Interviews

'London Always Has A Special Place For Me, The History Of Dance Music Is Vibrant And Is Still Bustling With Energy.': Maher Daniel Mix & Interview

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It has been a long time coming, join us as we caught up with the natural and humble talent that is, Maher Daniel including a special mix described in his own words;

'.. it will start of Slow and build nicely telling a story.'

1-      Hey Maher, first of all thanks for your time. How are things so far, how was your Off Week?

Off week was good, great to see and hang out with so many friends, considering I live in barca I took it a little easy and went to specific events. Its gets a little hectic and can’t be everywhere at once. But over all I had a great time and it was definitely a refreshing year.

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2-      Born in San Francisco growing up in Montreal, living in Barcelona; How is life treating you in Barcelona? And please tell us about the scene in Montreal as your Motherland.

Living in Barcelona is fantastic It truly is a central hub in Europe with a lot of shows and artists coming through. The city itself is refreshing the people and the energy is amazing I would not change it for anything. Montreal was considered one of North Americas main party hubs, the city and its dance music culture really brought me to where I am today. From its summer events at Piknic Electronik and its vibrant club scene its still going strong building and growing.

3-      You have recently been to London to play at Apt: x Visionquest alongside Shaun. We heard the event went great. How does it feel for you to visit London to play?

London always has a special place for me, the history of dance music is vibrant and is still bustling with energy. I love coming back to London and playing. The Apt: team were wonderful and the showcase with Shaun was solid. we both had a great time and the party was really good. Looking forward to coming back again.  

4-      Sadly you had a misfortune with your flight which resulted in late arrival to Sunwaves; but you still managed to play last April. Also that picture, Guti and Amir dancing on the bar while Argenis Brito playing, you also appeared in the picture with a big smile. How was your Sunwaves 23 experience overall?

 

That was a whirlwind of emotions, but I still managed to play on Tuesday morning. All in all Sunwaves this year was truly incredible. Every year it only gets better and better. The team and staff are truly amazing and take care of the artist, Like there own. The vibe and energy is refreshing and inspirational. I always come back from sunwaves with new ideas for production and studio work. It really gets the creative juices flowing.  Arpiar Friday night was on fire and one of the stand out sets for me this year was Petre Inspirecu on Monday morning.

5-      Your Creatures of Habit mix landed at a good time remarking the collaboration. How did you guys meet and decide to play back to back? Any future gigs as COH?

Yes it did, myself and Amir had met a long time ago in Montreal but then he left to work in Paris, on his return to Montreal, I Happened to be playing with Ricardo the same night at stereo and he was there. We connected and the birth of Creatures of habit started then. There are a few gigs in the pipeline including our show at the Bpm festival for my label showcase The Other Side.

 

6-      Looking at your recent & upcoming gigs, it is pretty heavy. You are played with RPR at SS festival; it sounds like a great lineup. It must be a great feeling to play alongside the Romanian trio. Will it be the first time?

Yes been really busy building a solid schedule for the summer and this is one I was excited for, as it was the first time for all us of playing in Iceland. I have played with the guys 2 other time this will be the third time. It is always exciting playing along side the boys, as they do inspire me technically and musically.

7-      Speaking of upcoming releases, please tell us a bit about your future releases, collaborations and remixes.

Well one that I am really looking forward to came out on July 23rd on circle music. They got the rights to Der Dritte Raum’s album and have reissued one of my all time favourites Hale Bopp, which I have had the honour to remix. Also the first release for the second series of records on my label The Other Side will  see a Creatures of Habit Collaboration with a remix from Barac. Plus much more

 

8-      An exciting project, The Other Side Series; Any future plans/releases you can share with us?

The Beauty of the label was to always push up and coming artist plus a specific sound and direction and I think with the first releases I was able to do this. Following up in its second year there is a lot of exciting new material coming out. With artists such as Guy From Downstairs, Faster,  Barac, Hokuto Sato and Creatures of Habit.

9-   Thank you for the mix, it sounds quality. How would you describe it?

This is mix is a curated  with loads of new music I have collected and ordered over the last couple months it will start of Slow and build nicely telling a story.

10-   It has been a pleasure to catch up with you. Anything else you would like to add?

Thanks for Having me it really was a pleasure being part of the editorial and thank you for having me. #

 

Words by Erchin Jon

 

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'I think that an artist always has pressure to deliver something good at anytime': Under The MEOKO Microscope - Giuliano Lomonte & Mix

Giuliano Lomonte under the meoko microscope

Here at MEOKO, we took the opportunity to interview Giuliano Lomonte as part of our Under the MEOKO microscope feature, where we scout out emerging and underrated talents. He tells us about his musical journeys from his homeland to Germany and paints us a picture of what clubbing is like in both countires. And of course the future plans including his own record label Point of View. Read on...

Guiliano Lomonte Mix

Hi Giuliano, thanks for your time! How’s life been treating you lately?

Hello guys, thanks for having me. Life is great now that Summer is finally here and that always puts me in a good mood.

You’re originally from Italy but when did you move to Berlin? What decided you?

I moved to Germany 10 years ago actually, it was 28.08.2008 :)

During the years before I decided to move, I was actually flying to Germany once a month to go and visit all the best parties that were happening around the Frankfurt area at the time like seeing Ricardo Villalobos playing at Robert Johnson, Love Family Park Festival and many others.

After realizing at some point that I was spending more time Germany than I was in Italy, I decide to relocate to Mannheim, as during that time I met and became friends with many people from there so it seemed like the most logical step.

After an intense 2.5-year experience there I felt there was more for me to discover in Germany especially as it was, and still i, the heart of the electronic music scene so in March 2011 I moved to the city that would inspire me even further to continue to pursue this musical dream, and that was Berlin.

 

How was the scene like back in Italy?

The scene has been always been strong in Italy. The country has a long history of appreciation for house music and club culture. Italians love to go out and celebrate and there are many nightclubs all over the country for people to enjoy.

We still have many good club that made the history of the italian nightlife, to name a few, Goa Club in Rome, Clorophilla in puglia, Tenax in tuscany, Cocorico in Riccione. Since day one, they all run top quality party!

Do you have any favourite clubs to play? I know we can quite often catch you behind the decks at Club der Visionaere and Hoppetosse…

There are many clubs that are on my favorite list but on the very top is Robert Johnson.

I love playing there so much and it is such an honor every time I get the chance considering this was the place for me where everything started and inspired me to change my life completely!

Of course I really like to play in Berlin at CDV and Hoppetosse too, there is such a feeling of freedom behind the decks there, I can play things I would never be able to in other cities as the crowd is always up for everything and the parties last so many hours that as a DJ you are really able to show a range not possible in short sets like in most other clubs around the world. I really feel home when I’m there.

I must also add, a few years ago I discovered another club that has all the characteristics for a perfect party. It’s called VENICEBERG and is in Verona, Italy.

I recently I had the opportunity to play a 12 hour B2B there and it was magic!

The booth was perfect, the sound system was amazing and the crowd were all so connected to us and each other, so it made the place very special. Im so glad we have a club there like this today, it really makes me proud to be Italian.

“La Musique” makes me think so much of Sunwaves where it was rinsed last year, it seemed like the perfect place for this tune. So I was wondering, do you produce with a specific context in mind — for example, those aforementioned clubs…?

To be honest I didn't had anything specific in mind, just the bassline. All the rest came after I had that.

I did go to Sunwaves a couple of years ago so maybe something stuck in my subconscious about a moment I had in that environment that somehow I might have accessed without being aware of it when I started the idea for the track. I always try to allow myself to be free and not think too much when I’m making music as this tends to interrupt the whole process for me and creativity is a very delicate thing that comes moment by moment without having the feeling l have control over it.

 

And how was it getting back to production after such a hit? Did you feel any pressure to craft another banger, for example?

The La Musique EP was probably the best expression of myself that I have released up until now so it was nice to get such great feedback on the production, and it gave me the confidence to continue and make that my minimum standard to strive for with all my future records.

I think that an artist always has pressure to deliver something good at anytime, and this becomes even more intense once you have some success with a particular track. I had to learn not to be too hard on myself after this came out and got so much attention because you can’t choose what is going to become a hit with the people and what isn’t. You just have to be happy with what you have done for yourself when you put your music out into the world for other people to hear as and then after that’s totally out of your control.

I feel like your style is usually more understated, but would you say you have a “style” yourself? And if so how would you describe it?

Well I was a clubber to begin with and that will always stay with me in the style of music I make as a producer and play when I DJ. I always aim to create an experience where people can feel high on the dance floor even if they are totally sober!

Are you an after-hours kind of person?

I am all all hours kind of person haha . I would say yes i'm also; its the time when finally i let myself go after all the work is done. and if you are surrounded by good friends and people can just be great!

It seems like you’ve had more gigs outside of Germany lately, do you feel like your career’s picking up recently? Did it affect your daily life?

Since I signed with Solid AM in 2017 it has been really great especially to have the support from an agency like that, based in the city i live, which represents so many other great artists such as John Dimas, Vera, Steve O’Sullivan and Sammy Dee.

Actually I was working full time as a professional chef for the last 15 years and just doing music and DJing on the side in my spare time but I had to make the decision last year to quit that so I could focus all my time and energy on the music as it was really taking off so much I couldn’t manage both any longer.

How was it playing across Europe, and even Japan and Australia recently?

It was incredible! Japan was totally insane! Such a different culture for me to experience, it was like taking a glimpse into the future! I have to say though that Australia was the biggest surprise and shock. So many great gigs, especially SASH in Sydney and then Breakfast Club at 161, I couldn’t believe so many cool people were out in Melbourne on a Monday afternoon going crazy and so into the music! They really should do this party all over the world. I was very impressed with the Australian way of life. It felt so relaxed and easy with so many friendly and happy people but 6 days was definitely long not enough to be there and I can’t wait to get another chance to visit there again but next time I would love to stay much longer.

Let’s talk about the label now if you’d like! What’s your motivation with Point Of View, and how did it come about?

I wanted to start my own label as a place to be free to release my own music and music from other artists I believed in without the time pressure or difficult release schedules from other labels where sometimes you can be put in a position where you need to wait for years before they finally are able to release your tracks. This can be incredibly frustrating as it can also happen that over those years you are waiting, the tracks feel so old to you that by the time they finally come out you could be in a totally different place musically and creatively which can also be confusing for people that do love and follow your music.

How do you choose the producers you’re going to release on the label?

It’s usually friends i believe in which I feel is the most important. We all share music in our daily lives with each other and if I hear something i feel i can support with the label I really like to do this. I feel the personality of an artist is so important as it comes through in the music they create as its the expression of the artist’s soul and I really believe in all the people I have around me.

 

Speaking of which, what can we expect from you and Point of View in the near future?

There has been a full concept behind the label since I started it which revolves around the number 12 which has always been a very significant number to me. There are 12 letters in Point Of View, and there will be 12 releases on 12 inch vinyl and a big surprise for the last release which is going to be something very special from me personally and will tie up this whole project in a really interesting way. I feel it’s so important these days to do something with meaning, there are so many labels out there, to stand out you have to be unique in your concept and deliver quality music consistently.

The next point007 that will be out in September is going to be the third original EP from me on the label which I’m also very excited about.

Finally, thanks for your mix! What were you aiming for with it?

Well I wanted to give you guys something very special. It’s a part of my last set recorded live from Robert Johnson which I think shows exactly what people can expect of me as a DJ for any club set I play from opening, to main and also to after-hours. And considering how special this club is to me and my whole story, I hope you will all enjoy listening to it as much as i loved playing it.

 

Words by Pierre-Alexis Chauvin

 

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Here at MEOKO, we took the opportunity to interview Davy as part of our Under the MEOKO microscope feature, where we scout out emerging and underrated talents. He tells us about his musical journeys from his home town Leuven in Belgium to Brussels to London, and paints us a picture of what clubbing is like in Belgium, and why Fuse is such a special venue. Read on...
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Under the MEOKO Microscope with MARLIE

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Marlie,  a talented and passionate selector born in Sydney has certainly made her stamp on the music map. Recently just signed to Round Up Agency, Marlie has fast tracked her career by playing her unique and signature sound with a flawless and professional manner that has earned her respect throughout the industry in a very short time. Having kicked off her career properly in 2015, Marlie already has co-founded one of Londons biggest parties Point, established her own project roots which seeks to explores many differnt avenues of the industry and puts its focus on the local community and exposing the sound that she loves to her native country aswell as having played many high profile gigs including CDV, WYS and Up Festival to name just a few.

MEOKO can't wait to see whats instore next for this young and promising artist.

Click here to listen >> Marlie MEOKO #259

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Which is the track that changed your life? The one that made you understand that music is really a particular emotion, more intense than others.

Taking me back to my very first days in East London before I started playing… It’s a track called Jacausa by one of our mates who’s artist name was Circus Line at the time. It was my first time at Keep on Going and I’d just discovered the wonderful world of minimal music. I’d often get goosebumps when I’d hear it - It just took me somewhere else..

Which are the DJs and producers with whom you feel more affinity, and with whom you would always like to share words, music and goals?

In the past couple of years I'm so happy to have met & connected with two of my favourite artists, Priku & Barac. I've seen both of them play multiple times & I continue to have so much respect for them. Priku played the best set I've ever experienced at Sunwaves and Barac's set at Up Festival this year was just so special. Aside from their music they are both beautiful souls which is what makes them more of an inspiration to me. It's no doubt that RPR are also a huge influence on me musically and artists that I admire. 

 

How has your year been so far and what have you got planned for the rest of the year? Any upcoming gigs or plans to share with MEOKO readers?

 I've had such an incredible year so far! I'm still trying to get use to Winter here in Sydney as I recently got back from two months in Europe where I had some awesome gigs. I was based in Prague with Round Up agency however I was constantly travelling. I went to Sunwaves for the first time which was mind-blowing & I played at my very first festival too - Up Festival. It was amazing to be able to listen & dance to my favourite artists at some of the best parties, connect with old friends & make new ones. I arrived home feeling pretty exhausted but very inspired nonetheless. 

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My plans for the rest of the year are to continue building my brand Roots here in Sydney & enjoy what Australia has to offer when Summer comes around. I'm stoked to finally be getting my European passport this August after 4 years of waiting! This means I'll be heading back to live in Europe early next year and hopefully continue chasing the Summer between there & Australia. 

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Which artistic achievement of you are most proud of so far ?

In London I had spent a lot of time building my party Point, with Dean Marc. When I moved back home to Sydney I felt like I was leaving a big part of me behind. I didn’t know anyone in the music scene in Australia so it was quite overwhelming at first - I felt like a stranger in my own city. It was only a matter of time before I started to miss the European music culture I was use to as well. I was determined to start my own new project here, so Roots was born. The brand began to grow in such a short period of time through a couple of illegal raves, podcasts, radio shows and live streams. We’ve now been doing parties in clubs for just over six months and I’m really happy with the direction it’s going - We’re playing our part in bringing that European vibe over to Australia!

 marlieeeee

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'Once on board, you’ll just have to go with the flow.' Djebali Mix & Interview x MDRNTY Cruise 2018

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A Parisian club kid in the early 2000s, Djebali has grown into one of the most accomplished house producers from the city’s new generation of talent, leading to his Rex Club Residency. It is with great pleasure that MEOKO caught up with the French Star, ahead of his appearance at MDRNTY Cruise alongside a special mix recorded live at Rex Club in March at the Ideal Juice Showcase with Fumiya Tanaka.

 MEOKO Exclusive Podcast No: 256 - DJEBALI

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Q1- Hey Mehdi, first of all thank you for the mix and your time. How is life so far; what have you been up to?

Hi guys, All’s good so far! Even though I recently had a flood in my studio area, meaning I had to spend an entire week cleaning up the mess and reorganizing & testing the machines, thanks god everything’s working well. Again; Summer is finally here, and I just can’t wait for all those outdoor sunny parties to happen!

Q2- Rex Club is a big player in Paris Club Scene. It must take a lot to be a resident at Rex Club and it is surely a great match. How did it feel when you used to go there to party and how does it feel now to be in charge of the club during your set?

Rex Club is celebrating his 30th anniversary this year. That means something special, I guess it’s a dream for loads of clubs (all?) to be able to get this longevity whilst keeping on offering since day one quality music and DJs performance from around the world.

Of course I am honored to be part of the club history. As you mentioned, I’ve been going to rex club since my tender age, been then invited to play a few times before eventually becoming a resident. It’s been 4 years now that I have been holding Ideal Juice residency, and that goes beyond all expectations!

I love playing there, the audio set up sounds amazing, the Rex crew is always making you feel like home and I have the freedom to bring the dj’s / performers I fancy like recently Fumiya Tanaka, Ion Ludwig, Satoshi Tomiie… it’s a perfect match! 

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Q3- It is definitely one for the diary; MDRNTY Cruise 2018, a 3-day paradise across the Mediterranean Sea. You played at the first edition and it is nobody's surprise you are back for the 2nd edition as well. How was your experience there last year and any expectations on this year?

Well, I feel very lucky to return for the 2nd year in a row as it is a total renewed line up for this second edition!

Last year was simply amazing, I didn’t know what to expect because it was my first “cruising” experience! Everything was so well organized!

An incredible line up, 24/7 music, food and drinks, sunshine, day & night parties, but also some great boat facilities like spa, sport, casino… you could do whatever you want, whenever you want, so easily! On top It was so much fun walking around the boat and bumping into the crowd, the other djs, the staff.. it was a friendly vibe all over and big fun all cruising long! I had the chance to stay on board for the whole journey last year and I am looking forward to doing it all over again this June.. 3 days long no less!

A lot of friends are playing there too amongst which Guti, Mathew Jonson, Archie Hamilton, Lazare Hoche, Cassy and of course Dan, Dyed and Shonky as Apollonia, as well as a ton of very good artists.. Once on board, you’ll just have to go with the flow.

Again a big Thank You to MDRNTY crew to offer this special cruise to the electronic crowd!

Q4- Approaching the middle of 2018 already; how has your year been so far and what have you got planned for the rest of the year? Any upcoming releases, gigs, plans to share with MEOKO readers?

The year has been great so far, I had the chance to play some big events for the first time like Caprices Festival in the Alpes, or to return to The Block in Tel Aviv, or to PIV events in Amsterdam etc..

Closer to us, the season in Ibiza looks already amazing. I will play several shows in Amnesia for Pyramid x Keep on Dancing on Mondays, which is meant to be my new home for the summer, also I’ve been invited by Black Coffee  to play his residency at HÏ Ibiza and one play at Heart Ibiza in august. No need to say that I am very excited. :P

Releases wise, there is that OAM (once a month) project I’ve been running since January. The idea is to offer every month of the year a track for free Download. Subscribe to my channel on youtube to be warned when a new track is available with a video trailer. Caution! each free download will be limited in time to 3 weeks. May’s just been released via XLR8R.

 

On another note, I had the chance to remix a track called Fall from Legend DJ Pierre as part of his album Wild Pitch (Story) named after one of his alias and released on Get physical in May. On the remix duty, look out too the one I did of Enzo Siragusa and Nima Gorji “Foreal” and out too. Several 12” coming out: one collab with POD, coming out on POD Cross, and another one called “ Into the depth” on Reda Dare’s label Signatune.

Another highlight will be the remix I did for Guti’s album that will be out on the martinez brothers’ label, cuttin’ headz

Regarding my own labels, a new EP from Chris Stussy is just out on ( djebali ) presents, and the following one will be an EP from Italian friends Jonny n’Travis! ( djebali ) reworks will add to the catalog, remixes from Audio Werner and Rossko, and ( djebali ) extra an EP from NTFO with a remix of mine.

 

Q5- It is a great pleasure to see you join our mix series. It has been on our wish list in a while. Was it a live recording or you recorded in your studio? How would you describe it?

A shared pleasure it is! It s a mix I recorded live at Rex Club back in march at the occasion of the Ideal Juice with Fumiya Tanaka. That night I first opened the night, and closed it too afterwards.

Here I present the first part, the start. The recording is 2h30 long. This was Fumiya’s warm up so expect a deep start to an ongoing journey until I passed on the decks to Fumiya; Enjoy the mix!

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Thank you again and see you on the Magic Boat. We hope to see you in London sometime soon as well!

Thank you! See you on the boat and also for sure in London soon!

 

Words by Erchin Jon

 

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Under The MEOKO Microscope - Roger Gerressen & Mix

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Microscope series is back again and this time we are having a very well known name from Netherlands – Roger Gerressen. Born in Arnhem and currently living in Nijmegen continuously spreading his name across the world by his house and techno infused productions and smooth as butter sets. Roger just joined Paris based Yoyaku label which led him to release his music on imprints as Joule, Aku and Tartouffe. With their support he is about to launch two more labels to meet his output and give him his creative freedom– Irenic Records and Autodidact Records. As being a co-founder of ESHU records having numerous releases and collaborations with big guns as Ivano Tetelepta, Dilated Pupils, ARC and Novio Dub Tribe you get an image that this is the guy to keep your eye on. We can’t wait to dive in the interview with this talent and check his exclusive MEOKO Mix.

 

 

 

1. Hey Roger, pleasure to have you with us! How are you doing?

I am doing good sir, I had a series of gigs last summer that went great and I just had a few weeks off to finish some music/remixes and get ready for the winter season.

2.First of all, tell us more about your involvement in the club scene. How did you get in the scene in the first place and what made you decide that you want to become a part of it?

I never expected to be involved in house music at this stage in my live. In the 90’s the only electronic music we grew up with was the trance and gabber that dominated in the Netherlands. Those styles had massive airplay on the radio and even took over the pop charts.  Good electronic music was already out there, but it never reached me at that age. I never got into the trance/gabber music, the melodies felt cheesy to me. I was always more interested in breaks and loops and became a fan of early 90’s hiphop when I got introduced to A Tribe Called Quest. To this day it’s the music I play the most at home. I just love sample based loops.

At my 18th birthday coincidence happened. My friends bought me a ticket to a big techno event (still pretty much against my biased will), I had my first experience in the scene and immediately seemed to understand what this music was all about.  I found another type of new loop-based music I love. I got some second hand belt-drive turntables and a mixer a few weeks afterwards and here we are today.

3.Do you remember the first record or artist you heard that clicked to you? Can you tell us shortly how did you get from hearing your first record to playing your first gig?

The first artist that clicked for me was the dutch legend Steve Rachmad. My sister was dating a guy back then who was also into dj’ing and he gave me the mix-cd ‘Sterac - Emerging’. That cd still is like a bible to my beliefs in techno music. Mixed live in a club with an amazing vision of hypnotic techno. I immediately drifted towards that sound from then on.

My first gig was a DJ contest in 2004 at Planet Rose, our local clubnight. Even though in my memories everything went great, I didn’t make it to the finals haha. But I was already happy to have performed for a crowd at that point.

 

4 .As you been raised in Nijmegen do you see a change in music and clubbing there? It is a quite remote city isn’t it? Do you have some special nights, clubs or events that are worth visiting?

Nijmegen used to be a very underground-minded city with one mayor clubnight called Planet Rose (the venue is called Doornroosje, the longest running clubnight in the Netherlands, which has been going strong for more then 22-years now) that has influenced everybody in my town. They had an amazing venue for techno music, high quality acts like Jeff Mills, Derrick May and Laurent Garnier came by on a weekly basis to play for a very open minded crowd. Outside of the Dutch borders,  not many people know of this place, but over here it has a legendary status. A few years back they were forced to move out of their filthy old graffiti covered venue (which I loved ofcourse) and settle into a very new state of the art building, which changed things for me. It has become too big for me now and as a result of trying to reach bigger crowds the programming has also become a bit more mainstream and predictable. Luckily you have a few smaller promoters in my town who are now stepping in (like ‘The Tribe’) and hosting some smaller high quality events.

But I still hold the memories of the old venue in my heart. It was an amazing place.

5.As living near by one of the Europe’s partying hotspots, do you find yourself going to Amsterdam often? How does it influence the Holland’s scene in general? Do you think the city dictates the trend for the scene?

The city definitely dictates the trend for the Netherlands, but my country is so small it’s not hard for influence to pass over to another city. But indeed, there are so much more events in Amsterdam, so much more creative people moving there, it’s a logical evolution. Most capitols serve that role I believe.

When I don’t have to play for myself I tend to stay home and create music these days, but coming into the house/techno scene I took plenty of drives to Amsterdam to see some amazing artists in amazing clubs. I often visited Club 11, which later evolved into TrouwAmsterdam. Trouw still was and still is my favorite place in Amsterdam, both on the dancefloor and behind the decks. I was lucky enough to play there a couple of times.

6.Talking about your musical history. I could call you a label guy. You been involved in so many affairs that is hard to count. How did you get in Paris scene alongside Yoyaku? What’s the story behind it?

Before I was connected to Yoyaku I was with an agency that didn’t really put a lot of effort in their artists or have a plan to move forward. So I was starting to get a bit impatient and unhappy with the direction and growth of my career. A few years back I played an event in Strasbourg, organized by the people behind Yoyaku and we just clicked and had a great time. We always stayed in touch, every now and then we had a short chat or they sent me the latest promo’s. They were just setting up their first labels when we met and they had already grown like crazy since then. When the day came my agency pulled the plug and seized to exist, I had a chat with the Yoyaku crew about me flying solo again. It didn’t take long for them to ask me to join the crew.

7.Introduce us with your two brand new imprints as well. Irenic Records and Autodidact Records. What were the ideas behind it and what we should expect from them?

Yes lots of thing happening! Both labels were created for me to have more output, but I also wanted to showcase some of my friends. Let’s start with Irenic, which means ‘Aimed at peace..’. This label had it’s first release a few months back done by Novio Dub Tribe (a collab by Sinan Alakus and myself) and we’re working on the second release as we speak.  Irenic is really about the deeper side of the spectrum. Techno, house or dub: as long as the atmosphere of the music is right. The upcoming EP is done by my close friend Alex Jansen (U-GOLD / Rue de Plaisance, also from Nijmegen), he delivered a very deep and emotional 3-track house record that will be out in a few weeks. Future EP’s on Irenic will feature music and remixes by Novio Dub Tribe, Udmo, Bas Amro and myself.

 

Then we have Autodidact, basicly the same guidelines as Irenic. Created to have more output for my friends/collabs and myself. But with Autodidact anything goes. The first release is done by my friend Doyle Johnson and will be out by the end of October or early November. After that we have a jungle/dnb collaboration by Alex Jansen and myself for the second EP, which will feature two amazing 4/4 remixes by Chris Geschwindner. Can’t wait to present all the details soon!

 

8.Congrats on you recent release on Tartouffe dubby and groovy piece! As well as one on Joule imprint. I could find endless releases around, how do you approach making music? Do you already have ideas in your mind before even sitting down in front of you desk?

I wish I could give you a very artistic answer right now, but it doesn’t happen to me that often. I just start and see where it goes. Since I have many aliases and styles I do make a choice in direction when I start the project, but it rarely needs a special approach. When collaborating with Ivano Tetelepta in the past, we had a few moments where we tried a ‘Rhythm Roulette’ type approach and try to make records by sampling the majority of the project (like the Build from Wax LP on Nilla Records) or only use certain pieces of gear as a restriction (on the untitled ARC# album on Deep Sound Channel).

9.What are your main inspirations when it comes to your creative process? Are there any things you could not imagine working without?

A hiphop attitude towards house music. To be an underground artist is to create music with whatever equipment you have around you.  So if you don’t have the money to buy the gear you want (or think you need), don’t freeze up and do nothing. It was my situation for the longest time, so I really learned to be creative digitally. So even though I love to fiddle around with analog gear, and my studio is growing, I am still a very digital orientated producer that really needs to do those final touches digitally, because the lack of gear pushed me that way.

So I couldn’t work without Ableton to be honest. My MPC is my second answer.

10.Talking about making music, can you take us through your studio gear? What’s your favorite piece? Is there a piece that you really wish for? Or some future purchases?

I have just a small studio myself, at home. I use: Ableton, RMA-fireface400 soundcard, MPC, Dave Smith Tempest,  MFB, a Strymon Timeline delay and I have a few other simple pedals and fx.

So far very beat orientated gear so the next step will probably be a synth, but like many people I have been mesmerized by modular synthesis too. Let’s see. Even though my studio is still small, I honestly rarely feel limited.

11.As a music lover you must have some artists you admire! Would you like to share some of your favorite acts this year so far? Anything we should check out in particular that stuck in your mind?

I am an old school guy. A Tribe Called Quest is my favorite group ever, no doubt about it. Gangstarr, Black Sheep, Large Professor, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Brand Nubian. Those are my jams.

Too much new electronic music coming out right now to pick a few, but if I had to I would say Udmo (two mindblowing releases on Analog Attic) and Chris Geschwindner, because I love their fresh styles and both of them have remixed some of my works/collabs so I had to do a shout out!

12.Thank you for this amazing mix! Did you have a specific idea behind it or just went with the flow?

I spent many years warming up dancefloors in my hometown, so when I am recording a mix I try to take the same approach.. a bit of music for the mind, some music for the soul and I always try to end up with some music for the feet as well.

13.Thank you once again for having us! Do you have any last words for the fans? Any news on collaborations or some exciting upcoming releases? What do you think would be the best advice for the upcoming artist?

My pleasure!

Yes I have a big release coming up on Sushitech Records as my latest project ‘Monoaware’. It will be a 2x12”, out by the end of October / early November. Very excited to be a part of this label and its artists.

And just be sure to support the upcoming Irenic and Autodidact records when they drop in the coming weeks!

And thanks for having me ;)

Was a pleasure, Roger and thank you for them mix! 

RoGer MC

 

Words by Matas Balta

 

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100% Original Burkhardt sound- no tricks, no fakes: Mix & Interview

 

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Little introduction is needed for our latest interview with Frankfurt based, Christian Burkhardt. An artist that continues to grow after over 20 years of production, performing live and mixing in all corners of the world. On his journey leaving a trail of successful releases on staple names such as Raum…Musik and Cocoon, with groove at the heart of every sound. Recent times saw the launch of CB Sessions a personal platform to release live jams and studio sessions with friends. Technology has always been a deep passion for him, and if you have been fortunate enough to catch one of his live sets, you will certainly understand. 

 

 

Here is what went down when we recently caught up…

First, thanks a lot for taking some time out for us, and recording a special mix based solely around your personal productions and remixes. Hope you are well, and enjoying the start of spring in Frankfurt

Thanks for having me. Yeah it’s a special energy  when the sun comes out after depressing winter grey, people start smiling again.

Anybody who knows you, or has heard your name will understand your passion for technology, whether in the studio in Offenbach, or playing live. When did you start producing, and building your studio

I started producing back in my hometown Heidelberg, some friends had studios and showed me how to do it. My first Synthesizer, a Bassstation, I bought 1995. The Studio I built after moving to Offenbach in 2001.

What do you find yourself using the most in the studio? The set up looks very impressive. 

  In focus are different machines over the years, actually it’s the modular. I use it all the time, it’s the best thing for sound design, never ending possibilities. And the Elektron Rytm drummaschine, love the combination between analog and digital samples, with l  layering, you get special sounds. But it’s not all about analog hardware, I do field recording a lot or jam around with  cheesy ipad apps sometimes.

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Do you find there is a different connection with the crowd when playing live as opposed to playing records?

Music wise for sure, because I have control about each element of the music in the live set. When I see a good reaction to a sound/element I jam in, I stay with the sound for a longer time. In Dj sets there is more time for seeing the crowd, cheering, smiling, waving having fun.

Summer is definitely on its way. Do you have any particular summer locations you look forward to playing in? 

oh yes oh yes, I will play some shows during Sonar festival what is always the highlight of the year, everybody will be there. And of course Ibiza season is starting, playing at Pacha, Amnesia and Destino…still in love with the island. Not to forget two nice open air festivals at home “See us there” and then the “WCD-Poolsessions” looking forward to see the whole Frankfurt crew. 

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You have released on many highly respected brands, such as Pressure Traxx, Cocoon and Raum…Musik. All running for quite some time now. Raum… celebrate 20years this year, how does it feel to be a part of this, and to see the labels grow over time? 

It feels good to be surrounded by passionate people doing music with attitude.

Trends come, trends go - we just do our thing working on the perfect groove for a better future. Haha, I am a poet.

 In 2014, you started your personal project Christian Burkhardt Sessions. When did you realise it was time to begin a label of your own? 

 All the time I invite friends to the studio, I like to exchange and to share vibes, special moments. CB-Sessions is the platform to release the recordings of these moments.

How important is it to you to catch these live jams in the heat of the moment? 

The best things are always happening when u don’t expect them. Sometimes we work for hours on a track and then u push a wrong button or switch and ta taaa- the groove is lifting up. A quick recording is always most necessary.

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The mix you kindly curated for us is only productions and remixes made by yourself. Including a Donna Summer Hot Stuff Remix, The Milky Way Remix, and an Argy Remix. How do you decide on a track you would like to remix? What kind of process do you use when approaching a remix? 

The artist or label of the original is asking me for the remix. It seems it’s a new thing that the Remixer is asking for it. It is really cool to have requests to remix classic tunes or super nice artists. Most of the time I play around with the parts of the original, run them through my modular system and work out a groove. I love remixing as I have already something where I can build around a groove. I always try to use as much as possible of the original. Just arrange, effects and work out in a new way.

I don’t like these remixes when you don’t hear the original.

There are several forthcoming releases also found in the mix, such as your next release on Do Not Sleep. When can we be expecting that? What else do you have hidden in the mix? 

Yeah, the DNS release is the highlight, I did it with my long time buddy Daniel Roth.  For me personally, the best stuff I did in the last years. Then the remixes u named before and some unreleased music.

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How would you describe your mix to the listeners? 

100% Original Burkhardt sound- no tricks, no fakes

Thanks again for your time and the magic mix. 

 

By ZAC BIDWELL 

 

More Christan Burkhardt 

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Under The MEOKO Microscope - Andy Kolwes & Mix

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Microscope series is back again and this time we are having a very well known name - Andy Kolwes & A Special Mix.

 

 

Hi Andy, a pleasure to have you here! I couldn’t make it in time for your set due to my work but I had a blast at the Pressure Traxx’s 6th birthday at Hoppetosse, how was it for you?

Coming to Berlin is always a pleasure because I have so many friends & brothers in sound here. I entered the boat about ten at night and both decks were already fully packed. It was quite sweaty but had a great buzz about it. It felt amazing! I couldn’t t think of a better way to celebrate this birthday. I met so many friends from all over, including my friends from Cologne who came by as well.

I always prefer working with friends, because there is a deep level of understanding. Every problem can be solved with a quick phone call and you don t waste any time with chit chat. That means more time for the fun part!

So I realized I don’t know much about your background, what were your formative years like? Did you grow up in Cologne?

If I look back now, it seems like I have a special relationship with the night since the beginning. In my early youth I was a very busy graffiti writer. Very similar to the music scene with friends from all over across Europe. We were visiting each other, all sharing the same passion. A real underground feeling. It was natural for us to buy vinyl, even though we weren’t DJs at all. A good friend of mine was the first to have a DJ setup at home with 2 Mk2s and a mixer. The only problem was, that nobody knew what to do! There wasn’t any YouTube or Internet, you had to have somebody to show you how it works, not so easy like today. So I was more into graffiti at that time. It was in my early twenties, that I discovered the disco life for myself.

After that I was more & more going out and enjoying the party night life. Over the years I became a experienced clubber, first as a punter and later I started mixing, organizing parties & finally making my own music. The time between 20-30 was pretty tough because everything is unsure and finding your way in life is not so clear. Whilst studying economics, all the expectations were causing pressures and making me question what I was doing. Later on in my 30s things got much easier in a way, as you start to feel more comfortable with yourself. The path is more obvious and you realise you are doing the right thing. 

Do you remember any experience that blew your mind and decided you to get into the scene, start mixing, etc?

My mate Nekes was playing in Cologne and we were at an after party we were doing, I decided right there and then to go for it & get into Djing as my new passion. From then on I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  I started organizing my own parties. Then I made friends with Alex Multhaup who did the label Karmarouge back in the days. We were organizing monthly club nights and a big festival called "Cologne Summertunes”. In the following ten years I had the chance to develop my skills and grow as a DJ, playing with many of the guys that I’d looked up to previously. These were great times!

That’s how I met Thomas Melchior for the first time, as well as Dan Andrei who became a regular guest and long time friend. I think I was about 26, when I started making my own music. Our monthly event was a good opportunity to test out the stuff I had produced the weeks before. It was a very motivating environment for me growing as an artist. The music became more & more important. 

Cologne’s a city our readers are maybe less familiar than Berlin or Frankfurt, how’s the scene like over there? Kompakt is a big reference point but that doesn’t seem to be your type of sound, was this an influence though?

Of course Kompakt was really important for many people back in the day but it frustrates me a little, that Cologne is still only known for the sound of Kompakt. We have some really talented people here who are worthy of getting mentioned as well. For example, Julian Bomm and the guys from Rheinrythmic crew. A highly motivated bunch of young guys organizing events. Three years ago, they came up with an illegal club for a short period of time in an old car wash. It was all built from wood inside with the help of their mates. For the weekend they rented a function one sound system & it was just one big rave!

Luckily my studio was 5 minutes away and so, every weekend I was making music and when I felt kind of stuck in the process, I walked over to "Waschstrasse“ to catch some vibes.

 

Mostly I came by in the morning. In the end they put the old couches on the dancefloor and we were all hanging out. Then slowly a few started dancing again & BOOM, it was going on! That brought a special feeling of to Cologne, which Berlin is usually known for. In this great environment I met many new friends, for example St. Joseph as well as Martin Mercer, a young and very good producer with a huge output who is surely one to watch.  

Is it something special for you playing over there? Would you ever consider moving?

Of course it is a very attractive place: I mean, so many friends all living close by in the neighbourhood. That sounds very appealing to me. During the week I am making music mostly on my own, because everybody else is doing a job. That can be boring sometimes. I just started searching for the right place in Berlin around Kreuzberg, where i can live with my Studio All in one place. If anybody knows something, please just drop me a line!

People are coming to Berlin from all over the world  and I see it as a gift, that all this is happening right in front of my door. The fact that there is almost no language barriers makes everything so easy. 

You’ve been DJing for more than 10 years now but only started releasing records around 2013, so what got you into producing?

At first my primary goal was to produce in order to get more bookings. Over time producing the music was so important to me that if I would have to choose now between Djing & Producing, I would just Produce. It feels like a great gift, being able to make the soundtrack to my own life. 

Making music is like therapy. Even though you are escaping from reality, but you are still doing something for yourself. I find it really cathartic.

If I look back now, starting my own label was a great move because it made me totally independent. I never had to get in touch with labels for getting my music released. Many artists out there have a few great tracks and usually they want them to be released on a labels where they think they’ll get the most coverage. But then it’s gets so political if you know what I mean..I feel so lucky that I never had to hustle like that. 

Of course it all takes its time, for example getting new equipment and updating your studio. But it’s a means to an end to evolve your vision of your sound.

Your sound is particularly trippy and hypnotic, even for minimal. What’s your process like when you’re in the studio?

My musical journey usually starts on Wednesdays and ends on Sunday. In these long boot camp sessions at home I develop my vision of a modern, trippy house sound. My sound is mostly analogue, coming from synthesizers and classic drum machines like TR808, TR909, Emu SP 1200 and some modular stuff. I use analogue sequencers or my hands to feed my synthesisers. Sometimes I really know what I want to do or try. But I also love starting completely free with no expectations and just catching the vibe of the day. If there is something special showing up which is worthwhile and appeals to me, then I try to capture this feeling and concentrate on the parts which seem essential to support the essence of the vibe. Often its like writing a book and I might try 3 different endings. In the end it often is a pity, because you have to decide which version is the best to release. Unfortunately time is limited on vinyl and these decisions must be made, although you see something special in each version.

On Monday & Tuesday I usually let my ears recover. During these days I just play some Piano. I just love to explore all kinds of melodies and harmonies on the keys. It brings you closer to the essence of a track, its certain feeling. I mean the rhythm & groove is one big component of a track, but also is the tone. It doesn’t necessarily have to follow the rules of standard music theory. Even a disharmonic combination of tones can feel right and be a beautiful thing.

And what about mixing, do you have a routine to prepare gigs?

Before a gig, I always go through my whole stock, just digging for stuff I’m into right now. In the end it its is mostly a combination of old tracks from the 90’s, some all time favourites and some new stuff. I usually play 90-95% Vinyl because it sounds better, is more fun and a better buzz  to perform. Especially if you look at it from the entertainment factor. You are working, you are in the mix, it is part of your performance. In my opinion, there is no time for stupid DJ moves in the eye of the storm. It looks so boring looking at a DJ, staring  frozen with eyes wide open, scrolling through a 100 Gb USB Drive. I made up the rule to just pick a track when I tend to get lost browsing.

To me being a DJ means developing a constantly growing reference to rely on, especially while making my own music. It keeps me fascinated, curious and up to date as well. I buy records all the time for all kind of situations, not only focused on the dance floor. I love playing on a gut level, focused on the actual moment, hunting for that special vibe that lives inside all of us in the rave. 

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Can you tell us a bit about your involvement with tINI and the Gang?

In 2013 we first met because my friends Nekes was playing with her at the beach spot. I had just released my first record on my label "Anyway". tINI was telling me that she loved this record and to my surprise the next season, I was already hooked at the beachspot for the first time. If you are a newcomer, it is very important and gives you a legitimacy. Playing the closing set last year at Ibiza Underground felt like I finally arrived on the island. I was going to Ibiza almost every year since the late 90s, but back then more with the purpose of recovering from our monthly party business in Cologne. 

 

I highly appreciate tINI, not only because of her support in my early days, but also for all those fantastic nights we shared over the last couple of years. She is the living proof to me, that it’s possible to stay true to yourself and even gain a bigger audience at the same time. 

The three records you put out on your own label 'Anyway' are truly something special, and I hear there’s an album on the way now. How was it crafting an LP compared to EPs?

I’ve been thinking about this for some time. My biggest struggle is to find the right combination of tracks. The decision itself is the biggest problem, because if you are juggling too long without coming to a decision, it starts to do your head in! That feels more like work than in the end. I have had that last September. In the end I was so fed up thinking about the album, that I just stopped the thinking process. I just wanted to make music again. 

You’re fresh off a tour in South America and Japan. That sounds exciting, tell us about it!

Oh yes, it was. I always wanted to go there. It was already planned for last year but did not work out in the end. This year, it was time and I had a blast! I left every place with the feeling of "I don’t want to go now because I’ve made some amazing friends”  Manglus from Urugay was already a good friend of mine, because we shared some great nights in Club der Visionäre over the past few years. As well as Yoske from Japan. It’s an unforgettable experience when they show you the best places in their world.  

In the beginning I was a little frightened by the thought of being away from studio for 6 weeks. Although it was very important for me to go out & enjoy life after a very long winter studio period.

 

You’re featuring on the upcoming raum…musik compilation, for the label’s 20th year, and there’s also an EP coming. How did the connection with Dorian happen?

That is a cool story because he was eventually a key player in success. The story begins about 20 years ago. At that time I remember dancing to Dorians sets  in Space Ibiza. Since then he has been steadily releasing timeless & contemporary dance music. 

In September 2013, I eventually went to Ibiza with a handful of copies of my first release. I was very lucky to give one of those copies to Dorian as he was playing. In the following weeks  there was a huge demand for my record, so Dorian passed me over to Freebase Records. I drove down to Frankfurt with my first 20 copies. Three days later, they were all gone and Freebase was asking for more. As I am self-distributing my records, it was a brilliant start and got my record straight into the shops. 

Being part of the 20 years anniversary of Raum Musik makes me very proud, as I have been following Dorian & Raum Musik  since the beginning. He is not only one hell of a nice guy, he’s such a sensitive DJ who has been consistently blowing my mind for two decades!

When I do a sound check in a club, I often put on Raum Musik first because it shows you very clearly what you can expect from the sound system and where the limits are for the night. Always a very good reference to rely on.

And what else is coming up for you? Any exclusive bits for our readers? 

There will be coming an additional artist Ep on Raum Musik around in the late summer. 

And of course hopefully my first LP (2x12)on my label Anyway

I usually try to not look too far forward and take life step by step. 

Thanks for the mix! Did you have a specific idea or mood you wanted to convey when recording it

It was recorded in Nagoya in Japan which is the hometown of my friend Yoske. It was the last gig of my Japanese tour and a mental night. I always prefer to take a mix from a night than making a podcast at home. At home its more clinical and somehow an feels like an audition, although nobody is there. Then I end up recording two or three mixes & have to decide which one I prefer. From my experience that’s a waste of time and I’d rather capture the spirit of the rave on the night.

It is believed that booking agent plays a vital role for a DJ throughout the career, particularly in the early stages. Tell us a bit about Zero Logistics and how your life changed since you signed with Z.L.?

I first met Roberto as I was playing for tINI & the gang in Underground. That night I told him that one day I would like to have my own Roberto. I was very pleased and did not have to think long as he asked me if I would like to join his agency, Zero Logistics, three years later. 

I am really thankful especially for my first South America tour. It was a great start this year and I really feel like there’s some wind in my sails now.. It is great for me to have him in the back taking care of all the booking stuff. People often forget that it costs precious time & a lot of work until a date is confirmed. 

Despite that I am very grateful for him helping me with improving all my social media stuff. Something that I couldn’t be assed to spend too much time on in the past.

Of course it is the responsibility of the artist to deliver great content and new releases, so your agent has some material to work with. I see it also as a great opportunity to show the people what you stand for musically and what they can expect by booking you. You are step by step creating your own image and defining yourself as an artist. If you accomplish that while staying true to yourself and enjoying the process, it is all you can achieve I think. My work is a great experience to me and a very spiritual thing.

 

Thank you for your time and the mix & All the best for the future. We hope to see you in London.

Thank you MEOKO.

 

Words by Pierre-Alexis Chauvin

 

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