* Finnish Scene-history, 1986 to 1991 *By Grendel of Byterapers Inc.
1996 comment by Grendel: This article is written sometime in 1991, and it shows how times were back then. I don't anymore agree with everything I said here, but for historical reasons the article is left completely unchanged.
Todays Finland is quite well known for its groups, or groups with divisions in Finland, like Scoopex, Frantic, Image & many others; bigger and smaller. But what about the yesterday's groups? What about those groups who have BUILT the current scene? Many current freaks have no idea about the old Finnish groups or their doings.This is a story about them and starting from the beginning, from the 64-times.
The Finnish scene started to shape during the year 1987. At that year the existing, small at that time, groups started to find about each other. Of course there had been groups before, names like Pure-Byte and 777-Team should drop a tear from every old freak who's been around. They were the FIRST Finnish groups to ever get fame and rise to world-fame. Pure-Byte's star was Yip, otherwise known as Jori Olkkonen, who coded Scrollmachine, legendary demo which achieved enormous success. Later came The Dungeon,which amazed even more with its brilliant code. 777-Team rose as well high, even though I don't know how as I didn't see much of their doings. Anyway they were first Finnish Elite Amiga-group.
Back to '87. There was a lot of single guys, and small groups who were now, without knowing, forming the "scene". A li'l group of friends who formed inside ring "elites" of Finnish groups. Many had been around already from '86, although were just beginning. The star-groups of '87 were: 64: Byterapers, Stack, Z-Circle, Digitize Design Group, and Finnish Gold; on the Amiga: X-Men, Finnish Gold, 777-Team.
X-Men were to become the 2nd Amiga-group rising into world's eyes, and the tool into fame was "Digisources 1&2". By that time's standard's they were extremerely useful: disks with useful samples for your songs!
Stack was that time's crazy party-parta-group. Fast 64-cracking and even (at least) ONE demo from Zados. Zados was, is, the crazy here with myself in those days parties, drinking together under table, crazy talk&partyhabits and outfits...
Byterapers had been growing fast, at worst times there were 50 members, but later it was dropped to sane numbers. The star of (B) was Kasper, The Lord of the Keyboard, code-wizard. Magic but dead lazy coder, who cracked about 300 games during his lazy career. Some cracks were spread very well, as well as some demos, so (B) started to gain same fame.
Z-Circle was a small bunch of 4 or 5 guys doing a demo when they cared. Without exception, they all were very good coders and put out very good demos. Especially TMS and Wallie deserve a special mention for building the scene. Later they disappeared of lazyness, but were for some time high on democharts.
Finnish Gold is the best demogroup ever on 64 in Finland. The Finland Cracking Service (FCS) was long a loner doing demos by himself, and coding for Omega Team (later known as Finnish Gold). Then he joined FIG, and started one of the brighest stars ever. In the very end FIG was a member of the legendary TAU, The Austrian Union and made for them one of the best demos on 64 since that date. Later they left TAU, as well as TJU and created FIG's fame on their own. I could yet mention "V-Crackings Inc.", which stood for another Finnish legend named MOKU, later being at FIG and founder of Accession in 88.
Many smaller groups were also formed at that time, but probably the only one alive is Wizzcat, born at end of 87.
The few groups alive from those times are Byterapers, being the oldest active group in Finland now (1986-91); DDG, who exist but are very dead; FIG, the same as DDG. That time existed also a small, funny group Wabo-Soft. It consisted of one, small unknown guy with big mouth named Reward + one other guy. Later Reward found Immortal Icarus Imperium, moved to Powerslaves and finally stormed Scoopex.
Year changed. At newyear 87/88 is the first Finnish party, kept by the TJU, The Jezebels Union. At the party XYZ-Soft coded the first Finnish Amiga-demo ever. TJU was something we could only dream today: all Finnish groups in one Union. Later when TJU splitted, the party started being called Finnish Gold party. There was the WHOLE current scene, all 40 guys! The Jezebels was a big thing to be, but unfortunately it was killed: Finnish Gold was the 1st group to leave it, saying they didn't need it. No-one needed it, but it was a good thing to be. X-Men followed, and so the elitegroups slowly left TJU. At these times started a competition between Byterapers and Finnish Gold about the leading place in Finland. In '87 there had been a same kind of compo between (B) and Stack, but Stack lost ground with moving to Amiga and lazyness. Now was starting a much longer and bitter competition. Afterwards thinking, neither group could win, as both had concentrated on different areas: Finnish Gold were demomakers, while (B) were crackers and spreaders. Anyway, for some time a hidden WAR was going on between groups, while other groups were keeping out of way of the struggling 64-giants.
Also a much smaller war between (B) and ZODUX took place. Zodux was a small group which suddenly declared to be the NO:1! In very short but intense war Zodux disbanded themselves, and came out as exactly same group but with name: BEYOND FORCE! Zodux were ultra-lamers, and at first Beyond was too, no wonder as they were just the same groups. Later Beyond Force rose high on coding, as they got Solomon, a coder almost as good as FCS. Anyway the struggle between (B) and FIG continued unchanged until 1989. Both groups claimed to be no:1. Both got better all the time,FIG made better demos while (B) cracked faster and more than any other Finnish group. Both were tops on their own area. Some demos like Ice-Cold, 7 on The Top and all those rest brilliant ones with FCS' code and Rock's musics will always be remembered. Then FCS went to the army, and so Finnish Gold faded from the scene. They still exist today, but do nothing.
At '88 the scene really went on. Groups came. Groups went. Parties. DDG's Digiparty'88. Byterapers Party. Moku formed Accession from FIG's Amiga-side and The Destroyer Team. Someone called Zebra rose high. Stack gained strange fame as partyanimals (ketchup rules). Hack-Man came into light in FUS and later found Deathstar. Yes, it was cool! The Rulers Of Finland-claimed. Erm. Hoffi had founded HTG (Hacker Trick Group) before, but left it and joined Deathstar. He was later kicked out with The Wicked and went on founding BLOODSUCKERS! Later he joined (B) at Rockstar's birthday- party, and went after some time back to BS. West Russian Bad Boys ruled! Group which's leader Communist Cowboy boasted they collect all Finnish lamers. Vodka, Samovar, Lenin, da! Later this phenomena died, as CC also went to BS. WRBB and Stack/X-Men were on same line - Eastern Power, our father Lenin rules, da! Sometime later Stack and X-Men went into cooperation, and after a long time a shock came: Stack melts into X-Men and ceases to exist. Byterapers & Team-X cooperated, and grew to top 3 Finnish Amiga-groups.
A lot of small groups existed. People like A.C Software, F.S.D., HJJR, Swap and Beagle Boys, who presented the typical people around. Or MJM-Service, who later went on founding Browbeat, another famous 64-group. FIG made amazing 64-demos.(B) cracked more and more, and gained status as a cracking crew. Team-X was high on Amiga and went into cooperation with (B). Later the coop splitted, but for some time the (B)+Team-X-coop was very powerful. Mirage Intl. rose into sights, and was everyone's fun. Everyone's favourite lamers, making war with others. They also released diskmag C.O.W., which still is unique. Pure parody, at least 4 issues were made. They achieved to reach "Simo-price of the month" at Skandinavian News 8 for being the lamest group of the month. Near Tampere Neutral Zone Crackers affected with unbelievable digi-disks etc.
Came 1989. Now it was real. Finland had all the possibilities, but one big problem there still was: mail's slowness. Modems weren't yet a reality for Finnish swappers, and it was impossible to be a fast swapper with foreign contacts. Some groups anyway did it, and many other groups finally made quality demos - FIG's was not alone. That year the Finnish breakthrough happened.
64-groups like Finnish Gold and Beyond Force were releasing brilliant demos. Byterapers achieved position 9 on world's 64-crackercharts and reached Top 5 on Finnish Amiga-charts. Deathstar relesed the first Finnish megademo, which only few months ago reached Crusaders Eurochart top 20. Freedom Force followed soon with their megademo, but it didn't reach the same quality. FF gained status with Lucifer's demos, and Phalanx released their legendary vector-demo (coded by Tai-Pan), which still is far better than most current filled-vector demos. It had IDEA and HUMOUR. One could laugh watching it, which can't be said with these fast'n beautiful filled demos today. Overload appeared, and cooperated with Phalanx, and arranged the fiasco Lahti-party. Later joined each other, and became Complex. Strange group called X-Beat was born, as Irwin being founder. That was really strange group, first only partyboozers but later even some real working. That time's top-boozers were Zados/Stack, Irwin/ X-Beat and Grendel/(B). Some small groups of the time were for example First Wave and Microwave.
Accession released magazine Skandinavian News, which challenged Cracker Journal very hard for the best mag's position. They were having very good time overall. More and more happened. Axion 1999 first boasted, and then got fucked by all Finnish groups. Sampox the lame noticed nothing and continued laming (he even BOUGHT stuff from the writer). Destiny were first down, but later rose really high as swappers and were sucked into Deathstar. Clones saw the light, being quite ok. Even Walkman of IT was for some time in Byterapers. At beginning of '89 Byterapers announced the first Amiga-products, and started the Muzzax series. The Action Force left (B) and founded Index. Index was very short lived, soon joined Phalanx. The 64-guys formed Contex, which was to become a bright star on the 64-sky. They soon joined the ranks of Finnish elite-coders, and filled the empty slot left by Finnish Gold, as both Rock (Skandinavian's 2nd best musician) and FCS (best 64 coder in Finland) were in army.
Byterapers quit the whole 64-section at once, and Extasy was found, main members being ex-'rapers Rockstar and Servant. They continued the cracking (B) had started, and rose really high. Another great war of 1989 happened between Bloodsuckers vs Finnish groups. BS had been teasing Finnish groups already, but then came the final bit. I and Scy & The Wicked of Bloodsuckers were at Silents-party at Sweden and released a small intro there. In the intro we together fucked all Finnish groups and wrote awful shit about everyone. "We made this intro just to send lots of fucks". Suddenly, no-one realized it was joke, took everything literally and started a war against BS. What's most interesting, no-one battled against Byterapers - even when the intro was BS & (B) cooperation products and I had been writing the texts as well. BS almost disappeared by the time, but did not die and are now high again. But it's very funny to see what ONE SMALL INTRO, with logo,music and scroll can do. Also funny was how almost ALL Finnish groups united against BS but achieved nothing else but some months silence.
1990. Almost what we see today.
Contex died, and Finnish guys formed Artline Designs, legal group. Beyond Force rose high again, as Solomon had been in the army and during it BF were quite down. Since returning, they had been doing good work on 64, and were the no:2 after Extasy. Many Amiga-groups were seen. Cave, Amaze, Midnightsun etc. Scoopex's Finnish guys released demos like 7 Sins and Mental Hangover, and gained eternal fame (happy to be famous, yes Sprayer & Zebi?). Skandinavian News 10 was relesed, and no more came. With SN's death, Accession fell into deep chasm and haven't yet got up. Group is alive, all old members are there still and they have managed to released something, but nothing to compare to 88/89 when they were in biz.
Just before christmas Byterapers did a desparate attempt to climb out of grave, and almost did it. Really much was going on, but when Grendel left to the army, the new leaders ruined his whole work and (B) almost died. Grendel however returned after 2 months of army, and saved the group from death.
1991. Today. There is more people, more groups than ever. But the real top is very small, as big groups have swallowed the best single guys of most small groups. The best current 64-crews seem to be Victims (ex-Extasy = Rockstar & Servant) and Dead Sector. Beyond Force is moving completely to Amiga, they have slowly been releasing some demos & even a really brilliant and warmly welcomed musicdisk.
The Amiga-side is known by most, but let's have a repeat. The top groups of date are Scoopex (silent, rumours telling about new demo coming but who knows? Zebra built a BBS called Zoo), Image (silent too, have a good BBS and talented members if they just could do something. As a chance, Image went and won the 1st price at Anarchy-party music compo. Stranger the Jarnis BBSman is getting very rich by selling cheap hardware), Vertigo (made a demo when cared, but usually with good quality. The Fill'em All included humour so rare today, also have a good BBS), Bloodsuckers (very lazy, one of the OLD Elite-groups, Hoffi-laardiman keeps his BBS Thunderstruck which is sick, as the group overall is. Mostly a partygroup today, but who knows?. They're organizing a party at July with Scoopex and Byterapers), Frantic (got famous with their few but good demos, and keep riding with rumours about the coming of a really COOL demo. Hope they won't disappoint us with fast routines with no IDEA at all), Byterapers (another OLD Elite-group, very silent from January, because they almost died. Now back again with forthcoming products. Oldest Finnish group alive, also most famous Finnish party-arranger group - yearly since 88), Complex (another OLD elite-group, were silent as death for a long time, but lately begun taking new members and rising. Managed to release after a LOOONG pause a new issue of their MAGGY-mag, issue 9, but mag had lost much of its quality. As a funny thing they threw the coder of mag, Python, out of group immediately after its release. They're storming the world democharts, and climbed in TWO MINUTES BACK TO FINLAND'S NO:1 DEMOGROUP at Society-party), Accession (OLD Elite, only silence... Have tried to resurrect Skandinavian News many times, but never succeeded. Capable but LAZY as all OLD ELITE groups).
Other current groups are for example Wizzcat (again rising, been releasing slowly good demos & an interesting musicdisk), Euphoria (children of concrete & steel, mostly a swappergroup but have released a few small demos also), Society (new party in June, most have heard but don't know about the group itself. Rumours tell they are making a good demo), Vectra (new, and seemingly capable of big things), Beyond Force (OLD, told before), Grace (new & small)....
And comment to Zine #9's story about Finnish Elite... It's not completely like you say. It's not all drinking and being crazy. One may do anything he/she wishes, drink or be crazy. But it's not that everyone is. The old Elite, say for example Yip & Stubucrash of Pure Byte, Zados, Axa, Gryzor, Icebreaker/X-Men, Grendel/Byterapers, Zebra,Reward/Scoopex, Moku/ Accession, Hack-Man, Hazor/Beyond Force, Finnish Gold, Hoffi, CC/Bloodsuckers + some else. We aren't all drunk, and there's no way to get to the OLD Elite.
Of course it's possible to rise to GROUP/GUYS Elite by making lots of good demos, but to OLD Elite? NOOO! Not by drinking, being crazy or anything. One can't get there, it's a closed INSIDE-RING where outsider's usually have no coming. Exception was Irwin (Masse Von Kaapa) who was in the right place at the right time (DDG Digiparty 88, slept under flag-pole and got lost in woods) - he was so ultimately funny-looking that no-one could resist him, so he was accepted to our small ring. Friendship, yes. Of course you can chat and go with us in parties, be friends elsewhere but it doesn't give you the friendship of years with other olders, THE feeling one has done something for the scene during the years, THE proudness of being here since the beginning. Neither can GROUP ELITE be reached by drinking (note to Slayer & Zebra: only beer makes it possible, but sure you weren't ALL the time drunk while making Mental Hanged), as who can produce lots of quality things while all time drunk? Shortly: we aren't all drunks or crazy. Some of us have grown out of it, sure many have noticed changes in myself for example??
Grendel of Byterapers Inc.