On College Park Bounce we've really been cising the quick rise of what is soon to be the koning van de elektronische dansmuziek, Nick van de Wall, more commonly known as Afrojack. I've been listening to him a lot, especially since his concert on Bourbon Street, and I've noticed some common motifs in his music that are both traditionally dutch electronica and wise, in the sense of layering and melodic progression, style pop.
The song in particular that the repeat button has been abusing is “Doing it Right.” It is the perfect example of typical Afrojack music. It starts off with what may seem to be a simple beat, but listen carefully. Put your earbuds and listen to that pitter from the beginning till about 0:26. It's brilliant. He uses panning (balance of volume over the left and right stereo) to draw it left and right within the layers of sound. The panning appears throughout the song and even in other songs like “Pop on Acid” (Pop on Acid actually has the entire song translating to and from the left and right speakers, starting with the right). It gives the illusion of physical movement, if that's not too trippy of a thought for you. The next movement and classic Afrojack move, although it's not original, is the mini-build and break into a verse. He puts the quick-build bumps, ends on the c
laps within 8 beats, and drops the grinding bass. It's a good lead into the rest of the song.
The way I see it, van de Wall always has three layers within his choruses and verses. In this building verse of “Doing it Right”, he has the original motif (that panning), the bassline and the typical, dutch soloing tones over top. Think of it like a sandwich. The ever-present bass being the bottom of the sandwich, the secondary, repetitive running mids or trebles over top of that, and the soloing high-trebles or high-mids on top of that. Then sometimes that secondary layer pierces the top layer by increased volume and differing progression and becomes the top of the sandwich – fucking up my analogy and my sandwich. Afrojack runs this layered system in, I would say, 95% of his songs. It's what makes his music more complex than the average, not only EDM but any, artist and makes it something worth listening to.
The typical build that Afrojack uses in his work is an iconoclast of dutch EDM. Huge, double tapped builds with all the sweeps and shiny things they usually include and, with Afrojack, either a big hit, a “WOO!” or some other exclamatory explosion, i.e. Selecta, now spin it back, in het begin was er Jack, etc. It's almost always followed by big bass with contrasting wops and pews of the treble. It's what gets the crowd jumping. The anticipation is devastating.
It's a great song. It gets my panties in a bundle. Listen to it. Especially if you just read all that shit.
Keep Lookin Out,