Reviews/Previews

Hidden Treasures: Introducing In Real Life London

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MEOKO has been digging deep to bring you the best in up and coming brands and designers for the coolest unique creations out there. Each brand representing positivity, creativity and a fun and friendly vibe, to tie in with what we stand for here at MEOKO. Over the coming weeks we’ll be presenting some our favourites, as well as some fresh undiscovered talents for you to feast your eyes over.

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For this next episode of Hidden Treasures, MEOKO has discovered a rarity that was born out of an inspirational response to the bold, colourful aesthetic found on social networking sites. These 3D-esque designs by In Real Life London aka IRL LDN (inrealifelondon.com) are dazzlingly unique, and are destined to adorn dancefloor trendsetters worldwide. Designer, Cornelia Van Rijwijk, is a digital design whizz kid, who decided to embark on her fashion journey after studying in London by putting her design skills to good use. The result is a line of bold and eye-catching prints, which she sees as '3D wearable art'.

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Van Rijwijk’s creations blur the lines between the digital and the material, the virtual and the tangible. As she says herself: “The internet is IRL LDN's home, and exists online, it is only through the clothes being worn that the URL/IRL break is made and the brand can be worn on the streets of the world in real life”. If you DO want to catch IRL LDN in real life then you can see them showcase their creations at the ‘pop-up streetwear market’ at our upcoming event, The MEOKO Project on 28th June, where this brand amongst many other club and festival-ready clothing labels will have a stall! 

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IRL LDN is superbly different, with an array of collections that feature statement prints such as magical tridents, multicoloured dice, colourful peacocks and lotus flowers to name just a few. In Real Life London also produce printed T-shirts, embroidered hats and limited edition, handmade pieces. These creations are digitally printed and the fabric hand-sewn in the studio giving them that extra bit of TLC! IRL LDN will be releasing their next collection (SS-2014) at the end of August 2013, which will feature a toned down collection introducing completely new digitally printed fabrics which may even feature some ladies swimwear!

PRIZE TSHIRT

In Real Life LDN has offered up a rather stunning 'Envy of Hera' Limited edition tee  (Pictured above) RRP £130. To be in with a chance of getting your hands on it simply email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with 'Real Life LDN' in the title. Winner to be announced end of June, Good Luck!

Visit In Real Life London Website

Like IRL LDN Facebook page

Follow IRL LDN on Twitter

Information & tickets for The MEOKO Project

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We Are FSTVL Review: Not just beginner's luck.

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It has been a relatively bleak past twelve months for the UK’s events and festival industry. Despite a booming electronic music scene throughout the country and a huge export market for independent and underground producers/labels, many promoters have seemingly struggled to keep afloat in a rapidly changing and over-saturated market. Ironically, as the market for electronic music extravaganza expands, events that might seem part of the dance music fabric are fighting to get numbers whilst newer events disappear as quickly as they emerged. Probably the most memorable example of this was the early closing of Bloc festival in July 2012, after it relocated from its previous home in Minehead to the London Pleasure Gardens. But in reality the past year has been scattered with the casualities of floundering festivals: The Big Chill, All Tomorrow's Parties, Sonisphere, Underage Festival and so on. 

For these reasons, I had looked upon the emergence of the new 15,000 capacity, one-day festival We Are FSTVL with a great deal of hesitance. Even beyond the promotional tactics verging on spamming (how did they even get my mobile number?), and the dubious merchandising (ESX BOY/ESX GIRL t-shirts paired with culturally-appropriated headwear...?), I was just worried that a lack of experience and planning, a hyped-up crowd and a bit of bad luck would inevitably make the festival’s debut another BLOC-like flop.

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This being said, We Are FSTVL actually exceeded most, if not all, of my expectations! Of course there were a few creases that will need to be ironed out, some of these more serious than others, but as a whole the festival was obviously well-organised and properly thought through. A post-festival announcement declared it took three years of planning, and I think this shone through decisively (as did the sun, much to the organisers' relief I'm sure!) despite some teething problems, and for this I congratulate them. The sheer number of stages and music venues on site was seriously impressive, but even more so was their well-considered production, with unique themes, innovative structures and relatively good sound throughout. From the small, beach-themed site of secretsundaze, to Defected’s inflatable dance igloo – there were definitely some awesome places to get down in. But with so many venues, labels and collectives to choose from, it was impossible to experience everything and so I've outlined my own personal ‘high points’ and ‘low points’ of the festival , from what I managed to fit in and considering we left at 11.30pm shortly after the main stage shut and to avoid the inevitable madness of getting home when everyone else wanted to!

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HIGH POINTKehakuma Inside tent

Inside the Kehakuma tent was some of the best music I heard all day, which was perhaps to be expected with Davide Squillace, Matthias Tanzmann, and DJ Sneak amongst the roster. One small downfall was the layout of the stage, it was absolutely impossible to see who was behind the decks, making it difficult to connect with the person bringing all the bangers let alone trying to work out who it was. For instance, I just had to assume it was Squillace who brought the track below back into my life...


LOW POINTBars

A 15,000 capacity event was destined to have problems with the bars during its inaugural event - it's probably something like a rite of passage. The bars were understaffed, the queues were long, and the tokens were hilariously small. But most astonishingly was the fact they started running low on alcohol at around 8pm and punters were left to come up with their own cocktail concoctions, consisting of whatever spirit they had left and Pussy energy drink, lest they be left with the only other drink well-stocked: Tuborg.

 

HIGH POINT – Mulletover

From what I saw, the Mulletover stage was packed from front to back with unadulterated vibes all day. Despite being one of the smaller stages, the crowd was spilling out of the 'crop circle'-themed tent and was backed up by the bar. The music, the DJs, and the crowd made it the most ‘festival-y’ stage on site: sometimes house and techno, so often experienced in dark warehouses and underground basements, seem oddly placed at music festivals with their outdoor spaces, big stages and poor-quality sound. But Mulletover represented everything a house festival should be about: mid-afternoon skanking, hands-in-the-air anthems, and Kerri Chandler standing in a spaceship, mouth to wax, singing into his vinyl. 

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LOW POINT – VIP area

However much I may dislike the influx of Ibiza-style VIP areas into UK festivals, I would still have been pretty peeved at how un-special this whole area turned out to be. It was essentially just another place to keep the crowds, and there wasn't really much that was 'very important' about it apart from nice toilets and a moderately less busy bar (which still ran out of alcohol, anyway). It seemed as though 90% of the festival had VIP wristbands, and I even read rumours that people were allowed to upgrade to VIP on the day for free. Saying that, the little rave tent in the corner had some very strong vibes, in spite of some semi-questionable mixing. 

 

LOW POINTMain stage closing at 10pm

In what I can only assume was a local council issue, the main We Are FSTVL stage shut down at 10PM, leaving in it’s wake a larger part of the site empty, strewn with paper and plastic remnants of good times once had, and increasingly trampled on by security guards and trash-pickers resembling hungry crows leering over the carcuses of our buzz. Essentially, we stumbled out of the VIP arena expecting to become a part of the Villalobos multitude, and instead witnessed this terrifying sight and felt a collective despair that just couldn’t be redeemed afterwards. Note to We Are FSTVL: next year please provide some sort of vague timings pre-event so that we don’t end up in this position again!

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HIGH POINT – Festival site

Despite some hiccups and teething problems, the aesthetic and layout of the festival site was hugely impressive, especially the main stage, which was pretty bleedin' epic. It was clear the organisers and designers had put a lot of effort in to packing all the visual elements of a larger, 3-day festival into a 1-day experience. This isn't to say there was an abundance of non-musical entertainment, but there was enough to distractt the eyes while meandering between the array of amazing venues and stages. For a festival with so many punters there were always going to be lots of queues, but when it came down to toilets, food and space to dance, there was ample to satisfy my needs! 

Essentially, We Are FSTVL far exceeded my expectations and proved to be definitely worthy of the excitement and hype that surrounded it. Personally, I don't think this was an easy feat considering the day-festival format, the Upminster location, and the crowd...it took more than just beginner's luck and the organisers should be massively proud that their hard work paid off. I'm confident that We Are FSTVL will return next year and be equally as successful, if not better when they learn from and improve on the mistakes of this year!

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Words by Becky Amoi 

Photo credits: Paul Underhill

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Two Armadillos - Golden Age Thinking

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Golden Age Thinking’ is the debut album by Two Armadillos – a duo made up of good friends Giles Smith and Martin Dawson. Whilst in Berlin, they wrote the original nine tracks over a few weeks in 2011, and after some deliberation, decided to release the tracks on their own self-titled imprint. Released as a three part EP series that was spread out over 2012, the concept was to structure each segment with one dance floor orientated track followed by two laid back offerings, so as to ultimately create an LP with the sort of depth and variety which would stand the test of time.

Upon their release, tracks like ‘Theme’ almost instantly became a staple in record bags worldwide, with its hypnotic automation and alluring vocal hook captivating crowds universally. So too did ‘Phantom’; a relentless techno cut that somehow manages to retain the essence of dreamy nostalgia which characterises the armadillo alias. Amongst the more laid back efforts were also some real gems. ‘A Walk in the Park’ radiates the sort of nonchalance that only a jazzy double bass can, whilst ‘These Feelings’ utilises a similar set of tools, but in a way that instead draws you deep within yourself through its lingering notes and icy bright reverb. Shortly after the warm reception of what was originally intended to be the third and final instalment of the LP, Martin Dawson tragically and unexpectedly passed away following a brain aneurism - a loss felt deeply throughout the world.

Eight months on, the full album is to be released this June as what feels like a poignant tribute to his name. All nine previously released tracks are featured, as well as three more exclusive tracks that are previously unheard, and which will also see a 12” release, just as the others have. The first of the new tracks to feature is ‘Black Dahlia’; a slow building fusion of percussion and warm soulful chords, fattened up with a playful acid bassline. ‘Roller Skate’ has a real live analogue feel, with an acid drenched arp bass dancing in circles around signature rhodes chords –an unreleased favourite from their live set. The third exclusive track, entitled ‘Floating Fast’, is perhaps my overall favourite from the release thanks to the dazzling combination of pacy, brushed hi-hats shuffling over the top of long ethereal pads, an unlikely marriage that fuses together perfectly. Once again, the pair demonstrates the ability to reach a depth unattainable by many, using their proven recipe of gorgeous chords augmented with intricate percussion, mixed down with the kind of quality which comes only after years of dedication. They complete the album perfectly to form a collection of twelve stirring pieces of music that linger long after the final note.

Available as a digital download on 6th June 2013.


Full Album Tracklist: 

A Walk in The Park (4:51)
Flatlining (8:05)
Black Dahlia (Exclusive / new) (7:04)
Roller Skate (Exclusive / new) (7:06)
Theme (8:50)
Floating Fast (Exclusive / new (7:05)
Ronin (7:46)
Phantom (8:27)
Detroit Dancer (6:20)
These Feelings (7:12)
Another One For Larry (8:48)
Majestic (6:57)

Previews for EP 4:

 

Words: James Ellis

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Mr G - Mr G EP (CS0002)

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Riding high off the success of their debut release with Boo Williams, Australian relative newcomers to the scene Contemporary Scarecrow are back with their second release, and it packs a punch. They’ve called upon the services of one of the true veterans of house and techno, Colin McBean aka Mr G, who dishes up four aggressive cuts, perfectly encapsulating the gritty analogue sound he’s known and loved for. In a world where producers all too frequently rely on the comforts of modern technology to substitute for any real creativity, Mr G utilises his limited equipment to the full, radiating his passion through subtle nuances in every element of all four tracks. 

Entitled simply the ‘Mr G EP’, the release begins with ‘Potent’; where shuffled percussion lays down a firm foundation before being painted with a colourful array of stabs and synths. It’s a hard-hitting start to yet another release where his infatuation for analogue flavour shines through, and the no nonsense approach to his production invites you to let loose and get lost in the rhythm. ‘Dancefloor’ is aptly named, with an infectious rhythm putting you in a trance right from the offset. Once you’re under his spell, a mischievous lead is introduced which plays off a gorgeous vocal hook drenched in emotion. One of the advantages that come with his limited sound bank is that every sound plays a crucial role. Whether it’s a simple hi hat or a pounding bassline, Mr G knows exactly where to place them for maximum impact. 

On the flip side, ‘Tune In’ encompasses a far more sinister vibe. With an unrelenting backbone reverberating beneath distant murmurs, a real feeling of tension is created as we’re sucked deeper and deeper into the mix. When an elegant organ hook is introduced, the melody catches you off guard, shifting the mood completely as it dances round the rhythm. Closing the release is ‘Seapuss’, and Mr G signs off with a thick mix of dark atmospherics, poured over low-slung percussion and peppered in heavily filtered hits and stabs. It’s no-bullshit raw analogue magic, and it sounds great.  

The ‘Mr. G’ EP is out on Contemporary Scarecrow, June 24th (Vinyl) and July 22nd (Digital) 2013.

 

Words: James Ellis
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Undersound invites Next Wave to Hoxton Basement + listen to exclusive Vale Colvin mix

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Next Wave began in answer to a rise of exclusivity and elitism in Ibiza. Blissfully devoid of any peacocking, everything about their party radiates the passion felt both from the promoters and the dedicated fan base they’ve built up since their birth in 2011. This year, a tour stretching across the whole of Europe gives enthusiasts outside Ibiza a chance to experience the vibe of what has become one of the most cherished underground parties on the island.

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For their next instalment, East London promoters Undersound have invited Next Wave to take-over the Hoxton Basement, welcoming Praslea and Vale Colvin to come and play on May 17th, for what will undoubtedly be another very special night of forward thinking music. Courtesy of Undersound, we’ve been lucky enough to get hold of this mix by Vale Colvin herself to wet your palate for the forthcoming event...

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Refining her sound across some of Chile’s top dance floors for the best part of five years, Vale Colvin is one of the most exciting DJs to come out of the country recently, which is quite an accolade given that Ricardo Villalobos and Nicolas Jaar share the same birthplace. A member of the Cigarra collective, she relocated to Berlin in 2012, taking with her an organic blend of deep minimal house that has played soundtrack to some of the most prestigious venues in the world, including Club der Visionaere, KaterHolzig & Chalet. We can’t wait for her set at Undersound later this month, but in the meantime, sit back and get lost in this beautifully crafted mix of deep hypnotic soundscapes, meandering through different realms of dub rooted techno, minimal and house.

 

FULL INFO 

Date: Friday 17 May, 2013

Time: 22:00 - 06:00

Where: Hoxton Basement

 

For more info and tickets visit here

Join Undersound London on Facebook here

Visit Next Wave on Facebook here

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