Review: Long-serving Brazilian techno titan Redolfo Wehbba made his bow on Drumcode earlier in the year, delighting the Swedish label's army of fans with the Eclipse EP. Here he returns with what may be the first and only EP ever named in honour of a kitty's chocolate starfish. "Catarse", the aforementioned title track, is something of a bombastic, big room techno roller; a thumping affair where dreamy, saucer-eyed riffs slowly rise above an intense rhythm track. While good, it's arguably not a patch on the ragged intensity of opener "She Lost Control" - all ricocheting drum machine fills, wild electronic riffs and rumbling bass - or "Mind Awake", a throbbing, sleazy and downright intoxicating workout that contains some distinctly dystopian noises.
Review: Ascendant Bulgarian producer Timmo returns to Drumcode for his fourth release. You can bet that he's brought out the big guns for the main room at peak-time on the Meteorite EP. Featuring the brooding dancefloor drama of the title track, through to relentless bangers such as "Black Moon" which is properly geared for trancing out under the strobe light. On the flip are two fierce tools that are essential for any serious techno DJ: the acid express of "Spacetime" followed by the hypnotic "Cosmos" and its mesmerising melodic sequences.
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: Swedish techno megalith Drumcode has decided to breathe new life into the back catalogue of veteran New York producer Moby. This 12" is the first of four due in coming weeks, all of which boast fresh interpretations of classic tracks. On the A-side, Luca Angelli offers his take on "Porcelain", combining Moby's evocative chord progressions and twinkling pianos with banging new techno drums and stabbing electronics. Dutch DJ Bart Skills handles the B-side, offering a rolling, atmospheric version of "Go" that makes the most of Moby's stretched-out chords (themselves famously sampled from the Twin Peaks soundtrack).
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: 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: Frenchman Julian Jeweil can be counted on for absolute peak time weaponry and his new offering on Drumcode is no exception. The tunnelling trance induction of dynamic opener "Space" sets the scene right away, and from here prepare to surrender to the void! "Answer" boosts the adrenaline levels immediately on this pummeling assault to the senses, assisted by some intense dub chords for dramatic effect. On the flip, "South" gets back to the program with yet another strobe-lit affair full of druggy risers and massive drops galore. Finally "Encke" provides something definitely in tune with the Drumcode sound, on this bleepy and hypnotic DJ tool which will have a broad appeal to a wide selection of techno DJs.
Review: Drumcode's first big release of 2019 comes courtesy of Julian Jeweil, a relative newcomer to the Swedish label who originally built his reputation via years of releases on M_Nus, Plus 8 and Cocoon Recordings. "Transmission" is not only his long-awaited debut album, but also a far more spacey and intergalactic proposition than much of Drumcode's output. Of course, the majority of the tracks are still underpinned by relentless techno rhythms and gnarly electronic stabs, with plenty of darkness amongst the stargazing grooves. Intriguingly, there's also a little more variety than you might expect, with the deep and woozy "Planet X", acid-fired heaviness of "Astral" and glassy-eyed early morning ambient of "Final" catching the ear.
Review: Fresh from the runaway success of his all-star collaboration with Adam Beyer and Green Velvet, "Space Date", Layton Giordani returns to Drumcode with his first fresh solo material since 2017. All four tracks are formidably floor-friendly in the "big room techno" style that has turned the Drumcode crew into global stars in recent years. Giordani begins with the tribal drums, atmospheric chords, acid stabs and bleeping synth melodies of "New York City To Amsterdam", before doffing a cap to Italo-disco on the electro-techno chug of "Enter The Stratosphere". Over on side B, "Body Language" is an angular, acid-fired peak-time thumper, while closing cut "Black Mirror" sees him fix gated, trance style riffs to a typically throbbing, bass-heavy techno groove.
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: Following two appearances on Adam Beyer's Drumcode, British producer/DJ Boxia and self-confessed "rave anorak" returns to the label with his debut full length "A Night In The Life Of". Nine powerful and highly engineered peak time techno weapons aimed squarely at the main room. Opening with the glassy-eyed title track (feat Lyke), Boxia knuckles down and lunges straight for the jugular via the pummelling "Unofficial Everything", deep sonar transmission of "Primal People", seething and barrelling power of "Sunshine State" before rounding things off with the emotional, ambient IDM number "Last Nightclub".
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: 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!
Adam Beyer & Enrico Sangiuliano - "Preset Heaven" (8:17)
Timmo - "Muzik" (6:11)
Pig&Dan - "La Bruja" (6:37)
Julian Jeweil - "Nasa" (6:11)
Review: Some serious peak time weapons for the main room on offer here, from the ever reliable Swedish label Drumcode. Usual heroes of the label such as Luigi Madonna, Sam Paganini and Joseph Capriati step aside for some other equally reliable staples. On the A, side label boss Adam Beyer teams up with Enrico Sangiuliano on the evocative and life affirming "Preset Heaven" which takes its cues from early trance with its amazing chord progression. It is something more typical of the label next, on the pummelling warehouse stomp of "Muzik" by Bulgaria's Timmo. On the flip, there's more trance nostalgia on offer again - this time from legends Pig & Dan on the hypnotic/melodic bliss of "La Bruja" which we could imagine melting the minds of festival crowds well into the new year. Finally they save the best for last with French peak time specialist Julian Jeweil, serving up the furious, tunneling and strobe-lit ultraviolence of "Nasa" which will have your adrenaline going from the first beat. It has been a stellar year for the powerhouse label, with great releases by Moby, Dubfire and newcomer Layton Giordani.
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: 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: Last year, Berlin-based Italian Ilario Alicanti pitched up on Drumcode for the very first time, following nine years spent building up his reputation via releases on some of European techno's best-loved labels. Figures & Echoes marks his return to the high profile Swedish imprint and begins with one of his most intense and energetic compositions yet: the throbbing, acid-fired, arpeggio-driven darkness of "Figure of RA". "The Acid Runner", a foreboding and panicked stomp through jacking acid house/big room techno follows, before fuzzy, ghostly and otherworldly motifs dance around a tribal techno groove on "Virgo's Echoes". A fine EP is completed via the creepy, sprinting-away-from-a-mugger-at-4am techno thump of "Third Eye".
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.