Hardcore Til I Die
The Launch
AIR (Formerly Code)
22.05.04

With the future of the Sanctuary Milton Keynes finally confirmed, tonight saw a new promotion not only in Birmingham but also within the Hardcore scene, 'Hardcore Til I Die'. Using a brand new venue to feature Hardcore on the main stage.

Air is already home to Godskitchen, and with successful nights such as Accelerated Culture, and Polysexual the venue has already established itself as a super club, with an amazing JBL sound system and state of the art visuals. What would be in store for the Hardcore fraternity tonight??

I arrived in Digbeth just before 10 and after a quick drink, and meeting up with some friends, headed down to Air. As we approached the club you could see there was quite a lot of anticipation and build up to this event. The club opened it doors shortly after 10 and after a brief wait in the queue we were in.

I've visited Air a few times for Accelerated Culture so I was quite familiar with the layout. The set-up was virtually the same as previous events, though there was nice décor including a rotating logo for HTID.

Raver Baby's DJ UFO started the evening with a warm up set and with no mc.
There seemed to have a been a lot of people travelling from out of town plus quite a number of Sundissential / Cyber Ravers also here mixing with the Hardcore crew as well.

UFO played quite an upfront set including stuff off Raver Baby, the set had a trancey feel to it he played tunes such as New Years Night, along with a remix of an old trance tune Age of Love and also another tune with a sample taken from Q-Tex's E-Creation.

After UFO it was the turn of Nu-Energy's Kevin Energy. He played a freeform set and at this point we decided to check out the rest of the venue. What was new to Air was that they had taken full advantage of the outside area by putting on a free fun fair ride, which we went on! From outside you could see the massive queue stretching right down the side of the road, it reminded me of when the Accelerated Culture hosted the Drum and Bass Award winners party as it stretched out really far back. You got the feeling from seeing that queue that tonight was going to be busy.

Checking out the 2nd room, the Nitrogen room, we saw Bristol's' D-Ice and Reality were on playing the sound of Delerium, and another upfront Hardcore set.

Well it was swiftly approaching 12 o'clock, which was the "Kick Off" set featuring the Raver Baby trio of Hixxy, Darren Styles and Breeze accompanied by MC's Storm and Whizzkid.

To kick off they started a set that had a signature tune to mark their arrival. Storm and Whizzkid were mcin' on either podium in front of the DJ box. They were mcin' back-to-back hyping up the crowd into a frenzy complimenting the DJ's set with Whizzkid's beat box and Storm's vocal Scratch. The Raver Baby trio played a full on upfront set featuring all tunes off the Raver Baby label such as Electric rmx, the oldskool classic Injected with a Poison, Cutting Deep rmx and one of my favourite rave tunes Back to the Oldskool. With it being the launch night, the Raver Baby crew were giving out signed copies of the HTID album and other pieces of merchandise.

With the technology that this venue boasts it was good to see that they definitely made full use of it especially during this set. With the large laser behind the DJ's they were having a full on visual assault showcasing the DJ's mixing on the screens complete with a full on lighting show and laser's going mad in the crowd.

After this set it was the turn of Next Generations Brisk and he had a surprise guest accompanying him Mr Evolution Records, and voted as the Ravers' Hardcore number 1 DJ, Scott Brown.

Well after the 2-hour marathon from the Raver Baby trio we decided to cool off outside for a bit as it was getting quite hot within the venue and we also grabbed a bite to eat. What was good about outside was there was another large projection screen so you didn't miss the action from inside. I also spotted Jason Spinback of Dream FM and IMO record's filming and interviewing people for his website out here. Plus there was plenty of room to sit down and get a breather and catch up with some people I've not seen for quite a while.

Well we headed back inside and went upstairs to the Carbon Lounge to check out some oldskool beats. The room was hosted by Jelly beanz and featured their resident DJ's and MC's, DJ Cruze was on playing a 91-92 set, it seemed that he was showing off his oldskool collection playing tunes such as Rabbit City-Beyond control, DMS-Vengeance and also the monster hit from Moving Shadow's Blame - Bad Mice Take You.

After chilling out in here we headed off to the Nitrogen room to find DJ Force was on but it looked like Junior wasn't turning up as MC Odyssey replaced him.
Force was playing an oldskool set, during which they had some of the Elite dancers dancing including Jenna of Heart of Gold fame. Force played tunes such as Set You Free, Pretty Green Eye's, Heart of Gold that involved Jenna singing to the tune, and finishing the set with All Systems Go.

After DJ Force it was the turn of the Ravers Choice DJ Vibes accompanied by Whizzkid MC, Vibes was playing a 95 set and plenty of stompers. He started the set with the remix of the Baby D classic - I Need Your Loving, moving into bouncy tunes such as Jumpin Pumpin, VGT 2, Techno Wonderland, Hold Me Now, and the Madonna tune - Life is a Mystery which went down a treat. During this set Whizzkid left the DJ booth and mc'ed on the dance platform to get some crowd participation.

After Vibes it was the penultimate set from Compulsions very own DJ Demand. He played a bouncy techno set from the hazy days of Kinetic alongside Storm. His set kept the crowd going into the early hours. It included such tunes as Rainbow in the Sky, Jumpin Pumpin, Toytown, and Eye Opener also the Kinetic favourite Jiiieeehaaa. Demand finished the set with Visa's 'Fly Away', which I've not heard in ages… nice one!

It was time for the last set, the "Morning Glory Hour", featuring Essential Platinum's very own DJ Dougal alongside MC Storm. Dougal started with oldskool, firstly playing Pretty Green Eyes then moving on to Love of my Life, Devotion, Shooting Star, and Feeling Fine. With this being the final hour Storm was keeping the crowd really hyped up, I do not know were he gets the energy but he really knows how to hype a party right to the final second.

With this being the launch of a new night not just for Birmingham but also for the Hardcore scene I would say that it really went down a success. I heard that the event was a sell out. It was a wicked atmosphere inside Air with it being a mixture not just of Hardcore ravers but also hard house / cyber ravers inside too, I saw no attitude or trouble what so ever. With the Sanctuary now closing in July I would say that this venue has definitely got a lot of potential of holding many more Hardcore nights. As I did notice lot of ravers from outside of the midlands were in attendance here tonight. With people travelling from up North as well as down South, with other nights on tonight, there were plenty of people that still came here to support HTID.

The big question is will HTID be more successful than the "Human Traffic" events? They were promoted at Code back in late 2002 and had only a handful of events before decided to call it a day. I would say based on tonight's success HTID definitely does have a future in Birmingham and with the variety of different styles of music and the 2nd room to cater a totally different taste than the main arena. I just hope that they put all there efforts back in and that promoters would work together to make Hardcore in the midlands a success.

My favourite sets of the evening were the Raver Baby set from Hixxy, Styles, and Breeze to kick things off and I definitely enjoyed Vibes as well, playing all my favourites from yester year along with Dougal's final set of the night too.

The line-up for the next one feature's a more oldskool themed night as it's the launch of "Oldskool Til I Die" a history of Hardcore from 88 to 2004. Hopefully it is going to feature an outdoor arena too.

A Big shout to Hixxy and the rest of HTID crew for putting on a fantastic night and I wish them all success for the future, Storm + Sarah, Whizzkid MC, D-Ice, Vibes, Jason Spinback, Breeze, Seduction, Alex Energy and Ben.

And not forgetting the ravers, Shaun and Leanne, Gaz, Craig, Andy + Brett, Andy Immz, Bertie, Raz and all the Bromsgrove hoodlums, Olly Thumpa, GT, Charlie + James, Mark Mervin, Kev Voltage, Cruze plus the rest of the USH.Net crew and everyone else whose names I don't' know but faces I recognise.

Written by Xtra-C Flashbackin' & Rewindin'
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