"Do you know this music?" He asked me, as he kept pushing the buttons on what seemed to be a weird augmented harp of some description. I replied joyously, "Of course I do!" He went on to explain to the audience: "In the 80s, I composed music for a computer game called Defender of the Crown. This is the music that you'd hear when you won the game." I smiled in bemusement, "That's probably why I'm so familiar with it." Everyone laughed. It was the most unique and surreal live experience, ever.
I didn't stop to talk to Jim Cuomo after the performance, although I wish I did. Instead I ran downstairs to call my brother, Andrew to tell him what had just happened. It was so much stranger than having a DJ publicly drop your most obscure, in-house dance hit. To my mind, I had never considered that Defender of the Crown could have been performed in public, well away from the Amiga 1000. The Amiga does not have the same kind of kitsch currency as the Nintendo. Despite its tremendous legacy, it's unusual to find people around these parts who share that specific childhood gaming experience.
Since I accidentally witnessed that performance, Andrew re-introduced me to online communities who preserve, restore and remix the music of Amiga games and demos. Free from the distraction of any visual presence, you can begin to truly appreciate the Amiga's ability to mimic the rhythmic and melodic style so many genres, nominally Acid House, Techno and Italo Disco. More often than not, the modern-day Amiga remix is a slamming dance anthem which indulges that unspoken fantasy of actually hearing it out loud at some club where, stripped of its context, it is treated as a really good (and truly legitimate) song.
So I'll leave you with a podcast that seeks to glorify the musical output of the Amiga. Despite the various bleeps and bloops, I genuinely maintain that its appeal has nothing to do with any nostalgic affiliation, but I do warn you. My persuasion is a bit biased as I really did spend a lot of time playing Defender of the Crown.
Cassettes & Chocolate Milk: Amiga Podcast #54
Pino Zulpo - Test Drive II
Piepie - Enigma
Foxx (SA) - Secret Rites
Marx Marvelous - Unusually Bright
Hans-Hermann Franck - Cobra-stage 2
daXX - Lotus III - Shamrip
BeeZerk - Final Fight
Bill Williams - King of Chicago
Download (46.7 MB)