Author Archives: M1KRONAUT

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

Pig&Dan – Starting Again

Pig&Dan - Starting Again

Pig&Dan return to their own ELEVATE label after a year of great EPs from various artists on the label, and three well-received EPs which they released via Adam Beyer’s Drumcode. This release consists of four carefully-chosen tracks, and as a result it is absolutely massive and definitely worthy to follow their other recent output.

“Starting Again” is the title track, which opens the EP, and sounds like something that could easily have been on Drumcode, with its dark groove and thundering synth hook. The progression is vaguely reminiscent of a couple of tunes on their collaborative EP with Adam Beyer. It builds up from nothing and introduces an increasing number of elements which eventually lead into the break, where the title words are sang by a voice that folds perfectly into the background. The track is then kick-started as the bass end drops in at maximum power.

“A.M.” is built on a thick beat and cavernous lead, and sounds like a humongous machine which is chewing something to bits in a rhythmic fashion. Every element of the groove is tuned to push the track forward as it chugs its way to the break. At this point an alien, vaguely dissonant chord pattern joins and fades in, causing a peculiarly chilling atmosphere and proving that Pig&Dan truly are unstoppable when it comes to production quality.

“In My Mind” is a bit different than the first two tunes, softer and chunkier, but still with that signature Pig&Dan sound. It is driven by a simple, reserved, though effective, synth, which grows and evolves, while psychedelic, gated vocals provide the harmony.

Finally, “Obsession” provides a distinctive contrast with the other contributions to the release. Instead of being powered by melody, it uses a dark, squeaky instrument to define the atmosphere before the sound changes completely. The “B-section” is focused on a hypnotic pad and pulsing, psychedelic synth, and eventually these give way to make room for the original idea again. The way this track introduces two separate and completely different ideas, then merges them, is something which makes it feel unique, and makes it the perfect closer for this masterpiece of a release.

“Starting Again” is out now on ELEVATE.

Follow Pig&Dan: SoundCloud / Facebook
Follow ELEVATE: SoundCloud / Facebook

Claudia Cazacu – Lies

Claudia Cazacu - Lies

Claudia Cazacu has been well-known in the world of trance for years. But she recently showed the darker side to her tastes with her 2015 remix of Frank De Wulf’s “The Tape.” Since then, she has released many techno tunes, mostly through her own Haute label and Andrea Frisina’s Gate Null Recordings. Every one of these tracks demonstrates Cazacu’s unique sound, and in particular, her love for dark and driving beats. “Lies” is her third single for Gate Null, and it is no different.

The track is a massive club-ready tune with her typical dark and driving bassline, this time coupled with a powerful synth hook and beautiful vocal pad. The percussion is expertly arranged to create a sense of hypnotic flow and takes the listener’s mind on a journey.

“Lies” is out now on Gate Null Recordings.

Follow Claudia Cazacu: SoundCloud / Facebook
Follow Gate Null Recordings: SoundCloud / Facebook

Paride Saraceni – Memento EP

Paride Saraceni - Memento EP

UK-based producer Paride Saraceni returns to Dema’s Redrum label with a new two tracker firmly rooted in his house-influenced techno style, while diverging in two entirely different directions.

The first tune and title track, “Memento,” is built on a thick and bouncing groove, using a vocal hook and short, powerful stabs as it builds. Part way through the track introduces an interlude of a synth pattern, which is a bit reminiscent of guitar harmonics and leads into the main break. This track is pure dancefloor energy, and while it retains a recognizable Saraceni sound, its beauty is in the unique and immediately notable rhythm.

Track 2, “Never Feels Right,” is a bit reminiscent of the artist’s previous releases for Truesoul, and as such it had some early support from Adam Beyer on his Drumcode Live radioshow. The groove and percussion in this one is far more subtle, and the tune is mostly driven by the resonant, thick and flowing pads, backed by a vocal singing the title phrase in a wistful voice.

Paride Saraceni’s “Memento EP” will be released on April 17th on Redrum Music.

Follow Paride Saraceni: SoundCloud / Facebook
Follow Redrum Music: SoundCloud / Facebook

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
Follow Drumcode: SoundCloud / Facebook

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
Follow Intec: 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
Follow Drumcode: SoundCloud / Facebook