Podcast 50

Podcast 5o, new and revamped, featuring Luna-C mixing all new Kniteforce material and (regular) guest mix staring Dj Lowercase with a fantastic hardcore mix!

Tracklisting:

Dj Luna-C Mix

01. Alex Jungle – Dance & Hover

02. Cru-l-t – I Cant Forget

03. TNO Project – The Orphange

04. Paul Bradley – Nobody Else

05. Dj Luna-C – Fly To Heaven (Dj Mannik Remix)

06. 2 Croozin – Code Red (Fat Controller Remix)

07. Ant To Be – Nobody Likes Me

08. Gothika Shade – The Grave Of Fireflies (Dj Luna-C Remix)

09. Idealz – Run The Tune

10. Cru-l-t – Snow In Summer (Alex Jungle Remix)

11. Shadowplay – Calling Me

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

Dj Lowercase Mix

01.  Saiyan & Cru-L-T – Magic.

02. Dys7 – Neon.

03. Northern Lights – Love Of My Life (Brisk 2013 Remix).

04. DeckaJam feat. Jazmin Knight – Feeing Out Of My Mind.

05. Timme – Four.

06. Future Shock feat. Naomi Gibson – I’ll Be With You.

07. Anglerfish & Lucider – This Is How We Do It Hard.

08. Scartat – The Trustworthy Promoter (Demcore Remix).

09. Dj Ham – It Would Be (Dj Luna-C Remix).

Inappropriate song of the month

Grandmaster Flash – Adventures On The Wheels Of Steel

 

3

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

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

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

And, of course, Hyper On Experience.

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

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

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

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

Anyway.

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

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

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

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

Which makes me happy.

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

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

Yes. It is quite good.

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

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

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

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

So yeah.

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

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

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

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

Nice one,

Chris

6

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KF66 – Alex Jungle – Elevate EP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The End.

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

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

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

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

Now, let me anticipate and answer your questions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes, absolutely.

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

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

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

 

2

The Final Competiton Results

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

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

WINNERS

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

KF69 – VINYL 12” WINNER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RICHIE WHIZZ REMIXES

Richie Whizz – Song Of Angels (Paul Bradley Remix)

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

 

Richie Whizz – Song Of Angels (Matchstickman Remix)

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Richie Whizz – Song Of Angels (Ten Tun Remix)

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

 

Richie Whizz – Song Of Angels (Shaun Armstrong Remix)

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

 

JIMMY J & CRU-L-T REMIXES

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

DJ BRISK REMIXES

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

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

 

DJ Brisk – Make it Rough (Hannibal Selector Remix)

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

 

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

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

 

DJ Brisk – Make It Ruff (Rufus Tempest Remix)

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

 

Dj Brisk – Make It Rough (Ten Tun Remix)

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

 

Dj Brisk- Make it Rough (The Matchstickman Remix)

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

 

Dj Brisk – Make It Rough (Liam T Remix)

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

 

Dj Brisk – Make It Rough (Shaun Armstrong Remix)

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

3

5 Reasons You Should Buy The New Kniteforce Vinyl Releases

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

1. Its An Excellent Release

blogpic1

“Ooh! Look it! New Recordses!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. The Philosophical Aspect

philosopherv2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. The Financial Effect

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“Pictured – Actual MP3 Profits this year”

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. The Selfish Factor

me

“This photo was taken in 1843”

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

However.

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

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

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

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

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

I want that really badly.

5. The Future And What Could Be

futurejust

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

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

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

Its a big difference.

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

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

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

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

 

14

Podcast 49

Podcast 49, featuring Luna-C mixing some new Kniteforce and KFA material and guest staring Kaytaro with a fantastic new school hardcore mix!

 

Tracklisting:

 

Luna-C Mix

1. Dj Luna-C – Tech Shmec

2. Alex Jungle – The Need In Me

3. Idealz – TunE

4. Cru-l-t – Don’t Be Afraid

5. Alk-e-d – Shining Bright (Dj JePh Remix)

6. Alex Jungle – 5th Season

7. Dj Force & The Evolution – Fall Down On Me (Billy Bunter & Sanxion Mix)

8. Dj Luna-C – Piano Progression (Scott Brown Remix)

9. Demcore – Summer

10. Disowned – The Needles

11. Future Primitive – Ban This  (M-Project & Music Servant Remix)

12. Scartat – The Trustworthy Promoter

Kaytaro Mix

1. Taylors Gift – Bad Blud (CLSM Remix – Dave Skywalker Intro Edit)

2. AoS – Chasing Dreams

3. Dj Luna-C – Wonderful Days Remade

4. Damaged – The Bootleg Mash-Up – S3RL – Bass Slut

5. Dave Skywalker – State of Mind

6. Doughboy – Hardcore Sirens

7. Fracus & Darwin – Ready to Rock

9. Getty – Pump It

10. Scott Brown – OhEmGee (Origina Mix)

11. Riko & M-Project – Finally

12. Saiyan & Cru-l-t – CL4P

13. Hixxy – No.1 (Al Storm Remix)

Inappropriate Song Of The Month:

Noah & The Whale – An Atom And A Molecule

3

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

Hello!

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

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

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

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

kf66front500

1. Dj JePh remix – KNITEFORCE RECORDS VINYL RELEASE

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

 

2. Abyss Remix – KFA REMIX EP DIGITAL RELEASE

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

 

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

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

 

Remix Competition Entries:

 

Triple X Remix

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

 

Al Wilson Mix

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

 

Ant To Be Remix

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

 

D-Vide Remix

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

 

Danbwoy Remix

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

 

Galvatron Remix

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

 

Kashim Remix

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

 

Nightgaunt Remix

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

 

Paul Bradley Remix

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

 

Pursuit Remix

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

 

Silent Shift Remix

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

 

Master Mash Remix

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

 

Dj OKey Remix

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

 

Shaun Armstrong Remix

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

 

Dj Toucan Remix

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

 

Blackcat Tracks Remix

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

 

Dead Hand Remix

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

 

Dj Owl Remix

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

 

Gothika Shade Remix

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

 

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

Nice one,

Chris / Luna-C

4

Remix Competition Results 2: Future Primitive – Ban This

Hello!

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

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

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

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

kf65front500

 

1. Nicky Allen Remix – KNITEFORCE RECORDS VINYL RELEASE

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

2. Mannik Remix – KFA REMIX EP DIGITAL RELEASE

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

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

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

 

Remix Competition Entries:

 

Podzim Remix

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

 

Shaun Armstrong Remix

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

 

Donut Remix

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

 

Castella Remix

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

 

Redstart Remix

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

 

Dj Toucan Remix

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

 

Orchid Remix

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

 

CS Remix

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

 

Jay Darkside Remix

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

 

Scuz Remix

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

 

Freefall Remix

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

 

Pressure Rave Remix

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

 

Sunny & Deck Hussy Remix

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

 

Edit-Undo Remix

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

 

Systec & Sir Rice

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

 

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

Nice one,

Chris / Luna-C

1

Remix Competition Results 1: Jimmy J & Cru-l-t – Ool Lortnoc

Hello!

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

The reviews of the winning remixes of Jimmy J & Cru-l-t “Ool Lortnoc” are below the artwork. The winning remixes have no sound clips as they will be made available with the pre-sale of the vinyl. With the other two competitions there are three winners, but this one has four and these were the best of them! So, No.1 will be on the vinyl, No.2 and No.3 will be on a digital release via KFA (which the vinyl buyers will get for free) and No.4 will be the Executive Edition of the KFA release.

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

One more thing…There is a very slight change in format for these vinyl remix EP’s. Each one now has a “big” name, the competition winner, and a resident KF / KFA artist…Other details, such as what other tracks have been remixed, will be revealed along with clips at the time of the pre-sale (likely early October). So without further ado, congratulations to Ant To Be who joins Scott Brown and Dj Luna-C on KF64! Here is the front sleeve…

 

kf64front500

 

1. Ant To Be Remix – KNITEFORCE RECORDS VINYL RELEASE

Starting with the main stab riff and a half speed beat, this one wrong foots you right from the start. I like it very much, even though at first it seems like a weird sort of feel to bring to the track. The almost soft intro leads into a lovely string, before a totally new piano riff comes in. Oh okay, yes yes, I am liking this a lot. Clever vocal work, a replayed piano…oh, this is great! A really different feel to the original track, but still obviously a remix. Oh, and it just gets better, after the piano a wicked bit of mentasm and scratching and cut up stabs.  Yeah this superb, I love it. Very good work!

2. 3Star & Accidental Hero Remix – KFA REMIX EP DIGITAL RELEASE

Mentasms and breaks start this one off, before a storming modern kick drum thunders in. Wow, this remix is amazing. It has a fantastic upfront lead stab and the percussion and bass are superb. And the vocal drop is expertly handled with some clever editing and even some extra vocals thrown in. This remix is absolutely blinding – and completely unsuitable for the Kniteforce Vinyl being that it is 100% modern upfront hardcore. But it deserves to be the lead track on the KFA Remixes, and so it will be.

3. Sunny & Deck Hussy Remix – KFA REMIX EP DIGITAL RELEASE

Another remixer who also did Ban This, and if I remember rightly, the Ban This remix was pretty damn good. Well, this one is shaping up the same way. The Intro is fresh sounding without straying too far from the original, and the first breakdown is clever with the vocals. Nice drop into breaks and bass – another bold choice. This duo certainly has their own sound and I am curious to hear their other work. I find myself nodding my head and pushing the volume up – which is a surprise as it is 11:50pm and I am writing this after a hard day and I really need some sleep. Yeah this is different, and definitely very good. Well produced and unique.

4. Distrax Remix – KFA REMIX EP DIGITAL RELEASE EXECUTIVE EDITION

Fast and furious D’n’B style breaks set this one up right from the intro. Nice use of atmospherics and filtering with the vocal in the lead up too. Before dropping into a truly aggressive stab noise. Wow, this is excellent…but the drop doesn’t do the breakdown justice in my humble opinion. Its still a fantastic drop mind. This is a full on D’n’B remix, and its a very good one. When the vocal eventually drops in, it is cleverly edited and gated and messed with, but its a shock to hear it! And when it drops, it does so very well. Unfortunately, even though this is a very slamming and well made remix, its not what I am looking for for the vinyl as its a little too modern Still, superb work, very unusual and well executed.

 

Remix Competition Entries:

 

Dj Toucan Remix

Dj Toucan remixed all three tracks offered in the competition, and like the Ban This Remix, this one is quite linear. Very well edited intro samples and gated drums lead up to a frankly insane stab break down. It is one of the most original stab breakdowns I have heard in a while, and it is stunningly hard, but it doesn’t sit in the mix very well, and it is sort of unsuitable for the track. But man, a bit of work and this remix would be like an old Reinforced release by 4 Hero or someone. Dark and menacing and furious. Really good work musically, but it needs a little direction and production.

 

Bucksta Remix

Bucksta’s remix is on a slower tip, or at least it seems that way after the mania of the Distrax remix. More traditional, a nice breakbeat intro rolls into the piano breakdown, and when it drops, it goes into another heavy noisy stab riff. Not that I am complaining, but this is the third remix in a row to go “dark” which to me seems like an odd choice to me for such a happy track. This one switches between stabs sounds as it rolls along, and its a great idea, but it seems to me it could do with a little more work in both the production area and execution of the concept. Nice remix tho!

 

JDubz Remix

Fine bit of intro fun on this one – lots to cut between, something I like doing when Djing. And extra points for adding samples and scratching. This one almost reminds me of some of the earlier Ibiza Records releases, rough and ready but solid execution. Some nice drum work, and its fun to hear the very slowed down breaks crunching in the background of the piano breakdown. A good scratchy breakbeat work out between the piano and stab is good too. Plus the music keeps changing and developing, there is a nice little stab riff at the end which you wont hear in the clip I have put up. Yeah, this is a tasty remix, very authentic for the most part!

 

Audio Terrorist Remix

Tempo up! Nice intro breaks and then an off hi hat – are we getting a kick drum. Oh yes, we fucking are! Wow, proper old skool kick as well, overly heavy but not overly distorted or like modern hardcore. This sounds exactly like the era the original is from, almost like a Ruffneck Records remix. Hmm, some nice little edits on the stab as well when it drops in. This one keeps the main music elements pretty much the same as the original, but the massive kick drum and subtle little stab patterns change a rolling breakbeat anthem into an altogether more hungry beast. The production is a little muddy, which is a shame, but it also in keeping with the era – unfortunately, thats the one bit of the old skool sound I think we can leave behind. This one also has a slow down in it, which is not really needed and feels like it was put in to add to the length of the remix – which I have done in the past so I understand it, but the remix doesn’ t need it. Still, very good!

 

Paul Bradley Remix

Another 4×4 remix, and this one stands firmly in the 1995 arena as far as sound goes. The intro is very authentic, with the off beat stabs and 909 sounding hi hats etc. A nice piano breakdown and then the track is bouncing along. The vocals are a little low in the mix, and the overall sound is a little muffled, but there is good solid work here. If I had have received this remix in 1995 from an established artist, I would have been pleased to put it out. Definitely a solid, authentic, period piece  – very nice!

 

TNO Remix

TNO was recently featured on KFA77 – The True Skool EP, but he is not an established KFA artist yet. I like to give new artists the opportunity to get their music out there with the True Skool EP’s, and sometimes they go on to be KFA artists, other times not. But this leaves me in a funny position as far as this remix goes. So I am going to review it as I did the others. This one is sort of mellow. Lots of reverb and delay on the effects, and a nice breakbeat work out on the intro, with good use of some added hip hop vocal snippets. One of the things I like about TNO’s work is it is quite conservative – simple in execution but in a good way. This remix follows that path, it does nothing wild but does what it does very well. Good stuff!

 

Nayim Remix

Nayims remix is certainly slower than the others have received so far. It has a nice intro before rolling breaks and piano and vocals come in without a breakdown. These elements are used as a build up to the main stab riff. And on the whole it works well, although the drop is a little empty for my tastes – then again, Luna-C tracks are often over stuffed with elements. There’s a nice switch between sounds here, where each part flows into the next with relative grace, giving the remix a solid backbone. The production is very clear and balanced and I like it a lot, but its a bit more 1991 than 1995, so misses the mark a little bit for me personally. But a very good remix nonetheless.

 

Bouncy Oscillators Remix

With a name like that, I am curious to see how much bouncing the oscillators are going to do. Frantic gated breaks set the remix up, nice rolling amens with dj friendly edits. And some sweet subtle drum work as well. Oh yes, lovely piano – replayed and changed, very nice. Oh, and great vocal layering, and a crowd noise! I love a good crowd noise. Gives the whole tune a nice atmosphere. Cheeky Luna-C type sample before the drop as well. This is a good remix. Its let down a little on the production side – everything is a little flat. But musically, this is great and I like it a lot. I am not overly keen on the main stab riff, but wow,  the final piano drop is simply beautiful. This should have been at the beginning. I have started the sound clip later in the tune so you can hear it…

 

Boykz & Chapman Remix

Another one thats slower than I would have preferred. Not that this is a fault, its just one of those things. Nice work here tho – the piano has been cut up in a sort of disorienting way, but it works real well, and allows the vocals to be played with, which is nice! Like many of the remixes, this one also abandons the main stab from the original, at least initially, and instead replaces it with the classic Djs Unite stab noise. This is a solid remix, authentic to a tee, and it has some lovely drum editing. Very competently put together, and obviously made with care. It keeps the original firmly in place while taking it in an older direction in some ways. Very smart!

 

Dj Uplift Remix

I had a few “big” names entering the competition. In some ways this is unfair, but in the end, any remix released has to compete with the big names, so…its one of those things. Still, it was still nice to see an entry from my old pal Dj Uplift. As expected, a very well put together remix. A nice breakbeat intro before the main piano drops in. And a full on Amen edit workout as the drop, which is a brave move. Even braver is the jungle samples that come in. But it works well, reminding me of some of the old Kemet or 3rd Party releases that used to mix old skool happy elements and jungle so seamlessly. It isn’t until later in the track that the piano breakdown returns and actually gets to play over the breaks. A great remix!

 

Dj Owl Remix

A very different take on the remix here. Heavily edited breaks and very delayed / reverb soaked vocals give this mix and dark and mysterious feel. The piano is different too, going to places which are both unexpected and also work in a different way to most of the others. It also takes the original stab and remakes it, which none of the other remixes have done. Sadly, the eq and production let this one down, but the music content is spot on. It will not be to everyones taste, but I think this one is really unique and nicely executed.

 

Kosmic Remix

A fairly sinister intro to this one, with a dark rumbling bassline under the “come on, hu ha” vocals. The drop is straight to the original stab noise but played in a straighter pattern. Layers are added as the track goes along, which is a nice touch, the stab pattern developing as it moves forward. It is let down a little by the fact that the background to the developing stab doesnt change. However, the piano drop is very nice and inventive, with guitar licks, and a grand piano added to make it into almost something you would hear in a live setting, like it was being played to an intimate crowd by a band. This part is fantastic, and I really like it, even though it is not what I am looking for. Kosmic indeed.

 

Mayfair Remix

Nice rolling amens start this one off well. A little bit of snare play for the Dj to mix with – always a good thing! the original lead stab has been transformed into a low growling noise, which is cool, but a bit dark for my tastes. Still, the underlying drum work is very well executed! And the string under the stab seamlessly transfers to the piano line. And the vocal has been played with in a clever way – its nice to see remixers doing that. Even better is the time stretch beats section – proper old skool right there. A very solid remix all around.

 

Insane & Mind Remix

Full on amens right from the beginning in this one, and choosing to add the complimentary kick drum as well, making it fit firmy into the correct year, and it is also a common Jimmy J & Cru-l-t trait. The piano drop is accompanied by an amen that sort of follows the music, which is really cool. And the way the drop is editied leaves you feeling its always building and always dropping which could have been be annoying but actually works really well. Unfortunately, this one also uses the stab pattern from Loo’s Control, all be it with a strange bend to it, and thats not really something we can use due to the fact the vocal sample was cleared but the rest wasn’t. Its a bunch of legal crap and my hands are tied. Its a nice touch in its way though. On the whole, a well made remix but it has accidentally disqualified itself as the rules said not to use any other parts from Loo’s Control. So it goes.

 

Nicky Allen Remix

Another entry from Nicky Allen. Sharp and precise amen edits form a Dj friendly intro into a drop using either a new vocal or a very clever bit of processing of the original vocal. And the lead stab is also reworked to a different pattern until after the drums drop and then it reverts to the original. Nice to hear the old “Comin’ On Strong” vocal sample, complimenting the female vocal nicely – I like that sort of thing. Finally the original piano line and vocals come in – and you expect it to drop into the piano with the breaks, but instead we get a tearing old skool clang stab pattern. Very well done, this is a great remix, one foot safely in the original, but different enough overall as a remix should be.

 

Shaun Armstrong Remix

Another multiple remixer, Shaun Armstrong brings a nice rough intro to this one. It cleverly uses the “Hardcore” vocal from House Crew as well as a bunch of other little vocal snippets. Its nice to hear a remix which is bringing lots of extra elements in. Once again though, all these good ideas are let down by a muddy production. In the Ban This remix, the ideas were not as strong, but this one feels much more like a missed opportunity – its a good remix. It might need a little work musically, but the ideas are solid and I can hear a lot of effort has gone into it. So its a shame that the execution isn’t up to releasable standard. Having said that, I expect big things from this guy in the future!

 

Chris Ross Remix

A simple intro leads up to a strangely muted drop, with a sort of floating string and stab that leans forwards and backwards before slowly defining itself. When it does drop, it has a light touch, almost skipping along – it reminds me a little of how Bass Selective’s breaks were always quite thin but still remained effective. The amen is way back in the mix, and after the lead stab, this transforms into an almost analogue feeling breaks section, lots of time stretches and unusual drum noises. The main piano riff comes in and drops well, with the amen coming through a little clearer. This is a weird one to me – it is well produced, and there is a light touch rarely heard in hardcore nowadays, where everything is LOUD all the time. Having said that, I dont know if this is really what I would want to release. But I do admire it. It is unique and different – especially the stab pattern that comes in much later – this should maybe have happened earlier. But maybe not, it all works as it is.

 

A Drunken AlleyCat Remix

This one should be disqualified for bribery – it arrived with a picture of a spoon attached. Those who know the KF history will understand. It also came with a very silly note that made me laugh, so props for the idiocy here! Okay, on to the remix. Simple breaks lead up to the original stab pattern, filtered in, and then gated to a strong climax. This is unfortunately let down a little on the production side of things. The drop should be heavier, and with a tighter EQ would have been. I can hear what was meant to happen, but that sort of thing is just a matter of time and effort. For your whole life. Aha. Ha. On the whole, a very solid remix, and the filtering and build ups are very well put together. it just needs  a little more time spent on it, and a bit more clarity in the production! Good work!

 

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

 

Nice one,

 

Chris / Luna-C

3

4 Reasons You Are Wrong About Ham’s Album Idea

This is a blog post about Dj Hams recent album idea. You can read the details here if you are not familiar with it or the controversy that has ensued:

Dj Ham’s Album

I like to think things through before coming to any conclusion, and certainly before I make a post such as this, so I waited a few days before writing. I also discussed the subject a little with the KFA artists, some of whom thought it was a good idea, some who found it offensive (for want of a better word), and some who were torn either way. I imagine thats a good representative of everyone in the hardcore scene right now lol.

To be honest and fair, let me start by saying I love Dj Ham. Not in a “tickle each other’s secret places” way, but as a long time friend and artist. I have known him since the earliest days of Kniteforce, so over 20 years, and feel that it should be made clear right from the start that I am a little biased. But only a little. Ham is his own man, and he doesn’t need me defending him, and would take any criticism I level at him in his stride. So, with that being said, here are 4 reasons you are wrong about his album idea:

1. It Is Worth The Money

welly 1

Here is a picture of a Powell & Peralta first edition Per Welinder freestyle board. It has all plastic Tracker freestyle trucks and copers, Bones hardware and bearings, and original Powell & Peralta Freestyle wheels (not seconds of defects).

To most people, its just a plank of wood and some wheels. But to me, it’s a part of my history, it represents the best memories of my childhood, it is the skateboard ridden by Per Welinder, my favourite skater for a very long time, has some of the best artwork by legendary artist VCJ. And, to me at least, it is a beautiful object in and of itself. It reminds me of my youth and of freedom and of the skateboarders ethics and attitude, which I still use to build both my record label and my life.

Original Powell & Peralta boards from the 1980’s are rare, and these ones are rarer still. The nature of a skateboard is that it gets destroyed in use so very few survived. And one such as this, from the late 70’s / early 80’s? And from a niche part of skateboard culture, even back then? Trust me when I tell you there are very few left in the world. Even in shitty condition, this would be valuable. In brand new condition? I have never seen one. I don’t even know if one exists. So how much is it worth?

At least $1500.

To me. And to other collectors.

To you? Fuck all most likely lol.

And thats fine. That is the nature of value. My point here is that Dj Ham is selling his album for £100. And I have seen numerous posts saying something along the lines of “What the fuck? That’s ridiculous, its not worth it”. And those that think that? You are right. It is absolutely not worth it. To you. But it is to me. Which is one of many reasons why I have added my name to the list. Look, I wouldn’t pay £100 for a Styles album. Not because it won’t be good – he is a fantastic artist and Dj – but because I personally don’t dig it, so to me, it is not worth the money. I wouldn’t pay for rims on my car, or tickets to see Justin Beiber, or a catwalk outfit by Calvin Klein that makes me look like a heroin addict in a trash bag. But others would, and good for them. I would pay £1000 for a brand new Hyper On Experience album lol. What I am saying is value is an individual concept, and therefore Ham’s album is priced as it should be. If people don’t buy it, well, then, Dj Ham had overestimated what his work is worth to others. Thats all. But it looks like he is going to met his mark…So is it worth £100? Yes.

2. The Album Price Is Right, The Problem Is Everything Else

Another key argument I have seen repeatedly is “I would release an album for free” or “Cheeky bastard, Gammer gives away free music why does Ham think he can charge so much?” But, and I hate to say it, this is a dumb argument.

Look, I would play football for Manchester United for free. I would Dj at the worlds biggest festival for free. The trouble is, no one wants me to do that because I am not Carl Cox or…shit, I don’t know any footballers. Kicky McGoaler. There, that will do. I am not Kicky McGoaler, and I am not wanted on the team. So hearing that you, personally, would give your music way for free is no argument at all. Because you are not Dj Ham. And frankly, your music isn’t as valuable to most people. Maybe to some – see above – but this distinction matters.

Now, if Gammer chooses to give away his music, big ups to Gammer. And if I want to do so, thats great as well. But that is the individual artists decision to make. And maybe its the wrong decision, actually. I would say that what Ham is doing is a good idea because it forces us to value music, and it has been badly undervalued precisely because artists are now almost forced to give music away for free. But we shouldn’t be doing that. Creating art is a difficult, time consuming, emotionally strenuous process, whether you are Dj Ham, Gammer, Luna-C or you just finished your first track. The whole hardcore scene would be much better off if all of the people producing stopped giving the music away for free. We have devalued it, and made it throwaway. I am as responsible for this as others. But if you want talented people making good music, well, you have to pay for it. Thats all there is to it.

3. Your Anger Is Misplaced

angry 3

I think one of the reasons some people got so upset was because they did the math. I know I did, straight away. 100 x £100 is 10 grand and FUCKING HELL 10 GRAND? And I understand that reaction. I really do. Because that was my first thought, followed by “shit, why didn’t I think of this idea?” lol. I could sure as hell use 10 grand. And as a first reaction, its a reasonable one. But look, Dj Ham, like myself and many others, come from an era when you would put out a vinyl record with 3 tracks on it, sell 3000 and make a low 4 figure paycheck.

Then you would licence those same tunes to various compilation all over the world. They would have longevity, and make you a good amount of money, enough to justify the work put into it.

None of that happens any more. MP3 sales are wank, there’s no Bonkers or Dancemania anymore.

I know, I know, the music industry is no longer that way. And compared to some in the industry, I was fairly quick to accept it and change my methods. At one point I put my entire catalogue up for free, trying the donation route (great for the first month, then dead as fuck forever lol) and I quickly understood that the money would be in live performance rather than music sales. But what about those of us, like myself and Dj Ham, that do not really enjoy the public performance part because we are producers first and foremost? Also, what I and many others did not see was just how drastic the changes would be. I have seen ignorant comments such as “Just put it out on vinyl” – thats at least £1000 per E.P, just to press 200 copies. It is prohibitive although possible and the profit is tiny, almost nothing, even if you sell 200 which you might not. Or “I am sure you would sell 1000’s as MP3s” No, he won’t. He might sell 100. Maybe 200. And make maybe $150 in total. For a 10 track album? How do I know this? Because I just did an album and sold about that many, and the only reason I will make a little bit more than Ham would is because of my very loyal KF supporters and the fact I sell directly to the public as well as using iTunes etc. But I still won’t make a four figure sum. $700 if I am lucky. And that album took over 6 months and required every bit of skill I acquired over my 25 years or so of being in the industry. Of course you could ask “If Luna-C can do it, why can’t Dj Ham?” – But thats the wrong question. The right question is “why the fuck would Dj Luna-C spend 6 months making an album to earn $700?” Because thats a shitty pay cheque for a lot of work. It just is, whatever way you slice it.

At this point, you get the usual calls about “you should make music for the love if it” and of couse I do, and so does Ham – frankly, so does anyone who even bothers to make hardcore in 2016. But this is a very unfair argument. Apply it to any other form of work and it shows how absurd it is – “You should work shifts in McDonalds for the love of it” or “You should be an accountant for the love of it” Fuck no. You MAY love your work, and if you do, thats fantastic. But most people do what they have to do to earn a penny or two. You know why I can do an album for fuck all? Because I have a partner who has a steady well paid job, I live in bumblefuck USA where the house prices and living costs are next to nothing, and I have legacy money. By that I mean, I get paid from every Kniteforce, Remix, Malice, Knitebreed, Influential, Sub label and KFA release every 3 months. Do you know how much money that is? Enough to pay half the mortgage every 3 months. So again, fuck all really. Thats how valueless music has become, and how little MP3s make. I account to my artists and its embarrassing.

“Well get another job then – the music industry doesn’t owe you a living” – I agree. But that does not invalidate the point I am trying to make. I would rather work in this industry, so I make the sacrifices I have to. I am lucky enough that I have the choice. So does Ham. If people do not pay for this album, he won’t make it and will spend his time doing another job. But let me ask you this – do you wish hardcore was a bigger, better, more vibrant scene? It would be, if we hadn’t lost so many artists, which in turn meant less variation in the music which in turn meant less people listening to it. Why have we lost so many artists? Because they could no longer afford to be in the scene – they didn’t earn enough to survive, and had to go elsewhere. So yeah, bitch about Ham trying to make some money if you wish, but understand that in order for the scene to survive, it has to pay those who work in it, regardless of how much they love the scene. Promoters can’t pay for an event on love. Djs can’t buy music and equipment or travel to play on love. And producers can’t make music on love. None of these things happen in a big way without their being money to pay for it. Of course, if you want everyone to do music for free as a second job, thats fine. But then you will have…well…pretty much the scene we have now. A few dedicated nutters like myself who are lucky enough to be able to work really cheap – and I have trouble surviving month to month, let me tell you. That skateboard at the start of the article? One bad month away from ebay. A few bigger names who manage to make a living from it – literally less than 20 worldwide that I can think of…and a whole lot of unprofessional people who love the music but are simply unequipped to help the scene grow or move forward – they would, but they have to go do their real job.

4. Ham Is Just Greedy / Ham Sold Out

Ham 2

Look at that picture of Ham. Some of you reading this weren’t born when it was taken. Think about that. He was making hardcore for more years than you have been breathing lol. This criticism is the one I found most offensive on both a professional and personal level. I saw numerous people say such things and wanted to slap them, to be honest. But I didn’t, not even verbally, because I understand why they would think it. So instead, let me set the record straight. Ham made hardcore for a very long time. He worked with me on Kniteforce and Remix, he ran Next Generation and Blatant Beats with Brisk, and was there through the good times and the bad. Eventually Brisk and Ham went separate ways, and Ham moved on to D’n’B. There is no selling out, and no fault in any of this. I know Ham well enough to know he would have stuck with hardcore had it been possible – but also well enough to know that hardcore would always be too restrictive for a talent such as him. He is a genius with a breakbeat. Yes, he made some excellent 4×4 hardcore, but in my opinion, his heart has always been in both hardcore and breakbeats, which makes him a perfect fit for both scenes. And fair play to him. Despite the loss to our scene, I was well pleased to see him not only move to d’n’b, but to do so well at it and get signed by fucking Ram Records. A lot of hardcore artists have tried to move into Drum and Bass. Let’s list all the hardcore artists who have been successful doing that:

Dj Ham

So bollocks to anyone who says he has sold out or is in it just for the money. He wants to earn a living from his music, the same as all of us, because thats the dream right? And Ham, like myself, is a producer first, then a Dj. We are both competent Djs, but personality wise, we are not really Dj material, either of us. We both prefer the studio lights to the stage lights. And neither of us command the fees other’s in the scene can, because we have not dedicated out lives to Djing – we have dedicated our lives to producing. We neither expect, ask for, or deserve top tier Dj fees. And neither of us are mad about it. It’s what it is. But god damn, if we get half a chance to earn a decent living from making music we love, why shouldn’t we? It’s not like Ham went from hardcore to pop music. Or started ghost writing shitty EDM. You remember when Ham jumped on the Dubstep bandwagon? Oh, he didn’t? Right. There is no selling out here. There may very well be exhaustion – I left hardcore and did D’n’B for a while, 1998 – 2001. I was not very good at it lol, but I can totally understand Ham saying “you know what? I am bored of making hardcore, and its not making me any money, and I am interested in d’n’b, always have been…why not give it a go?”. I don’t know if thats what happened, but I would bet money on it. Just as I can understand him wanting to make hardcore again – its in his blood just like its in mine. But can he justify it? Can he justify the time and expense? Thats the question. And so the album idea is his answer to it.

One last thing to add. Ham is a great guy once you get to know him, but he has a very very dry sense of humour, and like most producers, is kind of quiet a lot of the time. This can lead to accusations of arrogance and confusion to those who don’t know him…And there is a thin line between arrogance and confidence, especially when the character of the person is quiet. Throw in a dry sense of humour and I am not surprised people sometimes get the wrong impression. But I assure you, Ham is not arrogant. He’s just a bit weird. Different weird to me, different weird to all of us that stuck with this idiotic music, but weird all the same. We all are. Thats why we are here and not somewhere else.

All of the above is not to say the album idea is perfect. Its not perfect, but its something different, a new approach. Do I think the album roll out and system could be handled better? Yes. Do I think the price too high? Yes. I think it is worth the money, but still, it is way too expensive. My main concern really is that the price excludes anyone who can’t afford it. And that is a shame. But again, thats the same, always, in everything. BMW exclude those who can’t afford them. Even concert tickets are often too expensive for many of the fans. I don’t know how to fix that, or even if it can be fixed. And I don’t know if Hams album idea will work. I don’t know if it is a viable way to do music. But I will support it. I will support it because we need as many good, genuine artists in the scene as we can get, and Ham is both of those things. I will support it because I do not resent a talented artist making good money from his work. And I will support it because he is my friend. You do not have to support it at all – you can read all of this and still think “fuck that, its too much money, its not worth it, I don’t like Hams music anyway” and I understand totally. That is a valid position to take. But I hate seeing so much negativity about one of the longest serving hardcore artists in the scene trying to do things a different way. And i won’t support resentment based on a supposed greed.

And thats all I have to say about that!

Chris / Luna-C

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