Acid in da house

We got Acid in da house
Acid in da house

Acid situation
don’t need no explanation

As usual – these kind of real audio links can expire.

  1. Niek

    Vette oldschool gabber mix, beukt harder dan ik verwacht had. Hoor btw dat je eindelijk set up 707 op de kop heb weten te tikken, gefeliciteerd!

  2. de kardinaal

    Na de hele dag rave te hebben geluisterd viel mijn oog op onderstaand artikel..

    Boom boom boom. Boom. Boom boom. This rough paraphrasing of Baldrick’s poem from Blackadder Goes Forth has, for some time, represented an astonishingly accurate illustration of the UK rave scene, and in Baldrick an unnerving talent of Nostradamus-like proportions. But with promoters like Raindance and Flashback at the forefront of an old skool breakbeat revival, hardcore has to a large extent, “like John Travolta,” achieved its Second Coming.
    The original hardcore ethos was that of rebellion and revolution; music devoted to breaking down barriers, while always remaining firmly within the rave spectrum. From the sounds of many of the leading UK raves though, it seems hardcore is now contented to rely almost solely on nostalgia for only the biggest anthems of 1991 and 1992. There appears to be an unspoken agreement between the DJs and ravers to wear out an infuriatingly finite number of records. “It needs to change, or at least some DJs need to start spinning lesser-heard tracks in their sets,” says DJ Skywalker of Nu Underground Recordings, “I respect people like Flashback, Penfold, Ardee and M@xx Vinyl as they play stuff that you don’t hear a lot, but is still really good.” It seems to be a point that everyone who has been in the scene for any serious length of time agrees with, including Matt Robinson, aka Dark Forces of Bassquake Records. “It does just get to the point where you’re constantly hearing the same 10 or 20 tunes in every old skool set, and that has a habit of getting old, even if the music is as timeless as this.” I’ll get Ratpack’s coat…

    So, how does old skool hardcore make the transition from a sentimental fad back to a credible genre with a future? It seems that while many big-name DJs don’t want to risk an asthma attack by flicking through their dust-ridden crates, they are prepared to play new records made in the old skool style. While the number of releases so far has been less than overwhelming, the success of Alieneye’s cheeky For An Angel/Café Del Mar rip-off Found a Café seems to have kick-started the beginnings of a new movement. “Without a doubt the most popular of it has been Found a Cafe, I’ve heard some people saying they can’t believe Paul Van Dyk ripped it off, not realising it’s the other way round!” notes Skywalker, “I think that once a good number of proper new old skool tunes are out there things will change. At the moment the number of new tunes I could count on one hand, but within a few months that will change. Whether DJs will skip a crowd-pulling anthem (please let it be Edge 1!) to play a new old skool tune, we can only hope.”

    Perhaps the most problematic issue in the revival is the fact that dance music has, to some extent, progressed. Many of the tracks to emerge from the Nu Breaks scene have moved away from the rave sounds pioneered in the late 1980s and early 1990s, adopting the new technology available, but there still remains an ever-present hardcore influence – look no further than the remixes of Bombscare and Stakker Humanoid for concrete evidence of this. Similarly, the DnB scene is now enjoying a fusion of old and new, and the number of Hard House tracks using old skool sounds is always increasing. It seems that there is an almost universal use of old sounds within a new framework – a future sound of retro, if you will.

    Hardcore was originally based to some degree on forward-thinking, and there is now scope to progress far beyond these early sounds – why, then, attempt to prolong the old skool sounds in their original framework?

    “I think that a lot of dance music has become too formulaic. Whilst production has improved dramatically over the last ten years thanks to more powerful hardware, this has not resulted in greater creativity. Too many producers are scared of abandoning tried and tested formulas” argues Chris White, aka Pointblank of Recursion Records. It’s difficult to disagree with – having been a regular record buyer of a number of genres for the last few years, it’s difficult to name a scene where producers have persistently sought to create the unexpected. While the breaks scene tends to conjure up original-sounding records with the same kind of regularity, the kind of explosive energy created through the constant change and originality of the hardcore scene has not, for me, been achieved in any dance music scene since. He continues, “Old skool represents a unique era of dance music, where no idea was considered too uncool or unconventional.” DJ Penfold, part of Electric Tribe and the forthcoming Ectopic Beats label, offers another view:

    “Just because we are aiming to use the old skool production style doesn’t mean we aren’t using our own ideas. The aim of the Ectopic Beatz imprint is to capture that energy and euphoric ‘rushy’ vibe. At the end of the day this is influenced heavily by the old skool type sound, as that’s what seems right in our minds. However, there’s also a heavy acid techno and trance type influence on our sound for the same reason. Another way of looking at it is that we have a distinct goal to achieve in terms of how we want the music to affect peeps and we draw upon the styles of music that we connect with most in order to achieve this. It’s not so much about recreating a style of music, more taking a step back to allow a new avenues to be opened up while utilising the lessons learnt in the meantime”

    Returning to the original point, it seems that DJs are now far too afraid of doing or playing something ‘unconventional’ for fear of clearing dancefloors. Once at the stage the Ratpack have reached, it is axiomatic that ravers will turn up with the prime intention of seeing them play the same anthems that they know inside out. If anything less is delivered, there will be a fairly widespread sense of disappointment. Do they need to change their sets? In a sense, what they are doing is completely necessary if hardcore is to reach any degree of its former popularity. “I don’t think people like the Ratpack should change their sets, some people only like to hear the classics” states Skywalker. So while many of the big DJs have got into a position where diversifying their sets while maintaining their current fanbase is increasingly difficult, there is an argument that they are in fact doing a service to the scene which is imperative to its return. “As much as DJs like the Ratpack get slated for playing the same set each time, they are delivering what is expected of them and bringing old skool to a wider audience. It’s down to the non-headline DJ’s to play other stuff, rather than hoping that the crowd will react to Don’t Go for the 50th time in a night,” says Penfold. Pointblank offers a slightly more candid approach, however. “To be honest, I believe that half the current old skool DJs are useless. Whilst they can all mix very well, I wouldn’t say a real old skool DJ is someone who has bought Dreamscape Anthems Volume 1 and 2 and a copy of Don’t Go.” I’m sure the stronger amongst us could live without Edge 1 at a major old skool rave for at least one set if we put the effort in, although we can only speculate as it stands.

    A key issue around 1992 was the importance of success in relation to credibility. After the scathing ‘Did Charly Kill Rave?’ Prodigy interview in Mixmag, and the charting of tunes like Sesame’s Treat, the underground scene took an altogether darker direction to separate itself from the toytown rave of Now That’s What I Call Music fame. Now though, the level of success that can be reached with a hardcore track is entirely a different story, with Found a Café probably representing the heights of what can currently be achieved in terms of sales. It is significant that Found a Café has had the impact it has considering the nostalgia attached to the records it is played alongside, as the Paul Van Dyk sample is so noticeably modern. But the record really works in much the same manner as old skool rip-offs like Liquid’s Sweet Harmony and Mystery Man’s DJ Business – the instant recognition of the breakdown lends itself easily to an infectiously euphoric reaction from the crowd. Alieneye agrees:

    “I was very surprised at the popularity of Found a Café, but to be fair it was the sampled riffs that made it that way, and I cant take any credit for them whatsoever.”

    Despite the obvious benefits of sampling, this method does open itself to a negative response from those who value original music. Was criticism levelled at the heavy use of sampling in Found a Cafe a consideration when producing Fall Down/Pressure, the latest Alieneye release?

    “Yeah, it probably influenced me a fair bit, but at the end of the day I love a good crowd-pleaser and also a nasty dark tear jerker – so I’m influenced by various styles and enjoy being able to work on them all,” says Alieneye. “But I mean, if you do a good mixtape using other peoples records, you get praised for it, right? So there isn’t a lot of harm in pressing up small amounts of your own mix onto vinyl instead of tape, so that it can get played at old skool events.”

    Do you consider musical credibility to be as important as success and impact on the dancefloor?

    “Good question there… I suppose both are very important to the individual, but to me the most rewarding factors are crowd reaction and pirate radio airplay!”

    Does Found a Café indicate that, to a large extent, it’s the hardcore engine that people like, and nostalgia is simply an added bonus of the scene’s age?

    “Obviously it’s great to go out and hear a track that was played at your first rave that you haven’t heard for ten years. But I think the amount of younger ravers, DJs and producers who missed the music the first time around proves that this isn’t solely based on nostalgia,” argues Pointblank. “Perhaps this isn’t just a revival, but a new beginning.”

    Why do you think that the hardcore movement is still so relevant 10 years on?

    “In many ways it isn’t in it’s original form. The whole drive behind the culture was a reaction to the social and economic climate at the time, which is completely different nowadays,” argues Penfold.

    “However, the fundamental principle of PLUR behind the original rave culture offers something a little more fulfilling than what seems to have arisen form the commercialisation and increasing popularity of dance music. A lot of people I know have the sole purpose of going to parties to get thoroughly wankered, whether they be club nights or squat parties, which at the end of the day sort of misses the whole point about raving. In an increasingly secular society, raving offers that sense of community and identity and out of all the forms of rave music out there, old skool seems to be the one that holds true to the PLUR principle.”

    The range of styles within the handful of new hardcore records available is wide enough for any old skool DJ to find something to play. In terms of pace, the Alieneye releases offer music that can fit effortlessly into a 1991 or 1992 style set, while Skywalker’s Killerwhale/Feel the Power of Bass scales the dizzy heights of 160bpm. The Recursion and Bassquake releases offer 4 tracks each which include everything from dark hoover-based 1993-style, to piano-driven Seduction-style hardcore, to a 1991-style Anastasia-stab frenzy. Was it a conscious decision to offer such a wide range of styles on the EPs?

    “We wanted a varied selection of BPMs so that old skool DJs playing at different speeds and styles all had at least 1 or 2 tunes on there that they could drop” says Matt.

    The popularity of old sounds in new music seems to be reaching an apex, and so it seems that while the original structures of yesteryear may have to be sacrificed for those more DJ friendly, the old sounds will continue to play a significant role in a wealth of modern dance music scenes. Whether or not this will include new old skool remains to be seen.

    “There needs to be an outburst of people making it, otherwise it will fizzle out again before you know it,” says Alieneye.

    What does the future hold for the old skool sound?

    “As long as there’s always a fresh new skool twist to them, these old skool influences will keep shining through for a good while,” says Matt. Pointblank agrees “If everyone remains open minded and unafraid to experiment then I think we’ll all be here for a long time to come! Raindance’s nights which crossed old skool and new skool were amazing, and the crowd seemed to love it.”

  3. aed

    Zo ver zijn we hier nog niet. Alhoewel, het ziet er naar uit dat oldschool / revival feesten ook in NL voet aan de grond krijgen. In UK is er elke week wel eentje te bezoeken en zijn er zelfs speciale clubavonden voor oldschool.

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