Drumcode boss and techno don Adam Beyer has dominated the underground scene for over 20 years. His releases, remixes and reputation as a DJ combine to make both Beyer and his label two of the most exciting forces in techno.
Here, we look back over an illustrious career with 10 moments that defined Adam Beyer.
1) Early years on Planet Rhythm and ‘Drum Codes 1’
A year before launching the now iconic Drumcode Records, the Swedish DJ began incubating the idea with the maxi-single ‘Drum Codes 1’. The release (via Planet Rhythm Records) offers an introduction to Beyer’s early acid-leaning sonics.
2) ‘Drum Code No. 1.’ with Lenk
Even 21 years later, DC01 remains an absolute banger. It’s brash, aggressive, dark, jovial, yet somehow never veers out of control. Listening back now, was there ever any question Drumcode would continue to dominate both the underground and massive mainstages two decades later?
3) Conceiled Project
There aren’t many multi-decade tastemakers that don’t have an alias or two that deserve a rebirth. Conceiled Project was Beyer’s electronica moniker reserved for Sweden’s Svek Records. The alias is a testament to Beyer’s mantra of living on the cutting-edge.
4) ‘The Eye Sees Itself’ and the launch of Mad Eye
“Mad Eye is my new label created for more experimental stuff that won't fit Drumcode, time to go a bit weirder," said Beyer of Mad Eye upon its inception in 2004. Produced alongside Henrik B, the stuttering, IDM-influenced ‘The Eye Sees Itself’ was the debut offering from the imprint.
5) The Fabric Mix
Nearly a decade into his career, Beyer curated Fabric 22 in May 2005. Like the early days of the Drumcode label, the mix focussed heavily on forward-thinking Scandinavian talent. The mix’s overall hypnotic qualities are intensified by Beyer’s inimitable technique.
6) Return to the Essential Mix
In October of 2006, Beyer made his triumphant return to BBC Radio 1’s Essential Mix. Four year’s removed from his debut on the program, the return occurred during Beyer’s turn toward a more minimal and quirky, after-party driven aesthetic. As Pete Tong said: “You’re going to want to turn the lights off and turn your bass buttons on for the next two hours”.
7) Closing down Awakenings with Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’ days after the singer dies
Less than 48-hours after the passing of music icon Michael Jackson in 2009, Beyer had the class to close his Awakening’s set with the singer’s smash hit ‘Billie Jean’. Cast against a backdrop of lasers and fireworks, the sing-along is still chilling.
8) Drumcode 290
On Valentine’s Day 2016, Beyer and soon-to-be wife Ida Engberg went b2b for the first ever stand-alone Awakenings event in The United States. That night at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom, the couple were donned the First Family of techno.
9) The Berghain wedding reception
While the rest of the world has difficulties getting in the front door, newly-weds Beyer and Engberg hosted their wedding after-party at Berlin’s Berghain. That’s what the team at DJ Mag have dubbed a ‘total commitment to techno'.
10) A debut festival
Having headlined many of the globe's techno and underground dance music events, Beyer is in a unique position to curate his own festival. Only 22 years after its debut, Drumcode will have an official festival under its umbrella. The inaugural event will take place Saturday 18th August 2018 in Amsterdam in association with Awakenings.