Monday, 8 January 2018

INSANE & MIND Exclusive Interview & Guest Mix @ Strictly Nuskool Blog

Interview & Editorial by GL0WKiD

Long time nutters, long time friends and furthermore hungry for Hardcore and for the love of this buzz, for those who know about it. For anyone wondering tho what's all of that, the duet of INSANE & MIND is all available to reply to your enquiries about what's hot in present, and how they formed History of Hardcore and been active in our scene. Any chance to reform these big HOH events? Well maybe... Till then the duet has launched a stunning superb first 12" Vinyl EP out on their very own HOH Recordings.
Versatility and diversity are 2 elements that can be found in their musical life as DJs, Promoters, Label Managers, Ravers, Producers. Need more? Then grab the chance & check out our exclusive interview with Ben & John and listen to their exclusive mix for the Strictly Nuskool Blog.

- Hi there Ben and John.. Insane & Mind...
Which state of (insane) mind do I find you at present?

Insane: Hey Glowkid! Firstly massive thank you and huge big ups for our little feature! You find us currently in the midst and really excited about a small wave of tracks due or just out for release, either on our own or others labels, but a bit more about them shortly. As I guess you're gonna ask anyway!

- How you got infected with Hardcore music?

Do you remember your first sounds, emotions etc. ?

Mind: Well I guess my first memory of Hardcore was during a snowboarding holiday in 1990 with Insane, and we had a little portable getto blaster that we took with us along with a few mix tapes!! One tune always stood out and that was 'One Tribe - What Have You Done'.
Still love this today! My first experience of a rave (if memory serves me) was Spirt in Hatfield in 1991.

Insane: Couldn’t possible place the first or any sort of order to my early memories, checking release dates of certain tracks would probably help though. lol.. But some of the main early ones would be listening to the local Pirate Radio Station, Mad FM. and then going vinyl hunting at Parliament Records in Hertford. Plus going to Ware Collage where I bought one of my fav early rave tracks on vinyl, from fella attendees themselves.. 2 Bad Mice.

And as Mind mentions going to the raves locally back in the day like Spirit @ The Forum, Liberty @ Bowes Lyon, Pirate Club @ Roller Express, Labrynth @ Dalston, Equinox & Milwakees is to say by then I well and truly had the hardcore fever pumping through my veins!

- Name your top 5 tunes that played a key role deep inside you.

Insane: Man this is always such a tough question. Loving the whole History Of Hardcore (see what I did there) makes it near impossible to choose just 5!
So I'm gonna give you 5 tracks that I love for one reason or another!

N-Trance - Set You Free
Been kinda of our signature tune in every era & with every remix since the beginning, plus we finally remixed it 11 years later.

DJ Daydream - Make Your Own Kind Of Music
Always loved the vocals in this classic, These lyrics plus a post shared by Slipmatt a few years back that said in ruff “Don’t make music to find your followers, Make the music you love and your followers will find you” always reminds me, We’re born unique! Don’t be a copy, Just do what you love and anyone else who loves it too, will find you!

DJ N-Zo & DJ Invincible - Funky Sensation (Billy Daniel Bunter & J.D.S Remix)
Always one of my favourites and our first unofficial Remix!

Darren Styles - Your My Angel
Out to my wife Little Jo on this one, who's believed & supported in me from the start! Big love babes!

Open Up Your Heart "The Remixes" (12" Vinyl Release)
Proof dreams are defiantly worth chasing!

Boy that was so hard! There were so many more tracks, artists, styles & eras that have weighed so heavily on my musical styles, tastes & influences. But hopefully that should be evident within our music & mixes anyhow.

Mind: I’m not sure I could put a list of top 5 tunes together that would be too hard, but 5 tunes that have influenced me over the years would be

One Tribe - What Have You Done?

Slipmatt - SMD1

Brisk & Trixxy - Eye Opener

Insane & Mind - Free Again

Darren Styles feat. Christina Novelli - Sun Is Rising

- When did you catch up together and set up the History of Hardcore?

Insane: Me & Mind have known each other since knee high. We go right back when we lived locally on the same estate. Since we first got into the rave scene we kind went from being but always remaining ravers, to workers, to DJs, promotors, producers to record label owners.

HOH & Insane & Mind as a duo came about when we played on Remaniss Radio and met local Basildoneeon's Flipside & ESP. Then with the helping hands of a few others and off the back of a Remaniss Rave, we thought, talked & planned the first HOH and before we knew it went all out and launched the first History Of Hardcore back in February 2007 @ Jacks, London Bridge, SE1 with instant success and just kept the ball rolling for nearly 6 years whilst hosting over 18 large successful events as well as teaming up with other promotors for collaboration events.

- It's been around 10 years...
A decade of huge events where you've been played and organised alongside towering names such as Sy, Slipmatt, Brisk, DJ Vibes, Billy Daniel Bunter, Dj Seduction, just to name a few.

Can you each one of you share your biggest highlight ever? The one that will be never erased from your memory.

Insane: For me there's a few I would have to mention as I know Mind's gonna mention HOH9!
So I would get in there with, when HOH hosted the Fuelers Tent at USC, Santa Pod raceway serval years running the first year with myself, Mind & Spenno. The last set of the night just went off like no other. The ravers just keep singing and singing and it was all captured right there on film.

Also another major major highlight was just simply the HOH Ravers and all the crew that came from far and wide to rave with us in London. Those people were just the best! A real family! So many good times and so many awesome people! Big up crew if ya reading! We love ya!

Mind: It would have to be HOH9!! We sold out the event, even having to turn people away which wasn’t a good feeling!! Myself and Insane played the last hour 5-6 with MC Spenno to a packed dance floor and the set went right off from minute one to the very last, this was my favourite memory of our HOH events… The set can be listened to via our soundcloud page in the live sets playlist.

- Any thoughts of relaunching History of Hardcore events?

Insane: We’ve been asked this question what almost feels like monthly since our last event in 2012. And as we have always said, when the time and most importantly the venue is right! HOH should be back! One of my personal dreams is to do History Of Hardcore - The Festival. And I’ve always been a dream chaser! So who knows what the future holds! Just watch this space!

- Last year you've formed HOH RECORDINGS aiming to put out your own stuff as you've already stated.
You got 5 digital releases so far, and the recent single 'Taking A Chance' reached No.1 on Top 100 Breaks @ TrackItDown.

Insane: For me HOH Recordings was something I only ever dreamed about doing, let alone making tracks that people would actually want to buy and play and then see them do well. It all started one day when I just went and bought the bits I needed to start producing solo, and then outta our first attempts of flying solo, its resulted in the track 'Open Up Your Heart' which as you know turned out to be the first release on HOH Recordings almost 2 and a half years later!
And for the future of HOH, all I can say is onwards and upwards we defiantly have some big plans for HOH and don't intend on stopping anytime soon!

- Late of 2017 you've finally released the long awaited 12" 'Open Up Your Heart - The Remixes E.P.' including big remixes by Sc@r, Dave Skywalker, Digital Pilgrimz and Cronin (digitally bonus).

I can indisputably admit that the original version of 'Open Up Your Heart' marked my "tune of the year" for 2016.
Can you cite about this release and let people know about how this idea saw the light?

Insane: Firstly I gotta say it still blows me away when people say they even like our music, so to make it your tune of the year is just surreal in my mind. Big up Sir! So pleased you love it!
So as I just mentioned, one of first attempts of trying to produce anything flying solo, resulted in the track 'Open Up Your Heart'. It took around 2 years from beginning to release, and if you go back through our old Radio Shows, you can here it being played from time to time, changing & developing as time went on!

Then for the Remix EP. as time had gone on even further and more skills were acquired, we decided to beef up the original mix, which led to the idea of other artists who we know and loved, joining us for a Remix EP. This in turn led onto the thoughts and plans of could we possibly release this on 12'' vinyl too? So again, we got a plan together and went for it. After a few hurdles we were all set! And as you know the 1st of Dec 2017 was the day we officially released our first ever 12'' Vinyl. Boom! Woohoo!! Oi Oi!!!

For me personally this is such a massive tick on my dream bucket list. I still remember buying my first ever vinyl, The original Batman theme tune on 7inch vinyl. From that day I was hooked! So to be here now nearly 35 or so years on with our first ever vinyl release, is just massive! And as I mentioned above, proof dreams are defiantly worth chasing! Never give up!!

- I'd say that there is a robust vinyl revival into the Hardcore scene, furthermore there are lots of new releases and new labels during this year.
How do you see the whole progress?

Insane: For me I think people are missing the feeling of actually owning music. I mean I love the whole ease of digital but it's never been the same since those days when you first heard a tune and was like 'what's this?'
Then the hunt began, searching local records shops and digging crates to find that elusive track. I think the old crew are wanting this back and the nu crew are getting a taste of it. So for me I’m hoping it's the first wave of a vinyl revival!

Mind: Obviously time will tell, but all the signs are positive and we certainly hope the vinyl sales take off as this will allow us to push more EP’s through the pipeline!! More money needs to be generated through digital downloads as file sharing has caused big problems within the scene and music right across the board. Without the money, artists will not produce the music and ultimately the scene could die, but let’s hope by educating people this can change, as the amount asked to purchase these downloads is very small!

- NuVision Records. A brand new chapter into your life, a sub-label of HOH. Can you introduce to us this new birth?

Mind: Well with the emergence of all the new talent across the scene, we felt it the right time to give some of these artists a chance to showcase their talents rather than all these tunes kept stored away on hard drives and never being appreciated! So NuVision was born to expose the NU talent out there, and we hope to release many more new fresh tune over the coming months!

Insane: NuVision has been born out of our love to encourage, inspire and hopefully give others a step up that they might need. One thing I learned early on as a DJ, was being part of an already established brand really helps you get noticed.

Like HOH gave up & coming DJ's got the chance to play at our events & our Radio Station, the same idea goes here. As Mind mentions there's been such a rise in or the ability to spot new talent with the growth of social media sites etc. We found our radio shows were starting to get such an influence from all the new talent not just the big names. We wanted to share it further! I mean the radio shows defiantly give these tracks and artists some promotion. But when you have the means, why not!

A Nu Label, a Nu Direction and NuVision Records was born!
So what’s next to come? Well after the monstrous Happy Hardcore debut release from rising Tokyo star Dolphin on NVR001, expect just like HOH Recordings Rave music from right across the board! No set era, not set bpm or no set style! Just big feel good tunes!

The more you get to know us, our music and what we love, your soon know whats to come! Maybe not from who? But defiantly the rave vibes we love from talented artists all around the globe!


- Which producers/labels you rate these days?
Is there anyone you would like to sign to HOH Recordings and NuVision?

Insane: Well a few names that instantly drop into my mind for a question like this, are the likes of UK artists Monks & Mort a.k.a Gareth Monks & DJ Rave In Peace. These boys certainly know how to make a tune and are pretty much covering the whole old skool / nu skool era. Across the waters there’s certainly some names to mention.

Firstly as you already know, Japan’s very own Dolphin, who we first spotted with his awesome cheesy remix of a disco classic 'Earth, Wind & Fire - September'. Also the likes of Luffy & Happy League are creating some awesome sounding beats, again keeping it Old Skool Hardcore and true to the core! Another one, DJ LukeAss, aka The TNO Project.

And what really gets me, is some of these boys weren’t even around when we were raving to these beats first time around, and somehow they are totally capturing that true essence & vibe of what we all know and love as Hardcore!!
As for names on our labels, that would be telling, I like to keep most things fairly covered under wraps until everything is set in stone. Again just watch this space! The futures going be bright!

- How can you describe the Hardcore scene at present in contrast with the state you found it when you first started?

Insane: To be honest, sometimes it's hard to tell. Nowadays I seem to spend so much time in front of screens and less at raves, just outta where I’m at in life with 3 boys and everything else going on. I love raving but at 42 (you feel it man! haha) takes me week to get over it, but when if and when I do get to go out, thats it, raving shoes on.. and…Q… running man.

But to answer to the question, yes of course it's different, never gonna be like it was, it never will, that was then, this is now, we live life in seasons and years, but one thing I know hasn’t changed. The love for Hardcore and for those that know! Well they just know!

Mind: Well the scenes are like chalk and cheese really. Back at the beginning of the 90s, it was just one music scene compared to today where it has split into many different genres. Back then you could get regular events of 20k people whereas today things are on a much smaller scale!

Things progress but parties still have great vibes and if you’d said we’d still be part of this scene 25 years later, I wouldn’t have believed you, but that’s testament to the music and being able to bring through new generations of ravers to keep the scene alive and thriving and I don’t see that changing in the short term!

- I'd like to thank you a lot for this exclusive interview @ Strictly Nuskool Blog and wish you all the best with the 12" EP and your whole Hardcore work of reverence!
Keep it up Insane & Mind! Any last message to close to your fans and Blog readers?

Insane: Firstly, massive Big Ups, Shouts & Love to all the Hardcore crew, family and friends that believe and support all that we do! Far too many names to mention, so I won’t. But if you know me and your reading this, take it that this means you!

Finally don’t forget to go buy a copy of our 12" Vinyl Remix EP, and remember more sales equals more future vinyls! Let's start this revival!
Big love & respect out to all the Hardcore Crew wherever you are around the globe!! Its proper Hardcore! Oi Oi!

Mind: From past to present it’s all about the Hardcore!!!
Remember we’re all HTID

Grab now 'Open Up Your Heart - The Remixes 12" EP' HERE
LISTEN TO INSANE & MIND Exclusive Guest Mix for the Strictly Nuskool Blog


No comments:

Post a Comment