Today Meoko presents you a double interview with Cinthie and Diego Krause. These Berlin based deep house DJ’s, producers and record label owners are on the verge of breaking through into the music world with their amazing labels – Beste Modus and Unison Wax. Soon they will release a third label, which they clear out in the interview. With some personal questions we got to know the people behind these record labels. This cheerful duo also explain us their background, their love for Berlin and their vision on the music industry.
Hey guys! Let’s start out getting to know you by asking some personal questions. What is your favourite vacation destination?
Cinthie: I like Thailand. You have so many different islands, which are wonderful. It is also nice that you can hang out at the beach. It can be very relaxing.
Diego: Actually, I like traveling to cities. Paris for example is a great destination!
Your favourite party destination?
Cinthie: [laughs] Paris again for both of us I guess. France in general is really on fire at the moment. When I started out as a DJ, more than 15 years ago I played many French records, but then it diluted somehow. Luckily the French started a revival.
Diego: And Berlin? [laughs] But for us it is becoming quiet boring now, because it is our hometown, but that applies for everyone I guess. We live in between Berghain and Watergate. A change of setting is sometimes good for your brain.
Your favourite movie?
Cinthie: My favourite actor is Danzel Washington. He played in a movie I watched already a million times: The Bone Collector. I am really into crime stories.
Diego: There are many movies I like, but it is difficult to pick just one for me.
Your favourite dish?
Cinthie: Oh! Indian food.
Diego: I think I would say Mexican food.
Cinthie: No, wrong he is lying. It is pizza.
Diego: Of course yes, actually it is pizza.
Cinthie: He eats it everyday for breakfast [laughs].
We got to know the people behind the music a little bit. Let’s hop to the city you live in. You are based in Berlin. Is it the place to be right now?
Diego: Yeah I think so. I always wanted to go somewhere else. All my life I wanted to explore other cities, but after a week I miss Berlin. I don’t really see myself moving away from this beautiful city in the near future.
Cinthie: For me too. Berlin is amazing. There are so many artists living here at the moment. It is creative city. But I am missing something in Berlin. People in Berlin tend to choose for the easy and secure way. We need some risk-takers here. But still, this is the place to be!
What are your favourite parties in Berlin?
Cinthie: There are a couple of nice parties we used to go to in the past. Submarine at Watergate always has these raw underground house DJ’s. Homopatik at ://about blank is a night we often visit. The club nights at Panoramabar/Berghain are always nice. But at the moment we play quiet a lot. We don’t really have time to go to parties anymore.
Diego: Yeah, Homopatik is a nice party. They do not publish the line-up, but it is always about the vibe and the music. The music is always good! I also want to add a party from a friend, which is called Grime Box. It is at Griessmuehle, not a new club, but they changed a lot of things now and it has a really great sound system. This club has a lot of potential.
You guys are now living in Berlin, but is that also the place where you grew up?
And the rest of the crew from Beste Modus?
Diego: Ed Herbst and stevn.aint.leavn are from the suburbs. But actually you can call them Berliners as well. Albert Vogt moved here from the East German city Jena.
Where did you meet each other?
Diego: [laughs] Actually that is a very long story!
Cinthie: Yeah, basically the boys met each other doing music 7 years ago.
Diego: And Cinthie we met a couple of years ago, when we already formed the crew. But at that time we were actually making hip-hop oriented music. We met her at a club night.
Cinthie: I showed the boys the right way, kicked them out of the ghetto [laughs]. They started getting into house music and I was just pushing them more and more towards that direction I guess.
And how did you evolve into the house music scene?
Diego: I was into hip-hop and experimental music. Back in the days the switch to house music seemed a whole different world, but after producing a couple of years you see the same parallels between house and hip-hop. House music is faster, but you have the same groovy baselines. It is the same technique actually. Cinthie listened to house music all here life!
Cinthie: [laughs] Yeah, my parents collected some records. Obviously not house music, but a little bit of disco. At the time I also started collecting records and I started working in a record shop when I was 16 in the mid-90s. I also listened to Detroit techno and groovy stuff.
Do you share a studio with your gang?
Diego: We did share one. Cinthie has a whole studio complex that she runs with a lot of other artists such as Ben Klock, DVS1 and other techno artists. But now we all use our own equipment.
Cinthie: The thing is I have a kid and I used to have a job, which I don’t have anymore, because of a lack of time. I could only go to the studio until I had to pick up the kid from school. Actually I am more creative in the night, so I moved my stuff back home.
Diego: I always worked home. But with the studio we had the possibility to use it and we hang out there with the gang for collaborations.
You do only vinyl releases on both labels. Can you explain me why you chose for that?
Cinthie: In the beginning the boys did some digital stuff, but I only play with vinyl. I am also a software developer and I am sitting in front of the computer the whole time. It is difficult for me to recognize mp3’s; with vinyl it’s much easier!
Diego: I think with digital releases your music is more likely to stay under the radar. Especially when you put so much effort in making music, it is not something what you want.
First you started Beste Modus, which was also an event first, right?
Cinthie: Yeah, we started to make some parties for several reasons. We tried to make some money for the record label and it is also a good way to expand your network.
Later it also became a record label. What was the purpose to start up a record label? And what did you want to achieve with it?
Cinthie: For me, I am DJ’ing for 19 years now. I had a lot of ups and downs. I released my first EP in 2000 and I was travelling the world. Then, I did some illegal parties in Berlin. Later I got more into producing again and I was with Keinemusic for a while but then I had a kid, so I had to quit for a year. I started DJ’ing again. I always had bookings, but I didn’t feel like I got any further with it. Then I met these talented boys and I had some money saved up. So I would spend it all on shoes and clothes or I would do something useful with it. And so we tried to start up this record label!
Beste Modus is also known for their label nights in Berlin. Can you tell me something about that?
Cinthie: When we started the record label I contacted everyone in the scene in Berlin to let the boys get used to the different sound-systems and of course I wanted to spread our name, so I used all my contacts. We played in many clubs in Berlin so far. Now, we have a residency at Watergate and we also have frequent parties at ://about blank, which is more underground. There is also another outdoor location, which is called Ipse. We will throw a party there with SlapFunk and Music Is Love in June.
Unison Wax came a little later. Can you tell me something about the purpose of that label and the difference between Beste Modus.
Diego: I was producing so much music. I had too much spare time I guess. I didn’t like sending out demos because nobody got back to me. When we started off Beste Modus, we could finally bring out what we wanted, but it took a while for it was being released. When it was released I already felt my music was out-dated. So, I was thinking of starting my own label and Cinthie helped me with it.
Cinthie: For me it was sad to see, because Diego was always sending me tracks and I really liked them, but he couldn’t get them released. Beste Modus is a label where we release a record with the whole crew. Some of our guys are still studying, so it could take a while before we eventually released something. Diego is a much faster producer, so why not try to start Unison Wax especially for him and get his music out.
Diego, you recently launched a record on the famous Apollonia label, how did that feel?
Diego: Great! Dan Ghenacia got in touch with me last year and he wrote me that he played my record in the BBC essential mix they recorded. I was enthusiast about it of course. We talked a bit further and then he asked me to send him some tracks. At that moment I had five tracks finished and Dan came back to me six hours later and they picked three of them, which was really nice!
This year you are starting up a third label called Beste Freunde. Why did you start off this label?
Cinthie: I thought I don’t have enough work to do, so let’s create something new [laughs]. No, the thing is that so many friends, who are great producers at the same time, surround us. We thought we should do something with them before anyone else steals them [laughs]. We didn’t want to put them on Beste Modus, because it is just for our crew, but we created a kind of sub label - Beste Freunde (Best Friends) because they are actually all friends of us. We want to give them an opportunity to release some music, because we know how hard it is to get noticed.
Diego: It is always nice to support local people. I am sure there are a lot of great producer in South-America, but we are Berlin-based and we rather give a platform to local buddies.
What are your dreams for the future with the labels?
Cinthie: An interview with Meoko was always on my wish list [laughs].
Diego: I guess we want to make our music more international, bring it to the UK and other countries. Then support more people like we are now doing with Beste Freunde.
Cinthie: For me it is also important to let the labels grow and let us grow as artists. Now, we can make a living out of it and I hope this will continue. On the side, I have so many requests for studios in Berlin and I am looking for a second building and maybe built some kind of place where people can come and network with other creative minds in electronic music. There used to be a lot of concurrence, but I think people should work together more. I can already see in the studios that people are working together and if this studio didn’t exist, it would never happened.
On the 27th of March you will collaborate with London crew Half Baked. How did you come in contact with them?
Cinthie: For the last party we booked birthsmakingmachine and their booker asked me for a space in Berlin to celebrate the fifth birthday of Half Baked. And I could give them some space at ://about blank, because we were throwing a party there and we had two floors at our disposal.
Is there anything else we should know about you guys? Future plans, maybe a scoop for Meoko?
Diego: I am working on an album, but I don’t know yet if it is coming out this year.
Cinthie: We have a couple of cool party collaborations planned. We also have some releases on other labels coming up and we are going on a tour in Asia!
Thank you for the interview, best of luck with the music!!
This weekend fabric round off what’s been an excellent March 2015 with another enticing selection of DJs. In a month when Farringdon was visited by the likes of Ben Klock, Marcell Dettman and Raresh, this weekend may seem like a more understated affair. But with Room 3 closed, fabric have packed a load of top quality DJ’s into the lineup, including some real house and techno pioneers.
Michael Mayer is entrusted with the peak time Room 1 set. The Cologne man has been playing, making and selling records for decades, something that comes across in his sets. As well as pioneering the melodic house sound that Cologne is well known for, he is also a founding member of Kompakt through which he has been releasing diverse and reliable house records since 1998.
Alongside Mayer is his frequent label mate John Tejada, a prolific producer who has released around 15 LPs since 1991. While his sound is at home on Kompakt, he differs from Mayer in that his emphasis is on live performance not DJing. Shaun Soomro starts things off in Room 1, a familiar face at fabric. The accomplished crate digger is also the founder of Lick My Deck Records, which has released some great music from the likes of Ion Ludwig, Thomas Melchior and Petre Inspirescu.
Room 2 is hosted by the brilliant Sushitech label, which is based in Berlin and has a built up an impressive catalogue of deep and dark house and techno since 2005, to much acclaim.
Representing Sushitech is the US born, Berlin based Daniel Bell, which is a name that pops up all the time in the history of house and techno. A true pioneer and one of the first to combine techno with minimalist music, he was one half of Cybersonik with Ritchie Hawtin on Hawtin’s Plus 8 label and had a string of classic productions under his own DBX moniker in the nineties. He’s also helped set up four labels, Accelerate, 7th City, Elevate and Harmonie Park. Needless to say he’s an experienced DJ; he’s the sort of guy who’s influence has spread far across techno music.
Delano Smith is no less of a key player in the history of house. A key figure of the early Detroit house scene, he was part of Detroit Beatdown with Norm Talley and Mike Clark. Smith still releases exciting and relevant music to this day and like Bell, has more than enough DJing experience to keep everyone entertained.
Also on in Room 2 are Yossi Amoyal, founder and head of Sushitech; and Tobias, a man who very much does his own thing, producing and performing his brand of experimental, even avant-garde club music. It’s a top draw lineup, definitely worth getting down early, but be prepared to stay till the end.
Also to get you ready for saturday, click here to to read an interview with Yossi Amoyal and see what he, Daniel Bell and Delano Smith choose as their favourite Sushitech releases so far.
1Craig RichardsMichael MayerJohn Tejada (Live)Shaun Soomro2Sushitech RecordsDaniel BellDelano Smith Detroit (Official DJ Page)Tobias. (Live)Yossi Amoyal
"For those who know"
KIM – Vostok 01 (Tvir)
Tvir is a vinyl only label based in Ukraine. Translated from Ukrainian Tvir means 'composition'. Its first release comes from KIM, a collaboration of two Ukrainian musicians: Vyacheslav Gura and Dimitry Zharkikh. Their objective is to write music of the highest quality in search of their own new unique sound via experiments with live instruments. This release contains remixes from Patrick Klein, Voigtmann and Leo Pol.
Le Loup & Mr Georget – Shape 4 (Adult Only Special)
Adult Only Shape is back with an intriguing collaboration, between the mysterious Frenchie Monsieur Georget and young Parisian talent Le Loup. A combination of the old skool with the new skool, the sounds are just that. Each take a pounding bass and a solid minimal-tech stance and layer their character on top. Very cool!
Signal – Spacedrive (What.if)
Look out for a new vinyl only label - What.if is based in Barcelona. This is the debut EP from the mysterious duo Signal. The release includes great remixes from Levi Verspeek and Voigtmann. This new record label is promising and you should keep an eye on it!
Diego Krause – Unison Wax 03 (Unison Wax)
Diego Krause is here again with a new release on his own label: Unison Wax. This Berlin based deep house producer comes with an eclectic release this time. Two housy tracks, a dub techno track and a real hip-hop beat! Keep your eyes open on Meoko this week for more information about Krause ;-).
Italojohnson – Italojohnson 09 (Italojohnson)
This EP from Italojohnson offers up three jacking cuts of the most pure, organic, raw, dusty, deep underground house music to date. What else could you expect from three Germans who were weaned on a steady diet of Detroit and Chicago classics from the day they were born.
Mandingo – Another Dub On Earth (Black Catalogue)
Special dub version of Mandingos original track, another night on earth. This is an extended alternate version of the original which appears on bc009_909 modern underground v.3. It sounds like a spaced out house groove with some chicago style stabs, jamaica style rubs and detroit style chords. This is a strictly limited one-sided 12” release.
Barcelona in the middle of June will be the place to be for every music enthusiast and party guru around the world. Barcelona will form the stage for a gathering of the best parties, DJs and producers that will knock your socks off. All around this beautiful city, you’ll find venues both outdoor and indoor that you won’t find in your own country, unless you’re from Barcelona of course. It is also the place where you will meet your like-minded friends from all over the world to party with you. MEOKO makes the first selection of parties that are already known. Some parties are almost sold out, other ones still need to be confirmed, but one thing is sure: the OFF-WEEK is going to be spectacular!
Wednesday 17 June:
Loud&contact present: Tini and the Gang
If you arrive in the beginning of the week, the first party you should go to is: tINI and the Gang. German girl tINI has parties all around the world with her amazing DJ-friends. For this party she invites the live-act - Others, which are Daze Maxim and Bruno Pronsato. Molly, Topper and Sonodab will complete the line-up for your first day at Barcelona.
Venue: ZT Hotel Villa Olympica – in the garden of a nice hotel with swimming pool.
Time: 14:00 – 23:00
Price: €15 - €20
Thursday 18 June:
Loud&contact feat. O300f Pres. a:rpia:r Showcase
The Romanian arpiar trio comes again to the Off Sonar week in June. They don’t need an introduction anymore. These guys know how to rock the dance floor. For this party they bring the sympathetic Alexandra, who always brings a very fine selection of records to the parties. Further on the list there is Praslea, after the big tree of Romania, Praslea is maybe the most popular Romanian DJ at the moment. The party also provides a special guest, who will be announced soon.
Venue: Poble Espanyol picnic area, which gives you a small arena vibe when you’re standing in between the crowd.
Time: 14:00 - 01:00
Half Baked '5 Years of Love'
Half Baked has a series of parties in Barcelona during this mighty week. For the first one they invite some quality guests. Daniel Bell is definitely the coolest name of the line-up. Only to see him, Meoko would go. Also the master of productions Thomas Melchior will play his set there. Further on the line-up you can check out the live act by dOP. Another name to look out for is Hold Youth, which are Seuil and Le Loup. They play very cool house music if you haven’t heard of them before. Last but not least on the line-up: Mike Shannon. This amazing line-up will be completed by Half Baked residents Robin Ordell and Greg Brockmann.
Venue: Almogavers 86, which is a cosy club.
Time: 20:00 - 06:00
Price: €20 - €25
IR presents: Frrc by Ricardo Villalobos
Ricardo Villalobos! What more do I have to say? The grandmaster itself will be playing in Barcelona during the off-week. And if that is not enough, he will be accompanied by tree amazing DJ’s, who definitely deserve their stance next to Villalobos. First of all minimalistic techno producer Mathew Jonson is one of the added values on the line-up. Further, Sonja Moonear made a way to the top the last few years. With her pounding house music she gets everyone to dance! And last but not least the Japanese DJ/producer Fumiya Tanaka is coming too.
Venue: Poble Espanyol courtyard
Time: 16:00 - 01:00
Price: €30 - €40
Get Perlonized Open Air
Perlon, one of the most legendary record labels in the electronic music scene make their appearance during the off-Sonar week. The headliner for this party is of course Zip. He can make a party legendary with his breath-taking tunes. Along with Zip, Margaret Dygas is also coming to get you Perlonized. We are also excited to see Binh play! Soul Capsule and Sammy Dee will complete this awesome Perlonized line-up.
Venue: Poble Espanyol picnic area
Time: 14:00 - 01:00
Price: €20 - €25
Already two amazing parties on this day, but Яeturn is the party powered by Solid-AM, which is probably one of the most important and coolest music agencies in the scene. To start of this line-up, Onur Özer and Binh will be collaborating with their group called Treatment. Further, if you want to see an amazing live-act, Dewalta and Mike Shannon can bring you in an explosion of joy. Next up on this line-up is Janina. This German girl will blow you away with her soulful house music. Really recommended to go and see her! There will also be some special guests added to this line-up and these will not be disappointing!
Venue: Vetro Club, which has very big dance floor with a view on the beautiful garden where you can chill out.
Time: 23:59 - 07:00
Saturday 20 June:
Positive Tones is actually an after party starting at 6am. The DJ’s playing at this party are simply amazing. Nicolas Lutz always brings exceptional records you never heard of. Andrew James Gustav is also a great crate digger with a very cool sound. Further on this line-up: Laurine from the ever-growing Slow Life crew followed by Audio-In, who is together with Laurine) one of the many young and talented Italian DJ’s/producers of today.
Venue: Barts Club
Time: 06:00 - 14:00
Next Wave, the iconic Ibiza brand which is currently taking over the world with its unique sound will include Barcelona as one of it's exclusive destinations. The line-up is unfortunately not yet known, but their parties always have quality line-ups, so you cannot miss out on this one.
Venue: Fact Music Pool Series
Time: 13:00 – 22:00
Price: €22 - €25
Lola ED vs Half Baked Open Air
The guys of Apollonia will headline this selection of quality DJ’s. Apollonia is an amazing French label by Dyed Soundorom, Dan Ghenacia and Shonky. These tree guys are always prepared to give the audience a magical time. With their house tunes, they will create an amazing danceable vibe. The rest of the line-up will contain amazing DJ’s: The Mole (live), Fred P, Pit Spector (live), Djebali, D'Julz, Enrico Mantini, Greg Brockmann, John Dimas, Robin Ordell, Seuil, Terence :Terry: and Yakine.
Venue: Parc Del Forum
Time: 14:00 – 00:00
Price: €15 - €30
Sunday 21 June:
Toi.Toi.Musik 5 yrs / Hello?Repeat 10 yrs & What.if presents
A collaboration of tree amazing underground house music brands! This party will rock with an amazing line-up. Jan Krueger and Daze Maxim will provide beats as the Hello?Repeat Soundsystem. Further, there are two live acts: Half Hawaii and Ion Ludwig. Ludwig is maybe one of the most crazy, cool and driving artists of this moment. He is one of those guys, who can make a party legendary! Further there is Audio Werner, Nicolas Lutz and birdmakingmachine followed by talents Voigtmann, Lamache and Signal’. If you ask us, this is going to be a great party!
Venue: Vetro Club
Time: 16:00 – 06:00
Price: €20 - €25
Since its inception in 2007, SUNWAVES has accumulated a huge following, becoming a staple spring and summer event for those in love with good music. Paramount to the success of Sunwaves, has been the popularity of the influential Romanian underground scene, a scene well represented and best experienced here on the Romanian beach. The combination of local talent and artists of truly global appeal is an integral part of what makes SUNWAVES so special. In fact, both Resident Advisor and Pulse Radio recommended SUNWAVES as one of the best festivals to attend this Spring.
Although the lineup has not yet been announced for their first edition this year, which will take place from the 30th of April to the 3rd of May, SUNWAVES rarely disappoints. The festival welcomes artists from their booking agency, SUNRISE, like Raresh, Rhadoo, Praslea, Petre Inspirescu, Alexandra, Barac, Piticu, Gescu and many other Romanian talents who give the festival a distinctive and defining sound.
In 2014 the Romanian contingent were joined by the likes of Ricardo Villalobos, Richie Hawtin, Zip and Seth Troxler and it would certainly be no surprise to see names of similar weight appear on the lineup this time round. You can scrutinize some of the previous lineups here: http://www.residentadvisor.net/promoter.aspx?id=39183
True to its name, SUNWAVES is a party in the heat on the Romanian coast near Constanta.The combination of music and location meaning SUNWAVES tickets are normally in high demand. If you’re planning on going its worth getting tickets soon as well as thinking about accommodation and flights as soon as possible to get the best deal.
with "See you by the beach SW17" in the subject title.
Sunwaves 17th Edition
30 April - 3 May
Facebook event here
Easter is coming soon! Many people will have some days off to amuse themselves. The resurrection of Jesus has to be celebrated, but for those who rather go clubbing than go to church we have come up with the nicest parties in London during the long Easter weekend. Many great DJs from all around the world are heading to London to give you all a great time. Check out the list here and start making your plans!
Blueprint x Innervisions with Planetary Assault Systems, Ame, Surgeon at Studio Spaces E1
For our annual Maundy Thursday Blueprint Records party this year, we join forces with the mighty Innervisions, for a very special one-off collaboration!
Line-up :Planetary Assault Systems (live)
- Surgeon -
& James Ruskin -
- Marcus Worgull
- Special Guest:
Venue :Studio Spaces E1
Date:Thursday2 April 201522:00 - 08:00
Troupe present John Talabot, Roman Flugel & Capulet at Electric Brixton
Troupe (The keeper of dreams) will be enacted by a very special guest who will welcome you to the imaginarium and guide you to explore this elaborate dream.
Beyond your imagination, through your deepest emotions and into the extraordinary, they present the finest performers from around the globe to perform the dreams at unique locations and with an enthralling focus on the full plethora of aesthetics.
Line-up :John Talabot (Hivern Discs) -
Roman Flugel (Ostgut Ton & Phantasy)
- Capulet (Troupe Records)
- Fold (ManMakeMusic)
- Support from:
FYI Chris -
Mr Prince -
James Sison B2B Deelux Audio
- Gallardo -
Charlie Gill -
Venue :Electric Brixton
Date:Thursday2 April 201522:00 - 06:00
Secretsundaze Easter Special with DJ Qu, Mosca, Virginia, James Priestley & Giles Smith at The Laundry
So the scene is set for another epic night at The Laundry. Easter Thursday at secretsundaze is the perfect way to start the bank holiday weekend. You know what to do!
Line-up:DJ Qu -
Virginia - James Priestley -
Date:Thursday2 April 201522:00 - 06:00
Cartulis Day - Bye Bye Crucifix at Crucifix Lane
As you’ve probably heard, Crucifix Lane is next on the list of venues the capital has forced to close. After 5 years of Cartulis parties at this beloved space, we are sad to say that this will be the very last one. Join us for one special goodbye, and make this Easter holiday weekend a massive one!
International and local DJs will be spinning records for 15 hours straight, split between two rooms
Line-up:Obsolete Music Technology aka Steven Tang (live)
- Special Guest
- Andrew James Gustav
- DeadEcho - DAYV
- Unai Trotti - Raphael. - Jon Sojo - Remy Allocco
Date:Thursday2 April 201523:00 - 14:00
Seth Troxler, Robert Hood & Karenn Live & Route 94 at fabric
- Craig Richards -
Seth Troxler -
The Martinez Brothers -
- Robert Hood -
- Jasper James
Date:Saturday4 April 201523:00 - 08:00
Solo Danza Easter Bank Holiday Party W/ Margaret Dygas + Tobi Neumann at Secret Location
Solo Danza make fine use of the bank holiday easter weekend with a very special party on Saturday April 4th. Providing the on point sound track will be Osgut Ton’s definitive techno talent Margaret Dygas alongside a venerated veteran in Cocoon’s Tobi Neumann. Joining them are residents Dennis Christopher and Leroy Roberts.
Line-up:Margaret Dygas -
- Dennis Christopher -
Date:Saturday4 April 201522:00 - 06:00
Familia: La Ménagerie Fantastique: Dinky, Dana Ruh, Camea, Deborah De Luca, Melt Music London at Egg London
Familia is known for the unexpected and their Easter party offering does exactly that by bringing together four female headliners under one roof, a 'La Ménagerie Fantastique' of musical excellence that promises to take you on a journey of unchartered waters and pure delight.
hosted by Melt Music London
- Camea -
Deborah De Luca
- Fabio Ferro -
Ben Grunnell -
Nick Tcherniak -
hosted by Route One meets Retouch
Amir Groove (Ibiza Sonica) -
- Matt Hazelden (Route One)
- Johnny Fiore (Retouch)
hosted by Mistfit Little Sister
Date:Saturday4 April 201523:00 - 10:00
Half Baked 'Easter Special' 15 Hours Party with Motor City Drum Ensemble, Tama Sumo, Hold Youth at Studio 338
Studio 338 is back for 2015 with a new chill-out space to rest your legs if they start to get weary! Add to this some special Half Baked surprises, as well as live art we hope to bring you a bank holiday party that will leave you all smiling for weeks following the event!
Line-up:Terrace: Motor City Drum Ensemble [MCDE Recordings]
- Tama Sumo [ Ostgut Ton / Panorama Bar]
- Hold Youth AKA Seuil & Le Loup [ Eklo / Hold Youth / Half Baked Records ] -
Enrico Mantini [ Traxx Underground / Wilson Records ] -
Robin Ordell [ Eklo / Half Baked Records ]
Dan Andrei [ [A:RPIA:R] / Be Chosen ] -
Greg Brockmann [ Half Baked Records / Popcorn Rec ] -
Georgio Oniani & Nicola Cima [ DAMAGED / Artichokes ] -
Dean Marc & Jason Glanville [ Keep on Going ]
Date:Sunday5 April 201516:00 - 07:00
"de gustibus non est disputandum"
Tommy Vicari JNR – Eclipser 4 (Eclipser Chaser)
Tommy Vicari Junior brings us a great 4-tracker EP on Eclipser Chaser. He is a very talented producer and DJ! Side A contains some flavoured house tunes. Side B consists of some harder and faster beats. Excellent release!
Detroit Soul Factory – The Message (Housewax)
The Detroit Soul Factory releases in Housewax! Very nice house tunes. Meoko is fallen in love with the B-side: a proper house gem with a great bassline! ‘The Message’ was written and produced in the legendary Motor City, Detroit!
E.R. – Sew EP (1432 R)
Not very often house music comes out of the African continent, except for South Africa. But here is an Ethiopian producer: Ethiopian Records (born Endeguena Mulu). He is a musician based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. His productions are very divers, but the A-side is definitely cool and Meoko supports music that is been made in countries not famous for its dance music tradition!
Yakine – Galactic Halo (Lumières La Nuit)
"It was very important for me to give a dub-ish colour to this EP and propose something different than what people already know from me. ‘Pressure Feed’ is a tribute to all Maurizio’s tracks which I never get bored listening or playing. Regarding ‘Water Flood’, I wanted to produce something simple that stands far from the traditional 4/4 beat. I wanted to make it a break beat on the kick while bringing refined ambiance and atmospheric patches to it. Finally, ‘Cold Atom’ is the result of a permanent rhythmic evolution that embodies the vision I have of an astral trip, both dub and intense." Meoko likes this release and this label. We are very curious to listen to the next releases of Lumières La Nuit.
Andrea Fiorito – Voodoo Grooves Vol 1 (Cynosure)
After a year spent perfecting the sound and style of his latest project, Andrea Fiorito makes his highly anticipated return to Cynosure Recordings with 'Voodoo Grooves'! Cool A-side! Release: the 23th of March.
Delano Smith – A Tale of Two Cities (A Tale of Two Cities)
Delano Smith, Efdemin and Tobias on an ultra limited vinyl release! That must sound good! This is a mesmerizing techno record worth the buy!
Various Artists – Etui Winter Camp 3 (Etui Records)
Since the climate has slightly changed during the last years, its hard to talk about real winter in the northern hemisphere. However the world feels a bit colder these days. To keep your hearts warm, Etui Records has opened the winter camp again. Artists from Australia, Italy and Germany are delivering a musical fireplace of dub and deep techno. Very good release, A2 by Dandytracks is the cream of the crop!
Half Baked began life in 2009; it was a party that aimed to make Sunday afternoon and early Monday morning as vital as Saturday night for lovers of good music. Since then, Half Baked have been holding Sunday afternoon parties at various locations across East London, all the while treating loyal followers to some of the finest names in house music. In the last 6 months alone, the Half Baked residents have been joined at their monthly parties by the likes of: Baby Ford, Dyed Soundorom, Margaret Dygas, Zip, Valentino Kanzyani and Fumiya Tanaka. There should be no disappointment this time round as they present a lineup topped by Motor City Drum Ensemble and Tama Sumo.
Announced as the final special guest, MCDE is as renowned for his DJing talent as he is for his distinctive and game changing series of productions, most notably ‘Raw Cuts’ 1-6. As a DJ, MCDE displays his various disco, soul, house and occasionally techno influences. He’s a dedicated crate digger who delights in making the crowd smile, crafting sets that are often talked about long after by the people who were there to witness them.
Tama Sumo’s inclusion on the lineup is no less exciting. Part of the furniture in Berlin, she has held down some historic residencies at Tresor, Ostgut and Berghain. DJing regularly in the German capital since 1993, she has adopted many different styles of music into her repertoire and gained a reputation for long, expansive sets. Expect a varied collection of dark and bassy house and techno.
Alongside these two there are many more gems on the lineup including the French duo Hold Youth (Seuil & Le Loup), Romanian a:rpia:r affiliated Dan Andrei and Italian deep house veteran Enrico Mantini. You can check out the full lineup below, which covers 15 hours of music over 2 rooms.
Last but not least, it’s definitely worth mentioning that the party will be taking place on the massive terrace at Studio 338 in Greenwich. It’s a crazy venue which is perfect for a Sunday afternoon party. You can check out the feature we did on Studio 338 here.
with the words 'Half Baked Easter Special' in the subject.
Motor City Drum Ensemble [MCDE Recordings]Tama Sumo [ Ostgut Ton / Panorama Bar]Hold Youth AKA Seuil & Le Loup [ Eklo / Hold Youth / Half Baked Records ] Enrico Mantini [ Traxx Underground / Wilson Records ] Robin Ordell [ Eklo / Half Baked Records ]
Dan Andrei [ [A:RPIA:R] / Be Chosen ] Greg Brockmann [ Half Baked Records / Popcorn Rec ] Georgio Oniani & Nicola Cima [ DAMAGED / Artichokes ] Dean Marc & Jason Glanville [ Keep on Going ]
Giovanni Verrina is based in Italy, but seems to be more of a wandering spirit, collaborating with artists and playing in countries in Europe and beyond. Two countries that do deserve particular mention is Hungary and Russia. He co-runs the Hungarian based record label All Inn with his partners Coldfish and Polarize, and in Russia, he used to regularly play at the infamous Arma17. Even after the club was forced to close down, his ties with Moscow continued, and after playing at Rodyna, one of the capital’s most intimate of venues, he just couldn’t wait to share a part of his set to the enthusiastic clubbers that partied with him until the early afternoon, and of course, to the global audience of dance music fans. In the following interview we ask his thougts about Italy and Russia, about All Inn and its sublabels, and also about his very conceptual, artistic productions. Read on, and tune in to his mix on Meoko!
You are based in your home country, Italy, and even give your releases Italian names. It seems like you have a strong connection, despite your negative view about its present economic situation. Can you describe this relationship? Would you ever consider moving elsewhere?
Not only the economic situation is destroyed by Berlusconi and friends here, but consequently also the cultural situation. I see most of the people lobotomized in front of these realities (made by Berlusconi). They are blind from seeing the beauty of their country, and they just spend their lives throwing away money that they don't really have, and buying unnecessary shiny objects.
For now, I really can't relocate, as I have another job by day, but I think I wouldn't move anyway because I see the same shit in other countries too, so it’s not about the country you live in that can make you satisfied with your life, but the small circle of people that you care and respect all around the world.
The titles of your album, La Terra Trema, and the tracks that make up the EP, are all named after 1950s – 1960s Italian Neorealist films. You explained,“The neorealism was a time of cultural change and social progress in Italy”. To what extent do you wish for an “older” Italy?
The neorealism was a time of cultural change and social progress in Italy, these films presented contemporary stories and ideas, free of any sort of agenda, but more of a reflection of the times we’re living. This approach comes through in our music, no judgement, just observation ; without any influence or comparisons, without following any scheme, it just is.
Would you recommend your EP, La Terra Trema to a global audience?
Sure, music is for everybody, we use music as a unique language to connect people everywhere, then it is only a matter of taste.
Let’s talk a bit about Neorealist techniques and styles. In your productions, do you tend to avoid a structure? Your use of live instruments and recordings of real situations, would these techniques be considered “neorealist”?
I used that parallelism with Neorealism only for that album, that was a really important project for us, we worked on this for more than 2 years. As in every arts the techniques are just finalized to explain an idea/concept,it was just like an ideological comparison. We made that album in the classical way of making music with everything we have from an old analog machine like 808, 707, 303 or new stuff like electribe or OP-1 and of course sample.
Where do you usually look for and find inspiration?
I’m mostly inspired from the smallest things that surround me, like a simple walk, as I’m too lazy to run, but as Onur Ozer told me once I need to try it because it could be one of the biggest inspirations ever. Tomorrow i'll ask to my partner Ventura and I’ll let you know his thoughts as well :)
"I'm afraid of losing my obscurity. Genuineness only thrives in the dark. Like celery."
- from Aldous Huxley - Those Barren Leaves (1925).
What have been some of your most special releases?
I have to say "ll Pavone di Oz" out on O300f, the release was planned almost one year before the release date, and I was waiting for this for a really long time. The sound is pretty different compared to "La Terra Trema”. Definitely more housy, I think it was a spontaneous and natural evolution after that minimal, dark, hypnotic journey.
Of course I am looking forward to see on wax some very interesting stuff coming out in the next months.
You run All Inn Records with Hungarian artists Coldfish and Polarize. How did you three meet and how and why did you start collaborating together?
One of the first tracks I made was played by someone, and the guy from All Inn heard it and he started to ask people around if they know this track or the producer. Someone eventually put us in contact through Skype and Norbert and I started talking and sharing music. Soon after they forgot about that first track as it was a bit too raw and they released two EPs under the name, Sailor Mood (Giovanni Verrina and Orazio Bongiovanni) instead. As each day went by, my enjoyment of the label and the sound continued to grow, so I started to organize a showcase around Italy only because I really cared about the project. By this time Norbert and I had become friends and soon after the partner left All Inn, I came in as co-owner. Soon after that, a lovely friend of mine, Coldfish also came on to join us and has become a very important part of the label.
What release on the label has particularly struck you as something special?
I'd like to talk about a future release that I really care about. We are working since months on a very interesting remix album of La Terra Trema. We would like to do a triple vinyl once again like it was in the original, but as all the artists have different delivery times, I think we will do part 1 and part 2 and maybe 3 if we have enough special material. For now we have selected some very nice tunes from Molly, Coldfish, Sergio Moreira and that lovely guy called John Dimas and we are waiting for all the others artists are working on it like Kamran Sadeghi, Maayan Nidam, Sonja Moonear, and Isherwood. All of them have the remix parts and they will work on it compatibly with their other commitments.
What are the differences between its sub labels, All Inn Black and Nilla?
All Inn is the mother and as it is reflected in the name, the label is a container filled with all the music that we fall in love with. We started to receive tons of music. Some of this was really amazing and we wanted to put it on wax, but we cannot have one release every week, so we decided to open other sublabels with a more specific sound:
All Inn limited is made only from edits, All Inn Black is more techno, minimal and dark stuff, Nilla is the newest and it is dedicated to more raw housy stuff like Roger Geressen or Gathaspar.
How do you pick “new talents”? What new artists have impressed you lately?
We only care about music and we are trying to find the best innovative sound all around the world, and trying to find the best music without focusing only on names. The best successes have come from releasing some unknown names, and seeing incredible pre-orders at the distributor. We are glad to see that people are caring about music, not just about the name or fame. Normally it's a nice combination about human relationship. We spend time with some artists, we share music, ideas just for pleasure, not necessarily thinking about a future release and then we build up the eps in a very spontaneous way; about names, you will see in the next few months!
The mix you sent us was recorded at the All Inn Records showcase and Rodnya in Moscow. How was the event? Why did you choose to share this particular recorded set?
I simply really really enjoyed a lot that party, I felt home thanks to the incredible kindness of my friend Melik Simonyan, that even if it wasn't his own party, he took care of me and the other guys for all that night/day. After the party a lot of people asked me if that set was recorded somewhere and if I could share with them. At the same time you guys kindly asked me to do a podcast for you, so I thought it would be a perfect combo. For different reasons that night I played many many hours, this set is a small cut of the entire recording.
What significance does playing in Russia have for you?
Well it's not exactly about the entire country, but only one city for now. Moscow and in particular a really amazing crowd that comes from Arma17.
Since that club closed I miss a lot the mystic mood you can find inside that old building, but every time I play in that city, I really enjoy it even if I play in other venues. I try to reconstruct the atmosphere with my music and with that really clued up crowd.
Can you share one track that you enjoy playing particularly in Moscow?
One of the most emotional moments was when I played our edit from Franco Battiato, but I don't have any link of this track yet. It will soon be released on Keyall.
So I can show you another track that still holds a place in my memory for the special atmosphere it created in the morning. It was this pretty old Plus8 from 1996
Listen to more of Verrina's records in his very special mix, recorded at dawn in Rodnya with love...Exclusively for Meoko:
THE BAY FESTIVAL 2015
This year the Festival will be hosted in Corsica, a French island in the Mediterranean Sea. Corsica is one of the best tourist destinations of 2015 according to the National Geographic, attracting 3 million visitors each year to the undeniably beautiful Corsican coast.You will find the venue in the Bay of San Ciprianu in a city called Lecci. There are two stages, one in front of the sea and another in the Corsican scrub (the local forest). The venue will be open from 2pm to 2am and the festival site will be set up like a small village, where you will find several bars, restaurants and activities.After parties are held at various venues, yet to be announced.There is camping for 5000 people from Thursday 23 to Monday 27 July and an opening concert will be on offer to camping pass owners on July 23. However, if camping is not your thing there are plenty of hotels or places to rent around the venue, which you can find on their webpage.
The lineup is also very impressive, have a look at the names that have already been announced:
Line Up:Phase 1 (released): Adriatique, Âme (live), Ben Klock, Carl Craig, David August, Jeff Mills, JohnTalabot, KiNK (live), Len Faki, Nina Kraviz, Recondite (live), Rødhad, Tale Of Us.
Phase 2 (released): Agoria, Alan Fitzpatrick, Antigone B2B François X, Bambounou B2B FrenchFries, Ben UFO B2B Pangaea, Boddika, DVS1, Kosme, Mano Le Tough, Marcel Dettmann, MindAgainst, Scuba.
Phase 3 TBA
On top of putting together so many big names, The Bay Festival is also an ecological operation that engages in sustainable development. It’s a great opportunity to support the cause.
Last but not least, this year MEOKO is an official partner of The Bay, so stay tuned for competition announcements, line-up additions and forthcoming artist mixes - if you like free music and free fun at a festival in France, that is.
LINKS:EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/739446749483066WEBSITE: http://www.thebayfestival.frFACEBOOK PAGE: http://facebook.com/thebayfestival
with "The Bay Festial" in the subject title.
The Meoko-team went to LEAF (London Electronic Arts Festival) on Friday to attend the LEAF conversations and concerts at the infamous Tobacco Dock. In the late morning we walked into this stunning venue… Coffee in hand, we scouted the place and checked out what the event had scheduled for the day. Four rooms were reserved for talks about a variety of subjects related to electronic music.
While multiple Grammy award winning artist Nile Rodgers already started his appearance in the biggest room, we decided to go to a much smaller room where Pip Rush and Bertie Cole from Arcadia held their talk about their amazing trip around the world.
Arcadia is the name of their company, which excels in building gargantuan constructions. For a big festival, these constructions give an added value to the crowd, music and atmosphere. Bertie and Pip grew up in the countryside where they started building iron constructions. They never had an engineering degree, but with a lot of passion they turned their hobby into work. They came up with most of their ideas by wandering around on scrapyards and they built their amazing constructions together with their friends. You could catch these guys on several festivals in the UK such as Glastonbury with their iron and fire-breathing spider. They even transported the whole construction to Thailand.
The mechanical and fire-breathing spider constructions, which they took on a tour last year, left a big impression on the festivalgoers. The purpose of Arcadia is to create a spectacle where the sound and vision collaborates together, so the crowd can enjoy a huge spectacle.
Next up in ‘The Wapping Room’ we went to a talk hosted by Joe Muggs, who works for Fact Magazine and Boiler Room, about the revival of ambient music. Four musicians were seated in the panel - Mr. Mitch, Mixmaster Morris, Mira Calix and Mica Levi (Micachu). These musicians have all been busy making music without beats. The discussion was more or less about the ambient music in the past in comparison with today. It was remarkable for the panel that ambient music becomes more popular in times of uncertainty, such as in the end of the seventies and nowadays. Today more and more ‘beatless’ music is being made, which made the panel fantasize about a proper chill room in a club, with a DJ playing ambient music, just as it was back in the days. However today, promoters want their audience on the dance floor and not in the chill-out room.
After we ate something, we decided to watch the 1990 film ‘A Short Film About Chilling’. This 30-minute movie features the guys from 808 State, Peter Hooton who is the vocalist of The Farm, DJ Terry Farley and other English musicians. The movie shows the dance music culture on the island right before Ibiza exploded into the mainstream. It gives a nice view on how things were 25 years ago on the island. It looked more authentic than it is now. But overall it didn’t really change. Sex, drugs and dance music is still a conventional slogan for the island, only in the nineties it became busier than ever before.
Moving on, we headed to the Pennington Room, where there was a talk being held about drugs. A recent documentary on BBC tackled the sensitive topic of drug usage and distribution in the UK. They featured Professor Fiona Measham, who is committed to helping those that go out to party and who are under influence of drugs. She pleads for the testing of drugs at a lab or at a party. This way people would be familiar with the substances that are mixed in the drugs, which would definitely help partygoers all over the world. It was mentioned that drug testing would reduce the amount of deaths due to overdose. Most open-minded party people would think this is a great solution. After all the ‘war on drugs’ has failed. There are more drugs available than ever before and punishing the drug users hasn’t helped people of not using it anymore. This was an animated discussion among like-minded souls. But this was also the problem of the discussion. We would like to have seen some conservative reactions from people, who are against this measure.
Ryan Keeling from Resident Advisor moderated the following conversation about techno music in London in the early nineties. Steve Bicknell and Sheree Rashit were invited to talk about their infamous ‘Lost’ parties, which shaped the techno scene in London in that period. They were the first to invite the real techno DJ’s out of the States such as Derrick May and Richie Hawtin. They did the same as many promoters of today: always looking out for new and cool venues. The only difference is that there were much more possibilities 25 years ago where there were plenty of warehouse places. Now due to gentrification it is more difficult to find a location. Further pioneering individuals Inigo Kennedy and Evil Eddie Richards spoke about their experiences as artists today.
For us this was the last conversation of the day. We really wanted to check out the interview with DJ Harvey, but the room was full, so we decided to visit the Boiler Room where Inigo Kennedy was mixing heaps of techno records followed by Evil Eddie Richards. 808 States presentation of its album ‘Ninety’ had already started and we agreed to check them out. In this amazing room with very nice visuals, we really enjoyed this concert. It really felt like a blast to the past. When Modeselektor started, we felt tired after a long and illuminating day and we decided to go home.
The day as a whole was really fascinating and LEAF seemed to be a success. Most talks were completely occupied and it lent itself to talk to likeminded people and other music enthusiasts. We had a really great day and the testimony from professor Fiona Measham about her stance on drugs was the most intriguing!
Riccardo – Melody Haunts My Reverie (Imprints Germany)
The release of the week for the Meoko-team!! A lot of great things are coming from Italian producers! Riccardo is one of them. If you want to buy the best release of the week, you should buy this record. It is available on the 13th of March!
Zendid / Sonodab / Baraso – San Fransisco (Park & Ride Records)
After the huge success of the inaugural release, Park & Ride Records is back with a new EP, ‘San Francisco’, which shows the strong personality and the particular sound of the people involved: Zendid, Sonodab, Baraso. Very nice release with cool beats!
Nick Beringer / Diego Krause – Chapter 1 (Made Fresh Daily)
Nick Beringer & Diego Krause have teamed up to deliver a 3 track EP on Made Fresh Daily, the mainland Europeans have covered the upbeat corner of the spectrum with ‘Adam’, and taken things a bit easier with the interesting sounds on ‘Focus’ and ‘Premium’. Keeping on their European thing, they welcomed Lazare Hoches posterboy Malin Genie to work up a driving little dub mix to round things off.
Unknown Artists – Vibes Ltd Vol.7 (Vibes Ltd)
Vol. 7 from the mysterious Danish underground label Vibes Ltd. These Unknown artists serving 2 deep cuts for your pleasure. The label is focussing on downtempo, warm deep, soulful, and sexy house music.
Vincenzo Maurice / Aurhythm / Giovanni Scala – Crude Works 01 (Crude Wax)
Heavy & analogue house cuts inspired by old detroit/techno tapes. Processed through a Reel2Reel tape to reach some more warmness from its natural saturation and distortion. Aurhytm's track is absolutely a gem! Stunning music on Crude Wax by Vincenzo Maurice, Aurhytm and Giovanni Scala.
Kareem / Oskar Offermann / Phillipp Boston / DJ Spider – Feels Like Sunday (Platte International)
Retro-2000-Style-Pad-House Tune from Kareem on Platte International. It has tree distinct reinterpretations By DJ Spider, Oskar Offermann and Philipp Boston. Depending on you mood, they all sound pretty nice!
Lack Of Depth - Brainstorm (Resopal)
A bobbing, minimal groover from Lack of Depths' spanish corner. Its his first release for Resopal and here you can listen four magical tracks that yet again emphasises how pleasant synthetic warmth can be.
This weekend fabric have offered up a particularly eye-catching lineup, an exciting mix of big hitters, local legends and underground innovators.
Starting with Room 1, Praslesh make their return to fabric. For those that don’t know, Praslesh is a collaboration between Romanian legend, notorious crate digger and ar:pia:r label owner Raresh; and fellow Romanian Praslea, relative newcomer who has been leaving a big impression on audiences across Europe over the last few years. Together they represent a pairing of significant importance not only to the influential Romanian scene, but to the European house and techno scene in general.
Elsewhere on the lineup you can find something of a celebration of London nightlife new and old. Terry Francis and Dave Clarke are both pioneers of the UK techno and tech house sound. With more than 20 years in the game; Francis, Clarke and resident Craig Richards are 3 DJ’s who together occupy a central place in UK electronic music heritage.
Claus Voigtmann earns the award for most hardworking DJ of the night, warming up in Room 1 before playing peak time in Room 3, which is hosted by his own Toi Toi Musik.
Check out Voigtmann b2b Lamache Meoko mix
During their 5 years on the scene, Toi Toi have quickly gained and maintained a reputation as the organizers of some of London’s most forward thinking and consistently brilliant parties, as well as being a label and agency. Playing alongside Voigtmann are veteran Audio Werner, Discobar founder Lamache and the talented up and comer Andrew James Gustav; definitely a name to remember.
Check out Fabric's latest mix by Audio Werner below... A rare mix indeed. Highly recommended!
Finally, it’s worth mentioning a live performance from Rrose in Room 2. The avant-garde, genderless and anonymous artist has been causing waves since 2011 with his/her innovative techno sound. Definitely worth getting down early for!
14 March 2015
23:00 - 08:00
ROOM 03 (Toi Toi)
Andrew J Gustav
Facebook event here, RA tickets here
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This is a tribute to a record label that still creates a real buzz to DJs today. For many house-music addicts Peacefrog Records, named after a golden tune from the psychedelic blues-rock band, The Doors*, is an incredibly well respected record label. This independent London-based label, started by Pete Hutchison and Paul Ballard, did not only release electronic music. They evolved towards a very eclectic and progressive label with releases that can be labelled as techno, house and even indie and folk music. In 1992, after the Lodger 303 EP release, Ballard withdrew from Peacefrog Records, which made Hutchison the only caretaker of this label.
Hutchison, a willowy man with long hair and a gratifyingly bushy beard is every inch the obsessive audiophile. In an interview from 2013 he told The Guardian that in a single year he spent £40,000 just on buying classical music. And he was not counting all the other music he was buying. One purchase that year was a rare box of Mozart recordings from 1956, which set him back £7,000. This interest in classical music made him found the Electronic Recording Company to repress decades-old records using authentic procedures.
After the millennium, the rise in digital music made Peacefrog began to offer CDs and digital downloads. Nevertheless they never let go of their vinyl. In this period they expanded their genres with avant-rock, bossa nova, incorporating folk, indie and new wave. The label has received mainstream notice lately since it signed the Argentinian-Swedish folk artist José Gonzales and Swedish electronic group Little Dragon, both of whom have had top 10 singles. José Gonzalez’s songs also appeared in different commercial and television shows such as Scrubs, House, Bones and so many more.
We could arrange an interview with Pete Hutchison talking about how he started, the nineties and why he changed to a more diverse record label:
Hi Pete, nice to meet you! Can you tell us a bit about the beginnings of Peacefrog Records? How did you start your journey?
Around 1989/90 I was unemployed and I was DJ’ing. A friend and I were busy producing. We released our first record on a white label and then I started on a couple of my own productions for Peacefrog, which were highly influenced by acid house. After a while, I decided to sign artists rather than doing my own productions. The first artist was Luke Slater. I heard one of his productions on the radio, on a pirate station. This made me decide that it was better to let other people produce, because I felt that my productions weren’t as good as someone like Luke.
You had the Kiss radio station with Colin Dale, who was playing a lot of good stuff. I frequently dug for records at Fat Cat Records in central London and I was buying a lot of imports from Detroit and Chicago. I really liked the music from there. That is why I signed so many producers from that part of the world during that period.
What was your vision in the 90’s? Were you expecting any success with artists such as Luke Slater/Planetary Assault Systems, Daniel Bell, Wyndell Long etc., who were still at the beginning of their musical career?
I just liked the music; I was just a big fan really. I only operated from my little house, literally in my bedroom. I didn’t sign these artists for financial success, but for their music. I used to go clubbing 3 times a week and I enjoyed the music and I wanted to work with the artists who I thought were the most talented.
I read somewhere that the name Peacefrog comes from a song by The Doors. Is this true? And why?
That is correct! A friend and I decided to cover a Doors record called ‘Peace Frog’. We took the track and started to put some beats behind it*. That was the record we first released on white label. We couldn’t think of another name, so it was convenient for us to call it Peacefrog. The techno-band Holy Ghosts designed the logo with my friend.
As a label-owner, what do you think about the second-hand market where prices of Peacefrog records go up to more than 50 pounds?
I didn’t know they do. Well, I’m guessing that people hear them and like them and there aren’t many around anymore. People have to pay these prices if they really want it, I guess.
Are you planning any represses of some 90s electronic music releases on vinyl?
We did some represses for our 20th anniversary, very limited amount, some colour vinyl. The label is diversified now, so we are not concentrating on that music anymore, but we are looking at it and maybe one day we will do some represses, we’ll see.
How did you manage the transition of music releases on digital platforms?
Well, we loaded everything to iTunes and Beatport. We made concerted efforts to try to make the whole catalogue available digitally; I think most of it is probably, apart from the things that got lost. Some records we can’t even find anymore.
Since the beginning of the 2000s, the record label changed to a more eclectic range of music releases with artists such as José Gonzales and Little Dragon. What was your incentive for this change?
Just boredom… Hearing artists that were making the same records as we put out but not as good and finding that the quality was decreasing. It wasn’t exciting anymore. The sound became very generic. I always had a very eclectic personal music taste. It just felt like it was not as progressive as it should be, we needed to look at a different kind of music.
Do you have an all-time favourite release on Peacefrog Records?
My all-time favourite is Matt Coggers – ‘Mind you don’t trip’, which we put on the release ‘Sonar 123’. It is a fantastic record and a fantastic guy, but he sadly died last Christmas. That track is so forward thinking and crazy. To me that is what techno is all about. It’s about pushing boundaries and freestyle.
What do you think about the electronic music scene today? To what extent has the landscape changed compared to what it was like the day you first started?
I don’t follow the electronic dance music scene anymore. It is probably not fair for me to give an opinion about this, but we do get sent stuff from artists. I don’t like the fact that everybody stopped using drummachines and that people are making everything with their computer. Where is the skill in making music now? It was a lot harder to program an 808 or a 909 really effectively, back then, you really had to be talented. Now it is just edits and samples…
If you went into a record shop in the beginning of the nineties, you heard Juan Atkins, Derrick May, Underground Resistance. You had never heard anything like that in your life. You went to a rave and people said: “This isn’t music”. It was so revolutionary. Every week a record came out that completely blew you away. It was so exciting, but today, for me it is not exciting anymore.
Can you tell me something about your new record label: Electric Recording Company?
We’ve had a mastering studio for ten years now and I am a big collector of jazz and classical music of the late 50s, early 60s. I managed to make a deal with EMI records to get the original master tapes, but I wanted to recut the records using the equipment that was used back in the day. None of the studios would have this equipment. So we collected this equipment and restored it and then recut the track from the original takes in mono using this original equipment.
We made the sleeves the same way as in that time. It is a very difficult and time-consuming process, but it is quiet fulfilling. It’s also pretty expensive.
Thank you for this chat and good luck with both of the labels and let’s hope there will be some cheaper represses of some golden nineties tunes.
The value of Peacefrog for many dance-music enthusiasts nowadays is of big importance. Greenhorns, younger people in their twenties, experienced ravers or just house-music lovers of all ages came in contact with some of the classic EPs and albums Peacefrog has released in the nineties. Many house-music releases of this label became instant classics, very much wanted by collectors and DJs.
Take for example 'Atmosfaer' this amazing Glenn Underground album contains some true gems and has been sold for more than £40 each on the second-hand market nowadays. Taking into consideration the time, around 1996, the album was produced in, it had a very futuristic sound. Many tracks from Atmosfaer are still being mixed today by outstanding DJs. Glenn pioneered this particular sound, which has also inspired a lot of current house producers and it contains everything from dreamy jazz-inspired house to hand-raising, booty-shaking Chicago house.
Another house classic is a 5-track-containing EP from Wyndell Long released in 1995 with two tracks that are really exquisite: 'She'and 'Asphasia'. This was the first ever release of Wyndell Long and it started of his career as a house and techno DJ.
Spencer Kincey’s amazing alias Gemini also released a stunning album: 'In And Out Of Fog And Lights'. Today this is still a highly regarded vinyl for every house music-enthusiast with several deep house gems. Kinsey, one of the most prolific and innovative producers of the nineties, is one of the artists that every house music enthusiast worships.
The Advent about DBX – 'Losing Control': “I heard this record for the 1st time mid 90's and that hypnotic vocal 'Losing Control' of Dan Bells classic release was one of the 1st records to open a lot doors for new possible directions for music, it was simple and very effective. Plus, that detuned filtered vocal was very trippy indeed”.
There appeared too many good EP’s and albums to mention here, but als Ron Trent, Paul Johnson, Wamdue Kids and many more released with stunning music on this awesome label.
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