“Bonkers, light in the head; slightly drunk. Perhaps from bonk, a blow or punch on the bonce or head.” It's a word whose origins come from the British navy, at least according to Eric Partridge’s 1948 book, A Dictionary of Forces’ Slang. For a generation that had grown up in the ‘90s, however, the word instantly conjures up another image: the cartoonish covers and soundtrack of happy hardcore’s defining, and to some damning, Bonkers series, which released its final instalment that same year.
To comprehend the mindset of the haters, and see how ‘Bonkers’ was so influential, requires looking at the early roots of happy hardcore. A Year Of Mixtapes was a sprawling, ambitious blog project started in 2009 with the intention of releasing a mix a week from Chrissy, a now San Francisco based DJ and producer with an encyclopaedic knowledge of everything from dancehall and disco to jungle and happy hardcore.
The track itself was originally going to be called ‘Bonkers’, in tribute, supposedly, to a line used by Sharkey when MCing. But the name instead passed to the duo’s first mix CD together.
"... this club exists for the right reasons. With that comes a certain mentality, and you can feel that on the dancefloor"
Yesterday Spotify announced a new feature that allows artists to upload music and releases directly to the streaming platform for free, without a label or third-party distributor. The new feature is accessed via Spotify for Aritsts, a platform within the streaming service that lets users access analytics for their plays, as well as get advice on how to grow their audience, access support and submit music to Spotify’s playlist editors.
The kick-drum drops out, reach towards the ceiling, the air is filled with whoops and whistles. Then a long whoosh of white noise simultaneously builds the tension whilst signalling the fact that the kick and b-line are about to drop. When they do, everyone is briefly animated for a minute, but then the energy in the room starts to flag — but don’t worry, because they’ll be another near-identical breakdown in about thirty seconds where we can all do it again.
Imagine it. You’re at a party in your mate’s back garden, all your friends are there, spirits are high, the sun’s just setting, your tins actually fit in the fridge and whoever’s been in charge of the aux cable has been doing a great job of keeping the vibe alive. Roy Ayers was on when you arrived, some nice disco and classic soul came on as the mood settled and a even few Rush Hour gems were chucked in for good measure as the night progressed.
It’s a divisive topic that has been bounced back and forth repeatedly among DJs over the past couple of years with reasonable arguments being made on both sides. Some have expressed a justified frustration at the idea of a DJ, up and coming or otherwise, using something like the Identification Music Group or Shazam to build a repertoire of tracks that mimics the catalog, style and technique of someone who has worked hard for years to carve their own niche.
Over the past few years, what started off in illegal warehouses has blossomed into a multi billion dollar, worldwide phenomenon. However, it's no secret that with main stream success, an onslaught of underground hatred tends to follow. But is this hatred needed, or is this hatred even well founded, more over is hatred ever well founded? I would say "no," it's nothing more than petty elitism.