in 6 parts
1. First Contact
my story with PCP starts back in 1996. i had discovered the sounds of Hardcore Techno just a few months ago. i wanted to know more about this wonderful sound and started to explore the depths of the Internet about it. i soon ran into c8.com which was the electronic focal point of the hard electronic underground at that time, and hosted labels like Bloody Fist, artists like Somatic Responses, and the PCP website. i eagerly devoured the subsites and the information i could find. if i recall correctly they had a lot of previews of PCP tunes up, and i found them interesting, but i wasn't too impressed i must say - yet. then i came into contact with PCP in another way. i bought the compilation "ravers night III", which was put out by ruffneck records i think, in a big store. that was a time when gabber and hardcore techo (at least it's commercial variant) was part ofthe mainstream youth culture and CDs by the likes of Nordcore, Mokum, Industrial Strength were just a few meters away from mainstream rock and pop CDs in stores. back to the compilation. i don't remember if i checked the booklet first or put the CD in the player first. when i read the booklet i noticed the first track of the CD, "Inferno Bros. - Slaves To The Rave", was related to Planet Core Productions. i felt excited, a track of the mysterious underground hardcore scene that so far i only knew from the internet, in my hands on a CD!
when i put on the CD and put on the track, i was completely blown away. there are only a few tracks, maybe 3 or 4 in total, that hit me so hard, so extreme, when i first listened to them. it was like everything i had known about music faded into the past and was replaced by something new. it was a bit like experiencing lying on a beach in a tropical paradise during sunset, being peaceful and happy. so sweet, so exciting, so thrilling, so overwhelming. there was simply so much in this track, so much power, and emotion. needless to say, it was also much more intelligent and complex than most of the more known "gabber" during that time.
2. Checking The Catalogue
It may sound weird, but after my interest in PCP grew, i actually read through the whole catalogue of PCP records and wondered how these records with interesting titles (Cyborg Unknown, Planet Phuture, Reign...) would sound like.
3. The Phuture
after i became a regular visitor to the local store here that sold most of the hardcore vinyls and CDs, i decided that this was my chance to finally check out the PCP sounds more. i bought a CD called "PCP - Phuture". when i listened through the CD, i was actually disappointed. the tracks let me down a bit at that time - they seemed repetive and very minimalistic - quite different from the over-the-top hardcore by Mouse or Burning Lazy Persons that i listened to that time. the only track that stood out for me was MF Skulls by Program 1.
so while PCP was a love at first sight to me, it was not a love at second sight. but would that change in the future?
4. A New Style
in the meantime the sound of PCP had changed a lot, and they put out records like Purple Moon, XTC Express, Reign - Time Machine, or vinyls on Futureworld and Narcotic Network Recordings. this was stuff i loved again. they all had that dreamy, spacey feel to them, that i adore in music.
5. At Last
then i slowly developed an interest in the older style of PCP too, yet a lot of the early stuff still seemed not that exciting to me - too repetive and simplistic.
then one friday night i was working on music, chatting with other hardcore artists, listening to music, checking websites till the morning. i eventually switched the Nordcore internet radio stream on. they were playing a PCP special. around 6 or 7 am a track came on. i don't know anymore if it was Headshop - Universe or T Bone Castro - Return To Planet E. this track hit me so hard again. when the choirs of the tune came on, i can't describe what i felt then. it was just incredible. bliss. i now realised there was much more to PCP than i first had noticed, and it would soon become one of my favorite labels.
6. At Party
now i liked most of pcp, yet it seemed to me that tracks like Ace The Space - 9 is a classic and such, even if they were really sweet to me, might have been more powerful in 1992 then now - the beats, the synth, seemed a lot weaker, less impressive than later productions to me. maybe they were too much part of the then ongoing techno movement? this opinion of me soon fell too, though.
it was All-Out Demolition! II, the most succesful party we did then, 300-500 visitors or so (can't count the exact amount since the crowd was linked with another party in a different part of the building).
the party was almost over already, it was early in the morning again, the regular sets of the DJs were finished. Sampler19 started a PCP set, beginning with We Have Arrived and later Turbulence - Whurlstorm, i continued the set and played stuff by T Bone Castro, Marshall Masters and such, the Dance Ecstasy and PCP classics.
when playing this set, in this pitch-black, fog filled basement, on an super loud system, i noticed that they sounded quite different from normally listening to them. they sounded extremely powerful, hard hitting, varied, full of sound - the minimalism and "mainstream techno-ness" i criticed before that, had simply gone.
this was the time i learned to truly appreciate these tracks too.