- Published on Thursday, 07 September 2017 12:40
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.
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?
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?
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
- Published on Monday, 04 September 2017 17:53
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
Words by Zac
- Published on Friday, 30 June 2017 21:37
Pier Bucci, well known for releasing on Cadenza and Crosstown Rebels in the ‘00s, is one of a handful of seminal minimal producers to rise out of Chile. An occasional collaborator with Luciano, the Maruca Music founder has now launched a new project alongside exciting Berlin-based prospect Oskar Szafraniec; a young talent who many will recognize from appearances on Cyclo and Murge Recordings.
Meeting in Japan, Bucci and Szafraniec’s shared pseudonym is BUSZTM and the pair have an album landing on Beef Records at the end of the year. MEOKO got in touch to find out more:
Hi guys, how is it going? What have you been up to lately?
P: Hi! I’ve been in South America for 7 months, traveling on an Austrian military truck (a Steyr Pinzgauer). So far, I’ve been in the desert of Atacama, Salar de Uyuni and also La Paz in Bolivia, Lake Titicaca and Cusco in Peru, as well as researching and recording Altiplano music. In Peru, I went to a community that’s high up the Andes and recorded a 73-year-old man, playing a 24 stringed guitar. His music was incredible. I also went to the eastern island and did a recording of Polinesic music with a songwriter named Cal Mario Tuky.
O: I just got back from Austria, I’ve spent a month there. Just been traveling from place to place, very happy to be back in the studio, I signed couple of new records for Skylax and Gel’s Abril new record label. I’d like to finish a solo album this year, that’s the plan. I was just looking at our pictures the other day from the tour in Japan. Do you remember that time Pier?
P: Oh yeah, I remember when we met in the restaurant in Japan! This was before the gig at Womb and it was your birthday! Then we went to Osaka to this nice festival called Sea of Green. Japan is my favourite place and the best club has to be Yellow.
O: It’s quite the same for me. Japan is a very interesting country and I had a lot of fun playing at Liquid Room, it was also nice to play b2b live with [A Guy Called] Gerald at that festival in Osaka you mentioned, such a nice experience in the mountains. The rain was heavy.
P: Yes, that was an experience!
What else have you got lined up this year?
P: Well my solo album ‘Pier Bucci Anika’ is going to be released. Apart from that I’ve been working on two more productions with Andean music and Polinesic music. They’re still a work in progress.
O: … Yes, what I’ve heard of the ‘Anika’ album is amazing, can’t wait to see it released! I have a 12’’ coming out on Skylax, which is four tracks, as well as two EPs on Gel Abril’s new label. There are also a couple of things, which can’t be mentioned yet, but I’m really happy with the way this year is going.
Not to mention the collaborative album as BUSZ! Can you tell us more about the relationship between you two?
P: As soon as we met we discovered we have a lot of similar interests and tastes in music, especially the music made in the 90s in England, like the electronica scene.
O: So many amazing records were released back then. The music was full of emotions.
P: Yes! We’re always evaluating and admiring the incredible emotions involved in that type of music. We always talk about how music from the 90s in England was so emotional and nowadays this magic is more often found in the background. We share this way of focusing on the feeling of music, where music is more important than how effective the track is on the dance floor.
O: For us, the time in the studio is very important. All of the hours involved behind producing each track as well as the incredible method and architecture behind each track; it’s always important that every moment of production goes towards creating the incredible methodic architecture. The process of creating the tracks by using synthetizing sounds in the album was done in a very methodic way, where we also share the special times and the moments of our own individual lives.
P: Exactly. We spend time working on the tracks together every day. Dealing with the issues of everyday life situations between conversations about all the many frequencies we can make from the machines and mixers whilst translating these moments into music in the form of notes, frequencies, rhythms and vibrations.
O: Magic happens, for example when we needed an instrument, which was the Moog Mother 32, we were looking on Ebay for two of them and happened to find a guy 20 meters from Pier’s house who was selling exactly two of them and, of course, we bought them right away!
Can you tell us more about the collaboration process itself?
P: For me, having a good studio plus the experience of producing numerous albums, combined together with the fresh musical view provided by a young and passionate Polish person [Oskar] led to a lot of sharing. If you have an experience and don’t share this experience with others it's a waste of time, because everything you experience and experiment with needs to be shared as this is how you grow. Sharing my studio and my experiences with Oskar was a real refreshment for my productions because we encouraged each other to practice new productions techniques.
O: Working with Pier was an absolute honour; he’s so experienced and has recorded so many albums and various different projects…he’s incredible.
P: Our album is a collage of old equipment, such as Moogs and analog machines, plus a lot of new equipment, as well as instruments such as guitars, drums, recording reels and vocals. Our focus on different sound architectures led to creating atmospheres and rhythms to harmonize our two influences; a colourful Latin sound with a deeper sound from the east, where we blend the traditions and cultures creating an incredible effect. This is the result of the two of us working together.
For me to do music and continue being inspired the best method is to learn from different cultures by travelling the world in a conscious way. This is the best process and is the way I like to enjoy my life. Music has been an incredible gateway for getting to know different people with different personalities, influences, cultures and ways of thinking and acting.
O: It’s been like this for quite a few years for me, too. It's traveling and meeting new people that makes me happy; sharing different points of view, different ideas, and making the effort for all of our music to evolve together!
BUSZTM ‘Tipico Latino’ (Album Sampler)
More BUSZTM on juno
- Published on Friday, 30 June 2017 20:48
The Under The MEOKO Microscope series is back with a bang; Berlin-based producer, Inner.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Inner. We know you have a busy schedule - How has everything been going?
Everything is going well, lately its been a lot of nature for me and it will be like that till end of summer.
It barely takes a pair of ears to tell that you have a real passion for minimal and techno. How were you first exposed to these sounds and what artists did you grow up on? Who were your major influences?
First music played by me as a DJ was Drum and Bass. In a short time after thru new friends met at the local electronic music club I discovered the likes of Anthony Rother, Miss Kitten and Sven Vath. Then came the first editions of Sunwaves and the Romanian djs. At the time they ware not playing „the romanian sound“ but a combination of house, techno, and tech house (the good one). One of the sets I still remember and look back too is Zip s set at SW after hours in 2009.
How was the techno scene growing up in Romania? Was there anything in particular that made you think, “Wait, I want to make it in this scene?”
Not really. It came natturelly as at the time we ware organising parties in my hometown since our local electronic music club just got closed. I was discovering new music and it was easy for me to share it with people . I did warm ups for about 2 years.
It’s been almost 4 years now since you moved to Berlin. How do you find the city? Are you enjoying your life there?
I moved to the city without knowing anyone or talking german and I was lucky to find some very nice people straight away that supported me from the beggining. Life in the big city has ups and downs, like everywhere. Somehow you are sourounded by people but it feels more lonely than in a smaller city. People are so concerned about their lifes that its hard sometimes to make plans with friends. But the city has so much to offer in terms of art, nature, to name a few so I enjoy living here a lot.
You’ve recently released some amazing music on Anthea’s label Partisan. Could you give us a bit of the story behind this EP?
We met at a party at CDV when I was playing a few years ago and we kept in contact ever since. Its hard to find labels that fit my music and that I am happy to release on. It was clear to me that Anthea has a vision for her new Partisan project and when I heard her talk with such passion about it I wanted to be part of it straight away. Now we became more than collaborators and I am happy to release among great music and producers.
In regards to your own productions, what projects are you working on at the moment?
Winter and spring was full of producing and studio sessions, now summer is here and its more about enjoying. If you live in Berlin you understand. But I did start a new project with ISH, jamming together and making tracks. Its been really fun but no real plans to release till now.
What do you find the most challenging aspect of producing your own music?
Not sure if its challenging but I get bored very fast. And its not making music that I get bored of its more the style of music. I feel I cannot keep a direction, that can be also a good thing but also a bad one, cause people get confused about who you are. Its easier to categorise djs or producers and listeners like to do that. But as a person you change so much over the years, plus the constant stream of good music that is played at the clubs in Berlin has a big influence on me.
And what about your own Record label Polen? How did you start the label and what are your aspirations for your own imprint?
Polen started mostly to release new producers and my own music. I always liked the idea of discovering new young artists that have something to say. Now its developing into something else, with more established producers coming with eps, but everything is going quite slowly but in a good direction.
What’s one thing that you don’t see enough of in the music industry that you’d like to see?
More parties at the beach?!
What would be your top three travel tips for touring Djs?
Drink lots of water, eat fruits and vegetables and be nice.
With all the traveling and the constantly expanding technology and gear, what is something that always stays in your DJ bag. What is it that you always have to have with you?
Ear plugs. For sleeping not for listening.
Last but not least, could you tell us a little about the mix you made for MEOKO? What was your approach?
Its hard for me to make podcasts. Most of the podcasts I made are on the fly. Press record and see what happens but for this I kinda try to plan it a bit and then endded up doing exactly the same thing as for the others. So I hope you enjoy!
Inner thank you so much for your time! Hope we’ll to see in London soon!
Words by Denny Kem
- Published on Thursday, 08 June 2017 09:27
Full of excitement for the interview with a well known name in the underground scene. Vendi – Nice-born man, currently exploring Berlins scene, won our hearts and many around the globe with his warm house/electronica and minimal grooves. Vendi's hard work in studio on his swinging grooves, crafting and personalizing his sound reflected on huge releases so far. BP Records, Inwave and Hoxton Records are just a few amazing labels under his belt. Whether crafting his own record or stepping in for a remix, it is obvious that it will shake the dancefloor and make you groove. We were really excited to hear the news about his upcoming platform for his original sound called ‘Blacksketch Records’. It should start around October/November so keep your eyes peeled for future updates. Check it out as it has 2 beautiful groovers there for tasters. We absolutely loved them! Earlier this year he dropped a highly anticipated 3 track ‘Horizons’ EP on Hoxton Records. His latest EP could be heard through systems all around the globe with the support from many big names including the big trio – RPR. Tirelessly travelling the world and exploring horizons, Vendi is definitely the name to watch.
Hey Vendi, thank you for your time. Pleasure to have you on board. First of all, tell us how did you get involved in the club scene? What were your main influences back then and what inspires you most nowadays?
Hi, it’s a pleasure for me too, thank you! For me Djing started when I was a teenager, I was mixing tapes in parties for my friends. But making a carrier out of it was not the plan this came much later. It was a natural thing for me, I was passionate with music at a young age. My father was a pianist and the whole family is in music, in different ways. But at that time I was more into rock/grunge/progressive (Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth or Nirvana to name a few) In my 20’s I had a band, I played as guitarist and singer, but then we all took different directions, that’s when I started spinning wax and making music with a computer.
You were living Barcelona and now settled in Berlin right? What actually made you choose those cities? Have you enjoyed scene and people there? Is there something that would not find anywhere else? Feel free to share some crazy moments.
After one year playing in south of France, I decided to move to Barcelona, where I stayed 5 years. It’s during that time that I discovered Ibiza, when I played at Space for the first time. It’s been a great experience going to the cocoon parties, listening to big names like Ricardo, Arpiar and so on… After I needed a change, and decided to drop my bags in Berlin, in 2008. The city gave me what I was looking for, it’s an interesting place because of its culture and background, and this easy way of living seduced me. There’s this big melting pot of artists, and good DJs were playing around the corner every day. I have a ton of memories, it’s hard to name one, the best moments happened when I didn’t expect the night or day to become so memorable. Many happened in Bar 25 and CDV.
We heard some exciting news. You are about to launch your label Black Sketch Records. What made you start a label? What’s the idea behind the name?
It took me a while, I was just waiting for the right moment, now I’m ready. I have a better idea about the music I want to release, and having my own label gives me all the freedom. I will run everything with my friend Rorsha, who will also collaborate with me on the music. The name Black Sketch came from my tattoo artist name, my love for drawing and my ambient music project, which I began 3 years ago.
Congratulations on your recent release on Hoxton Records. Amazing 3 track EP. How did you come up with the ideas? Did you have image in your mind already? Must been a great moment when you heard RPR play your record.
At the beginning Hoxton contacted me because they liked an ambient track they listened to in one of my live podcast. They offered me to release it on vinyl and I loved the idea, that’s how I made an EP for them. Talking about RPR, of course I’m very proud, but it’s always an honour to be played by whoever.
Talking about records. Can you talk us through your studio? What is your favourite piece of gear? Is there a certain kit in studio that you could not imagine yourself without?
It may sound crazy, but I’m mainly working with a laptop these days. Sometimes I use some gears I borrow, I finish some ideas in friend’s studios here in Berlin, or in other places when I’m on tour… But I’m setting up my home studio for the summer, to work on the label future releases, I can’t wait!
How do you manage all your travelling and crazy lifestyle? Is it easy for you to find enough studio time to make those killer records?
The advantage to work on my laptop is that I’m very mobile. I can work everywhere, when I feel inspired. I’m not always producing tracks for the club scene. I also like making music like movie soundtracks, electronica and ambient like I said. It depends on my mood. In general, when I produce a track it doesn’t take long to have a good loop, and then I enjoy playing with it for a while. Then I open other projects, and mixed them together sometimes. And some days when I feel like it, I start recording.
As a raver, what were your highlights of the year? Any DJ’s that stuck in your mind or clubs? Are there any artists you are looking forward to seeing?
Actually I don’t go out so much anymore. But I’ve been to Sunwaves for the first time this year, and I loved it! It was the kind of musical experience I needed, to get more inspired. I enjoy the Romanian vibe, so it just made sense.
Thank you for creating mix for us! Wicked sounds. What were the ideas behind the mix? Is there a specific way you prepare for mix series?
I’m glad you liked it, thanks.
The main idea is to create a storyline. I selected tracks which worked well together, edited some of them and added some of my own unreleased work. It was recorded at home, chilling with a friend and a bottle of wine.
It was absolute pleasure having you here. Any exciting news about releases? Maybe some exciting dates or collaborations you would like to share with fans?
What would be your best advice from your experience for upcoming artists?
My advice for a young artist, be patient, do things with passion, don't be affraid to create accident in your art , learn from your mistakes and get inspiration from all the little things surrounding you.
Thanks for your time.
Thank you MEOKO.
Words by Matas Balta
More Blacksketch Records
- Published on Wednesday, 24 May 2017 08:16
Archetype [ar-ki-typ] noun.
1 A prime example.
2 An original model.
3 A constantly recurring symbol or motif.
The Arkityp tidal wave is coming and now is your chosen time of discovery. Join us as we delve a little deeper behind the scenes of the fantastic new project from Archie Hamilton and Rossko. Not much introduction is needed for the two artists, both having bags of experience amongst the underground scene, not just in London but worldwide. After years of the two of them holding down serious residencies with Fuse, and hefty back-to-back sets with their infectious vibe, the time has come for them to do what only seems natural, produce their own imprint. What started as a party in Ibiza in 2015, now seems an impressive reality of the journey they have been on. The label’s debut release ‘M25 EP’ has received an amazing response being driven through dance floors all over, creating a certain buzz around the movements of Arkityp.
This really is what it is all about, two close friends in and outside of music coming together, both sharing a vision and delivering their creativity in a form they see fit. It is clear the musical appreciation is mutual between the two, and we are sure we speak for many when we say we are extremely excited to see and hear what this project entails. This is how it went down when we caught up with the duo, discussing where it all started in Ibiza, and what they have in store for the future…
We are extremely keen to discover this. Will there be more Arkityp parties coming in the future? In Ibiza? or around the world?
At the moment we are concentrating on the music. We did a season of Arkityp parties in Ibiza at Underground in 2015; they were a success but this was never a long term plan; just one-off series of parties at one of our favourite spots on the island, still - never say never.
We love the definition and meaning behind the name Arkityp, how did the name come about?
We played around with many ideas. Loads actually. We wanted something that represented the idea behind the party and the music. The word means ‘the original model’ or ‘example’ and that’s what we are trying to say; nothing complicated, just high-quality output.
It’s also a play on our names; the A and the R next to each other also represents Archie and Rossko. There are three of us involved (James Reynolds is behind visual and design aspect.), hence the triangle logo.
When was the moment you thought 'OK, it's time to take it to the next level and create a record label'?
The label came about because the two of us had been playing back to back for many years at Fuse. The season we spent in Ibiza on the event was the turning point, naturally we became very good friends in music and more importantly outside of music. When we play we have this innate connection - you can’t force that, it just happens - we’re tuned into the same frequency so moving this connection to the studio was the next step - it just felt right.
If it wasn’t for Enzo creating a Fuse studio and encouraging not just us two but all of the Fuse artists to use the space, projects like this wouldn’t be easily realised. We really respect Enzo’s mindset of being a collective. He is the example of what many people with parties/brands should aspire to.
We made 3 tracks in 3 days, all the years playing b2b, talking and sharing music it just came out of us. We know each other’s sound inside out and we respect others opinion so making music is pretty simple and straightforward. How it should be!
After the sessions Archie took them to his cave and sprinkled his magic on them, we spent the next couple of weeks road testing them and getting feedback from the rest of the Fuse crew until we were happy that they could be signed off for pressing.
Will the label strictly be a platform for the both of you? Or will we see features from fellow friends/artists?
At the moment we see this as a label just for ourselves, purely an artistic platform for the both of us to release whatever we feel like. We wanted to explore other avenues of music that we like, but that also reflect our common ground. Rossko has a big garage, grime and jungle side, where as I have a Trip Hop and an eclectic electronica background these past influences really shape our direction and sound.
That’s not to say the door is closed with other artists but we like things to flow naturally, so whatever is meant to happen will happen.
There was quite a buzz amongst the underground scene, especially in the UK, when announcing your new venture. And the first release the 'M25 EP' has had so much huge support it must be such a rewarding feeling for you both. Any news/info you can give us on the second release? Or any other releases for that matter? We did see a picture from the depths of the studio that made us quite excited.
We are really happy with how it’s been received and feeling proud to know we can reach out to a lot of people around the world that support our music, rave to it and buy our records. For the record to sell so quickly and go to repress means we are doing something right. It’s a good feeling, it just makes us want to get back in the studio even quicker and put more records out.
We already have started work on the next 3 tracks. Same output; same process as before, 3 tracks in 3 days. We have been road testing them already and a few keen ears have even spotted them as Arkityp tracks - to us, this is a good sign - its shows we’re creating our own identity and sound as Arkityp. This was our aim in the first place.
The debut EP 'M25', really does cater for all dance floor situations, whether its peak time or an after party vibe. Is this a reflection of what you as a label are trying to capture?
They are 3 very different tracks but all are connected to a sound and an idea that reflect our personalities, we’re good at translating them into records. I guess it’s an art form really. As DJ’s first we love to play especially; peak time, intimate space, those daytime open air parties as well as your dark and sweaty after hour.
We want to make music that is playable in any situation. We can only do this because we have done a lot of research and development on the dance floor.
You have built quite a reputation with your b2b sets, at some amazing parties. It seems you have a great understanding and similar musical energy, does this shine through in the studio as well as in the booth?
When we first played we just knew. We were three deck mixing, looping, using tools, mixing for each other. When it works, it works…we really look forward to playing together. That’s the mad thing about synergy; weird stuff happens.
A few weeks ago I was playing at Fuse and Archie had given me this special track over a year ago, we were in Ibiza in his hotel room and I must of played it about 10 times in a row - it’s a typical Rossko track. The thing is I never got the chance to play it out until the last Fuse, Jan Kreuger was about to come on and he has that sleazy vibe, so I just knew that this was the moment to drop the track. As I’m just about to bring the track in the mix - Archie taps me on the shoulder to say hello as he had just arrived at Village Underground. I just put up the fader and we just laughed, did a shot of tequila and had a little dance to the track.
Its these little things like this that happen all the time with us. It's either coincidence or someone up there winking down on us. Depends your point of view!
Is there a certain process or routine you follow in the studio, or does the magic just happen?
We have Rossko, who is more of the copilot, directing the ideas, standing up, dancing and making strange noises! Archie in the driving seat translating the madness. I have to big up Archie because to last three days in the studio with me working this way is impressive. I have so many ideas and I want to put all of them into one track. He is teaching me a lot - in fact we help each other break the rules.
Archie thinks in a production format where as I’m like ‘let’s do it like this, let’s do it like that’. The most important thing is Archie is able to get the ideas down and we have such a good time making music. If it’s not serious fun then we would stop. We love what we do so all this comes easy to us.
Anything else Arkityp related you can enlighten us with, or anything we can expect in the near future?
More and more music! We have real busy summers ahead of us in Ibiza, tours, festivals and the rest of Europe. We’re both focused on our individual careers but are also touring and playing some high quality gigs together. This is our plan for the summer; to be able to share some special moments and experiences, both together and individually - plenty to look forward to!
Words by Zac Bidwell
- Published on Thursday, 04 May 2017 19:22
A pioneer of blending classical and dance music, Chicago-born Kate Simko is one of the industry’s most exciting talents, we caught up with her ahead of her live show in London to talk all things music…
You’re going to be performing at Battersea Arts Centre on the 6th, how’re you feeling ahead of the show?
I’m excited, we have changed the ensemble. Previously we had seven or eight people on stage, seven without the vocalist and eight with the vocalist. The whole ensemble was two violins, two cellos, a great bass and a harp, and me and a vocalist. But now we’re doing a more stripped back set which we debuted at Wonderfruit festival in Thailand. So it’s harp, solo violin and cello. It’s a string trio. And to be honest we first did that in Thailand because we couldn’t afford to fly everyone but it’s just a lot more of a vibey set. It feels more like the players know that they’re just listening to each other, they can vibe of each other a bit more, interact with each other a bit more, yeah it’s just more interactive. I’m excited to debut it for the first time in London. We’ve done the set three times now but this is the first time we’ve done it in London.
That’s exciting, so do you think that having just the three makes it feel a lot more intimate then?
It does, there’s definitely moments where it feels amazing with the whole ensemble but yeah it’s more intimate and the players say that too. They feel more connected. Everyone is more connected to each other. There’s a lot more eye contact, between us and yeah I really like it, it’s cool.
So how do you prepare before a show, do you have any routines that you do?
Well it depends if we’re using players that we’ve used in the past, this show we are so they already know the music and I don’t have to do the preparation of the EDM part sometimes I need to if we’re debuting a new song or I’ve done something new, we need to prepare the score parts for the musicians. This time around, even though it’s our first time in London, we’ve done the trio sets with the cello before so I have the parts. I went through the last show we did in Bristol and I listened to the last recording, see if there’s anything we could do better, make notes in rehearsal and try to focus on a couple of things and if there’s bits to change. For example, the opening song we did it with the cello bode but I think at the Battersea we’ll use a staccato bass, so just things like that. I always try to listen back to what I’ve done for every show, revaluate, and make it better, make it fresh. It’s like a new chance to do it again and make it better.
What originally inspired you to bend the two genres and incorporate the orchestral music into dance music?
I went to the Royal College of Music to get a masters in composition for screen but I wanted to learn how to write for orchestra. In the first feature score that I did, I felt my limitations. While I was trained as a pianist I did not know the range of the strings. So I was just jamming out with mini strings and flutes on my keyboard, not able to write for them properly. So I moved to London and did a masters to learn how to do it right and to orchestrate. When I was getting that masters my composition professor really encouraged me to continue with my own sound, so rather than having Kate Simko the electronic producer and DJ and Kate Simko the orchestral composer that were two totally separate entities, he was like, ‘you’ve spent so much time developing your own musical voice, it would be silly for you not to incorporate who you are as a composer to your orchestral music.’
It was great because the popular culture was open to that, some classical conservatories may have wanted me to keep them separate and may have thought that electronic sounds don’t belong with an orchestra. Again, this was a really open-minded professor and I had really great experience with the Royal College of Music so those two years I was able to really play around with my background and all the production I had done previously and trying to find a way to tastefully incorporate orchestral music into dance music. So I had two years of really intense studying to find my own way of doing that.
Yeah well you’ve been massively successful, so you must be doing something right!
Oh thank you, I appreciate that. I didn’t expect it to go beyond the university if I’m totally honest. It was just something that when I went to the real world, I didn’t expect it to translate. I had a final concert, not everyone had that, but I applied to get the Britten Theatre at the Royal College of Music which is their opera theatre, and on the 24th March 2014, we had a concert that was completely booked out. That was the first London Electronic Orchestra show, and if I’m honest I thought that would be the last. I was like ‘ok I’m going to have to move back to Chicago most likely,’ and that was going to be the last of my two years, and I'd enjoy it with the people I’d been playing with and share it with the people in the city of London and my electronic friends as well. But at that concert there was a manager who messaged me afterwards and took me on and helped push me on to take that dream to the real world.
You grew up in Chicago, as you said, so how do you think that has influenced your music style and taste?
I think it’s influenced me massively. Chicago when I was a teenager was just exploding with music, Thrill Jockey and the whole post-rock scene, so that was combining electronics into rock and roll. Now it doesn’t seem like such a big deal but in the late nineties that was not done. Rock and roll was a guitar, a drummer and all analogue. Thrill Jockey label in Chicago had all these people that were combining electronic music with rock instruments, so I had that around me and it was a really exciting time for that, and then of course electronic music in Chicago, being the birthplace of house in the eighties and then in the nineties, early 200s when I was doing my radio show, we had record stores exploding with new music. So we had loads of great new DJs coming through. Also growing up with my family too, it was quite a cultured city with arguably the best orchestra in the United States which I would go to with my family a lot. Growing up in Chicago and all the music from being a young kid through to when I went to university and moved away, all of it influenced me. It is a very musical, music-loving city.
Where else will we be able to see you perform in the next coming months?
There’s Saturday and then we’re going to be at the Jazz Café in August which I’m excited about. On the 24th at the Jazz Café, we’re also doing WOMAD festival and a US tour in June. So yeah, this Saturday in London otherwise late August.
Is there any other work that’s on the horizon for you which we can look forward to or are you focusing on LEO for now?
I just finished my first feature score that’s on a documentary, so it’s an indie film from Los Angeles so I just submitted my final score for that. That was something I wanted to combine and do right, I had three players from London Electronic Orchestra who came to the studio with me, and we recorded a load of strings and harps on there. That’s been done. I have a lot more, new dance music that’s going to be coming out, I’m currently really focusing on that. I’ve got a studio in London Fields and am really trying to put some more of my solo music out. With the Electronic Orchestra, I wanted and it has needed all my passion and attention to get it off the ground. I’m just really keen to be making my own house music again. Just explore that a bit, and jump between the two really.
Kate will be performing at the Battersea Arts Centre on Saturday, get a ticket here.
By Georgia Evans
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