Adam Beyer’s Drumcode imprint has become a hugely important mainstay in today’s techno scene. Having released records from legendary icons such as Slam, Gary Beck, and Ben Sims, to name but a few, the label has flourished over a period of 15 years, recently seeing its 100th release, The Colour Out of Space, featuring productions from the label chief and his long-term partner, Ida Engberg.
We caught up with Beyer to discuss the legacy he’s created, why he selected these tracks for the 100th release, and what other peers he takes influence from.
How did you go about deciding what to release as Drumcode’s landmark 100th release?
Well, since we did two pretty big comps recently, I wanted to do something more intimate that wasn’t based around 3000 tracks or remixes. Also, I wanted to do something with Ida Engberg, my girlfriend. For me, it’s a spiritual release—number 100—and to bring love into that is something special. Also, we’ve been sitting on this track for a year and a half and it felt like the perfect place and opportunity to release it. It all came together nicely with the artwork concept, so it just really worked.
With over 15 years releasing electronic music, how do you feel that Drumcode has stayed relevant?
Well, we always try to stay current and also not disappear too far up our own arse. We try not to be too purist, but also have retained a lot of integrity and consistency.
No doubt a difficult task, but if you had to pick your personal favorite three releases on the label, what would they be, and why?
Definitely Drumcode 1, because it was so special to start my own label, and the reaction I had on the first release was incredible. The label got a lot of attention straight away, and that meant so much at the time. I was 20 and suddenly I had my own label and some of my heroes like Jeff Mills and DJ Hell were playing my records. Secondly, I would say the Jesper Dahlback remix of “Remainings III,” because it was such a massive track and it was also the first time that we actually had a track that crossed over to all genres; many different styles of DJs were playing something from the label, and you can actually still play it today. I mean, it sold around 35,000 copies—it was incredible. Then finally, I would say the 15 Years of Drumcode compilation, as it was such a landmark for us and the biggest release we’ve done so far in terms of the large number of tracks and a three-month tour around it. It felt like a real achievement in terms of how far we have come.
Which production of your own are you most proud of?
It’s really hard to say, as a lot of the techno you write is not the same but fairly similar in style, so I would have to say the Ignition Key album on Truesoul. I really stepped outside the box for that one, and I still think you can listen to it today even though it’s 10 years old. I wish I could write more things like that in the near future.
Which DJs or producers would you consider your biggest Detroit techno influences?
Jeff Mills, Kevin Saunderson, and Carl Craig.
Which emerging artists of this past year are you most excited about?
Well, my own younger talent on the label really excites me, like Alan Fitzpatrick and Joseph Capriati and, most recently, Manic Brothers. I mean, obviously all the new artists I sign excite me or I wouldn’t sign them.
Tell us about what format you are currently using to DJ with.
I currently play WAVs and MP3s on two Pioneer CDJ-2000s with an SD card, plus a sampler and two effects pedals—one reverb and one delay.
With the Sync option now factoring into DJ equipment and software, how important do you feel the more traditional or classic aspect of DJing still is?
To be honest, I don’t really care much. At the end of the day, it’s about moving a dancefloor and being creative with track lists and the music you play.
Who are your favorite DJs to play with?
Well, I like to play with all the Drumcode DJs that we use, as we have such a nice vibe and chemistry at our own parties. I seem to work particularly well with Ida, Alan, and Joseph, for whatever reason.
Who are your favorite techno live acts?
There have been rumors in the past of an impending Adam Beyer album. Is this something that fans can expect from you?
Yes, it will be released on September 30th, 2013.