Trackhunter's Most Sought After Hardcore Rave Records

Trackhunter's Most Sought After Hardcore Rave Records

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

by Tat

Who would have thought that some of the white label hardcore rave records from back in the day would go onto be some of the most expensive ones to buy? We decided to highlight some of the records that came out in that pivotal time between 1992-94 to see which ones will cost a small fortune these days.

Record collecting is going through somewhat of a prolonged golden renaissance and the data backs that up with record sales going up year on year since the turn of the last century. As part of that trend the second hand market has been booming and that’s been particularly noted within the dance music community. Championed by certain genres, dance music on plastic remains alluring to an army of fans, many of which never packed away their turntables or have recently returned to or got into DJing. For many they may not feel like going out to the clubs, so why not bring the party into the home.

Towards the middle part of the 1990s the dance music scene was splintering into a dozen or so smaller tribes and as a result the demand for harder music did not wane. The first half of the 1990s brought about countless underground and white label releases and back then perhaps no one could have imagined how sought after some of these records would be. As a result many of these records may not grace the cover of Record Collector magazine but some do now exchange hands at the kind of prices rare rock and reggae records would go for. Facebook groups such as ‘Raved in the 90’s’ with over 640,000 members is a testament to not only the size of that great scene but also how the passion for this music remains unbridled.


Whilst Discogs might be seen as a negative influence on vinyl pricing, it does indicate where the interest lies in certain underground releases. Of course, just because a record is listed for £200 and 300 members have it on their wantlist that does not mean it will sell for that kind of price. Yet the data does show where someone has paid a lot of money for a record and that can be a potential indicator of value. Whilst Oscar Wilde’s quote that ‘The cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing’ might ring with some truth, there is an increasing demand for rare rave records from back in the day. The fact that we do not always know how many copies of an underground record was pressed, that they are often white labels and so can get lost in collections and that many have not survived in good condition means those scarcist of records that do exist become more valuable. This is especially so when we consider that no one pressing these records thirty years ago may have considered that some of them would go on to be so valuable. That has changed in recent years with the advent of limited editions that appear on Bandcamp and as a consequence record buyers have a heads up to something that may increase notably in value.

For every rare hardcore rave record there are hundreds of exceptions such as Rotterdam Termination Source’s annoying earworm ‘Poing’ where you can easily pick up a copy for a couple of pounds. Then there are other commonly available old school records where chancers try their luck online with excessive prices hoping to catch a sucker on Ebay, Discogs or Vinted. The resurgence of rave and hardcore through compilations, reissued tracks and fresh productions ensures the legacy of the scene from over 30 years ago. Add to that the ongoing durability and evolution of drum and bass which shows no signs of waning. There is also a huge online army of record collectors still passionate about rave culture - there is still much appetite for the music. As part of that drive is a group of over 40-year-olds who remain fascinated with that period, and like any music tribe are obsessed with completing their collections. As young ravers grew up and became parents, many have started to reconnect with their decks and others never left them at all. In this first article of a three-parter we’ll explore ten of those records that are on hundred’s of Discogs wantlists and for those able to afford them, they’ll cost at least three figures to acquire a copy. All the tracks in our list have sold for at least £100 on Discogs and have copies for sale that are at least that price and above. In the second part of this feature we will explore some of the most expensive house and techno releases to have sold in recent years before exploring the most expensive hip hop record releases. 

Costae - Short Term Memory Loss (Unknown) 1993

Two tracks that appear on both sides of this white label with the words S.A.D Production that have gone on to sell twice for in excess of £299. Whilst one is a full on hardcore breakbeat monster, the other gives off an intelligent drum and bass vibe before going into pumping techno. Like so many tracks from that time, the latter has real potential if any of the apparent 22 owners on Discogs were tempted to pitch it down on their decks. One copy is up for sale at a whopping £500, although at the time they are a new seller so unlikely to make a sale any time soon.


Tom and Jerry

Tom And Jerry - The One Reason (Tom & Jerry) 1992

This one sold quite recently for £250 and sold nine times in 2023, seven of which was for at least £150 so it is a bonafide expensive record. Oddly a copy sold for £39.99, so one can only assume that the seller probably did not realise what they had in their possession or was keen to offload it. This is full on rave armageddon, with a meaty bassline, rough breakbeat, sped up vocals, keyboard stabs and euphoric pianos on The One Reason. The Second Reason is timeless drum and bass, clever subtle production and a shining example of what was leading the way in 1992. This was the first release of many on the much sought after Tom And Jerry imprint which was set up by Mark and Dego of 4 Hero fame.  A few copies are for sale on Discogs but you will do well to find a VG+ for less than £150. 


Fantasy EP

Various - The First Taste EP (Fantazia) 1992

Brought to you by the people behind the epic Fantazia raves, this was the first record on the label of the same name in 1992 which was a sampler for The First Taste CD, LP and VHS tape. Much lauded for Top Buzz’s ‘World Wide Epidemic’ the record has sold on a few occasions for triple figures. Another prime dark drum and bass track from the rave pioneers, it sits alongside the raw ‘hands in the air’ piano sound of P.S.I’s Feel It and tracks by Sunset Regime and P.S.I. 


Pirate Toon

TMR - Pirate Toon (Pirate Club Records) 1993

The first of a trio of records on the Pirate Club Records label and by far the most collectable with copies usually going for more than £120. Very much part of that niche rave sound that combined children’s TV with hardcore rave with this track paying homage to the classic children’s show Captain Pugwash’. Whilst the main version may not have dated so well, it is the Pirate Dub where perhaps the attention lies. A bleep driven drum and bass track which may show signs of its age, but is nonetheless still sought after by nearly 400 Discogs users. 


Voice of the devil

+e=Exotic - Voice Of The Devil (D-Zone Records) 1992

Coming out of that hotbed of rave music in the early 1990s, D-Zone was behind some of the best tracks of that period, some of which still stand up well today. The record might not go for the high prices as often as the aforementioned records but it can occasionally command high fees. Not much is known about the artists behind this release who have the unique names of Egg-Nogg and Mr. Amoeba.


Dollar Records

Remarc! - Help Me (Dollar Records) 1993

This was the first release of many by DJ and producer Marc Forrester on his own Dollar Records. Kicking off with cinematic, discordant stabs, the breaks soon kick in for a full on assault. There’s a lot going on in the track with Star Wars samples, rewinds and breakdowns. This four track EP is a real statement of intent by the artist who subsequently repressed this in 2023. Original copies continue to sell regularly for over £120. At the time of writing, there is a copy on Ebay for £484 which is highly optimistic. https://www.discogs.com/release/92431-Remarc-Help-Me

Spiral Tribe

Spiral Tribe and Person Unknown - Black Plastik (Network23) 1994

One of the first records I sold for what I would regard as a lot of money was Spiral Tribe’s ‘U Make Me Feel So Good’ about 15 years ago. The nomadic hard techno crew unleashed this four track EP in 1994 that is largely a mash up of hardcore rave and gabba. The record was produced on the road in Berlin. If you are lucky you can track down a VG+ copy for about £120.


Legend Records

Lee & Tango, Lee & Gwange - Legendary Volume 3 (Legend Records) 1994

Unlike some of the previous tracks in our list, Lee & Tango’s ‘Solutions’ track sounds like it was produced yesterday. Crisp production and sequencing highlights the pioneering talent of Tango who sadly passed away in 2018. His collaboration with Lee (Ching), who also produced the flip side with Gwange is much sought after. Nearly 1500 people want this record on Discogs and several have paid three figures to acquire it. 



X Dream, Troy, Cortex - X . T . C EP (Unknown) 1993

Pure hardcore junglist untitled four track EP from 1993 that is up there with the best. Recent copies have sold for over £200 making it one of the most desirable records in our list. Little is known about the artists behind this but no doubt many collectors would like to see a repress of this bad boy tune. 


Eternal Bass

Eternal Bass - Way Of The Future (Volatile Recordings) 1993

More super sharp drum and bass on the Volatile Recordings label which only put out a trio of releases. The duo of Emma C Grange and Roach followed this up with another eight releases with their collaboration with the Wishdokta also proving to be a valuable record years on. It’s another record that has largely stood the test of time and increased notably in value, often selling for more than £150.


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