Okay, heres a blog post.
Long overdue, and I am sorry for that. However, its been strange for me recently. Those who know me personally, or who follow me closely, will probably know that for the last few years, probably from Supaset 8 onward, I have been struggling with hardcore. I go through periods where I simply don’t feel like making it, and that is natural for all artists I think. I almost posted that I was going to quit a few times, but never have because I know myself well enough to know that as soon as I do that, I will want to make some hardcore. And I don’t want to be that “Im leaving, after these 3 tours” person, and I especially don’t want to be the “You know I said I was leaving? Well, I changed my mind and I am back!” person.
So to set your minds at ease, this is not an “Im not making hardcore anymore” blog.
Having said that, I haven’t made any hardcore since the last remix I did on the box set, which was October? September? I don’t know. Usually, I swing from wanting to do it to not wanting to do it over a few months, but this time there has been no swing. I have simply not had any desire to make hardcore. At all. Or D’n'B. Or Gabber. Or any of the music that I feel I have mastered.
There are a number of reasons for this. The main one for me is that I like a challenge, and I don’t feel there is one for me in this music anymore. I haven’t felt like there was a challenge since…umm….probably F.M.E.S, where the sheer enormous amount of editing was a pleasure in itself because of how ludicrous and difficult it was to do. My personality has always been one that looks for the most difficult thing to do, and then does it. Hence me choosing Hung Gar as a martial art – one which has no grading system except to say that if you train it for 25 years, you will be “competent” ha ha (I have been doing it for nearly 15 years, and am still rubbish at it lol). Or trying to make hardcore that touches extreme places. Or anything really. Kniteforce itself was a label created because I wanted to be one of the big hardcore labels that I loved. It was an enormous challenge, but I did that – for a while it was the biggest hardcore label.
Most people in the music industry strive to be successful, and many measure success in sales or fame. Smart Es gave me that at the beginning of my career, so that stopped being something I wanted long ago. That aspect of the music – breaking out, making a name for myself, being famous? It doesn’t interest me. I almost wish it did, because it would really be difficult to do in this day and age.
Current hardcore does not challenge me. I don’t mean this arrogantly. There are certainly things I haven’t done – like write a big vocally modern 4×4 anthem for example. But I have written anthems such as Six Days, and while the modern scene is very different, in essence it is the same thing.
I also don’t mean to imply that I have mastered all the studio techniques as a producer. I certainly haven’t. I cant make my tracks sound as gammery as Gammer, for example. There are a million types of studio cleverness that I can’t do.
Still, that has never been the bit that interested me. The best producers and engineers out there are fascinated by, and love to work with, all the new production techniques. Me? I don’t give a shit about that side of things. I know I should, but I don’t. My interest is in the musical aspect, the sound, the melody, and of course the idea. I don’t really care enough about what you can do with the sound, how you can compress it, or what filters produce a louder track etc etc. unless it directly effects the music in a tangible way.
Much of modern hardcore is focused on making music that sounds good in the club. It has always been that way I suppose, but from where I stand, it seems nowadays the scene is filled with a great number of brilliant produced, beautifully made tracks. And majority of them are musically boring. Occasionally I will hear one that I admire, but its like one or two a year.
Now, I am not slating the music at all. I think maybe I have just outgrown it, or I am just too old, or I have just been in the scene too long so have seen it repeat itself again and again. For example, “breakbeat” hardcore is in vogue. Again. For the..hmm…8th time since old skool? And I would love to make something truly different and release it…its just…how? Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING I make, I have done before. Whether I make something 140bpm or 220bpm, kick drum or breakbeat, dark or light, vocal or underground, rip off or original….I have already done it. There is no challenge.
On top of that, I don’t want to put out music I don’t love, or music on autopilot, or music for the sake of it. I don’t want to make another rip off Supaset. Its a point of pride with me that I always push forward with each Supaset…but you cant push forward when all you see ahead is the same well trodden path.
On the other hand, I have recently been having the most pleasurable time in the studio since the early years of Kniteforce making other music. Music using live instruments, and writing songs and lyrics, and (be afraid) singing. That sort of thing. It is the most difficult thing I have ever tried to do. It is terrifying, it is writing my soul into music and then putting out there for everyone to throw stones at. With hardcore, I know exactly what to do and how to do it. With this, I have no idea what I am doing or how to achieve any of it. It is thrilling, challenging, and scary, and I am very happy with the 5 or 6 tracks I have written so far.
Most of you may not want to hear about that, because the reason you come to this site is for hardcore or old skool. I understand – I really do. I hate it when an artist I like says something like “My new album is really different” because the reason I like that artist is for what he does, not something else. But what can I do? This is where I am at personally, musically, and everythingally lol.
So its a bit of a problem. One I have no immediate answer for. Still, I couldn’t just say nothing and leave the site with no information or anything. All of you have supported me for years sometimes decades, and its just disrespectful to those of you who have been so fantastic and loyal, apart from anything else.
And I am certainly not ruling out making more hardcore in the future. That might be soon, it might not. All I know is I have to feel it before I can do it, and right now, I am not feeling it.
So here is what is happening, 100% definitely. Everything else is up in the air…
I have a new KFA release coming out at the end of March by Empyreal. It is an unusual release, very musical, very impressive. I will put up clips as soon as I have finalized the release.
And I intend to release more stuff on KFA, if I get something that impresses me as much as Empyreal’s stuff.
I am working on this other music until I no longer want to do that. That might be a few months, or it might be from now until I die, with me never coming back to hardcore. I don’t know. I will be releasing the new music under a never before used moniker, and I probably wont tell anyone hardcore related about it. I wont be posting clips on Souncloud, or links on Facebook. I feel like what I am doing is so different to what I used to do that it needs to come from a new place. I don’t want my history and what I am known for to be confused, or to help it or to hinder it. And I want to make this music work without using the hardcore fan base I have. Maybe thats selfish? I don’t know. But there it is.
I have a gig in Toronto at the end of March. This will be the last hardcore set I will be doing for a while. I will still play old skool sets if I am booked for them, but I don’t have a new Supaset, I haven’t started work on one, and I don’t want to play the old ones anymore. I feel like if I continue to take gigs for modern hardcore and continue to play older Supaset tracks, then thats just sad. Sad for me, not exciting for those that love what I do with hardcore, and also, not helpful to a scene which already has a fair number of lazy bastards coasting on old glories lol.
I have a few mixes I will put up as podcasts in the near future, but those will also wait until if and when I feel like doing them again.
I know that this is not the blog post many of you would want to read. Believe me, after how well the Box Set did, I would love to be cashing in on it and putting out loads of new exciting hardcore and making a new Supaset etc etc – that would be wonderful. But I’m not feeling it, and cant do that at the moment. Until I feel I have something new and exciting to put on the table, I am just going to have to wait and see.
Chris / Luna-C
PS 24 hour half price sale, to take the sting out of this blog