Posted by Scott Willats
In football terms, Group 2 is the UEFA EURO 2012 tournament’s “group of death,” home to global powerhouses Holland, Germany, Portugal and Denmark. In EDM terms, too, this is an impressive stable — but not quite so evenly balanced. While Portugal has a lively, up-and-coming scene and Copenhagen is known to throw down some of the best dubstep concerts, neither can match the firepower of the Dutch and German camps. Let’s break it down.
Netherlands – Nicky Romero
The Oranje. Total Football. Clockwork Orange. The Dutch have, by far, the greatest collection of offensive players in the tournament — the kind of goal-scoring talents that bring the masses to the stadiums. In the EDM arena, meanwhile, the country fields a similarly formidable team. Just think on these names: Sander van Doorn, Laidback Luke, Afrojack, Sidney Samson, Fedde Le Grand, Hardwell, R3hab, Bingo Players — not to mention the former DJ Mag Top 100 winners Tiësto and Armin van Buuren. That’s one hell of a starting squad. Still, for my money it’s the kid from Amerongen, Nicky Romero, who’s the talent to watch right now. Blending the familiar Dutch and Swedish sounds, he seems to have found a foolproof way to make hits. Heavily respected in the game, as evidenced by his collaborations with David Guetta and most of the DJs on the list above, Nicky Romero is the Robin Van Persie of this tournament: coming off his best year yet, hungry and embarrassingly talented.
The perfect download …
Germany – Boys Noize
Germany is stacked: ATB, Paul van Dyk, Moguai, Cosmic Gate, Digitalism and Kris Menace — all household names in the EDM world. But there’s one young man from Hamburg who stands out from the pack. Alex Ridha, a.k.a. Boys Noize, has redefined techno — not just with his own innovation in the studio, but through his label Boysnoize Records (BNR), which can boast some of the biggest releases of the past five years. The one thing always synonomous with the German team is clinical finishing; the same can be justly said for this man.
Quick shout-out to Donna Summer: here’s an amazing tribute Boys Noize did for the late, great disco queen!
Portugal – Buraka Som Sistema
Style and flair. The Portuguese, much like their Brazilian brethren, are admired not just for their talent and skill, but for the elegance of their play. Fitting, then, that we should choose Buraka Som Sistema to carry the flag for Portugal in bpm:tv’s EDM Euro Cup. The group that messed with African kuduro so thoroughly that they ended up creating “progressive kudoro” is an act you don’t want to miss. While the Portuguese squad boasts boasts Cristiano Ronaldo, arguably the best player in the tournament, BSS boasts “Up All Night,” arguably the best song out there right now. Never underestimate the Portuguese. Por-Tu-GAL!
Denmark – Medina
It may not be known as a hotbed for house music, but Denmark still boasts an impressive lineup of performers. Trentemoller, Daniel Kandi, Kid Massive and Noir are all the kind of big names you’re likely to see at any festival as an opening act on the main stage. But it’s Medina I’ve chosen to represent the Danes. Maybe, as a Canadian, I’m swayed by her Deadmau5 connection. But there’s just something about this woman’s angelic voice over progressive house chords that gets me every time. It’s always a treat to hear a brand new Medina track, and to look forward to what creative remixers will do once they get their hands on those vocals. Some forget that the Danes have been winners of the Euro tournament before. They may well be poised to strike gold once again — just as Medina did with “You and I.”
Next up: Group 3, home to the defending champs, Spain.