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C64 Scene In Poland
by Cactus/Oxyron/Padua

I was inspired by Mihai to write an article covering the entire C64 scene in Poland today. There are many questions about the Polish scene, which intrigue sceners from Western countries. It is said that from a perspective of a non-Polish scener very few things are known about it. It's well known that we have our own sites, forums, but we're even considered having our own style... What do I think about all this? Is there really a Polish scener today who doesn't speak English? Mihai claimed that except for me and few others, he can't really see any other Polish guys involved. Is this really a scene inside a scene, with its own laws and customs? Asked this question I have been forced to write this article for "Attitude" mag, which includes these and some other aspects of today's Polish C64 scene.

As I'm not the only one representative Polish scener, I have decided to set the discussion on the Polish mailing list (which is maintained by Brush/Elysium), where most of sceners are subscribed (active people and those who left years ago). It changed to quite a big and serious discussion. This unfortunately has not been frequent recently, because people are rather talking bullshit about PC's or digital cameras, instead of more valueable C64 talks, however I suppose it probably happens in other countries too.

Of course not every Polish C64 scener is subscribed to Elysium's mailing list, however it's surely a majority. There are some people, who are subscribed, but not taking part in discussion, a good example for that is Fenek/Arise, one of the best coders in our country, who told me that he'd prefer to fix his mind on producing C64 releases instead of unproductive discussions. This should be called a common sense, I admit. Well, not all Polish sceners waste their time on unproductive discussions. Another good example for this is Booker/Amorphis, a well-known musician. Although he doesn't have that much time, he keeps on composing very nice tunes whenever he's got some time for it. There's Bedrich/Exon, an underestimated graphician, very talented scener who has helped me with graphics for "Attitude" not once. We shouldn't forget about Ramos/Samar, a guy is leading one of the most popular (still) Polish groups, Samar. And there are also people like Murdock/Tropyx, who completely depreciates the meaning of Internet in today's scene by negating downloading stuff from the net and accepting snailmail spreading only.

Murdock's opinion about the Polish scene is a bit different from the others... He feels that there is no C64 scene anymore. He's sure that our country is fully dominated by the PC's, only a few active sceners (like him) are still coding some new C64 releases. But he thinks that Polish scene is very united, the best example for this is the North Party, which is the last prove that our scene is not completely dead (yet). In a few years time there probably won't be any scene except for some social meetings of old friends, something in a kind of Samar meetings being regularly organised by Ramos. There are no beginners, that's why scene is shrinking... Huh, it was Murdock's opinion, in short.

Well, these are a few examples of sceners who are not often on the net or not discussing different problems on a mailing list. Enough of them! Let's go on with the main subject of this article.

I have expected that it would be really interesting to read how Polish sceners would react to the previously mentioned reproaches. I was positively surprised by the attitude shown by Elban/Arise or Brush/Elysium, who were actively taking part in the discussion, giving me misc sensible arguments. At this moment I would like to thank them very much for their help in developing this article, as well as all the other people who has sent me their opinions. I had realised it would be senseless to quote all the messages that have been sent to the list, so I decided to focus on the most important facts only.

The Polish C64 scene is not as active as it was a few years ago. I suppose it's the same situation for every other country, most of us have a job (commonly spending 10 hours in work), have our own families, that means we have little time for our C64 activities in comparison to times when we were younger, however we still keep on watching new stuff. But we aren't that much active in developing new releases. The fact is that our scene has started later than Western ones for obvious economic reasons, anyway in times of Arise/Samar/Albion etc. Polish scene was dominating, being the strongest one at that time.

Most Polish sceners feel that people from Western Europe look down on us, they underestimate our skills, and they even don't feel like coming to our parties. The Poles are not treated seriously, even if we code something with great graphic and nice music, others reproach us for no message. Of course there are few exceptions, but most people seem not to treat our demos seriously. This could be caused by the small amount of Polish sceners, who can offer something new to the scene, and Western scenes don't really seem to be interested in seeing new great Polish demos.

When Polish graphicians were the best in the world (in times of Carrion, Cruise, Fazze), some shitty articles were being published, like that text from "The Pulse" by SunDancer, were Carrion's picture was compared with a scanned one by some Wrath member. For Panzer it was a proof that Poland is still far from the world-quality. When there were great Polish coders around, it appeared that demos made in ZOOM4 are suddenly bad, very bad. But when they were being made by Reflex for example, it was okay. Today when Poles are making good demos (eg. Arise) in times when the decent level of coding skills of Brush or Fenek can be reached only by a few coders from the West (Graham, HCL, Krill, anyone else?), it appears that our demos have no message, what is very bad. These are only a few proofs of the fact that our releases are rated as ones from the lower category. Brush says that is why if he would decide to release a demo, he would prefer an ovation of 20 people at North than klap-klap-klap at Mekka. Because this is what you get in Polish parties - standing ovations when you are good, no matter what country you are from. Remember who won one of the toughest and best music compos in recent years, North #4? Standing ovation...

Brush advised me to ask Jazzcat, what he thinks about the Poles and the Polish scene. So there's his opinion...

"The Polish section of the C64 scene is just like any other part of our community. The scene is not as active or as grand as before thus, so is the Polish scene. However, I think there is enough skilled people to keep things going and make it better than the year before, especially with meetings with atmosphere like the North Party 8 (now in Warsaw) and a community website like (both are important to hold everyone together).

I feel that some of the older groups and sceners should try be a bit more active and give the younger ones more inspiration to get better. The scene in general has some large generation gaps as well as the changes in the way the scene operates, so new guys don't get much experience on the roots of the scene and the older meanings of it. This applies to the entire scene, including the Polish community.

I have always had connections to Polish sceners. Some of my best contacts have come from that country. Because of my good relation and respect for that part of the scene I have had opportunities to include Polish sceners into the member status of my group, Onslaught. People like Meff, Grafee, Informer, EU Geniusz, Rap and more! Currently we still have some Polish dudes on our active list, these are Booker, Leming, Naphalm, Praiser and Shapie. All of these guys are really cool, true Onslaught'ers. :)

I dislike some ridicule that some Western European sceners seem to like giving to Polish sceners. It is not as common these days, but was at one point getting ridiculous with the same old b/s being said and the people saying it thinking that they were cool or funny or something.

These days I cannot say much that is bad about the Polish scene. There are still productions. There is the 'Attitude' magazine, which shows much potential. There is still a lot happening. Note: I think there is too many musicians these days, not that this is a bad thing but in contrast to how many coders and graphicians there is, it sure is noticable. Especially at parties - count the compo tunes!

That's pretty much all I have to say other than greetz to you all!"


That was opinion of a non-European scener, so it should be considered as the most objective one.

The North Party

Probably the most important event in Poland is North Party (8th edition was held this year in Warsaw). What is very sad about it, there are almost no foreign visitors. Except for a few Germans (Ninja, Zaphod, Faayd, Fanta, Happymaker), CreamD and Commander, those 8 editions were being visited only by Polish sceners. Some editions had really BIG promotion in Western countries, cause Poland is very cheap for them, but still it didn't attract them to come. That's why organisers have decided that following editions won't have any promotion in the West. They are tired of countless asking them to come. We have our fun anyway, too bad they are missing it.

Meet the facts. There's a nice demo party in Poland, there are valueable people, there are prices, and there are high quality releases every year. Probably nothing more would be needed if the party was held in Hannover or another Frankfurt. We'll be not eager to visit their parties and certainly with such attitude on their side, there is little hope of somebody from Poland working his ass off, making a demo to be shown on foreign party. Our scene has proved many years ago that the quality of our releases is not worse than Western ones.

When an organiser of the North Party set the topic at #c-64 "North 4 - Poland -", it got quickly being changed into "White bears hunting in Poland - don't miss that" etc. Don't think it was funny. There are/were jokes about Polish people on that channel, unfortunately the same since 8 years. Germans seem to fear that it is dangerously in Poland, there are many car-thefts and holes in roads. Actually, with such an attitude, they'd better never visit our country. But maybe they should try. There have been some exceptions and we haven't heard about them being robbed. :) Ignorance and narrow-mindness is not an excuse.

If any foreign scener would like to visit North Party, he could be sure that party organisers would help him as much as they could do. He would be warmly welcomed, met at the station (or the airport), he could come one day before the party (there would be a sleeping accommadation for him)... This is what we call Polish hospitality. But we won't beg anyone one on bended knees to come to our party.

What about the infamous use of Polish language in our productions?

"Tagekameret"? "Produkthandler Kom Her"? What about the infamous use of Danish language in their productions then? What about so many diskmags in German? What about the Hungarian language in the demo "Profik 3"? As far as I remember there has been no Polish language in major releases since many years.

We understand that Germans do not want to use their language because many countries have rather unpleasant memories connected with it. But besides being totally non understandable for you, our language has no such "baggage". Feel free to learn it. But seriosly... Name 3 quality demos from Poland that have been using Polish language... Something from Taboo, Elysium, Arise, Albion...? I don't think so.

And by the way... Last time I've checked Banana Republic, there have been a separate directory for German language magazines... :) We call it Kali's mentality: Kali stole a cow - good, somebody has stolen Kali's cow - bad...

Why is the Polish scene considered as inferior by many sceners (German and Swedish)?

There were some very talented sceners in Poland in the past, who joined some elite European groups. Don't want to give you any examples here, I bet you should know them. There were also some great Polish groups, which could easily compete with the best Western crews. Unfortunately, Western mentality is still unchanged, although in every category we've got at least one TOP5 scener.

There were many people attituded unfriendly towards Poland, but there were also some fu***ng fops and gulls like Deadbeat, Tranziie or Skinhead. They had worked long years for this opinion. Tranzmonkey was angry seeing Polish sceners achieving great success after 2-3 years of activity, while he couldn't do it after so many years of his scene career. There was Deekay, who claimed that Polish graphicians were scanning their pictures, what was simply crap. Another good example for forgetting about the great Polish sceners is asking about the cover designers. Most of Western sceners associate covers with Electric, Duce, Junkie and Zapotek. Although those first three guys were really master hands, Zapotek surely didn't reach the level of some forgotten Polish artists, for example Astaroth, Rodney or Stone.

I have asked some European sceners, who is the elite for them. Most Poles expected that probably no one will credit Carrion, Fazee or Valsary as the best graphician.

"Well, today I don't like to talk in terms of ELITE anymore. But if you want to talk about good coding groups as elite, then maybe you can consider Elysium and Arise as ELITE groups."


"Blame me, but I don't know if there are any Polish sceners in the ELITE group."


"In my honest opinion there are quite a lot Polish dudes among ELITE, since I think a lot of them are among the best."


There you've got a few different opinions. Anyway it seems that Fenek and the other coders behind "Biba II" are elite enough for the most European sceners. As for Polish graphicians, many people remember Valsary, yes he was an artist! That's why I can't quite agree with the unpopular opinion among my nationals that Polish scene is considered as inferior. I think that only Poles themselves create this bad image.

Of course I must admit that there are also some arrogant and stupid people in Poland, won't give you any examples though, sure nobody cares about the crap they say... It seems to be usual that people, who didn't achieve any success in the scene, have the most to say.

Is there really a big scene in Poland?

Looking at NoName's scene database, Poland is considered being one of the top countries when it comes to the amount of sceners. Yes, this scene is quite a big one in comparison to other countries. But as I have mentioned above, most people don't have much time for C64 activities today, so this scene doesn't produce as much releases as it was doing in the past.

Brush proposed me these words to sum up my article... We have no grudge against the Western scenes. We do not expect anything from it so it does not disappoint us when we get nothing. If they come to our party, good. If they don't, good. We have not had to prove anything for a long time now.


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