DeWalta & Shannon – Residual LP
The two worlds of native German funkster DeWalta, and Canadian veteran of the game Mike Shannon collide once again, and this time there is plenty on offer with a total of nine tracks spread across vinyl (2 parts) and digital releases. 2008 see the birth of this fantastic collaboration, and over the years we have seen manygreat tracks and EPs released on labels such as Meander, and of course Shannon’s very own Cynosure. However, after a quiet three years on the production front, Indigo Raw is back with a bang from outer space with the Residual LP. Vinyl number one comes with a floaty & euphoric opener GMCimmediately putting the listener where they want them to be, in a funky galaxy far far away. The abstract space induced sounds pave the way perfectly for what is in store. Immediately picking up the pace a glitchy and upbeatViscositywarps you in to the dark depths of the much moodier Jugular Dubs, a stripped back trip made for the after party.
Did somebody say big room? Because that is what you’re getting with in your face swinger Wrench Miss (Vinyl only), the first track on the second vinyl. A force to be reckoned with at peak times. With bold kicks from the start, and some ferocious hi-hats, there comes a jazzy number that goes by the name of Wilson space. The groovy drums and claps make an appearance again in Duality, this time with a much steadier and spaced out vibe. The universe theme is continued in what is the longest track of them all, the digital only release Slicks. A forward thinking bassline from start to finish drives your space shuttle for you, before you are teleported in to the world of Tauben Summer (digital only), an uplifting rhythm that pulls you out of the trippy breakdowns, that you are so easily sucked in to. However, there is no saving you from what seems to be the darkest, and deepest journey in to space Right under your tongue (digital only), floating through the dynamic and open minds of DeWalta & Shannon.
Residual is their debut LP, and we can reassure you, you will not be disappointed with this trilogy. Full to the brim with modular driven basslines and killer drum grooves (did you expect anything different?), we have been blessed with music for all kinds of dancefloor situations.
A few years have gone by since we last see a production from you as a duo, what inspired you to team up again for Residual? And this time around make your debut LP, as opposed to an EP? Must have been nice to get back in the studio together.
David: Mike and I always work together in the studio, even if not many records are coming out. The last EP we did was in 2014. Since then we have been working on new tracks and put out couple of remixes. Indeed it was nice working on a bigger record together. Somehow the tracks kind of resonated with each other quite naturally. So this way it became a full length album
Mike: Well, we’ve made a few EPs together over the years and it just naturally felt like it was time to put together a larger package. A collection of what we’d been working on over the years. Featuring Some of the best moments of our past with the future. I felt there were a few gems from our past that many people didn’t really discover. They also just fit so well with the other tracks that we had to go for it.
Is there a particular process you follow when working in the studio together?
Mike: Yes, I make all of the hooks and memorable moments and David does the rest. No just kidding. It’s a process of one of us coming up with an initial hook or phrase that get’s worked over a period of time. Some times we can ice ideas for months and then come back to them when the time is right and then jump into it again. It all starts that way and then we jam a lot of ideas over that winning hook. With Modular synth sequences and effects mainly.
David: Working with mike has become very organic over the course of the last 6 years. It’s a phenomenon really. Its almost like I work by myself, just with another set of ears and a bit of a friendly mirror, a different angle of whats going on. When working together it is very important to let the ideas of your collaborator come out and develop before you judge them, even if you are not sure yet if that idea will stay in the track. Prejudice and deciding over things too early takes the magic away, so we just let things flow. Then maybe a coffee, beer or little spliff in a break can do wonders. When it comes to decide if things are going the right way or not we are astonishingly almost always on the same page. Still the outcome doesn’t sound more like Mike Shannon or DeWalta in the end
Your LP is part of a mega come back (on the production front) for Barcelona based, Indigo Raw. Although they have been throwing unbelievable parties, it has been three years since they released any music, did you feel any pressure? How does it feel to be the chosen people for the job?
David: When we performed the LIVE SET at the MUTEK Montreal Festival last year, we hung out with both of the IR guys quite a bit. There we first mentioned, that we are working on a full length album. Some of the tracks on the album had already been released on our labels, so we thought it could be nice to offer them to a different audience by signing the Album to an associated label. We didn’t feel any pressure, since we first wanted to finish the music and then talk label stuff etc… Indigo Raw wanted to re-launch their label with a bigger project like a full length album, so it naturally came together.
Mike: It feels like winning the Lottery really. Like rolling big in Vegas or having a Royal Flush in your hand. Just feeling lucky to have been the chosen ones. The pressure is on now but not sure on who will feel it the most. I’m really looking forward to getting back in the studio with David and following things up! I’m really looking forward to playing more bomb IR events in the future!
It is evident that there is an outer space/galaxy theme throughout the LP. Is there anything in particular that triggered off these ideas? Was there any main influences when producing these tracks, or did the magic just happen?
Mike: Yes it looks like a space theme here big time but It’s actually more about mirco cosmic chemical reactions and duality.
David: Isn’t it beautiful to see what kind of space opens up in the micro cosmic realm. It seems, the more you zoom-in on one hand, the further you zoom-out on the other… ;-)
We didn’t have a main influence, Id say, but the concept of duality and what’s left after chemical reactions was something we thought and talked about. Also Mikes love to AI (artificial intelligence), or Science Fiction movies had an impact
Mike: Hehe.. Yes. There actually was a small space influence from when I was watching Super Man 2 and the opening 15 minutes gave me a title wave of ideas that I had to convey to our designer Felix Koch right away. Many of the ideas were axed and quite shamefully laughed at but the end results visually were more than what I had hoped for. Felix’s process to make the images was quite interesting and I haven’t seen analogue style cover like this in a very long time.
As a pair, & individually what is your preferred equipment to use when producing? What were the main instruments used in the making of Residual?
Mike: We used a wide array of modular synths for a majority of the sounds but also some classic synths like the Roland Jupiter 6. Most of the drum programming was done with a combination of the Roland classic drum samples and a MFB Tanzbar.
For years I’ve been very much into wave table style digital oscillators. I have a few different ways of getting into that morph sound but more and more I’m enjoying my Intellijel shape Shifter. Been getting some monster sounds out of that module from day one. Loving the crazy morph effects I can make with it. Otherworldly sounds. I used a lot of that style of technology on Residual but I won’t tell you all my secrets.
David: As Mike was saying, we use a wide array of eurorack modules and a lot of the actual content on “Residual” is made with modular synthesis, but we also use classic synths. There are almost no vst sound sources from the computer. Basically all sound generating instruments are hardware synthesisers, some are digital, like wavetable osc´s but most are analog. This gives the album such a strong sound.
However, in the process of mixing down this 9 Track Album we used Plugins like UAD in combination with a killer (swissmade) vintage mixing board from the mid 80´s and a neat bus-processing method to change and aler the sound of the tracks. I’ve been putting a lot of thought into engineering and have acquired some nice preamps, colouring boxes or compressors to shape the stems for the mix. This way we can design our tracks nicely in the more final stage of mixing.
Words by Zac Bidwell
Mike Huckaby, as humble as he is as a person, is a spiritual contemporary, a music maker of grand design, who manages to give house music from DETROIT TECHNO CAPITAL! the depth and profoundness that this city oozes somewhere beyond its shattered surface. It is part of his life story to wrangle with machine and get them to express emotions. One of them is the grand Waldolf synthesizer which let Mike shed tears and blood until he figured out how to coax it into making the sounds of sheer beauty and spiritedness that is generally associated with his music. It also culmitated in the creation of a release series called “My Life With The Wave” – all sounds used on these two seminal records are created by only using the Waldolf Wave synth. The “Life Project” goes even further.
After focusing on the productions generated with the “My Life With the Wave Production CD” and gathering them in mixed podcast formats, Mike, as well as presenting himself abroad DJing, has become a brilliant tutor for well-known hard- and software companies, sharing his skills and passes on knowledge via tuition and workshop sessions. He also works at Youthville, teaching kids from deprived areas in Detroit his musical know-how. So whilst his music expresses feeling and proficiency in equal measures, and goes beyond the pure reflection of its glamorous past well into the unforeseen, his person acts in the same vain: Huckaby makes house music go yonder, into abstraction; then he roots it, and sends it back to where it came from, into intimous settings, the streets, and the clubs, connecting people, moods and ambients… Meoko is thrilled to find out how Mike does it all.
Detroit Home of The Brave!
First of all, thanks for giving me hints of what to check out, and where you feel the focus of your activities is... I was very thrilled to watch these Detroit documentaries, and even more amazed to see what a deep and spirited person you are. Thanks for that! It does not come as a surprise though, because your music, for me, transports all this in some kind of non-descript ethic that is travelling via your sound... Do you feel this is kind of true?
Mike Huckaby: Hmm, I don’t know if that is something I can make a comment on. I just do what I do. I am satisfied with releasing every track I make available to the public. I have to be satisfied with it first. I have to take praise in perspective. If you condition yourself to like the positive feedback people give you about your music, then it is going to rock your boat when you see a negative review of your music. Feedback is all subjective. You have to be satisfied with your own music first. My music has to pass the test of moving me first. Once it does that, I dont care what anyone thinks.
What is your musical journey? Where do you feel, in general, in private and in interview situations, did it start?
Mike Huckaby: My musical journey is to learn how to convey emotion through sound. Plain and simple.
How is your family situation? Are there people in your family that share your passion for music, sound making, etc.?
Mike Huckaby: I owe a lot of my rhythmic influences to my uncle. He would make my brother and I play the drums until our hands were red when we were kids. That was a very signifant influence for me.
Who or what got you into music production?
Mike Huckaby: Simply being in Detroit did. Like I have said so many times, the music found you and created opportunities for involvement. That's just the way it was growing up in Detroit.
You once talked about Chris Simmonds being a fellow music producer who had a huge influence on you how you made and perceived making music, is this true? Who else opened your mind and broadened your horizon when you much needed it?
Mike Huckaby: I would listen to everyone. I would even listen to artists I didn't like. I would study things about other producers and production methods, and flip them into my own style. Chris Simmonds was the first person to sit down with me and answer some of my technical questions that I was struggling with for years.
Was it Rick Wade who first published your music?
Mike Huckaby: My first 12 inch came out on Harmonie Park, so essentially, yes.
What was it that you wanted to get the Wave in the first place, who or what gave you the idea you can make house with it.... and how long did it take you to get a knack on it?
Mike Huckaby: Buying the Wave was a huge mistake, but I made it pay off. I remember contacting Waldorf when they had an office in LA. I asked one of the sales reps at Waldorf: 'So is it really true you can get any sound out of the Wave?' The rep quickly replied: 'Oh yeah, absolutely.' I then turned around and looked at my record case and said to myself: 'Oh really? ' I then concluded that if that was true about this synth, then that was the only synth I had to buy. But that thinking was seriously flawed, and it is what got me into a lot of trouble. When the rep said that you can get any sound out of the wave, that was partially true. It didn't mean I could get any sound out of my record case on the wave. What the Waldorf rep meant was that through all of the synthesis methods and modulation capabilities, you could create any sound possible on the Wave through those methods. That taught me how to listen. That was a painful lesson, but a worthy one.
How did you have the idea to make „My Life With The Wave“, and why are there two parts, but no further part planned?
Mike Huckaby: There were several years that passed by where I wasn't using the Wave at all. I had never sat down and simply learned how to use it properly. I was even contemplating selling it. But I knew I could never do such a thing. So instead of selling it, I decided that the time was right to start using it. So I began to conceptualize the idea of making an entire 12 inch release from using just the wave. I wondered if that was something I could actually do. So I began to dive into it heavily until My Life With The Wave Vol 1 and 2 were finished. Those projects spanned over nine years. It took nine years to create Vol 1 and 2. The My Life With The Wave story is over now. It's time to move on and explore different synthesis possibilities on different machines. Basically, it drove me crazy, to the point of exhaustion. I was really burnt out on creating My Life With The Wave Vol 2.
You give a away a lot of samples... What is your thought behind sharing your material?
Mike Huckaby: I look at it as a way to sharpen my sound design skills. The feedback that you get from other producers, and how they will use you sound design is invaluable. I haven't given away as many sounds as you might think though. Don't believe the hype. I am extremely surprised to have made two 90-minute Soundcloud broadcasts of producers all over the world using the My Life With The Wave CD. Furthermore, I just did a workshop in Denmark with Strom School where the focus was producing music with the My Life With The Wave sample CDs. That was a very unique workshop. The whole project paid off, and producers have been using the My Life With The Wave samples since 2007. It's been nearly ten years! Check the shows here:
What is the current set up you are using?
Mike Huckaby: The Waldorf Wave, Maschine, Ableton Live, loads of plugins, the Manley Slam compressor, The Moog Sub 37 synthesizer, and the
What kind of machines never left your studio?
Mike Huckaby: All of the above.
What are the newest additions?
Mike Huckaby: The Sledge Synthesizer, The Moog Sub 37, and The Emu Sp 12. The Sp 12 is a instrument that I plan on using heavily in the near future.
How do you feel about all those companies like Ableton, Native, Waldorf, etc contracting you to produce tutorials etc? How did this first happen?
Mike Huckaby: It was a win/win situation from the start. They saw my ambition to learn, and I was using their products heavily. With my reputation as a DJ and a producer, combined with teaching at Youthville just added more to the formula.
What is the Nave?
Mike Huckaby: The Nave is a software synthesizer that can emulate the possibilities of the Wave to a certain extent. I had a lot of fun doing official presets for it. I used my Wave skills on it and learned a couple of things as well. Im always looking for a reciprocal relationship between hardware and software.
How and when did you realise that you have a knack for teaching, and that it goes beyond a strive to teach, but to share and make others feel just as passionate as you are?
Mike Huckaby: I never realised I had the knack for it, its just something that came my way. I think my empathy has grown from doing seminars. When you have a chance to meet up with programmers from Ableton and Native Instruments, and they are showing you certain tricks and tips that you would have never known, you just feel compelled in a way to share some of the things that you have learned. Like I said, nobody wants to be stuck.
Tell me more about your labels, how did they come about, who is and will be on it, what are you planning in the future?
Mike Huckaby: I wanted control over my music, so I decided to create Deep Transportation and S Y N T H just for that. I have no plans to release anyone's music but mine on these labels.
How did you export the harmonics – and make chords of them – of the rocks you found in Egypt? Did you try to do this with rocks from Detroit? Or any objects found in Detroit?
Mike Huckaby: Ha, the rocks from Egypt. I am constantly asked how I did that. It's a device I created in Reaktor. And that is all that I can tell you. And I only did this with rocks from the pyramids in Egypt. Although I did sample some things around Cern in Geneva, Switzerland, when I did visit there. Maybe I will do something similiar in the future.
Who or what inspires you apart from rocks and Egypt, and why?
Mike Huckaby: My primary influence is Jazz. Jazz is the umbrella that house music resides under. I have always had a thing for expensive things and subjects that required a lot of devotion. I am hard-headed in that way. So, one question would lead to another, or another avenue to pursue or learn.
What is a piece of work of another artist that had a huge influence on you on how you conceive and conceptionalise a piece, an album, a mix?
Mike Huckaby: Larry Heard’s Slam Dance. The whole 12 inch actually. I just couldnt believe how much diversity he demonstrated on that EP. It made me question just how much skill a producer had to have to make a record. On one side you had smooth deep house tracks, and then an aggressive techno track on the other side. That EP really made me wonder how talented he was.
What are the ideas behind tracks like „Bassline” and „Fantasy”, it seems like you like you toy with certain concepts again and again and make them an ongoing series?
Mike Huckaby: Well, the baseline series is heavily influenced by Kevin Saunderson. Kevin Saunderson is known in Detroit as the bassline master. So I guess years of listening to his productions somehow has had an effect upon me. Fantasy was just an entire track I made from the Waldorf Wave.
In Detroit, there is nothing to do you say... and to combat depression, you mention to create music, and to do that „quite merrily“. Why do you think that this happens to humans, specifically in Detroit? There are so many depressing places on this planet, and it seems like the people in Detroit, as depressing it might be, somehow overcome this depression and turn it around, turn it into something worth living for...
Mike Huckaby: It is just the way to channel that so-called depression. Its actually a gift more than it is a curse.
How did you come to do Youthville... Is Youthville something existing in any mayor city...? Who is it run by? Churches? Government? How did you come to engage with it, and in which sense did you manage to open their range of activities? Did you propose electronic music production to them?
Mike Huckaby: Youthville is a privately funded organization. There is nothing like Youthville in the United States. It was really way ahead of its time when it was created. It will still be another several years before Detroit catches up on its impact locally and even nationwide.
How does it feel to start from scratch with the student from Youthville, if they do not actually know much?
Mike Huckaby: You simply ask them to name their favorite artist, producers and songs. The students are influenced heavily by their parents and families, and the internet. So they already have rhythm, and an idea from the beginning in mind.
How to you manage to capture their attention?
Mike Huckaby: You capture their attention by simply listening to them and observing them. But the most important thing to do to capture their attention is to speak their language. If you don't know their favorite producers, and the songs they are listening to, you will look like a fool to them. And if you loose that window of opportunity, you’ve lost everything. But beyond that you have to manage being a disciplinarian. If you don't establish discipline in the class room from the ver start, the student will never respect you, and you will never have control over the classroom setting. So it doesn't matter what program you are teaching. If discipline is not established, they will not learn a single thing.
How do you explain the phenomenon of electronic music to them?
Mike Huckaby: I don't push it on them. I explain the legacy of music from Detroit across all genres of music, and simply let them indicate their musical interests, and what they want to produce. I am there for them, not me.
You say in one of your interviews that there are parts of the Detroit story missing and people are starting to ask what they are... Explain!
Mike Huckaby: Well, people are just starting to see that other people make up the Detroit story, and have something to say. The entire Detroit electronic story is still unfolding. It is a never ending story, you could say.
In terms of electronic music business, not making music, what kind of advice do you feel like giving?
Mike Huckaby: Learn the business, and set up a publishing company. I owe Eddie Folkes a lot for helping me in that area. He really sat me down and showed me the importance of having publishing rights pertaining to your music.
If you would not have turned to music, what would you be doing?
Mike Huckaby: That is something I have no idea about! Like I have said over and over, music wasn't a way out in Detroit, it was the only way out.
You say you like to “convey a message of peace” via your sets and music, seems like this world needs it more than ever. Do you have something more to say, for people to keep up the faith and to conclude this interview?
Mike Huckaby: Just stay true to yourself and you will be included in all the circles, conversations, and opportunities you ever could have imagined. Some of those doors you might have thought would be closed to you, but they will open. I know that for a fact. I am getting remix offers from artists that I would have never thought would ask.
Last but not least… What did you put into your Meoko mix, what was paramount for you when you made it?
Mike Huckaby: Just some deep house tracks that I'm feeling. Check it out!
Mike Huckaby - MEOKO Exclusive Mix
HB 008 wiith Mike Huckaby is OUT NOW
Words by our dear Katrin Richter
Have you got your ticket to Sonus yet?
In just 5 months, the stunning Zcre beach on Pag Island, Croatia will be opening up its doors to Sonus - a weekend of incredible music and unforgettable experiences.
We’ve already swooned over the first tier of acts announced to play this summer, and you can view our preview here to see it for yourself.
Now the second tier of artists has been released, adding further to the lure of the festival. Newly announced treats in store include a live set from Extrawelt – their impressive setup will excite the inner analog geek that exists in all of us. Also on the bill will be underground favourites Nicolas Lutz, Fernando Costantini and Archie Hamilton. Producer extraordinaire Kölsch will be wowing crowds whilst RØDHÅD, Dubfire, Alexandra and Pan-Pot will be bringing the techno. Finally, lets not forget Romanian heavyweight Rhadoo, the incredible Cassy and of course Tale of Us, to name only a few.
One of the many acts on the bill for Sonus that is getting us excited is Berlin based, Club Der Visionare resident, Dana Ruh. With over a decade of her time being spent forming her sound, both on the decks and in the studio, this lady is respected by many and for good reason.
In 2007 she formed her label ‘Brouqade’ which released much of her early work, then went on to release on the legendary Ostgut Ton as her sound delved deeper.
It is her debut album ‘Naturally’, released in 2014 on Just Ed’s ‘Underground Quality’ however where her personality truly shines through.
She has kindly recorded a mix for us at MEOKO, and we are proud to add her name and work to our series – this one is not to be missed.
Tune in and turn up the mix and get ready for the sounds of Danah Ruh, and more, on the beautiful land of Croatia for Sonus this summer.
Sonus Festival takes place from 21-25th August this summer.
For more information, head to the website or Facebook page.
Words by Eileen Pegg
Italy is a country known for many things: amongst them are Giorgio Moroder, Ennio Morricone and Alexander Robotnik, all loved and adored for their fantastic take on music, synths, disco and futurism. Towering above the corrupted system is a place that soothes the souls of those looking for vanguard musical tendencies and the right attitude: the Veniceberg, a sacred music space and centre of weekend pilgramage, also the name of a collective of producers and founders of the label that goes by the same name, that promotes underground values and alternative clubbing in a professional context.
How is it in Veniceberg? Sounds very cosy actually....
Today is a very warm day and we like to spend it with close friends. It's a family that gathers during the night… We like to play with many local, but also non-local friends.
What are you up to at the moment, what is going on in your new beautiful space…
We are proceeding with the clubbing mission we embarked on…. In 2016, we will be playing with some amazing people hailing from the European underground scene, for example the likes of Steve O'Sullivan, Mike Shannon, Andre Galluzzi, Brawther, Dani Casarano, Kris Wadsworth and many others.
When and under which circumstances Veniceberg was born?
The point of departure was the lucky meeting of two passionate music diggers, Michele and Francesco, coming from two opposite sides: Michele from 90s House, Techno, and Francesco from Electronics, Experimental and Post Rock. The idea was to finally create a Club with a capital C in North Italy: Small and Intimate, provided with a Very High quality Sound System, with an Underground proposal and especially Out of the Flock. All with capitals.
Tell me more about this mysterious filling-station where you organised your first events that set the tracks for Veniceberg?
It's where we started from, the area was perfect, and the gas station in front made it look like a Brooklyn, or Detroit or a Berlin place.
How did you manage to get and keep a concession in a place asconservative as Verona?
It wasn't actually a big problem, we just chose a good place where we don't disturb anyone, we are near to the center and the university area but close to high traffic road so our noise doesn't disturb anyone.
About you as the founder? When was your first conscious contact with music, why and how did it move you?
M : I always loved the beat, I knew all the hottest music scene first in Italy, than in the rest of Europe, I always loved what makes a lot people dance and share a good time. I always wanted to have a Club: make hundreds of people dance every weekend is something that makes you feel like you are moving the wheel a bit forward.
F : I started playing when I was 12, since than I was involved in music projects, bands, events, records, festivals, on the stage and in the backstage. Conducting a Club is contributing to a music scene like founding a band, or being a great dj…and musician and music lovers will always need a place where to listen some music properly. Maybe also just to hear some records played by a 12kw handcrafted sound system. Fundamentally I believe in the healing power of High Volume Music, it's something like, praying or training, the vibrations move you in.
How was your respective life before that?
Both of us were involved in music projects and listening to a lot of music. Searching for the opportunity to make our life in the music fields.
Why did you decide to walk this path?
We think that it's something you don't decide, It's something you just need to do…no matter how big the risk is. Regarding Veniceberg we missed a place with a very dedicated Sound System, one that makes you feel all the frequencies, the variation of music, a place where you can stand and dance for hours without going home dizzy: a place where to enjoy music... so we made it.
Where do you connect? Where do you contrast with currents in the electronic music scene?
We'd like to think that we stand on the line that connects what Clubs were and what Clubs will be (or already are in some sensitive environments). Clubs should be places where people go to be Taken Away from Music for a few hours, where you go and live an experience: with music, with yourself, with other people. We always picked our own road and we wanted to be recognisable among others: that's probably why now some people just come to Veniceberg.
Artistically, what were your ideas when you started, and how much does your proposal differ from how you portray yourself now?
We didn't divert much; we knew that we wanted some real Club Culture in the place that we were going to create and that we also wanted the best quality, first of all for ourselves. The mission we chose has been hard from the beginning: we wanted to do research and that's not easy to find around Italy but it's a satisfying path as we now have our own audience.
What was important for you to become an artist and organiser?
Going around and seeing other clubs, feeling their experiences and trying to figure how to give the music that best fitted the scene. The music that we want in the place needs to fit scene that we have. We always try to find a good compromise.
You are active as a DJ, and as an organiser? What more are you doing and perusing?
M : I've always been very passionate about electronic music. I always bought music either digital or in vinyl but never with the idea to become a DJ. When Veniceberg project was born we started with some valuable local DJ friends to mix more and more and there we are.
In which way do your activities complement each other?
M :It's not an easy goal to combine this two activities. After three years of work I realized that listen and buy music allows you to know new artists, that's what is called research, and also play their music makes you fell what could work with the crowd you are playing for. This gives us the balance that allows us to propose something that is a little forward and new but still comprehensible for our crowd.
Who or what had a great influence on how you sound these days?
M: For sure having the occasion to see in action DJs like the ones we invited at the club, having them a few meters away, being able to see how they move, they choose music, they mix – it teaches you a lot.
Tell me how it all started in Italy, and especially Verona, how did it start to happen in your eyes? How did you start to notice the new scene, the new sounds etc?
F: I was almost moving to Berlin in 2007, I spent a lot of time in all the Clubs, big and small in town that period. I felt that those where the places where people should dance. In Italy there was no Club conducted by music lovers, it was just a business of some people, just based on money. Instead I wanted a place where you feel a music scene. I wanted a kind of intellectual approach, a kind of religious approach... Listening to music is a mystic fact and probably it should be treated more religiously.
M: We always had much more discos than clubs in Italy. At the end of the day the differences are: Capacity, care and selection. In clubs you find much more music selection and offer if the owners are music lovers, or even more producers or DJ themselves. In Italy this just started a few years ago. Another concept compared what you still find around.
How did you become part of this potent movement?
It's been hard but passion, professionalism, the chance of having a venue where the DJ is very comfortable and his only worry should be mixing music, means a lot for an artist. We went around a lot hearing new good stuff. This way all the DJs we guested respect us and say good things about us. We also have to thank a lot some local artists from the scene in North Italy like Re-Up owner of Kina Music Label, Luca Padovani and Alberto? resident of Seekers, Tag Club in Venice and Over.
How does it feel now, in comparison to the beginnings?
Now it's not much different, we always feel the responsibility to give some fresh and new sound to the people who come and dance.
What is good about the scene in Italy, and Verona more specifically?
It's a great challenge, here is not like being in a big city where you can propose almost anything you'll always have someone coming. We need to keep the scene up and especially the dance floor. In small cities like this we you to keep a good compromise from the research and the stuff that keep the crowd dancing, artists with a good balance between research and groovy stuff are the one that fit with us.
Which places do you love?
We love those high quality international clubs obviously: Watergate for the sound system of the Waterfloor especially, Robert Johnson.... we prefer small spaces because they are able to propose the sound that we like.
What are the downfalls if there are any?
The hard part is sometimes to explain people that we are a small club and an intimate place and that we want a familiar feeling, just happy, kind and easy people, and sometimes talking with the people of the night is a little hard. But most of the people now understand that either you want to enjoy and feel good with people or you don't fit with this place.
What are interesting new developments?
We are now focusing on the Label that allows us to spread around our idea of sound, and dreaming of one day having a summer venue... maybe…
What do you hope for?
We'd love to a little bit more supported by the administrations since we think we are doing a good job, helping people to enjoy night and music in a conscious and interesting way, giving young crowds an example of how fun and culture could go along together.
About your music: what kind of sound makes you go crazy?
Let's get it clear, something groovy but deep, minimal, inspiring and swing sometimes, something that keeps always the dance floor up. Swing is probably the base of our sound, but with deep shades and minimal at the same time.
About the label: how did this come about?
We were sure from the beginning that producing new music is the only real way to do something, to make a little difference, to leave a print in the sand.
What is your mission?
The first mission is: Make new music... obviously music we love, the sound we'd love to hear more, doing some quality stuff. We are trying to produce what's contemporary for us now with some artist that we respect and look out for, after the beginning we'll hopefully also put out some new emergent maybe also local artists... let's hope.
Tell me more about Enrico Mantini...
Enrico is one of the most talented Italian producers and DJs, he has produced for labels like UMM, and many more. He's making the sound we love for many different reasons. We chose him to start with because he's experienced but honest, and very willing to help new rising project like our, very rare to find this days, and for this we'll always be thankful to him.
As label owner and maker, how do you achieve to capture the essence of Veniceberg as a club and put it onto vinyl?
As we said we look for some swing in the sound with deep and minimal shades, that swing mood that is moving up and down along the tracks keep them interesting and the people goes crazy for them.
Is the label vinyl only or which formats will you produce?
We love Vinyls, We was raised up with Solid Music so we decided to produce only Vinyls to start with, but soon we'll be pushing also some digital tracks out to promote younger producer and talents too.
What would you like to produce and put out, ideally?
Some new, fresh sound, but also some research and experimental electronic.
What is popular amongst the producers in your country, and how does this reflect or contrast what is going on in Veniceberg?
We don't follow or contrast anyone, or at least we try not to. Lately a lot of young artist are born in Italy but also a discovering of some producers that belong to the 90s scene. Actually all of this is felt much more around Europe than in Italy.
Do you have a studio space, for the label and its artists?
We had one, now we are trying to move in to a larger space... something breathy and with a window, not still underground in a cellar how we were used to.
Is there some sort of competition about who makes the craziest sound?
Between us? We don't usually compete with each other, we listen, we suggest, we try to help each other instead to rise up the quality of the tracks always. Everyone has their taste and touch and it will come out anyway.
Who are artists at the moment you admire?
Many of those we have invited as guests since we opened up, Audio Werner, The Mole, Maayan Nidam. But we would love to reach the attention of artists like Zip, Margaret Dygas, Move D, and others that we keep secret.
What are you looking forward to in 2016?
That the label always sells like this, to keep always up the quality and to never loose but gain new audience… Closing our third year with success for us and all the friends that are supporting, producing, playing and dancing with us every Friday.
Toi Toi Musik will be helping Veniceberg celebrate their 100th night of party madness and fun times Friday 15th April. Join them in their celebrations and discover the incredible venue for yourself, to the sounds of non other than Move D and Voigtmann. Get tickets here.
Over the past year or so, it seems that somebody out there wants to spoil all the fun for anyone who likes to burn the midnight oil to a soundtrack of repetitive electronic beats. Announcements of sound restrictions, strict licencing laws and venue closures is becoming more and more commonplace and is effecting a vast number of nightclubs and events worldwide.
This precarious outlook has spread to Geneva and Electron Festival isn’t having any of it…
This year, appropriately so, marks the 13th edition of the Swiss festival. With a black cat as its graphical icon, bringing with it an abundance of symbolism, Electron Festival 2016 is one of resistance and rebellion towards the drama and politics that exists towards the feel good community.
The result is an adventurous and uncompromising, multi disciplinary and multi-stylistic programming that pushes the limits of what can be achieved artistically and collaboratively through electronic music and beyond.
The main festival enclosure is placed at the end of the Coulouvreniere bridge, between the Palladium and the Usine. The vast amount of artists and attractions are also housed in additional satellite venues, with nightclubs such as Halle W and The Graviere playing host to a series of curated club nights throughout the festival.
The line-up is something to feast your eyes over, and the main picks have been listed below. Electron Festival is trusted enough, by artists and agencies alike, to allow for out of the box collaborations and one-off events to be showcased over the fun packed weekend in Geneva.
Techno king Surgeon will be performing live with Lady Starlight, long time collaborator with Lady GaGa. After hitting it off musically as soon as they met, their performance merges the worlds of underground techno and mainstream pop, to bring a live analogue show that is sparking with energy.
Other spectacles include ‘The Ship’, a sound installation by British composer and visual artist Brian Eno, perhaps most famously known for pioneering the sound of ambient music. The piece at Electron will be his first solo exhibition in Switzerland, and aims to question the relationship between environment and musical composition.
Electron supports the local music scene, and will propose meetings between Swiss artists and international professionals, allowing them afterwards to perform on stage in front of the latter. The hotbed of local talent is also to be showcased throughout the festival, in the various different venues.
The diverse range of entertainment on offer from Electron is truly astonishing, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The festival is surely an achievement that all organisers, artists and partygoers should be pleased to be a part of.
Electron Festival takes place from 24-17th March 2016.
Visit the Electron Webpage and Facebook page.
Words by Eileen Pegg
I recall sitting on a dust-covered camping mattress – about as deflated as my motivation to continue, when the first notion of what would be a life-changing and character-defining process would impregnate itself into my consciousness. I sat quietly for some time, amongst the noise of my surroundings as I processed the possibility of manifesting this idea into reality. I felt a necessity for change, and the gravity of such was enough to set my cogs churning for years to come. It’s easy for outlandish ideas (in such an expressive space such as Afrika Burn) to get lost amongst spontaneous chatter and an intoxicated lapse of memory. But I am not one for weightless words ... and so I said: “next year we are building a train.” What at first seemed an unrealistic concept and perceived by many as fantasy later became a reality. Nine months later to be precise - a perfect incubation period for our baby, Lobo.
I broke my Burn virginity in 2009 as I embarked on a new life in Cape Town after departing from Durban in my car. I had just returned from a soul-searching adventure in South America, which included a search for an ayahuasca journey (which found me in the magical hilltops of Cusco, Peru). I had heard something about this annual ‘gathering of the arts’ and decided to head straight to the festival from Durban with what I could load into my car and my sights set on Cape Town to start afresh. With the festival still in its infancy and my head unsettled for the move ahead, I experienced only the surface of what Afrika Burn really is. It would take two more years to experience beyond the creatively free space that Burn provides, and engage in a deeper state of conscious flow.
Afrika Burn 2013 – my most memorable Burn thus far, and where I connected with what would be a future friend and creatively motivating partner - But Corpaci. I think it is this kind of duality - of freedom and connectivity that I experienced that gives us a new understanding of what a money-less society and community represents. A space devoid of hierarchy, a space to remove yourself from ego and explore random acts of selflessness. There was a natural flow to my experience of 2013, where I wanted for nothing and began to see this environment as a wealth of information – for you to use if you choose. The information is available, from those you attract or yourself – if you look hard enough.
“That can’t be the Clan” I said, as I stared with irreverence at the peculiar rabbit installation of 2014 (which was indeed the Clan). ‘The Trickster’ theme was in full effect and weighed considerably on the atmosphere of Afrika Burn 2014. My least enjoyable year thus far – however a very poignant year in the greater scheme of things. Some dark moments of internal questioning and external experience would ultimately manifest something so beautiful and realise a concept born from circumstance. Three words came to me at Afrikaburn 2014 (in reference to myself): logical, resourceful and capable. These are qualities I believe to possess and wished
to make better use of for the following year, with a carefully chosen crew to create something special. That was pivotal to the project, and so too was the spirit of the crew. And so I sat there on that deflated mattress (surrounded by playful banter and general oral fodder) and blurted out: “let’s build a train ...” One year later I would be wiping tears from my eyes standing in the heart of this majestic wolf train, listening to the first soundtrack (curiously named ‘Waiting For A Train’) and watching young and old running besides what felt like a UFO landing on Mother Earth !
Afrika Burn 2014 blew over and after a few months of the concept lingering in my head I decided it was time to commit and attempt to find those who may embark on this ambitious adventure with me. Little did I realise the challenge that lay ahead. However a crew was formed and most importantly plans galvanised with the full commitment and passion of But Corpaci, who brought with him a very logical and thorough approach to life and technical skillset to implement our ideas. Our concept became a consolidated vision on the day of January 5th 2015 as we headed for the beach with my puppy ‘Edge’ (who was without doubt an inspiration for the wolf, project mascot and smile giver to all who met him throughout). The train received an identity that day, which brought the story home of the spiritual aspect that is an
intrinsic part of the tale. An organic progression and culmination of circumstance deeply rooted in conscious awareness. Sounds like an illusion of literacy but, in fact a true story. But and I would soon be sitting for countless hours, brainstorming design, logistics and functionality of every facet of the project. It consumed our minds and became difficult to ignore – often struggling to fall asleep at night. We faced insurmountable challenges throughout – particularly in the early stages of the design process. With such a large art project our biggest enemies were space & time – fittingly so, since Lobo needed so much of it. Funding was, funnily enough not our biggest challenge because of the sheer joy the project was injecting into our souls, and we knew we would fund it ourselves if we had to. So that’s largely what we did, without a moment of regret.
Words are few to adequately colour the spectrum of emotion we experienced and the guidance we received from what I can only believe was a divine force – generated through pure passion and dedication. From the highways in the sky ... to the poetic timing of Buffy (head artist) crossing our path as we spoke of him ... the no-mans’ land in the heart of the CBD which sits against train tracks and is owned by a fellow named Rael (which ultimately became the home for Lobo) ... the Equadorian Sculptor, Javier - who presented himself after we decided we needed a sculptor ... and Chris Barnaard (our chef & photographer) with the unbelievably fitting name for the man who would nourish those who kept the heart of Lobo alive. An inspired process of synchronicity and creativity that brought strangers together and will hopefully live on inside of us for many years to come. What has since unfolded (certainly on personal levels for our crew) has organically embodied its name-sake, and the spirit in which it began – that of selflessness. We have endeavoured to think beyond ourselves and start a fund for an under-privileged 14year-old kid who had the misfortune of a near-fatal accident with us during the course of the project. Though no fault of our own, we visited him in hospital and were touched by both the child’s bravery and sadness, and we sympathised for his dire living conditions. The Spirit Train is a medium for us to offer him a better chance at life and feel the love he has been deprived of thus far. We hope to introduce him to our crew at Burn 2016 and integrate him into a community of love and opportunity. Therein lies the magic of sharing an original project in a community that are transformed through its deeply challenging dynamics. We sought to bring life to a train, but this train has a name - affectionately known as Lobo.
Original sketch of Lobo (credit Buffy)
As a youth (ages 8 onwards) I felt a deep sense of questioning, of seeking out purpose ... with a distinct sense of insignificance as a human on this earth. We function like ants with apparent purpose but actual insignificance – or so it seemed to me then. I wanted to make a difference (be it big or small) and have since maintained this insatiable thirst to do something radical. I feel I have done this with The Spirit Train and have just wet the lips of my untapped creative force. I feel justified, extremely satisfied, stronger, inspired ... but overall I feel transformed.
Up-to-the-minute review: The crew are working hard and ready to bring Lobo home to the dust with a polished coat and microchips tweaked. Some original, unfinished creative plans from year one are now a reality, along with some other exciting, interactive modifications within the 6D design (rooftop platform above the Dj booth / increased & improved soundrig / LED circulatory system complete & more). And then there’s the story of the train station ! Well, we wanted to make our dancefloor experience that much more surreal and cozy. We threw the idea out via our Facebook page and were delighted to meet a German crew (named Wanderzirkus) who took the concept and ran with it, like a hyperactive dog with the morning newspaper. The structure will be based on an elevated platform that can be accessed by stairs. The ground floor will be a place to get some shadow during the day, hang out, listen to some train station tunes and enjoy the view. The station will have stairs on the inside that will lead to the side balconies and a watchtower. During the night the station will transform into a massive dancing platform. Of course the station will get a clock and you’re gonna meet some (un)usual train station characters !
original sketch of dj booth: (credit Buffy)
There will be a fundraiser event in Berlin (20 March) for Hauptbahnhof Station Link: CLICK HERE plus there will be a Decompression/Fundraiser event in Cape Town, SA (07 May) for The Spirit Train Link: - CLICK HERE
More SPIRIT TRAIN
For many musicians, forming a record label is an exciting achievement that happens after a lengthy career. To own one that is turning 5 years old, at the age of 24 is then surely a great success, and a sign of only greater things to come in the years that span ahead in the career of such a passionate musician.
When he isn’t playing for the likes of Fuse and tiNI and the gang, Pelle runs the label ‘Karton’ with his business partner David van Bilderbeek. 2016 marked its 5th year of educating their home-town Harleem and beyond with the hand-picked beats from the duo, which is marked, quite rightly, with a series of show-stopping showcase events.
Adding to the feeling of festivity is Pelle’s recently appointed residency at newly launched Sunday party ‘Premise’, based at London venue Dance Tunnel . We caught up with the Dutch artist to find out how he himself has been celebrating the success of Karton as he kindly recorded us a ‘5 years of Karton’ mix, exclusive to MEOKO. Pelle is a constant and exciting presence on the electronic music scene, and he shows no sign of slowing down. Read on and take a listen to the mix to find out why, and join us in celebrating the 5 years of Karton!
Hi Pelle! At 24 years of age, you certainly have many accomplishments already in the music industry! Did you have an action plan from the start to become, effectively, an artist and businessman, or are your achievements all projects that have progressed naturally?
Hi Meoko! Thanks for having me on this interview.
Well, most projects I’ve done till now arose from the love of music and the urge to do something more than just playing and making music. This is also why both labels I’m doing with David van Bilderbeek were initiated. We wanted to contribute something of our own to the music scene.
Do you have any other projects planned for the future?
I definitely have a few new ideas, and those ideas are being formed into actual plans now. Also, Karton will see some big additions and changes in the future.
For someone so involved in the music industry, I’m sure your interest was spawned from interesting influences. What are the first few tracks, clubs or moments that made you decide to follow a career in electronic music?
I think my first influences were definitely interesting! I can remember very vividly when my dad showed me the English band Faithless and it totally blew my mind. I think that’s where I got infected. It was the first experience for me in electronic music. When I saw them live the difference between electronic and live acoustic music really struck me. The energy was just unreal to me. Not long after I bought myself some gear to play music and after a few years of playing records I started making music.
One of your record labels ‘Karton’ became 5 years old in 2016, and you are planning a series of showcase events at Patronaat to celebrate. The first one took place last weekend. How did the opening party go, and what else can we expect from the rest of the showcase series?
The first one was surprisingly good! It was a special night for us of course, and Patronaat was the right place since we did our first events there too. Although Patronaat is located in Haarlem which is a town that is often overlooked for being so close to Amsterdam, we knew it wouldn’t be easy. But fortunately we had Audio Werner and Ferro who are amazing dj’s, to guide the night.
The rest of the year we will invite more friends, Karton artists and dj’s that are inspirational to us to Patronaat to celebrate with us.
As the label hits a landmark birthday I am sure there is a period of looking back and reflecting on the time spent running it so far. What were your intentions when originally starting the label, and how have you achieved them? Has the direction ever changed from this original plan, and how will you continue to shape it in the future?
Very on point question. When David and I started the label we had a specific taste in music and although it was around in the past, we found it wasn’t available enough in our direct environment. Note that we were very young at the time and we were still discovering what was out there. The label was intended to show the people around us our particular taste in music. You see, Haarlem was and is a relatively small city. Back then we were doing something completely different than what all the other dj’s from Haarlem were doing. Later when we discovered the history behind the music we liked, the label started forming more and more. The first few years have been a big learning experience.
As well as running Karton, you also own the record store ‘Ruiskamer’ (With offshoot label ‘Ruis’). When and why did you decide to open up ‘Ruiskamer’ and what is your favourite part about running a record store?
Ruiskamer is truly David’s recordstore. I have no involvement in the store, besides advising and helping David once in a while. A little over 2 years ago he opened Ruiskamer after he finished his studies. He was already aiming at the space next-door of his house to begin one of his projects, so when it opened up after he finished the timing was perfect. The shop does function as an office for our record labels, hence my frequent visits.
I have also seen that you are hosting in-store pre party events at Ruiskamer too. Do you feel that hosting intimate events like this help to encourage the community of the local music scene?
It certainly does. David opened up his store to a couple of in-store events now and they have been very pleasing. We want to give our followers the opportunity to hang out with us making the in-stores a bridge between the public and us. I don’t particularly like the big gap often present between artists and their followers, so this is our answer to that.
Speaking of this, your labels, store and showcase parties are all based in your hometown of Haarlem, in The Netherlands. Could you tell us a little more about what is going on in the area, and why you chose to sow your musical seeds in this city.
David and me both grew up in Haarlem, so it’s safe to say that our roots lie in that city. I live in Amsterdam now, but I still come there often. Back when we started Karton I was still living in Haarlem, so we started doing our first events there logically. Now for our event series this year, it was the right place to start in Haarlem again and expand from there.
2016 is a big year for you, securing a residency at a new Sunday party ‘Premise’, due to launch at Dance Tunnel on March 6th. How did this residency come about?
I have to give my good friend and former booker Luke Farrugia the credits for that. He always keeps an eye out for me and is helping out at Premise now, behind the scenes. I know he has a lot of confidence in me, so for Premise and me it’s perfect.
What are your thoughts on being part of a night at an integral venue in the London music scene?
The special thing about being part of Premise is that this is my first abroad residency ever. Therefore I’m very excited to play these events and really leave my mark on the night! Also, the fact that Premise only books 2 dj’s a night, leaving them with long playtimes will make me be as confortable as possible to put myself out there.
Finally, you recently graduated from SAE with a degree in Sound Engineering. In a time of the internet when so many on line tutorials are readily available for aspiring producers or music technology professionals, why did you decide to take a formal course in the subject, and would you recommend going down the same route to others?
First of all, I really think that following an education is very important. After a failed attempt at the University of Amsterdam I discovered that I had to follow my musical path. I just couldn’t bring up the energy for a study if that meant I would have less time for my music. SAE was the perfect solution, because I was already looking to learn the fine tricks of production and the big clutter of tutorials didn’t do it for me. The fixed schedule of doing the course really helped me to get into the nitty gritty of every side of producing audio like recording, mixing, mastering and even business. That was exactly what I needed to improve myself. I think if you are interested in that doing a course will really help you getting further quickly.
Thank you Pelle, and I wish you continued success in 2016 – a year that is sure to be a great one for you, and Karton!
Thanks a lot and see you at one of the Premise dates!
Pelle will play alongside Gescu for the launch of Premise at Dance Tunnel on Sunday March 6th.Tickets and info here.
Words by Eileen Pegg
His ability to pick out such a diverse blend of sounds, and seamlessly weave them together in a magical art form is just one of the reasons, why we will always have a place in our heart for Hoehenregler Records chief Basti Grub. It has been a fantastic few years for him, since we last caught up back in 2012, working on major labels such as Desolat, Moan Recordings, This&That, whilst also taking care of business with his own imprint. There is always a fresh and exciting feel to his work and with a constant flow of single and EP releases it seems there really is no stopping the German selector. 2015 see the release of a wonderfully curious album called ‘Neu’. Basti has always seemed to adopt a ‘dare to be different’ attitude and he certainly portrays this throughout this timeless masterpiece. A more relaxed minimal approach seems to be taken, but of course solid abstract grooves throughout. The mysterious journey is topped off by the tracks simply being named ‘Neu 1, Neu 2, Neu 3…’ leaving it to the imagination of the listeners. Whether DJing, or performing one of his unbelievable live sets there is always a distinct feel and atmosphere only he can create with his masterful selections, and wide variety of tastes, showing he really understands the parties, and the dancefloors that are laid in front of him. This Saturday 5th March he will be taking the reins at the B.A.R.E (Be A Rare Exception) 3rd birthday party, Oval Space. A tribal themed bonanza, in a brilliant venue to mark the 3 year milestone of one of the most exciting and influential parties in the UK right now. You can be sure that the ‘Basti Grub Effect’ will be in full force in such fantastic surroundings and a unique crowd that only B.A.R.E seem to attract.
MEOKO Soundcloud Exclusive - Basti Grub
It has been a while, but your return to Meoko has been highly anticipated by our team. We still listen to the last mix you did for us on a regular basis, so we are really excited to have you back. Have you been keeping well?
Yes, and I am also very happy to speak with Meoko again.
First of all, how are things going with your imprint ‘Hoehenregler Records’, any plans for the near future you can give us a heads up on?
Some new fresh releases and projects are planned. You can be curious..
We loved your album ‘Neu’ which came out last October, it really proves how versatile, and magical your music can be. Where did the ideas and inspiration for this come from? Any particular influences?
I am very pleased to hear that you like my album, thanks.
I can’t exactly say what influences in particular - it came out of blue sky. Like a new sprung source. All my inner feelings and ideas spray out of my head and are immediately implemented by me. My musical inspirations are marked by people like DJ Koze and Ricardo Villalobos.
How are things going with your imprint ‘Hoehenregler Records’, any plans for the future, any particular artists you will be working with?
Let yourself be surprised. Some artists are planned which you already know on Hoehenregler.
We have been keeping a close eye on you since your last interview with us, seeing you work with the likes of This&That, Moan Recordings and most recently, the Italian label Hashplant records releasing your EP ‘Bananissimo’. Any specific highlights for you since we heard from you?
I’m so happy at the moment, I have a #1 hit with OH BABY DANCE / Basti Grub, Natch & Dothnthat’s all over the Beatport charts. Thats my personal highlight at the moment, it’s unbelievable. This year I will release a lot of new tracks coming soon ☺
Last time we spoke, you explained about your live set up, has this evolved much over the last few years? Do you prefer to DJ, or play a live set to a crowd?
I still play live – live is me, I feel free and wild when I play live. I can take my whole energy, all my tracks both released and unreleased, and I can present my own story.
Back in 2012 you did the 20th Meoko mix, and we have been so eager to have you back with a fresh podcast for us. What kind of material can we expect from you in this one?
As always, you will find again the Basti Grub sound - new and fresh with unreleased tracks.
We love the way you piece together such an abstract array of sounds and vocals, is there anything in particular that triggers you off to come up with these?
It has to do with many components, ideas of different productions and mainly influences and my personal reflections in recognition.
On the 5th of March you are playing at one of the hottest venues in London at the moment, Oval Space, at the B.A.R.E (Be A Rare Exception) 3rd birthday party. They really try and create a sense of unity at their parties with their crazy décor & themes, as a DJ do you appreciate the sense of freedom when playing at a party like this?
Am very pleased - I am playing for the first time in this grandiose location in London, and for this incredible event. I am very excited about the whole atmosphere and the amazing party people. My sound will be as crazy as the feeling that the event suggests. It will be a crazy night and I am looking forward to all of the crowd.
Finally, can you enlighten us on any Basti Grub plans for the summer/year?
Yes of course, we are planning a USA tour also an Asia tour, and many new BASTI GRUB releases ☺
By Zac bidwell
Basti Grub will play alongside Luna City Express, Jnr Windross, Daniel and Leroy Roberts for B.A.R.E ’s 3rd birthday at Oval Space on March 5th. Tickets and info
MEOKO has picked in our opinion the best house music tracks ever made from the 80's and 90's....Did your favourite track make the list?
1) Fingers inc ' can you feel it'
2) The Nightwriters ' let the music use you'
3) Adonis 'no way back'
4) Move your body - Marshall Jefferson
5) Jack your body - Steve silk Hurley
6) A Guy Called Gerald, Voodoo Ray - 1988
1)Club lonely - 'lil Louis
2) Jay Dee - plastic dreams
3) Robert Owens - 'I'll be your friend'
4) The Suburban Knight - The Art Of Stalking / The Worlds
5)Ron Trent - Altered States
By: B. Shivz
Did someone say a festival on Gili Air? An island just off the coast of indonesia situation between Bali and Lombok has got to be one of the most beautiful pieces of paradise on this earth and is about to host an intimate 1000 capacity festival from the 25-27 March.
Gili meaning island in the language of this place and air meaning not air but water. Let yourself take a bunny hop from the everyday chaos and mark the Resurrection of this Easter on an out of a dream deserted island with lush jungles on one side and the open sea and white sands on the other. Step into the surreal background and absorb the vibes connecting the tropical episodes ranging from snorkelling, massages and yoga or diving, rustic bars and now a festival showing a top classy line up. What's next?
Gather around artists, crews, friends and lovers from around the globe for an unforgettable moment out-of-time on Gili Air Island and bathe yourself in the warm waters of Bali and treat your ears and soul the tech-house sounds both locals and international. Line up with deep roots in underground music includes:
++ many more
Along with and many others. Sammy Dee creates flows and textures the emotions in a minimalistic manner. Expect to give up on counting your footsteps on the sand and let yourself loose with melodic swings and strings. Dewalta also needs little introduction DeWalta, real name David Koch, also one of the label heads of the experimentally layered Meander imprint, started his musical career very early, and managed to break through at the age of 18, wowing us with his clever use of funk, jazz and hip hop elements in an electronic context -- being a traditionally trained musician made it very easy for him to find his feet within the reduced context of the Berlin experimental house and techno scene, and he promptly got snapped up by Vakant Records. His sonic quest would also become the backbone of his label which he started with two affiliates in 2007.
Like something out of a dream about deserted islands, lush jungles, open sea and white sands, comes Air Festival-- a gathering like no other, set on a tiny island off the coast of Indonesia. As many of you may have recently noticed, Bali has become a force to be reckoned with on the underground dance music map. With new clubs like Koh and Jenja, as well as updated curation from old standbys like Ku De Ta and Potatohead, the island is busy with respectable bookings nearly every night of the week.
"From the beginning, organizing the Air Festival has been a process of walking around the island and meeting the people of Gili Air.
Through getting to know one person on the island after another, and slowly forming understandings and relationships, the possibility of doing the festival became real.
I remember one moment in particular where Hari the owner of Smile Bar - our Friday night venue this year - said to me “if the island people are happy all will be good”. And that has been the idea and feeling we have taken into all our relationships and communications to create Air Festival.
Our intention for the festival from the start has been that the people of Gili Air would prosper and that the island would attract more interested and respectful people from around the world. In the end it is an active experiment in cooperation and co-creation on an island that you can walk around in an hour. A microcosm to be at play within.”
Walker Barnard (co founder)
You don't want to miss this one, it aint goint to be no teddy bear's picnic ...
Official Website: http://www.airfestival.net/
Music Through Pictures is where we attempt to highlight the relationship between art, sound, images and music whilst also getting an insight into the musical minds of some of our favourite DJs and producers...
Those of you who are familiar with the sounds of Vlad Caia, will know why we were incredibly excited at MEOKO HQ when we had his name up next on the list of artists for Music Through Pictures. With an output of incredible beats, ranging from punchy minimal hooks to warped and experimental soundscapes, Vlad is truly a passionate musican and we couldn't wait to see what the artist would give us. For those of you who don’t know, take a moment to view what is, as expected, one of the most interesting responses to the series yet. This week, we delve a little deeper into the vast and varied rabbit hole of musical knowledge and inspiration that makes Vlad Caia tick…
'The chromatic and the landscape resemble scenes from this iconic sci-fi movie. The soundtrack is amazing and includes early electronic compositions.'
Track:Gil Mellé - The Andromeda Strain
'A good friend of mine introduced me to this track and I got instantly locked on the groove and that little electric piano that plays in the background.'
Track: Tucka Da Huntaman - Watch Your Back (Instrumental Version)
' It reminds me of Les, one of my favourite composers of the 20th century. He has a lot of Tiki theme influences in his music.'
Track: Les Baxter – Sophisticated Savage
'King Decebalus, the last king of Dacia. I’ve chosen the “Aum” track for this picture composed by Corneliu Cezar, a Romanian composer and a very important post-modernism musical figure. His music together with this mountain carving transcends the object of space and time.'
Track: Corneliu Cezar – Aum
'Light and water'
Track: Osvaldo Golijov - Call
'You never know when you will end up or even stop. Bonus: the structure looks unsafe and you might fall any time now.'
Track: Arnold Dreyblatt - Point Rotation
'This picture instantly sent me to NIN, especially this beautiful track written by Trent and Atticus Ross. It personally conveys a sense of solitude, disconnection and reflection.'
Track: Nine Inch Nails - Ghosts I – 2
'That guy is on fire he needs something to stomp his feet at. One of my favourite tracks from the “Casino” soundtrack.'
Track: Ramsey Lewis Trio – The In Crowd
'Obligatory BoC track. It does have a bit of going back to childhood moments doesn’t it?'
Track: Boards of Canada - Satellite Anthem Icarus
'Acid colour trip into the sun.'
Track: Alan Hawkshaw - Mile High Swinger
By Eileen Pegg
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An exciting Internship Opportunity has opened up as the Spring creeps in, MEOKO is looking to fill two internship roles. We are looking for two hard-working, passionate individuals who have a strong knowledge of electronic music, who are organised and reliable and who also enjoy social media but most of all who are up for a challenge. During this internship you will able to network with promoters, artists, agencies, lables, press agencies, festivals, designers and many more creative types. You will get a very close look inside the industry across many different sectors. You will be able to build your portfolio by being actively involved with all MEOKO Projects. You should share an interest in events and promotion as well as holding either a PR/Journalism, Design and Creative OR sales and music background. All would be a bonus. Details below
Almost all past interns still work with MEOKO in some capacity, its a fun internship but very challenging. Come join the MEOKO family and check out what the industry holds for your future.
Must have own laptop
Be familiar with / Web / Photoshop / HTML / In Design
OR have a .....
Background in PR/Journalism or Design
Strong passion for electronic music
Be able to work at least four days a week 10am - 6pm remotely
This is great experience for someone wanting to break into the music or events industry. The role will be varied and will include some writing, website, social media, sales and admin work, as well as other random tasks.
The roles are available immediately - Interviews to take place immediately.
with 'MEOKOInternship 2016' as the subject heading. Please also include your three favourite artists and three favourite labels in your covering letter.
When a gang who have been in the game since 1995 creates a festival, you know you’re in trusted, heftily fist pumped hands. Promoters ‘The Unabombers’ formed electric Elephant in 2008, after over 10 years experience in fine tuning their musical offerings and clubbing ethos at their Manchester based party ‘Electric Chair’.
Electric Elephant sees the magic that was formed from the northern basement parties be unleashed across the Adritic coastline in the town of Tsino, Croatia.
The festival first opened its doors in 2008, and has for the past four years enjoyed a friendship and collaboration with The Garden festival. ‘Double Whammy’ tickets were offered for combined entry to both events, situated on the same idyllic site in Tsino. However, as 2015 saw The Garden Festival shut its gates with one final fiesta, the baton is now handed over solely to Electric Elephant to ensure that one of Croatia’s original festivals continues to preserve the islands magic for summers to come.
Events company ‘Broadwick Live’, responsible for other great gatherings such as Snowbombing and Festival No.6 also took over proceedings of Electric Elephant in 2015. When combining their hefty catalogue of experience with continued involvement from the Manchester Party crew, the imaginative party spirit is ensured to continue to live on.
The headlining artists announced so far this year reflect the long-running authenticity of the festival, with many of the names on the bill being acts that are truly masters of their art. This one is for the old school heads.
Andrew Weatherall, Justin Robertson and Greg Wilson need no introduction, each sure to bring a varied and mature set with encyclopaedias of shared musical knowledge between them. Long-term Back to Basics residents James Holroyd (Chemical Brothers tour DJ), Tristan da Cunha (Dungeon Meat) and Ralph Lawson (20:20 Vision) ensure that the raw, straight up party starting sets are well and truly covered.
After what has been truly an amazing year for the DJ, Jane Fitz is a no brainer to be added to the stellar bill. Panorama bar residents Margaret Dygas, Nick Hoppner and Steffi are sure to bring their unique brand of techno while fellow Back to Basics resident Laura Jones will also be playing, securing her reputation as one of the hottest acts as we enter 2016.
This is only a small selection of the superb line up, with more tiers of announcements yet to come.
Artists from other party crews across the country also include: Butter Side Up, Gottwood, Jaunt, Secretsundaze and many more...
Famed for its laid-back Balearic vibes, mixing fun and diverse music sets together with an underlying sense of mischief and plenty of activities, this festival allows for a no pressure appreciation of quality beats.
You could have the chance to win 2 full weekend festival tickets for Electric Elephant and 2 boat party tickets of your choice. We know it will be hard to choose which sea bound knees up to go on, but if you want to be in with a chance of winning, let us know what mischievous activity you have planned for Electric Elephant this year.
with the subject line: Leccy Nelly.
Words by Eileen Pegg
Sunday is a day most spend in the dim light of dread, awaiting the Monday morning melee of rat race requirements. However for many years the Sunday rave has been coveted among those wishing to escape the monotony of this unwanted feeling, and occasionally distort reality in a sense of systematic rebellion. East London still remains at the heart, although Brick Lane was once coated in the buzzing swarm of Sunday sessioners, shifting along to the iconic 93 Feet East, in search of the glowing red allure of FUSE or the further-a-field on the hunt for the weathered warehouse wonders that HALF BAKED had in store. Since the shift in the local political appetite, with the council adopting bourgeois-esque tactics in their effort to socially cleanse the area, the fight for the our right to party found a new dynamic.Those with a polyphonic wanderlust, meandered upstream to taste the subterranean counter-culture of Dalston’s Kingsland Road. If you follow the terraced-style shopfronts, until you reach the number 95, a silhouetted door frame sits set back guided by the red illumination of “VOODOO RAY’S” pizza place. Here you will find; the DANCE TUNNEL. Buried among E8’s underground network, the purple bunker keeps the Sunday zeitgeist thriving. Over coming months Sunday’s at the Dance Tunnel welcome a wave of parties, enlisted for their elicit subcultures, supporting the Sunday rave rebellion.
CARTULI'S DAY | SUNDAY VA 7th February the well-loved Cartulis Day introduces a new concept with their VA series. Retaining their passion for variety, their anonymous line ups will undoubtedly exhibit zestful performances through each extended sets. The added excitement of anonymity is a wonder to those who venture to the Tunnel for a Cartulis Sunday.FACEBOOK EVENT (Click)
Valentine’s night is reserved for the Damaged cortège. The long standing duo Matteo Manzini and Georgio Oniani return to the venue on February 14th for their annual takeover. Les Points join them for edition #47, following a history of great guests such as S.A.M, including a UK first with the debut Sylphe. A homecoming of sorts, Matteo stated "We are happy to be back to Dance Tunnel with our party whenever possible, it normally happens once a year, and it's a pleasure to see how everything works perfectly, starting from an amazing sound system.”
FACEBOOK EVENT (Click here)PREMISE6th March introduces an new name in the form of Premise. With their own 3 part mini series their format is beautifully simplistic. Dutch Dj and Karton Label founder; Pelle will take up the mantle as resident, providing a healthy 4 hours of music accompanied in succession by each guest. First to join Pelle in the mini marathons will be Romania’s Gescu (Sunrise). Part two see’s ToiToi Muzik's resident Lamache close the Tunnel. The third part of the Premise trilogy invites Giammarco Orsini of Zu::bar and O300f Recordings. Three equally arousing editions to pick from.FACEBOOK EVENT (Click)
Sunday; a day that for some is filled with the woes of the week ahead. Its a simple matter of perspective. Spend it well; its your call.
Sunwaves 19 lurks in the near distance, goading us with all its delights. Beneath the colourful canopies in south east Romania, the Mamaian beach festival conjures a dancing displays pilgrims congregated for an extended weekend of musical mastery. On the 28th of May 2016 the curators will once again engage in 5 extended days of momentous performances, with a line up set to leave you salivating at the selection of DJs set with a single unified purpose… to keep you dancing.The Romanian hotbed of underground music has galvanised throughout the years, and with Sunwaves providing inspiration many of the country's young hopefuls, dreams of platforming on the beach front resides deep in the heart Romania’s most talented.
"…it is very special to me, I haven't missed a single one yet (of course not). I was just going to have fun , of course it was my dream to play there; I didn't even know I was gonna play music or do this “thing" at the first SW in 2007. I only started to play music in 2010 (became a dj as such). I just loved music as much as I do now back then!” …CAPCap At Sunwaves 18
Now in its 9th year, Sunwaves repeatedly ushers in the Spring Seaon in spectacular style. With an already impressive footprint in the Mamaia Nord beach front, this year the team behind the scenes have plans for extension.
"What keeps me going after all this years... Oh well I think its much more than music and this lifestyle I chose. What drives me forward is legacy , knowing I am part of something great in this moment of my life and that I can change how things happen for a better future. Every moment has it’s unique feeling and fulfillment. I've had a sheer amount of good moments at Sunwaves: SW 11 with Zip playing the afters on a beautiful Sunday afternoon; a true musical moment shared with a group of crazy guys from Frankfurt” …PITT Zip At Sunwaves 15(ZIP / Perlon @ Sunwaves 15 ( Romania) by.Obi1311 HQ.)
Although the line-up yet to be announced, you, we and I can all happily wait in anticipation. Leading on from an already established euphonic legacy, the way is well and truly paved for Sunwaves 19 to take the torch in 2016.
By Anwaar Bent
Over 3kg of wax to feast your ears on...
Sonodab - Neuronal (KINA MUSIC) [KNMVLTD 002]
Really exciting to see a new release from Sonodab, who has been one of my favourite producers in the last eighteen months. The Spaniard has always had an exquisite touch to his programming, and now his sound design looks to be reaching similar heights. This four tracker is the biz with soul soaked ‘Fónico,’ doing silly things to my hips. Outrageous groove.
Eric - Zabava (Bodyparts) [BPV015]
Bodyparts must be applauded for keeping the quality of their output so high whilst always trusting in fresher, emerging talent. Ukrainian based Eric will come out of the shadows for this fifteenth vinyl instalment with two wicked numbers, especially ‘Zabava’s' swanky low end and hot, jungle-y vibraciones. It's SIT’s two remixes that'll bring most of the eyes to this record though, which are both more straight down the line than their usual work, the club mix being a real catch. Rolly loveliness with modular glibs in the gaps.
David Nicolas - Maloma (KUSI) [KUSI001]
Gorgeous first release from KUSI Records here, with Mannhiem’s David Nicolas providing a splendid original and bad ass Barac on remix duty. I have a feeling this will start going for an arm and a leg in the months to come, but its not so surprising. There's a real complexity in the simplicity of the original, with its slicey hats piercing through that stunning, haunting melody. Then there’s Barac interpretation, which to most will be the pull here, with a 7am hands up, techno twist that'll do some proper dirty on the floor.
Fabe - Ando EP (SUKHUMVIT) [SOI002]
Fabe will always conquer big ass basslines, fat hats and spot on sample selection and there's no exception here for Sukhumvit’s highly anticipated second release. The mixdowns for these tracks have a real snap and pop that will undoubtedly give any system the sweats. Scratch around these Mannheimers (Sedee, Nicolas above too) and you’ll be pleased to find a bunch of material just released, and more upcoming too, including a little number on this label ;)
Petre Inspirescu - Vin Pluoile (Mule Musiq Japan) [MULEMUSIQ 192]
Unfortunately the vinyl copy of Pedro’s album has sold out, but there was no way I couldn’t mention this special record. Whether functioning as a delicious soundtrack whilst doing the washing up, or sitting down and actively admiring its profound musicality, this album works on every level. With such a host of instrumentation on display, the real joy is in the onset of vivid scenarios that scramble out of your imagination, twisting even further with Petre's modular system added to the equation. From Delir 4’s incredible and playful trip down an Eastern river, to Lumiere’s almost unbearable, monstery tension, there is cosmic energy in this music. Brave Pedro, bravo.
Pelle / Roon - Fonto EP (KARTON) [KRTNV 006]
Lovely to see Pelle and Roon pushing Karton into new waters with this sweet, three track EP. There is an audible step up in quality in both of these boys productions, with this release showing a deep exploration of their machines whilst still being basted in that thick, Karton sauce. ‘Hiklero’ is a delightful number; gentle, angelic and juicy, whilst ‘Asato,’ although a tad west upon first listen, is lovely, loopy and absolutely eye melty.
Enzo Siragusa - Sanctuary EP (FUSE) [FUSE021]
Last time, FUSE020 really highlighted Enzo’s growth as a producer, whose tracks are far sparklier than the muddier mix-downs of his early Fuse contributions. With a fantastic network of producers in the crew and wicked investments in the studio, it is no surprise that his once slower, ‘fusic’ style deepness has matured into tougher, rattlier minimal house. This EP will see some of the lesser known tracks that have been doing the rounds a release, with Solo the real standout here, a wicked, vocal mashed pudding that proper gets the belly rumbling.
S.A.M - Terminal (International Sun/Earth Explorer) [ISEE 001]
I am a huge fan of S.A.M and his buddies Lazare Hoche and Malin Genie, whether as standalone producers or collectively as the formidable Mandar. This EP is again, sublime, with three fantastic tracks that will serve as peak time, hands in the air loveliness or after hour deepness with mates, with the b-side ‘Terminal’ in particular a sick combination of the two. There were some pretty special prices already being fetched for this record on Discogs last week, so I would kindly urge the label to keep this material accessible and get that repress on the lathe! (Feed the artists, not the sharks!)
JQUE PBRS TGXU - Pseudomorph EP (Vigenére) [VGNR 01]
Sticking with the Mandar gang, and a more techno-y record here that most will be pleased to know is an alias of the main man Malin Genie. I did in fact struggle to choose between this and an another record waiting to be released on the same label (check it out, its dope) but I had to go with this one, purely because of one of the tracks on here, B2, is an animal. Dusty mad shit. No prisoners
Slow Life - Chromophore (SLOW LIFE) [SL006]
What's most majestic about this VA is the processing slapped across the whole EP, and it’d be easy to mistake any of these tracks as re-issues from the 90s. Spacey ninths, walky basslines and skippy hats dominate proceedings with freshness especially from Seafoam and Mike Welch. It is S.Moreira once again though with the real treasure, 'Clean or High' is just a deep house killer with delightful swing and tremendous space in the mix.
VA - Beste Fruende 2 [BFF02]
Over the moon to see Manooz’s name on a release for Beste, who have been upping their reputation with every record they push. While keeping faith to the labels thick, rumbly policy, Manooz has managed to incorporate a lush, floaty twist into his track that just does it for me. Game over. Check out these guys back catalog for some heavy house shiz, especially from label owner and ace selector, Cinthie.
Rich Nxt - NXT001 (NXT RECORDS)
Rich Nxt’s influence has always been at the beating heart of the Fuse sound, with emphasis on bottom heavy tracks smothered in wicked, unorthodox noises that really shine on a rig. This new label will hopefully mean we get to see some of this guy’s amazing pile of unreleased music, starting with this triple pack of goodiness, with ‘Hair’ being top dog for me!
Ion Ludwig - May Mission EP (Kontrast Music) [KNTRST 001]
Last but certainly not least... I really wanted to keep this one to myself. Amazing Ion, again. Enjoy.