A famous Amiga demo scene
group from Denmark
In 1987, a group called The Starlight Project was formed by Mellica, Metallion and Razmo. They soon renamed themself to Kefrens, after the Egyptian king Khefren who is buried inside one of the three pyramids of Giza. This was thanks to Razmo's interest in the history of Egypt. Starting from their earliest intros, Kefrens' productions often featured pseudo-Egyptian mythology, an ankh as their symbol and claims of the group holding mystical powers of ancient pharaohs. While all this might seem a bit silly and childish these days, it gave the team a quite distinct image for years to come.
Around 1988 Kefrens was a fairly small group consisting of less than 10 members, most well-known of which was probably the coder Metallion. But around the next year the situation changed, as Kefrens acquired numerous talented Danish people from other groups. These included Icronite and Milkshake from Atomic Intelligence, who had already created classic intros like the Fishmania 3 and continued being active in the scene all the way to the mid-90s. From Atomic Team Kefrens recruited Promax and Nightlight. Later on Promax became famous for developing the ASM-One assembler, which started as an updated version of the popular Seka software under the Kefrens label. In addition to gaining lots of new members, Kefrens also worked in cooperation with people like Jesper Kyd from The Silents.
As the memberlist grew larger, the amount of productions did the same. In addition to music disks and other releases, Kefrens produced whopping 3 megademos around '89-90, ending with the legendary two-disk Megademo VIII. Contrary to popular belief there actually were 8 megademos from Kefrens, the first 4 were just called "demo disks" and only featured a CLI menu. The demos from Kefrens often had never before seen ideas and innovations, including the popular keftales effect named after the group. Megademo VIII was even voted to be the best megademo of 1990.
In addition to their contribution to the legal scene, some members also got into some piracy activities, but this was quite rare.
Individuals' skills varied in a 30+ member crew, containing both old veterans and relative newbies. And like many others teams before and after, Kefrens had problems with their huge member count. Later in 1990 they cut their personnel to "only" 17 people, but it was apparently too late. As many of their most skilled members left due to the group's inactivity, Kefrens died in 1991. People split in their own ways, joining well-known groups like Anarchy (Icronite, Milkshake) and Crionics (Gizwiz, Murphy). 6 ex-members, including Razmo, R.W.O. and S.L.L., formed a team called Hydronic.
Later in 1991 Hydronic became the new reincarnation of Kefrens, their first production being the Color Emotion 91 intro. While the new version of of "The Forces of the Pyramids" wasn't as strict in their Danish-members-only policy as the original crew, they never swelled to the same size either. They released plenty of productions with the help of their talented coders Laxity and Vention, including the Multimegamix series with music from S.L.L. as well as plenty of traditional intros. The products were generally well accepted, but everybody seemed to agree on the claim that the new Kefrens was nowhere as "powerful" as the legendary old team. Some took this idea to the extreme - especially the old Kefrens members who didn't get onboard. Milkshake summed things up nicely in an interview by Zine: "Fuck them." But the most notable critic was to be Seen, who was now a leading figure in Melon Dezign. Although he had only stayed in the original Kefrens for a relatively short time before its collapse, he had wanted to be the one to rebuild it. Angry about R.W.O. & co. robbing him of the chance, he soon started calling the new Kefrens lame in every other Melon production, and even adding a drawing of a melon slice urinating on an ankh-shaped tombstone and other hilarities in their graphics. The Kefrens responded accordingly in their own demos, resulting in one of the most memorable scene wars of the early 90s.
Despite of Seen's efforts to humiliate the reborn Kefrens, they eventually won the scene over by releasing several brilliant and successful trackmos which are still remembered. The top-notch coding of Laxity and Vention, combined with R.W.O.'s great graphics and S.L.L.'s music moved the group's reputation from a poor rehash of a legendary name to one of the better Amiga teams. While their first major production Guardian Dragon wasn't very dazzling, but its imaginatively titled sequel Guardian Dragon 2 was a big leap forward. Their next production D.A.N.E. continued on the same path, but it wasn't until 1993 when Kefrens truly returned to the very top of the scene. The two disc trackmo Desert Dream released in Gathering '93 is still considered by many (including yours truly) to be the best demo ever made.
Improving on a major success such as Desert Dream would naturally have been hard. After it was released, Kefrens followed the trend to abandon the Amiga 500 and move to work on the new AGA machines. They created a few small AGA demos later the same year, but no more big productions. In early 1994 Kefrens died again as most of its members, including Airwalk, Laxity and Vention, joined Polka Brothers. Some remaining members insisted for a while that King Kefren was still alive, but gave up soon after. This time the death was permanent, as nobody tried to bring them back. But since even The Silents is being revived as we speak, it might be we haven't seen the last of the ankh...
Amiga Scene Groups
Numerous Kefrens productions
Numerous Amiga diskmags including Stolen Data #6 and Sledge Hammer #13
Scenery Online at http://exotica.fix.no/info/scenery/online/k.html
My own memory