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Kniteforce Records

Profile:

UK label founded in late 1992, having the first release early 1993, by Luna-C (part of Smart E's who made that Sesame's Treat tune) and produced a mixture of dark and happy hardcore moving toward a purely happy direction by 1994. Mostly known for uplifting anthems like "High On Life", "Shining Bright" , "Most Uplifting". KF records were very successful in Germany as well.
In 1997 Luna-C was in debt and had to sell the rights of Kniteforce and some sublabels to Death Becomes Me.
DJ Force & The Evolution and DJ Ham were going their own way. The label ended in 1998. In 2002 Kniteforce was revived as "Kniteforce Again" trying to bring back the Old Skool attitude, not just the sound, because Old Skool Hardcore was about experimenting and pushing the boundaries.

Sublabels:All The Rave, Beardforce Recordings, Dark Knite, Dyne, Eclipsed Records, Influential, JFK Recordings, K (13), Keep It Fresh, Knitebreed, ...
Contact Info:

For DJ enquiries: [email protected]

Links:kniteforcerevolution.com , kniteforce-radio.com , Bandcamp

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Releases

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Reviews

  • SECU's avatar
    SECU
    One of the best labels out there, I have forgotten how much I like Luna-C that it reminded me to buy his book and a few of the represses from the Music Mondays site.
    • Quality.Control's avatar
      I have quite a lot of respect for Luna-C for releasing this label and its sub-label's entire catalogue digitally. Specifically, because he did it PROPERLY (at least, for the vast majority of the releases I have checked, about 60+ of them).

      Before I explain why I say he's done it properly, and therefore deserving of praise, I will first give only a couple of SMALL criticisms. First, a couple of releases are vinyl recordings and not from the original DATs. Whilst this isn't ideal, I am happy to forgive this since it is literally only about 3 or 4 tracks (from the hundred or so that I've checked) for which I presume the DATs were lost. It's unfortunate, but never mind. Second, most if not all of the DJ Force & Evolution tracks have been edited slightly shorter than their original vinyl releases. Presumably Luna-C was honouring an agreement with the artist to not digitally release their tracks in full for some reason. Nevertheless, I will give credit that these edits have been done subtly and respectfully so they don't sound "weird" like many edits so often do, where phrases are cut too short to sound good or are omitted entirely, or they have simply been faded out making the track sound unfinished. No, the edits done on this label generally only include editing out a few bars (say two or four) from sections where the bars repeat. It's not really a problem, but I would prefer it if they weren't like this.

      Now, on to the much deserved praise.

      Some years ago, perhaps ten at the time of writing this, Luna-C very generously released this entire label and various other bits and pieces as 320 kbps MP3s for free - this was incredible and I for one deeply appreciated it, as I expect many others did. As well as the fact they were all for free, I was astounded by the fact that the files were of such good quality: taken straight from the DATs and encoded at a high bit rate - this was something I didn't know of any other (oldskool) label doing.

      Shortly after, Luna-C decided to release these tracks in lossless quality on various music webshops. This was brilliant since, as good as 320 mp3 is, for audiophiles and obsessives like me lossless is "better". At first, though, I was concerned because at first I saw that he had remastered the files. Remastered files are a subject for debate, in my opinion. Typically, a remaster simply involves boosting the volume of the tracks to compete with modern productions, which are generally mixed down louder, so that the old tracks don't sound disappointingly quiet when mixed with new tunes. I can appreciate why remasters are desirable from a DJ's perspective but from the perspective of a casual listener I don't like them at all. Since remastering a tune in this way involves compressing the waveform, the dynamic range is also compressed. The consequence of this is the listening experience can become boring and even unpleasant - literally painful if the tunes are compressed to extreme levels.

      So, when I noticed that Luna-C had made available BOTH remastered versions and the original, unremastered versions straight from DAT, I was over the moon. It was the best of both worlds. I was happy and the DJs were happy. This is something that no other oldskool label I know of has ever done.

      Additionally, from what I saw of the remastered versions (which admittedly was only a handful of tracks) they did not seem to have been mangled by other remastering techniques such as noise or click removal, which are difficult to use effectively at the best of times - let alone by some idiot half-arsing the job (which does happen).

      Lastly, I don't think I have found any lossless files that have been transcoded from lossy formats, such as MP3, which is a problem that inexplicably happens far too often these days.

      Considering how poorly so many other labels have released their back catalogues - either remastering them badly, or passing off worn out vinyl recordings as DAT recordings, or transcoding them from mp3s, or suffering from some other ridiculous problem - I have great respect for Luna-C for doing it properly. Other labels should take note.

      Also, unrelated to these digital releases, I get the impression that Luna-C seems a genuinely decent chap with a good sense of humour, which I find quite endearing. All too often I hear stories about (and have even personally experienced) artists and labels who think too highly of themselves, that they are above criticism and their "legendary" reputation has elevated them above "the common man". I don't get this impression of Luna-C, he seems grounded and decent.

      Respect, Luna-C!
      • Welli's avatar
        Welli
        Edited 9 years ago
        Possibly the most influential hardcore label of the 90s. Steadily progressed from a mixture of dark side old skool and lighter hands-in-the-air piano breaks in 1993 to almost exclusively piano-driven breakbeat hardcore in 94 and 95 (sealing its fate as a happy/UK hardcore rather than drum & bass label).

        When the genre largely morphed into happy hardcore after 95, Kniteforce refused to be left behind and successfully mastered both genres with consistently high quality releases. Today it still lives on, releasing a combination of "nu old skool" (if you care for the expression) and slightly off-centre UK hardcore, as Kniteforce Again and most recently, with free mp3 releases, as Kniteforce Digital. Kniteforce has been host, past and present, to a number of sublabels that have also had their share of great releases (Remix Records being one of the biggest, with Malice Records and Knitebreed also being significant).

        Many, many releases on the label throughout its existence were high quality and groundbreaking. Some of the highlights for me were DJ Force & The Evolution - Fall Down On Me, Brisk - Airhead / Thru' The Knite (from the Remix Records sublabel), Luna-C Featuring Mad Mind Jox And K.E - Piano Progression / Onward, Future Primitive - Lift Me Up / Infect Me and I won't go on because there's really just too many. So many of the regular artists on Kniteforce were at the top of their game for these releases; it's a veritable who's who of the great and good in 90s hardcore.