Reviews/Previews

The Secret Life of the Lithuanian Underground Scene

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From time to time, we see Lithuania being mentioned in the underground music scene; but recently the scene has been brought up to our attention more often. This country is no longer an undiscovered land, but still not as open or well known as other Western European countries. In the past few years, it has started to become one of the Western ravers’ favourite destinations to visit. This is definitely not for no reason.

Lithuania is well known for its natural beauty, but the spooky alternative scene still holds mystery. It is home to the ‘Boso’ label with big exports such as Ten Walls, Gardens Of God and Few Nolder to name a few, and constantly vibrates a whole spectrum of experimental sounds. Vilnius has been seriously developing its scene during the past few years by establishing a variety of nights, opening new places, and encouraging more and more artists to come up from under the radar.

 

 

Within the past few years, the younger generation of Lithuanians started looking out of the box toward other musical cultures. A frustration came with chart music and post-Soviet influences, which lead to a shift in wanting to discover something new.

A huge growth can now be noticed in the techno, minimal and house scene. Most of the bars, pubs and hangout places own a pair of CDJs and have regular guests offering a wide variety of electronic sounds. It does not matter if it’s a Monday or Friday, you will always find a place to wear your dancing shoes. This is all because of hardworking promoters such as the minimal.lt community who are bringing techno, minimal, dub, experimental, IDM, ambient culture and organizing lots of different nights including; Black Wave, COSMOS, Moon Safari, Grid and Friday Fuck. In addition to the night events, they run one of the top rated festivals in Eastern Europe called ‘Supynes’ (Swings).

 

Another prominent figure is Rookas. He started running DAI nights five years ago, and since then they have grown into a very well respected party driven by solid and dark-fringed techno line-ups. To show their diversity, they have booked artists such as Peter Mannerfelt, SNTS, Kobosil, Max M and Violet Poison, alongside Rookas himself and residents INNER and vjsu~y. You can find more info HERE.

Not to be forgotten is the label ‘Partyzanai’. It was established way back in 2005 by duo Gvidas B. and Mantas T who are now focusing on helping artists from Baltic countries, releasing vinyl records and organizing local parties as well ones abroad, in places such as Iceland. There are also other well-respected local DJs who have been in the scene for a long time such as Pakas, Anna Hanna, Monocell, Saulty (Downtownpartynetwork), Calli and Pupa.

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Lithuanian artists were always attracted to the UK scene, but it was not easy to get hands-on records and experiences until they joined the EU. A free pass to the UK is no longer an issue, and partnerships have started to grow. Now the Lithuanian community is working hard back and forth; looking for ways to improve, get inspiration and gain knowledge to run well-organized events. One of the new labels managed by a Lithuanian couple, called ‘On The 5th Day’ has grown into a massive German techno project, supporting young up-and-coming artists and dropping parties all around London. They’re now settled in Corsica Studios. You can find more information for their latest events on the official Facebook page.

It’s also well worth mentioning the Sandbox Music crew who are tirelessly working on parties in London, Vilnius and beyond. Even though he is only 20, one of the 2 resident DJs Evonii, has already played at London's beloved underground parties and more gigs confirmed in Ireland. The crew has also recently hosted London-based party, Keep on Going, at the Cult club where they now have recidency to do parties once a month with resident DJs Stinson and Evonii. You can find more information for their latest events HERE.

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The drive in this distinctive sound throughout the last several years has helped the popularity growth within the clubbing scene. More venues have started to open and more new nights are coming out every month. The biggest nights so far have been held in Opium Club. Hosting well-known DJs from around the world including Eats Everything, Steve Bug, and Recondite to name a few. Alongside Lithuanian residents Manfredas, Vidis, Kandy Killers, Ernestas Sadau, Mantas T and Andrius Alien, they are all active in promoting and helping to push Vilnius’s nightlife in the right direction.

 

 

 

Opium Club runs different nights on a weekly basis. Manfredas and 12 Incu Po Zeme (12 Inches Underground) host the well-received and popular ‘Smala’ party (check their podcasts above) and ‘The Sneekers’ music project (Evaldas Mikalauskas/ Justinas Jarutisis) which is held under the same roof, working with local and British labels to bring new talent on stage. Check Opium’s page for upcoming gigs, as it’s absolutely a top spot to visit in Vilnius.

opium(Photo from Opium Club)

There are numerous places around the centre of the capital that offer tasty food, craft beers and welcome local DJ’s to perform during their nights. A great example is Studio 9, offering, dub, minimal, deep house and sometimes-even jazz.

Monday is probably one of the worst words in a dictionary, but not in Vilnius. minimal.lt host a party called ‘Minimal Mondays’ when the cold hits Eastern Europe, in a post-Soviet temple-looking building called ‘Kablys’ (The Hook), and during beautiful Summers in ‘Vasaros Terasa’ (Summer Terrace).

Summer Terrace(Photo ‘VasarosTerasa’ (Summer Terrace)

Kablys is a popular place in Lithuania that helps all sorts of young people to progress. It is a home for dancers, skaters (they’ve got an indoor skate park, running classes and teaching kids), fashion, acting, live music events, performances and as you know, hosting different nights there. DAI label showcases are usually held there, and it’s just the perfect combination between the building and nights held there to experience unforgettable moments. You can hear Minimal Monday’s podcasts here, and usually they have a live stream from the venue. To see more info: minimal.lt

hook(Photo ‘Kablys’ (The Hook)

You can back me up on this one. What’s the question coming up after every night out? Yeah, you guessed it right! ‘Where’s the after party?’ And Vilnius delivers! One of the good examples is club called ‘Opalocka’. It’s probably the main after-hours destination, which turned into a new project named ‘Cult’, introducing a more house-y sound to the public with the globally known Function1 sound system. Hosting regular locals as well as international guests, it is a guarantor of a great night out. One of the past events was headlined by Fabio Florido and hosted by the Cult family, just proving how Lithuanians work together with artists from all over the Europe to bring the best to their country.

cultCULT Club

To sum it up, Lithuania is becoming a bigger and bigger attraction to ravers. We can see amazing lineups appearing at the capital’s clubs and festivals, as well as healthy and sustainable growth in this alternative scene. Promoters are pushing new sounds and more and more people responding to that.  It probably would be useful to know a local to show things around, but that is not essential to see how wicked the Lithuanian underground scene has become and it’s still growing.

Words by Matas Balta

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EP Review: MOSCOW019 Roustam&TolgaFidan – The Berlin Sessions Vol.1

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The Berlin Sessions Vol.1 is the 19th release from London based label Moscow Records, known for their ability to pull in top international artists who like to explore life on the alternative side of the electronic music world. It is always refreshing to see a new duo form and friends enjoying some productive studio time and this is exactly the case with Russian artist Roustam and tasteful selector Tolga Fidan. Two minds from completely different corners of the world, both with great experiences to share, joining forces in the fantastic city of Berlin. A representation of the much loved city, as they interpret their feelings when amongst life there. The chemistry is clear with these two, as they turn their bright ideas in to some moving after hours material. Between them they have delved in to all strains of sound.

 

 

 

Dance floor bomb ‘Brodsky Beat’ is the upbeat track of the three, its lively swinging percussions have you gripped, accompanied by a crisp bass wobble that really does the trick. Instantly grasping the attention of everyone in the room. Also on the A side ‘The Omega Variant’ dabbles in the much more mysterious side of things, suspicious breaks, and obscure broken sounds carry the glitchy track, leaving the listener in a trance. Certainly, dark and deep thoughts from the new found combination. On the flip side, the whole of B is taken up by a 14 minute journey, perfect for warming up a set, or winding things down, creating a sense of ease, and relaxation. A laid back track, opens up your mind, definitely a thinker. There is something so natural about the arrangement of the record, original bliss.

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The fact this is Vol. 1 means there will be more to come from where this unique series has begun. Clever productions as two worlds collide. Both artists carry such a passion for abstracts sounds so there were never any doubts this would be anything but magic.

- Release date: November 18th -

 Words by Zac

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Preview : VBX with Raresh + Spokenn (Ferro & Reiss)

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10th December sees VBX take over one of Amsterdam’s hottest new nightclubs, Shelter. This unmissable night will include music from one of house music’s most beloved DJs, Raresh along with Spokenn, the collaborative team of Ferro and Reiss.

After Vrijbuiters remerged as VBX four years ago, they’ve become unstoppable in their aim to broaden their vision. This night is no exception. Bringing together some of techno’s greatest talents, they are driving the idea of bringing people together and share an unconditional love of dance music. They’ve collaborated with HYTE, Slapfunk Records, FUSE London and 510k Berlin, and drawn success form past events such as HYTE ADE X FRRC which featured sets from the likes of Sonja Moonear, Steve Rachmad, Craig Richards and the legendary Ricardo Villalobos.

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Villalobos’s own protégée, Raresh is billed to headline. Since djing in local discotheques in his hometown of Bacău at 15, over time he has established himself as one of Romania’s most favourite and exciting talents, firmly placed at the forefront of a global house and techno scene. Known for his enjoyment of playing with filters, fader tricks and breakdowns, he has created an individual sound that never fails to surprise audiences. Unrestricted in his vision, he’s said his inspiration can come from anywhere, and has expressed a love for jazz, classical music and UK techno, once stating that one of the most life-changing tracks he’s heard was Wulf n’ Bear’s ‘Rapture of the Deep’.  He continues to work on his own label, [a: rpia: r] which he set up in 2007 with Rhadoo and Pedro, the success of which has made him, undeniably, one of the scene’s most beloved DJs.

 

 

Joining him on the bill is Amsterdam’s own Spokenn, the collaborative effort of Ferro and Reiss. After featuring in MEOKO’s mix 227, it is clear that Ferro’s ability to mix old, analogue machines and new ones has helped him to develop his own, provocative groove. He’ll be working with Reiss, who will bring his surprising idiosyncrasities and delicate rhythmical flow, developed through his work with his label Dialegestai Music. Together, they’ll definitely create a spectacle not to be missed.

 

Not to forget, the venue. Since it’s opening during ADE, Shelter has proved to be one of Amsterdam’s most exciting new locations. Situated below street-level on the IJ Riverbank, it has a 700-person capacity, a 24 hour licence and a Funktion-One sound system to blow the minds of its’ beloved patrons. With an aim to curate sounds from the vanguard of dance music, this club really has design, experience and sound quality in mind.

This combination of line-up, location and atmosphere ensures that the night will be nothing other than sensational;

FB Event  /  Tickets on RA

 

LISTEN FERRO's MEOKO PODCAST #227

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Words by Georgia Balch 

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EP Review: RUERE003 Faster – M.O.D (inc. Rhadoo remix)

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After two exceptional releases ‘Presiune’ and ‘Amprente’ on his very own imprint Ruere, it is now time for creative magician Faster to present to you the third release on the special label. Recent times have seen an explosion of music flooding from Romania, despite this, Faster continues to make his mark and prove his production is of the highest standard. Support from the likes of Ricardo Villalobos, [a:rpia;r], and Barac, shows the kind of well-deserved reputation he has built. There are no constraints with this release, a natural and innovative sound taking you on a journey, of inspiration.

 

 

 

M.O.D’ is a the lead track of the EP. An array of textures, weaved with dreamy loops that take full control, lifting you away, but the subtle and light bassline keep your feet on the ground, carrying you through the dream that has been so perfectly arranged. Grabbing hold of these silk like elements and flowing them so smoothly with his signature punchy percussions there is an extra special remix from Rhadoo. Something truly magical within itself. Liquid like sound, making obscure movements from start to finish keeping you on your toes.

 

 

 

There is always something so special engraved deep within Fasters sound, creating a vision and unique soundscape for the listener, feeding all of your senses in one wholesome feel. This is certainly a milestone for the artist and label, but we are sure there is plenty more to follow. 

 

Preorder the upcoming RUERE003

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Review: Fuse 8th Anniversary Tour at Hoppetosse/Berlin

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Fuse turned 8! And to celebrate this worthwhile moment, the London event stroke label which has already transcended several venues and boundaries,travels to eight cities around Europe with the whole crew, amongst them Naples, Basel, Amsterdam, Paris, Rome and Berlin – to be followed by London –, to celebrate its eight incredible years of existence. The tour, aptly named „FUSE8“, did not only excite with its wholistic concept and approach— to tour around showcasing their amazing sounds and vibes—but also served to further position FUSE as an international player of eclectic renombre and musical weight.

Unstoppable and on a roll, the entity cropped up at Berlin's renowned Hoppetosse on Oct 28. Hoppetosse, possibly the most partied-out boat in recent history, is Club der Visionäre's winter hideaway. Most international crowds and crews anchor in its vicinity, as, with its cosy and laid back vibes and its long standing existence is a firm fixture for good events. And to be honest, its capability to actually attract international crowds who know the difference between rip-off and real thing has saved the boat's integrity more than once in this ever-renewing cosmic dance of self innovation Berlin as a city has gone through in the last twenty years.

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This explains the huge amount of sexy young people who had come from remote corners of this planet to partake in Fuse's b-day celebs. Whilst most of them did not seem to know or care who was playing, it became very obvious that a greater deal of people knew too well. My fears— that a whole bunch of lager louds would be taking over the boat with laddish attitudes and beer-bellied debauchery–did not become reality and just shows how little I know about FUSE's capability to, ehem, fuse musical underground tendencies with great party vibes and draw a perfect crowd no matter where.

 

 

 

BUT I did know about some of the label's artists and producers who would all be present to showcase their indivitual yet collective vibes and sounds. It would be FUSE founder Enzo Siragusa, of course, with some of his longest-standing colleagues and fresh talent, for example Seb Zito, Archie Hamilton, Rossko and Rich NxT, who would be joined by Ben Rau, the German-Ghanaen FUSE artist who moved to Berlin in 2012, as well as new label signing Fabe from Mannheim.

 

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It was especially emotional for me and many who joined to see Fabe stepping up to the challenge and delivering a thriving and promising warm-up to what would become a very long night (and day). Fabe, all fresh faced, looked very much in his element, when I spotted him behind the decks at around 2 am. The party was in full swing, and hearing a lot of new and to be released material from him and his colleague Ho Do Ri, who is also running the label Sukhumvit (yes, it is all a big ploy – he also wore the label's shirt for a safe bit of promotion) was quite emotional for me, as I know how hard it is to break into an industry, and how much hard work goes into making these casually battered out grooves that seem to work so effortlessly. Check out his newest release and you will hear what I mean.

Fabe is such a symphatetic guy who does not seem to need to succumb to the temptation to need or want something that is not intrinsically him, so this is a nice little bow to those who just get on with it and stay on the carpet, as we say J in Germany. His solid delivery of slightly garagy, shuffled and syncopated tunage that turned the full floor into a sweat bath made us receed to the back of the boat where we could not see the huddling entourages and steady on networking going on to the booth, but concentrated on some fine party activities just to shed our cascading body liquids. Well.

 

 

 

When Archie Hamilton and Rossko came on, it was actually contributing to a slight overload of frequency as those two lads really racked it up a notch. It might be down to the whole atmosphere of hotness and a room filled with expectation and exitation, but they managed to take the excitement to the next level and hold it up, despite a slightly heavy use of EQing which went a little through the roof. Enzo and Seb Zito went techier, and Rich NxT delivered a worthy end some time around 3 pm the next day. What a ride.

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I am glad berlin is home for so many talented artists and harbours so many crews from around the world so somehow, whether they actively strive to do it or not, contribute to the richness of its palettes of sound. Whether it be artists from the British isles, the South of Germany or people from other walks of life: we are all here experiencing, in real time, a great modifiction and shift. Sometimes ist popularization, and professionalisation, but when it goes hand in hand with real musical renovation and innovation, and growth within the scene, it is the most beautiful. I am excited to see how we will all keep growing and what will make us special.

Words and review: kat Kat tat 

 

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FUSE8 BIRTHDAY TOUR DATES - FB Events

1.10 NAPLES - Deependence presents FUSE8 @ Living - Enzo Siragusa /Seb Zito

7.10 Basel - Nordstern - Enzo Siragusa / Seb Zito

8.10 LEEDS - System presents FUSE @ Mint Club  - Enzo Siragusa / Seb Zito / Rich NxT 

21.10  Amsterdam - FUSE with HYTE at ADE  - Enzo Siragusa / Seb Zito / Rossko / Archie Hamilton / Ferro

28.10 Berlin - Hoppetosse - Enzo Siragusa / Seb Zito / Rossko / Archie Hamilton / Rich NxT /  Fabe / Ben Rau

3.11 Paris - Rex Club - Enzo Siragusa / Seb Zito / Archie Hamilton

5.11  Rome - Nozoo presents FUSE8 @ Goa Club - Enzo Siragusa / Seb Zito

20.11 London - Village Underground -  Enzo Siragusa / Seb Zito / Rossko / Archie Hamilton / Rich NXT / Dan Farserelli and more TBA

 

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