Welcome to the Archefluxx website! This space is designed and built as a hub to find and refer to all of the Archefluxx and Elipton releases on the Tears of Kunlun label, as well as features on labels around the world. The website will also feature mix series’; ThunderWave and TBHYPNH.
An aspect of the site I also wanted to expand on, enjoy and include is the blog. Just as the mix series, The Best Hardcore You’ve Probably Never Heard, does, this website can perform a service as a promotional and informative platform for producers and artists that I admire. These are people, groups or labels whose talent can inspire and I would love the opportunity to analyse their biggest tracks, ongoing projects and future plans.
How do we start?
I guess to start the platform that informs people about producers, I should start with myself. Who is Archefluxx? Well, the answer is fairly boring. I’m a 29-or-30-something Graphic Designer, a new dad and someone who has loved Hardcore music for about a decade. Hopefully you can find my journey more interesting.
My route into the niche genre of Happy Hardcore was probably similar to most people’s my age: Limewire. As a teen, I was very inward-thinking. I was looking for inspiration and a way to channel my thoughts, and rare music that was different to the likes of The Wombats, Pigeon Detectives and indie pop was like having my own little island that couldn’t be tainted. The platform to download music on the sly was a fast-track method to trialling various music styles until I found the right formula. I had stumbled upon UK Hardcore, with the driving kicks and euphoric hands-up supersaw melodies. I landed upon Clubland X-Treme Hardcore and Darren Styles, and the obsession began.
Finding that perfect song
If I recall correctly, Darren Styles – I Will Come Running was the first track. It prompted me into buying albums like Clubland X-Treme Hardcore 4, and slowly delving further into a genre with seemingly infinite depth. My journey took me back in time, one Bonkers compilation at a time until I found exactly the style that took me into a world of my own imagination.
Sharkey’s mixes, the sounds of Architex and those intricate breakdowns by A.M.S. They were amazing, and one thought that drove me to my computer and a blank Fruity Loops screen compelled me:
There wasn’t enough.
I started by playing with little riffs and melodies, working out how it all fell together and gaining confidence in my production. My alias initially kicked off as Fluxx, a name I found to be rather too frequent, and a very public brainstorm on happyhardcore.com led to a name I’ve adorned on-and-off for a decade now.
I have to credit Ken Masters at this point, a chap who seems to love running projects. I’ve been fortunate to know him since 2008/9, and we’ve both been able to see how our journies have formed and taken shape. I’ve not had the pleasure of meeting him yet, but it’s something we must do.
It was with his first Past, Present and Future community project that he entrusted me with the cover artwork for. I produced something that was diabolical, but he liked it, and I thought it was good at the time. (The present me, a qualified and experienced Designer, is ashamed). However, I wanted a song on this project. I submitted a track that was essentially a Starfox remix, named Ravefox. It was turned down with good feedback, so I worked on it and sent it back. Rejected again. The cycle continued for a few weeks until eventually, it was just about good enough to feature. I was over the moon, and cracked on with more, building a Youtube account and kick-starting a Soundcloud.
Years rolled on, and the tracks piled up. I worked with various names and producers, many of whom I’ve lost contact with. I remixed pop tracks to within an inch of their lives and used the curiosity those tracks generated to gain a little momentum.
Over the Summer of 2010, the snowball rolled into an avalanche and a few factors led to Archefluxx becoming one of the more popular Hardcore artists on Soundcloud for a short time. Zonkers was an idea I had to recapture the magic of the recently deceased Bonkers series with a bunch of cool DJ’s I knew and I took this idea – with the artwork I had worked on – to the forums, and it blew up. It blew up directly in my face. Turns out you can’t mimic people’s intellectual property and yadda-yadda. I was ignorant.
As word spread about this expanding complicated sh*tstorm, more and more curious Hardcore enthusiasts crossed into my Soundcloud and liked what I was doing. Tracks like Droppin’ Bombs and Animus took off, propelled by vibrant artwork – a popular break from label logos all over the place. Suddenly a situation that was about to result in me leaving the genre for good, presented an irresistible opportunity.
& Kesean Beat – Kill Them!
2011 was a year in the Archefluxx brand was becoming very popular. Unleash The Volume, Systemization, Lane 3 and remixes of Spirit Wolf, Gammer and Olly P were gaining thousands of listens per upload. My tracks were being remixed themselves, with underrated artists such as V-act, /DJS\ and Noeko taking my tracks and pushing them to the creative limit.
One of the producers taking the scene by storm with his immaculate song-writing and production skill was Kesean Beat. He had worked with a few producers I had known, and we somehow (but inevitably) got in touch so that I could remix his ADHD track. Eventually, we collaborated and produced Kill Them!. I had his riffs and early project to work on, and some cool samples and a track arrangement later, we had a track to unveil on the 23rd December 2011. I was excited. This track was a level up from the usual stuff and it went down really well.
Kill Them! Never immediately became our most successful track. For years, that mantle was held by Unleash The Volume which was featured across Youtube, earning hundreds of thousands of views.
Our track eventually came good, though. It found it’s fame on Youtube and was chosen to feature on Neon FM in 2013, an amazing little arcade system that expanded into an amazing app. Roll forward a few years, and it becomes featured on Pump It Up: Prime 2 – a worldwide rhythm game featured in only one location in the UK. I’ve had the immense pleasure of playing the level and failing miserably!
At Peace, Elipton.
2012 saw a slight shift in Hardcore. Old allies were leaving the scene, projects such as 7D were coming to a close and the genre’s style moved away from melodies, toward the anti-drop. Archefluxx began to taper as Soundcloud talents caught up and surpassed me, and I did the regrettably sensible thing and focused on my uni work. In it’s stead, I began working on side projects. An album project spanning 2012 and 2013 took shape, and was released to a reception that took my breath away. The Holy Gates by At Peace came from a part of my mind I can’t seem to unlock again, and I’m over the moon that the project, however small, lives in various parts of the planet on people’s shelves.
Elipton followed. An attempt to recapture the momentum of Archefluxx with new branding and the same creativity that saw At Peace become a success. It never seemed to work, but it was fun. The Kimi EP was a project people seemed to love, and other remixes I was working on were better than the previous Archefluxx quality. Nevertheless, to the origins I returned, and eventually in 2017, I was able to relaunch as Archefluxx.
A grown up approach
I had learned a great deal in 8 years of growing up and improving my music. I had learned to appreciate good music and talent, and respect for others’ achievements.
Tears of Kunlun was launched to release new Archefluxx music and present it in a format that was organised and engaging. My music started hitting Beatport, Spotify and all of the vendors, and gaining traction lost long ago. New platforms had appeared, and old practices had caught many out. I attempted to approach releasing music with a view not to make money, but expand reach and create opportunity. It can be hard to gauge whether it’s worked, but I’ve been lucky enough to have some tracks become successes in the past, and luck presents itself in cool and unusual ways.
Conqueror, a new remix of an old track, found it’s way into the Geometry Dash hall of fame. From a few listens on Spotify one night, to quarter of a million downloads the next morning. It’s a strange example of a care-free attitude toward releasing music, and getting lucky.
There’s not a great deal to learn from me, really. For the most part, I’m old news. I’ve spent thousands of hours sharing Fruity Loops chats with people on MSN or Skype. I used to trawl imodownload every week and Facebook pages used to be one big popularity contest. I had my day on Soundcloud, I nearly got to 1000 Youtube subscribers, and now I’m enjoying my own little gig with minimal promotion. If there’s one thing I can suggest, it’s that making music is an amazing way to be creative. It doesn’t really need to be too much about numbers or money. There is no money!
Hardcore offers so many people a sanctuary away from the trials of society. Giving them something to be inspired by and achieve some cool sh*t in the process. Getting a track on a game or played at a venue, earn not a penny for it, and get that rush off seeing people enjoying the music. That’s the sort of thing that makes it all worth it.
I mentioned a few people whom I’ve worked with, or have been inspired by. There are so many people whom I massively appreciate and would like to acknowledge.
DJ Sc@r – Brilliant DJ and runs a fantastic label and genuinely one of the nicest people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.
Dys7 – Had the pleasure of working with Dys7 on Just For You, for the Future State Hardcore Vol.1.
Ranzor – Long time contact with whom we’ve traded production tips and discussions over the years. Always supported my releases and one of the most underrated talents in Hardcore.
Luna-C – Simply an inspiration with an insightful autobio, a long history in the scene and plenty of important life lessons.
Inspirations and friends: Nakura. Spirit Wolf. DJ Noeko. Shimotsukei. Thumpa. Naturatech. Fishy. Neutral Moon. Monstdeath. Triquatra. Simpleton. Touitsu. Wind. /DJS\. Eric @ Unit-E. Triplestar. Steve Seguin. Clusterphuck. Eggz. Daniel Seven. Matt Hyde. Starstruck. DJ Daft. aWal. D-Tor.
Apologies if anyone is forgotten!