Upcoming Events

Friday 17 Oct 14 mono_cult presents: Innervisions

mono_cult presents: InnervisionsDixon / Ame / Prins Thomas / Mark E / Optimo / Mr Ties / Sonic Emporium / Matt LongFriday 17th OctoberDoors: 10pm – 6amTickets: £12 / 15 / 17.50Available from: Ticketarena / Resident advisor /Skiddle /TicketlineIn Store: Jumbo / CrashCanal Mills draws on its creative past rooted within the backbone of the industrial revolution to create a dynamic space that intertwines historic and modern day creativity whilst ultimately playing host to unique, bespoke events in Leeds.

Friday 24 Oct 14 Undersound #016 - Binh ( Time Passages / CDV ) - Yoshi ( Libertine ) - Harry McCanna ( Undersound )

BINHTreatment / CDVYOSHILibertine BerlinHARRY McCANNAUndersound / Delooped RecordsDear Undersounders,we are almost ready for another very special gathering, this time with our own Harry McCanna and two good friends from Berlin! The first guest needs no introductions to our crowd nor to the London music scene.. Binh has been a staple presence in our project since we started back in early 2012. Since then he developed his skills further becoming one of the most acclaimed artists internationally in our scene, and establishing himself as a very consistent dj and musician, becoming for us synonym of underground quality. His record collection would make anyone a little envious and his great taste combined with great production skills make sure that his tracks are always a step ahead. Here you can find his latest release on Time Passages:https://soundcloud.com/supersprint/sets/time-passages-1We welcome with great pleasure our second guest Yoshi, dj and creator of the Libertine Berlin events, which have been presenting quality line ups since their inception in the German capital earlier this year, combining upcoming talents and established vinyl specialists in a very harmonious way. Yoshi is well known amongst record diggers for having a very extensive knowledge and collection, and he's been on our radar for quite a while.. this seemed the perfect time to present him properly to our tribe :) check below his latest mix for the Undersound podcast series:https://soundcloud.com/undersoundlondon/undersound-podcast-014-yoshiHarry has had a busy few months with several great gigs in London and abroad, most recently In Italy, Bulgaria alongside the Delooped Recordscrew, Fabric and soon in Italy again for our dear friends at Yay, who will be showcasing this Saturday an Undersound showcase with Harry andFrancesco Del Garda. Harry has been working in the studio for his first solo ep on the first release of Undersound Records, but this is just not the right time to talk about this yet :-P Here is latest mix for WYS:https://soundcloud.com/wetyourself/harry-mccanna-wys-promo-mixYou know the drill, this is a guest list event, therefore please make sure you send your name/s to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . This will give us the chance also to add your contact to our database, in order to establish a more direct line and effective communication with our followers who really want to keep updated with news regarding Undersound :)See you on the dancefloor! x

Saturday 25 Oct 14 Wiggle

Baby Ford (Soul Capsule)Evil Eddie Richards Nathan Coles JB & NDR (Paradox) Wiggle kicks off it's winter season back in London with a Boom!! Still celebrating our 20th year of shaking the capital.. we bring you our next instalment at Autumn Street Studios  Baby Ford makes experimental minimal techno and is one of the founders of the U.K. acid house scene.He's released records under a slew of pseudonyms, including Casino Classix, El Mal, Solcyc and his most frequent, Baby Ford. His early work - heavily influenced by the late-'80s acid house sound, as well as Chicago producers such as Marshall Jefferson, Ron Trent, Armando, and Larry Heard - appeared primarily through the Rhythm King label, and includedclassic cuts such as ‘Oochy Koochy’, ‘Children of the Revolution’, and ‘Fetish’. Material has also appeared on Sire, Source, and Insumision/Transglobal.He's released four full-length albums to date, including the debut ‘Fordtrax’ (a staple of most techno DJs) and 1997's ‘Headphone Easyrider’, one of his more listener-friendly albums. His recent work has appeared mostly through Trelik and Ifach - two of the U.K.'s most highly regarded techno labels, and both of which Ford has a hand in managing (Trelik together with Eon's Ian Loveday, Ifach with Mark Broom).He also collaborates with Thomas Melchior as Soul Capsule and as Sunpeople..Residents JB & NDR, from the best tuesday night party on the planet… Paradox! will be joining with a special back 2 back set, thats certainly not to be missed. Anyone who has been to a Paradox night at the Egg, will know that they're in for a real treat! £10 Super early birds sold out in record time. Limited £12 early birds on sale now.. so grab them while they're going!Tickets: http://www.residentadvisor.net/event.aspx?633575

Saturday 25 Oct 14 RAINBOW 25.10.2014 presents : DEWALTA back2back MIKE SHANNON + CROCODILE SOUP & TESSE - ROOFTOP club (Como-Anzano Del Parco-ITALY)

RAINBOW  IS BACK ! AGAIN ! OCTOBER !Saturday 25.10.2014 - Rooftop club - COMO - ITALYfrom 23:00 TESSE ( Rainbow )CROCODILE SOUP ( KINA MUSIC - TZINAH FAMILY - Rainbow )DEWALTA ( MEANDER - HAUNT - CYNOSURE )BACK2BACKMIKE SHANNON(CYNOSURE - HAUNT)Promotional links:https://www.facebook.com/events/908627619167313/https://www.facebook.com/rainbowmusicartPOWERED BY :NOVE25 http://www.nove25.net/AQUA DULZA www.acquadulza.it360° Shopwww.facebook.com/pages/360-Shop-Threesixty-shop-Como/65464015541See you on the danceloor people!


Vinyl on track to reach 1m sales. Biggest sales figure since the 90s

in 2014, vinyl made a huge come back. Who would have known!  Today, fashion isn’t the only trending aspect about the 90s, but music too. In the dance music sphere, as more people appreciate hip hop sounds and R&B vocals, even more have fallen for the art of listening to and collecting vinyls.    The news in these past couple of days reported about the all time high in vinyl sales of the last one to two decades.    Vinyl album sales in the US from 1993 to 2013 via Buzzfeed   While vinyl album sales in the US reached the 6 million mark in 2013 (according to Nielson), the UK vinyl market experienced a total of 780,674 sales (according to The Official Charts Company). This year, sales have already overtaken last year's figure, as it stands as almost 800,000 records sold today.   Vinyl sales could very well reach the million mark by the end of the year, which is four times the amount sold in 2008. The last time records hit a million sales milestone was in 1996.    The bulk of customers buying vinyls in 1996 are clearly not the same customers in 2014. If we look at what age group is buying the most vinyls (from 18-25 years old), vinyl customers today belong to the generation that grew up listening to music first on cassettes and CDs and then laptops and mp3 players. So, anything BUT vinyl. This implies that for our digital generation, buying vinyl stands as a relatively new behaviour.   The vinyl resurgence has become a hot global topic in the last couple of years, resulting in a range of plausible theories. One theory could be that cries from vinyl purists finally started to be heard, perhaps more so when interest towards the digital MP3 “revolution” or perhaps “take over” started to quickly fade. Many people could just be craving that touch or feel which was taken from their fingers once everything switched digital.    And this digital world may be just the reason why people have turned to buying vinyl.    Another reason directed at the digital sphere is the internet. Today, thanks to thousands of digital music encyclopaedias in the form of wikipedia, YouTube, Soundcloud, Resident Advisor and other content platforms, people have easier access to information and can educate themselves about music: it’s present, future and past. Perhaps many have realised the importance of supporting their favourite artists or found that their favourite old school artist only released music on vinyls. To read more about the reasons for buying vinyl, read up on our previous feature, “What’s with the Vinyl Hype?”    A spokesman for the BPI summed it up:   "In an increasingly-digitised world, it appears that music fans still crave a tangible product that gives them original artwork, high audio quality, and purity of sound”.    And who would have known that recorded music sales would survive the digital age, not because of some massive crackdown on piracy, but a rise in the market for vinyls, which, according to IFPI, “continues to grow as a niche product”.    Juan Atkins mixing vinyls    If we bear in mind dance music, vinyls aren’t only used for listening pleasure by the customer, but used for DJing too. It would be interesting to see how much dance music and the popularity towards electronic music have influenced the rise of the vinyl market. Although there are some statistics about EDM, mostly appearing in finance articles questioning its future and therefore lucrativeness, there seems to be little research about the underground dance music industry. Hmmm! One wonders why.    Moodymann sure loves his vinyls: "I like to feel my records you know like a woman, I'm not downloading my women, I'm touchin' & feelin' & (sniffs) smelling 'em"   We turned to global online record store, juno, to see what vinyls have been bought the most in the last 6 months:   Most chartered on juno in the last 6 months No. Artist EP/LP Name Record Label Date  1  FLOATING POINTS  King Bromeliad  Eglo  15 Sep 14  2  KON/REFLEX  PYT   Star Time  19 Jun 14  3  PARRISH, Theo  Footwork   Sound Signature US  12 Sep 14  4  WESTON, Nik presents MARCIA HINES/JACKIE WILSON  Lost Soul & Funk Gems Volume One   Mukatsuku  19 May 14  5  ITALOJOHNSON  Italojohnson 8   Italojohnson Germany  06 May 14  6  TEN WALLS  Walking With Elephants   Boso  01 May 14  7  MOOD II SWING  Do It Your Way (remastered)   Groove On US  15 Apr 14  8  MOTOR CITY DRUM ENSEMBLE  Raw Cuts (remixes)  MCDE US  28 May 14  9  DUNGEON MEAT  Lose Your Mind EP   Dungeon Meat 23 Jun 14   10  FOUR WALLS/FUNKYJAWS  One Night In Grodno   Kolour Limited  27 Aug 14   More MEOKO Facebook Soundcloud Twitter     

Playing the Long Game: What really lies behind the key to running an institution, and not a fad

Clubbing, raving, going off on one or simply ‘avin it; However you may describe it, the art of appreciation for electronic music is one which, to the joy of many weekend bandits, is still going strong – and if current cultural zeitgeist is anything to go by then it will outlive the 3 decades it has already done under the table and continue to reign supreme. Launching with an almighty boom in the 80s, surviving political pressure in the 90s and even seemingly falling out of favour in the 00’s, dance music has been hibernating and preparing for the surge of popularity that we are enjoying in present times. ‘When was the hardest point in my career? Party wise the late 90s…not many people gave a fuck about really good House music … ‘- Terry Farley Where you could argue that other subcultures have lasted the test of time, non obtain the same sense of relevance that electronic music holds on to so well, rather than continuing on caricature and nostalgia.  It was revealed by Stephen Titmus in his London Electronic Music Event lecture earlier this year, that in London alone, over 2400 promoters exist - a small reference point of the popularity that still stands today. But out of those 2400, how many of those were started up when it all began? Starting a night is seemingly easy for those with a large online friends list and inheritance to spend, but holding on to the magic for 5, 10, 20 years is a different story. For anyone to run a successful business for that amount of time is a credit, let alone in an industry built not on targets and strategy but luck and late nights. ‘Just live it, make it your life and then it’s very straight forward.  Don’t be a Jonny come lately and do it for the wrong reasons.  Once upon a time there was bags of money involved, now it’s a totally different ball game and if you don’t do it for love you’re not going to get anywhere’. – Dave Beer I decided to round up the long term disco heads to see what really lies behind the key to running an institution, and not a fad. Those in question? Lukas Cole – Wigfex, Nottingham (8 years) Steve Wrighty – Soul Buggin’ , Nottingham (10 years) Nathan Coles – Wiggle, London (20 years) Chris Wishart - House Of God, Birmingham (22 years) Dave Beer – Back to Basics, Leeds (23 years) Terry Farley – Boys Own, London – (26 years) Thankyou to London Electronic Music Event and their ‘Club nights, how to survive and thrive’ lecture, providing additional insight from George Hull of Bloc, Dolan Bergin of Electric Minds/Hydra and Andy Peyton of XOYO. Lectre can be found here. .....................................................................................................................................................................  ‘I Started the job when I was 18 and 10 years later you’re still doing it because you don’t really know how to do anything else’ George Hull For many of those who stood the test of time, enough to qualify for my questioning in this feature, I don’t expect any of them started out with the intention or knowledge that they would be embarking on what was to be their future long term career. When was the most fun period to be a promoter? ‘When you’re starting out, and it’s going really well, obviously that’s an exciting time as it’s something new, something fresh…it’s probably going to be the most exciting time in your life!  - Nathan Coles To much surprise, there is little money involved however, at least not now, mainly being a passion project it is hard to strike a wage paying balance in an industry that sits of the line on recreation and business. ‘My advice is of fuck all use to anyone wanting to make a living at this, but if they don’t care about that, don’t rip anyone off, (artists or customers) and stick to your guns with whatever style you are into’.- Chris Wishart ‘Promoters always get annoyed with agents because they think they’re charging too much money, agents think promoters are laughing all the way to the bank…I think it’s a very difficult industry on both sides for anyone to earn a living at’ - Dolan Bergin Where we can see that the motives don’t lie in monetary awards as such, the appeal of such a career perhaps lies in the nature of the business and the perks of the job.  ‘I was drawn to it for the fact of working for yourself’ Andy Peyton A promoter’s life is a far cry from the 9am-5pm…with ‘office hours’ existing more on a 9pm-5am basis and still being 24 hours on call, responding to nightlife industry workers and creative characters to ensure everything is on point for the final event. Truly a job that consumes you and allows for no work/life balance. When your work duties are merged by your favourite pastime however it is important to remember the nature of the final project you are working towards. ‘You have to enjoy it, at the end of the day you're putting on parties, if you don't have fun, no one else will and it’s probably time to stop. Good residents also help. Massive love to Hizatron, Metaphi - Metske and Morris Cowan for being just as good as anyone I've ever booked’. – Lukas Cole ‘It's always been fun, well to my mind anyway. If it wasn't fun I wouldn't still be doing it. I make a huge amount less nowadays than I used to 15-20 years ago but I still love it with a passion’ - Steve  Wrighty Just as much as no strict regime and alternative working life has its draws, this hectic lifestyle can lead to times of reflection and personal sacrifices made resulting in a somewhat unstable life. What are the most challenging parts of your job? ‘The biggest difference with the job now due to the explosion of digital…I no longer have to stand outside a freezing cold club at 5 in the morning trying to hand out flyers to people giving me the "get a real job" look. Which is good for the most part… but some of the states I saw people in when coming out of clubs were pretty funny’ – Lukas Cole ‘When my kids were born and young, the lack of time, energy and sleep make you question why you are doing it’. – Steve Wrighty ‘Every time you’re done over without any warning and you’re scratching head thinking ‘I don’t have an income what am I doing?’ They are hard… but then those times are outweighed with the good and it’s all part of the process!’ – Dave Beer Struggles aside, the gain at the end is worth it. When the chemistry of a stellar event you attended is enough to keep you beaming for days, when all the ingredients come together just right to remind you why you got involved in this crazy hobby in the first place – imagine how it must feel to be responsible for the joy. Like the buzz you get when handing in your university dissertation or finishing that painful task at work, the natural high of seeing a happy crowd is the stuff that keeps promoters going. ‘The best part of my career? Whenever you get it right and the DJ and crowd connect in harmony’ – Terry Farley And how do you get to this point? Well you need a venue, the bread and butter of the night but one of which is increasing in rarity.  When asked of the most difficult side to their job, many of the promoters spoke of the trials and tribulations of finding that perfect place to set up camp for the weekend. ‘A few years ago. We were struggling to find a venue we liked and we were happy to work with. It’s been quite difficult at points, but I'm really pleased with how things are going again at the minute’.- Lukas Cole ‘We ended up in a couple of venues that were not really suited to us, having already done 100’s of nights by this time, got a bit burnt out with trying to get people along. The techno scene (musically) went a bit up its own arse as well at the time, In my opinion at least, so these factors combined nearly saw us off’. – Chris Wishart ‘I know there seems to be problems sometimes finding venues, it seems to be more difficult in London than it used to be, with laws changing and clamping down on stuff…people having problems getting licenses too. That seems to be more of an issue than anything, but we’re still getting a good crowd along. It’s great, good atmosphere. Licensing and venues is probably the hardest thing though yes'. – Nathan Coles This issue of lack of venues is one of the more modern problems come across by promoters, but that isn’t to say that the future looks bleak. From facing obstacles comes innovative ideas, inventive ways of solving the problem are starting to come through, ways in which a bit of teamwork ensures that more than one creative industry is benefitted. ‘We’ve started to work with a venue regularly now which is a photographic studio. All of the arts in London be it photographic, music…people are starting to pair things up. The photographic business being Monday-Friday and we exist at the weekends. Us without them and them without us I don’t think it would work…so we’re having to adapt to make it work.’  - Dolan Begin This act of pairing up multiple business ventures in one venue is something we are seeing more and more, take Soup Kitchen in Manchester or Bagel Boy in Bristol for example. Perhaps such venues are a nod in the direction of where new clubbing business models could succeed. In conversation, Dave Beer still has faith in the role of a free standing club format, with plans circulating of bringing his own venue to Leeds, switching things around to show the new generation of clubbers a better way to spend a weekend. ‘The crowd these days don’t know what they’re missing and that a shame….now it’s all about the function one and plastic cups. All clubs look the same and people in there have no respect. That’s the norm and it shouldn’t be. A club is meant to be a place that transforms you to a whole new world for an evening, and that’s what I’m trying to bring back’ – Dave Beer Where it can be seen that venues is a matter which is changing and evolving over the years, the ways in which nights are marketed has perhaps seen the biggest alter, all thanks to the explosion of digital technologies and social media entering our day to day routine. Years ago, the humble flyer and poster package were key in ensuring word of your night got round, produced in such a way that made your image stand out from the rest and would be the glue holding your brand identity together. Has the role and importance of physical promotion changed throughout your time running nights? ‘Nice artwork is very important to me and I always print off flyers even though I don't hand as many out anymore. I'm quite old fashioned in the sense that I like to have physical products for most parts of my brand. I have noticed a general decline in cool artwork over the last 5 years though. I remember going flyer collecting when I was a kid, my favourite ones used to be these hot to trot flyers that came shaped as a pig. You don't see anything like that nowadays’ – Lukas Cole   As mentioned by Lukas, flyers are no longer the promotional tool used most heavily by promoters, although many still value its unique qualities over digital. ‘The promotion is massively different, to be honest online marketing is now 90% of what we do with Facebook events, Facebook Fanpage, Facebook promotion profile, blogs, Twitter, Instagram, forums, website listings. There is always a battle to be new and innovative with your online marketing to stop it feeling identikit, jaded or worst of all as if you are spamming people. In a way it feels a bit like it did with new flyer designs, you needed something to inspire people to pick them up or look at them. In a way it's easier as you don't have to spend the hours standing outside clubs and bars giving out flyers but you do miss out on the interaction you would get and the chance to sell your night’ - Steve Wrighty ‘Flyers are not as important now no… it’s all social media now isn’t it. Flyers are different though, with the physical aspect of it ... it’s like holding a record, how it feels and how it smells, it’s something you can keep. Digital will never replace that experiential side of things.’  – Dave Beer ‘You still need a quality on line flyer or posters up in record stores or even fly posters in cool areas - a shit flyer with a great DJs name on will still be a shit flyer and cast doubts about the promoters ability to get other things right such as sound, security, toilets etc’ – Terry Farley ‘We were committed flyposters & flyerers (if that’s a word), I liked shouting at people as they exited nights in a diminished state, then giving them a horrendous image. It’s more to do with the lack of places to give flyers out as anything else, there is a real upsurge of similar events in Birmingham at the moment, so we may start printing again. Our images are anti – advertising so in terms of a “brand” image HOG was always aiming at driving away as many people as we attracted. We wanted the freaks & misfits…’ – Chris Wishart Back to Basics 20th Birthday Where digital has perhaps seen a loss of quality imagery and physical flyers, it brought with it some bonuses too that are to be embraced by those wanting to utilise the new technology. ‘Word of mouth was a big part of getting Wiggle established and I still think  it's a very important part…Before we had the mailing list which is hard because people move, so Facebook was brilliant…we had a couple of years where we hadn’t done that many parties so things changed so that was a big helping hand in getting re-in touch with people which was brilliant for Wiggle for sure. So in that respect it’s been brilliant. I don’t know how much flyers work these days. I know people say that they do to a certain extent…but with all these online magazines and forums it’s so much easier to reach people in so many ways. So in that way it’s useful, it’s obviously had a big change in the way music is sold, but I think all in all digital has been a good thing.’ – Nathan Coles ‘The biggest advantage digital has is the ability to promote your night through podcasts and mixes, it's a way of promoting that doesn't seem like promotion which is hugely important.’  - Steve Wrighty Wigflex with Marcel Dettman With every good comes a bad however, and no doubt with such an uproar in digital promotion, it is hard to make an impact in an online space where new event invitations are so commonplace, you barely look at what a night is advertising before it is dismissed. ‘We use online groups like Facebook and sites such as RA to get the word out. It feels as if we have to give a lot more time for the message to get through, I’m not keen on the hard sell, which is what seems to happen with purely digital marketed events’  – Chris Wishart ‘The online era has spawned a ridiculous amount of E-Spam, which can make it harder to get your message across.’ – Lukas Cole Wiggle 20th Birthday Regardless of how you choose to promote your night in 2014, as much as the headliner DJs pull in an extended crowd, it is the team of trusted resident DJs who play a very important role in ensuring the bar is set high, the tone of the night solidified and are vital in bringing a sense of loyalty to a night. I asked if the role of resident DJs had changed over the years, something which some would say is overlooked by newcomer promoters. ‘Residents are key, we’ve always had a core of Hog djs and we fit the Guests around them. Has this changed? Not for us, we just do less regular nights now, so aren’t able to take on new residents as easily’ - Chris Wishart ‘The Warm up / resident role is far tougher than the guest / headliner who will rock up with the big tunes and straight into a party ready for him or her. Seminal clubs like Basics in Leeds and Glasgows' Sub Club have their longevity's foundations built upon residents who know who to build a night from scratch’ – Terry Farley   ‘Residents have always been integral to a good night, a good resident can set the tone, build up a buzz and a feeling before the guest comes on. A good ressie will realise he is there as a warm up and get the crowd dancing and anticipating what is to come. A resident defines the night and helps guide a guest, this has always been the way and always will. A bad resident thinks he is a star and plays as such without care for the night, the crowd, the guest or the promoter.’ - Steve Wrighty ‘The resident DJ's part are definitely key in the success of a party, as people like consistency and that’s always worked for Wiggle with the three of us as residents. Having guest DJ's is obviously very important and we've picked them carefully over the years, but you can't always guarantee what you’re gonna get. The resident is there every time and has bond with the crowd and knows what gets them going.’ - Nathan Coles Soul Buggin 10th Birthday Where nights that focus on headliners may provide one off extravaganzas, it seems that residents bring that spark, helping create a familiarity to events and a reason to keep returning week after week – proved perhaps, as stated by Terry Farley by the success rates of Sub Club and Back to Basics, both celebrating 20plus years in the industry. On the other side of things however, no matter how much control a promoter has over the venue, the artists they book and the way they are promoted, the crowd is the final piece of the puzzle. A random chemical equation of personalities which can make or break the success of your event. Is there a difference with the general crowd in 2014 than years ago? ‘No difference, it’s just party people really – party people are party people having a good time and that’s the way it should be. It’s quite a personable crowd we have (at Wiggle), and there are new people coming in too, the younger people and older people is a nice mix. You feel safe in that environment, then that’s when you let your hair down, when you feel safe and comfortable’  – Nathan Coles ‘I haven’t noticed any discernible difference over the years, people come to let go, attitude wise, folk who come to HOG are lovely, so that takes care of its self’ – Chris Wishart ‘I think it's the same at my parties if I'm honest. People have and always will want to go out, listen to good music and get plum on it. That’s all I'm trying to offer’. – Lukas Cole Boys Own, 1989 Where many state not much change, showing the powers of the universal appreciation of sound that doesn’t age (as discussed here in our open letter ), a small difference was noted by some, and one that could be a result again of the internet using and informed public. ‘I think the crowd expect more now, there are so many late bars that the crowd expect something special or different. Years ago I would travel a long way just to hear the right music, now people expect it on their doorstep’.- Steve Wrighty ‘Kids are more knowledgeable now about sound systems and DJs so they can be critical especially with on line forums etc…it’s up to the promoter to deliver the goods...years ago people got away with murder’. – Terry Farley Dave Beer at Back to Basics 22nd Birthday  Launching an event is most definitely an attractive opportunity, if you’re spending every weekend attending a party then why not start one? There are plenty of new nights springing up every weekend as the millennial generation prove their entrepreneurial reputation to be accurate, but very few are set to last the long term and make it through the years to get to where the panel of promoters I talk to stand. I wondered if this trend of nights ending as quickly as they started has always been the case; maybe due to costs cutting in areas such as physical promotion, and the internet making it easier than ever to make industry contacts, now was an easier time than ever to start a brand up without thinking of serious continuation plans… ‘I don’t think that’s a new thing, no. It’s not easy to do it, that’s what people think. It’s much more integral than that. Firstly you’ve got to know you’ve got a crowd and people are in same headspace as you are, then things can start to get going!’ – Dave Beer ‘Depends on what your selling musically - if your seen as a ' minimal ' or ' deep house ' promoter/party then your life span will be shorter or you have to change and be seen as a bandwagon hopper…stick with quality music in good clean venues with nice security, give people value for money and you’ll last as long as you can keep up the standard’ – Terry Farley ‘I suppose it’s like the fact that there are so many record labels now and so many digital releases and you see them come and go as well... People maybe don’t realize how much work goes into it, and how hard it is to do. Yeah I suppose it has changed as there are more events than ever going on, more nights going on so it only makes sense that more people are going to fail too... It’s the law of averages I suppose! It’s whatever you put into it too at the end of the day…we didn’t find it difficult but there was less competition then at the time so now obviously it’s going to be harder to get it off the ground…' - Nathan Coles Nathan Coles at Wiggle 20th Birthday ‘Nights have always come and gone for different reasons, they were crap, loss of venues, fashion changing. We were lucky to start at a time when we were able to establish what we were doing without a lot of competition and we have stuck to what we do. If the event is ALL about making money, you have a choice, either lower your standards, be in fashion, or give up’.- Chris Wishart ‘It’s always been like that to be honest. I think people do a few a parties for a laugh to begin with and then life starts getting in the way. They get real jobs, friend circles start to disperse, musical tastes change, they lose money etc. I've seen loads of different reasons why stuff like that happens’ – Lukas Cole ‘No, this has always been common. Often ideas are great in promoter’s minds but not in reality. This could because it's not the right time; the promotion isn't up to it or many other reasons. If a promoter has never had a failed night then they are either very, very lucky or a liar’ – Steve Wrighty Steve Wrighty at Soul Buggin' 10th Birthday As we can see then, the art of running an underground electronic music night is one which remains surprisingly similar to when the market first started out. The key to holding on for years is one which remains unknown, and perhaps some simply have the spark and some don’t, success lying in the hands of fate, a lot of hard work and an undying love of the party cause. If you could give the new wave of promoter’s one piece of advice what would it be?  ‘You need passion, a lot of love and enthusiasm. That’s it really, to keep you driving. And patience!’ – Nathan Coles ‘Good idea, good music, good principles and the commitment to do your best by the party and punters over making more money’.- Steve Wrighty ‘Bloodymindedness’ – Chris Wishart ‘Keep the faith with the best HOUSE music don’t go chasing fads or book DJs because they have loads of FB friends - book them because you and your crowd dig what they stand for and play. Play the long game - better to be in the game for 10 years making friends and a nice living than trying to get rich in 2 years and it ending with everyone thinking you’re a dick. Also you must always have enough money in the bank that you are prepared to lose to cover your party outgoings. If nobody shows up asking the DJ to take less or not have money to pay is a one way ticket to a bad name.' – Terry Farley   Catch up with what the panel are up to in the coming weeks and check out the magic for yourself… Dave Beer: Dave will be doing what he does best at Back to Basics with Ralph Lawson, James Holroyd, Denney, Tristan Da Cuhna, James Barnsley, Frenchy and Dave Beer, Saturday 18th October, The Wire - Leeds. Link here Steve Wrighty – Catch Steve and the Soul Buggin’ gang playing with Mr Scruff at Mimm, Friday 7th November, The Irish Centre - Nottingham. Link here Terry Farley – Terry will be playing with Pete Heller as Roach Motel, Sat 29th November, Stattbad - Berlin. Link here and check out their new compilation here Lukas Cole – Lukas will celebrating 8 years of Wigflex this Halloween with Martyn, Shed and Luke Abbot (live), Friday 31st October, Brickworks - Nottingham. Link here Nathan Coles – Wiggle celebrate their 20th Birthday in style with Baby Ford, Evil Eddie Richards, Nathan Coles, JB & NDR, James O'Connell on Saturday 25th October, Autumn Street Studios - London. Link here Chris Wishart – House of God will also be celebrating Halloween with a techno fest, Paul Birken, Surgeon, Terry Donovan, Jinx, Slobodan, DJ – X, Deadbeat, Grindi, Stacked, Sir Real, Friday 32st October, Tunnel Club - Birmingham. Link here.   Written By Eileen Pegg   For More MEOKO Facebook Twitter Soundcloud

Not So Serious Session With Jef K

    Jef K – The mystery black cat of house music. For his talent he remains fairly anonymous, but the Paris based Silver Network label boss holds some serious flair when it comes to delivering the necessary grooves for a party. A slick approach to the dance floor, Jef K knows his stuff and has demonstrated his variety playing with an array of diverse Djs across many spectrums of house music at some of the top underground events. We joined the man himself for an inside scoop to some irrelevant information in a Not So Serious session.           Hey Jef, thanks for getting Not So Serious with MEOKO! Bonjour Meoko !   What is the strangest thing you have ever bought? A medical vinyl from the 70’s with recordings of real heartbeats   How would you describe the taste of snails? Garlic   What is the best Prank you have ever pulled? Entering a club for free in Miami during WMC pretending we are Daft Punk   A night that went out of control? With my girlfriend last Sunday   What comes first to your mind if I say “missed flight”? Ibiza!   What is your most important item while being on tour? My computer and my electronic cigarette   If you could live in a movie, which one would it be? The Blues Brothers because We Are On A Mission   Describe a situation where you got lost? A bit drunk in Beijing trying to go back to the hotel by myself   The worst plane food you ever had? Aeroflot   If you could spend the day with one celebrity, who would it be and why? Having a few drinks with Michel Houellebecq (French author) could be interesting …   If you could choose a venue and a line up what would it be? Dream venue is of course Fabric – London when Ricardo and Craig are playing …   Something funny that happened at an event where you played at? It’s always a good laugh with my mates at the Katapult boat parties in Paris …   What do you do after you have played at an event? I wish I’d go to bed !   The sexiest house tune you can think of? Paul Johnson “Feel My MF Bass”      Catch Jef K play next on the 18th of October in Birmingham         Catch Jef K play next on the 8th of November in Paris         For More MEOKO   Facebook Twitter Soundcloud  

An Open Letter To: Those who organise set times

Hey there event organisers,  First of all, thank you, and thanks to the rest of your event team, for having organised such a mouthwatering line up for your very special event. Looking at the set times though, a few DJs seem somewhat out of place… The headliner playing first? The resident playing after the headliner? Did you take the DJ names from a hat and randomly place them in the schedule?  I go to your event, and see that indeed one of the headliners is warming things up instead of the resident. That’s cool, I guess it makes sense to get one of the headliners to play first, in hopes of pulling in an early crowd. The headliner does this brilliantly, as his beautiful techno sounds magically entices more and more people to the dancefloor, eventually filling up every bit of space. His “set time” ends and who takes over? a disco playing DJ, who completely breaks the rhythm. He leads the techno crowd astray by playing disco tunes and gets the crowd singing along to “Slave to the Rhythm”. Did you not check disco DJ’s label roster before sticking him in between two techno DJs? He finishes his super jolly set, and now it’s all up to the poor guy who’s next on the line up to bring the vibe back to the darkened depths of techno. It’s not easy, and it takes some time to create a smooth transition. Don’t get me wrong, that other DJ was super talented, and disco vibes are always good fun, but there is a time and a place. Playing Grace Jones in between a techno night kinda kills the vibe, unless you’re a super talented wizard and can pull that kind of stuff off. I admire and encourage those eclectic sets, but not at the expense of that flow. DJs on the line up should at least share one significant factor in common to create smooth transitions between each artist, be it a record label or music style in common.   Each set time slot is as important as the other, be it a warm up set or a closing one. And there is nothing wrong with being first on the line up, as we’ve touched about in our previous Meoko article about the importance of a good warm up set.  Read up or tune in on who plays best at certain times…Don’t break the flow! Cheers,  A raver that appreciates good music on the dancefloor.    More MEOKO? Find us on Facebook Find us on Twitter 

An Exclusive Interview with Lorenzo Chiabotti

  Italian born Lorenzo Chiabotti, currently parked in Berlin, has been a rising star for some time jumping from impressive club residencies across Europe. A hidden gem who has been known to manufactures a reputable live performance amongst seamless dj sets. His clear appreciation for the eclectic sub genres in dance music has taken him the distance and he is not afraid to pool sounds of funk into a techno infused framework perfect for dance-orientated execution. We join Lorenzo of Vinyl Club and Delooped records for an exclusive interview.         Hi Lorenzo, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for Meoko! How are you today? Im fine thank you, more than happy to answer to your questions.   How was your summer? Have you been busy? My summer was ok, I had a really nice time playing every month endless sessions at Club Der Visionaere, I went to play italy and  in Moscow @ Pravda ; first time for me in Russia and during the week I was in my studio making music, I could say it  was a perfect season.   You are from Turin in Italy? How was it growing up there? Turin is great, when I was 17 Years old, the illegal rave party scene was huge,  a lot of "tribe" from the UK like "Spiral tribe" or "Okupe " from France chose Turin for big illegal rave parties. Turin has plenty of empty abandoned factories, Turin was a city based on cars manufactures , with the crisis a lot of companies left to other countries leaving amazing empty spaces,  I had a lot of fun  discovering my city through  old buildings and for sure I learnt what electronic music and techno is.   Do you still play a lot at Doctor Sax? We heard you have been a resident there for quiet a while? Actually no, lol , I was resident  for only  one season there, then I left for Berlin. As I said Turin is an amazing city for Djs, Clubs  and  Raves. Doctor Sax is a magic place where djs and clubbers are free to express themselves, open only in the morning, great after party, I wish I could bring my Berliner friends there.   Was electronic music popular at the time you lived there? Yes Sir! The Rave and Club scene was really big at the end of the 90's. When I went to my first RAVE Party I already knew about Drum Machines and electronic instruments  from my music  studies, in one of this huge rave party  I heard  KAOS  playing a live set, only machines (at that time no softwares were yet invented to play live) that rave changed my life. Also the club scene was "kick ass" at that time, Turin's promoters brought to the city international talent  like Villalobos or Lucian’s live set,  I think even  before he started  his label  Cadenza. Turin definitely has an underground soul.   What or who influenced you to start doing music? When I was a kid, my house was always full of records and cds, classical music and Psychedelic Rock was what I was listening to, thanks to my father and my big brother. At 13 yo my mother  noticed that I was really in to the music and she bought me a drum set; after some weeks, I guess she had enough of my no sense of grooves and she sent me to a music school. So I could say my mom started all of this :)   You have studied at the Music School of Art? What did you study there? It was a fusion jazz music school, i've learnt a lot there,  I could say every thing I know now about  music theory , grooves  and harmony I learnt there ; the big change of my life came when I started to study "step sequencing" and "midi programs" at school . I din't want to play drums anymore unless it was a pad on a Sampler Machine, it was like a revolution in my Brain, at the beginning of 2000 I left My Band , sold my drum and bought straight after tha at sequencer, mixer and Sample machine! Also the Dancefloor taught me a lot about music, I spent so many hours of my life listening  to good music and checking the reactions of the crowd.   You now live in Berlin? Do you like it there? What pushed you to move there? What Pushed me here? easy to say  Mr Luc Ringeisen owner of Vinyl Club recordings, he told me and helped me to move here; I met Luc at his record store in Ibiza in 2006 , at that time  we  were both living on the island , in 2008 Luc left ibiza to go to Berlin and since then he always told me "Lorenzo move to berlin you will like it u will love it ! " in 2010 after the season in Ibiza i've decided to move to Berlin and since then i'm here :-) It was the decision that made everything better and gave a sense to my carrier.  Do I like it here? there is no other city on this planet where I could live except Berlin. Its normal  for a producer living in berlin to get inspiration 24 h / 7, in  every clubs the  line ups are amazing , I mean here djs Like,  Zip ,  Ricardo  Mike shannon , Jan Krueger etc are resident Djs in Berlin. The club culture here is so important (and big business for a few investors ) of course the quality of the music is really high and for musicians it means a lot.     What is your favorite club to play at in Berlin and what is it that makes Berlin so different from other cities? My favorite Club to play in Berlin is CDV for sure, long sessions , amazing ambient and friends, where i'm enjoying a lot of parties is at About Blank but definitely Berghain is where I like  to rave (i'm a big fan of intelligent Scandinavian techno) A lot of people move to berlin to reach goals and realize their dreams, here it is still possible, this is what makes this city special, alongisde affordable rents and the size of the city is still ok (not too big) which helps too. The club industry is part of the economy of the city, the level is really high . There is  no closing time which makes every single event special, people can enjoy "the clubbing" experience on another level.       When did you decide to start playing live sets? Do you prefer to Dj or does it just provide you with a different angle to play music? I made my first live set when I was 18 years old  and  I've played it on my first gig ever in a Rave party In Turin. At the moment I prefer Djing instead of playing live, Djing puts me closer to the crowd during events, I spent a lot of time in music research and buy a lot of Vinyl & Digital,  for sure I have more fun when i'm djing; I still like to play liv, but now I need time to prepare a new one, last time i've played live was 4 years ago o_0!   You are in the studio a lot at the moment, how is everything going in there? Luc Ringeisen and I have moved in a new two room sstudio at the beginning of the summer and we love it, we got our own room, we share machines,  skills, etc.   I spend more time in the studio than at home, its first time in my life  I found a good set up that help my workflow.   What production techniques and hardware do you use, tools and plug-ins? Basically when I start a new track I just play live with my machines (I got  an AKAI MPC 2500 , KORG electribe ,  MFB Drum Machine , Moog, etc ) every thing is plugged to my sound card , pretty easy for me then to record every session live and then re-edit the arrangement on Logic. Im an AKAI MPC lover,  I resample a lot, every single beat comes from my fingers hitting the pads of the MPC (yes I was drummer ) this makes my productions impulsive and harmonic on the same time,  when i'm djing I play a lot my unreleased tracks this makes me understand how  importanti t is when im in the studio to create the tracks as live set using the knobs of the machine instead of using the mouse and some plug ins, it's a different feeling and arrangement is humanized .   What can you tell us about your forthcoming releases? Today Moscow records sent me the Masters of "Adnur EP" with a remix by Archie Hamilton, it's my own Ep including 3 originals mix and one remix of Archie, masters sounds great ,more than looking forward to release it , I think is one of the best release  i've made since now .     On top of that I have two releases on Vekton Black and Vekton Music confirmed, (thanks to Mariano Mateljan & Daniel Madlung to make this happen)     Unfortunately can not speak yet about some releases, I just can say next autumn /  winter  I will release a lot.   We know you have future projects with Yaya from Desolat and Maki Polne? What are these projects about? Does this have to do with your upcoming release on Vekton Musik? Yes I 've made both releases on Vekton with Maki Polne.     Maki is one of my best friends here in Berlin, we spent a lot of time in the studio together (we have already 3 releases together on amazing labels like Vinyl Club and Delooped) , Making music with him it's like when you  go to your best friend's house to play xbox all afternoon , well instead of wasting time on video games we make music , we start always to create a track  from zero; first  we smoke a joint and then "we let the magic start" ; some time we go too far away (yes we smoke too much ), but every closed track we made is something unique , totally different of what I  usually do alone . Maki and I Play often together here in Berlin B2B, we called it "MPLC". Yaya … Yaya and I come from  the same city, Turin,  we know each others since years , we were living together in Ibiza for two seasons  (crazy house ..crazy seasons lol ) last winter he came to Berlin , we did one track (GrandeTosse ) that we just released on Kina Music. Was really good to work with him and really funny, in May he came back to Berlin to spend the whole summer here. Yes It took the whole  summer  but we made 4 tracks . Yaya is a "Machine studio master "  basically what we  did is  "AKAI MPC vs Machine Studio " the 4 tracks we made are groovy & dirty , I literally can't wait to test them in clubs.    How did you feel when you heard your promo was played all over Ibiza? Hmmmm that is a nice story because I was there. Was 2007 I went to ibiza  for the season with a cd of unreleased tracks i've made during the winter. I gave this cd to Luc Ringeisen at his record store , after two weeks he told me that he will release 3 tracks of mine on his label (vinyl club) that summer I was working as runner in Dc10 to pay my rent, was monday afternoon when I heard my track played by Sossa  (dj resident of Circoloco) in the terrace , i 've said to one random  girl next to me  that I've  made  the track that was playing… she didn't believe :-( It was strange feeling  because i've seen the whole dc10 dancing to my promo , but I was working and I couldn't fully  enjoy that special moment. Some weeks after I heard the same  track played by Tania and Clive Harry in Dc10 and  Matt John in Monza at Space. Now I can say that i'm really happy and I was lucky to be there .   And last question, if you could only listen to one genre of music for the rest of your life, what would it be? DUB please !!!!  from Dub reggae to Dub techno      Catch Lorenzo play next in London at Half Baked         LORENZO CHIABOTTI EXCLUSIVE PODCAST HERE..     For More MEOKO   Facebook Soundcloud Twitter          

Fabrics 15th Birthday

  Fabric brings London underground DJ talent, internationally-renowned electronic music legends, and music dedicated to cutting-edge house, techno, electro, disco, dub-techno…and anything else that fits within the confines of the night’s future-forward and ever-evolving programming. For their 15th birthday, as we can all expect, from those travelling far and wide – there will be no disappointment over the 30 hours of music this weekend. With the global dance music scene pooling towards Amsterdam for the very special annual dance event, it must not be forgotten that just on our doorstep, the Super power that is fabric has put together a seriously weighty selection.  With the usual fabric live Fridays the Farrigndon club will remain open until the early hours of Monday morning for this very special occasion.     A seriously eclectic selection has been fashioned by the organisers across the 3 basement rooms which will help the party roll seamlessly through the weekend with appearances from the likes of Terry Francis, Ben Klock, Ben UFO, Marcel Dettman, resident Craig Richards to name a few, and my top tips for Jay Tripwire, Mathew Jonson (LIVE), and of course the man Ricardo Villalobos.    With such a long stretch of hours ahead you’ll need replenishing with some non synthetic substances, so Dalston’s own Voodoo Ray Pizza will be there from Sunday 7am-11pm for that needed boost to keep the party going. Expect a busy body sweat box within, but with the caliber of artists making an appearance, the heat is something you’l have to deal with…Ques will be silly - choose your entry timing wisely. DO NOT MISS!   MEOKO TIP!       Article By Ell Weston More MEOKO Facebook Soundcloud Twitter    

Timeless Moments with Alex Picone: Mix & Interview

Italian DJ and producer, Alex Picone, is a defining figure in underground dance music progressions. He holds an impressive “musical CV” and shows no signs of stopping.  In his hometown, Padua, he started DJing at the ripe age of 17, and found his new love for collecting vinyls at an even younger age. His natural progression to producing initiated and in no time released some banging and often but not limited to, tribal sounding tracks on a variety of well-respected labels, such as Bosconi and Bass Culture Records, where he also collaborated with artists such as Ryan Elliot and The Analogue Cops. 2013 was an impressive year for Alex, as he embarked on some exciting projects, such as his “The Kicks” project with Mayaan Nidam, where he also played and recorded a set with her at Club Der Visionaire in Berlin (Berlin is his base at present). He also released his Minimalism Gets Complex EP on Mus Records and tracks on his Illegal Series.  Today, Alex is not just a DJ and producer, but an active member and modern day pioneer of the dance music community. In Ibiza this summer he held a residency at Sankeys, and had the whole Spektrum room to himself for his Alex Picone & Friends parties. In his home country, Italy, he has impressively formed and led a plethora of successful projects, such as Altavoz, an Italian party and institution providing opportunities to talented individuals via workshops and conferences. Today, after all those years of collecting records, he gives back to the vinyl community via his most recent project: Seekers. A vinyl only label and party in one, Seekers is directed to all you vinyl diggers and ravers who appreciate the music on the dancefloor. His party took off with a bang this summer in Ibiza during the island’s closing parties as he played alongside Francesco Del Garda and Juanito at Ibiza Underground. His next Seekers will take place in the same province that he grew up in.  Alex Picone has certainly come a long way. From his early beginnings it was clear he had a particular spark about him. The names of his parties that he used to run during his teenage years;  “Fresh n’ Fruit”, “The Same” and “Fuck Simile” give obvious signs that he steers clear of convention. Check out what we mean by unique as we talk with the tribal master, analogue lover and seeker himself…     Hi Alex! Firstly, congrats on all the hard work you seem to have put into so many great projects. Your parties in Ibiza looked amazing, and I'm sure there is much anticipation for your fresh project, Seekers. Let's first start from the basics... Can you tell me, what makes you attracted to the music scene? The passion I have for it.. It is more than 20 years since I buy and search for vinyls and I never stopped and even now, at 35 years old, I still have a lot to discover.   What inspired you to start producing music? At the end of the 90’s I heard at a party a proper house band... They were making house music live… There I felt more than ever before that I wanted to produce music…I spent many years studying about recording and mixing, and worked on different albums for different bands. In 2007 I felt more confident to produce my own music and released my first vinyl. Now I’m totally addicted to studio time and I have different collaborations on many labels of electronic music.    You once said that to achieve a timeless track you had to go in the opposite direction of the masses. Do you still live by this mantra? How important is it to be unconventional in order to succeed? …Yes, i still believe in it. It’s important to be unconventional if you want to achieve something new. This doesn't guarantee an immediate success though…     You released a track called “Lost In Burning Man”. Have you ever been to Burning Man before, and did you get lost?  Yes, I was 2010 and of course I got lost…It is still the best festival I’ve ever seen.     Do you plan to release any more tracks on Mus Records? Mus number 10 is a work in progress.    Last year, you released The Kicks' 001. Who is part of The Kicks and will you continue this project this year?     The Kicks is an experimental label project I have with Maayan Nidam… 2 years ago we started to jam together. We liked it so we decided to invite different people to experiment with us, in a sort of band. On the label we released the best jams made together with different artists.. Number 2 is coming out soon with 3 tracks made in 3 different studios, by 5 different artists: San proper, Tobi Neumann,  Maayan Nidam, me and the UK drummer Lui. We like to think that we collect a nice EP.    You produce music, play sets and organise events and projects. Was going from DJ/producer to event organizer a natural progression for you? Well actually I started to DJ at the clubs at 17 years old and at  20 I started to organize events cause I needed a place where I could play the music I liked. After many years of parties and DJing I started to produce music.    You are based in Berlin, yet you play sets frequently in Italy. What would you call home, Germany or Italy? Italy is were I’m  born, where all my family is….Berlin is my home since more than 5 years and I will stay there for the next 10 years for sure…I love the city and the nature around it…The party scene has changed a lot, but good things are yet to come… The city is an inspiration.    This summer you played at LOFT’s birthday party in Brescia. What did you like the most about playing at LOFT? LOFT is a really cool party in Brescia made from people that are living since many years in London. They are trying with a lot of passion and succeeded to create a good party in Italy, which is not always easy. I believe a lot that the scene in Italy is changing thanks to some promoters that really work on it with a lot of love.     This summer you played frequently at Sankeys Ibiza’s Spektrum room. How were the parties and which was your favourite one?   I like a lot the Spektrum room. I believe it is one of the places where my music fits. I played there the last three years when it was really difficult to make a party there. This year, after some serious changes, the room is finally very nice. We made several cool parties there alongside Fuse and Next Wave. My favourite party was the last one; the closing of Next Wave.  The Spektrum room was already known by some people, others discovered the room for the first time, liked it and stayed till the end. It was a very nice atmosphere and a pleasure to perform for that public . There were three rooms filled with great music and the perfect public for it.   Were you anxious about your gig at Ibiza Underground? It was the first party of Seekers. Who did you share the decks with?   I was super excited for our first event, where I played with Francesco Del Garda who  become one of my favourite artists for the quality and quantity of unknown records that he is playing, and Don Juanito, who is the owner of this amazing club, Underground, where all my favourite DJs are usually playing. We are very happy of how the event went.   What is Seeker’s concept and what makes it stand out to be able to survive as both a party and a label? Seekers is the new platform for vinyl-addicted DJs and machine-addicted producers. After many years traveling around the world I recognise that the thing I’m more interested in is to create a harmonious party, with good music and with the right kind of public for it….We plan to survive by doing small parties in cool venues, with 300 people inside and releasing the best music around our crew without putting the producers’ names on the records.   The second party will take place on October 17th at the Tag in Venice with headliners Francesco Del Garda, Niff and yourself. What can attendees expect from this special event? TAG club is an historical venue in Venice, with more than 30 years of electronic music, a capacity of 300 people, 2 rooms, serious sound-system and we can play until 7 am, which in Italy is very rare …Niff and Francesco Del Garda are the best Italian seekers and the people that want to participate at this event will be selected prior to the party…There will not be the possibility to enter if you are not on one of the lists of our promoters.      Thanks for your answers, Alex! Alex has just given us a special, exclusive Meoko mix. Highly recommended listen, folks! And check out the last track on the mix, which is a track releasing soon on Seekers. Enjoy :) LISTEN TO MIX HERE   MORE MEOKO Facebook Soundcloud Twitter 

VBX x SlapFunk x Natives: ADE Special

  Just in time for their special ADE showcase event, of whom MEOKO is a media partner, we sat down with each of our Dutch friends, VBX x SlapFunk x Natives, to give them a chance to explain exactly what their respective party institutions are about. The result is a fascinating interview with some very insightful answers on the local scene, label managing and party planning from these exciting agencies.   Check out the VBX x SlapFunk x Natives 20-hour ADE event here          Who are VBX and what does the name stand for? The V & B stand for Vrijbuiters, which means freebooters, the X stands for new. Vrijbuiters is our old name, we used to be more pirates, but we’re not 20 anymore ;) At a certain point we decided that our party should be only about the music, that’s when the new VBX was born.   What has been the most memorable party you have put on to date and why? That was defintely the after-party during ADE a few years ago in the Cruquiusgilde. It was an illegal location in those days, we partied there all day, all night and we ended up with a huge surprise line-up, lots of friends from all around the world came by to play some tunes. The cool thing is that this year, we go back to this location on Thursday (tINI & the Gang) and Saturday morning (after-party for HYTE Warehouse with Ricardo Villalobos).   What’s it like trying to find spaces for parties in Amsterdam? It used to be very challenging, but nowadays there are a lot of possibilities. I think in the last 3 years at least 10 new locations opened their doors, from old warehouses like Elementenstraat as well as new clubs like Canvas.   There is a strong emphasis on visual identity at VBX. Are any of you artists? Where does this visual aesthetic come from? Niels and I are both big fans of modern art and architecture, so we use this as an inspiration most often. But all the credit for the design go to Menno Drontmann (Ams301), he is our designer from the beginning and will be until the end :)   Do you have any future plans for expansion from being an agency? Well we like to start slow, we’re very happy with the talented group we have on the moment. We like to build the VBX brand together with them and expand slowly from showcases in Holland to more showcases abroad.    How important is it for DJs to have their own agents in the industry? In my opinion a DJ should focus on making and playing music. Having a skilled agent with a good network who you can trust, gives you a lot of time and focus. So yes, it's important!   Tell us about your event concepts and their respective music policies - Spectrum, Current and Workit. Our concepts stand for different music directions that we love. Current is our classic sound, this is where it all started. On Current you will hear minimalistic music and grooves between house & techno. Spectrum is all about house in his many guises. And Work It is a night focused on dirty Chicago sounds from ghetto tech to raw booty, juke to footwork and plenty in between.   What do we have to look forward to at Tolhuistuin as a venue? Tolhuistuin is an old iconic building, it used to be a Shell laboratory. The building still has his futuristic character, however the rooms are completely renewed with perfect acoustics and one of the best sound systems in Amsterdam. There’s also a restaurant and a nice chill out, so for us it’s a perfect location for a 20 hour marathon :)       Can you explain for MEOKO readers what SlapFunk is all about? SlapFunk is all about that slapped up nasty rhythms and grooves. We always loved those stripped down beats with all kinds of influences and thats what we want to share with the world. It's also a kind of style for us. If you listen to all of our releases you will recognize that all tracks are quite dancefloor related stuff made for the club and to make people dance their ass off.   At what point did you realise that the party had gained enough momentum to start a label? Since the early beginning it was a dream for us to release our own music from our own guys on our own platform. It was in 2009 that we started to do some illegal partys and then moved on to the club in 2011. In that time everything was getting more and more serious so we decided to follow our dreams and start to collect tracks for our first release. And so in January 2012 we dropped our first bomb!   What is the inspiration or influences of the stripped back rugged sound that characterises SlapFunk’s releases? As a group of friends we got influenced by the raw clubs that Amsterdam used to have before they closed down most of them. Also a lot of Amsterdam's renowned DJ's had a very raw style at that time and the underground scene was flourishing. The main focus and inspiration for us is to make people dance. That's why all tracks got that slapped up drive. Dancing is a centuries old ritual that everybody does and it makes them feel happy and alive. So why don't we participate on that movement and stimulate the dancefloor?   Even they are not too far from one another, does Utrecht stand in the shadow of Amsterdam in terms of music scene? We would say that but the music scene in Utrecht is very different from Amsterdam. Utrecht is a student city so the music scene is focused on them, that's why we mostly get techno and tech-house party's. Music wise you got a lot more solid music coming out of the capital than Utrecht. But still we keep doing our thing and focus on the world.   The label plays host to a range of talents like Malin Genie, Samuel Deep and Larry de Kat. It seems like very close-knit group with shared influences, were you all friends before? Most of us grew up together or have been friends for a very long time while others joined the group after releasing on our label. But nowadays we are one big family.   How do you distinguish between the being a label as opposed to being a music collective? Put it this way - we are a music collective that just happen to own a label as well.        What’s the story behind Natives and when did you first start organising parties? Natives has two main “chiefs”, Martijn de Vries (27) and Samuel Taselaar (26). They started organizing events together from an early age, 19 years-old, in small local clubs in Amsterdam. This soon grew out to bigger festivals for around 1500-2000 people, Graefenthal am See and FLOAT, with their first company. With this experience, they started Natives, a brand with which they focus on pushing local talent and the “Native” sound (local sound) of Amsterdam.   What differences or similarities do you share with VBX? The difference with VBX, is that they are a booking agency as well as organisers of parties, and we’re not. Similarities is that we’ve booked artists like Ferro multiple times. We like the same sound and think the same about a lot of things. This could be the quality of a soundsystem that is essential for a good party, reacting quickly when communicating and sharing beliefs that parties should be about fun and love for music. Not just money.   What first attracted you to the idea of running events? Going to parties like Awakenings and WTTF really sparked the interest for organising events. Also the fact that from an early age a lot of people from The Hague and Leiden (where they come from), were busy making music and listening to house/techno artists helped with this. It just grew on them, and making money whilst hosting cool events was really a bonus. Going out there and doing it was the big reward, especially when it’s all new and exciting.   It’s a very appealing idea to run events, but there’s a lot more effort and hard work behind it than meets the eye. What’s the most important element of a party for you? The most important things when throwing events is an eye for detail. Is the girl who’s handling the guestlist happy and does she have something to drink. Is the banner in the right position? Is the club manager aware of when we will pick up the decoration the next day, and is the sound technician ready at 01:30 to go from CDs to vinyl for the next artists. Clear and honest communication, so that everyone is on point. That is essential when organising events. But the love for music and getting people together is by far the most important. Without this, it becomes just another job, whilst it can be so much more. A full room with quality music and people dancing. Then you can look around proud and think: This is all because of our effort.   What is the most difficult part of putting on an event? The most difficult part of organising an event is pushing your party without pushing too hard. It should be a natural, organic style. But sometimes ticket sales are not going the way you want to, even though your line-up is good, artwork looks sweet and communication is on point. At that point, you have to make sure you push it in a way to attract a larger audience. But with that promotion comes the danger that people will think: “Why are they trying so hard, are things not going as they should?”. That’s something you will encounter at some point or another, and it’s always difficult to handle.   Who are the hottest local talents MEOKO readers should keep an eye on? The local talents that are standing out right now (maybe talents is not even a good title for them anymore), are Ferro (VBX), Interstellar Funk (Tape), Elias Mazian (Trouw) and Shadee (Aspirations).      Check out MEOKO's full ADE party guide here     By Geoffrey Chang   More MEOKO Facebook Twitter Soundcloud  

Sounds of the City: Rome with Silvie Loto

Silvie Loto, an Italian tech-house queen, has certainly made a name for herself internationally as well as locally. She belongs to record labels 250REC and Paris based Catwash Records. More famously however, she has unleashed her creativity with some of dance music’s most well-respected institutions, such as BPitch Control, where she released her Solstice EP, and two of Italy’s underground dance music super clubs: Florence’s Tenax and Rome’s Goa Club, where she has held residency at both clubs. It was Tenax in 2008 which allowed her musical career to blossom in full after travelling and playing at dance music terrains, London, Spain and Germany. Since then she has not stopped, as she play regular gigs at Tenax, holding residency at well-renowned Nobody’s Perfect party since 2010. And let’s not forget her residency for legendary party Ultrabeat at Goa Club, one of Rome’s best underground house & techno clubs. It was her residency at this club and her impressive milestones in Italy that inspired Meoko to ask Silvie to be featured on ‘Sounds of the City’, where we ask artists about their favourite spots in the city they call home.    Hi Silvie! Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions about Rome. We've heard many great things about Rome's nightlife and of course, the city itself looks magical....   Where according to you, is the best place to spend a Saturday night? There are so may. But when I’m free I personally prefer to take it easy with a good movie at home.   How true is Sorrentino’s portrayal of Rome in his La Grande Bellezza? That's one of my favorite movies for sure. The movie doesn’t really portray a general vision of rome, but quite a small part of it. It only shows a symbolic and allegoric caricature of the high class of rome, which feels true nonetheless.   In Rome, you can’t live without… a camera to take pictures. There are so many things to see and to immortalize.   If you had to convince a friend to go on a Roman holiday, what would you say? You can see in a week more amazing monuments than you can see travelling to 20 cities. You can probably eat some of the best cuisines.   Most artistic gallery? Macro's museum in via Nizza is one of my favorites. Just the building itself, an ex brewery of Peroni, is already something you should see in Rome.   Best place to have an aperitif?  Freni e Frizioni in Trastevere is one of the most famous places to have a good drink at happy hour.   Best place to have a glass of wine? Salotto 42 is a great place for a good glass of wine. But most for a great cocktail. Placed in the center of rome it stands in front of Adrian temple, an amazing Roman temple.   Goa stands for? Home and music. You can feel so comfy inside listening to your favorite DJ with one of the best soundsystems.   Your favourite summer party is... Magick Bar. A magical place on the river of rome. Open every day with DJ set every night. It is the best place to meet friends and drink a good cocktail with amazing music as a soundscape.   Favourite party on the beach is... Goa Ultrabeat summer parties on the beach are my favorites. They start from 6pm till midnight. I love to dance on the beach with the sun light.   And how about your favourite winter party? For sure Goa club gives me the best nights. As well Goa Ultrabeat night on Thursday and Anarchy in the Club on Friday. I love to play there and hear artists I have known for several years or discover new names.   Favourite record store? Ultrasuoni Records in Monti is for sure the best place to buy good new records. You can never go wrong. All the selected music by the owner, Marcolino, is always the best you can find around.   A sound unique to Rome is… San Pietro bells on a sunday morning   Favourite bar to play at? allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': 'http://soundcloud.com/oembed?format=js&iframe=true&callback=soundcloudAVPlayerID_e61219c1_1161113426&auto_play=false&maxwidth=480&url=https://soundcloud.com/themagickbar/silvie-loto-at-the-magick-bar-21-08-14', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_e61219c1_1161113426', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_e61219c1_1161113426' }); });   Again Magick Bar. You can play what you want, how long want and this freedom makes you play (and hear) the best dj set.   Most creative hub is… Monti neighborhood is probably the most artistic place in rome. Here you can find music shops, cool boutiques and shops of handmade stuff. It's the hip place of Rome.   Most inspiring place is…   Villa Borghese Park, one of the biggest ones in rome. Is close to my house so i love to go and spend some afternoons there. You can even work from there, as there is wifi in most of the park.   A track to represent Rome is… Nino Rota - 'La Dolce Vita, soundtrack of the masterpiece "La Dolce Vita of Fellini". This is exactly what rome is about baby!   More MEOKO Facebook Soundcloud Twitter   

Music Through Pictures with Death on the Balcony

    The UK double Mark Caramelli and Paul Hargreaves have fused a range of their musical styles and influences together into their Death on the Balcony alias which has seen the duo delve through disco orientated techno and all things deep with an eclectic fall back selection suited for any party atmosphere. In a time where genres combine and cross seamlessly their approach has seen great success of recent and they continue to cause a stir. We joined the Balcony based twosome for a Music Through Pictures session for an insight on their image to music based creativity. How the pictures make them feel and the type of sound they see best fit. Some unrelated pictures accompanied with some tracks. Enjoy.      1.   “And they really do care. Lokee is always a proper party.. A family of party people who are there to dance hard and lose it. It is always a pleasure to play the party. The last time we were here we closed a rave under a bridge somewhere in hackney and the only way to access it was via a boat. This just shows their level of commitment to finding those special spaces!        2.   This is a spooky picture, with the ghostly spectre in the forefront seems suitable we connect this equally haunting track from Japan we edited and gave away for free.    allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': 'http://soundcloud.com/oembed?format=js&iframe=true&callback=soundcloudAVPlayerID_22ef6542_253148904&auto_play=false&maxwidth=480&url=https://soundcloud.com/vice-virtue-recordings/vavfree001-death-on-the', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_22ef6542_253148904', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_22ef6542_253148904' }); });       3.   A religious construct, complete with a nice balcony we see ;) if we don’t burn up on entry we would be heading straight for the confessions booth!    allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': 'http://soundcloud.com/oembed?format=js&iframe=true&callback=soundcloudAVPlayerID_4d29d98e_439324023&auto_play=false&maxwidth=480&url=https://soundcloud.com/airdrop/fritz-lang-confessions-death', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_4d29d98e_439324023', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_4d29d98e_439324023' }); });     4.     “This reminds us of our amazing time in Bogota, Colombia. We went straight of the plane with no sleep to an interview on Colombian Radio followed by the best crepe’s we ever ate! The gig for our friend, Miguel lega was one to remember but perhaps the most memorable is the trip into the favela’s for the afterparty featuring a woman who appeared to have a wooden leg and various other interesting characters. One we will definitely not forget!        5.   This picture conjures up images of the festival season we just left behind and also looking out of the window now we are into autumn/winter and the change in the seasons!       6.   Them 3 Words! “I Love You!”       7.   Ahoy there! This track sounds good on a boat! We played a set for Drop the mustard purely of our own material at Hideout festival… this one got a great reaction… ( FYI , track also works on land too ;) )      8.   This one’s easy, “Country Roads”, one of our first release’s on a Japanese label. Even though one of our first records, we still think it’s relevant and playable today.       9.   Is this an explosion? While Speaking on the Subject of explosions we have been told this track is a “bomb” by a few people! ;)     10.   We wish we knew what to say for this one !!        For more MEOKO   Facebook Twitter Soundcloud    

Project Ibiza

  Summer in London this year hasn't been the greatest in my personal opinion, apart from the few gems that remind you of why London is London. So to close Summer 2014 me and “the family” flew out to one of my favourite places in the world… Ibiza.   Initially we were sceptical about the weather as mother earth had promised rain. Not ideal, but the flights were booked, the hotels paid for and the sterling exchanged for euros. So off to Gatwick we went during the early hours of Monday 29th September. The routine flight of just over 2 hours past and we touched down in Eivissa. There were slight grins all around as we hit the baggage reclaim and proceeded to the taxi rank. Those that know the route to Playa d’en Bossa, will know that from the airport you only have to blink and you're there. “Gracias”, we were handed our bags by their driver and rolled into reception.   As if the anticipation couldn't build anymore than it had done, check-in wasn't until 2pm! Not that we didn’t know this prior to arriving but we always hope that by some miracle that we’d turn up and everything would in place. This is never the case!! (I’ll note that it was around 10am at the time). Anyway, time past, we settled in, unpacked and could finally relax, but not for long. The allure soon kicked in and off we went to DC10 for Circo Loco; it had begun. From then on out it was a blur of madness, mischief and music followed by:   Amnesia - Cocoon Closing; Sankeys - FUSE Closing; Sands - tINI & The Gang Closing.   Thursday came and a little “sanity” crept in with a ride to Ibiza Town for dinner at cosy little restaurant tucked away on the first floor of a building just off the main road. The food was amazing, and accompanied by an unexpected thumping soundtrack from the kitchen. Would you expect less? It was Ibiza after all. Sanity now checked off it was back to the dance floor: Space for ENTER’s Closing party. Sake and The Terrace got us back into the groove prior to making our way to what was to be the last destination for us this year; Ibiza Underground. As ever, Underground didn't fail. It's one of those special places in Ibiza, away from the the masses, a place where you almost feel like you’re on home soil. The moments passed, the beat dropped and it was over… Kick out.   The thing about this little island, is that it never sleeps (even though sometimes you have to). Kick out followed its usual disorder of who’s going where, what’s going on next, who’ve we lost, etc, etc. Which to choose? The decision was made and in the taxi we jumped. Phone calls were exchanged and directions translated from English to Spanish and from driver to driver. We were back en route. It was almost as if we were chasing sunrise as the taxi driver took us through meandering roads that could have led to absolutely nowhere. From time to time, we exchanged looks with each other… “Are we lost? Did we do the right thing? Shall we turn back?” The consistent answer was ‘No’ so we continued on our mission.   After about half-an-hour we finally reached our destination and drove around the area for a while as the fare crept up and up on the meter. It was time to make another decision; give up or continue searching for this afters. This time we were split; two stayed and two turned back. I thought, we’ve come all this way so we had to find it. As the taxi left us by the beach without a person in sight, a bright orange jeep pulled up with music pumping. “Looking for the party?...Jump in” And we were off again. We passed the beach, drove up a hill, round a corner and through a set of metal gates that opened into what seemed to be a derelict car park. “Follow me” said our new found friend and tour guide.   The feeling that followed as we gingerly made our way down the weathered stone stairs can only be compared to the scene from The Beach, when Leonardo DiCaprio and co finally make it after that treacherous swim. About 100 metres down from where we stood we a small collective of people dancing against a breathtaking backdrop. Step by step we got closer to the bottom. We had found it: Project London Records - Closing Party, tucked away in a magical little cove, on the coast of Ibiza. It felt like we had discovered a little hedonistic civilisation. Who knew how long it had been going for; who knew how long it was gonna last? All we knew is that this was Ibiza at its heart. The raw surroundings complemented by a rolling beat. The water was crystal clear as it lapped lazily against the rocks and the sun bathed us in all its glory. From time to time, between a weary two-step, I caught myself just staring out at the water, without a thought and without out a concern. This was special. I’d never experienced anything like it. This was the reason why this little Balearic island is my favourite place on the planet. This was Ibiza at its finest and ironically, London at its best; home-away-from-home. This was Project Ibiza.   Until next time… once again…   Ibiza: Thank you.     By Anwaar Bent     More MEOKO Facebook Soundcloud Twitter   

Tributes to LFO Legend, Mark Bell

Yesterday, very disappointing news about Mark Bell’s passing shocked not just the dance music community, but the whole world. Reports started from the label he belonged to, Warp Records, via a statement on their website:   "It's with great sadness that we announce the untimely passing of Mark Bell of LFO who died last week from complications after an operation. Mark's family & friends request privacy at this difficult time”   And from The Black Dog, who had bid farewell to Mark, expressed his condolences and paid tribute on Twitter:        Since those statements, the still shocking news has escalated to a world wide internet and social media tribute as artists and fans across the globe have been coming together to mourn about Mark Bell’s life and the tracks that meant the most to them during their 90s teenage years.      Mark Bell’s music has indeed touched and influenced the lives of many, and he will be remembered not only as a talented electronic music producer and creator but a great pioneer too. A man ahead of his time, and therefore a modern day genius, Bell’s music helped bring to surface electronic music genres; IDM, techno and acid house. In 1988 along with Gez Varley, he formed LFO, an abbreviation for low-frequency oscillator, on Warp Records, a Sheffield based record label which led North of England’s bleep-n-bass wave. LFO also marked UK bass history with their “LFO” track, which was released in 1990, and which reached number 12 on UK’s Top 20. Not many techno/acid house tracks reach chart topping status as his did, and not many techno tracks are welcomed with such open arms by the masses. The fact that his track managed to reach the charts show just how much of a pioneer LFO really was.      A classic track indeed, which can be enjoyed while both cruising in a car listening to the radio, and raving in a techno warehouse event, the LFO track became part of the group’s 1991 LP, Frequencies, a celebrated album for its ‘bleep-n-bass’ filled sounds, the album has been written down in dance music history as “classic techno”. Just as all timeless tracks goes, Mark Bell's music still sounds as fresh as ever today, appearing not only in the musical realm, but the movie sphere too, as soundtracks to films such as Hard Candy and Enter the Void.    His diversity is also apparent through his long term partnership with Bjork, where he had extensively worked on her albums from 1997 (Homogenic) to 2011 (Biophilia), and continued to work with her right up to his death. Their producer-singer relationship has been compared to the musical partnership of producer Larry Fast and singer-songwriter Peter Gabriel. Bjork expresses the importance Bell has been to her musical career and personal life as she pays tribute to him via Twitter.    Not only artists who worked with Bell have been paying tribute via social media. It seems that when any musical legend passes away, social media and the internet in general, becomes THE platform for fans to cry out to their lost musical hero. Some may criticise this behaviour as exploitation, especially when prices of the poor soul’s records sky rocket on discogs. A bit too late for the legend to pocket any of the income garnered from this purchasing frenzy. However, the income garnered by fans and distributors on Discogs, could just be that farewell present die hard fans deserve for all those years of support. Of course there’s a line, and that line is crossed once "in memory of" box sets start selling on record store shelves.   Here at Meoko, we remember Bell by putting together the tracks that so many different artists have shared on social media. His music has indeed influenced the music industry in a holistic way. Following are some of the tracks that have circulated the net, shared by musicians and musical bodies from underground house and techno DJs and record labels to popular singer-songwriters:   Nightmares on Wax:   Bjork:   Skudge:   Mark Schneider:   matrixxman & Sam Paganini:   Ellen Allien:   BPitch Control Berlin:   Libertine Berlin:     MORE MEOKO Facebook Soundcloud Twitter     

Crocodile Soup: Musica Reptilia

  The peculiar name Crocodile Soup has been showing up more and more on line-ups and seems to be causing a bit of a stir (excuse the pun), so we thought the time was right to find out a bit more about the excitable Marco Gramegna and his young career so far. Gramegna joins a new wave of upcoming exciting new talent hailing from Italy who are delivering fine cultured sounds with a distinct European flavour compared to more conventional strains of house and techno emanating from the UK. His productions range from minimal techno to dub techno to tech-house, always encompassing the weird and wonderful, with a bunch of releases on the Romanian label Tzinah Records, Baile Musik in Frankfurt and Yoruba Grooves. In this in-depth exclusive interivew, Crocodile Soup explains the story behind the intriguing name as well as the moment he was picked up by tINI on a beach in Ibiza...   Greetings Marco, thanks for taking the time out to speak to MEOKO. How’s it going and what have you been up to? Ciao MEOKO! It's a real pleasure be part of one of the best and respected online music platform. I've been following you for years and now it's my moment. How crazy is life! I'm in Ibiza right now, been traveling a lot this summer. Next up is Madrid Saturday 4th October and then I’ll be back in Italy, Slovenia etc.   I like the name a lot, is there a story behind “Crocodile Soup”? Every time, I pray to God I don't get this question (laughs)…well nothing bad at all...(just my mum will now know why I didn’t finished my studies). I chose it in 2011 - it was a spring morning and I was at university. While all my 'proper classmates' were following lessons I used to go every morning to a little hill near the university with my classmate Andrea to, let's say, ''enjoy life'' (laughs) a couple of fresh beers, some joints, a bit of fun on that hill you can imagine how we felt, like old wise men (laughs). Well, that morning in our ''best inspiration moment'', Andrea showed me a hand-drawn drawing done by his little brother that copied an image inside a tourism magazine about Thailand. Traditional Thai food also includes crocodile…the copied drawing showed this 'Crocodile Soup', a big dish of soup and a funny naked crocodile taking a nice hot bath inside.  Something happened in that moment. That crocodile, that soup - it was love at first sight. Sometimes we just get attracted or love something without a real reason. It’s just about feelings. In the summer 2011 I was about to play at Balaton Sound Festival in Hungary (my first gig abroad) and I felt it was the right time to start with something new and special so I announced to the promoter of the festival to change my name on the flyer and that is how Crocodile Soup was born. It will soon be the right moment to try this soup for real (laughs)!     Where exactly in Italy are you from? What is the music scene like where you grew up and how did you get into it? I live in Italy, near Como. It's one hour from Milano. My house is in a small village, 3000 inhabitants, mountains, animals, nature and lake. Honestly for now I don't need anything more. I'm just one hour by car/train from every Milano Airport so it’s not a big deal at all when I have to fly around Europe. Now, I would be lying if I told you that I grew up with thousands of millions of vinyls around me with my mum playing piano, my dog guitar and my cat the violoncello. The truth is, I discovered music alone. The only thing I can seriously say about my family is that my father used to play the accordion (now he doesn't want to touch it anymore) and he is a really passionate person. He puts passion in everything that he does in life and he is a man that made everything from scratch. And music of course was one of his passions, but not the main. He probably passed down this 'passion attitude' and I've chosen music. I used to listen to every kind of music, I can chill with some Muddy Waters Blues, sing a mad Bohemian Rhapsody. I love reggae and I used to go often with my girlfriends to listen live jazz acts with a proper Italian Dinner. Well, of course, 'Techno' and this scene is my favourite. I started to follow the scene as clubber when I was 16 and since that point I have been super attracted by the figure of the DJ. I think you can't make music if you’ve never been a clubber. What I also want to say is that in my opinion if you want to live your life in music you have to be totally open-minded and not be afraid to learn. Music for me is not just to 'be cool'. It is something way more serious. I don't pretend to already know everything about music. I'm 24 years old - let's be serious.   I love “Jazz For Dinner” off your latest full EP “What’s Gonna Happen”. Is there anything you are working on at the moment? Thank you! Now maybe you want to know the story behind that track. I made it in just one night after one of those dinners with my girlfriend. I was about to die when I saw the video of Marco Carola playing that track at Sunwaves Festival in Romania this year! Well, I just released a track on VA vinyl on Yoruba Grooves, one on a VA on Gos Music Studio (vinyl only), one on Baile Musik VA (vinyl) and 2 are coming on Tzinah on Black 001 (vinyl only) and on a Madrid based vinyl-only label, Monoclap. Of course I'm locked in the studio working on my Kina Music EP and tonnes of new music but I don't want to say anything for now.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': 'http://soundcloud.com/oembed?format=js&iframe=true&callback=soundcloudAVPlayerID_b9351386_442734126&auto_play=false&maxwidth=480&url=https://soundcloud.com/tzinah-records/crocodile-soup-jazz-for-dinner', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_b9351386_442734126', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_b9351386_442734126' }); });     You clearly have a wide musical background, but who are the main influences and your favourite artists who directly affect the music you make now? Good question, but impossible to answer. What I can say is that when I was 17 and I discovered Ricardo Villalobos I was totally shocked. For me he is not just an artist – he is way more, a kind of Visionaire. You can never know what to expect from a track by him or his DJ set. After Ricardo, there are lots of artists I really love. All the Arpiar Group, Bruno Pronsato or Cabanne are amazing too and there are lots more. I'm also super attracted and big fan of this new FUSE sound and all the artists involved. But as I'm Italian, I have to say also that my favourites in my country are Re-Up. They are a big inspiration for me and I can't wait to listen their album coming soon on Dissonant. With them I have a special musical connection and way more importantly, a real friendship.   How did you get involved with tINI & the gang? That must have really helped to place you on the map and acted as a launchpad for your career. Another good question! Well last year I was in Ibiza and I only knew Randall M & Bella Sarris because they were the first to discover and play my music and at Sonar Off 2013 I played with Bella back-to-back. I met tINI before that moment just a couple of times. So I was at Sirocco beach (now Sands) chilling, dancing and talking on the beach with Randy and at that moment tINI came and since Julietta pulled out, she asked me and David Gtronic to play for her. It was a shock! I thought it was a joke at first, but then it happened for real. Such a magical moment it was, and the music connection between David and I was pretty good too. From that point some things are changing, I met those guys that now are my best music friends like Chad Andrew, David of course and lots of DJs and people in the industry from around the world. This year I've been part of the first tINI & the gang  'Zurich Edition' and I couldn’t be more proud and grateful for this - definitely a super party.     What’s the best gig you have played so far? There are a few that are already unforgettable. For sure the two tINI & the gang editions I’ve taken part at, my first time in Berlin at Chalet club and my first time at Classic Club in Italy and the Sonar Off parties were amazing. I can say that I'm lucky to have travelled already a bit and every country is giving me something and is part of my musical growth. 2015 looks good too, but is too early to talk about it.   On top of the DJ/producer business, you’re trying your hand at the promotion side of things with your party called Rainbow. Tell us more about Rainbow and what you have lined up for that. Yes I’m really happy to be DJ resident and owner (with Angelo and Claudio) of a monthly party called RAINBOW based in Como, Italy. We are now entering the third year of this party and we are happy to announce that this year Rainbow will be joined by DeWalta & Mike Shannon, Sonja Moonear, Guti, Onur Ozer (first part of the season bookings) and past years have been joined by Julian Perez, Gescu, Sasha Dive, Tobi Neumann, Bella Sarris, Fernando Costantini, Randall M, Chad Andrew, Rossko, Martinez, Andrew Grant and few more. It's an ambitious project that isn’t easy at all. But what’s easy in this life? Unfortunately I live in a place where commercial & EDM music own the nightlife. But we’ve found more than 500 'warriors' that are attracted by our project and love our music and every month come and dance with us and give us the energy to keep going on with this. We just made the Opening Party with Enzo Siragusa and it was a blast. For the last hour I had the opportunity to play with Enzo back-to-back. Can you imagine my face? I'm really looking forward to this winter season.   Is there anything else you would like to share with the MEOKO readers in terms of upcoming projects? I think that is all for now. Let’s stay connected and see what happens…I don't want to say more or it will never happen! I also want to say a big thank you to all my followers and to MEOKO of course for this opportunity. Without you I am nothing! See you around!   CROCODILE SOUP MEOKO PODCAST - TIP!! LISTEN HERE      By Geoffrey Chang   More MEOKO Facebook Soundcloud Twitter                         

MEOKO Presents Hidden Treasures - Introducing Aimless

MEOKO has been digging deep to bring you the best in up and coming brands and designers for the coolest unique creations out there. Each brand representing positivity,creativity and a fun and friendly vibe, to tie in with what we stand for here at MEOKO. Over the coming weeks we’ll be presenting some our favourites, as well as some fresh undiscovered talents for you to feast your eyes over. Get to know 'Aimless'... Speak to any owner of a fashion label and no doubt they will have a profound story to tell you behind the inception and creation of the brand and what it stands for. Well, not Aimless, as the name suggests and that really is quite refreshing. ‘not everything has to have a deep meaning behind it...but I guess that's the deep meaning behind aimless’ Based in Nottingham, a city whose creative scene is flourishing day by day, Aimless focusses on quality products and prints that steer clear of being over-designed, but that is by no means to say that they look boring. Still in their early days, rather than bombard us with styles, a capsule collection of four shirts is on offer at the moment. But which one to pick? Would a blobfish or a mullet suit your personality more? We spoke to Adam David, the man behind Aimless to find out more about the brand without a cause. ‘…it doesn't take itself too seriously but that doesn't mean that designs and quality are taken for granted. It's kind of my general outlook on life and things I find interesting.  Like when I went to vegas and walked through the Flamingo Casino, which looks exactly like it did in the 70's, it was just full of sleaziness. And I love sleaziness. I'm not a sleazy person but I'd love to take a trip to Miami circa 1985…it just cemented my love for seediness…well...not love, more of an appreciation. That might be why I love techno so much, I have a theory about techno. You can only listen to it when you're up to no good. All the techno events I've been to have an air of seediness to them. You never listen to techno when you're doing stuff like laundry...or like, accounting. I'm talking like...really industrial techno’ Where does the name 'Aimless' come from? I think coming up with the name was the hardest part. Names sum up everything you’re about in 1-3 words. I sat down for almost a week coming up with countless names, aimlessly searching, and that was the ‘lightbulb moment’ …if you want to call it that. We’re all a little aimless, and the name portrays traits that are found in most of us, but aren’t necessarily celebrated. Things like apathy, indecisiveness, inattention and a sense of whimsical randomness. But it also portrays nothing…and is just aimless. Sometimes wandering with no direction can lead you to the most interesting destinations. Are blobfish in this season or are they an all year round staple? I think the blobfish might be the most aimless animal in the ocean. It barely has any muscle mass and just floats above the ocean floor waiting for food to flow into its mouth. Blobfish don’t concern themselves with trends so you’ll probably see them around for a while, the deep sea knows no seasons. What did you do before you were 'Aimless'? I did a degree in graphic design, and after struggling to find a job and doing a few work placements I realized that I’d rather design for myself than others. I’ve done art installations for a few music events and festivals and ran my own house night with some friends, so I guess I’ve always been a bit aimless. But I’ve had this idea of designing t-shirts since I was 16, and now that it’s starting to get colder, you can expect some fun winter pieces coming your way too. Where can you purchase an Aimless item? If you’re in Nottingham we’re hosting a stall at Black & Blue this Friday at The Market Bar, so if you like techno get yourself down there and say hello! Our stuff is also stocked in Mimm, probably my favorite shop in Nottingham. It’s a store in the Hockley area that prides itself on pushing local talent, whether its art music or fashion. If you’re in London we’ll be at The Wick on the 18th and 25th Or you can always check us out online. Our website is: www.aimlessclothing.com (All photos by Lolita Cameron)   Aimless are kindly giving away 1 Tshirt of each design (pictured in this article) away to one lucky reader! Email us at \n This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  with the subject title 'Aimless' and tell us what your aimless obsession is.   More MEOKO? Find us on Facebook Find us on Twitter Find us on Soundcloud

Chamboche: Under the MEOKO microscope

Under the MEOKO Microscope is a feature series on MEOKO where we bring you new and emerging talents that are breaking through. We caught up with Zleep resident Chamboche this week, fresh from playing with Palms Trax at Dance Tunnel last weekend. Respected by those in the know, he is a trusted man for quality output guaranteed.  Responsible for tantalizing disco fused grooves and re edits on stellar labels such as Tusk Wax, Throne of Blood and Black Key Records, we had a chat to find out how the journey into the depths of electronic fiddling began for the zoology student from Wales. Let’s start where it all began – Nottingham where you studied at Confetti Music Studios….what did you do there and what made you decide to dive right in to music? I studied for A BTEC National Diploma in Music Technology. Confetti is a brilliant place, it’s gathered a pretty esteemed rep in it’s short existence.  I’d graduated from Nottingham Uni having finished my zoology degree a year or so before and had worked in a pretty mindless lab job which just twisted my arm into taking the plunge. What was the scene like musically in Nottingham while you were a student there?  On a personal level I know in recent years house and techno has boomed but prior to this, when I moved there it was mainly Drum and Bass. It is interesting to know how the cities preferences change. When I was studying there, over ten years ago now, the music scene was as vibrant as ever. Drum and bass was big as was UK hip-hop and break beat had really risen. House might not have been at the forefront necessarily but was represented well along with some techno – The Bomb was in it’s last years but still a massive force. It was a very exciting time farm boy from mid Wales! What kind of artists were you listening to and inspired you back in the early days? Coming to uni was real musical awakening for me as I became friends with people who really broadened my horizons musically. We were listening to Roots Manuva, Roni Size, Nightmares on Wax, Stanton Warriors, Photek, DJ Format and that kind of thing. As the breaks scene took off I got quite into that especially Plump DJ’s, and Adam Freeland’s Marine Parade label. How did the creation of your club night Zleep happen? I’d been working at Stealth for a couple of years and had been talking about that particular niche not being filled with Ally, Nick and Alex the promoter at Stealth.  Alex was instrumental in getting it off the ground and with a bit of trepidation were given the green light. Since then of course Matt has now become a key member and we have lots planned for London as well as Nottingham which is awesome. As well as running Zleep, you are also resident DJ alongside co runners Nick Cobby and Micawber. How do you like to approach these residency sets? Do you three have certain slots you prefer to play or do you mix it up each time? Well Nick, Ally and myself are all quite eclectic but still have quite different sounds so we just decide who would best fit our guest.  It’s always worked very well and are quite happy to play b2b when the opportunities arise. What tune never fails to go down a treat with the crowd there? Well it’s pretty difficult to narrow it down to one to be honest! One that stands out would be  ‘The Persuader – What’s the time Mr Templar?’  Since originally taking place in Nottingham, Zleep made the move to London a few years ago now. Has this change of location and venue brought differences to the night at all? The venue has allowed us to just concentrate on having one guest who we build the night around but musically I would say it’s pretty similar. It’s nice to do big 2/3 room events but there is also great satisfaction in having it all in one intimate space with one special guest. I’ve recently trained as a primary school teacher so have taken a bit more of a backseat in recent times and admittedly am not so up to the minute as the other guys. The other are on it in terms of suggesting guests. I generally agree!  When not Zleeping, what other parties in London do you like to go to? Not so many these days but I’m a fan of all night Dance Tunnel and have been known to frequent Secretsundaze and Tief from time to time. As well as DJing, your productions have caused a stir since your first release in 2009 with ‘Ipso Facto’’. How did the move from simply producing music to having it become a physical release come to be? A former resident of Stealth, the legend that is Dave Congreve passed me an email of a guy that was running a cool little edits label called Jiscomusic and he just happen to really dig the stuff and it coincided with him wanting to start a new label which was Under The Shade. Since 2009 your productions are still going strong now, how would you say your sound has developed to what it is now? Hmm, it’s definitely evolved and has become a little less naïve but still very melody-heavy. Your remix duties are equally as valued amongst the electronic music community, most recently with Simoncino and Robert Owens on the ‘Some People’ track – what is it you like to achieve when given a tune to remix? Well I suppose it’s all about just taking elements and seeing where you can go with it. I like to create something quite different from the original otherwise I don’t see the point. Which has been the favorite or most surprising remix you have produced along your musical career? I think the most recent one, it was great to work with a great vocal from Mr Owens. You’ve worked with some amazing labels such as Tusk Wax, Retrofit, Under the Shade and Delayed Audio along the way…which labels are currently stocking up your record bag at the moment? I’m a big Aniara records fan so all that, along with Running Back, Secretsundaze , Clone/Royal Oak. What can we expect from Chamboche in the near future? I’ve got my first ep in a couple of years about to drop. Can’t say which label but it’s one that is close to my heart ;)   Chamboche will be playing alongiside Joy Orbison and Ryan Elliot as Zleep returns to Nottingham on October 17th. Full event details can be found here   Keep up with Chamboche over on his Facebook page here Keep up to date with the latest Zleep events in London here   More MEOKO? Find us on Facebook Find us on Twitter Find us on Soundcloud  

Sounds Of The City: Guadalajara with Hector

Sounds of the City is a new series in which MEOKO grills some of our favourite DJs and producers about the ins and outs, their most treasured spots and the hidden gems of the city they call home.   Hector hails from Guadalajara in Mexico where he began DJing when he was 16. Since then, he has come a long way building up a strong career, having plied his trade working in the famous Phonica Records store in London. Through his job, he met important DJs and influential players in the industry which eventually led to him being introduced to none other than Loco Dice. Dice took a keen liking to Hector and took him under his wing subsequently welcoming him into the Desolat label family. MEOKO was extremely pleased to have the opportunity to chat to him all about his musical beginnings in his beloved Mexico. We also spoke of tequila, tacos and the meaning behind #vatoslocos...   Tell us a fun fact about your hometown in Mexico. Guadalajara is located near a little town called Tequila, where the famous beverage of the same name is made!   How was the scene in Guadalajara and how did you get into music over there? My friends were in bands and we’d always get together during the week. I was always listening to music hanging out with my friends at their rehearsals. There was also this connection with live music. I first got into electronic music when some guys from England came to study Spanish in Guadalajara. I was playing professional football at the time and one day they came to training and we eventually became friends. They started to introduce me to the Global Underground compilations, fabric mixes and artists like DJ Q, Terry Lee Brown Jr, The Time Writer, Daft Punk, Chemical Brothers. It was then that I began to have an interest in electronic music. After a year and a half, they returned to England and naturally encouraged me to come to London to see all the clubs and check out the scene because I never got to see many DJs in Guadalajara.   What was the attraction foryou in these foreign electronic sounds? The compilations I listened to told a story by mixing tracks. This concept was new and exciting to me. How the DJs told this story through different kind of styles from old school house, acid house, all the different genres - it was all new to me.  There was so much music to explore and so much to learn that it just grabbed my attention. It was just a massive library to get immersed in.     So you followed your English friends’ advice and made your next stop London? Yeah, I moved to London initially for 3 months, but I ended up staying there for the next 11 years! My friend started studying Sound Engineering and Music Production. At the same time I was buying vinyl even before I had decks. The move to London eventually led me over to Ibiza where I started at the bottom by putting up posters and flyers, but through that you get to know all the right people and then they give you the first chance to DJ…So I started from zero. I always remember where I came from and how I started from handing out flyers.   What do you miss the most about Mexico? My family and the food (laughs)! What’s your favourite Mexican dish? Ceviche is my favourite thing – it’s a dish made of fresh raw fish cured with citrus juices and additional seasonings. The seafood in Mexico is amazing because of the Pacific side we get so much fresh seafood. Guadalajara is in the middle of the country but quite close to the Pacific. You get a lot of different things in Mexico, very traditional stuff like tacos, enchiladas – traditional homemade food with tortillas…The most amazing thing are the spices! I’m getting hungry just talking about it.   Where’s the best place to get a taco? If you want to have the best tacos, you have to get them from the street stands. Not like Tex-Mex americanised Mexican food – I never eat burritos, fajitas, none of those types of things. Real tacos are the street food; they are the best.    What is the best club in Guadalajara?  Bar Americas. There is a nice story behind that too. One year I had to leave London for family reasons and I brought my decks home with me. It was already a nice bar with a good soundsystem, but I managed to convince the owner to let me DJ there as part of a club night. It was a great success and within a few weeks there were long queues to get inside to see me play.  The entrance is free and every Thursday is the international night. At first it was complicated to get big DJs since it was free, but eventually we had artists such as like Carl Craig, Marco Carola and a bunch of other big names performing at the club.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': 'http://soundcloud.com/oembed?format=js&iframe=true&callback=soundcloudAVPlayerID_d5a73cdd_1180416648&auto_play=false&maxwidth=480&url=https://soundcloud.com/overall-music/sets/hector-javier-carballo-hanfry', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_d5a73cdd_1180416648', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_d5a73cdd_1180416648' }); });     Where was your favourite hang out spot? When I was 16, I was training for football all the time. I was actually a very good boy, I didn’t drink or anything like that. The nightlife culture is very different anyway in Mexico compared to Europe. It’s more of a bar vibe with live music rather than underground nightclubs. We don’t have anything like a fabric in London for instance!   Why is the clubbing culture less developed over there? People don’t have the same access or resources that are available in big urban cities like London. Also equipment – the hardware is so expensive, it’s not easy to start up.   Could the scene change in the future? Right now it’s amazing because people are beginning to get more access. There is a lot of good talent coming out of Mexico at the moment such as Pinto, Midnight Perverts, Louie Fresco, Miguel Puente, Robbie Akbal, Bastard Love, Balcazar & Sordo, Betoko, The Climbers, Metrika and also Harvard Bass. BPM Festival in Playa del Carmen (Mexico) is one of the most successful festivals in South America – that’s the best example of everyone around the world coming to Mexico to party and putting attention on my home country.     Is there an essence in your music of Mexico? Some sort of influence from your time there in the city? Yes, always – 100%. The titles of tracks, style of music, basslines, the latino influence is always there. It’s in my blood and a big part of my music.   If you could describe Guadalajara in one track (electronic/non-electronic)? Well the Mariachi bands are from Guadalajara and surrounding regions, so I guess that is the most traditional sound you would hear.   So you grew up in Guadalajara, lived in London for a long time and now you live in Berlin. Granted Guadalajara is home, which are your second and third homes? London is definitely my adopted second home. I moved there pretty young so by the end of my stay I was a qualified Londoner, eating English breakfast and Sunday roasts, watching Coronation St (laughs). The city is a big part of my life after 11 years of living there. Compared to Berlin, I don’t even speak German which is not out of disrespect. The main problem is, I’m hardly there. Despite this problem, Berlin is where I’ve chosen to live, and build a studio. Also, my booking agency and management also moved there which is convenient since the office is only 5 minutes away from my apartment. Plus the airports are easy to get to so it’s convenient overall for me here in Berlin.   What’s your relationship with label Desolat like? I noticed a few other fellow South American artists on the roster like Guti. Do you share a sense of latino unity in Desolat? Dice likes the latino influence which probably explains the South American artists on the label. I actually ran into Guti a few days ago in Ibiza, but he lives in Barcelona. Of course when we’re together we talk in Spanish and make all the Spanish jokes and banter.   Finally, and sticking with the Hispanic theme, what’s the story behind “Vatos Locos”? It started off a long time ago with me, Dubfire and Dice. It comes from a film about the Chicano’s called ‘Blood In Blood Out’. It’s all about the Mexican Chicano gangs and they are known as the “Vatos Locos”. “Vato” is the same way to call someone “mate” or “bro” but it’s more slang used in the gangs. Then obviously because I’m Mexican – Dubfire and Dice would always call me and say, “Wassup vato?!” I really wanted to do something under the banner of Vatos Locos, but with their schedule it’s impossible. Then the catchphrase just stuck and went viral on social media earning its own hash tag. In Italy people turned up with the flag saying “vatos locos”. What began as a joke has now become something crazy!       Pre-order Hector's vinyl-only The Daggers EP on Overall Records here. Released 30th October. Hector plays fabric on 15th November. Buy tickets here. Check out Hector's MEOKO mix here.   By Geoffrey Chang     More MEOKO Facebook Soundcloud Twitter 
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