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Interview & Exclusive Mix Archives — Page 5 of 13 — MEOKO

Romania: The Fertile Ground for Underground Scene

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

Rom Banner223

There’s a certain aura that surrounds the electronic music scene of Romania, which has met an unseen development compared to other countries. From humble artists that like their profile as low-key as possible, to parties and after-parties that go on around the clock for days, crowds with an insatiable thirst for high quality events — the Romanians started from scratch the design of their underground scene, more than 20 years ago, with an outcome that acknowledged the interest of the whole world.

The political background and the social context had a lot to do with the start of this current. During communism, finding artwork from any genre of music was a real quest, the access to information being severely controlled and limited back then. Since the forbidden is always desired, the challenge only spiced things up for the ones passionate about music. In the long-term, it made them explore the unknown without being restrained by trends, patterns or following some induced rules. They had freedom and infinite possibilities, something that determined them to develop their own vision without much influence from the outside world, and eventually to come up with something unique.

After communism’s alienation, things slowly started to unfurl. Around ’95, like-minded people started small gatherings, the first ones having crowds of less than 50 people, while young talents like Rhadoo were practicing at the decks. At the turn of the century, the legendary La Mania parties were happening on the Black Sea coast, marking a milestone for what was coming up next. Clubs started to open, such as Zebra or Kristal Club which allowed people with similar interests to meet and organically develop their relationships with the music. Raresh and PetreInspirescu joined this path, and it was not long until their friendship and love affair with music brought them together. Sunrise Booking Agency started as a necessity soon afterwards in 2005. This brought the trio together, and acknowledged Romania as a breeding ground for talented DJs and producers. One year later [a:rpia:r] started their own imprint and got gigs outside Romania, despite the fact that the music they were playing was so different to the style the foreigners had in their vinyl bags.

RPR

The year of 2007 represents another milestone. The first Sunwaves Festival took place, and it’s needless to mention its weight in supporting the scene. Also Club Midi opened, the first location in Transylvania exclusively for electronic music, instantly receiving international recognition for the price they put on quality and their spaceship-like venue. Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca emerged as the most homogenous cities around the country that deep-rooted this movement, most of the young talents moving in as these hotspots grew further. In the last 5 years, the evolution reached a higher-pace, with more and more talented people joining the crew. There is a serious love for vinyl, labels and strong brands that have made a name for themselves, be they clubs (Guesthouse) or festivals (Mioritmic, Casino Sinaia, SNRS48, Waha).

The scene in Romania is definitely passion-orientated, paying special attention to local talents and audiences rather than courting international renown. Club owners are focusing a bit more on the whole experience and the special moments they get to live when creating a line-up, instead of the business side. Even when it comes to big events, the promoting is not flaunted, leaving the followers to gravitate themselves towards the happening.

Cluj-Napoca is probably one of the most welcoming destination in Romania, mainly due to the positive energy of the people and the committed organisers. The main promoters make sure to deliver high-quality events and settings, following quality over quantity principle; usually there’s one main party every weekend, but it’s so good that it’s enough. The main promoter – Club Midi –is active during autumn, winter and spring, with Mioritmic festival being their highlight in October; while Alandala organises parties mostly during summertime, making the most of some spectacular venues around the city. 

On the other side, Bucharest is restless: you can go out every day of the week and attend proper parties; it’s no wonder why with so many DJ’s living there. During the week Misbits, MadPiano or Control Club are places you shouldn’t miss, but keep in mind to save some energy for the weekend. No matter if you choose to go out at Guesthouse, Eden or Kristal Club, these places run usually for more than just a night. It’s not a surprise to find Guesthouse open on a Monday. People found their place, and they let themselves be carried by it, wherever it takes them. There’s nothing forced about it, everything flows very naturally, just like the common thing that brings these people together: the music.

In the last few years, the so-called “Romanian sound” phrase was overused when referring to any outcome of the Romanian producers, but its relevance seems to be more like a plate of nationality, since the sound can hardly be defined like this. If you check the quality, variety of the two styles and approaches and the amount of electronic music exported by Romanian producers, you’ll discover differences and diversity. They’re being very exploitative rather than limiting their musical diet to a single genre. They’re split into countless sub-genres, and you’ll notice that they’re very dissimilar one from another.

BaracMC

The most renowned producers coming from Romania developed individualistic experimentation, each and every notable one wearing a personal signature you can’t match. Just to mention a few, take a look at PetreInspirescu, G76, SIT(Vlad Caia b2b Cristi Cons), Barac, Zefzeed, Cezar, Livio&Roby or Suciu – they are anything but similar. From the second you start playing a track, you’re soaked in a story with a driving bassline, clean cuts and strong attitude – each of them wearing their personal trademark. At first it seems harmless; only later do you realize what you’ve gotten into. They’ll get you travelling just to see them playing.

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With this organic evolution of the movement in the last 20 years, it’s not surprising that it became appealing to many youngsters to get involved and create something on their own. The number of those who test their skills is growing constantly; but only when an artistic vision, commitment and technical abilities are all present something distinctive will turn out. Authentically learning the mathematical patterns of music and creating tracks from scratch has never failed from being the best recipe of a masterpiece. No matter how many shortcuts there are nowadays, the ones who avoid them make their way to the top. It’s a pleasure to see Romania has a handful of producers that still think this way. This goes hand in hand with their low-key profile policy, by keeping a sort of mystery regarding themselves and their work, from tons of unreleased artworks to limited vinyl runs and the very rare interviews.

VladC MC

Romania has one of the most dazzling night lives, with lush soundscapes and visuals that anchor your mind with ease. From festivals to clubs, the video-mapping is one of the highlights of a night: accentuated and ambiguous — they make out of a record more than the sum of its parts, sounding richer and more nuanced the more you lose yourself in the panorama in front of your eyes. The parties go for days; the idea of playing long sets fuses with the DJs desire to express their vision: there’s no rush. Starting from its inherited natural locations, you’ll have one of your best party experiences in Romania due to the fusion between organizers, line-up, visuals and friendly people.

With a growing interest from people based outside Romania, it’s a pleasure to see how the scene managed to maintain an intimate and welcoming vibe rarely found nowadays, and an up-for-it crowd, in a restless search of the track-IDs. The scene was enforced with music of various levels of understanding, not something that the Romanians invented, but something where they had a meaningful contribution. It’s now about a lot more than making people dance.

Words by Bianca

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“You have to believe in yourself” – An Intimate chat with Mr G and Exclusive Mix

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

Mr G mix cover

One of the true masters of the underground, Mr. G’s mesmerizing funk-house sound has become his trademark. After setting up his own label, Phoenix G in 1999, he’s created tracks with a unique blend of soul, techno and heavy basslines- winning over the love of his peers and the public. He’s also gone on to achieve success through his work on labels such as Defected, Duty-Free and Skint/Loaded. A true Philly-soul fan, Mr G has delivered an exclusive mix to celebrate five years of MEOKO, this particular mix is driven by expressive grooves and tantalizing melodies, with basslines like butter. From funk-driven rhythmic dance tunes, to laid-back lush instrumentals- this mix has it all. For those who love the classic 70s vibe, Mr G masterfully blends the sound of disco with a modern attitude. The result is a fresh new sound, and a gift to all who listen; as he names the mix, ‘From the Heart‘. MEOKO caught up with the G for an intimate chat about all things music. 

 

So how are things Colin, what are you up to man?

Well Thursday is my diggin’ day, so we can’t be taking too long! Every Thursday… Even when I was living in London. I’ve been doing it, I’d say, twenty, twenty plus years?

So you used to live here?

Yeah I lived here for thirty years, but it was always my dream to get back out. I’m a country boy, so I moved back to the country… Middle of nowhere… Quiet… It was the best thing ever, and it shows because the production is much more interesting.

Really?

Completely. I’m relaxed… not worried about the neighbours

And when did you move back? Cos I think the first track of yours I heard was ‘My Sound,’ and that was about four years ago? Did you make that up north?

It’s been nine years since I moved and yeah, definitely… ‘More Warm Than Fuzzy’ on Monique Musique!

(The waiter brings a soy latte for G and me some dried tea in a cup. I look confused whilst G and Ercin reminisce about Junction 2 Festival where they met in the summer.)

What the

Yeah you put that in there (leaves in the pot)

Really?

Yeah go on. Go on… the whole lot!

E: So are you playing at any festivals next year that you can say?

I’ll probably do Free Rotation.  There’s also a big one in London in June and the Afterhours is at Global Underground. I’m not sure – I’ll let you know when I look at my diary.

E: Because you’re not playing so often at festivals?

I don’t play anywhere so often. I don’t play two times at any one place either.

I like that man. You don’t need to…

Yeah cos otherwise… You know. I’m 55.

Imagine if you were doing that every single weekend?

I’d be bored. I’d really be bored. I don’t wanna be like that. I wanna know that when I come to town, people are like ‘Ah we haven’t seen him in…’

Also it was cool to hear you do something different for your MEOKO mix – I was expecting all Mr. G records, or a live set!

Yeah it’s a good mix you know. It’s interesting. Sometimes a cast is functional, but this one I was like yeah! There was no planning – I pulled a box of rare records out, went through them and kind of thought yeah ‘you, maybe you.’ but the rest was on the spot. So I started with the first two or three.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mo-QOgnlsko&feature=youtu.be

 

And just let it go… yeah… that’s cool. Do you like to listen to a lot of podcasts as downtime as well?

Well Friday is my music day so I’ll get up clean the house, walk the dog

 

Haha I clean and listen as well!

… I’m not so keen on listening to podcasts though, because for me podcasts have gotta be left, right, centre, you know, upsetting, whatever… I hate when someone does a mix and it’s just like that (flatline) – because you as a person don’t shine. You know more about me just by my podcast. People are like ‘Oh, wow, he likes that!’ that’s the fun of a podcast, but most people don’t use it as that.

I was surprised actually, like I said, I thought it would be all your own records, like housey, but then it was like…

But house is like this big (small). I like indie, rock, funk, blues, reggae, classical – it’s just music. I grew up where you could go to a club and the guy would play… (everything) Whereas now everybody wants to play like THAT (house). It’s true – Nobody takes any risks anymore.

Yes, that’s the nature of it.

Well if you take a risk and it doesn’t work, the promoter will be like ‘Well I’m not booking you again’ and he tells everybody else.

E: And when you go to play is it two hours? Five hours? What do you prefer?

Listen I play live, one hour. If I’m happy, and there are a few places around the world – I think I played Bogata, I did two hoursJapan two hours. There are places where if you’re relaxed and free to do as you please, if it’s someone I like, or someone who says just play… I just do my thing. If after an hour, I’m not happy? Thats it. But if I’m relaxed? I just play. But I don’t like to be told. You either let me play or not.

And when you are in the studio, are you playing like in your live set? I can envisage you playing at home like you do on stage!

Yeah the same! And I’m dancing – and if I don’t dance (at some point), the track doesn’t get released. Never. No dancing, no release.

MrgOnWings

Haha brilliant. And you started it all with the MPC right?

Yeah I just had an MPC. I spent years… two years in a dark room… I almost went mad. Yeah. You know you make something today, you go tomorrow, turn it on, nothing. You didn’t save it properly so you learn, okay, this is how you save, then you go away and a week later the same thing happens, or you catch your foot in the cable. You’re making the most amazing track and as your walking out the room you take the plug out and its gone.

Savage.

E to me: Are you ready to face that pain?

… I am facing the pain haha

… I’m not sure yet.

Hmm I find the whole thing a bit difficult. Music making is hard, but the actual creative process is even more difficult. There is no path you know, you gotta find your own way and get better at it, get shit, get better, then I listen to someone I love and I go ‘fuck I’m so far away’ haha

But you’re slightly deaf already you know. You listen to too louder music

Yeah I have tinnitus already

Yeah I can hear because your tone is like slightly higher. It’s fascinating. Straight away.

You can tell that I’m deaf because my tone is higher?

And because you speak louder. Because you don’t hear it so well, you speak louder. I’m the other way. I like to whisper. I want you to listen to me. If you have clear ears and I speak slowly and clearly, you’ll take more notice. Try and work the other way. I don’t work loud, at all. I work the whole day, so quiet, it’s stupid. Like I’m trying to make a bass … out of no volume, because if you can make anything, if you can hear it low, when you expand it, it’s gonna be amazing. Whereas everybody that makes it loud

Thank you.

I had tinnitus in 2000. And I had it really bad – and I read some articles at the time and all of them said you can come back from it, you can retrain yourself.

 … And how is that going?

I don’t have tinnitus now, I haven’t had tinnitus for five years. Even now if I go in a big club with a big system, I don’t wear earplugs… you just make sure the monitors are never directly there (in front of your ears). So mine are always going directly behind me… It’s just learning your craft. The more you know about it, the more you protect yourself.

 

And what about your routine? Like you said you have Thursdays for diggin’, Fridays for listening, are you quite strict with studio time? Do you make tunes on specific days?

Yes, if you work from home in this industry, you have to have routine. The minute I started to get up early, exercise, walk the dog, have my porridge, in the studio by ten thirty, work straight until six, it started to work. It’s like a job. Also though I know that some days I’ll go in and I’ll think … No, there’s nothing here today. But I don’t waste time trying to find a solution – I might listen to some music, I might play a game, I might go for a walk… Because you need sometimes that gap. A quiet period, so that you’re hungry – it’s like a game, if you’ve ever played a game that you love every night – you leave it for a week and when you come back you think ‘OMG this game is better than ever!’ It’s like that in the studio. Sometimes you take some time out, then start again, get a new patch of samples, you make some new sounds and you’re like ‘Oh man, I’m in love with you again baby ooooh (rubbing hands together) here we go!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dU6bzrseKCA&feature=youtu.be

 

Yeah that’s cool. It keeps your quality high as well – especially if you are always keeping things new.

Exactly. And if I don’t feel it, why would I release it? I don’t release for you remember? I mean if you’re making music for other people, you’re in the wrong place. I got here today, not because I conform to nobody. I had this blinkered vision of myself… When I started, people used to come on stage and say ‘Yeah it was a nice show man, but it wasn’t continuous’ and I used to be really upset and go back home and think ‘Well I don’t want it to be continuous. I don’t wanna be like everyone else where you press play and it’s like this. I want it like – this is one track – this is another sound, I wanna go disco deep, techno soulful. But yeah, as the time went on, people understood that this is the only way he does it.

 

Cool…

Yeah, and they accept you, and that was for me the most important thing of my learning in this industry. Stick to your thing. I’m not following anybody. I listen to it all, I listen to everybody. There’s people I love. There’s surely sounds I’d love to copy, but that’s them. And like all the articles I read when I was younger, all the greats they worked. All I wanted was to make music and release records. Its just steely determination. You have to believe in yourself – and trust me, there’s times when even me gets insecure.

Listen MR. G MEOKO Podcast

Mr G MC25

Thanks very much man, I hope you enjoy your diggin’ day and have a wicked Christmas.

 

Marlon G

 

Interview by Marlon / Ercin

More Mr. G or https://www.mr-g.org.uk/

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Under The MEOKO Microscope – Fabe & Mix

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

Fabe-Interview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FUSE NYD Rave Part 1/Day at Village Underground

Fuse NYD

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fabegear

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Praslesh

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

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

You are welcome. Thank you for thinking about me.

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

Fabe Exclusive MEOKO Podcast – 234

Fabe Mix

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

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

FABE

Again thank you so much for your time. 

Words by Zac

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MEOKO Exclusive: Jack Wickham Interview and Free Track Download

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

15233840 10211172107443417 1817842909 o

Jack Wickham is one of the hottest talents on the British music scene right now. Having worked with notorious labels such as FUSE, Nordik Net, One Records, and Drumma, it’s hard to believe this prolific mastermind is only 23 years old. The Leeds-born DJ has worked his way through the underground scene to achieve a growing success and racking up an impressive backlog of venues such as Watergate (Berlin), Fabric (London) and Output (New York). As a MEOKO exclusive, Jack sits down to tell us a little bit more about himself and gifts the MEOKO audience with two incredible tracks.

Where did it all start? How did you know you wanted to become a DJ? 

It started with some older friends from where I grew up, they were the first people who introduced me into proper electronic music & DJ’ing. This was when I was around 14 years old I think and was just starting to get excited about the music scene. Then when I was old enough (still underage but looked old enough) I used to go with them to Back to Basics in Leeds where I had some of my best nights, hearing some unbelievable music (which mainly came from the residents) and meeting some great people who I actually now work with and became very close friends. I was lucky to get such good guidance early on and it carries through right up until the present.  

Who are your biggest influences?

From the Back to Basics parties, I met Adam Shelton and Subb-an, who’ve become like my big brothers. They fully took me under their wing and have had such an impact on how I’ve approached my music and they put a lot of faith into me right from when I first started sending them music. I owe them massively and it’s great to see the One Records crew doing so well recently, individually as well as collectively. 2017 is looking bright as always for the label and very pleased to be involved in this. 

Obviously I have major influences from RPR (aka RareshPetre Inspirescu & Rhadoo), Zip, Ricardo. Every time I see them play, I’m just full of ideas for the studio. I like to pick from different aspects of music rather than stick to one style and seeing these guys play really helps me get creative. 

And one more thing, SIT and Fabe. The music they make is so unique. They have stamped their own sound within the scene and that’s something I’ve always admired and have strived to do myself. 

If you could do a back-to-back set with anyone, who would it be? 

There’s a handful I could pick from here. But I’m going to go with Rhadoo. I love to watch him mix records and much as I love listening to them. His technique is effortless and his mixing is so sharp. There is the saying about the most important part of a b2b, “Knowing that the other DJ is in complete control gives you the confidence to push yourself even further.” 

Also my good friend from Leeds, Ethan McNamara. We can play records together for days on end. I always say he’s a younger version of Craig Richards and many can agree! 

You’ve played all over the place, from Watergate to Fabric, what’s the best experience so far?

Yeah I’ve been spoilt really with the clubs I’ve had chance to play at. But for me, it’s when I played for ReSolute at Output on the rooftop in New York with Dyed Soundorom. It was my first time in America, so I wasn’t sure what to expect musically & from the city of New York. I was given 4 hours to play in the Panther Room when the rooftop had closed. So I had a full club to see me play. The Panther Room sound system is super warm, so I just felt such freedom to enjoy it. It’s been one of my best experiences to date. The view from the rooftop of the Manhattan skyline is crazy good too. Love that club!

What’s your dream venue?

100% Robert Johnson. I don’t think I need to explain why on this one either.

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Robert Johnson, Frankfurt

Do you think British Music has it’s own sound, and why?

Absolutely. You don’t have to look much further than the FUSE Crew to find a group of artists that have really forged out their own sound in a crowded market. The UK (and London especially) has always had that DIY attitude towards music, and with it being such a fertile place for inspiration, it produces some amazing records. I still play so many of the old school UK tech-house sounds from people like Terry Francis, Eddie Richards, Omni AM and loads of others. It’s really timeless, UK club music that works on the dance floor, and it hasn’t dated at all.

 

What are your current projects, and what do we have to look forward to?

I’ve been very busy the past 6 months, really got my head down with things. Finished a lot of music for some great labels. I’ve got music coming for FUSE, All Inn Records, State of Flow, Medeia and Seb Zito’s new label 7DB. As well as other labels for remixes and VA’s. I’m thankful my music is getting such great support from my friends & other artists. It gives me so much confidence to make even more music. I’m rarely out of the studio at the minute. Full on hermit. 

I’ve recently joined Next AM. I was like a kid at Christmas when that came through, always been such a huge fan of their involvement Next Wave parties etc. So to be working with these guys now means a lot to me. I’ll be working a lot more with the artists on the agency and playing with the crew more regular too. A lot of great gigs coming up. Really excited for the New Year!

You’re still very young, and there’s a lot of opportunity out there, what are your hopes for the future? 

I hope I’m still able to be doing what I’m doing now. I want to keep progressing as much as possible with my music, the studio, DJ’ing etc, which is all heading in the right direction. I’m very interested at the thought of a possible live set at some point too (maybe). Hopefully will get to play at Robert Johnson in the near future referring back to the question above! I’m a modest person so I don’t like to get carried away with hopes and dreams but if you put the work in, things will happen.

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Credit: Jonny Wilson (JW Photography)

So, tell us a little bit about the tracks you have here for us…

These two tracks were made mid summer when I changed my studio around. Since the change up I’ve made a lot of music and barely left my new room. My latest EP that I’ve just finished was with the guys at All Inn Records, which I’m really happy about. So instead of one track, I’ve decided to give two away. Both of which have had heavy rotation from the likes of RPR Soundsystem and more.

Listen to Jack’s excusive tracks here: 

 

Words: Georgia Evans 

 

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Primărie talks with MEOKO

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

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We spoke with the founding father of Tzinah records, Primărie to pick his brans about the future of the label and the journey that has brought him this far.  Primărie continues to cement his roots deep into the underground scene and having been amongst it all during the wave of populartiy in Romainia I am eagar to know more about the man who puts his heart and soul into searching and perfecting the art of endless musical grooves to the dancefloor.

Hey!  How are you and how has your week been?  Have you anything exciting to share with us?

Hello, I’m very good, I hope you too… my week has been busy and full, we managed to push to promotion a new album at Tzinah Records, second album that we release so far, and it’s from Mihai Pol, a great up-and-coming artist from the heart of Romania, Brasov. So… I’m always happy when we get to share new music with the people alike.

Tzinah Records, the name you have given to your Label which translates, as a ‘headshot’ is that correct?  Where did the name come from?

The name comes from Counter-Strike games. From a lot of lost long-nights that me and my friends use to spend in the childhood at the first internet-cafe’s from Romania, right in the post-communist era. We were feeling so good when we where shooting the opponent right in the head, because we were getting more points at the game and we were screaming of happiness and jumping around our chair… So that’s where the word Tzinah comes from… in  Romanian it deviated from ‘cine ma’.. ‘tzine ma’… ‘tzi nah’.

Who is on your artist roster to date?

We are now collaborating with over 140 artists around the globe… but I will remind here the artists from our booking agency called Tzinah Family and they are: Vid aka Egal 3, Primărie, Adrianho, Hansel!, Crocodile Soup, Silat Beksi, Claudia Amprimo and Plusculaar .

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What characteristics separate Tzinah from Tzinah Black?

Well… soundwise there is no difference in thinking or approaching the music that we release on vinyl… it’s the same music that we live by every day. I would say Tzinah on Black concentrates more on the artists that are have a more close relationship with us, every vinyl release will be represented by an artist from Tzinah Family too and our closest friends and the artists that supports us the most. On the digital side we like to always look for the most futuristic sound possible . And that usually comes from the most unknown artist and the most young artist with different concept about music and partying so we are looking for this kind of artists

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Tzinah Records have grown from digital releases, which suit the volume of music you produced between you all.  How do you now decide what to release on vinyl?

Continuing the subject of the last question I would say Tzinah now concentrates on finding the purest artists with a strong vision and with something to say for our scene. We are also just starting to work with artists that are serious about their work and we like to collaborate with people that dedicate their life to music and nothing else. This is who we are so we are looking to work with people like us. We make strong relationship between us and sometimes it happens that we speak online for two, three years or even more and just after that we get to meet face to face, at a gig or something, and that feeling is magical.

Let’s talk about your recently released EP Forma.  It features a remix from Loxique, also a Tzinah artist.

So… Forma EP… is exactly what I was talking about when referring to future sounds and new ideas for the dance-floor. It is my vision concluded in two new tracks I made this summer, and I decided to release them at a new French label, from a new Tzinah artist, Ile Degare’s ODT Records. So you see everything is interconnected… so when asked what remixers to choose, I  choose Loxique because I respect a lot his sound and his vision and always wanted a remix from him. The guys from the label then proposed Andu Simion for the second one and it was a great match for this situation. Me and Andu Simion work together for years at Tzinah and we also have common friends and roots in my home town, Constanta.

You wear many hats, DJ, A&R, Label Manager and Artist to name a few.  How do you keep the balance?

I’m happy to say this is a way of life for me. This is a process that goes on week after week, it is the beautiful life of a professional DJ of nowadays era to say so…with a lot of work during the week, both on studio and in the office. But the great result is when you get to share the new music and new ideas and when you connect with people from different area zones around where you are from and not only. But I tell you something, if you want to do this in your life you have to be very balanced and aware in many situations, it is very important to choose well what you’re eating and how you rest, and enjoy every moment in life, especially the small things that are special. Find the beautiful side in how you see things so then you will always be recharged.

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After you finished studies your true love with music began.  When was the moment of your epiphany?

I think it was after I came back from Berlin and I said I won’t do work for anyone else but for me. The time I spent in Berlin helped me a lot, as my sound improved and became more eclectic. And it showed me other important facts about the scene that needs to be taken in consideration when doing anything. So when I arrived back in Romania I had events one after another for a summer and that pushed me and made me believe even more in this life and in my ideas. Since then I live just from music and I’m happy and fortunate about it. I’m very thankful about what music brought to my life and I’m happy to help and share this with other true artists who are doing the same. 

You are known for playing through the days and nights, between the mountains of Romania and in Transylvania. What motivates you during those marathon sets?

For me is the end result and that is in the special moments you get to spend with people from all around the world sometimes, is in the connection that happens at every event. The moment when you loose yourself in the music and nothing else matters but the groove and the atmosphere around, the friends and people that are near you, that are dancing and connected in the same beat at the same frequencies. Sharing new music in moments like this, music that is yet unknown for them and sometimes mixed with some more known serious beats. For me is a pleasure to make people dance and vibrate higher, to leave all their troubles behind and live in the moment for a night, or day. I like to think we are always taking part in a healing ritual, and that’s why it has to go on every weekend. Do be do… but be more.

You have uploaded multiple mixes during the past few months which feature a collection of music from Tzinah Records.  Do you enjoy the freedom this gives you?

Oh, is a freedom like no other… I get to play at times all unreleased tracks, demos from people that send us trough Tzinah and as you know I made a mix of 2hrs and 30 minutes, that mix it could have gone at least for another two more hours. I’m happy to say we have a lot of things scheduled ahead, lots of great up-and-coming underground artists from Romania and not only… so yes this gives me, and Tzinah Family members, the freedom to play music that no one else plays, because we ask for two months exclusivity for our demos. But sometime is even more magical… Soon we are going to release an EP from Adrianho which contains a track made three or four years ago… and another one from last year. All sound great and we lived a lot of great moments with them.

You recently played a live recorded mix for RTS with Gazette.  The intro begins with amazing South American intro and what I describe as a record played backwards.  You often interpret obscured sounds into the music you produce and the sets you play are always very enchanting.  You do like to experiment, how would you describe your style?

Yes I always try to push myself and see what is on the other side. I don’t plan anything I just try to be as relaxed as I can before a set and then unleash the energy. Nowadays I play with 3 cdjs and since then the real experiments started to happen… it’s a magical realm even for me and I’m amazed sometimes. Yea I like to play music from all cultures and sometimes I use a lot of non-techno tracks as a soundtrack or to create even more alterations to the rhythm. The rhythm is all the matters in this music. That piece of ‘backwords’ melody is from Reclame, he showed me a pack of tracks and I started to listen to them… I started to relax and meditate on them a lot… then the idea came.. why don’t we make an album of this session of tracks, so then Tzinah Albums were born, this is from Appunti Sonori LP.

There is a track in your Lokocast mix that would be too explicit to describe in words so I’ll just say that it begins at around 30:02 minutes in. I love it, so hilarious!  Please name the track?

That set is actually a recording from Bar512 in London, at an Keep On Going event I think from this spring. Exactly at that point mentioned is the signature of a Barac track…but right after it starts one of the most crazy ass tracks I have also heard too, is Relation by Osvit, an Ukrainian new guy, and is going to be released soon at Tzinah, on one of our future VA’s.

You have a healthy catalogue of collaborations with a myriad of artists.  What is next to be released?

We have Adrianho coming next with an EP, Mihai Pol’s album, two new VA’s with new artists and great new grooves… and then we keep it going like this. TZHBK004 is in preparation also but everything is secret until the project is finalized.

Do you get to spend time working together in the studio or do you work with most projects independently?

This is a collaboration mostly at distance, everyone in his own studio working on his vision and what comes from our collaboration sometimes results in a nice couple of tracks and remixes on an EP or an album or bringing new artists to surface through VA releases.

A bit of a complex question as there are so many to choose from but what would you say is your most memorable musical moment so far?

I think it was realizing we are all the same, we are all one and we are doing the same things as the artists that we use to follow. And in the end we have become them, we have become friends and family with them and this is another reason for us and me to keep going with sharing music.

All pioneering countries at the forefront of electronic music have their own musical style.  What is your answer to the question the ‘Romanian sound?’

I think now Romanian music is the underground music of our society and it’s more specialized to frequencies and rising vibrations to create special moments.  I think is bringing to the scene the future music of next years and always trying out new ideas.  I’m happy to say thank you to our trio Rhadoo, Raresh and Petre Inspirescu for their part in making this kind of music heard and also all the other true artists taking part on our scene and keeping it alive.  Without this there would be no Romanian music, without the new artists trying to make it, as their idol too, without the middle artist trying to live out from it and without the emblems that are ‘setting the standards’.

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You have lived in and travelled to countries with similar social environments.  In your experience how important is music to people?

In my head music is one of the first thing that connects people together, it is staying in the background and is dictating your friends … haha. So, the second thing is that we need music for meditation and everyone needs to meditate even if they don’t realize it, they do it. Music is a healing instrument, it helps you detach from your society life and helps you get back in yourself. Music is very important for everyone.

 You have had a busy year in and out of the studio.  What are you most excited about in the near future?

Oh yes, I work a lot nowadays in the studio, want to share all the special atmosphere that have gathered in my head from events and life in general, I have two remixes in the work, another EP, maybe at Tzinah, and I always like to say… let the actions speak. 

Thank you Meoko team it’s been revealing even for me.

Much love and Good Vibes Only. P.

LISTEN Primărie’s Exclusive MEOKO Podcast below #260

Primarie Mix Cover

 

Interview by Tiffany Allen

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Do DJs need to be a published producer to have a career?

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

In a facebook post from last year, David Morales vented his frustration at the current state of affairs, complaining that “…unfortunately DJ’s are “required” to have a record charting in order to get recognized and get gigs. WHAT A FARCE! There’s so many nn DJ’s getting paid just bc they made a record…”

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Overgeneralisations aside, Morales’ post touched on something: do DJs need to be a published producer to have a career? In theory no, of course not. But the reality, as you may well know, is different. A well placed record released on the ‘right’ (read in vogue) label can throw the career of a relative or total newcomer into the spotlight – like

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtrpAYNTNqU

did for Danny Daze back in 2011. From here the media machine springs into action, penning reviews and interviews whilst certain promoters fall over each other in a bid to bag the new star(let) for their night. This understandably pisses people off as it ridicules the idea of a meritocracy in bypassing the years of experience and graft that presumably warrants such a standing. Credit where credit isn’t due? Possibly and in certain cases definitely. But it would be unfair and totally misplaced to point fingers at individual producers for this turn of events . As in essence, this is a systemic problem – a problem with the industry and the wider marketplace it belongs to – and by virtue of this it’s hard, very hard, to pinpoint exactly where the problem lies without bringing into account factors such as the underlying economic system and the effect this has on individual psychology. Tricky, and there’s neither the personal knowledge nor room to do this proper justice (several books could easily be written on the topic) in a way that wouldn’t be reductive or resort to oversimplifications.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dF2qE59nYlM

Now as I don’t work in the industry everything here is said from a position outside, looking in which has its obvious advantages and disadvantages.  This is not intended to be comprehensive by any stretch of the word and for any likely omissions to come, I apologise; time and space only permits so much. The aim of this piece is to take stock of the current landscape as I see it and ponder over a few of its crucial features. 

Anyway, in theory being a DJ shouldn’t mean you have to release music and being a producer needn’t mean you have to play out in order to have a profession, but what’s true in theory is rarely true in practice.  Natural human imperfection has its way of flouting, confounding and generally fucking up what’s theoretically perfect. The fact is DJs who release music – particularly those who release a flavour of the moment tune- are more likely to receive bookings than those who don’t, regardless of their ability as a DJ. To my mind there’s something inherently unfair about someone landing slots over other, possibly more experienced, DJs  purely on the basis of a well received record, regardless of ability. But it’s not as clear cut as this. The world being as it is, most aspiring ‘artists’ –in this case producers/DJs-  have to spend a large part of time  working at a day job  (if they’re lucky it’ll be something they don’t mind doing) which physically limits the hours they can put into honing a craft.   It’s unlikely then they’ll be able to put the hours into developing both the technical and creative skills needed to excel at DJ’ing and producing which leads to a scenario where the two (DJ’ing & producing) seem to be mutually exclusive. After all, it’s a rarity to have someone like Ricardo Villalobos who is as an accomplished producer as DJ and even then, it took him several years from becoming a full time musician to begin releasing a truly singular body of work. But these cases are few and far between as nearly all full time DJs have, hard work aside, gotten to a professional level through an association of some kind such as a label, party or record. There are only a few very notable exceptions to this like Nicolas Lutz who has based his decades long career purely on discovering and playing records. As you might expect, he has only very recently begun to gain a wider recognition outside of the niche sphere of cratediggers he moves through (something aided in part by an excellent RA podcast and an ensuing scattering of bookings at large clubs). Though it’s possible Lutz has been keen to play mainly to a smaller crowd of enthusiasts than to a larger one that may not necessarily appreciate his selections, it remains a sad fact that a talented DJ may be totally passed over in favour of a less capable DJ purely because they don’t have that seemingly crucial association with a label, sound, party etc.

  

 This invariably creates a tension in aspiring DJs who may feel pressured to release a record as they can see the difficulties of becoming professional by not doing so, but at the same time don’t want to ‘sell out’. Ideally music, like all art, should be made for its own sake and the commercial trappings that come with success should be a byproduct , not the end goal. But this is idealistic and I can’t entirely fault, a producer or promoter who chooses the easier compromise so to launch their professional career.  As said before, the blame isn’t something to be placed on these producers  who find themselves getting bookings on the basis of a record, nor really on the individual promoters who facilitate this in booking acts that promise a higher turner out regardless of whether said act can mix. At the end of the day, those involved at every level of the industry want to make a living from music (and not presumably from something else) so they are justified, within the skewed logic of business, in making these choices. If this seems wrong it’s because they’re working within a structure that is inherently wrong. Like so many, the allure of money eclipses their integrity. 

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This isn’t a new phenomenon by any means but it does seem that in recent years the balance has shifted and ‘hype’ is becoming ever more dominant. Why is this? Initially I was at a loss.  Myriad reasons appeared, vague and half formed which wasn’t really satisfying so I thought a little more in my dozy, scattershot way on what was unique to this part of the century. Again numerous aspects of modern life suggested themselves but the one that stuck was the internet, specifically the development of high speed broadband.  How exactly? Today there is a visibly wider interest in electronic dance music than there was fifteen, twenty years ago which I feel has been greatly aided by the ubiquity of broadband internet. This might seem a little tenuous or far flung but to my mind the effect of the internet on how we experience the world and each other can’t be understated.  

To make the case through a tangent…It can list as some of its achievements: an instrumental role in collapsing distance and time; serious changes in social relations; an archive containing nearly every published book and recorded piece of music; rendered the underground/overground divide irrelevant; offers access to a digital marketplace where you can buy anything from records to automatic machine guns; an effect on the way news is reported and most sinisterly, the creation of new methods of control (through surveillance). A source of anxiety and paranoia for some, a chance for further development for others, regardless of your opinion the internet has affected nearly every aspect of life.          

Dixon                                                                                  

In the case of electronic dance music, the internet has given people immediate access to the material of a subculture that would have previously been very hard to find except through association or good fortune. Now, anyone with a workable internet connection can within thirty minutes reasonably come across not just a digital archive of this music, but the means – through cracked software – to make it themselves.  Great, for a variety of self-evident reasons, but it’s also indirectly been a catalyst for a boom in electronic dance music as an industry and from this, the gateway for some pretty negative repercussions.  The fact that there are now more people wanting to produce and DJ it takes more to be heard above all the extra noise than it did before, where presumably graft, passion and perhaps a little bit of nifty PR was enough to set you up as a professional DJ. Has much changed? In one sense no, these elements still play their vital role in taking an aspiring DJ into the professional circuit, but as said before the PR aspect, that association with a label, party etc. does seem to be  increasingly dominant.  As the worlds of House and Techno have becomes less niche, the smaller industry of before has given way to a structure resembling the Rock or Hip-Hop industry and with it has come the increase in careerism. This of course is not true across the board as there are many successful and respected independents like the Perlon roster or the Romanian House scene that have flourished in spite of the shifting industry and not because

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But, for better or worse, and I’m of the opinion it’s for the worst, this change  has meant that some DJs feel that they are putting themselves at a disadvantage in an increasingly competitive marketplace by not releasing music. In this light, the idea of releasing the ‘right’ record on a trendy label becomes the promise of a career and a string of well received releases a great thing to flesh out a budding DJ’s ‘CV. To clarify: this is not to say that all music is made cynically with the sole intent of boosting a career, but it’s true in some cases whether that’s conscious or not. A distinction should be drawn between those who make music for ‘its own sake’ with little thought of commercial gain and those who do it primarily for commercial gain. In some cases it’s clear to say who is in it for the money – the Aokis, Guettas & Calvin Harris’ of the world-  but within the purer realm of House and Techno it gets a little trickier but still possible. I can think of a fair few DJs who have made tunes or enlisted the help of full time producers that seem to be pretty desperate bid to cash in on a certain sound so to boost their profile.  Like the promoters who book these overnight successes, it’s case of weak ethics but we shouldn’t expect any different from them; it would be very difficult to bring about a real change as there will always be those who choose the easier compromise. On the flipside, there are the cases where promoters take a chance on a producer/DJ which happens to be well placed. The ideal equation here is tracks leads to gigs, these gigs showcase their records and skill, the money from the gigs then affords them the time to make more music. The problem of course is that hype tends to rubbish this and the notion of skill figures less. However there are cases where this equation rings true like with Suciu Laurentiu – Alexandru  aka Faster. Since 2011 he has released a steady stream of great records with a little more

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than some of those made by his countrymen. With each successive release his records have ( to my ears anyway) marked his development as a producer. In the short time his Faster project has been active, Alexandru has found himself receiving more bookings and gathered wider acknowledgement (for instance, dance tabloid Mixmag featured his latest record Amprente in their ‘Big Tunes section). Or to take another example, consider the earlier career of Ricardo Villalobos.  As captured nicely by Jasper Grosvenor in a piece for FACT, before releasing Alcachofa Villalobos was a well respected but relatively unknown DJ – albeit one with a smattering of interesting and in some cases brilliant, releases. On releasing Alcachofa, Villalobos’ profile was pushed rapidly upwards and from there, as they say, the rest was history. Aside from the fact there’s something nice in seeing someone deservedly get fair recognition, these cases prove it is possible (and it might seem a moot point given the state of the world at the moment) in today’s age for the DJ/producer to maintain their integrity whilst having a career. 

  

The problem however remains for those who solely DJ and don’t have that party or professional association to boost their profile. The upshot of this, is that there are still scenes, as you see in Romania, where a certain type of skilled DJ’ing is highly valued, that run counter to the monetised, ‘big name’ cyclical trends that characterise the industry elsewhere., I find it hard to envision an environment outside of a grassroots one -based on mutual respect and support  with no PR – that can offer an even ground for someone who purely DJs’  to establish themselves, in and of their ability. Outside of this, the aforementioned problems of the industry figure too heavily and uneven the playing field. As to the future, I’m not entirely sure. Though the past few years has seen reactions against the trend and hype orientated flows of electronic dance music appear,  it’ll be a while from now before any serious changes occur given how deeply embedded these problems are in the wider sphere of society. 

Words by Neto Light-Lopez

Mike Huckaby – Loving and Spreading The Wave + Exclusive Mix

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

 MKtop

Mike Huckaby, as humble as he is as a person, is a spiritual contemporary, a music maker of grand design, who manages to give house music from DETROIT TECHNO CAPITAL! the depth and profoundness that this city oozes somewhere beyond its shattered surface. It is part of his life story to wrangle with machine and get them to express emotions. One of them is the grand Waldolf synthesizer which let Mike shed tears and blood until he figured out how to coax it into making the sounds of sheer beauty and spiritedness that is generally associated with his music. It also culmitated in the creation of a release series called “My Life With The Wave” – all sounds used on these two seminal records are created by only using the Waldolf Wave synth. The “Life Project” goes even further.

After focusing on the productions generated with the “My Life With the Wave Production CD” and gathering them in mixed podcast formats, Mike, as well as presenting himself abroad DJing, has become a brilliant tutor for well-known hard- and software companies, sharing his skills and passes on knowledge via tuition and workshop sessions. He also works at Youthville, teaching kids from deprived areas in Detroit his musical know-how. So whilst his music expresses feeling and proficiency in equal measures, and goes beyond the pure reflection of its glamorous past well into the unforeseen, his person acts in the same vain: Huckaby makes house music go yonder, into abstraction; then he roots it, and sends it back to where it came from, into intimous settings, the streets, and the clubs, connecting people, moods and ambients… Meoko is thrilled to find out how Mike does it all.

Detroit Home of The Brave!

 Mike214

First of all, thanks for giving me hints of what to check out, and where you feel the focus of your activities is… I was very thrilled to watch these Detroit documentaries, and even more amazed to see what a deep and spirited person you are. Thanks for that!  It does not come as a surprise though, because your music, for me, transports all this in some kind of non-descript ethic that is travelling via your sound… Do you feel this is kind of true?

Mike Huckaby:  Hmm, I don’t know if that is something I can make a comment on. I just do what I do. I am satisfied with releasing every track I make available to the public. I have to be satisfied with it first. I have to take praise in perspective. If you condition yourself to like the positive feedback people give you about your music, then it is going to rock your boat when you see a negative review of your music. Feedback is all subjective. You have to be satisfied with your own music first. My music has to pass the test of moving me first. Once it does that, I dont care what anyone thinks.

What is your musical journey? Where do you feel, in general, in private and in interview situations, did it start?

Mike HuckabyMy musical journey is to learn how to convey emotion through sound. Plain and simple.

How is your family situation? Are there people in your family that share your passion for music, sound making, etc.?

Mike Huckaby:  I owe a lot of my rhythmic influences to my uncle. He would make my brother and I play the drums until our hands were red when we were kids. That was a very signifant influence for me.

Who or what got you into music production?

Mike HuckabySimply being in Detroit did. Like I have said so many times, the music found you and created opportunities for involvement. That’s just the way it was growing up in Detroit.

MH1

You once talked about Chris Simmonds being a fellow music producer who had a huge influence on you how you made and perceived making music, is this true? Who else opened your mind and broadened your horizon when you much needed it?

Mike Huckaby I would listen to everyone. I would even listen to artists I didn’t like. I would study things about other producers and production methods, and flip them into my own style. Chris Simmonds was the first person to sit down with me and answer some of my technical questions that I was struggling with for years.

Was it Rick Wade who first published your music?

Mike Huckaby My first 12 inch came out on Harmonie Park, so essentially, yes.

What was it that you wanted to get the Wave in the first place, who or what gave you the idea you can make house with it…. and how long did it take you to get a knack on it?

Mike Huckaby Buying the Wave was a huge mistake, but I made it pay off. I remember contacting Waldorf when they had an office in LA. I asked one of the sales reps at Waldorf: ‘So is it really true you can get any sound out of the Wave?’ The rep quickly replied: ‘Oh yeah, absolutely.’ I then turned around and looked at my record case and said to myself: ‘Oh really? ‘ I then concluded that if that was true about this synth, then that was the only synth I had to buy. But that thinking was seriously flawed, and it is what got me into a lot of trouble. When the rep said that you can get any sound out of the wave, that was partially true. It didn’t mean I could get any sound out of my record case on the wave. What the Waldorf rep meant was that through all of the synthesis methods and modulation capabilities, you could create any sound possible on the Wave through those methods. That taught me how to listen. That was a painful lesson, but a worthy one.

 

 

 

How did you have the idea to make „My Life With The Wave“, and why are there two parts, but no further part planned?

Mike Huckaby:  There were several years that passed by where I wasn’t using the Wave at all. I had never sat down and simply learned how to use it properly. I was even contemplating selling it. But I knew I could never do such a thing. So instead of selling it, I decided that the time was right to start using it. So I began to conceptualize the idea of making an entire 12 inch release from using just the wave. I wondered if that was something I could actually do. So I began to dive into it heavily until My Life With The Wave Vol 1 and 2 were finished. Those projects spanned over nine years. It took nine years to create Vol 1 and 2. The My Life With The Wave story is over now. It’s time to move on and explore different synthesis possibilities on different machines. Basically, it drove me crazy, to the point of exhaustion. I was really burnt out on creating My Life With The Wave Vol 2.

You give a away a lot of samples… What is your thought behind sharing your material?

Mike Huckaby I look at it as a way to sharpen my sound design skills.  The feedback that you get from other producers, and how they will use you sound design is invaluable. I haven’t given away as many sounds as you might think though. Don’t believe the hype. I am extremely surprised to have made two 90-minute Soundcloud broadcasts of producers all over the world using the My Life With The Wave CD. Furthermore, I just did a workshop in Denmark with Strom School where the focus was producing music with the My Life With The Wave sample CDs. That was a very unique workshop. The whole project paid off, and producers have been using the My Life With The Wave samples since 2007. It’s been nearly ten years! Check the shows here:

https://soundcloud.com/mikehuckaby/mike-huckaby-my-life-with-the-wave-show/

https://soundcloud.com/mikehuckaby/mike-huckaby-the-my-life-with-the-wave-show-2/

What is the current set up you are using?

Mike Huckaby: The Waldorf Wave, Maschine, Ableton Live, loads of plugins, the Manley Slam compressor, The Moog Sub 37 synthesizer, and the

What kind of machines never left your studio?

Mike Huckaby: All of the above.

What are the newest additions?

Mike Huckaby: The Sledge Synthesizer, The Moog Sub 37, and The Emu Sp 12. The Sp 12 is a instrument that I plan on using heavily in the near future.

How do you feel about all those companies like Ableton, Native, Waldorf, etc contracting you to produce tutorials etc? How did this first happen?

Mike Huckaby: It was a win/win situation from the start. They saw my ambition to learn, and I was using their products heavily. With my reputation as a DJ and a producer, combined with teaching at Youthville just added more to the formula.

What is the Nave?

Mike Huckaby: The Nave is a software synthesizer that can emulate the possibilities of the Wave to a certain extent. I had a lot of fun doing official presets for it. I used my Wave skills on it and learned a couple of things as well. Im always looking for a reciprocal relationship between hardware and software.

How and when did you realise that you have a knack for teaching, and that it goes beyond a strive to teach, but to share and make others feel just as passionate as you are?

Mike Huckaby: I never realised I had the knack for it, its just something that came my way. I think my empathy has grown from doing seminars. When you have a chance to meet up with programmers from Ableton and Native Instruments, and they are showing you certain tricks and tips that you would have never known, you just feel compelled in a way to share some of the things that you have learned. Like I said, nobody wants to be stuck.

Tell me more about your labels, how did they come about, who is and will be on it, what are you planning in the future?

Mike Huckaby: I wanted control over my music, so I decided to create Deep Transportation and S Y N T H just for that. I have no plans to release anyone’s music but mine on these labels.

How did you export the harmonics – and make chords of them – of the rocks you found in Egypt? Did you try to do this with rocks from Detroit? Or any objects found in Detroit?

Mike Huckaby: Ha, the rocks from Egypt. I am constantly asked how I did that. It’s a device I created in Reaktor. And that is all that I can tell you. And I only did this with rocks from the pyramids in Egypt. Although I did sample some things around Cern in Geneva, Switzerland, when I did visit there. Maybe I will do something similiar in the future.

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Who or what inspires you apart from rocks and Egypt, and why?

Mike Huckaby: My primary influence is Jazz. Jazz is the umbrella that house music resides under. I have always had a thing for expensive things and subjects that required a lot of devotion. I am hard-headed in that way. So, one question would lead to another, or another avenue to pursue or learn.

What is a piece of work of another artist that had a huge influence on you on how you conceive and conceptionalise a piece, an album, a mix?

Mike Huckaby: Larry Heard’s Slam Dance. The whole 12 inch actually. I just couldnt believe how much diversity he demonstrated on that EP. It made me question just how much skill a producer had to have to make a record. On one side you had smooth deep house tracks, and then an aggressive techno track on the other side. That EP really made me wonder how talented he was.

What are the ideas behind tracks like „Bassline” and „Fantasy”, it seems like you like you toy with certain concepts again and again and make them an ongoing series?

Mike Huckaby: Well, the baseline series is heavily influenced by Kevin Saunderson. Kevin Saunderson is known in Detroit as the bassline master. So I guess years of listening to his productions somehow has had an effect upon me. Fantasy was just an entire track I made from the Waldorf Wave.

In Detroit, there is nothing to do you say… and to combat depression, you mention to create music, and to do that „quite merrily“. Why do you think that this happens to humans, specifically in Detroit? There are so many depressing places on this planet, and it seems like the people in Detroit, as depressing it might be, somehow overcome this depression and turn it around, turn it into something worth living for…

Mike Huckaby: It is just the way to channel that so-called depression. Its actually a gift more than it is a curse.

How did you come to do Youthville… Is Youthville something existing in any mayor city…? Who is it run by? Churches? Government? How did you come to engage with it, and in which sense did you manage to open their range of activities? Did you propose electronic music production to them?

Mike Huckaby: Youthville is a privately funded organization. There is nothing like Youthville in the United States. It was really way ahead of its time when it was created. It will still be another several years before Detroit catches up on its impact locally and even nationwide.

How does it feel to start from scratch with the student from Youthville, if they do not actually know much?

Mike Huckaby: You simply ask them to name their favorite artist, producers and songs. The students are influenced heavily by their parents and families, and the internet. So they already have rhythm, and an idea from the beginning in mind.

How to you manage to capture their attention?

Mike Huckaby: You capture their attention by simply listening to them and observing them. But the most important thing to do to capture their attention is to speak their language. If you don’t know their favorite producers, and the songs they are listening to, you will look like a fool to them. And if you loose that window of opportunity, you’ve lost everything. But beyond that you have to manage being a disciplinarian. If you don’t establish discipline in the class room from the ver start, the student will never respect you, and you will never have control over the classroom setting. So it doesn’t matter what program you are teaching. If discipline is not establi
hed, they will not learn a single thing.

How do you
xplain the p
enomenon of electronic music to them?

Mike Huckaby: I don’t push it on them. I explain the legacy of music from Detroit across all genres of music, and simply let them indicate their musical interests, and what they want to produce. I am there for them, not me.

You say in one of your interviews that there are parts of the Detroit story missing and people are starting to ask what they are… Explain!

Mike Huckaby: Well, people are just starting to see that other people make up the Detroit story, and have something to say. The entire Detroit electronic story is still unfolding. It is a never ending story, you could say.

In terms of electronic music business, not making music, what kind of advice do you feel like giving?

Mike Huckaby: Learn the business, and set up a publishing company. I owe Eddie Folkes a lot for helping me in that area. He really sat me down and showed me the importance of having publishing rights pertaining to your music.

If you would not have turned to music, what would you be doing?

Mike Huckaby: That is something I have no idea about! Like I have said over and over, music wasn’t a way out in Detroit, it was the only way out.

You say you like to “convey a message of peace” via your sets and music, seems like this world needs it more than ever. Do you have something more to say, for people to keep up the faith and to conclude this interview?

Mike Huckaby: Just stay true to yourself and you will be included in all the circles, conversations, and opportunities you ever could have imagined. Some of those doors you might have thought would be closed to you, but they will open. I know that for a fact. I am getting remix offers from artists that I would have never thought would ask.

Last but not least… What did you put into your Meoko mix, what was paramount for you when you made it?

Mike Huckaby: Just some deep house tracks that I’m feeling. Check it out!

Mike Huckaby – MEOKO Exclusive Mix

 

HB 008 wiith Mike Huckaby is OUT NOW

 

Words by our dear Katrin Richter

Pelle – Karton turns 5 – Interview and exclusive mix

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

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For many musicians, forming a record label is an exciting achievement that happens after a lengthy career. To own one that is turning 5 years old, at the age of 24 is then surely a great success, and a sign of only greater things to come in the years that span ahead in the career of such a passionate musician.

When he isn’t playing for the likes of Fuse and tiNI and the gang, Pelle runs the label ‘Karton’ with his business partner David van Bilderbeek. 2016 marked its 5th year of educating their home-town Harleem and beyond with the hand-picked beats from the duo, which is marked, quite rightly, with a series of show-stopping showcase events.

Adding to the feeling of festivity is Pelle’s recently appointed residency at newly launched Sunday party ‘Premise’, based at London venue Dance Tunnel . We caught up with the Dutch artist to find out how he himself has been celebrating the success of Karton as he kindly recorded us a ‘5 years of Karton’ mix, exclusive to MEOKO. Pelle is a constant and exciting presence on the electronic music scene, and he shows no sign of slowing down. Read on and take a listen to the mix to find out why, and join us in celebrating the 5 years of Karton!

 

Hi Pelle! At 24 years of age, you certainly have many accomplishments already in the music industry!  Did you have an action plan from the start to become, effectively, an artist and businessman, or are your achievements all projects that have progressed naturally?

Hi Meoko! Thanks for having me on this interview.

Well, most projects I’ve done till now arose from the love of music and the urge to do something more than just playing and making music. This is also why both labels I’m doing with David van Bilderbeek were initiated. We wanted to contribute something of our own to the music scene.

Do you have any other projects planned for the future?

I definitely have a few new ideas, and those ideas are being formed into actual plans now. Also, Karton will see some big additions and changes in the future.

For someone so involved in the music industry, I’m sure your interest was spawned from interesting influences. What are the first few tracks, clubs or moments that made you decide to follow a career in electronic music?

I think my first influences were definitely interesting! I can remember very vividly when my dad showed me the English band Faithless and it totally blew my mind. I think that’s where I got infected. It was the first experience for me in electronic music. When I saw them live the difference between electronic and live acoustic music really struck me. The energy was just unreal to me. Not long after I bought myself some gear to play music and after a few years of playing records I started making music.

One of your record labels ‘Karton’ became 5 years old in 2016, and you are planning a series of showcase events at Patronaat to celebrate. The first one took place last weekend. How did the opening party go, and what else can we expect from the rest of the showcase series?

 The first one was surprisingly good! It was a special night for us of course, and Patronaat was the right place since we did our first events there too. Although Patronaat is located in Haarlem which is a town that is often overlooked for being so close to Amsterdam, we knew it wouldn’t be easy. But fortunately we had Audio Werner and Ferro who are amazing dj’s, to guide the night. 

The rest of the year we will invite more friends, Karton artists and dj’s that are inspirational to us to Patronaat to celebrate with us.

As the label hits a landmark birthday I am sure there is a period of looking back and reflecting on the time spent running it so far. What were your intentions when originally starting the label, and how have you achieved them? Has the direction ever changed from this original plan, and how will you continue to shape it in the future?

Very on point question. When David and I started the label we had a specific taste in music and although it was around in the past, we found it wasn’t available enough in our direct environment. Note that we were very young at the time and we were still discovering what was out there. The label was intended to show the people around us our particular taste in music. You see, Haarlem was and is a relatively small city. Back then we were doing something completely different than what all the other dj’s from Haarlem were doing. Later when we discovered the history behind the music we liked, the label started forming more and more. The first few years have been a big learning experience.  

As well as running Karton, you also own the record store ‘Ruiskamer’ (With offshoot label ‘Ruis’). When and why did you decide to open up ‘Ruiskamer’ and what is your favourite part about running a record store?

Ruiskamer is truly David’s recordstore. I have no involvement in the store, besides advising and helping David once in a while. A little over 2 years ago he opened Ruiskamer after he finished his studies. He was already aiming at the space next-door of his house to begin one of his projects, so when it opened up after he finished the timing was perfect. The shop does function as an office for our record labels, hence my frequent visits.

I have also seen that you are hosting in-store pre party events at Ruiskamer too. Do you feel that hosting intimate events like this help to encourage the community of the local music scene?

It certainly does. David opened up his store to a couple of in-store events now and they have been very pleasing. We want to give our followers the opportunity to hang out with us making the in-stores a bridge between the public and us. I don’t particularly like the big gap often present between artists and their followers, so this is our answer to that.

Pelle press photo 4

Speaking of this, your labels, store and showcase parties are all based in your hometown of Haarlem, in The Netherlands. Could you tell us a little more about what is going on in the area, and why you chose to sow your musical seeds in this city.

David and me both grew up in Haarlem, so it’s safe to say that our roots lie in that city. I live in Amsterdam now, but I still come there often. Back when we started Karton I was still living in Haarlem, so we started doing our first events there logically. Now for our event series this year, it was the right place to start in Haarlem again and expand from there.

2016 is a big year for you, securing a residency at a new Sunday party ‘Premise’, due to launch at Dance Tunnel on March 6th.  How did this residency come about?

I have to give my good friend and former booker Luke Farrugia the credits for that. He always keeps an eye out for me and is helping out at Premise now, behind the scenes. I know he has a lot of confidence in me, so for Premise and me it’s perfect.

premise

 What are your thoughts on being part of a night at an integral venue in the London music scene?

The special thing about being part of Premise is that this is my first abroad residency ever. Therefore I’m very excited to play these events and really leave my mark on the night! Also, the fact that Premise only books 2 dj’s a night, leaving them with long playtimes will make me be as confortable as possible to put myself out there.

 Finally, you recently graduated from SAE with a degree in Sound Engineering. In a time of the internet when so many on line tutorials are readily available for aspiring producers or music technology professionals, why did you decide to take a formal course in the subject, and would you recommend going down the same route to others?

First of all, I really think that following an education is very important. After a failed attempt at the University of Amsterdam I discovered that I had to follow my musical path. I just couldn’t bring up the energy for a study if that meant I would have less time for my music. SAE was the perfect solution, because I was already looking to learn the fine tricks of production and the big clutter of tutorials didn’t do it for me. The fixed schedule of doing the course really helped me to get into the nitty gritty of every side of producing audio like recording, mixing, mastering and even business. That was exactly what I needed to improve myself. I think if you are interested in that doing a course will really help you getting further quickly.

Thank you Pelle, and I wish you continued success in 2016 – a year that is sure to be a great one for you, and Karton!

Thanks a lot and see you at one of the Premise dates! 

Pelle will play alongside Gescu for the launch of Premise at Dance Tunnel on Sunday March 6th.Tickets and info  here.

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Words by Eileen Pegg

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Basti Grub ‘feelings, ideas & music’

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

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His ability to pick out such a diverse blend of sounds, and seamlessly weave them together in a magical art form is just one of the reasons, why we will always have a place in our heart for Hoehenregler Records chief Basti Grub.

It has been a fantastic few years for him, since we last caught up back in 2012, working on major labels such as Desolat, Moan Recordings, This&That, whilst also taking care of business with his own imprint. There is always a fresh and exciting feel to his work and with a constant flow of single and EP releases it seems there really is no stopping the German selector.

2015 see the release of a wonderfully curious album called ‘Neu’. Basti has always seemed to adopt a ‘dare to be different’ attitude and he certainly portrays this throughout this timeless masterpiece. A more relaxed minimal approach seems to be taken, but of course solid abstract grooves throughout. The mysterious journey is topped off by the tracks simply being named ‘Neu 1, Neu 2, Neu 3…’ leaving it to the imagination of the listeners.

Whether DJing, or performing one of his unbelievable live sets there is always a distinct feel and atmosphere only he can create with his masterful selections, and wide variety of tastes, showing he really understands the parties, and the dancefloors that are laid in front of him. This Saturday 5th March he will be taking the reins at the B.A.R.E (Be A Rare Exception) 3rd birthday party, Oval Space. A tribal themed bonanza, in a brilliant venue to mark the 3 year milestone of one of the most exciting and influential parties in the UK right now. You can be sure that the ‘Basti Grub Effect’ will be in full force in such fantastic surroundings and a unique crowd that only B.A.R.E seem to attract.

MEOKO Soundcloud Exclusive – Basti Grub

It has been a while, but your return to Meoko has been highly anticipated by our team. We still listen to the last mix you did for us on a regular basis, so we are really excited to have you back. Have you been keeping well?
 
Yes, and I am also very happy to speak with Meoko again.
First of all, how are things going with your imprint ‘Hoehenregler Records’, any plans for the near future you can give us a heads up on?
Some new fresh releases and projects are planned. You can be curious..
 
We loved your album ‘Neu’ which came out last October, it really proves how versatile, and magical your music can be. Where did the ideas and inspiration for this come from? Any particular influences?
 
I am very pleased to hear that you like my album, thanks.
 
I can’t exactly say what influences in particular – it came out of blue sky. Like a new sprung source. All my inner feelings and ideas spray out of my head and are immediately implemented by me. My musical inspirations are marked by people like DJ Koze and Ricardo Villalobos.
How are things going with your imprint ‘Hoehenregler Records’, any plans for the  future, any particular artists you will be working with?
 
Let yourself be surprised. Some artists are planned which you already know on Hoehenregler.
 
We have been keeping a close eye on you since your last interview with us, seeing you work with the likes of This&That, Moan Recordings and most recently, the Italian label Hashplant records releasing your EP ‘Bananissimo’. Any specific highlights for you since we heard from you?
 
I’m so happy at the moment, I have a #1 hit with OH BABY DANCE / Basti Grub, Natch & Dothn
that’s all over the Beatport charts. Thats my personal highlight at the moment, it’s unbelievable. This year I will release a lot of new tracks coming soon ☺
 
Last time we spoke, you explained about your live set up, has this evolved much over the last few years? Do you prefer to DJ, or play a live set to a crowd?
 
I still play live – live is me, I feel free and wild when I play live. I can take my whole energy, all my tracks both released and unreleased, and I can present my own story.
Back in 2012 you did the 20th Meoko mix, and we have been so eager to have you back with a fresh podcast for us. What kind of material can we expect from you in this one? 
 
As always, you will find again the Basti Grub sound – new and fresh with unreleased tracks.
We love the way you piece together such an abstract array of sounds and vocals, is there anything in particular that triggers you off to come up with these?
 
It has to do with many components, ideas of different productions and mainly influences and my personal reflections in recognition.

On the 5
th of March you are playing at one of the hottest venues in London at the moment, Oval Space, at the B.A.R.E (Be A Rare Exception) 3rd birthday party. They really try and create a sense of unity at their parties with their crazy décor & themes, as a DJ do you appreciate the sense of freedom when playing at a party like this?
 
Am very pleased – I am playing for the first time in this grandiose location in London, and for this incredible event. I am very excited about the whole atmosphere and the amazing party people. My sound will be as crazy as the feeling that the event suggests. It will be a crazy night and I am looking forward to all of the crowd.
 
Finally, can you enlighten us on any Basti Grub plans for the summer/year?
 
Yes of course, we are planning a USA tour also an Asia tour, and many new BASTI GRUB releases ☺
 
 
Basti Grub will play alongside Luna City Express, Jnr Windross, Daniel and Leroy Roberts for B.A.R.E ’s 3rd birthday at Oval Space on March 5th. Tickets and info
 

MEOKO & One Night presents New Years Day with Alex Celler / Nu-Zau – Melodie – Derek & Thomas Purton

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

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MEOKO wass born in 2011 five years on, the music and events platform is going from strentgh to strength, always trying to bring you the freshest in electronic music and what is going on around the world, this year MEOKO itself  is  taking over the patronage on New Years Day and teaming up with One Night to bring you some of the finest and freshest talents around to make you party till the early hours of 2016.

FACEBOOK EVENT

TICKETS AVAILABLE ON RESIDENT ADVISOR 

Its that kind of event which will make you want to travel until the end of the world – and beyond – only to be part of whatever it may be. It is more than exciting to become part of something which is a little off the radar yet so vanguard it is more than just surprising that this is happening. It does, as if by magic, in this exact constellation: Alex Cellar. Nu-Zau. Derek. Melodie.  And Thomas Purton. Look no further.

NYD A5 TXTAll these amazing artists – some of the most remarkable and up and coming underground artists around –  make up the nucleus of this fantastic party, all brought together in one single night which is bound to be an excess of fresh frequencies and fantastic frolics, thanks to our teams great artist curatorship.

Headliner is Alex Celler of Trelik, Tuning Spork and Concealed fame. No stranger to MEOKO lovers, he is a safe bet for a fantastic workout on the dancefloor. The greek master of all things modular has dance music in his vains: his old man used to run a discotheque in Thessaloniki. It’s the total biography clichee, but Alex got his first fix through his record collection. With his move to London in 2004 where he picked up his studies in sound engineering, Alex became serious about making music for the dancefloor that “has its own personality, its own story to tell, its own vibe and groove“.  He resisted until 2014 to submit a demo to Trelik, one of his most admired labels, and got picked up by Baby Ford after investigating modular synth sounds. It seems like the quest to creating the most forward-thinking, alien sounds possible has paid off, so join him on his voyage.

Alex Celler Exclusive Mix – Listen HERE

Read Full interview HERE

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He is backed up by the creme de la creme of the up and coming next wave of amazing Romanian DJs and producers: Nu-Zau, known for his output on Uvar and Soul Inn Records, is about endless alterations and rhythms, 
sounds, percussions, basslines. Growing up with hip-hop sounds, he was also heavily influenced by the minimal sounds that were all of a sudden cropping up all around him in Bucarest with the a:rpia:r crew being the centre of things. Nu-Zau’s way sparse, stripped-back productions originally owe a lot to their aesthetics, yet he has been pushing the boundaries even further with his efforts on on the glitchier, more drawn-out side of electronic music, culminating in the release of his debut album through pioneering minimal imprint Archipel in 2012. Sincethen, Nu-Zau has been busy developing Uvar, his own label, and exploring sounds in all its facets.

https://devmeoko.co.uk/mixes?view=episode&episode_id=243/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zr3xuNVlfQA

Derek is probably the most remarkable newcomer hailing from Romania right now. Only 21 years old, just signed to MEOKO agency and having released his first record at 16 which saw him spinning alongside Tania Volcano in Ibiza before he was legally allowed to enter liquor stores in some countries, and this laid back been-there-seen-it-all attitude explains his approach to sound and production: really open-minded and without any need to rush things: he just knows how to follow his instincts. His recent string of releases on labels like Parang and Hourglass are just the tip of the iceberg.

Read Full interview on introducting Derek on MEOKO – Click HERE 

In a similar vain, deep thinker Melodie, similarly fine and fresh, is another safe bet when it comes to producing unpredictable, intelligent sound.  He is connected to the machines, in order to produce emotional music, which in turn, results in better understanding of emotion. After landing a release of Metereze, Raresh’s label, the tracks had been set for him to keep exploring., and he has not stopped ever since, only gaining momentum.

Read more about Melodie in Resident Advisor – Breaking Through 

https://www.soundcloud.com/melodiesound/

Last but not least Thomas Purton, also hailing from Bukarest, and one of the newest additions to the scene.

We are excited to be there with all of you fancy faces.  Time to huddle up with like-minded music heads and dance like nobody is watching us…just how it all began.

Not only is MEOKO a quality source for all things techno and house, this fantastic music resource is at the forefront of bringing quality artists to the right spot at the right time.

For more information on MEOKO and what we do, go to www.devmeoko.co.uk .

 

For more info and tickets fot this limited capacity event – click here