All posts in september 2016

DJ Penta Interview (2016)

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London, United Kingdom

TCD is honoured and proud to introduce to you the next artist: DJ Penta. This name only came to my attention a couple of months ago, when I spotted his Defqon.1 promo mix, and from that moment on he gained a new fan, me. This Belgian DJ and producer has taken the world by storm, and due to his dedication and passion to bring the rawest Hardcore to the masses, he was signed to the mighty label ‘The Third Movement’ back in 2015. It’s time to talk to this upcoming artist, and who will gain more followers and fans in the near future: ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you…. DJ Penta!

 

Hi Penta, how are you? Have you recovered from Defqon.1 yet?
“Hey, I’m fine thank you. Héhé yes I’ve managed to recover just fine.”

Normally at this stage I talk to DJs/producers about their artist names, and I think it’s suitable to ask you where the name comes from? It sounds quite dark and edgy….
“Well, my name is actually a shortened version of what I had originally planned. Lets start from the beginning. In the very beginning, when everything was still far from serious, I mixed under the (horrible) name:”X-razor”, but as soon as things started to get a bit serious, I knew It was time for a more professional name.

Back in the day, during my day-time-job, I was working on this client-portfolio and all of a sudden I saw very cool company-name “Penta Core Industries”. It was a manufacturting company to whom my client had leased several huge “next-gen”-machines. But the name really gave me the feeling like it could be some Hardcore concept. At the time, one of my “trademarks” was that I always mixed several styles into 1 set and my entire track-portfolio covered 5 styles. As I don’t believe in coincidences, I just knew this was the way to go.  After some thought (and good advice), I figured Penta Core Industries was way too long, so I decided to narrow it down to something easy & catchy: Penta.”

You are a DJ and a producer, and you literally live and breathe Industrial Hardcore. But let’s go back in time, time to find out when it was you discovered Hardcore (in general) and when the love for the rougher and tougher stuff grew?
“Haha this my favourite and probably most told story I know. I remember like it as was yesterday: I was +- 14 years old and we we’re in the recreation-room at our school, when all of a sudden, one of the older students puts on his CD, a some serious nasty electronic music started pounding. somehow it instantly “took” me and I just had to find out what it was. I found out it was a CD from a local club called “Lagoa” and afterwards I started looking up all their music. The funny thing is that from the very beginning , even withing the “harder styles”, I always found myself liking the harder/aggressive and more distorted sounds. This quickly led to me discovering Hard Techno & Footworxx, which on its turn, led to me discovering an even harder version of electornic music: Industrial Hardcore. Looking back at my youth, the one thing that stuck to me was always wanting that harder, filithier sound and hearing the filhty distorted screech cut through everything else, leaving all “normal” music far behind.

The peek of my musical youth was around 2006, when I really started “investing” more time in music and I started to realize that music was just more than a fase to me. It was also around that time I just couldn’t accept any music that wasn’t as hard as hardcore. Throughout 2007 untill 2014 I think 99% of what I listened, was Hardcore and eventhough I researched the entire genre with all its subgenres & era’s, the dark & filthy sound always prevealed over all the rest. So I guess that’s the story (in a nutshell) of my musical journey into Industrial Hardcore.

Where 2006 was the year of my Hard Techno peak, 2009 was for my Industrial Hardcore-peak.”

Many DJs start raving on the dancefloor, and so did you. When you were a raver, going nuts on the dancefloors, which DJs made you rave the hardest? Who were your idols?
“Well, throughout the years, discovering all the things Hardcore, I had many idols. But I do have a few who I will always consider “lifetime” idols. The first is definitly Sven Wittekind. In my Hard Techno fase he was my ultimate hero. I consider “Maybe we’re crazy” & “Sunstorm” to be 2 of my life-time-top-tunes. Promo, obviously, is also one of those idols that I’ll respect my entire life. I looked up so much to him because of his sound and what he had already achieved back then with The Third Movement.  Aside from Idols, I also have 2 albums who I will always consider to be the best of the best: D-Passion’s Data Recovery & Negative A’s – Modern music is destroying our youth”

Penta

Penta

You started listening to TTM from 2004 onwards, but it took 9 years for you to leave the dancefloor and start DJing/producing. What took you so long?
“Héhé, well I’m somebody who thinks and thinks and overthinks, and in this case, I doubted very long to start DJ’ing. I don’t remember when I had the first thought but I remember considering buying technisc and Hard Techno on vinyl, so I think  I’ve had the idea for a long long time.
Aside from that, I’m also somebody who likes to do things properly. I either go for it completely or I don’t do it all. In this case I suppose I waited for the exact moment when I was ready to really launch myself into it and that moment finally arrived in the beginning of 2012. I actually did the research, because I remember exactly what party made me “change sides”. We celebrated NYE at “Raving Nightmare” in Gent, 2011. and after the party I realized how much time I spent analyzing & commenting the sets instead of partying. I propably considered starting for the 100th time but then I just cut the cord and said fuck it, lets do this. So, the day (literally) after I got myself some gear and I also immediately grabbed fruity loops and the rest, as they say, is history.”

There must have been a reason why you ‘left’ the dancefloor and joined the DJ scene. Why did you make the transition from dancefloor to the stage?
“Well as I said, I noticed myself, being more critical, analyzing the music and sets. And slowly but surely that led to me thinking: I can do this better (well or at least do it so that It fits my own vision)”

2013 you started DJing, and even though it is only 3 years ago, can you see progression in your mixing skills? If you listen back to your first ever mix, is it different mixing wise to your latest mix?
“Oh yes, I notice a huge difference. Over the years, my sets have evolved in very different ways. To be honest, I’m very happy to see such a evolution in my sets. It just goes to show I’m still growing & learning.”

DJs are always very picky when it comes to equipment, so what is your favourite setup?
“Well DJ-wise, I’m not very picky, as long as they have the latest Pioneer gear. As long as the equipment is failproof and I can do my thing. I’m happy :) but if I would have a favorite setup. It would be a live-setup. But more on that later :)

When did you receive your first booking, and which event did you play at?
“Well, my first gig, was a DJ contest, and my first booking came not long after. The DJ contest was somewhere far in north of Holland (Groningen) : Kings of Core DJ contest . it was a 6-people contest and my first performance ever. I was nervous as hell and practiced set as crazy. We ended up having a really nice time and eventhough I didn’t win (as to be expected) it was an amazing experience which boosted my motivation as crazy.

Kings Of Core – Partyflock Event Page

My first gig/booking, was Brutal Sounds ! I’ll never forget this one (or the dj contest). We had such an epic time there. We got welcomed with open arms by the BS-Crew. We even had a nice afterparty afterwards and when we finally drove home (yes all the way from Hengelo) we got pulled over by the police (which also was my first pullover). But thankfully I was sober (enough), and I could continue my 3hour drive back to Belgium. Over the years, the guys from BS & me always stayed good friends and its always nice to meet up whereever we can ! Actually I’m the secret 5th member of the crew haha (or the international version of the crew is with me included haha).

Brutal Sounds – Partyflock Event Page

Producing was the next step. But what made you decide to ‘leave’ the decks and start producing your own music? Wasn’t DJing enough for you?
“No it wasn’t, as I was already kneedeep in the scene before I even started, I was well aware of the fact that in this era of the scene, you needed to be a producer to get somewhere. That’s why I grabbed Fruity loops as soon as I could. On the other hand I have to admit my producer-level stayed very low in the beginning due to the focus on perfectionising my DJ-skills. As soon as that was where I wanted it to be, I focussed more on producing. if I recall correctly, that switch came around august 2013. I decided it was time to get serious about producing and bought my Mac and Ableton and just went for it. Nowadays I can say that I feel more like a producer than a DJ. 75% of my free time goes to producing. And then whats left over goes mostly to track-selection, -research and trying out new combo’s.”

Penta

Penta

Were you a sell taught producer, or did you follow any producing masterclasses?
“I was/am a sell taught producer and DJ. I started alone, I learned alone, and today I still do my own thing alone (but I think that’s basicly the case for every solo-artist?). Most of what I know comes from researching & reading (yes I’m a nerd and theorycrafter).  I started from scratch in terms of producing & dj’ing, but obviously, I had my fare share of conversation & feedback-session with various experienced DJ’s. And of those, Promo is definitly the person from who I learned the most via feedback on my projects (and the occasional random theory-discussions).”

Your first EP which was called ‘Stormrage’ and it got released on the mighty The Third Movement. But before it coming out, how did you get recognised and signed? Did it go the way artists get signed in the good ol’ days, by sending out mixtapes?
“Yes It was exactly like that, I just sent my demo to Promo and he really liked it. Even though we’ve been talking for a while before, I think I never got a reply as fast as when I sent the Stormrage demo (haha).”

The EP literally set your name on the map. But when it comes to your tracks, do you have a specific style, a signature sound?
“Well I don’t know, I don’t purposely aim for a certain “sound”. I just do my thing and what comes out seems to always be within certain criteria. I do have a lot of rules and things in my head to which every element has to comply, so maybe that’s kind off my sound. I think the most important thing for me, is to have something that I’ve never heard before and sounds original to me.”

For DJing you already mentioned your favourite setup, but producing wise: what’s your favourite setup? What’s really necessary to make a Penta record?
“Lots & Lots of Coffee ! Aside from that, I just use a Mac, external sound-card and a normal midi-keyboard. Nothing fancy really, but I do have some stuff on my wishlist but I don’t really feel like I need something more at the moment, otherwise I would’ve bought it.”

Fairly new to this scene, but if you could work with anyone on a record, who would it be and why?
“That’s a hard one, my collab-wishlist is very long. I have so many hero’s I’ld like to work with but I think I would prefer to wait untill I’m a conformtable level of producing, so I doesn’t feel like I’m leeching of the other artist. I want to be able to contribute in an equal way.”

You have recently played at the mighty Defqon.1, and the set blew me away. How was it to play at Defqon.1?
“Pure magic! It was so intense and such an amazing experience. Everything was just so amazing, especially the crowd !! this is easily my most favorit set I ever did (so far).”

Penta

Penta

Do you ever wake up and think ‘this is all a dream’?
“Haha, it is a privilege to do what I do and to just imagine what lies ahead, it sometimes does feel very unreal. But I guess that makes it all the more special! I really look forward to see where  this all ends up. Meanwhile, I just sit back and grab whatever comes at me. I’m very happy to be able to take this amazing journey.”

Random question of the day: Industrial Hardcore, is there a market in Belgium for it? I thought Belgians only liked cheesy pop music, and the occasional Techno tune?
“Well, what used to be a big underground scene, today, is something completely different. But I guess the generation that created the underground scene is replaced by a new generation, with different priorities & tastes. Business-wise everything has become more difficult, more legit, inhibiting smaller/less-legal raves. Aside from that, many of the old underground “sanctuaries” have been closed down/destroyed. So this combination of crowd-movement, location-shortage and legal-hassle, has made it very hard for our scene to stay alive. But If its destined to continue, it surely will.”

Penta, what will happen in the future? Anything exciting you want to mention?
“Well, since I took ages to finalize this interview, I made a lot of new music that will be coming out in 2017 (which is also a reason why it took so long to reply haha). Aside from that, there are some nice bookings coming up in countries I’ve never played before like Denmark, Spain and some others which I cant disclose yet.”

If people are interesting in what you do after hearing the mix underneath the interview, where can they find you playing next?
“Well my agenda is always up to date @ the concrete website, currently I have Belgium, France & Denmark coming up next. And for 2017 everything is still undisclosed, but I would recommend everyone to keep an eye on my artist-page !”
Belgium, not only famous for their Belgian waffles, chocolates, small kid who urinates constantly, or their contribution to the Techno scene since the early days of the 90s, but also famous for their Industrial Hardcore and their artists. Penta is a name you should already follow and worship. Thank you a lot for this insightful interview.
To fully understand his capability and his strength as a DJ and as a producer, we’ve added Penta’s set, recorded at Defqon.1! Make sure you check it out, and turn up your speakers! Whilst listening, why not check out these links:

Penta

Penta

Masters of Hardcore – 20 Years of Rebellion | Masters of Classics | Promo vs. Dana (2015)

Masters of Hardcore - 20 Years of Rebellion | Masters of Classics | Promo vs. Dana (2015)

Masters of Hardcore – 20 Years of Rebellion | Masters of Classics | Promo vs. Dana (2015)

DJs: Promo vs Dana
Genre/Style: Hardcore Techno, Gabber, Hardcore
Liveset Info: Recorded @ Masters Of Hardcore – 20 Years Of Rebellion
Length Liveset: 00:59:32
Tracks: 21 (twenty-one)
Download/Listen (via Soundcloud): LISTEN HERE
File Size: unknown
File Type: unknown
Bitspeed: unknown
More Information: Masters Of Hardcore – Official Website

The next 3 names I’m writing down do not need an introduction: Masters Of Hardcore, DJ Promo and DJ Dana (Lady Dana for those who know her from the 90s). Last year Promo and Dana did a set together at Masters Of Hardcore – 20 Years Of Rebellion, and their set I’ve only found this morning. A set you all probably heard before, seeing as it has reached 13.6k+ listens. Sadly no download, but you can simply press play over and over again, and you will be a happier person after you’ve listened to this set (if you haven’t already).

They were asked to play at the Classics area, so what can you expect? A lot of raw and rough tracks from the end of the 90s to the early 00s. And seeing as they’ve been in the scene for quite a while, they know which tunes to select, to get the crowd going. And also, seeing as this is a live recording, you can hear the crowd loose themselves completely.

The tracklist was kindly provided by Hansolo, he always uploads tracklists, and for that I would like to say thank you.

tracklist

01. Promo & DJ X-Ess – Vicious Circle
02. E-Man – Bass Machine
03. Placid K – Stealin’ Beats
04. Promo – I Come Correct
05. Endymion – Payback
06. DJ Niel – The Cave
07. EBE Company – Sub Seven (Catscan Remix) 
08. Promo – The Bad Guy
09. The Reactor & Raoul meets Impulse Factory – Hardcore Will Never Die
10. The Masochist – Killing Scum
11. Tschabos – Gib Mir Die Bass (Noch Korrekter!!)
12. DJ Nosferatu – Fuck The Prejudice
13. Tommyknocker – Demolition
14. G-Town Madness & The Viper – Here It Comes
15. DJ Adrien – No Competition
16. Promo & Catscan – Toch Welleuk
17. DJ Jappo & Lancinhouse – EXLXAXL (Neophyte & Evil Activities Remix) 
18. Project Omega – Prednison Attack
19. DJ Lancinhouse & The Stunned Guys – Atmosfera
20. Promo – Phreak Ya Speaka (N-Vitral Re-Phreak) 
21. Lady Dana – Ladies First

Look at these tracks! They take me back to those wonderful days! A lot of Promo tracks in here, would have been nicer if Dana added more of her own tracks in here, she made a couple too (not as many as Promo did, he’s a producing machine!).

The liveset is good! Loving the vibes it generates. Loving the records selected by Dana and Promo. And there are some seriously insane tracks in here, tracks I haven’t heard for a while: ‘No Competition’, ‘Demolition’, ‘The Cave’, ‘Fuck The Prejudice’. Boy, I do miss this sound a lot. Not saying that the present day Hardcore is bad, but it doesn’t compete with the late 90s/early 00s stuff. Fact.

Promo and Dana have made a wicked set, and the result of it can be heard on Soundcloud. I would urge you to listen to this mix, and let it take you to the next dimension. It made me loose my mind, and rave in the living room like never before. Come on, this set has got ‘No Competition’ in it! Can you sit still when you hear that record?

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10 Years Of S3RL

10 Years Of S3RL

10 Years Of S3RL

DJ: S3RL
Genre/Style: UK Hardcore, Happy Hardcore, Cheesycore
Mix Info: 10 Years Of S3RL
Length Mix: 01:03:05
Tracks: 35 (thirty-five)
Download/Listen (via Soundcloud): LISTEN HERE
File Size: 144 MB
File Type: mp3
Bitspeed: 320kbps
More Information: S3RL – Facebook Fanpage

I have to be very honest to you all, I’ve never been a huge fan of S3RL. He might be one of the biggest stars in the UK Hardcore/Happy Hardcore scene, but for some strange reasons his music always sounded very cheesy to me, too happy. I’ve written in a few reviews about his music, that it ain’t my favourite, but it seems that the whole world has embraced his music, and I think it’s time for me to open my ears up, and give his music a go. How come one of the biggest producers/DJs isn’t liked by me? Well, things might change from now on, seeing as he uploaded his latest mix yesterday (and already reaches 5k plays!).

I do like Happy Hardcore, don’t get me wrong. I’m Dutch, we bloody created it! And I did listen to cheesy Happy Hardcore back in the 90s, but S3RL’s music is even cheesier. Most of his records are about ravers, girls, candy, or anything related to raving and girls. Some of his records are good, really liked them, but I think it’s time for me to indulge myself in his ‘happy’ and ‘candy’ world, and see what it’s all about. I need a clear mind, to give his music a go. Not going to be judgmental before the mix starts anymore, fresh start, press play.

The tracklist was kindly provided by S3RL himself. Seeing as you are probably a S3RL fan, you know them all. I only know 1 or 2 tracks.

tracklist

01. S3RL – Intro Mashup
02. S3RL feat Tamika – It Went
03. S3RL feat Sara – Feel The Melody
04. S3RL feat Mixie Moon – Request
05. S3RL – Pretty Rave Girl
06. S3RL feat Tamika – Little Kandi Raver
07. S3RL feat Krystal – R4V3 BOY
08. S3RL feat Tamika – Rainbow Girl
09. S3RL – Keep On Ravin Baby
10. S3RL feat Krystal & Razor Sharp – When I Die
11. The Medic Droid – Fer Sure (S3RL Remix) 
12. Special D & Scott Brown – Elysium (S3RL Remix) 
13. S3RL feat Tamika – Bass Slut
14. S3RL – Dealer
15. S3RL feat Tamika – DJ Whore
16. S3RL – Hentai
17. S3RL – MTC
18. S3RL feat SONiKA – MTC2
19. S3RL feat Avanna – Forbidden
20. S3RL feat Nikolett – When I’m There
21. Noc.V – Neko Nation Anthem (S3RL Remix) 
22. S3RL – Neon Genesis
23. S3RL – Pika Girl
24. S3RL feat Tamika – Nightcore This
25. S3RL feat Yuki – Princess Bubblegum
26. S3RL feat Sara – Techno Kitty
27. S3RL feat Sara – Candy
28. S3RL feat Lexi – Genre Police
29. S3RL feat Tamika – I Will Pick You Up
30. S3RL feat Chi Chi – I’ll See You Again
31. S3RL feat Mixie Moon – FriendZoned
32. S3RL – Catchit
33. S3RL – Intensify
34. S3RL – Chillcore
35. S3RL – Transformers

This should have put a smile on your face, if you love your Hardcore to be very happy and cheerful.I’ve listened to the whole mix, and I have to say the following:

It has made me happy. Yes, I’ve said it. There were some really nice and good sounding tracks in this mix, and it has given me a smile on my face on this dreadful Sunday morning. It might be raining, but S3RL’s happiness can be felt once you’ve pressed play.

But some tracks are extremely cheesy, so cheesy. Maybe I need to live in the far East to understand it? Maybe it turns out that I’m a fan of Happy Hardcore being a bit harder than usual. Dutch Happy Hardcore is slightly harder and tougher. Maybe I need to experience this kind of happiness at a rave, wearing wrist bands and colourful clothes. But for now I can’t feel the happiness embracing me completely. Yes, a few tracks made me very happy and cheerful, but there were still tracks I simply didn’t understand. ‘Pika Girl’? Pikachu is so 90s, isn’t it? Or was it early 00s? Maybe because I’m a bloke I don’t understand it?

In a way I would say that this is a good mix, showcasing S3RL’s impact in the scene since he started. Only credit for him pushing Happy Hardcore forward, but from my side I’ve got a lot to learn. The high pitched voices are going to haunt me in my sleep. I might listen to this mix a couple more times to fully understand it. I’m sorry for it not being what you expected (this review), but at least I’m honest.

S3RL, one day I will rave the night away whilst listening to your tunes. But for now I’ll let others to do that on my behalf.

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A.B & Thumpa feat MC Octane @ HTID/Ravers Reunited Summer Gathering 30.07.2016

A.B & Thumpa feat MC Octane @ HTID/Ravers Reunited Summer Gathering 30.07.2016

A.B & Thumpa feat MC Octane @ HTID/Ravers Reunited Summer Gathering 30.07.2016

DJs: A.B, Thumpa
MC: Octane
Genre/Style: UK Hardcore, Freeform, Happy Hardcore
Liveset Info: Recorded @ HTID/Ravers Reunited Summer Gathering 30.07.2016
Length Liveset: 01:01:28
Tracks: 23 (twenty-three)
Download/Listen (via Soundcloud): DOWNLOAD/LISTEN
File Size: 140 MB
File Type: mp3
Bitspeed: 320kbps
More Information: A.B / Thumpa – Facebook Fanpage

A much talked about set on social media. I won’t go into details, you will find more information on the world wide web. But let’s talk about this set, which is obviously why you are here. This year’s Summer Gathering looked absolutely amazing! So many areas, so many great artists performing here, and one duo performed in the HTID/Ravers Reunited area: A.B & Thumpa. Alongside MC Octane they demolished the tent. They weren’t the only one at Summer Gathering 2016: Darren Styles, Joey Riot, Gammer, Dougal. Kutski, Breeze, Squad-E. Scott Brown, Alex Prospect… well, basically each name on the picture added above this review. You can read this, so read the flyer.

I don’t know when Thumpa or A.B decided to do sets together, but it’s a good combination. Saw them recently at BMH Freeform, and they demolished the dancefloor and the speakers. A lot of fist pumping and rave faces, but it was good (music wise). That’s probably why they were asked to play at Summer Gathering: because these two are good behind the decks. They make sure that the crowd is going nuts, and they only play the finest tunes money can buy.

The tracklist was kindly provided by Thumpa himself, have a look and be amazed!

tracklist

01. Finnbarr – In Your Eyes
02. Gammer – Yabai
03. Avi8 – The Forgotten Star (Macks Wolf & Clarkey Remix) 
04. Gammer & Whizzkid – Love You Everyday (Redux) 
05. A.B – Shudder
06. Gammer – Red Drink Foam Party
07. Alex Prospect & Spyro – Up To No Good
08. Nuton – Rockin!
09. A.B & Finnbarr – Stick Together
10. A.B – Miami (Jakka-B Remix) 
11. Jekyll & Clarkey – Mallorca
12. A.B – Promise Me (Scott Brown Remix) 
13. A.B – Crowd Geoff
14. Firelite – Burning’ Up (Riko & Genic Contagious Power Bootleg) 
15. Scott Brown vs Bass X – One 2 Three
16. Chris Fear – First Serve (Jakka-B Remix) 
17. Tamerax – Bring It Up (170 Mix) 
18. Dougal & Gammer – Snakebite
19. Double Decka – Transformed (Remane Remix) 
20. Callum Higby – Headshot
21. Impact – DJs Calling (Denile & Eufeion 2016 Remix) 
22. Skinny & Darwin – Like A Boulder
23. Chwhynny & Darwin – Nothing There (Blu The Roof Mix) 

This liveset looks amazing! Not really a hundred percent focussed on Freeform, which can be good from time to time. I was expecting a full on Freeform mix, but I was amazed to hear such a diverse mix! Great track, carefully selected by Thumpa and A.B, and accompanied by MC Octane!

There are some great anthems in here! There was obviously room for Freeform, so they squeezed in some tracks by A.B, Finnbarr, and more. And I have to say that with this set they’ve found a good balance between Freeform and UK Hardcore, and also a bit of Hardstyle/Gabber towards the end. It’s nice to hear a wicked set by these two legends.

MC Octane does his thing well, and gets the crowd going. The music pushes the crowd toward the stage, and it made me rave in my living room hard as hell.

Maybe one or two tracks weren’t my cup of tea, but let’s focus on the best tracks in this liveset: ‘Forgotten Star’, ‘Shudder’, ‘Miami’ and more. I love the records they have selected, and it’s really a non-stop blast of music, pouding through my speakers.

This ‘threesome’ works, and I can feel  the vibes coming through my speakers. I am happy after an hour and a minute, this really made my day. More of these combinations please, and also more sets which aren’t focussed on only one style. Diversity is key to make everything work. Freeform and UK Hardcore blend in well.

A.B and Thumpa and Octane, wicked set!

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