- Top 100
“Of course, it’s been a fucking great year!” says Afrojack, aka Dutch producer Nick Van de Wall. “I think we can all agree on that! I mean, ‘Take Over Control’ started out as a dance track, and now it’s still rising in the Billboard charts. It’s at 41 now, so it’s fun to see that part exploding.”
In fact, this year seems to be the one that has broken him Stateside. As well as slowly creeping up the Billboard chart, he’s jumped on the bill at the Ultra festival in Miami, the touring Electric Daisy Carnival and Electric Zoo in New York.
“Those were crazy festivals, 40 or 50,000 people for one stage. Creamfields was fun, but Creamfields is fun every fucking year.”
Van de Wall is also another evangelist about the scene in Las Vegas, like so many of the Top 100 this year. It seems that Sin City has finally decided that its pulse should be 4/4, rather than set to the time signature of R&B. He now has a residency at the swanky XS venue, and is rather excited by it.
“It’s the most beautiful club in Vegas,” he says. “Every time I play there, you can see all of America in one place. It’s like a satellite view. All the kids go there, all the VIPs go there and all the rich people go there. The whole world that is in America, they all go to Vegas.
“But it’s not like it’s commercialised over there. It feels bigger, but even now it’s getting huge in America and there’s much more marketing going on, bigger festivals and bigger crowds, it’s still seen in American society as something that’s underground. And that’s why I like it. And it doesn’t just have to be techno to be underground.”
Production-wise too, this year has been pivotal for Afrojack. Tracks like ‘No Beef’ with Dim Mak boss Steve Aoki and a remix of the track ‘Techno Fan’ for indie types The Wombats have him bristling with pride, but the work that might raise his profile further this year, particularly in the US, is his work with David Guetta – producing a clutch of tracks on the Frenchman’s star-studded ‘Nothing But The Beat’ album, with the likes of Timbaland, but notably their collaborative track ‘Lunar’.
“I’m really proud of that record,” he says. “It was supposed to be really crossover, but there had to be some tracks on the second CD that were mind-blowing, electronic tracks. So we came up with ‘Lunar’. It’s not necessarily an easy danceable track, but it’s the biggest technological thing I’ve ever done in my life, engineering-wise,” he says. “It’s the fattest thing you’ll hear, I hope, in the next year or so. I still don’t know how we did it, but we did it!”
Let’s hope he keeps doing it.