Interviews

A journey through the years: behind the scene with the unstoppable Quenum

Quenum is surely one of the longevous acts in the electronic scene. His first steps as a DJ could be dated in the 80s and since then he has been an unstoppable train in continuous movement, taking part as a co-founder to the legendary Cadenza and giving life to the AZIMUTE project (alongside Cesare vs Disorder) and co-owning Serialism label as well. 

 

 

 

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  • Your first track is dated in 1993… I wasn’t even born! How do you feel about having such a long and prolific career compared to the new generations and how do you see the evolution (from the parties to the music prod) of the whole electronic movement?

That's so funny! Actually, I was already DJing professionally in the 1980s. You know I never had a career plan, I just started DJing because I went a lot to clubs, I was a dancer and it was natural for me to be in music. I never thought this would last one year or 20 years, I just go day by day because I love it so much. In this new generation, there's a lot of good stuff and with social media and the Internet you can find out about it, everything is so much easier to access. But the problem is that there's a lot of hype and fashion and people who are in this business for the look, for looking cool on Instagram but they have no depth. That doesn't take away from all the young generation dudes who are doing very good stuff, better than ever. I don't know where we're going really, there are so many people doing electronic music, it's so easy with the evolution of technology. Today we work much faster, at the same time we have so many new things to manage.

 

  • The 1993 track is was talking about is also actually the first EP on yours and Luciano’s Cadenza and we know you have such a good relationship with him. Did you expect at that time the success that the label would have had and the importance that Cadenza had (and still has) for all the house lovers around the world? We can still talk about a “Cadenza-ish" style so I think that it really set the standards.

Actually, the tracks I was doing in the 90s were my own tracks, as part of a project called Access 58. Luciano and I met in Geneva in 2001, and we started working together in the studio. "Orange Mistake" came out in 2003. It's one of those classic crazy music stories. Luciano and I contacted many labels to release the track but nobody wanted it, and we got impatient. So we were hanging out one day together, with his sister Amelie, and the three of us said why don't we start our own label and then we don't have to deal with this nonsense. Hahaha. So we started Cadenza and our first release was Orange Mistake, and the rest is history. Of course, we had no idea what we had started. We both love music and love working together. It's been a while, but there is a surprise coming soon.

 

 

  • "Orange Mistake" is actually #3 in your Beatport chart! It seems that people still love your roots! How do you feel about that?

I'm super proud of this track, it's incredible for an artist to have this happen, to have your creation receive so much love and attention. I love what we did, I think the date doesn't matter, as much as the quality.

 

  • Will we have the chance to see you again on Cadenza? 

Actually, I released an EP on Cadenza in 2016, called Solitaire. It felt really good to be back on the label. For the moment I have no plans for releases on Cadenza.

 

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  • You have reduced your music output during the last years, on how it depends on this? Did you focus more on other stuff?

Yes, my style of working has changed a little bit. Before I spent so much time in the studio, I was also super open to doing remixes and collaborations with many people. Then I realised I better take care of business too, today there are so many things you have to do with social media, meeting people etc. Also, I've pushed myself in a musical sense, trying to learn new things and explore new ways. So, for example, I've done a solo album, I've worked in the studio on an album with a group of musicians, including some very talented jazz musicians, I've worked on the score for a television series. Of course, all those experiments take time away from the studio, but it makes me very happy because it enables me to grow as an artist.

 

  • How’s your relationship with Switzerland? Talking about your country, I only know Caprices Festival, Breakfast Club and Luciano, but it would be sick if you want to introduce me and our readers into more Swiss parties and DJs.               

I moved to Switzerland around 1988, I was already working as a DJ (lol). Since then I've moved around, lived a long time in London, then again back in Switzerland. I'm there quite often and it's where I keep my studio. I love being there, I have good friends. For sure there are lots of talented people. Check out Stade, it's an electronic music project with my good friends Pierre Audetat and Christophe Calpini, both music geniuses. The Attias brothers and their label Visions Recordings, great stuff. Also DJs like Dachsund, Ripperton, Laolu, Garance and Reas, all in different styles and so good.

 

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  • You’ve also started a project with Italian Cesare vs Disorder. How did you guys meet and how did you start the project, despite having already a nice image as a solo artist.

We met because I was in Berlin in a recording studio with my friend Sierra Sam and Cesare was there. I was talking about releasing my solo album and was not sure which label to approach. Cesare listened right there in the studio and loved it and he gave me such attention and freedom as a label boss, I thought immediately I want to be there. And then we hit it off and became good friends. We decided to start collaborating and that's how our project Azimute was born. We went on tour all over the world, especially in Asia and Australia. That brought us very close. Both our families love each other, and we're always looking for new ways to extend our work. So now we are organizing parties in Sao Paulo and London.

 

  • The Cristi Cons for AZIMUTE's "The Secret" on Cocoon was one of the highlights from last year. Any anticipation for the future?

For sure, I love what Cristi Cons did with the track. And also we had great support from Cocoon, always love working with them. So thanks for that! Azimute keeps ongoing 100% and we're currently working on new music. We play together at the Serialism parties we do in Brazil and the UK. Right now we're focusing on work we did for our album, trying to finish it.

 

 

  • Personally, I really like the project of Serialism: from the music to the artwork and the whole idea behind the project. I see you guys are doing a lot of parties in Brasil. How’s the scene/movement in there?

The scene in Brazil is captivating. It's a young scene,  so it reminds me of the energy in New York and London years ago. There are great parties, in unusual places. You can still find places like old industrial or warehouse buildings that you can take over to do a party. It's more free. The youth there is very energetic, it's a young population, very cool. I love it. We're very lucky that Fernanda, the wife of my partner Cesare, is a talented graphic artist, filmmaker, designer. Incredible. So she's done all our posters, flyers, promos, album covers, videos. We're just so spoiled to have the best artist in-house (lol).

 

 

 

  • We know that you're such a healthy person (and I love to run too). Can you tell us more about your hobbies and interests?

Yes, for sure! Apart from music I'm really into sports, especially running. More than an interest, it's my survival, my balance, my happiness. I'm totally addicted to running. And I love food too... so I better continue running!!!!

 

 

Words by Francesco Quieti

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Monika Ross: when Berlin is home (even for a lovely birthday-party)

Ahead of her birthday celebration that will take place at the amazing Hoppetosse in Berlin, we had a lovely chat with the lady herself Monika Ross. Since 2011, Monika had slowly made a name for herself, becoming a staple into the European circuit. Having successful releases on labels such as Serialism, EWax and Druhzba to name a few, she's fresh of her debut on Okain's Talman which is almost sold out on many vinyl platforms. And now let's get "deep" into it...

 

 

 

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  • Hi Monika! You’re from Australia but you’re now based in Berlin. Do you think it’s inevitable to take this step? How much has affected this into your career?

I actually left Australia in 2007 - for London! I spent most of my 20's there and now for DJing and electronic music, in general, I feel Europe suits and inspires me more. Berlin is so far the best move I’ve made - I found my extraordinary booker here (Isabelle Beese) which has been a big breath of fresh air - as well a long time personal goal achieved. I also share this profession and time in life with the most fascinating, kind, talented friends and artists who are also my neighbours - it’s perfect.

 

  • I see you’ve worked as an audio engineer for BBC! How was that experience?

It’s the best job I’ve ever had to be honest. It was hard to leave it for a different city but anytime I come back to London I can still step into the broadcasting house for a little freelance work. I have full respect for the company and the quality content they provide.

 

 

  • The big debate about “female DJs” in the scene is always present. What do you think of it? Do you think it’s safe (as a female DJ) to fight for your rights or maybe could work in the opposite way?

Is that in the London scene? In my years of experience, I have felt safe and equal to professional males in the industry. There are so many women with years of experience, content and talent (bringing serious heat right now I must say) but I feel like gender hasn't been a substantial or differentiating point - a lot of guys also really set the standard high. If you’ve got game and you love what you do - you will shine.

 

  • You’re going to have a huge birthday party in Berlin alongside Nick Beringer, Diego Krause and many more. Do you think you have reached your “sound” or is it still evolving?

Yes! Big up to these legendary humans who have made my time in Berlin the best ever and have also been there for me for during hard times. I am so lucky to be having my birthday at this awesome venue with my most loved crew. I think I play and am represented by a particular ‘sound’ but I can’t define it in one genre. I still love UK garage and feel like its coming back mixed with minimal Reaching a point where you don't play any mismatched/random parties or events has been a big game-changer for me. Also, Berlin has the biggest and best selection of records/shops available so I always tend to be drawn to new and sonically better music. I still adore and play some favourite, old gems.

 

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  • Which is the release you’re most proud of?

It has to be my "Funkt Up" release on Okain’s Talman Records. I was lucky enough to have Malin Genie remix which adds the most delicious icing on the cake. We’ve had a super positive response and have sold a lot :) So I’m really proud to hear and see people really enjoy and support it.

 

 

  • Any future plans?

I’m planning to build a studio and own a house. Apart from that, I'm currently concentrating on living the present moment to the fullest.

 

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  • That's a time to be alive regarding the "deep/tech" movement (if we can even define it). Name 3 young promises that will burn the scene in the future.

Phwoargh tough question! The music industry is blowing up so much and there are so many young guns slaying it. Top plays at the moment are Prodot, Sweely, Reiss, Nick Beringer, Christian Jay to name just a few.

 

 

  • We’ve seen a huge rise in the Australian scene in the last couple of years. What do you think of it? Is it better compared with when you moved to Berlin?

It seems to have picked up substantially over the years, yes. It’s so nice to see the line ups getting more international and share the summertime in Australia with mates from around the globe. In my opinion, the vibe and clientele can be a little different - I like maturity and manner of Europeans (especially the no photo policy in Berlin clubs - get off your phone and dance - winner!)

 

 

  • You’ve played an ambient set for a fashion show? How was that experience? Do you enjoy playing other stuff? Which genres do you like apart from the 4/4 house & techno stuff?

I absolutely love private gigs for clothing brands, fashion launches, lounge bars etc. I can definitely play a full 8 hours of hip hop/funk/broken beats with a lot of pleasure. I miss the Big Chill Bar Sundays in Brick Lane!

 

 

Words by Francesco Quieti

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Jamahr: between melodies, friendship and their new label

After huge releases and outstanding supports from the likes of Enzo Siragusa, Archie Hamilton, Chris Stussy and Janeret, it's practically impossible not to know the Italian duo of Jamahr. Having EPs on Yaya's "Tamango Records", Rich NxT's "What NxT", Mulen Records, and Politic Of Dancing to name a few, Mario and Jacopo have made a name from themselves during the last years, always providing energetic melodic dancefloor cuts. We sat down with them after their big performance at the last Tamango Records showcase alongside Yaya and Alex Ground @ After Caposile (Italy).

 

Make you sure to follow Jamahr on FacebookInstagram, and Soundcloud.

 

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  • Let’s start the interview with a proper Italian question: pizza or pasta?

M: Pasta

J: Pasta

 

  • As every duo, I’m sure that you guys are more DJ-side or producer-side… tell us more about this. 

M: Jacopo is so powerful in the studio, he is way more careful on the little details than me. He’s also very skilled speaking of technical stuff (even if sometimes he makes me go mad because he thinks too much). I think that when we are behind the decks I’m 100% focused on the track selection and I always try to find the right track for the moment                                                       

J: I think that I’m better in the studio, I can really focus on the production side even if I’m alone, I don’t know what Jacopo said but I’m a true maniac. 

 

 

  • Remaining on the producer-side who works better on the groove and who on the melodic parts?

M: I'm responsible for many of Jamahr's melodies... I really like to make huge trips in my mind, finding the right melody, sometimes I get it, sometimes I don’t.

J: We both have a lot of ideas when we catch up in the studio, but Mario is the melodic wizard for sure!

 

  • What’s the key-element on your productions?

M: Definitely the melodic part, which is our main goal in the last couple of years.

J: Some melodic stuff for sure. We really enjoy something “extra” above the standard 4/4 groove.

 

 

  • What would have happened if you have not had met 9 years ago?

M: I don’t have a crystal ball, so it’s hard to say. It’s good that has been gone that way!

J: Who knows… better not think about it.

 

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  • When you guys met each other did you get along since the first time?

M: Yes, we met in a club (as often happens to the deejays). It’s a very spontaneous friendship.

J: Yes! We know each other for a long time but we’ve always got along on almost everything!

 

  • Who did decide the name of your alias?

M: We had the same idea almost at the same time!
J: It was very easy to pick this alias. Still, nowadays, people ask us what “Jamahr” means… well, it’s simply the fusion of our names: Jacopo + Mario = Jamahr!

 

  • How do you see each other in 10 years?

       M: I will definitely have white hair!

J: In the studio!

 

 

  • Who is the sexiest?

M: If you see us in the dark we are both pretty good! 

J: Mario… no doubts about it!

 

  • Sunset or sunrise?

M: Sunrise

J: Sunrise

 

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  • Best warm-up track?

M: Andy Kolwes – Sometimes

J: Ricardo Villalobos – Widodo

 

  • Best closing track?

M: Rodney Bakerr & Kenny K Collins – Beat My House

J: Beanfield feat. Bajka - Tides (Ripperton Mix)

 

  • Which is the record you love the most?

M: Petter – Petter Some Polyphony. It’s the first one I’ve ever bought back in the days.

J: The Doors’ album “Strange Days”

 

 

  • Do you guys have any secret wish?

M: Cadenza!

J: Cadenza (I’m pretty sure that Mario said the same)

 

  • What's the most inspiring DJ-duo?

M: Livio & Roby with no doubts. They have quite a long career and they’ve always shown style and elegance in every production, always looking at new influences but without losing their trademark imprint.

J: Livio & Roby. They’re such amazing producers and a big source of inspiration for us.

 

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  • Which is the best track on the podcast?

M: DJ Buck – Highlights

J: Jamahr – Kamigawa (out soon...)

 

  • We’re getting close to the end of this interview… any advice to the newcomers of this world?

M: We still have a long road ahead of us before giving any tip. First of all, I would say “humility” but this doesn’t mean to lower your heads. And then I would say to listen to a lot of music of any kind… there is a lot of good music that we even don’t know about.

J: We still have to improve a lot both as DJs and producer but I would say to listen to a lot of music is the best thing, and of course always believe in yourself!

 

  • What are your next steps?

J    M & J: We have three upcoming various artists: one for the 5 years birthday of French label by Politics of Dancing, one for Muzi Cartel (which is currently releasing a lot of quality music) and another one for (we can’t say atm). We’re very hyped for this also because we will “share” these compilations with a lot of friends. And lastly, we will announce very soon the born of our own label! It’s going to be called “CAPTEA” and we would like to thank Memoria Distribution for this great opportunity. Stay tuned for more info.

 

       Words by Francesco Quieti

 

 

 

 

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The Rise of Orli: a quick look at his first long-awaited EP

It’s been a while since the SW23 anthem of Rhadoo first, and many others then, called “Ynmwnbnct” has been exploding on popularity, making people go nuts all around the world. If you’re familiar with the scene, we’re pretty sure that you know something about this mysterious track… Well, it’s finally unveiled as the first release of Rome based newborn label Lori founded by Orli himself. Today we have a special little interview for you: one question that starts with each letter of the main track to learn more about who's behind this fantastic tune.

Check out the EP on deejay.de: https://www.deejay.de/Orli_LORI001_EP_LORI001_Vinyl__932931

Or have a listen on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtysAWrzsfA

 

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  • 1. You literally keep many people in suspense for almost 2 years with this track. Tell us the whole story behind the track.

Yes, the track was made some time ago. When I was working on it in the studio, I really felt something, I was super happy with the final result, from the vocal to each small detail, but honestly, I wouldn’t have expected all this hype. I mean, I do lots of tracks, I constantly work in the studio, and before SW23, when I was preparing the pack of music to send out, I would have never expected that 'Ynmwnbnct' would have been the one that was about to be played

 2. Name the biggest inspiration you have for this EP.

I have many inspirations, I like to listen to any kind of music and I like to be very open-minded. I don’t like to have any limitation, not only in music but in any kind of things regarding life as well. I think that an artist should never be limited if the aim is to create something new and unique. You should be open with the world, think in different ways and never be closed with prejudices. The musical inspiration behind the Lori001, and regarding my general approach on music comes from everything that I’ve experienced so far and that surrounds me: parties and festivals around Europe, life experiences, DJs and DJ sets, friends and so on. One of my biggest influences comes from my friends from the Jooice crew. There, every DJ has a specific and refined style which allowed me to listen and discover new sounds and music that mostly comes from the old ’90s and early ’00s. So, right now I’m digging a lot and this helps me to mix new and old sounds, creating something different and near to my own style. And last but not least, probably my biggest influence (talking about the actual scene) was and still is Rhadoo, especially in this last period.

 

 

 

3. Many people were shocked about this record as soon as the first rumours came out. Did you expect such a huge interest from the internet community?

As I said, I didn’t expect such a huge reaction at all. Every day, I receive a lot of messages and congratulations from people that I don’t know which is just great. I always try to answer and thank everyone. It really means a lot to me. I do music for people to make them feel happy, to forget about their problems and to make them feel what I feel when I make my music. There is no better drug than music.

 

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4. Where the name come from and what the vocals say?

I've done many versions ‘YNMWNBNCT’ which is the acronym of the words that form the vocal. Every day people ask me what does it say and I’m happy to explain it here:  the vocal says ’You and me will never be nothing compare them’ and it has nothing to do with the famous pop track ‘’Bloodhound Gang - The Bad Touch’’ as some people think.

 

5. No one other than Rhadoo premiered your track… was that the best moment in your musical career so far?

Yeah, I owe him a lot. When he played it for the first time, I was there listening to his magnetic set at SW23. When he turned up the fader with my track I was really surprised and shocked, what a nice moment! He first put out the track for like 1 minute only and then he turned it off, but after a couple of hours, he played it again and this time for its whole length! That’s some sweet memories!

 

 

6. Because of the enormous success of the EP, you’ll get a lot of attention. Did some labels contact you for future projects?

 

I’ve received a lot of interest from lots of nice labels, some were the ones I would have loved to release on since my first contact with the underground scene - I will not name them but It has been difficult to say no sometimes. So I took a hard decision deciding to create my own label from zero. I felt very attached to ‘YNMWNBNCT’, it’s very personal stuff, and I’ve wanted to put it in my own music universe called ‘LORI’. Finally the record it’s currently on presale in many stores. So now it’s time to focus on future projects.

 

7. Name some artists you are really looking for in the future.

Honestly, I can't tell you the names of some artists that I’m looking in for the future. There are lots of good young artists that are making super good music and there are lots of old artists that are keeping up their works beautifully.

 

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8. Can you please tell us more about the other 3 originals?

 

Yes, sure. Everyone is focusing on the main track, but In this EP there are also some other good tracks and a storyline, an underlying theme that is fully expressed throughout the whole EP. LORI001 is the end and the beginning of a phase of my life - I will not say more on this, I like to keep always a sort of mystery on my works - but I can say that there is a sense and a reason behind everything i did here. About the specific tracks, ‘’Strat’’ is probably my favorite, It sounds so clear and well balanced and when the vocals appear it’s always a nice moment. It Is one of those tracks that I always like to put in my sets and that always gives the right importance to that moment of the story I’m trying to tell. Then we have ‘’Can you remember’’, the track that Pedro played in the closing part of his set this year at SW25. My aim with it was to create a good closing track for the sets, really minimal, with not too many elements and with some vocals that speaks directly to you, straight to your mind for the whole duration of the track. Last but not least, we can find ‘’Majesty’’. Here I’ve wanted to express something different, and this one could fit for an ambient set as well. I do a lot of this kind of music and the feeling the track has, was exactly what I was looking for to complete the EP.

 

9. Time is key in this world, and it seems that you are a very patient person. Tell us your upcoming projects (if you can of course).

 

Yes, I have many projects going on, I’m working with some friends in the studio as well. LORI002 is one of my future project for sure, but you will have to wait a bit to know more about it. I have also lots of other things in mind as well, that I think you would love to hear but I prefer to reveal more details at the right time. Let’s give space to my first release now, i think it has deserved it, don’t you think? 

 

Words by Francesco Quieti


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UNISON WAX CREATOR DIEGO KRAUSE INTERVIEW & Mix

Berlin’s Diego Krause has firmly established himself as one of the finest purveyors of groove-laden, soul-infused and refined house music in the German capital. His productions are a regular in many infamous DJ’s record boxes with an impressive back catalogue of material on the likes of Berg Audio, his own Beste Modus and Unison Wax imprints (run alongside Cinthie and the rest of the Beste Modus crew) and most notably of late, a double LP on the revered Rawax imprint. Up next is a return to his Unison Wax label with a new EP entitled ‘Bring The Noise’ which has already piqued the interest of the likes of Varhat, Enzo Siragusa, Andrey Pushkarev and Yaya to name a few. Here though we see Diego offering up a slice of what you could hear from him in a club environment with a 60 minute journey through swinging rhythms, murky bass lines and ethereal house sounds.

 

 Diego Frause MEOKO Exclusive - Listen Here dk

 

You’ve got some really exciting stuff hitting the shelves over the coming months, a double 12’’ LP format on Rawax and another release on your own Unison Wax, how did the album format come into play with Rawax, did they just have too many tracks they liked and wanted to release a bigger project from you or was it planned to do something like this?

Actually we were planning on doing a follow-up for the „Pale Blue“ EP I released on the label last year. So I put together 6 Tracks for Robert to choose from but he liked them all and suggested we do a Double-EP or LP. I liked the idea so we just went with it. The tracks were produced within 2 weeks or so and I was trying out a more playful and experimental workflow, hence the title of the LP.

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Unison Wax now marks its seventh release this June, the label has acted as platform for your own material predominantly, any plans to expand the roster or will it always remain your own? 

I think it will stay like this. I am planning on doing a collaborative EP though, but not sure if it will be the 08 or 09.

 

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You’re a founding member of the Beste Modus collective and also Elevate.Berlin, for those people who may be unfamiliar with this could you tell us a little about what Beste Modus represents and what you’ve all been doing over the past five or so years, as well as the recent launch of the Elevate label collective, record shops and events?

Well, Beste Modus was founded in 2012 when Stevo, Ed and I met Cinthie when she was playing in Berlin. We hit it off immediately and started doing parties all over the city. The concept was a vinyl label that brings soulful and groovy house music for the dance floor and we only released our own tracks. During the past 6 years or so our friend group grew and some of us started their own labels. Stevo and Porter started Certain Circles, Nick Beringer launched Rubisco, I started Unison Wax, just to name a few. To bring it all together and support each other we established Elevate. At first it was only supposed to be a label collective and online shop. But unexpectedly we had the opportunity to get a nice space in central Berlin, that we now use as our shop, stock and office.

 

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You’re a Berlin native, I presume this clubbing Mecca has played a huge part in influencing your sound and style of DJing, could you talk us through some of the influential moments of your formative years growing up in Berlin though. Were there some particular events, promoters or DJ’s from the early years of the developing Berlin scene that played a huge part in your desire to become a DJ and producer yourself?

I started going to clubs fairly late. I come from a HipHop background and didn’t discover the Berlin night life until around 2010. But formative events to me were the Submarine night at Watergate, which was run by Ron Wilson, a good friend of ours. He invited a lot of great US and UK garage house artist to the city and introduced us to the genre. Also very influential were some extended sets by our friends ItaloJohnson at Panorama Bar or when they played solo at the Homopatik parties at ://about blank. There were however so many other moments that in the end played a big role in forming my musical understanding and approach.

 

 

 

 

Your music seems to resonate quite broadly in terms of the DJ’s supporting it, ranging from more micro house leaning sounds through to more robust deep house and sometimes darker techno aesthetics. What would you cite as some of your main influences when going into the studio, does it come from spending time on dance floor’s and wanting to recreate those special moments or do you take influence from the every day and things that happen to you outside of the club?

I’m always trying to create a certain vibe that I’ve either experienced in the club or in my day to day life.
For me music is about longing so I’m always attempting to build some depth and soul into my tracks. There needs to be a certain narrative to them. Sometimes I’m trying to do a party track just for the sake of it, but it seldom works.

 

What does your studio set up consist of, are you a gear collector or working mainly in the box and using digital software?

I was working all in the box until very recently. I never was a VST nut though. I always worked with sampling. Mostly old Sample-CDs that still had some character to them. The only Plugins I use regularly are Reaktor and Omnisphere. And of course a bunch of FX. Now I bought a Analog Rytm and it really changed a lot. I love the intuitive work flow and sound of that machine. I’m definitely gonna invest more in gear now.

 

When it comes to DJing what excites you the most, do you prefer to play a really nice warm up set and deeper sounds or keep things moving in the peak hours? Would you rather play a festival to thousands of people or a dark room and intimate vibe to a hundred?

I’m getting more and more into warm-up sets. It’s definitely something I had to learn to be good at. Setting the tone for a night is extremely important and a big responsibility. But there’s nothing like playing an extended early morning set at an intimate club and taking people on a trippy ride.

 

 

 

 

Could you tell us of something in your life you find inspiring right now outside of music, maybe a place you like to visit and relax, a book you’re reading to escape, a person you enjoy spending time with to feed your creativity or a movie that’s piqued your interest? Something outside of what you’re known for essentially?

I’m currently spending a lot of time in Paris, where my girlfriend lives. The city is very inspiring to me, especially the architecture. I love strolling around the streets with my camera. I find it very interesting how visual stimulation can feed into my music productions. That’s why at some point in my life I would love to work on movie scores, for me that would be the ultimate musical challenge. Another way for me unwind is to read. I’m not into fiction, but very fascinated by the sciences. Everything from Psychology and Neuro-science to Philosophy and Cosmology. Right now I’m reading‚ Meditations‘ by the stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius.

 

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What’s next for Diego Krause, Unison Wax, Beste Modus and anything else you have planned in terms of shows etc?

There’s a lot coming. I really had a great time at our Elevate Open Air at IPSE, Berlin in the beginning of June. We invited D’julz and my good friend Fabe. We programmed a nice day and night party, outdoor and indoors with the whole crew.
Also I’m very excited about a new label project I am working on. But nothing official yet.

 

Words by MEOKO

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Argenis Brito - when a (short) break it's the best choice (+ 100% own productions mix)

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Booooomin’ vibes from the legend that is Argenis Brito. Ahead of his interview, the man himself serves one filthy-hour of dope music which includes 100%  all of his own productions only. This mix features classy distorted beats, marvellous synths and tight grooves, all combined by Argenis’ unmistakable fine and gentle touch, even when it comes to raw basslines, broken percussions and deep & dusty pads, this man knows how to make it sounds like heaven… enjoy!

 

  • You’ve just returned from a wicked night at the “Accusi” party in Lausanne where you’ve shown your ability with your impressive live act. When did you start working on a live set and why?

Yes, I have a long time residency in Lausanne, first at La Ruche, and now at Folklor, which is an amazing club with a great crowd and massive sound system, I’ve really enjoyed that night.

Talking about how I play, I’ve always played live since the beginning of my career back in 2000. For some reasons I’ve never switched to the standard DJ-set and that‘s not because I didn’t want to, but just because I‘ve always felt more comfortable playing live and performing with my own music. I think that this is related with the fact that I‘ve started as a musician: in fact, my first (electronic music) projects were basically live sets, so I got used to playing this way and never developed as a DJ.

 

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  •  In the last couple of years, you’ve released only a few tracks. Did it depend on the (saturated) market or you have not been 100 % satisfied with your productions lately? You came up with a mix for us full of unreleased gems so maybe something’s going to happen soon…

Yeah, that’s right. My output during these last couple of years hasn’t been very abundant, mainly because of the market saturation that makes very difficult (at least in my case) to find a proper platform to get to the right audience. At some point, I realised that putting out a lot of music didn’t make much sense because most of it was getting lost in the immense amount of tracks that are released every day. So I decided to take the „quality over quantity“ approach and I’ve started to release only what I’m most proud of. I’ve got lots of unreleased tracks as a solo artist but also collaborations with good friends of mine, including the ones I did with my dear Felipe Valenzuela under our new project called „FÆR“. Hopefully, all of this stuff will see the light very soon. During those years I’ve been looking for a different sound as well, a different approach to the way I write and produce music, and that takes a lot of time and dedication because it’s hard to leave what you are comfortable with. It tends to happen, at least to me, that I get tired of the way I do things and I need to look for a different workflow to obtain new and fresh results.

  • During your prolific career, you’ve collaborated with some of the most gigantic artists in the worldwide electronic panorama: from Ricardo Villalobos to Luciano, from Tiefschwarz to Pier Bucci. What is it like working with such brilliant people? Do they have a different workflow strategy compared to other artists?

I‘ve always enjoyed collaborating with other artists more than working alone. I think it’s because, as I said before, I come from being in bands and I guess that this stayed with me over the years.

Working with a different person makes the production side even more interesting, everyone has a different approach, a unique way of seeing and arranging the music, and that’s why it’s so important to me. Collaborating with other artists widens my horizons and refreshes my approach on both writing and producing music. Besides, I think it makes the final product much stronger, more powerful, like the saying: "two heads think more than one".

  • You’ve collaborated many times with Ricardo Villalobos using both your original names and the “POX & POL” alias. Where does name come from and why did you start a brand new project?

I and Ricardo are good friends for over 20 years and we‘ve been making music together for a long time. „POX & POL“ is our last project and we actually started this new moniker as an inside joke that is funny only in Spanish. :) Talking about our output, we‘ve wanted to use a different alias to make things more fun, curious and unexpected.

 

  • You’ve started producing music way back in 2006 during the rise of the big minimal-wave. What do you think about the evolution that both yours (if you feel an evolution for yourself) and the “other DJs” sound has changed so far?

Since I’ve started making music, the sound has mutated a lot as also the tendencies and the tastes of the generations. I generally look to create a more personal sound, a personal style that can be recognised, that inspire me and it’s the reflection of what I have in mind at the moment. When I’m in the studio I make that specific track and for me, that’s the real goal. I do not follow trends doing what everyone is doing, I think that’s a mistake that many producers make. Lots of producers try to imitate a sound that they think is more accepted and this makes the whole scene less interesting and diverse, and again, that’s my point of view, I don’t like to tell people what to do or what to feel.

  • We are currently living into more “minimal” years, with the Romanian scene being very influential at the moment. What do you think of it? Do you think it will get bigger and bigger, competing with the other “tech-house” more mainstream stages?

I have a lot of respect for these guys, we have known each other for a very long time with the guys of RPR. They‘ve created their own sound and put Romania in the global map of electronic music, every year they grow a bit more but, even though they are getting a lot of attention, they stay true to their sound and ideas without compromising it just to cut more tickets, and that for me deserves respect and admiration, they are serious artists with long and prolific careers. So no, I don’t think they are going to turn into another massive circus.

  • What are the main elements that you find you always make sure to have on a track?

For me, it’s all about the idea. I think that a track must have strong elements and a clear idea behind.

Music can be full of effects and small details but I find that having a theme and a coherent arrangement it’s the most important thing.

  • Talking about DJ-side, you are currently playing a lot all around the world. Which is your favourite place to play so far and why.

This is a hard question for me, I have a few favourite spots to play, Club Der Visionäre in Berlin, Bar Americas in Guadalajara, Papaya Club in Tulum, Quba Club in Mar del Plata, Piknic Electronic in Santiago de Chile, Sunwaves, and the list goes on and on. What I enjoy the most is an open-minded crowd enjoying the music and having a good time, and I have been very lucky to find that in many places.

The parties, the clubs and the crowds are very different from place to place and that makes impossible for me to have only one favourite place in the world to play.

 

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  • We know you have a good relationship with fellow-Argentinian Felipe Valenzuela and Dani Casarano… do you think you 3 guys had an important role in the Argentinian scene? 

Ok, just to clarify, I’m not from Argentina, I was born in Venezuela and have been living in Berlin for 17 years. Felipe is Chilean and Dani is Swiss he but lived 15 years in Chile. For some reason, people think I’m from Argentina or from Chile but that‘s not the case, I lived in Chile for 5 years and that can be the confusion. I share the studio with Dani and Felipe and we have been producing a lot of new music in the last couple of years. They have played an important role in the Chilean electronic music scene creating prestigious labels like Melisma and Cure Music, as well as regularly touring the globe.

At the beginning of the boom of electronic music, Chile played a key role in the development and evolution of the movement in South America. Electronic music had an early impact in Chile in the ’90s and since then has been growing exponentially, but this phenomenon also took place in other countries like Argentina, Mexico and Uruguay. If I have to tell some of my favourite Argentinian producers I have to say, Ernesto Ferreyra, Franco Cinelli, Jorge Savoretti, Guti, Alexis Cabrera, Cape, Fosky, Barem, Fede Molinari, Manu Desrets.

  • Recently a compilation was released that features 50+ tracks from Argentinian tracks only called Musica Lunar. It’s a pretty unusual thing because it put together well-known (Barem, Alexis Cabrera, Federico Molinari) and upcoming artist (Nektar Agu, Bernat). What do you think of the Argentinian scene and of a venture like this?

I don’t think is that unusual to put together in one record well-known artists with newcomers, I have seen it happen a few times and I find it’s refreshing to have different names and sonorities on a VA.

I really like what is happening with the Argentinian scene, there’s a good bunch of excellent producers and DJ’s making amazing quality music.

Luckily the global scene is starting again to open up towards different sounds and approaches which are so necessary for a healthy and ever-changing scene, and that compilation is the living proof of it.

  • What’s the record that you have produced that you love the most? And why?

I have a special place in my heart for my first double vinyl in Cadenza called “Micro Mundo”. It was one of my very first records to come out, and I‘ve dedicated plenty of time to produce it and it was made in a very special period of my life.

  • And which is the one that you think is the best one?

Honestly, I don’t think that I have made my best record yet. Let’s see what happens in the future…

  • Do you have other interests apart from music?

Music takes the most of my time, but besides that, I have a few things I do when I have time off.

I like photography, writing (sometimes), I appreciate street art, I like to cook, ride my bike and going kayak when there’s good weather.

  •  Any future goals for the future (labels to release, places to play)?

I would love to keep working on music, making a new FÆR album, a new Los Refrescos album, a new downtempo project (still in process), and continue travelling and bringing my music to whoever wants to enjoy it and dance to it.

Thank you :)

 

Argenis' latest EP as FÆR (with Felipe Valenzuela) it's out now on the legendary Raum...musik, get it here: FÆR - Internal Jokes Other Matters (MUSIK109)

If I have to tell some of my favourite Argentinian producers I have to say Ernesto Ferreyra, Franco Cinelli, Jorge Savoretti, Guti, Alexis Cabrera, Cape, Fosky, Barem, Fede Molinari, Manu Desrets.

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IN CONVERSATION WITH HERCK.ro + MIX

If you ask anyone well versed with the scene to name its most promising rising stars, there’s a sure-fire chance they’ll mention Herck. Hailing from Arad, the young Romanian has garnered a stellar reputation for his intricate productions that rich in texture, solidifying his place at the forefront of an emerging generation of talented artists. Since his 2017 LP, Sonetul Noptilor Fecunde, on Curtea Veche, Herck has exhibited a somewhat unstoppable momentum, releasing music on labels including Roche Madame, Muted Noise, Complatt and Otomoji, showcasing his distinctive brand of psychedelic infused minimal groove. As a DJ, Herck’s trajectory is equally as promising, with an increasingly busy touring schedule across Romania and Europe.

We are incredibly excited to welcome Herck to our mix series with a live recording of his set on the 12th of January earlier this year at the Puls Romania clubnight at D’arc, Timisoara. An incredibly agile mix with enviable selections, Herck showcases his dexterity with the mind-bending soundscapes he has come to make his own. Strap in for a trippy, 2 hour journey through the collection of an artist on the rise. A teasing taste of what to expect when Herck makes his Farringdon debut back to back Haydn at the Steppin' Motion fabric showcase on the 19th of May.

Exclusive Mix - HERCK / MEOKO 286 - CLICK 

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Thank you so much for taking the time to be featured in our podcast series. Could you tell us a little about the mix you’ve put together? Where was it recorded?

Hello, and thank you for having me here ! Well, this set it’s what defines me as an artist and producer. It was recorded in Timisoara @ D’arc - Puls Romania.

 

How long have you been making music? I read that you began experimenting with electronic music at 15 – how did you get into it so early?

I started experimenting with electronic music around 2004. I already had some friends who listened to this kind of music back then, but I didn’t pay so much attention to it that much until I dug into it more and more. Around 2009 I realised that, I really have to do this, this is for me. Also my friends told me and supporting me…”you have to do this, you have what you need, music knowledge, and especially EARS for this”. Then I started producing and one year later I released my first EP. 

 

What’s the music scene like in your hometown Arad?

Well, Arad it’s not a big city, but the scene is growing from year to year and when new people discover this kind of music. Surprisingly they really enjoy it and that’s a good thing. 

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You have such a distinct texturized sound, did it take you a while to figure out your musical identity or is this something that came naturally?

Thank you, I appreciate it. Well…as a producer, you have to find your music identity at some point, but until you reach your goal as in sound and style you want to adapt, you need to dig, work hard and listen to lot of music, play and produce different styles. And yeah, it took a while until i realised that…yeah, this is it, this is what defines me. All the things came naturally, I didn’t force nothing.

 

Do you find that the way you make music is constantly evolving or has your workflow remained relatively consistent over time?

Depends on your mood of course. But as a producer, you evolve from track to track and that is what keeping you focused. If you are trapped in that loop/pattern over and over again, you will become monotone and the sound will be the same without changing too much. The thing is…always surprise the audience, that’s the beauty of a producer and that is what defines you as a producer.

 

What are your studio essentials?

I don’t have a professional studio…I work on a home studio with my laptop, a pair of Adams, a Blofeld synthesizer, a keyboard and my DAW. I’m happy with what  have, but my future plans is more gear of course. 

 

The last two years have been pretty stellar for you, with an album on Curtea Veche, three EPs in 2018 alone and already this year a stunning appearance on the Otomoji compilation, each release with substantial support. Would you be able to tell us a little about what’s in store for 2019?  


Yeah, 2018 was amazing for me as in releases, and I was really happy with it. 2019 will be more surprisingly, even for me. New Curtea Veche EP, remixes and VA’s on very nice labels.

 

Approaching the Summer season, what are your favourite parties to play?

As in playing in the Summer season…i don’t have a favourite one, but I’m happy that i will share the decks with Inspirescu, Barac, Mihigh and more @ Arad Open Air festival on June 28-30.

 

Are there any events on your bucket list that you hope to be able to play at soon?

Indeed, I would love to play in Romania at Sunwaves of course and Mioritmic. Outside Ro, would love to play at Hoppetosse, Gazgolder, Caprices.

 

Lastly, what’s inspiring you most at the moment?

My family, nature and of course…music :)

Catch Herck Playing at Steppin' Moton alongside Fabe, Lee Burton and more. Check it Out, Not to be Missed, Happening At fabric London 19th May. ..... Full Event info and Tickets HERE

 

Interview by LILY DALTON 

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