Review: Israeli tech house stalwart Shlomi Aber has sure thrown a few curveballs at us in recent years and this could possibly be the biggest yet! The man behind such celebrated titles over the years such as 'Detroit Days/Chicago Nights', 'Sea Of Sand' and 'Clones In My Backroom' moves away from sunny and slinky tech house sounds (as heard on his esteemed Be As One imprint) and now presents a darker, fierce and functional sound that's more suited to clandestine warehouse parties. Adam Beyer's Drumcode seems like a perfect fit for his new style, which has recently impressed via similarly straight up labels like Odd Even and Figure. From the tunnelling peak-time specialism of opener "Inflict", the old-school acid stomp of "Accelerator" (which really bangs the box!) and the stripped back, heads down Millisan hypnotism of 'Typeface', these are some sturdy mixing tools that will make a worthy addition to any serious techno DJ's arsenal.
Review: Glaswegian brothers Harvey and Ryan McKay launched their collaborative Alias project last year via a throbbing but quietly melodic three-tracker for Drumcode. Here they return to the popular Swedish techno outlet with more bombastic, floor-filing fare. A-side "NRG" sounds like a carnival techno anthem in waiting, featuring as it does the alluring combination of blistering, full-throttle techno beats, jaunty Latin piano motifs, mind-altering electronics and a whole heap of sweaty percussion fills and layered build-ups. The "I left my brain in the taxi" vibe is even stronger on "Orange Sunshine", where mind-melting acid lines and all-out-assault electronics rise above another tribal-tinged techno groove, while closer "The Event" is a slightly deeper (but not less forthright) techno slammer blessed with an epic, eyes-shut breakdown.
Review: Glasgow based DJ and producer Harvey McKay is up next for Drumcode, with a bit of help from his brother Ryan here as Alias. This will be his fourth release for Drumcode since making his debut for the label back in 2013 with the terrific Lost EP. A staple of such esteemed imprints as Soma, Suara and Bedrock in recent times, the Visions EP is packed full of perfect big room bangers: much like you'd expect from the guy. Kicking off with the industrial strength stomp of "Pentatonic" which is stripped right down to the bone and full of "Spastik" style snare rolls, "The Truth" then gets some Robert Hood style adrenalised cyclicity going on. Finally on the flip, we've got dark and slamming tool techno of "Dream Taker" that goes straight for the jugular. A grinding, hypnotic and downright riveting thriller for the peak time.
Review: Ilario Alicante now makes his full debut Drumcode. He's established himself as a key player among a new breed of techno artists and really is one of the brightest stars in the game. Opening with "Times" Alicante gets straight into top gear, rolling through six minutes of pure power: this is a peak time tool if we've ever heard one and is set to be heard across dancefloors worldwide this year. "Awakened" is one you may have heard from label head honcho Adam Beyer's sets of late; rampant synths and mesmerising vocal hooks all make it one hell of a journey. "Sense" is a more industrial affair, led by its chunky bassline this one is a right trip too. The EP finishes off with "Apogeo", packed with hypnotic siren tones and acute percussion.
Review: Over two decades into its lifespan, Adam Beyer's Drumcode imprint keeps evolving and excelling, pushing techno forward while remaining wholly respectful of its roots. On Part 3 of A Sides Vol 7, Beyer brings in the scene's top guns to expertly execute some main room peak-time action. On the first side, it's an undeniably Dutch affair with Amsterdam hero Bart Skils stepping up to deliver the deeply hypnotic tunnel vision of "West Of The Moon", while veterans Secret Cinema & Reinier Zonneveld deliver the darkly druggy dancefloor drama of "Pain Thing". On the flip, Pig & Dan should need no introduction and are in fine form as always on the adrenalised "Pushing On" while ascendant Aussie Juliet Fox similarly impresses on "Wanted Me".
Review: For his first outing of 2019, Adam Beyer has turned over the parts to his 2014 single "Teach Me" to Belgium's first lady of banging, acid-fuelled techno, Amelie Lens. She subsequently serves up two throbbing, peak-time ready revisions, with the A-side "Main Mix" offering a near perfect blend of booming, kick-drum driven beats, military snare fills, cut-up late night vocal samples and distorted, mind-altering riffs. As the title suggests, the flipside "Acid Remix" sees Lens indulge her love of mind-altering TB-303 acid lines, brilliantly wrapping them around a springier drum track, EBM-influenced melodic motifs and more pulsating, manipulated vocal loops.
Review: Think of this as a Christmas bonus for Drumcode fans (and there are plenty of them around). It's a single-sided salvo that sees a back catalogue cut from label main man Adam Beyer being remixed by Kompakt Extra regular Kolsch. The track in question is "What You Need", a "Stone Flower EP" favourite that's amongst the most melodious and emotion-rich cuts in Beyer's armoury. Kolsch's version is wonderfully positive, with waves of melodic riffs (similar to the original, but seemingly played on a different synthesizer), glassy-eyed chords and spine-tingling (synthesized) string stabs soaring above a softer touch rhythm track. It effectively turns a fine record into a future peak-time anthem. In our world at least, that's a very good thing indeed.
Review: Drumcode head honcho Adam Beyer and Chicagoan legend Curtis Jones (aka Green Velvet) had discussed writing music together for a long time. Also, Beyer's protege Layton Giordani had admired the mohawked Jones' work for as long as he could remember. When he got to DJ alongside him at Belfast's Shine - the spark and subsequent friendship was immediate. The outcome of this respected trio's musical journey comes in the form of "Space Date" which will be familiar to many who've followed their sets over recent months. Featuring a relentless main room stomp with steely hats and droney synth leads, all accompanied by Green Velvet's trademark vocal delivery. The thunderous peak time energy of "Rome Future" is likewise guaranteed to rock the house - that killer Reese bassline particularly is sure to blow the doors off!
Review: Some big name retro-futurism here, as The Advent joins forces with CJ Bolland to offer up a mighty re-make of the latter's mind-altering 1992 Belgian techno classic "Camargue". The 2019 "original mix" (A2) recreates many of the most familiar elements from the '92 version (including the rumbling bassline, US garage style stabs and evocative strings), tweaking the arrangement and adding some suitably tribal techno drums into the mix. Ironically, Maceo Plex's thumping, angry, kickdrum-driven remix is closer in tone to the now familiar "Drumcode sound", with the producer leaning towards the dark and intense. As for Keith Carnal's mix, it actually sounds like a more hypnotic, locked-in techno version of "Chime" by Orbital.
Review: Released simultaneously with a 12" containing the original version of the Advent and CJ Bolland's joint re-make of the latter's 1992 Belgian techno classic "Camargue", this second EP boasts a trio of undeniably tough remixes that will definitely set the pulse racing of anyone who loves the Drumcode label. The standout version comes from Adam Beyer and Layton Giordani, who pepper a hybrid house/techno groove with Bolland's original organ stabs, strings and metallic bassline. The Advent delivers a tougher but arguably deeper techno mix - it's very hypnotic - while Enrico Sangiuliano joins the dots between techno, trance and old school flavours.
Review: As you'd perhaps expect, there are a couple of seriously big hitters involved in the latest missive in Drumcode's ongoing "A Sides" vinyl series. Former Deep Dish man Dubfire unfurls the EVOLV project and offers up "Deadbug", a stomping slab of dark and moody big room techno where foreboding riffs and fizzing electronic pulses ride a tough-but-snappy techno groove. The other "big name" contribution comes from Bristolian Eats Everything. He steals the show with the rave-centric bounce of "Organica" and its alluring mixture of hip-house style yelps, wonk-a-donk riffs and thunderous drums. Further heavyweight sleaze is provided by Harvey McKay and the dirty acid techno filth of "Find Yourself".
Review: Alan Fitzpatrick returns to Drumcode, marking his first appearance since late 2016 when he remixed Moby's hit "Porcelain".The release opens with "Brian's Proper Dun One", a track which caused a storm on his Twitter profile when he first started playing it last year. Loaded with sharp and pounding drums, this is a no holds barred, certified main room anthem! "Wait A Second" has been getting a lot of play on Drumcode Radio of late. This rave inspired track takes a raw, stripped back approach and delivers a killer blow. Alan sampled the vocals of MC r1bbz from an LTJ Bukem tape pack from the early 90s and the record tips its cap to early jungle raves around the M25. The release closes with "Trance, Init?" a homage to Fitzpatrick's days as a raver before he became a DJ. The breakdown is sure to be a hands in the air moment at festivals all over the globe this summer.
Review: New York City represents in true colours here for techno powerhouse Drumcode. Adam Beyer has called in rising star Layton Giordani for a collaboration with the don of the Big Apple himself: Danny Tenaglia, on the powerful and euphoric anthem "Live Again". This one has all the druggy vocals, tunnelling bassline and headrush inducing suspense you'd expect from the label. The flip features the rhythm focused DJ tool "Secrets Of Vibration" featuring a sexy spiritual monologue over a powerful TR-909 workout that reaches near tribal moments - matter of fact it's reminiscent of Samuel L Session's seminal work from the late '90s. Finally, we are treated to one more exercise in dancefloor drama on the brooding "Take It Back" which features a razor sharp bassline, diva vocals and soaring arpeggios. This follows up some great releases on sister label Truesoul, Intec and Octopus Black Label.
Review: After building his reputation via releases on Plus 8 and M_nus, amongst others, Julian Jeweil has secured a big-money move to Drumcode. As you'd expect, all four tracks on this first label outing tend towards the forthright, with title track "Rolling" - a sweaty fusion of booming arpeggio bass, pounding kick-drums, foreboding riffs, metallic hits and drum machine handclap fills - setting the agenda. The "build and drop techno" blueprint is explored further on "Venice", before the experienced Frenchman opts for some full-throttle antics on "Blue". Sensing listeners need a little bit of a breather, he dips the tempo a little on "Traffic", which boasts some deliciously psychedelic acid lines.
Review: Drumcode dropped its first A-Sides compilation five years ago. The series has been such a success that they're already up to volume six. The first part of the vinyl edition (there are four in total) naturally features some notable contributions. We're particularly enjoying the full-throttle acid techno assault that is Amelie Lens' brain-melting "In Silence", though Dense & Pika's similarly intense, noise-laden slammer "Just a Beat" pushes it close. Elsewhere, Marco Faraone impresses with the slightly deeper and more intoxicating "Desert Crash" - think cascading late night synth melodies and bassbin-bothering bottom end - while Ambivalent's "Portmanteau" brilliantly wraps early psychedelic trance and ambient techno electronics around a bombastic rhythm track.
Review: Ever the champion of brains and brawn in equal measure, Maceo Plex makes his debut appearance on Drumcode with this punchy beast of a single. "Conjure Dreams" features plenty of Plex signifiers, from the rounded and rowdy bassline pump to the haunting tone of the synth lines, neatly packaged in a chunky framework of big room drums. "Conjure Floyd" meanwhile burrows into more minimal territory where the tones are amelodic and the percussion takes the lead, calling to mind the restraint and tension of classic M_nus productions where so much could be said with so little.
Review: While most Drumcode releases are suitably sizable, this EP is particularly large - and not just because it features two huge names in Maceo Plex and Josh Wink. Their original version (A1) is predictably robust and rugged with foreboding low register stabs, metallic clangs, druggy vocal snippets and creepy melodies rising above stomping techno beats. It's a genuinely all-action affair that sounds like a massive room anthem in waiting. Over on side B you'll find two re-rubs: a more melodious Raxon remix that sounds like tech-house on steroids and a deeper, darker, trance-inducing techno take by Shall Ocin.
Porcelain (Alan Fitzpatrick Late Night dub) (7:52)
Go (Tiger Stripes White Tail remix) (7:08)
Go (Tiger Stripes Black Lodge remix) (7:20)
Review: Following the release of his superb autobiography a year or two back - not to mention his recent "snub" of new U.S President Donald Trump - Moby has been back in the news. Crucially, his old records are making a return too, albeit in freshly remixed form. This third remix 12" from muscular Swedish techno types Drumcode boasts three more reworks of vintage floor-fillers. On the A-side, Alam Fitzpatrick re-imagines "Porcelain" as a Berlin style tech-house chugger, using Moby's original synths as a spine-tingling breakdown. On the flip, Tiger Stripes lays down two remixes of "Go". The 'White Tail Mix" is a thumping techno stomper with a buzzing breakdown, while the "Black Lodge Mix" is a bumpin' house re-shape.
Review: Igor Tchkotoua & Dan Duncan met on a flight to Spain and the rest as they say: is history. Their driving minimal/tech house sound has only gotten stronger over the years, culminating in this release for Adam Beyer's esteemed home of hard techno Drumcode. The classic rave techno of "Chemistry" is up there with anything that Alan Fitzpatrick or Special Request have done of late with its adrenalised warehouse euphoria. It's no more Mr. Nice Guy after this though. The powerful stomp of "Ukraine" is Berghain ready with its industrial strength rhythms and harsh static blasts, compressed between doom laden, dubby stabs. Finally on the flip, the brooding dancefloor drama of "Devotion" signals the end with its sinister and mesmerising melodies: reminiscent of Stephan Bodzin yet still powered away by a Berlin style stomp beneath.
Review: Ireland's Reuben Kinney aka Rebuke started off 2019 doing bouncy tech house for the likes of Hot Creations and Dirtybird but has since made the leap to Adam Beyer's camp - first with the recent "50 First Raves" EP on Truesoul and now this brand new thriller for parent label Drumcode. Fans of the label certainly won't be disappointed, with these three mighty bangers aimed squarely at the main room at peak time. Inspired by his experiences at the label's party at Space Miami during WMC, the "Rattle" EP features the strobed-out and adrenalising acid of the title track, followed by steely and frenetic techno cut "Operator" and the brooding Reese stylings of "Metal" - providing ample mood music for the AM hours on the dancefloor.
Review: British A.M. specialist Mark Reeve returns on Drumcode: this will be the fifth appearance from him by now across Adam Beyer's imprints (including Truesoul), with the Frankfurt Am Main producer now delivering another dose of intense dancefloor drama on "Far Away". This euphoric and strobe-lit exercise is perfect to build the tension and suspense on the dancefloor, before lunging in with the peak time stuff. Rest assured that he's got you covered in that regard, with B side cut "Redemption" tearing through to the other side with its steely warehouse rhythms, hypnotic arpeggiated melody and eerie chords - all perfectly executed to have the kids losing their mind at the rave: guaranteed!