Noisecontrollers Prepares Anthem for Q-Dance's Qlimax Event [Interview]
Q-Dance’s iconic event Qlimax is one of the biggest Hardstyle events out there – it’s been around for over a decade and has had headliners (who produced anthems for the party) like Headhunterz, Psyko Punkz, Technoboy, Brennan Heart and more. Qlimax usually has an attendance of 30,000 guests, and it occurs in November of each year at the Geldredome in Arnhem, the Netherlands. The first edition happened in the year 2000, and each year the event has grown and grown. The event has gotten so popular in The Netherlands that it usually sells out within an hour.
This year, one of Hardstyle’s most well known names, Noisecontrollers, was asked to produce the anthem for this year’s edition, themed “The Source Code of Creation.” The anthem is totally crazy – it combines elements of both Euphoric Hardstyle and Rawstyle elements, alongside some of Noisecontrollers’ signature Dubstep sounds as well. I had a chance to sit down with the producer behind Noisecontrollers, Bas Oskam, to chat about the anthem, the party, and the upcoming CD he has mixed for the year!
EDM: Hey Bas! How's it going?
Hi! I’m fine thanks.
Great to hear! So I have to ask man, how does it feel to produce the Qlimax anthem after playing the event several times?
This past year people asked me what I still wanted to achieve in hardstyle. Besides bringing hardstyle to a next level, the Qlimax anthem was a milestone I wanted to achieve. So it was a great feeling I finally could start working on this track and put the Noisecontrollers sound into it.
The anthem this year is an awesome crossbreed of Euphoric, Raw and some other crazy noises! Tell us a little bit about the anthem, the kind of sounds you created, and the story it tells?
I’m very happy with your description and nowadays hardstyle is speaking in his overall sound from more melodic/euphoric to raw hardstyle. I wanted to cover both by making a very hard track with still an “open” feeling into it. I didn’t want to make a typical cinematic atmosphere with a lot of choirs and stuff. I used some in a very complex way combined with some growls and dubstepish sounds. I love it complex and crazy.
The track is the result of complex sound design with a mixture of what hardstyle stands for in 2014.
What was your reaction when you were approached to do the anthem?
Finally! I was very happy of course and also delighted. I had to do the anthem for Qlimax once in my career. So bring it on! Of course it’s also a huge honor Q-dance asked me to produce an anthem for their leading hardstyle event Qlimax.
What can we expect from your set? Any brand new tracks?
Absolutely. I’ll play tracks from my latest album, new tracks I produced over the last months and I’m busy editing some of my older tracks. Last but not least I keep my ears open for productions from other artists around.
Since you have played Qlimax before, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect! The lineup this year is very different from years past - how do you think this year's edition of Qlimax is going to stand out from the rest?
Qlimax is that event which still gives me nerves and I don’t try to expect much. The stage for example, it’s every year something you can’t prepare for. Besides the 30,000 people in front of you there are hundred of thousands listening to the live stream. You better not think too much about that. It will be the first time I’ll play alone on Qlimax. I can’t wait!
In one word, what is Qlimax to you?
How would you describe the Qlimax atmosphere to someone who has never attended a Hardstyle party before?
It will blow their mind. I have been to many non-hardstyle concerts and compared to Qlimax the show is always mediocre. That amazing show combined with so many dedicated hardstyle lovers from all over the world result in an atmosphere that is hard to describe. You have to experience it.
Tell us a little about the CD you mixed for Qlimax. What tracks did you include? Any new artists worth mentioning?
To me it was very important the tracks represent the artists playing on the event so I chose their best tracks. Obviously Qlimax holds the best of the best.
When it comes to Hardstyle, Noisecontrollers has a totally recognizable style. How would you describe it?
It’s the result of my mixing, sound design and melodies. Combined it’s euphoric, hard and deep. But you really have to listen to it. I also produce in a wide spectrum of hardstyle. You can expect everything.
The Hardstyle kick has evolved so much over the past few years. Where do you think it will go?
My latest kicks are deeper and more phat than before. I think from now on the raw hardstyle will go more to the hardcorish kicks and the euphoric hardstyle more to the dance kicks with a separate sub and less hard attack. I love hardstyle getting more diverse.
What kind of patches are your favorite to include in tracks?
I try to get rid of the square leads combined with the de-tuned saw leads. My sounds get more electro lately, but still very sharp and hard.
Do you use presets, create all your own sounds, or do a mix of the two?
Definitely a mix of presents and my own sounds, but the main sound is always my own Noisecontrollers sound. I layer sometimes presets just to get the mix more phat. A common technique but the overall sound is always mine.
Do you have any tips and tricks for fledgling producers about Hardstyle mixdowns?
It’s all about trial and error. Practice makes perfect and that’s all there is into it.
What kind of setup do you have in your studio?
I have Genelec monitors, a good sound card and some hardware. The virus C is my most important hardware. As DAW I use Logic pro.
What kind of mindset does producing require? How many hours a week are you in the studio?
After the album I’m taking it more easy and aside from all the traveling I normally spend around 6 to 8 hours a day in the studio. But before that could easy go up to 12 hours a day. When it comes to mindset none is required for that. I love making music so it comes naturally. The moment I have to force myself to the studio or need discipline for it, the creative process behind it will be jeopardized.
You have several other projects, such as Kasparov & Pavelow, for hardcore and bass music respectively. Where are you planning on taking these two aliases?
I have a track Pavelow coming up. Kasparov and I stopped a few years ago. I want to focus mainly on Noisecontrollers.
What do you have planned for 2015? Anything exciting you can share?
As always many new music. I’ve planned some great shows and will try to keep bringing hardstyle to a next level. I’m very happy to be part of the scene after all those years.
Thanks so much, Bas! Qlimax is looking to be a crazy party this year. Best of luck at the show!
Thank you too! Can’t wait
Cover photo: Noisecontrollers