Friday, August 27, 2010

Classic CDs from '94

Two classic CD's from 1994 here.  Well, sort of anyway.  If I recall correctly, Paul Holden's "Happy to be Hard" was originally released on tape in 1994.  The edition posted here is dated 1997, and trumpets its status as "the first ever CD released by Australia's #1 DJ Paul Holden, remastered and edited into a 'Gold' collectors edition".  Having never owned a copy of the tape edition I don't recall whether it differs greatly from the original, but I presume it's the same.  The mix itself is nicely summed up by the puffery on the rear of the CD case: "This mix captures the essence of Happy Hard Bouncy Beats that is Australia's party scene".  Although it's a pretty Sydney-centric view of Australia's party scene if you ask me.

"Jumpin' Jack in the Box" is my pick of the two.  I can't listen to it without thinking about the period around Christmas and New Years '94/'95.  To me, it's the real deal of the rave sound from that time.  The predominant happy hardcore sound of the day features front and centre, but the mix itself offers so much more - bouncy techno, Noom-style hard trance, UK breakbeat.  Despite the style jumps, the mix itself is (for the most part) quite tight and sounds fantastic today, probably because it doesn't rely on anthem after anthem after anthem to keep the energy levels going.

Download Jumpin' Jack - "Jack in the Box"
Download Paul Holden - "Happy to be Hard Gold"

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Two sides of Nik Fish

So my tape player is most definitely on the blink, which makes ripping kind of difficult.  Luckily, I have a few goodies on CD and other media from which to post while I get on top of the situation.  If anyone happens to be handy with that sort of thing, please feel free to get in touch...

This 1997 "mixed cd in twp parts" (oh, how I love Rave spelling!) from Nik Fish is perhaps one of his lesser known mixes.  Divided into two tape-like 'sides' it gives us a trance mix and a hard house mix, providing a real window into what was happening at the moment where - save for some notable exceptions - the big parties completed their move out of the warehouses and into the clubs. 

Download Nik Fish - Underwater Mixes Part I
Download Nik Fish - Underwater Mixes Part II

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Why does your lifestyle give you such a big smile??????

Okay, okay, okay, okay, OKAY!

If there's one question I get asked more than any other, it's "when are you going to do the Spellbound tapes?"  And, I guess no true Sydney DJ Tape Archive would really be complete without them.

I've not bothered with them til now because I had thought they were all posted online elsewhere, but with the ageing of the tape lists on the Inthemix and Oldskool forums, the links are all more or less dead so I think it's time for a refresh!

I can't understate how big a part these tapes played in my raving life.  Dancing as the sun rose to Volume 6 on top of a mega dirt mound at Sydney Park with a posse of randoms after Space Cadet 33 1/3 got shut down; first hearing Volume 7 on the packed bus on the way to and from Sunrise (Freedom 3) - wherever on Earth that party was held.

Most poignantly, though, it was listening endlessly to my pick of the bunch, Spellbound 8, recorded at Prodigy 7.  To this day I kick myself for missing that party, and the opportunity to hear that set live.  It's probably the ultimate set of 1995 Happy Hardcore tracks and Maestro D's awesome MCing spawned so many oft-repeated lines, such as the one from which this post title derives.

The collection below was not ripped by the archive.  I'm merely reposting the hard work of others.  (But I was able to provide the cover art for some of them!)  There's more to come, but I'll have to rip those ones myself.  Look out!

Download Spellbound 5 Side A + B

Download Spellbound 6 Side A
Download Spellbound 6 Side B

Download Spellbound 7 Side A
Download Spellbound 7 Side B

Download Spellbound 8 Side A
Download Spellbound 8 Side B

Download Spellbound 9 Side A + B

(The above tapes were not ripped by the Sydney DJ Tape Archive)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

We're back, and we're slamming!

After a small hiatus following some technical issues, we're back with plenty more mixtapes and memories!  What better way to start off than with Jumpin Jack's slamming Mix CD "New NRG".  I'm not 100% sure whether this CD is from '96 or '97, but I'm putting it at '97 'cause that's when I bought it and hammered it.

This was the sound of some of the predominant clubs of the day - Friday nights at Sublime on Pitt Street (no Rewind Bunnies in those days!), early Plastic at the Palladium and Transmission.  The set is heavy on anthems like X-Cabs "Neuro" and the fantastic Jon the Dentist remix of "Stuck on a Space Trip".  Excellent!

Download Jumpin Jack - New NRG

Friday, May 14, 2010

Back soon!

After a few months technology-enforced hiatus the Archive will be back on deck soon.  Watch out!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

More Pleasuredome goodness...

I was a huge fan of Pleasuredome '94 and have been eager for quite some time to track down as many sets from the night as possible.  Thanks to Rob RadioDog for posting a link to DJ Angus' set from the night in the comments on my previous Pleasuredome post, which I've not heard before.  It's a great set which contains many of the great anthems of the day and skits effortlessly between happy hardcore, more Italian stuff and even a little house.  Pretty darn good!  Also below is the DJ Vic set from the night which, while a little harder, is just as good.

I have the full Pleasuredome video floating about my house somewhere.  I'll have to work out a way of posting it to the archive as well.  It would be great to get a full archive of available sets from the night.

Do you have any of the other Pleasuredome tapes?  Hit us up in the comments or on Facebook!

On the Archive's Facebook page, there's a bit of chatter on the wall from others who have tapes squirreled away, just waiting to be ripped and uploaded.  From my standpoint I'm particularly interested in "official" tapes that were put up for sale (you know, with covers 'n' shit) and live sets from legendary parties.  Hit us up in the comments or on Facebook and let us know what you've got!

At the moment I'm trying to upload tapes I haven't caught online elsewhere, so if you're looking for something in particular that isn't on here, there are hundreds of tapes in the forums on Inthemix or the Oldskool page on Facebook.

(These tapes were not ripped by the Sydney DJ Tape Archive)


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Definition of a hardcore tape

This is the last proper hardcore tape I bought before moving on from the world of insane gabber kicks.  And as far as a hardcore tape goes, it's pretty darn good.  Side A is my pick.  To me it's the classic Geoff Da Chef sound - hard ass beats at around 180-190 bpms that make you wanna move.  Classic samples abound, referencing oldskool hip-hop, acid house, Dutch gabber, English jungle, movies, reggae, rare groove and more.  Side A is yet another chapter in the sound Geoff brought in "The Second Serve" and "Just Desserts".  It may be hard, but ultimately it's party music.

Things take a harder twist on Side B, where the beats slip over the 200 bpm mark and well into nosebleed territory, including some, erm, classics like "Shaftman", "Necronomicon" and the one that goes "Sex, sex, sex is the law, law, law when a guy gets a girl on the floor, floor, floor".  Without the benefit of nostalgia it's all too easy to pass the whole side off as aggressive noise.  It's a challenging listen without question, but the reward comes in realising 200 bpm hardcore is less about "aggression" and more about "release".  It's the style that takes the antiestablishmentarianism of rave to its logical (and final) conclusion.  The ultimate "fuck you" to society.

Download Geoff Da Chef "666 - Definition of a Hardcore Tape" Side A
Download Geoff Da Chef "666 - Definition of a Hardcore Tape" Side B

Monday, February 1, 2010

Happy Hi NRG at it's BEST!

"Happy Hi NRG at it's BEST!"  Yup, that's what the tape cover says.  Nothing like a rave-related tape cover, flyer or 3D World article for a bevy of wayward apostrophes, spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.  To be fair it never was about the spelling...

I never made it to Free Love '95.  It was somewhere like Blackmarket off memory.  Being (and very much looking) underage at the time, I was just a little too paranoid I wouldn't be let in to a 'real' nightclub.  Given 15-year old Anna Wood disastrously made it into Apache at The Phoenician a few months later I probably would have been fine, but how was I to know?

The Free Love parties just grew from there.  I missed Free Love '96 as well, due to being struck by a nasty flu post-FOD4, which had occurred a week earlier.   I did make it to Free Love '97 but by then I'd lost most of my raving mojo and don't remember being particularly impressed.  That party was one of those massive Minto raves and, being free, was packed to the rafters and seemed to attract all sorts of bogans, bombers and general weirdos.  I imagine Free Love '95 would have been the goods though - smallish, inner city and a little more underground than the juggernaut sequels that followed.

Download Free Love '95 Side A (Budds'n'Stoo)
Download Free Love '95 Side B (Dynamix)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Ethereal beats: DJ Popeye part II

Hot on the heels of JMA Volume I comes the shit-hot JMA Volume II: "This is Jungle".  No explanation required.  Just download, headphones, volume and kick back.  Ethereal bliss awaits...  This~this is jungle!

Download DJ Popeye "This is Jungle" Side A
Download DJ Popeye "This is Jungle" Side B

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Broken links?

Using file-sharing services like Zshare and Mediafire means that links to the tapes themselves will invariably expire.  If you do come across a dud link, please leave a comment either on Facebook or in the comments section and I'll do my best to re-up....eventually.

If you happen to see comments about dead links for a tape you've already downloaded, please be my guest and re-upload for maximum PLUR.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

DJ Popeye - lone junglist

In 1995 no-one did jungle, except Popeye.  I discovered Popeye in '94 though his fan-fucking-tastic "Junglistic Rowdiness" tape which, despite its name, featured happy breakbeat on Side A and darkside breakbeat on side B.

My introduction to jungle came later, at the 'Technocolour' party in '95 which featured its very own jungle/drum & bass room.  To be honest, I wasn't really impressed by it all.  At the time it felt like the music just lacked something.  I put it down to my unsophisticated young mind just not understanding anything unless it was big, dumb and in your face.  Nevertheless, I picked up Popeye's "Jungle Massive Australia" tape some months later.  I must have realised there was more to jungle than met the eye. Incidentally, this is about the same time everyone else realised there was more to jungle.

I don't know if it was just the lack of MC's but there was always something spit-polished about the Jungle Massive Australia take on drum & bass.  Compared to the madness of the UK tapes - usually live recordings - that filtered through every now and again,  Australianised tapes took on a far more restrained, clinical quality, despite the tapes featuring all the same tracks.  The few JMA parties I attended were somewhat similar - a tad more chilled than many of the other scenes in Sydney at the time.

This tape is excellent but yes, very clean, very clinical.  At the same time it treads a really nice line, achieving an atmospheric feel without diverting too far from the dancefloor.

Download DJ Popeye "Jungle Massive Australia" Side A
Download DJ Popeye "Jungle Massive Australia" Side B

Monday, January 25, 2010

Getting down to Biz-ness

When things were getting fluffy - and in Sydney in the 90's things invariably were - you could always count on Biz-E to deliver something serious.  Biz was the true champion of proper, booty-shakin' techno right into the early years of the 21st century and although he doesn't seem to DJ as much anymore he's still kicking about, and producing some pretty cool techno.  He's just Biz now, though.  The 'E' has gone the way of, well, E's in general.

This tape comes from around '95 and the music has aged well.  With the passage of time music styles change, reference points change and in that context this tape brilliantly captures what was 'NOW' at the time it was recorded.  I remember thinking at the time this tape was quite minimal, but compared to today's minimal it most definitely isn't.  This tape is lush and beautiful in places, utterly slamming in others.  It's straight up and twisted. Sometimes it's frenetic, other times it's quite restrained.  Much like I remember Biz-E the many times I heard him play - unpredictable yet tight.

Download Biz-E's "Fresh Outta The Lab" Side A
Download Biz-E's "Fresh Outta The Lab" Side B