The melody man and the soldier of synths have joined forces to strike a memorable chord in this day and age. The internet was exposed to this collaboration in conjunction with Frontliner’s Australian tour, which was probably what the Q-Dance Australia team came up with after they realised just how popular Frontliner was among Aussies.
Allow me to go slightly off-topic for a moment, because the context is part of the reasons why this was one of many tracks from Frontliner that became popular. For those of you who haven’t read one of my event reviews, Frontliner’s promised performance at Q-Dance’s first, and probably last, uniquely Aussie Q-Dance event called IQON, was cancelled. Fans were so disappointed, that Q-Dance decided to have Frontliner perform at Defqon.1 Australia 2013 as compensation. Naturally, the reactions were so desirable, that Q-Dance decided to create a ‘Q-Dance presents: Frontliner’ event. Boy, Frontliner and Q-Dance really did make the event special. Firstly, Frontliner released previews of brand new projects. Collaborating with Synthsoldier to produce ‘The New Age’ was one of the projects announced. Secondly, Q-Dance released a special album, and those who bought tickets to his show could collect a signed copy at the venue. Thirdly, Frontliner performed in Sydney for two nights!
Within five seconds of hearing the melody, there wouldn’t be any doubt in the minds of any melodic Hardstyle fan who watched this preview. Synthsoldier had created the ultimate melody for Frontliner to work his magic. Yet, although I was expecting either Synthsoldier or Frontliner to do more than just repeat that melody, it ended up being repeated throughout the whole track. Don’t get me wrong, it’s catchy and uplifting. I love it. However, I wanted more variation. I wanted it to present more experiential possibilities.
I was mostly impressed with other elements of the track though, especially the contrasting elements. There was just enough time for listeners to enjoy it and savour the reverse bass, before the reversion to the usual Hardstyle bass creates a completely different and wonderful experience. Another element of the track which I found interesting was the clapping layer. It’s not the typically loud, clear, sharp and cliche clapping sound that a lot of electronic music producers like to use. It just sounds as if Frontliner or Synthsoldier decided to clap with their own hands in the quiet studio, tapped different parts of their palm to produce different clap sounds, recorded it quite far away from the microphone, and edited it so that it would only sound a little bit like clapping. Fascinating. That’s just my theory though.
‘The New Age’ was released through Q-Dance Records as part of the ‘Q-Dance Presents: Frontliner’ EP on 05/05/2014.