Over the last year, the Pacific Northwest has slowly but surely been exposed to the harder styles of dance music. It all began with Headhunterz gracing a stage at Paradiso 2013, followed by Technoboy taking over the decks at Volume Nightclub, and culminating in Headhunterz’ return to Seattle with Coone and Brennan Heart in tow. What little we’ve seen of the genre has blown minds and changed the musical landscape we’ve become so familiar with. And now, Noisecontrollers is adding himself into the equation.
Beginning back in 2005 when Bas Oskam and Arjan Terpstra met online in a production forum, the Noisecontrollers name has since revolutionized the genre. At the time, Holland was ground zero for hardstyle. “There were already parties in huge football stadiums,” as Europe’s love for the budding scene was in full swing. But the duo had burst on to the world stage at a critical juncture.
There was a switch in style going on. There was a new generation of hardstyle producers upcoming and Noisecontrollers was exactly in that period. We were in the right time, right moment, and right place.
The changeover from the old guard saw the first instance of hardstyle artists that “were producers too. Before you had a lot of DJs who didn’t produce their own music.” The predominant sound revolved around “pounding, screechy beats,” a model that Noisecontrollers adopted and single-handedly evolved into a mature final product, so birthing the “more musical kind of hardstyle.” By introducing addictive melodies into pounding basskicks, they brought forth an intelligence in the music the genre had never before experienced.
The rest is history, as they made themselves a fixture within hardstyle as the new generation of DJs and producers took the world by storm. This last fall though saw the legendary duo part ways, as Arjan left to explore other music, citing “changing ambitions” as he moves on to other projects. Keeping the Noisecontrollers name alive and well is Bas, with the goal of continuing the evolution of a genre that’s become bigger than all of us.
I really believe in hardstyle. We got something special here on our hands.
With his first solo effort All Around releasing in March, Noisecontrollers is alive and well as it continues to operate outside the confines of definition. Too often are dance music fans put in a box. We have bassheads, trance fans, hardstyle fanatics, and a myriad of other subgroups that rarely seem to intersect. But when it comes to his personal philosophy, Bas is of the belief that “music is music. If you hear good music it doesn’t matter what genre you’re into.” And that’s the driving force that’s made that signature sound throughout the years both accessible and unique.
But describing it can be difficult in the best sort of way. With the new album promising to be the most innovative, versatile hardstyle offering Noisecontrollers has even brought, it carries with it that intangible level of enjoyment: “It’s not the most straightforward sound. To describe (it), you have to hear it.” Not even his contemporaries can quite put it into words. With the premiere of What?! on Headhunterz’ Hard With Style podcast, the hardstyle giant was left in awe, reacting with just two words: “Holy. S**t.”
As the scene continues to grow, Noisecontrollers continues to push the limits of the genre. Much like the crossroads it approached back in 2005, hardstyle has once again reached a critical point.
I think hardstyle has to keep moving forward and has to develop. Why would you make the same track over and over again?
So far it’s a trap that most artists within hardstyle have avoided, but nonetheless it’s an issue that every wave of music approaches as worldwide popularity increases. That very same popularity continues to make its way west, as Seattle will be treated to its very first Noisecontrollers performance at Dance Nation II come Valentine’s Day.
With the goal to “bring the very best hardstyle out there” along with plenty of music from his new album, the Northwest is sure to be treated to a show like no other. Thanks to the dedicated fans that seem to appear everywhere there’s 150 bpm basskicks, “every party can become huge” when hardstyle is present. You can bet Noisecontrollers will make sure of that.
Grab your ticket to Dance Nation II here and see Noisecontrollers live and in person! The first single off of All Around entitled What?! is available on iTunes now, with the full album releasing on March 14th.
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