20 of the best Nuskool Hardcore tunes from the Warehouse Wax back catalogue catalogue between 2003-2010
We are in the midst of a rave revival driven by originator’s and a wave of new talent. Could there be a better time to discover the extensive and impressive back catalogue of a label that spearheaded this revival all the way back in 2003?
Enter stage right the Warehouse Wax label run by DJ Vinyl Junkie. The best bits vol one opens with ‘Funky Breaks’ by the Upstarts where the Nuskool Breaks of the early 00s blend neatly into Jungle Tekno circa 92.
Austin is a name you will know from trend setting Hardcore/Jungle label Suburban Base back in the 90s. ‘Can U Feel It’ is as it’s title suggests: a hands in the air piano driven track that tales the best parts of early UK rave including liberal amounts of soundsytem dub that speak to the evergreen influence of the Windrush generation and their cultural legacy to the rave movement.
Another known name is the Phuture Assassins. You may know them from tunes such as ‘Future Sound’ once again on Suburban Base. Now that I have channeled my inner Troy Mclure, I will throw away my V neck sweater and take about ‘Forever.’
What’s clear is tunes outside of the golden era (90s) can be every bit as good as their peers. That’s a given when we are talking about bonafide oldskool producers but it’s still mind blowing to hear a tune like ‘Forever’ and appreciate the seamless fusion of dub reggae and breakbeat hardcore it represents. My words can’t do this track the justice it truly deserves.
Orca made some absolute bangers back in the day like Beverly Craven sampling ‘4am.’ ‘Rise Up’ is deep hardcore at it’s finest with a rousing Nelson Mandela sample and balmy strings and synths for body, mind and soul.
Vinyl Junkie & D State’s ‘Tour Of Duty’ builds on the foundation of a cool slice of cinema dialogue with an ice cold, liquid metal special blend of DnB, Jungle and oldskool hardcore that will send chills down your spine!
As someone who was obsessive about what we now call ‘oldskool’ but a bit late to the Nuskool sound, I can say with honesty that Viny Junkie & Darkus ‘All Night’ ranks among my favourite tunes of this current rave era.
‘All Night’ feels and sounds like a tune from 92/93 albeit with a cleaner, more fine tuned sound. Maybe it’s the fluid, rolling breakbeats or the particular type of hoover used as the main section or even the urgent pianos that draws me in. Obviously it’s all of those things!
One thing this compilation is not short of is oldskool originals like Boykz who brings his A game to Degrees of Motion sampling ‘Deep in my soul.’ The beats really bounce on this one with influences from DnB that give this uplifting hardcore tune a real edge.
E Lab Rat ‘All That Matters’ delves into the Rave Breaks side of things with upbeat strings, phat beats and punchy, sassy vocals.
Phuture Assassins further contribute to this selection of best bits with more of that dub infused magic. ‘Alone’ is at once a deep earworm and a euphoric anthem all in one with rave piano that really hits the spot.
D State, Darkus & Tension present ‘Dub Chemist’, a latter day take on tunes like The Psychopaths ‘Beats and Culture’, didgeridoos, rumbling bass and Jungle Tekno stabs for the 21st century!
Viny Junkie & Dope ‘Forbidden Territory’ is the darkside roller of this comp. Eerie FX, funky bass and drums, hoovers that will chase you behind the sofa and drops like surprise attacks! If Jigsaw’s traps were a tune, this is it! Wanna play a game?
Phuture Assassins contribute another banger form the factory of fire tunes in the form of ‘Ganja Madness.’ This is a full on call and response tune, one where you could cut the audio and let the crowd roar the words in unison! As for the tune itself, I think it’s fair to say it doesn’t get more oldskool hardcore without actually being oldskool hardcore!
Vinyl Junkie & Austin ‘Jah Love’ is sublime. The sped up Sugarhill Gang break warms up for an incredible drop followed by rapid stabs and Sci Fi bleeps. Bound for the reload!
Vinyl Junkie & Dope ‘Worries in the dance’ burrows deep with enormous subs and dark basslines talking the listener on a deep journey 2k Jungle Tekno style!
Whizzkick contributes the unique uplifting hardcore of ‘Take You There’ with crisp amens and sound design transposed on a bed of synths that combine the early years of 90s hardcore in one amazing tune!
Vinyl Junkie & Austin join forces once again to do cool things with the vocal made famous by Fatboy Slim’s ‘Rockerfella Skank’ and what sounds like a snippet of Beenie Man. The samples and melodic synths come together for a right dubwise roller that hints at mid 90s breakbeat hardcore, jungle and drum and bass.
The 2005 version or Phuture Assassins ‘Forever’ adds in weighty jungle breaks, 303 acid and even elements of trance fitting of the term epic!
Viny Junkie & Darkus ‘Pacemaker’ is a fast paced roller that perfectly incorporates the Reggae vibe into booming bass, ethereal chimes and rainforest chants, a fireball of musical energy with no filters.
The Backdraft remix of Phuture Assassins ‘Ganja Madness’ rearranges the key elements into a smooth breaks roller with the onus on the huge made for speakers bassline of the original.
Phuture Assassins ‘Unbrake My Hardcore’ takes a popular 90s R&B song and puts it through a blender of Amen breaks and thunderous bass that peaks as the vocals reach the high notes. It would be criminal for you to miss out on these best bits!