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: Italian producer Enrico Sangiuliano may have been serving up dark and intoxicating techno twelves for the best part of a decade, but never before has he turned his hand to the full-length format. Biomorph is not just any old debut album, either, but rather a concept album described by Drumcode as "a journey of evolution". In practice, that means an album that ebbs and flows throughout, opening with a dash of spacey ambient, before charging off on a trip marked out by pulsating techno rhythms (crafted from both straight 4/4 beats and breakbeats), spiraling electronic motifs, booming, elongated basslines, experimental electronic interludes and more future big room techno anthems than the contents of Adam Beyer's USB stick. In other words, if you love Drumcode's particular brand of bombastic techno, you'll love Biomorph.
Review: Last year Victor Ruiz hit the headlines by signing to Drumcode - ample reward for a producer who had spent almost a decade building up his reputation via releases on a string of credible underground imprints. The Brazilian's second EP for the Swedish picks up where its predecessor left off, with Ruiz offering up a string of wonderfully weighty, full-throttle techno stompers tailor made for massive rooms and gargantuan festival stages. Our picks of a strong bunch include the bold bass and razor-sharp riffs of opener "Freedom", the more melodic, warm and sunny loop techno roller "Senses", and the buzzing, constantly rising techno/trance fusion of glimmering closing cut "Existence". If you dig Drumcode's rigidly defined brand of big room techno, you need this in your bag.
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: Drumcode are back with another edition of its A side series - look out! You can bet it's packed full of reliable peak time weaponry for the main room, so handle with extreme caution. First up is the legend from Bremen Thomas Schumacher, teaming up with his ascendant homeboy Victor Ruiz on "Intuit" - a massive and barrelling thriller that will tunnel you into submission. On the flip, we have two more epics that are sure to cause some drama on the dancefloor: there's the seething and adrenalised paranoia of Neapolitan up-and-comer Anfisa Letyago's "Are U In", followed by Irish power duo Loco & Jam who hammer the message home with the thunderous, tom-heavy chug of "Addicted".
Review: Adam Beyer teams up with Pig & Dan on the new Capsule EP and they sure aren't messing around. The Drumcode boss knew he could call upon his label stalwarts for EP packed full of main room power tools with the peak time in mind. The adrenalised, forceful stomp and grind of the title track gets things off to a good start, while the druggy and head rush inducing muscle of "In Love" is bound for some real hands in the air moments. On the flip "We Are E" leaves little to the imagination on this heady and bass driven trip through the early hours of a heaving stadium dancefloor... where things are starting to get real weird. Then those ravey church organs come in and it starts getting right crazy!
Review: Up next for Adam Beyer's esteemed Drumcode imprint is Enrico Sangiuliano, a Milan based DJ/producer originally from Reggio Emilia who has been been active on the Italian scene since the early noughties, playing everywhere from clubs to illegal raves. His work of late has been released on sister label Truesoul, Alleanza, Gem Records, Octopus Recordings and Rhythm Converted. On "Moon Rocks", Sangiuliano provides a euphoric, hands in the air anthem with soaring synth leads and seriously humming Reese bassline over a high octane beat. Also on the A side is the mad diva vocal breakdown on "Ghettoblaster" which soon gives way to a dark and tunnelling epic. Finally on the flip, we have two versions of "Dutch Kiss" but for our money it's all about the sombre and emotive IDM vibe of the Inner remix.
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: The seventh volume of Drumcode's annual A-Sides compilation hits with no less than 10 debuts for the label, with topline artists releasing their maiden productions on the imprint. Over two decades into its lifespan, Adam Beyer's label keeps evolving and excelling, pushing techno forward while remaining wholly respectful of its roots. On this volume, German techno legend Thomas Schumacher delivers one of his best tracks in a while on the brooding peak time onslaught "The Unseen" which brings the distinct sound of Bremen in to 2018. Ascendant Brazilian DJ Victor Ruiz impresses as always with the melodic and hypnotic "Pulso", before former Radio 1 host B.Traits closes with the chugging factory floor stomp of "I Feel The Music".
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: 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.
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: 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: 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: 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: 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.
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: 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.