Showtek unravel their journey from hard dance to ‘Get Loose’
Brother’s Wouter & Sjoerd Janssen are piled in the back of a car enroute to Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. Today, the duo has unveiled their latest single “Get Loose,” a significant milestone in the footsteps of a duo whose street-credibility has been overtaken only by their festival-proofed sound of late. As a mainstay of the European hard dance circuit reborn as one of the globe’s more consistent peak time connoisseurs, their butterfly like movement from the days of “Analogue Players in a Digital World” to the gold-record racking “Cannonball” for Spinnin Records has never felt anything short of a genuine leap from two passionate club protagonists. They’ve sealed two albums, traded hard dance festivals to WMC, taken WMC by storm, even remixed Carly Ray Jespen. But as Dancing Astronaut learned in an exclusive interview, this is not a test: Showtek is here to elevate the peak time skyline like never before.
The Eindhoven-based electro outfit has had little excuse to do anything but land on their feet lately. Caught amid the rapids of enthusiasm now circling their craft, a grainy phone call from the back of a car is just another day in the life of a duo that has taken modern dance music by the horns. Once a secretive national treasure, these brothers are just happy to be living and breathing amid this global renaissance on their own terms.
“This whole EDM thing has been moving so fast for the past couple of years,” explains Wouter. “Now we see talent emerging from all across the globe. It feels like a global industry now more than ever, and that is so good for the scene. The competition may be relentless at times, but that leaves you with one simple choice; lead with quality or get out the game.”
Competition, however, has been paramount in their industry ascent. Cut from a topical yet tender national niche and set upon one of the most notoriously stubborn crowds in Europe, their own track record remains spotless, but their homeland still remains positively skeptical at best.
“We have been doing this for so long now, but one thing hasn’t changed,” laughs Sjoerd. “Sometimes they can be a little unforgiving, especially when you are making moves like we did back in the day, but at the same it brings you to a certain level of quality along the way.”
Name-dropping national peers throughout the musical spectrum, those that have shaped and unshackled the craft at so many levels, the duo’s pride is immediately evident. The shape of progress may now turn to a presence on the North American shores, but Wouter quickly asserts the deep respect that Showtek underpins for their European roots, not to mention its ongoing relevance to electronic music:
“You can hear dance music on the radio in America now, but there are stations in The Netherlands and the UK that have been playing it for more than two-decades now. I still see Europe as being well ahead of the game in terms of talent and it’s longevity. Look at guys like Tiësto – these guys earned their respect before the boom.”
Coincidently, the aforementioned icon has played a significant part in their leap from the ranks of hard dance to electro house. Hungry for challenge and frustrated by the hard dance scene’s lack of forward stamina; evolution was essential to reignite that bravado we now see in Showtek today. With various sporting analogies available, Sjored picks that of Michael Jordan to illustrate their own ability to bounce back with a new eye on the game.
But with a decade as anonymous collaborators to Tiësto behind them – a peer who similarly shed his reign on trance in a bid for universal freedom – their timing was crucial in extending this new clause of open-minded promise to the expanding ranks of EDM. “We had worked for so long behind the scenes with guys like Tijs that when the electro thing popped up, we could tell by all of the positive energy that we needed to make our own,” explains Sjored. “It didn’t feel totally new, but it was exactly what we needed to regenerate our hunger for the scene.“
From collaborative duties alongside Hardwell, Bassjackers, Justin Prime and Tiësto, right through to remix duties for Carl Ray Jespen, Showtek’s electro get-up has stirred creative fancy in every imaginable facet of electronic dance music. More thrilled for their significant fan retention than their burgeoning list of collaborators, Sjored suggests that happiness has been an essential driver towards their stubborn yet alluring style:
“We managed to preserve something from the hard dance days that even our old fans still dig. It’s the energy, a fluidity of sound. They are happy and just as importantly, so are we. It would never have worked otherwise.”
But there is little excuse for the duo not to be happy given their current momentum on the digital market. Four releases deep into the year and “Get Loose”, the duos essential Miami anthem and debut for Skrillex’s OWSLA imprint, is finally upon us. Symptomatic of their inability to play by the rules of just one particular sub-genre, talk of this melodic BPM buster alongside fellow hard dance peers Noisecontrollers immediately sends the duo into a spree excitement that not even a dodgy phone line can dampen.
“We absolutely loved what Skrillex did for dub step and making it visible and with “Get Loose,” it was about showing that genres don’t matter,” explains Wouter. “We have different sounds, shifting BPM and different contrasts in sound, all of which honestly relate to us.”
“The box you put a track in doesn’t dictate good dance music – it is cool to try and show people that. The greatest and most positive tracks are the ones that make a statement. The world needs more statements like this.”
Now at the forefront of dance music’s cultural overhaul, Showtek are not running out of options as to where to point their future focus. Looking to balance America’s smaller cities between their prolific stints on the White Isle of Ibiza and the global festival circuit, their methodology for the road ahead is simple: surprise people and enjoy every turn.
Their lesson is not one of simple conformity, but the intense leaps and bounds one can make when given a second chance to make relevant musical landmarks. Against the tides of change, Showtek emerges to the avail of a powerhouse unlikely to simmer given a shot a universal prominence. One thing is for certain; they are out to make a loud and proud statement for genre-defiance across the global market.