Published on | by CCPAR0
The Speed Freak | Interview | Hardcore Halloween
Versión en Español | Pica Aquí
How did you discover hardcore? What is your first memory of hearing hardcore?
haha, this must have been sometime 1991/1992 when i heard some early-hardcore-track (probably on Rotterdam Records) and thought “this is supposed to be hard ? i can do better”. The result was the first Speed Freak release on Monotone (MONO-005)
How did you get into your djing career?
Before i had my first release in 1990 i had already been dj-ing in the 80s (playing early techno, acid, ebm and new beat). In 1984 i had started making mixtapes.
The origin of Hardcore is rooted and combined sounds like Techno, EBM, New beat, etc. Which one is the root of your style of hardcore?
There are plenty of influences in my style. Basically all the music i have listened to so far.
In fact the definition of my hardcore-style is that i combine elements of other musical styles on top of a hard Kick/Bass to a Speed-Freak-typical fusion. Be it acid, new beat, lots of ebm (the music i listened to in the 80s), 90s drum&bass, IDM and rave and now electro and dubstep (and a little bit of freeform).
Which hardcore artists gave you the biggest inspiration on your own creative style when you first started out? And would you say the same hardcore artists are inspiring you creatively today?
I cannot really answer these questions, because i have never been influenced by other hardcore-artists. I use hardcore as a playground to build my own style upon. Artists that inspired me are not from the hardcore-scene and are people like Richard D James or Mike Paradinas. also Philip Glass.
For instance, the crowd in Rotterdam in the 90´s was linked to Gabber as a youth culture, a massive scale scene. The youth represented a style according to the scene (Shaven Gabber head, Candy colours, etc.) What characteristics does the hardcore crowd in the present have?
That is different in different countries. in Holland you still see bald heads, in France or Belgium there are more alternative people in the crowd, in UK people are dressed very rave-like, in Japan you even have cosplayers in the scene.
Could you tell our readers in your opinion which is the best place at the moment to have a unique hardcore experience?
Being a dj and liveact, i judge a “unique hardcore experience” by the reaction i get from the audience. I like the crowd in Belgium and Spain most at the moment, as they are very open-minded.
There is a perceived division between the various styles in hardcore. Can you tell us the reason why hardcore is divided in styles? Why it is not just called hardcore?
This is a good question. I think this is because of the nature of human beings. People like to search for “their personal favourite” (be it a style or a scene) and become very narrow-minded about that, closing out other styles. I would love to have that “unity” again as it was in early 90s, when you could play a “techno-set” which also included breakbeats, acid, hardcore and whatever. Nowadays, on the big parties the different dancefloors are split between different hardcore-styles because people only want this or that hradcore-style.
We think without the influence of other styles there wouldn´t be such a thing as hardcore and we know you use plenty influences in your style. What can you tell us about the mixture of influences from the hardcore artists regarding the progression of the movement?
For me it is essential to incorporate other styles and other production-techniques to get an evolution going.
What do you think about mixing skills regarding prerecording sets, using the beat syncing feature or a playlist?
Pre-recording is an absolute no-go. everyone can do that. If a DJ uses the sync-feature to have his hands free for inserting effects and edits or a third deck into his set i do not see any problem. The technology is there, but should not be used to support lazyness, but to give the DJ more possibilities for creative sets.
How would you spread a message of fraternity, union and cooperation between artists and the public?
I can say that if a DJ is dedicated to the music he plays the audience recognizes this and gives feedback in a positive way.
Is there anyone in the hardcore scene new or old who you would love to work with and if so who?
I have already worked with the people i wanted to work with. Then again, my style is different to the other´s and i prefer to work alone.
What is your opinion on the new wave of combining genres like hardcore techno and drum and bass when they are supposed to come from different musical backgrounds?
Best thing ever. There should be more combinations of styles and crossovers. The different musical backgrounds are the key – it is not only a combination of different styles, but also of different production-techniques.
We know that you work very hard to achieve your goals but what is the secret to actually keep enjoying what you are doing? How to keep true to yourself and true to your scene?
I just do what i see as my task for my life. Since a child i have been playing music (i have a classical piano-education, played some big church-organs being a teenager and switched to electronic music at age 18) and this is just what i have to do. There is no secret formula behind this. After finishing my study at the university i had to decide between doing the job i had learned there, or doing what i see as my task for life : so i decided to produce music.
Is the style of hardcore you played in the CCPAR podcast a good representation of what you would play at a party?
yes it is.
What are your thoughts of the electronic music scene in South America?
To be honest, i do not know much about it
Can you think of any good upcoming hardcore dj´s or producers to recommend our readers?
At the moment i like the music of Ohmicide from spain very much. Brutal Jesters are also very interesting.
Even with the diversity of labels, styles, crews, do you think collectively the strength of the hardcore movement is still very much there?
Without this diversity there would not be any movement anymore. Soundsystems, Labels, Event-organizers, Artists, all those combined create the strength of the movement.
We know you have been very busy these last months with the launching of Re:Fusion and new labels, can you tell us more about these projects?
Re:Fusion (www.re-fusion.com) is a joint of a few artists with their own vision of electronic music.
Re:Fusion is run by The Speed Freak, DJ Mutante and Rex Buron, who have launched a bunch of labels for different styles of music, mainly *core.
Besides this Re:Fusion is also the homebase of everything “Martin Damm” and all of his projects of the past and present.
I recommend you to take a look at www.re-fusion.com
To finish, can you please share with us your current top 10?
01: Pattern-J VS DJ Mutante : Dirty Baby (Cycore-001)
02: The Speed Freak : Decapitation (upcoming Psychik Genocide)
03: Stormtrooper : The Gateway (Cycore-002)
04: DJ Mutante : Entertainers (Cycore-003)
05: Traffik :Incriminating Evidence (Biochip C´s Igol-RX) (NoisJ)
06: The Speed Freak : Army Of The Undead (upcoming Absurd Audio)
07: Ohmicide : Afasia (Cycore-004)
08: Pinnacle & Thumpa : Like A Bulldozer (The Speed Freak´s Dancefloor Attack RemiX) (Rebuild Music)
09: Pattern-J VS DJ Mutante : Unchained (Cycore-001)
10: Rex Buron : WARP2ONE Stream Force 01 (Niteflare)