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Interview with ZX Spectrum composer - Factor6©
How did your interest for computers start? Which year was that?
It was in 1985 when my dad bought a Speccy 48k clone Timex 2048 in Poland. Speccy was the most popular computer in this country, so there wasn't problem to get software on tapes. I played games at first, as everyone, then started to explore BASIC programming.
What machines did you previously have? What did you do with them?
The first was Timex, then I met a friend on high school witch a C64 and it fascinated me with its smooth hardware driven sprites and music. I bought it from him in 1992. I played games on it, yeah I was total lamer! After some time I got a disk drive and things were funnier then. But then I saw an Amiga 500 by my friend and I simply wanted it! But it was fucking expensive in those times. After all, in february of 1993 I sold C64 and bought A500 with 1MB RAM expansion. I played games for about year but then I got ProTracker 2.2 and tried to make music. My friends liked it, so I didn't give up! I made also several games in AMOS, like Shooter or Cary. In 1996 commercial situation with Amiga was bad so I sold it and bought PC 386. I made some modules in Scream Tracker, etc.. It was a bit parallel, but I started to be active as a scener in 1994 on Speccy. My friend Tuleby was starting to code demos so he asked me if I wouldn't make a music for him. I agreed and new group E.S.A. (Excellent Spectrum Aces) was born. I got a Spectrum again and fell in love with it! I met lotsa ZX freaks showing me cool Amiga-like effects on Speccy, so this also contributed for my decision to sell Amiga. And I didn't know about Amiga scene, only read some czech diskmags, but Amiga people talked about 8bits like about some shit, and this irritated me.
Now I have at the desk A1260/50 in tower, ZX Spectrum 128k with MB02+ disk system, C64 and C64-II with disk drive, Amstrad CPC 464 and 6128 and a PC Celeron 766 as a coprocessor for those honeys :-)
For what specific reason did you end up making music rather than gfx, coding?
I think I'm better in musicmaking than in other events. It's really easy, and I don't know how some people (mainly coders) are not able to make a pattern in tracker. I'm making graphics also on Speccy and coding a bit, but I'm very lame on it. On Amiga and C64 I'm making only music.
Which composing programs have you been using? Which one in particular?
Amiga: Protracker! I hate Octamed and others. And AHX, it rocks!
C64: SidWinder. It's very powerful thingie comparable to DMC. My friend PCH/Unreal has modified it so it's not so user unfriendly now, as it was.
Speccy: SQ-Tracker. Cool czech program for making AY soundchip muzax. I tried ProTracker, it's really better in some way, but I rather use the old SQT.
CPC: Soundtrakker - the one and only. I plan to compose something in it.
With which module did you feel you had reached your goal?
I guess "Aspect of Being". It's an .XM, but I didn't release it yet. It's only as second track on my own CD.
Is there a tune you would like not to remember? For what reason?
My first tunes on Amiga. They were really lame. And the first ones on Spectrum. I din't know how to generate instruments, so I used very lame ones.
In your opinion, what's the value of a music in a demo, game?
Can you imagine a demo without music? Me not! It's a need for demos. In a game, there cannot be a music. Some people hate it and when there is an option, they switch it off, but I simply need a music when I play. I don't like games with bad music, although they have brilliant gfx etc..
At present, are you still composing? For professional or leisure purposes?
Of course, pal! People say I'm mega active scener, mainly on Speccy. I don't have any proffesional ambitions. Maybe after some years when I won't be active on scene. I don't have time to devote to anything other, than scene. And I love it. I'm active on three platforms and now starting to explore Amstrad CPC scene. Hehe, and I don't know if I'll give up some day.
What do you think of today's pieces of music such as mpeg,wave,midi,etc...?
I use mpegs for music storing. I don't own ANY music CD, I have only MP3! Wave - pc sound format. What can I say? I use it when I sample on PC. MIDI? I tried to compose in a sequencer and it's shit. It takes much long time to produce a song than when tracking. I don't use it.
Could you tell us some of your all times favourite tunes?
Well, on Ammy I love disco tunes by Jester/Sanity and Moby. Also Tip and Mantronix/Phenomena did cool job. Yeah I love old school!!!!!! On C64 - Laxity, Drax, MSK, Johannes Bjerregaard, Reyn Ouwehand, ... there are lot of cool composers. On Speccy - Agent X, Qjeta, TDM, X-Agon, Imp, Siril, Bell, L.A.Esq, .. all these people made really asskicking tunes! I like jazzy/funky styles rather than techno or dnb, although I made lot of such tunes, mainly for Reason because Lahve/RSN want such style.
Are you planning to make an audio cd with some of your music remastered?
I made one already. Only in about 20 copies. I gave them to my friends. But the response wasn't good. I think it's caused because people don't like such weird styles. It contains really strange trance and techno mainly composed in FastTracker2 on PC. I don't plan to make another CD now, I don't have any new PC tunes and I'm active rather on 8bits and Amiga.
What bands are you currently listenning to?
Hmm, in last days a cool czech funky band called Monkey Bussines gave me lotsa inspiration for music. It's really cool. I like many bands, many styles, like Rammstein, The Prodigy, E!E (czech punk), Znouzectnost (czech punk), Ohm Square (czech dnb), Rage Against The Machine, James Brown, czech hip-hop bands like Nase Vec, Manzele, Indy&Witch... etc, etc...
What does/did the amiga/c64 scene give you?
A lot! The scene is my life, I don't have any other big hobby than scening on computers! Perhaps I'm crazy, people say it often, but I don't care!
Are you still active in the scene these days?
Stupid question! Of course I am!
Anyone to greet? Anything left to say? Feel free...
Heh, well, greetings to my groupmates in Reason, Anubis, Phantasy and K3L. Big hello to Raver/PHT/DCS and Relict/PHT/K3L! I'd like to say only one thing. If you think the scene is dying, why don't you start to make something? Scene is open for you and it's cool! Do you think 8bits, A500 or Atari ST are dead? No way! You're wrong! There are still fans of these oldies, some of them not right on the scene, but who cares. Please, stop throwing filth to old computers. You wouldn't read this without them! All this machines have a soul. PC doesn't.
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