He is one of the most successful hardcore DJs from Holland. Hardcore, also knows as Gabber is a style originally created in Holland in the early 90’s. Its success was imminent taken into the account the success of the Thunderdome events and cd series and labels like Mid-Town, Mokum, Ruffneck and more. Darkcontroller is part of the RIGE clan and we were very happy to catch him for an exclusive interview!
Hardcore, the ‘heavy metal’ of house and techno had its ups and downs when it comes to popularity, especially in Holland where it originates from. How would you describe the scene now? Inform us on the positives and negatives.
Well, I know that hardcore started on a basic ground. It all was very simple to make. all music was, if you look at it now. These days are much more complicated and high quality. let’s just say hardcore began in 1992. It excists 20 years now, and still, it has not vanished. Lots of generations that I’ve seen. As darkcontroller, I started around 1999 as Darkcontroller and my first track that has come out was “conscious world”. I made this track in a simple DOS program called fastracker 2.
About the ups & downs…. Yes there were a few of those. I must say that my personal taste goes back to about 8 years ago. That was my start with DNA records (Dark Negative & Anti social), Also a upward for my DJ carrier.
I give you my positives & negatives:
Pos: Hardcore is still alive
Neg: everybody(producers) copies each other
Pos: I am negative thinker
Neg: Hardcore is getting a dip @ the monent, my opinion
You started out producing as DJ Wicked and then moved on as DJ Darkcontroller. Was there a specific reason for the name change?
That’s right. 1993 was the year when I stopped playing hip hop & swingbeat, and became one with the dark side. It was just before the happy hardcore arrived on the scene. I played as a DJ, sometimes @ 3 gigs in a weekend in Holland,belgium & germany. Around 1998 I started producing on a simple music program and made some mainstream tracks for my own record label “hatix”.
The first release was a light green transparant vinyl, with a smashing bootleg remix of Phill Collins “in the air tonight”, which is still played on early hardcore gigs though. The record was sold 2200 times. On this vinyl I also did a bootleg remix of Britneys spears “baby on more time” and “the trick” which appeared on a Masters of Hardcore compilation. The second vinyl on this label was a dark blue transparent and contained bootleg remixes of “o fortuna” and “hate me now” of Nas. This one was sold almost a 2800 copies. After all of this I made a few darker tracks, and didn’t knew what do with them. So I started to think of a second name. It was easy to think of using the phrase “dark”. At the same time I was starting to use the music Cubase on the Atari computer and learned about using controllers. You are getting my drift? Darkcontroller
Do you still play with vinyl? Or did you go all digital? What are the pros and cons for you?
No, I play with cd’s. Mostly when I play somewhere, you’ll find record turntables there as well. But I prefer cd. The most Deejays use the cue button a lot. But I only use it for finding the start signal. I use the vinyl jog function and just play it on the oldskool way. And digital tracks are cheaper.
Could you explain to people who are not so familiar with the hardcore sound, what makes it such a great sub genre of EDM? What does it do to you?
Darkness for the naughty people. Hardcore,darkcore,terror,mainstream, all of this is growing world wide. It makes me proud that the Netherlands made this thing big.
Describe the weirdest night out in your career.
Every night is weird. You will have to give me another interview for that one.
Which remix from your hand are you the most proud of?
That would be my first remix. That’s the remix for E-noid’ “tiny sparks of air”. And I did a remix for the Headbanger & Dione “pain is god” I like that one as well.
Do you do any side projects besides hardcore?
I certainly do. I can’t tell you much about that right now. You will have to interview my other me when the time is right.
All I can say is, I have two more other names for two other scenes. And one of them is an album project for an icon right here in the united states of america.
The biggest crowd you ever played for? How did that feel?
I played on Project hardcore in 27 september I think it was. That was my biggest crowd ever. I don’t know how much people. So many hardcore lovers, that I couldn’t see the back wall. And it feld great. But I also played on more on this sort of kind of gigs. But this one sticks in my memory.
Is there a major difference technically speaking between producing hardcore and other forms of dance music?
I think it’s all the same. Every artist has his own way of using the skills. It depends on what you use in your set up. The only major difference is the style that you make. Every dj & producer has his on style and development. Maybe you can tell its me making hardcore and trance, just for my way of building up a track. It’s all electronic mostly.
Do you have regrets?
Do you use ear protection and do you feel that is important?
No, I still don’t use ear protection. I should do that by the way. If I want to keep my hearing.
Is there something you would like to surprise people with in the next five years?
I would like be first one with a change of style, and that other people will copy that. Only I don’t know what that could be. Keep on finding a breakthrough I guess. It’s hard to tell if I can surprise people within the next five years. Maybe peforming with a mask or something hehehe
Name your personal top 5 of hardcore labels
4.Dance ecstascy 2001(pcp)
Is there a final thing you would like to say to our readers?
For the readers I would like to say: check out www.hardtunes.nl for all the major releases of hardcore,darkcore,terror,oldchool & even some hardstyle. Hardcore is still alive & growing. Also I hope, to play in the USA someday. That’s one of my top wish list that I would like to do.