Archive | The Philosophy Of Production

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

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

 

8

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

 

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