Happy Hardcore article

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Happy Hardcore article

Post by ian saunders remix » Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:54 am

Haven't been able to post this on here yet as my account has been blocked again. Apologies to anyone who's already read it or seen me spam it about online.

I've written a piece about the rise and fall of happy hardcore for Ransom Note. Have a read and give it a like (or call me a cunt).

http://www.theransomnote.co.uk/music/go ... -hardcore/

Cheers!

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Re: Happy Hardcore article

Post by vigilante » Fri Jun 26, 2015 1:35 pm

Good read. I was into the happier side from 96 to 98-9,i remember our group split up at midnight 99 at skelter, some stayed to see slipmatt , others went off to see hype. Thinking about it , that was probably the last full set of happy i heard in a rave.

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Re: Happy Hardcore article

Post by dj jedi » Fri Jun 26, 2015 4:04 pm

Enjoyed it mate, definitely a good overview of what happened. Having been fairly involved in the happy scene in the late 90s/early 00s my opinion is that the music had little to do with its lack of commercial success, it was due to all the cowboys 'running' the scene (and I use that term loosely.) Hardcore in Holland was credible and successful, the same could have been achieved here without all the back-stabbing, complete lack of business acumen and petty feuds. What hardcore needed was some business backing by people who knew what they were doing, like the D&B scene had (and I assume the hardcore scene in Holland.) Young DJs and producers may make decent music, but they rarely have a clue what they are doing with a business!

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Re: Happy Hardcore article

Post by ian saunders remix » Fri Jun 26, 2015 4:48 pm

dj jedi wrote:Enjoyed it mate, definitely a good overview of what happened. Having been fairly involved in the happy scene in the late 90s/early 00s my opinion is that the music had little to do with its lack of commercial success, it was due to all the cowboys 'running' the scene (and I use that term loosely.) Hardcore in Holland was credible and successful, the same could have been achieved here without all the back-stabbing, complete lack of business acumen and petty feuds. What hardcore needed was some business backing by people who knew what they were doing, like the D&B scene had (and I assume the hardcore scene in Holland.) Young DJs and producers may make decent music, but they rarely have a clue what they are doing with a business!
Thanks both of you for reading.

I agree that the death of it wasn't entirely due to the lack of chart placings. But it was another opportunity that hardcore had and failed to take. It's sad to say, and something that I always try to rally against, but there are/were a lot of chavvier types in the scene fouling their own scene for short-term gain.

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Re: Happy Hardcore article

Post by dj jedi » Fri Jun 26, 2015 5:02 pm

Yes that's exactly it, none of the 'ring leaders' saw the bigger picture. Keeping everything for themselves may have been better for them personally short-term, and a few (literally a few!) of them did quite well out of it for a few years. But if they'd all invested in artists, labels, bigger events, products etc it could arguably have been as big as any other underground scene of the era like UKG or Dub Step.

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Re: Happy Hardcore article

Post by eazyflow » Fri Jun 26, 2015 5:29 pm

A fine read sir :)

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Re: Happy Hardcore article

Post by ian saunders remix » Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:28 pm

Thanks mate!

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Re: Happy Hardcore article

Post by taffster » Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:55 pm

Enjoyed it, good read. Never knew about the Alpha deal with Q either.

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Re: Happy Hardcore article

Post by Fizza » Sat Jun 27, 2015 4:12 am

Good article, late 93 is when it seemed to really start diverging, although the summer was the beginning of the backlash against 'darkcore' with one of the World Dance's advertising that the DJ's had been given a no darkness mandate, although I distinctly remember Darren Jay playing Subnation - Scottie.. lol, but tracks like Gonna Be Alright (cloud 9 'sound of music' remix) could be massive alongside stuff like the aforementioned Scottie & Johnny (ya bad bwoy) and played equally.

Anyway, by summer '94 you can definitely see a falling away of the 4/4 kicks in jungle and likewise the disappearance of any reggae/jungle influence in the emerging happy hardcore sound, of which the name was coined to specifically differentiate it from the dark stuff of late '92/early '93. But even then tracks like Breakin' Free still could cross the divide, but by the end of '94 into '95 it was like two raves in one with lesser and lesser amounts of people who would stay for both a Slipmatt and a Hype set, and trying to blend the two styles as a dj without it being a 180 degree tangent was getting almost impossible.

I think '93 was also where a bit of a lost opportunity occurred for the Ratty/Basement sound that was quite popular, that was the sound that was the last bastion of good Hardcore Jungle Techno, not really dark, and not that dissimilar to the '92 Basement stuff if you listen, but wasn't 'happy', so I think it got abandoned because jungle moved away from 4/4 and happy, well, had to be happy.

Another factor to consider is tempo, with the increase to 160+ bpms the corresponding pitch increase in vocal samples led to the helium level (plaidspeed?) pitch which really started to become a bit silly to quite a few people's ears - especially as has been noted, the crowd was getting older, the slightly up-pitched 150bpm stuff was 'distinctive' but still cool sounding, but pinky and perky was not a comparison you want to hear being made in regard to your music of choice, and I think that also played a part in how certain sounds got stripped out of jungle, and even happy hardcore after while, possibly leading to the use of real vocals later on. The tempo probably played a part in the dropping of the drum chopping to the more 2 step (cleaner) rhythm for DnB & 4/4 for happy hardcore as all those crazy edits became more like machine gun drills making things too manic. For something that seems quite simple, trivial even, there were many levels making for a complex chain of events.

On a slightly different note, I think an article that goes deep into the causes and events that led to the decision to kill jungle in favour of Drum & Bass would be a very good read.

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Re: Happy Hardcore article

Post by ian saunders remix » Sat Jun 27, 2015 3:23 pm

Thanks!

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Re: Happy Hardcore article

Post by LOON-E » Sat Jun 27, 2015 3:49 pm

Good read fella and bang on 10/10

LOON-E

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Re: Happy Hardcore article

Post by ian saunders remix » Sat Jun 27, 2015 4:32 pm

Cheers m8 :D

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Re: Happy Hardcore article

Post by smeagol » Sun Jun 28, 2015 3:11 pm

Interesting read , I listened to happy hardcore until the end of 1995
After that it was too fast and too cheesy for me
This toy town "thing" is so over the top , toy town wasn't the tune that killed happy hardcore , it was just the way the scene was going in general , there was some great tunes made months after toy town ,
Happy hardcore 94/95 was a short lived phenomenon for me , I wouldn't change anything about it:)

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Re: Happy Hardcore article

Post by LOON-E » Sun Jun 28, 2015 3:29 pm

Was a ideal music for 94/97 for when you needed a break from tekno/gabba..got a real soft spot for some of the cheesiest tunes..guilty pleasure lol

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