Keep Rockin and Telraam

Published on Beatsmedia 26/02/2015

http://beatsmedia.com/keep-rockin-telraam/

I came across two tracks from two labels that sounded very similar to one another with slight differences in the atmosphere that their melodies create. Although I must admit that both tracks have very catchy melodies, they’ve been repeated too often throughout each track with hardly any variations at all. It’s nice to hear these tracks chipped into a set for a brief moment, or played once in a blue moon, but putting these tracks on repeat can make people feel rather nauseated while sober. To describe it in another way, it would be like eating too many sweets and sugary things at once. The more people have too much of a good thing, the sooner they’ll get sick of it and move on to something else.

‘Telraam’ has little hints of disco inserted here and there. Each instrumental component is modified slightly to give it a fresh sound and the staccato makes things very light hearted. They complement each other extremely well. Yet, although ‘Telraam’ is just a cut-off preview, I just cannot bear to have the same melody repeated for 1:53 minute(s) straight. On the other hand, ‘Keep Rockin’ might sound a little bit better with different melodic variations. However, there’s hardly anything new in the percussion or in the way the track builds up and breaks down.

If you ever feel like having some sort of guilty pleasure, these tracks will offer some short-lived satisfaction. But if you’re looking for something to put on repeat, maybe you’ll end up looking for something else. Riggi & Piros’ ‘Keep Rockin’ was released through Armada and Zonderling’s Telraam is now available on Spinnin’ Records.

Originality 4/10
Harmony 5/10
Chorus 6/10
Overall 5/10

Blasterjaxx feat. Rosette – No Place Like Home

Published on Beatsmedia 25/02/2015

http://beatsmedia.com/blasterjaxx-feat-rosette-no-place-like-home/

It takes a lot of work to make something that sounds simply beautiful rather than simply dull. In fact, Blasterjaxx and Rosette’s ‘No Place Like Home’ is nothing short of daring. Featuring organic and natural instrumental components and sexy beats, this piece is an absolute pleasure to listen to. Expect this to be a hit at festivals that take place on the beach or in parks.

It starts off with a popping bass and a compressed melody that gradually decompresses and increases in volume. Elements of this track sprinkle and scatter to create a very exciting sensation for the ears. Then, a smooth transition is made as the track goes into the breakdown. After a brief silence, there’s nothing but the crisp sound of the guitar and the soothing female vocals of Rosette. The guitar strumming works surprising well with the digital elements when merged, which is a pleasant surprise. Although the cliché build up might be a bit too sharp, the drop isn’t too intense or destructive at all. Thankfully, most elements were well balanced.

One may not expect to hear electro house tracks to sound groovy and relaxing or nostalgic at the same time, but ‘No Place Like Home’ is a ground-breaking and exceptional case that brings people back to basics. The track was released on the 20th and is now available on Beatport.

Overall rating: 10/10

Digital Punk & Frequencerz ft. MC Nolz – We Still Don’t Give A F_ck

Published on Beatsmedia 21 February 2015: http://beatsmedia.com/digital-punk-frequencerz-ft-mc-nolz-we-still-dont-give-a-f_ck/

The Hardstyle gangsters have teamed up on Scantraxx Recordz to bring the darkest, rawest track I’ve heard from Scantraxx this year. This collaboration features artists: Frequencerz, who are among the most popular Hardstyle duos in Australia previously signed to Fusion Records, and MC Nolz.

The introduction itself refuses to spare a moment, so don’t expect to be gently led into this track. Even while the melody is compressed, listeners can feel the intensity that refuses to be tamed. In the breakdown, the rattling, the modification of Nolz’s vocals, the tinkling chains…These Hardstyle producers take every opportunity to build and maintain dramatic suspense. The lyrics are simple and MC Nolz starts off like he’s having a conversation with a fellow raver, before he begins to make loud and powerful declarations. It adequately represents the atmosphere of a Hardstyle rave and the rebellious attitudes of each raver. In fact, Nolz’s words are still audible despite the powerful growls and screeches of the synths and melodies. Evidently, the track is well mastered.

This is not for the people who like cheesy tunes and most definitely not for the weak. This is for the Hardstyle ravers who want to have their heads explode at a rave where the volume is loud and vibrations can be felt flowing through every vessel.

‘We Still Don’t Give A F_ck’ will be released through A2 Records on the 18th of February.

Overall rating: 10/10

D-Block and S-te-fan, and Rebourne – Louder

If you’ve been listening to Hardstyle for a while, you’ll know that D-Block and S-te-fan have been around for quite some time. Their recent releases are alright, but their latest collaboration with Rebourne on Fusion Records really captured my attention. These producers have made some pretty nice melodies, even though I typically associate their style with roughness. For me, it’s an unexpected combination and the result is just as surprising.

The producers have really excelled in melding both of their styles and strengths together. Once the track starts, it flows so well that you’ll feel as if you don’t want it to end. Both the vocalist and the melody share the spotlight, complementing each other from start to finish despite their differences. Everything is so solid and steady that none of these melodic elements are fighting for attention. The track never fails to build suspense after each breakdown and the part with the kicks just keep you going. The producers manage to maintain momentum with simplicity rather than over-dramatization.

Despite slight grammatical errors in lines like “you can’t turn this energy aside”, the lyrics describe my feelings for this track quite well. No Hardstyle fan can resist dancing to this. Enjoy the continuous waves of empowerment!

Louder will be released via Fusion Records on 23/2/2015

Gorgon City ft. Jennifer Hudson – Go All Night (Freemasons Remix)

Gorgon City released an album in December 2014 and it appears that a few of their releases will be lifted off the album and released in the form of multiple singles. I received the ‘Go All Night’ remixes in my inbox today. Seems a bit late, but better late than never!

Firstly, let’s start with the original mix. Unfortunately, it was plain and just like any other House track. I didn’t hear any new sound effects, cool arrangements or interesting moments that made me go wow. No transitions that led to anything more exciting or original. Gorgon City really seemed to be holding back a lot or staying safe.

On the other hand, every element in the Freemasons remix was considerably amplified, edgy and filled with attitude. Those descending bass lines were simple yet complemented Jennifer Hudson’s vocals perfectly. Freemasons were not afraid to be bold with twangs while adding classic, funky elements here and there. This remix strikes the perfect remix between the old elements and the new. Not to mention, I really liked that creepy, echoing component towards the outro. It was quite a cheeky move.

I tried to find the release date of the Freemasons remix, but it wasn’t really clearly stated anywhere. I went on iTunes via the Global PR Pool link, but it said the release wasn’t available in Australia. I do know the original mix was released in December 2014, but I wasn’t sure if these remixes were released afterwards. Anyway, if you know the date, feel free to tell me in the comments and I’ll update this post.

Watch out for the Freemasons remix!

Urbanstep – Stronger

Published on Beatsmedia 11/02/2015

http://beatsmedia.com/urbanstep-stronger/

Urbanstep’s releases are regularly featured on one of my favourite Dubstep channels on YouTube, so the name certainly does capture my attention whenever I see an upload. In fact, most of Urbanstep’s releases, including this one, would be released as a free download. What a treat!

The instrumental components in ‘Stronger’ sound quite unconventional, but that also what makes this track so exciting. Regardless of how emotional, ballad-like elements and intense urban sounds seem like opposing, contrasting elements in isolation, they also work together due to excellent arrangements and transitions. One can clearly hear how much of a challenge it must be to produce a track that flows so well. The wobbles are intermittent, yet the synths and compression levels make it fully charged with energy. Despite its power, it doesn’t upset the balance of the track at all and is not too loud, so the way this track has been mastered is absolutely amazing.

‘Stronger’ is now available as a free download on Urbanstep SoundCloud’s page. Feel free to grab more free tunes while you’re there!

Code Black feat. Chris Madin – New World

Published on Beatsmedia 10/02/2015

http://beatsmedia.com/code-black-feat-chris-madin-new-world/

Code Black is an Australian producer who was best known for his Hardstyle track ‘Red Planet’. His trademark sound lies in his kicks and melodies, which is instantly recognisable as the Code Black sound to every Hardstyle enthusiast. His latest release titled ‘New World’ will be released through WE R Music, which is a label run by the legendary Brennan Heart.

First of all, the intro itself sounds like a breakdown and takes its time to lead into the build-up and kicks. Digital notes dance around Chris Madin’s soothing vocals, accompanied by a few piano chords. This would probably be Code Black’s way of giving his crowd a chance to sing to the lyrics if they love the song. Fortunately, the pitch riser isn’t ear piercing and doesn’t last long before the classic Code Black melody and kicks come in.

Yet, the kicks and melody component itself doesn’t last for long before going into another breakdown, which raises an interesting question: Which part of this track is meant to be the climax? Is it the part with the kicks or the ethereal breakdowns? Generally, I would assume that Hardstyle artists would focus more on making the part where the kicks are as the climatic component, yet this track threw my expectations out the window.

Although Code Black hasn’t really evolved his trademark sound and the melody isn’t exactly top notch in this release, I found the arrangement of this track fascinating. It’s definitely worth a listen!

Release date: 30 March 2015

Roisto – I’m Who You Need

Published on Beatsmedia UK 10/02/2015

http://beatsmedia.com/roisto-im-who-you-need/

Finnish Disco and electro producer Roisto released an EP which has received several positive reviews from blog such as Music Is My Life, Thump and Earmilk. One of the tracks on the EP, titled ‘I’m Who You Need’, has recently been uploaded to the Ministry of Sound YouTube channel.

The piano notes might not necessarily flow smoothly throughout, but as a whole, this track has an exciting variety that would be best described as colourful in visual terms. It has everything you’d hear from the seventies, sprinkled about in various places. There’s nothing too excessively overpowering, nothing repetitive, nothing too cliché. This track has a clean and crisp composition that’s joyful yet pleasantly relaxing.

‘I’m Who You Need’ has a relevant title, for it’ll be just the thing you need to have a good time. The track has been released on the 27th of January and is now available on Beatport.

Instruments 10/10

Compositions 7/10

Bassline 10/10

Overall 9/10

Hardwell and Headhunterz feat. Haris – Nothing Can Hold Us Down

Published on Beatsmedia UK 10/2/2015

http://beatsmedia.com/hardwell-headhunterz-feat-haris-nothing-can-hold-us-down/

When I heard that Headhunterz was beginning to play House in his sets, I couldn’t believe it, but I guess his latest collaboration with Hardwell is yet another wake-up call for me. Believe it or not, Headhunterz’s ‘Sacrifice’ (Original Mix), was the first Hardstyle track I ever listened to. I didn’t know about Hardwell until Headhunterz made a remix of ‘Spaceman’.

There seems to be an odd trend with the way Hardstyle artists have chosen to remix Hardstyle tracks, they feature a great deal of the original. For example, Brennan Heart and Code Black’s remix of Afrojack’s ‘Ten Feet Tall’, would put the track at its original tempo as a breakdown. The composition for ‘Nothing Can Hold Us Down’ sounded even weirder to me, because the first half is Electro House and the second half is semi Hard Dance.

There can be several explanations for this choppy way of putting two different genres together. Firstly, raising the tempo is one of the ways producers increase the hype. Secondly, it seems that Hardstyle producers are anticipating situations where they will be playing at stages that are not specifically dedicated to Hardstyle. For example, Headhunterz was the only Hardstyle artist invited to play at festival Stereosonic last year. Additionally, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike actually dropped Coone’s remix of their track in a set at Future Music Festival several years ago, which was a pleasant surprise.

Nonetheless, I should deliver this warning: If you are a Hard Dance fan who is not used to listening to such combinations, you will not feel comfortable with this track. I certainly didn’t feel like I was used to it until one or two weeks ago, even though I had already heard Brennan Heart and Code Black’s remix of ‘Ten Feet Tall’ way before that. Back when I was listening to Hard Dance, it was just that. The concept of Hard Dance being moulded together with Electro House or Trance, or the possibility of a term like ‘Electrostyle’ to emerge, is still relatively new to me.

Anyway, let me go a bit deeper into ‘Nothing Can Hold Us Down’. Both Hardwell and Headhunterz have managed to provide creative inputs into this piece to create a highly engaging and gleeful melody. In fact, those who are familiar with Headhunterz work will hear little bits of Headhunterz in there and know that it doesn’t overpower the Hardwell style. The techniques that each producer has to offer in this piece have been moulded and mixed well.

Now, let me tell you what’s bad: The ending. After I listened to both the SoundCloud and YouTube preview, I still went to iTunes just to confirm the length was around 3:18. That is how abrupt the outro sounded and that is how much I wanted this track to have more Hard Dance. I thought the kicks would become much harder. Unfortunately, Hard Dance was the outro in this case. It sounded as if they spun a coin with Electro House on one side and Hard Dance on the other, then slammed it on Hard Dance and took the coin away immediately. I was left unsatisfied but at the same time, I wanted more. It’s not a horrible track since the melody is beautiful, but it could have been a much better mix of genres.

Outro 2/10
Melody 10/10
Lyrics 7/10
Vocals 5/10
Overall 6/10

Press Play – Bollybounce

Published on Beatsmedia 2/2/2015

Ah, Bollywood, where people can sing and dance forever if they want to, and among the tracks that people could dance to might also include this release from Aussie DJ Press Play, titled ‘Bollybounce’.

Surprisingly, this track actually includes a great deal of Indian flavour and instruments. The trills are super addictive and whenever the low-pitched sounds make their presence as a foreground melody, there would always be a slight variation between each note. After several breakdowns, the sounds are sharpened and snipped, then a few pats to the tambourine can be heard, all of which form a very smooth outro.

Electronic music tracks infused with exotic instruments are hard to come by. Hopefully, this release by Press Play will inspire more music producers to find and incorporate more sounds made by instruments from various parts of the world.

This track was released via Ministry of Sound Australia on the 19th of January.

Download on Beatport – http://po.st/cpsNlO

Instruments 10/10
Transitions 8/10
Originality 7/10