If Zombie Nation proved one thing, it’s that C64 hooks can make for great dance music. But then Martin Andersson, better known as Instant Remedy, knew that a long time ago and was creating beat-laden C64 remixes long before Kernkraft 400’s effort graced the charts.
Here then we have an entire CD of Andersson’s C64 remixes, many of which wouldn’t seem out of place in a club’in fact, the CD usefully offers the BPM for each track.
As you might expect, this isn’t a thinking man’s record, but one for getting the adrenaline flowing. It begins well with Last Ninja ‘ The Palace, a cover of one of the most cherished C64 tunes, brought right up to date by combining the original’s searing SID hooks with a pulsating beat, driving bass, and all the usual dancefloor tricks. Comic Bakery also proves a worthy effort, with its catchy hook staying just the right side of grating whilst the beat keeps your toes occupied.
However, perhaps the best track on the CD is International Karate, based on Rob Hubbard’s classic oriental track. This really is a piece that deserves to trouble the charts, and the infectious melody, reminiscent of Ryuichi Sakamoto’s Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, works wonderfully with the persistent, engaging beat. The radical trance version of Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins rather lacks the charm of the reworked Hubbard classic, but is nonetheless similarly absorbing, combining a throbbing beat and various mangled riffs and hooks from the original to great effect.
If the CD has a problem, it’s that it occasionally runs out of steam and grinds to a halt. This is largely down to some very odd covers being thrown into the mix, perhaps to add variety and distract from the repetitious music that might otherwise become a little tedious. If that’s the case, then this rather misses the point of a dance record, and the likes of the dull, out of place West Bank and overly busy Trolls drag the CD down. Worse is the infuriatingly bouncy Flimbo’s Quest that sounds terribly weak after the opening blast of Last Ninja ‘ The Palace.
In many ways, Instant Remedy’s magic is in its raw simplicity and its frequent, seemingly effortless merging of incessant beats and the unique SID sounds. When it strays, it’s less interesting, but this doesn’t happen often, and the result is a C64 remix CD with genuine external appeal.
Instant Remedy (2002)
Record Label: C64audio.com