Drumcomplex & Roel Salemink – Ampex

Drumcomplex & Roel Salemink - Ampex

Drumcomplex & Roel Salemink have joined forces again for their third EP on Carl Cox’s Intec label. Having also released their debut album on the label in 2014, the producer duo is slowly becoming a household name, but yet they continue to strive forward instead of settling down. The EP features two tracks, which merge innovation with the well-tested elements from the duo’s signature sound. A great showcase for their combined powers!

“Ampex” features a variety of percussion layers that give the track depth, but also a somewhat restless undertone. It forms a solid foundation for the melodic hook that kicks in around the 30 second mark, which creates an intriguing, almost hallucinating vibe. Pushed forward by the increasing tension of the rolling toms, the track continues its wild ride until the first break provides a short breather. From there on the insanity continues for a minute or so, but then the track is slowly being brought to a close.

“Eighties” is less intense. The track opens with a minimal beat, which is coupled with an arpeggiated synth. The first half of the track is a little monotonous, but the break at 3 minutes brings a sudden change when a roaring bass sequence slowly makes its entrance. With a compelling force, it completely takes over the second half of the track, only being accompanied by the arpeggiated melody on a few occasions. It’s a peak time track that boasts a raw energy and a subtle sense of excitement.

The “Ampex” EP is out now on Intec Digital.

Follow Drumcomplex: SoundCloud / Facebook
Follow Roel Salemink: SoundCloud / Facebook
Follow Intec Digital: SoundCloud / Facebook

Premiere: Andrea Frisina – Upsilon Andromedae (Requiem For Theremin)

Andrea Frisina - Titawin EP

It seems that Andrea Frisina has been busy in the studio, for it was less than a month after bringing out “Voyage From Zeta Reticuli” when he announced the release of the “Titawin EP”. The EP features two tracks, called “Terra Cava” and “Upsilon Andromedae (Requiem For Theremin)”, of which we’ll be premiering the second one. We also had a chat with Andrea about his music and his label. Check it out below.

When Andrea talks about his music, he gets straight to the point. He describes his sound as “mystic” and “eclectic”. These adjectives apply to his Gate Null imprint as well, he says. “I try to look for musicality into the eclecticism. It’s a must to create something huge, but at the same time there has to be a signature, something noticeable. It can be an outstanding melody, some mystic chords, or the whole track’s arrangement.”

Andrea admits that he’s not always on the lookout for demos, but they still try to listen to everything that gets sent in to Gate Null. It doesn’t really matter if the artist is famous or not. “If something really impresses me, I’m happy to sign it.” It’s all about transmitting strong emotions to the listener and releasing something that’s memorable and striking.

When discussing inspiration for the “Titawin EP”, Andrea points out that a lot of titles for his releases are astronomy references. The universe is a big source of inspiration for him, but definitely not the only one. When creating a new track, his production process is not always the same. It also depends on the production elements he has lying around at that moment. “It’s evident that I always use some specific elements in my tracks”, he says. “It’s important that every track has my signature sound.”

Andrea recalls a quote that someone once said to him. “There’s something very mystical about Andrea Frisina’s music”. This sentiment gets exactly to the point of what he’s trying to do. He concludes: “Music must transmit emotions, otherwise it’s not music.” That’s something we definitely agree with over here at Side of Groove.

“Upsilon Andromedae” doesn’t waste any time and kicks off with dynamic percussion and captivating synths. The main element in this track is a calm and drawn out pad (which actually is a modulated Theremin sound) that gives the track a chill vibe. Together with the other melodic layers it pushes the track forward until sweeping noise effects bring the track to a sudden halt at the three minute mark. From there on, the melody slowly fades in again and continues to dominate the track with an additional melodic stab.

Andrea Frisina’s “Titawin EP” will be out on November 28th on Gate Null Recordings.

Follow Andrea Frisina: SoundCloud / Facebook
Follow Gate Null: SoundCloud / Facebook

Skober – Satisbeat

Skober - Satisbeat

Ukrainian producer Skober is unstoppable and continues to impress friends and foes with original tracks, collaborations and remixes. Among those was his chart-topping remix of Monika Kruse’s “Highway No. 4”, which was his first appearance on Terminal M. A full EP was bound to follow and now the time has come. Skober is serving up a beautiful three-tracker, which comes in his distinct, melodic style. But don’t take my word for it. See for yourself!

The EP opens with the long awaited “Satisbeat”. Right from the start, the suspense is built up with a melodic riff that’s slowly fading in. Paired with ethereal pads and joyous vocal mutters, Skober creates a lush atmosphere, which is offset by a jittery snare loop in order to keep the listener grounded. Despite having some cold tendencies, this track is guaranteed to bring you some comfort in this fall season.

“Around You” boasts shuffling hi-hats and resonant vocal loops. Unlike the previous track, the ambience is chilling and the melodic sections are rigid. A roaring bass section adds some depth to the track and also gives it structure. The journey remains consistent and to the point. It doesn’t contain many surprises.

Final track “Black Sun” takes its time to build up. It opens with a minimal beat and light, metallic bleeps, but it doesn’t take long before a subtle pad and a rumbling bassline are introduced, which slowly make their way to the foreground. The melodic portion of the track is fully unleashed during the break, where an enticing pad crescendo immediately draws you in. This is repeated around the 4:30 mark, before the track slowly fades out towards the end.

“Satisbeat” is out now on Terminal M.

Follow Skober: SoundCloud / Facebook
Follow Terminal M: SoundCloud / Facebook

Premiere: 7Sight – OCB

7Sight - OCB

Hailing from the US, SoulStorm Recordings is a new label (and event project), managed by Connor Skidmore. The label is set to be a platform for high quality, club-oriented techno music, of which this release by French producer 7Sight is the first of many more to follow. Taken from this EP, we’re premiering the same-titled track “OCB”, which is the most melodic one out of the four.

7Sight utilizes a combination of deep pads and roaring basses to create a dark and brooding ambiance. Additional stabs and echoey vocal cuts give the track a somewhat lighter touch, while resonant breakdowns express sentiments of sorrow. The driving percussion and the sidechain effect give the track the right amount of momentum to break the searing tension of the immersive pad/bass combo.

“OCB” will be released on October 31st on SoulStorm Recordings.

Follow 7Sight: SoundCloud / Facebook
Follow SoulStorm Recordings: SoundCloud / Facebook

Kaiserdisco – Toleranz EP

Kaiserdisco - Toleranz

At this point German duo Kaiserdisco are just as much Drumcode regulars as artists like Alan Fitzpatrick and Bart Skils. They are making their return to the imprint with their sixth solo EP, which is rather different in style from what they’ve previously released on the label. With “Toleranz EP” the duo showcases their dark, gritty techno side, and only small traces of the house influences that are clear in their previous EPs can be seen here.

“Get Enough” starts things off dark, but still has a clear connection to the melody for which Drumcode releases are known. The track crescendos massively early on, and uses small dips, builds, and atmospherics to ensure high energy levels throughout the entire track.

The second tune, “Toleranz,” is almost a variation on the theme of the previous track, with a similar pulsing bassline and rolling hats, but it takes the sound in a completely different direction. This tune is much darker, with harsh, screeching atmospherics and menacing vocals, chugging along like an industrial-grade combustion engine.

Next, “Cobra” is a call-back to the styles of the duo’s previous Drumcode releases. This one is faster, with an intricate and groovy bassline that melts nicely into the shakers, hats, and rides to give the tune a relentless feel. The artists utilize syncopated, bubbly stabs as the main hook to make this one highly danceable.

Finally, closing things off is a remix of the previous EP’s “SQ 80” by emotional techno masters Pleasurekraft. Their interpretation is wildly different from the original, only recognizable by the vocals. They’ve given the track their own touch, with an odd rhythm and organic arpeggio. However, the deep pads and layering on the main hook are what truly make the track, transforming it into nothing short of an anthem.

Kaiserdisco’s “Toleranz EP” will be released tomorrow on Drumcode.

Shelley Johannson – Moody Bloom

Shelley Johannson - Moody Bloom

Canadian producer Shelley Johannson is making a second appearance on Sian’s Octopus Black Label this year. While “Midnight Red” was a lot more subtle in its execution, “Moody Bloom” seems to abandon any form of politeness with three much tougher tracks. If you compare these tracks to Johannson’s earlier work under her “Shelley” alias, you’ll notice a shift to a much darker sound, but also that each release brings something different to the table. This has definitely contributed to the support from respected names such as Ida Engberg, Sam Paganini, Gregor Tresher and Sian, but I suspect that many more will follow once this EP is officially released.

“Moody Bloom” features hard hitting percussion and acidic arpeggios. Shrill sound effects mark the transitions between the alternating sections of this track that are either percussion driven or feature the main riff as well. The track is quite minimal, which is usually fine with me, but during the second half of the journey I started to notice that the range of elements is a bit small. This makes the track somewhat monotone as a result.

“Deleted Dreams” is more melodic. Driving forces are a rolling bass sequence and a high pitched 8bit lead that’s somewhat reminiscent of Oxia’s track “Domino”. Coupled with dark vocal cuts, slight adjustments and more automation, Johannson showcases a track with more variation and attention to detail. This a minimal, but also melodic weapon that’s easily my favorite track of the EP.

“You Will See” felt like a blast from the past, for listening to it instantly brought me back to Mark Reeve’s Drumcode EP from 2012. While the styles are similar, Johannson definitely provides her own, modern take on it and combines a harsh bass loop and sinister vocals with a minimal beat and light, tribal percussion. Overall, the tone of this track is upbeat and the energy is relentless. It won’t let you go until the bitter end.

“Moody Bloom” will be out tomorrow on Octopus Black Label.

Nick Curly – Helter Skelter

Nick Curly - Helter Skelter

Adam Beyer’s Truesoul label has brought out many great releases this year and their latest installment is just another example of that. This EP comes from none other than Nick Curly, who should be well known by now by fans of the all the various house subgenres out there. In the last two years or so, the German producer has also been appealing to the techno masses with releases such as “BBC” and “Reverie” on Drumcode and his own 8Bit imprint. This EP features two tracks that are officially labeled as techno, but they also carry a lot of tech house influences. All the more reason for both fanbases to check out this release.

“Helter Skelter” is the more club-oriented track of the two. Early on, the tone is set by a rhythmic bass sequence, which is coupled with low-key percussion and echoey sound effects. During the course of this track, more and more elements are implemented, until the end of the break near the five minute mark. At that point the track kicks into high gear with all the elements combined. This part only plays for a minute or so, which is way too short, if you ask me. I’d definitely be open to a nine minute version of this track.

“Go” brings the listener in much deeper territory. A subtle tom section and a heavy, droning bassline are the constant factors in this track, which provide a hypnotic constant against cold stabs, sorrowful howls and subtle sound effects that come and go as the track progresses. All elements have been carefully crafted and contribute to the mystical ambience of this melancholic track. Take your time to listen to this one from beginning to end and let your mind roam freely. The result might surprise you.

Nick Curly’s “Helter Skelter” EP is out now on Truesoul.