The Sultans of SID: #5, Chris Hülsbeck

Our fifth SID sultan of our Advent Calendar

From yesterday, our little clue was:

His most famous work is the soundtrack for Turrican.

Today’s musician behind the calendar door is…

Chris Hülsbeck

Chris Hülsbeck hails from Germany, from the city of Kassel. He first cut his teeth into computer music with a competition entry in a German computer gaming magazine. After winning First Prize for his composition entitled Shades he joined the software house, Rainbow Arts.

Whilst there, he wrote the theme music to Great Giana Sisters. Which, thanks to successful legal action by Nintendo was deleted (it looked too much like Super Mario Brothers). The theme music to Turrican and Turrican II: The Final Fight are his most famous compositions.

Essential Tunes

i. Shades

Chris wrote this piece when he was seventeen, back in 1986. What is all the more astounding is the maturity of the piece. It sounds like anything that wouldn’t have been out of place in a full price title.

ii. Katakis

Katakis or R-Type, which is better? Understandably, there is a Harry Hills TV Burp style feud, but Activision wasn’t too impressed with Katakis‘ similarity to R-Type. In this piece, Chris’ synthesized slap bass sets it apart from many shoot-em-up in-game music of that era.

iii. Turrican II: The Final Fight

For this piece, Chris pushed the ADSR envelope a great distance. Throughout the whole of this game’s music, thunderous percussion sounds give the illusion of there being more than three channels. Compared with the 16 bit version, there is more warmth from the sounds of the 6581 or 8580 SID chip.

Tomorrow’s Sultan of SID…

Once again we shan’t divulge who our next SID legend is, but we can give you a clue. The clue is as follows:

Take a letter, Mr. Lazy Jones.

All will be revealed tomorrow.

S.V., 05 December 2016.

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