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All aboard for the El Capitano and Gelato Trax story. How did the label come about, what and who helped shape it and what does the future hold for classic Happy Hardcore, Bouncy Techno and Italo Dance?

Read on dear visitor for the story is long and constantly evolving!
El Capitano Records is a Happy Hardcore and Bouncy Techno label at its core.

The journey started during the great lockdown of 2021 when DJ Elmo got bored with watching everything on Netflix and decided to start putting up his legacy tracks for posterity on Youtube and Reddit and to his utter amazement some of the older Happy Hardcore and Bouncy Techno style tracks got signed straightaway.

Once this happened it was time to build a new studio PC, get Cubase and get back into music production.

Firstly for the sake of his sanity (he’d run out of things to watch on Netflix!) and secondly to see where this new journey would go after stopping production in 2012 due to general apathy towards the UK Hardcore scene and having to do grown up things like concentrate on his career and business and wanting to dedicate more time to family life.

This new hobby quickly turned into something more serious as tracks were signed by the Monta Musica, winning a remix competition with Lazarus Records and another signing to Rave Muzik as well as general feedback from fans and fellow producers that the old skool mid 90’s big kick Happy Hardcore sound from yesteryear that he was experimenting with was making a comeback and because people were asking for more of it.

El Capitano came about after the legendary DJ Deluxe (and fantastic mentor we might add) was saying it would be great if this new scene focussing primarily on the old skool sound had more labels to give it more traction.

This set a lightbulb off in Elmo’s brain to create a label that mixes the old skool vibes with today’s production techniques to be a part of this burgeoning scene to do things his way and find like minded producers, DJ’s and friends he’s made since restarting his music who share the same vision.

That vision? Well it quite simple really!

A Happy Hardcore label that oozes nostalgia for the old skool ravers and brings the classic sounds to a new generation of artists and ravers for a music that back in the day was ridiculed by those outside the scene in the 90’s and which is now looked back upon fondly as a pivotal part of dance music culture.

El Capitano is that vision, a space pirate (because hey, we’re based in Hastings, UK and we have an affinity for pirates here) that travels through space and time to bring you the very best Happy Hardcore, Bouncy Techno and other awesome yet forgotten dance genres back for the old ravers to enjoy once more before age kicks in and an outlet for the new generation to make and party, in our opinion to the greatest and most fun rave music ever!

El Capitano is not defined by any one style as long as its hard, happy and puts a smile on your face it will be on the captains table for you all to enjoy!

What about Gelato Trax?

Gelato Trax came about due to Elmo's love of obscure and forgotten 90's dance genres, well sort of...

In reality a track was made for Monta Musica (Formula-E go check it out!) in the old Eurodance/Italo style, cranked up to 160bpm and with the classic 'boom diggi boom' bassline and the high pitched and poppy kicks that made this sound so popular in the 90s.

This set Elmo off on making more for two reasons, the first is because its just plain fun and different, the second, the challenge of bringing something back. 

With the huge amount of Italo Dance being made at Elmo's home Studio there was more that could be released so it was decided that another label would have to be created. Coming up with the name was simple, Gelato is Italian (obviously) and everyone loves Gelato (because its delicious and comes in many flavours!) so the name quickly stuck, there were other names but that is a something that only a few will ever know about because mystery is good in this age of constant information.

At its core Gelato Trax will always pay homage and evolve that classic sound that came out of Italy and Europe but it also take nods and influences from Hard Trance, Hi-NRG and... Italo Disco. Yes even going back to the 80's and cranking it up to 160bpm is part of the Gelato way, the nods will sometimes be subtle and other times in your face but that's the joy of Gelato Trax, it can be whatever it wants to be as long as the core elements are there which they always will be,

So there you have it both El Capitano Records and Gelato Trax history and reasons for existing have been expressed! Now go forth and enjoy the music, there's plenty more to come!
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