Download Side A – 47:52, 109 MB
Download Side B – 47:39, 109 MB
320kbps, 44.1kHz stereo, normalized
The MC. I know. Moving right along…
As I recall I bought this tape from Numb after they played me a few excerpts from various local mixes. The combination of happy and dark gabber sounds made a big impression on me and thankfully this style carries on throughout the duration. It’s an interesting production that seems to be a combination of live studio mixing and 4-tracking which reminds me of R.A.W.’s No Darkness, but adds what sounds like various musings from friends which adds a sort of homegrown touch.
The mixing is usually good, sometimes rough, and makes an oops or two. Hardtripp uses a lot of cuts and juggles and tries a few tricks and teasers so I cut him some slack. I’d much rather hear a less-polished mix that takes chances than a seamless but boring affair. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. He demonstrates a great DJ’s intuition which makes his ambitious attempts almost as enjoyable as if they had been slightly more successful. I especially admire his idea to mix in a simple percussive drum line to scratch over for a couple of minutes before returning to the anthems.
That being said…
The MC is awful. The rhymes and timing are weak and the recording isn’t tuned properly to hear his voice clearly. This turns out to be a blessing since the poor MCing mushes into the background somewhat, making it possible to just ignore the voice in favour of the music. He shuts his yap often enough that the mix isn’t a write-off. Not the worst I’ve heard but not far off.
Stick with this one because there are some terrific versions of hardcore anthems in here, plus many tunes I’ve never heard elsewhere but really ought to be anthems themselves (doo day doo day!). My nostalgia for this tape, which I’ve listened to between 30 and 7000 times, might be giving me rose-coloured earglasses, so press play on the excerpt to see whether you can swallow this. (how’s that for a mixed metaphor)
Now gather ’round for story time, candy kids!
I used to frequent one of Toronto’s most underground weekly gatherings at a place known as “Sunshine Wayne’s” (which was in this general vicinity :D). It was a little 2nd-floor apartment sans most of its walls which brought in local happy hardcore and trance DJs for its faithful clientele. One evening I was overjoyed to find Hardtripp on the lineup.
He was on early and I was one of the only attendees at the time so I had the pleasure of shaking his hand and chatting with him for a bit before his set. I gave him a very vague description of my favourite track on his Volume 16 tape and he knew exactly what I was talking about. He said he didn’t like to bring it to gigs because the record was warped, but he just so happened to have it with him that night! He played the tune just for me. Press play below to hear this song.
I could visibly see how warped the record was, and the song sounded kind of queasy as if it were pitching up and slowing down slightly. Neither I nor my feet cared one bit. The record may have been revealing its mortality that night, but for me the moment is immortal. Nuff respect to a man who comes to rock a crowd, one raver at a time.
The next time I saw Hardtripp spin he had turned to the dark side, spinning trance. He wasn’t bad but his selections were very ordinary. His last track of a night was one he had composed himself, and that got a great reaction from the crowd, so I grinned vicariously knowing he’d gotten a moment he deserved.
Did you ever catch this elusive DJ behind the decks at a club or rave? Do you have any of the other 15+ volumes this chap recorded? Do tell! Leave a comment!