Influenced by house producers such as Eric Prydz and Swedish House Mafia, childhood friends Ruben Den Boer and Victor Pool first started making music together in a small studio in Groningen, rural Netherlands in early 2012.
Their debut single, the progressive house track Harmony, was followed by the critically acclaimed Heartbeat (featuring Collin McLoughlin) in 2013.
Remixes followed for industry giants Adele and Calvin Harris, as the duo took to the road as a support act for fellow Dutchman Nicky Romero, who they’d later collaborate with on the No. 1 Beatport hit Let Me Feel.
The last few years have seen the in-demand DJs continue their meteoric rise, with worldwide DJ bookings, multiple HypeM #1s and Beatport top 10s.
Click through the gallery to find out the 10 tracks that most influenced Vicetone…
Vicetone’s new single ‘Collide (feat. Rosi Golan)’ is available to buy now. For more information, visit the duo’s Facebook page.
1. Tiesto - Traffic
Ruben Den Boer: “I was 10 when my sister let me listen to this song and it was the first time I’d heard dance music.
“Usually when I listened to the radio, my parents would be listening to old-school pop and rock stations that never played dance music, so I was blown away by the pure, raw energy of this track and sounds I’d never heard before.
“It made a big impact and this track is the reason I bought Tiesto’s Just Be album a couple of years later in 2003. Once I’d consumed that, I was officially a fan of dance music. I’m glad Traffic introduced me to the dance world; it’s still an all-time classic.”
2. The Prodigy - Smack My Bitch Up
RDB: “Everybody who grew up in Europe in the early ‘00s and late ‘90s will likely know this song and that it belongs on this list.
“The sounds on this record are just incredible. Sometimes when we are in the studio and create something that we really love, we get this ecstatic feeling; a sense of excitement and a lot of adrenaline, so I can only imagine what Liam Howlett felt when he put this track together for the first time and the rush of adrenaline he got when he realised how insanely good it sounded. It’s a fantastic track and one that has inspired us many times.”
3. Eminem - Lose Yourself
RDB: “We can’t leave out Eminem’s impact on our childhood. His music showed us that you can break the rules, make music that you truly and deeply care about and be successful.
“The raw emotion and energy that he has in his songs is unparalleled. And that’s not an exaggeration, what other rapper has that same bite and passionate aggression in his music?
“His style is so unique and his music has been a major influence on me ever since I was young. Being a Dutch kid, I often couldn’t understand all of his lyrics, but I always understood his emotion and the power that he wanted to convey through the music.
“Lose Yourself is the crown jewel of his discography; the epitome of his brand and one hell of a song.”
4. Mobb Deep - Shook Ones Part II
RDB: “When I was in high school, I went through various phases where I would listen to one style of music almost exclusively for a couple of months, only to change it up completely a while later.
“I was constantly trying to find new genres and songs, those perfect melodies that would make me feel something inside that nothing else could. I was experimenting with different styles and trying to expand my musical palette. It was during this period when I discovered Shook Ones by Mobb Deep. I was instantly captivated by the first listen.
“The main beat is probably one of the most well-known hip hop beats of all time, but I didn’t know that back then. I just knew that I found this goldmine of a track and I was completely mesmerised by the atmosphere, the haunting melody, the deep bass and the crunchy drums that constantly drive the beat forward.
“I probably listened to it close to a 1,000 times that year. I would sit in class and have the song on repeat, day after day, week after week. And even to this day, I get instant goosebumps the moment the beat drops.
“There is an amazing video showing how Havoc of Mobb Deep sampled a piano piece to make the beat. I found this out years after I discovered the track and it made me respect them even more.
5. Daft Punk - One More Time
RDB: “Daft Punk are legendary producers and not a new name to anyone, but we have to include this track in our list.
“The breakdown will go down as one of the best breakdowns of all time in my book. Not to mention the very unique vocal style - it’s heavily autotuned, which back in the day was pretty unknown before T-Pain and Kanye came along. Daft Punk are considered pioneers for a good reason - it’s an amazing track.”
6. Eric Prydz - Pjanoo
Victor Pool: “This was one of the first piano-based songs that blew my mind when I saw the music video on MTV in Holland back in the day.
“The clip was fun to watch, but the melody stuck in my head for weeks and weeks. It goes to show that just changing the bassline under a very simple melody can cause enough variation to keep you wanting to repeat a song over and over again.
“We actually still play this one out in our live sets a lot. Eric Prydz is one of the founders of melodic progressive house and he’ll always be a big inspiration to us.”
7. Justin Timberlake - Cry Me A River
VP: “Justified was one of the first albums I bought from my own pocket money when I was a little kid. That album was incredible, but Cry Me A River stood out big time.
“The beat, which is mostly beatboxed, feels so fresh and the entire song is very moody and vibey. The arp beat at the beginning is incredible and this song goes to show that the combination between Timbaland as the producer and Justin Timberlake on vocals was pure gold.”
8. Bomfunk MC’s - Freestyler
VP: “Hands down the best intro to any song I've heard in my life. The combination between that high arp sound and the guitar gives me goose bumps every time I listen to it.
“Personally, we're not big fans of British rap music, but this is a major exception. When I need energy to start my day or to get motivated, this is what will be playing through the speakers. Also, the video clip is legendary.”
RDB: “I actually remember being incredibly excited when this song come on TV - back when MTV actually aired music videos.
“The day after I went to school, I was asking my friends if they’d seen this epic music video. One of them saw it too and loved it, so we spent the next 10 minutes talking about how amazing the song and video are.
“I don’t really know why I remember this so well, but for both of us this was a really special song growing up.”
VP: “The only song that made me listen to a bongo solo. What energy and an unlikely brilliant combination between bongos and trance music.
“I definitely see this as one of the songs that got me into the trance music scene in the first place. It’s still in my cardio playlist when I go on a run, since it was the anthem of our soccer team when I was a little kid. During every warm up to a match, this song would be playing and everyone loved it.”
10. Michael Jackson - Billie Jean
VP: “I still have a very clear memory of listening to this song on my first ever Walkman. My mom would always play it on the sound system in the house and it's by far my favorite Michael Jackson song.
“As a young Dutch kid, I would always focus on the melodies instead of the actual lyrics and the story behind them, but this was the exception.
“I asked my parents about it and they started telling me stories about Michael Jackson, his childhood and how he was pushed to be an entertainer. I became a big fan of his music after this.”
RDB: “I remember when I got introduced to this track very well, it was in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. The game itself was a major mind-blowing experience for the 11-year-old me, but hearing that track when I first stepped on a motorbike in the game was even more mind-blowing. I remember going to my parents asking for the track. An all-time classic, for a good reason.”