(Guld, Petteri Carbon Based, Laz Re-form, Your Correspondent, COGI)
What better way to promote yourself before a big event than by not updating your own site for a month and a half?
How I wish that it’s an exaggeration, but I’ve been so ridiculously busy since April that the choice has been between food, sleep and Munted prep, with absolutely no time for anything else. Ah, I tell a lie - my two evenings off were very pleasant, spent first with Byproduct and then with Petteri Carbon Based and one half of Re-form while they visited Japan/Tokyo. It was brilliant to see everyone a year after that trip to Finland, but since then it’s been hardcore event prep all the way. Still a fair amount to do, but I’m making progress and just about on schedule considering 6-day workweeks and endless commutes.
Needless to say, there won’t be too many posts until early next month, but there will of course be Munted info as and when, as well a couple of other things I’ve been desperate to mention for a couple of weeks. Sorry about the disappearance, and hope you’ll bear with me while I get through the rest of May. What I’d give for an army of little Horsers (Foals?) to update the site in my absence.
Oh, continuing the ‘promote yourself by doing nothing’ theme, it seems that people have discovered the PlasmaDancer Facebook page I semi-set up last year and then promptly forgot about. Four or five intrepid freeform warriors actually found it months ago, and so I was working on a little 30 minute mix as a thank you to them - then Munted happened and I ended up using parts of the Thank You set for my segment on Freeformaniacs (coming a week tomorrow, if I’m not mistaken).
Anyway, I’m massively thankful to those early adopters, as well as the freeform folk who have been ‘liking’ it over the past couple of days. This place will always take priority, but I’ve just finished the basic setting up and will be able to add some bits and pieces there if/when I have the chance. The more Horsers the better of course, so feel free to check out the complete lack of content via this link.
Back to mixing for now - I’ll be sure to make some time for the next post asap!
More amazing stuff from Einhander, this time a remix of Permission to Die and what might be his fastest tune so far. This is about as NRG as freeform can sound, with his trademark rough and ready synths and thumping kick. Definitely up there with Le Dos-on’s version as the best remix so far.
Last Saturday there was a flicker of life from the Tokyo darker scene, and for once I was organised enough to make it to two clubs on the same night. First stop was Operation Karma, back in Tokyo (Roppongi, unfortunately) after a 3-year absence and a few events in Kawasaki.
Sadly the days of Karma being the hard-but-more-melodic counterpoint to NRGetic Romancer and Tokyo Hardcore Construction seem to have gone, as most DJs have abandoned freeform/NRG or dropped out of the hardcore scene altogether, but thankfully ASAHI was there to represent our kind of sound and I mainly headed along for his set. It turned out to be a superb hour of tunes that started with Private Demon and progressed up through the bpms to finish with Aryx’s Aurora. There’s a strong Guld influence to ASAHI’s sets, but I love the way he’s introduced some of the industrial/dark electro sounds we’ve heard at events like Dark Dimension. With terrible timing I stopped my video [see above] during BRK’s The Nobodies, just as he was about to mix into a great track from Grendel - unexpected, but I reckon it was the connection of the set and did wonders for the atmosphere.
Unfortunately ASAHI was timetabled to open the event, so the floor was very quiet until a few more of the Karma/Romancer crew arrived towards the end of the set. It was fantastic to see everyone though, and as we all settled into some dancing it made me realise how much I’ve missed having a healthy hardcore scene for the past couple of years. The music was taking a turn for the over-happy though, heavy on the anime samples and glass-shattering female vocals, so after sticking around for some of DAIRIN’s hard house I wandered over to Shinjuku and Decadance Bar.
Kohaku and the Dark Dimension crew have really done a fine job with this event, as now it has a large, eclectic following that rivals Tokyo Decadance but with far, far better music/atmosphere. Although there was no freeform this time, the timetabling is superb these days and seems to finish with a good couple of hours of very danceable industrial/dark psy, leaving it just late enough for the fans of the slower stuff to be willing to give it a go too. SHiN even sneaked in Hannya X during his dark psy set, and it went down a storm with everyone from the Romancer ravers to the goths.
The other highlight was finally catching one of Hiroyuki Takahashi’s live painting performances, which really lived up to expectations. Responding to the music and crowd as usual, his piece became darker and darker as the night went on - not the clearest photos in the world, but hopefully you can get an idea of the end result.
TYFTH is back in business again after a week off, starting with an upcoming Krafty Radio appearance courtesy of Freeformaniacs! I’ll be alongside Aryx, Midas and Douglas for a non-stop, two-hour warmup event that’ll hopefully get everyone in the mood for the following month’s Munted! spectacular in London.
Stay tuned for more info, but in the meantime check out the rest of a very exciting looking Freeformaniacs schedule for April/May that features plenty of familiar faces:
4th April - Pearsall (Electronica Exposed Special) / Beezee
11th April - Jerome / A.R.D
18th April - Substanced / Piumaki
25th April - Girdler Synthetic (Two-hour Special)
2nd May - Thumpa / Midas
9th May - Cuedy / Pulse
16th May - Olly Addictive / JKub
23rd May - Triex / Stray
30th May - Munted! Takeover (Aryx vs Douglas vs PlasmaDancer vs Midas)
‘Two hours of new freeform mixed by Pearsall’ should be enough for any Horser to hit the download button, and once again this is a top quality set from the man himself. As always, checking out Pearsall’s original Sonicrampage post will explain all, but this is a set made up of recent digital releases, covering everything from FINRG to UK freeform via Le Dos-on and Qygen. The tunes don’t stick around for long before the next comes mixing in, making this a pacy, breathless couple of hours that focuses almost totally on TYFTH-friendly sounds. You could make a case that the set has fewer inspired connections than Rampage Turbo 10, but it makes up for that with excellent selection and structure (including Amini’s Lost Elegy - much obliged!).
Great stuff then - here’s hoping that Pearsall continues to explore more of the newer releases in future sets.
01. DJ Rx - Code Of Silence (Le Dos-On Remix) (Finrg) 02. Alek Szahala - Deimos (Finrg) 03. Aryx - Sylph (ReBuild Music) 04. Yuki Kajiura - Memaze (Nomic Bootleg Remix) (Unreleased) 05. Proteus - Get Fire! (Watchtower) 06. Qygen - Temporal Temple (Watchtwower) 07. Wyrm - Can’t You See It? (Electrode) 08. Lost Soul - Twisted Dream (Watchtower) 09. Amini - Guitarian (Smiling Corpse) 10. Substanced - Crank Cleopatra 2012 (Finrg) 11. Endemic - Hurricane (Watchtower) 12. Aryx - Chaldea (DJ Fury Remix) (ReBuild Music) 13. Epyx & Cyrez - Prelude (Penguin Conspiracy Remix) (Electrode) 14. Substanced & Alchemiist - Permission To Die (Finrg) 15. Douglas & Remane - Disorder (A.B.’s London Techno Remix) (Stamina) 16. Transcend - The Calling (ReBuild Music) 17. Transcend & Dyzphazia - Tormenting Flames (Relentless) 18. Ionosphere - PYLAAM (Electrode) 19. Lost Soul - Sacrifice Feat. Dark Angel (Endemic Remix) (Watchtower) 20. Penguin Conspiracy - Tripswitch (Electrode) 21. Substanced - Ghost Of The Future (Watchtwower) 22. Substanced - Stockholm Syndrome (Smiling Corpse) 23. Substanced - Shadows Of Tomorrow (Finrg) 24. Amini - Lost Elegy (Thank You For The Horse) 25. Nomad - Lose It (Transcend Remix) (ReBuild Music) 26. A.B. - Escapia (Stamina) 27. Eryk Orpheus - Benodihydrochloridebenzylex (Eryk Orpheus) 28. Le Dos-On - Flame 29. Alchemiist - Fate (Finrg) 30. Le Dos-On - Unelma (Relentless) 31. Substanced - Reptile Zoo (Finrg) 32. Aran - Taranis (Qygen Bootleg) (Qygen)
It’s been a while since we featured a raqhow mix on TYFTH, but I’m more than happy to give this excellent set a shout. This is one of those rare things, a ‘dark freeform’ set that actually lives up to the name, with some quality atmosphere and raqhow’s usual solid mixing. The set gets into its stride from Metaphysical Redemption, and the sequence all the way through to Fking Pirates is very nicely done. Everyone’s probably familiar with the tunes here, but Izanami still gets a big recommend.
1.Epyx & Cyrez - Why 2.Substanced & Grimsoul - Harder Than U Think 3.Nightforce - Metaphysical Redemption 4.Twisted Freq - Death From Above 5.Micken - Change The Past 6.Micken - The Channeler 7.Substanced - Acid World 8.Alchemiist - Anthrax Injection 9.Amini - Fking Pirates 10.Nightforce - Symphony For The Devil (The Virus Escaped) 11.Betwixt & Between - Inexistenz
As usual, just in time to give the next installment of the Smiling Corpse podcast a mention. It all takes place tonight (GMT), with Dyzphazia hosting and none other than ikaruga_nex marking his entry into the Smiling Corpse collective with a debut set.
It’s really one to look forward to, but unfortunately I probably won’t be around for the live broadcast - tonight I’m heading off to Studio Cube for the first time in a year or so, to see K.U.R.O. play an old-school Goa set.
Much delayed, but it’s finally time for our annual roundup of the Japanese scene’s favourite tunes. As usual, it’s a mix of tunes released in 2012 and other tracks that DJs found themselves playing a lot, but hopefully it’s just interesting for everyone to see what sounds were most popular here.
Sadly the Japanese NRG/freeform scene is very quiet this year, and has so far been totally ignored by other hardcore events (just check the lineup for this year’s Tokyo ‘Hard’ Groove Session for proof). Hopefully things will pick up again as the year progresses - one of the great things about last year was the emergence of a few new DJs, from raqhow and Nrgray gaining more experience at Experience!, to ikaruga_nex’s switch to freeform and Mii’s debut in the darker scene. Alabaster wasn’t very active last year and so isn’t part of this year’s roundup, but hopefully he’ll be back on his game to contribute next time.
Massive thanks as always to everyone for taking the time to choose, and it’d be interesting to hear everyone else’s picks, if you can remember back that far.
During the last Munted! I mentioned that I’ve been working (very occasionally) on a goa set, and that Japanese producer K.U.R.O’s tracks were some of the best examples of dark goa I’ve found so far. It seems like the subgenre doesn’t really exist, but one day I’d love to put together a set of darker melodic goa that doesn’t just drift into the droning technical nuttiness of dark psy. I’ve only got 3 or 4 connections I’m happy with so far, but let’s see if I can get it done sometime this year.
K.U.R.O. released a digital-only goa album called Conceptionlast year, which included updated versions of his Zombie Familytracks (minus the brilliant-but-short Hard Zombie). As it happens though, I prefer the original version of Red Zombie, an excellent dark track that just about stays on the goa side of the goa-psytrance divide with some great Ka-Sol-esque melodic filtering. The kick’s harder here too, but sadly the original Zombie Family were only 160kbps releases.
If the goa fans here have suggestions for any other darker tunes I’d love to hear them.
It’s been tough not to mention this until now, but in June I’ll be joining forces with the Munted! crew again for my first UK set! The event will be Munted’s first of the year, and I’m sure everyone will agree that the lineup’s looking pretty fantastic. Headlining is UK legend Sharkey, followed by UK freeform stalwart Douglas, but here at TYFTH we have to give special, massive kudos to the Munted! crew for supporting the deeper side of the freeform sound with the booking of Aryx and Endemic. Midas is also no stranger to our corner of the scene, while the UK crew are well catered for with Arkitech, A.B and Laith.
I’ll obviously be doing my very best to show what the darker, emotional side of freeform can do - it’s beyond exciting to have a chance to play to a UK crowd, but especially at a time when more labels, DJs and ravers are giving deeper sounds a chance. Hopefully Proteus at next month’s Sinistry will also convert more to the dark side, before we get going in June.
I’m hugely grateful to Munted! for supporting me and the Finnish/Japanese sound over the past year, and determined to repay them in London with as good a set as I can manage. It’ll also be awesome to see as many of the UK/Europe crew as possible on home soil, especially as Finland next month isn’t looking too likely (more on that another time). As an ex-resident of Battersea and Southfields I’m also looking forward to seeing south London for the first time in about 8 years.
There are plenty of exciting events over the next couple of months, but keep an eye on the Munted! event page in the meantime for travel/ticket info and all sorts of animal-based hijinks.