Archive | Luna-C Reviews

The Luna-C & Lowercase EP and How to Get On Kniteforce Records or Radio!

WARNING – THIS BLOG POST IS VERY LONG!!!

I wanted to write a post about my new record with Glyn Lowercase. And I also wanted to talk a little about how people become part of the label or radio station, and I thought it would be good to combine those two things, seeing as Glyn is a main part of Kniteforce now even though I had never even spoken to him before about two years ago. How did that happen? Did he pay me on the sly? Was it blackmail? Wizardry? Charm? Talent even?

Nope. Well, a little of the last of course, ha ha, but mostly nope. Talent is important, but…honestly? Many people seem to think it is the only thing that matters, when in truth, and for me at least, it is one of the MANY things that matter, and it isn’t even the priority. That might sound weird or counter intuitive, I know, but it will make sense. Probably.

But let me explain in my usual, roundabout sort of way, using Glyn as an example so that hopefully, in the future, I will get many less actual music submissions that don’t stand a chance, and many more appropriate submissions that do ha ha! If I have linked you to this blog after you sent me some music, all the things you need to know are here!

It is important to understand that I get quite a lot of music submissions, and a fair number of people send me music each week. I also have very little time to listen to anything, what with two children that I look after much of the week and running three labels (Kniteforce, Knitebreed and KFD) plus overseeing the production / physical side of those AND KFA. Shane Saiyan does the important music and artist bit on that label, and without him KFA would cease in a second at this point, but I still oversee production etc lol. My days are so full, I sometimes have a tiny bit of time with nothing to do and it freaks me out.

Thats not to mention my own music and studio, plus the day to day stuff, dealing with customers on the stores (While again, Lee Idealz does the bulk of the actual sending out of orders in the UK while I handle the US ones, but I tend to handle all customer inquiries) and so on and so forth.

All in all, on an average week, I will probably get: 10 random submissions, plus at least 5-10 tracks from one or more of the nearly 50 artists on our labels roster. Not to mention the remixes and outside artists involved and planning future projects and paying bills and etc etc.

Basically, a lot of things are always happening. I absolutely love it, but if you have new music for me to hear, and want to be on the label or on the radio or involved somehow, you will need to be patient, and to have the things I am looking for.

Because here is the thing: I am Kniteforce. I run the label, and all the major decisions on it are made by me. i do take advice and ask other people on the label their thoughts, but the buck stops here lol. And I DO NOT do it for profit, although I do like to earn money. And I DO NOT run it for fame or ego – I had that with Smart Es and I hated it. I also DO NOT run it as a favour to anyone, or out of obligation, although I do people favours and I have obligations. No. I run the label for one reason alone:

Because I like doing it.

And the result of that is…I only do things I like doing with people I like doing it with.

Now, any good businessman will tell you, this is not the ideal way to run a business. And I will totally agree. Its not. And in some ways, Kniteforce isn’t a business. It is a hobby that became a business. I do all the things that a business does, and from the legal side of things, sure, it is a business. BUT it is run as a hobby.

Now don’t get me wrong – I do accounts, pay bills, I am organised and careful. But the core of what I do is, as stated before, a hobby and not a business.

This is very important to understand, because it very much effects what I will and wont do with music that comes my way. I will not put out music just for money, for example. I will not release music from someone rude or full of themseleves, no matter how good the music is. I do not work with people who are nasty or underhand even if it would be profitable. I don’t base those decisions on talent, in other words, although of course it plays a part.

It is also important to remember my background – I am a person who failed at music at school, and ended up with a chart tune and bought a studio and made a successful record label with my friends who also were not musicians in any sense of the word.

We made it work because we REALLY wanted to make it work. We had neither knowledge or skill. Like a huge number of our contemporaries at the time, we were lucky enough to have the two things you really needed to make hardcore: We had access to a studio, and the stubborn will and desire to make music. And that was it, and it was enough. The rest, we learned along the way. You can look back now and say I am talented at what I do, or that Future Primitive were skilled with the piano lines, or, or, or, but that came through relentless dedication, not inborn skill or talent. There are exceptions – Styles from Dj Force and The Evolution was always gifted musically, and Ham took to the studio like he was born into it, but the rest of us? Not so much. We just smacked our heads against the wall until we broke through it lol.

And this is why Talent isn’t the priority. Experience has taught me it doesn’t need to be. Circling back to Glyn Lowercase, he is a superb Dj and a good friend, but it wasn’t his talents that secured him his place within the label. And it wasn’t talent that made me take on Paul Bradley, Wislov, Shadowplay, Ant To Be, Alex Jungle, Sanxion, or even Pete Cannon, Hyper On Experience and Liquid, although it goes without saying all of them ARE talented.

No.

It was their love for the music, their dedication and enthusiasm.

And also, just being nice people without huge ego.

As the years have passed, I have come to believe more and more that dedication is probably the single most important key to success. And dedication only remains strong if there is enthusiasm. And ego ruins both. Ego and arrogance ruin all, actually.

Glyn Lowercase has dedication and enthusiasm in spades, and is both determined and humble. Its a good combination, and perfect for Kniteforce.

I first became aware of Glyn because he posted pics of his leg tattoos, which happen to be Kniteforce logos. So…thats dedication. More that I would ever ask for, and verging on the insane, sure, but still, you cant just scroll past someone who has put your record labels artwork into his skin. That person is dedicated and loves the label, so the least I could do was say  “oi oi, nice one” and have a little chat. It turned out that he was only slightly mad, and he wasn’t full of himself, and he had a weekly radio show (this was before Kniteforce Radio). So I tuned in once, then again, until it became fairly regular, and I was pleasantly surprised to hear well mixed tunes, and an enthusiastic host who was obviously very into the music, and Kniteforce played its part in that as well.

This is a key point.

I want to work with people that are into what we are doing. Almost everyone I have ever taken on to the label was already into the label, knew what we do, what we are about, and wanted to be part of it. Likewise, I almost always become aware of that person because they have already done something Kniteforce related off their own backs. It doesn’t have to be as bonkers as tattoos. It might be I see their name pop up int he store, buying each release. Or they do a Soundcloud mix of KF tunes, or sport a KF shirt at an event they are playing at. All of these things and many others show that the person KNOWS the label BEFORE they ask or are invited to be part of the label. Invitations are actually the most common way people end up as part of the label. It would not be far wrong to say I ask those people to be involved who are already involved lol. Its good synergy. It works well for me if those that I work with are as dedicated as I am to the good of the label, and NOT to their own good first.

When I get a music submission from someone who has no idea what the label is about, it is very obvious. People send me their “latest EDM Banger” and I am like “But why tho?”. Or I get messages like “I did this thing and I have done these things and I am gonna do these things and these people think I am great and I want to do this so why dont you put out my record?” and what I hear is “me me me me me me” and I think “errrr…no” lol. Its not that what you are doing doesn’t matter, its great if you are doing well, go you! – But I find myself asking “whats in it for me / Kniteforce?”. We work as a family or team in a real sense. We commit to the good of the label before the good of ourselves. And in doing so, we all make out well, with opportunities given and offered rather than fought for. Kniteforce is not a stepping stone for your career, although I would never dream of holding someone back if they out grow us. But if you are submitting music purely to add Kniteforce as one of the many labels you have released on, I am not going to be into that, and will probably pass.

When I get such messages, it is clear the people who send them neither understand the label or its ethics, so no matter how good the music, thats not going to work out for us.

Back to Glyn. At no point did he say “Can I do this? Lets make a radio station! Can i come to the studio?”. Rather, when I decided to do a radio station, I had already gotten to know him a bit, and I gambled that he would rise to the challenge of running the station, based on the fact that he had enthusiasm and dedication, was a solid DJ and knew a little bit about how a station should be run. I certainly had no idea how to do it, ha ha. But I didn’t know how to run a record label either. If you have the desire and the dedication, you will learn that shit, thats how it rolls and I trust in it. He had left his other station anyway, and so it was all easy. Here is an idea, here is an opportunity, here is a person who wants to do it. I bankroll it, help organise where I can, use what connections I have, then give it to that person and say “run with it” and then we see how it turns out.

It has almost always turned out well.

Things like this show a persons true colours. Glyn was respectful of what we were about, and didn’t run around bragging or making a fool of himself. He worked hard to get the radio running smoothly, took the back seat that is needed when you are running a thing – you cant be all “me me look at me” cos if you are, the whole thing falls apart. Instead, you have to be here, there and everywhere, helping and coaching where needed. In doing all of that, he fit in with the rest of the label perfectly, and why not? His attitude is shared by the rest of us. And right there is another key point – attitude. It really matters. It may be the prime thing, because if you come to me with a shitty attitude, nothing else is going to happen. So in order:

01. Attitude

02. Dedication

03. Enthusiasm

04. Talent / Skill

05. Loyalty

06. Patience

07. individuality

To touch on the last three on the list. Loyalty is important. I am perfectly willing to invest in artists that cover the first four, and I will also invest in artists that make it clear they have other loyalties as well. I prefer exclusivity because it means we are all working together for the same purpose, but as long as people are upfront, I can work non exclusive. But if you want to be fully part of the label, loyalty is expected. Some might think this is unfair, but why would I trust Glyn to run my station, come to my house and work in the studio, if he is just going to go and take those things I have worked to help him with and go somewhere else? Again, I have to ask, whats in it for me? Kniteforce is not a stepping stone, as I said before. I give my all to the label and its artists, and if I am going to do that, I expect the same in return. Its a two way street, always, with loyalty and everything else. i back my artists, i expect to be backed in return. Having said that, loyalty is usually not an issue as it tends to be shown before it gets very far. I also firmly believe, in this era of “everyone running about everywhere doing everything” that loyalty to a single label is refreshing, and allows for a career and to build a solid base rather than taking a scattershot approach. Plus, this is my hobby, I work with my friends, if you are on the label, you are my friend, and in friendships, loyalty is an important thing.

Next on the list… 06 is patience. Things take time, and I take pride in the fact that I try to make sure EVERYONE who is a loyal part of the label or station gets given every opportunity to do ALL the things. But it takes time, with this many people and within a hardcore scene which, at this time, is still sadly limited as it is not a huge scene. Glyn was invited to come and make music with me after the radio station was rolling and I had gotten to know him pretty well and was confident we could work on music together and come up with something unique. It took 2 years for him to go from person I knew to person I work with on a daily basis and trust with the inside workings of the label and now recording artist. But it was worth the wait, for me, and I am pretty sure he would say the same.

Others have done the same thing or are in the process, although that makes it sound like a job interview or something – its not, its natural, never forced, just a progression. I took on Kaytaro and Thibor as Djs to the radio station because as well as being good Djs, the first was a regular customer and the second a huge supporter of the station from the get go. Both have gone above and beyond in filling slots when needed and generally helping Glyn with the radio. Kay will be coming to the studio soon, and Thibor will get to mix an album etc etc And this is how it rolls with us.

Shane Saiyan, who runs KFA for me, I met via an argument online ha ha. And that brings me to the final thing: 07 Individuality.

I am not interested in a bunch of music that sounds like I made it, or like Alex Jungle or any of the artists we already have because…we already have them. So its important to think about what you are sending me. Is it a traditional piano breakbeat anthem? Thats great…but…Ant To Be and myself can knock those out too. As can Liquid and Future Primitive and and…that doesnt mean it will get a “No” but it does mean the competition to make something outstanding is particularly high. I love the variety on the labels, and it is not an accident. When I say i want another Empyreal or Alex Jungle, I mean I want another artist who’s sound is so unique, as soon as you hear it you know who it is.

It is a high standard.

And it comes from people who are individual. No one arts like Jimni Cricket or Spudgunjuice. No one D’n’Bs like Idealz. My own work is (I flatter myself) unique in sound. We don’t have any artists you can easily mistake for any others. Gothika Shade does not sound like Ben Venom. We are not interchangeable, and if you want to be part of the label, you need to consider that. Dj Deluxe is a superb host on the radio, eloquent, funny, great at coming up with ideas and entertaining to listen to on the mic as well as having an eclectic and great taste in music. He is not Lowercase, who’s style is more manic and based on upfront promos etc. And neither of them are Idealz, who is silent, no mic, and jungle / d’n’b orientated. Or Dj Patience who is so Drum’n’Bass its weird to find out he likes House as well ha ha. Or, or or, you get the point. When sending something to me or Saiyan or Lowercase, you need to consider what you bring to the table? Is it a new and exciting dish? Then we are very interested. Is it another hamburger? We have those. So its gonna have to be a stunningly good hamburger, you know?

Thats where individuality comes in.

I am not interested in Luna-C clones, or sycophants – as I said, Saiyan and I became friends from a disagreement, and now he runs one of my labels. I can trust him to speak his mind. An that is ESSENTIAL for what he does. Glyn had to learn to be a little more…bold…sometimes. I am not a person that gets upset by disagreements, I am interested in other opinions and value the input from all of my artists. A bunch of like-me’s are no use at all, cos i already have me. And I am not all knowing, I am fallible and need help.  And I need enthusiastic, dedicated people involved because I am dedicated myself, but old, and have been around a long time. So enthusiasm is a commodity that is absolutely needed ha ha!

All of this is why KF85 – Luna-C & Lowercase “Heavy Beats” EP is a thing that happened. i am thrilled that I get to bring Glyn into this side of the business, and will enjoy watching him go from learning from me, to doing his own thing, as so many of my friends have done before. I hope there will soon be a Lowercase EP which he does on his own. But…after a few more with me, cos god damn it was fun making this one!

Mostly, I hope this blog has given you some insight into the label and makes you want to be involved. Whether as someone who buys the music, or plays the music or is directly involved – we see you. We see who supports, and we see who wants more, and theres nothing we like more than being able to make that happen!

Anyway, enough from me. Nice one,

Luna-C

2

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.

1

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

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

 

 

1

Kniteforce Radio Coming Soon…

Yes, we are doing a radio station. And here is a little sound clip thing I did for it:

And now I will attempt to answer your questions before you ask them:

“Why are you doing a radio station?”

Because I think it will be fun. It is something I have never done before, and there are remarkably few of those things left in the music industry. But also because we have so much good music coming out, and such a variety of artists on the labels…I think we can do something pretty unique. So I figure, lets give it a go!

“When will it go live?”

Soon. I can’t say when exactly, but we are integrating it into the current website and the current website is likely to need a few tweaks before we can get it all sorted. However, I have a new web designer who will be adding the radio station and the chat room, and fixing any issues that need to be fixed. But my guess? Maybe a month or two. I will keep you all updated!

“What will be the music policy?”

It will be like the labels in that the basic philosophy will be “Is it good? Then fine” lol. I hope to bring a really wide variety of music. Even just with the Kniteforce and KFA artists combined we can easily cover everything from trance and breaks and old skool hardcore and jungle through to the new old skool, modern hardcore, d’n’b, gabber and the rest. And just like with the labels, I will be giving the artists free range to do their thing how they see fit.

“Will you have other, non Kniteforce / KFA people playing?”

Yes. I am sure there will be a few spots open BUT right now we are still just sorting out who plays when etc etc so what is likely to happen is we will go live with only the KF artists and then add others. Once that is running smoothly, I will ask for demos to be sent in from Djs who would like a spot. Other than that, there are some very good Djs who I know of who will be approached directly by me as well.

“Will I be able to stream it through other apps etc?”

Yes.

🙂

Nice one,

Luna-C

 

7

KF69 – Remixes Part 12 – Hyper On Experience, Alex Jungle, and Shadowplay

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How do I even begin to write this blog post? Most of you reading this will be into Kniteforce Records anyway, and I flatter myself that if you are, you will also be aware of me, and maybe even the artists that influence me or that I respect.

I have a wide taste in music, but very few hero’s or people I genuinely admire, and most of those hero’s are outside of the area in which I work. You will never see a Leonard Cohen remix on Kniteforce Records, is what I am saying. I mean, apart from the fact he died, you couldn’t find a less suitable artist to have a Luna-C Remix lol. No, when it comes to artists I admire and that also fall within the genres I make, the list is very slim. Aphex Twin. Messiah. The Prodigy. NRG. Sublove. Acen. Austin Reynolds.

And, of course, Hyper On Experience.

If I had to choose who I would personally want to remix one of my tunes out of that list, it would be Hyper On Experience. I say this knowing that Aphex Twin or The Prodigy would obviously sell many more records. But thats not what it is about for me, and it never has been. And this is why I am sort of lost for words. Having a Hyper On Experience remix on my label is a dream come true for a man who doesn’t dream very much or very often.

If you are fairly new to the scene, or not fluent in old skool (be it hardcore or d’n’b) you might only know Hyper On Experience from their more massive tracks, the remix of Lord Of The Null Lines probably being the most famous. But I first heard them in a small shop outside of London rather than one of my regular haunts. The EP being played was called “Keep It In The Family”, and when I bought it, it was just one of many records I bought that day. I did not know I had just purchased the work of an artist that would have such a profound effect on my music from there on out.

The EP itself is not Hyper On Experience’s best, although thats a little like saying, “this caviar is slightly worse than the other caviar”, in a restaurant where most people are served hot dogs. And I found the EP fascinating. All four tracks were unusual in format,  and they moved and developed as they went along, where most music at that time repeated. They used the “wrong” parts, the “wrong” arrangement, and did not sound like anyone else out there. So when “The Family We Never Had” EP came out, I bought that instantly. And so on and so forth, every new H.O.E release was snapped up by me as soon as I saw it. I never knew when one would arrive, with no internet etc, so the thrill of going into a record store and seeing a new one was immense.

I could bang on and on about each release. I can sing along to the sound effects in all of the tunes lol. And back in those days, I was really puzzled as to why I never heard anyone play these tracks out at parties. They were amazing! They still are amazing actually – very few of the releases back in those days have stood the test of time with their production – The Prodigy, Acen, anything produced by Austin Reynolds – but Hyper On remain in that select group of clarity and skill where so many other old skool tunes just sound…well….old. That doesn’t make them bad, but its still a thing.

Anyway.

When Kniteforce was rolling along, I got to know Moving Shadow’s head honcho Rob Playford a tiny bit. I think the first thing I ever asked him was “when is the next Hyper On Experience record out?” lol. He looked surprised – I guess most people wanted to know about 2 Bad Mice or Blame. Those are great artists, no doubt. But it was Hyper On Experience that always excited me the most on Moving Shadow, and in general. Rob told me that they were not as popular as some of the other acts on his label, but the music was so good and that he was always looking forward to putting their music out. And I could see he was as puzzled as I was about them not being way more famous than they were. It was like we both thought “why does no one else get this?” lol. Personally, I think its because some artists are just too far ahead of the game. The Panacea is another one like that. A dear friend of mine, he always seems to be about 3 years ahead of what everyone else is doing. And when artists are like that, they rarely hang around to get the credit they deserve. The scene they are in becomes what they left behind.

So yeah. It was only really with the Lord Of the Null Lines remix that Hyper On Experience were thrust into the forefront of music. I remember everyone suddenly being all about Hyper On, and I was like “Really? Its about time!” lol. And I remember that remix destroying dance floors for years, and it is a stunning remix, there is no question. But the original version of that track? Oh man. The remix is nothing in comparison, in my humble opinion. For me, Lord Of The Null Lines and Monarch of The Glenn are works of art that I refer to again and again, and have for decades. Listen, when you can use a duck quack as a beat edit and it doesn’t sound daft, thats a whole new level lol. And the intro to Monarch Of the Glenn? Go home everyone else, you’re done lol:

I was and remain inspired and impressed every time I listen. Much of the technicality of Luna-C work owes direct inspiration to Hyper On Experience. It is only with the passing of the years that we now, as an older, wiser scene, can look back and can appreciate and recognise Hyper On Experience as one of the finest hardcore acts ever. And if you disagree with that, you are wrong lol. Sorry, but you are. Still, thats the music industry for you. The things that blow up are usually simpler, easier to digest and can feed everyone. Hot dogs, in other words. Not caviar.

And now I have a Hyper On Experience remix on my label.

Which makes me happy.

As you can probably gather from what you have just read, this is what is known as British understatement. You could say that, having got a Hyper On Experience remix on Kniteforce that I would no longer have any other ambition and should just call it a day. Nope. Just as I am trying to get a full Justin Time EP on the label, I’m going to try and get a full Hyper On Experience release as well. And then I am going to try and persuade Acen, Messiah, Austin Reynolds, Sublove, Aphex Twin and The Prodigy. Ha ha, okay, probably no chance, but you know what? If you had asked me even a few years ago about getting a Hyper On Experience remix on Kniteforce, I would have also thought “no chance”. So fuck it. Lets try eh?

Oh, I haven’t talked about the actual remix. Is it any good?

Yes. It is quite good.

British understatement again. Its actually very very very good. Its very Hyper On Experiencey. It starts off good, and then it changes into some really good bits, and then it changes again to some amazing stuff, and then it ends on a good note. You basically have to listen to the whole thing from start to finish. Which is exactly how it should be.

Now, it seems unfair to go on and on about just one of the remixes on the E.P. And I apologise to the others on the EP for the inevitable short thrift, but I think just this one time, I am allowed to be a fan boy and fill my entire blog post talking about my favourite artist 🙂 Having said that, I have to hand it to the other two remixers on this release because neither knew who they would be appearing next to, and yet both hold their own spectacularly.

You already know Alex Jungle. His stunning debut EP has just started being sent out and he is already one of my favourite producers. Well, he has remixed “Snow In Summer”, a tune that I made, and that was big in Europe, and that I have always sort of hated. And Alex Jungle has made me love it. Thats how good his remix is. It is, simply put, a stunning remix. The Panacea remix of this track for the 20 Year box set was brilliant of course, but mainly because he dumped all the vocals, ha ha! This remix is good because, impossibly, he has made the vocals sound cool. And added Bruce Lee samples. I don’t know, its all the wrong stuff and he has made it work so amazingly well. You just have to hear it. Its brilliant.

And of course, Shadowplay won the recent “Remixes” competition, and has been signed to Kniteforce, and has already got two tracks ready for a forthcoming EP. His remix of Richie Whizz “Song Of Angels” beat out all the other competition entries, and is the perfect compliment to the others on the EP.

So yeah.

What more can I say, except, if you want to hear some of these remixes, including the Hyper On Experience one, tune in to Glowkids radio show tomorrow, February 28th. I have made him a nice 45 minute set of all new and recent KF material, and have a little interview on there as well!

Here are the details:
GL0WKiD Generation X [RadioShow] pres. “THE 25th ANNIVERSARY OF KNITEFORCE RECORDS” Feat. LUNA-C Exclusive Interview & Guest Mix
@ Planet Rave Radio (www.planet-rave.com)

Tuesday 28th February 2017
17:30-19:00 [UK TIME]
CHAT: http://bit.ly/1OzhOLR
LISTEN: http://bit.ly/1RETXKT
App player for mobile: http://bit.ly/1RI4lza

And thats all for now….Too much really. Im gonna have to have a little sit down lol.

Nice one,

Chris

7

KF68 – Remixes Part 11 – Fat Controller, Justin Time, Dj Jeph, Saiyan & Cru-l-t

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Look at that! Thats a proper line up of talent on one 12” right there. Yes indeed. Yes indeedly doodley. So I thought I would do a little blog about this one, because there are some things to say!

I have decided to announce the next two Kniteforce releases individually because I have words to blab about each one, and I am letting you know about them early because, in this case, two of the remixers have been silently and patiently waiting for a very long time, which was unfair of me really, very unfair, but circumstances meant that it couldn’t really be avoided.

So, previously On Game Of Kniteforce (cue music and flashbacks of scenes you already saw and want to fast forward through but you know if you do you will go too far and accidentally miss new material which will mean you have to rewind and thats just annoying so instead you will sit through the whole boring bit and maybe notice that some of it has been edited because that isnt quite how it happened but anyway.)

Dj Jeph won the remix competition I did in 2016. Way back then, I put up three tracks to remix, and a huge amount of people entered. My intention at the time was to release two brand new 12″ vinyl  “Remixes” in the ongoing classic Kniteforce series, and leave it at that. 10 was a good number to stop on. So I had expected to choose 2 of the 3 tracks I put up in the competition, and that would be the end of it.

And then the competiton entries came in, and there was no way I could leave it at just the 2 winners – Ant To Be and Nicky Allen, so Dj Jeph was the third winner, hand picked as such by Alk-e-d himself.

Only there was a problem – I could not afford to release three 12” vinyls at once – doing two was a struggle. So I told Jeph that his remix would be delayed until the next two vinyls. And I started looking for a big name remix for that EP.

In the mean time, Alex Jungle sent me some amazing tunes, and I got to work on a new Luna-C vinyl. And as most of you will know, those ended up being the next two releases. These are likely arriving this week – please buy them lots of times lol:

KF66 – Alex Jungle – Elevate EP

KF67 – Dj Luna-C / Scartat / Gothika Shade – Things I Made With Things I Played With EP

Why did these two vinyls jump the queue? Because I did not want to have just 11 remixes in the “Remixes” series. 10 is okay to stop on. So is 12. 15 would be okay too, but yeah, thats not gonna happen lol. But 11? Nooooope. But if I was going to do 11 and 12 then I felt they needed to be released at the same time. However, I was not ready to do that. I had Jeph’s remix, and plans to get Saiyan in the studio, and that was it. I had spoken to The Fat Controller, and he was on board and had started work on his remix, but that was it, that was all I had. And I needed more – I needed another old skool artist that was great, had not appeared on the series before now, and was still working AND wiling to make something in the old school style. Thats actually a pretty hard thing to find in 2017.

Dont worry – I have found another headliner. I will reveal that next week and you can all die of excitement and shock (if you have survived this release’s news, that is) lol.

Anyway, where were we? Oh yes. So a month or so passed while I was still searching for another big name, The Fat Controller gave me his remix, and suddenly we were starting to get these remixes ready! His remix is superb by the way – a subtle rolling remix of 2 Croozin’s “Code Red”. Its a really classy remix, and I have to admit, I was a little surprised. I mean, obviously In Complete Darkness remains a timeless classic, but I wasn’t sure what I would get, and sort of expected a typical old skool remix – which would have been fine of course. Instead, he has taken the original tune and given it a classy rebuild, giving it depth and thoughtfulness while retaining a wry sense of humour. Obviously, I am thrilled with it, and I think history will show it to be one of the best remixes in the series.

So. Fantastic remix from Fat Controller. Full on jungletastic remix from Dj Jeph. Annnnddd…..nothing. Nothing else at all. Nada. Zip.

Which meant I had to ask both of them to just sit on their remixes. Say nothing, do nothing, don’t talk about it, just wait. This was very unfair really, and they both had to wait over 4 months. But wait they did, and grateful am I (spoken in Yoda fashion for no reason) – and now I am very happy to be able to finally reveal them both as the remixers on KF68.

And some of you are now wondering “How come I have read all this way with no mention of Justin Time?” Well, hang on a sec, I will get to that. Jeez. No patience have you (Yoda again).

I finally found another big name to remix for me on part 12, nearly died of excitement myself, and then had to find a third remixer for part 11, while at the same time setting up another competition for part 12. Yeah. Its been confusing.

As it happened, enough time had passed and Shane Saiyan was on his way to the studio, and so we got straight to work with a remix for the EP at the same time as we did the remix of Pilgrim for Scott Brown. Shane and I have done an excellent job, if I say so myself, which I do. Shane wanted to go for a slightly later style on the remix – nearer to 1996/97 than the others on the vinyl, which was great because it gives the EP a nice balance. So I let him do his thing and functioned more as an engineer than as an artist, like usual for when we work together.

I then commissioned another remix from a Kniteforce artist for part 12 (revealed next week, pop fans!) And I was all ready to go. Yup. Got the three remixers for each vinyl. Nothing more to do here. We are good! Relax.

The End.

Except….out of nowhere I was given a link to a Dj Poosie “Its Gonna Be” Remix by Justin Time. It was on Youtube, and had had a few hundred views. It had only been up for a week or two. And I was like “wait, what?” I had a listen and expected it to be some shit knock-off or something. But what I heard was waayyy to good a remix to have been done without the samples. And it was very…Justin Timey. The problem was, I had no recollection of a Justin Time remix of Dj Poosie. Ever. I certainly did not have a DAT of it. Thats not the sort of thing i would have lost, missed, or forgotten I owned.

So I contacted the Youtuber who uploaded it, and that mystery person was…Matt Carlton aka the one and only Justin Time lol.

It turns out, it was an official remix that I must have asked him to do at some point? I just don’t remember that ever happening, although Dj Poosie does. Look, I don’t know what happened, ok? Its a brilliant remix, and I didn’t release it for no reason at all, and fuck knows. Moving on….Justin Time very kindly dug through his old DAT tapes, and found the original, unmastered, fucking excellent remix. And I added it to this EP – partly because it makes an already amazing EP even better, but mostly because its a FUCKING ORIGINAL UNRELEASED JUSTIN TIME REMIX FROM BACK IN THE DAY. What? Im not gonna release that? Of course I am. Its brilliant. Its a brilliant remix. So it kinda had to be on here, you know? And yes, it breaks the rules because he appears twice in the series. So does Luna-C actually. But rules schmools, whatever.

So yeah. Thats the story of KF68, Remixes Part 11. Next week, KF69, Remixes Part 12!

Now, let me anticipate and answer your questions:

“When can I order this EP – I don’t even need to hear the tracks because obviously its the best thing ever?”

Soon. KF68 has been sent to be cut. When the TPs arrive and I have checked they are all fine, the pre-sale will start. I sent this one to be cut before the new vinyls arrived because I want to speed up the vinyl releases 🙂 So. Soon!

“Wait, even though I don’t need to hear the tracks, what are they?”

A1.  2 Croozin – Code Red (Fat Controller Remix)

A2. Dj Poosie – Its Gonna Be (Justin Time Remix)

AA1. Alk-e-d – Shining Bright (Dj Jeph Remix)

AA2. Dj Force & The Evolution – High On Life (Saiyan & Cru-l-t Remix)

“Actually, I do want to hear the tracks after all – where is the link to the soundclips?”

Nope. Sorry, no sound clips until the pre-order is up. BUT you can hear the Fat Controller Remix on his radio show, Tuesday 21st February:

The DJ Fat Controller’s #OldSkool Show live each and every Tuesday
4-6pm G.M.T. 5-7pm C.E.T.
Join us for a 2 hour magical mystery tour through Old Skool… All aboard!!!!

**********Available LIVE **********
TUNE IN APP/WEB:
http://tunein.com/radio/Dream-uk-s206512
DREAM FM website:
http://www.dreamuk.co.uk/
NU PERCEPTION website:
http://nu-perception.com/npr/
FACEBOOK LIVE VIDEO:
https://www.facebook.com/DjFatController

**********Get Involved***********
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/DJFatController
Or use the hashtag #OldSkool
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/DjFatController
Event Page:
https://www.facebook.com/events/692492487577370/
www.DJFatController.co.uk

And you can hear some of the other remixes from KF68 and KF69, as well as a full mix and an interview from me on Glowkid’s radio show on February the 28th – details next week!

“Can I still listen to the Youtube of the Justin Time remix?”

Nope, I asked him to take it down. Ha ha! I suck!

“Are there going to be amazingly amazing good things with these EPs?”

Yes. Yes there are! There will be 2 KFA EPs like last time – one will be the Remix Competition Winners 2 EP, and the other will be Remixes from the Kniteforce family!

“Are these remixes a direct result of the support we have given you with the last releases?”

Yes, absolutely.

“Any chance of new material from these remixers, especially Justin Time and Fat Controller?”

Yes, on both counts. Jay (Fat Controller) had been doing his thing for a while and we have spoken about a full Fat Controller release, and Matt (JT) has said he is cautiously interested. Incidentally, so has the remixer on KF69. Like I said to you all originally when I first restarted KF as a vinyl label – if you support these things, big things can happen. You are supporting, I am trying to make them happen. I want to be able to go to these remixers and say “your vinyl sold out, lets do an EP, eh?” because they will be down for that. So really, its up to you guys 🙂

No more questions? Good. I’m sleepy! Until next week then? 🙂

 

2

The Final Competiton Results

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Let me start by saying I am an idiot. I should never have given out three different tracks to remix, because it made this competition next to impossible to judge. Its hard enough choosing the best remix when everyone is on the same page with the same samples and track. And I knew that – I knew that because of the last remix competition. So thats on me, my bad. But what I also didn’t account for was some of you who entered last time got so much better with all aspects of you music production. Paul Bradley, Shaun Armstrong, JDubz, Sunny & Deck Hussy and Ben Venom, amongst others all just blew it out of the water. I would say roughly half of the remixes I got this time could have been released. Ok, some were not suitable for my label, and some were not quite up to scratch with clarity or production, but the essentials were there, the remixes were musically accomplished and just too good really. In the end, I had to disqualify or choose remixes over others just based on stupid nit-picky type issues – such as slightly too much bass lol. The eventual winner, Shadowplay, won by the slimmest of margins. I spent a few days just listening to my favourites, the top 8 or 9 remixes thinking “Shit. Shit. How am I going to decide?” I seriously considered flipping a coin lol – and even now, I am not sure if I got it right. What I do know is that we will be hearing more from all of the names mentioned above, thats a certainty.

Below are the winners, and then the runners up who will be appearing on the KFA EP. And I have asked all of the winners to submit tracks for future KF releases – thats how close it was and how impressed I was. Congratulations, and a huge thank you to everyone who entered. It was a brilliant and tough competition with talent to spare. Below is the stuff that I wrote about each competition entry usually as I listened to it, along with sound clips from those that didn’t quite make it!

WINNERS

In the end it came down to these four as my favorite remixes, and it was really hard to choose just one of them:

KF69 – VINYL 12” WINNER

Richie Whizz – Song Of Angels (Guess Who ’96 / Shadowplay Remix)

This one immediately grabs the attention with its heavy edits and tight, clever, hectic intro. Lovely rolling amens roll into a nice piano break with the vocals. This is the first remix to replay the piano and still keep the vocals in key. Lovely piano work as well. The name of the remixer is a little worrying though – who am I listening to? I hope its not Paul Elstak lol. Yes, a very good remix, a contender for sure!

KFA89.01 DJ Brisk – Make It Rough (Sunny & Deck Hussy Remix)

Like Jdubz and Hannibal Selector, Distrax and Paul Bradley, I find myself looking forward to hearing what Sunny & Deck Hussy come up with. Because I know its going to be a good one – and this doesn’t disappoint. What a fucking great breakdown this has. Really different and a very clever replay of the original stab pattern. I actually didn’t realise that was what was going on until it dropped it. And then the same trick again with the piano breakdown – the original riff, but changed and folded into something altogether original. Yes, very impressive indeed! I had to listen to this one, and the Shadowplay remix back to back numerous times before making the final decision, and in the end it came down to simple preference – I like the Shadowplay remix a tiny bit more – like, 1% more. It was a choice between best thing ever and other best thing ever lol.

KFA89.02 Jimmy J & Cru-l-t – Cant You See (Paul Bradley Remix)

Another remixer from the previous competition, whose work didn’t win that time around, but whom I tagged in my head for future KF work even so. He just needed a little time, I thought, to up his game. And this remix doesn’t disappoint. Nice fresh intro breaks, very rough and ready sounding but not in the production, which is tight and clean. Oh yes – using the original stab but messing with it, and then hitting hard with the beats. I like this one a lot!

Its also complimented by some nice little “I have the power” vocal snippets. The piano breakdown is the same as the original, but drops into a surprising accappella section rather than doing the obvious. Yeah, this is cool. Different, but in a good way. And from nowhere, it breaks into a lovely string section, which for a year or so was a pretty common trait in hardcore. The entire vocal time stretched over the breakdown is a risk that I am not sure pays off…but then it zig zags again into a different riff. This is a very impressive remix. Oh shit, “oh oh” stabs as well? Okay, this just gets steadily crazier. And yeah, this is my favourite so far. Great remix.

KFA89.03 Dj Brisk – Make It Rough (Jdubz Remix)

Another entry from Jdubz, and its up to his usual high standard. This is really different. Stomping kick and twinkling piano intro lead to a softer breakdown with distant bass. This reminds me of a trance track – back when trance was really good, even though its definitely hardcore. Oh man, a filtered lead section. Okay, this is really not appropriate for the vinyl – thats far too modern for the era I am looking for, but god damn its good. This might actually be my favorite of the remixes, but its just too modern for the vinyl. Unless it does something awful, this one will be going on the KFA EP. Its an excellent, really different take on the track. A proper remix in every sense of the word. Really good stuff…

The three above who didn’t make it onto the vinyl will of course be the leads on the KFA “Competition Winners 2” EP, and will be joined by:

KFA89.04 Dj Brisk – Make It Rough (Ben Venom Remix)

Frantic and chaotic from the start, this one is in your face as soon as it starts. Breakbeat and 4×4, like the original, it charges along with clever variations on the “make it rough” sample as well as great sound effects and atmospherics. The breakdown is proper – a nice intro to the piano and a great string / whine noise behind it. Oh yes, this is a good one. If this one doesn’t win the competition for the vinyl, it will appear on the KFA EP for sure…My only reservation about this remix is the triplet section in the middle, which is great but seems a little too modern and not needed. But still, it remains a stunning remix.

KFA89.05 Ex Ec Edition DJ Brisk – Make It Rough (Paul Bradley Remix)

Oh man, this is great – another really strong remix from Paul Bradley. A very hectic intro full of mentasm and craziness leads to some twinkly piano effects with the vocal, and a lovely drop as well. Oh yes, this is another good one. Man, this is going to be a hard decision. And then halfway through the piano, once it has dropped, the stab just loses its mind and goes completely off the hook. This is great, a lot of clever editing and some stunning work all around. This one will also very likely be on either the KFA EP or as a possible winner.

KFA89.06 Ex Ec Edition Richie Whizz – Song Of Angels (Sunny & Deck Hussy Remix)

Ooh, I like this one a lot. Especially its use of the old dribble sounding noise popularised by Bizarre Inc “Plutonic”. Oh man, I love that sound. Hardcore needs that sound back. And the piano work is wonderful too. Very tight bit of production, nice drums and clarity in the mix. And the icing on the cake is some awesome mantasm work in the middle of the track. Yes yes, definitely a contender.

KFA89.07 Ex Ec Edition Jimmy J & Cru-l-t – Can’t You See (Sunny & Deck Hussy Remix)

I have high expectations on this one, because I already know Sunny & Deck Hussy can bring it. And I am immediately impressed. Nice flow with the breaks and good edits on the intro before dropping into the original piano, but with a subtle and atmospheric string complimenting it. Oh yes, I like this a lot. Well put together, well produced…lets see what happens with the stab section…Oh, hmmm….I can’t decide if this is cool or not. Its like the original, just bent a little out of shape. On the one hand, thats a great thing to do for a remix, on the other, its a little disconcerting because I keep hearing the original riff that isn’t happening lol. The second breakdown is great though, with the piano in breakdown, single chord hit mode. Yes, this will also need to go in the “potential” file!

  • So it seems that all three entries from Sunny & Deck Hussy made it though! Thats pretty amazing really!

RICHIE WHIZZ REMIXES

Richie Whizz – Song Of Angels (Paul Bradley Remix)

This one is almost perfect – except the piano and the vocal are not in key. And its a real shame, because in every other respect this remix is fantastic – excellent beats, a nice use of quirky added samples as well as the original samples from the track, a switch up halfway through between breakbeats and 4×4 kicks, and interesting stab patterns. This was very nearly the winner, at least of the Richie Whizz remixes.

 

Richie Whizz – Song Of Angels (Matchstickman Remix)

This remix has a nice rolling vibe, and takes its time to go about its business. But it needs some production work, its a little muddy. Its the first one I have listened to which uses the original piano riff – but again, the vocals are out of tune. I think this might be a running theme on these remixes lol.

 

Richie Whizz – Song Of Angels (DJ Nine-T-X Remix)

This one is very nice – well put together and authentic. Nice use of the original samples, messing with the “Bass” vocal and editing the lead vocals too. I also very much like the lead riff. Yes, this is a good one, and came really close to winning. However, it is let down by a slightly muddy production. In normal circumstances, this would not be an issue, but the competition was so on point that it just didnt quite make the cut. Still, a stunning remix!

 

Richie Whizz – Song Of Angels (Systec & Sir Rice Remix)

System and Sir Rice have sent me a few tracks over the past few months and also entered the last competition. So I was expecting a well produced and well thought out remix, and thats exactly what I got. But like a few of the others, this remix has had difficulty sitting the vocals with the piano. I understand – I remember us having the same problem when we made the track. However, this one isn’t so much out of key, just a little odd. I actually like the rest of the remix way better than the bit with the vocals. Its got great stabs, well edited breaks, and a smooth, tight feel to the whole track. I expect we will see a System & Sir Rice release on Kniteforce at some point, because these two have skills. But not with this remix, good as it is!

 

Richie Whizz – Song Of Angels (Ten Tun Remix)

This one starts off really cool – using time stretches as rhythm section. Clever and different. Flowing, rolling breaks lead into euphoric use of the piano and vocals. But the remix really finds its side with the stab pattern. The production is clean and crisp, and the whole track is nicely authentic. The only criticism i might have is the its a little bit too drawn out, and could do with some sound effects and subtleties to fill it out, such as fills etc. but a very solid, cool remix for sure!

 

Richie Whizz – Song Of Angels (Shaun Armstrong Remix)

Well, this is a really interesting remix. Really unusual sounds and arrangement. I am writing this as I listen, and on my laptop, so I would need to hear this on my studio speakers. It might be a little too weird for the vinyl, but I don’t know, its got a really nice vibe to it. I will need to have another listen to this one!

 

JIMMY J & CRU-L-T REMIXES

Jimmy J & Cru-l-t – Cant You See (Gothic Shade Remix)

This is going to be tough, as Gothic is a friend of mine. Actually, many of the previous contestants from the other competition have entered, and I have been working with some of them, so i am having to put my bias on a shelf (which is a thing I can do). Anyway, this is a nice solid remix, starting with lush strings and rolling breaks and a vocal leading up to a sweet little stab riff, which fakes you out before turning into a bigger, more anthem lead riff. After running for a while, this breaks into a well put together piano line with clever vocal editing and atmospherics. Yeah, this remix is great, really good work!

 

Jimmy J & Cru-l-t – Cant You See (Jdubz Remix)

You know, its hard on me judging these remixes. Guys like Jdubz pop up and I am rooting for him to win – along with all the others that enter lol. Because I can hear the work that goes into each remix. Anyway. This one starts off really strong – nice work on the beats, good use of the vocals, using the main ones as well as a few bonus ones from…somewhere? And kept at the chipmunk pitch too – which is a plus in my eyes. Wicked piano and some nice work on the stabs too. Some clever editing with both the stab and the beats. Yes this is a contender for sure! The only reason this one did not win a place on the KFA EP (if not the vinyl), was simply production. Jdubz is improving by leaps and bounds, and I hope to feature him on KF at some point.

 

Jimmy J & Cru-l-t – Cant You See (Distrax Remix)

This one fooled me at first. Partly because I expected an D’n’B workout, but mostly because it starts with a house type kick and hi-hat. I was like “oh no, please, not a house remix” lol. Anyway, 8 bars in the breakbeat drops and the track proper starts. Nice intro stabs and a good use of effects and samples makes for a good start. After the drop the piano comes in, the original piano line is used. This is a good solid remix, and would certainly suit the vinyl, but on the other hand it doesn’t leap out from the crowd in any way. Very solid work though, as I have come to expect from the talented Distrax.

 

Jimmy J & Cru-l-t – Can’t You See (Hannibal Selector Remix)

Ha! Nice use of the weird analogue sample from the sample pack makes me smile as soon as this remix starts. I don’t even know where that sample came from, but I have always liked it. After a short intro, this drops into a great old stool riff, with definite echoes of Jimmy J & Cru-l-t’s signature stab style. This plays briefly over the breaks before the piano comes in. Good edits on the amen break, this one is fast and in your face. As I write this, I am getting the “possible” winners and putting them into a separate file, which is where this one will be going.

 

Jimmy J & Cru-l-t – Cant You See (Greg Sin Key Remix)

A much slower pace on this one. I wonder if there is anything quite as strange as listening to multiple versions of a track you wrote decades ago? I doubt it. Its a weird sensation. This one seems to half speed everything, making it sound sort of lazy – which its not. This is a well produced effort, with some good ideas, but it lacks energy. Maybe because of the slower tempo. This is more of a head nodding, hardcore breaks (maybe?) remix. Its cool, but not what i am looking for for the vinyl. Quality stuff though!

 

Jimmy J & Cru-l-t – Cant You See (Master Mash Remix)

A simple break beat intro leads into a creeping stab pattern that slowly gets louder as the track moves along. This is very different! It sort of reminds me of some old Euro releases. Oh man, then some sort of hard stab comes in. Very cool. Very cool indeed. Lets see where it goes from here? This is relentless. No breakdown, just ever developing stab patterns and a vocal. Eventually a piano line comes in, and its like the original, but with reverse sections and all sorts of edits. The vocal is also edited, but sounds real thin. Production lets this one down a little, because it feels like the balance of things isn’t quite right. But I love the unconfined randomness of the structure. Yeah, I dig this one a lot. Its a little too odd for the vinyl, but a seriously good remix all the same.

 

Jimmy J & Cru-l-t – Cant You See (Klartbeat Remix)

This one is interesting – it uses samples that were heard in previous KF tunes. Also, it has a very 4×4 kick style to it. Kinda fun – funny in a way. Nice edits on the piano and really very “doofy” for want of a better word. Its absolutely not right for the vinyl, but I also really like it. It makes me smile and would make me want to bounce about a club if I heard it there – except I am old and might take a spill, so obviously I can’t engage in that sort of behaviour. But anyway, nice bouncy remix!

 

Jimmy J & Cru-l-t – Cant you see – (The Matchstick Man Remix)

Another one from Matchstick man. Once again his remix is content to take its time – nearly 8 minutes long! Which is actually how long we used to make a lot of our tracks. That seems crazy now, but there it is! As with his last remix, this contains nice elements, a good breakbeat and a rolling feel to the whole thing. Some nice old stool organ work as well, which compliments the vibe of the track. it almost feels like an earlier era, like 1990 or 1991, and has a house music feel to it even though its not house music at all. When the piano does drop in, it does something a little weird. The timing is odd. Not wrong, just odd. I don’t know about this. I like it because it is different, but its a little too drawn out, and unfortunately has production issues as well.

 

Jimmy J & Cru-l-t – Cant You See – (Systec & Sir Rice Remix)

Another clean bit of work from these two. A new “Killer Soundbwoy” vocal leads the intro, before dropping into a nice amen. There is an undercurrent of 4 x 4 in the breaks, which matches up to the original very well. They have also given the remix a number of very jungle styled vocal tips, including the classic “Bad Boy” shout out. The piano drop in minus the vocal and with a great old stool string, allowing the whole remix to breathe before the vocal drops. And the stab pattern is perfect. Yes, on the whole this is a contender, and will go with the other finalists…

 

Jimmy J & Cru-l-t – Cant You See (Shaun Armstrong Remix)

Another solid entry from Shaun Armstrong. I remember Shaun entering the previous competitions, and these remixes are definitely a step forward and a step up from what he last sent me. Both this one and the Song Of Angels remix sound completely unique. Nothing like the other remixes, and unusual in concept and style. I wonder if its too strange for the vinyls? Not that I mind usually – Kniteforce is always willing to get a bit weird lol. However, with this remix it is the production that lets it down. Given time, I would like to have had the stems sent to me so I could re eq the entire remix, but I think that would count as cheating lol. But on the other hand, here is a potential artist for Kniteforce in the future, with a style this unique, how could it be otherwise?

 

Jimmy J & Cru-l-t – Cant You See (Ten Tun Remix)

The Ten Tun remix is more traditional than the last few have been, but thats not a bad thing. A nice intro with rolling amens breaks into a sweet little stab riff, with the vocals coming in over the top. This is a pleasant change! The first remix to do this I think. After the drop the vocals get more intense before a nice, slightly spooky stab riff drops in. Yeah, this is nice, it rolls along really well, and sort of reminds me of exactly the time when the original of the track came out. Very good stuff!

 

Jimmy J & Cru-l-t – Can’t You See (Research & Development Remix)

As soon as this one starts, you can hear that it is a different remix altogether. The note i got with it says it was done by my old forum friend the Architect and that he knows it isn’t the style I am looking for. And I guess he is right – its 4×4 and very trance so far, so not what i would want for the vinyl. After a stomping buildup, it drops into the piano and vocals, which have been crisped somehow. Its a nice effect. I like this remix a lot, because I like different things, but yeah, its not right for this project, even with all the wicked old stool means’s and such that drop in later in the remix!

 

Jimmy J & Cru-l-t – Cant You See (DJ Toucan 33 or 45 RPM Remix)

This one appears to be much slower than previous entries, but that gives the amen lots of room. And theres nothing quite like an unedited amen rolling along. The piano has a nice delay on it, but the effect is somewhat lost when the vocals come in at half speed. The stab is also slower than expected when it drops in, but that makes it very powerful. Judging by the name of the remix, I suspect this was designed to be played at either speed. Thats a very clever idea! I will have to test it out and see how it sounds sped up! But clever though that is, this remix is not quite what I am looking for!

 

Jimmy J & Cru-l-t – Cant You See (Pressure Remix)

This remix is really good. The new replayed piano line is one of the best out of all the remixes, and its a tight, well made remix. If there is any issue with it at all, its that it sounds almost to obvious, or predictable. Which is hardly a fault. It starts of with some nice simple breaks and a slow build with an old stool string and “Can You Feel It” vocals. The stabs and breakdowns and effects are all well placed. This is one of those ones where if I put it on the vinyl, it would be liked well enough, and the only reason its not a winner is that it doesn’t quite stand out enough! But a very good remix all the same!

 

DJ BRISK REMIXES

Dj Brisk – Make It Rough (BeanHeds Stroking the brown remix)

Ha! Classic old Kniteforce joke in the title of this remix! Made me laugh. Anyway, thats cheating mate! lol. This remix starts off great, nice rolling amen beats and growling drawn out mentasms. They slowly layer up and get more intense before the “tear this mutha fucka up” vocal drops in, and finally the beat gives way to the vocal and an edited piano. This is a nice interesting remix, with some clever ideas, but shockingly goes into a heavy gabba 4×4 section once the vocals drop. I sort of like this, but it does make it totally unsuitable for the vinyl, unfortunately. Still, a very unique take on this track!

 

DJ Brisk – Make it Rough (Hannibal Selector Remix)

Hannibal Selector is another name that I have seen pop up a few times…lets see what we have here! This remix starts off like it means business. Hard and rough, and a kind of techno feel to it. Its hard to explain, it feels metal, sharp. The intro breaks into a fairly traditional stab, but the drop with the beats is awesome. Clever use of time stretch and layering on the vocals, and a nice 4×4 kick which makes it stomp – not bouncy. The piano section uses the same piano as the original, but its low in the mix, and the vocals are pitched higher. This works, but you know, this track almost feels like it would be better if it didn’t have the piano in it, if it wasn’t a remix at all. Its a solid remix, don’t get me wrong. But the ideas in are held back by it having to be a remix. Good work though, very impressive!

 

Dj Brisk – Make It Rough (Kemikal Breakfazt’s Ruff Bacon Mix)

This one rolls along, with drum patterns that remind me of the good parts of Krome & Time when they were doing hardcore (after Sub Base). Like many of the others it has kept the piano section the same as the original, which is fine as the piano was good in the original. The “Make It Rough” vocal has been changed to a different rhythm, which is a nice touch as well. On the whole, this is a good remix, but it doesn’t stand out from the crowd, or have anything that really hooks you other than the parts that were in the original. It does have a fresh stab riff though, and the work on the breakbeats is very impressive – some of the best I have heard in this competition, actually. Subtle and technical without having to show off. Like the Hannibal Selector remix, this one feels like it would benefit from not having to be a remix – there is a very good jungle / breakbeat lead hardcore tune here, rather than a remix. The mid section edits are wicked and are almost let down by having to go back to the remix parts!

 

DJ Brisk – Make It Ruff (Rufus Tempest Remix)

This is an interesting one. Its kind of mellow, almost like that time in barcode / d’n’b where neither style was really defined, so its a blend of both. I like this style a lot, but its not quite right for Kniteforce. Still, this is exceptionally well made and produced, and a very unique remix when placed with all the others. It has a lot going for it, its just not going to the right place for the vinyl, unfortunately.

 

Dj Brisk – Make It Rough (Ten Tun Remix)

Another entry from the unstoppable Ten Tun. A tough intro with some great edits sends this one off to a firing start. i especially like the whistle noises and the sense of panic that comes in straight from the beginning. Plus theres a nice use of the Outlander style stab hit. Oh yeah, this is cool. It has a restless energy to it. Its almost a shame when the female “deeper” vocals come in because it slows the track down a bit. Another excellent entry from Ten Tun, and it will go on the short list!

 

Dj Brisk- Make it Rough (The Matchstickman Remix)

Once again, Matchstickman is let down by production. This is a nice solid rolling remix, with a lovely piano riff that twinkles in the background as the remix unfolds. But the quality of the overall mix just isn’t quite there yet.

 

Dj Brisk – Make It Rough (Liam T Remix)

This is another solid remix, with some sweet editing on the vocals and a nice authentic feel to it. The beats build up great on the intro and actually, it sounds a little like how I would do things back in 1995. It has a good shabby sort of riff with the lead vocals. There is some subtle filtering which is a little before its time in a way, but its so well done I can’t complain. The main lead riff is a little simplistic, although it rolls along very well. Yeah, this si a strong remix, with some greta edits, but it doesn’t quite excite enough. Good work though!

 

Dj Brisk – Make It Rough (Shaun Armstrong Remix)

The 3rd entry for Shaun, and a third strong contender. Lots of heavy edits on the intro, and a nice shift in chord structure on the vocal drop, that lifts the whole remix up a notch! And then up again when the piano comes in. The attention to detail in Shauns remixes is really something. Sometimes it works against him, in this case, the breakdown sounds almost overcrowded and the beats take too long to come in. When they do, they are a little drowned out by all the other information. In fact, the breaks let this one down, which is a surprise because his other remixes have been so heavy with the breaks. this has all the stabs and noise and excitement, but the breaks just roll along underneath instead of tearing in. Still a very good remix, from an obviously talented man, but not quite whats needed!

 

Dj Brisk – Make It Rough (Insane & Mind Remix)

Another solid remix, starting with some lovely mixable amen edits and effects. This would be seriously fun to mix! Me likes already. On the downside, this one overplays its hand a little in that, when the vocal and piano drop, it keeps on going with no break. And when the stab pattern comes in, i was a little disappointed to find it is the same as the original. Thats a shame, the remix had a lot of potential, but as it is its more like a rethink than a remix. In some ways, thats not a bad thing – its a good original so a good remix by default. But still, I would have preferred a little more inventiveness on the lead stabs! Especially as the piano is also basically the same riff.

 

Dj Brisk – Make It Rough (Systec & Sir Rice Remix)

Another strong remix from these two. The stab is a nice pattern but drops sort of emptily, which is a shame. I think the duo was going for a more stripped down approach, which works well and is authentic, but did not excite my ears as much as I would have liked. However, the piano drop is wonderful – similar to the original but much more lush and warm. Good rising strings and clear production also help this remix to remain solid all the way through. But like a few others, while there is nothing actually wrong wit it, its just not “stand out” in any real way!

 

Dj Brisk – Make It Rough (Persuit’s Ruffer Remix)

This is an immediately different remix from the others as it is unashamedly modern. Or at least, not breakbeat and not old skool percussion wise. A strong 4×4 kick intro, followed by a drop into the original riff. Only with this one there is a nice, dark edged bubbling analougue acid line in the background. This gives the whole remix a more sinister and driving feel, which is refreshing. There is also a semi-trancey feel to the remix, which again keeps it unique and fresh. Some nice vocal editing tops the remix off. On the whole, an excellent remix, but also not what I am looking for for the vinyl!

3

5 Reasons You Should Buy The New Kniteforce Vinyl Releases

As most of you reading this will know, the pre-sale is now open for the first new Kniteforce Vinyl releases. These two EP’s are the first new Kniteforce Vinyl since 1998, and I think its a pretty big deal myself. These first new Eps are parts 9 and 10 of the long running “Remixes” series, featuring Scott Brown and Billy Bunter as the two big names, plus remixes by two KF artists and two competition winners. They are excellent releases, all the tracks are authentic to their era, and absolutely blinding, if I say so myself…which I do. And this blog post is here to give you reasons to go buy them if you are undecided, and then to get your friends to buy them as well, and to maybe persuade you to spam the hell out of them if you would be so kind lol. So read on…

1. Its An Excellent Release

blogpic1

“Ooh! Look it! New Recordses!”

This is probably the most important reason on the list. All the others don’t really matter if the music sucks. But in truth, I am not sure I could offer a better product if I tried – not only musically but also value wise. I hate to start this blog post off with a sales pitch, but I am going to because what you get for your money matters. I’m well aware that buying vinyl is expensive, and then the postage costs? They are just…awful. I know. Sometimes when I send something I am like “really? does this parcel get its own private jet for that price?”  Unfortunately, there is not a lot I can do about it, except to make these vinyls absolutely worth the money. So thats what I have done, and will do with all future Kniteforce releases. If you buy them you get:

1. The vinyl itself – Three excellent remixes of classic tunes by amazing remixers in an authentic old skool style with colour sleeves and labels. The vinyl is strictly limited to 300 copies (seriously, I cannot repress because of minimum repressing restrictions, and even if I could, I would not) and I have designed the labels and sleeves to be the same as the original series so these will fit seamlessly into your Kniteforce collection if you have one!

2. The vinyl comes with links to both 320mp3 and 24Bit wav versions of the release. I WILL NOT BE MAKING DIGITAL VERSIONS OF THESE RELEASES AVAILABLE ANYWHERE ELSE, EVER. So you can’t buy them on iTunes or Amazon or Beatport or even on the Kniteforce MP3 store. Its the vinyl and the digital, or neither.

3. Each vinyl release also comes with a link to a full KFA digital release. That means as well as the three vinyl tracks, you also get four digital tracks from the KFA E.P, and a further two or three tracks as the Executive Edition on the digital EP. In total, when you buy the vinyl, you will get at least nine tracks. You are, in effect, getting an album’s worth of music.

4. I have included an “idiot” sheet with each release, exactly like we used to with older Kniteforce vinyls back in the early days of the label. It would be worth keeping these sheets as they have the links you need on them, but also because good things could happen if you get 10 of them. Plus, they are funny, and again, authentic to how the old label did things. No free plastic spoon on this one. But maybe in the future…

5. If you add your name to the “message” part when you order, and I will give you a shout out on the back of the next Luna-C project vinyl.

So all in all, it seems to me like a pretty good deal. Don’t you think so?

2. The Philosophical Aspect

philosopherv2

“I keep searching, but I just cannot find my rizla”

Like everyone else, I spend a good deal of time floating about on the internet to avoid doing any real work. And while looking at cat meme’s and arguing with strangers about politics, I occasionally read stuff about hardcore music. And when I do, I see the same sentiment repeated over and over again, normally expressed as “The music is not as good as it used to be” or “It was better back in the day” or “Look at this food I ate”. The third one can be ignored – and honestly, no one cares what food you ate so please stop with the pictures of pumpkin pie or whatever. But the other two express a desire for the old school sounding hardcore and raves, and I have been hearing this for as long as I can remember. So long in fact, I think its time to do something about it. Incidentally, its not just me thinking that – all the omens agree, all the signs point to it. Because look…People have a genuine love for old school hardcore. Not just old fucks like me, but new skoolers too. And with all due respect to modern hardcore, it just isn’t the same music at all. They are different in speed, style, sound, and dare I say it, philosophy.

And yet, no one is making proper old school hardcore anymore. Except that’s not true. A lot of people are making it. But it goes nowhere, gets nowhere, and is rarely heard because most of the people making it are doing so as a hobby and do not have the “name” draw they need to take it further, or they have no place to release the music in any official capacity. In this category, you see people like Dj Jedi, releasing new “old” tunes and represses, people like Glowkid, relentlessly pushing that sound on his radio show and mixes, and a whole bunch of talented people giving away their music for free on Soundcloud, such as Nicky Allen. Each of those named are doing superb work, and each have many supporters (including myself) but do not have the name recognition outside of their own spheres of influence.

On the “big name” side, there are a few people finally testing the waters with the new old skool sound. And I don’t mean new tunes with old skool elements in them, or “rave breaks” or any of those other “just like hardcore only new” things. I am talking about making proper, unashamed, old skool hardcore. There are new releases by 2 Bad Mice, Altern 8, Xenophobia, and Billy Bunter & Sanxion, all of which are doing it properly. And this is brilliant, its fantastic to see these names bringing out great new music.…but…What I want to know is, will there be follow up albums from these artists? Because unless these first ones succeed, there won’t be.

Even so, it seems to me that everyone is, at last, facing in the same direction, and these different elements can come together and create a vibrant, “new” old skool scene. I am not talking about giving it a new name or anyone trying to organise it – I have seen people attempt that with “4 Beat” and “Hardcore Breaks” etc, it never works. There can be no ownership, no forced branding. It will happen organically, or it won’t happen at all. Or rather, it IS happening – but will it survive? Thats the question. A lot of people are finally starting to put their money where their mouth is, on both sides. Artists are saying “Ok, I will take the risk and make an old skool release, on vinyl” (This is the risk I am taking too with these new releases) And fans of the music are actually using their hard earned cash to buy them.

And this is the core thing, the basis for all that could be. Without the new music, nothing happens.

So if you are reading this and want there to be a new, vibrant, old skool based hardcore scene, all these things have to happen together – there has to be new music from old skool artists, legacy artists, in the old skool style. It has to be released in a way that makes money, MP3s just don’t do that, and anyway, they simply do not have the same…power…that a vinyl release has to legitamize the sound. When old skool artists do that, it opens the door to the new artists, the ones that have the talent but are not being heard. I know its not fair, but its just the way it is. You need both – the old guard to open the door, and the new breed to walk through it. Neither are enough on their own.

3. The Financial Effect

monergy

“Pictured – Actual MP3 Profits this year”

Money. Like all things, it comes down to fucking money. I wish it didn’t, but it does. As I mentioned in my support for Dj Hams album project, artists should get paid for their work, and in the current music industry its nearly impossible. Because philosophy aside, we all need to eat. Yes, making music for the love of it is great – and lets be real, if you are in the hardcore scene, thats why you are doing it. But if you want a dedicated scene, there have to be dedicated people – and that means people that can afford to spend ALL their time on the music, not just 3 hours a week. I’m not just talking about producers – I’m talking about rave promoters, Djs, radio hosts, studio engineers and musicians.

One of the reasons the vast majority of old skool artists left the hardcore scene or stopped altogether was simply financial. Most ended up getting a “real” job, because they simply could no longer afford to spend time and money on a scene that doesn’t pay them. Or they moved to other scenes that would pay them. Its not a question of love, its a question of actual real issues like paying rent.

For any sort of resurgence of an old skool hardcore scene, there has to be some money in it. And that means making music that makes a profit. Once you have music that makes a profit, you can have events that pay Djs to play at raves that make money for people who will pay to hear it. Its the central trunk of the tree that everything branches from. And weirdly, in 2016, a good way to make money selling music is vinyl. MP3s make so little, and thats a problem in itself, but they also do not give you any sense of real accomplishment. There is no “product”. Have you ever spent time just looking at and enjoying the feel of a vinyl record? As an artist, I have to say that is one of the best things ever, This is MY record that I made. Look at it. Hold it. Smell it. And play it, I suppose lol. You can only do one of those things with an MP3. And as a buyer of music, its so exciting to get a brand new vinyl record – getting an MP3? Its just…its not the same. Its not the same at all.

While any scene has to have a solid financial basis, a very big part of the thrill of making and owning music is having an actual beautiful object at the end of it, and that feeling of achievement as an artist, or of owning something precious as a buyer. So again, it comes down to this – if you want this sort of music and this scene, you have to buy the records. You have to buy mine, and Billys, and Alterns (lol) and etc. You will also need to go to the events and all that good stuff.

I know its expensive, I know vinyl is an old format, and I know, I know, I know. But if you don’t support these releases, they won’t happen again. And I mean actual financial support. Liking this blog post is nice, sharing it on Facebook is nicer – I am grateful for both of those things – but likes don’t make this work. Money does. Thats the unpleasant bottom line that no one likes to talk about, but there it is. Lose money, end of. Break even, can’t grow. Make a little profit, grow a little. Make a big profit, fuck off to the Bahamas. lol Im kidding. You know how it goes.

Right now, we are at a crucial moment, a rebirth moment. If these albums from old skoolers do well – and if the new Kniteforce vinyl does well – other old skool artists will release new material or get involved in the scene. And that will open the door to new artists releasing material. Meanwhile Djs will want to play it more, and promoters will want to do events. In fact, Djs ALREADY want to play it, and promoters ALREADY want to do events. We all fucking LOVE the old skool. But we can’t keep playing Sonz Of A Loop Da Loop “Far Out” and fucking “Searching For My Rizla” by the Ratpack. No matter how much we love it. We need new music with that old ethic and vibe – thats the difference between a dead scene and a live one. And this is the best opportunity I have seen to make that happen since the early 2000’s.

4. The Selfish Factor

me

“This photo was taken in 1843”

Unlike many of my contemporaries, I did not have babies when I was in my twenties, or when I was in my thirties. I stayed sprog free for decades. But all things change…and so at age 43 I have a baby, and its the best thing ever. Unfortunately, it turns out, babies are quite expensive. And, also, they take up a lot of time. As FP would say – Who Knew? So I am sitting here writing this while he squirms about and gets angry for no reason at all, and I feel its only fair to put my cards on the table, next to the bottle, the wipes, a vomit soaked rag and an assortment of dummies and toys, and tell you this: No matter what happens, I will always find a way to keep making music. It has been, and will always be, a huge part of my life.

However.

It is much harder now as I have much less time. I used to write a few tracks a month – whereas in the six months since he was born I have made one new track and a few remixes. It is getting easier now that baby Wilder is out of his cry / poop / eat / sleep / cry phase. But still, I have to consider carefully what I am going to do with the time I have, and like many of my contemporaries discovered, suddenly it matters that what I do isn’t a loss financially or time wise. I don’t care if I live on beans. Babies do, and if you don’t feed them right, you go to jail lol.

And so, I very much want these records to succeed. As a record label owner, I will continue to make certain that KFA keeps going. I love modern hardcore, and the group of KFA artists I have around me now are both my friends and my inspiration. And running an MP3 based label is not overly difficult or time consuming. Making music though? Thats another thing altogether. As a musician, I have always tried to do it all – every style, all the time. But as a father, I am finding I have to be a little more precise in how I use my time. I love modern hardcore, but old skool and breakbeats is where my heart is. And I love releasing music in any format, but if I can do vinyl? I will do vinyl. Even though running a vinyl releasing label is about 40 billion times more work than an MP3 label. Thats how much I want to do it. So I openly admit that I selfishly want these records to do well.

But its not just that. My selfishness has (good) repercussions.

Since it became known I was restarting Kniteforce as a vinyl label, I have been inundated with music from producers. Some of it average, sure, but the chance to get things on vinyl has meant people have bought their very best work to me. So most of it has been stunningly good. And I want you to hear it. I have KF66 – KF71 lined up already – but only if these first two sell well. I have a bunch of new artists as well as material from original KF artists, and we are talking fucking brilliant tunes. I have signed Alex Jungle, whose 4 track EP will blow you away, I guarantee it. Dj Ham has said he is willing to make new tunes for Kniteforce. I have spoken with one of my all time music heroes and they have agreed to do a remix for me for the 12th and final “Remixes” EP. Basically, I have so much amazing music for you and I want to put it out and I want you to hear it and be as excited as I am about it. But it all goes nowhere if these first few don’t sell.

I want to emphasise that its not JUST the money, or EVEN the money for myself or many of these artists. Its just the key factor that everything else hinges on, unfortunately. For most of us,  one of the biggest draws is simply the opportunity to have music on vinyl. And its the type of music – old skool allows the artist such freedom compared to almost all modern styles. Its the prestige of having a vinyl release (vanity, sure, but we all have it). All of these things excite the artists involved, and that makes for exciting music. If these releases do well, there is so much more that can happen. And I want that.

I want that really badly.

5. The Future And What Could Be

futurejust

“look, there it goes…oh…you missed it”

All of the first four reasons I have given are for right now. But the success of these first few vinyls will (I hope) have an effect much larger than that. Let me give you some examples. Would you like new tunes from Justin Time, or Acen, or Hyper On Experience? or Austin? or NRG? Or any of your long lost music heroes? I would. But how do you get those older artists to make mew music? Or new old skool music, I should say? Well, some just won’t be interested. They will have moved on to other things, or not be contactable, or whatever. But some are just like you and me, loving the old skool, missing the old days, wanting to make new music in that style but certain there is no market for it, and also not having any way to release the music they make in the first place.

Now, imagine that we have had five or six new Kniteforce releases, all in nice sleeves, all have sold out, all have made a little bit of money. You all know me well enough to know I won’t be spending the profits on a helicopter or heroin or any other things beginning with “h”, like heaps of happy hens. After paying for basic survival and feeding Wilder more than a few beans, I will spend it on the music, as I have always done. I would then be in the perfect position to call up some of these older artists and offer them a deal – maybe I will pay them an advance or outright for some music. They would get a proper vinyl release. I don’t know. But I would have the power to at least try, rather than the current situation which would be “will you spend days making a new old skool tune to sell as an MP3? I can give you 26p and a button for the trouble”.

Its a big difference.

And my label aside – others will release new material for their own pleasure if they see it is worth doing. New and old artists will give it a go. New and old Djs will play the new stuff – success breeds success. It just does. And obviously, should the current crop of new old skool styled vinyl do well, a bunch of people will jump on the bandwagon. But here’s the thing – that will be fine. Because if you wanted to jump on the bandwagon of any other scene, you would need to just copy the format others are using. And the greatest thing about old skool? There is no fucking format. So even the band wagon types will have to bring something to the table other than copying someone else. You certainly won’t be able to copy Kniteforce, none of the next EPs I have ready are anything like each other, except they are all superb, proper hardcore.

Then again, maybe I am wrong – thats how I end most of my blog posts. I am a dreamer, and this is a dream I want to be reality very badly. Maybe I am kidding myself. But I look around, and everything in me says “Now. Now is the time. This could happen.”

But it will only happen if you support it. If you make it happen. So as ever, as always, it is up to you!

Here are the links to the pre sale of KF64 and KF65. The vinyl is being sent from the UK. The Kniteforce Bandcamp website is being jointly run in the US by myself (being bossy) and in the UK by Dj Jedi (doing the actual work). So you know you are in good hands!

 

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