Noise Factory: “Pioneers of Hardcore”

Originally posted here, by Ornette Wilson

Noise Factory started out making tunes for the label Ibiza which was established in 1991. The owner of the label, Paul Ibiza (I think) was apparently one of the top illegal rave promoters doing raves under the name of “Ibiza” which if I read correctly Rob Playford of Moving Shaodw was also part of. However as the Illegal rave scene was destroyed by the Criminal Justice Bill and offensive policing, Ibiza moved into the muisic production side of things and became quite a prolific label, puting out a great many releases.

When I first started getting into hardcore, which was the early part of 1992, for some reason I always gave Ibiza Records a pretty wide berth because at the time it seemed like a naff, almost commercial label. Most of the tunes did not seem to fit in with anything else at the time and sounded pretty weak. It was not until quite recently, say over the last two years, that I started coming across some of the earlier releases and discovered how strong a label it had actually been! Noise Factory were responsible for the majority of the initial Ibiza releases, from rather the strange b-lined “Box Bass” (IR002) to amazing hardcore stompers like “To The Top” (IR010), and my favourite “Bring Forward The Noise” (IR011)

The other main artist on Ibiza was someone called CMC (C. McFarlane) who appeared to be the labels main engineer or something, because apart from the rather distinctive sound of Noise Factory all the other releases were extremely similar, but were all under different artist names. Apparently their studios were located at 1-10 Belgravia Workshop, Marlborough Road, London N19 and I have a feeling that it must have been some sort of council funded community youth project, and I would imagine various kids would come in with a few ideas and have them flung together by the inhouse studio technician CMC.

Ibiza also had a sister label, which was even more mindblowingly prolific – the amount of releases that came out on “Limited ‘E’ Edition” is astonding. This label, if it could be called a label, basically had a big ‘E’ logo on one side, with the words “Limited Edition” circled around it, and the label on the other side was invariably eft blank, but occasionally rubber stamped with the vaguist of details. Some of them you could differenciate because the “Limited ‘E’ Edition” print on the a-side would be printed in different colours. However a great deal of them were printed in either navy blue green, or purple. What else made them rather hard to keep track of was that quite a few different records had the same cat no.’s etched into the vinyl….

An interesting point to note is that they took that ‘E’ logo from one of England’s main milkman companies, Express Dairies. Sometimes I still chuckle to my self about the tongue in cheek-ness of it all…

Anyhow Noise Factory decided for what ever reason to set up their own label, 3rd Party Records, soley as an outlet for their own material. After that point they only put out another two releases on Ibiza Records – “We Have It” b/w “Warning” (IR0012), a deep hardcore jungalist tune from early summer 1992, and the classic “Can You Feel The Rush” (IR0??) which came out a little over a year later.

As for their label 3rd Party, well they went on from strength to strength. Each release was an instant must have, all sounding truely astounding, tracks including “My Mind”, “The Fire” and “Set Me Free (remix)”. Noise Factory always liked to do this quaint little thing with each release. The last track on side B woul always be titled “Breakage # x”, ‘x’ being the volume number of that particular release. It would basically be a stripped down ‘dub’ version of one of the other 3 tracks on that particular E.P.

In late 1992 they dropped their forth release, “The Capsule E.P.”, and completely revolutionised forever the sound of jungle with the truely groundbreaking classic “Breakage #4”. Better known as “The Future” it was the ‘dub’ mix of the first track on the E.P. – “Futuroid”. At approx 170bpm it was much faster than anything at the time (save maybe SMF Vol. 4) and took the scene by storm with its innovative use of the “Amen” break, and the chants “I bring you the future! The Future! The Future”. It stands out as one of the few hardcore jungalist tunes that would not sound out of place in a jungle rave today, along with Wots My Code?’s “Dubplate”

Noise Factory then continued making tunes through 1993 and although not quite as strong as before, their releases were still of a very high quality. They were behind the two “Straight From The Bedroom” releases, which were comprised of tracks by various up and coming artists, the most memorable track being “The Box”. They also put out a remix of “Breakage #4” – this time titling it “The Future – The Remix”, on 3rd Party Vol. 7. However their highlight of that year must have been their last ever release on Ibiza, “Can You Feel The Rush?” which, in hindsight, may well have been their swan song.

The details of what happened next, being their involvement with the up and coming label Kemet, I am not too sure of but the last two things ever heard of by Noise Factory came out on that label. “Can You Feel The Rush? (remix)” was on Kemet Vol. 6, and a dark rolling number called “Dreams” came out on Vol. 7. However it was quite overlooked by one of the other tunes on the E.P., being “Love For The World (Remix)” by Fusion….

In 1994 the 3rd Party label was resurrected from what seemed to be the dead. The last release Vol. 7 had come out 8 or so months previously. It started with the classic Borderline E.P. featuring the massive drum’n’bass stormer “Screwfare” by the Brainkillers (who used to be a DJ – MC crew on the infamous Weekend Rush pirate radio station). What was strange about this release is that on one side was the 3rd Party label, on the other was the Kemet label! It was given the cat. no. KM3RD 1 but it was destined to be the only one in the series. Maybe this was simply a way of raising awareness once again of 3rd Party, because after that 3rd Party was resurrected in full. None of them featured any tracks whatsoever by Noise Factory – they were all by artists from the Kemet camp.

After a few more releases 3rd Party once again died down, Kemet then went on to release their album “Champion Jungle Sound” after which they too died down, although recently they have come out with a couple of two-step style singles.

One thought on “Noise Factory: “Pioneers of Hardcore”

  1. […] Factory, I’ve archived (copy/pasted!) an old forum post from 2009 (not by me) which goes into a bit more detail. There’s also an Uncle Dugs 2011 RCFF interview and mix with Paul Ibiza that is well worth a […]

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