Dutch EDM duo Showtek have been a dominating force in dance music since the turn of the century. The brothers, whose roots began in techno and trance before becoming prominent in the popularisation of the Hardstyle genre, have topped multiple music charts around the globe and worked alongside the likes of Major Lazer and EDM godfather Tiësto.
Always open to developing new sounds and styles, in recent years the duo have remixed Moby’s Natural Blues and teamed up with David Guetta for the 2014 release ‘BAD’, which garnered 1.1 billion streams. Showtek’s collaboration with the iconic Guetta now continues with the release of the ‘90s-inspired dance track, Your Love.
Click through the gallery to find out the 10 records that have most influenced Showtek…
Check out the latest single by Showtek with David Guetta, Your Love, released on Parlophone France. For more information, visit the duo’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
1. Faithless – Insomnia
Sjoerd: “This was one of the most memorable dance hooks in the history of dance music and a pioneering song at the dawn of EDM’s global breakthrough. Faithless had a great mix of iconic vocals, dance beats and catchy melodies and have been such an inspiration to us since we started producing music at the end of the ‘90s - and not only with this song, the entire band raised the bar for everybody. We were also inspired by the band’s setup.
“Maxi Jazz has such an iconic voice and style, which made the band unique since Sister Bliss was the key player on stage. As Showtek, we have also implemented live singers in our shows in order to be different and stand out.
“Thankfully, the track Insomnia was just the beginning for Faithless; they also released God Is a DJ, We Come 1 and I Want More. They’re definitely one of our favourite acts and have been an inspiration to us for multiple reasons.”
2. Joy Kitikonti – Joyenergizer
Wouter: “Heard this for the first time at Sensation WHITE. Performed by Marco V, it’s an absolutely crazy song and could still be played nowadays. Sjoerd heard Marco V playing it as well, but I was too young to go out and party so watched it live on TV. Later on, a friend of ours who was also a DJ played it in the club and we tried to figure out which song it was.
“The LFO riser in the break became such a popular sound that it’s still being used in dance music today. If you listen to our song, Cannonball, we used the same kind of LFO on our build-ups, before the drop comes in.”
3. The Moon – Blow the Speakers
Sjoerd: “In the good old days, we used to be in the crowd going crazy to this track’s intense build-up and uplifting and intense hyper-saw sounds. We often went out to Club Atmoz, The Zillion, La Rocca and Illusion, where this song was huge. Although it was made by Belgian producers, it was an iconic song and picked up by clubs in Germany, France and Netherlands.
“A lot of great music came from Belgium during that era and Blow the Speakers inspired us to become dance music producers. In fact, a few years later we released our hit single Save the Day, which was inspired by this song- although don’t get us wrong, it was only ‘inspired’ not stolen [laughs].
“The way it was produced was so simple, but so catchy. That little bass line intro that slowly faded into silence and then the vocal comes in: ‘Do you know what the moon can do to you speakers? It can blow the speakers’. Then comes the big melody out of nowhere; filtered, but teasing and big, without much reverb on the sound growing into the drop.
“Actually, that empty ‘drop’ is still big in dance music today, and what is also remarkable is how the song sounds so easy. That’s the key to every good song, and the hardest part to produce – it’s just a simple sound and a bass drum, then all the hands go up the in the air and people start jumping and mosh pitting.”
4. The Prodigy – Smack My Bitch Up
Sjoerd: “This is an absolutely crazy track that we must have played millions of times. We have also probably remixed this song every year. The Prodigy is an iconic group that brought electronic music to the surface. Combined with the super catchy video clip, at the time, this song went viral all over the globe.”
5. Scoop – Drop it
Wouter: “This was an amazing combination of old-school house organ sounds combined with the new late ‘90s club sound. Super-easy to make, but catchy as hell!
“This song was also the anthem for the Love Parade in Berlin, which is one of the biggest and most well-known parties in Europe. It’s definitely one of Sjoerd’s favourites too. The song starts with that offbeat bass line, which was kind of similar to what the Klubbheads were doing, but it was just so popular. A little melody comes in leading to the break, which is so catchy, and then the bigger melody comes in after it fades. ‘We are gonna do a song that you never heard before’ and then ‘BOOM’, that organ sound comes in, which has been big since the early ‘90s.”
6. Gigi D’Agostino - L’Amour Toujours
Sjoerd: “This track was cheesy, but not too much cheese. I mean if it’s good, it’s good and then there’s never too much cheese, right?
“Luigi Celestino was an Italian producer and has more hits under his belt, but this song, which was released in 1999, was one of our biggest inspirations. It was the Quattro Formaggi of dance music and one of the biggest summer dance anthems of the ‘90s.
“DJ Tiësto did a remake in 2015, and we still play that song in the summertime. Back then, the dance hook went viral globally, and it’s still super-catchy. It was a pivotal track for us and made big dance hooks one of the main ingredients in our songs. The high-pitched voice with a big melody was the inspiration for us and David Guetta to make BAD, which is considered to be one of the biggest dance songs in EDM over the past year - we have over one billions streams on this song!”
7. Crystal Waters – Gypsy Woman
Wouter: “I was nine years old, watching MTV and already into music and getting familiar with US house. So I was watching some video clips, as we did back in the day, and that organ riff came in and I lost my shit. It’s still one of the best chord progressions around, combined with that amazing vocal performance. A classic!”
8. Mauro Picotto – Komodo
Sjoerd: “Another amazing Italian producer and the first to do a reverse bass kick in a song. That was such a ground-breaking element in dance music for what would follow later at the beginning of hardstyle.
“Listen to the old Showtek style, between 2003 and 2012, or to Technoboy, who is also an Italian producer. This reverse bass, created in 2000 by Mauro Picotto, inspired us and is still used in almost every hardstyle song today. We’re very thankful to this man!”
9. Felix – Don’t You Want Me
Sjoerd: “This was track number three on a compilation CD that our dad gave us for Christmas. As you have probably realised by now, we are crazy about dance hooks that make you feel euphoric. This song has one of them, with huge synths that blow you away. The reason why we make music is to give our crowds the same feeling that we had when we were younger.”
10. Benny Benassi – Satisfaction
Wouter: “I remember being in the crowd at a random festival at the Dutch-German border and hearing this song for the first time. It was an absolutely intense experience; I can’t explain how overwhelming it was. Not a lot of songs have that much of an impact, but I can still remember that moment.
“I went into the studio right after because I was so inspired by that sidechain sawbass. It took us a while to figure out which song it was, since everything was on vinyl and playlists weren’t that easy to get unless you knew the DJ.
“This song was a milestone, since every producer wanted to figure out how to make a sidechain-compression bass. It’s one of the most remarkable songs in dance music, and let’s not forget that very catchy video clip [laughs].”