For as long as it’s been around, HARD has always had a rare sense of what’s coming next in the worlds of dance music and hip-hop. People flock to the shows with the promise of lineups that look to tomorrow (while staying up on the sounds of today, obviously) and a music-first experience that is always ahead of the curve. Now, the HARD team is extending its stellar curation skills beyond bookings, with the launch of their very own label.
And since HARD Summer is practically already on our doorstep, they are basing their maiden release around the annual two-day SoCal festival. Even with so much talent pouring out from every angle of the event, they still managed to filter down the track list to include 18 tracks that perfectly sum up the summertime showdown with a compilation album that calls out a crazy combination of HARD favorites. Names like Dillon Francis, Valentino Khan, Borgore, Getter, and more are all accounted for, setting up the label’s blueprint for supporting the finest artists from the house, bass, trap, and techno realms.
“Couldn’t be more excited and proud to get to play at HARD for the first time,” KRANE tells us. “It’s been a longtime goal, and [I’m] putting together a special, dynamic, weird set for my people down there. This track ‘Momentum’ is just a little taste but serves well to show the range of moods and sonic spaces I like to incorporate into my sets; hoping to take listeners on a journey across different styles.” The cascading synth sequences and trap-centered crescendo on the track get that job done rather well.
Rave queen and all-around fun-lover Ducky has also secured a spot on the package. “So stoked to give you guys ‘Down Low,’” she says. “This has been a staple in my sets for months now. If you’ve seen me live, we’ve raved to this together.” The low-end on this one is not messing around, either.
As a regular bringer of bottom-end pandemonium, SAYMYNAME tees up a thunderous, snake-charming slice of hard trap called “Don’t Stop,” which he says “will make you throw some elbows—I guarantee it.” Just try not to knock out the person standing next to you.
“This is that shit you listen to while you’re rollin’ down Santa Monica Blvd on your Bird scooter, tryna flip a brick, and some old lady pulls up and starts givin’ you lip,” explains Sage Armstrong regarding “WAIT…(I Think I Lost My Mind),” the collab he threw down with OMNOM. The dazed-and-confused booty house number rides out on shuffling drums, ricocheting hits of bass, and plumes made up of Armstrong’s cloudy vocals.
Altogether, the compilation is the best pregame to the festival that you can ever hope for. Plus, it marks the start of a new chapter for the HARD team and the potential they have to run a proper record label.
The HARD Summer 2018 compilation album is available here.