So 2017 is coming to a close, and 2018 is on its way. I thought I would do a little blog post to talk about what has been going on and also to thank the people that made this year so amazing for myself and for Kniteforce in general.
So look, those of you who bought the VIP version of my book “How To Squander Your Potential” (first thank you – Billy and Sonya!) will know that 2012-2014 were really tough years for me, disasterous in many ways. I am not going to go into it because I do so in the book. But those years serve to remind me of how amazingly amazing this year was. It took the entire years of 2015-2016 to get my shit together, which I did so with the unswerving support of my wife Cindy, and the chaotic arrival of my firstborn Wilder – an event that had huge repercussions for me. I gave up smoking all smokable things, I reconnected with my family, and I came out of the long depressed fog I had been in.
And then there was the label – with support from various people, it started not only to become a business again, but to become a love for me, rather than a thing I liked, a thing I could do, a thing that I did because I did not have anything else to do. As I sorted my head out, and got my life back together, I found the fire of creation and excitement that had dwindled to mere embers for many many years unexpectedly returned. Suddenly, I felt like I did when I first started Kniteforce records.
But actually, its wasn’t sudden. It was a slow build from a barely flickering flame to a roaring furnace, and it happened because various other people added fuel to the fire, and to switch analogys midway, knocked down the first domino to roll down the mountain making this giant snowball that led to where we are now lol.
So let me say thank you to a few people within the Kniteforce family that enabled the label to be what it is now and whos continued support will let it grow and expand in 2018!
First up, a massive thank you to Edd Grant / Dj Jedi. Without him first of all licensing the vinyls for the JKF Remaster series in 2016, I would never have tried to release new Kniteforce vinyl. And I would never have made new “old skool” without having released those first new Kniteforce records and seeing them sell. And then I wouldn’t have been brave enough to release more new vinyl and sign all the wonderful new artists to the label – Alex Jungle, Shadowplay, Paul Bradley, Gothika Shade, Mannik, Sanxion, Ant To Be, TNO Project, Shoreman, Sunny & Deck Hussy, Scartat, Wislov, and so many others. I always forget one or two, thats the rules. If I missed you out, sorry! And signing and working with all these new people is a blessing in itself. They have added inspiration and excitement to what we are doing with their music and ideas, quite apart from being new friends and offering selfless help to make the labels grow. Its been like finding new friends on an almost weekly basis, and its been wonderful. Without them, we would not have done any of it – Kniteforce vinyls, Knitebreed Records, the Vinyl Is Better CDs, the many other bonus CDs, and the recently relaunched Kniteforce Digital. On top of that, the rapid growth of the KF family and success of the vinyls has enabled me to work with hardcore heros from my youth, such as Hyper on Experience, Liquid and others. It truly has been an outstanding year.
So I am grateful to everyone mentioned there, but Edd especially, as he not only made me see this new (old) way was possible, but also helped with everything form the finances of the first releases to the setting up of the KF Bandcamp store in the beginning to advice to so on and so forth…basically, the dude is owed thanks, and this is me thanking him lol.
Next up, Lee Idealz. While Edd was hugely instrumental in getting things off the ground, Lee has since taken on the burden of running the entire UK side of the business. He packs all the orders and does all the hard work bit of the Kniteforce Bandcamp, and makes less mistakes in a year than I would in a week. He handles the relentlessly confusing instructions I send him daily with quiet grace, and gets everything done swiftly and efficiently. Not only does he pack and send all the bundles, he also sends the records to me to sell to you in the USA, and distributes the test presses and checks them before they go to press and handles distribution and and and…he still finds time to create and release wicked music on the label. Simply put though, without him, none of this would be happening. It would be impossible for me to do from the USA. So big thanks Lee, old friend. And yes, a pay rise in 2018 lol
A little side note here to thank Sara, a friend of Lee’s who does fantastic artwork for the label – Idealz’s recent sleeves, the Audio X sleeve for the relaunched KFA label, not to mention Bunnila Ice, the new KFA logo / mascot. She brings a new and unique style to the label(s). Which compliments our other two major artists – Annika Anderson aka Jimni Cricket. No introduction is needed for our turntablist supreme, but without her, KFA and KF would be sorely lost. And then, completing the trifecta of talent, there is Lee Milner, who has been taking the photos that I have used on many of the new kniteforce vinyls – my last EP, the Death To Digital series, Liquids forthcoming sleeve as well as the Vinly is Better artwork and the Kniteforce Radio logos….Between the three of them, the label has a look as varied as the music we release, and I couldn’t be more grateful or lucky to be working with such talent.
Speaking of the radio – a big thank you to Glyn Lowercase Allaway, a man with no idea what he is doing who has somehow managed to manage the radio station with a degree of competence which maybe surprises even him lol. Believe me, when we decided to start up the radio, I was already wayyyy to busy to be dealing with it, so the terms were simply “You wanna do this Glyn? Ok, I will get the stuff ready, but its in your hands to keep it running” lol. And so far at least, I would say he has done a stunning job. There are many Djs on the station that he has to manage. Thats like herding cats…and the roster keeps increasing. We are almost always on air, the chat room is fantastic, and we have a steady and increasing listenership (?). I would call that a success. Matty La Penoir may have built the website (he did), and I may have paid for it (err) and organised it, but it is Glyn that does the actual daily work. So huge thank you to you sir, and to all the Djs on the station, already too many to name. Old and new, welcome to the family and thank you for your hardwork and dedication this year. You are all awesome!
And before we go any further, huge thanks to Bradders aka Braderly aka Captain Tricepts, aka Paul Bradley the fifth – he has been doing the intros and jingles for the station, and recently moved on to doing artwork for KFD, and is both a new friend and one of the funniest fuckers I have ever met. The business can be quite stressful sometimes, and so its always great to have someone who both helps out with the work and then makes you crack up laughing while doing so.
And lastly (ish) a huge thank you to Shane Saiyan. By the time I got Kniteforce rolling again, and turned my sights to getting KFA back on its feet, Wilder was already here and Phoenix was on his way. It was plainly obvious that if I couldn’t find time to run the radio station, finding even more new artists and giving KFA the attention it deserved was going to be impossible. Apart from anything else, I have a huge love for new, modern hardcore, but I am simply not the person to be running a new hardcore label. I have stopped Djing live except for the occasional old skool event, I don’t follow the scene, and I am much more suited to and interested in old skool and breakbeat styled music. Saiyan was not only the best choice, he was also the only choice lol. It was a pretty big thing for me to hand over my label, and quite hard to do. So I needed someone who fit 3 important criteria – 1. Can be trusted 2. Knows the label 3. Likes modern hardcore and because I cant count 4. Isnt doing their own label lol. Anyway, Saiyan took the job and ran with it, and so far, has excelled where I would have just meandered. We are just at the (new) beginning, but the fact there is a new beginning for KFA, and that the label has already signed a whole bunch of new amazing talent is fantastic. I am not going to list the latest people on the label, cos thats Shanes area and some are a surprise. But I know who you are – welcome aboard and thank you in advance. Unless your new releases are awful lol. I joke, of course! But big up Mr Shane, lets make 2018 KFAs year the same way 2017 was Kniteforce’s, eh?
Last few thank yous: All the original KF and KFA crew – I love you all. Empy, FP, Sparky, Demcore, Doughy, Genks, Alked, Brisk, Dave Skywalker, Deluxe, Ham, Kingsize, Nevis, Mathis, Spennie, Manfs…all those I missed? Thank you dear friends and music makers. I couldn’t do it without you.
And very finally, but maybe should have been firsterly – every single one of you that bought any of the records or CDs or downloads. Every single person that tuned in to the radio. Every one of you that talked about, shared or in any way promoted the label. You might not realise it, but each little thing you did was a small piece of an avalanche. We have to sell 100 records to just about cover costs. Literally EVERY sale counts. Some of you bought every release – and I am amazed and grateful. Some of you are signed to the label and STILL bought every release. That is admirable and crazy and I am super grateful for that.
So heres to all of you (raises glass) and much thank yous and gratefuls. I will do my best to make 2018 spectacular for you all, because I know you are doing the same for me!
The future is bright. The future is Orange. Wait, does Orange still exist? Anyway, the future is Kniteforce, thats what I meant.
Chris / Luna-C