- Published on Friday, 30 June 2017 21:37
Pier Bucci, well known for releasing on Cadenza and Crosstown Rebels in the ‘00s, is one of a handful of seminal minimal producers to rise out of Chile. An occasional collaborator with Luciano, the Maruca Music founder has now launched a new project alongside exciting Berlin-based prospect Oskar Szafraniec; a young talent who many will recognize from appearances on Cyclo and Murge Recordings, not to mention a collaborative release alongside Ricardo Villalobos on Rawax.
Meeting in Japan, Bucci and Szafraniec’s shared pseudonym is BUSZTM and the pair have an album landing on Beef Records at the end of the year. MEOKO got in touch to find out more:
Hi guys, how is it going? What have you been up to lately?
P: Hi! I’ve been in South America for 7 months, traveling on an Austrian military truck (a Steyr Pinzgauer). So far, I’ve been in the desert of Atacama, Salar de Uyuni and also La Paz in Bolivia, Lake Titicaca and Cusco in Peru, as well as researching and recording Altiplano music. In Peru, I went to a community that’s high up the Andes and recorded a 73-year-old man, playing a 24 stringed guitar. His music was incredible. I also went to the eastern island and did a recording of Polinesic music with a songwriter named Cal Mario Tuky.
O: I just got back from Austria, I’ve spent a month there. Just been traveling from place to place, very happy to be back in the studio, I signed couple of new records for Skylax and Gel’s Abril new record label. I’d like to finish a solo album this year, that’s the plan. I was just looking at our pictures the other day from the tour in Japan. Do you remember that time Pier?
P: Oh yeah, I remember when we met in the restaurant in Japan! This was before the gig at Womb and it was your birthday! Then we went to Osaka to this nice festival called Sea of Green. Japan is my favourite place and the best club has to be Yellow.
O: It’s quite the same for me. Japan is a very interesting country and I had a lot of fun playing at Liquid Room, it was also nice to play b2b live with [A Guy Called] Gerald at that festival in Osaka you mentioned, such a nice experience in the mountains. The rain was heavy.
P: Yes, that was an experience!
What else have you got lined up this year?
P: Well my solo album ‘Pier Bucci Anika’ is going to be released. Apart from that I’ve been working on two more productions with Andean music and Polinesic music. They’re still a work in progress.
O: … Yes, what I’ve heard of the ‘Anika’ album is amazing, can’t wait to see it released! I have a 12’’ coming out on Skylax, which is four tracks, as well as two EPs on Gel Abril’s new label. There are also a couple of things, which can’t be mentioned yet, but I’m really happy with the way this year is going.
Not to mention the collaborative album as BUSZ! Can you tell us more about the relationship between you two?
P: As soon as we met we discovered we have a lot of similar interests and tastes in music, especially the music made in the 90s in England, like the electronica scene.
O: So many amazing records were released back then. The music was full of emotions.
P: Yes! We’re always evaluating and admiring the incredible emotions involved in that type of music. We always talk about how music from the 90s in England was so emotional and nowadays this magic is more often found in the background. We share this way of focusing on the feeling of music, where music is more important than how effective the track is on the dance floor.
O: For us, the time in the studio is very important. All of the hours involved behind producing each track as well as the incredible method and architecture behind each track; it’s always important that every moment of production goes towards creating the incredible methodic architecture. The process of creating the tracks by using synthetizing sounds in the album was done in a very methodic way, where we also share the special times and the moments of our own individual lives.
P: Exactly. We spend time working on the tracks together every day. Dealing with the issues of everyday life situations between conversations about all the many frequencies we can make from the machines and mixers whilst translating these moments into music in the form of notes, frequencies, rhythms and vibrations.
O: Magic happens, for example when we needed an instrument, which was the Moog Mother 32, we were looking on Ebay for two of them and happened to find a guy 20 meters from Pier’s house who was selling exactly two of them and, of course, we bought them right away!
Can you tell us more about the collaboration process itself?
P: For me, having a good studio plus the experience of producing numerous albums, combined together with the fresh musical view provided by a young and passionate Polish person [Oskar] led to a lot of sharing. If you have an experience and don’t share this experience with others it's a waste of time, because everything you experience and experiment with needs to be shared as this is how you grow. Sharing my studio and my experiences with Oskar was a real refreshment for my productions because we encouraged each other to practice new productions techniques.
O: Working with Pier was an absolute honour; he’s so experienced and has recorded so many albums and various different projects…he’s incredible.
P: Our album is a collage of old equipment, such as Moogs and analog machines, plus a lot of new equipment, as well as instruments such as guitars, drums, recording reels and vocals. Our focus on different sound architectures led to creating atmospheres and rhythms to harmonize our two influences; a colourful Latin sound with a deeper sound from the east, where we blend the traditions and cultures creating an incredible effect. This is the result of the two of us working together.
For me to do music and continue being inspired the best method is to learn from different cultures by travelling the world in a conscious way. This is the best process and is the way I like to enjoy my life. Music has been an incredible gateway for getting to know different people with different personalities, influences, cultures and ways of thinking and acting.
O: It’s been like this for quite a few years for me, too. It's traveling and meeting new people that makes me happy; sharing different points of view, different ideas, and making the effort for all of our music to evolve together!
BUSZTM ‘Tipico Latino’ (Album Sampler)
More BUSZTM on juno
- Published on Friday, 30 June 2017 20:48
The Under The MEOKO Microscope series is back with a bang; Berlin-based producer, Inner.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Inner. We know you have a busy schedule - How has everything been going?
Everything is going well, lately its been a lot of nature for me and it will be like that till end of summer.
It barely takes a pair of ears to tell that you have a real passion for minimal and techno. How were you first exposed to these sounds and what artists did you grow up on? Who were your major influences?
First music played by me as a DJ was Drum and Bass. In a short time after thru new friends met at the local electronic music club I discovered the likes of Anthony Rother, Miss Kitten and Sven Vath. Then came the first editions of Sunwaves and the Romanian djs. At the time they ware not playing „the romanian sound“ but a combination of house, techno, and tech house (the good one). One of the sets I still remember and look back too is Zip s set at SW after hours in 2009.
How was the techno scene growing up in Romania? Was there anything in particular that made you think, “Wait, I want to make it in this scene?”
Not really. It came natturelly as at the time we ware organising parties in my hometown since our local electronic music club just got closed. I was discovering new music and it was easy for me to share it with people . I did warm ups for about 2 years.
It’s been almost 4 years now since you moved to Berlin. How do you find the city? Are you enjoying your life there?
I moved to the city without knowing anyone or talking german and I was lucky to find some very nice people straight away that supported me from the beggining. Life in the big city has ups and downs, like everywhere. Somehow you are sourounded by people but it feels more lonely than in a smaller city. People are so concerned about their lifes that its hard sometimes to make plans with friends. But the city has so much to offer in terms of art, nature, to name a few so I enjoy living here a lot.
You’ve recently released some amazing music on Anthea’s label Partisan. Could you give us a bit of the story behind this EP?
We met at a party at CDV when I was playing a few years ago and we kept in contact ever since. Its hard to find labels that fit my music and that I am happy to release on. It was clear to me that Anthea has a vision for her new Partisan project and when I heard her talk with such passion about it I wanted to be part of it straight away. Now we became more than collaborators and I am happy to release among great music and producers.
In regards to your own productions, what projects are you working on at the moment?
Winter and spring was full of producing and studio sessions, now summer is here and its more about enjoying. If you live in Berlin you understand. But I did start a new project with ISH, jamming together and making tracks. Its been really fun but no real plans to release till now.
What do you find the most challenging aspect of producing your own music?
Not sure if its challenging but I get bored very fast. And its not making music that I get bored of its more the style of music. I feel I cannot keep a direction, that can be also a good thing but also a bad one, cause people get confused about who you are. Its easier to categorise djs or producers and listeners like to do that. But as a person you change so much over the years, plus the constant stream of good music that is played at the clubs in Berlin has a big influence on me.
And what about your own Record label Polen? How did you start the label and what are your aspirations for your own imprint?
Polen started mostly to release new producers and my own music. I always liked the idea of discovering new young artists that have something to say. Now its developing into something else, with more established producers coming with eps, but everything is going quite slowly but in a good direction.
What’s one thing that you don’t see enough of in the music industry that you’d like to see?
More parties at the beach?!
What would be your top three travel tips for touring Djs?
Drink lots of water, eat fruits and vegetables and be nice.
With all the traveling and the constantly expanding technology and gear, what is something that always stays in your DJ bag. What is it that you always have to have with you?
Ear plugs. For sleeping not for listening.
Last but not least, could you tell us a little about the mix you made for MEOKO? What was your approach?
Its hard for me to make podcasts. Most of the podcasts I made are on the fly. Press record and see what happens but for this I kinda try to plan it a bit and then endded up doing exactly the same thing as for the others. So I hope you enjoy!
Inner thank you so much for your time! Hope we’ll to see in London soon!
Words by Denny Kem
- Published on Thursday, 08 June 2017 09:27
Full of excitement for the interview with a well known name in the underground scene. Vendi – Nice-born man, currently exploring Berlins scene, won our hearts and many around the globe with his warm house/electronica and minimal grooves. Vendi's hard work in studio on his swinging grooves, crafting and personalizing his sound reflected on huge releases so far. BP Records, Inwave and Hoxton Records are just a few amazing labels under his belt. Whether crafting his own record or stepping in for a remix, it is obvious that it will shake the dancefloor and make you groove. We were really excited to hear the news about his upcoming platform for his original sound called ‘Blacksketch Records’. It should start around October/November so keep your eyes peeled for future updates. Check it out as it has 2 beautiful groovers there for tasters. We absolutely loved them! Earlier this year he dropped a highly anticipated 3 track ‘Horizons’ EP on Hoxton Records. His latest EP could be heard through systems all around the globe with the support from many big names including the big trio – RPR. Tirelessly travelling the world and exploring horizons, Vendi is definitely the name to watch.
Hey Vendi, thank you for your time. Pleasure to have you on board. First of all, tell us how did you get involved in the club scene? What were your main influences back then and what inspires you most nowadays?
Hi, it’s a pleasure for me too, thank you! For me Djing started when I was a teenager, I was mixing tapes in parties for my friends. But making a carrier out of it was not the plan this came much later. It was a natural thing for me, I was passionate with music at a young age. My father was a pianist and the whole family is in music, in different ways. But at that time I was more into rock/grunge/progressive (Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, Sonic Youth or Nirvana to name a few) In my 20’s I had a band, I played as guitarist and singer, but then we all took different directions, that’s when I started spinning wax and making music with a computer.
You were living Barcelona and now settled in Berlin right? What actually made you choose those cities? Have you enjoyed scene and people there? Is there something that would not find anywhere else? Feel free to share some crazy moments.
After one year playing in south of France, I decided to move to Barcelona, where I stayed 5 years. It’s during that time that I discovered Ibiza, when I played at Space for the first time. It’s been a great experience going to the cocoon parties, listening to big names like Ricardo, Arpiar and so on… After I needed a change, and decided to drop my bags in Berlin, in 2008. The city gave me what I was looking for, it’s an interesting place because of its culture and background, and this easy way of living seduced me. There’s this big melting pot of artists, and good DJs were playing around the corner every day. I have a ton of memories, it’s hard to name one, the best moments happened when I didn’t expect the night or day to become so memorable. Many happened in Bar 25 and CDV.
We heard some exciting news. You are about to launch your label Black Sketch Records. What made you start a label? What’s the idea behind the name?
It took me a while, I was just waiting for the right moment, now I’m ready. I have a better idea about the music I want to release, and having my own label gives me all the freedom. I will run everything with my friend Rorsha, who will also collaborate with me on the music. The name Black Sketch came from my tattoo artist name, my love for drawing and my ambient music project, which I began 3 years ago.
Congratulations on your recent release on Hoxton Records. Amazing 3 track EP. How did you come up with the ideas? Did you have image in your mind already? Must been a great moment when you heard RPR play your record.
At the beginning Hoxton contacted me because they liked an ambient track they listened to in one of my live podcast. They offered me to release it on vinyl and I loved the idea, that’s how I made an EP for them. Talking about RPR, of course I’m very proud, but it’s always an honour to be played by whoever.
Talking about records. Can you talk us through your studio? What is your favourite piece of gear? Is there a certain kit in studio that you could not imagine yourself without?
It may sound crazy, but I’m mainly working with a laptop these days. Sometimes I use some gears I borrow, I finish some ideas in friend’s studios here in Berlin, or in other places when I’m on tour… But I’m setting up my home studio for the summer, to work on the label future releases, I can’t wait!
How do you manage all your travelling and crazy lifestyle? Is it easy for you to find enough studio time to make those killer records?
The advantage to work on my laptop is that I’m very mobile. I can work everywhere, when I feel inspired. I’m not always producing tracks for the club scene. I also like making music like movie soundtracks, electronica and ambient like I said. It depends on my mood. In general, when I produce a track it doesn’t take long to have a good loop, and then I enjoy playing with it for a while. Then I open other projects, and mixed them together sometimes. And some days when I feel like it, I start recording.
As a raver, what were your highlights of the year? Any DJ’s that stuck in your mind or clubs? Are there any artists you are looking forward to seeing?
Actually I don’t go out so much anymore. But I’ve been to Sunwaves for the first time this year, and I loved it! It was the kind of musical experience I needed, to get more inspired. I enjoy the Romanian vibe, so it just made sense.
Thank you for creating mix for us! Wicked sounds. What were the ideas behind the mix? Is there a specific way you prepare for mix series?
I’m glad you liked it, thanks.
The main idea is to create a storyline. I selected tracks which worked well together, edited some of them and added some of my own unreleased work. It was recorded at home, chilling with a friend and a bottle of wine.
It was absolute pleasure having you here. Any exciting news about releases? Maybe some exciting dates or collaborations you would like to share with fans?
What would be your best advice from your experience for upcoming artists?
My advice for a young artist, be patient, do things with passion, don't be affraid to create accident in your art , learn from your mistakes and get inspiration from all the little things surrounding you.
Thanks for your time.
Thank you MEOKO.
Words by Matas Balta
More Blacksketch Records
- Published on Wednesday, 24 May 2017 08:16
Archetype [ar-ki-typ] noun.
1 A prime example.
2 An original model.
3 A constantly recurring symbol or motif.
The Arkityp tidal wave is coming and now is your chosen time of discovery. Join us as we delve a little deeper behind the scenes of the fantastic new project from Archie Hamilton and Rossko. Not much introduction is needed for the two artists, both having bags of experience amongst the underground scene, not just in London but worldwide. After years of the two of them holding down serious residencies with Fuse, and hefty back-to-back sets with their infectious vibe, the time has come for them to do what only seems natural, produce their own imprint. What started as a party in Ibiza in 2015, now seems an impressive reality of the journey they have been on. The label’s debut release ‘M25 EP’ has received an amazing response being driven through dance floors all over, creating a certain buzz around the movements of Arkityp.
This really is what it is all about, two close friends in and outside of music coming together, both sharing a vision and delivering their creativity in a form they see fit. It is clear the musical appreciation is mutual between the two, and we are sure we speak for many when we say we are extremely excited to see and hear what this project entails. This is how it went down when we caught up with the duo, discussing where it all started in Ibiza, and what they have in store for the future…
We are extremely keen to discover this. Will there be more Arkityp parties coming in the future? In Ibiza? or around the world?
At the moment we are concentrating on the music. We did a season of Arkityp parties in Ibiza at Underground in 2015; they were a success but this was never a long term plan; just one-off series of parties at one of our favourite spots on the island, still - never say never.
We love the definition and meaning behind the name Arkityp, how did the name come about?
We played around with many ideas. Loads actually. We wanted something that represented the idea behind the party and the music. The word means ‘the original model’ or ‘example’ and that’s what we are trying to say; nothing complicated, just high-quality output.
It’s also a play on our names; the A and the R next to each other also represents Archie and Rossko. There are three of us involved (James Reynolds is behind visual and design aspect.), hence the triangle logo.
When was the moment you thought 'OK, it's time to take it to the next level and create a record label'?
The label came about because the two of us had been playing back to back for many years at Fuse. The season we spent in Ibiza on the event was the turning point, naturally we became very good friends in music and more importantly outside of music. When we play we have this innate connection - you can’t force that, it just happens - we’re tuned into the same frequency so moving this connection to the studio was the next step - it just felt right.
If it wasn’t for Enzo creating a Fuse studio and encouraging not just us two but all of the Fuse artists to use the space, projects like this wouldn’t be easily realised. We really respect Enzo’s mindset of being a collective. He is the example of what many people with parties/brands should aspire to.
We made 3 tracks in 3 days, all the years playing b2b, talking and sharing music it just came out of us. We know each other’s sound inside out and we respect others opinion so making music is pretty simple and straightforward. How it should be!
After the sessions Archie took them to his cave and sprinkled his magic on them, we spent the next couple of weeks road testing them and getting feedback from the rest of the Fuse crew until we were happy that they could be signed off for pressing.
Will the label strictly be a platform for the both of you? Or will we see features from fellow friends/artists?
At the moment we see this as a label just for ourselves, purely an artistic platform for the both of us to release whatever we feel like. We wanted to explore other avenues of music that we like, but that also reflect our common ground. Rossko has a big garage, grime and jungle side, where as I have a Trip Hop and an eclectic electronica background these past influences really shape our direction and sound.
That’s not to say the door is closed with other artists but we like things to flow naturally, so whatever is meant to happen will happen.
There was quite a buzz amongst the underground scene, especially in the UK, when announcing your new venture. And the first release the 'M25 EP' has had so much huge support it must be such a rewarding feeling for you both. Any news/info you can give us on the second release? Or any other releases for that matter? We did see a picture from the depths of the studio that made us quite excited.
We are really happy with how it’s been received and feeling proud to know we can reach out to a lot of people around the world that support our music, rave to it and buy our records. For the record to sell so quickly and go to repress means we are doing something right. It’s a good feeling, it just makes us want to get back in the studio even quicker and put more records out.
We already have started work on the next 3 tracks. Same output; same process as before, 3 tracks in 3 days. We have been road testing them already and a few keen ears have even spotted them as Arkityp tracks - to us, this is a good sign - its shows we’re creating our own identity and sound as Arkityp. This was our aim in the first place.
The debut EP 'M25', really does cater for all dance floor situations, whether its peak time or an after party vibe. Is this a reflection of what you as a label are trying to capture?
They are 3 very different tracks but all are connected to a sound and an idea that reflect our personalities, we’re good at translating them into records. I guess it’s an art form really. As DJ’s first we love to play especially; peak time, intimate space, those daytime open air parties as well as your dark and sweaty after hour.
We want to make music that is playable in any situation. We can only do this because we have done a lot of research and development on the dance floor.
You have built quite a reputation with your b2b sets, at some amazing parties. It seems you have a great understanding and similar musical energy, does this shine through in the studio as well as in the booth?
When we first played we just knew. We were three deck mixing, looping, using tools, mixing for each other. When it works, it works…we really look forward to playing together. That’s the mad thing about synergy; weird stuff happens.
A few weeks ago I was playing at Fuse and Archie had given me this special track over a year ago, we were in Ibiza in his hotel room and I must of played it about 10 times in a row - it’s a typical Rossko track. The thing is I never got the chance to play it out until the last Fuse, Jan Kreuger was about to come on and he has that sleazy vibe, so I just knew that this was the moment to drop the track. As I’m just about to bring the track in the mix - Archie taps me on the shoulder to say hello as he had just arrived at Village Underground. I just put up the fader and we just laughed, did a shot of tequila and had a little dance to the track.
Its these little things like this that happen all the time with us. It's either coincidence or someone up there winking down on us. Depends your point of view!
Is there a certain process or routine you follow in the studio, or does the magic just happen?
We have Rossko, who is more of the copilot, directing the ideas, standing up, dancing and making strange noises! Archie in the driving seat translating the madness. I have to big up Archie because to last three days in the studio with me working this way is impressive. I have so many ideas and I want to put all of them into one track. He is teaching me a lot - in fact we help each other break the rules.
Archie thinks in a production format where as I’m like ‘let’s do it like this, let’s do it like that’. The most important thing is Archie is able to get the ideas down and we have such a good time making music. If it’s not serious fun then we would stop. We love what we do so all this comes easy to us.
Anything else Arkityp related you can enlighten us with, or anything we can expect in the near future?
More and more music! We have real busy summers ahead of us in Ibiza, tours, festivals and the rest of Europe. We’re both focused on our individual careers but are also touring and playing some high quality gigs together. This is our plan for the summer; to be able to share some special moments and experiences, both together and individually - plenty to look forward to!
Words by Zac Bidwell
- Published on Thursday, 04 May 2017 19:22
A pioneer of blending classical and dance music, Chicago-born Kate Simko is one of the industry’s most exciting talents, we caught up with her ahead of her live show in London to talk all things music…
You’re going to be performing at Battersea Arts Centre on the 6th, how’re you feeling ahead of the show?
I’m excited, we have changed the ensemble. Previously we had seven or eight people on stage, seven without the vocalist and eight with the vocalist. The whole ensemble was two violins, two cellos, a great bass and a harp, and me and a vocalist. But now we’re doing a more stripped back set which we debuted at Wonderfruit festival in Thailand. So it’s harp, solo violin and cello. It’s a string trio. And to be honest we first did that in Thailand because we couldn’t afford to fly everyone but it’s just a lot more of a vibey set. It feels more like the players know that they’re just listening to each other, they can vibe of each other a bit more, interact with each other a bit more, yeah it’s just more interactive. I’m excited to debut it for the first time in London. We’ve done the set three times now but this is the first time we’ve done it in London.
That’s exciting, so do you think that having just the three makes it feel a lot more intimate then?
It does, there’s definitely moments where it feels amazing with the whole ensemble but yeah it’s more intimate and the players say that too. They feel more connected. Everyone is more connected to each other. There’s a lot more eye contact, between us and yeah I really like it, it’s cool.
So how do you prepare before a show, do you have any routines that you do?
Well it depends if we’re using players that we’ve used in the past, this show we are so they already know the music and I don’t have to do the preparation of the EDM part sometimes I need to if we’re debuting a new song or I’ve done something new, we need to prepare the score parts for the musicians. This time around, even though it’s our first time in London, we’ve done the trio sets with the cello before so I have the parts. I went through the last show we did in Bristol and I listened to the last recording, see if there’s anything we could do better, make notes in rehearsal and try to focus on a couple of things and if there’s bits to change. For example, the opening song we did it with the cello bode but I think at the Battersea we’ll use a staccato bass, so just things like that. I always try to listen back to what I’ve done for every show, revaluate, and make it better, make it fresh. It’s like a new chance to do it again and make it better.
What originally inspired you to bend the two genres and incorporate the orchestral music into dance music?
I went to the Royal College of Music to get a masters in composition for screen but I wanted to learn how to write for orchestra. In the first feature score that I did, I felt my limitations. While I was trained as a pianist I did not know the range of the strings. So I was just jamming out with mini strings and flutes on my keyboard, not able to write for them properly. So I moved to London and did a masters to learn how to do it right and to orchestrate. When I was getting that masters my composition professor really encouraged me to continue with my own sound, so rather than having Kate Simko the electronic producer and DJ and Kate Simko the orchestral composer that were two totally separate entities, he was like, ‘you’ve spent so much time developing your own musical voice, it would be silly for you not to incorporate who you are as a composer to your orchestral music.’
It was great because the popular culture was open to that, some classical conservatories may have wanted me to keep them separate and may have thought that electronic sounds don’t belong with an orchestra. Again, this was a really open-minded professor and I had really great experience with the Royal College of Music so those two years I was able to really play around with my background and all the production I had done previously and trying to find a way to tastefully incorporate orchestral music into dance music. So I had two years of really intense studying to find my own way of doing that.
Yeah well you’ve been massively successful, so you must be doing something right!
Oh thank you, I appreciate that. I didn’t expect it to go beyond the university if I’m totally honest. It was just something that when I went to the real world, I didn’t expect it to translate. I had a final concert, not everyone had that, but I applied to get the Britten Theatre at the Royal College of Music which is their opera theatre, and on the 24th March 2014, we had a concert that was completely booked out. That was the first London Electronic Orchestra show, and if I’m honest I thought that would be the last. I was like ‘ok I’m going to have to move back to Chicago most likely,’ and that was going to be the last of my two years, and I'd enjoy it with the people I’d been playing with and share it with the people in the city of London and my electronic friends as well. But at that concert there was a manager who messaged me afterwards and took me on and helped push me on to take that dream to the real world.
You grew up in Chicago, as you said, so how do you think that has influenced your music style and taste?
I think it’s influenced me massively. Chicago when I was a teenager was just exploding with music, Thrill Jockey and the whole post-rock scene, so that was combining electronics into rock and roll. Now it doesn’t seem like such a big deal but in the late nineties that was not done. Rock and roll was a guitar, a drummer and all analogue. Thrill Jockey label in Chicago had all these people that were combining electronic music with rock instruments, so I had that around me and it was a really exciting time for that, and then of course electronic music in Chicago, being the birthplace of house in the eighties and then in the nineties, early 200s when I was doing my radio show, we had record stores exploding with new music. So we had loads of great new DJs coming through. Also growing up with my family too, it was quite a cultured city with arguably the best orchestra in the United States which I would go to with my family a lot. Growing up in Chicago and all the music from being a young kid through to when I went to university and moved away, all of it influenced me. It is a very musical, music-loving city.
Where else will we be able to see you perform in the next coming months?
There’s Saturday and then we’re going to be at the Jazz Café in August which I’m excited about. On the 24th at the Jazz Café, we’re also doing WOMAD festival and a US tour in June. So yeah, this Saturday in London otherwise late August.
Is there any other work that’s on the horizon for you which we can look forward to or are you focusing on LEO for now?
I just finished my first feature score that’s on a documentary, so it’s an indie film from Los Angeles so I just submitted my final score for that. That was something I wanted to combine and do right, I had three players from London Electronic Orchestra who came to the studio with me, and we recorded a load of strings and harps on there. That’s been done. I have a lot more, new dance music that’s going to be coming out, I’m currently really focusing on that. I’ve got a studio in London Fields and am really trying to put some more of my solo music out. With the Electronic Orchestra, I wanted and it has needed all my passion and attention to get it off the ground. I’m just really keen to be making my own house music again. Just explore that a bit, and jump between the two really.
Kate will be performing at the Battersea Arts Centre on Saturday, get a ticket here.
By Georgia Evans
More Kate Simko
- Published on Wednesday, 26 April 2017 09:32
MEOKO caught up with Parisian producer, Janeret, to talk about his future plans, production and his recent outstanding work.
It has been a while since your first mix with us, and what a great time it has been for you. Full of huge releases on various high quality labels, any particular highlights for you?
It has been a really nice year for me, full of great projects and gigs around the world. I met so many nice people during my trips! If I had to choose some highlights, I would say my tour in South America (Ecuador, Peru, Argentina and Brazil) and more recently in Australia!
We have noticed on various social media platforms, and some releases such as ‘Solstice’ (an after party favourite of mine) your love for jungle. Would you like to tell us a bit more about this?
Glad to hear that!! :), Indeed, I have been enjoying jungle and drum and bass for a long time now. But I recently fell in love with it when a friend of mine introduced me to Good Looking Records, which is the kind of Jungle/d&b I was looking for!
Since then, I have started to produce my own jungle tracks.
In the beginning I produced them only for a few friends and myself. At some point we decided to release one of these tracks, to test people’s reaction.
I was really happily surprised that people liked it ! So I will be back with more Jungle stuff soon...
You are certainly known for your forward dub strong beats, and an incredible ability for atmospheric breaks, what can you say influences your sound?
I listen to all types of music, however my inspiration to produce comes mainly from Dub techno, deep house, Reggae/Dubs well as atmospheric Jungle (which i think influences the most the atmospheric side). I usually like strong beats, interspersed by some sort of ‘dreamy’ breaks, which is what I try to transpose in my music.
Yoyaku is clearly something very close to your heart, How does it feel to be a part of such a relevant, and integral imprint in todays scene? Surrounded by close friends and incredible artists.
I feel really grateful to have been a part of Yoyaku since the project started. It is so satisfying to see it grow everyday! It gives me a lot of energy to work with them as there are always so many exciting projects coming up; and the crew is awesome and so hard working! Now it has become kind of a second family for me!
Your work rate is up there with the best of them, with what seems like a constant flow of sounds. It must be great to be able to express these different visions, on various imprints under the Yoyaku Umbrella, such as Joule and AKU.
Yes it’s so nice to have many nice labels into Yoyaku, each of them having a specific vibe and enabling me to release my music easily and quickly.
You have played in all corners of the globe, is there anywhere in particular you love to perform? You are currently going through some dates in Australia, that must be pretty special?
Actually South America in general has been fantastic I have enjoyed it so much and have some awesome memories from parties there! Australia is awesome too, I made a really nice tour, with some nice parties and spend good times. The 6th Anniversary of S.A.S.H was big!!
You recently had a debut back to back with fellow Yoyaku artist, Varhat. Is it nice to change it up, playing solo a lot, and then playing along side someone?
Yes it’s really different and interesting to play B2B with Varhat. It’s a different process, as it’s really spontaneous. When I play alone, I come up with my own story during the night. When I play with him, it’s always surprising and very explorative! I really enjoy it! We have also become close friends, and we always have a blast when we play together. I think people can feel it.
Any upcoming gigs you can share with us?
Junction 2 Festival 2017 - London / UK
A question we always like to ask, and a question many people like to answer. What is your ideal set up in the studio? Any certain processes?
The ideal set up would be a bunker under my flat, where I could push the sound as much as I want to experiment with all the best synthesizers. But I am not a hardware geek, so I am not really into looking for a new synth all the time.
About my process: my studio is in the space I live in, and I work on my music almost everyday. In order to make tracks, most of the time I start working with beats and then add pads and chords. When I am happy about the loop, I start to build the tracks and then work with automation, breaks etc.
Can you shed any light on future releases you have coming up?
The next EP coming up is my AKU JNRT888, a remix of Dj Honesty on Scenario with Sebo K and Dj Deep, a remix for Alessandro Crimi on Open and a remix of a classic Halo Varga Track on All in. After that, a new project under a different pseudo…
Last of all, can you name us three records that never leave your bag?
Difficult to name just three, but I would say :
S.A.M - Out of Touch
Sublee - Ideepsum Lp
CAPH 04 VA (Yamen & Eda, Lee Burton, Teluric, Alexandar Kyosev)
Thank you so much for your time and the special mix.
"It’s all about promoting the narrative of how important nightlife is to our culture and our way of life." How to make a change with Alan Miller
- Published on Tuesday, 25 April 2017 10:00
Alan D Miller is a guardian for British nightlife; chairman and founder of the NTIA, he has dedicated an extraordinary amount to persevering the night time communities not only in London, but across the country. Perhaps best recognised for being a central figure in the campaign to save Fabric and the We Love Hackney movement, Alan is now working with the Night Time Commission to promote the cultural significance of a strong night time community. We spoke to him ahead of Brighton Music Conference where he’ll be heading a panel with Carly Wilford, Mike Grieve, Jeremy Abbott and Jimmy Blake. He’ll also be speaking to Keith Reilly about Fabric and the significance of saving our independent venues.
What will you be doing at Brighton Music Conference and how important do you think it is that we have gatherings like this?
We’re going to be doing a panel called Save Nightlife with Mixmag it’s going to be talking a bit why it’s better to champion the benefits of nightlife with our hearts and minds, where we’ve come from in the last couple of years, projects that are now happening and where we’re going with key people who are relevant to that, then I’ll be doing a one-on-one with Keith Reilly from fabric about what happened.
I think it’s really important to get the industry together, to network and to share insights and to promote areas of interest. They can act as a mechanism to do more business.
So you’ll be there representing the NTIA, what projects are you currently working on?
So we’re working at the moment with a big drive towards encourage people to promote having a Night Czar in Manchester. We’ve got the first ever mayoral election in Manchester and Liverpool and we’ve been working with Sacha from the Warehouse Project and many others to do a big campaign for Save Nightlife. Lot’s of people have engaged, people like Sean Ryder, and Joe Hart the English goalkeeper, the DJs Skream and Artwork, also sending a message, not only to vote for the mayor but a Night Czar and a Night-time Commission. We want to help champion nightlife in Manchester and continue to drive the message that we bring lots of benefits culturally, in terms of tourism, employment and all of that. In Manchester and Liverpool we want an overall master plan so that as new developments happen, the bars and clubs are not closed down.
We’re doing stuff all over the country; we have something called Save the Rave, that’ll be on the panel as well. We’re working with universities. We’re also doing all these festivals to work with lots of artists and who encourage people and DJs to join the NTIA and sign our petition at savenightlife.com, which goes to all the councils and MPs in the country. When they get those emails and petitions, a bit like we did with fabric, it then makes them recognise how important nightlife is to young people and people in their wards. This means they’re much more likely to listen to them and realise how important it is, and that’s the push we’re trying to do around the country.
You’re very focused on grassroots campaigning and contacting councils, how important do you think it is for people to not just get involved on a national scale but on a local scale as well?
It is massively important; these councils have been voted in by anything between 800 people to 1500 people maybe 2000, and we saw when we did the We Love Hackney campaign, the council licencing wanted to inflict a curfew on all the bars and clubs. We had over 5,500 people writing in to challenge that consultation. They then did a U-turn and out it on hold for a year. They then got involved with the dialogue and changed their policy. That’s enormously important. Then with the Bussey Building in Peckham, we helped behind the scene to get developers, the council and the club involved in a dialogue, It’s all about ensuring that. We had 30,000 people signed that petition. Similarly, we all know the story about fabric. Absolutely, locally, getting local councillors lobbied makes an enormous difference because it’s in their wards and their boroughs that things play out. That’s where the big issues are. In London there are 33 boroughs, that’s why the mayor couldn’t do anything really when the Fabric situation occurred, because it’s not under a mayors remit, that’s under local councillors.
They suddenly realise there’s all these people, a lot of young people, that don’t vote, who may vote and are taking an active interest, and are all getting very concerned. That’s what it should be. It should be a reflection of everyone’s interest; it’s a good way to get them active and to participate. We do that with the public and to lobby further, and drive our narrative. We feel that we’ve managed to get it right front and centre on a national, local and regional profile. Everyone in Britain understands the problem, why it’s an issue, and what we can do to change it.
Fabric to have so much publicity, and so much attention was drawn to then issue, how important do you think it is to carry on that legacy and apply it to venues like Passing Clouds, Mode etc?
I think there are some positive things that we’ve already begun to develop and that they’ve already put in place. Ideas like the agent of change partly came into the white paper that the government put in because of lots of lobbying. It’s the idea that cultural and economic benefits are a direct consequence of nightlife, not just antisocial behaviour and crime.
These instances are often very different; Passing Clouds is different to fabric, that’s different to RaRa, that’s different to Mode, different to all these things that have happened in recent years. There’s a central viewpoint that there are benefits that are accrued, that you might have from a shopping centre or a transport link, when those problems occur at these places, they’re not shut down, they’re not suffocated because they’re considered as an important part of the urban tapestry. They’re part of everyday living. That’s not fair, when issues do occur; they [bars and clubs] get treated in a different way.
How would you say is the best way for people to get involved?
People should definitely get online and sign the petition on savenightlife.com, that’s the first thing they should do. The second thing they should do, they should send a tweet or go on Facebook, with the link saying ‘I’ve just signed the petition,’ post it, and share it with friends and people around them. They should post and share any of the videos that we’re doing about the campaign with artists, what we’re doing in Manchester with Sacha from the Warehouse Project. We need to get the message out there virally and keep the momentum going. We want as many people joining us as possible, we want over a million people on that petition.
Then in addition to that we want and need help so if anyone wanted to get involved with additional promotion and marketing, getting involved and getting people to sign up, then they can get in touch. They’re the main things that we need right now. Then of course people will put on nights themselves, they DJ they out on a night, all those things, and it’s all about promoting the narrative of how important nightlife is to our culture and our way of life.
Over your time working with the NTIA, what would you say has been your biggest achievement or a standout moment for you?
I think there’s been a couple. I think that the We Love Hackney campaign was enormously successful. We got people from all over the borough; restaurants, bars, hotels, ad agencies, housing companies, property developers, all sorts, the public, all involved in saying actually Hackney’s nightlife is so important. It’s a way of developing and creating that, and the fact that we got so much national press, a four-page spread in the Guardian, we got telegraph coverage, the lead in the Evening Standard. The fact we got TV, radio, all of that in our early days was really exciting and successful.
You can’t help but say the Fabric situation was brilliant and terrible at the same time. It was absolutely terrible, that situation that everyone had to go through, and have many months of psychological and emotional problems, of it all being closed. It was also an amazing moment that we got so many people internationally and across Britain all supporting and engaging. It was just at the time when the night tube was being launched, we were getting interviews about the 24-hour tube, but we were able to say look at the Fabric situation. The whole campaign showed how people in Britain really had their voices heard and particularly around the councils in Islington. Everyone’s voices were heard and they put their money where their mouths are with the crowd-sourced campaign. They supported and made the legal case happen and championed it. We brought in Philip Kolvin QC, and there’s a combination of things that were done that were all very key and important.
The standout moments come when you do your first BBC piece, your first Sky piece, and you end up getting people talking about it, national newspapers, you get it discussed in parliament. We’ve had the importance of night-time industries discussed in parliament. The other standout moment comes from the last administration we had with Boris Johnson to create a Night Czar and the Night Commission, we brought over the Night Mayor from Amsterdam, we did loads of hard work behind the scenes. In this current administration, Sadiq Khan is very positive around nightlife and having a Night Czar and a Night-time Commission with really fantastic people on it, with police, council, music people, and us having not only having a seat at the table, but a voice. We’ve come an enormous distance; we’ve faced some difficulties and some challenges and we continue and have been very vocal about them. We’ve had some remarkable achievements and come a long distance. You can see that we’ve come a long way in just two years, that’s not a long time, to be in that position.
Yes, having the Night-time Commission in London, how vital do you think that is?
It is massively important to get everyone around the table that disagreed all talking together. We needed the conversation and thrash it out. The future of the city is at stake, and the kind of city we want to have. We all say we want to have a thriving bus link, a dynamic, economically vibrant place, to different people, it all seems to mean different things, so how can we all get together and argue out the issues and come up with a solution that we can work in partnership with each other together? It was uncomfortable to begin with, and that’s what it should have been. You need to get through that process to get something to happen. It’s very good that it’s there and there’s a lot that we’ve got to do. There’s 33 boroughs across London, and we’ve got to make it work in all of them but having Philip Kolvin as chairman who we work with closely and some brilliant people on there means that it’s going to be good for the next year, we’re gong to make some really good impacts in London. That then sets the tone for other cities as we’re seeing now with Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow and Bristol, we’re looking to have some similar things to accompany the mayors and others.
What do you think the future of British nightlife looks like?
It’s a bit like everything. It depends; it depends on what we do. We make this world every day. I don’t believe there’s anyone up there pulling the strings. We are conscious beings and we make the world. If we decide to go out there and make it with the vision that we’ve got then we will. If we don’t, we don’t. This is the key point that Fabric demonstrated. When people get involved, it makes the difference. So the future of nightlife is very bright and it also depends on how much we want to have our voices heard. That’s why we have to use the website and the hashtag, www.savenightlife.com, #savenightlife, everyone should sign the petition, send it round to people and encourage everyone to have their voices heard. The more councillors that hear, the more news gets out, the more people hear across the country, the more it gets championed and protected, the better off we’ll be.
Words by Georgia Evans