Newborn Qatar-based Obaidlí Records' first release comes by the bídlee, the founder of the label, and Deep In You Music-head Zohki. With their very personal blend of minimal and deep house, the pair deliver four original cuts on Obaidlí Records, setting the standard for an ambitious project, aimed to bring some underground vibes in the Far East.
On the opening cut, "Default", Moon Harbour and AVOTRE associate Zohki delivers a very engaging pace. Drums are tight and pressing, with open hi-hats that constantly differ on their rhythmic pattern, creating an extra-dose of grooviness. Far away spoken vocals create a floating mood, whilst well-balanced sweeping sounds help the track on its rolling endless movement.
Thus, "Xonoo604" gets mental and more-stripped back. A very essential and stingy 909-groove bounces above the kick which cuts sharply in the mid as well as the snares. The hi-hats sound metallic, recalling some Berlin-ish sonorities, with a twisted and delayed sinister synth that perfectly matches with the rest of weird hits and sounds.
On the flip, head-honcho bídlee takes control of B-side with the sublime deep house track "Morph Your Keys". The kick gets lost in the rolling and lo-fi groove, designed to convey just a little low shake. The use of sampling is widely used here, with some lively real sound that we can actually feel and touch. Only at some point the kick and groove become more explicit, accelerating the piece suddenly after the dreamy and touching break.
The closing "Down The Road" shows us bídlee's melodic approach, as he introduces some delicate ambient fluffy sounds, making of this one a very interesting and meditative piece. The listener is immersed in a colourful sound palette of samples, driven synths and smooth groove elements, with rich pads that arise and wave, making "Down The Road" the ultimate summer breezer.
Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi
The Music industry unites to: ‘Save the Amazon’ on June 26/27/28.
As the destruction of Brazil’s Amazon accelerates due to illegal deforestation and forest fires, the 3 days live stream marathon ‘Save the Amazon’ aims to connect and inform international audiences about the current situation of the natural landmark through music and art.
Meoko and Serialism Records will come together in the weekend 26-27-28 of June along with a team of worldwide celebrated artists and media partners, for the first edition of a unique and heart-felt musical marathon to raise awareness for the future of one of the world’s most vital ecosystems.
During these troubling times, the pandemic has made it difficult for people around the globe to be aware of the latest development in the Amazon forest.
Home to some of the last Indigenous Tribes and traditional communities, the world's largest rain forest is vital for keeping our climate stable. But with industrial exploitation and forest fires ravaging the region, the Amazon forest is facing unprecedented threats by a greedy industry backed by the present government. Now, with the double threat of fires and Covid-19, indigenous communities and many unique species of animals are in even more danger.
Currently, the Brazilian Congress is close to voting a law derivative from the decree MP910, which allows people that illegally logged or squatted on protected federal lands before December 2018, to purchase such lands at reduced prices. This law directly relates to and fosters the practice of `land-grabbing´, which could lead to more massive deforestation. Imazon, (a non-profit environmentalist group) found that the measure could lead to a loss of an additional 16,000 square kilometers of the rainforest by 2027.
Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest rose more than 88% in June 2019 compared with the same month in 2018, and more than doubled in January 2020 compared with the same month in 2019.
Indigenous tribes are in great danger, firstly because of the pandemic and secondly, with the political agenda that revolves around their habitat and land. It is time to connect despite our confinement and express our concern for the Amazon as one, the world may not recover from this catastrophic situation. We must act, now.
You&Me co-founder and rising star Josh Baker launches SYNTHO, a brand new exciting and innovative learning hub for aspiring music producers.
SYNTHO is an Electronic Music Hub offering insightful education about music production. Inside SYNTHO, you will gain exclusive access to comprehensive track breakdowns, live jam sessions, seeing how Josh works in his studio and detailed, bespoke tutorials on Ableton. In addition to this, Josh will guide you step by step on the journey it takes to become an established artist. You will become part of a like-minded creative community as Josh aim’s to help users connect the dots in their music and reach the next level.
Do you have an interest in expanding your Ableton knowledge?
Do you feel that you need to find a fresh spark of creativity?
Are you making music but can’t seem to take that jump to the next level?
Are you struggling to get out of the loop and getting tracks arranged?
Do you sit scratching your head at how artists are achieving certain sounds?
Josh will set out to iron out these questions and more by delivering exceptional content in a clear and detailed manner, covering all aspects of music production.
Each week will see Josh host a Q&A with the community discussing a wide range of topics including many that often get overlooked for example: building your social media, preparing for your studio session and more. Also, I will be welcoming feedback and allowing for content to be tailored to its users.
Join now by clicking here and get exclusive introductory member access and discount!
The special introductory offer is only available until 10 am Thursday 18th, and after that, there will be no places on SYNTHO until July.
Words by Dom Fletcher
Hailing from the eternal city, Luca Costa aka Benjamin Taylor has really stepped up this year with his Polarized EP on Burnski's Constant Sound, which was then followed by a remix on the same label. Benjamin's sound commits to bring back some dub-techno sonorities, with deep and delayed chords, simple grooves and soft, ethereal atmospheres. The entitled "Drifting" EP on his own newborn BT Recordings is no exception: here, the Rome elusive producer serves two brilliant cuts that perfectly reflect his style and skills in the studio.
Click HERE to buy Drifting EP - BTR001
Opener "Drifting" is pure dub pleasure. The main stab offers a very classic Panorama Bar-ish sound and flows elegantly above the essential groove. At the fourth minute, when we've already stuck into the loop, a tight clap makes his appearance, giving a twist to the whole dark mood. The arped synth fills perfectly the gaps left by the main stab and its ever-changing delay, giving life to an unwearying whirling of emotions.
The second track shows Benjamin's attitude on also making real minimalistic jams. The entitled "The History Of The Future" features a fragile, understated, thin groove, made of just a few woody elements. The kick stings cutting in the mix. Distant vocals and noisy texture create a moving atmospheric layer for the very trippy heads. Re-sampled and over-stretched real sounds rule the roots, without ever taking over the track, marked by sad piano riffs and weird rumours.
Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi
After four EPs - which have involved renowned name from the likes of Einzelkind, Bruno Pronsato and Pier Bucci - Italy's BAR Musica strikes back with its first VA compilation. Mineral Minds 01 is a real find for true dubness lovers and includes 9 tracks that range from the classic house ("Umberto - A New Way (of Me)") to trippy minimal ("Carebears - Billy's Fantamoney)" and tribal funky-inspired deep house ("J Paraguai - Materialism").
Click HERE to buy Mineral Minds 1
Opener "Ognidove" by label-head Bartolomeo kicks things off with a smooth, deep shaker. Pads arise gently, airy, whilst short stab keeps on hitting in a neverending tight groove.
Up next, Italy's duo Carabears make BAR Musica debut with "Billy's Fantsmoney". Immediately, the track gets trippy starting out from the stinging drums which almost go resonant to exasperation. Rolling 909 toms on top on the groove create a techy and bouncy feel. Distant vocals create an intriguing atmosphere on the side, mysterious and dark.
The entitled "Like To Think" by Valeria Croft and Like Electronika is a deep and emotional jam immersed in a juicy and jazzy artificial mood. Hi-epic pads float above a rich breakbeat groove that writhes on itself because of the filters. After-hours or opening situations, this is a 100% ensured tool.
Umberto's "A New Way (Of Me)" digs in an old school boomy joint. Fat arps move around the breakbeat groove. Bass is deep and over-saturated, gently pushing the drums on. Detuned saw pad create an uplifting vibe. House music ladies and gentlemen!
Returning to our dear 4 to the floor groove, Jesse Marcel is next with the entitled "Alcantara". Drums are sharp and vibrant, with super glidy synths laying on the hypnotic beat. Fuzzy voices seem to call us from afar, increasing, even more, the "ritual" mood that we can breathe on this piece.
Thus, "Spacing Guild" by Francesco Mami gets techy, introducing a different, fatter style of drums. Warped synths rotate, slowly arped randomly, giving movement to the entire piece. SCI-FI sounds coming from another planet collide on the slow-techno drums. Grooving hard, exploring the dark side of sound.
J Paragaguai's "Materialism" brings us back to earth with a colourful jam. The house vibe is enriched with tribal flavour by a swirling mix of percussions, congas and ethnic chants.
Next, Liro's "Uyuiii" features weird sounds that create a dense and glassy texture. A male vocal moves on vaguely above some eastern-ish melodies, noisy drums and a clicky kick. with the groove rolling smoothly.
Rounding out the package, the bonus "Pattern One" by Ahoda Psi rises up the tempo with a club-oriented track with jagged shakers, profound pads and gnarly synths.
Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi
After releases by Floog, Silat Beksi, IWOU and Ruven Medici, iO (Mulen)'s dark and groovy operation-base Winder reaches its fifth chapter with a delicious VA catalogue. WINDER05 is a 2-on-2 battle between Romanians Costin Rp & Faster and Argentinians Franco Motta & Bernat.
The kickoff is entrusted to the Romanian team, with Costin Rp mighty "You Me Space". Plucky lead rolls sweetly and sharp hats arise, fastly hitting on the top of the spectrum. Analog sounding pads and synths make the piece colourful and lively, whilst a retro-sounding synth charmingly clashes with tight drums in a superb contrast. Groove is light but engaging and bouncy, as the powerful upbeat bassline and we can't stand still while the arps float. Proper party vibes.
"Necomestibil" by Faster goes slower and deeper. The whole mood is bit dusty and lo-fi sounding, and it's easy to get lost in the harmonic texture. Drums are gentle and thick, not too bright. Track smoothly rolls till the break, where we can finally appreciate the profound bass at its full potential. A slow and poetic pad arises on the drop, laying softly on the groove. Bass is shacking, headbanger opening stuff.
On the flip we Buenos Aires' very own Bernat who's back after an incredibly productive 2019. The entitled "Mod" features a headstrong bass with a glidy and dirty tone. The harmonic layer is varied and everchanging, with a hail of tuned percs rolling thin on top of the groove. While noisy FXs sweep the mix, some melodic shots suggest listener a new emotional sense to the whole jam, aided by long-tailed pads and bleak chords.
Closing the EP is Franco Motta's mental "Finish". The track reveals is a dirty soul from the beginning, with pitched synths moving up and down uncontrolled. Swingy drums are woody and rigidly keeps the beat. A real-sounding bassline walks on the straight four fourth kick, while acid synths lead waving, coming in and out of the scene. Snare rolls building up, a cool, faded vocal on the background. A subtle vocal whispers the word "Seductive", and this piece definitely is, with its nervous and clean pace.
Label owner iO (Mulen)
Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi
Samplestate is proud to announce the release of its latest sample pack “Minimal Dubs”. Produced by the Italian producers Alex Ground & Dave Zeta this pack takes its cues from Alex’s trademark sound as well as influences from underground artists such as Fabe, East End Dubs, and Infuse to name a few. Labels such as Infuse, Pleasure Zone, Moscow, Inmotion and Moan immediately spring to mind when auditioning this amazing collection of samples.
With 180 club-ready drum loops with top and full loops, a hefty collection of 60 sub-heavy bass-lines, and also 44 synth/music loops. 139 One-shot samples are also included with pre-programmed sampler instruments that cover Drum HIts, FX/Glitches, synth hits, and bass hits.
This pack comes in two main formats as well as specific sampler formats for convenience.
Apple Loops Pack - Includes Apple Loop aif files with pre-analysed and tagged drum, and music loops. You also receive 3rd party sampler instruments as well as all the other content in the other formats such as REX2.
Wav Pack - Standard wav pack, if in doubt then select this one. It contains standard wav files and is suitable for any DAW system. You will also receive 3rd party sampler instruments as well as all the other content in the other formats such as REX2.
You can buy the pack right HERE and enjoy 60% off the price but be quick, it won't last forever!!!
What's included in the pack?
24 Bit Quality
180 drum loops with top and full loops
180 Drum Rex2
60 sub-heavy bass-lines
44 synth/music loops
105 Music Rex2
63 Soft Sampler Patches for EXS24, Halion, Kontakt & NNXT
Conceived in 2015 as a party and then transformed the following year as a record label, Arkityp is the fusion of London's Archie Hamilton and Rossko. From the very beginning, the project has generated an incredible hype around, as the pair have released both blissful deep cuts like “XR3i” and heads-down-hands-up stompers – as the name suggests – like “Maximum Boost”.
The second chapter called “3 for a Tenner” was released in 2018 and after a year hiatus to concentrate on their solo activity, the two halves meet again for AKPT003. In fact, both the guys have been super-productive over the last year, with Archie committed to releasing his debut album Archive Fiction and Rossko full-focused on preparing his upcoming Late Night Skanking label.
Click HERE to buy Pyramids Of Geezer EP - AKTP003
The project’s strength lies into a genuine long-time friendship and their ability on effectively complement one another, cutting down to the essential and providing exactly what the dancefloor needs, whether it’s peak time, sunset or those special after-hours moments.
Arkytip then reaches its third instalment with the three-tracker “Pyramids Of Geezer” EP.
Opening with the infectious “Hyper Speed”, the Londoners up the tempo, delivering a high-octane club anthem. Their penchant for rich and dynamic soundscapes from across the house sphere quickly becomes apparent as they fuse driving synths and harsh drums beneath delayed vocals. The groove sounds sharp and boxy, with just the right amount of reverb, dense and defined, whilst the bassline flows liquid, undisturbed. Noisy snare rolls, introducing acid warped synths that culminate in an explosion of airy and uplifting spacey sounds. After the first few minutes, a catchy and emotional synth makes is appearance, stealing the limelight to the powerful groove. Grainy FX move all over the track, sweeping and washing out the mix. The speed continues to increase and it’s like a trip across the galaxy. We can clearly feel the tension the two wanted to express. Cruising in deep space. Dodging asteroids. Discovering new realities. Fasten your seatbelt, it’s “Hyper Speed” time.
Up next, “Learning, Earning and Gurning” brings us down to earth, into the wiggly and trippy dimension so dear to both of the artists. Hypnotic leads stand out distant as the dubby percs wisely panned in the mix, while a robust kick and a snaking bass lay right in the middle, spelling the rhythm alongside pressing shaker-ish hats and overpowering snappy claps. Bell-like arps create a nice light atmosphere, whilst noisy pads shine in a huge space, merging with the heavily sidechained vocal. It’s the extreme-processed delay on the vocals that almost make them jump on the upbeat, creating a homogenous texture with the other drum elements, giving to the whole piece an endless rotation mood. There’s an impressive dose of craftsmanship in this music: confirming the two UK producers themselves as forward-thinking musicians.
Last up, “California Sunrise” definitely got the funk! Bass rolls super tight, with doubled congas hitting fast and swingy, reminding us in certain aspects the groovy “Ricochet” but in a heavier magnitude. Heads down. Hands up. Eyes shut. The clap is further apart, splashing in a wide plate. Dark pads create an evocative background layer, to which are added sinister strings and splashes of gloomy sounds. The main open-hat sounds very old school and introduces an interesting contrast with the grain of the other groove elements. There’s a very ambient-music imprint in the choice of the sounds used, in stark contraposition with the club-dimension of the track. In fact, when the track kicks in, abruptly, an acid bassline arises. The raw 303 sound is gritty and growly, answering to the dreamy stabs that open our panorama to a beautiful and wider view, only visible from the top of the pyramids of Geezer. Acid sunrise in the swing word. Stunning.
Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi
MEOKO is looking for a positive and self dynamic web-developer specialized in WordPress to complete the final touches of the website, as recently we've migrated from Joomla to Wordpress platform and part of the project has already been done. We're looking for someone trustworthy and transparent, 100% professional and maybe even passionate about the music world that we all like.
This temp role will put you in a position of being a sole developer working on MEOKO's website in a two-week temp role which could lead to something longer term.
with "WEB DESIGNER JOB" as the object of the e-mail.
You will get to work alongside a brilliant creative team and help develop an exciting platform focusing on quality electronic music and culture.
Down below you can check the programmer-skills required:
Thanks in advance for your time, hope to see you soon on board!MEOKO TEAM
Timid Boy & Acumen's long-lived Time Has Changed has been released powerful house, techno and minimal tunes over the last 13 years, involving famous artists such as Mihai Popoviciu, Leon, Julien Sandre, Alexkid, Tripmastaz, Todd Bodine, Gorge, Mathias Kaden. The label is approaching the 200th release and this time its latest EP comes by Djena (STAMP Records, Inwave) and Swann Decamme (Earthly Delights) with H2YPE EP which comes packed with a remix by label-head Timid Boy himself.
The EP kicks off with "H2YPE2", which is built around an exquisite and rich percussive groove and tribal chants. Over the whole duration, we can feel a nice Balearic feel, making of this track a versatile tech-house jam. Very essential elements-wise, this piece is energetic and strong, with the congas and bongos hitting continuously in a hypnotic cycle. After 4 minutes of wait, pads finally come in, creating a lovely melt with the vocals.
The instrumental mix gets rid of the chants, leaving room for the groove which can now be appreciated in its full potential.
Timid Boy's DUB remix gets dirty with a dusty groove is lost in the sandy feel of the sounds. The tempo rises, as well do the drums that nimbly bounce above a rolling bassline. High strings are more prominent and an extra female vocal set the mood deeper and sexier with the tech attitude getting lost in favour of a more romantic atmosphere.
Closing "ELA" is a more minimalistic track, almost totally centred on the drums. Noisy hats and nervous low-end both rock on top of modular textures, with tiny groove elements arranged in intricated patterns. Suddenly, ethereal harmonic sounds kick in, projecting the listener in a totally relaxed mood, with delicate piano and guitar hits that remember us of Alva Noto's music. Soon track gets dry again, with the typical gloomy dub-tech groove.
Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi
Psionic Records is the newly created label owned and curated by Oshana. For the first release, the American born DJ and producer has teamed up with her close and longtime friend Anthea under their Astral Travel moniker. This is their first studio endeavour together, which came naturally as both artists have frequently shared decks playing cohesive B2B performances and Oshana’s collaborations on Anthea's imprint Partisan. Their new collaborative project unveils ¨As One¨, a three-tracker EP that evokes the ethos of the new imprint, one that drives inspiration from the supernatural ability and transcendental qualities of music to transport listeners to other dimensions. As the name suggests, "As One" is the result of the synergy created when two like-minded producers converge on a unified musical path which leads to new frontiers.
Click HERE to pre-order your copy of "As One" EP - PSI001
The opening track's called ¨Sky’s The Limit¨ delivers a refreshing take on ethereal techno as it grounds itself with a dominant kick drum, followed by an arpeggiated acidic melody, clicky electric beats and retro video game-like sounds. On the flip, ¨As One¨ is a breakbeat inspired theme that uses grittier and textured sounds for an edgy take on the minimal style, featuring splashes of electro and robust 909 drums.
Lastly, ¨Orbiting¨ closes off the release with an elegant and deep groovy house roller, perfectly in line with the futuristic and transcendental sound of the recording. These dancefloor-oriented gems come together “As One”, and are the perfect EP to path the way of the newly conceived, Psionic Records for years to come.
More info on Oshana Facebook | Resident Advisor | Soundcloud | Discogs
More info on Psionic Facebook | Soundcloud
Words by Daniel Ordoñez
More MEOKO: Facebook / Soundcloud / Youtube
For today's talk, we've invited Wlad, 1/2 of the HedZup record label alongside his partner in crime Mancini. The Frenchies have built a solid label/family over the last years, affirming themselves as chiefs of one of the most respected labels in the deep and tech-house scene. In fact, HedZup has seen steady growth, releasing quality tracks from the likes of Fabe, Rich NxT, Toman, Chris Stussy, Tuccillo, Diego Krause, Josh Baker, Ray Mono and many more.
Hey Wlad, great to chat with you!
Hi guys, thanks for having me.
What would you say you have learnt about yourself during the lockdown?
I think it made me re-focus on myself. I had a lot more time to take care of myself, cook and call my family, my friends, even over long distances. In fact, I did not at all feel locked up as a bad thing. I am a great traveller, I have done 2 world tours and I really have this notion of letting go. I live in Paris which is a megalopolis and it’s easy to get into the rhythm of being frantic and not stopping for time for oneself. We must constantly run and outdo ourselves. So this period really allowed me to find what I have on a trip and especially to concentrate on music production and the label.
What has been the thing you have missed the most?
Of course, even if I didn’t really suffer from this confinement, being able to play music especially at parties outdoors was really strange. We have so many great terrasse in Paris to play. It was very nice and warm in Paris during the confinement. We also had several international label showcases postponed and especially the big come back of our famous HEDZUP party in Paris with Rossi, and DJOKO cancelled on March 14, day of official French lockdown :(
In your opinion, will dance music be very different or will it get back to normal after this?
Of course, it will return to normal. The music and the strength of people are stronger than anything. It is obvious that it will take time and that we will have to adapt. Personally I think it is a good thing because it allows you to surpass yourself. Always find new ideas. We must not wait, we must always innovate, it will make us even better.
Tell us about your hedZup label you run with Mancini - what is the sound, the vibe?
Originally, Mancini and I only made vinyl. Then we started to get known and get lots of great demos, we didn't have enough space on a disc to put all the music we wanted to release. So we decided to start digital in September 2018. We are still keeping the format of our vinyl releases, 4 pieces per digital release. It’s quite difficult to give a real style to our label. Mancini and I release the music we like, and even if we have our own style of productions, we are in perfect harmony with the musical choices.
Do you want to build a label family and bring them all through with more releases or is it just about the music at the moment?
hedZup Records is all in one, label and family. Mancini and I went out a lot in clubs and other parties around the world. Every year in Ibiza, Sonar Barcelona, ADE Amsterdam. We build our network like that. We have lots of friends everywhere. We only look for friendships. So all the artists that release on hedZup become part of the family. If they become part of hedZup, it means that they still release on the label if the music is good and also play on the label showcases.
About your own new ‘Full Squad’ EP - what inspired or influenced it?
I want to tell you something, it is the very first time that I release a full EP on my label, so I’m quite happy! I was a breakdancer when I was younger and I come from a Blues, Jazz, Funk and Flamenco musician family. I play African percussions myself. So I always have a pretty funky and dancing touch in my tracks. I added a touch of sunshine too because it comes out at the start of summer. It must be my Mediterranean origins ;)
Is your music made for a certain club, moment, party? Are those things in mind when writing?
Definitely, I really love music make me dance, so I try and try always until I feel this dancing feeling. Because in this music when you producing one little element can change all the feeling of the track. So probably make more peak time music but this is not me has to say
How did you choose the remixer Rich NxT? What did you think he would bring, and did he?
I chose Rich NxT because I am a big fan of his music and of the Fuse London label. Rich has a good approach in his music and whatever the track is, it's always a treat on the dancefloor. He already had great success on our vinyl part with his track "Come Alive", so it is just a pleasure to have him again on the label. He is a very talented and busy guy and I really thank him to considerate to remix me on this EP. Big up mate x
What else have you got coming up?
I have a remix on Surge that we will release this summer and have my EP with Mancini with a remix by iO Mulen and our Parisian friend Djebali. We are working on the 5 year anniversary double vinyl with some amazing artists and my digital collab album. So many good stuff is coming this year on the label with some good surprises. Stay tuned, Wlad :)
Words by Pete Downes
EWax resident and Berlin-based Revivis steps up for his first outing on the German label. Over the last year, the British producer's output has been just incredible, raising the quality level release by release. After appearances on We_R House and Talman, he delivers "Slung" EP, which also sees another Berliner, Nick Beringer, on the remix duties.
Title track "Slung" gets straight to the point from the very first kick drum, showing Revivis' usual approach into a perfect melt between classic house and modern, minimal sounds. Bass is fat and liquid, with French male whispers that give a very lo-fi mood to the whole piece. Housy pad opens up gently, enlighting the scene and making the track breath. It is reduced from time to time to a low hum, but when the filter opens up again, it slowly fills up the piece with soul, contrasting the noisy drums move fast for a powerful dub shake. Despite the few elements in there, the track is immersive and goes on by itself, neverending.
Up next, Rubisco label-head Nick Beringer offers a more minimal and tighter interpretation of the main original track. The whole groove, starting from the hi-hat is shorter and lighter and everything is more swingy and dried-out, with wise processing creating the necessary variations. The vocal part is now in front, acquiring importance, whilst the bass is very thick and groovy, with short notes riding the kick and the FM pad sounds metallic, almost as slowed down bell hit. The drums, alongside the subtle acid line, are relegated in a small room, while pad and vocal lay in a wider space, creating two separate grounds that never collide. While the track walks, it gets weirder and more complex, changing chords, exploring jazzy progressions, standing out for its constant movement.
On the flip, "Chicago Trippin" perfectly captures an old-school flavour with the classic 303 acid vibe. Who doesn't love acid? The massive sub-bass noisily flows underneath, sharing his space with a gangsta-inspired bassline. There's a lovely back-and-forth between the vocal sample and the main stab, in a crescendo that never stops making your feet move, as the track keeps on getting more and more crowded till the break. Tiny synths are zapping around and stabs are looped in short repetitive patterns, nervously crossing each other. Hard bouncy feeling and headbanging guaranteed.
Rounding out the package, "We Go" combines breakbeat patterns with lo-fi old-school sounds. Some classic house stabs meet a deep and soothing bassline, echoing the elastic behaviour of both kick and drums. When the arabesque arp kicks in we are catapulted in timeless space, with short lead sounds lift the heavy groove with a touch of sweetness. For the second drop, extra-drums are added, layering below the initial groove. Again, the stab doesn't rest and keeps hitting, mental.
Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi
Situated in the coastal town Pescara, Club Zero11 has become in just over 5 years one of the most famous clubs in Italy, actively contributing to give life to the local clubbing scene. As you may know, Italy has been one of the most hardest hit European countries by this pandemic situation, and even though the clubbing scene has been deeply affected sectors, the Zero11 staff has started a fundraiser for Italy's Croce Rossa with the aim of combating this emergency phase with concrete help in terms of health and social care.
The campaign, called MUSIC FOR HOPE, will include both famous local acts like Enrico Mantini, Leon, Togué, Deyayu and upcoming natives and will be streamed LIVE on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th from Club Zero11's Facebook page from 6 - 12 PM for six hours of great music.
DON'T FORGET TO MAKE YOUR PART, CLICK HERE TO DONATE
Words by Francesco Quieti
Labels are often remembered for a record, maybe for two or more. Then there are labels that are remembered for an idea, a feeling, something that goes beyond the simple music. That's the case of Wales-based Curtea Veche, which is celebrating its 5th birthday with a special various artists compilation that includes tracks by Tulbure, Guy From Downstairs, Herck, Clarkent, Direkt and Dragosh. Despite the clearly Romanian inspired name, the label has never got stuck into the fashions of the moment, resulting instead one step ahead of many other imprints, successfully dictating new trends and style difficult to imitate, both because of the top-notch quality music released, and because of the close link with his evocative abstract artwork realized by no one other than Halo Varga. Over the years the label has seen incredible music, including the sister-labels Curtea Veche LTD and Curtea Veche Serii Speciale, straight from studio wizards around like Einzelkind, Giuliano Lomonte, SEPP, Viceversa and Cally, receiving support from heavyweights such as Rhadoo, Pedro, Barac and Raresh, but also coming to hands of unexpected but equally appreciated names like Marco Carola and The Martinez Brothers.
To celebrate the label's birthday we've decided to give the floor to the head-honcho Haydn, and then we will have few words from three of its most representative producers.
Happy birthday Curtea Veche!
Click HERE to buy CV5 Five Years Of Curtea Veche
Starting from the roots: how's the project started and what the name "Curtea Veche" means? What pushed you to open the label?
So I started the label with a friend in 2015 when the hype with that minimal Romanian sound was rife. My friend chose the name after the old princely court in Bucharest... don't ask why because I couldn't tell you haha!! But we were going I guess for that Romanian sound so it was pretty apt.
What's the artist that you've most satisfied to have on the label? And who is the want you still deeply want to have?
I'm happy with the all the artists I've had on CV all have given their own stamp on the label and its sound. My good friend Sergiu (Herck) has been with me on my journey from the start with all my labels so I could say him, but no, really, all artists have been amazing and I'm super grateful if the output I've been able to give on CV. Going forward I just want to keep the ethos that I've tried to stick to, to be honest, good music and artwork, nothing more, nothing less.
Since the very beginning, the label has seen some amazing feedbacks and support from lots of the biggest DJs around. Do you think that there's one particular release that was a game-changer? Or is it because of the constant quality of the music and research on creating a kind of CV-brand that you've provided over the years?
Haha, tough one... there have been some really good ones I guess. Having Arno (Einzelkind) was a big deal for me, especially as it has been his last release under the Einzelkind alias before moving on the Arno moniker once and for all. I've been following him and his music for years, so I was pretty chuffed, to say the least, to get him on. That EP with Giuliano Lomonte was great, with the artwork and splatter vinyl was pretty special, seen as it was the 10th release too. But if I'm honest I've got to go with CV002 by Herck: Cookie Jar was a huge track that's been hammered all over the world by people from DeWalta. Barac, Raresh and even people like Carola and The Martinez Brothers. It was definitely a big crossover track, that boosted both the profile of the label and Herck's one.
So yea, that for me was the game-changer. Also, I have to say one of my personal favourites is Victor's Rodul EP (CV008) I still play his track "Drumul Spre" all the time, timeless stuff.
Also, having Halo Varga got on the artwork from, I think the 5th release, he has given the label identity. As soon as you see a CV cover, you know it's a CV cover, so yeah, he does an amazing job, one of the best at his game, and a massive pleasure to have him on as I grew up with his music in the early '00s.
Tell us more about the 5 years compilation. Why you not here? Will we ever see you on the label?
Yea so the 5 years free EP we are giving away on Bandcamp is just "a thank you to all the support we have had over the last 5 years". I think it's good to give our supporters that have spent money on buying our releases something back. There are 6 tracks on there by artists from the past and future, CV favourites Herck and Guy from Downstairs, Tulbure who is on the next CV013 EP, Dragosh, Direkt and also Clarkent. Not a bad EP for a free download for sure! So yeah, thanks to these guys too for providing some lovely tracks!
Regarding the second question... who knows... I've got not much time for production when I'm running 4000 labels hahaha! But yes, it's something I want to do in the near future, let's see!
After this 5 years milestone, what should we expect in the next 5? And what in the next 100? (or maybe I should ask this to Herck haha)
Haha yes! We just want to keep releasing good music an, that's the foremost thing I think, keeping the quality high, always!
We have a couple of spin-offs (CVLTD & CVS) so keep an eye out for some really good stuff coming on these, from some well-established name like Cristi Cons, Franco Cinelli, Mihai Pol, and also some amazing up and coming guys that you need to keep an eye on!
There is this amazing duo we just signed from Tel Aviv called Oskar Pink, the demos blew us away, keep an eye out for their Track 'Donnie' coming later this year, so good!
Its been good having my friend Martyn (TIJN) on board too for the last year or so, he's got a great ear and is a godsend with the A&R stuff. He also does an amazing job with the mastering too!
Now let's get right into some of the protagonists of this stellar VA compilation and lets' see what they have to say about the label...
Guy From Downstairs
"Curtea Veche...ah, just another vinyl label from Wales, with a Romanian name, that releases a specific sound with a soulful touch, leaving its mark on the (so-called) minimal music niche for the last 5 years. Loads of those fit that profile, right?
Difficult to write "just a few words, mate" about the good Olden Yard. Almost impossible to remain objective when you've watched it grow and move people on dancefloors around the world since its early stages (is there anyone on the planet that still hasn't dropped Giuliano & Einzelkind tracks?)
When everything sounds the same these days, somehow, our friend and label-captain Haydn always manages to find rhythmic gems from (known or not-so-known) artists and put together all those releases that are each so unique in style, always different, yet keeping the smooth, impossible to pinpoint, trademark flavour of CV.
It won't do justice and it's not easy to choose a favourite release from the back catalogue, but...let's say that SEPP's La Gura Sobei EP (CV006) never leaves my bag. I don't know many artists that can truly envelop the Romanian traditional spirit in the minimal realm, without sounding clichéd or tedious. Not in this case! Those two tracks are so enchantingly executed in such subtle way that, every time I listen, they really make me feel like I'm on a plane, back in the day, watching peasants working on fields under the sun, but at the same time also grooving with aliens from planet Bass.
"I love the Curtea universe - modern sound, old school, timeless or eclectic, colourful or at times outlandish. I'm happy to be part of it along with other (way more) talented, crazy producers and hope that new music will keep flowing for many years to come!" - Guy From Downstairs
"Well...nothing much to say about the label, the music speaks for itself. My first release there was a huge impact for me, and for the label also because we helped each other to grow in the industry. Haydn (the owner) had and has all his respect for me and I have for him, and of course, we trust each other when it comes to releasing new material on the label. Over time, the label released great music, with great artists, and I personally don't have a favourite one, because every release has a story to tell..." - Herck
"Since first discovering Curtea Veche through the "Cookie Jar" release it became very clear that the consistency of the output was exceptional and it's continued that way endlessly. For me, the label is the complete package the sound as well as the detail to the artwork is perfect and work hand in hand. It's really hard for me to choose a favourite we have so much amazing stuff coming but for now ill go with Einzelkind & Giuliano Lomonte - This N That. its been a goal to release on the label and to now be apart of the projects moving forward it's even better." - TIJN
Words by Francesco Quieti
In these dire times of human disconnection, we need now, more than ever a unified solution to help save our scene and bring music to the people whenever they want, wherever they are.
As the first subscription and VOD based platform dedicated to live-streaming, Clubify.tv has been working hard behind the scenes to keep us connected to our beloved club environment. Now they’re ready to launch. Embracing high-performance technology, Clubify has come to the rescue of poor quality live-streams with their 4K adaptive bitrate technology. Supporting quality performance even in low internet bandwidth, Clubify offers discerning clubbers an all-in-one live stream solution - providing a technically sound outlet for labels, artists, fans and clubs alike.
The ‘Netflix’ for live content, Clubify is a dream-come-true for many music lovers and stream aficionados, enabling artists to stay in touch with their audience in a direct and personalised manner. MEOKO is proud to support the new platform which promises to redirect the subscription fee back to the contributor in order to help save our scene. Subscribers get a professional service and contributors get paid - as professionals. Fair pay, fair play. Bringing many aspects of the industry together through an ethos built on collaboration, their high-quality content and channels for DJs, promoters, clubs, and festivals will not leave much unanswered. MEOKO is excited to introduce them to an industry which is trying to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic threat in a future-forward, creative manner.
In The Studio With Clubify
Clubify.tv lauched during Corona, which has hit our scene super hard, with a well-curated event live-streamed in collaboration with Egg London. Almost every single artist and club out there is reaching out to their fans via stream right now, resorting to donations as the last-straw to save their livelihoods. Live streams are everywhere. But until now, the more we streamed, the less we earned.
Traditional platforms might offer exposure, but they don’t compensate the artist. They’re often disorganised, hard to find and archive, the artists don’t get paid (“donate here!” they cry but artists aren’t a charity, donations don’t pay the rent) and many sets are cut short because of copyright issues.
Can’t Stream My Love
During the Pandemia, the struggle to save our scene has led to bouts of solidarity between artists, clubs and labels. For some, streaming is saturation, for others, it’s a call to innovate. Stages and empty venues become a blank canvas where anything can happen now. Creative boundaries are meant to be pushed. We see music through our eyes these days - Clubify is a great tool for this, it’s a video platform for music; providing artists with extended possibilities for creative collaboration between visual and audio. The opportunity to think big is there. It’s time to stream out of the box. Even before Covid-19, streaming was dubbed the fastest-growing segment of music consumption. Listeners have consistently increased their consumption and the inclusion of AI and VR powered tools are shifting the experience in new directions that weren’t possible before.
Clubify brings a new dimension to the show. It is not only a powerful tool for promoting live events, it is a fully-fledged business model to connect fans to artists and create something that’s both innovative and sustainable. Once an artist, label or club has their own channel, they’ll be able to promote their events, draw a crowd, connect to other artists and sell their own custom merch and vinyl through the Clubify boutique. Unlike Mixcloud and lots of other services (who charge artists a fee to stream), contributors can activate their own channel for free and get paid for the use of their content. Copyright issues are also being resolved through their licencing partners' ICE and PRS, so a lot of legal obstacles are being taken care of. This is a professional platform, so the content will be selective: the criteria for opening an artist, club or label channel are a sound standing in the scene, (a strong fan-base and RA page for example). No more trawling through home videos on Periscope...
Love it or hate it, streaming is here to stay. Let’s see what Clubify have to say:
Who are you, who is involved?
Clubify is driven by a passionate team of internationals based in London and Berlin. We are all excited about the potential for the project and think Clubify’s going to be a game-changer for the industry.
What is the motivation behind your initiative?
To bring the industry together - to give clubs and artists a dedicated platform to promote their music and to give the public a new, streamlined way to enjoy the music they love. Clubify is the first centralised platform dedicated to promoting live-stream events. We want to make it easier for people to access live music, wherever they are.
Did you have the idea before or after Corona?
It actually started just before Corona. I know lots of people in the industry, and whilst it’s exciting, it’s tough. Nightlife’s changing and nightclubs are expensive to rent and run. Especially in central London. Lots of historic venues are having to close. And when they close down we lose a part of the history that goes with them. We wanted to work out how to change that. How to make a new model that’s sustainable for everyone.
Do you think your launch right now is clever, is it perfect timing?
So the idea started before Corona - thinking about how we might be able to adapt the industry to the times, and then Corona came along and everything shut down. We knew we had to do something quickly. The government’s not especially known for its support of the club industry, so if we want to make a difference. Change has to happen from elsewhere.
I think Corona really helped illustrate the power of the collective spirit - in so many ways. People singing from their rooftops in Italy, musicians and DJs making and sharing music from their homes. The number of live-streams multiplied by a million during this time and it was obvious it was something people enjoyed. But there are so many different platforms - from Facebook to twitch to Instagram - it’s almost impossible to track. Live streams are exactly that - these incredible trickles of performances, scattered all over the place. We wanted to make it easier for everyone to see what’s going on. So yeah, it’s necessary and timely. I’m not sure there’s ever such a thing as perfect ‘timing’ - but time is of the essence and it’s definitely time to change.
We are seeing people donate to support their favourite artists and venues, but a donation-based system is not sustainable in the long term. Clubify is allowing a user to support the whole ecosystem of the scene with a monthly subscription which is lower than a London club entry ticket, with the goal of helping the whole electronic music industry to develop a sustainable model during this time and for the future. Moreover from a product perspective, Clubify will be always providing very high-quality content both in terms of video and audio on a high performing, usable platform - this is completely different than FB for example, and furthermore, it will not have the same copyright issues that the other platforms are currently facing.
Do you think this crisis will have an effect on people's habits of music consumption?
People need music. It brings us together. I think lots of people have been turning to music during lockdown to help them through - music’s a mood changer (!) Whether it’s putting a record on or tuning in to the radio / watching a live concert... I think people have more time to listen to and enjoy music at the moment. So we need music more now than ever (!) but maybe live events will change after the crisis - we don’t know if we’ll ever see huge crowds like we’re used to seeing at Glastonbury ever again. Maybe mass gatherings will be a thing of the past once this is all over... we need to think about what the future might look like and how that’ll impact the industry.
Let's get back to Clubify, what is the incentive for labels and artists to participate? How does the business model work?
We centralise and promote live events. We make it easier for subscribers to discover and enjoy live music. And we give artists and labels a risk free platform to host their live-event.
One of the tricky things with live-streams is it’s hard for an artist to earn money from their set. By bringing everyone together we can simplify the model. We pay you a fair share of the subscription fee and we make sure you’re reimbursed for your music copyright. It takes the stress out of it or the artist. We take care of the logistics so the creatives can focus on being creative.
Having a centralised space is great for labels as they can promote their artists through their own channel. And fans can discover something new.
How do you think this can work right now, at a moment where absolutely every club streams for free and donation-based?
Clubs are streaming for free and for donations as they need to keep alive. But it’s not a sustainable business model. You can’t rely on donations forever. And I think we all know nothing comes for free... it’s time to respect the makers and pay them fairly for their talents. Artists are used to getting ripped off - because they do it for the love - but it’s time we stopped that. Makers need to make money too. We need to plan ahead to think about how we can create a model to sustain the industry not just now but in the future.
What do you think about their “business model” to help the scene as they have a transparent system about the donations they receive and redistribute the money equally. In moments of crisis, the ego-based scene does get less relevance whereas solidarity-based models seem to work well. Where do you see the future of both models?
So solidarity is absolutely key - we need each other. The industry’s full of big names, but it’s surprising how few of these names actually collaborate or work together.
The Clubify platform’s great as it gives everyone their space to shine - clubs can host their own branded channel, artists can promote their new material etc. It’s their name, their image, their sound... their content. On Clubify everyone has space through their own channel, but it’s a space that’s also shared. As there are hundreds of channels to choose from... it’s just a way of bringing content together and organising it. Together but apart. Haha. Like corona. We bring everyone together to a single platform. And then give them their space to grow. Centralise the content, decentralise the power...
Where do you see the future of dance music?
The future’s bright. There are so many exciting possibilities out there - technologically. I think we’re going to start seeing VR and AI integrated into the user experience - with 3/4/5D visual mapping, 8D sound technology.... dance music’s always been about bringing people together. Maybe Clubify is the future of that. We can connect artists to a global dance floor. Collaboration is the key. When we all work together anything’s possible. Time to make it happen.
→ Please click HERE or follow the link in order to join Clubify and get on board for a 2-weeks trial subscription: https://www.clubify.tv/checkout/subscribe/purchase
Words by Kat Richter