There's a steady noise pounding away in the middle of England, a kick-drum heartbeat coming from Manchester that's pushing 200 BPMs and beyond. It's the new sound of hardcore as made by Greg Dolphin and Mike Teknoist, old friends who are absolutely mental about pushing the merger between hardcore and breakcore to its logical extremes.
After college, Dolphin started a hardcore record shop in Manchester; Teknoist was one of his most faithful customers. The pair teamed up to run one of the UK's longest-running hardcore weeklies, Steam, from '94 to '98, and they've been refining their sound ever since via releases on Deathchant and Planet Mu. "We're trying to do stuff that's more organic, stuff that grows and isn't just the same thing for five minutes," says Dolphin of the duo's tracks, which are full of half-time breakdowns, dancehall samples, and swooping filters that lend warmth to brutal kicks. "We're quite passionate about doing something different and a bit more grown up than [having] just a solid kick drum banging away. It's got to have more of that kind of motion and power behind it... Although, by its very nature, it's quite abrasive and tough to listen to."
The duo is also quickly becoming recognized for their ballistic, shenanigan-filled live performances at events like London's Bang Face party and the Planet Mu Ammunition party at Electrowerks. "There were 700 people in Electrowerks. It was fucking rammed!" enthuses Teknoist. "Aphex Twin was there, Squarepusher was there... and the reaction that the kick drum gets, people just go crazy!"
Teknoist's current pride and joy is his fledgling Ninja Columbo label, which has seen five releases in two years from himself, Dolphin, and newcomer Scheme Boy from London's Adverse Cambor crew. "[Scheme Boy] is quite a skilled producer, and he's got a different angle on it than us; [his stuff is] more melody-based [and comes] from a very strong electronic music background," says Dolphin. "That's what we're looking for, people who've got some serious knowledge to bring to [the genre]." The pair has tracks slated for release on Pacemaker, Bangerang, and Mash Up, and a remix for Duran Duran Duran forthcoming on Cock Rock Disco. The real surprise, though, will be the debut album they're currently working on.
"It won't just be a load of tracks that we've made–it's a serious album," explains Dolphin. "But it's hardcore, it's gonna be heavy..."
"It's fuck-off rave!" shouts Teknoist gleefully from the other room.