- Published on Wednesday, 13 November 2019 01:08
Berlin-based and American born artist Oshana is one of those artists to watch closely in 2020, as she has gained recognition in the minimal/house movement in recent years through her flawless mixing and unique production style. Having released on recognized imprints like Partisan, Brouqade, BodyParts among others, Oshana is one of the resident DJs for the Partisan parties at the infamous Club Der Visionaere in Berlin. She's also keeping an active touring schedule, with appearances at Robert Johnson, Fuse Brussel, Concrete, Output in NYC and many more. Always blending between retro-acid-Italo beats, electro and old-school house, Oshana is a proper charismatic artist and we're so happy to have her on Meoko to talk about life, career and future projects.
Oshana has just made a special mix for us, click HERE to listen to it!
How have your midwest-American roots have influenced your musical background and music? What are some of your early musical influences and first electronic music artists that you've started listening to?
Growing up in the Midwest played a large role in my musical background. I started at a very young age before the internet era, so the music I collected was confined to the music stores around me, the music my older brothers friends gave me, and the music I heard while watching Canadian dance TV shows. I wasn't old enough to go to raves and clubs, so I had very little resources at my disposal. Some of my earliest influences were Sasha and Digweed, Paul Oakenfold, Carl Cox and Armand Van Helden. And, When I was finally old enough to go cutting, I expanded my musical knowledge by checking our artists from Detroit and Chicago that would pass by my city. DJ's like DJ Dan, Mark Farina, DJ Sneak, Richie Hawtin, Magda and the entire Minus crew influenced me to follow my pursuits in DJ'ing and host local club nights.
, Magda and the entire Minus crew influenced me to follow my pursuits in DJ'ing and host local club nights.
When did you get involved with music production and djing?
I started collecting and playing records at 11 years old in 1996, but I didn't learn the proper art of DJ'ing until 2003. With productions, I started experimenting around 2007. However, I didn't fully commit myself to music production until 2011 when I was 26.
What are your current sources of inspiration?
Early 90's, stripped-back, acid house and techno music as well as Detroit techno from the same era. I'm also really inspired by the late 90's Italo-house music.
What are some of the things you enjoy most from djing and producing?
As a DJ, I love the feeling of discovering new music that really excites me. I also really enjoy taking people on a journey and experiencing the "oneness" that comes from connecting on the same energy level as the crowd. This is the moment that re-affirms everything for me, as I feel totally in sync as the crowd. As for production, what I most enjoy is the creative process and achieving a state of "flow". Production has always been a way to express myself in ways that words never could. But beyond my own desires, the creative process keeps me totally grounded. I can spend hours jamming away in a studio and lose my sense of time and reality. The moment I completely detach myself from these constraints, I start to follow. Ideas start to flood in and before I know the track is finished. so, if I could sum it all up, I'd say what I love most about DJ'ing and production is that it connects me to others and my higher purpose. It also allows me to detach from myself and remind me of what's really important in life.
What music do you listen to currently?
This is probably one of the most diverse musical periods for me. While I love older Midwest house and techno music, I find some of the newer electro and house music producers to be very inspiring. They've extracted what they know from previous musical periods and talent it to a whole new level by creating 'playable' music. They make interesting music that's arranged for the dance floor and produced at a frequency that is perfectly suited to meet the sound system.
Recommendations of artists to watch?
There's way too many to list. This might sound partial, but I really love the artists Anthea has chosen for Partisan. Apart from these artists, I'm playing a lot of music from Etienne, TC80, Z@p, Pelle, Reade Truth, GOSU's artists, Huerta and Gene on Earth. I'm sure I am forgetting several artists, but there's just too many to list.
What is the most difficult part of being a touring DJ and producer?
In my own experience, I would say time management, sleep deprivation, and maintaining positive mental heal. Touring is one of the best parts about being a DJ and producer, but it's incredibly taxing on the mind and body if you don't manage a proper diet, take time to rest, and boost your spirits.
What is happening right now in your career?
So much has happened in the last year. In many aspects, I have turned over a new leaf, I've changed agencies, refined my musical selection, started setting up my own label, and re-adjusted my workflow. I've grown so much in the last year and this next phase will be even better than the last. I'm very excited to showcase what's coming next.
After huge releases on labels like Partisan, Brouqade and yoyaku, what is next in your career? Any future projects or releases?
For the moment, I am concentrating the bulk of my material for my own label. It'll be my first solo label endeavour, so I'm taking my time to ensure that the music is diverse, transformative and all of the artists I am today.
What excites you the most from your career?
Everything. I love my career. I constantly feel challenged to grow as a DJ and a producer, so I'm always learning new things and adapting my musical taste. Beyond the creative aspect, there are so many incredible perks of the job. Living from my passion, travelling around the world, and connecting with fans face-to-face are opportunities that I'm really grateful for.
- Published on Monday, 04 November 2019 11:14
It's easy to lose sight of just how much Thomas Melchior has produced over his time within the music industry. Diving deeper and more intimately involved with his music over the course of a 20+ year career, Melchior has embraced the challenges and time required to create something memorable and worthwhile.
Melchior first made a name for himself in the beginning of the 90’s releasing on Aphex Twins’ Rephlex label as part of electronica duo Vulva together with Tim Hutton, and later as Yoni on Move D’s Source Records. To top this up Thomas and Baby Ford reduced house music to its thinnest yet deepest elements and released music as Sunpeople, Soul Capsule, and part of the Ifach Collective and M-Core initially only on Trelik and Ifach but later on his own label Aspect Music.
Member of Villalobos’ Narod Niki, Melchior ‘s work also includes collaborations with Luciano, Ricardo Villalobos, Bruno Pronsato, Zip and Fumiya Tanaka to name a few. As Melchior Productions, Thomas became one of the pillars of the minimal house movement on Perlon, Playhouse, a:rpia:r, Smallville and Cadenza. He remains one of the undergrounds true visionaries - an esteemed veteran, and master of the wheels of steel.
Music Through Pictures is where we attempt to highlight the relationship between art, sound, images and music whilst also getting an insight into the musical minds of some of our favourite DJs and producers...
A deep space, the alien sunrise is where I want to be
Sometimes I feel lonely and longing for someone to take my hand.
The moon and the tides and the emotions and feelings. Just life
The time disappears while you are dancing
WARNING: only fools fall in love
A wall full of Perlon
There is a kind of magic in nature that will amaze you
Surreal abstractions, it's a mad world
School of fish
Dance, you can make your best spiritual experience.
by Denny Kem / Dyl
- Published on Sunday, 03 November 2019 15:49
Italy's Yaya has been on a roll in the scene over the last 10 years with prestigious tracks on Desolat, Cadenza and Celesta to name a few. He's managed to create a recognizable and distinctive sound right away, characterized by excellent use of percussive and melodic elements, always crafting pure dancefloor-pleasure tunes, and founding his label Tamango Records in 2016 was just a matter of time.
Today, we bring to you the man himself who's about to drop tomorrow his debut album "You Decide" on Tamango Records, which consists of an exclusive 2x12" vinyl LP.
Don't forget to listen to the exclusive MEOKO premiere of "Yaya - Black Mamba" and his latest podcast he's just made for us!
Ciao Yaya! You're finally about to release your first album! How do you feel about that and why did you wait for so long?
Hey guys! Thanks for having me on, I'm sooo excited and happily nervous about that. I can't believe that it's finally dropping tomorrow! I think that the wait was worth it. It was a personal choice as in the past I had many occasions to release it, but I didn't think it was the right time, unlike now.
We've listened to the album which has a clear and distinctive sound, which can be immediately associated with your trademark style. Despite this, you've been able to reach the perfect balance between your "new sound" without forgetting your more minimal-percussive roots. How was this possible? Which is the most significant track on the album?
I think that "Ebi Awon" is both the perfect track to describe the way I approach my work in the studio and the most significant one in terms of sentimental value if you go that way. I’m very close to this track which is the most important of the album for me because it has involved all my family and I some sweet memories of the days I’ve spent working on it. Once fulfilled with the groove and the bassline, I've been joined by my sisters in my Berlin studio and after finding some good lyrics to add to the track, we've called our aunt in Africa to let us translate in Yoruba. After that, I've recorded my sisters' beautiful vocal parts and I think that these Yoruba chants add some real fire to the track. The text is about the values of the family, which for me continues to be the most important thing: that's why having involved both of my sisters in this track is so relevant to me.
- You've worked on this album for 1 year circa. Have you mostly created this album sitting on your studio chair or touring around the world?
I think that I've started each track outside of my studio, just using my laptop and a controller, even if I was attending on my plane or returning to the hotel after some serious after-hour moments! Each track has its own story and I hope you can feel the inspiration that led me to create them. I can say that this album is almost a round-trip around the world, as some tracks were born from the Maldives to India, from Miami to Berlin.
- Apart from the vocal contributes of your sisters, within the album, there are no collaborations with other producers. It seems that you had a wonderful time working with them. Will you "use" them again in the future?
Of course, I will! Working with my sisters was such a funny experience and I definitely will work with Karice and Mayery again.
Will "You Decide" be followed by a remix album?
It's still too early to talk about a remix album since the original hasn't even come out yet, but I can tell you that it will be another double vinyl with some really interesting names.
If you had to release another album, not produced by yourself, on Tamango Records, who would you like to "host", as a label owner?
That's a pretty hard question, but I'd say Audio Werner because he's one of my favourite producers ever!
- Any final shoutout or anticipation for what's coming next?
I would like to thank all my team at Artist Alife in particular Loco Dice, Leo Duarte and Grace who always know how to motivate me and give me the best advice on how improve myself both as a person and as an artist, and obviously also Francesco Quieti who is giving me a big help on managing my label.
Words by Francesco Quieti
- Published on Wednesday, 16 October 2019 16:09
South America gents Guti & David Gtronic joined their forces to create a brand new label called "Personality Disorder". Honestly, there's no much to say about these guys whom, although following different paths, have both reached the higher-ups (and the best worldwide stages) of the house & techno scene. Before you start reading this interview, make you sure to check the EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE of their debut-project track → Guti & David Gtronic - The Traveller [Personality Disorder 001]
GUTI & DAVID: Ciao guys! I'm so happy to have both of you here! And I'm even more happy to talk about your new "Personality Disorder" project. Before that, you've never released anything together and personally I think that no one was expecting such a huge collaborative effort of 17 tracks, which is really huge. How did the idea come about and how long have you worked on it?
GUTI: Hey! We’ve been friends for some years now but always on the tour in different cities and always on the go until earlier this year when I found myself spending more and more time in Berlin and we finally had time to hang out for a consecutive period of time without the having to rush to catch a flight. Although I’ve lived in Berlin 10 years ago with Seth Troxler, Ryan Crosson and Shaun Reeves, David welcomed me back to the city and we just start jamming in the studio to socialize. We both are studio freaks! David can work for hours and I make music every day so this combination is like an obsession - a personality disorder in a sense. During one of our sessions, We started to jam and at one point we had around 20 songs that we were working for months and every time we would meet, I would come with a new idea to David’s studio and we would just keep going from there. Eventually, we asked ourselves what we do with all of this new music. Starting our own label looked the best option and that’s how it all started.
DAVID: It’s been nearly a year when we first started experimenting together but just about two months ago is when we decided on putting together a mixtape with all of our tracks. Collaborating with Guti has been the optimal workflow for me. Since we met, our chemistry has emerged flawlessly. We typically spend a couple of hours jamming and generating ideas together without any creative limitations. Down the road is where I come in and mix down the tracks, compounding final details that demand a little bit more time and patience.
GUTI: Honestly, after the release of your "The year of the Conga" Album on Cuttin’ Headz, I’ve never expected such a big amount of material in 2019. Why have you decided to release it now?
GUTI: First of all, it’s already been a long year! The Year of the Conga technically came out in March 2019 but was produced about 2 years ago and we actually started promoting the 1st single in October 2018 so to me it’s been a while. I’m constantly evolving with my music which is how I’ve always been and this drive and inspiration to create has to do with the things going on in my life. For example, I moved to Lisbon early this year and also started a new relationship which of course affected my life and led me to make new music. This year involved a lot of transition both personally and professionally which manifests itself creatively for me. On that note, I also produced an incredible new album in Paris with Djebali that will be out in spring 2020.
DAVID: I’m pretty sure that it’s an honour to you to collaborate with an iconic figure like Guti, who’s touring the world for more than 10 years since now. When (and where) have you met him the first time? Would you ever have imagined working with him?
DAVID: I met Guti back in 2011 during the Miami Music Conference. I remember his album ‘Patio De Juegos’ which was recently released. I recall thinking wow this is an artist that has some serious skills with his fusion of jazz, piano, classical, and house beats. The Desolat crew was one of my favourite labels during the time so his album on the label was an enormous inspiration for me.
Graphic credits: Illy Wonka
GUTI & DAVID: I’ve only listened to “The Traveler” and the track it’s a total dancefloor-destroyer. Where does the track name come from and why have you decided to release it as the first record? Will the projects include different genres as well?
GUTI: This track is a product of total chance since we were mixing another song and in a break, we started changing everything and we came out with “The Traveller”. David adds a lot of details and obsession to a sound that I never had and I think is a pretty good mix of new vibes we have created.
DAVID: The Traveller was, in fact, one of the last tracks we produced together recently to conclude the album. As Guti described, we were in the middle of a mixing session when we decided to take a break and work on something fresh. We had a 16 bar loop and within one hour we had the main idea of the production nearly finished. A few days later after spending some time mixing it and adding the final touches both Guti & I tested the track when we were out on the road and we both agreed this was probably one of the strongest track and it deserved to be one of the main singles. The name emerges from the idea that we have always been free and independent souls travelling around, making music and sharing it with the world. The album will include all sorts of genres from breakbeat to minimal, house and techno.
Graphic credits: Illy Wonka
GUTI & DAVID: Who's got the most "Traveler" spirit between you two?
GUTI: This is very subjective of course, but I would say: me!
DAVID: Perhaps as Guti stated he is always in different dimensions within his mind ‘Space out” hahaha. but I believe we both have a big traveller soul within us. We both left our countries in South America a really long time ago and we have been travelling and exploring the world ever since.
GUTI & DAVID: And what about the most "Disorded Personality"?
GUTI: I would say I do, but I’m also more than ten years older. He’s gonna’ catch up though.
DAVID: I would have to agree with Guti on this one, he is like a beautiful mind with a little bit of craziness on the side. Me? I’m pretty chilled but I have my moments too, hahaha.
GUTI & DAVID: Who has chosen “Personality Disorder” as the name for the project and what does it means to you?
GUTI: I came up with the name but also with another 1000 terrible names. We have chosen this one cause it represents us. We are different spectrums of the same disorder. David is an incredibly responsible and hard worker for his age I got to admire his ethic and hard work and he has better ears than me. We also met a painter from Algeria Djamel and he is a complete and beautiful freak so we all came up with this fast passing way to do things we are on the third release now and about to drop our album and have already made the next 10 releases. We are out of control
DAVID: It was Guti’s idea, when he first mentioned it to me I wasn’t too sure about it but then we started brainstorming all the ideas about the art etc and it seemed as this was a project we can really express ourselves creatively in many ways. So the choice was obvious at the end. It was insane the way that everything was flowing so naturally. One night we finished the first single ‘The Traveller’, then we sent it to get mastered by my friend Robin Virag who had it ready for us the next morning. We then came up with the name and Guti had already some of the artwork and videos are done by Djamel. During the same day, we were already announcing the label and the release of the first single. What I love the most about this project is that we are doing everything independently with band camp so we don’t have to wait for the label distributors to release the music which usually takes weeks, months or sometimes even years to come out. Whatever we feel like putting out we can do it right away.
GUTI: Will you release only “Guti & David Gtronic” music on the label or is it open to other collaborations and artists? If is it open to other artists who would you like to welcome to the label? Any name of some artists you’re looking for/upcoming prospects?
GUTI: We've already "signed Guti solo music, and I hope David gonna make some new solo tracks soon too. I also have collaborations coming with Fosky, Tripmastaz, Dani Ramos and Camikazy Uzi - a French rapper-singer. We have loads of our work coming out.
GUTI & DAVID: Who's the most nerd between you two?
GUTI: David! No way!
DAVID: That would definitely have to be me as I sometimes spent hours blending and mixing until I get the right balance. Sometimes I can spend a big amount of time adjusting a certain sound. Where Guti just comes in and jams and drops all his creativity. I like to get more technical with the details that demand patience and time.
GUTI & DAVID: Which is the best track of your "new partner"?
GUTI: I will choose one that is coming out on our album that we both produced called “Waves In The Sun”. I feel it’s one of our best pieces of work to date.
DAVID: My favourite Guti track would have to be ‘Maayancholy’ which it was a collab between Cesar Merveille & Guti. I love the melancholic vibe this track has it's truly a beautiful piece of art for me. Ever since it was released in 2011 it has been one of my favourite tracks to listen to during gloomy days.
GUTI & DAVID: Which is the strangest David's habit (and vice-versa)?
GUTI: Girls! He's the ladies' man in our relationship...
DAVID: Hahaha, I would have to say on many occasions where we go party together he’s always the first one out of the crew to get lost every time!! It must be part of his personality disorder :)
GUTI & DAVID: You guys are both hailing from South America. What’s your opinion on the actual underground scene in your respective countries right now and which are your thoughts (and hopes) for the future? How your “Latinos” background has influenced your sound in this particular release?
GUTI: It's a great moment for the South American scene and The Americas in general. With great promoters, artists and incredible crowds it’s a wave of positive energy and as Latinos, everything we do reflects on that!
DAVID: In reality, I departed Colombia at a very young age, so I didn't get to experience the nightlife scene enough until a few years ago that I began touring in South America. From my recent experience in Colombia during the last couple of years, the scene has been growing rapidly. Nowadays they are delivering so much more minimal artists than ever before. The clubbing environment has always been great there don’t get me wrong, but it's awesome to see the underground sound is catching up. My hope for the future is that more and more European minimal artists can make their way down to South America and expand the music culture there. Guti’s Latin flavour is definitely sprinkled all over the production with Congas, Bongos, Spanish vocals and so much more!
Graphic credits: Illy Wonka
GUTI & DAVID: Any final shout-out or anticipation for what’s coming next?
GUTI: First, we have our album coming out on our new label, then a Guti solo release, then collaborations with Fosky, Tripmastaz & Dani Ramos. We also have our 1st co-produced release, which is an EP called “You Can Still Be Mine” coming out on Dubfire’s label Sci+Tec in November.
DAVID: The full album will be available to download on Bandcamp the week after ADE. Until then, we have been releasing one single at a time. We also have a fantastic four-track EP coming out on Dubfire’s SCI+TEC label on the 15th of November on Vinyl and Digital format. As Guti mentioned this was some of the first tracks we finished at Dani Ramos studio in Berlin and from there on its when the whole album concept started rolling.
Thank you so much for Guti & David for their time and kindness! Now let's get Personality-Disordered!
Words by Francesco Quieti
- Published on Monday, 23 September 2019 22:12
Before you start to read this interview, make you sure to listen to his EXCLUSIVE 100% unreleased productions PODCAST ← and to the premiere of JALE - Orbital Dream [JROOM 001] ←
Hey Julien! You’re here unveiling your new JALE project for the very first time. Tell us more about it. How did the idea about opening a new label (J ROOM) come to your mind?
JALE represents the inner essence of the J ROOM, a place where I’m able to feel completely free to share my own vision of music, without trends and market’s compromises. It’s an bodiless identity which is all about an unstoppable but meticulous sound-research and experimentation. J ROOM is born from my own necessity and desire to create a pristine area to stand out in such a saturated market like today’s one, a little oasis where you can find some musical refreshment.
Your last project called Blind Box has gained immense popularity during the last years. With releases from the likes of Dana Ruh, Subb-An, Diego Krause, Julian Alexander it was definitely a point of reference for all the up&coming labels around. Also, you have two successful projects like the solo Julien Sandre and Jarau (alongside Mennie). What made you decide to start everything from zero with a new alias?
It’s safe to say that this it’s totally a new beginning for me, but this does not exclude my artistic roots and all the experiences that I’ve made so far. The extraordinary journey that I’ve started with Blind Box will continue with a whole new maturity acquired over the years and with the usual and incessant research for a unique and fascinating sound which can clearly represent the main objective of this journey.
The support of Priku at Neversea (which was live-streamed on DJ Mag as well) has certainly been helpful to promote the new project. How important do you think it is nowadays to find a video of a DJ playing your record?
Today, the support of talented artists and colleagues is fundamental, especially if documented in iconic events such as the Sunwaves, the Neversea or the Off Week. The support of artists such as Arpiar, SIT, Priku, Barac, Praslea, Janeret, Shaun Reeves among many others, in addition to enormously gratifying our work, allows us to reach a vast audience of enthusiasts who can thus access the contents of our J ROOM.
The EP also features a Cosmjn remix. Why did you choose him?
Cosmjn is such an extraordinary artist. He perfectly embodies the sophisticated and visionary sound that we want to propose on J ROOM. His remix is a dreamlike-oniric journey that totally overwhelms the senses.
What sound are you going to promote on the new label? With your JALE alias, will you release music only on JROOM?
JALE is musical the materialisation of the J ROOM concept and will always be the protagonist, but firstly, music is sharing; therefore we are totally open to collaborations, obviously selective, with those who will be akin to our vision. We will try to propose a sophisticated and elegant sound, mainly aimed at stimulating the mind of the listeners and creating emotional connections with the dancefloor, then obviously to make the bodies move.
In Italy, and in particular in Naples, where the "tech-Napoli" is very present, a certain type of sound (the “new-wave-minimal”) still struggles to emerge. What does it depend on you?
That's a very complex and unfortunately very current question. In my personal opinion, the cause of this situation is to be found in many factors that have diminished the absolute priority of music in favour of business and entertainment of dubious taste. A tragic generational change that sees as protagonists hordes of kids dedicated exclusively to denying themselves with drugs and alcohol to the sound of traps and reggaeton (at least here in Italy); the looting of the agencies on artistic fees and the inadequacy or often the complete improvisation of our own promoters, as well as a general cultural impoverishment are for me the general factors of this crisis in Italy. In Naples, we have been trying for a couple of years with a project called Mesmerize to create a small niche where to look for some artistic contents rather than some miserable entertainment. We fight against the windmills but we don't give up. Obviously, it’s not everything like this, as there are respectable national realities conceived to enhance musical research and a non-trivial sound and above all Italian artists of great depth who represent a flame of hope for the movement, highly appreciated by international audiences and semi-unknown at home: this leaves understand the difficulties of our clubbing.
Despite your brilliant productions released over the years with your various aliases, is it still difficult to find space in the various European circuits? Are you going to move abroad?
Being based in Naples has certainly represented a major limitation in my musical career: no contact on site and inadequate musical context. Everything I built was only achievable thanks to music and e-mails. Obviously, I move when I can in the cult places of European clubbing for connections and artistic briefings or gigs but everything is bound to the daytime work I do, which would make it impossible for me to move to artistically more pleasant places. Colleagues who have had the courage and luck to move to Berlin (for example) have finally seen the merits of their work recognized and this will always represent a small regret for me; however, music remains an inexhaustible source of serenity regardless of economic rewards.
Any anticipation on the upcoming releases both as JALE and as JROOM?
We are ready with the J ROOM 002 but for those who want to know more, we invite everyone to follow us and get in touch with our magical room.
Words by Francesco Quieti
"When you listen to nature, you can hear those sounds – it’s music." Exclusive interview with Russian DJ Andrey Pushkarev
- Published on Friday, 13 September 2019 09:50
Hey Andrey! Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Starting at the beginning, when did you first realise you had a passion for music and what were you drawn to at the start?
Drum & Bass was the first electronic music genre I came across thank to a friend who used to travel to London often - she brought me cassettes from her travels. It sounded different from everything else I listened to at the time and it made me feel like I could be part of something bigger. We were a group of schoolmates in a tiny town of Russia - there was no internet in 1995-1996. Tapes, Cassettes, Films on VHS (“Trainspotting”, “Hackers”, “Acid House”), Russian magazines “Ptuch”, “OM” were the only sources from which we could gather information about music culture.
Growing up in the small town Votkinsk in regional Russia, where we you finding inspiration?
I feel a strong connection with nature since I was a child. Votkinski is a small town but there, because the nature surrounds the city, I could find inner peace and unlimited source of ideas. Trees rustling, rain falling, thunder and lightning, waves crashing. When you listen to nature, you can hear those sounds – it’s music. The natural world has inspired composers to write many famous works of music. At the same time melodies, harmonies, rhythm, tempo and musical dynamics can combine to create the image of the variety of landscapes. If we allow ourselves to spend more time far from the cities, we can hear nature all the time.
Fast forward to today, whenever you play there’s always a very palpable creativity and admirable feeling of ‘freshness’ that not many can sustain over a long career. What are your current sources of inspiration?
There are moments in life which have an impact on your overall state - sometimes we seek those moments because we feel the need of a change, and other times they just manifest by themselves. Those “moments” can be related to a person you meet, a trip somewhere, a dream or just during a solitary walk. Every moment is new and different from the moment before - I feel that if we manage to align to what life brings us every time, we will always be a different & “fresher” version of ourselves.
Having been a touring DJ for the best part of a decade, you’ve had more experience on the road than most. What are the most important lessons about this lifestyle you’ve learnt over time?
Eating healthy, staying hydrated, and trying to keep a regular sleeping schedule when I don’t travel. Being kind to everyone you meet on your way. Keep the focus on what really matters in this music business - it’s easy to lose sight of what’s important and the real reason why you chose to live this career.
I read a while ago that you were particularly drawn to day parties. Is this still the case? What environments do you feel most at home playing in?
Daytime parties have a different energy - people are more in line with their biological rhythm and therefore the mood, emotions and social interactions are completely different than going out at night. I feel they create generally a much more relaxed atmosphere and enjoyable experience.
With a record collection well in excess of 8000 records, how do you approach packing your bag ahead of a gig?
I pick my favorite records of the moment and periodically revisit my collection - I always find something that still surprises me long time after being released.
How much of your time is spent digging for new music today?
I would say between two and three hours per day, sometimes more - it depends on how many promos I receive.
When it comes to the music you play, there’s an admirable amount of diversity (with everything from vibrant house to driving techno and breaks) but always a distinct character and emotive mood. Do you find this is something that comes naturally or are you conscious of it when selecting?
It’s a combination of intuition about how the audience feels in a certain moment, and a conscious decision on the atmosphere I would like to immerse the people in. It’s like taking someone on a journey: you have an idea of where to take your guests but leave room for spontaneity, ending up in places outside of the planned route.
It seems that this ability to create cohesion amidst music that can be so stylistically different is something that distinguishes the truly talented selectors. This brings me to the recording you’ve kindly provided us with, from your back to back set with Stpjche at Echiwaves. Can you tell us a little about this experience?
For me b2b it’s a pretty intimate thing, cause first of all I always trying to “read” my partner, what he is doing while playing, and what he is playing, to make a transiting more smooth. I experienced playing accidentally b2b sets and I must admit that weren’t so smooth (from my point of view). I try to choose very carefully with who I share the decks keeping in mind the musical taste, personality and more generally vision about life. I feel that when three elements are aligned you can build up something really nice, like our set with Roger Gerressen and Exos.
Lastly, looking to the future, what are your goals for the remainder of the year?
I’m preparing myself for the upcoming All Night Long tour At the same time we are working on a new release on Luck of Access with young and talented Russian producer.
- Published on Friday, 06 September 2019 09:44
Just before arriving on site Thursday morning and receiving the heartbreaking news that Houghton Festival had been cancelled due to predicted 60mph winds by the Met Office, the underground electronic music family all shared a quiet moment of reflection about not getting to experience the magic of one of the finest festivals in the land again this year.
Leaving 8000 ravers with four free days to fill with dancing, alternative parties immediately sprung up online, featuring many of the artists due to play over the weekend and resulting in some of the quickest sold out events in recent months due to the eagerness of the crowd, intimacy of the venues and the gargantuan popularity of the DJs due to play. Some of the immediate events to surface were Voigtmann at Lion & Lamb and Cartulis at FOLD, both of which I quickly jumped on and therefore had something to look forward to and ease the blues.
The tiny capacity of pub venue Lion and Lamb meant that it was almost full upon arrival at 14:00 in the afternoon, with bodies eager to let off some steam and find solidarity on the dance floor. The pub has close connections with Houghton festival curator Craig Richards who can often be found on Thursday and Sunday nights playing here alongside many special companions who you rarely ever find in such a small setting. Voigtmann, another regular here, had today handpicked another very select bunch of artists including Bruno Schmidt, Patrick Klein, Silverlining, Taimur, Mr Shiver and Thoma Bulwer.
Tucked away off the main stretch of Hoxton, the traditional London boozer is cosy and familiar, with an outside terrace that allows you to chill with a pint before getting warmed up to hit the dance floor. Outside I met ravers who had travelled from as far as Malta and New York for Houghton and although as disappointed as they may have been, they still had smiles on their faces in anticipation of a day of quality music in these surroundings ahead. The family spirit associated with the festival and its deep-rooted connections across the country and further afield there for all to see.
Suitably limbered up, when I made my way past the leather sofas and rugs, and under the arty stereo jack lined ceiling, the party was already in full flow, with Bruno Schmidt making arms move and feet step in front of the small booth that included a simple set up of technics and a rotary mixer. Voigtmann could be seen interacting with the crowd, hugging both friends and newcomers alike and dancing behind the decks throughout. This set the tone and he embodied the collective enthusiasm. Taimur provided deep, hypnotic house, equally lapped up by the adoring faithful who were now crammed in and finally letting off some much-needed steam.
The party was just getting into its prime when I had to unfortunately cut it short and make my way over to Canning Town to FOLD to ensure I would be able to get a place in the again fully sold out event being hosted by Cartilus. Again, this featured some favourite underground heroes and masters of the turntables including the formidable Nicolas Lutz and My Own Jupiter label mates Omar, Unai Trotti, Kino and Michelle.
This was my first time at the club and I was impressed to say the least in its approach. Located in an industrial space far removed from anything that it might disrupt, it boasts the loudest sound system in London, with its 24-hour license and no-filming policy it has a European feel, and this was also represented in the diverse crowd in attendance. The door staff are friendly but selective and ensure that only those who are there for the music gain entry. From the outside it appears as abandoned as the other surrounding warehouses, but inside it becomes a rave paradise, with huge pillars, metal supports and shutters alongside the far wall. Lockers are available to return to throughout the night which provides safety and security for endless hours of dancing.
Inside the venue impressive lighting and sound filled the main room, with warm red lasers capturing the mood of the soundtrack of slow breaks that was initially being provided by both Kino and Unai Trotti, robotic sci-fi synths putting the early crowd into an early trip inside the former paint factory. The fascinating projections on the back wall behind the DJ of a bookshelf fading in and out accompanying the spellbinding records.
As the 600-capacity main room started to fill to the maximum and a dim blue hue filled the air, OMAR took the reins and played an engrossing set of stripped back house, experimental sounds from the Panama native enthralling stomping ravers. The sound system sounded fine-tuned wherever you were placed, and the room has an intimate yet dominating atmosphere.
The dystopian feel of the club that looks onto electric pylons and concrete rubble felt perfect as headliner Nicolas Lutz mesmerised the audience with menacing slow electro jams featuring long breakdowns that provided brief respite, before hitting into bombastic bass lines not of this planet. As the daylight began to pierce through the shutters creating an eerie, enchanting atmosphere, the appreciative and varied crowd were happy to be taken in whichever direction Lutz saw fit, as he didn’t make the path easily digestible, but it was ever exciting and the crowd seemed to welcome hearing new and completely unexpected tunes, many of which I’m sure may never see the light of day for some time yet.
Following a day break, the final party I checked out was a special collaboration between Meoko and BAG at the world-famous Fabric. Relative Perlon newcomer and extraordinary hardware wizz kid Spacetravel was headlining alongside Gene on Earth. The tunes throughout the night were exceptional as anticipated, with a fun, playful and heartwarming blend of abstract house selections that ended the weekend with a fitting sense of positivity.
This was one of the busiest times I have encountered at Fabric on a Sunday evening and the dancefloor was completely full right from the beginning of the night to the very last record, the surrounding of the caged booth right to the raised terrace at the back of the main room packed with familiar faces who were making the most of the additional days they had booked off on Monday and Tuesday. Keep a close eye on Meoko for more forthcoming events that will surprise and excite in the autumn and winter months.
Even though it wasn’t the weekend everyone had anticipated, with many sold out events across a whole host of venues and spaces, it was an opportunity for those who may not have otherwise received such a spotlight to get some well-deserved recognition. Old friends were reunited, new ones made, and it was great to see the community of the scene come together and make the best out of a bad situation, the days proving that London is still one of the friendliest and most interesting places to party in the world. No one in attendance at these events had a bad word to say about Houghton, warm feelings remained inside, and all will be seen back there in 2020.
Words by Tom Warner