- Published on Friday, 07 June 2019 18:37
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.
- 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.
- We know you have a good relationship with fellow-Argentinian Felipe Vanezuela 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 Vanezuela) it's out now on the legendary Raum...musik, get it here: FÆR - Internal Jokes Other Matters (MUSIK109)
- Published on Sunday, 12 May 2019 08:33
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.
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.
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
- Published on Wednesday, 17 April 2019 23:01
Argentinian producer Guti is one of the most exciting and evolving artists electronic music has to offer. Best known for his groove-loaded take on house and techno that comes to life in his dynamic live set, Guti’s musical roots go deep. After years spent touring in Argentina with a well known rock band, Jovenes Pordioseros, Guti found himself drawn to the dancefloor. Whilst living in Germany, Guti made the acquaintance of Loco Dice and released his debut album Patio De Juegos on Desolat in 2011.
In the years since, Guti has ascended on an exponential trajectory as an in demand artist with a unique sound. Now, Guti is making a return to his South American roots with his latest album, The Year of the Conga, released on the 29thof March on the Martinez The Martinez Brothers’ Cuttin’ Headz imprint. The album is testament to Guti’s veteran status, showcasing his breadth of influences across 14 tracks, each rich with South American rhythm and percussive flair. Right in time for summer, Guti is currently touring his album globally. Amidst his packed schedule, Guti found time to chat with us at MEOKO. Read his interview below.
Hey Guti! Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us at MEOKO, it’s a pleasure to have you!
Let’s start with you’re forthcoming album ' Year of the Conga' on Cuttin Headz. Could you tell us a little about the inspiration behind the album?
The inspiration of the album is coming back to the dance floor. Is our rhythm. The Latino in me. It's all the music I grew up listening to transformed in this electronic artist of a thousand battles that I am today. It's something we always speak about with the Martinez Brothers and it is what we are. Our essence.
Listening to the album, it exudes that kind of well-considered sense of ‘sureness’ that only comes from an artist who has truly come into their own. Did it take you long to find your own identity as an artist?
Thing is I am many artists in one! I am the jazz musician. The underground producer that loves to go deep! I always wanna experiment but I am also the house guy that plays Latin rhythms and enjoys dancing and to make other people dance. I think I finally got in tune with all my sides and I can express myself.
How would you describe the evolution of your sound over time?
When I changed scene after all my years with rock bands I was thrilled with making people dance. Was addictive. Then I have some years experimenting. Now I'm back on the dance floor. Synthesizing everything. More direct. The message is more direct.
What is inspiring you at the moment?
All my inspiration comes from three parts. My life. My love. My issues. I am floating in an endless self discovery trip. And every music I do taps into that.
Aside from working in the studio, you’ve got a pretty packed touring schedule. How do you find balance?
Well I am pretty unbalanced! Been touring for 20 years! I do my best. Culture and sports. Hang out with my girl and my friends as much as I can. Go to museums. Different socio cultural activities that take me a bit out of my touring that makes me feel I have almost a normal life.
Having played across the globe, are there any particular scenes that attract you most?
I love to play in South America. I love Latin people and I love Asia. I'm doing this interview from Malaysia! In the end every scene has more in common than what you would think!
Looking ahead, you’re already set for a pretty stellar summer, with Off Week and Awakenings already announced and more to be confirmed. What’s your favourite part about playing big festivals?
Now I am on a mission. That is to present the album to as many people I can. That's why I am on this world tour and I'll pretty much do the whole world in the next couple of months. From Australia, to India, to Latin America, to Europe to the states and back. It's a challenge to play the album in small clubs and big festivals. And I love it!
Coming from an incredibly diverse musical background, we have to ask, what do you listen to when you’re at home?
I listen to jazz and salsa. I have an obsession with Oscar Peterson and Hector Lavoe.
Wrapping things up, what does the future hold for you?
Life goes on. And I am already writing the next album. It's from our band with Francesco Tristano "Another Paa,dise" and we are also launching a label together and preparing a big live show. We already played Mutek last year and it's a project that really got me excited.
Interview with Guti by Lily Dalton
''I'm Trying To Play Music That I Feel Strongly About, and I don't Want To Get Into The Hype.'' Melodie Interview&Mix
- Published on Sunday, 14 April 2019 23:15
Cristi Turodache, better known as Melodie, has deservedly earned his status as one of the most exciting talents to emerge from Bucharest’s scene. Over the past five years, Melodie has injected the scene with a vibrant, fresh sound, incorporating new influences and exploring new terrain. His polished, and continually forward-thinking productions, can be found on coveted releases across some of the scene’s most respected labels: Metereze, RORA, and Vivus, among many others. While his output positioned him at the vanguard of a new wave of Romanian talent, Melodie’s biography offers only a small glimpse of dedication to his craft.
An artist with an unwavering commitment to constant learning and development, Melodie’s most recent endeavour, the Redesigns album, is the conceptual realisation of his desire to continually offer something new. The digital-only release features refreshed ‘redesigns’ of eight of Melodie’s previously released tracks and is currently available via Melodie’s bandcamp.
We are incredibly honoured to welcome Melodie to our podcast series with two hours recorded from his set Saturday 9th of March at Club Eden. The podcast is testament to Melodie’s ability to create a sense of coherence amidst vast stylistic and emotional diversity. Traversing mind-melting textures from a range of genres and soundscapes, this mix is an escapists delight beggint the listener to get lost it.
Accompanying the podcast, we are delighted to feature an in depth interview with Melodie about his Redesigns Project, his production processes, and his evolution as an artist. We are incredibly excited for what the future holds for an artist whose patience and passion are palpable.
Let’s start by talking about your most recent project. Could you tell us a little bit about the concept behind the Redesigns Album?
Some people, over the years, asked me for digital versions of the tracks, because some records were sold fast, or I don't know, they don't play records maybe, or they don't collect vinyl. Digital is cool, sometimes I also play digital, and why not? Also it's nice to have different versions, retakes.
What sort of things did you change up when you were ‘redesigning’ the tracks.
Well, one of the things was that the tracks were made many years ago, and over the years, I kind of changed the way I make music, and with the redesigns, I made them in two weeks or so, and they're all more my recent take on music.
Could you expand a little bit on this recent take? What’s your new approach like?
It was more like the way I make my mixes on tracks, and the way I work now. I'm always into developing my workflow and the way I work, and learning more and better. And I changed some gear also, some tracks, they were with my old sound card, and I have a new one which sounds better. And most of it, this was the way I make the mix downs. Because of the equipment I use now, the overall sound of the tracks has changed. I think now I'm getting closer to a cleaner sound, more transparent, where you can understand all the instruments pretty well.
Yeah, I can definitely hear that everything sounds really refreshing and new – it’s exciting!
Yes, it was a moment idea when I thought initially to remaster them, but then I was like, "Why don't I make them like new?" Some people tried to say, "This is the rework of that track," but I wanted to perceive them as something different, new.
What about your workflow? How has that developed over time?
My workflow, yeah, it changed over the years, and since a couple of years, I've been trying a lot working with hardware synths more, and I guess because for many years, in the beginning, I used to work only on computer. And I kind of got tired of it, being always on the monitor, and clicking with the mouse. So now I try to make tracks kind of in a live session.
Yeah, so a lot of jamming?
I don't do so many jams, but rather, I make the tracks like a piano player does. I just make live takes until I make the track the way I want it to be, from just one take, from one take. If I make a track and I make a mistake after three minutes, I just start it again.
That must take a lot of patience. Do you get frustrated, ever?
Not really, it's interesting, because sometimes I do, but in the end it goes well, or if it doesn't go in a way, maybe the track is not ready yet to be finished. I also feel that it helps me to understand better the trials, what the track actually needs as a build. I think I worked too much on the computer for many years in the beginning. Like on this album (redesigns), there are two tracks, I think it was six and seven, that I made with the mouse, like the block kind of arrangement thing, because yeah, I'm doing different things from time to time, because I don't want to be stuck in just that thing. I want to expand a bit and try different things.
It seems like you're someone who just loves constantly learning. Would you say that's true?
Yeah, I like that. There is many things I know now that I had no idea in the beginning. Somehow they come with time, I think.
What was this process like for you?
At the start I thought I'm making interesting things, but actually I was just playing around with loops before I started to release anything. I think yeah, that's why I started making music in '98, when I was 13 or 12, I don't remember exactly. And I got serious into it in 2005 or 2004, because for that period, I was just playing around with it, like you play a game or video game. And I guess also the internet brought a lot of knowledge available that you can read and find about.
In Romania also, if you are not in this environment already, I don't know how easy it is to get in touch with people who have studios and great equipment. I mean, the first time I went into a professional studio was I think in 2005, 2004. I just was there for a few times, and it pushed me a bit to start to learn more, and to work more on music.
I tried many things: in the beginning, I was working with loops, and just putting them there together. After a while I tried some edits, like in that period, and then I worked with samples and presets, and it was just, I guess, I was still learning a lot.
What were your inspirations back then, and have they changed?
Yeah, I had a long time, I think, making music that I was not so satisfied with. I mean, it was, I guess, decent, but I was not so satisfied. The tracks I released on Metereze were the ones that I started to believe a lot in, and they pushed releases with other labels. But yeah, Raresh liked them. I think it's the same now, it's not the same reasons as there were at that point, but I'm kind of the same. I get inspired by many things, like by equipment, by sounds. That's the thing with the acid tracks. I like = the acid style, and I was inspired by that. I just woke up one day and I was like, "Wow, I want to make an acid track."
I know what you mean by that. It just comes to you sometimes.
And sometimes it's just, I don't know, some feelings or ideas about gear, or trying some new technique, or sometimes even what's happening in my daily life, if I get inspired by that. Now I'm working more on sound design, and I feel have a more flexible way of doing things. I have this modular, and I'm kind of making sound from the scratch somehow. I don't use presets anymore for a few years now, and for example, I was in nature last year, and I got so inspired by the sounds of the birds and the bugs on the leaves. And I came home, and somehow I managed to transpose that into a track that I'm going to release in a few months I think.
Awesome, that's so exciting!
Speaking specifically of the Romanian scene, you would definitely be considered as someone shaped the direction of it and sort of filled the sound with this kind of emotional warmth. What do you think the difference is between someone who makes a good track in that style and someone who makes a really great track?
Oh, thank you. For me, I think I always felt like this when I started to go to parties. I felt that music has to create a build inside me. I want to feel exciting, excited about what I'm hearing, and surprised somehow. And also emotion, you have to have a feeling of something. I think music should have a story in it. Whatever kind of story, I don't know, happy, sad, linear. I used to listen to minimal music in 2004, 2005, like Richie Hawtin, and there are a lot of other people. And even though they were minimal, with a few elements, they had a story, like a small build there. And nowadays, a lot of this minimal sound and tech house minimal sounds a lot like a loop and it doesn't create a story somehow in it.
Yeah, that’s an interesting perspective, I think with the sheer volume of stuff that’s released now a natural corollary of that is that there’s going to be a lot of average, mass-produced stuff that doesn’t create a story, I guess. I definitely feel there’s so much to get excited about when it comes to the music emerging at the moment.
Yeah I do agree.
Changing direction a bit, let’s talk about your experience as a DJ. Do you think your approach as a DJ is quite reflective of your style as a producer? When you're performing a set, are you trying to conjure similar emotions that you are when you create tracks?
Yeah, I don't know. I'm trying to play music that I feel strongly about, and I don't want to get into the hype. Of course, I'm getting inspired by othcer people. For example, I was out this weekend, and over the years, I went out to a lot of parties in Bucharest where my friends played music, and I was inspired. I guess you can't avoid it too, you can’t not be inspired by the evolution, and the whole collective movement. Because I used to play rougher music, house, back many years ago, and now I've evolved. I'm still not playing minimal too much. I want to have a bit of diversity into my sets, but I'm not going too much into extremes. I think the one thing that I find I aim for in my sets, in my mixes, is a coherence, just like my tracks. I want them to have a coherent story, and the whole mix sounds more like a track somehow.
You mentioned you’re getting more and more into sound design now. what drew you to wanting to be interested in it? Was it sort of a natural progression from producing and DJing?
Yeah, I guess one of the things was being super unsatisfied with using presets, and the limitations it gave me. And also, sample packs. I don't have sample packs in my computer, I have just a few samples like drums. You know, the percussion bongos, congas, and all these tambourines, because I feel like I had an idea, but then I have to go through some presets, and I feel like they always have to be different. And now, in the last two or three years, I started to make sounds specifically for a track, and many times I don't use them again.
I mean, this is besides the drums, because you can have a drum machine and use the drums they make, you maybe process them a bit, put some EQ and compression, and you can't get too far away. Many times, I find it easier to use drum sounds from a drum machine, and I don't think they're so important, like the basic kick snare, hi-hat. I think more of the synths, the bass, and some other percussive elements, you can play a lot with them, and with the effects. And you can achieve more interesting sounds, at least this is what I like. And like I said, if I'm not evolving, I get bored.
I feel like the possibilities for evolution are endless. There's always going to be something new to create.
Yeah, I'm kind of losing my inspiration if I'm not into thinking too much on to it. Like, thinking up new things, "How can I approach these gears differently?" or what combination I haven't tried. Sometimes, I just make some music just to make something, but what moves me the most is trying new things and getting new ideas.
I think I'm starting to focus even on making music, DJing is cool, but lately I kind of lost a bit interest in it. I find myself spending more and more time on making music rather than digging for music.
Do you find it more inspirational to sort of create your own stuff?
So and so. I mean, I like to listen to other people's music, because sometimes I work on a track, and it takes me 10 hours, and I realize that, for the last 10 hours, I was listening just to this thing, and I want to listen to something else. Because, of course, if you don't listen to anything it's harder to get inspired.
I enjoy music a lot, I still go to parties and I find myself as a listener. When I was younger, I used to think, to listen a lot to what's happening technically, like when I was starting to DJ. But now I don't give it too much attention. I mean, you can hear, of course, things, but I'm not focusing too much on that.
That's a much more enjoyable way to spend your time on the dancefloor, personally I definitely fall into the trap of letting my focus on the technical side of whats happening take away from the experience and story.
Wrapping things up, could you tell us a little about what you have planned for the future? Are there any releases you can tell us about?
I have some music that I want to release planned already, but I'm going to work on music for some other labels as well. The thing with vinyl, is it takes such a long time, you make some music, and then it takes three months or four months to release it. I feel like I want to release stuff that I'm super satisfied with.
Words by Lily Dalton
- Published on Tuesday, 02 April 2019 20:56
No history of Bulgarian electronic music would be complete without a mention of Deyan Zlatinov. You might not have heard of him but there's a good chance you've danced to his music - particularly when you consider that Loopdeville has been engaged with electronic music since the 90s. Deyan has kept a low profile for much of his career, touring only occasionally while remaining an active producer. In the past 10 years he has played in countries like Switzerland, Germany, UK, Romania & Bulgaria and played on festivals like Meadows In The Mountains plus other Open Air Parties. To hear a Loopdeville record is to peer into Zlatinov’s soul: every broken drum sound, every old school pad, every dusty sample reflects something lurking in his subconscious. His aesthetic has arguably been best showcased in his standout mixes, with efforts for Introspections (Half Is Enough) and Project London Radio in more recent years.
It was 2013 when he released his first digital and vinyl EP’s under the name Loopdeville, respectively Karton Label and Knock Knock Series from Kiara records, Body Parts and his own label Delooped Records which he launched that year with his partner in crime Georgi Panchev. Through Delooped he began putting out an array of new music from the likes of Sublee, Pepp, Anima Mundi, Anton Pau as well as his own music and soon developed a close relationship with kindred spirits such as Lorenzo Chiabotti, Suciu and Harry McCanna to name a few. In 2014 he released on Moss Co., Odd Music and a remix on a vinyl only release for Moral Fiber with one track on a VA for Karton (vinyl only), also with a remix for Body Parts and recently on Rotate 005 “Mini Rotations I”.
Like many producers, Loopdeville eventually wound up in London, and it was there that I met him for the first time about five years ago. Since then I have spend considerable amount of time with him at his studio, either observing him producing music or spinning records. What I’ve witnessed was a passionate collector with an extraordinary drive to take the crowd on a musical trip. In short, Zlatinov is an important ambassador for Bulgarian electronic music and is an artist with something to say, which is why we decided to sit down and have a chat with him! We also got him to record an exclusive mix for all of you so double treat right here for our Meoko readers!
Hi Deyan! Thanks for being part of our series! I appreciate that you made time out of your busy schedule for this interview! It barely took a pair of ears to tell that you have a real passion for minimal and techno. Can you tell us how all of this started and evolved over the years?
Hey Denny thanks for having me. Great to be part of these series for Meoko. Well, it all started with me wanting to be a singer actually. I tried, but somehow I could not see me practicing by myself at home singing to the walls. It all started when I joined a private singing school and at some point we went to a studio to record a dreadful song of mine... It was at that time when I had my first real touch with a studio and observed what the producer was doing.. since then everything changed. After a while I quit the singing lessons and got myself a PC, met another producer who was making music mainly for fun and he got me into music software so we started making beats.
What influences did your home country Bulgaria have on the music you make? Were there any particular people, parties, labels or moments that significantly influenced you in the early days?
Back in the early days of acid and techno / house music there was a very unique and famous club called Comics Club which was simply awesome! It was an old cinema theatre with high ceiling and some amazing DJ's over the years. There I fell deeply in love with this music genre which inspired my productions and allowed me to develop a “old-schoolish, broken, repetitive & dusty” style.
Artists from Mazi a.k.a Audio Soul Project, Dj Ali (Canada), Hipp-E & Halo, Joey Youngman, Terry Francis, Nathan Coles, Eddie 'Evil' Richards, Tony Thomas, Silicon Soul (they were the city favs actually at some point) to some crazy techno DJ’s from the great techno scene that Sweden had back in the day; Cari LEKEBUSCH, Hertz etc. All these artist were from the beginning of 1990s when the club was active. Nowhere else in the country, was there a place like that...it was a sanctuary for the new kids on the block. I should also mention Club "Weekend" where it all started for me as a performing DJ. A year or two after that I was playing b2b with the owner at that same Comics Club, presenting his new line of parties - we went on to have some glorious b2b with the guy and yeah it was a perfect beginning for me. If you add some broken beats inherited by my country’s folklor - (the roots you know) and the influence of hip hop, soul and jazz on top of everything else then you get the idea behind Loopdeville.
It’s been about 4 years now (more or less) since you left London and moved to Gibraltar. How do you find the city? Are you enjoying your life there?
Yes we moved out of London as it was getting too much for us (me and my fiancée). We went to a place called Tarifa and there we decided it was time for a new chapter for us and I couldn’t have agreed more. We live on the other side of Gibraltar, which would be Spain and there we had our little daughter Sofia. I was devoted full time on raising my daughter, especially the first 1.5 years which was an amazing experience, trust me (laughs). Gibraltar is an interesting place I must say with a nice little scene that has some proper big names and also current underground figures are making their appearance at parties here and there. I have much love for the people who gave me the chance to play music here - the guys from Noroc, but it wouldn't be possible without the kind help of a man like Rossko who introduced me to them as he played here too. Enjoying life here Denny you should come and experience the city yourself!
And what about your record label Delooped? What is the concept behind it and what should we expect in the near future?
Delooped is our baby - mine and Georgi’s! It is still kicking and will be kicking again soon as we have prepared a double 12” for our next release. This release comes from Bulgarian artists called Sumrak - a truly amazing duo - but more about them very soon… The idea behind Delooped is to stay within a small circle of artists and of course always push Bulgarian artists that make the kind of music we like and believe in.
We are also in the process of bringing back our second label Erorr or Catalogue Of Erorrs and we are working on a third label where we will be presenting a sound that would be similar to the one Delooped has already established after 5 releases. At the moment lots of things are being finalised and I will be revealing more when time comes. Erorr will be presenting slightly braver ideas and out of the box kind of productions - all mastered by our good friend Tom Gillieron. Just check our first release on Erorr and you will see what I mean. Vendi was the producer behind it and as always he did a flawless job.
You are also an artist in your own right - which of them two is more important? The label or your own music, or do they go hand in hand?
The label and my music both go hand in hand. I have always been interested in the idea of creating a circle of like minded artists who embrace the philosophy of having a good and clean relationship between us and also making sure everyone is appreciated by the label; be it artists getting paid or invited to a showcase party and so on. Surely we have made mistakes along the way but after all we are here to learn and we hope there hasn’t been any artist who we didn't treat well.
What are you looking for when it comes to finding new music and signing artists to your label?
What I am personally keen on is artists who got the “humpty dumpty” flow in their beats if I can say and it makes sense. There must be character in their music, funk, jazz, that techno-minimal magic dust; the kind of music where you can jack your body - don't really care if it is minimal or techno or house or electro tango. If you listen to what we have released so far, or the music I’ve done, you would probably get a better feel of what I’m trying to describe.
In regards to your own productions, what projects are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I’m not really working towards anything in specific rather than a remix I will be starting soon. Usually I would sit down and make beats whenever I find time for it and let emotions do their job. It has always been more of a hobby of mine rather than a regular thing, even though I have had many unsocial months, maybe even years of my life devoted on crafting my sound and all the rest that followed. Making beats is probably the only thing I have been patient and consistent with in my life - in terms of interests and work wise too (laughs)!
Is there anything that you don’t see enough of in the music industry that you’d like to see?
The music industry as it is stands has more than enough and as every fairy-tale you got the dark side of it - here too, but I am not going to elaborate on that as it is a long subject. At the end of the day it will be what it will be. We can only keep our heads down and work towards always changing things for the better for our environment and the industry as we know it. What I aspire is to create a sustainable life for the labels - me and Georgi are already presenting and investing towards this and will continue to do so in the future. We’ve been off the grid for a while, although behind the scenes we’ve worked hard in order to come up with ideas on how to reach closer to our goals. In addition we have always been on the look for fresh artists with fresh ideas.
Coming on to the mix you’ve made for us, what can you tell us about the music on it?
This is a mixture of the tracks I love listening and playing at the moment. Probably only one or two of them are released, again from artists whose music I love; Dj Ali, Afriqua and also this sick up and coming artist from Manchester called Samuel Padden feature in this mix together with my good friends Maruntelu with a cover of RHCP track by the end of the mix.
In the beginning of the mix you will find out a forthcoming track on our Erorr label from an artist that requested to remain unknown. Not only to us, but to everyone who is about to hear the music and we totally respect that as we absolutely love the productions and the final product. By mid way the mix builds up with tracks from forthcoming releases on both our labels. Those are productions from our newly signed Bulgarian artists that will be having a double 12" for Delooped and later in the year on all other labels. Basically these tracks will be available at some point this year through our labels.
Words by Denny Kem
- Published on Thursday, 07 March 2019 23:29
Despite big head line ups, techno festivals and events, discovering, hearing and dancing to some tasteful rhythms remains the main goal of what we love and want to share. Techno is all about music and passion, a fact that we can’t deny. In this way, we choose to offer you something fresh, a brand new bangin label named Phonik, co-founded by Yoshitaca, Fasten Musique Concrète Resident DJ among Archie Hamilton, Verrina&Ventura, SIT or Roger Gerressen to just name a few - and friend and partner Julien Lucas.
One release and another one out since yesterday, we had a talk with this last one but least quoted, Julien. 25 y/o French young man livin in Berlin since few years now, talked us about Phonik origins and his vision of the music berliner way of life.
Hello Julien, thanks for having us. I’m glad to exchange with you today.
Hey Dylan, thank you for your welcome and interest in our new project Phonik.
First of all, and as it’s the main reason of our venue, can you tell us few words about Phonik creation, aims and directions.
Everything started in 2016 when Yoshitaca and myself met at the club Hoppetosse in Berlin, during his first gig there. From this time, a strong friendship started and our love for the same music pushed us to make this project together.
In February 2018, we decided to create our own label Phonik. We could define our music by a mix between House and Electro, with some techno sonority.
We all know that the Berlin underground scene is pretty huge and various. It’s a kind of pilgrimage site for every DJ and ravers who want to become more imbued with the electronic music culture. How can you define your place in it?
First of all, Berlin always been for us “the” electronic music city, which is actually the main reason why we both moved here.
The rave culture always been huge here. Clubs like Heideglühen or Hoppetosse have been for us a lot of inspiration in our music direction.
But like we all know, the concurrence here is important and it’s getting harder to stand out from all of these new labels.
Our music wanna stay underground, in the way that we only press 300 copies for each EP and work mainly with new artists.
Phonik has for the moment released two vinyl records : PNK001 Thoughts or Feelings, an whole EP composed by Yoshitaca and PNK002 Members Only EP including four tracks by Mariano, Optique, Yoshitaca and Yoske which is out since yesterday!!
How do you feel about this second EP?
We are really excited to see how the public will react with this various artists composed by four very talented producer. The four tracks are made for the dancefloor.
Bikini Waxx Records located in the famous Kreuzberg district, became one of the most popular record store in Town since there opening five years ago.
A great selection from House to Techno with a warm customer service.
The team is composed by Yannik Zander, Alexander Skancke and the owner Gerd Tammist.
With their cosy mezzanine space, it’s feels good to listen records while drinking a tea or talking with friends.
You have the chance to have Bikini Waxx Records store for your second release party. Can you tell us more about this partnership?
We really wanted to make a partnership with a record store in Berlin, and naturally our choice turned into Bikini Waxx.
We both are regular customers of the shop, and with the time became friends with the team. Like we said, it is really important for us to work with people close to us.
On March 8th, so basically TOMORROW you will be hosting the PNK002 release party over there. What can we expect about it?
It’s gonna be a lovely event starting at (from) 6pm till 10pm. We wanted something familial for this one, and Bikini waxx feels a bit like home! For this event, our special guest will be the talented Velasco playing his finest records.
Of course will follow our two Phonik artists Yoske and Yoshitaca. You will find some copies of the PNK02 directly there.
Fresh beer will be served as well!
What is next for Phonik?
Working at the moment on the third EP, which will be out hopefully beginning of summer!
We’re planning also to make really soon some merchandise goods Phonik T-shirt and tote bags.
Thank you for your time Julien, see you really soon.
Phonik02 Release Party x Bikini Waxx Records promises to be a lot of fun, a perfect way to breathe out after a long week, afterworks golden hours to enjoy with vinyl only sets from Velasco (Nil), Yoshitaca (Phonik) and Yoske (Phonik/LARK).
And ‘cause we love to treat you damn well, one of you will have the chance to win the new PNK002 Members Only EP. One rule, like and share the Facebook publication, Julien will pick the luckiest of us with our help.
Words by Dylan Am
- Published on Wednesday, 06 March 2019 09:46
Bucharest’s Vlad Dinu has been inconspicuously refining his sound for over 10 years. His hunger for experimentation has led him to move beyond genre constraints and use music as a mode of emotive communication. Vlad Dinu’s artistry is an extension of his passion for the power of groove, and his expertly honed productions have found home on labels including Generatia'90, Synesthesia, Mihai Bravu, and Half Naked Dog. Vlad Dinu has also collaborated with the likes of Sublee and Iuly.B, releasing music under the Stedi and Nord Pipes aliases respectively.
We are honoured to have Vlad Dinu join our podcast series and delighted to have had the opportunity to talk to an artist whose drive and humility are palpable. For his MEOKO mix Vlad Dinu dives into the dancefloor-oriented side of his collection, building and sustaining an energy guaranteed to lift your spirits.
An advocate of the power of the groove, Vlad Dinu’s ability to extract new and exciting musical possibilities from his selections renders him a sought after presence in his local scene. Having appeared alongside Piticu, Charlie, Emi, Suciu, Cezar, Praslea, Kozo, and Ion Ludwig, Vlad Dinu is beginning to ascend on a promising trajectory of his own. Drawing from his multispectral influences, Vlad Dinu’s sets offer fresh and creative sounds delivered with an effortless veterans touch.
Hi Vlad, thank you so much for your time. It’s a pleasure being able to chat to you and we’re super excited about the mix you’ve put together for us. Can you start by telling us a bit about the idea behind the mix?
Hey guys, first and foremost, let me say that I’m absolutely thrilled and honored to be featured on your platform .
I’d like to think that the mix I’ve put together for you guys is somewhat representative of what I would play during a club set . I’m thinking this is a very good opportunity for people who don’t know me to get a small taste of what they might expect me to play during a club night . All together I hope the audience enjoys my selection of records and I surely hope to bring a smile to everybody’s faces :D
Taking a step back, how did everything begin for you and how has it evolved over the years?
Well I guess it all began in 1996 for me. I went on a trip with my dad to Philadelphia and I discovered a local record shop whilst exploring the city, which would later become one of my favourite shops in the world. That’s the spot where I got in touch for the first time with hip hop, as I bought my first Kool Keith record. Dr. Octagon which was released that same year Mo Wax .You have to imagine that I was 12 years old and I just bought myself a PG18 rated record . That’s the point where I started losing it and started buying as much records and CD’s I could afford. Hip hop was a big part of my life as a cultural movement and I sill feel culturally connected to hip hop through my music a lot ! High school later brought me face to face with electronic music , as I was constantly hanging out in one of Bucharest’s most legendary venues ( one that actually saw a lot of the legendary names in Romania play , guys like Dj Vasile, BogMan which was then known as Dj Sleek , Vexxatu Vexx, Blanoz Distrusoz , Suie Paparude or Unu, just to name a few ) . I’ve started playing dance records about 12 years ago and haven’t stopped ever since.
What are your views on the current Bucharest club scene? Is there anything you’d like to see done differently?
Bucharest has rapidly evolved over the past 8 years into what you would might call “the place to be” when it comes to the clubbing scene. Clubs are constantly lined up with the best names in the industry, whether it be the local heroes or big names from abroad . Furthermore, I think that it recently became a more diverse scene than before as new and talented artists are diversifying their DJ sets with all sorts of music as a response to the massive growth in record acquisitions that goes on lately . Thus being said, I wouldn’t change much as I think that the local club scene is constantly developing into something better and better as time goes by. Only thing I would definitely wish for would be new venues as we have a lot of astonishing buildings and establishments that would easily fit a club event.
As a DJ, the breadth of your selections makes it clear you have an intuition for digging deep. What are you looking for when it comes to finding new music?
The main element for me is groove . If a track perspires groove, whether it be a minimal one, a housey one or why not even an experimental one, as long as it has groove it will definitely get me interested into it. Another thing that makes me buzz are the tracks that tell a story. You see, I also like to think that my DJ sets are about me transmitting my story to the audience , so therefore, a track with a good storyline and a strong groove is definitely going to have me buy it !
Now let’s get into the production side of things. Your catalogue is very diverse, and I’m sure only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the music you’ve created. Did you get into production through DJing? How long have you been making music?
Hah, thanks, you make me blush :)
Production wise, I started putting out tracks 10 years ago so I would guess that makes me old now wouldn’t it? I’ve always maintained a low profile as I have been constantly working to perfect my sound both as a DJ and as a producer but now I feel I have achieved that which I was looking for and it’s time for me to put it out for the people to enjoy.
Could you talk a little about the creative process behind your productions? What continues to keep you inspired?
I guess every day life is what gets me inspired. I always find myself jamming whenever I sit down in my studio, and it’s always based on how I feel at the moment. I don’t think that I have ever narrowed down my inspiration to on thing or another, it’s basically the sum of all my experiences since the last time I sat down to make music . So, in other words, my music is somehow my personal diary .
What about your technical approach? Could you describe your current studio setup, and your workflow when starting a new track?
Being my dad’s kid, I grew up listening to Motown Records mostly every day, so you might say that my only technical approach is jamming till it sounds good . I currently work in a home studio which is basically pretty well equipped as far as my needs go. I have 3 samplers ( Elektron Digitakt / MPC 1000 / Roland SP 404 ) , 4 analog synthesizers ( Korg Minilogue, Roland JX-3P, Behringer DeepMind 12 and a Behringer Model D ) and a couple of other digital synths that I always go back to when I need that “extra something “ , a delay pedal from HardWire and that’s basically it. I also use a couple of VST’s , mainly the ones from Fab Filter but then again, I rarely use them as I like my sound to be as raw as possible whilst sounding pleasant to your ear .
Do you ever reuse elements of unfinished or unreleased tracks while generating new ideas?
Once I have exported a track, as far as I’m concerned, that’s one closed story . I like to keep it diverse and so if a jam builds up into a track, than that’s that . If it doesn’t, I will probably later strip the instruments apart and try to rebuild it from scratch.
Maintaining a distinct personal sound across a range of styles is something you’ve managed to master. Do you have any techniques processing-wise that contribute to giving you this distinctness?
Only “technique” I think I have mastered is the art of not being afraid to explore . I never set out to produce a track in a predefined way, whether it be in my mind or be it following a certain predefined arrangement that I earlier decided upon. I just sit down, jam , and let the music take me where it wants to .
Thinking ahead, what are your goals for 2019?
I’m definitely looking to travel more with my music and put out more records as my track stash is currently busting open with fresh material. I’m also aiming to give a fresh restart to my own record label, Mihai Bravu Records, and put out some of my favorite artists’ music . I also look forward to collaborating with more people from the industry - I have been blessed enough to put out a tribute EP for Swayzak and also got a remix from them , also got remixed by Tommy Vicari JNR ( again, a wonderful and blessed experience ) and I am currently waiting on a remix from the Italian duo Nudge , so that’s already a win for me this year :) My main goal is to keep doing what I do no holds barred .
As Vlad Dinu :
As Stedi (collabo with Sublee)
As Nord Pipes (collabo with Iuly.B)
Words by Lily Dalton