Spektre – Forged In The Heart Of A Laserbeam

Spektre - Forged In The Heart Of A Laserbeam

After a string of impressive releases on labels such as Funk’n Deep, Elevate, Tronic and Unrilis, British producer duo Spektre returns home for the release of “Forged In The Heart Of A Laserbeam”, which, if you ask me, is definitely their best track of this year. On remix duty we have Ukrainian producer Skober and hailing from Italy, Sasha Carassi, both heading out into different directions. All in all a solid release, which is perfect to finish off the year in style.

With “Forged In The Heart Of A Laserbeam”, Spektre delivers a seven and a half minute journey that is characterized by somber bass sequences and a simple, but very catchy melody. Galloping vocal chops further spruce up the track, giving it a lighter touch, which is a welcome counterbalance in this gloomy composition.

The Skober remix stays fairly true to the original, but the key difference is the addition of a sidechained bassline and a rolling synth sequence, which add a lot depth and momentum to the track. This makes it stand out even more than the original and gives us a track that’s perfect to end your set with.

Sasha Carassi, on the other hand, has completely reworked the original and transformed it into a slower and also deeper venture that’s dominated by long, drawn out pads, coupled with repeating synth stabs and the memorable vocal chops from the original production. Despite it being a fresh approach, the end result is a bit underwhelming, especially when compared to the other two tracks on this release.

“Forged In The Heart Of A Laserbeam” will be released tomorrow on Respekt Recordings.

Follow Spektre: SoundCloud / Facebook
Follow Skober: SoundCloud / Facebook
Follow Sasha Carassi: SoundCloud / Facebook
Follow Respekt Recordings: SoundCloud / Facebook

Frazier & Rudosa – Invasion EP

Frazier & Rudosa - Invasion EP

Hailing from the UK, English and Scottish producers Rudosa & Frasier have teamed up for their first release together, which is also their debut on Carl Cox’s Intec label. Having already released on prominent labels such as Respekt and Phobiq (Rudosa) and also Second State and Sleaze (Frazier), the two Brits seek to broaden their reach with their head-turning “Invasion EP”, which has already received support from names like Pan-Pot, Luigi Madonna and Adam Beyer.

First track on the release is “Invasion”, which is fueled by fiery percussion and supported by various synths and a weary vocal cut. The idea of the track is quite simple, for it mostly consists of rigid elements (with the exception of the acid stab), which, I guess, sounds boring on paper, but my listening experience is quite the opposite. It’s a catchy tune that is also quite dynamic and with each element carefully chosen, it definitely hits harder than the sum of its parts.

The second track, “Rotate”, is a tad more melodic, thanks to an intimate pad and a continuously evolving synth loop. Further dynamics come through the help of uplifting shakers, which inject some extra energy into this production, that is uplifting, but not quite convincing for some reason. It comes across as a bit monotone, which is probably for a lack of elements, which makes that this track just isn’t as exciting as its predecessor.

The “Invasion EP” will be out on Friday on Intec.

Follow Frazier: SoundCloud / Facebook
Follow Rudosa: SoundCloud / Facebook
Follow Intec: SoundCloud / Facebook

Gary Beck – Just One More

Gary Beck - Just One More

Scottish producer Gary Beck has skipped over on his own “BEK Audio” in favor of Alan Fitzpatrick’s “We Are The Brave” imprint. And with good reason, for “Just One More” is the tenth release on the label, which can definitely be considered a (small) milestone. With this festive release, Beck has definitely delivered and he makes us look forward to more great WATB releases to come.

“Just One More” kicks off the EP in true Gary Beck fashion with the use of sweeping pads and substantial percussion. Ecstatic vocal chants break up the repetitive, but massive, melodic portion of the track and truly bring it to life. The production is sublime in its simplicity and will keep you hooked from beginning to end.

“Round My Place” is more or less a modern take on “Round Your Place”, which was released on Drumcode in 2011. Just like its predecessor, “Round My Place” has a stripped back, industrial vibe, but the execution is more colossal and also more suited for today’s dancefloors. Unfortunately, it’s also quite monotone and it could’ve benefitted from some more (melodic) elements.

“Just One More” will be released tomorrow on We Are The Brave.

Follow Gary Beck: SoundCloud / Facebook
Follow We Are The Brave: SoundCloud / Facebook

Various Artists – A-Sides Vol. 6

A-Sides Vol. 6

Drumcode has released the 6th installment of the A-Sides series, which is greatly renowned and for a good reason. The concept of the series is to feature tracks that are of high enough quality to be A-sides for their own EPs, but for which other tracks could not be found to complete the release. Each volume features a mix of Drumcode’s main artists along with some new faces. This edition sees the return of legendary household producers, such as Enrico Sangiuliano, Timmo, Luigi Madonna and Roberto Capuano, while welcoming Spektre, Amelie Lens, Mars Bill, Wehbba and others to offer their contributions to the label’s history. Due to the sheer volume of tracks, I’ve decided to select my favorites from this compilation, which are six tracks in total. You can find a link to the full release below.

Amelie Lens kicks off the compilation with “In Silence”, a minimalistic track in her signature style, but with a highly contagious acid twist. The Belgian producer has brought together rolling basslines, acidic arpeggios that twist and turn and calming vocal samples that make an appearance on a few occasions. With just these elements, Lens has created a compelling track that will definitely be of interest to lovers of the harder varieties of techno.

Brazilian producer Wehbba is a newcomer to the Drumcode family and for this occasion he’s created a dark and menacing track that’s nothing like his usual productions. The main focus of the track is a heavy sidechained bass, which has been augmented with rhythmic synth- and vocal patterns. An eerie arpeggio playing in the background creates the necessary tension, while an array of different sounds and effects breaks it up and prevents the track from becoming too monotone.

Adam Beyer and Enrico Sangiuliano have joined forces for the first time and the result is just phenomenal. “Preset Heaven” features an infectious melody, which is backed by subtle pads and Sangiuliano’s signature bass stabs. What gets me most, though, are the exhilarating vocals chants that immediately fill the air with love and elation. There’s no doubt about it, this is my absolute favorite track from this release and probably one of my all-time favorites from the Drumcode catalogue.

Pig&Dan’s “La Bruja” stands in stark contrast with their other Drumcode releases and is more in line with the tracks that usually end up on their own Elevate imprint. The structure of the track is simple, which is centered around an exquisite melodic loop. Aside from a few sound effects here and there, the track doesn’t stray very far from the beaten path, which can get a bit repetitive on occasion. For me, though, there’s just something about that irresistible melody that makes me listen to it over and over again.

The opening of Timmo’s “Muzik” features a loomy sub-bass and ponderous vocal cuts that have been contrasted with vigorous percussion. This section plays out for exactly two minutes and sixteen seconds before emerging pads swoop in and bring some playfulness to break up the weary mood of the track. Unfortunately, they only persist for a minute or so, which leaves us with two and a half minutes that don’t bring anything new to the table. This doesn’t make it a bad track or anything, but I will say that I’ve come to expect a bit more from the Bulgarian producer.

Observant listeners will have noticed already that Dense & Pika’s “Just A Beat” has some similarities with “Going Down”, which was last year’s collaboration with Adam Beyer. There are some differences as well, which are the wide selection of reverberated sounds that have been scattered around this production as well as the quality of the sounds, which are exceptionally crisp. Overall the track is quite an immersive experience, which is kept somewhat grounded through the reiteration of coarse vocal cuts.

The “A-Sides Vol. 6” compilation has been released today on Drumcode. You can check out the other tracks on SoundCloud or on Beatport.

Follow Drumcode: SoundCloud / Facebook

Credits go to M1KRONAUT for writing the intro text (that I modified a little bit).

SAMA – Slow Degradation EP

SAMA - Slow Degradation EP

Dutch producer SAMA is undoubtedly one of the most exciting up-and-coming talents in the techno scene. With tracks recently out on labels such as Hi Tek Records and Pleasurekraft’s high-caliber Kraftek label, it is clear that he is on his way to greatness, and his new release for Spanish label Devotion Records is easily one of his best packages of tracks to be released so far.

The title track, “Slow Degradation,” starts things off and sets the tone for the entire release, using a deep and filthy bass and echoing vocals to shape a one-of-a-kind atmosphere. The artist shows his production genius with subtle touches, such as the vocals, which are pitch shifted during the break, giving off an eerie vibe that is supported by a pad of pure moonlight.

“Cherish” is more melodic and uses a deep, throaty synth to create the hook. The music is somber, yet upbeat enough to make the listener want to dance. The main break is quite long, giving the track room to breathe, and makes this one a great choice as an interlude in a long set.

It would be difficult for any tune to top the previous two masterpieces, but “Radical Changes” just might do so. This one is straightforward and bold, charging forward with the force of an army and blowing the club into oblivion. As is the norm for a SAMA production, the synth stands out in this one, a chunky stab which is echoed by a distorted breath, which makes this machine feel alive. To top things off, the synth is arpeggiated in octaves and adds a new dimension of emotion to the tune to balance out the impression of unchecked power.

“Slow Degradation EP” is out now on Devotion Records.

Follow SAMA: SoundCloud / Facebook
Follow Devotion Records: SoundCloud / Facebook

Sourmash – Pilgrimage To Paradise

Sourmash - Pilgrimage To Paradise

Respekt Recordings has made a pilgrimage to the 90’s with the 144th release on their imprint. Inspired by the Sourmash classic “Pilgrimage To Paradise”, the label bosses decided on re-releasing the track and providing their own take on it as well. It’s safe to say that this makes it a bit of an unusual release, but for oldskool ravers, the EP is probably a breath of fresh air. Check it out below!

The original mix brings us directly into rave mode with a galloping synth and a reverberated stab. The tumbling percussion brings the track further to life and serves as an energetic backbone to the various melodic layers that are introduced as the track moves forward. This has resulted in a somewhat chaotic mixture, that, with its 134 beats per minute, isn’t very practical for contemporary DJ sets, but is still quite charming in a way.

Spektre has re-mashed the original into a stripped back version in their own signature style. What the track lacks in energy (and maybe a little rave potential) it sure makes up for in structure and playability. All in all, The British producers have done a great job in updating this track, without sacrificing too much of the classic elements that make the original what it is.

The “Pilgrimage To Paradise” EP will be out tomorrow on Respekt Recordings. If you’d like to listen to the original track, check out the sample over at JunoDownload.

Follow Spektre: SoundCloud / Facebook
Follow Respekt Recordings: SoundCloud / Facebook

Enrico Sangiuliano – Astral Projection

Enrico Sangiuliano - Astral Projection

Last summer, Italian producer Enrico Sangiuliano shook up the techno world with his “Moon Rocks” EP and now he’s back for the release of his long awaited second EP on Adam Beyer’s Drumcode label. “Astral Projection” is very different from its counterpart, as its focus is not on delivering dancefloor stormers, but on bringing ethereal atmospherics to the listener. The EP, which features two tracks, draws some inspiration from the “Alone In This Place EP” that was released in 2015, but not in an unoriginal way, as the content is still fresh. One thing that has remained the same, though, is the overall production quality, which is the mark of a true perfectionist. Check out the tracks below. You won’t be disappointed.

“Astral Projection” is a calm, introspective track that combines deep reverberations with ethereal pads. A rhythmic percussion layer underneath provides the necessary momentum, while joyous vocal chants and smooth arpeggios take the track to a higher level. The structure of the track is fairly straightforward, but the constant cycle of building up the pads brings the necessary intensity into the mix. Highlight of the track is definitely the one and a half minute break, which increases the pressure to the max, but the drop will leave you a bit disappointed after the memorable “I Know You Must Follow The Sun” vocals.

“Blooming Era” teases the listener with atmospheric toms and faint pads (that resemble an Elvish choir) before unleashing the murky basslines at the two minute mark. From that point on, they take center stage and give the track a somewhat restless vibe. The breakdown provides some relief and here we are introduced to the melodic portion of the track, which comes in the form of reverberated synth stabs and an entrancing arpeggio. After the break, things quickly turn to your regular programming again, only for the melodic parts to re-appear once again around the five minute mark.

“Astral Projection” is scheduled for release on July 17th on Drumcode.

Follow Enrico Sangiuliano: SoundCloud / Facebook
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