Swedish Techno Invades Vegas

If you thought this was going to be about Swedish House Mafia, I’m sorry. Hope­fully you’ll find this better.

I am of course, lis­ten­ing to an Adam Beyer set as I write. Want to know what beats are dri­ving me? Click here

I’m pretty sure Swe­den hasn’t invaded any­where since… Abba? The first Ikea in the US? This guy?

The Swedes are bet­ter at a lot of things than most: pro­duc­ing tall beau­ti­ful peo­ple (mostly blond), DIY mod­ern fur­ni­ture, and techno. And there’s no bet­ter ambas­sador to send than Adam Beyer.

Elec­tric Zoo New York 2009

Along with Joel Mull and Cari Leke­busch, and oth­ers, Beyer is one of the pio­neers of the Swedish arm of the techno fam­ily tree. His label, Drum­code, has been at it for almost two decades, and with it, the scene and his own music has evolved.

The past few times I heard him play in 2012, he’d been run­ning a lit­tle tech-housey for my tastes, but he unleashed a full on techno assault at Body Eng­lish. It was a ride unlike any­thing I’d seen in a Vegas club before — about a third of the way into his set, the peo­ple who had no idea who he was got bored and left the dance floor (lit­er­ally, that’s what I heard peo­ple say­ing. “This is bor­ing!” Seri­ously.) There was also appar­ently a huge con­tin­gent of folks who had stopped going out years ago that made it out to see him. This is a huge deal for Vegas, a techno DJ head­lin­ing an actual club.

Adam Beyer!

Sadly, I’m not a trainspot­ter, so I can’t give you blow by blow details of what tracks he played. But I can safely say that dur­ing his two hour set he didn’t dumb it down. He didn’t hold back. He didn’t lighten it up. He played as great of a deep and dri­ving techno set as I’d heard from him in a long time. If you’re lis­ten­ing to the Berghain set I posted at the top, it’s the same vibe and almost the same inten­sity, just com­pacted because his Vegas set was way shorter.

Open­ers and Las Vegas locals AB and Bad­Beat of BePM laid a great tag team, tech house foun­da­tion down before Beyer took the stage. Was my first time see­ing these guys, they’re doing good stuff in Vegas.

I’m also look­ing for­ward to upcom­ing per­for­mances at Body Eng­lish by Gre­gor Tresher and Joseph Capriati, who also have releases on the Drum­code label. These two, while very cool choices, are not obvi­ous choices for a foray into techno for a city that has never had a huge techno fol­low­ing. Will be inter­est­ing to see how this all goes. I hope it goes well.

I’ll save my words about Vegas door poli­cies for another post. Let’s just bask in this techno glow for a lit­tle bit longer.

Here’s The Best of Drum­code 2012 on Drum­code Radio by Adam Beyer for your lis­ten­ing pleasure.

Body Eng­lish photo by Hew Bur­ney
Adam Beyer at Berghain set cour­tesy of Medellin Style
Best of Drum­code 2012 set cour­tesy of Drum­code Radio

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