Interviews Archives — Page 5 of 44 — MEOKO

Harry McCanna Interview & Mix

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

Harry Mixinterview

In recent times, there has not been many more names synonymous with the London scene than, Harry McCanna. Whether, kicking it with his NorthSouth Records family at their local home, The Lion & Lamb, or locking down after parties in off key locations around the city. One thing remains, his unique ability to weave together a wide range of genres with a full understanding of the desires of the dancefloor.

A talent that has been acknowledged across the board; with a recent trip playing several cities in Australia, alongside parties in the UK, Italy and Belgium. The curiosity of this young artist does not stop there, as he continues to build a reputation under the production alias, Henry Hyde. A variation of releases on Undersound, Half Baked and joint outlet NorthSouth Records.

Check out what went down when we caught up with him ahead of his Oscuro London Showcase this Saturday at 93 Feet East: 

Harry McCanna Exclusive – MEOKO 251

Harry McCanna 251

So, to kick things off, congratulations on your recent debut tour of Australia, How did you find it? How would you compare it to parties in Europe?

Thank you, it was an amazing experience. It was my first time spending a few weeks away ‘touring’ so it will always be a milestone for me.

I think it’s hard to compare the two right now, it feels like Australia’s scene for this kind of sound is still growing. However, there’s some real passionate people both involved in the scene and just generally out partying and that’s always great to see. I definitely felt a buzz and an openness to new ideas at each party, especially in Melbourne, we had a lot of fun there.

It’s been many years since we last caught up with you, and I’m sure a lot has changed! Last year saw the launch of your own label North South Records, along side Half Baked resident Sam Bangura and Dale Mussington. Where did it all start? How have you found the reception so far?

It was actually December 2015 that we first spoke about starting a label together, then there was about a year of us getting our ideas together and getting in touch with the artists we wanted to work with etc. It took us ages to come up with a name, but when we finally settled on ‘NorthSouth’ towards the end of 2016 everything seemed to move fairly quickly. We didn’t quite know what to expect, so it’s really nice to see that people out there are enjoying it.

It is great to see you are releasing frequently now on personal projects and recently Half Baked. It is Coming up to NorthSouth’s third release featuring yourself and Chris Geschwindner, who also featured on the debut release. An incredible talent for sure, is there an umbrella of artists which you have in mind for the label moving forward?

We’ve always had the ethos of working with friends. We’d known Chris Gecshwindner for a few years already and he was the first artist we knew we wanted to work with. We’d spoken about releasing his tracks long before NorthSouth was properly formed, Christian Jay and Bilal were both on the radar from early as well. We really love the individual sounds each artist bring and we’ll definitely be working with all three of them going into the future. We’ve also got plans to introduce one or two new artists as well, but that will all come soon enough.

I love the fact you have an alias when producing, Henry Hyde. What inspired you to use an alternate name for your releases? It’s definitely got a ring too it.

Ha! Glad you think so. Henry Hyde first came about in 2014 when I made a batch of tracks that all had a certain sound about them. For me they were the first tracks that I felt really represented me and the sound I wanted to produce. 2 of them went on to be the first Undersound release in 2015 and I’ve continued to work under the alias since, although I feel like the actual sound of Henry Hyde is always developing.

This May, NorthSouth celebrates its first birthday at The Lion & Lamb, the local pub. Do you see this a fitting home for your label and the sound you portray? We think the opening of this venue was a breathe of fresh air in London.

The Lion & Lamb is one of the best things to happen in the scene in London for ages. It feels like a real hub for what we have in London and everyone working there has a real passion for what they’re doing.

We didn’t really plan on running parties as NorthSouth until a couple of months before the first release, although I still wouldn’t really call ourselves promoters, we just bring our mates and our records and have a good time. The pub is so well prepared, there’s not much else we need to do! It’s definitely the right place for us. Long live the Lion & Lamb!

There is a always a certain buzz around the scene in London, but recent times feel like it really is thriving with even more incredible line ups and off key after party locations. Would you agree?

Yes I would. In the last few years London’s underground has faced some tough times, but I would say that it’s coming back even stronger now. As you say there’s been a lot more interesting new spots used for afters, it’s great to see promoters are always looking for different spaces. It’s nice to see some new venues opening as well, Cell 200 and The Cause both look very promising and the recent reopening of 93 Feet East is good news. The overall level of London-based parties, labels and artists has always been high, but I feel like people are really pushing things forward now. It’s extremely inspiring to look around you and see so many people doing great things.

You are known by many for your impeccable selection of records. What are you favourite spots for digging for records? UK and World Wide.

I wouldn’t really say there’s any specific places, obviously the internet can be extremely handy, but you can sometimes miss the more personal experience of actually going and having a look. Whenever I’m visiting another city I like to look for any local spots to have a rummage. Visiting a collection is always nice, you can generally find a more varied selection and it’s just a bit more of a comfortable environment. Shout out to Mr Plasticvinyldog, he’s always got the goodies, and makes a great tea.

You seem to be pushing out a unique sound under your alias Henry Hyde. What kind of set up are you using in the studio?

As I’m still making music from home it’s a pretty bedroom friendly set up:

I use an I-Mac with Logic Pro X, a Roland Octa-Capture interface and a pair of Yamaha HS-7s. As for hardware I’ve got a Roland Juno-D, Access Virus B and a Yamaha TX81Z that goes through a Waldorf filter. I also have a Korg Electribe ER-1 and Volca FM that come out everyone now and then. I’ve also got a cheap mic I’ve had for years that I use to record the odd clap or voice when I feel like it.

There’s always the quest to get more though!

oscuro 93FE

Anything else you would like to enlighten us with, any plans for the summer, releases?

There’s a few nice bookings coming up I’m excited about. Oscuro this Saturday is shaping up to be real fun, can’t wait to play b2b with Voigtmann for the first time. Ojoo’s first birthday in Ghent May 27th should be great, I played for them at their first party last year and was one of my favourite gigs of 2016. Leeds Inner City Electronic festival in June as well, that looks like a cracker. I’ve got a couple more tracks coming out on VAs, but I’d like to focus on doing a full length EP soon. I’ve only ever released a maximum of 2 tracks at one time, so I’m quite keen to get something a bit more substantial out.

We really appreciate you taking out your time to do this interview and thanks for recording a special mix for us, can you tell us a little bit what the listener can expect?

Some old, some new, some unreleased. There’s tracks in there I’m playing out at the moment and some I’ve been saving for a mix. So yeah, a bit of everything really, hope you enjoy it.

Lastly, the million dollar question. Three records that never leave the bag?

Vengaboys – We’re Going to Ibiza
Baha Men – Who Let the Dogs Out
Shaggy – It Wasn’t Me


Words by Zac Bidwell

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Cosmic cats riding through electro space on the psychedelic disco train.’ Magda Interview & Mix

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

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Join us as we take a trip in to the world of Detroit raised, Magda. Not many words are needed to introduce such a high caliber artist from over the years, a sturdy reputation built upon a dare to be different ethos. Taking music in directions beyond the imagination. The definition of an artist, combining a wide range of aspects; audio, visually and the surroundings they can be experienced.

We discussed exciting new projects regarding Perm Records, and her unique alias under the name Blotter Trax. Live set ups, upcoming festivals and mention of a particularly random trip from Colombia to Margarita Island, Venezuela.

Check it for yourself…

First of all, many thanks for your time and catching up with us again after almost six years. How have you been?

I have been well, thanks for asking. So yeah, let’s catch up! 😉

Just a little bit about your past. It has been an incredible twenty years since you first signed with Minus, touring with Richie Hawtin. Is there any particular memories that really spring to mind when you think of these times? How would you say the scene has changed since then?

It’s crazy to think two decades have passed since I began all of this… Some memories feel like another life. Those early days were pretty crazy, especially moving to Berlin in 2003. Everything felt so raw and free and completely wild, it was a real shock coming from NYC where the nightlife was restricted by no dancing laws and curfews. Berlin was the opposite and I loved it. My first gig was at the old Panorama Bar when Zip invited me to a Perlon night. I’ll never forget asking him what time I was playing and he said 11 AM. I was shocked. I’ve never heard of such a thing, and it was even more shocking to find out that it was completely packed the entire day. That’s the truly unique thing about Berlin, which has also taught me how to play long sets. There are so many funny memories I have of first tours, travels and crazy adventures. One that springs to mind is being on a jet in Colombia, sitting on the pilot’s lap with a bottle of vodka en route to a show on Margarita Island, Venezuela, where we got into a car crash and got help from a transsexual prostitute. I know it sounds like I’m making this up but I’m not.

Regarding the scene, things will always change and we adjust the best we can. I would love for artists and managers to come down to earth a bit more and work with promoters with more realistic expectations so that they can build the scene as they want it.

When you look at future events you have planned across the year such as Time Warp, UP Festival and Houghton Festival, it does not really get much bigger than that. Would you say you prepare differently for these types of high profile gigs than smaller events? Is there any particular parties you always look forward to playing the most?

I usually think about every gig beforehand, but I do prepare a bit more for festivals and shows I find dear to my heart. I particularly look forward to parties where I play alongside my friends in special venues. Houghton Festival, for example, was just that. Playing in the woods, and in nature in general, is incredible. It’s just such a good vibe.

Speaking of Festivals, A fresh addition UP Festival taking place at a new destination for the festival land; Czech Republic. Do you think a festival can play a vital role to a country’s exposure?

Absolutely. I must say I usually don’t play there and many of my friends don’t either, so it is a great opportunity to expose the Czech people to what we do and hopefully grow something new.

UP Festival AVI 1

This April your next release under your psychedelic alias Blotter Trax with T.B. Arthur will see the light of day, how did this collaboration originally begin, and what separates these ideas from your other projects?

TB Arthur and I were introduced by our mutual friend BMG of Ectomorph because I was obsessing over TB’s first releases. We immediately hit it off and connected through our shared love of the sound from the midwest growing up. From our first studio session, it was clear we were onto something, and things just flowed after that. The workflow is exactly what makes this project different: we don’t use a computer and we base everything on long studio jams recorded straight to tape. It’s a fast and exciting process because of the limitation of not multitracking anything. Whatever happens, happens, and we have had some wonderful surprises and happy mistakes along the way. These recordings were about capturing great live performances and playing off each other, much like recording a band.

The Blotter Trax outlet is based around all analogue machinery, is this something you have always had an interest in?

I’ve always worked with both digital and analog formats but never strictly analog, and it definitely feels different. You are constantly refining the instruments, how they interact with each other and who you are recording with. It’s about listening and performing, without the visual distraction of a screen.

Last May your first live modular set took place together, can you explain to us a bit about your set up? Would you say you connect with the crowd/audience differently when playing live as opposed to DJing?

We were still figuring out the right set up last year and for that live PA we used a mixture of gear and a laptop. We had an 808, TB’s modular Eurorack, a Roland Space Echo, a Simmons SDS9, and a laptop controlled by Maschine. I had never played live before so it was a whole new experience for me. It’s quite a different feeling to be limited to your own sounds. I felt quite impatient and wanted things to change faster because I’m used to that in my DJ sets. However, once I got into the groove of this different way of performing I really enjoyed it and understood it much better.

In 2016 you launched Perm, a home for innovative visual and music ideas. What triggered the birth of Perm? With new material and events on the way, can you give us a bit more information about what is in store? What is it that draws you towards Berlin?

PERM is a project inspired by my musical and aesthetic influences growing up in Detroit and always searching for the lines between things. It’s a collaboration between myself, Baby Vulture, Hamid, and our visual artist \ // \\\ . I wanted to create a cozy living room atmosphere where PERM can sit at the crossroads of art and club culture, showcasing anything from an ambient performance to a left-field club set. A huge part of the project is its overall production quality with emphasis on sound and visual installations. These change with each PERM event so none are quite the same. It has been a lot of work and experimentation resulting in an amazing learning experience. I’m very excited to launch the PERM label in the next months and start doing events again. Our first one is scheduled for April 26th with Jan Jelinek live and Melina Serser as special guests. We are working with a great new venue called Arkaoda and looking forward to utilizing the space in a new way. What draws me to Berlin is its rich and diverse musical palette: there’s something interesting happening every night of the week and that is a huge reason PERM was born.

The Perm podcast series is nothing short of magical with luscious downtempo and experimental rhythms. When you began the project, did you have certain artists in mind to carry out such a unique vibe?

We wanted to keep the focus on more eclectic non-dance mixes from various artists and friends we like, and respect who have been a part of our events. I’m very happy with the range of the mixes and they definitely carry a unique vibe as a whole.

Is there anything else you would like to enlighten us with from the world of Magda?

Yes, actually I want to mention that TB Arthur and I will be performing live as Blotter Trax May 3rd at Superbooth in Berlin with a very special visual performance by Lillevan. I’m very much looking forward to this. 

Thank you so much for the mix, we have been wishing for this to happen for a long time. How would you best describe it for the MEOKO listeners?

Cosmic cats riding through electro space on the psychedelic disco train.

Last of all, a question we like to ask, can you name three records that have rarely left your bag over the years?

A Number Of Names;

Shari Vari (Ectomorph Remix)

Chaka Khan – I Feel For You (Silent Treatment remix)

DBX – Losing Control

Words by Zac Bidwell

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Under The MEOKO Microscope – DJ Schwa & Mix x UP Festival

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


The Under The MEOKO Microscope series is back with a bang, as we call upon Czech producer DJ Schwa. We caught up with this talent in an interview to speak about his recent work, plans, Czech Republic and UP Festival. Let’s get into this and check his exclusive MEOKO mix.

1.Hey Michal, thanks for your time and having us. How are things with you so far?

Hi, no worries. I am great. Currently touring Australia. It’s great to escape the winter for a few weeks. And the gigs were all great so far.

2. It barely takes a pair of ears to tell that you have a real passion for electronic music. As a musician’s son, How were you first exposed to these sounds and what artists did you grow up on?

Firstly I was exposed to all different genres of music, mainly jazz, through my dad. I would hung out in the studio a lot as a kid and there I would hear whatever he was recording or working on – from classical to pop, rock, jazz and even tv / film scores. Later on, in the 90ties, I got introduced to electronic music through my brother and also through Radio 1. Bands like Underworld, Leftfield, Deep Forrest, Propellerheads, Ltj Bukem, Herbaliser. From there it took a drastic turn into the electronic music world and I started discovering music pretty much 24hrs a day. It became an obsession.

3. As being a Czech, how its scene shaped your music? Please tell us more about Czech underground scene, clubs, records shops, parties, favourite destinations.

I don’t really know how being Czech shaped my music. I left Czech Republic when I was 19 and came back when I was 26. I lived in Australia and I have also spend some time in US. Australia had a huge impact on me. I somehow felt more connected to the world of electronic music as I ever felt in Prague. Even though Sydney is s far away it made me realise that it’s somehow very close and connected to the UK/EU scene. Prague was always a bit disconnected – but that is changing now drastically and I am very very happy for that.

4. What’s one thing that you don’t see enough of in the music industry that you’d like to see in Czech Republic?

Czech scene is very healthy now. But I would like to see more and more clubs equipped with top class soundsystems and well managed Dj equipment.

5. You have your own label ‘Beef Records’, what made you start your own label? and we also love the name, what made you choose ‘Beef Records’?

It was a bit of coincidence. 12 years ago I was co-running label called Tribal Vision and I was working on an electro/techno CD compilation. I had a name for it which I found at local meat shop – Prime Cuts. On the comp I had track by artists like Trentemoller, Martinez, Mos, Peterski etc. When it was all ready we realised it doesn’t fit the labels sound. So I decided to start my own label. I have kept the Prime Cuts name for the VA and started Beef records as it was a perfect match 🙂

6. In regards to your own productions, what projects are you working on at the moment and what do you find the most challenging aspect of producing your own music?

Right now we got back together with Nick West and we are working on the new Shades of Gray album. I am in Australia for about 2 weeks and we wanted to get most out of my stay – so no beach for me. It’s studio time and gigs. One of the tracks I played at SASH this Sunday and it sounded great. Hopefully the album will be ready for release later this year. 



7. 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?

We have multiple studios going. One of them is Nick’s studio here in Sydney where we like to use some classic synths (Moog Voyager, SH101, Juno 106, Nord Lead and Korg MS2000). On the last track we triggered the SH101 with Arturia Beatstep sequencer and somehow we got amazing groove out of it. Something you would never come up with by playing the keyboard. I personally love using the DSI Tempest Drum synths but I didn’t bring it here as it was too heavy to carry around while travelling.

UMM Schwa

8. Please tell us about your projects; Shades of Gray, Komiks Events.

Komiks is a warehouse party concept what we run together with Fatty M and Lumiere for about 4 years now. It became quite successful and it found it’s sweetspot in Pragues underground scene. We are happy that Komiks is doing so well and that many people, even out of Prague, travel to it. So far we hosted artists such as Derrick May, Robert Hood / Floorplan, Fort Romeau, Recondite, Kink, Catz n Dogz, Palms Trax, Baba Stiltz, Makam, San Proper, Dorisburg, Bjarki, Roman Flugel, Cleveland, Trus Me, Artefakt, Monoloc and many others. We also launched a new podcast series;

https://soundcloud.com/komikswarehouse/komiks-podcast-01-fatty-m-schwa-live-the-block-tel-aviv” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer


9. If you had a chance to move to another city; which city would it be and why?

Sydney is my second home. So if I had to move somewhere it would be Sydney for sure.

10. How did first touch with UP Festival Crew take place? How does it feel to be going to play at a major festival alongside many other respected names?

I know Bruno for many years. To be totally honest I wasn’t sure that this will ever happen in Prague and that he will be able to pull it of. But it’s clearly happening and he has my respect and full support. Not just Bruno, the whole crew of course. I am excited to play alongside Ricardo, he has been a great inspiration for so many years. I am not a huge fan of big stages and crowded festivals but UP Festival seems to be shaping just perfect.


11. The venue of the festival looks stunning, have you ever attended an event there yourself? What are your advises to our followers (that includes myself as well) who will visit Prague for UP Festival?

I haven’t been there for ages. Maybe like 15 years so I am quite excited to see how it changed. However, it is fair to say, festival-goers wont be dissappointed by the beauty of Prague and yes the venue is stunning.

12. Thank you for the mix, it sounds amazing. Could you tell us a little about the mix you made for MEOKO? What was your approach and how would you describe it?

The mix was made on a fly. Pressed ‘record’ at one of the gigs I played at Sisyphos few months ago. Then I cut 1,30 from it as it was too long and did some basic levelling and mastering. I rather catch the live djing element even if it’s not perfect then doing a studio mix.

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

You should check out Beef records. We have lots of great new music coming out. LP by BUSZ (Pier Bucci & Oskar Szafraniec), 12” by Rico Casazza another 12” by Dircsen with Florian Kupfer remix and much more. Check: www.beefrecords.net and www.facebook.com/beefrecords/

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Vatos Locos symbolizes brotherhood, friendship, family, loyalty and no ego.’: David Gtronic Interview & Mix

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

David Gtronic banner

There are many techno producers whose works are devoid of the subtleties that would suggest a wider musical competency and understanding. Then there are those whose grooves are infused with painstakingly produced little details and a sense of wonderment that reaches beyond mere dancefloor functionality. Whether he’s producing thumping techno or downtempo chillout, David Gtronic’s sense of musicality always shines through.


1Hi David, thanks for taking the time out to chat to us. We wanted to start by chatting to you about Vatos Locos. How did you first end up hooking up with these guys and what does it mean to work so closely with such brilliant artists?

It all happened quite naturally to be honest. I first met Chad and Randall in Orlando, Florida in 2011 while I was studying sound engineering. Randall was just making the transition from Hip Hop to electronic music and Chad was the local favorite. We developed a close relationship by sharing music and inspiring each other in producing it.

I met Hector two years later, in Summer 2013, at Space Ibiza. We got along right away when Randall introduced us; we spent a lot of time talking music, hanging out, and making jokes. He liked my music a lot, and of course I was already very familiar with his. He then invited me to play for his birthday party at Hoppetosse in Berlin along with Randall and this is basically the first time we ever played together.

During this time, I was also introduced to Sece, with whom I’ve developed a close friendship with, and we made the move to Berlin together at the end of summer. Hector was living in Berlin as well at the time, and so we all started hanging out more and more. This is basically how it all started and our family kept expanding with more incredible artist such as Javier Carballo, Hanfry Martinez, Mahony, Pinto, Jamie, Hito etc.

2- What do you feel Vatos Locos stands for and what do you see as the advantages of running with such a tight label?

Vatos Locos symbolizes brotherhood, friendship, family, loyalty and no ego.

3- Obviously you guys are from different places. Aside from music, do you have similar personalities too? And how often do you get together and what’s it like when you do? Is it like a real family atmosphere?

We have similar personalities but in our own unique way. Lately, we have been getting together at least once a month. We are lucky enough to be able to tour together, even if is not an official showcase, promoters love to book us together and this a wonderful thing because there is nothing better than traveling the world with your best friends. When we all get together it feels like a big family. It almost feels not even so ‘work’ oriented, it was all about jokes, eating good food and sharing amazing experiences.

I just got back from our tour in Japan, where I met up with Hector, Chad and Randall. I have to say it has been of the best trips I’ve had. We met up with Dubfire, where he took us to a very unique Omakase dinner by incredible chef, Nobutaka Ohashi. We tried over 10 different types of ramen and got to explore Tokyo and Osaka together like a big family. It truly felt more like a vacation than a tour of gigs and work.

4- Going back, at what stage did you decide to start taking music seriously?

It became serious from an early age. When I was 18 years old I was already releasing some decent music, which was getting support from some big artists like Richie Hawtin, Marco Carola, Dubfire, Loco Dice etc. This is when I knew I had to keep it up and give it my everything to keep pushing boundaries. I was also studying sound engineering at that moment, so my whole life was revolving around music. It wasn’t until I took the next step and left everything behind in United States to make the move to Europe when I was 20. That is the moment when I started touring frequently and making a living just from my production and DJ gigs.

5- And what would you say was your big break for you? Did you have a mentor of sorts?

One of the big breaks I had early in my career, was the ability to work with some incredible artist like Mr. G, Reboot, Santos, Livio & Roby who did some remixes for me back in 2012. Another big break was in 2013, when I was able to participate in The “tINI And The Gang” parties, which started to open up the market for me in Ibiza and Europe. Once we started the “Vatos Locos” events with Hector, he gave me the  freedom to express my artistic vision not only as a DJ but, participating in the development of the events and sharing our own ideas for the brand and how the event should be. 

6- Now, let’s chat a bit about the EP on Black Wood. It’s a new label, so how do you know the guys on the label? And can you talk us through the vibes on this EP you were going for?

I met Alvaro and Marcos in December 2016 when I played for their event in Madrid at Reclub which was a Blackwood showcase. I truly think this is where the label took off. They asked me if I had any free music for their new project; I really enjoyed their vision and what they were doing so I sent them some of my new music. Sequence was the first one they chose, so I immediately had an idea in which direction to take the project. Stripped back minimal with simple rolling beats and thick basslines.

7- What does it mean to have the support of labels such as Black Wood? Are you very picky about where you sign your music to these days? What do you look for in a label before you sign your music there?

In my opinion, the market has changed a lot in the past few years. Before, I was always chasing the big labels and DJs to play and release my music, but I found it very stressful to have to wait for months or even years for a decision to come. Now, I mostly make music for close friends and vinyl-oriented labels even if it’s a brand-new project as Blackwood. It is very important for me to have a physical release especially now that vinyl sales have increased dramatically over the last two years. Sometimes the digital market is so saturated with releases that the music can get lost.

8- And would you ever start up your own label? What’s stopping you with doing so?

It’s funny you ask because I actually own two vinyl-only labels as well as managing the digital label for the Capadi Rebels. I also manage all three of the Vatos Locos labels as well, which are VL Recordings, Vatos Locos Limited and the new one VLack.

I wanted to keep the two labels I own as a secret for some time, to allow the music to speak for itself rather than having me promoting it as my ‘new label’ etc. It’s not so much of a secret anymore. ‘Tervisio’, one of the labels, made its first release last year named ‘Cheska’ ,which then was followed by a collaboration between Guy From Downstairs and myself on 002 as ‘Unknown Artist’ and Tommy Vicari on 003.

I am stoked to release 004 which is a collaboration between my good friends Guti & Roustam plus a remix from the very talented East End Dubs. The second label is still a secret with all the releases by ‘Unknown artists’ so we will keep it like that for now.

9- You’re actually a qualified sound engineer. How important do you think this is to your understanding of dancefloor dynamics? And do you notice a difference in the techniques and quality of music that’s produced by qualified as opposed to non-qualified, DIY musicians?

I think today it is very easy to learn anything by yourself with all the knowledge that is scattered around the internet. I know so many talented artists that taught themselves everything from watching tutorials, reading manuals, and learning techniques from different engineers. That being said, I think there is definitely a difference in quality from producers that considers themselves engineers and sound designers, compared to producers that don’t look into it this far… Having a deep knowledge of how sounds are engineered, helps you decipher subtle differences and similarities between tracks when djing, allowing you to weave them together in more interesting and seamless ways.

10- Does how you listen to music differ when you are qualified in it or is it very much still a case of, ‘if it moves me somehow, its good’?

It differs when you are trained in critical listening and observing certain frequency ranges, as well as space in a mix. When you are not so experienced you can enjoy the music as it is, rather than judging everything you hear in a way that naturally happens once you have a background in sound engineering.

11- And how’s everything going in Berlin? Is it hard to keep restraint there and how have you found the winters?

Berlin is amazing but as I always say, what I love the most about it is that there is always a good balance. If you want party from Thursday-Monday, there is always the option to do that, but if you want to get into a proper routine and work in the studio every day, you can do that as well… Especially sometimes in the winter when the last thing you want to do is go out. For me it’s perfect, since I’m always traveling, every time I get home to Berlin I just want to relax, eat healthy and make music. Once the weekend comes, that’s the time I get to have fun and party.

12- Aside from this release, what else are you excited for in 2018?

I’m excited for 2018 in general because all the music I’ve made in the last 3 years is just now coming out so you can expect a lot of releases from me this year. In March, I have an EP called ‘Kshama’ on Dubfire’s label Sci+Tec which will be available for vinyl and digital release. Dubfire has always been a big inspiration for me, so to be able to work with him this year has been a great opportunity. Aside from the production and releases, I have a very good tour schedule coming up; I recently did a tour in Japan as I mentioned before, I have a South America & US tour coming up in March, and an Australian tour is currently in the works… Also maybe an Ibiza residency again this summer… I definitely think this year is shaping up to be one of my best yet.

13- And what’s keeping you busy aside from music?

Well I’m so busy with music that this is usually my main focus, and my work ethic doesn’t allow me to get too sidetracked… I do always try to take time to enjoy the simple things in life, which are also the most important; family, friendship, food, music, and art.

14- If you could lastly let us know about some of the tracks you’re playing at the moment that’d be really great.

– Traumer – Mezon (All inn Records)

– David Gtronic – Kshama (Sci+Tec)

– Ricardo Villalobos – Lazerpresent

– David Gtronic – Break Away (Rich Nxt Remix)

– Bernard Badie – Love Explosion Underground dub)

– Sakro – Omnipresent (Vatos Locos Limited 002

– Barac – Maintain Eye Contact (Uvar)

– Guti & Roustam – ReIntroduction (Tervisio 004)

– Omar – Thanks one thousand

– YYY 750 – A Side

– Ravi Mcarthur – Another Crap Night Out In Eltham

Thanks a lot again.

More David Gtronic; Facebook / Soundcloud

More MEOKO; Facebook Soundcloud / 



Okain Interview

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

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Okain is part of a wave of artists that began spinning records and producing music 15 years ago in Paris. His first release came in 2007, and launched the career of an exciting new voice in electronic music. Over the years, he has evolved into an accomplished artist with sets in Panorama Bar, Fabric, and some of the finest venues in the world. He has also participated in a lot of projects such as Handycraft, the alias he used to have in collaboration with Paul Ritch many years ago. But most importantly, he has shown a commitment to his very own sound with a steady output of records on labels such as Tsuba, Bpitch Control, and more recently Infuse (Fuse London). After relocating to Berlin in 2011, he has established his own musical imprint Talman Records, where he can freely release the music he loves. As a DJ, the Parisian has grown into an impressive and versatile selector that can pull from a wide spectrum of material from house to techno, both old and new.

Ahead of his exciting upcoming EPs and news, we caught up with Okain to speak about his career and plans. 


1- Hi Okain, thanks for the interview! How are you doing today?

Very fine, thanks.  

2- How did your NYE gig go? Apparently it lasted for 2 days, is Berlin’s endurance-oriented party culture something that you partake in?

NYE was really cool. It started in Berlin for a gig I did in Anomalie and I flew straight after my set to play in Malaga. It was nice to start the year in a sunny place. Yes, Berlin definitely has the longest parties. I am going out sometimes but I am getting older and I never stay until the end anymore really. 

3- What are your favourite places to play in Berlin by the way? In fact I’m moving there soon myself, so any recommendations?

There are many places I like to play : Tresor, Kater Blau, Sisyphos, CDV, Watergate, Chalet, Renate & Panorama bar are some of my favourite spot to play.

4- Hope you don’t mind reminiscing about the past for a bit… I was wondering about the scene in Paris back in the middle of the 00’s. It’s amazing that the scene is so strong right now but I always feel like it must have been a fun time to be part of something a bit more “underground” — less people but perhaps more dedication… Or maybe it’s just romanticism on my part! What are your thoughts on this, your best memories and parties from that time?

Yeah, you are right. Early 2000 there were a few big parties running but things went bad in Paris party wise around 2006/07 until 2012. Now it s stronger than ever but it was not the case few years ago. Still, at that time it was nice to be a part of that scene. Less people were involved so we all knew each other and there was no competition.

5- And do you keep an eye on the French scene’s recent evolutions?

Yes for sure – I always have an eye on what is happening in France.

6- Let’s speak about your own label, Talman. I know you used to be a label manager but did you learn anything the hard way with this adventure? What would be your advices to someone starting a label?

I haven’t had any bad surprises, to be honest. I was a label manager for two labels before so I knew exactly what I would have to do. Advice-wise, I think it’s important to have your first 3 releases ready before you start the label. 

7- How did the first VA on Talman come about? Are they all friends?

Yeah, all the producers on the first VA are all friends of mine and they make music that I play a lot in my sets. It will be the case again in few months when I release a single from two friends and great producers.


8- Your contribution to the EP is named “Belle Maison”, which means “Beautiful house” in English. But actually it’s a reference to a speech that you sample in the track by l’Abbé Pierre — a French popular figure that always sided with the disadvantaged — where he criticizes the dominant class’ hypocrisy. I feel like our music scene tends to be navel-gazing at times so it’s quite refreshing to hear someone tackling politics. Is it a subject that’s close to your heart?

Yes it is. Even if house and techno music is a club and party music, originally I think there is still place for a political message sometimes. I used another speech a few years ago with a release I produced under my real name, Samuel Thalmann. It’s called ‘Basic Economic’. It was on a vinyl only release on Alljacks.


9- Do you plan to keep the label open to other producers after this VA, or is it mainly going to stay your own outlet?

It’s not only about me anymore as I have an other release from two producers coming out before the summer but I will still release my own stuff on Talman. The next release is from myself and will come out in early May. 

10- It seems like you’re doing less collaborations these days, is it a sign that you feel more confident as a producer?

I don’t really think so. It is just the way it was. I am back working with other people in the studio. Hopefully I will have a new collaboration out before the end of the year.

11- I read the article about the pains of DJing on vinyl, but I understand you remain attached to the medium, why is that?

Yeah, I am very attached to it. I think it’s the best way to collect and consume music. It’s harder to play them in clubs as most of the time there could be some technicals problems but that should not be a reason to stop releasing vinyl and buying them. 

12- I’ve read that you’d love to collaborate with Q-Tip and make some hip-hop in general, have you tried your hand at it yet? One of your recent tunes is named “Boom Bap”, is it a hint at the kind of beats you’d be making?

I do make some hiphop beats sometimes, but I always kept it for myself. But who knows? That could maybe change in the future.

13- By the way, being French myself I have to ask… are you more into American or French rap?

Both! But when it comes to American rap mostly east coast and I have to say that I mostly listen to 90’s Rap. It s hard to find something that really excites me in hiphop today but it still happens sometimes.



14- Your next release is coming out on Fuse’s sublabel Infuse, does it mean we can expect to catch you in London anytime soon?

I am coming to play for my friend Alex Arnout this month and hopefully somewhere else soon! 

15- Actually, what else’s in store for you and Talman this year?

Talman 05 in May and Talman 06 not so long after. The first from myself and the second one a collaboration between two producers.

Okain’s Magic Box EP (featuring a remix from Rich NxT) is out 19/02 on Infuse. Listen/pre-order the release here

More Okain; Facebook / Soundcloud

More MEOKO; Facebook Soundcloud / 


1- Hi Okain, thanks for the interview! How are you doing today?

Very fine, thanks.  

2- How did your NYE gig go? Apparently it lasted for 2 days, is Berlin’s endurance-oriented party culture something that you partake in?

NYE was really cool. It started in Berlin for a gig I did in Anomalie and I flew straight after my set to play in Malaga. It was nice to start the year in a sunny place. Yes, Berlin definitely has the longest parties. I am going out sometimes but I am getting older and I never stay until the end anymore really. 

3- What are your favourite places to play in Berlin by the way? In fact I’m moving there soon myself, so any recommendations?

There are many places I like to play : Tresor, Kater Blau, Sisyphos, CDV, Watergate, Chalet, Renate & Panorama bar are some of my favourite spot to play.

4- Hope you don’t mind reminiscing about the past for a bit… I was wondering about the scene in Paris back in the middle of the 00’s. It’s amazing that the scene is so strong right now but I always feel like it must have been a fun time to be part of something a bit more “underground” — less people but perhaps more dedication… Or maybe it’s just romanticism on my part! What are your thoughts on this, your best memories and parties from that time?

Yeah, you are right. Early 2000 there were a few big parties running but things went bad in Paris party wise around 2006/07 until 2012. Now it s stronger than ever but it was not the case few years ago. Still, at that time it was nice to be a part of that scene. Less people were involved so we all knew each other and there was no competition.

5- And do you keep an eye on the French scene’s recent evolutions?

Yes for sure – I always have an eye on what is happening in France.

6- Let’s speak about your own label, Talman. I know you used to be a label manager but did you learn anything the hard way with this adventure? What would be your advices to someone starting a label?

I haven’t had any bad surprises, to be honest. I was a label manager for two labels before so I knew exactly what I would have to do. Advice-wise, I think it’s important to have your first 3 releases ready before you start the label. 


7- How did the first VA on Talman come about? Are they all friends?

Yeah, all the producers on the first VA are all friends of mine and they make music that I play a lot in my sets. It will be the case again in few months when I release a single from two friends and great producers.

Quiet revolution happening in the world of herbal medicine and pharmacology…CBD

By Hot Off The Press, Interviews


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There’s a quiet revolution happening in the world of herbal medicine and pharmacology, and its name is CBD. More and more people are using CBD oil to relax without the psychoactive effects that sometimes come with smoking Cannabis use. But more importantly, CBD is starting to become recognised within government organisations and the people public as having a large number of potential health benefits.

MEOKO has recently formed a partnership with a distinguished figure in herbal medicine known as  Haskel Adamson, who prescribes and blends extremely high quality CBD oil based on a wealth of knowledge and clinical experience. Everywhere I go, people are asking after the oil hence we have put together this feature to give you as medicinal information as possible.

We spoke to the venerable Medical Herbalist to find out more about the CBD phenomenon on a biochemical and practical level, and are very excited to share the results of this in-depth interview with you

Orders for Colorado CBD may be made by mailing info@devmeoko.co.uk with CBD in the title, an account manager will then get back to you to discuss the rest.  You will also receive a 5 % discount on each bottle.


How did you start working with CBD? Did you have a moment of realisation where you decided that giving this substance to the people was an important endeavour for you?
Yes, I first found out about CBD or cannabidiol after a couple of my patients asked for my advice about using cannabis oil in their protocols for cancer treatments. One had secondary brain cancer, and everything I read suggested the importance of using a CBD-rich strain of cannabis.
So, I came across CBD initially as a component of cannabis oil to calm the psychoactive side effects of THC rich cannabis oil, and also with its own anti-proliferative effects in cancer.

Then I came across its benefits for epilepsy. It was this medical benefit that promoted CBD to mainstream medicine, and allowed it to be legalised throughout the States. I saw first hand the benefits of CBD to the epilepsy patient, and realised the importance of promoting this herb.

What past training and experience do you have?

I studied Herbal Medicine at university – firstly Chinese medicine at Middlesex. I love the holistic energetic practical philosophy of Chinese medicine. Then I did a BSc degree in Western Herbal medicine at Westminster University. This combined for me the scientific basis of herbal medicine with medical sciences.

I was also lucky to have Christopher Hedley as my teacher, a legend amongst modern Western herbalists. He combined the science and art of Herbal medicine, and encouraged us to connect with plants out in the field, as well as in the lab and the clinic.

Other than that I’ve always been fascinated with manufacturing my own remedies. The way a cook will refine a dish over many attempts, improving it each time.


Testomonial from client this week..

“just wanted to send you a quick email to share the amazing results I have had from CBD. When it arrived I was on a bad week and ended up having a week off work with my ME.
I started taking a drop 3 times per day initially . No obvious signs of improvement the first coupe of days. I was taking maximum dose of pain relief and low dose amitriptyline.
Must have been Thursday so 4 days when I realised I hadn’t taken pain relief . Leg pain had reduced massively. I have not taken Amitrip since and am virtually pain free at the moment.
When back at work last week I reduced to 2 drops per day and found towards end of the week I had forgotten on a few occasions to take in morning so maybe 1 drop per day .
It feels like it has reset me if that makes any sense !!
I wouldn’t have classed before that I was depressed but constant pain and anxiety as to whether you are going to be able to do the next day what you need to must have taken it’s toll.
The inner buzz of happiness I now have is euphoric!!
I have just started sharing my oil this weekend with my husband who I hope will be able to come off his anti depressants which he has taken for many years!!
Thank you 

Could you explain what exactly a cannabinoid is? When was CBD as a molecule and effective substance first discovered?

CBD was first discovered in 1940 at the University of Illinois, but seen as a toxin and not studied further there.
In 1963, a chemist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem – Raphael Mechoulam – determined its exact structure. The following year his research group also isolated THC for the first time, and managed to synthesise both cannabinoid compounds. In 1993 they also discovered the endogenous cannabinoid that humans produce themselves ,and called this anandamide after the Indian word ‘ananda’ meaning bliss.

A cannabinoid is any substance either biological or manmade that interacts with cannabinoid receptors found in animals to alter neurotransmitter release in the brain or body. There are two main receptors in the body – CB1 and CB2 – which some cannabinoids interact with.

CBD and THC are strictly speaking phytocannabinoids (phyto=plant), and are the two most prolific phytocannabinoids found in the Cannabis plant. There are over one hundred different phytocannabinoids which have been identified from Cannabis sativa. Cannabinoids are also found in other plants such as Echinacea, tea, and chocolate.

CB receptors are found all over the body and brain, and in startlingly huge amounts (more than any other G protein-coupled receptor). This had led to some speculating that as humans had an evolutionary relationship with cannabis, grazing on it as a food and medicine throughout our evolution, to the extent that we may suffer from not occasionally ingesting cannabinoids.



What was your first personal experience with CBD like?

My first conscious experience of CBD was from the Californian ACDC strain of cannabis. I found it incredibly relaxing with no psychoactivity, and decided that this is the kind of cannabis I like. CBD relaxes me whch helps me sleep more deeply and for longer, which sometimes I find really useful. I wake up refreshed and clear headed as well.
My first ever experience of CBD (what I would call unconsciously) was when I was 17. Not being a smoker, I used to eat pieces of hashish, which was the only cannabis available in the late 80s where I lived.
Of course, I didn’t know I was experiencing CBD and I was more interested at the time in experiencing the psychoactivity of THC. Many strains of hash contain CBD as well as THC, particularly old strains that haven’t been bred with modern hybrids. Sadly many hashish growers have bred with modern hybrids to increase the THC levels of their plants.


Why do you think CBD generates such a positive, popular response amongst the people who use it?

Firstly, my experience that I described in the last answer is quite often the case for first time users. People often feel the relaxed state it brings immediately, and of course this feeling is something many of us seek amidst the frenetic pace of our lives. Knowing that a substance can relax us as well as having neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory benefits for body and brain makes us feel even better about taking it.
The fact that it was made famous for its use in treating childhood epilepsy, makes people trust it a safe plant to use.
Thirdly for cannabis smokers it’s a form of recognition for the herb they use, as being recognised for its medicinal qualities. They see how these benefits will eventually lead to the legalisation of all forms of cannabis in the future.

A very recent WHO report supported CBD as a safe substance. What do you think the main barriers are to fully regulated CBD being offered to the public?

Well CBD is actually perfectly legal in the UK. The rumours of it being made illegal stemmed from the medicine control agency MHRA clamping down on some of the medical claims that CBD oil sellers were making on their websites. CBD isn’t classified as a medicine. It hasn’t gone through clinical trials costing millions, and so medical claims are not allowed. It won’t be long before it’s prescribed on the NHS.

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How far are we from a legalisation policy like Colorado or California, and what are the current European laws on CBD that you take into account?

We are still 20 years behind California, believe it or not. In 1998, they voted in California to allow the public to buy cannabis for a wide range of medical conditions including anxiety and depression, so anyone who wanted it could get a prescription. This year they voted to make recreational Cannabis legal, and the same is true in Colorado, Oregon, and Alaska.

European countries all allow CBD to be sold, but we are still behind US states such as Colorado and California. They have been the states pushing the technology of CBD extraction forward, and their laws allow for Cannabis strains high in CBD to be bred, rather than hemp strains.

What’s the medicinal difference between THC and CBD for people who aren’t familiar with the different compounds associated with cannabis?

THC is a psychoactive compound. It’s the bit that gets you stoned, high, and a thousand other words to describe a range of feelings that include, euphoria, relaxation, heightened sensory perceptions to sound and touch. It relaxes some and stimulates others, calms some and puts others into paralysing anxiety.

Medicinally there is sufficient evidence to state clearly that it relieves neurological pain, kills cancer cells, helps reduce nausea and loss of appetite in those with serious diseases such as cancer and HIV. It is used on a daily basis by millions to relax and aid sleep. Its side effects include: anxiety, abstract or philosophical thinking, disruption of linear memory, paranoia, dry mouth, auditory and visual hallucinations at high doses.

These side effects are usually greatly reduced, if not obliterated completely, by the inclusion of CBD in THC rich cannabis. CBD is the yin to THC’s yang.

CBD is mood-altering, but in a much more predictable way than THC. It’s generally calming, so much so that it is being studied for its anti-psychotic effects. One study in Sweden showed that it compared favourably to conventional anti-psychotic medicines. This is ironic as Cannabis (usually high THC and low CBD strains, commonly sold in the UK) is considered a major trigger of psychosis. If more UK recreational growers would grow strains with at least 10% CBD in them, I believe it would help reduce cases of cannabis psychosis. CBD is known for its pain-relieving qualities, but more for inflammatory pain than neuropathic pain.



What is the difference between cannabis and hemp?

Both Cannabis and hemp are the same plant, Cannabis sativa. The difference is the same as you see in tomatoes. Some are tiny and some are huge. Selective breeding over millennia and in different geographical locations resulted in these differences. Hemp has traditionally been bred for its fibre for making cloth, rope and building materials, and also seed. Growing it for CBD is a new thing.

There’s also Cannabis that grows in warmer climates and is grown for its flowers, which contain variable amounts of THC/CBD and other cannabinoids and many various flavonoid and terpenoid essential oils. This was traditionally grown for medicine and recreational or spiritual use.

Hemp has relatively small amounts of CBD in it, so the CBD is extracted from the whole plant (and fields of it) rather than just the flowers. Cannabis plants have been bred (varieties such as ACDC and Charlotte’s Web) with flowers that have really low levels of THC and really high levels of CBD.

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Something we discovered in our research is that the receptors for CBD are found all throughout the brain and body. Could you explain this for us in a little more detail?

CBD is much more complicated to explain its action than THC. THC interacts with CB receptors, but CBD has very weak affinity for these receptors. Its actions come from reacting to many different non-cannabinoid receptors and ion channels. These include serotonin receptors, known for producing a range of effects that can help in the areas of anxiety, addiction, appetite, sleep, pain perception, nausea and vomiting.

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CBD also reacts with the vanilloid receptor TRPV1, known to help regulate pain perception, inflammation and body temperature.
CBD acts as an antagonist against GPR55, meaning it blocks its action in the body. GPR55 when triggered can induce rheumatoid arthritis and metastasis in cancer. CBD has been shown to block these effects. CBD also exerts an anti-cancer effect by activating PPARs [peroxisome proliferator activated receptors] that are situated on the surface of the ce
l’s nucleus.

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PPAR-gamma a
tivation also degrades amyloid-beta plaque, a key molecule linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. This is one of the reasons why Cannabidiol, a PPAR-gamma agonist, may be a useful remedy for Alzheimer’s patients. It seems to have many neuroprotective qualities. As you can see there are many varied ways CBD works throughout the body, and an overall theory for the wide-ranging benefits of CBD has not been discovered yet

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What kind of health benefits can you get from CBD by using it as a food supplement? And what are your recommended ways to get it into your food?

Well one of the theories for the wide-ranging health benefits from cannabis, both THC and CBD, and other cannabinoids, is that we have evolved as humans eating this plant through the seeds. It is such an easy plant to grow that it spread throughout the world millennia ago.
By using the seed as a grain and making a kind of porridge with it, it would have been a staple in our diet. So much so, that we have developed this incredibly widespread endocannabinoid receptor system throughout our bodies. We have 10X more endocannabinoid receptors in our body than opioid receptors. By not eating Hemp on a regular basis we deprive this system of crucial nutrients (cannabinoids) and this can trigger many neurological and inflammatory disease processes.
By eating hemp oil and taking CBD oil regularly (or occasionally), we reduce the likelihood of the diseases listed in the answers from the previous question.

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Apparently, CBD is great for inflammation as a main cause of aches and pains – how does CBD work to make this better?

CBD reacts with many neurotransmitters that reduce inflammation, such as the Vanilloid receptor TRPV1. It also reduces our sensation of feeling pain.
What kind of doses and methods of ingestion would you normally advise? Also, how quickly does CBD take effect in the average person?

Well I sell two different strengths of CBD, so that depends on if you are using the Normal or the Plus strength. Dosing is such an individual thing and as a medical practitioner I know that what will work for one person won’t work for another. So, the best I can do is suggest a dose range, and recommend that people start small and build up to a dose that they find effective. I’d say that the normal range is designed for people in fairly good health, who are looking for a CBD oil to help boost their health. Dosage is between 5-50 mg per day (2-20 drops).

I start at such a low dose as some people are sensitive to lots of medicines. Most people though will need 4-10 drops before they notice a relaxing feeling, which is the most likely the first change to be noticed. For pain, it may take a week to start noticing pain reduction. I notice the relaxing effect of CBD immediately, and I’m a pretty average person. The Plus range of CBD oil is four times more concentrated, and designed for those recovering from more serious health issues, or those who know they need a stronger concentration.

Are there any good sites you can suggest as reference for people wanting to read up more about CBD and its medicinal purposes?

My favourite dedicated CBD info website is https://www.projectcbd.org.

Granny stormcrows list is also an amazing medical resource made by a retired nurse, collating all the medical studies done on Cannabis.

Can it be used with conventional medicine?

There have been few studies that have found problems with people using CBD and taking prescribed medicines. But theoretically it could slow down the metabolism of medicines through the body, as CBD and other plant cannabinoids can potentially interact with many pharmaceuticals by inhibiting the activity of cytochrome P450, a family of liver enzymes. This key enzyme group metabolizes most of the drugs we consume, including CBD, and more than 60% of prescribed medicines.

One study of patients taking 40 mg daily of CBD showed no interaction with liver enzymes. Another study involving epilepsy patients found that on taking 25mg per day, this slowed the metabolism of the patients other anti-epileptic medicines so that they had to reduce the amount they needed. In a way this was a win, as they reduced their pharmaceutical dose. So patients on other prescribed medicines should perhaps tell their GP that they are taking CBD, so that their GP can monitor if it is affecting the metabolism of the other drugs they are taking.

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I have heard that CBD can help one with all types of addictions including smoking. Could you explain a little bit how this works?

This effect is likely to be related to CBD’s action on the neurotransmitter serotonin. At high concentrations CBD directly activates the 5-HT1A (hydroxytryptamine) serotonin receptor, directly causing an anti-anxiety effect. The serotonin receptor is implicated in many biological and neurological processes relating to anxiety, addiction, appetite, pain perception, nausea and vomiting. CBDa is known to have a particularly high affinity for the 5HT1A serotonin receptor.

Talk us briefly through the manufacturing process. Which part of a cannabis plant does CBD come from?

The manufacturing process of CBD is very different depending on what plant material is used. Both types of CBD I sell are extracted in carbon dioxide (CO2). This is considered the gold standard of cannabinoid extraction. It uses low temperatures and no solvents to extract the cannabinoids from the plant material. The CO2 is put under incredibly high pressure and low temperatures, which turn it temporarily into a liquid. This liquid is forced through a chamber containing the plant material, and CO2 acting as a non-polar solvent extracts just the oil soluble constituents of the herb. This is ideal, as these parts are the most therapeutically active.

CBD from hemp involves collecting from huge fields of hemp and extracting a paste from the whole plant, stalks, leaves and flowers. The oil usually contains around 8% CBD and CBDa. This is how my “Raw and organic CBD” is made. It’s crucial that hemp CBD is grown organically as the plant is a bio-accumulator, and would absorb any chemicals used to grow it.

Modern CBD from specifically bred strains high in CBD and low in THC is made from just the flowers. These flowers also contain a huge concentration of essential oils, and the level of CBD in the resulting oil contains around 85% CBD and 15% essential oils. This is how my CBD oil “Colorado Gold” is made. The essential oils are an important part of therapeutic effect of the plant. CBD made from flowers will have a greater number of essential oils in it, as well as higher concentrations.  
What are the most common misconceptions about CBD that you would like to see cleared up?

One is that its illegal. It most definitely is not! The medicine control agency (MRHA) said in a statement that it’s a medicine, implying that it should only be sold if its licenced as a medicine. This was 16 months ago and they haven’t done anything about stopping people selling CBD. This does leave sellers and people who find it so useful in an awkward place of not knowing, but I conclude that the MHRA know they can’t really ban it now as too many people find it useful, and they know they can’t go against the will of the people on such a big scale.
What are the benefits of buying quality assured CBD oil from manufacturers such as yourself in comparison to what you can get over the internet? Is there a differing quality for different CBD oils?

There are huge differences between companies selling CBD. It’s a new market, and business people always jump onto new markets when there is money to be made. So, buying from a reputable company is important. I’m not a big company but I have been working with this medicine with my patients for the past four years, and turned myself into an expert over that time. I take a personal pride in selling the best and using the best ingredients in whatever I make for my patients or customers.

It has taken me quite a while to find suppliers that are big enough to have the technology to supply the consistent quality and quantity I need.
I find that companies advertising CBD by percentages very confusing and in many cases, they are using percentages to baffle customers and it is not an accurate or easy to use way to describe the concentration of the CBD in the bottle. Much simpler to accurately state the amount of CBD in the bottle in mg.

What do you hope people will experience with CBD, and in what ways do you hope they will use it?

The benefits of CBD can be very wide ranging. The relaxing effect is one that I would expect people to notice most obviously. It’s not in a sleepy way, but it’s a relaxation that brings a calmness allowing you to get more done as the distractions of the wandering and worrying mind slip away. I find it gives me a deeper and longer sleep. Yet I wake alert and positive, unlike some other sleeping medicines and herbs.
Knowing that it is being studied for serious neurological and degenerative diseases also gives credence to its neuroprotective healing potential.
I hope people will find relief from pain with CBD oil, and that those with serious illnesses will find relief and a greatly reduced severity of symptoms, and I hope people will find profound healing.

Finally, what do you think CBD could offer the world/humanity if quality was regulated and use was freely available?
 Man I cant answer that question. It will catalyse the dawn of the age of aquarious and there will be universal love explosion and unicorns will rule the world peacefully and dolphins will rule the seas.

  CBD Colorado Gold 
Is, we believe, the best CBD oil available anywhere. ❣️
Grown organically under the Colorado sun, the oil is extracted from the carefully bred flowers, using Carbon dioxide by a process that preserves all the phytocannabinoids, terpenes and plant lipids, while eliminating unwanted waxes and chlorophyll.
This produces an pure oil with 85% cannabinoids and 15% essential oils of Cannabis.

IF you would like to order a bottle of the Colorado CBD Gold, please send an email to info@devmeoko.co.uk  with CBD as the title and of the team will get intouch. Weareoffering a 5% discount with your purchase.

Interview by Nicole Venter and Anna Herbs 

Dorian Paic about 20 Years Raum…Musik – Interview & Mix

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

artwork meoko dorian

In an age where any newcomer can use their connections to be propelled to the homepages of every other website, it’s nice to see figures like Dorian Paic and his raum…musik. label discreetly get the dues they’ve patiently earned over the years. Whereas the formers enjoy their few months or years of fame before being dismissed as fads and swept away by the next big thing, the Frankfurt native has always been doing his own thing, whether it went in or out of fashion. For sure, he’s had plenty of time to find his sound in a life whose most part has been dedicated to music: from working in record stores and going to the seminal Dorian Gray club in Frankfurt airport in the 1990s, to becoming one of his scene’s most in-demand DJ — not many can claim to have held a Ibiza residency for the past 12 years and played on every continent, and fewer less are still acknowledged by the more discerning heads —, this sound has patiently shaped itself into something curiously befitting Paic’s understated character. As the early years’ dub techno morphed into the more recent minimal house (epitomized by last year’s inescapable earworm “

”), Dorian’s constant signature has been a loopy sound emphasizing continuity and immersion, his long transitions blending tracks for a hypnotizing ride. And few do it as well as he does — it’s no surprise that those who do, like Vera or Ricardo Villalobos, are usually his close friends.

Same goes for his role as raum…musik label head: celebrating its 20th birthday this year, the label is all about letting the music do the talking, which it will surely do with its upcoming anniversary compilation. Peak-time bangers sit next to after-hours and warm-up rollers in its discography, faithful to a philosophy that favours a party’s overall excellence over a few reckless hands-in-the-air moments. Not that Dorian won’t make you reach for the lasers — he’ll just wait for the right time to do so. Accordingly, raum…musik rarely taps the many headliners that are part of Dorian’s entourage. Yet it’s one of those labels you know to check out whether the producer rings a bell or not — as Dorian puts it, it’s all about the trusted bond the label has built over the years with its listeners. In fact, Perlon aside, it’s hard to think of any other German label that has been active for so long — a testament to the label’s commitment to carving its own way in the ever-changing, trend-hopping wilderness that is the electronic music landscape. In short, Dorian and raum have got something that no amount of PR can garner: legacy.

So with the 20th birthday landmark around the corner — not mentioning last year’s 100th release on the label — it was due time for MEOKO to catch up with Dorian. Here we go.

1. Hi Dorian, a pleasure to have you back at MEOKO. How are you doing today?

I am fine I have a free weekend and I did not go out yesterday night, so I am feeling great actually.

2. Congrats on raum’s 20th birthday! I know your partner Olaf was supposed to leave you at the helm of the label after the 100th release, which came out last year courtesy of Sakro, so what’s going on with that? Are you on your own?

No I am not alone as Olaf decided to stay with me after the big success of our 100th release by Sakro. (Raum…Musik # 100 -­‐ Sakro -­‐ No time to explain EP)


3. I interviewed Martyné recently and he mentioned how Frankfurt’s old guard has an influence on the city’s newer scene, mentioning Freebase where you used to work or Sven’s Cocoon Club… So from someone who’s been involved since the early 90s and Dorian Gray, do you see this continuity in Frankfurt’s scene?

Yes of course I do. I think as for new producers and upcoming talents Frankfurt never has been that strong since the early days and I enjoy to see how it is continued by the new breed of artists hailing from the Rhine Main Area.

4. Speaking of it, what do you think of this younger wave of producers in the city? You released a few of them on raum, like Cédric Dekowski & Felix Reifenberg and more recently Phil Evans, actually.

They are all pretty cool guys and pretty much down to earth. They don’t take themselves too serious, which is always the right approach I think. A group of certain small collectives can always be very stimulating for each camp, because everyone just tries harder, but not really in a competitive way I think.

5. I remember in an interview you criticizing producers and DJ that jump from one trend to the next, aren’t you wary this might be happening with this scene?

Well they are all still a bit younger and at this age a certain evolution or change of style from time to time is a must. I think that you really find your style only after certain years of experience and also with a certain age, because you are not afraid to miss out on something anymore and you are more confident with yourself and what you like and do. Therefor you just decide by your own taste and not by what you think is „cool“ to play. As for the current Frankfurt scene I am pretty sure they will all go the right direction and not get stuck too much on any trends.

6. It seems like raum has always been doing its own things, sticking to its sound — not following trends precisely. Is it the secret to the label’s longevity and continued relevance?

Yes, I think that the trick to achieve this longevity is to actually not really have a certain sound and to be able to react on certain developments on the market, as for the musical direction of the label. It is more important to gain trust in people, so that they know it is worth to check your record, no matter if it is house, techno, more minimal related or whatever, they just know that is going to be a good record, because it is on this particular label and therefor they decide to give it a listen. To achieve this you need to select very wisely and carefully and also with a certain vision of longevity of music or timeless music so to speak, even though I don’t like this phrase too much.

7. raum turns 20 this year already, you have now more than 100 releases, and you’ve been with the label yourself for 17 years, how do you look back on this legacy?

Well I am very happy of course that we are still there after all those years and that we are still doing good. From the first breed of German labels Raum…Musik. actually is one of the very few ones that managed to survive.

8. How has the label’s sound changed over those two decades?

The early days of course have been Basic Channel related Dub tracks, well at least most of them. Then we had a period of minimal music being released on the label and short before the total overkill of minimal music from Germany we moved ourselves into a more house related direction. Nowadays I would describe the sound of the label as minimal house in the broadest sense.

9. Do any records or artists stick out over the label’s history?

Well I definitely would mention the crew that is around me now as one of the best ones ever in the history of the label. Federico MolinariJohn DimasLee BurtonPhil EvansFranco Cinelli and Jorge Savoretti plus the newcomers Andy Kolwes and Enrico Mantini that are both going to be featured on the 20 Years compilation, really helped to shape the sound of the label these days. Ricardo Villalobos of course is a good friend that needs to be mentioned here as well and also is one of our main artists as for the Label. For me it is great to have this group of some of my favorite artists around me that are also friends at the same time, which makes „work“ a lot easier for everyone.



10. It feels like you’re pretty unconcerned with promotion and let the music do the talking, which is fitting with your DJing style — patient, disciplined, devoid of ego. So are there any plans to celebrate the 20-­‐year landmark or is it going to be business as usual?

That is exactly my concept. We are never working with any promo pools. German media is completely avoided by us. If someone shows serious interest like you guys or like Resident Advisor for example, of course we are willing to promote our music but in the first place I really try to let the music do the talking as much as possible. As for the birthday of the label we will be hosting a few parties in selected countries and venues and so far we have shows confirmed in Lima (Peru), in Bogota (Colombia), in Tokyo as for Japan, one at Robert Johnson with Ricardo and me, that will take place on march 9th, plus 2 dates in Berlin at Club der Visionäre and Hoppetosse later this year and a few other possible options, so things are looking quite good there as well and I am happy for that.


11. What about the upcoming compilation, can you talk about that?

Yes of course. The compilation consists of 8 exclusive tracks that are only going to be released on this record. Apart from the usual gang that I mentioned earlier before already (Federico Molinari, John Dimas, Lee Burton, Phil Evans and Franco Cinelli) we have three newcomers on board. Jorge Savoretti from Argentina that is also going to do the next single on Raum, which is going to be released before the compilation in mid february, as well as Enrico Mantini from Italy and Andy Kolwes from Cologne in Germany and I am more than happy about these new entries as they are also some of my favorite producers lately.

20years boom


12. How do you A&R? I’m asking because besides Ricardo and a few other producers, you don’t reach for the bigger names usually.

That was also always the concept of the label. Raum translates as room in english, so the concept of the label always was to create room or to give room to new music. My idea was always to find new artists and not build the reputation of the label around any sure shots or stuff that is being hyped. If you check the back catalogue of Raum you will see that quiet a few artists had some of their first releases on Raum before getting more popular. I like this idea and I think this is also the right approach to create a certain label profile.

13. What about your own productions, can we expect to see some new stuff?

Yes actually there is quite a lot in the pipeline for this year. There will be a release coming out soon together with Markus Fix on Savor Music from Argentina, run by Jorge Savoretti and Cape, with an excellent remix from Franco Cinelli. Besides that we are going to release 2 singles for the labels Housewax and Pleasure Zone distributed to DBH. One is going to be with our full names and the other one under our MFDP moniker. Markus and me also did a remix for Nektar Agu that is going to be out on Fake Records from the UK, as well as another remix for a track that I di
together with my dear mate

obi Neumann and Patrick Ense that features some vocals by the legendary Eric D Clark. Markus and me did an MFDP remix for this track as well and both versions plus a DJ tool are going to be released on La Peña very soon. Last but not least there will be Remixes of Sasse’s „Soul Sounds“ by Ricardo and myself that are going to be released on Raum Musik after the 20 years compilation, so actually it is quite a bit that is going to be released in 2018


14. You don’t release very often — I imagine that’s the good thing about being famous as a DJ firstly: you don’t need to release all the time to exist. But is it because you rarely produce, or do you actually sit on a lot of unreleased stuff?

Well to be honest it took me quite a while to really get into this working in the studio, but now I collected a lot of music for a period of over two years. As you mentioned I am a DJ in the first place, but as a friend said recently, I would be really stupid not to take the chance to work on some music with some of the close friends that i have. This is also something that I really enjoy about my moving to Berlin. Being able to connect myself with new people or with some close friends like Federico Molinari, Tobi NeumannFelipe Valenzuela or John Dimas, just to name a few and work on some tracks together with them. I am not in a rush as people know me for my deejaying in the first place which of course makes my studio life quite easy, as I don’t feel any pressure to do something. Pressure and a creative proces never go together well I think and therefore I am more than happy with my situation.

15. Cocoon, where you’re a resident, is set to move from Amnesia to Pacha this year. Do you have any standout memory from all those seasons at Amnesia?

Countless memories of course and it would be very hard to just pick out one night after being a resident there for 12 years. Even though I am curious to see how the new concept is going to be at Pacha and I am looking forward to another summer on the island.

16. I heard you mention how having people mixed from all levels of society makes for the best parties, is it something you still manage to find today?

Well I think that actually finding yourself in a party like this is the most difficult part these days, as our scene has split itself into one million little niches. Consensus nearly does not exist anymore and certain people take their musical taste and ways of expressing themselves through music way too serious. This is taking out the fun part of the whole thing too much, at least for my personal taste. It is actually hard to find a party these days where you can find this mix of all social levels, nationalities, gays and straight people just partying together and having a good time. From my experience in my 26 years of deejaying until now I still think that this is the key to a good night out, where the moment counts more than cellphone videos, Facebook posts etc. and time is just not existing anymore and the people get lost in the moment without judging or over analyzing everything. Those have been always the best parties in my perception if I try to remember.

17. Here’s to 20 more years of raum…musik then! Any final words?

I am very thankful for your support and for the opportunity to talk a bit about about the label and the 20 Years Raum Musik compilation that is going to be out in April 2018.


Words by Pierre-Alexis Chauvin

More Dorian Paic; Facebook / Soundcloud / Raum…Musik.

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There’s nothing more off-putting than big-headed Djs who think they are rock stars- just let the music do the talking!’: Lauren Lo Sung Interview & Mix

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

Lauren Interview Banner

The Liverpool-born, Lauren Lo Sung, took the country and the club world by storm, steadily growing her status from a Northern local hero, to an Egg London resident, to an Ibiza darling in the space of a few years. Just in 2017, she played fabriclondon and was one of Mixmag’s breakthrough DJs. Hearing hear eclectic set on NYD at Tobacco Dock, there wouldn’t have been a better indicator that she was truly a good match with the MEOKO podcast series. Therefore, naturally, we asked her to record a MEOKO exclusive mix, which she agreed to, and which you can hear in all its glory right here!

We are pleased to hear how Lauren managed to bring many different influences — some dub here, some acid there — together into something super coherent and absolutely stomping. It is fair to say, when those dubby chords come in around the 21’ mark, you know you’re in for a treat. But listen for yourself and read our exchange with the up-and-coming DJ.


1- Hey Lauren, thanks for talking with us and for your mix! So you’re from Liverpool but I’ve heard it was actually a trip to Ibiza that changed everything for you, can you talk about that?

I first visited the island when I was around 17,  going to places like Zoo Project, Cocoon at Amnesia, Space. It was a very influential place for me, a place that made me dream- I used to visualise myself one day playing there.  I did the season in 2011 and that was when my Dj career really started to shape.

2-You still manage to spin over in Liverpool quite often it seems, as well as at the Warehouse Project in Manchester. Is there something you particularly like about playing in the North compared to London or elsewhere?

The North is where I’m from, so it will always have that warm feeling of home. I wouldn’t say it’s too different to other places around the UK though, you can get a good clubbing experience wherever you go. Even the ones you don’t expect to be good can surprise you. All it takes is a decent sound/ lighting, the right crowd/ venue and you can make a special party. I love playing in London, especially clubs like fabric and smaller venues too, it’s very cosmopolitan so people can be open-minded to different styles of music. 

Lauren Lo Sung Press 1

3- How was it like coming of age in the club world in Liverpool?

Liverpool has a huge history when it comes to club-culture, it’s where Cream first started and my older brother and sister used to blast cream compilations around the house as I was growing up. I had no choice but to eventually start liking the music! I’ve grown up listening to house music in the city, I first started clubbing when I was 14, even back then I would be one of those annoying people who knew what track was mixing in from hearing the first few bars. I loved it.

4- You’ve played more festivals or big one-off events last year, such as LWE’s Tobacco Dock NYE party, how is that different from a club night? Is this something you enjoy more?

LWE is a very well-organised event, they make a lot of effort with lighting/ sound /stages and it’s fun for me to play larger rooms now and again so I can experiment a little with my sets. I always keep true to my sound, but part of being a Dj is being able to adapt to different rooms, sound systems and situations. 99% of the shows I play are in small intimate clubs, these are my favourite as I can get close and personal with the crowd- you can create a more intimate experience for clubbers in a smaller room and I can take the listeners on a deeper journey. 


5- In those past few years of breaking through the scene, do you have any funny stories, or moments of feeling blowing away by the situations?

I played for Carl Cox‘s Revolution at Space Ibiza in 2016 for the final chapter- this was a huge moment for me. I had visited Space almost every summer since 17 years old and to play there was a magical, overwhelming feeling. I was staying in Carl Cox’s villa which was pretty surreal, my family came out to support me too which made the experience 10 times better. It really was an emotional night for me- especially when Carl Cox came to the DJ booth to watch my set and had one of my LOLiFE T-shirts on!

6- With all the interviews, the praise, the growing number of dates — this crazy industry basically! — how do you keep your head on your shoulders?

I have a super supportive family and circle of friends that are proud of me, but also keep me grounded- they would probably slap me if I was to act big-headed. It’s not in me to act like that, I’m just the same person as when I started off and I will be throughout my career. I work hard, so it’s good to get credit and praise now and again, but it just spurs me on to work harder. There’s nothing more off-putting than big-headed Djs who think they are rock stars- just let the music do the talking!

7- You recently gave away a Sade edit you did, I was wondering about your influences then. Your mixes are definitely full of dubby vibes, for a start.

I’ve got a pretty eclectic taste in music, I will listen to anything from Motown to Techno. Growing up I’ve always been a massive fan of 90s R’n’B/ Hip-hop. I love Sade, SWV, Tribe Called Quest, 2Pac, LL Cool J and Lauryn Hill and have probably picked up influences from those. I’m also a fan of Romanian minimal, dub techno and Parisian house music- which you can hear in my sets/mixes.

8- You started producing after establishing yourself as a DJ. How does your DJ side influence your productions?

Djing before producing influenced the way I arrange my tracks, it’s good to have a good feel for the music and how it would mix into another track. I had a clear idea of the type of music I wanted to start making, whatever would fit into my sets was something I wanted to make. I’ve been producing for around 5 years now, It was difficult to shape my sound for the first couple of years but I’m happy with my sound at the moment and it’s improving and developing everyday. I have a few pieces of hardware such as Korg Minilogue, Moog mother 32, tr-8 and tanzbar which make recording tracks live really fun.

9- Can you talk to me about both your party — LOLiFE — and your label — e1even? You seem to enjoy being in charge of things for sure! Any plans for them in 2018?

LOLiFE is all about low ceilings, small venues, great sound and a friendly relaxed party atmosphere where myself, friends and guests can play. Our parties have been sell-outs in the past year, it’s great to see the brand grow every year. We’ve brought artists like; Subb-an, Samu.l, Stuart Hawkins and have 2018 booked up with great artists. Our next Liverpool show is in March, which will be announced in a couple of weeks. There’s a couple of other big plans for LOLiFE this year, I will finally start a new project for LOLiFE records, a vinyl/ digital label plus more tba in the coming months… 

e1even records is a label I started with my partner Sian, we both have a driving passion for deep, stripped-back house music. It was the natural step for us, I have a lot of friends who make great music, and it needs to be heard. We’ve got some incredible music lined up for 2018 and I can’t wait to release it. 

10- And any confirmed projects for yourself in the coming year? I know you’ve got an upcoming release on DJ Steaw’s Rutilance…

I’m just putting the finishing touches to two EPs which are coming this year on vinyl, on labels I’ve been following for a long time, more will be revealed soon. I have a remix coming on Downhill Music alongside Deigo Krause as well as plans to remix on e1even records and my new label LOLiFE records. There’s lots of exciting projects coming up so 2018 should be an exciting year!

And finally, can you talk about this mix you did for us?

It’s deep, dub, with lots of groove. Starts off more stripped-back and slowly builds throughout. There’s new music from myself in there, as well as friends and unreleased music from some of my favourite producers. Check it out 🙂

Interview by Pierre-Alexis Chauvin

More Lauren Lo Sung; Facebook / Soundcloud

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Under The MEOKO Microscope – Maksim & Mix

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

Maksim Mic

When you’re steeped in the European minimal scene, it’s easy to forget that there is more to it than the Old Continent’s capital cities, that everything does not exclusively revolve around London, Berlin, and the occasional Romanian getaway. Just as comfortable spinning in his native Russia or his adopted home of New York, Maksim is the living proof that the scene is just as vital in many places around the globe, and he’s now part of those DJs from the periphery that have started touring Europe, rather than the other way around. Indeed, as a resident of ReSolute, Maksim cut his teeth on one of the states’ most infamous minimal dancefloors; it’s no surprise that, sooner or later, our European ears would catch wind of the man’s talents.

It surely helped that 2017 saw him release his first official EP on Aline Brooklyn — the three edits have encountered massive success and already fetch high prices on the second-hand market. Thankfully if you’ve missed the boat on this one, Maksim hints at more to come on the release front next year. And with a Moscow booking that places him along the likes of Eli Verveine, Dorian Paic or Livio & Roby for the New Year, his name is justly becoming an established one on the circuit. 


As the list of his achievements is sure to grow longer in the coming years, it was due time for Maksim to get Under The MEOKO Microscope, with an interview that sees him talking Russian clubbing, edits, and… Spice Girls. And to soundtrack the read, Maksim offered one of his own favourite creations as a MEOKO exclusive. Nope, it’s no Spice Girls edit — we’re still hoping to ever hear this one — but this rendition of Chinawoman’s “Party Girl”’s got the languid groove that’s steadily becoming Maksim’s calling card all over it.

Hey Maksim, thanks for having us, a pleasure for me!

Thanks for having me, I was looking forward to it!

1- You’re one of ReSolute’s resident DJ since 2013, so let’s start from there. Can you introduce ReSolute to our European readers?

Resolute, resolute.. well, it’s dirty, it’s dark, and it’s real.  We have guests come from around the world to join our parties in everchanging venues in NYC ( mostly warehouses)  and also throw international parties. The consistent component is the music. Don’t expect to leave with clean shoes but expect to dance till sunrise. And a driving force behind all of it is Nektarios, with his charm and vision.


2- And what about you? What age did you move stateside? Can you tell us a bit about your backstory basically?

It was an accident. I had friends living in New York and was invited to visit so I got a visa but never used it.  Then, after a long party,  a fight with my girlfriend, and one brilliant decision… I walked out from the afterparty onto a flight.

3- You’ve been spinning for 6/7 years now but how did you get into electronic music and ended up becoming one of ReSolute’s residents? Are there some DJs that exerted a strong influence on you?

My dad was music collector and my mom was a ballerina.. well, actually not true. I was a fan of Spice Girls and had a Nick Carter haircut. No jazz in the kindergarten for me,  I literally had a bad taste in everything.  I was a part of all subcultures in the end, but I can still sing along with Britney Spears.

It’s okay to grow, to learn, you don’t have to be brilliant from the beginning. Look at me now, doing an interview for Meoko.

Maksim 1

My first club job, at 17,  was a favor to my sister and was in my hometown. I’m still not sure what kind of a shady business it was, but I got in as a lighting guy. Needless to say, I had no idea what I was doing. Aside from lighting, I also resuscitated the resident who drank too much. My “big chance” came when unable to revive him, I was asked to jump in and play. Eventually, I began to play on the weekends.Then I moved to Kursk and got a job at the club there. It was pretty commercial but it was huge and popular and paid. After 5 am we could play whatever we wanted, so I started to explore.  Minimal came along, I fell in love, I got fired. But, don’t fret, love of a woman did get me to Moscow and Arma17. Which finished shaping my taste

NYC was a crazy couch surfing, broke, no visa situation. But over time I made progress in the techno scene. Connie, who is a resident of Resolute, got me my first gig at a resolute Party.  I guess I was okay because I became a resident shortly after. 

When it comes to influences it’s Backstreet Boys.. joking. It’s Trentemoller who was ahead of his times, Led Zeppelin (yes) and Mathew Herbert. I love Mathews music and enjoy listening to his interviews. He often gets blamed for being too political and talking too much about societal problems, but I think that’s what art is about. I personally believe good music comes from a similar inspection of the struggles and debates of the times, but then again sometimes you just want to dance. Unfortunately, nowadays its difficult to be critical or have a differing opinion, the art of intelligent debate has suffered under social media.

4- You had a few tracks and edits coming out under your birth name in the past, but Aline 002 is really your first proper release. Can you talk about the label and the people behind it, and how this record came up? It seems quite mysterious…

True, I had a few digital releases back in the day. Different genre, not a big fan of those. but there is always a beginning 😉 Then I started doing edits, they’re more like remixes without stems. Some received lots of positive attention, like Who are we- on Ricardo Villalobos. One of my favorites is an edit on China Woman – Party girl. I love Rock and grunge.


I still wanted to have a record of my own, but it seemed complicated. Then my friend Nico (French, Young, Fabulous and Broke DJ) started his Aline label. I’m glad it seems mysterious, that’s what Nico wanted. I showed him some demos and he loved them, then the long process of finishing started. Producing doesn’t come easily to me, I’m quite distractable, a bit of a goldfish in a bowl if you will. I may or may not also be a perfectionist, so it’s a fine balance. I had no gear. I borrowed a sound card from a friend, I used Nikos home studio to check if everything sounded ok. 

5- The release’s got a great feedback, how did you feel about that? Does it mean we can we expect more stuff on the production side of things from you? 

I was very excited to hear the final product and hold the record in my hands. it sold out in 3 days, I was very happy about and also now I don’t have to buy presents when I travel for a least a couple months. I have few remixes coming on Minim Records, hopefully, right after NYE. And it’s a very important project for me, you’ll see what I mean later. (insert intrigue here) I actually think you should release about 3 tracks per year, as a kind of quality control. 75% of iTunes don’t get downloaded ever, seems like a bit of a quantity problem 😉

6- What’s a good edit supposed to do for you?

It gives me the freedom to breathe new life into things I already love.  No rules, everything goes. Rembrandt to Picasso.

7- You still play fairly regularly in Russia, do you follow the local scene?

Yes, I do. I can say it’s one of my favorite gigs. The nightlife is crazy in a good way! There are a lot of beautiful venues. You can party just in front of the Kremlin inside the Old Soviet Saunas for top politicians which are now a club, or in a club where you walk through a Chinese takeout Place to enter, and at the roof of an old factory by the river in the middle of Moscow. it always amazes me. A huge diversity of music and on any day of the week you can find something to do. Also, the parties last forever, last time I played there it went from Friday to Sunday. I think Slowdance is one of my favorite Moscow parties and definitely Stakenshnaider in St.Petersburg is very cool. Adjustment Bureau throws out some great productions and go see Pushkarev, Gorge and Izhevsky.

8- How is it different to play in New York, Russia or Western Europe? Different crowds? Would you ever move to Europe, to be closer to the “scene”?

Crowds are very different, that what makes it exciting and sometimes challenging to play different countries and cities. I have definitely considered moving to Europe, but right now I’m happy in New York. 

9- In general, what’s the scene like in New York? What would you recommend our readers to check out if they get to visit? Any artists and labels you think deserve more recognition?

New York has a very decent scene! In recent years it’s grown very much. Venues, Labels and real talents have emerged here. Definitely, visit Output, stop by at TBA for a drink. Of course, Resolute always has something special. There plenty of good small underground parties, as well. Resolute has a new label DisDat that’s worth a look, Julia Govor just put out a solid record, and Mimin Records have released some good stuff. and of course, my fellow residents are worth a listen, all of them unique but gifted. Lauren is the lone real jobber and is a part of All Day I Dream. Connie plays the drums is a rock band and just wrote and made a video for a Pop song. Obee just finished a project for Pornhub  ( yes, you read that right) Orazio our resident political thinker.

10- Have you noticed any changes in recent times? I know the cabaret law’s been repealed, there’s a new Office of Nightlife… do you think the narrative around NYC’s nightlife is changing?

Yes, it was finally repealed but I don’t think it will directly affect dance culture. The problem with throwing parties in NY is that it takes forever to get all the permits, it’s very expensive, and the relevant hours are tough to accommodate.  All this just forces people to get creative for better and worse. 😉 

11- There’s also quite a nice house and techno scene, with Bossa Nova, Sustain-Release, the Bunker, Unter… Is it something you’re interested in at all? Are there connections between your people and them?

It’s my guilty pleasure, gladly I’m a good friend with Julia Govor, so I get an in. We recently did Resolute with Nina Kraviz, that went very well, the music the crowd! you may expect more like it in the future! I really like the sound, it’s raw it’s more human, same when it comes to the house. I like it less perfect, more dirty, that you can feel it was made by a human. Not sure about connections, when it comes to crowd’s it’s absolutely different people, which I understand, but hopefully in the future, it will be more united.  

Maksim in action

12- Any recent highlights? How was the Get Perlonized party you guys did?! You’ve also had the 10 years anniversary!

Get Perlonized is definitely a highlight for us, when a major player in the scene does a party with you, especially for their anniversary, that means a lot. Proper warehouse, next to the railroad, night to day party! For our 10th anniversary, we’re going global, recently we hit Bucharest Romania, at Guest House. Then Moscow’s Gazgolder and much more to come.

13- And finally, can you tell us what’s in the works for you in 2018?

2018 will start with the gig in my beloved Moscow, I’m playing for Slowdance. Then St.Petersburg on the 2nd and I have a few gig’s in Spain, definitely, wait for a couple of new edit’s, I can promise it will be special. And of course a release on Minim Records, with a truly great story behind it. I always wanted to do something good, something I can be proud of and finally got a chance, and I’m not talking about me or music.

Thank you very much, Maksim, all the best!

Thanks to you! Poka




Words by Pierre-Alexis Chauvin

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Yes I do love drums and percussion – that’s probably the most important aspect of a track for me.’: Traumer Interview

By Festival, Hot Off The Press, Interviews

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Romain Reynaud is a restless guy. He broke through as Traumer in the early 2010’s, releasing driving techno on Skryptöm, the label operated by French scene veteran Electric Rescue. This is a sound he diligently refined, sometimes on his own, sometimes as part of Skryptöm supergroup Möd3rn or with his many projects with another legend of the French underground, DJ Deep. But these days, this sound belongs more to his Roman Poncet alias. A creative frenzy has seemingly seized the ever-productive Frenchman: Romain came up with Marion Poncet to release his more housey fare, while Traumer ditched the techno and started churning out microhouse bangers. Romain can proudly consider himself a descendent of those 1990s producers who would casually craft house, techno and everything in-between under a myriad of aliases — bearing the spirit of a time where things seemed to be less compartmentalized. And this free-spirited approach belies raw talent too: no matter the genre he tackles, one can always rely on the now seasoned producer to provide booming kicks and a solid groove. 

Put simply, Romain Reynaud is a diamond with many faces. And for us at MEOKO, it’s under his renewed Traumer monicker that he shines the most. Gettraum, the outlet he launched to host these minimal-leaning productions, is full of chiseled drums, odd and seductive vocals, and expertly timed breakdowns. Seemingly overnight, the already successful techno producer naturally became a sensation amongst lovers of the bouncier stuff. What happened though? Did Romain take a nap on Mamaia Beach a fateful day, and wake up determined to spread the gospel with the distinctive zeal of the newly converted? Or was this sound brewing inside him all along, ready to bloom? In any case, it seems obvious that he caught the virus, and is now as hooked as the rest of us — which we couldn’t be more happy about, since the string of EPs he lined up on Gettraum have been flawless so far. Don’t believe us? Well you can hear it for yourself, because Traumer will share the bill with Apollonia at Unleash’s December 16th party. So to get to know the man and find out about his truly uncommon trajectory, MEOKO caught up with him ahead of his upcoming London gig. 

1- Hi Romain, thanks for taking the time to answer our questions! I wanted to start talking about your touring. Between Traumer and Roman Poncet, you’ve been on the road all the time for three or four years, playing every continent, so how’s this lifestyle going for you? How do you manage keeping things fresh and exciting?

My pleasure! Travelling the word to play my music is probably one of the best jobs in the world – you’re always inspired by new people, new cultures, new places and so on. However, this can also create some difficulties – especially if you’re missing someone who’s waiting for you at home. In my case, there is someone waiting for me every weekend, during every tour. I can handle a single weekend away – but for the longer tours, like a week or two – it’s always a mental challenge for me. Even if the people I meet during the tour give me a lot of good vibes, when you get back to your hotel and you’re all alone, this is not so easy sometimes.

Still, I am very enthusiastic about touring, this is my passion, my thing. I guess having different monikers linked to different kind of music, also helps me lot in terms of keeping myself inspired.

2- Among these gigs all over the world, did any make a particularly strong impression? I’m sure you’ve had your fair share of crazy stories, could you share a few of those with us?

It’s almost impossible to give you a short selection of the best moments – there are too many. Maybe one though yes, because it’s very special, and isn’t part of the classic circuit : My friend Pepperpot and I were playing for four days (daytime parties) on a wood platform in the middle of the pacific ocean, in the Fiji Islands. The name of the venue is Cloud9 – it’s very small and it isupposed to be quite chill, music-wise. We had an incredible week over there.

Crazy stories: I’ve a million for sure hehe – again, it’s difficult to pick one specific tale. Also, I think I prefer telling those kind of stories in real life – face to face – I like to act it out a little bit, to mimic, to use gestures etc – trying to tell a real proper story, like you might do for a child. Come and ask me on December 17th

3- Being at the top of the bill is a fulfilment for DJs and producers, so what’s making you dream now? Do you still have more ambitious projects you’d like to get on with, or places you wish you could play at?

With your first question you insinuate I am at the top – but believe me I am very far from there! I’ve been dreaming about living from my passion all my life, it can through DJing, producing, scoring, etc… Whatever it is as long as it’s related to music – but it can’t be “pushed” – it has to remain a passion, not something that is forced or unnatural.

4- Let’s move to your Traumer alias. Your sound moved to the minimal side of things with Gettraum, even if we can still recognize your touch. I was wondering what led to this change: how did you fall for the microhouse sound, so to speak? Is it something you were already digging in the past? Was there a moment that clicked with you?

That’s true, my sound has recently moved a bit but I guess it always did and it will always do.

This is how I am, I like to discover new things, even if I’m not “using” this new thing in my music. Let me explain: with the micro-minimal-house sound, I was listening that stuff for a while, way before producing or even playing it. I was introduced to this music through the big names first: the label [a:rpia:r], and everything around Raresh, Rhadoo and Petre – and naturally, when you’re digging for something, you progressively get deeper and deeper into the genre. I was just getting into something which was new for me at some point – and like every new thing I get into, if I decide to “try something with it”, to focus my music on it, the move will be made only once I think I can do it, because I believe at some point I know the minimum that’s required to get started with.

5- By the way, why did you decide to create your own outlet for these releases? Is it going to stay dedicated to Traumer or would you consider opening it up?

I was pretty sure that the established labels who focus on this style of music would not release my music, because of my “past” or because the music itself would not be 100% suitable. The only way I thought I could initiate this change of style was to control the platform which would showcase this new “me”. Also, creating a new label – especially when it’s your first one – may ‘intrigue’ the scene a little bit, that way you might get some attention.  

6- Is it a sound you deliberately tried to pursue, or did you spontaneously start producing more minimal tracks? I was talking about new projects or dreams, was tackling a new style a way to challenge yourself in a sense?

For sure, I did try to pursue this sound – I wanted to for a while – it just took me time to work on it, ‘backstage’ you know. I like to challenge myself yes, I do it every day actually (I’ve got eight monikers at least for eight different kinds/variations of music). That’s what keeps me inspired – I never get bored of something, as I’ll move to another style before that can happen. It works for me.

7- The French microhouse scene these days is really healthy — new festivals, labels, artists… Where are you based when you’re not touring? Do you manage to find the time to party and stay aware of what’s going on in the scene? Are there crews, labels, newcomers or old-timers, clubs, that you’d like to give a shout out to? Basically, do you have recommendations for MEOKO readers who’d like to find out more about the French scene?

I’m based in Paris. Time to time I manage to find some space to go clubbing – mostly during the week – but not anymore like I used to (my favorite sober-observation party was Concrete on Sunday afternoon btw) – Now I keep my “ears in the game” through different social media groups (not only FB). To name just one, not because they are friends ;but also because they are simply very good, too: Beau Mot Plage; Check them out.

To be honest I’m not as much into the details of the local scene as I was few years ago – it’s very difficult to stay 100% connected when you (have to) do too many things – even if I’m making a lot of effort to do the maximum possible by waking up at 4/5.00am during the week. All the (very basic, I’m sorry) recommendations I can give to find out more about the French scene could be :

 – Check that Beau Mot Plage group on Facebook – which is also a DJ Crew/Label.

 – Check artists (you know probably most of them) such as : Lowris, Varhat, Cabanne,  Nunes, Loop Exposure, Hoser, Schaa,… I must have forgotten a lot but I’m not good at lists.


8- I feel like a defining features of all your works, regardless of aliases, are your drums. Can you talk about their importance? How would you define your sound, actually? Do you see similarities between your aliases? Do you have some habits when you’re producing?

Damn! I do love your questions (and observations) but it’s more like inception of inception ahah – so many question in one!

Yes I do love drums and percussions – that’s probably the most important aspect of a track for me. I’m not super comfortable with the idea of defining my own music – I don’t know. I guess there are a few similarities sometimes, first I’m producing with the same set up for most of them so obviously, the core sound can be a little bit similar.

I’m pretty sure I have some habits, but probably I don’t notice all of them myself, because they are habits, which are often unconscious ;but I can say I like to build up a soundscape, an ambiance before everything. Not a beat, not a melody – something (which can be atonal sometimes) that will help me to bring all the elements around. This is like “the soul” of the track, you can’t see/hear it but still it’s the essence of the music. After that, I build up the drums, sometimes to the final state – and then I can work on synths, if necessary.

9- In addition to touring all the freaking time, you’re not lazy on the production side of things either! Do you have upcoming releases on your label or others’? In general, what’s coming for Traumer in 2018?

–       I did a remix for David K’s Tone Series project – which just has been released few weeks ago.

–       Our collaboration with Lazare Hoche, on his imprint, just dropped as well.

–       A three tracker on All Inn, called “Mezon”, should be release mid-December.

–       Late February should (could) see Gettraum 5 coming out.

–       We will release our second EP with DJ Deep as Deep Traum.

–       In April will be released our collaboration with Point G on the London based label : Infuse.

There are many other things on the way as well, with my other monikers but also with Traumer.


10- You’ve been involved in many collaborations. What’s different when you produce on your own and with others? Can you talk about your partners, especially DJ Deep and your Skryptöm mates? DJ Deep in particular has always been a multifaceted producer, do you think he instilled that in you? You’ve also got an upcoming release with Lazare Hoche, how did that come about?

Working with another person is not so easy – everything is about ‘balance’. The relationship in the creative / technical process has to be balanced. For example, it can not work if you have two people who both have a strong attitude and who want to control everything. You take sometimes and you give sometimes. The working relationship has to be balanced.

That’s mainly the difference between working alone or with others : alone you’re balancing yourself. I’ve always been a multifaceted guy, a schizophrenic guy (in a good way). When I started to produce I loved making remixes of Marilyn Manson while trying to reproduce Bodzin’s synth modulation. Anyway – yes we’ve got a release together on his label, I’m really happy about the process that led to this release, everything went super fast – which is not usually the case. Charlie sent me a beat with an Ableton arrangement – like this : “hey, check this out”. I liked the very spontaneous way of doing it – I did my edits, add a chord synth. He did it again with another idea – which was super rich, so I could have two different perspectives with all the elements he gave me. And there we were, we had three tracks.


11- Speaking of him, he’ll be playing B2B with Djebali for Unleash on the 15th, and Apollonia and Mathew Jonson are there too. I guess you’re pretty used to share the bill with the cream of the crop by now, but what do you think of this line-up? Are you excited to return to London? What can we expect from you?

Hehe you know what? I’m absolutely not used to sharing the bill with those guys. In fact it will be the second time I’ll be playing with those names. For sure I’m really excited to be back in London with the crew and especially to play for Unleash for the first time – as I have heard so much about this party, in a good way of course – so yeah, I’m looking really, really forward to spinning there. I don’t know what you can expect, but I hope it will be good enough to satisfy your expectations!

Unleash x Apo Dec-17

Words by: PierreAlexis

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