Archive | Production Notes

Kniteforce Radio Coming Soon…

Yes, we are doing a radio station. And here is a little sound clip thing I did for it:

And now I will attempt to answer your questions before you ask them:

“Why are you doing a radio station?”

Because I think it will be fun. It is something I have never done before, and there are remarkably few of those things left in the music industry. But also because we have so much good music coming out, and such a variety of artists on the labels…I think we can do something pretty unique. So I figure, lets give it a go!

“When will it go live?”

Soon. I can’t say when exactly, but we are integrating it into the current website and the current website is likely to need a few tweaks before we can get it all sorted. However, I have a new web designer who will be adding the radio station and the chat room, and fixing any issues that need to be fixed. But my guess? Maybe a month or two. I will keep you all updated!

“What will be the music policy?”

It will be like the labels in that the basic philosophy will be “Is it good? Then fine” lol. I hope to bring a really wide variety of music. Even just with the Kniteforce and KFA artists combined we can easily cover everything from trance and breaks and old skool hardcore and jungle through to the new old skool, modern hardcore, d’n’b, gabber and the rest. And just like with the labels, I will be giving the artists free range to do their thing how they see fit.

“Will you have other, non Kniteforce / KFA people playing?”

Yes. I am sure there will be a few spots open BUT right now we are still just sorting out who plays when etc etc so what is likely to happen is we will go live with only the KF artists and then add others. Once that is running smoothly, I will ask for demos to be sent in from Djs who would like a spot. Other than that, there are some very good Djs who I know of who will be approached directly by me as well.

“Will I be able to stream it through other apps etc?”

Yes.

🙂

Nice one,

Luna-C

 

7

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

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

Kniteforce Remix Competition Details

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Hello!

And welcome to the “Get Your Remix Released On Vinyl On Kniteforce Records Competition” rules page blog post section thing! Catchy titles are my specialty you know. Anyway.

If you are on the mailing list, you will be sent links to the sample packs on Monday 1st of August. If you are reading this, and not on the mailing list, join now to get the samples. I will resend the links each Monday until the end of August. The mailing list can be joined by using the form at the top right hand corner of this page!

Okay, I’m going to give you a brief overview of the competition, and then a list of rules 🙂

I put NO RESTRICTIONS on what you do as an artist when remixing. But for this competition, its worth reading these guidelines…

I am restarting Kniteforce as a vinyl label. I am going to pretend that, other than better equipment and production, nothing much happened from 1997 onwards as far as music development is concerned. So the label will concentrate on the hardcore and jungle and d’n’b sound from 1991-1997. This is relevant to anyone entering the competition. I am looking for authentic sounding remixes. The rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “would this remix fit into a set of great tunes from that era?”

If the answer is yes, you are on the right track.

It is important to say that this doesn’t mean your remix has to be breakbeat – there were great tracks in various styles – 4×4, jungle, d’n’b, hardcore, heavy, dark, light, and combinations of everything. Thats why it was such a great era. As for BPM, 150 – 210 is about right lol. But if you want it to win and be on vinyl, a Trap breakdown or Dubstep remix isn’t going to do it lol.

Having said that, if you want to make a wicked modern remix, with Trap, Dubstep, Speedcore or whatever you feel like doing, thats fine too – If your remix is outside of what I am looking for to release on the vinyl, it can go on KFA perhaps as a digital release. We will see. But the bottom line is, to get on the vinyl, you need to be channelling your old skool.

Okay, on to the rules:

1. There are THREE sample packs. You may remix one, two, or all three of the tracks, but only send me ONE remix of each track please. I do not want 11 versions of your remix lol, and I will not release 3 remixes on vinyl from the same person, so bear that in mind.

The plan is to release 2 vinyls, but if I end up with 3 remixes of 3 different tunes that are all excellent, then there will be 3 remix vinyls. The third one will be released after the first two. The sample packs DO NOT contain midi files, because most of the tracks were made on an Atari and they are lost forever. Each pack contains all the samples I have for that track, which, due to the years, might not be as much as we would all wish for lol. The sample pack also contains the original track.

2. The competition ends on SEPTEMBER 12th 2016. All remixes must be received by this date.

3. I will announce the winning remixes on SEPTEMBER 19th 2016. Then the masters will be sent to be cut, and I am aiming for a December release of the two winning vinyls. The winner will receive copies of the test press and final press of course. For a fee. Just kidding, for free, obviously.

4. DO NOT post your remix or a clip of your remix anywhere online. I will instantly disqualify anyone who does. It ruins the surprise, and if I get too many good remixes, I may well release overflow remixes as a separate digital project on KFA.

5. All rights remain property of Kniteforce Records. So don’t go remixing it, calling it another name, and then putting it out. Thats lame lol.

6. This competition is open to everyone except the current KFA crew, who kindly excused themselves so that I would not favour them. But be assured, I won’t favour anybody. I am looking for the best remixes I can get, and in that I am judge and jury and executioner. Well, not executioner. But judge and jury.

7. You may add you own samples, riffs, breakbeats, whatever you like. Please do in fact! But use your head. If you sample the piano out of Scott Brown’s “Elysium” or the theme from Star Wars and stick it in the middle of the remix, thats just not gonna fly lol. Also, its a remix, not a brand new tune. In other words, it should have some of the original tracks elements 🙂

8. When the remix is finished, zip it up WITH YOUR NAME AND CONTACT DETAILS and send it to me at luna-c@kniteforcerevolution.com via www.wetransfer.com  Please DO NOT send via email, or via media fire or send space or dropbox or whatever. Wetransfer will let you know when I have downloaded your remix, so you can be sure it has arrived. Send it in 320mp3 format please – and if you can, it would help to add your email address and real name in the “comments” section of the MP3 tag. Just makes it easier for me!

Good Luck!

Luna-C

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Dj Saiyan Reviews Luna-C & Reeve “How I Felt On Wednesday”

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Saiyan’s Totally Unbiased “How I Felt On Wednesday” Review

In the interest of full disclosure, let me start this review by stating upfront that I am a signed KFA artist and Luna-C/Reeve is a good friend of mine, whom I have produced a pair of pretty okay (if I do say so myself) EPs with. I first became aware of this project in about August of 2015, and began hearing bits of it in September. None of that will factor into this review. I’ve never been one to shy away from saying I don’t like something, and I’m not about to start now.

With that said, on to business!

How I Felt On Wednesday is a bit of a unique beast. While technically it’s an artist album, it’s also unique in that while each track functions perfectly well independently, the album as a whole was designed to be listened to as one continuous thing. Each track was designed in the writing/production phase to flow into the next, forming a cohesive whole. There is a running theme that progresses throughout, from opening track “Missing Pieces”, through to closer “Back To Something New”, which functions as something of an epilogue. I won’t spoil the theme here, as I feel it’s best experienced blindly on your own, but be advised there is one, and you should keep an eye (and ear) out for it as you listen. Also worth noting is that due to the nature of the project, as individual tracks that are written to be listened to as a cohesive whole, there’s an almost complete lack of DJ friendly intro/outros throughout. While they are certainly mixable with a little creativity, that is something to bear in mind.

In terms of the actual content of the album, How I Felt On Wednesday is very much both a Luna-C album, and a Reeve album. At its core Chris’ Luna-C alias is definitely doing the bulk of the heavy lifting musically, with the Reeve alias providing an almost folk or blues edge throughout the tracks. As such, it blends a variety of styles and influences, but each track does so in a unique way both in terms of the specific genre each track (almost) adheres to, and in the content itself. Some tracks are very Luna-C, with only a Reeve vocal and some light guitar work to mark the fusion between Chris’ two aliases, others are very Reeve, with lighter Luna-C-style production to bring it into a more electronic setting, and some are a direct fusion of the two. It’s a wildly varied album, with each track bringing something almost completely unique to the album compared to the others, while still working on its own, separate from the project as a whole.

I’ll break it down track-by-track, and then summarize the complete album at the end.

Missing Pieces:

I’m a firm believer that with any music project it’s incredibly important to start out strong, as it really sets the tone for the rest of the listening experience, and that’s accomplished incredibly well with Missing Pieces, which is easily my favourite track on the album (and also among the first to be completed, as I first heard this track more or less in the form it’s in now way back in September). A 180 BPM kickdrum-led tune, drawing influences from Nine Inch Nails and Belladonnakillz, with a hint of mid- 2000s AMS-style big-kick freeform, and even a little Sharkey tossed in for good measure, Missing Pieces bangs, and bangs hard. From the opening strings to the half-tempo breaks at the end, this is a tune that doesn’t let up from start to finish. The second verse and distorted bridge into the second chorus are especially strong, as is the chugging guitar riff throughout. This tune is very hard, very high energy, and very unlike anything anyone is presently doing in the realm of 4-beat hardcore.

Completely Arbitrary Score: 9/10

Escape Myself:

If you thought this album was going to bang out a consistent BPM, you’re going to be in for a shock. With Escape Myself the album takes a wild turn, from 180 BPM kicks up to 220 BPM breakcore. Wild, glitchy breakbeats are the order of the day here, with a vocal that transitions easily from dark whispers to more melodic fare. This track will hit a lot of buttons for a lot of people, especially for fans of speedier breakcore (think Hellfish crossed with Shitmat), and Luna-C’s harder breakbeat/dnb productions. This track presses a lot of buttons for me, and will likely be featuring often as a closer in my sets.

Completely Arbitrary Score: 10/10

Wait and Hope:

Wait and Hope is a kind of drumstep/dnb hybrid, two genres that cross over fairly regularly, but is definitely not something you’d expect to hear from a predominately hardcore producer. This is one of the more minimally vocal tracks of the album, really letting the music take centre stage here, and it’s here that Luna-C’s production really, truly shines. The main lead is a very hard, glitchy, acidy…erm….thing. I could be very wrong, but if I had to venture a guess I’d say this is primarily achieved using the Studio Electronics Boomstar 3003, which is basically a Roland TB-303 with a hellacious case of the Mondays. It’s almost impossible to get that thing sounding anything but angry, and we should all be thankful it exists. The track is also carried along by an excellent rhythm guitar bit, with an almost…hrmm…I want to say bluesy feel to it, but that’s not quite right. I believe that’s something of a common thread on this album, as many things sound almost kind of like other things but aren’t exactly like those other things. Anyways, if you like hard, acidy, breakbeaty music, this track will be right up your street.

Completely Arbitrary Score: 10/10

So We Fight:

Ugh, this track hits me right in the feels. This is the first purely hardcore track on the album, carried primarily by breakbeats, pianos, and epic strings that wouldn’t be at all out of place in a film score, with nary a guitar in sight. The vocal and piano line are really the standout parts of the track, telling a rather maudlin story of relationships gone wrong, before ending on another glitchy, acidy note. If you’re heavily into breakbeat hardcore, this will surely be one of your favourite tracks on the album.

Completely Arbitrary Score: 10/10

The Passenger:

This is the first purely non-hardcore song on the album. As a 140 BPM almost borderline psytrance track carried by another chugging guitar line, acid, and little fills that are not unlike a dentist drill (but not in that grating this is the worst sound ever) kind of way, it actually reminds me a lot of Infected Mushroom from the period when they really started incorporating more guitars into their material. This is some of the strongest vocal work on the album, which really showcases all the work Chris has been putting into his vocals from the first Reeve album, through the Risk E.P., and up to now. If you’re going into this album expecting a full-on hardcore affair, this is the track that’ll show this is so much more than that. This track also marks the point in the album where the tone shifts from the first defined “part” and into the second, which you’ll hear on your first listen all the way through. I’ll have more on this when I get into the album as a whole.

Completely Arbitrary Score: 7/10

Reset, Restart:

Part 2 of the album begins here, kicking up the BPM slightly from The Passenger’s 140 BPM to a more oldskool hardcore 165. This is one of the more “Luna-C” tracks on the album, with his strong, breakbeat production doing the bulk of the heavy lifting, punctuated by a great Reeve vocal, and some excellent use of spoken word samples. If I had to compare it to a past Luna-C and Reeve track I’d say this is probably closest to Take Me Home, my favourite track from the Risk E.P., in terms of how it successfully melds the three aforementioned elements into one cohesive whole. It is a bit on the mellower side, but serves as an excellent introduction into the remainder of the album.

Completely Arbitrary Score: 7/10

Not The End:

This is easily the most guitar heavy track on the album, with riffs playing throughout almost the entire track, capped off with a nice little 8-bit melody throughout. On the flip side, it’s also one of the more “Luna-C” tracks of the album, with lots of little sounds and synths and tricks that have been common fixtures of his music since the beginning of the Supasets. One synth that comes in towards the end in particular is one you’ll have heard a few times from Chris over the past few years. If I had to compare it to anything, I’d say it’s most like a lot of the kick-led tracks from the Supasets, which anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I’m a HUGE fan of all the work Chris has done for those projects, so this track is naturally right up my street. A harder tinged, driving kickdrum track, this one is likely to be a fixture of my sets from here on out.

Completely Arbitrary Score: 9/10

Soul Sick:

You may have noticed by now that every track on the album has been Completely Arbitrary Scored fairly high. Unfortunately you can’t win ’em all, as Soul Sick is one of my least favourite tracks out of the bunch. Which is actually odd as it does quite a lot of things right, but it doesn’t all come together quite as well as it should for me. This is the first (and only) track on the album to feature a tempo change, starting out slow and melodic with an acoustic guitar bit in the low 120 BPM range, before kicking up into a full-on 175 BPM breakbeat/dnb track for the remainder. Both parts work well independently, with the slower, acoustic section building well into the faster, harder section. Honestly the whole thing is done really, really well, with the tempo change being very organic. I’m not actually sure what about this tune isn’t doing it for me, but to me it feels like the first real misstep of the album.

Completely Arbitrary Score: 5/10

Crooked Line:

This is another one I heard back in September, and has remained basically unchained in the months since then. While on its surface a fairly standard breakbeat/dnb track, due to the style of the main bassline, and the acoustic guitar throughout, this track could easily be reworked into a full-on song with a band without losing anything in translation. This is also probably the folksiest the vocals get, with Reeve clearly drawing a lot from the work done on All Roads Lead To Her(e) (WHICH IS GREAT GO BUY IT). This is a more mellow type track, but the excellent vocal work and Luna-C’s long, LONG history as a breakbeat producer keeps it from crossing that (crooked) line from mellow into boring. This is another stand-out track for me, for sure.

Completely Arbitrary Score: 10/10

Because of You:

I want so badly to really, really like this track. And really, there’s a lot to like here. It’s clear a lot of time and effort went into it, and it’s very freeformy. Anyone who knows me knows I started out as a freeform DJ, so that style has always held an important place in my heart. Musically, this track is a very rushy, energetic, bangin’ tune. It’s the vocal that really doesn’t do it for me. I’m not sure if it’s just the rhythm Reeve gets into with the verses, or how it’s sung, but for some reason it’s just not clicking for me. Once the verses are done and it gets into the chorus and full-on into the freeform stuff, it’s a great track, but I feel like the verses really hold it back from being truly great.

Completely Arbitrary Score: 6/10

Back To Something New:

The album closes out on something of an epilogue, with Back To Something New ending the proceedings on a decidedly oldskool tip, with modern production. Reeve takes a backseat here, only popping up for a very 90s oldskool-style vocal snippet. It’s within that vocal snippet that Chris really shows off his vocal chops, hitting high notes that actually made me stop and ask, “Dude, did you pitch shift this? That’s REALLY high!” To answer that question, no, he did not. This tune has a strong early-Prodigy influence, coupled with Luna-C’s own work in the oldskool breakbeat hardcore realm. It’s a strong closer that melds much of the sounds heard across the album into one track. Along with a strong opener, I feel a strong closer is very important to any music project, and Back To Something New achieves that with flying colours.

Completely Arbitrary Score: 9/10

How I Felt On Wednesday (the complete album):

Each track stands well on its own, but it’s as a cohesive whole that the album really, truly shines. As I mentioned previously, each track is designed to flow directly into the next with no breaks. While from a DJ standpoint this is perhaps suboptimal, but How I Felt on Wednesday wasn’t really conceived with DJs in mind. It’s worth noting again that if you’re picking up this album with that in mind, while each track is 100% its own thing, and mixable, you will have to great creative with your mixing for the tracks to work in your sets. From a listener standpoint however, this is a great piece of work. Despite the occasionally wildly varying styles and BPMs, the album achieves its goal of working as a cohesive piece very, very well. There’s only one specifically kind of jarring bit, but as this specific segment also marks where the album undergoes its tonal shift from one part to the next, it works.

I highly recommend that in buying this album you listen to it as a whole first, before going digging through the individual tracks. I feel this will maximize your enjoyment of the album, allowing you to experience as intended, before going back and digging through your favourite tracks for a closer listen. As a project, How I Felt on Wednesday stands tall as a very unique and varied piece of music, and is easily one of the hardest and most personal works in Luna-C’s entire catalogue, running the whole gamut of everything he can do as a producer.

As a final thought, let me just say that I deeply enjoyed this album for a lot of reasons. The way it pulls so many different influences from so many different places, and melds it all together with Luna-C’s production and his more folksy rock work as Reeve is nothing short of masterful. This many different sounds and styles really has no business working together as well as it does, and trust me, it DOES work. This will stand for many years as one of the most unique projects ever done by a hardcore artist, and should appeal to both fans of that genre, as well as fans of some of the many, many places from which it draws influence. How I Felt On Wednesday is, despite a few missteps, a fantastic piece of work, and well worth the listen. In fact, it’s worth multiple listens, as each subsequent run will reveal even more subtle layers of musical nuance. It really is a gift that keeps on giving.

Completely Arbitrary Score: 9/10

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Vitality Reviews “How I Felt On Wednesday”

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As mentioned previously, Damon, aka Vitality, is my go to guy with all my work. I am not sure how this happened, but he has been the person I send my music to as a sounding board for a number of years. Here is his review of my forthcoming album, which is out on the 25th of this month…Its a different look to Saiyan’s, less musically analytical, more concerned with the emotional content…enjoy…

 

Luna-C and Reeve

How I Felt On Wednesday

Allow Me To Introduce You  …And You

The Luna-C & Reeve story is one of conflict.  Internal conflict.  It’s two artists (each with their own history and their own distinct point of view) reacting to situations in their own unique ways… and struggling to find peace.  Of course the real challenge is that these artists are actually two different personalities of the same person – Chris Howell.

We all know the wild, hardcore madness of Dj Luna-C from the indelible mark he has had on the rave / hardcore scene over many years.  And for those who have followed the birth and development of Reeve, you’ll know that, at some point, Chris put Luna-C on a hiatus so he could direct his attention inward and focus on more personal topics – delivering very introspective and vulnerable work as a singer / songwriter.  Both identities were conceived and evolved independently and must now, somehow, co-exist with each other.  And the two have come together on their full-length album: How I Felt On Wednesday.

* * *

Meeting Of The Minds

The album picks up after their first collaborative effort – the Risk EP.  While it definitely WAS a “risk” to combine the hardcore mentality with a folk-like sensibility, that was really just the first encounter.  They were only getting acquainted.

But this venture is different.

It delves much deeper, grappling with many conflicting issues that each persona has suppressed.  …until now.  It’s obvious from the start that things have escalated, as they navigate between joy and agony, hope and despair, life and death.  You’ll hear Luna-C.  And you’ll hear Reeve.  …and a host of other influences that appear in various forms.  But don’t expect the usual playful mania that you’ve come to know from Dj Luna-C.  This is definitely not a collection of feel-good, hardcore tracks.  And don’t expect the soft, delicate nature of Reeve.  This is not a platform for guitar-led contemplation.  It truly is Luna-C AND Reeve.  Each determined to be heard, each refusing to back down – united by a common goal of survival.

* * *

Art Imitates Life Imitates Art

After knowing Chris over the years, it seems clear that his musical transformations have mirrored the shifts in his own perspectives.  …whether as part of the cause or part of the effect…  From the fall of Dj Luna-C to the rise of Reeve, his varied output has followed the ups and downs he’s faced in his personal life.  And the music has become more than simply a way to express himself (…or to create the next big track for the dance floor).  It has evolved into a therapeutic outlet – a way to work through issues and cope with life-altering experiences.  This album showcases the desperate attempts Chris has made to deal with a fragmented identity and to salvage his world.  He uses all the tools available in his creative arsenal.  And he pours his heart into each step along the way – letting all the darkest secrets, fears, and hopes sit out in the open.  The result is something unique and individual, in his own words “a true artist album”.

* * *

On The Battlefield

How I Felt On Wednesday is a series of different emotions that Luna-C & Reeve travel through together – snapshots of an evolving state of mind.  Each track represents some kind of hurdle or mental imprisonment that the narrator finds himself in.  …managing to free himself from one, only to end up in the next.

Prepare for something dark and heavy – both in the musical assault and the deeply personal admissions.  It’s not a fun experience – the themes are too raw and exposed for that.  But that’s not the point of it.  It’s a journey of self-exploration and self-realization, unconcerned with outside influence or judgement.  And there’s nothing safe about this journey.  It is like being out in the wild, caught in a storm; the outcome uncertain.  It moves through drastic extremes – which naturally can’t be easy.  It’s not calculated or methodical.  It’s reactionary and instinctual.  It’s one man’s struggle to create harmony with the world around him and to find peace within.

 

* * *

Mood Swings

In his self-reflection, Reeve has dredged up a lot to deal with.  Combine that with Luna-C’s explosive energy, and a crippling assortment of issues rises to the surface…

Blistering, racing thoughts.  Aggressive, fed up indignation.  The taunting promise of something better.  And the sobering reality that things can never be the same.  It’s torment, anger, frustration… doubt, futility, acceptance… fear, hope, and love…  An unfiltered release of the different emotions teeming inside.  It’s growth.  And it’s painful.

You can witness this change within some of the songs.  But each mood and disposition sets the stage for the next.  It’s an evolution, a progression.  And to fully appreciate and understand the metamorphosis, you need to be willing to endure the battle and follow the story from start to finish.

But regardless of which emotional state is being fixated on, there’s a constant, underlying feeling of restlessness.  You can hear it in the lyrics.  Whether Reeve is passionately shouting his disdain or calmly talking to himself…  Or even if the other “voices” (the various supporting samples) are consoling or affirming or reminding him, there are clear messages.  They won’t rest.  They fuel each song and propel the album along.

* * *

If You Ask Me

For my own personal tastes…

I absolutely love “Escape Myself”!!  That bass line eruption… ooohh… makes all the problems of the world go away, even if just for a few moments.  I almost wish I didn’t relate so well…  But Chris does an amazing job conveying the sentiment of this one – both lyrically and musically.  …I imagine this might be the case for ANY of the tracks that really speak to you, that speak YOUR language (those tracks that you find yourself connecting with maybe more than you’d like).  For me, this one is a powerfully accurate representation.  Instantly appealing, I can listen to it at any time.

This is followed by the runaway frenzy of “Missing Pieces”.  Mean yet somehow forlorn.  What a release it must have been to get this out – unleashed and running free.  “Because Of You” delivers a similar sonic experience.  But by contrast, the mood is less hostile, as it allows us to observe a tender (but tormented) message that he shares.

The drive of “Reset, Restart” is very appealing.  I like the clarity (of the lyrics) and the determination (from the samples).  It WIPES the slate clean and gives space to rebuild.  A renewed sense of purpose.  The sluggish, moody pace of “Wait And Hope” keeps pulling me in with its half-time contempt.  And “Soul Sick” takes you on a unique ride that I enjoy.  But I have to be in the right mood to want to travel into the abyss with that one.  In fact, that’s a recurring criteria…

Since this IS such an emotionally demanding body of work, I find that a handful of the tracks have a strange effect of almost being challenging at the start, almost like I have this urge to resist going down that road.  I’m reluctant to be swayed towards that mood and experience that struggle.  But before I can act on that realization, the songs lure me in with their inviting and familiar mood.  And I quickly find myself wanting to hear where it takes me.

No matter which tracks you find yourself relating to; nodding along, thinking – yeah, that sounds right…  It’s good to remember that there can be another way.  …the potential for something else, something more.  Hope.

* * *

Yesterday’s Perception, Today’s Reality

This is a challenging journey but one worth taking.  A painful but a necessary process.  The story not only offers an insight to the conflict that Luna-C and Reeve have had to contend with…  But it also provides guidance and encouragement for anyone who may find themselves dealing with pain or loss.

This story can’t solve your issues – let’s be clear.  But How I Felt On Wednesday does stand to remind us that things can change.  Even when everything has been lost, and it seems like there is no hope…  Events can come and go.  Suffering can be temporary.  And perspectives can shift and evolve.  The situations that you find yourself in may just be one of the steps along the way.  And how you feel today may soon be a thing of the past.

* * *

DAMON

May 2016

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Luna-C & Reeve – Risk! E.P Out Now!

Hi Everyone,

I am proud to finally release the Risk! E.P 🙂 Here is the link to the store:

KFA66 Executive Edition

Here are the links to the four videos:

Take Me Home

Remorse & Glory

A Million Miles

Can It Be Sweet

I want to thank everyone who was involved in this project, and everyone who shared the videos so far! Please keep sharing them, I am interested to see if it has an effect on things – things being sales lol. The modern music industry is so scattered – anyone who releases music nowadays will know how very hard it is to get music listened to, and how it is even harder to get people to buy it. So I am curious to see whether the videos make any sort of difference.

In some ways it does not matter – I enjoyed making them, and I will make more. Likewise, I do have plans for a Luna-C & Reeve album, which I hope to have ready by the end of the year. But if sales are good and I become a billionaire, I will by a jet. So there is that to think about!

I would like to thank everyone who contacted me about each video, left comments, and generally made me feel like what I was doing was a good thing – it is weird for me to be putting out tracks with my own vocals in them, and the varying formats etc etc all make for an unusual project well outside of my comfort zone. The level of support I have received so far has been really meaningful and also…reassuring? Until the first video had dropped, I had no idea if this was something people would be into, but it seems like it is, which makes me very happy!

A number of people have commented that a few of the tracks, especially Take Me Home, remind them of Belladonnakillz. And it is true that  Belladonnakillz was an inspiration. Not musically – I mean, obviously I loved Belladonnakillz’s music, but I was not looking to follow that path. I want to carve out my own. However, it was not easy for me to write these tracks, and it was even harder for me to actually sing them. I think what I mostly got from Belladfonnakillz was bravery. The willingness so say “fuck it, this is what I want to say and how I want to say it” and then to just go ahead and do it. Standing in my studio with my headphones and mic, feeling exhaled and depressed and frightened and excited about what I was doing, I needed courage, and courage was in short supply. And when I recorded a vocal and it sounded shite, or when I was thinking “yeah, this is not going to work” I would think of Belladonnakillz and the fact that it can work, and will work. Its just hard to judge when you start wandering into unknown territory. You cannot tell if the track sounds weird because it is not good, or weird because it is simply different. I realise I am not the first person to do male vocals on hardcore, but I do feel I am doing something different with to what has been tried before with these releases, and it has been a brilliant and exciting jump into the unknown. To have people respond so well to it is satisfying and edifying in that I am learning what works and what does not, and how to use the skills I have learned in service to the work I wish to create 🙂

So thank you everyone, and enjoy…

Chris / Luna-C

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KFA66 – Can It Be Sweet – Risk! E.P Video Four

Here is the final of the four tracks and videos from the Risk! E.P.

Luna-C & Reeve – Can It Be Sweet

Once again I have changed the style, and once again it was not deliberate. This one actually started as a fairly serious acoustic song, and unlike the previous three which deal with mostly darker things, this one is a little more hopeful. As I played around with it, it became obvious that it wanted a 4×4, and before I knew it, this track appeared. It was the easiest of the four concept wise, all the parts sliding into place without me having to fight them to be there. But it was a struggle in that, once I added the 4×4 it became an entirely different song. However much I added to it or changed things, it wanted to be a simple uplifting sort of track, so in the end I let it be. Where the other three are looking backwards, or dealing with sadder or more difficult aspects of my life, this one is more about yearning and looking to the future. I kept the video simple, like the song itself, and used the almost traditional thing of using footage from gigs and bits and pieces of me mucking about. Its also a little more fun than the others, and while I did not plan it this way, it does sort of tell my recent story – I start off confused and a little lost, then things pick up, then I have a good time, then I laugh at myself for my own foolishness, and finally, I think to myself “wait, what just happened?” lol.

This video is comprised of various recent gigs, including a few snippets from Tight Crew USA, a large amount of footage from Katalyst in Atlanta of both the crowd and me with my guitar, some shots from Epidemik in London, the Bangface pool party, and Uprising in Sheffield. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed playing those gigs. Apologies to the old skool purists who are now dancing to a 4×4 hardcore track lol! You know who you are. Also, you can spot a couple of significant contributors to the hardcore scene in a few of the clips, if you know your old rave legends!

My final blog post on the Risk E.P will be next Monday, the E.Ps release date. I would really love it if you guys would share the videos, post about them, whatever you like. I have added the other three to the bottom of the page. I am interested to see if making the videos will make any difference to the sales. You all know me well enough to know I am not money motivated, but I am infinitely curious. And I would like to take KFA to the next level. I would like the label to me even more innovative, but at the same time I have learned my lessons from back in the day with Kniteforce. If you want to change things, you need to get back into the mainstream first. This does not mean I will compromise anything musically, but it will require your help. I wonder if it is even possible to change the way the scene is now? I dont know. But if it is, it starts with the vocal minority of supporters – thats you guys – making enough noise about the artists you love – not just me, Jakazid, Dave Skywalker, Jon Doe etc etc – that the silent majority take note.

Sorry this post is so short, I know I should be telling you more, but I moved house and the new place needs a lot of work, which is what I have been doing. At this point, I am absolutely shattered lol, but rest assured that the EP will be released on time because I had it all sorted out before I packed up and moved.

🙂

Nice one,

Chris

Luna-C & Reeve – Take Me Home

Luna-C & Reeve – Remorse & Glory

Luna-C & Reeve – A Million Miles

 

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