“Rise of the Phoenix”
“Rise of the Phoenix” [ORIGINAL MIX]-Kronos, is a thrilling interpretation of the legend of the mythological Phoenix: a magical bird that is born of ash from the fires that burnt it during its previous life. Consequently, this grants the Phoenix the gift of immortality. As a result, one can feel a sense of victory that must come with the notion of immortality just while listening to this track. Furthermore, listen, and you too will hear the story of the rise of the Phoenix. Hear “Rise of the Phoenix” by Kronos in the video below.
As with the traditional composition of Hardstyle tracks, there are the mechanical intros and outros and the original musical stylings occurring in between as two cycles: a build, a drop, and a break.
The finessing of the producing artists in the intros and outros is a purposeful sequence of percussive beats meant for DJs. The advantage here is the benefit that comes with the continuity of beats necessary to maintain a mix, wherein the beats of one track mixes into the beats of the next track. It is a matter of practicality, albeit more mechanical than musical, it holds the mix together. More emphatically, the percussive beats keep the mix continuing without an unwanted break.
Mix-Ready Track Structure
This is an appreciable aspect of the track’s composition because it is DJ friendly by its practical implementation of such beats in the intro. The practicality of this is especially relevant to the experience of the track as listeners enjoy hearing the song not only in isolation but also is in continuous mixes. This track is suited for both mixing purposes and independent listening. Either way, the track sounds great.
Builds, Drops, and Breaks
The central part of the track structure–as two cycles consisting of a build, drop, and break–is where the producer, especially Kronos, demonstrate the musical centerpiece of the track. Much to the likings of this structure is the emphasis on evoking the excitement that comes with the anticipation of an energetic drop followed by a break as if to aid the listener in rediscovering the feelings of the initial drop before the climax of the second drop. Where two drops are great, the more the better. In this case, two drops get the blood pumping proper.
Innovation and Tradition
Where tradition is familiar it is also a jumping-off place into the realm of creativity where even the unconventional is welcome. As for Kronos, his creative approach in “Rise of the Phoenix” aligns with the traditional track structure. As creativity welcomes both tradition and the unconventional, Kronos has styled the traditional kick with an unconventional sound. More on that in the discussion of sound design in the next section.
Understanding the Traditional Hardstyle Kick Drum
Hardstyle implies that the musical stylings tend to result in harder sounds. Where the contrast between hard and soft in a sound is created according to the producer’s approach to styling hard sounds. For example, the traditional Hardstyle kick is of a low thump, much like a kick drum one finds at the music store. As it happens, the process of styling a hard kick involves a boost in volume at the initial attack of the kick drum. This is heard as the initial thwack of the mallet against the surface of the kick drum. Simply, audible as a “knock”.
Further still, the process of the hard kick extends to the duration of the ensuing thump heard because of the initial pound of the mallet against the drum. As for styling this part of the kick, the musical aspect of interest is the duration of the drums thump sound, in other words, how long the “boom” of the drum plays on before fading to silence. Creativity knows no limits on creating this aspect of the hard kick. As a result, producers arrive at unique variations among the stylings of the Hardstyle kick. At this end, the thump is comprised of two sounds: the thump and its reverberation.
Dissecting the Hardstyle Kick
At this point, the kick drum dissection reveals a trio of sounds occurring simultaneously as one kick drum. The resulting thump otherwise called a boom is accentuated with loudening and made to sound even harder by the contrast of its acoustic effect of reverberation. Such reverberation is a low bass frequency that is familiar as the low sounding echo of kick drums bouncing off the walls.
In Hardstyle, the low-end reverberation is subject to extreme loudness so that its tendency to quiet down is overcome in a way that results in a very large and heavily struck kick drum signature of the traditional Hardstyle kick’s three-part structure.
Innovation of the Hardstyle Kick
The technicalities of the kick are easily achievable among Hardstyle producers. The synthesis of such kicks is often varying in character and become something like a signature among their producers. The character that comes through during the musical styling is variant and adds character and uniqueness to them. This is what comes naturally and is what listeners love to hear. That much is as simple as listening to your ears. As for the kick drum in “Rise of the Phoenix”, Kronos effectively produces a fourth sound on top of the traditional three.
This is audible as a high-pitched teardrop, or rather, a laser beam like sound. It sounds with every strike of the kick drum in this track. Listeners cannot miss it because it adds a sort of powerfulness that makes the hard kick sound like its coming in even harder than the traditional kick.
Furthermore, Kronos is creative enough to manipulate this element of the kick. He does this in such a way that it seems to have a percussive role independent from its primary role in sounding with each strike of the kick. This is audible as a polyrhythm such that two rhythms occur: one from the kick drum and another whereby the fourth component sound of the kick will sound several times more or in between the times it plays as part of the main kick drum.
Kronos is breaking up the traditional kick in a way that he performs parts of the sound as two different percussive instruments. Perhaps, this is overstated, yet speaking to the quality of the sound, here, is so much of what makes this track a fresh take on the traditional hardstyle kick.
Achievement of Innovation
This is significant. It is a fine example of innovation from the talents of Kronos. He has shown that such unconventional sounds are welcome in the creative process of making Hardstyle. By extension, he plays for us a familiar sound made new again. That is all born of the ideas of styling hard sounds that producers start with, and the result for Kronos is a gem in kick drum sound design. Bravo.
Good sound design yields good vibes in “Rise of the Phoenix”. Specifically, the good vibe that comes from this track is like feeling victorious. This vibe generates from a melody with an anthem-like sound with a tough attitude.
Among the gratification this brings listeners, all gets better as the outro brings in the signature rough sounds of Raw Hardstyle: the screech. Coarse and noisy, it also offers the musicality from its vocal character. Overall, the spirit of the track is high and mighty. This sets the tone for a very energetic and ecstatic time on the dance floor, and anywhere else this track is playing.
Clean, professional sounds that play very loud. These qualities are of the main appeal in the harder styles of dance music. This is especially true and typical of Raw Hardstyle tracks. “Rise of the Phoenix” is a very bold statement to capture in a musical production. The overall loud nature of the track lives up to the mythological Phoenix in all its boldness.
Further, the challenge of mixing hard sounds with the dirty distortions that listeners crave among Raw Hardstyle tracks is to strike a balance between clean and dirty sounds without muddying up the mix. Kronos rises to the challenge with mastery. Plainly, it sounds just great.
Much support of Kronos has come from previous recognition as a talent among the Raw Hardstyle community. Perhaps, this recognition is among the reasons that event organizers of Phoenix-The Hardest Outdoor Festival (Confusion Events) appointed Kronos to produce the anthem for this year’s edition held on May 5, 2018. Of course, he delivers a true Raw Hardstyle hit.
The laudable commentary made among listeners posting their comments to the track’s YouTube video are viewable below. This track is without a doubt a very demanding production that only the best of talent can achieve. Kronos’ talent as a producer really shines in “Rise of the Phoenix”. Suffice it to say, audiences approve of his talent.
Kronos, of Italy, is a DJ/Producer of Hardstyle music. Early Hardstyle of Italy inspired his career. Wanting more music, he began producing tracks. Among them are his early releases such as “Warrior” in 2013 via Italy’s Unite Records. Kronos is a distinct talent. He has the drive to achieve musical productions from true inspiration. This legacy lives on in “Rise of the Phoenix”.
Outside the studio, Kronos tour as a DJ. His recent performance at Phoenix-The Hardest Outdoor Festival came with the privilege of composing this year’s anthem “Rise of the Phoenix”. Internationally recognized as a DJ/Producer within the Raw Hardstyle scene, Kronos has played in The Netherlands’ raw outdoor festival Fatality, and another in Australia at Defqon.1 Festival 2015.
About A2 Records
A2 Records is one of the record labels among the larger Scantraxx brand. Catering to the harder styles in dance music, A2 Records is responsible for talents such as E-Force, Digital Punk, Alpha2, and X-Pander since 2008. Currently, A2 Records is the leading record label for Raw Hardstyle music.