Reformation is a definitive set of Matt Gray C64 games soundtrack remakes, produced by the acclaimed C64 musician himself.

What do you get?

PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU WANT TO GET DOWNLOAD OF THE LAST NINJA 2 ALBUM JUST RELEASED, YOU SHOULD BACK AT LEVEL 3 or HIGHER.

This project is about two main products.

1) “Reformation”: a five (5) CD remake box set.

  • Disk 1: 10 remakes of my own SID tracks, by me.
  • Disk 2: Another 10 remakes of my own SID tracks, by me.
  • Disk 3: Another 8-10 remakes of my own SID tracks, by me.
  • Disk 4: Audio recordings of six new SIDs, done by me in my own driver: these are imaginary sequels to previous SIDs, such as Dominator 2 or Last Ninja 2 - The Lost Level
  • Disk 5: 9 x C64 remakes: 4 Hubbard, 3 Galway, 1 Huelsbeck, and a remake of one of my SID tracks by Chris Huelsbeck.

Digital download pre-orders get all of the above

(Optional)2)“Last Ninja 2” a standalone picture disk CD with a booklet containing the entire Last Ninja 2 soundtrack remade by me. It will be highly collectible, and it will never be re-pressed.

Digital download of the LN2 album will be available to LN2 CD backers, but not as a pre-order on its own.

Special thanks to Mark Cale at System 3 for kind permission to use images and logos relating to Last Ninja 2, Tusker, Dominator, Vendetta and Bangkok Knights.

An Introduction

In 1986 when I first set out to write music on the Commodore 64, I was mindful of the impressive catalogues from legends like Rob Hubbard and Martin Galway. The SID chip was a fully working synth capable of sounds that even now are impossible on other synths. However, it only had 3 monophonic channels and Rob and Martin pushed it to its limits. They set the bar high.

At the time I wasn't sure if I'd be able break through into games music, let alone compete with them. But after a few early hiccups, 1987 saw my entry into the industry with well received SID tracks including Quedex for Thalamus and Driller for Incentive. Soon, I found my SID music was in demand.

In 1988, I was lucky to have the opportunity to produce the whole soundtrack for System 3's Last Ninja 2, the sequel to a C64 mega-smash. I was given free rein to produce the coolest music I could. The game was an international smash selling millions of units.

But that was then, and I was amazed to discover some 25 years later that there was still a thriving global community of SID and LN2 fans listening to the original tracks, and producing remixes and remakes.

I started to imagine just how far I could have developed my game soundtracks if I had the technology then that was available now. The boundaries were now limitless.

What if I revisited some of the soundtracks and remade them? What if I used elements of the original SIDs but enhanced the areas where I had to compromise originally?

When Chris Abbott of C64Audio.com suggested a Crowdfunded project, I decided on a "trial run" of just one track to demonstrate to both myself and the fans that it could work. The result was "The Central Park Loader Theme 2014 from The Last Ninja 2" https://mattgray1.bandcamp.com/track/central-park-loader-theme-2014-from-the-last-ninja-2

The preview racked up 5,000 plays on Soundcloud in 2 days (a feat normally reserved for much bigger artists and releases). I also received a ton of high praise and messages from fans (thanks!), And so it was that I decided I should take the time to shoot for a bigger project - an extended album of remakes based on my best loved C64 tracks.

"Reformation" will be an extensive album of hopefully-stunning new remakes, featuring all of my best C64 tracks, plus stretch-goal surprises.

Last Ninja 2 gameplay image used with the kind permission of System 3.

What's the track listing going to be like for Reformation?

The track listing will be open to some revision but there will almost certainly be

  • At least 6 tracks from The Last Ninja 2
  • At least 2 tracks from Tusker
  • At least 2 tracks from Dominator
  • Driller
  • Bangkok Knights
  • Hunter's Moon
  • Vendetta
  • Maze Mania
  • Quedex
  • Motocross
  • Treasure Island Dizzy
  • And others

Last Ninja 2 image above used with the kind permission of System 3.

But there are plenty of reward options to add in to your pre-order.

How about this Limited Edition Picturedisk 12" Double Gatefold Vinyl Version?


Last Ninja 2 image above used with the kind permission of System 3.

Or go for the definitive Limited Edition of everything. Just 300 of these will be produced.

Last Ninja 2 image above used with the kind permission of System 3.

What do the production costs involve?

Production costs will obviously include CD mastering and manufacturing, packaging design and production and postage costs. On the recording front I'll be playing a lot of the music myself,but I'll also be utilising various top class session players for certain tracks to provide additional drums, guitars, bass, keys and strings. That not only involves session costs, but also recording studio costs. To keep some costs down I will be mixing the album myself (don't worry I've successfully mixed a number of hit records). Obviously this project will take up the vast majority of my working life for anywhere between 9 to 12 months and like everyone else I have living expenses and bills to pay. Undoubtedly if you the backers are providing the financial means to make this album happen, then I will be required to focus almost exclusively on creating and producing it to the highest standard. That's a full time commitment, but if we can reach the funding goals then I can fulfill that.

And there's more

In addition to my efforts and those of various top level session musicians I will involve in the recording of this album, there will be contributions on the design and artwork front by C64 all round fan Sam (Bitmap Books) Dyer and Trevor Storey. Sam also designed the graphics for this project page and don't they look great?

So the end product will not only sound great - it will also look great.

I'm really looking forward to producing this album. All we need now is for plenty of others to really want to see and hear it happen too.

Thanks

Matt Gray

Artwork Note

All images or logos relating to System 3 games are used with the kind permission of System 3.

Please note that the artwork and designs are place holders and not necessarily the final designs and may differ from those shown on the end product. This obviously applies to the T Shirt reward and LN2 album.

GamesYouLoved

Special thanks to GamesYouLoved who have been major supporter of me and this album project. GamesYouLoved is born out a love of retro games of every description from your childhood. By being reminded of the retro games through images and video, what people say about them and things you were doing at the time, you are unlocking these memories to see, share and enjoy. They love retro gaming!

Sub: www.youtube.com/user/gamesyouloved

Follow: https://twitter.com/gamesyouloved

Facebook: www.facebook.com/gamesyouloved

Website: http://www.gamesyouloved.com/

Funstock are Europe's Number One Retro Gaming Destination and home to products such as the Neo Geo X, Dingoo and JXD handheld. Funstock will be the exclusive retailer for the CD version of the Reformation album.

Follow: https://twitter.com/FunStockGames

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/funstockgames

Website: http://www.funstock.co.uk/

And some acknowledgements to just some of the many other people who have supported and assisted with this project so far.

www.c64audio.com

http://www.bitmapbooks.co.uk/

http://smilastorey.wix.com/trevor-storey

http://www.c64.com

http://www.longplays.org/news.php

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVi6ofFy7QyJJrZ9l0-fwbQ

www.effective-group.com


www.ascapestudios.com

reset.cbm8bit.com

http://theywereourgods.com

http://www.sound-of-games.com/

www.fusionretrobooks.com

www.radio-paralax.de

http://atlantis-prophecy.org

www.slayradio.org

http://scenesat.com/promote

Also special thanks to Chris Abbott, Sam Dyer, Games You Loved, Funstock, Hugh Riley, Trevor Storey, Gerhard Weihrauch, World Of Longplays, Guy Mille, Paul Campbell, Andy Roberts, Michael Stoeckemann, Filipp Issa, Jan Zottmann, Andreas Wallstrom, Ascape Studios, Matt James, Mat "Mayhem" Allen, Kevin Tilley, Paul Morrison, Chris Wilkins, Radio Paralax, Retro Radio, David "Jazzcat" Simmons, John “Ziphoid” Carehag at SceneSat Radio, Slay Radio, Retro Revival Radio, Anthony at Elite Archives and Mat Recardo.


Risks and challenges

Whilst this is a large project to undertake, it's a very achievable goal. Remaking so many tracks will be time consuming, but I have almost 25 years experience in the recording industry and I have a good knowledge of what sort of timescales are needed to accomplish this album. I'm well used to delivering to targets from years in the games industry and through the recording of singles and albums for release. If the funding goal is reached then work will start almost immediately.

For the initial goal of a double CD album with 18-20 tracks, there will be a 7-8 months recording and production schedule. Mixing each track as I go, the final result will be a matter of review and then release.

For the stretch goal of a triple CD album with 30 tracks plus 6 brand new totally original exclusve SID only compositions, a 11-12 month recording and production schedule will be required. To give some idea of SID compositions timescales, all 13 Last Ninja 2 SID's were completed within 3 months of work.

For both goals there will be a month to manufacture and distribute the album.

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    Level 1 - Full quality digital download of all tracks from Reformation, including the tracks from all stretch goals (but not the Last Ninja 2 CD).



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    Level 2 – As Level 1, but with a copy of the Reformation CD album/box-set with booklet. Also includes the pre-shipping digital download of finished tracks. Does not include the Last Ninja 2 CD, but will include all stretch goal tracks.



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    Level 3 – As Level 2, but with an extra Last Ninja 2 soundtrack remake CD (picturedisk) in a thin jewel case. This soundtrack will never be re-pressed, and will be highly collectible.



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    Level 4 - As Level 3 but with an added Special Edition Vinyl 12" Picture Disk of The Last Ninja 2 album which will be signed by Matt.



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