Today’s focus is a missing Big Room duo, Pitchback. Active from 2015 to 2017, we haven’t heard of them ever since. Let me explain how and why Pitchback‘s promising career ended up that fast.
Pitchback was a duo, consisting of Ralph Niemeyer and Jorrit Popkema. Both hailed from the Netherlands. Jorrit was already known as D-Sturb, his Hardstyle alias, since 2012. Ralph too was a DJ & Producer as Rafa Simmons. They both formed Pitchback in early 2015 as a side project for Jorrit so he can take a break from Hardstyle scene. Back then, the genre was in a bad shape, becoming boring for many producers and listeners. This is why few hardstyle artists started experimenting with big room house like Headhunterz, DBSTF, DJ Isaac, Crystal Lake, and even Atmozfears.
By June 2015, the first Pitchback single was released under Armada Trice, ‘Get Up!’. It caught the attention of Dutch legend, Hardwell. He felt the potential of the duo and signed them on Revealed. A year later, Pitchback would breakthrough after that as Hardwell premiered their second single, ‘Cosmic Dark’ in his Ultra Music Festival 2016 set. This track was a real fresh air for the big room scene thanks to the powerful and dark hardstyle influences: heavy kicks and complex melodies. It would receive massive support from veterans such as Blasterjaxx, Ummet Ozcan, and Bassjackers. Later, Pitchback collaborated with another Hardwell protege, Joey Dale. ‘Crowd Control’ marks the second release of the duo on Revealed and the time their fanbase reaches 10,000 likes on Facebook and 1,000 followers on Instagram. The duo was officially a “one to watch” for the big room fans. Pitchback ended the year in 2016 with two other bangers ‘Do You Want’ and ‘Venom’ with Jake Sgarlato.
Fans were expecting Pitchback to follow that path in 2017, there were even rumors of a collaboration with the one and only Hardwell! But sadly the project was actually reaching the end. Jorrit finally was attracted again by the hard scene and more precisely rawstyle. The genre was gaining more and more popularity since fans started to get bored of euphoric hardstyle. The D-Sturb project blew really fast after his collaboration with the legend Radical Redemption ‘Kill Me’. Warface reached out him to sign D-Sturb on his label End Of Line and ever since he has become a huge rising talent chaining successful releases and collaborations: ‘Conflict Override’, ‘Drop Em Down’ with Malice, ‘The Aftermath’ with Digital Punk. D-Sturb was included in many festivals and events, even asked to make anthems for Supremacy, Intents, and recently Rebirth. D-Sturb main focus was rawstyle and his famous kick rolls, but he surprised everyone with a Frenchcore collab with the prodigy Sefa.
The return to his roots was definitely the best move of his career but Pitchback‘s death was a big loss for the big room house scene and their fans. Luckily they released a final banger before leaving, ‘Lethal’, a collaboration with another duo that was about to leave big room: Seth Hills. Indeed Atmozfears chose to quit the project. With only Sergio remaining, Seth Hills became the leader of the fresh bass/electro house movement after his huge collaboration with Magnificence ‘Fire’ and is now one of the brightest artists of Martin Garrix‘s label STMPD.
In the end, Pitchback was a promising project that ended too soon, but it’s bad for a good as D-Sturb became one of the freshest artists of the hardstyle scene and definitely has a bright future!