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Demo Reviews
by HCL/Booze Design

SINGLES COLLECTION #2

The first thing I'd like to say about this production is that the concept as a whole doesn't appeal to me at all. It feels old-fashioned to just gather a couple of parts and link them together. It leaves so much out compared to what a real demo could offer. The fact that many groups apply for the same production may bring some kind of "come together"-feeling, and I do hope that the contributors enjoyed it more than I seem to do. Maybe you think that I'm the one who is old-fashioned, but that's okay with me.

Since the parts (or "singles") don't have anything in common, it's hard to say which is well designed and which is not. Designed according to what!? Some graphics are well pixeled, and that is of course a delight. Hollowman's psychedelic parts are always entertaining, when you're in the right mode that is. Apart from that I really liked WVL's chaotic part, maybe because I recognized that lower-border effect which he made many years ago. Krill gets involved in those vertical rasterbars, and unfortunately I'm the wrong guy to tell if he does it well or not. The "normal is boring" slogan doesn't really fit in such a copy-paste part though, does it? Civitas really sets the standard, while Padua shows the most strange tunnel-plotter I have ever seen (!).

Compared to the "Singles Collection #1", I think this one has raised the standard a bit. Most parts in #1 look more like intros (except for Onslaught's vector-part, and some others), while in #2 the parts are more demo-styled. So, how can you tell that? Well, it's in the design somehow... Hmm. So, after all there is some design in the parts anyway. :) Well, you know I don't have a clue about such things anyway. I'm just trying to express my feelings about those parts. The loader part and the end part are reused from #1 with no further changes than some colors. Isn't that a bit boring? ;)

There is one detail that you can really dig deep into, which in my opinion is a big paradox in itself. It's Fairlight, again... Starting with the "Soothing sounds for baby", which already there leaves us all with many questions. Who's baby? Why is he/she looking so happy? What sounds... are they real!? Is it possible that Hollowman has managed to produce a digi-sound that looks totally gentle and smooth on the screen but, when it comes through the SID, sounds that very strange? We can all recall Lubber's demo "Embryo" from Mekka Symposium 2001, where he bared his lost innocence of awaiting a child. "It's a boy/It's a girl", where would he go from here? Soon mocked by the drug-smelling demo "Drop The Basics", with a poor wrecked duck by the big blue ocean, saying "It's a duck". The symbolism is out of doubt, but is Hollowman now finally making up with himself in this way, or is he already lost in the same jungle?!?! There are clues to this case, which we will see later on, but it's hard to tell if it gives us more answers than new questions. Next time Hollowman shows up, someone is walking down the stairs, passing by a chair, and a table. Then suddenly (!), hang on, a short break when time warps some thousands of years, and then the world is totally spinning. What went wrong!? Yepp, the chair. It has a wrong perspective compared to the stairs. Not to mention the stairs themselves, totally obvious. So, you may wonder why all these false projections or the environment!? The truth is: he is hiding something! Recall like the "Matrix", when the black cat reappears. There is no spoon. But then look back at the baby, isn't there a pixel on its forehead?! I bet there is, it's clearly visible with strong shades so that the disturbing white is filtered away. All these hints point to the same conclusion: he is in great need of help. Is it the baby that is chasing his mind, or is it the clearly misaligned rightmost pixel-column of the zooming space-invader in the end? I doubt the second answer myself, it's too easy, but unfortunately we cannot know. Let us pray to the good forces to save him, at least for a while. Let him return and give us the ultimate demo. Let him help Krill do 217 vertical rasterbars, and Crossbow to release "Meet Crest". But like messiah, he will leave us wondering some day. But why on Earth did he leave the FLD-fade out of the baby-part with a buggy lower border!?!? It sucks!!!

Well, that's about everything you need to know about "Singles collection #2", no extras. Next time we will have a closer look at some demos you wouldn't know would have been released. Till then.

HCL/BOOZE DESIGN

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