Currently ranked #36 on DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJ poll
"Follow Me" chosen as anthem for Ultra Festival 2015
5 consecutive songs in the Top 10 of Beatport.com
Produced the score for the Ultra Festival 2014 Aftermovie
On their new Elements EP, Dutch production duo Vicetone realize their musical vision with greater precision and power than ever before. The follow-up to 2016’s Aurora, the EP is the first release recorded in the Nashville home custom-built to maximize Vice-tone’s creative output: a state-of-the-art space housing two separate studios for long-time collaborators Ruben and Victor. The result is a body of work that expands on the melodic ingenuity shown in past hits like “Nevada”—now at 46 million streams on Spoti-fy, bumping their total combined streams across all platforms to over a half-billion—and delivers Vicetone’s own distinct brand of endlessly surprising, emotionally charged dance music.
Revealing the many dimensions of Vicetone’s sound, Elements features such artists as singer/songwriter/Postmodern Jukebox chanteuse Haley Reinhart, who lends her soul-ful vocals to the lush and luminous “Something Strange.” As Ruben explains, the piano-driven epic came together thanks to a flash of serendipity. “We’d created the track and needed a vocal, and tried combining it with a vocal that Haley wrote for a completely dif-ferent song,” he says. “It ended up fitting like a glove—even better than the track the vocal was actually written for—which is really kind of crazy.”
In the making of Elements, Vicetone dramatically increased their use of live instrumen-tation, a major factor in the EP’s sonic depth. “This is the first thing we’ve done where we’re playing guitar, and it lets us get so many sounds we’d never be able to get through sampling,” says Victor. On “Fences” (co-written with Stephen Puth, brother of Charlie), Vicetone dream up a gently uplifting mood by blending delicate guitar tones, jangly tambourine rhythms, and the warm vocal work of singer/songwriter Matt Wertz. “‘Fences’ is about someone trying to help his girlfriend out of a depression—it’s meant to have a motivational feeling to it,” Victor notes. Another particularly poignant moment on Elements, “Home” captures a sweet nostalgia for childhood by embedding the track with serene and shimmering textures. And on “Feels Like,” Vicetone fully embrace their progressive-house roots, turning out a transcendent club anthem woven with the hyp-notic vocals of singer/songwriter LAUR.
Elements unfolds with a crystalline clarity that has much to do with Vicetone’s new home studios, painstakingly constructed prior to their relocating from L.A. in early 2017. “Before the house was built, we met with the architect and told her exactly what we needed to make the studios work,” says Ruben. “Now we can just wake up and walk right from our bedrooms and into the studio, without having to change clothes or look in the mirror. Our entire lives revolve around making music.”
Growing up in the Dutch city of Groningen, Ruben and Victor began exploring their pas-sion for dance music back in high school, when the two longtime friends would spend hours making mixes of mutually beloved producers like Armin van Buuren, Paul van Dyk, and Eric Prydz. In 2012, while in college, the duo started creating music of their own, working out of a makeshift home studio that Ruben had set up with secondhand speakers and DIY acoustic paneling. “One of the first times we got together, Victor came over and stayed for five days straight, the two of us just working on music the whole time,” Ruben recalls. “We couldn’t believe how fun it was, and pretty soon we started skipping classes and ditching exams.”
Not long after making their debut with “Harmony” (a 2012 release on Monstercat), Vice-tone began landing gigs around Europe, and soon took on a relentless touring sched-ule. To date, they’ve brought their high-energy, infinitely exhilarating live show to mas-sive festivals across the globe, including Ultra Miami and Ultra Croatia. Vicetone have also taken Asia by storm, appearing at Dream Station Seoul, gracing the stage at iconic venues like Hanoi Opera House, and performing throughout China, Vietnam, Thailand, Japan, and South Korea.
With their crowd-drawing appeal boosted by hits like “Let Me Feel,” “I’m on Fire,” and “United We Dance”—the duo aims to instill each set with the pure euphoria they first found in live electronic music as teenagers. “I went to my first rave when I was 17, and the next day at school I felt so nostalgic for it—almost like homesickness, just wishing I could always have that feeling,” says Ruben. “I remember thinking, ‘If I could do this all the time, I’d be so happy.’ Now whenever we play, I still can’t believe we get to do this for a living.”
Now dividing their time between Nashville and Holland, Vicetone also aspire to bring that unbridled vitality to their recordings—a mission that closely guided the making of Elements. “We’d never put out a song that we don’t get goosebumps from, either while producing it or playing it once it’s finished,” says Ruben. “To me that’s the most incredi-ble thing as a listener: to get an actual physical reaction from a piece of music. If we can give other people that feeling with our songs, then we’ve done our job.”