After making a huge impression in its first year, the magical UNUM Festival returns to the Albanian Riviera from May 28th to June 1st 2020. The first wave of names for this sun soaked, naturalistic getaway include Raresh, Seth Troxler, tINI, Sonja Moonear, Dyed Soundorom, John Dimas, Priku, Praslea, Cap, Digby, Cesar Merveille with many more to be announced.In 2019, UNUM made an immediate mark with its debut edition, that played out on the stunning Albanian Riviera with a world class line-up. The festival really shined a spotlight on the last untapped corner of Europe: Rana e Hedhun, in the town of Shengjin, on the idyllic Albanian coastline.
Now running even longer by starting Thursday and continuing non-stop until Monday, music plays both the day and night, so you can expect blissful sunrise and sunset parties, as well as a wealth of water sports, local culture, rich food and drink offerings and a music loving crowd from all corners of the world. There are also isolated bays and golden sand beaches to explore, and all with the stunning Albanian Alps as the backdrop. UNUM is the type of blissful and dreamy, organic and natural place, that feels undiscovered and hidden away from the rest of the world.In 2020, there are once more three stages: The Beach Stage, which runs from sunrise until sunset, will be more experimental and chilled during the daytime, to give people a place to enjoy the surroundings. The Main Stage, which runs from sunset until dawn, and finally the Into the Pines Stage, which runs 24 hours a day and mixes world renowned names, regional artists and a mix of alternative and experimental musical styles, all in the shade of lush pine trees which infuse the air with their scent.
Credit: Oli Riley Photography
More than 50 international and local artists from across the house and techno spectrum will perform, such as Raresh, Seth Troxler, tINI, Sonja Moonear, Dyed Soundorom, John Dimas, Priku, Praslea, Cap, Digby, and Cesar Merveille.This is a boutique event that offers the chance to experience a brand new and lesser known corner of Europe with a world class soundtrack. There are also pre-parties lined up from now until the festival in Berlin, Zurich, Geneva, Istanbul, Tirana, Skopje and Belgrade.
Credit: Valeriu Catalineanu
LINE-UP PHASE ONE
Jonny N' Travis
+ more TBA
Montevideo-born and Berlin-based producer and DJ Ema Remedi (Melisma, Drumma, Sketches Records) is ready to drop her debut release on the legendary Visionquest label. 'Outsider' EP consists of 4 original cuts, in which Ema melts her typical Latino groovy-roots together with the most avant-garde European meticulous approach, giving life to some lovely deep house pieces of art.
Click HERE to buy your copy of VQ081 at deejay.de
Visionquest's 81st release kicks off with 'Even Odds', characterized by curious vocoderized parts, which turn to be almost sung by robots. The vocals float above sharp compelling groove and under short and panned arpeggiators, whilst deep chords are joined by various tiny elements.
A2's 'Why' is a hell of stripped-back number with a mean bassline, modular sounds, repetitive distorted vocals and a powerful dose of 909 grooves.
Click HERE to listen to the exclusive premiere of 'Open Closing'
On the flip, 'Open Closing' is a proper deep house tune within which you can (easily) find all the Berlin-ish typical elements: dancefloor-oriented grooves, delicate cymbals, deep pads, sparkling and crispy synths, all together perfectly in keeping with the rolling sub frequencies drawn into an addictive low-end pattern.
Closing the EP is the creepy 'No Sun, No Problem (feat. Sol)' which features sinister keys, distorted effects, unexpected squelches and rattles. The track is raw, gloomy and murky and proceeds with solid sub-bass, piercing hats and electric synths, wrapping the listener in a halo of mystery, as the title track itself foreshadowed.
Words by Francesco Quieti
Parisian top-producer Traumer is back on Berg Audio for his most immense project to date - Assembling Pieces LP - an outstanding triple vinyl LP consisting of 8 originals + 3 exclusive collaborations.
Click HERE to stream the previews
Traumer is a familiar face into the Berg Audio family, in fact, his latest track called 'Citron' was released on the label as part of the 'Construction Tools Vol. I, II & III'. Going back even further in time, his original 'A Different Path' EP came out in 2017 and it was one of the earliest releases of Berg Audio, a label that since its first chapter showed an incredible musical output.
This huge LP showcases his marvellous talent in the studio, and the EP's name - Collecting Pieces - may refer to the unrestrainable musical research of his current idea of sound, a perfect blend of dub techno, minimal and deep house. Inside, we can find three collaborations with top-notch producers such as Steve O' Sullivan, Priku and Cristi Cons, and this contributes to making of this already massive LP a really epic one.
Words by Francesco Quieti
With a vast catalogue that spans from Knee Deep In Sound to Stereo Productions and Do Not Sleep, Southampton's Ronnie Spiteri has made a name for himself during the last years, becoming a reference point for the whole UK scene. He's now back for the 3rd time on Alan Fitzpatrick's label We Are The Brave, showcasing his attitude and versatility in the studio, as he's always been able to deliver both techno and tech-house brilliant cuts.
Your 'Dèjà Vu' EP marks your third appearance on WATB. Seems like there's a good connection between you and the label! Do you think it's because WATB represents your actual idea of sound?
Yes, this is my third release with the label and I’m buzzing about it. Also, it’s great to have my mate A.S.H on the remix! Brave always allows me to express myself as an artist and musically I think it fits well for both of us.
Tell us more about the making and ideas behind the track and the remix from A.S.H.
The idea behind the track was to make something with an old school feel but with a modern sound. It took me about 5 versions to finish the track. The final version has been tried and tested thoroughly and it’s getting a lot of great reactions from the crowd, especially when I played at the show with Eli Brown at Hull Tower! It went off!
The remix is on point and it was a nice addition for A.S.H to take it a little tougher with his sound, really happy with the remix and fits perfectly into the final package
What about your Kenja Records label? With a high-quality catalogue, it represents your more deep and techy side. Why haven't you proposed this sound on your productions lately?
I have 2 releases already booked in for the label, and I’m making an album for it later this year, so you should expect more to come about that soon. The two upcoming releases are very deep and chunky musically speaking, and can’t wait for them to drop, as my sound has progressed into a slightly harder and energetic vibe that it has been before.
What are the plans for Kenja in 2020?
As mentioned above, those releases and my album. The album won’t be something that I’d play in clubs, and it's going to be more of a listening piece of music that I’ve written. We also have releases planned with Markus Homm, Oscar L, Chus & Ceballos and more!
I am excited to be getting a solid release schedule planned for the label this year, it’s something I have wanted to do for a while and these guys are all putting their own stamp to Kenja.
Name the label of your dreams where you'd love to release next.
I would love to get a release on Drumcode, for my tracks which are more ‘techno’. I still have the rolling chunky side to my music, so those releases I would love to see on Hot Creations! Both awesome labels which I have always looked up to.
'Multiply' was definitely one of your high-lights tracks if not a true "turning point" for you, I believe. Do you think that there's a turning point in every DJ career nowadays? And have you felt that 'Multiply' was something different from your other tracks?
Yeah ‘Multiply’ def got a few heads to turn and I was really grateful to Daly (Hot Since 82) for believing in my music. I believe that when it’s your time to shine, you will. Just be all about your music and enjoy it. Hard work pays off, but it goes a long way. I think maybe there is always some kind of turning point after the hard work, maybe it's a track that blows up or a gig that gets you a lot of exposure. But I always think, whatever or wherever it is, it was just the time for you.
Special plans or announcements for 2020?
My special planned announcement for 2020 is that I have just been signed by Alan Fitzpatrick and his new management team. They are taking the reigns now for all my career, and I couldn't be happier to be a part of such a good team of people. I am making an album for Kenja, which is going to be a huge musical focus for me and a big project and then I will also be doing a collaboration with Alan towards the end of the year. Really excited for things to come!
Ones to watch / upcoming artists for 2020?
Definitely watch out for follow brave Artist A.S.H he’s cooking up some big tunes at the moment.
Words by Francesco Quieti
Harry Light - Take A Journey [ARTREFORM]
Buy ARR037: https://www.deejay.de/Harry_Light_Take_A_Journey_ARR037_Vinyl__942924
Listen to the premiere of Harry Light - Entrance: https://soundcloud.com/meoko/premiere-harry-light-entrance-artreform
Ukraine is one of those countries that is slowly making his appearance into the European scene, being influenced by the “Rominimal” sound from the West and the more techno-oriented sound from the East. Within the vast panorama, JOSS’ label ARTREFORM has been a stable point over the last 8 years, with releases that involved names such as the local studio-wizard iO (Mulen), Chaim, Ugur Project, Tripmastaz, Rhadow, FilOu, Christian Burkhardt, GFD, and Kirik to name a few.
Label owner JOSS
The 37th release comes from the wise hands of Harry Light, who’s back on the label after three years since his debut EP with the entitled three-tracker ‘Take A Journey’. Kickin' off with the main track, Harry delivers a huge a dancefloor tool with a bouncy bassline, siren-ish synths and a solid 909 rolling groove; here, the aggressiveness of the track is contrasted by a whispering female vocal and some epic sinister atmospheres. Next, is ‘Faux Bro’ where punchy kicks and 909 open hats perfectly match with an old school-sounding bassline (remember the old Hot Creations stuff?) and more female vocal chops amongst sweeping synths and rich drum shots.
Closing the EP is 'Entrance', marked by lovely deep pads, which are later joined by dubby and delayed synths. Little by little, the track evolves with skipping drum licks and bubbling sub-bass, accented by infectious female vocal loops throughout, rounding out an impressive EP.
Words by Francesco Quieti
2019 was a great year for music from both new and emerging artists as well as the usual suspects! 2020 looks as though things are going to be taken up a notch too as we see new names entering the scene on an almost daily basis. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, we’ll leave that up to you to decide...
Regurgitated ideas, stagnant genres and too much of ‘the same’ are lines we hear far too often from people as artists tend to stick to ‘safe’ sounds, ‘safe’ track ideas and ‘safe’ structure because they know it works well and they’re afraid to push the boundaries and break the mould for fear of it not being right.
But what is right…?
In this guide we’ll be taking a look at the artists we’ve been keeping a close eye on over the last 12 months (and longer in some cases) and highlight them as people to keep an eye out for in 2020! This guide isn’t to be treated as an ‘up and coming’ list like you might be used to seeing in other places, as some of the artists listed here are more established than others. Yes, some are fairly new to the scene but generally, these are artists we’re predicting to do great things at the start of this new decade…and hopefully further into the future!
Alfie Jack appeared on the scene late on in 2019 but is someone who should definitely be on your radar for 2020! Working closely with another rising star from Manchester, Josh Baker, the lads have been cooking up a storm in the studio with lots of music to come! With an EP already out on Archie Hamilton’s Moscow Records and two more upcoming Eps on Burnski’s ‘Constant Sound’ sub label, ‘Aesthetic’ as well as another confirmed EP on You&Me. Alfie Jack has joined the ranks of the Manchester party starters ‘You&Me’ who have also been making waves with their events all over the city so expect to see his name on more event posters over the next 12 months. A couple of festival slots are already in the diary for summer 2020 with more info on those coming soon and an exciting collaboration project with fellow You&Me regulars Seba&Emile which will focus on the deeper sound house (think small hours kinda’ vibe). Solo wise, he has a couple of EP's signed and ready to go and has already gained support from the likes of Enzo Siragusa, Archie Hamilton, Ben Balance, Fabe and Okain amongst others!https://www.facebook.com/alfiejackdjhttps://soundcloud.com/alfiejackdj
Barut had an amazing 2019 and 2020 looks like another great year for the Miami based DJ and producer. His 4 track EP on the Botanic Minds Sunset Series towards the back end of the year really stamped his name on the scene and gained some fantastic support from the likes of Barac, Alci, NTFO, Sepp, Nu Zau and many more! Another 4 track EP on the ever-impressive Sintope came earlier in the year, make sure you keep an eye out for his return on the imprint later in 2020. With some nice gigs lined up and a mini tour in the diary for later in the year, Barut is a name to keep at the forefront of your minds!https://www.facebook.com/BarutmusicOfficial/https://soundcloud.com/barutmusic
BRYZ is another name to add to the list of impressive artists to come out of Romania. Whilst being on the scene for a number of years now and a well-respected artist, he is someone we have earmarked to have continued success in the new decade. With previous releases on labels such as Samani, Tzinah, ID Music, Wizz, Moira, Welter, Lethal Script amongst others, his hypnotic sound is one you’ll quickly fall in love with, just like I did! Keep an eye out for BRYZ throughout 2020, you won’t be disappointed!https://www.facebook.com/Comanbr/https://soundcloud.com/comanbr
Camelia is another artist who had a fantastic 2019 and 2020 is looking just as bright for the US based talent. Having played in Turkey, Mexico and the Dominican Republican for the first time, he’ll soon be able to add some more worldwide destinations to the list as the year goes on.His EP on Fake Society was a real standout achievement and if its something you haven’t heard yet then I suggest you check it out right now! He’ll return to the label later in the year and will tour Europe in February so if you get check to go see him then we’d highly recommend it!https://www.facebook.com/CameliaUS/https://soundcloud.com/camelia_music
Casey is someone I’ve known personally for a number of years now and someone whose music we’ve always really enjoyed so to see him put his foot on the gas in 2019 was great to see! 2020 is shaping up to be even bigger for him so we’re looking forward to seeing what he can make of it! 2019 saw him set up his own imprint ‘Temperature’ as well as releasing on the mighty Fuse London’s sub label ‘Infuse’ which really got people talking! His no nonsense London infused (no pun intended!) sound has made its way into the record bags of some of the top selectors around the world and continues to get plays on dancefloors wherever you go!2020 will see him releasing more music on Temperature as well as some other labels he has a close connection with so keep your eyes peeled on your favourite outlets to keep up to date. Gig wise, things are being kept under wraps for the time being but its safe to say you’ll be seeing a lot of Casey throughout 2020!https://www.facebook.com/caseyspillman/https://soundcloud.com/caseyspillman
2019 was definitely somewhat of a turning point in DJOKO’s career having signed to the incredible PIV brand and releasing music on their consistently strong label, which has led to him, taking the music thing a bit more seriously. Gig wise he had the honour of playing in the UK and the Netherlands a couple of times but if he had to point out a gig that really stood out it would be the PIV showcase in Amsterdam during ADE.2020 will see a full EP on Berg Audio at the beginning of the year and also the first full vinyl release with his collaboration project with PIV head honcho Chris Stussy. There will also be an EP coming on the French label hedZup with a remix by Mancini and he’ll also make an appearance on a V.A. on Politics of Dancing. Make sure you keep an eye out for some more breakbeat-influenced music that he’ll be releasing throughout the year under a new alias ‘Kolter.’ https://www.facebook.com/DJOKOCOLOGNE/https://soundcloud.com/djokocologne
Herck is a name that should be known by many after the 2019 he had! The Romanian native was one of the most consistent artists in terms of releases and quality of releases throughout the year. The last 12 months saw him release on labels such as La Mesure, Curtea Veche, Chroniques Binaires and Otomoji to name a few!2020 looks like it’ll be another great year for Herck with lots of projects in the pipeline bubbling away waiting for their release as well as an exciting tour for him to get stuck into!https://www.facebook.com/herck.ro/https://soundcloud.com/herck
2019 was a very successful year for Ida Daugaard as she played at Garbicz Festival, a beautiful festival deep in the Polish forest with a lot of beautiful art and light installations and spacy work shops to stimulate all your senses! The Block in Tel Aviv, a club with excellent sound, great minimal line up’s and a very heart warm, dedicated and welcoming team behind it was also a gig to remember! La Fenêtre Secrète, a group of young talented artist and creatives in Gotenburg making events where music & art is aligned to help you reach a higher level was another venue Ida thoroughly enjoyed!Ida found herself in South Africa for New Years and played a long set into the sunrise of 2020 in a beautiful nature reserve for Search Festival. Soon after she’ll be back playing at Reset in Cape Town, one of her favorites in the city. Followed by a gig in Zurich with Varhat at a very cosy afterhours clubs Kauz, February will see her going on a Australian tour and in March she’ll be looking forward to catching the Berlin spring before the festival season begins. Ida’s mantra for 2020: ‘continue to do what makes me the happiest, spreading love by playing music that inspires me.’https://www.facebook.com/IdaDaugaard/https://soundcloud.com/ida-daugaard
2019 took Lola to various destinations around the world that included Stockholm, Barcelona, Kiev, Bucharest, Strasbourg and many more! Release wise, Lola will deliver an EP on Berg Audio and has some other exciting releases up her sleeve, which I’m really looking forward to hearing!2020 will see Lola spending a lot of time playing across Eastern Europe but will also be jet setting off to South America for a couple of dates later in the year so if you do get chance to go and check her out at some point during the year then we would recommend it, she’s a real talent!https://www.facebook.com/lolapalmerofficial/https://soundcloud.com/lolapalmer
At the beginning of 2019 Marlie founded Click Agency with her friend and business partner Cass Pitman - Touring artists from Europe to Australia. This contributed to the growth of her brand Roots in Sydney which she also started in London when she relocated. Her first gig of the year will be at her home in Sydney for the world renowned, S.A.S.H.She’ll then head back over to Europe where she has several gigs locked in for Greece, Switzerland and London so far! A promising 2020 lies ahead for Marlie so get her on your radar guys!https://www.facebook.com/marliedj/https://soundcloud.com/marlie-8
Basel based Mikhu had a fantastic 2019, releasing some massive tracks and remixes as the year went on! 2020 will see him releasing a collab project with Alice Clark on vinyl as well as another collab project with his good friend Fulvio Cala which will be released on Blind Vision Dubs. He’ll also be launching his very own vinyl label ‘Mormorio Records’ where the first release will be a special collab between Mikhu and Lorik. We’ve had our eye on Mikhu for quite some time now and really believe 2020 will be the year that he’ll kick things up a gear or two!https://www.facebook.com/mikhumusic/https://soundcloud.com/mikhu_music
Becoming exclusive to Belisa Booking propelled Monika to the next level in 2019! Also playing every weekend and becoming friends with her long-time favourite artists has been a surreal experience! Her most loved country to play in 2019 would have to be Switzerland - a truly beautiful part of the world!Lots of music is planned for 2020 : Weather Recordings, One Records and Talman will all host remixes and a few new tracks of hers early in the year. She then plans to focus on some more solo works and perhaps an album which would be really exciting!Monika will be in Australia for the first February so will start the year off in the sun! Then its off to Bulgaria, Romania and back to Berlin for the summer!https://www.facebook.com/miss.monika.ross/https://soundcloud.com/monika-ross
Niko Maxen…a name we’re sure most of you will be familiar with after the 2019 he had! Some standout releases include Rowle, Talman and Roche Madame to name a few! If you haven’t checked any of these out then we highly suggest you do!Releases for 2020 will be on OGE, Talman, Constant Sound and then he’ll also look to drop Maxen 02 and 03 which sound like they are shaping up nicely! Looking forward to getting my hands on these!His imprint Pathway Traxx will continue to showcase artists that he’s really feeling, mostly breakthrough or up and comers. Niko likes to give them full EP format with remixes from more established artists. One release that he’s looking forward to getting out there is an EP from LOy with remixes from Vern and Niko himself. The Off Path label is for up and coming artists which gives them a great platform to release on VA’s that DJs really wan tto play. And finally, Maxen is his signature label all about showcasing his range and what creative vibe he’s in at any given time!Niko is a long-time personal friend of mine from back home in Leeds so to see him stepping things up over the last 12 months and seeing his music get the recognition it deserves is great to see and I hope his stock rises higher and higher over the next 12 months!https://www.facebook.com/nikomaxen/https://soundcloud.com/nikomaxen
Nils’ Subtil showcases at Hoppetosse, Berlin along with his show for the The Block club in Tel Aviv and his USA Tour with stops over in; Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver & New York made 2019 a very successful year! 2020 will see him release an EP on Lazare Hoche`s Label, together with Alex Font and a remix from the almighty LIZZ amongst a host of other releases! He’ll also be looking at launching his very own agency which will showcase Subtil artists from around the world so keep an eye out for that coming soon! Nils will head back to the States and Mexico for 4 weeks in April and is working on a South American tour. Shows in Europe are also confirmed and he’s looking forward to finally heading back to play in London!https://www.facebook.com/nils.weimann.musichttps://soundcloud.com/nilsweimann
Nolga burst on to the scene with his impressive Ventura EP on Kepler’s label Perspective which drew some massive attention! A firm favourite in my bag over the past couple of months since its release! A collab EP with Michael James on Hoader, an appearance on Rubisco’s latest VA and a solo EP on Pathway Traxx with remixes from Silat Beksi and label head Niko Maxen have given Nolga a very strong collection so far!2020 will see his release schedule continue at a nice pace with an upcoming venture on Krab and and a remix on Aesthetic. Nolga is a name that you’ll be seeing much more of this year for sure!https://www.facebook.com/elliotnolga/https://soundcloud.com/elliot_nolga
2019 was a great year for Silat, someone we’ve been a big fan of for years now but someone who is arguably one of the most consistent in the business! With amazing gigs and tours in China, Australia and New Zealand keeping him busy! 2020 will see him move to Kiev, a city he finds truly and fully inspiring. fully inspired of this city. He has some brilliant solo and collaboration projects lined up for this coming year, something I’m really excited to see and hear! 2020 will also see Silat jetting off for tours in America and around Europe so make sure you stick some of these dates in the diary once they’re released! https://www.facebook.com/s.beksi/https://soundcloud.com/silat-beksi
2019 saw userUNKNWN release his first vinyl cut with Soyro on the Romanian label Piano Forest. The EP reached #1 on the main chart and was completely sold out on deejay.de and Juno in just 4 days! His ever impressive music has gained huge support from the likes of Sepp, Nu Zau, Crihan, Gescu, Silat Beksi, Ida Daugaard and many more and also got multiple plays at Sunwaves!Lots of plans are in the pipeline this year for him with an EP on a new vinyl label called Legacy which is a sublabel of Recordeep, which will feature 4 tracks with collabs and a remix. He will again collaborate with Soyro which will be released on a very interesting VA coming from a mysterious label in Panama!https://www.facebook.com/unknwnurl/https://soundcloud.com/unknwnurl
2019 was a great year for Vern, he had his first release on RE.FACE, after that saw his second release which was a special one on Joule with great support from Janeret! This release helped Vern discover a new sound…a melancholic dubby sound for his third release on Lokomotiv with a bomb remix from Silat Beksi! He finished the year with a nice VA for unutrei., a local label from his home town Constanta. Vern is preparing a remix for irv.in, a very talented artist and another remix for STAMP Records as well as appearing on a VA for Peculiar.2020 will see him putting out material on Rowle and Octophonic and a remix on Tzinah amongst other upcoming releases which are being kept under wraps for the time being. This year, Vern will be focussing much more on the production side of things so make sure you keep a close eye out for these as the year goes on! https://www.facebook.com/vern.romania/https://soundcloud.com/vern-ro
Viceversa is someone we’ve been keeping a close eye on for the last couple of years but he really stepped things up in 2019! Some noteable highlights include playing the first BRICH party with Giuliano Lomonte, IbizaUnderground Club, Supermarket in Zurich, Rokoko in Budapest, Half in Belgrade and the amazing night in Skopje! He has several remixes coming in 2020, the next release from his very own label viceversa008. Also in the pipeline are plans to release at least 3 new Viceversa EP’s which you should certainly keep an eye out for! 2020 will see him make his French debut and plans are well underway with a tour of Asia so expect to see plenty more of his name this year!https://www.facebook.com/viceversasounds/https://soundcloud.com/user-755367968-408842914
2019 was one of the most intense and exciting years of Yzi’s life! Performances covered a variety of directions and locations such as London, Zurich, Moscow, Leipzig, Dusseldorf, St. Petersburg, Sofia, Vietnam, Thailand and more!The new year will see her focus more time and energy into her ‘Myzique’ project where she highlights artists that she loves the most. Some of them are up and coming and some of them are already standing firmly on their feet in the business! 2019 saw her showcase some really awesome names like Cosmjn, Herck, Bruno Curtis, Lost.Act and many more!Some of her highlights from last year include playing at the amazing Epizode in Vietnam alongside Maayan Nidam, Oshana and Lamache. She also took to the stage at Waldbrand in Leipzig alongside Randomer and Youandewan, playing with Georgia Girl and Marlie at StarLane Pizza Bar in London as well Mata Hari in Zurich alongside Arkady Antsyrev.2020 is shaping up nicely too for this awesome talent so she’s definitely one we’d recommend keeping a close eye on!https://www.facebook.com/myzique/https://soundcloud.com/myzique
Italian groover Leon has been one of the most present names in the electronic circuit. Having joined Marco Carola's Music On, since its foundation, Ruggero aka Leon had the chance to play in every corner of the world, including Amnesia Ibiza, Cielo NY, Space Miami, Fabric London, Rex Paris and the infamous DC10 Ibiza, becoming also resident DJ of the recently closed iconic Italian club Cocoricò. He can also boast a wide catalogue of releases on labels such as Crosstown Rebels, Snatch! and Deeperfect. Leon is also the owner of D-Floor Records and Chelsea Hotel Records, a siter-label created to share his deeper and more-minimal side.
Ciao Leon! We're so glad to have you here! First of all, I'd like to ask you about one of the biggest fun facts about you. For those who don't know, Leon is the brother of another famous DJ and producer, Pirupa. How does it feel to be the brother of such a popular DJ like him? And how's the relationship between you two?
I have such a nice relationship with my brother (Piero) Pirupa, we often have calls from different parts from the world and confront each other, although even if we have different in musical tastes and we have taken different paths. Unfortunately, we don't see each other a lot because I live in Italy with my family while he lives in London, but sometimes we find time to do some tracks together: we have a very strong one which has been already hammered by Carl Cox, Marco (Carola) and Jamie (Jones), but we still don’t know what to do with it because of the over-saturated music market. There's always the risk of making the wrong choice, turning a 'super track' into something that will be forgotten in 1 month! Our collaborations are always very housy and not so "dancefloor-oriented", but have gone very well, reaching high places in the charts and played by many artists.
I like being Pirupa’s brother, he spends so much time in the studio working on new music, while I spend most of my time searching for new music. Many of our collaborations are born because I've sent him an idea like a small loop to work on. I was born as a DJ (and I'm the older brother) and I had many gigs since I was young (and he was even younger), while he immediately jumped into the production side. He later started mixing too. But this is more than 15 years old! Now we're both DJ and producer and we always try to do our best not to disappoint our followers.
Why haven't you started a career as a duo together?
I think that we didn’t embark on a career together maybe because we didn't feel the need. We've never talked about it accurately, providing like some marketing strategies to launch a duo on the market. Also, I think it’s easier for a DJ to be alone, you know, you always have to deal with what you like (talking about music) and get excited with. As I've mentioned before, when I started my career, I already had some good contacts, alongside some releases and gigs, while he came out a little later, moving towards a genre bit different from mine.
And now, finally, back to the music! What about your Chelse Hotel Records label? Will the label release again new music?
I'm glad you've asked me this. Chelsea hotel Records is the label that represents a more minimal and experimental sound that I really like. Right now there are 8 vinyl releases and some have exceeded even the 600 copies, reaching the first places on some deejay.de and decks. I've stopped the label 1 ago and I don’t even know the reason, but It will open its door very soon, with an EP from two talented guys from Turin called YOUNIVERSE. The motto behind the label will always be 'less is more'', with the aim on making few but well-rounded vinyl releases (200/300 copies). I've also decided to release a darker and more dub sound on Chelsea, a shade that I’ve always liked.
It's very difficult to catalogue you about a specific musical genre. You use to space from dub rhythms (like your collaboration with David above) to more dancefloor tech-house cuts. How has your sound evolved over the years? And where is it going to?
Actually, It’s not easy to do it because over the last 10 years I’ve played from small clubs to 10,000 people festivals, so my music changes depending on where I'm playing. I like to be eclectic as much as I can and I prefer longer sets so create a real connection with the crowd, starting from slower and dub stuff even to techno, instead of doing 1 hour and a half sets that make no sense at all for me. Talking from the studio-side, I've done from dub techno to tech house, a genre that represented me a lot during over the years, connecting me with Music On family and Marco Carola. Now I’m back into a more-experimental phase if you can say so, always keeping a house soul. But It's also happened to find myself playing Joy Orbison stuff too, so everything can happen!
Your latest EP has been released on Italy's AdMaiora Music, tell us more about it.
My latest release called 'Game Over' consists of 2 totally different tracks. The first one, Game Over, is darker than the other and features techno sounds like a straight 909 for the drums (I think you can clearly hear it). The other one, Jump, despite being a tech club stomper, always remains in the "house side" that I really like. I'm very happy about this EP and I really admire how the guys from AdMaiora Records are working... keep an eye on them!
What about the future? Are there particular names - Italian and not - to keep an eye on?
Wow... that's a good question! I think that an Italian name that has rapidly taken the scene with his incredible skills as a DJ is Francesco Del Garda. But there are many many others like Quest, Adiel and Edward. If I have to name some international acts I'll say Ateq (as most of the Giegling family), Kvanchi (Bassini resident), Hector Hoaks (on the techno-side), Carlos Valdes, Fernando Costantini. As producers, I really like Andrea Giudice, Mike Earth from NY city, Clone, Stenny and Overmono.
Any anticipation for what's coming in 2020?
I have a lot of stuff coming up this year, some of them are secret and I can't reveal them right now, but I can tell you that I have upcoming music on labels like Crosstown Rebels, Moan, Our House and a remix on Inmotion. I also have some collaborations with lots of friend of mine to be released later this year. On 2020 I’ll have a couple of major residencies and festival appearances to be announced, plus an incoming South America tour, I place that I'm deeply in love with. The Latinos have such huge energy, similar to the one that I find when I play in Italy.
Sincerely, I no longer care to take many gigs per month because we are in such a difficult period for the nightlife in general, choked by social media and protagonism-maniacs and for that reason, I will carefully pick the places to play. I’ve never been a DJ for money, neither to become an Instagram-star (even if it seems to help), I prefer to stay real and I'm not interested in dummy planning based on the likes I could catch. There’s nothing artistic about it and I’m sure it will end very soon because people are getting tired of it. I’m pretty active on social media, but I’m not addicted to it and there’s no strategy behind it to get like. With almost 18 years of experience, I've learned that sometimes a DJ may not be in the best shape but there's nothing wrong with it, we are all human being and it’s totally fine to be criticized in a fair and proper way.
Words by: Francesco Quieti
Entoniu & Agape - Pelucrare EP (incl. Rowlanz Remix) [Salomon Recordings 015]
Buy now on Beatport: https://www.beatport.com/release/prelucrare/2769189
Listen to the premiere of 'Entoniu & Agape - Pelucrare (Rowlanz Remix)': http://bit.ly/meoko-pelucrare-rowlanz-rmx
South America is one of the countries contributing heavily to the house and techno scene at the moment, especially if we take a closer look at the rising ro(minimal) movement. Mexican-based Salomon Recordings continues to provide a great musical output that it has provided over its 10+ releases. These guys have released some quality stuff from established artists like Mahony, Dudley Strangeways, Javier Carballo, Red Pig Flower and Dubphone plus upcoming talents like Chklte, Mike.D, Stoilku and Octave (RO).
Their 15th instalment comes from Italian duo Entoniu & Agape with their ‘Pelucrare’ EP which also includes a remix from man of the moment Rowlanz (INFUSE, Yoyaku, Berg Audio).
The original version is a 7-minute deep immersion into the typical SW-inspired groove enriched with jungle textures and crispy percussion. Characteristic Romanian vocals gently introduce airy ambience and lovely synths, giving life to a delicious warm-up tool.
On the B-side, UK producer Rowlanz reinvents the track with his trademark signature style, using the original vocals and synths and adding light arpeggiators and the right dose of groove. His remix is a blissful after-hours weapon, especially if you think about some proper 'hands in the air moments which come from the celestial sounds introduced to us during the long breaks.
Words by Francesco Quieti
Since its foundation by Floriane Dubois, Reciproc booking agency has consistently demonstrated that the desire to highlight passionate and emerging artists remains a real asset in the world of electronic music.
With a quality roaster composed of DJs and producers like ALCI, Atree, Ben Balance (BE9), David Nicolas (Sedee), Funk-E, Mandana, Noha and Orli, Floriane has formed her winning “France 98 football team" and has managed to create an organization based on reciprocity and exchange, giving-giving.
We had the chance to have some words with Floriane, about Reciproc story and her own.
It all began a few years ago in the south of France, between Toulon and Marseille precisely where she used to live. Floriane does not come from this now formel club culture environment where everything seems to be organized with great precision. Being born in the 90s, she began to flourish in the illegal environment of free parties/raves where house music reigned and the underground atmosphere has begun its creation little by little.
First and foremost passionate about music, from jazz to hip-hop and dancing, Floriane was very inspired by everything around her, helping her friends to put on parties, decorating and creating the atmosphere. It is by being clearly immersed in the evenings in the forest enjoying crews like Trackerz, Spiral Tribes, Bordel23, or Dropin Caravan during squat parties at 17, - travelling in heavy trucks from Toulon to Prague -, or in Italy and Spain as well that her willingness to getting more involved in music and bring her stone to the building came to her.
During her years in London when she was 21, she discovered warehouses parties with Fuse London or Half Baked, real institutions of the English way of partying.
Coming home from London, she begun to unleash her network by throwning parties in Toulon, especially in a pub named Barathym. Funny fact, Kerri Chandler named his famous track after playing in that venue in the of south of France.
French adopted by a family bathed in the arts (her father is the Toulon fine arts’ director), Floriane, Raluca by her second name, has chosen to open Reciproc in Bucharest, the best way for her to reconnect with her Romanian origins, sharing her love to a precise and unique idea of sound.
The most important thing for her has always been to be motivated by passion, by what she felt when she was in these electronic parties and met people from all horizons but united by this love of music. It is thanks to all this that Reciproc was born.
Through this agency, she wanted to show everyone how she fought alone in the past to get where she is today, to thank all those who have believed in her and who still show some support.
During her journey, thanks to her frankly speaking and commercial fibre, she had the chance to work internally as a stage manager for Modernity, what allows her to meet a lot of influential people in the industry, and to throw Reciproc parties with some well-known artists such as Fabe, Tofu Productions (Thomas Melchior & Fumiya Tanaka), Raresh, Suciu, Sonja Moonear, Traumer or Spokenn (Ferro & Reiss).
“Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” This Henry Ford quote has always defined the way that she handled things in her life.
Reciproc is above all a love story with artists she believes in as hard as she is, that she wants to push to the maximum and creating a festive ambience wherever she and the artists of her roaster are.
Whether in Berlin, Paris, Bucharest, Marseille or Toulon, they represent above all a strong vibe of friendship, because it’s in this way that Floriane has begun to work.
2020 will begin on roller coasters with a lot of incoming new projects : a Reciproc tour in the USA in order to make Americans discover the vibe and in Europe with Lion & Lamb London in January, Fuse Brussels in February, Bucharest also (TBA), the anniversary of the booking agency in Berlin in March 6-7 and the launching of a new label named Canopée.
But before all of this, Reciproc will close the year with a wonderful event which is going to be epic: it will take place in Bern, Switzerland hosting one of Apollonia superstar Dan Ghenacia, Reciproc's residents ALCI and Ben Balance.
You got it, Reciproc seems to be one of these agencies to definitely keep an eye on!
Trading the European winter for the bright Australian summer, MEOKO is heading down under this December for a series of parties with some of the scene’s finest crews.
Beginning on the 29th of December, MEOKO will be kicking off the tour at S*A*S*H, with a Secret Guest headliner. Supporting duties lie with Australia’s export Monika Ross (Talman Records / Berlin) and the formerly Brighton based B A G resident Manfred Spagnoli. The tour continues into 2020, as MEOKO will be joining forces with Mantra Collective for the first dance of the decade in Melbourne.
Continuing from their Sydney Warehouse Party, Mantra Collective will be flying south to Melbourne to collaborate with MEOKO and The Breakfast Club for a spectacular day-long affair on the 1st of January. Headlining the occasion is one of the circuit’s best: Lamache.
The Yoyaku French artist and Discobar label-head has carved a secure place for himself amongst the most respected selectors. Expect a day of classy grooves and top-shelf tunes, with support from Mantra Collective and Breakfast Club residents.
Further dates in the MEOKO tour will be announced very soon - watch this space...
Epizode Festival has very quickly established itself as a fantastic collision of art, culture and underground music. The fourth edition promises to be another special one from December 27, 2019 – January 7, 2020, not least because it plays out on Vietnam's Phu Quoc Island.
This place is a real dream-like paradise with gorgeous sunsets over the white sand beaches and turquoise wasters, lush green jungle, rolling hills and all manner of weird and wonderful wildlife. What's more, each year the team assemble giant sculptures and litter the site with all manner of art installations that offer treats or the eyes while your ears are treated to beats from world class artists like Ben UFO, Carl Craig, Moodymann, Rhadoo, Richy Ahmed, Sonja Moonear, Ricardo Villalobos, Djebali, Raresh and many more.
World class sound systems are brought in for each of the stages and of course there is a wealth of culture to explore in the local Phu Quoc area from night markets to spas, boat trips to cable cars, cocktail bars to intercontinental hotels.
New for 2019, the team has have launched an eco-initiative and already do not use disposable tableware and plastic tubes, and continue to use locals to help build and run the event, as well as showcasing plenty of local DJs and collectives so as to help develop the scene in the longer term.
There can be no more magical way of seeing out your 2019 and welcoming in the new year that at this ultimate party in paradise.
Tickets can be purchased online via the Epizode website at www.epizode.com
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Meoko is excited to report from Berlin where some of the most revelating musicians and their audiences come together, to give you an insight about interesting new developments within the scene. In this context, we would like to introduce you to the Night Embassy, a Jägermeister-sponsored concept, the core idea of which is to celebrate emerging electronic music culture in an international context; basically, the only embassy on this planet where people from all over the world can jam and party together all night long.
On December 13th, the masterminds behind the Embassy concept conjure a really special final event row by announcing country-based showcases, including a Latin-American showcase, represented by Musikplatz. Der Musikplatz is a Jägermeister-sponsored music platform which showcases emerging talent from Latin America. The driving forces, some very capable musicians and creatives from Mexico, manage to gather artists from all over the continent, and present them in a professional context.
To take them abroad, namely to Berlin, is the latest coup, and for this special Jägermeister-powered night which is part of the Night Embassy programme which has been running since the end of September in the specially refitted Baumhaus Bar location right next to Watergate, they got Alejandro Bernal from Colombia and Rene Roco from Chile, Metrika, Roderic, Evil Tapes and Ulises, to name but a few.
Event : https://www.facebook.com/events/881033972294279/
The event is created to provide a laid-back backdrop for the musicians to play together and fuse their crafts and musical vibes. The jam where musicians present their live projects will smoothly transition into a party that kicks off at 11 p.m. to showcase those talents from Latin America and Berlin that manage to create a synergistic dynamic and perfectly capture both worlds’ spirits by building musical and cultural bridges. As this is Musikplatz’ first showcase in Berlin, it is amazing to hear that it will be repeated every year to reinforce the idea of cultural exchange.
The Night Embassy’s concept draws inspiration from both Jägermeister’s own heritage and the free and unbridled creativity of Berlin’s celebrated nightlife and art scene. It unites artists based in Berlin from all backgrounds, ages, genders and level of experience, and has so far showcased six individual crews and collectives from Berlins, such as Pansy, Sweetest Taboo and Move.Unltd, most of which are intersectional. Now culminating in a string of international closing showcases including South Africa, Austria and China, this is bound to find its way into any sorted Berlin nightcrawler’s agenda.
ARTISTS METRIKA (LIVE) / CROSSTOWN REBELS / SOL SELECTASRODERIC (LIVE) / KATERMUKKEULISES (LIVE) / SOL SELECTASBILLY MENDRIX (HYBRID) / CALYPSO RECORDSEVILTAPES (LIVE) / SHABOOM / INDIGO RAWALEJANDRO BERNAL (HYBRID) / MUSIKPLATZRENE ROCO (LIVE) / MUSIKPLATZANICONIC / MUSIKPLATZ Register for your tickets here. STAY UPDATEDwww.night-embassy.comwww.dermusikplatz.com
Chrivu - Music Brought Me Here EP [Midas Touch 001]
Buy on deejay.de: https://www.deejay.de/Chrivu_Music_Brought_Me_Here_EP_MDT01_Vinyl__940127
Listen to the premiere of Chrivu - Music Brought Me Here: https://soundcloud.com/meoko/premiere-chrivu-music-brought-me-here-midas-touch
Romanian rising talent Macarie is about to launch a brand new label called “Midas Touch” – an unexplored space where he’ll be able to showcase his musical vision, expressed by both upcoming and already affirmed producer. For the first chapter, he brings into play Iasi based Chrivu, who provides the entitled “Music Brought Me Here” EP, which includes three driving originals plus a remix by fellow-Romanian friend Vlad Arapasu.
A1 kicks the things off with a breakbeat inspired drums and soft-cosmic arpeggiators over distorted vocals and refined textures, while “In Charge” is a more stripped-back tune with a splash of modular sounds, and a raw darkened bassline that waste no time in setting the mood. On the flip, “Linear Space” follows exactly the journey started on A2, adding to a solid and sharp beat some sci+fi effects and haunting analog stabs. Closing the EP is the Vlad Arapasu’s remix who turns “Linear Space” into a punchy club-oriented version, with shimmering atmospheres above his signature Romanian trademark groove.
Words by Francesco Quieti
Like a phoenix from the ashes, the mighty Cécille Records is back. Established in 2007 by Nick Curly and Marc Scholl, Cécille quickly became a trustworthy and steadfast purveyor of deep tech-influenced music. With its reputation for quality unsurpassed, Cécille helped stimulate a shift in the underground scene, bringing back soul and sensuality to music. The label also attracted a wealth of talent, with these new releases marking their new focus on rhythm, groove and melody in today’s techno heavy dance floors.
Making his debut on Cécille is a producer that needs little introduction: New Jersey’s Harry Romero. Over the last 20 years, Harry’s music has soundtracked the great dance floors of the world. Tracks such as diverse as ‘Cro-Magnon’, ‘Tania’, ‘Night @ The Black’ or ‘Mas Pito’ (as Mongobonix). Now signed to every high-profile label around, from Subliminal to Crosstown Rebels via Bambossa, his constantly shifting, consistently groovesome beats and super-distinctive drums have cemented him as a world-class act. (text credit to Philip Panov via thesoundclique.com)
Don't forget to buy 'Harry Romero - Mood Vision' EP on Beatport: http://bit.ly/2YbIoVD
Hey Harry! How does it feel to be the first one to be back with an original EP on Cécille?
I mean it truly is an honour to kinda be the first for their second round. If their first round is any indication of where things are going for the Cécille camp then I am in great hands with this EP.
What has Cécille represented to you?
I don’t mess with labels that are not quality. And I consider Nick Curly a music buddy, so for me, it was really a no brainer to submit a couple of tracks for release. I’m always about quality so I associate with it, and Cécille is definitely that.
For me, it is definitely one of the most important labels ever. Can you name some more labels you’re really close to?
I have a really good professional relationship with labels like Ovum, Tronic, Moon Harbour, and Rebellion/Crosstown Rebels to name a few.
Tell us more about the EP and if there’s a particular story behind any of the tracks?
I wish I had an amazing story or anecdote surrounding this EP. It’s really simple and organic how it came about. Nick Curly messaged me and explained how he wanted to bring Cécille back and asked if I’d like to release on the label. I of course obliged and a week or so later I sent over ‘Mood Vision’. He loved it and asked for a second track to complete the EP. Then I sent over ‘Purge’ and the EP was done. Pretty easy and simple. Just how I like it.
Any thoughts on the actual tech-house scene? Can the return of Cécille bring back some old flavours, changing the direction during the next years?
This is a tough one for me to tackle because I have many colleagues that make some really dope tech-house. So, this comment excludes them. But generally speaking, I’m quite bored with what’s being called tech-house at the moment. It’s become very cookie-cutter, paint by numbers and I’m not about that. Which sucks because a lot of good music gets lost in the quagmire of mediocre music. Sad really but I suppose it’s the sign of the times and we just have to dig deeper to find those gems. I think as long as we keep the quality control up we should have some interesting and insuring music in 2020. I know Cécille got it on lock!
You seem to be a relentless producer over the last 20 years, a pretty huge rate nowadays, where some of the longest active DJs have stopped to produce music. How do you feel about it? Do you feel more your producer side or your DJ-side?
I may not be the best person to ask this because making music is as much a part of my life as eating or sleeping. I can’t see myself stopping making noise no matter how busy the calendar gets. It’s just who I am. The DJing sometimes feeds to creativity in the studio and vice versa. It’s a symbiosis for me.
2019 was a huge year for you with a BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix aired this summer and a remix for the legendary anthem “Don't Turn You Back” by Danny Tenaglia has released on Hot Creations. Will 2020 will even bigger? Any plans or clues for what’s coming next year?
2019 was just a taste of what’s to come. My team and I are so focused. No joke. I won’t go into detail just yet so stay tuned!
Words by Francesco Quieti
With a career that has seen him playing thousands of parties in his hometown Rome, making him become one of the Capital's lead acts, the 'animae' label founder and Nozoo pillar Fabrizio Sala is a true dancefloor captain, always able to entertain the crowd with a wide and 360-degree musical selection.
Don't forget to check this exclusive Fabrizio mix, who gives us the first chapter of our brand new 'Ambient & Experimental' series, click HERE and enjoy the ride!
During your career, your sound has always been 4/4 house-inspired, but lately, you’re shifting into a new direction, also playing ambient music. Do you want to tell us more about this transition?
I wouldn't call it real change. I’ve always liked more than just one musical genre and often if the place allows me, I like to propose a more intimate sound.
You’ve joined the conservatory of Santa Cecilia in Rome when you were 12, studying the history of music and music theory. Is this new Fabrizio (ambient) version perhaps a return to your origins?
My studies at the conservatory were fundamental in my journey because it gave me the opportunity to learn about music: I love wind instruments and African percussion, hot sounds that often I found it in ambient and downtempo tracks.
Downtempo is a completely particular and introspective kind of music, a proper trip to investigate into our souls. What would you like to convey when you’re playing this kind of stuff?
My main goal is to share my person through music. I like to offer new sounds also because I buy so much music that often time I can’t play!
You played an ambient set for the Hotel Butterfly closing party on September 27th. What are your main sources of inspiration?
As I said before if the place allows me, I love to offer an intimate sound and the Hotel Butterfly is definitely the perfect place, in Rome at least, to do this. It’s a beautiful garden surrounded by the green right in the city centre of Rome, with great attention to each small detail. There’s a restaurant, a cinema that transmits silent films of the ’20s and “Il Club Più Piccolo Del Mondo” which literally means “the smallest club in the world”. In fact, it gets fully packed with 15-20 people… crazy! So overall it’s a magic place where I can play ambient music, and trust me, the sunset is something of incredible over there.
If I think about your music, my mind immediately goes to the great Eastern Europe lands, where they craft their unique and delicate deep sound. Are you looking to release new music on your label?
Yes, it is. My music is influenced by the sound of Eastern Europe, it’s absolutely an elegant and clean sound. An ongoing journey in which I reflect very much. Right now, I don’t have any imminent releases. All I can tell you is that I’m working on a big album-collaboration, and you guys will be the first ones to know about it as soon as possible.
You’re going to do some parties in Milan with your Animae label. What do you think about this new venture and collaboration?
It’s a wonderful bet, it’s really stimulating when you take an idea “out of home”, out of your comfort zone. I wish all the best for this new adventure.
Now let’s move into your arena: the infamous Goa Club in Rome to talk about Nozoo upcoming parties. On November 30th you’re going to share the console with Aux88, officially opening their new tour. Are you excited about this?
Honesty, I’m always excited when I play music (otherwise I would have stopped a long time ago...). This gig is very important because I think that Aux88 are true living legends. See you on the dancefloor!
Despite you have been in the club-scene for almost 15 years, you have released just a few tracks, remaining one of the last DJ-only in a world where seems to be impossible to separate the DJ side to the producer side. How does it make you feel? How did you "escape" from being a producer?
I've always considered myself more a DJ than a producer, but let's be clear, I really enjoy making tracks, but I have focused all my career on the special connection that every DJ should have with the people. I love the empathy that a DJ can create with the crowd and I love madly to entertain my friends who come to listen to me. In conclusion, I prefer to spend my time in a club/festival, rather than a day locked up in the studio. If I am inspired, I take and run into the studio, but playing my music is the engine that drives me to do this work.
Any shout on upcoming 'Animae' releases? You've been stuck with your label for a while. Do you have some surprise?
After a hiatus of some months, due to small restyling, we will return in December with the seventh release signed by a great Italian friend, unknown to many. It's a record that makes me proud and I'm really looking forward to it.
What was the best night you've ever experienced at Goa Club?
Well, it's pretty hard to say... But I'd say Ricardo Villalobos & Giancarlino.
And your best set?
You shouldn't have to ask me, but the crowd!
You're celebrating 10 years of your party 'Nozoo'. How do you see yourself and the Roman/ Italian scene in 10 years?
I don't know what will happen in 10 years, but trust me, that we (as Nozoo), like other realities in Italy, are working so hard to make of our cities better places.
We're almost close to the end of the interview, and I'd like to reserve the last question to our future talents. Can you name us some Italian artists to keep an eye on?
It's always exciting for me to discover new talents, especially if they come to my country. I'd say The Black Pony Orchestra, Christopher Ledger, GNMR, viceversa, Orli, Randaru, Pressure Point and Togue. They are the first ones that come to my mind. They're giving so much to our scene lately.
Words by Caterina Fidelbo & Francesco Quieti
Cluj Napoca talent Macarie is one of the most interesting acts right now. With releases on labels like Default, Cedesciu Wax he takes by storm the European "rominimal" movement. Founding Midas Touch was just a matter of time, giving birth to the perfect place where he can showcase his idea of micro and deep house without boundaries. The first release comes by Chrivu, another young Romanian talent.
Click HERE to check his latest podcast for MEOKO and don't forget to order Midas Touch 001 | Chrivu - Music Brought Me EP (incl. Vlad Arapasu remix)
We all know that Romania is recognized for its underground artists. How do you feel about being part of this movement?
It’s pretty awesome, I think that is a major benefit for the carrier I have chosen and I am glad for this. It is a great advantage because this way I make connections much easier with Romanian artists.
Who are your favourite artists?
My top 3 is Pedro, Cezar and Amorf.
When did you start producing and performing and which is the kind of music you approach?
I start producing 4 years ago and my first performance was 3 and a half years ago. The style I approach is minimal, for sure, with some jazz, blues influences. I am trying to make a great mix of any good music.
Who/what convinced you to get on the music side? Did you have any person who initiated you or did you learn on your own?
Alexandru Baciu aka Resa, he is the one that brought me to this start. He is a former AVi resident and I started with him a project named R.AM. In 2017, we had our release at Cadenza Lab – Ad Finem EP.
And what convinced you to do it? Curiosity or it was a hobby?
I always had a passion for music. And when I realized that electronic music is suitable for me and I can learn on my own, I stepped in.
What are your main sources of inspiration right now?
Right now I’m following some jazzy, soulful and hip hop podcasts named Tiny Desk concert. And at the end of the week, I try to create something beautiful of what my ears heard.
How would you describe your sets? What would you like to convey to your audience through your music?
Depends on the moment but I would like to describe my sets as a continuous flow. This is a specific characteristic. I love to maintain a constant flow but also catchy.
Can you tell us more about your label project? What surprises are you preparing?
Midas touch is a project based on the idea of supporting newcomer artists. This name is from Greek mythology, whatever Midas touched turned into gold. Metaphorically speaking, I am trying to do the same. About surprises.... all I can say is that I have all prepared for Midas Touch 002! Will be huge!
We would like to find out more about Chrivu. Who is him and how your collaboration started?
Chrivu is a guy born in Iasi, Romania and he is 22 years old. I discovered him a few years ago and since then we are still in touch. During this time, he created a very melodic and clean sound, specific for his style, that attracts me a lot. This is why I insisted on him being the beginner of Midas Touch, and at the same time, I said who could perform better as a remixer, other than my dear friend Vlad Arapasu. And everything was beautifully connected. I am proud of Chrivu and I am glad that I can help him along this path. I foresee a great future for him.
Can we expect to see you soon together, as b2b?
For sure it will be soon. Macarie b2b Chrivu on 29.11.2019 in Stockholm. Can’t wait for this!
We've read about a collaboration between Midas Touch and AjAjAj from Sweden this year. How did you get into it?
Chrivu and I are invited on 29th of November, 2019 at AjAjAj – Midas Touch showcase which will take place in the capital of Sweden.
Who takes care of Midas Touch’s artwork? Everything looks amazing!
Raimund Vernica aka Raid, a young man from Bucharest, who always surprises me with his works! Super abstract and crazy. Exactly what I am looking for. Thank you also to Madis Poldsaar for the really cool logo.
Will Midas Touch collaborate also with non-Romanian artists?
Of course, I will collaborate also with artists outside Romania, we already have some releases scheduled and even a diversified VA where you’ll meet 3 foreign artists.
Can you tell us when Midas Touch 02 will be available?
I don’t know yet, probably in 2020 springtime.
Where can we get Midas Touch releases?
Starting from 27th of November, Midas Touch will be available at Deejay.de, Juno and Decks.
Many thanks for the interview and I hope you've enjoyed it!
Words by Miruna Ioana Dan, Francessco Quieti, Dylan Am