Article and interview by Howard “How Hard’ Grene
In July 2017, Hard Kryptic Records released the Worldwide Movement: Remix Project which featured both top name and underground artists remixing one of the most recognized tracks in Hard Kryptic: “Worldwide Movement”. Remixers like Masters of Hardcore‘s Re-Style, Swiss legends Dark Headz, Sweden’s top name Mark Frostbite aka Trinitite, Spain’s rising star SOTUI, Japan’s untouchable Kortarow, Argentina’s noisemaker Round Wave Crusher, and Dutch and American duo Hard Versions took the already crushing track and re-visioned it as their own.
The original release came out in July 2014 and was created to show how hardcore music is bigger than borders. German producers Braincrushers and E-RAYzor joined forces with US producer How Hard. An accompanying music video further showed the unified hardcore vibe with clips of hardcore events in Germany, Ukraine, Netherlands, United States, UK, and more!
I virtually sat with duo Braincrushers, which consists of brothers Oliver and David, and Ralf aka E-RAYzor after the dust settled on this explosive release to learn about them, their thoughts, on the project, and more!
When did each of you start to create/produce music? Was hardcore the genre you start with?
BC: We started in 1995 with an old mixer and two turntable with no pitch. The mixer was Oliver’s birthday present, our dad came up with it. He played music as a young man and made his money with it. I think he wanted us to do something and tried to give an initial start. It worked just fine. The electronic music wave just came up here, it was new, cool, but not for everybody. We went crazy on hardcore music from the first second! In 1996, we played our first DJ set on a hardcore party. In the early 2000s we started to make our own music on Fruity Loops, and then Reason. Our first release came out ´07 “Little Asses” on G-Net Records.
E: I started producing hardcore with some friends using Fast Tracker in the middle of the nineties. We first only made fun tracks for ourselves, but one time we invited DJ friend of mine, and we made our first serious track. He pressed that one as a test pressing and played it in Bochum Germany at a big hardcore party. The reaction was positive, and that kept me going!
Were there any early influences on your music in the beginning? What about today?
BC: We always liked Main & Industrial. Artists from Traxtorm, Neophyte Records, Megarave, Industrial Strength, and Enzyme all influenced our music. In the very beginning, there was also Rob Gee (my ringtone is still “Ecstasy, You Got What I Need”), Lenny Dee with Microtronic, Dreamer, and Noize Suppressor.
E: My first CD was The Prodigy’s Experience, and the second was Thunderdome II, so you can say I am hardcore since the beginning! I also listened to all the 90s dancefloor stuff, hip hop like 2 Live Crew and DMX. Also, some rock and metal stuff like Linkin Park. All in all, I have a really wide taste of music. I don`t think in genres. There is good music everywhere, it just needs a drive for me, something special, recognizable.
How would you each describe your styles of hardcore?
BC: We like hardcore music that goes with the times. The better the hardware and software gets, the better the tunes. We listen to and love the old classics, but when we play parties and work on our music, we want to go with times in our own way.
E: As a DJ, my style in hardcore is very diverse. I play everything from the early rave to happy hardcore, early mainstyle from the 2000s, and all the to the new stuff. Depending on the party, I can play everything from slow to fast, from old to new. As long it gets me and in a good mood I like it. I play a lot of tracks with nice melodies, but also “in ya face” tracks. For me, the mixture makes the party.
What are you using in the studio these days? Any stand-out piece of gear or instrument?
BC: Nothing special. A keyboard, Cubase, KRK Rockets and a lot of enthusiasm.
E: I don’t have my own studio today. I prefer more visiting my friends’ studios instead, like the Braincrushers’. We can have fun together, and I’m way more creative there versus working alone.
Worldwide Movement: Remix Project is out now. What can you say about this project, and what makes it so special?
BC: Special to us is the long history of this project. The first release came out in 2014. We started working on this track months before with Ray when he visited us. We couldn’t find suitable vocals, so we asked Howard if he could record something for us. Bit by bit, session after session, element after element, countless nights with less sleep, hurting necks, and a lot of fun, we finally completed the track. Then came the video that Howard did with all the screaming people with different origins and now, all the remixes from artists around the world. “Worldwide” is not just a cool word for the title, the release was actually made worldwide!
E: In the beginning it was just a fun idea, but then we received Trinitite’s first remix from Sweden and said, “Hey, that is just too good to be not released, so what can we do?” As the title of the EP was Worldwide Movement, we thought about who we can also ask for a remix. The Darkheadz from Switzerland are good friends of mine for over 15 years. They were totally into the project, and sent their remix very quickly. Re-Style I knew from many bookings and parties where we met and I love his style since his first record so it was no question to ask him, too. In the end, I think we really have many different remixes with different styles but all of them have to touch and vibe of the original. For me it is always hard to decide which one I play the next!
The original Worldwide Movement track was a collaboration between artists. Any other artists you would like to work with in the studio?
BC: Actually, every talented artist with the same enthusiasm is welcome! Main thing is to have fun and at the end of the day: good music!
Who else would you love to see remix one of your tracks?
E: For me one of the best remixers is The Viper, so that would be cool!
BC: Noize Suppressor! He is one of greatest interpreters of hardcore. He is a real artist.
From your work on Hard Kryptic, what would each be your stand out track or release?
E: That`s easy! The original “Worldwide Movement” is the best track I ever made! It still gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it, and even play it at all parties!
Any stand out tracks from HKR besides your own tracks?
E: I love all the Braincrushers releases and the Triax vinyl release, but the most outstanding track for me is the Amnesys Remix of DJ Delirium’s “Blazin’ Out Your Speaker”. This one is an absolute masterpiece in my opinion! It also was the first Hard Kryptic release I heard, so it got me into contact with the label. I pushed my favorite record store in that time to order that record because I heard it and totally fell in love.
Besides being producers, you’re also established DJs who have played in many festivals and in different countries, including the United States. What different do you see between playing in the U.S. versus in Europe?
E: I first came to New York in 2010 for Speakerfreakz. I thought I stepped out of a time machine! So many different people with wild costumes, much dedication to the music. I felt like back in the nineties in Europe when the whole rave scene began, and everything seemed to be possible. At all the parties I played in the U.S., there where all different styles of electronic music: house, drum n’ bass, hardstyle, hardcore, and even dubstep. The people were so open-minded to everything I played. I started my set with hardstyle and slowly took them to hardcore, and they loved it! It was unbelievable! I will never forget when I ended my set with the Pussyvibes mash-up of the Braincrushers at over 200 BPM, and the DJ after me started a house set at 130 BPM. In Europe that would be impossible!
Do you have any advice would you give a new DJ or producer?
E: Do it for the love of the music, not because you think it`s cool.
BC: Stick to it, don’t give up. Make it with passion.
What is upcoming for you? Any new releases or remixes in the works?
BC: We always are working on something. Stay anxious! Tracks are in the works. Hopefully another banging release on HKR!
E: Not yet, but hopefully I will find the time to get back in the studio soon to make some serious noise!
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