Does FutureWorld Actually Take Hardcore Back to the Past?
Masked perhaps to appease those who dislike UK Hardcore's current path, keeping everyone under one roof could make or break the scene - as it has done before
In the last fortnight, and likely for a while before that, FutureWorld Records and the UK Hardcore scene has undergone a radical overhaul, pinpointed to the announcement on FutureWorld's official Facebook page that they will now be home to all future releases from the top DJs in the scene, such as Darren Styles, Gammer, Dougal and Re-Con as well as artists that had been included on the label already including the owner Breeze, Whizzkid and Petruccio & Modulate.
What is perhaps most striking about the statement is the new direction this may take UK Hardcore. The statement mentions that the label will produce "not a particular style or sub-genre, just good quality, well-produced, forward-thinking music". Most upcoming releases on the label are 'hardcore' in the traditional sense, with a kick drum-led four-to-the-floor style I discussed in my Clubland X-treme Hardcore 9 review last week, which should appeal to most fans for the time-being. The "promise of frequent regular track releases of nothing but the highest class of material" will likely also calm fears to some extent.
Some fans may be disconcerted to see so many top names under one roof and worry that a scenario where creativity is stifled to fit the needs of the "big label" could emerge. Some argued this was the case with Raver Baby towards the end of its era (circa. 2004-5), where top releases often sounded quite similar and were months or sometimes even years behind the current popular tracks.
However others would suggest these people look back to when Raver Baby started, a new exciting label whose whole intent was to produce top material and add creativity to a scene that was near death's door at the turn of the century. The imminent releases on FutureWorld are all tracks from the recently released CXH9, so the current message is clear.
What then, should be read into the names missing from the top of the UK Hardcore circuit? Names such as Klubfiller, Squad-E and Mob are missing from the list. This may be due to the exclusivity agreement these DJs were unwilling to sign up to, or it may be that the collection of DJs that have committed to FutureWorld felt that their names were enough.
At a time when the UK Hardcore scene was threatening to splinter into "Dubcore" and "The Rest", this may be an act of saving the "underground dance scene we all care about" according to the statement. It has not saved everyone, with DJ Kurt and others perpetuating the new "Powerstomp" sector of UK Hardcore as its own entity, which will be discussed in a separate article at a later date. The quality and variety will need to remain in the work FutureWorld Records puts out in order to keep ravers happy, or the scene may fracture beyond repair.
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