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Datastorm 2012 Party Report
by Taper/Triad

As winter finally hit Sweden in the middle of February, it was time for the annual Datastorm in Gothenburg.

This time it was Oxidy/FairLight who headed his giant scene truck towards the west coast and myself (Taper), Avalon/FairLight, X-Jammer/G*P, Bepp/TRIAD, Mahoney and Killerbee tagged along for the ride.

We arrived at the party place quite early in the afternoon on Friday and more or less only the organizers were present at the time. Spot and Magervalp were running around looking for lost cables, hooking up gear and taking care of tech business. As usual Sixx manned the counter, welcoming visitors upon arrival or scaring away occasional lamers.

I swiftly unloaded my bag, booked a table, and greeted the people at the place. As the previous years, the party was held at the underground club Truckstop Alaska, mostly managed by nice hippie girls who seem to share at least one common trait with many sceners - their love for weed. As told before, Truckstop Alaska is very nice party venue. Large areas for sceners to populate at will, equipped with a bar filled with beverages and food that is open most of the time, the old arcade game Super Wonderboy demanding only 5 Swedish crowns to get ready for action and crazy art covering the walls.

Since not that many had arrived at the party place yet, after a while we left again to pick up some junk food at a local supermarket. After buying doughnuts, candy, snacks and the likes we went back to Datastorm. Now some more people had arrived. We instantly spotted the Danish posse, headed by Lotus, Devia and Macx who were unpacking their stuff from the car. As Devia mistook the Swedish highway for the first level in Out Run, he was quickly and swiftly freed of his drivers license by the Swedish highway patrol. Luckily, the more responsible Macx (obviously having completed the TRIAD crack of "Pass your driving test") could take over and bring the Danes safely to harbor.

Inside, the action had also started to pick up. Soon also Cash and Ne7 from TRIAD and old retired member Midnight Mover showed up. As the darkness started to fall outside, more and more well known sceners arrived and the party was kickstarted into action.

The bar was manned right from the beginning, offering beer and other beverages for thirsty sceners, and there was a lot of them to satisfy. This year, the organizers had even forced the otherwise militantly vegan bar-maids to serve hot dogs and other food with meat, to the bliss of some (presumably German) sausage lovers.

As screens got connected and people started working on their contributions for the various competitions, Amiga scener Slash manned the DJ-booth and ran his favorite Amiga modules, including such classics as the music from games "Hybris" and "Cybernoid 2".

Later, it was time for Jucke to perform a new set of his SID show, brilliantly executed as always. Jucke's show was then followed by an Amiga-set by Hoffman. As the music faded away, me and Bepp manned the booth to run the first part of our C64 demo show, presenting demos in different styles from different groups and eras, both well known and lesser known productions. After showing 15 demos, our first set was completed and we could go on socializing again.

By now Friday had turned into Saturday and people were starting to hunt down places to sleep. The floor and sofas were quickly populated, and some lazy people disappeared to their hotels for some luxury sleep. While most slept, some warriors kept going all through the night, doing their very best to wake their sleeping colleagues again.

The hours passed and as people woke up, they were greeted by a nice breakfast, helping people to sober up again and regain their strength. Scenesat continued broadcasting live from the event, a nice feature for those poor sods who couldn't make it to the actual party themselves.

A bit later, it was time for me and Bepp to run the second half of our demo show. We showed another 10 demos or so, however we encountered some technical problems during this set, so sadly it didn't run as fluidly as the first one. This also forced us to skip a few demos that we really wanted to show since we were running out of time, but we'll save them for next time. For those interested in which demos we viewed, there is a list available at www.triad.se.

After our demo set, it was time for Scenesat to show a Hungarian documentary about the scene. It turned out to be a fine professionally made documentary, well worth a watch. While some of us might have wanted some more in-depth coverage and tech-talk, it was clearly made to appeal to both sceners and outsiders and I think it made a good job balancing between the two.

As deadlines were announced, some worked in fury to be able to finish their contributions. The Norwegians in Offence and Hoaxers arrived as well as some other late-comers and the number of visitors rose to about 200. The place was absolutely packed with people, and it was very nice meeting both familiar faces and new aquaintances. I was pretty surprised when Motion/Hitmen appeared for instance, whom I hadn't talked to in like 15 years. Always a pleasure when people you don't expect show up.

Time flies, and suddenly it was already time for the competitions to begin. First out was the Amiga music competition with quite many entries, ranging from good to please cut my ears off. Then two excellent GameBoy tunes were played, followed by the C64 music competition. With 14 entries, most of them enjoyable, cheers and clapping were plentiful.

Next up were the graphic competitions, starting with Amiga gfx and followed by C64 graphics. There were eight contributions on the C64 and then one additional PETSCII screen by Judas released in its own mixed graphics competition.

Before the demo compo, some "out of competition" entries were to be shown at the big screen, made by people not being able to participate at the party themselves. First up was "64 Seconds" by Houbba & Ruk, a really cool demo featuring an animated movie streaming from a floppy disk with an excellent soundtrack and ending with an up-scroller. This demo was very well received by the audience who got real crazy, cheering and clapping during the show.

Next up was a Spectrum demo, but then things went wrong and they couldn't get the Spectrum running as it should. This slowed things down considerably, and a break was announced. However, to my (vague) recollection they never got the poor speccy running properly.

Instead, it was time for the big event that we all were waiting for, the C64 demo competition. Seven demos were presented on the big screen, out of which six were more serious productions. FairLight delivered the good demo "One Quarter", well suited for the big screen, Mahoney in cooperation with Prowler presented a polished entry named "Fragment" and G*P struck with their quite short but funny and warm "Holy Crap!". Offence offered a smaller and perhaps a bit rushed demo but still OK, while HT gave us an angry bear who liked to tear limbs from poor bunnies (how can you not love that?). Also worth a mention is "Black n White" by Zombie Infected Dreams which was sufficiently nice, although not as polished as possible, but still a good go.

The mood of the crowd was of course near extacy during the demo compo, but like with any good orgasm sleepiness soon sneaks up on you, so when all demos had been viewed on the big screen it was one hell of a run towards the sofas to get a spot to sleep on. I thought I was fast, but my panic grew as others were faster. Luckily, I managed to secure the very last free couch and thus my beauty sleep was saved. Despite the noise, I managed to fall asleep almost instantly, and totally missed the prize giving ceremony that took place an hour or two after the compos ended.

When I woke up again on Sunday morning, breakfast was served and I started packing my bag for the trip home. Me and Avalon had to wait some hours before the others returned from the hotel, but that didn't bother us the slightest. We spent the time chatting and bidding other visitors goodbye as the place was slowly emptied of visitors. Then our ride home arrived too, and seven tired but happy party-goers embarked on our trip down South again.

TAPER/TRIAD

DATASTORM 2012 OFFICIAL RESULTS:

C64 MUSIC

1. Unfinished Business by Brandon Walsh
2. 200 toppisar Och En Folkis by Mr. Death
3. Mad Trax by Goto80
4. Clouded Memories by Ne7
5. Exigent Comity by Response
6. Route 6581 by Zyron
7. Bird Flu by X-Jammer
8. Cream Sormonium by Stinsen
9. Natural Constructor by RadiantX
10. I Tidevarvets Sorl by Klegg
11. Katrineholm by Corpsicle
12. Miserable House by ZZAP69
13. Stormtrain by Eladamri
14. Compotune by CHR$(142)

C64 GRAPHICS

1. Future Blind by Prowler
2. Frostungen by Zeila
3. Go Back To Oblivion by Frost
4. Borderbild by Malmix
5. Cowger by Skyffel
6. You Did What? by Redcrab
7. Cracked By Nature by hedning
7. Datastorm by Sebaloz

MIXED GRAPHICS

1. Tracks by Judas

C64 DEMO

1. One Quarter by Fairlight
2. Fragment by Mahoney, Prowler
3. Holy Crap! by Genesis Project
4. Fifteen Minutes Of Lame by Offence
5. Oso by Hack n' Trade
6. Black n White by Zombie Infected Dreams
7. Efter Concept by Mazza

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