UMEK Picks The Best in Peak Time, Driving and Hard Techno

UMEK picks a few killer selections from Beatport’s new [Peak Time/Driving/Hard] section.

Considering the amount of nagging from users who struggle to get through thousands of releases in today’s hyper-productive world, the never-ending debate on what is and isn’t techno and how tracks on Beatport are listed, I believe splitting one genre selection into two distinct sub-departments was the right decision. The separation will help people find music they are looking for faster while giving everybody the ability to dig for all genres and sub-genres freely. I believe both styles are still very much techno, but at the same time, I’ll hopefully save an hour or two every week searching for the music I need for my sets and know where most of the tracks I might like are hiding.

In a way, this also reflects the growth of the techno scene. When I started to DJ back in the early ’90s, you could hear everything from house to techno, breakbeat, drum & bass, and a bunch of other genres at the same party on one floor in one night. Fast-forward a couple of years, the scene has split, and mixing all styles in one room became very rare. Later, as the audience grew, the genre-based scenes have started to separate further, and in recent years it’s become quite normal that somebody who listens to a specific style of techno doesn’t listen to other shades of the genre at all. Beatport’s decision to divide its techno section into two well-defined categories — [Peak Time/Driving/Hard] and Techno [Raw/Deep/Hypnotic] — is merely catering to what’s happening at festivals and in clubs all over the world.

Another good outcome of the split is the fact that producers with a less mainstream sound will now have a better chance for their releases to get noticed, allowing for additional breakthroughs in various techno circles that would not have happened otherwise.

UMEK – Cybernetic Implant (Original Mix) [1605]

“Cybernetic Implant” is a melodic techno track of mine that I absolutely adore. To be honest, I love all my tunes, but from time to time, there is a track that I’m very proud of, and this is definitely one of those. I have high expectations for this track, and I hope it will touch many hearts.

Spektre – What Once Was Lost (Original Mix) [Kraftek]

This track is truly something else in the world of techno. It has a very interesting synth line, and I love the innovative use of the pluck sound with hammer beats.

Ramon Tapia – Last Step (Original Mix) [Say What?]

My “DJ Crystal Ball” predicted the success of this track long before its release, and it turned out I was right! So many people asked about this when I played the demo, that I just knew it would be big. Honestly, I’m not surprised, as this Moog-like arpeggiated synth line combined with pounding beats always moves people on the dancefloor.

Mha Iri, Abyssvm – Phyllotropis (Original Mix) [Insectum Records]

This is such a powerful track with some colossal rave leads. I’ve been playing this one for a while now, and never disappoints — the crowds love it.

Teenage Mutants – Return (Original Mix) [1605]

What a melody this monster track has! It somewhat reminds me of the ’80s era but with a modern 2020 twist. The break will make you move for sure!

Dok & Martin – Feeling of Glory (T78 Remix) [Autektone Records]

This track has some great raw beats with stellar rave sounds. I’d describe it as big, bigger, and the biggest altogether.

Sven Sossong – Super Soaker (Original Mix) [Complexed Records]

In the era where arrangements and automatics are more crucial than ever, every detail counts, but for this track, saying “less is more” is more than accurate. It’s so simple, so minimal, yet so effective.

Julien Earle – Interstellar (Original Mix) [Reload Black Label]

I first heard of Julien when I listened to his deconstruction of my tune, and right there and then, I knew there was something about him. He’s a new and up-and-coming talent with exhilarating tracks. I’m currently playing a few of his tunes, and they all work really well. Such powerful stuff for a producer that’s this young and new to the scene!

Mark Michael – Solar System (Original Mix) [IAMT]

This track reminds me of a theme song in a very cool TV series that I enjoy watching. Can you guess which one? An effective track with a huge break and drop.

Quench – Dreams (UMEK Version) [1605]

I can definitely describe this track as “big room techno” for peak hour! It’s one of my favorite trance tunes off all time, and I’m very proud I was able to release it.



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