Category: Artist Interviews

Focus On Miss Hysteria

miss-hysteria

Focus on Miss Hysteria  | facebook.com/djmisshysteria

A dedicated, inspirational and passionate young women by the name of Malin Kolbrink has yet again been busy in her studio being inspired by wild notions, beauty and agression in order to concoct another exquisite release for Enzyme Records. Let’s find out a little more about what Miss Hysteria has in store for us this time around.

You have an EP which is coming to Enzyme Records in January is called ‘Nyctophilia’, what does that word mean, and how does that pertain to you?
“Nyctophilia litterly means: Love of darkness or night, finding relaxation and comfort in the darkness.

For this EP, you have to see that in the context of my music. I think you can put ‘dark’ emotions like anger, sadness with a side of melancholy, easily into music, and I think that is a beautiful thing and that attracts me to music. Dark, angry or sad music with a broad spectrum of emotions makes me smile and that is the darkness that I refer to in the title. That’s exactly what you will find in this ep – anger, darkness, wonder and melancholy.”

The rest of your EP includes a collaboration with Ophidian, Minckz and a remix from Mindustries, can you tell us a bit about those tracks?

“Ophidian is a real inspiration for combining melodies with dark music. We were talking about doing a collab for a long time and that time has finally arrived. We wanted to do something special with a theme that encompases both of our interests. The track we did together is about the concept of “nothing” in relationship with the universe. When you only see darkness, is there really just nothing? Or is this empty vastness filled with micro particles? The track has a real euphoric melody, I really cannot wait to play this one in the big rooms! Working on this collab also inspired us to do something really special coming this festival season. It’s something that has not been done before in this particular way!

The track with Minckz is obviously an angry one haha. Besides that, we really wanted to do something with hard, heavy kicks and aggressive vocals because us sweet and decent ladies can. It is about not using music to get fame, but to genuinely love what you are actually doing! As you Minckz are the co-producer of the track, I want to ask you a question!

Miss Hysteria: Minckz, what is the meaning of the track for you? What are your dreams and goals in music as a producer?”

Minckz: “Well, the meaning of this track is a couple of things for me. On the production side of things, I want to inspire aspiring female producers out there to get into their studios and start making some noise! Hardcore is so dominated by male personalities, some being ‘products’, some being wildly talented producers, but when it comes to women, the vast majority are unfortunately ‘fake’ in regards to music production. Some of us ladies are genuinely passionate about music creation and construction, and I am one of those women, like yourself. This track is also a call out to the ‘fake’ members of our scene – both men and women, to do their own thing and to empower them to not be ruled by a ‘ghost’. I personally feel like more men and women within our scene should make the effort to be influential in the evolvement of our genre. Anyone who is passionate about such a distinct sound should be pushed and empowered to get involved in keeping it fruitful, and they wont do that by looking glamorous on stage. All of the ‘ghosts’ in our scene are either money hungry fools who want to make a pretty face popular, producers who have lost inspiration in themselves and think making cookie cutter crap for someone else will help them get their mojo back, or are fading legends that are selfishly passing elements of their sound onto these clueless kids to maintain their ‘legendary’ sound and status. Stop making products and start investing in the rebels.

Production wise, I have a genuine interest in sound and the creation and manipulation of it. I actually wanted to be a Sound Engineer for the majority of my life, inspired by my father who was one. However, my lack of patience for the lengthy school process completely murdered that notion. I decided, like most of us do, to take on learning music production in my own time. I have a lot of problems concentrating so the learning process has been a lengthy one and has pushed the patience of some of the scenes best who have been coaching me but I still haven’t given up and the desire to learn is always there. I am working on my debut EP now, it’s a very special and extremely meaningful project so its construction will take time. I HOPE 2016 will be the year that you get to hear it.

Musically speaking, I just want to do something that I am passionate about at my leisure. I want to create music that takes the listeners on an emotional journey – to create something that inspires. As I work full time in the digital marketing, media and PR aspect of our scene, I will never be able to dedicate myself to music production full time. I’m actually launching my company geared towards various elements of digital media and communications (geared towards Hard Dance) later this month (www.iced-marketing.com), so I will be a very busy one-women show in the very near future. Making things more professional and streamlined in the background of Hardcore is the most important thing to me right now. I am out to make a bigger, more long-term impact on our scene, and with some of the worlds leading labels, promoters and production companies being my current clients, I think I am well on my way to doing just that. Back to you girl!”

Miss Hysteria: “Next on the EP, there is a remix made by Mindustries of my track ‘Damn the Dark’. If anyone comes to mind when considering a remix about darkness, it’s absolutely Mindustries! They delivered a very nice remake of the track featuring the original theme but very very…Mindustries-like with some fresh new elements!

The title track follows, and it’s about wondering all kind of things. I used so some vocals (and vocal effects) from people who really inspire me, like Carl Sagan, Bjork and Thom Yorke. The track features some pressing themes and a raging kick! This track is already present in some live sets and the ‘Masters in the Mix’ CD by Day-Mar! So you may have actually heard this one!”

What is your favourite part of the production process?
“Well, starting something new is always nice. Then you can be creative and there are no rules. Just play around a bit, experiment, and see what happens. Then follows the hard part, making a decent track out of the mess you’ve just created. Finishing (really finishing) a track is also a very happy moment! Which can only mean one thing – starting something new ”

With that question, I have myself wondering the exact opposite. So, what is it what drives you absolutely crazy during the production process? Something consistently infuriating I mean.

“When you are working too long on a track and really want it to be finished but find yourself missing that particular something…or you think that you’re ready but you know you can make a part of it better, then you HAVE to do it – no matter how many times you already re-worked it! You have to insert the details over and over again.”

How does a woman like you survive in a music industry that is so predominantly male? Why don’t you think more women step up like you have done in the Hardcore scene?

“Well, I always advocate that you have to do whatever makes you happy! So that’s the only lead I follow in music. Easy! I try to ignore things like politics and bullshit as much as I can. I personally think that music has become so much of an industry that it’s not about the music anymore and we have to deal with that. There are more and more female dj’s popping up these days and that’s a good thing, but it’s still a man’s world. Think about that. How come? That’s an interesting question.”

I think what you do for you “9-5 job” is really special and worth talking about. Tell us what it is that you do, and why it’s so important to you?

“I always thought that it’s important to do something different, besides music. I’m a part-time social worker with kids and young adults from 10 to 27 who possess various kinds of personal problems. I also try to develop new strategies with the municipality to make the pedagogic social environment better and stronger. It’s an extremely rewarding job, but it’s very time consuming which is one of the reasons I did not release so much this year. They are cutting finances everywhere so we’re fighting to keep some important resources for the kids.”

What does 2016 have in store for us lovers of Miss Hysteria?

“Next to dj-ing, I will add another level of performance to my schedule. It has something to do with the stuff I mentioned before on the Ophidian collab. I will focus more on producing music and I’m very curious about new developments in the scene this coming year. As many of you know, I’m not really into the ‘Up-tempo’ stuff, I would love to see more “Down-tempo” quality Hardcore. I will also begin to do millennium sets which I really love to do. You can contact Concrete Agency if you are interesting in booking me for a Millennium event. So, MORE music, and more MUSIC!”

Focus On Ruffneck

ruffneck

Focus on Ruffneck  | facebook.com/djruffneck

A man who’s paved the way for generations to come, a rebel with an unrelenting passion to make his statement seen and accepted by all, someone who’s dedication to our scene, has seen him successful for over 20 years, sits down with us, to tell us about the past, the present and the future, and that man is Patrick Van Kerckhoven, a.k.a. the legendary Ruffneck.

Ruffneck is a name that has been around since the beginning of the Hardcore scene here in Holland.
You are one of the founding fathers of our genre, isn’t that right?
What has been your most significant role in creating the scene we all currently enjoy?

Well first off, as you stated, when I started out there basically WASN’T a scene. We tried to make music inspired by House music hailing mainly from Chicago and Detroit. Over on the other side of the pond, myself and a few other guys started out by building our own view on things, but a scene with producers and record labels pressing their own records and all that was a very new thing. I still remember the days when I told people I wanted to make a record and make my living with that as well. I was laughed at, shunned even – people thought I was crazy off the bat. However, I pushed on and paved the way for new generations to come (of course I was not the only one at that time, let that be clear). At that time however, I was not know by the name of Ruffneck as I formed that label 4 years AFTER I started out making records under various other aliases.
My later contribution was the creation of a completely new sub-genre called ‘Artcore’, and some time later, the Darkcore sound. Furthermore, I have put a LOT of the big names that are out there right now, on the map by guiding them, and teaching them how to produce, among other things. I think that I’ve contributed quite a bit to the scene in general and am still continuing to do so, even after all these years.

The Hardcore scene has seen such a fluctuation in popularity, perseverance, and sustainability throughout your career.
In your opinion, what is it that keeps our scene afloat these days?

In my opinion, diversity and dedication is what keeps any scene alive. Throughout recent years however, in regards to diversity, certain elements in Hardcore have unfortunately received far too much attention, and it seems like people are beginning to find that ONE particular sound is what defines Hardcore. It really makes me sad to see this happen, as in my world, Hardcore is beautiful because of its various influences. Take elements from Mainstream, Old School, Industrial, Doomcore, Crossbreed, whatever you want, and fuse it together to make something unique, not just variations of the most popular artists sounds and structures. Don’t follow anyone’s lead.

Your record label, Enzyme Records, that you founded in 2001, was a massive addition to our scene.
What were your hopes at the beginning for Enzyme?
Do you feel that throughout the years, you’ve succeeded in your venture?

My hopes in the beginning were just to start fresh and give the artists who could hardly get any bookings, a solid platform to showcase themselves on. Artists like Endymion, Nosferatu and Ophidian. Organisations simply wanted ME during that time, so I pretended to leave the scene and handed it over to said guys so that the organisations had no choice but to book them. It was a big gamble and cost me a lot in terms of happiness and money, but at that time it was needed to survive in the future that would inevitably follow.
I knew it was going to be a difficult time for me as a DJ, that I would (and did) miss spinning and performing – especially when I essentially quit overnight, but I saw these artists that I was supporting as my friends, and friends are everything to me so I did what I felt I had to do to support their careers. I am fortunate to say that Ophidian is still here with me on the front line, through many years of both happiness and disappointment. I am proud of and thankful to my protégé for his loyalty. The Enzyme Records name lives on 14 years later, I am really happy to say.

You’ve recently signed an extremely talented Spanish producer and DJ called NeoX (Adrian Zapata).
What is it about this new artist that stood out to you, and what does it take for up and comers to be a part of the Enzyme Records crew?

NeoX is just a FANTASTIC guy. I think he is a very underrated and an extremely talented producer who really deserves a shot at things. Apart from that, I have had the pleasure of getting to know him on a more personal level – he is a really nice, humble guy. We have had several conversations and have shared a few sad but also very funny moments which has shown me that he is one of the few good guys left who actually CARES about his music, the scene AND more importantly, his FRIENDS, and the Enzyme cause in general. Totally professional guy who is willing to work hard and share his knowledge with the crew without an attitude. The scene needs more guys like him in my humble opinion.
To be part of Enzyme Records, I guess the first obvious thing is the fact that you need to make good music, preferably with a bit of your own unique flavour instead of simply wanting to become the next well-known artist. Being inspired by someone is a different thing, but copy-cats are a no-go. Secondly, you should be someone who respects your colleagues and someone who is willing to be part of a pretty colourful and underground team with a bit of a crazy attitude, who is happy to fight together with us to keep the true Enzyme spirit alive. That’s why our team is fairly small, we would rather have a few guys believing in their music and wanting to contribute to this cause than be consumed with people who just want to shine on the biggest stages, pretending that they care, while all they really do is lust for attention and money. That kind of attitude does NOT work in our crew and is bound to end in their departure from Enzyme sooner or later.

Who is Ruffneck these days, what are you now striving for in your career as both a performing artist and producer?
Ruffneck is a guy who has truly made a HUGE change throughout the years in both his personal attitude and his musical approach. Nowadays I still thrive on the same vision that I’ve always had when it comes to Hardcore. As a producer, I notice that I actually really like to create a LOT of different things. When I produce Mainstream, I am really happy with the result but aside from that, I am really happy when I get the chance to work on an Industrial one, followed by Crossbreed and whatever style after that. One style all day every day is frigging mind numbing and extremely boring to me, I would hate the idea of being allowed to only make one particular style …hell no! I do however, notice that I tend to like the somewhat “simpler” approach to things nowadays. By saying “simpler” I don’t mean stupid brainless Tokkiecore music, basically consisting of a kick with a childish stupid sound a baby could have punched in for 5 minutes, I mean quality, well thought out, and well-produced tunes that are easy on the ear without sounding TOO over-produced or complicated to make it appear interesting. Good examples of people who DO have the sound I like are artists like Dione, N-Vitral and Sei2ure for instance (I am a fan I admit it openly :D)
As a performing artist I’ve always strived to create a high energy atmosphere that sounds like the place is on fire and explodes with power. I don’t know exactly why, but I just want to bring that RRRRRAAAAAWWWRRRRRR (insert major bass face here) feeling (May sound weird but it’s probably the best explanation of how I feel when performing) to the party people.

Speaking of you electrifying on-stage performances, you can be seen playing various different genres.
What does Ruffneck spin these days?

Ruffneck is actually spinning all kinds of sets., depending on the party and the wishes of the organisation. I spin either straight up Hardcore or Crossbreed sets and everything in between really, but also of course Early Hardcore & Millenium sets. Recently, I can also be seen doing special request sets as D’spyre which are slower Darkcore sets, very suited for beginnings of parties to warm up the crowd and most recently even straight up Old School classic sets which is what I made before I became known as Ruffneck. Think 1990 -1993 kind of sets. The last two are of course performances that I only do on VERY special request as I want these to be done only a few times a year – very exclusive.
All in all, since I am active in ALL sorts of Hardcore, I can, and AM actually spinning various kinds of sets. The common denominator here, is that they are all based on a energetic set as that is what I strive to bring. You can make your booking inquiries through info@concreteagency.nl.

If we look at Enzyme Records’ release schedule, we see your name appear a few times over the next couple of months.
What have you been working on?

Actually quite a lot of new things hahaha. I decided that I have been helping so many people with so many projects, and that it’s now gotten to the point where it has become ridiculous. I have been working my ass off for months in the studio mixing, correcting and mastering releases and even complete albums for people without anybody actually really knowing my hand saved the project or made it playable. I took a look at what I was doing and decided that I’ve done enough in that regard. Now, I’ve decided to cut down on that craziness to make more time for myself to concentrate on my music and enjoy more ME time. I think I’ve earned that. Now I’ll have more time for producing – both solo releases and collaborations which I LOVE to do as it is so much fun when working together and I simply love to laugh in the studio while working with other people.

Can we expect an appearance from any of your aliases in the future?
I have wondered that myself. I don’t really see the point in that anymore unless…hahahaha, I won’t continue this sentence…

To watch you perform on stage is quite a remarkable thing; you scream, you jump, you fall to your knees, you dance – you still possess an admirable amount of energy.
With all of these shifts in our scene – how it came crashing down around us with the loss of vinyl, people now refusing to pay for their music, our ability to sustain our daily lives with our musical careers, etc.
All those things are more than enough to get anyone down, stop them in their tracks and force them to give up, but there you are, as if no time has passed, giving it your all.
Where do you find your passion to persevere these days?

True love for Hardcore – that’s the answer for all good things in life, just LOVE.