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Hardcore On The Up

It may be bonkers, but happy hardcore is one of the most popular sounds in dance music, and 2006 looks like it could be the best ever for the genre. DJmag.com investigates...

You may think it sounds like marbles rattling inside a metal dustbin, but nothing it seems will be able to stop the happy hardcore juggernaut from dominating the UK clubscene in 2006.

The world's fiercest dance music may sound bonkers to most, but this year could be the biggest ever for the genre.

Ministry Of Sound has just finished producing a documentary about the hardcore scene, they've just released a 'Hardcore Classics' CD, and nights dedicated to the genre are popping up all over the land.

You simply can't ignore it.

"Whilst the media, DJs, producers, and promoters are being way to cool to hit the dancefloor, there is a generation of people who don't give a fuck about what is cool and just want to have fun," says Billy Bunter, the veteran hardcore DJ who mixed Ministry's new CD.

"The hardcore scene attracts an exciting mixture of people – kids who are just discovering rave, as well as older generations who have been in to it for a long time, and all of them are there for the energy and spirit of the music."

"The parties are rammed, and many of the scene's DJs play a good four to six gigs a weekend," says Bunter.

The number of hardcore clubnights has certainly increased in the last 12 months, and hardcore events are now some of the most well attended parties in the country.

Guaranteed Sell Out

Andy Bagguley, resident at one of the UK's biggest trance and hardhouse clubs 'Passion', based at Coalville's Emporium nightclub, agrees that hardcore is on the up.
Happy Hardcore Clubbing 2006
Ministry's documentary features all the biggest DJs and producers from the hardcore scene


"If we put a hardcore club night on at the Emporium, it will be a guaranteed sell out, and will pull more punters than a trance or hard house event," Bagguley told DJmag.com.

The hardcore renaissance isn't just confined to the North.

In London, Brixton's The Fridge club has just announced it will host quarterly Hardcore Euphoria parties after a successful launch in October 2005.

In April, Alexander Palace, a venue more used to rock concerts than raves, will host a massive Transmission hardcore event.

Lisa B from Most Wanted, who's helping to organise the Hardcore Euphoria events at The Fridge said:

"Dance music has gone full circle, and hardcore's increasing popularity is a result of a new generation of kids wanting to dance to something energetic and brash.

"We have a hardcore room at our Polysexual South events at The Fridge, and every month it's rammed, you can't even open the door.

"Hardcore events have the most electric of all atmospheres, it's just like it was back in the day," she adds.

Documentary

Happy Hardcore Clubbing 2006
Ministry Of Sound's documentary was produced to coincide with the release of their new compilation 'Hardcore Classics', made in conjunction with the genre's longest running promoter Helter Skelter.

Ministry's Fiona Wilson says: "It tracks the history of the hardcore scene, its main DJs and producers, and discusses the importance of the MC.

"It's almost certain the documentary will be taken up by the TV networks because it has proved so popular," (watch an exclusive video clip of the documentary below).

Ministry's triple CD, mixed by Billy Bunter, features 61 classic hardcore tracks.

"I went for the biggest tracks that have rocked dancefloors since 1994," says Billy Bunter.

"It captures the spirit of the rough and rugged productions of 12 years ago, right through to the amazingly produced tracks from today's scene.

"There were hundreds of tracks that I could have chosen, but for me these are the ones that have done the most damage from the old skool to the new skool," he says.

Enduring Popularity

Happy Hardcore Clubbing 2006
MOS' new CD highlights the biggest-ever hardcore tracks
Bunter has been a major figure in the rave scene for over a decade, so can he explain the enduring popularity of hardcore?

"It's never been subject to marketing or hype, and that's why it's so popular after all these years," he says.

"The music is the best it's ever been, big parties are being thrown all over the world from the NEC in Birmingham, to the Dome in Sydney.

"As corporate dance music continues to shun us, we continue to play to packed out parties week in week out," he gloats.

"All these years on, did hardcore ever die? Did it fuck!".

Watch Exclusive Hardcore Clip


DJmag.com has a sneak preview of the forthcoming hardcore documentary, produced by Ministry Of Sound.

Click here to watch a clip from Ministry's forthcoming hardcore documentary.

'Helter Skelter Presents Hardcore Classics' is out now on Ministry Of Sound.

Hardcore Euphoria takes place at The Fridge, Brixton, London on 28th January 2006.

For more info on the hardcore scene check out: www.happyhardcore.com.