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Hellven, Demoscene Group and Netlabel

1990s, 2000s, demoscene, digital release, music // 2018-01-02

Hellven Link Button

Something I wrote last week didn't sit right with me:

RS3 later went on to start (or maybe join?) the group Hellven

I knew that couldn't be correct. A small amount of research led me to this interview with Xavier Dang, the founder of Hellven. That gave me enough information to start digging in the Internet Archive. The Hellven v5 homepage helpfully links to a forum post that explains the timeline and history of Hellven. Quote from that forum post:

hellven was founded in 1998 by Xavier Dang a.k.a. "mv" (previously melvyl). When it started, hellven was a music group of aspiring/hobbyist musician pals from various places around the globe aiming to release their tracked music of any style for free on the net.

Hellven went through a series of versions, each with a corresponding time period. 1.x spanned 1998-1999, 2.x 1999-2000, then 3.x and 4.0 lasted from 2000 to 2003. The final revision appears to have been 5.0; I don't know if any music was released during this time.

The files.scene.org archive appears to have the Hellven v3 and v4 releases, specifically the Urbanism musicdisk and the 001-099 single releases. The archived Hellven v4 webpage is useful for figuring out the details of the various releases.

So now I know: RS3 did not "start" Hellven. He joined during the Hellven 2 period.

This journey inspired me to download the Hellven mod releases available on scene.org and render the ones I liked out to flac. There's a lot of good stuff! Melvyl's tracks, particularly hv001 Disfigured and hv032 Someone EP are great. hv041 Odyssey by Funkymuskrat is a nice surprise; that's an artist I'll have to look out for. And of course RS3's tracks, my favorites of which are hv024 Phases of Identity EP and hv039 Among the Fallen.

There's more Hellven for me to discover: I haven't found any v1 or v2 releases, and I've spent no time listening to the (128kbps, 160kbps...) mp3 releases on scene.org. But this seems like a good start.


MTT No. 044 / Shine

anonradio, demoscene, downtempo, idm, movement through thought, music, radio // 2017-12-29

MTT044 Spectrogram

Downtempo, IDM and a couple of old Impulse Tracker mods lazily mixed together. Right-click save-as here or on the spectrogram above to download the mix from aNONradio's archives.

  1. The Sushi Club / Shiosai
  2. Aaron Spectre / Voices
  3. RS3 / Ray
  4. Boards of Canada / Hi Scores
  5. Bola / Effanajor
  6. RS3 / Beam
  7. Being / Adjustable
  8. Frequent C / Haze
  9. RS3 / Prism
  10. LFO / Think A Moment

This mix is largely an excuse to hear Ray, Beam and Prism by RS3. Written using Impulse Tracker around 2000 (I think), these are three of my favorite tracker modules. RS3 later went on to start (or maybe join?) the group Hellven and release some pretty cool tracks.

My copy of Shiosai by The Sushi Club is on the Space Night Vol. VIII compilation on Elektrolux records. Space Night is, quoting wikipedia:

the name of a German television program in the early night/morning hours each day. It is a mixture of chill-out-music and images of the earth as seen from space interspersed with informative broadcasts.

I've caught a little bit of it on youtube, and it's cool. I wish it was on TV here in the US.

The last selection I'm going to talk about is Haze by Frequent C AKA Josh Walund, who I mentioned last week as one half of Rb387. Haze (and the whole Broken Sun EP) is a great Boards of Canada-inspired piece. Check out the first One on Twoism compilation for more BoC-inspired tracks like it... and check out the Twoism forums in general.

That's it from me today. Check back next week (in 2018!) for another show.


MTT No. 043 / Demosong

anonradio, chiptune, demoscene, idm, movement through thought, music, radio // 2017-12-22

MTT043 Spectrogram

Chiptune, demoscene, doskpop, and a few later IDM-y mods. Right-click save-as here or on the spectrogram above to download the mix from aNONradio's archives.

  1. Pink / Classic Tunes
  2. Purple Motion / Aquaphobia
  3. Lizardking / Compulsion To Obey
  4. Unknown Artist / Dirt
  5. Tempest / Friday
  6. Necros / Arcadia
  7. The Finn / 12 Feet of Deepness
  8. Rb387 / I Can't Die.
  9. Mefis / Sun
  10. Makunouchi Bento / Mikrotori
  11. Lonewolf / UFO
  12. Nagz / Worms In Sineland
  13. Tempest / Anticipation
  14. Bass / Dicky Faty Loremy
  15. Purple Motion / Satellite One
  16. Basehead / Smooth Operator
  17. Atheist & Jazz / Nuse Up'42
  18. Pink / Alloy Run
  19. Skaven / Autonomous
  20. Necros / Wired '96 Report
  21. Captain / Space Debris
  22. Necros / Winter's Dream (Remix of Blah)
  23. Chris Jarvis / Stairway
  24. Rb387 / Calm Sounds... and piano

Every song included in this mix is a tracker module file that was rendered to .wav with Modplug Tracker. For some background information on what a tracker module is, check out the Tracker Music page over at Wikipedia.

This is a sound I was into in the late '90s and early 2000s, back in the days of dialup. The days of Traxinspace and Modarchive. It's a tradition of mine to dig up and listen to these mods in the weeks around my birthday. Looking at the clock now, it's my birthday as I write this.

Four tracks come from the Emissions 3 musicdisk, specifically part two of Emissions 3. Part 1 is all chiptune, and contains a great (and unexpected) arrangement of "House of the Rising Sun".

Necros appears three times in this mix, and would have appeared more, but I held myself back. I'm a huge Necros fan. I'll probably dedicate a full hour to him before the end of 2018.

The Makunouchi Bento track in this mix is not the remastered version available on their bandcamp page. It's the original .xm version released by Eerik Inpuj Sound as inpuj032. The exported .xm sounded better in the mix... having said that, I'm grateful that Makunouchi Bento offer a remastered version.

Finally, shoutout to my friends Koonat and Jawsh for getting me into this music back in high school. They appear in this mix as Rb387, the best tracker mod group to come out of McMinnville. Most of the songs here are in fact from a collection that Jawsh burnt to a CD and gave me ~15 years ago. Thanks guys; without you I'd be a very different person.