Team Kniteforce continue to make our dreams come true with a boxset of remastered/new House Crew tracks and brand new remixes! (6×12″ Vinyl + Digital, USB, Stickers & Slipmat) due 25th MARCH 2022
I can’t pinpoint where or when I first heard ‘Keep The Fire Burning’, all I know is it occupies a memory palace labelled ‘stone cold classics’ next to tunes like M&M ‘Don’t Stand In My Way’ and The Prodigy ‘Your Love’
That this track has stood the test of time is no surprise. Sampled by well known Tech House DJs and the source of many ‘percy’ DJ edits Including Shadow Child, there’s something about the story being told in this tune, the chunky stabs, equally chunky breaks, the perfectly timed breakdowns and the snippets of samples that make this, well, a stone cold classic!
‘Get On Up’ is kaleidoscopic Hardcore personified with a rowdy lead hook and the cut up style inherited from Hip Hop turntablism. You can see the crowds of brightly clothed ravers as you listen. This is the early rave sound of turntable breaks, fairground riffs, deep bass and shades of the Proto-Jungle darkness that would gain dominance later on.
Liquid mixes in some of his own familiar production elements into a stellar remix of ‘Get On Up.’ It’s a dive into the deeper, House music influenced side of Breakbeat Hardcore with smooth transitions and tidy breakdowns. It’s oldskool but improved without losing an iota of that seminal 90s style.
You may have heard Jay Cunning spinning the Blame remix of ‘Keep The Fire Burning’, in which case you know just how stunning it is! While I never attended the famous Labyrinth raves on Dalston Lane, I can imagine this remix entering a time machine and appearing in the record boxes of Mr Bunter and Slipmatt!
Next is the Steel Works remix of ‘KTFB’, a highly effective 4×4 take on the OG version, faithful to the original with subtle tweaks and a bit of 808 State ‘Cubik’ style stabbage.
When Hyper On Experience is involved, expect something original and ear catching everytime! Quell surprise then when HOE turns out an incredible remix of one of Hardcore’s finest- crisp sound design throughout, cool variations on the keys and riffs of the original plus some splendid additions like the brief but blissful piano section.
‘Keep The Fire Burning’ (Y Don’t U Move) is a version of the track I’ve never heard before. Starting with a DJ friendly beats intro, this version is similar to the popular version with added bass plus elements of Electro and a more stripped back musical pallette.
‘We Are Hardcore’ takes me back to wearing out my cassette copy of ‘Kaos Theory 2’ and the thrill I got everytime this track came on. This is 92 Hardcore in a nutshell, frantic pounding breaks, flurries of stab patterns and M1 Korg piano sections on a track that moves seamlessly from one chord progression to the next.
‘Maniac’ (Hypermix) is what I like to call ‘Funky Hardcore’ due to the breezy, funky vibe. Tunes like this are the friends of DJs with great musical structure. Once again those chord progressions are very noticeable with the track switching up every 32 bars or so from happy piano to cool hoovers while the beats switch in sync.
Pete Cannon remixes ‘We Are Hardcore’ using analogue hardware from 1988 and the results are predictably jaw dropping! Mr Cannon opts for a fast paced rework with super clean sound dynamics and a series of tweaks to the original perfect for a 160 set in 2022!
Manix takes us back to the happy, carefree times of 1992 with his remix of ‘Maniac.’ There’s an extra weight to the breaks on this remix, the bass is chef’s kiss spot on and the reworked hoovers stir up that feeling I used to get from hearing a new rave banger at a tender 13 something back in 92! The real deal!
The ‘Final Conflict’ version of ‘Maniac’ is the darkest tune on this LP so far with chilling pitched vocal wails and Techno like stab patterns set to B Boy breaks, a hint at THC’s later Jungle productions.
And now, the first of 3 brand new tunes, ‘Like A Meteor’. It might seem strange to reference Pro Wrestling here but there’s a common thing in the world of grappling and flipty dos where an older wrestler gets back in in ring, they still perform like they did in their youth, sometimes better, which prompts the crowd to chant ‘You’ve still got it.’ Being a Pro Wrestling fan and Rave/Hardcore/Jungle obsessive, that chant came to mind when listening to this track. It’s everything I know and love about The House Crew, it’s old yet it’s new, it has that soul and warmth and musicality and I could listen to it all day on repeat!
‘All Night Long’ is also new to these ears, not to mention an absolute pleasure. It could just as easily be a tune from 1992 but the cut up vocals are definitely a modern production technique which adds to the vibe. Fast paced and hooky with all the fun, energy and positivity that I associate with THC.
‘All Shine’ retains that upbeat Hardcore Rave signature with even more depth and soul by way of a nice vocal and standout synths not normally associated with rave that nonetheless fit more than well.
Lipmaster Ratpack’s remix of ‘We Are Hardcore’ has that early House energy. With choral strings, a clean, deep bassline and anthemic piano at a 1991 tempo, Lipmaster’s remix takes it back to the halcyon days of Shades of Rhythm.
It’s only right that another Production House artist, namely Acen gets in on the remix action and wow, what a remix! Mr Rizvi goes in hard and fast on this one with reworked riffs and plenty of psychedelic rave stabs as the ‘ardcore legend is known for!
Resident Kniteforce Jungle technician, Ant to be straps the mother of all rockets to’ Get On Up’, sending it into hyperspace at hyperspeed! The iconic stabs get cut and sped up with the cake icing being the sublime string sections that have to be heard! The USB that comes with this vinyl boxset contains even more remixes from the likes of Luna C, Abyss and Sub Foundation.
The ‘Magic Fantasy’ mix of ‘We Are Hardcore’ is another one of my stone cold classic earworms that often plays out in my head independent of any kind of external audio device. I first heard this version on the Top Buzz studio mix for the Dreamscape series of albums. The vocals are layed out perfectly over gorgeous piano licks and phased hoovers. It’s no wonder Top Buzz picked this version for his set!