Excitement of this magnitude within the Rave Radio Records camp requires a little cheeky blog to introduce what we have in store for you here, & it’s with a riduclous mega 2022 thrill, that Rave Radio Records is pleased to announce, the pre-order of Calling The Hardcore – Volume 3 !!!!! 12 brand new high-octane hardcore/jungle teckno tracks exclusive to Rave Radio Records, produced by 12 fantastic artists within the rave scene. Artists include Hyper-on Experience, Jack Smooth, Secret Squirrel, Industries Of The Blend, Z-NEO, DJ Jedi, Worldwide Epidemic, Nicky Allen, Keezee, Blackmass Plastic, DUG, Try Unity and the album artwork by Junior Tomlin.
All previous Rave Radio Records vinyl releases have started as a pre-order. This has always helped with understanding the pressing quantity. However, Volume 1 sold out super quick, with many people missing it. Volume 2 is down to it’s last 30 copies so we want to get the order for volume 3 for the pressing plant as right as possible. Like all previous Rave Radio Records releases there is no plan to do any re-presses anytime soon, so once they are gone they are GONE! The full release date for Calling The Hardcore – Volume 3 is the 10th of April ’22 with an estimated shipping date of the 15th of April.
Calling The Hardcore – Volume 3, carries on from volume 2 released nearly 3 years ago in 2019. However, this latest triple disc album in the CTH series carried a slightly different brief for the selected producers: Hard, edgy, dark yet euphoric, hi-octane hardcore music.
This blog is not to give you my opinion of the ablum, yet is merely to inform you of what the HELL we have to offer you here….. Well firstly, we have some awesome discounted bundle options, Calling The Hardcore merchandise and store links to share.
All Calling The Hardcore – Volume 3 vinyl pre-orders comes with this exciting stuff:
FREE digital album download (released to you on March 15th)
FREE album mix download by Rave Radio Records (released to you on March 15th)
FREE LTD edition A4 sticker sheet set (quotes from album tracks + sleeve artwork)
FREE LTD edition 21cm² flyer designed by Junior Tomlin (first 200 pre-orders get one)
Automatic competition entry into winning a LTD edition pair of Rave Radio Records slipmats
Plus all vinyl pre-orders are 10% cheaper than the main release!
Now, bundles have become all the rage over the last few years, and who doesn’t like to save a little cash in the process of getting some serious products? We have a couple of Calling The Hardcore – Volume 3 vinyl pre-order offerings for you to choose from:
Option 1 – The Super Bundle (Pre-order)
12″ vinyl triple disc album (includes all the above stuff: Digital album + mix download, A4 sticker sheet and 21cm² LTD edition flyer)
Pair of LTD edition Calling The Hardcore Slipmats
LTD edition Calling The Hardcore T-Shirt
LTD edition (of only 50) 50cm x 50cm album artwork poster (unframed) signed by Junior Tomlin
(Super bundle gives you a discount saving of £10)
(Frame and turntable above not included… LOL)
All super bundle items will be sent together on the vinyl release date currently estimated for the 15th of April ’22
To hear track clips and pre-order your super bundle click link > HERE
Option 2 – 12″ Vinyl Triple Disc Album ONLY (Pre-order)
12″ vinyl triple disc album (includes digital album + mix download, A4 sticker sheet and 21cm² LTD edition flyer)
Please note this is a 10% discounted vinyl pre-order offer and it’s estimated shipping date is the 15th of April ’22
To hear track clips & pre-order your 12″ vinyl album click link > HERE
We also have 3 new LTD edition merchandise products that can be bought seperately. These include: Calling The Hardcore posters, slipmats and t-shirts, and as always when we say LTD edition, we mean there will be NO re-run of these designs.
Over the past 3+ years, Junior Tomlin has designed 5 vinyl sleeves for Rave Radio Records releases. The vinyl sleeve artwork for Calling The Hardcore – Voume 3 is an exclusive free hand illustration from Junior. We felt the design needed to be shared with the world in LARGE 50cm x 50cm format. The posters are printed on 190gsm satin poster paper, signed + stamped by Junior Tomlin and is a LTD edition print of ONLY 50. There will be no re-print of this design, so here’s your chance to grab an incredibly beutiful piece of artwork by one of the original legendary illustrators of the rave scene!
(FRAME NOT INCLUDED)
Please note this is a pre-order offer and it’s estimated shipping date is mid March ’22.
To pre-order your LTD edition poster please click link > HERE
Merch 2 – LTD edition Calling The Hardcore T-Shirt (Pre-order)
Brand new LTD edition Calling The Hardcore T-Shirts are now available to pre-order. The print is white font/bright yellow smiley design on black 100% T-Shirt cotton, available in both womens and mens sizes.
Please note this is a pre-order offer and it’s estimated shipping date is the 10th of March so you can be sure to receive your T-shirt before our Calling The Hardcore – Part 8 Event on March 18th at Volks Nightclub.
To pre-order your LTD edition t-shirt please click link > HERE
By popular demand we have Calling The Hardcore slipmats on offer. For the first time ever you have a chance to grab a pair of these.
(Turntable above not included LOL)
Please note this is a pre-order offer and it’s estimated shipping date is 10th March ’22.
To pre-order your LTD edition slipmats please click link > HERE
So there you have it, our round up of all things Calling The Hardcore – Volume 3. I can’t wait to get this all out to the world! A huge thanks to everyone supporting Rave Radio Records, without you we can’t make these sorts of epic collaboration projects happen, so massive love and gratitude to you all.
From Amiga computers in 1992 to Moog and Roland Synthesizers today, performing LIVE at European festivals and over 100 official electronic music releases to his name, we are proud to announce the 9th vinyl release on Rave Radio Records features the raw hardcore talent of one of Berlins’ finest: Z-NEO.
By pre-ordering this 4 track breakbeat hardcore release ‘New Hope EP’ you will also get this exciting stuff:
FREE instant digital download
FREE LTD edition stickers
FREE bonus 5th digital track to download (which is incredible!)
Automatic competition entry into winning a LTD edition pair of Rave Radio Records slipmats
& all pre-orders are 10% cheaper than the main release!
Listen to clips and pre-order your ‘New Hope EP’ copy from our vinyl store below.
Biggest hero(s): My parents, Shigeru Miyamoto, Richard D. James
What year did you start making music: 1992
FULL ARTIST INTERVIEW WITH Z-NEO – 19th of February 2021
What first inspired you to start making Electronic music?
Z-NEO: It was based on pure luck – in the early 90s my Dad bought a used Amiga 2000. At the end of 1992 after spending some time playing cracked games, my brother and I discovered a little hardware extension that came with the Amiga. We plugged it in, got a copy of Protracker, searched for a cable to record the headphone output of our Boombox, sampled the first breakbeats and never looked back :-). After some experiments my brother and I started to arrange the first tracks. I’m still wondering how we managed to program music in hexadecimal values without any knowledge about music and without having a manual for our tracker-software. But those were the days 🙂
You’ve been heavily into the Psychedelic trance and ambient scene since the early noughties, tell us how you got into that scene and what artist names you go/went under?
Z-NEO: I started to do some dark Psytrance-stuff in the end of the 90s but was getting deeper into Psy when I teamed up with a good friend (Iguana) who was a Psytrance-DJ at this time. I really liked the scene’s parties/festivals because it had the same vibe like in the raves of the early 90s. It was more like the ‘one-family-concept’ which I always admired in the early days, no stylish club-people and no bouncer-shit, just music. Our project name was ‘Naked Tourist’ and in 2003 we had our first release, our first live gig was following in 2004. We had the big pleasure to be a part of the Parvati Records family, which today is one of the best known and most respected Psytrance labels regarding Forest and Dark-Psy. In 2008 I was a little bit bored of Psy and the group split up, so I was focused more on other music. Some years later (2014) a friend of me (Brainshaker) and I restarted the whole Psy-thing again under the name ‘Nobot’ – and again we had the big pleasure to go with the Parvati Records Family. Big ups to Giuseppe who is one of the most loyal and nicest person I’ve ever met.
Besides this, since 1998 I’ve also been producing a lot of ‘open minded electronic music’ which stands for a mix between chill, breaks, IDM and Braindance. The project names are ‘My Private Psychedelic Reel’ and ‘Zoneotura’ and the influences came from the usual suspects like RDJ, Orbital, FSOL, Plaid, BOC and so on.
Before 1998 my brother and I were mostly producing Breakbeat and DnB.
What’s been this new aspiration to release breakbeat hardcore and why are we only hearing Z-Neo making breakbeat hardcore now in 2021?
Z-NEO: In the early 90s when breakbeat hardcore had its peak, coming from Germany and neither doing music on real gear (pure 8-Bit-sampling on the Amiga) nor having a DAT-recorder disqualified us for getting in contact with labels haha….. and forced us to keep our tracks for ourselves and for our friends. We were really upset when the music developed past the early 90’s breakbeat hardcore – which meant while Jungle and DnB were getting bigger, the last remaining bits of breakbeat hardcore turned mostly into 4 to da floor-music which wasn’t our cup of tea. So back then we somehow lost the chance ever to release some proper breaks.
Through the years from time to time I made some breakbeats, mostly just for fun, and also released two tracks on a German label in 2002 (big up to Risk Indust). About two years ago I noticed that there was a kind of comeback for hardcore breakbeat so I decided to do some tracks, but just for funzies 😊. Once I’d finished 3 tracks, I sent them to the German label ‘Dragon Technicals’ (big up to Systec, Shar-Pei and Sweetseal) and these guys were very kind, friendly and helpful. I can’t thank them enough. They made the contact with Rave Radio Records and here we are 🙂
You’ve got your debut 4 track breakbeat hardcore EP (New Hope EP) coming out on Rave Radio Records in April 2021, What track stands out for you on it as your best?
Z-NEO: That’s a tough one. For me every track has some personal special influences and I guess I like them all equally. ‘What Ever It Takes’ is dedicated to my dad. ‘Into Blue’ and ‘For Your Love’ are inspired by my lovely girl and the track ‘Keep coming’ is standing out because it was possible to feature two of my mates which was a matter of heart for a long time 🙂
A1: What Ever IT Takes (Preview Clip)
A2: Into Blue (Preview Clip)
You’ve recorded a live vocalist on a couple of the tracks, how did that come about?
Z-NEO: While I was doing electro music in 2011 I recorded some of the vocals from ‘Into Blue’ and ‘For Your Love’ with the vocalist Katha. She is a professional singer from Berlin who worked with a lot of people in the industry at that time. Back then we used the vocals for our electro-tracks but I recently thought why not use it again? I also had the feeling the vocals could fit perfectly into the oldskool breakbeat context.
B1: For Your Love (Preview Clip)
Track B2 on the EP is ‘Keep Coming ft. Mahnfeld and VP’, tell us about them and your relationship and desire to collaborate
Z-NEO: Yeah it was a big honour to get the chance to do a track with both. Mahnfeld is my brother with whom it all started. He’s also my moral authority when it comes to questions like “Can I use this sample” or “Is it too cheesy” and stuff like that. He was and is a heavy influence for my music and he always has some hints and tips with what to do better or how to create more of that oldskool vibe. His feedback is always really helpful and on the track ‘Keep Coming’ we were doing the architecture together, picking the right things for the right parts and so on.
And VP is my best mate from the youth days. When we were young he introduced me to Hip Hop (props to Easy E) and I forced him to listen to electronic music ha ha. In the 90s he was producing some dope beats and rhymes with his HipHop-project so I was lucky to reactivate him. He was dropping the ‘Six Dre Zero Eight’- sample because 6308 was our old zip-code – and as Dr. Dre was always talking about ‘199Dre’ (instead of 1993) VP was also using this kind of code. He’s a real G and his name stands for ‘Vertikale Preisbindung’.
B2: Keep Coming ft. Mahnfeld & VP (Preview Clip)
How do you go about making a hardcore track, what process do you through and what’s the first thing you do and the last thing you do at the end of a pucka studio session?
Z-NEO: In most of the cases I’m starting with some beats and then adding samples and melodies. I try to sketch a part that is about 1-2 minutes long and then I start with quantum mechanics ha ha, trying a lot of different melodies and parts and sounds. After a few days I get a feeling if things already feel right for me or not. Then I work a little bit on the technical side, shaping the beats with EQs and compressors and trying to get the beats to a sit where I don’t puke anymore about the bad quality. At this point I mostly have enough material in my sketch for the whole track, so I start to stretch the parts out more, adding more samples and details like fill-ins and so on. When the arrangement is finished I’m usually noticing that the track sounds completely shitty so I have to work over the beats and some of the sounds. I’m struggling a lot before I think a track is finished. In the end I try to master my mixdown on my own and that’s the point where I discover again, there are a lot of issues that I have to correct. Mostly it takes me another 20-40 hours per track to get the technical aspects finished.
New Hope EP comes across with piles of emotion, would you say it’s accurate to say that?
Z-NEO: Yes that’s accurate :-). I guess that’s why this music will always have a special place in my heart. It’s really interesting to watch how different music styles have different kind of arrangements and ‘rules’. What I really admire is the pure energy and rollercoaster-feeling that hardcore breakbeats can contain. I guess in most cases my brain isn’t satisfied by music that has only one major theme which is rolled out over the whole track. I also really love it when darkness and light meet each other so hardcore breakbeats are perfect for me. Hardcore also has the ‘anything-is-possible-vibe’ from the early days where anything was possible 🙂
What hardcore producers/DJ’s are you biggest inspiration?
Z-NEO: For me the early Liam Howlett production was absolutely outstanding. The ‘Experience’ is still my favourite album, I’ve listened to it a few hundred times ! still impressed about how he created this massive energy with this doper than dope-rollercoaster-feeling on his limited equipment. He was also a genius regarding the choice of samples and melodies.
Besides countless others my other inspiration comes from N.R.G/Liquid Crystal, ACEN, Hyper on Experience, Mike Slammer & Red Alert and so on. It’s awesome what these guys were doing back then. The tracks from N.R.G./Liquid Crystal have been on another level, I don’t know how they did it. ACEN gave us shivers, HOE’s ‘Timestretch’ changed my life and the ‘Ganja Man EP’ from Slammin Vinyl will still be my first choice of vinyl.
I also have a deep respect for the things and the music that KLF did. I really miss that kind of statement and attitude.
If you could take ONLY 1 hardcore label’s back catalogue to a desert island what would it be?
Z-NEO: That’s also a tough one. Perhaps I’d pick XL Recordings. Even if they are not pure hardcore throughout, they still gave us so many undeniable bangers and acts like Prodigy, SL2, Liquid and T99 – they all made outstanding stuff.
A geeky question here, what’s your favourite studio toy, your ‘go to’ for hardcore music production?
Z-NEO: That would be my PC home computer system ha ha. I’m in the lucky situation to be able to choose from a nice variety of mostly analogue synths and modular stuff, but regarding sound, interface and fun I’d choose the Roland SH-101 for hardcore productions. Also the Moog Voyager is a beast when it comes to Reese basslines and other things and the Dave Smith OB-6 has this special beautiful sound that is hard to describe.
Do you have any favourite new breakbeat hardcore producers that you dig?
Z-NEO: When I discovered tracks from Systec and Shar-Pei on Dragon Technicals I was blown away because they would have been massive tunes in 1992/93. Yeah, I guess these are my favourites as they create the kind of vibe that I’m after.
What would you say your biggest achievement in music is?
Z-NEO: I think my big milestones were like the first record deal and my first album. Two years ago I had my 100th release on a label which was a big achievement for me. And while the Psy-music gave us the opportunity to play live on festivals in Europe and around the world I guess my personal favourite was playing live in Tokyo with my brother in front of 1000 people. We’re both big fans of Japanese culture, especially video games and I guess we and our credit cards will always remember the trip to wonderland 🙂
What is your biggest learning with making hardcore and what emotional value overcomes you when producing breakbeats?
Z-NEO: In the early days for us it was like making hardcore and besides finding out how the program works. Nowadays I’d say there are a lot of small pieces to the puzzles. Stuff like how to EQ a sound to sit in the mix, how to compress sounds, also how to create tension and release and so on. I’m also very strict about how the snare and other elements in the beats should sound because I aim for a sound that is not too fat regarding the beats like nu-skool breaks or DnB. I like to have good transients and also a kind of modern edge to me sound but with the elements and style of 1992 production. It’s always a bit like squaring the circle!
About the emotional value: I’m really slow with producing because I’m reworking the tracks again and again. I’ve learnt there is a point where I finalise which melodies, harmonies and vocals should stay in the track. This depends on the emotional value that those parts are giving me at this point. And then I mostly don’t change anything anymore. When I’m 80-100 hours into a producing a track, I have to remember that I’ve already had very positive emotions when I originally started producing the track parts and that I don’t have to change it. It’s like you have to remember the goose bumps you were getting while listening to a certain part for the first 10 times and then be sure to remember this feeling in the case that you question this part – which will happen after 50 hours at the latest :-).
What’s to come from Z-Neo, music and unrelated music?
Z-NEO: I’ve just prepared the next few hardcore breakbeat tracks and hope they’re good enough to get released. With my other project ‘Nobot’ there are three tracks on a compilation from Parvati Records soon.
I also want to thank Sammy for being such a nice guy and for the trust to release those 4 tracks on vinyl, never thought this will happen 🙂 A big thanks for giving me this chance 🙂
SAMMY: “Likewise dude. Your music was meant for the world to experience and listen to”……