Hi Magda, Firstly, MEOKO would like to thank you for your time.. It’s been roughly a year since you left Minus to focus fully on Items & Things – how have the past 12 months been? Has it felt like a completely fresh and exciting period for you?
It has definitely been an exciting period for me. Lots of hard work but i am very proud of what we have accomplished with the label in such a short time. We have a great team behind us and together the momentum has been great.
The label just released the Variables compilation. What was the premise/thinking behind the release?
We wanted to present the current sound of the label in a nice collectors package showcasing tracks from the three of us, our friends, newcomers such as NYMA and Howard Watson, and some old school names like Rework who i am really excited to be working with.
The label has been instrumental in finding and pushing new talents. Was this something you had always envisioned for the label or did it just occur naturally?
Of course, i’m always looking for fresh sounds to release but things have been occurring naturally. I don’t like to force things. It has to make sense and feel right. We have been working closely and pushing our two young artists Madato and Danny Benedettini since last year and trying to introduce people to their sound. Other than that we have a pretty easy going label policy with no exclusivity agreements. we just release the tracks we really like as they come.
It’s a very full-blooded dance-floor release, with a lot of dark disco and really funky elements to it. Is this what you feel best captures the vibe and spirit of what Items & Things is about?
Yes I think the compilation definitely sums up the label well at the moment. Gotta have that dark disco in there! I also like the acid/detroit and breakbeat undertones which are present in some of the tracks. They all somehow make sense together.
How has your relationship with electronic music changed/developed since you’ve been focusing on Items & Things? Did leaving Minus allow you to be more free and truer to yourself in your musical endeavours?
I don’t think it has necessarily allowed me to be more free and truer to myself because Minus has always given me the freedom to do what i wanted. However, having Items and Things does give me a different satisfaction of being able to make decisions pertaining to the output and artistic direction. its a great feeling to see your own ideas realized.
In the way that Minus spearheaded an entire musical movement, would you like to achieve similar with Items & Things? The label certainly has a very distinctive and bold sound.
That’s not something that i care about. All that matters is that we get to release music we truly believe is special and unique and share it with people who might enjoy it as much as we do.
At the recent Love Family Park event in Frankfurt I saw you weren’t using turntables and were just playing off a MIDI controller and Traktor. Are you moving away from manual mixing or was this just a one-off?
Yes, I have moved away from using turntables. its a whole different way to mix. I enjoy layering various tracks and sounds and this method allows me much more freedom to experiment and has made my sets more dynamic. At the end of the day, no matter what medium you use, you have to find your own personal way to present your sound and get people moving. I still have all my vinyl and sometimes its also fun to take a bag of records and play that way, especially in small clubs in berlin or at after parties.
I’m sure you have a really fun-filled Summer planned. What are some of the highlights and what do you plan to do once Winter begins to creep up again?
This summer is really crazy. I definitely took a lot more bookings than last year. one thing i’m very excited about is my residency in ibiza at space for Rich’s night ENTER. its every thursday and i’m looking forward to building up the night during its first season. i feel like its an exciting time on the island because so many people are doing their own nights and it reminds me of the old days when everyone came together. Other than that i’m looking forward to our Down & Out label nights which are always dangerously fun. when winter starts creeping up, i’ll be hibernating more in the studio and trying to avoid the cold.
Words by Carlos Hawthorn