Bread and Butter Recordings is a project conceived by Italy's Max Frisina. He's co-founder/resident DJ at Bread & Butter and he's been running events in London for more than a decade. Its ethos for the label is simple; various artists providing us heads down, hands up minimal cuts. 002 welcomes a sterling line up of UK and Romania talent including Rowlanz, Direkt, Sublee and Vern. The names alone bring a smile to your face as it is clear great things are to come.
We kick things off on the A-side with Rowlanz. The track is called "Colours" which transcends into the music itself. From the get-go there is a perfect arrangement of layers. The tribal and progressive nature of the synths, accompanied by bird-like pads takes us deep through the Jungle into an unknown land. The breakdown is truly hypnotic. You get completely lost turning off from the world around you. It’s safe to say this is some of our favourite work from Rowlanz to date as the artist stays true to form.
Bucharest’s Direkt follows on the A2. This is a track that instantly grabs your attention with a definitive thunderous kick coupled with a dubby raw bassline. Dark and mysterious pads and harmonic stabs lend to the track brilliantly. Layer and upon layer unfolds. It is the sort of track which will be completely transformed when played on a big system taking on a new entity and meaning.
On the B-side, the label continues the Romanian trend with Sublee, an artist who needs very little introduction. With recent releases on Rowle, RE.FACE and Baumbaum, not to mention his anthems on Meander and Serialism, the Romanian marvellous producer shows again a unique ability to experiment and play with sounds is really something to behold. The entitled "Simpa" has got a bomb written all over it from the off as the track explodes with deep driving kicks and a hypnotic grooving bassline. The track twists and turns as new elements are introduced with the skipping hats and percussion to keep the energy.
Last but certainly not least Vern steps up the plate bringing a more relaxed feel to the close of the EP. Pads and synths paint a picture of wondrous temples of ancient lands. Skipping hats coupled with a mellow continuous bassline keeps you moving. Intricate windpipes, chimes and strings can be heard throughout to create moments of peace. It’s very easy to get lost in absolute contentment.
This EP has something for all times of the dance; warm-up, peak and after hours, with all artists producing some outstanding work. Another A* EP from Bread and Butter!
Words by Jordan Diston
Over the past few months Miami police have been investigating a rape allegatio against international DJ Erick Morillo. Now Miami Local 10 News reports, they have charged him with sexual battery after rape kit tests positive for his DNA.
Cops report that the victim said 'she woke up nude on the bed, with Mr. Morillo standing on the side of the bed also nude'.
Detectives said after months of denying the allegations, he then turned himself in. The incident is said to have taken place at his Miami home back in December 2019 after him and his accuser were both working as DJs at a private party at Star Island and later went to Morillos home with another womand for more drinks.
The arrest reports also states the victim telling detectives "Mr Morillo made several dances towards her, some sexual in nature but she refused all of his attempts".
Erik Morillo back in 2016 went public about his inability to quit drinking, which leads to him taking drugs "You have a little alcohol, then some girl comes and says "Let's do it" and you think -fuckit and take a bit, then a bit more..."
His drug choise was ketamine, which often shows up in "date rape" victim tests.
"Nearly 1 in 5 women (18.3%) and 1 in 71 men (1.4%) in the United States have been raped at some time in their lives, including completed forced penetration, attempted forced penetration, or alcohol/drug facilitated completed penetration". (NISVS 2010 Summary Report - Sexual Violence by any Perpetrator). More than ever before females are showing their courage to come forward and speak out. This is nothing to be ashamed of the adverse effects of rape can be traumatising 30% of womand report symptoms of PTSD 9 months after the rape.'
As I write this, it brings back my anxiety of being a victims of a similary story. I didin't have the courage as a minor to speak up and still to this day very few people know. But I would strongly encourage anyone who has fallen victim to any type of rape, whether its forced, attempted or alcohol/drug facilitated rape, to speak out. You are not alone and justice needs to be served, you could potentially save someone else from falling victim to the same crime.
Words by Nicole Venter
Decay Records celebrates its 7th anniversary with a very special wax release
Founded by Davide Zeta, Decay Records is a London-based imprint that remains firm to its dubby ethos and elegant grooves, a signature sound that ages timelessly. To commemorate seven years of refined and hypnotic tech and deep house music, the label gives life to a massive VA compilation called Decay Made 7. The various artists' four-tracker EP is a special collection of dancefloor jewels that reunites leading local and international figures like Romanian minimal heavyweight Mihai Popoviciu, as well as German-bread, house and techno staple, Christian Burkhardt, alongside British talented counterparts, James Dexter and Ray Mono. The EP perfectly expresses diverse emotions that suit accordingly for different occasions within the characteristic label’s sound.
Mihai Popoviciu’s ¨Biology¨ takes form as a minimal house track that entrances the listener as it creates a profound, both visceral and introspective response. The percussive elements and bassline move back and forth throughout the piece, driving the body into an inevitable and unceasing motion. The heated rhythms along with refined dubby chord pads seamlessly fill in space as they exquisitely glide through the air. The short decay and reversed shotted percussions move along the eighth noted hi-hats that accentuate the straightforward high energy and warm dynamic atmosphere. The faded vocal sample brings nuances of dreamy tones as the synth pad passages deep within the track. Mihai Popoviciu conveys cross beating drumming that brings fire to the soul and dancefloor.
Thus, Inermu boss James Dexter delivers ¨And Then¨, a cool and elegant deep house cut with dubby pads that are perfectly suited for those leisurely moments of the night and day. The kick drum beats and resonates against, a high frequency sustained monophonic synthesizer along with splashing chords. The sizzling clap’s downbeat and hi-hat combination highlight its deep housey DNA. The bassline then simple yet effective follows along with clever flair. Reverberating percussions move swiftly as they evoke a deep tech minimal sound with an upbeat clave. ¨And Then¨ is one of those cuts that are meant to be blended smoothly as it slowly fades away.
German veteran Christian Burkhardt is next with ¨Quanta¨, a funky and groovy acidic roller that keeps the journey both fun and peculiar. Burkhardt weaves a solid groove foundation, using sixteenth noted clicks moving the drive onward alongside a dry kick drum. These polyrhythmic percussive arrangements provide a loose and electric cadence. The robust bassline pulsates intensely while the drumming responds firmly. The weight of the track is all in the bass section: rich, dynamic, and fun. In this cut, Burkhardt, opts for more of an experimental approach and result, skillfully crafting tension and ease through the eccentricity of a combination of modulating and piercing synthesizer and the wobbling, sawtooth waved bass. The tripped-out sonic details along with open filtered pads and sci-fi effects one-shots add to the character and richness of the track. Flanger modulations and phased out percussions contrast vibrantly with the natural timbre of the congas, as they bring a wrap to this tropical and psychedelic journey.
Lastly, Ray Mono’s ¨Uncut¨ closes off the EP with a raw and stripped-down minimal housework. The robust 808 kick brings a heaviness to the mix, which is also emphasized by the filtered sub-bass that drives along. The sharp and bright hi-hat’s presence in the track adds to its stripped-down edge. The 808 clave also brings a robustly saturated tint that keeps the middle range frequencies gritty and hearty. Dubby chords float in reverberated delays, with filtered synths to add a sense of depth and dreamy sounds. The simplicity of the filtered synth opening envelops subtly the melody that charmingly accompanies a vocal sample splashed in reverb, reminiscent of early 2000s progressive vocals.
Decay Records delivers another well-rounded recording as its newest addition to its quality catalogue, remaining faithful to its quality and vision which are not compromised despite the musical industry trends, aiming for endurance and uniqueness over hype.
Words by: Daniel Ordoñez
There are certain DJs and producers who transcend and connect with us far beyond their prowess behind the decks or in the studio. They become a symbol of a movement and moment in time. Ricardo Villalobos is one of these individuals.
Today we celebrate his 50th Birthday! Behind the decks and there are few that sit parallel. Who can’t recall a classic Villalobos moment at some point during our days and nights on dancefloors across the world? On the form, he has the ability to effortlessly take you down the rabbit hole presenting you with all the twists and turns that make a set from Villalobos so definitive. His presence is something to behold. You see someone who truly enjoys their craft and at one with the moment they’re in with absolute control of the room.
Maybe it's because of his attitude or his moves behind the decks. That swirl of arms waving in time to the music. His alluring smile and his untiring, constant movement. If seen by a novice eye, he could look almost unconcerned of playing the next track. But that's exactly the opposite. Ricardo is the first one enjoying what he's doing. Every single move is precisely calculated to dive the lucky listener into something more than a simple listening experience.
With a career that spans over 25 years as we look back and there are so many defining moments, with residencies across the globe at seminal venues including fabric, Closer, Club Der Visionaire and many more. Extended sets are something of the norm to the artist who is well known for his marathon performances in the booth flying solo and also alongside friends including Zip, Raresh and Rhadoo.
In the studio, Ricardo has graced us with an ever-growing string of releases over the years with regular releases on Perlon, Playhouse, [ a:pia:r ], Raum...Musik and to name a few. Many of which have become nothing short of dancefloor classics and an essential in the bag for many DJs across the globe.
His music is truly unique fabled for his length productions. They are known for being beautifully crafted progressing with each intricate detail you soon get lost in the moment. This is something that has been at the essence of his whole catalogue; even "The Contempt", which was released in 1995, still sounds super fresh today.
But it's not just about the overall quality or the sounds used in his tracks that he differentiates himself from hundreds of skilful producers. He basically transcends the idea of 4/4 track. He risks. He goes beyond the consolidate intro - plot - outro structure, pulling out timeless gems that range from 8 to even 40+ minutes. It's just Ricardo being Ricardo. Nothing more. Minimal as he is.
To label him under a genre would be impossible. Whether it's house, techno or minimal or even pure electronic experimental, he's always been one step ahead, making him a true pioneer and one of the greatest innovators in electronic dance music, but most importantly a true inspiration to us all.
A very happy birthday Ricardo!
Words by Jordan Diston & Francesco Quieti
Promising new label Romana Records steps up to the plate with its third release. The new label is quickly becoming recognised for its sublime minimal beats and this release will do nothing but enhance its reputation. 003 brings us an original cut from Ted Amber and remixes from label head honcho Magnus Asberg and TIJN.
Buy RR003 on deejay.de or Juno
Side A gets dives straight into the action instantly grabbing our attention with a defined 808 kick that we all know and love. Choppy hats and shaking rhythms give the A-side plenty of energy accompanied by a hypnotic bassline providing the groove. Subtle synths and nimble pads paint a beautiful picture taking us deep into the depths of the ocean. This is Ted at his best with elements perfectly arranged throughout, keeping you in a continuous trance as a layer upon layer is introduced.
Label-head Magnus Asberg kicks off the B side as he cleverly brings out the synths as a more defined feature of the track. This really changes the dynamics creating a much-welcomed alternative cut with more energy. Thunderous kicks and a fat addictive bassline keep you dancing as you're serenaded by futuristic vocals.
TIJN steps up for the 2nd remix. He’s an artist who is already making moves in 2020 with his first live show near the start of lockdown and a string of new releases on Curtea Veche, Aesthetic, OFF Path and Constant Black. The track builds intricately giving the elements plenty of room to breathe and progress. Snares are crisp and defined accompanied by a dubby kick which complements the bassline. This is some perfect sunrise material which takes you on a journey from the moment you press play. Another solid remix from TIJN and an excellent addition to the EP.
Overall another tight release from Romana and we look forward to seeing what else they will bring to the table with future releases. If this is anything to go by we’re in for a treat!
Words by Jordan Diston
You're slowly descending the already slippery steps, making your way between a little smoke and the poor lighting of the club. Little by little you begin to hear some distant jazzy notes and you already feel at home. Once arrived in front of the stage, you sit on a rather comfortable stool. The 'WipWap' show is about to start.
We continue our Meoko presents Series with a very special performance from none other than Boris Werner, presenting his infamous 'WipWap' show. This is the 1st of 4 parts recorded from a 22-hour marathon set recorded at Studio 80 in Amsterdam from way back when in 2014.
It sets like these that define a DJ’s ability to control the room, taking us on a journey, connecting with the crowd from start to finish. Part 1 kicks things off; teasing us with sounds you might not normally hear on the dancefloor including Jazz, Funk & Soul and Hip Hop. Unusual beats that slowly give way to slow, dub and deep vibes. A master class from start to finish. Boris Werner at his best.
Alongside the mix, you will find some questions we had the opportunity to ask him in between the show. Enjoy X
Tell us about that period... 2014. It isn't too far from our time but I guess you can still tell us many differences.
Back then you still would have the Studio 80 and Trouw, those two clubs played a major role in my career as I was resident at both clubs. But if I'm honest I would say the biggest difference is social media, in 2014 Facebook and IG were already there but didn't play a big role in the music scene compared to as it does now.
Are there any videos of the party? Do you miss the old days with almost no phones on the dancefloor?
I do miss the old party days without phones, I think people now are more looking at their phones to see what people are doing with their lives instead of enjoying their own. Just embrace the fucking moment already!
What kind of vibes atmospheres did that club transmit?
Studio 80 was mostly a platform for upcoming Dj talent and that combined with more known DJ's made it a really cool club. It's one of those places whereas the lights would go on and the place was empty you would be like: what’s so special about this place? But the moment when the crowd and DJ would come together it all made sense: a black box where you could lose yourself in, at least I did many many times :)
Were you supposed to play for 24 hours or did it happen spontaneously?
It was a yearly thing, the first time it was 10 hours, the 2nd 12 hours, the 3rd 15,5 I think and the plan was to go over the 20 hours. I didn't want to stop when Tessa, the manager at the time was told to do so. She was like to save something for next year, but unfortunately, we did not have the opportunity to replicate the show
The show is about to start and we don't want to take up any more of your time. Just tell us more about what's going on in these first 5.5 hours. What kind of music should we expect?
I knew it was going to be a long ride so I wanted to start the first hour or so with some music that I also listen to at home. So you can expect some jazzy/electronic chill vibes. After that more dubby sounds emerged and the dancefloor slowly came alive...
Karotte once told me “if you gonna play marathon sets wait as long as possible before you start drinking alcohol”. In this case, it was 4 hours in the mix that I actually had the first one, and in retrospect, these have been the most difficult 4 hours of the whole set, haha...
Thanks for your time, sir! Stay with us, the Boris 'WipWap' Werner show will be back next week...
Words by Francesco Quieti & Jordan Diston / Interview by Francesco Quieti
After the initial release by Lee Onel on the digital sister-label, newborn Purple Box is ready to raise the standard with a 4-tracker vinyl EP by Legit Trip, backed with remixes from Juliche Hernandez and Ilya Schulz. The entitled "Dreams" EP comes from one of the fastest rising talents in the Russian scene who literally took the Beatport charts by storm last year with his unmistakable deep-tech approach, releasing on labels such as DPE, Aprapta and Bla Bla to name a few. He now debuts on Purple Box, which will be responsible for constantly sharing fresh groovy vibes from the south of Italy, as the label is the result of the union of famous Pressology Distribution and Effetto Disclosure.
Click HERE to buy Dreams EP - PBOX001
Starting out with "Dreams", Legit Trip provides his trademark stripped-back groove together with a slick bass which initially covers only the lowest frequencies and gradually opens itself to the whole spectrum. When the pads and stab kick in, the piece immediately jumps into a groovy minimal tech dimension, whilst the open hats cut the mix super swingy. To complete the track, crisp jazzy riffs give another boost to the piece, remaining well-balanced with the addition of vocal chops that bounce nicely on the beat.
The joyful atmosphere of the first track is opposed to the darker "En Dehors". Airy pads almost sound like a choir, heavily processed. Drums roll tight and definite, with the right amount of thickness. Bass rumbles underneath the whole track, rolling and melting smoothly with the stabs. Hypnotic and intimistic, the piece goes round and round, rarely breaking the never-ending rotation. Trippy high-pitched percs flutter with their long tail, opening up to a new layer of tiny sounds.
On the flip, Spanish groover Juliche Hernandez (UNCANNY) signs the first remix and his strong temper emerges from the very start, as he delivers a classy and heavy minimal number. The stomping kick drum still leaves some room to the other elements, with the woody percussions in full-focus above a dynamic texture. On this version, the vocal is pitched down and brings even more drama to the floor, even if the biggest merit goes to the thunderous implacable bassline. Airy stab arises and starts wandering following the delay on top of the groove, creating a flawless interplay. When the piece gets dry again, once again we get swept up by the huge rolling bass and the powerful drums.
Lastly, Ilya Schultz takes over with his sunny re-interpretation of "Dreams". Starting with a bouncy stab, the track takes shelter immediately in a tunnel and starts speeding. Drums populate smoothly, with a pumping and swingy clyster clear groove that rushes the whole thing up to the break. The Moscow-based DJ and producer takes the jazzy riffs from the original, filtering them just a little, enough to make them look like bubbles about to blow, right before going down and then ascending quickly during the break. Slapping groove with loads of soul.
Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi
There are certain labels that you know already before you hear the EP that you’re in for a pleasantly mind-bending audible experience. iO (Mulen)’s OLDiViBES ticks this box inside and out. Next up to the plate on the sort after imprint is a VA from 5 artists who are making waves across the circuit at the moment in their own right; Vitess, Mandana, Andrea Caioni, Josh Baker & Alfie Jack.
Click HERE to buy OLDI171
The A-side kicks straight into play with Vitess using thunderous kicks and nimble hats to instantly grab your attention. The introduction of robotic pads and electronic synths teleport you to another dimension. Soft under layers and a driving bassline keep you moving. It’s the breakdown where all the elements really come into their own. The synth arrangement here takes you straight back to Acid House movement of 89’ alongside tight breakbeat percussion elements before dropping back into the groove. A grade weapon material.
Following on, Fuse (BE) resident Mandana shows her prowess in the studio. Distinct percussion and crystal clear hats accompany voltaic synths which instantly grab your attention. The introduction of a heart-warming bassline sets the tone of the track throughout. The contrast of ever the building hypnotic synths, precision like percussion and dub undertones works perfectly here.
Flipping it over to the B side and we begin a journey through space and time. The layers of this track evolve effortlessly. A master class in arranging from Andrea sees hi-end synths come and go throughout. Skipping hats and tight kicks create the energy and groove complementing the progressive synths. This is one that builds and builds and you’re more than happy to go with it as it does.
The EP concludes with duo Josh Baker & Alfie Jack. This is not the first time they have collaborated in the studio; producing yet again a sound perfectly blended and distinctively influenced from both their own individual styles. Intricate pads, accompanied by a deep and resounding bassline send you flying across the skies. New elements are introduced carefully throughout allowing the track too effortlessly develop.
Label owner iO (Mulen)
Safe to say this is an EP that will be enjoyed on many dancefloors across the world. Another one for the bag from OLDiViBES.
Words by Jordan Diston
Alci is one of those names in the minimal house scene that has been constantly dropping solid releases, a mixture of sophisticated music with a balance of groove and thoughtful flair that captures listeners and dancers alike. His latest work is no exception to the rule, released on DeWalta’s forward-thinking and top quality Meander label. The entitled "Can’t Dance" - inspired by the weird moment we're all living in - is a four-tracker EP full of bass-jackin' heavy tunes that reflect the high energy, versatility and laidback style of the young Swiss DJ and producer. The EP covers a good range of tones within minimalistic and technoid soundscapes perfect for anything between late-night dancing and early after-hours.
Click HERE to buy Can’t Dance EP
Opener ¨Can’t Dance¨ starts off the recording with a walking jazzy bassline, enveloping the listener’s feet and head into a trippy funky groove. The bass dissonances from the glitchy elements and percussive textures in the middle ground section of the song adding a surrealistic feel. The irony of the vocal recording repeating the song’s title, in different pitched registers makes the track both fun and weird, a vibrant minimal roller that keeps feet moving despite the song’s contradictory title.
¨Sonsuz Seconds¨ takes form as a minimal house track with a more upbeat energetic groove cleverly spiced with organic and tribal sounds alike. Sparking warm percussions hypnotically captivate the listener as they respond to the deep and funky bassline that intensely carries the momentum forward. The glittering clicks and textures combine with full-bodied and acoustic percussions as it transports the listener to a tropical vortex-like dream. The track’s tone is emphasized with the gentle yet sharp synth that creates a type of pause and melodious colourful tension as it alternates with the driving force of the heated drumming polyrhythms. The combination of the robust kick, the open hi-hat, a sharp clave, and a crispy clap brings the track together as dancefloor minimal house weapon.
On the flip, ¨Kelime Bir ¨ conveys a darker toned mood, with dry percussive clicks and drums that evoke a minimal techno dominance and somberness. Modular and analogue synthesizer melodic pads flow as they collide and drift in a dense sea of low-end sound waves. The vocal sample subtlety whispers distorted words which creates a mysterious ambience, while the closed jazzy hi-hat keeps pushing against the beat. The unexpected piano melodies, along with a nice rhythmic lead and syncopated bassline make for a flammable yet inviting musical cocktail.
Closing off, ¨Kelime Iki¨, dwells in a dusky mood and atmospheric minimal track. The track’s drumming entrances the mind with low-end frequencies that resonate steadily in time. The clap accentuates and moves the energy forward as it complements the downbeat in a simple yet effective manner. Shortly after, mumbling voices appear adding a sense of depth and enigmatic dynamism. Short synth pads leak into the foreground while incorporating cleverly a straight-headed hi-hat that firmly raises the dynamics of the track. The low-end bassline reproduces ascending notes which coast smoothly along with the beat. While pads with trippy bends surround the air as delicate deft tones. Once again, Alci proves that it is possible to seemingly combine simple backbone elements with refined details in a reductive and alluring composition while keeping the dancefloor on edge. "Can’t Dance" EP has already sold out in various record stores so don’t sleep on Meander’s latest addition to their catalogue.
Words by Daniel Ordoñez
Today - about 10 years after since his first release - Jamie Lie A Kwie releases his debut album on the mighty Vatos Locos label. Known for his warm and charming groove tools, The Rotterdam-based DJ and producer has captured many facets on the entitled Groove Codex LP by introducing the listener to his personal vision of dub rhythms. A vision which is evident across titles across his work here; in fact, the 15-tracks album includes tunes called "Forever Dub" and "Re-Dub Overdub" that, as well as the other tracks on the LP, feature quite long analogue rides where large rolling low-grooves are boss.
Click HERE to buy the Groove Codex LP
With Jamie being a personal favourite among tINI and Vatos Locos' head-honcho Hector, to name a few, so much that his first output for the label is from 2016, the album traces his whole artistic path, starting right with "Jungl", originally released earlier last year on the label. This track is a straight and heady minimal house track that since the very beginning makes us live the frenzy of the jungle thanks to pounding kick, tribal congas and a percussion loop that constantly gets pitched up & down, giving to the track a sense of restlessness. On the opener, Jamie features dark and mysterious atmospheres with some odd synths moving on long lines together with smooth arpeggios patterns in an effective interplay, especially when the pads arise in the break, before the drums cycle back smoothly, sharp and dusty.
Up next, "Nordzee", hits the spot by working on an interesting combination between the kick and the groove: the 4/4 beat takes a little further with a strange but effective the use of low percussions, to which is added an unconventional hi-hat right on the beat. Trippy and higher-pitched percs create a sort of hook for the drums to follow, with some mellow vibes also courtesy of lush and airy pads. Lifted two centimetres from the floor, we keep on floating on this intimate track.
On the entitled "Time & Again", Jamie shows us his personal taste in the choice of drum sounds, bringing to evidence his love for fat grooves, re-taking some of those 2015-ish dub forgotten sonorities. Synths are further apart, shotting some harmonics on the heavy beat. A wispy breakbeat filters through, slowly coming to the listener's attention during the break and continues for the drop, but once we are aware of it we can't get rid of this stumbling shake.
Track 6, "Moving Current", insists on a rusted groove where the drums are thin, with the exception of the clap which is fat and deep. On this one, Jamie gives to the drums the right dose of saturation, creating a grainy lofi feel. The snare roll picks the groove up at the end of four bars, creating an endless story combining with low reverberated pad chords that are drugging as down under smooth current. The synth line is melodic and introspective, sounding like an endless journey which takes us deep within the sea. This unfinished, infinite feeling makes the piece sounds fragile to its utmost expression.
Thus, "In Arts" goes back to a straightforward kick and bass relation. The kick is stingy and the bass rolls tight on it, with the drums getting more aggressive and the synths turning into hypnotic harsh-drivers, more harsh and definite. On this one, we lose that tinge of vagueness that we had so far for a more solid attitude. Reverbed drum hits create variation while the hat and clap proceed regularly and steady. The arp synth has a very deep house flavour, rubbery and everchanging. Melody is obscure and trippy, hypnotic, compelling. Just close your eyes, here's everything you need.
Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi
Earlier this month, the Government announced a £1.57 billion rescue package for the arts, culture and heritage industries to help weather the impact of Coronavirus.
However exactly who this money will go to and how is yet to be announced. It is still unclear whether electronic and dance music sector in the UK will be covered by this. This is really uncertain times for our industry and the people who work within it.
On Thursday 23rd July the entire industry, from artists and promoters to workers & freelancers, venues, festivals, publishers, companies and all associated organisations will come together to urge the Government to take action and save this vital industry, which employs hundreds of thousands of people and contributes millions to the UK economy.
So how can you help? Spread the word and create some noise!
1. SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS #LETUSDANCE
Post your favourite picture from a recent nightclub, festival or event with a note supporting its place within arts and culture. Pre-made social media graphics can be found here. Please use the hashtag #LetUsDance with all posts.
2. EMAIL LETTER TO YOUR LOCAL MP
A draft letter to local MPs will be available via an automated online system for fans, artists and industry professionals to access and send automatically. Access the letter here.
This campaign represents a major moment in the future of our industry - please do give the #LetUsDance campaign your support. Hopefully, by working together we will get the answers we need for us to move forward.
Hailing from Bologna, 320kb Music boss Umberto (also known as Dumbo) is back on Italy's Daphian Productions to show the world what's house music is all about. The entitled "Subjectivity" EP is a deep journey between rough ghetto beatz, acid rhythms and dusty neo-romantic post-industrial vibes, with the main track which also gets a remix treatment by Detroit legend Rick Wade.
Click Rick Wade to buy Subjectivity EP - DPV005
Opening track "Subjectivity" instantly shows a gritty attitude on a breakbeat groove, bringing us back in some US smokey bars, where the main protagonist is a delicate sense of swing, loopiness and sensuality. Overall, the sound is dusty and lofi in a very old school fancy, with Umberto knowing exactly how to blend this into a more modern and minimal way. Some spoken words kick in, bringing on some mystery and motion with a catchy pace, and we can't stand still while it goes.
Up next, Detroit’s deep-house titan Rick Wade delivers a massive interpretation of Umberto's A1, shifting to a beautiful uplifting mood. It’s house time baby. The kick pounds and a deadly play of 909 hi-hats dominates rumbling strings and the main vocal, which now is used in a more atmospheric way, sounding further and intense. The result is very emotional jam, with intense strings and choirs, throwing in some extra-colour on the original whilst taking groove to a tougher level.
The B-side opens with the laid-back Balearic jam of “Hypnotico”. The powerful and intricate drum patterns roll around the swingy hi-hat, in a rolling neverending flow. Some detuned stabs make us feel instantly on the beach, evening time, enjoying the sunset. Glidy synth and smooth piano-like chords fill the mids with class. Umberto, despite everything, doesn't forget his dirty signature house sound, making of this one another playful fancy tune.
Last but not least is closing “Was Nice To See You Dancin”, a super-soul twisted piece. Disco strings and a charming melody give to the track an old and kinda-happy vibe, the perfect tool for opening sets, with the right balance in between deep, funk and dancefloor attitude. Percussions are tight and groovy, with the snare’s sound cooked to the right point, crisp as it should be. During the break, the track lifts in a dense high pitched cloud of sound, before coming back to the ruthless 4/4 straight kick, bass and groove.
Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi
Rome's very own Patrizio Gabrielli (Joule) makes his Heko Records debut with the "Comfortable Disharmony" EP. A title that catches the digger's attention even before he put the needle on the disk. And if they say that a book is not judged by the cover, well maybe a record could be, especially if it's served on a colourful minimalistic sleeve.
Click HERE to buy HR008 - Comfortable Disharmony EP
With both Patrizio and Heko fierce supporters of the quality over quantity motto, the label reaches its 8th release after having released intriguing deep house and avant-garde/futuristic house gems packed with electro and minimal influences.
Opening proceedings, the super-deep "Astra" welcomes a combination of analogue spacey sounds and fat bass notes, rolling smoothly under a delicate airy and mild pluck that is constantly changing. The kick hits hard and digs deep, creating an emotive groove. The whole piece, as the title suggests, evokes cuddly melancholic feels, and the swingy 909 percussive pattern is liquid and well-balanced, perfectly melting the elements together.
Thus, the energetic "Polylove" brings the moods up. Dancefloor time. Again, the drums are very crisp and robust, with Patrizio working with the always-winning formula of kick, clap, hat and bassline for the first minute. On this one, the overall mood moves to more electronic-ish feel, also by focusing on 90s sounds, a trend that was already taken by the label in its latest releases. The heavy drums are yet combined with a chunky bassline and futuristic splashes of resonating acid lines in a flurry burst of sounds.
On the flip, "Kashmir" is the real deal of the EP. This one has been hammered by the label head honcho Giammarco Orsini over the last couple of years, and every time he dropped that, the crowd went bananas. With Gabrielli still keen to bring forward his deadly combination of 90s flavour and new-kind of house wave, the track rapidly follows into an early acid breakdown surrounded by distant delayed notes, whilst the drums are straight and in front. The lead synth is glidy and goes a super catchy and hooky melody alongside the slippery acid line. Magic.
Rounding out the package, "Tribe" gets more aggressive: the bassline gets rid of its gloomy bassline, turning into a rampant gritty sawtooth. The breakbeat mood works seamlessly, with fat snares and sharp drum elements to close the matter. Delicate synths and celestial arp-lines literally spin over our head, in stark contrast with the rough bassline, with warm chords leading the whole EP down to the end.
Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi
More positive news this week for nightlife in the UK as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced today ‘Audiences adhering to social distancing will be able to return to indoor theatres, music and performance venues from 1 August’.
This is subject to the success of pilot schemes that will be taking place this month. Audiences, performers and venues will be expected to maintain social distancing at all times. Guidance for the performing arts, published earlier this month, also sets out further measures to support the safe return of audiences, including:
Reduced venue capacity and limited ticket sales to ensure social distancing can be maintained
Tickets will be purchased online and venues encouraged to use e-tickets to reduce contact and help with track and trace
Venues should have clearly communicated social distancing marking in place in areas where queues form and adopt a limited entry approach
Increased deep cleaning of venues
DJs must observe social distancing wherever possible
This follows the government’s announcement of £1.57 billion funding for the arts, culture and heritage sector earlier this month. Details of which are still to be announced.
Safe to say this is a major step forward to us returning to normality. We now wait in anticipation to see which promoters will be coming back first. Safe to say I’ve missed standing front left and this a step closer to that.
See you on the dancefloor!
Many months have passed since the COVID emergency and the music industry remains the most affected. Governments and health organisations, faced with pressure to reopen the world economy, are starting to outline guidelines for the return of clubs, discos and music festivals including The BPM Festival, Epizode, YZY Sound, Kiesgrube, Real Gang x Weetamix, Pikes, Supermarket, The Cause, Number 90 and Distrikt Leeds.
If the culture of clubbing is much more than that, if it is much more than a group of people united in the same club, this feeling will use whatever tools are available to connect the public and support this sector. The modalities, in some cases in the experimental phase, are many, without neglecting an important aspect: the support to the artists in this transitional phase. Helping the electronic music community during the current coronavirus pandemic is the goal of the different online resources and live streaming events that arose as a result of cancellations that are currently decimating the live music industry. Many of the creators and supporters of club culture and events, deejays and producers, are fighting this war against Covid-19 with the entertainment of their audience, with the production of music, with streaming live around the world.
With over four million cases worldwide, the reopening of nightlife will be gradual, probably the last of the areas that will show new signs of openness. The clubbing sector is not just about social and entertainment, the so-called "club culture" is much more.
Its features refer to the aggregation, relationship, exchange, sense and feeling of belonging that young people of the world feel towards their club, their subculture, their group, their movement. These are chapters in the history of events, artists who have approached the dancefloor to new emotions, clubs that have welcomed behind the console deejays and musicians from all over the world. Everything that the new epidemiological enemy is trying to raise to the ground, paradoxically at the time of a generation that is equipped with all the tools to be united, close, but which is forced to remain momentarily distant.
But now something starts to change. We take a look at festivals, parties and venues which are bringing our scene back to life.
The BPM Festival (Malta)
After months of blocking, the iconic BPM Festival (Malta) now lands in the middle of the Mediterranean sea. From 11 to 13 September, the beautiful island of Malta will be the perfect setting for those who can not wait to return to dance under the notes of great artists.
The first wave of artists has been announced and we will have the pleasure of listening to artists like; Adam Beyer, Archie Hamilton, Chris Stussy, Enzo Siragusa, Yaya, Sonja Moonear and the master Ricardo Villalobos.
More info > https://thebpmfestival-europe.com/
Fabulous Epizode in Vietnam has confirmed the news that all their fans have been waiting to hear and that is that they will indeed be returning for a fifth time later this year. With large scale events being cancelled left and right due to the pandemic outbreak the news of the marathon festival is very welcome.
More info > https://epizode.asia/
VENUES & EVENTS
Yoyaku Airdrome (Paris)
After Yoyaku’s first memorable Warehouse party in Paris, they return with a second edition that will take place at Bourget Airport. The event should have taken place on 7th March, but it was postponed until a later date because of the pandemic situation. Now, 6 months after, the crew will celebrate the 5th Anniversary of the project see’s the whole of the roster on the line up including; Arno, Audio Wener, Cabanne, Janeret, Lamache, Lowris, Maayan Nidam, Roger Gerressen, Varhart and Zendid. Ricardo Villallobos will also be joining the crew as an honorary special guest.
More info > https://www.facebook.com/events/443431383217564
YZY Sound (Cluj Napoca)
YZY returns in Romania. Gescu, Arapu and Tiberiu take centre stage on the controls for what is sure to be a master class in DJing, and a much needed musical journey for all in attendance.
More info > https://www.facebook.com/events/2393516077614559
Kiesgrube hosts their seated open-air series seeing us a step closer to normality complemented with a soundtrack to get you moving, with artists including; Chris Stussy, Prunk, Tapesh, Marlie, Lazar Hoche, ANOTR, William Djoko and more.
More info > https://www.facebook.com/events/1626825910798984
Real Gang x Weetamix (Geneva)
The Real Gang crew are back in full swing with all night long showcase at Weetamix. The lineup comprising of residents and friends; Alui.w, Cally, Kevin Cook plus founders Nicolau and Miller, who will be joined by last-minute guest Reiss for an unexpected b2b.
The venue needs very little introduction with so much character being left behind by many great artists over its years who have graced the decks to play underground music. Swiss greats Luciano and Sonja Moonear were part of the team of residents pushing the sound in Geneva, with international artists of the legendary status coming from far and wide. It’s safe the lads are picking up where they left off. Throwing quality parties.
More info > https://www.facebook.com/events/831332290609059
The island of Ibiza is still full of life despite larger venues not opening yet, there is still plenty going on in the island with some venues starting to open with social distancing measures in place including the infamous Café Mambo where you can enjoy the soundtrack to Ibiza whilst enjoying the west coasts unforgettable sunset.
Pikes is back in action with its Sunday at Pikes series. Residents the Brothers Grim welcome us to a weekly slice of Balearic bliss. 12 hours of poolside music soundtracking a relaxed afternoon and evening of cocktails and food.
More info > https://pikesibiza.com/sundays/
Supermarket will host its Daytimer event series welcoming the likes of Alci, Guti, Priku, Stimming and Ricardo Villalobos. Another one of the world’s staple venues managing to open its doors which can only be a great sign for the industry we love.
More info > https://www.facebook.com/ClubSupermarket/events
The Cause (London)
Turning our attention to the UK and we start to see some light at the end of the tunnel. The Cause has recently developed a new terrace area which floods with natural light with vibrant design. The new space is a perfect addition to their already staple London venue. It will be the home of their summer events, at this stage capacity is still limited but as we look to the future this can only improve!
More info > https://www.facebook.com/events/1966948946772111
Number 90 celebrated its long-awaited re-opening party 4 July and will continue to hold it’s outdoor summer series. Every weekend their front yard will play host to some of London's best DJs. So you can grab a drink, order one of their infamous burgers and (finally) relax with friends in the sun.
More info > https://www.facebook.com/events/307374850296293
Distrikt in Leeds has used the time to tweak the soundsystem and add new monitors as well as giving the place a cosmetic facelift. The venue is a hotspot in Leeds which has played host to the likes of Dan Ghenacia, Francesco Del Garda, Sonja Moonear, Sweely, Voightmann and many many more. It’s great to see the guys back up and running with weekly outdoor events and making positive changes while they’re at it.
More info > https://www.distrikt.co.uk/
Finally, the music industry is coming back to life. We are running out of live-streamings that in these months of lockdown have kept us company and we are all going back to buy airline tickets to reach our favourite club or festival. It was definitely a very difficult year for the music industry but now everything starts to go back to the way it was before and stronger than ever. The world needs music and fortunately, things seem to be getting back to normal slowly but surely!
Words by Jordan Diston and Caterina Fidelbo
It's the recent news that VAT has now been cut In the UK from 20% to 5% for concerts and festivals this is an excellent opportunity for venues and promoters to recoup some of the costs lost in recent months. Read more here from theguardian.com
From a club viewers point of view, this is also great news as tickets could be more affordable for events. Again encouraging for us to get back out there and enjoy the party.