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A MEOKO Exclusive & Special Mix: tINI b2b Molly

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

tINI b2b Molly banner

Well, we didn’t see that one coming, but looks like two of our favourite DJs have struck an unlikely alliance. tINI and Molly have been orbiting each other lately with invites to their respective parties, but they’re now taking things to the next level with a string of b2b sets across Europe.

Any profile-raising news for Molly is sweet as honey to my ears. It’s heartwarming when people finally get their dues, and that’s exactly what seems to be happening to her at the minute. The Paris-based DJ has come a long way since starting her ongoing Rex Club residency. Initially a behind-the-scenes employee at the club, she slowly but surely established her mark behind the decks on the boulevards all the while gigging around town, leading her to become a fixture of the French capital. Resident DJ at Paris’ most historic club? Check. Appearances at Concrete and their yearly Weather festival? Check. Ties to the beating heart of French minimal, that is Yoyaku? Che-e-e-e-ck. Molly is one of those local heroes that shape a scene, and if she remains an untiring champion for the best of underground house and techno, her increasingly minimal inclinations reflect Paris’ embrace of the sound. Indeed, with Yoyaku she seems to have struck a chord, with the Belleville outlet releasing her first EP last year.

Not that she’s a newcomer to the genre though, as a look at her list of guests in the past years at Rex Club is testament to her versatility — American underground warriors like Aybee, Kyle Hall or Fred P have rubbed shoulders with the cream of the crop of the European minimal scene, namely Zip (!), Eli Verveine, Vera or Onur Özer — and a look at her schedule is even more revealing: Molly is jumping from Panorama Bar, to dates with the twee Giegling crew, to brasher Ibiza parties, like it’s nothing at all. With her abroad dates showing no sign of slowing down, it’s Paris’ loss, but the rest of the world’s benefit.

MEOKO Exclusive Podcast 254: tINI b2b Molly

Mix tINI B2B MOLLY 254 MC

tINI, on the other hand, has already been a powerhouse on the house and techno circuit for years. Instead of a Rex Club, it was her ties to Loco Dice and Desolat that broke her through the scene, but she soon enough established her own tINI and The Gang residency in Ibiza — a favourite on the White Isle, whose beach party vibe and free-entry policy until a few years ago marked her as a bit of an outlier amidst the island’s superclubs. Having played the biggest scenes in the world — Coachella no less — The Gang shows tINI’s constant attachment to the music firstly, something all too rare in a corner of the industry that at times seems to have more to do with the stock exchange than with the transformative experience of clubbing. The Gang is tINI’s loose group of affiliates, a Justice League for bumpy beats that pairs more established names like Bill Patrick — with whom tINI’s epic b2b have become the stuff of legends — or Cologne’s own Andy Kolwes with a pool of fairly unknown up-and-comers, and some carefully selected guests, that have included all from Alexandra to Giammarco Orsini. Sure, the brand is centered around tINI’s figure, but its rotating cast makes it about the vibes rather than the names. As Andy told us, she’s “the living proof […] that it’s possible to stay true to yourself and even gain a bigger audience at the same time.”

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So now those two names are joining forces, with a series of b2b sets that started on May 9th at Frankfurt’s beloved Robert Johnson, following tINI’s invitation to Molly’s HEAD—ON residency at Rex Club back in January, and continuous appearances with The Gang for Molly over the past few years. This collaboration is a win-win-win situation: tINI maintains her appeal as a big name DJ that still knows what’s hot, Molly’s continuing ascent to DJing royalty is propelled by the partnership, and we, the public, get to see those two unique DJs get face to face. Beyond their respective knack for working a crowd into a frenzy, the two have more in common than it seems. Most importantly they’re DJs first and foremost: although both have made forays into production with success, it’s primarily their skills as party hosts that ground their respective appeal — which in this day and age where everyone seemingly is a DJ is no small feat. While many turn to production to stand out from the mass, those two have mainly relied on the old art of DJing: the ability to select the right tune at the right time, and to string those good tunes over hours into something greater than the sum of its parts. It’s a skill that shines most through their residencies — where you can’t merely fly in, soundcheck, play some bangers, but have to think out the entirety of the night, from the warm-up to the last encore, as a continuous whole, and have to maintain this continuity month-in month-out.

A successful residency shows great curatorial skills, and the next logical step, which funnily enough they’ve both decided to take around the same time, was to launch their own labels. Kicking off last year with a 

 EP courtesy of Florida’s Michael Zucker and associate Pete An under the Prophets of A New Generation moniker, Molly’s RDV carried on with an Aybee record smothered in his gently psychedelic percussion-heavy style and has already reached its third release, this time crossing the Pond back to Paris for an Aleqs Notal/1977 split. 

And now tINI’s taking the plunge, too. Little do we know yet about her Part of The Gang endeavour, except that the first record, out this summer, will mark her return to production and come backed with a Mr. G remix. What more do we need to know, really?

tini and the gang molly

After a gig at Sankey’s on the 10th of May, Molly and tINI will be back together in Barcelona with the whole Gang on June 13th. Last; but not least, the duo will gather again for a Tuesday treat on the island for tINI and the Gang Ibiza Showcase. It seems like we can expect more from this collaboration in the future — a chance to catch two exceptional curators at the top of their games, having a bloody good time together and sharing it with us. 

To remark the occasion, MEOKO proudly presents tINI and Molly Exclusive Podcast (2-hour cut of their Rex Club Set). Nothing much to say, turn the volume up and ENJOY! 

Mix tINI B2B MOLLY 254 MC

Words by Pierre-Alexis Chauvin

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Preview: Underyourseat 11th Anniversary w/ Traumer, Javier Carballo

By Event Previews and Reviews, Hot Off The Press, MEOKO Exclusive, MEOKO Presents, Reviews

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Hot on the heels of his appearance at Eagervision on May 11th, Javier Carballo flies back to the Canaries to celebrate the 11th anniversary of his and partner-in-crime Berna’s Underyourseat party. The party’s a staple of the island’s nightlife, and going stronger than ever with the recent launch of the in-house label to celebrate the 10-years mark. The first EP was provided by Javier himself with Lowwaxx, and encompassed the broad range of the party, with four enchanting groovers of dub and minimal allegiances.

https://soundcloud.com/user-446648048/sets/lowwaxx-6-terms-zucchini-ep” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer

At such a good time for Underyourseat, no doubt Javier and Berna will be in the mood to celebrate. Both are proponents of a stream-lined and hypnotic sound, that carries the crowd seamlessly into the night up to those wee hours of the morning — sunglasses on, head-bobbing to the tunneling grooves til the sun is well up. There’s probably no better way to enjoy it than catching them in their home turf. After 11 years of inviting over the best names in minimal, from Onur Özer to Cabanne and Raresh, there’s a reason they’re now the ones headlining events across Europe.

For this special occasion, they’ve invited a good friend of ours, who we interviewed back in December: Traumer. Since he steered his alias into a more micro/minimal direction, here at MEOKO we can’t get enough of the Frenchman’s drum-heavy rollers. And in that regard, we’ve been treated: even more productive than usual, Romain is already four releases in since the beginning of the year, including one on his ever-special GETTRAUM label. A very special guest for a very special occasion.

So there you go: on May 12th, it’s in the Canaries that the good things are, so it seems. you can already book your tickets here. See you there at the front-left speakers — after-party on the beach.

Words by Pierre-Alexis Chauvin

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I love music with feeling.’ Joseph Williams – Interview & Mix

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

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A true enforcer of timeless rhythms, with an ability to draw the listener in with a wide spectrum of sounds and moods. A unique thought process when digging for records, searching way above and beyond the ordinary. Over recent years, a reputation has been built solidly around his passion and raw ability to structure records whether playing in a club or after party atmosphere. A journey of all kinds. With successful releases on London based labels Fuse, Infuse and Arupa, the energy does not end in the booth.

It has been a long time coming, join us as we caught up with the natural and humble talent that is, Joseph Williams; he will be joining us this summer on the MEOKO stage at RPMM Festival in Porto (and rightly so).

Joseph Williams 253

1. First, thank you for your time and recording a mix for us. Where did your journey with music begin?

It’s a pleasure to finally do a mix! I would say my journey did not begin with electronic music; my taste was varied growing up from Hip-Hop to Blues and Folk. A lot of the electronic music I heard was filtered through my older sister who would play it at home and took me to my first parties when I was around 17/18. I would pair up with her friend who was older so I could get in to over the 21 nights with my baby face!

I was always more inclined to listen to electronic music as I got older. After my first club nights I began collecting for myself, starting with classic/soulful and funky house. From there I was constantly discovering new sounds and different variations of our music. It felt like I stumbled across all the parties and music I now enjoy, but my path makes sense when looking back.

2. What would you say influences you amongst the scene right now?

I value my time spent with friends the most. This could be at a party, or the countless hours we spend playing and discussing music in between. It’s these moments that are influential for me and I draw energy from. Even a simple conversation with a friend Shauny could spark and renew my enthusiasm. Connective moments of shared passion fuel and drive our scene forward and we all experience them in some capacity – these are fundamentally what inspire me to be creative.

3. Where would you say you enjoying playing the most, either past or present?

Can we make it a time during the night? If so, after-parties. It’s where I am most relaxed, I feel less pressure and I can play the music that I enjoy collecting the most. I think there is a certain expectation from the crowd for the main gig of the night and this includes the DJs living up to their expectation of the event. I can definitely appreciate this and to some degree, it can’t be helped.

The after party, however, is where people are (mostly) open to DJs experimenting, so it is a space where the DJ and dancer can subconsciously both transcend the expectation and convention of a standard party and experience sound differently, together. With this comes an atmosphere that permits more freedom, which is always good when playing. 

4. Having released on Fuse, Infuse and Arupa which are highly respected labels, are there any labels in particular you would love to work with in the future?

It’s been great working with these labels as the people behind them have been friends and have somewhere along the line, helped me on my journey. I’ve not thought about any other labels to release on, my main focus for now is to simply make the music.

JW arupa

5. Do you have any releases in the pipeline you can reveal to us?

I’ve been working on a first EP, its something that’s not come naturally in terms of creating and selecting. I’ve had loads of ideas but none I feel have represented me. Although now I have one more track I’m working on which completes a 4 track EP.

6. This July you will be playing along side many fantastic artists at the brand new RPMM Festival in Porto. It sounds like a great concept they have, how does it feel to be part of such an exciting project? You will be able to pack some special records for that trip.

I’m looking forward to it! The main stages of the festival host loads of different styles of music, so it will be nice for the Meoko room to continue in that fashion and provide alternative and deeper sounds.

Ultimately you can’t fully plan for a gig, but lately when finding music I’ve been saying ‘yep, that’s for the festival’ – some feel-good sunshine groovers. 

rpmm finalefinale

7. You recently played at the refurbished 93 Feet East, how did you find it with the new makeover? It is refreshing to see a club being given a new lease of life. Do you think this could have a knock on effect in the city, maybe more day time focused clubs opening?

I think its great that its back. The club was home to a lot of my first parties and raving experiences; it is of course synonymous with Sundays at Fuse. In a way, this club and party was a preamble of things to come for me. The makeover has given it a stripped back no-nonsense feel, and this has been mirrored by the extensive quality on the line-ups every week. I recently had a convo with my friend Zack who is involved with the events in the club and we spoke about the potential it has for so many different types of parties and events.

I hope it does have a knock on effect! I have seen a few cool new spaces pop up recently and have been to some great parties, there is still a lot of passion in London and the city can still be the clubbing capital if we are not limited by restrictions and closures.

8. What can the listeners expect from the mix you kindly made for us, how do you go about compiling online mixes and podcasts?

I’d like to think overall, it represents distinct moods and sounds that I enjoy most and look for when collecting. I love music with feeling. Some of the tracks in the mix I connect with when I’m home or daydreaming with headphones somewhere (which I do a lot). Despite appreciating loads of different styles, on a whole, my taste is definitely dictated by synths, melodies and the feeling they give. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good bass line! But I am a listener of music first, and these are the tracks that catch me, so its only natural it follows in my selection when I play. I hope this mix is a snapshot in to what I groove to and reflects parts of my personality.

When compiling the mix I wanted to focus more on my personal connection with the tracks and tried to subdue the ever-enticing factors of novelty and obscurity, as they don’t always help the cause. In regards to the structure, I try to be gradual with the intensity in mixes and leave the end dreamy, I left this mix on a lighter note as I try not to take everything so seriously all the time 😉

9. A question we like to ask, if you could choose three records that never leave your bag, what would they be?

I wouldn’t say they never leave my bag, but here are three tracks that I always come round to at some point and have done for a while:

1. Wamdue Kids – Echoes and Instruments

Timeless Wamdue on the seminal label, Guidance.

2. Ricardo Villalobos – H.E.I.K.E. (Ricardo Villalobos Mood Mix)

The man is a major influence for me, probably not one of his most cited tracks – but the simplicity and percussion groove always catches me. It circles round in to my sets every so often.

3. B12 – Debris

 

Bags of emotion and a record I’ve played towards the end of many after after parties.

Thanks a lot for your time Joseph, see you in Portugal J.

Interview by Zac Bidwell

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Preview & Competition: Eagervision presents Cap, Javier Carballo & More

By Competitions, Event Previews and Reviews, Festival, Hot Off The Press, MEOKO Exclusive, MEOKO Presents

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Are you going to Sunwaves? If not… my heart aches for you. If yes, then you know you’ll be tapping your arms for some more of that oh-so-sweet loopy minimal Romanian vibe in the weeks following the festival. Thank god if you live in London, Eagervision’s got your back and is ready to pull you out of the withdrawal-induced bleakness by throwing a party loaded with rolling beats and sunny vibes at Bloc. on May 11th.  

Indeed, the headliners are two Sunwaves regulars, and both will be hot on the heels of this year’s 23rd edition. There’s little need to introduce Cap, one of the most revered names amongst the cohort of Romanian DJs that the country gave us in the past decade. But despite the fact his style displays all the hallmarks we love about the Romanian sound — trippy, hypnotic melodies, impeccable mixes, driving beats — Cap is one of the genre’s few DJs able to pepper his sets with tunes encompassing a much wider spectrum, from house to electro. This versatility was manifest in his MEOKO podcast:

Cap MC

Javier Carballo, on the other hand, rings perhaps less of a bell than his Romanian counterpart, yet there’s a reason he’s a regular at Sunwaves: as a DJ, his style perfectly encapsulates the festival’s ethos. Javier specializes in hypnotizing, sun-drenched beats, which is a combination we’re always thirsty for. He might fly a bit under the radar to some, but Eagervision knows better and we’re delighted they bring him back on British soil with this booking.

Completing the line-up are a few of Eagervision’s protégés, all of them having or about to drop EPs on the label. Alffie, Alwaan and Fernando Montes are sure to make you move.

The best of it all — as if a Romanian party in London was not enough — is that we’re holding a competition for this event, a competition that has not one but two winners. The first prize includes

– A 2-hour DJ lesson (whether you already pride yourself with your skills or are a complete newbie, know that the lesson can be for beginner or advanced),

– Javier Carballo’s recent double EP on Hector’s label Vatos Locos Silver Smile, so you’ll have something to spin for those lessons,

– And of course two entries and some Eagervision goodies, (which the other winner will also get, two entries and some Eagervision goodies.)

 

As usual, all you have to do to participate is email us at hello_competitions@devmeoko.co.uk with the subject heading ’Eagervisions’. Good luck!

Join us on May 11 to fight the post-Sunwaves blues, and book your tickets already.

eagervision 11may poster v2 A4

Words by Pierre-Alexis Chauvin

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Preview & Competition: E1 Presents: Body & SOUL

By Competitions, Event Previews and Reviews, Hot Off The Press, MEOKO Exclusive, MEOKO Presents

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The turn of the century is often remembered as a dark age for New York dance music. With then-mayor Rudy Giuliani cracking up on parties, using for instance the infamous and racist no-dancing law that only just got repealed, dance music lovers were forced more and more underground. Yet from 1996 to 2002, a cult Sunday afternoon party drew week-in week-out those that no amount of policing could prevent from dancing: starting off as a mere outlet for François K and his friends’ frustration with the state of New York’s nightlife, Body & Soul made a lasting impact on the city’s scene. And now E1 London is bringing the full crew to London for a rare Body & Soul appearance this Saturday.

Body & Soul got started in July 1996 as a weekly Sunday afternoon affair by three long-time alumni of the NYC dance scene, and soon acquired a cult status among its crowd of devotees — it is now remembered with the same fondness as the very parties and clubs that had inspired it in the first place. Indeed, François K, Joe Claussel and Danny Krivit — the three masterminds behind the party — all cut their teeth behind the decks of the Big Apple’s most iconic clubs, where they’ve put in a ludicrous amount of time as dancers themselves. The Loft, the Paradise Garage, you name it: here is the DNA running in Body & Soul’s blood. In other words, few people live and breathe dance music as much as those three. A list of their individual accomplishments would be unreasonably lengthy, but suffice to say that Joe Claussel is one of the founders of cult house label Ibadan, while François K is simply one of the most influential producers ever: from pretty much single-handedly pioneering the art of the dance music edit in the late ’70s to collaborating with Mick Jagger and Depeche Mode, the native Frenchman has forever imprinted his mark on the musical landscape. 

And as for Danny Krivit, in addition to being one of his city’s most famous DJs, he’s given us what for my money might be the best edit ever: if you want one tune that embodies the ethos of Body & Soul, look no further than his version of “Love Is The Message”.

To celebrate this unique occasion to catch the legendary trio in London, MEOKO is putting on a special competition. In addition to two entries for Saturday’s party at E1, the lucky winner will get £30 worth of free drinks and a copy of the first 3×12” compilation put out by Body & Soul (https://www.discogs.com/sell/release/62214?ev=rb), which includes a bunch of the party’s most rinsed tunes, and bona fide New York garage classics.

All you have to do to participate is email us at hello_competitions@devmeoko.co.uk with ‘Body&Soul’ as the subject heading. Good luck!.

To leave him the last word, here’s what François K had to say about Body & Soul at its height: “these parties we’re having right now are among the very few I go to where the crowd goes nuts… They’re screaming and hollering, singing and stomping, they don’t want to leave the club. Every week now, it’s become this habit, where we put the lights on and everybody keeps dancing. We turn the music off and they sing, so we have to put more music on.” So if you like your house music soulful, try your chance at the competition and come over at E1 this Saturday. This is one for the books.

2039.4 E1 A3Posters BodySoul 04

Words by Pierre-Alexis Chauvin

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Schatrax & Shaun Soomro rework Echoes Of Paradise: LMDRMX016

By Hot Off The Press, MEOKO Exclusive, MEOKO Presents, News

LMD Anno. phos

Lick My Deck’s discography reads like a who’s who of electronic music — Petre Inspirescu, STL and Thomas Melchior have all released on the label. And from the glitchy sound of [a]pendics.shuffle to the loopy Romanian sound of Barac, it also charts the genre’s main trends — always on the leftfield though, which is why you can find Chicago maverick hero Jamal Moss on one of their more recent releases, for instance. Ever dancefloor-friendly, the label yet always leans defiantly towards the abstract side of things, carving its own way off the beaten track, more interested in its own inner world than in the scene’s conventions. In its decade of activity, Lick My Deck has therefore assembled a fine bunch of likeminded daredevil funambulists, sprightly straddling the high wire linking the ethereal world to the dancefloor — doing so without a hint of pretentiousness. 

https://soundcloud.com/lmdrecordings/sets/shaun-soomro-mikael/

 

Among those are Shaun Soomro, one of the label’s founders, and Mikael Stavöstrand, one of its longtime affiliates. In 2016, the pair collaborated on the Echoes of Paradise EP, a wistful affair referencing Soomro’s native West London in the same way that Burial references the UK’s storied rave history — with ghostly echoes of West London’s Caribbean and dub legacy haunting the tracks, conjuring a dreamlike world where the recollection and the fantasy become indistinguishable. In keeping with the label’s childlike spirit of playful experimentation, for their latest release the crew decided to throw these tracks in the caldron again, and to extract new hazy visions from this primordial soup: an echo of an echo — hinting at soundwaves endlessly reverberating and changing form, at the infinite possibilities lying outside of our ears’ reach.

“Street Code Symphony (W10)” is remixed by Josh Brent, better known as Schatrax. If the British producer is famous for his sometimes joyful and always bumpy bangers, 

 is a mood he knows as well, and he’s certainly no stranger to the 

 and 

 atmosphere of the original track. In other words, him remixing this track was never an obvious choice, yet it makes perfect sense. He turns in a remix that ups the ante dancefloor-wise while retaining all of the original’s lurking sense of dread. One of those tunes where euphoria and sorrow blend, faithful to the original’s definitely ambiguous tones.

https://soundcloud.com/lmdrecordings/sets/barac-pata-din-mijlocul/

 

On the B-side, it’s Soomro himself remixing “Paradise Lost”, a logical choice considering how the Echoes of Paradise concept is close to his heart. This time he goes for a “Warrior Trance” Revision Dub”, fully embracing the record’s origin story. The sub-bass on this one does justice to the sound system ornamenting the record, and combined to the droning tones and the searing strings, it flips the original’s atmosphere into a dreadful world. Just like the new record’s art presents a negative of the original’s palm tree-lined road with the label’s bespoke trippy artwork infiltrating its cracks, Soomro paints a recognizable but disturbing — and yet ultimately bewitching — version of “Paradise Lost”. It is a sonic rendition of dreams’ ability to confuse moods, which makes it a fitting rework for a track that was already mixing up the real and the imaginary, the past and the present.

The original record released in 2016 gained early support from the likes of

 and

 — which, if anything, shows Lick My Deck’s unique appeal in the scene — The Reworked version will be out in March. In the meantime, get lost again in Echoes of Paradise’s uncanny world.

 

Words by Pierre-Alexis Chauvin

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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.

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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

 

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Words by Pierre-Alexis Chauvin

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Preview: Junction 2 2018 & Junction 2 presents Tobacco Dock

By Event Previews and Reviews, Festival, Hot Off The Press, MEOKO Exclusive, MEOKO Presents, News

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Watch out everyone, Junction 2 has announced the full line-up for its 2018 edition with special back to backs, Adam Beyer b2b Carl Cox (World Exclusive), Dixon b2b Âme (6-hour Set) and Sonja Moonear b2b Nicolas Lutz.

The LWE event will hold its third edition on the 9th of June in Boston Manor Park — a 10-hour long event that, so far, includes the biggest names in house and techno. Fan of the melodic fare? Âme, Mind Against, Tale of Us, check. Prefer the harder, darker stuff? Nina Kraviz, Len Faki, Jay Clarke, check. There’s the King of Ibiza, Carl Cox; the Queen of minimal, Sonja Moonear; and the prodigal kid of UK dance music, Joy Orbison. And it’s particularly nice to see Nicolas Lutz on such an event. The Uruguayan digger’s been everywhere last year, as comfortable spinning obscure bangers on a festival’s main stage as at some dodgy afterhours — proving that popularity does not require compromising on quality.

j2lineup

Anyways, this is only the first wave of names, leaving us to wonder what else’s to come. What’s for sure is that two of the biggest structures in the game will be hosting stages. One of them is Drumcode — Adam Beyer and Dense & Pika are already announced, but expect more acts from the label. The other is Sonus Festival, the Croatian festival that seems to lure half of your Facebook friends to its idyllic shores and decadent boat parties every year. With its outrageous line-ups and top production values, no doubt the team behind the festival will come up with something special for Junction 2.

And to keep you waiting, LWE has crafted an appetizer of sorts: a day-time event on the 10th of February at Tobacco Dock that will fly to London some of the festival’s headliners along a string of other acts. Once again, it’s only big-hitters.

tobacco dock

No need to introduce Nina Kraviz anymore. Out of all the generic techno DJs out there, her name will always stick out for me, as she’s certainly the one who has made the less concessions to get to where she is. She stays faithful to her high-energy, banging mixing style that forays into the most abrasive strains of 90s techno and trance, while pushing more experimentally-inclined but no-less banging up-and-comers on her трип label. You can tell Nina is passionate, and this is infectious.

LSD, the joint project of Luke Slater, Dave Sumner (aka Function) and Steve Bicknell, would be worth the price of entry alone. From the dreamy techno he put out as The 7th Plain to the relentless sound of Planetary Assault Systems, Luke Slater is a proper techno mastermind. Same could be said of Function, whose carrier embodies an entire section of techno’s history: his angsty sound brewed in the dark corners of late 90’s NYC mutated to a more hypnotic strain of techno when he relocated to Berlin as part of Sandwell District, a cult project that pioneered the currently prevailing trend for deep, mental techno. Steve Bicknell, meanwhile, is a UK underground hero whose Lost parties left an indelible mark on British techno. Their forces combined should send you on a proper mind trip.

There’s also Scuba, the head of Hotflush Recordings who has established himself as one of UK’s main tastemakers. As a matter of fact, the big room techno of Dense & Pika, who also share the bill in the Great Gallery, wouldn’t be where it’s at if it wasn’t for him. And finally, Modeselektor will also be present. The duo has been of all the main trends of the German underground in the past two decades. Whether with their wonky minimal on BPitch Control, their crossover label Monkeytown or the recently terminated 50Weapons that showcased some of the best current house and techno, these guys have always been driving forces rather than train-hoppers.

If that’s too much to handle, the artists billed in the Gallery will doubtless soothe your ears. Like Ricardo, Sonja Moonear is an Ibiza regular who’s as comfortable pushing the deeper and trippier cuts in her collection, and a definite MEOKO favourite. And that’s not mentioning our darlings, Apollonia. You know what to expect from the French trio: ridiculously pumping and bouncing beats that won’t fail to put a smile on your face, let alone to make your body move.

Not too bad, eh? Well you guessed it, there’s more to come. But you can already grab your tickets for the Tobacco Dock event here, and those for the festival there, before they reach the final phases.

Words by Pierre-Alexis Chauvin

More Junction 2 // Junction2 2018 // Junction 2 presents Tobacco Dock // LWE

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MEOKO Exclusive: A Deep Insight into Traffic Records w/ Martyné & Mix

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

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10 AM at an afterparty, and through the misty haze and your friends’ chatter, you can hear the twinkling arps of “

” rising. Or maybe you’re at a festival’s peak time, and it is “

” that sends the crowd into a frenzy. Other places, other tracks, but what’s for sure is that Traffic tunes have been ubiquitous in the past year. Your favourite DJs probably played them, and it’s likely their favourite DJs did too. 

Traffic records formed back in 2013 in the Frankfurt/Offenbach area — a region that evokes an important financial center to many, but which to dance music fans brings to mind some of house’s and techno’s household names. From Sven Väth to Robert Johnson, by way of Perlon, Playhouse, Roman Flügel and countless others, this city breathes electronic music like no other, in a very free-spirited way — and you can tell the Traffic boys did soak in its air. Technoid beats, alien sounds, synthetic textures. Few live up to the old techno ideal of machine funk the way Traffic does. In spirit at least, they’re proper members of the Midnight Funk Association. Even their graphics resemble strange textures, evoking the swirl of perception your dazed brain cannot process on a night out. Hell, this logo sure reminds me of my blurry-sighted intoxicated self, happily caught in the strobes and lost in the sound.

Martyné is one of the crew’s founders, and it’s little to say we’re excited he agreed to do an interview with us. In it, he frequently stresses the idea of crossing borders, of overcoming limits. Martyné knows his dance music history. He’s part of a generation of DJs who seem to have an unquenchable thirst for the most obscure records, those that will live on in the dancers’ memory long after the night is over, and be jealously guarded in the coveted shadows of the DJ’s bag. This passion for dance music’s legacy and their open-mindedness to cross-fertilization means the Traffic sound is a mixed bag of influences that exceeds their sum.

This also means that it’s a sound hard to pinpoint. House, garage, breaks, techno, electro? All of those, and more? Really what binds together the label’s tracks is more akin to a spirit than a music genre: at its heart is an inherent playfulness — a deeply infectious playfulness that explains the label’s success. As Martyné explains, this is the product of a close group of friends who grew up together, shared their first parties and ended up making tunes together. You could dissect these tunes for sure, study their use of drums and steal their synths. Yet the inimitable ingredient is this close bond that allows Martyné, Bodin, Jacob and the others to let go and capture the essence of a session — you may call it a feeling, or an aura, but this surely is what makes these sounds click.

At the end of the day, this is a group of friends having a bloody good time together, and you can hear it. This has clearly been there since day one. But as they mastered their gear, the mixture became deadly; a sound-transmissible virus aiming straight for your eardrums — to be fair, you’ve probably already caught it. This virus is very much present in the exclusive mix Martyné came up with for us: sprinkled with some unreleased tracks from the crew, it features breezy house, queasy bleeps, and a bunch of basslines designed to tear up dancefloors. Careful, it ain’t no cure — but why’d you want one?

MEOKO caught up with Martyné to hear about his and Traffic’s journey — a journey that took them from the Rhine banks to the breezy shores of Ibiza and saw them come up with a unique sound. Press play, and read on.

1- Who are the main characters running Traffic right now and what ́s your relationship? Apparently you and Jacob grew up in the same village…

The inner circle of Traffic Records consists of Bodin, Jacob, Patrick and me. We are the main characters and producers, running the label and managing everything linked to it. Jacob ́s brother Julian Chenaux is also co founder, belongs to the collective and is a very close friend. I know the Chenaux ́s and Patrick since the age of 15. We all grew up in a small town in the countryside next to Frankfurt where we had our first beer together and also our first party experience. So it ́s quite a long term friendship. In 2010 we met Bodin at a party. He was playing one of my first records and was hardly into it. So he is actually the only one of the collective coming straight out of Frankfurt and was more or less the last piece of our Traffic puzzle.

2- What led you guys to launch Traffic? Did you have a specific idea in mind about what the label should be, or was it a case of “let’s see what happens”?

The intention was to create a platform for our own creativity. Releasing several EPs on different labels is important for an artist but you always give away a small part of yourself. An own label is the best way to express your own identification or personality with different emotions and to show the specific style of likeminded musicians. Its a kind of a white sheet of paper giving you the opportunity to draw your personal picture and write down your own story. All our productions are reflecting exactly these inspirations and moods. Starting with more reduced sound, over garage, house till raw techno and breaks. Its a very personal journey showing a lot of different faces.

3- Do you feel like now you’ve reached a distinctive sound with Traffic?

After almost 5 years you can say the label is a cross-section of electronic music with the fingerprints of each of us. Coming from euphoric impressions down to sentimental, hypnotic grooves – you can feel and hear everything in our productions. This personal touch is very important for us and a kind of a trade mark not to sink in any hype. It ́s representing the development of our musical consciousness. Traffic Records is not focusing on a specific genre. It´s more about the variety of sounds. It really feels conclusive to me. Due to the fact that there are only some protagonists and key producers, the label got its own identity really quick. The releases by A2, Z@P and Edward were carefully selected to deliver even more variety. But all in all the label still keeps up the main spirit and it ́s identity. So I can say we reached a level where we can look back with no regret and we can be happy with our discography so far.

4- Traffic feels very much like a family affair between a close group of friends, what’s the spirit behind the label?

The spirit behind the label is based on friendship. We grew up together, shared big nights, experienced great sets and therefore we are on a very similar level when it comes to music. Everyone of us is following the same idea and is bringing in his strengths. Hate or jealousy are loanwords so we ́re able to create things with a free mind.

5- Frankfurt and Offenbach have got quite a legacy in terms of electronic music, how do you relate to the city’s old guard? Were some of them a big inspiration for you?

Yes, definitely! The former Freebase Records shop for instance was my very first base to explore electronic music. It was one of the places where I met many of my current friends and learned about the Frankfurt scene. Carsten Schuchmann aka MEAT (owner of Freebase Records) gave me the first opportunity to play at Robert Johnson, a very important experience for me back then. Another important spot was the Cocoon club where we started our first raves, listened to Sven and other big names. A lot of characters from the old guard and places from the past still have an influence on today ́s generation. Actually there are too many to mention right now but I would like to highlight Heiko MSO. Once I did an interview with him for my studies where he told me all stories about “Snap!”, the development of “I ́ve got the power” or stories about fundamental movements of this city. It was really impressive and showed me how that kind of music stands for the area in and around Frankfurt. Many people connect Frankfurt with big banks and the stock exchance but in fact the most important cultural identification is its steady contribution to electronic music.

6- I know Robert Johnson played an important role in shaping you and the label, what’s so special about the club? Do you have any memories associated with it that stick out?

Robert Johnson is limitless and places with no limits are a rare good in this world. Artists are able to break through their comfort zone and to experiment with different kinds of styles. There is no need for steady floor bangers to keep people dancing. The venue represents a level of openness which I ́ve never felt in a club before. Robert Johnson is my personal school of sound and when it comes to producing music I always have it ́s floor in my mind. I don’t know how many hours I spent there, but this club has had an big impact on my musical education. The experiences I ́ve made there are helping me to know what sound suits me and how my productions have to be finalized. When it comes to a specific, influential night I really can’t figure it out, because we had so many of them. The crowd there is really into the music and together with all our friends every night is a special one.

7- What does a Traffic night at Robert Johnson sound like? I’d imagine it’s always special for you to play there.

Since the very first Traffic showcase at Robert Johnson in 2015 it ́s usual that we invite a guest who is close to the sound and idea of the label. We had artists like Binh, Onur Özer, Andrew James Gustav or Etienne in the past. At the moment we are planning to host different live acts when it comes to the next edition of Traffic at Robert Johnson. All these artists are likeminded in terms of our definition of musical quality and we ́re always happy to play alongside with them at our favorite club. It ́s very important for our development to have a residency in a well respected club and to gather experiences and increase our skills. From the proper sound system to the professional team on site – the whole package let you feel good and it ́s a great to have our label nights in such good hands.

8- I feel like release after release your sound has become leaner, crisper — more focused in a sense. Do you have a clearer idea of what you’re looking for when going to the studio, and do you feel more confident production-wise?

We never have a specific idea when we ́re in the studio. Most of our output is driven by inspirations, moods and emotions. So it ́s difficult to compare one session with another; but during the last years we ́ve been getting more and more experienced with our gears and the way of how to arrange all these different inspirations in our tracks. The beginning of Traffic around 2013 was also the beginning of our work with machines and hardware. So for sure we needed time to gain experience with it. In the past we always had the feeling the track needs more fullness and elements, but with every year we reduced this thought and this leads us to a cleaned up arrangement of sounds. With every track we come closer to the ability to recreate our imagination in a track and this is what its all about for me. Get away from “Try and Error” to a focused. clear view on producing music.

9- Many of the tracks on Traffic tend to be collaborations between you guys, how do you usually proceed? What does each of you bring to the table? What’s the atmosphere like when you’re all in the studio, behind the scenes?

These collaborations are an important factor and also a kind of a unique feature. The inspirations and influences of two guys are always more versatile and are leading us to better results. We share a special energy in company linked to a higher level of quality. It´s easier to cross borders together especially with someone you know for so long. It keeps your mind free and open for any impressions. When someone stucks the other one will always have an idea of how to proceed. All these components give us the possibility to work on a fast and focused level.

However, when I produce by myself it takes me longer to get lead just by my feelings and to reach a thoughtless state of mind. Therefore I need to do longer sessions to make sure to reach my personal intuitive flow. The differences in terms of the output itself aren ́t that big due to the fact that Bodin, Jacob and me are all on a similar level. Producing alone is an introvert way of working for me. It ́s also the time for me to come down a bit.

10- To me it felt like the label broke through big last year, and around the same time you really seemed to establish a distinctive aesthetic, did you feel any pressure following up and keeping things interesting?

No I don’t feel any pressure to keep things interesting. We have a steady development in our studio work and never have the feeling that we reached a point of stagnation or boredum. Specific hypes doesn ́t affect us and we always stay real to our style and the people around us. That ́s what people feel when they listen to our music. You can feel the energy and situations we shared in that very moment when the track was created. With this attitude and behaviour in mind your music never get an expire date .

11- I know you’re on the Cocoon roster now, what did it change for you?

Cocoon, especially our booker Gregor, did a very good job in the last year. We played in well known clubs across Europe which brought us to another level. You can feel their long experience in the business and they have a sensible, professional way to handle our bookings and everything around. We are grateful to be in a roster of such an agency following their goals since 20 years now. Many important protagonists of our scene are related to Cocoon and have been part of their agency over the last two decades. Now we can bring in our part and we are curious about the plans for 2018.

12- You also played in Ibiza for the first time for a b2b with Bodin&Jacob at Amnesia, how was that? Were there any moments you wondered what the hell is going on?

It was definitely one of our highlights in 2017. We played the warm-up slot b
fore Sonja Moonear and Ricardo Villalobos on the terrace. I cannot imagine a better way to make your debut at Amnesia. I ́ve been already there as a guest and its pretty impressive to go through this venue. It ́s a kind of an aim of life for many artists to play there and we had the opportunity to reach it. It was a proper night with a great line-up on both floors. Everything went very well and I ́m still impressed by the sound system and the atmosphere of Amnesia. A massive night and we had a lot of fun. Of course we hope to be back in 2018.

13- Were there any other highlights in this busy year, for you or Traffic?

Apart from Amnesia we were really happy about our first appearances at Concrete Paris. It was in March when Brice invited all of us to play the whole night on the wooden floor. In September Bodin and me returned for a Most Wanted showcase. Concrete really belongs to our favourites now. Another gig to highlight was our Traffic showcase at the famous Goa Club in Rome in October. It ́s a super nice venue and the Nozoo team did a great job to make our label showcase a real blast. Also our showcases at Robert Johnson in March and August have to be mentioned and we ́re really grateful to host a third date now in December. Apart from the dates together with Bodin and Jacob, I played my first gig alongside Sven Väth in Antwerp. It was a Cocoon showcase where I warmed up for him and took over for the final shift. That was really heavy and intense but it worked out pretty well. A very positive feeling and of course a night to remember. In general I have to say the whole year was a highlight. I really can’t complain.

Traffic gang2

14- Whether in Ibiza or at a confidential afterhour, do you have a routine when preparing a set?

No, there is no specific routine. Of course it depends on my playtime but in general I just pick the records I like the most. I don’t have a specific way of playing either. My aim is to absorb the mood of the crowd and to play with it in the most positive way. Every venue and crowd is different and when you know how to catch the mood you can act or react quite flexible. A good night for me is mainly based on the wordless communication between the artist and the crowd. If you have the sensibility to connect to that you can’t pick wrong. Of course, sometimes that connection can be disturbed but there is no preparation for this case.

15- How important is the pacing of a night, from the warm-up set to the late-hours? Are you more of a peak-time sort of guy or do you revel in those hazy hours?

I feel quite comfortable in the early morning hours, this is my favorite time to play. People are getting focused on the music, they had their talks and met their friends and then its the time for the floor. It ́s a very thankful time and you get back what you give to them. You can bring some bangers or try to lead to a more mind based sound. It depends on you but in these hours the variety and the spectrum you can serve is not comparable to the main time or the warm up. But for sure also the main set is one of my favorites, I love to play out bangers and this is also characteristic for our sets.

16- With all the hype around the kind of sounds you’re pushing, aren’t you afraid it ends up becoming too formulaic? How do you keep things fresh?

I don’t have a plan to keep my stuff fresh. A hype can be over in a second, so you should not concentrate on it. This whole movement creates a platform for a lot of amazing artists who are spreading their sound now. So to keep things fresh you just need to focus on your ears and listen. At the moment there is so much great output like I didn’t hear for years now. A musical hype always ends when there is no variety anymore. It ends when everybody is jumping on that train and the market is flooded with similar, copied music and the loss of creativity. For sure this will happen somehow. You ́ve to keep a constant state of quality, don ́t get lazy and dig deep to keep things fresh.

17- Do you feel like the obsession with obscure records leads to some kind of exhaustion, or does the competition sort of pushes you to dig even deeper? Is it all about Discogs these days for you?

For me its the only thing which continously pushes me. I never get bored to search through this limitless amount of music. It ́s a task for your life and the feeling when you find great records is not comparable. In my opinion showing unknown, flashing music to the audience is the one of the most important parts of a dj. I get bored very fast as a listener so I always need some new impressions to keep on going. For example, I heard Nicolas Lutz and Binh recently at Hoppetosse and I danced the whole night. Djs like them are giving me the motivation and impressions to continue my game. So for me it ́s all about obscure, rare records. I don ́t criticize anyone who has a another opinion about it but I can’t find my pleasure in another, more generic sound.

18- Do you play exclusively vinyl? How important to you is it as a medium?

Vinyl is my focus but I don’t play it exclusively. For our own unreleased productions and the music of our friends we use USB. Furthermore there aren ́t so many venues focusing on this medium so you have to be prepared when it comes to problems with the turntables. But I have to say that our agency has a focus on artists playing vinyl. So the promoters are mostly aware to optimize the setup as far as possible to play records.

19- Is there any scene or genre that you’re particularly obsessed with in terms of digging right now?

Being focused on just one genre is not my style. I just go through a collection and pick what I like. I like listening to bleepy techno and electro but I also enjoy great house tunes. It ́s really difficult to figure out a specific genre which I listen to mostly. Sticking to a specific sound is boring for me. We can look back on such a long history and variety of music so why build up borders to yourself?

20- Speaking of digging, this is how you ended up releasing  A²’s new material and contributing to put them back on the limelight, right?

Yes, that ́s right. First we found their records and we were really impressed. Then we started working on the EP. It ́s cool to work together with the older generation of producers. They have their own view on music and we learn a lot from their experiences. In general I feel another energy when I listen to old tapes and recordings. The aesthetic of these old tracks tells another story than the music from today. But the combination of impressions from today and the past is what keeps the music always interesting in my eyes.

21- Are there any other forgotten producers that were instrumental in shaping your sound, and that you might want to release as well?

We have no specific plan to release another artist from the past but we are always open for that. There are many artists out there who shaped our sound from today.  A² is a great example.

22- On the other hand, one of Traffic’s most recent releases was by Z@P, how did that connection happen? Do you intend to welcome other producers to the Traffic family?

Z@P catched our attention when Vera played his Melliflow release at Robert Johnson. We asked her for the track id and the day after we connected us with him. He is a very cool guy and right from the beginning there was a friendly relation between us. After sharing some tracks we asked him if he is up for a release and he agreed. The tracks fit perfect and we are really happy with that release. Sadly we havent met him so far but we are working on it in 2018. We gonna try to get him over to our label nights. I really like the people I met from Montevideo. It feels like they are sharing the same idea like we do in Frankfurt/Offenbach. It was just a logical result to connect these two cities with this release. Of course we´ll welcome other producers to the Traffic family sooner or later. But right know I cannot mention any names.

23- You’ve been associated with a strong scene of labels (Pager, HardWorkSoftDrink, etc) achieving similar recognition lately, but are there any up and coming crews and artists from the Frankfurt/Offenbach area you’d like to shed some light on?

We have a lot of groups in Offenbach/Frankfurt and all of them are doing great in their own style. There is the crew around Orson Wells with more rough electro and the guys of Hotel International who are doing great parties in our area. Talking about the younger generation there are talented guys like Tom Ries and Robin Stern. They are doing a great job with their productions. In general there is always a development going on here and it is important to always have an eye on it.

24- The label’s already turning five next year, are you planning on celebrating in any way? More generally what’s in the works for Traffic? Any upcoming releases and gigs for you?

There will definitely be a proper rave to celebrate our 5th anniversary. We are going to start working on it very soon so keep your eyes and ears open 🙂 Furthermore we´ve planned our first solo EP´s on Traffic Records. This is quite a premiere and we ´re really looking forward to it. Another highlight production-wise will be the EP on our close friends label Pressure Traxx. All three of us contributed here and it´s gonna be released at the beginning of 2018. Finally we are going to launch a new label which is related to our afterhour project called „Not on Earth“. 2017 will be closed with two label showcases. The first one at Robert Johnson together with Dopplereffekt LIVE and the second one at White Noise in Stuttgart. I´ll also play at RED58 together with Dana Ruh right before Christmas. All in all we want to take up that drive from 2017 and continue with it in the new year. There is still a lot to do and we´re are really looking forward to it!

25- Finally, can you talk a little about this mix you did for MEOKO? Was there an idea to it or did you just go with the flow?

I chose some nice house stuff and unreleased Traffic tunes for the mix. Hear it upfront the night, fits very good 😉

Words by: PierreAlexis

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Preview: Half Bak8d’s 8th Birthday Celebration & M8GA Competition

By Competitions, Event Previews and Reviews, Hot Off The Press, MEOKO Exclusive, MEOKO Presents

Halbak8d

We all love birthdays as it’s time for party and presents and we can’t ask for a better combo than our beloved 8th birthday of Half Baked. What a journey. This amazing brand has made its name across the world bringing unique vibe event after event making people smile for weeks afterwards. It is such a trustworthy name that not many has in a scene, when friends invite you to come to one of their events, you know it’s going to be a memorable one. 

They are about to make a huge stamp in their journey by blowing away all their fan expectations. The line up speaks for itself to truly show what is this party is about since 2009 keeping it fresh at the same time. Action will take place on 25th November in yet mysterious 3 rooms east London venue, E1. Making you excited there? 

HB 7

Still keeping some names and special guests undercover, but what we know already is beyond exciting! You won’t see such names on the same bill around that’s for sure! Half Baked just making sure to have the party to top top level adding this guy – John Dimas. He does not need much of introduction as being one of the most wanted underground artists coming down to celebrate the birthday straight from having a massive blast this summer with Circoloco family in DC10 and all the best clubs around the globe.  

Second name that got our attention is Francesco Del Garda. Absolute weapon from Italy that has everything under his belt to control the dancefloor to the fullest! His mixes which require a massive bag of skills and we are sure it will leave you impressed and wanting for more! 

FDG MC

Coming next is Objekt. This guy does not put himself in sort of frame really. I think he describes himself best “adventures in machine music build to make subs rattle ad feet wiggle; a convoluted mess of elektrology and teknology, 3-step, bass-core, post windmill, proto-minimal wankstep, gondola, shithouse, acid wonk, ambient gabber, no more, no less.” That’s kinda it to know what to expect from this lad. 

 

One name that always make an appearance is Perlon. Such a big love we have for it and in charge of that this time we have Sammy Dee rocking the decks. He made his name across the clubbing scene by having his own strong approach and eclectic taste in music and creating this magical experience that Half Baked is famous for. Then we have this French killer combo back – Hold Youth (Seuil b2b Le Loup) alongside exciting member of Toi Toi Musik collective – Lamache and as expected long term Half Baked soldier – Robin Ordell Aka Pap Inc getting your feet going for hours with those crazy French influenced house cuts. 

What a birthday without an appearance of a long time Half Baked’s friend Mike Shannon? He is added to the bill too to make the night extra spicy. To add cherry on a cake we have b2b of Harry McCanna and Jake Hodkinson joining birthday again as well as OddMann to complete the event to the fullest. Lastly, recent hot name Lamache and a familiar face, Georgia Girl making her first Half Baked debut.

halfbaked CL

Aaaand we are here to the sweetest bit of all this, the presents time. So we have teamed with Half Baked to give you ‘8’ presents away which include tickets, t shirts, mats and some other treats you don’t want to miss. All you have to do is email us at hello_competitions@devmeoko.co.uk with Halfbak8d as the subject heading. Good luck!. 

Treats for grabs: 

1 – 2x Tickets for the the birthday

2 – 1x HB T-shirt (limited edition)

3 – HB Slipmats

4 – HB Earplugs

5 – HB010

6 – HB008

7 – 1x Original HB T-shirt

8 – 1x HB006

Happy birthday, Half Baked, thank you for all these memories and events you did so far and we can’t wait to see what the future brings.

Half Baked’s 8 Years of Love Facebook Event

Half Baked’s 8 Years of Love Tickets

Word by Matas Balta

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