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Why Mid ‘90s Happy Hardcore Will Be Revamped For 2014


Here at Organic it is our belief that from the depths of dance music history, happy hardcore is due a revival. This is why…

One of the precursors to all of the rave genres we now enjoy, happy hardcore in its ‘92-‘96 breakbeat form is key to much of what followed in the UK’s rich music tapestry. However, somewhere in the time between then and now it has become under acknowledged and even ridiculed. Beyond the cheesey riffs and heart attack tempo lies one of Great Britain’s true working class genres that is ripe for a come back…

On 31st December 2012, Untold dropped the final Fact Mix of that year featuring a mix of classic proto-jungle and early happy hardcore. We were surprised to see DJ Ham, Future Primitive, D-Force, Red Alert & Mike Slammer and Static Substance all featuring alongside the likes of DJ Hype, Foul Play and Nookie.

Obviously no stranger to the history and heritage of bass related music, it may be fair to say that Untold’s interest in happy hardcore is indicative of a quiet underbelly of bass producers whispering about piano riffs and helium vocals behind closed doors?

In 2013, Vice Magazine ran an ill-researched feature focussed on some loose assumptions about the genre. Lazy as the feature was it did demonstrate that happy hardcore was not completely off the map for the hipster mob. However, along with bomber jackets, Reebok classics and Vhs, maybe happy hardcore is considered 90s kitch now? It must be on the rise if it has attracted the classist, arrogant pig gaze of Vice Magazine’s cultural fly paper alternative, Clive Martin. I’m not a fan of his, can you tell?

Happy hardcore is the only popular ‘90s breakbeat genre not to see a re-think during the noughties. By default it is waiting to be rehashed by someone you haven’t heard of yet. With the likes of Special Request, Logos, Om Unit and the like layering the jungle influences on thick, it’s about time someone picked up it’s four to the floor cousin.

Events such as Labyrinth, Dreamscape and Raindance have been hammering out revival/ old skool events solidly over the last 12 months and are packing out venues. This will of course be in part, the same punters from way back when voting with their feet, however I can’t help but think there are some newbies coming along for the ride.

He may have left the genre around 1997 but Kool FM’s Billy “Daniel” Bunter remains “hard to the core” as his weekly Music Mondays radio show will testify. Featuring special guests DJ Slipmatt and DJ Vibes during 2013, the show has been notably supported online by the likes of Rusko and Goldie.

For many, this genre has never left. But for the rest it is time for a revival!

Recommended Listening

01. Sunshine Productions – Above The Clouds
02. Jimmy J & Cru-L-T – Six Days
03. JDS – Higher Love
04. DJ Vibes – Sing It Loud
05. Seduction & Dougal – Better Day
06. Druid & Vinylgroover – Choirs Of Heaven
07. Red Alert & Mike Slammer – In Effect (Slipmatt Remix)
08. N-ZO & DJ Invincible – Funky Sensation
09. Ramos, Supreme & The Sunset Regime - Crowd Control (Slipmatt Remix)
10. Happy Tunes – Rushin’ On Pink Champage