10  Pieces of Music that Totally Changed Me (One way or another lol)

10  Pieces of Music that Totally changed me (One way or another lol)

I wrote this because I found myself thinking about what records or pieces of music really changed me. not the ones I love the best (although there is crossover) or the ones that are the coolest or whatever but the ones that, when i look back, I can say “right there, something changed”. I thought you might enjoy….But if not, errr, I heard Gammer is doing something? I dunno. Buy a horse.

Popcorn

This is actually the very first bit of music I remember. I was a child when I heard it, and I remember being at my friend Stuart Clark’s house. We listened to it over and over again and danced around like the little kids we were. I had not thought about it until I thought of this article, and had not listened to it for years, so it was very strange to hear it again. Could this be the reason I like electronic music even to this day? According to the You Tube comments, this wasnt the first version of it, but it is the version i heard.

Kenny Rogers – The Gambler

Despite my career, I would not say I came from a musical family. I can recall my mum having and occasionally playing a Cliff Richard tape, but thats not really music ha ha! I grew up with my mum and step dad, and it was a great childhood, very happy. Just not…musical. i also saw my biological father a number of times a year, which was also brilliant. He was also not huge on music, but he did like both classical and country. So he would play the radio, and I would hear both this track and “Coward Of The County” by Kenny Rogers. Both of these pieces are basically storytelling in music form, and I loved them. Now that I think of it, my two main loves musically are: Electronic music, but I usually prefer tracks with no vocals, and folk styled music with something to say. So thats…interesting…

Musical Youth – Pass The Dutchie

Of course, I also like a bit of jungle here and there, so is it weird that this is maybe the first record I bought with my own money? In the UK, at this time, raggae was having a bit of a time in the spotlight, – I have fond memories of Eddie Grant and Bob Marley videos etc being on Top of the Pops. But this track got to number one, and stayed there for months. Man, this video is awful. It has not stood the test of time. And the song hasn’t done much better lol. But I played this so much as a kid, I wore the record out. Although, that might have been because my Grandad’s stereophonic polygramaphone machine had a needle like a nail.

Ice-T – Reckless

So maybe my current music taste is based on all the things from my youth combined? These first 4 tracks all massively influenced me, and they all occurred before I had any real access to the music of the world – they were all tracks that came at me through the normal channels – parents, friends, TV, and movies, and before I ever actively searched for what I liked to hear.

I heard this on Breakdance the Movie and have loved hip hop ever since. For many years, hip hop was ALL I listened to, all I bought. This record started me off, but throughout my school years, I was buying first the hip hop that got in the UK charts – Whistle “Im Only Buggin” and Doug-E-Fresh “The Show” and the like. It was all I could get. But as I got older, I found stores that sold Public Enemy and EPMD and Eric B & Rakim etc, and eventually found other stores that would sell imported vinyl from the USA. By that point, I was into hip hop of life. Although, yeah, when i say life, I kinda mean until 1990 when rave came around. My love for it continued through the 90’s, and even into the 2000’s, but I am not so keen on the current blah version of hip hop. but maybe thats because it doesn’t combine the magic elements – electronic music and meaningful lyrics. I like to hear stories, of the street or on a philosophical bent, or about personal feelings. Mumble rap doesn’t count and “guns, drugs, ho’s and also, I am the bestest rapper person” also got a bit tired a few decades ago lol

M.A.R.R.S – Pump Up The Volume

It was a tough choice between this and Erik B & Rakims “Paid In Full” (Coldcut Remix). I cant remember which one I heard first, but as Paid In Full is still hip hop, lets go with this. Both records used random sampling, but Pump Up The Volume was really new to my ears when i heard it. What was it even? It got in the UK pop charts, which is how I heard of it, and I was blown away. This record made NO sense at all. It was part of a wave of “house” (?) records that were all just mad. This, Steve Silk Hurley’s “Jack Ya Body”, Simon Harris’s “Bass, How Low Can You Go” and various others, all that used a sampler to make these random collection of samples into actual music. Again, the impact in my career is obvious and I remain a lover of all things bonkers and random. But still, this changed things for me…suddenly “dance” music was a thing, an interesting thing, when all i had ever loved before was hip hop.

Quadraphonia – Quadraphonia

Finally we move into the world of rave. Too many to choose from, but this track is one of my most vivd early rave memories. Hearing it at Club Labrynth the first time I went. It introduced me to the whole scene, even though I had heard bits and pieces, and with its rap section, this was like the logical progression for me as far as music went. it had all the things I loved – it was fast, noisey, had random samples, had hip hop influences, and best of all, it was EPIC. i have always loved dramatic music, and this track is both triumphant and tough and unrelenting and underground. Or was, for the time at least.

Smart Es – Sesames Treet

This is, of course, a list of the records that changed my life and my musical direction – how could this not be in here? But there is nothing new to say about it, other than before it, I was a huge fan of hardcore, but I did not really contribute to the scene, and after it, i was 100% involved and have been ever since

Hyper On Experience – Lord Of The Null Lines

Again, if you know me at all, there is not much to add to this entry. As an artist, I did not have any real…direction…musically. I loved elements of everything listed above, but it was only after hearing this, and earlier H.O.E tracks, that I understood there were levels of technical ability, and music was not always about how well it worked on the dance floor, but also about so many other things. I remain an artist and a person who is fascinated by technical cleverness, whether it is a youtube video by Cyriak or Aphex Twins musical car crashes or you name it…but that fascination, birthed with early tracks such as “Pump up The Volume” turned into an obsession with the work from H.O.E, and contemporay artists who were maybe not so clever, but were just as inventive – Sublove, Automation, etc….

Nine Inch Nails – Closer (Se7en OST)

All of these pieces of music are bridges to the next, its all about the touchstones that lead to the next progression. I paraphrase Bruce Lee “There are no peaks, just plateaus, but you must not stay there”.

So it is that I went to see the movie Se7en when it came out, and I found it profoundly disturbing – nothing good happens to anyone, and then it ends on a bum note. But what impressed me the most was the opening credits – before Se7en, movies did not have the clever opening sequences we see nowadays on pretty much every movie and show. They just had credits on a black screen or quietly over the opening of the film. But this sequence? And this music? I came out of the theatre thinking “what the fuck did I just watch?”. The music was just a random collection of screeches and rewinds and static, and it was incredible. My initial thought was “I need to sample that” but….what was it? No internet meant tracking it down was very difficult, but eventually I found out it was Nine Inch Nails, and from the album “The Downward Spiral”. This was a little misleading – sure, Closer is on there, but it is not the same version by any means. Still, the “damage” was done. I listened to that album on a CD listening post in a store in Australia, and it was like a whole new window opened in my mind, and whole new world to discover. Rock music could be like this? With samples and techno noises and incredible lyrics that actually spoke to me? Sure, I loved hip hop, but I was not a gangster from LA, I was not black, I totally empathised, but I did not experience that world. However, NIN spoke directly to the parts of me that no music had ever represented before. And I loved it. From there on out, I tracked down every Nine Inch Nails related thing, acts they worked with (Marilyn Manson) and people who influenced them…on and on…which brought me to…

Leonard Cohen – The Future

My insatiable appetite for all things NIN led me to the soundtrack for Natural Born Killers – because Trent Reznor put it together, and the film was pretty amazing for its time as well. The album was inspirational in the way it combined all different styles of music with samples and sound effect – the soundtrack is, in many ways, a musical version of the film. And there are two Leonard COhen songs on there, both of which fascinated me. Lyrically, they stood apart from everything I had heard before, and the style was…simialr…sort of…to some of the country music my dad liked. But that music never had lyrics like “give me crack, anal sex…” or “Im the little jew, who wrote the bible”. Obsessive as I was (and remain, when it comes to music I like) I was soon buying every Leonard Cohen album, and was now being influenced by both the hardest industrial rock and the most thoughtful and profound lyrics I had ever heard. To make…happy hardcore? I guess lol.

And thats sort of where I stop. Is it any wonder that muy musical career is so varied within the parameters of hardcore and dance music? My tastes range so far…and yet…I always come back to the key elements…a desire to create something with majesty, or something epic, that desire to use sound to tell a story, or just to make something work despite being absurd.

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Introducing KFA90 – The Jungly Pea Too!

Here is a message blog essay from KFA Label Manager and all round good egg, Dj Saiyan!

Some of you may have noticed we jumped a catalogue number with the release of Scartat’s Hell’s Reward EP (which is awesome). The reason for that is what was meant to be the true next release on KFA, number 90, was hit with a manufacturing delay…

…BECAUSE IT’S A VINYL!

You read that right. KFA is releasing vinyl again. For those of you keeping score, this will be the first vinyl release on KFA since KFA046, Luna-C’s My Angel Remixes EP (which is also awesome), which came out waaaaaaay back in March of 2009. A little bit over nine years ago. It would have been a little bit less than nine years ago, but, vinyl delivery dates can be fickle sometimes. It’s the nature of the beast. Y’all know how this works by now.

Now I’m sure you all have a great many questions, and I, Saiyan, your fearless leader and perpetual plotter and schemer, will do my best to provide as many answers as possible in this little (big) Q&A post. Strap yourselves in, maybe get a drink and a snack, ’cause we have a lot of ground to cover here.

WHY!?

Because of you! You made this possible. Since I took over the label, sales of KFA releases have gone from strength to strength, even when we released an EP that was a tad incoherent (sup Ponder), or wasn’t necessarily the most marketable thing ever (lookin’ at you Scartat, you beautifully evil bastard). The support was clearly there for us to try something different, and the success of the Kniteforce and Knitebreed vinyl releases proved our audience has a strong interest in the format, so we thought now was the time to give it a shot, so we are. Basically, you crazy fuckers beliving in us and what we do gave us the tools and the motivation we needed to try and pull something like this, so we are.

WHY A JUNGLY PEA SEQUEL!?

Random happenstance, mostly. Ponder and Bustin had done an excellent remix of Bustin’s classic Truffle Shuffle from the original Jungly Pea that while quite good, was a bit too new sounding for Kniteforce (and it was a KFA track anyway). Bucksta had also done a jungle tune he had sent Chris that didn’t quite fit Kniteforce either. Since “jungle” and “too new for Kniteforce” are both well within KFA’s wheelhouse, both came to me instead. It was Chris who then suggested we do a Jungly Pea sequel, and also that it be a vinyl release. All credit in the world goes to him for the idea, because to be compeltely honest I wouldn’t have done it. Not yet anyway. Mostly because I wouldn’t have had the balls to ask him to pay to press it, but he offered, and that absolved me of all responsibility so I was like hey, why not? From there we started reaching out to other artists within the family (along with a guest I knew would be perfect for this project), and the whole thing came together relatively quickly, with few hiccups.

Also, to go a little inside baseball here, from a business standpoint it made sense to do this. Jungle has always played a big part in Kniteforce/KFA’s history (we did do the original Jungly Pea after all, Influential was a thing for a while, there have been jungle tracks scattered about every KF family label over the years, etc), so it just made sense for us to do a jungle record. Doing so didn’t go against the label’s ethos, as it’s something we’ve always done, and will continue to do so going forward. It’s also a style that still has an audience on the format. A close friend of mine Dave Jabba is one of the co-owners of a label called Sweet Sensi Recordings here in Toronto that does extremely well, you can check them out here:

https://sweetsensirecords.bandcamp.com

and talking to him about how his label is doing played a big role in convincing me this was a thing we could pull off. Deciding to go full-on jungle for this release also gave us an oppourtunity to try to branch out a little beyond our usual audience, and hopefully draw more eyes to the label in general. It was a calculated risk that added up to a safe bet, and for re-establishing KFA on vinyl, a safe bet was what we really needed. We wanted to get a W out of the gate to build momentum for future releases on the format, and this was the perfect project to start that ball rolling with.

WHY IS IT SPELLED LIKE THAT!?

Because as hardcore DJs we wear our utter disregard for proper spelling with pride, and because I thought it was funnier this way. Chris agreed.

WILL IT BE GREEN AGAIN!?

You have no idea how badly I wanted this. It was one of the first things I said when Chris and I were discussing doing this, and we both agreed then that it was a good idea. Then excitement gave way to rational thought (as it does, occasionally), so we actually discussed it a little more in-depth, which led to us deciding it wasn’t the best idea. Unfortunately, coloured vinyl is both more expensive to produce, which means we’d have to charge you more for it, and since vinyl technology hasn’t really improved since…well ever, it doesn’t provide sound quality quite as good as traditional black. While the sound quality thing was a sacrifice we were willing to make as while there is a noticable dip it’s not really THAT bad (those of you with some of the older KFA vinyls that were coloured can attest to this, and current improvements to the quality of mastering mitigate it further), the extra cost that we’d have to pass on to you was a line we weren’t prepared to cross. So no, no fancy green vinyl this time. Maybe in the future, but not now. Not yet. To make up for the lack of green vinyl, why not download the epic Supafugee, which has been lovingly remastered?

WHAT’S ON IT!?

Important question! The vinyl tracklist is as follows. Frequent Kniteforce-Radio listeners will have heard them by now:

A1 – DJ Bustin – Truffle Shuffle (Bustin and Ponder Remix)
A2 – Scartat – My Role Model
B1 – Bucksta – Killer Sound
B2 – Mr Arthur and Luna-C – Judgement

JUNGLY PEA SOUNDCLIPS – CLICK HERE

WAIT…WHY DID YOU SAY VINYL TRACKLIST!? IS THERE MORE TO THIS YOU’RE NOT TELLING US!?

Yes! As you may have seen from the teaser image floating around on Facebook and in the digital file links included with the last couple of KF/KB releases, this is more than just a vinyl project. There is a CD with this release too, the aptly titled Jungly Pea Seedy! The reason for this is because while Kniteforce and Knitebreed selling vinyl is a thing that’s firmly established at this point, KFA doing so again is quite new, so we (I) wanted to stack the deck a little by providing as much of a solid value proposition as possible. With that in mind I made the call to expand the project to include both a vinyl and CD component, to make buying the release more enticing to you. It’s like a slightly more extreme Executive Edition, in a way. More on that in a bit.

OKAY WHY IS THE CD SPELLED LIKE THAT!?

Because as hardcore DJs we wear our utter disregard for proper spelling with pride, and because Chris thought it was funnier this way. I agreed.

WHAT’S ON THAT!?

Another important question. The Jungly Pea Seedy contains the four vinyl tracks, as well as SEVEN additional bonus tracks, four of which are brand new and exclusive to this project, each as worthy of being on the vinyl as the four that made the cut (pun intended). Frequent Kniteforce-Radio listeners will likely also have heard these already as well. They are:

5 – Bucksta – Bun Out
6 – Dave Skywalker – Dark Inside Me (making one of his frequent guest appearances from Endor Recordings, check them out HERE )
7 – Mannik – People Always Askin’ Me
8 – Idealz – Wrong World

JUNGLY PEA SEEDY SOUNDCLIPS – CLICK HERE

YOU SAID SEVEN!

That’s not a question, but you are correct. The remaining three tracks are remasters from the original Jungly Pea release:

9 – Luna-C – Here I Come (Remastered)
10 – The Trip – The ‘Erb (Sike and TC Remix) (Remastered)
11 – DJ Bustin – Truffle Shuffle (Remastered)

Clips for these are in the same playlist as the other Jungly Pea Seedy tracks, but you can also check out their original masters on http://kniteforcerevolution.com in the KFA section if you feel so inclined.

Two tracks from the original release were excluded. DJ Sike’s Cut Dem Down didn’t make it due to no longer having access to the original unmastered wav or a way to reliably source it, so we couldn’t get it remastered, and Bexxie’s It’s Amazing because while it was technically released with the original Jungly Pea as the Executive Edition bonus on a cool pink vinyl, it wasn’t actually part of the original EP, so I felt it didn’t really count made the decision myself to leave it off.

All told The Jungly Pea Seedy contains eleven tracks total, eight brand new (four from the vinyl, four CD exclusive), and three remasters, with the CD functions as an extension of the release (even sharing its catalogue number), with a limited number of copies available to people who purchase the vinyl in the “Evening Out The Catalogue Numbers Bundle” with KF80 – Luna-C and Saiyan – A Conspiracy of Awesome, and KB20 – Wislov – From Russia Wislov. Don’t quote me on this, but I *think* we will have some copies set aside for people who buy the vinyl single as well, but Chris would have to confirm that himself as we talked about how many units we were ordering ages ago, I forgot to write it down somewhere, and our Facebook Messenger history is a complete shitshow. That’s my mistake, sorry!

WILL THE CD BE SOLD SEPARATELY!?

To be determined, but not likely. We have a set number ordered to go out with the vinyl, but there are generally a few extras lying around after artist and label copies are sent out and a few are always held back in case of emergencies (like postal services fucking up and not delivering when they’re supposed to), and it’s possible that these could find their way onto the store for individual sale. But that’s a big ol’ maybe at this point, we have no way to know until we’ve taken stock, added up what we have on hand, and started selling them. Don’t count on it, but don’t count it out either. Safe money on this being a no, however.

WILL KFA VINYL RELEASES BE EXCLUSIVE LIKE KNITEFORCE/BREED!?

Another excellent question, thank me for thinking of it. The answer is…somewhere in the middle. This is something I had to do a lot of thinking about, and Chris and I have discussed it at length. KFA is, at its core, a digital label (I include CDs as a digital format, fight me). Our audience is not necessarily the same as Kniteforce’s or Knitebreed’s (though there is a TON of crossover), and our audience is accustomed to purchasing music a certain way. But we also want the vinyl to sell, and having digitals available alongside the vinyl may serve to harm rather than help as people go for the admittedly cheaper, immediately available option, and that wouldn’t be good, because vinyl is expensive to make and needs to sell to make back our investment, and put some money in the pockets of the artists while we’re at it, because it’s important to us that all of our artist are paid for their work, even though this is hardcore and the money hasn’t been great since like….when I was in high school and didn’t even really know what hardcore was yet. But I’m also conscious of the fact that regular KFA buyers may not necessarily be all about the idea of buying wax, and that’s totally fair, so we needed to strike a balance. Despite sharing most of a name and being part of the same label family, KFA is not Kniteforce or Knitebreed, so should we follow the same format, with vinyl releases remaining vinyl exclusive?

The answer is: not exactly, no, but nor will they follow our usual “two weeks of exclusivity and then off to the digital stores” format either. Digital files will be released, but not until all physical units are sold through, either through our storefronts, or through our distribution deal with renowned distribution company SRD (who distrbuted a great many oldskool records once upon a time and will be distributing Kniteforce/Breed releases to other stores in the future, you may have even seen some popping up already). In other words, the vinyls have to go before the digital files will be put out on the stores (including our own storefront). This was the only way to guarantee a return on the investment of pressing vinyl, while also giving people who prefer to buy their music digitally the option, if they wanted it, provided they don’t mind waiting. The only issue is, you might be waiting a while. It could be months, it could be years, it could even potentially be forever (but fingers crossed, yeah?). Your best bet if you want the tracks (and they are smashingly good tracks that you absolutely do want) is to buy the vinyl, with the CD, and get the tracks that way, as while the plan is to eventually release the tracks digitally, we cannot guarantee that will ever happen. We will when there are no physical copies left to sell, but until then, this is the way it has to be. You have my sincerest apologies for this, but it was the only way to satisfy everyone while still making the investment in doing a vinyl release feasible. If it makes you feel any better, I lost a fair amount of sleep figuring this out. I’m sure this made absolutely no one feel any better, and if it did, you’re kind of a jerk. 😛

As to which tracks will be made available digitally when the time comes, and which will remain exclusive, this is to be determined. This release doesn’t have a proper Executive Edition as such because we’re already stacking it up high with content, so it’s unclear what, if anything, should be held back. This is something that still needs to be discussed. So like I said, if you don’t want to miss out on ANYTHING, buy the vinyl. It is the safest option.

WILL THERE BE MORE KFA VINYL!?

100% yes! We currently have two more vinyl projects on the go which are 100% for sure happening, one will be a “KFA Remixes” release of a very popular non-KF/KFA/KB track from the last ten years from a close friend of mine that never saw a vinyl release (and was a bit of a headache to navigate making it happen, but it was worth it), and the other is the oft-rumoured, leaked heavily on Kniteforce-Radio, but still yet to be officially announced KFA/KF/KB 100 project, which I’m not even sure I’m allowed to say the name of here, so I won’t. There are also a few other ideas we’re kicking around that we haven’t 100% locked in yet, but their release on the format relies solely on the success of these projects. Basically, if you show us that you want KFA vinyl, we’ll keep doing KFA vinyl.

WILL ALL KFA RELEASES BE VINYL RELEASES!?

As cool as I think that would be, the answer is no. Logistically it’s too much work (and oh boy are we overworked, between Chris handling manufacturing orders, US order fulfillment, and all of the bookkeeping, Lee Idealz handling UK/ROW order fulfillment, and my own KFA label responsibilities, not to mention the three of us trying to juggle our personal lives and hobbies with all that, we’re all running a bit low on time and energy, though trust me it’s SO worth it), and WAY more of an investment than we can realistically do at this point in time. We’re doing quite well across the whole label family, but adding another full-time vinyl label is a bit outside the scope of our capabilities at this time. My current goal, which could easily change because the music industry is a fickle beast and because a lot of what we do is dictated by current cashflow as we really do have a ton of projects on the go at any given time, is for every fifth release to be a vinyl, which is why we jumped from 89 to 91, because 90 was locked in as a vinyl release. 95 will also be a vinyl release (and may also release out of order, because vinyl pressing can be subject to delays), 100 is the project I mentioned a second ago, and 105 is TBD but is currently pencilled in as another vinyl release, with the catalogue numbers *hopefully* continuing on in that fashion. We also have some other plans for projects that will involve a vinyl aspect that could happen, but all of it depends on you. Like I said, if you show us that you want KFA vinyl, we’ll keep doing KFA vinyl. But the label will not be shifting completely to the format, as we want each one to be special. An event, if you will. Like the Avengers films of KFA releases (where 100 is our Infinity War). So while, if all goes according to plan, you will see more KFA vinyl out there in the future, we will be maintaining our current limited CD single + digital bundle release format for the vast majority of releases.

ALL THAT SOUNDS PRETTY REASONABLE.

Also not a question. But you’re right so I’m gonna let this one slide too. We put a lot of thought, and a ton of discussion, into how to make this work. Many a sleepness night was had (me because I stress easily and that makes my insomnia go completely batshit, Chris because…well if you keep up with what he’s got going on in his personal life with his family, label work, writing music, and generally trying to have a bit of time to himself you know why he doesn’t sleep much). After all that, we decided this was the best way to go about things. For the foreseeable future anyway. Who knows, a year from now things might change completely. I know I keep saying this in various ways, but the music industry changes FAST. As a label you have to adapt or die, and if there’s one thing Kniteforce as a family has gotten good at over the years, it’s adapting. And occasionally kinda dying. And then coming right back because we’re extremely stubborn. So everything I’ve said here is subject to change at any point, but it was important to me to communicate to all of you what the plans are as of right now, because I’m big on being as transparent as possible without spoiling too many surprises.

SO YOU’VE BEEN DOING A LOT OF TALKING, WHEN CAN WE ACTUALLY BUY THIS!?

Good question! We have a tentative release date set for May 14th, but that is obviously subject to change, because things happen. As with the Kniteforce/Breed vinyls we will do a brief pre-sell period once we have a guaranteed delivery date, and then off they go to the post office (American orders subject to Chris not trying to go to the post office on a holiday, AGAIN), and then out to you. We will have more details to share on the exact dates once we have them 100% locked in. We will make sure everyone knows via the mailing list and our social media (and thank you to everyone who keeps sharing our posts, you have no idea how much that helps) exactly when this release, along with KF80 and KB20, will be available for purchase. In other words, wallets at the ready kids!

Until then, it’s time to get excited, ’cause this is a big deal. After almost a decade, KFA is returning to vinyl, and we’re doing it with a bang.

That’s all from me for now, until next time, keep it hardcore! Or keep it jungle or whatever. Keep it something. Keep it tight even. Sorry Austin Creed for the gimmick infringement, follow his gaming channel at https://www.youtube.com/upupdowndown ’cause it’s real good.

– Shane Saiyan
KFA Label Manager

 

6

Dj Ham returns in The Amazing New KF Bundle!

Well, hello. Welcome to a blog post about the latest bundle, and the reasons for things and explanations and other stuff like that! So first up, here are the links:

UK / Europe / Bandcamp Store

KF78, KF79, KFCD12 and KFCD13 Bundle

KF78 – Dj Ham – Most Impressive EP

KF79 – Various Artists – Death To Digital EP

KFCD12 – Various Artists – Vinyl Is Better 4

USA Store

KF78, KF79, KFCD12 and KFCD13 Bundle

KF78 – Dj Ham – Most Impressive EP

KF79 – Various Artists – Death To Digital EP

KFCD12 – Various Artists – Vinyl Is Better 4

Okay, there are a number of things to explain, so bear with me. Or bare with me. I don’t know which is correct. I could google it I suppose? Wait, no, theres enough to go through without getting sidetracked. So, one thing at a time:

So, new Kniteforce Bundle – any good?

I may be just a little bit bias, but OMG YES. Dj Ham returns to the label with 2 absolutely killer tracks, Death To Digital 2 is on another level altogether, Vinyl Is Better 4 is amazing, and the bonus content is perhaps the best we have ever had, with a truly amazing bonus CD and tracks from Shadowplay. I think this one will sell out fast, because Hams stuff always does, and because its a brilliant Bundle, if I say so myself, which I do 🙂

Why is this Kniteforce Bundle so soon after the Breed Combo?

There are number of reasons actually. The first is, after the long delays with vinyl pressing stretching things out and dragging, now everything is speeding up and compressing. So it is that we got Breed19 delivered a while back, then Breed18 and JKF07 delivered at the end of last week, and I have an arrival date for KF78 and KF79 of Thursday this week. This is blatantly too soon, and I apologise. I realise this may well stretch your wallets – It is stretching mine as I pay for the records upon delivery and usually need time to sell some before I can pay that bill. But I cant do much about it. Because things are speeding up, we are also expecting KF80, KFA90 and Breed20 to arrive at the end of April. So I cant even sit on these newest releases for a week or two.

This is also why this is a pre-sale, even though I did not want to do those anymore. To make the next month or two work, we have to be super efficient with how we handle the orders. This way gives us up to 2 weeks to get the orders in and sent out, and some breathing space as well. Also, we now have distribution via SRD for excess stock. This is great, because we simply cannot reach everyone who is interested in buying the records on our own and SRD are a fantastic distributor (they did Smart Es back in the day). The trouble is, they work quite far in advance on each new release, and so they are pre-selling the Dj Ham and Death To Digital releases even though they wont have them for ages yet. And it just seems silly to have that going on and not have the pre-sale open on our store.

Why have the prices in the US store gone up a little?

Sorry about that. There is nothing I can do though. I pay for the manufacture of the records using UK pounds because they are manufactured in Europe. I base the prices in the US store on the prices of the UK store, converted to US dollars. So the vinyl prices are whatever I paid for them converted into dollars. But it does mean future releases will go down in price too. Its just one of those things. And also, after the new year, postage went up as well. Again, nothing I can do – you know I would if I could.

As ever, I am very grateful for all the support, and its going to be a little crazy for a bit, but absolutely worth it. We have so many superb releases lined up, big plans for the rest or 2018, and some projects that are going to blow you away, believe me!

Nice one,

Chris / Luna-C

1

The Breed and JKF COMBO gets a blog post – WHATTTTT????

I am writing this less than 12 hours after it went up for sale, and already we have already sold 70% of the new Breed and JKF Combo, so get in while you can!

But I also wanted to say a little word about this Combo! Its a bit of a different one all around, containing three vinyls for a start, and also having one of the vinyls from a different label.

But it all makes a sort of beautiful sense to me lol. The JKF release is slightly different to the usual in that series, what with it containing tracks from VIB2 and VIB3 as well as two from the original 1995 CD. And the most amazing thing? All the tracks hang together perfectly.

Edd Grant and I decided on the two tracks to be repressed, and I wanted Ant To Be’s on there because he did a stunning mix for the “Best Of” CD, and then Alex Jungles “Sticks Like Glue” track was chosen by Ant, but it was just obvious really.

Still, JKF07 was never intended to be this way. I asked Ant To Be to mix the CD BEFORE we decided on the JKF being a “Vinyl Is Better” special. I asked him because he has such a clean and precise style, and I thought he could do a good job mixing that, and it was intended as a bonus download for Vinyl Is Better 4. Of course, what he came back with was superb, so it almost seemed like a waste to keep it as a bonus download – not enough people would get to enjoy it. And I want people to hear the mix, and to see how the past and the present are merging in an amazing way to make something really exciting and new.

Ant has done an amazing job, as any who buy the Combo will see. And we do have some extras on this CD, so I will make those available next week.

The point (if there is one) is that this whole combo was never really planned, this all sort of came together in its own way. I had asked Alexander Kstenin Ant To Be to do the mix long before the idea of doing a complimentary JKF came about. And then of course, Ant gave me the tracks for his next EP – Adventures Of Soundbwoy.

At that point, it all seemed to point in one direction. And To Be’s vinyl should be with the CD he mixed, and of course that should also have a complimentary JKF. Perfect.

And then TNO Project crashed the party lol. Not really, TNO Project was always planned to be with Ant To be’s Breed follow up. TNO’s tracks are brilliant, and after featuring on the VIB series AND as a remixer for various artists, notably a superb remix for Future Primitive, his debut 12” on Knitebreed is both overdue and perfectly timed.

So a big up to all involved, this is a brilliant combo and I am sure you will all LOVE it. And if you do miss it, make sure you still pick up the vinyls where you can, and the mix CD if you are so inclined. You wont be disappointed!

Nice one,

Chris / Luna-C

1

A big THANK YOU from Luna-C to Everyone.

So 2017 is coming to a close, and 2018 is on its way. I thought I would do a little blog post to talk about what has been going on and also to thank the people that made this year so amazing for myself and for Kniteforce in general.

So look, those of you who bought the VIP version of my book “How To Squander Your Potential” (first thank you – Billy and Sonya!) will know that 2012-2014 were really tough years for me, disasterous in many ways. I am not going to go into it because I do so in the book. But those years serve to remind me of how amazingly amazing this year was. It took the entire years of 2015-2016 to get my shit together, which I did so with the unswerving support of my wife Cindy, and the chaotic arrival of my firstborn Wilder – an event that had huge repercussions for me. I gave up smoking all smokable things, I reconnected with my family, and I came out of the long depressed fog I had been in.

And then there was the label – with support from various people, it started not only to become a business again, but to become a love for me, rather than a thing I liked, a thing I could do, a thing that I did because I did not have anything else to do. As I sorted my head out, and got my life back together, I found the fire of creation and excitement that had dwindled to mere embers for many many years unexpectedly returned. Suddenly, I felt like I did when I first started Kniteforce records.

But actually, its wasn’t sudden. It was a slow build from a barely flickering flame to a roaring furnace, and it happened because various other people added fuel to the fire, and to switch analogys midway, knocked down the first domino to roll down the mountain making this giant snowball that led to where we are now lol.

So let me say thank you to a few people within the Kniteforce family that enabled the label to be what it is now and whos continued support will let it grow and expand in 2018!

First up, a massive thank you to Edd Grant / Dj Jedi. Without him first of all licensing the vinyls for the JKF Remaster series in 2016, I would never have tried to release new Kniteforce vinyl. And I would never have made new “old skool” without having released those first new Kniteforce records and seeing them sell. And then I wouldn’t have been brave enough to release more new vinyl and sign all the wonderful new artists to the label – Alex Jungle, Shadowplay, Paul Bradley, Gothika Shade, Mannik, Sanxion, Ant To Be, TNO Project, Shoreman, Sunny & Deck Hussy, Scartat, Wislov, and so many others. I always forget one or two, thats the rules. If I missed you out, sorry! And signing and working with all these new people is a blessing in itself. They have added inspiration and excitement to what we are doing with their music and ideas, quite apart from being new friends and offering selfless help to make the labels grow. Its been like finding new friends on an almost weekly basis, and its been wonderful. Without them, we would not have done any of it – Kniteforce vinyls, Knitebreed Records, the Vinyl Is Better CDs, the many other bonus CDs, and the recently relaunched Kniteforce Digital. On top of that, the rapid growth of the KF family and success of the vinyls has enabled me to work with hardcore heros from my youth, such as Hyper on Experience, Liquid and others. It truly has been an outstanding year.

So I am grateful to everyone mentioned there, but Edd especially, as he not only made me see this new (old) way was possible, but also helped with everything form the finances of the first releases to the setting up of the KF Bandcamp store in the beginning to advice to so on and so forth…basically, the dude is owed thanks, and this is me thanking him lol.

Next up, Lee Idealz. While Edd was hugely instrumental in getting things off the ground, Lee has since taken on the burden of running the entire UK side of the business. He packs all the orders and does all the hard work bit of the Kniteforce Bandcamp, and makes less mistakes in a year than I would in a week. He handles the relentlessly confusing instructions I send him daily with quiet grace, and gets everything done swiftly and efficiently. Not only does he pack and send all the bundles, he also sends the records to me to sell to you in the USA, and distributes the test presses and checks them before they go to press and handles distribution and and and…he still finds time to create and release wicked music on the label. Simply put though, without him, none of this would be happening. It would be impossible for me to do from the USA. So big thanks Lee, old friend. And yes, a pay rise in 2018 lol

A little side note here to thank Sara, a friend of Lee’s who does fantastic artwork for the label – Idealz’s recent sleeves, the Audio X sleeve for the relaunched KFA  label, not to mention Bunnila Ice, the new KFA logo / mascot. She brings a new and unique style to the label(s). Which compliments our other two major artists – Annika Anderson aka Jimni Cricket. No introduction is needed for our turntablist supreme, but without her, KFA and KF would be sorely lost. And then, completing the trifecta of talent, there is Lee Milner, who has been taking the photos that I have used on many of the new kniteforce vinyls – my last EP, the Death To Digital series, Liquids forthcoming sleeve as well as the Vinly is Better artwork and the Kniteforce Radio logos….Between the three of them, the label has a look as varied as the music we release, and I couldn’t be more grateful or lucky to be working with such talent.

Speaking of the radio – a big thank you to Glyn Lowercase Allaway, a man with no idea what he is doing who has somehow managed to manage the radio station with a degree of competence which maybe surprises even him lol. Believe me, when we decided to start up the radio, I was already wayyyy to busy to be dealing with it, so the terms were simply “You wanna do this Glyn? Ok, I will get the stuff ready, but its in your hands to keep it running” lol. And so far at least, I would say he has done a stunning job. There are many Djs on the station that he has to manage. Thats like herding cats…and the roster keeps increasing. We are almost always on air, the chat room is fantastic, and we have a steady and increasing listenership (?). I would call that a success. Matty La Penoir may have built the website (he did), and I may have paid for it (err) and organised it, but it is Glyn that does the actual daily work. So huge thank you to you sir, and to all the Djs on the station, already too many to name. Old and new, welcome to the family and thank you for your hardwork and dedication this year. You are all awesome!

And before we go any further, huge thanks to Bradders aka Braderly aka Captain Tricepts, aka Paul Bradley the fifth – he has been doing the intros and jingles for the station, and recently moved on to doing artwork for KFD, and is both a new friend and one of the funniest fuckers I have ever met. The business can be quite stressful sometimes, and so its always great to have someone who both helps out with the work and then makes you crack up laughing while doing so.

And lastly (ish) a huge thank you to Shane Saiyan. By the time I got Kniteforce rolling again, and turned my sights to getting KFA back on its feet, Wilder was already here and Phoenix was on his way. It was plainly obvious that if I couldn’t find time to run the radio station, finding even more new artists and giving KFA the attention it deserved was going to be impossible. Apart from anything else, I have a huge love for new, modern hardcore, but I am simply not the person to be running a new hardcore label. I have stopped Djing live except for the occasional old skool event, I don’t follow the scene, and I am much more suited to and interested in old skool and breakbeat styled music. Saiyan was not only the best choice, he was also the only choice lol. It was a pretty big thing for me to hand over my label, and quite hard to do. So I needed someone who fit 3 important criteria – 1. Can be trusted 2. Knows the label 3. Likes modern hardcore and because I cant count 4. Isnt doing their own label lol. Anyway, Saiyan took the job and ran with it, and so far, has excelled where I would have just meandered. We are just at the (new) beginning, but the fact there is a new beginning for KFA, and that the label has already signed a whole bunch of new amazing talent is fantastic. I am not going to list the latest people on the label, cos thats Shanes area and some are a surprise. But I know who you are – welcome aboard and  thank you in advance. Unless your new releases are awful lol. I joke, of course! But big up Mr Shane, lets make 2018 KFAs year the same way 2017 was Kniteforce’s, eh?

Last few thank yous: All the original KF and KFA crew – I love you all. Empy, FP, Sparky, Demcore, Doughy, Genks, Alked, Brisk, Dave Skywalker, Deluxe, Ham, Kingsize, Nevis, Mathis, Spennie, Manfs…all those I missed? Thank you dear friends and music makers. I couldn’t do it without you.

And very finally, but maybe should have been firsterly – every single one of you that bought any of the records or CDs or downloads. Every single person that tuned in to the radio. Every one of you that talked about, shared or in any way promoted the label. You might not realise it, but each little thing you did was a small piece of an avalanche. We have to sell 100 records to just about cover costs. Literally EVERY sale counts. Some of you bought every release – and I am amazed and grateful. Some of you are signed to the label and STILL bought every release. That is admirable and crazy and I am super grateful for that.

So heres to all of you (raises glass) and much thank yous and gratefuls. I will do my best to make 2018 spectacular for you all, because I know you are doing the same for me!

 

The future is bright. The future is Orange. Wait, does Orange still exist? Anyway, the future is Kniteforce, thats what I meant.

 

Nice one,

 

Chris / Luna-C

6

All You Need To Know About Remixes 13

Okay, the surprise free record has finally dropped, and caused all sorts of confusion. Which was unintended, but, eh, kinda should have expeced it too, it is Kniteforce after all. So here is some info followed by all you need to know about how to get it!

I had said 12 was the last of the series. I did not lie exactly, I thought it was (although I also thought…maybe…) but then I started to chat with Liquid, and then I asked for a remix, and then I thought it would make a wicked fun surprise as the freebie long promised since Kniteforce started releasing vinyl again, and as I had said 12 was the last that just made it even less likely anyone would guess it!

So I did it.

Liquids remix is of course perfect – taking a classic Jimmy J & Cru-l-t sound and slowing it down to make it even more classic. I love what Liquid did, and that Eamon (Liquid himself) was willing to remain silent about it for nearly 6 months lol. This whole EP had to be absolutely secret for the surprise to work! Big up Eamon, you fine fella you! Added bonus, Liquid have just finished a full EP for Kniteforce to release, coming in early 2018!

But who else to have on the vinyl eh? Well, I thought, why not have the people that made this possible? So obviously Jedi – a good friend, the man who helped me get KF relaunched, and aside from that, an awesome producer in his own right. So his remix is of course excellent.

Dj Deluxe was long overdue to feature on this series – not only did he help me get KFA running back in the day, but he has been a long time fan and supporter of Kniteforce since year one, and is also a good friend. Plus he managed to remix “Cloudy Surface” and make it awesome – and thats no easy task. That tune is tough to remix – I have tried and failed lol

And then Doughboy…well. He doesnt actually fit with the philosophy that I used for Jedi and Deluxe lol. But on the other hand, Doughy is a dear friend, a super skilled producer, and he happened to have done a brilliant remix of Sumaki. So BLAM! Awesome EP a-gogo.

And I did it with a black sleeve cos there had never been one.

Basically, it came out perfect. And i am supremely grateful to all involved for the remix work, and for staying silent, and for making it a very strong release.

Now, to answer questions:

How Can I Get A Copy? Well, you need to have 10 “idiot sheets”. I put an idiot sheet in with each of the new KF vinyls, and will continue to do so up to the next 2 EPs – KF76 & KF77 (out in January). This means there are 14 records that have idiot sheets in them. All you needed to do was email me a picture of you with 10 of them, or 10 of the new vinyls, and then I will add KF00 to your next order.

Can I just, like, give you money or show other records I bought from you? Well, not really. I appreciate every record sale I have ever made, I love every fan and everyone who has ever supported the label(s) – but the whole point of this was to reward the people that made the relaunch of Kniteforce possible. They bought all the records even if some of them were not their particular favourites. And thats a big commitment. So this is a “thank you”. It is basically a loyalty scheme, and loyalty is what it rewards. This does mean some people miss out, but there is no other way to do it, really. Still, there is time!

So thats it, never? Actually, I am sending Jedi some to sell. Not very many. Hardly any at all in fact. But its a way of paying him for his remix work – this was an expensive project to put together, so I could not afford remix fees. He will have some to sell in the next few weeks. I will leave it to him as to how he sells them and when they go up etc etc. And I am sure some will pop up on discogs – if I have one or two left I might even do so myself. But basically, yeah, its gonna be hard to get outside of collecting the 10 idiot sheets, cos thats what it was for!

How many were pressed? Less than 200. And its first come first serve, once they are gone, they are gone!

I got one! Can I get a digital version? Yes, just email me or Facebook me directly, and I will sort you out a link!

You have sheets with the Knitebreed releases too – will there be a 14? Maybe. I have not yet decided what will be the free gift for 10 Knitebreed sheets. I tend to do things for funzies, and it seems a little obvious to do a 14 now. But we will see…

Alright, I think thats all the questions answered! Once again a massive thank you to all involved! Wheeeee…..

 

Nice one,

 

Chris / Luna-C

 

3

Writing Titles Is Hard, Here’s A Bunch of KFA News!

This is an important message from KFA Label Manager and all around good egg Shane Saiyan!

It’s been almost five months since I was announced as KFA label manager, six since I took the job, and let me tell you, it’s been a long road getting from there to here. It’s been a long time, but the time is finally here…

…wait, no, it’ll be here in a second. First I need to laugh at everyone who now has the Star Trek: Enterprise theme stuck in their head. Sorry not sorry.

                                      “but why tho”

Now that that bit of fun is out of the way, let’s get serious. It’s time, at last, to announce the next KFA release, and the first that came about 100% under my control. Wait, wait, no. I forgot, this is the Internet. People only read things in lists on here, right? So I have to do a list. You can’t very well have a list with only one thing, so I need to announce a bunch of things. So here we go, a bunch of things!

1. A New KFA Logo!

You’ve probably noticed the shiny new logo at the top of this post. Isn’t it great? When I took over KFA Chris pitched the idea of getting a new logo done and retiring Mit (that’d be our ghost friend from much of the KFA art of the past several years). A new look for a new era, so to speak. Admittedly I was a little apprehensive to the idea, as Mit has appeared on every one of my own releases, and I feel no small amount of personal attachment to him, to the point I’m going to get him tattooed on me at some point (when I’m not broke, I am a hardcore DJ after all lol). But looking at the new logo, I feel like we made the right call, as the new logo is, to quote the Internet, heckin’ dope.

Let me point out that Mit isn’t really retired, he’ll still be around. I decided that I would leave it up to the (musical) artist which style of art they preferred (sometimes it’ll be Annika doing the art, as usual, sometimes it’ll be Sara, who designed the rabbit, some people may decide to do their own art, and so on). The art style will inform which one of our mascots gets used. So Mit will still pop up. Bob may show up again. The oldskool graffiti logo from the early KFAs could make a comeback. Sky’s the limit, really. But as of now our new rabbit is the “official” logo/mascot, which is great, because as I said it’s dope as heck. So dope in fact that its creation led directly to…

2. New KFA Merch!

                    “money money money money moneeeeeeyyyyyyyyy”

Look, I’m gonna be honest here, we REALLY like money. We also really like cool things with our logos and stuff on them. So of course we weren’t going to pass up an opportunity to sell you new things. New KFA shirts featuring the new logo have been ordered and should be appearing on the store in the next 2 weeks! Keep an eye on the mailing list and the KFA Facebook page, and we’ll let you know as soon as they’re up. Fair warning though, these are EXTREMELY limited supply, only a few per size, so keep an eye out and if you want one (and let’s be real here, if you’re reading this you probably want one), snap one up right away, as restocking takes time, and who likes waiting? Not I, says I. And hey speaking of selling you things…

3. A New Release Format!

                                 “what’s the deal with KFA CD singles?”

You may recall that shortly after I took over running KFA, one of the first things I did was institute Executive Editions being sold as wavs, because I know there are a lot of us who prefer that format. I also know there are a lot of you out there who prefer buying music in a physical format. Having a real, tangible product rather than a couple hundred MB of 1’s and 0’s is important to some of you. Well much like wavs, ask, and ye shall receive! We have decided to, beginning with the next release, start offering all KFA Executive Editions in CD format, in addition to the current digital options. This is just a test for now, as there’s always the chance that people just won’t buy them, so if you like the idea of getting all of our stuff on CD, pick them up, yeah? Oh and hey speaking of that next KFA release, whoooooooo could it be?

4. A New KFA Artist!

                                          “look at this smug motherfucker”

One of my first orders of business was to ask a longtime friend who had already been doing some work for the Kniteforce family to join up full-time, because he is very, very good, and I want to release very, very good music, and I know he can make very, very good music, so clearly this was a very, very good idea. So allow me to introduce you to the newest KFA artist, Audio X!

Joel has been around for a while, having tracks appear waaaaaay back on Hardcore Underground 2, Electromagnetic (Feel Free is a great tune), Crush on Hardcore, and a great many more. Including, yes, Spider Pig. Which is a very fun, amusing tune and I will fight anyone who says otherwise. He is an immensely talented, versatile producer, as capable of writing proper oldskool as he is writing bangin’ freeform, and everything in between. We actually really started talking regularly again after the first time I flew down to Luna-C’s to make what ultimately became Back 2 Tha Midskool, as he was living in North Carolina at the time. We went out for chicken and waffles. It was glorious. From there Chris started having him do things for Kniteforce (his Piano Progression The Third remix is great), and the rest is history. He was one of the first artists I spoke to about writing material for the label once I took over (there are more, but they are surprises for now), and after taking a look at his output, and the fact that he was already basically “one of us” anyway, decided to sign him up full-time. His debut EP is absolutely beastly, varied and interesting and unique in all the right ways. Which leads me to the big announcement, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…

5. The Next KFA Release!

                                            “not pictured: the actual release art”

The next release will be KFA078 – Audio X – Procrastination Makes Perfect, a four track EP with not one, but TWO Executive Edition exclusive bonus tracks. You’re probably wondering why I didn’t just post the album art, and the reason for that is…Chris and I talked about it and decided it’d be better as a surprise on day of release. The art is insanely good, inspired by Roger Dean’s work on Yes album covers, done in papercraft style by Sara, who also designed the new KFA logo. It sort of evokes the video for the Smashing Pumpkins’ Tonight, Tonight to me. You’ll get to see the art when the EP is released, which will be on…

…wait for it

…wait for iiiiiiiiiiiiit

DECEMBER 11TH, 2017! Two weeks from today! Or two weeks-ish, I don’t know if this blog post is going up on Sunday night or Monday sometime, but thereabouts. Now that said, I’m not going to tease you without at least working the shaft a little, so who wants clips? Do you want clips? I want clips. I have clips. I made the clips. Here are clips! Listen to the clips! And then come back and keep reading, we’re not quite done here yet.

KFA78 – Audio X – Procrastination Makes Perfect

Finished?

ISN’T THAT AWESOME!? Seriously, Joel knocked it so far out of the park it landed in a completely different park four states over. I could not be more pleased with how his EP turned out. A bit of something for everyone. My personal favourite is The Hero We Deserve, which I’ve affectionately been referring to as “chiptune Blade Runner”, but the whole thing is very, very strong, and I look forward to hearing them all out at events after release.

6. The Future!

                  “it’s 2 AM, no more funny captions, wit has abandoned me”

So now that the next release has been announced, what’s next? The current plan (subject to change) is for releases to come about every six weeks for the next little bit, before ultimately moving to monthly, and perhaps even more frequently, as at present there are over a dozen releases pencilled in awaiting tracks. Yes, you read that right. Over a dozen. I’ve been VERY busy. 😉

The next two releases are from two guest artists making their solo KFA debuts, namely Eufeion, who I have been a big fan of for a long time, with an EP of tracks taking some rather popular vocals and samples from the happy hardcore era and giving them a modern twist, and Ponder, who is a certified G, and a bonafide stud, and you can’t…teach…that. There is a new True Skool EP waiting on two tracks. Scartat, Doughboy, Empyreal, and myself all have EPs on the go. Audio X has already started submitting tracks for a follow-up. I have a concept for a new, themed compilation EP series along the lines of the True Skool EPs, that you’ll get to see around this time next year. There has been talk of collaborative works with other labels, but it’s very early days on that, so who knows what form those will take, if they ever materialize.

Physical items will, funding permitting, be a big part of the label going forward. There are concepts floating around for even more new merch, including a few that were my own idea that I really, really want to see happen (so buy lots of shirts so we can pay for them lol). I have been talking to a friend of mine who ran a very successful Etsy store providing high-quality handcrafted items that you may see at some point. You may even see KFA material pop up on some of that sweet, sweet black crack in the new year. There are some other things that are 100% happening that I’m not quite ready to speak about in even the vaguest of senses yet, and a few more that are basically concepts in a Notepad file at this point, that if they come to fruition will be really, really cool.

Please note, everything I have just said is subject to change, based on a variety of factors. I decided to include this bit to give you all a peak into what’s going on behind the scenes, but until you see it announced with a release date NOTHING is set in stone.

7. One More Thing!

If you’re still reading this, first of all, congratulations. This post was far longer than I intended it to be, but I’m very wordy, and I had a lot to say. Second, you may recall waaaaaay back in point one that I mentioned that our new rabbit friend doesn’t yet have a name. We thought it would be fun to leave his name up to you guys, so we’ll be holding a “Name The Rabbit!” contest. Chris and I still need to iron out the logistics on how the contest should work, but the winner will receive one of the new KFA logo t-shirts, and a copy of Audio X’s new EP on CD single. We will announce the full details of the contest next  Monday (4th DECEMBER), with the winner being chosen December 11th. The contest will be announced EXCLUSIVELY on the KFA Facebook page, so go give that a like, hit follow, and set your follow settings to “first” so that you don’t miss the announcement.

The KFA page can be found here:

KFA Facebook Page

That’s all for today! Until next time, keep it hardcore!

– Shane Saiyan
KFA Label Manager, Sexiest Man Alive 2017

P.S. Shoutouts to Shannon from Crashedhope Designs for help with the images, and Oliver Spacekitt3n who took all the pics of me that found their way into this blog post. Y’all are good peeps.

3

The New Kniteforce Studio

Occasionally I am asked about what equipment I use for my music and etc, so I thought, as I just set my studio up in a new place, I would do a little studio thing with pics and list what equipment I have…So here we go…

My Dj set up:

I use:

2 x CDJ900

2 x Numark TTX1

1 x DJM800

And I have a dedicated laptop for Serato, because it got old and couldnt do much, and I had to buy a new laptop anyway, so I ended up with one I could use simply for that. I also have a decent Sennheiser mic, and I made a little platform to rest my other laptop on for radio shows so I can actually see whats going on in the chat room!

As for the studio…

 

I have a Mackie 32 track mix desk, and even though it has some built in effects, I grabbed an Alesis Midiverb 4 for extra effects. Much of what I have here mirrors the old Kniteforce studio, or improves upon it. The Midiverb 4 was my go to for effects back in the day. Other than the Genelec speakers and subwoofer (not pictured) I have a MOTU midi express giving me 128 midi channels, and a Metric Halo soundcard which I love to bits as it is stable and excellent. Then there is:

Roland U220 – classic rack unit for strings, used by The Prodigy in their early material but I also had one back in the day.

Yamaha TG500 – This is a rack unit of the SY85 keyboard I used to have as my master keyboard in the KF studio. The sounds on it are unique, and there is no VST that is comparable.

Roland JD990 – this is a new addition. I had the Roland JD800 for a while, but found I rarely programmed it and only used it for the classic piano sound (the one used by Sonz Of A Loop in Far out, amongst many many other classic tunes) so I switched it for this. It is the same sounds, only more of them, and is much more compact.

Emu Vintage Keys – Not the greatest rack unit, but it was one I had for all of the early KF years, and so I wanted it here for the original sounds.

The keyboard above the mix desk is the Alpha Juno 2. This is a good keyboard with nice presets, but it becomes a brilliant keyboard if you also have the PG300, which is the gray unit on the right. The PG300 is how you edit the Alpha Juno 2. The Alpha Juno 2 is the source of the original hoover / mentasm noise. I did not know this back in the day, and did not have one in the KF studio originally, but I LOVE it and I love having it available, even though it can be a bitch to work with at times.

Below the PG 300 is the Boomstar 5089, which is like a Moog rip off box of tricks. Its an impressive bit of kit, new school analogue, and I have only scraped the surface of it. My previous set up did mot give me easy access to this unit, and my new set up rectifies that, making everything available.

Alright…four new additions. As I sold my other Boomstar and my JD800, it gave me the cash to buy some extra goodies. So I bought 4 Roland Boutiques. I got the TB-03 because I used to have a 303 and I miss it occasionally. i also used to have a TB-3, but I sold that too. So who knows if I will keep this unit? But I expect I will. i have literally only had 15 minutes to play with all of these, so they are all in a trial period lol. I bought the SH-01A – the boutique version of the Roland SH101 which I have. I am hoping this will allow me to sell the original keyboard, as it is valuable and why not? If the boutique version is as good, of course. So far, it seems like it, but we will see.

Then there is the D-05. I had wanted a Roland D-50 for ages, as Joey Beltram and other heroes of mine used it back in the day. But the original D-50, like the Alpha Juno 2, requires a PG1000 to edit it. And like the Alpha Juno 2, the PG editor is often more expensive than the keyboard. When Roland bought out the D-05, I discoveded it is possible to edit it on my iPad, plus it comes with every sound ever made for the D-50. I have yet to do any iPad editing, but it was a no brainer to try out the D-05. My brief scan through the sounds says to me “classic, old skool synth” so I think i will love it. But then, it is Roland, so I should maybe add “Also a bit of a dick to use” before I get too excited.

And lastly, a TR-09. This was not really needed – drum machines are the most easily replicated as a VST and I have all the 909 sounds on my computer…and yet…there is still something to be said for the infinite variations available via the hardware as opposed to the often static sounding kick and snare on a VST or as a sample. So I got one anyway.

Below that is the Access Virus T2 which is criminally underused in my studio. It is full of excellent sounds and cleverness, but there is so much of it that I often forget it is even there ha ha! I use it as my master keyboard.

And then there is the Nord 2. I had a Nord, and a Nord 4 over the years, but the Nord 2 is widely regarded as the most raw and aggressive of the options, and I like to have one to hand. But at the same time, and like the Boomstar, I did not use it much in my last studio as it was not easy to get to. Now it is. We will see if it becomes an essential piece of gear or just something I might sell in the future…

Next to it is a Sledge. This big orange monstrosity is great because I hooked it up to my computer and filled it with old skool sounds, which I can then use to the keyboards filters etc. It…hmmmm….softens? the stab noises, makes the samples sound like “not samples” and gives me a wide range of tricks to play with. Its big, ugly, and very useful.

Below that is a JP8000 – another keyboard I never had back in the day but always wanted. And another one I have not had enough time to really play with. Famous for its “super saw” it is also the definitive keyboard for making trance music, and was a regular feature in many a “mid” skool hardcore studio. And again, it is now in a more prominant position so will no doubt be used more in forthcoming Luna-C tracks.

Next to it is the Korg Minilogue. I almost sold this one. Its good, a very useful synth, and easy to store sounds etc, but I dont know, its not very exciting to me. We will see.

And below that, the original Roland Sh-101. Nuff said!

 

I hope you enjoyed my little studio tour. More than that, i hope I get to make some music in it soon….

 

Nice one,

 

Luna-C

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Kniteforce Radio Launch! Sunday 6th August 5pm

Whoop! And its about time. Well, actually, I guess it is within the 4-8 weeks I said it would be. But man, it has been a crazy bit of crazy getting this sorted out.

So lets give you the skinny on it…

First up, there is no link to the station right now. I will send a special email and make a post on Facebook on Sunday the 6th of August complete with links and final details etc.

I have chosen a deliberately low tech look for the radio station. We have got a high quality server and service, but when I want to listen to a radio, I want to be able to get on it easily without going through a bunch of pages and links. I also like to get to the chat room easily, without any messing about. So the radio and the chat room are on the same page, all you have to do is click “play” to hear the music, and you can join the chat just by typing in your name in the box provided. Easy. No need to register or any of that malarky. it looks nice and clean, and it works nice and clean! Whoop!

Some of the Djs will be doing Facebook live when they play. Some will not. Some will chat bollocks all over the mic. Some will not. Because, you know, the radio station is an extension of the label, and the labels ethic remains in effect – that is, diversity is key, so everyone should do their thing the way they want to do it 🙂

The various Djs all have their own time slots, and will advertise themselves no doubt. Our current line up is:

Alk-e-d, Brisk, Sc@r, Futureshock, Luna-C, Saiyan, Idealz, Jimni Cricket, Doughboy, Dave Skywalker, Lowercase, Ant To Be, Jedi, Ponder, Genki, Deluxe, Scartat, Bustin, Patience, Shadowplay, Clayfighter, Paul Bradley & Kaytaro. Mannik & Kingsize are joining later in the year.

Its very exciting. What can you expect from the radio? Oh, you know. Kniteforce stuff. We will all be playing whatever we feel like, as always, with the aim to be covering all the music from old skool to gabber via jungle, d’n’b, upfront hardcore and more.

Its a pretty epic line up if I say so myself, which I do 🙂 Not only do we have hardcore heroes like Brisk and Sc@r, we also have people from all eras – the newest such as Kaytaro and Ant To be, old skoolers like myself and Alk-e-d, and everyone in between. My dear friend Dj Patience, from my old Influential Records days, will be dropping some fierce d’n’b, we have the US and Canada faction with Scartat and Saiyan and Doughy bringing the new skool, Jimni Cricket and her turntablist skills, modern old skool masters like Dj Jedi, lunatics like Dave Skywalker…I am thrilled to be honest, its like all my friends are going to play together!

For the first night, we will have a special line up that will be revealed closer to the time. All I will say for now is that I will be opening the station and  my opening set is going to be all brand new KF material that most people wont have heard, not even other KF artists. I will have tracks by Hyper On Experience, Sanxion, Dj Ham, Gothika Shade, Ant To be, Shadowplay, TNO Project, Mannik, Idealz, myself, and more…its gonna be an hour of totally exclusive tunes, basically. Some of which arent going to be out for months, because it takes time to vinylise things.

Also, many of the KF crew both old and new will be in the chat room as well throughout the night.

All in all, its going to be a wicked Sunday night, and then a lot of good music at your fingertips form there on out….

So Whoop! in a hoop that goes boop!

Nice one,

Chris / Luna-C

 

 

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A Misunderstanding Between Friends.

Hello,

Here is a post that Dj Vibes put up a few weeks back:

I made it clear that I was unhappy about it, and it was removed. But still, I know it was seen by a number of people because a number of people sent me screen captures and asked me what the fuck? Which, incidentally, was also my feelings on first reading it lol.

Shane Vibes apologised, and replaced it with this one:

Its all good, I understand how things can come out wrong, so no big deal. The dudes a legend, I have known him for years and I am not about to start a tedious and childish grudge with one of the few hardcore Djs who has stayed true to it all this time. So there are no hard feelings.

Nevertheless, the original post upset me. It upset me on two levels – the first was the implication that I had ripped Vibes off – which I have since been assured was an unintentional implication. And the second was the massive over estimate of how much money was made on that release. If someone like Vibes, who is a veteran of the industry, can get it so wrong, then many people must also have a false idea of  the profits the old skool made.

And because some people read it, I want to correct some of the things that were written. And also, its a good opportunity to tell people about the way the industry works because there is a great deal of misconception about it. I may well do a series – this one was triggered by an ill-worded post, but I have read plenty of arguments online about the music industry and found myself wanting to should at the screen “IT DOESNT WORK LIKE THAT” lol. So I am going to break the first post down, and tell you all the bits that are not accurate 🙂 I am even going to go into actual costs and sales figures, all be it roughly. Its a bit long…sorry!

So first up, the remix fee. It is mentioned in both posts, and I understand the frustration with this one. It is true that remix fees are a one off payment, and it is also true that this can be unfair. The problem is there is no other way to do it. Its a little complex, so bear with me:

The first option other than a stand alone remix fee is to give a royalty. The problem is, you cannot easily give a royalty for a remix because the remixer did not write the original track, nor did they do any of the promotion or work for that track, nor were they part of the deal when the track was signed to the label. The record label (me) did not sign Dj Force and the Evolution and Dj Vibes & Wishdokta.

Of course you could put that aside and give them royalties anyway, just because it would be nice, but it quickly becomes a practical (and maybe a legal) nightmare. Do they get a royalty of the entire track or just that remix? Because royalties are based on the track and all versions of it, not just a remix version, unless you are now going to make it a separate entity. But okay, suppose you do that –  what percentage is fair? 5%? 50%? And who decides this, and is it a standard thing? Are all remixers getting the same percentage – or put another way, are all remixers of equal value?

And do we do this with every remix that gets done of a track? Which would mean each time a remix was done, you would have to write a new contract, redo all the legal paperwork and forms, and change ownership and percentages of the recording.

This is obviously a terrible and impractical idea. One track might end up being remixed 20 times, which would mean the record label is, in effect, dealing with the original artist, 20 new artists, and all of their individual splits for each remix in each format.

Still, it could technically be done with the royalties from a record label, the money made from physical sales that is. It would be horrendous, but it could be done. Of course, you would then have to ensure the original recording artists and the record label were agreeable to that. But I cant think many artists or labels would want this arrangement. Even between the best of friends that is a nightmare of organisation, contracts, management and royalty accounting. I think in almost every case, if the remixer asked for a percentage or a royalty, the answer would be “you know what, I will get a different remixer” lol.

But even if all agreed to do that and were happy – there is publishing to consider, which is a whole other thing. Publishing is the ownership of the composition of the recorded work, and it remains in the hands of the person who wrote the music regardless of who remixes it. In this case, the publishing is owned by Dj Force & The Evolution – not me, not Vibes & Wishdokta or any remixer, not Kniteforce Records. It is usually collected by a separate entity (a publisher) on behalf of the writer. And the collection of publishing royalties simply does not allow for this situation. Someone wrote the track, someone else cant come in later and also have written the track, unless they actually wrote the track lol. It just doesn’t work like that, the end. Even if all parties wanted it to, it still doesn’t work like that. The worldwide systems for collecting publishing – the PRS and all the rest etc – are not set up to accommodate that arrangement. And again, if they were, what artist or record label would want that? Very few I think.

This is why remix fees are usually one off, single payments. To make it royalty based is extraordinarily difficult within the systems in place to collect money worldwide.

So okay, a remix fee is the best way, even though its not great. Its main problem is, a remix fee is paid for BEFORE the sales happen, before the remix is released. And no one knows how well a remix will sell. So judging how much you will ask for is very difficult to do. This is why the remixer usually sets the price, and the record label decides if it is worth paying or not. This is what happened in this case – I called Vibes, he set the price, I agreed to it, the remix got done, I paid the fee, the remix got cut, then the sales come in. Or not lol.

Its all guessing game based on the remixers pedigree and all the other factors that may help or hinder a release. In this case, I paid Vibes & Wishdokta a set fee and I got a brilliant remix for it. I cannot remember if the fee was £300 or £500. I do remember that Slipmatt was £500 back in those days, and he was the highest paid because he was the king lol, so it was most likely I paid VW £300, and I am certain it was not more than £500 for reasons that will become evident. It was a good deal for me, and actually a fair deal for Vibes & Wishdokta (although if you read this whole blog, you can come to your own conclusions about that).

However, lets use the other side of this particular release as an example of how it can all go wrong – I paid £600 – so more than Slipmatt –  for the Ramos and Supreme Remix because after agreeing to do a swap deal (where they remix for us and we remixed for them) they then delayed and delayed getting me the remix until after I had already printed the labels and sleeves, and then demanded £600 rather than do the agreed swap. For this princely sum, they made what is, in my opinion, a crap remix that no one plays and it is only on the record at all because it would have cost too much money and time to not use it.

I learned my lesson, and I have never let anyone put me in the position where I have to take whatever crap piece of music they farted ever again lol.

So in that case, I paid Ramos & Supreme a set fee and got a poo remix. It was a poo deal. I paid the money, and I lost out.

And that sums up the risk with the remix fee system. Some you win, some you lose. Welcome to the music industry, ain’t it grand? lol.

One last note on remix fees: They are very hard to judge no matter how reasonable you want to be. Because in the end, the reasons this particular record did well are many and hard to categorise or value. It sold because Dj Force & Evolution made a great track, Vibes & Wishdokta made a great remix, it was one of the first hardcore releases of that era to have a proper colour sleeve, it was part of a series which featured Slipmatt who was the biggest name at that time, it came out on a label that was doing well already, and one that had a good distributer. All of these things helped. The Ramos & Supreme Remix might even have helped a bit I suppose lol. But I suspect…not…much. And what would have changed it? What if Force & Evolution did the remix? What if Tango and Ratty did it? What if there was no sleeve? What if it was a 4 tracker instead of a 2 tracker? So many variables that would have effected the sales for better or worse. But still, the excellent remix from Vibes & Wishdokta is a major factor, and the original track being brilliant is also a major factor. That is undeniable.

All of that long winded explanation is to show why a remix fee is paid as a single one off fee, rather than any other way of doing it. I can think of numerous cases where I have remixed for a fee and I probably should have been paid more. I can think of numerous cases where people have fallen out over a remix fee as well. I can think of one particular case where the remixers absolutely deserved to be paid as recording artists because the remixes were the only reason the record sold at all, and it became a huge anthem – but nothing could be done. The artist made a fortune, the remixers much less, and it truly didn’t matter what either artist or remixer wanted because the laws and rules are all in place and simply don’t allow for these sorts of arrangements and situations.

That was a behind the scenes shit storm I can tell you.

Bottom line? Its shitty. A single one off payment for a remix is not a good option, but its the least shit way of doing things out of the options available. I had no idea Vibes was miffed about it, but you know, thats the way it goes. It was Vibes & Wishdokta that set their fee, not me, and I paid it. That was the deal. Thats always been the deal.

Lets move on…

Im going to skip past the bits about the remix outselling the original. Once you add up represses, album licensing and digital sales over the years, I am confident that the original outsold the remix. But this is a minor quibble – the Vibes & Wishdokta remix is a stunning bit of work, more remarkable because it is very difficult to remix a bona fide classic like “Perfect Dreams” and do a good job at all – and they did a fantastic job.

I am also going to skip quickly through the “thanks” bit, because I did thank Shane outside a club a few months after the release. I remember it because other things happened that were only slightly related, and to recall all of that is pointless. Instead, I will simply say I don’t drink and never have, so I have never asked anyone to go for a drink in thanks or otherwise lol. Some of the KF crew occasionally dragged me to a pub where I would stay for an hour then go home to the studio. I am legendary within my circle of friends for “going home” lol. Basically, I am hopeless at the whole “socialising with business people” thing which is pretty obvious when you look at my career ha ha. I am content with it but I recognise it can seem rude to others. So it is possible I did not thank Vibes & Wishdokta enough, or gave the impression I was not grateful. And If so, my bad.

What I did do though is ask Vibes & Wishdokta to remix that track in the first place, which in itself was a thank you for the excellent work they had already done for me remixing “We’re Flying” and “Swift Half” by Future Primitive. Vibes & Wishdokta are one of the very few artists who were asked to do multiple remixes for Kniteforce. The list is short – Vibes & Wishdokta, Slipmatt, and Sublove…hmm…I cant recall any others from that time. There were VERY few people who’s skill and talent I respected enough to come back for more.

Moving on…

Okay, lets talk about sales: This is really the bit that bummed me out from Vibes’s post because it was so far from the truth. I would love to have made £12000+ out of that record. I definitely did not, nowhere near. I am, like most record label owners, guilty of exaggeration with sales figures from time to time lol. But if I am honest, I cannot remember how many we sold altogether, but I am pretty sure it was under 5000 because I remember we originally pressed 3000 of Part 1, which featured Slipmatt – then got another 2000 pressed of that one. At a later date, we may have repressed again on that, 500 here, 500 there. I think that first Remix EP ended up selling close to 8000, but it also easily outsold the others in the series. That release, KF27, was our best seller for a long time, maybe ever.

So I guess it is possible we sold 6000 units of KF28, the Vibes & Wishdokta remixes? I have doubts, I would guess nearer to 4000 – 5000. But anyway, lets be generous and go with the figure of 6000 that Vibes used. My memory is lousy and I fucked up a lot of things back then, so fairs fair lol. Here are rough profit and expense figures:

Profit

I sold to Mo’s Music Machine (my distributor) at £1.80 per record.

6000 x £1.80 = £10800.00 profit. So even without paying for anything, I wouldn’t have made £12000.00

Expenses

Ramos & Supreme Remix Fee £600 (I am still annoyed lol)

Vibes & Wishdokta Remix fee – £300 (I will go with the lower figure of £300 – they did undervalue their work, thats for sure)

Record pressing £0.42 per unit x 6000 (I remember the unit price for sure, oddly enough): £2520.00

Cutting, processing metalwork, artwork design (had to be paid for back then, I couldn’t do it), films for artwork, full colour sleeve pressing x 6000, label pressing x 6000, promos, postage, shipping etc etc: Fuck knows. But at a guess another £1500 – £2000. Maybe less. Possibly more.

All those expenses add up big time, and we are looking at  roughly: £5420.00

Total profit from that record? Using these (admittedly rough) figures? £10800.00 minus £5420.00 =£5380.00

Of course, The Perfect Dreams Remix is only one side of the record, so it only earns half of that profit, so: £2690.00

And that gets split in half again, 50% KF, 50% Dj Force & The Evolution: £1345.00

Thats a good figure. But its pretty far away from the £12000+ claimed in Shanes post.

Oh, I forgot that i would have paid VAT tax on all the expenses – that was 17.5%. Sigh. I cant be assed to go back and do the math. So lets ignore it.

In the end, we got less than that £1345 figure, actually. If we sold 6000 units. Because lets not forget, this figure is the high end – it would be much less if we sold 4000 units. And sure, it would be a bit more if we did 10,000, and maybe I have some of the expenses wrong. But even then, it would still be a far cry from the £12000.00 mentioned. Also, I want to point out the label wasn’t paid in one lump sum. This is the sales over a period of months, and years actually if we are including sporadic repressed which we are to reach anywhere near that figure.

And I wouldn’t have seen any of that money until months after paying for the entire project to be pressed, including paying for the remix fees.

Now, finally, the big question: Should I have paid more for the Vibes & Wishdokta Remix? Maybe. I paid Slipmatt extra for his when it went on to sell so many by just giving him another couple of hundred pounds. And honestly, I feel like I probably should have given Vibes & Wishdokta a “bonus” for the remix as well. An extra couple of hundred maybe. To be clear, I was under no legal, or even moral obligation to do so. But still, it would have been a nice thing to do. If it was me now, thats what I would have done. I am older, wiser and maybe a little kinder than I used to be.

So why didn’t I back then? I don’t know. Maybe because I was very upset with Ramos & Supreme’s nonsense on that same release, and it soured me on that particular EP – that’s not Vibes & Wishdokta’s fault at all, but there it is. Maybe I was going to give them extra and just forgot. Its not like there was Paypal – you had to actually meet up with cash or send a cheque. Maybe I was skint – those 2 releases were a huge upfront expense, and I was also paying for the next releases after that – KF29 and KF30, and Remix Records releases, and the Slipmatt Remix of Take Me Away was selling faster than the VW remix, so my confidence in it was higher while my wallet was slimmer. But it took months to get paid after you spent the money to press back in those days and I was fucking terrible at accounts. All of those things may have played a part.

Or maybe I was just being greedy. I was greedier back then, and more selfish in a number of ways.

Simply put, I don’t know.

But what I do know is: Dj Vibes post upset me. And it had a lot of incorrect information in it. And after I got over being annoyed, I realised there are so many misconceptions about how things work in this industry, so perhaps it was a good way of explaining some of those things. And also, I thought I would clear it up because it made me feel bad. Finally, I hope it makes Shane feel better too – I would hate for him to feel like he was ripped off. I know that feeling well (hi Suburban Base! lol) and its not very nice.

Lastly, after getting over my annoyance, I want to make it very clear I have no ill feeling towards Shane Vibes. I am just sad he felt like this and could not say anything to me directly. This is yet another problem with the industry – it is complicated, and it is hard to know if you are in the right or wrong, and then it is hard to say anything. But there we are. With any luck, this should clear it up.

Thanks for reading,

Luna-C

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