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The Nu Energy Label Collective - Collective Unity

Author: Freaky Bob
Thursday, August 30, 2001
Energy, Fury, Sharkey, K-Complex, Mark Ashley.... for me such names bring to mind lurid A4 fold-out hardcore flyers with bold type-faces. These are also now some of the names that are behind the extremely busy and prolific Nu Energy Collective. In a scene that is further fragmenting into more specialised genres the Nu Energy Collective have made a stance in the fact that they presenting to the world a unified, coherent front, and from this front they are, in varying forms, relentlessly producing, promoting and releasing some of the best hardcore/freeform/trancecore/nu-nrg/hard-house, that is currently on the worldwide market.

Collectives are as they sound, a collection of people: in this case a group of artists, engineers, dj's, and labels that work together toward one unified goal, and as such have no bosses as all control directly the destiny to which they leading themselves. But a reporter has to speak to someone, so I caught up with DJ Energy aka Charly T aka Kevin at the Drome in London to find out exactly what the score is behind the Nu Energy crew. In order to get inside something you need to go to the source and rip up the floorboards that conceal the neurological circuitry. Often you find that intuition and guesswork are the only guides you have.

So, trusting my instincts I got into my car. As I travelled from the north of the country I began to seriously doubt my sanity - at the end of the day what I needed to know could have easily been gained from a telephone call at some civilised hour of the day, but that would have been to easy. At the age of 23 Kevin has spent over a third of his life in the rave industry, thus my instincts said that there would lie the source and as we squeezed ourselves into the doorway of a fire exit, with 30 minutes before he was due to play the first set of the night, we both agreed that, this was the place to do the interview. Whilst I dripped sweat over my note-pad, Kevin clearly articulated what I needed to know, and in amidst the hotbox insanity of handshakes and piercing whistles, the picture began to unfold.

We started with the labels. Currently the main in-house labels that Nu-Energy sport are: Dynamix, NuEnergy, Bonkers, Stompin Cheewns and Data Recordings. At a base level, you can measure a labels success in two ways: sales - full marks there then as many are sold out as soon as they are pressed; and who is buying/playing them, so the fact that both Mark Sinclair and Lisa Lashes are reportedly two big fans, to me, speaks volumes.

When it comes to digital dance music, then the hardcore sound is the Daddy. Recent years however have seen its demise - being perceived as cliched and cheesy, and suffering poor quality control when it comes to releases are the two main reasons, and as such, these were the first issues that the Nu Energy collective have attempted to rectify through their serious dedication to quality. The reasons that Kevin put across to me were simple: instead of having lots of small labels working within one generalised field, why not bring everyone together to work under one centralised umbrella unit that consistently maintains the much needed area of quality control- That way the whole becomes so much stronger than the individual parts and shows the world that these guys really mean business. As such the central point that displays this unity to the world is A cursory surf around the site shows us exactly what he meant. What the shows us is where the collective is now, and where it is going in the future. The other important issue that they have successfully addressed, Kevin was at pain to point out, was the tentative issue of genre crossover. When the rave scene started, its fundamental aim was to unify, it didn't matter who you were and where you came from, what mattered was that you celebrated together. Styles of music were unimportant; if it made you cheer, throw your hands in the air and rush with ecstasy then it had achie