' I want to keep learning everyday - learning about people, about myself, about music. ' Oskar Szafraniec Mix & Interview
- Published on Friday, 07 December 2018 13:04
It’s not everyday that you come across a DJ that has had an EP release to their name at the age of 13, but Oskar Szafraniec has done just that. Now 24, the Polish-born, classically-trained musician has 11 years of music production experience up his sleeve. Since then, he has been dedicated to the studio and the continual growth of his musical abilities releasing solo records with RAWAX, Cyclo and Closed Circuits.
In 2015, Oskar spent time in the studio with Ricardo Villalobos, and afterwards they produced separate tracks on a split record on RAWAX. Since then, Oskar has also collaborated and on several records and produced an album with Pier Bucci, as well as touring and working closely with a Guy Called Gerald. Now living in Berlin, Oskar has been busy collecting records and working in the studio, perfecting his sound. As can be deduced from listening to Oskar’s creations, he is very honest to his craft, and draws inspiration from a range of different musical genres, adding subtle yet unique elements into his distinctive minimal style. In the near future, Oskar Szafraniec is teaming up with Perlon’s Wareika, and also Caruan to produce some exciting new with an Italian jazz ensemble – definitely some projects to keep your eyes and ears ready for. We sat down to take a chat with Oskar to find out more about his career and life.
1- Hey Oskar. Nice to speak with you! How are you doing? What are you up to right now?
I’m fine, thank you! I am currently visiting my mom in Poland as unfortunately she has been fighting with cancer recently. She is in recovery right now though, which is such a relief. In these moments, it is very important to stay close to your family. My friends have helped me a lot, which I am extremely grateful for. I have my studio equipment here with me in Poland so I have been doing a little bit of work on upcoming projects where I can, and driving back to Berlin if I have any gigs on. I’ll be playing at Watergate this Wednesday, supporting System of Survival and Alexandra - I am really looking forward to dance with all those creative people at such a great location. I’m thinking I may play a bit more of an interesting set on Wednesday as my music selection will usually be a reflection of my personal life it - so let’s see where I’ll take it! I always believe that the best release for your emotions is to tell your story through music.
2- Very sorry to hear about your Mother, Oskar. But we’re glad you’re still powering through and making music. So tell us, you’re only just turning 24 but you have 11 years of producing and DJing. How exactly did you get into electronic music at such a young age?
It’s quite difficult to really pin-point point a single thing. I was always very musical, but became very curious listening to different types of music on the internet and it just escalated form there. I started researching about electronic music, getting inspired and trying to understand what electronic music was truly all about – looking back, I was definitely a big music nerd – I still am, really! I began to produce music, experiment with different instruments, sing, and eventually DJ… I got my first DJ gig when I was 14!
3- That’s pretty impressive! After all these years, do you have any rituals before going into music writing process?
I hope this doesn’t make me sound too OCD, but I have to admit I like to reorganise the studio room a bit before I start; put the cables and machines in the right place, clean up. A clean environment means a clear mind to me. Before I start recording I also like to finish all private things I have scheduled to do, I really need to feel free from distraction.
4- We know that you’re pretty experienced with using serious studio equipment; I believe that Roland once asked you to test out some of their new kits! What is your favourite piece of studio equipment right now?
At the moment it’s Space Echo. I’m actually using it on nearly each track I work on right now! My favourites come in waves though. A while ago it was an old Electribe ER-1, and before that, the SH-101. I really love sampling though as well. Anything what helps me to write beautiful stories with sounds.
5- Let’s talk a little about your inspirations then. What factors in your life influence your music the most?
It is usually the people I meet, situations, new instruments, and music I’ve never heard before. Recently it has been difficult for me to focus on new music and find inspiration as my mom has been sick but I have been trying to work with this as much as possible.
6- I guess it can’t always be all easy going in the studio sometimes and there are days where you struggle to find inspiration. How do you overcome writers block?
I don’t like to push things. It’s not like I’m working everyday on music trying to get the best out of it. I need to feel it’s the right moment; be inspired, be free. I believe if you push yourself to write, then your art sounds pushed, not honest. If I’m not inspired, I find other ways to spend my time. It is important to take breaks and come back with a fresh mind!
7- What have you got in the pipeline at the moment - can you tell us more about your upcoming projects?
There’s actually a lot of projects I have been working on lately! I have an upcoming release for Barac’s Moment Records, which I am currently tweaking some details on. I have also recently teamed up with Wareika for a new project, and I’m working on a track with the Swedish singer, Sailor & I. I have been collaborating with Otake Record’s owner, Piotr Bejnar, Round Up’s Bruno Curtis, and also the young artist, Assal (who I worked on the Meoko free release with).
There are several solo projects, too - records coming up on labels like Skylax, and some very high secret ones that I can’t mention yet (Ooooh!). I’m very fortunate to be working with such an inspiring, talented people with strong character. To be honest, I work only with people I personally like; people I can talk to about everything, whether it’s spirituality, family issues or art, people who has slightly different view on things and can’t be put in any frame. Oh! I am also travelling to Italy soon to work on a very, very special project with my dear friend Caruan and an Italian jazz ensemble. There’ll be no limits! We’re mashing up the styles: lots of instruments, bass guitars, piano, singing… I can’t wait!
8- Sounds like you’re going to be incredibly bust for the foreseeable future then! What are your goals for the next few years?
Constantly make music, be a better person. I want to keep learning everyday - learning about people, about myself, about music.
9- Alright, a (not) very serious last question now, haha! If it was the end of the world and you had to throw the last party, where would it be, and who would play?
I would have to go with a beautiful private Island in Africa with a line up full of young passionate musicians who haven’t had the chance to get heard yet, and crowd of true music lovers!
If you want to catch Oskar playing, he will next be playing at Watergate’s Mittwoch night on the 21st November, supporting System of Survival and Alexandra. Also keep your eyes out for his releases dropping very soon!
Words by Mikhaela Gray
- Published on Wednesday, 07 November 2018 23:09
UVAR is set to do their London debut remarking Vibe London's 1st anniversary with a special 8-hour b3b set from Ada Kaleh b2b Nu Zau b2b Sepp. The event will take place at Hackney's recent addition to the London clubbing scene Studio 9294, an open-air terrace during the daytime with the beautiful canal in the scenery, then the party will move into the warehouse space from sunset until sunrise . The day-and-night event is bound to be a memorable one with the venue's terrace for the day time part.
Vibe London has already throwed a reasonable number of parties in the capital hosting artists with the likes of Floog, Sepp, Nu Zau, Mahony, vlf to name a few. The next installment is their strongest lineup and no doubt on the quality sound provided over the night. Support will come from Sebastian Eric, Matje and the residents; Yuda and Amih. The Vibe crew has already made a strong impression over their first year and inviting Uvar seems like a perfect setting to honour the anniversary!
Oh, did we mention the after party? You know how it goes; Good Vibes Guaranteed.
Ahead of the trios London visit, MEOKO caught up with Ada Kaleh to speak about UVAR London Debut and his future plans.
So there you go: on Nov 10th, it’s in the Wick that the good things are, so it seems. you can already book your tickets here. See you there at the front-left speakers — after-party at The Cause.
1- Hello Ada, it is a great pleasure to interview you. First of all thank you for your time. How has life been treating you so far?
Hey guys and gals, the pleasure is on our side! You know how it is with life, ups and downs, just like everyone else.
2-What is behind Uvar? How did you decide to join forces as a trio?
The trio started all of a sudden, as a natural step forward. I did an EP for Uvar a couple of years ago, so the planning brought us together easily. Well, that and bonding by doing bad jokes on the internet. One day Gabi asked us if we want to do an Uvar showcase in Berlin, so we did it. That ended up in all three of us playing b2b. Worked like a charm, so we decided we should do this more. It's quite a special thing, so in that regard we did them in a few key places of the European scene, like Rex Club Paris, Supermarket Zurich, FUSE Brussels, Berns Stockholm and a few others, cant remember of the top of my head.
3- Uvar London debut is coming closer. What are your expectations about it? How did the project get structured?
Honestly I don't really have any expectations, we'll live and we'll see. We've all played London plenty of times already individually, some bigger events and some smaller ones, some very successful, a couple... strange. But all in all, expectations aside, we think this one is going to be quite good. Not to mention; we are going to play for an exclusive 8 hours, so better rest well until Saturday and be ready for the marathon.
4- What is your general idea about London Underground Music scene?
I see it split in two very differents sides. There's the smaller but thriving side of promoters doing off events, trying to bring their favorite acts, and then there's the money driven side of super production, aggressive promotion, ultra cheesy line-ups and horrendous crowds.
5- Uvar showcase has started to take place recently. How does it feel to play as trio and play as solo? Any other events in the pipeline?
For me these are two completely different sides, its like having split personality. When I play solo, I have a long term approach and dip in and out of genres, leading the crowd in certain directions. When I play with the fellas, it's much more spontaneous, as we tend to surprise eachother with of the stuff that we play. Next up, we have a Paris showcase being planned.
6- What are your main inspirations when it comes to your creative process? Are there any things you could not imagine working without?
Ah jeez! I have no clue how my creative process works anymore and where inspiration comes from. A few years back I thought it was nature and human interraction, now I'm not so sure about that. Well, I used to have a lot more free time back then, and I was a bit more naive. Now with the constant DJing something has changed. First of all it created a struggle between the producer side of me wanting to make odd and very musical compositions and then the DJ side comes in "saying" it has to be functional. So that creates a block that I have to get around. Then there is the time factor, its quite hard to get into a writing state when you're back home on Sunday evening or late at night, have a couple of days to decompress and then Friday you're back at it again. I mean there would be plenty of time if you wanted to do all this bullshit music of the new wave of producers, where they download a sample CD, make an arrangement and call themselves musicians, but if you want to write proper music, that needs time and patience. As I see it now, you can't be a great musician and a great DJ at the same time, you have to separate the two and do them in turns.
7- Anything else you would like to add for our readers?
Don't follow the hype.
Thank you again and see you all on Saturday night for a magical evening.
We are all much looking forward to our London visit and celebrating Vibe's first Birthday with you all.
Words by Erchin Jon
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'I’m looking to entertain the listener more with talent and artistry versus just beats and groove.' Delano Smith Mix & Interview
- Published on Friday, 12 October 2018 17:53
Of the original crop of Detroit DJs, Delano Smith is now the last. Reflecting on house and techno without his influence would mean viewing a very different musical landscape. Coming up at a time when the world was just discovering the influence a DJ could have, Smith battled his way to the top in a tough scene full of talent. With the guidance of the late, great Ken Collier, his early sets fusing soul, disco and early electronic sounds would plant seeds in the minds of many of Detroit’s subsequent generations of house and techno. Those dancing to his sets in the late 70s and early 80s would go on to become dominant influences in first rave then global music culture. Now, the circle is closing as Delano stands shoulder to shoulder with artists he once educated.
We are happy to present his MEOKO mix with an interview, discussing his upcoming projects.
1- Hi Delano, it’s a great honor, how you doing? What are you up to right now?
Hello, it’s my pleasure and thanks for the opportunity! All is well in my world, Just trying to finish my next two releases before I leave for my fall tour.
2- I hope you don’t mind going down memory lane, cause it’s not everyday I get to interview someone who’s been playing dance music since the disco days and I’d like to start with a few questions about those times. To some in this scene, Detroit might seem very removed — the music went through so many mutations since its inception. Do you see a certain continuity with what you experienced, say putting on high school parties in the late 70s, early 80s, and what’s going on now?
It’s actually a completely different world both musically and culturally. The music and the scene has morphed into something completely different from it’s humble beginnings I think. I don’t have a point of reference on how this musical revolution started in Europe, but in Detroit it started in the gay black community - then spread to straight black crowds and eventually integrated after the introduction of the Music Institute in Detroit where Derrick May and others began rolling post-Disco and early electronica. What started as Black Music primarily has now morphed into an entirely different thing spawning multiple sub genres - it’s crazy! But I like it!
3- Dance music has become a real industry in the meantime. What do you think of the evolution of the scene around you now, when you play in Europe for example?
It’s more industry driven in Europe than the States. In Europe, particularly in cities like Berlin and Paris, DJ culture is alive and well and a lot of people are connected to the scene in some kind of way allowing it to thrive. There are only a few markets in the States where the scene is strong. Europeans seem more open minded to various styles where as the States is more spectacle driven in my opinion.
4- You recently said it underwent some kind of revitalization since the heydays of Club Heaven — how’s the scene like these days in Detroit?
Time has changed the musical landscape in the D. It’s nothing like it was in the old days as technology has changed the way we think and interact with the music and the club scene. Right now, thanks to promoters like Paxahau (Movement Fest) and clubs like TV Lounge and Marble Bar, they have elevated the scene here to new heights. The scene here is very strong now.
5- Speaking of which, the Detroit Sound Conservancy launched a campaign to restore Club Heaven’s soundsystem. As someone who’s lived through it, what do you think of this initiative?
I think it’s great novelty, the youngsters in the scene now are not connected to it in any kind of way however- nevertheless, it would be good to have this piece of history restored though, I think it’s a good thing. Probably the only thing left in Detroit that is a directly connected to the beginning of how this all started in here.
6- More generally, how does it feel seeing things you’ve personally experience being granted historical and cultural importance?
It feels like I’m old now - LOL! It reminds me of simpler times in Detroit, when DJ culture and this music was still relatively new to a lot of folks. I think it’s only nostalgia if you actually lived through it - while it’s meaningful to us - folks that lived and experienced it first hand, I’m not sure if a lot of the younger crowd actually gets it. Only DJs and serious clubbers are interested in the relics of yesteryear - what are treasures to us are like MEH to this new digital generation. But it’s all good though.
7- Can you talk about the importance of this club and his resident DJ Ken Collier for the city and you personally? How have they influenced you as a DJ to these days?
Heaven was actually Ken’s House - it was where you could hear him in his most purest form - like Levan at Paradise Garage or Hardy at the Music Box. The system was like no other in the city and was a major influence to all the after hour party concepts that followed. Ken had other residencies throughout Detroit that were just as significant in the days prior to Club Heaven. His earlier residencies where the stuff of legend as well, it’s how we all became to know and love him. He was our ambassador to this music and culture.
8- How would you describe the Beatdown sound you became known for? It seems to be more about a vibe than a certain music genre, right?
It is more of a vibe. A stripped down vibe if you will, generally mid-tempo grooves that are soulful in nature - less electronic - more rooted in traditional House. An acquired taste.
9- You made it onto the scene with people like Norm Talley pushing that Beatdown aesthetic, do you think there’s a new generation of producers pushing that kind of sounds in Detroit?
Yes, I hear it all the time and I support the artists that produce this vibe as well. It’s a timeless sound and will never get old, especially with the a lot of producers pushing DAW-Less Analog rigs now, it’s a natural organic vibe. I’ve been hearing a lot of it at home lately.
10- How’s your sound received back home, by the way?
I think I’m still relatively underground in Detroit to the new generation, still new to the younger generation until they hear me or do a bit of research.. nothing like Europe though where my biggest market is. But thats the nature of things in the business now, loved more abroad than at home. I’ve accepted that fact.
11- I’ve heard you say you were making music for the clubs, which is a very DJ approach to it. Do you go out, whether you’re home in Detroit or when you’re in Europe, to sort of keep a finger on the pulse of the club scene?
Sure! I go out, listen to podcasts, stream DJ mixes on Soundcloud, YouTube, Be-At TV etc. in order to stay relevant you have to stay connected to the scene and adapt to it if you want to keep working. Plus, I enjoy watching and hearing other artists perform.
12- Your music remains obviously catered for the dancefloor, but after all those years, has your approach to production evolved?
Yes, somewhat. I’m longing for more musical elements in my sound now, more changes and progressions. I think this comes from age and attempting to escape monotony. I’m looking to entertain the listener more with talent and artistry versus just beats and groove.
13- From what do you draw inspiration then, when you produce back home, so removed from the club environment?
Thats a good one, and it’s hard to really say as it’s a variety of things. But I generally go in with some sort of concept as to what type of track this will be and go from there. I rarely just off the cuff starting with beat - bass- hat - etc.
14- Do you have any favourite clubs or parties to play?
YES. Paris is always fun, particularly Concrete (Rex too). Berlin is a great city too, but technically I’d have to say Contact in Tokyo is probably my favorite.
15- How did Europe and your success as a DJ it came to signify come to you? — you being first booked at Panorama Bar, your connections with Third Ear, now Sushitech…
Probably when I realized that I no longer needed a regular day job, when I realized that this was a sustainable career - now it’s serious and I no longer think of myself as just a DJ.
16- You released a new record on your own Mixmode Recordings after a 4-year hiatus for the label. What led you to re-launch it?
I decided to take a break from working with Sushitech as it monopolized mostly all of my production time with touring and all. That sound was working for me for years so I totally engulfed my energy into those projects. After the Lost Tapes album I decided to take a break from that sound and get back to some good ole House. I’m more inspired than ever now and have a lot of music that I will be releasing on the Mixmode label.
17- And what’s in the works for you, DJ-wise or personally?
I’m actually preparing to include some live elements in my DJ sets now, using a sampler, Drum machine and perhaps a bass synths to add some variety and perhaps doing a full blown live show. I will let you guys know when that's ready.
18- We’re super happy to host this mix, how do you feel about podcasts? Did you try to convey anything different from what you’d do in a club?
Yes. It’s generally peak time when I play at clubs so I have to try an keep the energy level up and the crowd dancing and entertained. With podcast mixes, I can chill out bit - to me - it’s more of a listening experience. I try to entertain the listener with down-mid tempo grooves. Although you can still dance, I feel it’s a way to introduce another side of my DJing - rather than just playing bangers for 2 hours.
Words by Pierre-Alexis Chauvin
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'My Aim Is To Spread Positivity On The Floor And Make People Dance, Dance Happily, Dance Wildly, Dance Weirdly.' Voigtmann Mix & Interview - 4 Years of Oscuro
- Published on Friday, 14 September 2018 12:24
With meticulous dedication to his unique studio productions and versatile DJ sets, Voigtmann quickly gained popularity in the underground party scene and acquired the respect of his peers. After completing his mission with his previous label and party series Toi Toi Musik, Voigtmann went off seeking new musical challenges with the label Subsequent, on which he is releasing his debut LP ‘Sublunary’ this September. His new brilliant podcast for Meoko is dreamy and ingenious; the one-hour recording evolves in a truly natural way touching various influences from micro-house to UK garage, and feels like the perfect soundtrack for morning sunrise after a heavy night out. We are happy to present his MEOKO mix with an interview, discussing his new record and upcoming projects.
1- Hi Claus! First of all, thank you for the mix and for taking the time for the interview. This month Subsequent is releasing your mesmerizing full-length debut album “Sublunary”, which got support from the likes of Zip, Ricardo Villalobos and Sonja Moonear, to name a few. How did the record come to life? What is the concept behind it?
Hi Meoko! Firstly, thank you for the interview and glad to be back on your lovely series. In regards to the album, I believe it should be defined by the music on the two black slabs rather than by the people who support it. I think it’s an old-fashioned way of defining quality. Yes, I am happy I got the support, but new people with new ideas are on the rise and always falling back on to the same 4 people for definition is pretty boring and I believe they aren’t comfortable with that either, they are just like us, doing what they love.
The decision to make an album came about because I felt very comfortable in my studio. I had the best setup I could imagine in my little room and also felt I knew where I am going to take the album style-wise. I always knew I wanted to keep my debut album as classy as possible. The word ‘timeless’ is overused but I wanted to be able to look back in a few years and still be able to listen back without cringing.
Halfway through writing it, I realized that I literally don't care if people like it or not. I fell in love with the process. As an artist, you are ideally maneuvering outside your comfort zone, hence you are instantly faced with judgment from other people. The process of writing the album showed me that the result isn’t the main focus. For me, the beauty is in the process of writing and the amount of thought that went into it. Along the way, my sound changed to something wider, more grown up, more technical. I tried to circumnavigate any trend and really establish a very own body of work.
2- The LP features club sounds ranging from minimal house to techno and breakbeat but also presents an elegant touch in the style that feels closer to ambient music. Can we expect more of this coming from you?
I always had an affinity for sounds outside of house and techno… For instance, I have been collecting 70’s funk records for years now. It’s beautiful NOT to work result-oriented in the studio and just see what comes out… Sometimes it’s really weird stuff, sometimes it’s beautiful ambient pieces. I am planning to seek different challenges outside the 4/4 under different aliases next year… For example venture into broken beats/future jazz under V-Man (who would have thunk). I feel, I fulfilled a first milestone with the album and I am now open to all kind of influences.
3- The album shows impressive and versatile production skills. How did your studio set up evolve in the last few years? Can you name a piece of gear which was especially used for this record?
Thank you very much. The studio evolved more and more towards an analog side. I added drum machines and synths I love and could not live without anymore. The album heavily features the Analog Rhythm, The Oberheim OB6, and my computer. I do a lot of textures and the entire arrangement in Ableton while all the rhythm section and the main melody elements are analog. The digital bits sit very naturally behind the analog bits. It’s the best combination for me.
4- Can you tell us about the development of your DJ career in the last few years?
I am very proud and happy where I got to, mainly in the last year. I broke free from some chains and expectations holding me back. I also overcame the whole digger mentality; before I tried to fit into what everyone was doing and as an effect, I would sound similar. It’s bonkers, sometimes I felt I have to perform only for the chin scratchers on the floor. I couldn’t care anymore, my aim is to spread positivity on the floor and make people dance, dance happily, dance wildly, dance weirdly. My DJ sets got a lot more energetic but less heavy if that makes sense. The funny thing is that by simply being yourself you present a unique style already, you dig for your own style, you are unique. Once this penny dropped in my head I feel complete freedom behind the booth, playing an old vocal house track and bits I would have never touched before…it’s very liberating. Try it.
5- This Saturday you will be playing at the fourth birthday party of Oscuro in London. What is special about it compared to otherplaces?
The boys are doing a great job and pulled together a top-notch lineup. I played for them before and just feel my music is very well-received. I am succumbing a lot more UK influences these days and I feel the Oscuro crowd embraces that.
6- Can you share your highlight from summer 2018?
Houghton, Houghton, Houghton.
7- How would you describe your new mix for Meoko?
All my recent mixes were very fast and energetic, this time I wanted to create a very slow-evolving, unpretentious afterhours mix with simply a lot of unreleased material and tracks that I consider great music. No need to cram a mix full of the weirdest tracks you know, I find it quite relaxing just listen to the music evolve in one flow.
8- Do you have any other upcoming plans or projects you wish to share with the Meoko readers?
I am off to my beloved South America for a two-weekend tour. I had a studio break for a couple of months after the album but from October onwards, I will shift my attention back to the production/studio life. My book is filled with EPs and remixes this year so I will work through them and simply be a happy (V)man in my little studio. I plan to be positive and happy.
See you on Saturday at 4 Years of Oscuro.
Words by Giovanni Bodrato
'London Always Has A Special Place For Me, The History Of Dance Music Is Vibrant And Is Still Bustling With Energy.': Maher Daniel Mix & Interview
- Published on Tuesday, 21 August 2018 08:51
It has been a long time coming, join us as we caught up with the natural and humble talent that is, Maher Daniel including a special mix described in his own words;
'.. it will start of Slow and build nicely telling a story.'
1- Hey Maher, first of all thanks for your time. How are things so far, how was your Off Week?
Off week was good, great to see and hang out with so many friends, considering I live in barca I took it a little easy and went to specific events. Its gets a little hectic and can’t be everywhere at once. But over all I had a great time and it was definitely a refreshing year.
2- Born in San Francisco growing up in Montreal, living in Barcelona; How is life treating you in Barcelona? And please tell us about the scene in Montreal as your Motherland.
Living in Barcelona is fantastic It truly is a central hub in Europe with a lot of shows and artists coming through. The city itself is refreshing the people and the energy is amazing I would not change it for anything. Montreal was considered one of North Americas main party hubs, the city and its dance music culture really brought me to where I am today. From its summer events at Piknic Electronik and its vibrant club scene its still going strong building and growing.
3- You have recently been to London to play at Apt: x Visionquest alongside Shaun. We heard the event went great. How does it feel for you to visit London to play?
London always has a special place for me, the history of dance music is vibrant and is still bustling with energy. I love coming back to London and playing. The Apt: team were wonderful and the showcase with Shaun was solid. we both had a great time and the party was really good. Looking forward to coming back again.
4- Sadly you had a misfortune with your flight which resulted in late arrival to Sunwaves; but you still managed to play last April. Also that picture, Guti and Amir dancing on the bar while Argenis Brito playing, you also appeared in the picture with a big smile. How was your Sunwaves 23 experience overall?
That was a whirlwind of emotions, but I still managed to play on Tuesday morning. All in all Sunwaves this year was truly incredible. Every year it only gets better and better. The team and staff are truly amazing and take care of the artist, Like there own. The vibe and energy is refreshing and inspirational. I always come back from sunwaves with new ideas for production and studio work. It really gets the creative juices flowing. Arpiar Friday night was on fire and one of the stand out sets for me this year was Petre Inspirecu on Monday morning.
5- Your Creatures of Habit mix landed at a good time remarking the collaboration. How did you guys meet and decide to play back to back? Any future gigs as COH?
Yes it did, myself and Amir had met a long time ago in Montreal but then he left to work in Paris, on his return to Montreal, I Happened to be playing with Ricardo the same night at stereo and he was there. We connected and the birth of Creatures of habit started then. There are a few gigs in the pipeline including our show at the Bpm festival for my label showcase The Other Side.
6- Looking at your recent & upcoming gigs, it is pretty heavy. You are played with RPR at SS festival; it sounds like a great lineup. It must be a great feeling to play alongside the Romanian trio. Will it be the first time?
Yes been really busy building a solid schedule for the summer and this is one I was excited for, as it was the first time for all us of playing in Iceland. I have played with the guys 2 other time this will be the third time. It is always exciting playing along side the boys, as they do inspire me technically and musically.
7- Speaking of upcoming releases, please tell us a bit about your future releases, collaborations and remixes.
Well one that I am really looking forward to came out on July 23rd on circle music. They got the rights to Der Dritte Raum’s album and have reissued one of my all time favourites Hale Bopp, which I have had the honour to remix. Also the first release for the second series of records on my label The Other Side will see a Creatures of Habit Collaboration with a remix from Barac. Plus much more
8- An exciting project, The Other Side Series; Any future plans/releases you can share with us?
The Beauty of the label was to always push up and coming artist plus a specific sound and direction and I think with the first releases I was able to do this. Following up in its second year there is a lot of exciting new material coming out. With artists such as Guy From Downstairs, Faster, Barac, Hokuto Sato and Creatures of Habit.
9- Thank you for the mix, it sounds quality. How would you describe it?
This is mix is a curated with loads of new music I have collected and ordered over the last couple months it will start of Slow and build nicely telling a story.
10- It has been a pleasure to catch up with you. Anything else you would like to add?
Thanks for Having me it really was a pleasure being part of the editorial and thank you for having me. #
Words by Erchin Jon
'I think that an artist always has pressure to deliver something good at anytime': Under The MEOKO Microscope - Giuliano Lomonte & Mix
- Published on Tuesday, 10 July 2018 22:18
Here at MEOKO, we took the opportunity to interview Giuliano Lomonte as part of our Under the MEOKO microscope feature, where we scout out emerging and underrated talents. He tells us about his musical journeys from his homeland to Germany and paints us a picture of what clubbing is like in both countires. And of course the future plans including his own record label Point of View. Read on...
Hi Giuliano, thanks for your time! How’s life been treating you lately?
Hello guys, thanks for having me. Life is great now that Summer is finally here and that always puts me in a good mood.
You’re originally from Italy but when did you move to Berlin? What decided you?
I moved to Germany 10 years ago actually, it was 28.08.2008 :)
During the years before I decided to move, I was actually flying to Germany once a month to go and visit all the best parties that were happening around the Frankfurt area at the time like seeing Ricardo Villalobos playing at Robert Johnson, Love Family Park Festival and many others.
After realizing at some point that I was spending more time Germany than I was in Italy, I decide to relocate to Mannheim, as during that time I met and became friends with many people from there so it seemed like the most logical step.
After an intense 2.5-year experience there I felt there was more for me to discover in Germany especially as it was, and still i, the heart of the electronic music scene so in March 2011 I moved to the city that would inspire me even further to continue to pursue this musical dream, and that was Berlin.
How was the scene like back in Italy?
The scene has been always been strong in Italy. The country has a long history of appreciation for house music and club culture. Italians love to go out and celebrate and there are many nightclubs all over the country for people to enjoy.
We still have many good club that made the history of the italian nightlife, to name a few, Goa Club in Rome, Clorophilla in puglia, Tenax in tuscany, Cocorico in Riccione. Since day one, they all run top quality party!
Do you have any favourite clubs to play? I know we can quite often catch you behind the decks at Club der Visionaere and Hoppetosse…
There are many clubs that are on my favorite list but on the very top is Robert Johnson.
I love playing there so much and it is such an honor every time I get the chance considering this was the place for me where everything started and inspired me to change my life completely!
Of course I really like to play in Berlin at CDV and Hoppetosse too, there is such a feeling of freedom behind the decks there, I can play things I would never be able to in other cities as the crowd is always up for everything and the parties last so many hours that as a DJ you are really able to show a range not possible in short sets like in most other clubs around the world. I really feel home when I’m there.
I must also add, a few years ago I discovered another club that has all the characteristics for a perfect party. It’s called VENICEBERG and is in Verona, Italy.
I recently I had the opportunity to play a 12 hour B2B there and it was magic!
The booth was perfect, the sound system was amazing and the crowd were all so connected to us and each other, so it made the place very special. Im so glad we have a club there like this today, it really makes me proud to be Italian.
“La Musique” makes me think so much of Sunwaves where it was rinsed last year, it seemed like the perfect place for this tune. So I was wondering, do you produce with a specific context in mind — for example, those aforementioned clubs…?
To be honest I didn't had anything specific in mind, just the bassline. All the rest came after I had that.
I did go to Sunwaves a couple of years ago so maybe something stuck in my subconscious about a moment I had in that environment that somehow I might have accessed without being aware of it when I started the idea for the track. I always try to allow myself to be free and not think too much when I’m making music as this tends to interrupt the whole process for me and creativity is a very delicate thing that comes moment by moment without having the feeling l have control over it.
And how was it getting back to production after such a hit? Did you feel any pressure to craft another banger, for example?
The La Musique EP was probably the best expression of myself that I have released up until now so it was nice to get such great feedback on the production, and it gave me the confidence to continue and make that my minimum standard to strive for with all my future records.
I think that an artist always has pressure to deliver something good at anytime, and this becomes even more intense once you have some success with a particular track. I had to learn not to be too hard on myself after this came out and got so much attention because you can’t choose what is going to become a hit with the people and what isn’t. You just have to be happy with what you have done for yourself when you put your music out into the world for other people to hear as and then after that’s totally out of your control.
I feel like your style is usually more understated, but would you say you have a “style” yourself? And if so how would you describe it?
Well I was a clubber to begin with and that will always stay with me in the style of music I make as a producer and play when I DJ. I always aim to create an experience where people can feel high on the dance floor even if they are totally sober!
Are you an after-hours kind of person?
I am all all hours kind of person haha . I would say yes i'm also; its the time when finally i let myself go after all the work is done. and if you are surrounded by good friends and people can just be great!
It seems like you’ve had more gigs outside of Germany lately, do you feel like your career’s picking up recently? Did it affect your daily life?
Since I signed with Solid AM in 2017 it has been really great especially to have the support from an agency like that, based in the city i live, which represents so many other great artists such as John Dimas, Vera, Steve O’Sullivan and Sammy Dee.
Actually I was working full time as a professional chef for the last 15 years and just doing music and DJing on the side in my spare time but I had to make the decision last year to quit that so I could focus all my time and energy on the music as it was really taking off so much I couldn’t manage both any longer.
How was it playing across Europe, and even Japan and Australia recently?
It was incredible! Japan was totally insane! Such a different culture for me to experience, it was like taking a glimpse into the future! I have to say though that Australia was the biggest surprise and shock. So many great gigs, especially SASH in Sydney and then Breakfast Club at 161, I couldn’t believe so many cool people were out in Melbourne on a Monday afternoon going crazy and so into the music! They really should do this party all over the world. I was very impressed with the Australian way of life. It felt so relaxed and easy with so many friendly and happy people but 6 days was definitely long not enough to be there and I can’t wait to get another chance to visit there again but next time I would love to stay much longer.
Let’s talk about the label now if you’d like! What’s your motivation with Point Of View, and how did it come about?
I wanted to start my own label as a place to be free to release my own music and music from other artists I believed in without the time pressure or difficult release schedules from other labels where sometimes you can be put in a position where you need to wait for years before they finally are able to release your tracks. This can be incredibly frustrating as it can also happen that over those years you are waiting, the tracks feel so old to you that by the time they finally come out you could be in a totally different place musically and creatively which can also be confusing for people that do love and follow your music.
How do you choose the producers you’re going to release on the label?
It’s usually friends i believe in which I feel is the most important. We all share music in our daily lives with each other and if I hear something i feel i can support with the label I really like to do this. I feel the personality of an artist is so important as it comes through in the music they create as its the expression of the artist’s soul and I really believe in all the people I have around me.
Speaking of which, what can we expect from you and Point of View in the near future?
There has been a full concept behind the label since I started it which revolves around the number 12 which has always been a very significant number to me. There are 12 letters in Point Of View, and there will be 12 releases on 12 inch vinyl and a big surprise for the last release which is going to be something very special from me personally and will tie up this whole project in a really interesting way. I feel it’s so important these days to do something with meaning, there are so many labels out there, to stand out you have to be unique in your concept and deliver quality music consistently.
The next point007 that will be out in September is going to be the third original EP from me on the label which I’m also very excited about.
Finally, thanks for your mix! What were you aiming for with it?
Well I wanted to give you guys something very special. It’s a part of my last set recorded live from Robert Johnson which I think shows exactly what people can expect of me as a DJ for any club set I play from opening, to main and also to after-hours. And considering how special this club is to me and my whole story, I hope you will all enjoy listening to it as much as i loved playing it.
Words by Pierre-Alexis Chauvin
More Giuliano Lomonte
- Published on Wednesday, 04 July 2018 16:31
Marlie, a talented and passionate selector born in Sydney has certainly made her stamp on the music map. Recently just signed to Round Up Agency, Marlie has fast tracked her career by playing her unique and signature sound with a flawless and professional manner that has earned her respect throughout the industry in a very short time. Having kicked off her career properly in 2015, Marlie already has co-founded one of Londons biggest parties Point, established her own project roots which seeks to explores many differnt avenues of the industry and puts its focus on the local community and exposing the sound that she loves to her native country aswell as having played many high profile gigs including CDV, WYS and Up Festival to name just a few.
MEOKO can't wait to see whats instore next for this young and promising artist.
Which is the track that changed your life? The one that made you understand that music is really a particular emotion, more intense than others.
Taking me back to my very first days in East London before I started playing… It’s a track called Jacausa by one of our mates who’s artist name was Circus Line at the time. It was my first time at Keep on Going and I’d just discovered the wonderful world of minimal music. I’d often get goosebumps when I’d hear it - It just took me somewhere else..
Which are the DJs and producers with whom you feel more affinity, and with whom you would always like to share words, music and goals?
In the past couple of years I'm so happy to have met & connected with two of my favourite artists, Priku & Barac. I've seen both of them play multiple times & I continue to have so much respect for them. Priku played the best set I've ever experienced at Sunwaves and Barac's set at Up Festival this year was just so special. Aside from their music they are both beautiful souls which is what makes them more of an inspiration to me. It's no doubt that RPR are also a huge influence on me musically and artists that I admire.
How has your year been so far and what have you got planned for the rest of the year? Any upcoming gigs or plans to share with MEOKO readers?
I've had such an incredible year so far! I'm still trying to get use to Winter here in Sydney as I recently got back from two months in Europe where I had some awesome gigs. I was based in Prague with Round Up agency however I was constantly travelling. I went to Sunwaves for the first time which was mind-blowing & I played at my very first festival too - Up Festival. It was amazing to be able to listen & dance to my favourite artists at some of the best parties, connect with old friends & make new ones. I arrived home feeling pretty exhausted but very inspired nonetheless.
My plans for the rest of the year are to continue building my brand Roots here in Sydney & enjoy what Australia has to offer when Summer comes around. I'm stoked to finally be getting my European passport this August after 4 years of waiting! This means I'll be heading back to live in Europe early next year and hopefully continue chasing the Summer between there & Australia.
Which artistic achievement of you are most proud of so far ?
In London I had spent a lot of time building my party Point, with Dean Marc. When I moved back home to Sydney I felt like I was leaving a big part of me behind. I didn’t know anyone in the music scene in Australia so it was quite overwhelming at first - I felt like a stranger in my own city. It was only a matter of time before I started to miss the European music culture I was use to as well. I was determined to start my own new project here, so Roots was born. The brand began to grow in such a short period of time through a couple of illegal raves, podcasts, radio shows and live streams. We’ve now been doing parties in clubs for just over six months and I’m really happy with the direction it’s going - We’re playing our part in bringing that European vibe over to Australia!
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