GFT here. Serious ’93 darkside business this month from Dark Horse Records.
Dark Horse is somewhat of a legendary label for me. When I started collecting oldschool hardcore tunes it was one of the very first labels I set my sights on – I’m not sure why… maybe I liked the logo. The first release I picked up was ‘The Night Rider Part One’ 12″, on beautiful blue marbled vinyl, as those were tracks I had been hearing most frequently on mix sets. The rest followed suit eventually. If you’re looking to nab your own collection then DHR001 and 004 are definitely the chase records. DHR002 seems to be getting harder to come by as well.
As per Discogs “The Dark Horse label was owned by Jim Polo and Neil Vass and began in early 1993. The label only had 7 releases and closed at the end of 1994. The first 5 tunes released were all classics of the dark hardcore period of 1993 and included the Baby D sampling anthem Rolling Energy.” Not much more I can add to that as trivia is thin on the ground out in the Google-sphere, suffice to say that this is a classic label of the ’93 darkside period, with all of the tunes in that distinctive grimdark grimy style.
(Almost) All of the tunes are by Jim Polo or his aliases. The only downer was that quite a few of the 12″s suffer from poor mastering/pressing, including ‘The Night Rider Pt. 1’ and ‘Dark Horse In Full Effect’, although in their case we can probably put it down to the coloured vinyl. I wish I had the black! DHR006 and 007 are particularly affected by lo-fi buzz, I even picked up multiple copies to make sure it wasn’t just my plates – they just sound rinsed. I don’t think I’m the first to have noticed this. That shouldn’t take anything away from the tunes though… they are all fantastic.
I actually had to record this mix twice. Embarrassingly, I hadn’t properly set my anti skate, tone-arm counterweight, or had my decks levelled. The less said about this the better
Jim Polo and Neil Vass – Underground Feeling
Jim Polo – Voyager
Jim Polo and Neil Vass – Rolling Energy
Jim Polo – Heavyweight
Pascal and Sponge – I Got You (Ezee Boy)
Pascal and Sponge – I Got You (Ezee Boy) Remix
Jim Polo – Dark Phantasy’s
2 Sinister – Let It Roll
Jim Polo – Champion Sound
Jim Polo and Neil Vass – Rolling Energy (2 Sinister Remix)
Jim Polo – Dark Horse In Full Effect
Dynamix – Pipes
2 Sinister – Freestylin
Dynamix – Directions
2 Sinister – As We Enter
Pascal and Sponge – Just Rollin a Fat B
>> Jim Polo and Neil Vass – Rolling Energy (DJ SS Drum and Bass Remix)
Jim Polo – The Night Rider
>> Jim Polo and Neil Vass – Underground Feeling (Pascal and Sponge Remix 1)
Jim Polo and Neil Vass – Underground Feeling (Pascal and Sponge Remix 2)
Jim Polo and Neil Vass – Rolling Energy (DJ SS Techno Remix)
>> DJ Smiley and Sublime – Lost
>> DJ Smiley and Sublime – Rampage
- Four tracks from Face Records make the cut… Firstly, the ‘I Got You (Ezee Boy) Remix’ on DHR003 is a remix of the original Pascal and Sponge tune on Face, so that’s in the mix, as well as the flip ‘Just Rollin a Fat B’ – love that track. I’ve also included the two Pascal and Sponge remixes of ‘Underground Feeling’, which were released on FACE004 and are both absolutely huge. These versions are probably more well-known than the original, and certainly hit harder. Face Records is such a great label. One day I’ll do a mix for this blog. (Edit: it’s done!)
- There was also a super-obscure orphan release that turned up researching this shit, and that was this release, a random happy hardcore 12″ put out by DJ Smiley and Sublime… DJ Smiley being the other half of Dynamix alongside Jim Polo. This is their only release as far as I know. Somehow I managed to get snippets of both tracks in the mix – the tail end of ‘Rampage’ changes from standard happy hardcore to downtempo amen breakbeat workout, which is actually pretty wicked. The Discogs note is hilarious: “Rare hardcore 12″, perhaps only ever released as a testpress. Terrible sound quality and press quality, obviously cut and pressed very cheaply.” Lol. I swear that wasn’t me!
So, anyway… check out the mix of every track Dark Horse Records ever put out!