In the mid to late 80s I was about 15 and listening to 70s and early 80s punk. A good night out was to go to various punk rock gigs - The Damned, Stiff Little Fingers, UK Subs, Exploited, GBH, Culture Shock etc. But however much I went to these punk gigs I couldn't help notice that the punk scene had definately peaked.

I distinctly remember attending a Citizen Fish gig at a squatted dole office in Peckham and not only looking alot younger than most people there but not really being into the whole Special Brew 'falling over to really hard music' type of vibe. I wanted something else. Not just music but a whole new scene.

A few weeks later I went to a club called Rage that had just been opened and I took extacy for the first time. I walked in as a wannabe punk and I walked out as a full on raver. I attended Rage pretty much every Thursday night for the next year and I started going to other clubs like Orange, Fun City, The Temple etc.. along with big legal raves like Raindance and Perception. I loved it!

After about a year of solid raving and buying tunes later I found myself sitting in a pub in Weybridge (Surrey) on a Saturday night in the early summer. A woman came up to me and, judging me by the way I was dressed (i.e raver!), asked if I wanted directions for an illegal rave taking place that night in the New Forest. Of course I said 'yes!' and off I went. After a convoy and getting lost I finally arrived with my buddies. The party, which I believe was a very early Spiral Tribe rave, had all the anarchic energy that I looked for in punk, but rather than Brew Crew crusties leering at one another this crowd was pure pilled up shiny eyed hardcore ravers of my own age. busting moves top some of the ruffest hardcore of all time. I was home!

I pretty much stopped going to clubs and pay raves from then on and instead I went to free raves - Spiral Tribe, Bedlam, Circus Warp, Techno Travellers, Fear Teachers, Circus Normal and others. It was the greatest time of my adult life. The parties just got bigger and better as more and more people caught wind of the free party vibe and by summer of 1992 the free party scene was absolutely massive. I thought it was going to last forever. Life had so much potential.

Then it all started to go wrong.

But by the end of 1992 Hardcore (the music I so loved) started to get cheesy and the beats got all skittery and over technical. Pills got really crap and the free party scene was in a terrible state due to a heavy clamp down by the old bill after Castlemorton. By early 93 Spiral Tribe - the sound system whose raves I most frequented - left for mainland Europe and although I respect how big they got out there I never felt the same vibe when I attended their various early technivals in France.

Despite the fact that things were getting messy on the rave scene and in my own life I kept going to warehouse parties in London week in and week out - somehow hoping for the scene to find its feet once more. But, for me at least, that never happened.

By 95 the free party scene had become like the punk scene that I had witnessed so many years before - dirty and jaded with people stumbling about hardly even listening to this really hard and relenteless music.

The wheel had turned full circle.

It was time to move on.
Recent Activity
posted a review of Son'z Of A Loop Da Loop Era* - Far Out / Higher. over 14 years ago
During the famous Woodstock concert in the 60s a woman gave birth to a child. This birth was announced to the audience by some one on the stage with the words:

"THAT KID'S GONNA BE FAR OUT!"

Most importantly this very vocal sample was used in one ... See full review
posted a review of Destruction Production - Best Mindfuck Yet / What A Rush. over 14 years ago
Best Mindfuck Yet with its wicekd bendy bassline is one of the best tunes Moving Shadow ever released in my opinion. You can't help but nod your head to this track and the sample Best Mindfuck Yet from the film Total Recall sums it up perfectly. ... See full review
posted a review of Friends Of Matthew - The Calling. over 14 years ago
This is a wicked tune by Mike Gray and a follow up to the equally brilliant 'Out There'.

In fact, as far as I am aware, the 'Matthew' in question was a mate of Mike Gray who passed on and these records act as an informal tribute to him. RIP. This is ... See full review
posted a review of Automanic* and Person Unknown - Criminal. over 14 years ago
This track features the crazy voice of none other than Macic Josh who DJ'd for Spiral Tribe and features in the video for 'Forward The Revolotion'. Persons Unknown were are production duo whose real names were 'Huggy and Jay'.
posted a review of Signs Of Chaos - Crackerjack EP. over 14 years ago
This is a brilliant EP by the genius dance duo of 'Newman and Wells' that got played at pretty much every traveller festival of 1992 and always got the whole place going for it. In fact the wierd bell type sound on 'Crackerjack' makes my head tingle just ... See full review
posted a review of Friends, Lovers & Family - Childrens Stories / The Lift. over 14 years ago
Wierd and dark, trippy and wonderful.

This is a totally original breakbeat hardcore tune from 1992 that is bordering on unique. 'Childrens Stories' got alot of play at the big traveller raves of 1992 by the likes of Spiral Tribe, Bedlam and Circus ... See full review
posted a review of Eze-Ozo - How To Stay Alive. over 14 years ago
This record was way ahead of its time in my opinion - it has more in common with the 'intelligent' drum and bass of 1995 than the mental hardcore of late 1991 when it was released.

Ruff sampled breakbeats roll out over spaced out sounds with wicked ... See full review
posted a review of Magnox - Ragamanic. over 14 years ago
Ragamanic is seriously under rated and one of the finest examples of mid 1992 hardcore that you could own.

Wicked breaks and with an amazing drop sound before it kicks in that did people's brains in.

This one got dropped on the Bedlam sound ... See full review
posted a review of Dee Patten - Who's The Bad Man. over 14 years ago
This track was first released on a white label and it did virtually nothing. Then it was picked up by the Leftfield owned 'Hard Hands' and proceeded to destroy dancefloors all over the place.

Quite simply this has one of the fattest examples of the ... See full review
posted a review of Various - We Are I.E.. over 14 years ago
This massive tune that blew up raves up and down the UK in 1991 was certainly a ground breaking track that opened the door to a whole new style of hardcore rave music. It is also often cited as the first hardcore dance track to incorporate the amen ... See full review
posted a review of Xenophobia - Rushing The House / The Wobbler. over 14 years ago
The lyric is 'E and rush me! E and rush me!' not Ian Rush.

Hah hah!

Scallywag's vocals also feature on 'Forward The Revoloution' by Spiral Tribe.

The line 'are you feeling wobbly?' from The Wobbler is a very early reference to the drug ... See full review
posted a review of Zsa Zsa Laboum* - Something Scary. over 14 years ago
Although painfully slow by today's way to fast standards this tune still gives me goosebumps. One of the first bits of electronic dance music I got into, it's acid line is as fat as any I have ever heard. Couple this with the frightened woman's voice ... See full review
posted a review of Spiral Tribe - Spiral Tribe EP - Forward The Revolution. over 14 years ago
'Forward the Revoloution' is my favouite Spiral Tribe tune of all time and certainly most captures the vibe at their very many great parties of 1991 and 1992 - the godlen age of free raves!

A far more danceable track than any on their previous ... See full review
posted a review of Spiral Tribe - Breach The Peace. over 14 years ago
An odd record that kind of went out on a limb if compared to the music people were playing at the brilliant free raves that Spiral Tribe were putting on at the time...

Abstract to the point of self imploding I found this much anticipated first ... See full review
posted a review of The Criminal Minds - Baptised By Dub. over 14 years ago
First heard this tune at a Spiral Tribe rave on a hill near Stroud at about 8am. What a tune!

It went on to become one of the massive rave anthems of a summer rammed out with anthems. Some people may complain that it was overplayed but it deserved ... See full review
posted a review of Atomic Brain - Atomic Brain. over 14 years ago
Opens up with a dark hoover sound reminiscent of the hoover sound of 'Technarchy' by 'Cybersonik' and in comes a fat 909 kick. Just when you thought you were safe, a rolling amen breakbeat coils out of nowhere and tears the dancefloor to shreds. It's ... See full review