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  • Writer's pictureMartin van Zeelandt / TCD

Thunderdome '96 - Dance Or Die!

One of the events I really wanted to go to, was Thunderdome ’96. As a young lad Thunderdome dominated my youth, and the 1996 edition turned out to be one of the most talked about Thunderdomes ever. The response it had was tremendous, and even to this day it’s a well remembered night. On Partyflock 74% of the partygoers rated it as aweseom/excellent, and not one bad review. A night to remember, and for only ƒ 50,- you would experience the night of your life, with an incredible line-up: 50% of the Dream Team, Bass-D & King Matthew, Buzz Fuzz, Dana, Dano, Darkraver, Delirium, E-Rick, Gizmo, Hardcor, Neophyte, The Prophet, Uzi, Waxweazle, Weirdo, and 3 Steps Ahead. You cannot deny the feeling you just received after seeing that line-up. And that night had been captured on a CD, and released also in 1996.

On the CDs you find livesets by Dano, The Prophet, Weirdo, Buzz Fuzz, Gizmo & The Dark Raver, and you find live recorded sets by Bass-D & King Matthew, 3 Steps Ahead, Neophyte, and Delirium. So nearly the whole night is captured. Yes, only short snippets of their sets are recorded, but still a good impression of what happened on that wonderful night. And even though I was too young, I really wanted to go. The feedback after the event shocked the Netherlands: how can Hardcore create such an excellent night, when the majority of the politicians and regilious parties are against it?

The physical CD has been played by yours truly so many times, I can literally dream each record on it. And the response from the crowd is just beyond belief. No other event can create such a vibe. And we might be living in an era during which everything has just become 1000 times better, but the atmosphere in 1996 was just much, much better. We gave the word gabber a true meaning. We were all mates, all lads, and we all raved. No mobile phones blocking our physical views. Nothing stood in our way of enjoying the night (well, maybe the odd pill here and there)….

CD 1: Live Recorded DJ Sets 

DJ Dano:  01.1 The Stunned Guys – Beats Time 01.2 The Lawyer – Yo DJ 01.3 DJ Dano – Starting Up 01.4 Tellurian – Hardcore Junkies 01.5 DJ Dave & The Chicago Hardcore Party Force – Listen…

The Prophet:  02.1 The Prophet & DJ Delirium – Sirenia 02.2 Masoko Solo – Pessa Pessa (The Prophet Remix)  02.3 The Prophet & DJ Delirium – Da Skunk Mix 02.4 The Prophet & DJ Delirium – We Love To Party 02.5 3 Steps Ahead – Drop It 02.6 Re-Charge – Bumrush

DJ Weirdo:  03.1 DJ Weirdo – The Thunder Anthem (Weird Siren Mix)  03.2 Dr. Phil Omanski & Jeremy – Rockin’ Your Body (Buzzy Goes BZRK Mix)  03.3 DJ Weirdo & Dr. Phil Omanski – Young Birds 03.4 Lords Of The Underworld – Take It Easy 03.5 DJ Mongoose – Rip Shit Up (DJ Isaac Remix) 

DJ Buzz Fuzz:  04.1 French Connection – French Connection (Original SS 19 Mix)  04.2 The Stunned Guys – Beats Time 04.3 DJ Buzz Fuzz – Summertime (Alright Y’All Mix)  04.4 DJ Omar Santana – Kick Some Shit 04.5 Buzz Fuzz – Chemical Overdrive

DJ Gizmo & The Dark Raver:  05.1 The Nightraver & DJ Trevor – Rave Is The Word 05.2 Davie Forbes – Remember That 05.3 Bruyaa & Ozonic – Welcome To Deathrow (Happy Mix)  05.4 Lenny Dee & The Dark Raver – To Da Rhythm 05.5 DJ Dave & The Chicago Hardcore Party Force – Yo Mr. DJ

Bonus:  06.1 Marshall Masters – Stereo Murder

CD 2 : Live Recorded Sets

Bass-D & King Matthew:  01.1 Bass-D & King Matthew – Like A Dream 01.2 DJ Distortion & MC Raw vs Bass-D & King Matthew – Raveworld 01.3 Highlander – Hold Me Now (I’m Sorry) (Bass-D & King Matthew Remix) 01.4 Bass-D & King Matthew – The Thunder Anthem

3 Steps Ahead:  02.1 3 Steps Ahead – Gangsters (Feel So Good) 02.2 3 Steps Ahead – Money In My Pocket 02.3 3 Steps Ahead – Drop It 02.4 3 Steps Ahead – The Thunder Anthem (Thunderscream)

Neophyte:  03.1 Bodylotion – Always Hardcore 03.2 Bodylotion – Fuck Martina 03.3 Neophyte – The Guitarman 03.4 Neophyte – Execute 03.5 Bodylotion – Happy Is Voor Hobo’s

Bonus (DJ Delirium):  04.1 DJ Delirium – Dance Or Die 04.2 DJ Promo & Da Vinci – Psycho Style 04.3 Paradox – The Guillotine 04.4 DJ Delirium & Omar Santana – Drop Da Beat

Now, all of us are secretly in awe of this, aren’t we? For me the only other live CD that can top this is Mysteryland 1998 Outdoor, and that’s just basically because I was there. But I just love a proper album which contains the audience in their fullest. And for example during Neophyte’s set they left the bit in where they start asking the crowd if the music level is ok, or not? That’s a liveset for you.

Let me tackle this CD in two bits: first we’ll talk about the live DJ sets, and the second bit will be about the livesets, eh?

The first DJ on the disc sets the tone, DJ Dano. His short set is really astonishing, and it contains really awesome records. After him The Prophet takes over and treats us to a special version of ‘Pessa Pessa’, which still holds the record of the filthiest bass ever. DJ Weirdo is next, and he plays the coolest Happy/Hardcore anthems out there. Buzz Fuzz’s set isn’t without small errors, but he’s a crowd pleaser, and that’s what he does. And lastly, the Dark Raver and Gizmo (and also the bonus bit during which he coins the phrase ‘wacht effe’). They do what they are good at, and play one of the finest records on this disc: ‘Welcome To Deathrow’.

The best set, without a shadow of a doubt, is DJ Dano’s set. Each record is a beauty, and mixed together insanely good.

Second disc contains liveset. Bass-D & King Matthew are first to kick off. Playing their finest records, including the well spoken about ‘Like A Dream’, which has never been released. 3 Steps Ahead is after, and demolishes every brain cell you’ve got left. Neophyte just destroys the stage, and the guitar sound penetrates our souls. And DJ Delirium is the last to end it all, and does it with his unique style: American style.

Best set? 3 Steps Ahead. All, and I mean all, records are amazing. I have listened to this over and over again, I can pin point each scream, noise and word. This is a superb set by the true legend (RIP).

A wonderful 2 disc compilation of one of the greatest Hardcore events which have ever taken place. 22 years ago, but still alive in all our hearts. Thunderdome set the tone, really. And all of this because of a dream of a few youngsters. They changed the world, and during the 1996 event they paved the way for a future, a future with Hardcore dominating our lives.

Ps. I’ve added two Soundcloud players, because magpie303 uploaded the CDs onto it. So you can enjoy it too!

Act: Various Artists Genre/Style: Hardcore, Happy Hardcore Release Year: 1996 Album Info: Thunderdome ’96 – Dance Or Die! (Live Recorded At) CDs: 2 (two) Length CDs: 02:36:37 Tracks: too many Label: Arcade & ID&T Product Number: 9902299 More Information: Thunderdome – Official Website

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Anthony Labarre
Anthony Labarre

Magical old days. I haven't listened to gabber / hardcore / whatever it's called these days for a very long time, so I sold my collection long ago, but had a recent relapse and downloaded a few compilations. Most of what I hear is bland and uninspired, but this particular compilation holds a special place in my heart. I bought it when it was first released and was mesmerised by Dano's set - and still am. Truly the highlight of those two discs.

I'll try and buy it again, but I'm shocked at the prices those cds sell for these days. I thought with only a few dinosaurs like me still buying them, they would sell for much cheaper.…

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