Oliver Heldens goes deep during inaugural Electric Zoo appearance: Five Tracks You Need To Know
Oliver Heldens goes deep at inaugural Electric Zoo appearance: Five Tracks You Need To Know
It may be that Oliver Heldens had never been more prepared in his life to take on Electric Zoo – a rite of passage that any budding artist would hope to achieve – for the very first time. What began as an “Electric Zoo Countdown Mix” from a more obscure artist easily shifted to a name that stood out among the rest come August. Not only were fans finally able to put a face to the “Koala” and “Gecko (Overdrive)” producer, but they also learned that Heldens takes his career extremely seriously. Oliver’s vast repertoire of originals and remixes are sheer proof that he is diligently making his way up the ladder within the deep house realm, a genre whose demand is high but originality is beginning to subside. As there is nothing more satisfying to a deep house zealot than warm bassnotes and jazzy pops, the Dutch DJ and producer has surfaced as a unique talent with a firm grasp on how to create music that inspires. After all, no DJ before Oliver Heldens has ever dedicated a song to Pokemon.
Kiesza - Hideaway (Original Mix)
From the radio to the festival, Canadian singer-songwriter Kiesza’s “Hideaway” was offered to the world in January, first seeing light when it was premiered on Annie Mac’s BBC Radio 1 show. Eight months later, the song’s irresistibly sweet elements are still potent to the ears. Going in for the kill when the crowd least expected, Oliver had fans clapping, cheering and singing along to the infectious lyrics, dispersing chilled-out vibes throughout a festival more reliant on big room house. It was clear that those present for his set were the diehards, and that they had no intention of being swept away by the mainstream.
Oliver Heldens - Pikachu (Original Mix)
There would be no better candidate to be sampled in a track than anime’s most loved yellow mouse, Pikachu. The idea is so simple, yet so brilliant, and it is difficult not to wonder how Helden’s predecessors hadn’t thought of it first. While there may have been a slight air of disappointment when “Pikachu” interrupted “Hideaway’s” sensual drop, fans quickly adapted to the artist’s abrupt change in direction. Most appealing about Oliver’s newest offering is that despite its playful subject, “Pikachu” is sophisticated in format and develops a velvety beat that strays from the Pokemon theme. The end result is pure, unadulterated house cuts.
Prok & Fitch Feat Max Linen - 'Man With Soul'
A little Toolroom never hurt. “Man With Soul,” jam-packed with sunny grooves and rapid percussives, is an original mix produced by Prok & Fitch, featuring the stalwart vocals of Max Linen. Released earlier this year via Mark Knight’s imprint, “Man With Soul” has been a consistent staple in Oliver Heldens’ live sets and mixes since its infancy. Though its presence in the Dutchman’s live performance seemed inevitable, techno devotees were nothing but grateful for his effort to diversify his exuberant set. The genre might not be the typical go-to at a festival of Electric Zoo’s size, but with Sunday School Grove just footsteps away, Oliver’s track selection wasn’t too out of left field.
Alex Ross vs. The Voyagers - Not The Only One vs. Crossover (Oliver Heldens Mashup)
It takes a considerable amount of expertise to create a mashup worth writing about, and Oliver Heldens wins again. “Not The Only One vs. Crossover,” first heard in the fifth edition of his “Heldeep Mixtape,” was unleashed just weeks leading up to the festival. The mashup’s dramatic buildup and goosebump-inducing drop had spectators feeling its authoritative vibrations from the ground up, raising the eyebrows of those who never imagined music could ever be that deep.
Oliver Heldens X Becky Hill - Gecko (Overdrive) (Radio Edit)
We’ve heard it innumerable times since the Winter, but somehow “Gecko” never lost its influence between its January release and now. In fact, the record was so well received that Heldens made the bold move of adorning the original with vocals from English singer-songwriter Becky Hill. While the addition of vocals more often than not blemishes an original’s integrity, Hill’s spirited singing only enhanced the track’s status as a “must-listen.” Uncontrollable screams followed the instant fans recognized the song, attempting to retrieve the lyrics from the back of their heads only to find themselves head bobbing, hair flipping and swaying from side to side.
Courtesy of Jo Taylor for ElectricZooFestival.com