UNCLE ART: Amiga / Atari / C64 Game Music Original & Remade project video thumbnail
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£8,106 pledged of £20,000 goal
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£8,106 pledged of £20,000 goal
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About this project

In the 80s and 90s, my dad Dave Lowe who also went under the name 'Uncle Art' made music for computer games. His techniques were pioneering in his constant quest to not let the music be compromised by technology. He even had vocals on the Atari ST's AY chip which was thought impossible because the AY chip was incapable of sampling, instead he used bespoke look-up table to squash the fully studio recorded audio into a 4 bit sample and used the machine's volume controller of 0-15 to move the speaker cone equivalently to the 4 bit sample to create the music he'd recorded. And that's how you were able to hear "STAAAAARGLIDER" singing out of your Atari ST in 1987! More information about the technical achievements of Uncle Art Music can be found on our website here.

Some of his famous game titles include:

Starglider 1 & 2

Carrier Command

Elite 2: Frontier & Elite 3

Street Fighter 2 (Amiga Custom Conversion)

IK+ (Amiga conversion original composer: Rob Hubbard)

Beneath A Steel Sky

Afterburner

Microprose Formula One Grand Prix

I know these games and the music that accompanied them (often as a separate cassette to play along with the game - ahh those were the days!) are held in a special place to some people - myself included! As someone who was games testing for my dad since I was 9, I'm a gamer through and through, but there's something really special about the music in particular to those early games. People on the internet and in person when they find out who my dad is always ask these 2 questions:

"Can I get a copy of the original music but high quality?" (often DJ friends ask this!) 

and

"Are you going to remake the tracks?"

Well now these questions can be answered with a yes to both! We decided to enter the Uncle Art attic and dig out the old Amiga and ST and see what we've got on there! We struck gold!

We're going to release a double album called 'A Temporal Shift' - the first disc is basically a bonus free disc that will have original pieces of music run straight from the source code (where applicable) of the old computers themselves and mastered so they sound as good as they possibly can with no damage to the quality of them! The real project is in the second disc: we're going to get in the studio and remake a bunch of the tracks for the second disc!

The first bonus disc will have as much stuff as we can fit on it that Uncle Art worked on, so it's basically a 'collected works' of the original stuff my dad wrote or did the conversions for. The second disc - the remakes, will have roughly 12-14 tracks-worth of remade music from all platforms and they will be tracks that my dad wrote.
This will most likely include remakes of:

Elite Frontier - main and second themes
After Burner
Starglider 1
Starglider 2
Carrier Command
Incredible Shrinking Sphere (ISS)
Night Shift
Rasputin
Formula 1 Grand Prix
Midwinter 2

Any backers can tell us which tracks they'd like to hear in particular and we'll update you as we go with which tracks are on there. Please note the teaser you can hear on the video is only short pieces interwoven as a showcase of different styles and tunes that we're talking about for this project. On the album each piece will be much longer, although we may still choose to interweave some of them. 

The remakes are particularly exciting to us. What my dad was always trying to do was to not let technology limit the music, which is why there were vocals and reggae breakdowns and melodies that stay with you forever! Generic was never in the Uncle Art ethos! And now - we have all the scope in the world! Between the two of us we play nearly every live instrument going and we are sooo psyched about creating tracks that do the compositions proper justice. I'm talking Pink Floyd-esque atmospheres of meta-galactic space and orchestrations to bring down Jericho and all manner of mad things to splatter about in there! We might even take some of the chip-tune stuff from the C64 and sample it in, use banjos and harpsichords and trash cans and filthy bass sounds and intricate vocal harmonies and counterparts. The possibilities are just limitless and we're really looking forward to showing people what we can do today!

A Temporal Shift will be pressed on a special Kickstarter limited edition CD and Vinyl. We're only going to press the number of people who have backed it in Kickstarter, so having this limited edition CDs and Vinyls shows that you backed it from the beginning. There will be a high quality download. 

There are also Uncle Art Music t shirts in the rewards (we wear ours in the studio all the time, sad as we are!) 

Uncle Art T Shirt as worn by me in the studio (before the heater kicked in!)
Uncle Art T Shirt as worn by me in the studio (before the heater kicked in!)

There are also special rewards for any Amiga enthusiasts - see the reward for more info!

We are really keen to have mind-blowingly good presentation for the CD and Vinyl so the artwork is really important to us. We're quite open to who we work with at this point in time, so if you think you might be the right artist for this job and have a passion for this kind of industry, please get in touch. We may well showcase some of our favourite artwork and let the backers vote for what they'd choose. 

********************************STRETCH GOAL*******************************

ELITE FRONTIER THEMES DONE WITH REAL ORCHESTRA!

If we reach £xxx (budget still being confirmed) we are going to record the Elite Frontier main theme and theme 2 with the Chamber Orchestra of London at Abbey Road. Just as it should sound if it were in Elite today. 

**************************************************************************************

PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD.......

IT'S JUST ANOTHER MISSION!!!

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NEWS!

++++ Interview with 'They Were Our Gods' about the project here!

++++ Discussion on the brilliant Lave Radio (Elite Fan Podcast) about              the project in the last ten minutes here!

Risks and challenges

The only pitfalls I can really see is that there are a few tracks we found on the Amiga that we don't necessarily know exactly which game they are from. My dad is notoriously terrible at naming projects properly on file and it's not surprising that when trawling through the Amiga's hard drive there are quite a few tracks called "demo 1" and "rough demo 2" even though they are the finished track! One thing we thought about doing is to put bits of them up on the internet on here or our website maybe and ask people to try and identify them! You might still have the game and be able to definitely identify what track is what! We know for sure some of them, but I'd hate to be tied down to saying exactly what track is what. So it would be great if you guys were able to help us too! Anyone able to positively identify the tracks who has also pledged toward the project will be named in the booklet of the CD and vinyl!

We're pretty confident this project should take us about 4 months but we will allow 6 in case we have any delays with the pressing and shipping side of things. The money we raise has been worked out to cover our costs of artwork, pressing, printing, t shirts, shipping and of course just enough money so we're able to afford not to have to take on other projects and gigs full time throughout the time we're working on A Temporal Shift so we can get it out on time. There are two of us so we can work creatively but also productively but this also means there's two sets of bills need paying! The money also covers the costs of any session musicians we need to bring in (drummers, string players, brass) and other studios we may need to hire for these. Our Uncle Art studio is top spec but physically small so when it comes to drum kits and strings we tend to work in other bigger studios for the sessions which we have to pay for.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About $1.52

    Instant Karma's gonna get you!

    Maybe that traffic warden turn a blind eye to you being 5 minutes over parked, Maybe you'll find a shopping trolley already with the pound coin in it!

    Just to show your support and we thank you enormously for it!

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    Pledge £10 or more About $15

    Full high quality digital download of A Temporal Shift

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    Pledge £25 or more About $38

    Full high quality digital download of A Temporal Shift

    Kickstarter Limited Edition Double CD of A Temporal Shift.

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    48 backers
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    Pledge £30 or more About $46

    Full high quality digital download of A Temporal Shift

    Signed Kickstarter Limited Edition Double CD of A Temporal Shift. Signed by Dave Lowe.

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    Pledge £35 or more About $53

    Full high quality digital download of A Temporal Shift

    A Temporal Shift Kickstarter Limited Edition Double CD of A Temporal Shift.

    Plus Uncle Art Music T Shirt

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £40 or more About $61

    Full high quality digital download of A Temporal Shift

    SIGNED COPY A Temporal Shift Kickstarter Limited Edition Double CD of A Temporal Shift. Signed by Dave Lowe.

    Plus Uncle Art Music T Shirt

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    Pledge £55 or more About $84

    Full high quality digital download of A Temporal Shift

    Kickstarter Limited Edition Double CD of A Temporal Shift

    Uncle Art Music T Shirt

    PLUS limited edition Kickstarter double 12" Vinyl with artwork of A Temporal Shift.

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    Pledge £60 or more About $91

    As £55 reward but the CD and the Vinyl will be signed by Dave Lowe.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge £150 or more About $229

    AMIGA ENTHUSIAST LEVEL!

    EVERTHING plus you get THREE TRACKS via a copy of the source code from the Amiga of the original games music. It wasn't done on tracker modules but on a bespoke machine code driver that Dave Lowe had written himself making it very difficult to reverse engineer. This was written on Devpac 2. The source code will supplied on a signed floppy disk.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge £250 or more About $381

    SIT IN ON THE MIX!

    Come join us in the studio on a mixing day (mixing days often turn into re-recording days as we decide we hate everything on there and start again!). Hearing the tracks blasting out of the NS10 speakers at full volume can be pretty exciting. Be a part of the creative mix vibe!

    You of course get all of the rewards under this level too.
    Your name will also be added to the credits as 'Mix Consultant'.

    The studio is near Scarborough, North Yorkshire (nice fish and chips and great arcade machines on the seafront!)

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge £2,000 or more About $3,049

    EVERYTHING including the source code reward if you want it, PLUS Uncle Art Music (Dave and Holly) will compose a piece of music for you. You can specify whether you would like the music to be coded on the Amiga for the unique retro sound or something fresh from the recording studio. You can use this piece of music in a game or a film or just to have as a work on its own and the publishing will be split 50/50 between yourself and Uncle Art. You can give a brief including the film or game you would like it for as you would normally to a composer, or if you want it on its own you can give as much or little of a brief as you like! The track will be sent direct to you as a high quality wav on a flash drive or as Source Code for an Amiga game.

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Funding period

- (45 days)