MEOKO Exclusive: Video premiere - sinestezie (ro)

Remember Alexander Scriabin’s synaesthetic code? Probably not.. Neither did we until an email arrived to our office; supposedly from Bucharest, containing the live session you’re about to watch... What’s the link? In the email the production duo (Roman Botnari/ Cristian Munteanu) is talking about “their own palette of intertwined emotions”, a “hybrid installation” of organic and mechanical parts. However, the most important is their intention to create a polyvalent experience for the participant and a language for that matter, a code.     ''Scriabin heard music as colors, and invented an instrument that could be played like a piano to project colored light into the concert hall'' (Scriabin's synaesthetic code)   MEOKO sat down with the guys, to find out what does this really mean and how did they come up with the idea:   CHRS: It all started when a relative told me about the curious experiences he had as a pianist; every time he played a piece in G Major he would see the sun strong red through the music sheets, serve a coffee in d minor or walk on a greenish field in e minor ..I was fascinated. By studying the classical composers like Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and Alexander Scriabin, i realized it can be done in normal conditions too, by combining arts and ideas into a unified experience. You just need to keep an open mind and see the inner spaces paved with patterns that connect us. Regarding the aesthetics of the project, it’s definitively a personal view on the condition, somehow biased by the fact that none of the members are actually synaesthetes. R/B: Music doesn't always come from music.. whether it’s sinestezie or a personal project the inspiration comes from an emotion, a picture or some random happening that we’re translating through rhythm and notes.. I'd say we’re all potentially synesthetic, through the connections we make and the sensibilities we develop. Seems like a pretentious project, I reckon music is the driver yet there are various other aspects to be taken care of, an appropriate venue and whatnot. R/B: I’d say the most important thing is your interest and curiosity, but since I got this idea, I knew we can’t do it alone. So we decided to invite artists coming from different backgrounds to translate our sound into visual symbols, colour schemes and a bunch of other cool stuff, currently a work in progress. In this video, for example, we collaborate with RAMIO and Andrei Popa on the visual side and TRIP, the craftsmen studio that built the spaceship like desk. Finally what’s the purpose behind it, and what can be achieved through this hybrid installation? CHRS: We’ll be using our own code of associated sensations in live acts to trigger stimuli and create moments that can be retraced through more than one form of perception (a type of melody, color, form or even smell). In recent years it’s rare to spot such a live show with an open concept based on an ''alien'' principle. Although it might seem easy to intellectually grasp such things, it can be more difficult to perceive the deep, meditative music behind it. This is what could actually do the trick. That being said, I can’t wait to see this setup in a live situation.   More Sinestezie More MEOKO     

Sardine Vibes

There is a lot of excitement and planning that goes into an event, especially one that you are personally involved in or particularly interested in. It's become a major part of the industry, so much so that an increasing number of upcoming artists would rather get a solid gig than get signed by a label. And with this, there is a growing feeling of connectivity between the listeners and the artists, one that develops, for the most part, on a dance floor. Going out has become a way of life for most of us, a weekend doesn't go by without us visiting that all too familiar venue or chasing the next event that your favourite artist will be performing at. It's great, it's culture in the making and it is the foundations of techno music more-so than any other genre, drugs are likely a major factor of this but the reality is: most of what we know about our subculture, happens in front of the DJ box. Until it doesn't. Many a time we experience an adverse effect, specifically revolving around the sheer number of individuals who may be let into a venue. This is likely to happen when someone particularly popular is playing, making the promoters and organises blinded by big fat € signs in their eyes. No shame in saying it, because it's a problem and a serious one at that. I've found myself having no control over where I want to stand because there is just a wave of people pushing me around the venue, literally taking me along for the ride. Sardine vibes, that is what it is and I for one can't stand it. Why go through the effort of organisation, planning and execution of an event only to put the crowd last. Not only does it show where the focus is (on the money) but it's also very dangerous, to say the least! It's becoming an increasingly frequent experience and it is turning people away from the venues that tend to do it. So many issues come to light here, the paradox of being underground is one of them. When is a subculture no longer a sub-culture? What does it mean to be underground? I can think of some events and movements that certainly started as underground but have grown to become well and truly something entirely different – which is fine! But don't cram me into a venue that has already exceeded its capacity, it's just wrong. Words by Alexander Fetokaki   More MEOKO

HOT WAX - Tools & Tips [February 2017]

  1. EASTENDERZ | ENDZ012 - East End Dubs Tech-house's own cockney rebel, East End Dubs, has been busy of late. His first missive of 2017 comes on psychedelically inclined "splatter" pattern vinyl, but doesn't stray far from his usual musical blueprint Audio Link:   2. Adult Only | AO046 - Various Adult Only 46 is here and it’s another biggie. Chris Carrier’s trusty label always delivers the funk and this release is no exception. Featuring Rhythm&Soul plus Ukrainian newcomers Belogurov and Orbit and the bossman Carrier himself, it’s comprised four tracks, all with their own unique groove and atmosphere – perfect for anyone who loves deep rhythmic house music with hypnotic sensibilities. Audio Link:   3. Galaktic Shelf | GS001 - Nerram Nerram launches The Galactic Shelf with a debut 3-track EP including a remix by Voigtmann. Combining driving, futuristic sounds with deep grooves and breaks - this trio of cosmic cuts come dancefloor-ready and represent the artist’s diverse sound encapsulated.  Audio Link:   4. VBX | VBX002 - Ferro The development of the VBX platform has been in step with Ferro's coming of age as an artist. One almost cannot be mentioned without reference to the other. It is for this reason that it made perfect sense to invite Ferro for the second instalment of the VBX label. Immerse yourself into Ferro's musical universe full of heady modulating sounds capes and shimmering percussion.  Audio Link:   5. Raftaf Holland | RFTF 001 - St. Joseph Raftaf Holland has launched with their first release coming from no other than Cologne’s St. Joseph. Listen to the 3 track EP and you will instantly feel St. Joseph’s personality and production expertise in each track with a sense of intoxicating hypnosis perhaps the unifying factor.  Audio Link:   6. Partisan | PTN002 - Inner Anthea’s new imprint Partisan welcomes Inner on their second release, an artist who is unafraid to offer the full spectrum of his musical personality, with an undeniable compulsion to push forward. Three, floor-minded tracks bind together to form a mesmerizing groove unlike any other.  Audio Link:   7. Minibar | MB043 - K.O.D (King Of Delays) K.O.D (King Of Delays) is the new collaborative project of Parisian microhouse heroes Cabanne (Minibar label head) and Aeternum Records boss man Lowris. The two track EP offers an effective “trance induction” of the most pleasant kind. Audio Link:   8. Unanim | UNN003 - Ion Ludwig Unanim Records turns out to be the perfect match for Ion Ludwig's sound that refuses to confine itself under a specific genre. 2 tracks, each of them receiving a whole side of the record, as plenty of time and space to develop slowly. Designed for the very special dancefloor moments, Unanim's third release manages to capture Ion Ludwig's sound signature in its entire complexity. Audio Link:   9. Cabaret Recordings | CABARET012 - Spacetravel Cabaret Recordings signs Spacetravel for Axiom EP. The four-track effort will be Luca Cara's first release on DJ Masda and So Inagawa's label. Axiom EP sees Cabaret move further into the electro-tinged sound. Audio Link:   10. Howl | HOWL008 - Various Howl in full effect, timeless Various tracks from their artists, An homage to the raw original house music slamming, old school vibes           Audio Link:   Written by Denny Kem More MEOKO  

Into the Woods: From forests to festivals

  Into the Woods host guetslist-only parties, unique to London and with their own underground sound. Starting with illegal raves in the forests of Hackney Wick, the event planners have sky-rocketed to success. In March, they'll be holding a party in a sceret location featuring Romanian heavyweights Dan Andrei and Vlad Caia, they've also got a room booked at Printworks and their biggest party yet, a stage at Junction 2 festival. We caught up with one of the founders Chris Hodgson ahead of their monumental year...   How did Into the Woods get started? Where did it all begin? Well it’s a funny one really. I moved house, I was living in Shoreditch and I moved to Hackney Wick. I was walking down near Hackney Marshes when I thought it would be great to throw a party in the forest. It would be different to have one in an alternative space, we were bored of going to the same venues all the time. So we thought let’s try to get the sound rigged and all our mates that work in music production together and throw a party, and see how it goes. So we threw the first one and it was pretty awesome, probably one of our best parties to be honest. Then from there, we carried it on. We created a Facebook group called Let’s Go Into The Woods and then from that, we threw a few more and it just kept going pretty crazy. So many people started talking about it, but all the events were private. But people were talking about it all across London. People were aware of the parties and before we knew it some of them started getting really, really big. Then we had to move it indoors, but we kept the whole vibe of using alternative space and keeping it underground, and keeping it a secret. We didn’t publically post on Facebook about it, and had parties through the Winter as well. We started using old factories and warehouses, more illegal parties that were under the radar. Then we started getting more events with more people wanting to come, so we had to switch it more to the legal side of things. It changed things up a little bit more but yeah, it started in the forest and grew from there really.     Would you say that it’s your use of alternative spaces that sets you apart from other parties around London? Well I reckon it’s that but it’s also a few other things really. We do hold parties in normal spaces too, and they all sell out but I think it’s because of the people. We still maintain a guest list so obviously when we were doing illegal parties in forests we really needed to control the numbers so we’d only have a limited number of people that we wanted to attend and we’d make sure that was it.  We still maintain that today. Whether we’re doing an after party in a forest or something like Junction 2, we want to make sure it’s the right people who are coming so we make sure people message us and request to come to the party, we’ll look at their Facebook and make sure they’re the right type of people to come. We’ll then share either a ticket link or the map with them. That’s one of the main things, when you come to a party, you notice the people have all come for the right reasons. We make sure to control the doors. I would also say the spaces that we use and the music. Those three things are what have made us successful recently I think.   What would you say has been your best moment so far from the parties you’ve organised? It’s hard really, I mean you can’t beat the parties we’ve had in the forest. We’ve got some really cool stuff planned this year too, some massive things coming.  I still think, and a lot of people who have come to our parties would probably say that when we do parties in the forest and the sun is coming up or down, that those are the best moments.     You’ve got an event on the 4th March with Dan Andrei and Vlad Caia, can you tell us any more about that? So we’re not releasing the location until the day, it’s the fastest selling event we’ve ever done. It’s pretty crazy really. In 2016, all the events sold out and this one was on last release after a few weeks so we’re not releasing the location but we’ve got Dan Andrei and Vlad Caia, two Romanian fellas coming in, and we’ve got Dragos Ungureanu and Gabriel Amaru so those guys are bringing some of the Romanian scene this time which should be quite interesting, we’ve had a few Romanians play before but there’s more at this stage so we’re pretty excited about it.   It looks amazing, and then there’s the after party as well… Yeah the after party’s location isn’t being released either but at the main event, but it will be a wicked, industrial space. As you can imagine, we need to make sure we know who’s going there so, at the main event we’ll share the location of the after party. It’ll be all day from midday on Sunday, which will be really, really cool.     Talking of new spaces, you’re going to be hosting in Printworks, this new incredible venue in London, how are you feeling about that? How are you preparing? Oh yeah, that’s going to be amazing. We went to check the space out and it’s absolutely amazing, it perfectly fits our brand. All the parties we’ve been doing in alternative spaces, and that’s why they approached us, because they knew we do that sort of thing. We went down there and checked out the space, for the first series of events that we’re doing at Printworks we’ve got a 2,500 capacity but the second room is ours and it’s still massive compared to other places we do parties in. It’s a pretty interesting place and we’re working with the production team at the venue as well, making sure we can bring the Into the Woods vibe there, maybe some trees and stuff so still in planning stages but we’ll make that room pretty cool.   Yeah definitely, and finally your most recent announcement was Junction 2 festival, which is such an exciting opportunity and such a big leap from where you’ve come from. How are you feeling about it? Yeah, that was a pretty big one which we had to keep a secret for a long while and announce it cleverly. The guys that we were working with on marketing were really clever, we made sure that our people were represented successfully, because they know that we’ve got such a loyal following. They wanted to make sure that those guys had access to tickets and to come to the party same way they’d come to one of our events. So we’ve been working with marketing really closely, it was massive news for us because there’s only five stages, and the other four are Sonus, Drumcode, LWE and The Hydra, and then there’s us. We’re representing that more minimal, groovy underground sound as opposed to the more banging techno of the other stages and I think because we’re in the forest as well it’ll probably be the best stage if I’m honest. I think we’ll attract the more East London underground vibe. The artists we’ve got booked are some pretty cool guys.  So it should be very good.     Yeah, especially because you are showcasing that underground sound which sets you apart… Yeah so each stage has a theme going on and we wanted to best showcase emerging talent because they’ve viewed us as a budding underground party that’s come from nowhere and grown quickly so they wanted us to represent that stage and curate from our point of view, artists that are going to get big quite quickly so we’ve got Praslea, and Jane Fitz and some really cool artists going on stage, it should be wicked.   What can we look forward to in the future? I don’t know, we’re just going to continue as we are, we’ve got some really exciting events this year. You’ve obviously heard about some of it but there’s more stuff coming and some of the biggest parties we’ve ever planned but we need to make sure that we keep it the same, keep the same vibe and make sure that the guest list, people and music remain the same. Even though we’re growing really quickly we want to make sure that we’re maintaining the same underground family vibe. Can’t tell you to much, but some very exciting stuff is about to happen…     Words by Georgia Evans More MEOKO Photos courtesy of Into the Woods Facebook Page

Fuse Launch Infuse Daytime Series at 93 Feet East.

Fuse London have announced a massive series of events for London’s underground scene. Curated by Seb Zito, a series of Infuse Saturday daytime events at 93 Feet East, with the first taking place on 4 March, then 1 April and 6 May respectively. This handpicked selection will showcase the best of house and techno. Putting East London on the map, special guests at these events include Ferro, OdD, Fabe, Jack Wickham, Joseph Williams, Javier Carballo, Mariano Mateljan, and Stuart Hawkins- and of course, Zito himself. In addition to this, they will all be playing three to four hour sets, showcasing their skills as some of London’s greatest talents. Seb Zito has been quoted saying, “The Fuse team has a rich history with 93 Feet East and we think the venue can be an integral part of the future of electronic music in East London. We’ve gone into 93 to reconfigure the sound and the booth so we can create the perfect setting for a party.” allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_f608b48c_852729243', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_f608b48c_852729243' }); });   The 4th March will see the Infuse launch, where Zito will be performing for the first time since their epic New Year’s Rave. The head of a&r, co-founder, and resident will be joined by the prolific and marvellously talented Ferro, ahead of his return to VBX in Amsterdam.  On the 1st April expect to see Overall’s Javier Carbello, Jack Wickham, and Joseph Williams. Then to wrap it all up, the closing party sees German favourite Fabe, with Infuse mainstays Mariano Mateljan and Stuart Hawkins. This marks a huge achievement for the label, it’s the first time the Fuse crew have been back at 93 Feet East for almost five years. Here, they’ll continue to make their case for a positive clubbing environment and high-quality daytime parties, with music at the heart of it all. allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_22501a72_2015693687', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_22501a72_2015693687' }); });   As Zito says, “The Infuse label has been a platform for our friends and artists for nearly 5 years, so it makes sense to create a second platform for the guys to express themselves as DJs. Just as I’ve flourished within the Fuse camp through their support and guidance, this is a chance for me to do the same for them.” To sign up for tickets, have a look at their website and to stay up-to-date, follow their Facebook page.   Words by Georgia Evans More MEOKO

Exclusive insight to 'In Therapy Records'

With just over than a month gone by of 2017 we thought what would be better than a MEOKO exclusive. Music made from the heart, and not an ego in sight. We present to you, In Therapy Records. An innovative and forward thinking record label situated in Barcelona. At the heart of it all is Rainer, after several years of holding a Half Baked residency and a string of releases on Serialism Records, Desolat and most recently on the Half Baked label, the time has come for him to delve deeper and launch an imprint of his own. It feels like something from the future, with each low profile artist allowing us access to their mind via the art of sound, and not the image they portray of themselves. Last year the label was born as a huge release from timeless producer Hi-Ryze dropped, which was also the first full length Hi-Ryze recording since 1999. An achievement in itself. The four tracker Ep is crafted for the dancefloor, with the A side providing the after party treats, whilst the B side takes care of the peak time drivers. A win, win.    allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_65bac1b9_1938793557', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_65bac1b9_1938793557' }); });     Italian artist Flavio Folco will be providing release number two, 'The Heroic Enthusiasts EP' will see the 909 lovers tracks remixed by Metroplex man Plural. Keeping you in your toes will be two more releases before the summer arrives. The boss man himself, Rainer, is taking care of business with the third release. His debut release on his own imprint will be nothing but special, knowing full well he will bring all his cards to the table. Hi-Ryze also involved with this one with his own interpretation. Maintaining the professional outlook of super quality artists without an ego, the humble Manuk has arranged the fourth release. Ballet Mechanique stepping up for remix duty.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_9bce5c75_1013277349', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_9bce5c75_1013277349' }); });     We are ecstatic to witness just the beginning of their journey. In todays highly saturated market it is refreshing to see such a focused and commited group of individuals keeping the quality of the music at the heart of everything they do, continuing to experiment and push their sound beyond any boundaries. What do you get when you create a close knit family of friends and artists, that are dedicated to providing a platform for solid, high quality productions.   After working closely with many great labels, It must be a great feeling creating your own imprint. Was there anything in particular that triggered off the start of In Therapy? It’s been on my mind for a while. A lot of time for contemplation and reflection got me to the point where I decided to start something on my own. When you decided to launch In Therapy was there a group of artists you had in mind to be involved or did this happen naturally over time? The tracks really came in naturally through friends but I’ve always had a vision of the music and the kind of artists that I wanted on the label.   Having Hi-Ryze on board for the first release, joined by superb artists on future releases. How does it feel working closely with, and surrounded by such talented artists? and also releasing your own records along side them? For me it’s an honour that such an influential artist from the 90s is still active, supports our scene and works very naturally from his heart. I chose Hi Ryze as the debut EP for In Therapy because his music really reflects the kind of sound that I want to define the label. The same goes for FlavioFolco, Plural and Manuk, when I listen to their jams that’s what I feel In Therapy is about – music with an edge and a lot of personality.   You have created a label and culture without an ego insight, why is this so important to you? There’s too much egotistic bullshit going on at the moment. What really works is the more humble you are, the more you respect things and the better it goes. That’s why I’m talking about less egotistic attitude, it’s a more personal approach to music. It’s therapeutic.   We feel as if this definitely reflects in the music you guys are representing. Is there any advice you would give someone with as much passion and drive as yourself, before starting their own label? Hard work. Not recommended.   It is clear you have a great outlook and plan regarding releases etc. Is there any behind the scenes info you would like to share with us? Look out for Hi Ryze who’ll be returning to In Therapy to rework one of my tracks into an 11 minute journey and before Sonar a release from the underdog Manuk, a humble artist from Argentina who’s going to step it up for one of his first releases.    More In Therapy Records More MEOKO

Just Jack's 11th birthday- A night of mischief and idiosyncrasy

  Just Jack celebrated their 11th birthday in typically garish style this weekend. With bright lights, painted lanterns and an overwhelming sense of achievement. This vibrant get-together was a celebration of idiosyncrasy. Fuelled by funk-house anthems, the audience of eccentric guests grooved until the early hours of the morning.     Motion’s main room was bathed in multi-coloured lights while a large figure took up the stage, with two hands at either end, a giant head in the centre, and large spiralling eyes gazing into the distance. Meanwhile, the other room was filled with large multi-coloured lampshades that had been hand painted and draped with ivy. A large disco ball hung from the middle of the room, a nod towards the old-school rhythms that were being played.   It was a night of fun, mischief and general debauchery. Robert Hood took to the decks and plunged everyone into a world of pure drunk-funk heaven in the main room. The room became electrified as he played the classic ‘Tell You No Lie’, setting them ablaze with a flurry of lights.     In the Tunnel, Soichi Terada made the intimate setting his playground. The soulful grooves showcased his infamous humour and fun character as he reached over the decks to hi-five the eager partiers below him.   Underground master DJ Bone brought his masterful techniques with him, showcasing his skills in scratching, blending and back spinning he sent the audience into a whirlwind of innovative fusions of hip-hop, Detroit techno and old-school house.     Midland’s set in the second room was equally as illuminating. Then there was the ever-eclectic Optimo. It’s also worth recognizing Jayda G, she switched it up and brought some great tunes with her. Just Jack organisers and staples Tom Rio and Dan Wild were also guaranteed and made sure they delivered.   All in all, it was a night celebrating debauchery with Just Jack’s signature tongue-in-cheek-attitude. Perhaps not as extravagant as their usual get-togethers, but it felt like a family affair. A celebration of living and being free with a soulful soundtrack to help blast them into the next 11 years.    Words by Georgia Evans More MEOKO

Printworks launch extravaganza: Inside London’s most industrial new venue.

   Picture this: An industrial outlet park in Canada Water. It’s about midday on a Saturday. Nestled in between the carparks, the cinemas and food outlets is a hanger-sized warehouse. London’s business district can be seen in the background. A steady flow of people is trickling out of the underground following the signs to London’s biggest and best new venue, Printworks. Over the next ten hours, these eagerly anticipating partygoers will experience a launch party in a space like no other.   It was a marathon event of pure, unadulterated house and techno. Seven hours of Seth Troxler, The Martinez Brothers and Loco Dice playing back to back, with William Djoko in the main room. In Room 2, Krankbrother, Geddes and G.Walker brought their own underground vibe. The space itself is 16 acres of unapologetically industrial warehouse.     After passing through the vigorous security checks, the main entry is the size of an air-hanger with a large smoking area outside and food trucks serving festival-style gastro-cuisine and a bar. Inside, there’s a stall for drinks tokens and a through the back there’s a bar, a carefully guarded space for lockers and toilets.   After climbing the steel staircase, there’s the Press Halls which is the main room and the much smaller Charge Bay. Entering the main room, it’s grandeur is instantly striking. By standing at the back of the narrow and mind-blowingly long room with an incredibly high roof, the booth itself is raised and perfectly framed by the industrial metalwork which surrounds it.     A mesmerising laser show projects from one end of the room to the other, and the audience is showered in a kaleidoscope of cascading lights. This immersive and visceral experience perfectly complements the music that’s playing. Flashing up and down in strips of colour and crossing over the audience. It’s a hypnotic display where you can lose yourself to the experience and shut out the world around you. Everyone’s in that moment. Caught in a snapshot of time. It’s not a normal Saturday afternoon.     Toward the front, the audience is crammed within the barriers and you can feel the sound system pulsate through your body. By moving further back, there’s room to spin around and dance while the Charge Room lives up to its name, providing a change of scenery in the with its Void sound system and wooden floors. It’ a good alternative to the bustling crowds with a much more intimate vibe with the right performers.     This industrial location feels like a space-age illegal rave, minus the hedonism and the messheads. With its stripped back, unapologetic metalwork, dynamic soundscapes and captivating visual performances, it engulfs the audience and throws them into a different dimension. Hands- down, one of the most exciting new ventures into London’s ever-diversifying night life.     Words by Georgia Evans Photos courtesy of Danny North (The Rest is Noise) More Printworks More MEOKO

Just Jack's 11 Greatest Party Moments

Just Jack- House Music is turning 11 and to mark the occasion, Meoko has compiled a list of 11 brilliant events from the self-proclaimed vibe merchants, disco peddlers and renegade masters. Over the years, Tom Rio, Dan Wild, Rag Amuffin, Jethro Binns and Rob Shaw have been bringing the boogie. This weekend they’ll be marking their decade-long reign as kings of Bristol’s party house scene with Robert Hood aka Floorplan, Midland, DJ Bone, Optimo, Soichi Terada and many more. But before that, let’s have a look at some of the amazing things they’ve brought us over the last 11years…   Jeremy Underground’s set at Just Jack’s Secret Toilet Party- January 2017   The Just Jack crew really started 2017 in one of the most bizarre and fun ways possible. Setting up a secret tent behind the portals at Bristol’s Motion, then getting Jeremy Underground to perform made for an unforgettable night. Partygoers enjoyed funky house jams while dancing under inflatable ducks, toilet brushes and cuddly poo toys, charming. DJ Koze takes over the Arnolifini as part of the Altered States- April 2015   The Red Bull Music Academy tour collaborated with the kaleidoscopic party-curators to bring together music and art in Bristol’s Arnolifini Museum. Crowds were thrown into psychedelic fantasies of colour and sound. Koze projected enigmatic images onto the walls to bring together an all-encompassing sensory experience. 9th Birthday at fabric- February 2015   Just Jack are a Bristol landmark, but they broadened their horizons for a legendary night at a legendary club. After celebrating their ninth birthday with a massive blowout at Motion, they moved further afield to Farringdon. Here, they brought their own flavour with Terry Francis, John Barera & Will Martin and Tom Rio & Dan Wild all taking to the stage. Bysmashing it in the capital, they proved themselves to be champions of the British house scene.     Just Jack’s Circus Freak Boutique- October 2008 to present.   Just Jack’s Halloween parties are legendary in Bristol. The Circus Freak Boutique is now a tradition. Having been going strong for the last decade, we thought it would be suitable to reflect on the early days, having only been going for a couple of years, the crew were quickly taking off, moving into the bastille that is Motion’s Skatepark. They claimed it would be the most sordid party they’d ever thrown, and they continue to out-do themselves every year since. By 2015, it was headlined by Ricardo Villalobos, Kyle Hall and Sonja Moonear. In 2016, they had Âme. It just keeps getting bigger and bigger…     Just Jack Presents…Booka Shade- November 2010   What a way to take over In:Motion. Booka Shade, Matt Tolfrey & Geddes, jozif, Buckley, Waifs & Strays , Tom Rio and Dan Wild all blew the crowds minds with this all-star extravaganza. They claim to eat your face off, and they came close.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_77ff8edb_1877012952', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_77ff8edb_1877012952' }); });     Illusion Recordings & Just Jack present MR. G- December 2012   Before collaborating with the godfather of the underground scene in 2015, Just Jack hosted a spectacular event at The Garage in Leeds, teaming up with illusion records to provide something truly magical. An intimate setting with unbelievable soundscapes and a living legend, Mr G. What could be better?     Just Jack at Hideout festival Croatia- July 2012   The ‘Noah’s Ark’ themed festival party was one of the first festival appearances for the house mavericks. Bringing their own unique style and sense of humour to the beautiful Pag in Croatia. Hideout was still in its early years but this collaboration blew partygoers out the water (excuse the pun).     KiNK and Neville Watson with My Love is Underground- December 2013   The return of the Jack. This time in the Empire Theatre. Returning to their hometown after travelling across the UK, these guys made sure to have one hell of a homecoming. Taking over two rooms, they provided an intimate den for high quality acid house and techno, courtesy of Colonel Wrongface himself. The main room saw KiNK and Neville Watson collaborating on a mind-bending blend of anthems while Jeremy Underground and brilliant Brawther threaten to tear the back doors off the place. Unforgettable.     Just Jack Agency Launch- June 2013   This marked a pinnacle moment for the party-planners as they branched out from events to their own label, which has since released some incredible tracks. Stamp the Wax and Just Ticket joined together with the Bristol-born mavericks for a Berlin-style open-air day party at the Riverside Youth Project in Bristol. A monumental occasion that featured Mano Le Tough, James Welsh and Typesun who provided some of the best in house and boogie.     Just Jack’s 10th Birthday- February 2016   Having established themselves as an institution, they celebrated their tenth birthday in style. Three hours of Seth Troxler and Eats Everything playing back-to-back. Optimo, Hunee, Honey Dijon, and Steffi all marked the occasion. Europe’s biggest DJs all gathered to Motion to mark the last 10 years and to welcome in the next.     Robert Hood aka Floorplan and Midland for Just Jack’s 11th birthday- February 2017   Ok, even though this hasn’t happened yet, it is guaranteed to be an epic occasion. Following last years extraordinary spectacle, Just Jack are pulling out all the stops to bring one of their biggest and best nights yet. An evening of funk-house and foxy jams will be provided by the stellar line-up; Robert Hood, Midland, Optimo, DJ Bone, Soichi Terada, Jayda G, Tom Rio and Dan Wild. The true originators and the champions of the underground will be taking over Motion of this night of unstoppable fun, funk and festivities.     So there it is, some hand-picked moments from Bristol’s house pioneers. To stay up to date on all the action, have a look at their Facebook page. To listen to some of their fresh tunes, head to their Soundcloud. And to make sure you don’t have FOMO this Saturday, get yourself a ticket to the big 11th birthday bash, here.     Words by Georgia Evans More MEOKO

MEOKO Exclusive: Dakini Festival - A Journey into the Unknown

Hidden away on Tuzla Beach, Romania, a progressive movement is taking shape. Fuelled by the ethos of creating sustainable ad-hoc society built around music, art and culture is Dankini Festival. From the 29th june-2nd July the Black Sea coastline will be inhabited by attendees of one of Europe’s most progressive festivals and for a few days, some of the most creative minds from all around the world will call this palce “home". Featuring four nights of music, speakers and workshops with art installations and one of Eastern Europe’s biggest yoga villages. Over 100 artists will gather together on three stages for an eclectic mix of psy-trance, chill and micro house. With the tag line, ‘We are sky dancers’ the festival promotes creativity, freedom and the opportunity to immerse yourself in an experience like no other. It’s first wave of headliners have been announced, and it looks good. The Psy-trance stage features the likes of Astrix, Avalon, Loud (live), E-Mantra, DJ Tsubi, Dr Space, kroko, Gahabbi, Dj Driss and more. Then there’s the Chill stage with Desert Dwellers, GAUDI, Carbon Based Lifeforms, Vibrasphere, Kaya Project, Suduaya, Irina Mikhailova, Solar Fields, Globular, DJ Bayawaka, Ancient Core, Kukan dUb Lagan, DJ Johnny Blue & Zen Baboon all billed to perform. Finally, the Micro stage bringing you Herodot, Priku, Piticu, Gescu, Arapu, Alexandra, Suciu, Cap, Crihan, Vlf, Nu Zau, Sepp, Charlie, LIZZ, VincentIulian, Christopher Ledger, K.D.Chriss & Mihigh.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_e5452b80_1405899879', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_e5452b80_1405899879' }); });     With more than just music, this experience is holistic-getaway for the world’s creatives and freest individuals.  For a soul-changing experience that includes music, martial arts, dance, astrology, art and sustainability. A limited number of arly birds are available here. Dakini Festival 2017 Facebook Event   Words by Georgia Evans More Dakini More MEOKO

Junction 2 Full Line-Up Announcement

Junction 2 is one of London’s best underground festivals. Five stages hosted by LWE, Drumcode, The Hydra, Sonus and Into the Woods. This all-day dance spectacular will be held at Boston Manor Park, which will become an industrial utopia for all partygoers. This massive spectacle follows last year's show which saw the likes of Adam Beyer, Carl Craig, Âme, Nina Kraviz, Mr. G and Marcel Dettmann all come together in London's urban utopia. To commemorate his return to the festival, Beyer will be performing all night long at Printworks on 25th February. In addition to this, this year, The Hydra and Drumcode will be joined by Sonus and Into the Woods bringing some new flavour to the event. Expect to see the natural beauty of the surrounding area contrasting to the industrial features and invigorating soundscapes brought by each artist.      The full line-up has just been announced, and it boasts a plethora of sonic textures. The biggest names being techno-master Ben Klock, Berlin’s DJ Koze, the unstoppable Tale of Us and so many more. This incredible line-up features the biggest and best artists from across the globe. Underground-royalty Adam Beyer will be there ahead of his appearance at Sonus. He’ll be joined by the much-acclaimed British producer Alan Fitzpatrick, and cutting-edge post-punk producer Andrew Weatherall. The godfather of Berlins modern techno movement, Ben Klock, is also set to perform, alongside the euphoric Charlotte De Witte and CLR boss Chris Liebing. Daniel Avery, Daphni aka Caribou, Dolan Bergin and DJ Tennis all add to the massive line-up. DJ Koze will be making an appearance, bringing his signature style of hip-hop and disco house blends. Eagles and Butterflies, G.Walker and Ida Engberg will be there too. Not to forget Jane Fitz, Janeret and one of techno’s’ most in-demand DJ and producers, Joseph Capriati. Kolo & Dyze feature on the list, with Maceo Plex and Romanian favourite Praslea. There’s also live performances by Planetary Assault Systems and Recondite. British underground sensation Reset Robot and looptechno legend Rødhåd will also be there. Rounding off the mind-blowing line-up is Tarek Charbonnier, Willow and the extraordinary Sam Paganini and the legendary duo Tale of Us. This is an event of epic proportions, and not to be missed. To make sure you are a part of the action, stay updated on the Facebook page. Tickets are still available online here. Words by Georgia Evans   More Junction2 More MEOKO

Review: Naural 006 Cosmjn - Organik EP

Romanian label Naural is the definition of quality over quantity. With just one (meaningful) release per year, they are in a restless search for sounds that affect us differently than all that we have heard so far. After SIT, Barac, Vincentiulian, Crihan & Zefzeed, release number six is introducing talented ​Cosmjn and is scheduled to be in stores starting from 1st of February. As they got us accustomed with, their artwork always speaks for the EP and reveals Naural label multidisciplinary interest in art by all its means.     allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_d623d3ab_222920378', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_d623d3ab_222920378' }); });     The ​Organik voyage starts with ​AsteriX​, where Cosmjn arrives with his addictive driving music. Expect this one to bring smiles on the dance floor, being decorated with a crisp sprawling sound in the spotlight, an emphasis on the high-end that seems very inspired. The track comes with a dramatic and intriguing overall sound, requesting the listener to get out of the comfort zone and stay fearless in this self-discovery mission. The 12-inches goes further with ​Twisted, a track that has the ability to get you in that state of mind with ease. With an atmospheric, feverish and cinematic ambiance, the nostalgic spoken-word sample offers a certain kind of layered anxiety. The bass notes are subliminal, the beat is fluid; there's a haunting repetitive creche and a mournful flute, both adding further depth. The percussion offers the perfect amount of rough and smooth to this sci-fi-style piece. You can’t miss the goosebumps Twisted induces; Cosmjn crafted a serious heads-down cut using a minimalist approach. On the flipside it’s the track that wears the EP’s name - Organik, nothing less than a 15 minutes trip. The plucky bassline, glitchy chords and wordless androgyny reverberations organically develop into something immersive. In the third quarter, the gong synths and feminine presence change the trajectory of this journey, joined by the piano interludes and cosmic arpeggios. We’re always left wanting more from Naural.   Listen to Naural 006 on   Words by Bianca More Naural More Cosmjn More MEOKO      

Preview: Unleash with tINI b2b Bill Patrick (Rolls ‘n’ Do) & more in London

The streets of East London will not know what’s hit them. On the 11th March, underground champions Unleash will be hosting a night of unforgettable techno heaven at Studio Spaces, with tINI b2b Bill Patrick aka Rolls’n’Do with more amazing acts yet to be announced. Hailed as one of Germany’s best female DJs, tINI has been working her way through the underground scene for over 10 years. Starting in clubs and events in Munich in 2003, she put her fascination with new romantics, new wave and grunge into her person style with `n underground hip-hop vibe. She’s credited Moodymann’s ‘Amerika’ as one of her greatest influencer. A regular for FUSE events, having played at festivals like Sunwaves, Into the Valley, Gottwood, Sonus, billed for Milan’s Dude Club and with countless events lined-up, she’s definitely a force to be reckoned with.  She is also a regular Ibiza face as part of her tINI and the Gang project. Promising incredible music in sun-soaked Ibiza parties, tINI is definitely a force to be reckoned with. Then there’s Bill Patrick. The internationally renowned artist boasts countless awards, and a legendary status. In 2008, he relocated to Berlin, triggering a new style and spreading his unique take on psychedelic, contemporary dance music. Having played at festivals like Outline,Sunwaves and clubs such as Fabric and Rex in Paris, he is a truly unstoppable performer and sure to bring his witty charm and mind-blowing tunes.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_1320c346_1568734407', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_1320c346_1568734407' }); });   They'll be joined by  DeWalta & Mike Shannon. DeWalta's known for his classical training and modern spin on techno while Mike Shannon's fast mixiing skills have brought him respect from both his peers and a global following.  Asthe organisers say, "Jazz, techno, ambient: expect the unexpected, and be assured that you’ll want more. Subb-an, the co-founder One Records with Adam Shelton will be bringing his on flavour. Aregular at the likes of Fabric, DC10, Panorama Bar, Stereo, Warung, D edge, Amnesia, he's known for his high-energy and sophisticated performances, and is definitely one to watch.   Chicago-born, Detroit legend Delano Smith is going to be there too, along with Spanish underground master Julian Perez and Sunrise's Arapu will be bringing his own Romanian sound. Not forgetting, the brilliant residents Daylomar and Koko Bayern will be there too.  In the other room, there's 20 Years of Bass culture, featuring D'Julz, Delano Smith, Daniel Bell and Sami Daik.  tINI b2b Bill Patrick aka Rolls’n’Do Facebook Event RA Ticket Link   Words by Georgia Evans   More Unleash London More Rolls'n'Do More MEOKO  

Preview: 200 Deep with Sedee and Fabe at Schumacher Club

On Saturday 4th February, 200 Deep will be taking over the Schumacher Club. This unforgettable night will see Sedee, Fabe, Tigergun and DLT come together to play some heated, intimate, deepened techno and house. The venue defines itself as, “A resurrected compass for open minded souls” located in Bochum, Germany; it promotes the idea of creativity without limits and is a landscape for imaginative musical freedom. Over the last year, it’s hosted the likes of Barac, Guy From Downstairs, Primãrie, Nekes, Samu.l and LIZZ. Headlining the evening is Sunwaves favourite, the Mannheim’s duo Sedee. This passionate techno due will bring their own signature flavour and feel-good vibes. There’s also Fuse’s Fabe. He’ll be bringing some underground London spirit, and showcasing some multi-dimensional, ambient and experimental beats. The two acts are famed for their ever-evolving styles and ambition. Expect some classic house, techno and heart-pounding grooves.    allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_526b6f0f_1110059562', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_526b6f0f_1110059562' }); });     In addition to this, 200 Deep and Schumacher residents Tigergun and DLT are billed to perform. Self-described rhythm and groove lover Tigergun has old-school influences and prides himself on building hypnotic atmospheres and precise mixing while bringing a spontaneous soulful vibe. DLT will also bringing their own sound, promoting their deep bond with good music. allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_070afbbb_1293255676', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_070afbbb_1293255676' }); });   This is a 21+ event with tickets at 10€, from 4th February at 12am- 5th Feb 12pm UTC+01. Make sure you grab a ticket when you can, and enjoy an event which celebrates freedom, creativity and ingenuity.      Words by Georgia Evans More 200 Deep More Schumacher Club More MEOKO  

Review: Fuse New Years Day Part 1

  As things have begun to go back to normal, and the festivities all seem like a distance memory, we would like to press the refresh button and take a look back at our first dance of 2017with FUSE family. A day packed with the highest quality sounds, immersed amongst a raring to go crowd from start to finish. We stepped in to Fuse London's home Village Underground, as they kicked off what is set to be another fantastic year for the close knit crew. Start as you mean to go on is certainly a phrase that springs to mind. There was a buzzing of conversation while queuing up as people discussed the antics of their new years eve celebrations, some people were continuing straight through to Fuse, but there was some fresh faced people in the mixer that you knew were saving themselves for the big one. Hangovers evaporated in to the air as the industrial venue began to fill, the OdD boys were taking care of opening duties rolling out there huge chunky sounds from the off. When OdD and Fuse link up something feels so special, representing the London sound in full force. Typically at the beginning of the party the Dj's playing can take things a bit easier, as people enter in dribs and drabs. On this early afternoon occassion there was a different feel, the place filled up quickly as if people couldn't wait to party, whistling and cheering on every break. This allowed OdD to crack on early doors rumbling out their signature wobbling bass lines. On the rise Mannheim artist Fabe took over the controls with his warm and charming productions that the underground world is becoming more and more familiar with. Last year playing at the Fuse Records showcase at Studio 338, and part of the Fuse8 tour on Berlin's Hoppetosse it seemed perfect that the talented producer made his Village Underground debut on this special day. There were many people in the room looking forward to his two hour set, and he didnt disappoint in the slightest. Swinging grooves and punchy percussions combined with the huge system the Fuse team put together just felt so right. It wouldn't be a new years party without some special guests, and this is something we've been waiting for, for a long time. One word, Djebali. The french artist works tirelessly in the studio, and on his imprints. Straight up 4x4 house records, turning the party up a notch. Last year Enzo made the trip to Paris to play for Djebali so it was nice to capture the French sound in the depths of our capital city. Teeing it up perfectly for Siragusa's peak time set, Djebali closed his set with Dan Ghenacia & Chris Carrier's - Vaporized, an absolute bomb, lifting the crowd ready for the boss. From the day it started Fuse has literally gone from strength to strength, exploring new corners of the world, but for us you can't beat the Fuse experience on home soil, and that is especially when Enzo Siragusa steps up. There is a just a look in his eye, and in his mannerism's you just know he is ready to go under his own roof, with a party and group of people close to his heart. A personal highlight for us was when he played the lastest release on the mysterious Digwah imprint 'Something Else', a huge recent favourite amongst the underground and it felt as if everyone in the room knew exactly what was happening, and was equally as happy to actually be hearing it run out on new years day evening. Is one of the times you will remember. allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_67d54dd6_1208437520', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_67d54dd6_1208437520' }); });   Closing things down on what was an amazing day was the second special guest, Perlon lady Maayan Nidam. Her intelligent, and thought out minimal sound slowed the day down as it drew to a close. A smooth finish, with slick abstract movements taking you on a final journey. Fuse will never disappoint, but due to the new years celebrations there was something extra special about this one, with residents and special guests all delivering an unforgettable party to launch us in to the new year. As we continue to get flashbacks of a great day, we strongly believe Fuse is the best hangover cure we have ever had.   FUSE NYD RAVE PART 1 - Village Underground More Pictures Words by Zac More FUSE More MEOKO

How In:Motion's NYD Celebrations Marked a Milestone

Bristol has always been a hub for creativity and pioneering music. Home of Eats Everything, Joy Orbison, Roni Size, Icarus and so many more. However, this years In:Motion’s New Year’s Day celebration has secured the city’s spot as one of the best places for dance music, and this is why. Motion defines itself as a matrix of warehouse spaces. For this incredible one night, they opened up the entire space to make way for the flurry of lucky attendees. While In:Motion, Shapes Warehouse, Hypercolour vs Banoffee Pies and Shangri-La took over the main complex, there was Just Jack’s Secret Toilet Party hidden behind a portaloo and the Elevator Sound Stage Presents Lies in a carnival outside. The night went from 4pm until 7am the next day, without any signs of lagging. To kick things off, there was the choice between Pardon My French, Gary Crosson and Mr Spoon. Billy Nasty and Regolith stepped forward shortly after. At 6, the In:Motion stage brought out the big guys. Jackmaster (who infamously donated 10 percent of his New Year fees to Aleppo) went back-to-back with Gerd Janson. Sam Mole & Christian Jay also took to the Hypercolour vs Banoffee Pies stage, while Marco Bernardi was on Elevator Sound. Meanwhile, Shapes's resident DJs were also taking centre-stage.  Then there was Tale of Us. The Berlin-based hypnotic heavyweights made sure they delivered. They blasted their signature, deep, heart-pounding music while lasers cast over the audience creating an unbelievably, unforgettable, visceral performance.  Another personal favourite was Helena Hauff, who’s set on the Shapes stage was pure magical, electrified perfection. Bathing the crowd in red lights, she showcased her sonic aesthetic and took them on a collision course of acidic, atmospheric sound. The brilliant Axel Boman, Bristol- favourite Hodge, and Italojohnson were all billed to perform too, adding to the monumental lineup. There was also an impressive performance by Shangri-la's residents and Simoncino. When Nastia was sadly unable to attend, Hodge went b2b with Gramrcy and spontaneously blew the crowd’s mind. Jethro then smashed it for those who ventured out to Just Jack's Secret Toilet Party, bringing some cool house/funk vibes as the crowd boogied under toilet brushes, inflatable ducks and poo-emoji cushions. Meanwhile, DJ October went back-to-back with Gramrcy. At Hypecolour vs Banoffee Pies, A Sagittariun went on and blasted his own unique, spiritual beats.  Up next, Florian Kupfer for Elevator Sound, Tom Rio & Dan Wild at Just Jack, Teak, and Banoffee Pies residents.  Steffi took over Shapes, and mystified the audience in a daze of dynamic, hardware-enriched sound. The legendary Dutch producer delivered a performance of distinctive, enticing underground music. At the same time, Ron Morelli and Strange Frequency worked their magic.  Rounding things off, Ben Klock absolutely obliterated his performance. He’s been dubbed the best techno producer of the decade and he most definitely did not disappoint. His broad music selection, incredible light displays and undeniable energy created an intense and powerful performance. It was absolutely unforgettable for all who witnessed it.  Then for those brave enough to carry on, there was the brilliant Jeremy Underground. The burgeoning legend played a selesction of warm, authentic house music to the cold, dedicated ravers in Just Jack's outside tent.  KiNK carried on for In:Motion with amazing enthusiasm, an ambitious light show, and a mind-boggling set. While Marco Bernardi went back-to-back with Hodge. Shall Not Fade took over Shangri-La to round things off as Dave Clarke mesmirised at Shapes, drawing this epic adventure to a close.  The night itself was a monumental success and a fantastic way to wrap up the In:Motion series. With this mind-blowing lineup, fantastic stages and hard work put in by all the staff, it has easily secured itself as a landmark for dance music. 2016 saw some of the world's biggest and best DJs and producers descend on the city. Over the years, the series just keeps getting better and better. Hopefully big things will be in store for 2017.    Words by Georgia Evans   Photos by Entirety Labs More MEOKO  

Romania: The Fertile Ground for Underground Scene

There’s a certain aura that surrounds the electronic music scene of Romania, which has met an unseen development compared to other countries. From humble artists that like their profile as low-key as possible, to parties and after-parties that go on around the clock for days, crowds with an insatiable thirst for high quality events — the Romanians started from scratch the design of their underground scene, more than 20 years ago, with an outcome that acknowledged the interest of the whole world. The political background and the social context had a lot to do with the start of this current. During communism, finding artwork from any genre of music was a real quest, the access to information being severely controlled and limited back then. Since the forbidden is always desired, the challenge only spiced things up for the ones passionate about music. In the long-term, it made them explore the unknown without being restrained by trends, patterns or following some induced rules. They had freedom and infinite possibilities, something that determined them to develop their own vision without much influence from the outside world, and eventually to come up with something unique. After communism’s alienation, things slowly started to unfurl. Around ’95, like-minded people started small gatherings, the first ones having crowds of less than 50 people, while young talents like Rhadoo were practicing at the decks. At the turn of the century, the legendary La Mania parties were happening on the Black Sea coast, marking a milestone for what was coming up next. Clubs started to open, such as Zebra or Kristal Club which allowed people with similar interests to meet and organically develop their relationships with the music. Raresh and PetreInspirescu joined this path, and it was not long until their friendship and love affair with music brought them together. Sunrise Booking Agency started as a necessity soon afterwards in 2005. This brought the trio together, and acknowledged Romania as a breeding ground for talented DJs and producers. One year later [a:rpia:r] started their own imprint and got gigs outside Romania, despite the fact that the music they were playing was so different to the style the foreigners had in their vinyl bags. The year of 2007 represents another milestone. The first Sunwaves Festival took place, and it’s needless to mention its weight in supporting the scene. Also Club Midi opened, the first location in Transylvania exclusively for electronic music, instantly receiving international recognition for the price they put on quality and their spaceship-like venue. Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca emerged as the most homogenous cities around the country that deep-rooted this movement, most of the young talents moving in as these hotspots grew further. In the last 5 years, the evolution reached a higher-pace, with more and more talented people joining the crew. There is a serious love for vinyl, labels and strong brands that have made a name for themselves, be they clubs (Guesthouse) or festivals (Mioritmic, Casino Sinaia, SNRS48, Waha). The scene in Romania is definitely passion-orientated, paying special attention to local talents and audiences rather than courting international renown. Club owners are focusing a bit more on the whole experience and the special moments they get to live when creating a line-up, instead of the business side. Even when it comes to big events, the promoting is not flaunted, leaving the followers to gravitate themselves towards the happening. Cluj-Napoca is probably one of the most welcoming destination in Romania, mainly due to the positive energy of the people and the committed organisers. The main promoters make sure to deliver high-quality events and settings, following quality over quantity principle; usually there’s one main party every weekend, but it’s so good that it’s enough. The main promoter - Club Midi –is active during autumn, winter and spring, with Mioritmic festival being their highlight in October; while Alandala organises parties mostly during summertime, making the most of some spectacular venues around the city.      On the other side, Bucharest is restless: you can go out every day of the week and attend proper parties; it’s no wonder why with so many DJ’s living there. During the week Misbits, MadPiano or Control Club are places you shouldn’t miss, but keep in mind to save some energy for the weekend. No matter if you choose to go out at Guesthouse, Eden or Kristal Club, these places run usually for more than just a night. It’s not a surprise to find Guesthouse open on a Monday. People found their place, and they let themselves be carried by it, wherever it takes them. There’s nothing forced about it, everything flows very naturally, just like the common thing that brings these people together: the music. In the last few years, the so-called “Romanian sound” phrase was overused when referring to any outcome of the Romanian producers, but its relevance seems to be more like a plate of nationality, since the sound can hardly be defined like this. If you check the quality, variety of the two styles and approaches and the amount of electronic music exported by Romanian producers, you’ll discover differences and diversity. They’re being very exploitative rather than limiting their musical diet to a single genre. They’re split into countless sub-genres, and you’ll notice that they're very dissimilar one from another. The most renowned producers coming from Romania developed individualistic experimentation, each and every notable one wearing a personal signature you can’t match. Just to mention a few, take a look at PetreInspirescu, G76, SIT(Vlad Caia b2b Cristi Cons), Barac, Zefzeed, Cezar, Livio&Roby or Suciu - they are anything but similar. From the second you start playing a track, you’re soaked in a story with a driving bassline, clean cuts and strong attitude - each of them wearing their personal trademark. At first it seems harmless; only later do you realize what you've gotten into. They’ll get you travelling just to see them playing.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_e5452b80_2105749296', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_e5452b80_2105749296' }); });   With this organic evolution of the movement in the last 20 years, it’s not surprising that it became appealing to many youngsters to get involved and create something on their own. The number of those who test their skills is growing constantly; but only when an artistic vision, commitment and technical abilities are all present something distinctive will turn out. Authentically learning the mathematical patterns of music and creating tracks from scratch has never failed from being the best recipe of a masterpiece. No matter how many shortcuts there are nowadays, the ones who avoid them make their way to the top. It’s a pleasure to see Romania has a handful of producers that still think this way. This goes hand in hand with their low-key profile policy, by keeping a sort of mystery regarding themselves and their work, from tons of unreleased artworks to limited vinyl runs and the very rare interviews. Romania has one of the most dazzling night lives, with lush soundscapes and visuals that anchor your mind with ease. From festivals to clubs, the video-mapping is one of the highlights of a night: accentuated and ambiguous — they make out of a record more than the sum of its parts, sounding richer and more nuanced the more you lose yourself in the panorama in front of your eyes. The parties go for days; the idea of playing long sets fuses with the DJs desire to express their vision: there’s no rush. Starting from its inherited natural locations, you’ll have one of your best party experiences in Romania due to the fusion between organizers, line-up, visuals and friendly people. With a growing interest from people based outside Romania, it’s a pleasure to see how the scene managed to maintain an intimate and welcoming vibe rarely found nowadays, and an up-for-it crowd, in a restless search of the track-IDs. The scene was enforced with music of various levels of understanding, not something that the Romanians invented, but something where they had a meaningful contribution. It's now about a lot more than making people dance.   Words by Bianca More Sunwaves More Club Midi More Alandala Events More Club Eden More MEOKO

Alex Arnout: Exclusive Chat and Giveaway

Alex Arnout is a champion of the British underground music scene. With over 20 years  experience and a true love for his craft, he has worked tirelessly to create incredible music and discover the greatest new artists.Over the years, Alex has proven his devotion to underground music, launching the careers of Maya Jane Coles, Peace Division, Dusky and many more. His maverick approach to the industry and commitment to integrity is what’s made his record label, Dogmatik so successful. MEOKO sat down with the man himself ahead of the release of 10 Years of Dogmatik- a compilation album featuring two discs of the best original recordings and two discs of remixes. In addition to this, Alex has kindly gifted one lucky MEOKO reader with an exclusive goodie bag and selection of vinyl, read on to find out more...   What was your ethos when you first set up Dogmatik 10 years ago? The ethos behind the label was to find new artists, I was bored of the same artists just always on every label and it kind of stagnates the scene if it’s just the same kind of artists. I wanted to set up a label which discovered new talent. Accomplished, finished full-packaged talent that I believed was out there and not being heard. That was one of the reasons. The other reason, I wanted a great record label, rather than it be a vehicle for one of my own productions, which everyone else was doing around me. I wanted to actually set up a really great label with great artists and not necessarily have any of my productions on there or it being about me, I just wanted to create something for great artists. allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_53d6b5ac_446864871', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_53d6b5ac_446864871' }); });     That’s brilliant, how do you think the music industry has changed over the last 10 years? It’s changed a lot; just how people work, how records are sold, how music is promoted. This having your own label is kind of fighting your own corner in this industry that sometimes churns out not very good music. But, you can’t survive like that anymore. You have to play the social media game. You can’t really survive on being cool and aloof anymore, because everybody else is using the format of manager, magazines, teams, and everything. So it’s changed in the sense that it was a one-man operation but now you’ve got teams of people behind labels and artists. Something that you didn’t have in the underground really. No underground artist should have a manager really because they’re an underground artist, so it’s changed a lot. The record selling industry has changed, there’s a vinyl revival and we’ve sold more vinyl this year than downloads. That’s all down to the majors re-pressing seminal albums that’s not necessarily to do with independent labels getting ahead. So it’s changed on so many levels that I could talk about really. It’s a completely different industry today to how it was 10 years ago.   What was the inspiration behind the compilation you’re releasing? Well we’ve been going 10 years and to some people we’re still a new label. Obviously we haven’t had the force of a massive PR company behind us over the years so it’s still a label that you arrive to. We just wanted to showcase some of the music that’s come out before which I feel is still fresh and still playable today. It was a celebration of our birthday and a celebration of the artists on the label as well, and some of the moments we’ve had on there. allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_3dceea78_669905878', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_3dceea78_669905878' }); });     How did you put it all together? What were the challenges that you faced? There’s a lot of tracks on the label so it’s hard to showcase every single one so it was a difficult choice. Me and Tim, my graphic designer and also a partner in the label, we just sat there and we found it very difficult but we finally decided on showcasing the moments over the last 10 years. There’s a lot of unknown artists that we’ve put through and they didn’t have a great impact but they had great tracks. We wanted to emphasise the tracks that did actually make an unknown artist a household name. Dusky had ‘Flo Jam’ in 2012 which got voted best dance track on iTunes, so we picked moments on the label, moments for us, and moments for the artists.   How long did it take to put the compilation together? The compilation was done in one evening over quite a bit of alcohol, but yeah we had spoken about it for ages and I’d been playing with what I wanted in there and Tim as well. I guess when we finally got in a room together and thrashed it out it was quite easy and it was quite objective. I’d put a track forward and Tim would say something. It was objective in a good way and we did it in an evening really. allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_d3deed5d_256683195', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_d3deed5d_256683195' }); });     The compilation is made up of two CDs of original tracks and two CDs of remixes, I was wondering if you have a favourite original track and a favourite remix from the album? They’re all favourites. I do the A&R, I sign them up, and I go looking for the artists so if I do that and release them on the label it’s a special thing to me anyway, so it’s quite hard to pick a favourite. I’ve had moments with artists that I’ve really wanted on the label like Peace Division and Jovonn, Maya was a home-grown artist. It’s hard for me to answer that… At a push I would say my favourite track on the label without letting anything else that came on there would be Peace Division, ‘Blacklight Sleaze’ because it was reissue through our label but it was a track that was actually played for years. It’s a track that I really liked and I was able to have it on the label years later.  My favourite remix, is a really hard one. I really like the Rick Wade remix of P Lopez ‘About you’, Rick Wade is a Detroit artist that I’ve been after for a while so to have his take on something we’ve signed is great and the job he did was really nice. Another one which I like is the Peace Division ‘Vibrations’ remix they did for us, that was a collaboration with me and Daren Nunes and Spencer Nunes and we’re all great friends with Clive and Justin (Peace Division) so they were our natural choice to remix it. That remix for me is really nice. We’re all friends, all five of us, and it all came out on a release together so it’s a favourite of mine for that reason, for sure. Abe Duque’s remix of my track ‘Touch’ is a favourite of mine as well because Abe is a producer I’ve followed over the years and I always liked his sound. When you own a label and you do your own productions, I mean this is only like the second EP in 10 years I’ve ever done on Dogmatik and to be to choose your remixer and somebody that you really like and to have them accept and turn out a really nice remix that was definitely the one for me. Another one would be Dan Ghenacia’s remix of ‘Club Therapy’ by Peace Division as well, just a straight-up house remix with a really warm bass playing that really warms up the room and sound system when you play it. So I’ll put that one up and leave it there because I’ve probably named them all. allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_53294d01_1384905553', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_53294d01_1384905553' }); });     You’ve got a talent for finding new artists, one example being Maya Jane Coles and helping them to develop- do you have any advice for the new generation of musicians and producers? Yeah, definitely. Don’t send in your first track. Make sure you learn your art and learn how to do things and learn how things sound before sending your stuff out. There’s no rush. There’s a certain degree of confidence that comes out of music and I don’t hear that in peoples’ first tracks so the advice would be really learn your art and take your time. You don’t have to sign your first release, that’s it.   What’s in store for the next 10 years? Just more and more releases. We’re going to go into doing a couple of albums. We’ve got a sub label as well called D M K. Which is a sub-label from Dogmatik but really it’s putting out music that we’ve loved over the years. I mean, Daren and I (one of the partners in Dogmatik) we come from that kind of Chicago/ Detroit techno era so we wanted to showcase all that on a label and we wanted to approach new artists that were emulating that sound or telling their own story that weren’t necessarily from Detroit but were influenced by the Derrick Mays and the Juan Atkins and everyone else, so we’re working on that a little bit more. Next year, D M K, we’ve already had an album on there from Kuba Sojka, and we’ll have a couple more artists lined up. So just really pushing both labels forwards and just touching on a couple of new albums including my own. allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_17df45d2_1516207020', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_17df45d2_1516207020' }); });     So you’re releasing a new album then? Yeah, it’s about time I did one. I’m going to be working on an album in the next couple of free months and then releasing it on Dogmatik. I’ve probably got a choice to release it elsewhere but I feel it should really come out on there.    To be in with the chance of winning an incredible exclusive goodie bag including vinyl copies of 10 Years of Dogmatik, Monty Luke's 'Dystonic Visions' EP, Alex's 'Touch' EP and Jovonn's 'The Wait' simply send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. // with DOGMATIK 10 YEARS as the subject heading.   Words by Georgia Evans More MEOKO