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Proxius - Lust In Space

Getting inside the K-Complex

Reported by benz / Submitted 27-09-06 21:15

Pete Richardson aka K-Complex has been rolling out hard dance and hardcore beats for a good few years now, making a name for himself as one of the best producer/engineers on the underground scene. Now, towards the tail end of 2006, he is on the brink of becoming one of the major stars of the scene. Having put a bigger emphasis on his dj’ing after conquering the world of the live PA with the Nu Energy Collective, he has come to the attention of promoters and clubbers across the country this year with his spell-binding, none-more-energetic sets. After catching his set at Frantic’s 9th Birthday, I was absolutely blown away — it was simply the best hard dance set I’ve seen all year.

A true gent, I first crossed paths with Pete at this year’s Glade Festival — and spent some rather random times with him. I’d heard his stuff as a producer, but I wasn’t aware quite how blinding his dj’ing was. The opportunity to interview him presented itself as the next Freeformation party approaches, in conjunction with those Love Muzik guys, and so I moseyed on down to his studio in Whitechapel on a scorching end-of-summer day to get the story.

I walk through the unassuming street entrance to the studio complex that Pete works in, and up the stairs towards “The Titanic Zone” — the section of the complex where his studio resides, complete with Titanic style décor, lighting, and portholes on the door. I can’t say that banging hard dance is the first thing that comes to mind in this surrounding, but once inside his own personal space, adorned with posters from events he’s played at over the last few years, it starts to make a bit more sense.

He’s fiddling about with a hardcore remix for Nu Energy when I arrive — typical of his freeform style, with rapid-fire complex trance riffs and urgent bass and beats. I ask him if the hardcore/freeform stuff is taking precedence in his work at the moment. “Yeah, in terms of engineering stuff definitely. Obviously I do a lot of stuff with Nu Energy so there’s a lot of work there… but people just seem to be wanting to make it at the moment.” he tells me in his articulate, gentle tones. “But in hard trance I haven’t had that much [engineering] work, and obviously I do a bit with Kevin and stuff. We’re taking a day a week out now to work on our live stuff, so we’re doing a lot of that personally but in terms of engineering… it’s a lot of hardcore, and I’ve been doing Sharkey’s album as well. The [hard dance] stuff I make myself — it’s just bootlegs for my own sets or my original work for my label Science:Fabric or if Kevin wants to give it a vinyl release. To tell you the truth selling hard trance on vinyl at the moment is pretty difficult though.”

Pete first got into hardcore at the age of 14, and has been producing it for Nu Energy since 1999, so it’s understandable that he’s enjoying working on other styles. “You can’t listen to the same music forever, and creatively it’s given me something to do. I’ve got a bit more into playing a bit more hard house in my dj sets now, like my bootleg of ‘Never Lost His Hardcore’ or whatever, so you know, just a bit of whatever really, mix and match. I’ve just been getting into dj’ing a lot more and I enjoy doing the slow stuff more ‘cos it gives you more space to mess around and have fun.”

Pete’s ‘slower’ DJ sets consist of uber-energetic, uplifting hard dance that is positively fizzing with infectious little riffs and samples, and groovy driving basslines. Much of it is his own work — not through arrogance but more from a desire to get his music into people’s heads. “I play a bit of Alf Bamford’s stuff, a bit of MDA & Spherical, mostly my own stuff, just ‘cos it showcases it really. It’s like ‘here you go, here’s a set of all my own stuff — eat it!’ That’s why I do the bootlegs really, ‘cos it breaks up my own stuff. If you just play a stuff of your own stuff, people will go, ‘oh he just plays his own stuff, he’s a bit up his arse’, but if you play a few bits of other people’s stuff and a few bootlegs, it makes it a bit more accessible. I’ve been enjoying slowing everything down a bit [in DJing sets] — you know, starting off at about 144, 145BPM, and then getting up to 150. I think not enough djs do this, in hard trance especially; people just play uplifting hard trance or they’ll techy hard trance, or just one thing in a set, and I just prefer going on a bit of journey — it’s fun.” Amen to that.

Pete is in my opinion, someone in hard dance who doesn’t quite get the recognition they deserve. He’s prolific and pretty well known — but it seems like the sheer energy of his DJ sets has not been experienced by many people in the scene. Slowly but surely though, he’s edging towards the top, bit by bit. “This year… yeah. I mean, I’m getting a lot more dj work which is good. I think some of it’s probably through the success of the Nu Energy live show, some of if it’s probably due too… hardcore. I’ve been releasing tracks for quite a long time so it’s a lot to do with just being out there as well. Really it’s getting more hard trance work, but at the moment it’s going pretty well. There’s not that much dj work out there for slightly less established djs really. There’s a bit of provincial stuff but….” His part as a member of the Nu Energy Collective live show will definitely have been where many people got their first taste of the K-Complex magic, with Pete playing uplifting synth lines live over the frenetic beats.

The much-vaunted Freeformation parties have given him a platform to showcase his dj’ing to passionate new crowds in the capital, and he’s as enthusiastic about the promotion as the next man. “Freeformation in general has just been amazing. I think the one in March was pretty amazing… it’s just the amount of people they manage to get in there for a party, and it’s always just gone off. I’ve always done back-to-back sets so it’s been really good fun. At the last one I did a hardcore set with Erik Orpheus and then a hard trance set with Matt Style, but I did the back-to-backs back-to-back so I finished one and had to run into the other room to play the other one!” he giggles.

“The whole vibe there is just really fun, everyone just seems to be really up for it for some reason. I think the venue [Hidden] is good as well — there’s lots of places to sit down, you can finish your set and go and have a chat to people, or you can just go and have a dance or whatever, it’s just a really cool place. Vauxhall used to be the home of that small intimate clubbing, and it kind of disappeared for a bit, and now Hidden is slowly helping to claw its way back in some respect.”

The ethos of the party is to keep things tongue-in-cheek, to not give a f*ck what you look like, to monkey around and just to have fun. As Pete notes,“it’s dance music, it’s not serious — it’s gotta be funny. That’s where it’s at for me — it is escapism you know, it’s about going out, having a laugh, doing whatever.” Escapism? From your stressful day job of crafting big euphoric dance anthems Pete? I’d say it’s more like mixing business with pleasure!

With the next installment of Freeformation just round the corner (in association with Love Muzik), Pete’s been getting quite excited about the prospect of dressing up like a fool. Anyone who saw him last time round will vouch for the “fool” tag for sure. “The outfits do just help the whole vibe ‘cos it’s always fancy dress. Actually the last time, Kev, Phil York and I were in the studio all day and that was a really hectic day ‘cos we had Rapture TV in here as well filming for the whole day. So we had the TV crew in here, Kev and Phil York both being noisy, and we were all eating pizza and getting drunk all at the same time. None of us had any fancy dress… it was a Hawaiian beach theme, so we tripped down the second-hand shops on Brick Lane and found the most horrific Hawaiian shirts we could have possibly found! I think mine was turquoise with tropical fish all over it, and this was hideous. The fancy dress is the best thing about ‘cos it encourages people just to be stupid, to just take the piss!” The question is — can anyone top the man dressed as an emu from last time?

Photos by Benz. Not to be reproduced without permission.

Love Muzik vs FreeFormation
Send an eFlyer for this event to a friend Include this Event in a Private Message Direct link to this Event
On: Friday 20th October 2006
At: Hidden [map]

From: 23:00 - 07:00
Cost: Limited £10+BF Tickets on sale now!
Ticket Info: Ticketweb: 08700 600 100 /
Love Muzik: 07976 418522 /
Freeformation: 07962 928 623 /
Buy Online: Click here to buy tickets
Friday 20th October 2006

Wise up, love muzik, get stupid and enjoy the most friendly, havin’ it and forward thinking rave of the Autumn! Under the passionate party visions of Billy ‘Daniel’ Bunter, Love Muzik has given London’s underground its most intimate and shiny sessions of ‘06 whilst Kevin Energy & Sharkey’s Freeformation have rocked Brixton Academy, gone bonkers at three filled-to-capacity Hidden parties and generally caused party mayhem and tomfoolery wherever they’ve gone. Together, the two promotions are uniting some of the globe’s biggest DJ talents as well as bringing you the London tour launch of the exciting new Elevate album from Tranzlation and the Nu Energy Collective. A London rave party like no other, there’s everything from groovin’ funky house to timeless trance classics and old skool anthems right up to tomorrow’s hard dance and the most banging hardcore around…and you lot, the shiniest, friendliest bunch of ravers the capital knows. So come on, let the DJs that have been shaping London’s rave underground from its very beginnings take you on a journey into its bright new future.

And don’t forget – as this is the OFFICIAL launch party for Kevin Energy & Phil York’s brand-spanking-new double CD Elevate, you can expect to hear some of Hard Dance’s tastiest future classics throughout the night – as showcased on the album!

Love Muzik - The future is here!

Catch Billy Daniel Bunter’s Love Muzik show every Tuesday between 6PM & 8PM on & Sky Digital Channel 0198.

Check out Hidden:

Exclusive Freeformation merchandise stall + Get Stupid fancy dress competition!
Region: London
Music: Trance. Hard Trance. Psy Trance. Nu NRG. Hi NRG. Hardcore. HardStyle. House. Bouncy House. Hard House.
DJ's: Hard Dance Room

Billy Daniel Bunter b2b Phil York b2b Kevin Energy (2 Hour Special)
Cally Gage
Elvis vs Digital Kid
Double Trouble

Classics Room

Billy Daniel Bunter
Mark Ashley (Classic Trance Set)
Dirty Jay

Hardcore Room – Wise Up, Get Stupid!

Sharkey & Billy Daniel Bunter (World Exclusive GBT/Bonkers era originators set!)
Kevin Energy & Mark Ashley (Wise Up, Get Stupid set!)
K Complex & Arkitech (Freeformation future showcase)
Gammer (Essential Platinum / Muffin Music showcase)
CLSM (Underground TV / Tasty Innovator)
Ethos & Nemesis (Future Dance anthems!)
Technikore (Technikal’s Hardcore exclusive!)

MCs Sharkey, Ethos, Odyssey & Smiley

Who's Going? (62) : *cheeky chick*, --hustler--, ajay, ALIMITCH, benz, big trouble, bilbstar, Billy Daniel Bunter, Cally Gage, cuddles, cybernutter, Damian Richards, DanJ, DANNY TAPPENDEN, dazedmonkey, Delbee, Digital Kid, dimitry, Disco Kitten, DJ Small Paul, DJD4RK, dori, Elvis, giles, Gordy, GregT, Hempseed, Hot Chips, hUJe John, Jennie B, John Silver, k-complex, kethead, londonqueen, Lorenzo Barrero, mad4music, maid messy, MARYS, mr riot, Neil Farnham, Neonpink, p molly, pantergirl, Phat Nick Rock, PolysexualBex, PsychoCenobite, Psychotic Penguin, Raf E, SAMSON, scousedanny, Seraya, sexyminx, shelldyke, Stannard, Tasty-Sonya, Tinks, TranceCo, treesa, twistedtiggerz, Ualda, wide_eyed_raverbaby, Will Frantic 
HF Photographer: *cheeky chick* HF Reviewer:

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Other Features By benz:
Introducing: Salerno - part of Chemistry's NuWave selection
Eat Static return for Lost In Space
Coburn bring their live show to UP^^
The return of The Colosseum
Modernism, Politburo and Sedition: Matthew Duffield’s manifesto
The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.

From: Brett Wood on 27th Sep 2006 23:49.04
Nice interview Pete! I believe when i came up in the studio you had given up smoking....So why is there a pack of amber leaf on your keyboard Tut Tut!!!
Keep up the good work you rock mate!

From: DANNY TAPPENDEN on 28th Sep 2006 01:50.56
A legend, great guy & u no I love your work pete...
more god like than talent at it & everyone i know
knows of & loves k-complex's creations...
keep up the good work & keep it energy
BIG UP Team Rave! wheres the team rave salute smiley? Razz
& another goodun by Benz!!! Thumbs up

From: twistedtiggerz on 28th Sep 2006 03:24.46
Go Pete you rock!!
You are one of the most talentest people I know...
...and a lovely guy with it!
Pleasure to know you honey ;0)
See ya soon for some Team Rave
Love always Tigz xx

From: Mark Ashley on 28th Sep 2006 08:56.44
Your ginger, but i like you...

From: Dave Mac on 28th Sep 2006 09:01.25
nice to see you still rocking those sandals mr complex! Top guy though and definately a legend, one day he mght be as good at djing as me!

From: Just Bex on 28th Sep 2006 09:03.58
F*ck the music... Pete's got some of the best moves around! Looking forward to throwing some shapes with you soon schweetie! Mwah x Kiss

From: wide_eyed_raverbaby on 28th Sep 2006 10:21.17
Go Mr Ginger P.D K....., You rock harder than a rocking horse on speed..!! :P

From: Jennie B on 28th Sep 2006 10:37.46
Rolls On Floor Laughing Loving the pictures!

Wicked read tooWink

Thumbs up Benz!

From: benz on 28th Sep 2006 10:46.40

From: *Ting* on 28th Sep 2006 11:23.41
Always love coming to your studio to put together the most stupidist, wackiest, down right should be illegal productions. HUAGE thanks for all your nuttiness and help along the way buddy.

I promise to stop slapping you if you let me come back...

From: The Momentum DJs on 28th Sep 2006 11:46.35
Great bloke and really easy to work with - made our first production experience an absolute breeze - nice one Pete Thumbs up

From: Euphoria on 28th Sep 2006 12:18.38
Nice studio Pete, maybe a Remix Wink

From: ajay on 28th Sep 2006 12:29.05
Aye nice one Pete! As Dave Mac says death by flip flops is bviously still in effect!

From: Alex Parsons on 28th Sep 2006 13:07.00
From here.... I can see your 'Big Knob'!

From: Type 1 on 28th Sep 2006 13:51.50
indeed leg end! big up yaself fella!

From: bennett on 28th Sep 2006 18:31.53
wise up, get stupid!
good work pedro! catch you soon matey Thumbs up

From: k-complex on 28th Sep 2006 19:16.16
Hey Guys! Lovin the work Benz- Cheers dude! =D

From: OPEUM-AlterEgo on 28th Sep 2006 20:19.27
Wicked interview Pete, nice one bro ;0)

From: DJ ADRENAL on 29th Sep 2006 11:09.11
Great interview.

From: Dr DUZZIT on 2nd Oct 2006 11:25.03
Massive read up Pete and Benz, keep the tunes coming out mate.

From: MARK H on 6th Oct 2006 18:49.36
Cracking interview Pete, lovin your work!

From: sexyminx on 10th Oct 2006 20:37.50
What a legend Not worthy... wicked interview, nice one Thumbs up Keep up the good work Claps Hands Looking forward to hearing your set very soon. Be good Big grin OI OI. Rita xx

From: sexyminx on 16th Oct 2006 19:27.30
OI OI Mr Complex Ner Ner! was really good to see you & Mark yesterday & also have a propa laugh with ya both. Wicked sets by both of you Thumbs up Pete you are such a wicked geezer, mad as hell on the dancefloor Laughs out loud Hope we can have it large again very soon. btw: to Pete, sorry about the earplug situ & to you & Mark, next time the minx will put you both in the bin Moons Be good & stay out of trouble Devilish

From: DANNY TAPPENDEN on 17th Oct 2006 15:30.21
He went because u took the mickey out of his earplug RITA
Wicked set as always though Pete & Mark rocked too,
Nuff respect innit See ya soon mate...

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