The Finnish scene from a Byterapers perspective
Those days on early C-64 scene were very special in my life.
It was time of founding one's inner self, of creating something
new that nobody had no previous experince, of creating SCENE.
I think myself as 2nd generation Scene-dude. Generation 0 was
those dudes on Apple II, for whom I feel utmost respect,
who invented it. When C-64 was released, the idea of groups
was adapted and the Generation 1 followed the Generation Zero
idea of founding groups. Generation 1 also invented, THE DEMO.
They were people with ideas, the pathfinders. FCS, later as FCS/Finnish
Gold, 1001 Crew and so on, from 1982 forward, are the Heroes.
Back then they were everything in existence, but they gave
us the example. Generation 2, my Generation, started
coming into existence during 1985, when some basics had been
set. We didn't really invent anything, since we already had
seen examples, but our generation pushed the idea forward.
Naturally, we didnt know it, but it just happened.
Please let me tell about the early Finnish scene, since
I think I'm one of the few ones still around to tell about it.
There ARE others, Gallstone / Finnish Gold and April7 / Digitize
Design Group, but dammit its my keyboard so I speak now :-)
After founding Byterapers, we started creating (B) productions.
Those were, cracks and intros. Kasper was the Coder himself,
the great and Oh So Talented One. I was the pusher, making
him to do things. Kasper was so lazy tho. (I even bribed
him, once with booze, once with chocolade, to code :)
During first months we for example translated the older
Kasper Systems (non-byterapers, before (B)) intros to Byterapers
intros. And I so happily o so happily spread them :-)
Finnish scene? Was there one? Well, one kind of. But very small.
Let's say that during 1987, with our lousy intros and some
cracks we quite fast managed to get ourselves into Scene.
We werent many, nobody was really good, but Byterapers
managed to show some talent and got into the circles since
we really had something to show about ourselves. I remember
when I contacted the bunch of guys later known as Z-Circle
(if it doesnt say anything, poor ya, Z-Circle was one of
the dominant groups in Finnish scene 1987-1988, and was
even well known by their time), one of them, Euku The Maker,
wondered why they had never heard of us since we had made
"so good intros". Heh :-) Ok, intros were maybe surprising
good in their time :-)
Early Finnish scene. HOW small it was? It was SO small that
it all fit into one house.
Really! Really! I was there! And so were everybody else!
It was the Jezebels Union copyparty, arranged by Finnish Gold.
In those good days of Jezebels, the Union that was combining
all good groups into one big organization. Jezebels. A dream
that didnt last long.
First about the party. It happened in Vaajakoski, near Jyväskylä,
and there were maybe 40 people. EVERYONE was there. 29-31.12.1987,
plus minus one day. Practically nobody had seen each other
before. That that weekend forged the basics for Finnish scene.
The Real Scene. The Scene where groups knew each other, where
members knew other group's member at least by name. Time when
Scene was so small you KNEW everybody, personally. That weekend,
dreams were forged, friendships were made to last, and
the cornerstone for Finnish Scene Legends was laid.
Friendships? I don't feel ashamed when telling that I miss that
weekend, that time. It was a big cornerstone in my life too.
Many of those people I met then are dug into my most inner
soul, as people who have shared this Experience of EARLY scene
with me. Most are gone, from most I don't know anything anymore,
but there are some who ARE alive. Ahh, and let me say that
FCS/Finnish Gold still lives, not in scene, but his LITTLE BROTHER
is a seeming figure in today's Finnish PC-scene :-) Lemming/Orange.
Dreams? During that weekend we were flying high. We met those
people we had only known from letters, phonecalls and the SO FEW
AND SCARCE intros/demos. Finnish Gold were still a member of
The Austrian Union, and released a demo there. Finnish Gold released
their first Amiga demo, which was the first ever FINNISH AMIGA DEMO.
Digitize Design Group showed their new digimixes, and paved their
way into the high grounds of DIGIMUSICS. The X-Men, this
legendary group on Amiga, the 1st famour Finnish Amiga-group,
came and demonstrated their releases. Byterapers released their
new intro, that was to dominate our cracks during next 4 months -
and get us more contact letters than any other product ever,
relatively. And we made friends.
Cornerstone? During that weekend we made friends, we proved each
other that we could really do things, we created atmosphere that
gave every group a feeling of competition, rivalry. We created
atmosphere where we tried to best each other, make things more
and better than others. And because we had made friends, it was
friendly competition. There were harsh words later, and Byterapers
vs Finnish Gold hard competed and claimed the no:1 place of
Finnish groups. Which was afterwards looking pointless, but
it felt important back then. FIG were great at demos, (B) was
great at cracking. We were in different league, but anyway
tried to best each other. Oh well. FIG challenged us to
demo-competition, in their demo "The Challenge". Idea?
Well, FCS/FIG was best Finnish coder. Kasper/(B) was recognized 2nd
best. So we were supposed to make demo and compete them.
It never really happened, but I'm sad to say, Kasper/(B) was
in fact CODING the competition-demo to challenge FIG - and we
had a chance! Unfortunately, Kasper never finished his demo,
as happened to most of his works during his career. I still have
faint memories what it looked like, and in my o so faint memories
the demo looked o so beautiful, so wonderful, so special.
It it had been finished, I think it would still be one of the
most legendary releases ever in scene-history. Unfortunately... it wasnt.
Cornerstone? Uhm, I got a bit carried away. Feel sorry for old
(sceneterm :-)) man who gets lost in his memories.
Cornerstone? Oh yep. During that weekend we created the real
basics for Finnish scene. Which was: STAY DRUNK!
:-) Hell, there wasnt that many sober guys in that party.
Gallstone/Finnish GOld was like a train, every 15 minutes he
crawled to toilet, puked and crawled back. I even watched
from my watch. He had a puke schedule :-) Kasper/(B) was found
passed out in very same toilet. Sardon/(B) was thrown out of
window. Etc. I even have pictures of whole party. ALl of them :-)
Except dammit me as I took the pics. :-(
During 1988 the idea of scene was spread much further, and for
example in DDG's Digiparty'88 (spring) were people I didnt anymore
know. But still it was very small. Two rooms :-) With whole
Amiga-scene there as well :-) :-)
July/88 in First Byterapers' party we had first Finnish
democompetitions ever. The C64-results disk was spread quite well
I think. And it was a whole big house with about 100 visitors.
And we didnt anymore have whole scene there. All who mattered,
yes, but that party was invitation only since there were already
pretty much people in Scene.
And that was time when people started to alienate from each other.
1987 and first half of 1988 were mostly quite happy time, since
Scene was so small you could remember faces and even remember
handles from almost all people there existed. I claim it was
time of Friendship. It wasnt all happy, some small wars
flamed, but OVERALL it was so good.
Bacchus said "teenage computer culture."
This was it. This time is the legendary iron-age of scene.
Those who were there, can be nowadays proud as they were creating
the nowadays Scene.
Some say current Scene is lame, no friendship,
pure business and so on. I don't think so. Nowadays scene is so large. I go to a party,
a familiar face in the crowd is oddity. And I am surely one of
the more active partygoers here. That is very different
from those earlier parties. But it's not so bad after all.
It's just that there are more people to get friends with.
More people to meet, more people to chat. While I don't anymore
see many old familiar faces, I do see many new familiar faces.
There's world filled with great people, who share same enthusiasm
for demos, and you just have to meet them first.
Once I was very very troubled with the development of Finnish
scene, since those new people flowing into scene seemed to
be much much lesser quality than the 2nd/3rd Generation people
already there. With 3rd Generation I mean people new in scene
around 1988-1990. 4th Gen, 90-92 were somehow much less interested
in the foundation of Scene, how it was born and seemed to
care more only of themselves. I managed to stir Finnish scene
quite a bit by writing to Maggy about these things, and while
I must say I used much harsher words I really thought, it caused
a lot of attention. I even managed to gain shithead-status among
those younger people, since they took everything I said literally.
But that was very typical to that period. Everything was taken
literally, old scene-traditions were forgotten and the New Blood
flowing to Scene was, in some strange unexplainable way,
much DIFFERENT than previous folks.
So back then I was very worried about the Future of Scene,
but lately I've been very _happy_ because development has been
into much better. There's now another generation of Scened00ds,
the 5th Generation maybe, who are suddenly keeping the traditions
up. It's not that they look backwards, but there's a lot of
great spirit around. There are so much new great people,
making parties fun again and overall following the old rules
of having fun and getting stoned again. :-)
Overall feelings are much better than some years ago.
It's much more fun now. The cold-blooded professionalism
and business-like trends of early 90s are gone, and people
have realized what Scene should be. It's more than a plain hobby,
not way-of-life for everyone, but it creates a underground
culture with strange feelings of union and shared brotherhood.
I guess that is much because the Finnish party culture has
been forcefully reborn lately.
Written by: Grendel of Byterapers Inc.
Source: In Medias Res