It is not everyday a techno album is released on the Mega Drive but Sega’s blast processing beast certainly has the sonic capabilities to pull it off. Retro Faith was lucky to get an interview with Remute. The techno musician with a love of retro gaming.
For anyone who may not be familiar with your work, please tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
My name is Remute and I am releasing music since 2002. I did some records on major Techno labels like Tresor or Bedrock before switching to my very own Remute label in 2008 where I released hits like ‘Zuendli’. After years of releasing and playing worldwide livegigs I had the feeling that I need to ‘re-invent’ myself. And I think I did exactly this in 2019 with my Mega Drive cart album.
You released a techno album on a Mega Drive cart called Technoptimistic. Where did the inspiration come from?
Since my childhood I’ve been an avid gamer and computer nerd and in fact I still am. Today I am very much into retro games – especially from the 16-bit era. I always liked the music from the Mega Drive games the most because they make use of the very powerful, Yamaha DX7 like, FM-synth built in the console. This gives the Mega Drive a very special cyberpunky feel and I always wanted to make music like this.
Somehow all Mega Drive games, even some golf games, sound like Sci Fi and I really love this. So I was very happy that today’s technology (and my cooperation with two awesome demoscene coders, Kabuto and Exocet) allowed me to produce an album which works in real time.
All tunes, which are actually just a set of instructions and code, from Technoptimistic get played back from the system like sheet music – like an orchestra of robots. It feels so technological and yet so alive. Does it have a soul? Do androids dream of electric sheep? Anyway – I am huge fan of technology and so I am very technoptimistic.
What makes the Mega Drive hardware good to compose techno tracks on?
The Mega Drive has a very special and unique Yamaha FM-soundchip built in. It sounds very cold, very digital, very precise – attributes which I associate with a positive meaning. It sounds like, well,… ‘technological’ music. And ‘techno’ is technological music for me – the folk music of the computer nerd. Being able to control its sound chip with a set of instructions and code makes it the perfect songwriting tool for me, because I rather feel as being a ‘music programmer’ than a musician.
What has the feedback been like?
The feedback has been astonishing! Especially amongst the retro gaming community, it turned out to be a huge worldwide success! I am very happy that Technoptimistic has united gamers and music fans. It’s really the kind of album I wanted to do since the beginning of my career in the early 2000s and its success makes me very proud, happy and grateful!
What are you currently working on?
In December I will release a Technoptimistic CD. Pre-order is already possible at Bandcamp. It’s an additional bonus release to Technoptimistic and features 12 bonus tracks composed using the Mega Drive as a MIDI-synth in conjunction with my oldschool Roland music gear. It will be a mixed mode CD and will feature some interesting data too. The tracks on Technoptimistic CD give a glimpse of how my upcoming live shows in 2020 will sound like as some of them were recorded during live sessions. Stayin’ technoptimistic!
Retro Faith would like to thanks Remote for answering our questions and we cannot wait for the release of the CD.