This project is about the rise and eventual commercial burnout of the Gabber subculture in the nineties. But more important I tried to give a sort of historical reference on how a lot of musical subcultures developed in the past. It seems like there is a pattern in subcultural history that is always repeating itself.

Almost every subculture starts out with the idea of being individuals, of going their own way and making a difference compared to what the rules and codes of the mainstream fashion herd has to offer. But most of the time it ends up with a dedicated group of people trying to dress and act a specific way implying a code on how to behave on each other which can be even more fanatic than the mainstream codes they resisted against, leaving less room for the ideas of individuality it started out with. Therefore in a lot of cases mainstream and subcultures blend in commercialism as a result. I tried to catch this paradox.

So it's not just about Gabber. Gabber serves more as an example here, also because it's the music I grew up with. it's more about a repeating development within subcultures in general.

- Rioteer


A1: Intro: Whoever had a groove

This track describes the beginning of house music in Holland.

"At the end of the eighties, Holland was ready for something new. It was the decennium of doom thinking. We were afraid of aids, we were afraid of the N-bomb and on the dance floor everyone was dressed in black.."

"House music and House parties for those who are not partying every weekend can hear on this program  what they've missed.."

"House music is not just music, or not just a party...It's a phenomenon."

"Another night, drink tickets, all your best friends are dealers, what can you do.. party on Amsterdam!"

"It happened in the UK with the Summer of love, Dutch people went there, saw it there and introduced it here (in Holland)"

" When the first House records came, made by DJ's from Chicago. There was such dynamics and power in those records.. it was just liberating."

" It's just as important as Rock n roll, or the hippie movement, or punk. I think House is even more important than new wave for example... There are so many people who get a kick out of it."

A2: Intermezzo 1

This Track describes the split in the early nineties between mellow clubhouse and hardcore gabber.

"You've got techno, you got the Amsterdam Happy house scene... Gabber."

"The unity within house music doesn't last long, and soon there is a breakup with on the one hand the fans for melodic clubhouse called mellow. On the other side are the fans of hard and fast techno.."

"Nowadays it's just stomping. It's getting more harder and more faster, and more and more agressive I think. It has nothing to do with 'Soul' anymore. I feel like they're not even dancing anymore, it's just head banging."

"Rotterdam, it seems like a cliché but they're proud of being working class, or coming from a working class background. Amsterdam could make Hardcore as well but the Hardcore from Rotterdam was always a bit more meaner and faster."

A3: Nog harder (Even harder)

The idea behind this track was to make an Oldschool hardcore/break track which sounds like it is being played at a big illegal tunnel rave. The track represents the early 90's period when the focus of the sound was still on searching extremities.

"In Rotterdam we only know one word and that's: Even harder!!"

"Even harder, even harder!!"

"And right now we have a hardcore motherfucker behind the turntable! I want you to pay your respect.."

"In Rotterdam we only know one word and that's: Even harder!!"

A4: Intermezzo 2

This part describes the music developing into a scene with codes on how to look, like, behave etc..

"Groups of people who listened to that kind of music (gabber) started to wear the same clothes, the Australian training suits became popular. That became the stereotype for Gabbers, Bald head, Nike Air shoes."

"I thought it was a pity, because I don't like people dressing up all the same. When I started to make music on parties I stood there for people even in smokings, or other crazy stuff, even punks, everything blended together. And that's what I liked very much. So when everyone starts wearing the same, I didn't like that very much, but that is the choice people make."

A5: The subcultural behaviour pattern trap

Dress codes and codes on how the music should sound leads to a repetitive scene in which conformity starts to over shadow individuality and creativity.

"Most people just don't want to think about historic references, they don't want to think about their engagement in the world around them. It's much easier to be a passive consumer and wear the right Nike shoes, I don't know what it is.."

"Culture of amnesia... how do you get people to create their culture. You pull all sorts of memory and see what happens which is kind of what has occurred with this late 20th century generation."

B1: Intermezzo 3

Fragments of TV shows emerging when the scene kept getting bigger because of the commercial success of Gabber.

"You're still watching Hakkuuuh on TMF (Dutch gabber TV show on the Dutch MTV). Later on I'll show you footage of one of the best and most wicked parties of the season. That was a K.N.O.R party, and if you were there than keep checking the program because it was totally wicked so check it out.

"In no time it wasn't underground anymore, for me, but for the big hardcore audience it was still underground. But a party with 8000 to 10000 showing up..."

"You are being taken under our power to your destination!"

"Yo! Welcome to TMF today, welcome to Hakkuuuh and the reason why I'm sitting here (backstage) is that inside it's unbearable. I mean it scared me. I hear my colleague Piet (Gabber Piet) telling me: "they pinch in my ass and keep hitting me on my head"...... People like to ask my autograph and I like to give it to them, but sometimes it becomes hard to do the show because of that! So that's why we're sitting here, but later on I'm going back inside to try to talk to some gabbers. But what have we got for you today? ..You are first going to see DJ mike... Shall we have a quick look...

(Mellow club music plays...Rewind)

That was mike, and with all due respect to Mike but this still a Hakkuuuh (Hardcore) program!"

B2: No turning back

Around 1997 this led to a commercial burn out and people start longing back to the good old days when the 90's started. So that’s what the track does.

B3: Intermezzo 4

The contrast between the longing back to how it once was, and the growing scene becoming commercially exploited.

"Some people say that bringing back Oldschool is going back into time because Hardcore is musically not getting any further. Do you see that happening as well? -  In some cases yes, There are a number of producers who are still innovative, but a lot of them are walking with the herd, and that's a pity indeed."

"At a specific point in time it was made into something commercial, and because I saw that a few people were making big (commercial) hits with something we started together, I thought let me get a piece of the pie. Because I haven't helped build this scene for nothing, so let me have my piece and see what that’s like."

"Everything you bring on a big scale becomes a sort of common peoples entertainment, and gabber became that as well..."

B4: The only difference

This track is a monster Frankenstein. I wanted to make something that sounded like a sort of hit chart commercial Breakcore track. So it's not meant as a good track. It's a monster, it's totally taking the piss ;)

"So what do you think about the atmosphere around here?"

"Atmosphere is really great, everything is really good, and finally there's a good sound system downstairs in the hardcore room, with really big sound."

"Flamman and Abraxas, 2 DJ's who are very famous also in the commercial side of the music but what do you prefer the Commercial or the underground?"

"Well the only difference is a couple of years."

"What's underground now will be commercial in a year or two."

B5: Outro: Arcades pret parade; Alle 10 ruk
(Arcade’s fun parade; All 10 suck)

Arcade is the commercial company that released a lot of gabber compilations like Thunderdome, Real Hardcore etc.. Arcade in the early days (1970's) released compilations called all 10 great! wich usually meant 2 good songs and the rest was crap to fill the records. Hence the title of the track. This track samples all kinds of TV commercials praising the latest commercial Hardcore CD's, which ends into a complete overkill.

"Gabbers Watch out!!"

"Not only because of his track "Hakkuuh & ZaguuH" but also because he's one of the MC's of the TV show Hakkuuh on TMF. Here's.... Gabber Piet!" (Sample from TMF awards - Dutch version of MTV awards)


"I say Hiii! - On the other hand I'm happy I'm not nominated (for an award) because I'm hardcoooore!!!!"

"Here we are again!"

"Real Hardcore part 4!"

"Super hard hardcore!"

"Yo party people!"

"Global hardcore nation, The cosmic journey part 2!"

"2 CD's with the best hardcore!"

"For only 25 Guilders!" (It's the nineties, there were no Euros remember ;)

"Totally out of your mind for only 25 guilders!"

"Including free video!"

"Brought to you by Arcade!" (Commercial big shot company)

"Hakkuh, Hakkuh!" etc..

"Global Hardcore Natioooooonnnn!!!!!"