Weekly Roundup LXI (With veterans Afrojack & R3HAB, Pitbull, Hardwell)

With the first month of 2023 nearing its end, there’s been a lot of records that make this year an attractive prospect. This time, we have veterans such as Afrojack & R3HAB, Pitbull, Hardwell, and other promising talents with the latest tracks.

R3HAB, Afrojack – Shockwave

A sonic association between two EDM veterans is no small act, especially when it concerns R3HAB and Afrojack. Long time colleagues, the said Dutch artists have frequently collaborated in their careers. Although, is “Shockwave” cumulates all that talent? Yes, and no.

For one, it is gratifying that the duo didn’t resort to something commercial and forgettable, sticking to what they are best known for. It fulfills all the necessary Big Room/Dirty Dutch tropes with Afrojack prominent on the sound design, with other schematic nuances furnished by R3HAB. Yet, the song (at least the radio edit), barely lasts two minutes and doesn’t go beyond the usual.

Fun fact, this reminded me of R3HAB’s “Soundwave” (with Trevor Guthrie). Now, that is what you call a memorable track.

Hardwell, Maddix, 4 Strings – Take Me Away

Reworking the 2002 classic “Take Me Away”, Hardwell and Maddix went for a techno rework that will satisfy today’s dancefloor. The classic from 4 Strings is an elemental record in its genre, and the pair didn’t slack knowing this.

This modern take puts an equal balance between the original and the festival techno/future rave sound. Further, this is a vocal rendition, which puts a humanizing tone over the pounding drums, squelching acids, and rest of the synth assembly. While the first half and the breakdown got my admiration, I wasn’t hooked as much into the finale, as the classic riff didn’t seem to fit with ease in the modern ensemble. Nevertheless, it still retains an upfront, pumping energy that many will prefer.


Mr. Worldwide on a club track? Well, sign me up! “Right Or Wrong” (HYPNOSIS) is a fun-packed tech house production that gleams with the swagger of the Cuban-American celeb rapper, while AYYBO and ero808‘s instrumental embellishes the performance vibrantly.

Without trying to overpower Pitbull‘s feature, the production increases the fuego with a flirty bassline flow and ritzy brasses that amplify the plentiful panache that is invested by the vocals.


The British music ensemble SYNTHSONIC has earnestly offered “Honest” – a progressive trance record with a glimmering touch of indie rock.

Taking the spotlight on the production is the vocal that imbues a blissful sensation, while the instrumental floats fluently with a striding low end. Despite the minimal get-up, the appeasing pair of synths and vocal spellbind the ears thoroughly.

Dannic – Electric Carnival

Bringing back the ‘Fonk’, groove house pioneer Dannic revived his label with the solo release of “Electric Carnival”. There’s plenty of throwback on this one, especially with the squelching acid riffs and a resonating, thumpy kick drum in the drop that completely takes one by surprise, staying true to that early sound of the imprint. The formula here is pure old-school Dannic, noticeable from the moment it commences.

Sam Smith, Calvin Harris, Jessie Reyez – I’m Not Here To Make Friends

The original trio responsible for the global hit “Promises” – Sam Smith, Calvin Harris and Jessie Reyez got together for another disco output “I’m Not Here To Make Friends”, part of the latest album “Gloria” from the British singer.

Following traditional disco patterns, the song heavily relies on polished 70s funk aesthetics with lively vocals. Calvin Harris has shown his dexterity with the retro sounds in his “Funk Wav Bounces” series, and capably composed a suitable instrumental for the “Unholy” creator.

Joseph Ray – Give Me A Reason

An absolutely otherworldly production, London native Joseph Ray enchanted the auditory senses with “Give Me A Reason”. This Anjunadeep release maintains a somber, cold, and detached mood while adeptly handling a rich backdrop of organic percussions.

A sublime aura takes over with CS-80 pads, creating a futuristic dystopian sound that can be heard in Vangelis’ Blade Runner soundtrack. To add a humanizing element, a female vocal repeats the titular hook with a delicate array of other synths rousing this melancholic and hypnotic feel.

This has to be among the top ten releases from Above and Beyond’s label from this year, hands down!

Birthdayy Partyy – Classic V Future

Hailing from Chicago, the twin brothers going by the funky alias of ‘Birthdayy Partyy‘ have put an infectious enthusiasm on “Classic V Future”.

The song is introduced with 90s rave chords to amplify the excitement, while the drop entertains with various drilling dubstep synths armed with sabotaging degrees of distortion. It’s a fun track you can play at birthday parties, alright.