Hardcore techno has always been for the freaks. There's an inherent masochism to it—massive kick drums shatter sternums and cochlea with the force of a pneumatic hammer at speeds that often top out at over 200 BPM. There is little space to think, or room to do anything but pump your fist and lose yourself. A dancefloor fuelled by hardcore usually favors the only the ravers, the cultish few who've built their life around this stuff, but if the Dallas-born producer Lil Texas has his way, that could soon change.
Texas has taken to calling hardcore "God's music," and over the last few years he's dedicated himself to spreading the gospel of hard and fast tracks. He's been making pummeling tracks at blinding speeds, and mixing together sets over the most boundary pushing producers operating in the same lane. It's typical stuff for those who've kept the spirit of the genre alive since its 90s heyday, but Texas has, undoubtedly, been able to bring it into new spaces. In just the past year he's found himself filling out the lineup at mainstream EDM festivals like EDC and Beyond Wonderland, playing his unsettling and overwhelming music for audiences as big as hardcore has ever seen stateside. Based on videos from those sets, it seems to be well-received.
Part of Texas' success comes from his sense of humor, both in his music and IRL. He's rarely seen without a cowboy hat atop his head. He once started at semi-viral campaign to get all of EDM Twitter to tweet "Fuck Lil Texas." He accompanies his mixes with absurdist used-car salesman promo videos, and he's often liable to play out tracks by artists with names like Greazy Puzzy Fuckers. It gives people something to latch onto amid the sea of bass.
To his point, it's always made sense that hardcore could be embraced by the Hard Summer kids. Extreme as it may be, in a world where people are moshing to Skrillex drops, there's clearly a thirst for something heavy and visceral from mainstage electronic music.
If you too are new to this world, there's scarcely a better place to start than the mix that Texas is sharing today. It's 32 minutes of skull-crushing beats, full of both familiar samples (like a tribute to The Prodigy and some Korn scatting) and totally alien sounds. It's fun, and funny, and it'll totally destroy your brain if you're not in the right space for it. For his part, Texas says it's a "sex playlist." I guess you'll just have to trust him on that one.
Noisey: How are we meant to enjoy the mix? What's the perfect setting?
Lil Texas: Take off all your clothes, put your favorite hat on, and run into the middle of the street with a portable speaker for best results.
Was there any specific concept to the mix?
Sex playlist vibe.
Do you have a favorite moment on this mix?
I love The Prodigy tribute I included. Bulletproof and Partyraiser released it this weekend, saw it on my timeline immediately downloaded and put it in there.
Is synesthesia a real thing? If so, what color is this mix?
I've heard from many people that it does exist and I believe that certain music makes the mind view certain colors. However, whether one actually sees them in the physical world is debatable. This mix would definitely be pink
So obviously you pride yourself on speed. When did you first encounter hardcore? What does listening to hard and fast music offer to you that other music doesn't?
I first encountered hardcore a long time ago watching the old Thunderdome rave vids from the 90s (1997 is my fav, especially DJ Delirium's set...he's got a sick ass bowl cut). I became obsessed with the culture, the aggressive attitude, and the pride amongst fans and artists. Listening to hard and fast music makes me horny. 200 BPM is God's tempo.
C**ould you explain the genre you've been applying to your music, "Texcore?"** TEXCORE is my sound within the hardcore realm and the reason I started labeling my music under this "genre" was to delineate what I do from the scope of mainstream hardcore (which I love by the way). I didn't get into music to copy other people I want to stand apart from the masses and inspire people to take risks and be themselves. Personal freedom is at the core of my beliefs and the TEXCORE sound.
Obviously hardcore and gabber aren't new by any means, but I feel like you have had the opportunity to bring it into contexts in which people aren't familiar with it. Do you want to evangelize hardcore to the masses? Have people been mostly receptive when you play the bigger festivals that you play?
Bringing hardcore to the mainstream EDM market in America is one of my biggest goals. The masses in the states have slept on the glory of hardcore for years and my project aims to pitch the sound in a way which it can be more easily received. The byproduct of this will make the listeners dive deeper and get into more artists and hopefully get bit by the hardcore bug like I did. Hardcore is God's music (did I mention that?) so to answer the question, yes, my goal is to evangelize the gospel that is the 200 BPM. Honestly, the crowds have been eating it up it's been super cool to watch.
What's next? Do you feel like the freaks and ravers are ready to take over the big festivals? Is that even a goal, or will this kind of stuff always be more of an underground thing stateside?
My goal is to bring this sound off the Hard Dance stages at the festivals and onto the Mainstage. I definitely don't want to keep this an underground thing. The masses need hardcore and hardcore needs them. The freaks and ravers are ready brother and this year will prove that. We've got quite a bit up our sleeves.
1. Unproven - In My Mind (Bootleg)
2. Danny L Harle x Lil Texas - ID
3. Broken Minds & The Satan - Drop That Shit
4. Lil Texas - ID
5. F. Noize & Bulletproof - Beautiful People
6. Greazy Puzzy Fuckerz - Puppet Fuckerz
7. Endymion - Pussy Motherfuckerz (D-Fence Extended remix)
8. Ncrypta - Head Spin
9. N-Vitral & Bombsquad - Posion Spitter
10. Broken Minds - King Cani
11. Distinction - Dirty Talk
12. Bulletproof & Partyraiser - Tribute to the Legend Keith Flint (The Prodigy Bootleg)
13. Lil Texas - ID
14. Partyraiser - Bounce Again (ft. Hard Effectz)
15. CRYOGENiC - On a Leash (MBK Remix)
16. Sandy Warez - Final Square
17. Insanity - Talking About Hardcore (ft. Mind Compressor)
18. CRYOGENiC - Bass Slut
19. Insanity - Turn Up the Bass
20. Greazy Puzzy Fuckerz - Fuck Me Daddy
21. MBK & NSD - Sick Cratic
22. DRS, MBK & R3T3P - H8 (ft. Mr. Ravage)
23. G.P.F No Mask x Malice - G.LT (Official Unofficial Caine and Malice RMX)
This article originally appeared on VICE US.