Saturday, 17 December 2016

STRICTLY NUSKOOL BLOG pres. 'TOP 5 RELEASES OF 2016' by Various Producers/DJs/Label Managers/Promoters/Music Authors



The year 2016 is coming to an end, hence we've made a big research with the kind help and contribution of some essential producers/DJs/label managers/promoters/music writers from around the globe to submit altogether the 'TOP 5 RELEASES of 2016'.
Various genres, tunes, albums, EPs, highlights worth to give a read, your attention and support of course!

Contributors:
Alex K. (Criterion Records), Biohannya, Breakforce One, Coco Bryce, The Crazydutchman, Dave Skywalker, FFF, Jakazid, DJ Jedi, Kushti, Missqulater, Posthuman, Saiyan, Si-2 Bad Mice, Ume (Murder Channel), Sparki Dee, Damage Inc., BreakbeatScientist,  Tariq Ziyad and GL0WKiD.

Enjoy this celebrating review and article and dig the Top of the Tops in 2016!!




GL0WKiD (GR)

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twitter - soundcloud - The Prodigy Fanboy








GL0WKiD: Legends in the scene shouted loud and proud during this year. Altern-8 remastered edition of the 'Full On Mask Hysteria', 2 Bad Mice released a personal EP after 12 years, Slipmatt's recent SMD limited album and the return of  Kniteforce Records to vinyl releases after 18 years with Luna-C opening his heart revealing that he'll turn again into Breakbeat sound!
Apart from that special mention to remarkable labels and producers in the Hardcore Breaks/Hardcore Jungle scene like Ravenoyz Recordings, Raveskool Recordings, Paranoid Recordings, Switchblade Digital, Damage Inc. (Sonic Fortress), DJ Pursuit, DJ Rave In Peace, Gareth Monks and Sparki Dee.
The evolution of Oldskool (call it Nuskool nowdays) is a fact. We're facing a new decade, new means, new techniques but you can notice that Vinyl still paying homage and labels like Jedi Recordings and Stay on Target keep on doing hard and great work on vinyl releases.
BIGUP and Respect goes to each and everyone worldwide, keeping the flag up, supporting and feeling the Hardcore music, the Hardcore movement. I won't wish to make bigger things for the new year, but better just remain into the same condition and passion as been pumping during 2016. Love and devotion!

So my (random numbered) Top 5 Albums of this year are:


(1) Xenophobia - Bring On The Rush [XENO RECORDS] (LINK)
After 1 year delay this masterpiece of Hardcore Rave has been released during this year's summertime. A proper illecit outdoor rave album including 18 tracks, remastered oldies and unreleased vibes by the almighty London act Xenophobia (Sid Truelove, Zillah Minx, MC Scallywag). It's like a '92 revisit 24 years after and anthems like ''Rush In The House'' and ''The Wobbler'' are full on revolutionary!
Worth adding also, my big 2hr tribute to this album alongside a radio interview with Sid and an honourable moment for myself on our collab to 'Glow To The Rush', where I'm into the vocals/lyrics part. A banger, which has gained big love and support from the majority of Hardcore community and established members such as Luna-C, Billy Daniel Bunter, DJ Faydz, FFF, Coco Bryce etc.
Best Tune: Xenophobia - Project 250


(2) Yudaidhun - Classics (LINK)
I really respect what Japanese Hardcore producers have been doing and this guy here has released an incredible 18track compilation of his own work over the years.
A mental Happy Hardcore/Jungle/Breakbeat Hardcore album by one of the best and most skillful Nuskool Hardcore representers hailing from the friendly long island. You should totally dig it!
Closing with a non-album tune and that is 'Fantasy' which needs some good attention as is one of my top favourite tunes of this year, played it hundreds of times over my radioshow and events plus it's already added to my Strictly Nuskool-Hall Of Fame 2016 mix. Amazing feelings with this sweet Piano Breakbeat Happy Hardcore banger, rewinding my brain and feet!
Best Tune: Yudaidhun - Low Frequency Occupation



(3) Inspector Sands - Can't Stop [CLSM] (LINK)
This album is definetely one of the trademarks on 'Breakbeat Hardcore' genre, with Adam putting his own character to Nuskool Hardcore. It consists of  14 uplifting tracks in total, 9 of them are fresh and previously unreleased tracks and 5 others are exclusive album mixes. Proper beasts in a mad row!
The whole result is absolutely magnificent, starting from the attractive artwork by the legendary Junior Tomlin to featured established remixers like Luna-C, Fracus & Darwin and Chris Ross, as well as collabs with Hattrixx, CLSM, Jason UFO and special vocals by Si Genaro and Charley. Coming out on the big CLSM!
For more info about this album and the story so far of our Inspector, you can check our Strictly Nuskool interview here.
Best Tune: Inspector Sands - Can't Stop (Luna-C Remix)


(4) V.A. - Parallel Hardcore 2 [MOB SQUAD TOKYO] (LINK)
One more great addition to the Japanese based label, Mob Squad Tokyo with 15 amazing tracks of various styles like Gabber, Speedcore, Early Hardcore, about 150-200 bpm range and the result is by far one of the best recent Hardcore Techno releases of the year as it covers almost anything rave-banging!
This album is compiled by 2 well known Japanese producers like M-Project and m1dy, featuring also more great and established contributors like DJ Shimamura, DieTrax, DJ Technorch, RoughSketch and many more others who did big work in their tunes.
Best Tune: M-Project - Artcore Strikes Back


(5) Various - The Best of Ravenoyz Crew [RAVENOYZ RECORDINGS] (LINK)
Not Best but THE..BEST! Well, Ravenoyz manager and hard working Hardcore trooper from Tenerife, DJ Wislov, has collected fresh tracks by Ravenoyz Recordings signed producers and has created a proper Hardcore Breaks album of Darkness and ruff breakbeats!
A good example of this LP is the starter vibe by US producer Gentleman Bastard dropping a geniously slammer! Respectz to all involved, keeping it real for real and to my good friend Wislov, who's running a mad year for good cause!
Best Tune: Gentleman Bastard - After the music has stopped






TARIQ ZIYAD (UK)

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TARIQ ZIYAD: For the last few years I haved moved towards House Music and now more and more towards Techno but I still love and support the excellent releases on labels like Paranoid Recordings, Jedi Recordings and the 'Flashback' style of DJ Vapour's 36 Hertz label. I really miss the 'Future Jungle' sound though and have huge admiration and respect for Boomsha Recordings, who haven't just kept this sound alive but took it forward and kept it fresh. Hoping for a Hardcore Breaks & Future Jungle revival in 2017!!



(1) Swankout - Ultimate Bad Boy [TOP DRAWER DIGITAL] (LINK)
Paul Woolford & Mella Dee have made a huge impact in the last few years with their oldskool rave/Jungle inspired sounds. But it's not just those two incredibly talented artists that can turn out a monster hybrid House/Breaks/Jungle tune!!! Check out this ultimate bad boy boy by Swankout!!


(2) 2 Bad Mice - Gone Too Soon [SNEAKER SOCIAL CLUB] (LINK)
So many cool things about this track, Davos' pianos, DJ Faydz scratching and the timeless brilliance of this track that feels like it travelled from 92 to 2016!!!


(3) Vertical Drop & Bobby Tee - All In Vain [BOOMHA RECORDINGS] (LINK)
From the amazing 'Faceless Exchange Of Beats' LP on Boomsha, this track really stands out with distinctive rolling breaks, 92 rave synths and an unforgettable voice in Bobby Tee.


(4) Monks & Mort - Don't You Want [RAVESKOOL RECORDINGS] (LINK)
At first listen, you might think this was by one of the legends of the 94-95 Breakbeat Hardcore era. Is it Slipmatt? Dougal? DJ Seduction? Is it a Kniteforce release? No, it's two brand new artists making a well deserved name for themselves with a super uplifting fast paced Breakbeat Hardcore tune for 2016!!!


(5) Rhythm 4 Reason - Make Some Noise For The DJs (Sound Of The 92 Cru Mix) [ULYBUG MUSIC] (LINK)
Two incredibly talent House music artists including one who was making oldskool hardcore back when it was new!!! This tune deserves to be massive, massive with house, breaks and oldskool heads alike!!




BREAKBEATSCIENTIST (UK)

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BREAKBEATSCIENTIST:


(1) Liquid Alliance - Hazme Sonar (Extended Version) [RAVENOYZ RECORDINGS] (LINK)
The combined forces of Wislov and Alex Breako deliver an uncompromisingly atmospheric neo-darkside classic.


(2) Drum Cypha - Got To Let Go [CRITERION RECORDS] (LINK)
Drum Cypha courtesy of Criterion Records presented us with some celestial sounding, dubwise jungle which balanced the rough and the smooth perfectly.

(3) Pixel feat. SkorpZ - Sleepy Hollow [BOOMSHA RECORDINGS] (LINK)
Taken from the excellent 'Into The Unknown' LP, 'Sleepy Hollow' expertly blends atmospheric pads and spine-tingling melodies with tearing future jungle amens.

(4) Distrax - Cry Little Sister (Distrax Bootleg) (LINK)
Distrax takes a cult '80's classic and gives it a hi-octane, dancefloor orientated drum & bass makeover for 2016. This remix has "FANGS"!!!

(5) VEB - All Around You [VIRAL-MENTAL RECORDS] (LINK)
VEB blends gentle techno melodies with crisp D&B breaks for this exhilarating and emotive track.


Special Mentions (Coz 5's Never Enough):
Digital - Crater Face [FUNCTION RECORDS] (LINK)
Scartat - The Trustworthy Producer [KNITEFORCE RECORDS] (LINK)
Sparki Dee - Inner Calm (LINK)
Beat Rapist - Lost In Jungle [GOOD NEWS BOPPERS] (LINK)
Hektic - Planet Traveller [VIRAL-MENTAL RECORDS] (LINK)





SPARKI DEE (UK)

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SPARKI DEE: Its been so hard to pick my top 5 this year as there has been hundreds of amazing tunes I have heard and played so here is what I came up with.


(1) M Beat & General Levy - Incredible (Galvatron Remix) (LINK)
Soon as I first heard it I knew this would go off! true to my prediction it did as the views, re posts swelled to 20 thousand odd on Galvatron's page. He is a top producer, fiercely under rated but someone to look out for in the future.


(2) FBD - The Core (Beardy Remix) (LINK)
Another remix but what another top class finish! Beardy went in hard with this twisted messed up track whilst still keeping the core elements of the track intact and using his own sound around it. Very well polished, bassy, bashy and meaty like a fat steak on a plate. Brilliant!


(3) Krave - Blue (LINK)
I have been playing Krave in my radio shows and podcasts for around 2/3 years and just love how authentic and old skool he sounds. He's only around 16 years old but sounds like he's been producing for over 20 years. His sound really has turned heads this year and has become a prolific producer pumping out some quality jungle sounds.


(4) Nicky Allen - NAD #34 (Nicky Allen Dubs) (LINK)
I can't keep up with Nicky! practically every week he comes out with a new mash up/remix.
There has been so many NAD's this year its been so hard to pick one but I'd say #34 is his best effort this year. I like how full on and hectic this is and he manages to cram so much in without it sounding too crowded and over powering now that is a skill!.


(5) ApoGee Breaks - Lunar Excursions (LINK)
I'm familar with Apogee's work under his Amiga Breaks alias so I knew I would hit upon some good tunes under his new name. Lunar Excursions explores the more ambient side of breakbeat, a very calming and chilled track with character and energy to grace the listeners
ears. Something more people need to check out.



DAMAGE INC. (UK)

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bandcamp - house-mixes




DAMAGE INC.: Right, I'm going to get the negative sounding part out of the way first:

I feel 2016 was a gap year in the entertainment World. It was the worst year I ever remember.
Legends seem to have died every week of this year, no killer games, Battlefield and C.O.D. seemed to be taking advantage of their fan bases, nobody made any films apart from Disney and the Marvel related projects who just dominated month after month, no songs in the music world and the door was wide open for anybody to have a hit record this year as nobody was putting anything good out.

DJing out and the tunes you're selecting you realise are all 1/2/3 years old!!! Because there was nothing new to play, now importantly this is not a dig at the Breaks/Rave genre, there was no hits at all from Rock/Hip Hop/House/DnB/Garage/Pop/etc,etc, it was all genres!
Which at least means things can only get better!?!?!

So what was good in 2016? TV shows, soooo many good TV series coming out, now if the rest of the entertainment world could put this much effort in it would be amazing!
Old Skool seems to have got bigger and more popular worldwide, maybe because of the good atmosphere and terrible new music.
Events, more and more great nights are popping up all over the World, there's Rave's, festivals, club nights that are killing it now. One of the most exciting things is there are new events and promoters who are passionate and energetic about their projects and not the same tired line ups, tunes and
dusty old brand names, it's exciting times with a younger/newer/different generation of ravers/promotors/acts.

So let's do this. I can't give you 5 top tunes. So 5 top Hardcore Breaks things!

(1) TUNE OF THE YEAR:
The best Hardcore Breaks tune of the year for me has to be 'Give Yourself' by Rave In Peace. Amazing track that wow'ed me the 1st time I heard it!
Biggest tune for myself has to be 'Damage Inc.,The Walker' as that has gone down well with so many people and not just the Breaks crowd!


(2) DJ OF THE YEAR:
OK, now this is tough. DJ Faydz is outstanding, best out there in my book. Nefti, again an incredible DJ representing the sounds and I'm humbled to have raved with him many times,but the #1 DJ out there has to be with no competition near him, it's DJ Remixx. Am I kissing arse, selecting my friends here? No, quite simply Remixx will stand up to the best and beat most DJ's A list or Z list,and with zero ego bollocks - ask anybody who knows him.
If you've never heard him go and fix that now, that's not hard to do as he is living and breathing DJin, you can catch him once or twice a week on Rough Tempo Radio,you can catch him at the biggest Raves, every weekend! He is representing Hardcore Breaks as hard as Damage Inc. or Nefti. This genre needs exposure and there's very few DJ's playing this stuff out hard every week at Raves and events!

(3) RADIO SHOW OF THE YEAR:
The other DJ's repping this genre are the radio DJS, whether FM or Net, you guys are exposing this sound each and every, you guys love it, play it and educate people with your shows.
If I ever get chance to catch 1 of your shows I always log in the chat and I always learn new tunes that I have missed somewhere so salute! Right, my faves this year, for enjoyment and pushing this sound are going to be 'The Unsigned'-now a podcast- by Sparki Dee, Tariq's 'Borderless Beats', BassRaver's Renegade Radio Show. All very educational and quality shows pushing the genre.
BUT, the #1 has to go to GL0WKiD. This guy's passion is strong, all his work with the radio shows, pushing the genre, the guests, the wicked personality, the blog work, everything!


(4) PRODUCER OF THE YEAR:
There's some great guys out there making these tunes we all love. My shouts have to go out to Motivbreaks, Nefti, Gareth Monks for 2016.
I'm gonna give it to DJ Rave In Peace tho for making my favourite tune of the year!
Now there's also the underdogs out there, making great stuff and maybe going unnoticed, 2 that spring straight to mind this year are Robbie P and Paul Cronin.
Robbie's been round for ages making this stuff and seems to be totally under the radar. Look him up, Paul Cronin, I see his name mentioned so some know him better than Robbie but if you don't know have a look at his discography. He has lots of tunes, all crazy breakbeat madness!


(5) LABEL OF THE YEAR:
Too easy to say Kniteforce, who are back with a vengeance, because obviously they make Breakbeat Rave music and are great,with an outstanding history, Captain and discography. But when it comes to this, Kniteforce are obvious A listers and Bonafide Old Skool contenders. So the real winner for this, I'm going to give it to my vote for last year again, Tornado Records, The Biggest, baddest Hardcore Breaks label, 2nd only to Kniteforce, no other Hardcore Breaks label comes close!


Big ups all those I posted, and of course there are other worthy guys out there I havnt mentioned here, but I cant fit everyone in. But everybody making, playing, supporting this genre keep doing what you're doing and push forward for 2017!



ALEX K. [CRITERION RECORDS]
(GR)








ALEX. K: My Top 5 of the year are:

(1) Champa B - Past & Present & Reform [CRITERION RECORDS] (LINK)
(2) Sonar’s Ghost - Ode 2 Ep [CRITERION RECORDS] (LINK)
(3) Tim Reaper - Storylines [SKELETON RECORDINGS] (LINK)
(4) Saxxon- Powers EP [WEAPON OF CHOICE RECORDINGS] (LINK)
(5) Unknown Artist - Lost (BURELOM MUSIC) (LINK)





BIOHANNYA (JP)









BIOHANNYA: These are my top releases of 5 genres


(1) D34D - SynthStep (LINK)
Synthwave meets dubstep? It's next level.

(2) Control - The Teeth & The Wounds (LINK)
The Dillinger Escape Plan, Meshuggah and Periphery are the best 3 of this year IMO but Control is as good as them.


(3) acid greg - difficult second album acid [eerik inpuj sound] (LINK)
Short crazy duck acids.

(4) Lexis shii - Four Heart Romance (LINK)
My fav vocaloid producer is back! Just fantastic.


(5) Technical Hitch - Hear Pictures [ALICE-D RECORDS] (LINK)
He is the bestest!


Sorry it has no breakcore and such
I will do other genres on my blog as BioAwards 2016 (http://biohannya.blogspot.jp)





BREAKFORCE ONE (GER)

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BREAKFORCE ONE: 2016 has been absolutely mental for me. I wanted to release my Album but so much stuff got in the way, I had amazing gigs, for example at Balter and Bangface Bristol, I met lots of fine people and there was a whole Lot of great Music released.
Before I list my top 5, heres a quick correction of my last years Top 5:


Pants and Socks - Skid Marks (LINK)
This was released well after i handed in my Top 5, on December 28th, and it would have easily made the list. Banger of a Release!


Anyway, heres the Top 5 of 2016:


(1) weyheyhey !! - toomuchnotenough [AMEN-TAL] (LINK)
Amental released this EP in April and its easily weyheyhey !!'s most mature release to date. It doesnt quite reach his 2nd EP Helical Scan - which is probably the best non-Vsnares Breakcore Release of all time for me (lol) - but toomuchnotenough is varied, clever and got that level of quality that only he seems to get to put into his music. toomuchnotenough is amazing and if you havent heard it then you should do it now.
Best Track: Other People's Pleasure


(2) Everything F000L put out this year (LINK 1 and 2)
Well. F000L. I like to tell everyone how he is the best new Breakcore Artist and all that so i wont do just that here. Instead ill also list a few negative things this time. Mea Kulpa, his first non-self released EP, put out by Hormonal Vibrationz (shout outs to Mischky), is a very interesting release, as in that you can hear how hes still trying to figure out how this whole Breakcore thing works.
The Drops are too short, the Transitions too long and theres rarely a sense of Climax at any point in his Tracks. Yet he still manages to outdo most of his established competitors. Where Mea Kulpa was his learning process, the track "Sundae Rapple" which was released shortly after is him saying "Yea i figured it out". That Track is pure fire. And the Best thing is, his new stuff will surpass that even further. Check him out. Seriously!


(3) Anorak - Fake Funk Replica (LINK)
John's back at it on this Ep. Culture Shock and BRFYFM being classics for me already, this might be my favourite Output of his yet.
Best Track: BRFYFM


(4) Sa†an - PRSPCT LTD 015 [PRSPCT RECORDINGS] (LINK)
Sa†an is a hard one for me to talk about. I had a phase where I absolutely hated his music because it was super samey and repetitive. But, after a while it clicked and i became a Huge Fan. Not only is his Production Value probably the best that Breakcore has to offer, he also got something to his tracks that not alot of Producers have: A brutal and unrelenting Dynamic that gets you hyped for every second of the Track. This EP proofs all of these points.
Best Track: Bleed


(5) The Outside Agency - Cause an Effect (LINK)
May this be a placeholder for all the great Crossbreed and Darkstep released this year. You cant go wrong with DJ Hidden.
Best Track: Deep Sleep



COCO BRYCE (NL)








COCO BRYCE:


(1) FFF - Myor Massiv 05 [MYOR MASSIV] (LINK)
Perhaps a bit of an obvious one, because I released this record on my own label.
But it is truly, hands down my favourite record of 2016. Especially the A1 and B1 tunes,"It Began In Man's Mind" and "Would D Think It's Smooth Enough" respectively.
I know those two tracks mean a lot to FFF himself as well, on a very personal level and I think it shows complemented with an off kilter sounding breakbeat/4x4/jungle hybrid (We Sleep) and a full frontal ragga amen rinse-out (Murder Comet), I think this is one of the most diverse and well produced jungle records of 2016.


(2) FX - Demonic Possession 05 [DEMONIC POSSESSION] (LINK)
FX holds down the jungle techno/darkstyle sound like none other. To be fair, I've not heard a crap tune from him to this day.
He manages to stay true to the early/mid 90's sound, maintaining that original grittiness, yet his productions are crisp, loud and up to par with contemporary production techniques.
I'm a big fan of all the previous Demonic Possession releases as well, but in my opinion this one takes the biscuit. both sides are equally damaging, but I do find myself playing "Hound Of The Baskervilles" more often, as the intro makes for some very nice & smooth mixing.


(3) On 1 Crew - On 1 Crew EP [KEEPING VINYL ALIVE] (LINK)
Ok, so technically this isn't really a 2016 EP, as all the tracks featured were made in 93/95,
but it was released in 2016, and as far as I know, 3 out of 4 of the tunes had never been pressed on vinyl before..
It's all about the "Bad Dreams" one for me tho. I'd had the original EP in my want-list for quite a while, thinking I'd never get my hands on a wax copy as the only ones up for sale on Discogs were all about 100 Euros, and I'd never pay that kind of money for any record, no matter how badly I want it. And then I saw someone post a link to the reissue pre-order on facebook. For some reason I'd completely missed it, and I couldn't really believe it at first tbf, but yes, the 'Bad Dream' turned into a good one after all. Little slice of heaven imo.
And eventually the other tunes managed to grow on me as well, 'Dreams Of Java' being a very nicely executed, laid back jungle jam, not much going on in there, but great for mixing, and love the general atmosphere of it.



(4) D-Futers - Dolphin Traxx 001 [NATURAL SCIENCES-DOLPHIN TRAXX] (LINK)
Stunning jams these. heard a one minute snippet of "Never Giving Up" and didn't think twice about buying it. hell,
I even like the House tune on the A-side (I Care), which is pretty rare for me nowadays, as most contemporary 4x4 stuff bores me to bits.
Only downside imo might be the loud tape hiss.. actually quite like me some tape hiss when it's applied to gritty hip hop beats or garage punk etc,but for some reason I prefer my jungle bits a wee bit crisper. but whatever, the tunes are so damn nice (and "catchy" for lack of a better word),
that even the forced lo-fi sound doesn't turn me off. it's basically nothing more than a great vocal sample with some amens, apaches and a bassline whacked over it, but imo that just goes to show how simplicity is really the key in some cases. no frills, just a minimal amount of samples mixed together and cooked up into a hot jungle stew.


(5) Abyss/FFF - Myor Massiv 02 [MYOR MASSIV] (LINK)
And another semi-self congratulatory pick. Tommy (FFF) and I had just returned from the pressing plant to pick up the first Myor Massiv release. we went over to his place in Rotterdam to stamp some of the record labels, when he played me a tune he'd just finished the day before. halfway through the track I told him I wanted it for the next release.
I was simply blown away on the spot. same with the Abyss tune really. He'd posted a little clip of "Lightning, Earthquake & Thunder" on the LLBCJ fb page, and I knew right away I wanted to release it, so I hit him up on fb and asked if he was up for it. Still chuffed I was able to release these two amen gems!




THECRAZYDUTCHMAN (NL)
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THE CRAZYDUTCHMAN: 2016 has been an amazing year for music. A whole heap of tunes were released upon us and these tunes kept us dancing all over the world for hours in a row without taking a breath.

It’s been so good, I’ve never been happier in my life. It was difficult to compose a shortlist, but I think I've managed to find 5 tracks which made my year a bit better. If you haven't heard them, go and check them out!


(1) Inspector Sands - Can't Stop (Luna-C Remix) [CLSM] (LINK)
This anthem blew me away when I heard a promo mix for Inspector Sands’ album.
His album is just pure gold, the best Breakbeat album I have heard in a long time. And this remix, by the mighty Luna-C, does the Breakbeat scene justice, and shows that Luna-C still rocks. A solid remix.


(2) Seventhrum - Groundshaker [J-NERATION] (LINK)
I don’t know a single thing about the artist, but I heard this in Clarkey’s mix and my mind just blew up into a million pieces!
Quality UK Hardcore tune: it might sound simple, but the build up is just tremendously good, and this track has been thought about before releasing. This does not only shake the ground around me, but every fiber of my body.


(3) Finnbarr - The Bornless One [STAMINA RECORDS] (LINK)
Finnbarr is the future of Freeform. This man has only produced high quality dancefloor smashers since day one, and he’s so passionate about making music, he quit his daytime job! That’s dedication, and he earns my respect with every release on Stamina Records.
This is yet another example of his knowledge of making excellent Freeform tracks. A producer to look out for, he will be the future. That’s no prediction, that’s a fact.


(4) I Hate Models - Daydream [ARTS] (LINK)
Can Techno get any darker? This is sublime, this is heavenly!
This is the soundtrack of every space related movie ever made.
This is so good on so many levels, this has the capability to touch your soul and make you feel things you have never felt before.
This blew me away, thanks DJ Louk for making me aware of the most beautiful Techno track ever written. Dark and light at the same time: beautifully balanced!


(5) D-Fence - Pompen [NEOPHYTE RECORDS] (LINK)
I am Dutch, and ofcourse I would be not fair to not put a Dutch Hardcore track in it. This is probably only likeable when you are Dutch, because the lyrics are Dutch. The lyrics aren’t that hard to understand: pompen met die subwoofer.
It’s raw, simple, and yet so darn good, this makes me get blister underneath my feet every time I hear this. A smile always appears on my face after hearing this. D-Fence, the next masked man to dominate the Hardcore scene.


P.S. I would like to say thank you to this wonderful website, for allowing a small and humble reviewer to express his musical taste back in 2015 and now this year. Thank you for keeping the music scene alive and kicking (alongside me of course).
Without reviewers and passionate people like us the scene might be completely different! Keep doing what you are doing! Peace out!



DAVE SKYWALKER (UK)

website - soundcloud - facebook
twitter - Endor Recordings






DAVE SKYWALKER:

(5) Porter Robinson - Sad Machine (Darren Styles & Gammer Remix) (LINK)
For me, a lot of where it's at was in hardcore this year.
This is a straight up hands-in-the-air anthem, with a big intro and some epic breakdowns. A great remix.


(4) Little Big - Hateful Love (LINK)
I discovered Little Big right at the start of the year as a "Russian alternative to Die Antwoord", but they're not really like that at all. Much more ravey and indeed their "Funeral Rave" album has to be listened to, but this is my favourite track by far from the album.
You'd initially think it's some cheesy happy hardcore track, but those lyrics - brilliant.


(3) JAKAZID - Amnesia [LILIUM RECORDS] (LINK)
Everything Jakazid turns his hands to turns out well, from his juke/footwork alter-ego "Pengaton" to his hyper-percussive hardcore (even if that is even the right definition?!) tracks.
This always goes down well when I've played it out.


(2) Locked - Bad Acid
A cheeky little number this. Locked has made some amazing tracks and - at least on this side of the pond - has been underrated and overlooked.
Hopefully this will turn a little bit with four tracks that will have been put out on my label, Endor Recordings, by the end of the year, and this speaks volumes about what he can make. Heavy breakbeats, amazing synth lines, and the crowd reaction on this speaks volumes.


(1) Pegboard Nerds - Get On Up (Jakka-B Edit) (LINK)
One of my favourite elements to have come into hardcore in the last year has been the electro/ukbass influence. It's as if Rrritalin, Kanji Kinetic or similar decided to start writing 170bpm tracks, and it's amazing. This track in particular is my fave track of the year - it has it all. Pianos! Hyper vocals! Heavy bass stabs!

And while I'm here I'm also gonna say Jakka-B's edit of Joyryde's "Give My Love" is up there too. Amazing stuff, and MORE PLEASE FOR 2017!





MISSQULATER (JP)

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MISSQULATER: My 2016 Best 5 Releases are:


(1) Lone - Levitate [R&S RECORDS] (LINK)
Always feel sympathy to Lone sounds,
I was not experienced in Real Time for Golden Age of Rave Scene, but we're jumping into nice 90s Techno-Break Beat-IDM Massive era in midteen.
This Album sounds like Rave Grandpa, Techno Grandma, BreakBeat Dad, IDM Mom, and Precious DNAed dance music kid in one pictured in sunny garden.


(2) EOD "EODS 7-9" [WEME RECORDS] (LINK)
Finally it's finished EODS series, True braindance SAGA.
Uplifting, Melancholic, Nostalgic,Weird and Beautiful Melodic Jammed Bin.
Spread this tasty jam on my toasted boring life, just smiled like an Eccentric person. Very very Tasty.


(3) MNLTH - RYthimi (LINK)
Picked up MNLTH for BEST release in two consecutive years.
I'm thinking of MNLTH sounds is a good choice for Braindance Music Primer.
Don't get me wrong, but MNLTH makes very catchy melodies and easy to enjoy his splendid rhythm.
Not only for beginners, Details of constructed funkness will make your brain dancing with brain's own feet.
The titled track "RYthimi" is outstanding.


(4) Various (Jodey Kendric) - EDM F/A- 18+ Stimulator (LINK)
Of course, don't forget other 21st century braindance hero.
Very talented guy. The tree has hundreds of branches, bears various fruits, some bitter, some sour, some sweet.
Track 1 to 6 drift in dawn sky, track 7 to 9 my body was burning, track 10 to 13 noticed I was in space, track 14 to 15 I woke up in strange planet.
Curious journey.


(5) Various "Voiceless X [ANALOGICAL FORCE] (LINK)
From Madrid based label delivered some great EPs this year.
Especially this EP is astonishing quality!! What an amazing line up here.
Kettel "South Lamar" is best romantic acid electronica in this year. My first listened to this track is about 6 years ago in his live set (Thank you Internet)! Probably, this track is updated and brushed up from then. Perfect uplifting atmosphere leaning on your consciousness.

Other tracks by Dwaallict (Wisp), Shinra, EOD, Microlith, each track is incredible stuff, indeed. Must check if you missed.


P.S.
Missqulater didn't release own EP or LP and hardly listened to new music in 2016.
Don't worry, I will reboot Missqulater now, as I'm preparing new LP and EPs!
Keep your eyes on Missqulater 2017!





FFF (NL)

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FFF:

- MN-LTH - Trax [WeMe RECORDS] (LINK)
    MNLTH - Demotape (LINK)

Dave Monolith's output always hits that perfect spot of nostalgia of this period of electronica, techno, house that I love so much but without simply copying.
His sound is so fresh and unique and I simply never get bored of listening to it.
This year was a real treat with his triple vinyl release on WeMe and his self released cassette (1st in a series of 5, yay!!)



- Telford Nelson - Rough Road [TOP RANKING SOUND] (LINK)
Technically not a 2016 release but a 2016 repress of a 1990 digi killer! SO happy to finally own this on vinyl. I had to include it because it's the tune I played the most this year. SO beautiful!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmR-b5c04mw



- Fifth Era - Visceral Loathing E.P. [ALTAR RECORDS] (LINK)
Fifth Era's latest ep on the new Belgian label Altar record is amazing.
The track "Let The day Perish" is so melancholically beautiful.
Can listen to that one on a loop. Other standout track is "Untitled" (A2) those strings that come in halfway of the track get to me every time.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fZFaCo9O_w
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QD_E25zC28I


- Coco Bryce - Sub Lunar / Esoteric [FRESH86] (LINK 1 and 2)
Amazing double 12" by homie Coco Bryce! sick break edits & beautiful atmospheres.
Rocks every dancefloor without ever losing the smooth!! Check out his other output as well!!!!
https://youtu.be/m3PpZkLft9k
https://youtu.be/UfwVSrK1XOc


- Mangrove / ganjaman_72 - in 5-track digital dub [DIGITAL WHATEVER] (LINK)
Great cassette chock full of digi killers!! Only 1 copy left on the Digital Whatever bandcamp so be very very fast! Or just get the digital version of course.





JAKAZID (UK)

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JAKAZID: I'll be honest - I'm terrible at picking favourites. Don't ask me what my favourite sandwich filling is. As such, this Top 5 is not really a definitive "Best Tracks of 2016" chart but more a rundown of five big tracks from this year that would undoubtedly go into a JAKAZiD set if you asked me to play one tomorrow.



(1) A.B - Crowd Geoff [TESLA TRACKS] (LINK)
I don't really play much freeform in my sets (not out of any prejudice towards the style!) but this track from freeform stalwart A.B really piqued my interest, and not just because of the stupid name.
It shares a lot of sensibilities with hard house from the early 00's with its donk-y bass, chaotic hoover riffs and pitched up rap samples.


(2) Dougal & Gammer - Shoulder Lock [TOGETHER WE RISE] (LINK)
Hold tight arthritis crew! I think every hardcore DJ cained this track this year - simplistic at its core but so versatile to use in sets.
And from two of hardcore's best, it's not surprising that it goes off every time.


(3) JAKAZiD - Amnesia [LILIUM RECORDS] (LINK)
And so I humbly put one of my own bits into my top 5. This was my first original track after a year off from producing, so my motivation was to just have fun and make a track that was playful, ravey and hyperactive.
I've yet to have a chance to play this one on the dancefloor myself, but was overwhelmed by the crowd reaction when Dave Skywalker dropped it at Bangface in Bristol earlier this year.


(4) DJ Laugh feat. Megsis - We Can Fly (Yudaidhun Remix) [NOTEBOOK "Delight" RECORDS] (LINK)
This one really caught me by surprise and has been a staple in my sets this year. DJ Laugh (more commonly known for his hardcore techno productions as RoughSketch) creates a throwback happy hardcore anthem with reinforced raveyness thanks to Yudaidhun. We can flyyyyyyyyyyy!


(5) Mat Zo - MAD [MAD ZOO RECORDS] (LINK)
Those familiar with Mr. Zo will find this track a little uncharacteristic of his usual productions.
This cut that rounds off his recent EP of the same name eschews the standard complexity of his usual work for a straight-up banger that sits somewhere between DnB, jungle and footwork. It's not a long track but it cuts straight to the point so who cares?




DJ JEDI (UK)

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Jedi Recordings









DJ JEDI:

(1) Luna-C - Piano Progression (Scott Brown Remix) [KNITEFORCE RECORDS] (LINK)
This is the best "happy hardcore" track I have heard for 15 years.
So simple but brilliant. I had it stuck in my head for days!


(2) Mega City 2 - Nightwalker (Beardy Remix) [JEDI RECORDINGS] (LINK)
I've got to include one track from my own label in the list
and this is probably the one I have had most good feedback about. Excellent new take on a classic track.


(3) Hornchuch Hardcore - Volume 2 [DARK AGE RECORDINGS] (LINK)
Massively underrated release this one, should be getting talked about a lot more because every track is quality.


(4) FX - Hound of the Baskervilles [DEMONIC POSSESSION RECORDINGS] (LINK)
I love the breaks on this track, it is obvious a lot of effort has gone in to it.


(5) Keezee - Bang [BROKEN BEAT RECORDINGS] (LINK)
This has only just been released but I like it a lot, very technical without being over the top. Great dancefloor music.



Si - 2 BAD MICE (UK)

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SI - 2 BAD MICE: For me 2016 was our 25th year together as 2 Bad Mice / Kaotic Chemistry. As you are aware our new EP is out and we have to say a massive thank you to everyone, who has supported us over the years.
More importantly, I think this year has seen a new generation of producers shine through.

Producers that have a strong grasp of the original sounds and production from back in the day - Benton, Etch, Ilk, Pressa, Tim Reaper, Mella Dee, Detboi, Galvatron and Dwarde are just a few of these. 
They have recreated tracks that fit perfectly into old skool sets but they deliver a new energy, make people curious and always rock dance floors. In my eyes these are the children of jungle and we should support their music and ethos.

I have also been vocal about my love of Nu Skool and re-do’s of old tracks. Producers like Nicky Allen, DJ Nexus, Gareth Monks and Ziyad are producing great little re-fixes of tracks from BITD.
I always try to include them in my sets - I am always curious on peoples takes on proven old skool music. I feel they deliver a new more punchier vibe and always arouse interest.

To pick my fave tracks is difficult but here goes:

- Benton - BBS Vol 1 [SWAMP81] (LINK)
- Etch - Untitled Hardcore [SNEAKER SOCIAL CLUB] (LINK)
- Detboi - Beast
- Scar - Out of Perspevtive
- Pressa - Need You [BOOMSHA RECORDINGS] (LINK)



POSTHUMAN (UK)

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Balkan Vinyl - I Love Acid







POSTHUMAN: 

(1) Chambray - Evenue [UNKNOWN TO THE UNKNOWN] (LINK)

An easy choice for our favourite for 2016 - released on the ever-reliable Unknown to the Unknown imprint, it's been a weapon of choice for our DJ gigs all year, shuffling voices throughout the massive build and riff at the end is simply epic.


(2) Paranoid London - We Come To Rock [PARANOID LONDON RECORDINGS] (LINK)

Although known for their acid, this electro anthem from the Paranoid boys does what it says on the tin.
Oozing with energy and attitude - and it's not a put-on: Paranoid London put their money where their mouths are, injecting punk into a scene that was getting sterile and po-faced. Boss.


(3) Peggy Gou - Six Oh Six [PHONICA WHITE] (LINK)

Out on wax, on Phonica White - a lot of Peggy Gou's previous output kinda passed us by, 
but this track is something else. Bleepy acid, drifting chords, and lazy-as-fuck too-cool-for-school vocals. Love it.


(4) Andreas Gehm - I Love Acid 008 [I LOVE ACID] (LINK)

Usually we'd avoid putting our own label's releases into a 'top' list, but I think an exception has to be made here.
Andreas sadly passed away just a few months after this came out, we're honoured to have worked with him. And it's probably one of the best records we've had the privilege of being involved in.


(5) DET 90 - Digital Tape Vol. 1 (LINK)

From what we can tell, DET 90 aka Michael Galletto is a virtually unknown artist from Luxembourg.
That is something surely due to change - his album in 2015 was one of the best releases in that B12 / Stasis kind of vibe and this year he followed it up with this superb 4-tracker, proper lush analogue house. Opening track "Blooming" is the one!!
... and it's free to download too!




KUSHTI (IRL)

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Energy Collective









KUSHTI:

Top 5 Tunes of 2016


(1) Riggie Smalls - Make The Floor Shake [LEMTEK] (LINK)

(2) Muffler - Amen Tune [UNIQUE MUSIC RECORDS] (LINK)
(3) Plastidekore - Rave Massacre [STOMP! SOUNDS] (LINK)
(4) Wit!? - So Horny (LINK)
(5) Spiky Hippy - Adventure Timecore (Matt:Scratch Remix) [AMEN4TEKNO] (LINK)



Top 5 Releases of 2016


(1) Beatwife - Ranch Road 10400 (LINK)
Top track "Tokyo Jungle"


(2) Circus Brekovic - Circus Brekovic EP [ERISIAN] (LINK)
Top track "Circus Brekovic - Cara Van Core"


(3) Fat Frumos, Alex Tune, Doc - Realized For The Three [OFF ME NUT] (LINK)
Top track "Alex Tune - Fascinated"



(4) FFF - In The Fear [MURDER CHANNEL] (LINK)
Top track "FFF - Amen Soldier (Cycheouts Ghost remix)(CD BONUS TRACK)"


(5) V.A. - JungleTek Mafia Vol. 3 [AMEN4TEKNO] (LINK)
Top track "e-coli — Levan Polka", also "Spiky Hippy" which is in my top 5 tunes.


Top 5 Channels on SoundCloud in no order
- UK Jungle (https://soundcloud.com/uk-jungle)


And finally, the best tune "new to my ears" in 2016 is this ...
- Pumplex - Circus Gabba (LINK)




UME/MURDER CHANNEL (JP)

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UME:


This is personally my favorite Top 5 of this year.

- Sir Spyro - Topper Top ft. Teddy Bruckshot, Lady Chann and Killa P [DEEP MEDI] (LINK)

- MILES WORD x OLIVE OIL - SOLDIER'S [DLIP RECORDS] (LINK)

- Moody Good - Satoshi Nakamoto (LINK)

- Mark Pritchard - A Badman Sound [WARP] (LINK)

- Jamakabi - Hot It Up (Kahn & Neek Remix) [FABRIC WORLDWIDE] (LINK)

And I'd like to add also my best "DJ MIXES of 2016". The list goes like this:


- RA.528 Raime (LINK)
Raime's 2nd album is best record of this year. Their sounds are truly core.
Also Raime's DJ MIX is very unique. They mix of Jungle,DNB, Dancehall,Grime,UKG.This UKG/Grime set is really great too.
It was surprising that they used DJ SCUD for the first song.
I feel UK and their foundation from this mix.


- Todd Osborn - The Rewind (LINK)
I'm really happy that Todd Osborn is back to a Jungle set! This Mix is one of best his Mix work.
He uses Super rare tracks of Squarepusher and Krome & Time – Ruffneck Scouts (AFX Edit) and many more others...AMAZING!


- Dave Skywalker - 10 Years Banging (celebrating 10 years at BANG FACE) (LINK)
Dave Skywalker is one of my favorite DJ every time. This Set is a wonderful Rave trip.


- Mumdance w/ Riko (100% Jungle & Hardcore Special) (LINK)
Mumdance playing a lot of classical tunes. RIKO DAN's powerful MC is good combination with Jungle set. Mumdance's activities are very wonderful.
I think his vision is very physical. I can sympathize very much.


- Remarc and R.A.W. LIVE! - MONDAY MAYHEM-KOOL LONDON [15-08-16] (LINK)
R.A. W.'s set is mix of really amazing Dubplate / Unreleased Tracks.
The first Remarc set is also very nice. The interview part is very interesting too.






SAIYAN (CA)

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SAIYAN:

(1) Saiyan and Cru-l-t - High Da Way (Luna-C Remix) [KFA] (LINK)

I know, I know, I'm starting my list with one of my own tracks.
But let me tell you, Luna-C absolutely DESTROYED this remix.
He took a fairly modern UK hardcore style track and turn it on its ear with some deep bass, crazy breakbeat edits, and lots of Luna-C's trademark sample work.
This is just fantastic work all around.


(2) Re-Style vs. Scott Brown featuring Ceci - I Go Crazy [FOOLISH] (LINK)
So, Scott's original Elysium is an easy pick for one of my top ten favourite tracks, so when I heard there was a gabber version on the way using the vocals from the Ultrabeat version, I was pretty pumped. When I found out my dear friend Ceci was actually going to be the one doing the vocals, I was even more pumped. This is a great rework of a great rework of a classic. It's stompy as hell, and even ravier. Great stuff from all parties.


(3) Scartat - The Trustworthy Promoter (Demcore Remix) [KFA] (LINK)
Another KFA tune, but it's another great one.
While Scartat (who is a good friend of mine from Toronto) did a great breakbeat/dnb original, Demcore took it and made it his own, with an almost powerstomp-influenced flair. This is one that's going to be in my sets regularly for at least the next year.


(4) D-Lyte - Poundland [LEGITIMATE RECORDINGS] (LINK)

I can't lie to you, I love Legitimate. D-Lyte's ethos with the label was to bring back the old Thin n Crispy ravey, bouncy "partycore" sound, and Poundtown exemplifies that to a T. Lots of bounce, lots of great sample editing, an oldskool vocal, a really nice breakbeat bit. When it comes to this style, this track is perfect. 



(5) Greg Peaks - Rock Somebody (Dave Skywalker Remix) [REBUILD MUSIC] (LINK)
Fresh off the recently released (and sold out) Rebuild Music album, "Like A Phoenix", Dave's remix is....indescribable. The original Rock Somebody is a straight up freeform tune, but Dave turns it on its head by turning it into...like.....a trance 'n' bass quasi-breakbeat track that maintains the feel of the original while doing something entirely unique. If you didn't buy Like A Phoenix, you seriously missed out here.



BONUS TRACK: 

Puppet and Murtagh featuring Richard Caddock - Killing Giants [MONSTERCAT] (LINK)

So this isn't really a hardcore track, but it certainly fits in a hardcore track very, very well. I never would have thought combining pop-punk vocals with drumstep would work so well, but work it does. This track is an absolute banger, and if you play music in the 165+ range, it belongs in your collection. Period.


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