The name ‘Partyraiser’ appeals to the imagination of any hardcore head. Fast, driven by pure energy and harder than the rest, or as he calls it: “party in een zaagjas.” Though impossible to translate, everyone who has ever witnessed a DJ set by Partyraiser knows exactly what that means.
Wesley van Swol was born in Delft in 1977 and grew up in the village of Wateringen. While visiting hardcore parties at legendary venues like the Energiehal and Sporthallen Zuid as a young spirit in the early 1990s, he encountered a magical thing that caught his attention and enthusiasm: the craft of working the turntables, like the heroes he saw rocking at these raves. In 1993, a friend taught him the initial tricks of the trade, after which a period of intensive practicing followed for Wesley. When that same friend checked in with him half a year later, he was knocked off his feet by the skills that his buddy had developed in such a short amount of time. This had to be his calling, and so he continued. His new addiction didn’t go unnoticed by his family. One day his mother asked him to come upstairs, where she had installed a new pair of Pioneer Technics SL-MK turntables, a mixer and the rest of the package a DJ needs to kick start what would eventually become the success it is now.
In 1995, Wesley started playing at parties in the region and ‘Partyraiser’ came to existence. In an era without internet, one had to meet fellow DJs at parties or through others. And this is exactly how he met Bart Revier, soon baptized Distroyer. Together, Partyraiser and Distroyer experimented with FastTracker 2, resulting in their first tracks. They proceeded by spinning at small events together and had a show at Delta Radio FM90.9, the station that was brought back to life by Partyraiser and DJ D-Angelo. At a party where they blasted their fresh creations through the speakers, they met Vincent Heijnen from Dutch Gabber Network Records, who was interested in their music. This resulted in their first vinyl release called “A New World Order,” including the track “Kick Da Ballistic,” chosen as tune of the year 1997 by none less that Lady Dana and DJ Paul in ID&T Magazine. The train started rolling when George Ruseler from Rige Entertainment, better known as DJ Distortion, called and asked if they would be interested in playing at Megarave on New Year’s Eve 1998 in the Energiehal, on top which they got the opportunity to play at Hardcore & Rave Megamarket at that same venue in April 1998 as a warm-up. This was already a dream starting to unfold itself. However, not long after that big performance, Wesley and Bart split up to follow their own paths into the future.
The search for a musical identity began for Partyraiser, making his way through different styles and genres, until in 2001 he was asked to play his old banging style again. From that moment on, the real journey commenced. Partyraiser started hosting his own concept called Doomsday, which brought him into contact with the big shots of the scene and began spinning outside the province, even gaining popularity in Germany. At a booking in The Netherlands, he met William Jordens, who operated as DJ The Rapist and introduced Partyraiser to Multigroove boss Ilja Reiman, the man who would become a key figure in Partyraiser’s career. Ilja, who guided artists like Lady Dana, Pavo and Flamman & Abraxas towards success, now had his eye on Partyraiser. It was also the time when he impulsively laid the foundation for his own signature style by playing a set consisting of hard-edged B-sides at Nosferatu’s Birthday Party. When people starting speaking about ‘Partyraiser style,’ he knew that he had something valuable in hand; a statement was made. One of the first major fruits from his cooperation with Multigroove was playing mainstage at Hellbound in October 2004 in a battle with D-Passion. Opening with “Zij Gelooft In Mij” by the recently passed away André Hazes, followed by a no-nonsense wave of kicks, including his monster hit “Assasins”, these two came in like hurricane. This point can be marked as the real breakthrough of Partyraiser, who grabbed hold of the hardcore scene, never to release it. The phenomenon Partyraiser would forever be mentioned in the same breath with hard, fast and accessible hardcore.