2017 is already shaping up to form into an incredible year for the Hard Dance scene. With new styles within the genre emerging and new albums released every week, it’ll be harder than ever to cast a vote in this year’s Top 100 Hardstyle tracks.
Speaking of albums, one body of work that’s surely gotten itself stuck to me is actually one of my biggest wildcards. That album is Psyko Punkz’ brand-new gem, titled “Wietse.” Staying true to its title, Wietse Amersfoort, aka Psyko Punkz has used his own personal name for the album’s title, thus sending out an invitation for listeners to walk into his personal life.
In lieu of its recent release, I’ve given this album some serious listening time and have given a bit of a rundown about some of my favourite tracks! Let’s get started, shall we?
“Chaos and negativity exist in order for you to find the true beauty within.
What comes easy won’t always last.
And what will last won’t always come easy.”
With awe-inspiring vocals, this track truly indulges us with philosophy, whilst also telling an important life lesson about how hard work leads us to the best parts of life. The track itself has an incredibly epic build-up that leads straight into the sweet spots of the main melody. This tune is Euphoric Hardstyle at its best.
With an incredibly dark and progressive intro-melody, this track really works its way into quite the passionate theme. With vocals circulating around what good and bad really means, this track is yet another one that makes you ponder over the morals and values in ones life. The melody progresses to become more intense throughout the track and overall I’d say that this is one of the best tracks of 2017. I really can’t wait to hear this track live!
Cockiness, energy and a sassy edge. This track reminds me a lot of Brennan Heart’s “F.I.F.O” and also Headhunterz’ “Just Say My Name,” however, instead a signature Psyko style to it. The melody fits in well with the vocals and the kick, and overall this track is an industry standard track. This is simply very hard Hardstyle.
By now, the energy has progressed so well throughout the album to the point where you would begin to deliberate about how rare it is to find an album that progresses in this same manner, yet in a creative way. This album’s tenth track really changes the vibe and also the tempo; after lowering the BPM in the first half, it’s then increased slightly in the main melody – a classic gimmick trick. Nonetheless, this feature adds extra energy towards the conclusion of the track.
With sentimental vocals regaling listeners about good and evil, a sub-story is also told about a girl’s personal struggles with presenting something impure to society. A great vibe is provided when the girl’s voice says “up and down, up and down” during the breaks – however, I wished it would progress a little quicker to add that ‘raw’ twist. Overall, “Up And Down” is a solid track, however it could be darker, especially since it’s towards the end of the album.
FINALLY! A track that we can all hit up when we’re stranded at a house-party with people who hate Hardstyle. Perhaps you’ve already seen this number on Psyko Punkz’ social media, but it’s an incredible blast from the past. I sent this track to a friend who fell out of touch with Hardstyle and he was instantly filled with nostalgia when he was reminded of all the Psyko sing-a-longs from back in the days.
The album’s existence became official at Reverze this year, with Wietse giving his fans the news that something “special” was going to be presented at the festival. Since then, the tracks have been teased with short snippets of the build-ups with their main melody accompanied by old VHS tapes of a “Little Psyko”, this being Wietse in his younger years. Perhaps it’s a little bit cheesy, however this tactic really got the fans involved and excited.
It’s very interesting to note that the album is a solo production by Wietse. Whilst the majority of albums nowadays consist of remixes and collaborations, “Wietse” is a 100% Psyko Punkz album, which is great to see! Breaking an industry standard, or perhaps just a bold move? Wietse probably wanted to show us that he can bring the old ‘Psyko’ sound without his former gunman Sven. Nonetheless, it’s nice to see an artist standing entirely on his own for once and not including the forces of other artists.
To conclude, this album is a great source for listeners who are seeking out new tracks to fill their playlists. Consisting of a great balance between Euphoric, Raw and Early, this album pretty much hits that sweet spot that Hardstyle captured back in the ‘golden era.’ Furthermore, its personal approach entails listeners becoming absorbed in the numerous ‘life lessons’ taught, which is a very clever way of incorporating new productions with classic lessons…
We rate it: 9/10
To stay up to date on the life of Wietse, be sure to follow him at his social media channels below.
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