London is stuffed to the brim with incredible producers, so sticking out from the crowd in the capital can make for a daunting task. One man who evidently has what it takes to do so is emerging producer, Bearface. Though he’s been around for some time, it’s his recent endeavours that look set to elevate him further up the house music ladder, with his productions on his own Beartone label already perking the ears of some of the scene’s most revered names. We caught up with the man in question as he talked us through the mix he did for us, the influence Ibiza has had on his music and the unusual samples that often turn up in his records…
I wanted to start by talking about your home city of London’s music life. How do you think the city’s music scene has changed over the last while? Do you still love it or do you feel disconnected from it?
I’m a born and bred Bristolian and moved to London for my degree. During my latter school years I played percussion in clubs alongside DJs who would play house music. London has always inspired me musically. There is a vibrant scene here for most genres. Pick any night and you will find a good fit. Some of the best clubs in the world are here. Also a noisy city, full of sounds that can get stuck in your head like the planes overhead, bus engines churning and even the crazy birds that seem to never sleep.
So going back a bit, when did you first start producing music? Was there one moment or person who really inspired you to get in to the studio?
My first successful foray into house music was in 2004. I co-produced a track with friend and long term collaborator Dj Max Mistry with whom I shared a love of US style house music. We released our first track ‘Bare Brass’ on vinyl. It sold out pretty quick and went on to be licensed by Roger Sanchez’s Stealth records and featured on numerous labels. Defected and Vendetta records were a couple that really pushed our music.I suppose I first got my hands on midi gear while doing GCSE music in Bristol. The school music department purchased a load of gear including drum machines and hardware sequencers and I tried to emulate the music we called ‘bleep bleep music’ such as early minimal house acts like Altern 8.
We noticed some of your records have some unusual samples in, not least Bollywood sampled. Where do you source these samples?
Yea, I think samples can add a certain flavour to tracks, much like adding dry spice to food or stock from the shelf, pre made loveliness. Finding weird or slightly unusual samples is really exciting when incorporating them into your own music. Having Indian parents gave me access to some old, crusty sounding vinyl of Bollywood soundtracks of the 70’s. So occasionally I will chop them up in the MPC.
Are they obscure to the point where you don’t worry about licensing issue?
Most of the time I tend to add just a smidgen of vocal or chords and manipulate it to fit the track so it’s not so easy to detect the origin of the sample. I also use my own vocal or sound source and it will sound like a sample.
You even gained inspiration from an Ibiza supermarket on your track, ‘Supermercado’. What do you find so inspiring about Ibiza supermarkets?!
On one visit I spent more time at in the ‘Supermercado’ than any club or parties in Ibiza. Mainly to get provisions for my pregnant wife. It was always lively and provided me with loads of cheap entertainment - in contrast to a lot of the clubs which were over glamorous and not really about the music.
Another track of yours is called ‘Dalt Vila’. I gather Ibiza is a place that’s proved pretty influential for you over the years?
Yea - it is a good place to hear dance music for obvious reasons.The track ‘Dalt Vila’ is me imagining how dance music could sound if the monks from the monastery had been involved.
So tell us a bit about the label, Beartone. What made you start it and how’s it been going so far?
I initially setup the label as a place I could release music digitally. This was a response to diminishing vinyl sales from 2008.I am now releasing vinyl again on my third EP under my alias, Beartone.
Clever artwork seems a hallmark of every release. Is that something you’re conscious of? And why did you settle on a bear for your alias and artwork?
I’m very lucky to know great visual artists who are willing to help with the Bearface artwork. My wife Kim-Leigh Pontin and the artist z. Zenobia are mainly responsible for the look of the label. I feel it gives the music more impact and meaning.
The San Jose EP marks a comeback of sorts for you after a while not releasing records. Why was now the right time to start releasing music again?
This is the third vinyl in the series. I have been putting out vinyl although not so much. The San Jose EP has a slightly more laid back feel to that of the more recent stuff.
Was there a general idea behind the tracks you were trying to convey? Is your production style generally reflective of your DJ style do you think?
Not really. I sequenced most of the track in my MPC 3000 drum machine to give a particular feel and swing to the music. My general aim is to have production that flows in a musical sense maybe this is also reflective of my DJ sets.
Can you tell us a bit about the mix that you’ve provided for us here?
It’s mainly new music from artists I’m digging at the moment, some music from my label and a few older pieces. In the sphere of house but really back into the tech minimal sound that I started to produce in 2008.
What’s next for you?
I’m addicted to my studio so I definitely will be cooking up tunes for as long as I can. I live to travel, meet people, play and perform music so if I can do these things as much as possible that would be great.
P.S.: Bearface’s San Jose EP is out now on Beartone Records
Words by Zac
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Microscope series is back again and this time we are having a very well known name from Netherlands – Roger Gerressen. Born in Arnhem and currently living in Nijmegen continuously spreading his name across the world by his house and techno infused productions and smooth as butter sets. Roger just joined Paris based Yoyaku label which led him to release his music on imprints as Joule, Aku and Tartouffe. With their support he is about to launch two more labels to meet his output and give him his creative freedom– Irenic Records and Autodidact Records. As being a co-founder of ESHU records having numerous releases and collaborations with big guns as Ivano Tetelepta, Dilated Pupils, ARC and Novio Dub Tribe you get an image that this is the guy to keep your eye on. We can’t wait to dive in the interview with this talent and check his exclusive MEOKO Mix.
1. Hey Roger, pleasure to have you with us! How are you doing?
I am doing good sir, I had a series of gigs last summer that went great and I just had a few weeks off to finish some music/remixes and get ready for the winter season.
2.First of all, tell us more about your involvement in the club scene. How did you get in the scene in the first place and what made you decide that you want to become a part of it?
I never expected to be involved in house music at this stage in my live. In the 90’s the only electronic music we grew up with was the trance and gabber that dominated in the Netherlands. Those styles had massive airplay on the radio and even took over the pop charts. Good electronic music was already out there, but it never reached me at that age. I never got into the trance/gabber music, the melodies felt cheesy to me. I was always more interested in breaks and loops and became a fan of early 90’s hiphop when I got introduced to A Tribe Called Quest. To this day it’s the music I play the most at home. I just love sample based loops.
At my 18th birthday coincidence happened. My friends bought me a ticket to a big techno event (still pretty much against my biased will), I had my first experience in the scene and immediately seemed to understand what this music was all about. I found another type of new loop-based music I love. I got some second hand belt-drive turntables and a mixer a few weeks afterwards and here we are today.
3.Do you remember the first record or artist you heard that clicked to you? Can you tell us shortly how did you get from hearing your first record to playing your first gig?
The first artist that clicked for me was the dutch legend Steve Rachmad. My sister was dating a guy back then who was also into dj’ing and he gave me the mix-cd ‘Sterac - Emerging’. That cd still is like a bible to my beliefs in techno music. Mixed live in a club with an amazing vision of hypnotic techno. I immediately drifted towards that sound from then on.
My first gig was a DJ contest in 2004 at Planet Rose, our local clubnight. Even though in my memories everything went great, I didn’t make it to the finals haha. But I was already happy to have performed for a crowd at that point.
4 .As you been raised in Nijmegen do you see a change in music and clubbing there? It is a quite remote city isn’t it? Do you have some special nights, clubs or events that are worth visiting?
Nijmegen used to be a very underground-minded city with one mayor clubnight called Planet Rose (the venue is called Doornroosje, the longest running clubnight in the Netherlands, which has been going strong for more then 22-years now) that has influenced everybody in my town. They had an amazing venue for techno music, high quality acts like Jeff Mills, Derrick May and Laurent Garnier came by on a weekly basis to play for a very open minded crowd. Outside of the Dutch borders, not many people know of this place, but over here it has a legendary status. A few years back they were forced to move out of their filthy old graffiti covered venue (which I loved ofcourse) and settle into a very new state of the art building, which changed things for me. It has become too big for me now and as a result of trying to reach bigger crowds the programming has also become a bit more mainstream and predictable. Luckily you have a few smaller promoters in my town who are now stepping in (like ‘The Tribe’) and hosting some smaller high quality events.
But I still hold the memories of the old venue in my heart. It was an amazing place.
5.As living near by one of the Europe’s partying hotspots, do you find yourself going to Amsterdam often? How does it influence the Holland’s scene in general? Do you think the city dictates the trend for the scene?
The city definitely dictates the trend for the Netherlands, but my country is so small it’s not hard for influence to pass over to another city. But indeed, there are so much more events in Amsterdam, so much more creative people moving there, it’s a logical evolution. Most capitols serve that role I believe.
When I don’t have to play for myself I tend to stay home and create music these days, but coming into the house/techno scene I took plenty of drives to Amsterdam to see some amazing artists in amazing clubs. I often visited Club 11, which later evolved into TrouwAmsterdam. Trouw still was and still is my favorite place in Amsterdam, both on the dancefloor and behind the decks. I was lucky enough to play there a couple of times.
6.Talking about your musical history. I could call you a label guy. You been involved in so many affairs that is hard to count. How did you get in Paris scene alongside Yoyaku? What’s the story behind it?
Before I was connected to Yoyaku I was with an agency that didn’t really put a lot of effort in their artists or have a plan to move forward. So I was starting to get a bit impatient and unhappy with the direction and growth of my career. A few years back I played an event in Strasbourg, organized by the people behind Yoyaku and we just clicked and had a great time. We always stayed in touch, every now and then we had a short chat or they sent me the latest promo’s. They were just setting up their first labels when we met and they had already grown like crazy since then. When the day came my agency pulled the plug and seized to exist, I had a chat with the Yoyaku crew about me flying solo again. It didn’t take long for them to ask me to join the crew.
7.Introduce us with your two brand new imprints as well. Irenic Records and Autodidact Records. What were the ideas behind it and what we should expect from them?
Yes lots of thing happening! Both labels were created for me to have more output, but I also wanted to showcase some of my friends. Let’s start with Irenic, which means ‘Aimed at peace..’. This label had it’s first release a few months back done by Novio Dub Tribe (a collab by Sinan Alakus and myself) and we’re working on the second release as we speak. Irenic is really about the deeper side of the spectrum. Techno, house or dub: as long as the atmosphere of the music is right. The upcoming EP is done by my close friend Alex Jansen (U-GOLD / Rue de Plaisance, also from Nijmegen), he delivered a very deep and emotional 3-track house record that will be out in a few weeks. Future EP’s on Irenic will feature music and remixes by Novio Dub Tribe, Udmo, Bas Amro and myself.
Then we have Autodidact, basicly the same guidelines as Irenic. Created to have more output for my friends/collabs and myself. But with Autodidact anything goes. The first release is done by my friend Doyle Johnson and will be out by the end of October or early November. After that we have a jungle/dnb collaboration by Alex Jansen and myself for the second EP, which will feature two amazing 4/4 remixes by Chris Geschwindner. Can’t wait to present all the details soon!
8.Congrats on you recent release on Tartouffe dubby and groovy piece! As well as one on Joule imprint. I could find endless releases around, how do you approach making music? Do you already have ideas in your mind before even sitting down in front of you desk?
I wish I could give you a very artistic answer right now, but it doesn’t happen to me that often. I just start and see where it goes. Since I have many aliases and styles I do make a choice in direction when I start the project, but it rarely needs a special approach. When collaborating with Ivano Tetelepta in the past, we had a few moments where we tried a ‘Rhythm Roulette’ type approach and try to make records by sampling the majority of the project (like the Build from Wax LP on Nilla Records) or only use certain pieces of gear as a restriction (on the untitled ARC# album on Deep Sound Channel).
9.What are your main inspirations when it comes to your creative process? Are there any things you could not imagine working without?
A hiphop attitude towards house music. To be an underground artist is to create music with whatever equipment you have around you. So if you don’t have the money to buy the gear you want (or think you need), don’t freeze up and do nothing. It was my situation for the longest time, so I really learned to be creative digitally. So even though I love to fiddle around with analog gear, and my studio is growing, I am still a very digital orientated producer that really needs to do those final touches digitally, because the lack of gear pushed me that way.
So I couldn’t work without Ableton to be honest. My MPC is my second answer.
10.Talking about making music, can you take us through your studio gear? What’s your favorite piece? Is there a piece that you really wish for? Or some future purchases?
I have just a small studio myself, at home. I use: Ableton, RMA-fireface400 soundcard, MPC, Dave Smith Tempest, MFB, a Strymon Timeline delay and I have a few other simple pedals and fx.
So far very beat orientated gear so the next step will probably be a synth, but like many people I have been mesmerized by modular synthesis too. Let’s see. Even though my studio is still small, I honestly rarely feel limited.
11.As a music lover you must have some artists you admire! Would you like to share some of your favorite acts this year so far? Anything we should check out in particular that stuck in your mind?
I am an old school guy. A Tribe Called Quest is my favorite group ever, no doubt about it. Gangstarr, Black Sheep, Large Professor, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Brand Nubian. Those are my jams.
Too much new electronic music coming out right now to pick a few, but if I had to I would say Udmo (two mindblowing releases on Analog Attic) and Chris Geschwindner, because I love their fresh styles and both of them have remixed some of my works/collabs so I had to do a shout out!
12.Thank you for this amazing mix! Did you have a specific idea behind it or just went with the flow?
I spent many years warming up dancefloors in my hometown, so when I am recording a mix I try to take the same approach.. a bit of music for the mind, some music for the soul and I always try to end up with some music for the feet as well.
13.Thank you once again for having us! Do you have any last words for the fans? Any news on collaborations or some exciting upcoming releases? What do you think would be the best advice for the upcoming artist?
Yes I have a big release coming up on Sushitech Records as my latest project ‘Monoaware’. It will be a 2x12”, out by the end of October / early November. Very excited to be a part of this label and its artists.
And just be sure to support the upcoming Irenic and Autodidact records when they drop in the coming weeks!
And thanks for having me ;)
Was a pleasure, Roger and thank you for them mix!
Words by Matas Balta
More Roger Gerressen; Facebook / Soundcloud
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BOOOO! Sorry did not want to scare you! You know what time of the year is coming. The day of ghosts, dead, zombies and darkness. And what can be the better way to celebrate it if not in upcoming as a tradition event of the one and only Art Of Dark. This party has gained popularity across capital in no time bringing some of the most exciting names all year around and picking best locations for them to perform. Of course we have big expectations for them this year and they didnt dissapoint once again bringing 2 bright stars in the Romanian scene – Praslesh.
Their name is a combo of two and the first half is Praslea. He is one of the most intriguing characters of clubbing scene. Owner of label Understand alongside Cezar Lazar and Kozo. His releases and collaborations can be found on such labels as RPR and Moon Harbour Records. By travelling the world he gained a huge recognition through his emotive and groovy sets. You better not miss the chance to see this guy when he is in town! And the ending of the name comes from Raresh. One of the biggest names in minimal scene. As one third of a RPR trio he has played all over the globe. His numerous releases on labels such as [a:rpia:r], Amphia, Sven Vath’s Cocoon Recordings, Metereze, Understand and many more. Ricardo Villalobos was impressed by his skills and the way he plays the music. He has shared decks with Richie Hawtin, Magda, Steve Bug, Josh Wink to name a few giving the impression that when he is around expect some magic to happen!
In addition to this, the beloved resident Colin Chiddle, who was billed for fabriclondon Room1 lineup last Satuday, will be on the warm up duties to show what is 'Nothing;but Love' about.
with '1 Year with AOD' as the subject heading. Good luck!
Don’t forget to wear your scary outfit and get the tickets until they are on as they are already on the final release. See you on the dancefloor!
Words by Matas Balta
More Art of Dark / Facebook Event / Ticket Link
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6 tracks listed below by Primărie will do all the talking;
1- Pleasure Zone / PLZ004S.1 - Silat Beksi - Gravity EP
Now we're back to bussiness, back to groove, and our attention back to Pleasure Zone, who picks up two great tunes from our Ukraine minimal-techno representative Silat Beksi. As he states in the first track, we're also "Back to the Future" sound and you can hear is personal signature on the second's track groove, Kin 182! Enjoy being with your head back in music, enjoy PLZ004S.1!
2- Moment / Petre Vali aka LIZZ - From Inside
The new Moment release is up and available and it's not other than Lizz, under new production alias Petre Vali. With four long tracks covering and taking care of multiple kinds of moments in our events, the music is either groovy and straight to the point, in 'High Emotions' and 'Nightlong' tracks and more layed back and tooly in 'Bourjois' and Far Away. As Bourjois murmurs 'Don't belive... really hear'!
3- Unknown Artist - VWV 001
Love finding these 'Unknown Artist' releases brought to light by good labels, this one being in the back of Yoyaku store, another platform oriented for minimal side of grooves, VWV. Clearly the Yoyaku house juice is present in fuzzy voices, which is sustained on both tracks with serious beats and particular percussions with grooves to set a new standard.
4- Serialism / [SER040] Cristi Cons & Sublee - You and Me
Sublee teams up with Cristi Cons for a great EP on the Berlin vinyl label Serialism. It's a great release since the sound is a bit different then what we're used to hear from their solo productions, on this one they deliver round beats and basses also break rhythms, coverd up by the classical micro-house high vibration sounds. Complete EP with a bonus track hidden inside.
5- Vid & Hokuto Sato - Rinkenn [ANDROMEDA008]
Now we're used to the vibe of Andromeda, but now Vid takes out his own name as Sorin Rastoaca, with even a more chilled out music, in collaboration with Japan's Hokuto Sato, this EP is vibrating with nice beats and rhythms but the musical side is more deamy then ever for Andromeda. Eight represents the infinite, choose your dream.
6- Toolwax / Sepp - Lady [toolwax004]
Toolwax is also back on it's groove too, with a housy soul emanating, on this vinyl only release, at oriental flavors and disco cuts. Sepp is the undercover artist bringing his melodies on and calibrated with minimal beats, continuous loops, always delivering the "Krem a la Krem" for our after-hours mind trips. Tools or not, this is a must have!
Enjoy the music, support the artists, buy the records, share the love. From P. with Love!
Words by Dan Primaru
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For ten fantastic years UK based label Lick My Deck have been delivering touching and high quality sounds, staying true to themselves by abiding to their quality over quantity ethos. Over the years, they have seen releases from the likes of Thomas Melchior, Ion Ludwig, and Petre Inspirescu back in 2012. To celebrate the momentous milestone, and 20th release of the introspective electronic music label they welcome on board Romanian master of magical rhythms, Barac. ‘Pata Din Mijlocul Naturii’ is a three track EP, inspired and curated around the basis of Barac’s passion and love for natural surroundings and shamanism. This is something that is certainly evident via the sounds you are hearing but also the ever-unique artwork that accompanies each and every release on Lick My Deck.
The whole of the A side is taken up by ‘Asa E Omul’ sitting at 14 minutes long this record is a journey in itself, setting the overall mystical tone perfectly. Driven by infectious breaks grooves, and a sweeping bass line. The extended track is laced with fascinating strings and percussions, something we are familiar with when gifted with the rare opportunity of a release from Nicolae; A must listen.
Kicking off the B side is ‘Cursul Resparatie’ in English this translates to the “course of breathing”. The arrangement and layout is really something special, a stripped back mentality carried through with the sounds of a flute, and just when you are thinking it can’t become any smoother the lick of an Indian tabla drum strikes just before the drop, breathing more life in to the song. To round things off is ‘Sapte, Numarul Magic’ and this doesn’t distance itself from being an actual dream. If you close your eyes and allow the harmonies to take over, something special is bound to happen. A steady drum ticks away, leaving an open invitation for the mysterious pads and piano stabs to take control. So all in all a true exploration of a variety of creative territories.
For us, this is a personal encounter with Barac himself and we find it a more than fitting release to celebrate the years of hard work Lick My Deck put in to their label, all starting with founder Shaun Soomro. Nothing is left behind with so much care going in to every chapter of their story, from track selection, mastering, and as we mentioned before the hand designed artwork created personally every time. Here’s to many more years of Lick My Deck.
Vinyl Only - Release Date: 3rd of October 2017
Words by Zac Bidwell
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Following on from our Oscuro 3rd birthday party lineup announcement, MEOKO are proud to offer one lucky reader;
- One Amorf‘Blending Light’ vinyl;
- 2 tickets to Oscuro in the Garden on the 16th September;
- A £20 bar tab for when you get there, all courtesy of Oscuro!
The party organisers will be taking over Studio 338 for a stunning open-air celebration with SIT, Zendid and a few more great artists providing the soundtrack for a truly unmissable event, and you could be there too!
In addition to this, you’ll win ‘Blending Light’ by Amorf. Created by MischaBlanos on one side and CristiCons and VladCaia on the other, this triple disc vinyl is characterised by its expertly blended neoclassicism and techno. To make things better, each release also includes a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork.
In their own words: [Amorf is] “Meant to shape Mischa’s liquid piano stories into dancefloor memories, Amorf creates the sonic framework, carefully built by Cristi and Vlad around intricate percussions and minimalistic loops, taming the piano strings to follow the wild tempo, sometimes lush & deep, other times harsh & raw but at every given moment inducing the audience into a dreamy state of mind.”
with Oscuro 3rd Birthday as the subject heading. Good luck!
Alternatively; If you do not want to miss out on this pinnacle moment for the party organisers and to see some amazing talents, make sure to get your ticket now.
Words: Georgia Evans
More Oscuro London - Facebook Event
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Unleash London does not need much of an introduction as being one of the leading underground party brands and bringing the most exciting names to date. It was just two weeks ago when Apollonia played during the day and the night in London as well as bossman Barac destroying the room in Studio Spaces, right after the 2-hour pure live-set by Ion Ludwig; What a weekend that was!
Even dust has not settled yet we were hit by the big news for their next event. On 23rd of September, this time hosted in Mangle8, beautiful, intimate venue bringing a Romanian minimal legend – Rhadoo. Being a one third of the [a;r:pia:r] soundsystem he will play one of his subtle extended sets. His numerous releases on his own imprint with Raresh and Petre Inpirescu, SIT’s Amphia label, Cadenza, Fabric records speak for themselves. His experience and eclectic taste in music shines through his sets and we definitely can’t wait for his Unleash debut.
He will be joined by Moritz Von Oswald who is known as one of the biggest pioneers and the most respected and experienced dj’s of dub techno since 1990s. Over the years he collaborated with artists such as Ricardo Villalobos, Juan Atkins, Carl Craig to name a few. Having been playing at the legendary Tresor club in Berlin for over two decades, he is definitely one of the top artists added to the bill.
And there is Matteo Manzini head of one of the top East London party’s – Damaged. We seen him around for a while now playing for Cartulis, Toi Toi, Half Baked and recently fabriclondon alongside Unleash headliner Rhadoo as well as Sonja Moonear and SIT. He always keeps surprising us with his wide variety of sounds presented during his parties and sets which we think will be a perfect round up for the night.
We are very excited for this line up and looking forward to the event, if you do not want to miss the chance to see those amazing talents, get your tickets now.
Words by Matas Balta
More UNLEASH / Facebook Event
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What is clear about Jasper is his absolute passion for sound. All the things that Ferro sprinkles into his productions, as well as for his MEOKO mix too. Ferro’s sound comes caked in a vintage dust, sounding as though his beats have been maturing in a draw before being unleashed on the world
Having had a busy Summer 2017 playing at some of top destinations with the likes of Sankeys Ibiza, DGTL Festival, Awakenings Festival, Infuse London, Welcome to the Future, Mysteryland Festival, Dockyard, Free Your Mind Festival, Pollerwiesen, We Are Festival, Loveland Festival, Paradigm Festival; still he is not willing to stop. His latest release on Oscillat was received very well and was played by Raresh & Praslea among others. You should also check out his new releases on Lessizmore & VBX.
We caught up with the Curator of VBX right after playing at HYTE X FUSE Amnesia Ibiza, ahead of his London presence this Sunday at FUSE x VBX showcase.
1. Holla Jasper! It’s been a while, how are you doing?
Yes it is… Thanks for having me again. Good, thanks!
2. Are you ready to get not so serious?
Yes. Luckily that wouldn’t be too much of a problem as I'm overall not a very serious person.
3. Batman or Spiderman?
Batman, I prefer his hearing.
4. What would be the thing you could not imagine your life without?
5. Craziest thing you have seen in a party?
Bit of a crazy story.. Once during a gig, I had to pee so bad. The vibe at the party was so good though that I didn’t want to stop playing. Eventually the story ended with my best friend Karel carrying a bucket full of my piss through the audience...That must be one of the craziest and funniest things I've seen at a party. But hey, that’s what real friends are for right? haha
6. Your favorite karaoke song?
7. If you were the last person on earth, what would be the first thing you do?
Take off all of my clothes
8. Favorite food?
Stamppot, a typical Dutch dish. Best to google it..it's difficult to explain
9. If you could fly what would be your first destination?
The dark side of the moon.
(This could be a nice track title. :)
10.You could wish for anything you want, what would that be?
Wet baby wipes at every toilet in the world.
11. Would you rather stay vegan for the rest of your life or play 1 Britney Spears song in every set of yours?
Definitely to become a vegan for the rest of my life.
12. Your biggest fear?
To stumble across Bob of Twin Peaks in a dark alley.
13. Could you finish a pint in under 10 seconds?
Yes, but will probably throw up right after.
14. First thing you do when you get back from a party?
Take of my shoes
15.3 things to do in a near future:
To be honest I usually don’t think too far ahead. I do know the next three things I will do right after this:
1. Get into the plane
2. Get a Taxi
3. Enter DC 10
16. Best party pal?
Archie Hamilton b2b Rossko - Live @ Bret (Fuse x VBX ADE Afterhours)
17. Weirdest moment during a gig?
One time in the UK, people were throwing their socks at me while I was playing. I was so confused, I thought they may not like the music I was playing or something like that. After my set my friend told me that he had asked somebody in the crowd who explained: ‘He was playing so good, he blew my socks off’. Hahah
18. Your favorite club?
The club of 27.
19. Other things to highlight for 2017?
HYTE closing Amnesia Ibiza
ADE ‘17: VBX w/Zip and Praslea
VBX w/SIT and Jan Krueger
Upcoming VBX 004 release together with Reiss as Spokenn “Limbic Resonance EP”
See you on Sunday at the village called Underground for FUSE x VBX at Village Underground.
Words by Matas Balta
More Ferro; Facebook / SoundCloud
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The Craig Richards, Gottwood combo was always going to get the festival juices flowing, yet expectations were unusually high for Houghton’s debut last month. With such an exquisite line up, beguilingly minimal marketing and promises of spontaneous back to backs, this was the festival to be at this summer.
Even as I traced my car through Norfolk’s gorgeous B roads, my passenger and (appalling) co-pilot Fabianski fuelled the fire further, abandoning her navigational duties to skim Facebook for updates. The music, she announced, was apparently going to be non stop all weekend.
Such a rumour was true, and the twenty four hour license developed into being a pivotal aspect of the weekend. It meant that I could eat, sleep, party, relax whenever I wanted over the three days and dip my toes in and out of the musical waters as and when I pleased.
A gold star must go to the sound, and from the bespoke Klipsch setup in the Giant Steps tent to the mighty four point system in the Terminus, every stage (for the most part) was brilliant. And I mean really brilliant. I have not heard such weight and clarity in any club in London, ever.
Joy O was the first to kick things off on Friday with a superb set in the Quarry. There was care in his mixing, an easiness, and flare in his track selection as he wove stinkers like ‘Hackney Parrot’ into classy, soulful house. A housed up edit of Blacker Than Black (4 The Good Times) was a particularly smiley moment, along with another stunner that Fabianski and I have gone to laughably long lengths to ID. Seeing people scramble up the banks of the Quarry to huge jeers was comical later on in the weekend, even moreso were the bouncers trying to catch them.
Just down the hill from the stage you could grab a £2.50 tea, (with optional vegan brownie, of course) delicious paella, or an overpriced sourdough pizza. Go a little further and you would find the place which would turn out to be the beating heart of Houghton, Giant Steps. I would love to see more stages like this next year. The tent was really something, drenched in beautiful plants, big cushions and sweltering heat. Much attention has been given to the BBC turntable console that the DJ’s did their business on, but I couldn’t really tell the difference. Donna Leake was incredible both times I saw her over the weekend and played the sexiest, smoochiest, tropical grooves I have heard in long time. Bravo to Brilliant Corners for stamping your mark on an otherwise minimally decoured event.
The main, Derren Smart stage was next across the road, and home to some of the most eagerly anticipated acts of the weekend. Here there was ample room to groove, a wicked system and enough space to chat and appreciate the attire of my fellow partygoers. 1995 footy tops were heavily on the menu this year.
Standout performances came from Derrick Carter, who worked up a big crowd with the likes of Boz Scaggs ‘Lowdown’ and similar, slutty disco early on Friday. I also sobbed during Kamaal Williams’ special ninety minutes on Sunday.
More disappointing was Vilod, and despite my wanting to enjoy Ricardo and Max Loderbauer’s noodling on their modules, the whole thing felt a bit out of place and slightly unprepared. Loderbauer ended up rolling his eyes as Villalobos fidgeted with the jack leads, causing static to spray embarrassingly through the rig.
All was not lost though, and I got my minimal fix in the form of Rhadoo instead. I remember repeating his 8 am set time to Fabianski with a sense of disbelief when we arrived at the festival. ‘There are two days to go… Let’s pace ourselves.’ She reminded me.
Anyway, there we were, late Saturday morning, Rhadoo prowling around the decks, shimmying his shoulders in front of a diminished crowd of thirty five. It was an unbelievable spectacle as the Romanian stunned us with groovy, sludgy tracks marked with sublime sound design. As my body started to tire (I ended up on my haunches, as usual) extensive cheers forced a smile out of the maestro as the clock struck twelve. This was the highlight of my weekend.
With minor tweaks to the programming and decour, the festival will improve next year. Sunday night was screaming out for a Ricardo, Dygas, Craig or Raresh closing set, for example. Perhaps some more spontaneous back to back action?
Houghton can be proud of it’s first attempt though. The size was great, the vibes were nice and the stages were all cool. The music license was brilliant too and is something that the other UK festivals will be looking at enviously.
Just being able to watch the DJ's do their thing on fat, custom systems was the real joy for me all weekend though, and I’ll be back next year for round two.
Words by Marlon George
Photos by Jake Davis
From house to techno to tech house to minimal, few artists in the contemporary realm can lay claim to being as diverse and eclectic as Romanian artist, Dragosh. Now living in Milan, the prolific producer has had his works featured on some of the globe’s foremost labels, with Moon Harbour, Desolat and VIVa just some of those who’ve featured his always unique sound. He’s been busy of late too, with releases in the works for the likes of Memoria, as well as a recently debuted live show that turned heads recently at Berlin’s Club der Visionaire. We caught up with the man in question recently as he talked us through some of his recent endeavors to go alongside the great mix he provided for us…
How are you Dragosh? How has your summer been?
Hello and thanks for having me. The summer was just great, I had some nice gigs in Switzerland and in Berlin and took some time out to relax for myself also. So I can’t complain.
We noticed you grew up in Bucharest but moved to Milan as a teenager. What promoted the move?
At the time I had to start high school, so my mother decided to bring me to Milan to better my future opportunities. So it was a family decision more than anything, I guess.
Was settling in Milan tough? How influential was music in your life back then?
To be fair it was actually pretty easy, the language isn’t so tough to learn! Musically it was a change, but I soon started to listen to a lot more Italian music like LucioDalla, Mina and many others. In Romania, I had been more focused on hip-hop and 90s electronic music. Finding a large Italian background in music definitely helped me to better understand other genres too.
So both countries influenced your music a lot then?
Well, yes. The Romanian side of me is probably more into ‘underground’ house, whereas my Italian side from Milan is probably more into banging music as well as more melodic, easy listening stuff.
When did you start producing music and where did your first release come out? How do you think your sound has progressed since back then?
I started producing pretty early actually;when I was around 16/17 years old. My first vinyl release actually came out on VIVa Music, Steve Lawler's label. But before that, I also had a track released digitally called ‘Cut’, a really minimal, banging one. From there I soon delved in to more tribal house stuff and other genres such as techno and tech house. The point is, I never know how my music will change because I like to keep doing what keeps me happy at the time. Sometimes it’s sad, sometimes it’s dark, but I usually just send the music to labels and see what fits. Naturally I don’t send house to techno labels, but you get what I’m saying I’m sure.
When working on a track for a bigger label, do you feel extra pressure? Or do you usually just mail them what you’ve been working on and take it from there?
Working with pressure is not creative for me. I always do tons of tracks then choose the best ones for that label and send their way. Normally I send lots of tunes and let the label choose. I prefer this way. The only bad thing is that sometimes they don't reply at all when it’d be nice to have a yes or no and some feedback. But I’ve recently started my own label, WEorUS as I understand it's hard to keep up with all the demos. Plus this way I can put out what I like. Luckily I also work with two friends on the label, so shout out to the DWM PROD guys!
What’s the idea behind the label then?
The main plan for WEorUS is to release good music from artists we really appreciate. We've been stuck for a while because of some issues but we will soon release the third release. We are not planning to release a lot, it will be more focused on the music we’re feeling.
What do you think is the most challenging aspect of being a producer these days?
Big question! Probably the management aspect, something I’m really bad at. But these days you need to know how and where to market yourself when you have strong music. So probably dealing with the public relations side of things, yeah.
Do you have any formal music training? Do you think this is important these days?
I think it’s very important and better to have studied music at a formal level, but sadly it’s not an opportunity I ever had. But never say never, it’s still something I’d like to do. Here in Milan there is the Conservatorio, which offers lessons for beginners. So I’d love to take those classes one day.
You’ve produced on some of house and techno’s biggest labels. What do you consider your big break?
I still think it’s yet to come. Doing music is always a challenge and I always try to do better and focus not on the big break but on the music. If I do that, the break will come…
You’re a producer who’s just as comfortable producing minimal techno as you are house and techno. Do you think too few producers take risks with their sound these days and almost prefer to be pigeonholed as a ‘deep house’ DJ, a ‘techno’ producer etc.?
I don't like to be pigeonholed so that's why I try not to stick to one thing. It's more fun to let the creativity flow and to release only the things I feel have to be released. I've done everything from super jazzy to super acid techno stuff and breakbeat, but I don't want to release everything I do. And yes, it's a big risk because it can get confusing sometimes but I like to take this risk. When people, friends, label owners tells me "yes it's a different kind of music but it has your unique sound" that’s a big thing for me! That’s what makes me take risks.
You’ve been playing a lot with Dana Ruh at her Brouqade & Friends party recently. How did that relationship first come about? What have you learned from Dana over the years?
Yes, and this is probably my biggest experience in music to date. I’ve know Dana personally since 2013 when she invited me to play. But before the label night we hung out in her studio and had lunch and dinner so we bonded a lot. I've a good connection with Dana from the very beginning because we agree on most things musically and are focused on the same path and only ta;k when needed. I’ve learned a lot from her and the way she focuses on things is inspiring. Probably the biggest one is to not view a project in the short term, to stay focused and to bide my time.
You’ve been playing live recently. How did it go?
Yeah, I did it at Club der Visionare in Berlin and also at Circolodegli Illuminati in Rome (again with Dana) and both times worked really good! I'm planning to do it in other places soon and as a solo artist also. Transporting the gear isn’t easy but it’s a very fun way of playing music and seeing people’s reactions when you do something on stage is priceless.
What’s next for you that you’re really excited about?
I'm really excited for my next few releases and I have about 5 in the works for the next while. I’ll release on labels I’ve released on previously and labels I haven’t, such as Memoria Rec, CurteaVeche, Otaku Records and more. So certainly exciting times release wise.
Aside from music, what keeps you busy?
My day job! I'm an Optometrist here in Milan and it's pretty intense sometimes but also fun. My wife keeps me busy and happy but also helps me keep my feet on the ground! I have an artistic attitude to most things in life, to be honest…
Can you tell us 5 tracks that are really killing it in your sets recently?
Absolutely. HenrikBergqvist’s “Spin”, Conceiled Project’s “Pattern 3”, Onirico’s “Echo”, S.O.N’s “Untitled A (S.A.M Remix)” and Disuasiv’s “Project M”.
P.S.: Look out for Dragosh’s next release on Memoria, which is about to drop soon.
Thanks for your time and the exclusive mix
MEOKO Exclusive Mix - Dragosh
Words by Zac
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Join us as we take an exclusive look inside the world of Cure Music’s very own, MomoTrosman; A curator of enchanting journeys with a unique sense of direction, a true purveyor of experimentation. This is due to his vast and mature knowledge of sounds, committed to collecting records around the world discovering new genres, and if it moves him, he is not afraid to play it. The native Argentinian absorbs such a variation of rhythms but says himself ‘I have been very influenced by Detroit and Chicago, and by house music from NYC in the 90’s.’2011 was the year Trosman made the transition in to club booths.
From early on he proved his ability to grasp the room, and transform the atmosphere with his preferable extended sets. Each time painting an individual picture depending on the setting around him, an ability in itself is being able to adapt, in and create these special moments. Although still at a young age four European tours, and various trips around globe have allowed him to spread his forward thinking interpretations in some of the best clubs across the board. Including, Berlin's Club Der Visionaere and Watergate, Moscow's Gazgolder & Rodnya and Outcast, Torino. It goes without saying that Trosman has built a reputation in his home country, playing various clubs and parties in Buenos Aires.
Late 2015 truly was the start of something beautiful as he teamed up with fellow South American Felipe Valenzuela and Cure Music was born. Going forward with a special concept and true belief; ‘Music allows you to stop thinking and let go of your problems, and surely has a healing function’. Even in this short space of time there has been an incredibly solid output from the label, with each release spearheaded by high quality artists and producers from around the globe. Zendid stepped up first with ‘Fortu’ and this sold out within three days of release; talk about start as you mean to go on. Since the debut Cure Music have churned out releases from Afriqua, Omni A.M. and most recently this August saw the ‘Hipnoise’ Ep from Federico Molinari.
Meoko Exclusive Mix - Momo Trosman
MomoTrosman is a name you need to familiarise yourself. Embrace the sounds you are hearing with an open mind, and appreciate a lifetime of devotement to new rhythms. Cure Music will continue to be your minds third eye, focusing on limitless productions edging away from the norm, but always a lively encounter. Taste the flavours for yourself in the hour long exclusive journey the Argentinian was kind enough to create for us.
Words by Zac
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Prepare yourselves for the 16th September, as SIT, Jayar and Kadow take over the Stuidio 338 Garden with Oscuro. As the events official media partners, MEOKO can exclusively announce that the special guest performers will be the amazing Zendid and another addition, the Romanian producer Cally!
The French duo who have previously provided us with an exclusive mix, are sure to bring it with their own unique style and sound. Fresh from VBX in Amsterdam and with gigs lined up at Watergate Berlin, these two have a promising future ahead of them.
They’ll be joining Cristi Cons and Vlad Cala aka SIT. The Bucharest-based, AMPHIA figureheads and [a:rpia:r] favorites have been establishing themselves since their debut in 2009. Through blending together their creativity, influences and musical backgrounds, they have been tirelessly performing and refining their sound. Seven years on, they’ve played festivals such as Sunwaves, The Tribes of Neversea and Unusual Suspects. Fresh from Sunwaves22, Cally is also billed for Oscuro 3rd birthday. In addition to this, there will be support from the residents, Jayar and Cadow.
As Oscuro have said themselves, who would have thought that three years on, they would be bringing some of the worlds most exciting talents to such a legendary venue deep in the techno heart of London.
This stunning open-air venue, Studio338, is sure to bring some magic to the event, with its unique style and impressive soundsystem. The likes of RPR, Magda, Cocoon, FUSE and many more respected parties have taken place there, so this really sets the bar high for the Oscuro team, but we’re sure they’ll pull it off to bring us all something mindblowing.
Since its foundation in 2014, Oscuro have been bringing London’s underground scene the freshest acts from the most innovative and exciting venues. Having brought us some of the best moments of the last few years, they are sure to pull out all the stops to make this something truly special.
If you do not want to miss out on this pinnacle moment for the party organisers and to see some amazing talents, make sure to get your ticket now.
Words: Georgia Evans
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Early August see the birth and debut release from Spain based label Girada Unlimited. A mysterious and imaginative vinyl only outlet, that in a short space of time has gained attention from high calibre artists across the board. The ‘Girada Max Ep’ was practically sold out before the day of release, leaving the remaining copies like gold dust for crate diggers and record lovers to hunt down. Meanwhile, everyone is scratching their heads wondering who is the master mind behind the label. Who could possibly put together such an outstanding first release, crammed with house and techno dance floor flavours, by a handful of carefully selected unknown artists? The answer everyone was looking for is, Julian Perez. And it all makes sense now.
Perez has been at the forefront of the underground scene for many years now. Rated highly by many for his impeccable taste in records, and his keen ear for fresh production talents amongst the scene. Always pushing forward exciting new ideas and sounds. The concept behind the unknown artist releases allows the listener to gain full focus in the heart of the sound. Without knowing the artists, or seeing a given name for each track, it allows the listeners mind to remain as open as possible. Creating their own interpretation without any influences, no limits, and no boundaries. The body and soul of the sound is painted by imagination.
The only details of the first release the listener is given is the name of the Ep ‘Girada Max’. Immediately you know where you are at with A1, a slick rolling groove, waiting to be shown a club dancefloor, something you would certainly expect to hear from Perez himself. A2 is much more grounded, stripped back and laced with dreamy percussions. Straight back to it in B1 for some cosmic boogie, a real sense of 90’s influences, the break especially. Certainly one for the collectors and selectors, looking for the outer space journey. Rounding things off perfectly, B2 has an after party atmosphere swaying the dance floor with steady breaks rhythms, a distinctive smooth groove. A perfect weight within four tracks. Have no fear, release number 02 is in the pipeline, keep your eyes and ears out for an announcement around the end of this month/early September.
After we see saw the ending of Perez’s much loved label Fathers & Sons Productions last year, one of the most influential labels of the past decade, it is great to see the Spanish artist begin a fresh and inspiring new project. However, let us be honest, we all knew it would not be long before we heard that name again.
Words by Zac
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Would you like to end your summer journey with a blast? Look no further!
On the 20th-24thAugust, nestled in the idyllic Croatian Zrce Beach, some of the world’s greatest DJs, producers and artists will be coming together for a festival experience to remember. Having already announced a series of performances from some real industry heavyweights, Sonus Festival have released their final selection of artists.
The first act, Agoria, sets the bar high. This unique French creative will be bringing his own blend of new sounds and old school influence to deliver something special. Then there’s Âme, who’ll be fresh from STRAF_WERK Festival in Amsterdam, expect conceptual, visceral magic from these two.
Representing the British scene, Dense &Pika will be showing off their remixing skills, as Floorplan aka Robert Hood and Lyric Hood are sure to provide some funk-driven vibes. Adding some jazz to it all, will be Guti.
Nick Curly b2b Steffen Deux Sonus Feat (Recorded live at Sonus Festival 2016)
Slovenian talent Ian F is also performing, as will local Croatian legends Ivan Komlinovic (live) and Mimi, plus Items and Things first lady Magda.
It wouldn’t be a party without the [a:rpia:r] crew. Raresh will be representing the Romanians as the very promising Steffen Deux also makes the list. The last new act is Valentino Kanzyani, the founding father of Slovenian techno.
Boat parties will be taking place across the festival with some amazing acts performing in unique style. Hosted by Trax, Jesus Loved You, tINI& the gang, XLR8R and Keep On Dancing, expect good vibes only.
Sonus have made sure to pull out all the stops, with their full lineup as follows:
Adam Beyer - Adriatique - Agoria - Âme (DJ) - Andrea Ljekaj - Andrologic - Apollonia - Archie Hamilton - Binh - Chris Liebing - Dan Andrei - DejanMilicevic - Dense &Pika -Dorian Paic – Enzo Siragusa - Fabio Florido - Felver - Floorplan (aka Robert Hood and Lyric Hood live) - Guti (live) - Hito - Homeboy - Ian F. - Ivan Komlinovic (live) - Jackmaster - Jamie Jones - Janina –JesseCalosso -Joey Daniel - Joseph Capriati - Josip Milkovic - Julia Govor - K.O.D (Cabanne&Lowris)- Karotte - Len Faki - Leon - Loco Dice - Luigi Madonna - MaceoPlex - Magda - Mano Le Tough -Marco Carola - Margaret Dygas - Mariano Mateljan - Marina Karamarko - Matador live - Meat -Mimi - Monika Kruse - Nick Curly - Pan-Pot - Raresh - Rhadoo - Ricardo Villalobos - Richie Hawtin- Richy Ahmed - Rødhåd - Sam Paganini - Seth Troxler - SHDW & Obscure Shape - Steffen Deux - Solomun - Sonja Moonear - Sven Väth - Tale Of Us - The Martinez Brothers - tINI - ValentinoKanzyani - Vril (live)
One lucky MEOKO reader could be in with the chance of winning two VIP tickets to the festival, and get the opportunity to witness this spectacular 4-day celebration.
with Sonus17 as the subject heading. Best of luck!
Words by Georgia Evans
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Over two years have gone by since Sol Asylum mistress Julie Marghilano touched down with her last mix for us. Within this time, the creative soul that she is has continued to carry her label from strength to strength, maintain solid residencies in Berlin’s Hoppetosse and Club Der Visionaere, and working on projects to adapt her live performances DJing and live. We present to you a MEOKO exclusive with Julie Marghilano.
With experience of living in several countries across the world, this is something that reflects in the eclectic sounds Marghilano presents. Never one to shy away from experimental atmospheres, Marghilano maintains an open mind for raw and organic sounds. This started from a young age, as her father was a jazz musician and her mother a vocalist. A natural violinist, it’s a talent that shine through in her often emotive sound.
As many artists discover, Berlin is an amazing metropolis for the music scene, but simultaneously a tough nut to crack. In such a competitive city for electronic music, it is no easy feat to start a successful party, nor is it easy to run a thriving record label at the same time. Add in the fact that Julie has released on the likes of Tzinah records and Little Helpers, and it’s obvious that this is a lady who likes to stay busy – and on top of her game.
In 2011 Sol Asylum was born, with Marghilano and close companion Miss Jools leading from the front. The label represents a perfect blend of music and visual art, with each release having an individual graphic artist chosen to create the images. A one-of-a-kind visual and audio experience combined with records and events. The Sol Asylum family is ever growing, attracting prominent artists, and fresh faced producers alike. London based OdD have made an appearance, joined by the likes of Mariano Mateljan, Markus Sommer, Dilated Pupils and Pressure Point. Over the years, the label has also seen many releases from the founders themselves, with last year’s ‘Innerspace’ a true representation of the class and creative world Marghilano can immerse the listener in.
Despite so much going on regarding the label, the frequency of parties and events remains. Whether it is an all day and night party on the canal at Club Der Visionaere, or a winter soiree on everybody’s favourite boat, HMS Hoppetosse, Marghilano & co. adopt a forward-thinking outlook each and every time. Recent events have featured Oskar Offerman, Audio Werner and Losoul, proving once more that diversity is a trait that practically defines Sol Asylum. This month the party also saw light at London’s intimate space The Lion & Lamb.
MEOKO Exclusive Mix: Julie Marghilano: Julie Marghilano
Outside of the clubs, when the dust is settling on the dancefloor - and when she is not conjuring up her next release in the lab - the talented artist is working on something else entirely. As if none of the above is enough for you, there is a live show in the works from the Berliner. With such a vast knowledge of different musical outlets, playing and sampling instruments such as her violin, and using field recordings; who knows where this path could lead. From what we have discovered, when it comes to Julie Marghilano, expect the unexpected.
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One of the most sought after records in the past year is about to land. Partygoers and music lovers alike have been on the hunt for this old school bomb, with many people failing to identify the track. This is all thanks to the master of the Paris underground scene, Dan Ghenacia. Known for his ability to seduce his listeners with his smooth grooves and infectious house selections. This is a track that once emerged from his collection last summer; it has never left the bag.
The Apollonia outfit begun as an outlet for the French trio Dan Ghenacia, Dyed Soundorom and Shonky to release their own material, but also repress some of their personal favourites. Here we have a special record that made the cut. Italian duo Laser initially released the Body EP on Pin Up in 1993. A deep house project that they may not have realised would become so special, with the original ranging from 35-50 euros on Discogs.
‘Body Beat’ is one of those game changing tracks you can mould your set around. Immediately lifting the atmosphere of the room.From the word go, you just know you are in for a treat. An organ takes the lead role, bouncing the course of the track; with strong female vocals fading in and out, it sets a feel good vibe. When caught off guard on the dancefloor by this irresistible sound, you will definitely struggle not to dance.
On the B side ‘Body Under’ is a distinctive moody affair, weighed down with a chunky rolling bassline. Heads down, hands up. Cosmic percussions seem to appear out of nowhere, creating a sense of mystery for the listener as it twists and turns.
An early 90’s treat at its finest. Expect to hear this groove far and wide, and if it was not a classic before, it is safe to say it has become one. Do not worry the wait is nearly over. The days are gone of watching the clip of Ghenacia unleashing this weapon at a villa party in Ibiza, whilst you sit there trying to work out what you are witnessing. The highly anticipated release is coming at the end of this month.
Villa Party Clip - HERE
Words by Zac Bidwell