With 2016 marking 20 years of Drumcode Records we spoke to Adam Beyer about his relationship and connection to London’s techno community. From the early days at Great Suffolk Street warehouse to Tobacco Dock, Drumcode Halloween has become a highlight for techno lovers who’ve made the pilgrimage from far and wide. Now with all roads leading to Junction 2, it’s time for next chapter of the story. Underneath the concrete bridge, the Drumcode stage will be something totally different to what the city has seen before.
London memories, what have been the highlights?
Adam – “There are so many to choose from its hard to highlight just one. The progression from the first Drumcode show has just been fantastic from the early Great Suffolk Street shows to the Tobacco Dock show last year in 2015 being particularly special. There have also been some incredible moments that are non Drumcode related. The 6 hour solo set in 2011 was highly memorable and I also really enjoyed playing long sets at fabric and have done for many years. London is one of those very special cities where you feel a solid connection to the audience, who are very switched on musically.”
And what about the previous guests at Drumcode shows?
Adam – “When we program Drumcode shows we try and keep a balance between our core acts who are usually writing material for the label alongside acts that we respect and we feel compliment the core sound and ethos of the label. So the core group over the last few years would consist of acts like Alan Fitzpatrick, Ida Engberg, Joseph Capriati, Bart Skils, Nicole Moudaber, Paul Ritch and Sam Paganini. More recently we’ve booked other acts such as Dense & Pika and Luigi Madonna. Then for bigger shows we will invite other acts such as PanPot, Maceo Plex, Nina Kraviz and Scuba – all of whom we have a great deal of respect for.”
Any new artists discovered over the last year?
Adam – “There are many acts that we have welcomed to both Drumcode and Truesoul over the last year all of whom were already releasing music. For Drumcode that list would include Dense & Pika, Mark Reeve and Marco Faraone then for Truesoul we’ve had Clio, Tiger Stripes, Paride Saraceni, The Junkies, Pablo Say, Kevin Over and Patrick Topping all releasing music.”
And what about the wider team that support yourself and the labels?
Adam – “We now have a very large operation spanning both labels, the Drumcode radio show, Drumcode club shows, my solo gigs, B2B performances with Ida and merchandise as well as many other things. So I have a management team at a company called Bigfoot who take care of everything day to day. I’ve worked with my manager Jeremy for 20 years now so he has a very good insight into what I want and how I like things to be done…
… He has a great team around him all of who are responsible for different aspects. Then I have my tour manager responsible for everything whilst I’m are on the road. Alongside them there is a larger group consisting of various booking agents globally , a PR team based in both Europe and the US, the radio show production company who take care of the show, promoters, artwork designers, physical and digital distribution companies as well as a logistics team and finance people. The goal that we try to achieve is for Jeremy and his team to co-ordinate all of this leaving me to concentrate on my dj performances, radio shows, writing music and A&R for the labels.”
Can you tell us a bit more about the curation of the Drumcode stage at Junction 2?
Adam – “So we are hosting the Drumcode stage at Junction 2 and as usual we have a mix of regular Drumcode acts and outside guests. Alongside myself we have Alan Fitzpatrick who has been at the very core of the label’s activity since 2009. He has been the label’s most prolific producer over the last 8 years or so and someone that plays on most of our shows. Ida Engberg is another regular act performing at the label shows. She brings her own unique groove to the party and like Alan is extremely central to our event plans. Then we have Carl Craig performing his Modular Pursuits live set. He is one of the techno producers that I respect the most, and has made so many incredible releases and remixes over the years its hard to keep track of them all. We also have Pan-Pot who bring the party with their own unique energy. They always do a fantastic job when we book them for Drumcode events. Boxia is kicking off proceedings. He is someone that caught my attention a while ago. He played a fantastic set before me on New Years day at Tobacco Dock. So often these guys that get the party started in the right way are overlooked but its a very pivotal role. All in all its a very balance line up – something that we always aim to achieve at our shows.”