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Interview & Exclusive Mix

Interview & Exclusive Mix

JALE opens the door of J ROOM, a little oasis to share experiences and visions

By Hot Off The Press, Interview & Exclusive Mix, Interviews, MEOKO Exclusive, MEOKO Presents

Before you start to read this interview, make you sure to listen to his EXCLUSIVE 100% unreleased productions PODCAST ← and to the premiere of JALE – Orbital Dream [JROOM 001] ←

Click HERE to follow JALE on Facebook and HERE to not miss anything inside the beautiful JROOM!

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  • Hey Julien! You’re here unveiling your new JALE project for the very first time. Tell us more about it. How did the idea about opening a new label (J ROOM) come to your mind?

JALE represents the inner essence of the J ROOM, a place where I’m able to feel completely free to share my own vision of music, without trends and market’s compromises. It’s an bodiless identity which is all about an unstoppable but meticulous sound-research and experimentation. J ROOM is born from my own necessity and desire to create a pristine area to stand out in such a saturated market like today’s one, a little oasis where you can find some musical refreshment.

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  • Your last project called Blind Box has gained immense popularity during the last years. With releases from the likes of Dana Ruh, Subb-An, Diego Krause, Julian Alexander it was definitely a point of reference for all the up&coming labels around. Also, you have two successful projects like the solo Julien Sandre and Jarau (alongside Mennie). What made you decide to start everything from zero with a new alias?

It’s safe to say that this it’s totally a new beginning for me, but this does not exclude my artistic roots and all the experiences that I’ve made so far. The extraordinary journey that I’ve started with Blind Box will continue with a whole new maturity acquired over the years and with the usual and incessant research for a unique and fascinating sound which can clearly represent the main objective of this journey.

  • The support of Priku at Neversea (which was live-streamed on DJ Mag as well) has certainly been helpful to promote the new project. How important do you think it is nowadays to find a video of a DJ playing your record?

Today, the support of talented artists and colleagues is fundamental, especially if documented in iconic events such as the Sunwaves, the Neversea or the Off Week. The support of artists such as Arpiar, SIT, Priku, Barac, Praslea, Janeret, Shaun Reeves among many others, in addition to enormously gratifying our work, allows us to reach a vast audience of enthusiasts who can thus access the contents of our J ROOM.

  • The EP also features a Cosmjn remix. Why did you choose him?

Cosmjn is such an extraordinary artist. He perfectly embodies the sophisticated and visionary sound that we want to propose on J ROOM. His remix is a dreamlike-oniric journey that totally overwhelms the senses.

  • What sound are you going to promote on the new label? With your JALE alias, will you release music only on JROOM?

JALE is musical the materialisation of the J ROOM concept and will always be the protagonist, but firstly, music is sharing; therefore we are totally open to collaborations, obviously selective, with those who will be akin to our vision. We will try to propose a sophisticated and elegant sound, mainly aimed at stimulating the mind of the listeners and creating emotional connections with the dancefloor, then obviously to make the bodies move.

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  • In Italy, and in particular in Naples, where the “tech-Napoli” is very present, a certain type of sound (the “new-wave-minimal”) still struggles to emerge. What does it depend on you?

That’s a very complex and unfortunately very current question. In my personal opinion, the cause of this situation is to be found in many factors that have diminished the absolute priority of music in favour of business and entertainment of dubious taste. A tragic generational change that sees as protagonists hordes of kids dedicated exclusively to denying themselves with drugs and alcohol to the sound of traps and reggaeton (at least here in Italy); the looting of the agencies on artistic fees and the inadequacy or often the complete improvisation of our own promoters, as well as a general cultural impoverishment are for me the general factors of this crisis in Italy. In Naples, we have been trying for a couple of years with a project called Mesmerize to create a small niche where to look for some artistic contents rather than some miserable entertainment. We fight against the windmills but we don’t give up. Obviously, it’s not everything like this, as there are respectable national realities conceived to enhance musical research and a non-trivial sound and above all Italian artists of great depth who represent a flame of hope for the movement, highly appreciated by international audiences and semi-unknown at home: this leaves understand the difficulties of our clubbing.

  • Despite your brilliant productions released over the years with your various aliases, is it still difficult to find space in the various European circuits? Are you going to move abroad?

Being based in Naples has certainly represented a major limitation in my musical career: no contact on site and inadequate musical context. Everything I built was only achievable thanks to music and e-mails. Obviously, I move when I can in the cult places of European clubbing for connections and artistic briefings or gigs but everything is bound to the daytime work I do, which would make it impossible for me to move to artistically more pleasant places. Colleagues who have had the courage and luck to move to Berlin (for example) have finally seen the merits of their work recognized and this will always represent a small regret for me; however, music remains an inexhaustible source of serenity regardless of economic rewards.

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  • Any anticipation on the upcoming releases both as JALE and as JROOM?

We are ready with the J ROOM 002 but for those who want to know more, we invite everyone to follow us and get in touch with our magical room.

Words by Francesco Quieti

UNISON WAX CREATOR DIEGO KRAUSE INTERVIEW & Mix

By Festival, Hot Off The Press, Interview & Exclusive Mix, Interviews, MEOKO Exclusive, MEOKO Presents

Berlin’s Diego Krause has firmly established himself as one of the finest purveyors of groove-laden, soul-infused and refined house music in the German capital. His productions are a regular in many infamous DJ’s record boxes with an impressive back catalogue of material on the likes of Berg Audio, his own Beste Modus and Unison Wax imprints (run alongside Cinthie and the rest of the Beste Modus crew) and most notably of late, a double LP on the revered Rawax imprint. Up next is a return to his Unison Wax label with a new EP entitled ‘Bring The Noise’ which has already piqued the interest of the likes of Varhat, Enzo Siragusa, Andrey Pushkarev and Yaya to name a few. Here though we see Diego offering up a slice of what you could hear from him in a club environment with a 60 minute journey through swinging rhythms, murky bass lines and ethereal house sounds.

 

 Diego Frause MEOKO Exclusive – Listen Here dk

 

You’ve got some really exciting stuff hitting the shelves over the coming months, a double 12’’ LP format on Rawax and another release on your own Unison Wax, how did the album format come into play with Rawax, did they just have too many tracks they liked and wanted to release a bigger project from you or was it planned to do something like this?

Actually we were planning on doing a follow-up for the „Pale Blue“ EP I released on the label last year. So I put together 6 Tracks for Robert to choose from but he liked them all and suggested we do a Double-EP or LP. I liked the idea so we just went with it. The tracks were produced within 2 weeks or so and I was trying out a more playful and experimental workflow, hence the title of the LP.

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Unison Wax now marks its seventh release this June, the label has acted as platform for your own material predominantly, any plans to expand the roster or will it always remain your own? 

I think it will stay like this. I am planning on doing a collaborative EP though, but not sure if it will be the 08 or 09.

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You’re a founding member of the Beste Modus collective and also Elevate.Berlin, for those people who may be unfamiliar with this could you tell us a little about what Beste Modus represents and what you’ve all been doing over the past five or so years, as well as the recent launch of the Elevate label collective, record shops and events?

Well, Beste Modus was founded in 2012 when Stevo, Ed and I met Cinthie when she was playing in Berlin. We hit it off immediately and started doing parties all over the city. The concept was a vinyl label that brings soulful and groovy house music for the dance floor and we only released our own tracks. During the past 6 years or so our friend group grew and some of us started their own labels. Stevo and Porter started Certain Circles, Nick Beringer launched Rubisco, I started Unison Wax, just to name a few. To bring it all together and support each other we established Elevate. At first it was only supposed to be a label collective and online shop. But unexpectedly we had the opportunity to get a nice space in central Berlin, that we now use as our shop, stock and office.

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You’re a Berlin native, I presume this clubbing Mecca has played a huge part in influencing your sound and style of DJing, could you talk us through some of the influential moments of your formative years growing up in Berlin though. Were there some particular events, promoters or DJ’s from the early years of the developing Berlin scene that played a huge part in your desire to become a DJ and producer yourself?

I started going to clubs fairly late. I come from a HipHop background and didn’t discover the Berlin night life until around 2010. But formative events to me were the Submarine night at Watergate, which was run by Ron Wilson, a good friend of ours. He invited a lot of great US and UK garage house artist to the city and introduced us to the genre. Also very influential were some extended sets by our friends ItaloJohnson at Panorama Bar or when they played solo at the Homopatik parties at ://about blank. There were however so many other moments that in the end played a big role in forming my musical understanding and approach.

Your music seems to resonate quite broadly in terms of the DJ’s supporting it, ranging from more micro house leaning sounds through to more robust deep house and sometimes darker techno aesthetics. What would you cite as some of your main influences when going into the studio, does it come from spending time on dance floor’s and wanting to recreate those special moments or do you take influence from the every day and things that happen to you outside of the club?

I’m always trying to create a certain vibe that I’ve either experienced in the club or in my day to day life.
For me music is about longing so I’m always attempting to build some depth and soul into my tracks. There needs to be a certain narrative to them. Sometimes I’m trying to do a party track just for the sake of it, but it seldom works.

What does your studio set up consist of, are you a gear collector or working mainly in the box and using digital software?

I was working all in the box until very recently. I never was a VST nut though. I always worked with sampling. Mostly old Sample-CDs that still had some character to them. The only Plugins I use regularly are Reaktor and Omnisphere. And of course a bunch of FX. Now I bought a Analog Rytm and it really changed a lot. I love the intuitive work flow and sound of that machine. I’m definitely gonna invest more in gear now.

 

When it comes to DJing what excites you the most, do you prefer to play a really nice warm up set and deeper sounds or keep things moving in the peak hours? Would you rather play a festival to thousands of people or a dark room and intimate vibe to a hundred?

I’m getting more and more into warm-up sets. It’s definitely something I had to learn to be good at. Setting the tone for a night is extremely important and a big responsibility. But there’s nothing like playing an extended early morning set at an intimate club and taking people on a trippy ride.

Could you tell us of something in your life you find inspiring right now outside of music, maybe a place you like to visit and relax, a book you’re reading to escape, a person you enjoy spending time with to feed your creativity or a movie that’s piqued your interest? Something outside of what you’re known for essentially?

I’m currently spending a lot of time in Paris, where my girlfriend lives. The city is very inspiring to me, especially the architecture. I love strolling around the streets with my camera. I find it very interesting how visual stimulation can feed into my music productions. That’s why at some point in my life I would love to work on movie scores, for me that would be the ultimate musical challenge. Another way for me unwind is to read. I’m not into fiction, but very fascinated by the sciences. Everything from Psychology and Neuro-science to Philosophy and Cosmology. Right now I’m reading‚ Meditations‘ by the stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius.

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What’s next for Diego Krause, Unison Wax, Beste Modus and anything else you have planned in terms of shows etc?

There’s a lot coming. I really had a great time at our Elevate Open Air at IPSE, Berlin in the beginning of June. We invited D’julz and my good friend Fabe. We programmed a nice day and night party, outdoor and indoors with the whole crew.
Also I’m very excited about a new label project I am working on. But nothing official yet.

Words by MEOKO

IN CONVERSATION WITH HERCK.ro + MIX

By Festival, Hot Off The Press, Interview & Exclusive Mix, Interviews, MEOKO Exclusive

If you ask anyone well versed with the scene to name its most promising rising stars, there’s a sure-fire chance they’ll mention Herck. Hailing from Arad, the young Romanian has garnered a stellar reputation for his intricate productions that rich in texture, solidifying his place at the forefront of an emerging generation of talented artists. Since his 2017 LP, Sonetul Noptilor Fecunde, on Curtea Veche, Herck has exhibited a somewhat unstoppable momentum, releasing music on labels including Roche Madame, Muted Noise, Complatt and Otomoji, showcasing his distinctive brand of psychedelic infused minimal groove. As a DJ, Herck’s trajectory is equally as promising, with an increasingly busy touring schedule across Romania and Europe.

We are incredibly excited to welcome Herck to our mix series with a live recording of his set on the 12th of January earlier this year at the Puls Romania clubnight at D’arc, Timisoara. An incredibly agile mix with enviable selections, Herck showcases his dexterity with the mind-bending soundscapes he has come to make his own. Strap in for a trippy, 2 hour journey through the collection of an artist on the rise. A teasing taste of what to expect when Herck makes his Farringdon debut back to back Haydn at the Steppin’ Motion fabric showcase on the 19th of May.

Exclusive Mix – HERCK / MEOKO 286 – CLICK 

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Thank you so much for taking the time to be featured in our podcast series. Could you tell us a little about the mix you’ve put together? Where was it recorded?

Hello, and thank you for having me here ! Well, this set it’s what defines me as an artist and producer. It was recorded in Timisoara @ D’arc – Puls Romania.

 

How long have you been making music? I read that you began experimenting with electronic music at 15 – how did you get into it so early?

I started experimenting with electronic music around 2004. I already had some friends who listened to this kind of music back then, but I didn’t pay so much attention to it that much until I dug into it more and more. Around 2009 I realised that, I really have to do this, this is for me. Also my friends told me and supporting me…”you have to do this, you have what you need, music knowledge, and especially EARS for this”. Then I started producing and one year later I released my first EP. 

 

What’s the music scene like in your hometown Arad?

Well, Arad it’s not a big city, but the scene is growing from year to year and when new people discover this kind of music. Surprisingly they really enjoy it and that’s a good thing. 

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You have such a distinct texturized sound, did it take you a while to figure out your musical identity or is this something that came naturally?

Thank you, I appreciate it. Well…as a producer, you have to find your music identity at some point, but until you reach your goal as in sound and style you want to adapt, you need to dig, work hard and listen to lot of music, play and produce different styles. And yeah, it took a while until i realised that…yeah, this is it, this is what defines me. All the things came naturally, I didn’t force nothing.

 

Do you find that the way you make music is constantly evolving or has your workflow remained relatively consistent over time?

Depends on your mood of course. But as a producer, you evolve from track to track and that is what keeping you focused. If you are trapped in that loop/pattern over and over again, you will become monotone and the sound will be the same without changing too much. The thing is…always surprise the audience, that’s the beauty of a producer and that is what defines you as a producer.

What are your studio essentials?

I don’t have a professional studio…I work on a home studio with my laptop, a pair of Adams, a Blofeld synthesizer, a keyboard and my DAW. I’m happy with what  have, but my future plans is more gear of course. 

 

The last two years have been pretty stellar for you, with an album on Curtea Veche, three EPs in 2018 alone and already this year a stunning appearance on the Otomoji compilation, each release with substantial support. Would you be able to tell us a little about what’s in store for 2019?  

Yeah, 2018 was amazing for me as in releases, and I was really happy with it. 2019 will be more surprisingly, even for me. New Curtea Veche EP, remixes and VA’s on very nice labels.

Approaching the Summer season, what are your favourite parties to play?

As in playing in the Summer season…i don’t have a favourite one, but I’m happy that i will share the decks with Inspirescu, Barac, Mihigh and more @ Arad Open Air festival on June 28-30.

 

Are there any events on your bucket list that you hope to be able to play at soon?

Indeed, I would love to play in Romania at Sunwaves of course and Mioritmic. Outside Ro, would love to play at Hoppetosse, Gazgolder, Caprices.

 

Lastly, what’s inspiring you most at the moment?

My family, nature and of course…music 🙂

Catch Herck Playing at Steppin’ Moton alongside Fabe, Lee Burton and more. Check it Out, Not to be Missed, Happening At fabric London 19th May. ….. Full Event info and Tickets HERE

 

Interview by LILY DALTON 

Melodie Interview & Mix “Music I Feel Strongly About”

By Hot Off The Press, Interview & Exclusive Mix, Interviews, MEOKO Exclusive

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Cristi Turodache, better known as Melodie, has deservedly earned his status as one of the most exciting talents to emerge from Bucharest’s scene. Over the past five years, Melodie has injected the scene with a vibrant, fresh sound, incorporating new influences and exploring new terrain.  His polished, and continually forward-thinking productions, can be found on coveted releases across some of the scene’s most respected labels: Metereze, RORA, and Vivus, among many others. While his output positioned him at the vanguard of a new wave of Romanian talent, Melodie’s biography offers only a small glimpse of dedication to his craft.

An artist with an unwavering commitment to constant learning and development, Melodie’s most recent endeavour, the Redesigns album, is the conceptual realisation of his desire to continually offer something new. The digital-only release features refreshed ‘redesigns’ of eight of Melodie’s previously released tracks and is currently available via Melodie’s bandcamp.

We are incredibly honoured to welcome Melodie to our podcast series with two hours recorded from his set Saturday 9th of March at Club Eden. The podcast is testament to Melodie’s ability to create a sense of coherence amidst vast stylistic and emotional diversity. Traversing mind-melting textures from a range of genres and soundscapes, this mix is an escapists delight beggint the listener to get lost it. 

Accompanying the podcast, we are delighted to feature an in depth interview with Melodie about his Redesigns Project, his production processes, and his evolution as an artist. We are incredibly excited for what the future holds for an artist whose patience and passion are palpable. 

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Let’s start by talking about your most recent project.  Could you tell us a little bit about the concept behind the Redesigns Album?

Some people, over the years, asked me for digital versions of the tracks, because some records were sold fast, or I don’t know, they don’t play records maybe, or they don’t collect vinyl. Digital is cool, sometimes I also play digital, and why not? Also it’s nice to have different versions, retakes.

What sort of things did you change up when you were ‘redesigning’ the tracks.

Well, one of the things was that the tracks were made many years ago, and over the years, I kind of changed the way I make music, and with the redesigns, I made them in two weeks or so, and they’re all more my recent take on music.

Could you expand a little bit on this recent take? What’s your new approach like?

It was more like the way I make my mixes on tracks, and the way I work now. I’m always into developing my workflow and the way I work, and learning more and better. And I changed some gear also, some tracks, they were with my old sound card, and I have a new one which sounds better. And most of it, this was the way I make the mix downs. Because of the equipment I use now, the overall sound of the tracks has changed. I think now I’m getting closer to a cleaner sound, more transparent, where you can understand all the instruments pretty well.

Yeah, I can definitely hear that everything sounds really refreshing and new – it’s exciting!

Yes, it was a moment idea when I thought initially to remaster them, but then I was like, “Why don’t I make them like new?” Some people tried to say, “This is the rework of that track,” but I wanted to perceive them as something different, new.

What about your workflow? How has that developed over time?

My workflow, yeah, it changed over the years, and since a couple of years, I’ve been trying a lot working with hardware synths more, and I guess because for many years, in the beginning, I used to work only on computer. And I kind of got tired of it, being always on the monitor, and clicking with the mouse. So now I try to make tracks kind of in a live session.

Yeah, so a lot of jamming?

I don’t do so many jams, but rather, I make the tracks like a piano player does. I just make live takes until I make the track the way I want it to be, from just one take, from one take. If I make a track and I make a mistake after three minutes, I just start it again.

That must take a lot of patience. Do you get frustrated, ever?

Not really, it’s interesting, because sometimes I do, but in the end it goes well, or if it doesn’t go in a way, maybe the track is not ready yet to be finished. I also feel that it helps me to understand better the trials, what the track actually needs as a build. I think I worked too much on the computer for many years in the beginning. Like on this album (redesigns), there are two tracks, I think it was six and seven, that I made with the mouse, like the block kind of arrangement thing, because yeah, I’m doing different things from time to time, because I don’t want to be stuck in just that thing. I want to expand a bit and try different things.

It seems like you’re someone who just loves constantly learning. Would you say that’s true?

Yeah, I like that. There is many things I know now that I had no idea in the beginning. Somehow they come with time, I think.

What was this process like for you?

At the start I thought I’m making interesting things, but actually I was just playing around with loops before I started to release anything. I think yeah, that’s why I started making music in ’98, when I was 13 or 12, I don’t remember exactly. And I got serious into it in 2005 or 2004, because for that period, I was just playing around with it, like you play a game or video game. And I guess also the internet brought a lot of knowledge available that you can read and find about.

In Romania also, if you are not in this environment already, I don’t know how easy it is to get in touch with people who have studios and great equipment. I mean, the first time I went into a professional studio was I think in 2005, 2004. I just was there for a few times, and it pushed me a bit to start to learn more, and to work more on music.

I tried many things: in the beginning, I was working with loops, and just putting them there together. After a while I tried some edits, like in that period, and then I worked with samples and presets, and it was just, I guess, I was still learning a lot.

What were your inspirations back then, and have they changed?

Yeah, I had a long time, I think, making music that I was not so satisfied with. I mean, it was, I guess, decent, but I was not so satisfied. The tracks I released on Metereze were the ones that I started to believe a lot in, and they pushed releases with other labels. But yeah, Raresh liked them. I think it’s the same now, it’s not the same reasons as there were at that point, but I’m kind of the same. I get inspired by many things, like by equipment, by sounds. That’s the thing with the acid tracks. I like = the acid style, and I was inspired by that. I just woke up one day and I was like, “Wow, I want to make an acid track.”

I know what you mean by that. It just comes to you sometimes.

And sometimes it’s just, I don’t know, some feelings or ideas about gear, or trying some new technique, or sometimes even what’s happening in my daily life, if I get inspired by that. Now I’m working more on sound design, and I feel have a more flexible way of doing things. I have this modular, and I’m kind of making sound from the scratch somehow. I don’t use presets anymore for a few years now, and for example, I was in nature last year, and I got so inspired by the sounds of the birds and the bugs on the leaves. And I came home, and somehow I managed to transpose that into a track that I’m going to release in a few months I think.

Awesome, that’s so exciting!

Speaking specifically of the Romanian scene, you would definitely be considered as someone shaped the direction of it and sort of filled the sound with this kind of emotional warmth. What do you think the difference is between someone who makes a good track in that style and someone who makes a really great track?

Oh, thank you. For me, I think I always felt like this when I started to go to parties. I felt that music has to create a build inside me. I want to feel exciting, excited about what I’m hearing, and surprised somehow. And also emotion, you have to have a feeling of something. I think music should have a story in it. Whatever kind of story, I don’t know, happy, sad, linear. I used to listen to minimal music in 2004, 2005, like Richie Hawtin, and there are a lot of other people. And even though they were minimal, with a few elements, they had a story, like a small build there. And nowadays, a lot of this minimal sound and tech house minimal sounds a lot like a loop and it doesn’t create a story somehow in it.

Yeah, that’s an interesting perspective, I think with the sheer volume of stuff that’s released now a natural corollary of that is that there’s going to be a lot of average, mass-produced stuff that doesn’t create a story, I guess. I definitely feel there’s so much to get excited about when it comes to the music emerging at the moment.

Yeah I do agree.

Changing direction a bit, let’s talk about your experience as a DJ. Do you think your approach as a DJ is quite reflective of your style as a producer? When you’re performing a set, are you trying to conjure similar emotions that you are when you create tracks?

Yeah, I don’t know. I’m trying to play music that I feel strongly about, and I don’t want to get into the hype. Of course, I’m getting inspired by othcer people. For example, I was out this weekend, and over the years, I went out to a lot of parties in Bucharest where my friends played music, and I was inspired. I guess you can’t avoid it too, you can’t not be inspired by the evolution, and the whole collective movement. Because I used to play rougher music, house, back many years ago, and now I’ve evolved. I’m still not playing minimal too much. I want to have a bit of diversity into my sets, but I’m not going too much into extremes. I think the one thing that I find I aim for in my sets, in my mixes, is a coherence, just like my tracks. I want them to have a coherent story, and the whole mix sounds more like a track somehow.

You mentioned you’re getting more and more into sound design now. what drew you to wanting to be interested in it? Was it sort of a natural progression from producing and DJing?

Yeah, I guess one of the things was being super unsatisfied with using presets, and the limitations it gave me. And also, sample packs. I don’t have sample packs in my computer, I have just a few samples like drums. You know, the percussion bongos, congas, and all these tambourines, because I feel like I had an idea, but then I have to go through some presets, and I feel like they always have to be different. And now, in the last two or three years, I started to make sounds specifically for a track, and many times I don’t use them again.

I mean, this is besides the drums, because you can have a drum machine and use the drums they make, you maybe process them a bit, put some EQ and compression, and you can’t get too far away. Many times, I find it easier to use drum sounds from a drum machine, and I don’t think they’re so important, like the basic kick snare, hi-hat. I think more of the synths, the bass, and some other percussive elements, you can play a lot with them, and with the effects. And you can achieve more interesting sounds, at least this is what I like. And like I said, if I’m not evolving, I get bored.

I feel like the possibilities for evolution are endless. There’s always going to be something new to create.

Yeah, I’m kind of losing my inspiration if I’m not into thinking too much on to it. Like, thinking up new things, “How can I approach these gears differently?” or what combination I haven’t tried. Sometimes, I just make some music just to make something, but what moves me the most is trying new things and getting new ideas.

I think I’m starting to focus even on making music, DJing is cool, but lately I kind of lost a bit interest in it. I find myself spending more and more time on making music rather than digging for music.

Do you find it more inspirational to sort of create your own stuff?

So and so. I mean, I like to listen to other people’s music, because sometimes I work on a track, and it takes me 10 hours, and I realize that, for the last 10 hours, I was listening just to this thing, and I want to listen to something else. Because, of course, if you don’t listen to anything it’s harder to get inspired.

I enjoy music a lot, I still go to parties and I find myself as a listener. When I was younger, I used to think, to listen a lot to what’s happening technically, like when I was starting to DJ. But now I don’t give it too much attention. I mean, you can hear, of course, things, but I’m not focusing too much on that.

That’s a much more enjoyable way to spend your time on the dancefloor, personally I definitely fall into the trap of letting my focus on the technical side of whats happening take away from the experience and story.

Wrapping things up, could you tell us a little about what you have planned for the future? Are there any releases you can tell us about?

I have some music that I want to release planned already, but I’m going to work on music for some other labels as well. The thing with vinyl, is it takes such a long time, you make some music, and then it takes three months or four months to release it. I feel like I want to release stuff that I’m super satisfied with.

Words by Lily Dalton

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Meoko goes underground with the Bulgarian loop lover.

By Festival, Hot Off The Press, Interview & Exclusive Mix, Interviews, MEOKO Exclusive

10653376 565270396933334 7565682084935501139 nNo history of Bulgarian electronic music would be complete without a mention of Deyan Zlatinov. You might not have heard of him but there’s a good chance you’ve danced to his music – particularly when you consider that Loopdeville has been engaged with electronic music since the 90s. Deyan has kept a low profile for much of his career, touring only occasionally while remaining an active producer. In the past 10 years he has played in countries like Switzerland, Germany, UK, Romania & Bulgaria and played on festivals like Meadows In The Mountains plus other Open Air Parties. To hear a Loopdeville record is to peer into Zlatinov’s soul: every broken drum sound, every old school pad, every dusty sample reflects something lurking in his subconscious. His aesthetic has arguably been best showcased in his standout mixes, with efforts for Introspections (Half Is Enough) and Project London Radio in more recent years.

It was 2013 when he released his first digital and vinyl EP’s under the name Loopdeville, respectively Karton Label and Knock Knock Series from Kiara records, Body Parts and his own label Delooped Records which he launched that year with his partner in crime Georgi Panchev. Through Delooped he began putting out an array of new music from the likes of Sublee, Pepp, Anima Mundi, Anton Pau as well as his own music and soon developed a close relationship with kindred spirits such as Lorenzo Chiabotti, Suciu and Harry McCanna to name a few. In 2014 he released on Moss Co., Odd Music and a remix on a vinyl only release for Moral Fiber with one track on a VA for Karton (vinyl only), also with a remix for Body Parts and recently on Rotate 005 “Mini Rotations I”.

Like many producers, Loopdeville eventually wound up in London, and it was there that I met him for the first time about five years ago. Since then I have spend considerable amount of time with him at his studio, either observing him producing music or spinning records. What I’ve witnessed was a passionate collector with an extraordinary drive to take the crowd on a musical trip. In short, Zlatinov is an important ambassador for Bulgarian electronic music and is an artist with something to say, which is why we decided to sit down and have a chat with him! We also got him to record an exclusive mix for all of you so double treat right here for our Meoko readers!

Hi Deyan! Thanks for being part of our series! I appreciate that you made time out of your busy schedule for this interview! It barely took a pair of ears to tell that you have a real passion for minimal and techno. Can you tell us how all of this started and evolved over the years?

Hey Denny thanks for having me. Great to be part of these series for Meoko. Well, it all started with me wanting to be a singer actually. I tried, but somehow I could not see me practicing by myself at home singing to the walls. It all started when I joined a private singing school and at some point we went to a studio to record a dreadful song of mine… It was at that time when I had my first real touch with a studio and observed what the producer was doing.. since then everything changed. After a while I quit the singing lessons and got myself a PC, met another producer who was making music mainly for fun and he got me into music software so we started making beats.

What influences did your home country Bulgaria have on the music you make? Were there any particular people, parties, labels or moments that significantly influenced you in the early days?

Back in the early days of acid and techno / house music there was a very unique and famous club called Comics Club which was simply awesome! It was an old cinema theatre with high ceiling and some amazing DJ’s over the years. There I fell deeply in love with this music genre which inspired my productions and allowed me to develop a “old-schoolish, broken, repetitive & dusty” style.

Artists from Mazi a.k.a Audio Soul Project, Dj Ali (Canada), Hipp-E & Halo, Joey Youngman, Terry Francis, Nathan Coles, Eddie ‘Evil’ Richards, Tony Thomas, Silicon Soul (they were the city favs actually at some point) to some crazy techno DJ’s from the great techno scene that Sweden had back in the day; Cari LEKEBUSCH, Hertz etc. All these artist were from the beginning of 1990s when the club was active. Nowhere else in the country, was there a place like that…it was a sanctuary for the new kids on the block. I should also mention Club “Weekend” where it all started for me as a performing DJ. A  year or two after that I was playing b2b with the owner at that same Comics Club, presenting his new line of parties – we went on to have some glorious b2b with the guy and yeah it was a perfect beginning for me. If you add some broken beats inherited by my country’s folklor – (the roots you know) and the influence of hip hop, soul and jazz on top of everything else then you get the idea behind Loopdeville.

 

It’s been about 4 years now (more or less) since you left London and moved to Gibraltar. How do you find the city? Are you enjoying your life there? 

Yes we moved out of London as it was getting too much for us (me and my fiancée). We went to a place called Tarifa and there we decided it was time for a new chapter for us and I couldn’t have agreed more. We live on the other side of Gibraltar, which would be Spain and there we had our little daughter Sofia. I was devoted full time on raising my daughter, especially the first 1.5 years which was an amazing experience, trust me (laughs). Gibraltar is an interesting place I must say with a nice little scene that has some proper big names and also current underground figures are making their appearance at parties here and there. I have much love for the people who gave me the chance to play music here – the guys from Noroc, but it wouldn’t be possible without the kind help of a man like Rossko who introduced me to them as he played here too. Enjoying life here Denny you should come and experience the city yourself!

And what about your record label Delooped? What is the concept behind it and what should we expect in the near future?

Delooped is our baby – mine and Georgi’s! It is still kicking and will be kicking again soon as we have prepared a double 12” for our next release. This release comes from Bulgarian artists called Sumrak – a truly amazing duo – but more about them very soon… The idea behind Delooped is to stay within a small circle of artists and of course always push Bulgarian artists that make the kind of music we like and believe in.

We are also in the process of bringing back our second label Erorr or Catalogue Of Erorrs and we are working on a third label where we will be presenting a sound that would be similar to the one Delooped has already established after 5 releases. At the moment lots of things are being finalised and I will be revealing more when time comes. Erorr will be presenting slightly braver ideas and out of the box kind of productions – all mastered by our good friend Tom Gillieron. Just check our first release on Erorr and you will see what I mean. Vendi was the producer behind it and as always he did a flawless job.

You are also an artist in your own right – which of them two is more important? The label or your own music, or do they go hand in hand?

The label and my music both go hand in hand. I have always been interested in the idea of creating a circle of like minded artists who embrace the philosophy of having a good and clean relationship between us and also making sure everyone is appreciated by the label; be it artists getting paid or invited to a showcase party and so on. Surely we have made mistakes along the way but after all we are here to learn and we hope there hasn’t been any artist who we didn’t treat well.

What are you looking for when it comes to finding new music and signing artists to your label? 

What I am personally keen on is artists who got the “humpty dumpty” flow in their beats if I can say and it makes sense. There must be character in their music, funk, jazz, that techno-minimal magic dust; the kind of music where you can jack your body – don’t really care if it is minimal or techno or house or electro tango. If you listen to what we have released so far, or the music I’ve done, you would probably get a better feel of what I’m trying to describe.

In regards to your own productions, what projects are you working on at the moment? 

At the moment I’m not really working towards anything in specific rather than a remix I will be starting soon. Usually I would  sit down and make beats whenever I find time for it and let emotions do their job. It has always been more of a hobby of mine rather than a regular thing, even though I have had many unsocial months, maybe even years of my life devoted on crafting my sound and all the rest that followed. Making beats is probably the only thing I have been patient and consistent with in my life – in terms of interests and work wise too (laughs)!

Is there anything that you don’t see enough of in the music industry that you’d like to see? 

The music industry as it is stands has more than enough and as every fairy-tale you got the dark side of it – here too, but I am not going to elaborate on that as it is a long subject. At the end of the day it will be what it will be. We can only keep our heads down and work towards always changing things for the better for our environment and the industry as we know it. What I aspire is to create a sustainable life for the labels – me and Georgi are already presenting and investing towards this and will continue to do so in the future. We’ve been off the grid for a while, although behind the scenes we’ve worked hard in order to come up with ideas on how to reach closer to our goals. In addition we have always been on the look for fresh artists with fresh ideas.

Coming on to the mix you’ve made for us, what can you tell us about the music on it?

This is a mixture of the tracks I love listening and playing at the moment. Probably only one or two of them are released, again from artists whose music I love; Dj Ali, Afriqua and also this sick up and coming artist from Manchester called Samuel Padden feature in this mix together with my good friends Maruntelu with a cover of RHCP track by the end of the mix.

In the beginning of the mix you will find out a forthcoming track on our Erorr label from an artist that requested to remain unknown. Not only to us, but to everyone who is about to hear the music and we totally respect that as we absolutely love the productions and the final product. By mid way the mix builds up with tracks from forthcoming releases on both our labels. Those are productions from our newly signed Bulgarian artists that will be having a double 12″ for Delooped and later in the year on all other labels. Basically these tracks will be available at some point this year through our labels.

Words by Denny Kem

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Experiment Intrinsic France 2019 – Quality over quantity, an interview with Nathalia + Exclusive GYORGY ONO mix

By Festival, Hot Off The Press, Interview & Exclusive Mix, MEOKO Exclusive, News
 
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Experiment Intrinsic is an event concept which puts intimacy at its core. 2019 will see the organisation landing in France once again to plan a five days experience in the beautiful Le Parc de Josephine Baker in Dordogne, where it was held two years ago. The 2019 edition promises to be one of the best events of the summer for the audiences looking for something deeper, less loud and more sophisticated.

Experiment Intrinsic France 2019 you will experience eclectic live sets ranging from ambient to noise and world music, such as Jan Jelinek, Lucrecia Dalt, Ujjaya, but also some of our favourite DJ selectors presenting their ambient side such as Praslea, Francesco Del Garda, Margaret Dygas, Nicolas Lutz, or Vlad Caia performing his first experimental solo live set. Apart from the music you will also have the chance to learn more about mind and body and participate at workshops on subjects such as yoga and meditation. The mixture of well-picked bookings combined with a stunning location, the various workshops and an intimate crowd are all reinforced by the Experiment Intrinsic premises to create an immersive environment.

 
intrinsic pic

 

 

In sight of this year’s edition, we spoke with Nathalia, creator of Intrinsic and founder of the festival, in order to better understand the Experiement Intrinsic concept and Goals.

Could you tell our readers about your start in London and how the Experiment Intrinsic concept evolved into a five-days festival?

Everything in life goes in cycles, and an individual can generally recognise when they need a change or progression. Intrinsic was born in result of such a recognition. 

In the beginning the idea behind the project was to invite DJs who usually play dance music by giving them an opportunity to play different fields of sound they listen to. I’ve always been passionate about experimental music and it was part of a very natural process to start a project in that direction. Soon after, everything evolved, and we started involving also live acts from the ambient and experimental field.

After running events in London for 2 years, the concept for an extended weekend event began to take shape and had become an opportunity to expand our vision further. 

From the 1st until the 5th of August the event will take place for the second time in the French countryside, at Le Parc de Josephine Baker in the beautiful central region of Dordogne. Why did you choose this place and what makes it special?

A person proposed me to host Intrinsic in France. When we visited the site, I felt that the park of Josephine Baker would be a highly suitable place to deliver Intrinsic. I was impressed by the history and the nature of the park, which is also an institution devoted to culture, the arts, the education and actions for the benefit of fraternity and ecology. Josephine Baker was a dancer and singer who became widely popular in France during the 1920s. She devoted much of her life to fighting racism: “There is only one race, the human race.” 

The park’s general ethos is aligned with our values and is thus ideal for us.

experiment intrinsic

It seems that Intrinsic puts a particular focus on its intimate and curated atmosphere… Quality over quantity. Where does this choice come from?

It is an old wisdom of humanity. 

By choosing quality over quantity we open ourselves up to the true efficiency and the depth of our experience. On the other hand quantity over quality brings distraction within our lives, we get taken away from our priority and values. 

Intrinsic is focusing on the long term things that matter. We simply value ourselves, our work and our community. People’s vibration, mindsets, and beliefs become somehow our own, so it’s important to create a surrounding that lift everyone higher. Intimacy is so important, as it helps us connect. We feel free to be ourselves, without fear of criticism and expectations which has such a big presence at bigger scale events.

Every festival aims to be something different, but I feel like Intrinsic actually manages to do something unique. Let’s take the booking choices for example; the variety of experimental live acts is so incredibly curated, but also the established and ‘bigger’ DJ names are interestingly chosen (Nicolas Lutz, Margaret Dygas, Praslea…). What guides your booking choices?

We never tried to be something different to be honest, we simply felt its essential to deliver such a project.

The guidance comes from my heart and own sound preference. Involving mainly artists which have influenced my musical journey trough the years. It’s also important to have some personal connection and understanding with everyone who takes a part. The combination of both sound inspiration and personal connection creates a very special atmosphere that builds on appreciation and trust. This vibration manifests to the audience and the experience.

I also found very interesting that on your website it is mentioned how the music is rich in details and many audience members want to hear everything. This goes in the opposite direction from the usual party/festival experience where the audience is provided with a context where they are basically invited to be as loud as possible. In these times moments of reflection and focus, especially in a community context, are getting rarer. How do the atmospheres created in the Experiment Intrinsic events influence individuals? How do they react to ‘quieter’ performances?

I can’t really speak from our audience point of view, but I can share my own. I consider ambient music as a different form of meditation. Sort of gateway to go inward. You can’t meditate while your mind is busy and loud. As matter of fact I found out that quietness is one of the most underrated values in music. It is very important for us to create a floor where everyone shares similar values and join the events with deeper purpose than just an event to hang around or hear highlight DJs.

The event will also provide various workshops, from yoga to healing arts. The term ‘Spiritual’ is a little overused these days, but I would like to ask you to elaborate on the subject; developing a spiritual side in one’s life is certainly a challenge in our society. Can a gathering like Experiment Intrinsic be a place for human souls to develop themselves and meet each other in a spiritual sense?

Being spiritual means being kind to yourself and all other beings, loving your existence. Taking in account the feedback received from most of our audience members I believe the project is a platform where people connect to their higher self collectively and individually at the same time. Workshops, yoga and healing arts are playing a very important role for our personal growth. In combination with ambient music over a 5-day format, it allows the mind to get quieter and the soul happier. I feel the difference between Intrinsic and many other events lies not only in the chilled experience, but also in the post effect which many describe as another form of awakening.

You are also active as an artist under the moniker ’Nathalia’, and you will perform at the event in August. I was impressed listening to some of your recordings; deep soundscape submersions that retrieve distant memories. What’s your vision musically? What do you want to communicate to your listeners?

Emptiness. My recordings come into existence as a result of personal expression trough mix of soundscapes. We use labels as if they were permanent “things” that make us who we are. Describing sound it’s like creating identity and attachments to certain labels. We are changing constantly, so it is our expression. I usually try to communicate through the sound which can lead me to the moment of emptiness within my mind and soul, however, sometimes that is a hard task due to my personal state, and that’s part of the journey. Depth comes from within the heart. It’s a true miracle when you get inline with your depth, as you touch the purest side of your being. That’s what I call meditation. Sometimes it’s very profound and sometimes you are just trying out – practicing.

MEDIATION INTRINISIC

You have been involved in the electronic music scene for a while. Where is electronic music heading in 2019? Could you share one positive and one negative aspect of the current state of the electronic music scene?

I don’t think I can be the one to comment on the future of electronic music scene. There is always room for improvement and innovation. As long as people are creating from the heart, we do not need to worry about positive or negative aspects, as they constantly change according to our own state of mind. 

Can you please share your favourite moment from Experiment Intrinsic France 2017?

Collective awareness supported by the Universe.

Could you share 3 pieces of music that you think are representative of Experiment Intrinsic?

 

 

 https://youtu.be/V2oUeKj941g

 

https://youtu.be/wU0PYcCsL6o

Website: https://experimentintrinsic.com

In order for the festival to take place, Experiment Intrinsic is asking for its goers to secure a deposit. You will have time until the end of February for this!

Tickets and info:  CLICK HERE 

Gyorgy Ono supplied us with a two hour recording that captures the atmospheres of Experiment Intrinsic. Smoothly moving from dark soundscapes to middle eastern ambiences to avant-garde jingles that could have been delivered directly from ‘The Residents’, or some obscure country artist from what we know, the podcast has the same visceral potency of dreams to bring someone from one place to another in a few seconds without him feeling lost. The artist, with his roots in Georgia, aims to explore sonic fragmentation by combining various elements of pre-existing material, and we think he absolutely hits the target here.

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 interview by Giovanni Bodrato

Genuine, Humble and Down To Earth’ A Decade of Wareika – Interview & Exclusive Audio

By Hot Off The Press, Interview & Exclusive Mix, Interviews, MEOKO Exclusive

wareika interview

There is really no need for introduction when it comes to the unstoppable fun trio that is Wareika. For the past decade Florian Schirmacher, Henrik Raabe and Jakob Seidensticker have been at the forefront of electronic music, consistently developing and pushing their signature sound in every corner of the world with great success. Their finger work is finesse itself and has been universally appreciated, also and foremost by Visionquest, Perlon and all the labels they have charted on. Wareika are more a band that has fun experimenting with electronic music, but has a musical culture that goes well beyond it. Listen to any of their productions and you will discover atmospheres which refer to their own world and personalities.

From London’s iCAN Studios where I first met them 4 years ago, to Funkhaus in Berlin (for the 20 years celebration of Perlon), to London again at Ministry Of Sound and back to Panorama Bar in Berlin this August (for Get Perlonized) – I’ve been travelling between cities in order to get to know them better and witness them perform live. Trust me when I tell you this; I have rarely come across such masterful artists. However, I believe the main thing about them is that despite all their fame and success, despite all the collaborations and all the world class labels they have released their music on, despite everything that comes with it – these three individuals are genuine, humble and down to earth. Their love for music is fundamental, a sacred value that leaves no space for anything pretentious. To my eyes this is a rare quality, especially nowadays..!

As we say farewell to 2018 we had a proper catch up with Wareika in order to find out what they’ve been up to lately! In addition to the interview the trio teamed up with Meoko to deliver a “goodie bag” of exclusive audio & visual material for our readers, just in time for Christmas and New Year (well almost…)! 

Afternoon mighty Wareika! It’s a great pleasure to welcome you back to Meoko! So, you guys toured South America recently for a duration of two weeks. How did it go?

Florian: We played in lovely Colombia and Mexico. Colombia is one one of our favourite countries. From the first time we were booked to perform there few years ago we fell in love with the people and their mood. Since then we go back regularly and always have a great time.

And what about Mexico? How was it there?

Jakob: It was a fantastic short trip to Papaya Playa Project in Tulum. This spot is like a paradise and at this time with not so many tourists. The dance floor is open air and just 30 meters from the sea. It was a full-moon Party with lots of people and we played very well. As our gigs are always different and not always perfect, I can say that it was a special one and we really want to go back asap, especially as it is fucking freezing here in Europe for the next months.

What do you think of the club scene in South America? Is it any similar compared to the club scene in Europe?

Henrik: It’s different for sure and it’s way smaller. The positive effect of this is that you have a very intimate feeling when you are clubbing there. Everybody knows each other. There is competition too but way less if you compare it with Berlin e.g.

You have travelled quite a lot these past years, is there any specific country that you would like to visit / perform and haven’t done so yet?

Florian: The electronic music scene is still young just like many countries in the world. For example Estonia had its hundredth birthday this year. Good reason to celebrate there. Cuba, Peru, Ethiopia, Ruanda, Armenia would also be interesting for me.

2018 marks 11 years (more or less) since the three of you formed the band. How has this journey been so far?

Henrik: First of all, AMAZING! It feels very special to share such an intense experience (like touring the world with your music) together with such good friends. I think I couldn’t do this on my own, like many DJs do it. I am so grateful to have… a BAND! Of course it is often not so easy, especially when you play mostly in smaller clubs, where even doing a proper soundcheck is nothing usual. Beside that, if you work together you have to find solutions together, you have to discuss things… It’s a family thing and that’s not always easy, but it is so beautiful!! From a musical perspective I could say, that none of us would have done what we could have done on our own. It has been possible because we did it together.

Did you expect back then that things will develop the way they have?

Jakob: When the three of us met about 10 years ago in Hamburg we had no idea of what was going to happen. We first experimented with different drums and percussions and recorded everything. The result was our debut single „Men Village“ on Connaisseur. Shortly after this release we met regularly in the studio of Henrik and mine. We were also trying out vocals with Florian for the first time. This mixture of different kinds of instruments and styles has probably brought us where we are today.

Henrik: Honestly, in the beginning all of us were really keen on making it out there and touring the planet. When that started to happen it was still very exciting, but also felt very natural in a way, because it was just what we wanted and what we worked very hard for. Everytime when we have the chance to go somewhere, and play our music for the people, it feels like part of the dream becoming reality, and that’s what life is worth living for, isn’t it?

If you could go back in time 11 years ago, what would be the one main advice you would give to yourselves?

Henrik: On a band level I have nothing to admit, we did exactly what we had to do together. Maybe for myself I could say that I started a bit late the process of going in depth with learning certain musical basics, so I still struggle to really play what I want to play, because I cannot play it yet. But I am on it!!!

On your set-up there is always some sort of little custom-made modular boxes that you build yourself Henrik. How do you do that? You’ve even built a custom-made lute, now that’s even more impressive! Do you find it easy building your own instruments? looks so difficult to me!

Henrik: Playing electronic music LIVE simply calls for very special needs in the field of instrumentation. You want to have lots of control about many musical as well as mixing aspects in real time. That led me to spend a lot of time experimenting with hundreds of different devices and their possible combinations, and even building things myself, because I could not find what I needed out there. But after all that process I have to say, that music comes first and foremost from your heart. We had some gigs where parts of the machinery decided not work with us, and we felt pretty naked on stage. But then we played the best music ever with very little technical stuff. 

Back in February you released your 5th album “Water Sky Sun Wood” on Japanese imprint Mule Musiq. Could you give us a bit of an insight?

Jakob: We recorded a long session of about 1-2 hours at Henrik’s Studio in Bingen/Rhein (near Frankfurt). First I wanted to delete it because it had some crackle sounds in it but Florian insisted to keep it and this was a good idea. 

Florian: Yes, I took the whole project to Berlin and worked on it for quite a long time. It was a bit like Chinese whispers, so Henrik got it back! (Henrik laughs)

Henrik: I took the whole Opus with more than 50 channels and bounced them in about 3-4 Stereo Channels and started to add new elements from zero. In the end I sent it to Jakob who speeded the track about 10 bpm up, added some more elements and did the mixdown. That was it! The album sounds like a 60min jam but it was lots of work (even though it was a 60min jam)! (Henrik laughs)

Also this year you have released many EP’s with the most recent being the Shamania EP on Sleep Is Commercial, expected out very soon. How did that come along?

Jakob: Not too sure how it happened, like I remember Henrik and I played together on his piano in his studio, the rhythm was so strange that we had no idea of how to loop it… in the end it was a 5/7 bar measure as far as I remember. 

Henrik: Or was it 4/11?? 

Jakob: Maybe it was. Once we figured out what loop and bar measure it was we slowly started to build the structure around this first piano idea. 

Henrik: Usually Jakob and Florian have strict ideas about what labels are suitable for our music but this time it was me that thought of Francesco Assenza from Sleep is Commercial. We have known each other for years and as you can see he was into it. 

It’s not the first time we see Ricardo Villalobos remixing one of your tracks. This time he teamed up with Thomas Melchior and delivered two remixes. Whose idea was this?

Jakob: Mine (laughs). 

Henrik: The guys from Sleep Is Commercial asked Thomas Melchior for one Remix. After a while the information came that he did two remixes together with Ricardo Villalobos. We don’t know what happened in between! 🙂

Do you have more releases coming out this year?

Florian: The year is almost finished, yet there are so many things coming up for Wareika it feels like spring-time. The Ricardo Villalobos & Thomas Melchior Remixes are for sure upfront and we are happy to release this double 12” as this was a process of about two years (to make this release with all the remixes happen).

A beautiful Remix will come out this month also: Its for our friend Sary called „Hear & Hakim Murphy – Motion Currents („Wareika’s Moon Aligned Remix“). Its a link between different worlds as well…

Jakob: The whole bunch of releases will come straight early 2019.

Is there anything particular you would like to see Wareika getting more into in the future?

Henrik: Taking over the groove from those machines. I love all kind of electronic music devices and my studio is full of them, but still I find the best grooves are played by humans, not by machines. Somehow we left the groove to the machines and sometimes we become slaves of the machines, without realizing it. Let’s free ourselves from that!

Last time I saw you perform live was back in August at Panorama Bar for Get Perlonized. That was an insane live set and the vibe was so special! From your perspective how does it feel when you perform there?

Jakob: Oh my god that one was fantastic! Everybody was sweating to the fullest, three o’clock in the morning it was still 34 or so degrees outside. So you can imagine the vibe inside. Insane. For me it was one of the best gigs we ever played! We also played about one hour longer. The people were just too hungry (laughs). Playing for Get Perlonized is always special though. It’s just a guarantee for a good party. Thanks to Tomo and Sammy for keeping it up for such a long time now!

I also remember the day I came across Florian randomly at Panorama Bar in January. How often do you go out clubbing?

Florian: I like to go out and experience new things! For example I also enjoy dancing to Salsa.

Jakob: I try to keep it low between the gigs, but it doesn’t always work as I like to visit my friends in clubs and dancing to good music. Henrik is rather in his family thing, less clubbing, more music production and making music with his refugee friends from Syria.

For someone who doesn’t live in Berlin what would be the top 3 places you’d recommend them visiting while in the city?

Florian: The Philharmonic Orchestra has a special sound. I also like the Teufelsberg, it’s such a cool venue and it has open doors for visitors. Also the Loop Gallery! It opens randomly but it is very special.

Jakob: For clubbing there are obviously way too many venues one could recommend. I like Club der Visionäre in summer best.

Henrik: For food there is also loads of good options. We often stay at Michelberger Hotel, Warschauerstraße when in Berlin. As I almost always ran out of time, I end up at the Haloumi place next door. That’s a good one too (laughs)!

As we speak of Berlin, Jakob when are you moving there (laughs)? Jokes aside this year you’ve been playing music in Berlin almost on a weekly basis, would you consider relocating or you’d rather stay in Hamburg?

Jakob: Yes! 2018 was intense. I was DJing as Jakob Seidensticker a lot besides our live gigs as Wareika and Silky Raven. I love Berlin but I also like to leave Berlin once the work is done (laughs). I love the city but it’s also too grey and dangerous for me. Coming back to Hamburg from all over the world has always given me a feeling of relief. I was born here and i will die here hopefully – (everybody laughing)!

What shall your fans expect from Wareika this coming year?

Jakob: As we are making music as Wareika for more than 10 ye
rs now, w
are celebrating this with a huge collaborative double album with loads of brilliant musicians, friends and other inspiring people, such as Sonja Moonear, Maayan Nidam, Shonky, Radio Slave, Kalabrese, just to name a few…

That sounds brilliant! We’re definitely looking forward to that! Anything else you would like to share with the world before we wrap up?

Jakob: Merry Christmas! Enjoy the holidays with your loved ones. In case you don’t celebrate Christmas, just have a wine on me 😉

Florian: Peace!

Henrik: See you somewhere on this lovely planet at the weirdest dance floors.

Thank you so much for your time and pressies Wareika! It’s been fantastic having you back! Merry Christmas from Meoko!

 

Words by Denny Kem

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I want to keep learning everyday – learning about people, about myself, about music. ‘ Oskar Szafraniec Mix & Interview

By Hot Off The Press, Interview & Exclusive Mix, Interviews, MEOKO Exclusive

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It’s not everyday that you come across a DJ that has had an EP release to their name at the age of 13, but Oskar Szafraniec has done just that. Now 24, the Polish-born, classically-trained musician has 11 years of music production experience up his sleeve. Since then, he has been dedicated to the studio and the continual growth of his musical abilities releasing solo records with RAWAX, Cyclo and Closed Circuits.

In 2015, Oskar spent time in the studio with Ricardo Villalobos, and afterwards they produced separate tracks on a split record on RAWAX. Since then, Oskar has also collaborated and on several records and produced an album with Pier Bucci, as well as touring and working closely with a Guy Called Gerald.  Now living in Berlin, Oskar has been busy collecting records and working in the studio, perfecting his sound.  As can be deduced from listening to Oskar’s creations, he is very honest to his craft, and draws inspiration from a range of different musical genres, adding subtle yet unique elements into his distinctive minimal style.  In the near future, Oskar Szafraniec is teaming up with Perlon’s Wareika, and also Caruan to produce some exciting new with an Italian jazz ensemble – definitely some projects to keep your eyes and ears ready for. We sat down to take a chat with Oskar to find out more about his career and life. 

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1- Hey Oskar. Nice to speak with you! How are you doing? What are you up to right now?

I’m fine, thank you!  I am currently visiting my mom in Poland as unfortunately she has been fighting with cancer recently. She is in recovery right now though, which is such a relief. In these moments, it is very important to stay close to your family. My friends have helped me a lot, which I am extremely grateful for. I have my studio equipment here with me in Poland so I have been doing a little bit of work on upcoming projects where I can, and driving back to Berlin if I have any gigs on.  I’ll be playing at Watergate this Wednesday, supporting System of Survival and Alexandra – I am really looking forward to dance with all those creative people at such a great location.  I’m thinking I may play a bit more of an interesting set on Wednesday as my music selection will usually be a reflection of my personal life it – so let’s see where I’ll take it!  I always believe that the best release for your emotions is to tell your story through music.

2- Very sorry to hear about your Mother, Oskar. But we’re glad you’re still powering through and making music. So tell us, you’re only just turning 24 but you have 11 years of producing and DJing. How exactly did you get into electronic music at such a young age?

It’s quite difficult to really pin-point point a single thing. I was always very musical, but became very curious listening to different types of music on the internet and it just escalated form there. I started researching about electronic music, getting inspired and trying to understand what electronic music was truly all about – looking back, I was definitely a big music nerd – I still am, really!  I began to produce music, experiment with different instruments, sing, and eventually DJ… I got my first DJ gig when I was 14!

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3- That’s pretty impressive! After all these years, do you have any rituals before going into music writing process?

I hope this doesn’t make me sound too OCD, but I have to admit I like to reorganise the studio room a bit before I start; put the cables and machines in the right place, clean up. A clean environment means a clear mind to me. Before I start recording I also like to finish all private things I have scheduled to do, I really need to feel free from distraction. 

4- We know that you’re pretty experienced with using serious studio equipment; I believe that Roland once asked you to test out some of their new kits! What is your favourite piece of studio equipment right now?

At the moment it’s Space Echo. I’m actually using it on nearly each track I work on right now! My favourites come in waves though. A while ago it was an old Electribe ER-1, and before that, the SH-101. I really love sampling though as well. Anything what helps me to write beautiful stories with sounds. 

5- Let’s talk a little about your inspirations then. What factors in your life influence your music the most?

It is usually the people I meet, situations, new instruments, and music I’ve never heard before. Recently it has been difficult for me to focus on new music and find inspiration as my mom has been sick but I have been trying to work with this as much as possible.

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6- I guess it can’t  always be all easy going in the studio sometimes and there are days where you struggle to find inspiration. How do you overcome writers block? 

I don’t like to push things. It’s not like I’m working everyday on music trying to get the best out of it. I need to feel it’s the right moment; be inspired, be free. I believe if you push yourself to write, then your art sounds pushed, not honest. If I’m not inspired, I find other ways to spend my time. It is important to take breaks and come back with a fresh mind!

7- What have you got in the pipeline at the moment – can you tell us more about your upcoming projects?

There’s actually a lot of projects I have been working on lately! I have an upcoming release for Barac’s Moment Records, which I am currently tweaking some details on. I have also recently teamed up with Wareika for a new project, and I’m working on a track with the Swedish singer, Sailor & I. I have been collaborating with Otake Record’s owner, Piotr Bejnar, Round Up’s Bruno Curtis, and also the young artist, Assal (who I worked on the Meoko free release with).  

There are several solo projects, too –  records coming up on labels like Skylax, and some very high secret ones that I can’t mention yet (Ooooh!). I’m very fortunate to be working with such an inspiring, talented people with strong character. To be honest, I work only with people I personally like;  people I can talk to about everything, whether it’s spirituality, family issues or art, people who has slightly different view on things and can’t be put in any frame. Oh! I am also travelling to Italy soon to work on a very, very special project with my dear friend Caruan and an Italian jazz ensemble. There’ll be no limits! We’re mashing up the styles: lots of instruments, bass guitars, piano, singing… I can’t wait!

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8- Sounds like you’re going to be incredibly bust for the foreseeable future then! What are your goals for the next few years?

Constantly make music, be a better person.  I want to keep learning everyday –  learning about people, about myself, about music. 

9- Alright, a (not) very serious last question now, haha! If it was the end of the world and you had to throw the last party, where would it be, and who would play?

I would have to go with a beautiful private Island in Africa with a line up full of young passionate musicians who haven’t had the chance to get heard yet, and crowd of true music lovers!

If you want to catch Oskar playing, he will next be playing at Watergate’s Mittwoch night on the 21st November, supporting System of Survival and Alexandra. Also keep your eyes out for his releases dropping very soon!

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Words by Mikhaela Gray