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LABEL: Club Tools RELEASE DATE: December 1, 1995 GENRE: Happy Hardcore
// review by Jeff

England: Where happy hardcore meets geriatric detectives.

Those Germans, they love them some Scooter. They're still showing up in droves at concerts, even after the band has endured almost 20 years of wild activity. In fact, much of Europe gives them support -- perhaps not as much as a long time ago, but they still are beloved across the continent. But what about those folks in the United Kingdom? Scooter couldn't forget about the happy Brits who enjoy bipping and/or bopping to their unique brand of raver tunage. That's where "Back In The U.K." comes in: as a shout-out to their British brethren!

The Long Version includes some extra shouts from H.P. Baxxter, frontman for the group, telling the story of how they somehow end up in England. I guess they were just looking for a hip and rainy place to party. Well, they found it in the land of tea, crumpets, and endless episodes of Doctor Who. With breakbeats and some mild raver synths in hand, H.P. throws some more uplifting lyrics our way (though nothing quite as strange as what he pumps out now) before we get the chorus melody, as taken from the theme song for Miss Marple, a British series about an octogenarian detective based on the character by Agatha Christie. This repeats with more shouts and Marplism before we get a piano arpeggiation added in for flavour. To be honest, this long version doesn't feel quite as long as most other extended mixes. There must be just enough material here to not feel repetitive. That being said, it's a moderately exhilarating piece, though certainly not even close to their most energetic moment. The Radio Version is a more condensed version, omitting the semi-dramatic introduction and some extra fluff.

Our presence is also graced with not one but two B-Sides. The first is Unity Without Words Part II, the sequel to the B-Side featured on "Hyper Hyper", and is comprised mostly of elements from Back In The U.K., just rearranged. The bridge is different, however, featuring a repeated deeper synth, though it doesn't do anything except distract temporarily from the fact that the rest of the song is directly recycled. Crank It Up, however, is a completely different affair: it's hardcore. Literally, that's the genre I'm going to suggest. The brash hardcore kicks and an infectiously gritty bassline don't provide any significant melody, but they do give us a hardcore vibe that's hard to beat. This one's definitely not for Grandma. It was actually featured, in a revised form, as Brüno's theme music on Da Ali G Show in the U.K. (Yes, the same Brüno as the movie of the same name.)

This single isn't all that thrilling, to be honest, save for Crank It Up. I'm actually surprised that Scooter chose such an unfitting tune for a happy hardcore song. You can tell they put in some effort, but it wasn't enough to keep this track from being easily forgettable.


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