New Interviews & Articles Section

•November 29, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Just a heads up, I put up a new section here for any interesting reading I come across.  Any links to worthy material for the archive are welcome, as always.

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[Review] Realicide – The Choice Is Yours

•November 26, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Hot off the presses, here comes the most (possibly the only?) DJ friendly Realicide record you will find.  This is definitely something that won’t be to everyone’s taste, but I think it’s a brilliant crossover of raw punk and electronic hardcore.  The message is everything here and Realicide have plenty to say.  But it’s not the cheesy DHR “start the riot motherfuckerzzzzz” kind of message that you might expect.  This is almost more like self help for those disenfranchised with society’s constructions.  Instructions for breaking free, if you will.

Realicide is known, first and foremost, as a live act.  But the translation of their music to a DJ friendly format is actually very well done here.  The sound quality is good, with the gabber kicks hitting nice and hard, and the tracks have been restructured in a way that makes sense for us DJ types and casual listeners alike.  On a basic level, this is pounding, bass laden mid-tempo gabber that will whip the right crowd into a moshing, fist pumping frenzy.  But, perhaps more importantly, the message here is an extremely positive one about not following trends, not sitting passively by, and about actually living life instead of simply watching others do it.  That’s what I take from it anyway, and I think it’s really god damn refreshing to have a record cross my turntable that actually makes me think.

Realicide is a multifaceted venture, and I’d highly recommend checking out their website if you’re looking for some good reading material or more info on what they’re about.

“The Choice Is Yours EP” can be purchased in the U.S. at Wrecked, directly from the label, or at a Realicide show near you.  Overseas, I expect it will pop up at Praxis.

[Review] I:gor – Nekrolog1k 02

•November 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Not much to get terribly excited about this time from I:gor and, though I hate to say it, it seems like his productions have been getting a little lazy as of late. A prime example of this is the cheesy sample in the opening track repeatedly declaring “I chose the underground.” Well, yes, that’s kind of a given and the sort of thing that eventually made Rotterdam gabber a laughing stock (Neophyte, etc.). This shit pounds, for sure, but there is a definite formula emerging here and the tracks sound very similar to each other with not much changed but the voice samples. If I had to pick one track that I’d probably play, it would be “God Left This Place” because it has more of a fist pumping peak time vibe to it. More aggression, I guess, which is ultimately what this style of music aims for.

The verdict? Definitely not essential and, to me, a real letdown after the first Nekrolog1k release, which was significantly better.

[Review] DJ Hidden vs. Throttler – Grim Noire / Digital ID

•November 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Going into this one, I expected the DJ Hidden track to be the standout, as many of the Throttler’s tracks that I’ve heard have been a little on the repetitious side and often have an odd bit of off timing in the track that makes them awkward on the DJ side of things.

But I think the Hidden cut falls flat here. The production quality is excellent as always, but this one just sounds like a “Later After” outtake. Too slow for my tastes and, though fairly pounding in some spots, it just doesn’t hit the spot that many of his other productions hit for me. Might be alright as a transitional bit in the mix, but just too samey if you play it too long. But to be fair, with as many tracks as he gets pressed, you can’t expect all of them to be bangers, nor should they be.

Now the Throttler cut on the other hand is a slick, pounding, morphing track that kind of epitomizes this hardcore drum and bass thing that’s been going on for a while now. Deep bass, stuttered repetition and slowly building into gabber flourishes. Dancefloor damage. I’ll definitely be playing this one quite a bit.

 

No source for this one statside, but The Hard Store ships fast and is fairly affordable.

[Review] Various Artists – The Unsensored E.P.

•November 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

One look at the artists featured on this EP will tell you that this is a rather ambitious undertaking. Unfortunately, the A side is not something I can recommend. It’s pretty much standard gabber, with the Hellfish track repeatedly dropping a sample of some guy saying something about pissing on you. The Bryan Fury track is a little better, with a swatch of disjointed melody and slightly more imaginative drum programming, but still, in my opinion, a dud.

But the B side is where things really pick up. The DJ Hidden track is very heavy and on the more fractured side of things. Dark, creepy samples, good progression and, overall, yet another mark in the win column for him.

The Somatics track is the black sheep on this record. When played on 33, as I believe is intended, it is like some kind of dark safari through a landscape of twisted electronics. Dubstep tempo, but it’s surely not dubstep. Hard to explain, really, but suffice to say that it’s Somatics in experimental mode, which is generally a very good thing.

Overall, the Hidden and Somatics cuts make this worth purchasing and the gabber stuff is pretty much in the same vein as the stuff that turned me off from Deathchant about five years ago.

 

No source for this one statside, but The Hard Store ships fast and is fairly affordable.

[Review] The Outside Agency – Reality Collapse / Hell’s Basement

•November 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Ok, so I’m pretty late in getting down to a review on this one, but if there’s anyone out there who is unfamiliar with this track, now you know.

“Reality Collapse” is THE track of 2009, full stop. This is DJ Hidden at his very best, in my opinion, as he combines gabber, hardcore drum and bass and, last but not least, a sublime acid line. Mark N has been caning this one for a long time now and the first time I heard it was when I saw him play. In a set full of amazing moments, the breakdown in this track flat out sucked the air out of the room with the creeping acid line and then the drop blew everything to pieces. Maybe it was the time and place (a sweaty room packed full of heads raised on Midwest acid), but this track has burned itself a cozy little place in my brain. Over a year later and some kind of flashbulb memory takes me back to that room every time I hear it. But my personal experience aside, this track is the real deal and needs to be in your crate. In a word, amazing.

 

There doesn’t seem to be any place to get this stateside, but The Hard Store has a repress in stock and they have acceptable shipping rates plus a quick turnaround time.

[Review] Dispyz – Raverblood EP

•November 19, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I don’t know why it took me so long to track down a copy of this little red slab of 8-bit goodness, but better late than never.  Dispyz is an alias of Stagediver who, apparently, did not get the memo that Midwest hardcore is dead.  And thank fucking christ for that because this 7″ and the other one he released this year are exactly what hardcore is all about.  That being, in my opinion, complete disregard for trends and an unbending passion for one’s art.  DIY to the core, and I have massive respect for that.

Similar to the previous 7″, this one is full of darkish 8-bit melodies, bursts of staccato speedcore rhythms and cheeky sampling.  What I really like about these tracks is that high BPM’s are not shied away from, but it’s not speed for the sake of speed either.  There are even a couple of mid-song tempo changes that I can’t wait to incorporate into a mix.

The bottom line?  This is everything you loved about 1998 dragged kicking and screaming into 2009.  And if there was any doubt about it, look out for a future Stagediver 12″ on none other than the mighty Distort label.

Available on 7″ red vinyl or as a high quality digital download, “The Raverblood EP” can be purchased directly on the Radiograffiti website, here.