Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Episode #7 - A Tribute to Edwin van Santen

It seemed today would be just another day at the office but then I opened the Commodore 64 Scene Database and noticed a new topic about Edwin van Santen.
First a rumour but later it was confirmed; Edwin van Santen aka EVS/20th Century Composers passed away on May 24th, 2006 due to lungcancer at the age of 32.

The news was recieved almost a month later by the C64 Scene.
Edwin quitted the scene somewhere in 1994 and moved on as a hardcore techno producer and lost contact with the C64 scene.
I'm not that familiar with that side of techno but reading the responses on several forums he was a quite wellknown and successful producer.

Edwin is no more but his music lives on.
He meant a lot for the evolution of the demoscene and inspired dozens of people to start composing on the C64.
That's why I dedicate this podcast to him and his music.

I hope you enjoy this one.
Maybe you discover that he made that tune that you always whistled on the way to school back in the days...

Edwin, rest in peace!


1. So-Phisticated III (Part 3)
2. Eternal
3. Learn it the hard way
4. Big Fun Mix
5. Vlindertjes
6. Spijkerhoek
7. So-Phisticated III (Part 5)
8. Cyberfunk
9. Edwin's Dream
10. Amtrak
11. Phalanx
12. Somewhere Minor

Download the Podcast


Anonymous Falco Paul said...

Hi *

Don't know if many of you remember me, but Edwin an I founded 20cc way back in the midst of the 90's.

Edwin did the music, and I mostly concetrated on the technical bits and pieces (ie: the "music player" software).

Like so many others, I just heard this bad news yesterday. I knew Edwin quite well, as we teamed together to spread the 20CC sound.

Offcourse the sad news came as quite a shock to me, as Edwin was a good friend (we had almost daily contact). He would often call by phone just to let me hear a new tune he had been working on during the day (no email in these early days)!

I can also vividly remember the many times that we were just sitting together with a little "minikey" keyboard (2 octave kid thingie, we didn't had a lot of cash to buy any pro tools). Even though we had no proper gear to work with, you could still really hear the talent that he had. Most of the musical knowledge he had was self tought. Just imagine what would have been possible would he have had full "formal" musical training!

Anyway, I still like to listen to his work nowadays (and not only because of sentimental reasons). Offcourse, some tunes are stronger than others, but there is some very powerfull material out there. I guess we may now consider this work his "heritage" to the scene. Too bad there aren't many conversions of his work on (much of his work is definitly worth remixing).

Although I lost contact with Edwin after "growing up", it's hard to forget him. He was a very extravert personality with a cheeky sense of humour - there was always a good laugh when you were hanging out with Edwin.

Too bad he had to leave us at this young age. My thoughts are with his famility and all his many (old and new) friends.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Edwin was one of the best and for me he will always remain unforgotten. He produced some of my all-time favorite tunes and I was blown away not only once by what he could express with a standard sid chip. His name shall live on and his work shall be praised just as he deserves it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Edwin van Santen composed some of my all-time favourite tunes to which I still love to listen - all those years later ... R.I.P.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am very grieved for his death because he was a good composer but mainly for his young age.

rest in peace Edwin


Anonymous Falco Paul said...

(in addition to my earlier post)

In remembrance of Edwin van Santen

Hi everyone.

I don't know if many of you remember me, but Edwin an I founded 20th century composers (20cc) way back in 1988 or so. I’ve been asked to write an article focusing on Edwin’s work in 20CC, and I gladly accepted the opportunity to write about my memories of Edwin. So I’ve fired up the old SID browser and started up some of Edwin’s tracks - hoping all the good memories come back to me!

Back in ’87 or so I developed a first crude version of the “music player” code (although most ideas were initially ripped from the existing Hubbard / MON ideas). Off course, just a player is not much use just by itself, and (not having met Edwin yet) I was thus actively looking for someone that had some real musical talent. I can’t remember where and how I met Edwin, but it must have been at some copy party. Even though we had a small age gap (I was seventeen, Edwin fourteen) we immediately aligned and shared the same vision as how to proceed onwards.

As the player at that point still had a lot of rough edges (as did our SID knowledge), we decided just to start doing demo tunes and learn as we proceeded. A careful listener can certainly hear the “crude” technology we had in the early days (just listen to one of our first tunes, “Dolphin Force”). However, we worked hard and did a lot of analysis on other tunes and players. If you listen to “I’m your baby tonight” or “Layla mix” (both late ’88) you will immediately notice the huge sound quality improvements we made in that first year.
A special worthnoty track mentioning from these early days is the “PCW tune”, which was a huge hit in the scene. It was part of a compilation demo in order to promote ourselves among game producers on the 1988 London PCW show.

From 1990 onwards we had the player on a very capable level. At that point the code had evolved from a plain rip to a program in which we had implemented a lot of our own ideas and visions (including sample playing, double speed playing, dynamic envelopes & range, auto swing, humanizing and more). Just listen to a track as “Scratching Zwaantjes” (’90) – the sound quality is awesome. I don’t think it gets a lot better on a SID.

Overall, Edwin was the main composer. It was my job to mostly concentrate on the technical bits and pieces (mostly improving the music player). I was also in charge of the end mixing and sound design (though I did publish some tracks of my own).

I quit the “active” scene somewhere in 1991 or so, but Edwin continued for a few more years and did not exit before 1995. If you listen to a track such as “Fire intro” (’93) you can definitely hear the huge improvements Edwin had made in his composing. Amazing how much someone can accomplish in just a few years! You’ve got to remember that Edwin had no formal musical teaching. He was basically self thought (apart from some elementary guitar playing skills he had). However, one has to note that a lot of Edwin’s family members were very musical as well. The apple apparently does not fall very far from its tree!

So let’s go back a bit in time, and see how 20CC evolved. Our “strategy” was to partly partner/align with well known demo/cracking groups (supplying them with exclusive tracks), and partly to release music on our own “label”. We most certainly wanted to do game music in order to make some cash and widen the audience. However, our efforts in obtaining contracts for game music development didn’t really work out very well due to many reasons (school and parental objections being two very important ones of them).

Some well known / successful tunes we released in the early years were conversions from popular tracks such as “Air wolf”, “Big Fun”, “Blue Monday”, “Children Songs V2”, “Popcorn” and off course the much used “Top 40 Mega mix” (all tunes originating from 1988).

Since the conversions were fun to do, and were used a lot in demo’s (boosting our fame), we decided to release a few conversions every year. It seemed to work quite well for us, as we got a lot of requests and positive feedback on these tracks. Well known releases were “Spykerhoek” (1989), “Final Axel”, “Take on me”, “I just don’t have the heart”, “Groove is in da heart” (all 1990), “Killer” (1991), “All that she wants” (1992), “Talentar bells” (aka Tubular Bells) and “This is your life” (both 1993).

If you have a spare minute, do play “Groove is in da heart” - as I think this is the very best conversions ever made on a C64! Another hit conversion was the Mega Mix II track, a mix of famous C64 tunes (’89).

But it certainly wasn’t just conversions that we did. Some of Edwin best work (in my humble opinion) is “A trip into EV Space” (’94), “Roodkapje” (’93), “Cosmic Cyclon” (’91), “Edwin’s dream”, “Just Cool” (’90), “Eternal”, “Revolution” (both ’89) and the before mentioned “Fire Intro”. Some of my personal favorites are “Learn it the hard way” (’90) and “Paradise” (’91) - good compositional work, and very typical for his “melodic style”.

My personal ever favorite track is “Somewhere Minor”, a composition in a minor scale done in 1990. The underlying chord progressions are wonderful, and the intro is extremely powerful (and again a typical signature of Edwin’s melodic movements). Looking back, I think the compositions he did in minor tone scales were among his best. Too bad there aren't many remakes of his work (see Much of his work is definitely worth remixing…

An especially remarkable tune is the “Vlindertjes” track, an absolutely great track that was originally composed in 1988 for the PCW show demo pack. The disk with this track was stolen from Edwin on some copy party shortly after the PCW show. The tune became very well known as it was used extensively in the “Papillion” intros - albeit in a copycat version by another author!
The melody in the Papillion intro is almost identical to Edwin’s track. There is also a later remake (using a different sound set) called “Vlindertjes V2” by Edwin, done in 1990 just for fun.

A good example of our partnering with demo groups is the “Sophisticated III” series of tracks. This set of seven (!) tunes was exclusively composed for the Blackmail demo group.
The Sophisticated III demo had a huge impact in the scene due to the powerful combination of new coding techniques (FLI), superb graphics and music. There is also a unique loader track (with samples) where the ‘user’ may mix the tune too its own liking.

Something not many people know is that I also worked extensively with Reyn Ouwehand, as Reyn lived very close to me. Reyn used the 20CC player with my explicit approval, and I editted a lot of his work. Off course, Edwin was aware of my relationship with Reyn, and he wasn’t to enthusiastic about it. I hoped Reyn would one day join 20CC, but Edwin wasn’t to crazy about this idea. Reyn was the superior composer of the two (with many years of formal training and a very impressive studio), so I could understand that Edwin felt a bit threatened by Reyn…
It certainly meant I had to carefully maneuver between the two!

An interesting (though also not well known) fact is that certain sound sets I created initially for Reyn were later used by Edwin in his tunes. For example, just listen to the striking resemblance between sounds in Reyn’s “Super Trucker” (’91) and Edwin’s “Retteket” (same year).
Edwin used the almost identical soundset I had initially developed for Reyn’s work on the Super Trucker game. Off course Reyn also used some of the sound sets I had initially created for Edwin…

After Edwin quit the C64 scene he became a DJ / producer, mainly focusing on (hardcore) house music and working under the synonym “DJ Perpetrator”. He co formed the “Floor Control” company, hosting four (vinyl) labels and different artists. Check out for a good overview of his later work. Some well known vinyl releases by Edwin are “World of Shit”, “Maniacs”, “The power”, “Ill Behavior”, “The Strong Survive”, “Store & Forward”, “Arena Creations” and “Come and Test Me” and “The DJ rocks”. Other well known releases are “Pumpin’ Correctly “, “Push em up” and “Pumpinfinity”. It’s fair to say that Edwin is generally considered one of the better early (hardcore) house producers.

I learned about Edwin’s passing in the midst of june 2006. As I knew Edwin so well (teaming together to spread the 20CC sound) the news came as quite a shock to me. Although we lost contact after we both became “adults”, Edwin had most certainly been a good friend of me.
Although I lost contact with Edwin after "growing up", it's hard to forget him. He was a very extravert personality with a cheeky sense of humor - there was always a good laugh when you were hanging out with Edwin.

He would often call by phone just to let me hear a new tune he had been working on during the day (no email in these early days)! I can still envision the weird looks on the face of my mom when she heard the weird high pitched sounds coming from the phone! But it was quite common in these days, as Edwin always wanted to know how I felt about a tune.

I can also vividly remember the many times that we were just sitting together with a little "mini keys" keyboard (a simple four octave kid thingy - we didn't have the cash to buy pro tools). Even though we had no proper gear to work with, you could still really hear the talent that he had. As said, most of the musical knowledge he had was self taught. Just imagine what would have been possible would he have had full "formal" musical training!

Anyway, I still like to listen to his work nowadays, and not only because of sentimental reasons. Certainly, some tunes are stronger than others, but there is some very powerful material out there. I guess we may now consider this work his "heritage" to the scene. We should remember Edwin as a talented composer that has done so much for the progression of C64 music.
Too bad he had to leave us at this young age.

My thoughts are with his family and all his many (old and new) friends.


Note: all mentioned SID tunes are available from the HVSC, and playable with the SID player

Anonymous Magda said...

Thank you Falco for your comment; you must remember me...Edwins mother. I tried to send you a personal mail but it couldn't be delivered.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Magda ... My condoleances. I found out this terrible "news" when I visited my parents last week in Linschoten. I found it my duty to pass this on to the "scene" where alot of people really care about Edwin and the work he has done. Edwin and I lost concact long time ago but it still was a shock. I really hung alot at your place back in da days and somehow I think Edwin was like a brother to me. He introduced me to the Commodore 64 scene and we really had some good times. The last time I spoke with him was in 1997 I believe and later, online for one occasion. Even then, Falco said this as well, he's not the kind of person you would just forget. It's same we just can't catch up anymore. Edwin, you'll live through I wont forget you. Magda Joyce Micha and all the people who have been close to my, my utmost condoleances.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

ahum I mean its a shame ofcourse .. can someone edit this .. sorry :$

Anonymous Anonymous said...

and it should be close to Edwin ..

Anonymous Magda said...

Thank you Henri, you must be Henri B. I do remember those days, long time ago, very well. Very often I had a lot of "children" in my house to make music together. It's over....forever!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is Analog-X of Remix64.

Just wanted to give my condoleances, although I did not know Edwin personally. I was/am a fan of he's music. He's passing is a tragedy.

He left a legacy with all the great music which will live on in the HVSC Collection. He will be in our memorys forever.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like all the background info Falco has shared with us, I wonder if he could submit them to the HVSC Collection to be included in the STIL.txt file.

Blogger mahtiaivo said...


Anonymous Joyce said...

Thank u all for your comments..!!
It's good 2 C how you all have such good memories of Edwin.

Just wanted 2 thank U!!

Joyce (Ed's Girl)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Edwin will be missed. Stan of Hitmen.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my God, not you Eddi :(((((((
Can´t believe it. Just 32 Years Old.
Still remember the Times with you in Venlo and Uetrecht. God Damned, just the Best die Young, and you where one of the Best.

Hell i´m down ..... no more words ....


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Scout,

just put the EVS Episode on my MP3 Player for my running exercise... Good choice of tunes! l8r mate!

Stan of Hitmen/BRAINfART

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have listened to the music of the C64 since I was an 11 year old kid. Like a lot of people keeping the scene alive, and it will live on with those who made it great becoming legends of their time.

My sincere condolences to Edwins family.

Mike Palmer - AKA the_architect

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My condoleances Magda.

R.I.P. brother ...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having just heard the news of Edwin’s too early departure yesterday night 30-08-2006 I was literally shocked and vaguely slept for maybe only 2 hours..

Sadly I never met Edwin personally, so was never able to express my appreciation to his and Falco Paul’s work in the past, yet no words can describe the impact his sid music has made on my life ever since 1988! It was a part of my childhood, is still a part of my adolescent life and will be in my memories forever!

To me personally Edwin’s music was the break of a new dawn, the perfect example of the ‘second generation’ sid artists that managed to reach a far wider audience in the general c64 public then his predecessors with an authentic sound, perfectly fine tuned sounds, smooth melodies and sigh.. need I say more?

Well actually yes I do.. I of course realize that Edwin can no longer read this text, however I would just like to write what I would have liked him to know:

Thank you so much Edwin for all the hours you must have spent in your short life to surprise, overwhelm and entertain us!

Even though I must assume that you would probably known that the c64 scene never forgot about you, especially after releasing ‘A trip into E-V-Space’ in 1994, I just can’t help but wonder if you ever realized the impact that you have made in the lives of so many people? It is so tremendously rare that at the age between boy and young man someone makes such an impact and leaves such a rich legacy for fans of past, current and future!

Years ago I vaguely heard that you had stepped into the hardcore music genre after your c64 career and were successful and respected for your work. Reading Falco Paul’s text and later finding a topic on the website dedicated in your memory actually put a small smile on my face, realizing that you must have felt the pleasure of direct feedback from a live audience as apposed to fans knowing your work from afar.

I hope it is a small condolence for your loved ones and friends alike that you will, without a doubt, definitely be remembered for a very long time to come! Looking at today’s day and age it would not surprise me at all if your work on the c64 and music productions in later life will surpass us all!

Thank you for changing my life with your creativity!

Tim Harris
(a.k.a. Bordeaux/Active on C64)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also someone might be interested in these bookmarks concerning Edwin:

The above mentioned partyflock forum dedication page for Edwin Van Santen (aka DJ Perpetrator): (dutch only)

Link to Edwin’s SID music: (general link to entire hvsc collection)
or this url to download as separate files:

Link to sidplay2 which is a program needed to play sid-music files on any windows PC computer:

Link to Vandalism News #47 which dedicated their 47th issue to Edwin and also includes the large post written by Falco Paul:

Link to winvice which is a program needed to run C64 programs (such as the above issue #47) on a windows PC computer:

Link to modern sound remixes of Edwin’s sid musics:
(currently 3 available but more will surely follow, playable in any mp3 program)

Anonymous Heiko said...

Hi Magda,

I just came across this site and I was blown away, Edwin gone??
I don’t know what to say….
I have a lot of fond memories of the times I spend with Edwin back in the days that I lived across the street at the Muskeinplantsoen.
My hart goes out to you and you family.
I will never forget him.


Anonymous WhiteWolf said...

My condolenances to Al friends family and people who cared about Edwin
Ive got loads of respect for this great musican and he stil is a great inspiration for me and bringing back old memories

ive made a special Chipdisc production dedicated to Edwin and Falco

And more oldskool productions with 20CC music can be downloaded here

I wish you al the best of luck with carrying this lost

Gr33tz and Respect Whitewolf

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just downloaded the new HVSC and found out about Edwin playing 20cc music (It's mentioned in his songs).

Met Edwin at a copy-party in Veenendaal (WWE Party, I think it lasted 3 days) He was sitting next to me. I knew of course 20CC but had never met him in person.

A nice thing for Falco to know is that Reyn (I met him with Dave Hogendorf from Scoop Designs) told us that the 20CC player was much easyer than the MON (Maniacs of Noise) to operate. He didn't want to use the MON Player anymore!

On the end I want of course give all my love and good wishes to the family of Edwin and wish them better luck in the future1

BRUCE (Shamrock and lots more)

Patrick van Leeuwen

Blogger vigo said...

damn!... rest in peace bro... we love you... vigo/bronx

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