Pearsall – Not The Future We Were Promised

February 28th, 2015 by PlasmaDancer

Far and away the best set I’ve heard this year isn’t actually freeform, but a masterclass in jungle selection from Pearsall that you simply have to check out. Harking back to the early-to-mid-nineties golden age of Dreamscape and Helter Skelter, Ellis Dee and Grooverider, this 94 minute set is Pearsall on top, top form.

It’s one thing to put together a tracklist of massive classics and lesser-known tunes, and then quite another to blend them this well – the best jungle sets always give me the impression of knife-edge, organised chaos, and what a good demonstration this is. Props to Pearsall for some top-drawer mixing, but also the set’s progression, moving from some of my favourite chopped up breaks to the amen-focused main section of the set. The climax also has some inspired selections, Music Takes Me and a glorious remake of Tango and Fallout’s Revelations ending the mix in ecstatic style.

Pearsall’s typically thoughtful Sonicrampage post confirms my first impressions, that such a complex set must have taken a heck of a lot of practice and pre-planning, and after a couple of weeks on constant rotation I can confirm it more than stands up to multiple listens. Highly, highly recommended.

Posted in Drum & Bass, Mixes, UK, USA | No Comments »

Taber @BIG CRUNCH, Underground Techno Cluster (club MAGO, Nagoya)

February 24th, 2015 by PlasmaDancer

Western Japan’s harder scenes are looking as healthy as ever, with a collection of producers and DJs that at least match Tokyo for quality. Longtime club comrade and fellow freeform DJ Taber recently played a (probably hardstyle) set at BIG CRUNCH in Nagoya, but here’s a little demo (via SamuraiStyleRaver) of his glorious shuffle-meets-raver step dancing style.

The recent Yoji event in Tokyo was too crowded for a proper raver reunion, and I really miss the Romancer days when the floor would be packed with such talented folk.

Posted in Events, Japanese | No Comments »

Smiling Corpse ‘Dead Happy’ Turbo Deluxe 001

February 18th, 2015 by PlasmaDancer

Both sets from the recent ‘Turbo Deluxe’ edition of the Smiling Corpse podcast are now online, and can be downloaded here and here.

It’s just the kind of two hours you would hope for, with a brilliant set from Olly Addictive setting things off on the right foot – that first 25 minutes or so is spot on with the dark aggression, while the second half rattles through some classics and Smiling Corpse promos. Re-form’s side of things is a shorter set with some surprises at the start, followed by that familiar, effective combo of a real oldie or two and the biggest tunes from the past few years.

Both highly recommended sets, and they’re also listenable in a very nicely presented YouTube format.

Posted in Events, Finnish, Mixes, UK | No Comments »

Blender – Illogical [Smiling Corpse 002]

February 13th, 2015 by PlasmaDancer

It looks like the very long-awaited Smiling Corpse 002 is arriving over the horizon, and most of you will already have enjoyed the impressive collection of clips on the label’s SoundCloud. Blender’s Illogical really caught my ear, a track from back in the day finally getting a well-deserved release.

One of the darkest tracks revealed so far, it never fails to bring back memories of the peerless NRGetic Romancer ravers going at it in Studio Cube, which is most definitely a compliment. The only possible criticism is the lack of ‘crispness’ in comparison with some of the other tunes on the album, but frankly I prefer a bit of grit in my NRG and with some intelligent track selection it wouldn’t cause DJs any trouble at all.

Posted in Finnish, Releases, UK | No Comments »

Smiling Corpse meets Re-form

February 9th, 2015 by PlasmaDancer

Smiling Corpse was back with a ‘Turbo’ edition of the Dead Happy podcast last month, with Re-form joining host Olly Addictive.

Sadly I had to make a spur-of-the-moment trip to the UK and was away for 10 days (long story), missing both the show and various facebook shenanigans. Not to worry though – the sets will be online soon, and thanks to Olly Addictive we have the all-clear to repost an interesting little interview with Re-form’s Lasse.

The non-facebook brigade will hopefully appreciate the repost, while the guys deserve a respectful tip of the hat for a very kind mention of TYFTH.


- Hi Lasse, firstly thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for us! To begin with, what were your main inspirations before you started writing music?

When I started writing my own electronic music I was pretty young, something like 12 years old. At the time my main inspirations were definitely Blümchen and Scooter with their kicking happy hardcore tunes. Later on, after we had founded Re-form with Antti in 2001 we got interested in writing harder and darker tunes, and that’s all thanks to LAB 4 which was the first true inspiration for us to write hard nrg and freeform tracks.

- Have you ever considered producing an artist album?

Definitely yes. Someday it would be a real dream come true to produce a full length artist album, but we’ll have to see if it’s ever going to happen. Hopefully that will happen one day in the future. Never say never.

- What do you think the freeform scene is lacking at the moment?

Of course it would be always awesome to see more new names from around the world on the scene. There’s never enough freeform in this world, right? I also think that at the moment the scene is missing more unique sounding artists than before. That’s why I would love to see more new names with their new and fresh sound.

- What are your views on Plasmadancer’s blog, “Thank You for the Horse”?

I have followed “Thank You for the Horse” blog from its early days and it’s really great to see how Plasmadancer keeps his blog running with huge enthusiasm and shares his love for freeform with the whole international scene. If someone doesn’t know what freeform is, my first guide is to get the guy reading and listening the stuff from “Thank You for the Horse”. Real professional work there.

- Of all the Re-form tracks that have been produced, what is your favourite and why?

It must be ‘Schizophrenic’. It represents the good and old original sound of Re-form with the psychedelic atmosphere, sick melodies and speed.

- What does FINRG mean to you?
As a concept FINRG means to me awesome music with great emotions and sometimes even some kind of special lifestyle. That’s what it’s all about.

- And finally, how do you see freeform evolving in the future?

I think freeform will reach, touch and inspire more and more people in the future. Hopefully it will be close to big audience hearts as it’s for us now. As we use to say, freeform will never die!


Posted in Events, Finnish, UK | 1 Comment »

Rave VISION presents YOJI BIOMEHANICA Re-Birth, 21st February @Soundmuseum Vision Tokyo

February 7th, 2015 by PlasmaDancer

Well, I never thought I’d see this happen – NRG legend Yoji Biomehanica is making a return to the scene, starting this month in Shibuya! I’ve seen a few YOJI techdance sets in my time, and while all the old NRG ravers would be there showing their support, there’s only so far that good will can take a crowd and the floor would often end up quite flat.

I really can’t wait for this comeback set then, at Shibuya’s medium-sized Soundmuseum Vision. Things might get crowded in there, but I was at the club a couple of months ago for a Ken Ishii event and the main floor speakers seemed pretty nice, at least.

Posted in Events, Japanese | No Comments »

Morita Yuuhei – Freeformaniacs Round 18

February 6th, 2015 by PlasmaDancer

Anyone who missed Morita Yuuhei’s Freeformaniacs debut at the end of last month really has to give this a listen – one of the most interesting sets I’ve heard in quite a while.

The tracklist (kept secret for now) contains a few surprises and lives up to exactly what you’d hope from young Morita, with a superb balance between some superior melodic tracks and the nastier filters. Standout features of the set are some impressively long connections that often leap in at surprising moments, and an excellent increase in bpm from NRG up to full-on speedcore.

That the set keeps its identity through all this is the sign of a quality DJ – Morita is definitely one to watch this year, and after such a great start you wouldn’t bet against an event appearance before the end of 2015.

Posted in Finnish, Japanese | No Comments »

Top 3 Tracks of 2014

January 10th, 2015 by PlasmaDancer

It’s been a while since a promised post arrived (just about) on schedule, but here we are with the Japanese scene’s roundup of the tracks of 2014. Although it wasn’t a massive year for releases, the biggest group of DJs and producers so far has made plenty of really interesting choices, including a few tunes that might have been overlooked by some.

Big thanks to everyone for taking part, and the commenting crew should also feel free to add their own choices down below.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Japanese, Top Tens | 8 Comments »

Top 3 Mixes of 2014

December 31st, 2014 by PlasmaDancer

Time for today’s final post – the now-traditional look back at my favourite sets of 2014. I’ve actually checked out a lot of mixes this year (far more than you’ve seen here, in fact), but in all honesty it’s been a bit of a thin year for sets that really fit the increasingly-picky TYFTH bill.

As always, respect and thanks go to all the DJs supporting our little corner of the freeform scene. This year it has been especially nice to hear a number of well-constructed, ‘emotional’ sets, a necessary counterbalance to the ferocious, melodic freeform we’ve heard a lot of in 2014.

My picks are below, but feel free to take to the comments with your own choices.

No. 3

Shimotsukei – Hardcore Summer Bash 2014 Mix

Shimotsukei’s excellent set is the place to find this year’s best transitions, with some creative selection and very original use of some oldies. Other track choices might feel a little out of place, but the overall atmosphere and progression to the high-bpm second half is top class.


Nomic – Freeformaniacs Round 14

Following his superb efforts in 2013, Nomic goes to the next level by combining his deeper recent tracks with the harsh, angry sounds of the Nu-Energy and FINRG years. The master of melancholy and aggression strikes again then, and all as solidly-mixed as we’ve come to expect.


Hellfury – Shin No Noir IX – Soul Abyss

This set is a another lesson in how to maintain an atmosphere, as Hellfury combines psy and pianos for a beautifully consistent hour of thoughtful freeform. Crucially supported by some quality track connections, this was my favourite set of the year.

Honourable mentions: Guld, Pearsall, Cuedy, Dyzphazia

Well that’s it – thanks as always to everyone for the support in 2014, it’s massively appreciated. The first post of 2015 will be a roundup of the Japanese scene’s favourite tracks, but the main event in January will definitely be the announcement of major (I repeat, major) changes to TYFTH. Have a Happy New Year then, and I’ll see you next month.

Posted in Finnish, Goa / Psy, Japanese, Mixes, Top Tens, UK, USA | No Comments »

Shanty, Tazz & Loopy – Maximum (Carbon Based remix)

December 31st, 2014 by PlasmaDancer

Electronica Exposed’s Electromotive sublabel has spruced up 2014’s release list in fine style with a few unreleased tracks, including a freshly mixed-down version of Carbon Based’s Maximum remix. You really can’t get much better than ‘old school’ FINRG with modern production values, and this release gets very close to that ideal.

Check the Electromotive site for a wav or mp3 download, along with more tracks that appeared during December – the standout being a previously-unreleased mix of Pain on Creation’s Second Death.

Posted in Finnish, Releases, UK | No Comments »

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