Luke Brancaccio & Simon Berry
Close Your Eyes feat JJD
With John Digweed’s iconic label approaching its 20th anniversary, it drops a huge anthem with ‘Close Your Eyes’ that channels that classic Bedrock spirit, stretching all the way back to ‘For What You Dream Of’. There’s vintage vibes all over this, opening on the trope of choir synths that sound like they’re lifted direct from Underworld’s ‘Dark & Long [Dark Train]’, full of pulsing acid and exhilarating swirls of melody that swell in and out of the mix, plus the cherry on top of some killer vocals from JJD, effective enough to recall Dave Gahan himself. Meanwhile, Digweed and Muir’s rework takes things in a bombastic headfuck-techno direction.
Aazar & Bellecour
DJ Snake is by now well ensconced in the top-tier EDM clique, the festival main stages in his iron grip. He’s also just launched his own Premiere Classe imprint, and this bassy offering from Aazar & Bellecour is one of its early releases. It bodes well for its label boss, who’s thus far been able to avoid the worst excesses of EDM, as a focused main stage weapon with bounce.
Eric Prydz returns to the dancefloor purity of his Pryda alias with a four-track EP that ticks all the boxes in terms of characteristically huge, euphoric sounds with the requisite dark twist, though there’s definitely the sense he’s going through the motions here. The EP climbs to a pumping apex with ‘The HoaX’, though unfortunately there aren't a lot of surprises on offer here.
Australian indie-crossover professionals Rüfüs Du Sol return with their first single in two years, and decide they’re definitely not pulling any punches. Uplifting, trance-soaked and packed with dramatic horn sections and huge drops, it’s the distinct and developed vocals of frontman Tyrone Lindqvist that give ‘No Place’ the edge over so much functional club music flooding the Beatport charts. Hold your breath for the incoming club mix.
Yotto continues to show he can do no wrong following last year's triumphant mini-album ‘North’, with a slightly less ambitious three-track EP that nonetheless showcases his versatility, and the fact he’s making some of the best melodic house and techno out there. The title track is the real bomb, with a pulsing melodic hook that ebbs and flows for maximum euphoria, momentum and nail-biting tension. Meanwhile, ‘Aura’ is fashioned for the introspective warmups.
'Speicher 103 EP'
The latest in Kompakt’s ongoing Speicher anthology sports an expected selection of polished peak time records, though it’s equally a showcase for the musical versatility of Marc Romboy. The melodies in ‘Galaxy In An Atom’ are definitely of an extravagant nature, though they’re also constructed with the same depth of musicality that was on display in his ‘Reconstructing Debussy’ album project last year (witness the jazzy piano improvisation in the track’s third act).
Adam Beyer & Bart Skils
There’s not a lot here that channels Adam Beyer’s (increasingly distant) past as one of techno’s more militant purists, though there’s plenty that showcases his developed canniness for taking his sound to a mass market, with this Bart Skils collab locked and loaded to smash up the festivals over the summer. Constructed around the impact of its vocal snippet, which is allowed to take centre stage over a two-minute breakdown, it’s embellished with a balanced mix of percussive techno and a sprinkle of restrained melodies. Destined to be as big as the Drumcode brand itself.