So, lately I’ve been in a hardcore edm mood. I think is has something to do with rediscovering the work of Death Grip. I posted about that group, but the post was lost when I converted Bassadelic from a forum to a blog. (yep, good ol’ Bassadelic used to be a a forum) However, for several reasons, I decided to change formats, one of the reasons was because I realized I was posting an awful lot of things in near-blog format ON the forum, as I was the main poster (it was still a new site so didn’t have much traffic) and at some point I just decided, “hey, why not just make this into a real blog?”
And Bassadelic, in it’s modern form, was born. I stripped the code, and set up the Bassadelic blog.
Anyway, I got really enthused when I heard Death Grips again, yesterday, and decided to dedicate a post to hardcore electronic music. So here’s my top ten. I could probably post 100 tunes, but I’ll try to truncate that list, and give you just a small sampling of the hardcore that exists in rave music.
10.) Zebra Katz – Ima Read (ft. Njena Reddd Foxxx)
No, it’s not sonically hardcore, but the tone and the vibe is intense and eery as hell. Considering that, musically, it’s basically house, it tops almost any other house track I’ve heard in intensity. That’s saying a lot, I would argue, considering that house is one of the most open formats ever to emerge for dance music. The stubborn and trance-like rhythm, along with the lyrics and the video, conjure up images of two individuals about to engage in a very violent entanglement. Something very primal is going on in this song… or, perhaps like a tiger stalking it’s next victim, circling around it, getting ready to pounce. Whatever metaphor you choose, it’s a deep and dark track, and both Zebra fucking Katz and Njena Reddd Foxxx are both musicians to watch in the future.
And, my god, Njena Reddd Foxxx is SO sexy!
09.) Kid606 – Straight Outta Compton (a Remix of the NWA tune)
Ok, so on the gangsta tip… here’s Kid606 and his insanity remix of Straight Outta Compton. Not enough people are aware of this one. It’s solid. I discovered it about ten years or so ago, when I learned about “glitch” and “IDM” and just before I learned what “breakcore” was. This is a standout track, as far as I’m concerned.
08.) Death Grips – Guillotine
Ah, yes, Death Grips. The reason I decided to make this post. Death Grips is dope, deep, dark, and downright scary. Intense screaming, rapping, angry noise-electronics (as well as some punk rock samples!) make up Death Grips debut album. I am a fan, and I encourage you to check out everything Death Grips has to offer. Death Grips is a collaboration of three guys, and the result is raw passion. Not to over-politicize screaming, but… when you hear the screaming in Death Grips, for lack of a better description, you feel like, “they mean it.” Seriously, though.
07.) Venetian Snares – Herbie Goes Ballistic
Who could’v guessed that sampling anything from those silly Love Bug movies could turn out so goddamn maniacal? Aaron Funk – (Venetian Snares) – that’s who. Breakcore, at it’s finest. Enjoy. In my opinion, Venetian Snares was the most hardcore electronic artists of the last decade. Not sure what breakcore is? Click here!
06.) Mistabishi – Wipe Your Tears
Yep, included a little bit of steppy stuff in this mix. Had to. Wanted to. Just a bit. I also realize that, since I’m including dubstep, there are going to be a lot of folks who will be able to find “filthier, harder mixes” then this. Well, there is a lot of filth out there in the world of dubstep – but this one, in my opinion, with all it’s eerines and noise, is one of my favorites. It works, and it doesnt just have a sonically hardcore sound, but it’s also hardcore in tone and feel, which is just as important. I mean, anyone can turn the volume up to 11, but is the soul/spirit, the intention, and the overall darkness of the vibe @ 11, as well?
05.) Drumcorps – Botch Up and Die
Metal + breakcore = Drumcorps. Aaron Spectre, known for his heavy and well produced tunes, decided to mix two different musical universes together. Breakcore had often flirted with metal, typically through sampling, but with Drumcorps, Aaon played his own tunes, and then, basically, mixed them with heavy amen breaks and jungle thrasharounds. The result is devestating.
04.) Mindless Self Indulgence – Bring the Pain (a cover of the Method Man tune)
Mindless Self Indulgence is another asterisk in the big book of heavy electronic/metal/hip hop hybrids. Wait a minute, I think I phrased that wrong… Let me put it this way, instead: “the big book of heavy electronic/metal/hip hop hybrids” is a big asterisk.
Every so often, an artist or a group will emerge, willing to try something radically different and intense, combining three schools of music – the three R’s: Rock, Rave, Rap (which, to be fair, is overly simplistic, as you can have hip hop WITHOUT rap, and electronic music OUTSIDE the rave..) and, if done right, it sounds badass. It doesn’t quite make sense why more of this hybrid hasn’t been experimented with. And why?! Was it because of rap-metal losing momentum? Did Limp Bizkit really ruin music? Ha. Are people sick of hip hop and metal being mixed together? I think it could still work, I really do! More needs to happen! Rock, Rap, & Rave.
03.) Desert Storm Breakcore Squad – Trapped
So, I HAD to include a breakcore tune with hi-treble jungle drums and low bass. It had to happen. Dropping out the middle section is one of the tricks that made breakcore great. It’s a banger, and no, it’s not overly complex. It doesn’t have to be.
02.) Cookie Monsta – Me Want Cookie
Come on, Cookie Monsta is dope. I don’t need to explain this one :)
01.) Aphex Twin – Come to Daddy
Those of you who know me well probably sensed this one was coming. Well, why the hell wouldn’t I make this one of my top hardcore tunes? It’s a classic, and it set the groundwork for future hardcore and tangled up audio massacres to come out of EDM for the next fifteen years! Breakcore, glitch hop, and even dubstep owe at least SOME gratitude to Aphex for this one. What Whaaaaaat. And it’s from the mid-90s, too; though it doesn’t sound like it, does it?
To tell you the truth, it STILL holds it’s own… Not as many ‘hardcore’ tunes can stand ten or fifteen years, as music tends to get harder and harder as they years go by and technology advances. For example, look at what was ‘hardcore’ in 1970. The Rolling Stones? Ten years later what was heavy? Punk rock, heavy metal, and even hard rock in general. Ten years after that, metal had gone even further. The same goes for rave music… In the early 90s, what was the ‘hardest’ tune? Maybe something by the Prodigy? Or maybe some jungle? Ten years later, Venetian Snares had appeared, and started ruining music for the better. Plus, halfway though the 90s, this Aphex Twin tune had arrived, and was so intense, MTV even put it on their top 100 Metal Songs list… Now how often can a rave tune compete with metal? (ok, so maybe this isn’t exactly a ‘rave’ tune you will hear alongside Deadmau5… but still…)
But here’s another argument for why this track stands up so well: for one thing, it was ahead of it’s time, and shows more forward thinking and genius than many songs of any genre do today. I consider it the first “breakcore” song. Also, for a few years in the 2000s, with the exception of breakcore, a lot of music seemed to lose some of it’s edge. True, it is JUST my opinion, however, I also think that electronic music has been growing in intensity during the last few years. So perhaps things are balancing out. I’m hopeful.
And no, I guess I didn’t include any straight-up gabber tunes in the mix today. Sorry about that, I guess… Not really, though. I mean.. if you really want some gabber, it’s not too hard to find. I suppose I could drop some on ya, though.. here’s an interesting little documentary on gabber culture. (I like how she says “hip hoopers.” Ha. ) It’s not in English, btw. Gabber never… REALLY… made a dent in the US or Western Europe, did it? ;) Not to say that anything outside of that territory is irrelevant, however. I just personally chose to leave gabber off the list.
Though it is fun, from time to time. And I remember playing some speedcore (super-uptempo gabber.. 200 bpm, etc..) in my headphones at LAN parties with my other nerdy friends, playing Counterstrike all night. Yes, yes.
Oh yea, and I also.. uh.. “forgot” to include anything Skrillex and Korn did. I don’t need to justify that whatsoever though, and if you’d been listening to hardcore metal or electronic music for more than six months, you’ll probably understand why…