I'm usually a person who happily dismisses music on listening to the first thirty seconds of a song. This means, however, that I've been having huge problems with hardstyle.
I've been downloading a bit of the genre recently in a random, newest-torrent search on some vaguely illegal sites - I'd make that a proper esoteric research method if I thought I could get away with it. And what's surprised me is how intricate and interesting the melodies are, how well-crafted the harmonic progressions, how dynamic and hook-filled the songwriting. It's, quite simply, good pop.
But, interestingly, not all of it. Only a bit in the middle.
Here's a fairly extreme example:
Activator - Activator [Youtube link with download option]
There's absolutely nothing resembling melody at all, only rumbling kickdrum surrounded by percussion and spoken commands, until about 3:19 in.
Then suddenly there's this flowering of hooks, synth instruments vying for attention, dramatic buildups, symphonic stabs, trance-bleeps meeting the highest level of R&B euphoria, a huge hi-nrg winddown, all changing, swirling, supported by well-crafted percussion programming. Then at 6:00 it all stops and returns, absurdly, to just the beat. Wow.
This shit obviously cries out for a re-edit of some sort.
2017 with feeling
1 week ago