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Interviews Archives — Page 43 of 44 — MEOKO

T.Williams Breaking Through

By Hot Off The Press, Interviews

T. Williams may be a new name to most of us, a seemingly tender musician after just a few releases on labels Local Action and Pattern in the last 48 months. All is not as it seems though for the 28 year old Londoner who at just 17, was signed to Jon E Cash’s Black Op’s Collective as Dread D; proceeding to sell thousands of records within the UK grime scene. After a ten year reign, Williams found himself veering towards the world of house music and has since forged a sound signature that blends his grime days, dubstep, bass music and what he says was a natural evolution into house. With a style that undoubtedly impacts, T.Williams crossover sound has been the catalyst for his success. Disparate and alluring amidst typical house vibes, his Uk funky sound strikes a note that immediately draws you’re ear. Fascinated by how and what caused the crossover, Meoko caught up with the man who was once a school teacher, admits to thinking Ashley Beedle was a girl and at one point hated house music…

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Louis Guilhem talks to excuse the mess

By Hot Off The Press, Interviews

How long have you been DJ’ing for?

I started djing soon after arriving in London about 6 years ago- it kept me going when times were rough.

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What’s your most memorable gig?

There have been so many great moments that it would be difficult, unfair or plain impossible to just pick one. Only 3 weeks ago i played a gig in Naples for the NICE TO BE party- i went there with an extraordinary team and had such an unforgettable response from the Napolitano crowd.. The energy and passion on the dancefloor were truly inspirational. The legendary Lokee parties and Club Renate in Berlin should also be mentioned- the former being one of the key (sic) London underground nights that are truly special. I played an unforgettable 5 hour set at their NYE party and the family-like intimacy blew me away.

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MEOKO catches up with Items & Things

By Festival, Hot Off The Press, Interviews

Marc Houle, Magda, and Troy Pierce might have been surprised by the measure of column inches devoted to them in 2011, but minimal’s biggest break-up was always destined to be one of the stories of the year.

The three longtime friends have been affiliated with Richie Hawtin and his Minus imprint through it all: from the halcyon days of warehouse parties in Detroit and Windsor, to the birth of Minus, through the shift to Berlin and the popular rise of minimal techno, and via their each of individual paths as artists and performers – Houle’s wintry minimalism, Pierce’s broad techno palette, and Magda’s oft-quoted position as the most popular female DJ and producer in electronic music today.

Then there were the celebrated releases and the accolades, the tours and arena shows, the ‘cube’ and the documentary, followed by rumbles of a growing backlash. Yet even as the lustre of minimal techno was fading, no-one anticipated the next move: in August Marc, Magda, and Troy unexpectedly announced that they were leaving the Minus family, amicably, to focus their attentions on their joint-yet-dormant imprint, Items & Things.

In the five months since, the trio have proven to be as wholly committed to their mission – to “pursue our own unique musical styles even further” – as stated at that time. Items & Things has been on a hot streak of momentum unearthing new newcomers Danny Benedettini and Madato, releasing new music by its founders, and hosting a number of purposefully intimate parties that take the focus of the label back to its underground club roots.

2011 was a watershed year for the Items & Things trio, so in the pause between that year and this one we fired over some email questions to Marc Houle and Troy Pierce, to get their take on everything that’s happened in the past year, and clue us in on their moves for the future.

If you had to describe Items & Things in one sentence to someone with no background knowledge of the label, what would that sentence be?

Troy: Items & Things is run by three close friends who all share a similar aesthetic when it comes to dance music. Think stripped down spacey disco with a splash of techno funk.

Marc: It’s a label making fun, strange and interesting techno and house tracks.

Were you surprised by the amount of press attention you received when you announced that you were leaving Minus and reviving Items & Things?

Troy: Yeah i was very surprised, I wasn’t really sure anyone would care.

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Photo Credit: Robert Bellamy

After Jimmy Edgar’s Funktion Of Your Love EP in 2009 things went quiet with Items & Things for a couple of years. What was that lull due to? And was it always your intention to revive the label at some point?

Troy: after that EP Minus decided to focus on their own projects (they were handling the business end of our label). The three of us were really busy with touring and all of that so we put it to rest for a while. Magda was the first to bring up the idea to relaunch the label and once we found a proper label manager it all made sense.

2011 was a busy year for Items & Things, what were some of the highlights?

Troy: The first Down & Out party we did in Berlin was really special. Cool people into cool music and having a blast.

What unique thing do you think Items & Things brings to what is already a fairly crowded landscape of electronic music labels?

Troy: I think we have an interesting angle; Magda, Marc and myself have each been into dance music for a long time and were lucky enough to grow up close to some of the most influential cities and artists in techno. Because of that, we hear things in a similar way and pick out the music that references our foundation, but with a modern twist.

Can you tell me something about each of your label partners, about a unique quality that they bring to the mix?

Troy: Magda is super picky, in a good way, and obsesses over the details. Marc lives in bizarro Marc-land and has ideas that Magda and I would never dream of… again, in a good way.

Marc: When it comes to finding new talent, Troy and Magda are key. As DJs they can play out all the new demos and find all the treasures. As for the label and releases we really come together to make a sound and aesthetic that is unique. It’s really tough to pinpoint exactly what’s going on but we all make up for each others’ ineptitude somehow.

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You’ve all known each other for a long time, do you naturally fall into roles within the label, like one person is great at A&R, or another is great with visual branding, etc?

Troy: Yeah sort of. The three of us try to agree on everything in the end so whatever part of a project gets the focus, each of us gives our input in the end.

Marc: It all sorta blurs together. One week I might slack but the others step up and get things done. The best thing we did was to surround ourselves with a great team. They are really working hard and getting so much done. So we get a giant list of things to go through and have meetings and get work done in between all the joking around.

Are there any lessons or advice that you’ve taken from Richie and Minus that you’re now able to apply as label bosses?

Troy: Of course. It was great to be a part of the label and its success and hopefully that experience can translate into our label.

Marc: For sure. Being on Minus really showed me the difference between a regular label and a label that pushes the boundaries. Minus always had a great aesthetic and a great eye for marketing, so we picked up on all of that and we’re also trying to learn from mistakes here and there. We’re not looking to be a label like Minus but sure, everything we learned has had an impact on our approach.

How do you think the relaunch year of Items & Things has changed you as an artist?

Troy: I feel more focused and more driven to make our own label a success. Taking more control and responsibility for things.

Marc: For me personally it was more or less me taking care of my career because now the days of me just doing what Minus said is over. It was very nice to just sit back and watch as the label did all the work but it’s much nicer to take it into my own hands.

How do you feel that your Down & Out parties have gone so far, and what are your plans for the future?

Troy: Each one has been a massive success I think. We have a few coming up in Mexico, Miami, Chicago, Detroit. I am really looking forward to these parties outside of Europe to see how the rest of the world reacts.

Marc: So far the parties have been great. The music has been very fun, the locations have been special and the people coming out were really there because of the music. It makes the biggest difference when you know that everyone there is on the same page. Our goal of the party is to return to the smaller, less known clubs and do a sound and experience that we all control. It’s great to play in big clubs and festivals but somehow the best shows are always the small underground places with a crowd that loves music and is there to party 100%

Are there any upcoming Items & Things artists or remixers that we should keep an eye on, and is there anyone on your wish list to work with?

Troy: Madato and Danny, these two guys are amazing and I truly believe they will continue to release awesome music. Wish list.. hmmm I hope to get together with Bruno Pronsato and make some ‘adult contemporary dance music’.
by: Christine Kakaire (MEOKO)

MEOKO talk to Art Department

By Hot Off The Press, Interviews

In the summer of 2010 Kenny Glasgow’s haunting and distinctive vocals sauntered their way through just about every nightclub in the world. Accompanied by an obscure electro tinged house vibe, they spread contagiously and wherever you went, ‘Without You’ was being played to full force, supported by DJ’s and fans alike. It was the debut output from Canadian duo Jonny White & Kenny Glasgow, aka Art Department. What followed was a non-stop tour around the world and at the years close, ‘Without You’ was labeled as the No.1 track of 2010 by Resident Advisor. Art Departments recognition and rise is without doubt one of the quickest this industry has ever seen. Their artist album ‘The Drawing Board’ arrived just eight months later on Damian Lazarus’s Crosstown Rebels imprint. Equally well received, it only added fuel to the already roaring fire; kick starting 2011 with an acknowledged vibe that hasn’t let up. As the second year of Art Department’s seemingly unstoppable reign comes to its close, the pair were voted as No.6 in the ‘Top DJ’s of 2011’ poll on Resident Advisor. I caught up with Jonny White after the massive Crosstown Rebel night at Manchester’s The Warehouse Project. Sadly, Kenny was too busy moon walking across the stage as our interview commenced…

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No.6 – how does that feel?!

I’m not going to lie, it feels really damn good. Neither one of us has ever really been the type to care about this sort of thing, but there comes a time when you realize how much of the past year you spent touring hard, playing in different cities every day, wearing yourself down, away from friends and family…all the while enjoying the ride but working your ass off and putting your body through hell to be there playing music for people. Although we don’t need that type of gratification, it’s nice to be recognized for all the hard work we’ve put in.

There was such a huge shift in the overall results and styles of the RA Poll this year – what do you think that means for dance music – what direction are we heading in?

Well it’s always changing and evolving, that’s essential to keep it alive. But this did feel like a major shift or movement if you’re going to gauge things by RA’ statistic. Who’s to say if it’s right or wrong, or if there can even be a right or wrong when it comes to trying to decide who’s better at this art than someone else? Sales charts make sense, fine, that’s actual math… deciding who is the “best dj”? Like I said it feels good to be recognized for your work but this is the only field in the arts where it’s some kind of competition. It’s a bit like charting visual artists, who are the top 100 painters? I can go on forever on this topic so I’ll stop before this begins to sound like a rant. What do I think this means for dance music? I think it’s a positive shift because I personally really enjoy the music that is now at the forefront of the “underground” EDM world. And to sum it up, what it means is that the doors have been blown wide open for other artists to follow along, and for our music to reach more people.

Although you’d both been working in the industry for a long time art department as a duo was a really sudden rush to the top, what is it about the combination do you think tippled you guys over the edge in comparison to you as individual artists?

It’s hard to pinpoint. It’s undoubtedly the music production because that is what is so different from what we were both writing on our own. We developed a new sound for this project and “without you” is what caught fire and started all this madness. I consider the music we’re making now vs. what we were making as individuals more “stand out” and writing full vocal records allow you to connect with people on a more fundamental level.

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Does it bother you that the majority of people seem to think you and Kenny just sprung up out of nowhere and made it big within seconds?

Not a bit, maybe it will have them thinking we’re younger than we are….I’m looking at super talented guys like Mateo from Tale Of Us (he’s really young) and thinking we could stand to lose a few years. I think this is the case with a lot of successful acts and bands. One of the reasons that some acts are able to seemingly become so successful so quickly is because they’ve been at it for years on the low, learning and mastering their craft, figuring out what does and doesn’t work.

Releasing your debut album ‘The Drawing Board’ came crazy quick after ‘Without You’ – it’s pretty unusual to release an artist album in such a short space of time?

You know it may have seemed that way to people because the hype from the first EP lasted quite some time but there was an eight month gap between the two. We had also been working on an album from the beginning, ‘Without You’ and ‘Vampire’ was just the lead EP off of the album.

Did you not feel pressurized or kinda scared after just one big release to do a whole album?

Not really, we had completed most of the record by the time ‘Without You’ became a huge success so we weren’t writing, thinking god, we’ve got to write 12 songs that are going to do what ‘Without You’ did.

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You also own and run No.19 – How have you handled the label for the last 18 months or so since Art Department took off – you must barely have any time to work on the label these days?

It’s been very difficult to be as involved in running the label as I would like to be. The demanding schedule and distance between Nitin, Teeloo (my partners in the label in Toronto) and I has made it hard. I’m a bit of a control freak especially when it comes to No.19, that’s my baby. I don’t like my vision or my work being handled by others so the release schedule reflected that greatly this year… Never the less I am absolutely thrilled with everything we’ve done this year. There were so many highlights…Soul Clap’s ‘Social Experiment’ compilation, Tanners Ross’ first solo release and Maceo’s new single ‘Under The sheets’. There were also some really magical events in Mexico (BPM), Miami (WMC), Sonar with Morgan Geist… it’s never been about quantity for me, I run the label with the idea that in 20 years I’ll be proud and pleased with the entire catalogue of music and memories. There is no rush, and I’m back at the wheel now that I’ve settled into the touring groove and we’re finished with all the work involved with launching a new project like Art Department.

And My Favorite Robot – you run that too right?

No I don’t run it, but I think Jared (MFR label boss) would agree you could call me a consultant of sorts. I did start the label with him and ran it with him for several months but it was at a time when No.19 needed my full attention and energy so that was short lived. I still do a bit of A&R for him but it’s really just the usual bouncing ideas off each other, shooting the shit and offering advice. Although I’m not running that label now the MFR crew are some of my best friends and I’m really proud of that project as well.

On a personal level – how has it affected you both, the sudden non-stop touring of Art Department?

Physically, it’s likely shaved a few years off our lives…but how much fun could we possibly be having in those last few years anyhow. Emotionally and spiritually it’s been an eye opening, mind blowing experience that’s affected us in countless ways. We’ve made so many amazing friends, met so many like minded people and we’ve seen so much of the world now. I can’t imagine many people are able to travel this way and meet so many incredible people in a lifetime let alone in less than two years. Best words to describe the lifestyle would be fulfilling and inspiring and it’s undoubtedly affected us in a positive way. I think that we’ve actually been humbled by the experience and I’ve personally learned to value people and the time we get to share because my time with people I care for is so limited now due to the schedule..

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You have what I’d call quite a specific sound, quite recognizable as being Art Department – is that something that you now specifically stick to it because you know it works?

We’re not trying to stick to anything. Actually quite the opposite. We’ve made so much music in a very short period of time so there hasn’t been much time or room for the sound to evolve. We’re always exploring ourselves and our art and we’ve made loads of music that hasn’t been released that would surprise people. But at the same time, this project does have a sound and I think people will be able to identify most of what we will release in the future with Art Department.

So 2012 is gonna be all about the Art Department Live Show?

That’s what we’re working on now. We’re not rushing it because we want it to be “right”. We’ll be introducing a third member of Art Department as well who will bring a live visual aspect to the show. That’s something we’ve been working on, making our visuals a live performance art and making the crowd very aware of the fact that it’s a live aspect of the show.

Do you and Kenny both live in the same city?

No we don’t at the moment. I live in Barcelona, Kenny’s still in London where we were based for the first nine months on tour in Europe. Kenny’s making the move out to Barcelona in the next few months but London is a hard place to leave, understandably. For now we work on ideas in our own studios and bring them together, play them for each other on the road and exchange bits to work on… it’s not so different from how we’ve always done things.

Which have been the best shows of 2011 for you?

Any one of our shows at Panorama or DC10 could take the cake… those are always really special. Warehouse project tonight with Jamie, Seth, Damian, Matthew Johnson, jozif, Rob James, Subb-an, Miguel Campbell and TED is up there for sure…I would probably have to go with Get Lost in Miami this year though, that was magic.

And lastly what do you guys hope for for Art Department in 2012?

I just hope that things continue along the way they’re going. I wouldn’t change a fucking thing at the moment so although we’re always looking for the next project and the next aspect of this business that’s going to turn us on, all I can really hope for is that we’re able to continue to do what we do at this level.

Matt John talks to us ahead of his London gig this Friday

By Hot Off The Press, Interviews, MEOKO Exclusive

The guys at Multivitamins are counting down the hours until they welcome their very special guest Matt John to London for his exclusive performance. We caught up with Matt ahead of this Friday (and after his marathon weekend at Panorama Bar!) to discuss his feelings about playing overseas, partying in warehouses and how holograms hold the key to his sound.

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Hi Matt. This weekend, you’ll be playing in London for only the second time this year, yet the majority of your gigs are in your hometown, Berlin. How do you find playing in Berlin, and how are things different when you play abroad?

Playing in Berlin is certainly different to playing abroad. On the one hand, I often find the crowd in Berlin to be very in to the music, and I have really great parties when I play in Berlin – especially when I get to play outside. On the other hand, sometimes the people in Berlin are exposed to so much music that they don’t always realise what the really good music is. They’re overloaded, and this can be a problem. But when I go abroad, I find the people to be very open minded. They always really listen to the music, and there’s great energy. It’s also sometimes a little bit more exciting, mentally, to play abroad, especially when I see that some people are saying “Matt John’s coming and he hasn’t played here for ages!”.

Have you always lived in Berlin? And were you in Berlin when the wall came down in 1989?

No, I moved to Berlin in 2003. When the wall came down I was living in a small village in the middle of Germany. But I remember clearly when it happened. It really was a great moment for me.

Back in the early days of techno, warehouse-style parties played a very important role, and many parties were in extremely raw industrial locations. Nowadays, many of the most talked-about events seem to happen in club spaces. How do you think things have changed? And what kinds of events do you personally prefer to play at?

When I moved to Berlin, the old Tresor was closing and the old Ostgut was closing, before they each built clubs in new locations. In fact, around the time when I moved to Berlin, everything was changing. It was like there was a new techno wave; a new explosion. Suddenly, many artists came from all over the world, and there were so many parties. For me, I don’t really like the whole “heavy industrial” thing – I’ve always found it too cold. I love a warmer atmosphere, and I love also to play in open spaces, particularly spaces with no roof. And wherever I play, the most important thing is always the sound. In order for it to be a good party – both for me and for the crowd – the sound is key.

Back when you played at the legendary Bar 25, you were often given very long sets and developed an evolving sound that could soundtrack the sunrise or the sunset. Can we expect a similar journey when you play in London this weekend, or will you be focusing on a smaller number of specific elements?

There’s no difference for me. The most important thing is that every time I play – wherever that is – I’m telling a story. It doesn’t matter if I’m playing 2 hours or 30 hours: there’s always a story.

Back in April, when you released “Hello Again” on the Bar 25 label, you also made a video to accompany the track itself. Is this a medium you’d like to explore again in the future?

Definitely. Working with animation was an exploratory thing, and in the future I’ll do more videos for sure.

Can we talk a little bit about your label, Holographic Island? How has running the label allowed you to develop your sound? Do you feel that having your own label for your releases gives you more freedom?

It’s funny – I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. I started Holographic Island 3 years ago. The name was supposed to represent the idea that the label was an island where people could produce great music together. 3 years later, we’ve only released 3 records, but I’m really happy with it. So I’m thinking that actually maybe I should close this label, then build a new one! (Laughs)

Continuing with the label name, “holographic” is also a word that you’ve used yourself in the past to describe your sound. Can you explain what you mean by that?

When I use the word “holographic”, I mean that there’s no age to the music, and no sense of time – that the music is timeless and special. So that you can leave your body, and your mind travels.

Thanks for chatting with us, Matt – we’re really excited to see you this Friday!

Words by Martin Gould

MEOKO is giving away 2 x Copies of the Multi Vitamins Release and Guest List to see Matt John

at MULTI ViTAMINS this Friday.

Email hello_competitions@devmeoko.co.uk quoting “Friday night”. Winners will be announced on MEOKO facebook.

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Artist name: Alka Rex
Title name: Maslo EP
Catalog: mV 21
Format: Vinyl 12″
Genre: Minimal
Label: Multi Vitamins
Release date: 2011

Track listing

A1 Maslo
B1 Punk PimP
B2 50 BAGG
Matt John at Multi Vitamins this Friday 09.12 at a secret Warehouse Location in Shoreditch.
Email guestlist@multivitamins-records.com for location & guest list.

A view of a True Musical Pioneer – Eddie Richards

By Hot Off The Press, Interviews

Eddie is a true musical pioneer. He became a key figure in a new music and a cultural movement that went on to explode worldwide.

After playing at Londonís most influential and musically important underground clubs like Clink St. and Heaven and also rave hub of the north, Manchesterís Hacienda, he went one to headline the legendary UK pay parties Sunrise. Energy and Helter Skelter among countless others.

Remix and production work along the way soon led to him releasing a plethora of club classics; Acidman in 1988 which hit National Top 20, followed by other chart topping remixes of Ralphi Rosario, Orbital and The Shamen. Since the mid-80s he has been included in virtually every book, documentary and film on the dance culture and sought after all over the world for his flawless mix of deep bass driven techno with soulful and tough tribal house, a format he has always maintained.

His endless contributions to the dance music scene has led him to be widely regarded as the pioneer of what is now known as tech-house. Eddie is a regular face at Fabric and on the international tech house circuit. Take a bow!

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https://www.soundcloud/beatfreaklondon

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Eddie – I’ll start with some gushing. You are a massive house music legend. When you look back on your time as a DJ how has your sound evolved /how have your influences changed over the years to the style of music you are creating and playing today?

I’m still playing the same sound as ever. Iím not sure how to categorise it but itís whatever I like at the time. As long as it’s groovy 🙂

How important were venues like Clink Street in London when house music really got started in the late 80s / early 90s?

Before Clink Street had a residency at The (Camden) Palace & although I was into the music, I played there the earlier warehouse parties which allowed me to play as deep & dark or as crazy as I wanted & clink street was the best & probably the place where house music in London was born.. It was quite important then.

Where do you live these days and what do you like about it?

I’ve been in Milton Keynes for years, I don’t go out much in the area. I’ve built my place the way I want it, I have a great garden that I like very much.

What do you think about dub step?

I wish I had more time to listen to genres I don’t play. There’s good music in all of them.

What is your most treasured piece / or pieces of kit in your studio?

I sold a lot of my analog gear but I have an OSCar synth that I won’t ever get rid of.

What new releases do you have coming up?

I’m working on some new production & collaborations … nothing ready for release just yet.

Do you still enjoy the buzz of being in a club on the scene or are you over that a bit these days?

I still enjoy playing but Iím not so into hanging out for hours like I used to.

What has been a memorable DJ set performed by another DJ you have seen recently and why?

I wish I heard a memorable DJ set from someone except Terry Francis.

Are you good at dancing and will you be doing any special moves on the dance floor for the beatfreak party?

Me? Dancing? Not really 🙂

You’ll be playing along Geddes who has enjoyed success with the mulletover parties. What do you think of the mulletover parties / have you ever been?

I’ve been hinting I’d like to play at one of the Mulletover parties but Geddes hasn’t asked me… yet 🙂

Who are your favourite music producers at the moment?

I don’t take much notice of names to be honest. Um Audiofly, Dachshund, Nicolas Jaar……..

I always feel that as a house music lover I’ve really missed a special time not being around in the early 90s as a 20 something. Do you still feel the magic that was prevalent back then today if special tune comes out / a decent venue is discovered?

Sorry to make you feel even worse but no they truly were special times back then &when it started in 87 /88 all the music sounded fresh as something new, different and exciting… It won’t happen like that again.

And finally Beat or Freak

You choose…

Exclusive Interview with Format:B + WIN Tickets & Album

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

Format B have pulsated dancefloors for well over a decade with their driving tech house sounds, with a host of releases on the likes of Highgrade, Doppelganger and their own imprint Formatik. Meoko catch up with them ahead of their appearance at the Teleport Warehouse party on the 26th November…To Win the latest Format: B album ‘Restless’ + A copy of the 11 years Cocoon album AND a Couple of tickets Entrance, YES!!! thats right, ALL of that, just email hello_competitions@devmeoko.co.uk and tell us what is the name of the party that will host Format: B in London

a)Telepathic
b)Telletubby
c)Teleport
d)Telephone

Just as an introduction, could you fill us in on how you guys met and who your early influences were?

Format B: We met each other while studying Recording Arts in Berlin…as early influences there was a lot of Hip Hop as well as some guitar stuff for both of us…

For those people who may not be familiar, could you describe what kind of sounds we might expect to hear from you at the upcoming Teleport warehouse party in London?

Format B: Speaking in genres is always hard for us…we have made our own mixture of tech house & techno, spiced up with funky percussions and rolling subbassliness!

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It seems like many DJ’s tend to follow trends whereas you’ve kept a fairly consistent sound, even since some of your earlier releases back in 2005. The Nu-disco/disco house sound has become very popular over the last year or two. Have you been tempted to follow ship, and what do you think the next trend will be..?

Format B: Of course we think that the trends of the last years have influenced our sound… but rather in a sense of adding new elements & sounds than changing our whole style…regarding what comes next…well we don’t know honestly…but my guess is that there might be a comeback for some more edgy sounds…after a couple of years in which the general style of club music got smoother and smoother there is always a counter trend following.

Meoko loved ‘69 Bronson Road’ and obviously your remix of Rainer Weichhold’s ‘Bamboo’ on Great Stuff Recordings was a huge track. Do you have a personal favourite and which one have you witnessed create the most damage on a dancefloor?

Format B: Well it is pretty difficult with personal favourites…artists nearly never like their own back-stock anymore 😉 so we cannot pick like one outstanding tune…but at its time back in 2007 Vivian Wheeler did a great job…

It must be a great feeling to see your tracks being played by other DJ’s with the crowd going wild…?

Format B: There might be worse 😉 hehe…it’s for sure a lovely part of the game !

You’ve started your own label ‘Formatik’ back in 2009. How’s the label been going and have you got any upcoming releases for us all to look forward to?

Format B: Formatik did very well in the past although we didn’t release too much lately…just had no time for any label issues while finishing our album…but now that everything is done we are about to close a huge remix package for the album. There will be 2 separate remix EP’s with artists like Sebastien Leger, DJ PP, Madskillz, Uto Karem, Pan Pot, Super Flu & many more…

You’ve released on a lot of great labels in the past such as Highgrade, Doppelganger and Opposum to name just a few. Are you working on any projects for other labels, or is everything going through Formatik now?

Format B: In general Formatik is the most comfortable platform for us to put out stuff as we have everything “in house” and can make our own decisions…But we actually thought it could be time again to just make a release somewhere else…

Now guys, imagine these scenarios…

An extremely rich oil oligarch asks you to play at his birthday bash for a large pay-cheque. He asks you for your rider requirements for the night…this is your big chance, what do you ask for??

I guess it’s time to name all the clichés right? Cars, Champagne & Virgins… all served in a tenderly temperatured Jacuzzi filled with mouse milk ;)))

Hehe, not sure about the mouse milk though…

Now on a more serious note, the Aliens have landed and are threatening to destroy humanity. They find you hiding in your studio and decide to make themselves at home for a while. You make them a coffee and as you get to know each other they make you an offer you can’t refuse…

“Guys, play us 3 tracks worthy of saving the world…”

What do you play them?

Hmm big responsibility and pressure on our taste of music…this alien dude better be a funky guy 😉

First Prince with Kiss, then the sensational sounding “Unterwegs with Guido Schneider” EP and at last Steve Vai’s “Tender Surrender”…in our eyes and ears the most colourful guitar ballad written by man!

Finally, an angel wakes you in your sleep and tells you she has the power to bring any musician from the past back to life. Who would you choose?

We would like to see what Mozart would do to a Moog synthesizer! ;)))

Thanks a lot guys, look forward to seeing you at The Teleport Warehouse Party in London on the 26th!

Words by Nick Maleedy

https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=115503931892783

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A word with the lady herself, Nicole Moudaber + Some Great Prize Giveaways

By Festival, Hot Off The Press, Interviews, MEOKO Exclusive

Hi Nicole, thanks for joining us. It’s been a busy year so far. What
have been the absolute highlights for you so far?

Space Ibiza with Coxy and various gigs around the world – and all US
shows…incredible
sorry can’t list everything ..

You had a very international upbringing. Tell us about how you first
encountered and fell in love with house music?

It was in NYC when i first saw the light – on a dancefloor, it
suddenly struck me so hard and i felt the music then.
got hooked ever since. i live it and breathe everyday, it keeps me
balanced in my life, it’s my daily drug.

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You were bringing dance music into Beirut as it was still recovering
from serious civil and political instability. Do you think the
people of Lebanon embraced dance music, and especially your parties,
as a way to escape and move on from the violence of war?

Lebanese are mediterranean people, and usually people who come from
that area love to party and love life.
even during the war, the lebanese never stopped to party, they’d
wait for the bombs to stop and gather for drinks.
we are full of energy, perhaps it’s the hot weather 🙂

Were you throwing the parties because you really believed in the
power of dance music to unite and entertain?

Fully. and because i wanted to share my love of music. it proved
it could unite, i had all the kids from muslims, christians, druz
and jews dancing all together and loving it. it was incredible and
a powerful moment in my life.

You started off as a very successful promoter. Did you always have
the dj career in mind or was it something that developed as a result
of throwing parties?

I never thought once to put myself on my parties. i’m not sure why
? i was too immersed with everything else, my challenges back then
differed, i wanted the music to be heard and worked hard to get it
up and running over in The Lebanon. Then i moved to London and did
the same as well as running my own label, promoted parties for 5
years at Turnmills London every month and again didn’t even cross my
mind. it was only when i stepped away from music for a bit, i was
building / refurbishing a house in Ibiza, when i completed it, it
dawned on me and i was ready to be creative and do something
different. i guess the house was a creative outlet for me, check it
here www.villabes.com

Carl Cox was one of the first to notice you and gave you your first
big break. Tell us about the first time you played alongside him.
That must have been nerve-racking!

It was !! i get an email from his manager Lynn, asking if i was
free to do a London date with Carl. I nearly shocked.
it was a little venue called Guanabara, held about 500 people, very
exclusive gig to support the launch of a DVD he had out. i played
before him for 2 hours, then suddenly he’s behind me waiting for me
to finish, i turned and saw him for the first time ever.
incredible persona, he had a smile on his face, surely he was happy
with what i was doing. after that, he invited me to play Space ibiza
that summer, and i have been his guest for the past 3 years now.
he did hold me by the hair and tossed me to the world and i’m
forever grateful to him. since then we became very close, i love
him to bits.

There’s clearly something about your dj style that both djs and
clubbers really love. What is it about the way you mix that works so
well? What’s most important to you when behind the decks?

Music speaks for itself, i guess it’s down to taste at the end of the day.
i don’t just play records for the sake of it, if it doesn’t move me
and feel i want to dance to it, i won’t play it.

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Tell us about your relationship with Danny Tenaglia. What’s he like,
both as a person and to play alongside as a performer?

I only played with him 3 times really, Miami, Rio and Ibiza. again
i developed a friendship with Danny like i did with Carl
he’s great, moody sometimes with dark humour 🙂

Ẅhat is it about the big performers like Carl and Danny that sets
them apart from the rest?
He’s just turned 50, do you see yourself djing and making music
until a similar age? Or do you have other, quieter plans for the
future?

No rest for the wicked !! i will keep doing this til i drop

Finally, you’re playing the big Spiritoso warehouse party in London
on the 25th alongside Cristian Varela and Marco Bailey. It must be
very special for you to return to London to play and very different
from the Ibiza gigs. Are you looking forward to it?

So much looking forward to it
i’m a fan of both Cristian and Marco’s work, it’s going to be an
amazing night
thanks and see you then !
ciaooooo x

Win Marco Bailey & Nicole Moudaber Vinyl + exclusive Cristian Varela USBs & T-shirts plus a pair of tickets to Spiritoso Records Showcase with the legendary techno duo Cristian Varela and Marco Bailey b2b set joined by dance music hottest new comer Nicole Maudaber . Only with Meoko!!!

To win, tell us what is the name of Cristian Varela and Marco Bailey record label name:

1. Pornographic
2. Technographic
3. Porno Head
4. Techno Head

Friday 25 November 2011

22.00 pm- 06.00 am

7-9 Crucifix Lane, London Se1 3JW

Cost Early Bird £10/£12/£15/£20 OTD

Line Up:

  • CRISTIAN VARELA B2B MARCO BAILEY
  • NICOLE MOUDABER
  • DUBGRAFFTI
  • VALO
  • LAN

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After the Cadenza Halloween spectacular, Spiritoso’s next party see them take over the amazing Crucifix Lane Warehouse space. And with such a special venue, who better to provide the soundscape? Two of the world’s best Techno DJ’s will be playing a very special back 2 back set this November. Christian Varela is to Techno, what butter is to bread, being voted best Techno DJ in both 2007 and 2008. His dynamic style, always mixing with three or four decks, and strong list of over 150 productions make him one of the most prestigious names in Techno. His partner on the night, Marco Bailey, needs little introduction. With huge releases on many of Europe’s biggest labels such as Bedrock, Drumcode and Intec, Marco’s diverse Techno sound has hit all the best venues and festivals across the globe. His MB Elektronics and MB Selektions labels have been releasing music from the likes of Adam Beyer, Carl Cox, Umek, John Digweed and Christian Varela to much acclaim. A back 2 back set from these two Techno warlords will be simply unmissable.

If that wasn’t enough, Nicole Moudaber will also be joining the show. Her steady rise over the last 5 years has seen her release on imprints such as ViVa, AreaRemote and Intacto. Her dark and driving sets of deep Techno and groovy house rhythms will complement the night perfectly. Featured as the ‘Rising Star’ on Pete Tong’s Radio 1 show, Nicole will blow you away with her sets and prodcutions alike.

https://www.cristianvarela.com

https://www.marcobailey.com

https://www.facebook.com/officialpage

https://www.residentadvisor.net/event.aspx?304482

MEOKO chats to Onirik – Label Manager of Serialism

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

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

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Photo Credit – GoodMoodz

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does the mix feature Serialism music heavily?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exclusive Onirik Podcast 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MEOKO chats to La Fleur

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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