Leonie Schott
By Leonie Schott

Malice – the former Gearbox act and now Aggressive Records bosses – have been fighting their way from underground producers to performer on big stages like Defqon.1 BLUE or Fatality mainstage. With experimental ideas of making music, like the track ‘Brutalized’, Malice set some relevant trends in the harder styles scene. Now, the official announcement is out: the Italian DJ duo will go separate ways. 

READ ALSO: The secret of Malice revealed: this is where they find their inspiration

When the name Sickmode first appeared on Suppression XTRA RAW’s line-up out of nowhere, it was not clear at all who this might be. After a few days, Caine posted a photo of two guys holding a shield with the names “ROOLER” and “SICK MODE” on it in his Instagram Story. Experts in the scene could recognize already there: Aleandro from Malice is the guy behind the “SICK MODE” shield. In the following days and until now, the catchwords “sick” and “Sickmode” got spread by artists and fans all over social media, always in relation to Aleandro.

On the other hand, in Malice Instagram Stories only Davide was seen without Aleandro and in contrast to before, he was always speaking in singular regarding producing music. Die-hard fans were still hoping Sickmode is just a side project, but in the latest Gearbox documentary chapter the two men now officially announced it: at the 10 Years Gearbox event, Malice will have the last performance as a DJ duo. Davide will continue as Malice alone and Aleandro now produces music under the new alias Sickmode.

For Gearbox’ 10th anniversary the label has been producing a documentary, publishing it chapter by chapter. In the second video, they go deeper in Malice’s music path and viewers get a feeling why being a duo hadn’t been always easy for them. Since they were friends before they started producing music and moved together (also with Rooler) from Italy to the Netherlands, they spend a lot of time together.

Migrating without money, living together in a house without being able to shut oneself off for some time plus typical producer stress on top, eventually lead to personal, psychological problems and even more stress. In the documentary, Aleandro is described as “the hand” and Davide as “the head” of the Malice project and since both are separate individuals, it’s imaginable that also musically views and ideas might differ.

From the underground to Defqon.1 BLUE stage

The tracks ‘Stand Back’ and ‘Respect Me’ got them into Gearbox and since then, Malice’s career in the raw scene went straight uphill. Their extreme raw had been polarizing a lot and it still does, but with constant evolution and a strong connection to their fans, at events and on social media, they grew into an indispensable part of the raw hardstyle scene.

With songs like ‘Dictatorship’, ‘Rawphoric Experiment’ and ‘Fuckin’ Die’ they played at many events like Shockerz, Fatality and We Are Hardstyle. Latest after their collab ‘Aggressive Act’ (spot 25 in Q-dance Top 100 2016) with Rooler and their collab ‘Watch Your Back’ (spot 13 in Q-dance Top 100 2017) with raw hardstyle giant Warface, the whole hardstyle scene knew about the Italian producers.

With their aggressive sound and creative and experimental approach to making music, Malice can be seen as trendsetters and they were also part of the ones who extended hardstyle in a more extreme way. The scene now talks about xtra raw as a new subgenre and since their track ‘Brutalized’, you can hear the so-called ping-pong-kicks even beyond hardstyle borders.

One year ago, Malice released the album The Extreme with a sold out album release party. After their successful collab, Malice and Rooler built the live act Aggressive Act and had the debut performance at Intents 2017 with several bookings at other big events like Supremacy following. Half a year ago, they left their label Gearbox to found their own: Aggressive Records.

Malice and Sickmode both busy in the studio

Although fans of the former formation share their sadness about the split-up on the internet, they also see positive sides: “Now we have two acts. The more of them the better.” In Malice’s as well as in Sickmode’s Instagram Story we see them working on new music on a daily basis. People are even talking about a whole Sickmode album and considering how many tracks are in the making, this doesn’t seem far-fetched. Sickmode also has many collaborations in store, with DJs like Andy The Core, Riot Shift, The Purge, Fraw and Unkind. Short preview snippets can be heard in their Instagram Stories, but the question about official release dates still remains. Also information about the live-act Aggressive Act and the label Aggressive Records is still not given yet, but Aleandro’s Instagram description “Follow the gang Aggressive Records” gives fans hope this DJ combination will still remain. Stay tuned for the next Chapter of the 10 Years Gearbox Documentary on Gearbox Digital’s YouTube channel.

Footage taken from Instagram page Malice

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