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  • Writer's pictureMartin van Zeelandt / TCD

Hardcore Forces (1997)

The year is 1997. A lot of things are happening in the Hardcore scene, and an attempt to stay fresh and up to date with the current Hardcore scene, Arcade released a double disc album, which was called Hardcore Forces. And the title and the concept was interesting: the 5 biggest labels in the Hardcore scene, all on one album, showcasing their finest records released on their label. So, you've got ID&T, K.N.O.R. Records, PCP, Dwarf Records, and Rotterdam Records, all on one album. Not fighting for supremacy, but showing the labels capabilities, and what they have to offer, music wise.

It was only 2 discs, but on this compilation each record company would have 8 records, to showcase their skills. ID& starts the race with 8 records, followed by Rotterdam Records, Dwarf Records, K.N.O.R. Records, and ending with PCP's 8 records. I don't know who was responsible in selecting tracks from each label, but it's a mix and match of wicked anthems, and tracks which are OK, but not the best of the best. But at least it was an interesting concept, right?

It was not like these were exclusive records that no one has heard before, right? Not like they would have appeared already on a billion compilations? Nah, that would be a silly thing to say!

Well, that was actually the case. The concept, getting labels all united, was a great thing, but the tracks already appeared on a thousand compilations I owned, so they weren't unique. And you would always have your favourite label anyway, depending on where you are from, or what your ears preferred more. For me it was ID&T, but over the years I started to appreciate other labels too.

Before we dive into which records are ace, and which aren't my favourite, let me show you the 40 records you probably have heard many times over, and maybe even dislike due to the radio overkill?

CD 1

  1. DJ Buzz Fuzz - D-Leria

  2. 3 Steps Ahead - Motherfuckers You're Gonna Die

  3. Waxweazle & Guitar Rob - Spread Your Wings

  4. The Prophet - Pump Up The Volume

  5. Tony Salmonelli - Once Again (Original Mix)

  6. Cixx vs The Vinyl Junk - The Tough Guys

  7. DJ Promo - Bad Boy DJ

  8. The Stalker - Paparozzi

  9. Holy Noise - The Nightmare (Power Mix)

  10. Bald Terror - Drummachine

  11. Hardattack - Bonehead (Buzz Fuzz Remix)

  12. Neophyte - Recession

  13. DJ Paul & Lenny Dee - Anti-Procrastination

  14. Masters Of Ceremony - Hardcore To Da Bone

  15. DJ Paul & The Stunned Guys - Confusion

  16. DJ Paul & Teenage Warning - Brohym (This One's For Gabbers)

  17. The Scotchman - Mayhem

  18. Hyperact - House Agression

  19. Brothers In Crime - Let Me Suck Your

  20. Tiny Tot - La Bambolina (The Stunned Guys Remix)

CD 2

  1. Darkraver & DJ Vince - Intelligent Hardcore

  2. The Alternative Creators - Sound Creation (DJ Isaac Remix)

  3. Boombastic - Leaders Of The Newschool

  4. DJ Isaac - Another Dream

  5. Human Resource - Dominator Original

  6. Source Code - I'm Not A Number (Holy Noise Mix)

  7. Bazeman - Can You Feel The Baze

  8. Cyclopede - Bad Motherfucker

  9. Bazeman - Bazeman

  10. Innerchild - Who You're Fucking With

  11. Human Resource - In The Hall Of The Mountain King

  12. Zelator - Centre Of The Earth

  13. Rave Creator - A New Mind (Cold Rush Phuture Mix)

  14. Inferno Bros. - Slaves To The Rave (PCP Mix)

  15. Lunatic Asylum - My Beat

  16. Overlord - Master Of The Universe

  17. Nordcore GMBH - Nordcore Attack

  18. Tschabos - Ischgibdir

  19. Miro - Understand

  20. Steve Shit - C'Monyall

See, I told you it looked interesting. And you even got free stickers in the album. They probably went straight onto my school agenda, which was the ID&T Thunderdome agenda. Or on my bike, or somewhere.

To this day I did like this concept. Give the labels their platform they deserve, and let them show the world what they are good at, and what they've got in store. Some of the labels decided to go a bit oldskool, and added a few classics on it, while others added the most recent tracks, the ones that were demolishing dancefloors at the time. It's a nice mixture of old and new, and it does not become annoying at all. But what does become annoying, is the records themselves: they were already everywhere. To have them on one compilation was cool, but already done before, as such.

And surely there were much better records released on some labels, right? Not saying these aren't classics, but each label had much better releases, in my honest opinion. OK, here we go, let's complain about each label, and which record isn't great:

ID&T = Tony Salmonelli's 'Once Again'. Buzz Fuzz made better records.

Rotterdam Records = Paul & Teenage Warning's 'Brohym'. Not Paul's finest work. Probably one of his worst songs ever. Didn't do a single thing to me

Dwarf Records = Isaac's 'Another Dream'. This song was and still is boring.

K.N.O.R. Records = Zelator's 'Centre Of The Earth'. Nah, not for me

PCP = Miro's 'Understand'. One thing I didn't understand, was this song and its presence on this album.

And now the greatest songs (on this album!) from each label:

ID&T = Cixx vs The Vinyl Junk - The Tough Guys

Rotterdam Records = Masters Of Ceremony - Hardcore To Da Bone

Dwarf Records = The Alternative Creators - Sound Creation (Isaac Remix)

K.N.O.R. Records = Bazeman - Bazeman

PCP = Inferno Bros. - Slaves To The Rave (PCP Mix)

Now, to reiterate, I do like the concept, and maybe it should be done with a fresh pair of eyes and ears, and redone properly? Get the five biggest Hardcore labels together and put out an album, bit like this one, and redo it all. Put better records on it, and do maybe one for each decade of Hardcore? It's not 3 decades of Hardcore, so there's a plethora of music, right?

This had a prominent place in my collection, among the thousands of Arcade CDs, but it wasn't their finest release. This could have been executed in a better way. Hardcore was already in a bit of a turmoil, and this CD faded away into obscurity. Not the biggest album the label released, and as this was a one off, it seems to be a bit of a misplaced album: wrong place, wrong time. And there were more than 5 labels out there, so they could have done this much better.

But, there were some amazing records on here, and over the years I have achieved a bit of a love for the early Rotterdam sound, be it from Rotterdam Records or K.N.O.R. ID&T has always remained my favourite label, but PCP and Dwarf Records closely followed these labels. But now all 5 are nearly equal to each other, in my eyes. But this isn't the right album to showcase these record companies' strength and diversity.

Could have been better. But it wasn't. Another one to add to the pile of Arcade stuff that didn't work as much as they hoped it to be. Well, at least it wasn't as bad as that Formula One album, Hardcore and Formula One sounds... that was just appalling.

Artist: Various Artists

Genre/Style: Hardcore, Gabber, Techno, Happy Hardcore, Acid, Doomcore

CD Info: Hardcore Forces

Length CD: 02:29:31

Tracks: 40 (fourty)

Release Year: 1997

Label: Arcade/ID&T

Product Number: 9902327

More Information: n/a

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