Hate it or love it, the Maxximize founders are back! For this entire year, the Dutch veteran Blasterjaxx have released over ten tracks, joining forces with the likes of Armin van Buuren. Especially admirable is that they wrapped up two separate EPs after the enormous “Perspective” album that came out last year. Despite all the unfortunate that occurred this year, it didn’t deter this talented pair from releasing more dance-floor ready compositions at a steady rate. Recently, they took best of the opportunities to present an official team-up with Ubisoft last month, a gaming dev giant, for their latest flagship release of “Legion” for an exciting Big Room House soundtrack. Only a few days ago, they confirmed that they would be unveiling another compilation with four more tracks with a separate single to conclude this year.
Speaking about “IV EP”, featuring two vocal mixes and a pounding 140 BPM record, along a joint-effort with the up and coming Israeli Electronic act, Zafrir. Without much ado, here are my thoughts regarding them each:
Rescue Me (featuring Amanda Collis)
This instrumental shows off a different facet of Blasterjaxx, one not expected. Sounding ever so aggressive, along with lively vocal performance and a piano presence which adds more intensity. The melody, breakdown and the drop does not retaliate and deliver the mainstage enthusiasm (with a great throwback to their older signature sound). Charged with dirty super-saw synths and a vicious riff, “Rescue Me” strikes hard.
Wild Ride (feat. Henao)
Another piece of work with a different tonality, not lacking anyways in the energy even if not having the usual tonal kick-drums or other such Big Room elements. With an elevating breakdown featuring the LA based songstress Henao, this production draws inspiration from 2017’s “XX Files EP”. The drop equips itself with a distorted lead following a simpler riff, effective regardless. One can find similarities in arrangements with other works from the same creators in “Neptune”, “Collide” or “Double Lives”.
Zurna (with Zafrir)
For the ones interested, “Zurna” means a wind instrument crafted by the Turkish Ottoman descendants. This song serves as a sequel to 2017’s “Temple”. Zafrir’s involvement in this projects adds along more of that middle-eastern characteristic to the sound, while equally acting as a Electro House weapon. Lead by ethnic vocal snippets in the breakdown, the drop operates on a melody keeping in theme with the Arabian components. And yes, the talked about “Zurna” does make an appearance in the second breakdown!
Revealed as a solo and the concluding work in this EP, there are a few things which concerned me in this track. For example, I felt the vocal somewhat didn’t seem to fit with the entire flow of the breakdown (which starts with a slower breakbeat). The pace quickly becomes rapid, and the drop justifies with a catchy drop. Interestingly, the latter breakdown plays out a lot better than its predecessor, which felt somewhat minimal and not fitting.