- Published on Tuesday, 14 May 2013 15:00
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.
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...
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.
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
- Published on Thursday, 02 May 2013 15:27
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.
The sixth instalment of our ‘Hidden Treasures’ series represents another dazzling collection that will without a doubt be making the rounds on this year’s jam-packed festival circuit. Oozing with the outrageous vivacity adopted by pleasure-seekers throughout the UK, Spanglewear is the rather snazzy brand founded and designed by Bonny Tydeman (aka Little Miss Spangle). Aside from their festival-friendly creations, MEOKO love the positivity behind the ethos of the brand: "Spanglewear is about being your super-self, daring to shine, honouring yourself and empowering yourself - and through that sending out a message of joy and celebration. Life is glorious - we should live it that way".
Spanglewear is actually one branch of the Spanglebooth tree, so to speak; Spanglebooth being a multifunctional design studio specialising in party clothes and event decor. Last year saw the “spangle clan” venture around the globe spreading their sparkles far and wide; Bulgaria’s Meadows in the Mountains festival to erect hanging art installations in the trees, Croatia to help deck out the beach for Hideout Festival, and Burning Man to create the costumes for a play taking place on a travelling art-car...incredible!
The original idea behind the Spangle collective was to install an interactive photobooth at events and festivals, inviting participants inside the booth to be 'spangled'. Subsequently, Bonny was given the opportunity thanks to her friends Jack and Ben of Mad Ferret Productions to host the booth at their acclaimed Parklife festival. From there the concept rapidly gathered momentum, leading to larger festival appearances such as Secret Garden Party and the legendary Burning Man. In Bonny's own words, the Spanglebooth helped to “spread smiles and sparkles throughout many parties”, and it was from the design of fun, outlandish, spangle-ready accessories created for the pop-up booth that the inspiration came to start a more permanent fashion label.
Since then, Spanglewear has mostly focused on creating a range of uniquely stylish hats, caps, hoods, Russian hats, crowns and jumpers. Using bold colours, wacky fabrics and rich textures, Spanglewear products are usually always laced with faux-fur, gold chains and costume jewels. Pretty much every single creation is one-of-a-kind, with their designer Bonny trying as much as possible to resist using her designs twice - unless she is really bugged to re-create them! Most recently Bonny has re-focused on producing more bespoke Spanglewear clothing, just in time for the imminent party season, offering customers the opportunity to order their own ‘100% Bespoke Festival Funsuit’, essentially an individually tailored all-in-one bursting with as much eccentricity as required.
This upcoming year, once again you can catch the brand at a host of summer events and additionally they will be launching a series of unique printed tees and Spanglewear textiles. In the words of Bonnie: “prepare to be dazzled”!
If you want to get your hands on some rather spangle-y goods of your own, then MEOKO are offering one lucky winner the chance to win your very own RUSSIAN HAT and MULTICOLOURED CAP worth a total of £130 (pictured below).
- Published on Friday, 26 April 2013 16:57
Διονύσης, or Denny as we know him, is the newest addition to the MEOKO family. Only 21 years of age and recently moved to London from his hometown in Greece, Denny has a neverending passion for all things house and techno and his enthusiasm is highly infectious. Denny lives and breathes dance music and we love that! When we discovered some months back that Denny had NEVER actually been to a club in London, we concocted a plan to make his wildest dreams come true by sending him to some of the city's most-loved raving institutions and underground parties, whilst also asking him to document his adventures - the result was My First Time at...fabric. Now we've done it again, but this time we've granted him VIP access to one of the most iconic Sunday afternoon parties currently running in London...Fuse.
Photo credit: Daddy's Got Sweets
#2 My first time at...Fuse!
Sunday 21 April, 2013
It’s now been a couple of days since experiencing the institution that is Fuse for the first time, and still at this moment I can feel the vibe and atmosphere like it was happening here in my bedroom! Last Sunday was a very special day for the Fuse family, as they were celebrating the 2nd birthday of their own imprint Fuse London at Village Underground, and lucky for me, my beloved MEOKO colleagues had a plan to pop my “Fuse virginity” with the best way ever! Funnily enough I’ve been outside Village Underground distributing MEOKO flyerpacks almost every time Fuse has had a party and, believe me, even from outside I knew that something REALLY good was occuring inside those walls. So trying to keep myself out of the place until this Sunday wasn’t easy at all…but today, I can say it was totally worth it!
Photo credit: Daddy's Got Sweets
As I approached the doors of Village Underground, the anxious excitement was building up inside me with every step. Inside, my excitement was fully satisfied and I loved what I saw; the space was different from any other venue or warehouse I’ve been to previously, the whole atmosphere seemed to be dripping with great memories...with more to come. 700-800 people capacity, super high ceiling, and the whole building oozing the underground philosophy that gets me mad. The space was already brimming with the crowd’s energy, even as the music was just warming up; beautiful people and hundreds of smiley faces all around made me immediately comfortable and relaxed. I got myself a beer and I wandered onto the dance floor, where I found, in the middle of the floor, that the low frequencies were very noticeable (something that I personally like a lot) and the sound was warm and spreading all over the venue from front to back.
After familiarizing myself with the venue more, I moved to the DJ booth to meet Tony Cannatella and Enzo Siragusa (Fuse’s founders). Meanwhile, Seb Zito and Luke Miskelly were already going back-to-back; a crazily perfect match, the duo showed how it’s done with great rotation and proper Techno sounds. One did not have to say much about their mixing skills as these gents knew exactly what they were doing. Behind the booth, I spoke with Tony in detail about the whole Fuse philosophy, how it began and what their expectations are for the future. More that eight years of experience in throwing parties here in London and five years of running Fuse, Tony and the team are more than experienced in how to create the proper vibe and cater to the crowd in all ways! The importance of the sound system was one of the main things we discussed, both with Tony and his sound engineer, and hearing their perspectives and knowledge on the subject blew me away. Working hard and paying extra attention to detail, like these guys do, obviously pays off, that’s for sure! After our chat and as the evening approached 19:00 I ventured once again for a wander amongst the crowd, and made a little a video to give you a taste...
Ben Rau was on the decks at this point...and whilst I was in the crowd, I bumped into Ittetsu. Sadly I hadn’t had the chance to listen to him play (other than imagining it via his MEOKO mix) but when I asked him how it went, he said he was really satisfied with the result and had a great time. This seemed to be a running theme throughout the night; all the DJs were on top form and the unity of the whole Fuse family was noticeable even in the few hours I had been there! It’s undeniable there’s a specific sound associated with Fuse, a signature style of techno that creates a harmony and flow throughout all of their sets, whilst still each individual has their own unique flair. While dancing our arses off to Ben Rau, the crowd really started to heat up and Ben proceeded to take the party to the next level – and I was lucky enough to capture on video one of my favorite parts of the night!
After Ben’s set I headed backstage, grabbed a beer, and chilled for a couple of minutes trying to mentally and physically prepare for Enzo Siragusa’s imminent set. As he told me himself earlier in the evening, Village Underground is awesome and Fuse is an experience that won’t let you down – so I was eager to hear what kind of lethal shots to the heart he was going to bring. And actually…that’s exactly what happened: Enzo did the job! Mixing effortlessly on vinyl, and turning the crowd into a sweaty, dancing mass of bodies, I captured Enzo doing his thing...
Time having flown past, suddenly it was 10 o’clock and I found myself with my MEOKO mates, enjoying the rest of the party as a family. Rich Nxt was on the decks, continuing to hammer the crowd with his cheeky basslines, affecting them in such a way that it seemed literally impossible to stop dancing! As a DJ myself, I recognized how important this amazing crowd were to the Fuse experience, and why all the jockeys were enjoying the party so much. A good crowd almost controls the DJ psychology, in such a way that they give more as the crowd gives more: it’s a “give to receive” thing and is hard to explain, although everyone knows it’s there! So a note to my fellow clubbers: if you want to party, guys just show some love and enthusiasm to the DJ, because at the end of the day you’re going to be the one benefiting from it more than anyone else!
It became even clearer to me later on, after spending some time backstage chatting with the Fuse crew, just what these beautiful people represent and why they do things the way they do - I was in love! Subsequently, I managed to catch about half of Alex Arnout’s set from behind the booth. The place was still rammed (it hadn’t seemed to lessen at all since they announced earlier at 7pm that it was at full capacity) and people were enjoying themselves more than ever, as you can see below...
Sadly the time came when I had to leave the place and catch the last tube home. Nevertheless, I left completely exhilarated from the whole day and after such an amazing first time Fuse experience, I am already counting down the days ‘til the next one. From beginning to end, the music and atmosphere was so intense it made me feel like I was tripping (and the emotional comedown the next day was equally as intense!) Massive thanks to Fuse for the incredible hospitality and amazing night, and to MEOKO for making it happen. Until my next ‘first time’, take care of yourselves and keep partying!
- Published on Friday, 12 April 2013 17:02
Various Artists (Mixed by Jaymo & Andy George)
Moda Black Vol.II
While Jamie Jones et al. gallivant the globe over, infusing their brand of sun-soaked fare into the minds, bodies and souls of all that will listen, Jaymo & Andy George offer a grittier, more UK-centric focus on this nouveau-house craze. With residencies at We Love and fabric, the northern pairing's Moda brand has brilliantly straddled the divide between the commercial and the underground, dealing in strong, accessible house music tailored directly for the floor. Following on from the popular Moda Black Vol.I mix, the duo return with Vol.II, intent on offering a healthy, robust cross-section of where UK club music is at today.
Bringing together about as enviable a list of talent as they could muster, Jaymo & Andy George get right to the heart of the sound. With no time for flowery intros, Ben Pearce gets the ball rolling with 'Pale Ale', an exclusive slice of emotionally charged house. Replete with heartfelt dance-floor vigour, it provides the mix with a more than steady lift-off platform. Zesty synths on 'Remember' by Jaymo & Andy George keeps things pumping, before a trio of cuts courtesy of Eats Everything, Lrusee & Bleecker and New York's M A N I K offer up a subdued, if still lively, breather.
With plenty of air in our lungs, Huxley cranks us back up to optimum speed, delivering a typically upfront, gravelly UK-garage infused effort in 'Diesel'. Continuing to fly the flag for the revivalists, Ejeca drapes classic 90s stabs in a dense fog of emotive pads and infectious vocals, before Celsius and label favourites Hot Since 82 hint at darker, tougher territory, their contributions awash with hefty, swirling breakdowns and sinister synth lines. Swedish vocalist Karin Park teams up with Shadow Child to give the mix that Bjork-esque glint before full-frontal tracks from Walker & Royce and Danny Daze & Maxxi Soundsystem see us out in the trippy, sweaty haze of a night well partied.
While no one can deny the impact and current popularity of this sound, there exists always the fear that we're on the brink of over-saturation. I'll admit, I wasn't sure I'd hear much to enthuse me on this mix, judging the release by its proverbial tracklist and deeming it safe, if a little tired. In fact, Jaymo & Andy George have collated something thoroughly entertaining here, conveying an intelligent passion to portray the music and the scene that they inhabit in as true and honest a light as possible. Most importantly however, it will just make you really want to dance.
We've teamed up with the Moda Black team to offer one reader a copy of the new Moda Black Vol II on CD, which is officially released on Monday 15th April.
- Published on Thursday, 11 April 2013 11:59
In this second feature of our MEOKO Horizons series, we head to Germany for Time Warp Festival's flagship Saturday night event.
10.30am, Saturday 6th April 2013, touchdown Frankfurt International Airport. Judging by the faces and looks I can see around the baggage hall, I’m clearly not the only early arrival for the event comparable to every techno lover’s birthday and christmas rolled into one. After a day spent killing time in Mannheim, we arrive at the gates of the Mainmarkt Expo hall circa 11.30pm. Clearly this is a popular time to arrive, with everyone aiming to get it in for Gaiser at 12. After a 30-minute scrum to get in through the single entrance (!!!), we make it in just after Gaiser has started in room one. This being my first time at Time Warp (TW), I can’t help but be overwhelmed by the sheer size of the crowd in attendance, which seems to stretch a mile back. As we arrive, the Minus stalwart is already pumping out 'Some Slip', one of my favourite tracks of all time, upon the revelling masses. The reception of every percolating note is greeted with a collective deafening roar more akin to what one expects after the winning goal in a world cup final has just been scored, and this set against a light show straight out of a Star Wars galactic battle scene makes for a pretty mind blowing introduction to Time Warp 2013.
Gaiser, Room one
I watch another half hour or so of Gaiser’s wacky party-starting techno, gradually accustoming to my surroundings before gathering the troops to make our way over to catch the second and final hour of Dubfire in room 2. Dubfire was one of the undisputed highlights of the previous year’s edition and half the reason I even made the trip over. Having watched him absolutely tear up the “Cave” (a kind of 3-dimensional hellish portal structural cavernous installation) countless times on Youtube over the last year, I’m pretty surprised and disappointed to find Dubfire going through the motions with a pretty mundane and disinterested set- half the time he’s even got his back turned to the crowd and seems more interested in chatting to Sven Vaëth hanging out behind him. Swiftly moving on, we head next door to check out Dixon, the Innervisions mogul playing the kind of crystal like tech-minimal that the German imprint is best known for. Dixon is immediately more absorbing than Dubfire and the crowd here seems more genuinely interested in actually listening to fine sounds rather than watching the large shows next door. Sinfully, the sound itself in the room is not up to scratch; it’s simply not clear enough to do justice to Dixon’s delicate tonalities nor loud enough to overcome the wobbly bass interference coming through the rather thin walls from next door. Nonetheless, there is genuine heartfelt appreciation for Dixon from the crowd, perhaps simply due to his impeccable track selection and musical nous, and he brings his set to a mellow term with the ethereal 'You Need the Drugs' by Westbam feat. Richard Butler.
'You Need the Drugs' by Westbam feat. Richard Butler.
After an emotional embrace, Ricardo Villalobos takes over and changes the mood completely, laying down some dark, grumbling techno sounds. The room instantly fills and it’s evident that regardless of your opinion of him, Ricardo remains one of the most influential Dj’s on the techno circuit.
In much need of a drink but penniless having, like an amateur, failed to withdraw cash before coming in, I have no choice but to head outside in search of an ATM. Incredulously, the whole site has but a single ATM to cater to the 15,000 fans in attendance, and I spend about an hour in the cold and rain waiting in line to get some funds to sponsor my night, whilst some French bloke on god-knows-what chews my ear off with some absolute gibberish. Although sober already, coupled with the disappointing few hours I’ve had so far this experience has now downright put me in a foul mood, and in the back of my mind I’m beginning to wonder if TW really deserves the mythical reputation that precedes it. Fortunately, this marks the end of my frustrations for the night (in part due to my newfound ability to buy drinks) and I head back in to the warmth to catch the end of Carl Cox. The legendary British DJ is one who tends to divide opinion, but having seen Master Vaëth innumerable times, I’m happy to give him a proper listen. Following numerous acts that have thus far failed to grab me, I’m happy to report that old Carl was definitely holding the fort down, playing pounding fast paced sun drenched Ibiza techno and getting the crowd going with his big personality and engaging chat, his pre all the more felt due to his holographic image projected above him on a kind of 3D graphite screen. Its now 3am, and Marcel Dettmann takes to the stage, looking somewhat like Jesus in a long sleeved white tee and shoulder length golden locks.
Marcel Dettmann in The Abyss
Over the course of the next two hours, the Berghain lynchpin proceeds to save me and resurrect my night with dark, thumping, multi-layered unnatural sound, permeated throughout with acid-tech glitch. Dettmann is all throughout calm and composed, never once affected by the scale of the occasion nor by the crowd in front of him. He is backed by another stunning 3-dimensional encapsulating display, this one entitled 'The Abyss' which fits the eeriness of his sound like a glove and leaves the entire audience in total trance and complete silence for a full two hours. This kind of spectacle leaves me to reflect on the difference in musical and experiential appreciation of crowds in Europe versus those in the US at shows of this magnitude and production level. You can watch his full performance here on be-at.tv.
Marcel Dettmann live @ Time Warp Mannheim 2013
Following such an intense, draining auditory and visual experience, despite having previously resolutely resolved against setting a foot at Jamie Jones, I decide that a bit of cheesy easy-listening is in fact just what I need to replenish my life force. I’m also a tad curious to hear how he would play at TW given its techno-puritan identity and what kind of people would be in attendance. Jamie and the Visionquest crew are playing in a long corridor shaped room with a triangular tunnel like installation running right down throughout which ends with a psychedelic pyramid visual in which one gets truly lost. In true Hot Creations style, the lights are monochromatic, slowly morphing from shades of blue to purple and to red, and the atmosphere is very dark and club like. The hour or two that I spend in here proves to be a wise decision, as in comparison to the other rooms at TW, this one is pretty much the chill out lounge and people are able to chat and take the night a little less seriously for a while knowing that it is far from over.
Jamie Jones and Visionquest
Im eyeing my watch conscious that Matador, the revelation of TW 2012, is on at 6.30am. Sources on the inside have told me he will be playing lots of previously unheard material, with TW seen as the most deserving occasion on which to do so. Before heading back in to the unforgiving cauldron, we make the transition from the warm embalming environment of room four by way of Matias Kaden’s funky, rhythmic and playful tech-house which gets us going again.
Deciding this time to watch the show from the large booth areas behind performers that TW proposes to guests, I head back into room two and make my way backstage to get a stunning view of the sea of people in attendance- what it must feel like to play to a crowd this large…The room is absolutely packed to the rafters, and Ireland’s own proceeds to shred it from start to finish with his dark driving eerie sound. I definitely get the feeling that TW sound engineers have pushed the knobs up for Gavin, as the place is absolutely shaking with bass to the point that each percussion almost chokes the air from your throat. Matador plays all of last year’s classics: Kingswing, Klay, BamBam, Spooks and Kenekt , the latter two of which have people climbing up the walls and pulling eyeballs out. Most impressive however is the new material Matador plays (of which I’m sure we will all be hearing plenty of in the coming months) that shows an evolution and maturity in his sound which suggests Matador will be around for a while.
Like the second coming of the messiah, the wait for Richie Hawtin has been long and much anticipated. Richie needs no introduction; one need only know that he first played at Time Warp in its second edition back in 1995, to understand the special relationship that exists between these two entities and how significant each one is to the other’s identity. To try and describe what happens over the next 7.5 hours during which he plays would be futile and near impossible. It would also be a dishonour to the level of dedication and minutious perfection Richie Hawtin commits to his artistry. If you haven’t already seen him live, make sure it’s on your list of things do before he or you die.
Master at work
I am completely transfixed for a full six hours by what comes to be one of the most profound musical experiences of my life, such is the effect that Richie Hawtin has and such is his knowledge of his trade and his ability to completely take listeners on a journey. His sound is an omnipresent, living and breathing entity, a concept fully supported by the backing visual display which infrequently has reptilian eyes watching you all throughout. Speaking to fans after his marathon set from 7.30am to 2pm, the general consensus amongst most is that it is the best set of his they have ever seen (if one were to even call it a set as not a single track was distinguishable, it was more a collection of sounds seamlessly stitched together in an auditory canvas).
Richie Hawtin fans
I have to literally be dragged away to catch Pan-Pot close room three from 12 - 2pm. Although reluctant at the time, in retrospect, this serves to be a nice return to reality after the surrealism of Richie Hawtin. Pan-Pot play some fun, big room techno such as Maetrik’s 'Reason' which often sounds like a jumbo jet coming in to land, pretty much how my calves are feeling at this point after 14 hours on my feet, dancing. Despite my fatigue, I manage to stay the course until the very end and even manage to catch up with an ecstatic Thomas (1 half of Pan-Pot) after the show and we argue about where the best Currywurst in Berlin is to be found.
This last goofy personal interaction with one half of Germany’s most popular acts leaves me thinking that despite its massive size and big stage shows, TW really is a community of techno lovers who come from the world over to listen to music and to assemble together on a kind of yearly pilgrimage to the center of the techno universe. One fan I speak to outside sums it up best when I ask him what makes Time Warp special for him:
“For me this was the first techno festival that I went to four years ago - I didn't know that much about it then, and went on a friend's suggestion. It blew my mind! I think most DJs make an extra effort at Time Warp. I've always enjoyed their long sets at this festival, more than anywhere else. There's almost a family atmosphere here, even with thousands of ravers - I always end up seeing familiar faces at Time Warp. It all makes up for a very special festival”.
MEOKO Highlights: Richie Hawtin (all 7.5 hours!), Marcel Dettmann, Carl Cox, Matador, Pan-Pot, the visual installations.
Time Warp 2013 reviewed by Bj Daly @_bazmatazz