Monday, October 26, 2009

Week 22: The Year In Happy Hardcore—1994

This week we're tackling a touchy subject: Happy Hardcore. This genre, defined by its fast tempo, stompy drums, and aggressively optimistic piano rave melodies, is perhaps one of the most maligned genres ever. Much like disco, it's trashed mostly out of ignorance.
Happy hardcore grew out of UK rave at the same time as jungle, and was really delightful for the first few years of its existence. It then went on a pretty fast downward slide, losing a lot of the original rave/jungle elements that made it so great—this later-era cheeseball stuff is a big part of the reason for happy hardcore's bad rap. I still stand by the tunes that came out in 1993-1997, and I plan on featuring them in a few mixes over the course of the year. The first is a bunch of tunes from '94.

Chrissy's Year of Mixtapes Week 22: The Year in Happy Hardcore—1994.
  1. Sy Project; Emotions (Quosh Records)
  2. Vibes & Wishdokta; Feel Good (Asylum Music )
  3. Higher Level; Visions of Light (Zodiac Records)
  4. Naughty Naughty vol. 9; Pride (white)
  5. Ravers Choice vol. 1; Feel Real Good (white)
  6. The Beatmen; Seventh Way (4 The Floor Recordings)
  7. Naughty Naughty vol. 10; Voodoo Ray (white)
  8. Spicelab; The Spirit of Fear (Harthouse)
  9. Higher Level; Feel The Sky (Zodiac Records)
  10. Slipmatt; Hear Me (Awesome Records)
  11. Naughty Naughty vol. 5; Stay Here (white)
  12. SMD Vol. 2; Side B (white)
  13. Higher Level; I Need You Now (Zodiac Records)
  14. 4 The Floor vol. 5; Side A (4 The Floor Recordings)
  15. DJ Seduction; My Own (Slipmatt Remix) (Impact Records)
  16. Naughty Naughty vol. 7; Where Love Lives (white)
  17. Bass Selective; Blow Out Jungle VIP (S.O.U.R.)
  18. VW001; Sweet Love (white)
  19. SMD vol. 3; Vol. 1 Remix (white)
  20. S&A; Peaked Up (4 The Floor Recordings)
  21. Force & Evoluion; Perfect Dreams (Vibes & Wishdokta Remix) (Knite Force)


  1. Oh SHI- Happy Hardcore this week and HI-NRG next? I'm going to freaking explode.

  2. Yeah I'm super excited for that Hi-NRG tape. I really hope you're going to incorporate some sweet Lime jams.

  3. Jus' WOW! Murderbot, you are like a public service for retired ravers.

  4. wicked selection...and i wholeheartedly agree with your closing statements =O)

  5. Great Mix! Love the exposure to this genre!


  6. Coming from the Netherlands I had a completely different definition of Happy Hardcode, probably the stuff you refer to as being from after the SEVERE slide, so I was not that keen to listen to this mix. But how lovely it is to stand corrected and to be introduced to this great sound of happy hardcore; a nice and lively crossover between rave and jungle! Gotta love it!

    In general I really like listening to all this mixes and to be introduced to all this different subsubgenres ;)

  7. Yeah, I guess as somebody from an English-speaking country, the UK Happy Hardcore was easier to find out about for me. We had a little bit of the Dutch stuff (Mokum in particular), but it would get filed under Gabber or under "Bouncy Techno" along with Scott Brown and the Scottish / Newcastle tracks :)

  8. I guess that any kind of music from abroad was unable to penetrate the Gabber-minded generation I grew up in. I lived in Rotterdam at the time, the epic center of Rotterdam Hardcode (or Gabber), such a raw and sped up type of music, most of us only listened to this stuff to annoy our parents. (kidding)

    I remember the Mysterly Land party on the Maasvlakte in 1994, with like 5 areas: The House of Love (deep house, we called it mellow), The Main Stage (hardcore), The Tunnel of Terror (really loud and fast hardcore), The Chillout area (ambient, and completely empty!) and another place that had UK rave/jungle. Believe it or not, with about 15.000 people attending this festival, I spend the night jumping and dancing around this UK-area with an average of 5 (as in five) other misvids ;) Just to illustrate how completely of the scope this type of sound really was.

  9. haha wow :) FIVE people
    I grew up in Kansas City, so we were always inundated with Chicago House, Ghetto House / Booty House, Detroit Techno, etc. It was always very underground in the states though--even in the peak years of 1995-2000 we would be lucky to get 1,000 people at a party...