You’ve never heard Hardwell and Tiësto like this before. While listening through Hardwell’s new United We Are Remixed album, fans will be pleasantly surprised to hear a track that seems too tropical to be mainstage EDM and too progressive to be tropical. With a piano line that perfectly complements Andreas Moe‘s powerful vocals, a standout drop and a chord progression that takes a 180º flip on the feel of the original, Vicetone‘s remix of “Colors” is not one to avoid.
Since their debut single “Harmony” released in 2012 on Monstercat, they have touched nearly every major label in the EDM industry, including Spinnin’ Records, Dim Mak, Armada Trice, Ultra Music, and of course, Hardwell’s Revealed Recordings. They have also released various official remixes for artists like Kelly Clarkson, Tove Lo, Linkin Park, Cash Cash and Krewella. Their song “Let Me Feel” with Nicky Romero was a commercial success, being their first ever Beatport #1.
The duo – comprised of Dutchmen Victor Pool and Ruben den Boer – has also found their place 3 years in a row on DJ Mag’s infamous “Top 100 DJs” poll, most recently charting at #50. While the duo sadly dropped 14 spots this year, their music definitely hasn’t gotten any worse, evidenced by this remix. We have the pleasure of premiering the remix in full for your listening pleasure. Below, you’ll find an in-depth interview about the remix, the duo and their plans for 2016.
How do go about remixing artists of the caliber of Hardwell and Tiësto? Is it all all nerve-racking to have that kind of pressure on you?
Ruben: I mean, we grew up listening to Tiësto when we were like, you know, 11, 12… It goes way back. His music was kind of what brought us to the dance world when we were, you know, in elementary school still! So when you remix a track for him… I don’t know if it adds pressure, but it definitely adds a little extra incentive to work on it really hard and create a lot of ideas before finding the one we want to stick with. I think it took us a couple tries before we really got the right… Right?
Victor: Yeah, that’s true.
Ruben: I think we had four different versions before we finally decided “this one is good enough.” Maybe that has to do with Hardwell and Tiësto… Obviously two of the biggest names in dance music right now… That definitely is a good motivation.
The whole “best friends” EDM duo thing seems too good to be true. Didn’t you two hate each other at one point?
Victor: [laughs] No, actually, no.
Ruben: No, not really. I mean, you always have little fights and arguments sometimes, but never major ones.
Victor: Music is such a fun thing to do and we started doing it ’cause it’s our passion. It’s way easier for us to make good tracks if we just have a great relationship together. We’re on same page about everything.
Ruben: We were very similar, even in high school. We used to listen to the same music back then and we used to play the same video games. You know, a fun fact is that when we were 16, we weren’t making music, but we were very much into the whole scene… Just like you, you know all about the DJs… We knew everything about it too. We still do, but even back then we knew all the names, we knew all the groups, we knew all the big songs, we were very much into that scene. We bonded over that in class, outside of class… We already had such a foundation… If you make music with your best friend, it’s very easy because if he makes something that’s shit, I’ll tell it to him and he won’t get upset.
Victor: I won’t feel bad! [laughs]
Ruben: If it’s somebody you just met, or you’re working with for a little bit, you have to be like “oh, that’s good, but maybe we should try this.” With us, we just say “that’s a bad idea, that’s horrible. We gotta do better than this.” That’s what we do. We’re very critical of each other’s work, but only in a way to advance the music. When we both like something, we know that it’s good and that we want to release it as Vicetone, and usually our fan base likes that too.
Going off of that, the Monstercat Reddit says “hey!”
Ruben: How are you doing, Monstercat? We love Monstercat fans, they’re very, very dedicated people.
They really are. Here’s a fun one… In honor of the “Colors” remix, what are your favorite colors?
Ruben: [laughs] God, I don’t know.
Victor: I don’t think I have one, to be honest.
Ruben: Blue is good.
Victor: Blue is a classic one, I like green lately for some reason.
Do you think this year’s DJ Mag poll was a flop?
Ruben: Ever since the DJ Mag [poll] came out, there has been so much controversy… Like every year.
Victor: I mean, we’re just happy to get voted in, ’cause our fans are so dedicated.
Ruben: Yeah, we love how many people are still voting for us. I mean, it sounds like a politically correct answer, but there’s so many things you can say, like “why is this DJ above that [DJ]?” It just never ends. It’s weird that dance music/EDM is the only scene where we have a ranking of DJs based on popularity, whereas no other genre of music… You won’t have the top 100 classical music composers with Mozart at #1, then everybody’s upset ’cause Beethoven is #3. It doesn’t work like that, or, the top 100 female R&B singers…
Victor: No, I saw a top 5 lately of the best rappers. Tupac wasn’t in there, so everyone was going crazy.
Ruben: Music is so personal… You know, we listen to a lot of music from people that aren’t in the top 10, or even in the top 50, so it’s very personal and at the end of the day, we need to see it how it is… It’s just a popularity contest. We very much appreciate all the people for voting for us.
Last question. What can fans expect for 2016?
Ruben: A whole lot of new music… Better than we released this year, I think. We’ve experimented a lot this year… ‘Cause it’s fun, you know? It’s fun –creatively– to make different-sounding tracks. Next year, we have a healthy combination of the kind of stuff people are used to hearing from us, the “big room progressive,” if you want to call it that, and also some slower tempo tracks, and some higher tempo tracks that are just different in energy, but still Vicetone… You will still recognize our sounds in it. We’ve been really hard at work making those. We want the Vicetone brand to be more than just one brand of house music, it needs to encompass more. We do that and we know we have a fan base for that sound and we also want to show our fans that we can do more than that, and that’s what is really exciting… To branch out a little bit and also keep doing the same kind of music we’ve always been doing.
Pre-order Hardwell’s United We Are Remixed, including the Vicetone remix of “Colors.”