In Focus with Adam Beyer!
In Focus with Adam Bayer
Adam Beyer – It would be an understatement to say that you ‘might’ have come across this name if you are a dance music fan. Even as a music lover not biased towards a genre, you should know that this is a man who is a DJ in the truest and purest sense. Adam Beyer has moved leaps and bounds beyond being just a performer and has come to be recognised by the signature he leaves on everything he does.
I consider Adam Beyer as a true TECHNO loyalist, and by the time you are done reading this, you would as well. The Swedish DJ/Producer and owner of the globally acclaimed label, Drumcode (which is home to the likes of Christian Smith, Joseph Capriati, Marco Carola and Nicole Moudaber among others) has been on a relentless pursuit of the genre since the early 90’s. His work with Drumcode (and other smaller labels) coupled with his evolution as an artist has ensured his position as a leader of the burgeoning Swedish and global Techno scene.
As a fan and someone who lives and breathes Techno, I jumped at the chance to exchange emails with him and document our conversation. While we were going back and forth with our Q&A, his first India tour was confirmed, news of which might be made public by the time this issue is out. Plus, there’s scoop on his upcoming album, the first since ‘Ignition key’ (2002) and news about his labels – since that is a big role he juggles along with his career as an artist. Naturally, we started our chat from there….
We’ve loved your work as a DJ but as a label owner, how do you manage to run 3 successful labels (Drumcode, Truesoul and Mad Eye) while keeping up with your super busy career?
It has always been difficult, but I’m also a family man now with 2 children and have a busy weekly gig schedule on top of that, so trying to find the balance is tricky. Thankfully, we have an expansive operation in place now and I have a management team that works closely with me, but as far as the label goes, I still deal with all the artists directly in the initial A&R stages. Once the release is completely ready musically, my team gets involved and takes it from there.
What can we look forward to with each of your 3 labels?
Well, we have lots of releases coming up on Drumcode. Over the next 6 months, we have artist albums from Joseph Capriati and Dustin Zahn and singles from Sam Paganini, Harvey Mckay, Kaiserdisco, Luigi Madonna and Alan Fitzpatrick. For Truesoul, we have the ‘You Know’ release from Ida and me as well as a new ‘Reset Robot’ album. I only release stuff on Madeye when I have something specific by myself that fits, so I only release tracks there very occasionally.
The Capriati and Zahn albums are great news indeed and with such phenomenal releases coming up, sustaining this flow must be pretty tough… So how do you go about choosing what releases go on the labels? Are you personally involved in each of them?
Yes, I always deal directly with all the artists in the initial A&R process. For me as a label owner I feel its essential I maintain that role. Also, I’m very strict about quality. On many occasions releases will take months to come together with tracks going backwards and forwards until the final release is ready. I could never compromise on that aspect, as it’s one of the strongest foundations on which the label is built.
Does Ida (Engberg) play a big part in the decision making process for the labels?
Yes, she is working a lot now on the A&R for Truesoul. Actually, she recently put together and presented a mini compilation on the label called ‘Collage’.
So who’s your favorite Drumcode artist and why?
That’s impossible to answer. They are all special in their own individual ways.
Agreed. Moving onto you, in terms of releases, what’s next?
A short while ago I released the ‘Unanswered Question’ EP, which I made with Ida and we also have a track that is coming out on Truesoul called ‘You Know’. I will be releasing more solo material in 2014.
You recently posted a picture on Facebook with the caption ‘Working on my next album’ – what’s that all about… Can you give us some insider info?
Yes, I’m about to start work on my brand new album for Drumcode that I hope to release at the end of 2014. My last album was released in 2002, so this has been a long time coming and I’m really looking forward to it.
And there was another picture of a Drumcode – Adam Beyer shoe on which the comments went quite berserk. I would buy one too to be honest, but what’s the deal?
Haha! Well I would never release a shoe with my name on it. That one was just for the purposes of the post, but we are looking at some new Drumcode merchandise lines at the moment. One of those is a new shoe, but it’s still in the development stages and we will release more details very soon regarding that and the other merchandise.
A lot of Techno artists have visited and toured here, so has anyone shared any stories about India with you and are you aware of the way Indians are now embracing underground electronic dance music?
No, not directly, but I will experience it first hand for myself in a few weeks, which is obviously much better. As for the love from fans, I have noticed it starting to really happen considering several other key underground figures such as Richie Hawtin and Dubfire have played some very good shows there recently.
We’ve been working hard on pushing the Techno scene in India with our agency, UnMute, even though most of the artists that come here every weekend are from the commercial dance music scene! What are your views on the colossal rise of ‘EDM’?
It is somewhat misleading to think that dance music has been huge commercially in Europe for decades… The colossal rise in the US and other sub continents has obviously been a more recent occurrence, but is to be expected. Any musical movement that gets very popular will inevitably become commercial wherever you are.
Do you think at some point commercial ‘EDM’ has helped push the underground scene?
I certainly think there is more interest in all forms of dance music in general, particularly in the US. With the huge focus on commercial dance music, there has certainly been an increased focus on more underground genres as well.
We hear we might be seeing you soon, but when exactly can we expect to hear you LIVE in India?
I am playing at Sunburn festival in Mumbai on the 15th November and in Bangalore on the 16th November.
We can’t wait! See you soon Adam and a BIG THANK YOU from the Euphoric and UnMute family for taking time out to speak with us.
No problem, it was a pleasure and I look forward to seeing you all soon.
Interviewed by Dev Bhatia