Industry Insider - Tips for Approaching Labels (Pt1)

  In this series, we will be taking you behind the scenes in areas right across the industry. This month we will be offering some insight into the beautiful minds of label owners to discover what they’re looking for when picking music for their imprints. You’ve done the hard work, you’ve spent years perfecting your sound and you’ve finally got some ammo to show the world. But where do you start and what’s good practice when approaching labels?    Burnski / Instinct  - Constant Sound / Aesthetic / Instinct     What do you look for when signing artists? It all just boils down to the music for me. I just listen for anything that really grabs my ear. It's a competitive industry. How do you think artists can stand out? Don’t treat it like a competition. I would focus on improving your craft and making your music as good as possible over trying to stand out. Compare your progress to your own, you’ll see it coming on each year and that should give you all the motivation you need. One way to stand out is to trickle into the gaps of what’s out there at the moment. Usually, people start out emulating what’s hot at the moment. You play that game for a bit but then if you start going the other way to that, dig deeper into the archives of music out there, you probably start making stuff that isn’t the flavour of the month at the moment. I feel you're more likely to stand out doing that as you're going off on your own away from the crowd. You might then find yourself doing something other people aren’t and people start playing that and all of a sudden you might be at the forefront of it. I wouldn’t consciously try and do that to stand out though, do it just people you dig the music. You won’t suck all the magic out of it then and get caught in the game of making music to get somewhere.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_0_c51f789757ed2c18ced2ba8ce63a75c0', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_0_c51f789757ed2c18ced2ba8ce63a75c0' }); });     A&R is a really refined process. How do you work with artists to get their best work from them? I once asked a pretty known guy for a demo. He sent me 4 tracks and it wasn’t right for the label. I let him know politely and he kicked right off and blocked me. It really took me back and I thought about it a lot after. I didn’t think any less of him but I found it quite fascinating. There’s no point signing music that doesn’t really resonate with you. On the opposite, I have worked with other guys and finalised an EP after back and forth for 6 months because they go away and want to get their head down and really crack it. Sometimes it takes a while to get the ep over the line. It’s got to feel right and you know when it does. I don’t want to tell anyone how they should do things but you have a choice which mentality you want to have. Just ask yourself, does it serve you well? Will it get me the best results? Will this make me get better at my craft? Constant Sound on Soundcloud     Cinthie - WE_R HOUSE    What do you look for when signing artists? Soundwise I’m mostly looking for house music but it can be disco house, 90ies house, deep house, UKG, some raw stuff. But when I’m signing music, it has to work on the dance floor and I’m always telling people to get out of their comfort zone and don’t just send me the generic house track I've already heard 5 million times. But the tracks can be the best in the world if the artist is an asshole, I don’t sign it. The vibe between us also needs to be right. Also, I love to have fresh artists first and don’t really like to release people who already had 20 releases in 4 months, it's nothing special then for me.     How do you like to be approached when someone submits a demo to you? I like a friendly little mail with a private Soundcloud link with up to 6 tracks. If I want more, I will ask for more. But more than 5,6 tracks is too much in my humble opinion. Add a few facts about you, maybe name, where you are coming from and if you had any previous releases. That’s how I like it. What I don’t recommend is to send out mass emails, send me a mail with “hello Frank etc etc “ (that’s not my name ), also I don’t really like to see 2000 plays already for the tracks on Soundcloud.   Any tips for artists when trying to get signed? Always be friendly and send your best tracks and try to keep them a bit diverse. There seems to be a formula at the moment, that always works but it will get boring after a while, so please always get out of your comfort zone and try not to sound like everyone else. Do a bit of research about the label. Sending a banging Techno EP to a nice house label does not look very professional.   A&R is a really refined process. How do you work with artists to get their best work from them? I usually always test tracks on the dancefloor, then I know if I wanna sight it or not. I also believe that after 24 years in the business I have some kind of experience of what works and what I want.  So far every artist I signed has only released with me once. I just wanted to support as many friends as possible but I will start now to also have a second release by some artist, just to help them grow and maybe tie them a bit more to me. But I have to see, especially for the more unknown artists, releasing with me is sometimes a good door opener. And as I said in the question above, I don’t really like an artist that does labels - hopping. Because then it's not so special for me anymore and I rather release someone else. We_R House on Soundcloud     Yaya - Tamango Records   What do you look for when signing artists? I immediately know if a track can fit for Tamango or not. I've listened to so many records in my life that I kinda recognise in a few seconds if a track fits with the style of the label, both regarding the overall sound used and the mixdown part. I do basically the same thing that I do when I go digging in the record shop: picking 3 diff parts of the tracks and listen to them for a few seconds. If I like the track I listen to it more carefully to know exactly if it can be signed on the label. The main element that I'm the most interested in is the groove.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_1_d0dda32f3508443d7d887aa629c1e93a', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_1_d0dda32f3508443d7d887aa629c1e93a' }); });     Any tips for artists when trying to get signed? First of all, I really like it when they send their email to the correct one hahaha! (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. // ). I also like some little introduction about them and about their previous releases. Please do not send me music through Facebook/Instagram. Also, make sure that it's a specific email and not forwarded to 100 contacts.   Make you sure that your music features a lot of groove, a good dose of energy and an infectious bassline. I'm a real house music lover in all the diff facets so on the label, despite the inevitable direction that I'm trying to do, I'm open to diff sounds and approaches.     It's a competitive industry. How do you think artists can stand out? Nowadays, an artist needs first to do excellent music. There are a lot of you talents around and the competition is stiff. He should try to create a kind of cool-character, image and needs to work out on the social stuff. This doesn't mean to take tons photos in the studio or doing too much content but simply give a kind, nice and cool image out with some sick videos, memes or anything music and not music-related. Tamango Records on Soundcloud     DJ W!LD - Dailycid Music     What do you look for when signing artists? Good music that fits with the line of one of my labels, nothing more. If it’s for an EP, I am trying to look for a few tracks with a different flavour but fits together in some way. If it is an album, something more personal with a few dancefloor bombs. I also look for artists where I see the good potential and who can fit with the spirit of my labels to make them grow with labels and create a solid crew around it.   How do you like artists to approach you when submitting demos?  The best is by email but at the end, I receive them everywhere, Facebook, Instagram Messenger, WhatsApp ….The easiest is maybe with Soundcloud private link.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_2_8b27cd9fc1cda4774a70c4c9ba1e0d13', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_2_8b27cd9fc1cda4774a70c4c9ba1e0d13' }); });     Any tips for artists when trying to get signed? - Try to send the right amount of tracks (I did the mistake a few times to send too much then is really difficult to focus well on each one)  - Don’t be pushy (at the end the people who want to sign you will get back to you) - Try to make sure the people you send the tracks received them - Try to send tracks which fit with the line of the label (otherwise labels will refuse the tracks and have the wrong image of your sound) - Even if the label says no and gives you some tips. Use them and come back later with more tracks.   A&R is a really refined process. How do you work with artists to get their best work from them? Most of the time I choose artists and tracks that fit already perfectly to my label, but also when needed I explain what I think could be done to fit better on my label. Using my experience in production and working the dancefloor for many years to give the tips and advice I can, to help the artist grow when I see this ability in them. Dailycid on Soundcloud     SY - EWax    What do you look for when signing artists? As a label, we look for individuality and fresh creativity to the way music is made. For me, this is the key in finding new artists to work with.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_3_b1c3e8444ed565bfb6e8d98608f8acbd', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_3_b1c3e8444ed565bfb6e8d98608f8acbd' }); });     How do you like artists to approach you when submitting demos? Keep it simple and tell me about yourself. Add that personal touch. Which artists influenced you and your sound? Add an overview of the music you're presenting so we have an idea if it"s fitting to the label. Any tips for artists when trying to get signed? The main tip I always give is: Be yourself! Express yourself the way you want to be heard. Keep it friendly, courteous & confident. This definitely goes a long way when approaching labels & A&R's.   It's a competitive industry. How do you think artists can stand out? It is a very competitive industry, yes. There are many artists coming through right now & the standards are incredibly high - the highest I've seen since I made music a full time career some 10 years ago, so I would say first and foremost: Let your sound stand out. If it's good enough that will do the talking for you. Secondly, in these times social media presence is everything, so ensure you're using the social platforms effectively to present and project yourself and your music.     EWax on Soundcloud     Dudley Strangeways - Leftback    What do you look for when signing artists? The main thing for Leftback is that the music is good and fits with the labels sound but also the artists is someone we want to work with for a long time, this is usually down to if we think the person has something unique sounding to their productions. Most of the artists, but not all have a relationship with the label already mainly through being involved in events or through partying over the years.   Any tips for artists when trying to get signed?  Read the labels demo submission guidelines as it can differ for each label. Do some research on the label, hopefully, it’s a label you’re into and you already have some of their releases so it can’t hurt to mention a track you’ve been playing or listening to. It can show the label you’re interested in them and you’ve not sent another CC all email. If you create a playlist it can’t harm to create a specific playlist per label with their logo so it’s a little more personal as it may grab their attention, it just leads to shitloads of playlists!   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_4_638b1813e78af3846736b856f116c367', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_4_638b1813e78af3846736b856f116c367' }); });     A&R is a really refined process. How do you work with artists to get their best work from them? It’s good to have a selection of tracks to choose from to make an EP up. It's always hard when you get sent a few bangers and nothing else that fits, not a massive fan having a load of remixes done on one track for a release. This is especially the case for wax as the DJ playing the record is mainly going to play one track from the release and sometimes space can be tight in a record bag. Those are the records I will leave rather than a 12” that’s got 4 really wicked tracks on, but maybe that’s just me. Sometimes we may ask the artists to change something in the track but this is generally “a would you mind trying this and see if it sounds better”, but the artists will always have the final say if we didn’t like the track there would be no point in sighing it in the first place! We do mix the tracks on occasion if we feel that the music is exciting, but the mix is not 100% up to scratch and the tracks are all mastered in house giving us creative control over those elements, but again with the artist having the final say. Ideally, anything that needs doing to ensure that the release sounds and works as good as possible for what we’re putting out.   Do you offer feedback to demos submitted? Not all the time, but if the person who’s submitted the demo has taken the time to send a detailed and personal email with the music something close to what we release I will always try and give feedback. I think this is important as it’s not an easy thing sending demos to labels and can be a fairly daunting process. You’ve put something you’ve created out into the world and don’t get anything back. It can really mess up some people’s confidence, and this is the sole reason Leftback was started as none of the larger labels would respond to demos sent from myself and Michael. Leftback on Soundcloud     TC80 - Sequalog      What do you look for when signing artists? Usually, it’s music from friends or people I meet. But I’m interested in artists who have their own signature, even if it sounds classic. I don’t really care about the trend, I prefer timeless music.   Any tips for artists when trying to get signed? I would say don’t focus on the trends but develop your own musical identity. With time and practice, the quality will rise and it will sound outstanding compared to the mass. Even if it’s very special, better to stay true to the sound you like and resonate with. It’s also cool to receive tracks with playful arrangements, which captivate the audience, telling a story and keeping the intensity climax around the end, before the outro.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_5_7d1212e4d9466304169e7a45987cf6e7', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_5_7d1212e4d9466304169e7a45987cf6e7' }); });     It's a competitive industry. How do you think artists can stand out? I think it can be cool to work on some decent marketing to accompany a release’s artists. Nice artwork, story, music video, etc… But regarding the creative music process, I would recommend to not think about the result. More important to focus on the practice and natural expression, being present, crafting the skills step by step and being bold to sound different. With time all of this leads to quality. Then it’s about getting in touch with people/DJ/label owners resonating with artist’s music. If you can try your tracks in a real club situation, it can be helpful to identify things you might want to tweak or change.   Anything else you'd like to add? Being aware of what you feel and going with the flow. Sometimes it can be chill downtempo, sometimes punchy club orientated, most important is to stay true. To produce club tracks, I would recommend taking the time to listen to other types of music than exclusively dance music or trends. For example listening to your favourite music from your childhood, adolescence, world-traditional music, etc… If you are deeply resonating with those different sounds/inspirations, it can naturally constitute the sonic palette that you can use to produce outstanding dance music. Ultimately practising to be in a creative state let things happen by themselves, witnessing presence and life itself. In this state, it’s not the self/ego trying to exist through expression anymore but pure flow. SEQUALOG Soundcloud    allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_6_9236dbc50574d34a22b231844fa8eee0', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_6_9236dbc50574d34a22b231844fa8eee0' }); });          Words by Jordan Diston & Francesco Quieti

Between rolling beats and healthy food: Chad Andrew (mix included)

With a DJ career divided between Berlin, Ibiza and his hometown Orlando, Chad Andrew has rapidly worked his way into the house and techno European panorama. In fact, he's been a tINI protege since the first years of the last decade, later becoming also a fundamental element for Hector's Vatos Locos crew. His gloomy, dub and cavernous sound has gradually evolved into something faster and more rolling while still maintaining a sense of depth, leading him to release his music on Personality Disorder Music, VL Recordings, Druzhba, & as well as his own vinyl labels Retrospect & coast2coast.     You come from Orlando, FL. How did you get in touch with electronic music and when/why have you decided to move to Europe? In the 90s most cities had the usual trance/house music scenes but what made Florida special was it’s very unique homegrown breakbeat sound. I was too young to get in the clubs back then but I was always tuned into the radio stations listening to all these electronic styles early on. After djing for a few years in Orlando locally, I made the decision to move to Ibiza in 2011 with Randall M, selling a majority of my belongings to finance the trip. After a few more summers on the island, I visited Berlin and fell in love. Decided that’s where I can be closest to the music.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_0_f9b534020c50d890886a0063cdd23a8c', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_0_f9b534020c50d890886a0063cdd23a8c' }); });     How's the "underground" situation over there? Any cool parties or DJs that you'd like to introduce to us?  The underground situation is getting better. There are more and more people throwing great parties bringing artists from all around the world. A few of those include Default, Eastern Bloc, & Rude Neighbors. There is without a doubt some amazing talent coming out of Orlando as well, Exander is one of them. South Florida also has some super talented guys making waves including Amo and Imbue.   Tell us more about your relationship with the Vatos Locos crew. Well, I really love the Vatos Locos concept. We are just a group of friends that get together, goof off, and have fun playing music. It all basically started at a spontaneous party in Miami during WMC in 2014 and then really took off and began developing after our first VL BPM party in Playa Del Carmen back in 2015.     I'm sure you've worked on so many tracks during this COVID time. Any anticipation of what's coming next? The one good thing about this situation is having all the time at home during quarantine/lockdowns. When you’re constantly touring and on the road, there isn’t much time to sharpen the tools and learn new techniques let alone work on music without feeling rushed. Quarantine gave me time to really catch up on all of this. I’ve got an upcoming EP due out on EWax White and another on Dialogue coming soon.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_1_b893487d5c1cb921e19669670ef766f9', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_1_b893487d5c1cb921e19669670ef766f9' }); });     Any interest aside from music production? Have you had the chance to dedicate yourself to something else during this period? Anyone that knows me knows that when I’m not working with music I’m getting down in the kitchen.  I’m really passionate about finding creative ways to enjoy healthy eating. With all my extra time recently I’ve been able to hone in on that craft, create culinary experiences, and share it with friends and family.   Favourite healthy and junk food? Well, my favourite healthy food is miso soba soup which I make regularly full of fresh-squeezed ginger. Favourite junk food will always be pizza.   One of your last videos on Instagram shows you on top of a dangerous old building! I guess you're not afraid of heights. Are you afraid of anything in particular? That was my first Urbexing experience! So much of a rush exploring old abandoned buildings. Definitely can be dangerous but you have to pay attention and assess every structure before you enter it. The dangerous buildings are no problem, but spiders are a deal-breaker for me.   You're behind both the rɘtrospect and the coast2coast projects. What was the idea behind these labels and how did they come about? Behind both labels, it’s actually me and Robin Virag (Just_Me).  Regarding Retrospect, we never had a plan to make an edit label like that but it kind of organically happened. We were working on an original track that reminded us of a popular 80s song and then decided to take it that direction. We both share an obsession for the 80s era and Retrospect was a great outlet to express that. With coast2coast we wanted to follow the same concept as Retrospect but the theme is 90s hip hop because this is also something we both really love.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_2_b3baa316f079fc6d44c3785f40834105', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_2_b3baa316f079fc6d44c3785f40834105' }); });       Despite being the worst year we can remember so far, what's one the best track you've heard so far? The best track from this year I have heard so far would have to be “Wax On Wax Off - Rural Red”       Any producer to look out for in the near future? In addition to the aforementioned Amo and Imbue, I recommend you to check out my buddy Lulla! Also, I've really been loving everything coming out from Dutch talent Den Haas, very fresh sound!     Words by Francesco Quieti

Talking with Mathimidori (aka Mathias Kaden) ahead of "Akebono", his next LP on Echocord

We caught up with Mathias Kaden aka Mathimidori ahead of his next LP on Echocord to find out more about the project, his inspirations around the album and much more...   Hi Mathias, how are you today? Yeah, great thanks!   Mathimidori is such a unique name. How did you come up with this?   You know for the past 25 years I was normally touring as Mathias Kaden. I had a time when I was playing a lot in Japan, back in 2007 and all my Japanese my friends call me Mathi. It's very easy for them to say. There was a girl in the crew who called me ‘Midori' which is a woman's name. I was like, I like the name Midori, which actually means Green in Japanese. The area I live here in Germany is called the Green Heart of Germany, and my eyes are green. So, I said, why not Mathtimdori and the name has stuck there ever since. So the first track I released under this name was 2009 for my first Mathias Kaden album. It's always hard to think of track names or artist names for a new project, but this fits so well with the rest of the concept.     This is certainly a new concept and sound for you compared to your previous work. What inspired you to go down this route? Around 2008 my Japanese friends invited me to a festival in the Kawaba Mountains. It's like three hours from Tokyo to a festival called Labyrinth. At that time I was playing like more than minimal Berlin techno. We had a label called Vakant in Berlin. So I released a lot of stuff there and the Japanese people liked it. But at this festival there we're all the Dub heroes like Echochord and Pete from Hardwax. So they all played Dub the whole day and I was like, oh shit, I have to start soon to play but what shall I go for, this really got me into dub music. That weekend was like four days and after that weekend, I started to produce more this style.    allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_0_56f64474016f63234fd59f0e55903a4a', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_0_56f64474016f63234fd59f0e55903a4a' }); });     You’re working with some incredible artists which are all very different in their own right throughout the LP. How did you come to collaborate with them?   I always try to work with Japanese artists. So one of the first people I worked with is DJ PI-GE. He's a WOMB resident from Tokyo. With the girlfriend of DJ Pika, she called Shoco I made with her two or three pieces on Mule Music in Japan. Yeah, I met them through some parties, but also contacts I have. There's a girl on it on my album called Tomomi Ukumori. It's the 3rd track on the LP and we got introduced through a friend In Tokyo, she's normally a pop singer, she sings like pop songs in English. So then I asked her if she can sing Japanese, but to speak and she liked ‘what I have to speak?’. I said yes, don't sing but I would like you to speak all Japanese poems… It worked perfectly as many people would not have heard these before and we did a wonderful track together.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_1_374f0bfd1d03d58e48de20b7d5e249b1', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_1_374f0bfd1d03d58e48de20b7d5e249b1' }); });     Do you find it easy to be inspired when creating music and what kit did you use to produce the LP? Yeah for me I am still new to producing this sort of music so I have a lot of ideas and a lot of inspirations. For some producers who have been doing this for like 20 years, they might be like, Okay what should I do?  I want to keep producing this type of music in the future compared to my Mathias Kaden things as well. In the studio, I have the new TR-8S from Roland. I started to use my old 808 but then I used the new one and to create the beats and harmonic, hi-hats. And then I have my old Space Echo here in the back which I use for all the dynamics and the dub chords.   Can we expect to be able to see Mathimidori on dancefloors when the time is right? Yes, I really want to do this. I already have a release party planned for a couple of dates in my hometown which will be in a Planetarium. It will have 360-degree visuals with all the dub chords and we also hope to bring the singers over from Japan to Germany to perform live as well. This will create a really immersive experience to chill and listen to music. I have also got plans to do some things over in Japan and Canada as well.    allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_2_bef4670db6632ab909dd1bede58776d5', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_2_bef4670db6632ab909dd1bede58776d5' }); });     The world is a bit strange at the moment. How have you been spending your time in lockdown I’ve spent time in the studio, with the Mathimidori project it was perfect to come down to chill. I am also working on an album for Mathias Kaden for REKIDS. For all my dancefloor for music, it's really hard to be inspired... I come here often but I do a lot of other stuff in my studio but no music. So I've spent time with my family, and I have a house and a garden, which I've enjoyed more because normally I was travelling a lot. The last money I earned was on the 28 of February. Yeah. So even if I now have the chance to see my friends and I am spending more time with my family, if you get completely bankrupt when you have no money then you also can't enjoy your life. It means I can't be relaxed and I'm looking for a job because I have some savings, but I want to still keep my savings for the future.      Words by Jordan Diston  

Music Review: Matpri - Trud EP (incl. Remixes by Michael James, Zohki) [Deep In You Music 002]

Nearly one year since the very first release, Deep You In Music label opens again its door, this time welcoming Matpri. The entitled "Trud" EP two originals from the Russian promising young and two remixes by outstanding producer Michael James (FUSE, Constant Sound) and German-based Zohki (AVOTRE, Moon Harbour).    Click HERE to buy DIY002   Starting the trip out nervously is "Priznak", a concrete and dense minimal slammer. The track begins very softly and thin, with a cold Sweely kind of vibe, waiting for the kick and the groove to jump in, and it's instant bounce. Tight stabs are arranged in a flawless interplay, keeping the hazy jazzy feel going. Glitches and reverse hits create a continuous move on top of the essential drums. Variation happens smoothly and efficiently, a distinct sign of mastery in time management.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_0_b3692625fe8aec0a08aac854db18c380', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_0_b3692625fe8aec0a08aac854db18c380' }); });     On the remix duty, The Zoo Project paladin Micheal James brings his own fast-skipping groovy vision of "Priznak". The bass kicks in almost at the start, light and funky, whilst catchy synths dance in edgy melodies and hits, slowly getting spacey. Michael's trademark groove is yet again more than on point, with just the right elements, at the right time, featuring swingy percussions feel very natural on top of the squeezed hats and snare that give to the whole track to breathe from time to time. Overall, the Manchester-based artist is exploring a slightly upper mood, less dark and more colourful, taking the original as a starting point to imagine a whole new universe.   Flippin the wax, "Wobbleton" is a fat and bold deep house groover. Since the first second, a delayed stab emerges in the gaunt but yet effective groove until it gets mental. One insists on its pattern, other hits now and then, pitched, slashed, always coming back on the beat. Bass is wobbly - as the title suggests - and feels old school and heavy weighted, with all other elements playing in and out of its fluid pace.     The more we dig into it, the funkier it gets as label-head Zohki opts for a thick and harmonious start for his remix of "Wobbleton". The main pad is lovely and frames the intro nicely, letting groove populate and bass come up. The closed hat sounds super sharp and 909 rim shot is punchy and has a generous dose of reverb on it, while the open hat, on the contrary, feels very drum-machine-sounding, tastily raw. Zohki's dreamy feel is just right for closing this release down, bringing on loads of class and shaking boomy bass.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_1_3924c67bb7b331503f21633af510ee0e', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_1_3924c67bb7b331503f21633af510ee0e' }); });     Words by Francesco Quieti and Francesco Zambianchi  

Music Review: Squep - Where Would I Go EP [Framed Realities]

Zurich’s Framed Realities continues to push the deep house boundaries with a 7-tracker EP by local talent and label co-owner Squep. The entitled "Where Would I Go" EP features four originals and three remixes that come from Christian Schiemann, San Marco and Jerome. C.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_0_2e2b592e5e44f653b8d2e874d5ae191f', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_0_2e2b592e5e44f653b8d2e874d5ae191f' }); });     The original version of the main track is a sublime and soft deep house tune that features poignant chords and lush atmospheres that blinks to the dancefloor thanks to irresistible dubby drums and a mighty sub bassline.     Up next, San Marco and Jerome C deliver two different versions of “Where Would I Go”, with the Swiss DJ and producer that directs his remix into a funky tool, adding a pinch of extra rhythm thanks to delicious tribal percussions, whilst the Belgian talent Jerome C delivers a stripped back and extra-dry version, channelling his energies to pure warm up intentions.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_1_d109a426b0df875ac13e086862a7356c', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_1_d109a426b0df875ac13e086862a7356c' }); });     “Mind Travel” is the second original track from the EP. As the name suggests, the overall mood is shifted to more dub feels: a grim kick pounds hard under an interesting interplay between cosmic delayed chords and vibrant synths able to lead the track till the break within which a seductive female voice whispers her story straight to the dancefloor.   Label-head Christian Schiemann remix of “Mind Travel” keeps the same dub imprint of the original injecting a good dose of groove, especially by crafting lovely skipping hats, extra dubby chords and tripped out effects on the vocal.     The EP approaches the end with “Recapture”, which howls out a repetitive, hypnotic vocal with a bulbous pulse of a bassline and a deep late-night groove and then closes with “Smudged Eyeliner”, rounding out the package with sinister sounds, sharp hi-hats and twisted sounds.     Words by Francesco Quieti

Ukraine's Feeleed 9 years celebrations with Margaret Dygas

To celebrate 9 years of events is an achievement that very few parties get to experience. FEELEED is well and truly cemented in Ukrainian clubbing history. ‘A project for those, who don't demand a press release. The Line-up speaks for itself.’ With previous guests including Sonja Moonear, Magda, Osker Offerman, Praslesh, Jane Fitz, tINI and many more it’s safe to say their line ups certainly do just that.     This weekend Margret Dygas steps up to the plate to bring us some sonic delights. With a sound born in New York, ripened in London and refined in Berlin, Margaret Dygas is an artist whose sound possesses a true international resonance. Regular performances at staple institutions including fabric and Panorama Bar affirm her talent behind the 1s and 2s. She will be joined by regular acts Yate, Vasil, Rayo, Eric and Bandmango b2b Vybukhivka (live).   Happy 9 years FEELEED! Event ->   Words by Jordan Diston   

Music Review: V.A. - Sensory Vol. 1 [Opulence]

After having released incredible tunes from the likes of Cristi Cons, Mike Shannon, Dan Ghenacia and Martin Buttrich to name a few, Cali Lanauze's label Opulence strikes after a 1-year hiatus with an array of house and techno heavyweights. In fact, the latest VA compilation Sensory Vol. 1 is filled with gorgeous tracks from Kozo, DJ W!LD, DJ Sneak, Cesare vs Disorder, Ryan Crosson, Deaf Pillow, Andre Buljat and label head himself Cali Lanauze, each of which provide slick minimal and house groovy numbers.     Romanian giant Kozo starts the compilation with the deep and hypnotic "See A Man About A Horse". Characterised by tight drums, tiny minimal percussions and a juicy female vocal samples, the track seems to float motionless right into your ears thanks to dusty and grim pads in constant opposition with higher synths, taking off after 5 minutes when the clap finally joins the rest of the groove.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_0_a53d47758fba70aa7893066a644864fa', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_0_a53d47758fba70aa7893066a644864fa' }); });     Punchy kicks, hard-hitting 909 elements and a good dose of crunchiness: this is "Be The One", which also marks the debut of DJ W!LD on the label. On this one, the Parisian remains faithful to an essential groove until a dreamy pad suddenly breaks the previous pace to be then followed by a bunch of poignant arpeggiator notes.   On the flip, Opulence head-honcho Cali Lanauze unleashes classic deep house vibes in a minimal approach with the entitled "Sixfortytwo". Some subtle pads and elegant drums effortlessly drag the track for three minutes until unexpected jazzy sonorities take the track to a whole new level, making you feel immediately the summer breeze on your face.     The legend himself DJ Sneak provides one of his impressive house groove rollers within which funky guitars, low-hefty atmospheres, hip hop vocal samples and classic house strings are in a constant interchange over a 7 minutes ride that punches on the 4/4 structure from start to finish.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_1_02bc5d6fdc5f006c5c4d87825333fc08', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_1_02bc5d6fdc5f006c5c4d87825333fc08' }); });     Cesare vs Disorder kicks off the C side with driving kicks and steel claps but It’s the attention to detail with micro effects and sonic sounds that really bring this track to life. Pads raise the anticipation throughout with 80s style synths leading the way creatively intertwining with a velvety deep bassline.   Visionquest’s Ryan Crosson steps up for C2. We’re transported deep in the wilderness with booming kicks and cricket-like tones raising the suspense. The bassline brings the groove instantly with a funky bass guitar riff. Layer upon layer of tight percussion takes us through into the unknown as we twist and turn with propulsive rhythms, robotic pads and whirlpool of echoing voices.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_2_88c7056a759131625537270b99701d00', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_2_88c7056a759131625537270b99701d00' }); });     "Devil’s Head" delves into the underworld; welcomed by dark gritty basslines and tight intricate percussive elements. Metallic vocals start to mysteriously present themselves. The Deaf Pillow guys have managed to perfectly keep the groove found throughout this EP whilst still bringing in their signature dark tones. The second breakdown builds and builds as elements of the track are filtered through before dropping us straight back into the vibe. A* tackle left to right and centre.     "Telescope" closes off the EP with dubby tones from the offsetting the score for this affair. Sequences of electronic pads carry you from one rabbit hole to the next whilst giving the groove room to breath. Racing hats take the track into overdrive; this is pure hands up, heads down material and perfect way to close the LP. This is Andre Buljat at his best and a fine addition to his musical repertoire.     Words by Francesco Quieti & Jordan Diston  

From New York to Berlin: quick Q&A with Öona Dahl ahead of her Watergate Records EP

Hi Öona! Glad to see this release! Tell us more about the EP. "Godtripper" EP is a cosmic trip through inner space. Using sounds and frequencies to induce visions to the listener that can guide them to an altered state of consciousness while still fluent for the dance floor.    allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_0_6dd2fc1f15852f882b9fd3a7f9c17725', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_0_6dd2fc1f15852f882b9fd3a7f9c17725' }); });     What about your project Slumber? What led you to find a new name instead of just running as Öona Dahl & Amber Cox? Slumber is a name we gave ourselves when we first started working on music together in 2009. This pre-dates both our individual productions. Slumber embodies its own aesthetic and world separate from our own.      Which artists would you like to collaborate with and how the collab with Dance Spirit was born? I'm working on a few collaborations right now especially with vocalists that I love. The project is secret though and I am unable to say whom. Dance Spirit organically came to be since I see Chris and Reagan in the LA scene often when I visit.  They invited me over to their studio one day before one of my shows. We started working on music and we flowed together naturally. Besides my Slumber project and a couple of others, at the time, I was rarely collaborating. Opening up to collaborations has been a beneficial experience for learning new techniques.   The role/position of female DJs in the house and techno panorama is always a spicy argument. What do you think of the overall situation at the moment? I've heard about labels doing "female only" compilations. Do you think this is a good initiative or maybe this could work in the opposite direction? Overall I think everyone should stop putting "female" before DJ or "female only". We must never stop our efforts towards diversity and equality. No matter how much things may improve we have to keep the momentum going.   I love to ask about "ones to watch" for the future (DJs, producers or both). In this case, following the previous Q, I'd like to change into "women to watch". Name us your top 3 colleagues that are going to smash in the next years. Aurora Halal Haai Amber Cox   What should we expect for the end of this quite weird year? Any upcoming release on the pipeline? This year has really allowed me to do a reset and to catch up on my work. There's a lot on the horizon including remixes from my 2017 "Holograma" album, my sophomore album, and ambient works release and a Slumber release or two.        Words by Francesco Quieti

Music Review: drifting.dubs - |dead.drift.001|

Among the numerous mysterious and hidden by the shadow secret alias that has been exploding in popularity over the last couple of years or so, Canadian drifting.dubs has been a pleasant surprise when he reached our ears. Everything that we know about him is that he comes from the cold Calgary, and that could be one of the reasons that locked him into the studio to focus on dubby, refined and deep productions.    Click HERE to buy |dead.drift.001|   After releases on Deep Tech Records, spclnch and Fantasic Friends Recordings he has decided to unleash the first EP on his homonymous self-titled imprint. In fact, the recent release |dead.drift.001| features 8 original productions that cover every little aspect in the deep n’ dub area.   Starting with the obviously titled #1.0, the track kicks nice and deep with a minimalistic flavour that penetrates into every piece of the EP. Some dull pads cover the mid-section, whilst a delicious gloomy groove keeps the beat up, also thanks to a generous dose of reverb on the drums. The track struts enveloping the ears with rare minimal refinement, making gradually reveal few but essential elements such as extra hi-hats and subtle percussions.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_0_4182985edf24f05bf663ea57139f6dec', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_0_4182985edf24f05bf663ea57139f6dec' }); });     Continuing with #1.1 and #1.2, the tracks follow the same trend started on the first one, with the addition of few vocals and dubby delayed synths that perfectly match with the curious structure of the jazzy hi-hats. On #1.3, drifting.dubs introduces dreamy pads and twisted textures giving life to another great opening tool, while #1.4 and #1.5 takes a more energic direction with lively synths that try to arise throughout the crunchy groove elements and the muddy sub bassline.     The EP closes with some after hour vibes as the Canadian DJ & producer focuses on joyful, but always heavy, atmospheres that lead at the end an overall solid and well-crafted EP.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_1_59c2b1a610d7ed6249461a9530277f6e', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_1_59c2b1a610d7ed6249461a9530277f6e' }); });       Words by Francesco Quieti  

Enter a new dimension: Pioneer announces the new CDJ 3000!

The CDJ has evolved significantly since the 1990s. And, while the CDJ-3000 is in many ways unrecognizable from the early units, it retains the ambition and purpose that have always driven the CDJ range: to provide you with an intuitive, great-feeling interface that gives you the power to manipulate the music any way you can think of (and in some ways, you might not have imagined).     Pioneer introduces its new MPU in this unit which is the first they have ever put in a CDJ. It drives the unit, delivering stable performance and enabling advanced new features, and it works with the other parts of the player to create a smoother DJ experience.  Tracks and Hot Cues load faster than ever thanks to the capabilities of the MPU and Gigabit Ethernet connection. The CDJ-3000 is a rekordbox Hardware Unlock device too. So, to use Performance mode, all you need to do is to update to the latest version of the software, even if you’re using the Free subscription plan.     You pour your heart into your DJ sets, so all your hard work and creativity deserves to be felt by your audience. The crowd will hear your tracks, and every nuance of your performance, in rich detail thanks to the brand-new audio design in the CDJ-3000. Pioneer has also made significant improvements to the display. You can choose the information you want to view in laser-sharp detail on the 9-inch touch screen, which is bigger and a higher resolution than the one on the CDJ-2000NXS2. The intuitive user interface has stayed the same so you’ll feel at home, but they have added handy new controls such as shortcuts to make it easier to jump between different categories in your music collection. New functions such as Touch Preview enable effortless and rapid track selection, and, with a host of other fresh features including Touch Cue, Stacked Waveform, and 3Band Waveform, you’ll always know where the perfect mix points are on the cued track and the one that’s currently playing.     Want to show what you can do and make new music on the fly? Perform on the CDJ-3000’s enhanced layout as if you’re using a musical instrument. Eight Hot Cue buttons – twice as many as the CDJ-2000NXS2 – are arranged from left to right underneath the waveform display for more intuitive triggering. Operate Beat Jump via the new hardware buttons and hit Key Sync to mix harmonically. You can also create a wider range of loops with the new 8-Beat Loop button which comes in addition to the classic 4-Beat control. Feel is so important when you’re DJing – whether you’re making a tiny adjustment to a track’s pitch or performing the most intricate scratch technique. Pioneer has redesigned the jog wheel for the CDJ-3000 to create the smoothest action on any multiplayer we’ve ever made. Touch latency is also better than ever, and you can use the LCD screen in the centre of the jog to keep an eye on the play head position and reference album artwork.   Find out about all of this, and more, here     Words by Jordan Diston

Music Review: Mihai Popoviciu - Motion Manifold LP [Poker Flat Recordings]

Music sometimes, takes artists on spiral-shaped paths, some of which they encounter not once in their life but as well, reoccur as a form of renovation. They take on a road that years later transit with a new vision. This perfectly fits Mihai Popoviciu’s return to Steve Bug’s label, the renowned German imprint, Poker Flat Recordings, with his latest album: Motion Manifold. This is Popoviciu’s third album and sixth release on Poker Flat, and it marks his long-lasting relationship with the esteemed label. The Romanian bread staple has a long trajectory with releases on amazing labels like Highgrade, Dessous, Bedrock and his own label Cyclic to name a few. Nonetheless, this time around, the Sibiu-based studio wizard delivers a more mature narrative, a substantial ten-track album filled with his instantly infectious and recognizable energy and style developed throughout the years. Motion Manifold works as both individual pieces but is best read as a whole experience in itself.   Click HERE to buy Motion Manifold LP   "Milky" initiates the album and takes form as slick deep tech delicacy. Perfect to warm up the soul, it sets off with a four on the floor kick groove, with a hi-hat to clap winning combo for your pleasure. Milky’s groovy bassline pushes the track in motion as the crispy claps accentuate the groove. While its progressive and filtered synth melody and distorted vocals finish it off with an enigmatic statement:¨but I don’t know ¨.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_0_45faede73b9a96c8bbc2f4d5a3f298fc', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_0_45faede73b9a96c8bbc2f4d5a3f298fc' }); });     "Understand" maintains the same deep sound with a dubby minimal tech twist, atmospheric and immersive with its textures like an underwater sound excursion, whilst "Double Clap" has a more tech house heavy influence, with a demolishing bassline and sharp percussions. Sneaking up on the groove his aforementioned, double clap rhythmic figure adding his distinctive style to the tune. Popoviciu complements the drum programming with deft and classic, acid 303 synth licks. Whereas, "Going Around" is a straight forward minimal tech cut with its dubby and trippy flair. The track’s heavy bassline moves the action forward with its 4/4 kick drum pattern and sparky cymbals. Dubby chords float upon to keep things smooth and calculated.       "Apricot" takes shape as another beautiful dubby minimal house cut. The use of the retro-sounding 2000s vocal articulates something along the lines of ¨hey you,¨ which creates a dialogue with the listener. Similarly, "Sleepwalking" moves into the realm of the alluring yet surreal flair of the late-night hours, sensitively capturing its mysterious and intense essence. The loopy bassline and acid lead synth add a hypnotic feel, while the beat remains steady yet light with jazz-infused percussions and subtle snare fills that seduce the ear.    allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_1_8f7aeabc33591af8537a5156d3b29a59', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_1_8f7aeabc33591af8537a5156d3b29a59' }); });     Popoviciu then changes things up with "Later That Day" and "El Classico" which are in contrast, more uplifting cuts. These two reveal more diurnal energy, which makes them perfect tracks to be experienced in the sunshine, with their irresistible percussive arrangements and warmer tonalities. "Cosinus" sails close to Larry Heard-ish territory, with a grooving, atmospheric bassline and fizzing, emotive synth pads. Lastly, "Chrome" closes the album off with the characteristic Popoviciu deep and sharp sound that unmistakably envelops and vibrates with audiences across the globe.    allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_2_dd92c28fdab779b833559975eaae4d1a', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_2_dd92c28fdab779b833559975eaae4d1a' }); });       Words by Daniel Ordoñez

Music Review: Aris A1 - In Chaos We Learnt To Be Still EP [Eject Records]

Established in Bristol in early 2019, Eject is a group of likeminded individuals who came together through their love of music, production and DJ’ing. Realising the absence of their taste of Minimal, Deep and Underground House in the city, the collective of creative heads decided to fill the gap. After maturing that year in Ibiza, networking and building the family, at the end of the year they came back to Bristol where, along with their close friends Rubik, ran their debut event in Asylum nightclub hosting the chief Fuse London resident; Rich NxT as their guest.   Click HERE to buy EJECT005   Since the very first release by Goras last February, the label immediately climbed the Minimal/Deep Tech chart on Beatport and we're sure that they will do the same with the newly released EP Aris A1 (Rendr, Lacuna Recordings). His "In Chaos We Learnt To Be Still" EP is a majestic ride through all the facets of the deep house sound, as the Italian-born but Perth-based DJ & Producer covers a multitude of shades: from lushy and dreamy moments to funky and easy-to-dance-to groove situations all together in just 4 tracks.   Opener “In Chaos We Learnt To Be Still” got loads of swing and a characteristic personal vibe. From the very beginning, the chunky bassline and the lively guitar both make us feel like driving a supercar in the sunny East Coast during the late '80s. The main bass has an old school flavour and so do the samples used. Guitar chops instantly create a Chicago-ish scenario and the deep chords complete the US fascination with taste, on top of a very dense and funky groove. Synths and pads arise abruptly and change the game, taking the track to a new level. A slightly modern minimal imprint is still present, even though the abundantly clear house flavour. Sweet stabs create a light bouncing effect and the open hat is soothing, almost lifted by the rest of the drums, when it comes in track gets trippy and engaging. 80s synth brass completes the frame with style during the breaks, introducing some superb and unexpected evolutions.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_0_8600155366bd4cb75b657dda30414fd5', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_0_8600155366bd4cb75b657dda30414fd5' }); });     Up next, “Poimandres” completely subverts the situation, passing through sunny vibes to mystery feels. This is surely the darker of the four tracks, as it features a nervous and sharp groove with a sinister lofi synth lead goes in its company all the time, almost part of the drums. The rhythmic section is mixed down perfectly, sounds like a single, evolving, percussive texture. Synths get denser and a spooky arpeggio arise with a bell-ish sound. Sustain pads and low strings add even more tension, whilst the bass rolls boldly alongside pitched down male vocal samples.   Thus is the melancholic and warm "Exile”. A subtle dreamy atmosphere finds its frame inside the gentle groove to which is also added some soft female vocal chops and majestic pads. The tight minimal composition highlights many microvariations, while the piece goes on full of soul. There’s a perfect balance between emotional harmonic elements and the always present Aris' dancefloor attitude. This track truly speaks directly to your heart and feet, made for dancing with love.   Rounding out the package, “Illuminatio” gets dirty and we really like the feel overall fat feel that the track transmits from its drums. A recognizable analog crisp is also present on the main stab that goes away just during the break; this parallelism gives the whole piece solid coherence. Jazzy harmony arises from the rubbery and rich sounds.   For "illuminatio" I got influenced by the simplicity of the percussions used for the creation of a consistent solid groove, but my main source of inspiration was the mystical sounds, which almost make you feel illuminated (illumination in Latin) by the simplicity of music" - ARIS A1   A cowbell insists prominently on the beat, giving to the track an extra dose of funkiness, while kick and bass roll smoothly one above the other. The full-bodied drum section is dense, bouncing loose and bringing bring the piece forward in a laid back way. Arp synths sound at the same time very odd in the piece and very fit, creating another interesting dancefloor tool.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_1_31bad25e916efa1d0a007d326aa5da67', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_1_31bad25e916efa1d0a007d326aa5da67' }); });           Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi

Else Open Air w/ Ricardo Villalobos & Craig Richards

Salon zur Wilden Renate’s open air location Else is back in September with an all star cast of selectors. Ricardo Villalobos is joined by fabric London’s very own Craig Richards for their Open Air party. A line up which is sure to get those dancing shoes moving.      Magical things often happen with these two come together, famed for their A star performances in the fabric booth and beyond. Safe to say this will be a musical journey of epic proportions and a true master class in DJing from start to finish.  This event compliments an impressive September schedule including the likes of Maayaan Nidam, Fred P, Sammy Dee, Rampa, &Me, Adam Port and many more from one of Berlin’s finest hot spots.  Find out more >

Damian Lazarus & Jem Cooke release 'Into The Sun' from the upcoming 'Flourish' LP

Damian Lazarus’ forthcoming full length album, Flourish, continues to take shape with the release of its second single featuring vocalist Jem Cooke.   ‘Into The Sun’ further explores the LP’s broken beat territories with a soulful sense of songwriting and cadence that carries it beyond the walls of clubland. Those who have paid attention to Damian’s career know that the artists showcased through his Crosstown Rebels imprint and world-class events are chosen deliberately and methodically. Jem Cooke’s selection as the only featured artist on ‘Flourish’ is no different. Cooke is known for topline stylings alongside house music’s modern stars like Camelphat, Jamie Jones, Kate Simko and others. This collaboration offers a left of center platform for the vocalist to experiment beyond the limits of 4/4, resulting in the swirling exposé of ‘Into The Sun’.   Click HERE to preorder Flourish LP   Since February he has holed himself in the studio finalizing and reforming ideas that had been brewing for years. It took a pandemic to ground the DJ, but what emerged is a more fully realized vision of Lazarus as producer. Flourish takes us through the many lives of Damian Lazarus, who, as he has grown older, and traversed the globe, has come to more deeply examine the role the dance floor plays in his own life and that of others. With parties cancelled, it would have been easy to wallow, but instead urgency took hold, and isolated Italian countryside Damian took the space to tackle the larger questions he has been grappling with for years.   As anyone who has watched Lazarus DJ can attest, his inspirations are deep and varied, criss crossing show tunes, drum n bass, jazz, electro, soul, house, techno and everything in-between. This album reflects his immersion in a multitude of scenes over the years, from the early days of London drum n bass, to his role as a figurehead in the electroclash scene, and of course the significant impact his Crosstown Rebels label has had on contemporary underground house and techno.        “My early ideas about a new album were quite dark, pessimistic even, I had long been thinking and worrying about the problems of the world. Then the global pandemic and subsequent lockdown began and my fears seemed to become reality. But while writing these themes actually started to transform in an uplifting way. The new songs came together quite quickly, with renewed impetus, and mutated into a more positive outlook. Questions about faith, religion and spirituality all appeared amidst the darkness and fear, but in those times of quiet solitude and creation, I came to realise we can emerge into the sun and flourish on the other side.”    Flourish is far from a box of functional DJ tools, in the same way as Damian’s debut album Smoke The Monster Out or the more worldly outings in his brace of albums with the Ancient Moons. It’s a personal, brave and varied body of work. It’s also the work of an artist who has grown over the ten years since his last solo album. Lazarus plays with nuances of texture, tempo and style to create a rich and dense album that takes us on an odyssey that is at times both dark and uplifting. Vocals of his own cast an intimate shadow over the album with those of his sole collaborator Jem Cooke offering a soothing balance amidst the madness, remembering us that however taxing the journeys there are always moments of beauty to be found.    

Meoko pres. the Boris 'WipWap' Werner Show (part 2/4)

The 'WipWap' show is back! After a successful first episode that literally got millions of people glued to the television, we're back with our second episode. As usual, with your host straight from the Dam mister Boris Werner.   WipWap show means 5.30 hours of the finest house and techno from the good (old) days as Boris has shared with us an unreleased long marathon recorded at Studio 80 in the XXX city. Click here to relive the first episode if you've missed it. Alongside with the mix, we've prepared some question for the man... let's get into it!     What happened to you? You look pretty good with that hat! I don't know man... It seems like I had a fusion with Ren from The Ren & Stimpy Show. Another lovely show! I really enjoyed this cartoon. It's from the 90s and featured many tripping scenes. So I'm kinda ok with the fusion ah!   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_0_8f07ac2b187d35cedce668b14a8c26c5', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_0_8f07ac2b187d35cedce668b14a8c26c5' }); });     Besides this weird fusion, how are you? How’s your life changed during this recent extended-lockdown period? Are there things you (re)discovered? I'm doing ok now. Always busy with the music in any aspect. The first month in lockdown was so surreal to me, luckily I was still able to go to the studio and make music, otherwise I would've gone craaazzyy! Since the dancefloor wasn't going to be around for a while I focused on more dubby music, some breakbeat stuff and more trip-hop vibes. I did this already in the past but that's what I rediscovered musically. Regarding the everyday life I, like many other people, discovered we take so many things for granted in life, having said that I really hope something positive comes out of all this mess.   Many have spoken about this “corona-situation” as the perfect chance to re-invent the clubbing scene? Do you believe it? What are your thoughts for this second part of 2020 and for the next year? Personally I think this reset isn't that bad for our scene. The cards will be reshuffled, and all the posers and people who are just in there for the money will hopefully stay away. The big festivals are forbidden in the Netherlands and we are still not sure if they can take place next summer, so it will all start being more local like back in the days. It's So good to see that there are some places all over the world that slowly but steady are able to do small gathering and parties again, working with the local DJ's and just try to see how far they can go without getting in trouble with the local authorities. I just really hope that the governments in any country will value our culture, as it is so much more important than they realise.   Have you had the chance to play since then? If so, what's the first track you've played? I already went to some small private parties, hush hush :) I think it was "Everybody Loves the Sunshine" from Roy Ayers.      Moving from the DJ into the producer side, two sides closer and closer now, do you there's something missing in today’s tracks? A lot of music to me sounds like people following trends too much, everything sounds the same which makes it very boring for me. This mainly happens because nowadays it's so easy to make music, taking some loops here and there et voila. Not saying its wrong to do so but it just lacks creativity. But luckily there are still producers that just do what they want to do without thinking they need to sound like this or that.   Like? Among all the good names I have in my mind, I'd go with Ion Ludwig, Arno and Ricardo. I'd love to have them on my label in the future!     That's it for today! We will go deep about Boris' label and many other themes in the next episode... Stay tuned!     Words by Francesco Quieti

Music Review: Revivis - Same Thing EP [Quality Vibe Records]

Revivis' output this year has been above steady, to say the least, as the Berlin-based DJ and producer has maintained a string of fine releases and his next one on Quality Vibe Records is no exception. With previous EPs by the likes of Cinthie and Black Loops to name a few, the Italian label once again becomes the bearer of a certain kind of deep house that fuses classic elements with an avant-garde approach.     Title track "Same Thing" immediately leads the EP into the groove with a minimal stripped back attitude, rolling smoothly around the liquid bass, with a swollen kick drum to pack out the lows. The interplay between vintage-sounding synths and vocal chops add to the groove whilst the crunch of the MPC drums give it a sweet analogue grain.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_0_5bed11b9173c4c14158e3da1b07f2fa0', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_0_5bed11b9173c4c14158e3da1b07f2fa0' }); });     A2, "Influxt" gets super dubby, with an insistent analogue pad that literally smears on the entire track. The overall atmosphere is hazy and the fat 909 groove enriches it keeping your feet moving. As soon as the track progresses, a subtle acid line finds its own spot in the mix, driving the track till the end on its 6+ minutes ride.   On the flip, "Wait" follows the line and brings along a tight tech-house groove with sharp and swingy drums. The bassline is large and beautiful and is worth alone the entire piece. Chords come in, introducing some tense dissonance. The swell of the pads pushes the groove, taking the track in and out of breaks. Nervous hats hit fast, while the clap digs deep creating a flawless and continuous shake along with on-point garage-style snares.   Closing track "You Smile" goes super deep with lovely sampled chords that dominate the scene as soon as they make their appearance. The simple and effective harmony stands out perfectly on top of uber swung drums, to this a 90s female vocal, creating a very old school mood while staying tight and contemporary perfectly rounding out a very cool EP thus confirming Revivis as a one to watch for the future.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_1_b2b151bd7089c11ab69ed8e178917382', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_1_b2b151bd7089c11ab69ed8e178917382' }); });         Words by Francesco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi

Caprices Festival Announces Line-up for new September dates with Sven Vath, Ricardo Villalobos, Mathew Jonson (live), Sonja Moonear and more

The 17th edition of Caprices Festival might have had to move from its original April date, but it makes a much-anticipated return to the stunning resort of Crans-Montana in Switzerland across two specially curated weekends. With a reduced capacity and different look thanks to the warmer end of the summer weather and beautiful green hillsides, this will be special and unique one-off editions from September 18 - 20 and 25 - 27 September, with returning favourites and hot new headliners from the original line-up all playing including Sven Vath, Ricardo Villalobos, Mathew Jonson (live), Sonja Moonear, Behrouz, Damian Lazarus, Guy Gerber, Archie Hamilton, Dorian Paic, Traumer, Guti (live), Steve Rachmad, Agents of Time, Argenis Brito, Dandy Jack, Dubfire and many more.     With joint effort between the artists, the partners and the festival team, in current complex circumstances, an unprecedented edition of the festival will be able to see the light of the day and offer a privileged few an unforgettable experience. In order to keep party-goers safe during the Covid-19 era, capacity was reduced to 1000 people per stage, with each one then split into independent zones of max 300 people as advised by the government measures.    Instead of initially planned four stages, there will be two stages per day - the famous daytime 'Modernity Stage' and one new nighttime stage, 'The Forest Stage' - but the famously high production values and world-class sound systems that have made Caprices Festival such an iconic underground event will remain. The Forest Stage is a circular building, offering a 360-degree view, with indoor and outdoor spaces, located in the middle of the forest, in the old intermediate station of Signal cable car line and has never been before by the Caprices Festival. The stage will host a combination of international artists, “newcomers” and the Swiss local acts, offering the public a musical context at the forefront of the latest artistic trends in the field.      Weekend two sees Modernity headlined by Marco Farone, Agents of Time, Adriatique, Alci, Sonja Moonear, Ricardo Villalobos b2b Edward, Dana Ruh, Skizzo, Given (aka James Mc Hale b2b Giorgio Maulini), Dorian Paic and Sven Vath. The Forest Stage will then bounce to the sounds of Nicolas Duvoisin, Traumer, Archie Hamilton, Andrea Fiorito, Mathew Jonson live, Steve Rachmad and Michel Cleis. Next to the world-class music, there is plenty to make this an experience of a lifetime: high-end restaurants and eateries that include award-winning restaurants and mountain huts, boutique shops and an eco-museum as well as a wellness centre and endless mountains to explore.   Caprices Festival 2020 will look very different to usual, but the forward-thinking soundtrack, next-level production and welcoming atmospheres are sure to make it a truly one of a kind event. Tickets for the April edition remain valid for the September edition. However, refund options are possible within a limited time frame (19 August). For clients who cannot make it to the festival on these dates but wish to help support Caprices Festival in this extremely difficult time for the music and events industry, a donation system is also in place. All the details related to the ticketing are available on the social media platforms of Caprices Festival & ticketing Partner xtixs.   Caprices Festival 2020 18 - 20 and 25 - 28 September Crans-Montana, Switzerland   Tickets & Info: Twitter: Instagram:

Music Review: The Lumens - Vetro EP (incl. Diego Krause remix) [Positive Not Happy]

Milan based label Positive Not Happy brings us the second release on their imprint this time welcoming remixes from Diego Krause and Ricky Leo, with the original grooves once again provided by label owners and masters of house The Lumens.   Click HERE to buy PNH02 - Vetro EP   The A-side kicks off straight into play with shaking hats combined with ornate kicks. Metallic synths rise and fall as the track builds beautifully. Layers of raw synths cleverly blend raising anticipation throughout. This all comes to a head to a trance-like breakdown before dropping back into the groove with digital pads. Rushes of ecstasy hit you from every angle as you listen to this track; it’s music that you connect with effortlessly.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_0_87a07dfae99ae306cc1b73f5e9221696', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_0_87a07dfae99ae306cc1b73f5e9221696' }); });     A2 Diego steps up to the plate to offer his ear on remix duties. It’s here that he really shows his prowess as a producer. Taking nanoscopic samples of the original and reworking them perfectly alongside his signature groove. The track builds as each element has plenty of room to breath. A deep dubby bassline and tight hot kicks keep us moving and mixed synths are introduced. As the track develops it almost has a tribalesque quality to it which works perfectly alongside the robotic pads. Top work as always from Diego Krause.   allvideos.ready(function(){ allvideos.embed({ 'url': '', 'callback': 'soundcloudAVPlayerID_1_2db3962f5f00db4d2b10b93bb22123a1', 'playerID': 'avID_AVPlayerID_1_2db3962f5f00db4d2b10b93bb22123a1' }); });     We flip over to the B side and are welcomed instantly by acid-like synths. Tight, crisp snares get your attention followed by vibrant hats that instantly lock you into the groove. The Lumens'  use of percussion here is a master class partnered with android-like synths and a cruising bassline line. A personal favourite from the EP and top-notch dancefloor tackle.     Rounding things off we have the 2nd remix from Ricky Leo. Dark kicks coupled with mystical synths rise into a crescendo of percussive hats accompanied by compact snares and resonating claps. This track has real progressive elements whilst still holding on to that minimal groove we all know and love. Synths fly across us like shooting stars across the sky as we dance underneath. A quintessential track to the EP.       Words by Jordan Diston