Author Archives: Bram

Vinicius Honorio – Heartbeat

Vinicius Honorio - Heartbeat

After gaining much traction last year with his Drumcode EP “Through The Darkness” and the release of “Diamond Dust” on A-Sides Volume 6, London based producer Vinicius Honorio decided to step up his game and created his own label, called Liberta Records. In March he released his first EP “Dying Of The Light” and now he’s following up with five-tracker “Heartbeat”, which contains the highly anticipated track with the same title and showcases the development of his sound, which has become much darker and more minimalistic in its nature.

“Scatter” starts out with light and bouncy percussion, but the atmosphere of the track quickly gets turned around at the 2 minute mark, where a gloomy synth sequence takes over and turns it into quite a desolate place. The track is spruced up with grim bass/vocal shots, which manage to break up the drone of the main lead a little bit, but unfortunately, aren’t enough to really bring the track to life.

The opening of “Heartbeat” may remind you of the style of Petter B, but as soon as the dark basses kick in at the 2:30 mark, you’ll know there’s a different force at work here. Guided by a pondering voice that addresses the essence of techno and luring pads that pop up occasionally, Honorio takes the listener on an exhilarating journey in a harsh and unforgiving world.

“Don’t Look Back” can be described as the more calm and friendly version of “Scatter”. The track builds up slowly with swelling pads and murky sound effects, until, at the 2 minute mark, the main lead kicks in. As the track progresses, the main melody follows a wave-like motion, increasing and decreasing in pitch and volume, but abruptly ending at the 6 minute mark, leaving the DJ just enough time to mix in the next track.

On “The World We Know” we’re treated to a compelling mix of calm and uplifting elements. A repeating bass sequence is intertwined with scattered vocal chops and a smooth, sidechained pad that gives the track sort of an underwater feel. The end result is an immersive track that draws you in and submerges you into an atmospheric pool of sounds.

Final track is the dub version of “Heartbeat”, which, apart from the vocals, is identical to the earlier mentioned version on this release.

“Heartbeat” will be released tomorrow on Liberta.

Follow Vinicius Honorio: SoundCloud / Facebook
Follow Liberta: SoundCloud / Facebook

Gary Burrows – Burning EP

Gary Burrows - Burning EP

British producer Gary Burrows returns to Respekt Recordings for another round of thumping techno. His “Burning EP” is a four-tracker, which contains three original tracks and a remix by Dave Sinner. Compared to his earlier offerings to the label, this release is a more minimalistic and also a more experimental effort, which definitely helps to keep things interesting. With this addition to his diverse and solid back catalogue (which also includes releases on Funk’n Deep,  Eclipse and Orange Recordings), Burrows continues to expand his reach and is building a great reputation for himself in the process.

Opening track “Burning” can best be described as a bare techno thumper that features thriving drums and a rhythmic vocal loop that serves as the only festive element in this very minimalistic production. During the break at the 3 minute mark, a gripping bassline is introduced, which is a welcome break from the continuous pounding of the arid synth / percussion combo. It is repeated once more at the 4:30 mark before the track comes to a close.

Dave Sinner’s interpretation of the title track has made it a lighter affair and gives it some more room to breathe. Another notable difference is that he’s ramped up the rhythmic portion of the track, somewhat resembling the percussive style of Spekre. Staying true to the spirit of the original, Sinner has kept the main synth hook intact, but has given the vocal lines a less prominent place.

“Reaper One” kicks things up a notch with a hasty 133 beats per minute. As the title suggests, it unveils a somewhat haunting vibe that’s brought forward through an ominous pad and a dreary synth sequence that interplay for the duration of the track. The weary, monotonous vibe of the track can be a little fatiguing at times, making this a track that’s probably not for everyone.

Final track “Can’t Hold Back” brings some acid elements into the mix. It is supported by relentless percussion that’s somewhat reminiscent of the style of Gary Beck and has been layered with a vocal line that repeats the title phrase. Piercing synth stabs give the track a bit more depth and make it more dynamic as well, something that was definitely missing in the previous track.

Gary Burrows’ “Burning EP” is out now on Respekt Recordings.

Follow Gary Burrows: SoundCloud / Facebook
Follow Dave Sinner: SoundCloud / Facebook
Follow Respekt Recordings: SoundCloud / Facebook

Bart Skils & Reinier Zonneveld – Snakecharmer

Bart Skils & Reinier Zonneveld - Snakecharmer

Reinier Zonneveld has invited fellow Dutch producer Bart Skils for a hefty collaboration on his Filth On Acid imprint. This 24th release is probably one of the more spectacular and distinctive EPs from the FOA catalogue and is definitely a promise of more great things to come. The package contains the original from Skils and Zonneveld, which is perfect to kickstart your spring and a Pig&Dan treatment that brings some more eastern flavor into the mix. Check out the tracks below!

Observant listeners will have noticed already that “Snakecharmer” shares some similarities with Bart’s “Ocean Drive” and “Bells Of The Revolution” from earlier this year. The structure of the track is fairly straightforward and consists of an immersive pad and a rhythmic stab that create a light backdrop for the charming melody layer that kicks in around the 1:45 mark. Overall, the track has quite an entrancing and meditative feel to it and is perfect to spruce up a gloomy spring day.

Pig&Dan have completely transformed the original production, leaving no familiar traces except for the eastern atmosphere, which they’ve built upon with mournful instrumental musings and completely made their own. The result of their efforts is a slowed-down, more immersive experience that truly captures the spirit of the Middle East.

The “Snakecharmer” EP will be out this Friday on Filth On Acid.

Follow Bart Skils: SoundCloud / Facebook
Follow Reinier Zonneveld: SoundCloud / Facebook
Follow Pig&Dan: SoundCloud / Facebook
Follow Filth On Acid: SoundCloud / Facebook

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.

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