I don’t know if I should give this a 2 out of 5, or 3 out of 5. In fact, I’m struggling so much here, it feels like I’m doing splits. On one hand, Brennan Heart and Code Black are among the most respected Hardstyle artists out there. But, on the other hand, this remix wasn’t Hardstyle from start to finish.
Personally, I think it would have sounded pretty good if it had a Hardstyle tempo and style from start to finish. Code Black’s trademark notes and Brennan Heart’s melodic powers can definitely be heard, but Hard Bass Junkies might feel like the tempo gets dragged out for too long and too often at some parts. As a person who has listened to a lot of Hardstyle for a long time, I was bothered by how the transition between tempos were not smooth enough. I’ve heard other remixes that managed the tempo changes more smoothly.
On the other hand, I don’t know how this track would sound like to a person who listens to Hardstyle less often, or a person who has never heard of Hardstyle before. Sure, if Brennan Heart or Code Black played the track from start to finish at a multi-genre festival like Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), the crowd might not mind. However, if they played this track from start to finish at a festival like Defqon.1, I think the crowd reaction might simmer down. Why? Because festivals like Defqon.1 are more well known for being predominantly Hardstyle than anything else. It really depends on where this track will be played, and at what point the cue is for a set. For instance, if the Hardstyle DJs skip huge portions of segments that play the original mix at the original tempo, it might still be able to work well in a predominantly Hardstyle set.
I might be wrong though, since genres are crossing over a lot these days. Maybe, a lot of people who go to Hardstyle festivals like a lot of Electro or Progressive House and Trance. Maybe, a lot of people who go to Electro or Progressive House and Trance festivals like Hardstyle. Or, maybe, on one side, there’s a case of unrequited love. Either way, it’s part of the effort to introduce Hardstyle to a wider audience. Consider these questions: Do you think Brennan Heart and Code Black will succeed with this track? Or have they succeeded with this track? Should Hardstyle DJs consider the Hardstyle side of things when introducing this genre to an audience that has hardly heard of it before? Should they just focus on the perceptions of audiences outside of the Hardstyle scene? Or should they strike a balance? Is it possible to strike the perfect balance? So many questions remain unanswered, since experiments are still in its early stages.
Let me know if you heard this live at either a multi-genre festival like EDC, or a predominantly Hardstyle festival like Defqon.1. Let me know what happens to the crowd when Hardstyle DJs play this. Or, actually, let me know what happens to the crowd when DJs like Afrojack play this too. I’d be interested to know.
The remixes for Afrojack’s ‘Ten Feet Tall’ have been released through Universal Music.