Noise Demos - A Story of Love and Hatred
Written by Bobic / back2roots.org & 4Sceners.de
Translation from German by Adok
Once upon a time, there was Halcyon who created a new kind of demo with Chimera. Three years later MFX came up with Ballet Dancer. Finally in 2007 the noise demos with their unsettling atmosphere managed to be in the limelight. Several demos of this type saw the light of the day in the last few months, taught us fear, caused storms of enthusiastic applause among some people, while the often disturbing creations did not mean anything to others. We've looked around a bit and tried to gather opinions. Is the new category going to get established as an
essential part of the demoscene or will the visits from a strange world remain occasional?
The pictures are still in my memory even though it already happened in August 2006. Famou$, a game journalist of 4Players.de and an enthusiastic demo watcher, started the demo 1995 by Kewlers/MFX on his working PC and turned the volume loud. Little Bitchard's award-winning soundtrack came out of of the boxes and sent its melody into the direction of the colleagues - who weren't able to withstand the fascination. While one of
them danced around the office, inspired by the music, a little cluster shortly gathered around the demo computer to see what's the origin of these catchy tunes.
Noise instead of music
A completely different picture was drawn in the first weeks of the year 2007. Instead of lively melodies or electronic music, scratching, roaring or swirling sounds were to be heard from out out of the loudspeakers. It was the type of soundtrack known sceners such as PS and Nosfe had already preferred for a while.
Suddenly noise demos were booming.
In the beginning there was Farbrausch with its lavish fr-055: 828 (the drone experience), which won the demo competition at Icons 2007. Short after that Lord of Liquor presented Crypton, which had similar sounds. Later on the extreme Asmodai from MFX was to be discovered. MFX had already had a preference for such unusual shows for a long time, as Golem, arise and the brute force The Ballet Dancer show. Farbrausch, in the person of extreme artist Visualice, also released fr-056: Gravity of the
moon. And that wasn't all of scary sounds and disturbing images the demo year 2007 had to offer. The number of "scary movies" had increased compared to the previous years.
It almost seems that five years after Chimera, the noise demos have arrived in the scene, a movement that has always been openminded towards things that were different and artistically valuable, beyond mainstream. But just like the highly polished real-time works with more usual soundtracks, the noise demos led to controversial discussions. Probably even a bit more than
Already the organizers of Assembly 2002 didn't notice the art and fascination of Chimera, as they didn't show this demo during the official demo competition. Despite that this demo has cult status because Halcyon created something unique with it, something very unusual which you get used to only after some time. After all, human beings have a hard time abandoning traditions.
Love and Hatred
This thesis is confirmed by D-Funk. He doesn't like this trend much because for him, nothing is more important than a good, varied soundtrack. Nema agrees with him, but he thinks the use of noise is due to a lack of good musicians. "Where are the Skavens and Purple Motions of today?" he asks. On the other hand, a real fan of the noise shows is Tomek, who has been interested in the demoscene for a long time, however only as a consumer. "I think this trend is interesting", he tells us. "Finally
there's something new! Just like there are chill out demos, there's now also scare out demos." Boredom due to too many similar demos is gone. Independent considers Chromosphere from Sqny the perfect symbiosis of noise/scare demo and well known real-time shows. For him this piece not only has the necessary level of abstraction to create an uncomfortable feeling, it also steers the middle course between the two different worlds of demos thanks to its minimalist soundtrack, which although being minimalist cannot hide the musical
influences and is perfectly synchronized with the effects. "This is something to base upon!" he remarks.
Of course it's uncertain what the future will hold. Certainly we'll also be going to see many different demo styles in 2008, which will be cheered by some and condemned by others. However, exactly this is the good thing about the demoscene: it is creative in all areas, likes to surpass borders, polarizes and fascinates. And how does a German proverb say? "It's impossible to do everybody justice." This also applies to the demo makers - to
the noise experts as well as to the others.