When a gang who have been in the game since 1995 creates a festival, you know you’re in trusted, heftily fist pumped hands. Promoters ‘The Unabombers’ formed electric Elephant in 2008, after over 10 years experience in fine tuning their musical offerings and clubbing ethos at their Manchester based party ‘Electric Chair’.
Electric Elephant sees the magic that was formed from the northern basement parties be unleashed across the Adritic coastline in the town of Tsino, Croatia.
The festival first opened its doors in 2008, and has for the past four years enjoyed a friendship and collaboration with The Garden festival. ‘Double Whammy’ tickets were offered for combined entry to both events, situated on the same idyllic site in Tsino. However, as 2015 saw The Garden Festival shut its gates with one final fiesta, the baton is now handed over solely to Electric Elephant to ensure that one of Croatia’s original festivals continues to preserve the islands magic for summers to come.
The headlining artists announced so far this year reflect the long-running authenticity of the festival, with many of the names on the bill being acts that are truly masters of their art. This one is for the old school heads.
Andrew Weatherall, Justin Robertson and Greg Wilson need no introduction, each sure to bring a varied and mature set with encyclopaedias of shared musical knowledge between them. Long-term Back to Basics residents James Holroyd (Chemical Brothers tour DJ), Tristan da Cunha (Dungeon Meat) and Ralph Lawson (20:20 Vision) ensure that the raw, straight up party starting sets are well and truly covered.
After what has been truly an amazing year for the DJ, Jane Fitz is a no brainer to be added to the stellar bill. Panorama bar residents Margaret Dygas, Nick Hoppner and Steffi are sure to bring their unique brand of techno while fellow Back to Basics resident Laura Jones will also be playing, securing her reputation as one of the hottest acts as we enter 2016.
This is only a small selection of the superb line up, with more tiers of announcements yet to come.
Artists from other party crews across the country also include: Butter Side Up, Gottwood, Jaunt, Secretsundaze and many more...
Famed for its laid-back Balearic vibes, mixing fun and diverse music sets together with an underlying sense of mischief and plenty of activities, this festival allows for a no pressure appreciation of quality beats.
You could have the chance to win 2 full weekend festival tickets for Electric Elephant and 2 boat party tickets of your choice. We know it will be hard to choose which sea bound knees up to go on, but if you want to be in with a chance of winning, let us know what mischievous activity you have planned for Electric Elephant this year.
with the subject line: Leccy Nelly.
Words by Eileen Pegg
Sunday is a day most spend in the dim light of dread, awaiting the Monday morning melee of rat race requirements. However for many years the Sunday rave has been coveted among those wishing to escape the monotony of this unwanted feeling, and occasionally distort reality in a sense of systematic rebellion. East London still remains at the heart, although Brick Lane was once coated in the buzzing swarm of Sunday sessioners, shifting along to the iconic 93 Feet East, in search of the glowing red allure of FUSE or the further-a-field on the hunt for the weathered warehouse wonders that HALF BAKED had in store. Since the shift in the local political appetite, with the council adopting bourgeois-esque tactics in their effort to socially cleanse the area, the fight for the our right to party found a new dynamic.Those with a polyphonic wanderlust, meandered upstream to taste the subterranean counter-culture of Dalston’s Kingsland Road. If you follow the terraced-style shopfronts, until you reach the number 95, a silhouetted door frame sits set back guided by the red illumination of “VOODOO RAY’S” pizza place. Here you will find; the DANCE TUNNEL. Buried among E8’s underground network, the purple bunker keeps the Sunday zeitgeist thriving. Over coming months Sunday’s at the Dance Tunnel welcome a wave of parties, enlisted for their elicit subcultures, supporting the Sunday rave rebellion.
CARTULI'S DAY | SUNDAY VA 7th February the well-loved Cartulis Day introduces a new concept with their VA series. Retaining their passion for variety, their anonymous line ups will undoubtedly exhibit zestful performances through each extended sets. The added excitement of anonymity is a wonder to those who venture to the Tunnel for a Cartulis Sunday.FACEBOOK EVENT (Click)
Valentine’s night is reserved for the Damaged cortège. The long standing duo Matteo Manzini and Georgio Oniani return to the venue on February 14th for their annual takeover. Les Points join them for edition #47, following a history of great guests such as S.A.M, including a UK first with the debut Sylphe. A homecoming of sorts, Matteo stated "We are happy to be back to Dance Tunnel with our party whenever possible, it normally happens once a year, and it's a pleasure to see how everything works perfectly, starting from an amazing sound system.”
FACEBOOK EVENT (Click here)PREMISE6th March introduces an new name in the form of Premise. With their own 3 part mini series their format is beautifully simplistic. Dutch Dj and Karton Label founder; Pelle will take up the mantle as resident, providing a healthy 4 hours of music accompanied in succession by each guest. First to join Pelle in the mini marathons will be Romania’s Gescu (Sunrise). Part two see’s ToiToi Muzik's resident Lamache close the Tunnel. The third part of the Premise trilogy invites Giammarco Orsini of Zu::bar and O300f Recordings. Three equally arousing editions to pick from.FACEBOOK EVENT (Click)
Sunday; a day that for some is filled with the woes of the week ahead. Its a simple matter of perspective. Spend it well; its your call.
Sunwaves 19 lurks in the near distance, goading us with all its delights. Beneath the colourful canopies in south east Romania, the Mamaian beach festival conjures a dancing displays pilgrims congregated for an extended weekend of musical mastery. On the 28th of May 2016 the curators will once again engage in 5 extended days of momentous performances, with a line up set to leave you salivating at the selection of DJs set with a single unified purpose… to keep you dancing.The Romanian hotbed of underground music has galvanised throughout the years, and with Sunwaves providing inspiration many of the country's young hopefuls, dreams of platforming on the beach front resides deep in the heart Romania’s most talented.
"…it is very special to me, I haven't missed a single one yet (of course not). I was just going to have fun , of course it was my dream to play there; I didn't even know I was gonna play music or do this “thing" at the first SW in 2007. I only started to play music in 2010 (became a dj as such). I just loved music as much as I do now back then!” …CAPCap At Sunwaves 18
Now in its 9th year, Sunwaves repeatedly ushers in the Spring Seaon in spectacular style. With an already impressive footprint in the Mamaia Nord beach front, this year the team behind the scenes have plans for extension.
"What keeps me going after all this years... Oh well I think its much more than music and this lifestyle I chose. What drives me forward is legacy , knowing I am part of something great in this moment of my life and that I can change how things happen for a better future. Every moment has it’s unique feeling and fulfillment. I've had a sheer amount of good moments at Sunwaves: SW 11 with Zip playing the afters on a beautiful Sunday afternoon; a true musical moment shared with a group of crazy guys from Frankfurt” …PITT Zip At Sunwaves 15(ZIP / Perlon @ Sunwaves 15 ( Romania) by.Obi1311 HQ.)
Although the line-up yet to be announced, you, we and I can all happily wait in anticipation. Leading on from an already established euphonic legacy, the way is well and truly paved for Sunwaves 19 to take the torch in 2016.
By Anwaar Bent
Over 3kg of wax to feast your ears on...
Sonodab - Neuronal (KINA MUSIC) [KNMVLTD 002]
Really exciting to see a new release from Sonodab, who has been one of my favourite producers in the last eighteen months. The Spaniard has always had an exquisite touch to his programming, and now his sound design looks to be reaching similar heights. This four tracker is the biz with soul soaked ‘Fónico,’ doing silly things to my hips. Outrageous groove.
Eric - Zabava (Bodyparts) [BPV015]
Bodyparts must be applauded for keeping the quality of their output so high whilst always trusting in fresher, emerging talent. Ukrainian based Eric will come out of the shadows for this fifteenth vinyl instalment with two wicked numbers, especially ‘Zabava’s' swanky low end and hot, jungle-y vibraciones. It's SIT’s two remixes that'll bring most of the eyes to this record though, which are both more straight down the line than their usual work, the club mix being a real catch. Rolly loveliness with modular glibs in the gaps.
David Nicolas - Maloma (KUSI) [KUSI001]
Gorgeous first release from KUSI Records here, with Mannhiem’s David Nicolas providing a splendid original and bad ass Barac on remix duty. I have a feeling this will start going for an arm and a leg in the months to come, but its not so surprising. There's a real complexity in the simplicity of the original, with its slicey hats piercing through that stunning, haunting melody. Then there’s Barac interpretation, which to most will be the pull here, with a 7am hands up, techno twist that'll do some proper dirty on the floor.
Fabe - Ando EP (SUKHUMVIT) [SOI002]
Fabe will always conquer big ass basslines, fat hats and spot on sample selection and there's no exception here for Sukhumvit’s highly anticipated second release. The mixdowns for these tracks have a real snap and pop that will undoubtedly give any system the sweats. Scratch around these Mannheimers (Sedee, Nicolas above too) and you’ll be pleased to find a bunch of material just released, and more upcoming too, including a little number on this label ;)
Petre Inspirescu - Vin Pluoile (Mule Musiq Japan) [MULEMUSIQ 192]
Unfortunately the vinyl copy of Pedro’s album has sold out, but there was no way I couldn’t mention this special record. Whether functioning as a delicious soundtrack whilst doing the washing up, or sitting down and actively admiring its profound musicality, this album works on every level. With such a host of instrumentation on display, the real joy is in the onset of vivid scenarios that scramble out of your imagination, twisting even further with Petre's modular system added to the equation. From Delir 4’s incredible and playful trip down an Eastern river, to Lumiere’s almost unbearable, monstery tension, there is cosmic energy in this music. Brave Pedro, bravo.
Pelle / Roon - Fonto EP (KARTON) [KRTNV 006]
Lovely to see Pelle and Roon pushing Karton into new waters with this sweet, three track EP. There is an audible step up in quality in both of these boys productions, with this release showing a deep exploration of their machines whilst still being basted in that thick, Karton sauce. ‘Hiklero’ is a delightful number; gentle, angelic and juicy, whilst ‘Asato,’ although a tad west upon first listen, is lovely, loopy and absolutely eye melty.
Enzo Siragusa - Sanctuary EP (FUSE) [FUSE021]
Last time, FUSE020 really highlighted Enzo’s growth as a producer, whose tracks are far sparklier than the muddier mix-downs of his early Fuse contributions. With a fantastic network of producers in the crew and wicked investments in the studio, it is no surprise that his once slower, ‘fusic’ style deepness has matured into tougher, rattlier minimal house. This EP will see some of the lesser known tracks that have been doing the rounds a release, with Solo the real standout here, a wicked, vocal mashed pudding that proper gets the belly rumbling.
S.A.M - Terminal (International Sun/Earth Explorer) [ISEE 001]
I am a huge fan of S.A.M and his buddies Lazare Hoche and Malin Genie, whether as standalone producers or collectively as the formidable Mandar. This EP is again, sublime, with three fantastic tracks that will serve as peak time, hands in the air loveliness or after hour deepness with mates, with the b-side ‘Terminal’ in particular a sick combination of the two. There were some pretty special prices already being fetched for this record on Discogs last week, so I would kindly urge the label to keep this material accessible and get that repress on the lathe! (Feed the artists, not the sharks!)
JQUE PBRS TGXU - Pseudomorph EP (Vigenére) [VGNR 01]
Sticking with the Mandar gang, and a more techno-y record here that most will be pleased to know is an alias of the main man Malin Genie. I did in fact struggle to choose between this and an another record waiting to be released on the same label (check it out, its dope) but I had to go with this one, purely because of one of the tracks on here, B2, is an animal. Dusty mad shit. No prisoners
Slow Life - Chromophore (SLOW LIFE) [SL006]
What's most majestic about this VA is the processing slapped across the whole EP, and it’d be easy to mistake any of these tracks as re-issues from the 90s. Spacey ninths, walky basslines and skippy hats dominate proceedings with freshness especially from Seafoam and Mike Welch. It is S.Moreira once again though with the real treasure, 'Clean or High' is just a deep house killer with delightful swing and tremendous space in the mix.
VA - Beste Fruende 2 [BFF02]
Over the moon to see Manooz’s name on a release for Beste, who have been upping their reputation with every record they push. While keeping faith to the labels thick, rumbly policy, Manooz has managed to incorporate a lush, floaty twist into his track that just does it for me. Game over. Check out these guys back catalog for some heavy house shiz, especially from label owner and ace selector, Cinthie.
Rich Nxt - NXT001 (NXT RECORDS)
Rich Nxt’s influence has always been at the beating heart of the Fuse sound, with emphasis on bottom heavy tracks smothered in wicked, unorthodox noises that really shine on a rig. This new label will hopefully mean we get to see some of this guy’s amazing pile of unreleased music, starting with this triple pack of goodiness, with ‘Hair’ being top dog for me!
Ion Ludwig - May Mission EP (Kontrast Music) [KNTRST 001]
Last but certainly not least... I really wanted to keep this one to myself. Amazing Ion, again. Enjoy.
As we wave goodbye to another year and embark upon the next, the post seasonal blues can be brightened up with the reminder that festival season will spring back around before we know it.
Now more than ever, summer fun to most of us means jetting overseas for a festi-vacation, for a huge helping of beautiful surroundings, weather, people and music, all rolled into one.
Sonus Festival in Croatia offers just that.
Event organisers ‘Cosmopop’, responsible for the techno mecca ‘TimeWarp’, are those in charge of ensuring the brands quality selection of music has a home once summer takes over. And that home is Sonus.
The stunning Zcre beach on Pag Island is where the 5 days and 5 nights of pure fun is based, with 3 of the Adriatic’s best open-air nightclubs joining together to house the huge talent on display across the week. Easily accessible from Zadar, Split and Zagreb, Zrce Beach is the perfect home for a week of summer debauchery
The perfect mixture of breath-taking scenery and hedonistic pleasure– for the members of clubland, this is the holiday resort that dreams are made of.
The first tier of acts has been released and it doesn’t disappoint, with anticipation building for the remainder to be revealed. Launched in 2013, the reputation of the past line-ups instils trust in festivalgoers as the rest of the artists are soon to be named. So far, those chosen to take you on a musical journey, scattered between a flurry of boat parties, pre/after parties and across the three nightclubs include Perlon co-founder ZIP, 2 pioneers of the Romanian sound rolled into one mighty act, Pralesh and the Desolat queen of dubbed out techno, tiNI. Dana Ruh, Binh and DEWALTA will be representing Berlin on the island whilst the trusted trio Appolonia and dynamic duo The Martinez Brothers are sure-fire party starters. Ricardo Villalobos has been added to the mix, bringing his minimal blend of sonic delights, alongside techno kings Marco Carola and Joseph Capriati. For a die-hard techno fan, this line-up is nothing short of perfect.
Don’t compromise quality of music over quality of experience this summer, as Sonus festival brings the whole party package.
Sonus Festival takes place from 21-25th August this summer.
For more information, head to the website or Facebook page.
Words by Eileen Pegg
Found in a Stokey gutter outside Beyond Retro, this diary chronicles an average Monday to Sunday in London through the eyes of everyone’s favourite pseudo-intellectual synth artist/organic food enthusiast/novelty small business conceiver, often categorised as “a hipster”.
“Critics have described the loosely defined group as smug, full of contradictions and, ultimately, the dead end of Western civilisation.” - Dan Fletcher, for The Times.
The thoughts and feelings of one such dead end, below.
Dear leather-clad notebook,
The beard thing… I just don’t know anymore. Spotting a hipster beard on Shia Lebough and one of those One Direction termites has forced an ideological reassessment. Some days my beard feels like conformist chains, others like a comfort blanket, at any given time providing me with a feeling of manhood more complex than any a bulging bicep could provide. But what am I without it? It’s like I’ve got that stockholders syndrome or whatever, where like, my beard is my captor and I am the captive.
You’ve probably noticed how deep I can get with a good cup of gourmet coffee in my hand, a sleek apple product close by and wooden beams surrounding me. That’s how I am right now, and it’s rustic as fuck.
Dear leather-clad notebook,
Conceived groundbreaking idea for ethically and environmentally conscious pop up art space/cafe, where the creative world clashes energetically and ethically with the snack world, resulting in large mark ups and instagramming.
I’m thinking coffee house by day with thought provoking art on the walls; interactive art space by night where we’ll throw art-parties and play cutting edge music that most people won’t know how to dance to. It should sound quite unpleasant - and thereby avanteguard - and there won’t be anywhere obvious to sit or put your drink, but aspiring bloggers will write that it’s “a post-modern interpretation of a traditional display and degustation space, where the art, food and nightlife worlds stylishly collide in a cacophony of self-raising flour and soundwaves”. There will probably be disco edits too. I’m calling it Coffee Creatives Ltd. Bring it on, haters.
Dear leather-clad notebook,
London’s sold out of exposed filament lightbulbs; essentially the potato famine of the modern world. The Pop Up is off.
Dear leather-clad notebook,
I first fell into hipsterism quite by accident. I was wearing my father’s old festive knit jumper because, being a wide-eyed, inexperienced 27 year old, I had accidentally shrunk all of mine in the wash. My jeans had suffered the same fate, but being slim of leg and flat of bottom, I could make do.
So there I was in my shrunken jeans and father’s oversized and garishly awful knit, thinking it was lucky I had nowhere to be that day, when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I looked surprisingly fabulous and in the know, as if I was privy to some great fashion joke that nobody else knew about yet. I grabbed a copy of Proust from my university days and looked in my reflection again. Intellectualism, irony, eccentricism… it was all there. I’ve never looked back since.
My hipsterism may have been born from merely an aesthetic appeal but in the years since I’ve connected deeply with the ideologies behind why I look so cool.
Dear leather-clad notebook,
Just found out it takes five litres of water to grow one almond. Tipped all my almond milk cartons in the RECYCLING bin (I recycle). Seriously cant keep up with what’s wholesome and environmentally responsible these days, it’s healthy as long as it’s street food, right?
Gentrification of my local area continues even without the help of Coffee Creatives LTD. Torn between enjoying the seven new coffee, whole foods and artisanal bakery joints on my street and a socially conditioned awareness I should be sad that shit old grocery store was pushed out of business, because authenticity is everything right?
Sometimes when I face ideological crises I think, what would Chet Faker do? Now that’s the kind of beard another man can follow.
Dear leather-clad notebook,
Just got back from a warehouse party in Hackney Wick tonight, felt inspired on the Uber home and just had to pen some notions. I went out to see my friend spin this concept piece where he mixes samples of spoken word poetry from the 70s with the sound of a door creaking, then pitch bends it into oblivion.
The music too clever to be danced to, I ended up getting quite drunk instead and bumped into the creators of the Brick Lane Cereal Killer Cafe concept. They’re like, hipster heroes, for trying to bring some excitement and diversity into the lives of the nearby office workers who have sold their soul to The Man and forgotten what it means to have an original idea. But the sellout office workers turned on them for some reason and gave the guys a really hard time for being so clever.
Their struggle against the haters inspires us all, and between that and the radical pitch-bending tonight, I just feel motivated to do something meaningful, really give something back you know? Like make a short film about my life or something.
Dear leather-clad notebook,
Feeling reflective. Whilst the world judges our bowl cuts, the oft-maligned hipster community quietly struggles with its identity. It’s a tragic Catch 22: we can’t officially accept our existence as a community because everyone is striving for individuality, self-sufficiency and ideological anarchy which manifests in absolutely no practical way at all. It’s a credibility minefield - and I think we can all agree credibility is more important than charisma. Food for thought.
The most important thing is to stay ahead of the curve, so obviously liking everything before it’s cool means liking it when it’s not cool, which is confusing. The window of something being not cool (and therefore exclusively cool) is narrowing every day. The internet moves trends so fast that by 2050 this defining aspect of hipsterism may be literally impossible to maintain. We’re an endangered species essentially, only to be appreciated fully post-mortem. Which is surprisingly appealing.
Is Nihilism still hipster? Need to channel all this gracefully bleak thinking into my synth-art, “BRB".
(That’s an ironic BRB by the way, LOL)
((Also an ironic LOL, obviously I don’t use text speak, or laugh out loud.))
by Jordan Smith
Dubsons are representatives of a second wave of Romanian producers who have cropped up in the fertile radius of the likes of Rhadoo, Petre Inspirescu, Praslea, Raresh, Barac, and Nu Zau. Growing into a highly proactive and supportive movement which is unique on this planet, they found their own sound and production style while working as residents of Club XS in Iasi where they had the opportunity to warm up for the iconic likes of Rhadoo and Raresh who deeply touched the Dubsons with their music.
With a high level of artistry, dedication, and no time to waste for competetive strikes and other post-capitalistic practices, the scene has managed to reinvent itself time after time, each time giving birth to even more prolific youngsters just like Dubsons who want to make the music world their oysters: Well-educated, inspired and with a positive outlook on things, Vlad and Robert are here to create their own reality of sounds. Their palette ranges from deep and lush, from gently moving to breaky and experimental stuff, always garnered with the suble swing that makes productions and mixing techniques from Romania so pleasant.
Dubsons had their breakthrough moment in 2012 and 2013 when they published their first vinyls on Body Parts, Project London and Vara Records, and have since released stuff on labels such as Melisma and Gilesku and upcoming releases on the German label Vayvay, NG TRAX and the Peruvian imrint Saint & Dont.
With the launch of their own label Algorhythmic, they have become fathers of their own vision, passing on their definition of sound to the next generation of new artists they will eventually introduce on Algorhythmic, and with bookings and connections cropping up all over the planet it becomes clear that the Romanian phenomenon has become something global, something even more unique, and Dubsons play their vital part in it being so well-received.
DUBSONS EXCLUSIVE : MEOKO #209
If your father was Dub, who was your mother?
Well, we definitely would refer to our "mother” as our common and deep passion for music, our enthusiasm regarding "les beaux arts” and each and every thing or person that made this project come into sight in the first place.
When and under which circumstances were you born?
Vlad: I was born in the winter of 1991, in Botosani, a small yet peaceful and authentic town. Not many people know that this Northen city gave our country some of its greatest artists like Mihai Eminescu or George Enescu.
Robert: Like Vlad, I was also born in the winter of 1991 in Dorohoi, a small city located near Botosani, in the north of Romania and later on, me and my familiy moved to Botosani, where I met him.
When was your first conscious contact with music, why and how did it move you?
Vlad: It happened when I was around 11 or 12 years old, by the time I came across my aunt’s collection of Electrecord vinyls. The moment I played the first record I became speechless by how much a needle and a black disk can transmit to the soul. I realised in no time that those warm sounds and pleasing vibrations will occupy a significant place in my life.
Robert: My first contact with music was at 6 years old when my father insisted that I took piano classes, and from that moment I felt so deeply touched by the sounds that I never let this passion fade away, so I continued studying music throughout my entire life, and I will do so until the day I leave earth.
How did you two people meet, how was your respective life before that?
We were about 15 years old when we first met. We were both hanging out in the same places back in Botosani, going to the same parties and having a somehow common entourage. Before we met, our life was pretty much the same as that of any teenager our age, and it didn’t change afterwards. Perhaps it became more focused on the thing that connects us until the present day, that being electronic music.
Why did you decide to walk this path together?
We took this decision based on our common taste and interest in music. We both felt the need to improve, to develop and to step forward in this booming industry.
Where do you connect? Where do you contrast?
We feel the need to answer both questinons with the same phrase. The funny thing regarding our relationship is that the contrast between us is what makes us connect. It’s like a harmonious blending of different opinions and ideas which led to the appearance of the Dubsons project and its balanced style.
Artisitically, what were your ideas when you started, and how much does your proposal differ from how you portray yourself now?
Back to the beggins, our music was a bit different from the present moment. It was more focused on the drums part of o certain track rather than on its melodious aspects, like the atmospheres. We believe every producer and artist, generally speaking, experiences this time-influenced change of approach and we think it is called „growth”. We feel accomplished with what we maganaged to pull off so far, but that doesn’t mean we hit our final target. There’s always room for improvement.
What was important for you to become artists?
It all came naturally. Of course you can always work hard and develop your artistic side, but that is not enough. You are born with it, it’s either you have it or not. We had this soft spot for music since childhood and it was (is) what we do and what we love. And we believe it’s not random that we turned out to be artists after all, is it?
You started spinning and straight away, also produced? Why was that?
Coming into contact with all these musical genres was the releasing gear for starting producing. The world of sounds is so vast yet limited. We felt the need of more, of something original, of something of our own. When you play a set, you aim to connect with the audience through the music, and what’s a better and more efficient way to do so than playing your own creations?
In which way these two arts complement each other?
As we stated before, the two are deeply connected. You are the only one in charge of your emotions, therefore it’s only you who can express these feelings. By spinning your own productions, you get to transmit more to those listening to you. That’s how you become original and innovative.
Who or what had a great influence on how you sound these days?
We find our inspiration in old quality music, whichever genre it is. You can sense rock, jazz, blues influences in our sound, but the "supreme muse” remains the oldschool hip hop culture.
Tell me how it all started in Romania, how did it start to happen in your eyes? How did you start to notice the new scene, the new sounds etc?
It wasn’t hard at all to notice the boom in the developement of the underground romanian music scene. From the few djs and producers we had like ten years ago, today we face a growing number of talented young faces ready to make a name for themeselves, but not all of them are williing to do it in a professional manner. However, our country quickly became well-known for its unique and specific sound.
How did you become part of this potent movement?
I guess we had the luck to be part of the movement long before this upcoming wave or, as we like to call it, we were already surfing *laughs*. Our growth was natural, we got caught in the middle of the process and went with it.
How does it feel now, in comparison to the beginnings?
Everything seems more tied in and more profi nowadays. This industry have seen a scale of expansion which was not envisaged a few years ago. There are more producers, promoters, labels and party concepts than ever and that is not a bad thing at all. Last but not least, the crowd plays a very important role in the advancement of this scene, as the people here are well educated when it comes to music, therefore they become judgemental. So you always have to go beyond your limits and give your best in order to succeed.
What is good thing about the scene in Romania?
The best thing about the scene in Romania is the permissive law. I’m reffering here to the fact that parties stop when the last person leaves the club, and not at a certain hour like it happens abroad. Due to the tragedy that took place over 2 months ago in Colectiv, a lot of venues were closed and we find ourselves in a transitional period. I guess we’ll let the time tell.
Which places do you love?
Of course there are a lot of places i fancy, clubs, restaurants, parks or resorts, but it’s rather who you are with than the place itself. It’s the people you love to hang out with that truly matter, and as long as you get to do so, the place is a minor issue. However, we find it deeply relaxing to spend time in nature, that being the place where we feel the most inspired.
What are the downfalls if there are any?
There are some minor downfalls like the lack of sleep sometimes, the tiredness, the long journeys or the fact that you occasionally miss important moments when having a gig outside your city.
What are interesting new developments?
The most interesting and well received development is actually the rebirth of the vinyl industry. We have 2 record shops in Bucharest and the movement has started to grow inside our borders, and we can't be anything than happy to see that.
Tell me about your label: who and what is it focussing on, what is planned?
We are focusing on artists & music that are a bit different from what already is on the market & we're looking for that kind of touch that makes a producer and his music unique. We hope that the next number of our imprint we'll hit the stores in the spring.
About your music: what kind of sound makes you go crazy?
We put a great deal of work on the atmosphere & pads section of our tracks, because through that kind of sounds & frequencies you can really connect with your audience, with every soul and spirit that understands the deep layers of your music. We are really happy when we are achieving, musicaly speaking, the overall sound and build that we had in our minds when we are starting producing a track.
As producers, how do you achieve to capture this essence?
Like we said, we find our insipiration in the true reality that we live in, that being the nature, of course. So, in our producings we want to capture the essence of human experience on this earth, and with every track that we build we try to tell a story.
What would you like to produce, ideally?
We like to produce a great deal of genres, and we feel confortable in all of them. Ideally for us is not limted to a certain tipology in music, because art it s not about limiting yourself, but expanding yourself, and that is what we want to do day by day.
What kind of equipment do you use?
We think that's not so important what gear you are using as long as you are happy with your output. We try to do our best with what we have, meaning that we have some drum machines and some sinthesizers, and the mighty Reason of course, the program that helped us in achieving whatever sound it is that we are looking for.
What is popular amongst the producers in your country?
Right now everyone's buying Korg Electribe and Roland TR-8, this ones being, in our opinion the most popular gear here in Romania.
Do you share studios?
We do sometimes, but our schedules differ so much that we are finding it hard to always do this.
Is there some sort of competition about who makes the craziest sound?
Hmm, we don't feel like it is, but if it really is a competition, we are not interested in that because competition only works in bussines and not in art.
Who are artists at the moment you admire?
We admire everyone that had the courage and the determination to come forward with a piece of his talent, and keep doin' that no matter what are the obstacles that they are encountering.
What are you looking forward to in 2016?
We have some releases ready that will hit the stores in the close future, and we are looking forward to produce more music that we'll love to share with anybody that likes it.
What do you hope for?
To be honest, health and peace. Having these two can only lead to achieving what you desire and helps you stay on the line.
Words: Kat Kat Tat ∆ Planetkat
MEOKO wass born in 2011 five years on, the music and events platform is going from strentgh to strength, always trying to bring you the freshest in electronic music and what is going on around the world, this year MEOKO itself is taking over the patronage on New Years Day and teaming up with One Night to bring you some of the finest and freshest talents around to make you party till the early hours of 2016.
TICKETS AVAILABLE ON RESIDENT ADVISOR Its that kind of event which will make you want to travel until the end of the world – and beyond – only to be part of whatever it may be. It is more than exciting to become part of something which is a little off the radar yet so vanguard it is more than just surprising that this is happening. It does, as if by magic, in this exact constellation: Alex Cellar. Nu-Zau. Derek. Melodie. And Thomas Purton. Look no further.
All these amazing artists – some of the most remarkable and up and coming underground artists around – make up the nucleus of this fantastic party, all brought together in one single night which is bound to be an excess of fresh frequencies and fantastic frolics, thanks to our teams great artist curatorship.
Headliner is Alex Celler of Trelik, Tuning Spork and Concealed fame. No stranger to MEOKO lovers, he is a safe bet for a fantastic workout on the dancefloor. The greek master of all things modular has dance music in his vains: his old man used to run a discotheque in Thessaloniki. It's the total biography clichee, but Alex got his first fix through his record collection. With his move to London in 2004 where he picked up his studies in sound engineering, Alex became serious about making music for the dancefloor that "has its own personality, its own story to tell, its own vibe and groove“. He resisted until 2014 to submit a demo to Trelik, one of his most admired labels, and got picked up by Baby Ford after investigating modular synth sounds. It seems like the quest to creating the most forward-thinking, alien sounds possible has paid off, so join him on his voyage.
Alex Celler Exclusive Mix - Listen HERE
Read Full interview HERE
He is backed up by the creme de la creme of the up and coming next wave of amazing Romanian DJs and producers: Nu-Zau, known for his output on Uvar and Soul Inn Records, is about endless alterations and rhythms, sounds, percussions, basslines. Growing up with hip-hop sounds, he was also heavily influenced by the minimal sounds that were all of a sudden cropping up all around him in Bucarest with the a:rpia:r crew being the centre of things. Nu-Zau's way sparse, stripped-back productions originally owe a lot to their aesthetics, yet he has been pushing the boundaries even further with his efforts on on the glitchier, more drawn-out side of electronic music, culminating in the release of his debut album through pioneering minimal imprint Archipel in 2012. Sincethen, Nu-Zau has been busy developing Uvar, his own label, and exploring sounds in all its facets.
Derek is probably the most remarkable newcomer hailing from Romania right now. Only 21 years old, just signed to MEOKO agency and having released his first record at 16 which saw him spinning alongside Tania Volcano in Ibiza before he was legally allowed to enter liquor stores in some countries, and this laid back been-there-seen-it-all attitude explains his approach to sound and production: really open-minded and without any need to rush things: he just knows how to follow his instincts. His recent string of releases on labels like Parang and Hourglass are just the tip of the iceberg.
Read Full interview on introducting Derek on MEOKO - Click HERE
In a similar vain, deep thinker Melodie, similarly fine and fresh, is another safe bet when it comes to producing unpredictable, intelligent sound. He is connected to the machines, in order to produce emotional music, which in turn, results in better understanding of emotion. After landing a release of Metereze, Raresh's label, the tracks had been set for him to keep exploring., and he has not stopped ever since, only gaining momentum.
Read more about Melodie in Resident Advisor - Breaking Through
Last but not least Thomas Purton, also hailing from Bukarest, and one of the newest additions to the scene.We are excited to be there with all of you fancy faces. Time to huddle up with like-minded music heads and dance like nobody is watching us...just how it all began.
Not only is MEOKO a quality source for all things techno and house, this fantastic music resource is at the forefront of bringing quality artists to the right spot at the right time.For more information on MEOKO and what we do, go to www.meoko.net .
For more info and tickets fot this limited capacity event - click here
FUSE New Year Party 2014, Sub Club, and an Enzo Siragusa and Seb Zito b2b is cracking into a super receptive Scottish crowd, laying down their typical mix of busy basslines and shooty hats. That night there were a few tracks that really got me blasted, and one in particular that I didn’t hear again until I made my final visit to Crucifix Lane before its closure, where the same track pounced out of the system with electrifying consequences.
After a hefty soundcloud dig, I finally found the track in question, ’OMW’, and its makers, Zendid, who are the latest double team to enter into the arena, both born in the lovely Pink City, Toulouse. Since I discovered the duo, these speedy chaps have printed their names onto a total of eight records, including one on John Dimas' excellent start up, Elephant Moon. Label owners can’t seem to resist the boys, probably because of their fresh, lemony twist on the 909 based house from the lovey dovey days of twenty years ago.
When the two serendipitous met at a house party back in 2010, they found solace in each others level of production and musical tastes, quickly deciding to pair up and run with what they had. “Our relationship is based on the importance and the passion we have in common for music. Since the beginning of our collaboration, we easily worked together and constantly pushed each other on to how to improve. We’re always trying to develop and get the best out of ourselves, and that is the main goal.”
Yet their achievements are more than just good fortune. Zendid have slogged it out in their studio, forging tunes from a heavenly combo of hardware and Live in order to get to that bouncy, rough & tumble sound. With their inspirations Ricardo, Zip and the [a:rpia:r] crew at the forefront of their minds, they cleverly waited until their tracks really resonated with themselves before they started looking at homes for them. ’We took time to release cos it’s also super important to feel your music before you show it to the world.”
That pinch of patience might have just been the killer ingredient in this wicked dish. With a new EP on Discobar set for pressing next month, and another release on Park and Ride scheduled for later in 2016, the boys are looking at ten releases in less than a year, whilst playing at parties at OFF Sonar and in Moscow too.
...Not forgetting that alongside their productions, these guys are proper selectors too, and have kindly put together a chunky mix for MEOKO. Stealthily blending spacey house with jiggin, analogy basslines, this showcase is more experimental and deeper than what I expected the boys to bring to the table, seeing as their tunes are so tight and ready for the floor. “Mixing is part of our lives, we love to spin, and in a way, we’re living for it. It’s a huge part of us. We don’t record many mixes because each mix is something unique, which we are sharing in this present moment, with what we are feeling right now.”
With gigs scheduled for Manchester (RUBIC), Barcelona (Checkpoint) and London (Kaked) alongside continued support for the chaps tracks at the moment, I expect 2016 to only bring more love for the splendid, Zendid.
Catch the boys wicked guest mix here:
Half Baked, London's seminal Sunday party, is turning six this month. Meoko talked to Bruno Ciaramicoli, one of the two founders about the forthcoming birthday party, whilst also recalling some of Half Baked historical moments.
Half Baked has passed through quite a few developmental stages, from being a new born underground event held in warehouses, it has grown into a full-blown, full-scale event that encompasses a booking agency as well as a record label. Yet it has managed to stay true to some of its original traits while also managing to grow into something more substantial. Half Baked is currently venturing out into the world, which is very exciting to say the least. Those bicycles – making up part of the deco since day one – have gone a long way.
The sixth year celebration sees some of the finest Half Baked guest DJs return to Studio 338, a place which has held quite a few Half Baked parties over the last year. This year's line-up is an extension of the former years, building on strong and lost lasting ties with DJs and artists who are forming part of the extended family. For example Zip, Birdsmakingmachine and Seuil, all backed up by residents like Robin Ordell and Greg Brockmann will be playing, and of course, there is the unusual shenagins of workshops, live art and photobooths.
What's the story behind Half Baked? How did it all start and why on Sunday?
Bruno Ciaramicoli: Half Baked started on my 25th birthday party. Remi and I had this idea of taking a carpark instead of a club or other usual venues, called the Fairchild arches, and for a long time after that party everyone kept asking us to do it again! We were all working during the weekend, so Sunday was the beginning of our weekend and that's why we picked that day.
What made you choose the name, wasn't there some David Chapelle stuff of the same name? Just googled... :)
Hahahah no, the name Half Baked came from arriving to Sunday afternoon "half" baked from the whole weekend, sorry no fancy references ;)
You once said that Half Baked is "catering for people who want to party outside the boundaries of clubs and bars." What's the philosophy behind Half Baked and how does it differ from other parties held in clubs?
Bruno Ciaramicoli: When we started Half Baked it was very easy to find carparks, warehouses and other "unusual" spaces so after the first party we kind of made it our signature to do our parties in alternative venues. It is getting harder though, so sometimes we've had to compromise. However, we've remained true to our original philosophy of having a more rounded artistic orientation so you'll always find art installations, live art, workshops and original decorations at our parties.
What's the secret behind Half Baked's success from day one?
Bruno Ciaramicoli: It started as a big Birthday party, so it was (and still is) about friends, family, love and our passion for music and really just having a lot of fun together! I guess that's what makes Half Baked very special.
What's the musical concept of Half Baked?
Bruno Ciaramicoli: We're rooted in house music, but we've often dipped into techno and more minimal sounds with some of our lineups. We don't really like to limit ourselves to one particular sound, our interests lie in many different genres and styles of music and so to keep things different and interesting we like to change it from party to party.
Did you ever imagine that Half Baked would turn six, and how do you feel about this progression of time? How did you choose the line-up for this Birthday?
Bruno Ciaramicoli: Well we didn't really think about it at the beginning, but yes kind of. Our vision is to work hard to keep it up and growing because it's our "baby" and it's what we love to do. Especially seeing it going worldwide has made us all very proud and even more motivated! This year's lineup is all about our closest friends and artists that we feel are part of the Half Baked family.
Do you feel it's hard to stay true to the self-made roots so many years down the line? Do you still have self-made deco (like the bicycle and mannequin)?
Bruno Ciaramicoli: Yes, it's very hard indeed to keep our roots alive – you know like the issues with finding new unusual venues and all the licensing issues that we as promoters face every month - it's become very challenging but we can only adapt to those changes and keep our core concept solid. With regards to the bike – I cannot believe you're asking me that question, hahaha... Yes, it's still the same bike from six years ago, just like the Half Baked sign! The Mannequin is currently on holiday, but he's doing well and is thinking about coming back soon ;)
Do you feel it's hard to stay afloat in London? What's your vision of the future for Half Baked and what's coming up next?
Bruno Ciaramicoli: Yes and no, we have so many new people coming who are interested in what we do and are keen to get involved, but also many of our older friends that still attend, even though it may not be as regularly as in the past (they would never miss the Birthday though!). For us the vision of the future, is the Half Baked family spreading across borders to different countries and becoming bigger. Some of those new friends we only see once a year, but it's every year so we're looking forward to every single showcase we do to reunite with them around the globe! For the future of Half Baked, we are planning some very special events and line ups for our friends and family in the UK and worldwide. We have also quite a few surprises for the upcoming releases on Half Baked Records, our record label, with... well, it's a surprise, right! Stay tuned ;)
with 'Birthday Baked' as the subject heading, and tell us what flavor cake should be (half) baked ready for the 6th birthday celebrations!
Words by Katrin Ritcher
Find the Half Baked 6th Birthday Resident Advisor event here.
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There is a massive catalogue of digital releases on Dani Casaranos and Felipe Valenzuelas well-established and renowned Melisma label, and their even more select vinyl-only Melisma Limited. With the output of both, they bridge the gap between the established past and the vanguard future. To establish what is going on, we go back and forth for some time. Yes, its Wednesday night and we both have not recovered from our deprived sleep we missed out on the previous weekend.
Once more, we took the chance to connect with Melisma mastermind Dani Casarano (it is the third interview MEOKO conducted with him over the course of previous years), and to talk about Felipe Valenzuela’s and his merits in putting forward a label with a giant scope is something magical: the more we talk, there is always another facet to discover plus there are quite a few releases coming up on the labels which we would love to highlight while we are at it, seems as if Dani and Melisma have gained massive momentum in the recent years of his career.
There are the remixes from the likes of Ricardo Villalobos, Thomas Melchior and Fumiya Tanaka and their project Tofu Productions with all whom have made appearances on the label, Felipe Venegas who had remixes by Birdsmakingmachine, the fifth vinyl by Argentinean producer Federico Molinari, and then an EP by Ricardo Villalobos together with Argenis Brito. On top of this, there will be the end-of-the-year anual compendium, a digital compilation with artists like Cesar Merveille, Jorge Savoretti, Cosmin, a new digital release called “Derek” by Felipe and Dani with remixes by Dorian Paic and Federico Molinari, and a Various Artist EP on Nastias label Propaganda.
Then those fantastic label nights like the one they did in Ibiza this year, in collaboration with Zoo Project, with Ricardo Villalobos, Thomas Melchior, Umho, Felipe Valenzuela and Dani Casarano. Then another one in Berlin’s Neue Heimat con Laurine, Nicolas Lutz, Jan Krüger, Felipe Valenzuela and again Dani. Right now, there is another one coming up, on Berlin’s Hoppetosse, in collaboration with nightclubber.ro. We manage to skim off the vital information in a true late night session as we are very keen to know more about these recent happenings!
You live in Berlin for three years right now, and you said you chose this city because there aren’t many like it these days?
Dani Casarano: Yes, I decided to come here because I felt I could identify with the life style this city is promoting, and also because I knew that I would be able to get better at what I do simply by listening to people who inspire me and who share the same passion.
How was Berlin treating you when you got here?
Dani Casarano: It was a hard Winter with four solid months of snow, but surprisingly, I did not feel bothered by this; things were falling into place for me. I got to know the people from Club der Visionäre and started to put on my monthly event there in 2013. It is called B.A.S, Berlin Aural Sessions. The summer editions are taking place in CDV, the during the cold season we party on the Hoppetosse which is run by the same people and is like their Winter exile.
When exactly did you start to push your label nights, and why did you not do it straight away?
Dani Casarano: We did do label nights, but we did them in other locations, such as Chalet and other clubs. Right now, we count on the stability offered by Hoppetosse and Club der Visionäre. The project B.A.S runs under a different moniker as we also wanted to invite artists that are not in any form related to Melisma.
Who do you make each project with? Or is it the same people?
Dani Casarano: Melisma are Felipe and I, who make the label and the radio show, and B.A.S are Valentina Colvin and me.
So how did you get to the stage when Melisma became more than just a label? Or did you always think of it as a concept?
Dani Casarano: This was always the basic idea right from the start. I like to generate things and it is very necessary that one, as an artist, needs content in order to be able to move forward in one’s career. Unless you have content, it is totally necessary that you are with a big agency – or you create your own brand.
Content in which sense?
Dani Casarano: What I mean is that only being a DJ does not give you much weight unless you are with a big agency that pushes you, but if you want something to say, in your own way, you do it by creating your own brand. You can do that by making many things, amongst them a label, radio shows, and events. There is your content.
Did you have a well thought-through concept – for example who would release on Melisma – when you started or did this pan out along the way?
Dani Casarano: We never thought that so many well-respected artists would participate, but this happened naturally.
So you put out digital releases with Felipe and other Chilean friends, until you made a leap and brought out stuff on vinyl? With people like Ricardo?
Dani Casarano: Yes, exactly, we started off as friends, and worked with them, which is still what we are doing these days, which is why I said that the labels progression was natural process, an evolution of what we are and what we are doing, me as much as Felipe.
Tell me about the differences between Melisma, and Melisma Limited. Why was there a need for different imprints?
Dani Casarano: We release digitally as we are living in the year 2015, and there are thousands of followers around the world who cannot buy vinyls. We also use this cannel to showcase new artists, and widen our network. Vinyl is different market. It is more reduced.
How is the connection between of Melisma and Nightclubber.ro, you are also about to release a record by a Romanian artist.
Dani Casarano: The connection is that we talked about a possible colaboration for some time, and finally we get to do it. That there is also a release by a Romanian artist – he is called Guy From Downstairs – is just a coincidence. We love what he does. But we like all sorts of stuff, so this is why the next vinyl reléase is by an artista from Argentina, Federico Molinari, and we focus on working with people who we like, whether they are from Romania, Chile, Germany, Argentina, Italy, Africa or China or wherever.
Yeah but it is interesting: the Romanian people poined out of how much importance Ricardo is to them, as he is a person who opened a lot of possibilities for them in the exterior world.
Dani Casarano: Totally.
Which is why I am surprised by these parellels in musical development coming from Chile and Romania.
Dani Casarano: I thnk it is vital that these kind of aspects flow and that there is an interchange, it only brings forth positive developments.
I would like to know if there is an underlying business aspect to make a label these days. You know: the marketing, the tendencies, who people want to listen to, where they go to dance. These things.
Dani Casarano: I do not view it as a business, to be honest. My label only grows in order to sustain itself, I would not mind if I made money with it, but what matters is the music,
Did you ever incorpórate a Melisma in your music?
Dani Casarano: As far as I know, a Melisma its a pitch change within the voice, within the spectrum of an octave. That is basically the connection with the name: this idea to change the octave for me means change within the musical spectrum. A true master for this voice effect was Stevie Wonder, check for example “Isn’t She Lovely” I have never employed it in my music!
Join Melisa Series at Hoppetosse on the 20th Nov with Cristi Cons & Vlad Caia as SIT, Dani Casarano, Felipe Valenzuela and Zefzeed. More info here.
MORE DANI CASARANO
MORE FELIPE VALENZUELA
Words and interview: Kat @ planetkat.com
MEOKO are extremely proud to add Alex Celler into the mix series, who has supplied us with a wicked hour of stompy and sophisticated sounds. Featuring deep digs from as far back as 97’, this is a fascinating insight into Alex's minimal mind with some stunning selections that ooze heat and grit. I caught up with the lovely Greek to find out a bit more about his love of modular, Villalobos and his latest release on Trelik. #207. Listen here.
Hey Alex! So where were you born in Greece and what were your early influences musically?
Hey! Okay I was born in Thessaloniki, Greece. It might sound cliche but my father actually did have a massive record collection (about 5.000 pieces) as since 1979 he owned one of the first Discos in town. There was tons of jazz there, fusion, funk, disco, soul and a bit of rock but recently i discovered some super rare original versions of disco singles too like Ahzz - New York's Movin (1981) and High Frequency – Summertime (1980). I was very excited as you can imagine. While growing up my parents would listen mostly to funk, soul and jazz, so those were my first memories, along with music of the Greek composer Manos Hadjidakis which our nursery & elementary schools introduced us to, quite a choice i have to say.
Do you remember the first influential (house music) tune you heard? Also what was the scene like in Greece?
Kenlou - The Bounce was certainly the first track that really blew me away when i was young. That must have been back in the late 90's. I was 13-14 at the time and a friend of my dad gave him a CD with some Greek DJ's CD mix with loads of house tunes. It was the first house music i've heard, Masters at Work and other solid straight up house jams. The first record i bought was Attaboy - New World on Toko records from the UK. Cool deep house, but back in the day apart from a friend of two there was very few people to help me get started and introduce me to good house & techno records, so it took me sometime till i discovered the really inspiring stuff few years later. I left Greece in 2004 so i really didn't get to see much of the scene back in the day. There were some influential clubs like Faz in Athens in the early 90's, Plus Soda and Umatic also come to mind. Cavo Paradiso in Mykonos was a blast in the early 2000's also and Decadence & Venue in Thessaloniki but i didn't get to see much of that. When i was growing up there was loads of progressive house and psy-trance going on, i was exposed to that a lot, some very interesting records in those genres too, but not ultimately my kinda thing.
When did you start making music? What was it like?!
I started making music about 2001 or so. I still use the same program i used back then, the dated and archaic Sony Acid, which is - sadly - not in production anymore. People wonder, but in reality all you need is a good soundcard, good speakers and quality hardware. The DAW is not as hugely important as people think, although this is debatable. My first tracks were surely very average prog house mixed with tech house and also super hard techno.
And moving to London in 2004… How did that all come about?
Since the late 90's i was reading DJ Magazine, Mixmag, Musik and i was really into what was happening in the UK, Fabric, The End, The Cross, Ministry of Sound, it was all a dream world for me. I knew that it was a very important place for electronic music and i did speak English, so naturally it was my best bet. Staying home wasn't an option as i knew i wanted to be in the most influential place i could possibly be - in regards with house & techno. Thankfully my parent agreed to help me study music engineering so in September of 2004 i started my studies at SAE College.
I would say your music is deeper than your average track in terms of emotion and meaning. Do you always try to write about experiences / emotions instead of just making club music?
For me, that's the exact goal, to hit the nail in the head and find the right balance between ''writing about experiences & emotions'' and ''making club music''. If you focus more in one rather than the other, you mind end up with something which carries a lot of emotion but doesn't necessarily move people and has little effect on the dance floor. Or the exact opposite: you might end up with a functional, groovy track which doesn't stand out, it's just a groove and will be easily forgotten. I see each track of mine as separate entity, as a unique existence and non-replicated event which has it's own personality, it's own story to tell, it's own vibe and groove. If all these things don't come together in harmony and if all the frequencies and the elements don't coincide, then i don't consider the track finished. That's why although i have literally hundreds of unreleased tracks, i rarely release or share them with friends. Because i don't think they are fully complete, mature or worthy of being presented. One needs to make no concession when making music, you gotta be strict with yourself and only present the very best of the best.
I know Ricardo is a big influence in your music, what is it about him that inspires you so much?
It's impossible to put that in a box. Ricardo is a perfectionist and a complete purist in the way he approaches music and sound, in every possible way. He presents to you his compositions in it's most perfect form, at least this is how i perceive it. Every single thing is inspiring in his productions. Where does one start? The infectious groove & the drum programming? The deep musicality and melodiousness? The absence of anything redundant and it's pure edginess? The authority by which the music manifests itself, it's stomp and its' thud? His impeccable mixdowns and the audiophile level sound quality & recording techniques? The boldness, the fresh sound design on his synths or the inventiveness of the vocals? Or maybe the attitude of the actual groove and of the music, which caries tons of tones and tons of bravery too. Maybe it's the unpredictability and it' refreshing, futuristic scope that i enjoy the most, that's what inspires me the most. His music sounds alien, from another planet, from the future; but is mixed with an unstoppable, infectious groove. It really moves you, but its also so edgy. Genius combination.
We covered your latest EP Haz on Trelik, how has it been going and how did you begin your relationship with Baby Ford?
So far so good, i am very glad with the way things are going. Releasing in a record label with such history as Trelik is a privilege and i am feeling blessed for that. In regards with the record getting signed and my relationship with Baby Ford, that goes back some time. In 2009 i set a long-term plan and made some decisions. I took a big loan and invested time & money in my studio. I also put in selfish amount of working hours in making music. Props to my partner at that time for putting up with that. I wanted to get signed with a big record label of Trelik´s caliber. At that time most of my friends smiled at me with some sympathy, mixed with amusement i´d say. That was of course expected, but you gotta be in it to win it. The hardest part is being patient: you usually only get one chance and you can't waste it. I resisted the temptation many times to submit a demo over the past 5 years, as i felt my music wasn't good enough. But come November 2014, i finally decided i had some tracks Peter may like and gave him a CD, in Fabric along with the 7th release in our record label Sylphe (run by myself and Kreon). Then Peter pulled of his bag the 2nd release of Sylphe and told me it was one of his favorite records that year, so i guess that helped a bit. A month a half later, on Boxing day 2014, we agreed with Peter for the next Trelik release, TR027, to be 2 track of mine Haz & Pacificon. A truly unique Christmas present i'd say.
And what was the meaning behind Haz in the end…
Haz is one of these tracks that was made in the flick of a moment over one session. Not much thinking put into it. My mind was in ''fun'' mode, which is by far the most productive mode when in studio. Also, Haz was made with Gemini in mind. It's my tiny tribute to him and inspired from his work if you like. Dedicated to his huge heritage and influence in our scene. Also, i'll give you another insight. Baby Ford had initially chosen two other tracks of mine to release: Adios and Sam's Shuffle. Then, one evening we were chilling in my studio and my girlfriend was around too. She said out of the blue ''Why don't you play to Peter that track you have sitting around, Haz''? At that moment i was caught by surprise as i didn't expect that suggestion from her and also never considered releasing or submitting Haz as a demo. Props to her, Peter was excited to hear Haz (and Pacificon a bit later) and decided to replace the initially signed tracks with the ones that came out now. Crazy how life turns out some time!
I know you are a big digger and this mix is full of wicked records… what were your thoughts / feelings when you were making this mix?
You'll have to excuse me for this, i have to be completely honest: making mixes in the studio on my own, live or not isn't so much fun, so i always see mixes or podcasts as a arduous, demanding task. I think that nothing beats the actual moment where you play in the club and interact with people. To be fair however, making a mix on your own lets you give another perspective to mixing, maybe a more chilled one where you can pick and choose records without the pressure of time running out and - why not - sometimes make better choices.
There is definitely a modular feel to all the tracks too. Do you have a modular system and how important are machines and these systems in your productions / track selections?
Indeed in this mix some tracks do have modular sounds/soundscapes, i do like edgy sounds i admit. I have been building a Eurorack modular system since 2011. It really is a beautiful thing, sounds beautiful and looks beautiful. It also it is a real addiction, should you decide to invest in it seriously. Modular systems are like women: You need time to understand them, but you never really know what they want. You to invest money for them, but it's never enough! Modular systems have a life of their own, one day you can be patching and it sounds awful and next day for no apparent reason you got the most serious sounds going on. They really are at the forefront of sound design, presenting us to a whole new world of sonic capabilities, sounds from the future. To this day i have, curiously, met more people who actually have given up on modulars, rather than those who actually stayed true to them. I guess that's partially because of the complexity and dedication they command. For me, being a wholehearted admirer of Ricardo's work, they are of paramount importance both in my productions and DJ sets. I mean, i see it this way: I love the 808 and 909 drum & percussion sounds, they are always going to be within my sound palette, i used them all the time. They are the classical sounds of house & techno. But as a young musician, I consider it my duty not only to use these sounds that have been massively explored by most of us, but also to introduce new sound palettes and timbres into electronic music. The modular is exactly that, an open system which enables you to create all the stuff you have ever imagined, plus so many other sounds you never dreamed of. Of course this has been done already, but it has not been explored and abused the way other machines have. So because of its endless connection capabilities and it's openness as a system, it creates countless possibilities for creating the most forward-thinking, alien sounds possible.
Stuff to look out for from you in the coming future?
More stuff to Trelik or Pal SL hopefully next year, but also a follow up of my last year's Tuning Spork/Contexterrior release ''Kammsa/Plex Astunde'' and a follow up of my release ''Polhammer'' in Martinez's label Concealed Sounds. Next month we are doing our regular Sylphe night at Paradigm in Groningen, with our guest being Margaret Dygas and also there's another date i am doing for some Greek friends who run Silk Group on 12th of December here in London.
Next record you’re gonna buy...
Possibly some random 50p 12'' in a dusty bargain basement! Always my favorite way of record shopping.
Catch Alex Cellar on NYD playing for MEOKO meets One Night at Bar 512 - More Info on event HERE
More Alex Celler?
Words by Marlon
Digging into the fertile grounds of the London electronic music scene, you will find Sub Terrania, a land deep under where no one sleeps and subs gently bleep.
With its sixth birthday coming up, the crew members have done everything in their capability to come up with an extra memorable lineup to celebrate this special occasion, and as usual they pay great attention to detail which explains their serious take on special constellations
Hailing from Argentina and the United States, the amazing duo Loud Neighbor, who, with their dark and industrial techno roots, are nailing it, is making their debut in London. Furthermore, a unique show - Voigtmann b2b Alexi Delano -will make those squeal in delight who are aware of the capabilities of both. Two respective geniuses, guided by their own power doubled, playing back to back? You cannot afford to miss it. Next one up: Vinyl Speed Adjust, a duo from Romania that simply love their vinyl. And so will you. And don't forget about this secret guest from Fuse that cannot be announced. So we wont announce him Just come and dance.
To round things off, the Sub Terrania residents, Mauro Ferno & Mestivan, Andre King, Sputnick, Modebaku and Zi, will all lay the foundations of many more years to come. As they all say collectively: Sub Terrania has an electronic music story that goes beyond. "It's a story that gave us a unique and singular musical entity. The story that gave us the love and passion that we have about the electronic music scene."
Be part of their story: http://bit.do/sub_terrania_ticket."
SUB TERRANIA 6th BIRTHDAY with:
► LOUD NEIGHBOR LIVE (US)
workt34m . truetype tracks
► VOIGTMANN B2B SECRET GUEST
toi toi musik . hello?repeat . ad limited . little helpers
► VINYL SPEED ADJUST (RO)
visonquest . pressure traxx
► SECRET GUEST FUSE
► SUB TERRANIA SHOWCASE
EVENT INFO: http://bit.do/sub_terrania_birthday
EVENT TICKET: http://bit.do/sub_terrania_ticket
Rarely ever, a visual artist had so much visual impact on an electronic music scene as Cote. The Bukarest-based visual artist uses space and three dimensional objects as the visual starting point to deconstruct reality as we know it. Leaving little trace on your stream of consciousness while completely altering it, he is working himself through a multi-layered universe, managing to pan in and out of CAD-inspired microcosmic with ease and eclecticism while also having a solid theoretical backup to explain what he is on (about). Touring with the Romanian nuschool, Cote’s art is closely linked to their music whilst also creating an outerworldly experience that goes beyond the limitations of ambientation of conventional electronic music party formats.
This is why he is making up the visual backbone of intrinsic, a London based organisation that seeks to push the boundaries of experimentation into unknown territories. Challenging the artists – be it musician or visual artist – to freely explore his or her own limits of what is possible, it leaves the artist as well as the audience in a real time experiment the outcome and result of which is unknown. MEOKO is embracing such creative endeavour with vigour which is why we managed to connect with Cote on a higher level. Riding a train of thought into hyperspace, we managed to catch up with him between the lines to talk about ideas, inspiration, and even the future.
Hey, how do you feel, and what are you up to right now?
Hi, I am and feel at home, replying to our discussion from before. Thank you for your interest by the way.
Your art is related to the dance scene of now, especially in Romania. How did you and your art become linked to DJs and their art?
By twiddling with architectural renderings on sleepless mornings in the early 2000s.
You said that if the music is not working, the visuals are not working. How come the two are so intertwined for you?
People come for the music, projections are nice-to-have.
Have you ever made visual art without sound, i.e. some installation in a gallery?
Yes, the 'Nadia slides' with Vlad Nanca went from gallery to a psychodiagnosis-thru-art collection
And 'Pingtime', as a part of the gamefication movement.
Nadia, found slides. A collaboration with Vlad Nanca
You talked about your contextual approach - what does this mean and how does this relate to other approaches?
It has to do with site-specific setups, the content is not the same everywhere. The room you find yourself in becomes part of the message. It is the same for most DJs.
Tell me about the spaces that you use, what is a good criteria for you to work?
Going out of the frame is something that is not new, to projections it makes the content more immersive. Also, constructing your own frames is a possibility, a physical framework that you will interact with.
[a:rpia:r] at Sunwaves
How is the technical aspect of your work? What is the minimum setup you need? What is absolute necessary to consider when working?
Technical production does help but it can also be a diy setup. Visuals feel different from different perspectives.
What is your dream space for you to work in?
I am looking forward for actual hologram technology to emerge.
How do you make use of CAD-inspired projections, are they like backbones of your structure?
When you unfold the projection inside of the virtual canvas, you make a map of the room and it looks like a CAD drawing. It comes with a bit of rigour.
Tell me about real-time as opposed to pre-rendering.
It is like comparing a video-game to a movie: with the first one, you can act back on the fly. And maybe you miss out on other things.
Cezar at SNRS48
Lets talk about content, you said you are free of politics in your visuals?
Yes, but I have used references for creating dramatic effects, adding tension.
Where does your search for harmony come from as opposed to "breaking stuff"?
For me personally, it has to do with the programming approach to making visuals. Structure just makes more sense if you go that way. There is nevertheless a polished feeling to what comes out of my Romanian surroundings. Probably there is less critique at the moment, and more (naive?) enthusiasm.
You are an architect by formation, how did you discover the possibility to become a VJ? Who or what showed you your first steps?
I have been in a long term cycle of ideas between physical and virtual realms : Early 90s computers were to me a continuation of childhood drawing. Late 90s, the ease of bringing out form into the physical world via print/light pixels. Doing CAD studies in the early 00s was simulating the physical world back into the computer.Since 2006, i have used vvvv for programming things back into the real world.
What is vvvv?
vvvv is a visual programming platform for prototyping things related to multimedia. It has been my trusted technical companion for 9 years now. I encourage everybody to give it a shot.
Pingtime, a collaboration with the Time crew
Who was the first DJ or producer you started to work with, how did this come about and how was your approach back then?
I have done little producer-centric work to this day. I first got to play in 2005 for Synthplants, a soundsystem from in and around Bucharest. At that time I used takeouts from movies more than anything else. In the lapse of time they have dissolved to more abstract ideas.
Tell me about Videogram, your collective?
Videogram started out in 2008 as a permanent collaboration with Silviu Visan (Dreamrec) and Florin Iscru. A mix of people with different approaches to putting content into scenery: television, graphic design and architecture. It has been a most influential time for me, learning a lot on many levels. During the last four years, group activity has faded, making room for individual work. Sometimes we do team up on a project-base.
[a:rpia:r] at Sinaia Casino, a collaboration with Dreamrec, as Videogram
You also made interactive stuff like Pingtime, an augmented pingpong game, do you have any more "cute" side projects?
At the moment, I hand-trace railroads in Google Earth.
What kind of journey would you like to take one day?
We seem on a journey all the time.
How do you imagine the future?
In short term, crowdfunding-style. In long term, understanding of mechanics beyond our physical realm.
Your art is perfect for brands to claw onto to drink up your your essence and sell it as a package with their product. How do you feel about this danger?
I think art-brands-claw-drink-essence-package sounds a bit biased. There are places where interests of party goers and sales people meet. So I sometimes get invited to play by the latter, too.
You said delay gives opportunity for a retake, some more individual reinterpretation of history. Why?
Socio-economics propagate slowly over physical distances. So if you travel from one country to another it is sometimes like a time-journey. So think about what you would change if you could travel in time..
When you go to other places, how do you feel your work is received outside your originating scene?
I try to address sensibilities that cross social affiliation.
Did you already work with DJs and artists or organisations that are not from Romania?
I have worked with some people from both the club and the media-arts scene from Europe.
Is there a local reference in your work?
Not so much a reference, but the local music culture has been a vehicle for my work.
Praslesh at NextWave
Why is it important for your art - and for you? - to have a set change organically rather than a narration?
I program part of a set in realtime, so I prefer longer sets because there is room for evolving something, taking it apart or maybe loosing it and having to rebuild. Sometimes I change little of what is in the beginning.
Is growth change? Isn't that a narration to? Is any train of thought or workflow a narration?
Perceiving may be quite instant. It is its verbal description that extends in time, and may become a narration.
Are there also ruptures or would this also create a disharmonic element?
I do use moments of rupture. Sometimes they come from a technical breakdown. For rupture/disharmony you need to arrange proper flow and harmony. I rather struggle with that.
I saw an image of a black cat floating in the reel, how did this come about? With so much absence of pictorial imagery in your art, this stood out as either symbolic or total absence of meaning, pictogram dada.... What would you say?
I think they were bubbles of meaning, required in a larger abstract composition.
And maybe the shape or the meme quality.
You said your art moves on a bodily level, what about the mental level, you want to create a zen state by letting it rest?
things you still use if you would boot your mind in safe mode. it is an act of retrieval.
Sunwaves Minus night
How is the development of the next stage coming along, you said you want to move towards more simplicity?
I sometimes use too many graphical layers, I hide between them. More articulation would draw from graphical design and conceptual art, so that is something to look into more carefully.
Who or what inspires you, in which way?
Everything between natural processes and the directions of the people around me.
Regarding inspiration, i have two more points to make: I try to reverse-engineer a process that I like. And I can get carried away with programming the visuals.
How does one manage to be more expressive?
Letting go of many things.
How was working with Afumati at Intrinsic? Have you worked with them before? How did these musicians have, if at all, any influence on your visuals?
Afumati is a side project of Cezar and Praslea where they play a more atmospheric set. This was an opportunity for less drama and more contemplation, so we looked into the complexity of self mirroring materials.
Afumati at Intrinsic
What were the challenges at Intrinsic?
Addressing a different crowd felt like a challenge, luckyly that went well.
How will working with the other artists will be, e/tape and Gyorgy? Will you prepare something special connected to their music or will you exclusively flow in real-time with them - and they with you?
e/tape is a kindred soul and I have known him for years, I listen to his sound montages sometimes and i feel that they come in a more naturalistic approach then what i am used to, usually. In terms of preparation, when I get to return to a place/happening, I tend to continue where I feel I have left last time. As for a feedback from visual to music, I have not experienced this, but it sounds nice.
What is Intrinsic for you?
it is a more personal platform, where you dance away in your mind.
Win Tickets to Intrinsic Event
Words by Katrin Richter
Valeriu Catalineanu, link is http://www.catalineanu.ro
More Intrinsic FB
Intrinsic Event Details
It was the sixth graders that initally sparked Derek’s curiosity for dance music. The deep sounds of Villalobos and Hawtin they sent over to him was enough to prompt further investigation by the young Romanian, who swiftly fell for the seductive shades of minimal techno, naturally taking a fancy to the [a:rpia:r] gentlemen along the way.
Derek quickly started mixing and within eighteen months had released his first EP at sixteen years old. At that age I was worrying about getting served in Bargain Booze and reaching Brigadier in Halo 3 - I hadn’t even begun to dream about getting tracks signed to label. Expecting a fitting explanation, I patted Derek down and searched in his pockets for an answer; Perhaps a grandmother with some classical training, his mum and dad with a little record collection? Nada.
And yet the successes kept coming, at seventeen, young Derek stepped off the plane onto the hot White Isle and warmed up for Tania Vulcano and Dyed Soundorom for Pandamonium, DC10. “When I landed I had no words, everything around me looked so familiar you know… It was like okay, I’m here right now…but I felt like I’d been here before too.” At this point we both couldn’t help but wonder that maybe this was meant to be.
The most impressive aspect about Derek though, aside from the now long list of European gigs under his belt, is his nature; Mature, calm, unphased. Now at 21, he is six years in the game, three vinyl releases strong and yet is continuing about his life as normal, enjoying the gigs when they come, working hard on his music and studies in-between. I can’t help but feel like somebody from the UK in the same position would of ended up horribly west of this place, prepped for the superstar system, pumped with fatty promise and sugary hype. The [a:rpia:r] boys have to take at least some of the credit for this. Their approach is trickling down to the aspiring producers and DJs in Romania: The music should come first, do it with love and let nature run its course. With such a wise philosophy, it makes sense that this young man is relaxed about the journey that lies ahead. “Its just fun making and playing music.” - exactly how it should be.
That’s not to say he is resting on his laurels, Derek is moving in the right circles, collaborating with the likes of Nima Gorji, Dubsons and Hozok, whilst rippin' down gigs in the Sahara, Tolouse (Cocoon Heroes) and again in Ibiza (Ibiza Underground, Circoloco). With a love of the arts too, a new vinyl label is deep in the works, all forged with an analogue, VHS theme. “I like this kind of art, its very nice to mix music and these kind of images.’ all pointing to a tasty concept, rich with emotion and tangibility.
Loaded with clean productions and a fluid style behind the decks, Derek is at the crest of the next wave of Romanian talent with a bright future in reach. I think we’re all glad he didn’t waste his teenage years like some of us.
Check Derek's MEOKO mix here:
Intrinsic is a truly unique event concept, called into existence by of a group of like-minded individuals who – instinctively and very heart-felt – single-handedly created a multi-sensuous experience that offers a stand-out vision of electronic music. In order to be able experiment freely and intuitively with sounds, visuals, space, and possibilities, its makers came up with something of great depth, and deepness.
Now in its second edition, Intrinsic‘s presentation and production is evolutionary: It is a hand-crafted voyage into the unknown, full of moments of “improvisation, unusual sound structure, sound effect and instrumentation” – innovative and unusual, to say the least.
belonging naturally; essential.
"access to the arts is intrinsic to a high quality of life"
Whilst its original ideas – to create an event where artists are encouraged to “enhance their spirit and go beyond their imagination by offering them the freedom to experiment and explore” – were transported into a state of transcendence, very much in the vain of an experimental festival, its character is that of ultimate intimacy, with only a few hundred people being able to actively participate in this experience where a “spiritual atmosphere” closes the gap between artists and audience, space and time, sound and visuals.
In a disused powerstation – encountering the right location by chance was of paramount importance and led to the actual creation of Intrinsic – which hovers on the shores of a lake, space, light and darkness set the scene whilst the architechtural structures become the backbones of the projections of visual artist COTE whose art has morphed into a vital ingredient of this project.
The Romanian, together with his visual collective Videogram, has pushed the boundaries of CAD-inspired 3-D-like projections that transform space into a canvas and the locations of his performances into real-time canvasses of spiralling cosmic creation. Staying clear of alluring and all-assuring force-fed visual imagery he approaches the mind with unparalleled subliminality. Innovation and simplification of themes are COTE’s core items during this Intrinsic expedition. (Make sure you check back here on Meoko soon to read a full interview with Intrinsic resident COTE).
In an unrivalled and previously unknown approach to offering the aural space to artists who feel similarly inclined to push the boundaries of exploring the “dead-ends of sound”, this free improvisation of a collective trip is far from a one-way journey into the clichees of the unknown. It is a serious and ongoing and above all honest approach to not being different from the indifferent sound of no distinction, but also just giving way to a real quest: making interesting art of real value.
In Intrinsic’s first edition, Praslea and Cezar aka AFUMATI were not only surrounded with “people who lifted their creation higher”, but also anticipated the power of creation and pushing it to a new level – by leaving behind safe comfort zones of previously tried and tested sounds – they and the crowd collectively entered the uncharted territories of true experimentation while being lifted by heated floors that invited people to float away on them.
In this new edition, E/TAPE has been found to be the next guardian of dalliance. This rare species of a sound welding artist resides in Ibiza, only plays a few handpicked gigs a year, and is a cosmic mind affair truly out of this world. So how will he react on this spacial cross-breading with COTE’s visuals? And the crowd’s prosperous whisper? Only we will know, as we are all Intrinsic.
Setting the scene is resident GYORGY ONO, a Georgian sound artists who recycles found sounds and experiments with fragmentation to make a solemn yet adventuous world of his own. He invites Intrinsic to follow him wander the outer scapes of imagination, with closed eyes.
So who is behind this? Some of the most amazing, humble people in the electronic music scene, fuelled by desire to explore its deepness. Their cultivated understanding and sensitivity about this culture became a mission: to protect and maintain the unique feeling by creating a spiritual connection between all partaking people, and creating a community.
with 'ART" as the subject heading.
Words by Katrin Ritcher