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
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Vinicius Honorio – Through The Darkness

Vinicius Honorio - Through The Darkness

If you’ve been following Adam Beyer and listened to one of his Drumcode Radio Live episodes recently, then you’ve most definitely heard of Vinicius Honorio. The London based producer has a proven track record with releases on labels such as Funk’n Deep, Renesanz, Unity and Elevate, which is only the start of more great things to come. With his first Drumcode release in the pipeline (that’s scheduled for release next week), he even got a DCR172 tattoo, which speaks volumes about his passion and dedication to the music. The four-track EP he’s releasing, conveys just as much emotion, but leans more towards the melancholic side. All in all, a worthy Drumcode debut!

The EP opens with “Walking Shadow”, which quickly sets the tone with moody pads and howling synths. This is offset by drum’n’bass inspired percussion and rough bass grooves that make their way into the mix at the 2:30 mark. Both sections complement each other nicely and make that the melancholic portion doesn’t overshadow the solid, danceable backbone of the track.

Second track “Through The Darkness” starts out with a light percussion repertoire that gently leads the unsuspecting listener into a much darker place. Honorio has used a mixture of haunting arpeggios, ominous basses and lamenting vocals to turn this track into a dark, brooding expedition. While the arrangement is fairly straightforward, it carries just the right balance of anticipation and intensity to be mesmerizing throughout.

“Desolate” is a lighter affair, but it does express stronger sentiments of sorrow. These are conveyed through a dreary synth loop and mournful vocals, which have been used more sparingly. Driving percussion and subtle atmospherics provide an industrial setting, which gives the track quite a desolate feeling. This won’t make it the ideal candidate for your average spring-themed set, but it’s still a solid production nonetheless.

Final track “Out For Blood” stands out most on this EP, mainly for its use of industrial hits and stabs that instantly reminded me of the prevalent style of techno from five years ago. The arrangement alternates between the desolate synths, which provide a modern touch and the mechanical sounds, which are the definitely the tastemaker in this track. This hard hitting track is meant to be played loud and will instantly turn your party (or even your late night study session) into a massive, industrial rave.

“Through The Darkness” will be out on April 10th on Drumcode.

Follow Vinicius Honorio: SoundCloud / Facebook
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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

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

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

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
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