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Interview & Exclusive Mix Archives — Page 10 of 13 — MEOKO

Lilith: Frequencies, Farming and 44

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

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Carolien Arends – Lilith to the music world – certainly has her own way of doing things. Clearly a creative and lateral thinker, her approach to music and life is at once simple and straightforward, and yet quite left of field. When we speak she answers from her new home in the German countryside, a small farm in a village of around one hundred people, 60km from the nearest highway, lord knows how many kilometres from the nearest club.

Lilith is at a rapidly blossoming stage in her career, with her productions gaining acclaim and rising into the illustrious Beatport Top 20, her touring schedule picking up and recently joining forces with Guerilla Agency. And yet this all comes just after her decision to leave the network and buzz of her hometown Amsterdam and move out into the country with her boyfriend and two German Shephard pups. It’s an unusual move, but one which has already paid dividends in the studio.

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“I’m a loner a little bit in this scene… When I lived in the city I went out all the time, meeting up with people in clubs, but this didn’t really bring me the inspiration I need. Now I’m here, back to basics and doing the thing that I love the most; for me that’s making music, it’s what comes out of my heart.”

It seems that making bold decisions like the country move has shaped Lilith’s career for the better thus far. Going back to 2010, Lilith decided to part ways with her music partner of seven years, in the very same year they finally cracked onto the scene and released their first EP.  

We discovered everything for the first time together, practicing playing vinyl, playing in clubs like Studio 80 and festivals like Welcome to the Future. This period was the biggest learning curve for me. I learnt to develop my own identity and that experience together created powerful ideas that I might never have discovered alone.”

“But in the end I was more busy with the production side and my friend, she was more interested in playing, so we were not on the same level. It was the right time for change and that’s why we parted ways.”

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Another great opportunity for Lilith, when she was invited to join legendary Dennis Ferrer’s Objektivity Tour, turned out to be another instance where a difficult decision had to be made…

“On the road we found out that my sound was just different than the Objektivity sound, so I had to decide, OK where do I go? Do I stay with this crew and play the music that fits within their point of view, or do I need to focus on myself and just do my own thing? That’s what I had to decide in the last six months, and it was not easy but I did it, and now I see that a lot of new things are coming my way.”

“We need to take risks to grow and change – and it provides us with surprises we otherwise miss out on. In the last six months I’ve made so many changes for my own career; it was very scary but I had to do it.”

Whilst her world is changing around her, Lilith finds direction and consistency in numeracy, especially its long-established close connection to music.

“Music & Math both share aspects of structure and form, patterns and rhythm. So when I create music, I apply this philosophy, and do so by using certain frequencies instead of keys… Everything in the universe has a frequency: colours, forms and of course sounds. And we come from this universe too, so I try to use this in my productions to touch the people on the dance floor – that’s the whole thing.” 

“But my obsession with numbers goes a little deeper, and maybe more crazy than that, dare I say it. For several years now I have seen the numbers ’44’  on license plates, bill boards, phone numbers, addresses, digital clocks etc., at a specific moment in time, when something memorable or special has occurred.”

She goes on to describe an significant walk in the woods near her home, where her dog led her to discover a rock with an interesting marking on its face, in which she saw the number 44 three times. It was from this marking that the Lilith logo was born.

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“When I see these numbers ’44’ I know that I’m following the right path, my thoughts on that moment are the right ones.  I use it as a guidance so i know what my next step is.  ’44’ shows me my path, and in a way my purpose in life. So when I don’t see those numbers for days I know I’m not following the right path.”

Her highly successful collaboration with David Gtronic to make Lagrimas del Sol, a mini album of originals which has since been re-released as remixes, had the numerical stamp of approval Lilith was looking for. After completing the mini-album she discovered the total playtime ran 44 minutes and 44 seconds. Freaky. Whether these connections find us or we search for them it’s hard to say, but having a belief in something beyond the mundane – numeracy or otherwise – enriches the art we make and certainly as much can be said for Lilith and her music.

Considering her unique and meticulous approach to production, I ask if it’s a strange feeling to hear her original tracks altered into someone else’s remix…

Letting go is not the end, it’s the beginning of something new. I believe there is enough space for everybody and in my opinion nowadays everything is a remix. I love to share, I think in this scene that’s very important.”

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And music isn’t the only thing Lilith is eager to share…

“I’m just a modern farmer girl and I try to grow my own food, not only for myself but for a greater community. One thing is for sure there are more DJs than farmers, but what is most likely – that the DJ needs to eat, or that the farmer needs to go to the club?”

Lilith has a remix coming out next month on Wrong State Recordings, and further remixes on the boil for release in the near future. You can catch her next in London at Plan B for Avant Garde on Saturday 8th March alongside Detlef LIVE, Anthea and Scott Kemp – or if you can’t wait for that, check out her exclusive mix for MEOKO here. Looking beyond that I think we can expect to hear a great deal yet from this agricultural and mathematical musician. Where 44 goes, Lilith follows. 

Jordan Smith

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soundcloud.com/lilithofficial

facebook.com/lilith.music

Francesco Del Garda – Interview + Mix

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

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Francesco Del Garda, who made a name for himself as a young DJ on the Italian Riviera during its late 90’s heyday, delivers this latest MEOKO podcast. We spoke to Francesco about what it was like being a young DJ trying to cut his teeth in a very competitive scene at its musical prime, his early influences, his evolving tastes and current projects including a residency here in London at Undersound this year…

Hi Francesco! How are you? What have you been up to recently?

I’m very good thanks! The last couple of months have been pretty busy, I had some really nice gigs like the one at Zu:bar where I’ve been a resident DJ since last Autumn. In my opinion Zu:bar is one of the most relevant clubs in central Italy for our kind of music, with very solid line ups week in week out. I also had the great pleasure to play in Paris for the Udopiya guys at the beginning of January, I couldn’t have thought of a better way to start the year, that alongside my recent gig at Undersound in London where I will be appearing regularly in the coming year.

When you were 18 you moved to the Riviera Romagnola in order to pursue your chosen direction as a DJ and establish yourself on the scene. Tell us a little about this experience in your early days starting out, the challenges and difficulties you had to face and overcome, what the vibe was like then, the music, the clubs, what other DJ’s were also there starting out at the same time as you?

I moved to the Riviera straight after completing my military service- at the time Rimini and Riccione were the pinnacle of Italian Clubbing and in order to have any chance of realizing my dream which was to play in the most important clubs of the time like Cocorico’ and Echoes, amongst others, I had to be there. After a few years of many sacrifices I got my own residency at Echoes Club in Riccione- that wasn’t easy as I had many challenges to overcome not least of all being so young and new compared to other DJ’s on the scene, but nevertheless with passion and tenacity I managed to achieve my first objective.  When I was starting out at the time, I remember being the youngest DJ there- the other Italian DJ’s around were already well established, the vibe however was very different to what it is now- revelers were going to clubs to dance their socks off and to listen to good house and techno being played by the resident DJ’s of their favorite club, not really to see this or that guest…

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Is the Riviera Romagnola still just as important and relevant to the Italian underground scene as it was when you moved there? How does it compete with more prominent clubbing destinations such as Ibiza and new destinations like Croatia?

I think the Riviera is still important to some extent, although it’s safe to say that everything now is business focused, the scene has become an industry in its own right and most clubs are under pressure to generate big revenues every weekend in order to keep their various stakeholders happy. It has nothing to do with the underground scene anymore and the subculture around it. The clubs in that area have decided to focus on mainstream names that sell tickets regardless of the music they play- so, you could say there isn’t really a scene anymore for the music I’m passionate about. Ibiza is Ibiza and there will be always something magic about it, a special energy that still exists regardless of business exploitation. Croatia is a very interesting and beautiful place and there is a lot going on in some areas, like Pag Island for instance. I played there last summer for a Colours Showcase at Sonus Festival and I enjoyed some very special moments those days!

Is there any DJ who had a particularly strong influence on you musically or professionally speaking?

Without a doubt my first and biggest influence was Francesco Farfa. I had the pleasure of hearing and seeing him in action many times when I was younger; he was truly inspiring to me during my teenage years. His turntabilism technique and peculiar taste in music was one of the main reasons I moved to the Riviera as soon as I was old enough.

Describe your sound. How has it changed over the years?

I don’t think it would be right to define my sound within a precise genre… I have many influences, Funk, Hip Hop, Breakbeat, House… My friends say I have a recognizable style but I don’t actually realize it, the important thing for me is to play music that makes me feel something and that is generally positive. I’m not so into dark and heavy sounds, let’s say that after years of digging I kind of found the sounds that I love and I stick with it- whilst still being open to new influences of course.

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What was the first vinyl you ever purchased to mix? What was your most recent purchase?

Honestly I really can’t recall the first record I bought, it was such a long time ago! But I do remember the adrenaline and happiness I felt the first few times I went to my local record shop and the guy working there was giving me records to listen, like he was giving me a gift… I remember pretty well the moment when I bought Nimbus Quartet  – “Fo’ On da Flo’”, which I still occasionally play, then the various Studio 1 and Concept 1 records… Recently I bought a double EP from Lazare Hoche & Malin Genie – “I don’t sync So Vol. II”- an excellent record in my opinion!

What do you like to listen to at home when you want to relax?

When I’m home and I need to relax I listen to Public Enemy, Digable Planets, Bob Marley, Chopin… but after a while I do need to get back to digging records again!

What makes a good party in your opinion? What elements are required to come together to achieve the perfect vibe?

I think for a good party it’s essential to have a promoter who is first of all passionate about music and isn’t in it just for the a business or to develop a brand, one who pays attention to detail and who s professional- all of which is not so easy to find nowadays! I would say though the most important aspect of a good party is a clued-up crowd of music lovers who are curious to hear new sounds and open to embracing an experience. And last but absolutely not least- a perfect sound system!

 

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Francesco Del Garda Exclusive MEOKO Mix
 

You are involved in quite a few projects including ‘ColoursMusic’ and ‘NoRules’ whilst you also collaborate frequently with your friend Allessandro Gaia on productions… tell us a about these various projects.

I got involved in the “Colours Music” project thanks to my dear friend Ian F. Colours is a record label and also an itinerant party based in Slovenia, to which we’ve had the pleasure of inviting many important artists, and there will be many more to come J.

NoRules is my own project; it’s a way of promoting many upcoming talented artists through mixes that express their music from any perspective. My collaboration with Alessandro was a great experience, however we decided to stop it at some point as we each embarked on different musical paths, but I am collaborating with other artists and soon there will be some surprises on the production side, although my main focus will always be to research and find new inspiring music to include in my sets.

Describe the podcast you have prepared for us. In what context would it be best appreciated?

I have simply tried to squeeze most of my influences into this one-hour mix, and it’s a reflection of what I would play on a dance floor. I truly hope that the Meoko audience will appreciate it! Thanks a lot for the chance of recording it and for this interview guys! I hope to see you soon in London on the dance floor at the next Undersound party!

By Barry Daly– follow me on Twitter @bazmatazz

Interview with Techno powerhouse Rebekah

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

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Rebekah is a techno powerhouse, let’s just put it that way. DJ & Producer from Birmingham in the UK, you can expect the tougher edge of techno with a lot of emphasis on the distorted kicks and a transfer of energy. She aims to capture and share with her DJ sets with a modern techno, reminiscent 90’s feel.

In the next few months she has her second EP on Cult Figures coming out. Also due for release is her second EP on CLR, a remix on Sleaze due out next month and a track which is part of a compilation for Coincidence Records where she already has two EP’s on – 2014 looks bright for this Lady of Techno. She catches up with Meoko on what more she plans to bring to the table this year.

What are you working on for us this year?

My biggest project that I am currently working on is a mix compilation for CLR, which will feature exclusive tracks from the likes of Pfirter and Perc, some of the recent CLR tracks and some gems that I have been playing in my sets.

Realistically I try to adopt a “see what happens” mentality, plans can change and expectations can be too high so this is a nicer approach to music, which of course is ever changing. 

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Dating John from Chopstick & JohnJon who has played on occasion for a few years in South Africa, she understands that there is a huge stronghold for quality house music, with Black Coffee heading up this scene. According to her research on the South African techno side of things, she admits to having found small pockets of promoters and DJ’s creating their own parties with this more European style of techno. 

Who are top 3 favourite techno artists at the moment?

Luke Slater who also produces as Planetary Assault Systems/L.B.Dub Corp, seems to be a firm favourite, from my first purchase of his album Freek Funk on Novamute, he consistently produces amazing music and his live set’s as PAS are mind blowing. 

Blawan has been a newer addition to the list, he is so talented and young and has this raw punk attitude towards his productions, he co-produces with Pariah as Karenn. His music has influenced me a lot. 

Pfirter, amazing in the studio his music is always well balanced and killer on the dance floor. 

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Where do you think music is going in terms of artists’ not making money off tracks because of the digital age? What is the next big thing for music in your opinion?

Realistically there are artists making money from their music and it will always be the cream that rises to the top and this has always been the way, even within the boom of the dance music vinyl age there would of been releases that didn’t sell so much with money being lost. What is apparent is that many more people are making music through easier access to technology so on average more people will be seen to not be making money from their music but I still think the laws of averages apply today as it did back in the boom era. Not sure what the next big thing for music will be but I am hearing more about the profitability from streaming your music and selling direct through sites as other ways to make money. 

Being in a male dominated industry, do you think this male/female ‘brand’ separates you from the guys? Or do you think people view you differently? Do you think female artists’ get more exposure because there are less female DJ’s?

I believe I will be answering these questions when I’m in my 90’s! Female DJ/Producers are in a minority that is for sure. What has happened in the past is that they have been marketed slightly different i.e. “the sexiest dj” etc…which has been allowed and in return has shown women to lose credibility as really it is just about the music. On the whole there is no difference in the job that both men and women do on the decks and in the studio. There are more women getting in to production but I feel they were a little later, from my own experience the technology scared me a little until I finally jumped in feet first to a production course, as the time changed from just being a good DJ to having to be able to make tracks and produce well. You are now seeing more females that are coming through in all genres. As for exposure, I still think it’s the music that people will gravitate too in the long run. 

What is your current set up when you play? Does it vary? I see you bought a Koas Pad, has this become apart of your set up?

I play on Traktor with two Native Instruments X1 controllers and a Native Instruments F1. The Kaos pad was a bit of an impulse purchase, which I realised pretty quickly. It was not that good for what I wanted to use it for. Instead I mapped the F1 to the Traktor FX, which has more impact. There is still room for the Mikro Maschine to come into the set up, I try to introduce new things in stages. I attempted it a while back but needed to do some more work with beat gridding my entire library, which is now almost complete.

For me this set up is the most exciting as I can juggle 3/4 decks, create more energy with the music and is just way more flexible than my previous mediums. But in the last year I have returned to the ethos of finding amazing records that can be played alone with little editing and enhancements from loops, this still hasn’t spurred me to return to two turntables though, flexibility is key. 

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What are you currently doing to enhance your productions as an artist?

In the studio it is including more analogue hardware, this can only be done personally piece by piece. There is only so much a mouse can do and I felt after five years of doing things in the box it was time to get both hands working. With so many inexpensive synths and modulators the world is now the bedroom producers oyster. My weakest point within production is melody, I am not trained in piano and I play by ear so I have a new toy that helps with this. So I am hoping within the next year the missing elements to my music will come together. Let’s see! 

Signed with CLR? How is this going for you?

Things are great and couldn’t ask for a better bunch of people to work with. Chris is a lovely person and is all about the creativity and passion of doing something you love and his encouragement as an artist is overwhelming at times. Since joining the label/roster back in October 2011 things have just progressed organically. 

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What’s proper techno to you?

Proper techno is techno that’s is inspired from the early roots of techno, the feel and groove of the music is more straight but it is and can be a lot of variants, there is definitely a “club” techno. I try to move away from this. 

Would we catch you after partying with us in South Africa or not so much?

I love to dance and recently haven’t had much chance 🙁 So hopefully with some relax time in SA there will be more energy for this. 

If you could throw the ultimate party, what would it be like? Who would be on the line-up, where would it be?

New York in a blacked out warehouse, minimal red lights, smoke, a strobe and some fucked up visuals, Planetary Assault Systems, Surgeon and Karenn (see above!) This would be monstrous! 

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What is your musical background and how did you get into DJing/Producing?

I was a musical genius in the womb I played up to grade 8 piano before I was even born! Ha. No, I was ok at music at school, I played flute up to Grade 3 and Music Theory alongside it and does this have any influence on my productions? Not at all!

At the age of 16 I got into DJing, after a few nights out in Birmingham. I kinda fell in love with the music the scene and really the escape it proposed to me. Production came later at the age of 28, it was time to start out on my own creative path, I had worked with engineers and other producers but felt I couldn’t get my ideas across so this was the only way to move forward. After a year of messing around with Logic I hit a wall and decided to go and study which I did at Access to Music in Birmingham. This was a wonderful period as it instilled new skills and freedom of creativity, a newfound confidence. You are always learning though and your ears adjust over time, the old cliché of progress not perfection keeps me grounded and the more you produce on a regular basis the better you become. 

Catch Rebekah at Tomorrowland, AudioRiver and Mayday for festivals this summer. Rebekah heads up her first South African tour and will be playing at TOY TOY in Johannesburg and Republic in Cape Town on the weekend of the 14th of Feb.

More info on these gigs HERE     

Hayley Illing

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Interview with Luke Miskelly

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

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It may not be the biggest brand in the game yet, but I know DJs that would kill to be residents at the party with the most loyal fanbase in London – FUSE. Luke Miskelly has landed himself this coveted position on the underground scene in just a few short years, thanks to a longstanding passion and dedication to music, brilliant skills which were a surprise even to himself and a fortuitous friendship that has since altered the course of his life. Here Luke goes into detail about his story in the music industry thus far, his hopes and plans for the future, his mixed emotions about Ibiza and his enthusiasm and belief in the institution that is FUSE. A genuine character with a very big future, MEOKO  is stoked to have not only landed a key interview with the DJ/producer, but also an exclusive mix, so you can hear for yourself why Luke is moving up in the music world at such a cracking pace.

2013 was a really big year for you, what do you consider to be your main achievements, and what do you take as your greatest satisfaction for 2013?

Musically, my biggest achievement was the release of my In Contrast EP on FUSE. I was also happy with the consistency I showed in my DJ sets throughout last year. There were a number of highlights; the FUSE Sonus party and FUSE Ibiza closing party spring to mind. I received a lot of positive feedback from those events. Its an amazing thing when the crowd connects to what is ultimately your personality represented in music.

2013 was also a frustrating year; I was working a time consuming technical career and unfortunately this put my productions on hold. I was extremely unhappy at the continued effort and energy I put into something that I got nothing back from. And so 2013 was a massive year in decisions – what I’m doing, where I’m going and how I’m going to get there. There came a point where I had to make a decision; to continue as an IT consultant or fully focus on my musical career. 

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Take the plunge basically.

Yeah take the plunge. I wasn’t able to put in the creative effort I desired. So the decision wasn’t about choosing between IT and music, it was just about surviving whilst pursuing my passion. You can always find a way! 

How did it transpire to fully focus on your musical career?

I had already made up my mind but when you have financial responsibilities the decision becomes more difficult. In May I was involved in a car accident but it was a positive experience in that it made me re-evaluate what was important; life is worth living by doing what you want and to never reach a point in time when you would look back and regret not making a decision. F**k that…not me at all! Im now fully focused on my productions and DJ’ing. Everything is moving in the direction I want now.

 

Exclusive MEOKO Mix – Luke Miskelly 

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So what have you planned for this year?

I’ve been collaborating with Archie Hamilton so you should see quite a few bits of music coming out this year. I’m loving Archie’s productions at the moment so I’m excited about our end products.

I had some plans to move forward on an idea to launch a label, but that’s become a longer term project mainly due to me prioritizing a number of shorter term production goals to enhance my career. I felt this was paramount in building a new career in music![Smiles…] Archie wants 2 or 3 of my recent productions which will be released on Moscow Records with a remix. I will also release a new EP on FUSE London.

I’ll be spending the entire season in Ibiza this year and hopefully there are a few exciting things that will happen! Im aiming to play at some major parties there. This is something I’m really happy about and hopefully things will go as planned.

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All sounds very promising! Will your musical profile this year be like Gutterlove, or are you giving it a different edge?

Gutterlove had really good feedback but was a moment in time. However, myself and Ittetsu are actually working on a new version/remix of it, which is going to be called Gutterslut! It’s basically an even dirtier version! But musically I’m putting a lot of effort  into producing more timeless music….and ive started to use a lot of hardware to achieve this…an investment I am really excited about!

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Can it get much dirtier?

One of my friends always used to call it Gutterslut and I thought it was a great name for a new version of it. Yes, it can always get much dirtier especially when you turn 30!

Well… let’s talk about something different. How difficult is it for up and coming DJ’s and producers to establish themselves on the London scene and what would your advice to those trying to make a name for themselves be?

The way things happened for me was a very organic process. I had been into the scene for quite a number of years and it was always about the music. I started bedroom DJ’ing after a friend told me: “you should try it, you’re so into it” and this is how it all started. I did it for the love and passion. I loved it but at that point I never thought of doing it professionally. That changed when I met Enzo and he asked for a mix. He phoned me up a week later and told me he really was into my mix whilst running to it in the gym and he proposed if I could do a warm up for his Circuit party at Home Bar. This is how it suddenly went from teaching myself how to DJ in a bedroom to DJ’ing in East London. It happened very quickly. Enzo has been a great mentor from the off and without that initial investment I wouldn’t be where I am today.

To answer your question… all I can say is that the music always shines through…couple that with commitment, dedication and direction and you will achieve what you want. It’s a good feeling to know what you want and where you want to go. 

https://soundcloud.com/enzosiragusa/

Did FUSE always seem like a natural fit for your style of music?

When my passion for DJ’ing started and while I was developing my own style of music, Fuse wasn’t around. My background was mainly UK garage, so most of my groove and rhythm was based on that sound and its still integral in the music I play today. Back in my raving hey days I enjoyed going to Jaded at Egg, Kubicle at Public Life and all the Secret Sundaze parties. They all inspired me in their own way and have played some part in creating my style. Later on I became a part of Fuse. So, of course it was a natural progression because I was part of a group of similarly like minded people who enjoyed a similar sound but were unique in their own way. My life experiences have ultimately influenced and shaped the sound that is present in my DJ sets today.

How do you think FUSE distinguished themselves from other regular parties in London?

Initially timing was key with FUSE….there was a huge need for a good underground party on Sunday in East London. When the recession hit there was nowhere for us ravers to continue dancing at! FUSE was simply the best underground party in East London and free!  

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And damn good music for course …

I was about to mention that!! Coupled with the fact that it was excellent underground music and the emphasis actually was on the music. Enzo has to take massive recognition for that because he was so specific about the music that was to be played, the quality of the sound and the productions. He was forever on the dance floor with the engineers saying ‘no it’s not right’ until it sounded as good as it could. That persistence and doggedness in achieving musical perfection was infectious.

I’m guessing you’ve been going to Ibiza for a number of years now, what changes have you noticed?

Oh massively. But its always changed!!

In a positive or negative way?

Interesting really… bits of both. When I first started going to Ibiza there was a sense of complete freedom. You would go to parties and before it ended there was another one starting – it was literally 24 hours partying a day. I met a lot more like-minded people back then. Now it’s changed completely. Over the last few years there has been a dramatic change in how the clubs present themselves and the type of people who frequent those areas. Maybe its just a case that these people have shifted from one area to another. It’s definitely come a little more – I hate to say it – commercial in the areas I originally fell in love with. Certain places have certainly taken a more commercial route. The cost of entering certain venues let alone buying a drink has become absolutely extortionate. But from a positive note I believe there is now a massive gap in the market for underground parties to excel. 

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Regarding this commerce – do you think it has become more difficult for underground labels, such as FUSE, to make the move to Ibiza?

I don’t think it made it easier. The events that are presented to people via promoters is geared very much towards a commercial aspect, so you’re attracting a lot more people who are initially less aware of what underground music is. Having said that Fuse enjoyed a great last year in Ibiza. Fuse cant and won’t compete with the commercial nights and big bookings, its impossible. The concept is to focus on the residents and friends; an ethos that made Fuse such a success in London. It’s tough but means so much more to everyone involved from us guys to the ravers on the floor. Education is the key to changing perception.

I have one more question for you, and it might be a difficult one, but what do you think the current state of electronic music is at the moment – what do you think is going to be the next big thing?

Bloody ‘ell [Laughs..]. Last year, Music On was a massive success and I think that’s going to go leaps and bounds this year. So I think Marco Carola’s mould of techno is going to be massive – I mean it already is. I know they’re going to other countries now, doing a Music On in London and other cities around the world and it looks like 2014 is going to be a huge year for them and their style of music. A massive reason for their success was due to their residents. Marc Antona was paramount in that success and I’m really digging his sound at the moment. If you look at what Jamie Jones has done, he’s going to build on the success of last season, his Hot Natured parties in Ibiza will no doubt do very well. 2014 will be a massive year for FUSE too and I very much look forward to contributing to that this year.

Personally I feel that electronic music should ironically be as least electronic as it possibly can! By that I mean ensuring that the music is intelligent, emotive and soulful but without taking the dance floor aspect away. Analogue sound creation is something I am massively investing in this year! Neighbours beware!! Ha ha

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Soundwise, do you think there is a bit of garage influence coming back?

Regarding Fuse, some of the residents early influences were UK garage so I think that type of rhythm and sound has always been inherent and present in our music. In terms of making a comeback, I’m not so sure. Simply due to the reason it died in the first place. Garage parties had a lot of negative aspects which resulted in bad press that eventually brought the whole sound to its knees. The sound has never gone away, but it will never be what it was. 

 

 By Nix Venter,  Paul Fluks & Barry-John Daly


Exclusive MEOKO mix by Luke Miskelly

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MEOKO Talk Box #2 with Gavin Herlihy + Exclusive Mix

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

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For MEOKO’s latest Talkbox interview, we had the pleasure of cosying up on a cold Winter’s evening with Irish born producer and DJ Gavin Herilhey, one of the UK’s most treasured underground names, for an intimate and off the cuff chat. Talking live from his home in Leeds (who he shares with spouse  and partner in crime Laura Jones), Gavin talks beginnings, journalism, the aesthetics of modern day dance music and more as his latest cut, the Higher Love EP,  is dropped through lo*kee records. Tune in, sit back and check out what Gavin had to say in the player below.

 

Gavin also steps up to mix the latest MEOKO flagship podcast, taking us through acid soaked grooves, chiming rollers and straight up techno dominators. After releasing cuts on Leftroom, Cocoon and most recently, lo*kee, the Irish born, Leeds residing producer and DJ pools a lifetime of musical passion, knowledge and experience into a true underground trajectory, that’s caught the attention of not just the UK’s clubbing fraternity, but music fans across the world. 

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Burek Records – Interview with Pytzek to uncover the mystery of Croatia’s house scene

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

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Croatia’s become known for more than just the new destination for marauding British festival makers; local label & bustling hotbed of exciting, underground talent Burek Records represents just a slither of the country’s – and further surrounding region’s – love for the dance floor and the music centred around that culture.

Run by Pytzek and Mislav, two life-long friends, Burek Records is a fun imprint, putting its stamp on the international scene with knockout releases and remixes from the likes of Toby Tobias, KiNK, Esa  and more, all showcasing Burek’s super cool, bass heavy output. MEOKO thought it a nice idea to get deeper with Pytzek and offer him a mix – or Mario to his friends – as the label approaches ten solid releases. Proof of a successful, rising imprint springing from the ground up, check out Pytzek’s exclusive mix and read on.

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Obviously you have a striking logo for your label – what’s the ethos behind Burek Records? Putting the fun back into house music?

There is nothing deeper there, no mystery or anything else, Burek was just a fun idea from our friend Sergej who said it will be great to sell records as they sell “burek” here. Greasy, fat beats in white paper. It was great so we ran with it. For the logo, the man in charge was our friend Goran Zmaić who is an amazing illustrator so that’s his vision. You can check his stuff at https://krekhaus.com/

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When did you start the label, and how did you get the wheels in motion to release the first BUREK EP001?

The Burek label was brought to life around 2010. Mislav, my partner in the label joined the project a bit later. At that time we were all into DJing, music and clubs for over 15 years, so a label was a logical step for us. I was good friends with KiNK from his early days and was a huge supporter so he said “if i get well-known and if you will ever open a label I’ll make music for you”. So, that’s how it happened and now we have a label, booking agency and a growing international team (Joe, Kentaro, Filip, Georgie, Jan, Neno)…so we’ll see what the future brings.

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The Croatian scene – and Eastern Europe in general – has become a real hotbed for emerging electronic talent. But can you remember a time when it was not so fruitful? What was it like growing up in area?

To be honest, if I look back to the 90s the scene in Croatia was much better than it is now, so actually an inverse of how many perceive it. Maybe not in the sense of producing music, but if we look at how many local events were happening, how many people were into it and who played here for small local happenings, I have to say that the situation was much better back then. I think that countries in the region didn’t have such a huge scene at that time, so that’s why some countries, like Romania for example, have had this recent big explosion. When I look at them I see how Croatia was in the 90s. By the 00s dance music here became so main stream in a way, and people had gotten used to it, that there was nothing new or exciting about it thus making it much more difficult to put events on at a local level. Sure, there’s loads of festivals happening here nowadays but none of them are primarily Croatian festivals. Nor is there that much local talent at these events, when we are there we are kind of hidden away sometimes. We’re not ungrateful though, it’s massively appreciated that we do get to take part in these festivals (it’s great to see friends, old and new, and to play to people from other countries) but we know that we’ll never be the main pull for the predominantly UK audience. It’s still all about UK festivals for the UK market at the end of the day.

However, I should add that there are still some good nights run by DJs here. Ekstrakt crew (with amazing guests like Traxx, John Heckle, Surgeon), Jogarde’s Frailauf night, Reform crew, Confusion crew, Sirup Club…the list goes on.

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If I look at things in terms of music production I need to say that there’s some good things going on here in Croatia. Petar Dundov is well known around the globe, Ilija Rudman did some extraordinary disco stuff (and he is back to studio by the way), Homeboy has released some great music on his own “House Is OK” label  (and a new track on WOLF Music is on the way too). Also there are new artist emerging, such as Josip Klobučar, Tomislav, Yunnan Sound, Darko Kustura, Examine…

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What’s the best thing about Croatia’s music and festival scene in your opinion, and how do you see yourself as part of this?

Well I guess all these festivals bring increase the popularity of music I dig to the younger generations here. They can easily be up with modern, recent and quality electronic music. I think I also covered some points in the last answer. We play at almost every festival here but this year we will try to stick to just a few choice events, those that we feel most in-tune with…but I can’t talk about it now as these are being arranged.

Have there been many highlights (and low-lights) of running the label so far? You also held your first London showcase not long ago…

Like in every business there are some good days, and there are some bad days. We are still doing well, but it would be better if we got a bit more media attention for sure ha; I think we all know about a lot of the highs and lows of the dance industry (at our end, effectively a cottage industry with minimal returns), so I think there is no need to talk about it too much.

The showcase went really well, great people showed up and we had a fantastic time. I need to use this opportunity to say a big thanks to Dance Tunnel’s Matt Wickings and Dan Beaumont. It’s not easy to get such an opportunity if you are from Croatia as people still don’t have Croatian DJs or labels on their dance music maps. We will try to change this.

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After releases from yourself, KiNK, Toby Tobias and many more, what can we look forward to next on Burek as you approach ten releases?

Right now the next EP on the way is from a guy called Information Ghetto. Complementing the original track we have a pair of gorgeous remixes; firstly from one of Chicago’s finest masters of the deep, Specter, and the other has been supplied by the techno pioneer and don who played such an integral part of the evolution of the genre in Europe, Aubrey. After that we have an Inkswel EP which features Dave Aju as a guest vocalist on the track. There are some amazing remixes from Dj Nature, IG Culture and Iron Curtis to go with the originals. The 9th release has been prepped and will be an EP from Marco Bernardi, our favorite Italo-weggie Bristolian.

https://soundcloud.com/burek/information-ghetto/

There are few more great artists in the pipeline too. We also will be starting two new labels; one will be tougher techno stuff and the other will be going for a more boogified disco/soul brand. These labels are still in development so more details about them will follow in 2014.

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You’ve released EPs, but are you planning to release any full length LPs from anyone? And are you vinyl purists?

There is an LP on the way from an Australian producer but it’s still too early to talk too much about it.
Am I a vinyl purtist? I would need to say no. I think my partner Mislav and our UK colleague Joe are much more into that. I’m really quite liberal about format and I’m looking on that with a very open mind. If people like to DJ, they should just do it. From laptop, CDs, vinyl…I don’t care, they are free to choose. Who am I to tell them what they should use to DJ.

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Give us a heads up on this mix you laced together for us… is it full of your current collection or favourites?

I did quite a house angled mix. I’ve done quite a few podcasts for people recently, one was more techno, another was deeper, one was really eclectic – so this was good chance to do a straighter house mix. For sure there are always some tracks which you prefer more than others at any given moment, but that can’t be a lead when you are doing a mix. I always consider that a good mix is one big compromise. You will like to put only the best tracks, but it’s never like that. They just don’t fit perfectly. And as I’m still old-school when it comes to mixes (I still care about flow, tonality etc…) so doing a mix can be really hard work for me…

**EXCLUSIVE MEOKO BUREK HOUSE MIX **

 112 Pytzek MEOKO

Words: Joe Gamp

Burek Records 

Enrico Mantini Exclusive Mix & Interview

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

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Dance music in a constant state of flux – times change, scenes develop and new faces spring up every other week in this age of fast consumption. But for some, the aesthetics, mood and love for electronic music never waivers, no matter how popular or in trend a certain sound is.  Enrico Martini falls into this group of lifelong-committed pioneers – kick starting his career in the early ‘90s, as house music first grew in international pace and the first wave of Chicago artists on tour took place, Enrico has always kept a vision of deep, soulful and raw aesthetics in his music, in a career that’s seen him release everything from acid house to techno, syncopated beats to jacking grooves and beyond.

His classic tracks have been revived by some of the underground’s finest heads in recent times, including pioneers such as Raresh and Ricardo Villalobos (no surprise when you consider Enrico’s love for analogue production matching that of the Chilean DJ), leading to a fresh crop of music on the likes of Traxx Underground, 4lux and more, all the while maintaining his raw and unique sound. Recorded live at his recent, show stopping set for Half Baked on Sweatlodge, MEOKO.101 epitomizes Enrico’s energy live in the moment, the Italian gliding and chopping between acid drop basslines, 4×4 beats and stacks of soulful energy. Except no imitations – this is deep, raw music in its most open, honest form.

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What’s up Enrico? Thanks for taking some time to speak with MEOKO. How are you, and what have you been up to recently?

Doin’ great guys, thank you for the chance. I’m just in the process of closing a new project that will be released in early 2014, plus have been around playing a few gigs. Deejay life then, I guess you know…

Now you’ve been DJing since 1987 and producing for over two decades… Did you ever anticipate that your career could have the sort of longevity you’ve enjoyed back when starting out?

Honestly, no. It’s actually a great surprise! But I think it is something coming up quite naturally when you keep on doin’ the things you like and put in all your love and soul.

What initially sparked your love for electronic music? Was there a healthy music scene where you grew up?

I grew up in a small Italian town where there wasn’t any electronic music scene except a couple of venues doin’ parties on Saturday. At the time disco-music was the deal. I had a very small collection of vinyl that I started buying when I was 10 and which I used to listen to in the evening, while my family was watching TV. I can clearly remember I got stuck when I first went to a club and saw people dancing with the music playing on continuously, I was 14. Went to the guy at the door and asked how it was possible that music had no rests at all. He pointed his finger to a guy upstairs, standing in a small dark box with the headphones on. Well, I spent the rest of the night watching at him and listening music, totally ignoring what was happening around me. As soon as I got back home I started trying myself, with a very basic turnable I had and a Super8 tape in the attempt of creating a musical flow naturally with no mixer at all, just switching amplifier inputs.

That was the very beginning for me where I got inspired and motivated to take things to the next level. After a couple of years that I started DJing in a club, the need of producing something mine came out, think as a consequence of the love I had for the music and mostly because of the interest for what was growing up those years. Drum machines started to be used to create simple 4/4 beats, instead of the usual funky-disco patterns. So I bought my first TR909 and started from there…

Exclusive MEOKO recording of Enrico on Half Baked Show / Sweatlodge Radio

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Going way back to some of the early releases from ’93-‘94, its clear you’re a real pioneer of true deep house. Who were your early influences? If you could choose one track in particular that was a turning point for you, what would it be?

Strange to say but, I can’t mention any influence I can remember, except for the fact that we were all doin’ experiments and most probably influencing each other back in ’90-’91, years in which I had my first releases out. With my currently hyped tracks it’s a different story than the ones from ’92-’94. They had a clearer direction that we were all about in those early years, deep house already was a reality. For sure I could mention tunes such as Knuckles & Tomiie’s “Tears”, Sterling Void’s “Set Me Free” or Todd Terry’s “Weekend” which will all forever have a spot in my heart.

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 I read somewhere that you’ve got something like 80 releases under your belt now, all under different monikers. How do you feel your sound has progressed over the years?

Damn, I can’t talk about progression now that people want my old stuff and I got back producing rough deep house! Jokes apart, I can say I’ve always been experimenting a lot over the past years, and loved to be involved in different kind of music. That’s why you may find me out with different monikers and different releases covering drum ‘n bass, hip-hop, jazz and pop down-tempo. The upcoming stuff you will hear in the next months will mark a few changes in my approach to deep house of course. I feel like there’s something more to be said.

Producing aside, you’ve spun records all over the globe at some of the world’s most adored venues … but what’s been the most memorable party you’ve played at, and why was it so special?

I’m a dreamer and in my dreams I’ve always had a clear vision of a damn beautiful party in a villa. And, as all dreams come true, this couldn’t be an exception so, it happened back in ’96 that I went playing a gig in a villa in Italy. It was a secret party- a real one – and no-one knew where to go exactly. We kept it secret until we all reached the villa. Try to figure a queue of something like 50 cars looking for the place to party – madness. Once we arrived at the villa there was the guardian waiting for us with the PA turned on and ready to go. I also arrived with all the other people and, it was exactly like getting back home and partying with friends. It was honestly like being in a dream, the vibe was great and everybody was really excited about every detail of the party. People were dancing everywhere, both inside and outside the villa. The sunset and the fact we were like lost in the middle of the country made this happening special. I still think about it sometimes…

2013 has been an amazing year for you so far, with three killer releases on 4Lux, Wilson, and most recently Traxx Underground all gaining huge support from artists like Villalobos, Raresh and Zip. Do you think the current trends in house music have played a role in your resurgence?

Definitely, let’s also say that it was because of them and because of the music they chose to recover that the new house music trend is so strong at the moment…

 

Tell us a little about your creative process in the studio. I’ve heard you’re big on analogue hardware? What’s your favourite bit of kit?

As a technology fetishist I’ve basically had almost every piece of hardware over the years and also approached to the virtual studio workstations as they came out back in 1999. The reason why I’m still analogue is just because it’s the easiest way to go for me. It’s what I learnt at first and, as for love you won’t ever forget the first one!

I also find all the amazing software options available nowadays quite confusing for me, the less I have and the more I’m stimulated to use my own creativity and most generally do things with more attention… that’s what happens to me of course. It is subjective. The setup I currently use is very basic and is made of MPC1000, 909, S330, DSI Tetra, Tx81z, Pulse, an analogue Mackie mixer and a couple of old outboards for the effects. I don’t have any specific rule in the creation process, best ideas usually come to my mind when I’m off riding my bike or swimming!

Earlier on I asked you about your early influences, but whose sounds are you really feeling at the moment?

Well, there’s a lot of stuff I like, and I can’t deny that most of it is obviously old-school oriented – but please don’t ask me for names nor titles because I’m a real mess. A guy I particularly like in terms of production is my French bud Seuil. Love his roughness and the workflow, very close to mine. I also like a young guy whose moniker is Frits Wentink. I got very impressed by his last release on Wolf Music. But once again, I like lots of tracks so it’s quite hard to mention them all.

Listening back to your set from Half Baked in September, it’s hardly surprising they’ve snapped you up for their agency! Are you looking forward to returning to their party in November?

What do you think? Try to guess… ha! Let me tell you that the Half Baked party is without any doubt the best party I’ve been playing at in London in the last decade. There’s so much positive energy in the air and the audience is real nice. Love it. Plus Bruno and all the family made me feel like I was playing at home! That doesn’t happen so often I’d say…

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

Keep on doin’ what I’ve been doin’ till now. Meet new people, share love and smiles on the dance-floor and most generally have fun! I think we all need to have fun these days.

Cheers for chatting to us Enrico! Before you go, give us one track that you couldn’t live without…

Nice chat guys! Jocelyn Brown’s ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ is the song I couldn’t live without; a pure inspiration for life.

 

By James Ellis 

A chat with Darius Syrossian + Exclusive Mix

By Festival, Hot Off The Press, Interview & Exclusive Mix, Interviews, MEOKO Exclusive, Music Through Pictures

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Few names these days are as synonymous with house music as that of Darius Syrossian. Following in the footsteps of the forefathers of the sound he loves, Darius has learnt from the very best of Chicago and Detroit. Luminaries such as Kenny Larkin, Danny Tenaglia, Carl Craig and DJ Sneak teaching him the true nature of house music. Our 97th instalment in our mix series was recorded live from Viva Warriors at Sankeys Ibiza. It’s an hour of high-octane fun fuelled house music that will keep you firmly tied into your dancing shoes throughout! Impressive stuff. We caught up Darius to chat about all this electronic.

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Hi Darius, thanks for taking some time out of your hectic schedule to speak with us. We spent the afternoon last week listening to the stream from the ViVa Warriors opening at Sankeys Ibiza… it was sounding fierce! How did you find the party?

Hi Guys, thanks for the kind words, yeah it was as I expected! I remembered how good Sankeys was last summer and I didn’t expect it to be any different this year, it has a great crowd and I was really pleased with it. It was a great way to start the summer.

Your sets are always brimming with an energy that seems completely limitless! Do you have any rituals before a gig? Any essential pre-drinks or anything?   

Haha, no not really. But yes well obserevd when planning my music, thats what I want to happen on the dancefloor I want energy. And I want it to be relentless but relentless without having to play bang bang heavy mindless music, so i have to search hard for my tracks. There is a fine line between playing too heavy and forcing energy on the crowd and trying to play cool but not having any impact. For me when making a track or DJing what I try to aim for is a full on energetic vibe, those basslines that grab you by the scruff of the neck and say, here yo go, dance, and dont stop! hahah

RE rituals: Well i dont like to come 5 mins before I play like some DJ’s I like to turn up and assess the situation, the crowd, the venue, the vibe of the place, the sound system, the DJ before. Then I take notes, if you ever see me before a gig I am jotting notes on paper with a pen, and keep it by my side throughout my set. I never plan a set as i need to see what vibes are going on first, so I pretty much do that once I arrive, I know my music, I see what’s going on before I play and plan from there.

Listen to Darius Syrossian on MEOKO 

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You’re incredibly vocal about your love for the music, the scene, and of course the crowd. Who is to thank for getting you hooked on music in the first place?

For anyone to love music it is instilled in them from the day they are born, it is an instinctive thing. Some people love music more, some people love other things. For me, I couldn’t live without music, and not just house music, I love ALL music. But yes when I was younger I was surrounded by it growing up. I have sacrificed a lot for it, but it is paying off now, I dedicated my life to it. I have a degree but i didn’t pursue a career in art & design because I just loved music too much and for 15 years worked in vinyl record shops for hardly any money, like hardly ANY money, but i loved it,.

I was with a girl for nine years but she said I was married to my music and that also ended because I couldn’t give up my dream. Then again I was with another amazing girl who was full on marriage material, but when both the shop and my relationship ended I turned to producing, and it got me to here now where i am. Its like a dream come true, i’m sat in a hotel in Berlin and about to go play Watergate. Its not even about the money, I still live in the same house as I did 5 years ago, and still dont drive a car. I’m earning great money but I dont even care about that, that money can go towards making sure my parents are looked after well at old age and my kids have a good upbringing. If i meet a girl worth having kids with of course, hahA.

Looking at both your discography, its clear you’re equally at home behind the decks or in the studio, having played everywhere under the sun, and with releases on Get Physical, OFF Recordings, 8 Bit, VIVa and of course your fresh release on Hot Creations… would you say you’re more a DJ or producer first and foremost?

My answer to this is I LOVE MUSIC, i love it all, can’t even compare the two. Hahah there is a first, a one sentence answer from Darius.

You have a very particular style when you play out – very dance floor orientated. Are there any tracks really doing it for you at the moment that you wouldn’t necessarily play out for whatever reason?

YES, Massimo Girardi, called “75/6” on Little Helpers. Damn this is exactly what i’m about, the energy of it but still full of groove and rhythm and not just bang bang mindless noise. And those snares and then just as you think it’s breaking down, it isn’t, it is just a little break, and snares roll and boom your back to the full on assault of rhythm and groove and bass. I’ll play this for a long time. Also Sidney Charles has done a good track called ‘Need’ but really i could go on forever, so many good tracks out.

2012 was a massive year from you, culminating in your nomination for DJ Mag’s ‘Best Breakthrough Producer’ award. You’re by no means a newcomer to the scene, but things recently are progressing very fast. Where would you like your career to be in 5 years time?

I am happy how I am, I dont need to be some mega famous huge DJ that people come to see because magazines said I’m cool. I just like it when people are coming because they like my music. Honestly loads of people know my music but no idea what I look like and I like it that way hahahah. But then again recently in airports I keep getting stopped for pictures, hahaha but no seriously, if things progress more cool. if not, i’m happy as i am. All I want to do is enjoy my music and share it with like minded people. That’s what I love about Sankeys ibiza, proper music heads, underground real music heads, not like some super club full of hype and champagne tables and all that nonsense. I just want to enjoy music and make people feel what i’m feeling when i’m hearing the music, that’s it. For example, I was totally shocked I was voted in the RA top 100 poll. Totally. I really didn’t expect it. Of course it was an honour, thanks to everyone who voted, but honestly if im not in it this year, no worries. It is not about that, it’s about people who KNOW my music loving what I do, if thats 5000 people fine, if it’s 500 hundred thousand people fine… i’m NOT hungry for the power lets say, hahaha.

Leeds and Ibiza seem to be very special places for you. What is it about places like this that makes them so magical? Are there any other cities that have this magic which are generally underrated?

WOAH! DONT MISS OUT MANCHESTER, I LOVE MANCHESTER, and it’s where I started clubbing loads at raves and clubs like the hacienda. Manchester has been one of those places that has always had the REAL clubbers, straight talkers like me. I admire that in people. But yes i’ve done some ace parties in places like eastern europe, you can have some of the best parties in places where people have less. The beauty of house music is that it is like a release, takes you away from things and when your really in the zone nothing else matters.

Where are you most excited about playing this summer?

Eveywhere, any gig can be good. I’ve done so many awesome gigs lately. Sometimes I have had such a good time I just wanna say so on my Facebook. But it’s like every gig i’m trying to thank the crowd and i’m sure people on my facebook are thinking “oh shut up darius”, hahahah. But I really do wanna thank them. I see some people in the crowd really buzzing from the set, you know, really feeling it, and i just wanna say, “Yo, thank you mofo!”. This is exactly why I do what I do, to make people feel like that on the dancefloor, lose it and go some place for a couple of hours. 

I have some ace gigs coming up, Love fest in serbia, Eastern Electrics Festival in Knebworth, Vertigo festival in Italy, a gig in Barcelona with Carl Craig, of course every Sunday at Sankeys ibiza.

What is your favourite non-electronic track of all time?

Joy Division,  ‘love will tear us apart’

 

Thanks a lot Darius, we look forward to seeing you tearing it up somewhere soon!

Thank you for asking me to do the interview and the kind words in some of your questions 🙂


Catch Darius Syrossian next at Viva Warriors in London Friday 4th October – More info and tickets > HERE 

If you are attending ADE , you can also dance to Darius at  : Sankeys at ADE  Friday 18th October 2013 – More info & tickets > HERE


By JAMES ELLIS 

Under the MEOKO Microscope with Dan Farserelli + Mix

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

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‘Under the MEOKO Microscope’ is a new feature on MEOKO where we bring you new and emerging talents that are breaking through. This month we bring you Dan Farserelli – a London born and bred DJ & Producer who describes his sound as minimal house fused with techno. Below he talks exclusively to MEOKO about his current projects, his career to date, recent achievements and past influences; he also gives advice to anyone starting out in the industry. To accompany the interview Dan recorded an exclusive mix as part of our on-going MEOKO Mix series to whet your appetite in what we see as being the start of a long and successful career. 

Hi Dan, what you up to right now?

I’m just in the studio working on some new music…

Cool. What are you working on?

I’m working on some solo stuff, plus a new project with Archie Hamilton. We’ve worked with each other in the past. Also working on some other collaborations, but they remain a secret for now 😉

Your presence is really taking off right now. How does that make you feel?

Feels great! I’ve been at it for a while and not just producing. I’ve been playing parties for years so I definitely feel I’ve earned my stripes. It’s been a slow process but the past year and a half has been really noticeable. I’ve got to know my sound now and am getting really comfortable and confident with it.

How would you describe that sound?

Well it’s a cross between minimal house and techno. I feel it’s got a real underground clubby-groovy vibe to it.

Exclusive Dan Farserelli MEOKO Mix – Click Here 

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Does that come from your background of listening to that style of music?

I still have my first set of 1210’s I bought when I was 15. I started mixing D&B back then, then progressed into techno-ish, then deeper house until I found my preferred sound where I am now. Maybe the drums and percussion in my tracks have a D&B influence but that’s what I like.

What are your favourite production techniques, tools and plug-ins?

If I make a nice FX chain then save that and continue to use it again. That makes my sound unique and easy to identify. I have a drum machine I like to jam on to create various loops and grooves. It changes over the years but I like finding what works and going with that.

Is it like having confidence in the sound and going with it?

Yeah. It’s important to understand, when jamming, to understand its not the finished article. You have to foresee where it will take you and not get caught up thinking the first minute loop of the track will be the finished sound. 

How do you think you’re doing right now?

I’m still just Dan doing the thing that I love. It’s a little weird when people, who I’ve never met or spoken to before, approach me in a club or message me saying they like my stuff. It’s weird but a really good feeling. It’s half the reason why people perform; to give audiences a good time. When they relay that back to you it feels great.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

I haven’t noticed any major challenges, to be honest. I think it’s just my attitude towards it. I just keep doing my thing and if people like it, then great. If people weren’t into my sound then I wouldn’t let it affect me. I’d just keep on doing it because I love it so much. 

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?

I have a degree in sound design, so most probably I’d be working in film or TV doing sound engineering work. But I’d still be making music on the weekends. I’ll always make tunes. It’s like meditation getting locked in the studio. The fact you create something from scratch and when you see the finished article, it gives you a real buzz.

When do you know you’ve finished something and the track is ready?

That’s a difficult one…it’s when your confidence grows. You can always tweek and do more to a track but the more you tweak and edit it, the sound will be different all together. As your confidence grows you feel more comfortable and can just put it to bed. Giving the track to friends and playing it out is a good way of seeing how it works with the crowd on the dance floor. That’s the most important part. Then you can tell if there are areas to change or whether to just leave it alone.

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What do you see as the biggest challenge going forward?

I love a challenge. If something puts you back and challenges you, that makes you stronger. I’m looking forward to, if the opportunity arises, working with some major artists I idolise. Feeling the pressure of working with the pro’s (so to speak). It’s a good challenge to have, being pushed by someone you idolise. Or, being asked to remix a track from major artist. But quite enjoyable at the same time.

You recently signed to anon agency. How did that come about?

Me and Archie Hamilton got asked to meet James who runs anon. It was an informal chat going through his ideas for the agency and just to meet. We got on well and he invited us to join agency, which is relatively new but growing very fast. Anon has a good reputation already and great artists on the roster so i’m excited to be part of that.

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Is there anyone on the roster you’re looking forward to working with?

I keep bringing up Archie Hamilton but we’re good friends and we’ve work together for a while. I always enjoy working with him. Loopdeville is an emerging talent and his sound is amazing so looking forward to working with him.

You recently did a collab with Baby Ford. How did that come about?

It started last year when I created my own label ‘Other Tones’. Its a vinyl only label. The first release was me and MP, a Romanian artist, and we’d been speaking for a while. We decided on the 2 tracks to release on the label as they were perfect as our first release. Then we got lucky. We spoke with Baby Ford and he agreed to do a remix which was amazing. He’s a pioneer, an absolute legend I’ve looked up to for so long. It’s a great feeling to have him part of it.

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You’re known as a vinyl junkie. What’s the attraction between you and vinyl?

It goes back to my D&B mixing days. It used to be the only platform to play that music so I’d spend all my pocket money on buying vinyl. When I started my job I would spend all my wages on vinyl. It’s the attraction of an object in your hand, rather than a digital title on the screen. The cover, the sleeve, the label. Everything means something when you have that hard, real life object in your hand. Also, in ‘Other Tones’, we decided vinyl only as we don’t want the music to be forever available as a download. We want it to mean more than that. People buy vinyl and keep it. It makes it feel exclusive. We want people to respect the track, instead of downloading it and forgetting about it. Then it gets lost in a library full of music.

What’s been the most memorable moment about working with Fear of Flying?

When me and Archie got signed to Fear of Flying it was a massive moment for us. I’ve loved the label since it started, so to have an EP released fairly early in my production career was a big moment.

Tell us about your most recent gig?

I played for WYS (WetYourSelf) last Sunday at fabric. I’ve played for them 6 times now. I think I’m one of only a few people to play all 3 rooms at fabric, which is quite cool.

Dan-Farserelli


What was that like?

WYS parties are great. Jacob, Peter and Cormack are really good friends of mine now; the vibe is amazing. I played B2B with Harry McCanna, Antony Difrancesco and Valentino Kanzyani. By far my best experience in fabric so far. The music and the crowd were amazing all night.


What is your most memorable gig?

It would have to be that one. Definitely. Room 3 in fabric is so special. It’s intimate and the crowd really get involved. The whole experience from lighting, sound and crowd was something extra magical that night. And, to have Valentino jump on B2B for nearly 2 hours was great as well. It’s rare you get major headliners that want to join you on the decks. Such a great party and one I will never forget.

What gigs are you playing at next?

Anon agency has a showcase in Birmingham coming up. I think it’s their first in the UK. They did one last year at Off-Sonar in Barcelona so it’s quite exciting to be part of their first UK showcase.

Who’ll be there and who are you most looking forward to seeing/playing alongside?

All the crew should be there. Me and Archie are playing B2B. Bella Saris is coming straight from Ibiza so that’s gonna be cool. She’s a great girl and she’s doing really well. Loopdeville, Samu.l and Augustus Gloop. All of them, in fact. It’s gonna be a special event for me.

 

What other gigs will you be playing at?

I’m in talks about more gigs but can’t say too much right now. All I can say is stay tuned for more info on Facebook.


Who are you feeling at the moment, is there anyone in particular you’d like to work with?

Apart from the one’s that everyone aspires to work with; I’d quite like to work with people that I know from the agency. Like Loopdeville, my good friend Archie…

 

If you could choose anyone to remix, who would it be?

It would have to be Pedro from RPR Soundsystem or Fumiya Tanaka. I love their sound and I’d love to work my twist onto some of their stuff.


What advice can you give to someone starting out in the industry?

Do your thing man. It doesn’t come overnight. Don’t expect to be as good as someone else form day dot. If you love what you do, then waiting to get where you want to be isn’t a problem cause you’re doing what you love. If you’re doing it for fame then you’re in it for the wrong reasons. Stay true, work hard and keep believing.


And finally, if you had 24 hours to live, what would you do?

Ahhh, don’t think that could be repeated on interview. Sorry!


                                                                                                                                                                                                                 by Daniel Green

Blues & Euphoria: MEOKO interviews San Proper + exclusive mix!

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

san proper interview

One thing you can’t deny about San Proper is that he keeps things fresh. In a world of electronic musicians who hand far too much control over to the machines and devices when producing, San Proper is one artist who refuses to take a back seat – pouring his own character directly over the top of his effervescent beats with distinctive vocals. Every bit a performer as a producer, he favours a live set up, maximising the impact of his sets and channelling as much emotion back towards the crowd as physically possible. But words can only say so much; only true way to get an insight into the style of this man is to listen, so out his exclusive mix for MEOKO here: 

san proper mix

Perlon, Dekmantel, Voyage Direct and Rush Hour have all snapped up his astute fusion of leftfield house and disco, eager to welcome this intriguing talent from Amsterdam into their families, and listening back to his discography you can completely understand their enthusiasm. You can never quite be sure what will come next from this man, but rest assured you would not want to miss it. Ahead of his forthcoming appearance at OneMore this weekend, we sat down to try and get a little more insight into where his passion stems from, his inspiration and future plans…

 

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us San! Firstly, what have you been up to these past summer months that you want people to know about?

I’d like to let you know about “Proper’s Cult“, a fresh new labelwith ‘dusty’ House music curated by yours truly with a lil’ lotta help from one of my favorite labels in the world Rush Hour. Coincidently the same label where i released my first tracks… My latest release on “Proper’s Cult” is entitled “Auto Sea” and it’s also the last single we’ll put out. The last single of the album “Animal” which came out last year. You could purchase this at my site or at a local record-store near you.

It was almost four years ago that you were featured in Resident Advisor’s ‘Breaking Through’ series – how has your career, and life, progressed since then?

I’ve been busy…. Inside and outside: many lovely studio-sessions and collabs, many gigs and travel, performing and presenting my work all around the world and spreading the gospel.

If you could choose one standout moment in the last couple of years, what would it be?

I’d have to go for the performance I did at Trouw ‘de Verdieping‘ in Amsterdam when I released the album last year, it was a memorable experience.”Animal“. It’s still a big deal to me.

You’ve been DJing and playing music for over fifteen years though, correct? What has been the most important thing you have done to get to the position you’re in now?

20 actually, and the most important thing still is the attitude; being persistent, determined, passionate, proud and proper.

Your close relationship with other Amsterdam DJs and producers has been well documented, and you obviously have a strong desire to promote the scene over there in general. What makes this collection of ‘homies’ so special to you?

Can’t say. They’re my friends and loved ones, my family, but it’s not just about Amsterdam. It’s a global thing, I can smell it. People are in the mood.

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Are you still primarily attached to the city, or are there any other regions that you’d be keen to settle in?

I prefer travelling to settling and Amsterdam has a pretty good airport. I’ve been born and raised in Amsterdam so there’s a lot of history and nostalgia, I’m a little bit sentimental from time to time and I also enjoy being ‘the guest’ when I visit cities or countries I like.

You’re productions are fascinating when you acknowledge the use of your own recorded field sounds, vocals, and drum patterns – would you be able to give us an insight into your process of making a track? Do you start with your own vocals and develop from there, or the reverse?

There’s no book of golden rules, sometimes it just hits you before you know it but i often start out with a mood, a feeling, a statement or a scene, which inspires me to do a track about that. I like tracks with stories and messages. Blues and euphoria…

It’s clear from your music, and what you’ve said in the past, that Disco (among other genres) has a huge influence over you and your sound, from your own edits to promoting the The Black Disco Bust parties. What are you views on the recent ascension of disco, and the mainstream popularity of Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’ for instance…?

It’s unavoidable and i applaud it, especially if it tickles new generations to explore the universe of the past, motherfucker.

  
Are there any ways in which you’d want your own sound to develop and grow in the future or any new influences that might creep their way in?

I don’t want analyse myself too much, but there’s so much to learn and gain plus I’m usually quite open-minded, open for suggestions so to say, and this expression of music, which for me is a lot about influences, adventures and tribute, will live on inspiration. It feeds on that.

Lastly, on a bit of lighter note…in London at the moment, we’re experiencing a heatwave like no other! Can you give us a track perfect for our summer frolicking? No pressure now….

I’ve got three…

Five Special with “Why leave us alone”

Tom Trago with “True Friends”

San Proper with “Auto Sea”

 

Thanks so much, San! We’re looking forward to checking out your set this weekend…

Stay in the loop:

San Proper Official Facebook

OneMore Facebook

OneMore Ticket Link

Words: James Ellis