Happy 2B Hardcore

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March 1, 2016 by DJ Elroy

Did anyone else ever like this? I did. In fact, it’s the stuff that really got me into electronica back in the day. Here in Denver we didn’t have house music on the radio like NY or Chicago or LA. And techno was still blowing up in Detroit but hadn’t made its way across the plains yet. Electronic dance music was big in the UK but here in the Rocky Mountains our selection selection was slim and the parties very, very underground.

It started with those Happy 2B Hardcore compilations. You know, the smiley faces. Blue. Red. Yellow. How many were there? At one time I had a bunch of them, mostly because that’s all the nearest music shops carried under “electronica”. Sure, we had mixtapes and we could special order albums, but this was back before the internet; music wasn’t just a click away back then.

And it wasn’t just hardcore electronic music. It was happy hardcore. It was techno. It was breakbeats. It was rave music. It didn’t really matter what genre it fell in as long as it was fun and the BPM was fast enough to jump-start a dead man’s heart.

But I recently came across a few of these old discs and gave them a listen. I know my tastes have matured a lot since then, but hearing this stuff again was almost painful. If it wasn’t for the nostalgia I don’t think I would give these more than a few quick minutes of play.

But still…

I ended listening an entire disc. Then the next. And the next. I can still hear the fun in these. The magic. My life wasn’t so complex and confusing back then. Music wasn’t so pretentious. And the scene (in my area, anyway) really was about Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect. It was about having fun. It was about the music. Friends. Being goofy. Not caring.

Now everything has to be perfect. Flawless mixes done by computer programs. Over-polished and over-compressed disposable bubble-gum EDM tunes. Pretentious clubbers and their status updates. DJing and dance music has become a serious business. Too serious. And the more commercially successful it’s become, the less fun the kids seem to have.

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