So I was getting ready for work the other morning and in typical wake-my-neighbor-up fashion I was pumping some tunes with Pandora. A driving House beat came across the speakers at which point my ears immediately perked up (my quick-mix plays everything from Bob Marley to Dave Matthews Band to Rage Against the Machine plus all the dance music genres, so I’m always on my toes with Pandora). Around the one-minute mark of this song I recognized some familiar synths and when I looked at what the track was, it made perfect sense that this was a Hardwell song, called “Voyage”. Because I only started really digging into dance music around 2010 and because Hardwell wasn’t yet a household name, I had clearly missed out. I really do love the beat on this and could very honestly do without the epic synth breaks – but hey that’s what made Hardwell famous.
The other track included with the Smoke/Voyage EP was, well, “Smoke”. The drum beat on “Smoke” is similar to that of “Voyage”, although the track overall is a lot more subtle – almost of the minimal sub-genre. What I like about “Smoke” is that it’s a raver-esque track that I can be seen being played late at night in a dark club or warehouse. I don’t associate these kinds of songs with the Hardwell we know today (more of a Big Room, Electronic/Banger sound), so it’s always interesting to see where producers once found their roots. Today, however, Hardwell is a top-10 DJ in the world and some say he had the best set of Ultra 2013 – do you agree?