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  • Writer's pictureMartin van Zeelandt / TCD

Charly Lownoise & Mental Theo – Rave Parade 5 (1996)

It is coming up to nearly 30 years ago. In 1994 a new compilation emerged, called Rave Parade, Do you remember this CD series? It only ran for a short period (between 1994 and 1996), and only had 5 instalments, so it was short and sweet. But do you remember seeing these at your local CD store, around 1995? Well, technically speaking I wasn't telling the truth: they did release stuff in 1997 and 1998, but they were CDs that were part of a pack: if you bought a school agenda, it would come with a CD that contained only a handful of records. And fun fact: I still own them. They are ruined, but still in my collection.

I never owned the full collection, but I wish I did buy them all. As I was a huge fan of the Happy Hardcore sound between 1994 and 1998, I purchased a lot. But sometimes you had to choose: if you only had a few quid, you couldn't buy all the albums: some had to remain in the store, and if you were lucky, they would be there until your next visit. Some weren't, and got sold out. Or simply forgotten about.

I really love Happy Hardcore, and to find this CD on Soundcloud made me happier. I did own this one, but due to the scratches it had become unplayable. And due to me not saving it on an external hard drive, I never had the chance to listen to it again. Until a few weeks ago. I found it, and felt like a teenager again, raving in his bedroom. Happy Hardcore galore, and that is just so freaking cool.

This specific edition was composed by Charly Lownoise & Mental Theo, legends in the Happy Hardcore scene (so were the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th instalment, but not the 1st). They also released it on their own label, Master Maximum Records (alongside Urban and Polydor). But you can imagine that they knew what kind of tracks would work on an album like this one, and yeah, they did work well. Happy Hardcore was still at its peak, and it wasn't going down any time soon. It would, 2 years later, but we still had no notion that it would.

Of course it had the big hits, but also a few others you might not have heard. And not only Happy Hardcore songs, but also some Hard Trance and Gabber anthems. It was a mixture of everything. Oh, and also a shit ton of cheesy stuff on there. Would I even say 'too cheesy'?

Here's the tracklist:

CD 1

  1. Charly Lownoise & Mental Theo - Your Smile (Radio Edit)

  2. Party Animals - Hava Naquila (Flamman & Abraxas Radio Mix)

  3. Sjors & Sjimmy - Wailin' Souls

  4. Sub-Sonic - Throw Your Hands In The Air

  5. T-Marc feat Vincent - Are You Ready

  6. M-Jay & Dan Vee - Ravers Joy

  7. Highlander - Hardcore Paradise

  8. Chronotrigger - Mammamia

  9. Infernus - Runaway

  10. Twin Terror - Harmony

  11. Mastermind - Rising Like A Phoenix

  12. Bass D & King Matthew - Dance!

  13. Los Pablos - Mind Solution (Short Cut)

  14. Djunior - Don't Change It

  15. Necromancers - Till The Last Sucker Drops

  16. Frank-E & Mars-L - Back Once Again

  17. Ravers Addict - Hooters & Shooters

CD 2

  1. DJ Paul Elstak - The Promised Land (Promised Radio Mix)

  2. Dune - Rainbow To The Stars (Video Mix)

  3. Demoniac - Pump Me Up

  4. 9 T's - Don't Look Back

  5. Steam & Res - Keep This Party Rockin'

  6. Joy-Toys - Do-Re-Mi (7'' Rave Mix)

  7. Mad Man - Tech-No

  8. DJ Mystic - All That She Wants

  9. Crazy People Are Happy - I Am Crazy (Noiser Remix)

  10. Nightraver & DJ Trevor - The Revolution (Hardcore Version)

  11. Brothers In Crime - Fantasy Of Love

  12. Frank-E & Mars-L - Spliffs 'N Niffs

  13. Skippy - For Tha Rascals

  14. Toni Salmonelli & Bertocucci Feranzano - Class Axion - Take 2

  15. DJ E-Rick & Tactic - Wanna Dance?

  16. Marionet - Riot City

  17. Supreme, Billy Bunter & D-Zyne - Outside World

So many recognisable names, it's unbelievable to see them again. What ever happened to these producers? Some have continued in the Hardcore scene, and some just faded away into obscurity.

I do love these anthems. I have not heard 90% of these in a long time. A very long time. And I had to quickly go to Discogs to find out who's behind these tracks, as I'm not a walking Discogs page. And what I did find out, is that there's a lot of reoccurring names here. Like Bass D & King Matthew, but also the people behind Deepack. They released records under various aliases, and a few are on here. I didn't know that. Genuinely surprised by that fact.

It's a mixture of good anthems, solid anthems, and also a few extremely cheesy anthems. Come on, do I need to say which records are cheap as fuck? 'Mammamia'? 'All That She Wants'? 'Do-Re-Mi'? They are terrible, and that's an understatement. But it's only a handful of cheesy records like these that should never be heard in public again.

The majority of records are really good. Maybe underrated? To me, I have to pick one of each CD, and these are my favourites of this compilation:

- Twin Terror - Harmony

- DJ E-Rick & Tactic - Wanna Dance?

A solid CD. Not mixed, if you were wondering that. But it's a trip down memory lane, of everything awesome back in the 90s. And if you weren't around, this could be an introduction into Happy Hardcore? The music I grew fond of, and still love to this day!

Is it the best out of these five CDs (excluding the agenda ones)? To me, yes. What's your opinion? Did you like this album, or were there others which tickled your fancy a bit more?

Artist: Various Artists

Genre/Style: Happy Hardcore, Gabber, Hardcore, Hard Trance

CD Info: Charly Lownoise & Mental Theo – Rave Parade 5

Length CDs: 02:31:39

Tracks: 34 (thirty-four)

Release Year: 1996

Label: Master Maximum Records/Urban/Polydor

Product Number: 531 881-2

More Information: n/a

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