Review: Takeover e-zine
Written by Adok
The Takeover party organizers have installed an e-zine at their web-site http://www.takeover.nl. It is divided into three sections, a forum, articles, and reviews. New articles are coming in from time to time and are steadily added to the zine.
Unlike originally planned, not any "sort of diskmag" will be released after the event. Instead, a zip-file with all the articles in Microsoft Word format will come out at regular intervals so that people can read them offline, too. The staff think that they have the potential to continue with this e-zine project after Takeover '99.
The site requires Flash 3 and Java. So you need a decent browser, such as the latest Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer, and the Shockwave Flash plug-in. In case you do not have the latter tool, you will be pointed to a place where you can download and install a lite version for free.
The articles mainly focus on the event and the scene in general. There is also a series of interviews with "Scene Professionals", demo sceners who have successfully turned their hobby into their job, and a directory with all the entries for the Takeover article competition that have been submitted so far. The "reviews" include party reports as well as demo reviews and non-scene related essays, such as write-ups about movies.
Since the magazine is not finished and steadily extended, it is impossible for me to list and talk about all articles here. However, the Takeover organizers sent me a compilation of the most interesting articles, so I can give you an overview about the contents and an impression what to expect from this online magazine.
One of the persons interviewed in the "Scene Professionals" series is Vic of Acme. The Dutch musician, perhaps best known for his work in Acme's popular demo "303", now mainly uses MIDI sequencing instead of tracking and works with Level-D Records. His current project is a CD which is to be released at the end of this year. Furthermore, he is preparing for his live-act at the Takeover '99 party. The interview, which was conducted by Aap, translated by JAL and edited by The REW, employs a technique that is rather unusual on PC, yet already common on Amiga: Instead of simply listing the questions and the answers, the authors wrote a fully-fledged article about Vic with many quotations by him from the preceeding dialogue. This gives the interview a highly professional touch, as the reader will not be bored by the usual phrases you find in question-answer-conversations.
Another "Scene Professional" is Eric Chauvin, the man behind the background graphics ("digital matte painting") in TV serials such as "Young Indy" and "Star Trek".
Also, two party-reports are included in the compilation. Both come from Sparcus of Nostalgia. The first deals with The Gathering 1999 in Hamar/Norway and was written right at the party-place, during the event. It gives the readers quite a vivid impression of how Sparcus had experienced the party so far. Sequels to this first report including more details about The Gathering written by the same author are also available in the Takeover e-zine.
The second report deals with Ambience '99. As it was written after the party, Sparcus was already able to sort out the less interesting and concentrate on the more important facts, feelings and happenings. Since the event took place in a school, he divided the report in several "grades", ending with funny "lessons" about little gaffes which he and his friends committed at the party. This and all the mentioned details make the article a pleasure to read.
One text that will take part in the Takeover article competition is "Windows, DOS, Hardware, Software - The Final Judgement" by Superogue of Gaia. As the title says, it wants to end the apparently incessant discussion in the scene what operating system to use for demos in the future with a final statement. The positive and negative aspects about Windows as well as hardware rendering are listed. Finally, the author, who, by the way, can be considered a "Scene Professional" himself, states that all demos for PC, regardless of the used operating system, should take part in the same compos at parties.
In "The Universal MIDI Message", The REW of Nostalgia summarizes his tracking career, explains how he started working with MIDI, and lists the advantages of this technology. Arguments for non-tracked music can also be found in Sparcus' article "What matters is the way it sounds, not the way it's stored". It is a reaction to Makke's statement about "MP3s in Demos" from Hugi #14. He explains the benefits of MP3 and why an MP3 compo is going to be held at Takeover '99. The headline of this article is actually quite tricky as people could also justify entering MPEG movies in demo compos with the same argument.
Finally, I was sent Aap's "Mekka 99 Intros Review", containing a short, neat description and comment about each 64k intro released at this party.
All in all I regard the Takeover e-zine as highly sophisticated and of a better quality than most PC diskmags released in the last year. In my eyes fewer spelling mistakes and a smaller use of smileys would be all needed for perfection.