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> Gabber/happy hardcore of the 1990s, Share your faves!
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post Mar 26 2019, 12:11 PM
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BuzzJack Gold Member
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One of my favourite dance genres other than rave and trance is gabber/happy hardcore, a genre that was massive around Germany and the Netherlands in the mid-late 1990s, and even as close as Ireland and far away as Australia where it had a few chart successes. In the UK, its success was mostly confined to Scotland and the North of England, with the Scottish Singles Charts from that era showing some strong-selling examples but not enough across the rest of the country to chart really high - the likes of jungle and drum & bass had a much bigger stronghold closer to London and more of the media attention to help it do well.

For a brief time in 1995-96, there was a minor push for the genre in the UK, and what I'm fairly sure was the first happy hardcore track to break the top 40 was Mark'Oh's 'Tears Don't Lie', a major European #1 over the previous winter and reached #24 here in May 1995. The distinctive melody is best known from Johnny Mathis's Christmas #1 'When A Child Is Born', itself based on an old Italian tune.

After a few hits from the likes of Scooter and WestBam later that year, the genre peaked in success in early 1996 with the release of Technohead's 'I Wanna Be A Hippy', which gained lots of attention for its controversial "stoned on marijuana" lyrics, a memorable Top of the Pops performance and concerned letters from viewers asking what the hell they'd just heard read out on BBC's Points of View. It shot up to number 6 in the UK charts.

More songs followed from Technohead, Scooter, Interactive and spin-off group the Party Animals through 1996, but after that it retreated back to mainland Europe. Its only appearance I can think of since was a random week in late 2002, when Nakatomi's 'Children of the Night' - a major happy hardcore release which became a club favourite for years - had a late re-release six years after charting at number 149, and this time did much better, just making the top 40 at #31. Randomly I was in Stratford-upon-Avon on a warm summer's day in 2014, and this was blasting out the speakers at a nearby mini-festival which was nice if random to hear tongue.gif

Any other examples of the genre? Wish it was more well-known in this country!
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post Mar 26 2019, 07:24 PM
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BuzzJack Platinum Member
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Nakatomi is legit my fave of this genre, itís such a banger! It was actually the QFX Remix that charted in 2002 but the original 1996 version is the best.
Even though I love this sort of music I donít really know many tracks at all! I guess I was exposed more to the shift to the Clubland side of things from the early 00s. Looking forward to hopefully some discoveries in this thread!

I vaguely remember Wigan Pier being the hotspot for this scene if I recall correctly.

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