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

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).

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