- Published on Saturday, 20 January 2018 11:46
What are you doing for the holidays? Sure, you could go to the seaside with your friends, have a romantic getaway with your lover, or go backpacking across South East Asia. But if you’re into dance music — and, given you’re on MEOKO dot net right now, something tells me you are — you might wanna go for a festival somewhere in Europe.
It’s not just about Ibiza anymore. Take Croatia. After collapsing during the war, the country’s economy now heavily relies on tourism, and music festivals play a large role in this. Come August and half of your Facebook feed is filled with pictures and videos of anyone from your best friends to your most random acquaintances having the time of their lives at Sonus or Dimensions, isn’t it? Hell, even your auntie probably went to a festival in Eastern Europe last summer.
And with a large majority of festival-goers claiming to prefer smaller boutique festivals, this trend has no reason to come to an end, with each festival hyping up its own assets to cater to a specific audience — not mentioning that a lot of them are ridiculously cheap for Westerners. These days, you could pretty much have a full tour of Europe just doing electronic music festivals, from the best of Romanian minimal at Sunwaves to Craig Richard’s very own Houghton in the British countryside, and from the giants that are Sonar or Dekmantel to the more intimate experience of Portugal’s Waking Life, among countless others — something for everyone indeed.
In short, cheap flights and (re)developing countries eager to attract holidaymakers make for a golden age of festival tourism. Enters UP festival, a Prague-based event running from the 11th to the 13th of May organised by local promoter Round UP. The new endeavour appears to be Czech Republic’s very first festival focusing on underground house and techno — the country’s answer to the aforementioned festivals making up the European circuit. And a solid line-up it has, with a particular emphasis on the minimal side of things
See for yourself. Ricardo Villalobos and Sonja Moonear are both present. They’re some of those tried-and-tested headliners that we’re always happy to see at such an event, and the same can be said of some of our Romanian favourites, with Barac and the combined genius of Raresh and Praslea playing as Praslesh.
There’s a nice contingent representing the French scene too, with Yoyaku heavy-hitters Varhat and Janeret playing B2B, alongside Molly, whose reputation has been steadily growing — deservedly so — in the past few years, while the experienced six hands of Apollonia are sure to make us dance and dance and dance.
But it’s also a fantastic occasion to familiarize yourself with the local scene: to name a few of them, Yan & Alfred Czital of Harmony Rec. spin all shades of dubby techno; Fatty M is a local hero that brought the likes of Derrick May and San Proper to Prague with his Kom!ks warehouse parties; em ju es aj si is into the dark Berlin techno (based in Prague) that he helped bring to Czech Republic with his Polygon parties; and Bruno Curtis is the founder of Round UP.
Here’s the current full line-up in alphabetical order:
Agustin Alvarez | Anthea | Apollonia | Ark3r | Barac | Bella Sarris | Brothers Black | Bruno Curtis | Dmitry | Eddie Mur | Ellen Alien | Em Ju Es Aj Si | Fatty M | Ion Ludwig | Janeret | Johanna Schneider | Jorgos | Luigi Tozzi | Magda | Molly | Nils Weiman | Oliver Torr | Oshana | Per Hammar | Praslesh | Ricardo Villalobos | Schwa | Sonja Moonear | Topper | Varhat | Vik | Yan & Alfred Czital
And there’s more to come. The festival’s only got to its second wave of names for now.
Although it’s its main draw, there’s more to attract you to UP in the competitive field of European music festivals than its impeccable music selection. With more than 50 artists spread across 4 stages over 3 days, the nascent festival already establishes itself as one of the circuit’s big-hitters, with a +20.000 capacity. This means we can expect some fine stagecraft; indeed, the festival will be collaborating with digital media studios for audiovisual performances. Did I mention the tickets are currently 45 euros?
All this action is unfolding in Prague’s exhibition centre, a stone’s throw away from the city centre. The Czech capital, one of the most exciting destinations in Europe, is definitely part of the appeal. Prague’s history is reflected through its architecture and an insane amount of museums. If you’re going to UP, you’d be a fool not to take some time to enjoy the city itself. Its reputation as a party spot is no longer to be demonstrated, but it’s no surprise that a festival like UP would come up now, since these days you can catch some of electronic music’s most exciting names in a club like Ankali, and the city seems to have a decent amount of promoters dedicated to pushing this kind of sound. May I add three final words? Ungodly cheap beer. Wink wink.
All in all, we’re therefore quite proud to announce that MEOKO is the festival’s official media partner — minimal beats in one of Europe’s most exciting capitals? Of course we’d be in! This means you can expect some exclusive content coming on the website in the run-up to UP, so keep your eyes peeled — and in the meantime, grab your tickets here before they reach the final wave.
Words by Pierre-Alexis Chauvin
- Published on Wednesday, 17 January 2018 10:18
Since its birth in 2016 Berg Audio have built a reputation around meticulously chosen releases with their inspirations at the heartbeat of their outlet. A dub techno label inspired by lost monuments of the soviet era. Last year saw incredible releases from a wide of umbrella of artists such as Janeret, Diego Krause and Traumer. However, something that goes by the name of ‘Directions’ is on the horizon and it will be available to you this March.
The eight release from the label is nothing short of amazing, a 2x12” gatefold various artist compilation featuring legendary innovators of sound, and modern day spearheads of the scene. A combination of forces through the ages. Two tracks on each side of the vinyl.
Taking up the first 180g side is the opening track from Ukrainian maestro iO (Mulen) – Report, and familiar face Traumer with ‘Burning’ sure to be an untypical exploration of raw sounds as always. Stepping up on the flip side is Barac - Glossary, a touch of Romanian class added to the equation. A rare release from the artist. He is joined by one of the most consistent producers right now, East End Dubs, a man whose productions seem to go from strength to strength.
Icelandic techno icon Exos delivers C1 with ‘Ahonui’, highly respected amongst his peers for delivering atmospheric deep grooves with a forward thinking attitude. Ledgend is the flavour of the C side as Mosaic Records boss Steve O’Sullivan delivers, ‘Take it There’, undoubtedly his unique grasp of techno will sit well amongst the release. Next up is Detroit pioneer Delano Smith and for his second appearance Traumer, a combination of artists from two leases of life that is sure to end well. Taking us through to the end of the release is Idealist – Mountain Sky, if that does not sound like a perfect ending to the VA we do not know what does.
A one of a kind release like this wouldn’t become a masterpiece without the help of artwork to back up the solidarity of the sound, luckily Berlin based Juli Jah has worked her magic again with her interpretation of Poland’s ‘Hotel Forum’ located in Krakow.
So you have been warned, it is on its way. A handful of carefully selected artists from around the globe delivering their interpretations of Berg Audio.
Various Artists – « DIRECTIONS »
Label: BERG AUDIO
Format: Vinyl – 2X12’, Gatefold - 180G
Released: March 2018
Style: Dub Techno / Deep Techno
A1 : iO (Mulen) - Report (Original Mix)
A2 : Traumer - Burning (Original Mix)
B1 : Barac - Glossary (Original Mix)
B2 : East End Dubs - Jade (Original Mix)
C1 : Exos - Ahonui (Original Mix)
C2 : Steve O'Sullivan - Take It There (Original Mix)
D1 : Delano Smith & Traumer - Essence (Original Mix)
D2 : Idealist - Mountain Sky (Original Mix)
Words by Zac Bidwell
- Published on Thursday, 11 January 2018 18:09
Watch out everyone, Junction 2 has announced the full line-up for its 2018 edition with special back to backs, Adam Beyer b2b Carl Cox (World Exclusive), Dixon b2b Âme (6-hour Set) and Sonja Moonear b2b Nicolas Lutz.
The LWE event will hold its third edition on the 9th of June in Boston Manor Park — a 10-hour long event that, so far, includes the biggest names in house and techno. Fan of the melodic fare? Âme, Mind Against, Tale of Us, check. Prefer the harder, darker stuff? Nina Kraviz, Len Faki, Jay Clarke, check. There’s the King of Ibiza, Carl Cox; the Queen of minimal, Sonja Moonear; and the prodigal kid of UK dance music, Joy Orbison. And it’s particularly nice to see Nicolas Lutz on such an event. The Uruguayan digger’s been everywhere last year, as comfortable spinning obscure bangers on a festival’s main stage as at some dodgy afterhours — proving that popularity does not require compromising on quality.
Anyways, this is only the first wave of names, leaving us to wonder what else’s to come. What’s for sure is that two of the biggest structures in the game will be hosting stages. One of them is Drumcode — Adam Beyer and Dense & Pika are already announced, but expect more acts from the label. The other is Sonus Festival, the Croatian festival that seems to lure half of your Facebook friends to its idyllic shores and decadent boat parties every year. With its outrageous line-ups and top production values, no doubt the team behind the festival will come up with something special for Junction 2.
And to keep you waiting, LWE has crafted an appetizer of sorts: a day-time event on the 10th of February at Tobacco Dock that will fly to London some of the festival’s headliners along a string of other acts. Once again, it’s only big-hitters.
No need to introduce Nina Kraviz anymore. Out of all the generic techno DJs out there, her name will always stick out for me, as she’s certainly the one who has made the less concessions to get to where she is. She stays faithful to her high-energy, banging mixing style that forays into the most abrasive strains of 90s techno and trance, while pushing more experimentally-inclined but no-less banging up-and-comers on her трип label. You can tell Nina is passionate, and this is infectious.
LSD, the joint project of Luke Slater, Dave Sumner (aka Function) and Steve Bicknell, would be worth the price of entry alone. From the dreamy techno he put out as The 7th Plain to the relentless sound of Planetary Assault Systems, Luke Slater is a proper techno mastermind. Same could be said of Function, whose carrier embodies an entire section of techno’s history: his angsty sound brewed in the dark corners of late 90’s NYC mutated to a more hypnotic strain of techno when he relocated to Berlin as part of Sandwell District, a cult project that pioneered the currently prevailing trend for deep, mental techno. Steve Bicknell, meanwhile, is a UK underground hero whose Lost parties left an indelible mark on British techno. Their forces combined should send you on a proper mind trip.
There’s also Scuba, the head of Hotflush Recordings who has established himself as one of UK’s main tastemakers. As a matter of fact, the big room techno of Dense & Pika, who also share the bill in the Great Gallery, wouldn’t be where it’s at if it wasn’t for him. And finally, Modeselektor will also be present. The duo has been of all the main trends of the German underground in the past two decades. Whether with their wonky minimal on BPitch Control, their crossover label Monkeytown or the recently terminated 50Weapons that showcased some of the best current house and techno, these guys have always been driving forces rather than train-hoppers.
If that’s too much to handle, the artists billed in the Gallery will doubtless soothe your ears. Like Ricardo, Sonja Moonear is an Ibiza regular who’s as comfortable pushing the deeper and trippier cuts in her collection, and a definite MEOKO favourite. And that’s not mentioning our darlings, Apollonia. You know what to expect from the French trio: ridiculously pumping and bouncing beats that won’t fail to put a smile on your face, let alone to make your body move.
Not too bad, eh? Well you guessed it, there’s more to come. But you can already grab your tickets for the Tobacco Dock event here, and those for the festival there, before they reach the final phases.
Words by Pierre-Alexis Chauvin
- Published on Tuesday, 09 January 2018 19:18
With less than a month to go we decided to look at a party that quickly gained a solid fixture in the MEOKO calendar.
Twice a year (one in summer, one in winter) Melliflow and Closer join forces for an extended dance in Berlin. The incredibly versatile line up is a true reflection of what the brands themselves represent, handpicked crate diggers and underground selectors who all share the same vision and ability to create unique atmospheres. The occasion and environment go hand in hand as they step on board Hoppetosse for the entire duration. Saturday night (3rd Feb) until Monday morning. An intimate affair, low ceilings surrounded by tight sound filled with amazing artists. It’s a no brainer.
The Berlin based Melliflow founders Vera and Alexandra welcome a wide array of artists to town. Some magic moments to be had on the boat. My Own Jupiter man Nicolas Lutz will be there to display his never ending discography of rare and curious records. Hailing from all over the world, Japanese collector DJ Masda, New Yorker and precise mixer Evan Baggs, and young Italian artist Quest to name a few. Underground explorers Unai Trotti and Nico Etorena will both bring something fresh to the table. Noizar and Borys will be representing Kiev offering their reputable music, that they have built there immense residency at Closer around.
To round off the special party a second room will also be available, an open door for experimental sounds. A place to relax, and take a moment from the madness. Featuring a spectrum of rhythms from Baby Vulture, E/Tape and a rare opportunity to see Federico Molinari in this light. Visuals on the weekend from Cote, the real cherry on the cake.
See you on the boat.
Facebook Event: melliflow & closer kiev winter trip 2
Words by Zac Bidwell
- Published on Tuesday, 26 December 2017 18:50
12 tracks listed below by Primărie will do all the talking;
1- Premiesku - The Last Man on The Moon EP // ALLINN028
So being in a period where over generousity is experienced at a high level, here is our take for a special wax with divine sounds :). We start with Premiesku who 'soar' to 'only' take us on a trip to the moon and then we are 'Even' for the whole EP. We can always go Sci-Fi when this lovely Romanian trio share their newest sounds on All Inn Black, we can already be sure it's the deepes underground cut coming out from their studio.
2- Adrian Niculae - Consensual EP // MTF005
Back to a sound we cherish, and one that is stands out for this period. Adrian Niculae is back with his own 'Motif' to share with us another cocktail made out of fruits from his own garden. I'm sure I 'SeeSaw' cherries in this smoothie too while B Side reminds me of a whole cycle i have to review, re-align and recentre myself then move on and on, play with this play.
Here is an interesting collab, one that has a tender flow, one that define powerfull drum rythms. Who are they? Well Cristi Cons and Dubtil come out as Fonetica, with their first 'Noises EP' on Nervmusic special side series. I'm sure the point is to get 'Lost in thought' when everything is so well done in the 'background'. The sound proposes another way of rhythm and tight percussions and the time is right for us to have these options too.
4- Arapu - Wasted Ego EP // UND007
A 'Wasted Ego' title as a sublime message for a sublime sound, delivered by Arapu on Understand. Did you get it ? Uplifting sound with a scary atmosphere and voices 'from the other side' show you can't always have the bliss without a bit of extra-ordinary tension meant to keep you straight and offer you a wide range of experiences.
5- Mihai Pol - Invasion EP // OTK003
Already with a sound if his own, Mihai Pol continues to polish his craft with a new EP on the Londoner Otaku Records. It's ok, there is an invasion going on, and Triptil is on board with a B Side remix, calls out his best troops and rolls out his offensive and uplifting groove taking on the lead in this adventouros manifest.
Of course one player getting fresh attention is romanian dj and producer Cally. Usually with a perfected round sound, in this EP he reveals his high pillar attitude on front side and then shares his wormth and angelic atmospheres with two perfect after-hours tracks on side B.
7- Costin Rp - Basics EP // RUERE004
Costin Rp is one that i know likes to go further and explore his sounds and mainly he comes up with new ingredients for his cocktail. Making it more spacious and lightly in the same time, Ruere is the right caravan to serve this jam sessions. Whishpering questions are thrown throughout the whole experience. Did you hear?
8- Unknown Artist - DRGS01 // DRGS01
As you know it is a pleasure to write about the Unknown Artist who does not need any more recognition and just shares his feelings and moods with us. On the first one of these series you'll find clues and ways as to how to get wild and childly again and of course if you 'Say it Loud' you will get it better.
9- Floog - Ambele EP // FLG001
I have love for new beggings and to share the right ones with you and as i told you before I'm happy the artist behind Floog is back on track again, delivering smooth rhythms with clean and clear percussion cuts aiming for an ever more fractalized house music anthems. It's all under a great plan, delivered with love and joy on FLG001.
10- Piktor - Acid Space EP // LKMV002
How do you make a painting of acid floating in space? Well there is one formula very well presented here and tell me if you can find a better one. Regarding groove and sound, Piktor found his ways and it's ready to be part of our big community. We're sure the EP on Lokomotiv is just a small card of the big picture, and we're shure the canvas is ever expanding.
11- MOi - 08 // MOI008
House, Groove, Rhythm... oi oi. It's all in here, it's the new MOI release. Undergound house music all the way under this project and the credits go in Eastern Europe. Well it is a very fine touch of uplifting side of our house music and this release is set to bound new standards, as the ones before, it did.
12- VA - Tzinah On Black 004 // TZHBK004
4 Romanian talents, Hansel!, Mihai Pol, Herck and vlf, are billed for TZHBK004. When speaking of Tzinah records, it is always a treat to ears.
With care and appreciation from P. with Love
Words by Dan Primaru