Inspired to be the best by the death of his father at aged 13, it’s not surprising to see Adam Beyer as a Commander of the world’s Techno Army. Label boss of the indomitable Drumcode , as well as sub-label Truesoul, he’s never shied from releasing blistering and impactful music. He’s responsible for assembling The Avengers of Techno, consisting of names such as Amelie Lens, Joseph Capriati, Alan Fitzpatrick, Layton Giordano, Pleasurekraft, Bart Skils and Tiger Stripes. All the trailblazing DJs regularly release under his label. Though it may appear that he only brings function to the table with many of his releases, some such as those produced under his Concealed Project alias, as well as his remix of Mathew Jonson’s ‘Marionette‘ bring an edge. Deep and percussive, it is a hark back to his old days before his mammoth hits ‘Your Mind‘, ‘Teach Me ‘and ‘Stone Flower‘ conquered the festival scene. Debuting with ‘Drum Codes 1’ on Planet Rhythm, he brought a cutting-edge stuff with precision drum programming being pushed by Jeff Mills. It’s a common theme throughout all of his releases, including those under the 17th, Midas, Told Impression, Mr Sliff and Tall Guy aliases. Under this Concealed Project release however, ‘Untitled B2’ is a slice of sublime, eerie Techno.
Dropping in the year 2000 on the Swedish record label Svek, it came as part of the ‘Definition of D‘ EP. Speaking with Elektro Daily he recalls starting ‘Drumcode in ’96 [with the] idea to not release anything I wouldn’t play out. It began as a label for techno DJs and not so much for people to just listen to. But back then it was a lot more loopy and it was a bit harder and faster’. ‘Untitled B2’ is certainly as loopy, but due to the pads feels more melodic. Warping and gloopy, the bass is reminiscent of Claro Intelecto’s remix of Hardfloor’s ‘T2DAC‘. It sounds like a Nord Modular was used in the production, being morphed with delays, basic hats, field recordings of traffic. On every half-beat an aquatic siren plays, alongside a choppy, popping percussion. Though it’s a track that is consistent with many of Beyer’s early tracks being DJ tools, here the flip is switched. A brooding pad line kicks in, hauntingly and melancholically it tugs on more heart strings than most ‘melodic techno’ cuts. It’s the same line taken off his first release ‘Pattern 1’. As the energy is amped, it’s the perfect striking juxtaposition to Adam’s unyielding style. Continue reading →
‘If Techno has a gateway drug, it’s probably Drumcode’ states DJ Mag. ‘If you hear it, and dig it, you’re probably hooked; no turning back.’ The label, whether people admit it or not, is certainly the port of entry into the genre for those transitioning from more commercial styles or wishing to understand what functional Techno is. From its humble beginnings in 1996, it is now a juggernaut of a label, criticised by some as being too commercial. Whilst the label’s releases have attracted millions of listeners, you cannot deny the ear for Adam’s talent spotting with Amelie Lens, Bart Skills and Sam Paganini’s incredulous releases. Pig&Dan have without a doubt played their part in solidifying the its status as Techno’s premier label.. Meeting back in 1999 on a flight back from Mallorca, their music stretches from Balearic downtempo to minimal techno releases on Cocoon. The tracks that’ve brought most acclaim, however, have been their banging Techno rompers. Magnetic Mag proclaimed ‘Growler’ their release on Diynamic as being ‘rightfully hammered at nearly every single night at every single club in every major city across the globe’. You could claim their Drumcode output to be even better. Tour de force releases ‘Mexico‘ and ‘Devotion‘ were an incredible run up to their smash hit collaboration with Adam Beyer, ‘We Are E‘. Returning now with a freshly-baked in 2019 ‘Plex’, Pig&Dan seem to hit Pluto heights of out-there-ness.
The duo’s ‘Pick Me Up‘ on John Digweed’s Bedrock was one of our 2018 Tracks of the Year. Being unashamedly a trance track, it was complemented with a customary hefty kick. Their run that year was continued with the brash ‘Reset Your Bassline‘. Pig&Dan love to use a Moog for their basslines. ”Brutally punishing” can only describe the one in ‘Plex’ as it pounds alone in sync with the sub bass and shuffling percussion, reverberating panoramically. Off-key, two note celestial radar samples bleep creating an exigency that demands one to listen. Using a Roland System1 for most of their synths, their productions sound so much greater than the cost of their parts. Most-coveted Trance tracks like Nalin and Kane’s ‘Beach Ball‘ or Energy 52’s ‘Cafe Del Mar‘ have a nonchalant, positive connotation that uplifts the crowd. Sven Vath’s ‘Harlequin‘, however, has more darker tone that is also represented in ‘Plex’. Metallic and gnarling, the mesmeric, multi-layered synth lines instantly evoke euphoria, seesawing down the octave in a staggering manner. The tracks elements then dissolve, leaving behind a whipped synth that’s revved back and forth, teasing with what’s to come. As a delicate kick enters back in the whipped synth throbs feebly, before a cosmic percussion lands with thunderous roar. It gradually progresses to amalgamate all the remaining elements for a sublime and electrifying finale. Continue reading →
One Reddit user crowned Pan-Pot as the ‘Nickelback of Techno’. Though, it is true that the duo from Berlin have enjoyed recognition worldwide, I don’t believe the Redditor in question has ever heard of their timeless, ground-breaking releases such as ‘Charly‘. Pan-Pot’s Second State Audio is a label like Drumcode and ARTS releasing Techno-flavoured cut curated for festivals like Dimensions or club venues like The Steelyard. The unit can claim responsibility for helping catapult Amelie Lens’ career into the stratosphere by releasing her first 3 EPs. Impressed by the SUM 2 compilation featuring slamming cuts by Wigbert, Marco Resmann and Tobi Neumann we waited with keen anticipation for the next compilation. Appearing at track 3, DEAS’ ‘Friday Rain‘ instantly made us froth at the mouth. Perfect for building a set just like the SCI+TEC release ‘Revenge‘ by Rosper, it conveys the same savageness. Here again on this 2018 release DEAS provides a vehemence in his production. Best served for the Techno festival masses of ADE, as well as technical soundsystems belonging to such as London’s 93 Feet East. Red Bull label’s DEAS production style is deep and melancholic. You certainly get a bit of that, plus more on this remix.
Pan-Pot’s original track features a stomping bass, alongside random percussive bits and a veil of 303 drum soundscapes. Zaps that come like bolts from the Greek god Zeus help pickle the brain. DEAS instantly ramps up the feeling by expanding the bass. This creates a wall to wall of atmospheric dread. A tribal drum pattern will help mix out of something not so greyscale such as Artbat’s ‘Prometheus‘. Ironically or not, the EP cover is that of a space helmet. Squelching echoed modulations help the track shoot the abyss. Alien-sounding, it’s a striking sound when paddled alongside the stringed arps. The track can be deemed as being drenched in a maximum amount of reverb. By the time the claps kick in, the pulses that reverberate around entrap the senses. Those bolts mentioned before? They then spurt back in at will, causing an absolute carnage. It’s a fireball of menace, only to further throttle the dancefloor once the tunnelling pulses fire again. Continue reading →
Darren Beale, better know by his stage name Dubspeeka, is a producer hailing from the dynamic Bristolian scene. Beale’s signature sound carries a shade of duskiness. In his interview Change Underground he claims that his releases tend to have a ‘solid foundation, plenty of low end and a dark raw angle on the production‘. This hue of Techno has seen hims cuts released on big-player labels like Oliver Huntemann‘s Ideal Audio, John Digweed’s Bedrock Records & Drumcode. Since dropping his previously elusive persona, he has been involved in shenanigan inducing gigs in Johannesburg to parties in Poland with Crosstown Rebels. Released on his own imprint Skeleton in 2017, ‘Mod1’ is a meld of modulated techno with progressive & UK bass influence. Finding a place in Joey Anderson’s majestic Dekmantel set earlier this year, the track is an apex of a memorable mix.
As a DJ, he’s not afraid to incorporate House into his sound, as shown in his Rinse FM mix with Shadow Child. This translates into his productions as more often than not have a flamboyancy about them. Coming under a strain of versatility his releases straddle along the lines of techno & tech-house. No wonder he was tapped by Get Physical for a mix of a Miami 2018 comp. Mod1 starts with a hollowed kick drum rendered from a dancehall cut you’d see on a Wizkid or Konshenz track. Raining arps collide to form a parade of refined consonance within itself. ’Mod1′ shares the staccato synth seen in his 2016 release ‘K377 Unfriended‘. The fitful melody that forefronts the midpoint of the track, sprays its frequencies with celerity of Rambo’s machine gun. It is a complimenting polarity to what is an Alan Fitzpatrick inspired, reverb-heavy kick and bass combo. In such, more canorous leaning DJs like Mind Against featured it in their Junction 2 launch Tobacco Dock set. Atmospheric yet hulking, ‘Mod1’ commands the dancefloor with its heavy dosage of electricity. Continue reading →
British producer Billy Turner’s recent release Don’t Talk To Me About Style EP on Drumcode has been been flying off the shelves. The jittery, sticky humming baselines reign supreme in this brisk affair. Nonetheless, ‘Doomsday’ shows world class dexterity in assembling state-of-the-art gargantuan of lower BPM Techno. Released this year on fellow Britons Dense & Pika’s Kneaded Pains label, it’s shuddering. The term Doomsday has many different interpretations in various shapes & forms, be it the ‘2012’ movie or DC Comics character. They both retain a similar theme to the title track – a sense of dread.
As described on Beatport, ‘Doomsday’s cascading drums and tripped out metallic refrain kick things off in typically explosive style.’ Whatever image Billy had when engineering the glistened sheened synths, you can imaging a crash and a bang of a Terminator landing could’ve been one. Continue reading →
Oscar L is making huge waves in 2018 with his cavernous Techno track ‘Monster Tube‘ getting huge play this festival season. Joseph Capriati opened with it during his Awakenings Festival set recently to aplomb. Released on Adam Beyer’s Drumcode Record’s sister label Truesoul EP ‘Multiplayer’, ‘Monster Tube’ was just one of a few recent Spaniard’s banging peak-time cuts. ‘Primewire’ is a destructive howitzer, that deserves all the accolades available on the table at the DJ Awards Ibiza if there ever was an award for the ‘Techno Tool of the Year’.
The track seems primed for the apex shenanigans Ritchie Hawtin or Dubfire to renovate during one of their sets. Double-note bass bounces with the fervour of a late-running express train and ensures heads are bopping. A powerlifting start that would normally be found on a SCI+TEC release, gives the track a real oomf from the off. The knocking percussion adds the final molecule needed to complete the chemistry of a robust rhythm. Filtered ratchet noises hover around your head to raise your appetite for some fierce Techno. Hi-hats can really make a track and the ones on display are premium. The cherry on the cake however is the ‘doing’ like bleeps that any fan of Minus would appreciate. Continue reading →
Prolific Italian producer Luca Gaeta boasts an incredible number of releases over the last 3 years. The output totals almost a hundred tracks that he’s worked on. Some of the techno bangers have been played by globetrotters such as Adam Bayer, Jay Lumen & Mark Reeve.
‘Line‘ starts off like a standard Drumcode release, the kick thumping through a misty atmosphere of reverb. However, as the melody takes centre stage, a euphoric feeling brews, pulsating towards the end of the track.
Think back to the first time you found yourself in a club hearing unfamiliar music that felt part of its natural setting. That’s the feeling I get with ‘Line’.