Yeah you read right, rawstyle is getting into the wrong direction, or not? Don’t get me wrong hardstyle is still my only true love and like everybody I enjoy all kind of hardstyle music from raw to euphoric. What I want to talk about is the latest evolution of rawstyle – getting harder, faster and unfortunately…simpler and repetitive.
And I am not talking about every rawstyle artist or track. Just think back to the releases after August 2014 until now, the rawstyle hype reached a new peak…and I guess it will continue in 2015 as well.
I remember a time where rawstyle was more than just a heavy kick and high pitched screeches. I remember creative tracks with a dark and gloomy atmospheres, tense vocals and extraordinary sounds. Here are two newer examples but think back to the time between 2008-2010. You should absolutly check out the tracks named in this overview of hardstyle history by TheDanceMusicGuide.com. Great vocals, scary and tense melodies were characteristics. And of course a fat reverse bass (I’m missing this the most!).
If it comes to the point, that rawstyle is getting worse because of the hype in 2014 (and everybody just wants to produce a rougher and harder track then the other), I always like to quote Audiofreq and his statement about one of his Soundcloud uploads.
Although he never said anything against rawstyle in particular he shared some wise words with us in one of our interviews.
“Let me first say that there is nothing wrong with rawstyle at all, just like there isn’t anything wrong with more euphoric and uplifting hardstyle. I like both and play both.
But where there is too much of one thing at the same time and it literally sounds the same as a whole bunch of other tracks (21 times no less), then I think people would agree that there needs to be variety, regardless of style or genre.
When it all sounds the same, the scene grows stale, people lose interest and get bored. It‘s not healthy for music to be so one dimensional. That‘s all I was trying to point out. You see, it‘s one thing for a person to complain that all the music is starting to alike, but those are just words and are easily dismissed – it’s another thing entirely to demonstrate it to people by putting a bunch of tracks together.
And it‘s only when you listen to that many tracks back to back that you can hear how much all these things sound alike. As a DJ, I don’t play the same style tracks one after the other again, I float and change so that people don’t get bored. I do the same in the studio too. I had a few complaints from raw fans, but the majority of the people heard the mini-mix and agreed with the fact that there needs to be more of a variety in what producers are doing – the current formula is old and tired.”, Audiofreq
A few weeks later I had a little chat with ‘some artists’ about the best track of 2014, featured at Freaqshow 2014, E-Force – Seven! I told him, that the track was played so often at Freaqshow that I can’t get it out of my head.
“It’s just a f*cking raw kick with a stutter vocal!”, was his reaction. At first I thought what a hater he must be – just because his music is euphoric and less popular but in the same night, I sat down, heard the track and felt like an idiot. Suddenly the track was not as awesome as I thought it was. It may be my high claims about what hardstyle should be, or just my taste of music…
But “This track is so boring!”, was the first impression. The main part is literally one kick combined with a stutter vocal. E-Force could only be more uncreative if you left the vocals or the lead in the intro. It’s a strict formula that many new rawstyle tracks follow and: make it loud, rough and high pitched.
And it’s not only the music that changes. He also added, that many euphoric producers are getting less bookings since the crowd only wants rawstyle lineups, either forcing euphoric producers to make ‘shitty’ rawstyle or loose they bookings.
One guy who profited the most out of this rawstyle hype was Warface. His album ‘Art of War’ reached already a drastic point. I heared at least one track from it on every rawstyle event since the release. Most of his tracks have the same schema. A kick with a long, distorted tail and screeches.
Even if I really liked his album and many of his tracks like ‘Meltdown’, which had this twist moment getting me to move, I have enough of this wanna be hardcore tracks.
What’s your opinion about the evolution of rawstyle?