Tiga – Louder Than A Bomb (Dense & Pika remix)

 

Tiga - Louder Than a Bomb (Dense & Pika remix)

Dense & Pika are back with yet another remix of a Tiga track. After taking on “Planet E” last year, they went into the archives and dug up the classic “Louder Than A Bomb” from the early 2000’s. But it’s not just remixes the British duo is known for, because they’ve also been impressing the techno scene with heavy hitters such as “Edging Forward” and their collaboration EP with Adam Beyer. But also, let’s not forget their deeper material, like “Colt” and “Lack Of Light” on Hotflush. This remix attempts to integrate elements from both worlds, which has definitely resulted in a heavy hitting and fresh sounding production.

Dense & Pika’s take on “Louder Than A Bomb” is a stripped back, dancefloor-oriented weapon that revolves around the acapella from the original production. While the use of rap vocals in techno is very unusual, it works exceptionally well in this track, for it manages to create a great rhythmic flow. While a heavy sub-bass brings some more dynamics to the track, an atmospheric pad and a repeating synth sequence are providing depth and further bring the track to life. I’d say this remix is a great, modern update of the Tiga track and I expect that it’s already being played on dancefloors around the world!

“Louder Than A Bomb” is out now on Turbo Recordings.

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Raffaele Rizzi – Hybrid / Under The Lights

Raffaele Rizzi - Hybrid / Under The Lights

Raffaele Rizzi is a name that techno fans should all be familiar with by now. While he’s known for his versatile productions and his attractive blend of techno and tech house, in the last few years the Italian producer has been leaning more and more towards a techno-oriented style, which becomes apparent when you compare this EP to his earlier releases on Tronic. The EP provides two tracks, which I can describe best as no-nonsense dancefloor weapons. It’s a great testament to Raffaele Rizzi’s vision and an excellent addition to the Tronic catalog!

“Hybrid” is a calm and well-structured track that starts out with sturdy percussion, until a short vocal interlude transitions us to the deeper portion of the track. The balance between the rough synth stabs (that are very prominent) and the sidechained pads (in the background), makes for an engaging track, but also one that does not overwhelm the listener. Additional melodic touches during the break and a repeating vocal sequence provide the necessary variation in this composition.

“Under The Lights” kicks things up a notch by opening with a rolling bass sequence and rhythmic shakers. While the previous track can be described as a bit static, for this one Rizzi has brought out all the dynamics. This is expressed through a playful pattern of drawn-out and shorter notes that interact with each other. During the break, Rizzi slowly drives up the tension and the intensity and even adds some acidic apreggios into the mix. When the percussion kicks in, the track starts building up again, but does so in a much more subtle fashion.

“Hybrid / Under The Lights” will be released on February 13th on Tronic.

Follow Raffaele Rizzi: SoundCloud / Facebook
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Layton Giordani – Where It Begins

It’s not often that an artist makes a non-compilation debut on Drumcode with a full album. In fact, it has never happened before in the history of the label. But that’s exactly what young Amsterdam-based producer Layton Giordani is doing at the end of February, following up his tune “Rivington” which was part of the last A-Sides compilation. The album consists of 12 massive tracks, showcasing the artist’s signature euphoric style and massive big-room percussion, as well as demonstrating the his highly intricate and varied craftsmanship.

The album begins with the intro “Escalate,” a tune which starts the night off perfectly, its swelling energy setting the tone for an unforgettable party. It begins with a simple, yet distinctive repeated synth tone. This tone is eventually layered with a pad that swells to the max, before finally dropping off to make way for a subtle bassline and crowd sample.

Next up, the title track “Where It Begins” is everything we’ve come to expect from Giordani, using dark, heavy-hitting percussion in a distinctive pattern. A two-note pad hook is introduced during the break, which builds along with a rhythmic snare roll before finally continuing into the drop.

“Turn It Around” might possibly be the perfect festival tune. It starts off at nothing but a filtered hat, growing slowly and cautiously, then floats on to the break, leaving only a single high-pitched note. The artist demonstrates his impeccable crowd control with this one, using very specific builds and releases before finally introducing the main theme of the track, a chorus of energetic, stabbing chords.

“Supernova” is a bit of a break, dropping energy levels slightly and calling back to tracks like his Octopus tune “People And Things” by using a single synth pattern that is automated throughout. However, it also takes things in a new direction for the producer, as the beat is a bit softer and less driving, allowing the listener to focus more on the dynamics of the alien arpeggio.

“Fire Eyes” has been hyped for months now, and listeners should easily be able to tell why. It might be considered a counterpart to the previously-released “Rivington,” as the structure and percussion is similar in each, though this track is soft and emotional where “Rivington” is hard and sharp. The break is a wonderfully-crafted melodic gem, using a mixture of deep pads and leads to hypnotize the listener completely.

“Silver Shadows” could be the darkest track on the album, built on a percussive stab with minimal melody and lined with a cyclone of hats. The vocal is instantly memorable, and its repetitive, garbled tone is well-suited for the atmosphere of the track. While the tune still features the pads that the artist loves so much, their use is very subtle and discreet, mostly floating through the background rather than driving the groove.

Next, “Sometimes” is another club killer, though far more menacing than tracks like “Fire Eyes” or “Turn It Around.” The beat marches irresistibly forward, backed by a metallic hit and a dark vocal sample which is forcibly cut. The bass progression that’s introduced during the break is capable of casting sonic shadows on a festival crowd, and something about it feels far more ominous than most of the other selections on the album.

Taking things slightly softer, “Euphoria” has that instantly-recognizable Giordani sound, though the track might be better suited for warming things up than blowing off a club roof at peak-time. The mid-section is based on a pseudo-break-beat, with a pulsating synth layered over the top, practically begging the listener to get up and dance.

“Dragon Fly” is an entirely different beast. It is simultaneously harsher and funkier than the average (if there is such a thing) Giordani production. The soulful, melancholic hook, contrasted with the-well rounded bass stab, makes the track perfect for listening at home, while the cold and hard baseline also keeps it dancefloor friendly.

“Tigerlilly” is very well placed on the album, bringing energy levels back up to take things full circle. Its vibes take it in yet another new direction, but it is clearly built for clubs and festivals. A pulsing, delayed lead and powerful vocal coupled with driving hats almost blur the lines between techno and trance, but the thumping kick and percussive flourishes keep it firmly rooted.

“Good Violence” was one of the first tracks to be produced, played by Layton Giordani as early as the beginning of 2015. While there was a bit of a wait, its eventual release was inevitable. This track is a true anthem, born to be a closer. Euphoric, symphonic pads sing an unforgettable melody that conveys the feelings of unity and soul that are so important in techno culture, aided by a crisp kick and snare.

Finally, closing this masterpiece of an album is “Where It Begins (Outro).” Though one might infer from the title that this is an alternate mix of the album’s title track, this one is completely different, using dark percussion and pads with a softer edge for an electronica vibe, unlike anything the producer has released in the past.

“Where It Begins” will be released on Drumcode on February 27th. Samples (except for “Good Violence”) are not available yet, but we’ll keep you posted.

Follow Layton Giordani: SoundCloud / Facebook
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Black Vise – Implications

Black Vise - Implications

It’s been a bit of a wait, but now the first release from Canadian producer Black Vise is finally here. With his involvement in the local underground music community in Vancouver, called “Groundwerk”, he’s slowly been building up his reputation, which didn’t go unnoticed by The YellowHeads, who have been hammering his tracks in their live sets and podcasts. A release was bound to follow and to kick off the first release on Reload Black FMLY, the fourth addition to their label imperium, they invited Black Vise to do the honors. The result is this four-tracker, which unveils the highly-anticipated track “Two Swords.[Worth]”, but the other tracks are also a promise of more great things to come. Watch out for this guy, for he’s got a lot to offer!

Opening track “Empty.[And.Self]” starts off with somber bass meanderings, but slowly picks up after the 1:40 mark when a short melodic hook is introduced. The tension increases as the track is layered with sharp, dissonant pads that quickly take over and drive the track home. It’s a powerful sequence that manages to instill a strong sense of despair and melancholy into the listener.

Next up is the remix from The YellowHeads, who stripped the track from some of its distinct features and gave it a somewhat lighter touch. The addition of reverberated effects and muffled vocal stabs transforms it into a refreshing techno cut that’s quite irresistible and also a little endearing.

The journey continues with “Two Swords.[Worth]”. On this track, Black Vise brings out an intriguing melodic arrangement, which is expressed through sweeping pads and emotional melodic blips. This main sequence is offset against driving rhythms and echoing sound effects, which proves to be a good balance. It’s hard to characterize the overall feeling of this track, for it’s a passionate mix of desire, sorrow and excitement. It’s an outstanding track that’s already one of my favorites of 2017!

Final track “Reduce.[To.You]” is dominated by a somewhat unusual percussion loop, which draws inspiration from genres such as breakbeat and drum’n’bass. After the 1:30 mark, the track dives into deeper territory when the droning atmospherics fuse together with a deep, rumbling bass sequence. While I’d describe the track as very captivating, it’s also somewhat monotone, which is a bit of a bummer.

Black Vise’s “Implications” EP is out now on Reload Black FMLY.

Follow Black Vise: SoundCloud / Facebook
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Stephan Hinz – Off Numbers

Stephan Hinz returns to Intec after his 2015 collaboration with Philipp Ruhmhardt, called “Magnet.” This time the German synth mastermind has provided us with two dark, club-ready tunes that bring Carl Cox’s legendary label into 2017 properly.

The title track uses a percussion-based bassline for a distinctive, off-kilter groove, while fluffy, driving hi hats keep things moving. A deep, crisp bass hook provides a contrast to the bright bell-like synth, building the tune in proper Hinz style, with a massive crescendo that burns away before the drop.

On the flip side, “Shaded” calls back to some of the artist’s earlier tunes, using a beat which is a bit reminiscent of his track “Breakout” on Adam Beyer’s Drumcode label. This track, however, is a bit softer, with a dissonant hook layered against a metallic pad. The constant automation and variation keeps the track fresh and proves that the producer knows exactly how to produce a dancefloor weapon.

“Off Numbers” is out now on Intec.

Follow Stephan Hinz: SoundCloud / Facebook
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Arjun Vagale & Ramiro Lopez – We Are Odd

Arjun Vagale & Ramiro Lopez - We Are Odd

Odd Recordings is an Indo-Spanish cross-pollinized techno label that is the brainchild of producers Arjun Vagale and Ramiro Lopez. The enigmatic duo had already been making waves last year with their so-called “oddCAST”, but now the time has come for the first official release on their label. The “We Are Odd” EP features two tracks, which have been produced by the label bosses themselves. It’s a promising EP that indicates a bold statement of intent for the label, so I suggest you keep an eye on the releases that will follow!

Opening track “Oddball” packs quite a punch. Menacing drums shuffle alongside trippy arpeggios and monotone vocal parts. The first three minutes of the track are fairly straightforward, but during the (somewhat unnerving) break a new synth is introduced, which brings some more purpose and excitement to the arrangement. Some say strength lies in simplicity and that’s definitely the case for this track.

“Even Flow” brings some more atmospheric elements into the mix. Early on, a mysterious pad sets the tone for the track, while a rolling percussion section makes its way to the foreground. At the 1:45 mark the tone shifts drastically when the pad is being replaced by a determined, rhythmic lead. Additional pads, a deep bassline and squealing arpeggios bring some more depth and variation to this interesting journey, that can also be described as a little odd…

“We Are Odd” is scheduled for release on January 20th on Odd Recordings.

Follow Arjun Vagale: SoundCloud / Facebook
Follow Ramiro Lopez: SoundCloud / Facebook
Follow Odd Recordings: SoundCloud / Facebook

Timmo – System

Timmo - System

Timmo returns to the grand Swedish label Drumcode for his second solo EP, following up 2014’s “We Beat On,” which included the unforgettable “Canvas.” The new release, “System,” is easily a worthy successor, featuring four massive tunes without a single dull moment.

The opener, “Intensify,” has been a mainstay in Adam Beyer’s sets for months, and proves that you don’t need harsh drums and booming bass to create a dancefloor weapon. This track is driven mostly by the percussion, which shifts constantly, from low rides to shakers to light claves. Running throughout, following and complementing the beat is a low growling bass hook that is unmistakable and heralds the beginning of the greatest party the world has ever seen.

“The Maze” is next, with heavier vibes built to move a crowd. The lead is fashioned from a chord pattern, using a sound that merges the bionic and the organic, automated in psychedelic waves. Meanwhile, in Timmo’s signature fashion, a glowing pad gives the track another dimension of life, making it clear that this masterpiece will be remembered for ages to come.

The title track keeps things going strong, laying down a steady, thumping kick and a dark bassline tuned for maximum power. The hats roll effortlessly over the beat, ushering in the chaotic, torrential lead. The result is a dangerously energetic tune that conveys imagery of peak time at an underground rave, or possibly a global-scale war against robots.

Closing the package is “Together,” its bold low-ends shape the groove into something a bit deeper. This effect is magnified through the use of a percussive hook and fluffy hats, setting the track apart from the other three. The retro-style vocals complete the emotion, giving off vibes that may be slightly melancholic, but also hopeful.

“System” will be released on Drumcode on January 23rd.

Follow Timmo: SoundCloud / Facebook
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