On this week’s Unsung Heroes, we take a look at a legend that needs no introduction. Tech Trance producer, Randy Katana is considered to be one of the most successful DJ’s ever created and is known to have influenced an entire generation of music with his unique blend of Trance, Tribal and Tech within each of his releases. Born in the Dutch Antillean Islands off of the Gulf of Mexico, he spent many of his early days honing his DJ skills while also being a drummer in many Brass Bands. As his prowess grew, Katana was suddenly one of the most booked DJ’s in the world and participated in many of the world’s biggest festivals. His productions have always been in incredibly high demand, being played by such DJ’s as Armin van Buuren, Tiesto and Paul Oakenfold. His unique sense of style and hunger for new philosophies of music, he is known for find such talent such as Mac Zimms, Signum and more.
What is the most prevalent aspect of his career is the fact that he was a leading pioneer in paving the way for the sound of Trance as we know it. While most DJ’s stick with one sound for many, many years, he was always constantly challenging himself; completely flipping his sound every couple of years to provide new material and to push the boundaries of his natural musical ability. By 2010, Katana again switched his sound from the faster, Tech Trance styles of the earlier 2000’s to a slower, more festival oriented sound, while still maintaining that essential Tribalism that runs through his blood. As stated above, his years of playing as a drummer for Brass Bands gave the rhythmic aspect of music a very important part of his productions. And with Katana‘s rhythmic intensity, his productions always had that signature sound that gave it that extra polish that made his productions stand out. This was clearly evident when he released his peak time banger, The Hype in 2010.
While this is not necessarily an unknown track, this is an all time Classic that many newer fans of EDM simply do not know about. And The Hype definitely lives up to its appropriate name. Beginning with blippy, offbeat synths and a high energy repeating note, it already sets the tone with its constant barrage of tech induced rhythms. As the intensity builds, a low synth slowly rises with incredible power. The energy that constantly builds brings an aura of expectancy, as if the drop will send shockwaves to the dance floor. The drop consists of an insatiably groovy bassline, simple percussion and upbeat synth hits, (supplemented with different upbeat synth stabs for timbral contrast). It is a simple tune to be sure, but it is the simplicity that makes it so powerful. By focusing on the rhythm and keeping things minimal, it creates the most amount of dance energy while exerting the least amount of effort. The Hype is all about fun and while this may not be a technically challenging piece, it is one that you just can’t help but dance to. Randy Katana‘s single, The Hype, is available now on Reset Records on Beatport, so head on over and snag this secret smasher today.
Keep the music alive. -Q
Unsung Heroes is a weekly segment where we take a look back at an amazing production and bring it back into the light for older and newer fans alike. These tracks were often overlooked, overshadowed by a huge release or are just not that well known to the public here in America. Here, you can find all the hidden gems in many genres and find a new favorite track (or another tool/weapon for aspiring DJ’s).