We thought of making a list of movies and documentaries in which electronic music is one of the main characters. The stories told by these pictures have an important place in the heart of music lovers.
We know that this is a time when we have to spend as much time at home and stay safe, so we wanted to break the routine and to make together all this time a little sweeter.
The summer of rave (1989)
The most representative documentary about acid house music in the UK made by the BBC. At the end of the 1980s, the club culture here began to take shape in the context of the end of the communist era.
The story of the Street Rave (1990)
The journey of this movie takes us through the history of the last 20 years of the UK clubbing scene. Most interestingly, the documentary points very well the path of British rave culture. Many artists like Carl Cox, Iain Boney Clark or Graeme Park are sharing their sincere stories.
Detroit The Blueprint Of Techno (late 1990’s)
Originally from Germany, Techno went beyond its borders and began to develop in Detroit in the mid-1980s, making this city as popular as Berlin. In this documentary, a lot of the important names from this area, such as Carl Craig, Derrick May, Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, and many others, tell us catchy stories about techno movements.
Dutch gabber (1995)
The action is taking place in Rotterdam. Lola Da Musica has made a short documentary presenting the Dutch hardcore scene, images that perfectly capture the experiences of the ravers of that time and how they were partying. At the same time, you will see Paul Elstak, one of the important names in this scene, and DJ Ruffneck from Ruffneck Alliance.
Love is the message (1995)
Even it is in German, this is an excellent Love Parade documentary to watch, a film made by Tommy Grube that managed to capture the 90's moments of the most popular electronic music festival and techno parade in Germany. This event was held for the first time in 1989 and all started in Berlin, as host town. In 2010 was the last edition of this festival, due to a crowd crush that caused the death of 21 people and many others injured. Besides the German artists, there were performing also two other big names in the electronic music scene, such as Rhadoo in 1999 and Raresh in 2007.
Music is my drug (1996)
The documentary was produced by Martin Meissonnier & Jean Jacques Flori. Shot in four locations, very diverse as culture, Goa, Israel, UK and Japan, the images speak about what the musical movement of Psychedelic Trance means.
Universal Techno (1996)
Detroit's techno music scene has become one of the most popular in the world. For 1 hour, this French documentary brings us in contact with the fascinating path of techno.
Human Traffic (1999)
This movie has both a dramatic side and a comedy side, in which it is presented to us the life of five friends, young people for whom, after work, on Friday, means going to the club, and their attraction was recreational drugs. A highlight of this film is the presentation of the British rave scene of that period.
The Chemical Generation (2000)
The history of the acid house and rave in the UK is presented by Boy George. This documentary gets together the stories of the club culture revolution since the ‘80s and how British young people meet with MDMA and ecstasy, as dealers or clubbers.
It’s All Gone Pete Tong (2004)
This is one of the most appreciated films in this area, a British-Canadian production, which is based on the real story of DJ Paul Kaye who at some point he completely became deaf. The character Frankie Wilde, a British music producer and artist who performs in Ibiza, experiences different states with this body change, seems to have lost control over his life and in these conditions he is gradually trying to regain those important parts that he had lost in this period: appreciation as an artist, his job and his wife.
Hans Fjellestad directed a documentary about Dr. Robert Moog who was one of the pioneers of the electronic instrument. He invented what is called the Moog synthesizer.
Disco: Spinning the Story (2005)
We have to admit that the disco offered another face to the music. In this documentary, Gloria Gaynor presents the phenomenon together with the featured interviews by Donna Summer, George Clinton, the disco group Village People and many others.
The English name of this movie is "Don't forget to go home". We meet here with the story of 72 hours of partying in a city known for its nightlife, Berlin. The pictures manage to capture both the good and the bad parts of the mix between regular life and partying in the weekend in clubs such as Club Der Visonaere, Watergate, Bar 25 or Berghain. All are fully completed by the interviews offered by Ricardo Villalobos, Luciano, Nick Höppner and Ewan Pearson.
High Tech Soul: The Creation of Techno Music (2006)
Directed by Gary Bredow, the documentary covers all the historical periods of techno in Detroit and also by the interviews of great artists such as Carl Craig, Jeff Mills, Juan Atkins, Richie Hawtin, it offers a great overview of what techno sounds and culture means.
Berlin Calling (2008)
The movie main character, DJ Ickarus, is played by the well-known German artist Paul Kalkbrenner. This video piece presents the artist, a drug consumer, who was often hospitalized for this reason. These things make him lose his girlfriend and at the same time, the record label with which he collaborates cancels the partnership with him. Nevertheless, he manages to release a remarkable album of electronic music.
Kraftwerk & The Electronic Revolution (2008)
Kraftwerk is a symbol when you talk about electronic music. This German band was formed in 1970 and their incredible story presented in this documentary will allow us to understand how these guys manage to inspire other artists such as Radiohead or Coldplay and how they popularize this music genre.
Slices: Pioneers of Electronic Music - Richie Hawtin (2011)
Richie Hawtin is one of the successful artists and a complete artist. Producer and DJ, his career is a great inspiration and his music is well-known all over the world. This documentary allows us to get to know Richie Hawtin much better, the videos and the interviews will tell an interesting story of his personal and artistic life.
Sub Berlin – The Story of Tresor (2014)
Tresor is one of the most legendary clubs in Berlin which was opened in 1999, an unconventional place, located in the basement of a building, which in the past was a bank vault. Besides the history of the location, we will enjoy the interviews of important artists such as Sven Väth or Atkins, as well as those of the people who contributed to the creation of the club's story.
Why we DJ - Slaves to the rhythm (2017)
A 40” documentary that explores the link between the DJs psychology, their creativity, passion and lifestyle. The interviews featured by Pete Tong, Seth Troxler, Carl Cox or Luciano, will help us to understand the ups and downs of a DJ career and life.
Everybody In The Place - An Incomplete History of Britain 1984 -1992 (2019)
This is a documentary produced by the Turner Prize-winning artist Jeremy Deller. The movie's author successfully managed to analyze rave and acid house movements in the UK during '80s-'90s. The selection of archive materials chosen, presents the journey in time during a period of social changes, with protest movements, a time when rave parties were illegal.
Enjoy and stay safe!
Words by Miruna Ioana Dan
The Molecule is the creation of long-standing Mint Warehouse / Zutekh residents Bobby O’Donnell and Daniel Quixano Henriques.
After leaving their hometown in 2005, the pair found themselves either side of the Pennines, Bobby in Leeds, Daniel in Manchester. In 2007 Bobby started a residency at the already well-established System, whilst in 2008 Daniel started the now legendary Zutekh parties, as resident and co-promoter. During their combined 25 years at their respective residencies, Daniel & Bobby have shared the decks with everyone from Villalobos, to Jeff Mills to Chez Damier as well as gigs every year at The Warehouse Project and Cocoon in the Park.
Since collaborating a year ago and forming The Molecule, their first E.P is now ready for release, on Bobby's well regarded E-Numbers imprint.
What's the first memory that you guys have of each one of you?
Daniel: I first met Bobby in a Media Studies class in 1997. We were 16 years old and it was our first day at 6th Form College. The teacher had asked everyone to stand up and introduce themselves one by one to the rest of the class - “Hi, my name’s Bobby and I’m divorced with 3 kids..” was the way he chose to introduce himself. I remember finding that hilarious and knew at that point we were going to be mates!
Bobby: Haha, that did happen, I should probably point out Henny was the only person in the whole class to laugh at my weird intro! His answer I think was - “Hi, I’m Daniel Henriques but everyone calls me Henny’. After that, we ended up becoming best mates. I think we always had respect and really impressed each other from a very early age musically, it's almost weird how long it took for us to collaborate.
Tell us everything about The Molecule project: how and when it started?
Daniel: It started a couple of years ago. I live down in Brighton now and before that, I’d been living in Manchester for 10 years doing the Zutekh parties. Bobby was over in Leeds during that time doing his System residency and we’d kind of lost touch since leaving our hometown. He got in touch and asked if I fancied going up north and making a tune. Everything just seemed to click straight away. That first session we made ‘Make The Trip Work’ - one of the tunes on our first E.P, soon to be released on E-Numbers.
Bobby: Yeah it’s been a case of that, with Henny coming up North each time. We made the first bits in Southport, then I moved back to Leeds. It’s been amazing to see my old mate again and to get stuck into the project. On reflection, we could have been more in touch, but life sort of takes over.
Daniel, what's the best part of working with Bobby?
Daniel: I can’t really think of any negatives, to be honest. We seem to agree on everything - whether it’s making music or DJing - hopefully, this translates well in our music. I’ve always regarded Bobby as one of the best producers I know and it’s a pleasure to be doing this with him. Of course, it’s also great to have one of my best mates back in my life on a regular basis.
Bobby, what's the best part of Working with Daniel?
Bobby: The best part is the results we’ve been getting together, Henny has a great approach to music and life in general. I’m quite erratic in the studio, so it’s been perfect to be creative with someone so calming. Also, we’ve got a really good crew in Leeds, it's ace having him over and being part of it all.
Who's the studio nerd between you two?
Daniel: Bobby for sure. A good chunk of my time is taken up with my work down in Brighton, which isn’t music-related. Bobby is now running classes teaching music production in Leeds and spends the majority of his time in the studio. He actually taught me how to use Ableton 15 years ago.
Bobby: Yeah I’m extremely nerdy about all things music-related and always have been. Where I still buy a lot of records, Henny is the more nerdy there. I remember him back in the day, mixing techno on three decks, after becoming obsessed with Jeff Mills. It was fucking mind-blowing how he could do that, and still can! So he’s still a proper nerd too!
From what I gather, you live pretty far from each other. How do you manage to work remote?
Daniel: For us, it’s important, whenever possible, to be in the same room when working on music - whether that’s making a track or deciding on tunes for a podcast - everything takes much less time and almost always seems to come together as it should. The studio we use is in Leeds, so at the start of the Molecule project, I made the commitment to travel up wherever possible and spend a long weekend on music every time I'm up there. Up until recently, I was travelling up around once every month or so. For now, though, I’ll be staying down in Brighton waiting for the pandemic to end.
Bobby: Yeah we don’t work remotely and hopefully never will do. I find it too impersonal and not collaborative, I mean how could it be really. It might take a bit longer if you take travel into account, but musically it's quicker and it’s the only way to work for us. Also, it’s the perfect excuse to see each other and make a weekend out of it. Obviously there’ll be no more anything until the Corona Virus fucks off.
What are your next steps?
Daniel: Since the coronavirus outbreak, everything’s kind of in limbo. Our scene has obviously been hit really hard and there are no gigs to look forward to for the foreseeable future. We’ve also made the decision to delay the release of our first E.P on E-Numbers until this has all blown over. It’s not great timing, as the E.P had just gone to cut when the situation with the virus started to become serious. So yeah, everything is on hold. I am of course more than happy to wait it out as long as needs be - the main thing at the moment is for everyone not to be out partying, staying safe and at home.
Bobby: There’s not much more to say here other than that.
And what your main goals as The Molecule?
Daniel: Just keep on doing exactly what we’re doing I’d say. We’ve got a good thing going, so just keep working hard on it all and hopefully, the project will do well. We’ll be making more music and sending it out to some labels we respect, in the hope of getting something signed. I’m really happy with the way things are going in terms of us Djing together too, so definitely looking forward to the time we can play out again!
Bobby: We're both ploughing on with this project very much and I’m just doing projects in general and having a bit of a break from releasing my solo stuff. We’ve been getting the correct types of bookings, so once the world can get back to normal, more of that for sure.
Any anticipation on some E-Numbers' future stuff?
Daniel: It’s all very early days but we’ve spoken about a Molecule remix for an upcoming release on E-Numbers. Keep your ears peeled for that! Bobby has also been working on a pretty big E-Numbers party up in Leeds later on in the year, which we’ll be playing at if the lockdown has ended.
Bobby: On E-Numbers after The Molecule release I’ll be showcasing some new artists I believe in and two of the most talented people I’ve met. The first is KG93, who I’ll be putting out an EP together with as KB Gems. He’s like a brother to me and an incredibly talented all-rounder, who is a wonder when it comes to music and making it. He’s also a choreographer. Pure talent! I’m also putting a release together with Konnie. He’s not only one of my best mates but a seriously talented DJ, drummer and beatboxer (he won't mind me saying that). Then who knows really! More releases and I’ll speed up the rate of them once it’s all back to normal and start asking people for demos.
Any shoutout or final thanks?
Daniel: Absolutely - Huge shouts to everyone that’s booked us to play so far. We’ve really enjoyed every gig and it means the world that promoters have put their faith in us. Also a big shout and big love to my wonderful lady Corinne who is nothing but supportive of what we are doing with The Molecule. I’ve been away a fair amount in the past year and I’m sure plenty of girlfriends wouldn’t be too happy! Also to my 4 Zutekh brothers, especially James and Dave for asking me to come on board at the very start. I still remember our little meeting all those years back... I've learnt how to play out properly as a result and also what it means to be a resident. I'll always be grateful. I’d also really like to thank Steve O'Sullivan for giving us the opportunity with the last podcast we did for his Mosaic mix series. We had some nice feedback on that and a couple of ace gigs came from it too. It was a massive platform for us, as is this opportunity with Meoko, so a big thanks to you too! Really hope you enjoy the mix..x
Bobby: Yeah, to be honest, I'd like to give a shout out to all the Mint Club family and especially Shane for giving me the chance of being a resident all those years ago. It’s shaped everything that I do and warming up has taught me how to be a DJ properly. I'm so utterly grateful for it. Also a special shout out to Danny Robinson for being a consistent dude and the best dick head in Leeds.
Also from us both, on a final note, we just wanted to say a massive shoutout has to go to all the doctors, nurses & health care workers around the world during this absolutely insane time. It’s hard to even begin to imagine what they are dealing with at the moment. Also to the people working in food shops, delivering, helping the homeless, key workers and everyone else doing their bit. Respect..x
Words by Francesco Quieti
Italy's RE.FACE Records continues to deliver fantastic music reaching the 7th release, which is brought to you by Cerec. The young Argentian talent, after having inaugurated both The Senss and Unic vinyl-experiences, debuts on RE.FACE with "Moving Visual Things". He perfectly follows the path of the label, continuing the journey started with previous releases by Vern, Ted Amber, Fabrizio Maurizi, Peshka, Vincentiulian, Nektar Agu and Petar Milicevic. The EP features three deep 'n raw deep minimal originals which are already played and support by Arapu, Giuliano Lomonte, Gescu, Sepp, Cally, Prichindel, Viceversa and more others.
"Brisa" opens with a funky and jackin' bassline that winds below the entire track. The light groove is dominated by crisp claps and delicious snare drums, making of this one a bouncy roller. Some early "Tale Of Us" synths appear in the mid-section of the arrangement, giving an extra twist to the track.
On the flip, "Recuerdo" goes moody with dark textures, sinister synths and dreamy pads that float above a super fat bassline, driving drums with SCI-FI details that bring real charm to the track.
Closing the EP is "Laguna", which is also the track we have chosen to premiere. This one is a truly compelling deep house track that over its 7+ minutes ride, is a real ballad of love. Here, everything's delicate and composed: from the tiny hi-hats to the shakers, each element is exactly in the right place, giving you, despite some stretched and resampled nervous atmospheres an absolute sense of peace, not allowing existing excuses to stand beside the wall. Just close your eyes and dance like nobody is watching.
Words by Francesco Quieti
The Italian duo of Jamahr is finally ready to launch their own label Captea. The label's name draws inspiration from the Romanian "to capture" and for the first release called "Cloud Formations", the guys have unleashed 3 powerful originals, calling US veteran Urulu on the remix duties. Hailing from Biella, a small city near Turin, these long-time friends have started their venture of 10 years ago, slowly making a name for themselves thanks to their deep and techy productions, within which you can always find a 6th sense for intriguing melodies and catchy grooves. Over the years they've released both on vinyl and digital on renowned labels such as Tamango Records, What NxT, Mulen Records, Politics Of Dancing Records and EWax to name a few, getting support from heavyweights like Enzo Siragusa, Yaya, Rich NxT, Djebali, Reiss, Seb Zito, Janeret and Burnski.
A1's "Cloud Formations" is an intense trip in which the Jamahr drives us miles away from the Earth's crust, making us discover intricated rhythmic bounces, rattling percussions and warm groove patterns. Some female whispers joined to hypnotizing pads and curious SCI+FI sounds are perfectly placed above breakbeat inspired drums, giving life to a hell of an opener.
Up next, US eclectic Urulu goes faster, with his 132 bpm "No Satisfaction Guaranteed" version of "Cloud Formations". He provides a gun-powder remix which features splashes of cyber-electro sound with rolling and heavy bassline, turning the original into a real dancefloor heater.
On the B-side, "Kamigawa" is the perfect representation of the sound that the Jamahrs got us used to over the last couple of years. On this one, pulsating toms and hi-hats encounter mystical long-tailed pads and synths into a majestic and dreamy progression.
Closing the EP is another energetic club tool called "Voyage". The wise use of 909 hats and vocal loops, together with housy strings and pulsating basslines have made of this track one of Enzo's favourite over the last couple of months.
Distribution by Memoria Music Group: https://www.memoria-musicgroup.com/
Words by Francesco Quieti
Berlin-based Sauchelli is part of the second wave of Argentinian artists, which see on respected acts such as Barem, Federico Molinari, Franco Cinelli, Alexis Cabrera, Jorge Savoretti some real reference points. And it's right in Barem and Cabrera's famous Fun Records that Sauchelli has dropped the wicked "Wanderlust" EP., which consists of 4 original dancefloor-oriented jams.
Opener "Funktion Two" is a crazy electro tool with rubbery drums and '90s rave-ish synths that bring the track in a freaky direction. The name obviously reminds to the popular British loudspeaker manufacturer and we're sure that this one will work pretty well on that system!
Up next, "Minibar" is another paranoid number with wobbling basslines, tons of analogue bleeps, and infectious drums that roll above an incessant white noise movement.
Title cut "Blind Folded" seems to hit less hard than the previous ones, but this is just a first impression. The monstrous bass race along in supple and rubbery fashion as deep synths weave in and out and sci-fi sounds and fx add further detail.
On the closing "Fun Key", Sauchelli goes jazzy, with subtle piano keys and sinister chords that perfectly fit with the female vocal samples and the solid well-programmed groove, making of this one another irresistible club weapon.
Words by Francesco Quieti
Toi.Toi. celebrates 10 years of passion and community for music announcing the first wave of artists and dates for 2020
London’s incredible music scene has given birth to many clubs, promoter brands and deejays. Among these, the Toi.Toi. Musik family (agency, event promoter, and label) has been a staple in the British capital, standing out for its passion and love for music which reflects a particular signature style.
The first Toi. Toi. events could be dated back in 2010 and took place at warehouse locations, eventually leading to nights at Fabric London and other clubs and venues within the city and abroad. Since its inception, the Toi.Toi. Musik crew has ¨focused on quality over quantity, with lineups, sound, and venues that create a unique atmosphere for like-minded people to come together¨. In its agency’s roster, Toi.Toi. can boast artists like Daniel Bell, Sammy Dee, Vincent Lemieux, Ion Ludwig, Topper, Dubtil, Junki Inoue and Doris Nicholas among other respected acts. For many years now, Toi.Toi. has worked on showcasing events with top tier artists like Zip, Margaret Dygas, Craig Richards, Matthew Jonson and Move D to name a few, as regular guests to their stellar line ups.
To celebrate the impressive landmark achievement of ten years running events, Toi.Toi. Musik has announced the first wave of their anticipated 10-year tour for 2020, which started February 21st at Club Guesthouse (Romania) up to June 19th at OFF Week Barcelona, where they're gonna celebrate its founding anniversary.
Brasilian on birth but with evident Italian origins, Toi.Toi.'s founder Isis Salvaterra has lived for two decades now in London. Consequently, Salvaterra founded the Toi.Toi. brand as a natural process that came to fruition with time as she discovered and networked in London’s underground scene due to her deeply rooted passion for music and creative endeavours. Over the years, Isis has networked with artists and creatives from different fields to create Toi.Toi.’s unique team, one that is well-rounded and rich due to its vast cultural diversity. This passion for music eventually established her as a cultural figure in the underground scene in London and abroad. In 2019, she eventually moved to Romania and this led her to take over media, communications and public relations for Club Guesthouse in Bucharest, the heart of Romania's underground scene. This year she decided to focus only on Toi.Toi. setting the new office in the Sunrise Hub, the newest artist hub in Bucharest designed by Herodot and by Sunrise.
The parties of the first half of the year include six dates in different countries including Romania, Portugal, England, and Spain. The first two events were held in Romania in February and received massive support from the local audience, a natural connection that was meant to happen. The high quality of Toi.Toi.’s event productions and avant-garde ethos are always present at their events and continue to captivate audiences across the globe. Next up in the calendar, Lisbon, (Dan Andrei, Alex Troubetzkoy) with a joint event with the Anexo promoter brand and their residents Elles and Benn. Following their event in Lisbon, London will witness another all-star lineup at the Fold warehouse (Rhadoo, Vlada, Edward, Dubtil and Junki Inoue) and an intimate and perfect after-party at the Lion and Lamb for Easter Bank Holiday to close a memorable weekend in the British capital.
London and Barcelona will be undoubtedly highlights of the tour as these cities are cultural hubs to the international music scene, and as the summer approaches beautiful music and nice weather are the perfect combination to end the tour with a proper smile and endless dancing! Toi.Toi.’s 10-year anniversary tour has started in full swing, and the following dates will be a series of exceptional parties, that will continue to create a beautiful experience that revolves around the passion for music and community.
The remaining TBA lineups are set to be revealed soon, followed by the second series of events to take place in the latter half of 2020. Tickets are available on Resident Advisor. More info at Toi.Toi. Musik’s social media accounts.
Words by Daniel Ordonez
Carl Finlow returns with a double vinyl 8 track album, following a prolific run of singles for Lone Romantic, Electrix, Craigie Knowes and Orson. Apparatus is a forward-thinking album that reflects Finlow’s return to live touring with many tracks hitting harder and darker, pushing his electro sound into new directions and soundscapes. Flawless production is something we have come to expect from Mr.Finlow yet he has managed to raise his game yet again with Apparatus, which is released on Leeds based 20/20 Vision who are also celebrating 25 years of the label this year!
Finlow has been on a staggering run of form and Apparatus continues this remarkable purple patch with a new lease of electro energy. It’s not surprising that every credible electronic master on the planet from Weatherall and Craig Richards to Dixon and Maceo Plex are all fans of his work.
Hey Carl, how has 2020 been for you so far?
Hi, 2020 has been good so far. The start of the year is usually slow gig wise but this always gives me kind of two months to get all my new music written and ready to send out to labels for the coming years releases.
You've been hugely prolific recently. What's the reason for that do you think? Can you pinpoint it?
I think I can really pinpoint it yes. I lived in Paris for 13 years, which was amazing in so many ways. I got married there and we had two children. We lived in quite a small apartment and my 'studio' became a table in the dining room. Being a musician, I work from home, but my wife went to an office job every day, so I was left to take care of home life. I was so used to having huge expanses of time to write my music and having two children really demolished that. The period in Paris was the least productive of my life so far. However, in 2015 we decided to move to the south of France. We ended up with a nice big old house and I had a studio room just dedicated to music. This, combined with the kids being older and more autonomous, meant that I once again had a good workspace and bags of time. I literally exploded musically.
Where does it come from? Inside you or a desire to leave a legacy or hearing or seeing things in everyday life?
It's something inside, a skill that I have to convey feelings and emotions through music. I still find it very magical, music, it is so very mysterious, the way it conjures up images and thoughts in our minds. I love that aspect of it, the psychological aspect of it, to actually get inside other peoples heads. I guess all creative work is like that. As for leaving a legacy, I have given thought to that and indeed it is nice to be leaving behind things that will remain accessible to future generations. I have enough fans to conclude that I am doing something right so knowing that is very rewarding for not only now, but to know that it will possibly mean something when I'm gone.
Why now for a new album? Did you have something specific to say? What was that?
Things just fall into place at certain times. With my explosion of new material, I have had the luxury of giving it out to many different labels. With 2020 Vision becoming increasingly involved with electro and due to my past history with the label, it seemed like quite a natural path to take at this moment in time. The album doesn't have a specific thing to say as such, my music never does. It's a seemingly never-ending stream of ideas that I work on to create an ongoing collection of music that is in a style, electro, that allows me to continually update and push my skills in sound design, production and melody.
Did you approach it any differently than the last few? Why do it as an album and not a series of 12"s?
When I sit down to write music it is always with a blank slate. Very rarely it is because I have a melody in my head. I think one thing in the process that has changed is that I now write a large part of my music in my car. I have to do the school run each day and in the afternoon this requires me to park my car up 45 minutes before school is out in order to secure a good parking space. In this brief time slot each day, I plug my laptop into the car sound system, blackout my windows (it's always sunny here) and really focus on creating a 4 or 5 new ideas each session. I have nobody interrupting me, no distractions and I'm enveloped by the pretty decent car stereo. After a few months of this, I can end up with hundreds of ideas for tracks, which then, like the world cup, go through to the 'next round' back at home in the studio. These get worked upon further and further, often I will be working on 30 or 40 tracks, but these eventually come down to maybe 20 tracks that have made it to 'the finals'. This strategy works really well for me and I enjoy working on so many tracks simultaneously, I never get bored. Ralph at 2020 liked enough of these to suggest an album, so that was that.
You're a famous live artist - do you make music using any of those live skills, then edit down recordings for example, or are they different processes?
Well, Ableton Live was a game-changer for me. The interaction with the music, being able to jam with all your bits and pieces really satisfied me creatively. I had come from a full studio of all the classic real synths and drum machines when I lived in the UK (where Ralph and I shared the same house and started 2020 Vision actually) and so I was used to jamming with live machines. When I left the UK to live in Paris, I ended up with just my Mac and Cubase, so things became quite sterile, workflow wise. But then around Ableton Live 3, when they added midi to be able to play audio, it really clicked with me and there was no turning back. I love the modular nature of Ableton, allowing you to drag and drop effects, audio, machines, almost never having to press the stop button, really keeps the flow going when I'm writing.
What new skills, tricks and techniques have you learnt for this album, or did you already have all the tools at your disposal to say what you wanted?
I've been making music with a computer since 1986 when I had my Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48k plugged into my Roland Juno 106. I also had a Moog MG-1 since 1983 too so I've spent a LONG time playing with synths and understanding electronic composition. It's a continually evolving passion and I relish the new technologies and tools that become available. It means there are always new things to experiment with and new ways of perceiving and developing my music.
Electro is bigger than ever right now. What is it about the genre you love so much? For me, it still sounds more futuristic than any other.
I think it's that too. To me, electro is musical Sci-Fi. There is a brutal, machine tainted pallet in its outlook. There is also more of a machine funk in its underlying rhythmic structure. It's a potent combination and I just can't get enough of it. I also really find that my melodies seem to work really well against this backdrop. I have a tendency to write quite melancholic music and I love the juxtaposition of this over the often very cold robotic rhythm and bass scapes.
What is better and what is worse about dance music and the scene around it now compared to when you first started 30 years ago?
I did a lot of clubbing in the '90s and at that time everything was new. It was the dawn of sampling and home computers and this, in turn, gave us an ability to create things way beyond what tradition studios could give us. It felt like a musical big bang to me and I was thrilled to be there to witness it. As time went by and I got older, with more commitments, club life took a back seat and I settled down into a different phase, leaving the clubs for the youth to enjoy. It's come full circle now for me and with the newfound success of electro, and my recent prolific outpouring of records, I'm in demand to play lots of live dates, so I've found myself back in clubland. It's different this time around though, it's much more about work and presenting my music to people. That's one really big aspect of it that I didn't have back in the day. I'm up in the DJ booth now, looking out at fans dancing of my music. I love meeting people afterwards who often tell me that they have been listening to my music for 10, 15, even 20 years but also new people, young people who are only just discovering electro. It's quite incredible that, and really touches me deeply to know that my music has been with people for so long, being part of their journey through life. I can't really comment on scenes. I don't follow such things. I still don't even own a record player even after 30 years of making records. I try not to follow the 'latest thing' and prefer to just keep my head down pushing my own thing. I rarely listen to the music due to being so busy making my own. The only times I will hear new music is from the DJs before and after me when I do gigs.
What else have you got coming up/are you working on?
I've just finished about 25 new tracks and I'm in the process of finding homes for them. I've been very lucky in that I've been able to release on vinyl almost everything I've written. These new tracks have also been transformed into a new live set so that I can go out and do gigs, playing the music that will be released as the year rolls on. More of that really! I'm also looking at moving away from my traditional way of writing and working. I've been making everything inside my Mac computer for almost 20 years but now that I have a studio room I've been buying actual synths and machines. My next series of tracks will be done using this new setup, so hopefully, this will prove really fruitful creatively for me. Time will tell :)
Words by Pete Downes
In a period when we face the desire to be healthy and keep our smile, music is what creates for us a world where we can temporarily forget about the current problems. As you know already, most of the events which should have taken place in the next months are postponed or cancelled. The safety of visitors, artists, and crew goes above all and is the most important at this moment.
So for the next period, which we hope will be as short as possible, we will try to ease your lockdown, sharing with you the best live streams and initiatives from all over the world.
Saturday, March 14, 2020 ** Guesthouse Livestream: Saturday Night Fever w/ Cap & Miss I
With a history of more than 9 years, Romanian institution Guesthouse shows once again his appreciation for the public and continues its story of club nights, by inviting two of the most well-known Romanian artists who always have amazed the crowd delivering top-notch vibes: Cap and Miss I.
Wednesday, March 18, 2020 ** Misbits: 7 Years Anniversary
Founded in 2013 in Bucharest, Misbits is a record shop, where, besides selling vinyl, are oftentimes organized some live stream events and small parties. The line-up is fully made of Romanian underground artists, including Chill D, Alexincase, Shu, Prophet, Melody, Paul Popa, Cristi Ivan.
Wednesday, March 18, 2020 ** Olaru @ Fruits & Beats
Fruits & Beats Livestream is a well-known channel in the electronic panorama and it was created by Zebra Booking Agency. For their Wednesday's stream, they've invited Olaru, who has performed alongside with big names such as Stefano Noferini, Luca M, Carlo Lio, Hector, Alex Kennon, Joey Daniel.
Event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/657461291667063/
Thursday, March 19, 2020 – 6 PM UTC+1 ** Yoyaku Instore Sessions
For this week's Yoyaku Instore session, the Paris-based label has invited one of his most representative artists: Janeret. The French DJ and producer is famous for crafting delicious spacey deep and dub techno space-floating tracks and we're sure that his vibes will heal your quarantine. So make you sure to tune tomorrow, March 19th for an exclusive session from a real music astronaut.
Event link: http://www.yoyaku.live
Friday, March 20, 2020 ** The Lab LDN with Session Victim
The Lab London is organized by Mixmag and Coors Light. For this edition of live streaming, they have invited the German guys from Session Victim. This duo was founded in 2007 and their live sets always describe a high level of pure energy. With a strong electronic music background, they are now providing an interesting mixture of house, disco, soul and jazz vibes.
Friday, March 20, 2020 ** ARTREFORM with JOSS
Kyiv electronic music powerhouses, Artreform record label and Entrallmusic studio and vinyl room, announce their debut partnership. This Friday, March 20, you are invited to a live stream of Joss playing a boutique home party. As always, solid vibes, decent grooves, vinyl only, and cosy atmosphere guaranteed! Stay healthy, wash your hands, and don't forget to tune in this Friday, March 20, 7PM EET.
Friday, March 20, 2020 ** 6 PM CMT+1 The Lockdown will be televised w/ Per Hammar, Olga Korol, Lenny from Zendid & friends
Dirty Hands and Body Parts records are joining forces to provide an 8-hour livestream from Berlin, directly from Per Hammar's living room. Some friendly, washed your Dirty hands crazy music are expected.
Line-up ↘︎Lenny (Zendid), Olga Korol, Per Hammar, Cez, stevn.aint.leavn, Thomas Romain
Event link :https://www.facebook.com/events/2826539597467322/
Friday, March 20, 2020 ** 6 PM GMT Mall Grab livestream
Just annouced on Instagram, Jordon Alexander well known under his artist nickname Mall Grab will be on air this Friday, delivering the vibe we know he is good at, spreading the love from his Facebook and Youtube pages.
Saturday, March 21, 2020 – 7 PM UTC+0 ** Guesthouse Livestream: Saturday Night w/ G76 and Dan Andrei
Guesthouse strikes again against quarantine time. For this episode, they’ve invited another two appreciated Romanian artists, G76 and Dan Andrei. Their charisma and delightful sounds will make us dance and feel more optimistic.
Event link: https://www.facebook.com/clubguesthouse/
Sunday, March 22, 2020 ** HEION Records + FLMB Podcast
For the end of this week, Heion Records in collaboration with FLMB Podcast are preparing an explosive live streaming session with two talented Portuguese artists: Berllioz and Nebulaee. There will be 8 hours of quality house and techno music, full of flawless tracks and vibrating breaks.
Sunday, April 5, 2020 – 4 PM – 6 PM UTC+0 ** Óyeme Livestream
We are happy to announce that our resident DJs, the unique duo Óyeme, planned on April 5 to share with all of us their groovy sounds, a time that will create for sure a deep moody atmosphere. Their elegant technique always delivers mesmerizing vibes and is truly appreciated by the music lovers.
Kanvas.fm represents something more than a web radio, their frequencies provide 24/7 quality music. The devoted team describes their radio as “an endless blend of the finest soundscapes”.
And last but not least, we recommend you to keep your eyes (and ears) on the weekly live streaming done by our dear friends from Sunrise Hub.
Event link: https://www.facebook.com/snrshub/
Stay healthy and keep on dancing!
Words by Miruna Ioana Dan & Dylan AM
Italy's house maestro Enrico Mantini defines himself as "emotions dealer since 1990", and we can only agree with this definition. His music has crossed more than 3 decades, during which Enrico has developed a unique blend of Chicago and Detroit vibes, always remaining faithful to house music. During this time, he had released music on top-notch labels such as UMM, Veniceberg, Howl Ensemble, Raum...Musik, Half Baked and of course his own Purism. Over the years, he has become a defender of the kind of house sound which, despite seeings ups & downs, has always been appreciated by many acts in the underground panorama.
Today we're pleased to show you his latest work for the newborn label Bold Choices. Here Enrico provides an essential 4-tracker EP ranging from dreamy house, dub techno and gentle breakbeat sonorities.
The EP starts out with "Logical Possession", a lovely deep house piece with a sexy and captivating bassline and delicate pads. The break is dominated by some joyful marimba vibes, which immediately put a big smile on your face, just when the kick and the groove drop again.
Up next is "Dreamer", which is the heavier tool of the EP. Stomping kicks and wavy bass parts met crispy claps and raw hats, giving life to a proper "heads-down, hands-up" track. The acid twist of the bassline, combined with old school female vocals shots and unexpected melodic parts make of this one a real club destroyer.
On the flip, "Bizzare Kids" kicks the things off with woody kicks and noisy closed hats, bringing back some Berlin-ish deep house cuts of the first part of the last decade. The track evolves slowly but tidily, offering short guitar riffs, late-night chords and minimal percussions.
Rounding off the package is "We Need A Fix", a 6+ minutes break-beat inspired ride with aggressive 909 rimshots, fluffy pads, sweeping synths and a meandering bassline that, after taking your breath, will give it back to you only after it's done.
Words by Francesco Quieti
Hailing from Leeds but now living in Australia, Niko Maxen has distinguished himself for the huge amount of sick productions released over the past 3 years, which rapidly brought him into the top of many stores charts, becoming one of the most requested (and played) names on the house & techno scene. In addition to having founded two labels - Pathway Traxx and the most recent one MAXEN - Niko has also released his music on Constant Sound, Hoarder, Aesthetic, Rowle and Signatune to name a few.
His relentless dedication in the studio led us to include him into our 20 artists to watch in 2020 list, and we're super happy to share along with this interview a fresh new mix which features only music by Niko himself. Enjoy!
Hey Niko! First of all, congratulation for becoming a father! How's life with a new-born son? Do you think it will change your DJ / producer career?
Honestly, it’s hard work! I’m pretty much tired all the time now but the sleepless nights are well worth it when I see him developing day by day! He’s the most amazing bundle of joy and we are extremely happy about how much he healthy is. As for producing, I think it will definitely take a back seat for a while. I’ve not been in the studio for a good few months now but the break is welcomed.
It seems that you also like to explore other genres. Tell us more about your "Dusty Hip Hop" project.
Well, it never meant to be anything for people to hear. When I first started making music many many years ago I was into making samples choppy hip hop. I used to spend my Saturday mornings buying random records from charity shops, mostly buying based on what the cover looked like, then I’d go home with a stack of random records and try to make hip hop beats by sampling them. I was mad into that for years and loved it. Last year I had a bit of time off and an abundance of studio time. I had already finished about 50 house/minimal track so I turned back to my roots and got stuck into a stack of my old records. I made 6 tracks in 2 days. It wasn’t until this year when I listened back to them and thought fuck it, people might wanna hear this side to me. Turns out people liked it. I’ll probably do some more when I next get time.
What about your "Maxen" label? Are you going to release more stuff on it?
Yep, 100%! This label is designed to be my primary outlet for my best stuff. 02 has gone to press and had already picked up support from Viceversa, Cesar Merveille, Arapu, Vlad Arapasu, Okain, Rich NxT, Burnski, Vern, Alexis Cabrera, Janeret, Giuliano Lomonte and others...
You have been relentless in the studio during the last couple of years: what's the track that you are the most satisfied and happy with?
Ouufff that’s a really hard one! Probably a track I have coming out soon called Twist. There was a pretty cool video going round of Arapu playing it. For me, it has all my favourite elements and sits well together. I’m also pretty happy with AAAA on MAXEN01. It’s pretty hard to judge your own music subjectively, instead, I’m overly concerned with the technical correctness of my music, like, how tight is the mix, how does it progress, does it have all the right elements.
Tell us more about the Rewind and Galaxy LPs. How did they come about and what were your main influences?
Bandcamp has been gaining lots of momentum recently and as a concept I really warm to it. Giving the artist complete control and the platform to do whatever they want is exactly what the industry needs. I’m all about taking control of your output which is why I run my own labels. Bandcamp gives me another string to my bow. They are both massively different in styles. Galaxy is more of a dreamy vibe while rewind definitely has a UKG/breaks thing going on. I love all these styles of house and I make music across all these styles. It’s a challenge trying to manage what I actually release and what style I want to be known for. Bandcamp gave me the option to quickly and easily drop these albums out in differing styles without having to conform to a style of any label.
Tell us more about your studio and your production process. How do you go from initial idea to a finished project?
My studio is at home, which has always been a good thing as I can dive in whenever I’m feeling inspired, however that’s not the case now as it’s in the room next to my son’s nursery. The production process is something I have really worked hard on and now I have a very set one. It’s that solid process that has allowed me to make music at a very high output rate. I always start with drums, Percussions, bass, then I work in the music elements. I think it’s super important to work fast and not get hung up on ideas. I try something and if it’s not working within a few minutes I’ll delete that channel and keep pushing on with the next thing. I don’t spend any more than 10min on any one idea. I work with Ableton and I do all the creative stuff in session mode. I try to build up a loop to the point it has all the elements of the track. The key for me is then getting that into the arrangement view. Most of the time I will play the parts live through my APC 40 and hit record. I’d say 80% of my tracks are pretty much live jams that I have recorded. I’ll then go back in and make tweaks.
Do you have any favourite bits of hardware?
In the last couple of years, I’ve cycled through so much gear. Buying it, playing with it then coming to the conclusion I didn’t like it. I’ve lost count of how many drum machines I’ve bought and sold. The only drum machine I’ve really settled on has been the Korg-ER1. From a synth perspective, I love my microkorg and I recently bought a Blofeld Waldorf which is amazing value for money!
Who are your favourite artists and labels in the business at the moment? Are there any labels you’re looking to get signed by?
Seriously there are so many amazing artists coming through right now, I could write a list as long as my arm. I’ll give a shout out to a few people I’ve been working with on my labels, Viceversa, Nolga, Swoy, Vern, LOy, Kepler. Haha, I’m not gonna say who I wanna get signed to but I will say that this year is looking really good as I’ve signed to a few of the labels I’ve been working towards for a long time. There are one or two labels left that I really wanna release music on so I’ll be hitting them up in due course when I’ve got the right goods. On top of that, I want to focus on making MAXEN a standout label.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Bullshit baffles brains! My dad has always told me this. It basically means you can talk your way out of or into anything.
Now's your turn to give one bit of advice to any ‘wannabe’ DJ or producer out there. What would it be?
Take your time! What you think is fire today you will almost certainly not like it in a years time. Also, this isn’t something for “wannabe’s” only. Passion and creativity need to be your driving force. If you're doing it for any other reason, go take up something else!
Words by Francesco Quieti & Dom Fletcher
Sidney's favourite Sunday spot S.A.S.H. is about to launch a homonymous record label. The debut "Emergerous" EP arrives straight from party resident Jake Hough and comes packed with two Djebali remixes.
The S.A.S.H. venue has become within 10 years one of the most important in the house and techno Australian scene. With an incredible team made of fresh and motivated minds, these guys really caught the attention of many promoters from all around the world, which have found in this party the perfect location for long-running sets and label showcases.
Among them, we can mention huge shows by All Day I Dream, Half Baked, and the recent one by the unstoppable guys of PIV. The idea of split the parties between "Day" and "Night" sessions was surely one of the keys of their success, and this, combined with a passionate team, allowed S.A.S.H. to affirm itself as one of the most desired spots for many DJs all around the world.
We've decided to premiere the Djebali's "By Night" remix, who turns the bouncy and groovy original "Emergerous" into a late-night affair of rolling hats and slick percussions, where deep chords and sweeping pads combine to perfection in the lovely hands-in-the-air break.
Words by Francesco Quieti
Antwerp’s renowned Ampere is ready to host one of the most anticipated nights of this season, welcoming one of the hottest labels of the moment: Amphia. Born from the mind of Romanian studio wizards and musical visionaries Cristi Cons and Vlad Caia, this label has rapidly shaped what we usually used to call the “rominimal” sound, adding to the usual intricated grooves the right dose of fuzzy synths, futuristic basslines and cosmic pads. The label name itself evokes ancient and epic scenarios, leading us to vast and desolate lands, where once performed deeds that are still remembered today.
The battlefield for the night (if we can say so) will be the magic Ampere club. The titans clashing will include label heads - Vlad and Cristi - under their SIT moniker, going live both as a duo and a trio, because they will be joined by extraordinary pianist Mischa Blanos, with whom they form the Amorf group. The Romanian squad will be completed by Arpiar’s associates Cezar and Dan Andrei whom, through a rich and deep musical selection, will enrich the evening unleashing unforgettable peak times tracks.
The Amphia’s sound could be described as an avant-garde blend of endless rolling grooves, deep intense atmospheres, delicate classic orchestra interludes and progressive-ish synths, that can often be found, even together, during the long and epic breathtaking breaks.
Since its foundation, which goes back over 6 years, the label has given the chance to studio wizards such as Kamran Sadeghi, De Walta, Wareika and Dubtil - up to the latest EP by Rome’s talent Christopher Ledger with AMP021 - to express a truly no-boundaries idea of sound. Obviously, in addition to the names we’ve just mentioned, also appear those of Cezar (AMP010 and AMP015) and Dan Andrei (AMP018).
So get ready to welcome a series of artists, real music surgeons, who in recent years has enchanted people from all over the world including incredible venues like Sunwaves Festival (where they will perform again during the next SW27), Club Guesthouse (Bucharest), Hoppetosse (Berlin), Goa Club (Rome) and The Block (Tel Aviv) to name a few, demonstrating once again how their sound managed to make its way through the maze of the ever-growing “rominimal” movement.
Check out the official Facebook event and buy your tickets online!
Words by Francesco Quieti
More MEOKO: Facebook / Soundcloud / Youtube
Among the most popular names in the deep and house (or whatever you call it) scene, there is certainly that of Revivis. Hailing from the UK but now based in Berlin, he has rapidly made a name for himself, releasing his tracks only on the best labels of the scene, including we_r_house, EWax and Druzhba, always focusing on quality than quantity. During these years, he had the chance to show his skills behind the decks at renowned clubs such as Watergate (Berlin), Toffler (Rotterdam) and 93 Feet East (London).
After providing a track for the latest VA compilation, he strikes back on Okain's Talman Records for the 7th chapter of the digital side of the label with the entitled "Get Clapped" EP. This release will be followed by more EPs on EWax, Quality Vibe, Inermu Wax and a 2nd EP on Talman that will all come to light later this year! So you should definitely keep an eye on this guy as did Enzo Siragusa, Djulz, Raresh and Archie Hamilton to name a few.
As the title suggests, "Get Clapped" is about the continuous bounce between straight and clean claps with filtered and crispy ones. This combo creates by itself a significant part of the groove, which is gradually joined by sharp 909 hi-hats, rides, stiff percussions and fist-pumping synths. If it seems to you that every now and then the track is going to stop, it’s just your impression, as it's going to drop again sooner than you think.
Thus, "Acid Drip" kicks on with some lovely deep chords and rolling arpeggiated bassline, allowing for large hats and deft shakers to move freely through the acid lines that infest the whole track, which is enriched by male vocals speech right in the break, without ever being excessive or inappropriate.
Remix duties are entrusted to French house veterans of Politics Of Dancing, who have recently celebrated the 5 years of their own P.O.D. Records label. With their unmistakable gentle touch, they turn "Acid Drip" into a warm house tool which, for its soft and groovy sounds and breezy house groove, can easily be associated with the classic Apollonia stuff. The groove is rich but no showy and the continuous alternation of different delicate pads will definitely make of this one a proper tool for the next summer months.
Closing the EP is "Breech" which is also the track we've decided to premiere. The track starts with solid kick drums and infectious groovy elements joined by 909 airy hi-hats and rampant synths, but it's the wavy bassline the real deal here, which takes the track into the next level. As the time pressure builds, some late-night driving synths make their appearance, adding an extra dose of energy to the superb flowing groove.
More Revivis on Facebook, Soundcloud and Instagram
Words by Francesco Quieti
Coming right from the heart of Romania, Andrei Alexandru aka Aleka is one of the artists that managed to slip easily his catchy sounds and deep unique vibes among the "rominimal" movement.
Born in Brasov, his passion for everything that concern house, minimal and techno music can be dated back to his early childhood. In 2007, he decided to make his debut in the underground scene but two years later, in 2009, his project started to grow with pure energy and he was joined by his friend Vygo. From then until 2017, Vygo & Aleka performed together many times as residents for ProudlyMadeByUs events.
Over the years, Aleka has shared the decks with many big names in the underground panorama such as Praslea, Raresh, Barac, Livio & Roby, Kozo, Cezar, Priku, Gescu, Alexandra and many more, enchanting the crowd with joyful vibrations in well-known spots like Dor de Munte, Dancing mountains, Kudos beach and UNUM. Nowadays, he is acting in London as a resident of Sound Symptoms. One of the productions that perfectly surprise these is Evening People. Crossing the common borders, in 2017 he founded his imprint Synesthesia.
Hi Aleka! How are you?
Hey there! I'm doing fantastic! Many thanks for your invitation. It is a real pleasure to be here!
How did all start in this direction? Is there any person who guides you in this or you were a self-learner?
Ok, so it all began by going to some parties organized by some local clubs and not only, this happened when I was 15 years old. Slowly things escalated, from going to small club parties to bigger electronic music festivals. And this is how I got more and more in love with music and minimal techno scene.
Nobody initiated me, but I had Vygo’s support, whom I met in a club in Brasov, where he was performing quite often, by doing the warm-up for well-known DJs from the techno music scene. He took me next to him and slightly we started to play music together.
What kind of music do you approach?
Generally speaking, the kind of music that I approach has influences from all the genres of House music. I cannot say is more a certain genre, I’d rather say a little bit of all.
From where do you get your inspiration for your creations?
I would say that I am not getting inspiration from a specific source, I like to select my music based on my taste, by seeing and thinking what the audience would like to listen when I perform. For me the crowd is the most important, they are the ones you have to make happy. As DJ, if your audience is happy and excited about your music, you feed off their energy!
What does it mean for you to be a complete artist?
I don’t know exactly what a complete artist means, I think every artist sees things differently, hears different and does things differently. Saying this, as for me, "complete" does not characterize myself.
What story your sets are telling? What is the message you want to deliver to your audience?
I would characterize my sets as being an amalgam of music through which mixing it, I am trying to convey to my audience a happy and unexplained state of positive energy at the time of their listening.
Could you please tell us more about your project Synesthesia label?
This project was born shortly after my arrival in London when I met some people with whom I initially tried to create a concept of parties, but it was a failure and after a few discussions I realized that I better take it on my own and, together with my wife, I said that we will take care of "Synesthesia" brand only as a record label.
And why exactly did you choose this name?
Synesthesia means the production of a sense impression relating to one sense or part of the body by stimulation of another sense or part of the body. The name was quite easy to find, my wife came up with this idea, she is dedicating herself to the psychological field. After explaining to me what synesthesia is, we decided that the name is perfect for what we want to transmit through the music we will release at the label.
So far, Synesthesia has released 3 vinyl records, in collaboration with Vlad Dinu, Mihai Pol and Hansel. How would you describe each one individually?
What I can say is that each of them has his flavours, they are very different from one to another, which is exactly what I am looking for. I do not want to release the same music style, I want listeners and those who buy music to get always something different.
Will Synesthesia collaborate with Romanian artists only?
I will not only promote Romanian artists, but we will also certainly have artists from abroad as well, and this will happen this year.
Where we can find Synesthesia releases?
They can be found in most of the online stores such as deejay.de, Discogs, Redeyerecords.com and in dedicated stores all over the world.
What surprises has Synesthesia in store for us?
Stay close! I only can say that you will certainly be pleasantly surprised by what we are preparing in the foreseeable future.
Words by Miruna Ioana Dan
Ukrainian producer Peshka has been on our (and apparently not only on ours) radar for a while, releasing lovely tracks on AMAM, Crocus, and RE.FACE Records to name a few. His productions are characterized by a nice blend of deep elements, minimal inspired drums - which sometimes roll on breakbeat grooves - and hypnotizing, almost shaman-ish, atmospheres. Due to the complicated situation that can still be found in his home country, he had serious issues on delivering a constant output over the years, and he was forced to stop his work for almost 2 years.
After this hiatus, it seems that Peshka, although he continues to deliver top-notch quality material, has added a dose of energetic, raw and aggressive vibes to his previously style, which can be easily heard on his new EP on the legendary Visionquest label. In fact, all the tracks are characterized by stumping vibes, raw claps, futuristic and dreamy pads, splashes of acid and sharp percussions.
Click HERE to buy Peshka - Overdrive EP
We've decided to premiere the fast tempo's "Spectral Analized" which goes hard and direct in a 5 minutes ride, a pretty short track considering the usual length that we're used to, with a naughty bassline, spacey and synths and SCI+FI atmospheres, making you feel almost in an 80s retro-video game, dodging asteroids and enemy ships.
Words by Francesco Quieti
In a world full of "Instagram stars", in which improvised DJs are on the agenda, Slovak-born and Berlin-based Robin Virag aka Just_Me seems to come from another planet. His relentless dedication in the studio led him to release his tracks on labels such as EWax, FA>|E and Floorpiece, also bringing his vibes into famous clubs such as Tresor and Watergate in Berlin and Space Ibiza. Just_Me also runs numerous labels like Druzhba and the recent-born Synkronized and Retrospect.
Last year he also launched RV Audio, affirming himself as an audio engineer and making him a point of reference not just for Europe but the worldwide electronic music scene, confirming the undoubted skills he has.
You come from Slovakia, which is a relatively unknown place in the house & techno scene. Do you want to introduce us to any label/artist/party that needs attention?
Indeed I was born in Bratislava, however, my family moved when I was 3 years old. After that, I lived in Bulgaria, UK and Austria for a short period of time so I haven’t really been in touch with the scene in my home country. The last time I performed in Bratislava was over 3 years ago.
Having said that, do you think that moving to Berlin was the right decision? Are there any people that help you out to settle down in such a diverse city and reality?
When I moved to Berlin 5 years ago, I had no contacts whatsoever in the city. Amongst some of the first people I met here was Simon who now owns EWax. He had moved to Berlin around the same time as me. We started to make our way in the city’s scene and continue to work together to this day. Moving to Berlin has without a doubt been one of my best decisions so far.
Tell us more about your next step: RV Audio. How did it come to your mind and what are your next steps.
During 2013 I completed an electronic music production course at the SAE Institute in London. A few of my friends who studied audio engineering at the time gave me some tips regarding mastering my own music. I have since been exploring that aspect and as time went by, label friends asked me to master their releases, which worked out well. It wasn’t until 2018 when I decided to get a diploma and take up an audio mixing & mastering course at Point Blank Music School. Following my studies and some changes in my employment status at the beginning of 2019, I felt confident enough to start a company and took up studio work as a full-time occupation.
Check out https://www.rvaudioltd.com/
First Dhruzba, now also Retrospect and Synkronized. Are you going to stop now? Which are the main differences from the labels in terms of sound?
It’s true, we have been keeping quite busy on the label front. Druzhba is a project that I co-manage with my friend Nikolay who is currently based in Sofia, Bulgaria, although the label originated in Berlin. With regards to Retrospect, it is a project I started with Chad Andrew. We both have a strong and genuine love for 80’s music especially the nu-wave/synth-pop genres. The idea came about very organically during one of our studio sessions. As a matter of fact, Retrospect was never meant as a label, however, following a great reception of the first release, we decided to turn it into one.
And last but not least - Synkronized! I decided to take the experience I have gained with my previous projects and made my own label. That way I can have full control and freedom over all musical/visual aspects. Another thing worth mentioning is that the first release was produced, mastered, pressed and distributed 100% in Berlin with Joe from black.round.twelve.
You've collaborated with some Vatos Locos' members lately. Is there a particular affinity with these guys? Will you work on more collabs in the future with them?
The cool thing about it is that I have met most of the guys from Vatos Locos separately at different times. It wasn’t for a few years since I first met Chad and David that we became friends. Once again everything happened very organically and we first became friends before considering going into the studio together. Thanks to that, all our sessions were extremely productive, which led to starting Retrospect with Chad and doing the first release on Synkronized with David. We are working on a number of projects together right now and I’m sure we’ll continue doing so in the future.
We (or me at least ) know you as a pretty "studio nerd" - in the best positive sense of this word! Tell us your top 3 studio tips that could work both for beginners and relative-pro persons.
I consider myself a very curious person in general. The more I learn the more I realize how much I don’t know. My 3 tips would not be on the technical side but they worked well for me. For number one I would say keep your mind and ears open as there are always things to be learned, I myself regularly ask producer and audio engineer friends for feedback and suggestions as I consider them to be very knowledgeable in different areas. Such communication helps me consistently improve and develop my workflow. Number two would be not to rush your music and releases, it takes time to get to a certain level. The final one would be discipline and work ethic. In my opinion, regular practice is the way forward and a producer’s focus belongs in the studio before anything else.
Despite being relatively young, you've accomplished many goals during the last couple of years. Name some young DJs and new labels that will rock 2020 or during the next few years.
There are a lot of good things happening in the scene at the moment, so it's very hard for me to point out specific artists & labels. It makes me very happy to see my clients at RV Audio growing, selling out their releases and occupying regular spots on many different charts. With regards to artists, we have been signing music from producers we consider to be very talented (actually 80% of this mix consists of music from producer friends and labels). Keep an eye on Synkronized, Retrospect and Druzhba as all of those will be coming out during the course of this year.
What's the next goal, considering that you have many different pursuits every day, that you'd like to accomplish this year? And what would be your biggest achievement by far?
My next goal is to maintain my focus, continue growing and developing RV Audio along with my labels in order to have an even busier and more productive year ahead. What I consider as my biggest achievements, are starting my own company as well as having a great circle of people in both personal and professional aspects of my life.
Any particular shout-out or final thanks?
First of all, I would like to stress the fact that I appreciate all the support for my own and my label’s music in the currently dynamic electronic music scene. It is the people who buy our music and attend events that allow us to continue pursuing our passion. I would also like to thank my clients at RV Audio who greatly contributed to the growth of the company, as well as everyone who reads this interview and listened to the podcast.
Words by Francesco Quieti