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Syzygy x MEOKO present Petre Inspirescu 4 Hour Set @ The Cause {20th July}

By Hot Off The Press, Reviews

Petre-Inspirescu After a sold out launch party in March, Syzygy returns to The Cause on the 20th of July for a 16 hour showcase of the Underground’s finest. For the occasion, MEOKO are teaming up with Syzygy to host the Cage, which will play host to an extended set from a very special guest.  We are delighted to announce that the not-so-secret secret headliner is [a:rpia:r] royalty: Petre Inspirescu.  One of Romania’s most influential DJs, Petre Inspirescu brings an inimitable magic to his sets, bringing a wave of feeling to dancefloors. From the very beginning Pedro has been strongly affected by the emotive side of house music, injecting pure sensation into selections. If you know, you know – you are in for something special.

Rounding out the lineup in the Cage, MEOKO welcomes close friend and respected artist Matje to bring his infectious and hypnotic take on rolling minimal grooves. Completing the musical offering is Bucharest-born, London-based Rada, who over the past year has been making his mark on London’s underground. Expect the same top calibre across the other rooms of the venue.

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The Bunker will be hosted by Still Life with Melliflow powerhouse Alexandra joining the enigmatic Eastenderz stalwart Viceversa on headline duties, alongside their residents Manalou, Mabbam & Reis.

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The Vibe takeover on the Terrace will see artist-of-the-moment Sepp mesmerise with his organic and subtle sound. 

It goes without saying that Syzygy’s second outing will be nothing short of a proper party. For anyone who enjoys their sounds stripped back and celestial, this is certainly not one to miss. Prelase tickets are currently available on RA for £10.00 – don’t sleep on it.

TICKETS HERE 

Set Sail with 3 Smoked Olives this Summer + Exclusive Amir Javasoul Mix

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

From July 24th– July 30th on a remote island located on the Danube River between Calarasi Romania and Silistra Bulgaria, the 3 Smoked Olives Island Festival will be hosted, one intimate gathering that brings music, nature and people together. As in previous editions, 3 Smoked Olives Island Festival 2019 offers a highly curated line up from the minimal house scene, bringing names to the bill like Sammy Dee, Nicolas Lutz, Amir Javasoul, Arapu, Gescu, Herodot, Mihai Pol, Alexandra, Sedee, Sublee among other artists will set the tone to this magnificent experience in a remote natural paradise. As with any festival but particularly due to its exotic location, attendees will share respect to the island by taking care of the landscape through their no straws policy, recycling reusing and disposing properly of garbage.  People from all over the world will travel to the Danube River to find a place where electronic sounds and nature welcome those who open themselves to an adventure, one that connects people and their environment through music.

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In order to attend the event visitors must follow the registration process at the 3 Smoked Olives Island Festival websitwww.3sof.com ,in order to purchase their tickets. Follow the instructions, which include uploading an ID card and your social media profile. After validating the information provided, islanders will be able to purchase their tickets for a price of 65 euros until June 15th, when the full line will be revealed. The festival has a cap of two thousand islanders, making this event one intimate gathering that offers a comprehensive lifestyle experience that ranges from recycling initiatives, outdoor activities (cinema, yumeiho massage, ostho massage, stand-up paddle, kayak-canoe, volleyball, boat rides), quality people, great food and a billion star hotel as a unique setting. For more information about the logistics, line up and activities of the festival connect to their facebook and instagram accounts below.

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3 Smoked Olives Island Festival Facebook 

3so_Island_Festival Insta 

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3 Smoked Olives will host a brilliant international line up with talent hailing from Germany, Romania, Canada, Italy, Russia, Uruguay and Venezuela to name a few.  Among these artists, we find Sammy Dee, one of the leading figures of minimal and electronic music who has been active since the late eighties. These decades of experience have shaped his sound and music collection with plenty of unique records and his impeccable technique. Having worked with other big names in the industry like Zip and Ricardo Villalobos, Sammy Dee is one of those few artists that has a trajectory that extends for decades full of knowledge and love for electronic music. His work with the iconic and forward thinking label Perlon, his joint live set project with Bruno Pronsato, Half Hawaii, presentations at international stages like Epizode festival in Vietnam, the legendary Superlongevity showcase at Closer Ukraine, Get Perlonized nights at Berghain/Panorama Bar, and performances at Concrete in Paris and Fabric London are just a few of the many sides and events that the german selector has under his belt. Sammy Dee is definitely a major highlight to the festival, a true djs’ dj, that will delight crowds with his vast expertise and masterful selection of trippy and spacey sounds inducing dancers in a timeless journey.

Nicolas Lutz is another name that continues to marvel crowds across Europe. Born in Montevideo, Uruguay and based in Berlin Lutz is one of those djs that has grown professionally and personally along with his music through travelling and experimenting across musical genres. A regular resident at Toi.Toi.Musik. in London and at Club Der Visionaere in Berlin, Lutz is a true music collector and dj, that has developed a complex, diverse and refined mixing style.Having played at well-known venues and events in Europe, North America and Asia, Lutz will add his sophisticated and multifaceted style to the bill, making his performance at the festival a surprise that’s not to be missed.

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Amir Javasoul, Canada based and Iran born will also showcase his masterful selection and technique as a dj. Constantly playing in established parties and venues in North America and Europe like Montreal’s Stereo, Washington D.C.’s Flash, New York’s Resolute and Concrete Paris, Javasoul is a dedicated audiophile worth watching. If you want a preview of what to expect, back in 2017 he did an incredible back to back set with Ricardo Villalobos at Stereo in Montreal that still feels fresh to listeners and continues to hit right in the soul.

Arapu, Gescu, Herodot, Mihai Pol, Alexandra, Sedee and Sublee will also take on the bill as they are part of the usual suspects at the infamous Sunwaves festival among other local and international stages. Arapu is one to manage skillfully the relationship of rolling bass lines and spicy rhythms that drive feet into unceasing motion. Gescu, will showcase his selection as he uses subtle textures and beats to seduce the listener with extreme care. Herodot and his distinctive style that incorporates somewhat reminiscent percussion sounds of old school hip hop infused with minimal house and breakbeat are sure to draw people into a syncopated trance. Mihai Pol is one to create a sophisticated blend of minimal house with deep house. His productions use luscious pads, delicate melodies, profound atmospheres and textures that evoke leisure and groove with beautiful hints of vintage house and the golden days of house music.

Alexandra will be the cherry on top of the icing at 3SO, as she explores the trippy yet melodic aesthetic of minimal, mixing music with an enchanting gracefulness and extraordinary technique. Her sets at the incredible Sunwaves Festival, Robert Johnson in Frankfurt and De School in Amsterdam are just a few places where she has drawn smiles and feet with seamless charisma. If vinyl is your thing, then Alexandra’s performance will definitely be one worth witnessing.

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Sedee and Sublee will also bring their repertoire full of introspective yet powerful technoid sounds combined with darker shades of minimal. These artists are ones that deliver sounds that surely make any dancefloor at two in the morning go into a complete frenzy of adrenaline and euphoria within the darker tones of heavy, deep basslines and mysterious melodies. 

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Fabe, Kozo, and Giuliano Lomonte will also feature in this year’s edition of the festival, bringing their respective styles and expertise to the island. Fabe is known for his groovy percussions and quirky melodies, blending minimal house with techy elements creating a rare and yet familiar Mannheim sound. Kozo is an artist that continues to amaze crowds with his hidden gems of minimal that drive people into a dancing hypnosis.  Giuliano will bring dynamism to the dancefloor combined with a relaxed flair as his characteristic Italian minimal sound has shades of deep, trippy and groovy tech sounds. Vlad Dinu (Romania) and Giorgio Maulini (Venezuela born) respectively, are newer faces in the game that have shown great technique and amazing music selection that continues to dazzle audiences throughout Europe and abroad. These two selectors among the other names on the bill are proving that quality is more than quantity.  So be sure to give each artist a careful listen while enjoying the beautiful European summer at 3 Smoked Olives Island Festival, where musical vibrations and nature will converge in a unique and profound experience.

MEOKO and 3 Smoked Olives Island Festival have teamed up to bring you an exclusive three-part dj set series from some of the artists that will perform at this amazing event. First one up is Amir Javasoul on 31/05, take a listen and keep updated for more carefully selected sounds. 

See you on the Island! 

By: Daniel Ordoñez 

For more info on 3 Smoked Olives Island Festival 

The picturesque stunning Soča Valley | Slovenia | music lovers paradise | Butik Festival

By Festival, Hot Off The Press, Music Through Pictures, Reviews

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From the 12th to the 14th of July, the picturesque stunning Soča Valley, Slovenia will transform into a music lovers paradise as the inaugural edition of Butik festival takes place. An intimate gathering built on the premise on uniting like-minded people, Butik promises to offer an immersive experience in impeccable music and breathtaking scenery. Located near the town of Tolmin amidst its emerald green rivers, the festival offers a welcome chance to disconnect from the pressures of society and experience the escapism offered by nature.  It’s a welcome respite from the often commercialised larger scale festivals that dominate the European summer.

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Butiks finessed vision naturally extends to their music programme, which is seriously impressive. Featuring a tasteful selection of both local and international talent across a range of electronic genres,  Butik have curated a lineup sure to appeal to anyone with an ear for fine electronic music.

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Headlining the event are world-class names: Raresh, Guy J, Cassy, Etapp Kyle, Priku, Janaret and Nur Jaber. With local support including Alex Ranerro, Aney F, Brlee, Coeus, Christian Kroupa / Alleged Witches, Dipsas, Eliaz (Live), Evident, Ian F, Pepi Jogarde, Kosheer, Kosta, Limc, Mayell,  MOARE, Mornik, Nevena Jeremic, R.Bade, RSN, Tim Kern, Trulson, Tzena, Urban Jeram, Vassallo and Vid Vai, Butik is sure to bring some much deserved international attention to Slovenia’s rich scene.

With the day and night schedule spread across multiple indoor and outdoor locations, attendees will enjoy an adventurous journey through sound and culture. It’s rare to walk away from a festival feeling rejuvenated, but Butik seems to offer exactly that. With its idyllic environment, immersive ethos and top-quality music, Butik may just be the 3 day Slovenian escape you need.

 

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L I N E – U P

Raresh (Arpiar | Bucharest, RO)
RA: https://www.residentadvisor.net/dj/raresh

Guy J (Lost & Found | Tel Aviv, IL)
RA: https://www.residentadvisor.net/dj/guyj

Cassy (Kwench | London, UK)
RA: https://www.residentadvisor.net/dj/cassy

Etapp Kyle (Ostgut Ton, Klockworks | Berlin, DE)
RA: https://www.residentadvisor.net/dj/etappkyle

Priku (Motif Records, Atipic | Bucharest, RO)
RA: https://www.residentadvisor.net/dj/priku

Janeret (Yoyaku | Paris, FR)
RA: https://www.residentadvisor.net/dj/janeret

Nur Jaber (OSF | Berlin, DE)
RA: https://www.residentadvisor.net/dj/nurjaber

(a-z)
Alex Ranerro
Aney F.
Brlee
Coeus (RS)
Christian Kroupa / Alleged Witches
Dipsas
Eliaz (Live)
Evident
Ian F.
Pepi Jogarde (HR)
Kosheer
Kosta
Limc
Mayell
MOARE
Mornik
Nevena Jeremic (RS)
R.Bade
RSN
Tim Kern
Trulson
Tzena
Urban Jeram
Vassallo (GB)
Vid Vai

●º

T I C K E T S

• super early bird: 27€ (SOLD OUT ⛔️)
• early bird: 34€ (SOLD OUT ⛔️)
• pre-sale price: 39€ (until 20th of June or sold out)

*camping is included in the ticket price
*1-day tickets will go on sale later

●º

 

Sweet Spot Festival – Sweet As

By Festival, Hot Off The Press, Reviews

The sweetest weekend of the year is happening again in 2019! After a successful first edition last year, the Creative Hub’s Park in Tallinn, Estonia, will host once again this fresh festival concept during the daytime of the 28th and 29th of July.

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The KultuuriKartel, or Creative Hub, is a cultural temple close to the city centre of Tallinn hosting a wide range of concerts and cultural activities, with both indoor and outdoor wide spaces. The Estonian capital has been growing into a new European capital of innovation and culture, and the festival, happening right in the middle of the summertime, provides the perfect occasion for music lovers to visit the city. 

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Sweet Spot is a fluid and modern festival which does not settle on a certain style or music genre, but instead offers a variety of live performances and DJ sets that range from brilliant indie rock acts to rising talents of the electronic music scene. You will be able to enjoy huge performances from international artist but also find your way into the local Estonian scene to discover something unexpected.

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Last year’s edition saw live performances from artists of the calibre of Irish singer-songwriter Roisin Murphy and the Estonian rapper and extravagant conceptual artist Tommy Cash. However electronic music lovers surely won’t be let down either – for example the 2018 edition hosted the one and only Jeff Mills, Honey Dijon, Soichi Terada and many more.

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Although the festival takes place during the daytime, do not worry if you are more of a nighttime party-goer – the party does not stop there. Afterparties will take place each day at Pada, in the heart of Tallinn, giving you the occasion to fully experience the Estonian capital’s vibe.
 
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2018 AFTERMOVIE:

 
 
After the huge success of its first edition, the expectations for its 2019 edition are high. The first names of this year’s line-up will be released in February, stay tuned on Meoko for more info. If you are experiencing the usual winter blues through January while dreaming about these two days of pure summer bliss, this might be the right time to start planning your 2019 summer festivals schedule. Links and tickets below.
 
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EPIZODE³ Announces Full Lineup w/ [A:RPIA:R], Ion Ludwig, Guti, Maayan Nidam and more

By Hot Off The Press, MEOKO Exclusive, Reviews

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After the huge success of their recent instalments, Epizode have prepared another 11 days of unbelievable music and art bliss, in a location that is nothing short of amazing. From 28th December – 08 January 2019 on the magic island of Phu Quoc, Vietnam a series of day and night parties have been arranged in custom built areas, and beaches on the coast. Paradise, right?

And now; Epizode are happy to announce the huge lineup with more than 70 names added on the bill including a wide array of planetary house and techno icons, such as [A:RPIA:R], BINH, CRAIG RICHARDS, DJ STINGRAY, GUTI (Live), ION LUDWIG, MAAYAN NIDAM, MICHAEL MAYER, PAN-POT, PEGGY GOU, PETRE INSPIRESCU, RHADOO, STEVE LAWLER, THOMAS MELCHIOR and many more! They will be playing alongside the most respected Asia and Australia talents, such as ALAM, DEIAN, DISKONNECTED, GABRI-L, JONATHAN KUSUMA, MAURICE SIMON, SEQU3L, to name a few. 

All these names are added on an already epic list that includes legends from various music worlds, such as NINA KRAVIZ, RICARDO VILLALOBOS, SETH TROXLER, SONJA MOONEAR, ZIP, APOLLONIA, DUBFIRE, GOLDIE, FERRY CORSTEN, NICK WARREN, tINI, MR.G (Live), SAMMY DEE, mixed with the most interesting and adventurous names from house, techno, minimal, drum n’ bass and breakbeat.

The people and friends pulling the strings behind the Epizode are a true reflection, and inspiration to the scene, with an underlying passion to entertain and arrange diverse experiences with a true attention to detail. There was a social media storm after the last Epizode (everyone has seen the cardboard cut outs of Ricardo last time), and the crew are sure to come back even bigger and better this year. If you are considering a trip to Asia, it is surely worth a thought to tie this in with your trip; in our eyes, we cannot see a better new years extravaganza.

Pioneers of the game, combined with up and coming quality. Who is ready for the next Epizode? We certainly are.

Words by Zac Bidwell

More Epizode; Facebook / Facebook Event Tickets

More MEOKO; Facebook Soundcloud / 

Youtube

 

Preview: Otaku_03: Sublee at FOLD

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

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Otaku Records, exciting underground label music and brand is back with its 3rd installament in the new Canning town venue FOLD, a new institution for the arts, Home of music, creative studios and a 500 capacity state-of-the-art performance space with a 24-hour dance floor above a print factory on an industrial estate. Custom–made soundsystem limited at 110DB and a bottom end of 32hz has the freedom to fill the main room untill the music stops.

23rd of November will be the stage of an incredible line up, entirely filled by the finests DJs of the minimal underground scene with Sublee as headliner of this Special party!

Sublee is a familiar name to the Underground Scene, The Bucharest-based producer, real name Stefan Nicu, has previously appeared on Baumbaum Label and Raresh’s Metereze, to name a few. His sets reflect an enormous wealth of ideas and creativity redefine his style specialises in trippy style of house and techno. After years of a very rooted Djing career that makes a name for himself also proved his stunning production talents ranging from deep, dubby house to uplifting and seductive techno.

After a lifetime friendship and some previous creative projects together, Domenico and Mario in 2016 founded their label Otaku Record and the year after joined their minds as Laboratori OTK. Their sound is minimal but complex, both in their productions and DJ sets, marked by a constant attention to the dance floor no matters the musical genre. Even tho is a new project Laboratori OTK already got the support of many international artists, to name but a few Sepp, Nu Zau, SIT, Arapu, Herodot, Butch, Priku, Gescu, Fabe and John Dimas. After releasing on Hoarder and Vivus Records, Laboratori OTK have some VA, Remixes and EPs coming out soon, the most recent on their new label Clear Horizons. The duo is ready to drop an amazing records selection for the party and the after party..

Thierry settles himself in the underground world of sound systems and warehouse parties in London. Between 2005 and 2010 he was involved with Acme Soundz throwing raves with the likes of MFM sound, KSS, Disjunkt, Malfaiteurs, and eventually took charge of the Drum&Bass room for Family Groove. This took him gradually to play in some of the best venues around. Since 2015 by helping Art of Dark and Home London on the smooth running of their events taking place at Studio 338, Troxy, MangleE8, Oval Space, Studio 9294. Being responsible for such high rated brands ultimately has led him to co-found one himself : Stump in 2016 London born, and has since been inviting artists such as Raresh, Petre Inspirescu, Cezar, Barac, Priku, Gescu, Arapu, Cap, Herodot, Nima Gorji, Suciu, Sepp, Kozo, Dubtil.

AGHNES had a burning desire to establish a proper female techno collective in Rome. Having grown up on an eclectic combination of deep and minimal music when she was 18, she travelled around Europe collecting records ending up with quite a mixed spectrum of musical influence. Her strong love for club culture translates into sets where she picks apart and infuses together all the pieces of this music she likes best. Acid and groovy sounds characterize her style. In 2015 Aghnes moved to London becoming DJ Resident at ‘ We Play the Music We Love’, label and party collective. Since then she got a deeper insight of the London underground scene and started playing in the most popular clubs and warehouses and many underground events between London and Berlin as Keep on Going, Grooves London, Point., The Sunday Afters, Plattenkiste, and others.

With her life-time partner in crime Ameliée they decided to co-found She Made together in 2013 and DJs Erica.me and Sara Siu joined the project in 2015.

She Made is an ambitious all-female party concept and a label soon; the project started growing with the aid of the participants who spread the word and turned She Made into one of the 10 most prominent events in Italywhich lead them a residency at Goa Club (Rome) in 2017.

‘Prepare to emerge into a musical journey filled with healing vibrations and hypnotic rhythms as we dance until the sunrise.’

Facebook Event / Tickets

Words by A. Valentini

More Otaku Records: Facebook / Soundcloud

More MEOKO; Facebook Soundcloud / 

Youtube

Machine Dream & Ailleurs: DAN GHENACIA & ARGENIS BRITO remix

By Hot Off The Press, Reviews

Long time French underground house hero, Dan Ghenacia and Venezuelan, Argenis Brito, deliver the third in the TONE SERIES Remix Series.  The first sees Dan take David K’s spacious, reverb heavy Machine Dream turned into a polished, dancefloor mood setter. Tight drums laced with groove, something himself and his peers know a thing or two about all too well, provide a housy, yet subtle feel throughout.

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Nothing seems forced; it’s certainly an exercise in restraint from the seasoned producer. As the ever-present hypnotic hook leads the song from the front, short brass stabs, with a classic air about them, help to decorate the track. The breakdown trickles in for a short but sweet relief, before a renewed dancefloor drive returns.

Records like this have and always will have a place in DJs bags when looking to set, or indeed maintain a very specific mood in a room and are likely to feature at Ghenacia’s GoDEEP events. Starting out as a stripped back affair, with plenty of reverb trickery, the Agenis Brito remix takes an interesting turn from the original. The Venezualan Villalobos collaborator introduces percussion early on, infrequently accompanied by a sparse but intriguing vocal. Evolving minimal would be a an accurate description for the track, with a crisp snare helping to set the pace.

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As a resident at Berlin’s Club Der Visionare, for in excess of 8 years now, Agenis knows this record is likely to sit well with its regulars. Dubby stabs come into play at one point keeping things meandering nicely, at times delving into housier territory as the hi hats open up.

Words by Mitch Willings

MORE AGENIS BRITO

MORE Dan Ghenacia

MORE MEOKO

Order links:
[TSRS03]
Dan Ghenacia & Argenis Brito remix 
> Electron Libre Music Group: https://goo.gl/sZ6rKy
> Juno: https://goo.gl/D1FMtv
> Red Eye records: https://goo.gl/LUTZCn
> Discopiu: https://goo.gl/6qtDVc
> Le Disque Record Store: 
https://goo.gl/wHmqfR

MEOKO & Rebel Beats bringing the Sounds to Brighton

By Hot Off The Press, Reviews

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On the 15th September, the streets of Brighton wont know what hit them with a two room musical line up that can only be described as house heaven –  in the ever so popular destination that is Brighton, MEOKO teams up with local party brand Rebel Beats to bring some of the finest sounding electronic music to our beloved seaside town. To measure up to a city that is one of the most cosmopolitan and diverse seaside towns in England, we have put together a line up of londons most up and coming selectors to set the tone for for a magical jouney from start to end.  EXPECT Funktion ONE, two rooms, 8 djs and the very finest of undergound club culture vibes.

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“Brighton is quintessentially unconventional and therefore has a lot to offer visitors who fancy a taste of both the informal and the avant-garde.”

Setting the tone for our voyage is Matjie and Obester,  both these artists bring very unique styles to the table. Matje, born and raised in Romania, has been gaining support on his productions from the likes of TiNi and Cezar to name just a few whilst Obester is playing an active role in the african house movement – we have heard these two on regualr b2b sessions and cant wait for them to kick off the night with their chemistry behind the decks.

The JADA girls bounce off one anothers vibes. Proper minimal house at its very best!  These girls know how to make you dance, this is their job and they do their job well. Alongside their residency at Sankeys Ibiza they have played at numerous gigs this year in Romania, Prague, Barcelona, London and Ibiza and have been recently signed to Prague based -UP Agency. Producing deep moody minimal, JADA have released on Binaural arts (Ro), Soblazn Music (Ukraine), 4Plae Records (UK) and Unfelde records to name a few, expect plenty more surprises that showcase JADA’s dark, hypnotic sound.

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Then there is CarlosRyan,  these two know just how to get the dancefloor bouncing, trust us!  One can find CarlosRyan at all the best kept secret shindigs happening around the UK. These two’s passion for vinyl and music cannot be missed, they are true Dj’s at heart and this purity is indeed visable when witnessing one of their sets, somewhere between House and Techno there limitless energetic performances and connection with the dance floor from being true raver’s themselves, keeps you tranquilized with there raw striped back big bass sound.

 

 
 
And finally completing the line up in Room1 is Rebel Beats (Jamie Bawn & Gabriel Ursu) completing line up in room one. With releases on Endebmic Digital & Two Forks, Rebel Beats have played in Spain, Germany, France and all over Brighton this year and host a weekly show on Trickstar Radio
 
And thats only Room 1 – for Room 2 we have put together a very special saucy line up of house provided from the likes of Jonny LovesHouse, Magnus Asberg, Beatsworkin and Aaron D.
 
ROOM1

Weare Jada {ROUND UP}
Carlos Ryan {Arupa Music}
Rebel Beats (Twoforks/Endemic Digital)
Matje b2b Obester

ROOM2 

Beatsworkin (Twoforks/Endemic Digital)
Magnus Asberg (On the House Records)
Jonny Loves House (Twoforks)
Aaron D 

WWW.MEOKO.NET

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Prepare to emerge into a musical journey filled with healing vibrations and hypnotic rhythms as we dance until the sunrise. In order to deliver an unforgettable experience.Celebrating Jamie Bawn (from Rebel Beats) big 40th birthday too and Jonny Loves House (who is flying in from Barcelona) birthday too.  

Saturday: 15th September

Doors open :  9pm

Venue: Hideout 

FB Event

EarlyBird Tickets –  https://www.residentadvisor.net/events/1152027

 

The Highlight of The Weekend | Review – Houghton Festival 2018

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

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“It’s for one weekend so you’ve got to get it right”, these were the delicately spoken words of Craig Richards in anticipation of Houghton Festival 2018. A place that was described by many as an electronic music utopia in its inaugural year and where getting it right was surpassed once again.

The festival is set in the traditional grounds of Houghton Hall, a Palladian Mansion built in the 1720’s for Britain’s first Prime Minister. It is a vast estate featuring immaculate hedge rows, herds of white fallow deer, bracken, mysterious woodland and a large gleaming lake. The atmosphere feels curious and inspiring. Produced by the same team who present Gottwood, the focus on creating a unique experience was at every twist and turn taken throughout the 4 days.

Music and art are often used in the same breath, but no festival I have encountered before has managed to display both in such an intriguing and compelling manner. Scattered across the site were multiple distinctive paintings and sculptures created by Craig Richards and other carefully selected artists, some in obscure places, but still feeling wholly natural. The stages, of which there were 13 in total, all held their own characteristics, considering aspects of programming and the landscape they were a part of. The captivating ‘Pavilion’, designed by a multi-disciplinary group of architects, was a simple wooden structure contained under the forest. By day it allowed you to take in the beauty of the lake in the backdrop and by night it became a glowing, UFO like focal point. Tantrum, the name of a weekly new weekly night of electro, otherworldly noises and drumbeats initiated by Craig Richards and Adam Shelton was turned into a stage at the festival, bringing these sounds to a UK rave inspired tent with shipping containers and raw materials. 

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Terminus, a secret stage accessible only by land train featured rare b2b’s and hidden gems all weekend for those lucky enough to find it and which will not be described for those that are still yet to.

Phone signal was non-existent; however this again felt purposeful and allowed you to become fully immersed in the environment, people opting to dance rather than film. Sound systems were carefully tailored and ripe no matter the size of the stage, resulting in you being able to stand in any location and feel the music. The food also felt like another form of art, with a floating restaurant, pop-up El Pastor’s and dozens of other high quality stalls to choose from.

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Trevino’s, a cultural space and meeting point for the festival had leather sofas, pop up record stores, turntables for listeners and a set of 1210’ for artists to play on throughout the day. A friendly and welcoming area, people were allowed to select records at ease whilst being provided by expert recommendations by the store owners. It allowed strangers to come together, some who I’m sure became friends, through sharing their musical tastes and past experiences. It had the feeling of a unification of a scene through the most important aspects, the physical. Aptly named after the late Marcus Kaye aka Markus Intalex aka Trevino, a man who epitomised Houghton in his diversity of sound and attention to detail.

Embarking on the 72 hour non-stop musical odyssey on Thursday evening, Adam Shelton and Cassy opened up The Warehouse, a lofty hangar constructed out of metal. A dark space with piercing laser beams and smoke injects, it did not take long for those that had put up tents in a downpour to dry off by filling it into frenzy and set the tone for the rest of what was to come.

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On Friday it was a pleasure to finally be able to witness not one, but two Schatrax sets, a man who made his name in the 90s with house music that still sounds as deep and playable as it did then. Firstly at the Magic Carpet, a warm dome, where he demonstrated this sound and more. It’s a rare opportunity to see him play records out, so I made the effort to go and find him playing again later on, stumbling my way down an endless long dark path to find Terminus and I was not disappointed I did. Playing one of my favourites from him ‘Restless Nights’, the dubby bassline was making the whole crowd move.

Over at The Clearing, below the headlights and corrugated steel, surrounded by a crowd, Binh provided scientific, acidic oscillations of sound. Tightly mixed, often almost disturbing with Furfriend’s ‘Fist Fuck’ drawing the audience further into the booth. 

Back at the Magic Carpet, Craig Richards was playing the first of one of his 6+ sets, I was as mesmerised by his track selection as I was his by unrelenting energy, shown in abundance when he played his latest release ‘My Friend is Losing His Mind’. The distorted voices, bleeps and punchy techno-electro rhythm sending the early morning dance floor into raptures.

The highlight of the weekend came on Saturday, when the senses were treated in every way imaginable. The day started with a sculpture tour in the grounds of the hall. So calm you couldn’t hear the festival at all and providing opportunity for reflection and recuperation. This was also possible in The Orchard, a sanctuary of theatre, performance art and healing therapies. Fully rested I then saw Calibre, another genius and another artist who rarely plays out live, it was special to see him play a set that displayed all his characteristics, moving through ambient, refined dubstep and liquid drum and bass. The biggest ovation came when he mixed his own ‘Wassold’ into Mala’s ‘Eyez’.

(  ) MC DRS added even more life into the music. Later on in the day came some of the most anticipated sets of the weekend. Nicolas Lutz started under the darkness of the Pavilion, with bouncy, bass-heavy electro minimal bombs including ‘Gerogliftko’ on his My Own Jupiter label.

Legs and arms were feeling the rapid beats that combined NYC garage with space like noises. There was no let up throughout as people jumped around to Back to Basics by Fear-E.

Barac in The Warehouse was dreamy, melodic and a great contrast to the fast paced bumping nature of Lutz.

Now we all know Ricardo Villalobos can often confuse, delight and spellbind in equal measure, but his sunrise set at The Pavilion might be one of the best times many have seen him play. For the first few hours it was completely unhurried as he gradually cast the crowd under his spell. With long drawn out mixes blending shuffling drums, bongos and sometimes just the slightest of basslines, every single person was locked to his gaze. German vocals intertwined with cricket noises as he faded tracks in and out, sometimes bringing them back after lengthy periods out. ‘808 Thebassqueen’

featured a vocal conversation on top of it that I had never heard before. The sun slowly rose behind the booth, at one moment the sky was a purple colour, as he moved into his famous ‘Logohitz’ and a remix of Madonna’s ‘Justify My Love’

no one was going to be leaving this set early. Transitioning from the dim aura he had begun with the latter half sprinkled love and heart felt emotion on the deserving crowd, with tracks like DJ Koze’s ‘Pick Up’, some shutting their eyes for minutes as it played out, others embracing.

Joy Orbison woke the crowd up again on the final day with a feel good set combining classic ice cold garage including ‘Too Blind – Stone Cold Steppaz’ with house and techno joy such as Mood II Swing’s ‘Call Me (Moody Dub)’.

Punters swung t shirts round their heads and bopped with glee under the afternoon grooves. On the Derren Smart, one of the bigger and more traditional festival like stages of the weekend, Khruangbin delighted the audience with their Thai/West African influences of guitar funk. Friends held each other aloft on shoulders showing they were well and truly still alive when they ended on ‘People Everywhere’.

The band loving the reception they received with grins wide across their faces as they treated everyone to their sincere melodies.

Across the weekend DJs were frequently given 3+ hour sets and played more than once. Allowing them to explore their collections and also provide the crowd with the chance to see something different to what they might do at an ordinary club set. In turn it felt like both rose to the occasion, DJs playing records that they may never have had a chance or felt like they wanted to save for the moment. The crowd stayed rooted to sets for the duration, using every fibre in they had to show their appreciation no matter how tired they might have been from the constant dancing. In a year when Richards said everyone who attended would be treated to “the best of everything”, I can quite easily say they were and more. The only downside was that I couldn’t’t do the whole thing again to take in every aspect. Houghton brought together the community of the dance floor of all eras and genres, DJs and ravers alike, where the weekend was spent as one collective and powerful force in an unrivalled setting.

At Tantrum there was debut performance by A-Future, the new electro alias of Adam Shelton, playing a fresh exciting brand of the genre. Dark and moody cuts like the Sync 24 remix of Stratowerx’s ‘Secret State’;

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sounded great in what was one of my favourite tents of the weekend. Keep an eye out for Shelton & Stratowerx’s new label ‘Eon’ which will be bringing this sound to turntables very soon. 

The magic wasn’t quite finished as Helena Hauff closed out, tearing through forceful electro and techno, an eerie green mist rising from the crowd under the pouring rain, it complemented her sound perfectly. Ending on the heavily reverbed, enchanting and cinematic ‘Mutual Arising’ by Galaxian, I and many around me were longing for it to continue, but there it did finally come to an end.

Words by Tom Warner

Photo Credtis: Here & Now

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3 Smoked Olives Festival – One of a Kind

By Festival, Hot Off The Press, Reviews

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In under a week, a magical annual journey will be taking place on a island on the Danube river, located on the border between Romania and Bulgaria. 25th July – 30th. Coming up to its sixth year, 3 Smoked Olives Festival proves once again why it should become a vital part of your party calendar, and also showing how large festivals can take better care of our environment and the nature they seclude themselves in.  A worldwide cast have been called in for the occasion including over 40 artists such as Akufen, Dan Andrei, Ion Ludwig, Lamache, Losoul and Zendid.

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A five-day music marathon, with no limit or boundaries on the variation of sounds. The musical soundscape will be unlimited with a certain underlying form; people will be dancing whether it is in the summer breeze or beneath the starry night sky. The team pride themselves on their taste in flavours spanning from house, techno, minimal, breaks, soul, jazz, reggae, you name it, and it is welcome on the island of Danube. Allowing the festivalgoers to let loose in their own particular ways.

https://soundcloud.com/3_smoked_olives_island_festival/

3SOF allow you to reach full contentment before the journey has to end, and for us, that is the key.

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Five days can certainly take its toll on the body, but whilst on the island there will be plenty of activities and water sports to get involved with. A small break from the dance. In the sea, you will be able to go kayaking, surfing and wakeboarding.  Also on offer will be theatre shows, movie projects, improvisation classes and documentaries will be shown across the duration of the festival. Catering for everyone when they need that rest bite.

Full LineUp:
Ada Kaleh RomâniaAkim#AkufenAndreiuAndrey PUSHKAREVBonsoBrossCamilo Gil & [ØNE + 1] – CharlieClovisCrihanDan AndreiDj VasileDragos IliciGeorge LGescuGOLANHerodotIon LudwigJunki InoueKosta – AWDDLamacheLosoulMaria Von CMaxi StorrsMihai PolMihai PopoviciuMiss IMṛ RoussosOlga KorolPetra AckerPiticuPrichindelRAHA, Tokyo, JapanRawnessSedeeSeppSergejSuciuSweelyThe Rabbit KingVlad DinuVoi CuZendid

Registrations are open!
SIGN UP HERE ???? https://goo.gl/j3GACf

#3SOF2018

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Submerging itself even deeper in to mother nature, the festival is timed perfectly as two major natural events will be taking place, on the 27th the longest moon eclipse of the 21st century will be taking place (103 minutes), clearly visible due to the lack of urban lights in the surrounding area. The following evening a meteor shower, Delta Aquariid will be taking place, peaking at night time.

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Although always taking care of the environment, a particular focus this year results on minimum waste from the festival, plastic straws will be banned from the island, cutlery and glasses are made from biodegradable materials. All waste will be disposed of with local processing agencies. A direction many festivals should be taking in this day and age.

See you there!

Full line up and more info:

https://3sof.com/lineup/

Words by Zac Bidwell

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