One of my DJ heros is Pearsall, who has been putting out very carefully crafted mixes online for years at sonicrampage.org, always with at least a few accompanying paragraphs. He played a large part in setting me on my ongoing journey through rave music after I first heard this rocket-fuelled 40 minutes of 93/94 happy hardcore.
I’ve been trying with my nuumismatics series to join the dots between different bits of the ‘hardcore continuum’ (see Simon Reynolds), and this mix continues in that vein, with tracks from between 1990 and 2019. I’ve tried not to be eclectic for the sake of it, but I usually find that you don’t have to work too hard to go from dubstep to breakbeat hardcore (for instance) if you’re willing to suspend belief in the walls between genres.
A few of the tracks I came across through Mickey Beam, another top-notch purveyor of mixes across the old skool spectrum. A particular favourite in the mix is Rhythm Section’s Future, which manages to combine a Neuromancer quote, rolling breakbeats, organ and a slightly plaintive vocal sample to perfection. I was lucky enough to find a (rather pre-loved) 12″ of Surgery at the West Norwood Book and Record Shop, and the novelty of hearing that 808 State sample hasn’t yet worn off.
This is the first time I’ve dedicated a mix to anyone. I only met Alex T once, at Tribe Records in Leeds last summer, but was deeply saddened by his premature death earlier this year. When we met I experienced his knowledge and passion first hand, which he wore lightly, and I came away feeling that I’d simply met a wonderful human being.
Some trivia: 23 tracks for RAW, and the future has arrived, it’s just not evenly distributed yet.