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.
Ukrainian producer Skober is unstoppable and continues to impress friends and foes with original tracks, collaborations and remixes. Among those was his chart-topping remix of Monika Kruse’s “Highway No. 4”, which was his first appearance on Terminal M. A full EP was bound to follow and now the time has come. Skober is serving up a beautiful three-tracker, which comes in his distinct, melodic style. But don’t take my word for it. See for yourself!
The EP opens with the long awaited “Satisbeat”. Right from the start, the suspense is built up with a melodic riff that’s slowly fading in. Paired with ethereal pads and joyous vocal mutters, Skober creates a lush atmosphere, which is offset by a jittery snare loop in order to keep the listener grounded. Despite having some cold tendencies, this track is guaranteed to bring you some comfort in this fall season.
“Around You” boasts shuffling hi-hats and resonant vocal loops. Unlike the previous track, the ambience is chilling and the melodic sections are rigid. A roaring bass section adds some depth to the track and also gives it structure. The journey remains consistent and to the point. It doesn’t contain many surprises.
Final track “Black Sun” takes its time to build up. It opens with a minimal beat and light, metallic bleeps, but it doesn’t take long before a subtle pad and a rumbling bassline are introduced, which slowly make their way to the foreground. The melodic portion of the track is fully unleashed during the break, where an enticing pad crescendo immediately draws you in. This is repeated around the 4:30 mark, before the track slowly fades out towards the end.
It only takes a quick glance at Skober’s back catalogue to see the force we’re dealing with here. With a string of impressive releases on labels such as Phobiq, Alleanza, Elevate and IAMT, the Ukrainian producer has definitely made his mark on the techno scene. This time Skober has teamed up with Florida Music, which has resulted in a three track EP that features his track “Your Soul” and two additional remixes from Alberto Ruiz and label boss Andres Campo.
“Your Soul” is a light and charming track that features solid percussion, playful vocal mutters and organic sound textures. During the break, a short melody is introduced, which brings the track to an even higher level. The melody only plays for a minute or so, but luckily, it makes another appearance at the five minute mark.
Alberto Ruiz has brought atmospheric toms, metallic snares and a very subtle bassline into the mix, which has turned the original into a slower and somewhat tense sounding production. On top of that we have the melody from the original track, which has become the main element in this production. The vocal mutters, on the other hand, appear only on two instances, which gives them kind of a minor role.
Andres Campo has managed to slow things down even further with his remix. He has discarded the main melody and created a minimalistic dub track, which has been layered with hollow, industrial sounding stabs that give off quite an eerie vibe. As the track progresses, hints of the vocal mutters are introduced, which, combined with the organic pad texture, make for quite an interesting blend and also a very original remix.
Unity Records has already been a home for artists like Raffaele Rizzi, Mr. Bizz, Loco & Jam and label owner D-Unity, but now the label has risen to even greater heights with a new track from Spektre. The British duo, who needs no further introduction, has a steady track record with more than nine years of releases and continues to reinvent themselves to this day, which is an impressive feat. This EP features their most recent offering, “Sweaty Betty” and comes with additional mixes by Skober and Felix Kröcher.
Spektre’s original track follows the trend of earlier releases like “Behind Closed Doors” and “Erase The Tapes”. Right from the start, the listener is confronted with a dark sub-bass that immediately sets the tone for the track. Layered with gritty, minimalistic percussion, textures of rough, unfiltered basslines and haunting vocal cuts, this stormer of a track doesn’t hold anything back.
Skober manages to lighten the mood a little bit with his interpretation of the track. The rough basses have been replaced by a very subtle bassline, but a thumping kick drum and a piercing snare still lead the way. The vocal parts from the original are also heavily featured in this mix. They’re accompanied by a melodic pad sequence that evolves during the break.
Felix Kröcher’s remix also paints a different picture. The track features light percussion and subtle bass hooks that slightly resemble the basses from the original. Other elements are a thin, rhythmic sequence that repeats throughout the track, ambient stabs and sounds and also the vocals from the original production, which are the main focus of the track.
Sasha Carassi decided to kick off the new year with an EP that features reworks of his track “Echoes” that was released mid 2015 on Phobiq. For this release he invited Skober, Layton Giordani and Loco & Jam, all Phobiq regulars, to deliver their interpretation of the track. This has resulted in three excellent remixes that all manage to show the original in a completely different light.
Skober has taken the main riff and the vocal parts from the original track and merged it with minimalistic percussion and deep, pulsating basses. The result is an upbeat track that’s mostly defined by repeating vocal samples and a driving bassline that fades in and out as the track progresses.
Layton Giordani’s rework is definitely the most inventive one of the package. The only references to the original are the pace of the track and the vocal samples that are used during the breakdown. The track is built on a short, arpeggiated riff (that may remind you a bit of Layton’s track “Cloud N9”) and is accompanied by sequences of deep pads and driving basses.
Loco & Jam have added their signature bassline and percussion to the mix and created a slow-placed track that incorporates both vocal samples as various melodic elements from the original production. Unlike the vocal samples, the melodic parts are used more sparsely throughout the track, which gives us a minimalistic track with a few melodic breaks.
As we mentioned in our interview with Gary Beck, Adam Beyer’s forward looking techo label Drumcode celebrates its continued success with a 2 part, 20 track monster of a release ‘A-sides Vol. 2.’ The premise behind this compilation is simple – share with the world some of the hottest tracks from both new and established producers, many of which have been hanging around the Drumcode podcasts and in live sets for some time. Diving right into part one of the comp, the tracklist features tracks from Adam himself, Skober, dubspeeka, Gary Beck, Dhillon (Jeremy Olander’s lesser known but highly revered techno alias), Dustin Zahn, Patrick Siech, Petter B, Kaiserdisco, Cari Lekebusch, and hot newcomer Dykkon. In an effort to keep this review nice and short, our favorite tracks are Adam Beyer ‘Open Up,’ dubspeeka ‘Bedlam,’ Gary Beck ‘Marrow,’ Dhillon ‘Lost,’ and Dykkon ‘Repulse.’
Adam Beyer’s first offering ‘Open Up’ opens Part 1, immediately kicking it into high gear with his signature grooves, claps, and unintelligible vocal sample.
Dubspeeka has been on fire as of late, so it was inevitable that the track saved for Drumcode would be unstoppable. We have been itching to get ‘Bedlam’ with its unique and distinctive arrangement of metallic stabs and dubbed synth ever since we first heard it played out on Drumcode Radio.
‘Marrow’ is of course already a classic and Gary Beck’s production prowess is clearly evident throughout the entirety of this uplifting track.
‘Lost,’ one of the numerous unreleased productions of Jeremy Olander’s techno alias Dhillon, finally sees a proper release. We can’t wait to hear this song’s deep eeriness played out.
Closing things off, Spanish newcomer ‘Dykkon’ shares his track ‘Repulse’ which really impressed us with a simple yet infectious melody, rhythmic percussion, and incredible gnarly stabs. We are very excited about this producer and will be sure to keep a close eye on him.
We can’t wait to hear the next 10 productions, so keep it locked for our forthcoming review! Be sure to check out the full tracklisting below, alongside Adam Beyer’s studio mix of the comp celebrating 200 episodes of Drumcode radio.