One AWsum SHOCK:FORCE
Reported by Simon Gordon
Submitted 30-11-09 22:58
Shock:Force have been making some serious noise in the hard dance scene and causing dancefloor carnage with their productions and DJ sets over the last 12 months! Their ever-increasing popularity and uniqueness can be seen by their regular bookings for Frantic, AWsum, Bionic and Glow Ball. Here is an insight into the two likely lads ahead of their set at One AWsum Xmas on Saturday 5th December!
From Zero to Hero in one short year! 2009 has been a rollercoaster for you both. Why do you think you gained so much publicity so quickly?
Matt: It has been an epic year for us it really has and I think it's partly to do with the fact euro is coming back in a big way and we've hit it at the right time. We have just been writing stuff we love and working hard both in and out of the studio and feel we have a truly unique sound to everyone else in the euro scene which we feel appeals to the UK hard dance crowds too.
Sully: Yeah it’s been a mad year for us, I think we’ve been successful for a few reasons, firstly our passion and drive to succeed. I’ve known Matt for eight to nine years and even from then when both knew what we wanted and we’ve worked super hard to get where we are today. Also I think we offer something slightly different from what out there at the moment, we don’t play flat out hardstyle, we don’t play hard house, but we love our European hard trance and I think the sound is starting to have a mini revival.
When you did you first play out?
Sully: My first gig was in a club called “Hookers” (believe it or not!!) and it was a night called Deton8, I think they had about 100 people in and I was on first, boy that seems like a million years ago now! As SHOCK:FORCE it was in the summer of 2008 for a local DJ and Promoter Mars W (Intolerance) he decided to pair Matt and myself together for a back to back set and it went from there, the rest is history.
Matt: I played my first gig to a big crowd back in 2000 at a night called Inner Rhythm in Wales, I'll never forget it because it was the most nerve-racking thing I've ever done - a potentially trouser changing incident - thankfully it wasn't the case.
Who are your DJing heroes?
Matt: DJ Sammy! Haha, no, ermm DJ's that rocked my world back when I was a little nipper were the likes of Escape Residents, Big Al and Danny Slade, the track selection and set progression by these guys were amazing. Top flight would have to be Eddie Halliwell, Armin van Burren, Flutlicht[ and Mark EG - for me it's all about something different, an edge that no other DJ possesses.
Sully : DJing Heroes, this is a tough one. I’d have to go for big international names like Eddie Halliwell and Ferry Corsten. I’ve seen them play many times and their technical skill is superb. On a more local scale the following three deserve a special mention Big Al, Danny Slade and Rob Davies. These guys shaped my love for the music back in 2001 at Escape in Swansea.
What has been your best DJing experience in 2009?
Matt: Too many! Glowball in Sep is up there, as were our debuts for Bionic and Frantic! Bionic main room debut in August stands out the most though as it's kinda been an achievement we've worked so hard for plus the craziest f*cking crowd out there!
Sully : There’s been a few really good gigs, the one I enjoyed the most was probably the closing set for Glowball at Mass in London. We were still going at 6.15 am with the lights on dropping the classic Player One – Insomnia and watching it go off was a great buzz.
What track from 2009 do you wish you created?
Matt: Massive track for me this year has been the Log:One & Wragg remix of Lisa Lashes, Alex Kidd & Kidd Kaos – Nu Religion. Absolute monster!
Sully : Interesting question, there’s been some great tracks, but if I had to say one I’d probably go for – Dying for you (Log:One and Wragg remix) always goes off, great production, hooky vocals, very well put together.
What attracts you to the more euro end of the hard dance spectrum?
Matt: Heavier kicks and bigger nastier basslines! I love the UK hard trance sound but it’s just not tough enough sometimes.
Sully: For myself personally, it was what I fell in love with back in 2001-2002. I used to go to Escape in Swansea every Saturday without fail, for about four years. This to me was when euro was truly at its peak and I had some amazing nights listening to the likes of Scot Project, Fluchlict and Cosmic Gate. One of the Escape residents at the time Danny Slade had the most amazing selection of tunes you’ll ever hear, so hard for the time, yet uplifting.
You are helping Andy Whitby with his new euro label. What is your role? Can you reveal any of your plans for world domination?
Sully: Yes that’s correct we've just been announced as the label managers of AWsum Black and we will be pushing 100% underground European beats, including hardstyle, hard trance and hard tech trance. We’ve got some truly amazing tracks lined up with some very big names on remix duties. Our aim by 2011 is to have AWsum Black competing with some of the biggest European digital labels around.
Matt: We feel we have a good ear for all things Euro and are very excited about AWsum Black! It’s a chance to really put euro and hardstyle back on the map with the help of an amazing brand. Some of the artists we have lined up are incredible and really pushing the boundaries in their respective genre's. Our first release is scheduled for January - keep your eyes and ears peeled.
What are your plans for NYE?
Sully: We’ve got a wicked booking for Frantic NYE in Hidden, the line up is great and loads of friendly faces going, so it should be off the hook!
Matt: Frantic NYE baby! It's gonna be bigger than my ears.
If you could create your dream Hard Dance line up who would make the team and why?
Matt: For me it would have to be Scot Project (classics) S.H.O.K.K. (classics) Activator, Cally & Juice, Kidd Kaos, Andy Whitby (euro set) Kai Tracid(classics) Dark By Design (classics). To be honest there’s too many to list!
Sully: Kutski (living legend), Scot Project (classics), Headhunterz, Cally & Juice, Guyver (classics), Technikal (what a legend), Log:One & Wragg, Alex Kidd vs Kidd Kaos, Andy Whitby, Brian M Vs McBunn, JTB & Chuck-E, Louk vs Nick the Kid, Iain Cross, Vandall (classics), Phil York vs Dark By Design. Wow, that’s quite a lot there! Am I allowed that many?!
What is your favourite venue?
Sully: My Personal fav would either be Mass in London, Escapades in Newport or SeOne in London, great vibes in all of these venues! It would be impossible for me to pick one though, there all great!
Matt: This one isn't hard at all - Brixton Academy, main arena there has everything!
We are coming round for Dinner! What is on the menu?
Sully: Hahaha!! We both love a good curry or a Dominoes! Lamb Madras, with pilau rice, garlic nan bread and a chutney tray! Yummy my mouths watering!
Matt: Jack Daniels, coke and nibbles (cheese & nuts) Haha!
When you are not making music what do you like to do to relax?
Sully: I love all sports, football is my passion. I play football twice a week, and usually go to the gym once or twice a week also. I love eating out and getting a nice bottle of wine and enjoying good company. Also I’m a bit of an XBOX geek, so you’ll find me on FIFA 10 or Call of Duty most nights!
Matt: I'm quite active so I go to the gym and go running. Movies are also a huge passion of mine, especially the Disney ones haha! Also going out with friends and getting too pissed to remember the evening! I can have a great time anywhere and with anyone - it is what u make it!
What has been your fave film of 2009?
Sully: There have been some good ones; I’ll pick two, one comedy and one action. Comedy would have to be Step brothers what a classic film Will Ferrell is a legend! Action would be District 9 very good indeed!
Matt: For me hands down - Inglorious Basterds!
Would you ever play another style of hard dance?
Matt: I used to play UK hard trance so yeah that if any, the likes of Technikal or MDA & Spherical, those guys rock!
Sully : Funnily enough I started out making UK hard dance, inspired by a lot of the tidy two stuff which was out of this world, so I still have a passion for UK hard dance. I engineer tracks for a UK hard dance artist at present, also I’ve made some hardstyle under another name.
Thanks for your time guys!
For those who yet to experience the Shock:Force sound here is a brand new exclusive mix:
SHOCK:FORCE Presents TWI:LIGHT 2.0
Competition to win a pair of tickets to AWsum Xmas on 5th December:
For your chance to win a pair of ticket to the event please send an email with “SHOCK:FORCE” as the subject title and the answer to this simple question to SimonEGordon@hotmail.co.uk
What is the name of the new AWsum label that Shock:Force will be running in 2010?
Good luck and see you all on Saturday 5th December at Hidden!
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Photos courtesy of Frantic and Shock:Force. Not to be reproduced without permission.
One AWsum Xmas
Saturday 5th December
21:00 - 07:00
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Set across 3 Arenas we bring you a line up you will never expect and the maddest party animals in the country and Hidden as you have never ever seen it before as we transform the South London Hotspot into a Xmas Wonderland.
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