Monday, September 14, 2009

Week 16: Hardstep

My buddy kyleklip (who you may remember as the dude who requested the New Jack Swing tape) asked me for a hardstep tape, so here is a hardstep tape.

Well back in the early-mid 1990s you had this thing called Jungle (I know I'm going way slow but some people have catching up to do). It was a sped-up british rave subgenre revolving around heavy bass, lots of reggae & hip hop influence, and a ton of really intricate drum programming—taking a drum loop, chopping it up, and rearranging it into infinite different permutations. Super-fun and energetic, but all that variation in the drums made it a bit of a daunting dance style to the uninitiated.

DJs picked up on the fact that this stuff could be tricky to dance to; by 1995 you had some people streamlining those drums to make something a little more dancefloor-friendly. They preserved the heavy bass, amped up the hip hop influence, and streamlined the classic jungle drumwork to something a little more danceable without completely homogenizing or sanitizing it (that would happen later). They called it hardstep (among other things), and it lasted from about 1995-1999. I really love this era of stuff, so when Kyle suggested the mix I couldn't resist. Here goes!

Chrissy's Year of Mixtapes Week 16: Hardstep

  1. Rude Bwoy Monty; Warp 9 Mr. Zulu (Heavyweight Mix) (Ganja)
  2. Remarc; Single Finga Killa (Suburban Base)
  3. Pharoahe Monch; Simon Says (Roni Size & DJ Die Remix) (Rawkus)
  4. DJ Zinc; So Damn Fresh (Remix) (Ganja)
  5. Evil vol. III; Mad Real (white)
  6. DJ Dextrous; This Situation (Subversive Records)
  7. Dr. Octagon; Blue Flowers (DJ Hype Remix) (Mo'Wax)
  8. DJ Krome & Mr. Time; Hip Hop Ride (Tearin' Vinyl)
  9. Shy FX; Bambaataa (Funksta Revisited) (Ebony)
  10. Missy 'Misdemeanor' Elliott; Beep Me 911 (Ganja Kru Remix) (EastWest)
  11. Wosh & King Tut; Throat (Joker Records)
  12. DJ Phantasy; .44 Mag (Easy Records)
  13. DJ Zinc feat. MC GQ; Bring The Danger (Tru Playaz)
  14. Prisoners of Technology; Trick of Technology (Fresh Kutt)
  15. The Fugees; Ready or Not (DJ Zinc Remix) (white)
  16. Capone; Massive (HardLeaders)
  17. Timebase; War Zone (Tearin' Vinyl)
  18. Dillinja; Muthafucka (Fire Fox Relick) (Philly Blunt)
  19. DJ Hype; On That Dust (Regulators Remix by Dextrous & Teebone) (Ganja)
  20. Mos Def; Universal Magnetic (IQ Collective Remix) (Rawkus / Trouble on Vinyl)
  21. Mental Power; Deep Soul (Formation)
  22. Dred Bass feat. The JB; World Of Music (Remix) (Back II Basics)
  23. The Dream Team; Scandalize (Joker Records)
  24. DJ Zinc; It's Like Dat (Remix) (Frontline)
  25. Aphrodite; Woman That Rolls (Urban Takeover)
  26. DJ Rap; Hardstep (Proper Talent)
NEXT WEEK: Philly Soul / Philly Disco.


  1. I'm a fan of all your mixes but I HAD to shout out this! INTENSE!!!! =D

  2. Don't want to be bothering, but what is that brass fanfare-like sample that starts track 1?
    Greetings from belgium!

  3. it's from "gonna fly now", the theme song from the film Rocky :)

  4. hoera!
    thank you chrissy! 'Eye of the tiger' and 'tony's theme' were beginning to lose their manliness-enhancing effect on me

  5. Dude, Chrissy, you blow my mind. This is a GREAT mix of some of my favs. Thanks!

    Oh, and love the Rocky props!


  6. I know some of the songs off it, pure genious. Sadly, I can't down it. Don't know why.

  7. I dunno man, the link definitely works so I think the problem is on your end...

  8. Simply a great mix. So many classics, and nicely stays on the groovier side of all things hardstep.
    Thanks a lot!

  9. I hope you all realise there isn't a single hardstep tune in that mix...where's the Limewax, the Counterstrike, the Panacea - these are hardstep producers check them out

  10. This mixtape is hardstep from the '90s--the music that was originally known as hardstep.

    What you're referring to is more recent hardstep, which sounds a lot harder but ultimately grew out of this stuff.

    Learn your history homie :)

  11. hehe, exactly my favourite music for 96 - but we called it 'jump up'. hard/techstep came after 'shadow boxing'. but actually it does not matter how a sub-genre is named. great project - keep up the good work!

  12. mate i've just binge downloaded a bunch of tasty looking mixes of this blog

    i'm really feeling this one right now ... some old fave tunes plus some new to me ... i'd never heard that blue flowers remix (one of my favorite hip hop tunes though)

    i'm going to be busy listening to this shit for some time


  13. Hey, other Anonymous guy - you really need to learn your history before you start spouting off.

  14. haha THANK YOU, most recent anonymous guy :)
    kids these days

  15. yeah i hate people like him he probably listens to lil wayne and watches mtv also

  16. seriously he's probably using the internets on his skateboard and sassing his elders as we speak

  17. Hate to be another ignorant Anonymous guy, but in the UK at the time this was always referred to as Jump Up:

    Ultimately I don't give a shit because you bring massive mixes of some excellent tunes, & seriously know your stuff, so whatever teh kids are calling this is still remains boss. Brings back happy memories of po-going as a teenager!

  18. Hmm, just realised that the reference by the third anonymous poster to someone 'learning their history' was probably in reference to the first Anonymous poster, and not the second. See how confusing it gets when you live behind a mask of internet shame!

    Also I apologise for being a genre bell-end. Music is truth and overflows all boundaries.

  19. hahaha I just love that you used the word "bell-end". we don't have that word in america and I always chuckle when I hear it :)