Ben Cardew looks at how dance music's obsession with hardness is an arms race that cannot be won. Image via Bangface. House music that seemed to race along with the trot of a thoroughbred pony in the '90s now saunters like a clapped-out Blackpool donkey. Vintage hardcore tracks that once felt like being stamped in the head by industrial pressers now feel expressly tailored to the faster end of our isolation work out. Is "hard" a passing garment that music can throw on at will? Or is there something genuinely and eternally tough about certain types of music that will never die or deteriorate?
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