In My Head
Kit Hype is one of the rare exceptions in the hard dance scene of a new artist that breaks into the scene with an impeccable level of production. 'In My Head' has a super catchy and powerful vocal before dropping to an EDM-influenced melody and techy kick. Add the trademark Kit Hype ragga-drop vocals and short, tasty trap interlude and we have a hit on our hands here. With releases like this, Kit Hype are sure to be one of the names to blow up in 2018!
A*S*Y*S & Dominik Schwarz
Old-skool hard trance pioneer ASYS is back with a new album featuring the full spectrum of electronic dance music styles, but one thing that ties the whole package together, ACID! From techno to trap, this album is sublimely produced, but my pick of the bunch is this colab with one half of Kamui, Dominik Schwarz. Best described as early hardstyle, this track has a powerful tempo rise melody, before dropping to a thunderous, stomping kick drum and acid line! Great to see these two legends still pioneering.
'Count With Me'
Scottish hardcore legend Scott Brown is back with another bouncy techno banger. It’s been a long-running joke about dance music teaching you to count with tired “1,2,3” or “3,2,1” pre-drop vocals, but here Scott leans into the joke with the iconic Public Enemy count rap looped throughout the track. In addition, the track is full of bleepy rave goodness and the classic 99.9 stab peppered for the duration of the track. In a scene primarily dominated by vocal anthems, this is a much needed refreshing dancefloor stomper.
Deadly Guns ft. Tha Watcher
Masters Of Hardcore
I always thought it was a bad idea to use triplet timing on high tempo tracks because everything would start to sound too messy, but, man, I have been proven wrong with this track! Clocking in at a brutally fast 200bpm, the triplets give this track an abundance of energy. With dark, sinister rap samples and half-time 100bpm hip-hop breaks to draw breath, before firing you back into the front line! If you can handle your beats hard and fast, don’t sleep on this one!
D-Block & S-te-Fan
'No Apoya No Folla'
This Dutch duo have had the hardstyle sound on lock for many years now, and despite a recent venture into the more mainstream dance music sound, the guys restored full focus on the hardstyle scene at the back end of 2017 — even more powerful than ever! 'No Apoya No Folla' is a no-nonsense reverse-bass banger for dancefloors, featuring a quirky vocal hook using a Mexican toast to please Central American ravers!
Cally & MKN ft. Natski
The Welsh hardstyle illuminati are out in force on this release. A big euphoric hardstyler is served up with the vocal stylings of Natski. The track has a distinct UK rave flavour to it which is refreshing in a predominantly Dutch-dominated scene, and despite both Cally and MKN being renowned for their reverse-bass sounds, this track is exclusively pitched kicks showing that you cannot typecast these two artists. A great release leaving me excited to hear more from them all this year.
One of the most exciting producers on the scene to received track promos from because you have no idea what to expect. Geck-o certainly has his own trademark sound, but he is one of the few producers able to reflect this into any style of underground dance music. Here we have something very psy-trance-influenced with rolling baseline, hypnotic vocals and heavily dub-delayed synth work. The track is so pure to the source, it may be a little difficult to digest by your regular hardstyle fan, but those a little more open-minded will appreciate the quality in this production!
Styles & Breeze
'You're Shining (Avi8 Remix)'
One of the all-time classic UK hardcore hits is up for a rework here by rising Scottish, euphoric hardstyle producer, Avi8! Everything that made the original so great remains in tact during the breakdown. The iconic vocal, dreamy melody followed by pitched kicks give this timeless anthem a fresh facelift in a new genre. It’s always great to see the legends of a scene helping to usher through the next generation of talent!