to be about the very last thing that I'm going to criticise about Richard's music. One more thing to remark – when I say techno, I don't mean the dark, depressive mass of bass that it is today but better the repetitive beats and original sounds for which e.g. Technotronic became famous. (Some sort of techno tune has an excellent begining and the motive is borrowed from tune called somehow like „Hey Ecuador“ if I recall right. 6 of 10. You probably do. I had the very same feeling but wasn't sure, so if we both think it was Ecuador, then it probably was it.)
???The next and last song that sounds a bit like techno is no. 5, ‚Defuzion 3 – in game music‘. For a while it ballances on the edge and then it steps onto the techno side. But again it's a positive sound, as if to say: „See you on the light side!“ The sound reminded me of the most positive PVCF tunes, such as those in Nova 2 or Geometric. Please, please, please, Richard, you're a good techno musician but keep the style presented in your other works! There's so many techno maniacs around and so few „others“! (This PVCF style actually is PVCF himself, as some motives are taken from Reflex's KJU demo-soundtrack. Anyway a nice tune. However, Richard, next time you should credit the author. 6 of 10)
???No. 2 in the bundle is called ‚Dream World Part 1‘ and is closest to explaining the collie's name, being a nice dance tune. It starts with a kind of beeping and soon goes a disco way. It reminded me of Erasure in particular and just the whole style in general. It's got a catching and pretty melody, which nevertheless doesn't stay in your mind. Just cascades of tones and dancing backgrounds. Ah yes, the BACKGROUND! Richard isn't afraid of using chords, although many musicians fear them, especially in the once-per-frame mode. The chords are very well done and create a full, pleasant sound which lets you forget about the sadly low number of channels of the SID chip. What else to say about this tune? Not only it is a dancing tune, it really makes you dance! I was really happy that I was home alone when listening to it because I was hopping, stepping and jumping around like mad. Me, the always-reserved Professor Sid!!! Just listen to it and enjoy… Enjoy it and prepare for the absolute highlight. (Quite okay… 6 of 10)
???‚Loving the World of Fantasy‘. That's the name, the perfectly chosen name. It's been ages since I heard such a visual tune! The beginning is very dynamic and in front of my closed eyes I could see some sprite monster, maybe looking like the hero in Clystron (or maybe some of the walkers in Manfred Trenz's games), a very determined monster striding in front of a scrolling background. Then a new leading instrument comes in and the song gets a sad touch. Probably the monster is on a mission to save his beloved she-monster who was kidnapped by an evil witch. And the landscape might easily be magical forest. Sure it is!!! The flute! God, I love SID flutes! I could see dancing fairies and smiling ghosts and funny trees. This song is a simple, but absolutely brilliant masterpiece!!! There's nothing more to add to it. (Yes, this tune has a very original style, especially the drum rhythm is very daring for a SID musician. It is kicker and then rhythm drum. I don't remember many musics done like this. 6 of 10)
???If you haven't had enough yet, you can go on with ‚Whoomp, there it is‘. It starts with a single instrument playing the main theme. It's quite slow and you can imagine yourself in a hut, watching some (good this time) enchantress make potions out of strange ingredients. It sounds quite relaxed… for a few seconds. Then the beats and the bass give the tune the can't-wait style, although the main theme is still the same. The drums are hard, but not dark – it's like an ogre jumping in the magical forest, or some of the monsters in Shadow of the Beast hitting something. It all is just magic! (This is my favourite. I like this one since I first heard it in the emu. I was really curious to hear it on the real thing. And yes! It rocks!!! 7 of 10)
???The two more tunes which you can hear in Euro Beats are in the intro and in the note. And I haven't run out of compliments yet. The intro is a typical euro beat piece again, with a slight but constant development which constituted this style. And the note tune reminded me of another classics – Vibrants' Hermetic soundtrack. (
Music From note is extravaganza!! Simple melody, beaty-beaty rhythm. Neat arrange. 6 points of max 10 intro tune is worth 5 of 10 to me)
???I just love this little piece of art – that you could have found out. When I occasionally got my head out of euphory, I tried to find out why. And I was pretty surprised at the result. The sounds – well, they're well done but not the absolute top. The melodies are great and catchy – but they don't stay in your head. Is it just my taste? Yes, it is, but still it doesn't explain everything. And then I got it at last! God, in this stupid technomania in the SID scene I almost forgot what music is about! Yes, about instruments, melodies and so on, but also about having fun and first of all – about how it all fits and works together!!! This Richard guy has got a style. As my SID twin Umba would say, he's stylish.
???And what does his stylishness consist of? Good sounds and catchy melodies, that I already said. His tunes are perfectly balanced, that's an important point. Drums and basses don't lead – instead they just accompany the melody. Sound effects are not forced into your ears, screaming „Look what a great sound I can create!“ They're rather there in the background where they belong, ready for a careful ear to enjoy them. The melodies don't rush anywhere, they've got their own pace and they stick to it. The tunes are optimistic, happy – another miracle in these times. Add the full sound done by a perfect use of chords and what you'll get is what you can hear in Euro Beats – the first-in-years collection of original SID music that made Professor Ugha SID rave. Well, maybe I do overrate this colly a bit, maybe even more than a bit, but you still have my brother Umba to give you a different approach. And now I can finally quit writing and listen to Euro Beats again!

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