The Sultans of SID: #17: Allister Brimble

Our seventeenth SID sultan of our Advent Calendar

From yesterday, our little clue was:

This Amiga tunesmith started out on the Commodore 64 with Codemasters. Spellbound? You would be.

Firstly, the musician became more famous for his work for Team 17 on the Amiga. Secondly, ‘Spellbound’ refers to one of the Dizzy games (Spellbound Dizzy of course). His C64 contribution is worthy of recognition.

Our seventeenth Sultan of SID is…

Allister Brimble

Born in Westminster, Allister is a trained musician himself. He took up piano lessons at the age of seven, then put them to good use on another type of keyboard: a ZX Spectrum keyboard. Later, a 128k Spectrum and a Commodore 64. Then, after the death of a family member and £100 from the will, that went towards an Amiga. Part of that was funded by selling his older machines.

His Amiga tunes are brilliant, but his work on the Commodore 64 is overlooked, as it was close to its commercial twilight. Now in Devon, he forms one half of OMD with Anthony Putson: Orchestral Media Developments. They specialise in the composition of video games music, which is a world away from the SID chip.

Essential Tunes

i. Spellbound Dizzy

Of the Dizzy games, the background music is the most immersive of all. This establishes what seemed to have been the Brimble sound on the C64: synth woodwind instruments and a gloriously melodic piece to boot.

ii. Seymour Goes To Hollywood

Whereas Dizzy was placed in fantasy settings, the loveable white spud, Seymour, was placed in real world settings. This tune is a lush composition which demands greater recognition.

iii. Terry’s Big Adventure

Shortly after Rainbow Arts had to withdraw The Great Giana Sisters from the shelves, the Shades software house released Terry’s Big Adventure. Sounding rather NES-esque was Allister’s composition, though with hints of Cheri’s Murphy’s Law.

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:

His first C64 score was for ICUPS, which he wrote at the age of fifteen.

All will be revealed tomorrow.

S.V., 17 December 2016.

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