Founded in 2013, Archie Hamilton's Moss Co. label was originally intended to support her big sister Moscow Records. Now, 7 years later, what was once a space dedicated to intimate deep productions has grown and matured, greatly increasing her output over the last couple of years with EPs from Noha, Alexis Cabrera & Hanfry Martinez, Joren Edwards, Toman, and last Ben Balance. This November the label serves up a superb 21st release from the boss himself Archie Hamilton, who's literally been on fire also thanks to the release of his debut album Archive Fiction last year. The entitled "Resurrection" is the much-hyped artist's first full EP here since its inception and as always it is a fierce two-tracker.
Click HERE to buy MOSSV021 - Resurrection EP
"Resurrection" goes first and quickly establishes a smooth groove with rubber kicks. The pads are a little old school but sci-fi, and the bobbling bassline cannot fail to carry you away. As things go on you get even more lost in the cosmos, making this the sort of stylish tune that is designed for heady backrooms late at night as the track falls into a break that never seems to come to an end. When the track drops, it's a powerful whirlwind of full-bodied sounds, right before the spacey shots on the beat appear again, this time supported by a wisely delayed vocal chop.
“Really happy to share this wicked video for Resurrection! Directed by the amazing Conrad Gamble and shot by Ollie MacKay and Richard Bell. One thing about the current situation is that the streets have been quieter so we were able to get some shots that we’d never normally been able to get. The result is an amazing trip through the city I call home, from day to night” - Archie Hamilton
Things get more gritty on the second 128 bpm cut "Reflection". The keys are trippy, the bass elastic, and the grooves more futuristic and restless, giving the piece a weird but vibrant funky attitude, under which a classic house organ and an acid bassline move; two elements with whom you'll never go wrong. It will fit in perfectly with sets you'd expect from the likes of Francesco De Garda or Nicolas Lutz and is another winner from Hamilton.
With many restrictions still in place in the UK and further pressure on the hospitality industry rising in light of the new measures introduced by the Government earlier today to see us into 2021 we were relieved to also see some positive news on the horizon with new on the spot tests being produced.
Whilst vaccines have been rolled out this could be a much-needed lifeline to allow events to restart in some sort of normal capacity.
Swallow Events is the first company to offer a full rapid testing screening service facility to detect COVID-19 to event organizers throughout the UK and the rest of the world. They have decided to partner exclusively with pharmaceutical company Roche to offer MHRA, CE and PHE approved rapid 15 minutes (99.68% specificity) turn-around pop-up testing facilities conducted by government-approved healthcare professionals on any size and scale, therefore enabling large scale gatherings to be held in a Covid secure environment. As an alternative. Test’s could cost as little as £8.80 per person, depending on the quantity ordered.
This is a massive step forward that could see real progress be made to the return to life as we knew it. Let’s hope we will be returning to the dancefloor soon! Find out more here.
Words by Jordan Diston
A pioneer. A legend. A point of reference for the entire world since the late 1980s who has been at the forefront of the global house and techno movement has made himself available for a talk about what matters the most: the music, which, apparently, has never left him (and vice versa) even in such an awful period. Please welcome the one and only Satoshi Tomiie, who also brought us 1 hour of pure dub, elegant, and charming pleasure.
How's New York treating you so far during this period? Have you spent there the entire quarantine/lockdown period?
Yes, I have spent the whole period of the lockdown in New York. Crazy time we all are in, I was grounded at home but music “saved” my life!
I started music as a hobby like everybody else and it had become a profession luckily after the years of doing it. Being a professional DJ/Musician for a few decades - now all of the sudden it had been forced to go back to “hobby” again! (at least for now). Who thought this would come?
You've done lots of streams during this weird period, have you also worked on new music?
Music is my passion, I simply can’t stop doing it. At the beginning of the lockdown, it was tough to get inspired and into it. After a little while (many cooking sessions and episodes of tv series (!)), the muse was back in the studio and led me in the right direction. I have been working on a lot of new material.
At the moment the key to making beats for me is having a lot of fun on the machines. Physical control works the best for me. Knobs, faders, and patch cables. Some musical ideas came from the preparation for a live jam streaming. Some from vinyl digging and some came from the mood in this world. I have started my new ambient / experimental project Sato - I am certain the mood made me do it.
The idea of starting a Bandcamp had been in my mind for a while, recently I have launched to release my own music and collaborations. You can find the recent work of mine and exclusive releases there including A_A and Sato.
As a DJ, since the beginning, I have been a big fan of playing new music. In this lockdown period, this idea came to my mind... How about digging my 90’s record collection as if they were “new” and discovering something I overlooked or forgot? Listening to and looking at them with ears and eyes of 2020? I pulled out about 4000 vinyl and went through one by one. There are some photos on my Instagram doing it. From Chicago and New York house to Dub Techno, I have found a lot of amazing grooves that are still relevant to music today. So I started doing live streaming on Instagram to share what I have re-discovered - then ended up making a YouTube channel.
I had never done streaming before this lockdown and it took me a while to be on the track. Now it’s a lot smoother after many tries and errors. The “Wax” series (the vinyl digging sessions) on YouTube is still going strong.
I'm sure you were used to traveling a lot during your DJ life, what's the place you're missing the most visiting, and what's the club you'd love to be in (playing or not) right now?
What I miss the most is the feeling of sharing the vibe and music with people at parties. It’s really a special thing. Making music is sometimes about digging into the inner self, DJing is kind of the opposite. I love these 2 sides, one influences the other all the time.
Click HERE to buy VL001 - Late Night EP
Tell us more about what's behind the tracks on your latest EP for the mad lads at Vatos Locos and the gear used.
I am very happy to be on VL! They are a great team and very welcoming. We were all DJing together for the first time a few summers ago and the idea of doing a release came up. I love this kind of organic connection :)
The music was written in different periods of time in different ways but mostly done on real machines. Ableton was used as a multitrack “tape” machine and a mixing desk together with an analog mixer to sum the tracks.
“Late Night” was written in entirely the hardware jam style. TR-909, Reon Driftbox (bass) Juno-106, etc. were used. Hit play/record, tweak the knobs and faders and all tracks were recorded separately on Ableton. One-shot recording.
I write some sketches and ideas on the plane sometimes. Many years ago I wrote something basic on the way to a gig. One of them had become “Out Of Nowhere”. On top of the original sketch, I added more synths and stuff, but I realized that it would sound better with fewer elements in the track. Many channels were muted and stripped at the end. "Less is more" philosophy worked I believe in this case.
Something similar to the track I did a few years ago called “Bassline”. Simplicity works better sometimes.
On “Left Over” the mighty Roland House Music Orchestra was featured… band members were TR-909, SH-2, Juno-106, and SH-101 etc. Another rather simple live jam style track.
Last year you've released an album as A_A, tell us more about this project. Why have you had the need for creating a new alias?
A_A is a project Inspired by Electric Jazz, Experimental Noise / Avant-garde, and the stripped-down elements from the music I’ve been loving and creating from the beginning – Electronic and House Music. Current project members are me and New York-based experimental artist Nao Gunji and the name stands for ABSTRACT_ARCHITECTURE, this represents its craft, sound, and texture.
The idea was to make an experimental live project, it deserved a new name to represent. Check it out on my Bandcamp and see what you think.
"Metropolis" EP is your first solo release on Abstract Architecture since 2017. Are we gonna see more stuff on your Bandcamp page in the future?
This release features 2 of my recent studio jams. Aiming to compose stripped-down, hypnotic, trippy and dubby DJ tools. Both tracks were done with Eurorack modular and hardware instruments, live jam style as usual.
“Metropolis” features deep, simple yet driving beats with a kind of moody beat-synced Akai MFC-42 filter driven Juno 106 leading synth part. “Circular” is a jam written during a late-night session with headphones. Dubby vibe, using echo machine and spring reverb as musical instruments. I have tons of material, planning the releases on my Bandcamp page exclusively as soon as they are ready.
What are your plans for 2021?
The world is on hold and we just don’t know how long it lasts. I won’t put my creativity on hold and will keep moving forward tho!
A few releases scheduled on vinyl and Bandcamp - brand new Satoshi Tomiie and Rintaro on Yoyaku is just out now. Besides my solo and A_A project (new A_A vinyl release called “Midori” coming very soon) I have been working on dub/ambient material under Sato moniker. Kind of textile of the sound and tone - capturing the moment of live sculpting of the sound.
I miss being on the road a lot but quite excited about what’s going on in the studio.
There's no better time than this to make people feel better with music. Would you like to tell us the names of three songs that impressed you this year?
I ended up listening to a lot of spiritual jazz this year. Maybe because of the mood in the world. I have been a jazz lover since I was a teen, I was very lucky to get an opportunity to see Sun Ra Arkestra live in a small gallery in New York right before the lockdown. That was the last live show I have been to. Listening back classics by the artists such as Pharaoh Sanders, Alice Coltrane, and digging the stuff I haven’t checked out yet. There is a lot of amazing (old and new) music to discover, never enough and the search is never over.
Words by Francesco Quieti
With a discography that takes in 30+ EPs, UK Burnski is without a doubt one of the most prolific producers out there. In his works, he manages to fuse house grooves with techno dynamism and dub warmth. Add in elements of acid, minimalism, electro, and breakbeat, and you have an infectious style that suits tasteful parties and connoisseur selectors. He also co-runs renowned labels Constant Sound, Constant Black, and Aesthetic, which is now the home of artists like Michael James, VSA, Iuly.B, Paolo Rocco, Mandar, S.A.M, Diego Krause and many more.
How have you been passing the time at the moment with everything going on?
Just keeping fit, healthy, and productive really. I exercise a lot and I love a good morning run when everything is quiet.
It's been more of the same music-wise, working on projects and keeping busy with the labels. There's a lot going on with both but I love it, so it's all fun and I don't even think of any of it as work. I also make time to spend a good hour a day not thinking or doing anything at all.
Did the lockdown kind help you out with managing the three labels you run, focusing on A&R activities and studio production?
I would say I have found myself having more time for sure. I was traveling 3 hours in total to get to the studio and back each day for a year, so being unable to go there, I found myself having more time straight away.
There are actually many more labels under the Constant Sound umbrella now. It's growing really fast and I am just going along with it really. I love starting new projects I do, it gets me properly excited when I start just going along with it.
Click HERE to buy Point Of View LP
INSTINCT is a really different project to your Burnski alias what made you decide to go down this root? And what does this name mean to you?
I really felt the need to reset everything when I turned 30. There needed to be a shift as I was in a loop doing the same thing. I decided I would do my own bookings and just release music without sending it to anyone or being linked to anything.
I set up the Constant Studio around then and started doing a lot of mixdown work and engineering music for a lot of DJs. I was still going to gigs but being more selective in which ones I did.
It was also around then I started INSTINCT and a load of other projects that just seemed to flow and come about themself. I was making them all just for the enjoyment of creating them.
I didn’t do any promo for it at all so it's built quite organically. Some things can make even more impact when people find it for themselves I think, especially if they discover the label after 5 releases and they are into them all. That wasn’t really a conscious decision to try and build it like that I just didn’t feel the need to do any promo.
We just had you on the tips for approaching labels piece, but how would you exactly describe yours and the labels' sound in 3 words?
Pacey, Fun, Rolling.
Tell us about the album, what was your inspiration behind producing it?
I was going through a folder of ideas I had done and thought there was enough music that worked with each other to release as an LP. I tend to make a lot of music then just go through it now and again and work out what to do with it. The previous album was a bit more of a home listener in places, so I liked the idea of putting a new album out which had a similar vibe to the previous EPS.
Less than a year ago you've released "Still Life" LP. Why, after so little time, did you feel the need to work on a new album? Which are the main differences between these two LPs?
The first album was definitely a wider scope of genres. It featured tracks from 80 bpm – 160 bpm, so quite a wide variety. A few people have said they can imagine hearing some of the tracks as a film score or something on those lines. The ‘Point of view’ album is a step away from that I think and more club orientated.
There's another INSTINCT LP ‘Happening’ to be released in December which is totally different from this one too. It's an ambient album that I have wanted to do for ages and I found myself unsure about putting it out.
I was sat one day during the lockdown and I just thought why not? I've got absolutely nothing what so ever to loose putting it out. It's what I want to do and it gets me excited. Again you can sometimes hear those echoes of people saying "oh I wouldn't do that", or "that will confuse people". If it gets you fired right up, that's the way to go every time I think over what anyone else thinks… so we will have some of that one next then.
It's available on pre-order now at Juno! Link: https://www.juno.co.uk/products/instinct-happening/790137-01/
What is your studio set up like that you made this on?
I have had most of my studio packed up in storage for the last year as I was in-between spaces and working in different spots. I have lots of folders of sounds I have collected over the years which is really well organized, some of those are recordings of synths, some of them came from my old library banks.
I quite like only turning my synths on now and again, recording the sounds, and then just limiting myself to that. I actually do the same when using plug ings too, I record them live to audio, and then I am limited to that and not always changing the sounds.
Tell us more about "Twister", the track we've decided to premiere. It's placed perfectly in my opinion since it leads gradually from the first, housier and more vocal-oriented part of the LP to the second part, more raw and dirty.
It took a few different forms this one I think. I was doing an INSTINCT gig and the week before wanted to make a load of tracks that I could maybe play. This was one of them and it fitted on the album well I thought.
What support have you had from the LP already?
The feedback has been great from a lot of people I respect. There are some tracks from the LP which have been supported by a really wide set of DJs like Four Tet, Floating Points, SIT, Caribou, Midland, Enzo Siragusa, Patrick Topping, Richy Ahmed to name a few.
You never know who is watching either. Some tracks of the album have ended up on adverts and computer games. People who just contacted me through the Bandcamp store wanting to license music so it does go to show you can just get cracking on your own label and things can happen to do it your own way.
Garage is coming back around again in the UK and your label in many ways has headed this movement up providing us with plenty of new talent. Who are some of your hot picks at the moment?
0113, Holloway, Yosh, Pinder on a garage tip. TIJN, Niko Maxen are all doing great stuff at the moment which on more of a minimal vibe
Top 3 favorite garage cuts?
Oh, this is a hard one but here are 3 timeless belters:
And here's an even harder one. You don't need to answer that House or Garage?
Ah, I wouldn't choose one over another I think they both go with each other great. Peace!!
Words by Francesco Quieti
Today we bring you fresh rhythms from Modula Records which is quickly rising to be a standout label in the UK. It already has welcomed the likes of Jerome C, Ray Mono, Lee Onel, and Artmann (of which we've recently talked here) to their imprint in recent times and their new EP is in the form of a 3 tracker from Hadley. The Manchester-based DJ & producer broke into the scene in 2018 with his remix for Gorgon City's "One Last Song" and so far he signed his music on labels such as Lacuna Recordings and Los Pastores' Oblack Label.
Click HERE to buy Millenium EP
Opener "Millennium" builds intricately as elements are slowly introduced; spacious pads and tight synths entwine perfectly together before a rhythmic crescendo hat takes us straight into the mix. This track has US Garage influences throughout whilst sticking true to its deep roots. The bassline keeps you moving and gives the track plenty of energy as mesmerizing pads combine with shuffling hats and compact snares.
"Every Cloud" sores into the sky’s and into the stratosphere with tight kicks and shaking hats accompanied by nimble use of airy pads that bring a trippy edge to the track. This is brought to life by a blunt bassline with plenty of groovy and soul.
Last but certainly not least ‘Seeing is Believing’ concludes the EP. A nimble garage hook grabs your attention instantly accompanied by a female vocal that stops you in your tracks. Hands up heads down material. The bassline again has plenty of energy and resonates throughout the piece. Perfect dancefloor stuff to round the EP in style.
Words by Jordan Diston
With the South American scene being more consistent than ever, just think of recent labels and projects such as Musica Lunar, Audionik, From The Void Above, and Guaguanco to name a few, representing Perù is the newborn PRVNS label. As the name suggests, the label, owned and directed by 4 young and passionate locals, it's the extension of the Peruvian Sound collective and will focus on delivering just the best on house, minimal, and techno sound in all its facets. Their first VA compilation is a huge 37-tracker collection of 100% made in Perù lovely rolling groovers ready to warm and rock the dancefloor - not only the Peruvian ones - as soon as possible. Sonido Peruano Vol. 1 is divided into 3 parts and within these, we can already spot some known names such as Deaf Pillow, Kike Mayor, Alejandro Cuestas, and He_Did: in fact, almost the entire compilation is entrusted to newcomers that do not disappoint expectations.
The speedy "Numero Dos" by Bauer kicks off the project with a delicious spacey tune. The bass pulses definite and deep, rolling smoothly around the stomper kickdrum. Glimmering synths arps populate the scene with energy and color, giving a trancy touch to the track. Drums and delicious congas are drawn in a wide and sharp reverb that brightens up and enhances clarity.
Moving one, the compilation proceeds with gloomy deep and minimal trippy rollers, among which appear “Un Vals?”, a dried-out minimal cut carried on by an outrageous guitar sample, and Deaf Pillow’s gloomy “Alternate”, where bold shaker-ish drums meet intense chopped synths and a cavernous bassline.
Heading to the second part, Lima-based GhostHorse delivers the heady "Chermass", which insists on a hypnotic siren that elevates the gloomy mood to a mental level. With the main arp that sounds like it's never going to stop, the overall pace gets tenser on each cycle, layering together with other plucks, always evolving and coming back. Kick hits gently, muffled, laying on the very bottom of the track. The wavy shake of the synth is mimicked in the arrangement, as it opens up and closes down alternatively, playing with elements’ density.
Saint & Don’t Music head Kike Mayor is next with his track "Semblante", a deep and warm slow burner with a variety of caressing sounds providing a chilled state. All the elements are picked and shaped wisely not to tire the listener and stay engaging on the run, where old school taste melts together with a minimal approach and a mature expression of time management.
We have reached the third volume now but however, the music continues to amaze us. For the gift track, JJ Beteta enters the stage with an idea of sound: funk. His “Gimmi Da Funkei Bit" is a raw joint that works around the famous sample, here warped and treated enough to make of this one a huge club rocker. Definitely a peak time anthem.
Another one to mention is Lima’s Fuga Night Club resident Ludovic aka Muchos Alias, here unleashing a deadly after-hours tool that mixes dreamy synths with smooth 90's pads and an enthralling bassline capable of making people dance hours to this.
Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi
We caught up with the Masomenos / Midiminuit crew ahead of their new studio album which is part of their Hotel Costes presents project of epic proportions totaling a number of 16 albums and 16 EP’s. This latest album is by Midiminuit the outfit made up of pianist Julien Quentin, bass player Yonatan Levi and electronic musicians Cesar Merveille & Adrien de Maublanc (Masomenos).
Following on from the ‘Round The Clock’ LP back in September 2019, Midiminuit returned with more of their atmospheric electronic twist on modern classical and contemporary jazz. Across the project they deliver hazy jazz jams like the bass noodle, wandering keys, and metallic percussion fuelled ‘Kitchen Table’, the baroquely unfolding improvised feel of ‘Loop’ and the snaking dynamic groove of ‘Why Is The Bass So Low’.
When listening to the album you are completely transported away from the world. It really is a musical piece of perfection and we couldn’t wait to find out more about it and the project from the guys.
STUDIO HC project is really something! Tell us a bit about it…
STUDIO HC was born as we moved our studio in the hotel under construction. Huge renovation work had started in the hotel and the studio evolved and adapted to the rhythm of this transformation. It also defined a sound that would eventually set a style of music for the new part of the hotel.
What inspired you to do this project?
Life led us to slow our touring and groove pace as we settle for some more sedentary years in Paris with the family.
The location of the studio is so specific and the ever ongoing transformation also inspired us to transform our way of making music. Suddenly we had the possibility to record live musicians to make more acoustic music as well.
There’s so much talent in Midiminuit from very diverse musical backgrounds, how did you all come together?
Again, Life and affinities brought all of us together.
Adrien: I was already working with Cesar, who introduced me to Julien and then to Yoni. Also, it led us to meet Moritz who has been a very important player in the development of Studio HC sound and setup. He even came with us in Aveyron for the lockdown. Became a real family member.
Creatively how do you keep yourself motivated?
Adrien: Hope. It’s my magic mission. That’s what I want to share in our work. In my life. Always. To share hope. Also now I just tend to accept and surf the creative wave. I can be highly productive for an intense period of time, so when it slows down, I accept to just become idle again, watching documentaries on Netflix all day, and unwinding till the next time that inspiring muse comes for a visit. Joan: We have a big playground. It might be overwhelming sometimes, but inspiration can come from so many different inputs that it never gets boring. Collaborating and putting up a collaborative team is also very exciting.
Can we expect to hear the album performed anywhere any time soon?
With all these changes and regulations, let’s see what slots life offers us. Hopefully, we can gather in Berlin this fall and make it happen.
What’s next for the Studio HC project?
Oh, we have a lot of albums in the pipe that is the result of a two years intense recording wave. Now as we keep on recording new stuff, we were also very focused on the curation and broadcasting in the hotel itself as it reopened in a bigger version in august. Also, our lockdown experiences of immersive visual mapping inspired us to start using Studio HC as TV as well as producing audio-reactive visual content.
What’s your favorite track off the album and why?
Welcome, when the singer Hani pop by the studio and we set her up to record on the first track we produced in the week so we would « welcome « her in the project, that same way we started it.
Tell us about the mix you recorded for us!
This mix as we mentioned above is an immersive audio-visual performance. We set the stage, put on the camera and audio recording, and started to play. So, the experience is a bit more than just the mix. We had a very good time doing it. It’s a bit experimental and features only STUDIO HC.
It’s strange times across the world at the moment, how did you find lockdown?
We were very lucky to be able to relocate the family + studio into a very very nice location that gave us the opportunity to watch an amazing spring. Not every day was easy, but it ended up being very creative and inspiring also for our family life. Now the digestion of this weird bubble that we share as a human collective experience is also very interesting. The dislocation of certain structures that were on is slowly allowing something to emerge, and we can just enjoy the process if we’re not letting our fear of uncertainty rise up. That’s quite a passionate experience both individually and collectively. Very grateful to be an artist so we can process it into our work.
Words by Jordan Diston
Just a few months after his previous edition, London-based Bread and Butter Recordings strikes back with the third vinyl-only installment on the label. This time, the A-side is Romania's Piktor competence, whilst rising talents Miroloja and Triptil fill the flip with mesmerizing melodies and tight, energetic grooves. The label confirms to be in top form lately, providing yet again quality tracks after the latest VA compilation with Rowlanz, Direkt, Sublee, and Vern.
Hailing from Romania but now Based in Vienna, Piktor continues his rise after recent releases on Subtil and Lokomotiv, making his debut on B&B Recordings with “Everythingship”. The entire track insists on a short, skipping synth that brings groove and energy even before the drums. Added to this is a colorful and evolving rhythmic pad that brings forward the whole groove that smells of a crispy, old-school flavor; a loose attitude that allows both clap and hat to lean on the beat. Some grainy effects populate the very sides of the mix, creating depth and atmosphere and alongside them, Piktor places fragments of voices and airy piano riffs which further contribute to the frisky mood of the piece.
On the flip, the French brothers of Miroloja roll next with the entitled "Karezze". The Parisian waste no time and start off the track nice and deep with an engaging groove and electric bleeps and dark SCI+FI atmospheric layers. The track moves smoothly until the break when it opens up to a more harmonic scenario in which pads become prominent, and a sentimental turn is revealed. Dreamy arps start echoing the pad’s motion, working on higher notes and introducing an entirely new sonic palette, whilst the drums his sharp and the bass rolls clean and definite.
Closing down the VA is Bucharest's Triptil with the bouncy "Mrwho!", within which playful synths freely evolve above rigid drum patterns that bounce tight on the swingy bassline. The tight groove perfectly stands out in the mix, without, however covering shimmery guitar-like strums and a warm female vocal shot that appears - far away - counting backward, laughing, bringing on interesting variations to the cyclic pace of the track.
Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi
We cannot forget the catastrophe that took place on August 4th, 2020, where a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored at the port of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, exploded, causing at least 203 deaths, 6,500 injuries, and $15 billion in property damage, and leaving an estimated 300,000 people homeless.
Head to the Impact Lebanon site here: https://www.impactlebanon.org/
November 6th will see the release of a non-profit collaboration from a healthy package of established artists and friends including Ricardo Villalobos, SIT (Cristi Cons & Vlad Caia), Alci, Mandar, Priku, Faster, Pîrvu, Dragutesku, Guy From Downstairs, Lowris, Costin Rp, Pheek & Kike Mayor, and Sepp. Masterminded by The Other Side founder, Maher Daniel.
The Bandcamp release is amalgamated in support of Impact Lebanon with all proceedings going to the charity in light of the recent horrific events in Beirut, and will be available here https://theotherside4.bandcamp.com/
The fourteen tracker meanders through certain minimal moods with each of the artists involved bringing their own angle and textures to the release, a wholesome compilation for a good cause injecting some positivity into what has been an uncertain year, delivered by some of the most established artists from this sector of the sound spectrum. Although a charity compilation Maher and co. have managed to put together a cohesive body of work with all of the tracks communicating with the next, maintaining distinctive themes and setting the tone for the cause in hand. Sure to build some traction this winter getting behind a fantastic charity.
Alci - Denayi
Costing Rp - Tajo
Dragutesku - Muza
Faster - Surveyor
Guy From Downstairs - Coast To Coast
Lowris - Sauve
Maher Daniel - Wasted Liquid
Maher Daniel - Motionless (Mandar Remix)
Maher Daniel - One Drop (Priku Remix)
Pîrvu - Ev - Uh - Nes - Uhnt
Pheek & Kike Mayor - Costa Verda
Ricardo Villalobos - Sauvage
Sepp - Cairnholm
SIT - Transit
It’s with great regret that Pete ‘Woosh’ Birch, founding member and influential figure in Nottingham’s DiY Collective, has passed away after a five-year battle with cancer.
If you scratch under the surface of dance music heritage in the UK it won’t take you long to stumble across DiY Soundsystem. The outfit was a seminal part of the acid house raves scene back in the early 90s, to many most notably being a part of the collection of sound systems which threw the infamous party at Castlemorton 1992. An estimated 20,000 - 40,000 party revellers enjoying the delights of the party which went on nearly a week. This resulted in the Criminal Justice Bill driving parties from fields into clubs full time in the UK. In a weird way, you could say we wouldn’t be here doing what we do today in this capacity without people like Pete pushing the way forward.
He was also responsible for one of the hottest nights in the UK at the time; Bounce which welcomed guests including Sasha, Laurent Garnier, DJ Pierre, Andrew Weatherall, Larry Heard, Derrick Carter and many more. From parties all over the UK, Amsterdam, San Francisco, Dallas and Ibiza it’s safe to say the DiY we’re absolutely on fire in their prime years. The collective was holding multiple parties a week at some stages. The infamous DJ duo Digs & Woosh along with Simon DK and many others of the DiY entourage were known for their dedication to music and bringing joy to many dance floors across the world.
Pete was also responsible for launching the labels Strictly 4 Groovers and DiY Discs releasing 100s of records. The imprints brought artists like Nail, Atjazz, Rhythm Plate, Inland Knights and many more to light. These records are still found in many of favourite DJs sets to this day and are an essential part of any serious house diggers collection.
After being diagnosed with highly aggressive head and neck cancer in December of 2015, Pete decided to take a natural approach to treatment and launched his The 52 Card Trick project. He wanted to give something back to everyone that helped him when he was diagnosed. The label would release 3 tracks a week for 52 weeks. It saw the likes of Brawther, Yueseke, Nail, Hot Toddy and Schmoov, as well as many others, release a brilliant selection of diverse music. All proceeds from the project went towards organisations which offered support with cancer, none of which received government funding. These included Active Cancer Therapy Support, Together Against Cancer and The Penny Brohn Centre.
DiY recently celebrated their 30th birthday in 2019; an achievement which is truly unique and special in its own right. How? Still sticking to the ethos that has served them so well over all these years. A family of like-minded people coming together for the love for music. You only have to look on the DiY Facebook page to see how many people Pete inspired over the years with floods of testaments, stories, nods of respect and admiration.
Thoughts going out to everyone suffering from his loss. The world we love has lost a rare breed indeed. Rest in peace Pete ‘Woosh’ Bird.
Thank you for being you.
Words by Jordan Diston
Infectious, groovy, energetic, deep, driving. There could be many more adjectives to describe the style that the young Cologne-based artist has achieved during the last couple of years, just think of his recent releases on labels such as PIV, Berg Audio and Talman Records to name a few. A swirl of massive house and electro sounds, spacey pads, large drums and 90s dub vibrations that however nods to the future... it's DJOKO! An enviable ability to adapt possessed by the young German, which, combined with a naturalness on experimenting with different genres, made of him one of the most interesting upcoming acts around, being appreciated both by house purists and more electro and rave avant-gardists.
We've been following you for a very long time and we can tell you've definitely made the mess over the last years. Was there a turning point in your career?
It’s been a slow process in general but that’s alright. I never had any goals set so there wasn’t something to meet or disappoint me. Becoming part of the PIV family definitely helped me a lot though. I wouldn’t have done this step if the guys weren’t so friendly and supportive. It’s gotten to a point where it goes over just the music thing and I’ve become close friends with some of them. They are all open to new ideas and concepts and I’m happy to be with them. Also having the HOOVE imprint to run my own events with my friends from Cologne gave me a lot. You meet the DJ’s and Producers you love and make a little connection.
Tell us more about the PIV sample pack and about your latest remix for Chris Stussy.
I’ve done some sample packs in the past already which I sold privately but none of these distributed over an official site. When the guys from PIV had the Idea to start their own series I was keen to do my first official one. There were some things I learned in the process of doing this one. I got some help from DeMarzo who has already brought out several packs in the past and I had a lot of fun creating a pack that I would dig into myself when producing.
The remix was done last year around September when I asked Chris to remix him at some point. I wanted to give something back to him for the continuous support he has given me in the past so when he showed me the track "Seeing & Believing“ I was immediately in.
Your music is a great joint of old school tastes and innovation, how do you find that balance all the time?
I guess it comes naturally by listening to a lot of music from the ’90s. The joint between these two then comes from having analyzed the tracks from 2010-2020 precisely and joining them with the older sounds.
Tell us more about the music in the mix you've prepared for us. What shall we expect?
The mix is made for home listening. Not too much dancefloor-oriented, even though there are some heavier grooves featured as well. I like to keep it changing and not too hard especially for podcasts. There are some older tracks in there which I only just (re)discovered & two unreleased remixes from myself for Josh Butler's Origins Rcrds and Lacuna Recordings. Also, it features a beautiful remix done by a girl from my hometown called Sandilé.
Apart from a few exceptions, we rarely see you working together with other artists. What do you think about collaborations?
It’s refreshing to see how other people attack the process of production so I’m always a fan of that. I love to sit down in the studio together instead of sending stems to each other to not interrupt the flow.
Do the best ideas come in the studio? How do you find inspiration?
Sometimes other tracks I just discovered give me the best inspiration. Just a certain element that triggers me where I go: "Yes, I wanna try to do an element like this with what I have".
What are your thoughts about the sampling process? Are you a fan of it?
I sample everything that sounds good. I don’t care where it comes from and have no problem with other people sampling me as well. Actually, I love it and feel honoured if I hear that it inspired somebody. There is no special equipment involved I would say. Anything that Audio Hijack catches is mine haha!
What is the role of analogue gear in your studio setup and workflow? Do you have just analogue synths/drum machines or also compressors, EQs, etc?
Analog gear for me is just like any other piece of gear I have in the box. Except that it changes my approach a little bit on how to start an Idea. One day I would start jamming a little bit on the TR-8s and play some chords to get a rough idea going, and the other day I would sample something from other tracks I love. Most of the time it vanishes into something so little in that Idea that you won’t recognize it in the end.
What is the synth you're craving at the moment?
There are a lot. I always wanted to get an original Juno-106 but these keyboards just cost way too much. If anyone of my friends would sell one at some point I’d buy it but for now, I’m fine with what I have already.
If you would have to get back completely in the box, what would be your top 3 go-to plugins for synths? And for mixing?
My favorite in the box synths would be Rob Papen's Blue, U-HE Diva, Korg M1. Mixing wise I like to just use the stuff Ableton provides.
Which direction do you think house music is taking lately?
I see a lot of artists delving into a deeper direction, not so much using the overused snare tools & white noises anymore. I think it’s becoming more creative and more rooted in the foundation of classic house. I’m happy with how it’s developing lately!
Which are the plans you have for 2021?
I have no particular plans for 2021 except for making some music here and there. I would like to keep making music in every direction and not hold on to any concept which was doing quite well in the past. I would love to plan the next releases with the label but we take our time and not do this too hasty.
Words by Francesco Quieti
North Wales-based Floorpiece label has rapidly become a touchstone within the last couple of years, able to embrace both the house, minimal and deep-techy enthusiasts with delicious cuts released both on vinyl and digital among which appear artists such as Michael James, Herck, Lorenzo Chiabotti and Cosmjn to name a few. The imprint's 27th digital instalment sees Floorpiece gathering a conspicuous group of up&coming producers for Extended Family VA, including tracks from Lorik, Alex Dam & Zambiancki, Mike.D, Pinney and Pablo Hdez among others.
The compilation starts with "Cold Shoulder" by Adam Nahalewicz (Recycle) who kicks things off with a compelling Michael James-ish funky roller. The fluttering drums transmit a sense of lightness and airiness, further enhanced by sparks of synths that resemble almost like the chirping of birds.
Italy's fellow Alex Dam & Zambiancki deliver the boldy hi-octane "Distances", a solid groover full of gliding pads surfing over a superb groove and sweet stabs. The overall harsh sound on the drums is powerful and upfront, making of this one a gritty bouncer with a sweet minimal flavour.
Up next, Brasilian Serialism associate Ian R teams up with Allan Blue for "Vostok 3". Spacey synths move shiny on top of an essential tight groove, within which the bassline's pattern is reduced to essentials, rolling flawless and shaking the track from underneath. Kick stomps gently and caresses the drums, in perfect balance.
Gwylim Owen's "Clean Off" comes after, catapulting the audience into a realm of twisted synths, warped sounds and a top-notch joint of pitch-delayed vocals. The darker mood is immediately noticeable and groove minimalistic goes swingy with sharp drums cut through reaching out face directly, slapping hard. The acid-esque bassline is the cherry on the cake and really brings the piece forward while the groove keeps hitting.
Thus, Swiss-based Lorik unleashes the rubbery "Her Thing" which gets straight to your feet. On this one, The Swiss-based DJ and producer relies on skipping closed hats and the jerky snares to set the perfect scenario to a catchy female vocal to shine at is best, also adding an ever-changing synth-line that provides an extra dose of bounciness groove.
Yet after all of this tightness is good to find some fat dubby attitude just around the corner with the entitled "April Afternoon" by 'ManLike'BCoz. The bulbous bass rolls heavy and the drums sound fatter than ever, whilst a classic house stab gives to the piece and instant old school mood from which it is difficult to escape.
Hailing from the beautiful island of Tenerife, Pablo Hdez debuts on the label with the refreshing and soulful "Oval". With smooth pads and delicate plucks are carefully panned in a very atmospheric way, the Spanish talent is able to make room for straightforward drums to shine deep and dubby. A distant vocal makes its appearance on the break giving to the piece a pleasant human touch.
Closing down the release is Wesz with "Technological Process", where classic 90s house organs hold all the piece up, while a rock-solid rhythm section stomps underneath. Drums are essential and thin, allowing the low frequencies to really make a statement. The retro-analogue mood gets more intense every second, clashing with SCI+FI textures and subtle whispers, and making of this one the great closing act of a mighty compilation.
Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi
Good morning from an overcast LA everyone. Today in International Mental Health Day, so I wrote this: Down but not out. Depression is a problem with the dance music scene, that has taken artists & friends from us all. The toll of constant touring, the loneliness, the burnout.
The pressure to be on point at every show giving your happy best. The pressure to keep making great music, release after release. The pressure to keep putting on regular events, supplying the best DJs, production & environment. It’s these things that can weigh heavily on DJs, producers & promoters. The pressure to continue to inspire & to lift others from their daily struggles can be a thankless task, yet it’s expected time after time. As performers & as event hosts we can’t be down, we can’t be stressed, we can’t be depressed because it’s us who the party people look at to help them to celebrate life. To the dancing public, we have to be the faces of joy, bringing the good vibes & always being there, solid, steadfast & cheerful. Yet for most DJs we don’t know what gigs are coming in 2 or 3 months down the road. We’re not sure if we can pay our rent month to month, but somehow we manage & that stress to simply survive cannot be shown while we’re performing. Many events promoters are unsure if adequate numbers will come through the doors to pay the DJs, the security, the sound & lighting people, the door staff, the flights, the hotels, the drivers & more. The stress can be unbearable. Often as promoters, we’re on tenterhooks for the first couple of hours of our events, hoping that the break-even number of people come sooner rather than later. Yet our faces have to be welcoming, happy, assuring & willing to help you to celebrate. Well, right now I’d take all that pressure back in a heartbeat.
Our industry is destroyed due to this pandemic & no one in the establishment seems to care. There’s no proper stimulus package for the nightlife industry. Agents, club managers, door staff, security, dancers, bartenders, servers, we’re stuck between a rock & a hard place right now. A friend pointed out today that our industry has some harsh critics. DJs are being subject to abuse for trying to think outside the box for a way to earn some kind of living & as soon as you come up with an idea there are those who want to shoot you down as though you’re a serial killer, just for wanting to survive. But we’re well know DJs, we’re perceived to be indestructible, our mental health & well being doesn’t seem to be important to those who want to shoot us down at the first given opportunity for trying to find a way to just get by. We don’t have feelings, we don’t have emotions, we don’t have rent & bills to pay, we can survive like magic, just like that.
This pandemic has seen so many people from all walks of life lose their jobs, their income & with it for many, their dignity. Lockdown has brought about a huge difference of opinion. Everyone’s opinion is right, everyone else is wrong & the vitriol on social networks has escalated out of control. This is happening during a time when we should actually be looking out for each other. Being careful what to say to each other as we don’t know where the person we’re about to lay into is at mentally. If they’ve lost a family member if they’re struggling to feed their families if they’re living with people who are making their lives a living hell? Today is International Mental Health Day. Let’s all use this day to promise ourselves to be better people, to think before lashing out at family, friends or people online. To be compassionate & caring as every single one of us is suffering in some way or another right now, be that big or small. No one is immune to the toils of this pandemic so let’s all promise ourselves to be better, kinder & to treat others as we would like to be treated. Let this day be the day that we start to turn a corner together & strive to make each other happier instead of upset.
If you’re feeling down there’s lots we can do to try to lift ourselves & here are some suggestions:
1. Put on your favourite 10 songs all in a row, turn the music up really loud, dance & sing along to all the words as loudly as you can.
2. Go for a good long walk, preferably in nature if you can. The fresh air, exercise & change of lockdown environment can really help. Try to do this daily.
3. Force yourself to meditate for 20 minutes every day. It’s hard to make yourself do anything at all when depressed but meditation can give you the energy needed to get back in the room.
4. Make art. Go get yourself some paint brushes, paints & canvas & get those feelings out in a creative way. The finished result will make you feel good & gifting that art to a friend who is down will bring you both some joy.
5. Talk. Don’t hold stuff in. Your loved ones, family & friends love you dearly & will be only to happy to listen to you talk & who knows, they may well have some great ideas to lift your spirits.
6. Watch a comedy or stand up. Laughter is always a great cure. So contact a friend or family member & watch something really really stupid to have a good old laugh.
7. Reach out to others who look like they’re down & need help. There’s nothing more fulfilling than helping others & bringing them to happiness or helping them out of a dark place.
This will greatly improve your sense of self-worth. As a finishing thought, maybe it’s better in these troubled times to be kind than be right? Have a wonderful day. Mr.C
London is not letting the current situation in the UK slow the city down with there being an abundance of quality socially distanced events across so many of the venues we know and love. Sunday 18 October see’s an outstanding Sunday day-time event with one of the characters we love the most, tINI.
London-based creative platform, Zero Logistics hold a showcase (Social Dis-Danced) at one of the capital's most loved underground hotspots; 93 Feet East. tINI will be joining Benson Herbert and North South Records wonder Harry McCanna on the 1s and 2s. Safe to say this has all the ingredients to be a sublime affair of quality beats as we hear some of our favourite selectors delve deep into their collections.
Buy tickets here (limited capacity and advance tickets only.)
Join the Facebook Event here
Words by Jordan Diston
More Zero Logistics
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Ever since the MEOKO Podcast that Iulian delivered 2 years ago, the Iasi-based producer has always been always on our radar. Being a great person and a bright talent, the time has come to invite him to talk about his latest tracks, plans and the current devastating situation.
Hello Iulian, thank you for your time. How is life treating you so far? And how was the Dubla Party last weekend?
Hello, it’s always a pleasure to chat with nice people. Life has been good lately despite the situation, having plenty of activities to fill my time with. And the party was really nice, people were enjoying it properly.
You also played alongside Raresh in Romania a few weeks back. How did it feel to be behind the decks after a while?
That was the first party after the isolation actually, long-awaited and with lots of good vibes. It was a great pleasure for me to do the closing set after him, an artist and person I always enjoy being around because of his knowledge and vibe.
Any clear update from the COVID situation in Romania? We heard that cases still rise... What's your thought on the situation, especially as Romanian?
The cases may be rising, but also the news is pretty exaggerated, more into panic-inducing. The situation is not very well since the economy crashed a bit due to the restrictions that at some point have no sense. I agree with all the individual safety measures but the big hit was on the closed business and activities, as it was to other countries as well. Mentioning Romania, we had pretty bad management before and this situation brought more chaos, especially in the health section.
I just hope people will educate themselves faster and choose to comply with the rules rather than disobey them. Otherwise, this will only create more problems and will not allow the economy to recover as soon as we'd like.
How’s your life changed during this period? Are there things you (re)discovered?
This lockdown came with downsides initially, but after realizing how useful this free time can be, I started diving deeper into the self-discipline. Starting with physical activities, good alimentation and a clearer mind, I’ve had plenty of time to finish all the things on my to-do lists, rearrange and clean my musical collection then start new projects with renewed forces.
I am sure there is a lot of good stuff coming from the artists after this period because I feel that in hard times, art is a way of escaping, so the events after the lockdown will be amazing!
Many have spoken about this “corona-situation” has the perfect chance to re-invent the clubbing scene? Do you believe it? What are your thoughts for this last part of 2020 and for the next year?
Reinventing the clubbing scene in those conditions seems like some cold rules for us, as I am thinking social distancing is implied and also live streams or other digital alternatives. They may be a good temporary solution, but not a reinventing solution, since the music scene we all enjoy is based on connecting people, getting together under the same music and vibes, being close and sharing warmness with each other.
Hopefully, we would all be able to dance freely starting with spring 2021.
What are you looking for when you're listening to house/minimal music? Do you still feel the same passion that hit you years ago? What do you think will be the next year's trend?
After years of exploring the variations of house and techno, I feel the same growing passion, because of the neverending possibilities of finding or creating new sounds. It’s something strongly connected inside which gives me pleasure and it’s best to hear it in my sets or production rather than trying to explain it in words because what I play is mostly what I listen to at home.
The trend is something I am not paying too much attention to in my sound because it’s temporary. It comes with benefits for the artists that it affects, but in my opinion, if you are trying to follow and keep up with it, will alter your beliefs and way of building a proper sound.
You're constantly adding new music on your Bandcamp page lately. On your latest series called "Houseworks" you've gone a little bit back to some housier roots. Is that something that we're going to see in the future too?
Houseworks is the idea of putting out old projects of mine, remastered with new knowledge gathered up till today and also an intention of diversifying my sound. It’s still minimalistic but not in a rominimal way, an aspect I would like to focus on more in the future (check part one and two).
One of the often most difficult things, when it comes to releasing music, is to give your track a name! What's your process?
That’s an aspect I always like to pay good attention to. In most cases, I am focused on what I feel while listening to the track, which sensations I have or how will I feel it in a party environment. I am aiming for the name to be in tight connection with the feelings or actions inspired.
Of course, I also have some tracks with simpler or basic names, applied in the same described manner.
Not saying that you're old, but do you have any young talents on your radar?
There is a lot of good music coming out lately, and I have noticed that most of it start to sound the same in terms of instruments used or arrangement patterns.
Consistency and passion are making the difference in this case and some of the latest artists I have to mention in terms of really nice production are Nobodi, which is more underrated than new but delivers great tracks for my musical vision and there’s Cumuli & Bvrton, a duo of great guys which are combining elements from lots of other musical styles in a fine minimalistic style that can make a great moment.
I have mentioned them after listening to a lot of their work and remaining with a consistent number of tracks that I really like because of course there are many other good upcoming talents to mention but maybe I haven’t had the chance to listen more before coming to a conclusion.
Zenith with David Gtronic was one of our favourite tracks from 2015 I think. More collabs on the pipeline? Who would you like to join forces with?
Nice one to mention, since I have had a good collaboration with David. The process was flowing nice and each track we did got released in the end. I rarely get interested in collabs but recently I have started working with Andu Simion. We have known each other for a long time, sharing the same musical vision and this pandemic got us exploring a new sound together.
With 2020 definitely not being the best year so far, have you set any goal for 2021 or secret projects your working in?
Being realistic because of the current situation, goals are set on more general aspects, like improving the sound I present and personal evolution. We have to see which will be the best way for the musical community to get back on track.
There’s always something better in progress, but I prefer to keep it secret until it gets in good shape.
Lastly, we know you have recently joined the Subtil Records family, what a great match! What was the factor(s) on your decision? How did it feel to play with your new family at their latest label Showcases?
I joined the Subtil family after meeting Nils and Martin couple times. Seeing that we share the same vision, it felt like the natural move to work together. They are passionate individuals who always pay attention to small details while taking the broader music community into account. Must shout out to my agent Cathy here for her great work!
Thank you so much for the answers. We look forward to meeting you behind the decks sooner than expected!
Thank you so much for your time :)
Words by Francesco Quieti & Erchin Jon
More Iuly.b: Facebook / Soundcloud / Instagram / Bandcamp / Discogs
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UK based, record label and promoter discotech’s latest release comes by the skilful hand of Italian talent Alessio Viggiano, who delivers a perfect EP for the dancefloor. "Standing On Saturn’s Rings" EP is a four-tracker record that combines a mature yet clever and imaginative take on the label’s house ethos fused with Viggiano’s deep house and minimal sound, the result: a sophisticated, modern and vibrant voyage. Following on from the success of their previous release, Kepler's - Higher EP, discotech WAX second release marks another accomplished work for the young label. To top the release off, "Standing on Saturn’s Rings" EP features a remix from the prolific, German export, Nick Beringer.
Click HERE to buy DTW002
"Kalisvar" opens the EP in full style with a charming tech-house cut that combines smooth synths with minimalistic touches. The drumbeat rhythm and the popping bassline provide the foundations for a strong roller that brings high energy forward. Viggiano’s signature elegant and deep melodic synths drift in and out along ethereal vocals. The structure of the track recalls a strong house influence, making of "Kalisvar" a peak time track that will get the groove and energy going.
Concluding the A-side, "Marshmallow" embodies the stripped-down minimal house sound with a slight deep house feel. The birds in the background remind of better days, while a classic snare pattern. The bassline is warm and leads the way through the trippy sonic journey that is topped off with laidback distorted vocals. Perfect for an after hour session.
The B-side starts off with the EP’s self-titled track, "Standing On Saturn’s Rings": a deep minimal house cut with a striking outer planet characteristic. The Viggiano’s track keeps the warmth of the A-side, while going into a more introspective journey. Elegant pads make celestial atmospheres against the robust and groovy bassline that reminds of house gems.
Finishing things off, Berlin's very own Nick Beringer treats the former track with a more melodic approach and dwells into deep and progressive territory. The subtle elegant arpeggiated lick drives the mind into a state of trance, whilst keeping your feet on the floor by relying on Nick's trademark fast-skipping groove.
Overall, discotech WAX 002 is a tip not to be missed as its already charting high up and selling quick. The young label proves that good music transcends in time and despite their freshness in the vinyl game, has aimed for quality and dancefloor-oriented material. This release blends the elegance of a classic and distinctive house style with the new minimal house wave in the form of a definite dancefloor weapon.
Words by Daniel Ordoñez