Thursday 15 August 2002: the journey day
It was early in the morning when me and Synteesi/mfx woke up in Torino, Italy (my home town, that is). After packing some stuff, we swallowed our morning coffee and jumped on the car, on the way to Berne, where we were supposed to meet Genox/Calodox and PS/Calodox, in order to prepare the live gig planned for the next day, at the partyplace.
After 4 hours we arrived in Berne, a beautiful town with really ackward planning, that makes it impossible to hang around by car or even walking... after some desperate search for a parking place, we dumped the car in a random place and headed to the railway station, where we set up the meeting with our friends. We found them after some attempts and we walked back to the car, which amazingly was parked right IN FRONT of the partyplace (because of our huge demoscene luck or maybe due to some mfx paranormal attitude).
After drinking a couple of beers at the restaurant near the partyplace (just to start in the right mood), we went to Genox place, where we met Choi/Vantage (who was coding his demo) and, after a fast pasta dinner, we started practicing for the live gig. We realized that doing chillout trancey music just messing up some filters and sequences is quite easy, and after four our of random jamming (in which Genox played synths, Synteesi provided Reason-made drumloops, PS played weird movie samples through Buzz, while I tweaked some sequences with Noisetrekker 3.2) we decided to pass out on the comfortable wooden floor of Genox's place.
Friday 16 August 2002: Party!
After some breakfast-like food, we stuffed my car with all the hardware for the gig (PCs, synths and shit like that) and, already sweating like pigs, we tried to find our way back to the partyplace. Thank to the mighty demoscene god, we easily found it again and parked the car in the inner courtyard.
We suddenly realized how cool the partyplace is: imagine a small opera theater, with a big stage, quasi-baroque decorations, cool lights and a nearby bar selling beer, coffee, food (the orgos also provided free ice tea for everyone). We got our first brick of ice tea, some pizza from a nearby pizza-taxi and started chilling out in the chillout-zone sofa.
In less than one hour many cool demosceners started gathering at the partyplace, including Pan and Drift from Spinning Kids, Ile/Aardbei, Shifter/TPK, Florent/Lobster (damn, what's your nick, pal? :D), Black/Twilight, Willbe/Orion and Melwyn/Haujobb. To make the atmosphere more cosy, I turned on my laptop to play some sid tunes and watch c64 demos, while someone else ignited the hemp joint-factory, which was out to last for the whole party.
The organizers did their best to entertain people, playing demoscene music from the "demodulate" collection by Phoenix/Hornet and showing some demos on the big screen.
At some point Genox and Choi arrived and we started assembling the stuff for the gig on the stage. As soon as we finished sorting out cables and shit like that, Bigbear/Citron joined us and we started some slow 100bpm improvised chillout music, while Fred/Calodox played some amiga demos on the big screen behind us. The time passed fastly, the gig was fun (for us at least), and in a moment we were again boozing outside in a cool scene atmosphere. Lotsa hemp got burned, many beer cans hit the ground and Melwyn sponsored some Salmiakkikossu (salty licorice vodka drink) which brought back many Boozembly memories.
[now entering the blurry memory bank]
Melwyn got very drunken and started some weird drunk talks, while Synteesi had a neat pair of red eyes and a merry smile carved on his face. After some more delirium, the happy posse decided to move inside to watch the demoshow that the orgos were starting.
As soon as I got my chair, I noticed that Melwyn and Synteesi went to the organizers floor (on the first floor balcony in the theater) and took over the demoshow by brute force: the thing was very obvious also by looking at the demo choice, since all the cool/weird finnish productions were shown, including lovely prods like Kromiset Sienet by mfx and Chimera by Halcyon. While something from TPOLM was hitting the screen, I gently passed out on the sofa, and then moved my ass to a better place for some quality floor-sleeping.
[back to real life]
Saturday 16 August 2002: React!
I woke up with smelling like a dead animal, with horrible taste in my mouth, broken bones but no hangover. I went to the supermarket together with Pan (and I realized that swiss prices are quite fucking expensive for italians) and came back for more party time. I guess the graphic compos were shown at some point, but I happily skipped them, chilling out outside and getting ready for our second gig. Since Bigbear was somewhere else, Melwyn came to the stage to play some background keyboards, and we jammed for something like 2 hours with nice results (we even got great feedback from someone, I'm still very amazed about that). We went outside again for some more scene talkings (a belgium beer keg magically appeared there) and then finally the compos started.
The surprise competition was about doing an ironic animation in the line of some famous show. The winner made a great Episode 2 parody using garbage and stop-motion ("Garbage Wars"). The music contest featured average entries (7 tunes in the multichannel compo and 14 in the streamed music), but I can't really remember any impressive entry. For some odd reason my tune "Loollabye" got 3rd place in the multichannel, even though it wasn't meant for a music compo at all (I still find it too plain and boring).
Since I am not much into Wild compos, I decided to get some chillout time behind the big screen, waiting for the real compos to start. I remember some details about an evil dude cooking Cowee (Buenzli mascot puppet) in his wild entry, which in the end won the compo.
After about one hour of fun, I woke Pan up (who was sleeping like a baby near me) and we zombie-walked to the hall to watch the intro competition. All the entries were quite enjoyable: Kewlers' "Deutsche Telekom" featured cga colors, resolution loss achieved through render-to-texture and weird chip music by Fred Funk, "aN eWgene" by Spinning Kids (yeah, me and Pan) showed minimalistic graphics with cloud effects, TPOLM (Alkama, Dake and Xhale) won the competition with a nice intro in the same line of Calodox productions like "death in Vegas" and "98 seconds", with neat multilayer effects, while "The Next Generator" by Oezgyrs showed nice openGL scenes with shadows and fast code, but very badly focused design (too bad, I guess the coder had quite a big lot of work putting all that stuff together).
After a short while, the demo competition started, with 4 entries as well. "Amour" by Orion was shown first (and it also won the compo), and it consisted in a 3d plot-demo with great ironical taste and good modelling, even tho I think many foreign visitors could't get it fully due to the french text; after that, XXX demo by Lunix got shown, featuring impressive 3d mesh modifiers, quasi-gabber music and weird synchs, all in software rendering, making it the most impressive demo in the compo from the technical point of view. Vantage released a demo as well (the one Choi was coding on the first night), with minimalistic effect which built a good overall feeling, and the last place (also in the final chart) went to a weird french demo ("CoinCoin" or something), about which I only remember the weird ripped joke soundtrack, filled with duck-like sounds. After that, I guess a demoshow started, but I just felt like going to my sleeping bag to lay down, in order to collect some energy to drive properly towards Italy.
Sunday 18 August 2002: Alllleeeez!
I woke up just in time for the price giving ceremony (you pretty much know all the results already, check them out on Scene.org for details), and after receiving some small prices for our entries (who goes to parties for prices, anyway?) I packed all the stuff on my car and started driving back to Italy together with Melwyn, PS and Daniel (a friend of PS), who are playing with my PS right now, and will continue their interrail journey through the rest of Europe.
Closing words: Buenzli does rule, the partyplace is small but awesome (even if it might change place if the party grows bigger), the organizers are excellent scene dudes and know what they are doing, the audience is fully sceneish and very international (if I remember correctly, people from Switzerland, France, Portugal, Finland, Holland, Germany, Slovenia and even Canada showed up) and the entries are great. Ok, Switzerland is a bit expensive if you come from places like Italy (tho it might even be cheap for you, in case you are Norwegian), but the party is definitely worth visiting. I hope to meet even more people there, next year, since I am definitely going to be back!