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Chats to MEOKO Archives — Page 5 of 5 — MEOKO

MEOKO chats to Onirik – Label Manager of Serialism

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

This month, London born record label Serialism release the second volume of ‘London Cuts’. The first VA came in 2009, comprised of five tracks produced by an at the time, London strong collective. Two years on and not only have the Serialism crew dispersed across Europe in search of cheaper climates and more concentrated creative hubs, but the labels profile has risen by considerable measures with some of the electronic music scene’s most high profile acts releasing and remixing for the imprint. The once 100% London run label now shares it’s Head Quarter’s between here and Berlin where Cesare Marchese and Federico Benedetti look after the labels growing A&R duties, record pressing and distribution and showcase nights. The labels London ears and eyes come from Federico who despite working with the label for the last few years makes his artist debut on ‘London Cuts Volume 2’ alongside Queen Atom with their dark and powerful “Nameless 303 Dub” track. Federico has done this month’s MEOKO podcast which he says is for those “loopy, hypnotic moments when you’re not in a hurry” – (I can’t personally recall one of those in this city but I’m sure as hell gonna attempt it find one within this mix) – under his artist name Onirik which alongside some deep house gems offers a few sneaky insights into Serialism’s upcoming works. From A&R to artist and from London root’s to Berlin’s blossoming future, I caught up with Federico to ask how the last two years have affected the labels working processes, collective approach and the future of ‘London Cuts’…

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Photo Credit – GoodMoodz

Hey Fede thanks for taking the time to talk to me and also for putting together a Meoko podcast this month – how and where did you record the mix?

Hi Hannah, I recorded it with my two rusty turntables, good old vinyl and Traktor Scratch.

What were your thoughts and ideas behind the trip you want to listeners to feel through your mix?

I really wanted to transmit the London afterhours vibe we share with our group of friends. I chose a very deep selection of house and techno, dubby atmospheres, long mixes…loopy hypnotic trippiness…very linear but not in a negative way, for those moments when you are not in a hurry. It’s what I like best, morning sets when you can take your time, when there’s no urge to stomp the dance floor with bulldozer tracks (although that can also be enjoyable…) and you can drift away in elegance.

I’ve featured some of the tracks I’ve been playing in the last three months and a few personal classics on some of my favourite labels: Serialism, Vakant, Underground Quality, Perlon, Trelik, Hartchef Discos, Smallville, Vakant, Safari…and more. I haven’t included anything from MEAN (which is the sister label of Serialism) but I’m working on a more “experimental” podcast for that. This time it was more about the vibe of Serialism…

As well as you’re dj’ing you run Serialism records alongside Cesare Marchese – When and how did you come to be running the label?

I met Cesare in 2007 when I moved to London from Brussels. I met him through my soul brother Pablo Tarno with whom I’ve been friends since childhood in Belgium. Cesare was hanging out with a group of people that were all deep into electronic music. They were making music together, deejaying together, partying together, everybody had his little style. It was very inspiring and it really played a big part in the evolution of my taste. Regarding the labels…step by step I started helping out and learning until we got to the actual state of things.

Does the mix feature Serialism music heavily?

Yes…you’ll find some released and unreleased material.

You’re based in London and Cesare in Berlin – is that not difficult to run the label like that?

It’s not. Obviously sometimes it would be easier to be in the same city but like this we keep a foot in both cities and scenes which is quite useful.

Any thoughts for you to join the trend and move over?

It’s been on my mind for a while…I don’t know…I really love London, I’ve been here for four years and I can’t get enough of it. Berlin is very attractive for some aspects, I definitely see myself living there at some point but for now it’s London. We’ll see…it will be a gradual process.

Serialism has gone through some really strong moments over the past two years with the label artists and remixer’s becoming more high profile producers – why do you think that is?

I think that some of the artists that were with Serialism since the beginning have grown with the label and you can easily witness their parallel growth (like Rainer who has just released an EP with us.).

Do you think that Cesare’s re-location to Berlin has had a hand in the rise of the labels profile and artists?

Cesare’s move to Berlin has been a turning point, he’s met some really talented people over there that became friends and started working with us. We are in a sphere where boundaries between friendship and work is constantly blurred, it has pros and cons but it’s really great when you manage to translate what is born during fun times over the weekend on to a record, a collaboration or anything that stays tangible in time. The entirety of the artists on the label are close friends or have been really close at a certain point.

Over the last year or so we’ve seen a video for nearly every single Serialism track that’s been released from a duo called False Manners – tell me about the collaboration?

False Manners are Fernanda Mattos and Federica Marchese – Cesare’s gilrfriend and Cesare’s sister – it’s a family thing! Hehehe! They curate the visual side of the labels, from artwork to video. They are growing a lot every day and have wrapped up many cool videos in a short amount of time, like the one for ‘Nameless’ (my track alongside Queen Atom) which is really kaleidoscopic and fits the track perfectly. I can see a very bright future ahead for them and I’m quite excited to watch what they will create for the labels in the future. They are working with a lot of great artists in Berlin like Ninca Leece, Bloody Mary (for her label Dame Music), Jeremy Caulfield (for Dumb Unit)… My favourite video is the one for the upcoming Benjamin Fehr’s Ep on MEAN so….stay tuned.

Exclusive Onirik Podcast 

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Upcoming this month is the second Volume of London Cuts that Serialism has done – the first back in 2009 – explain to me why the label wanted to do compilations specifically based around London?

Because the label was born in London, created by Cesare and Stefano Pellegrini (who has now moved to Australia) as an output to release friends’ music.

The initial idea ‘London Cuts’ was because the majority of the Serialism collective were based in the city – that was certainly the case in 2009 but things have moved on a lot since then – the artists now spread between London, Berlin, Paris and Barcelona – how do you feel about the dispersal of such a strong group of people?

I miss a lot of those that have moved out of London but I think it’s very important to move around, try new places, and change your horizons for a while. There’s only a limited amount of things you can learn in one place, depending on your personality, luck or motivation so it’s good to keep moving. It feels good to watch your friends grow in different locations and bring you something they probably wouldn’t have if they had stayed in the same place all the time. I think the link really gets stronger with those that are far if you still manage to connect with them…it’s crazy…with some people it doesn’t matter if you see them every day or once a year, it feels the same straight away – you know those are friends for life.

Has the shift in location and evolvement of peoples careers affected the labels ‘collective’ ethos and bond in anyway?

Yes it did…because originally everything was based around London and the crew was all here. I only arrived after it all started so I’m not completely accurate but that’s the vibe I understood. Now it’s more around both me and Cesare – he brings artists into the roster from Berlin and while travelling. At the same time I keep an eye on London and create some bonds on my side, like with Robin Ordell and Monika Ross. We still have some of the original spirit but we evolved accordingly to the context.

Do you guys plan to continue with the compilation – maybe a Berlin cuts will be more suitable next time!?

Yes, not sure when, but we want to do a Berlin Cuts and a Paris Cuts.

You feature on the upcoming comp alongside Cesare as Queen Atom – tell me about the track?

It’s the result of the first time that me and Cesare sat down and cooked some beats together. It’s a very particular track, not the usual deep stuff I’m into at the moment or like any of Cesare’s previous releases. We both have very wide taste in electronic music so why not? Acidy and breaky…why not? I don’t expect it to be massively played as it’s not an easy track but if you like it a bit dark it’s a very powerful one.

https://meokomusic.podomatic.com/entry/2011-11-07T10_00_15-08_00

MEOKO chats to La Fleur

By Chats to MEOKO, Festival, Hot Off The Press, Interviews, Music Through Pictures

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Every year there is a deluge of new DJs and producers all proclaiming to be ‘the one to watch’, but Sanna ‘La Fleur’ Engdahl is one of the special ones who has broken through and made her mark. Bursting out of the gate in February with her debut DJ set at Fabric, she’s been on the up ever since. The groundswell of DJ support for her Flowerhead EP in 2010 – the debut of her own vinyl-only label Power Plant – continued into this year when WhatPeoplePlay launched their new label with La Fleur’s Flowerhead Revisited EP, including Spencer Parker’s chart-topping remix.

The Swedish-born and Berlin-based artist has steadily developed into the fully-fledged artist that she is now: a DJ, producer, radio presenter, label owner and fashion designer, with a creative spirit, a clear artistic vision and the need to stay continually inspired.

For our readers who aren’t familiar with you, how would you introduce yourself?

 I’m a Swedish dj, producer and label manager. Fours years ago I decided to move to Berlin to get going with my own productions so I left my pharmacy career behind me in Sweden. Well in Berlin I also started my imprint Power Plant, which is mostly known as Power Plant Records. Power Plant is a foundation and breeding ground with branches within music, art and we put the power in different creative projects that we would like to see grow.

Why do you think you’ve ended up following a few different paths at the same time?  It all started out with the love for music, and through that it has developed and built up to what I’m doing now. The different paths are just different artistic expressions coming together through music somehow. I always did a lot of different things. I danced for eight years, I played the piano, the flute, stuff like that, and I have an interest in art and clothes. So in some way I’ve just continued doing the things I like, maybe in a different way but still with the same urge to create or express myself. Therefore Power Plant is an outlet for all the creative things I’m interested in. On our label nights we usually have a lot of installations. Last labelnight in Stockholm we made 200 pin wheels (the logo for Power Plant) and arranged them into a huge field in the basement, where you walk through to take the elevator up to the club. There were also an installation with three of the samples from the forthcoming clothing line and on the dance floor we had an interactive audio installation. For me music is the nourishing part, the core from which everything grows and come together.

What was your first introduction to electronic music?  I always loved to dance, and I think for me the love for electronic music comes from the dance. When I discovered electronic music, at night clubs at first, it was a ‘wow’ feeling. I could dance to that for hours, with people or by myself, without rules. I was really blown away.

What came first for you as an artist?  DJing. Even when I was listening to other genres like rock or pop I was always at home recording mix tapes for friends saying ‘please listen to this’. I really tried to convince them to listen to the music I liked, preaching about the music I loved. Early on when I was first in clubs and saw the dj playing, I thought ‘I wanna do that too’.

How long did you spend honing your skills for before playing out?  I started in 2004. So I was at home practising a lot and I got a gig from the guy who introduced me to mixing in 2004, so kind of soon after I got started. First I I tried it out with CDs and then i got my turntables in mid 2004 and thought ‘wow. THIS is fun’.

What was that first gig like?  I’m not sure it was the very first one but one of the first gigs was at a festival and at that time hip hop was mainly being played in Sweden and everyone asked me ‘why house music? why don’t you play hip hop?’. I remember that there weren’t that many people on my dance floor, but there was a older famous Swedish artist from a rock band, and another famous Swedish hip hop artist, and they were dancing!(Ulf Lundell & Timbuktu) It was a weird first gig but it was fun.

Where did you go after leaving Örebro your home town?  I went to Uppsala where I studied to my master of degree in Pharmaceutical Science, and at the end of my studies I started djing and had my first gigs. Then I moved to Stockholm where I worked as a pharmacist and started to dj more and more.

Why did you decide to leave for Berlin when there was so much going on for you in Sweden?  I felt like I needed inspiration in my everyday life. I was working full time and had a good job but it was taking up a lot of time, and I was playing every weekend and I really wanted to get going with my productions but it was hard to find the time. So I thought I need to go somewhere where I don’t know anyone, where I could lock myself into the studio but still feel inspired. I’d visited Berlin and I really fell in love with the city and thought, why not go there and feel inspired?

Do you think Berlin has had an effect on you as a DJ or a producer?  Yes, Berlin has given me a lot of influence and inspiration! I often get the feeling that it’s happening first in Berlin. You really feel like you’re in the middle of it here. Of course it effects you in some way, in a good way I hope (laughs).

Your track “Flowerhead” really blew up and was then chosen to launch the WhatPeoplePlay label, how did that all come about?  Flowerhead EP, with the tracks Et La Fleur and Flowerhead, was the first release on my limited vinyl only label Power Plant Records. These two tracks were really special to me and I had wanted to start a label for many years so thought: OK lets do it! The EP was released in May 2010 with a beautiful artwork by German illustrator Olaf Hajek. I was really nervous because people told me ‘no, you’ll lose so much money, don’t do it’ and I had also shopped the tracks around to other labels with no success so I thought I would have to buy the 500 copies myself! But then it turned out that people liked it, and it sold out very quickly. I was really happy about it and got support from a lot of great artists and Spencer Parker was one of them. He was one of the first who really took it up and then he asked me if he could do a remix of the Flowerhead track. And around the same time the distributor Word & Sound contacted me and wanted to distribute and/or license the EP from me for their new label Whatpeopleplay. I didn’t want license the whole EP since I released it as vinyl only so we decieded to go with just the Flowerhead track. They suggested Spencer Parker to do a remix, so it was perfect. Like it was meant to be.

Why did you decide that Power Plant would be a vinyl only label?  I love vinyl, I love the feel, the look and the sound of it. Also the cover artwork is a big part of my label, and you don’t get that if you only release in digital. And if you do digital you wouldn’t really see the artwork. I had people that bought the vinyl because they liked the tracks and cover and sent in pictures of themselves with the vinyl, saying ‘I don’t actually have a turntable, can you send me the digital?’ (laughs) which I did. The promotion was also done digitally as well so its not like it’s not available, of course i want people to listen to it so it’s up on Soundcloud and Youtube etc. Every vinyl comes with a special artwork, first out was Olaf Hajek, the second release on PPR had an artwork from visionary illustrator and collagist Sätty. I want every release to be special and beautiful, a piece of art to hang on the wall when it’s not in the record bag.

Have you thought of venturing into live shows as well?  Yes, that’s been on my mind for some time now. I’m learning Ableton at the moment so next year I’d definitely like to have a live set ready, that’s a goal.

What’s up next for you and Power Plant?  I have a release coming out on Power Plant Records, in the near future and I have some other exciting things coming up that I can’t talk about yet! Power Plant are also in the making of the alternative to the merchandise t-shirt; a five pieve collection that will be ready for A/W 2012. We also plan a labelnight in Malmö in the beginning of December. I’m also doing a cooperation with a Swedish headphone company, Zound Industries, they’re starting a new headphone label and I’m going to be involved with that.

You’re quite an inspirational character having forged your own path and created opportunities for yourself, do you have any word of advice for other people who may be thinking about making their own way in this industry?  Just do it! Follow your heart, don’t be afraid, aim high and you’ll get there eventually, in some way.

 

MEOKO chats with Portable aka Bodycode

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

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Alan Abrahams is a rare breed: a multifaceted dance music artist who has truly conquered that elusive combination of underground club hits, critically-acclaimed artist albums, and compelling live solo performances. He’s a producer, remixer and vocalist who is constantly evolving his artistic point of view, and who has spent the better part of his decade-long career wandering between South Africa, the UK, Germany and Portugal.

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MEOKO chats to Anthony Collins & Seuil Ahead of their London Appearance at Half Baked 30th September

By Chats to MEOKO, Hot Off The Press, Interviews, Music Through Pictures

Half Baked has grown to become a buzz word meaning ‘very special party’ in East London since it began in 2009. Having grown from being a small Sunday daytime session, masterminded by bar managers and staff from Fabric nightclub, it has since developed into a tight and growing group of party loving people. Calling themselves ‘The Half Baked Family’, this lot never fail to draw the crowds and push the boundaries of deep house music.

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This month, they add an extra special Friday night date to their disco diary. Choosing a secret warehouse location they join forces with French entertainment developers and DJs ‘Lola Ed’ for a special ‘Half Baked meets Lola Ed showcase’. Lola Ed promise to take the half baked party people through a journey of the freshest, most progressive French house sounds they are pushing forward at the moment.

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MEOKO Chats with Audiofly about the Key Ingredients to a Great Party, the Strangest Place they ever woke up on Tour & the Concept behind the Flying Circus Party

By Chats to MEOKO, Hot Off The Press, Interviews

Without question, Audiofly are rapidly in the process of becoming one of the foremost electronic acts on the planet. A ten year working relationship has seen the duo reach dizzying heights – internationally acclaimed producers, DJs and label owners, Anthony and Luca appear to fear nothing and no-one. Their Flying Circus project, the latest string to their bow, has exploded over the past few years, seeing them host a series of unique, successful events everywhere from the rainforests of Mexico to Miami beach. The latest instalment brings them back to their roots – to London, where it all began – making June 4th at the a Secret Location TBA- an event that is under all circumstances, not to be missed.

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https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=209082815782403

https://www.residentadvisor.net/event.aspx?250076

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