Hardstyle is changing fast, guys. And in moments like this, we all should enjoy some classic tunes – appreciating the origins of our great culture. Some may listen to their all time favorites from the good old days or swipe through long forgotten pictures of astonishing events. Yes, even at Qlimax 2017 we had a grandiose throwback with Project One.
So let me take you back in time and revisit some of the most important milestones and artists of hardstyle. As always, feel free to tell us your favorites in the comments below!
Reunited – PROJECT ONE
Their album ‘The Album’ was produced over the course of three months, finishing approximately one track per week. After reaching their goal to complete the album within the short time period the collaboration under the name ‘Project One’ was ended.
Their album was debut at Defqon.1 2008 after Headhunterz cancelled the actual debut at In Qontrol because of an appendicitis.
It was not only a great combination of two artists but also something new and uplifting for the scene. Tracks like ‘Life Beyond Earth’ and ‘Fantasy or Reality’ are now unforgettable classics of hardstyle.
Last year all eyes were on them, while Project One finally had reunited. But still, it’s unclear if we will see more sets like this one – we cross our fingers!
Aussie Hardstyle by BIOWEAPON
The DJ duo from down under! Sam Gonzalez and Corey Soljan started their project Bioweapon in 2008 after hardstyle was getting popular in Australia, as well as they were known as BRK3. Sam G. aka. Audiofreq was also known as The Acolyte and Mitosis at this time.
At this time both still produced different styles, but mainly Hardcore under the alias Inverse & Orbit1, however they slowly stopped it at the time Bioweapon and BRK3 started.
After releasing a few track on the label Aussie Hardstyle they signed at Scantraxx. Tracks like ‘All About Music, Final Transmission and Cosmic Destination 2010’ were very popular around 2010-2011, defining early euphoric hardstyle as we know it.
They also went on tour with ‘Get Infected‘ playing at Bassleader 2010 and many more venues.
While working on their first studio album Bioweapon split up in 2011 because of unknown, personal reasons. It’s a mystery to this day. Sam continued to dj with Bioweapon for a few performances, but rather continued Audiofreq in the end. Corey focused on Code Black. 6 tracks were already produced and released for free.
2016 they reunited and released the “Reload the Weapon” EP. But before you get to exited. Audiofreq stated that: “Bioweapon is a side-project and not our main focus. It happens when we have the time to meet up and jam.”
Two brothers, Sjoerd Janssen (a.k.a. Duro) and Wouter Janssen (a.k.a. Walt), were the minds behind Showtek.
Starting in 2001 with general techno music, Showtek moved to hardstyle in 2003 and stayed in this genre for nearly 10 years. Besides this, the two brothers also worked with other EDM styles like progressive and electro house.
Most of you know Showtek as the hardstyle act there were between 2003 and 2012. Most of there tracks influenced hardstyle as it is right now. If we take a look at there long discographie we find a lot of popular classic hardstyle tracks. Of course there major album “Analogue Players In A Digital World” was also a huge success and a game changer.
While giving hardstyle a new softer touch, Showtek also focused on tracks with minimalistic, catchy melodies and vocals. Although Showtek left hardstyle slowly but steady around 2012, they surprised their hardstyle fans with a few hardstyle collaborations in 2016.
The Ingredients for Hardstyle
Between 2000 and 2005 so many artists popped up, that we can’t name all. But if you go thru some interesting ones like The Beholder, A*S*Y*S, Deepack or Tuneboy, you will find one similarity.
The music was played at 140 beats per minute. Hardstyle had everything to be a new music style: new kicks, new acid sounds and catchy melodies. Only one key ingredient was missing!
Between 2000 and 2002 you can clearly hear how artists raised the pace from 140 bpm to 145 and finally reaching the iconiq 150 beats per minute. Artists like Taq 9, High Voltage, Brain Ovulation and Dj Zany established the faster tempo.
But we are not quite there. Going ever further back in time with this italian hardstyle DJ:
Cristiano Giusberti or Technoboy or The KGB’s or Dark Oscillators…. and so on. Over his 25 years long career Technoboy used nearly 30 different names. In 1994 he was one of the first, playing slower hardcore tracks, which are now known as hardstyle. His first official release in 1999 made him part of a rather small group of early adopters in the techno scene.
One year early (in 1998) DJs like Tatanka, Dana, Luna or The Prophet “created” hardstyle music by slowing down hardcore. And if you think we will stop here, you are wrong. Check out this recording of Daniele Mondello from 1992 playing probably the first “hardstyle-ish” track ever!
Watching hardstyle evolve nowadays we must admit, that nothing really changed. We listen to music we like. DJs want to play music we like and change their style to fit our needs. Hardstyle is older than most of us, but still one of the newest music genres in techno. Slowly but steady we evolve and change. So maybe Headhunterz was right with this quote, after he left hardstyle.