The brand new festival UNUM, which will held place in the Albanian town of Shengjin from May 31st to June 2nd of this year, just added a second wave of names to its exceptional line-up. Craig Richards, Leon, Adriatique, Raresh, tINI, Vera, Ferro will all be included among the already jaw-dropping line-up, where the first headliners announced were Luciano, Ricardo Villalobos, Butch, Petre Inspires, Praslea, Sonja Moonear, DeWalta and Dyed Soundroom.
The first edition of this new event will bring underground house and techno to such as wide spectrum and level to the Albanian lands for the first time. The location chosen for the festival is by the seaside, on the stunning Mediterranean beauty that is the Albanian coastline; dense with breath taking landscapes which combine maritime pine forests and a mountain background with the coastline view. The festival will have three stages hosting 24 hours of music every day, so bring your sunglasses: sunrise and sunset parties are set to be one of the highlights of this three day stunning party. However the festival will not be focused solely on partying. You will be able to experience watersports, sun bathing, local cuisine and cultural trips and much more.
The last additions to the festival's line-up are stunning. The Fabric long-time resident and Nothing Special label boss Craig Richards with his wide range of expert selections ranging from electro to straight house and techno, as well as the rominimal institution Raresh ,who will bring his infectious groove to the party. Perlon’s boss Zip is also joining the party with his eclectic selections. You will also be able to attend sent from Ibiza’s tech house master tINI, and another favorite for minimal lovers, Vera. The other names added are Adriatique, Cap, Cris Rej, Erti Lutaj, Ferro, Franco Cinelli, Hugo Bianco, Igor Vicente, Jonny N’Travis, Joseph Capriati, Leon, Manoloco, Ohmme, Mike Shannon and Traumer. Considering the whole line-up, it will be hard to get some sleep during the three days.
The festival will provide everything you need; the extensive food and drink options include grill, fresh seafood, pizza, a salad-bar and vegan/vegetarian options. Expect also treats like an icre-cream van, a vitamin bar and a wide range of wine and cocktail bar for the more thirsty. A chillout zone with various shops will provide alternative entertainment to the main music of the festival to make sure no one in the audience is ever bored; massages, body-painting and plenty of hammocks will all be found.
UNUM agreed to a collaboration with the Tourism Ministry of Albania to facilitate easy access and avoid any possible issues for its attendants. This means the best accommodation in the local area will be exclusively operated through UNUM in order to provide a secure and quality accommodation for everyone. Package price start from €239 for 3 nights accommodation, transfers, festival shuttle and 3-day festival pass with unlimited re-entry.
The easiest way to get to the festival will be to fly to Tirana, the Albanian capital, which is around 1 hour away. However, the location will be easily accessible from the surroundings with UNUM taking care of all the transfers to and from the festival for just 20€ (from Tirana, Podgorica, Pristina and Durres Ferry Port).
FB Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2284889931746328/
The sweetest weekend of the year is happening again in 2019! After a successful first edition last year, the Creative Hub’s Park in Tallinn, Estonia, will host once again this fresh festival concept during the daytime of the 28th and 29th of July.
The KultuuriKartel, or Creative Hub, is a cultural temple close to the city centre of Tallinn hosting a wide range of concerts and cultural activities, with both indoor and outdoor wide spaces. The Estonian capital has been growing into a new European capital of innovation and culture, and the festival, happening right in the middle of the summertime, provides the perfect occasion for music lovers to visit the city.
Sweet Spot is a fluid and modern festival which does not settle on a certain style or music genre, but instead offers a variety of live performances and DJ sets that range from brilliant indie rock acts to rising talents of the electronic music scene. You will be able to enjoy huge performances from international artist but also find your way into the local Estonian scene to discover something unexpected.
Last year’s edition saw live performances from artists of the calibre of Irish singer-songwriter Roisin Murphy and the Estonian rapper and extravagant conceptual artist Tommy Cash. However electronic music lovers surely won’t be let down either - for example the 2018 edition hosted the one and only Jeff Mills, Honey Dijon, Soichi Terada and many more.
Although the festival takes place during the daytime, do not worry if you are more of a nighttime party-goer - the party does not stop there. Afterparties will take place each day at Pada, in the heart of Tallinn, giving you the occasion to fully experience the Estonian capital’s vibe.
After the huge success of its first edition, the expectations for its 2019 edition are high. The first names of this year's line-up will be released in February, stay tuned on Meoko for more info. If you are experiencing the usual winter blues through January while dreaming about these two days of pure summer bliss, this might be the right time to start planning your 2019 summer festivals schedule. Links and tickets below.
FB EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/2182645505324661/?active_tab=discussion
Since 2017, Re-UP and Riccardo Piazza teamed up on a new project, forming the Venice based record label Where We Met. Distancing itself from the old minimal tech background that distinguished Re-UP, the multi-faced project is not only a ‘traditional' record label, but also an independent DJ act, as well as a promoter entity. More importantly, WWM is pushing a forward-thinking sound which is reshaping current underground house and techno, infusing it with break-beat and electro.
Just listen to the first 2017 release from Reedale Rise; the ‘Broken Land' EP throws a captivating amen break into its first track with impressive smoothness, but also includes minimal house tracks that sound closer to the micro-house style we often hear at our favourite parties lately. Or their last release from 2018, ‘Where is my Prisma?’ by Chicaiza - the astonishing title-track is just something else, a spectral groove which convinces us the label is really doing something special.
We were certainly impressed by the ingenuity of their nearly 2-hours exclusive recording for Meoko. Creating a flow with broken beats is not an easy task for any DJ, and WWM do it beautifully. 10 minutes into the mix and you will be sucked into a space wormhole of rolling electro basslines and lysergic atmospheres. As the mix progresses, house comes onto the game; steady 4/4 kicks and neat hats build an infectious groove, without switching off the note of deepness that characterizes the WWM style. To accompany the mix, we had a chat with Where We Met regarding their upcoming releases and events.
Exclusive WWM Meoko Mix -CLICK HERE TO LISTEN
Hey guys, first of all, thank you for your time. We are very happy to have you on Meoko!
Could tell me a bit about your background? When was WWM born, and how?
Hi, It’s a pleasure to chat with you, guys! As explained in the introduction, WWM is a blend of Re-UP and Riccardo Piazza. Ricky’s history with electronic music had a serious turn when Leo and Omar asked him to go out a dinner in 2. "I remember I was back from an important business meeting in Milan" Ricky says, "dressed like a boring suited jacket man and I said "let’s meet up with the guys!". Until that moment, I was just a guy with a lot of passion for electronic music, now I can say I have a way to express and share his passion with others. So I really have to thank Omar and Leo who gave me this opportunity, I'm sure that I'm now a better DJ / promoter / whatever you want because of them.” On the other hand, the Re-UP project needed a reboot. The duo, founder of Kina Music, had been around for over a decade. After joining Music On between 2014 and 2016, they felt the need to step back from a mainstream brand that went too far from their musical taste. We’re plenty of good memories of this period, lot of fun and most important, we had the opportunity to see how a big agencies works. Ricky’s has been fundamental to help the Re-UP rebranding because He enriched their musical knowledge and thanks to his different background, he contaminated Re-UP’s sets which are now more sophisticated but still effective.
The name Where We Met celebrates a specific moment in which the three of us had a mind-blowing experience all together, surrounded by inspiring music and funny scenes. Sunwaves 14 is Where We Met and that's also the story behind the name. Zip's magical 5 hours set and the unforgettable Ricardo Villalobos set in the middle of a storm were both essential for understanding that we were feeling the same energy , and from there our friendship has been growing with mutual respect and with the security that we share certain human values which are at the core of the WWM project.
That’s why Re-UP suddenly decided to invite Ricky to that dinner. As soon as the meeting started, things flowed naturally. Omar already had the name in mind, 'Where We First Met', so we just shortened it and here we are, ready to go!
What is the fundamental vision behind the Where We Met project? What are your goals?
In the beginning we wrote a sort of WWM manifesto that we thought we would have to present to the artists. The picky and meritocratic process we use to select the music for each release allows us to be like a super selector which is composed by our 6 ears and 3 hearts.
WWM’s vision is set on human values first and foremost, and as a reflection we work with artists we empathize with. Our goal is to release high quality music that match our taste. Something to be played in different moment of the day, something that people will hear in 20 years and still enjoy it.
Some of the label releases show a Detroit old-school electro influence, other feature broken beats so neat that they almost sound like they could have been released on Hessle Audio. What inspired you to go in this direction?
Thanks for the comparison, hats off to Ben UFO and whole Hessle Audio crew! We know that music is cyclical so it was about time that electro and old school music became popular once again.
What inspires us is the message behind a track and that’s why we didn’t set any limitations to the label. Obviously the first release was an electro package that surely put the label on the map, but after that we felt the need to explore a more deep influenced sound.
With the third we returned into a techno electro mood and luckily, one tracks has been selected by Craig Richard on his Fabric Mix. We will never thank Reedale Rise enough for this! WWM004 represents an excursion from breaks, deep and techno while the 5th was meant to be a dance floor-oriented release.
The Chicaiza EP is very important for WWM because it is something we needed in order to be a bit less predictable. The label was becoming an almost pure electro one because the best music we found at that time was electro, which kind of attracted similar music to us, but it wasn't completely reflecting who we are and the range of the music we play and like. So We want to have different genres coming from WWM and we would really love that in each of our releases you are be able to hear our trademark which will always reflect our 3 different visions!
The first record of 2019 is already being released in February - the ‘Event Horizon EP’ by Tonnovelle. Can you describe the record for us?
WWM006 is the most rave-ish on the label, an expression of our techno side and something you will need when you play peak time. It’s an intelligent release, pretty contemporary music, something that might have been out on several current "trendy” labels, but beware the A2. ;)
The influences that Arman and Kamyar had for this one in regard to the Vienna/Berlin connections are pretty clear to us even though it's a pretty personal record. We also love the energy on this one!
Ricky adds "I'm really happy to have Arman on board because he is a longtime friend that I met in a special city, Vienna, and a very special place Metz. It's a second home for me and it was so important to help me define my taste in music and also what is nightlife to me. I'm so thankful I've met the Funkroom crew and all the people that I can now call friends!”
WWM also has a sub-label, Spaziotempo. It only had one release from Freddy Fresh in 2018 so far, which sounds as brilliant as inventive. It definitely makes us want to hear more!
How does Spaziotempo differ from Where We Met? Do you have anything scheduled for 2019?
Spaziotempo is hard to describe…We felt that Freddy Fresh EP would need a different home rather than WWM. At the very beginning we wanted to create a label for represses and reissues but we immediately realized that this concept would be a limit. As soon as we worked on the Spaziotempo002, the division between the 2 labels was getting clear to us - and if you read between the lines you can spot the artist already. ;)nds like Freddy to be hosted
You are active as a record label and DJ act, but also as promoters in the Venice area.
How is the scene moving nowadays in Italy? Did you find any particular difficulty in promoting your projects?
Italy is trying to reshape a club culture and many good producers are coming out. At the same time, people are understanding that music and small venues can be turned into intimate spaces that fits perfectly with the party experience we aim for. We had few great shows in Italy last year, there was a living connection with the dance-floor, almost tangible at times.
Luckily we've shown up on Michele’s radar, the owner of Veniceberg, who invited us to host a showcase series in his club. Since the first event, the relationship with Michele grew and we managed to understand the right steps to introduce the WWM project. There’s a mutual faith, he trust our bookings because he knows that we understand his club.
The music we love is neither easy nor popular, so it's normal that not so many people would enjoy a 3 hours IDM/breaks/whatever set as we do. What we are trying to do is to offer quality music, always making sure that people have a good time at our parties, that's the key! Behind a successful event there's a motivated crew which is able to transmit energy and passion, hooking people and giving them the right tools to join the experience. How to do that? Passion plus smiles plus respect to our followers.
Your next party will be on the 18th of January at Veniceberg, the venue you just mentioned. The underground space in Verona provides quality acoustics thanks to a purposely hand-made sound system. You will play alongside Gwenan, a daring artist who plays tracks ranging from techno to more experimental beats. What is your expectation for this party?
Can you imagine the most comfortable situation in which everything works perfectly? That’s Veniceberg! With this scenario, you just need to focus on being the perfect host for the artist and the people attending to the party.
Gwen is a great Dj, one of our favorites for sure. We love her selection and flow, you can feel a personal touch in her sets and she's always able to make a good connection with the crowd. Empathy: one of the skills every dj should have!
Other upcoming parties also have intriguing bookings; Freerotation resident Jane Fitz and Madrid DJ/producer Corp will play respectively in March and May, also at Veniceberg. What guides your booking choices?
As for our releases, we want to book artists that we would love to see at other people's parties. Being a DJ means to connect with the people and not everyone have the ability to bring the audience through their journey.
Jane needs no introductions, she's one of the best in the business and it's such an honor to have her with us: I can't wait to hear her on the Veniceberg's sound-system! Ricky still remembers her debut at Panorama Bar, at the end of her set there were literally 15 people waiting in line to hug her (including him): we think that this tells you a lot about the great human being she is (and of course…how good that night was!).
Corp is our bet this year! He’s surely a superb producer, his works for Libertine are outstanding but we heard he's a good DJ too and we can't wait to listen to him in Verona! We would also like to give a special mention to Chicaiza, who did a superb set in November. We knew he was skilled but he really nailed it!
Can each of you tell us your favourite record from 2018?
OMAR: Modex - Monologue
LEO: Roza Terenzi & Dj Zozi - Planet Euphorique
RICKY:Ten Grams - Fractured Textures
And favourite party?
OMAR: Checkpoint meets O300f Recordings at Backyard Barcelona Villa. I loved the energy all over, especially when Kashawar played one of the best sets i’ve ever heard!
LEO: Experiment Intrinsic France where Gwenan shaped such a lovely and intimate trip through techno, ambient and IDM...
RICKY: Riccardo in Brooklyn (Decantour), amazing vibe, great people there, so many new friends and 2 super acts from Riccardo and from Rasho, a guy we would really love to bring to Europe!
Thank you for reading and enjoy the Where We Met podcast!
Upcoming WWM parties:
18.01.19 - w/ Gwenan @ Veniceberg, Verona IT
15.03.19 - w/ Jane Fitz @ Veniceberg, Verona IT
17.05.19 - w/ Corp @ Veniceberg, Verona IT
FB - https://www.facebook.com/WhereWeMet/
RA - https://www.residentadvisor.net/record-label.aspx?id=14884
Discogs - https://www.discogs.com/label/1175223-Where-We-Met
Article by - Giovanni Bodrato
Today we are more than proud to feature a legend in our podcast series, someone who is often named among the creators themselves of the techno music genre: Mr. Kevin Saunderson. The recording sets the mood with the timeless Kenny Larkin Tension Mix of Kevin’s own ‘Future’ featuring Inner City. Kevin then shows his skills as an artist who has the incredible ability to create a mood in its mixes with just 2 or 3 purposely chosen tracks at the right tempo - throughout the mix each track is extremely strong, with no frills. Whether it’s house or techno elements in the mix the result is astonishing; Kevin Saunderson brings a classic Detroit touch to each single moment. The mix sucks up the listener until the end leaving one to scream for more techno - we could not have expected anything less from a legend such as Kevin Saunderson.
Kevin Saunderson delivers EXCLUSIVE MIx for MEOKO
Kevin Saunderson returns to London this weekend; on Saturday 19th of January he will perform at Corsica Studios. And while platinum-selling Detroit artist will be back headlining room 1 of this special event, room 2 will also see something more unique than rare happening; Memory Box welcomes Renaat Vandepapeliere - the Boss of the one and only R&S Records who is known for taking risks in his sets beyond trends. Robin Ball and Brassica playing live finish up the line-up into what already feels like a memorable event - definitely not one to miss out if you are around London this weekend
Catch the man himself at Memory Box this Saturday One of London's perfect venues to host such an event, Corsica Studios alongside Renaat (R&S)
These bits do the business, all out in the past fortnight unless stated otherwise:
MICHELLEZocco (double 12")
My Own Jupiter - MOJ 10
My Own Jupiter is a multimedia invitation onto the planet Edurne and Nicolas Lutz have created for themselves. For the 10th release the Uruguayan artist Michelle drops a killer album with 8 floor bombs that will keep you dancing till eternity. Zocco!
Overcome/Lady Science (NYC Sunrise) (12" repress)
Trelik - TR 11:11
REPRESS ALERT: Trelik returns with a repackaged edition of one of the catalogue's most treasured releases. Written and produced by Thomas Melchior and Baby Ford aka Soul Capsule, these tracks came from one of the many sessions recorded at the West London Ifach Studio in 1999.
Regression Progression EP (12")
Partisan - PTN012
Matching classic motifs with a bold, crisp production style that sits comfortably in the ever-expanding Partisan catalogue, Giammarco Orsini once again proves himself to be a vital rising talent in the European House and Techno scene.
Audio: https://www.juno.co.uk/products/giammarco-orsini-regression-progression-ep/716204-01/INTERNATIONAL ANYTHING
Like This Girl (12")
Perlon - PERL120
Next on Perlon is an EP from International Anything, the collaborative project of label head Markus Nikolai and Ole Schulte. Debuting on the infamous Superlongevity compilation in 2017, this 12" is the first solo release of the duo.
Shamania (double 12")
Sleep Is Commercial - SLCLTD008
Wareika's double-EP “Shamania” features two collaborative remixes from Ricardo Villalobos and Thomas Melchior, Wareika’s original and a remix from Dunkle Dummies. Due out on Sleep Is Commercial. Nothing more to add!
Slices of life | SOL10.2
Slices Of Life celebrates the 10th release with a two-part vinyl compilation: SOL10.1 and SOL10.2! Label owner Barbara Preisinger gathered seven unreleased tracks on two seperate 12 inches, by previous Slices Of Life artists as well as producers who relate to the label through friendship, events and personal support.Audio: https://www.juno.co.uk/products/cab-drivers-slices-of-life-10-2/707119-01/
Lost'n'Rex EP (double 12")
Time Passages - TP 10
Binh releases a double pack via his own Time Passages. For the labels 10th release Binh carries his own tracks and some collaborative work with Evan Baggs, Sven Röhrig and Dj Masda.
A Walk In A Field (12")
Serialism - SER047
The Cobblestone Jazz man shows off some of his vintage colours courtesy of a release which comes at us here from Cesare vs Disorder’s Serialism imprint. The music of The Mole is engaging, captivating and mind-blowing at the same time.
Lyra (180 gram vinyl double 12")
Meander - MEANDER 025
Lyra is DeWalta’s fourth large project and third full-length album following Wander in 2012 (on Haunt), llumination in 2014 (on Meander) and Dark Matter in 2017 (on Amphia). The album consists of two individually available parts and is by far DeWalta's most extensive and refined project to date.
Gravity EP (12")
Inkal - INKAL 005
Ben Rau has been steadily developing his unique twist on modern house music over the past few years via his Inkal and Meta imprints. Here we see Ben return to Inkal with a new two-tracker which shifts focus in a dynamically unfolding fashion.
Semantics (double 12")
Nervmusic - NM 023EP
Semantics is Rhadoo’s first EP since 2015's Zanzibar on Amphia. Spanning four tracks spread across two discs, Semantics will come out through Berlin-based label Nervmusic. A founding member of the [a:rpia:r] label and collective, Rhadoo is one of Romania's key artists, having helped shape the country's distinctive minimal sound.
Fairground / Kitten
Cabinet Records - CAB55LTD
Cabinet sees the return of Brawther on the driver's seat. Pulling out two razor sharp bouncing party jams, “Fairground” and “Kitten” will sort any dancefloor out! Worth mentioning that this is Cabinet’s first pressing with a limited number of 333 labels.
Polyson - POLYSON001
Minibar’s boss Cabanne (also heavily associated with Perlon) is launching his vinyl-only Polyson label with a new EP from Varhat, Hokenkok. On this EP Varhat delivers two originals with Cabanne on remix duties.
Salty Nuts - SN008
Fabe kicks off 2019 by dropping his debut full length on his own Salty Nuts label. Here he shows a wide spectrum of minimal house and techno style across eight tracks that feature Fabe's typical, loopy signature groove.
YYK No Label
Hand-stamped unlabeled record from Japan expected out early February. This 12” features 3 tracks; Budōnoki, Budō and Wain and it sounds dope.
From our fav MEOKO selector DENNY KEM
When it comes to Burning Man, one will find it extremely difficult to put into actual words, infact it is probably impossible to describe it unless you have been and experienced this 'other planet', of course! I guess it can be anything you want it to be and more, set in the Nervada Desert catering for around 80 000 over 9 days . This festival takes creativity, fashion, community and imagination to a new level. A festival when literally ANYTHING goes.
"Over the course of its history, the Burning Man community has developed its own peculiar lexicon, an organic outgrowth of the event, the culture, and the unique landscape of the Black Rock Desert where the event takes place"
Some have described it as life changing, a rebirth, others claim there simply is just no way to describe it.
Jim Simpson, a longtime “Burner,” said he and his friends came up with the concept of “Oogmoo,” which is a word to describe something you have to see for yourself.
MEOKO put together some of our favourite fashion pictures from BM over the years.
And that is a WRAP!
Disclaimer - if any photographer would like to get intouch, we would be more than grateful to add your credits.
There is really no need for introduction when it comes to the unstoppable fun trio that is Wareika. For the past decade Florian Schirmacher, Henrik Raabe and Jakob Seidensticker have been at the forefront of electronic music, consistently developing and pushing their signature sound in every corner of the world with great success. Their finger work is finesse itself and has been universally appreciated, also and foremost by Visionquest, Perlon and all the labels they have charted on. Wareika are more a band that has fun experimenting with electronic music, but has a musical culture that goes well beyond it. Listen to any of their productions and you will discover atmospheres which refer to their own world and personalities.
From London’s iCAN Studios where I first met them 4 years ago, to Funkhaus in Berlin (for the 20 years celebration of Perlon), to London again at Ministry Of Sound and back to Panorama Bar in Berlin this August (for Get Perlonized) - I’ve been travelling between cities in order to get to know them better and witness them perform live. Trust me when I tell you this; I have rarely come across such masterful artists. However, I believe the main thing about them is that despite all their fame and success, despite all the collaborations and all the world class labels they have released their music on, despite everything that comes with it - these three individuals are genuine, humble and down to earth. Their love for music is fundamental, a sacred value that leaves no space for anything pretentious. To my eyes this is a rare quality, especially nowadays..!
As we say farewell to 2018 we had a proper catch up with Wareika in order to find out what they’ve been up to lately! In addition to the interview the trio teamed up with Meoko to deliver a “goodie bag” of exclusive audio & visual material for our readers, just in time for Christmas and New Year (well almost...)!
Afternoon mighty Wareika! It’s a great pleasure to welcome you back to Meoko! So, you guys toured South America recently for a duration of two weeks. How did it go?
Florian: We played in lovely Colombia and Mexico. Colombia is one one of our favourite countries. From the first time we were booked to perform there few years ago we fell in love with the people and their mood. Since then we go back regularly and always have a great time.
And what about Mexico? How was it there?
Jakob: It was a fantastic short trip to Papaya Playa Project in Tulum. This spot is like a paradise and at this time with not so many tourists. The dance floor is open air and just 30 meters from the sea. It was a full-moon Party with lots of people and we played very well. As our gigs are always different and not always perfect, I can say that it was a special one and we really want to go back asap, especially as it is fucking freezing here in Europe for the next months.
What do you think of the club scene in South America? Is it any similar compared to the club scene in Europe?
Henrik: It’s different for sure and it’s way smaller. The positive effect of this is that you have a very intimate feeling when you are clubbing there. Everybody knows each other. There is competition too but way less if you compare it with Berlin e.g.
You have travelled quite a lot these past years, is there any specific country that you would like to visit / perform and haven’t done so yet?
Florian: The electronic music scene is still young just like many countries in the world. For example Estonia had its hundredth birthday this year. Good reason to celebrate there. Cuba, Peru, Ethiopia, Ruanda, Armenia would also be interesting for me.
2018 marks 11 years (more or less) since the three of you formed the band. How has this journey been so far?
Henrik: First of all, AMAZING! It feels very special to share such an intense experience (like touring the world with your music) together with such good friends. I think I couldn’t do this on my own, like many DJs do it. I am so grateful to have... a BAND! Of course it is often not so easy, especially when you play mostly in smaller clubs, where even doing a proper soundcheck is nothing usual. Beside that, if you work together you have to find solutions together, you have to discuss things... It’s a family thing and that’s not always easy, but it is so beautiful!! From a musical perspective I could say, that none of us would have done what we could have done on our own. It has been possible because we did it together.
Did you expect back then that things will develop the way they have?
Jakob: When the three of us met about 10 years ago in Hamburg we had no idea of what was going to happen. We first experimented with different drums and percussions and recorded everything. The result was our debut single „Men Village“ on Connaisseur. Shortly after this release we met regularly in the studio of Henrik and mine. We were also trying out vocals with Florian for the first time. This mixture of different kinds of instruments and styles has probably brought us where we are today.
Henrik: Honestly, in the beginning all of us were really keen on making it out there and touring the planet. When that started to happen it was still very exciting, but also felt very natural in a way, because it was just what we wanted and what we worked very hard for. Everytime when we have the chance to go somewhere, and play our music for the people, it feels like part of the dream becoming reality, and that’s what life is worth living for, isn’t it?
If you could go back in time 11 years ago, what would be the one main advice you would give to yourselves?
Henrik: On a band level I have nothing to admit, we did exactly what we had to do together. Maybe for myself I could say that I started a bit late the process of going in depth with learning certain musical basics, so I still struggle to really play what I want to play, because I cannot play it yet. But I am on it!!!
On your set-up there is always some sort of little custom-made modular boxes that you build yourself Henrik. How do you do that? You’ve even built a custom-made lute, now that’s even more impressive! Do you find it easy building your own instruments? looks so difficult to me!
Henrik: Playing electronic music LIVE simply calls for very special needs in the field of instrumentation. You want to have lots of control about many musical as well as mixing aspects in real time. That led me to spend a lot of time experimenting with hundreds of different devices and their possible combinations, and even building things myself, because I could not find what I needed out there. But after all that process I have to say, that music comes first and foremost from your heart. We had some gigs where parts of the machinery decided not work with us, and we felt pretty naked on stage. But then we played the best music ever with very little technical stuff.
Back in February you released your 5th album “Water Sky Sun Wood” on Japanese imprint Mule Musiq. Could you give us a bit of an insight?
Jakob: We recorded a long session of about 1-2 hours at Henrik’s Studio in Bingen/Rhein (near Frankfurt). First I wanted to delete it because it had some crackle sounds in it but Florian insisted to keep it and this was a good idea.
Florian: Yes, I took the whole project to Berlin and worked on it for quite a long time. It was a bit like Chinese whispers, so Henrik got it back! (Henrik laughs)
Henrik: I took the whole Opus with more than 50 channels and bounced them in about 3-4 Stereo Channels and started to add new elements from zero. In the end I sent it to Jakob who speeded the track about 10 bpm up, added some more elements and did the mixdown. That was it! The album sounds like a 60min jam but it was lots of work (even though it was a 60min jam)! (Henrik laughs)
Also this year you have released many EP’s with the most recent being the Shamania EP on Sleep Is Commercial, expected out very soon. How did that come along?
Jakob: Not too sure how it happened, like I remember Henrik and I played together on his piano in his studio, the rhythm was so strange that we had no idea of how to loop it… in the end it was a 5/7 bar measure as far as I remember.
Henrik: Or was it 4/11??
Jakob: Maybe it was. Once we figured out what loop and bar measure it was we slowly started to build the structure around this first piano idea.
Henrik: Usually Jakob and Florian have strict ideas about what labels are suitable for our music but this time it was me that thought of Francesco Assenza from Sleep is Commercial. We have known each other for years and as you can see he was into it.
It’s not the first time we see Ricardo Villalobos remixing one of your tracks. This time he teamed up with Thomas Melchior and delivered two remixes. Whose idea was this?
Jakob: Mine (laughs).
Henrik: The guys from Sleep Is Commercial asked Thomas Melchior for one Remix. After a while the information came that he did two remixes together with Ricardo Villalobos. We don’t know what happened in between! :)
Do you have more releases coming out this year?
Florian: The year is almost finished, yet there are so many things coming up for Wareika it feels like spring-time. The Ricardo Villalobos & Thomas Melchior Remixes are for sure upfront and we are happy to release this double 12” as this was a process of about two years (to make this release with all the remixes happen).
A beautiful Remix will come out this month also: Its for our friend Sary called „Hear & Hakim Murphy - Motion Currents („Wareika’s Moon Aligned Remix“). Its a link between different worlds as well…
Jakob: The whole bunch of releases will come straight early 2019.
Is there anything particular you would like to see Wareika getting more into in the future?
Henrik: Taking over the groove from those machines. I love all kind of electronic music devices and my studio is full of them, but still I find the best grooves are played by humans, not by machines. Somehow we left the groove to the machines and sometimes we become slaves of the machines, without realizing it. Let’s free ourselves from that!
Last time I saw you perform live was back in August at Panorama Bar for Get Perlonized. That was an insane live set and the vibe was so special! From your perspective how does it feel when you perform there?
Jakob: Oh my god that one was fantastic! Everybody was sweating to the fullest, three o’clock in the morning it was still 34 or so degrees outside. So you can imagine the vibe inside. Insane. For me it was one of the best gigs we ever played! We also played about one hour longer. The people were just too hungry (laughs). Playing for Get Perlonized is always special though. It’s just a guarantee for a good party. Thanks to Tomo and Sammy for keeping it up for such a long time now!
I also remember the day I came across Florian randomly at Panorama Bar in January. How often do you go out clubbing?
Florian: I like to go out and experience new things! For example I also enjoy dancing to Salsa.
Jakob: I try to keep it low between the gigs, but it doesn’t always work as I like to visit my friends in clubs and dancing to good music. Henrik is rather in his family thing, less clubbing, more music production and making music with his refugee friends from Syria.
For someone who doesn’t live in Berlin what would be the top 3 places you’d recommend them visiting while in the city?
Florian: The Philharmonic Orchestra has a special sound. I also like the Teufelsberg, it’s such a cool venue and it has open doors for visitors. Also the Loop Gallery! It opens randomly but it is very special.
Jakob: For clubbing there are obviously way too many venues one could recommend. I like Club der Visionäre in summer best.
Henrik: For food there is also loads of good options. We often stay at Michelberger Hotel, Warschauerstraße when in Berlin. As I almost always ran out of time, I end up at the Haloumi place next door. That’s a good one too (laughs)!
As we speak of Berlin, Jakob when are you moving there (laughs)? Jokes aside this year you’ve been playing music in Berlin almost on a weekly basis, would you consider relocating or you’d rather stay in Hamburg?
Jakob: Yes! 2018 was intense. I was DJing as Jakob Seidensticker a lot besides our live gigs as Wareika and Silky Raven. I love Berlin but I also like to leave Berlin once the work is done (laughs). I love the city but it’s also too grey and dangerous for me. Coming back to Hamburg from all over the world has always given me a feeling of relief. I was born here and i will die here hopefully - (everybody laughing)!
What shall your fans expect from Wareika this coming year?
Jakob: As we are making music as Wareika for more than 10 years now, we are celebrating this with a huge collaborative double album with loads of brilliant musicians, friends and other inspiring people, such as Sonja Moonear, Maayan Nidam, Shonky, Radio Slave, Kalabrese, just to name a few...
That sounds brilliant! We’re definitely looking forward to that! Anything else you would like to share with the world before we wrap up?
Jakob: Merry Christmas! Enjoy the holidays with your loved ones. In case you don’t celebrate Christmas, just have a wine on me ;)
Henrik: See you somewhere on this lovely planet at the weirdest dance floors.
Thank you so much for your time and pressies Wareika! It’s been fantastic having you back! Merry Christmas from Meoko!
Words by Denny Kem
More Wareika: Facebook / Soundcloud
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Hope you all had a nice Christmas and are looking forward to the New Year. As an end of year message I would like to emphasise the importance of cultural knowledge and passing on information from generation to generation which in turn, sustains the truthfulness of our music movement, like any other. With electronic dance music however, it is slightly different as, for being a relatively young movement, it has not been documented as widely as it should have in my opinion, such as in the academic realm as we still find ourselves trying to prove its cultural relevance in many ways as seen during fabric’s recent closure. I have, over the years, compiled lists of documentaries which guides us through this history and later contributed to some groups like the programme for Electronic Dance Music at City University where I did my Masters so I would like to share them here. They go through Disco, House, Techno, Geek (gear, technology, etc), amongst other things. They travel through showing how House made its way to the UK while Techno made its way to Berlin / Germany and how advances in technology had an impact in the history of music making.
(Isis Salvaterra - Founder of Toi Toi Musik, Agency and Record Label / Press and Communications at GuestHouse
DISCO / HOUSE
Kraftwerk & The Electronic Revolution
Pump Up the Volume - The History of House Music
Maestro - Larry Levan and Early Dj Culture
Disco - Spinning the Story
New York Disco to Hip Hop
Chicago Hip House
The Chemical Generation - Acid House UK
1989 - Summer Of Rave Documentary (UK)
Human Traffic Movie (Classic)
Universal Techno (1996)
High Tech Soul - The Creation of Techno Music
We Call It Techno (Germany)
Sub Berlin "The Story of Tresor"
Pioneers of Electronic Music - Richie Hawtin
Live Recording of Narod Niki at Mutek 2003 (audio only - private link)
EVOLUTION OF TECHNOLOGY
The Delian Mode - Delia Derbyshire
Discovering Electronic Music (1983)
Totally Wired - Schneider’s Buero - Trailer only
I Dream of Wires (2015)
Synthesizer Documentary ~ Moog
TB- 303 Doc- Bassline Baseline (2005)
What the Future Sounded Like (2006)
808 Documentary (2016) Trailer Only
The History of the ‘Amen Break’
Theo Parrish Redbull Music Academy Lecture (2005)
In Conversation with Theo Parrish
24h Berlin - Ricardo Villalobos - Arte TV
Before Music Dies
Tom Dowd and The Language of Music (documentary) - Trailer Only
Why Beauty Matters (subs in Portuguese)
The Art of Listening - Music Documentary (2017)
Why We DJ - Slaves to the Rhythm Documentary (2017)
Leonard Bernstein on the future of music (1973)
That should you guys busy for a while ;)
Epizode is one of the leading festivals in Asia, taking place on the Phu Quoc island in Vietnam for eleven consecutive nights, between the 28th of December and the 8th of January. While the northern hemisphere will be freezing into the new year, on the beaches of this mesmerising island underground electronic music will be celebrated dancing under palm trees with sunglasses on. The festival’s line-up ranges from house and minimal to harder techno and drum n' bass, including plenty of electronic music icons such as the A:rpia:r sound system, Ricardo Villalobos, Sonja Moonear, Maayan Nidam and Pan-pot, among many others. We are delighted to host the organiser Artem Kharchenko for a few words and insights on the festival.
Q1: Hi Artem! Thank you for taking the time for this interview, it is a pleasure to have you on Meoko. Epizode is now at its third edition! I guess it has been a huge challenge to organise this kind of event in a country where it’s not too usual. Why did you choose Vietnam and what was the biggest obstacle in planning a leading festival in this country?
Hello, and thanks for the invite :) Yes, organization of Epizod3 is challenging and sometimes unpredictable, but also rewarding in the same time. We’re creating something completely different in the region, a format new by it’s length, music, concept. Lineup that we’re presenting consists of many artists that never played in Asia, or they do it rarely. Some of them are playing music that people from the region are not that familiar with. So we have a big task: not just to locally promote a new sound and concept, but also to educate and hopefully, broaden horizons of the crowd. Also, we invest a lot into local community, showcase many regional acts. Underground scene is emerging, so does Epizod3 :) We see this relationship as a two-way street, and it’s exciting to be a part of one growing organism.
Circumstances in the region sometimes can be unstable and uncertain, indeed. Rules and laws are not the same as in Europe, neither the treatment of the big music events. Phu Quoc is a perfect place though, as it’s big island, well geographically located, prices are much lower than in Europe and USA and, needless to say - it’s stunningly beautiful. It has international airport and all important infrastructure, hotels, transportation, exotic food and friendly locals :) So far we’re happy to be having Phu Quoc as Epizode home.
Q2: The line-up of this year is astonishing. The festival will feature some legends such as Villalobos and Sonja Moonear, however I see some huge acts from different genres such as Goldie or Black Sun Empire. I think it’s great that you cover such a wide spectrum of quality dance music. What is the aim of your line-up choices and where does the inspiration come from?
We are focused on the quality sound from different electronic genres, indeed. We do have house, techno, minimal, but also d’n’b and breaks, as an important part of the lineup. The idea is, simply, to gather top-notch artists from different music worlds, Dnb and break artists that we booked this year, are the biggest legends of all times in their genre; they will set the beach on fire and we’re happy to welcome them.
use, techno, minimal, but also d’n’b and breaks, as an important part of the lineup. The idea is, simply, to gather top-notch artists from different music worlds, Dnb and break artists that we booked this year, are the biggest legends of all times in Q3: Art installations and daytime workshops on site are also a great part of the festival. What do you have in store this year for this aspect?
On the territory of Epizode, the construction of art installations and architectural structures is already in full swing, the infrastructure is getting more comfortable and intuitive. Artists and architects from different countries are taking part in this magic work. The festival literally turns into an incredibly magical place - in our eyes, all the details are piecing all together, and it seems that Epizode is about to breathe, like a huge fairy-tale creature.
This year we are planning a diverse daytime program. In addition to sports activities, which include yoga, volleyball, SUP, frisbee, there will be creative workshops, body art, a movie theatre, colorful Holi battles, other fun activities and of course open decks for those who have always wanted to play at Epizode. We want people to come to the festival not only for night dances, but we also want them to discover and to be adventurous during the day. Epizode is a 24-hour fun :)
Q4: Is the festival on site preparation and assembly something that happens just the weeks before, or progressively throughout the whole year?
On site preparation starts with a field visit in the summer time, and building of the new site and all production starts 2,3 months before the festival. We are in Phu Quoc for a while now, building our new house for this edition.
Q5: You will also perform at the festival with your solo project Tyoma. Why you decided to settle on it after performing and producing under different monikers? What can we expect from your set at the festival?
II have a theory that, the first record that’s played at the festival, needs to be the right one, as it will define the energy of the whole festival. That’s why I do the first soundcheck, and then the first sunset - opening set of the festival. I will play a few more sets, as for me as a general producer, it’s important to feel the crowd, to get familiar with the vibe, to know what’s going on on the other side.
e a theory that, the first record that’s played at the festival, needs to be the right one, as it will define the energy of
Q6: Epizode is hosting some cool pre-festival parties all over Asia. India, China, Thailand, Singapore… How is electronic music perceived in Asia nowadays? Is there an underground music scene you would like to particularly recommend our readers to check out?
Underground scene in Asia is definitely emerging. Some countries are already developed and pinned on a world clubbing map, hosting various artists, underground as well as headliners. Big party brands and festivals are coming to Asia as well. Some other places though, are developing in a moderate pace, but getting there. There are more and more artists, clubs, promoters, and they are all contributing to the growth of the scene. All this is not just important, but also revolutionary, as Asia is known for it’s massive EDM scene, and 20k people events happening every week. That circumstances makes growth of underground scene more difficult, and certainly more valuable. That’s why, our job is not easy, but it’s simply rewarding to help bring and build a new music trends, focused purely on quality.
Q7: Could you share your own personal highlight from the last edition of Epizode?
ll afterparties last year were off the hook. Needless to say - the epic Ricardo’s morning set was the one for the books, as well as Luciano’s sunset set. Then, all Asian artists at Eggs stage, really showed what quality sound and good fun is. Also - I will never forget the moment when I walked in at the venue, heard many different languages and realized we created a truly international event.
Q8: Can you summarise the vision behind Epizode for the readers? What makes it different than other festivals?
Apart from the fact that we are a long running and unique music and art spectacle in a paradise island in Vietnam - we are also a parallel universe bringing cinematic experience, as the title Epizode says. We call our visitors - actors, superheroes, directors and the lineup is - soundtrack. Everyone can write their own scenario and enjoy in all frames of Epizode.
Thank you again for your time, we wish you all the best for this year’s edition.
art from the fact that we are a long running and unique music and art spectacle in a parad
ise island in Vietnam - we are also a parallel universe bringing cinematic experience, as the title Epizode says. We call our visitors - actors, superheroes, directors and the lineup is - soundtrack. Everyone can write their own scenario and enjoy in all frames of Epizode.
Thank you again for your time, we wish you all the best for this year’s edition.
GET YOUR TICKT NOW AND DONT MISS THIS INSANE WAY TO SEE IN THE NEW YEARS - CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS o f
MORE INFORMATI|ON HERE
Words by Giovanni Bodrato
Despite years of growing popularity, the Romanian scene managed to maintain striking integrity and passion. The list of artists from the country who developed their signature sound in the last decades is remarkable, showing an outstanding creative spirit and a strong will to explore minimal dance music outside the box. But the Romanian scene is also known to pay attention to its local uprising talents instead of focusing solely on the same characters over and over. Meoko is delighted to show its love and support to the Romanian scene and signal some talents to keep an eye on throughout 2019.
Apart from a release on Blumea in 2017, we don’t know much about Abel Soleil, but a quick online search of this mysterious pseudonym will lead you to some of the highest quality music we’ve heard in a while. The rhythmic, atonal and strikingly well-produced minimal textures under this moniker make us think we’re going to hear a lot from him in 2019.
Very active in the Bucharest scene, this year Aparte played next to DJs like Arapu, Barac, Lizz, and more. The Dj and producer delivers a strong synthesis of modern micro-house infused with old school Detroit acid techno. While we are waiting for more news on releases in the new year, we can enjoy the few previews shared on his Soundcloud, that just leave us wanting more.
Bizar is, like most Romanian artist, one who would rather share his art through sounds instead of long DJ descriptions. We don’t have a lot of info about Bizar, but going through his Soundcloud and Bandcamp you will find an impressive variety of quality minimal productions. As his name suggests, his music might sound ‘bizarre' at times, but isn’t originality something we all love? The producer is certainly bringing something fresh on the table and we’re excited to hear more from him. Check out more on this artist here - Bizar Bandcamp
Is likely that 2019 is going to be a great year for Diferit. The Romanian DJ and producer has been shaping up an open horizons style, where quality is the only imperative. His 2018 release ‘Edge of Space’ is simply something else, adding a steady electro rhythm to a marvellous and spacey ambient background (on the B-side you also find Christopher Ledger on remix duties - check it out below). We’re just thrilled to hear more this year.
You might have heard Dragusanu's project together with BRYZ, Fildesh, which has been going strong since 2015. The young Bucharest born DJ and producer has also been making excellent music under his solo moniker ‘Dragusanu’; his ‘Umbra EP’, released this year on the artist’s Bandcamp, captured our attention for his soothing and dreamy vibe.
Dragusanu Bandcamp - Click
Despite being around for a while, we feel this year might be a great one for Herck. The artist has been developing a peculiar and complex sound; in his music very often you might hear processed vocal samples that sound from outer space and glitchy robotic rhythms. Whether you like his style or not, his sets and productions have the outstanding quality of never being boring.
Vlad Leanca is another one to watch in the coming year. The DJ/producer has been developing a psychedelic sound showing he is not afraid to experiment (his Alter Hour mix sounds almost hypnotic - in the best way). Leanca has already been receiving support from notable figures in the scene: check out Barac playing an unreleased hallucinatory bomb from him at this year’s edition of Ostrov Festival in Ukraine below. We’re very much hoping for this one to be released in 2019.
The young DJ and producer from Cluj-Napoca shows a remarkable sense of groove in his mixes and productions. The bass in his recent remix of Sonohat's ‘Whispers’ results in instant head nodding, and his mix for RTS.FM Budapest this year combines undiscovered gems and solid tracks with impressive fluidity, convincing us he’s one to watch in the new year.
You probably have heard Matje’s reinterpretation of The Doors’ Riders On The Storm more than one time throughout 2018, either at an afterparty or from your favourite Youtube recommendations. Matje’s inventive rework of this psychedelic rock classic was one of the most iconic tracks of the year; the Romanian DJ and producer seems to able to turn anything into a deep dance-floor cut, as you can also hear from his Stayin' Alive remix (listen below). But Matje has proven to be capable of delivering much more than that: his style also adds a mesmerizing and hypnotic ‘dub’ vibe to a solid Romanian microhouse substance. The result? His sets to sound like deep submersions into unknown worlds, where it is extremely easy to get lost. Just check out his last podcast on Soper Univers below.
r107, pronounced “riot”, is another Romanian talent to keep an eye on into the next year. Apart from the many shows in Bucharest and around his country, this year r107 also played in Corse and Switzerland delivering the Romanian style we all love with a tight attitude. You can listen below to his track ‘Infinitea’, which was included in the Ensis Black compilation ‘Unknown Heroes' this year.
We don’t know much about Robert Apetrei, but his November release ‘Alpha Si Omega’ speaks by itself. Vibrant and rhythmic, with a clean audio design, the two tracks sound more like an expert’s work than a debut. We’re already hoping for new releases in 2019.
Sonohat’s debut on the new underground minimal Miami/Bucharest label Cedesciu Wax is nothing short of impressive (in here you also find Macarie’s remix referenced to earlier). The frisky beats of ‘Whisper’, the brain-scraping sounds in ‘Hoe Lee Choir’ and the non-stop energy of ‘Galop Dupa 5’ all make us guess we’re going to hear these often at parties in the next year.
Last but not least we would like to signal Zen, a.k.a. Chronosymmetry. As his name suggests the music has a nice meditative connotation to it. Just check out his recent mix for Exid, or the ‘Symbiosis’ release under his Chronosimmetry moniker, which feels monumental thanks to the atmospheric string progressions, but also tranquil and sedative at the same time. Sit back, relax, and let the music transport you.
The upcoming year promises to be one filled with exciting news and creativity. It’s impressive how the underground music scene in Romania still manages to reinvent itself and surprise us with new talents. We’ll keep our ears up for more news and releases throughout 2019. Meanwhile, see you at Sunwaves in Spring.
Resources - Various
It’s not everyday that you come across a DJ that has had an EP release to their name at the age of 13, but Oskar Szafraniec has done just that. Now 24, the Polish-born, classically-trained musician has 11 years of music production experience up his sleeve. Since then, he has been dedicated to the studio and the continual growth of his musical abilities releasing solo records with RAWAX, Cyclo and Closed Circuits.
In 2015, Oskar spent time in the studio with Ricardo Villalobos, and afterwards they produced separate tracks on a split record on RAWAX. Since then, Oskar has also collaborated and on several records and produced an album with Pier Bucci, as well as touring and working closely with a Guy Called Gerald. Now living in Berlin, Oskar has been busy collecting records and working in the studio, perfecting his sound. As can be deduced from listening to Oskar’s creations, he is very honest to his craft, and draws inspiration from a range of different musical genres, adding subtle yet unique elements into his distinctive minimal style. In the near future, Oskar Szafraniec is teaming up with Perlon’s Wareika, and also Caruan to produce some exciting new with an Italian jazz ensemble – definitely some projects to keep your eyes and ears ready for. We sat down to take a chat with Oskar to find out more about his career and life.
Click for Oskars Exclusve MEOKO Mix
1- Hey Oskar. Nice to speak with you! How are you doing? What are you up to right now?
I’m fine, thank you! I am currently visiting my mom in Poland as unfortunately she has been fighting with cancer recently. She is in recovery right now though, which is such a relief. In these moments, it is very important to stay close to your family. My friends have helped me a lot, which I am extremely grateful for. I have my studio equipment here with me in Poland so I have been doing a little bit of work on upcoming projects where I can, and driving back to Berlin if I have any gigs on. I’ll be playing at Watergate this Wednesday, supporting System of Survival and Alexandra - I am really looking forward to dance with all those creative people at such a great location. I’m thinking I may play a bit more of an interesting set on Wednesday as my music selection will usually be a reflection of my personal life it - so let’s see where I’ll take it! I always believe that the best release for your emotions is to tell your story through music.
2- Very sorry to hear about your Mother, Oskar. But we’re glad you’re still powering through and making music. So tell us, you’re only just turning 24 but you have 11 years of producing and DJing. How exactly did you get into electronic music at such a young age?
It’s quite difficult to really pin-point point a single thing. I was always very musical, but became very curious listening to different types of music on the internet and it just escalated form there. I started researching about electronic music, getting inspired and trying to understand what electronic music was truly all about – looking back, I was definitely a big music nerd – I still am, really! I began to produce music, experiment with different instruments, sing, and eventually DJ… I got my first DJ gig when I was 14!
3- That’s pretty impressive! After all these years, do you have any rituals before going into music writing process?
I hope this doesn’t make me sound too OCD, but I have to admit I like to reorganise the studio room a bit before I start; put the cables and machines in the right place, clean up. A clean environment means a clear mind to me. Before I start recording I also like to finish all private things I have scheduled to do, I really need to feel free from distraction.
4- We know that you’re pretty experienced with using serious studio equipment; I believe that Roland once asked you to test out some of their new kits! What is your favourite piece of studio equipment right now?
At the moment it’s Space Echo. I’m actually using it on nearly each track I work on right now! My favourites come in waves though. A while ago it was an old Electribe ER-1, and before that, the SH-101. I really love sampling though as well. Anything what helps me to write beautiful stories with sounds.
5- Let’s talk a little about your inspirations then. What factors in your life influence your music the most?
It is usually the people I meet, situations, new instruments, and music I’ve never heard before. Recently it has been difficult for me to focus on new music and find inspiration as my mom has been sick but I have been trying to work with this as much as possible.
6- I guess it can’t always be all easy going in the studio sometimes and there are days where you struggle to find inspiration. How do you overcome writers block?
I don’t like to push things. It’s not like I’m working everyday on music trying to get the best out of it. I need to feel it’s the right moment; be inspired, be free. I believe if you push yourself to write, then your art sounds pushed, not honest. If I’m not inspired, I find other ways to spend my time. It is important to take breaks and come back with a fresh mind!
7- What have you got in the pipeline at the moment - can you tell us more about your upcoming projects?
There’s actually a lot of projects I have been working on lately! I have an upcoming release for Barac’s Moment Records, which I am currently tweaking some details on. I have also recently teamed up with Wareika for a new project, and I’m working on a track with the Swedish singer, Sailor & I. I have been collaborating with Otake Record’s owner, Piotr Bejnar, Round Up’s Bruno Curtis, and also the young artist, Assal (who I worked on the Meoko free release with).
There are several solo projects, too - records coming up on labels like Skylax, and some very high secret ones that I can’t mention yet (Ooooh!). I’m very fortunate to be working with such an inspiring, talented people with strong character. To be honest, I work only with people I personally like; people I can talk to about everything, whether it’s spirituality, family issues or art, people who has slightly different view on things and can’t be put in any frame. Oh! I am also travelling to Italy soon to work on a very, very special project with my dear friend Caruan and an Italian jazz ensemble. There’ll be no limits! We’re mashing up the styles: lots of instruments, bass guitars, piano, singing… I can’t wait!
8- Sounds like you’re going to be incredibly bust for the foreseeable future then! What are your goals for the next few years?
Constantly make music, be a better person. I want to keep learning everyday - learning about people, about myself, about music.
9- Alright, a (not) very serious last question now, haha! If it was the end of the world and you had to throw the last party, where would it be, and who would play?
I would have to go with a beautiful private Island in Africa with a line up full of young passionate musicians who haven’t had the chance to get heard yet, and crowd of true music lovers!
If you want to catch Oskar playing, he will next be playing at Watergate’s Mittwoch night on the 21st November, supporting System of Survival and Alexandra. Also keep your eyes out for his releases dropping very soon!
More Oskar Szafraniec; Facebook / Soundcloud
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Words by Mikhaela Gray
Australia has long held a mysterious and exotic appeal for people the world over. It’s rugged, untamed natural beauty entices travelers from across the globe to visit its shores, creating a melting pot of culture and ideas. This unique atmosphere also permeates down into its underground music scene, injecting a cosmopolitan vibe onto dancefloors and inspiring its producers and promoters. Australian’s two biggest cities; Sydney & Melbourne became the setting for the explosion of the rave scene in the late 80’s, as English expats coming out of the UK’s Summer of Love brought with them the house, disco and techno sounds that swept the globe. Seminal warehouse parties and mammoth raves across both cities sparked a longstanding affair with House and Techno. This laid the foundation for more niche musical tastes to flourish with Australia’s current minimal scene putting down preliminary roots around 2011. This is about the people and spaces that have kept this music alive.
As influences from German labels like Perlon, Keinemusik, Kompakt and Playhouse began to find favor on Sydney dancefloors during 2011, collective ‘Braille’ appeared and began playing the forward-thinking sounds of micro, dub, deep house and minimal techno. Their progressively motivated tastes saw them spin regularly at iconic Burdekin & Imperial hotels, alongside hosting their own warehouse parties. Combining German influences with the emerging Romanian sound to great effect. The now defunct group opened the door for successive groups to evolve Sydney’s minimal scene. These early years also saw the rise of seminal event ‘Spice' ..a legendary after-hours party held in the intimate underground club called ‘The Spice Cellar’. Striking a chord with Sydney punters who yearned for a more European clubbing experience, it was a breeding ground for more experimental sounds, many of which were minimal in nature.
Tragically as the scene was blossoming, one of Sydney’s most defining moments landed like a hammer with the introduction of ‘lockout’ laws in 2014. Using inflated crime statistics to pursue a hard line against what they deemed to be rampant alcohol-fueled violence, State authorities instituted 1:30 am lock-outs and a 3am last drinks policy on clubs and bars. Targeting clubbing hotspots in Kings Cross, Oxford Street, and the CBD. Famous clubs like Goldfish Bar, Goodgod Small club and The Cellar were just a few of the many, that closed their doors due to heavy government regulations. Irrevocably changing the house and techno scene.
One group who not only weathered this storm but has emerged as the current spearhead of Australia’s minimal scene, are Mantra Collective. Forming in 2012, It’s three core members Telly, Whitecat and Aboutjack (Aboutjack left in 2018) have heroically maintained a steady influx of reputed minimal artist into the Australian club circuit. Their warehouse series (now onto its 16th installment) continues the legacy of the 80’s rave scene. One that took advantage of the inner west industrial districts as a refuge for countercultural movements, now utilized to escape the over-regulation and hostile attitude of state authorities. They were the first to bring artists like Vid, Cosmijn, Lazar Hoche, FUSE London’s Enzo Siragusa, Seb Zito and Rich NxT to Aussie shores. As well the being the ones responsible for major highlights in Sydney’s underground scene. In 2016 they collaborated with S.A.S.H., Romanian visual artist Cote and producer Arapu to pull off ‘Inner Space', a breathtaking audio-visual immersion at the ArtHouse. Their two ‘Reconstructed’ parties in 2017 also hosted iconic producers East End Dubs & Barac as well as Cezar & Subb-an in an incredible underground carpark location. These groundbreaking parties cemented Mantra as the current leaders of this scene.
Before the lockouts damaged Sydney’s nightlife, there were already established crews in the city and SASH is one of them. Although not focused entirely on minimal sounds, they have toured many artists in that realm like swiss whiz Alci, Romanian’s Cristi Cons and duo Vinyl Speed Adjust. Their weekly Sunday parties have been a ritual for Sydneysiders over the last several years. They host a daytime, open-air gathering at North Sydney’s Greenwood Hotel and an evening rager at the iconic ‘Home’ nightclub next to Darling Harbour. They’ve been a big supporter of local talent , whilst still consistently flying in talent from across the world to showcase on Aussie soil with the support of touring agency Solid Circles.
Solid Circles Touring have been a big force in feeding the Australian underground circuit with international tours from the likes of Sonja Moonear, Varhat, Sammy Dee, Priku, Traumer, S.A.M. and many many more. Led by Gregory Pepperpot the agency is a key player that’s connected overseas talent with Australian promoters. Their event series Hello has forged a strong partnership with local outfit Lokomotiv over the past year and a half. Focusing squarely on minimal house and techno the two brands have widened the scope for touring European producers. They’ve thrown shows with artists like Janeret, Anthea and Sepp at Oxford street venue The Bunker. Whilst having also showcased talents such as Germany’s Fabe, Italian Giuliano Lomonte, VBX frontman Ferro and Greek producer Lee Burton under the moodily lit lampshades of inner west nightspot Slyfox. Led by Tyson Brunn and resident Lachie Simpson Lokomotiv’s rise to prominence in Sydney was born out of their incredible podcast series and vinyl label which is capturing the current wave of Romanian music.
With vinyl being such a key ingredient for the dissemination of underground music, a huge windfall for Sydney came with the opening of ‘Something Else Records’ early this year. The first physical record store dedicated purely to underground house and techno music. It was a long-held dream for founder Dave Stuart, who alongside business partner Alex Dimitröff has played a pivotal role in Sydney’s nightlife for many years. Their weekly show’s at the Burdekin Hotel back in the day, were legendary, as they treated Sydney to the who’s who of international talent from across dub, minimal and techno spectrums. Now their record store is having a huge influence on the scene, importing quality vinyl into Australia, becoming the go-to spot for Sydney selectors. You can find vinyl releases from local labels like Addition By Subtraction, Touch Of Loft, Lokomotiv, Unic, Dokutoku & Elision on the shelves here, joining digital imprints like Museme & Conspiracy as they collectively contribute to Australia’s growing, more minimal focused discography.
Another vital crew within Sydney’s minimal community is collective ‘Roots’. Spearheaded by talented selector Marlie, their clandestine parties beckon partygoers to secret and exotic locations across the city, treating them to intimate and exhilarating musical experiences. Constantly experimenting with new concepts and spaces, Marlie leads a star cast of residents who are also sought after djs in their own right. Each bringing a unique flair and sonic flavour to the mix. Producers Venda and Variance join selector Nikola as core members. Their combined forces injecting a fresh and vibrant new energy into the cities underground consciousness.
A recent addition to Sydney’s minimal community is crew ‘BeAvanteGarde’ (B.A.G.). Having relocated to Australia from Brighton in the UK, the experienced team (led by Manfred Spagnoli and Andrea Dev) have had an instant and memorable effect on the scene. They’ve brought the likes of Junkie Inoue & caLLy to perform on Aussie soil for the very first time. Combining mesmerizing visual effects with world class sound systems in a formidable series of secretive warehouse raves. Their work striking a chord with Sydney punters who are hungry to experience the skills of foreign minimal icons.
While the Sydney scene continues to battle against bureaucracy, further south in Victoria’s capital Melbourne it’s been quite a different story. Similar lockouts were trialed in 2008 but were scrapped shortly after following a huge public backlash. As Melbourne is now fast becoming a 24hr city, its nightlife is booming. There are promoters and venues pushing minimal sounds there, but it’s still a niche scene. Ultimately the freedom of expression that comes from a scene not bound by government influence and oppression, is also one that’s more relaxed when it comes to pushing groundbreaking music. This hasn’t doused the fire of the few purveyors of minimalist music in Melbourne though, those who have built iconic parties within more mercantile surrounds. One such phenomenon is ‘The Breakfast Club’, a weekly, Monday morning afterparty that's a hotspot for Melbourne’s minimalist underground. Based at club Onesixone it pulls both local and interstate revelers who are treated to internationals like Nima Gorji, Dana Ruh & Bill Patrick. The guerrilla campaign to take Mondays back for the people is run by Gabriele Terlicher and Ethan Mclaren and has become a uniquely Melbourne institution. Complete with fresh fruit on offer to patrons and a Nexo sound system that provides the grit for their devilishly long 18hr long parties.
The great bastion for minimal in Melbourne has to be the institution, Killing Time. The intimate Chapel street club has had a storied history over the course of its 10 years of operation. Famous as an intimate, perfectly tuned sounding room, Killing Time has hosted an endless list of underground players. One crew that has been utilising the Killing Time space regularly is Losing Control. A new brand yet a highly experienced crew, with years spent in the booth in the Uruguayan, London and Glasgow scene between them. Their bookings consist of Losoul, Audio Werner, Vinyl Speed Adjust and they've booked and assisted Georgia Girl, Harry McCanna and Junki Inoue to tour the country. A fiercely independent club that embodies a true underground ethos. Killing time also plays host to newer event series ‘Over’ run by local producer Peruw. It’s a hometown favourite for veteran selectors like Brock Ferrar and locals Mimm and Made Inc.
With Mantra at the helm of Australia’s minimal movement, newer collectives have formed and bought with them renewed energy as they carve out their own space within the scene. Up North in Brisbane, brand Flux have established a solid reputation from warehouse jaunts with internationals like Cristi Cons, Lazar Hoche & East End Dubs. In Sydney, industry brand ‘Unic’ run by Hendrik and Elia, continue to garner fans with exclusive premieres and vinyl reviews. They’re building strong international ties with Romanian and Ukrainian producers, as they build on their noteworthy podcast series and newly minted vinyl imprint.
With their masterfully decorated and flamboyantly themed raves, the ‘Conspiracy’ crew have curated an event series that have become a huge favourite for Sydney locals over the past year. Reigniting that mid-morning magic that was lost with the close of Spice, brand ‘Afters’ has now established itself as Sydney’s go to after party. Alongside these budding new additions to the scene, Club 77, a historic Sydney club steeped in two decades of history has just reopened its doors after an innovative renovation. Sporting a brand new, world class KV2 sound system it’s now set to become one of the new bastions for underground music in the city.
Growing numbers of minimal artists have also begun to infiltrate boutique festival line ups. Festivals like Subsonic and Babylon are set to bring out icons Zip, Raresh, Fumiya Tanaka, Cezar and Cristi Cons to Aussie shores over the coming months, solidifying a growing taste for this niche music. The real distillation of the Australian scene, however, can be found in the output of its local producers, many of whom have begun to break ground on international labels. The most recognizable would have to be Monika Ross, of Serialism, FA>IE and Metroline Limited fame. Talented producers like Litmus (Signature Records / Pathway Traxx) and Sun Archive (Politics of Dancing / Hoarder) are certainly names to watch in the future, alongside rising producers like Nate S.U & Yokobus from the Conspiracy crew. Variance (Weather Recs), Dan Baartz, Harrison Morris and Papa K (Flux) are also amassing a solid following. Fellow Sydney artists on the minimal techno side are Venda (Bodyparts, Norse Projekt) and Mike Watts (Mantra Collective). These two are constantly honing their craft and are set for huge things next year. Down in Melbourne, promising producers like Peruw, Occult Funk (CMOK), Thomas David (Museme.), Dylan Griffin & Chad B (Subsonic Music) are all beginning to garner attention for their productions, channeling worldwide influences to create brand new sounds. They perform alongside favoured Sydney selectors like Le Brond, Jac Frier, Persian Rug, Jackson Winter (Conspiracy), Val York (B.A.G.), A.lias, Thilini (Flux, Mantra Collective), Cassette, Marley Sherman (S.A.S.H.) and Tiril, all of which continue to push an exciting and essentially minimal house and techno sound.
Although a geographically isolated community, Australia’s minimal scene is gathering momentum, spurred on by numerous passionate supporters and creatives who seek to build a world class movement that can take its place on the international stage.
Words by Hendrik
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After the huge success of their recent instalments, Epizode have prepared another 11 days of unbelievable music and art bliss, in a location that is nothing short of amazing. From 28th December – 08 January 2019 on the magic island of Phu Quoc, Vietnam a series of day and night parties have been arranged in custom built areas, and beaches on the coast. Paradise, right?
And now; Epizode are happy to announce the huge lineup with more than 70 names added on the bill including a wide array of planetary house and techno icons, such as [A:RPIA:R], BINH, CRAIG RICHARDS, DJ STINGRAY, GUTI (Live), ION LUDWIG, MAAYAN NIDAM, MICHAEL MAYER, PAN-POT, PEGGY GOU, PETRE INSPIRESCU, RHADOO, STEVE LAWLER, THOMAS MELCHIOR and many more! They will be playing alongside the most respected Asia and Australia talents, such as ALAM, DEIAN, DISKONNECTED, GABRI-L, JONATHAN KUSUMA, MAURICE SIMON, SEQU3L, to name a few.
All these names are added on an already epic list that includes legends from various music worlds, such as NINA KRAVIZ, RICARDO VILLALOBOS, SETH TROXLER, SONJA MOONEAR, ZIP, APOLLONIA, DUBFIRE, GOLDIE, FERRY CORSTEN, NICK WARREN, tINI, MR.G (Live), SAMMY DEE, mixed with the most interesting and adventurous names from house, techno, minimal, drum n’ bass and breakbeat.
The people and friends pulling the strings behind the Epizode are a true reflection, and inspiration to the scene, with an underlying passion to entertain and arrange diverse experiences with a true attention to detail. There was a social media storm after the last Epizode (everyone has seen the cardboard cut outs of Ricardo last time), and the crew are sure to come back even bigger and better this year. If you are considering a trip to Asia, it is surely worth a thought to tie this in with your trip; in our eyes, we cannot see a better new years extravaganza.
Pioneers of the game, combined with up and coming quality. Who is ready for the next Epizode? We certainly are.
Words by Zac Bidwell
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Otaku Records, exciting underground label music and brand is back with its 3rd installament in the new Canning town venue FOLD, a new institution for the arts, Home of music, creative studios and a 500 capacity state-of-the-art performance space with a 24-hour dance floor above a print factory on an industrial estate. Custom–made soundsystem limited at 110DB and a bottom end of 32hz has the freedom to fill the main room untill the music stops.
23rd of November will be the stage of an incredible line up, entirely filled by the finests DJs of the minimal underground scene with Sublee as headliner of this Special party!
Sublee is a familiar name to the Underground Scene, The Bucharest-based producer, real name Stefan Nicu, has previously appeared on Baumbaum Label and Raresh's Metereze, to name a few. His sets reflect an enormous wealth of ideas and creativity redefine his style specialises in trippy style of house and techno. After years of a very rooted Djing career that makes a name for himself also proved his stunning production talents ranging from deep, dubby house to uplifting and seductive techno.
After a lifetime friendship and some previous creative projects together, Domenico and Mario in 2016 founded their label Otaku Record and the year after joined their minds as Laboratori OTK. Their sound is minimal but complex, both in their productions and DJ sets, marked by a constant attention to the dance floor no matters the musical genre. Even tho is a new project Laboratori OTK already got the support of many international artists, to name but a few Sepp, Nu Zau, SIT, Arapu, Herodot, Butch, Priku, Gescu, Fabe and John Dimas. After releasing on Hoarder and Vivus Records, Laboratori OTK have some VA, Remixes and EPs coming out soon, the most recent on their new label Clear Horizons. The duo is ready to drop an amazing records selection for the party and the after party..
Thierry settles himself in the underground world of sound systems and warehouse parties in London. Between 2005 and 2010 he was involved with Acme Soundz throwing raves with the likes of MFM sound, KSS, Disjunkt, Malfaiteurs, and eventually took charge of the Drum&Bass room for Family Groove. This took him gradually to play in some of the best venues around. Since 2015 by helping Art of Dark and Home London on the smooth running of their events taking place at Studio 338, Troxy, MangleE8, Oval Space, Studio 9294. Being responsible for such high rated brands ultimately has led him to co-found one himself : Stump in 2016 London born, and has since been inviting artists such as Raresh, Petre Inspirescu, Cezar, Barac, Priku, Gescu, Arapu, Cap, Herodot, Nima Gorji, Suciu, Sepp, Kozo, Dubtil.
AGHNES had a burning desire to establish a proper female techno collective in Rome. Having grown up on an eclectic combination of deep and minimal music when she was 18, she travelled around Europe collecting records ending up with quite a mixed spectrum of musical influence. Her strong love for club culture translates into sets where she picks apart and infuses together all the pieces of this music she likes best. Acid and groovy sounds characterize her style. In 2015 Aghnes moved to London becoming DJ Resident at ‘ We Play the Music We Love’, label and party collective. Since then she got a deeper insight of the London underground scene and started playing in the most popular clubs and warehouses and many underground events between London and Berlin as Keep on Going, Grooves London, Point., The Sunday Afters, Plattenkiste, and others.
With her life-time partner in crime Ameliée they decided to co-found She Made together in 2013 and DJs Erica.me and Sara Siu joined the project in 2015.
She Made is an ambitious all-female party concept and a label soon; the project started growing with the aid of the participants who spread the word and turned She Made into one of the 10 most prominent events in Italywhich lead them a residency at Goa Club (Rome) in 2017.
'Prepare to emerge into a musical journey filled with healing vibrations and hypnotic rhythms as we dance until the sunrise.'
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Words by A. Valentini
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Sunday night clubbing is what us londoners refer to as the NEW Saturday, whether you have been partying your asses off all weekend and looking to end with the perfect tasetful mix of music and crowd OR whether you a fresh Sunday Starter, the place you want to check out is WYS! Our fav Sunday night London Party.
Competition! Win 4 free tickets + vinyl and fabric cd’s for this Sunday 11 November at fabric. Romanian rolling beats master – Arapu (Sunrise) will play and extended 3 hours set alongside WYS! head honcho’s Jacob Husley & Peter Pixzel .
WYS! have been the weekly Sunday night party at fabric for more than 10 years, presenting forward thinking house and techno artists and label showcases from London and abroad. As an extension of the club night WYS! also operates as a record label with more than 26 releases under it’s belt. This year Jacob & Peter launched a sister label - WYS! limited. A limited series of vinyl only releases. WYS! 001 Primus Motor EP by Jacob Husley with remixes by S.A.M and Dubsons came out in May and has been heavily played by likes of Rarash Midland . WYS! Limited 002 VA with Peter Pixzel and Herr came out just a month ago and have also gained lots of plays and support. .Tag 3 friends you want to go with for your chance to win.Listen to this exclusive mix Arapu provided for the fabric blog earlier this week
See you on the dancefloor!!
UVAR is set to do their London debut remarking Vibe London's 1st anniversary with a special 8-hour b3b set from Ada Kaleh b2b Nu Zau b2b Sepp. The event will take place at Hackney's recent addition to the London clubbing scene Studio 9294, an open-air terrace during the daytime with the beautiful canal in the scenery, then the party will move into the warehouse space from sunset until sunrise . The day-and-night event is bound to be a memorable one with the venue's terrace for the day time part.
Vibe London has already throwed a reasonable number of parties in the capital hosting artists with the likes of Floog, Sepp, Nu Zau, Mahony, vlf to name a few. The next installment is their strongest lineup and no doubt on the quality sound provided over the night. Support will come from Sebastian Eric, Matje and the residents; Yuda and Amih. The Vibe crew has already made a strong impression over their first year and inviting Uvar seems like a perfect setting to honour the anniversary!
Oh, did we mention the after party? You know how it goes; Good Vibes Guaranteed.
Ahead of the trios London visit, MEOKO caught up with Ada Kaleh to speak about UVAR London Debut and his future plans.
So there you go: on Nov 10th, it’s in the Wick that the good things are, so it seems. you can already book your tickets here. See you there at the front-left speakers — after-party at The Cause.
1- Hello Ada, it is a great pleasure to interview you. First of all thank you for your time. How has life been treating you so far?
Hey guys and gals, the pleasure is on our side! You know how it is with life, ups and downs, just like everyone else.
2-What is behind Uvar? How did you decide to join forces as a trio?
The trio started all of a sudden, as a natural step forward. I did an EP for Uvar a couple of years ago, so the planning brought us together easily. Well, that and bonding by doing bad jokes on the internet. One day Gabi asked us if we want to do an Uvar showcase in Berlin, so we did it. That ended up in all three of us playing b2b. Worked like a charm, so we decided we should do this more. It's quite a special thing, so in that regard we did them in a few key places of the European scene, like Rex Club Paris, Supermarket Zurich, FUSE Brussels, Berns Stockholm and a few others, cant remember of the top of my head.
3- Uvar London debut is coming closer. What are your expectations about it? How did the project get structured?
Honestly I don't really have any expectations, we'll live and we'll see. We've all played London plenty of times already individually, some bigger events and some smaller ones, some very successful, a couple... strange. But all in all, expectations aside, we think this one is going to be quite good. Not to mention; we are going to play for an exclusive 8 hours, so better rest well until Saturday and be ready for the marathon.
4- What is your general idea about London Underground Music scene?
I see it split in two very differents sides. There's the smaller but thriving side of promoters doing off events, trying to bring their favorite acts, and then there's the money driven side of super production, aggressive promotion, ultra cheesy line-ups and horrendous crowds.
5- Uvar showcase has started to take place recently. How does it feel to play as trio and play as solo? Any other events in the pipeline?
For me these are two completely different sides, its like having split personality. When I play solo, I have a long term approach and dip in and out of genres, leading the crowd in certain directions. When I play with the fellas, it's much more spontaneous, as we tend to surprise eachother with of the stuff that we play. Next up, we have a Paris showcase being planned.
6- What are your main inspirations when it comes to your creative process? Are there any things you could not imagine working without?
Ah jeez! I have no clue how my creative process works anymore and where inspiration comes from. A few years back I thought it was nature and human interraction, now I'm not so sure about that. Well, I used to have a lot more free time back then, and I was a bit more naive. Now with the constant DJing something has changed. First of all it created a struggle between the producer side of me wanting to make odd and very musical compositions and then the DJ side comes in "saying" it has to be functional. So that creates a block that I have to get around. Then there is the time factor, its quite hard to get into a writing state when you're back home on Sunday evening or late at night, have a couple of days to decompress and then Friday you're back at it again. I mean there would be plenty of time if you wanted to do all this bullshit music of the new wave of producers, where they download a sample CD, make an arrangement and call themselves musicians, but if you want to write proper music, that needs time and patience. As I see it now, you can't be a great musician and a great DJ at the same time, you have to separate the two and do them in turns.
7- Anything else you would like to add for our readers?
Don't follow the hype.
Thank you again and see you all on Saturday night for a magical evening.
We are all much looking forward to our London visit and celebrating Vibe's first Birthday with you all.
Words by Erchin Jon
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