D-Fence & Deadly Guns
Wall Of Bass
Masters Of Hardcore
A clash of two hardcore titans on this release, delivering some serious, ear destroying beats. 'Wall Of Bass' is a tongue-in-cheek dancefloor track, with a comical take on a certain presidential speech. The quirkiness of the break continues after the 190 BPM drop, with short twisted melodies and screeches. At first I thought it might just be my specific taste in music and humour that caused me to love the track so much, but after seeing crowd reactions all over the world, this one is surely a work of genius.
The Viper & Neophyte
'Coming Home (Never Surrender Remix)'
This anthem of yesteryear from two of the most respected artists in the Dutch hardcore scene still doesn’t feel dated in my opinion — but that doesn’t mean a cool refix isn’t going to go down a treat. Most of the breakdown remains true to the original, with the super familiar-sounding sing along vocal. The tempo, however, has been pumped up, and the drop is far more aggressive, opting for a cold anticlimax as opposed to the euphoric melody of the original. A great update of an already brilliant track.
'Dancing With The Devil'
I’m such a big fan of Reevoid for his ability to make super hard and aggressive dance music, yet somehow have a cool and effortless vibe. Despite the hard, distorted kick-drum, Reevoid’s production trickery gives the track a rolling bassline groove. The breakdown is solely there to give dancefloors an opportunity to draw breath, with light percussion, pads and UK hip-hop raps, before building and dropping back to the brutality.
Here we have a cool track from a new artist hailing from the US, bringing a very raw vibe for the entire mid intro section, with boxy bass drums and kick rolls galore. The breakdown offers a sinister movie style spoken vocal, followed by a far more uplifting melody. The break builds and drops with the melody and pitched kicks — a refreshing arrangement choice — before switching back to rough and raw for the outro. Look forward to hearing more in the future.
Technikore feat. Emi
'Just Be 2.0'
Technikore exploded in the dance music scene as a teenager over a decade ago now, and his various aliases in hard dance and trance have continued to gain support worldwide. My personal favourite is his UK hardcore, and this latest offering proves exactly why. Despite the faster BPM, the track retains a floaty, dreamy quality that seems to have been lost in modern day happy hardcore. With a catchy vocal and beautiful melody, but not crossing the cheese boundary, this one was a pleasure to discover.
4B x Junkie Kid
'Love Is Dead (LNY TNZ Remix)'
LNY TNZ are one of those acts that flit between the trap and hard dance scenes with their production, ranging from the extremes of both genres. This remix is firmly on a hardstyle tip. To be honest, I’m not familiar with the original, but whatever element LNY TNZ use from it works perfectly, wrapped up in tight, pacy percussion, weighty kick-drums and dark ravey melodies.
Scottish tech trance legend Forbes is back with another hard club banger. After the explosion of hardstyle, many fans in the hard dance community have mourned the loss of hard trance sounds, but this genre has only left us in name alone. You only have to look as far as this release to realise this style is very much alive and kicking. With 140 BPM pounding kicks and gritty basslines, euphoric builds and chaotic synth work on the drops, if you were a fan of hard trance, this is very much the evolution of the genre.
A new name to me, but hailing from the Nightbreed camp, you know Kuzak will not disappoint. 'The Slayer' is raw to the core. Brutal kick-drums, thunderous bass and hardcore rap samples mean this one is not for the faint of heart.
As the artist name suggests, Retrospect releases lean heavily on nostalgia and the timeless sounds of rave's past. This release takes me firmly back to 2012, with its bouncy triplet groove and energetic synth bassline. The breakdown is your classic spoken word ‘movie trailer’, which fans of hardstyle will be all too familiar with. Underneath this, a super euphoric melody swells, before fully opening up and dropping in unison with the beat. In a world of anti climax and fake drops, the predicability of this track is remarkably refreshing.