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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

The Creation Process…

So I got into a discussion with Paul Bradley the other night about the how and why I do the things I do, both creatively and with the label, how I make decisions on what goes out and why, that sort of thing. And when I tried to explain it, I realised  I had never tried to put it into words. I thought I would share this, what I said to him but expanded a little, to see what people think and what their methods are? Its really long. What can I say? Phoenix wont sleep in the day anymore which means all I can do is sit and watch him flop about and squeak lol.

Basically, when it comes to my music and career, I never have a real plan. Or if I do, I don’t know about it. Don’t worry – that will kind of make sense. But I never sit down and go “I will make this EP, then have so and so do that one, then put this out, and because of that, this will happen, and then I can do…”

I simply don’t work like that. In a way, I don’t really plan at all. I think maybe I subconsciously plan, or more like,  I am always planning and…for me, its like every part of the business, from musical concept to final release, is a rubiks cube in my head, and I am constantly moving blocks around until I get a whole side in one color, and then I am like “Ok, yes, lets do that”. The aim isn’t to complete the cube and get all the sides right – that will happen anyway if I get each individual side sorted out. And the cube is never complete anyway, there are hundreds of cubes with thousands of sides and infinite colors.

The point is, I don’t really know what color it is I am looking for, and its not done with a purpose. I just move it all about until it becomes clear, and once everything is in place, I can see what color I was always going to be making, and see that it is now complete.

I do that with everything from tracks on an EP, to overall strategy. If I am making a tune, I will only have the vaguest of targets – I will be inspired by a beat or a sound or a tune from back in the day. I will wonder about what would happen if I did this with a vocal, or can I make a beat out of 14 other beats? Or how would this synth effect that sample? Basically, everything I do starts with the question “what would happen if?”

If I am making an EP, mine or one of my artists, I just wait until the right 4 tracks arrive. Sometimes, thats the first 4 I get from the artist, other times it can take ages because the tracks dont quite match in my head. And with overall business, will this EP be on KF? KFA? Knitebreed? KFD? Will it be a download? On a CD? A mixture of formats? Part of an album? All of these questions will just be there, not being answered, until the answers presents themselves in their own time.

Sometimes, someone else on the label will suggest a thing and it is the final piece of the puzzle. Other times, their suggestion is the first piece and it all goes from there. It all spins around, always changing until it works itself out.

But here is where it gets weird. Very often, once the color is complete, it will turn out there was a plan after all, I just didn’t know about it. Let me give you a concrete example. Currently, we release a KFA CD and a KFD CD together every 4-6 weeks. KFAs are Shane Saiyans department, and I leave that with him. KFDs are mine to organise. I use the KFD label for a few things: 1. Many of my artists write music WAY quicker than vinyl releases can cope with so its a nice way to release the music and 2. It allows vinyl artists a little more freedom as the vinyl market is maybe not yet ready for some of the things they make. But ages ago, I thought “It would be good to get a Luna-C release on KFD” so it is not only new artists or whatever, and also I like to do all the formats, all the music. Its the way I am built. But I did not plan on one, I barely have time for anything atm, it was just a thought, one square of the 9 on the face of one of the cubes, not yet connected to anything. One thought or idea amongst 100s of others.

Some of you may have noticed a post I made recently where I was making some slower, old skool hardcore. I am really pleased with how it has turned out, its really good and…its…not really right for KF vinyl. Its quite different to my usual style. It was the genesis of an EP that is unsuitable for Kniteforce or Knitebreed, but is some of my better work. Perfect for KFD. You know what my last release on KFD was? Wonko The Sane – 4 slower hardcore tunes. That was KFD12. The The new KFD is number 24 –  KFD24 – and is slower hardcore. It was just released, and is Luna-C – “Wonko The Sane Vol.2!

Could I have planned the 12 and the 24? No. Is it just a coincidence? Maybe. But it seems to happen an awful lot with me, on both a small scale and a larger one, with individual elements in tracks and my career overall. Something that was in no way planned ends up being exactly the thing I need.

Which is why I said at the start – without planning, I seem to plan. I cant say how I know something is right, or ready, but I always know. Its like a little light goes off and I am like “there, its done, that is perfect!”

Like…I wanted to make some slower hardcore. There was no plan to do a Wonko the Sane 2, but here we are – perfect music for that EP at the perfect time for that EP.

I tend not to analyse it too hard…I feel like its something that functions well and needs to maintain its way of functioning without me prodding at it. If I mess with it, I might lose it. Or interfere with the process.

But I do manipulate it by doing things like…if I cant work out how something should be done, I do something else and I deliberately “not think” about it, to allow the subconscious to work it out for me. I constantly add little squares of color to the cubes, and then they just sit there…waiting…I know that sooner or later, another matching color will show up, and then another, and then suddenly, without warning, it is done and off we go.

lol I feel like a crazy person writing that. But still, its what I do and how I do it. Its not the best metaphor either, but there we are.

Right now, on various cubes, are two excellent jungle tunes that have been submitted to me. Both deserve a vinyl. But…how? I keep moving them around, not finding the right matching colors, and then deliberately not thinking about it while I wait. Will they be on the Jungly Pea 3? a brand new label? A relaunch of Influential? A Jungle EP on Kniteforce? Will they get split up? Will other tunes get added? When? How? I dont know. But I will. For now, they are just floating around, waiting for whatever it is they need to become a project. But when that project arrives, it will seem inevitable, like that was always what was going to happen lol.

Anyway, thats a long and boring post, but its a Sunday and theres not a lot else going on…and thats how I work, I thought you might be interested. If not, sorry to be boring you all lol!

Nice one,

Chris

0

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 New Kniteforce Studio

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

My Dj set up:

I use:

2 x CDJ900

2 x Numark TTX1

1 x DJM800

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

As for the studio…

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Nice one,

 

Luna-C

3

Dj Saiyan Becomes KFA Label Manager!

Well, in a way the title of this post says it all lol. Simply put, I have decided to step down from running KFA and pass it all to Shane Saiyan.

He is now officially the head of the label with all the power (ha!) and responsibilities (ha ha!) that entails. He will be deciding what is released on the label, and when. He will be choosing and ordering artwork, setting up projects, and be busy with all the organisation that goes into that. I will be handling just the practical / simple side – uploading files where needed and paying artists royalties.

I am, in effect, a silent partner.

The only reason I am writing this post is to explain why I am so happy about it and why you should be too, and also so that, should anyone question Shane about it, he can say “here – read this”. But for those who are interested, here are the details:

There are two main reasons I have asked Shane to take over, both of which are vitally important to the health of KFA as a label. And each of the main reasons have little but important reasons sitting next to them.

The first main reason is that, since I restarted Kniteforce and Knitebreed as vinyl labels, I have found my groove, found what I should be doing. If you are reading this, you know I like to experiment with music, you know I like to try lots of different styles. But the last 8 or 9 months making music have been the most joyous I can remember in a very very long time. I can make modern hardcore, and I love that style. I can rock out to d’nb. I love a good bit of gabber. But man, when I am making old skool, its like the planets align and I feel the same elation I felt back when I first got into this industry. Its an indescribable feeling of being in harmony with myself. This is my why, my what for. I understand it on a fundamental level. I lie in bed thinking about it. I am excited to get into the studio, even to do the menial jobs like working out what catalogue number is going to be assigned to a project, because I love the whole process. Getting the sleeves together, planning the entire release from concept to sale, regardless of if its my music, or if I am doing the artwork. I absolutely love it.

But its a lot of work. And it is time consuming.

Not only that, there is the forthcoming Kniteforce Radio. And in about 3 months Cindy and I are expecting another baby (whoop!) so I have limited time and what time I have needs to be managed well.

All of this has meant KFA has been…not neglected as such but…not at the front of my mind. I refuse to make the same mistakes as I made with Kniteforce. One of which was to let certain elements slide out of my control because I did not pay those elements enough attention but refused to trust anyone else with them. I have learned my lesson from all those years back – I cannot do it all. And I shouldn’t do it all. And I don’t need to do it all because I am surrounded by awesome people who would love to be doing the things I don’t have the time or skill for. I had already handed the artwork to Annika Jimni Cricket years ago, and Shane is already doing the promo list for KF and KFA. Idealz handles all the shop orders for the UK bandcamp. Delegating work to others is something I never did with Kniteforce, and it led to disaster because I simply could not do it all.

This way is much better.

And that brings me to the other reason: I am no longer the right person to run KFA. I have stopped Djing out since Wilder was born because it became too impractical. With Phoenix on the way, I don’t see me playing out much more in the near, or even mid-term future. Djing live was important because it exposed me to the newest music in the scene. And I needed to hear that to keep KFA running. How can I run an upfront hardcore label when I hear none of the upfront music and am immersed in old skool? I dont think I can. But…let be even more brutally honest here. Kniteforce and Knitebreed have shown me where my skills lie, and its with the old skool. It just is. I like some modern hardcore, but I don’t follow it, I am not immersed in it. And now that Kniteforce and Knitebreed are basically hogging that sound, KFA has to define itself on new terms. It deserves to be able to grow and become its own entity. As a label, it never had a clear direction – it has veered from old skool to modern via everything else over the years since it started. And I dare say it still will do that to some degree.

However, I honestly feel Shane will do a better job than I can in taking it forward from here. He loves modern hardcore and knows it in a way I do not. He has the skills and the time and the knowledge and the vision to move the label onward and upward. I have absolute confidence in him. Other than the fact we are friends and I have gotten to know and respect him over the years, he also has the will to challenge me where needed, which is important because I can be wrong quite often lol. So I feel this is exactly the right thing to do.

So give him a big internet round of applause and wish him luck, and if you have music you want released on KFA, from now on, he is the man to speak to 🙂

You can contact him via Facebook on the new KFA Facebook Page page which he set up (please click the link like the page)

Or you can email him on his Kniteforce email address saiyan@kniteforcerevolution.com

or via his old email or his own FB page.

PS, and finally, after it being a joke for so long, things really will be Shanes fault from now on. Thats the third main reason, actually lol.

Meanwhile, Shane wanted to say some things, so….

*************

Hello friends! For those of you don’t know me, my name is Shane, or Saiyan if you prefer. I’m from Toronto, and have been a purveyor of hardcore and hardcore accessories for more than half my life.

Before I get into what I aim to do with the label, I’d just like to express my gratitude to Chris for giving me this amazing, mildly horrifying oppourtunity. And then take it because because he stole my “everything really is my fault now” joke, robbing me of my witty opening line. Dick.

But in all seriousness, I am immensely grateful for the oppourtunity to do this, and humbled that Chris felt that I was the right person for the job. I hope I don’t let him down, because he knows Kung Fu, and I like my organs in their current configuration.

I started writing this blurb with the intention of giving a brief rundown of my goals, ideas, and plans for the label. As it turns out, I had quite a lot to say. Brevity has never been my strong suit. Suffice to say, I’ve been doing a lot of plottin’ and schemin’ behind the scenes since taking the job, and I have a lot of exciting new ideas that I hope you’ll be as excited about as I am. I’ve gone into excessively long-winded detail in a Facebook post on the new KFA page that Chris linked to above, so come give us a like, yeah?

It’s an exciting time for KFA as a label, and the KFA family as artists, and I look forward to sharing what we’re all working on with you very soon.

Cheers,

Shane Saiyan

 

5

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

The Final Competiton Results

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kfa89-full-sleeve-500

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

Remix Competition Results 3: Alk-e-d – Shining Bright

Hello!

Welcome to the Remix Competition Results. Today: Shining Bright! I want to thank everyone who entered for making the competition so amazing and fascinating – for me at least 🙂

The reviews of the winning remixes of Alk-e-d “Shining Bright” are below the artwork. Slight change in plan – this competition was too hard, so I ended up giving the top 7 remixes to Alk-e-d for the final decision. The winning remixes have no sound clips as they will be made available with the pre-sale of the vinyl. There are three winners – No.1 will be on the vinyl, No.2 will be on a digital release via KFA (which the vinyl buyers will get for free) and No.3 will be the Executive Edition of the KFA release.

Below the artwork and the reviews of the three winners are the reviews and sound clips of the other remixes. It was a very impressive selection, and choosing a winner was not easy at all which is another reason that I got Alk-e-d’s help, and then we had to be pretty picky as far as production goes, and then go with what we liked best, and then see if the remix would compliment the other tracks on the vinyl. It was really tough, but very enjoyable! Thank you everyone!

One more thing…There is a very slight change in format for these vinyl remix EP’s. Each one now has a “big” name, the competition winner, and a resident KF / KFA artist…Other details, such as what other tracks have been remixed, will be revealed along with clips at the time of the pre-sale (likely early October). So without further ado, congratulations to Dj JePh who will join a big name as yet to be confirmed and a KF / KFA artist as yet to be confirmed on KF66! Here is the front sleeve…

kf66front500

1. Dj JePh remix – KNITEFORCE RECORDS VINYL RELEASE

A very short intro leads into a mash up of the vocals over a very reggae styled breakdown, with bleeps and pings adding to the overall feel of the track. And then we slam into a big drop amen workout. Like a few of the other remixes, this is leading with cleverly done amen editing, and it is superbly executed. There is a chaos to the arrangement and a brilliant bit of vocal editing midway through, making the vocal sound like its rolling its tongue. Everything is crystal clear and the production is wonderful. This was so tough to choose – Alk-e-d and I went back and forth between this one and the two runners up as to who should feature where, but in the end, this one just had the edge with its clever vocal editing and old skool vibe but new skool production.

 

2. Abyss Remix – KFA REMIX EP DIGITAL RELEASE

Serious jungle anyone? Thats what the intro says to me. Nicely cut up “You Best Listen” break and some light eastern horn effects…followed by the vocal on its own and then BAM! Full on amen work out. This one is very good. Heavily processed and edited drums make this a standout and its absolutely worthy of a vinyl release. If anything, it is just the tiniest bit too modern. Hardly matters at all, except that the competition was so close…

 

3. Shadowplay Remix – KFA REMIX EP DIGITAL RELEASE EXECUTIVE EDITION

Half speed breaks and a 4×4 kick trigger this one, and its a nice intro for it. Crystal clear breaks and some real depth in the production. The first breakdown is very Acen-ish – little bleeps and a sine bass line and floating strings. Its almost a shame when the piano from the original comes in, but it works well with the atmosphere this remix is creating. Yeah, this is a very different style, dark and head nodding rather than punishing. Its rather impressive actually. It reminds me of both Acen and Dj Solo – another Production House artist. A little later on, we get some twisted sound effects and mentasm / hoover type stabs, but its very subtly done. Very nice work. Alk-e-d loved it for what he calls “the pirate radio scratch” lol, but that certainly adds to it! Definitely a winner!

 

Remix Competition Entries:

 

Triple X Remix

Well, this is unexpected – the first remix of this is full on 1996 styled kick drum lead hardcore. I was all geared up for a D’n’B work out as well lol. Having said that, this is very tasty. A really good piano riff and the ragga samples work surprisingly well over it. It also has some nice time stretch effects and everything sounds well balanced and carefully positioned. Yeah, this is a good one!

 

Al Wilson Mix

I am immediately transported to the home of reggae right from the start with this one. Full on dub intro, lots of echoey reverb and delay on the vocals and a nice soft skanna intro. Very cool. This is a really deep, rolling version of the track. I have’t smoked for nearly a year, but I immediately want a spliff lol. This is really great, a really different vibe, taking the original to a whole new level. Its not right for a Kniteforce release, but its an amazing remix in its own right.

 

Ant To Be Remix

Ant To Be did a lovely remix of Ool Lortnoc, so it will be interesting to see what he does with this one. Starting with strings and some dreamy effects before dropping into rolling amens. Very nice. And then, surprisingly, a very nice piano line, sounding like something from a 1989 house tune. I would not have expected it. And some clever editing of the vocals to link everything together. Really cool, good rolling vibe, and then it takes a sudden left turn into hoovers with the ragga vocal, sounding like a Brain Records release or something. This is really good, if a little all over the place. I think this would be a better tune without the Shining Bright samples in fact – a wicked female vocal instead of the reggae vibes and you would have a proper good old skool breakbeat piano tune!

 

D-Vide Remix

This one starts just like the original, only fatter and better made – which is as it should be considering its 2016 not 1993 lol. Very clean, rolling drums, and some nice little edits and effects for the Dj to play with. When the vocal drops in, its over some fairly simple breaks and bass until a little further into the track, which is when the Amen comes in and rolls all over the place. I get to hear a lot of amen editing, and this is really impressive work. Lots of pitch and time stretch edits, reminding me of Amon Tobin, of all people. I think its the dark long bassline with the heavy editing and darker vibe. Its very clever. This is a great remix, well produced and well made, if a little linear in its concept. Still, I have no doubt this would tear up the dancefloor. Cool little Kniteforce vocal sample at the end too!

 

Danbwoy Remix

With a few little changes and a lovely lush string, Danbwoy has changed the intro into an almost heartbreakingly sad thing. It builds into a fantastic jungle workout. Its weirdly effective…subtle drum edits and strange distant sirens and snippets of the vocal swirl about, all the while pieces of hoovers wrap around the entire mix and risers rise in the background…and then it turns it up another notch and we get some classic jungle. Oh man, this is great, really great. It gets better as it goes forward. There is an emotional depth to it, and that only adds to the power of the rest of the track. Very good, very very good.

 

Galvatron Remix

Similar to the last one, strings and piano are dominant in the intro But instead of a sad feel, the amen comes in almost straight away, in a staggered rattling sort of pattern. Its pretty wicked actually. It makes me excited to hear how it drops…the Shining Bright vocals are riding some big wooshy sounds, and a nice 808 pattern. Here we go…Fat amen work out. I thing a few people will have gone with this idea, and the trouble is, it makes it hard to choose one over another because it always sounds marvellous, so I don’t blame people for choosing to go that way. Who doesn’t love an amen workout? This has some really well edited breaks, which get steadily more insane after the second break down. A little bit of filtering, and some nice pitch shifts on the end of each 8 bars. Yeah, this is another great remix.

 

Kashim Remix

This one uses the intro piano but reverses the notes, giving it an unstable feel (in a good way) before bringing some original break beats into the track. Nice and head noddy – I find myself almost dreading the amen coming in and going all crazy lol. This one is light, sweet, and has chrystal clear production, but it does lack a little…depth I suppose, in that there is little in the way of background music or effects to fill up the tune. I am not sure if this is a good thing or not. I bet this would sound great on a huge system.

 

Nightgaunt Remix

That is a creepy name for an artist, so now I am expecting a creepy remix. And the intro certainly suggests thats what I am going to get. Slow string intro, increasing in volume, and the piano playing over it is deliberately out of key. The drop is dark as hell. This is wicked. Like, wicked = good and also, I expect something literally wicked to happen. The breaks shuffle along while little sharp beep noises make a riff. Meanwhile the bass pulses underneath everything. As the tune goes on, it moves from sinister to thoughtful, but still, an unexpectedly strange remix. I like it a lot, but I don’t think it is right for the vinyl, unfortunately.

 

Paul Bradley Remix

Another entry by Mr Bradley. His remix of Shining Bright is a little on the mellow side, although it has some nice amen work. I think it may be a production issue – the amen needs to be higher in the mix maybe? Or compressed or brighter? Still, very nicely done, good chopped beats, everything in its right place. Yet another remix I could happily put out without and qualms about it being welcomed to the Kniteforce family. Plus it takes the brave step of doubling the speed of the vocals later in the mix, which is not to everyones taste i am sure, but I think its great!

 

Pursuit Remix

Pursuits remix is a little slower than some of the previous entries, and seems to be going for a more 1992 /1993 feel, which it achieves hands down. Lots of drum elements fading in and out on the intro, which is something you don’t hear very often. This remix is much more on the head nodding tip, and works well, but gets a little repetitive – which can be a good thing, especially when its as driving as this one is. Still, it feels a little unfinished to me!

 

Silent Shift Remix

This is immediately different. Slower paced than the last few, and it has a heavy 4×4 kick along with dark falling stabs. Even so, it somehow maintains a reggae style vibe. This is a really unusual take on the track, with the kick and a 303 style riff. Its a very unusual mix of things, and I am not sure it all works, but 10 out of 10 for a very unique approach. In some places it almost reminds me of The Orb or one of those ambient artists that occasionally dabble in the techno world. Its not for Kniteforce but it is a very interesting remix!

 

Master Mash Remix

Reverse piano’s seem to be popular on this remix. This one ups the ante by adding reverse drums on the intro and letting the piano ping both forward and backward. Timestretched sounding but not actually time stretched vocals lead up to the main breaks drop and Dj friendly mixable intro. Theres also some clever work with the pitch of the “original bad boy” sample. The main drop, after the vocals have played a little, is very peculiar, a sort of pulsating “wah” noise. I can hear a lot of work went into this remix, and the production is nice with everything in the right place, but for all that, this one is a little too strange for me!

 

Dj OKey Remix

Once again, starting with the piano line. But this one quickly builds up to the vocal with a heavy 808 and rolling amen. No waiting around, this one is in your face immediately. Quickly dropping the piano and adding the “Bad Boy” sample makes it and even more furious build to an 808 lead drum and bass styled section. The rhythm is also very drum and bass – there is nothing wrong with that. Its a really cool style, but its not really what I am looking for for the vinyl, unfortunately. Still, a strong remix with its own sound!

 

Shaun Armstrong Remix

I think Mr Armstrong entered this competition with all three tracks. And once again, his obvious skill with sampling and clever ideas seem to be held back by production. This is a real shame. This is once again a really fresh sounding remix but it just isn’t of high enough quality. Shaun, if you are reading, I think you have real potential and your remixes are full of great ideas, so do not be discouraged by not winning. Its like you are almost there, but you need to really work on the way your tracks sound more than the content, because the content is excellent.

 

Dj Toucan Remix

This one seems shockingly fast, but I don’t know if thats what it sounds like because the last few have been slower or if its really very fast lol. Some very interesting messing about with the horn reggae stab, turning into an almost creepy vibrating noise.  And the when the vocals come in, they are sliced to pieces. Yeah, this is cool. I mean its certainly not to everyone’s taste, but its totally different to everything else I have received and it gets a big thumbs up for that. The low 4×4 bass noise used as a kick drum is also interesting, giving the whole remix a darkened intensity. It does need some work on the production side, and is a little…monotone I suppose? It does change but not enough. Still, good work, very unique!

 

Blackcat Tracks Remix

Hi hats and a little clicky stab make this ones intro a little different to all the previous remix entries. I am wondering what is coming, 4×4 or breaks? Breaksit is! But very d’n’b style, quite empty and head nodding rather than furious. Okay, i think this one is going for a liquid style or something – I am not well versed in d’n’b, but I have to say, this one is not for me. I dont know enough about this style to know whether it is good or not lol, but its not what I am looking for for the KF vinyl, sorry!

 

Dead Hand Remix

Heavy as hell half speed breaks to start with, so thats always good. They are also quite edited, making them almost slide along, with the dun styled bassline and vocals…definitely got a lot of atmosphere with this one. The main drop is nice, but while the beats are brilliantly edited, the eq sounds muddy and the bass too loud. What? Can a bass be too loud? Well, yeah, but in this case its only a little bit. But it takes away from the impact of the breaks, which is a shame. Its a tight bit of work in other respects though. Good job!

 

Dj Owl Remix

Ha! The piano has become ye olde harpsichord! And it works, funnily enough. This turns it into some sort of almost music box sounding intro. I like it, although I think many would find it too peculiar. It also has timestretched snares clanging away, giving it a weirdly metallic feel. When it does drop, it does so with various industrial whirrs and bleeps spinning around in the mix. I like this a lot. I mean, its not right for a Kniteforce release, but I like the originality of it.

 

Gothika Shade Remix

Lovely intro on this one. Tight rattly breaks and a nice distant piano, plus plenty of very dun / reggae styles bleeps and swirls, giving it a genuine jungle feel. Yeah, this is good – it reminds me of X Project releases. The breaks aren’t too heavy, but there is a sort of chaos to the dub elements that bounce across the remix as it rolls along. Very well produced, and a good use of stereo which most people don’t seem to both with too much. Hmm, this is tricky. On the one hand, I think this is a great remix. On the other hand, I am not sure how many other people would agree with me. It is a subtle piece of work in some way, and much of jungle is very obvious. Definitely one to think about for me!

 

And that is all the remixes of Shining Bright. Congratulations to the winners, and a big thank you to everyone who entered, I really enjoyed listening to your remixes!

Nice one,

Chris / Luna-C

4

Remix Competition Results 2: Future Primitive – Ban This

Hello!

Welcome to the Remix Competition Results. Today: Ban This, and tomorrow Shining Bright! I want to thank everyone who entered for making the competition so amazing and fascinating – for me at least 🙂

The reviews of the winning remixes of Future Primitive “Ban This” are below the artwork. The winning remixes have no sound clips as they will be made available with the pre-sale of the vinyl. There are three winners – No.1 will be on the vinyl, No.2 will be on a digital release via KFA (which the vinyl buyers will get for free) and No.3 will be the Executive Edition of the KFA release.

Below the artwork and the reviews of the three winners are the reviews and sound clips of the other remixes. It was a very impressive selection, and choosing a winner was not easy at all. In the end I had to be pretty picky as far as production goes, and then go with what I liked best, and then see if the remix would compliment the other tracks on the vinyl. It was really tough, but very enjoyable! Thank you everyone!

One more thing…There is a very slight change in format for these vinyl remix EP’s. Each one now has a “big” name, the competition winner, and a resident KF / KFA artist…Other details, such as what other tracks have been remixed, will be revealed along with clips at the time of the pre-sale (likely early October). So without further ado, congratulations to Nicky Allen who joins Billy Bunter & Sanxion and Scartat on KF65! Here is the front sleeve…

kf65front500

 

1. Nicky Allen Remix – KNITEFORCE RECORDS VINYL RELEASE

The Nicky Allen remix has a very nice old skool vibe – it feels like it was made with the traditional equipment but I don’t know if it was or not. Probably not, but having made old skool with modern equipment, I know how tricky it can be to balance the old sound. Either way, very authentic and solid and it keeps true to the original track while emphasising its best parts. A remix in the traditional sense of the word, and I like this one very much. Especially cool is the main stab riff, which sounds both timeless and classic. This one hits the target dead on, and while the competition was stiff, it wins on sheer class.

2. Mannik Remix – KFA REMIX EP DIGITAL RELEASE

This one is crazy right from the start. It was a surprise to me how completely in your face this one was. I am writing these mini reviews as I listen, and in order. And I am very impressed with this one. As far as the style goes, it sounds later, more 1996 or 1997 than previous entries. Mannik keeps the piano the same, but changing the track to a 4×4 rhythm is excellent. Then halfway through, flipping to breakbeat and jungle – but even that has stayed true to the era he has chosen, where the breakbeat is made of the kick drum. And it changes up yet again near the end. Plus bonus points for silly outro sample and robot saying “Knite Force”. A very good remix, very tasty, and if its not the winner, its a marvellous remix and deserves a full release.

3. Paul Bradley Remix – KFA REMIX EP DIGITAL RELEASE EXECUTIVE EDITION

This one starts off with a very confident intro – of drums and subtle beeps. Oh, nice, a sample from The Warriors – thats gets points just because I love that. Hmm…Nice sample work, and a lovely lush piano. Replaying the original riff and tweaking it a little bit. Very good work. Also a nice balance between the 4×4 and the breakbeats, with the kick being a compliment to the breaks instead of leading them – again, very accurate for the time. Its a little hard for me to separate the personal liking of this from the label owner parts of me. There’s a lot of little sample quirks which are exactly the things Dj Luna-C loves, but when I am looking at releases for the label, Luna-C has to take a bit of a back seat because that dude likes some far out shit lol. But yeah, this remix is very good. One of the best I have received for sure, and I haven’t even mentioned the “adios” sample at the end nor the “oh oh” stab pattern, which I am a sucker for lol.

 

Remix Competition Entries:

 

Podzim Remix

Adding a 4×4 kick to this track was a risk, seeing as Future Primitive tracks are usually very breakbeat, hardly a kick to be found. This has a nice feel to it, kind of techno style in the oldest sense of the word. Its a solid remix, and has some nice work with the breaks, but it loses points for not having enough energy for my taste and the stab seems out of tune with the string section. Still, a good remix!

 

Shaun Armstrong Remix

This remix has some great ideas but is badly let down on the production side – everything sounds very muffled and uneven, which is a shame because both the format and the edits are cool. I can hear a lot of effort has gone into this remix, and there is potential here, but its just not quite there yet. Still, it is a solid effort, with original ideas.

 

Donut Remix

This one starts off with some nice breakbeats, simple in style but well executed and with a nice flow. I think the intro switches up too much musically while the beats don’t switch up enough, plus the piano remains the same as the original, which a few remixes have done. This can work if there is enough variety in the rest of the remix, but this one doesn’t really break new ground until it gets to the first stab riff. Having said that. there is a definite potential here – to me it seems like it needs a producer to put things into a better order. The elements are good, just dis-organised and not well connected, despite some good work with editing. I have made the sound clip start a little later in the track so that it can play the thing that happens near the end of the clip – a weird distorted noise. This was my favorite bit – it doesn’t sit too well in the mix, but it is a really cool idea and should perhaps have been earlier on and more central to the remix.

 

Castella Remix

This one is much more 1992 in style. A little slower and very fluid, reminding me of the early years of raving where ideas were simple. The Amen rolls along nicely with a proper old skool string sample. It reminds me of the early “E” label or Lenny Dee Ice “We Are Ie” or one of those darker tracks you would hear out and never be quite sure who made it.The piano doesnt come in until very late in the track, and its almost a shame that it does, although the change of mood is important I think, otherwise the track would go from rolling to dull. A very nice remix, not very “Kniteforcey” but very authentic and well made.

 

Redstart Remix

This one, like the Shaun Armstrong remix, is let down on the production side. It is a little too muffled and sort of distant sounding. But on the plus side, a nice change up with the piano work and some well edited breaks. Also, all the sounds are of the era, and in fact it sort of reminds me of the very first few Kniteforce releases as far as soun and style goes. Its a good remix, but its not quite ready yet.

 

Dj Toucan Remix

This one starts off with instantly tearing breakbeat. No messing about. Its also a very fresh take using the same sounds – changing the “round” stab pattern and cutting the vocals up in an unusual way. There’s some very fresh work with the breakbeats too. It also ejects both the main piano and the main stab riff, which is brave but maybe a little to the detriment of the remix. The result is a distinct bit of work, unlike anything else I received, but without any catchy elements – I was waiting for something bigger to happen and it never came. It also leaves the tune a little darker than the original was. There is nothing wrong with these things, I just felt like it could have done a little more. Still,  it is a very solid and different remix and there is definitely potential in its unique style.

 

Orchid Remix

A very 1994 feel to this one. the intro almost reminds me of some of the Moving Shadow stuff by the lesser know artists – Oaysis or someone like that. It has a certain melancholy to its sound and also brings a nice added vocal, and a sort of dreamlike quality. However, the strings seem out of key with some of the other parts and the breaks are struggling with their time keeping. Even so, its an unusual take on the origianl, and it has a lovely light piano near the end which moves it up a notch. Good stuff!

 

CS Remix

Some very nice staggered drum work fright from the off on this one. And layered with some sharp editing of the “Bass Keeps Pumpin'” vocals. Ah! Very nice, a new piano riff. This is the first one so far that has dared to do a completely new piano riff with the vocals. And its a nice one too, warm and uplifting! The drop gets a little weird though, with a sort of seasick bending stab. In my opinion it isn’t suitable for the track. Its a very original idea and very well executed, but it sits uneasily with the previously warm atmosphere established by the piano. This remix is like two different tracks, and they are both great tracks, but they should not be the same track in my humble opinion. This is a shame, it feels like an opportunity missed, because all the work here is excellent!

 

Jay Darkside Remix

Hmmm, this is different. Much slower than the others so far, and with a definite darkness flowing through it. Menacing sound effects and atmosphere right from the beginning. This is really unusual. Vocals are playing backwards and forwards, and it has the feel of early Automation or 80 Aum. The piano sits uneasily in this track. I feel this would be better without it being a remix at all, in some ways. I like it a lot, but its not right for Kniteforce.

 

Scuz Remix

The Scuz remix starts off boldly, with a little stab riff that fades away to a 4×4 rhythm before returning in the intro. This one is a little tricky to put an era date on. But there is definitely some nice stab work for the first part of the track, with a few different riffs kicking in before the piano breaks down. The remix is lively and bouncy, although the EQ / production side is a little muddy. Nevertheless, this is a nice little remix with some unusual ideas and a different format to the obvious, with the main poano and breakbeats coming in very late in the track. While not every idea works, its definitely one of the most interesting that I received!

 

Freefall Remix

An old skool string and little breakbeat intro quickly becomes a nice amen lead up to the main piano in this remix. Unusually there is no drumless piano breakdown, it just goes straight into the drums and piano before switching to the round stab noise. I like this format, its a bit strange, and you have to wait until mid way through the remix before it switches up and goes jungly, which is a nice touch. This remix is definitely more comfortable with jungle elements I think. There’s some very clever editing / sound effects on the breaks, but the overall production is a little flat. Still, this is a solid remix, very cool.

 

Pressure Rave Remix

Another remix on a slower tip, and starting out with a very 909 hit hat techno sort of feel until the breaks come in. This sort of reminds me of early Rabbit City era, the white labels from around that time that you often never found out the name or artist of. This is a good remix, but a little slow and mellow for me personally. It has a lot of nice elements – there is a sweet little piano riff, and the remixer has added a new vocal which works beautifully. And also a clever little trick with reversing the “heeyyeeahh” vocal to make it last longer. Its well done, nice ad clean and well put together. So basically, very good, but not what I was looking for.

 

Sunny & Deck Hussy Remix

Back on a faster tip, this one starts off and rattles along at a nice pace. For some reason, it reminds me of early Mike Slammer & Dj Red Alert, in that its sort of…rough in a good way. It cleverly starts off with the stab riff which mimics the forthcoming piano. And when the piano does drop, its layered nicely with the round stab noise…yeah, this is good. Its a little messy sounding, although none of it is out of time. Its just the way things are layered. The more it goes along, the more I think of Slammin Vinyls early output. I like this one very much – it doesn’t do anything particularly outrageous or new, but it does what it does very well!

 

Edit-Undo Remix

This one has some good ideas at work, such as choosing to layer the two different vocals rather than the standard playing one after another, which is a nice touch. Dropping into a string section first is a nice change too, and its a lovely string section, it feels almost like a live recording or some old skool trance back in the day when trance cared about that sort of things. It builds to a great staggered piano and has a nice warm feel to it, but is let down a little with some muddy production. However, musically this is great, with everything in key and lush sounding. Certainly a very good remix.

 

Systec & Sir Rice

This was the last remix I listened to – they weren’t in any particular order, but as I was listening, I was wondering when the weird one would show up lol. Actually, this isn’t so weird. Normally I get at least one off the wall, totally insane remix when I do this sort of thing, and I am a little sad I did not get one of those this time. Maybe with one of the other tunes? We will see. Anyway, having said that, this one is a little bit more out there than most of the other entries, but in a nice way, and it is definitely different which is always a plus in my eyes. Or ears. Slower than most of the others and it has a wonderful hoover noise in it which I would steal in a heartbeat given the opportunity. This one is much more chilled with an almost 1991 Ibiza feel to it, 5am on the beach sunrise music. Very nice, very interesting, but not what I was looking for for the vinyl. Still, it was a pleasure to listen to, the perfect “last tune” in a sea of variations. Good stuff!

 

And that is all the remixes of Ban This. Congratulations to the winners, and a big thank you to everyone who entered, I really enjoyed listening to your remixes!

Nice one,

Chris / Luna-C

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