Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Hardcore Underground 6 Announcement Reaction

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Is Hardcore Underground's new offering the spark to ignite?

With the widest variety since Bonkers at its peak, Hardcore Underground 6 could be the most relevant offering this decade - provided the execution is right

The Hardcore Underground label recently announced their sixth outing, "Hardcore Underground 6", which has been given a vague 'summer' release. The line up has been announced as follows:

Disc 1: Scott Brown & Al Storm
Disc 2: Fracus & Darwin
Disc 3: CLSM & Entity
Disc 4: Thumpa & Obie

The majority of talk amongst the Hardcore scene since the announcement of the new album has been the inclusion of Scott Brown, which has been met with near-universal acclaim. Brown is still a huge draw in UK Hardcore, despite not being much involved in it for more than 2 years, and is likely to attract a large following to the Hardcore Underground brand for the first time. 

The excitement of Brown's involvement is clear, not least because he has produced arguably the most iconic music this scene has ever heard. A list of the man's greatest hits would be in most people's favourite all-time tracks, such as "Definition of a Bad Boy", "Pilgrim", "Elysium" (the original version, no vocals please...) and "Turn Up The Music", to name but four (I struggled to whittle that down to four, I should point out). However, Brown's productions started to feel a bit jaded and repetitive towards the end of his run in the late-2000's, which saw forgettable tracks such as "Bring That Shit Back" and "Sex Machine". But just before he disappeared altogether, he left us with some gems that showcased just how good his modern productions could be, particularly with Al Storm in tow on the songs "Run to Me" and "Show", but also solo with "The Grunge". With Al Storm by his side once more, the expectations are very high.

CD2 was likely the most predictable, with Fracus & Darwin in once more to do what they do best. Fracus & Darwin have presided over some of the most consistent mixes in the last few years in the UK Hardcore scene, so what I'm really hoping to see is them push a few boundaries in terms of variation. They normally pull this off pretty well, so I am excited for this mix too. The Hardcore Breaks CD (disc 3) will likely continue on from the understated HU Breaks album (mixed by Gavin G) released last year and with the seasoned veteran CLSM ("Drifting Away", "John Peel (Is Not Enough)") and Entity, who produced one of my favourite tracks of all time (from the original Hardcore Underground album, "Fallout"), this should be phenomenal. Thumpa, who always puts together good Freeform mixes and has a great ear for top tracks despite not producing much himself, teams with Obie for the final disc. Obie has worked on a plethora of sub-genres before, but most recently with Squad-E on his recent solo project "Exposed". Rumours suggest the disc will likely be predominantly Freeform, although he has requested new material from up and coming producers in everything from Upfront to Makina. The notion of using up-and-coming producers means that, regardless of output, this disc will have a unique twist. 

All signs point towards this album being a shifting point for the fledgling label. With juggernauts such as Scott Brown & Al Storm on board and reliable veterans such as Darwin & CLSM behind it too, HU6 could pose a genuine challenge to the Clubland series as the number one choice of album for Hardcore fans. The key to their success is all in the promotion and variation of the product. HU6 needs to be able to showcase the many sub-layers of UK Hardcore, including Freeform, Gabber, Breaks, Dubcore and Upfront. If they can knit these together, they may just begin to stitch the fabric of the UK Hardcore scene back together, and make people realise that good music is the key, not the sub-genre. 

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Every time I post, I will now also share with you a track from days gone by that I love and am listening to at the moment. You can only move forward and progress once you know where you came from!

Current Classic Track of Choice: DJ Seduction & CLSM - Causing a Heart Attack


  1. Excellent preview of what poses to be a potential spark to the scene.