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: 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: 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: 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".
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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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.