Mental Theo – West Coast Mix 01

It’s been a little while since I’ve written anything on house/electronica material so indulge me in my odd attempt. I’ve always had a good deal of respect for Gnar Tapes with its extremely unique while ferociously independent. Admittedly, I was puzzled then when I received a seemingly gaudy email on what looks like an anxsty teenager’s cover art (yes, I’m being mean but I promise it goes uphill from here). Still, the story got me hooked. As described by Gnar Tapes, “Dutch “Gabber” DJ Mental Theo (aka Theo Nabuurs) has been making hardcore electronic dance music since the early 90s. After scoring a few big Happy Hardcore hits in Europe with their songs “Wonderful Days” and “Stars” alongside fellow countryman Charly Lownoise, Theo continued on to become a VJ on the European version of MTV. During the late 90s he hosted his own European MTV show called “Mental Theo On The Road“, in which he visited various nightclubs across Europe interviewing and interacting with partygoers, including a “Spring Break Special” report on the American club scene in Florida.”

It was that start which urged me to go ahead and take a listen. Spanning a little under an hour, I’m glad I did. As Gnar Tapes continues to state, “West Coast Mix 01” is the result of how educational and fun the Internet has made cassette culture” with “a unique mix of a Dutch Hardcore and Gabber records and remixes”. Now to use my only words. Irony is certainly a beautiful thing, however too much serves as a gluttonous mask to true identity. Luckily, Theo, through his years of experience and active participation, appears to understand this exact balance, an attribute I greatly admire. Sure, he uses humorous bits and pieces as well as highly overdone mixes. However there appears to be no embarrassment in this use, rather a primal pride that shines through. Take a listen, hell grab the actual, physical copy (cause come on, an hour of Dutch Hardcore on a car trip: I know you want to). It’s been awhile since I’ve written on this kind of material, yet Theo is more than deserving of the article. Enjoy.

– Cliff

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