It's been a while since I sunk my teeth into some decent hardstyle, but I've just dug up a pair of tracks from the Dutch hardstyle duo of DJ Luc van Veghel and producer Michel Pollen, collectively known as The Pitcher, that I listened to many years ago. Having been creating this type of music since meeting in 2000, they should have a pretty good grip on things, and this sure has been proven here. Neither of these tracks appear on The Pitcher's albums.
First up is Shine, which wastes little time in setting up some stunningly hard beats. This is probably what most hardstylers came here for! Combined with some squarish jarring rhythms, the introduction sets us up a bit oddly for the inclusion of more emotional vocals by MC DV8 and a break with trance pads before returning to the hard grind I expected. While the melody here isn't anything to write home about (for those who write home about songs they heard through Random.access), it's the raw power that'll probably please the majority of hardstyle-loving ears.
But while Shine is the track in the forefront, it's I Just Can't Stop that steals the show for me. After we're introduced to that standard hardstyle pound, it's the squelching synth shrieks that, but when played alongside the tough beats, it's the musical definition of raw power. The main melody that shuffles in later is catchy as well — so catchy that German dance band Scooter even snuck it into their 2009 single, J'adore Hardcore. While it may not be everyone's cup of tea, I get a kick out this one, provided you play it loud and proud!
I really should get into The Pitcher more to see what their backlog of releases is all about. Relying mostly on this, as well as his 2010 album "Smack", is relying on a very small fraction of their history. But I generally like what I've heard here so far, even if the melodies aren't always immediately gripping, as it is relatable to both those who like hard music and those who want a twinge of trance as well.