Greetings from the Free Art!! think tank. DJ Phil here, hoping that all who went to Furthur had a wicked time. I don’t know how it went cuz I really didn’t go although I was there yet I wasn’t… It’s been about six months since the last issue came out so here we go with ramblings on that which we call HAPPY HARDCORE. Of course what would a DJ Phil article be without mentioning Monique. Don’t worry, I won’t talk about her in this issue this time. I think she’s sick of all the attention I give her. I luv her tho’…
Well, I’m not gonna fuck around with what sucks about the rave scene… so I’ll just cut to why people are involved with the rave scene – music – not fat pants and drugs!! I know a lot of you are not DJs, so you could probably care less about technical music reviews. I’ll try to make the reviews more for you non-DJs out there. Okay here we go with the toon reviews:
Complete Love (Loving You)
World Of Obsession Records
This is a cute little toon that is a damn good cover of Loving You by Minnie Riperton. Loving You was also sung by John Stamos’ younger brother in the gay dog episode of South Park. This time the toon is sung by Lennie, the vocalist who did the cover version of Time (which is on the same label). If you like Time, you’ll like this one. Excellent… Trust me!!
Rush Hour (Vinylgroover/Kaos & Huxley Rmxs)
I originally heard this toon on a tape Matt Positive had. We thought it was so awful that it was good. It was a catchy toon actually… but I felt that the melodies were way off. Now comes the remixes. The toon has been reworked- the melodies, tuffer beats, cool stab work, and they’ve added some nice piano bits as well while the original vocals were kept. The Kaos & Huxley is more on the jungle tip. This toon is considered an anthem in the UK… Check both mixes…it’s all good!!.
New Era recordings
You all remember Sinead O’Connor’s version of this toon. Now here’s the happy hardcore version. It’s okay… listen first before purchase because the cheeze content may be too much too handle. I like cheeze so you know I had to get this on! Storming piano lines, crispity crunchity percussion… it’s all there. It’s all good.
Who Done It
It Doesn’t Have To Be
Who Done It Records
Another happy hardcore cover toon. Okay, the original was done by Erasure. It was on that synth-poppy tip. Next came a hardcore version by Ikon with vocals by Elaine. Then there’s this version resung by another vocalist. I don’t have too much info on this record except for song title, catalog number and label. One thing I can say is that it’s a very good toon loaded with vocals and a nifty slow-down part which brings the song down to house speed and then speeds up to it’s normal speed. Lotsa good melodies and stuff. I highly recommend it…
Hard Harmony/ Thrilling Me
For all you happy hardcore DJ’s out there, never pass up any Blatant Beats releases. They all rock hard and I recommend them highly. I received the fourth releases and let me tell you that this one is one of the best. Stompy beats and swirly rave noises and then the classic “Sweet Harmony” piano line make this one worth the buy. It’s an old school anthem with a new school boom! Acid bits added for extra flavor. Buy on sight or request your local rekkid shoppe to get this and all other Blatant Beats rekkids. Oh yeah, check the other side for a slammin’ rip-off version of the Fugees’ Killing Me Softly. Badass!! Nice build up!!
New Essential Platinum
This is an instrumental track. It’s on a trancey/ trancecore tip. It’s got some nice build-ups as well as some smooth harmonies. There are two vocal bits. One of them is a ragga man chanting, “Dubstar!!” while there’s a sexy seductive female vocal moaning… awww yeah. It’s not gonna get you the first time… but after a while, it grows on you. Catchy toon!!
Hopskotch & Dougal
Steamtrain (Vinylgroover Remix)
New Essential Platinum
The original came out about two years ago. I first heard the original in 96 at Bassrush in Louisville, KY. I liked it back then and now I got the remix. I gotta say that I like the remix a lot. As good, if not better than the original. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about… it’s the track that sounds like a… steamtrain. Parts of the song have parts which sound like a steamtrain leaving a station… choo choo!! All Aboard!! Good 12”!! Check the DNA remix of the track, Tranquility.
Monty & D’Skys featuring DJ Stompy
New Era Select Records
Great vocals on this one. Catchy melodies and even a little jungle breakdown in the middle. I think this is a cover of a Human League toon. I’m probably wrong… But the live vocals are what gets me liking this toon. Check the flip for Monty & D’Skys’ ‘I Promise.’ Again, good vocals! This is a good highly recommended 12inch!
New label. New song. Cute song- sounds like a Carousel. It slows down and then speeds up. Nice hard drums, actually much harder than the regular drums used for UK happy hardcore. What else is there to say except that Demo makes good toons and this one is no exception. Get this one! Please!!
So In Love (DNA remix)
Being that I love a lot of the older happy hardcore toons, I knew that this one was one to get. So In Love originally came out in 1994 and now it’s been remixed for 1998. It’s got the basic elements of the original- the breaks, the beats, the pianos and most of all, the catchy Colonel Abram sample of him going “I’m so in love with you.” You know, it’s a real bitch to say how much you like a toon sometimes. Especially if it’s an instrumental. So trust me… this chewn kicks ass!
World Of Obsession Records
A very nice toon by Vinylgroover and one of the best vocalists in happy hardcore-Lennie. It’s a catchy little vocal number with the cute “Shelter Shelter” vocals. I don’t think this one is a cover toon . The flip is an instrumental track called So Good. Nice one!
The Projekt featuring Janice Taylor
New Essential Platinum
Essential Platinum brings out more future stars, this time with the group, The Projekt with the vocals from Janice Taylor. Sweet Thing is a “cute” sounding song that’s not too soft and has just the right amount of kick (sounds like a new kind of soda, don’t it). The vocals- really good and catchy. One you’ll be humming for days. It’s a good toon. Niiiiicccceee!!!!!!
Sy & Unknown
At times, this toon gets more on a drum & bass style as opposed to the 4-beat happy hardcore style. However, this is not a moody drum & bass toon. The 4 on the floor beats come in and push this song along at a hectic pace… just right for all you happy hardcore ravers. Add to this the very excellent vocals of Donna Grassie (the vocalist of last years’ anthem, Cloudy Days) and what you have is a winning toon. Excellent and a must have for all you happy hardcore DJ’s.
A rip off of the Verve’s “Bitter Sweet Symphony” choon. It’s decent. It’s okay. It’s not as good as Juicy Cuts #5 (better known as “Love of My Life”), however it’s much better than Juicy Cuts #6… Regardless.. it’s cheesie hardcore fun.
This got to me as a white label- no info whatsoever. It sounds like Triple J… the same folks who gave the anthems, Follow the Sun, Have It All, Eternity and Here I Am. So you know that the vocals are top notch, the stab work is killer and the overall toon deserves to be played each and every time. It’s a hardcore rendition of Jodeci’s ‘Love You For Life.’ Sound’s corny? Well… maybe a little., but who cares!!
And now for something new. You have the usual happy bits, then you have the harder toons that are much faster than happy hardcore, yet not as brutal, evil and menacing as speedcore or breakcore. So I’ve decided to review some of that which some call party gabber- bouncy techno or partycore. Whatever the name, it’s still hardcore! It’s still underground. It still annoys house heads! Hya hya!!
Not For Sale EP
BZRK Black Label
Like rap samples? This one has KRSone and Puff Daddy samples (!!!!). Four tracks of party gabber! All pretty high on the BPM and with the staple Rotterdam kick drum. Can’t Nobody Hold Me Back and Step Into A World are sampled on two of the tracks on this EP. For those who know what I’m talking about, this EP has a Ruffneck sorta feel without being a Ruffneck record. I like it and I think it’s worth the dough.
Gabber artists usually take samples from horror movies or gangster flicks. That is not the case for the track called “Fuck Happy.” After hard-hitting drums, the music stops and it goes into a sample from the Kids in the Hall Movie- Brain Candy. It’s the scene where they’re talking about drugs and they dis the drug that makes people happy… go see the movie!! The track Lighthouse Keeper is a senseless track that rips off this toon called “I want to Marry a Lighthouse Keeper.” It’s cheesie hardcore fun. Also included are the tracks “Dreamteam=Here” and Trippin’. As for most hardcore product from Holland, this 12” has hard punchy kickdrums… BPM’s range from 180-190. So to all you non-DJ types, this shit is pretty dern fast. Good one!!
Stunned Guys Vs DJ Paul
It’s been a while since I bought a Rotterdam Record. I saw Stunned Guys on the label and I just knew I had to get this one. Well, I wasn’t disappointed. Okay, so it’s not bloody death speedcore- it’s gabber. It is nice and hard party gabber (some might say bouncy techno). There are 4 tracks to choose from. Not too fast, not two slow (actually the track “He Never Lost His Hardcore” bounces around 165bpm more or less). Sometimes I just ain’t in the happy hardcore mood and I just want to play some bang bang boom music… Happyheads stay away….
For all you happycore heads, here’s some recommended choons that I think should rock the crowd:
The Two MC’s
Scratchin’/It’s An ‘Ardcore Thing
Vinylgroover & Brisk
Clash of the Titans EP Part 2
(The World of Obsession)
Freedom (Seduction & DNA remix)
FX featuring Lisa
Right Here with Me
Hardcore Fever (Vinylgroover & JHAL remixes)
Supreme and UFO
Monty & D’Sky’
You Had It
Without You/Be Good To Yourself
Brisk & Trixxy
Thunder & Rain
On the other hand, if you like your beats a bit harder, try these on..
E-Rick & Tactic
Meet Her At Thunderdome
Warning: this is one of those slow but still hard as shit gabber tracks
3 Steps Ahead
It’s Delicious EP
Neophyte Vs Stunned Guys
Army of Hardcore
Time to give a few shout-outs to (only because I got room to!!):
1) Massive, Inc. Thanks a lot for all you’ve done for/to me… ouch!! Always representing the real deal and never compromising. We are the true underground in it’s purest form…
2) Wes and the staff at Majestic. Thanks for representing and bringing out music that most distributors wouldn’t touch. Ha! Who’s runnin’ tings now?!
3) Monique… By the time this issue gets printed, you’ll probably be in school. I just want you to know that I think you’ll do great! I’m warning you, I’ll be visiting you… A LOT!! I love ya to bits!!
4) Big hallo’s to Xotis, Matt Positive, Eric “I am not Lushboy” aka DJ Spree, members of the Midwest Raves Happy Hardcore Federation. Not to be messed with!!