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The Playground Festival returns to Brixton Academy

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Taking over the incredible Brixton Academy for the return of their annual two-day festival on the 7th and 8th June, The Playground Festival is bringing a host of heavy-hitters in the electronic music scene to the capital for this special event, which looks to see nearly 10,000 people through the doors across the weekend. Experimenting with unusual ways of holding an electronic music festival, this time The Playground is coming to the centre of one of London’s increasingly buzzing nightlife hubs, Brixton town, with a line-up that skilfully toes the boundary between the best of the underground and the more mainstream, classic, talents in the industry.

Playing homage to some of techno’s brightest innovators, the line-up features the ‘fathers’ of the Detroit techno scene: The Belleville Three A.K.A Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson and Juan Atkins, with the latter performing as his legendary live act, Model 500, on the Saturday. 

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Alongside these three underground legends, The Playground Festival will give Londoners (and non-Londoners alike) the opportunity to see rare performances from artists such as Gary Numan, founding member of Kraftwerk, Wolfgang Flur, Digitalism (Live), and Kavinsky. German house duo and co-founders of the Get Physical label, Booka Shade also feature and with the recent release of their EP ‘Haleshop’ after nearly three years absent from the production game, they will no doubt pull out all the stops for their live show this summer. Packing even more punch into the roster, is a man highly respected in the underground scene and renowned for his use of the iPad to mix live at his events, James Zabiela, alongside ambient techno crusader Pantha Du Prince.

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Add on to this an array of exciting, genre defying, and straight up fist-pumping acts playing across the weekend, including UNKLE, DJ Hell, Boddika, Wildkats, No Artificial Colous, Nathan Fake, Luke Vibert and many more. Then take into consideration that weekend tickets are currently going for a measly £70, with a pass to one of the days only costing £35. Then put it all together, against the backdrop of a sunny Brixton atmosphere, and it’s easy to see this is going to be one of THE London events to reach this summer...

Don’t miss out.


EVENT INFO

Date: Friday 7th / Saturday 8th June

Where: Brixton Academy, London

Buy tickets: www.theplaygroundfestival.com / £35 day tickets / £70 weekend tickets


FULL LINE UP - FRIDAY

DIGITALISM - LIVE
UNKLE – James Lavelle
Booka Shade- LIVE
James Zabiela
DJ Hell
Kavinsky
Model 500 – LIVE
X-Press 2
Boddika
Deadboy
Krystal Klear
Mickey Pearce
No Artificial Colours
Wildkats
Whyt Noyz
Severino
Dan Beaumont
Luke Unabomber
Luke Solomon

FULL LINE-UP - SATURDAY

Gary Numan – FULL LIVE BAND
Derrick May
Kevin Saunderson
Pantha Du Prince- LIVE
John Foxx & The Maths
Wolfgang Flur [Ex- Kraftwerk]
Nathan Fake
TOKiMONSTA
Lapalux
Luke Vibert
Fantastic Mr. Fox
OM Unit
Molo
The Ninetys
Daktyl
Flechette
Charlie Traplin
Maxx Baer
Templa

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Echo Festival 2013: A focus on the deeper side of life.

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Echo Festival, Croatia, 6-10th June 2013

Unlike many of the other electronic outlets crowding in amongst the Croatian coastline, the team behind Echo Festival are determined to stand out from the masses. Only in their second year, with their very successful launch in 2012 setting an example of how to marry underground music and beach hedonism in a truly intimate environment, Echo has returned with an even superior line-up and a musical ethos difficult NOT to take notice of.

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Located in Kanegra, near the picturesque town of Umag, this brand new site promises an as-yet-untouched festival setting, marrying the intense beauty of the Adriatic Sea with wild woodland backdrops. Musically, Echo have curated a refined and incredibly talented array of artists, looking to focus in on those deeper acts that deliver quality again and again, ignoring the need for big-name crowd pullers. 

Carefully selected artists such as Petre Inspirescu and Space Dimension Controller have been recognised for their longevity and substance, while many other artists have been kept aside for next year to be incorporated into an equally well-cultivated show. Their recent line-up announcement has also added to the buzz and excitement surrounding the festival, with Magda, Redshape (Live), John Roberts and Audio Werner all added to the list!

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Echo is also noteworthy due to its diverse booking policy, with the line-up juxtaposing artists such as D-Bridge and John Roberts, Braiden and Fred P, and Redshape (live) and xxxy. From jungle, garage and all the way to tough-talking techno, Echo promises to cater to everyone's tastes whilst inviting all revellers to approach the festival with an open-minded outset. To add to its charm, tickets are being offered at the very affordable rate of £65 + booking fee and with plenty of cheap, easy options for accommodation in the nearby vicinity, Echo is potentially proving itself to be the coolest new kid on the block...

Date: Thursday 6th – Sunday 10th June
Tickets: from £65+bf online. 

Buy tickets here
See accommodation here
Visit Echo on Facebook


Full line-up/

Magda

Petre Inspirescu

Nick Hoppner

Delano Smith

John Roberts (Live)

Fred P aka Black Jazz Consortium

Redshape (Live)

Audio Werner (Live)

Anthea

Christopher Rau

BLM

Colours Music (Ian F, Aneuria + Evano)

DoubtingThomas (Live)

Rico Casazza (Live)

Mandy Jordan

Daniel Madlung

Voigtmann

Lamache

Luca Pilato

J Nelson

Space Dimension Controller (Live)

xxxy

Locked Groove

South London Ordnance

Braiden

Youandewan

October

Lakosa

DjRUM

Lorca

Outboxx

Citizen

Hodge

Lorca

Donga

Marcus Intalex

dBridge

Synkro

Lenzman

Stray

sp:mc

Kasra

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MEOKO is recruiting for the Summer

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As part of our New Year resolution, MEOKO is now on the lookout for fresh new peeps to join our quite awesome team. We are looking for hard-working, reliable girls/ guys who are as passionate about electronic music as they are about working in the music scene. The work we offer will be street promotion, covering all hours of the day, sometimes mornings, midday, late night and all-night weekends. The hours are flexible as to fit around your life. Your availability can change from week to week, and so can your schedule. Each work schedule is discussed on a personal, one-to-one basis. We’re cool like that. The work takes place mainly outdoors and so you need to be comfortable with that.

A good healthy knowledge of electronic music is essential, but more importantly you need to be organised, reliable and have a positive outlook on things. Being there when you say you will and being friendly when talking to strangers are the very basis of the job.  For this reason, your English should be fluent and your smile in its right place whenever needed. 
In return we offer a good range of street promotion work, the opportunity to learn and contribute first hand with ideas to the campaign you’ll be involved with, help and support at every stage and also a great rate of pay.

If all this sounds good to you, give us a shout asap. We’d love to hear from you, we’re always on the lookout for new staff, so apply anytime. If we feel the same about you, we’ll invite you over for a face to face chat, where we’ll give you coffee and biscuits and hear more about you and what you want to do. 

First step is to send an application to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and cc This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and tell us in a few words about YOU. 

Keep it short and sweet, you can keep the “CV” out of it as long as you clearly explain in your own words any experience you may have, why do you want to work with MEOKO and what are you looking for. Simples! Also would be cool if you can include a photo. REMEMBER to leave a phone number, so we can get right back at ya for a live meet.

If your application is successful, you will be invited to a live and uncut, face to face interview, held at our little office in Dalston Kingsland.

To apply now email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.t or if it’s easier give me (Serge) a call on 0779 203 7982

 

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Gottwood Festival announces competition to win a peak-time set at the festival!

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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.

here.

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Raver Snobbery: Where is the love?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.  

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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. 

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