One of the rising talents from the UK hardstyle scene, Scottish producer AVI8 is back with his trademark euphoric sound. The first break teases a vocal, before dropping a high energy, techy kick that hits you in the face like a sledgehammer. I’m a big fan of hard music in high musical keys because of the energy it can provide, and this section exemplifies that perfectly. The main break offers buckets of emotion with a beautiful vocal and uplifting melody, before building and dropping with a more traditional hardstyle kick. I’ve been a fan of AVI8’s music for years, and it’s great to hear his sound develop, and his production reach the next level.
Warface x Sub Sonik ft. Carola
''Set Me Free''
End of Line
"A track that sticks in my head for days. The combination of Carola's recognisable voice and Warface’s vibe is just a perfect match."
Restrained & Neophyte
'Bounce 2 Diz'
Rising talent meets a true legend on this release, and the results are stellar. High BPM, high energy, high distortion: everything in this track is dialled up to 11. The triplet arrangement only emphasises the pace, and the rapid-fire kick rolls throughout, almost leaving you breathless by the breakdown. Here we get a dramatic, end-of-the-world style melody, which is promptly switched up to triplets, before a fast build and drop back to the chaos. If you like hard beats, this is a winner.
A super cool new hardcore number from Broken Minds. With many tracks the feature is the breakdown, but here, it simply serves the purpose of allowing you to catch your breath, before the main attraction: the drop. A plethora of hard beats bob and weave throughout, ranging from minimal to wild, and there's even a rolling bassline section. I just had a smile on my face from beginning to end listening to this, great work.
'Emergency (Lit As Fuck)'
Not On Label
I love Pat B. In a world where the majority of jumpstyle producers and DJs have vacated the sound to pastures greener within the thriving hardstyle scene, Pat B stays true to his roots, and has simply evolved his sound to stay relevant, rather than completely jumping ship. 'Emergency' can only be described as modern jump — quirky sirens, blips and bleeps weave in and out of simple and bouncy kick-drums, but with sublime production, making this stand toe to toe with the biggest, most aggressive hard tracks of today. Another refreshing tune from this authentically original artist.
'Hardcore Vibes (Versattchio Bootleg)'
Not On Label
Dune was responsible for many of the biggest happy hardcore anthems in the '90s, no bigger than his timeless hit 'Hardcore Vibes'. The track has had many incarnations over the decades, and this latest uptempo hardcore remix adds a new level of spice, with high BPMs and aggressive kicks — but it still maintains the happy vibe. With no label information at the time of writing, I’m assured by the man behind the project this track will see an official release in the near future.
Envine & Scabtik
'Legends Of Tomorrow'
Two rising artists shine through on Scantraxx Silver, the feeder imprint to one of the biggest labels in hardstyle. 'Legends Of Tomorrow' breaks after the intro for an extended spoken word vocal, to set the mood before the euphoric melody. The track simmers again, before building to the drop when the melody continues along with a powerful, pitched kick following the chord progression. A nice tune, leaving me very excited to hear their future work.
Technikore x Mike Reverie
Veteran of the harder styles Technikore teams up with fellow UK hard producer Mike Reverie, formally of DJ MOB fame, to create a stomping UK hardcore piece. The main break is sparse and atmospheric, with a breathy vocal and delicate piano plucks. This is followed by your typical, energetic UK hardcore buildup, and a pounding kick and bass with the lead melody. This style of music is loved for its energy, and this track has buckets of it.
Antolini & F.Zeta
I’ve been a fan of these two Italian producers for many years — they offer up a variety of styles, ranging from reverse bass hardstyle to hard trance. This track is certainly on the lower BPM spectrum of this page, serving up a tough tech trancer with that extra bit of bite you would expect from these artists. A quality track with a refreshing sound.
'Up In Smoke'
Masters Of Hardcore
The Ukrainian queen of hardcore returns to MOH, showing her diversity as an artist with a more uptempo, kick and bass affair. The Frenchcore sound has had a real revival in recent times, and this track pays homage, while still retaining the rougher edge we know Miss K8 for. Chopped and syncopated rap vocals add to the energy levels, and a side-chained melody at the back of the track adds a dab of euphoria. I feel this is one of her best productions to date.
'Zombie (Gammer Flip)'
Good things come to those who wait. This cheeky flip of the hardstyle hit from several years ago has been doing the rounds on the proverbial white label for some time now, and it finally gets an official release. It has, as you’d expect, the brilliance of Ran-D’s anthem, with a pumped up tempo and an energetic UK hardcore drop that on paper sounds simple enough — but in practice, it has been one of the biggest anthems of recent times. And can we take a moment to reflect that one of the biggest Dutch hardstyle anthems has an official UK hardcore remix, and it has been released on Armada? What a year to be alive!