Author Archives: Bram

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.

Follow Tiga: SoundCloud / Facebook
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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
Follow Tronic: SoundCloud / Facebook

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
Follow The YellowHeads: SoundCloud / Facebook
Follow Reload Records: SoundCloud / Facebook

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

Eric Sneo – Chord Challenge / Resistance

Eric Sneo - Chord Challenge / Resistance

It’s been a little over three years since Eric Sneo joined the ranks of Christian Smith’s Tronic label and he has been a productive member since then. With countless releases on the label (even including an album) and a body of work dating back at least twenty years, the techno veteran has definitely made his mark on the techno scene. Before the year comes to a close, the German producer is releasing this two track EP, which is also a sneak peak of his upcoming album that will be released on February 20th next year. Check it out below.

“Chord Challenge” is a light, melodic techno track that caught my attention on the first listen. Sneo’s use of a bouncy bassline and a light, plucky melody is surprising as well as intriguing. Together with brisk pads and his signature toms, he has managed to create an upbeat track that boasts an effortless energy.

“Resistance (Part 1)” is more rigid instead of playful and is not as convincing as the previous track. This drum-fueled production is driven by a repetitive lead, which stays the same all the way through the end. Expanding the range of elements wouldn’t be a bad thing here, for some more variation is definitely warranted in this track.

Eric Sneo’s “Chord Challenge / Resistance” EP will be out today on Tronic.

Follow Eric Sneo: SoundCloud / Facebook
Follow Tronic: SoundCloud / Facebook

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