[demoreview #0: "1995" by kewlers+mfx............]
author(s): kewlers, mfx party: Assembly 2oo6 year: 2006 duration: 5'21'' ranked: 3rd

1. Intro
"1995"'s intro screen, with "exploding" letters

"1995" was one of the most groundbreaking demos of 2006 (despite the title). The keyword of the demo seems to be just one: "reference". Everything is a reference to some "period", style or stereotype of the scene. But we'll see that later. Mfx and Kewlers (there is no real distinction between the two groups; members from one group are members of the other one, and viceversa. Kewlers, before called "Mewlers" start as a demogroup in, guess when, 1995, as a less-alternative group, or maybe more, to Mfx) go to Assembly 2006 with this demo, clearly stating that this is their last demo ("they came back again and for the very last time"). But this is just another joke, since: 1) as said, Mfx and Kewlers share the same group-members 2) Mfx continued to produce demos after Assembly 2006 3) you can't really trust Mfx and Kewlers (and a scener in general).
Anyway, they get beaten by Fairlight (2nd place) and The Black Lotus (the winners), but this demo is the moral winner of the compo; the soundtrack "(Choose zero polys and shaders by Little Bitchard)" has even been proposed during Bass or other demoscene cover-groups gigs, or in demoscene compliations, like "Demovibes", clearly emerging from the crowd as a top-10 quality tune (whatever that means).

2. The demoflow

The raytracing+particle explosion sequence
The demo starts out with a high-tuned synth pulsing out, and the letters "m", "f", and "x" glow in synch with the music. In the background, there is a fog-like effect (really reminds of the intro sequence of another Mfx demo: "Stream"). The titles slowly zoom out, and we discover that we are just watching a blurry '70s television. Then the "effects" start to show: a tunnel, some metaballs, a spiked and glittering ball. Then some reflecting spheres pop out, and you can read a writing on a layer that says "fucking 2006 fucking realtime fucking raytracing". This is a reference inside a reference, since mfx has been in the 90s the demogroup with the fastest raytracing-packed demos (see, for example, "Gamma" or "Transgression 2").
The spheres are really made of smaller particles, and after some spinning, they explode. Then comes the "choose" part, where a vocoded voice greets some groups, and Mfx and Kewlers decline the principles of their philosophy: "choose effects over 3ds" and the "choose zero polys and shaders" of the title. The demo then goes towards the end, showing the credits for each scene, and, after that, the music and the scenes fade out in the spiked ball of the beginning (and the lyrics of the soundtrack are shown for a last time: "bring back the only demo art").

3. The references

Comparison between 1995's and a c64 picture palettes
As said previously, there are many references and citations in the demo, some clearly visible, some not so easy to spot. The whole demo is a reference to the "classic" demostyle, made of a sequence of parts or "effects". The title, "1995", is a reference to the "golden age" of the scene (where demos like "Stars" by Nooon, or "Television" by Orange were produced). The whole demo shows modernized versions of the old effects: the free directional tunnel of the beginning, the rotozooming background, the dizzy metaballs, the "melting" layers, from one side to another (as seen in many 90s demos, even amiga ones), the "spinning" torus (that is really made of small cubes), the spiked spinning spheres and the rubber spinning cylinder (both are made of glittering particles). There are meta-references to the scene also: the television at the beginning (seen in other Mewlers demos too), the baloons a-la der piipo,

Comparison between "1995" intro sequence and another Mfx demo: "Stream"
the commodore 64 palette colours of the spinning background and of the spiked ball that becomes 2d (and the background even fades in/out with discrete c64 steps!), obviously the credits in pure 2nd reality (or really I should say "Hardwired") style (but showing a realtime version of the effects, since we're not in 1995 anymore), the spinning torus itself. Some other references are a bit hidden: the ultra-fast slideshow of the past mfx demos, the layers that say "background 8", "overlay 8" or "scene 1, 2, 3, ..." and "10 - last scene", referring also here to a way of making demos (like a sequential slideshow of scenes or effects), that has its roots in the 90s.

4. Conclusion and open points

Bring back the only real scene!
Mfx have been joking on scene themes since they began to produce masterpieces (do you remember the "slowest polygon engine in the world" rant in the "Gamma 2" infofilu?). This demo speaks of 1995, but the effects are proposed in a modern way. They also say "choose zero polys and shaders" (this is really a leitmotiv from their older demo "Protozoa") (update: the slogan "zero polygons, zero shaders" is really found in "We Cell". Thanks trace), but many effects in the demo are made of polygons (the letters at the beginning, the little cubes that make the torus and the "spinning hand").
In any case, the music, the style and the spirit make this one of the demos that will remain, like classics of the 90s did.

Download "1995" here. This demo has been rated:
posted by friol at 8/13/2007 07:33:00 PM - under: , , - comments? here (5)

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