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MEOKO Presents

MEOKO Presents

Heidi chats to MEOKO about respect, her inspirations and “booty shakin’ house”

By Chats to MEOKO, Festival, Hot Off The Press, Interviews, MEOKO Presents

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Every year that goes by in the British house scene sees Heidi grow ever more successful. Moving permanently to London from her native Canada at the turn of the millennium, she’s worked her way up from record store shop assistant to world-renowned DJ to now national radio presenter on BBC Radio One. Attractive, fun, talented and ambitious; Heidi has it all.

So it’s little wonder she’s joining the eye-wateringly good lineup for the Saturday night opening of Mancunian institution. The Warehouse Project. It’s revered reputation can draw jaded London clubbers out of the capital and past Zone 6 to experience its exquisite programming throughout the season, but it’s the opening weekend that is always a big draw. Which explains why for Welcome To The Warehouse, on Saturday 28th September they’ve roped in Nicolas Jaar to play live, Seth Troxler, Maceo Plex, Four Tet (DJ set) Ben Klock, Julio Bashmore, Scuba, Joy Orbison & Jackmaster B2B, Jacques Greene, Andrew Weatherall, Soul Clap, Justin Robertson, Bicep, Krysko & Greg Lord and of course, Heidi, who is playing B2B with that other first lady of UK house, Maya Jane Coles.

It’s a clever pairing as the popular producer has just appeared on Heidi’s most recent Jackathon compilation so fans of both must surely be delighted by this addition to the line-up. With all this and more in mind, we caught up with Heidi ahead of Welcome To The Warehouse…

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Hi Heidi, how are you?

I’m fantastic. I just landed in the Ukraine. Its 40 degrees and I’m about to play Kazantip Festival. It’s been described to me as Mad Max meets Burning Man… Hmm let’s see. I’ve never been to this country before. I like exploring new places.

You grew up in Windsor, Ontario in Canada, and it seems that over the last few years, some insanely good electronic music is coming out of Canada. Be honest- is there something in the water over there?

 …… Um. Not sure. I’ve been gone for so long that I haven’t really been keeping track of what’s happening in Canada. All the artists I know from Canada don’t live there anymore with the exception of Tiga. I think the UK is on fire at the moment. So many great artists breaking through.

What inspired you to make the move to London back in 2000?

Well I first moved to the UK in 1997 for over a year then came back permanently in 2000. The music drew me here. I’ve always been in love with the UK. I was an indie kid. I thought I would come over here and try and get a job working for a rock label. That obviously didn’t happen. I got swept up in the electronic music scene by accident.

You describe your style as “booty-shakin’ house”. How did you learn to shake your ass?

From a TV program my sister and I used to watch when we were young called “The New Dance Show” from Detroit. Get on YouTube and check it out. It’s brilliant.

If you were an alcoholic drink, what would you be and why?

Mezcal. Because it brings you up… not down. And also gets you jacked.


Heidi
 

Considering you’ve played literally the best clubs across the globe, all the best festivals, got your own national radio show, released on Get Physical, not to mention your success with Jackathon… If you can pinpoint it, what do you think has been your career defining moment so far?

I guess making the leap of faith into choosing this as a career and putting every last ounce of energy I have into it. I could have flopped on my face. I stuck it out and proved myself to my peers. Every achievement after that was because I gave 110% of myself, treated everyone with genuine kindness, and sacrificed things in my life that people take for granted.

You’re playing the opening weekend for The Warehouse Project- in your opinion what makes Manchester a great city to play in and what makes WHP so special that people will travel from across the country to experience it?

It is by far my favourite place to play in the UK. Mancunians have always embraced music in every form and have spawned many amazing bands and set trends that the world eventually picked up on. They have a lot of heart. When you live in a place that has shit weather most of the time and little to do, the next best thing is to completely immerse yourself in music. I can relate to those people, as that’s what I did when I was younger. Music has been my outlet to everything wonderful that has happened in my life.

After having Maya Jane Coles feature on your latest Jackathon Jams compilation, you’re now going b2b with her at WHP. What can we expect from you both in the midst of a stunning line-up?

Honestly the only thing you can expect is a massive height difference. Haha. We are just going to feel each other out as we go along. Our styles have a bit of crossover and it will be nice to see where we take it. I like the element of surprise.

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You credit working at London record store Phonica as transforming you from “vinyl fanatic to budding DJ”. Retail can be a funny place- what’s the weirdest experience you ever had with a customer whilst working there?

Nothing weird. Just guys never taking my answers on questions they ask me about music seriously. They would always ask me something, I would tell them the answer then minutes later they would ask one of the guys working there…. and they always gave the same answer as me! Idiots.

 What would you say is the most unexpected record in your own personal collection?

 I like so many different genres of music that it all looks unexpected to the untrained eye.

What was the first song, or type of music, you remember truly touching you in your formative years?

The first, and always my favourite, is Prince’s Purple Rain album. It changed my life and was the first piece of music I owned.

What’s next for Jackathon?

I have a slew of EPs lined up with some shit hot producers on remix duty. That’s all I’m sayin’. Can’t give away all my secrets.

You recently had Richie Hawtin on your Radio One show, describing him as “truly inspiring”. Who’s the craziest guest you’ve ever had?

They are all crazy in their own way. I usually tend to get people on who make me laugh and have a great sense of humour. Makes for good listening. Music shouldn’t be so serious all the time. The Soul Clap boyz are the lights of my life.

Do you have any plans or desires to move from radio to TV?

If the opportunity presents itself I’m all over it. I would love to.

And finally, what motto do you live your life by?

Even when you’re tired, sick, lonely and hungover: keep it to yourself. Nobody likes a complainer… And The Golden Rule: treat everyone the way you want to be treated. One thing I can’t stand is a diva DJ.

 

Heidi plays back 2 back with Maya Jane Coles at Welcome To The Warehouse on Saturday 29th September from 6pm – 4am at The Warehouse Project Manchester.

Words by Rachael Williams 

GEMA: The Royalty Collecting Society That Threatens German Club Life

By Hot Off The Press, MEOKO Presents, News

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MEOKO gets an insight into the legal nitty-gritty of German copyright laws and royalty disputes which sparked off a public uproar and protest marches in Berlin as the tariff reforms issued by GEMA in April threaten German nightlife.

Possibly one of the most controversial issues, the German legal situation of the copyright law, fought between the major companies Google, Youtube and GEMA, is spiced up by an additional dispute: the royalty mongers of the German collection society released statements that they are planning to introduce new tariffs which, for medium sized clubs, will see rises in charges as high as 1000 to 1400% with an additional 50% surcharge if the event takes longer than five hours. Small bars and music pubs “only” face a rise of 400 to 600%.

If their reformed and apparently “facilitated” new charging system is applied to underground electronic music events, organisers, small and medium sized clubs and independent music venues face financial disaster and closure, according to state officials from the Berlin Club Commission, which represents the nightlife industry, and spokespeople such as Loveparade-founder Dr Motte as well as Berlin politicians of all parties.

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On June 25th, German club owners, clubbers and music lovers stepped up united to party, protest and rally against GEMA measures and to get people to sign petitions and on the cause, challenging the reforms and demanding more transparancy in the money collection and distribution process which is often cited as being unjust and unprecise.

Apparently, the new scheme is just as imprecise as the previous one, although it´s been enacted to simplify the tariff structure. Eleven different fees are being replaced by only two, monthly charges are being based on ticket prices and the relative size of the venue.

The case is now in the hands of the Deutsches Patent – und Markenamt (DPMA), the Federal patent office. Although there won´t be a decision reached until 2014 as the reform will take more than two years to go through the official channels, adjusted payments of royalties already have to be made available as of December 2012.

Two German state provinces, Berlin and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, have already lodged an objection, but, if these tariff reforms go unchallenged, legendary clubs like Berghain and Watergate will close down at the end of the year as their fee hikes range between 500% and 1400%. 

The Berlin press, in reaction to the heated discussions, published a string of interviews with representatives of the underground music industry which has teamed up as “Fairplay – Gemeinsam gegen GEMAinheiten”, amongst them musician and Pirate Party politician Bruno Kramm as well as Dr Motte, the initiator of Love Parade who today heads Electrocult e.V., the two of them repeatedly arguing the injustice of the distribution of GEMA payouts to members.

It was also correctly pointed out that most electronic music producers are not even members or afiliates and thus do not profit from payments at all. Another valid point is the fact that most underground electronic venues do not play music by any artist, composer or label represented by GEMA.  

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Accused of abusing its monopolistic power by acting as a representative of all music-making artists, the GEMA actually only represents the interests of its 3,400 core members, the upper 5%, which is made up by the who-is-who of German popular music, and receive 65% of the payments, whilst only 35% are being paid to its other 61,600 associated members.

The whole discussion opens a can of worms in which it becomes very obvious that the German royalty system is definitely not protecting the burgeoning underground scene which raises most of the revenue in the club and nightlife capital Berlin, its economy depending on its culture as the city has a notoriously high level of unemployment and its mayor industry is the party tourism.

Although club owners could recalculate their entrance fees and, by charging more, could pass on the extra costs onto their customers, most of whom are more than happy with the financial burden (if that´s what it takes to keep their favorite clubs open), this whole situation could, should and might bring about some much needed change in the calculation and distribution of royalties in Germany which could serve as an example internationally. As it stands, Germany is one of the few countries which really employs an old-fashioned yet functional system of redistribution, enabling artists to live off their intellectual property – but as it stands, it´s a system that redistributes wealth unequally.

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GEMA, short for “Gesellschaft für musikalische Aufführungs- und mechanische Vervielfältigungsrechte” (German for “Society for Musical Performing and Mechanical Reproduction Rights”), is a non-governmental society founded in 1903, and played an important role during the Third Reich (as STAGMA) classifying music as “Arian” and “degenerated”. Still today, music is being classified in two categories:  “entertaining” and “serious”.  It would be very interesting to see more aspects reformed than just lining the pockets of those who have been generously cashing in without any state control for years. In 2010, the chairman of the board received a salary twice as high as Angela Merkel.

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The Berghain OstGut GmbH state that they “categorically” reject “the new GEMA tariff structure’s price dictatorship and demand(..) the development of new, fair tariff structures in cooperation with the small and large promoters and organisers.” On their website, they ask their fans to sign the petition ‘Against the 2013 Tariff Reform – GEMA has lost its sense of perspective’, which will be sent to the German Parliament’s Petition Committee.

 In total, more than 225,000 votes against the reform have already been collected.

Sign Petition Here


Words: Katrin Richter 


Dimitri Hegemann (Tresor label/club owner) tells MEOKO….

“The situation with GEMA is getting worse. The prequel: in the earlier years of my career I did not tire myself denouncing the unjust distribution of Money the GEMA is taking from the clubs, once and again. I am paying them, but I would like to make sure that these payments will get to those artists, componists, labels and publishers who made this music, not lining the pockets of Udo Juergens, Dieter Bohlen and Herbert Groenemeier. Like I said, I am willing to pay GEMA. My demands are: Retention of the old tariffs, gradually levelling them up by 2% if the following criteria are met. First: Fair and transparent distribution of GEMA fees paid by the clubs. The money should really get to those artists and labels whose music is being played in the club. Obviously, they can charge their 15% handling fees. Second: Transparent monitoring, because it´s technically possible, nowadays. Every song played digitally has an implanted AUDIO-ID or some meta data identification. About 96% of all tracks can be monitored that way. Registered (GEMA) clubs are all tied into a general system which collects the meta data and the amount of clicks each played track received. In this general computer system, a ranking list can be established and thus, a fair collection and distribution system. It´s really possible, as technologically, all the criteria are given. The costs are down to GEMA. Third: All GEMA money collected from clubs will be gathered on an account held in trust by a notary until all these demands are met. By the way, just thinking out loud, I have a UK car insurance, why can´t I licence my music through an English royalty collecting society? I was also thinking that in the worst case, Tresor will tell all its DJs most of which have never received any payments from GEMA at all, to cancel their membership. Those and all the other artists should just write new music, which then does not get registered with GEMA, but the copyright is still belonging to the respective artists, even if they do not register their songs through GEMA. Tresor would preferably work with DJs who will be GEMA-free, and Tresor will also comunícate this through the media. I am sure we´d be GEMA-free in no time, and could then refer from paying anything to them at all. I am quite sure they would pop around to make us an offer. Actually it´s quite realistic to make Tresor a club in which there will be no GEMA registered music. Nevertheless, dear people, if GEMA is taking these measurements, and we are all pretty sure they will get through with it, then something will happen no one in Berlin suspected. Berlin will lose its vibrant clubbing scene, and this means there won´t be much going on. Clubs will close and the party goers will fly somewhere else. This would have fatal economic consequences. If GEMA manages to successfully force through their demands, there would be a snowball effect which will tear everything down. Clubs will be doing bad, financially, some will close, others will become more expensive, the quality will suffer, the drinks will become expensive. People working in this scene will lose their jobs, the drinks companies will sell much less, EasyJet and other flight companies will stop their flights to Berlin as there will be less visitors, hostels will close, and above all, “yound wild Berlin” will lose its magic.”

Dimitri Hegemann by Marie Staggat 04sw

Cesare vs Disorder (Serialism / Label Owner / Producer & DJ tells MEOKO.….

“We were just talking about it at lunch today with Robin Drimalski from Watergate and Dave Aju. It is all a big joke and it can’t be solved easily. It is exactly as it happens in politics, where big corporations have way much more powers than the entire worldwide population. In the music industry, it’s the majors that have this power and they are only interested on making their pocket grow and recover from the big loss with the music industry latest changes. The problem could be solved so easily. Richie Hawtin uses a software that communicate with the major networks telling in real time what track he’s playing in that exact moment. Isn’t it a a kind of possible solution?  But it isn’t so easy.”

Mark Henning – Berlin based house/techno DJ & producer, releasing music tells MEOKO.…..

“GEMA seem to be out of touch with reality. Their policies stiffle the independent scene and make it hard for artists and labels to survive. Look no further than their ludicrous demands of Youtube which is doing nothing but hurt the music industry. With the introduction of these venue tariffs in Germany, things are seemingly going from bad to worse. I hope that these get challenged at a high level.”

Danni Patten (Playkula) – Electronic Music Agent and Berlin Resident tells MEOKO…..

The theory of GEMA is sound, that when artists make music which is played out in clubs, they should receive money from the clubbers towards the sounds they enjoyed on their night out via a share of the club entrance fee. This is a great concept, but the issue as I see it is that GEMA does not at present sufficiently represent the underground scene which is supported by Berlin clubbers, nor the music which DJs at clubs such as Berghain and Watergate are playing. Considering the staggering increase to the current GEMA contributions at a time when many other costs are also increasing for club owners, with often unpredictable turnouts on the night, the animosity throughout our scene towards this law proposal seems justified in my view.

Isis Salvaterra – Toi Toi Promoter tells  MEOKO…..

“I feel that most people in our industry, especially the non-German speakers kind of fail to be able to analyse both sides due to the lack of understanding of German laws and what exactly this change would mean in practice as in order to make this work there needs to be an entire re-structuring and not just ‘club closures’. For example ‘how will the money get to our artists’? Does it need a re-structuring on the way fees are paid, etc? Like, if the artist is a GEMA member, he will get paid a fixed amount which in turn will regulate our fee system and make it more fair? It covers the range from music being released to the artist performance at the club. I do not feel I can at this point comment on the pros and cons of such measure without having more in-depth knowledge. Equally we need to see how GEMA is willing to implement this in an industry such as ours. What I mean with ‘our industry’ is that such measure would go across the board in the music industry but electronic dance music works in an specific way, it’s a niche and in many cases differ greatly from more commercial types of e-music or the more mainstream music genres. It has a different structure than the ordinary, GEMA must be willing to understand us and how we work. Our scene´s features, be it structural or fin
ncial for instance, have to be taken into consideration. The clubs and the vibrant scene found in Germany attracts people from all over the world. The money it generat
s in tourism to many c
ties is enormous and somehow it makes it hard for me to believe they are not considering those factors. It does not take a rather deeper analysis to see this will not benefit anyone if it shuts down our culture like that. Historically, Germany is Europe’s techno mecca, their citizens take pride in it and they should — its historical, social and economical impacts are too immense to be completely ignored like that. At this stage I would like to be optimistic on ‘not all change is bad — in the way that we might be able to come up with a nice solution to this ‘new digital age’ together, and the only way we can do that is being open to work with the authorities to achieve it.”

Links

https://berghain.de/event/449

https://www.electrocult.de/news/2012/06/28/redeskript-bruno-kramm-gemeinsam-gegen-gemainheiten-demo-25-juni-2012-berlin/

https://www.berliner-zeitung.de/kultur/gema-sprecherin-schlicher–es-geht-um-gerechtigkeit-,

https://www.mixmag.net/words/news/berlin-clubs-fear-charges

https://thequietus.com/articles/09272-berlin-clubs-face-closure-berghain-watergate

https://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/jul/03/berlin-clubs-royalties-closure-threat?newsfeed=true

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gema

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urheberrecht

https://www.gema.de/

https://www.gvl.de/

Magda talks to MEOKO

By Hot Off The Press, Interviews, MEOKO Presents

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Hi Magda, Firstly, MEOKO would like to thank you for your time.. It’s been roughly a year since you left Minus to focus fully on Items & Things – how have the past 12 months been? Has it felt like a completely fresh and exciting period for you?

It has definitely been an exciting period for me. Lots of hard work but i am very proud of what we have accomplished with the label in such a short time. We have a great team behind us and together the momentum has been great.

The label just released the Variables compilation. What was the premise/thinking behind the release?

We wanted to present the current sound of the label in a nice collectors package showcasing tracks from the three of us, our friends, newcomers such as NYMA and Howard Watson, and some old school names like Rework who i am really excited to be working with.

The label has been instrumental in finding and pushing new talents. Was this something you had always envisioned for the label or did it just occur naturally?

Of course, i’m always looking for fresh sounds to release but things have been occurring naturally. I don’t like to force things. It has to make sense and feel right. We have been working closely and pushing our two young artists Madato and Danny Benedettini since last year and trying to introduce people to their sound. Other than that we have a pretty easy going label policy with no exclusivity agreements. we just release the tracks we really like as they come.

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It’s a very full-blooded dance-floor release, with a lot of dark disco and really funky elements to it. Is this what you feel best captures the vibe and spirit of what Items & Things is about?

Yes I think the compilation definitely sums up the label well at the moment. Gotta have that dark disco in there! I also like the acid/detroit and breakbeat undertones which are present in some of the tracks. They all somehow make sense together.

How has your relationship with electronic music changed/developed since you’ve been focusing on Items & Things? Did leaving Minus allow you to be more free and truer to yourself in your musical endeavours?

I don’t think it has necessarily allowed me to be more free and truer to myself because Minus has always given me the freedom to do what i wanted. However, having Items and Things does give me a different satisfaction of being able to make decisions pertaining to the output and artistic direction. its a great feeling to see your own ideas realized.

In the way that Minus spearheaded an entire musical movement, would you like to achieve similar with Items & Things? The label certainly has a very distinctive and bold sound.

That’s not something that i care about. All that matters is that we get to release music we truly believe is special and unique and share it with people who might enjoy it as much as we do.

At the recent Love Family Park event in Frankfurt I saw you weren’t using turntables and were just playing off a MIDI controller and Traktor. Are you moving away from manual mixing or was this just a one-off?

Yes, I have moved away from using turntables. its a whole different way to mix. I enjoy layering various tracks and sounds and this method allows me much more freedom to experiment and has made my sets more dynamic. At the end of the day, no matter what medium you use, you have to find your own personal way to present your sound and get people moving. I still have all my vinyl and sometimes its also fun to take a bag of records and play that way, especially in small clubs in berlin or at after parties.

I’m sure you have a really fun-filled Summer planned. What are some of the highlights and what do you plan to do once Winter begins to creep up again?

This summer is really crazy. I definitely took a lot more bookings than last year. one thing i’m very excited about is my residency in ibiza at space for Rich’s night ENTER. its every thursday and i’m looking forward to building up the night during its first season. i feel like its an exciting time on the island because so many people are doing their own nights and it reminds me of the old days when everyone came together. Other than that i’m looking forward to our Down & Out label nights which are always dangerously fun. when winter starts creeping up, i’ll be hibernating more in the studio and trying to avoid the cold.

Words by Carlos Hawthorn

Magda, Marc Houle and Troy Pierce bring Down & Out to Loft Studios on Saturday 4th AugustFULL EVENT DETAILS 

Items & Things on Facebook 

Magda on Facebook

London Electronic on Facebook 

Down  Out poster

OneMore Presents Tobias LIVE & Ryan Elliot – Win Tickets

By Competitions, Hot Off The Press, MEOKO Presents

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OneMore return this Saturday night, bringing again the most cutting edge lineups of house and techno to Shoreditch’s Hearn Street Car Park. Never holding a penny back on the quality of the production expect a HUGE soundsystem alongside electrifying lighting displays. This month they host Tobias Freund and Ryan Elliott of Ostgut Ton fame alongside residents Antonio De Angelis and Outart, both of whom are also creating quite a stir.

If there is one record label and DJ roster that represents Berlin Techno above any other it is Ostgut Ton. Tobias will be performing one of his spectacular live sets incorparting his own experimental take on all things house and techno. Joining him is Berghain & Panorama Bar resident Ryan Elliott, applying his expert trade and knowledge to ensure all those in attendance have the night of their lives.

To be in with a chance of winning free entry for yourself and a friend just email us at hello_competitions@devmeoko.co.uk with ‘Car Park Rave’ in the subject title…

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Dimensions Festival – Win Tickets

By Competitions, Festival, Hot Off The Press, MEOKO Presents

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Arriving fresh from the team that brought you Outlook Festival comes Dimensions, 2012’s brand new addition to Croatia’s fit-to-bursting summer festival season. Taking place the weekend of the 6th of September, the week after Outlook, Dimensions will be pushing a slightly darker, more 4/4 orientated brand of dance music, bringing the likes of Moodymann, Levon Vincent and Nicolas Jaar to Pula’s idyllic Fort Punta Christo. Boasting one of the most up-to-date and impressive line-ups you’ll see anywhere this year, the festival will take place over the course of 4 days (6th-9th), with each night’s musical programme punctuated only by a series of high-profile, and incredibly appealing, boat parties, hosted by the likes of 2020 Vision, Swamp 81 and Hypercolour.

Headlining the festival will be: Little Dragon, Carl Craig presents 69 Live, Andrew Weatherall, Four Tet Live, Dyed Soundorom, Ben Klock and so, so many more…

MEOKO have been lucky enough to get their hands on 2 tickets to this year’s inaugural event and in true festival spirit, will be giving them away to one extremely lucky winner. If you fancy your chances, all you have to do is answer correctly to this simplest of questions:

On which sea does Croatia’s coast lie?

a) Adriatic Sea

b) Irish Sea

c) North Sea

Please send all your answers to hello_competitions@devmeoko.co.uk

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DIMENSIONS FESTIVAL ON FACEBOOK 

WWW.DIMENSIONSFESTIVAL.COM 

Mr.C talks to MEOKO

By Chats to MEOKO, Hot Off The Press, Interviews, MEOKO Presents

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As frontman of The Shamen back in the early 1990’s, Mr. C rose to prominence with the success of tracks such as ‘Ebeenezer Goode’ and ‘Move Any Mountain’. In recent years he is most well known for his part ownership of The End, one of London’s best ever venues, his own night Superfreq which he continues to tour around the globe, his label under the same Superfreq guise which relaunches this year, and of course his legendary DJ sets which incorporate all that is good in electronic music.

From milkman, to MC, to one of the world’s most respected DJ figures – Mr. C chats with MEOKO about some of his secrets to success and the importance of meditation, confidence and a positive mental attitude…

Everyone has a different story of how they got involved in electronic music. Yours is better documented than most with your background in MC’ing and the Shamen. Can you tell us about your very first ‘clubbing’ experience?

I started clubbing at only 13 years of age, first going to the disco pubs in Hackney Road & Shoreditch & then to the Lyceum Ballroom in the Strand & Busby’s in Tottenham Court Road. I then hit all the CB radio clubs which were awesome in the early 80’s & by the time I was 16 I was going to the Titanic in Mayfair & Xenon’s in Piccadilly. It was at 16 that I started to MC in the clubs.

At what point did you decide that this is what you wanted to do?

I knew I wanted to be involved in music & nightlife from about 15 years of age which was why I started writing rap lyrics.

Which point did your parents accept that this is what you wanted to do?

I’m from a single parent family & my mum was always happy with my choice until I hit 21 & gave up my last regular job to be involved in DJing full time at which point my mum went nuts. We had a big row & she told me “We can’t fucking eat vinyl”. 6 months later she ate her words when I was bringing in a comparable wage to my last real job, which was a milkman.

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You left school very early with no qualifications but have gone on to become very successful…what would your words of wisdom be to a young nipper asking for some worldly advice…keep your head in the books and you’ll go far, or work hard but party harder?

I think that if you have a chance to go to college then you should go, but there are many poor families that can’t afford to send their kids to college. To these kids I’d say believe in yourself & your art or chosen profession.

As my lyrics said in “Move Any Mountain”: Put your mind on what you want & you will go higher, put detailed thought into every desire, believe in yourself, you’ll know what you’ll find, there is no can’t in a trouble free mind…

If you work hard for what you want, have vision & visualize in absolute detail, feeling the joy of achievement as though it’s already achieved & work extremely hard to achieve your dreams, then they will indeed come true. The reason I’ve done so well is because of my complete belief in myself. Also, I thoroughly recommend learning meditation as this connects you to the world of the ideas & also makes your belief in yourself more powerful.

It’s been 4 years since ‘The End’ very sadly shut down. Do you miss it and do you ever see yourself opening another venue again?

No I don’t miss The End. I do look back with the fondest of memories as it was the best club in the world & through the sale of the club, I was able to really help out my very poor family financially which alone made it worth closing. As of yet I have no desire to open another venue, I’m very content doing my Superfreq events the world over so no more owning clubs & tying myself down just yet, but never say never.

You moved to LA after the end of ‘The End’. How does your lifestyle differ there to the one you had in London? Would you say it offers you a better quality of life?

The quality of life is way better, just think about the incessant rain that London has had for the last 8 weeks. London is like New York in that’s it very fast. Here in LA things are so much more relaxed, the people a very friendly & the lifestyle is so much healthier. Also I bought an amazing house here in LA which for the same money would’ve got me a crappy 3 bed semi with tiny rooms in a crap area, so on the whole I’d say the quality of life here is way better than in London & because of that I have no desire to move back any time soon.

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Did you know there’s a hotel in LA called Mr. C? This extract was taken direct from their website: “Mr. C Beverly Hills represents a modern version of old-world simplicity, stylish European glamour, providing today’s traveler with a comfortable, elegant and effortless experience…” Sounds like they’ve named it after you??

I did know that there’s a hotel with that name. Maybe I should go along & ask them if I can design one of the rooms.

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2012. The Olympics or the end of the world as we know it?

Well of course, even with all of the people slagging off the Olympics, it will still be a wonderful sporting event that pulls together all of the people of the world & that’s why it’s so important & great that London is hosting it.

As for the 21st of December 2012 doomsday prediction is all nonsense but the shift in consciousness is very real indeed. The Mayans didn’t include leap years so that date would actually be August last year & everyone can see from the use of social networking that the consciousness shift has well & truly happened with so many people talking about things like meditation, positive thinking & being the change that we seek. Also people are being very active in changing world politricks & such like so we’re living in very exciting times indeed.

We loved your track ‘Dark Moon’ on Wagon Repair. Have you got any upcoming releases scheduled?

I have lots of upcoming releases. I’ve just had part 2 of my new EP with [a]pendics.shuffle called Something Strange on Adjunct Audio released on vinyl 1 week ago & the original was out in April. I also have my remix of Money Dish by David Scuba & Mikael Stravöstrand on Riff Raff coming out next month & the month after that I have my remix of Obel by Fractious being released on NB records from Austria. I’m also re-launching Superfreq Records in the Autumn with the first of those releases being a new Mr.C EP & I also have a new project with Affie Yusuf as Indigo Kidz & my Sycophant Slags project with Adultnapper also coming out on Superfreq. I’ve really stepped up my studio activity over the last year or more so expect to see a constant flow on new music as Mr.C, Indigo Kidz & Sycophant Slags from here on in.

You’re a firm supporter of meditation, like you are electronic music. Which do you think has benefitted you the most?

Without meditation & positive thinking, which I’ve been doing since I was 17 years old, I would not be doing so well in my music career.

DJ Polls always bring up a lot of entertaining debate online. If you HAD to choose one, who would top your list as best DJ?

I think all DJ polls are bullshit & detrimental to the music industry as a whole. I have many DJs that I love to listen to which differs depending on my mood & what I want to hear. If I had to pick one DJ though, it would be myself. I used to be conceited, but now I’m absolutely perfect. 😉

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Many people might not be aware that you are selling your entire 14,000 strong vinyl collection on Discogs. How’s that going? That is quite a task!

It’s going great actually. I have friends doing it for me & splitting the cash with them & it’s such a buzz to know now that all of that amazing specialist dance music is no longer sitting in a locked garage gathering duct but being enjoyed by people that have been searching for those tunes. There are about 3500 up now & about the same amount yet to go up.

To check the collection out go to: https://www.discogs.com/sell/list?seller=Mr.C.Collection

What would you say if you received a phone call from Paris Hilton asking you for some DJ lessons?

If she paid me handsomely I’d teach her to be one bad arse DJ.

Now then, imagine this scenario… an alien lands and asks you to follow him. He takes you to one of his alien after hours, where you feel quite at home, and he tells you… ‘When I send you back to earth you will have the power to change one thing’ … what will it be?

It would be that every man, woman & child above the age of 10 years old would meditate for 20 minutes twice each day. With that would come a complete Human consciousness shift & world peace.

MR. C on Facebook 

Superfreq 

Words by Nick Maleedy 

Oval Space presents Bugge ‘n’ Friends Preview

By Event Previews and Reviews, Hot Off The Press, MEOKO Presents, Reviews

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Oval Space open their doors this Thursday to the first in a series of exciting and unique events and installations following on from the success of their recent Wolf & Lamb, Claude Von Stroke, Body & Soul and Bonobo shows. A relatively new project, Oval Space is an evolving multi-use arts space set in the heart of Bethnal Green and boasts one of the finest views of London.

This Thursday sees them host infamous Jazz musician Bugge Wesseltoft presenting his new Bugge ‘n’ Friends outfit. Bugge established ‘The New Conception of Jazz’ in 1996 fusing his expansive background in Jazz with an experimental use of electronic club orientated music. His admiration for electronic music has seen him start this fascinating project blurring the lines between Jazz and House music.

Supporting him and his seven man band are Jazzanova’s Alex Barck, an affiliate of Sonar Kollektiv, and two very special DJ sets from Ashley Beedle, one warming up the night, and the other closing. Bugge’s band includes US House producer Joaquin ‘Joe’ Claussell, Blue Note trumpeter Erik Truffaz, Saxophonist Ilhan Ershain and a three piece rhythm section.

Doors open at 6pm for drinks on the spectacular terrace with performances beginning at 7.30pm. Expect the boundaries of both Jazz and House to be broken…

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Select*Elect presents a Resolute Night – Win tickets on MEOKO

By Competitions, Hot Off The Press, MEOKO Presents

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Select*Elect return with their innovative warehouse series this Saturday hosting New York’s Resolute Label. Label boss Elon will be playing a special back to back set alongside New York compatriot Alexi Delano in what is set to be a sizzling scene of sexy techno and house. Besides Resolute, the duo have been involved in many of Techno’s premium labels over the years including Dumb Unit, Minus, Rrygular, Clink, Plus 8 and Get Physical.

The main draw however, is none other than Ali Schwarz, one half of the infamous brotherly duo Tiefschwarz. Since conquering clubland with their huge remixes of Spektrum’s ‘Kind New’ and Phonique’s ‘The Red Dress’ all the way back in 2004, Tiefschwarz have gone onto establish themselves as heavyweights of the scene performing at the highest level week in week out all over the globe. With a background firmly set in deep house, Tiefschwarz know how to play the crowd, blending elements of minimal, electro and rock into their own modern fusion of house and techno.

Residents Ranacat and Spielkamerad will also be performing alongside Resolute recruit Connie, whose vast experience in New York sees her play London for the first time.

To win a free guestlist spot for both you and a friend, simply email hello_competitions@devmeoko.co.uk with ‘Resolution’ in the subject title. Best of luck!

Tiefschwarz chat to MEOKO 

Select*Elect Event Details


OneMore Presents Weekend Club Berlin with Barem – Win Tickets

By Competitions, Hot Off The Press, MEOKO Presents

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It’s hard to find a team of promoters who are such purists and passionate about what they do than the guys from OneMore. Having already hosted the likes of Radio Slave, Ripperton, Pan-Pot, Tiefschwarz, Lawrence and D’Julz this year, Saturday 30th June sees Hearn Street Car Park lay the foundations for Berlin’s legendary Weekend Club to take the roof off!

Headlining is Argentinean Techno export Barem whose potent use of bass is emphasized by his intricate percussive grooves and ghostly melodies. Barem’s minimalistic but warm approach to house and techno has seen him release his first album ‘After The Storm’ on the key techno imprint, Minus. Playing alongside him are Weekend Berlin residents Kraushaar and Gradmann as well as OneMore residents Antonio De Angelis and Outart.

To win one of 5 tickets, just email hello_competitons@devmeoko.co.uk with ‘One More Tune’ in the subject title. Good luck!

Onemore on RA

Onemore on Facebook 

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DJ SNEAK – Defining House Music

By Festival, Hot Off The Press, Interviews, MEOKO Presents

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DJ Sneak is someone who represents House music in its purest form. Having migrated to Chicago from his native Puerto Rico as a youngster, he soon fell in love with the 4×4 beats and soulful rhythms of early House music. In fact, because he couldn’t speak English in those formative years, it was the fact that a lot of House was simply instrumentals and vocal samples that facilitated his burgeoning love for the music. Now a self-professed ‘House Gangster‘, Sneak is a man who is always in demand around the globe and someone who continues to work hard, day in, day out to maintain his position and to spread the House music gospel. He has also put himself forward to defend the intergrity of House music against perpetrators such as the Swedish ‘blank’ Mafia. Here’s an in-depth interview with the man himself…

When did your love affair with house music begin?

It started as soon as I landed in Chicago in 1983 to a very cold and snowy winter. I came from a tropical paradise to cold and winter. I had never seen snow so, as you can imagine, I wasn’t too keen on spending my time outdoors. There was really nothing to do but watch TV or listen to the radio, I tuned in to a few radio stations that really opened my ears to the new sound and they were just calling it house, short for Warehouse Music. It really was a turning point at a young age. I was 13 years old.

Can you remember when you first heard house and how it made you feel?

It was like nothing I had heard in Puerto Rico, what I loved about it was the beats rolling through, mixed from one to another, with almost no talking and no real singing on tracks, this was helpful ’cause I spoke no English. House music was pure and young like me, we partnered up right away and music was the only thing I would focus on, it kept me sane during the cold Chicago winters. 

How did you make those first tentative steps to becoming a house DJ?

Funny enough, the first time I really saw a DJ do his thing live was at a school dance, after listening and recording tapes from the radio it was a huge thing to see an actual DJ play vinyl with turntables and a mixer. It was after this that I realised it was something I wanted to try and it was then that my journey began. I had a friend who got a pair of turntables and that was it.. I practiced everyday, all day.

Was there anyone who really helped you on your way?

There were a few people, mostly a few homies and my brother. I pretty much jumped in and I was like a fish in water, I did nothing but get on the decks and try to play as long as I could. We were four teens who used to hang and enjoy music instead of gangbanging and selling drugs, which was a very real part of my time in Chicago.

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Can you remember some of your first DJ gigs – how did it feel when you first got on the decks and played to a crowd?

I was nervous but excited to finally make it from the basement sessions to the stage. I put in some serious hours and to finally get on in front of a crowd, well it was kinda like driving a car for the first time, you feel free and you know you’re doing something big! I loved making people dance and have fun and this was the real rush for me, I wasn’t trying to be nobody special or a rockstar, I was just enjoying the moment of being able to program and mix records.

How did you get your name?              

Through the whole time I was playing music I was also into art, I got heavy into graffiti art, this was my world, graff and music. I was very good at both things so I just lived to be creative. Sneak started in the graffiti world and stayed for the music.

Were you a sneaky young man back in the day? 



I’m still a sneaky young fella! Well maybe not 20 years old kinda young but still good at 41. Things are much clearer as I get older, mature.

When did you feel as though you were at a stage where you could make a career out of music? And was it always your dream to work in music?



I actually did not think that I was going to be where I am today, I just kept believing that I could DJ around Chicago, then USA, then Europe and eventually the world. My dream was to get out of the hood, not end up a statistic – and, for a Puerto Rican kid, the dream is still very real. Music has become my passion, production and DJing has allowed me to make people happy while doing what I love to do.

To whom would you credit with your approach to DJing and the style of music you play? Is there anyone who really inspired the ‘Sneak style

I have to be thankful to a few producers and DJs that helped me shape my sound, I was experimenting a lot on my own but it was people like Todd Terry who helped me create the “DJ Sneak” sound. His production was so unreal that I often thought of him as my mentor, teaching me and educating me about DOPE beats by just being himself and dropping so many great tracks. I had been DJing since 1986 but it wasn’t until 1991 when I heard DJs like Derrick Carter, Mark Farina, DJ Traxx and Spencer Kincy that I became an underground soldier. There have been many experiences, tracks, records and parties that helped me become who I am, but at the end of the day I think I owe it to myself for believing I could just do what I wanted, even if I failed at first, I knew if I kept trying and stayed disciplined and dedicated that I would succeed.

How much influence do your Latin roots have on your music? I guess you were exposed to a lot of Latin artists when you were growing up? 



I try to always incorporate some aspects of the rhythm and soul I learned as a child in Puerto Rico, I grew up listening to the “Fania All Stars” best of the best in Salsa music from the seventies and I think this will always be in me. I was really blessed to have had a great upbringing with a family who loved music and parties. My Mom was the greatest influence, she loves music and I remember her always playing loud music while cleaning the house, cooking, hanging out… music was always playing.

So, now you’re world famous – how does it feel to be in DJ Sneak’s shoes?

I guess I am considered world famous but my claim of fame is for the actual craft and the passion I have for DJing. I can care less about the fake personas people create because their egos get boosted by admirers. I love what I do, people can see it, hear it and feel it.

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What do you love most about your current lifestyle?

The freedom I have to do what I want when I want to do it, not thinking about how to become a “Mega Star” by selling out, by acting like many DJs in this industry today. They traded integrity, pride, the love for the music and eventually their soul to be famous. I just like to ride the beat while playing what I love and at the end of the day feeling proud of my accomplishments.

What inspires you to continue making and playing music?



Often the need to get the beats and ideas I get everyday into a track form, a happy day for me is being in my home with my wife and kids, having my studio available at all hours in my house to create, stay relevant and still serve a purpose. I don’t claim to be the best but I am very driven and motivated, even when people around me get caught up in small things that block creativity I just keep pushing on.

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Can you define ‘house music’ for me? 
For someone who doesn’t know, can you explain the difference between what you play and what Swedish House Mafia play?

Ok, in very simple terms I will have to quote an underground House music anthem created by Eddie Amador like 10 years ago, “Not everybody understands House music, it’s a spiritual thing, a body thing, a soul thing”. To a purist like me, House music starts with a 4×4 beat with snares, claps, hi-hats, basslines, vocals, but most importantly rhythm and soul. I base most of my tracks on the feelings surrounding all these elements to create something real, whether it’s a deep House track, a tech House track, a Techno track or even a DownTempo track. I’ve never followed rules and have found myself breaking them and making them as I went along but I have always respected the rhythm and soul in the House music sound.

So now the difference between me and THEM (Swedish blank Mafia) is very simple, while I’m Organic, they are Synthetic, while I do this for love and homage to the music and DJing craft they constantly figure out ways to make it the most commercial noise they can make, their main focus for creating is to make some HIT, it is not about creating something original and soulful, it’s about following the calculated steps to come up with a hit for the purpose of their own success. They measure success by spending ridiculous amounts of money paying their way to the top. They are not the first ones, “Tiesto” was a master at creating the super DJ brand, with big budget marketing, financial support, and a well managed team this is something that now anybody can try to reach. So called DJ/Producers like Avicci, David Guetta, Afrojack must all be down with the same fabricated manufactured DJ superstar manual because they are all doing it the same way, often supporting each other to become bigger better BRANDS. I guess if this is what you are into then they are doing the best they can to play a role, to make people believe they are actually talented when they are clearly manufactured like Coca-Cola.

The difference between them and I is that they don’t care about the hard work a lot of people including myself have put into this music, they simply picked up on the most commercial aspects of this industry and are killing it by disrespecting the art of DJing, the art of Production and entire House sound. What they are making and playing is NOT House music! Listen to the classics, look back at the history, it sounds nothing like the crap they are selling as House. I understand that music needs to evolve but is what they are playing really a musical evolution?! If you’re going to start making or playing House music first educate yourself and second respect the sound.

Hip Hop went through the same stages House music is currently going through, people wanted to make money and make Hip Hop into POP music. I mean look at the state of Hip Hop today, it’s awful, good rappers are a dime a dozen, and the rest of the fools are rapping about some bullshit nonsense, they all want the same thing – Money, Hoes and Fame. It’s really a global musical epidemic. This is what you see on MTV or other TV channels; there is no love, no pride, and no integrity.

So I stand on the other side of that street still being successful in my own way but instead of being a complete clown on stage waiving my hands in the air for an hour I go up there and do work, create a show based on love for what I’m doing. I’m so sick of the egos and fakeness that is going on in this scene. No one asked me to do it, but I feel the need to be that one DJ that will stand up to the fabricated BRANDS to show them wrong, to expose their fake behaviour. They sold their soul for the fame, they can never go back to the one thing that may have influenced them to try to be respectable producers and DJs.

Some people say the Swedes and similar acts could be a good entry point for youngsters into house… What do you think about this?



There are BIG misconceptions about what House music is. Swedish Mafia are not the best representatives of House Music by a long shot, none of them guys on that same boat are, they are just the fakeness of this music culture, they need to take a good look at themselves and realise that they are the worst thing that has ever happened to this music industry. They should know bertter than to portray a complete act in front of thousands and taking them all to the bank while doing it. I look down on all people that do this with any art form, I’m sure a lot of people can relate in other industries the same way, it is always the most commercial clowns getting all the goods simply because they play the role of being something they are not even good at.

There were many great DJs/ Live Acts that helped create the very foundation of the Electronic Music Scene in America and the rest of the World that have done more for the industry then these fakes, DJ/ Producers like Fat Boy Slim, The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers, DJs like Derrick May, Josh Wink, DJ Dan, Donald Glaude just to mention a few, these dudes and many more from Chicago, Detroit, NYC… We built this House a long time ago, these newcomers just like to vandalise it by bastardising the music to become some kiddie pop genre. No one knows any history nor cares to educate themselves about it. The truth is there would be no industry today if the founding fathers and then children of HOUSE MUSIC did not pave the way.

So, who would you recommend kids to check out if they’re new to house/electronic music? 



There are many great DJs out there today, if you want to educate yourself just go to sources of media sharing like SoundCloud where many DJs post their sets, including old school House DJs. Don’t count on the Beatport Charts, challenge yourself to find something creative and inspiring. If you go to shows, whether raves, underground parties, festivals, carnivals, whatever you may want to call it, demand value for your experience, demand quality music over fancy fireworks and phony stage acts that are not even using the very equipment that was created for DJing. There are even greater tools today to do some creative live DJING, demand that these so called DJs actually mix things LIVE, its not that hard to do. I would recommend some great DJs but the trick is to be open enough to be able to choose what you like whether it’s House music or not, the choice is yours. Go on YouTube, look at documentaries about the scene – there has got to be hundreds by now, or even just play jukebox surfing for records that were actually released in the last 30 years and you will find the info you need to become an educated House music enthusiast.

What are you up to over the Summer?

I have a full calendar this summer and I’ll be keeping it Relevant and Real. This summer brings me back to the European markets where there are really amazing venues, parties and places. I will be all over and pushing forward, I have to stand up for mine and the people I have behind me. I want to be able to level the playing field so we can all be entertained and free to release ourselves into quality music, this is the one thing we all have in common, Music! Without music there would be no real life, just a boring way to kill time.

What does the future hold for DJ Sneak? Any grand plans?



I plan to be Me, I plan to stay real to the craft and keep the love going for the music.

How do you imagine you’ll spend your retirement?

I am thinking that I will have the best of times; I will love life, family and music first. I also have many other
skills that I want to be able to experience or just try like when I was a kid. I wi
l stand behind some de
ks with vinyl and educate my grandchildren about this amazing journey called House Music.

** I really want to thank you for this very intense but real interview, the questions were awesome, I had a great time answering them and giving you all the most honest opinions from a DJ/ Producer that has lived some of the greatest times on the road meeting and sharing the love of music. Sorry for the wait.

Thank you,

DJ Sneak. 

 DJ Sneak Facebook Page

DJ Sneak Soundcloud Page

By Marcus Barnes