Axwell has come alive in 2016 with his solo moniker, unveiling a slew of new tracks that outpace his own snail-like release standards. The latest is a collaboration with Russian DJ and producer Shapov titled "Belong" that has all the euphoria both DJs want to fit into a peak-time mainstage set. In addition to the original mix, the more popular version that has been played out by Axwell over the past year is the "remode" with Norwegian producer Years.
The tune starts out with some soft guitar plucks underneath the vocals of an uncredited male vocalist. It slowly builds with added strings and percussion into the eventual crescendo of chugging and punchy drums and big euphoric synths. As one expects with an Axwell track, it is all held together with a super tight mix.
Shapov is one half of the now seemingly defunct duo Hard Rock Sofa. He has had a lot of success on his own, notably under the tutelage of Axwell on his Axtone label.
"Working with Shapov has been a real pleasure," says Axwell of Shapov in a statement. "He is one of the most talented artists around right now, and I'm pleased to be a part of his musical journey and to have him representing Axtone at shows all around the world."
The remode version comes with a little bit more emphasis on the synths, courtesy of Years. Speaking to Billboard, Axwell explained that a remode is like a remix, but the wording is based on words he used growing up. "Mode" in Swedish means a song is dope or dank, so to remode it is to upgrade it.
Listen to the two songs below and pick up your copy here.