What do you do once you’ve established yourself as one of the biggest stars in the dance scene? Churn out the same formulas again and again or show the world how driven, divers and skilled you are?
After conquering the house scene with huge tracks like ‘Gecko’ – fusing elements of deep house, garage and EDM together in one high-octane package – Heldens created his new HI-LO alias in June 2015 as an outlet for tougher-edged, bassline-driven sounds that were free from the restrictions of his existing outlet. Mad Decent picked up on the initially mysterious DJ immediately and from there on things evolved quickly.
Taking influence from classic dance music, techno, breaks, electro, dubstep and other bass- heavy styles, his new project has given him the freedom to explore the boundaries between different genres and to show off his production prowess in even more detail. Taking a more experimental approach than the material under his own moniker, it’s his chance to truly unleash his wildest ideas, with seriously impressive studio trickery crammed into every track.
The gruff basslines, rowdy riffs and energetic beats of HI-LO have found favour with as diverse a range of top-league DJs as the material under his own name has. The likes of Diplo, Skrillex, Green Velvet, Flux Pavilion, Umek, Tchami, Shiba San, Kaskade, DJ Snake and Knife Party have all supported his larger-than-life creations. Free downloads ‘Crank It Up’ and ‘Wappy Flirt’ did the damage as an opening salvo, before official reworkings of ‘90s classics Wildchild ‘Renegade Master’ and Da Hool ‘Meet Her At The Love Parade’ took things up a gear and amassed millions of plays and downloads in the process.
Then came a momentous remix of Moby’s classic ‘Go’. After Moby discovered the fresh and wild sounds of HI-LO he personally asked Heldens to deliver a brand-new version fit for today’s dancefloors under his HI-LO alias. After the immense success of that rework came the rowdy Steam Train and the huge WTF with Sander Van Doorn, each release further cementing his reputation as one of the most exciting new names around.
Heldens has teased fans with a handful of gigs under his HI-LO moniker so far, including at Osheaga and Bar Passeport in Montreal, Crssd Festival Spring in San Diego, Soundcheck in Washington and his very own HI-LO-Ween event at Exchange LA. The reactions to his sets and tracks have been immense and point to a bright future for this riveting new moniker. Expect him to continue pushing the envelope and build further on this more intense side of his musical personality.
Oliver Heldens presents a weekly showcase of some of his favorite new house music. Including brand new releases from his label Heldeep Records and some of the best music from around the scene.