The Hornet Archive



Changes since MC5




Hello. Welcome to the sixth sordid entry in the Music Contest lineage.

"Six years, already?", I can hear it now. Every year the scene either gets smaller, bigger, higher, or lower quality (depending on your viewpoint, of course). One of the yearly highlights, though, is the Music Contest. MC5 was easily one of the most well-organized competitions in recent years. Snowman's scripts and ftp servers and automated vote-tallying made for a very clean process. Whether or not you agreed with all of the rules and regulations, one must admit that it continually improves from year to year. It's a small morsel of wholesome goodness in this big decadent chocolate cake we call the "music scene".

I wish I had some deep insights into the meaning of it all. I do know, however, that whether we like it or not, we are slowly merging into the "internet music scene", whatever the hell that is. Music and Computers has a column called the "MOD Philez". WinAMP plays not only MP3's, but S3M's and IT's. A lot of commercial games are using IT/XM/MOD technology (even Nintendo 64 console games). It seems we are reduced to the sum of our technology. Tracking has become another way to sequence samples, along with conventional MIDI-driven sequencers and hardware samplers. As we find "commercial" acceptance, we also get lost in the mainstream.

For a while it was different. There was that brief period where tracking did push an envelope. It let people without access to expensive pro equipment make really great sounding music. And simultaneously, the "internet" was coming into being as a means of fast communication without regards to distance. This allowed the music "scene" to penetrate a lot of places where it could never get to before. Not surprisingly, a large community began to develop, out of people who wanted to spread and share their music with others. And also, I'm sure, there was a desire to connect with other people who had the similar (insane, ridiculous, all-consuming) desire to spend hours and hours of their lives in front of a glowing screen making lots of synchronous noise.

Are those days over?

It's hard to say.

I went to The Hornet Archive the other day, because I hadn't been there in a while. I figured I would catch up with what was going on. DemoNews was gone. TraxWeekly hadn't released a new issue since early February. I went onto IRC to try to find people. Most of the servers were dead. I eventually did get to #trax, and there was barely anyone there. What happened? Did everything dry up and wither away when I wasn't looking? I do know that a lot of my scene friends ended up working for game companies, or doing their own MIDI-based stuff, or devoting more time to college, or getting married (eeks) or running off to foreign lands.

Is there hope?

MC5 had double the number of entries as MC4, which had quite a bit more than MC3, and so on. The quality has certainly improved each year, and it's gotten consistently more professional. It's the time of the year when people submit their best work to the harshest judges of all: the public. There is certainly nothing else like it. MC brings a certain amount of professionalism and respectability to the music scene that you don't get from a lot of other places. And you, dear reader, can be a part of the process. Enter a song. Judge and comment the songs of others. Get the word out. Share your visions with your fellow man. By doing this, we revitalize ourselves and our tracking community.

Maybe the trend will continue. Maybe we can avoid being assimilated into the digital music soup. There's only one way to find out.

Fight the end of the scene.

Support our collective dream with your MC6 entry.


Necros / Five Musicians
03 May 1998