- Published on Wednesday, 27 February 2013 16:03
MEOKO are extremely excited about our 2013 partnership with the idyllic and wholly independent Gottwood festival, meaning we’ll be teaming up to bring you a host of exciting interviews and competition prizes in the run up to what is guaranteed to be an amazing weekend in the woods.
Hosting a massive, forward-thinking lineup with an emphasis on live and genre-defying artists, including Extrawelt (Live), Ben UFO, Move D, Bicep, Crazy P, Waze & Odyssey, Luke Vibert, Detroit Swindle (Live) and Tom Demac (Live) just for starters, this little festival is making BIG waves. Situated in the heart of the Welsh woodlands and next to the sandy beaches of the Irish Sea, Gottwood offers the British electronic festival landscape all the uniqueness and intimacy it’s been waiting for. We cannot wait!
Perhaps even more exciting is their announcement yesterday of the annual Gottwood Student DJ Competition, which gives unknown and emerging DJ talent the chance to win a set at the festival and with past winners featuring on the this year’s lineup, the stakes are high! In 2012 Solus won, with Atlas and Eton Messy as runners up – and all three return this year. Solus appears as part of the lineup, while Eton Messy host their own stage featuring Atlas.
“The Gottwood Student DJ Competition is a great platform to raise your profile and meet like-minded music lovers, as well as an opportunity to play at one of the UK's leading niche music. Since doing the competition last year and playing a set it gave us the perfect springboard, and now we are delighted to be back.” – Eton Messy
The competition runs from February 26 to March 28, is open to all young people and students, and prizes for the winner include a weekend ticket to Gottwood, a peak-time set at the festival, and a release on the Gottwood Presents Podcast series – with the two runners up also being able to play at the festival (and some free Gottwood tees thrown in). Do you need any more incentive?
For more info visit their website here.
- Published on Thursday, 14 February 2013 18:19
During my recent, and very predictable, new year sabbatical from raving I started to think a lot about the pros and cons of going out in London. At the grand old age of 31, I’d been feeling the burn – not physically so much, but mentally I had a persistent feeling that things had changed, that ‘it wasn’t like it used to be’ and that maybe curtailing my raving ways would be a good idea… at least for the time being. Being away from the clubs and warehouses, I had a lot of time to ponder over the issues that affect partying in the current climate and having already written a piece on the London club scene for Mixmag, I realised there was a lot to consider.
I then watched the whole shuffling debate unfold with pretty much everyone in the world and their mum adding their two pennies worth or at least stoking the flames of debate and aiming a hail of venom at the shufflers. On top of this came my own experiences and attitude towards going out and partying, as well as feedback from my circle of friends.
The general consensus, in recent times, has been quite negative - away from the common issues associated with warehouse parties - poor ventilation and sound, queues for toilets, badly managed bars and so on - something that came up time and again was the crowds at parties. As we all know house music is massively popular at the moment and has attracted a slightly different kind of demographic to what most of the older, more discerning, ravers are used to. This has caused a hell of a lot of friction and, frankly, unnecessary hatred towards the shufflers and their ilk. Now, this may seem like familiar ground especially since Vice, The Guardian and various blogs have all covered shuffling to various degrees, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In my eyes, what we should be asking ourselves is not ‘Where did the shufflers come from?’ but ‘Where has the love gone?’... what belies all of this friction is an overwhelming air of snobbery, in the place of empathy and acceptance – which used to be a lot more common in the rave scene.
The 'Godfather' of shape cutting/shuffling: Madkezza
*Before I continue, I must admit that I was as guilty as everyone else of turning my nose up at the shufflers, the younger ravers, the ones who only go to parties where certain DJs are playing. But, having had some time out to really think about things, I've changed my mind a little – which is the reason why I’m writing this piece. Of course, I’m 31, so the first point to make is that my observations of club culture are from a more experienced (and hopefully more grown up) point of view – and I have less in common with the typical raver, who would likely be in their late teens/early twenties, which pretty much nullifies my complaint that ‘young people have no manners’! I’m old, they’re young, and I’m trying to get over it.
In 2012 everyone noticed a considerable change in the clientele at warehouse parties. It went from a bunch of (usually) middle class east Londoners and their associates, who’d been raving since ‘day dot’ and all knew their Move D from their Ben Klock, to the perma-tanned Essex gang with their BOY baseball caps, bum bags, ultra-loose vests and Nike Blazers. And then it went a bit more ‘street’, with a slightly more aggy crowd coming from various corners of London. As I said, this caused some friction – and shuffling became a symbol for all the trouble that filtered into raves; fights, robberies, bad attitudes... All the more experienced ravers did their utmost to avoid the parties where they knew the shufflers would be and turned their noses up whenever anyone who fit the ‘shuffling mold’ would be hanging out in the same warehouse as them.
Aggression started to become more common than love and euphoria, people would barge past one another without apologising or saying ‘Excuse me’. In fact, I made friends with someone at the krankbrother street party last year simply because I excused myself as I squeezed past him. He was so surprised that somebody actually had the common courtesy to do so that he remembered me and we got chatting and spent the rest of the day hanging out together. Manners cost nothing, saying ‘Excuse me’ and ‘Thanks’ when pushing your way through the crowd counts for a hell of a lot and would improve the atmosphere at raves massively. Even if you’re flying on cloud 9, having someone shove past you is guaranteed to bring you down – and it can be so easily avoided. So, my first point is that, in order for us to improve the general ‘vibe’ at parties, manners and pleasantries are crucial. It’s a no-brainer really, but seems to be severely lacking most of the time.
Footage of illegal acid house raves in 1989.
People love to moan too much as well, everyone’s a critic nowadays. If you look at the RA forums you’ll see people moaning left, right and centre about clubs/warehouses and their crowds. But what can they do? You can’t ban a certain type of person, or someone who dresses (or dances) a certain way. The way forward, and it may make me sound like an old hippie, is for everyone to just take a step back and try to be a little more accepting of each other. To me, this is the key to having a good night nowadays and it should never change. I’m probably wrong, but when I watch videos from the old Sunrise parties, or any footage from the late eighties/early nineties rave scene in the UK, there seems to be this atmosphere where everyone – no matter what class, creed, race or dancing style – is on the same level, letting loose, enjoying the music together and not worrying about how they look, or who they’re dancing next to …and they probably weren’t as bothered about acoustics or air-conditioning either! Of course, this was when everything was fresh and new, so perhaps that has something to do with it. But I do believe that, although society is acclimatised to raving now and it’s not really anything that special or new, we can still manage to maintain a communal vibe and at least try to enjoy ourselves without worrying about who’s dancing next to us. Surely the whole point of going out to party is to have a good time and forget your worries? Not to create new ones because you don’t like what the person next to you is wearing. Dance, smile, shake it off and get on with it, life really is too short to waste energy on being negative in a space that’s made for positivity.
As one high-profile promoter said to me when I was putting together the Mixmag piece: “After our Halloween party last year just looking at the comments on our Facebook wall, there were a lot of negative comments about the crowd. Ok, people might not like the person they're dancing next to but it used to be you went to raves and people got on with each other, it didn't matter if the person next to you was black or some like 19-year-old kid or someone in their forties, everyone got on. There doesn't seem to be as much of that now, everyone seems to want to hate on everyone else and I think that's part of what the problem is – if people went out for the music and to have a good time, then London would be a better place.”
Another thing that got to me during my recent outings was the fact that no one seemed to want to socialise anymore. Now I’m quite introverted so I won’t go running around a club trying to be everyone’s friend, but now and again it’s nice to nudge someone, smile and maybe chat about how good your night is for a few minutes. Oh no, we can’t do that anymore, we all have to stick with the group we went out with and we can’t let anyone infiltrate our moody little tribe. Again, bring back the love – it’s not hard to be friendly and it certainly isn’t a weakness. Drop the attitudes and the chip on your shoulders. Raving is about having fun, letting your hair down and enjoying the music, not posing and posturing – there are catwalks built especially for that kind of behaviour, buy a one-way Eurostar ticket, head to Paris Fashion Week and don’t come back.
I know it’s annoying when some kid comes bouncing around in a warehouse party thinking certain DJs are the be-all and end-all of house music, doing some old dance that we thought had gone out of fashion years ago, but really… is shuffling that offensive? Is not knowing the discography of every bloody DJ and producer such a big crime? I’ve heard people say, “We don’t want those kind of people in raves.”, “They don’t know anything about the music”… and? So, in order to attend a rave these days you must be a house and techno encyclopaedia, be well spoken and only dance by nodding your head and swaying side to side?
This is the biggest issue for me, there’s a very nasty undertone which reeks of classism – so the person next to you knows nothing about Marcel Dettmann, so what? They’re having a good time and so should you. No one has the right to tell someone that they can’t listen to a certain genre of music, no one OWNS house music, it’s not mine, it’s not yours, it’s not anyone’s, which means anyone can listen to it and get what they want out of it. If all someone wants to do is listen to their favourite DJ, or if they only know the names of one or two DJs, who has the right to tell them they can’t? Don’t get so uppity about it, just accept their outlook and get on with your own business. Everyone takes different things from music and not everyone is as fanatical about knowing names of tunes and DJs as others are. Some people just want to go out and enjoy themselves regardless of who’s playing or what rare, limited-press B-side the super cool DJ has slipped into the mix… they love the music just as much as the trainspotters.
The bottom line is, if someone wants to pay money to go out, dance, drink and have a good time – and their behaviour doesn’t infringe on your enjoyment of the night, then why have a problem with them? Dance music in all its forms has been such a unifying force since its very beginnings, there are so many people from all walks of life who live for the weekend when they can let their hair down and forget all the stresses and strains of life in the big city for a few hours. Some of these people will be a bit more boisterous and energetic than others, but is that such a bad thing? I think there are a lot of people out there who really to check themselves and their attitudes because they’re no better than the people they dislike so unnecessarily. It’s just as ignorant to hate someone because of their background as it is to barge through a club like a runaway train.
This crowd issue is everyone’s problem – yeah there are knobs out there, but don’t judge someone or look down on them because they’re a bit rough round the edges or excitable. Until we start trying to open our hearts more and to be more accepting of one another, then it’s never going to get any better. I don’t care how much of a tree hugger that makes me sound because it’s the truth and should be applied to society as a whole really…
Words by Marcus Barnes.
- Published on Wednesday, 06 February 2013 18:07
Inti Festival, now in its fourth year, is a unique one-day event situated on the stunning beaches of Peru’s capital city, Lima on Saturday 16th February. Striving to combine the cultural, ecological and musical, Inti Fest educates its attendees on global issues alongside showcasing the finest electronic music from the underground. In the past they have hosted key players in electronic dance music, such as Soul Clap, Heidi, and Steve Bug, alongside fresh, emerging talent from both the local and international scene. The lineup for 2013 is guaranteed to fulfill their “Dance for the Planet” ethos, with house and techno wizards such as Josh Wink, Clive Henry, Lee Burridge, Droog, Adultnapper (aka Francis Harris), Geddes, and resident performer/supporter Jay Haze.
Short film of Jay Haze talking about the Festival ethos.
Perhaps most fascinating about Inti Festival is its desire to provide a stimulating insight into Peruvian culture and to encourage the appreciation of mother nature through conservation projects and EcoArt, which calls artists and collectives to develop proposals to recycle plastic collected throughout the year in a project called ‘I Collaborate’. Additionally, the festival plays host to the 3R Market showcasing local, affordable and environmental products that must be at least 80% recycled, as well as providing a platform for local indigenous communities to share their collective beliefs and experiences of living in the local area. This year’s theme is ‘Water’, and Inti will be exploring it through engaging with the ancient Nazca culture, which flourished on the coastal plain of Southern Peru and is infamous for the Nazca lines, a set of geometrical designs that depict animals and human figures, some of which are a few hundred metres wide and only viewable by air.
With the focus on natural elements, on local culture and movement, this is no doubt going to be a truly extraordinary festival providing a wild and coporeally uninhibited experience. If you are in Peru, we strongly suggest you make a trip for it!
Date: Sat 16th Feb, 2013
Time: 1pm – 6am
Location: Playa Asia - "The Rosary" Km 103 Panamericana Sur
Price: From 75 – 115 Peru Sol / £18 – 28(until 18th Jan) Max price 250 Sol / £61
- Published on Monday, 07 January 2013 16:18
Although it seems like we have become more and more dependent on technology since the industrial revolution, this relationship goes back to the palaeolithic period and the invention of the clovis point some 2.5 million years ago. Our ability to think of ideas and solve problems by applying these ideas in the physical sense to better our lives and be one step ahead, has created a world, where in our day and age, it is impossible to survive without it. Since the discovery of electricity, we have managed to peer into the heavens and make sense of our place in the universe and at the same time discover the minuscule and invisible world of quantum mechanics.
But when it comes down to technology's relationship with art, better technology doesn't necessarily mean better art. Picture this scenario: you give two painters (Tom & Jerry) a blank canvas, some paint and brushes and you say “see what you can come up with, I am going down the pub and will see you in 6 hours!”. You give to Tom a single brush and a single colour to work with and, for Jerry, you pull out all the stops: several colours to work with, digital drawing pens, airbrushes etc. Isn't it as possible to see a work of art from Tom as much as it is from Jerry? Just because Jerry has a technological advantage over Tom, this factor doesn't determine that he will come up with something better!!
And to go one step further, I'll say that the human mind thrives when restricted with fewer choices and an incident with Mozart, at St Paul's Cathedral in Rome in 1770, manifests this perfectly: The 14 year old Mozart was attending mass on holy Wednesday at the Sistine chapel and was taken back from a psalm called Miserere mei, Deus. The problem was that this specific piece wasn't allowed to be written down or copied so, as the young protégée was mystified by the choir's performance, he wrote it down completely from memory, went back on Friday to do minor adjustments and took it with him to Vienna (does this makes Mozart the first bootlegger of popular music?!?!). When the Pope heard his version, instead of ex-communicating him from the church (this was the punishment for copying the psalm), he invited him to Rome to praise him!!
This is what it took to be a famous musician/composer/producer back in the 18th century, an absolute genius!!! Having only his memory cells and pen and paper he managed to do something that no pop star of today can come anywhere near to. His compositions will resonate for centuries to come and all he used was his pen and paper!! If you compare that with the quality of music that comes from todays pop stars (with all the paraphernalia attached to them such as videos, marketing, fire eaters, fart ignitors etc), you can say safely that Justin Bieber won't be remembered after he has had his first shave!!!
All I am trying to say, I guess, is that technology doesn't necessarily make you a better performer or artist, although this is what marketing campaigns are preaching at us for the last 10 or so years, when it comes down to the performance platform DJs should use.
Phrases such as “this will change the way you play forever” or “this is a revolutionary product” have created this new and anticipated technological euphoria (Acute Technological Newphoria),with too much emphasis on new and improved features with sneak previews, special magazine write ups and celebrity DJ's swearing by this update and so on. This focus for the next version or the next update or even the next new platform is, in my opinion, a distraction from the actual principles of quality DJ-ing that coincidently (and after all the technological marvels) haven't changed since the days when vinyl was the only medium!!!
For all the announcements and all the fanfare that went with the new platforms that have emerged in the last decade or so, the fundamental needs for a good night out for the experienced and discerning clubber are still quality of sound and a good music selection, mixed skilfully by a DJ
The new-age notion of “adapt or die” has affected our scene greatly in the past when CDs replaced vinyl as the obvious choice. And this didn't happen because we found technology that sounded better, it was just a matter of convenience as we could carry more music in lighter cases and records won't be stolen by baggage handlers. This was replaced by even lighter cases full of laptops and MP3's. MP3's were designed to compress the actual recorded sound (thus lowering the quality of the original recording) so it can be downloaded easily by the masses over the internet when internet speeds were a big issue. They were never designed to be the choice of professionals in a scene where absolute quality is the target, so again, it was just convenience!! The next step was the syncing of your mixes, first from laptops and recently from CD players. What (again) is the purpose of sync? It is done conveniently by the computer so you are free to manipulate your music (although adding delay and reverb is the most lame thing you can do to a stereo mix, but most popular these days). I have seen from up close 100's of djs using sync but I never felt that the time saved by using your brain for beat mixing was used to do something groundbreaking or revolutionary!!!! So, in a scene where sound quality is a priority and is what makes a difference between a good or a bad night out, we have replaced quality with a poorer version mainly for convenience.........
I lived, first hand, through the abandonment of vinyl in London 10 years ago and it was not pretty. A whole ecosystem of record shops, distribution companies, clubs and promotional teams just collapsed and disappeared. At the time,there was definitely a stale and tired attitude in the London scene that was coming out from the burned out era of Disco House and instead of going back to the drawing board when the samples of old disco records were used to death,we thought that turning our backs on vinyl and “advancing” technologically to CD's was the thing to do......Armageddon followed shortly after that, 80% of the people I knew were active in the scene back then, left the industry all together as the system that supported them and was centred to the production, distribution and use of vinyl just collapsed. And this happened not out of a technology being surpassed by better quality one but because of convenience and thinking that technology will save the day!!!!
Of course the scene survived the storm and distribution companies emerged again, (mainly in Germany were there was a better stronghold for vinyl use) with better quality controls and lots and lots of good music. I am really happy to see a significant part of the younger generation being interested in vinyl, not because of sentimental reasons but because they have to know and experience the medium with the highest quality and most suitable to quality clubbing, in order to understand their trade and keep the tradition alive!!!
A basement, a red light and a feeling, is not just a compilation name from Kerri Chandler's Mad House imprint back in 1992 but wise words that convey that the focus for a great DJ should only be the music and the widening of it's boundaries through intelligence,hard work and artistic integrity. This path doesn't necessarily pass through the latest technological platform or the easy way out. Use technology and don't let technology use you, i believe that this is the path that we all need to realise in order to stay true to the values of musical evolution and to push the boundaries of creativity. There is absolutely no need to jump on the high velocity train of technological evolution in order to became better DJ's, producers and promoters. The illusion that technology will make you a better DJ, producer or promoter is a path which will distract you from what you really need to do and that is to become a creator of something meaningful with the simplest tools possible. Now,this is a challenge we should be looking forward to!!!
Article by Stathis Lazarides
- Published on Sunday, 30 December 2012 14:23
Over the course of the past week we collectively survived not only another over-indulgent Christmas in front of the TV, but a full-on Mayan Apocalypse. Therefore this year, more than most, we deservedly enter that curious purgatorial period between Boxing Day and the New Year with a little more spring in our step. If you already know what you're doing to bring in 2013, then this spring will evolve into an animated bounce as NYE draws ever nearer. If you still haven't a clue however, the next 48 hours will feel like a trudge through the mire. And yet never fear, MEOKO is here to help. Below are our top picks from around London town for both NYE and NYD. Go with one, two or three of these and we guarantee you a heady dose of hedonistic closure to see out one year, and bring in the next, in style.
The Coronet Theatre
9pm – 06am
After the success of the Eastern Electrics festival in August of this year, the stalwarts of NYE clubbing return to the capital after a showstopping 2012. As ever they will play host to a varied range of acts, with a focus on bringing the party to the masses. Joy Orbison, Eats Everything and Huxley make up three of the 2012's most emblematic DJs, while Shonky, Miguel Campbell and Geddes offer something a little different in support. Apart from the last batch of VIP tickets, all advance tickets are sold-out so if you're still umming and ahhing, get down early to avoid major disappointment.
Bussey Building, Peckham
9pm – 06am
Always ones to keep things fresh, Secretsundaze have migrated to South London for this year's climactic event, continuing their blossoming relationship with Peckham's Bussey Building. After his deep house smash 'New For U' topped almost every end-of-year chart in the scene, Andrés returns to headline alongside Amir Alexander, Trevino and Martyn, who will be showcasing his new and improved Live set. Tickets are still available online from £30 and given the reputation these boys have for a proper new year's blowout, it'll be worth every penny.
Hearn St Car Park
11pm – 06.30am
If big room tech-house is your tipple of choice this NYE, few parties will quench your thirst as thoroughly as Onemore, who welcome Radio Slave, Tiefschwarz and Antonio De Angelis to East London's Hearn Street Car Park. Having celebrated their 2nd birthday but a few weeks ago with Lawrence and Kenny Larkin and with a whole host of high-profile 2013 dates already in the diary, you can bet your bottom dollar come midnight Onemore will be seriously popping off. Tickets are still available online.
Ewer Street Warehouse
9pm – 06am
If you're after something a little tougher to help see in the new year then look no further than Beat Dimension. Welcoming man-of-the-moment Blawan to headline alongside Mike Denhert, Untold and Cosmin TRG, this promises to offer something other than the usual hands-in-the-air NYE fare. Appleblim has been announced as a special guest and final release tickets, somehow, are still available, so get moving and get ready to get those fists pumping.
NYE & NYD
Jaded & LWE
8pm – 2pm
London Warehouse Events and after-hours specialists Jaded are combining this NYE/NYD to bring the capital a full-on 18hr rave. Taking place first across Factory 7 in the Hearn St area of East London and then Cable in London Bridge, this looks set to be one the most intense and sonically rewarding of all the events on the calendar. Nina Kravitz and Mr G headline with support from stalwart DJ Raymundo Rodriguez, which just about tells you all you need to know really. Tickets are still available online for either only the NYE party or both at a reduced price.
NYE - 9pm - 9am
Cargo host a post apocolyptic zombie rave this new years eve with Visionquests Ryan Crosson headlining, bringing with him an arsenal of house and techno strong enough to blow the heads off any zombie standing in his way. With a free afterparty from 6am the heart of Shoreditch will be firmly beating from within Cargo's railway arches to the sounds of Omid 16B, Shane Watcha, Clint Lee who all play alongside Ryan Crosson.
Fabric NYE & WetYourSelf NYD
NYE: 9pm – 09am / NYD: 10pm - 06am
If ever there was a safe choice of what to do over NYE, Fabric is it. The iconic London club never fails to put on a showstopping night of partying, with a solid, always eclectic line-up of some of the most cutting-edge names in underground dance music. This year Four Tet, Steffi and Martin Butrich top the bill on NYE - and that's only room 1. On the evening of Tuesday 1st, the club fires up the engines once more and continues the rave courtesy of Sunday purveyors WetYourSelf. Miss Kittin, Marc Houle and Palisade all feature. Tickets are still available online for both events, plus the usual on-the-door admittance.
JUNK Department with Upon You
8pm – 05.30am
Junk Department return to London this NYD to bring us a very special, extended celebration. The Southampton based outfit have invited none other than Steve Bug and M.A.N.D.Y to top the bill, teaming up with Berlin label Upon You to bring a trio of their most forward thinking DJs to the party, namely Marco Ressman, Emerson Todd and Gunnar Stiller. What with their burgeoning relationships with Cocoon, Zoo Project and whole host of others, you can always trust Junk Department to have their finger firmly on the pulse. Tickets are still available online.
6am till late
What a year it's been for Kubicle. They've set up a residency at Sankeys Ibiza, partied at The Chalet in Berlin, taken their craft to the WMC in Miami and of course, weaved their magic across many of the UK's best festival dance-floors. Not to mention, of course, their staunch dedication to the East London after-hours scene. In true Kubicle spirit, they will be hosting an as yet interminable event on NYD at The Basing House in Shoreditch. PBR Streetgang headline. Tickets still available.
9pm – 05am
What more is there to say about Circo Loco. For what feels like centuries the international clubbing behemoth has been plying its popular brand of party promotion, bringing a consistency and professionalism to the scene that is unrivalled. For their annual NYD London blowout, the Circus is taking over Brixton Academy and playing host to the recently crowned No #1 DJ in the world Mr. Seth Troxler. As if that wasn't enough, Maceo Plex, David Squillace, Tania Vulcano and Clive Henry are all offering their talents in support. What a night this promises to be. Tickets are only available online from Ticketweb and instore at Phonica Records in Soho, London.
Midday – 11pm
Another year down, another successful year for Fuse. The celebrated Sunday party remains as one of the most popular in the capital, regularly attracting visitors from all across the continent and beyond. With as good a team of residents as you'll find anywhere in the city, Fuse welcome Onur Ozer and Julain Perez to join the melee, two DJs who are revered and recognised scene-wide as being masters of their craft. Despite the move from the comforts of 93 Feet East to Village Underground, Fuse is surely one of the most reliable and enticing of all 2013 NYD options.
The Hydra: Electric Minds
6pm – 06am
If, for whatever reason, you want to keep things South of the river this NYD, then there are few better options than Electric Minds. With a jaw-dropping line-up spread across three rooms, you can ease yourself into 2013 accompanied by the sounds of Mosca, Levon Vincent, Will Saul, Henrik Schwarz and Jay Shepheard. Compared to the hyper-inflation on show on NYE, tickets are considerably cheap, and very much still available. This looks hard to turn down.