Happy hardcore will never die: the life of rave’s most juvenile subculture

Happy hardcore, the bastard progeny of Britain’s 90s rave explosion, was written off from the start: too juvenile, too cheesy, too fast, too stupid. It stands as one of history’s most puzzling dance phenomenons – not least because the music is so hard to actually dance to, with tracks revving to speeds of 160BPM and upwards as the decade progressed. Happy hardcore is emotional, euphoric, exhausting. It’s made for teenage drivers in souped-up Astras, bezzing around the town centre and refusing to ash out the window. A staple interest of working class kids from suburbs and small towns, happy hardcore was and remains a true subculture, drawing arena-sized crowds for years while remaining toxic to the critical class…

Read the full feature on Dazed (March 2020)


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