Hardnoise were one of the founding fathers of the British hip hop scene, and - along with early label-mates Hijack - set the template for the UK hardcore sound. The group only released a handful of singles, before reforming with a changed membership as Son of Noise.
Whilst they were still at school, DJ Son, DJ Nyce D (real name Dennis Roberts) and TLP1 joined together to form Hardnoise, at that time little more than a crew of friends. When in college, they were joined by DJ AJ and Gemini, and they recorded their first tune - an unreleased song called "Pure Destructive Power" (Unreleased). Shortly afterwards, the group were joined by DJ Mada (real name Adam Pancho), the brother of founder member DJ Son. The group financed the cutting of their first single "Untitled" (white label, 1989), which quickly became an underground success. The single was heard by Music of Life, who signed the group to the label and rereleased "Untitled" (Music of Life, 1990).
Following this release, Nyce D died due to sickle cell. A further single - "Mice In The Presence Of The Lion/Serve Tea Then Murder" (Music of Life, 1991) - came out to great acclaim, but shortly afterwards the group decided to go their separate ways. AJ continues to produce, and releases mixtapes on a regular basis, whilst Gemini worked with the group Bushkillers and went on to record under the name Bloodhound. TLP1 continues to write lyrics.
In 2012, Gibo Productions released a limited 12" white label, featuring Pure Destructive Power, Black Hole Of Pandemonium and Battle of The Planets (Dub). A EP featuring unreleased demo's, freestyles and live recordings is due to be released in January 2013 by Gibo Productions. The audio was taken from the original cassette tapes and was mastered by No Sleep Nigel.
Son of Noise
Following the breakup of Hardnoise, Son and Mada continued the Hardnoise sound with a new band, Son of Noise. They were joined by Curoc (Q-Roc, recently departed from Gunshot) and released the single "Son of Noise/Ill Justice" (Kold Sweat, 1991). The single was well received, but following disagreements with the record company over the use of the acapellas of their songs, the group parted company with Music of Life.
Son of Noise were quickly snapped up by Music of Life's main rivals, Kold Sweat Records, and released more singles and their debut album The Mighty Son of Noise (Kold Sweat, 1992). Whilst recording this album, they were joined by a fourth member - DJ Renegade, who previously DJed with UK legend Blade and Most Dominant (the latter already with Kold Sweat from their promo "Pushed 2 Da Limit" (Kold Sweat, 1992) and who's MC Cel One went onto form the Gutter Snypes). The album was again well received, making good on the promise of the early singles (both as Son of Noise and as Hardnoise) and earning the group respect within the scene.
Following the release of the album, the group were still not completely satisfied with the attitude of their record company, and instead decided to leave. This time, instead of moving to one of the other burgeoning UK hip hop labels, they decided to finance their own recordings, as they had with the original "Untitled" (???, 1989) single. This led to the "Crazy Mad Flow/Retrocide" (Little Rascool, 1993) single and the album Access Denied: Bullshit and Politics Pt 1 (Little Rascool, 1996). These releases, however, weren't as well received - or indeed as well distributed - as their previous releases, and proved to be the group's last recordings.
However, the group are still together and working on joint projects, with none of them as yet leading to released material. The group are due to host an event in aide of DJ Swing (subject of a recent BBC documentary, Brian Daley aka DJ Swing is suffering from Multiple Myeloma and desperately in need of a bone marrow transplant) at the Rococo Club in Leicester Square in October 2005. Individually, the group continue to pursue solo projects, and DJ Son, Renegade and Mada are still DJing in the scene in London - Renegade achieving success as one of the Scratch Perverts. Mada also maintains a British hip hop website.
- The Mighty Son of Noise (Kold Sweat Records, 1992)
- Access Denied: Bullshit and Politics Pt 1 (Little Rascool, 1996)
- The original UK Hip Hop History
- Heroes of UK Hip Hop's Hardnoise page
- Heroes of UK Hip Hop's Son of Noise page
- DJ Mada's webpage, including details on the DJ Swing benefit gig
- Gibo Productions website