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%% Interview With SIDEWINDER                      by Dionnus Elektronn %%
%%                                         343GJZL@CMUVM.CSV.CMICH.EDU %%
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For the past month, I've seen the "Amiga no good for music" thread 
undulate on comp.sys.amiga.music, and I've mostly ignored it.  
Occasionally, though, I drop in and read a random message just to see if 
anything of worth bubbles up.  Most of the time, its nothing really 
interesting, but this time I noticed something worth commenting on.  The 
question someone asked basically went like this: "Amiga makes it possible, 
huh?  Well, show me at least one professional musician who uses Amigas for
sound in the studio."

Well, awhile back, I sent out a request to Usenet to contact Amiga 
musicians for interviews on what they do in Amiga music.  The response I 
got was pretty satisfying-- about 30 musicians contacted me, and a few 
still trickle in.  I received mail from amateurs, professionals, dabblers,
and experts-- some use the Amiga soley for trackers, others for 
professional video, and one who replied has even been a part of writing 
the music for Lemmings.

My apologies, however, go to the people I contacted, since things here at 
school got a little too hectic for me to really follow through with the 
interviews.  Perhaps I can continue with the interviews over the summer or
next semester.  But, before all that started, I managed to contact at 
least one musician.  His name is Eric Gieseke, otherwise known as 
Sidewinder.

Who's Sidewinder, you ask?  Well, look back through your volumous 
collection of Amiga Report-- and in AR214 you'll find in the news section
an announcement/advertisement of his latest CD, "Future Shock 2."  It was 
produced by Sidewinder himself, using the Amiga for CD quality sound, and
remixed on DAT at Rock House Studios.  Even the cover art was rendered on 
an Amiga 3000!  "Future Shock 1," his previous release, is available on 
cassette soon to be remastered on CD.  To me, all this makes Sidewinder 
fit the description of "professional musician."

Sidewinder's been writing music on the Amiga for about 7 years, starting 
with Sonix 2.0.  ("Really quite pathetic stuff I suppose," he said.)  A 
few years and 50 songs later, he discovered the trackers-- MED 1.1 and 
ProTracker-- while living in Indonesia.  And since 1991, he's released 
about 100 .MODs and has a few more unreleased.  Only about 40 of those 
tunes have been imported to the internet on Aminet, in his own directory
"mods/sidew."  The rest of them reside on the GEnie StarShip BBS.  (And 
I really wish someone would import the rest of them to the internet!  
Hint, hint, hint! =) =) =) )

The kind of music he writes, I think, is amazing.  His .MODs are some of 
the best music I've heard anywhere, let alone on the Amiga.  He tends to
do mostly techno-ish pieces, but to define him by that label is an 
injustice.  His works tend to be pretty danceable but don't exactly fall 
into the same monotony which is the hallmark of a lot of rave and techno 
artists.  He shows a versatility and inventiveness in his songs that I 
really admire, being a rookie in the Amiga .MOD scene.  He takes the 
elements of techno and dance and jazz and world music and swirls them 
all into unique mosaics of style.  From the sweet ambient melodies of 
"Beyond_Dreams" and "Jasmine" to the high energy techno of "Anestesia" 
and "RadioRevolution"-- Sidewinder's works have become featured selections
on my hard drive.  Sidewinder uses the media of the .MOD to its fullest, 
grabbing bits and pieces like samples from the world around him to create
wonderful new sounds.

And speaking of the world around him, Sidewinder himself has been around 
the world.  "I'd say that the WORLD is my best influence since I've 
traveled and lived on every continent in the world other than Antarctica,"
he said.  Also, he mentioned the Amiga .MOD and demo scene as his other 
major inspirations, as well as "real world" techno musicians like Moby, 
Aphex Twin, and Prodigy.  Oh, and throw in the muses of "liquor and pizza"
and you've got a good picture of Sidewinder's inspirations.

Today, 25-year-old Eric Gieseke, a.k.a Sidewinder the Camel Jockey 
Extraordinaire, lives in San Antonio, TX.  You can find him on the staff 
of the GEnie StarShip as the host of the music conference, every Thursday
night @ 10pm EST.  I have no clue where to find his .MODs on GEnie 
StarShip, but as for the internet, try the "/pub/aminet/mods/sidew" 
directory on Aminet.  As for the CD, contact Sidewinder Productions at 
this address:

          SIDEWINDER PRODUCTIONS
          8611 Cape Valley
          San Antonio TX 78227

The disc is about $12.95 plus shipping and handling, and although I 
haven't gotten a copy for myself yet, I'd highly recommend it.  I've 
heard most of the songs on it as .MODs, so I can't wait to hear them 
as studio recordings.