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Singles - Hard - Issue 564

Crypsis

Program Hostile

CDR

9.5
The name Crypsis needs no introduction within the harder styles of dance music. After recently writing the epic anthem for the rawest hardstyle festival on the planet, 'Qapital', he is now back with a fresh new album for us to delve into. This feature track, 'Program Hostile', hits us with some chunky and authentic-sounding kicks on the intro followed by a haunting breakdown with synths to prick up the ears. This is everything you could want from an intro to a rawstyle track. The breakdown follows a nice transition into a melodic-sounding break with some raw to-the-point lyrics from the talented MC Nolz to add extra flavour to the track. Following into the climax of the track is a kick and melody, which will certainly keep the dancefloor moving. Keep your ears open for this one, this is a track not to be missed.

Evil Activities & Mad Dog

'911'

Neophyte

9.0
This exciting collaboration between Holland and Italy’s finest is a love letter to the heart and soul of the hardcore scene — the Roland 909 drum machine. With a cool rap vocal about kicks and snares, and dramatic synth-work, the track builds before unleashing the concept of the track — the brutally distorted 909 kick! The track breaks again for an even greater build before releasing the kick-drum again — this time accompanied by a classic hardcore-style monophonic screech pattern! A cool concept for a track, executed by two of the best in the game.

Advanced Dealer

'Back To The Rave'

Traxtorm

9.0
I’ve always been a fan of the Italian hardcore sound because of the energy of the music. Advanced Dealer is one of the hottest new artists on the legendary Italian imprint Traxtorm, and embodies everything I love about this sound. 'Back To The Rave' is a high tempo, hard kick-drum lead affair with the relentless beats giving dancefloors very little chance to draw breath. On the occasions the track does pause, this is only to give space for a hype building vocal before unleashing a tirade of aggressive old skool stabs and energetic ravey synth-work. Sometimes a track's title says it all, and this is very much a case of that here.

Energyzed & Demi Kanon

'Illuminated'

Scantraxx

8.0
Cracking new vocal track from one of the breakthrough stars of 2016, Energyzed. It comes on the label notorious for spotting talent early and creating headliners, and featues a well-sung male vocal, uplifting melodies and euphoric drops — making this epic festival hardstyle fodder! Nothing too boundary-breaking with this release, but sometimes that's not needed when the music is this good.

Cyber & Phrantic

'Into The Light'

Dirty Workz

8.0
Big collaboration of next generation stars here, both of which I've heavily championed in my DJ sets and who combine here to take things up to the next level, delivering an incredible euphoria with a pop-influenced vocal and soaring simple-yet-incredibly-effective melodies. Certainly not one to be missed from your record collection.

Bass Modulators

'Let It Move You'

Mainstage

8.5
Dutch hardsyle dt Bass Modulators are back with an interesting crossover sound on this heavyweight house label. The first half of the track is presented at a modest 130bpm, with a dreamy vocal and euphoric EDM-influenced melody. However it still has the ever-present trademark Bass Modulators hardstyle kick. Rinse and repeat for the second build up with even more intensity, and release at 150bpm for the full hardstyle experience. A great set-finisher for house DJs, and equally awesome DJ tool for anyone switching up their style during their set.

Mark With A K

'Love Rules The Universe'

CDR

9.5
The Belgian tek master really is the don of writing tracks for the dancefloor. It’s like he has some sixth sense of exactly what is different than everyone else, but also creates the biggest pops in the festivals and on the dancefloors. The track breaks down to a hypnotic and dramatic spoken vocal about the power of rave music before dropping straight into a downtempo, cheekily borrowed and instantly recognisable melody. This builds up in intensity and tempo before flipping the script on the drop with a bouncy kick and techy bleeps. The vocal and melody come back around for the second break without the tempo drop, a trick that maintains the energy. Pure fire on the dancefloor!

Paul Elstak

'Luv U More (Da Tweekaz Remix)'

Dirty Workz

9.5
Da Tweekaz have never been ashamed to profess their love for the happy hardcore sound, and here they take one of the all-time happy hits and give it a hardstyle rework. The first break gives us the classic piano arp and vocal before a super-bouncy old skool-sounding mid-intro section. The main breakdown elaborates on the first with a trademark Tweeka happy melody before dropping with a pitched hardstyle kick. Touching a classic like this is always a dangerous affair, but Da Tweekaz took on the bold task and own it with this killer update!

Devin Wild & Sub Zero Project

'Meltdown'

Scantraxx

8.5
This track would make a perfect set intro with its huge epic breakdown. It starts very chilled-out and melodic with an operatic vocal, light strings building in anticipation into a Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’-influenced clap-your-hands build-up. This introduces the main melody before dropping with powerful sub kicks — keeping things very trancey. Not as full-on energetic as we would expect from this label, but delivering quality and something a little different for the perfect set-starter.

Da Tweekaz

'Tequila'

Dirty Works

9.0
There's never a dull moment when these guys are around, bringing a fun cheeky angle to a scene which can take itself far too seriously sometimes. As you might be able to guess by the title, this is a tongue-in-cheek track sampling some Mexican salsa in the breakdown, with Spanish ariba style vocals — all combined with the Tweekaz touch of well-constructed uplifting melodies, sealed together with a massive bag of fun!