MEOKO proudly presents The Art of Sound. Each month, the 10 best album or EP covers in terms of artwork will be selected and presented as such. The purpose of this series it to show respect and appreciation to not only the music that the album or EP contains, but also to the concept and art that is being reflected and corresponds to the theme of the music.
Happiness is Happening
Changing Habits, Breaking Rhythms
Flocking Behaviour - Smallville LP 09
True Step Locomotion
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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 ‘Adorned’, the mother daughter duo creating fashion and accessories with a conscience.
From the humble beginnings at a northern market stall, interest grew in the brand, now known especially for its intricate trinket like jewelry. Bohemian style designs from ethically sourced and recycled beads and metals coupled with upcycled and customized clothing provided the perfect fix for the fashion footprint concerned consumer.
The Adorned duo search far and wide for one off pieces to finish off with one of a kind embroidered or stamp printed designs, their elephant printed shorts proving to be a hit this summer, but as the winter months start to settle in, it’s the Hamsa hand denim jackets we have our eyes on!
As well as regularly attending craft fairs and markets around the UK, their goods can also be found on Asos marketplace for the ease of internet shopping; a lot has happened in the less than two years Adorned has been in business and we can’t wait to see where they will end up next.
What is the story behind ‘Adorned’, why did you start up your own brand? Adorned sort of happened unintentionally! When I was 18 and in my first year of university I got a bit frustrated with studying all the time, so had an evening to myself to do some sewing, where I created this beautiful embroidered stag-head denim shirt. It got a lot of compliments, and my mum (aka my business partner) suggested making a few pieces for this market we had coming up, where we were just clearing some old jumble and jewellery. She’s been buying, making and selling jewellery for over a decade and I used to even bunk off school to help her! So making the products comes very naturally, the challenging part has been to turn it into a proper business. Both of us too are eco-warriors – we hate how unsustainable the high street is becoming and wanted to do something to counter it. We want to give people an alternative to the high street that is different to vintage and more luxurious than charity shopping – though we love both! Adorned grows in following every week and now we are on ASOS Marketplace, we’re starting to get some exposure that we never imagined we’d have!
How has been the reception to such an ethical brand, do people like the idea of upcycled clothing and accessories?
Our customers love it! The products we produce reflect our own style that we’ve had for years but is also very in at the moment – paisley prints, elephants, hand-sewn shisha mirrors, chokers and lots of dainty chains. I think more often than not people are amazed that all our customised clothing is recycled. I do all the customization so when people see this rail packed with pieces they’re shocked that I have time to do it all. People like that they can buy a unique, ethical piece from us. We rarely make two pairs of earrings the same – why should we when we have the creative capacity to make ten different? The best part is that between us we adorn women (and occasionally men) of all ages: Margarita’s pieces often appeal to an older lady with a hippy spirit whilst my pieces are loved by a teens and young adults – though it’s not mutually exclusive. I once sold a headchain to a woman in her 50s!
What are you adorning yourself with today?
The weather is turning now which gives me the perfect opportunity to wear a vintage purple dress I picked up from a charity shop for £4 – I’ve shortened it but it fits like a dream! I’ve teamed it with a pair of vintage black boots I got the other day and my trusty thrifted black suede biker. I’ll also add on a tonne of our Alpaca silver rings and a pair of our ethnic treasure earrings, which go with just about anything. I’ll actually be posting the outfit on Lookbook later if I can get a good picture!
We see that you’ve just come back from festival fun in Croatia and it seems that the summer season will soon be over! Can we catch Adorned at any cosy Christmas markets this year?
It was amazing! We’ve also just worked Hardwick Live, a two-day music festival. Next year we aim to be working loads of festivals, but for now you can catch us at the Good Food Market at the University of York on the second Friday of every month, as well as their fresher’s event Live & Loud on the 4th October. We are looking into vintage fairs and Christmas markets so keep your eye on our Facebook page and Twitter for specific dates – our stall looks like an eastern bazaar so you won’t want to miss it! Our ASOS Marketplace and Depop are however open all hours though for those who can’t catch us in person.
Adorned are kindly giving away a customised Hamsa hand denim jacket to one lucky reader, along with a elephant pendant and stone set ring to finish off the look, alltogether this lovely bunch is worth over £100, thank you Adorned!
To be in chance with winning, email
with the subject 'I wanna be Adorned' and tell us what you like to adorn yourself in at the weekend.
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It’s that time of year again. The high caliber and slick festival Simple Things returns to the dance hub of the West, Bristol.
A festival that truly sets the bar for top end Bristol events and leaves a strong impression on locals and those visiting the city every year round. A solid compilation of artists, djs, and intriguing and intimate venues spread across the centre of town with a dance focused crowd and good atmosphere.
Last year the organisers kept things under wraps until just before the event and the same can be expected again this time round. Embargoed information leaves us desparate to know the layout. For now we are left in mystery but this event should not be missed.
It is however without a doubt that the wonderful emporium that is Colston Hall will be used during the day for some gripping live performances. Last year saw Nicholas Jarr in a wonderfully built instrumental set with the usual enigmatic crescendo. A location that can expect a magnificently grand audible experience all day long.
The infamous abandoned space, The Island Complex, perfect for an industrial party, consisting of the old courtrooms, the prison cells, fire station and more hidden areas, will unfortunately not be playing a part this time round but you can expect more wacky dance areas from the coordinators – with the council on their side, more likely than not, locations Bristol has never or heard of seen before will be in full swing full to the rafters with dancers of all interests and ages.
The festival is organized with meticulous detail and aids the enjoyment of all attending by breaching across various spectrums of electronic music. Be it, techno, house, dubstep, dub, hip hop, bass music, or other eclectic sound varities from Bristols home, in the ever disappearing knowledge of what “genre” even means in 2014, Simple Things have considered it.
Stage hosts for this years event are yet to be announced but for the locals it’s obvious certain party collectives will find their involvement and put on an impressive show as always. For one of the more dance orientated areas we have been promised “a twisted garden of Eden, where the outsides in and the insides out. Up is left and down is right. A techno paradise straight out of a mirror balls dream.” Sounds enchanting.
Artists include , DJ Harvey, Nightmares On Wax, How To Dress Well, DJ Sprinkles, DJ Nature, Owain K, Damiano von Erckert, Max Graef, Seven Davis Jr. and DJ October just to name a few. Serious music, serious venues, and a friendly bunch of not so serious people. Perfect for a boogie. If you have not ventured this far west, this event is a top recommnedation.
This year we have teamed up with Simple Things Festival to offer you the CHANCE TO WIN 2X FESTIVAL TICKETS. All you have to do is email
with the subject line “SIMPLETHINGSFESTIVAL” and the winner will be selected at random at a closer date prior to the event. See you there Bristol!
BUY TICKETS HERE AND CHECK OUT THE FACEBOOK
By Ell Weston
Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg: The Gates of the Festival
17 September – 1 November 2014
At MEOKO we are firm believers in the process of merging the creative fields to create something beautiful. Music, art, fashion, lifestyle and culture is what we love, and in the ‘The Gates of the Festival exhibition’ by Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg we have found another beautiful collaboration of art and sound that must be shared!
Those more familiar with the world of music may recognize the name ‘Hans Berg’ from event posters and record sleeves, as an established live electronic music producer and performer he has released tracks on Fullbarr, Klasse Recordings and Trunkfunk Records, as well as performing sets at established venues such as Chalet in Berlin.
Take a look at the visuals surrounding his live sets however and we get our first introduction to the artistic collaboration between Hans Berg and Nathalie Djurberg. Where Nathalie provides visual accompaniment to Hans’s changing melodic tracks, he too creates sonic soundscapes for Nathalies animation work – together using each other’s skills to create atmosphere for each other’s artistic outlets.
This marriage of skills has resulted in a series of successful exhibitions together worldwide in places such as New York, Berlin and here in London.
From 17th September, the Lisson Gallery will be housing the latest exhibition from the duo entitled ‘The Gates of the Festival’.
‘A new series of works and a new direction marks this inaugural exhibition of Nathalie Djurberg and Hans Berg at Lisson Gallery. Sculptural interventions, projections, neon, film and music are interwoven throughout the spaces in an immersive installation, eschewing video screens or static objects for animated surfaces and pulsating environments. Merging audio-visual and multimedia elements, Djurberg & Berg’s debut show with the gallery melds together as one continuous or total work of art, albeit constructed of discrete events and individual experiences.’
Take the time to try something a little different, and enjoy an audio visual experience outside of the club environment.
For more information, visit the Lission Gallery website here.
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Ever wondered who was behind Smallville records' quirky cover art? Stefan Marx, an artist/drawer and part of the Smallville family, successfully represents Smallville as it is: A unique, friendly, open minded and creative "institution". Smallville stands out due to many reasons, one important reason being Stefan's art work. He has designed record sleeves for artists on the Smallville roster such as Christopher Rau's Asper Clouds and Moomin's The Story About You, and he is the designer behind Smallville's idiosyncratic logo:
Stefan Marx, like most of his Smallville people, is based in Hamburg. Aside from designing awesome record cover art work and covering Smallville's windows with extraordinary creatures, he also runs his own T-shirt label, "The Lousy Livincompany", designs skateboards for Cleptomanicx, and publishes his own zines and books with Nieves Books. His latest exhibition took place in his home town, Hamburg, where he showcased his "This Sounds a Bit Like Goodbye" (2012) art work at the "IM FRÜHLING, DARLING" exhibition, which invited international artists to create postcards, with the theme of longing. Stefan's poignant quotes never fail to create an emotional response. It is no surprise therefore, that many of his quotes he uses in his art work come from musical lyrics. Curious to find out which tracks inspired him to represent the lyrics in a bold white statement behind a black background, and the back stories behind the rest of his works, we asked Stefan about some of our favourite works by him:
1) The quotes you use for your art are a defining characteristic of your style. You have said before that your quotes are taken from lyrics from songs or sayings that you’ve heard voiced from friends and random passersby. Can you tell me who originally said these quotes?
This is a quote from Herman Dune, from his song AT YOUR LUAU NIGHT:
that's three blocks away but too far alreadywith the rain that crashes and the people walkingbut i'd rather sit here a little longerand i don't think you care and i don't think you're really waitingand even if you do this is just kind of what i owe you for what happened beforeand tell me all about it:"were you drunk or not when you said you missed me?"i want a haircut that kills, i want it in front of my eyesi wanna wear tight jeans and raglan sweaters and dance at your luau nightand drive away with your best friend and make you crysipping on gin and tonic and talking about my bandtelling everybody how fun it is to be touring across the new worldwhen you alone would listen and know how it hurts sometimesand i would tell you all about it and you would kiss my forehead and smilei don't know where i'm going, babyi don't know where i'm going, babyi don't know where i'm going, babyi don't know where i'm going, goingi don't know where i'm going, going
This is one of my favorite Songs from Yo La Tengo, its name is TAKE CARE. It is originally a song by Big Star, and Yo La Tengo covered it... Georgia Hubley sings it in such an amazing way.
2) Are your drawings based on people you’ve seen as well? Why do you turn them into cartoon characters?
Yes, these drawings are based on people I see. And I just draw them, I don’t turn them into Cartoons. I publish these drawings mostly in Zines and Books, after a good time of traveling. Mostly with my publisher NIEVES.
3) What is so special about sunsets?
I think mostly the light.
4) What do you feel about Mondays?
I kind of like mondays, people are awake again, things are getting back to the process. My favorite place opens again on monday. The Goodbye Mondays is a zine I made for my exhibition Goodbye Mondays in New York in 2012, at PRIMETIME. I left the city on wednesday and it was a one night only drawing exhibition after I spent some good weeks in the city. It was a fun goodbye party too.
5) If you could get rid of something, what would it be?
All the difficult situations in the future.
6) Who is this? And what brought you to Marriott, Financial Center Hotel in New York?
I once had a meeting there and took the notepad.
7) What are some of your rarest pleasures?
Long distance flights
8) What is the saddest song you’ve ever heard?
Take Care by Yo La Tengo:
9) What do you like to do during the weekend? Are you a weekender?
I like weekends but hate Sundays. I think I’m not such a good weekender. I can have fun, but l like doing things people do on weekends during my week.
10) What does Smallville mean to you?
Smallville means freedom, friendship, places, music and record covers.
11) What is something nice to say to Mule on their 10th birthday?
Happy Birthday Toshiya! Toshiya is great, Mule is great, Japan is great, so looking forward to all the future Mule releases.
12) Can you describe the sounds of Jacques Bon’s Two Hearts EP on Smallville Records?
Its a special Jacques sound of two hearts, a warm Paris, and the future in his very personal way I think. I love this release and I’m very happy how the cover turned out.
13) The artwork on Julius Steinhoff’s new record, “Flocking Behaviour” is inspired by...
Julius. His fantastic personality, his music & family and our friendship.
Stefan Marx and Smallville owner, Julius Steinhoff, have kindly offered Smallville's latest releases: Jacques Bon’s Two Hearts EP and Julius Steinhoff's debut solo album, Flocking Behaviour, plus an original Smallville Tote Bag, all for one lucky Meoko reader!
To win, please email us your favourite quote represented by Stefan Marx to
with 'Stefan Marx' in the subject title. Winner will be announced in 3 weeks. Thanks to Stefan Marx and Smallville <3
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Fabric brings London underground DJ talent, internationally-renowned electronic music legends, and accomplished live acts every weekend. Its events and playlists are 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.
This weekend, as always, Fabric provide another night of sheer talent in the Farringdon basement club. The 3 room roof this Saturday will without a doubt be going off from 11pm-8am with faultless precision. Room 3 plays host to close friends of MEOKO hq Toi Toi Music with some solid techno and slick audible business from the likes of the elusive Jan Kruger, Voigtmann and Lamache.
Room 2 hold Jealous God Presents for an evening of stripped back and fragmented trippy techno. A seriously eclectic compilation of retro sounds pulled through 4/4 in an alternatively rugged affair. Full front industrial feelings can be expected from the likes of James Ruskin, Broken English Club, Silent Servant and Regis’ other alias Necklace of bites.
Room 1 comes in with what promises to be a selectively classy audio journey from start to finish. Resident and regular, Craig Richards, joins the likes of Rhadoo and live trio Premiesku. This Romanian selection will demonstrate a clean cut meticulousness in sound and should not go a miss. Their performances do not come around often and always offer diversity. After a live set with Premiesku the trio will divide in to a couple for a dj performance from Livio and Roby. Serious music all night long.
This week we have teamed up with Fabric to offer you the CHANCE TO WIN 2 TICKETS for the Saturday event!
To enter, simply email
with the subject line “FABRIC/20/09” Winner will be announced at random on Friday. Eyes peeled!
By Ell Weston
Having successfully organised parties in their home country, Switzerland, friends Yvo Zanev & Joe Lyes decided to bring their party organising and music skills to London, as they felt they needed a bigger platform to showcase their music. Yvo Zanev & Joe Lyes proved that they made it in the big capital, since they opened their own project, Purple Inc. in late 2012. Since then, Purple Inc. has grown from not only a party, but a label too. They have managed to adapt their flawless Swiss organising skills to East London’s dingy warehouses, as their Purple Inc. team provides a good sound system and showcases talented resident DJs and international guest DJs.
Purple Inc. has an impressive roster of resident DJs that play a distinct Purple Inc. sound: Owner Yvo Zanev, Dean Barred, Neil Catlin, Borkhan Zerke and Dubbtone & Tileff. Sharing the decks at their parties include local and international guest DJs such as Re-UP, Chris Lattner Fanpage, Jun Akimoto, David Gtronic, Scott Kemp, Jessica Diaz, Loquace, ILARIO LIBURNI, Jamahr, Leroy Roberts, Dj Medeew & Chicks Luv Us.
Purple Inc.’s deep and dark tech-house to minimal and dub techno sounds can be heard in their podcast series, which include sets from their residents and their guests, such as Shlomi Amber and Re-Up.
Come see and hear for yourself, Purple Inc’s signature sound at their opening party of the season, as East End Dubs, Ittetsu, Nami & Yvo Zanev share the decks at Hoxton Basement on the 3rd of October.
LINE UP: East End Dubs, Ittetsu, Nami & Yvo Zanev
East End Dubs
It is no surprise that East End Dubs will headline for Purple Inc.’s upcoming party, as his sound clearly matches Purple Inc’s bass driven, dub techno sounds. East End Dubs is a London-based producer and DJ, and as his name suggests, he makes the dancefloor pulsate to his dubby sounds. He recently played at Ceremony festival in Finsbury Park, and has played at various respectful local and international parties, such as Magna Carta at Sankeys Ibiza. It is no surprise these days, to see DJs also producing music and vice-versa, and also running their own label. East End Dubs does this and more. He runs his own self-titled label, is part of the roster of underground labels such as Dogmatik Records, Eastenderz, and most famously, Moon Harbour Recordings, which is run by Matthias Tanzmann. His tracks are supported by artists famous in the underground scene, such as Fuse owner Enzo Siragusa. When he’s not busy producing, playing gigs across Europe and managing his own label, East End Dubs also masters and engineers tracks for other artists and labels.
Next up on the line up is Fuse resident, Ittetsu. If any of you were there for last Sunday’s Fuse party, you would have noticed Ittetsu’s set as he opened the night for tINI’s banging four hour set. Ittetsu clearly has talent, as he travels around the world, from Japan to to all over Europe playing gigs at respectful parties and venues, such as Fuse at Sankeys, Spain and Village Underground, London. This will be his second showcase at Purple Inc.. Last year he played alongside Marc Antona at The Shelter for Purple Inc.
Yvo Zanev (Alboratory, Yoruba Grooves, Tip Tap Records and more) has put his stamp on European's underground music scene. He is originally from Hamburg, moved to Switzerland and held a successful residency at Qube Club from 2009 to 2011 before moving to London and setting up his party and label, Purple Inc. Listen to his amazing live set, which was recorded at last month’s Purple Inc. party:
VENUE: Hoxton Basement
Hoxton Basement is the perfect place to hold an underground party. Hoxton and Dalston are full of basement venues, but Hoxton Basement clearly stands out amongst the crowd, as they have hosted a number of great parties, such as Rhythmatic, Undersound and Percolate Returns. Their warehouse-style venue attracts East London clubbers looking to dance until the early morning hours to underground dance music.
03 October, 2014
23:00 - 06:00
East End Dubs
Nami & Yvo Zanev
Send your names to
or purchase a ticket here
French born producer, Lazare Hoche, has acheived many admirable milestones for such a young(ish) age (he is 24 years old). Thanks to his DIY initiative, his good eye for music and production skills, milestones include his very own record label, Lazare Hoche Recordings, and EPs and albums, rated highly by RA. His recent track released on Lazare Hoche Recordings, 'Naughty Mandar', which he produced with music partners Malin Génie and Samuel André Madsen under the moniker Mandar, was included in Raresh's recent Fabric mix series. Lazare's fresh take on traditional genres like disco and funky house make his productions stand out from the sea of tracks that try to do this, but easily fail. His tracks, no matter what genre, do not disappoint. Watch out for his upcoming EP, Formes, with Malin Génie, which will be released in October 2014.
His down to earth, intelligent character, plus his experience with A&R from his record label, makes him perfect for our Music Through Pictures series. He definitely knows about art, being a student at Paris’s Conservatoire National Des Arts Et Metiers and his DJ name was taken from historical soldier, Louis-Lazare Hoche who came to be general of the French Revolutionary Wars. We start our Music Through Pictures episode with a tempest during Hoche's Irish Expedition...
"This lithography, obviously from the 18th century, pops in my mind like a furious french defeat with a lot of colors and violence. Since we are talking about France, let me post this crazy 80's enthusiastic contemporary electronic Jazz by Jean-Luc Ponty. Almost porn music actually"
"I've been always looking for funky obscure music from Middle-East and beyond... Here we go for a sensual Iranian tune by Googoosh."
"Well, yeah. Soultrain and stuff. But when I think about Soul-Train, I actually think about BEASTIE BOYS !! Posse in Effect what up??"
"Mmm, minimalism ?"
"Nice meditating peacefull Gargouille at Notre-Dame de Paris. Oh wait, we can see the "Tour Saint-Jacques" behind. Paris is my city, I don't see myself live anywhere else. The summer is always the best part there, especially those early memories as a child, this track was banging my little bedroom stereo back then"
"There's a sour business in here"
"Wish I've been there, RIP George "
"Cigarette & Women, you remind me of some..."
"Looks like a "naturalist" 20th century oil paint, I can see joy in it"
"I'm seasick since I was born I guess, but the only way we can explore sea and synthesizer is with Eric Serra."
"Fantasist Egyptian pause".
Listen to Lazare's funky music at ADE's Closing Party with Slapfunk Records and NATIVES, presented by MEOKO: https://www.facebook.com/events/685725234827815/
✖ LINE UP
Mystery guestThe Mole (CAN)Mr Ties (IT)Dungeon Meat (UK)Djebali (FR)Lazare Hoche (FR)Beesmunt SoundsystemSamuel DeepFerroMalin GenieAnil ArasTetteroLarry de KatGuy GravierLumiereMailmanPacoSam Azami
1st release: €14,5 (Sold-Out)
2nd release €16,- (limited)
3rd release €18,-
✖ RESIDENT ADVISOR
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Timo Maas, one of the infamous and primary architects of the dance scene, has joined us to talk about all things not so serious. Over 10 years as resident of DC10 Ibiza, with multiple releases in various spectrums of music on labels such as Last Night On Earth, Cocoon and My Favourite Robot Records, to name a few, he has influenced the careers and paths of many. He currently runs his Rockets and Ponies label with Santos in which no real outser space gravity experiments have taken place or animals sent into the cosmos but some intriguing relases and projects have been made. How far he has come since his first DJ passport stamp when visiting Bristol way back in 1985. A man with plenty experience who has seen the club environment inside out gives us an insight on his opinions in all things irrelevant.
Hi Timo, thanks for getting Not So Serious with us!
I looove being Not So Serious
I-D Magazine Podcast
What is your weirdest friendship?
My manager Niko, he`s seriously from another planet! Its a good and creative friendship too! i think, he has 6 arms or so...but he hides them always.
What is the funniest thing you have seen on a dancefloor?
A couple in rabbit costumes shagging with each other
What comes to your mind if I say “Hotel rooms”?
Can I have a late checkout please?
What is your most embarrassing moment?
Trying to be very cool and running into a closed door at the same time.
The strangest request you have had from someone while playing?
Sorry...seriously too many...like "Can u play R.E.M.?", "Can I give u a b***j**"?
If you had to be sent to space forever and could only take one person with you,
who would it be?
My friend Bob.
A night that went out of control?
@ DC10, on mushroom tea, stagediving, forgot the rest...
Timo Maas - Tantra (Official Video) /// Rockets & Ponies
The most precious thing you have ever lost?
Blond, brunette or Ginger?
All pls...chop chop!
If you could choose a super power, what would it be?
Making dogs talk.
Crossing Wires Mix CD for My Favorite Robot
The best line to pick up a girl?
Sorry, I`m not a DJ.
If you could change one thing about society what would it be?
No more religion.
If the end of the world was near to come, what would you pack?
Nothing, as its the end of the world.
Radio 1 Hall Of Fame
If you would be invisible, whom would you spy on first?
No one, i don`t wanna know.
Would you rather have Skrillex or Richie Hawtin’shaircut?
I would rather shave my hair off completely.
If you woke up one day and you found out that you had become the opposite sex, what would the first thing you’d do?
Play with my tits!
Who is your partner in crime to drink jaggermeister with?
Catch Timo play at Unleash in London on the 14th of November alongside Martin Buttrich!
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To, the dull dancefloor residents
Let me get this straight, isn’t the point of going out on a weekend so you can enjoy yourself?
Maybe my idea of fun is different to yours, but I think we can agree that it at least involves a bit of smiling, laughter maybe and just a little dancing. You are at a dance music event after all, not a library.
So many house and techno events now are filled with a sea of non moving, monochrome clad individuals. When did the fun get sucked out of nights out? We are meant to be a boundary breaking, controversial subculture full of energy – not a bunch of people looking like they’re waiting in the queue to a grocery store. Really now, come on guys.
The regulars of the Paradise Garage and Studio 54 would call us pussies the way we go on. Gone are the days of dancing like no-one was watching, now it’s standing still because everyone is watching (and probably filming on their phone). Dancing used to be a rite of passage, a real release at the end of the week resulting in clubs all over being full of sweaty foreheads and achey feet. And that’s just the way it should be, and the reason why DANCE music gets its name. Any form of proper grooving nowadays gets demonized by the cool crew – regardless of where I stand on the matter, the surge of ‘shuffling’ discrimination does wonders to prove that dancing isn’t accepted anymore.
Let me back track a little; if you don’t know what I’m talking about with Studio 54, I’m on about the days of DISCO, part of what helped to form the culture which we now all consume. Moulding nightlife as we know it, disco clubs were a place for all of those who didn’t fit in to the accepted society as it was to come together and enjoy living. Weekends were the time to shine, and boy did you with extravagant outfits. Tight metallic fabrics coupled with revealing cuts topped off with a helping of sequins, the bigger the better, was standard Saturday uniform (and that was just the men) If your outfit wasn’t enough to make you stand out, then your dance moves would complete the display of self expression. Need we even mention a certain Bianca Jagger choosing to ditch the taxi and enter the club on a horse? Nothing less than outrageous hedonsim was accepted, thank you very much.
So ok, maybe it’s not so practical to ride your pony to the club, and I admit, rocking up doing the Saturday Night Fever finger point might get you some funny looks – but at least some effort could be made with the clothes.
Just because a club is dark it doesn’t mean you have to blend it with the ‘all black everything’ standard attire. Given, it’s a trend, I get it, but I thought clubbing was meant to forget about all that. Making an effort is fun, normal is mundane. I know who I’d rather have at my party…
Any sense of differentiation and self-expression, what this culture used to stand for, as any subculture does is being diluted in a sea of coolness.
Let go and let’s bring some raw energy, and love back to clubbing!
It’s a very powerful and effective tool, known to lead to excessive good times,
Which is what we all want, right?
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Undersound is a clubbing concept that is at the forefront of today’s “new wave” of underground dance music. Based in London, Undersound digs out amazing music and talent locally & internationally and showcases them through their SoundCloud podcasts, record label and parties. Their podcasts churn out top quality, underground music for their global online community to hear, while their parties belong to East London’s thriving musical scene. Resident DJs include Francesco Del Garda and Harry McCanna.
MEOKO MIX - LISTEN HERE
This year, Francesco plays with our ears in his exclusive Meoko mix and Harry McCanna sat down with us to discuss his career for our Under the Meoko Microscope, our series where we showcase fresh and emerging talent. Both artists have their own style, and as a result are truly original artists.
Undersound is an original party, for open minded clubbers and dedicated music fans. As Harry commented, “at Undersound I push myself more. We have a crowd that is very open to new ideas, so it’s the place that I can experiment the most. At the same time I want to make sure I’m really giving my best.”
Undersound's eclectic approach to music has brought guest DJs to play, such as Giovanni Verrina, Club der Visionaere’s Binh, and secretive 19.4220.127.116.11.5.18.
Expect the best grooves that transport the crowd into the other dimension this Friday, 12th of September, for Undersound’s party at Autumn Studios: https://www.facebook.com/events/791252367582179/
The party marks a special event for a number of reasons. Firstly, it will be their first party of the season, and the firsts of things always transmits an interesting, exciting vibe. Secondly, their line up showcases Lize Records, a Berlin based, exclusively vinyl underground label. A ‘family’ run label, Lize Records has made a name for itself and is respected amongst underground dance music fans. Co-owner Sebastian Rudolph will make his way from Berlin to East London this friday as he shares the decks with Lize Record member and London-based, Isherwood.
Lastly, Isherwood, Rudolph, Francesco and Harry will be playing at Autumn Studios, a warehouse space in Hackney Wick, very close to Pudding Mill Lane tube station. Recently refurbished and provided with L-Acoustics audio systems, this space is now home of Bloc warehouse events: here's where you can rave until the early hours, enjoying underground electronic, house, garage and disco with a top quality sound system. One of the bigger clubs in Hackney, you'll find ravers and electronic lovers alike flocking to Autumn Street Studios.
Undersound promises sounds that will “leave you speechless, but your body grooving till the early hours!” We can’t wait.
Sebastian Rudolph (Lize Records)Isherwood (Lize records, Free Jazz Aesthetics)Francesco Del Garda (Undersound)
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London's weather was pleasant on the day I was able to sit outside café 1001 whilst waiting for Valentino to arrive. As I saw him, I waved at him. He smiles: 'Caterina?' We sat down and introduced ourselves to each other. Very kindly he asks about myself; it almost seemed as if he was about to interview me and not the contrary. I understood he was in LA for work related projects before arriving back in London, after living in South Africa for the last four years.
Are you based anywhere precisely?
Now London. Bridges for music is legally registered in the UK. I come here more or less every three months, as most of our team and our board of directors is based here too.
I can imagine there is a lot of traveling involved with your job, does it get stressful after a while? A bit. But I have always loved traveling so.... How was LA?
Good, we have some plans there and some campaigns coming up. The US has a very positive and forward thinking approach on the non-profit sector and we love that. Burning Man demonstrates that quite well.
Have you ever been to Burning Man?
No, I'd like to. I've heard is the ultimate festival experience. I am afraid that once you've done Burning Man, all the rest won't be comparable any longer.
Are these rumours true?
Well, Burning Man is something completely different. Is the sense of community behind it. It is so amazing seeing people giving without asking anything in exchange, whether you are offered cakes, coffee, drinks or something else. You live that few days with no money and no phone. Just you and the people around you.
How does it work? Do you exchange goods to survive?
(laughs) Not really. You are supposed to bring things for the community, things you want to share and give. It is amazing the sense of co-operation and respect there.
They organize a Burning Man in Africa too, right?
Yes, is called Africa Burn, but is much smaller. (I threw my cigarette butt on the ground whilst scribbling my notes of the interview) “See? You would never see something like that in Burning Man. It is so, clean. NO cans, no rubbish on the ground. It is really nothing like commercial festivals.” (laughs)
Have you always planned to work in music?
Yeah. I planned to work in music many many years ago, when I was still at university in Valencia. I was watching this amazing video of the Love Parade, on the German television Viva and speaking with a friend we said ' we have to rent a van and drive to Berlin for the Love Parade!'. So at the age of 19 I went with 5 friends to the Love Parade, we drove all the way there from Valencia and when we got there I was so impressed, so moved to see how music can gather a lot of people all in once place. I think that year was the biggest Love Parade ever, with 1.5 million people. Just seeing so many people all dancing in the streets and the good vibes that this created, it really made me think 'I wanna work in music'. I always loved it anyway, and then all came together.
In what way?
I started this website, an on-line magazine, kind of like MEOKO, called Arde la Noche. We were writing about people, parties events, about lifestyle. I gained a lot of contacts in this way. Thanks to all this contacts, I was able to start my own agency; I was promoting events, doing my own parties. Then the opportunity to take over Barraca came along. Barraca is almost like Manchester's Hacienda, it is a legendary club in Spain, and Europe also. They had people like Joy Division and Lou Reed playing there, it has been running for over 60 years. That was what attracted me the most, the history of the club, the strong engagement that the crowd has with it the feeling of people towards it. Probably in Italy you find something similar in the Cocoricò. They both are a kind of club that has a very loyal crowd and where people really live the music. As Manager I had the chance to refresh Barraca's program. With the team we started booking Dj's like Richie Hawtin and Luciano, who were a novelty back in the days – I am talking about nine, ten years ago. Barraca became one of the most hyped club in Europe, every week-end we had top parties, like Fabric in London, same kind of line-ups. We also founded a record label, started publishing a magazine and running events in other cities. Unfortunately in 2008 the financial crisis hit Spain really badly so we were forced to slow down. Because of the lack of money we had to cut the budgets, scale down and review the whole team and let a lot of people go. In a way I felt relieved: I had always thought that Valencia was not the city for me, I never meant to live there my all life, I have always wanted to travel and discover new things. When I started looking for another position I received an offer from Amnesia to join their team. At least once in my life, I wanted to live in Ibiza to experience the island. I had always been attracted to its vibes. So I left my apartment with all my stuff in Valencia and moved there, to work at Amnesia as Brand Manager. I stayed for four years, it was an amazing experience.
Do you still work for them from time to time?
No, I quit around one and a half years ago. I wanted to focus full time on Bridges for Music, that is my passion and what really drives me. Besides, I think I gave all I had to give to Amnesia at the time, I put all my energy and effort to the job. That was it for me. I used to do a lot of free-lance work, now I concentrate uniquely on Bridges for Music.
How did the ides of Bridges for Music come to be?
Well, I'd say by traveling a lot and visiting places where I wouldn't expect to find electronic music. For example I went to the favelas in Rio de Janeiro and I discovered this guy that was running a Dj school. I was just blown away by how he was teaching 30-40 kids how to mix with absolutely no resources. He had a lot of passion. He explained me how hard it was to save money, to buy a new mixer.... That made us think 'these people are doing an amazing work for the community but they do not have contacts!'. You would really just need to give a call to Pioneer to get them some equipment. The brands are willing to support this kind of initiatives but they do not know about them, that's the problem. Afterwards I traveled to South Africa and I was surprised by their house culture. House music is the main and most followed genre in South Africa, especially in the most impoverished communities, which are the townships, outskirts of big cities like Johannesburg. Their people live for house music, children want to become soccer players or Dj's. Coming from the western world, you do not expect to go to a slum and find such a strong electronic culture. You usually associate it with London and the other big cities in Europe and America. In reality is not like that. Electronic music arrives everywhere, I think also thanks to the internet and mobiles. That is where the idea came from. So I sat down with like-minded friends, who also thought that the music industry was in need of a non-profit platform. We put up a board of directors and started calling our contacts. We spoke to Richie [Hawtin] and discussed with him an idea we had back then: to take him in tour to South Africa and push his performances beyond parties, leaving a positive impact behind. So he was the first one you contacted and contributed to the Bridges for Music initiative.. Yes. I have known Richie for a long time. We worked together quite a lot, we have a really good relationship. I knew he was going to be down for the project because he really is that kind of person who wants to push the boundaries of electronic music, who wants to discover new places and engage with all kind of people. He was the right person to start with.
What exactly did your first project consist of?
We did a tour in South Africa, during which we held two commercial shows and two workshops, one time in a township in Johannesburg and the other in a township in Cape Town. Then we had also a show in another township, not a big show but one of the most specials to date. How did the crowd and local people receive it? Surprisingly good. You know, when you go to a township you find that people are really hungry to learn. They are curious whenever there are foreigners in the community, they want to engage with them and exchange information. Everyone in the team felt welcome there and Rich said he had one of the best parties in his career.
Do they normally have many foreign artists playing there?
Usually during the summer, which is our winter, from October to March more or less. I think there are quite a lot of artists touring there nowadays. South Africa is becoming very, very popular.
How are the workshops structured, do you actually teach the guys how to use all the equipment?
Usually it depends on the artists we bring. Anyway workshops never last more than two hours. They start out with an inspiring speech about the artist's life, from the very first challenges he had to face as a newcomer, his breakthrough, up until the present. The second part is more technical: we have the Dj table set up and Richie, for example, explained how he uses Tractor, the Machine etc. Every Dj has his preferences and things he'd like to share with the public. We pretty much decide the program together.
Is everyone free to attend?
Yes, but we select people very carefully. We want people that are genuinely interested in music, we want to create the right flow between them and the artist. When we open the floor to Q&As we want people to ask the right questions. We do not want fans that attend just to take a picture with the artist. We look for those who are actually going to get the best out of the experience.
How do you select them then?
In South Africa we work with some local entities that act in the educational field. We work with SAE, Red Bull Music Studio and other partners. Through them we can target the right audience. In the townships we also have opinion leaders to help us find the right artists, local Djs that are very known there and people that are very interested in music.
Is it in this way that you chose Dj Fosta, Thibo Tazz, Dj Siphe Tebeka and Lavish 189 to play at this years Tomorrowland and Glastonbury festivals?
It has been a while now that we are working in South Africa so we've made our own contacts there. These guys because have more or less collaborated with us from the beginning and we knew they were solid enough to take this opportunity and treasure this experience without being overwhelmed. We chose guys that are really talented but also were mature enough as artists. In most of the cases, is the first time that these people are traveling outside their country. We may think 'Wow, a chance to play a Glastonbury, it's amazing!' but for them can be easily overwhelming.
Other than helping local talents being discovered by creating opportunities to play international stage, are you also nurturing artists there?
Yes. The first step was to organize workshops, the next will be to open a school in one of the townships, Langa. The school aims to become a space where kids can access to resources on a daily bases, where they can train and develop their careers. We are also going to teach music design, music business and all those disciplines that revolves around the music industry. That is what we are raising money for through the RA campaign.
I know Resident Advisor's team and few more personalities are racing to ADE from London to raise money for your school. Did this initiative come from you or came genuinely from RA?
It was their idea. RA is one of the most known and respected webzine for a reason. They have strong values and an amazing team, who came up with this idea of launching a charity campaign per year, where they all get together, use their network and the tools they dispose of to raise money and awareness for a good cause. We have been working together since the beginning, so it came quite natural for them to start by helping Bridges for Music. Everyone can donate to the cause through RA website, or through our fundraising platform residentadvisor.net/cycle
It seems like you are receiving a great response.
A lot of Djs, other companies and booking agencies donated a fair amount of money and seem very willing to help with this initiative. It is amazing to see how a simple thought turned into something that big thanks to the people support. Definitely we are on the right track. There is still a lot things to do and we still need to raise much more money, but it was a very good start. We feel blessed to have this support and is great to see all the industry getting behind this project.
How does the fund-raising work in the specific?
People are free to donate any amount of money they wish to sponsor a racer. For example there are people from the RA team, Dj's as Luciano, Chris Liebing and Giles Smith. Each of the riders has his own fund-raising page, that they can share with friends on social media. So you can donate to them. Every rider has set his own target to reach, minimum is £1.000. For example Shaun Roberts from Fabric wants to reach £ 3.000 and he's killing it.
Is anyone else helping you to reach the budget you need to open up the school?
The RA campaign is the main source of funding. There is an old friend of mine who is an ultra athlete. He is raising money on Just Giving by doing a crazy challenge called Burning Man Quest. He is going to run, ride and swim from the coasts of California to Nevada, starting this Saturday.
When is the school set to open?
Ideally, with the RA charity race happening in October, we could start working afterwards and, if everything goes well, we'll be finished by May 2015.
Will it involve local artists that you know are mature enough to teach there?
For sure, we'll have them running workshop alongside international Dj's. So the school is also going to be a point of connection with the international scene, as guest Dj's are going to spend a lot of time in the studio with local ones. Also, we are planning to launch a volunteering program, that will enable people to come and support the project and spend some time in the school.
Are you planning to enlarge the Bridges for Music initiative to other areas?
In 2015 we'd like to start doing some events in Kenya. We are still at an early stage though. It will take time.
You have been working in the industry for over 12 years now. How did the Bridges for Music change your approach, if it did in any measure?
Bridges for music has definitely changed my vision of the industry, I believe that this change has also to do with the fact that I am getting older. The music industry, as it is nowadays, at times does not make sense to me. We were talking about Burning Man...that is a good example, in my opinion, of how the music can be really used in a good way, to gather people together, so they can achieve good things and make the world a better place.
One last question....are you going to ride as well?
Yeah (laughs) That will take you a lot of time! More or less 5 hours a day. We'll ride 100 kilometers a day for four days. Now we need to train. I need to train, I am way behind (giggles). I have been traveling a lot, its difficult. Well, now that you are in London you can cycle everyday! Yeah, but I do not have my bicycle (laughs again). I need to buy one. I have always loved bikes anyway.
Thank you very much for your time Valentino, it has been great meeting you. Wish you all the luck with your new project and with the race. Thanks! And thank you for the interview, goodbye.
Bridges for Music still needs funding to build the school, help by sponsoring one of the riders cycling to ADE with RA. You can do that on Resident Advisor Website or on the Believe In platform. Every little donation will do!
Written By Caterina Berardi
Find the Bridges For Music website here.
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Eric Denis is a French born, former Hip Hop producer, former Economics student, and is just starting his internship for the UN in Geneva. He is also the owner of successful, niche and quality YouTube channel, CMYK. Music is his passion, which transmits clearly through the tracks he uploads, which is partly why he managed to garner such a loyal following. Opting to upload good quality tracks instead of sticking to one specific genre, his YouTube library ranges, including genres from groovy house to microhouse to any eclectic musical style. Tracks include Leon Vynehall’s ‘It’s Just (House of Dupree)’ to Meoko’s track of the week, ‘Love’s Translation’ by Domenico Rosa. Ever tried to listen to tracks on Discogs before buying the complete vinyl? If yes, chances are you've played a track that Eric has uploaded, before. He makes buyers fully confident that they like the vinyl before spending their lunch (and sometimes dinner) money on it. Thanks, Eric!
His open minded view of music comes from his extensive musical background, and his heroes include Thom Yorke, J Dilla, Tom Waits, Pierre Schaeffer, Can, Noir Désir and Erik Satie. He studied musical theory and clarinet, and taught himself how to play piano. He has travelled extensively around Europe and on the web, making contacts with music fans and talented individuals, and digging for great music along the way. His philosophy is that “music is good, regardless of the genre or whatever categorisation”. He gives us his tips on how to manage a successful youtube channel:
Individuals: be confident in your taste, only upload the music for which you care the most, and avoid reuploading music that is already on youtube. It's annoying for the original uploader and quite useless.
Record Labels: upload full versions of your tracks in low quality e.g. Fathers & Sons Productions. It is hard to buy tracks by listening to just snippets (by the way, record stores let you listen to full versions of tracks).
Avoid copyright infringement by asking permission first.
Upload (good) tracks with known artists to get exposure in hopes that those who like these videos will also dig deeper and like other, less known videos.
Make your tracks personal.
Make your videos known by posting them in music sharing groups.
Build interactive relationships with labels, producers and other music fans online.
Be an actor of your scene, get involved and be supportive :)
Read on for his explanations, his top 5 tracks at the moment, and how he started his youtube channel…
How and why did you start your Youtube channel?
I started the channel in December 2013. I started collecting records in the beginning of 2013 and basically I have been living in a couple of cities for my professional life and couldn't carry my records with me, so I was ripping them and out of boredom (I was living in Brussels at that time and it was rainy and shit) I thought I could upload the stuff that was not already on youtube.
Do you upload rare tracks on your channel?
My best records are the ones I buy for 1€ with 50 sellers on discogs, that's the one people don't know.
The thing is, once I upload something on my channel I don't consider it rare or unknown anymore. If you see me mixing live or even listen to my mixes, there's not much stuff that is from the channel.
In the past I received hate mails when I uploaded the Ringrose Records tunes from people who were telling me "these records were kept secret for all of these years and now you make it available blablabla”, but these tracks were played by Villalobos, Zip, and people in the know knew about it.
So for me, it was nothing secret. It seems secret but the big djs play it and there are videos on youtube of these guys playing these tracks. Mark, the owner of the label, was writing himself on the youtube videos that it was his tracks so somebody who digs and follows these DJs would know. it was a fake secrecy. So that's the kind of "secret" stuff I upload, when it's actually not really secret.. that's what I call "hyped" tracks.
Real rare records are the ones that no big DJ is playing and they are worth nothing and anybody can buy them... but it's just that nobody found out there are good. They aren't rare they are just lost in the mass if you know what I mean. Example: http://www.discogs.com/Real-Debbie-Does-Deptford/release/166340.
How did you manage to gain 3000+ likes and 5000+ subscribers in 9-10 months? Is there a particular track that after you uploaded it you got a lot more likes?
I remained quite anonymous until I uploaded a Leon Vynehall LP that are still my most viewed videos by far, and then the Head High brought me another bunch of people. And then I guess a lot of people subscribed as they might have checked my other uploads and liked it.
It's quite often like this actually, when I check out my youtube uploader colleagues they often have like 2-3 videos with a lot of views that gave them exposures and then 200 videos with less than 5000 views.
And then I have a rather important online presence. I comment on stuff on SoundCloud, post my videos in some music sharing groups, etc.
I did it mostly at the beginning so people got to know me, but It's also just a support thing... I know I'm happy when somebody puts a comment on my mix on SoundCloud or whatever, so I do the same for other people if I like their work.
So you build sort of a relationship with some labels and producers and you support each other's projects somehow. There's Samuel André Madsen, Cabaret Records, Imprint Records, Slow Life Records... I started following them since the beginning and have uploaded their music and now they are played by the big guys of our scene like Villalobos or Arpiar.
What makes your channel unique?
I think one of the things that make CMYK work compared to other webzines that share music is that It's a personal project. Each time I share a track, I give a piece of information about my experience with this track or whatever, and in the long run people get to know how I write, what I live etc.
It's a personal thing and maybe that's why i have a more trustful fanbase than some webzine that shares qualtiy tracks but without that personal, intimistic feel.
What type of music do you upload on your channel?
You can find some rather cheesy groovy house like Max Graef or something very dark minimalistic micro house like Project London Records or Gua Camole Music.
What are your 5 favourite uploads now?
1) There's this track I really like that I uploaded a couple of days ago:
Fish Go Deep - Work True
I captured a video at the sunwaves afterparty with this music, I posted the video on my page but none of my followers knew about the track... Then we were chilling at a friend's place in Romania and somebody gave me the ID, I was super happy! It's actually a release on Brique Rouge, I know this label quite well. It’s a French label run by David Duriez who took back activity less than one year ago.
2) Mark Nicholas O. - Deep Groove
This is the upload that got me hate mails... I really love this track. It's very unique and It's actually not the track that Zip and Villalobos play on this record, but I find this one better. Mark is a very lovely man and he was super happy that I helped him to promote his music. He sent me many CDs and records of released and unreleased music. I could do a Ringrose Records only set haha. There are some serious gems!
3) Plastic - Untitled
This is a sublabel from Thule, a famous dub techno label from Iceland that was active at the end of the 90s/early 2000's. They started this new label called Strobelight Network to release new music and they are also repressing most of their catalog... I actually hooked up Exos (one of the two founders) to make us a mix for CMYK Harmonics. It's these kind of guys we'll get on our mixtape series (we're also planning to ask Mark from Ringrose for a mix). This track is so deep...
4) Auji - Conclusion Came To You Part 2
I couldn't believe this track wasn't online! it's an Aniara Recordings released in 2012. Auji is a Japanese artist who only released another (dope) EP on Panrecords in 2011. This track is very deep and smooth, but on the flip there's an Aniara remix that is very club friendly and that I play at almost every set.
5) NWS - Next to Real
NWS aka Samuel André Madsen. This EP is released on Courtesy of Balance Recordings and was one of my first uploads. I remember listening to the snippets like every day for a couple of months until it came out. I was in Brussels at this time and It's the kind of records that reminds you of specific moods and memories. I kinda stopped playing it as I had it in my bag for like a year but then very recently I re-listened to the B-Sides and found out they are actually very good too. So now I play its B-sides sometimes to change (B2 has a cool break with a vocal sample of Hitchcock)
Do you ask permission before uploading tracks?
For the new releases I always ask to the people involved before uploading their music. Also, I have 2 copyright infringements that I had in the first months (it expires january 2015). One more and my channel is gone, forever. So I don't take any risk and I always ask, it's a good thing in the end. Sometimes you start discussing with the people and then you keep in touch.
Who filed the complaints?
Sushitech when I uploaded the latest Makam and Visionquest when I uploaded their Villalobos remix. Sushitech was a newby mistake because they have a youtube channel, so it was easy to know that it was something not to mess with. Now i know..I didn't have troubles since january 2014 and fingers crossed that nothing happens for the next 4 months!
What are your views on copyright?
I'd like to quote a YouTube uploader colleague called Hurfyd, who belongs to another musical niche that I categorize as analog UK techno - whatever that means:
"Copyright is a delicate flower it must be treated with care and respect and you must softly stroke its petals and whisper kind words in its ear even though it is a flower and flowers don't have ears or do they I don't know much about flowers to be honest".
He had a big YouTube account before and got it deleted because of 3 copyright infringments... He came back stronger though, and is a true YouTube hero now.
So yeah I have 2 copyright infringments that I had when I started in December and January, and now I am very careful because if I get another one my channel and all of this work is lost.
I find it kinda mean from labels to just make a copyright strike to somebody that took the time to rip and upload their track and usually makes it for promotional use. It's not very complicated to send an email to the guy and ask to remove it or something.
Getting your music uploaded on YouTube is today, want it or not, part of the lifecycle of the musical product. It's not exactly legal but it seems that nobody really cares, youtube isn't very strict about it neither as it's their business model to have contributors uploading videos and public to watch them.
I don't really understand some labels who don't want their music online... music is a special good. You don't just buy it like that without knowing what it is. It doesn't really make sense from a commercial point of view to me.
I guess most of them are scared that people are going to rip it, but I always upload in very low bitrate 128kbps so any serious DJ won't be able to play a youtube rip on a proper sound system. If somebody rips it just for listening at home purpose, then he probably wouldn't have bought the record anyway...
But then maybe he'll play it at his place during a house party and his friends will ask what it is and the music will spread... I think making music accessible is essential today, as anyway producers don't make money from releasing music, especially those who press vinyls. It’s all about the bookings.
What would you recommend to label owners if they don’t want their music uploaded by individuals on the internet?
If a label wants to have full control of its music and is bothered by people uploading their tracks without asking, they should own a YouTube channel so it's explicit that they will upload it how they want, when they want, instead of striking random enthusiasts who geek the interwebz and make their advertisement for free.
Fathers & Sons is a good example:
The unkown artist is Samuel André Madsen by the way.
They have their own channel, they upload their music with a cool video, in low qualtiy so people can't rip it and actually have to buy the record as it's vinyl only, and boom, prices get crazy on discogs as it's the only way of getting this music... That's what I will do for sure once I open my own record label.
Do you think that music is meant to be shared?
Well, I think that music is made to be shared, and I'm very happy to have found a public that enjoys the music I share with them.
I've always been into music but I didn't have many childhood friends to share my passion with. I think nobody was as involved as me into this music search and discovery thing - I want to know EVERYTHING.
In the end of my university years and as I was starting to get into this whole House Music thinggy, I started to meet people who were really into it, who were better than me, and I was really super excited about spending the whole day discussing Kraut Rock and J Dilla and Pierre Schaeffer and Moodymann with these people.
But I was changing city on a regular basis for my studies and work and always losing these people so I guess I felt the need to share it on the internet too... It's sort of a first need to me.
Now wherever I go I do my best to find some music people to hang out with... Don't get me wrong though, you don't have to be a music geek to be my friend and most of my childhood friends are still my best friends even though we don't share these kinds of interests.
What is your philosophy on vinyl culture?
Vinyl culture is also very important in my philosophy. I don't buy records for that long to be honest, like less than 2 years but I'm a bit of a compulsive buyer.
I work on the computer during the day and I spend a lot of time on social medias, so it's good to be able to disconnect. You turn off the computer, and you just play records.
It's also a whole organization when you are moving out often, as I do but I kinda enjoy it. I have a stack of records at a friend's place in Frankfurt, and another big stack in Paris... It's a good excuse to travel and visit friends.
I think the main point with vinyl is that it makes music timeless. If a release is limited, and you're one of the lucky 300 owners, you can play it your whole life if it's really good... It won't get overplayed or something.
I also buy a lot of old music for this reason. If it's still good and it was produced 10 years ago, it will still be good in 10 years.
The problem with mp3 and the big Beatport charts is that after 2 weeks the music has expired... In the end it means that music isn't good enough to pass the test of time.
Also, pressing records is a complicated and expensive process, so people who do it must really believe in their music and are most likely truley passionate.
Thanks for being so honest and open about your work, Eric. I hope that readers can learn a lot from reading what you have to say, and use your channel to learn more about good music.
Eric will keep on uploading timeless tracks on his channel, from talent such as Samuel André Madsen, and records such as Imprint Records and Cabaret Records. He has chosen to buy less of new records, and hopes that "my public will follow me and enjoy the stuff I will upload in the future, even if it's maybe not the latest hot tracks”.
He has many future projects brewing, such as "CMYK Harmonics" where he is collaborating with individuals like Julien Aymé, the owner of channel, Call Me A Pineapple. He also plans to start his own record label. Watch this guy! In the mean time, subscribe to his channel here and like his Facebook page here.
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These bits do the business. All out in the past fortnight unless stated otherwise.
Robin Ordell – JC EP (Half Baked)
An injection of ingenuity with this JC EP from resident Robin Ordell of Half Baked Party crew. Minimal leaning house you would find soundtracking one of their East London parties. The smartly named "Nobody Loves Bishopsgate" is a particular highlight with Ordell laying down a rubbery bassline that complements the crisp snare rolls and generally murky atmospherics.
Kashawar - Amant (Ruis Holland)
RUIS is a new limited vinyl only label of Ruiskamer, a record shop near by Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Founded by the guys of KARTON Label. Grey colored & marbled 180 gram hand stamped record with a limited number of copies, a very special EP by Kashawar.
Leif – Nour & Lighht (Sudden Drop)
Leif is once again revealing new shades to his sound on this latest missive for Sudden Drop. The rhythm section and dubby hits of "Solstice" the chords come straight from the ethereal channel he has always tapped up on his productions. "With Your Sincere Heart" takes a more floaty direction into drifting pads and gossamer-light beats, which is an approach continued on "Once There Was Nothing" albeit with a fuller sound spectrum of dreamy tones. "Sintra" finishes the EP off with a delicate and twirling line in chimes and notes offset by a ranging bassline and a subtle but forthright drum set.
VA – Family Affairs Vol.1 (Earlydub Records)
Earlydub launch its VINYL ONLY series.. 180 grams vinyl featuring tracks by Fernando Costantini, Alexandar Kyosev, Loquace, Sons of Tiki, Yamen & EDA.. VINYL ONLY - Serious.
Roman Flugel – Happiness Is Happening (Dial Germany)
German veteran Roman with his follow-up albnum to his 2011 debut LP retains that melodic playfulness - not to mention a curious pop sensibility with regards to tunefulness - but douses it in the clanking rhythms of machine drums and industrial strength electronics. The production is still pleasingly finessed, but there's also a pleasingly raw feel to his blends of IDM, deep house, deep techno, electronica and classic Kraftwerk.
Chris Carrier – True Step Locomotion (Slap Funk Records)
Stasple for French Robsoul label, Chris Carrier delivers his first full length album now finding himself in Holland writing LPs for SlapFunk Records, a label launched in 2012 that's so far released music from a host of emerging house heads. Carrier, now SlapFunk's marquee artist, delivers a full listen of smooth and sweet deep house with a slight touch of abstract Perlon-isms and creative, almost industrial, sound designs - and a release that'll put SlapFunk on the map at that.
By Ell Weston
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
Knitwear is no longer left for functional use only, as Megan Crook shows with ‘Crooked Knitwear’, style can ooze from each loop and weave of a knitted garment effortlessly.
Now based in Derby, the Crooked journey began in Philadelphia where Megan gained a foundation diploma in fine arts, although no knitting was taught here, this provided the groundwork for what was to lead on to a self taught obsession and discovery of new skills.
Since the launch in 2005, Megan has gone on to win the International Young Designer Award at the Young Designer Awards in London and was given sponsorship to take part in the International Designer Show during NYFW in September 2008, with such success from the word go it was clear that the step into the launching her own creative business was a positive move for Megan!
From this, Crooked Knitwear has only got bigger and better, leading to what is now a colourful brand providing fun and unique knitwear, clothing, accessories and leather goods to those who wish to adorn themselves in the patterned pieces. Using a mixture of the classic prints from Liberty, hand dyed decorative fabrics and of course knitted textiles, Crooked Knitwear is a must for any fashion fan who likes to make a sleek but crafted statement.
Who are 'Crooked Knitwear' and when did your love affair with jazzy knits start?
14 years ago, I was working as a singing waitress and I had to begin making clothes in order to stop myself from spending all my tips in my favourite clothing store. After some impressive interest with people literally scrambling to buy the clothes off of my back, I created Crooked Knitwear out of my secret love affair with knitting. I taught myself to hand knit and then grew into using domestic machines also and am now a self-taught knit surgeon. Crooked Knitwear has grown incredibly and after using books to learn how to pattern cut it now includes: knitwear, clothing and accessories. Get Crooked, our festival range, is Crooked Knitwear’s baby sister. We believe that life’s a festival so we bring colour sensation to the party with happy handmade clothing! The Get Crooked range is young, fresh and full of colours to make your mouth water. Everything is designed and skillfully handmade here in our studio in Derby. The Get Crooked range fuels my appetite for effervescent creativity.
I see you are based in Derby, what is the midlands like for creative businesses?
The midlands is great for its creative energy and can be quite inspirational as there is a great individualist approach to fashion. I am originally from Philadelphia, USA, and moving over to a completely new country was hard but Derby has been my home for 10 years and helped me and my business flourish. However, we do travel at great length to seek new markets and find new Crooked customers attending around 20 different events a year!
What is Crooked Knitwear's ethos?
Our philosophy is based on creating colourful handmade clothing to be cherished. We aim to trigger that feel good feeling through wearing Crooked Knitwear or Get Crooked. Get Crooked is an array of fluorescent fabulousness that is energising and transferrable from festival fashion to ever day! In short, we basically want our customers to feel wonderful and wear good quality long lasting products.
Tell us more about your crafty workshops!
During the festival season we like to sprinkle a little bit of handmade happiness onto the festival go-ers by running workshops. Our workshops have included moccasin making which was extremely effective and more recently bum bag making workshops using fluorescent leather! Look out for us at festivals in the future with more DIY workshop ideas!
Do you have a favourite track that inspires you/you like to work to?
A song that inspires Crooked Knitwear is So Flute by St Germain. This song marks a huge triumph for us as it was the soundtrack to a runway show we did in 2009. I won the Young Designer Award and as a result was sponsored to take part in the International Designers Show at New York Fashion Week! An extraordinary experience that is matched by the unique use of instruments in this song.
How can we purchase Crooked Knitwear?
Crooked Knitwear is sold on our website www.crooked-knitwear.com with some products also on our Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/CrookedKnitwear . We can also be found at a wide range of events up and down the country. We sell the Get Crooked range at festivals throughout the summer such as Glastonbury and Secret Garden Party whilst also having an online presence through Get Crooked boutiques at ASOS Marketplace (https://marketplace.asos.com/boutique/get-crooked) and Silk Fred, which will be launched by September 12th 2014.
As our main hobby here at MEOKO is disco dancing, it seems fitting that Crooked Knitwear are kindly giving away their Disco Lace Dress to one lucky reader.
To enter simply email
with the title ‘Crooked’ and tell us where you would like to get grooving in the disco lace dress.
Head to the Crooked website here.
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Ms. Grace Jones, the queen of rhythm, will be headlining Blackheath's inaugural all weeekend festival and we cannot contain our excitement! A model and a pioneering actress and most famously singer and performer, Grace Jones makes this weekend's festival line up massive. We take a look at Grace Jones' influential, controversial and multi-talented career, not forgetting some of her disco and new-wave tracks and creative, outlandish music videos that accompanied them. We pick our favourite remixes and re-edits of her disco and new-wave tracks that so many club DJs such as Larry Levan from Paradise Garage, loved to play...
Grace Jones started her career in the fashion industry, where her tanned, nearly six feet tall figure, androgynous look and her cutting edge style stood her out while catwalking on 1970s Parisian runways for high fashion labels, Yves St. Laurent and Kenzo Takada. Back in New York she became a regular at Andy Warhol's Studio 54 scene. With her freaky behaviour (apparently she used to walk around Studio 54 completely naked) and fun catwalks (e.g. fashion show for Kenzo at Studio 54) she definitely made her mark in the art scene. She was and still is, the muse of many, including American artist and social activist Keith Haring, where he painted her tanned, dark, gleaming body in white paint to create some of his most striking images. Her body art played beautifully on screen as she danced for her music video, I'm Not Perfect and live for her performance at New York City's Paradise Garage. Their collaboration has been hailed as one of the best artist and music collaboration of all time.
She frequented New York nightclubs, dancing widly with the crowd. As she once admitted, Grace Jones was, and still is to many, a (super)star. Her music was what defined her career, where she strived in the disco scene, recording three albums with disco legend producer, Tom Moulton. She covered artists such as Edith Piaf with her rendition of La Vie en rose and covered 1977 musical Annie's Tomorrow, while I Need a Man became her first club hit. Once she conquered disco, she changed the face of pop with her New Wave sound. She released commercial hit albums from Warm Leatherette to Nightclubbing. Nightclubbing perfected her sound, with her famous club hit Pull Up to the Bumper, which topped the charts worldwide.
Pull Up to the Bumper has the capacity to make the crowd on the dancefloor move with its dub productions and catchy, disco Chic influenced vocals. According to the Guardian, Pull Up to the Bumper is Number 7 in its "50 key events in the history of dance music" series. DJs also love Grace Jones, such as Levon Vincent, where he shared many of her tracks, such as her cover of Flash and the Pan’s Walking in the Rain and Police's Demolition Man. DJs in New York's Paradise Garage and Jersey's Zanzibar spinned her tracks along with remixes and re-edits. We came up with a list of some of our favourites (of the ones we could find on youtube)...
Grace Jones - Pull Up to the Bumper (Larry Levan mix)
Grace Jones - Pull Up to the Bumper (Professor LaCroix edit)
Grace Jones & Tricky - Cradle To Grave (Danny Tenaglia White Label Mix)
Grace Jones - Feel Up (Danny Tenaglia Remix)
Grace Jones - Williams Blood (Electrics Dub)
Grace Jones - Sex Drive (hard drive mix)
Grace Jones - Typical Male (the real mix) [b-side to Sex Drive]
A youtube commenter asked, "Are we freaks because we appreciate this woman's music?" Grace Jones is freaky, and that's why we love her. She gets brownie points for originality, to the point where she scares people. Some of her most controversial moments include her trip to Disney Land where she exposed her breasts on stage during a performance, or her presence in a party full of French politicians, where she turned up with nothing but a string of bones around her neck. She has also been the first black Bond woman, where she starred in the 1985 James Bond film, A View to a Kill, where the actor who played James Bond apparently complained that she was too strong to play a James Bond girl.
Jones' list of accomplishments go on, as she has also been hailed as one of the world's top models. The degree of how influential her music and style are is evident in today's musical landscape from pop stars (see: FKA Twigs, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, who by the way, asked to collaborate with Grace Jones but got turned down. Why? Grace disliked her 'unoriginality') to record labels and parties today. Not only do her tracks rock, but her strong, confident, womanly and hurricane personality make her performances outstanding and unforgettable. We all remember her hoola hooping on stage for the Queen's jubilee...
Watch her live at On Blackheath's inaugural festival this weekend. Gilles Peterson will also showcase his Worldwide stage with acts and DJ sets from local star Thris Tian (Boiler Room) and rising star, Bradley Zero (Rhythm Section).