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Under Meoko Microscope

I think that an artist always has pressure to deliver something good at anytime’: Under The MEOKO Microscope – Giuliano Lomonte & Mix

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

Giuliano Lomonte under the meoko microscope

Here at MEOKO, we took the opportunity to interview Giuliano Lomonte as part of our Under the MEOKO microscope feature, where we scout out emerging and underrated talents. He tells us about his musical journeys from his homeland to Germany and paints us a picture of what clubbing is like in both countires. And of course the future plans including his own record label Point of View. Read on…

Guiliano Lomonte Mix

Hi Giuliano, thanks for your time! How’s life been treating you lately?

Hello guys, thanks for having me. Life is great now that Summer is finally here and that always puts me in a good mood.

You’re originally from Italy but when did you move to Berlin? What decided you?

I moved to Germany 10 years ago actually, it was 28.08.2008 🙂

During the years before I decided to move, I was actually flying to Germany once a month to go and visit all the best parties that were happening around the Frankfurt area at the time like seeing Ricardo Villalobos playing at Robert Johnson, Love Family Park Festival and many others.

After realizing at some point that I was spending more time Germany than I was in Italy, I decide to relocate to Mannheim, as during that time I met and became friends with many people from there so it seemed like the most logical step.

After an intense 2.5-year experience there I felt there was more for me to discover in Germany especially as it was, and still i, the heart of the electronic music scene so in March 2011 I moved to the city that would inspire me even further to continue to pursue this musical dream, and that was Berlin.

How was the scene like back in Italy?

The scene has been always been strong in Italy. The country has a long history of appreciation for house music and club culture. Italians love to go out and celebrate and there are many nightclubs all over the country for people to enjoy.

We still have many good club that made the history of the italian nightlife, to name a few, Goa Club in Rome, Clorophilla in puglia, Tenax in tuscany, Cocorico in Riccione. Since day one, they all run top quality party!

Do you have any favourite clubs to play? I know we can quite often catch you behind the decks at Club der Visionaere and Hoppetosse…

There are many clubs that are on my favorite list but on the very top is Robert Johnson.

I love playing there so much and it is such an honor every time I get the chance considering this was the place for me where everything started and inspired me to change my life completely!

Of course I really like to play in Berlin at CDV and Hoppetosse too, there is such a feeling of freedom behind the decks there, I can play things I would never be able to in other cities as the crowd is always up for everything and the parties last so many hours that as a DJ you are really able to show a range not possible in short sets like in most other clubs around the world. I really feel home when I’m there.

I must also add, a few years ago I discovered another club that has all the characteristics for a perfect party. It’s called VENICEBERG and is in Verona, Italy.

I recently I had the opportunity to play a 12 hour B2B there and it was magic!

The booth was perfect, the sound system was amazing and the crowd were all so connected to us and each other, so it made the place very special. Im so glad we have a club there like this today, it really makes me proud to be Italian.

“La Musique” makes me think so much of Sunwaves where it was rinsed last year, it seemed like the perfect place for this tune. So I was wondering, do you produce with a specific context in mind — for example, those aforementioned clubs…?

To be honest I didn’t had anything specific in mind, just the bassline. All the rest came after I had that.

I did go to Sunwaves a couple of years ago so maybe something stuck in my subconscious about a moment I had in that environment that somehow I might have accessed without being aware of it when I started the idea for the track. I always try to allow myself to be free and not think too much when I’m making music as this tends to interrupt the whole process for me and creativity is a very delicate thing that comes moment by moment without having the feeling l have control over it.

And how was it getting back to production after such a hit? Did you feel any pressure to craft another banger, for example?

The La Musique EP was probably the best expression of myself that I have released up until now so it was nice to get such great feedback on the production, and it gave me the confidence to continue and make that my minimum standard to strive for with all my future records.

I think that an artist always has pressure to deliver something good at anytime, and this becomes even more intense once you have some success with a particular track. I had to learn not to be too hard on myself after this came out and got so much attention because you can’t choose what is going to become a hit with the people and what isn’t. You just have to be happy with what you have done for yourself when you put your music out into the world for other people to hear as and then after that’s totally out of your control.

I feel like your style is usually more understated, but would you say you have a “style” yourself? And if so how would you describe it?

Well I was a clubber to begin with and that will always stay with me in the style of music I make as a producer and play when I DJ. I always aim to create an experience where people can feel high on the dance floor even if they are totally sober!

Are you an after-hours kind of person?

I am all all hours kind of person haha . I would say yes i’m also; its the time when finally i let myself go after all the work is done. and if you are surrounded by good friends and people can just be great!

It seems like you’ve had more gigs outside of Germany lately, do you feel like your career’s picking up recently? Did it affect your daily life?

Since I signed with Solid AM in 2017 it has been really great especially to have the support from an agency like that, based in the city i live, which represents so many other great artists such as John Dimas, Vera, Steve O’Sullivan and Sammy Dee.

Actually I was working full time as a professional chef for the last 15 years and just doing music and DJing on the side in my spare time but I had to make the decision last year to quit that so I could focus all my time and energy on the music as it was really taking off so much I couldn’t manage both any longer.

How was it playing across Europe, and even Japan and Australia recently?

It was incredible! Japan was totally insane! Such a different culture for me to experience, it was like taking a glimpse into the future! I have to say though that Australia was the biggest surprise and shock. So many great gigs, especially SASH in Sydney and then Breakfast Club at 161, I couldn’t believe so many cool people were out in Melbourne on a Monday afternoon going crazy and so into the music! They really should do this party all over the world. I was very impressed with the Australian way of life. It felt so relaxed and easy with so many friendly and happy people but 6 days was definitely long not enough to be there and I can’t wait to get another chance to visit there again but next time I would love to stay much longer.

Let’s talk about the label now if you’d like! What’s your motivation with Point Of View, and how did it come about?

I wanted to start my own label as a place to be free to release my own music and music from other artists I believed in without the time pressure or difficult release schedules from other labels where sometimes you can be put in a position where you need to wait for years before they finally are able to release your tracks. This can be incredibly frustrating as it can also happen that over those years you are waiting, the tracks feel so old to you that by the time they finally come out you could be in a totally different place musically and creatively which can also be confusing for people that do love and follow your music.

How do you choose the producers you’re going to release on the label?

It’s usually friends i believe in which I feel is the most important. We all share music in our daily lives with each other and if I hear something i feel i can support with the label I really like to do this. I feel the personality of an artist is so important as it comes through in the music they create as its the expression of the artist’s soul and I really believe in all the people I have around me.

Speaking of which, what can we expect from you and Point of View in the near future?

There has been a full concept behind the label since I started it which revolves around the number 12 which has always been a very significant number to me. There are 12 letters in Point Of View, and there will be 12 releases on 12 inch vinyl and a big surprise for the last release which is going to be something very special from me personally and will tie up this whole project in a really interesting way. I feel it’s so important these days to do something with meaning, there are so many labels out there, to stand out you have to be unique in your concept and deliver quality music consistently.

The next point007 that will be out in September is going to be the third original EP from me on the label which I’m also very excited about.

Finally, thanks for your mix! What were you aiming for with it?

Well I wanted to give you guys something very special. It’s a part of my last set recorded live from Robert Johnson which I think shows exactly what people can expect of me as a DJ for any club set I play from opening, to main and also to after-hours. And considering how special this club is to me and my whole story, I hope you will all enjoy listening to it as much as i loved playing it.

Words by Pierre-Alexis Chauvin

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Under the MEOKO Microscope with MARLIE

By Festival, Hot Off The Press, Interviews, Under Meoko Microscope

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Marlie,  a talented and passionate selector born in Sydney has certainly made her stamp on the music map. Recently just signed to Round Up Agency, Marlie has fast tracked her career by playing her unique and signature sound with a flawless and professional manner that has earned her respect throughout the industry in a very short time. Having kicked off her career properly in 2015, Marlie already has co-founded one of Londons biggest parties Point, established her own project roots which seeks to explores many differnt avenues of the industry and puts its focus on the local community and exposing the sound that she loves to her native country aswell as having played many high profile gigs including CDV, WYS and Up Festival to name just a few.

MEOKO can’t wait to see whats instore next for this young and promising artist.

Click here to listen >> Marlie MEOKO #259

MArliemix

Which is the track that changed your life? The one that made you understand that music is really a particular emotion, more intense than others.

Taking me back to my very first days in East London before I started playing… It’s a track called Jacausa by one of our mates who’s artist name was Circus Line at the time. It was my first time at Keep on Going and I’d just discovered the wonderful world of minimal music. I’d often get goosebumps when I’d hear it – It just took me somewhere else..

Which are the DJs and producers with whom you feel more affinity, and with whom you would always like to share words, music and goals?

In the past couple of years I’m so happy to have met & connected with two of my favourite artists, Priku & Barac. I’ve seen both of them play multiple times & I continue to have so much respect for them. Priku played the best set I’ve ever experienced at Sunwaves and Barac’s set at Up Festival this year was just so special. Aside from their music they are both beautiful souls which is what makes them more of an inspiration to me. It’s no doubt that RPR are also a huge influence on me musically and artists that I admire. 

https://soundcloud.com/marlie-8/sets/marlie-podcasts” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer” data-lynx-mode=”hover” data-lynx-uri=”https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fsoundcloud.com%2Fmarlie-8%2Fsets%2Fmarlie-podcasts&h=AT1qOxDSibRVpJdx52NysL2ZAbZc3ygYJFWV3oIaG5bmxiZmmu2sqV1-dp0hA80IZIn9d3us8NaC8b5R9tY0ocs23qTPvHMFDoUdobSGVlYNYmQeRxZwd68TcJ8sZamS4JruBkUzJeM


How has your year been so far and what have you got planned for the rest of the year? Any upcoming gigs or plans to share with MEOKO readers?

 I’ve had such an incredible year so far! I’m still trying to get use to Winter here in Sydney as I recently got back from two months in Europe where I had some awesome gigs. I was based in Prague with Round Up agency however I was constantly travelling. I went to Sunwaves for the first time which was mind-blowing & I played at my very first festival too Up Festival. It was amazing to be able to listen & dance to my favourite artists at some of the best parties, connect with old friends & make new ones. I arrived home feeling pretty exhausted but very inspired nonetheless. 

marlielove

My plans for the rest of the year are to continue building my brand Roots here in Sydney & enjoy what Australia has to offer when Summer comes around. I’m stoked to finally be getting my European passport this August after 4 years of waiting! This means I’ll be heading back to live in Europe early next year and hopefully continue chasing the Summer between there & Australia. 

 roots

 round up

Which artistic achievement of you are most proud of so far ?

In London I had spent a lot of time building my party Point, with Dean Marc. When I moved back home to Sydney I felt like I was leaving a big part of me behind. I didn’t know anyone in the music scene in Australia so it was quite overwhelming at first – I felt like a stranger in my own city. It was only a matter of time before I started to miss the European music culture I was use to as well. I was determined to start my own new project here, so Roots was born. The brand began to grow in such a short period of time through a couple of illegal raves, podcasts, radio shows and live streams. We’ve now been doing parties in clubs for just over six months and I’m really happy with the direction it’s going – We’re playing our part in bringing that European vibe over to Australia!

 marlieeeee

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Under The MEOKO Microscope – Andy Kolwes & Mix

By Festival, Hot Off The Press, Interviews, MEOKO Exclusive, Under Meoko Microscope

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Microscope series is back again and this time we are having a very well known name – Andy Kolwes & A Special Mix.

 

Hi Andy, a pleasure to have you here! I couldn’t make it in time for your set due to my work but I had a blast at the Pressure Traxx’s 6th birthday at Hoppetosse, how was it for you?

Coming to Berlin is always a pleasure because I have so many friends & brothers in sound here. I entered the boat about ten at night and both decks were already fully packed. It was quite sweaty but had a great buzz about it. It felt amazing! I couldn’t t think of a better way to celebrate this birthday. I met so many friends from all over, including my friends from Cologne who came by as well.

I always prefer working with friends, because there is a deep level of understanding. Every problem can be solved with a quick phone call and you don t waste any time with chit chat. That means more time for the fun part!

So I realized I don’t know much about your background, what were your formative years like? Did you grow up in Cologne?

If I look back now, it seems like I have a special relationship with the night since the beginning. In my early youth I was a very busy graffiti writer. Very similar to the music scene with friends from all over across Europe. We were visiting each other, all sharing the same passion. A real underground feeling. It was natural for us to buy vinyl, even though we weren’t DJs at all. A good friend of mine was the first to have a DJ setup at home with 2 Mk2s and a mixer. The only problem was, that nobody knew what to do! There wasn’t any YouTube or Internet, you had to have somebody to show you how it works, not so easy like today. So I was more into graffiti at that time. It was in my early twenties, that I discovered the disco life for myself.

After that I was more & more going out and enjoying the party night life. Over the years I became a experienced clubber, first as a punter and later I started mixing, organizing parties & finally making my own music. The time between 20-30 was pretty tough because everything is unsure and finding your way in life is not so clear. Whilst studying economics, all the expectations were causing pressures and making me question what I was doing. Later on in my 30s things got much easier in a way, as you start to feel more comfortable with yourself. The path is more obvious and you realise you are doing the right thing. 

Do you remember any experience that blew your mind and decided you to get into the scene, start mixing, etc?

My mate Nekes was playing in Cologne and we were at an after party we were doing, I decided right there and then to go for it & get into Djing as my new passion. From then on I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  I started organizing my own parties. Then I made friends with Alex Multhaup who did the label Karmarouge back in the days. We were organizing monthly club nights and a big festival called “Cologne Summertunes”. In the following ten years I had the chance to develop my skills and grow as a DJ, playing with many of the guys that I’d looked up to previously. These were great times!

That’s how I met Thomas Melchior for the first time, as well as Dan Andrei who became a regular guest and long time friend. I think I was about 26, when I started making my own music. Our monthly event was a good opportunity to test out the stuff I had produced the weeks before. It was a very motivating environment for me growing as an artist. The music became more & more important. 

Cologne’s a city our readers are maybe less familiar than Berlin or Frankfurt, how’s the scene like over there? Kompakt is a big reference point but that doesn’t seem to be your type of sound, was this an influence though?

Of course Kompakt was really important for many people back in the day but it frustrates me a little, that Cologne is still only known for the sound of Kompakt. We have some really talented people here who are worthy of getting mentioned as well. For example, Julian Bomm and the guys from Rheinrythmic crew. A highly motivated bunch of young guys organizing events. Three years ago, they came up with an illegal club for a short period of time in an old car wash. It was all built from wood inside with the help of their mates. For the weekend they rented a function one sound system & it was just one big rave!

Luckily my studio was 5 minutes away and so, every weekend I was making music and when I felt kind of stuck in the process, I walked over to “Waschstrasse“ to catch some vibes.

Mostly I came by in the morning. In the end they put the old couches on the dancefloor and we were all hanging out. Then slowly a few started dancing again & BOOM, it was going on! That brought a special feeling of to Cologne, which Berlin is usually known for. In this great environment I met many new friends, for example St. Joseph as well as Martin Mercer, a young and very good producer with a huge output who is surely one to watch.  

Is it something special for you playing over there? Would you ever consider moving?

Of course it is a very attractive place: I mean, so many friends all living close by in the neighbourhood. That sounds very appealing to me. During the week I am making music mostly on my own, because everybody else is doing a job. That can be boring sometimes. I just started searching for the right place in Berlin around Kreuzberg, where i can live with my Studio All in one place. If anybody knows something, please just drop me a line!

People are coming to Berlin from all over the world  and I see it as a gift, that all this is happening right in front of my door. The fact that there is almost no language barriers makes everything so easy. 

You’ve been DJing for more than 10 years now but only started releasing records around 2013, so what got you into producing?

At first my primary goal was to produce in order to get more bookings. Over time producing the music was so important to me that if I would have to choose now between Djing & Producing, I would just Produce. It feels like a great gift, being able to make the soundtrack to my own life. 

Making music is like therapy. Even though you are escaping from reality, but you are still doing something for yourself. I find it really cathartic.

If I look back now, starting my own label was a great move because it made me totally independent. I never had to get in touch with labels for getting my music released. Many artists out there have a few great tracks and usually they want them to be released on a labels where they think they’ll get the most coverage. But then it’s gets so political if you know what I mean..I feel so lucky that I never had to hustle like that. 

Of course it all takes its time, for example getting new equipment and updating your studio. But it’s a means to an end to evolve your vision of your sound.

Your sound is particularly trippy and hypnotic, even for minimal. What’s your process like when you’re in the studio?

My musical journey usually starts on Wednesdays and ends on Sunday. In these long boot camp sessions at home I develop my vision of a modern, trippy house sound. My sound is mostly analogue, coming from synthesizers and classic drum machines like TR808, TR909, Emu SP 1200 and some modular stuff. I use analogue sequencers or my hands to feed my synthesisers. Sometimes I really know what I want to do or try. But I also love starting completely free with no expectations and just catching the vibe of the day. If there is something special showing up which is worthwhile and appeals to me, then I try to capture this feeling and concentrate on the parts which seem essential to support the essence of the vibe. Often its like writing a book and I might try 3 different endings. In the end it often is a pity, because you have to decide which version is the best to release. Unfortunately time is limited on vinyl and these decisions must be made, although you see something special in each version.

On Monday & Tuesday I usually let my ears recover. During these days I just play some Piano. I just love to explore all kinds of melodies and harmonies on the keys. It brings you closer to the essence of a track, its certain feeling. I mean the rhythm & groove is one big component of a track, but also is the tone. It doesn’t necessarily have to follow the rules of standard music theory. Even a disharmonic combination of tones can feel right and be a beautiful thing.

And what about mixing, do you have a routine to prepare gigs?

Before a gig, I always go through my whole stock, just digging for stuff I’m into right now. In the end it its is mostly a combination of old tracks from the 90’s, some all time favourites and some new stuff. I usually play 90-95% Vinyl because it sounds better, is more fun and a better buzz  to perform. Especially if you look at it from the entertainment factor. You are working, you are in the mix, it is part of your performance. In my opinion, there is no time for stupid DJ moves in the eye of the storm. It looks so boring looking at a DJ, staring  frozen with eyes wide open, scrolling through a 100 Gb USB Drive. I made up the rule to just pick a track when I tend to get lost browsing.

To me being a DJ means developing a constantly growing reference to rely on, especially while making my own music. It keeps me fascinated, curious and up to date as well. I buy records all the time for all kind of situations, not only focused on the dance floor. I love playing on a gut level, focused on the actual moment, hunting for that special vibe that lives inside all of us in the rave. 

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Can you tell us a bit about your involvement with tINI and the Gang?

In 2013 we first met because my friends Nekes was playing with her at the beach spot. I had just released my first record on my label “Anyway”. tINI was telling me that she loved this record and to my surprise the next season, I was already hooked at the beachspot for the first time. If you are a newcomer, it is very important and gives you a legitimacy. Playing the closing set last year at Ibiza Underground felt like I finally arrived on the island. I was going to Ibiza almost every year since the late 90s, but back then more with the purpose of recovering from our monthly party business in Cologne. 

I highly appreciate tINI, not only because of her support in my early days, but also for all those fantastic nights we shared over the last couple of years. She is the living proof to me, that it’s possible to stay true to yourself and even gain a bigger audience at the same time. 

The three records you put out on your own label ‘Anyway’ are truly something special, and I hear there’s an album on the way now. How was it crafting an LP compared to EPs?

I’ve been thinking about this for some time. My biggest struggle is to find the right combination of tracks. The decision itself is the biggest problem, because if you are juggling too long without coming to a decision, it starts to do your head in! That feels more like work than in the end. I have had that last September. In the end I was so fed up thinking about the album, that I just stopped the thinking process. I just wanted to make music again. 

You’re fresh off a tour in South America and Japan. That sounds exciting, tell us about it!

Oh yes, it was. I always wanted to go there. It was already planned for last year but did not work out in the end. This year, it was time and I had a blast! I left every place with the feeling of “I don’t want to go now because I’ve made some amazing friends”  Manglus from Urugay was already a good friend of mine, because we shared some great nights in Club der Visionäre over the past few years. As well as Yoske from Japan. It’s an unforgettable experience when they show you the best places in their world.  

In the beginning I was a little frightened by the thought of being away from studio for 6 weeks. Although it was very important for me to go out & enjoy life after a very long winter studio period.

You’re featuring on the upcoming raum…musik compilation, for the label’s 20th year, and there’s also an EP coming. How did the connection with Dorian happen?

That is a cool story because he was eventually a key player in success. The story begins about 20 years ago. At that time I remember dancing to Dorians sets  in Space Ibiza. Since then he has been steadily releasing timeless & contemporary dance music. 

In September 2013, I eventually went to Ibiza with a handful of copies of my first release. I was very lucky to give one of those copies to Dorian as he was playing. In the following weeks  there was a huge demand for my record, so Dorian passed me over to Freebase Records. I drove down to Frankfurt with my first 20 copies. Three days later, they were all gone and Freebase was asking for more. As I am self-distributing my records, it was a brilliant start and got my record straight into the shops. 

Being part of the 20 years anniversary of Raum Musik makes me very proud, as I have been following Dorian & Raum Musik  since the beginning. He is not only one hell of a nice guy, he’s such a sensitive DJ who has been consistently blowing my mind for two decades!

When I do a sound check in a club, I often put on Raum Musik first because it shows you very clearly what you can expect from the sound system and where the limits are for the night. Always a very good reference to rely on.

And what else is coming up for you? Any exclusive bits for our readers? 

There will be coming an additional artist Ep on Raum Musik around in the late summer. 

And of course hopefully my first LP (2×12)on my label Anyway

I usually try to not look too far forward and take life step by step. 

Thanks for the mix! Did you have a specific idea or mood you wanted to convey when recording it

It w
s recorded in Nagoy
in Japan which is the hometown of my friend Yoske. It was the last gig of my Japanese tour and a mental night. I always prefer to take a mix from a night than making a podcast at home. At home its more clinical and somehow an feels like an audition, although nobody is there. Then I end up recording two or three mixes & have to decide which one I prefer. From my experience that’s a waste of time and I’d rather capture the spirit of the rave on the night.

It is believed that booking agent plays a vital role for a DJ throughout the career, particularly in the early stages. Tell us a bit about Zero Logistics and how your life changed since you signed with Z.L.?

I first met Roberto as I was playing for tINI & the gang in Underground. That night I told him that one day I would like to have my own Roberto. I was very pleased and did not have to think long as he asked me if I would like to join his agency, Zero Logistics, three years later. 

I am really thankful especially for my first South America tour. It was a great start this year and I really feel like there’s some wind in my sails now.. It is great for me to have him in the back taking care of all the booking stuff. People often forget that it costs precious time & a lot of work until a date is confirmed. 

Despite that I am very grateful for him helping me with improving all my social media stuff. Something that I couldn’t be assed to spend too much time on in the past.

Of course it is the responsibility of the artist to deliver great content and new releases, so your agent has some material to work with. I see it also as a great opportunity to show the people what you stand for musically and what they can expect by booking you. You are step by step creating your own image and defining yourself as an artist. If you accomplish that while staying true to yourself and enjoying the process, it is all you can achieve I think. My work is a great experience to me and a very spiritual thing.

Thank you for your time and the mix & All the best for the future. We hope to see you in London.

Thank you MEOKO.

Words by Pierre-Alexis Chauvin

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Under The MEOKO Microscope – DJ Schwa & Mix x UP Festival

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

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The Under The MEOKO Microscope series is back with a bang, as we call upon Czech producer DJ Schwa. We caught up with this talent in an interview to speak about his recent work, plans, Czech Republic and UP Festival. Let’s get into this and check his exclusive MEOKO mix.

1.Hey Michal, thanks for your time and having us. How are things with you so far?

Hi, no worries. I am great. Currently touring Australia. It’s great to escape the winter for a few weeks. And the gigs were all great so far.

2. It barely takes a pair of ears to tell that you have a real passion for electronic music. As a musician’s son, How were you first exposed to these sounds and what artists did you grow up on?

Firstly I was exposed to all different genres of music, mainly jazz, through my dad. I would hung out in the studio a lot as a kid and there I would hear whatever he was recording or working on – from classical to pop, rock, jazz and even tv / film scores. Later on, in the 90ties, I got introduced to electronic music through my brother and also through Radio 1. Bands like Underworld, Leftfield, Deep Forrest, Propellerheads, Ltj Bukem, Herbaliser. From there it took a drastic turn into the electronic music world and I started discovering music pretty much 24hrs a day. It became an obsession.

3. As being a Czech, how its scene shaped your music? Please tell us more about Czech underground scene, clubs, records shops, parties, favourite destinations.

I don’t really know how being Czech shaped my music. I left Czech Republic when I was 19 and came back when I was 26. I lived in Australia and I have also spend some time in US. Australia had a huge impact on me. I somehow felt more connected to the world of electronic music as I ever felt in Prague. Even though Sydney is s far away it made me realise that it’s somehow very close and connected to the UK/EU scene. Prague was always a bit disconnected – but that is changing now drastically and I am very very happy for that.

4. What’s one thing that you don’t see enough of in the music industry that you’d like to see in Czech Republic?

Czech scene is very healthy now. But I would like to see more and more clubs equipped with top class soundsystems and well managed Dj equipment.

5. You have your own label ‘Beef Records’, what made you start your own label? and we also love the name, what made you choose ‘Beef Records’?

It was a bit of coincidence. 12 years ago I was co-running label called Tribal Vision and I was working on an electro/techno CD compilation. I had a name for it which I found at local meat shop – Prime Cuts. On the comp I had track by artists like Trentemoller, Martinez, Mos, Peterski etc. When it was all ready we realised it doesn’t fit the labels sound. So I decided to start my own label. I have kept the Prime Cuts name for the VA and started Beef records as it was a perfect match 🙂

6. In regards to your own productions, what projects are you working on at the moment and what do you find the most challenging aspect of producing your own music?

Right now we got back together with Nick West and we are working on the new Shades of Gray album. I am in Australia for about 2 weeks and we wanted to get most out of my stay – so no beach for me. It’s studio time and gigs. One of the tracks I played at SASH this Sunday and it sounded great. Hopefully the album will be ready for release later this year. 

https://www.facebook.com/SOGlive/videos/1579032575483110/

 

7. You clearly spend alot of time in the studio. Would you like to talk us through your studio, and your favourite equipment when making some magic?

We have multiple studios going. One of them is Nick’s studio here in Sydney where we like to use some classic synths (Moog Voyager, SH101, Juno 106, Nord Lead and Korg MS2000). On the last track we triggered the SH101 with Arturia Beatstep sequencer and somehow we got amazing groove out of it. Something you would never come up with by playing the keyboard. I personally love using the DSI Tempest Drum synths but I didn’t bring it here as it was too heavy to carry around while travelling.

UMM Schwa

8. Please tell us about your projects; Shades of Gray, Komiks Events.

Komiks is a warehouse party concept what we run together with Fatty M and Lumiere for about 4 years now. It became quite successful and it found it’s sweetspot in Pragues underground scene. We are happy that Komiks is doing so well and that many people, even out of Prague, travel to it. So far we hosted artists such as Derrick May, Robert Hood / Floorplan, Fort Romeau, Recondite, Kink, Catz n Dogz, Palms Trax, Baba Stiltz, Makam, San Proper, Dorisburg, Bjarki, Roman Flugel, Cleveland, Trus Me, Artefakt, Monoloc and many others. We also launched a new podcast series;

https://soundcloud.com/komikswarehouse/komiks-podcast-01-fatty-m-schwa-live-the-block-tel-aviv” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer

 

9. If you had a chance to move to another city; which city would it be and why?

Sydney is my second home. So if I had to move somewhere it would be Sydney for sure.

10. How did first touch with UP Festival Crew take place? How does it feel to be going to play at a major festival alongside many other respected names?

I know Bruno for many years. To be totally honest I wasn’t sure that this will ever happen in Prague and that he will be able to pull it of. But it’s clearly happening and he has my respect and full support. Not just Bruno, the whole crew of course. I am excited to play alongside Ricardo, he has been a great inspiration for so many years. I am not a huge fan of big stages and crowded festivals but UP Festival seems to be shaping just perfect.

3RD-RELEASE-NAMES final

11. The venue of the festival looks stunning, have you ever attended an event there yourself? What are your advises to our followers (that includes myself as well) who will visit Prague for UP Festival?

I haven’t been there for ages. Maybe like 15 years so I am quite excited to see how it changed. However, it is fair to say, festival-goers wont be dissappointed by the beauty of Prague and yes the venue is stunning.

12. Thank you for the mix, it sounds amazing. Could you tell us a little about the mix you made for MEOKO? What was your approach and how would you describe it?

The mix was made on a fly. Pressed ‘record’ at one of the gigs I played at Sisyphos few months ago. Then I cut 1,30 from it as it was too long and did some basic levelling and mastering. I rather catch the live djing element even if it’s not perfect then doing a studio mix.

13. Last of all, do you have any exciting more exciting news you would like to share with everyone? Dates, releases, collaborations etc?

You should check out Beef records. We have lots of great new music coming out. LP by BUSZ (Pier Bucci & Oskar Szafraniec), 12” by Rico Casazza another 12” by Dircsen with Florian Kupfer remix and much more. Check: www.beefrecords.net and www.facebook.com/beefrecords/

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Under The MEOKO Microscope – Maksim & Mix

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

Maksim Mic

When you’re steeped in the European minimal scene, it’s easy to forget that there is more to it than the Old Continent’s capital cities, that everything does not exclusively revolve around London, Berlin, and the occasional Romanian getaway. Just as comfortable spinning in his native Russia or his adopted home of New York, Maksim is the living proof that the scene is just as vital in many places around the globe, and he’s now part of those DJs from the periphery that have started touring Europe, rather than the other way around. Indeed, as a resident of ReSolute, Maksim cut his teeth on one of the states’ most infamous minimal dancefloors; it’s no surprise that, sooner or later, our European ears would catch wind of the man’s talents.

It surely helped that 2017 saw him release his first official EP on Aline Brooklyn — the three edits have encountered massive success and already fetch high prices on the second-hand market. Thankfully if you’ve missed the boat on this one, Maksim hints at more to come on the release front next year. And with a Moscow booking that places him along the likes of Eli Verveine, Dorian Paic or Livio & Roby for the New Year, his name is justly becoming an established one on the circuit. 

 

As the list of his achievements is sure to grow longer in the coming years, it was due time for Maksim to get Under The MEOKO Microscope, with an interview that sees him talking Russian clubbing, edits, and… Spice Girls. And to soundtrack the read, Maksim offered one of his own favourite creations as a MEOKO exclusive. Nope, it’s no Spice Girls edit — we’re still hoping to ever hear this one — but this rendition of Chinawoman’s “Party Girl”’s got the languid groove that’s steadily becoming Maksim’s calling card all over it.

Hey Maksim, thanks for having us, a pleasure for me!

Thanks for having me, I was looking forward to it!

1- You’re one of ReSolute’s resident DJ since 2013, so let’s start from there. Can you introduce ReSolute to our European readers?

Resolute, resolute.. well, it’s dirty, it’s dark, and it’s real.  We have guests come from around the world to join our parties in everchanging venues in NYC ( mostly warehouses)  and also throw international parties. The consistent component is the music. Don’t expect to leave with clean shoes but expect to dance till sunrise. And a driving force behind all of it is Nektarios, with his charm and vision.

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2- And what about you? What age did you move stateside? Can you tell us a bit about your backstory basically?

It was an accident. I had friends living in New York and was invited to visit so I got a visa but never used it.  Then, after a long party,  a fight with my girlfriend, and one brilliant decision… I walked out from the afterparty onto a flight.

3- You’ve been spinning for 6/7 years now but how did you get into electronic music and ended up becoming one of ReSolute’s residents? Are there some DJs that exerted a strong influence on you?

My dad was music collector and my mom was a ballerina.. well, actually not true. I was a fan of Spice Girls and had a Nick Carter haircut. No jazz in the kindergarten for me,  I literally had a bad taste in everything.  I was a part of all subcultures in the end, but I can still sing along with Britney Spears.

It’s okay to grow, to learn, you don’t have to be brilliant from the beginning. Look at me now, doing an interview for Meoko.

Maksim 1

My first club job, at 17,  was a favor to my sister and was in my hometown. I’m still not sure what kind of a shady business it was, but I got in as a lighting guy. Needless to say, I had no idea what I was doing. Aside from lighting, I also resuscitated the resident who drank too much. My “big chance” came when unable to revive him, I was asked to jump in and play. Eventually, I began to play on the weekends.Then I moved to Kursk and got a job at the club there. It was pretty commercial but it was huge and popular and paid. After 5 am we could play whatever we wanted, so I started to explore.  Minimal came along, I fell in love, I got fired. But, don’t fret, love of a woman did get me to Moscow and Arma17. Which finished shaping my taste

NYC was a crazy couch surfing, broke, no visa situation. But over time I made progress in the techno scene. Connie, who is a resident of Resolute, got me my first gig at a resolute Party.  I guess I was okay because I became a resident shortly after. 

When it comes to influences it’s Backstreet Boys.. joking. It’s Trentemoller who was ahead of his times, Led Zeppelin (yes) and Mathew Herbert. I love Mathews music and enjoy listening to his interviews. He often gets blamed for being too political and talking too much about societal problems, but I think that’s what art is about. I personally believe good music comes from a similar inspection of the struggles and debates of the times, but then again sometimes you just want to dance. Unfortunately, nowadays its difficult to be critical or have a differing opinion, the art of intelligent debate has suffered under social media.

4- You had a few tracks and edits coming out under your birth name in the past, but Aline 002 is really your first proper release. Can you talk about the label and the people behind it, and how this record came up? It seems quite mysterious…

True, I had a few digital releases back in the day. Different genre, not a big fan of those. but there is always a beginning 😉 Then I started doing edits, they’re more like remixes without stems. Some received lots of positive attention, like Who are we- on Ricardo Villalobos. One of my favorites is an edit on China Woman – Party girl. I love Rock and grunge.

 

I still wanted to have a record of my own, but it seemed complicated. Then my friend Nico (French, Young, Fabulous and Broke DJ) started his Aline label. I’m glad it seems mysterious, that’s what Nico wanted. I showed him some demos and he loved them, then the long process of finishing started. Producing doesn’t come easily to me, I’m quite distractable, a bit of a goldfish in a bowl if you will. I may or may not also be a perfectionist, so it’s a fine balance. I had no gear. I borrowed a sound card from a friend, I used Nikos home studio to check if everything sounded ok. 

5- The release’s got a great feedback, how did you feel about that? Does it mean we can we expect more stuff on the production side of things from you? 

I was very excited to hear the final product and hold the record in my hands. it sold out in 3 days, I was very happy about and also now I don’t have to buy presents when I travel for a least a couple months. I have few remixes coming on Minim Records, hopefully, right after NYE. And it’s a very important project for me, you’ll see what I mean later. (insert intrigue here) I actually think you should release about 3 tracks per year, as a kind of quality control. 75% of iTunes don’t get downloaded ever, seems like a bit of a quantity problem 😉

6- What’s a good edit supposed to do for you?

It gives me the freedom to breathe new life into things I already love.  No rules, everything goes. Rembrandt to Picasso.

7- You still play fairly regularly in Russia, do you follow the local scene?

Yes, I do. I can say it’s one of my favorite gigs. The nightlife is crazy in a good way! There are a lot of beautiful venues. You can party just in front of the Kremlin inside the Old Soviet Saunas for top politicians which are now a club, or in a club where you walk through a Chinese takeout Place to enter, and at the roof of an old factory by the river in the middle of Moscow. it always amazes me. A huge diversity of music and on any day of the week you can find something to do. Also, the parties last forever, last time I played there it went from Friday to Sunday. I think Slowdance is one of my favorite Moscow parties and definitely Stakenshnaider in St.Petersburg is very cool. Adjustment Bureau throws out some great productions and go see Pushkarev, Gorge and Izhevsky.

8- How is it different to play in New York, Russia or Western Europe? Different crowds? Would you ever move to Europe, to be closer to the “scene”?

Crowds are very different, that what makes it exciting and sometimes challenging to play different countries and cities. I have definitely considered moving to Europe, but right now I’m happy in New York. 

9- In general, what’s the scene like in New York? What would you recommend our readers to check out if they get to visit? Any artists and labels you think deserve more recognition?

New York has a very decent scene! In recent years it’s grown very much. Venues, Labels and real talents have emerged here. Definitely, visit Output, stop by at TBA for a drink. Of course, Resolute always has something special. There plenty of good small underground parties, as well. Resolute has a new label DisDat that’s worth a look, Julia Govor just put out a solid record, and Mimin Records have released some good stuff. and of course, my fellow residents are worth a listen, all of them unique but gifted. Lauren is the lone real jobber and is a part of All Day I Dream. Connie plays the drums is a rock band and just wrote and made a video for a Pop song. Obee just finished a project for Pornhub  ( yes, you read that right) Orazio our resident political thinker.

10- Have you noticed any changes in recent times? I know the cabaret law’s been repealed, there’s a new Office of Nightlife… do you think the narrative around NYC’s nightlife is changing?

Yes, it was finally repealed but I don’t think it will directly affect dance culture. The problem with throwing parties in NY is that it takes forever to get all the permits, it’s very expensive, and the relevant hours are tough to accommodate.  All this just forces people to get creative for better and worse. 😉 

11- There’s also quite a nice house and techno scene, with Bossa Nova, Sustain-Release, the Bunker, Unter… Is it something you’re interested in at all? Are there connections between your people and them?

It’s my guilty pleasure, gladly I’m a good friend with Julia Govor, so I get an in. We recently did Resolute with Nina Kraviz, that went very well, the music the crowd! you may expect more like it in the future! I really like the sound, it’s raw it’s more human, same when it comes to the house. I like it less perfect, more dirty, that you can feel it was made by a human. Not sure about connections, when it comes to crowd’s it’s absolutely different people, which I understand, but hopefully in the future, it will be more united.  

Maksim in action

12- Any recent highlights? How was the Get Perlonized party you guys did?! You’ve also had the 10 years anniversary!

Get Perlonized is definitely a highlight for us, when a major player in the scene does a party with you, especially for their anniversary, that means a lot. Proper warehouse, next to the railroad, night to day party! For our 10th anniversary, we’re going global, recently we hit Bucharest Romania, at Guest House. Then Moscow’s Gazgolder and much more to come.

13- And finally, can you tell us what’s in the works for you in 2018?

2018 will start with the gig in my beloved Moscow, I’m playing for Slowdance. Then St.Petersburg on the 2nd and I have a few gig’s in Spain, definitely, wait for a couple of new edit’s, I can promise it will be special. And of course a release on Minim Records, with a truly great story behind it. I always wanted to do something good, something I can be proud of and finally got a chance, and I’m not talking about me or music.

Thank you very much, Maksim, all the best!

Thanks to you! Poka

 

https://soundcloud.com/meoko/meoko-exclusive-podcast
maksim/

 

Words by Pierre-Alexis Chauvin

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Under The MEOKO Microscope – Giammarco Orsini & Mix

By Hot Off The Press, Interview & Exclusive Mix, MEOKO Exclusive, News, Under Meoko Microscope

gianmarcomicros

We are back with Under The MEOKO Microscope feature alongside a very exciting name – Giammarco Orsini. The Italian artist first enriched his musical culture in Italy where he grew up, influenced by the grooves of the 90’s. He further developed his musical identity by spending countless hours of discovering and playing vinyls. Soon enough, Giammarco started showcasing his talents to a wider audience and his first forays into DJ culture happened in Pescara, where he became resident DJ at Zu::Bar, thus kickstarting his career. Havinh many gigs there increased his notoriety in the local scene and allowed him to meet other inspiring talents, pushing him to start producing and to create his own imprint “Heko Records” – the label behind Pancratio’s stand out EP “Pancratio 1”. As well as bringing new producers like Pancratio to the fore, Giammarco Orsini is also behind a number of successful releases himself, his four-tracker « Game of chance » on Partisan an undeniable dancefloor favourite. His move to the German capital further cemented his profile, leading to gigs alongside big names such as Ricardo Villalobos, John Dimas and Shonky to name a few. He is a regular at venues such as Club der Visionäre and Watergate but still finds the time to play in his home country at the famous Goa Club. He has recently got back from a tour in America, and we are happy to learn more about the Italian « Enfant Prodigue ». We caught up with this talent in an interview, so let’s get into this and check his exclusive MEOKO mix.

Hi Giammarco, we are really happy to have you for the new edition of Under the MEOKO Microscope, thank you for taking the time for us. 

Hi Guys, I’m happy to be on board and thank you for inviting me for this special feature.

1. How old were you when you started playing music and which influences made you want to be the DJ you are today ?

I started around 14, I was buying all different kinds of music and in the beginning my focus was just improve my technique. 

I was mixing from Hip Hop to House and Techno and I was trying to understand the differences between genres and how to mix them. Slowly i started to look more for some specific subgenres that sounded more interesting to my ears like progressive house mixed with breakbeat to get into minimal techno or house lately but basically I was just surfing between genres. 

During this process I started to realize what I really liked in the music so I started to produce my own music which helped me to understand which elements in one track are more interesting to me and in general what I feel more in the tracks I play. 

2. Did the fact growing up in Italy have any impact on the music you play now, on your inspirations from when you started? Italy have a good history of house music and your selection has always been eclectic, are the 90s Influences still something you explore and re-discover for your sets or even your productions ?

Growing up in Italy has of course had big impact as it’s in my roots and it’s where I found the inspiration of to play and make music.  Even now my sets are full of those records that were released in the late 90s. I think it’s amazing to discover old records that still sound relevant now but to bring them back under a new light and to a new audience.

 

3. Your productions range from the groovier sounds on Heko Records to a more minimalistic style on Partisan. How would you describe the differences in your approach when producing on different labels?

I always do different styles of music, blending my influences all together to evolve my sound. I think the Partisan EP for example it’s a crossover between my Italian roots and the influences I got here in Berlin. 

For example when we chose the tracks, we started from the A2 Divenire and it was just a spontaneous decision to build an EP that reflected my style paired with my evolution and the same time that also fit well on the label. 

Same thing happened with the EP on Elephant Moon. You always start from one or two tracks that take the attention of the A&R and then you build an EP trying to find the right balance between your sound and the sound of the label. 

4.How did your moving from Italy to Berlin affect you ? Is it an incisive moment in your music career ?

It was a key moment not only in my career but in my life in general. I realized how much I wanted to dedicate myself to the music and Berlin is the place where many artist live and work so being here gave me the opportunity to meet other producers or go to hear DJ’s that I usually wouldn’t have an opportunity to hear play very often. It’s also amazing for record shopping and there are many chances to collaborate with other artists as this city really encourages that community feeling.

In general you get inspired from this whole thing, parties are happening every day of the week and all of this inspire me and make me more productive but still I needed time to establish myself in the city and get into my new life rhythm. 

Obviously you have to be focused on your objective otherwise one of the common side effects that I see around is you can lose easily yourself in a black hole of permanent partying.

5. You play often alongside John Dimas, you also just made an EP on his Label Elephant Moon, how did you met and how is his music important to you? Do you plan to work together on any other upcoming releases ?

I met John Dimas a few years ago in Italy during one night in San Benedetto del Tronto and he played 80% of records that I used to play!  I was so impressed because I was already a big fan of his music but I never saw him DJing before that night.  

Since that day we’ve always been in contact and especially when I moved to Berlin we became closer. Actually we’re also working on some music together but we don’t have a release date scheduled yet.

6. You play often at the famous Goa club in Rome together with Fabrizio Sala ,how can you describe the music scene in Italy compared to Berlin ?

Goa Club is a legendary club which has shaped electronic music in Italy over the last 20 years and I’m really grateful to get the chance to play there regularly along with Fabrizio for the party Nozoo

In Italy there is always something going on, club culture is still alive and well and especially in the last few years a lot of new promoters started to support underground events and this gave the opportunity to small artists to get booked. 

I don’t think it’s really possible to compare the two scenes. There are too many cultural differences that generate a totally different approach. For instance, the amount of events that are going on in Berlin every weekend don’t exist in any city of Italy or in general in any other city in Europe. I think the club culture here has another weight compared to Italy and the other countries in Europe. 

People come to Berlin from all over the world specifically to go to parties and listen to electronic music. They call it Techno Tourism actually! This doesn’t mean that Berlin is better but it’s just a place where the culture is more developed and accepted into the social system. 

giammarco goa

7. Do you feel the club experience is shaped by cultural differences? When travelling, do you take cultural differences into consideration? How far is your approach as a DJ benefited in different countries and in different crowds?

I think the club culture is definitely shaped on the cultural system. It’s a process that is evolving in every country in it’s own way and it changes with the generations. 

From my experience as DJ I have observed that in countries like Italy or Spain you always have to bring a certain amount of energy to the dancefloor. Parties are shorter and in general you have to do your best in a smaller time frame as opposed to countries like Germany, Russia or Belgium where the parties are longer, the music is more hypnotic and you have more time to play something special that you cannot do in just a 2 hour set. 

I have recently been, for the first time, to Panama and I was so impressed with how the crowd reacted to the music, they were dancing and enjoying every minute till the lights came on. Everything seemed new for them and they were really open to hear records that would be  a bit more challenging to play everywhere. The same happened in Austin, Texas as well which was a nice surprise!

8.How do you prepare your set from venue to venue and country to country?

Obviously I try to collect as much music as possible to be ready to play for different crowds. I check my set time and what kind of party it is and if I’ve never been there I like to do a little research so I can be as prepared as possible.

I pack my bags with the thought of always trying to bring a bit of everything because in the end you never know what is going to happen there and sometimes you have to be ready to adapt to some lineups changes or just to play in front of less people. However, in general if I play an afterhour or a warm up I’ll always bring something deep and if I play peak time, something more energetic. 

For me it’s just really important to be aware of what’s happening in the club around you and try to play the right records while staying true to your style. It’s nice to be able to express yourself and educate the crowd a little but also people want to have fun so you have to always keep that in mind.

Thank you again for your time and the very energetic podcast you recorded for us, we look forward to hearing more exciting news from you !

Thank you guys for this nice interview, I hope to see you soon in London or somewhere else! 

GiammarcoOrsini2

Words by: Natascha Kramer

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Under The MEOKO Microscope – Clovis & Mix

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

Clovis UMM Banner

We are back with The Under The MEOKO Microscope feature alongside a very exciting name – Clovis. Born in Los Angeles, now venturing Berlin and Europe’s scene won our hearts with his deep and hypnotizing grooves. His wide sound variety expands into deep explorations of the tones, forms with soulful elements and complex patterns making sure to move the peak-time dancefloor to the max. His hardwork and tirelessly spent hours in studio bagged him a lovely catalogue of labels such as Lessizmore and Body Parts. Being a resident at Berlin’s Club der Visionaire as well as Los Angeles’s Standard Rooftop gives you an image that his sound is going to places. Clovis can be seen playing alongside big names as Rhadoo, Petre Inspirescu, Magda to name a few and debuted in one of the biggest festivals in Europe – Sunwaves. We caught up with this talent in an interview, so let’s get into this and check his exclusive MEOKO mix.

1.Hey Clovis, thanks for taking time for us. Was really looking forward to this. How did you get into this music and what influenced you most throughout your musical journey so far?

By far the main musical influence in my life was my father. He was a music aficionado his whole life, and when I was growing up there was music playing at home during almost all waking hours. He liked a huge range of music, though he was most knowledgable and deep into jazz. He would always be playing something to fit the mood or the time of day, which taught me very early on that music can accompany you through almost any situation in life and enhance the mood or experience. There is appropriate music for the full spectrum of human emotions and something for almost any moment. So, in the mornings with breakfast, usually classical works or even church choir. Afternoons were freestyle…rock, alternative, jazz, peruvian or andean music,…anything. A rainy day could be married to some solo piano or Philip Glass. When I first moved out to live with different family for a year I was surprised and confused that music was something they only occasionally listened to on weekends, or only in the car. Though I do love quiet at times, it still feels to me that a day spent without listening to music for most of it is somewhat of a waste. 

As far as dance music is concerned, I slowly began to gravitate towards more electronic sounds in the early teenage years, via Massive Attack, The Prodigy, Moby, the usual late 90s suspects, and then began to discover DJing and club music, progressive trance, house, and the journey of exploration has continued for more than 15 years to where I am now. I started to DJ when I was 20, in my bedroom in Los Angeles, while going out to see Sasha & Digweed or Danny Howells with a fake ID. (you have to be 21 to go to nightclubs in the USA). I don’t remember exactly when I decided I wanted to try and earn a living from it, I keep doing it because it’s fun and the exploration of music never ends.

Rene Bouhier CDBANZAI 

2.As being a Los Angelian, how it’s scene shaped your music? Tell as more about it’s underground scene, clubs, records shops, parties.

The scene in Los Angeles was rather exciting when I became a part of it in the late 2000’s. It seemed like it had continuous potential to grow and flourish. Some good friends launched a label, Culprit, and we had some great intimate rooftop parties at the famous Standard hotel in LA where we invited a lot of great international guests, and had wild after parties which allowed me to DJ long sets in more intimate settings, often b2b with the guests we would invite. But with the economic crash of 2008 things changed somewhat, and this seemed to coincide with my own evolution towards music I was hearing in Europe and less in the USA. Around 2008 I heard a Rhadoo record for the first time and became interested in the Romanian scene, little by little. They still did not play in the US so much except a few small appearances on the east coast. I travelled all the way to New York once in 2011 to hear Petre Inspirescu do an open to close set in a loft in Brooklyn, which I still remember clearly. I knew this was the style and approach to dance music I loved the most. I began to order records from Europe to Los Angeles because a lot of the music I wanted to play was vinyl only and not carried by the few local record stores in LA. Everything I wanted had to be ordered from european shops or discogs. I never had the usual record store experience where the shop owner understands your taste and can suggest things, I’m super happy that I now have this in Berlin with black.round.twelve!

I think the best impact that coming up through the dance music scene in Los Angeles had on me was to give me a broader appreciation of dance music. We have quite good disco house and techno scenes, and I used to go see DJ Harvey’s famed Sarcastic Disco nights in which he played open to close by himself which were extremely educating and also probably the most fun nights I had in a warehouse in LA. With Culprit we invited a range of artists for smaller, more intimate parties. Losoul, Craig Richards, Shaun Reeves, Dyed Soundorom, all played an important part in informing my taste and DJing in the earlier years.

3.You were travelling in Europe for a while. How was the experience in comparison with Los Angeles? What was the most exciting/craziest moment, people you met?

I have been traveling and living in Europe on and off since 2012. I spent 7 months in Berlin one year, did 3 months of summer in Ibiza two years ago, and now finally after so many long back and forth trips to Los Angeles I decided in February of this year to move permanently to Berlin. Most of my best friends live here, most of my musical connections are here, and I cherish the strong feeling of community I have with all the people I love here, mostly based around Club Der Visionaere, which is definitely my musical home in Berlin. 

The parties you can experience here in Europe are unlike anything possible in Los Angeles, simply because of the restrictions we have to deal with in the US. I have had many special nights in Los Angeles, and some of my favorite party characters and friends live there, but there is simply a much higher degree of freedom in the night life in Europe and the party culture is much more advanced because of it. 

 

4.You have shaped a really original sound, do you have any plans on making your own imprint as a label?

It has become kind of cliche now for everyone to have a label…there are so many new ones popping up in the shops every week, it’s amazing. I would eventually like to start my own imprint, if nothing else for the freedom it brings to release whatever you really like, and those beautiful gems from certain friends that have not found a home. Right now I have no plans to do so and lack the financial means to start anyway. At the moment I’d like to concentrate more on making my own music and studio collaborations with friends.

5.Seen you play alongside some great names as Ryan Crosson, Rhadoo, Fuse guys. How did you guys meet?

After close to 10 years in this music with a bit of travel, an open mind, and (what I think is) a good sense of humor you can meet a lot of people and make some amazing friendships. I think it is actually one of the things I love most about DJing and music: the interesting and great people you meet along the way and lasting friendships that come from that. I have known the visionquest crew since around 2008 when they came to play in Los Angeles. Shaun Reeves, Ryan Crosson and I have now played a few times together at Club Der Visionaere and this always entails a few long b2b sessions, and since we’ve known each other for so long those are always welcome.

Meeting Rhadoo was a fluke occurrence while in Mexico for BPM festival in 2013. I was opening a very big stage around 10 in the morning for just the bar staff at a beach club, and he came with a few friends and asked if we could play some music together so we had our own little party for just us. I’m not sure why this happened but this moment changed the course of my life as I decided from then to follow more intensely the music I really love and push myself deeper into the craft. This also led to an invitation to play at Sunwaves which opened all kinds of new doors and opportunities for me in Europe.

Clovis CDV window

6.You were playing during sunwaves festival this year. How was the experience? Was it the first time you performed there? Would you come back again?

The first time I performed at Sunwaves in 2013 I had no idea what it was really, apart from seeing a few short video clips on youtube and listening to a few sets. I was completely unprepared for what I stepped into, the party is intense and does not stop! It requires serious stamina and a bit of planning and calculated decision making to enjoy fully. It was a very eye opening experience for me the first time and I witnessed some magic moments. It was also probably the most nervous I was to play anywhere in my life. Happily, since then I have gained much more experience and confidence in those situations, and coming back to play this year after enjoying last year’s edition was so much fun. Of course, still a bit nervous before playing, but if you can relax and focus on just DJing and the decks you have in front of you everything is fine in the end, and I was able to do that and really enjoyed it. I am so grateful for the invitation, and to play on that beautiful beach front stage on the opening night was very special. I will definitely be back for each may edition, because it’s one of the best places to hear many of my favorites.

7.You seem to be working really closely to lessizmore and body parts labels. What triggered this relationship?

As usual, a consequence of making good friends who like your taste. I have never released a full EP of my own, and so remixes and single tracks on compilations have been my main output over the years, and both lessizmore and bodyparts were always interested in some of my music. I met Jessica from lessizmore in Mexico in 2012 and we have had a long friendship since then with many fun party adventures, and playing quite a few showcases for the label. I met Denis from BodyParts at my first sunwaves in 2013, and after a great time in Moscow at the old Arma together, another great friendship was born. I have many friends running cool labels and asking me for music, so now I just need to make more!

8.You obviously spend a lot of time in studio crafting your sound. Talk us through your favorite gear. What is your opinion on never ending discussion between analog vs digital?

Actually, I have not had my own studio in years, I have always had to rely on using spaces of friends and whatever gear they would have at the time. I use ableton live for almost everything, and though I have some favorite plugins, namely Trillian for bass, and a variety of reverbs and effects, I strongly prefer to source sounds from analog gear. I don’t really care about the analog vs. digital debate because I have always been of the opinion that ideas and creativity are more important. However, to me it’s a lot more fun to use actual stand-alone electronic instruments in the studio than do everything on a computer, and analog machines can have very unique characters that simply can’t be replicated. Two synths I used a lot when I was working in Los Angeles were the Moog Voyager and Roland’s classic and simple Juno-106. I also spend a lot of time working with samples. I have an extensive library of jazz and classical music recordings that I got from going through my father’s massive CD collection. Almost all my tracks contain samples from acoustic music, but mostly used in ways that would make them indistinguishable from their original form, and many tracks contain samples from 5-6 completely different sources, working together. In absence of having a full studio with acoustic instruments and musicians to play them, I find this is my favorite way to bring some of that color and texture to the music I make, and also makes for happy accidents as you go along.

9.Aside DJ things, give us few highlights of the year, your favorite clubs and artists you enjoyed the most.

I had some great adventures in Romania this year, Sunwaves, playing at Guesthouse in Bucharest, and the wonderful 3 Smoked Olives festival down on the Danube in the summer. Two other parties stood out most for me. In Los Angeles, my friends at Cyclone, almost out of nowhere, began bringing some of my favorite DJs to LA and pushing the sound that I enjoy. For the first time in years I found myself able to comfortably play exactly what I wanted when doing opening sets for some of my favorite DJs, and people more receptive to this style than ever before. Cyclone has curated a great list of artists that were strangers to LA before, last year we had Rhadoo, Pedro, Nu Zau & Sepp, and this year we’ve seen a bunch of diverse names, among them Stefan Goldmann, Lamache, DJ Masda, Leo Leal, and Akufen. In February Herodot & Gescu visited us in LA also for Cyclone, and it was one of my favorite parties I’ve played in the city so far. It was also really fun to host artists that I really respect and are good friends and show them around my home city. 

The second party I felt an instant bond with is in Prague, for my friends at Wildt. After over a month touring in the US and dealing with all the issues and different rules we face in America to have parties, like the overzealous and constantly intrusive security in clubs, I was excited to go back to Europe and feel free to have fun, to dance and enjoy music as long as I wanted to, and most of all be silly, and laugh and have fun in unconventional ways. Wildt is a small bar with a beautiful green, tree covered backyard patio in the center of Prague, owned and operated by some of my best friends. It is also bringing a bit different
usic to a city
that isn’t quite used to it yet, but with a strong group of friends and local DJs to support it. These kinds of new scenes surfacing are always fun and exciting! In July I played there with my good friend Audio Werner and we had a great time. Recently they hosted TC80, and also Timur Basha from Closer in Kiev. I am fully supportive of this lovely place and I will be some kind of resident next year most likely. Already planning another visit in November, each time is too much fun!

CLOVIS SC

10.Thank you very much for creating mix for us. Top notch. How do prepare for a mix series? What’s your inspiration and ideas behind it?

For this mix, I was trying to record something for over a month in the summer during my tour in the USA. At each stop where someone had a nice DJ setup I would give it a try. I had only picked out the first two tracks, and from there each mix was kind of a different adventure, which is what I usually do. I don’t like making studio DJ sets on the computer at all and I can’t really plan beyond a couple tracks what I feel like playing, it’s more interesting to just follow how you feel and your intuition. In the end I came home to Berlin and wasn’t really happy with any of the recordings I made, but after further consideration, this mix, recorded at my lovely friend Paulo’s place in San Diego on a cloudy afternoon, actually seems like a very good representation of my DJing right now. It goes from a bit more minimal, deeper sounds, to more house and breakbeats. A good encapsulation, in around an hour, of the music I’m playing these days. After testing it out in some chill afterparties with friends, I decided I could use it for Meoko. I’m glad you enjoyed it and hope others will too!

11.All in all, thank you for your time. Any last words for fans about exciting new releases, collaborations or dates you would like to share?

My Cyclone friends in LA are starting a vinyl label, (they already have one called KNIFE), it will be called Cyclone to go with the party series. The project has been in the works for a while but hopefully it will be up and running soon, and I believe I will be the 2nd release with my own EP.  I also have some new podcasts to do, after a year with very few, one for Fasten Musique in Japan and one for my Bodyparts friends. It’s difficult to find good places to record as I don’t have my own setup and I’m still trying to find somewhere comfortable in Berlin. I have some nice dates coming up, Mioritmic Festival in Cluj October 5th-7th, Moscow at Rodnya on October 14th. Berlin with Round The Corner at Katerblau on Sunday the 15th. Then in early November, it will be lovely to return to Guesthouse in Bucharest! And as usual…I will continue my TrackOfTheDay routine on my facebook page where I share stuff I’m playing and enjoying, new and old. People seem to enjoy it a lot and I am always happy to share music I like in whatever way possible, that’s what music is for!

Again thank you so much!

Thank you Meoko for documenting our dear little music scene! 

Words by Matas Balta

Press shots by Marie Streikt & Karim Rosati

More Clovis; Facebook / Soundcloud

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Under The MEOKO Microscope – Roger Gerressen & Mix

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

RogGer UMM Banner

Microscope series is back again and this time we are having a very well known name from Netherlands – Roger Gerressen. Born in Arnhem and currently living in Nijmegen continuously spreading his name across the world by his house and techno infused productions and smooth as butter sets. Roger just joined Paris based Yoyaku label which led him to release his music on imprints as Joule, Aku and Tartouffe. With their support he is about to launch two more labels to meet his output and give him his creative freedom– Irenic Records and Autodidact Records. As being a co-founder of ESHU records having numerous releases and collaborations with big guns as Ivano Tetelepta, Dilated Pupils, ARC and Novio Dub Tribe you get an image that this is the guy to keep your eye on. We can’t wait to dive in the interview with this talent and check his exclusive MEOKO Mix.

 

1. Hey Roger, pleasure to have you with us! How are you doing?

I am doing good sir, I had a series of gigs last summer that went great and I just had a few weeks off to finish some music/remixes and get ready for the winter season.

2.First of all, tell us more about your involvement in the club scene. How did you get in the scene in the first place and what made you decide that you want to become a part of it?

I never expected to be involved in house music at this stage in my live. In the 90’s the only electronic music we grew up with was the trance and gabber that dominated in the Netherlands. Those styles had massive airplay on the radio and even took over the pop charts.  Good electronic music was already out there, but it never reached me at that age. I never got into the trance/gabber music, the melodies felt cheesy to me. I was always more interested in breaks and loops and became a fan of early 90’s hiphop when I got introduced to A Tribe Called Quest. To this day it’s the music I play the most at home. I just love sample based loops.

At my 18th birthday coincidence happened. My friends bought me a ticket to a big techno event (still pretty much against my biased will), I had my first experience in the scene and immediately seemed to understand what this music was all about.  I found another type of new loop-based music I love. I got some second hand belt-drive turntables and a mixer a few weeks afterwards and here we are today.

3.Do you remember the first record or artist you heard that clicked to you? Can you tell us shortly how did you get from hearing your first record to playing your first gig?

The first artist that clicked for me was the dutch legend Steve Rachmad. My sister was dating a guy back then who was also into dj’ing and he gave me the mix-cd ‘Sterac – Emerging’. That cd still is like a bible to my beliefs in techno music. Mixed live in a club with an amazing vision of hypnotic techno. I immediately drifted towards that sound from then on.

My first gig was a DJ contest in 2004 at Planet Rose, our local clubnight. Even though in my memories everything went great, I didn’t make it to the finals haha. But I was already happy to have performed for a crowd at that point.

4 .As you been raised in Nijmegen do you see a change in music and clubbing there? It is a quite remote city isn’t it? Do you have some special nights, clubs or events that are worth visiting?

Nijmegen used to be a very underground-minded city with one mayor clubnight called Planet Rose (the venue is called Doornroosje, the longest running clubnight in the Netherlands, which has been going strong for more then 22-years now) that has influenced everybody in my town. They had an amazing venue for techno music, high quality acts like Jeff Mills, Derrick May and Laurent Garnier came by on a weekly basis to play for a very open minded crowd. Outside of the Dutch borders,  not many people know of this place, but over here it has a legendary status. A few years back they were forced to move out of their filthy old graffiti covered venue (which I loved ofcourse) and settle into a very new state of the art building, which changed things for me. It has become too big for me now and as a result of trying to reach bigger crowds the programming has also become a bit more mainstream and predictable. Luckily you have a few smaller promoters in my town who are now stepping in (like ‘The Tribe’) and hosting some smaller high quality events.

But I still hold the memories of the old venue in my heart. It was an amazing place.

5.As living near by one of the Europe’s partying hotspots, do you find yourself going to Amsterdam often? How does it influence the Holland’s scene in general? Do you think the city dictates the trend for the scene?

The city definitely dictates the trend for the Netherlands, but my country is so small it’s not hard for influence to pass over to another city. But indeed, there are so much more events in Amsterdam, so much more creative people moving there, it’s a logical evolution. Most capitols serve that role I believe.

When I don’t have to play for myself I tend to stay home and create music these days, but coming into the house/techno scene I took plenty of drives to Amsterdam to see some amazing artists in amazing clubs. I often visited Club 11, which later evolved into TrouwAmsterdam. Trouw still was and still is my favorite place in Amsterdam, both on the dancefloor and behind the decks. I was lucky enough to play there a couple of times.

6.Talking about your musical history. I could call you a label guy. You been involved in so many affairs that is hard to count. How did you get in Paris scene alongside Yoyaku? What’s the story behind it?

Before I was connected to Yoyaku I was with an agency that didn’t really put a lot of effort in their artists or have a plan to move forward. So I was starting to get a bit impatient and unhappy with the direction and growth of my career. A few years back I played an event in Strasbourg, organized by the people behind Yoyaku and we just clicked and had a great time. We always stayed in touch, every now and then we had a short chat or they sent me the latest promo’s. They were just setting up their first labels when we met and they had already grown like crazy since then. When the day came my agency pulled the plug and seized to exist, I had a chat with the Yoyaku crew about me flying solo again. It didn’t take long for them to ask me to join the crew.

7.Introduce us with your two brand new imprints as well. Irenic Records and Autodidact Records. What were the ideas behind it and what we should expect from them?

Yes lots of thing happening! Both labels were created for me to have more output, but I also wanted to showcase some of my friends. Let’s start with Irenic, which means ‘Aimed at peace..’. This label had it’s first release a few months back done by Novio Dub Tribe (a collab by Sinan Alakus and myself) and we’re working on the second release as we speak.  Irenic is really about the deeper side of the spectrum. Techno, house or dub: as long as the atmosphere of the music is right. The upcoming EP is done by my close friend Alex Jansen (U-GOLD / Rue de Plaisance, also from Nijmegen), he delivered a very deep and emotional 3-track house record that will be out in a few weeks. Future EP’s on Irenic will feature music and remixes by Novio Dub Tribe, Udmo, Bas Amro and myself.

Then we have Autodidact, basicly the same guidelines as Irenic. Created to have more output for my friends/collabs and myself. But with Autodidact anything goes. The first release is done by my friend Doyle Johnson and will be out by the end of October or early November. After that we have a jungle/dnb collaboration by Alex Jansen and myself for the second EP, which will feature two amazing 4/4 remixes by Chris Geschwindner. Can’t wait to present all the details soon!

8.Congrats on you recent release on Tartouffe dubby and groovy piece! As well as one on Joule imprint. I could find endless releases around, how do you approach making music? Do you already have ideas in your mind before even sitting down in front of you desk?

I wish I could give you a very artistic answer right now, but it doesn’t happen to me that often. I just start and see where it goes. Since I have many aliases and styles I do make a choice in direction when I start the project, but it rarely needs a special approach. When collaborating with Ivano Tetelepta in the past, we had a few moments where we tried a ‘Rhythm Roulette’ type approach and try to make records by sampling the majority of the project (like the Build from Wax LP on Nilla Records) or only use certain pieces of gear as a restriction (on the untitled ARC# album on Deep Sound Channel).

9.What are your main inspirations when it comes to your creative process? Are there any things you could not imagine working without?

A hiphop attitude towards house music. To be an underground artist is to create music with whatever equipment you have around you.  So if you don’t have the money to buy the gear you want (or think you need), don’t freeze up and do nothing. It was my situation for the longest time, so I really learned to be creative digitally. So even though I love to fiddle around with analog gear, and my studio is growing, I am still a very digital orientated producer that really needs to do those final touches digitally, because the lack of gear pushed me that way.

So I couldn’t work without Ableton to be honest. My MPC is my second answer.

10.Talking about making music, can you take us through your studio gear? What’s your favorite piece? Is there a piece that you really wish for? Or some future purchases?

I have just a small studio myself, at home. I use: Ableton, RMA-fireface400 soundcard, MPC, Dave Smith Tempest,  MFB, a Strymon Timeline delay and I have a few other simple pedals and fx.

So far very beat orientated gear so the next step will probably be a synth, but like many people I have been mesmerized by modular synthesis too. Let’s see. Even though my studio is still small, I honestly rarely feel limited.

11.As a music lover you must have some artists you admire! Would you like to share some of your favorite acts this year so far? Anything we should check out in particular that stuck in your mind?

I am an old school guy. A Tribe Called Quest is my favorite group ever, no doubt about it. Gangstarr, Black Sheep, Large Professor, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Brand Nubian. Those are my jams.

Too much new electronic music coming out right now to pick a few, but if I had to I would say Udmo (two mindblowing releases on Analog Attic) and Chris Geschwindner, because I love their fresh styles and both of them have remixed some of my works/collabs so I had to do a shout out!

12.Thank you for this amazing mix! Did you have a specific idea behind it or just went with the flow?

I spent many years warming up dancefloors in my hometown, so when I am recording a mix I try to take the same approach.. a bit of music for the mind, some music for the soul and I always try to end up with some music for the feet as well.

13.Thank you once again for having us! Do you have any last words for the fans? Any news on collaborations or some exciting upcoming releases? What do you think would be the best advice for the upcoming artist?

My pleasure!

Yes I have a big release coming up on Sushitech Records as my latest project ‘Monoaware’. It will be a 2×12”, out by the end of October / early November. Very excited to be a part of this label and its artists.

And just be sure to support the upcoming Irenic and Autodidact records when they drop in the coming weeks!

And thanks for having me 😉

Was a pleasure, Roger and thank you for them mix! 

RoGer MC

Words by Matas Balta

More Roger Gerressen; Facebook / Soundcloud

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Under The MEOKO Microscope – Inner & Mix

By Hot Off The Press, Interviews, Under Meoko Microscope

Inner UMH banner

The Under The MEOKO Microscope series is back with a bang; Berlin-based producer, Inner.

Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Inner. We know you have a busy schedule – How has everything been going? 

Everything is going well, lately its been a lot of nature for me and it will be like that till end of summer.

It barely takes a pair of ears to tell that you have a real passion for minimal and techno. How were you first exposed to these sounds and what artists did you grow up on? Who were your major influences?

First music played by me as a DJ was Drum and Bass. In a short time after thru new friends met at the local electronic music club I discovered the likes of Anthony Rother, Miss Kitten and Sven Vath. Then came the first editions of Sunwaves and the Romanian djs. At the time they ware not playing „the romanian sound“ but a combination of house, techno, and tech house (the good one). One of the sets I still remember and look back too is Zip s set at SW after hours in 2009.

How was the techno scene growing up in Romania? Was there anything in particular that made you think, “Wait, I want to make it in this scene?”

Not really. It came natturelly as at the time we ware organising parties in my hometown since our local electronic music club just got closed. I was discovering new music and it was easy for me to share it with people . I did warm ups for about 2 years.

It’s been almost 4 years now since you moved to Berlin. How do you find the city? Are you enjoying your life there?

I moved to the city without knowing anyone or talking german and I was lucky to find some very nice people straight away that supported me from the beggining. Life in the big city has ups and downs, like everywhere. Somehow you are sourounded by people but it feels more lonely than in a smaller city. People are so concerned about their lifes that its hard sometimes to make plans with friends. But the city has so much to offer in terms of art, nature, to name a few so I enjoy living here a lot.

You’ve recently released some amazing music on Anthea’s label Partisan. Could you give us a bit of the story behind this EP?

We met at a party at CDV when I was playing a few years ago and we kept in contact ever since. Its hard to find labels that fit my music and that I am happy to release on. It was clear to me that Anthea has a vision for her new Partisan project and when I heard her talk with such passion about it I wanted to be part of it straight away. Now we became more than collaborators and I am happy to release among great music and producers.

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

Winter and spring was full of producing and studio sessions, now summer is here and its more about enjoying. If you live in Berlin you understand. But I did start a new project with ISH, jamming together and making tracks. Its been really fun but no real plans to release till now.

What do you find the most challenging aspect of producing your own music?

Not sure if its challenging but I get bored very fast. And its not making music that I get bored of its more the style of music. I feel I cannot keep a direction, that can be also a good thing but also a bad one, cause people get confused about who you are. Its easier to categorise djs or producers and listeners like to do that. But as a person you change so much over the years, plus the constant stream of good music that is played at the clubs in Berlin has a big influence on me.

And what about your own Record label Polen? How did you start the label and what are your aspirations for your own imprint?

Polen started mostly to release new producers and my own music. I always liked the idea of discovering new young artists that have something to say. Now its developing into something else, with more established producers coming with eps, but everything is going quite slowly but in a good direction.

What’s one thing that you don’t see enough of in the music industry that you’d like to see?

More parties at the beach?! 

What would be your top three travel tips for touring Djs?

Drink lots of water, eat fruits and vegetables and be nice.

With all the traveling and the constantly expanding technology and gear, what is something that always stays in your DJ bag. What is it that you always have to have with you?

Ear plugs. For sleeping not for listening.

Last but not least, could you tell us a little about the mix you made for MEOKO? What was your approach?

Its hard for me to make podcasts. Most of the podcasts I made are on the fly. Press record and see what happens but for this I kinda try to plan it a bit and then endded up doing exactly the same thing as for the others. So I hope you enjoy!

 Inner243

Inner thank you so much for your time! Hope we’ll to see in London soon!

Thanks!

Words by Denny Kem

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Under The MEOKO Microscope – Fabe & Mix

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

Fabe-Interview

The Under The MEOKO Microscope series is back with a bang, as we call upon Mannheim based, producer of the moment, Fabe. Already in a short space of time he has won the hearts of many across the globe, with his warm charming grooves and swinging basslines. Tirelessly working in the studio on his tight productions, and creating a personal feel to his Dj sets, he has landed himself some huge releases so far. Sukhumvit Records, La Pena and Valioso Recordings are just a handful of presitigious labels on his discography. Whether creating his own records, or stepping up for a remix, it is obvious Fabe is in town with his huge sound.

Along side all of this, the young German producer has created a special platform for his own sound and it goes by the name of ‘Salty Nuts‘. An imprint representing his character and an opportunity to express music in his specific manner. Definitely recommend checking out the handful of high quality releases so far on the label, from himself, and friends David Nicolas, and Toby T. Recent months have also seen the launch of another fantastic project called ‘Ho Do Ri’ the killer combination of Fabe and Sukhumvit Records man Ben Balance. Judging by the first release it is looking promising for the duo. ‘Another Groove Era‘.

Earlier this year was the release of his highly anticipated ‘Square Town EP‘ on Fuse Londons sister label, Infuse. Lead track ‘Kim on Gin’ has been rumbled through systems all over with support from many high calibre artists such as Dan Andrei and the wizard Ricardo Villalobos. Adding to the success of the release he has also joined the Fuse crew for their labels 5th birthday party at Studio 338 earlier in the year, and was part of their huge ‘Fuse 8’ tour, as he set the vibe in Berlin’s famous, Hoppetosse. So it is nothing but fitting that he is making his Village Underground debut this coming New Years day, with Enzo Siragusa, Djebali,Maayan Nidam and the OdD boys. One not to be missed.

Come and join us as we take a look at Fabe under the MEOKO microscope.

Hi Mate, First of all thank you for time. Very excited about this. How long have you been working with music? And what would you say your main influences/inspirations have been over the years?

Hey Zac, nice to meet you and thanks for having me for this feature 🙂

To be honest i wasn`t really musical at school but i got in contact with music quite early. I was packed by the hip hop culture from the age of 13 in the early 2000`s and that was also the time when i bought my first sampler. It was an Korg Electribe S. I used to rap at this time and i wasn`t really into producing but to be a real hip hop artist it was important to get in touch with all Elements of Hip Hop

90`s rap music is still a huge influence for me and i think the music that I`m doing currently is not far away from it. House like i`m doing it, is maybe more Hip Hop than the rap music from today, So there is no big difference to me in what i`m musically interested now, as what I was in to in the past.

Growing up in Mannheim, Germany, how would you say this directed your musical tastes? for example record shops, or clubs?

Mannheim gives me probably the most input for my ideas and of course it influenced my musical taste from the day i got in touch with house and techno. As i already told you i came from another background and as i felt in love going out for techno parties i started to study the Mannheim Music scene & history.

As Labels like Oslo, cecille and 8bit started to get big they got asked in an old groove magazine interview… What is the mannheim sound about? and they answered it isn`t really something new. We don`t do something that didn’t really exist before.

But to me Mannheim sound was always characteristical for simple, but most groovy and highest quality house music. Now, with all the inspiration I received in the point of djing and producing from Mannheim artists such as Nekes & Federico Molinari , me and my friends will now bring the sound of this city to the next level.

You have your own label ‘Salty Nuts’, what made you start your own label? and we also love the name, what made you choose ‘Salty Nuts’?

In late 2015 and during 2016 i had such a big output with productions and it was important to generate a platform where i can release what i want when ever i want. The music and the concept behind Salty Nuts is similar to my person, It`s about being spontaneous and not working to much on details. Sometimes a simple idea tells the story immediately. But don`t get me wrong i`m very perfectionistic when it comes to the mix of a track. Groove is always depending on quality but often there isn`t so much input needed. And that`s what Salty Nuts is about it`s about the spontaneous perfect loop pressed on vinyl.

Also  the name was an idea off the top of my head… I love watching series and hanging in front of the TV with a cup of salted nuts as well as i love fitness… And as you know nuts are a huge protein source to gain muscles. That`s where the name comes from.

Teaming up with Ben Balance as ‘Ho Do Ri’ seems very exciting. How did this start? Anything else lined up in the near future with the two of you?

Yes, our Ep on Infuse just came out and we will continuously release on our own label Ho Do Ri. 002 and 003 are already on their way just as we are working on an EP for Mariano Mateljans new label u.dig.

Congratulations for your huge release on Infuse earlier this year. Seems you are working closely with the Fuse guys, what triggered this off? How did you meet?

Thank you. Yes, I`m really glad we came together. Ben knows Archie already for a couple of years and he was also the first I met from the crew. I guess it was at Sonus Festival two years ago when I met the whole crew in person.

Releasing on infuse and fuse this year was definitely bringing me a step further into the game, and after hanging a couple of times and playing together we quickly recognized that we have the same Attitude about techno, raves and stuff…

As i played with Rossko the first time back 2 back at the 5 Years Fuse afterparty in London he said to me and my Mannheim friends…“we have to expect that we share the same frequency“ and that`s why i also think it`s natural that we stay together and keep working together.

Are you excited to make your Village Underground, London debut New Years Day? 

Oh yes of course. I can`t wait for it. I`ve never been there but i’ve only heard many good things about it. Especially about the Fuse Party at NYD. It`s a pleasure for me to do my debut on such a great date and I just started  preparing myself for it.

FUSE NYD Rave Part 1/Day at Village Underground

Fuse NYD

We are so excited for your forthcoming release on La Pena, how does it feel to have a double EP on the way on this unique label? What were the ideas behind it?

Yes, the first idea was to make a double Ep. Einzelkind and I were not able to decide which tracks are best to take for the EP so we thought to do two parts of it. But now we decided to bring a 4 track Ep and another 10 inch record  a couple of month later on the new sub label La Peña shots.

It means a lot to me that Arno believes a lot in me and my music, and La Peña feels already like a perfect home for my sound. The label was always flexible, releasing quality music but not only one kind of it. Always a bit different but also familiar sounding house and techno grooves. A label for timeless music i would say.

The „Life Is Audio“ EP is maybe that one I`m the most proud of. I can`t wait to have the finished record in my hands. It`s my most musical record and it`s also the only one with a real concept behind it. It tells the story from the past year and reflects my person perfectly in a musical way. Every track has it`s own picture and that`s why it makes for my most emotional record. All tracks are connected with intro, interludes and outro parts which I made out of recordings of my environment, mixed with electronical designed sounds out of my elektron machines. The idea was that you can listen both sides without any break in one run to get a kind of Album listening experience.

You clearly spend alot of time in the studio. Would you like to talk us through your studio, and your favourite equipment when making some magic?

Of course this is the part i always like to talk about most. 🙂 two years ago i discovered elektron as the company that really impressed me with their gear. I used to buy an elektron rytm that almost changed everything in my productions. You can use it as a classic sampler, analog drum machine and synthesizer with amazing effect and amplifier options. It`s a high learn curve but when you study this machine you can do amazing things with it. You can do whole tracks with it. Mix and compress it just with this one machine. My Ando Ep on Sukhumvit records was almost just only produced with this one box.

Fabegear

I`m also a gear lover but this showed me that it`s often more important to understand and know how to use one machine before buying the next one and the next one. It often seems like people have a lot of gear in their studio but they are using everything randomly without understanding how they really work. But for me it`s important to understand what`s happening. I guess this is also important to generate your very own unique style.

After i felt in love with the elektron rytm i also bought an elektron four which is the main synth of elektron. It`s working also in the same sequencer way as the electron rytm. The sequencer of the elektron machines delivers countless possibilities to generate your very own patterns.

In addition i use some bass machines, synths, a 16 channel mixer where all my gear runs through and recently also some eurorack modules, and then Ableton for recording and arranging. I always change or add something to my setup when i`m on the way to get bored of something. This should never happen.

I don`t want to reveal everything but maybe check some of my Instagram video clips to get to know what`s happening in my studio 😉

On the DJ side of things, have you had any particular highlights or clubs that you enjoyed the most when playing? But also who are your favourite artists to see play?

I don`t know which club or party i enjoyed most. I love playing and raving with my best friends a lot.

Parker Lewis is my favorite Club and it`s always most fun when we all come together at our secrete private spot in Mannheim after the club gets closed in the morning. We always share incredible moments with the guest DJs there and everybody gets the best picture of what the Mannheim scene is about.

Praslesh

Ricardo Villalobos & Praslesh are always inspiring me a lot with there sets. It`s always a different and new experience listening to them. My friends Sedee who brought me in touch with the classical way of djing with vinyl and CD are still inspiring me a lot and they were the main influence while generating my way to mix in the past years.

Thank you so much for creating the mix for us. Serious grooves. What is your aim when creating something for a mix series? and the ideas behind it?

You are welcome. Thank you for thinking about me.

I don`t have a special aim when i record a mix it just has to transport the mood and feeling i`m just with. This can go in different directions but if there is something significant it´s maybe that i choose tracks with similar styled house grooves that make you dance even when it`s just a podcast to listen to. I never move that far away from the dance floor.

Fabe Exclusive MEOKO Podcast – 234

Fabe Mix

Last of all, do you have any exciting more exciting news you would like to share with everyone? Dates, releases, collaborations etc?

A lot special releases will come in 2017 and some other very cool projects are in progress. You will get to know everything at the right time…

FABE

Again thank you so much for your time. 

Words by Zac

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