The fourth edition of the Snowman Fest will take place tomorrow, Saturday 26th of January at the Ponton Casa Baraj in Valiug, Romania, with a stellar line-up. The most awaited act is of course Amorf, the known collaborative live act between the experimental artist Mischa Blanos and rominimal’s favourites Cristi Cons and Vlad Caia of SIT. The mix between the Misca’s liquid piano stories supported by never still minimal rhythms created a unique style that has mesmerised clubbers and festival goers all around the world. Moreover the event will see DJ sets from Suciu, Sepp, vlf, Perpetual, Runy, Bread & Butter, Somesan, as well as special visuals by Noetic to complete the show.
The beautiful venue, a heated tent right by the mountains in Western Romania, will host this spectacular party that will last through both the daytime and nighttime, starting at 2PM on Saturday 26th January and finishing at 9AM of the next day. Additionally the sky plant right next to the venue will work Thursday to Sunday from 9.30 to 17.00 – making this the perfect occasion to book your sky trip without the danger of getting bored and missing your favourite hometown’s club.
Bipolar is a Romanian organisation planning awesome underground parties around Romania and in Belgrade, Serbia. For more info and full party listings, check out their FB page: https://www.facebook.com/bplr.ro/
The sweetest weekend of the year is happening again in 2019! After a successful first edition last year, the Creative Hub’s Park in Tallinn, Estonia, will host once again this fresh festival concept during the daytime of the 28th and 29th of July.
The KultuuriKartel, or Creative Hub, is a cultural temple close to the city centre of Tallinn hosting a wide range of concerts and cultural activities, with both indoor and outdoor wide spaces. The Estonian capital has been growing into a new European capital of innovation and culture, and the festival, happening right in the middle of the summertime, provides the perfect occasion for music lovers to visit the city.
Sweet Spot is a fluid and modern festival which does not settle on a certain style or music genre, but instead offers a variety of live performances and DJ sets that range from brilliant indie rock acts to rising talents of the electronic music scene. You will be able to enjoy huge performances from international artist but also find your way into the local Estonian scene to discover something unexpected.
Last year’s edition saw live performances from artists of the calibre of Irish singer-songwriter Roisin Murphy and the Estonian rapper and extravagant conceptual artist Tommy Cash. However electronic music lovers surely won’t be let down either – for example the 2018 edition hosted the one and only Jeff Mills, Honey Dijon, Soichi Terada and many more.
Although the festival takes place during the daytime, do not worry if you are more of a nighttime party-goer – the party does not stop there. Afterparties will take place each day at Pada, in the heart of Tallinn, giving you the occasion to fully experience the Estonian capital’s vibe.
After the huge success of its first edition, the expectations for its 2019 edition are high. The first names of this year’s line-up will be released in February, stay tuned on Meoko for more info. If you are experiencing the usual winter blues through January while dreaming about these two days of pure summer bliss, this might be the right time to start planning your 2019 summer festivals schedule. Links and tickets below.
When it comes to Burning Man, one will find it extremely difficult to put into actual words, infact it is probably impossible to describe it unless you have been and experienced this ‘other planet’, of course! I guess it can be anything you want it to be and more, set in the Nervada Desert catering for around 80 000 over 9 days . This festival takes creativity, fashion, community and imagination to a new level. A festival when literally ANYTHING goes.
“Over the course of its history, the Burning Man community has developed its own peculiar lexicon, an organic outgrowth of the event, the culture, and the unique landscape of the Black Rock Desert where the event takes place”
Some have described it as life changing, a rebirth, others claim there simply is just no way to describe it.
Jim Simpson, a longtime “Burner,” said he and his friends came up with the concept of “Oogmoo,” which is a word to describe something you have to see for yourself.
MEOKO put together some of our favourite fashion pictures from BM over the years.
And that is a WRAP!
Disclaimer – if any photographer would like to get intouch, we would be more than grateful to add your credits.
Epizode is one of the leading festivals in Asia, taking place on the Phu Quoc island in Vietnam for eleven consecutive nights, between the 28th of December and the 8th of January. While the northern hemisphere will be freezing into the new year, on the beaches of this mesmerising island underground electronic music will be celebrated dancing under palm trees with sunglasses on. The festival’s line-up ranges from house and minimal to harder techno and drum n’ bass, including plenty of electronic music icons such as the A:rpia:r sound system, Ricardo Villalobos, Sonja Moonear, Maayan Nidam and Pan-pot, among many others. We are delighted to host the organiser Artem Kharchenko for a few words and insights on the festival.
Q1: Hi Artem! Thank you for taking the time for this interview, it is a pleasure to have you on Meoko. Epizode is now at its third edition! I guess it has been a huge challenge to organise this kind of event in a country where it’s not too usual. Why did you choose Vietnam and what was the biggest obstacle in planning a leading festival in this country?
Hello, and thanks for the invite 🙂 Yes, organization of Epizod3 is challenging and sometimes unpredictable, but also rewarding in the same time. We’re creating something completely different in the region, a format new by it’s length, music, concept. Lineup that we’re presenting consists of many artists that never played in Asia, or they do it rarely. Some of them are playing music that people from the region are not that familiar with. So we have a big task: not just to locally promote a new sound and concept, but also to educate and hopefully, broaden horizons of the crowd. Also, we invest a lot into local community, showcase many regional acts. Underground scene is emerging, so does Epizod3 🙂 We see this relationship as a two-way street, and it’s exciting to be a part of one growing organism.
Circumstances in the region sometimes can be unstable and uncertain, indeed. Rules and laws are not the same as in Europe, neither the treatment of the big music events. Phu Quoc is a perfect place though, as it’s big island, well geographically located, prices are much lower than in Europe and USA and, needless to say – it’s stunningly beautiful. It has international airport and all important infrastructure, hotels, transportation, exotic food and friendly locals 🙂 So far we’re happy to be having Phu Quoc as Epizode home.
Q2: The line-up of this year is astonishing. The festival will feature some legends such as Villalobos and Sonja Moonear, however I see some huge acts from different genres such as Goldie or Black Sun Empire. I think it’s great that you cover such a wide spectrum of quality dance music. What is the aim of your line-up choices and where does the inspiration come from?
We are focused on the quality sound from different electronic genres, indeed. We do have house, techno, minimal, but also d’n’b and breaks, as an important part of the lineup. The idea is, simply, to gather top-notch artists from different music worlds, Dnb and break artists that we booked this year, are the biggest legends of all times in their genre; they will set the beach on fire and we’re happy to welcome them.
use, techno, minimal, but also d’n’b and breaks, as an important part of the lineup. The idea is, simply, to gather top-notch artists from different music worlds, Dnb and break artists that we booked this year, are the biggest legends of all times in Q3: Art installations and daytime workshops on site are also a great part of the festival. What do you have in store this year for this aspect?
On the territory of Epizode, the construction of art installations and architectural structures is already in full swing, the infrastructure is getting more comfortable and intuitive. Artists and architects from different countries are taking part in this magic work. The festival literally turns into an incredibly magical place – in our eyes, all the details are piecing all together, and it seems that Epizode is about to breathe, like a huge fairy-tale creature.
This year we are planning a diverse daytime program. In addition to sports activities, which include yoga, volleyball, SUP, frisbee, there will be creative workshops, body art, a movie theatre, colorful Holi battles, other fun activities and of course open decks for those who have always wanted to play at Epizode. We want people to come to the festival not only for night dances, but we also want them to discover and to be adventurous during the day. Epizode is a 24-hour fun 🙂
Q4: Is the festival on site preparation and assembly something that happens just the weeks before, or progressively throughout the whole year?
On site preparation starts with a field visit in the summer time, and building of the new site and all production starts 2,3 months before the festival. We are in Phu Quoc for a while now, building our new house for this edition.
Q5: You will also perform at the festival with your solo project Tyoma. Why you decided to settle on it after performing and producing under different monikers? What can we expect from your set at the festival?
II have a theory that, the first record that’s played at the festival, needs to be the right one, as it will define the energy of the whole festival. That’s why I do the first soundcheck, and then the first sunset – opening set of the festival. I will play a few more sets, as for me as a general producer, it’s important to feel the crowd, to get familiar with the vibe, to know what’s going on on the other side.
e a theory that, the first record that’s played at the festival, needs to be the right one, as it will define the energy of
Q6: Epizode is hosting some cool pre-festival parties all over Asia. India, China, Thailand, Singapore… How is electronic music perceived in Asia nowadays? Is there an underground music scene you would like to particularly recommend our readers to check out?
Underground scene in Asia is definitely emerging. Some countries are already developed and pinned on a world clubbing map, hosting various artists, underground as well as headliners. Big party brands and festivals are coming to Asia as well. Some other places though, are developing in a moderate pace, but getting there. There are more and more artists, clubs, promoters, and they are all contributing to the growth of the scene. All this is not just important, but also revolutionary, as Asia is known for it’s massive EDM scene, and 20k people events happening every week. That circumstances makes growth of underground scene more difficult, and certainly more valuable. That’s why, our job is not easy, but it’s simply rewarding to help bring and build a new music trends, focused purely on quality.
Q7: Could you share your own personal highlight from the last edition of Epizode?
ll afterparties last year were off the hook. Needless to say – the epic Ricardo’s morning set was the one for the books, as well as Luciano’s sunset set. Then, all Asian artists at Eggs stage, really showed what quality sound and good fun is. Also – I will never forget the moment when I walked in at the venue, heard many different languages and realized we created a truly international event.
Q8: Can you summarise the vision behind Epizode for the readers? What makes it different than other festivals?
Apart from the fact that we are a long running and unique music and art spectacle in a paradise island in Vietnam – we are also a parallel universe bringing cinematic experience, as the title Epizode says. We call our visitors – actors, superheroes, directors and the lineup is – soundtrack. Everyone can write their own scenario and enjoy in all frames of Epizode.
Thank you again for your time, we wish you all the best for this year’s edition.
art from the fact that we are a long running and unique music and art spectacle in a parad
ise island in Vietnam – we are also a parallel universe bringing cinematic experience, as the title Epizode says. We call our visitors – actors, superheroes, directors and the lineup is – soundtrack. Everyone can write their own scenario and enjoy in all frames of Epizode.
Thank you again for your time, we wish you all the best for this year’s edition.
Despite years of growing popularity, the Romanian scene managed to maintain striking integrity and passion. The list of artists from the country who developed their signature sound in the last decades is remarkable, showing an outstanding creative spirit and a strong will to explore minimal dance music outside the box. But the Romanian scene is also known to pay attention to its local uprising talents instead of focusing solely on the same characters over and over. Meoko is delighted to show its love and support to the Romanian scene and signal some talents to keep an eye on throughout 2019.
Apart from a release on Blumea in 2017, we don’t know much about Abel Soleil, but a quick online search of this mysterious pseudonym will lead you to some of the highest quality music we’ve heard in a while. The rhythmic, atonal and strikingly well-produced minimal textures under this moniker make us think we’re going to hear a lot from him in 2019.
Very active in the Bucharest scene, this year Aparte played next to DJs like Arapu, Barac, Lizz, and more. The Dj and producer delivers a strong synthesis of modern micro-house infused with old school Detroit acid techno. While we are waiting for more news on releases in the new year, we can enjoy the few previews shared on his Soundcloud, that just leave us wanting more.
Bizar is, like most Romanian artist, one who would rather share his art through sounds instead of long DJ descriptions. We don’t have a lot of info about Bizar, but going through his Soundcloud and Bandcamp you will find an impressive variety of quality minimal productions. As his name suggests, his music might sound ‘bizarre’ at times, but isn’t originality something we all love? The producer is certainly bringing something fresh on the table and we’re excited to hear more from him. Check out more on this artist here – Bizar Bandcamp
Is likely that 2019 is going to be a great year for Diferit. The Romanian DJ and producer has been shaping up an open horizons style, where quality is the only imperative. His 2018 release ‘Edge of Space’ is simply something else, adding a steady electro rhythm to a marvellous and spacey ambient background (on the B-side you also find Christopher Ledger on remix duties – check it out below). We’re just thrilled to hear more this year.
You might have heard Dragusanu’s project together with BRYZ, Fildesh, which has been going strong since 2015. The young Bucharest born DJ and producer has also been making excellent music under his solo moniker ‘Dragusanu’; his ‘Umbra EP’, released this year on the artist’s Bandcamp, captured our attention for his soothing and dreamy vibe.
Despite being around for a while, we feel this year might be a great one for Herck. The artist has been developing a peculiar and complex sound; in his music very often you might hear processed vocal samples that sound from outer space and glitchy robotic rhythms. Whether you like his style or not, his sets and productions have the outstanding quality of never being boring.
Vlad Leanca is another one to watch in the coming year. The DJ/producer has been developing a psychedelic sound showing he is not afraid to experiment (his Alter Hour mix sounds almost hypnotic – in the best way). Leanca has already been receiving support from notable figures in the scene: check out Barac playing an unreleased hallucinatory bomb from him at this year’s edition of Ostrov Festival in Ukraine below. We’re very much hoping for this one to be released in 2019.
The young DJ and producer from Cluj-Napoca shows a remarkable sense of groove in his mixes and productions. The bass in his recent remix of Sonohat’s ‘Whispers’ results in instant head nodding, and his mix for RTS.FM Budapest this year combines undiscovered gems and solid tracks with impressive fluidity, convincing us he’s one to watch in the new year.
You probably have heard Matje’s reinterpretation of The Doors’ Riders On The Storm more than one time throughout 2018, either at an afterparty or from your favourite Youtube recommendations. Matje’s inventive rework of this psychedelic rock classic was one of the most iconic tracks of the year; the Romanian DJ and producer seems to able to turn anything into a deep dance-floor cut, as you can also hear from his Stayin’ Alive remix (listen below). But Matje has proven to be capable of delivering much more than that: his style also adds a mesmerizing and hypnotic ‘dub’ vibe to a solid Romanian microhouse substance. The result? His sets to sound like deep submersions into unknown worlds, where it is extremely easy to get lost. Just check out his last podcast on Soper Univers below.
r107, pronounced “riot”, is another Romanian talent to keep an eye on into the next year. Apart from the many shows in Bucharest and around his country, this year r107 also played in Corse and Switzerland delivering the Romanian style we all love with a tight attitude. You can listen below to his track ‘Infinitea’, which was included in the Ensis Black compilation ‘Unknown Heroes’ this year.
We don’t know much about Robert Apetrei, but his November release ‘Alpha Si Omega’ speaks by itself. Vibrant and rhythmic, with a clean audio design, the two tracks sound more like an expert’s work than a debut. We’re already hoping for new releases in 2019.
Sonohat’s debut on the new underground minimal Miami/Bucharest label Cedesciu Wax is nothing short of impressive (in here you also find Macarie’s remix referenced to earlier). The frisky beats of ‘Whisper’, the brain-scraping sounds in ‘Hoe Lee Choir’ and the non-stop energy of ‘Galop Dupa 5’ all make us guess we’re going to hear these often at parties in the next year.
Last but not least we would like to signal Zen, a.k.a. Chronosymmetry. As his name suggests the music has a nice meditative connotation to it. Just check out his recent mix for Exid, or the ‘Symbiosis’ release under his Chronosimmetry moniker, which feels monumental thanks to the atmospheric string progressions, but also tranquil and sedative at the same time. Sit back, relax, and let the music transport you.
The upcoming year promises to be one filled with exciting news and creativity. It’s impressive how the underground music scene in Romania still manages to reinvent itself and surprise us with new talents. We’ll keep our ears up for more news and releases throughout 2019. Meanwhile, see you at Sunwaves in Spring.
Australia has long held a mysterious and exotic appeal for people the world over. It’s rugged, untamed natural beauty entices travelers from across the globe to visit its shores, creating a melting pot of culture and ideas. This unique atmosphere also permeates down into its underground music scene, injecting a cosmopolitan vibe onto dancefloors and inspiring its producers and promoters. Australian’s two biggest cities; Sydney & Melbourne became the setting for the explosion of the rave scene in the late 80’s, as English expats coming out of the UK’s Summer of Love brought with them the house, disco and techno sounds that swept the globe. Seminal warehouse parties and mammoth raves across both cities sparked a longstanding affair with House and Techno. This laid the foundation for more niche musical tastes to flourish with Australia’s current minimal scene putting down preliminary roots around 2011. This is about the people and spaces that have kept this music alive.
As influences from German labels like Perlon, Keinemusik, Kompakt and Playhouse began to find favor on Sydney dancefloors during 2011, collective ‘Braille’ appeared and began playing the forward-thinking sounds of micro, dub, deep house and minimal techno. Their progressively motivated tastes saw them spin regularly at iconic Burdekin & Imperial hotels, alongside hosting their own warehouse parties. Combining German influences with the emerging Romanian sound to great effect. The now defunct group opened the door for successive groups to evolve Sydney’s minimal scene. These early years also saw the rise of seminal event ‘Spice’ ..a legendary after-hours party held in the intimate underground club called ‘The Spice Cellar’. Striking a chord with Sydney punters who yearned for a more European clubbing experience, it was a breeding ground for more experimental sounds, many of which were minimal in nature.
Tragically as the scene was blossoming, one of Sydney’s most defining moments landed like a hammer with the introduction of ‘lockout’ laws in 2014. Using inflated crime statistics to pursue a hard line against what they deemed to be rampant alcohol-fueled violence, State authorities instituted 1:30 am lock-outs and a 3am last drinks policy on clubs and bars. Targeting clubbing hotspots in Kings Cross, Oxford Street, and the CBD. Famous clubs like Goldfish Bar, Goodgod Small club and The Cellar were just a few of the many, that closed their doors due to heavy government regulations. Irrevocably changing the house and techno scene.
One group who not only weathered this storm but has emerged as the current spearhead of Australia’s minimal scene, are Mantra Collective. Forming in 2012, It’s three core members Telly, Whitecat and Aboutjack (Aboutjack left in 2018) have heroically maintained a steady influx of reputed minimal artist into the Australian club circuit. Their warehouse series (now onto its 16th installment) continues the legacy of the 80’s rave scene. One that took advantage of the inner west industrial districts as a refuge for countercultural movements, now utilized to escape the over-regulation and hostile attitude of state authorities. They were the first to bring artists like Vid, Cosmijn, Lazar Hoche, FUSE London’s Enzo Siragusa, Seb Zito and Rich NxT to Aussie shores. As well the being the ones responsible for major highlights in Sydney’s underground scene. In 2016 they collaborated with S.A.S.H., Romanian visual artist Cote and producer Arapu to pull off ‘Inner Space’, a breathtaking audio-visual immersion at the ArtHouse. Their two ‘Reconstructed’ parties in 2017 also hosted iconic producers East End Dubs & Barac as well as Cezar & Subb-an in an incredible underground carpark location. These groundbreaking parties cemented Mantra as the current leaders of this scene.
Before the lockouts damaged Sydney’s nightlife, there were already established crews in the city and SASH is one of them. Although not focused entirely on minimal sounds, they have toured many artists in that realm like swiss whiz Alci, Romanian’s Cristi Cons and duo Vinyl Speed Adjust. Their weekly Sunday parties have been a ritual for Sydneysiders over the last several years. They host a daytime, open-air gathering at North Sydney’s Greenwood Hotel and an evening rager at the iconic ‘Home’ nightclub next to Darling Harbour. They’ve been a big supporter of local talent , whilst still consistently flying in talent from across the world to showcase on Aussie soil with the support of touring agency Solid Circles.
Solid Circles Touring have been a big force in feeding the Australian underground circuit with international tours from the likes of Sonja Moonear, Varhat, Sammy Dee, Priku, Traumer, S.A.M. and many many more. Led by Gregory Pepperpot the agency is a key player that’s connected overseas talent with Australian promoters. Their event series Hello has forged a strong partnership with local outfit Lokomotiv over the past year and a half. Focusing squarely on minimal house and techno the two brands have widened the scope for touring European producers. They’ve thrown shows with artists like Janeret, Anthea and Sepp at Oxford street venue The Bunker. Whilst having also showcased talents such as Germany’s Fabe, Italian Giuliano Lomonte, VBX frontman Ferro and Greek producer Lee Burton under the moodily lit lampshades of inner west nightspot Slyfox. Led by Tyson Brunn and resident Lachie Simpson Lokomotiv’s rise to prominence in Sydney was born out of their incredible podcast series and vinyl label which is capturing the current wave of Romanian music.
With vinyl being such a key ingredient for the dissemination of underground music, a huge windfall for Sydney came with the opening of ‘Something Else Records’ early this year. The first physical record store dedicated purely to underground house and techno music. It was a long-held dream for founder Dave Stuart, who alongside business partner Alex Dimitröff has played a pivotal role in Sydney’s nightlife for many years. Their weekly show’s at the Burdekin Hotel back in the day, were legendary, as they treated Sydney to the who’s who of international talent from across dub, minimal and techno spectrums. Now their record store is having a huge influence on the scene, importing quality vinyl into Australia, becoming the go-to spot for Sydney selectors. You can find vinyl releases from local labels like Addition By Subtraction, Touch Of Loft, Lokomotiv, Unic, Dokutoku & Elision on the shelves here, joining digital imprints like Museme & Conspiracy as they collectively contribute to Australia’s growing, more minimal focused discography.
Another vital crew within Sydney’s minimal community is collective ‘Roots’. Spearheaded by talented selector Marlie, their clandestine parties beckon partygoers to secret and exotic locations across the city, treating them to intimate and exhilarating musical experiences. Constantly experimenting with new concepts and spaces, Marlie leads a star cast of residents who are also sought after djs in their own right. Each bringing a unique flair and sonic flavour to the mix. Producers Venda and Variance join selector Nikola as core members. Their combined forces injecting a fresh and vibrant new energy into the cities underground consciousness.
A recent addition to Sydney’s minimal community is crew ‘BeAvanteGarde’ (B.A.G.). Having relocated to Australia from Brighton in the UK, the experienced team (led by Manfred Spagnoli and Andrea Dev) have had an instant and memorable effect on the scene. They’ve brought the likes of Junkie Inoue & caLLy to perform on Aussie soil for the very first time. Combining mesmerizing visual effects with world class sound systems in a formidable series of secretive warehouse raves. Their work striking a chord with Sydney punters who are hungry to experience the skills of foreign minimal icons.
While the Sydney scene continues to battle against bureaucracy, further south in Victoria’s capital Melbourne it’s been quite a different story. Similar lockouts were trialed in 2008 but were scrapped shortly after following a huge public backlash. As Melbourne is now fast becoming a 24hr city, its nightlife is booming. There are promoters and venues pushing minimal sounds there, but it’s still a niche scene. Ultimately the freedom of expression that comes from a scene not bound by government influence and oppression, is also one that’s more relaxed when it comes to pushing groundbreaking music. This hasn’t doused the fire of the few purveyors of minimalist music in Melbourne though, those who have built iconic parties within more mercantile surrounds. One such phenomenon is ‘The Breakfast Club’, a weekly, Monday morning afterparty that’s a hotspot for Melbourne’s minimalist underground. Based at club Onesixone it pulls both local and interstate revelers who are treated to internationals like Nima Gorji, Dana Ruh & Bill Patrick. The guerrilla campaign to take Mondays back for the people is run by Gabriele Terlicher and Ethan Mclaren and has become a uniquely Melbourne institution. Complete with fresh fruit on offer to patrons and a Nexo sound system that provides the grit for their devilishly long 18hr long parties.
The great bastion for minimal in Melbourne has to be the institution, Killing Time. The intimate Chapel street club has had a storied history over the course of its 10 years of operation. Famous as an intimate, perfectly tuned sounding room, Killing Time has hosted an endless list of underground players. One crew that has been utilising the Killing Time space regularly is Losing Control. A new brand yet a highly experienced crew, with years spent in the booth in the Uruguayan, London and Glasgow scene between them. Their bookings consist of Losoul, Audio Werner, Vinyl Speed Adjust and they’ve booked and assisted Georgia Girl, Harry McCanna and Junki Inoue to tour the country. A fiercely independent club that embodies a true underground ethos. Killing time also plays host to newer event series ‘Over’ run by local producer Peruw. It’s a hometown favourite for veteran selectors like Brock Ferrar and locals Mimm and Made Inc.
With Mantra at the helm of Australia’s minimal movement, newer collectives have formed and bought with them renewed energy as they carve out their own space within the scene. Up North in Brisbane, brand Flux have established a solid reputation from warehouse jaunts with internationals like Cristi Cons, Lazar Hoche & East End Dubs. In Sydney, industry brand ‘Unic’ run by Hendrik and Elia, continue
o garner fans
ith exclusive premieres and vinyl reviews. They’re building strong international ties with Romanian and Ukrainian producers,as they build on their noteworthy podcast series and newly minted vinyl imprint.
With their masterfully decorated and flamboyantly themed raves, the ‘Conspiracy’ crew have curated an event series that have become a huge favourite for Sydney locals over the past year. Reigniting that mid-morning magic that was lost with the close of Spice, brand ‘Afters’ has now established itself as Sydney’s go to after party. Alongside these budding new additions to the scene, Club 77, a historic Sydney club steeped in two decades of history has just reopened its doors after an innovative renovation. Sporting a brand new, world class KV2 sound system it’s now set to become one of the new bastions for underground music in the city.
Growing numbers of minimal artists have also begun to infiltrate boutique festival line ups. Festivals like Subsonic and Babylon are set to bring out icons Zip, Raresh, Fumiya Tanaka, Cezar and Cristi Cons to Aussie shores over the coming months, solidifying a growing taste for this niche music. The real distillation of the Australian scene, however, can be found in the output of its local producers, many of whom have begun to break ground on international labels. The most recognizable would have to be Monika Ross, of Serialism, FA>IE and Metroline Limited fame. Talented producers like Litmus (Signature Records / Pathway Traxx) and Sun Archive (Politics of Dancing / Hoarder) are certainly names to watch in the future, alongside rising producers like Nate S.U & Yokobus from the Conspiracy crew. Variance (Weather Recs), Dan Baartz, Harrison Morris and Papa K (Flux) are also amassing a solid following. Fellow Sydney artists on the minimal techno side are Venda (Bodyparts, Norse Projekt) and Mike Watts (Mantra Collective). These two are constantly honing their craft and are set for huge things next year. Down in Melbourne, promising producers like Peruw, Occult Funk (CMOK), Thomas David (Museme.), Dylan Griffin & Chad B (Subsonic Music) are all beginning to garner attention for their productions, channeling worldwide influences to create brand new sounds. They perform alongside favoured Sydney selectors like Le Brond, Jac Frier, Persian Rug, Jackson Winter (Conspiracy), Val York (B.A.G.), A.lias, Thilini (Flux, Mantra Collective), Cassette, Marley Sherman (S.A.S.H.) and Tiril, all of which continue to push an exciting and essentially minimal house and techno sound.
Although a geographically isolated community, Australia’s minimal scene is gathering momentum, spurred on by numerous passionate supporters and creatives who seek to build a world class movement that can take its place on the international stage.
The awaited October yearly appointment with the Amsterdam Dance Event is coming closer. We picked some of our favourite upcoming events happening in the Dutch capital during the magnificent week.
The Tribe invites Yoyaku
For this year’s edition of ADE, Nijmegen crew ‘The Tribe’ invited the renowned Yoyaku collective for a 22hour sonic-adventure happening in two different venues, starting 20th of October 10pm (22:00pm-06:00am) and rounding off the enduring weekend on Sunday, the 21st of October. (07:00am-22:00pm)
The first, nighttime, event feels just as exciting; planned at the more intimate BRET venue, a red construction made of sea containers, the party will include the brilliant live set by Oshana and a back to back between Varhat and Janeret, as well as Roger Gerressen, member of both the Yoyaku roster and The Tribe crew, and Children of Vails, a Tribe cornerstone from the very beginning.
The after-party, starts at 7 AM at Radion Amsterdam and goes on for the whole daytime. The event showcases a stellar line-up, recent addition to the Yoyaku roster and experienced act Maayan Nidam headlines the event, together with the micro-house masters Zendid and a special back to back between Lamache and Lowris. The line-up is topped up by The Tribe’s residents Christoffer Zaza and Doris Nicholas.
The collaboration between these two collectives in two of Amsterdam’s most distinguished venues promises to deliver an outstanding party sequence that is impossible to miss for any underground scene follower attending ADE this year.
Amsterdam based organization VBX is well-known for delivering top-notch parties, with superior line-ups and jaw-dropping locations. Their ADE program this year includes four events which are just one-up each other. Their program starts off on Thursday 18th October by hosting TiNi and the Gang at Bret. The experienced German party-starting DJ will perform a B2B with French talent Molly.
The next day sees a massive line-up preparing the Warehouse Elementenstraat for an unforgettable party, involving Ricardo Villalobos, Seth Troxler, Zip, Sonja Moonear, Steve Rachmad, Nicolas Lutz and Spokenn (Ferro & Reiss), all playing in the industrial setting that characterizes this exceptional venue. And the party continues in the morning, moving back once again to Bret until the late afternoon hours of the next day.
Finally, Saturday’s party is no less interesting. Romanian gurus Praslesh (Raresh & Praslea) lead the line up together with Fumiya Tanaka and Francesco Del Garda at Shelter, for an ending to the VBX series which promises the finest selections.
Into The Woods will be back at NDSM this year with two daytime parties on Friday and Saturday. A former shipyard located in Amsterdam Noord, NDSM blossomed into a cultural hotspot and became one of the favourites picks for big electronic music events in the Dutch capital. Music will range from hard techno to funky house, with a vast line-up including KiNK, Red Axes, Optimo, Paula Temple, Move D and Roman Flugel, among others.
On Saturday Afterlife will present its first 24 hours party at Warehouse Elementenstraat. For this year’s edition of ADE, the Tale Of Us label curated two rooms to encompass what their vision is all about; beginning Saturday at 2 PM and finishing at the same time on the next day, the line-up includes a special B2B between Solomon and Dixon, Mind Against, Adriatique, but also live sets from Recondite, Mathew Jonson and Agents of Time, to name a few. A must-go for the fans of the label.
Jack is a new club which opened in the South part of the city, celebrating diversity, creativity and forward-thinking electronic dance music. On Friday, we recommend their party with Toi Toi Musik, including music from Herodot, Vinyl Speed Adjust, Losoul and Sanja. The party will go until early hours for a mesmerizing afterhour session.
On Sunday afternoon, ADE will also provide a free entrance “ADE hangover” session at NDSM to cure your headache and finally get some rest. The venue will provide chilled music and healthy food & fresh drinks, but also a vinyl market and art installations for those who will still be able to stand up.
This October 13 remarks Legends‘ 10h edition; Created by a bunch of friends in Uruguay, Punta del Este, host city of the South American summer. Legends comes with the dream of bringing true legends from the underground world scene of electronic music. Taking South American landscapes as inspiration, the open space where the festival takes place represents the typical natural places of the beloved land. It has a vast green tree surrounded space and a lake from where you can appreciate the Uruguayan sunrise itself. Guests can develop during the time the festival lasts with multiple recreational activities, of course, in addition to listening to the unique artists presented.
These last 4 years the crew hosted artists with the likes of Ricardo Villalobos, Raresh, Audiowerner, Argenis Brito, Losoul, Herodot to name a few.
Already 8 months have passed since the last edition of Legends taking place in March with the participation of Nekes, Robin Ordell, Guillermo de Caminos and the farewell of the favorite couple Vale Volpe & Manglus before going on tour in Europe in a b2b alliance.
As the spring season fastly approaches, the tenth edition will be the Uruguay debut of the Japanese legend Fumiya Tanaka, together with another Japanese artist, Yoske. To add more, the new ArgentinIan promise Lautaro Scavuzzo will be playing for alogside the resident dj Manglus after the return of his extensive tour.
For the 4 years aniversary Legends crew are proud of announce the Happy New Year Legends festival for the first time.This new proposal is coming to spend the end of the year among friends dancing under the sky in a 2 day festival format where 12 invited artists from all over the world will play. The whole line up will be made known as the festival approaches us. One thing which is clear to predict is that one of the headliners will be Audiowerner with his first live set presentation in South America. So we suggest you start to get prepared for this special occasion where you all are invited to participate!
Berlin-based agency COMMON SENSE BOOKING is ahead of their 3 year anniversary. Reason enough for the duo which runs the little company to celebrate that in a proper way with a mini festival in Berlin on the 1.09 / 2.09. @ OSTHAFEN BERLIN, located at the border of Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg right next to the river Spree. Built in 1907 as part of the Osthafen Berlin project to support the rising ship traffic on the river spree , the structure was completely renovated in 2010.
And at the beginning of September the OFF venue is home of the well known party series *SORTED*, a project of Common sense booking… Normally the partys are taking place at Berlins famous CLUB DER VISIONAERE or at the sister venue HOPPETOSSE but this time they take it a step further with a 24 hour madness on 2 floors and on the Sunday during the day with an nice open air spot just in front of the building right on the river…
The line up speaks for its self…Pretty much all of the artists are well known from their residencies at CLUB DER VISIONAERE BERLIN and their top positioning not just only in Berlins underground music scene. The event will run for 24hours starting on 01.09 at 10pm until the next day, 02.09 10pm.
ADA KALEH ALEX CLICHE ARGENIS BRITO AUDIO WERNER BRUNO CURTIS CESAR MERVEILLE DANDY JACK EVELINE FINK HANDMADE MIKE SHANNON OSKAR SZAFRANIEC SAMMY DEE WAREIKA -live- JOHNNY D ALEX KRAEMER + special guest
Visuals & light by Trig Fardust // Open air sound bei KV 2 Audio…
“It’s for one weekend so you’ve got to get it right”, these were the delicately spoken words of Craig Richards in anticipation of Houghton Festival 2018. A place that was described by many as an electronic music utopia in its inaugural year and where getting it right was surpassed once again.
The festival is set in the traditional grounds of Houghton Hall, a Palladian Mansion built in the 1720’s for Britain’s first Prime Minister. It is a vast estate featuring immaculate hedge rows, herds of white fallow deer, bracken, mysterious woodland and a large gleaming lake. The atmosphere feels curious and inspiring. Produced by the same team who present Gottwood, the focus on creating a unique experience was at every twist and turn taken throughout the 4 days.
Music and art are often used in the same breath, but no festival I have encountered before has managed to display both in such an intriguing and compelling manner. Scattered across the site were multiple distinctive paintings and sculptures created by Craig Richards and other carefully selected artists, some in obscure places, but still feeling wholly natural. The stages, of which there were 13 in total, all held their own characteristics, considering aspects of programming and the landscape they were a part of. The captivating ‘Pavilion’, designed by a multi-disciplinary group of architects, was a simple wooden structure contained under the forest. By day it allowed you to take in the beauty of the lake in the backdrop and by night it became a glowing, UFO like focal point. Tantrum, the name of a weekly new weekly night of electro, otherworldly noises and drumbeats initiated by Craig Richards and Adam Shelton was turned into a stage at the festival, bringing these sounds to a UK rave inspired tent with shipping containers and raw materials.
Terminus, a secret stage accessible only by land train featured rare b2b’s and hidden gems all weekend for those lucky enough to find it and which will not be described for those that are still yet to.
Phone signal was non-existent; however this again felt purposeful and allowed you to become fully immersed in the environment, people opting to dance rather than film. Sound systems were carefully tailored and ripe no matter the size of the stage, resulting in you being able to stand in any location and feel the music. The food also felt like another form of art, with a floating restaurant, pop-up El Pastor’s and dozens of other high quality stalls to choose from.
Trevino’s, a cultural space and meeting point for the festival had leather sofas, pop up record stores, turntables for listeners and a set of 1210’ for artists to play on throughout the day. A friendly and welcoming area, people were allowed to select records at ease whilst being provided by expert recommendations by the store owners. It allowed strangers to come together, some who I’m sure became friends, through sharing their musical tastes and past experiences. It had the feeling of a unification of a scene through the most important aspects, the physical. Aptly named after the late Marcus Kaye aka Markus Intalex aka Trevino, a man who epitomised Houghton in his diversity of sound and attention to detail.
Embarking on the 72 hour non-stop musical odyssey on Thursday evening, Adam Shelton and Cassy opened up The Warehouse, a lofty hangar constructed out of metal. A dark space with piercing laser beams and smoke injects, it did not take long for those that had put up tents in a downpour to dry off by filling it into frenzy and set the tone for the rest of what was to come.
On Friday it was a pleasure to finally be able to witness not one, but two Schatrax sets, a man who made his name in the 90s with house music that still sounds as deep and playable as it did then. Firstly at the Magic Carpet, a warm dome, where he demonstrated this sound and more. It’s a rare opportunity to see him play records out, so I made the effort to go and find him playing again later on, stumbling my way down an endless long dark path to find Terminus and I was not disappointed I did. Playing one of my favourites from him ‘Restless Nights’, the dubby bassline was making the whole crowd move.
Over at The Clearing, below the headlights and corrugated steel, surrounded by a crowd, Binh provided scientific, acidic oscillations of sound. Tightly mixed, often almost disturbing with Furfriend’s ‘Fist Fuck’ drawing the audience further into the booth.
Back at the Magic Carpet, Craig Richards was playing the first of one of his 6+ sets, I was as mesmerised by his track selection as I was his by unrelenting energy, shown in abundance when he played his latest release ‘My Friend is Losing His Mind’. The distorted voices, bleeps and punchy techno-electro rhythm sending the early morning dance floor into raptures.
The highlight of the weekend came on Saturday, when the senses were treated in every way imaginable. The day started with a sculpture tour in the grounds of the hall. So calm you couldn’t hear the festival at all and providing opportunity for reflection and recuperation. This was also possible in The Orchard, a sanctuary of theatre, performance art and healing therapies. Fully rested I then saw Calibre, another genius and another artist who rarely plays out live, it was special to see him play a set that displayed all his characteristics, moving through ambient, refined dubstep and liquid drum and bass. The biggest ovation came when he mixed his own ‘Wassold’ into Mala’s ‘Eyez’.
( ) MC DRS added even more life into the music. Later on in the day came some of the most anticipated sets of the weekend. Nicolas Lutz started under the darkness of the Pavilion, with bouncy, bass-heavy electro minimal bombs including ‘Gerogliftko’ on his My Own Jupiter label.
Legs and arms were feeling the rapid beats that combined NYC garage with space like noises. There was no let up throughout as people jumped around to Back to Basics by Fear-E.
Barac in The Warehouse was dreamy, melodic and a great contrast to the fast paced bumping nature of Lutz.
Now we all know Ricardo Villalobos can often confuse, delight and spellbind in equal measure, but his sunrise set at The Pavilion might be one of the best times many have seen him play. For the first few hours it was completely unhurried as he gradually cast the crowd under his spell. With long drawn out mixes blending shuffling drums, bongos and sometimes just the slightest of basslines, every single person was locked to his gaze. German vocals intertwined with cricket noises as he faded tracks in and out, sometimes bringing them back after lengthy periods out. ‘808 Thebassqueen’
featured a vocal conversation on top of it that I had never heard before. The sun slowly rose behind the booth, at one moment the sky was a purple colour, as he moved into his famous ‘Logohitz’ and a remix of Madonna’s ‘Justify My Love’
no one was going to be leaving this set early. Transitioning from the dim aura he had begun with the latter half sprinkled love and heart felt emotion on the deserving crowd, with tracks like DJ Koze’s ‘Pick Up’, some shutting their eyes for minutes as it played out, others embracing.
Joy Orbison woke the crowd up again on the final day with a feel good set combining classic ice cold garage including ‘Too Blind – Stone Cold Steppaz’ with house and techno joy such as Mood II Swing’s ‘Call Me (Moody Dub)’.
Punters swung t shirts round their heads and bopped with glee under the afternoon grooves. On the Derren Smart, one of the bigger and more traditional festival like stages of the weekend, Khruangbin delighted the audience with their Thai/West African influences of guitar funk. Friends held each other aloft on shoulders showing they were well and truly still alive when they ended on ‘People Everywhere’.
The band loving the reception they received with grins wide across their faces as they treated everyone to their sincere melodies.
Across the weekend DJs were frequently given 3+ hour sets and played more than once. Allowing them to explore their collections and also provide the crowd with the chance to see something different to what they might do at an ordinary club set. In turn it felt like both rose to the occasion, DJs playing records that they may never have had a chance or felt like they wanted to save for the moment. The crowd stayed rooted to sets for the duration, using every fibre in they had to show their appreciation no matter how tired they might have been from the constant dancing. In a year when Richards said everyone who attended would be treated to “the best of everything”, I can quite easily say they were and more. The only downside was that I couldn’t’t do the whole thing again to take in every aspect. Houghton brought together the community of the dance floor of all eras and genres, DJs and ravers alike, where the weekend was spent as one collective and powerful force in an unrivalled setting.
At Tantrum there was debut performance by A-Future, the new electro alias of Adam Shelton, playing a fresh exciting brand of the genre. Dark and moody cuts like the Sync 24 remix of Stratowerx’s ‘Secret State’;
sounded great in what was one of my favourite tents of the weekend. Keep an eye out for Shelton & Stratowerx’s new label ‘Eon’ which will be bringing this sound to turntables very soon.
The magic wasn’t quite finished as Helena Hauff closed out, tearing through forceful electro and techno, an eerie green mist rising from the crowd under the pouring rain, it complemented her sound perfectly. Ending on the heavily reverbed, enchanting and cinematic ‘Mutual Arising’ by Galaxian, I and many around me were longing for it to continue, but there it did finally come to an end.