Another very welcome return as ConfigSys Project shows the first of his comeback tracks. The CFS formula works as well as ever here, and as usual in his psy-influenced tracks it’s the final section where everything truly kicks off. Great to see him back, as he really does bring something a little different to the NRG scene.
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.
I probably didn’t talk enough at the time about what an influence Horzi was having on DJs and artists in Tokyo, but two or three years ago you were almost guaranteed to hear his tunes in any freeform event, while new producers like Le Dos-on and ikaruga_nex regularly cite him as an inspiration. Great to see some new material from the man himself then, and as it’s all to easy to miss something in the avalanche of free tunes that is the FINRG SoundCloud, it’s surely worth linking them all here.
Human Hateris a track well-known to most people these days, but those melodies are as good as ever and the style is something a bit different that can fit into all kinds of sets. Face the Destiny is a brilliant tune that maybe sets a new standard for his productions, both technically and in terms of atmosphere. Might there be a bit of Japanese influence in this one? Whatever it is, the melancholy of the breakdown and the energy of the drop make this a real highlight. Finally comes Over My Soul, a more experimental tune that breaks away from the drum and bass opening with a superb guitar-led breakdown and some awesome pacy synths in the second half.
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)
Yet more mixes for everyone, this time courtesy of the ever-prolific Midas. The first is episode 21 of his excellent Freeform 101 series, and concentrates entirely on Electronica Exposed’s back catalogue. A glance at the tracklist shows that we’re in classy freeform territory here - the first half is very heavy on the Alek Szahala tracks, but also includes some classic Pain on Creation and Mental Ward, one of my favourite Carbon Based tunes. The second half is a Lost Soul special, so there’s plenty for both the UK and Finnish crew here. Very nicely mixed, as you’d expect, this is highly recommended.
Alek Szahala - Tigris
DOK - Mental ward (carbon Based remix)
Tazz, Shanty and Dodgee - Eidetiker
Pain on Creation - Shine
Alek Szahala - Timiquizqueh
Pain on Creation - Religionx
Alek Szahala - Unicorn Grove
Shanty, Tazz and Devestate - DDR
Lost Soul - Adversaries (insane version)
Lost Soul - Come and get it
Lost Soul - Ragnarok
Lost Soul - Daemons
Lost Soul - Artificial Universe
Midas also recently put together a set to mark 600 likes on the Munted! Facebook page. This one is more Nu-Energy slanted, including a few of the older tracks I used to play around with in the distant past, while the final section has plenty of Finnish melodies, albeit in remixed form.
K-Complex - Mindwinder 06 (original mix)
Dj Energy - Acid Dawn
Kevin Energy - Crescendo’s of ecstasy (K-Complex remix)
Dave Elizyum - No limit (Arkitech remix)
Kevin Energy - waves of desire (Mark Ashley & K-Complex remix)
Eryk Orpheus - PVC
Mark Ashley & K-complex - Atomic orbital
Cube::Hard - Hold the beat (original mix)
Cube::hard vs clsm - see you on the other side
Visionary - Taste the funk (cube::hard remix)
Kevin energy, K-Complex & sharkey - Anna (cube::hard remix)
K-Complex feat Scarlett Belle - Chennai
Alek Szahala - Alanamra (Arkitech remix)
Carbon Based - Cyclone
Carbon based - Anger Ball (kevin energy remix)
Alek Szahala - Lumi (kevin energy remix)
Lost soul feat Dark Angel - Taking Over me
Kevin Energy & K-Complex - filling me with desire (endemic remix)
Plenty going on behind the TYFTH scenes at the moment, but in front of the scenes let’s take a belated look at some video from this month’s FINRG event in Tampere. Great to hear from people involved that it went so well, and that an enormous crowd of freeform fans was there to support. Here we have three videos, from Syntse, Decion and Aryx:
I’m having a break from all-out freeform listening right now, so indulge me while we check out another wonderful Bukem set from the archives. Recorded live at Dance Paradise in (I think) 1994, this is right up there with his seminal Rebirth mix of 1996 as an example of structuring a set, creating new atmospheres inside the mix connections, and just flat-out technical excellence.
Bukem runs through a huge number of my all-time favourites here, and absolutely nails the contrast between deep, futuristic melancholy and aggressive amens that made 94-96 the era for intelligent drum and bass. Check out the final moments of the Drift to the Centre - The Western transition, as the drums stop and the ‘Drift…to the centre’ vocal plays over PFM’s trademark intro - just one example of the winning combination of Photek (in his various guises) and PFM that forms the backbone of the set. Another favourite moment might be Heavy Vibes into Horizons, a genuinely beautiful mix that sums up why Bukem is my main DJing inspiration.
In a perfect world Bukem’s older mixes would be required listening for anyone wondering how to incorporate deeper sounds into a high-bpm club set - get past the MCs (easier said than done, I know) and see what you think.
‘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