Speedcore
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Speedcore

Speedcore is a form of hardcore that is characterized by a high tempo and aggressive themes.[1][4] The genre was created in the early to mid 1990s and the name originates from the genre hardcore as well as the high speed tempo used. This music rarely drops below 300 beats per minute (bpm). Earlier speedcore tracks often averaged at about 250 bpm,[5] which could be defined as terror(core), whereas some tracks sometimes exceed 1000 bpm where it then becomes known as extratone, the world's fastest music genre.[4]

Characteristics

Common Speedcore Logo

The music is often angry and aggressive in nature. speedcore DJs often use violent, vulgar, and offensive themes in their music to push the boundaries of the genre that they spawned from.[4]

Aside from the very fast tempo of speedcore, which ranges from 300 bpm to 999 bpm and rarely drops below the 300 bpm mark, speedcore can often be distinguished from other forms of hardcore by an aggressive and overridden electronic percussion track that is often punctuated with hyperactive snare or tom-tom fills. Most producers will often overdrive their kicks so far that they become square waves,[5] much like in gabber, giving speedcore its distinctive pounding sound. The amen break is frequently used in a similar way to jungle music. In particular, the snare is often played multiple times per second via a sampler, which can also be used to pitch the snare up and down quickly. The 4/4 kicks are often punctuated with eighth notes or sixteenth notes for variation at the end of a bar.

A lot of speedcore musicians have elements of hardcore punk or some form of rock, by using samples of guitars in their music similar to digital hardcore. Speedcore tracks often contain elements of early hardcore and breakcore, as well as samples from death metal and black metal. The Berzerker is known for combining speedcore with Death Metal and Legions Ov Hell is known for combining speedcore with Black Metal.

While most speedcore artists are content to attack the normal standards of music, or even the gabber music that spawned them, the extremism of speedcore has caused some to turn inwards and parody the standards of the genre. These songs tend to use lighter, more manic samples similar to happy hardcore.

Later on the use of digital audio workstations increased in frequency.[5] Since the 2000s the use of DAWs has grown versus the use of analog synthesizers or trackers. In the 2010s most speedcore was composed with DAWs.

History

Origins (1992-93)

Speedcore is a natural progression of hardcore techno. Hardcore was already considerably fast, however there were those who were not content to stay at the established speed. Early Speedcore was about pushing the limits of bpm and aggression level. One of the first songs to explore higher speeds was Thousand by Moby [6] in 1992. Thousand reached over 1000 bpm[4] (hence the name). However this song was not at a constant tempo as It only reached 1000 bpm at its peak. Another song in 1992 was Alles Naar De Klote (250 BPM ~~ Oef!)[7] by Euromasters. This song is at 250 bpm as described by the title. In 1993 a few more songs came out that push the boundaries of bpm. Most notably was Summer by Sorcerer[5][8] and Double Speed Mayhem by 303 Nation.[9] Early on speedcore was considered to be any hardcore track faster than 220 bpm,[5] however as time went on and technology advanced it became commonly accepted that speedcore started at 300 bpm.

Early Speedcore (1994-1999)

Excerpt from "NYC Speedcore" (1997) by Disciples of Annihilation, a seminal speedcore track.

Industrial Strength Records, Bloody Fist Records, and Shockwave Recordings played major roles[10][11][12] in the speedcore scene during the mid 90s. Many early speedcore records came from these labels.

It was not until the early 2000s that the genre was commonly referred to as speedcore. In the 90s many tracks that would be considered speedcore were referred to as "gabba". The Terrordrome CD series was producing speedcore tracks by the mid 90s[13]. During the 90s the speedcore scene was strongest in Germany and Switzerland. The Roland TR-909 was often the drum machine of choice for early speedcore producers due to its ability to generate heavily distorted bass-drum kicks that anchored the percussion tracks. Other musicians preferred to compose their songs with music trackers such as FastTracker 2. Samples were often used with trackers for unique sounds. These trackers allowed producers to share .xm / .it / .mod files on the early internet. In the late 90s and early 2000s technoparades like Fuckparade played early speedcore songs in the streets.

Format

In the 1990s over half of all speedcore releases were on vinyl. The other half being mostly cassette releases as well as CD releases.

Spread (early 2000s)

The early 2000s saw the birth of many netlabels dedicated to speedcore. Many label who produced vinyls such as Mascha Records[14] and United Speedcore Nation.[15], were also publishing mp3 on their website. mp3 files of songs from netlabels became increasingly popular. mp3 files and netlabels made it easier for new producers to enter the scene. The early 2000s also saw the rise of speedcore in Japan from m1dy,[16]DJ Sharpnel,[3][17] and M-Project.[18] These musicians took the aggressive speedcore and gave it a happier tone and focus on melody or silly synths. Anime samples were also used in this time period which drew connections between this music and anime[3]. These musicians would inspire the Japanese core scene for years to come.

Format

The turn of the century saw a burst in digital file releases specifically mp3 files. By the 2000s digital releases were the most common format. Vinyl was still the main format for physical releases followed by CDr and CD.

Internet Growth (2010s)

The 2010s had a large growth in netlabels. While the early 2000s had a few netlabels by 2010 new netlabels began to pop up all over. DAWs made it cheaper and easier than ever before for new musicians to make experimental music. The internet allowed for producers from around the world to communicate with each other and share their works through netlabels. Compilation albums became very popular for artists to share their music as they could get more exposure than by themselves. A large portion of the speedcore scene now occurs online from netlabels to speedcore promotion channels on YouTube. Speedcore was no longer restrained to localized areas by where raves occurred and vinyls were released.

Format

By the 2010s digital files were dominating the scene. Over 70% of releases were either digital format exclusive or had a digital release version. mp3 files were still the most common but the use of .flac and .wav were increasing. The 2010s saw the most common physical release format become CDs and CDr as vinyl fell out of favor.

Etymology

The term speedcore in reference to high tempo hardcore/gabber can be traced as far back as 1995.[19][20] Many believe that Disciples Of Annihilation created the name of the genre with their track N.Y.C. Speedcore and Ya Mutha II.[5]

Notable Artists

  • Akira
  • ANC (AKA Anti-Nazi Core)
  • Bakalla
  • The Destroyer
  • Deterrent Man
  • Diabarha
  • Disco Cunt
  • DJ Freak
  • DJ Plague
  • DJ Tron
  • Gabba Front Berlin
  • HCM
  • iGoA
  • Jessy James
  • Kobaryo
  • Komprex
  • Kurwastyle Project
  • Loffciamcore
  • Lord Lloigor
  • Lord of Speed
  • Milan Speedcore Project
  • m1dy
  • Nasenbluten
  • Noizefucker
  • Passenger of Shit
  • Pressterror
  • Qualkommando
  • ScreamerClauz
  • Speedfreak
  • Terrormasta
  • The Quick Brown Fox (Lapfox)

Notable Labels (External Links)

  • Analphabetik - Italian label active from 2001-2007. Has resurfaced as a netlabel in 2017.
  • Braindestruction Recordz - Defunct German netlabel active from 2001-2010. Had both physical and digital releases of mostly hardcore and speedcore.
  • Dance Corps - UK netlabel founded in 2009 dedicated to happy sounding speedcore and subgenres.
  • Extratone Records - Polish netlabel founded in 2015. It is dedicated to songs above 1000 bpm.
  • Fujimi Industry Records - Japanese netlabel founded in 2015 with both physical and file releases.
  • Legs Akimbo - Defunct UK netlabel ran from 2010-2017 for both heavy metal and speedcore. Released both physical releases and file releases.
  • Mascha Records - Defunct Swiss netlabel ran from 1997-2004. Released low bit rate mp3 files online.
  • Psycho Filth Records - Japanese label founded in 2010 exclusively for Japanese speedcore.
  • Radio Active Hardcore - Japanese netlabel founded in 2011 with mostly Japanese producers.
  • Cerebral Destruction - Defunct Italian label active from 2001-2013 for industrial and speedcore music.
  • Speedcore Worldwide Audio Netlabel - German netlabel founded in 2012 for terror and speedcore music from around the world.
  • Splitterblast Records - Defunct Czech netlabel ran from 2007-2014. Specialized in splittercore and extreme speedcore.
  • Splitterkor Rekords Dziwko!!! - Polish netlabel founded in 2010 for all forms of speedcore and subgenres from musicians around the world.
  • United Speedcore Nation - Defunct German netlabel ran from 1997-2001. Offered physical releases and low bit rate mp3 files online.
  • Viral Conspiracy Records - Italian netlabel founded in 2011 focusing on extreme electronic music.

Notable Related Events

The Underground Massacre in Bergamo, Italy

Due to the genre of speedcore not being very popular many bands cannot tour by themselves. Booking agencies dedicated to speedcore and its Sub-genres fill these gaps by allowing many musicians to perform live and draw a crowd by the diversity of the artists at any one event. A speedcore concert will typically feature many different musicians on a timetable.

  • American Gabberfest - American organization that organizes events all over the continental US.[21] Concerts consist of hardcore, industrial, and terrorcore.
  • Core Science (AKA Speedcore Terror Dungeon) - Dutch Organization that organizes events throughout the Netherlands.[22] Concerts consist of terrorcore and speedcore.
  • Hardgate - Japanese booking agency that hosts most of their parties in Tokyo, Japan.[23] They often feature hardcore techno artists popular in Europe. Concerts range from hardcore to speedcore.
  • Speedcore Italia - Italian booking agency that hosts most of their parties in Krefeld, Germany.[24] Concerts are mostly terrorcore and speedcore.
  • Terrordrang - Dutch booking agency that hosts most of their events in Beesd, Netherlands as well as occasionally in Germany.[25] Parties are mostly of terrorcore and speedcore.
  • Trash N Core - German organization that hosts their events in Berlin, Germany.[26] Events include many different core genres (hardcore, terror, speedcore, extratone, flashcore, etc) as well as many other genres.

Subgenres

Splittercore

Speedcore is often called splittercore when the bpm is between 600 and 1000 bpm.[5][4] Splittercore is known by its machine gun sounding kicks. In the 1990s splittercore was sometimes referred to as nosebleed Techno.

Extratone

Songs with a bpm of 1,000 or higher are known as extratone songs.[5][4] At this BPM, the kicks happen so fast that the individual kicks or beats cannot be distinguished from one another, making the beat sound like one, constant note with a pitch. Extratone is known as the world's fastest electronic music genre with its BPM being over 1,000[4]. The name "extratone" originates from combining the two German words extrahieren (to extract) and tone (note).[4]

Flashcore

Flashcore is a subgenre of speedcore and IDM that focuses on an ambient atmosphere. The kicks are often irregular and complicated versus the 4/4 kicks that are often used in speedcore.[27] The kicks are also higher pitched so that they sound like laser sound effects.[28]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Ishkur (2005). "Ishkur's guide to Electronic Music". Retrieved 2015. 
  2. ^ Riccardo Balli (2014). "How to Cure a Gabba". Retrieved 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c Jenkins, Dave (April 26, 2018). "Beyond J-Core: An Introduction to the Real Sound of Japanese Hardcore". Bandcamp. Retrieved 2018. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Jenkins, Dave (April 27, 2018). "An Introduction to Extratone: The World's Fastest Music Genre". Bandcamp. Retrieved 2018. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h "Core History". Blogspot. December 2009. Retrieved 2018. 
  6. ^ "I Feel It + Thousand Discogs". Discogs. 1993. Retrieved 2018. 
  7. ^ "Alles Naar De Klote". Discogs. 1992. Retrieved 2018. 
  8. ^ "Sorcerer - My Four Seasons EP". Discogs. 1993. Retrieved 2018. 
  9. ^ "Various - Frankfurt Trax Volume 4". Discogs. 1993. Retrieved 2018. 
  10. ^ "Shockwave Recordings". Discogs. Retrieved 2018. 
  11. ^ "Bloody Fist Records". Discogs. Retrieved 2018. 
  12. ^ "Industrial Strength Records". Discogs. Retrieved 2018. 
  13. ^ "Terrordrome". Discogs. Retrieved 2018. 
  14. ^ "Mascha Records". Discogs. Retrieved 2018. 
  15. ^ "United Speedcore Nation". United Speedcore Nation. 2001. Retrieved 2018. 
  16. ^ Watanabe, Yosei. "m1dy's Profile". m1dy. Retrieved 2010. 
  17. ^ "DJ Sharpnel". Discogs. Retrieved 2018. 
  18. ^ "M-Project". Discogs. Retrieved 2018. 
  19. ^ "Techno Speedcore Party". Partyflock. 1995. Retrieved 2018. 
  20. ^ Krämer, Patrick (1995). "Interview with Test Tube Kid". datacide. Retrieved 2018. 
  21. ^ "American Gabberfest". Facebook. Retrieved 2018. 
  22. ^ "Core Science". Facebook. Retrieved 2018. 
  23. ^ "HARDGATE". HARDGATE. Retrieved 2018. 
  24. ^ "Speedcore Italia Deadtown". Facebook. Retrieved 2018. 
  25. ^ "Terrordrang Booking Agency". Facebook. Retrieved 2018. 
  26. ^ "Trash N Core". Facebook. Retrieved 2018. 
  27. ^ "Flashcore". Blogspot. 2009. Retrieved 2018. 
  28. ^ Kinnunen, Tuomas (August 20, 2017). "Initiatory speedcore develoments". Hard Date. Retrieved 2018. 

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