Founded by the "Burden Brothers" ( Octave One, Random Noise Generation ) as sub-label to the already highly successful 430 West Records, Direct Beat looking back could be said to have been much more than just another label; it was a pioneering platform for the 2nd wave of Techno; commonly referred to as "Detroit Techno Bass", that would go on to influence so many different genres and countries over the decade it was in business, and yet another decade since going defunct, that its impact is still in many ways being felt across the world.
The label's first release was in 1993, with the debut and only actual release by Rich Lee, featuring the classic tracks "Rock So Hard", and "Guerilla Warfare". Not long after, the debut of one of the music's biggest and most influential duos would come into being, with the release of Aux 88's "Technology"; a 12" single that included 2 versions of the title track and took Detroit and the rest of the world by storm. This record would in many ways become the catalyst to the proliferation of this new Detroit sound, even giving new life to Miami's own version of the Techno Bass sound, which in many ways faced an existential threat with the declining car audio market, also reviving the lost sounds of Electro Funk in a newly revised fashion that garnered lots of new support from all corners of the world at the height of the Rave scene days.
In 1995, Direct Beat returned with the debut release by Yanu, with "B50 Lab Experiment", followed by Aux 88's "Aux Quadrant", and Optic Nerve's "Trilogy - Wave" series. Yanu would soon return to the label with "Volume 1", quickly followed by one of Aux 88's most iconic releases: "My Aux Mind". Subsequent releases included the "Xperience De Bass" compilation, as well as Will Web's label debut "Cosmic Driveby". This year would also see the return of Yanu with the "Hatdance EP", as well as Aux 88 with the "Direct Drive" 12".
Throughout the rest of the 90's, Direct Beat continued on a consistent path with about 10 or so releases per year, the most fruitful years being '95 and '96, and beginning its decline in 1997, finally culminating in 1999 due to mostly unknown reasons, though it is known the label in many ways unraveled due to inside politics and corruption on behalf of management. Some of the most notable releases throughout that period were titles like the return of Will Web with "Extraterrestrial Phunk" ( 1996 ), Mad Mike as Electric Soul with "X2" ( 1996 ), Aux 88's iconic "Electrotechno" 12" ( 1996 ), Posatronix's "Danz/142 MPH/Night Vision" ( 1997 ), Aux 88's "I Need To Freak" ( 1998 ), and Di'jital's "From The Mind Of The Master" ( 1999 ). The label's discography was also licensed to Clone Records in 2009, which brought us the "Direct Beat Archives 1", and included classic tracks by Microknox ( Also as Aux 88 ), Will Web, Di'jital, DreBrown, Posatronix, and Exile. Its unclear if Clone will continue with the series, as it has been nearly 5 years since the release, but hopefully we will continue to see a return of such influential material, even if through other labels including that of the artists themselves.
Written by: Santino Fernandez