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UK Dance Music in the Early to Mid 90s

willardj | 10/11/2017

A lot of the electronic house music was produced in Chicago over in the USA during the mid 1980’s. Producers and DJ’s introduced the genre in bars and clubs all over the UK and the rest of Europe by the mid and late 1980’s. The UK took house music, Acid house, Electronic Body Music (formed in Belgium) and created UK Hardcore. The Hardcore sound then incorporated sped up Hip Hop beats, piano strings, dub and sound samples that can only be described as cartoon like. Hardcore opened the door to other similar sounding genres like Happy Hardcore and jungle. Happy Hardcore sped up to between 160 BPM– 180 BPM and included piano and techno sound samples. Jungle set at around 150 BPM to 170 BPM to include Reggae vocalist artists and Reggae sound samples and lost the piano and Techno influence. You would now associate original hardcore with ‘Old Skool Hardcore‘ and a lot of popular songs are still being played out by DJ’s all over the world today in 2013.

By 1992 the Hardcore scene, or also known as the Rave scene was huge and rife all over the UK. Crowds of people in their thousands would flock in to empty warehouses and open land for illegal raves to take drugs and dance to hardcore for up to 10 hours at a time. Of Course there were legal raves such as the famous fantasia which started up 1991 and they in fact counted 30,000 people at One Step Beyond! This really was the beginning of the club and dance scene that we know so much about today. There were so many big name producers such as The Prodigy releasing ‘You Love’ back in 1991 which is one of the biggest dance tracks of all time. Various other big name British producers such as SL2 with ‘Way in my Brain’ and of course one of the most famous acts ‘The Ratpack’ with ‘Searchin’ for My Rizla” who really did bring Hip Hop in to the mix with their vocal and sound samples. Old Skool had become commercial and ‘Searchin for My Rizla’ went straight to number one beating massive acts such as Madonna and Kriss Kross to the number one spot in the charts. Most radio stations didn’t add ‘Searchin for my Rizla’ to their play-list as it was blatantly a song about taking drugs! When dance music finds its way in to the commercial scene it can sometimes mean the end of the underground scene where Hardcore was at the start of the 1990’s and this was evident with the release of Sesame Street – hardcore mix. This Old Skool sound and beat is timeless and still used in today’s dance songs and main steam pop records.

Written by willardj

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