mind.in.a.box - R.E.T.R.O.

An homage to the days when they sat in front of their C64, baffled by the amazing sounds that came out of it

Spring 1982. The American computer company Commodore releases the first really potent home computer, which impressed the growing computer community with technical specifications like 64 Kilobytes Ram or an 8 bit processor with separate graphic and sound chip units: The Commodore 64.

This device opened a whole new world for home computer users, it became the world’s most popular and successful home computer in the 80ties and still holds that title today. The reason was not only a separate cutting edge graphic accelerator that enabled high resolution gaming and fluent scrolling, but also the unique SID sound chip which was equipped with modern sound effect generators and the capability of a three track polyphonic playback. The result was a new synthetic sound aesthetic which also made the C64 one of the first stand-alone synthetic music production devices.

This unique sound kept ringing in the memory of Austrian Stefan Poiss, founder and singer of Mind.In.A.Box. . He was intrigued by the catchiness and the different sound-design of early computer game classics like “Lightforce” or “Last Ninja 3”. By the age of 12 he started his first steps to compose music on its own on the C64, and even wrote his own sequencer music software for the Commodore to put tracks together himself with more ease.
Fast forward to 2009: Mind.In.A.Box just finished their successful album trilogy “Lost Alone”, in which they redefined electronic music sound design themselves. Their version of Techno Pop gains them sublicenses and successful releases in North America as well as in Russia and built them a respectable fan base on their own.

Now they move back to their own sound design roots with “R.E.T.R.O.”, an homage to the days when they sat in front of their C64, baffled by the amazing sounds that came out of it. On R.E.T.R.O. they cover computer game classics like “Lightforce” or “The Last V8” the Mind.In.A.Box way, and mix them with their own songs that came together when reminiscing about that era: Compositions like the incredibly catchy “8Bit” meets the symphonic “Whatever Mattered”, and deliver an album that holds a neat balance between experiments and the much appreciated quality and identity of what Mind.In.A.Box is known for so far. But most important is, that they manage to combine their own sound design with the fascination of the 80ies videogame soundtrack era.

The CD’s booklet also holds explanations from Stefan Poiss and sidekick Markus Hadwiger on what fascinated them about the Commodore 64 video game video game aesthetics, and how it transformed them into electronic music software creators themselves. As such it also holds interesting insights into what makes Mind.In.A.Box special as an electronic band and why their sound developed the way it did.

As an additional goodie, the booklet holds a code for additional bonus tracks to download from the band’s website.