There aren’t many hard house labels which have stood he test of time but one that has is Shock Records. Johnny Dangerous talks to Shock’s Graham Eden about the emblematic rise of one of the earliest and most successful independent labels in hard house.
When was Shock Records founded?
It was founded in 1995 by myself Graham “Shock” Eden and Rachael Shock a.k.a Brain Bashers
What was the first release?
Our first release was call ‘Shockwave – Do it all night’ and was cut at Abbey Road Studios
Who supported that first release?
Tony De Vit, Pete Wardman and Graham Gold Our records were supported by all the big names in hard house.
Who would you say has been your biggest supporter?
Tony De Vit was without a doubt was one of our biggest supporters by reviewing, charting and playing our tracks on Kiss FM and in his club sets and signing our tracks to his compilation’s like Trade and Kiss 97. It goes without saying he is a legend. Tidy also really boosted Shock Records and the Brain Bashers after we released The Untidy Dub remix of Brain Bashers I’ve got the power. Dave Pearce also played our records on Radio 1. Pete Wardman also supported us on Kiss FM too.
Who released tracks on the label?
Wow… there are so many to name! We had many artists inclusing Lee Pasch, Miss Peppermint ,Kernzy and Klemenza, Johnny Dangerous, Cobi, Daina , Tempohead (a.k.a Jason Nawty), Ben Kaye and Rik EB, Greg Brookman and Tim Coe, Woody, Christiaan, Butch and Sundance. Remixes by Paul Glazby, Jon ‘00’ Fleming, Untidy Dubs (Paul Janes , BK, Baby Doc, Jon the Dentist and Shane Morris (Barabas and OD1) and Tangent (a.k.a Bulletproof /Flash Harry /Paul chambers) .
When did you realise that you had something special with Shock Records?
Our record sales went from strength to strength and with their success and had a constant demand for our records to be licensed to compilation CD’s all over the world. On the back of this we were being booked up for DJ sets all over the country and the globally. We have completed tours of Australia and Canada, South Africa and China and have played many clubs in Hong Kong and USA (including studio 54 Las Vegas). Here in the UK we played big club nights such as Sundissential , Cheeky Little Monkey ,Compulsion, Insomniacz, Tidy, Country Club, Hindsight (Nick the Kid) to name a few. We maintained our DJ residency at our local Torquay club the infamous Monastery all nightery from 1994 to 2001.
We were getting lots of mainstream radio play on Radio 1 and Kiss FM and lots of tracks were being signed to compilation albums. We released Shock Volume one and Two CD albums which sold globally and was mirror signed and released by Majestic records in the USA. All our records and CDs were on the shelves in HMV which really helped sales.
What has been the label’s most successful release do date?
‘Brain Bashers – Do It Now’ was our biggest release which was eventually signed to Tidy who worked their magic with a double pack of remixes and CD single. Thanks to Tidy it reached number 2 in the dance charts an number 55 in the national charts!
Which other labels have you licensed tracks to from Shock?
How many compilations have the tracks been signed to?
At a rough guess probably 100 compilation albums including Tony De Vit Global underground and Trade albums, Lisa Lashes Euphoria, DCM, Trade, Miss Moneypenny’s, Tidy albums and many more.
Are there any plans to release new material on Shock?
Yes! We are looking at new tracks and producing some too.
You recently gave away your entire back catalogue in digital format for free. Why did you decide to so this?
For a limited time we did give away our catalogue in MP3 format as the music moved away from downloads we decided that rather than wait for DJs to download and play our music we really wanted to let everyone hear the Shock catalogue by giving it away to DJs and music lovers. They then had the whole catalogue to play and it was especially great for everyone who loved the Shock sound and who didn’t have all the vinyl copies of our tracks to hear all of the releases. It was kind of giving something back to say thank you for all the support over the years.
What are the downsides of running a label?
Trying Keep things fresh and original and producing. On Shock Rachael and me used different artist names for slightly different styles. We also are Digital Masters, Speedo, Tekno Kings, Speedo and Shockwave. For our Barbwire label we are Neo and Barbwire.
Keeping up with the latest listening format. The move from vinyl to digital MP3 format in the early 2000’s was a massive change for us as vinyl was our biggest selling format. I miss those days so much when you could physically hold a vinyl record in your hand that you have mixed and cut in a studio. Music has evolved now to streaming on Spotify, iTunes and Amazon Music and now is available to everyone to listen to n any device.
Will Shock Records return?
Its something we are looking into and currently working on some new tracks.
What would you say has been your biggest achievement with the label?
Having support, working and getting recognition from many iconic producers and DJ’s in the scene. Also, with the resurgence of the love of hard house thanks to Tidy it’s great to get messages from so many people saying they loved the Shock /Brain Bashers sound.
What are your top ten best-selling releases on Shock?
Brain Bashers – Do It Now
Brain Bashers – I’ve Got The Power (Untidy Dub Remix)
Miss Peppermint – Welcome To Tomorrow
Tekno Kings – It’s time (Baby Doc Remix)
Brain Bashers – Feel The Rush (BK Remix)
Digital Masters – Star Wars
Research and Development – The Deal
Brain Bashers vs Johnny Dangerous – Get Wicked
Ben Kaye and Rik EB – Power
Space Sentinelz – hocus Pocus (Paul Glazby Remix)
Catch Graham and Rachel making their Tidy Weekender debut at Tidy Weekender 25 on 9/10/11 July 2020.