The key engineering force within the trailblazing Nu Energy Collective, K Complex has contributed more to the hard dance and hardcore scenes than most producers over the past five years. Few producers, after all, can claim responsibility for more spell-binding scenes of rushing, big room euphoria. Something that anyone who has witnessed the Nu Energy Collective PA in full 4 am effect at venues like Brixton Academy or The Camden Palace (sorry, ‘Koko’) will well attest. From ‘Indestructible’ to soaring Mark Ashley collaboration ‘Atomic Orbital, his many productions have also gained countless licenses to compilations like Hardcore Heaven and the legendary Bonkers series whilst the head-twisting ‘Identify The Beat’, created with hardcore legends Sharkey and Marc Smith, remains one of the most mind-blowing, if underrated, hardcore records of all time. A favourite of the late crusader for musical eccentricity, John Peel, it stands in the unique position as the only hardcore track ever to appear on a compilation for London’s superclub Fabric.
Of course, as far as production goes it all began for K Complex back in the late 90s when he started pitching his first visionary creations to a certain Kevin Energy, label boss of the pioneering Nu Energy imprint. Known to his mother and postman as Pete Richardson, K Complex had previously been immersed in the vibrancy of the mid 90s hardcore explosion but, like so many, was growing disillusioned with the wholesale lack of vision and overload of rip offs poisoning the scene’s creativity. Instead, his stereo was invariably magnetised to the mind-noodling psychedelic sound of underground trance acts like Eat Static as well as the halcyon era European trance championed by React’s now legendary Reactivate series. Nu Energy, however, opened up a new avenue that united his varied influences. Hardcore tempo energy, hard trance euphoria and twisted underground acid influences, its unique and futuristic hard dance alchemy soon grabbed Pete’s imagination.
A perfectionist to the last detail, Pete soon absorbed feedback and studio manuals whole, spent long, exhaustive hours perfecting his promising creations and soon fed a relentless stream of demos to label boss Kevin Energy. It was always a matter of when, not if, he would break with a full vinyl release and come March of 00 (??) the twisted euphoria of ‘Free The Brain’ and quirky acid pumped anthem ‘Mindwinder’ debuted the K Complex (infamously misspelt K Komplex) on the now legendary label. Unsurprisingly, it was caned by Kevin Energy and Sharkey – who he then spent two years collaborating with as ‘Safe N Sound’. It remains a cult underground EP with Pete’s own recent remixes of both tracks bringing them up-to-date and to the attention of today’s hardcore generation too.
You can trace the energising sound of K Complex across the stretching discography of Nu Energy ever since that first pivotal EP on Nu Energy 12 too. From the anything-goes innovation of the Safe N Sound era, through to his solo masterpiece ‘Cyberspace’ right up to recent head-twister ‘Hands Up’ (with Kevin Energy), K Complex’s distinctive euphoria rushing sound has been synonymous with the label in a way no other artist bar perhaps the label boss himself – can claim. A certified end-of-PA anthem, his epic ‘Adagio’ remains the fastest and biggest selling Nu Energy release in the label’s 60 release legacy whilst Pete has also gone on to record ravey edge-cutting hardcore for Retlentless Vinyl such as the metal riffed mayhem of the recent ‘Suck My Rock’ and even bouncy euphoric numbers like ‘Give Into The Motion’ alongside Petruccio on Hardcore Collections.
Meanwhile, on the hard dance side of the bpms, the K Complex name continues to conjure ideas of magical breakdowns, megalithic riff euphoria and bubbling bass grooves with the likes of Tidy Boys, Lisa Pin Up, Tranzlation’s Phil York and Northern legend Rob Tissera all using his epic, energised tracks to ignite the globe’s dancefloors. Since his acid furled underground classic ‘Lost Souls’ with Sharkey in 2002 (released on cult but short lived Toast label), Pete has embarked on a solo hard trance mission that has garnered epic anthems such as his Magnus Opus ‘Higher’, remixed to open the Nu Energy Collective Live At Frantic CD, and his hook-laden arm-raiser ‘Believe’ as featured on the Little Gem and K90 mix of this year’s Wildchild CD. Collaborations with Matt Style have fused a more hard dance twisted sound, his AMS joint effort ‘Echelon’ remains one of the PA’s most instantly recognisable anthems whilst Nu Energy’s ‘Hands Up’ (K Complex and Kevin Energy) recently underwent a hard trance makeover and is due to appear on the forthcoming HMV released Elevate album, mixed by Phil York and Kevin Energy.
As a DJ, of course, K Complex’s ascendant deck talents continue to whip up a storm everywhere from hard dance megaraves Frantic and Tasty to hardcore’s standard bearers Slammin Vinyl and HTID. Not forgetting his blistering tour performances in party haven Australia at events like Enchanted Festival, Global Panic and something else(?). As his profile sky-rockets rapidly, 06 has produced some of his most memorable sets to date including his recent hard trance journey at Frantic’s 9th Birthday and the four-way headlining hardcore extravaganza at Alexandra Palace’s massive Tranz-mission event alongside Kevin Energy, Sharkey and Arkitech. Bookings continue to stream in as the true force of his name grows in its spread, not least through his central residency position at the Nu Energy Collective’s bonkers London promotion Freeformation, currently ripping through raveland like lightning across night skies.
But for all the colossal stages, raucous cheers and magic moments, Pete’s most important work is perhaps carried out ceaselessly, without fanfare and behind the scenes as the hardest working engineer in underground hard dance. Day in, day out, Pete is guiding the next generation of hardcore and hard dance producers to realise their creative visions with Frantic doyenne Cally Cage, Twisted’s Ben Bennett and Ajay and Frantics own Elvis all passing through his studio doors. Acts like London hard trance legend Phil Reynolds, Spencer Freeland and World’s Number One Hard Dance DJ Proteus have also benefited handsomely from Pete’s polishing button pushes and expert studio refinery whilst its no secret that the lions share of Kevin Energy’s inspired visions over the past four years have been executed from within the renowned K Complex studio bunker.
It is from that very same studio bunker that K Complex will continue to send out ripples of forward thinking hard dance and uplifting hardcore to the heart of the globe’s ravefloors with his fresh MP3 labels Science Fabric Trance and Science Fabric Hardcore grabbing hold of the future and offering further access to his unique visions. On the frontline, of course, K Complex will continue to take control of the nation’s biggest floors alongside Kevin Energy in the Nu Energy Collective PA whilst DJ bookings at Frantic, Fusion, Destiny and Slammin Vinyl add to his growing diary.
Since 2009 Pete has devoted his energies to www.dancemidisamples.com, his website specialising in music production downloads including MIDI & WAV loops, synth presets and DAW Templates.