In less than a month, thousands of music lovers will flock to Barcelona for another incredible week of electronic dance music in the form of Sónar. The multi-location festival is now in it’s 24th year (Can you believe it started in 1994?) and will see some of the worlds most established DJ’s play in the sweet sun of the Catalonia capital.
MEOKO has already covered some of the top parties for the week, but there is one small matter to attend to before we fly back home - Ricardo Villalobos’ FFRC party, hosted by Indigo Raw (IR) on Sunday 19th June.
Seeing Ricardo strut his stuff at El Monasterio, a beautiful old monastery tucked away in the Poble Espanyol, will be a fantastic way to finish off our trip. This is a unique spot with amazing city views - the perfect backdrop to the groovy, latino wonk that the Chilean is admired for.
Sonja Moonear and Raum boss Dorian Paic, both peak time spinners in their own rights, will be on warm up duties, whilst I look forward to a cosy b2b from residents Nerone and Solimano.
Indeed there will be no Perlon party this year, so this might be the best chance to catch some high grade micro house at Sónar. Some tickets are still available on RA, with a backstage pass an option too, which allows access to a private bar and a chill out area.
Indigo Raw are putting on four other nights during the week at El Monasterio too, and this venue really is worth checking out if you cannot make it to FRRC. Maya Jane Coles, Ben Klock, Moodymann, Mandar, Archie Hamilton and DJ Koze are just a few of the names billed to play from the 14th June onwards.
See you in the sun!
Words by Marlon
Tickets from RA here!!
More Indigo Raw?
MEOKO can proudly announce four new artists who will be performing at Cesarhof Open-Air 2017. They’ll be joining the likes of Barac, Sonja Moonear, Julia Govor, André Galluzzi and more from the 28th-30th July at Ferme du Cesarhof, France.
The first new act id Toi Toi’s own Ion Ludwig, who will be there ahead of his set at Into the Factory. There’s also Archie Hamilton will be bringing the FUSE vibes from London with DJ, raver and record collector Man Like Rossko will be taking to the stage. Lastly, we have Romanian figurehead Nu Zau who is one of the leading producers and dj's that have come out of Romania's electronic scene in the past few years.
The full line-up is as follows;
André Galluzzi, Archie Hamilton, Argenis Brito (Live), Barac, Daniel Dreier, David Delgado, David Dorad, Doubtingthomas (Live), East End Dubs, Eveline Fink, Guido Schneider, Idealist, Ion Ludwig (Live), Janeret, Julia Govor, Kyle E, Marcelo Cura, Martin Buttrich, Nu Zau, Peter Schumann, Rossko, Ruede Hagelstein, Seb Blake, Sonja Moonear, Tobi Neumann, Traumer and Varhat.
The announcement of a new wave of artists has only enhanced what was an already incredible lineup, with Ion Ludwig, Barac, Sonja Moonear and Nu Zau fresh from their outstanding sets at Sunwaves 21, it promises to be an intimate event with a big impact.
Julia Govor - Cesarhof feat 2016
With over 70 artists from all over the world an incredible spectrum of sound is expected in partnership with Egg London, Berg Audio, Absolut Techno, Katerblau, Zoo Project Ibiza, Bass Couture, and Les Enfants Terribles curating the stages, this old farmhouse will be turned into a musical paradise with each stage decorated for the occasion with a unique style.
The festival starts on the 28th July at 3pm , with music playing non-stop until midnight on the 30th; that's what we call ' A Magical 57-Hour Journey'. Information about camping and hotels can be found on their website, as can tickets. The festival area is located 15 mins away from Basel Mulhouse Airport. Airport transfer will be available throughout the festival with prices to be confirmed closer to the date. Lastly, the organisers suggest the guests to join the musical journey in costumes.
See you there.
Words by Georgia Evans
More Cesarhof Festival / cesarhof.com / Cesarhof 2017 Facebook Event / Tickets
Half Baked are returning to Barcelona for another spectacular celebration with the industry’s hottest artists taking over for what promises to be one hell of a party. Spreading themselves across two rooms at Bloc, the line-up consists of some very special performers and a handful of the labels residents. In addition to this, one lucky MEOKO reader could be in with the chance of winning some incredible prizes.
Legendary French DJ and producer Dyed Soundorom will bethere providing some high-quality entertainment alongside Ryan Elliott, who’ll be fresh from Gottwood. Berlin’s own Oskar Offerman is sure to keep the good times coming with Hold Youth (Seuil b2b Le Loup) to look forward to also.
Mike Shannon will be bringing his unique collection of distinctive sounds, as will Robin Ordell. Then there’s Half Baked’s own Greg Brockmann/OddMann as Barcelona-bred Rainer will be returning home for the party.
Alongside this stellar showcase of top-notch artists, Half Baked are kindly giving away a goodie bag to one lucky MEOKO reader, this will have;
3 tickets to their amazing Summer gathering in Barcelona,
1 HB008 vinyl
& more HB merchandise.
The Half Baked Records Showcase at Off Week powered by Loud Contact will be taking place on 15th June, at Bloc from 22:00 until 05:30. To purchase a ticket, click here.
with HB BCN17 as the subject heading.
Words by Georgia Evans
More Half Baked
This year’s Off Week in Barcelona is sure to be its biggest and best to date. With a series of great performances taking place, one that looks particularly promising is the 510k Showcase on the 15th and 16th June at Utopia 126.
The first day sees arjunamusic records presenting An Eve Live in an intimate warehouse space with Berlin’s own ambiq, glitchita master Kassem Mosse, labelhead Samuel Rohrer, and his long-time collaborator Max Loderbauer.
There’s also Dial label’s Lawrence, Skull Disco’s Shackleton and ambient dub mavericks The Orb.
Sydney’s Sunday raving institution S.A.S.H will be starting off their world tour in style by taking over on the second day. They’ll be bringing a fierce selection of performers including Cologne’s legendary andhim, disco/soul/house gurus Session Victim, alongside dOP and Lake People.
Alexkid will be there and Julia Govor will be doing an unmissable b2b set with Olga Korol, there are also performances from S.A.S.H DJs that are sure to be extraordinary.
While arjunamusic is earning its place as one of the most exciting and experimental new labels, S.A.S.H is reaching its 6th year in the industry. These two are teaming up with Berlin’s 510k to create a platform for some fresh, innovative talent and are sure to put on one hell of a show.
Tickets are available here.
Words by Georgia Evans
Hackney Wick will not know what’s hit them when Ada Kaleh will take to the stage for an exclusive 4 hour live set on 12th May. Expect a hypnotic, visceral performance from one of Romania’s exciting new talents.
Following on from his phenomenal first album Dene Descris, Kaleh has signed an exclusivity deal with R&S for 2 EPs and an album in which he hopes to explore a fusion of psychedelic/ space-rock, kautrock, electronica and tribal shamanism- what a mix.
There’s also the remix album to look forward to in June which features Cesar Merveille, Priku, Wareika,Teluric and Nu Zau.
His show at Stour Space in Hackney Wick will feature a two-hour live performance followed by a two-hour DJ set. He’ll also be showcasing an exhibition of vinyl artwork.
After gaining support from the likes of Sonja Moonear, RPR Soundsystem, Barac and Ricardo Villalobos, he’ll be travelling across the world on a South America tour and a handful of exciting festivals such as Ozora, Waha and Murmur Festival.
Powered by Martin Audio, the venue, Stour Space, will give its audience a panoramic view of the Olympic Park, and having previously been used for infamous Boiler Room sessions, it’s sure to be an incredible audio-visual experience.
As organisers say:
Ada Kaleh is isolation in an eternal present.
Ada Kaleh is hypnosys.
Ada Kaleh is synaesthesia.
Get your ticket now.
Words by Georgia Evans
More Ada Kaleh
A pioneer of blending classical and dance music, Chicago-born Kate Simko is one of the industry’s most exciting talents, we caught up with her ahead of her live show in London to talk all things music…
You’re going to be performing at Battersea Arts Centre on the 6th, how’re you feeling ahead of the show?
I’m excited, we have changed the ensemble. Previously we had seven or eight people on stage, seven without the vocalist and eight with the vocalist. The whole ensemble was two violins, two cellos, a great bass and a harp, and me and a vocalist. But now we’re doing a more stripped back set which we debuted at Wonderfruit festival in Thailand. So it’s harp, solo violin and cello. It’s a string trio. And to be honest we first did that in Thailand because we couldn’t afford to fly everyone but it’s just a lot more of a vibey set. It feels more like the players know that they’re just listening to each other, they can vibe of each other a bit more, interact with each other a bit more, yeah it’s just more interactive. I’m excited to debut it for the first time in London. We’ve done the set three times now but this is the first time we’ve done it in London.
That’s exciting, so do you think that having just the three makes it feel a lot more intimate then?
It does, there’s definitely moments where it feels amazing with the whole ensemble but yeah it’s more intimate and the players say that too. They feel more connected. Everyone is more connected to each other. There’s a lot more eye contact, between us and yeah I really like it, it’s cool.
So how do you prepare before a show, do you have any routines that you do?
Well it depends if we’re using players that we’ve used in the past, this show we are so they already know the music and I don’t have to do the preparation of the EDM part sometimes I need to if we’re debuting a new song or I’ve done something new, we need to prepare the score parts for the musicians. This time around, even though it’s our first time in London, we’ve done the trio sets with the cello before so I have the parts. I went through the last show we did in Bristol and I listened to the last recording, see if there’s anything we could do better, make notes in rehearsal and try to focus on a couple of things and if there’s bits to change. For example, the opening song we did it with the cello bode but I think at the Battersea we’ll use a staccato bass, so just things like that. I always try to listen back to what I’ve done for every show, revaluate, and make it better, make it fresh. It’s like a new chance to do it again and make it better.
What originally inspired you to bend the two genres and incorporate the orchestral music into dance music?
I went to the Royal College of Music to get a masters in composition for screen but I wanted to learn how to write for orchestra. In the first feature score that I did, I felt my limitations. While I was trained as a pianist I did not know the range of the strings. So I was just jamming out with mini strings and flutes on my keyboard, not able to write for them properly. So I moved to London and did a masters to learn how to do it right and to orchestrate. When I was getting that masters my composition professor really encouraged me to continue with my own sound, so rather than having Kate Simko the electronic producer and DJ and Kate Simko the orchestral composer that were two totally separate entities, he was like, ‘you’ve spent so much time developing your own musical voice, it would be silly for you not to incorporate who you are as a composer to your orchestral music.’
It was great because the popular culture was open to that, some classical conservatories may have wanted me to keep them separate and may have thought that electronic sounds don’t belong with an orchestra. Again, this was a really open-minded professor and I had really great experience with the Royal College of Music so those two years I was able to really play around with my background and all the production I had done previously and trying to find a way to tastefully incorporate orchestral music into dance music. So I had two years of really intense studying to find my own way of doing that.
Yeah well you’ve been massively successful, so you must be doing something right!
Oh thank you, I appreciate that. I didn’t expect it to go beyond the university if I’m totally honest. It was just something that when I went to the real world, I didn’t expect it to translate. I had a final concert, not everyone had that, but I applied to get the Britten Theatre at the Royal College of Music which is their opera theatre, and on the 24th March 2014, we had a concert that was completely booked out. That was the first London Electronic Orchestra show, and if I’m honest I thought that would be the last. I was like ‘ok I’m going to have to move back to Chicago most likely,’ and that was going to be the last of my two years, and I'd enjoy it with the people I’d been playing with and share it with the people in the city of London and my electronic friends as well. But at that concert there was a manager who messaged me afterwards and took me on and helped push me on to take that dream to the real world.
You grew up in Chicago, as you said, so how do you think that has influenced your music style and taste?
I think it’s influenced me massively. Chicago when I was a teenager was just exploding with music, Thrill Jockey and the whole post-rock scene, so that was combining electronics into rock and roll. Now it doesn’t seem like such a big deal but in the late nineties that was not done. Rock and roll was a guitar, a drummer and all analogue. Thrill Jockey label in Chicago had all these people that were combining electronic music with rock instruments, so I had that around me and it was a really exciting time for that, and then of course electronic music in Chicago, being the birthplace of house in the eighties and then in the nineties, early 200s when I was doing my radio show, we had record stores exploding with new music. So we had loads of great new DJs coming through. Also growing up with my family too, it was quite a cultured city with arguably the best orchestra in the United States which I would go to with my family a lot. Growing up in Chicago and all the music from being a young kid through to when I went to university and moved away, all of it influenced me. It is a very musical, music-loving city.
Where else will we be able to see you perform in the next coming months?
There’s Saturday and then we’re going to be at the Jazz Café in August which I’m excited about. On the 24th at the Jazz Café, we’re also doing WOMAD festival and a US tour in June. So yeah, this Saturday in London otherwise late August.
Is there any other work that’s on the horizon for you which we can look forward to or are you focusing on LEO for now?
I just finished my first feature score that’s on a documentary, so it’s an indie film from Los Angeles so I just submitted my final score for that. That was something I wanted to combine and do right, I had three players from London Electronic Orchestra who came to the studio with me, and we recorded a load of strings and harps on there. That’s been done. I have a lot more, new dance music that’s going to be coming out, I’m currently really focusing on that. I’ve got a studio in London Fields and am really trying to put some more of my solo music out. With the Electronic Orchestra, I wanted and it has needed all my passion and attention to get it off the ground. I’m just really keen to be making my own house music again. Just explore that a bit, and jump between the two really.
Kate will be performing at the Battersea Arts Centre on Saturday, get a ticket here.
By Georgia Evans
More Kate Simko
MEOKO Hot Wax May
7 tracks listed below by Dan Primaru will do all the talking;
1- Various Artists - UVARLTD (2X12 INCH) // UVAR // UVARLTD001
In the latest release of Romanian label Uvar, Nu Zau and Sepp gather alike minds and kind of showcase their little strong family. With their brothers aside, Vid and Andrei Kharitonov, they also invite the new talents Lizz and Cosmjn to represent our East European side of things and their complete the story with their true 'american gangster' like connection, having two tracks from Miami residents Idana and Rojid. The release is strong and sets standards for the up coming layed back micro house of or scene.
2- Herck - Sunetul Noptilor Fecunde LP // Curtea Veche // CV005PT1 / CV005PT2
Talking about standards of micro house, one of the artists that goes beyond and comes back as a true representative of the genre is no one other then Herck. We've seen his releases suppored by Petre Inspirescu and others fellows and this album it's a must have for them, for us and for you also. It's Herck's debut album and it's a great occasion to see and hear his real self expressed in this musical kaleidoscope released by Curtea Veche.
3- Aquaphresca - TRAM DAYS (VINYL ONLY) - Aquaphresca - Aquaphresca02
Back into a more house feeling, we found the Tram Days EP of Aquaphresca. This is a more liquid version combined with a more natural and fractal enviroment overall from Mihai Popescu aka MP. First track really takes us back in time somewhere where the first trams were crossing New York's fresh streets. The second tune is back to groovy bussines of the dancefloor engaging us on all levels with a wondering jacking sound.
4- Oshana - AMETISU (VINYL ONLY) // YoY // YoY.02
Wait what.. We went to New York, then we have to mention their true resident Oshana. We've seen her release at some powerfull labels during her time, but with this release she is really making her sound strong, with an attitude and straight to the point. Electric, eclectic and with an alienated feeling, strong beats and basses, for sure this is the masculine side of lovely Oshana. All marketed well by French sublabel of Yoyaku.
5- Niwa Tatsui - VISHNOU EP // Trimurti // Trimurti.2/3
Because good music is neither old or outdated, this release is really showing us just that. I'm curious what i will think about it in 5 years from now on. The A&R of Trimurti really made a good job here, the tracks are very different from eachother, each one has their own unique sound and groove though ...some DJs might just play them all in one set. I'll let you explore and make up your own mind about it.
6- Arapu - CONNECTION EP // Pressure Traxx // PTX017
Back on Romanian turf, for the sake of this month, we're talking about Arapu's latest release at the well known Pressure Traxx. Some of you might think these are just deep, warm and nice tracks to play, but some of us really use this in the main points of the dj acts, some of the Romanian DJs like to go down like this in the middle of their set, 'reconnecting' it back to where we should all be connected.
7- Shoxy - THOSE MOMENTS EP (180G / VINYL ONLY) // NG Trax // NGT007
We already know Nima Gorji as a DJ who knows his groove, and he really showed that in his new establishment NG Trax. Traxs only... simple and poweful, ready for the dancefloor and up for some action. It's the same thing you'll find in Shoxy's release, mellow bass rhythms and colorful atmospheres. It's all about 'Those Moments' that me, you, Shoxy and Nima cherish the most at night.
8- Lixir - Sunshine EP (incl. COSMJN Remix) [NIMMA003] x MiNimmal Movement
Here is an EP that just describes what Lixir is about, MiNimmal Movement must be happy coloring their discography with two layed-back deamlike tunes on the first side, while also going straight into the groove on the back side. B side, which is dancefloor oriented, also contains Cosmjn remix, a remix that says loudly and clear: my sound and work is mature now, but i'm here to play and have fun. Enjoy!
By Dan Primaru
MEOKO caught up with Parisian producer, Janeret, to talk about his future plans, production and his recent outstanding work.
It has been a while since your first mix with us, and what a great time it has been for you. Full of huge releases on various high quality labels, any particular highlights for you?
It has been a really nice year for me, full of great projects and gigs around the world. I met so many nice people during my trips! If I had to choose some highlights, I would say my tour in South America (Ecuador, Peru, Argentina and Brazil) and more recently in Australia!
We have noticed on various social media platforms, and some releases such as ‘Solstice’ (an after party favourite of mine) your love for jungle. Would you like to tell us a bit more about this?
Glad to hear that!! :), Indeed, I have been enjoying jungle and drum and bass for a long time now. But I recently fell in love with it when a friend of mine introduced me to Good Looking Records, which is the kind of Jungle/d&b I was looking for!
Since then, I have started to produce my own jungle tracks.
In the beginning I produced them only for a few friends and myself. At some point we decided to release one of these tracks, to test people’s reaction.
I was really happily surprised that people liked it ! So I will be back with more Jungle stuff soon...
You are certainly known for your forward dub strong beats, and an incredible ability for atmospheric breaks, what can you say influences your sound?
I listen to all types of music, however my inspiration to produce comes mainly from Dub techno, deep house, Reggae/Dubs well as atmospheric Jungle (which i think influences the most the atmospheric side). I usually like strong beats, interspersed by some sort of ‘dreamy’ breaks, which is what I try to transpose in my music.
Yoyaku is clearly something very close to your heart, How does it feel to be a part of such a relevant, and integral imprint in todays scene? Surrounded by close friends and incredible artists.
I feel really grateful to have been a part of Yoyaku since the project started. It is so satisfying to see it grow everyday! It gives me a lot of energy to work with them as there are always so many exciting projects coming up; and the crew is awesome and so hard working! Now it has become kind of a second family for me!
Your work rate is up there with the best of them, with what seems like a constant flow of sounds. It must be great to be able to express these different visions, on various imprints under the Yoyaku Umbrella, such as Joule and AKU.
Yes it’s so nice to have many nice labels into Yoyaku, each of them having a specific vibe and enabling me to release my music easily and quickly.
You have played in all corners of the globe, is there anywhere in particular you love to perform? You are currently going through some dates in Australia, that must be pretty special?
Actually South America in general has been fantastic I have enjoyed it so much and have some awesome memories from parties there! Australia is awesome too, I made a really nice tour, with some nice parties and spend good times. The 6th Anniversary of S.A.S.H was big!!
You recently had a debut back to back with fellow Yoyaku artist, Varhat. Is it nice to change it up, playing solo a lot, and then playing along side someone?
Yes it’s really different and interesting to play B2B with Varhat. It’s a different process, as it’s really spontaneous. When I play alone, I come up with my own story during the night. When I play with him, it’s always surprising and very explorative! I really enjoy it! We have also become close friends, and we always have a blast when we play together. I think people can feel it.
Any upcoming gigs you can share with us?
System. & Set One Twenty:: The Terrace Party - 28th May - Leeds /UK
Junction 2 Festival 2017 - London / UK
A question we always like to ask, and a question many people like to answer. What is your ideal set up in the studio? Any certain processes?
The ideal set up would be a bunker under my flat, where I could push the sound as much as I want to experiment with all the best synthesizers. But I am not a hardware geek, so I am not really into looking for a new synth all the time.
About my process: my studio is in the space I live in, and I work on my music almost everyday. In order to make tracks, most of the time I start working with beats and then add pads and chords. When I am happy about the loop, I start to build the tracks and then work with automation, breaks etc.
Can you shed any light on future releases you have coming up?
The next EP coming up is my AKU JNRT888, a remix of Dj Honesty on Scenario with Sebo K and Dj Deep, a remix for Alessandro Crimi on Open and a remix of a classic Halo Varga Track on All in. After that, a new project under a different pseudo…
Last of all, can you name us three records that never leave your bag?
Difficult to name just three, but I would say :
S.A.M - Out of Touch
Sublee - Ideepsum Lp
CAPH 04 VA (Yamen & Eda, Lee Burton, Teluric, Alexandar Kyosev)
Thank you so much for your time and the special mix.
Alan D Miller is a guardian for British nightlife; chairman and founder of the NTIA, he has dedicated an extraordinary amount to persevering the night time communities not only in London, but across the country. Perhaps best recognised for being a central figure in the campaign to save Fabric and the We Love Hackney movement, Alan is now working with the Night Time Commission to promote the cultural significance of a strong night time community. We spoke to him ahead of Brighton Music Conference where he’ll be heading a panel with Carly Wilford, Mike Grieve, Jeremy Abbott and Jimmy Blake. He’ll also be speaking to Keith Reilly about Fabric and the significance of saving our independent venues.
What will you be doing at Brighton Music Conference and how important do you think it is that we have gatherings like this?
We’re going to be doing a panel called Save Nightlife with Mixmag it’s going to be talking a bit why it’s better to champion the benefits of nightlife with our hearts and minds, where we’ve come from in the last couple of years, projects that are now happening and where we’re going with key people who are relevant to that, then I’ll be doing a one-on-one with Keith Reilly from fabric about what happened.
I think it’s really important to get the industry together, to network and to share insights and to promote areas of interest. They can act as a mechanism to do more business.
So you’ll be there representing the NTIA, what projects are you currently working on?
So we’re working at the moment with a big drive towards encourage people to promote having a Night Czar in Manchester. We’ve got the first ever mayoral election in Manchester and Liverpool and we’ve been working with Sacha from the Warehouse Project and many others to do a big campaign for Save Nightlife. Lot’s of people have engaged, people like Sean Ryder, and Joe Hart the English goalkeeper, the DJs Skream and Artwork, also sending a message, not only to vote for the mayor but a Night Czar and a Night-time Commission. We want to help champion nightlife in Manchester and continue to drive the message that we bring lots of benefits culturally, in terms of tourism, employment and all of that. In Manchester and Liverpool we want an overall master plan so that as new developments happen, the bars and clubs are not closed down.
We’re doing stuff all over the country; we have something called Save the Rave, that’ll be on the panel as well. We’re working with universities. We’re also doing all these festivals to work with lots of artists and who encourage people and DJs to join the NTIA and sign our petition at savenightlife.com, which goes to all the councils and MPs in the country. When they get those emails and petitions, a bit like we did with fabric, it then makes them recognise how important nightlife is to young people and people in their wards. This means they’re much more likely to listen to them and realise how important it is, and that’s the push we’re trying to do around the country.
You’re very focused on grassroots campaigning and contacting councils, how important do you think it is for people to not just get involved on a national scale but on a local scale as well?
It is massively important; these councils have been voted in by anything between 800 people to 1500 people maybe 2000, and we saw when we did the We Love Hackney campaign, the council licencing wanted to inflict a curfew on all the bars and clubs. We had over 5,500 people writing in to challenge that consultation. They then did a U-turn and out it on hold for a year. They then got involved with the dialogue and changed their policy. That’s enormously important. Then with the Bussey Building in Peckham, we helped behind the scene to get developers, the council and the club involved in a dialogue, It’s all about ensuring that. We had 30,000 people signed that petition. Similarly, we all know the story about fabric. Absolutely, locally, getting local councillors lobbied makes an enormous difference because it’s in their wards and their boroughs that things play out. That’s where the big issues are. In London there are 33 boroughs, that’s why the mayor couldn’t do anything really when the Fabric situation occurred, because it’s not under a mayors remit, that’s under local councillors.
They suddenly realise there’s all these people, a lot of young people, that don’t vote, who may vote and are taking an active interest, and are all getting very concerned. That’s what it should be. It should be a reflection of everyone’s interest; it’s a good way to get them active and to participate. We do that with the public and to lobby further, and drive our narrative. We feel that we’ve managed to get it right front and centre on a national, local and regional profile. Everyone in Britain understands the problem, why it’s an issue, and what we can do to change it.
Fabric to have so much publicity, and so much attention was drawn to then issue, how important do you think it is to carry on that legacy and apply it to venues like Passing Clouds, Mode etc?
I think there are some positive things that we’ve already begun to develop and that they’ve already put in place. Ideas like the agent of change partly came into the white paper that the government put in because of lots of lobbying. It’s the idea that cultural and economic benefits are a direct consequence of nightlife, not just antisocial behaviour and crime.
These instances are often very different; Passing Clouds is different to fabric, that’s different to RaRa, that’s different to Mode, different to all these things that have happened in recent years. There’s a central viewpoint that there are benefits that are accrued, that you might have from a shopping centre or a transport link, when those problems occur at these places, they’re not shut down, they’re not suffocated because they’re considered as an important part of the urban tapestry. They’re part of everyday living. That’s not fair, when issues do occur; they [bars and clubs] get treated in a different way.
How would you say is the best way for people to get involved?
People should definitely get online and sign the petition on savenightlife.com, that’s the first thing they should do. The second thing they should do, they should send a tweet or go on Facebook, with the link saying ‘I’ve just signed the petition,’ post it, and share it with friends and people around them. They should post and share any of the videos that we’re doing about the campaign with artists, what we’re doing in Manchester with Sacha from the Warehouse Project. We need to get the message out there virally and keep the momentum going. We want as many people joining us as possible, we want over a million people on that petition.
Then in addition to that we want and need help so if anyone wanted to get involved with additional promotion and marketing, getting involved and getting people to sign up, then they can get in touch. They’re the main things that we need right now. Then of course people will put on nights themselves, they DJ they out on a night, all those things, and it’s all about promoting the narrative of how important nightlife is to our culture and our way of life.
Over your time working with the NTIA, what would you say has been your biggest achievement or a standout moment for you?
I think there’s been a couple. I think that the We Love Hackney campaign was enormously successful. We got people from all over the borough; restaurants, bars, hotels, ad agencies, housing companies, property developers, all sorts, the public, all involved in saying actually Hackney’s nightlife is so important. It’s a way of developing and creating that, and the fact that we got so much national press, a four-page spread in the Guardian, we got telegraph coverage, the lead in the Evening Standard. The fact we got TV, radio, all of that in our early days was really exciting and successful.
You can’t help but say the Fabric situation was brilliant and terrible at the same time. It was absolutely terrible, that situation that everyone had to go through, and have many months of psychological and emotional problems, of it all being closed. It was also an amazing moment that we got so many people internationally and across Britain all supporting and engaging. It was just at the time when the night tube was being launched, we were getting interviews about the 24-hour tube, but we were able to say look at the Fabric situation. The whole campaign showed how people in Britain really had their voices heard and particularly around the councils in Islington. Everyone’s voices were heard and they put their money where their mouths are with the crowd-sourced campaign. They supported and made the legal case happen and championed it. We brought in Philip Kolvin QC, and there’s a combination of things that were done that were all very key and important.
The standout moments come when you do your first BBC piece, your first Sky piece, and you end up getting people talking about it, national newspapers, you get it discussed in parliament. We’ve had the importance of night-time industries discussed in parliament. The other standout moment comes from the last administration we had with Boris Johnson to create a Night Czar and the Night Commission, we brought over the Night Mayor from Amsterdam, we did loads of hard work behind the scenes. In this current administration, Sadiq Khan is very positive around nightlife and having a Night Czar and a Night-time Commission with really fantastic people on it, with police, council, music people, and us having not only having a seat at the table, but a voice. We’ve come an enormous distance; we’ve faced some difficulties and some challenges and we continue and have been very vocal about them. We’ve had some remarkable achievements and come a long distance. You can see that we’ve come a long way in just two years, that’s not a long time, to be in that position.
Yes, having the Night-time Commission in London, how vital do you think that is?
It is massively important to get everyone around the table that disagreed all talking together. We needed the conversation and thrash it out. The future of the city is at stake, and the kind of city we want to have. We all say we want to have a thriving bus link, a dynamic, economically vibrant place, to different people, it all seems to mean different things, so how can we all get together and argue out the issues and come up with a solution that we can work in partnership with each other together? It was uncomfortable to begin with, and that’s what it should have been. You need to get through that process to get something to happen. It’s very good that it’s there and there’s a lot that we’ve got to do. There’s 33 boroughs across London, and we’ve got to make it work in all of them but having Philip Kolvin as chairman who we work with closely and some brilliant people on there means that it’s going to be good for the next year, we’re gong to make some really good impacts in London. That then sets the tone for other cities as we’re seeing now with Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow and Bristol, we’re looking to have some similar things to accompany the mayors and others.
What do you think the future of British nightlife looks like?
It’s a bit like everything. It depends; it depends on what we do. We make this world every day. I don’t believe there’s anyone up there pulling the strings. We are conscious beings and we make the world. If we decide to go out there and make it with the vision that we’ve got then we will. If we don’t, we don’t. This is the key point that Fabric demonstrated. When people get involved, it makes the difference. So the future of nightlife is very bright and it also depends on how much we want to have our voices heard. That’s why we have to use the website and the hashtag, www.savenightlife.com, #savenightlife, everyone should sign the petition, send it round to people and encourage everyone to have their voices heard. The more councillors that hear, the more news gets out, the more people hear across the country, the more it gets championed and protected, the better off we’ll be.
Words by Georgia Evans
Unleash impressed at their last outing when tINI, Julian Perez, Arapu, and saxy act DeWalta & Mike Shannon all took control down at Studio Spaces. The party in this particular venue was a cute coupling - three clean rooms, good sound, great DJs and ravers that were there to really party.
Next month it is Zip (yes!) and Trelik boss Baby Ford that will headline at Pennington Street, in what is set to be a mouth watering back to back for the latters label showcase on May 27th. Both chaps are highly regarded in the scene for their contributions, with Zippy in particular, a favourite amongst the purists. There will no doubt be the usual heaviness from the outstanding German.
Pedro’s inclusion to the lineup will draw in the rest of the fleet, and makes this party an essential. The RPR boys (Rhadoo, Pedro, Raresh) do have a magnetism when they play, yet I somehow prefer watching them ride solo, when Pedro, I think, is at his best. His home made cuts are just.so.naughty.
That should be enough for a wicked night of music, yet Unleash have more muscle in the form of Cabanne, Daylomar, Memek, Resolute’s O.BEE, and Trelik’s own Alex Celler and OCH too.
I’m personally most excited for Cabanne... Back at Half Baked’s 7th birthday he nearly blew my head clean off in the third arch, playing some monstery, techno-y house that I have never heard anything like before. He is an excellent addition to the night and will maintain a gold standard of quality to those either side of him on the bill.
Mr. Celler is too, one to watch. The Grecian’s sweet take on minimal is juice for any dancefloor, and I’m already looking forward to hearing both sides of his wonderful Trelik release, on the night.
Admittedly as I creak into my late twenties, I do find myself choosing Sunday brunch in the park more often than munching on my own jaw. With so many forward thinking artists on one lineup though, this party would be silly to miss. We are in great hands, and I look forward to seeing you there.
As part of our regular competition series, MEOKO are giving away FIVE tickets to this Unleash x Trelik Showcase.
with "TRELIK" as the subject title. Good luck!
Words by Marlon.
For tickets click here
There has been a certain buzz around the Romanian electronic music scene for some time now, and is something that just seems to continue to grow and blossom more and more. With so many incredible talents based in this country, it is vital to maintain originality, keeping ideas natural and raw, and we believe this is something Ruere Records founder Faster, captures perfectly. Proving himself to be an integral part of the puzzle.
In a short space of time, Ruere has built up huge support across the board, including a masterpiece remix from Rhadoo on the last release 'M.O.D Ep'. That speaks for itself. An imprint created to allow Faster to prepare his ideas and lay down his creations as a whole, bringing together the artwork, the sound, and final atmosphere created. Although taking care of business with his own label, we have had the pleasure of amazing records on other high quality outlets such as Drumma Records. 'Resolutions' is coming very soon, with S.A.M putting forward his reshape and interpretation.
Outside of the studio, Faster, is building a reputation for himself behind the turntables, playing a stand out set at Sunwaves last year we can not wait to witness the magic once again in just over a weeks time. Once you let yourself in to the world of Faster, there is no going back.
We managed to have a chat with the Ruere boss, and this is how it went down:
First of all, a bit of background info about yourself. With a passion for Hip Hop in your youth, Where did your journey in electronic music start?
Even though I started out by doing hip-hop beats, I wanted to explore more grounds. The electronic scene in Romania was growing more and more at that time so I had many influences around me. It was very easy to begin this process, the hard part is to keep up.
Who/what would you say your main influences have been over the years?
Even after more than 10 years I am still mesmerized by Ricardo Villallobos technique and his personal flavor. I was also very lucky to grow in this environment surrounded by the best local electronic masterminds such as Rhadoo, Raresh and Petre Inspirescu.
The music scene in Romania seems to become more and more popular amongst the electronic music world, how does it feel knowing you are part of this?
I am super grateful, always.
What inspired you to begin your own imprint Ruere Records? How did it all form?
Being a vinyl fan, it was my dream from the beginning to be able to start a record label and to print music that I personally love. I had really good guidance from my closest friends and I decided it was time to do it.
We love the artwork that represents Ruere, is this something important to you? What is your process for finding artwork for your records?
Actually yes, all the artwork from Ruere has personal meaning. I love that everything is connected and I will pursue this idea in the future. The making process involves a lot of time and effort and the main man responsible is Howl Otta which I thank.
With three extremely popular releases on the label, can you reveal what the next step is? Any future info you can give us about Ruere?
I never know the next step, sorry.
Is the label a platform, to showcase your personal talent and ideas? or will we see other artists releasing on the label? Obviously, you had Rhadoo create a remix on the 'M.O.D Ep', how did it feel to have such a relevant and important artist amongst todays scene, release on your label, remixing your own track?
You will definitely see other artists and strong collabs. For M.O.D. EP, Rhadoo's personal touch on one of my tracks kept me very focused. I always admired his work and I am very thankful.
Do you have any upcoming releases on other labels you would like to discuss with us?
Yes, the next EP will be released on Drumma Records with a great remix from my good friend S.A.M. The next vinyls will soon to be revealed!
We caught your extended set last April at Sunwaves, it must be such a fantastic feeling representing your country to people from all over the world. Do you feel there is more freedom with what you can play in Romania? It must be nice knowing you can play for several hours compared to some countries you play in.
Time has no limits neither does music.
Do you have any festivals lined up this year? or any particular club nights you are looking forward too?
Lastly, thank you for the wonderful mix you created for us. Hope you enjoyed making it. What can the readers be expecting when they take a listen?
One small journey.
Thank you so much for your time.
Faster Exclusive MEOKO Podcast
Interview by Zac Bidwell
One Records co-founder Subb-an has been churning out quality house music alongside Adam Shelton on their label since its inception in 2009, whilst making friends along the way through their label parties such as Cab Drivers, John Dimas, Jack Wickham and more. His recent releases on Julian Sandre’s Blind Box, which includes a classy remix from Dana Ruh, andhis debut release on Cabinet Records ‘Island Fever’ are both examples of his fine producing talent, whilst his split EP with Adam Shelton featuring ISIS SALAM on vocals, One Records’ 41ST release, is due to his stores this April. With this being said, and with festival season fast approaching, now was the perfect time to catch up with him ahead of his Australian tour.
In this interview, Michael Dowding chats to Subb-an about everything from what he is expecting in Australia, his first ever set at Sunwaves, to what he thinks about the British festival scene and who he thinks are the up-and-coming producers of tomorrow; Enjoy.
So you’re currently touring Australia. How’s the weather, how’s it been so far andwhere’s the next party?
I’m still in Berlin at the minute, I’m about to catch my flight! The first stop is Perth, then Sydney and Melbourne. But yeah, expecting it to be hot as usual,but I won’treally be able to enjoy it as most of the time I’m in, then out and then I’m off to San Francisco. Before the first time I went to Australia I actually had preconceptions of how it would be, but every time I’ve been it’s been pretty wild! The Reconstructed party on Saturday in Sydney with Cezar and the Romanians looks good, so I’m really looking forward to that and then on Monday I’m playing the afterhours at Breakfast Club.
You’ve got a big summer ahead and we’re well on the way to festival season! You’ve got Sunwavescoming up and it’s your first time playing, have you been before? And how do you think it’ll compare to playing at other festivals you’ve played at?
It’s going to be my first time at Sunwaves as I’m always busy in Europe, so it’s not always a wise move to take time out of touring really. But yeah, this is the first time at Sunwaves. Me and the Mrs and a big group of us are going to go. Seth [Troxler] asked me to play his stage, so yeah, I’m really looking forward to going away and taking some time out with a good squad and getting a bit of inspiration. From what I’ve heard about Sunwaves from friends and people going there in their twenties, you always hear stories about it when people get back, so I’m sure it’ll be amazing and I can’t wait!
Onto Sonar, you’ve got Thomas Melchior, John Dimas, Point G and more on the One Records showcase and you’re playing at Unleash x Bass Culture showwhich is also shaping up to be a great party– over the years, do you have any really standout moments of the festival?
Yeah, I mean the first OneRecords party was a real success! I only went to the festival for the firsttime a few years ago. I caught the ChemicalBrothers and loads of others that year, it’s a great city! I always come away inspired by the art and music that Sonar provides, you know, whether it’s the Off Sonar parties or Barcelona in general.
You’re playing at Gottwood too, how do the European settings of Barcelona compare to the likes of the English countryside? Does the setting of the place bring out a different vibe?
Yeah totally, I do find that Gottwood has a very British crowd, whereas Sonar has people coming from all over, so it’s an instantly different vibe, but both good in that respect. For me you can’t beat British festivals, it’s something we are born into, and Gottwood is the epitome of that. It’s one of thosemore niche boutique festivals, and the line ups are always good, the crowd is always good, there’s no nonsense, and the setting is amazing. . . yeah it’s brilliant you know! (laughs) and it always brings out a laryness, so you know it’s going get a bit naughty. It’s always a good time, always a good crew, and you know what you’re going get. I always look forward to Gottwood.
A little closer to home, you have just announced your free courtyard party with yourself, Adam Shelton and Bobby O’Donnell. With the calibre of this free party, do you feel it’s important to throw free parties for your followers?
Yeah totally, I think it’s a nice gesture. The majority of people work hard and spend a lot of money going to see DJs and going to parties, and not everyone has bucket loads of cash. But I think its a nice thing to throw a free party as it can be expensive. It’s a nice thing to do and it always creates a nice vibe.
You recently had Cab Drivers as party of a One Records takeover at fabric after its closure which was a huge knock for the nightlife in England. With the reopening of fabric, what do you make of the opening of Sc:ru Club in Birmingham?
From the early stages all I have seen is the line ups. Think they have a good one with Cabanne this weekend, but it’s hard to say as I’ve been living in Berlin for a few years now. In Birmingham I used to be always partying and pretty deep in what was going on, but its hard for me to say now. It’s like any city though, and Birmingham can be a tough one to crack. You need to educate people, so as long as you’re putting good artists on and taking risks, fair play!
You’ve had some nice releases of late on Cabinet Records, JulianSandre’s BlindBox series, and also the new one One Records with Adam Shelton getting plays from Jack Wickham at INFUSE last weekend. With such great music coming out of the One Records corner at the moment, do you have your eye on any up and coming artist at the moment that deserves some recognition for their productions skills?
Yeah, I mean, in terms of what we are talking music wise; Jack, Yamen and EDA, and Gabriels are all putting music out on One. . . They are friends but the reason they’re on the label is because they’re producing really good music and supporting. So yeah, they’re the ones to watch!
It’s going to be pretty busy for you then! Are you planning on catching some rest after the summer? What are your plans for winter, if you have any?
None as of yet, I’ve not thought that far ahead, just trying to get April out of the way!
Interview by Michael Dowding
More One Records
These bits do the business, all out in the past fortnight unless stated otherwise:
Suolo - Chionophile EP / Aforisme AFRV001
Suolo needs no introduction and, with this EP, his statement is that the Moldavian scene has something very smooth to offer. Working with dedication on his 'character' records and being a leader in the zone these two tracks reconfirms his dedication to the after-hours rhythms and clarity of sound. A sense of dreaming while awake is triggered.
Crihan - Grosso Mondo EP / truelovesounds TLSV003
https://www.decks.de/t/crihan-grosso_modo_ep/c93-fvNasty snares, sharp hats and round bass, this might be something of what Crihan does best. He knows best what to use and how to deliver, inspired by the Romanian underground scene where he recently is very active, this EP is great for putting you in the mood to get dressed and to not miss anything. These two beauties stand erect and surely put a smile on your face. On mine does.
Cristi Cons - Perceptual EP / Meander Meander021
https://www.decks.de/t/cristi_cons-perceptual_ep/c93-lzCrsti Cons returns on Meander with a new solo EP, a release that, kind of, reminds us about Anatrack and his SIT sound. This time his music is spatial and terrestrial in the same time, keep us in the middle, exactly where we like to be. His 'perception' is 'mutual' about about 'aural' and 'celestial' states of being. Keeps your mind grounded with the right beats and percussions.
Nami - Hip Pocket EP / Nami NAMI006
https://www.decks.de/t/nami-hip_pocket/c9g-daNami, on his personal imprint, just releases the moods he is in day by day or just the important feelings that need to be shared. With a great funk powder, aggressive beats and alienated sounds, there is no chance... the party has surely started. It gets your shoes moving and you don't know why, your mind is hooked and your soul smiles. Nami is not afraid to play around and he does it well in 'Radio Delta'.
YYY - YYY606 EP / YYY Series YYY060
Purely underground and unknow, this is all about the rhythm and sound. Yoyaku studio delivers again, on the YYY series, two very tight tracks from the French scene. Fur sure these are great weapons to revive your sets and your house, so just lose yourself into the sound.
Symbol - Symbol 003 EP // Symbol SMB003
This might be something else. This might be on a different note, but we love and cherish this kind of tunes to get ourself out of everyday sound. Full of fractal sounds, natural recorded atmospheres and voices, Symbol releases are meant to shaken our perception about what's possible and come as an inspiration for many of us looking for the perfect sound.
By Dan Primaru
On Thursday 27 April, Unleash is honored and excited to announce the screening of RAVING IRAN at Village Underground, a documentary that lifts the lid on Tehran’s underground electronic music scene and follows the life of DJ’s Anoosh and Arash aka Blade & Beard.
Anoosh and Arash started organizing “Burning man” styled raves together in Iran back in 2008. These parties were located in the middle of the desert 1000km away from Tehran and were of course illegal and very risky to put together. Finding trustworthy people at the time to help, managing the parties, from location to equipment was near to impossible. The duo was always aware of the dangers these activities brought with them and they had to stay as far away as possible from the radical police forces. Watch the trailer here.
Organizing a party in Iran is a crime, and is punished by law. Both Anoosh and Arash have been arrested several times and almost beaten to death by the police, however even this did not stop them to follow their passion for music.
The parties eventually started attracting tourists and also the director of the “Raving Iran” documentary, Susanne Regina Meures, who followed the parties and the life of Blade & Beard closely and with extreme compassion.
In 2013 Anoosh and Arash were invited to travel to Switzerland and perform at the Street parade after which they decided to stay in Switzerland and seek asylum for the sake of a better life.
Fast forward to today, and the pair is on the merge of a long and fruitful career, starting their own label in April 2017 and showcasing some of the best young talents around.
To know more about this extraordinary story, we invite you to purchase a ticket via the resident advisor link here. All profits from this event will go to the charities listen below. You will have the possibility to donate different amounts via RA or you can donate directly supporting the cause via the Just Giving link also below. Moreover, you can follow to facebook event to keep up to date.
This is a CHARITY event and all proceeds will go to:
1. Amnesty International's #freeartists campaign
2. Crisis - the national charity for homeless people
19:00 - 21:00 Welcome Drinks
21:00 - 22:30 Screening of Raving Iran
22:30 - 23:00 Q&A with Blade&Beard
23:00 - 02:00 DJ set from Blade&Beard (UK Debut)
More Unleash London
Sound Healing 101
The esoteric art of healing through sonic vibrations and beyond
While all music holds the potential to heal, there is reserved a special category – often filed under the more esoteric fringes – that is specifically created for the intent. ‘Sound Healing’ as it is known, along with its own band of sound healers, is a broad sonic field that is as vast as it is deep, which also makes it hard to define. From the spiritually guided musical tuning system by Aleksi Perälä to meditative gong bath conducted by Stroboscopic Artefacts founder Lucy to the plethora of 432Hz-tuned songs on YouTube – is the genre identified by the instruments, effect or intent?
To go deeper into this rabbit hole that is coloured by an obsession with frequencies, binaural beats, vocal acrobatics and mystical instruments, we first take a trip back to where it all began: the ancient cultures.
Sound healing is not musical, it’s vibrational
The Egyptians regarded vowel sounds as sacred and were known to conduct sonic-based ceremonies while their patients visited healing temples to undergo ‘dream sleep’ incubation with music therapy in small reverberant cells. Elsewhere, archaeologists have found that ancient sound chambers such as the Hypogeum Hal Saflieni in Malta and Newgrange in Ireland demonstrate extraordinary acoustic properties. In particular, it was discovered that sound at these chambers resonates or echoes at the specific frequency of 110 Hz, which is also the pitch of an average male voice.
EEG tests that detect the brain’s electrical activity show that at 110 Hz, the human brain temporarily switches from left to right brain activity, the side of creativity. Other experiments are also showing that 110 Hz tends to stimulate certain brain rhythms associated with trance-like states. As one delves further into sound healing, one soon realises that frequencies are the foundation, and generally guided by the following formula:
Frequency + Intent = Healing
Fundamentally, we are all made up of atoms vibrating at different speeds. As sound healers believe, not only do specific organs vibrate at different frequencies, so do our thoughts, emotions and even scents. Because sound travels through the vibration of particles, having a sound source vibrating at a particular frequency and guided by a specific intent can help to move us into more beneficial states. Given that humans are also 65% water, we become great sound conductors for vibrational healing.
Take the tuning fork for example – an instrument that is used in sound healing treatments to help tune our bodies back into harmony. Therapeutic methods including tapping the tuning fork and placing it on strategic acupressure points on the body to release subconscious blockages or also for example, having a tuning fork in ‘C’ and another in ‘G’, (256 Hz and 384 Hz in scientific pitch), placed at either ear to create the special interval 3:2 or the Perfect Fifth, which is known to have a balancing and harmonising effect. Songs such as ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ feature this interval. Tuning forks further come in a variety of exotic tones that can serve to activate your pineal gland or cleanse your chakras.
Other instruments that frequently come into play in a sound healer’s arsenal might be Tibetan or crystal singing bowls, didgeridoos, shaman drums, rain sticks, gongs and also their own voice in the form of chants or overtone singing. The gong has a special place in sound healing because it covers the broadest spectrum of tones among all the instruments. More poignantly, it is said that all ego shatters at the sound of the gong.
It is important to differentiate that sound healing is really less about Classical ideas of melody or harmony, but more about creating beneficial vibrations or energy states for a room or person. According to ‘What is Sound Healing’ by Lyz Cooper, discordant sounds are no less healing as they can serve to challenge and ‘break up’ tension in the body. An effective sound healing session would be one that clears away competing energies, rebalances and retunes, strengthens your inner resonance, and imparts calm to the mind.
Binaural beats and brainwave entrainment
Taking us more up-to-date in the field are binaural beats, monaural beats and isochronic tones, which belong to the class of brainwave entrainment. The proposition is that the neurons in our brain communicate via electrical impulses, which form the bedrock of our thoughts and even how we behave. These electrical impulses or brainwaves pulse at different frequencies during different states. Beta for example (12 Hz – 27 Hz) is the state of mental focus and concentration. Alpha (8 Hz – 12 Hz) is the state of relaxed alertness or ‘flow’ while theta (3 Hz – 8 Hz) is associated with deep meditation or heavy relaxation and so on.
Binaural beats is a way in which we can entrain our brainwaves to our desired states through sound. By playing different tones in each ear through headphones – for example 100 Hz in the left ear and 110 Hz in the right – our brainwaves become synced to the difference of 10 Hz, or alpha after an estimated 6 minutes.
The ancient Solfeggio scale
A special scale of frequencies, known as the ancient Solfeggio scale used in Gregorian chants is also revered for its healing properties. The Solfeggio scale comprises six original frequencies that feature pure intervals between every note that are also mathematically related and better aligned with the universe’s naturally occurring patterns. In this scale, the note A4 is tuned to 444 Hz as opposed to 440 Hz, which is the common western temperament tuning standard today. One of the frequencies, 528 Hz, is called the love frequency and purportedly even supports DNA repair. John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ is written in 528 Hz, and is also the title of a controversial book by Dr. Leonard Horowitz.
528 Hz, is called the love528 Hz, is called the love
While music therapy is now widely recognised as an allied health profession and ultrasound commonly administered in physiotherapy, the far-out field of sound healing still remains lacking in rigorous research, peer reviews or institutional support. Which also means to say – to each their own. For what it’s worth, sound like any other modality is a powerful vehicle that can be used for positive aims. To the begging question – do they actually work? I would think twice about throwing down thousands of dollars in the hope of a miracle cure based on good vibes, but as a conscious inner tuning practice you can purposefully utilise to serve others, sound healing has helped to create shifts in my life that have certainly led to happy and harmonious outcomes.
by Debbie Chia
Cab Drivers' very own Jens Augustowsky, one formidable part of the legendary duo, better known as "Zky", is launching his own label. It is called Ground Service and its future output, subliminally effective cult tools, will not only serve as grounding devices for the dancefloor but also deliver some serious fodder for those in wanton for "classic and utilitarian" slabs – particularly neededat moments of highest demand: before or after touchdown.
Whilst Cabinet stands for "Curious Analog Bassline Intergalactic Non-Stop Energy Tanzfloor", Ground Service stands on its own. It is paramount to point out that itis not a Cab Driver label but lands on its own artistic feet. With its first release just about to drop, Meoko could not resist the call for action, and visited Jens Augustowsky in his Berlin studio in Prenzlauer Berg.
Raw Basic Workouts
"Zky' is intertwined with Cab Drivers," points out a highly focused Augustowsky, but Ground Service is not. After quite a few outings under his own moniker on Cabinet Records, "Zky" has become a synonym for stripped down, raw and acidic workouts that work around minimal yet effective structural shifts which function subliminally whilst celebrating strong palettes of vintage sounds.
Strong dedication to the floor thanks to uncompromising grooves and expert sonic trickery complete the picture of the first Ground Service release which will hit the record stores around now and is already gracing the pre sales lists. But, as Augustowsky is keen to explain, Ground Service has more to it than simply harboring his solo excursions.
Ground Service is a departure point into something new: "At the very moment an own release is coming, on a new label, it is not clear automatically what this stands for, and who this is," elaborates Jens.
"The new label is supposed to transmit something that says: 'Listen up, there is something new, and it is independent.' And yes, it is very likely that people will not encounter it straight away. We all know how these things happen – or rather not happen: The record will be released through a distributor, and it will appear on their order list for a few days only," rounds up Jens who is firmly seated in his marvellously organised studio, filled to the brim with exquisite machinery, with a classic Roland setup marking an energetic center point.
It is very astounding that Zky suspects that the new record label might go unnoticed by many: The news that one of the Cab Drivers is launching a new label is quite a sensation for their fans. Digger DJs, vinyl nerds and groove specialists will be on their heels pre-ordering the new release before the news makes its round.
Ground Servicing the Floor
Nevertheless Jens is eager to take things into a new direction. The label, aimed at a musically-versed spectrum of listeners on the floor, is ready to start off with a string of collaborators and productions that are specially crafted for its dedicated use in the club – something he hails a true "Ground Service style".
"The genetic code of the label can be encountered in my own musical background. In my participation in Cab Drivers, or in my other side projects, with or without Daniel. And you can surely hear this, now in this very first release, that there is some relationship, some connection. I cannot help it. Just because I make stuff on my own, I will not make folk all of a sudden.“
The question why Zky wants Ground Service to be heard and seen at the very moment it surfaces instead of being a slow burner or insider can maybe answered considering his history. Whilst his Cab Driver project, started off with partner Daniel Paul Behnemann aka Daniel Paul, the other half of the Cab Drivers, was launched in the early Nineties, with Cabinet Records being established in 1995, it took them almost twenty years to become a fully-blown, internationally touring live outfit.
They, with their immense body of work placing them in heavy-weight dimensions, have been at the forefront of things for some time. In true veteran vain, they crank out vanguard material that is setting the pace for generations to come, but in such an uncanny, unspoilt and unconsumed way that they seem the discovery of recent years.
Cabinet has grown into a label with highly sought-after material, and an artist family whose moment is now, Audio Werner, Subb-An and DJ Honesty being some prime examples. Horseshoe, Warten Borgmann, Compass, Abrax, Karo, Zwo Fremde, Princess, The Poor Knight, Feeding Cup are just other Cab Drivers project names, and their outings under all those monikers grace the label regularly.
But Zky does not want to delve into that background. Ground Service comes straight out of Augustowsky. Born and bred Berliner, he was raised in Prenzlauer Berg which is also where the studio is situated. In some ways, with Ground Service, Jens has returned to his roots – despite the fact that he never moved away from them.
Being both, a honed DJ and accomplished producer and live musician – anyone who has seen him set off into spontanious jacking live improvisation sessions with his 303 and 909 knows what we are talking about.
The Moment Is Now
To express something independent, something intrinsically Zky, is the reason why Ground Service is being launched. No time is to be wasted: Ground Service is not only a singular quest but a manifold mission. "Ground Service is a story: like the name suggests, it can be many things.“ The logo is a grounding symbol; it also stands for matter. "And when you are at the airport, the ground service is essential in making logistics work. They are the people who fill up the planes' tanks, they load the luggage,“ explains a candid Jens.
"The dancefloor is the ground as well, the solid foundation on which things happen. And the label wants to offer its service to the floor: The music is dedicated to the dancefloor," elaborates Zky animatedly. A true love affair: "A service to the DJ, to the dancers and to the floor."
Listening to the first release on the label, it becomes clear what Augustowsky is looking for when calling upon celebrating the Gound Service's services: a varied spectrum of tight tracks, ready for usage in their respective environments. A substancial four-tracker which combines some kind of all-round virtues with the unmistaken thumb prints of Augustowsky written all over.
"Tiny Moves", the opener of Ground 001, is the best proof. Zky's hommage to the basic foundation of club life is solid sonic trickery, consisting of burbling acid lines which deliver a straight upward movement spiralling around a sparse and spanking groove. "No Sleep" sneaks in quite subliminally; its sweet bassline and old school claps keep the track in motion until some dissonant chords create some cosmic imbalance.
"That Track" is more of a slow burning mover. Elegantly spaced stabs swirl around a reliable bassline which feels like an anchor in the ever-evolutionising universe of music: That moment when you lose yourself completely on the floor. "Don't Decelerate" is the message, the answer to any dancer's problems. Bleeping modulated synth lines work swiftly against themselves, moving one's mind, body and soul towards a higher state of consciousness.
"This is why", concludes Jens, "it is a connection of so many things. The dance, the earth, the environment, the service. Music should be accessible for all of us... it should not be exclusive, not only vinyl, not only digital. As an artist and as a label I am happy about anybody who likes to listen and to play my music. It can be anything: Ambient, straight to the floor. The first release is by myself, but the spectrum will not be too monothematic: Ground Service cannot and will not be another Cabinet Records."
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Text and Interview: Katrin Richter/Kat Kat Tat @ Planetkat
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