In this panel discussion moderated by Groove writer Alexis Waltz, three hardcore and gabber pioneers speak about their own involvement in the history of these high-octane dance music genres.
For people involved in experimental electronic music, the genres of gabber and hardcore are like mysterious upstairs neighbours. While closely related to bona fide Berghain techno, the stamina and exuberance demanded by those decisive extra 30+ bpm reflect and shape a cultural terrain that can feel unknowable. As the downstairs neighbour, we can speculate what’s going on upstairs and analyse the sociological conditions around their emergence. But what do gabber and hardcore actually mean to those who first developed them? What is the insider perspective on the political and social circumstances of this music? What was it like “back in the day”? Marc Acardipane, termed “the godfather of hardcore”, reared a 1990s school in Frankfurt via the label Planet Core Productions that had clear roots in Chicago house. His track “We Have Arrived” as Mescalinum United is often cited as the first hardcore track ever. Darkraver and DJ Panic, two legends of Netherlands “oldschool” gabber and hardcore, will speak to the origins of their scene in Rotterdam and Amsterdam.
Alexis Waltz studied art history, cultural studies, and philosophy in Berlin with Christina von Braun, Friedrich Kittler, and Horst Bredekamp, among others. In his Masters degree, he specialised in Wim Wenders’ road movies.
DJ Panic is the moniker of Dutch DJ Dennis Copier. His career began in the Rotterdam hardcore scene in the early 90s, and his first major appearance was made at just 18 years old, at Terrordome in 1994. In the years following, he toured all over Europe, the US, and Japan.
Darkraver is The Hague- born, Curacao-raised Steve Sweet. For over twenty years, he has been one of the biggest names in The Netherlands's high-octane rave scene. His unique blend of early house, old school, early rave, hardstyle, jumpstyle, and hardcore has earned him mainstay status at mega-festivals and raves worldwide.
Marc Acardipane (also known as Marc Trauner, Mescalinum United, and Marshall Masters) is a pioneering hardcore producer and DJ from Frankfurt.