Download Side A – 46:08, 105 MB
Download Side B – 45:45, 104 MB
320kbps, 44.1kHz stereo, normalized
An overdue read-through of the Fantazia Rave Archive tells me what I’ve always inferred from this tape – that the Vibealite parties are by-ravers-for-ravers affairs with only the most accommodating and positive ingredients stirred into the mix. Between the relentless tempo of the music and the frequency of shoutouts by the clever MCs the chemistry between the DJ, MCs, and crowd is palpable.
Credit where credit’s due, now. I’m ripping my rave tapes slowly because the majority of them feature such obnoxious, parroty MCs that I can’t bear to listen through them anymore. Not so, here. This is one of very few mixtapes where the MCing is every bit as impactful as the DJing. The names “Peta Pan” and “MC Ice” are bigged up a few times but I can’t tell whether those are the MCs present – their humbleness is unprecedented. (update – DJ Brisk himself confirmed by email that the man the with the most airtime is MC Destruction) Rhymes are rarely repeated and are many verses long, and voices are clear as a bell thanks to ideal recording at the event. Press play on the player above to hear an excerpt of some top-notch freestyle lyricism.
The music in this mix is so ideal for MCing that I don’t know whether to call it the focus or the backdrop of this tape. The tunes are nearly all vocal-free but not-overly-cheery celebrations of chord progressions; melodies that feel meaningful. It’s a lovely fusion of English and Dutch fundamentals where strategic pauses between sounds imply complexity. The beatmatching is outstanding and the mixes are concise, often cutting over early during percussive intros to leave the MCs more room to flourish. This is progressive happycore tuned precisely to my favourite bandwidth – that grey area between hardcore and gabber.
Now, I created the Demodulated Mixtapes blog for the dual purpose of sharing my old rave mixtapes and relaying my personal stories about them, and I do have a story about this tape. A long story that covers a jubilant yet difficult span of my life. It’s probably the best rave story I could tell. I’m not telling it here. It’s too personal.
Hold tight Pukka Dawn Steve for my favourite happycore tape of all time.
Oh yeah, and it’s Brisk on side A and Stu Allen on the flip.