Friday 18 December 2020

A glowing round-up of the year 2020

The Year (was) 2020.

Lockdown, self-isolation, quarantine, toilet paper, 'to smoke or not to smoke?', gatherings to 10 people, handwashing, hand sanitizer & a full on mask hysteria (officially the second one after the '92 Altern 8 era), social distance, elbow bumps, many 'dont's', Digital victory, visual panic, economic crisis have been only a few new entries to our daily vocabulary. 
However, don't panic. I shall keep that past tense and remain optimistic for the new year vision, because there were absolutely quality music facts that happened throughout these 12 crazy months. A period where we missed clubbing and Bang Face marked the last big rave festival few days before the first massive lockdown over UK.

So, I'll skip the bad angle of 2020. Let's stick to the music and its hard working creators that have been intact and kept their heads above water in spite of these hard circumstances.
New labels were set up, new artists found infinite space to make up their debuts and other to be recruited on labels. Bandcamp scored high in fans eyes as they've earned artists & labels an amount of $40 million during this year through their Bandcamp Fridays initiative. And they've announced to extend in 4 fee-waiving Fridays of 2021.

But let's see what's happening with Hardcore Rave music and Oldskool Rave legends.
Well, they fought fire with fire. Specifically:
Altern 8 released their first EP (Vinyl & Digital) in 27 years! Dream Frequency and Ultra-Sonic made a banging collab tune releasing simultaneously their new personal albums, the 2/3 of 2 Bad Mice set up their own imprint continuing the legacy of Moving Shadow, Kniteforce Records brought countless of 12" Vinyl EPs with the likes of Acen, NRG in addition with their elite of Nuskool stars. Finally, we got a good hint from Suburban Base revealing a foto of some demo tapes from back in the day.. What else would you need ?

Fine. You might need some fresh Amen breaks for the ruffneck substance.
Well, the Jungle movement has found its own right way, thriving bigger year-by-ear driven by magnificent princes and passionate such as Tim Reaper, Coco Bryce, FFF. These are three of the key names to start your search in today's Jungle, in case you're unaware or lost. Modern Oldskool midst futurist with a big hope for the evolution of this genre.

All in all, 2020 was a year of bigger things that 2019. And a straight pass to '21, which makes us all ONE like we should be! Are you with it?
Off now for a personal, and random set, row of releases, albums, new labels, new producers, books and magazines that brightened during 2020. Enjoy the selection and don't forget to support the real creators behind every single release.


Acen's 'Trip II The Moon' Boxset on Kniteforce Records must be the highlight of the year all around the Hardcore Rave movement. A deluxe celebration dispersed on 6x12" Vinyl EPs, CD, stickers and slipmatt,plus amazing new versions (called 2092) of his classic anthems plus remastered oldies, rarities and banging remixes for any preference!

Follow: Facebook - Twitter

Poland's firing duet of PZG and Dubsknit join the forces to provide their usual Rave Footwork weapon. This duo is the apple of many eyes out there on the grounds of their wise use of sampling, Hardcore mentality with a unique variety of jaw dropping party bangers! 'We Rob Rave 5' is massive!

Follow: Facebook | Soundcloud
Dream Frequency celebrate their 30th anniversary this year with an incredible varied of styles hi-nrg album entitled '30'.
There are 20 new tracks with great collabs on a 'rave on steroids' result. A successful campaign run via Kickstarter, released on Vinyl,CD and deluxe packs. The main man, Ian Bland is hungry for more to follow...Beware of that! 
Follow: Facebook | Website 

UK wizard High Contrast scores on a high level again with his magnificent new album 'Notes Of The Underground'. The promotion of this album has succeed to wet the appetite from the fans that expected the unexpected. Tracks like 'Windows 95' or ''Hold On Me' Time Is Hardcore' and 'Rhythm Is Changing' have turned to become big classics the last month as the majority have embraced the full on 90s computer aesthetics of this amazing pack of new vibes. And, just a heads up, it came out even on cassette format!

Ex Prodigy hero, Leeroy Thornhill has released a unique concept of an album including tracks of his very own arsenal worked on his '00s solo days mixed up with new stuff of him; varied of styles such as ragga, funky and of course breaks. The result is a 50 min' mixed album called 'EVOLVE'. About a month ago a sequel of the same concept was released from him.


Using the motto 'Artists make the Label', Over/Shadow is one of the hottest prospects. It was formed by 2/3 of 2 Bad Mice, namely Simon Colebrooke and Sean O' Keefe and it basically aims to continue the legacy of the pioneering Moving Shadow and take it even further.
'Lift Off/Star Traveller' by the mighty Blame is their first Vinyl release!
Time Tunnel Recordings has been one of the good surprises of this summer, reppin the 1992-1994 golden period of the..Hardcore UK.
London's Future Retro, was originally launched as a club night. In the hard days of Covid19 though,Tim Reaper, the man behind the label, has extended the idea, forming a wonderful Vinyl label offering sophisticated underground modern Jungle vibes.

3AM Eternal is the home of FFF, who makes a long dream come true. His first (and personal) Vinyl EP was instantly sold out and more to follow. (e.g. forthcoming: Duburban x FFF)
Last but not least, Second Drop Records is one more exquisite new label, born to release Hardcore Breaks records, with the guidance of Kniteforce Records and showcasing their good taste of what's hot in todays raving breakbeats.


High Contrast - Rhythm Is Changing (feat. LOWES)


Tommy Farrow

Facebook | Spotify | Soundcloud


DJ Semah


'Flyer & Cover Art'
by Junior Tomlin

by Stephen Jaydell

BUY Amazon

'Each & Every Time'
by Nick Blake

BUY Amazon | Troubador

'Beastie Boys'
[Rizzoli International Publications]
by Spike Jonze

BUY Amazon

'Rave Scout Cookies Handbook #001'

'FAITH Fanzine Vol.3 - Issue 1'

BUY Defected Store

'Gorillaz Almanac'
[Z2 Comics]

'Secret DJ: Book Two'
[Velocity Press]
by Secret DJ

BUY AmazonVelocity Press

'Kraftwerk: Future Music From Germany'

by Uwe Schütte

BUY Amazon | Penguin

'Andrew Weatheral - A Jockey Slut Tribute'
[Jockey Slut]


by Seana Gavin

BUY Amazon | Setanta Books 

'Liberation Through Hearing'
by Richard Russell

'Believe In Magic'
by Robin Turner

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