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Table Of Contents
Message From the Editor
In Tune -- Andreas Viklund's "Exquisite"
A Little Column For Obscurity -- Old Skool Techno
The Zen of Tracking -- Introduction
Screen Lit Vertigo -- "Dis" by Mandula
Dreams -- Demoscene Archive Volume 2
Windows 98 Source Code (Humor)
Message From the Editor
Hello, and welcome to our late December issue of Static Line. Once
again, I appologize to all our readers for this short break from our
regular schedule. The point is, its here! =)
This is a very interesting issue. Unfortunately, Louis and Setec have
been bogged down by school work and the holiday season, so they are
both taking the month off from their regular columns. Don't worry,
they'll both be back when things cool down.
I would like to introduce two new columns and a new columnist to our
team. First of all, many of you remember Dilvish...well he's running a
new column titled "The Zen of Tracking." A little warning before you
jump down there -- its not the typical publication you would find in a
scene journel. Better yet, its something that can possibly help you
become detached from yourself as a form of inspiration. I for one am
going to find great use in this column. Second, welcome Psychic
Symphony, the newest member of our team. He is now writing a column
which I titled "Screen Lit Vertigo." It is the demo review column all
you non-trackers have been waiting for. He starts us off this month
with a review of the demo "Dis" by Mandula. I hope you find his
reviewing style helpful and informative. Oh, and please don't bug him
about the title of the column, that was my call -- pick on me. =)
As for our other columns: I am reviewing the work of Andreas
Viklund. There's a lot of Old Skool influence in his music. While
we're on the topic of Old Skool, Calvin is back with some leads to some
good "Old Skool Techno." Joined the scene late? Haven't been around
very long? Here's a good way to catch up on what you got yourself
involved in. Setec is busy, but he can't be that busy. He somehow
managed to provide us with a humorous article about the Windows 98
source code. Finally, lets not forget "Dreams 2, Demoscene Archive
Volume 2." Jeff / Imphobia provides us with this brief article will
tell you how to get your own copy today.
On a final note (long message, I know), let me just mention a place
that you should all check out. There is a new archive out there that
is keeping track of our magazine, as well as hundreds of others. They
also have lots of other things such as samples, etc. The link is
listed in our closeing, and is as follows:
Until next month...
Andreas Viklund's "Exquisite"
By: Coplan and SiN
It's finals time, so I am flying solo again. SiN has better
discipline than I, and while he's studying, I'm trying to find other
things to do. If it seems productive, then I don't mind doing it. This
magazine is productive in my eyes...so here I am. This month, I am
going to review a tune called "Exquisite" by Andreas Viklund. It's a
fairly current tune, but if you get down to it, you can definately see
the influence that Old Skool scene tunes had on this. Now...on to the
review. But, before I begin, let me tell you this is the first review
I've done on good quality headphones. Try and slip a bad sample by new
-=- Coplan -=-
First of all, I must say, the beginning threw me at first. A simple
fade in doesn't usally pull me into a song. For whatever reason, I
continued listening. I believe that it was the instrument he chose as
the solo instrument during the fade in. It reminded me of an old song
called "Dancing Flames" by Mads Orbesen Troest. The beginning was very
similar...though "Dancing Flames" had no fade in. Meanwhile, I guess I
was curious to see if this song would be similar. It isn't. Not
In order 3, we get some percussion and our first sign of a lead
instrument. Both are simple, but powerful. Listen to the percussion,
it really isn't that simple, is it? No. The hihat turns into this
dynamically handsom instrument. The base drum and sythesized claps are
both common instruments, but the way they are all used together gives a
somewhat funky edge to the song. You will hear much more of this fine
percussion throughout the song. Don't let it fade to the background,
its good...trust me.
Lets take a close look at order 11. This is some of the best
transition work I've seen to date. Let's try and learn from it. He
fades out almost every instrument at the end of order 10, with exception
of the percussion and the sine (which he uses as a base guitar type
instrument). He starts with a crash cymbol, does this short and quick
drum riff, then ends with another crash. Yet, here we are, in the next
movement of the song. Why does this work? Listen to the sine sample.
Notice where the third hit of it sits: right on line 12. This is not
expected, but it is a key to the method. Two lines later -- about an eight
note away -- comes a kick of the base drum and immediately afterward, a
higher sounding hit. This little intermission is ended with a full
introduction into the next order. And it only works if the sine sample
is present during order 11. Go ahead, remove channels 16, 17 and 18
from order 11. Notice how the transition now sounds empty and
incomplete? Good, you're learning. =)
In order 12, a guitar lead is introduced. By itself it works very
nicely. It's a good lead. However, in order 16, a piano is
introduced. Unfortunately, this does terrible things to the guitar
instrument. For one, it totally drowns out the guitar, to the point
that the guitar may as well not exist. The first thing I would do with
the piano is to drop its volume. Once this is done, the piano now
interacts well with the guitar, and unity is once again achieved. Now,
lets ignore the oversight of the piano volume and see what it has to
offer. In my opinion, it has a lot to offer the song, as long as it
remains in the background. Maybe its a matter of preference, but the
piano isn't used as a lead here, so it should reside in the background.
Give it a more complex role, and maybe it can jump upfront. Meanwhile,
if you have a copy of this song, I recommend you drop its volume and
then listen to the song. By the way, did I tell you to drop its volume?
(just kidding). Meanwhile, the piano only has a short stay with us,
only about 4 patterns. Then the song takes us back to its matrix
patterns. I hope I don't confuse anyone here, but this is what I call
the part of the tune that is carried throughout the tune in repetition.
Sometimes it has other instruments involved, other times it is like
this, no difference from the first time it was played. I call it a
matrix pattern (its not a technical term) because it isn't really a
chorus, just something that gets repeated. This is in no way a negative
comment, this completely adds to the dynamics of the song. In my
opinion though, Andreas should have kept that piano playing here. Maybe
playing a different tune, but playing non-the-less.
Order 24, we have what seems to be a drum solo of sorts. But guess
again, its another transition. Andreas likes to use percussion as the
root of all his transitions apparently. Though this one isn't nearly as
effective as the first that I spoke of, it is effective regardless. In
order 26 (what I consider the end of this transition) we have that synth
comeing back again that we heard at the very beginning. It's different
this time. Its playing a different riff and its progression changes.
This is how he chose to handle this transition: get rid of the original
transition for a few patterns and introduce this new one. It works, no
complaints there. For a while, the song tends to take a saddened tone.
Then, in order 30, everything is cut out with exception of the strings
and the sine and that piano is brought back. Where's the percussion? I
would like to see some percussion here. Not the full force, of course.
Just a little riff on a ride cymbol or a hihat. Nothing more, and that
would not only tie this part into the previous part, but it would give
the listener something to reference the piano off of. If you don't
believe me, go to order 32 where the hihat exists. Much more effective
piece now. You can probably turn the song off now. You have heard the
rest of the song already. The ending is a simple fadeout. Its the
matrix pattern that I metioned, and it is simply faded out. With
fadeout endings, I prefer to hear some sort of key change, a change in
the percussion...something. That is a personal preference, but one that
I stand by.
All in all, I liked the song. Its not what I would consider a
favorite of mine, but it is one I'm going to keep on my hard drive.
Just like everyone else, I delete the songs I dislike to save hard drive
space. In my opinion, this is worth the space and the download time.
Give it a listen. You'll like it too. Keep in mind, I am in the middle
of finals, and I rarely give anything a good review when I'm in this
state of stress.
--Coplan / D. Travis North
Coplan: IT 2.14 useing default Interwave drivers; Koss TD-61 Mixing
Headphones and his home stereo. (Notice: new headphones)
Author: Andreas Viklund
Filename (zipped/unzipped): av_exqui.zip / av_exqui.xm
File Size: 805k
"In Tune" is a regular column dedicated to the review of original and
singular works by fellow trackers. It is to be used as a tool to expand
your listening and writing horizons, but should not be used as a general
rating system. SiN and Coplan's opinions are not the opinions of the
Static Line Staff.
If you have heard a song you would like to recommend (either your
own, or another person's), we can be contacted through e-mail useing the
addresses found in the closing notes. Please do not send files attached
to e-mail without first contacting us. Thank you!
A Little Column For Obscurity
Old Skool Techno
By: Calvin French
Hello again folks, welcome to the second installment!
I decided sometime between last editions Axel_F fiasco and now that if
I'm going to do obscure tracks (or tracks that *I* feel are somehow
obscure) I'd do well to try and make things at least a little bit
coherent or it's going to get really random really really fast. So
starting this week, I'm going to be picking "themes". The tracks will be
obscure (oh yes) but there will be some common thread. This week it's
fairly basic: Old Skool Techno (though I don't pretend to be Old Skool,
except in my own way of course ;-)
Old Skool Techno in this case means 92-93 (ideally) breakbeat / house /
hardcore dance tunes. Now, everybody already knows that techno is not
everybody's cup o' tea (though I know a lot of you love it) but there
are also a few of you who probably hold misconceptions. I'm not going to
waste your time here, but IMHO excellent techno is about colour. Those
little orchestral sweeps and other miscellanea can get quite boring, as
can the sawsinths, the repetetive breaks, the housey beats; but when
it's right, it's SOO right. Like a symphony, it's got to sound like it
could never have sounded another way. That's what it's all about. Or, at
least, that's the criteria I've used to pick tunes this week.
First up, Heatbeat. AFAIK (and that isn't far) Heatbeat is an old Amiga
scener who probably quit sometime around 93-95 or so, I don't really
know. Anyways he has the rare (?) distinction of being in the legendary
Amiga group CNCD, who had a brief (but cool) stint on the PC scene for a
short while. Check thier demo <<??? forget the name ???>> Other CNCD
members include Groo, Dizzy (who might just get a whole column someday)
to name a couple. His stint in CNCD is why I went and got some of his
music. Sorry I wasn't quite as adventurous as I might have been ;-) But
who on the PC scene really knows about CNCD? I don't... First up:
"Primitive 42 Pulse" (check the BIBLIOGRAPHY at the bottom for URLS to
all the songs).
This is pretty typical Heatbeat, maybe a little less Jazzy (or
"Finnish", if you prefer ;-). Very well crafted, but broken up into a
really odd blocking scheme structurally which makes it sound more
repetitive than it probably is. Very, VERY nice use of that miscellanea
I was talking about before. Here's a recipe for you:
4 noisy beats.
3 big sweeps.
1 whole spanish (?finnish) female-sounding male vocal "vielakin vaan".
2 bits of gibberish.
6 parts of 1 scientist talking: "400 hertz <beep>, 800 hertz <beep>".
Bit of odd synth bits to taste.
Fair spekeling of synthy percussion.
Secretly plant this on the HDD (or 3 1/4 inch floppy more likely) of a
(former) CNCD member and leave for a few days to see what kind of dope
he comes up with.
Next up, U4IA. I found an excellent House / Breakbeat (or Metalbeat) MOD
called "can u take the pace". By Metalbeat, I'm referring to that
excellent tuneful colour that you get on some snare drum samples.
"Hangin' Out" by Mellow-D (which you probably all know) has an excellent
Metalbeat snare. Anyways, this is almost the best breakbeat MOD I've
heard, probably is. I wish I could break like this. This is NOT jungle.
It's far too repetitive and dancy to be jungle. And jungle would hardly
be classifyable as old skool techno since (unfortanately if you ask me)
it's still considered "new" or "innovative". Hah, right.
U4IA is another Amiga scener. You can get all his MODs on his homepage,
and you better do it quick too. Because it looks like he is very shortly
going to fall off the face of the earth as far as the scene is concerned
(he stopped composing MODs years ago) and since he is very explicit
about the redistribution of his MODs (i.e., you CAN'T get them unless
you get them from HIM) you aren't going to be able to find any easily
(or at least not legally) for very much longer. "Oh but there's always
Aminet" you say. Right, just do a search. "U4IA" turns up 0.
The "house" aspect of this tune comes in with piano. In this case U4IA
has used a very honky-tonk sounding piano set to build his house
progressions out of. This might sound odd, but it's extremely effective
because it has exactly the same twangy flavour as the metalbeat snare.
If he used your typical Korg piano set (or whatever, I don't really know
what piano sample sets normally come from I'm just guessing) it would
have been a completely different story. The metalbeat aspect doesn't
stop there though. The bass drum is also very bright. Not a dull thud,
it sounds a bit more like it's been distorted. Or something. You'll see.
"Don't hold the beats back" is the main vocal sample in this track, and
frankly he don't.
So far I've looked at MODs by Heatbeat of CNCD and U4IA. Both very well
known composers, or at least that's my impresion. So I'm going to pull
something out that I think is great but which you probably don't know:
CrimeDay. And kids, AFAIK he is totally nowhere to be found. I did visit
his page once, and downloaded a song "Freefall" by him which was very
cool, but his page has dissapeared since then (maybe 2 years ago) and so
has he. Anyways Crimeday did some very excellent tunes IMHO even if he
had horrible rippers syndrome. Once I flamed a poor fellow for ripping a
chord progression off Crimeday only to come to the realization later
that whoops, the rip went oppositely. Boy did I feel like a moron (boy
was I a moron).
Anyways, there is a tune "Hide" which I think is quite original.
Crimeday does very sparse and repetitive tunes, and this is no
exception. But the way the parts are put together is really what I like
about him. Hide has a very slow break covering the whole thing, and it
hardly changes throughout. But that's kind of the point, i.e., what
makes it beautiful. It's very trancey, but not in the conventional
sense. It's trancey in the sense that it just sort of sways. Ideas are
only brought in and out very gradually. A more progressive song would be
"Blue Waters" which has a nice dark house feel to it. All his music
would go well at a dance party, without sounding too crazy or too
cheezy. I think it's definitely worth a look, just to appreciate his
unique flavour. Also his hardcore ROCKS, if you are into that -- check
out "Warping coma" (JJ.S3M), although that's the ripped tune I was
Now we move to another obscurist (I hope), Fish17. I'm not sure you
could call his tune "veil" Techno. Really it's a Bump-Bump Demo Tune,
but with a techno feel. I would love to hear the musicdisk "sunscent"
which the sampletext says this tune is from. Very good use of 303
samples, and my only real criticism is that it sort of dies right
towards the last third of the song for me, right after the slow part. I
wish he had not brought in new ideas, but developed the old ones, or
even just repeated the first section. But forget about that, because the
rest of it is really quite wicked. Fish17 also does great Jazzy style
(is he Finnish?) "One Rainy Morning" is an excellnt melodic house tune,
I maybe should have reviewed it instead.
Well that's a wrap, I think we've had a look at a good variety of stuff.
Next time should be "Bossa Nova / Lounge" week, unless I change my mind.
Maybe I should have a Christmas edition? Hmm.... Well until then,
remember to download at least one song at random per day or you are
guaranteed to get in a hopeless rut. ;-)
BIBLIOGRAPHY for this weeks tunes:
"Primitive 42 Pulse" by Heatbeat/CNCD
(got it off Aminet)
"Can u take the pace" by U4IA
(off u4ia's home page)
** Visit U4IAs homepage and get all his stuff NOW before it's gone for
"Hangin' Out" by Mellow-D
(Scenenet or Hornet)
"Hide" by CrimeDay
(try Mod Archive)
"Blue Waters" by CrimeDay
(try Mod Archive)
"Warping Coma" by CrimeDay
(try Mod Archive)
"veil" by Fish17
"one rainy morning" by Fish17
*** Note: my internet expired, so I can't get exact URLs for you guys.
The Zen of Tracking
This month marks the beginning of my new column. First, I think I
should say that some of what I will talk about in this article might
sound a little strange. This isn't your typical music lesson. More
like an odd cross between an acid trip, a bad twighlight zone episode,
and religious text. If you're interested in flaming me for sharing my
un-scientific views with you, don't bother. You don't have to believe
anything I write about. You don't even have to read it. Skip to the
next column. Go study your music theory. At any rate, all flames will
be directed to dev/nul/.
I've often wondered about the source of inspiration. In my wondering,
I did some serious inner searching. One day I found myself staring at my
reflection, and seeing a medicine man, playing a very deep rhythm on the
drums of the universe. You may not be able to relate to that experience
unless you've done one of the following:
Lots of acid, one too many all night raves in a row, several days
without food, or participated in an indian sweat lodge ritual or some
other ancient religious ritual.
All of these have one thing in common: You become detached from your
physical self, and your physical surroundings, and enter a world
somewhere between this one, and the unknown.
This column is about getting to that other plane for the purpose of
making music. Many musicians will describe a "trance" of sorts, that
they go into when they really get into a performance. A lot of
musicians prefer to be high while creating or performing, specifically
to help them find that sort of trance.
A true zennist will tell you that the this state of mind is really part
of the process of realization. A step towards a totally awakening of
the Buddha mind. I'm not promoting Zen Buddhism, or saying that you are
already one with your Buddha self.. ;) But I will say that if you
continually return to this state of mind, you feel a kind of awakening,
and your creativity is dramatically impacted.
Zennists call this awakening "Satori", and describe it as "an
indescribable mystical awakening that transcends both human thought and
sensory experience." I don't know about all that, but I do know that
the music I create in this state transcends anything I could possibly do
outside of it.
I know many of you are thinking, "okay, so how do I get there?", and
many more are thinking, "what is all this silly crap? Are you on
Let's answer them in order. You can reach this state of "awakening"
(some prefer to call it detachment) through a number of ways. There are
a number of legal, and illicit drugs that can help you achieve it, but I
don't recommend that rout, as they usually have a lot of risk, and
unwanted side effects. Some other methods are fasting, sweating,
staying awake for many days in a row, and (my personal favorite)
I'll go into more detail later. This article will serve more as an
introduction than a how-to. I'll get into that in future installments.
Now, to answer the next question. I'm not on anything. I have used
many drugs in the past, but I've been sober for about 3 years now, and I
intend to stay that way.
There are a few reasons that I would like to discourage the use of drugs
to achieve boosted creativity. The first, is that more than one friend
of mine met a very untimely demise because of drug use. I don't want to
see any promising musicians going the same way.
The next, is that you begin to depend on the drug, and find your
creativity very limited without it. In effect, you're developing a
dependency, and your brain has a hard time thinking for itself without
the aid of certain chemicals. This is because the drugs replace
chemicals that are naturally produced inside your brain, and eventually,
your brain just gets lazy and quits producing them on it's own. A lot
of this damage may take years to recover from.
Another reason is that when you achieve this state via mental exercises,
you're giving your brain, (and your creative juices) a great workout.
The more often you do this, the better you'll get. With enough
practice, coming up with your next lead will be a very simple matter.
You'll be overflowing with creativity before you know it.
That's all I have time for this month. Please let me know what you
think of this new column. firstname.lastname@example.org
--Dilvish / Eric Hamilton
P.S. If you want to know more about the ancient religions that teach
about this "awakening", check out Barnes & Noble. Look for books on
Zen, and anything about Native American and ancient indian religion. I
might go into a little more detail in later issues, but I'll try to
concentrate on how to apply it to music more than anything else.
-*- Editor Note -*-
You may want to look up information about the Native American Sun
Dance. I appologize for the fact that I can't remember the tribe. But
a Sun Dance, is basically one way of naturally opiating yourself.
Though, I wouldn't recommend it, 'cause it seems to me that it would be
a painful way to do so.
Screen Lit Vertigo
"Dis" by Mandula
By: Psychic Symphony
-*- Editor Note -*-
This is a title that _I_ assigned to the column after Psychic
Symphony requested me to do so. My roomate is always describing demos
to other non-sceners as a "Screen-Lit Vertigo" (which essentially means
monitor induced dizzyness). He intends to poke fun at the demoscene
with this term, but I feel it can be taken as a compliment. After all,
when was the last time you got off of a good roller-coaster without
experiencing any vertigo?
"Dis" by Mandula was First at Scenest vs Rage '98
Code by Rod and Hyp-x. A combination of new and infamous effects put
together during the demoparty at the party place. The demo is all in
32-bit hicolor, which allows for a few good tricks as well! Main effects
consist of voxels, fractals, metal/oil lighting, distortions, tweaked
3D-blobs and water effect.
Music by Carlos of the group Breeze. He joined Mandula after having
success with this demo. This is one of the few (if not only) jazz
musicians using a tracker. Most of his music has this funky/jazzy feel
which I, for instance, like a lot. The demo was syncronized to the
music very well. If you think about it, it's the only transition between
the effects!!! There are two tunes in there: The main demo tune, and the
end scrolly arrangement. Both are pretty good for what I know of music.
(I know what sounds good!)
Graphics are from Frame of C-lous. He is not hungarian like the other
3 participants in this project. He is from sweden. He has drawn 2 or 3
pictures for this demo which the coders spread nicely across the demo.
The images seemed of good quality, and I liked them. Some might not
agree with me! You will just have to decide for yourself.
There was hardly any design done on this demo. There was indeed a
very cool feeling sorrounding the demo; a very colorfull and funky/jazzy
feel indeed. Some would say that some of these effects are not very new,
others have never seen ANY of the effects before. One thing is for
certain. The greets scrolly rules! They scroll up the greets like normal
only when the names reach half way through, then they switch to an idiot
anagram...very good for a laugh! The music also helps to add to the
The name of the file is 'mndl-dis.zip'. Maybe it's on hornet! Maybe
you can catch it in time. You can still find it on ftp.scene.org and
on ftp://demo.cat.hu/scene/Demos.'98/ (i don't know Scenest vs Rage
nick! But look around and you'll find it quick enough!)
Demoscene Archive Volume 2
hi there Static Line readers,
Coplan gave me the opportunity to write some lines about the lately
released Dreams 2 scene CD is this newsletter, so here i am.
"DREAMS 2 - the Demoscene archive Volume 2" is the sequel of the
"Dreams" CD released back in 96. This dual (2 Cds) produced by Imphobia
includes all the best productions released on the PC Demoscene from
June 96 to July 98, including the hugest collection of new scene
graphics ever (more than 4800 new pictures classified by author/thema,
including many unreleased material, gathered from all the best artists
on PC and Amiga) aswell as a huge collection of tunes from top
musicians and musicdisk for you tracker lovers out there.
The 2 CDs pack sells for about (only!) 14 US$ and, from the review that
have been made, is considered as a really top compilation.
For more information about that double CD compilation (including
complete directory listing and ordering informations), check out the
Dreams2 www site at: http://nl.scene.org/dreams2 or send me an email if
you want me to send you the information package.
You can also check the complete review of Dreams2 in GfxZone at:
J e f f / email@example.com Darkness
Windows 98 Source Code (Humor)
Well, what do you know? Browsing the net one day, I suddently came
across the complete source code to Windows 98...
#define INSTALL =3D HARD
/* printf("Welcome to Windows 3.11"); */
/* printf("Welcome to Windows 95"); */
printf("Welcome to Windows 98");
system_memory =3D open("a:\swp0001.swp", O_CREATE);
Hehe. Made me laugh, anyway...:)
Setec / Jesper Pederson
Editor: Coplan / D. Travis North / firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant Editors: Ranger Rick / Ben Reed / email@example.com
Subliminal / Matt Friedly / firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Manager: Dilvish / Eric Hamilton / email@example.com
Columnists: Coplan / D. Travis North / firstname.lastname@example.org
Calvin French / email@example.com
Dilvish / Eric Hamilton / firstname.lastname@example.org
Louis Gorenfeld / email@example.com
Psychic Symphony / firstname.lastname@example.org
Setec / Jesper Pederson / email@example.com
SiN / Ian Haskin / firstname.lastname@example.org
Staff Writers: Acell / Jamie LeSouef / email@example.com
Darkheart / Zach Heitling / firstname.lastname@example.org
Setec / Jesper Pederson / email@example.com
Technical Support: Draggy / Nicolas St. Pierre / firstname.lastname@example.org
Static Line on the Web: http://www.ic.i7.net/statline
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See you next month!