Callum Higby is one of the true future talents of the UK dance music scene. His style crosses the boundaries between hard dance and more mainstream EDM and trap sounds. This is on display with his latest release, 'DWYL'. The track opens with some gentle, euphoric string arps and swells with piano chords, before introducing the pitched vocal sample. The first drop is four-four kicks, with bass house influenced sound design and groovy percussion. The second drop opts for a more straightforward hard dance kick and bass to tear up dancefloors. Completely original, impeccably produced and dancefloor friendly. A tough combination that pays dividends when you get it right.
Ruthless x MC Jeff
Ruthless is one of my favourite DJs to watch live, and the variety in his productions always causes me to pay attention to his new music. His latest EP is a solid acknowledgement of his roots in the jumpstyle scene, but with a fresh new twist, keeping it relevant in 2020. The first break serves up a rap courtesy of renowned hardcore MC Jeff, before dropping to a bouncy, elastic kick with wonky, jump influenced percussion and detuned synth work. The second break focuses on the build, resetting to a filtered bass drum, adding more percussive synth work and dropping to a more powerful, modern kick.
'Let There Be Light (Code Black Remix) '
Art Of Creation
I love so many elements of this track, from the euphoric melody to the powerful main drop, but for me it is all about the mid intro section. The track is in E, which is a very dark musical key in hardstyle, with a distinct low frequency kick drum that will rattle the foundations of any club with a self respecting soundsystem. This is used to full effect with a clean and techy drop on the mid intro, giving that full on screwface experience, without having to resort to the brutality of excess distortion. Killer dancefloor track.
'Move On feat. Carola'
End of Line
I’ve always been a fan of E-Force productions. His tracks are a little hard and dark for my taste, but there is always a solid, strong concept that gives them identity, making them stand out from the masses. 'Move On', despite still having the hard, dark edge his fans love him for, strikes more of a musical note, with the beautiful, delicate vocal courtesy of Carola, and a spine-tingling melody. These elements will make a nice change of mood across the full spectrum of the harder styles
Joey Riot vs Darkest Knight
'One More Time'
The hardest working man in the scene Joey Riot returns with a UK hardcore collab with Darkest Knight. The first break has a beautiful female vocal, followed by a powerful lead melody and build to a melodic drop with a powerful kick and bass combo. Rinse and repeat for a second time, only dropping more minimally with the vocal, then building to the melody once more before the outro.
AK47 + Macks Wolf
'People Are You Ready'
Keeping The Rave Alive
This collaboration was instantly on my radar, being a huge fan of both of these artists in recent times. The track opens with a filtered kick and bass, which build alongside the gliding and pumping synth work, before dropping to a dancefloor damaging mid intro kick and bass section. The main break opens up the melodic elements, with a progression of the bassline and percussive build, before dropping to an epic detuned melody. 'People Are You Ready' is the perfect example of a track distilling all the elements that make music work on a dancefloor, with no excess fat.
LNY TNZ x Da Tweekaz x The Kemist
'We Made It (Darren Styles Remix)'
I loved the original mix of this, which I have heard for months in both LNY TNZ and Da Tweekaz's sets, with no sign of release. Finally it makes its way to the masses, but also includes a remix courtesy of Darren Styles. Darren pushes the tempo up, keeping the vocal from the original break intact, only now dropping to a thunderous, rolling bassline. The track breaks once more, with more melodic elements, and then drops with a full melody for the second time, giving a feeling of release for the second half. Awesome work.