Music Through Pictures is a special interview series, in which MEOKO gives an artist nine images and asks for nine corresponding tracks in return; highlighting the relationship between art, sound, images and music, and at the same time gaining a fun insight into the musical minds of some of our favourite DJs and producers…
Giles Smith is one of those special ‘tastemakers’ that only come about once in a while; something to be cherished in an age when house and techno fever is spreading to all four corners of the world, and influencers are found in every country, yet we have one right here under our nose. An avid record collector, DJ, party promoter, producer and founder of a booking agency and record label, (often alongside his business partner and fellow resident James Priestley) has been leaving his mark on local and international house scenes for over a decade now. His secretsundaze parties changed the landscape of London clubbing, and moulded a new format of partying, and from its success he has co-founded The Secret Agency, secretsundaze records, and a celebrated mix compilation series. On top of that, he plays wicked tunes. Oh and he makes wicked tunes. His debut album Golden Age Thinking made with his good friend Martin Dawson, who tragically passed away prior to its full release (together they were ‘Two Armadillos‘) is both a fitting tribute to Dawson’s life and legacy, and to the unique sonic influence Smith himself brings to the table. Knowing the extent of his musical history knowledge and having experienced his widely varying sets, we were intrigued to see how he would respond to our Music Through Pictures interview concept – we won’t spoil it for you, but there are nine tracks below that you will most definitely want to introduce into your life…
For more Giles Smith, catch him playing this Sunday 30th June alongside Sven Weisemann, Amir Alexander, and James Priestley at secretsundaze meets Oval Space Music at Oval Space, Bethnal Green.
You can buy 2nd Release tickets for the party here.
Music Through Pictures is a new interview series, in which MEOKO gives an artist nine images and asks for nine corresponding songs in return. We’re hoping this can highlightsthe relationship between art, sound, images and music, whilst at the same time gaining a fun insight into the musical minds of some of our favourite DJs and producers…
As a DJ and producer he’s been topping charts since 2001, collaborating with everyone from Carl Cox to Derrick Carter, and electrifying dance floors across the world, whether at his residency at Space in Ibiza or Warung Beach Club in Brazil. As a promoter and label owner, Yousef has developed Circus Recordings into one of the most revered brands in the scene, playing host to Sven Vath, Richie Hawtin, Loco Dice and Adam Beyer as well as unearthing fresh talent including Seth Troxler, Maya Jane Coles and Jamie Jones, helping to push them into the limelight. Yousef’s accomplishments alone and speak volumes of his long-standing love affair with electronic music. Let’s see how he got on with our pictures!
The OneMore collective have been providing London with some of the best below-the-radar parties since way back in November 2010. Matching their underground music with underground venues, their debut event was held in a former leather factory. In the years since, they’ve become a London staple, creating a community around their parties that is rare treat nowadays and goes someway in explaining why people return month after month. These guys are serious about keeping a certain vibe, and are not in the business of selling out.
A venue which they have eventually come to call home is Hearn Street Car Park, an exciting, industrial space, whose attaching ‘chill-out’ room adds to the unique OneMore vibe. But with unconventional spaces you are met with issues, and their biggest issue was that of the licensing kind. This meant that last minute their Bank Holiday event last month with Carl Craig had to be moved to Area in Vauxhall. Fighting for their beloved venue however means that they are back at Hearn Street for their upcoming event on the 27th April.
Headlining their event this Saturday is Mr G, (who recently contributed to our Music Through Pictures series) a DJ and producer who’s been there from the beginning. Being part of many different musical ventures including KCC and The Advent, his music has travelled via dub and reggae through to his driving and unique style of techno. After laying low on the DJ circuit for years, 2011 saw the return of Mr G, with steady bookings being made from all over the world.
Also headlining is Rødhåd, German born Berghain regular, and the co-founder of the Dystopia parties in Berlin. Rødhåd aka Mike – no last name – is getting well known for his marathon DJ sets, saying in a recent interview, “Playing eight hours is like a heavenly trip.” OneMore signifies his FIRST EVER set in the UK.
It’s great to see OneMore back where they belong and joining the party along with Mr G and Rødhåd are the OneMore favourites Arnaud Le Texier, Antonio De Angelis and Outart.
Διονύσης, or Denny as we know him, is the newest addition to the MEOKO family. Only 21 years of age and recently moved to London from his hometown in Greece, Denny has a neverending passion for all things house and techno and his enthusiasm is highly infectious. Denny lives and breathes dance music and we love that! When we discovered some months back that Denny had NEVER actually been to a club in London, we concocted a plan to make his wildest dreams come true by sending him to some of the city’s most-loved raving institutions and underground parties, whilst also asking him to document his adventures – the result was My First Time at…fabric. Now we’ve done it again, but this time we’ve granted him VIP access to one of the most iconic Sunday afternoon parties currently running in London…Fuse.
Photo credit: Daddy’s Got Sweets
#2 My first time at…Fuse!
Sunday 21 April, 2013
It’s now been a couple of days since experiencing the institution that is Fuse for the first time, and still at this moment I can feel the vibe and atmosphere like it was happening here in my bedroom! Last Sunday was a very special day for the Fuse family, as they were celebrating the 2nd birthday of their own imprint Fuse London at Village Underground, and lucky for me, my beloved MEOKO colleagues had a plan to pop my “Fuse virginity” with the best way ever! Funnily enough I’ve been outside Village Underground distributing MEOKO flyerpacks almost every time Fuse has had a party and, believe me, even from outside I knew that something REALLY good was occuring inside those walls. So trying to keep myself out of the place until this Sunday wasn’t easy at all…but today, I can say it was totally worth it!
Photo credit: Daddy’s Got Sweets
As I approached the doors of Village Underground, the anxious excitement was building up inside me with every step. Inside, my excitement was fully satisfied and I loved what I saw; the space was different from any other venue or warehouse I’ve been to previously, the whole atmosphere seemed to be dripping with great memories…with more to come. 700-800 people capacity, super high ceiling, and the whole building oozing the underground philosophy that gets me mad. The space was already brimming with the crowd’s energy, even as the music was just warming up; beautiful people and hundreds of smiley faces all around made me immediately comfortable and relaxed. I got myself a beer and I wandered onto the dance floor, where I found, in the middle of the floor, that the low frequencies were very noticeable (something that I personally like a lot) and the sound was warm and spreading all over the venue from front to back.
After familiarizing myself with the venue more, I moved to the DJ booth to meet Tony Cannatella and Enzo Siragusa (Fuse’s founders). Meanwhile, Seb Zito and Luke Miskelly were already going back-to-back; a crazily perfect match, the duo showed how it’s done with great rotation and proper Techno sounds. One did not have to say much about their mixing skills as these gents knew exactly what they were doing. Behind the booth, I spoke with Tony in detail about the whole Fuse philosophy, how it began and what their expectations are for the future. More that eight years of experience in throwing parties here in London and five years of running Fuse, Tony and the team are more than experienced in how to create the proper vibe and cater to the crowd in all ways! The importance of the sound system was one of the main things we discussed, both with Tony and his sound engineer, and hearing their perspectives and knowledge on the subject blew me away. Working hard and paying extra attention to detail, like these guys do, obviously pays off, that’s for sure! After our chat and as the evening approached 19:00 I ventured once again for a wander amongst the crowd, and made a little a video to give you a taste…
Ben Rau was on the decks at this point…and whilst I was in the crowd, I bumped into Ittetsu. Sadly I hadn’t had the chance to listen to him play (other than imagining it via his MEOKO mix) but when I asked him how it went, he said he was really satisfied with the result and had a great time. This seemed to be a running theme throughout the night; all the DJs were on top form and the unity of the whole Fuse family was noticeable even in the few hours I had been there! It’s undeniable there’s a specific sound associated with Fuse, a signature style of techno that creates a harmony and flow throughout all of their sets, whilst still each individual has their own unique flair. While dancing our arses off to Ben Rau, the crowd really started to heat up and Ben proceeded to take the party to the next level – and I was lucky enough to capture on video one of my favorite parts of the night!
After Ben’s set I headed backstage, grabbed a beer, and chilled for a couple of minutes trying to mentally and physically prepare for Enzo Siragusa’s imminent set. As he told me himself earlier in the evening, Village Underground is awesome and Fuse is an experience that won’t let you down – so I was eager to hear what kind of lethal shots to the heart he was going to bring. And actually…that’s exactly what happened: Enzo did the job! Mixing effortlessly on vinyl, and turning the crowd into a sweaty, dancing mass of bodies, I captured Enzo doing his thing…
Time having flown past, suddenly it was 10 o’clock and I found myself with my MEOKO mates, enjoying the rest of the party as a family. Rich Nxt was on the decks, continuing to hammer the crowd with his cheeky basslines, affecting them in such a way that it seemed literally impossible to stop dancing! As a DJ myself, I recognized how important this amazing crowd were to the Fuse experience, and why all the jockeys were enjoying the party so much. A good crowd almost controls the DJ psychology, in such a way that they give more as the crowd gives more: it’s a “give to receive” thing and is hard to explain, although everyone knows it’s there! So a note to my fellow clubbers: if you want to party, guys just show some love and enthusiasm to the DJ, because at the end of the day you’re going to be the one benefiting from it more than anyone else!
It became even clearer to me later on, after spending some time backstage chatting with the Fuse crew, just what these beautiful people represent and why they do things the way they do – I was in love! Subsequently, I managed to catch about half of Alex Arnout’s set from behind the booth. The place was still rammed (it hadn’t seemed to lessen at all since they announced earlier at 7pm that it was at full capacity) and people were enjoying themselves more than ever, as you can see below…
Sadly the time came when I had to leave the place and catch the last tube home. Nevertheless, I left completely exhilarated from the whole day and after such an amazing first time Fuse experience, I am already counting down the days ‘til the next one. From beginning to end, the music and atmosphere was so intense it made me feel like I was tripping (and the emotional comedown the next day was equally as intense!) Massive thanks to Fuse for the incredible hospitality and amazing night, and to MEOKO for making it happen. Until my next ‘first time’, take care of yourselves and keep partying!
Music Through Pictures is a new interview series, in which MEOKO gives an artist nine images and asks for nine corresponding songs in return. We’re hoping this can highlightsthe relationship between art, sound, images and music, whilst at the same time gaining a fun insight into the musical minds of some of our favourite DJs and producers…
Kate Simko is a woman of many talents: DJ, producer, film composer, classical pianist. She has achieved a degree in Music Technology, studied composition under Aliocha Salavera in Chile, and produced copious amounts of work including three albums, various EPs, film soundtracks, audio-visual works, as well as peforming live/DJ sets around the globe. As well making stand-out house tracks, such as ‘Go On Then’ featuring Jem Cooke, her talents have been put to effect on stage through her sound design for Richard Sherridan’s The School for Scandal performed at the Barbican Centre in 2011. She’s been typically busy of late: alongside completing her ‘Lost in London’ EP on Get Physical, Kate has been working with artist Bruno Levy to produce an audio-visual interactive performance, which combines the stop-motion photographic video Crystalswith musical performance by recreating the patterns and rythms of crystals growing under a microscope through sound. Her involvement with the project makes Kate a perfect candidate for our Music Through Pictures feature and, as was expected, she responded to our nine images with a diverse selection of inspiring and iconic tracks from the likes of Cat Power, Boards of Canada, Len Faki and Kate Simko herself…
– 1 –
“Elephants – I’m going with the first couple words that come to mind when looking at these images. Brought to mind my Argentine friend Dilo’s band, Elephant Pixel.”
“Hippy cyclist – Swap a couple letters and we’re on to this classic on Warp Records…”
– 4 –
“1960’s California – Chet Baker, 60’s pretty face of California jazz. Would love to be driving along the ocean in this car, listening to Chet. If you have time, check out the documentary about his life, Let’s Get Lost. I made a track inspired by that film, called Down Beat on Spectral Sound. Not to digress, but I do love some Chet in my life!”
– 5 –
“Heroin Sax – I’m not sure this is John Coltrane on saxophone, but he’s a mind blower, so I dedicate this picture to him…”
– 6 –
“Rave Anthem – The original Donna Summer song is my favorite rave anthem of all time. In my teens in Chicago, the house DJs mixed in this disco anthem and it was just as much a house anthem too. This is a top rework, out last year, which has been a staple in my DJ sets lately.”
– 7 –
“Fantasy escape – Cat Power walking towards the sea…”
– 8 –
“Florida – This reminded me of the Everglades in Florida, which brought to mind Diplo’s album under the same name a few years back…”
– 9 –
“Breakdown – Brings to mind a line from my new tune with Jem Cooke on vocals: “Breaking down and taking out the melody inside my brain…”
Music Through Pictures is a new interview series, in which MEOKO gives an artist nine images and asks for nine corresponding songs in return. We’re hoping this will highlight the relationship between art, sound, images and music, whilst also gaining a fun insight into the musical minds of some of our favourite DJs and producers…
Formally known as Colin McBean, and previously a member of the KCC trio and one half of 90s techno act, The Advent, Mr. G is nothing less than a UK techno veteran. From his involvement in sound system culture in the 80s, the legendary weekly Confusion parties he helped throw, and street-dancing on stage at techno parties, through to his recent resurgence since joining the Rekids imprint, Mr. G has influenced a whole techno culture. Repetitive (without being repititious) and relentless, analogue-driven techno, with the kind of infectious bassline that only a man rooted in the history of dub and reggae could ever produce. He makes it literally impossible not to dance. For this reason, we absolutely jumped at the chance to have him take part in our Music Through Pictures interview series ahead of his upcoming gig in London, intrigued to find out what musical delights he would give us in response to the nine images we provided. Never one to disappoint, Colin came back with an eclectic variety of classics and stompers, all demonstrating the complexity of his musical influences, with artists ranging from Radiohead, Big Youth, Dexter Wansal and Paul McCartney.
– 1 –
“Reminds me of uptown Bronx and this slice o’ chocolate pop fits just right to me…”
– 2 –
“Way too much drama here…so let’s lighten things up and add some fun!”
– 3 –
“This is my blazing tune….one of the original masters, Big Youth. Heavy tune. A rebel sound!”
– 4 –
“We have lift off…… i.e. Future Jazz”
– 5 –
“Where’s the party at?….you know Mr. G gonna come rock da Party!”
– 6 –
“Dexter, the master of space and time music… and yeah, time is a teacher.”
– 7 –
“There are many places in the world this could be…and it lets me know just what the world is?”
– 8 –
“Looks pretty perfect to me…but is everything in the right place?”
– 9 –
“If you love me Lord…take me higher and higher!”
Catch Mr. G playing LIVE alongside Rodhad at OneMore on Saturday 27 April in London.
MEOKO’s brand new feature sees our correspondents set foot on foreign soils – in this first edition Bj Daly ventures to the land of cheese and mountains to see what our friends on the Continent are getting up to.
Geneva, Switzerland, is not a city one associates with a thriving underground scene. A financial city by nature, Geneva’s picturesque waterfront is fronted by banks, luxury goods shops and old world watchmakers. Yet this Easter weekend, tucked away a little downriver from where Lake Geneva drains out and becomes the River Rhone, a scene of a quite different nature is unravelling- Electron Festival is celebrating its tenth anniversary.
Touching down into Geneva airport at 10pm on Friday night nursing no small hangover due to the previous evenings’ festivities with Mulletover (which did much to restore their reputation), with no time to lose I immediately make my way into the city centre and downriver past the Batiment des Forces Motrices, an imposing opera house and exposition center which sits in the middle of the river and previously served as a hydroelectric power station until 1980. On the opposite riverbank, I happen upon the ‘Usine’, French for ‘Factory’ which is the main nerve center from which the festival started 10 years ago. The Usine is much akin to the legendary Kunsthaus Tacheles art center in Berlin (closed as of September 2012) and in a similar fashion houses concert halls, a nightclub, art spaces, studios, a theatre and a cinema, all used to various extent by a non-profit artist collective to promote art, culture and music.
Temple of Boom- L’Usine Cultural Center
With no time to hang about, I immediately head over to pick up my press pass in the staff area and bump into Andre Joye, one of the festival programmers, who gives me the quick low down on what Electron is all about.
“What did you set out to achieve with the artistic programming of Electron on this, your 10th anniversary?”
AJ:“We wanted to take a look back retrospectively at music on the international circuit over the years. A lot of hype is created over artists who don’t yet deserve the acclaim and we endeavoured a return to old school values. As such, whilst the programming is very diverse in genres and offers a nice mix of established and emerging artists, we have tried to place the emphasis on legends and pioneers of many varying genres. This edition for instance will feature techno and acid-house pioneers LFO, House legends Derrick Carter, Theo Parrish and DJ Sneak, digital punk-hardcore act Atari Teenage Riot and mythical reggae collective Trojan Soundsystem. Let’s not forget either the legend that is Daniel Miller and also special mention to the 20-year anniversary showcase of the seminal German Techno label Kompakt, to which the opening night was dedicated and which featured Mohn, Sascha Funke, Justus Köhncke, Saschienne and enchanting Brazilian producer Gui Boratto.
“How do you feel Electron is positioned within the over saturated electronic festival scene in Europe?
AJ: “The Internet creates so much buzz around artists who may have only released a handful of records. As a result, festival line-ups easily become influenced by this hype and many across Europe begin to look a bit identikit in look and feel. We try to offer a programming both musical and artistic which is diverse and different as we feel our public is curious and hungry to discover new artists that have perhaps hitherto been underrated. It is also important to us to respect our own artistic scene without which none of this would be possible. As such the festival features many talented Swiss and local artists such as Quenum, Crowdpleaser Dachshund, Oram Modular and Kadebostany – to name but a few featuring alongside more established international contemporaries.”
“Finally Andre, what is your “Coup de Coeur” of the Festival?”
AJ:“For me it’s got to be The Bug feat. Daddy Freddy. I’ve been a Drum n’ Bass DJ and producer for many years and he has been a massive influence on me.
As soon as I finish with André, I’m on the run again as I’ve scheduled an interview with French producer Rone. On my way over from the Palladium concert hall, the largest capacity venue of the festival’s eight separate sites, I can’t help myself from pulling up at the Kompakt pop up store, loaded with almost every Kompakt release over the last 20 years. The place is a goldmine and I make a promise to myself to come back and dig through the crates.
I meet Rone, or Erwan Castex in the backstage area of the downstairs venue of the Usine, meandering first through graffiti covered corridors and staircases that typify this kind of European art center, which feels very much like a mansion squat in places (that’s a good thing!). Rone is one of the revelations of 2012 following the release and widespread critical acclaim of his album, Tohu Bohu, French for ‘Hurly-Burly’,on Agoria’s Parisian label Infiné. (catch the full interview next week on MEOKO).
Aside from being an excellent producer, Rone turns out to be a really sound guy. Something about producers who don’t DJ typifies them in the loveable geek mould. After a long 30 minutes spent chatting over some vodka red bulls served up by Rone himself, I return to the press area to drop my gear and on the way back manage to catch about 20 mins of LFO from the VIP balcony area. Although LFO was originally a 2 piece act consisting of Gez Farley and Mark Bell, Mark Bell is now the sole representative of this groundbreaking, pioneering act, and has since achieved notoriety as the producer behind Bjork, as well as remixing the likes of Depeche Mode and Dave Clarke. Given that LFO predates me, I am particularly excited to catch him / them live for the first time after growing up listening to them at a tender age. As I watch from afar, I see Mark with a minimalist table set up entice a curious crowd with glitchy, frantic high-octane noise. As for me, this is no doubt the first time most people here get to see first-hand what LFO is all about and the massive influence they have had upon electronic music.
LFO’s Mark Bell
Eager to catch up with some old friends, I make my way back to L’Usine and head upstairs to the Zoo, the main club venue. This place smells like sweat, smoke and alcohol, a good combination for any club. With just the right amount of production value put into lights and visuals, the place is professional but raw – a fine balance to achieve by any means. As I arrive, house maestro Derrick Carter is playing his signature blend of Jazz infused Chicago house. The crowd in here is busy and pent up with TGIF party energy- people are dancing, chatting, and whistling as the main man DC effortlessly takes us to Ibiza and back to Chicago with another saxophone infused house track.
A glance at my phone tells me it’s just gone 2am, which means its time to go back downstairs to see Rone, a concert I have been eagerly anticipating. As I push my way into the crowd for a better position, its clear that this guy is not unheard of here- the crowd is bumper to bumper and wolf whistles are going out before he’s even come on stage. Playing on Ableton live, he starts out his set with dreamy, melancholic tracks to which the crowd sways, gradually building up and interspersing long beautiful synths with more tech-minimal, glitch wizardry. In between tracks, which last on average 12 minutes, there is rapturous applause and you get the feeling this is a really special moment for Erwan, who is humble in his appreciation as he bows and bows again before getting on with the show. He gradually builds his set up to an intense crescendo, and the crowd go wild, lost in rapture. Finally, he closes with “Bye Bye Macadam” sending shivers and goose bumps down every spine in the room.
Rone “Bye Bye Macadam”
Rone is swiftly followed by Drum N’ Bass twosome Loadstar. The contrast in energy and genre is markedly different, a smart programming move which serves to re-inject fuel into the crowd, who’ve just been lulled by the magic of Rone. Loadstar proceed to whip the crowd into a UK-style frenzy, and the smell of joints in the air is palpable. After such an intense auditory experience, I head back upstairs to the Zoo making my way past people hanging out on good vibes in every corner. I finish the night listening to Anja Schneider play some deep and reasoned afterhour’s techno, allowing people to breathe and catch up on each other’s nights. Anja’s forever big smile and infectious charisma permeates through her sound and makes this the ideal end to a great night- Thugfucker and Tale of Us’ “Morgana” is a particular highlight.
Anja Schneider closing Friday night in Zoo club
I make it back to the festival site late Saturday afternoon in time to catch a showing of “Real Scenes: Detroit” in the Sputnik cinema, again housed within the Usine building complex. Detroit’s influence on electronic music is often referred to in the past tense, but this short documentary shows us that despite the bust of the auto industry and economy, Detroit will continue to be an influence on electronic music for years to come with old hands like Kyle Hall passing on their knowledge and skills to a new generation of beatmakers, including 14-year-old Reuel Walker (you heard it here first!).
With a bit more time to kill before the night’s action begins, I head over to the centre of contemporary art and check out some of the expositions, workshops and conferences going on there as part of the festival. This area doubles up as the festival chill out area, a nice touch given what’s on offer for those with sore legs and tired ears. I’m particularly drawn to the art installation of teamlab (Tokyo), an interactive walk-through structure supporting a collection of helium-inflated balloons that react to actions provoked by the public. Other attractions include ‘Feel the Food’ an experimental sensorial experience mixing sight, sound and taste and an exhibition put on by students of the Haute Ecole D’art & Design entitled “Sound experimentations, hallucinated landscapes & sharing the atmosphere”.
Interactive art installation by teamlab (Tokyo)
Later on, with not much more of real interest to me on the programme I head to the large venue Palladium to catch a bit of Erol and Tiga. A guilty pleasure perhaps, but both of these know how to make people dance and Erol is particularly bumping, playing classic electro and tech house backed by visuals which would make a blind man have an epileptic fit. Elsewhere, Jon Convex (half of duo Instra:mental), Shackleton and Mala in Cuba are playing, these acts among other lesser known ones in the genre – an indication of the high level of appreciation for Reggae-Dub in this part of the world and again the diversity of the programming to cater to a unique, international crowd of all ages and backgrounds. At one point I am intent on going to see Theo Parrish who’s playing a six-hour set but it’s a bit of a walk to the venue and security tell me I cant get back in to the main area if I go. As it turns out, Theo Parrish’s set was fraught with sound problems and the feedback I received was disappointing, a real shame for a guy of his stature. I end the night back in trusty Zoo, with Geneva local Dachshund playing a blinding minimal-tech set. The vibe is positive and groovy, best summed up by the 2012 anthem “Future” by Kevin Saunderson / Inner City (Kenny Larkin Tension Mix) which gets dropped at some point to the general merriment of everyone present. Dachshund epitomises the kind of burgeoning Swiss underground talent who are well respected on the continent but have yet to feature prominently in the UK.
* (Dachshund featured for MEOKO back in September 2012- if you haven’t already heard the mix, give it a listen here- you won’t be disappointed! Click above.)
Dachshund (left) and Erol doing their thing
By the time Sunday rolls around, I’m feeling the effects of three nights on the go, including an official after-party hosted by up and coming Swiss techno label Wasserflasche. Nonetheless, I make it back to the festival site for one last hurrah. On this final night the festival is scaled down to just the two venues inside L’Usine. I catch Quenum first, a legendary Swiss DJ who has a CV that reads like a book. Along with Luciano (also Swiss), who founded Cadenza Records and has released ove
60 records over a long career spanning back to the 80’s and is also behind one of the most seminal techno tracks ever in “Orange Mistake”.
Luciano & Quenum “Orange Mistake”
Next up I catch Australian Berlin resident Deepchild, who plays a dark and quirky techno set, the kind you would expect from a guy who plays regularly in Berghain and Tresor. DJ Sneak follows, driving the room with his gangsta take-no-prisoners attitude and slamming house, marked by his signature sound of tight snares and high hats. He moves back and forth through genres including tech house, ghetto tech and techno and at one point he drops Shadow Child’s “23” as the crowd continuously go mental. You can tell there is real appreciation for Sneak and he seems to be enjoying the real, raw and unpolished atmosphere of the club, taking several videos on his phone and hanging about after his set on stage as Swiss house maestros Round Table Knights take over until close.
DJ Sneak- The Original House Gangsta’
Unable to move my legs to the jackin’ beat anymore, I head downstairs just as Peaches and a posse of scantily clad female dancers wearing devil-goat masks and covered in fake blood are finishing up terrorizing an audience with some kind of transgressive/S&M show backed by her trademark electroclash-punk head banging sound. Swiss act Luluxpo follow playing slow deep, hypnotic Peyote-Techno similar to Rebolledo and Matias Aguayo, and like with Peaches, the emphasis is on the show as an enchanting Burlesque dancer takes to the stage to tease the audience with intense sexual energy. It’s an intelligent programming decision and the ideal end to the festival, as the focus on the performance element in both these shows allows listeners to rest tired ears and legs and watch the theatrical displays on offer.
Luluxpo feat. Emma Mylan (Burlesque dancer)
It’s hard to sum up Electron in one word. I guess for anyone who’s been there, its most similar in its DNA to Sonar by day, with a diverse array of cultural and artistic offerings to be enjoyed, from an eclectic musical programming to dance performances, art expositions, cinema screenings, conferences, workshops and more. In all areas of the festival, one can feel the omnipresent influence of extremely well heeled programmers of art school backgrounds who appreciate a range of genres and offer up a fine selection in order to not only please audiences with well loved acts but also to make them discover and appreciate new music and art that they might not have otherwise been exposed to. Perhaps most striking is that as Geneva does not feature prominently on typical clubbing calendars, unlike say its bigger regional brothers Amsterdam, Barcelona or Berlin, Electron promoters are free from Internet buzz hype, the need to appear outwardly ‘cool’ or to meet pre-defined rave culture stereotypes. The result is a friendly, convivial festival that celebrates art and culture in all its forms and an embracing, appreciative crowd is of all ages and backgrounds.
Meoko highlights: Rone, Dachshund, Quenum, Dj Sneak, Deepchild, Kompakt Pop Up Store, Art exhibitions
Special Thanks to Danièle McClellan, André Joye and Erwan Castex
Meoko Horizons is next reporting from Timewarp, Mannheim, (April 6th)
London based DJ and unique electronic sculptress, Francesca Lombardo, is far from a newcomer to the electronic music world despite her recent leap to recognition via Damian Lazarus‘s Crosstown Rebels crew. Initially going under the alias Jackie Misfit and DJing at underground clubs and parties throughout London, as well as running her own imprint Echolette Records. Her success as Misfit saw her catch the ear of DamianLazarus in 2011 who swiftly snapped up her potential and signed her to his label and agency. An accomplished DJ who has played at the biggest music events including Sonar and Miami WMC, where she has just returned from, her technique in the studio is not to go unnoticed either. With a classical grounding, Lombardo is a genuine musical talent. Her productions are rife with feeling and emotion, tinged with her own vocals and ever changing inspiration. With an EP forthcoming on Crosstown, Francesca will be a force to be reckoned with. Ahead of her set at mulletover’s 9th birthday event alongside Maceo Plex, we invited her to take part in a little gem of an interview series we like to call ‘Music Through Pictures’…
– 1 –
This girl is stuck in a cage…and there is love in her.
– 2 –
I find this picture sexy, transgressive and slow…this is the track that better reflects it for me.
– 3 –
The colours of the scene of this picture reminds me of this track, like it’s the final scene of a movie where the star of the night gets taken away by the police!
– 4 –
This track is exactly what is going on in the picture…dreaming… colours…and frequencies all around!
– 5 –
This scene just IS this track for me…she is walking and not thinking anymore, but she is the melody of this music.
– 6 –
This picture is punks, and rastas….80s for sure! Just fun fun fun!
– 7 –
This picture tells a story…it reminds me of this song. I would definitely be listening to this track if the party never started.
– 8 –
The lyrics of this track have nothing to do with this image but if I was to make a movie scene like this, I would choose it as the soundtrack – happy and colorful.
– 9 –
Epic picture…epic tune…still Giorgio.
Francesca Lombardo is playing at the Mulletover 9th Birthday alongside Maceo Plex, Geddes and Sam Russo tonight, Thursday 28th March.
Tickets will not be on sale on the door but you can buy them online until 9pm here
Returning for its third successive year, Amsterdam Open Air is back in June 2013. The two-day event sees a myriad of electronic talent – from house and techno to disco and electro – descend on Amsterdam’s lush, picturesque Gaasperpark, where both local and international revellers bask in warm summer weather and fantastic music. Alongside the music, the event hosts an impressive program of creative pursuits and culinary treats, to add that extra dimension of wholesome silliness to your festival experience.
But of course, the music takes precedent. Boasting a line-up that covers every inch of the dance music spectrum, all your favourite acts will make an appearance, from Ellen Alien, DJ Sneak and Robert Hood all the way through to Cassy, Todd Terry and Matthew Dear. Live performances from the likes of Hercules & Love Affair Soundsystem, Guti and Benoit & Sergio will also feature. Priced at the more than affordable rate of €40 per day or €60 for the weekend, it would be a real shame to pass up one of Holland’s most iconic new festivals.
COMPETITION – competition is now closed
To celebrate its return, MEOKO have teamed up with the good people behind AOAF to offer one lucky winner to take home a pair of VIP CAMPING TICKETS to the event. To be in with a chance of winning, simply answer this easy question:
Mr. Statik is known to many from his hugely successful residency at Athens’ place-to-be, ‘Six D.O.G.S’. Originally heavily influenced by the 90′s breakbeat and early hardcore scene, Statik went on to gain international recognition in the contemporary techno scene, a long standing contribution to the community that included numerous slots at many international renowned festivals and releases on some of the world’s leading house and techno labels. Right before he moves to Berlin , MEOKO caught up with Mr.Statik to discuss his first release for 2013, why he is leaving Greece and some top travel tips for touring DJs by the man himself !
CLICK BELOW FOR EXCLUSIVE MR STATIK MIX
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Mr Statik. We know you have a busy schedule – how has everything been going?
Happy to be on board! Actually 2013 has already wiped the floor with 2012, I was in London for almost the entire January, started working at Six D.O.G.S in Athens on booking/club coordination, signed to the lovely crew of Love City Central, and the first of several EPs came out already on Berlin’s Rotary Cocktail – can’t really complain to be honest, these are exciting times!
I know that you are about to move to Berlin, what are your plans there?
Well I recently got a very interesting job offer from the crew that runs Red Bull Music Academy to join their upcoming Berlin HQ, so if all goes well I should be heading out there before the beginning of the summer. First class opportunity to also get a bit closer to the heart of things – most of the labels I work with these days are German so I guess it’s a win-win situation any way you approach it.
So what’s something that you’re going to miss from your daily life in Greece ?
Given the fact that these couple of days its already 20+ degrees in Athens and I was just seeing friends posting snowy pictures in Berlin, the sun seems to be the first thing! Good thing that I’ll have to move during the summer and ease my way into the darkness. Besides that family first and foremost, my circle of friends too, in general the attitude of Greek people towards the hard situation that we’re going through right now, as many guests from abroad have pointed out they can’t imagine many people from other European countries facing such setbacks the way we do. Having said all that, I wouldn’t mind migrating a couple of proper Greek restaurants to Berlin, it seems that the city needs them as well….
‘Carnal Haze’ on Rotary Cocktail is the first release we heard from you for this year. Tell us some more things about this mind-blowing track.
Well there’s quite a story here. At first my Italian buddies, Cosmic Cowboys, contacted me to do a collaboration for their upcoming album, which is actually the laid back Digital bonus of the EP, ‘Lazy Daze’. They sent me a couple of tracks to choose from that were broken down into parts and then I sliced and re-arranged everything so as to give my own perspective. This actually worked out really effortlessly so we decided to do one more. Same procedure, definitely felt like going to a clubbier direction and since at the time I was already working on some material with my fellow Greek artist and dear friend, Lee Burton, he came on board providing the vocals/lyrics on ‘Carnal Haze’. Nico from Cosmic Cowboys then sent these two to Martin from youANDme, for some primary feedback, couple of weeks later I hear back from them that they are signed on Rotary Cocktail so there you go 🙂
In regards to your own productions, what projects are you working on at the moment?
Well actually the heavier amount of studio work took place through out 2012, now I’m in the process of sending pre-masters of all the signed material. As you mentioned, Carnal Haze came out already, so now I have one track on the upcoming BPitch Control Where The Wind Blows compilation at the end of the month featuring the enigmatic Beatrice Ballabile on vocal duties. We just received the masters to the upcoming IRR release together with Lee Burton called ‘Tentonine”, sporting two interpretations of the title track, should be out in mid April. June marks my return to Mo’s with ‘Roll down the shutters’, two dub cuts featuring one of my favourite vocalists of this scene, Sasha Perera of Jahcoozi fame, plus remixes by label head Dapayk and Daze Maxim, and hopefully at some point around the summer you’ll will find my debut to one of my all time fave French labels, Karat, with the ‘Synthia Moogatu’ EP. Besides all these, got some side projects too such as Steamupunk’d, which is focused on mine and Lee Burton’s mutual love of analogue, bleepy, micro house, plus a Subbed Out related one which stems from the same-named bass-oriented club night we do with my buddy Runner, and also finally STTK MSTR which will be techno only (finally!).
It barely takes a pair of ears to tell that you have a real passion for techno. How were you first exposed to these sounds and what artists did you grow up on?
Well actually for many years since my original involvement with electronic music in the early 90s, I was more of a hardcore/breaks/jungle fan thanks to a pirate radio station in the city of Volos where I grew up and two older private English schoolmates that introduced that sound. Techno didn’t really kick in properly till I moved in Athens for political science studies in ’98, its where I grew up as a clubber initially and a reluctant selector – I would hardly call it DJing what I did in the beginning. However getting familiar with the early Plastikman era, Jeff Mills, James Ruskin, Fumiya Tanaka, Surgeon and the Scandinavian scene really shaped up the sound I was into. It wasn’t up until 2003 and my participation in that year’s RBMA in Cape town, and the interaction with like-minded AND different oriented musicians from across the world that brought a diversity in my DJ sets and a gradual decrease in BPMs. I’d say that right now I’m hiding in the shadow that techno casts upon house, or is it the other way round, can’t really tell…
Apart from electronic music, what other genres do you feel have helped shaped the sound you bring today?
Well I’m a big fan of soundtracks, I always try to find the time and check out as many as I can. I’ve always found it so challenging to be able to combine audio and visual in one seamless way, to be able to catch the moment and still make sense on a stand alone level. On the other hand I’m a huge NIN fan, have been following them since the early days and really excited that they are coming back – super happy too that Joshua Eustis (of Telefon Tel Aviv fame) will be joining the new roster, he’s such a talented musician and I had the luck to work with him couple of years ago on my first EP for BPitch Control. TOOL would also be a band that still inspires me a lot, both on a musical and a visual level, they love storytelling and I guess I’m more fixated in conceptual artists than genres on a horizontal level.
With all the traveling and the constantly expanding technology and gear, what is something that always stays in your DJ bag. What is something you always have to have with you?
Records? [laughs] Well I’m not the typical example of your state of the art, hi tech, DJ dude. Still love my vinyl and If I didn’t have a slip disc injury last year I’d be still playing 100% vinyl. These days I got to split between the two formats and I’ve “shamefully” come to admit that a USB stick with fresh promos, new beats, on the fly purchases can come in extremely handy. Dunno if it counts as something but I never travel withiout a copy of Perlon 026 😉
What would be your top three travel tips for touring DJs?
Try local cuisines, there’s always a chance you’ll be wonderfully surprised.
Arrange flights (when possible of course) so that you can spend at least a bit if time to check out the city/country’s history, sometimes we tend to forget what lucky bastards we actually are.
Get a sleep mask, airplanes aren’t the friendliest sleeping environment and sometimes you might just not want to scare off the person sitting next to you.
What was the most memorable set you’ve played recently?
Well I had a great time playing for the first time in Brussels at the Wood, really lovely venue/crew of people literally in the woods at the outskirts of the city, snow out side, and the crowd although seemingly young was quite receptive of a certain amount of freakiness. Klub D in Cyprus was also wonderful, first time there too, there’s a very passionate team behind it and you always have to respect the extra effort of receiving such quality in places so far away from the heart of the scene. And then there’s that Six D.O.G.S place in Athens that I hear is quite a treat.:)
What’s one thing that you don’t see enough of in the music industry that you’d like to see?
Well I always root for the unsung heroes and the storytellers no matter what, so I guess I’d like to see the industry revert back a bit to what the DJ is actually all about – both an entertainer AND an educator of sorts – unfortunately things are turning uneven towards the first category these days. I understand that this, in the end, is still a money business but the people behind this industry should “allow” the performers to take their risks, interesting things always come out of risks. In the end one of the most revered DJ mixes/compilations of all time for me (and hopefully other people too) is ‘Letsallmakemistakes’ by Matthew Herbert…and he’s not often wrong, is he?