Archive | The Philosophy Of Production

Introducing KFA90 – The Jungly Pea Too!

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

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

…BECAUSE IT’S A VINYL!

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

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

WHY!?

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

WHY A JUNGLY PEA SEQUEL!?

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

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

https://sweetsensirecords.bandcamp.com

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

WHY IS IT SPELLED LIKE THAT!?

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

WILL IT BE GREEN AGAIN!?

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

WHAT’S ON IT!?

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

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

JUNGLY PEA SOUNDCLIPS – CLICK HERE

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

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

OKAY WHY IS THE CD SPELLED LIKE THAT!?

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

WHAT’S ON THAT!?

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

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

JUNGLY PEA SEEDY SOUNDCLIPS – CLICK HERE

YOU SAID SEVEN!

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

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

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

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

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

WILL THE CD BE SOLD SEPARATELY!?

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

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

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

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

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

WILL THERE BE MORE KFA VINYL!?

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

WILL ALL KFA RELEASES BE VINYL RELEASES!?

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

ALL THAT SOUNDS PRETTY REASONABLE.

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

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

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

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

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

– Shane Saiyan
KFA Label Manager

 

6

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nice one,

Chris / Luna-C

1

A big THANK YOU from Luna-C to Everyone.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

Nice one,

 

Chris / Luna-C

6

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

Kniteforce Radio Launch! Sunday 6th August 5pm

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

So lets give you the skinny on it…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So Whoop! in a hoop that goes boop!

Nice one,

Chris / Luna-C

 

 

1

A Misunderstanding Between Friends.

Hello,

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

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

Shane Vibes apologised, and replaced it with this one:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lets move on…

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

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

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

Moving on…

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

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

Profit

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

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

Expenses

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Simply put, I don’t know.

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

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

Thanks for reading,

Luna-C

12

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

 

5

5 Things The New Old Skool Vinyl Scene Needs To Do

Hello! I haven’t done an “about the scene” blog post in a while, and with the new vinyl thing going on, I felt it might be worth saying a few words as a sort of pre-emptive strike against possible future danger. I have been around a long time. Im old! I have spent 25 years of my 44 in the business now. I have seen how things go wrong. And I am loving the excitement and all the hype surrounding the current crop of music…so I don’t want it all to go pear shaped over some stupid shit that could have been avoided. This is my attempt to stop problems before they happen. It probably won’t work. But I wrote it anyway! Huzzah. Okay, first up:

1. Don’t Try To Force A Name On It

As you can tell from the title of the post, the lack of a name for this new scene is sort of a problem. I am talking about music such as the new Kniteforce vinyl releases, what Dj Jedi is doing, the new Liquid album, the recent Billy Bunter & Sanxion album, the recent Xenophobia album and the 2 Bad Mice album and so many others too numerous to mention. All of it is…ummm…old skool hardcore? New old hardcore? I don’t know what to call it. Nor does anyone else. And that is actually okay. I have been around long enough to see various attempts at naming scenes cause all sorts of trouble. It never works, it just divides, restricts, and then ruins what everyone is doing. Who remembers 4 Beat? Exactly. Despite the good intentions, it was a stupid effort and everyone complained about it. What about Nu Skool Breaks? No! It’s Nu-Rave? Any of you remember that nonsense? I watched all sorts of stupid unfold as various people argued about the sodding name of a scene before it even had a chance to go anywhere. I would honestly say that crap was part of why it all imploded. It was tiresome. Take it from me, naming things is best left to the scene to do on its own, not record label owners or Djs or anyone else, and it will happen organically if a scene develops. Thats how it always works. No one got up one day and said “This music is called Jungle” and then everyone agreed to call it that from then on. It just happened.

Right now, what we are doing is not even a scene really – its more like a lot of people all facing the same direction and saying “Lets do this” – it is a beginning, a possibility. It is a very exciting thing – we can see an amazing future…and it will probably all go wrong. But if you want to absolutely guarantee it will all go wrong, call it something restrictive and stupid and then argue about what is and what isn’t part of it.

Now, if it were me, I would say the ideal name for what this…thing…we are doing is “Classic Hardcore” (like how you have Classic Rock to distinguish between Jimi Hendrix and…I don’t know, whatever is modern rock nowadays lol) or “Original Rave”. Except both of those name are shit. Whatever though, as long as it is something bland and it is able to cover a huge variety of music under one banner. This is important, because the relentless division and carving up of music, especially our music, has done it no good whatsoever.

And if there is one thing we can all agree on about old skool rave, it is that it had a huge amount of variety. That was the very essence of the original rave scene. It was wonderful. It encompassed breakbeats, 4×4, piano and vocal, dark, techno, jungle, d’n’b, 145-170bpm, everything. It was great. Lets not fuck that up by calling it “New Breakbeat Rave Music from the UK” or something equally shit and restrictive. Any name that restricts in any way pretty much dooms the whole thing.

2. Welcome All The Styles

This is kind of a continuation of point one, but it is very important so I want to emphasise it. What Kniteforce is doing is not the only way of doing it. I want KF to be a part of a whole, not a leader or a follower, neither dictating how to do it, or copying someone else. And I am actively making sure I don’t make the mistakes I have made before. Let me give you the Remix Records example: Jimmy and I started that label off with no formula, but RR was already more…restricted…than KF because RR was deliberately dance floor friendly. So the tracks hit immediately, and did well. When they did, we fine tuned the formula. It wasn’t consciously done, but it is what we did. Then the tracks did really well. So we kept doing it until we had that formula down! And everyone got bored shitless and it all went wrong. The end.

Lets not do that again. I am not going to do it with my label, and we need to not do it with the “Classic Hardcore” scene (Sorry. I have to call it something for this article, otherwise its impossible to write it lol). But look, the point is this. For a scene to develop, it needs growth. Growth needs to be sustained by variety. It needs it, because it has to draw more people in, so it has to appeal to more people, so it has to be interesting and varied to grow. And then, it needs to remain that way to sustain itself. This is imperative. Its not just me saying “I would prefer it is the scene had a lot of different styles in it” although anyone who knows me knows that that is true. This is a core element that needs to be not just accepted, but loved and desired by the people in the scene. Without it, nothing will come of it, that is certain. That doesn’t mean you cant prefer one element more than another. It just means, at a minimum, you cant dismiss or shit all over tracks that are good but not your taste, and ideally, you open your mind to those very tracks and gain an appreciation for the wide spectrum of sound being produced.

3. No Rip Offs And Less Remixes Of Old Tunes

Let me be clear – I am being a hypocrite. I have done more than one rip off. And I restarted KF with remixes of old tunes. Shit, I have new remixes coming out this week as I write this.

So let me explain what I mean. Firstly, the Rip Offs:

There is a distinct line between a clever sample and a rip off. What I am talking about here is the difference between using an old 80’s commercial vocal to make a new and unique track, and sampling “I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight” because that worked back in the day for a big gabber artist. I am also talking about not sampling Sweet Harmony or any of those old, big rave tunes and making a new version. Its shitty. It takes minimum effort and it relies on other peoples success and its been done again and again and again. At this point, even with the best intentions, its not clever and its not cool. I mean, if you can come up with a truly unique way to do it, then thats awesome. But…I don’t think you can. I am not sure if anyone can at this point. This new, emerging scene is absolutely based on the classics of old – but it will die as soon as everyone starts doing that shit. Because then, what is there to distinguish it from old skool anyway? Why would anyone bother to buy it? Or even be into it? Its just tired, and tired leads to rest, and rest to stagnation, and stagnation to rot and to death. Death by boring.

Okay. Now for Remixes Of Old Tunes:

Don’t do this. Don’t do loads of remixes of old skool tunes even if you own the rights to them. I am telling myself off here, as I am guilty as hell lol. And the only excuse I have is that I needed something to restart the label in a strong way. Okay. I did that. But the current remixes are the last in the series. After this, I will not be doing remixes of my old catalogue, and for the same reasons as above. Its old, tired, and resting on past glories. A scene cannot rely or rest on its past, it has to forge a new future.

I am not saying no remixes of anything. Just not of old things. I will certainly do remixes of the new batch of KF hardcore. If the track deserves it. And thats the key point – endless remixes are not a good thing, even of the new stuff. We need new music and new sounds if we are going to have a new scene.

4. Don’t Do It For Free

I would politely ask that everyone involved in this new scene, whether playing a set or releasing music digitally or hosting an event, charges real money for it. You don’t have to charge much money. And its okay to do the odd free thing here and there – that’s good promotion. But please, charge money for the work you are doing. This is very, very important.

Look at modern hardcore – there is almost zero money in it. A few of the biggest name Djs do okay with Dj work, but event promoters are struggling, Many Dj’s play for gas money only, and almost no one makes anything more than pocket money from music sales. This is because the music is worthless. I don’t mean that as a criticism of the music quality – some of it is excellent – What I mean is that so many people make it for free, and so much is freely downloadable, that the music has no value. And this is a huge problem because the whole scene is based on the music. If you want really good music, you need people who can do it as a full time job. Therefore it has to pay. Right now, there are a handful of people in that position with modern hardcore, and a handful isn’t enough. The result is less music altogether, less innovative music within that, and a scene which eats itself, losing artists almost as soon as it has them.

Lets not do that with this new scene. What we are doing is valuable. It should not be free. I assume it goes without saying that we also shouldn’t be ripping people off? Because thats another problem. But let me give you a concrete example of why we need to charge for things: I have been able to offer retired old skool hardcore artists a financial advance to make new music. And some have accepted. I can do that because I have sold the new KF vinyls at a fair price – one that gives the public value for money, but also pays the artist and the label a decent wage. So I have, for the first time in ages, a little bit of extra cash. This enables me to approach artists and say “I have money for you if you want to make some music”. This is essential. Many old skool artist would LOVE to make new music. And many are. But they also have jobs, wives, children, responsibilities – and you cant just drop that to make music that doesn’t pay. This is why I applauded Dj Hams audacious album concept even though some thought it was asking too much. And I am not just talking about old artists. You want new artists to be able to hang around? They have to be paid. So do the Djs, the event promoters, all of them. And people will pay for music, events etc. They are happy to – because they want the scene to thrive as well.

Lastly, and on a more general philosophic note: When you charge for things, you give those things value by default. When you give it away for free, you are devaluing it. We have all been given things for free that we don’t use or treat badly. When we pay for any item, it resonates with us – whether its a new car or toilet paper. Those items were wanted or needed. We had to work to get the money for them. It cost us, so they matter.

5. And Lastly…As Always….Support

This is linked to all of the above. I have talked about it before, but I don’t think I made it clear enough. Yes, you have to click links, leave comments on Soundcloud and Mixcloud and blogs, and you have to pay for music and to go to parties. But even more, you have to promote it. You have to tell other people about it. You have to buy the new albums, and then you have to tell your friends to buy them. You have to share the article or the event post, and then you have to go to the event and drag people along with you. You have to be excited, involved, and you need to be getting others excited and involved. More, you should want to. I know I do – but of course, that is part of my existence, being who I am and doing what I do. For my part, I am going to start sharing all the new music of this kind and advertising it where I can in my mailouts etc. Some of you will be reading this after being given a link via my Kniteforce mailing list. And you will have seen a link to the new Liquid album. I don’t know Liquid any better than you – I bought their old releases, and that is it. But the album is wicked. I have paid real money to buy it myself when I could have got it for free probably by asking for a promo and being all “we are in the music business together, give me free stuff” lol. It happens. But thats the whole point – No, I don’t get it for free, I buy the album. Because I have to support as well. I have to spend my money – money that I don’t have really. My money goes back into the label and is spent on Wilders diapers and food and other boring essentials. But if I want this scene to work…and I really, really do…then I have to play my part. I have to spend my money. I have to use what resources I have to promote these things. This is me, doing that. This is me, asking you to do that. And if you are reading this as an artists making this stuff – hit me up, I will help where I can!

Nice one,

Chris / Luna-C

PS and please don’t call it “Classic Hardcore”

22

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

KF69FinalFront500

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

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

And, of course, Hyper On Experience.

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

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

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

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

Anyway.

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

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

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

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

Which makes me happy.

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

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

Yes. It is quite good.

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

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

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

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

So yeah.

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

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

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

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

Nice one,

Chris

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