Electric Zoo Showcase: Drumcode, 17 years of Swedish techno stability in the making
As part of the lead up to this year’s Electric Zoo and the buffet of electronic music talent that’ll come with, Dancing Astronaut is proud to showcase some of the artists, cooperatives, and labels that’ll be representing in full force at this year’s event over Labor Day Weekend. Every year at the Sunday School Groove tent on Randall’s Island provides a haven of nefarious delight for those festival goers seeking solace from the hyper-energized main stage crowds, and among appearances from headliners Danny Tenaglia, Dixon, Laurent Garnier, and John Digweed, Drumcode Records will take center stage in time for Day 3.
Drumcode is a techno label created and managed by Swedish techno stalwart Adam Beyer, but those familiar with the sound of Drumcode the label’s name resonates something much deeper. The label was founded in 1996 and has enjoyed a streak of success in its releases, talent scouting, radio efforts, and general international label comraderie ever since. Drumcode has released music from Alan Fitzpatrick, Joseph Capriati, Ida Engberg (Beyer’s wife), Joel Mull, Paul Ritch, Marco Bailey, Henrik B, Nicole Moudaber, Joey Beltram, Cari Lekebusch, and many more over the years. Its roots are in its native Scandinavia, originally only housing Swedish producers, but in the label’s history it has since branched out to working with those whose sound fit the profile, rather than whose nationality aligns best. Though Drumcode boasts a steadfast brand of techno from its core and many artists have contributed to Beyer’s grander vision along the way, they’re still growing. Beyer just now is celebrating year three of his Drumcode Radio, label showcases are becoming increasingly popular, and now they’ve even got their own stage at New York’s largest electronic music festival of the year.
Like many young and ambitious producers, Beyer’s intention behind Drumcode was both about building around a certain sound he wanted to be playing on dance floors, and producing at a pace which was acceptable to him personally. Although he cut his teeth on the early 90s Stockholm rave scene, he points to Detroit techno mainstay Jeff Mills as the center of his aural inspiration in basically every one of his past interviews about the subject. Listen to Drumcode releases and you’ll understand the practical and functional nature of the sounds Beyer chooses to include in his catalog. Drumcode isn’t a pedestal for a DJ’s philosophical ego trip, it’s Beyer’s way of supplying techno peers with records that will perform well. Sounds indefinitely recycle themselves, but taking a centrist approach to techno’s ebbs and flows has allowed Beyer and his band of trusty producers to keep close tabs on what should be pumping out of speakers all over the world in any given month or year.
At Electric Zoo, you’ll be able to catch Paul Ritch, Nicole Moudaber, Joel Mull, Ida Engberg, Victor Calderone, and Beyer himself on Sunday, September 1st. We’ve compiled a collection of ten of our favorite Drumcode releases from the last two years to get you ready.