MEOKO Discovers the Forward-thinking Sound Which is Reshaping Underground House and Techno, infusing it with Break-beat and Electro
Since 2017, Re-UP and Riccardo Piazza
teamed up on a new project, forming the Venice based record label Where We Met.
Distancing itself from the old minimal tech background that distinguished Re-UP, the multi-faced project is not only a ‘traditional’ record label, but also an independent DJ act, as well as a promoter entity. More importantly, WWM is pushing a forward-thinking sound which is reshaping current underground house and techno, infusing it with break-beat and electro.
Just listen to the first 2017 release from Reedale Rise; the ‘Broken Land’ EP
throws a captivating amen break into its first track with impressive smoothness, but also includes minimal house tracks that sound closer to the micro-house style we often hear at our favourite parties lately. Or their last release from 2018, ‘Where is my Prisma?’ by Chicaiza
– the astonishing title-track is just something else, a spectral groove which convinces us the label is really doing something special.
We were certainly impressed by the ingenuity of their nearly 2-hours exclusive recording for Meoko. Creating a flow with broken beats is not an easy task for any DJ, and WWM do it beautifully. 10 minutes into the mix and you will be sucked into a space wormhole of rolling electro basslines and lysergic atmospheres. As the mix progresses, house comes onto the game; steady 4/4 kicks and neat hats build an infectious groove, without switching off the note of deepness that characterizes the WWM style. To accompany the mix, we had a chat with Where We Met regarding their upcoming releases and events.
Hey guys, first of all, thank you for your time. We are very happy to have you on Meoko!
Could tell me a bit about your background? When was WWM born, and how?
Hi, It’s a pleasure to chat with you, guys! As explained in the introduction, WWM is a blend of Re-UP and Riccardo Piazza. Ricky’s history with electronic music had a serious turn when Leo and Omar asked him to go out a dinner in 2. “I remember I was back from an important business meeting in Milan” Ricky says, “dressed like a boring suited jacket man and I said “let’s meet up with the guys!”. Until that moment, I was just a guy with a lot of passion for electronic music, now I can say I have a way to express and share his passion with others. So I really have to thank Omar and Leo who gave me this opportunity, I’m sure that I’m now a better DJ / promoter / whatever you want because of them.” On the other hand, the Re-UP project needed a reboot. The duo, founder of Kina Music, had been around for over a decade. After joining Music On between 2014 and 2016, they felt the need to step back from a mainstream brand that went too far from their musical taste. We’re plenty of good memories of this period, lot of fun and most important, we had the opportunity to see how a big agencies works. Ricky’s has been fundamental to help the Re-UP rebranding because He enriched their musical knowledge and thanks to his different background, he contaminated Re-UP’s sets which are now more sophisticated but still effective.
The name Where We Met celebrates a specific moment in which the three of us had a mind-blowing experience all together, surrounded by inspiring music and funny scenes. Sunwaves 14 is Where We Met and that’s also the story behind the name. Zip’s magical 5 hours set and the unforgettable Ricardo Villalobos set in the middle of a storm were both essential for understanding that we were feeling the same energy , and from there our friendship has been growing with mutual respect and with the security that we share certain human values which are at the core of the WWM project.
That’s why Re-UP suddenly decided to invite Ricky to that dinner. As soon as the meeting started, things flowed naturally. Omar already had the name in mind, ‘Where We First Met’, so we just shortened it and here we are, ready to go!
What is the fundamental vision behind the Where We Met project? What are your goals?
In the beginning we wrote a sort of WWM manifesto that we thought we would have to present to the artists. The picky and meritocratic process we use to select the music for each release allows us to be like a super selector which is composed by our 6 ears and 3 hearts.
WWM’s vision is set on human values first and foremost, and as a reflection we work with artists we empathize with. Our goal is to release high quality music that match our taste. Something to be played in different moment of the day, something that people will hear in 20 years and still enjoy it.
Some of the label releases show a Detroit old-school electro influence, other feature broken beats so neat that they almost sound like they could have been released on Hessle Audio. What inspired you to go in this direction?
Thanks for the comparison, hats off to Ben UFO and whole Hessle Audio crew! We know that music is cyclical so it was about time that electro and old school music became popular once again.
What inspires us is the message behind a track and that’s why we didn’t set any limitations to the label. Obviously the first release was an electro package that surely put the label on the map, but after that we felt the need to explore a more deep influenced sound.
With the third we returned into a techno electro mood and luckily, one tracks has been selected by Craig Richard on his Fabric Mix. We will never thank Reedale Rise enough for this! WWM004
represents an excursion from breaks, deep and techno while the 5th was meant to be a dance floor-oriented release.
The Chicaiza EP is very important for WWM because it is something we needed in order to be a bit less predictable. The label was becoming an almost pure electro one because the best music we found at that time was electro, which kind of attracted similar music to us, but it wasn’t completely reflecting who we are and the range of the music we play and like. So We want to have different genres coming from WWM and we would really love that in each of our releases you are be able to hear our trademark which will always reflect our 3 different visions!
The first record of 2019 is already being released in February – the ‘Event Horizon EP’ by Tonnovelle. Can you describe the record for us?
is the most rave-ish on the label, an expression of our techno side and something you will need when you play peak time. It’s an intelligent release, pretty contemporary music, something that might have been out on several current “trendy” labels, but beware the A2. 😉
The influences that Arman and Kamyar had for this one in regard to the Vienna/Berlin connections are pretty clear to us even though it’s a pretty personal record. We also love the energy on this one!
Ricky adds “I’m really happy to have Arman on board because he is a longtime friend that I met in a special city, Vienna, and a very special place Metz. It’s a second home for me and it was so important to help me define my taste in music and also what is nightlife to me. I’m so thankful I’ve met the Funkroom crew and all the people that I can now call friends!”
WWM also has a sub-label, Spaziotempo. It only had one release from Freddy Fresh in 2018 so far, which sounds as brilliant as inventive. It definitely makes us want to hear more!
How does Spaziotempo differ from Where We Met? Do you have anything scheduled for 2019?
is hard to describe…We felt that Freddy Fresh EP
would need a different home rather than WWM. At the very beginning we wanted to create a label for represses and reissues but we immediately realized that this concept would be a limit. As soon as we worked on the Spaziotempo002, the division between the 2 labels was getting clear to us – and if you read between the lines you can spot the artist already. 😉nds like Freddy to be hosted
You are active as a record label and DJ act, but also as promoters in the Venice area.
How is the scene moving nowadays in Italy? Did you find any particular difficulty in promoting your projects?
Italy is trying to reshape a club culture and many good producers are coming out. At the same time, people are understanding that music and small venues can be turned into intimate spaces that fits perfectly with the party experience we aim for. We had few great shows in Italy last year, there was a living connection with the dance-floor, almost tangible at times.
Luckily we’ve shown up on Michele’s radar, the owner of Veniceberg
, who invited us to host a showcase series in his club. Since the first event, the relationship with Michele grew and we managed to understand the right steps to introduce the WWM project. There’s a mutual faith, he trust our bookings because he knows that we understand his club.
The music we love is neither easy nor popular, so it’s normal that not so many people would enjoy a 3 hours IDM/breaks/whatever set as we do. What we are trying to do is to offer quality music, always making sure that people have a good time at our parties, that’s the key! Behind a successful event there’s a motivated crew which is able to transmit energy and passion, hooking people and giving them the right tools to join the experience. How to do that? Passion plus smiles plus respect to our followers.
Your next party will be on the 18th of January at Veniceberg, the venue you just mentioned. The underground space in Verona provides quality acoustics thanks to a purposely hand-made sound system. You will play alongside Gwenan, a daring artist who plays tracks ranging from techno to more experimental beats. What is your expectation for this party?
Can you imagine the most comfortable situation in which everything works perfectly? That’s Veniceberg! With this scenario, you just need to focus on being the perfect host for the artist and the people attending to the party.
Gwen is a great Dj, one of our favorites for sure. We love her selection and flow, you can feel a personal touch in her sets and she’s always able to make a good connection with the crowd. Empathy: one of the skills every dj should have!
Other upcoming parties also have intriguing bookings; Freerotation resident Jane Fitz and Madrid DJ/producer Corp will play respectively in March and May, also at Veniceberg. What guides your booking choices?
As for our releases, we want to book artists that we would love to see at other people’s parties. Being a DJ means to connect with the people and not everyone have the ability to bring the audience through their journey.
Jane needs no introductions, she’s one of the best in the business and it’s such an honor to have her with us: I can’t wait to hear her on the Veniceberg’s sound-system! Ricky still remembers her debut at Panorama Bar, at the end of her set there were literally 15 people waiting in line to hug her (including him): we think that this tells you a lot about the great human being she is (and of course…how good that night was!).
Corp is our bet this year! He’s surely a superb producer, his works for Libertine are outstanding but we heard he’s a good DJ too and we can’t wait to listen to him in Verona! We would also like to give a special mention to Chicaiza, who did a superb set in November. We knew he was skilled but he really nailed it!
Can each of you tell us your favourite record from 2018?
And favourite party?
OMAR: Checkpoint meets O300f Recordings at Backyard Barcelona Villa. I
oved the energy all over, especia
en Kashawar played one of the best sets i’ve ever heard!
RICKY: Riccardo in Brooklyn (Decantour), amazing vibe, great people there, so many new friends and 2 super acts from Riccardo and from Rasho, a guy we would really love to bring to Europe!
Thank you for reading and enjoy the Where We Met podcast!
Upcoming WWM parties:
15.03.19 – w/ Jane Fitz @ Veniceberg, Verona IT
17.05.19 – w/ Corp @ Veniceberg, Verona IT