Hard With Style
Since Headhunterz vacated his spot as the as the leader of Hard With Style, the brand has progressed on to represent the hard end of all corners of the dance music scene. In this latest offering from the label, UK hard dance DJ Alex Kidd fuses elements of trap and reggae into hardstyle for a unique and impeccably well-produced crossover hit, that is sure to pick up as many plays outside of the hardstyle scene as it will within it!
'Be Alone (Michael Zenden Remix)'
Here we have a great new vocal track from UK hardcore producer Breeze with a bunch of remixes taking the track in different musical directions. My pick of the EP being the Michael Zenden remix, a breakbeat reinterpretation of the original, with the same happy melody and vocal but straight up dnb breakbeats and basslines. It saddens me that this remix may well be overlooked as it’s probably a little fluffy for the dnb scene, and it’s notoriously difficult to get anything without a 4/4 kick-drum to work in the UK hardcore scene, but regardless of dancefloor compatibility you should really check this one out as it oozes class and originality.
Dr. Rude & Rebourne
Without a doubt two of the most exciting producers in the past year combine for this absolute belting freestyle/uplifting hardstyle release combining the superb melody-writing skills of Rebourne with the hard-drop groove and trap-influenced sounds of Dr. Rude fusing the energy both of these guys have into one killer release!
Alan Walker & Rank 1
'Faded Airwave (Where Are You) (Zany Rework)'
Huge 2016 take on the trance classic Rank 1 ‘Airwave’ with a beautiful female vocal overlaid to give this somewhat over-remixed track a new direction for this summer's festivals. This verges on the lighter side of hardstyle, mainly due to the huge pads that dominate the track in true ‘Airwave’ style. This is one which the purists are going to hate but serves very well as an essential entry level into hardstyle for newcomers!
'Fight The Power Feat. MC I See'
Hardstyle pioneers Deepack are back delivering more accessible rawstyle sounds with influence from earlier sounds of hardstyle with a strong vocal from ‘MC I See’, screechy drops, heavy kicks and a simplistic melody.
'Green Stuff (Malua Remix)'
Dutch Master Works
The classic Showtek produced smokers anthem from yesteryear is up for remix here. Somewhat of a forgotten classic now, but still instantly recognisable by most dancefloors, this is the perfect track to pick to remix. Dutch female hardstyle DJ Malua takes this for a much harder interpretation, rawstyle bordering on down-tempo hardcore with a thunderous kick, this one is sure to work on the Dutch dancefloors
'Rock ’N’ Rolla'
Since the massive hype on this sound has passed without the support from the big organisations, I think the releases have got even better and more unique. Sampling a cockney Gangster film this track is stripped back to its raw elements of a huge kick, simple melody patterns and a couple of cleverly-placed stabs, keeping that pounding subground groove running underneath at all times.
Avana is the next big star to rise from the Fusion camp after the huge success of Rebourne in the past 12 months, coming through with his very own unique take on the uplifting sounds of hardstyle. Avana keeps uplifting melodies the main focus of his productions but without the cheesy-key changes and over-the-top commercial vocals and some fairly-heavy intro and outro sections to deliver solid-club bangers, which in my opinion the uplifting scene really needs at the moment.
Da Tweekaz feat. MC D
'The Hitmen (Midnight Mafia Anthem 2016)'
I say this a lot writing reviews, but I’m really not a fan of these anthems for events, however when Da Tweekaz are involved it’s just not possible to hate on this, especially when Australian legendary MC D is involved (who is one of the most underrated MCs on the scene). This features a clean reverse bass intro, huge breakdown with uplifting catchy melodies and powerful drops including a clever, slowed down second break that picks the energy back up on the second drop. Also the music video to this has to be checked out which pretty much sums up those crazy Tweekaz!
The DJ Producer
'Till The End'
The legendary UK hardcore techno producer is back with his high energy and progressive sound. Rolling breakbeats, rapid-fire fills and hypnotic trance synth-work make this stand out from the much more ‘on beat’ Dutch approach to the hardcore sound, and with his trademark manically-edited classic hiphop vocals, this track is a clear reminder why The DJ Producer has remained at the forefront of the sound for two decades now!