DGTL’s first foray into Spain’s electronic heartland of Barcelona was a huge success last weekend. The intimate two-day city centre festival, housed at the city’s Parc Del Forum, saw a veritable smorgasbord of DJ talent including Maceo Plex, Dixon, David August, Henrik Schwarz and Agoria all on imperious form. Here are the ten tracks that made the biggest impression on DJ Mag at the two-day festival.
RÜFÜS 'You Were Right' (Catz ‘N Dogz Remix)
Pets Recordings founders Catz ‘N Dogs recently delivered a slinky remix for the Australian outfit RÜFÜS, and their single ‘You Were Right’. It’s the quintessential summer festival track, as the duo’s remix rides along on a bed of chintzy percussion, the original’s laid-back vocals and swelling basslines. It’s a bit lighter than you might expect from the Polish producers but still incredibly compelling, especially so when Agoria dropped it early on Friday afternoon.
Groove Armada 'I See You Baby' (Hauswerks Remix)
Groove Armada’s ‘I See You Baby’ never gets old, especially in a festival setting, and this fresh rework from Hauswerks — aka Colin Barratt — breathes new life into the aging festival staple. The Moda Black signee delves deep into the original’s legendary vocals for a wickedly deep reworking that got the crowd on its toes when Argoria dropped it. Grab it now on Groove Armada’s recently released ‘Little Black Book’ album via Moda Black.
Âme’s weapon of choice for his set on Friday was Snilloc’s ‘Elso’, a new club ready joint that has been tearing up festivals the world over. A heady mix of progressive house and techno, ‘Elso’ once again showcases the Hungarian’s pedigree at crafting forward thinking electronic music, and if he’s not already on your radar he really should be.
Emmanuel Jal 'Kuar' (Henrik Schwarz Remix)
Dixon & Âme’s Innervisions imprint has taken on a mythical status in electronic circles, and Henrik Schwarz’s remix of award-winning Sudanese musician Emmanuel Jal’s ‘Kuar’ has quickly become one of the label’s timeless tracks. Jal was actually a former child soldier in the Sudanese army, and the original became the soundtrack to the country’s fractious independence campaign in 2011. Easily the highlight of Henrik Schwarz’s live performance on the DGTL stage, Schwarz flips the emotionally charged original into a slow-burning deep house track that’s dripping with production prowess from start to finish.
Ebo Taylor 'Ene Nyame' (Henrik Schwarz Remix)
Continuing the African theme, Ebo Taylor is one of Ghana’s most prolific musicians over the last three decades. And, once again, German don Henrik Schwarz has performed a stunning piece of surgery, morphing the original into a summer jacker of epic proportions. It has been a huge hit on this summer’s festival circuit, as Taylor’s unique vocals blend seamlessly with Schwarz’s jackin’ tapestry of flutes, brassy sections and twisting basslines. Quite simply: stunning — and even better performed live by Schwarz on the Friday.
Matthew Herbert 'Robot Radio' (Antioch Step)
Dettmann’s weapon of choice to stave off the rain was Matthew Herbert’s ‘Robot Radio’. Originally released in 2013 as part of Herbert’s ‘Complete’ album. ‘Robot Radio’ (Antioch Step) is a caustic slice of mechanical techno that takes no prisoners, it’s so intense, in fact, that you’ll need to take a shower after each listen such is its intensity (and we did thanks to the rain). Pure 5am techno vibes from start to finish.
Nicole Moudaber 'Rooted'
Adam Beyer’s Drumcode imprint continues to go from strength to strength — and it’s thanks to new blood in its roster like Lebanese techno queen Nicole Moudaber, and her slice of fuzzy tech house ‘Rooted’, that’s been the main driving force. Originally released as part of Drumcode’s A-sides Vol.2 compilation in 2014, ‘Rooted’ showcases Drumcode’s softer side. Minimal, percussive, and driving, ‘Rooted’ is blessed with an infectious violin sample that brought the best out of everyone on the Saturday when Adam Beyer dropped it.
George Fitzgerald 'Call It Love (If You Want To)'
Hometown don John Talabot dropped George Fitzgerald’s ‘Call It Love’ (If You Want To) during his set, a percussive slice of melancholia, it is one of the standout tracks from Fitzgerald’s debut album. Perfect, then, for a warm summer’s night by the sea.
Maceo Plex 'Conjure Superstar'
Nothing showcases Maceo Plex’s style quite like 'Conjure Superstar’. Released on legendary Cologne imprint Kompakt in 2014, it’s one of Maceo’s calling cards, as walls of blocky arpegiated basslines collide with swirling melodies for a track that was originally conceived as a reactionary piece against club culture. And boy, did it get a reaction from the crowd as he closed out the DGTL stage with it on the Friday.
Red Axes 'Na Da'
Released at the beginning of this year via Cosmo Vitelli’s imprint, I’m A Cliché, Red Axes’ ‘Na Da’ sees the Israeli duo on perfect form as they blend stabbing melodies against low-slung basslines for a decidedly quirky slice of acid that twists and turns in all the right places. It’s one for the connoisseurs, as Dixon closed his set with it on the Saturday alongside Charles Webster’s spooky remix of Hayden James’ ‘Something About You’. The perfect way to end two-days at DGTL Barcelona.