As promised, here are a few more bits and bobs on Hardnoise. The singles are rather hard to get, so these three tunes are what I’ve been able to find online.
After their first unreleased track Pure Destructive Power, they took on DJ Mada and put together the track that would get them signed to Simon Harris’ Music of Life label, which was one of if not the first label to sign British rap groups. (Below are two compilations showcasing some of the better known crews. On the same label, Norman Cook put out his Beats, Breaks & Scratches albums and other DJ tools. He would later be known as the producer of Beats International and even a bit later become world famous as Fatboy Slim… but I digress.) Hardnoise had their first track out called Untitled. A tune that combined a simple stomping beat with a whipping snare and this undefinable clanging thing going on in the background, sprinkled with a horn taking turns with a chopped Apache sample. Somehow extremely simple sounding, but the joint never left my head again. To this day, Hardnoise is credited with having some of the most insane scratching of the time, provided by Son and Mada.
Their second and last release as Hardnoise was the 12″ Mice in the Presence of the Lion / Serve Tea, then Murder. The first was a bit simpler in terms of background production but gave the MC (I think it’s TLP1) the occasion to flex his lyrical muscles. The same goes for Serve Tea, then Murder, which literally kills it with this tremendous bass soundscape and Gemini’s awesome menacing wordplay. Again, Mada’s cuts provide the hook as if he meant to tell all other DJs to retire right on the spot. This tune still sends shivers down my spine now…
And finally, here’s an interesting interview with DJ Mada on his turntable skills from 2000.
To give you a bit of an idea what other crews were around at the time, these are two compilations, both from Music of Life and some of the tracks can actually be found on either albums. Some of the Hardnoise joints are on there, some classic Hijack stuff and more. Interestingly enough, on Hard as Hell 4, there’s also a track by Professor Griff. Lord knows what he’s doing on that album, but he must have been a bit out of work when P.E. had to drop him after the scandal where he made a bunch of dumb derogatory comments on Jews…
Anyway, here are the two compilations, for the second I haven’t been able to find a cover so you’ll have to take it straight, with no ice.
Hard As Hell 4 (1990)
Killer Classics (2000)
Now, really… Up next: Hijack.