Mix of the Week 26/9: MATRIX & NERVOUS Live at DEFQON.1 2018

Australian Hard Dance legends Matrix & Nervous debuted their latest set in the late afternoon at this year’s DEFQON.1, creating fast-paced musical magic that forced the audience to rave, gabber and hakk until the break of dawn. While there hasn’t been much music released independently from the event, this 45 minute mix is the perfect example of why DEFQON.1 is the world’s greatest place for hardstyle music. Held in Sydney this year on September 15, it is fitting that the Australian duo took their decades of experience to the Golden stage.

Fast, aggressive and, most importantly, hard, Matrix & Nervous best describe this mix when they ask the listener “are you ready for the sound of ecstasy?” The distinct hardstyle genre, with its intense beat, grounds the mix in an exhilarating. The constantly rising tempo calls the listener to their feet, with a shifting mix of genres keeping them on their toes. From hard trance and techno, to psychedelic bass and house, there is not only a continuous source of excitement from the tracks themselves, but from the seamless transitions between them. This wide variety of hardstyle genres isn’t the only standout feature of this mix. Matrix & Nervous cheekily throw in some bootlegs and remixes of well-known songs, such as The Rolling Stones ‘Paint It Black’ and the White Stripes ‘Seven Nation Army’, which play entirely on the audience’s knowledge of their notorious melodies, using the hard-style conventions to build towards their familiar musical sequences. It is hard to imagine attending hours more of the DEFQON.1 after this, because the 45-minute mix takes no prisoners with its unforgiving pace, leaving the listener completely drained and utterly satisfied.

On its own, Matrix & Nervous have crafted an aggressively intense mix that enthrals the audience with its fast beat. As a representation of Australia’s biggest hardstyle festival, their DEFQON set is not only the embodiment of the festival itself, but also of the hardstyle genre and all the exhilarating enjoyment this music uniquely provides.