Published on Beatsmedia UK 10/2/2015
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.