Relentless Beats

Swallow Your Inhibitions: The Hardstyle Experience

The word “hardstyle” can be a turn-off. I get it. The music is dark, it has attitude, it all sounds very similar. Putting it on for easy listening is not a commonality. The lyrics are typically angry and are not known to fill you with feelings of euphoria and joy as many of the other electronic music genres do. Hardstyle can be a genre that is very difficult to acquire a taste for within the mainstream electronic music fan-base… But it can be done.

Take this from me, a guy who spends all of his time listening to Trance; Deep House; Progressive House; music that relies on melody. Swallow your inhibitions and go to a Hardstyle show. Back in May of 2014 I had tickets to the double-header booking of Bro Safari and The Prophet over Cinco de Mayo weekend at the Monarch. I bought the ticket mostly for the fact that Bro Safari throws down some mean trap hits and I love me some trap. But I figured, hey, I’ve never seen a Hardstyle show, let’s see what it’s all about. Best decision I made that night.

The Prophet threw down an amazing set. Never would I have thought that that angry sounding, relentlessly pounding music could be so fun to dance to. You get out there and feel like a machine. Your feet don’t stop moving and you just want to jump. I didn’t even realize that I had it in me to shuffle, but I was out there shuffling like it was second nature. And these Hardstyle DJs, they really know what their doing up there. A lot of them have been around for years and got left behind when electronic music took off and it is truly unfortunate because Hardstyle rocks!

Following my experience at the Monarch, I made it a point to go to the Basscon stage as EDC Las Vegas for at least a set or two. Although, the stage was not nearly as crowded as the Kinetic Field or the Cosmic Meadows, Basscon surely surpassed my expectations. The fans for these Hardstyle events are some of the most dedicated fans I’ve ever seen. They pull out all the stops: light shows, hula-hoops, shuffling, non-stop movement. These are the people that created our scene. My time spent at Basscon, watching the likes of Lady Faith and LNY TNZ, was two of the most enlightening hours I spent at EDC. I realized what makes Hardstyle special and why it is a genre that should never die. Hardstyle represents electronic music’s origins. It represents an unsurpassable fan base that would die listening to their genre. And it represents a style of music that refuses to bow to the standard and that refuses to sacrifice it’s identity.

Once again, take it from me: someone who’s learned from experience. Hardstyle can be daunting, but take it for what it is. There is nothing more fun that just moving. Move, move, move, and never stop. In the morning your legs will be sore and your eardrums will be flaring, but you will always have that memory of your first Hardstyle show. That first show where you realized that your initial perceptions were misinformed; that first show where you learned to shuffle; that first show where you witnessed an art form only understood in the live atmosphere, surrounded by those who built our scene. Since my experiences, I have acquired a taste for Hardstyle and have discovered many artists that I enjoy listening to. Although, I still listen primarily to the more melodic electronic music, I have dug a niche into my musical taste buds just for Hardstyle. Check out my favorite Hardstyle track: “Year of Summer” by Wildstylez!

If you are a Hardstyle fan you know what I’m talking about and can vouch, if not make Psyko Punkz at Brkfst @ Nite on May 29 your first priority … Like myself, going to you’re first Hardstyle show will be a decision you’re not soon to regret!

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