If you want a snapshot of where techno stands in any given year, and a preview of where it’s headed, look no further than Drumcode’s A-Sides compilation. Since 2012 it has marked the label debuts of countless vital Drumcode artists and affiliates, from Layton Giordani, Wehbba and Boxia, to Amelie Lens and ANNA, no less. Every year, new names are unearthed, tried and true techno contributors serve up their best, and icons of the industry land their debut on Adam Beyer’s storied label.
The 2020 edition hits with 13 tracks, eight coming from label debutants. There’s Eats Everything searing rave bomb ‘Organico’ and Dubfire’s ice-cool electro offering ‘Deadbug’, both artists landing their maiden contributions to DC after long affiliations with Beyer. With three EPs in less than two years on Truesoul, Oscar L steps up to DC, showing the breadth of his sound palette with a soaring, synth-laden gem ‘Dark Fate’. Belgians Joyhauser featured at last year’s Drumcode Festival paving the way for ‘Fierceness’, a beautiful melody-drenched cut befitting their DC cap. Anfisa Letyago is another first timer and shows why she’s one of the scene’s most highly touted new artists with the brooding beast ‘Are You In’. A growing label favourite, Juliet Fox follows up ‘Was Beautiful’, her superb track on last year’s A-Sides, with ‘Our Fantasy’, reinforcing her skill for crafting anthemic techno compositions. Thomas Schumacher & Victor Ruiz link and the result is ‘Intuit’, a sleek futuristic roller that hits you square between the eyes. Other highlights come from longtime Drumcode cohorts Reset Robot and Harvey McKay, who both dish up premium works, reinforcing their classy productions nous.