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Alive 10
Just Musix 4

                    The tale of an epically delayed epic!
                  Maturing in the cellar as long as Heftig!

Wave  upon  wave  of demented music demo makers,  march  cheerfully  out  of
obscurity  into  the dream,  as Pink Floyd might have put it,  if they  were
aware of the demoscene and music compilation disks.

As  they  weren't,  it  is  up to us to give an account  of  this  huge  and
definitely Falcon-orientated music collection, sitting years in the waiting.

Now this is the fourth in the 'Just Musix' series,  a collection designed to
cater for the larger and more ambitious multi-channel module,  as opposed to
the  smaller 'Chippin' for Air' series of chipsound collections.  (Who still
has nightmares from that Toodeloo on the toilet intro sequence?!)

The  original  intention  was to fix a release date for  1998,  but  various
events  overtook  this,  including a digression into CT2 acceleration,  then
fixing the Graoumf sound sources to run on it, and then followed a crisis of
making  the  updated source run decently on a standard  Falcon.  Eventually,
many years later,  one of the co-collaborators,  505, reminded DHS that this
collection  was still unfinished business,  and so they motivated themselves
to get it out of the door at last, in 2005.

In  keeping with the high ambitions of the project,  the download size is on
the large size, around 9 meg, which is big for a Falcy demo, or about 30-odd
minutes pleasant chat on atariscne irc channel,  whilst it quietly downloads
in the background on a 56k connection.

Unzipping it reveals an impressive total of 28 modfiles, as well as separate
standard  and  accelerator friendly executables.  Yes,  DHS have managed  to
sidestep  the  question  of  unfriendly  replay  code,  by  making  separate
versions. The standard program has a menu selector and timer, and that's it.
The  accelerator  friendly  version also has  a  semi-transparent  graphical
swirling  effect on the menu,  and a scroller infotext at the bottom of  the
screen. It also gets a full replay rate of 50khz too. Of course, the overall
look and feel is very refined, higher res, and high quality. There was a bit
of  nervousness with the CT60,  as it seems some machine's don't like either
version,  unless you turn the processor cache off beforehand. In practice, I
didn't  get any problems,  but then again,  I've not played every tune right
through to the end yet.

We  are  really here for the music,  and this aspect does not disappoint.  A
variety  of rich full-bodied multi-channel tunes are on show here,  anything
up  to sixteen channels each,  with the full range of effects that the  .GT2
standard can support.

This  collection  is a bit of a memorial,  as 'dead' artistes like  Toodeloo
feature  prominently,  his clear and concise techno style,  varied with some
nice  'slow'  piano based tracks,  is a treat on the ears.  We also get some
musical  treats from Mr Future and Opus,  and the distinctive ravey  'PC-XM'
sound of Cedyn gets in here too.

Currently active musicians are here too,  with a big input from 505. His own
distinctive style familiar from later efforts on Ace Tracker is  represented
here.  Of course,  it all sounds great, a true hi-fidelity aural experience,
of  the sort that the Falcon can deliver to perfection,  and don't take this
the wrong way,  a refreshing change from the deluge of more recent soundchip
based work. (Even though these are cool too.)

With  Just Musix 4,  we have a vastly delayed chairbreaker of a music  demo,
which  might  actually  be  timely in its delayed  release,  thanks  to  the
difference  from  the current soundchipped run of music  stuff.  The  Falcon
modfile sound revival starts here! Ace Tracker music colly anyone?"

It's an epic!
Does full justice to the Grauomf way of making music.
Accelerator friendly version.
Good overall design and presentation.
The music has not dated, demo overall has aged well.

It's a huge download (ah well, can't be helped.)
Damn, it's late!
There's a little sadness in realising that some contributing artistes are
'dead' on the scene.

CiH, for Alive Mag,March '05..

Alive 10