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1993 marked the end of Hardcore proper. The year that saw the mix and subsequent divide of light and dark. True to the era, Red Alert & Mike Slammer's 'Ruffer!!!'.

Red Alert & Mike Slammer are aptly described by Peter Shapiro as being “responsible for some of the most intoxicating moments in a genre based entirely on delirium.” Trailblazers in the pre-prefix era of Hardcore, before it all went happy clappy. Teetering at the tail end of early rave are some the outfit’s finest moments, and none more so than the 1993 classic ‘Ruffer!!!’.

A darker version of previously released ‘Ruff’ by D-Force, ‘Ruffer!!!’ is indeed true to its namesake. Written by the London duo on a Commodore Amiga, the track is a blistering ensemble of breaks, stabs, unnerving pads and spin backs. Copy and paste Hardcore at its best.

The sixth release on the renowned Slammin’ Vinyl label, ‘Ruffer!!!’ and it’s reverse ‘Gotta Release’ journeyed into more sinister domains that the label had ventured previously or indeed afterwards. From 1994 Slammin’ Vinyl catapulted itself into four to the floor bangers like ‘Feel So Real’, ‘The Ride’ and a series of happy bangers from Slipmatt, Vinylgroover and Brisk.

"We used a really basic fifty quid sampler, but it did the job. You don't need a one thousand quid sampler to make it happen. This was a four hundred quid setup... And it worked." - Red Alert & Mike Slammer

‘Ruffer!!!’ has been recently reworked as ‘Pepsi Slammer’ by an uncredited artist cheekily going by the moniker Mike Alert on the Dope Plates label, which is well worth getting hold of for a bit of revivalism.