Review: 2020 is a year that many people will want to forget, but as this compilation shows, it was still a time of remarkably creativity. This is borne out by Regent's "Drama", a crystalline, tranced out groove, while in stark contrast, Vinicius Honorio's "Rock Da House" is a visceral jacking affair that has echoes of DJ Rush. In between these two ends of the spectrum are deadly effective club techno contributions from Yan Cook, with the turbo bass-led "Order and Steve Parker's acid-heavy "Resonate". Best Of also impresses by covering wide range of styles - as A.Paul's rolling "Incidence" and Re:Axis bleepy "Unveil" ably demonstrate.
Review: Adam Beyer's label notches up the seventh A-Sides compilation in as many years. In keeping with its approach of featuring well-known Drumcode artists alongside newer artists, Volume 7 shines a light ion emerging techno talent. This includes the deep and dubbed out "Portable Paradise" by Anna, alongside upcoming Canadian artist Weska with the searing acid of "Other Places" and recent Drumcode debutant Boxia with the dreamy but rolling "Final Call". These emerging artists sit alongside techno veteran Thomas Schumacher, who drops the eerie but jacking "The Unseen", Alan Fitzpatrick collaborating with Scuba's SCB offshoot to deliver the tough tribal techno of "Untitled" and Dutch producer Bart Skills weighing in with the ominous big-room monster that is "West Of The Moon".
Review: A big congratulations to Adam Beyer and his esteemed Drumcode imprint celebrating 20 years in the business. His techno powerhouse has continuously and effortlessly remained relevant, championing the work of fellow Swedish legends Cari Lekebusch, Joel Mull and Christian Smith, to late noughties heroes like Paul Ritch, Kyle Geiger and Pig & Dan to present day stars like Nicole Moudaber, Joseph Capriati and Luigi Madonna. There's a lot of serious peak time artillery on here, rest assured. But for us, the highlights weren't limited to Alan Fitzpatrick's uplifting and downright epic "Terra Firma" with its massive drop, head honcho Beyer and Mark Reeve's "Nine Of You" with its darkly fierce and tunnelling groove plus Truncate's killer remix of Dustin Zahn's "Miss You". Honourable mention to newcomer Boxia; he's surely one to watch if the banging "Revolution" is anything to go by!
Review: It sounds like Loco Dice's label is embracing techno purism if this release is anything to go on. The work of the owner of the Etruria Beat label, Optical merges the hypnotic qualities of loop techno with the cavernous sound of Modern Love's reverb-heavy dub. On "Swiss Train", this combination is thrilling and exhilarating, with the rolling, rollicking rhythm boasting more twists and turns than a train ride through an alpine tunnel. In other instances, like on "Bubbles" or "High Pressure", the snapping percussion and insistent pulses almost knock the listener back like an electric shock. The dubbed out chords of "Synthesis" sound almost mellow by comparison.
Review: Etruria Beat founders Faraone and Agnelli deliver a excellent DJ tool release for Loco Dice's label. The title track sets the tone, its rasping percussion and insistent drums laying the basis for a series of deranged vocal samples. They keep "Last Call" instrumental, with a percussive groove rolling and filtering all the way through, supported by reverberated drums. But the duo are also clearly interested in using the human voice as an instrument and the drum-heavy "La Feria" is full of out there voices, while 'Hold It Like That' features dreamy synths and a spaced out woman intoning the track's title.