BnB Interviews Drumcode’s Adam Beyer

Adam Beyer

He’s one of the most prominent names in the field of no-nonsense techno: Adam Beyer. The Swedish DJ/producer and owner of the lauded Drumcode label has been pursuing the delicate sound of techno since the early 90s, after which he rapidly established himself as one of the globe’s most popular artists in the field of fierce, thunderous but always organic techno music.

Adam first surfaced in the early 90s after being influenced to start DJing by local radio channels through which he had his first encounter with electronic music. Not long after, Adam Beyer met Joel Mull and the two soon started producing their own tracks. After releasing his Decoded album, Adam launched his Drumcode label in 1996 and soon found himself gigging at festivals across Europe. As he grew bored with the homogenous sound of techno, the early 00s saw Adam experimenting with a more minimal sound, a genre that would later be labeled as “minimal” and would soon make him one of the key players in this movement.

Nowadays, Adam Beyer continues to push the envelope as an artist whose aim it is to reach out and go beyond where others simply tend to rest on their laurels after a hit record or two. Sure, he’s made it to the big league with classic tunes such as Rippin’ and Dippin’ (under his Mr. Sliff guise), as one half of the Collabs100 outfit (with Speedy J), and as manager of the extremely popular Drumcode imprint but that does’nt stop him from avidly exploring the many facets in electronic music.

As for Drumcode, things may have been on the down low for the past few years, but the label is back on its feet again and it’s stronger than ever. With a truckload of hot music in the pipeline including sterling collabs with Alexi Delano to be released in August- things are looking bright for those who prefer their techno intelligent and organic.

Make sure to check out Adam performing at the South West Four festival on August 28/29 on Clapham Common in London!

We went or a chat with Adam Beyer about his current projects, music production magic, Drumcode, and much more.

Hi Adam, thanks for taking the time to speak with us. How are you doing?

Amazing thank you. Just moved to a new house with my girlfriend, we got stables and nature all around us, never thought it would have such a great impact on me.

What have you been up to the past couple of month? Any cool on-the-road stories you’d like to share?
Loads of gigs per usual, moving house, building new studio and doing some essential changes to my life.

After a period of relative silence, your Drumcode label now seems to be fully back on its feet again with releases by Slam and Alan. D. Fitzpatrick amongst others. What made you increasing its release frequency?  Would you say its vision has been redefined?   

Yes, it must have been somewhere around 2005-2006 when I slowed the label down for a bit due to all the similar music flooding the market,.I also took more interest in the emerging minimal scene which felt really fresh at the time. But after a while I was missing the slightly edgier stuff in techno and I felt that Drumcode still had an important role to play in the market, since all of the original artists where more spread out both musicaly and geographically. I decided to open up the label to anyone and go for it, see how far I could take it and push it to the limit.

Drumcode seems to return to that rolling, looped techno sound that used to mark its discography. How would you describe the evolution Drumcode’s gone through over the course of its existence?

I think Drumcode always had quite a clear and focused vision, to release unpretensious quality techno aimed at the dancefloor. If u would compare the old releases from the mid 90’s to todays stuff u would still recognise the energy and ideas, obviously it was dirtier back then, today everything is more precise and detailed.

I see Drumcode as the people’s label, always hugely popular by fans and DJs, never looking for credibility or unnecessary press. Drumcode has its own course, trends come and go, we might flirt with them but we don’t sell ourselves to them. We are not sentimental, we believe in progress, yet still, u always know what to expect.

Next to Drumcode, you also own and manage the Mad Eye and Truesoul labels. What can we expect from these labels in the future?
For Truesoul we have an amazing Joel Mull album in the pipeline and next up on Mad eye is a record from me and Alexi Delano collabing for the first time.

Can you reveal a bit of what you’re working right now in terms of productions, projects and remixes?

I have 2 records coming up this month, one on Mad Eye and one on Drumcode. Both are collaborations with my old friend Alexi Delano. Apart from that I am mostly focusing on my new radio program that will be broadcasted around the world at various stations from August onwards. I’ve always liked radio as a medium and it´s super exiting to have my own show!

We’re in the middle of the festival season and your traveling schedule must be extremely hectic. What keeps you going?
U need to find your own balance with food, partying, training etc. If u manage to do that it actually doesn´t feel that hectic.. I take day by day as they come. If i would sit and worry about having 14 gigs in a month it would ruin my mood, so it´s better to just do what u need to do that day.

Are there any gigs you’re especially looking forward to in coming months?
Cocoon at Amnesia Ibiza, Global Gathering, T In The Park, Monegros, Vollt, Cavo Paradiso, Drumcode @ Space Ibiza, SW4, etc etc.

Can you reveal a tip of how you work in the studio? Do you start completely blank or do you work from a certain point of view?
Usually I start of completely blank, a Kick drum, a bunch of sounds or synth lines. Playing around with stuff until I find something I like and keep building from there.

Speaking of music production, What is your favorite piece of gear and why should it be in everyone’s studio?
Maschine by Native instruments really impressed me, other than that u just need a computer and your own imagination.

How do you see yourself in twenty years from now?
Deaf and very satisfied with a great life and career, hopefully still working in the industry.

Is there anything else you would like to share with your audience that we haven’t covered yet? Anything goes!
Look out for Drumcode radio on a FM radio near you.