I rarely do blogs, but I feel like sometimes I should. And this is one of those times. There is quite a lot to say, and quite a lot happening, but my biggest concern is that we have a new bundle about to drop on the 28th of January, and I worry some of you will miss it. Seriously. Not because it sells out, although it should, and it may well do so as things have been selling more, and faster recently. No, I worry because even in this day and age, the power to sell a thing often comes down to the name selling it, and this bundle does not have a “big” name act.
Yet this bundle is simply superb. Much of it was put together while I was between houses, meaning I had to listen to the tracks on crappy laptop speakers and also had to just kinda trust the artists in question got it right. It was only in December when I got the test presses that I was able to listen to them as they are supposed to sound – with good speakers, and loud.
And I have to say, all three of these vinyls are fucking fantastic. Its hard to convey quite how proud I am of all three – not that I had much to do with the content on any of them bar one track – but I really feel what we have here is the very essence of what Kniteforce is about. In a general sense, all 3 records are very well produced – I mean, that comes as standard, but still, credit where its due because we have a debuting artist in Abyss and in Disrupta – neither of which have had vinyl releases before although both have been producing for a while. But when I say well produced I mean the textures, the feel, the emotions they convey, are spot on. And all three vinyls are very different, yet quintessentially Kniteforce in their diversity. Lastly, all three look exactly as they should – which seems like an obvious thing, but it really isn’t. I am gonna break it down one by one…lets start with Abyss…
KF89 – Abyss – From the Depths EP
This EP is just brilliant. I had always felt Kniteforce lacked an artist that specialised in the darker, more jungle edge, and it felt like we needed one. Its a style I personally love, but…its very difficult to do it well. Many people either go so dark it becomes a parody, or its just clever amens. I love a clever amen, but without context, its a producers way to show off rather than an essential part of a tune. Abyss gets it exactly right. His debut EP continues on from his first showing on Death To Digital, once again showcasing a real talent for the dark style with Wicker Man and Satan, two tunes which retain the excitement and feel of the original era without sounding like they are trying too hard. In a nutshell, these two sound like they came from then, rather than that they wish they did. And those are the B sides! Should have done a double A on this…didn’t think of it. Oh well.
Meanwhile the A side shows that Abyss is far from a one trick pony – the lead track, Bad Boy is proper jungle. Its so good that its impossible to time. This could have come out in pretty much any year since the birth of Jungle and would smash the dancefloor to bits. This tune is large. Fucking large as hell.
Finally, there is Losing My Mind, which once again shows that Abyss can turn his hand to a piano track and do it extremely well. Some people can do dark amen styled things well. Some can do Jungle too. I cant think off hand of anyone who can also do proper old skool piano and get all three styles spot on.
Breed23 – Wislov – From Another World EP
This is Wislovs second EP, and as time passes I find myself more and more impressed with his work. His first EP was great, no doubt. But…and hear me out…I have been making hardcore a long while. Making a good piano and breaks tune is my bread and butter, and like bread and butter, its kind of…easy. Its very hard to make an amazing piano tune, but its relatively easy to make a good one. So what I love to see in my artists is the ability to transcend that style. To either take the piano and do something new and exciting with how it sits in a track – Alex Jungle is a master at this, and Shoreman is racing up to that level as well – or to be able to make it so classic it hurts – hello Liquid, Pete Cannon and Ant To Be. And Wislov does here what fellow label cohort Ant To Be did. both were signed on the strength of their “Kniteforcey” sound, but I also felt both could do so much more. And here we are, with both of them doing exactly that.
Wislov has honed his sound and produced something sublime. This new EP is darker than the previous one, and more serious. It is more underground. And it is much better for it. Subtle yet in your face, this is the music of my early rave days, it is an EP full of tunes that make the night special. I literally had chills listening to it. It made me feel like I did in my first raving years at Labrynth. All the tunes are amazing, and the drumwork is brilliant. This EP remains uplifiting without ever resorting to obvious tricks or easy options. It is superb.
Lastly we have:
KF91 – Death To Digital Volume 4
Sorry for the format change – I dont mind writing a long blog but I will be damned if I will waste any more time with my fecking Kniteforce Soundcloud account and its issues lol
So, Paul Bradley. While we all know he can do a very good old skool hardcore tune, this is his second appearance on this series, and once again, he switches styles. Who knew he could do such a perfect jungle tune? Not I. When he sent me this, I felt like saying “wait, are you fucking with me?” because he obviously has a real talent for it and he had never sent me anything like this before. And this is after showing he could smash a ’97 4×4 styled bouncy tune out of the park on D2D2. Versatility is a great thing, and to do it so well…amazing.
Meanwhile, the ever reclusive Alex Jungle sent me this track via email and was all like “I made this, whatever”. It is easily one of his best. its slightly simpler than his usual work, but the clarity of the vision is amazing, and it is the perfect piano anthem. I absolutely love it, and I know you will too. It couldn’t be more Kniteforcey if it was a song about a little man wearing a kangol hat and a peace medallion.
Its hard to talk about my own work, but Mr Arthur and I really pulled this one off. Sorry. But we did. Its a classic sounding Timespan tune, yet the elements Mr Arthur bought to the table are WHY it is that – supplying the perfect samples and arrangement to what is basically an original Remix Records release that never was.
Lastly, Disrupta. The dude is new to the label, but I think you will be hearing a lot more from him. His sound is both dense and simple, heavy and strong, and a perfect fit for Kniteforce in every respect. With his debut track on Vinyl is Better 6 he showed he had skill, and with this first vinyl release, he underlines that he is here and is a bold new artist on the roster. I cant wait for his forthcoming EP.
So this is why I dfont want people to miss this bundle. We have a ton of amazing stuff in 2019 – new music from Liquid, Pete Cannon, Dj Force & The Evolution (yup) reissues and remixes and new versions of the older Hyper On Experience tunes (yup) as well as unreleased and new tracks. We have an Idealz EP and Legacy EP, more from Sublove, a Luna-C legacy EP. Remix Records is back, with Al Storm and Whizzkid on forthcoming EPs. Ant To Be and TNO have EPs coming on Knitebreed. Malice is back. Influential is back. Saiyan has a line up of KFA releases that will blow you away.
There is a tsunami of amazing content coming, and these first 3 EPs are just the first taste. But dont miss the first taste. You will regret it…
PS Wislovs album is god damn excellent too….