Review: "Teach Me" was originally released on Drumcode back in 2014 - and now label boss Adam Beyer hands the creative reigns over to Amelie Lens to provide two storming remixes. Unless you have been hiding up a gum tree for the past few years, it will have been impossible to have avoided her rise to stardom. Releases on Second State, Elevate and Arts, as well as unmissable gigs have raised her profile faster than her peers - and these reworks provide an insight into Lens' popularity. The main mix is a bruising, grungy workout that drops and builds to the sound of vocal samples, rolling break beats and a visceral bass. Meanwhile, the acid version will sear its way into your consciousness with a 303 line that stings as badly as a dying wasp.
Review: This collaboration, originally released last year on Adam Beyer's label, now gets two different but equally effective remixes. First up is the Pleasurekraft pair with a peak time version. Underpinning the original track's vocals with a visceral bass, heads-down drums and murky riffs, it strikes a flawless balance between being functional and Pleasurekraft's idiosyncratic sound. John Monkman, who has released on Kompakt and Crosstown Rebels, has also supplied a remix. At first, his take sounds understated thanks to its low-slung rhythm and a more subtle use of the vocals, but a series of drum rolls quickly propel it towards the big room.
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: 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: 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 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: This is Skills' eighth release on Adam Beyer's label and it shows that the Dutch producer has developed a lot as a producer. Skills covers a lot of ground on this four-tracker, but the listener is never left with the sense that he has spread himself too thinly. The title track is a detuned, rolling affair, while "Fifth Gear" sees him adopt a straighter approach with its acid tones and tough, loopy rhythm. "Starfighter" takes its cues from the Sandwell school of techno and sees doubled up claps support subsonic bleeps. As a final salvo, there's "Rising Sun", where Skills draws on the legacy of Sterac for a deep but driving Detroit-style affair.
Review: Bart Skills has enjoyed a long-running relationship with Drumcode and Bells is his sixth EP on the label. While the Dutch producer is well-known for his heads-down, drum-heavy tools, the title track resounds to hypnotic bells and spine-tingling acid builds, coming across as a slightly more club-friendly take on Efdemin's sound. Of course, fans of Skils' linear productions - which includes label boss Adam Beyer - won't be disappointed with this release; the soaring bass and driving rhythm of "Ocean Drive", as well as the doubled up drums and infectious vocal samples from Rozalla's 'Everybody's Free? are effective but highly distinctive big room tracks.
Review: Over the past few years, Boxia has built up his profile thanks to releases on We Are the Brave and Drumcode. These Eps have acted as tasters for his debut album, which lands on Adam Beyer's label. A Night... starts impressively with the title track, a streamlined, linear affair; the epic, fist-pumping builds of "Under The Bridge" and wild acid pirouettes on "Complex Club". The UK producer displays a more measured version of his dance floor productions on the vocal sample-heavy "Unofficial Everything" and "Out of Focus", where he combines tripped out acid lines with spliced up vocals. There is also a more reflective side to Boxia's approach, audible on the dub-infused "Sunshine State" - but in the main A Night... is a reminder of his peak-time prowess.
Review: Boxia has already released on Shadow Child's Food Music and Alan Fitzpatrick's label, but his debut EP for Drumcode is sure to introduce him to an even bigger audience. "No World Order" resounds to a rolling groove, crashing snares and frazzled acid lines, but it isn't a typical big room track, and right at its heart is a looped vocal sample. Vocals also play a role on "Only Human"; fused with trance stabs and a massive snare build is a mysterious female voice. The UK producer dispenses with such subtleties for the heavy acid of "Unreal", while the title track is sure to appeal to those who prefer a more nuanced take on techno, thanks to its soulful vocal sample and frosty hooks.
Review: Smith originally made his name during the late 90s with a particularly infectious crossover sound that was dubbed 'party techno'. It seems that in the intervening years, he has veered down a darker avenue, especially if this release is anything to go by. The title track still follows the basic premise of the party sound - the incessant, rolling groove, nagging percussion and crowd-pleasing filters - but the sound is more cavernous and darker, the kicks more resonant and tougher, the percussion ticking away in the background. "Release" combines this sound with a tough, Reese bass, but the most visceral track is "Bells of Odin". As its title suggests, it revolves around a cacophony of bells and concrete kicks that sound like they were summoned down from Valhalla.
Review: Camargue is one of the techno classics from the 90s - a track that appealed to hardcore fans and UK techno geeks alike. So what happens when it gets remixed a quarter-century later? Maceo Plex turns in a drum-heavy, rolling take on the original, while the Keith Carnal take is a high-paced, pulsating workout. On his version, Enrico Sangiuliano chooses to drop a siren-led banger, while label owner Adam Beyer's collaborative remix with Layton Giordani has echoes of the 90s trance sound. Best of all though is Camargue co-creator The Advent's take, where he drops the original's unmistakable hook over a bruising techno rhythm.
Review: Chris Spero and Alex Jones really found their sound a few years ago when teaming up as Dense & Pika. Those first couple of releases on their eponymous imprint are the stuff of legend now, not to mention the ones that followed up on Scuba's esteemed Hotflush imprint. For the Calf EP, it's served up courtesy of Adam Beyer's Drumcode, a fitting home for their tough and functional techno tools. Wasting no time messing around with the peak time destroyer 'Edging Forward" which chugs through the audio spectrum like a steamtrain, there's more adrenalin to be found on the dusty and stripped industrialism of "Drag 'N Drop" which is reminiscent of the Klockworks or the Fachwerk sound. We also enjoyed the Chicago hard house sounding title track, which gives an obvious nod to Windy City legends like Relief Records or Kne' Deep.
Review: Dense & PIka cement their relationship with Drumcode with their third release on the label. "Suki" starts somewhat unexpectedly with the title track, a shimmering, chord-heavy groove, underpinned by dubby drums and a rumbling groove. It sounds slightly summery compared to most of the material that appears on Adam Beyer's imprint. By contrast, "Little Sun" is absolute beast of a track, underpinned by a churning, evil bass and relentless drums. However, the surprises don't end with the title track; "Lanky" is a big room roller, but the London duo uses mysterious strings, housey keys and a time stretched vocal to create a melancholic feeling.
Review: The latest release on Drumcode is a coming together of the new and the established. In the contemporary corner is Rodolfo Wehbba, a Brazilian producer with a multitude of Eps on Tronic and Drumcode, while ghetto legend DJ Deeon represents the old guard. It's a great meeting of minds, as the title track provides a fusion of firing percussion and grimy bass over a primal rhythm. "Third Wave" leans more towards contemporary techno with searing chord builds, while on "Streamroller" the pair opt for a stripped-back approach that features acrid filters. Lastly, the pumping drums and moody sub-bass of "Another Mistake" has an evocative Detroit techno feeling.
Review: UK producer Dubspeeka continues his long relationship with Adam Beyer's Drumcode. The reason for this ongoing collaboration lies in his ability to craft music that is quite different to the prevailing fodder. "K368 Unfriended" is a tearing, tranced out groove that brings Kompakt's mellow hooks down a dark alley and gives it a merciless seeing to. More impressive is "K377 Unfriended"; its prowling bass unfolds over broken beats and a rolling rhythm. "K375 Unfriended' sees him try his hand at bleak, post-Sandwell District techno with a looped vocal laid over a hypnotic, pulsing groove, while on "K354 Unfriended" he drops a driving, buzzing take on minimal techno.