Friday, February 23, 2024

Blissed Out Breakbeat Hardcore!

The subtitle of this compilation could hardly push my personal buttons more!

Good compilation too - a surprising number of tunes I'd not heard before

1. Sleepwalker - Age of Aquarius (L.D remix)

2. Hedgehog Affair - Parameters

3. DJ Mayhem - Inesse 07:53

4. Luxury - Twirl

5. The Invisible Man - The Flute Tune

6. Escape - Escape (The Optical Mix)

7. Skanna - This Way

8. Xray Xperiments - Techcore

It's the work of Sam Purcell, the man behind the label Blank Mind, whose previous releases include a reissue of Earth Linkage Trip's Psychotronic EP. 

Release rationale for Lost Paradise:

With an intrigue for a particular niche of old UK hardcore which takes cues from Sheffield bleep ambience, heady rave futurism and soft, almost new age synth pads, Blank Mind presents ‘Lost Paradise: Blissed Out Hardcore 91-94’. Though the records gathered for the compilation span a short three-year period and bridge the gap between scenes, the collection manages to find a sweet spot where the influence of Warp’s Artificial Intelligence, back room chill out sonics and the nascent jungle boom meet with elements of Italian piano house and slower breakbeat cuts.

Opting to focus on atmosphere to highlight shared connections; in this case the duality of often serene and calming soundscapes with frenzied breaks and bass (see Hedgehog Affair’s ‘Parameters’ and Luxury’s ‘Twirl’ respectively); Lost Paradise is a formidable collection of tracks plucked from a thriving time for British dance music experimentation. The general themes of ascension and escapism channelled through digital samplers are also inescapably linked to a turbulent time in politics, beginning in the post-Thatcher years and culminating in the year the harshest anti-rave Criminal Justice Act came into force.

Initially building the compilation around DJ Mayhem’s track ‘Inesse’, Blank Mind label founder Sam Purcell and Amsterdam based producer Tammo Hesselink began a process of swapping favourites and deep cuts to spread across this 2x12” doublepack. The compilation avoids any obvious centrepieces through masterful sequencing, allowing for moments of refrain and tempo changes in a way that helps add to their overall vision of what this music is and can be; “We wanted to frame hardcore in a different light, looking at this idea of ecstasy through the traditional meaning of the word and exploring that symbolism”. By drawing from what some might consider the softer edges of the movement, the pair offer a look into the relevance of these tracks in the contemporary era, where the past years have seen both an explosion in popularity of old ambient/new-age music and a certified jungle revival. 

Releases March 25, 2024

Preorder it here

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