May 30th 2012

UK Hardcore is a four beat genre (characterised by a 4/4 kick drum) with tempos typically ranging from 168-180 BPM. UK Hardcore’s roots hail from the early 90’s Rave scene, where the faster and less eclectic four beat genre began to differentiate itself from the older breakbeat orientated sound.

By 1994-5 tracks such as Force & Style’s “Heart Of Gold” and Hixxy & Mc Sharkey’s “Toytown” had become the new anthems at raves such as Dreamscape and Slammin Vinyl. This “Happy Hardcore” genre borrowed heavily from the cheesy Dutch Hardcore sound at the time, featuring sampled stab patterns and often vocals, with lyrics often borrowed and re-sung from older commercial tracks. North of the border in Scotland the Bouncy Techno sound predominated with it’s own sound of bouncy off-beat stabs and sparse sampled vocals, artists such as Scott Brown were notable protagonists of this form of Hardcore.

Hardcore MIDI Files for DJs to download

Many sources incorrectly state that by the late 90’s Hardcore had become largely homogenous with little innovation, and while this is partially true of the “mainstream” Hardcore sound, some artists were at the time still striving to create original sounding tracks. Examples of this are early “Trancecore” tracks created by the likes of Sharkey and DJ Energy, which encompassed elements from Trance, Techno and Euro, such as TB-303 acid lines and uplifting trance chord progressions. These elements were the trappings of the new Freeform Hardcore sound typified by labels such as Nu Energy Recordings.

The early part of the new millennium saw an upsurge in the popularity of modern UK Hardcore, fuelled in part by the genre’s heavy borrowing from mainstream trance tracks and new releases of Resist Music’s popular “Bonkers” CD compilation. By this time Hardcore had found a global following in countries such as the US, Australia and Japan, with UK DJ’s often touring abroad.

The current UK Hardcore sound is much more diverse than previous incarnations and many record labels feature their own distinct sound, with younger innovative producers and DJ’s leading the way such as Gammer, Joey Riot and DJ Kurt.

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