issue 13 Renaat Vandepapeliere iconic underground magazine
Frankie Bones - Phutek
Mitch Davis - TWTMEGP
Jo Mills - Circo Loco Ibiza 2000-6
WIN Life 2020 TICKETS
Owner, Founder, Editor, Publisher, Designer, Writer, Researcher
Mike 'Moggi' Mannix
Backend System Logistics, Interviews, Co-Founder
Alan 'DaGeneral' Lumley
Public Relations, Reviews, Interviews, Co-Founder
Jeff Dobson, Column
Suddi Raval, Column
Jonathan Finberg, Column
Katie Eve Senior, Researcher, Reviews
Dax Malone, Transcription, interviews
Raphaela Pauwels, Reviews, transcription
Glowkid, Reviews, interviews
iconic underground magazine
iconic underground magazine
Iconic underground mag is a digital and hard copy media publication based in Dublin Ireland, delivering worldwide iconic quality content in music and urban culture.
Views expressed and opinions given in this magazine are not necessarily shared by the publisher. No part of this magazine can be re-published without prior agreement from its publisher. Readers should take care when responding to any adverts in iconic underground magazine, which appear without any endorsement or responsibility, from iconic underground magazine.
DJ Rush - 47
A12 Audio - 48
Matador - 8
Jo Mills - 24
LFO - 16
Mitch Davis - 40
8 - Matador - Front Cover
16 - LFO
20 - 808 State
24 - Jo Mills - Circo Loco
28 - Rocky Valente
36 - Moduse
40 - Mitch Davis - TWTMEGP
54 - Phutek & Frankie Bones
26 - Eclectrika Project
30 - Michele Prezioso
50 - Stephen Mahoney
52 - Jay Hill
56 - Squire
58 - Koncrete Kids - Jay Rymer
62 - Josh Powelson
4 - News - Competitions
38 - Bleep
44 - Synth Nodes
48 - Top 5 Studio Essentials
62 - Up & Coming Artists
64 - Its All A bit Crypto
67 - Letters From The Scene
68 - Top Cuts Track Reviews
60 - Hacienda Classical
65 - Sasha - John Digweed
66 - Charlotte de Witte
34 - Bleep Techno Book Review
60 - Hacienda Classical
68 - Tracks
808 State 20
Rocky Valente - 28
'' The deftly curated words of the author Matt Anniss act as a time capsule for anyone who witnessed this incredible movement, enabling them to relive those top life-changing moments they still love today, whilst also educating the curious seeker of how it all really came together. This book is a ‘must-have resource’ for any dance music enthusiast, on how the early UK sound developed, in an era that can only be described as the greatest music revolution in history '' - Mike Mannix
To enter, simply comment on our Facebook post share and tag 5 of your mates as well.
Winners announced February 30th 2020
We're delighted to team up with and announce a competition with Life Festival 2020 to see the titan of dance music Carl Cox!
To enter, simply comment on our Facebook post what you think is the greatest Coxy mix of all time is, share and tag 5 of your mates as well.
Winners announced April 15th 2020
Drunken Kong Brand New Album
Win a pair of weekend tickets for Life Festival 2020 - Ireland
Manchester UK Acid House legends 808 State are playing their first Live event in 10 years with support from - R.Kitt, Billy Scurry & Johnny Moy at the Button Factory Dublin on February 1st 2020.
FRONT COVER EXCLUSIVE
Win a signed copy of Matt Anniss's fantastic insight into a forgotten episode in UK dance music lore
'' Anything is possible if you believe, make sacrifices and work hard! ''
Dublin native Gavin Lynch aka 'Matador' is creating his own legend and we couldn't be happier for him. His hard work and raw passion for what he does is truly inspiring. From DJ to Producer to award winning live Artist he is setting the curve on authenticity and originality.
'' .... I feel fans are starting to see artists with real substance who can actually produce their own music out of love, as opposed to having someone else write their music in order to keep their socials and career ticking over, it’s lazy and displays an unwillingness to learn, and I just don’t get that. ''
Mike Mannix: Nice one Gavin, thank you for talking to us at Iconic Underground. Before we go into your current success today can we dig a bit into your early influences growing up in Ireland both socially and musically that eventually led you into dance music, what gave you the itch to mix?
Matador: I guess my first exposure to electronic music was via the wireless, listening to Radio 1 mostly - the essential mix with Pete Tong and various other shows with Fergie, Judge Jules, John Digweed…..my thirst was then quenched by a series of different mix CDs from Dave Clarkes ‘World Service’, to Richie Hawtins ‘909 Decks & FX’ & Carl Cox’s ‘Fact’ series….mostly techno now that I look at it.
MM: What track or tracks did you first hear that made you think ‘fucking he'll I love this’’ and how did it change your life??
M: There were quite a few in the initial stages, and in most cases, I didn’t know the names so it was a case of ‘discovering’ them in record stores around Dublin. A couple of records in the early stages that really got my attention were Adam Beyer ‘Remainings 111’, Jeff Mills ‘The Bells’, Dave Clarke ‘Red 2’, Midfield General ‘Coatnoise’….the list could go on & on….
MM: Whenever you got the funds together what was your first bit of kit and why?
M: Korg - Micro Korg was my first hardware synth because that’s all I could afford at the time. I used it for everything for almost 2 years, then I scanned eBay daily for months until I got me a bargain grey SH 101, then I really fell in love with synths, deep in love :)
MM: Was DJing your first love?
M: Yea totally, I had turntables at 15/16 years old, a crappy set of Omnitronic belt drives, and learned the basics on them. It was only 5/6 years later when I realised If I wanted to play a certain sound (deep dark techno) for a full set I was going to have to start making my own music, as I just couldn’t find enough of what I wanted to play at the time to fill 2/3 hours. So DJing was definitely my first love, I guess I started producing purely to feed my DJ sets.
MM: Do you remember the very first track you finished and how it made you feel?
M: Not quite if I’m being honest, but what I do remember being very excited by was one of my first classes in music production, learning how a ‘Redrum’ was programmed in Reason 2.0…maybe even an earlier version….but I remember being so excited, I just wanted it installed on my laptop so I could go home and start programming. I remember feeling very liberated. I was on the road to becoming a producer, and most important at the time was going to fill my DJ sets with my own sound.
MM: How pivotal a decision was it to enroll in a sound engineering course in Dublin’s Sound Training Centre and why?
M: This was the course I took after the introductory course I mentioned above. It was so very important. The first year focused a lot on recording acoustic instruments with bands or singer-songwriters. Working with outboard and general engineering. It was only in the next 3 years we really focused on the electronic side of things. Having that understanding of acoustic instruments and how they are recorded, processed, mixed was the foundation I needed before jumping mostly inside the box for the following 4/5 years.
MM: Tell us about that chance encounter with the iconic talisman ‘Richie Hawtin’ and how that really did bring you up to the next level?
M: Meeting Rich for the first time I was very nervous, he was and still is an icon for me. Although we have become great friends over the years he still blows me away with his performances and productions. The night I met him in Dublin, I was the supporting act and opening the room playing right up to before him. Super nervous, but thankfully it all went well. We had a good chat afterward about music I had sent a couple of months before this encounter, and it was left at ‘Send me the new music when it’s ready’ which I did 5/6 months later, which then led to me signing 14 tracks in one clean swipe. Everything changed from that moment.
M: Not only are you an accomplished and successful DJ and producer, but you’re an accomplished live sound artist winning ‘Best Live Performer’ twice at the international DJ Awards in Ibiza in 2014 and 2016. Can you tell us more about that side of you and how you transitioned from studio production to performing as an authentic live artist working with hardware?
M: It’s always nice to get recognized for your work, and I worked quite hard to get my live set to where it was for those awards. I’d written a lot of new music and was playing at both techno and tech-house parties in Ibiza so I had to be super versatile as a live act, and most importantly had to have original music that worked in both scenarios.
MM: Do you have a usual routine when you hit the studio, when you're in the mood for creating new tracks, from the analogue outboard, midi, samples and DAW you use and why? What is key in the whole production process?
M: My routine changes a lot, it has to otherwise I get bored very quickly and end up going down similar paths sounding like the last batch of tracks. Workflow can start from many different sources really…in most cases a new piece of equipment, a new plugin, changing elements in the room, or changing workspaces. I bounce between my main studio and a small writing room I have next to my main room.
MM: I believe you have an appreciation for Rupert Neve built hardware and have some tasty pieces?
M: I certainly do. I think for anyone training in this field any piece of Neve hardware is considered a gift to have it in your own studio. So when the time was right a few years back I invested in a 5088 and haven’t looked back, it truly is an instrument in its own right. I’ve never looked back to mixing in the box anyway :)
MM: What DJs / Artists / Producers are behind your ever-driving passion for the scene, and who would you like to work within the studio?
M: I work alone in the studio almost always, and anytime I’ve collaborated, it’s been over long distances. For instance, I collaborated with ARTBAT earlier this year and we never spent a moment in the studio together, all back n forth online with session files. On the other hand, I had Richie here in the studio for 2 days over the summer and the results were also fantastic, so it really can work both ways. I’m open to working with other producers once we are both on the same page. My dream would be to work with Brian Eno. That would be a dream come true.
MM: What advice would you give the aspiring DJ/Producer today on how to be creatively original in an already saturated market?
M: Every producer starts out trying to sound like someone they admire, and that’s absolutely fine until you get your skillset up to scratch. After that it’s very important to follow your own sound and path, this is what will give you an identity in a busy marketplace. Sounding like everyone else will only take you so far.
MM: You’re constantly in demand and on the move around the globe, what are your thoughts on the dance scene/underground today and where do you see it evolving?
M: I’ve been very lucky enough to travel and play pretty much everywhere over the past 8 years, and I’ve seen certain territories slow down, and some accelerate at astounding speed. The industry is bigger than ever now, it’s complex and some aspects don’t make sense to me at the moment. I think the internet has played a major role in creating people in this industry who are taking part for all the wrong reasons. In saying that, I feel fans are starting to see artists with real substance who can actually produce their own music out of love, as opposed to having someone else write their music in order to keep their socials and career ticking over, it’s lazy and displays an unwillingness to learn, and I just don’t get that.
MM: What have been your biggest stand-out festival/gig moments where you thought ‘fuck this is real, this is amazing….’?
M: I’ve had a few moments like that alright. Creamfields Buenos Aires was very special for me almost 7/8 years ago. I remember reading about it in Mixmag years ago and seeing the images, and it almost became a target for me, a goal. I had a great slot and it went off, maybe 8-10000 people going nuts like nothing I’d seen before, and the roars when I played Kingswing or Klay which were just released on Minus at the time, I had goosebumps for the full set, and felt extra special. I remember every detail vividly from that 60min live set.
MM: What's the biggest life challenge you’ve overcome, and what did you learn from it?
M: Taking ‘the’ leap of faith. I was a chef before this, trained in catering college and worked in the industry right up to my late twenties. I just knew I had to take that leap of faith and spent almost a year in the studio, struggled with money but got through it, and on the other side was me signing to Minus and stepping away from the kitchen into my new career. This took a lot of courage, patience and most importantly support from my family and loved ones. Anything is possible if you believe, make sacrifices and work hard!
MM: You’ve just released your latest EP ‘Dynamite’ on your RUKUS label, and it’s absolute fire as to be expected! Have you been sitting on these tracks for a while, or is this new material inspired from a packed summer of gigs? Do you find touring inspiring when it comes to production, or just too distracting?
M: This EP was written not so long ago. I’ve been playing (DJing) a little tougher lately so needed my own music to match somewhat. I’d just picked up a Devilfish modified 303, so both tracks came together pretty quickly with inspiration from that machine. Touring can be both good and bad for your production process, on one hand you’re playing and listening to tons of other inspiring productions and styles which drive you towards creating, but on the other hand by the time you sit down to write you’re exhausted. So what you want to do is try to hold onto those inspirational moments on the road, get rested, and then get into the studio. A video can sometimes be enough to bring me back to a moment from the weekend, or listening back to the recording - all my sets are recorded, both direct and ambient so you can really get back to the moment with these various sources.
MM: You just played a gig with Tonnehalle orchestra in Zurich – that must have been pretty amazing, can you tell us more about the tracks chosen, and how you and they went about interpreting them?
M: Yes this was a fantastic experience. The plan was to take 6 tracks of mine. Keep some of the original elements that I would play live (mostly drums and bass) and the rest of the elements were played by acoustic instruments. We kept some synth lines in here and there which worked wonderfully. I feel the track ‘Air’ was the highlight, it was played with strings and brass and was just goosebumps from start to finish. It’s looking like we are going into the studio to record the official orchestral version of that track. This along with a few others will be a key feature in my new live show.
MM: What’s up next for Matador? Anything special already on the horizon for next year?...
M: Ha, yes! My new live show!!! I’m putting everything into this. We are in the stage design phase at the moment and I’ve never been so excited. This is a true vision for how I what the music framed, and I’ve been lucky enough to find someone who understands this vision with great ease. The music for this new live show will be bolstered by a new album which I’m almost 1 year into now. I’ve been in the studio almost every day I can be for the past year, and the results have been very rewarding. I’ve really worked hard on my skillset, learning more, trying new techniques and growing as a producer and musician. So I’m very excited to keep writing until it’s finished in full, and present what I feel will be my best work to date!!!
MM: Thanks, Gavin!
‘Matador ‘Dynamite’ EP is Out Now on RUKUS. Look out for Skream’s debut EP on the label out in December’
Interview - Page Design - Editing - Mike Mannix
'' Having that understanding of acoustic instruments and how they are recorded, processed, mixed was the foundation I needed ''
LFO - Gez Varley
'' it was really like punk just the energy you know. Get a keyboard, get drum machines, do a bit of programming … It really was amazing! It just blew our minds, just so different than everything else at the time! ''
UK Artist DJ Producer
A Northern powerhouse of creativity flourished in the late 1980s early 90's that helped create and develop the UK Bleep Techno sound. Gez Varley without doubt is one of the greatest innovators of the British underground dance music scene through his well recognised monikers of LFO and G-Man, whose records still influenced us today 30 years later...
Mike Mannix: Hey Gez lets kick it off!
Gez Varley: Good, Mike, lets do this.
MM: What musical influences did you grow up with that eventually led you to electronic music?
GV: I must have been about 6 or 7 and my Dad used to play Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon album all the time. I remember listening on quadraphonic headphones it was pretty cool and just blew my head away, he was also listening to reggae, heavy metal and punk. I was influenced from all those genres and went through a heavy metal phase from 9 to 12. I used to buy every record I could with my spare cash as I loved the energy in those tracks. Then around age 12 I got into break-dancing on the street with my mates etc in the shopping centers you know what I mean. My love of electronic sort of evolved from there, break-dancing, listening and buying a lot of electronic music.
So from the Electro sound, then Hip Hop, I then got into House Music. When the early House stuff came out I remember going into a record shop in London in 1987 with my mates and hearing Puture’s 'Acid Trax' and it just blew our minds. Nothing close to that existed, the TB 303 was used a lot in Electro in the early ’80s but it was just used for what it was designed for, basslines. So when Phuture used it in that way to create that Acid sound it was just incredible. I remember the hairs at the back of my neck standing up, such a jaw dropping moment in my life it was game-changer!
And around then we just sort of started a group and would bring up equipment up to the house, to see what would happen. Pretty quickly we were jamming and did LFO early in 1989, and it took about a year before it was released.
MM: Did you know at the time when you were in your mates’ gaff when that track started to emerge like “fuck we’ve got something right here?’’
GV: Yea Mike, we thought it would work, it just sort of came together. We were trying to do a proper Techno track as in futuristic and I remember the first bass sound was actually just a preset on Yamaha DX1 but we didn’t have that keyboard so we used to just get the sounds off records. A lot of people say that’s stealing but it was just being creative. We weren’t ripping off the melody. We got the string sounds which were totally amazing, and did a couple of simple cords and it just fit in with the track itself and then Mark did the top tune. It all came well amazingly together and if you analyze the track it is very simple. One drum pad, one set of cords, one talk tune, two sorts of basslines and the LFO voice.
Less is more sometimes, and we just didn’t know how big it was going to be. We planned to do the release ourselves selling a 1000 copies hopefully selling 5000, but this never happened as we signed to Warp Records! But then with the Warehouse and DJing, we got introduced to Rob Gordon. We had a cassette tape and we played it and people said that track was amazing and that we had a single there and the rest is history, it still sounds fresh 30 years later. I still get paid for it (not a lot nowadays) but Ministry of Sound just put it out on the compilation ‘Origins of Techno’ with the likes of Cybertron, Juan, Derrick May etc.
MM: The people you are citing must think exactly the same, it’s a legacy man.
GV: Yes, I want to say “right time, right place” you know, I remember when we did the Frequencies album, we did it in a year and the next album took about 5 years. And when I start thinking about that the conclusion is that when we did the first album we had loads of ideas and energy bottled up inside us and we expressed it all in the album a good solid piece of electronic music.
MM: So from the bedroom to the studio…
GV: Yeah, we used to be in Mark’s (Bell) bedroom jamming with a cup of tea and when we were finished we would go to the local pub and then come back and have a listen. So my first experience of going in a proper recording studio was kind of weird in a professional environment with a proper sound engineer, we found it a bit tedious at first because they would spend hours on just one sound and we were like “can we speed up a bit?” as it was 300 quid a day.
MM: But, you learnt a lot?
GV: Yes we did learn a lot, just the techniques of the sound engineer was totally different from a musician, so we learnt along the way. I mean the LFO track we managed to pull it off and it's quite striking because none of us had the proper experience to properly record a track but that was all part of the fun. Just learning on the go.
MM: On the fly, with no rules, only what your ears tell you, experimenting. This is how Acid House was born. Just the lads (Pierre, Spanky) playing around and amazing sounds were created.
GV: Yes, I know a lot of sound engineers when you play a track they don’t necessarily like and they try to turn down a sound or clean it up, but it sounds good to us as it is, you know what I mean, cos when I think about it, it was really like punk just the energy you know. Get a keyboard, get drum machines, do a bit of programming and just go learn … It really was amazing! It just blew our minds, just so different than everything else at the time!
MM: It’s just creativity. If everyone sat in the box Acid House wouldn't have existed the same for Hip hop. Because people innovate like that and if it sounds good to your ears, just run with it do you know what I mean ?
GV: Absolutely! We were just saying how good it was in the 80’s cause we would go to a club when it wasn’t strictly just House Music, and you had some Hip Hop tracks being played, Reggae or Techno, really mixing things up and it was great. I mean I love Techno and loved living and working in Germany for years but in some clubs after 3 or 4 hours of bangers in your ears it gets too much if you know what I mean. Like headaches and “Oh god” Ahah.
MM: Would Berlin interest you now?
GV: To be honest no, it’s OK if you wanna go there to party, but now there are 50 DJs in every bar trying to get a gig. It’s ridiculous.
MM: Do you think we’ve lost something?
GV: Definitely, you know that under the counter culture is gone. You know when we would go to the record shop and search for the best one, that’s gone. What you were saying earlier, when everybody is doing music, we used to put every penny in it with vinyl or drum machines or finding the latest import record. With my mates, we used to go to the club and really listen to music. But now everybody can go on a laptop download from the stores and also make a few tunes while doing normal day jobs.
I’m actually getting more money now from radio and films than from record sales before it was the exact opposite. You weren’t rich but you could make a few quid out of sales. Youtube and all kinds of streaming have really effected it because now you get it for free but even the ones that pay for rights don't pay much, you can’t live off that.
MM: What do you see happening in the next few years, what sort of trends?
GV: It’s difficult to say. I think clubs will keep going because everyone loves to have a dance on Saturday nights. I’ve talked about it in the last few years, it’s getting trickier now to do live. Now when you want to do a band you need to be a rich kid or have a good job and work around it, so trying to be a musician is much trickier. Same for the record sales, when I sold the 300 on my last record, my mate said it was good and I said it was crap and that we used to give out that amount for promos, like 20 years ago.
MM: It’s the nature of the beast, we’re completely washed out with all the digital content now, there’s no control.
GV: Yes man, I get about 200 promos a week and listen to about 10, and the 10 I listen are established names already. There’s no quality control at all these days. Years ago, let’s say you got 5 tracks and gave them to your label, they would pick the best one, but if it wasn't good enough they would tell you to rework it and come back but that's really doesn’t happen anymore. The cost of putting out a record and distribution used to make a label really think about what they were putting out. Its gone to shit. I’m glad I lived during the golden age to be honest.
MM: It’s what I was gonna say, you actually lived it, you were part of it, you have a legacy and inspired so many people like me.
GV: It’s funny these days, I think I get more nervous doing smaller gigs when you’re right up to the people, but at least the atmosphere is real. I played a gig about 3 years ago in Japan and it wasn’t super full but they were all really into it. They knew the back catalogue and it was quite amazing.
MM : What do you get coming up in the next 6 months?
GV: I just do a few gigs a year I’m getting to old for that now haha I played recently in Amsterdam and Manchester and I got an album that's nearly finished then I got to find a label that wants it, so it will probably come out next year. It’s a bit between techno and LFO in a nutshell on a 4/4 beat but I didn’t want to do a club album if you know what I mean. It’s a bit too soft for a club, I wanted to do something a bit more intelligent.
MM: I’m dying to hear that!
GV: Thanks Mike, loved the interview
Live Interview, Page Design, Editing, Mike Mannix
Transcription, Raphaela Pauwels
Photo Credit -
'' I remember going into a record shop in London in 1987 with my mates and hearing Puture’s Acid Trax and it just blew our minds. Nothing close to that existed, the TB 303 was used a lot in Electro in the early ’80s but it was just used for what it was designed for, basslines. So when Phuture used it in that way to create that Acid sound it was just incredible. I remember the hairs at the back of my neck standing up, such a jaw dropping moment in my life it was game-changer ''
UK Band DJs Producers
Transcription Dax Malone
Live Interview, Page Design, Editing Mike Mannix
Photo credit -
'' .it was exciting ...the world was our oyster and we just set off on an unknown journey…. And what a journey it turned out to be ''
'' the ‘musical taste makers’ were strong in Manchester and were really rooted in the working class ''
The last time we spoke with the 808 lads was in issue 4 with Andy Barker filling us in on what was happening. This time round we got to have a good ol' natter with Graham Massay on their latest incredible album 'Transmission Suite' and also his thoughts on today's scene.
Mike Mannix: Congrats on your new album, great work, lot of diversity with late 80’s sounds..
Graham Massey: Cheers Mike, people keep saying that but it wasn’t a deliberate step if you know what I mean, it was kind of a return to electronics in a way, a pure form of it, but that came right at the end of the process of making the record. It was much more expansive than that and the record in my head was bigger than that, and it turned into something similar with what we began with, it was the completion of a circle if you want.
MM: Music is cyclical, although I am not saying your album is retro, it is just taking back some elements out of that era. When the younger crowd first listen to it, it is all brand new.
G: Yes, there is kinda of a repetition of that early period and sort of what made the records have that kind of immediacy, this sort of joy that easily get lost in the process. If you can build that awareness as a DJ and to what you are returning to, you found that those records have that fundamental elements that Acid House had, this kind of alienated quality.
It talks joy in its tonality, and in a way that’s how I got interested in Acid House. Those were the elements that became part of the diagram, of that technology. My personal experience with it was experimentalism, sort of a post punk thing and that was a whole world of improvisation, so to me when Acid House embraced this alienation that’s when I felt like I could align myself alongside comfortably.
MM: Because you had this punk era that completely broke down what was classed as a format for a track and smashed that wide open.
G: Yes, it kind of cut itself from the history of music. It wasn’t part of the timeline then whereas House Music did have roots in gospel, choirs and lots of other elements and these lines began to disintegrate.
MM: What was the catalyst then for you? Did you feel you were onto something promising or was it gradual?
G: We didn’t have enough of that music coming through, it was more an urge to add to the pile if you know what I mean, to grow the music.
We weren’t always on the same page and this was why you got those interesting things happening because of the diversity of the people that were in the group at that time. At the beginning we were a trio, me, Gerald and Martin, and you would definitely get different things if you divided us on separate rooms with different people. But anyway, we weren’t thinking too much about it at the time, it was just anytime we had the chance of making a record we would do it because it wasn’t an easy thing at the time, it was a rare and expensive opportunity. I acquired the skills of being a recording engineer at that point, it was all very exploratory in that capacity with that technology coming through of having samplers on computers, which eventually gave me the skills to do everything I make today. It was very exciting and you know what, the world was our oyster and we just set off on an unknown journey…. And what a journey it turned out to be.
MM: Did you envisage the whole Top of the Pops thing? How did that land on you?
G: Really awkwardly, I mean that was the intention you know, but never in a million years would you think that we would get that noise we were making anywhere near the charts but the whole culture changed suddenly and we were in the right place at the right time with the wrong music. I kinda miss, mixing different things together and against each other, that’s what made British culture, those newer records next to what was going on in this suburban pubs and clubs
MM: The pop charts was always a mish mash wasn’t it?
G: Yes, and it fed of each other as well. I think it was a really interesting time in music it was this lovely kind of popularism versus experimentalism that made it so special. We were never that pure and out to set ourselves aside from the culture. We were trying to come into the center in some ways but we were so left field and yet we was on Radio 1. Everyone was happy that we were kind of successful, and then of course we had to present ourselves as a band.
When we started out we were happy doing raves and were usually positioned around the mixing desk at the back of the club/warehouse & certainly not on stage being performers! When all of a sudden we had to do big venues in Manchester with 12000 people, you had to put a show on and it was a real struggle to know what to do and how to behave.
Our solution was to make it louder with more lights, people were so excited and loved it because we were more of a community with a purpose rather than a band and its fans. That was a really brilliant time for us because when we first went on tour we weren’t just representing our music, but also the rave scene and therefore everyone we played for all felt inclusive and revolutionary.
MM: And did you think from there you would do a tour in the States?
G: Again, we went from just about getting comfortable in England with that feeling of moving the scene onto starting again in the States because we were on Tommy Boy Records. They were pretty much involved in all the different clubs and scene but we were a group from England, and we were pushed into a sort of industrial framing, they didn’t know where to place us so we were always placed alongside the likes of Depeche Mode which was a bit uncomfortable for us at first.
We would find pockets of raves in various places in the early 90’s in the US when it wasn’t really established yet and people were really pioneering it. There was a Techno station in California that started to get the rave thing together out there and we were pretty popular on that station, it was all based on radio at the time. There was also a big rave scene in Texas we didn’t know anything about so we got there and it was quite established, and in Florida, but it was really proto at that point, nothing like it is now!
MM: So that was a good timing. You caught in the wave in the UK then in the States.
G: Yes we did, and you know what, we were also out there with LFO as they were on Tommy Boy as well so there was this kind of a lucky Northern (UK) sound and we were there to represent it.
MM: As well as some of the indie bands from Manchester like the Happy Mondays?
G: Yea, I mean we always had this association with the Mondays because they were at the hub of it in Manchester so it was only natural that we would end up playing on the same stages as them. They were really supportive to us and because it was pretty cool to have an Acid House band with your band back then, so we were a support band for many of the Manchester bands it was an interesting melting pot.
MM: Why do you think this huge melting pot of creativity exploded in Manchester (UK) with this Indie/Dance crossover and so many different types of bands?
G: I think Manchester was just big enough to have a confidence. Cities need to have the right size and fluidity to have a structure to support the energy of bands. Liverpool in an interesting case where at the moment there’s a lot of activity there because it is not too big, enough to “get space” and cheap enough for this creativity and spontaneity to happen.
I worry about Manchester at the moment because it is getting a lot more built up you know, all these big buildings in the city center for accommodation, there’s a shift from social housing to aspirational housing so the demographic changes into a sort of aspirational business kind of people and it affects the night scene. Manchester always had 4 universities around it so immediately you have a young captive audience for youth culture and that was an important factor there.
There is also a point in time when that thing had not gone too ballistic, now I feel the whole thing is run by businesses again in terms of breweries and things like that. And there’s a great tradition within the working class in the North West where the music was held in such high regards. When I grew up in the 70’s it was an amazing time for music as music was such an identifier, we use to swap records at the bus stop in the mornings on the way to school, all this mixture of music was really important, a social thing that created this community. It was held in such high regards that the ‘musical taste makers’ were strong in Manchester and were really rooted in the working class.
MM: What are your thoughts on how it is today compared to when you started 35 years ago?
G: You know we all have kids now and they are taking on the culture, they’ve got their own version of it but it is pretty much rooted in that thing that happened at that point. The way of how you sort of participate in musical activities it’s pretty much based on that blueprint we were starting in the 80’s so you can get audiences that are spread over 3 generations which never really happened before and I think it is a brilliant mixture.
That stacked generational diversity is a new thing which we noticed when we were playing in the Warehouse Project at the end of November a big venue that was made up of different generations, it was not segregated, and no one was excluded. I think it is very encouraging that each generation has its own pride, sets of values and what they do with that music, and I love it when I don’t know what is happening, just that something is happening especially when you hear clues about it bubbling up through community radio.
Radio was also so really important to us back then, I remember when we put out the weekly chart over the radio that would get taped on cassettes by folk and brought back into Eastern bloc with people looking for the sounds, it was like a perfect loop. I think radio is so important to gather around, it is such a social bonfire.
MM: What’ gigs have done recently and whats next?
G: We did the Blue Dot festival this year and we were playing in front of a lot of people who never saw us before because it is a big family audience with a young crowd and people were surprised on what an 808 State show is, with its dynamic and musicality we love doing that. Our next live gig is playing in Dublin 1st February 2020 in the Button Factory which should be very special as its 10 years since we did that in Dublin.
Live Interview, Page Design, Editing Mike Mannix
Transcription, Raphaela Pauwels
Photo credit -
UK DJ Producer
Mike Mannix: Hey Jo great to talk to you, tell us then how long you’ve been living and working in Ibiza and your Circoloco resident DJ days?
Jo Mills: Well I use to come here with my friends years ago in the early ’90s and I just loved it, after that I came back here did a gig in San Antonio and it’s when I started DJing properly, around 1995. I started playing weekly in Ibiza for Cream at Amnesia and other venues so me and my partner Charlie Chester decided to buy an apartment. It was around this time I was asked if I wanted to play at Circoloco because they wanted female DJs on the terrace, so it was me, Tanya Volcano and Marysol, they wanted Charlie to get involved in promoting the club because it wasn’t that busy at the time, so we got the English side and started to build it up from there. We were there for 6 years, working with Andrea and Antonio and Charlie.
So that was around 2000/2001, we got everyone on the island to go there. It didn’t take much time because it was such a magnetic space you know, so raw and underground. At the time it was all about the resident DJs and we would all have a role to play and the crowd wanted to hear us, which was great. We would have guest DJs but everyone played for free, all the big names. I loved playing there because of how terrific it was, when we first started it was this exciting thing, because it was this super club, outside.
it was brilliant, and always about the music, we were just a big family then it just got bigger. Normally Cirillo would be playing at 6 in the morning we would show up at that time, start off inside and then go outside on the terrace and it would just go off, and we’d stay all day, we would be all together, it was amazing. I complied the first Circo Loco double album cd with Cirillo which is something I'm proud of and a good trip down memory lane!
MM: Did the Island lose its underground aspect to the VIP?
JM: No, I am on the side that things have to progress, otherwise we would be left behind. There’s plenty of underground things going on. DC10 is still underground as far as I’m concerned and there are fantastic DJs, it’s always evolving and it will never be ruined by this. It was just the part that had to progress I think, just a factor of life, but the scene is pretty untouched in some areas and it is a beautiful island, still very traditional. When people come here, they work hard enough, so all these big stigmas about people having money, bloody hell, they work hard enough to enjoy themselves. I think it is pretty much the same around the world, when I come to England, I find London quite expensive. It depends where you go, what you do.
MM: How were the political changes recently over here with the clampdown of noise levels.
JM: It’s quite strange because it was all in the news last year, and this year we haven’t sort of heard anything about it. I’d been down to Nassau where they were really coming down on last year, and I was there last week and it was bloody loud! Maybe because it was the closing but I haven’t been anywhere where you could notice that it was quiet.
I haven’t heard any bad stories regarding this year, but really sad things were going on last year, there was protesting because it was ruining businesses. A friend who has some hotels, opened up another one in San Antonio, beautiful boutique hotel, which is amazing for the island, he had a welcoming party and was fined because of the noise levels in his own hotel, that was last year. But as far as I’ve heard it was just to make a point and it didn’t happen at all this year.
MM: Let’s go back a bit to you, what’s the maddest party you’ve been to DJ?
JM: There have been quite a few! But mainly in Circoloco. One time I was at the terrace and there was torrential rain, we had awnings across the roof you know with gaps, I was DJing and somebody had to hold up a coca-cola parasol over the top of the decks and while he's doing that the wall collapsed behind me, and we were like “No, we’re not giving up!”
Also, one of the best moments actually of my career was when I was DJing and one of the DJs didn’t turn up so I ended up playing for 5 hours straight and Danny Tenaglia was there, dancing away. After that, I couldn’t believe it because he was my hero and he came up to me and asked if I would play for him in New York and he flew me there and I played in his club Vinyl.
Another one was on Charlie’s 40th, Rocky was playing and he played Happy Birthday by Stevie Wonder and a friend we called Elvis because he was an impersonator climbed in front of the booth and it blew my mind because it was only about 10 inches wide of concrete that he stood on and basically started the ‘stage diving’ that day. Then Charlie did it and it just started a trend. I’ve got a picture of me doing it, everyone had to do it after that, that was such a buzz.
MM: Anybody hit the deck?
JM: No, can you imagine how mental were we to trust all these crazy people to catch us, but we did! One of the worst moments was that I went to Cologne to go record shopping, and packed my bag full of new vinyl, and some bastard in Berlin stole all my records on the way back home my heart sank. The worst is that I had to borrow music because I had 3 or 4 gigs, so it was a nightmare and I had to buy them all again. It sounds ridiculous but I was devastated.
MM: Same today for DJs when they lose their USB stick and have no backup.
JM: Exactly, but today you are more likely to have a backup. When this happened I lost so much money. Crazy how times change. I’m not sure you would be allowed to fly with that much vinyl now, I used to take boxes everywhere. Once, I went to play for Circoloco in Sydney and a DJ wanted to bring vinyl and they didn’t let him bring them, they couldn’t bring the records to Australia because of the weight or something and that was in 2009.
MM: How do you feel about that? Do you think that we lost something from the vinyl days?
JM: Yes, I feel like that we’ve lost a lot because we don’t have this commitment anymore of going to the record shop and buy new music, the expense of it, you know. It was a real investment, when I was working in Flying Records in 1990, it was 6£ a record. But it’s not just about the money but also how it works if you really want that track. I’m guilty of when I want to buy some music and I end buying far too much, on Beatport or whatever, but if you go to the record shop you are really gonna buy it to play it, take the time to listen to it properly and you’re building a set rather than buying loads of tracks, that all sound bloody similar now.
MM: Isn’t it the argument that the people say that back in the day when it was vinyl you had much more quality control from record companies because they certainly wouldn’t invest and press it on vinyl if it was bad. Whereas today anyone can send any track to bad digital labels and it'll get released?
JM: Exactly, all I hear sounds the fucking same. We’re talking about 1000's of tracks going out now every week, it’s just regurgitating the same ole same ole, there’s no finesse in there, really bland, no soul to it. And like you were saying to press vinyl was an investment. I used to work for a distribution company as well, and I remember if we didn’t sell the tracks we would press it was a massive loss. You had to be more careful.
MM: And the tangible things like the smell of vinyl, of the print of the artwork, the bit of information you could have about the band or whatever.
JM: Yeah, it’s crazy, when I was working at Flying records from 1990 to 95, I used to do the mail orders, I would have these DJs around the world that would give me their credit card number and I would send them 50£ worth of vinyl, they would listen to it and send back what they didn’t want. I had to carry all those records to the post office and post them all, but what was great is that they trusted me to send them what I thought they would like, no computer, no Internet. Feels so old fashioned now. Even people that didn’t want to be DJs and just loved the music would put so much time and money to find records. I miss record shops.
MM: Most DJs or people involved in the scene say the same thing, this ritual of going to your favorite record shop and spend all day there to find records, with your mates, and if you knew people working there they would give you the choicest cuts and all.
JM: Yes, it was so exciting the whole era was fantastic the vibe, the parties the scene and the buzz in the shop. I knew everything about every track, from working at that record shop, it was great. I just loved the way that everything looked different you know, like the Italian imports, the American ones, the artwork the smell and feel of the vinyl.
MM: Tell us about what you got coming up then, & Essential Ibiza?
JM: Im looking forward to the launch of my new night on the island DECIBEL every Friday starting 24th January, at Cana Pepeta, a beautiful quirky Ibizan restaurant with a room for dancing after dinner! Also, I’ve gone back to the studio, I just love production, making music. I’m working with an Ibizan DJ called Dylan Debut, he's very good Also myself and Matti Schwartz who is my production partner on 4tune 500 are in contact with a label from Cologne to re-release our 4 Tune 500 track - Dancing in the dark which was a big classic in the early 2000s, so we’re releasing that with remixes.
So Essential Ibiza, we’re heavily involved with the music scene on the island, we cover everything from the gigs to the club tables, we support all the big club brands, hotels, and restaurants with our marketing packages. We’re also launching a print on demand merchandise superstore for clubs. You print the number of t-shirts you want, even 1 if you want. It’s a great way of getting the brands out there as exporting outside Ibiza can be really expensive. So that’s really exciting. We’re looking to launch that in Spring.
We cover everything from concierge, spas, private boats, etc. Before we started everybody would ask us the same thing anyway so after 30 years of being here we just wanted to set up a company.
And we also got this is the pipeline - Charlie Chester brought his Flying party to Ibiza in 1990 with English DJs for 3 weeks in various different venues it was very prolific and part of clubland history, with this, came one of the most-watched youth Culture documentaries on channel 4, "A short film about Chillin " filmed in Ibiza, 13 million tuned in on Boxing day to watch it that year. So 2020 it’s going to be 30 years that it happened and we are talking with some of the originals DJs from that program, to do an Ibiza 20 as in 2020. Not so retro but infusing some of that vibe, those DJs. So we’re talking to Terry Farley, Rocky & Diesel, they were the original DJs on Ibiza 90, and we’ll see what happens. Also, it is the 10 years of our Essential Ibiza business and I turn 50!
MM: Great interview Jo.
JM: Nice one Mike it was.
Live Interview, Page Design, Editing Mike Mannix
Transcription, Raphaela Pauwels
Organised by, Mauro Quinto
Once again the Eclectrika Project was reunited for a great night at Tengu Yamamori to celebrate DJ Pierr's birthday!
We all joined up and it was a pleasure a real family vibe was felt and many genres were heard such as House, Deep House, Tech House and Techno. Every DJ had a 40 minute set and they made the best out of it, each had their moments during the night translated by cheers from the crowd.
The night started off with Mick Ze German with some great melodic Deep/Tech House coupled with some Chilled Acid perfect to start the night and get in the mood. Phill Bass on his side went into a dynamic Tech House set and when he played a remix of the generic of the Pablo Escobar TV show everyone started singing along and it was great, you could feel a real synergy in the room, perfect for the vibe that was going on that night.
Syl Black leveled up on the techno/tribal mood which was very catchy and vibrant and more bass focused than the previous set giving a real kick to the night. After that, Dr. Flamer went into a much more groovy type of set with a soulful sax, I loved the jazz elements that were added to the Tech-House set which created a very vibrant set and gave a sense of motion. Peter Puskas had a great set in the sense that he really kept the energy going and people responded very well to his mix.
On another tone Alex Betricky dived into the Techo with some hints of minimal, sometimes remembering a Boris Brejcha vibe, and it was amazing. You could see he had the best time behind the deks and really interacted with the crowd. Fer Moduse, as usual, went into a short but vivid techno mix, nothing to be surprised there from him.
The star of the night (DJ Pierr) had a great back to back with Ruben Estevez and it was terrific. They had a full hour to play so more time to develop and dive into their set. With the biggest smile they could have on their faces, they merged so many different elements together. It was like they used every element of each DJ to merge it together in their mix.
You had some Tribal/Caribbean groove and some jazz as well, all of that on a Tech-House set. The last tune played was a real representation of the atmosphere reigning in the room and you couldn’t find a better way to represent it: We are family from Sister Sledge. Everyone was singing together and you could see the joy in everyone’s face.
Most of the time when you go out you have a great night but it is not that often that you feel a family vibe. Most of the people knew each other and we had the best time, as usual when Eclectrika is involved. Congrats guys!!
Review, Raphaela Pauwels
Page Design, Editing Mike Mannix
Photo Credit, Ana Battan
Italian & German DJ Producers
'' Moms have dreams too, and you need to keep dreaming and dreaming big ... not just for you but to widen your kids’ horizons ''
Portuguese DJ Producer
Hey Rocky, thanks for talking with us! You’re about to join Pig&Dan’s ELEVATE imprint with your ‘Rebirth’ EP. Can you tell us the story behind this release? Is there a meaning behind the name?
I made some huge changes in my life, including my artist name... In honour of my mom who is not with us anymore, I changed my name to her family name Valente, which means ‘brave’ in Portuguese. So it’s my rebirth as a more mature artist but also continues my mom’s legacy because she lives on in my music and my performances. My way of saying thank you to her.
How did the relationship with Pig&Dan come about?
I'm a big fan of Dan and Igor and have been for a long, long time. We finally got to meet in August when we shared a stage at Dance Valley. The next day we spent many hours talking about music and dreams. I sent them some of my work and we chose four tracks for the ‘Rebirth’ EP. After this release, we have other ideas which we will hopefully bring to life very soon. I'm in love with what I learn from them! At ADE, we hosted a cool party together, it was so much fun... I feel I’ve known them for years.
You’re currently in a new phase of your career, with fresh music and an exciting evolving sound. What inspired this new phase?
I get inspiration from dreams, from all of us who don't fit the normal "box", from women’s empowerment and of course the darkness of Acid and Techno which takes you on a trip to the light. It’s quite a mix, but I'm obsessed with creating emotions in music lovers. I want people to feel free and unashamed.
You’ve had a strong successful career as a producer and public figure in Portugal for years now. Do you find that this helps your DJ career? Or do you think it hinders it in some way because people have an expectation of what you will be like or what music you will play?
The knowledge I collected during that time did help me. I like the fact that the rest of the world in general isn’t aware of me yet... I think people are just now becoming aware of me as an artist. What I want most is for them to feel my music. The music I create and the DJ sets I put together talk for me
You’ve said before that your heart was always in Techno. What is it about Techno that you love? When did you first discover it?
I think when you listen to Techno for the first time, it pushes you out of your comfort zone. I heard Techno for the first time when I had no chance to go out clubbing but the underground sounds of Lisbon were everywhere. Deep naked tracks like ‘So Get Up’.
The Techno I like could even be background music from a thriller. But then when you start to feel Techno in your heart, you find that it’s so much more. It's a new world, on the other side... People who love underground music love the moment, the way the energy moves them. Not so much the lyrics. They go out looking for the unknown but also, they know very well what they want. So while you as an artist have so much freedom, you always need to be the best version of yourself.
As well as a DJ career, you have six children. How do you manage to balance your time between family life and your career?
I sleep less than a ‘normal person’, I meditate, I exercise a lot, I’m careful with what I eat and I don't drink a lot or do any drugs. It's not easy, but my kids are not babies anymore - I was a teenage mom! Some of them are over 18 and can go out already, and for the little ones I have an amazing team of family and friends who help me. Moms have dreams too, and you need to keep dreaming and dreaming big ... not just for you but to widen your kids’ horizons.
Rocky Valente ‘Rebirth’ was released on ELEVATE on November 22nd on vinyl and digital.
Interview, Page Design, Editing Mike Mannix
UK Artist Producer
From Italy to Ibiza to Dublin, Michele has lived up & tattooed it up, we got to grab a few words down with one of the finest artists in the country...
Mike Mannix: So we are here in the Art Room Tattoo a new venue in Dublin, I am here with the owner and founder Michele. So you are from Italy, what is your background, your inspirations? How did you start?
Michele Preziosoart : I had an interesting life concerning art. From a very young age I was drawn to drawings and art. And the funny thing is that my uncle was an artist and an art teacher. He had this studio where he did sculptures and different artworks, and I was always helping around so that was my first influence in the world of art. I was around 10 or even younger, but I remember that period so much because it was my first steps into this world. And then growing up, partying and all, I got pulled away from it but somehow along the way I always had a channel that drew me back to it.
I can’t properly explain it, maybe it was just my purpose in life. Funny enough I didn’t do an art school because my parent wanted me to do accountancy as I was good in math. But when I was 17/18 years old. after school, I worked with an association that put me in charge of this paper where I was making all the drawings. And there I developed an interest towards that kind of activity. Then for a while I was on and off because back then in the 1990’s you had to get a steady job and conform to what society expect from you. But around 18/19 my friends started tattooing and at the time we had no tattoo magazine, no tattoo machine, no reference you could look up to, it was really hard to start.
So one of my friend got a machine from Germany as a birthday present, and they started tattooing. When I saw that I loved it, so he brought me in the first tattoo venue in Napoli, and I was blown away. I thought straight away ‘I want to do that’. Around 1995/1996 I really wanted this machine, so I saved money and ask some to my grandparents and I got my first kit of tattooing. But as I told you, we had no one to teach us so I started by myself tattooing my friends and family. The only few tattoo artists that were in the country were really private and wouldn’t give away their knowledge.
MM: Did you have a natural ability to draw?
M: I think so, but I wouldn’t say a gift because I think that drawing is a craft, where you can practice, improve yourself and get better at. But I had kind of a vision of myself doing that and it is what drove me to do what I do today. Drawing is not a gift but a passion you know. So I started tattooing and made a name for myself into this world, but at the time it was too slow in Italy from my point of view.
Tattoo were correlated to gangs and prisoners, so we didn’t have much freedom. So when I got my first tattoo, that was pretty big, people stared to ask me why I did that to myself but I was happy. However, I wanted to see more of it, I decided to leave Italy and start travelling. Of course, the first place I went was Ibiza, you know party time, and I stayed there a couple of months. Loved the music. Slowly I was getting better at tattoos, tattooing more friends. I wasn’t a professional, it was more a passion I never let go even if I wasn’t that good at the time. Every time I had the chance to tattoo someone I would do it. After Ibiza, I went back to Italy but I couldn’t stay there, so I moved to London for a year trying to learn English and to gain experience. There I met a girl (the mother of my daughters now) that came from Ireland that told me I should go to Ireland, with the expansion of the Celtic Tiger, so I came and loved it and decided to move in here in 1998.
Things were going well, I did a couple of courses, and after a year I opened my first shop in Rathmines around 1999/2000. People were requesting me for tattoos so I saw an opportunity thinking Dublin was perfect for that. As soon as I opened, it got very busy I improved myself quicker, so I decided to become a proper professional, and I worked very hard and achieved a lot of things. After a couple of years, I had the opportunity to open another tattoo shop in Temple Bar. But somehow after 10 years of being in Temple Bar, I had a little breakdown so I decided to sell my shop and to go study art in Florence and I found this amazing school and went there. I just felt I was missing something and I thought at the time that it was the basics of art I never had the chance to study.
I thought that if this is what I’m meant to be I need to try and see if I was good enough to do this kind of style. So I went there in 2012 and started this 3 years’ program. When I saw all this students doing those amazing things I thought they were gifted and I felt like I would fail because I didn’t know the process of painting. You know the basis on how to break it down, how to draw etc. But no matter what, I wanted to do it, I left my job, my studio, my family for my dream. After finishing in 2 years instead of 3, they actually hired me as a teacher, but because of being far from my daughters that were in Dublin, I taught just for 9 months, it was a great experience and learned so much out of it, and loved it.
MM: I am looking at your paintings they are unbelievable. How valuable was your uncle when you think about it?
M: I think he was a big influence in my life. And before he died, we were in a very good relationship, he was more like a friend and the father I never had. So when he saw my artworks he told me I got better than him and that was the greatest compliment I could receive. I loved him so much. He died pretty young at 58, from a liver failure from. He got hepatitis in the military and never treated it. He was an amazing person full of love.
MM: So he would totally approve what you became?
M: You know I grew up with all this people that I kept in touch with throughout the years so when they see my art they often say “Oh my god, Tomaso, would be very proud of you” and I say “I know” because I was there when he died and we were very close. He totally put me in this path.
MM: Very inspiring story! Obviously hard work, finding a niche etc is important but as you were saying earlier the key thing is how you visualise yourself in the future.
M: Yes I think so, it is not so much about the gift even though some people can be gifted naturally but I think that the most successful people are the one that have a clear idea of what they want and go get it. Many gifted people are not successful. If you think about it I had the courage in my life to do what I love because I had a purpose, this is my passion and I had to work for but it never felt like I ever worked a day in my life. And this is what I say to my daughters that took on acting and singing classes “I’ll be there to support you all the way and make your passion your work and you will never work one day in your life”.
MM: Great, so you became a teacher, how did that make you feel to be in such a prestigious environment?
M: When I applied for the job there I didn’t think it would happen because they are very selective. You know we were a middle class family I didn’t have 20.000€ to go to school, it is why I made this sacrifice at 40 when I had more money. I was so surprised that they chose me, because let’s be honest academically the other knew more than me. I thought why did they choose me over the others? And it is because I have the ability to do it and the right thinking to do it, which most people don’t have. And thinking this way got me to think more about myself, study myself more. Once I came across this myth taking place in India because at some point I was reading a lot about self-motivation and successful people.
So this is how it goes: humanity had the power at the time but somehow humans made a bad use out of it, so the gods had to take it back, pulling us away from them. However, they had to find a place on where to hide this power. One said that they should hide it on the highest mountain in the world, the other one said on the deepest ocean. But they knew someday humans would get there, so they decided to hide it where we would never look for it: inside ourselves. And that struck me because in my life I was always looking for something missing outside myself and I realised that what was actually missing was inside of me. We have an amazing power as humans that is imagination.
When you imagine something and you close your eyes you can feel it and smell it. It is the key to everything. You know when you make a painting you look at it for weeks. It is like you lose yourself in it. Sometime I don’t realise it is 5am and I am painting for 9 hours, it is like the subject takes life in front of you and you interact with it because you develop a connection with it . It is why when people say that artist are alone I tell them they are. You know the purpose of art is to feel something, feel emotions, because painting at the end of the day is an illusion of reality. So it is not important how similar your work is to the subject but what you make people feel when they look at it, interact with it.
MM: And it is the same for tattoos right?
M: Same for tattoos. With the experience I have tattooing for 20 years now, I see that even though you have amazing tattoo artists today, with all the access they have to different information, no one really knows how to draw anymore. It is like the new generation just copy and assemble what is already there, so the originality of the piece they do is lost.
I prefer to do ‘free hands’ tattoos because for each morphology, body I have to adapt myself to it. Everyone have different legs, arms etc and I try to adapt it as much as possible, not draw it and stick in on. That means that when the tattoo is finished it is like it was always there. And I think it is what people don’t understand that much. But you know I think it applies to all sorts of art like music, sculpture, tattoo paintings. Everything comes to the same point it is what they are going to make you feel. But it comes with time and practice because I think that it is a realisation of knowing yourself.
Live Interview, Editing, Page Design Mike Mannix
Transcription , Raphaela Pauwels
'' the first place I went was Ibiza, you know party time, and I stayed there a couple of months. Loved the music ''
Italian Tattoo Artist
'' I had the courage in my life to do what I love because I had a purpose, this is my passion and I had to work for but it never felt like I ever worked a day in my life ''
'' We have an amazing power as humans that is imagination ''
Brighton Music Conference
NEW ELECTRONIC MUSIC BOOK PUBLISHER LAUNCHES WITH TITLE ON BLEEP TECHNO
When the pioneers of those 2 great American cities Chicago & Detroit, created a sound that crossed the Atlantic, the UK picked up the baton and became the greatest powerhouse of dance music culture and creativity ever seen at that time.
We are really lucky as a magazine with so many genuine readers on this page, who do know their shit as regards dance music history and culture, and, who actually lived through the whole dance music revolution, and to this day are still involved, still listening and are genuinely still in love with those original beats, whilst also including today’s genuine seekers that this post is primarily aimed at.
Over the years there have been so many stories of how the UK dance music scene started, which area or city boasted the first-ever experience of playing Chicago or Detroit records blah fucking done to death waffle. The fact is, it was dispersed across the UK in varying forms and places and didn’t just land here from an island
Once the British youth had been exposed to those captivating beats, they took the inspiration and started crafting their own sounds. The UK today has created more variations of the original Chicago, Detroit sound than any other country, and that should be the real social narrative!
Without dividing the readers this incredible book focuses on the forgotten North (UK) and its northern soul inspired foundations, that eventually paved the way for what was to come, the dance music/acid house revolution gifted to us in part from Chicago and Detroit.
This brilliant well-researched book goes through the social narrative of the times, growing up in the bleak northern cities whilst carefully crafting the Thatcherite politics of the day across the normal working-class existence, out of which birthed a uniquely UK sound that certainly wasn’t expected, anticipated or forecast.
The deftly curated words of the author Matt Anniss act as a time capsule for anyone who witnessed this incredible movement, enabling them to relive those top life-changing moments they still love today, whilst also educating the curious seeker of how it all really came together. This book is a ‘must-have resource’ for any dance music enthusiast, on how the early UK sound developed, in an era that can only be described as the greatest music revolution in history.
Book Review Mike Mannix
About Velocity Press
Velocity Press is a new independent book publisher specializing in electronic music and club culture non-fiction operating from London. Learn more at https://velocitypress.uk
Colin Steven Velocity Press 07595 823298 email@example.com
BRIGHTON MUSIC CONFERENCE ANNOUNCE 2020 DATES
Following its most successful year in 2019, BMC20 will once again host over 60 panels and talks, with key industry speakers, including in-depth discussions and debates on the biggest issues facing the electronic and wider music industry such as diversity, mental health, the environment and current music and business trend. There will also be with exclusive networking parties being held 450 feet above the city in the i360 Pod observation tower.
The beachfront complex will also host two Pro Conference Theatres, the Academy Theatre, new for 2020 - The Point Blank Theatre hosting demonstrations and talks, Toolroom Academy, the BMC networking hub, the Pro meeting Lounge and a specialised exhibition/tech and services zone. There will also be evening and networking events throughout the duration of the event. (full details to be released soon).
Also returning for 2020 BMC’s The Label Lounge, comprising A&R feedback sessions, held nearby at The Tempest Inn. Last year was a huge success with 18 tracks signed, to labels including Champion, Cr2, Glasgow Underground, Labelworx, Skint and Ultra.
BMC also consider supporting charities paramount and will continue to partner with Audio Active, Help Musicians UK, and Last Night A DJ Saved My Life. Save the date for BMC 2020, April 22 to 25. More info on the event program coming soon. I
Iconic Underground Magazine are lead media partners Apr
“Confidence is preparation. Everything else is beyond your control.”
Live Act DJ Producers
Moduse are an up and coming Techno duo based in Dublin who are making their mark on the cities clubbing network, definitely ones to watch!!
Raphaela Pauwels: Before you tell us how you both met and formed Moduse can you fill us in on your own early musical journeys that eventually led you into electronic music?
Fernando: During my last period in Spain before moving to Ireland I was playing percussions in an Irish traditional music band. Believe it or not, one of my objectives, when I came to Ireland, was to learn how to play the Bodhran. At some point during the journey, I meet a pair of turntables and I was diverted by them towards the electronic beats.
Reza: My musical journeys started in early childhood when I was around 8 or 9 years of age with an organ, I went to a class for a while to learn the instrument and a few songs. Unfortunately, after a few classes, we had to move house and that was the end of classes for me, I still play some of those songs on piano. I started discovering electronic music around the age of 18 when Goa Trance was big, ever since I could not leave a day without it.
RP: How did you meet, and what was the catalyst to create this imprint?
R: Me and Fernando met back in 2005 in one of Fernando’s psytrance nights in Button Factory (Temple Bar Music centre back then) I was big into psytrance and I ended up playing few nights for Neutronix.
Since then we met many times to create music together and exchange ideas, at first it was psytrance then went to minimal techno after it was Deep House for a while and finally Techno for about 5 years now, Moduse was created in the beginning and we have kept the name ever since.
RP: What’s the reason you’ve chosen Moduse as your stage name?
R: It originally was Module but then we changed it to Moduse as it was catchier.
RP: What is the ‘perfect bass’ you’ve both been working on over the last few years?
R: We mostly used lexicon reverb with few effects and EQ as sub-bass and have tried to fill the upper low end with synthesizers like Alchemy or trilogy. It always sounds perfect.
RP: Can you tell us about the b2b you had with Nancy, how did it go down?
F: There is good synergy between us, in the last few months we have played one after the other 3 times on top of the back to back gig.
R: The B2B with Nancy was great, she is a talented and very nice person, unfortunately, I had to leave but hopefully soon we will be catching up in the studio to share some ideas.
RP: When you're in the studio and you got the inspiration how do you map and layout your tracks?
R: We usually start with some drums or even a melody than we work everything around that. First is the 4 bar loop then we stretch that longer so we can create the first break and add more elements for the first drop, then it must continue with the same vibe, we than map the whole track and start modulations and automation. We do mix as we go along but always give a few days of break to refresh the ears and listen back to notice anything that we don’t like.
RP: You have played a few times raising money for worthy causes like Pieta House. Do you think it is important for DJs to take the time to help others and pass a message that helps to raise awareness around serious matters?
F: Totally agree, we have also collaborated recently in a cancer fundraising (with Nancy again haha) and always up for supporting any good cause.
R: I feel it is absolutely important and necessary for us to do this as it spreads the positivity, always a pleasure to be able to contribute to these causes and I think helping is always a great way to feel good too.
RP: What advice would you give to young people that want to transform their musical passions into a career?
F: I would tell them. Yes, it is possible. Find your path and keep walking, work hard, and most importantly believe in yourself. As Richard Kline said “Confidence is preparation. Everything else is beyond your control.”
R: Work on it and don’t give up, create the best of what you can and respectfully contact some experienced people in the scene for advice then the career will come down the line.
RP: Has it must have been a challenge to find the time to meet work together with the reopening of District 8?
R: Yes in a way but positive in another way because we do catch-up in D8 often and we go through stuff together. But we are always connected and constantly making music.
RP: Tell us about any new projects that are coming up soon, and also for next year?
F: A word for you to remember "FINNER" ;)
R: We have few tracks coming out very soon, and a few gigs coming up as well for the next year.
Interview, Raphaela Pauwels
Page Design, Editing Mike Mannix
Photo Credit -
'' There will be No creepy affectionate thigh rubbing accolades to those Black Tee, Tattooed Sleeve Wearing Trance exporters who cunningly hide behind the term TECHNO, waiting in Ernest for the drop ''
Downloading for RH
Since the last issue, I’ve been bombarded with two simple questions.
1. “What are you doing in my garden?” & 2 “Why Bleep?”
To answer the first one, if you know me well enough you know exactly what I’m doing in your garden and why. As to Why Bleep, well it could be a homage to my love of the Purple Era and the electronic generated sounds that followed through the last 30 plus years or it could be a shout out to our overpaid and highly underworked Editor who has the thankless task of removing the liable statements that my column will throw up as we meander our way through the Dance Music scene. I’ll let you be the judge of that….
So what can you expect to find in these brief pages? I suppose the easiest thing is to tell you lovelies firstly are what you won’t find.
| There will be No creepy affectionate thigh rubbing accolades to those Black Tee, Tattooed Sleeve Wearing Trance exporters who cunningly hide behind the term TECHNO, waiting in Ernest for the drop.
Devious as they are using the illusion of stage production to mask the fact they’re playing what can only be described as resembling the sonic delight of a 6-year-old in full tantrum ably joined by “ Uncle Pete” ( Black sheep and functioning alcoholic) banging out His impromptu rendition of Insomnia on an old Casio.
What you will find are the overlooked artists & labels that have been shaping the scene without the fanfare or smoke and mirrors of social media. Stalwarts, Pioneers and newcomers who lack the vulgar lust for fame that prop up very fragile egos that have become more and more apparent over the years.
So without further digression let’s start digging. I’d like to introduce to those of you who are not aware of Producer / DJ / Label Boss and proprietor of a smashing Pink suitcase, Mullingar’s very own Mr. Derek Carr. “ 2018 Producer of the Year “ in our Weekend Vandals chart and with a plethora of releases under his belt on some of the scenes most valued labels culminating in one of the major factors in the rise of the homeless DJ (seriously the man has a back catalogue that would give the late Frank Zappa a run for his money). Whether touring, in the studio or being mistaken for the Oakland Raiders quarterback, Derek brings a humble approachability with him which transpires in his music. (Odd really then that most my research was achieved from rooting through his bins at 4 am).
Derek’s story starts like most with disappointment. Disappointment that this wee boy from the streets of Mullingar would not fulfill his calling and take to the stage as Lead Male on the National Ballet circuit. A blow not many of us could have withstood at such a tender age but with Derek, he embraced it and his Wayne Sleep posters were soon replaced as he embarked on his musical journey. Reminiscing about those early days and how new inspirations came into his life he told me,
DC “ Depeche Mode was the first band to truly inspire me to create music. I bought my first keyboard in 1987 with visions of forming a pop band playing electronic music. Not long after that House Music appeared over the horizon and my dreams of being in Depeche Mode Mk.II was over. 808 State were a huge influence on my early attempts at Techno. I was drawn to the melodies that were scattered all through the '90' album. From there it was a journey of discovery, Derrick May, Dave Angel, Carl Craig, Kenny Larkin, Warp, and Network Records all helped shape my musical future”.
In 2001 Derek launched his own label TRIDENT RECORDS and debuted his first release as both an artist and a label with his Copper Beech ep and like most of us with Anniversaries, birthdays, etc he forgot about it for almost two decades!!! Why Derek, Why??
DC “ Trident was originally set up for the Copper Beech ep to be a one-off release, just to get my music some notice, almost as a promotional tool. I hadn't given it any thought for 20 odd years until Clone.nl approached me with a view to releasing some older music. I asked them if they'd be interested in releasing new music and they jumped at the chance. Hence the re-launch 20 years later. I had built up a decent following and made some fantastic contacts in the industry (He obviously means me but knows I’m the modest type) in the intervening years which has made this possible. When I started out 20 years ago I didn't even know what distribution or mastering was..”
With the long overdue follow up to Copper Beech aptly titled Reset ep flying off the shelves ( We Play House Music is yet another Carr classic in my humble opinion), Trident 03 sitting pretty in the pre-master stage and releases scheduled on some of my favourite labels there’s no signs of slowing or a diminishing quality of Derek’s work. Inspiring the next wave of producers in his native Ireland like Peter Sweeney who shared a release with Derek on Dublin imprint 393 Records (after negotiating a small fee for his input) gushed,
PS” He’s a credit and inspiration to people like me. To think someone like him who has been around for as long as he has, his current output is very healthy and only getting better”.
Recounting my “research” experience an unexpected and brief meeting took place with Derek which if I’m honest left both me and his street cred somewhat unsettled. Below is a transcript as to revisit that early morning shake-up is still an open wound.
DC “What the **** are you doing in my bins? its 4 am!!” Me “Never mind that, I can hear music. What song you playing Derek?” DC “Nothing” Me “Derek!” DC” It’s nothing ok, I don’t have to speak to people like you!” Me “Derek….what’s the song?” DC( heading back inside his home)” Leave me alone, it’s nothing, its….its... Not what you think, please just go”
Me “Derek?” DC (In a voice as soft as a baby’s first Momma)” Its Matt Dareys remix of Binary Finary…” Me “We can’t leave it like this….Is there someone I can call?.... It’s going to be ok” Derek looked me straight in the eye as the front door slowly closed.
IF like me you’ve followed the career of Kirk Degiorgio for more years than you care to remember, you’ll know it’s been a decade since we were presented with a body of work the music industry calls “an album”. Well, guess what? Yup, the wait is over as he’s only gone and done it. Under the AS ONE guise, Kirk delivers COMMUNION on the highly acclaimed De:tuned label. Fortunate enough to receive an advance promo copy some weeks ago from Ruben Boons over at De:tuned and tearing a few pages from my diary to absorb the release I tentatively shut the outside world off and immersed myself.
As the opening track Absorption Spectra introduces itself to the listener you know instantly that you’re in for the duration and certainly not a “skim through and return to later “sketch on the horizon. Captivating with its indulgent dreamy sweeps it commands your full attention for the next hour or so as a well-devised book cover draws you in anticipation of meeting the characters on the pages ahead. Downburst gently draws you from your reverie as the album starts to pick up the pace and build a wall of sound (as the whole work does) without getting out of hand and becoming a collection of “Bangers” per se.
The hint of sorrow that’s blanketed with a rich positivity on Irimas or the Indigenous vibe that Outer Edge projects, for me, truly shows a producer at one with his work and himself ( as an album should be) in my opinion. There are the more dance floor friendly cuts like The Ladder and the threats of letting off steam on The Specialist & We Are But Shadow but to Kirks credit, he keeps the reigns taught and steers them beautifully into the realm of that early morning head down, lost in “one’s own space” state of bliss where being taken by the hand and giving oneself up to the narrative is the only course of action. Almost as a reprise, the album concludes in the same cinematic scapes as we started with on Emanation and those ethereal tones which lulled us in at the very beginning.
As a whole package Communion certainly delivers on the promise foretold, idyllic home listening which for me is partly credited to the curation of the running order and in the right setting, and in the right hands, what leans heavily towards the collector piece is certainly transferable to the big rig. All in all an absolute pleasure to listen to (enhancing my journey to and from gigs since receiving a copy) and instantly staking a place in my end of year “Album of 019” conundrum.
Usually, when you see the words “Charity” or “Fundraiser” you get that ice-cold shiver down your spine and can almost hear Tony Hadley churning out the death throes of Spandau’s greatest hits or a game of “Who?” as another Z- list “CELE-BRAT-Y” is wheeled out before your uncaring eyes. Imagine then my delight to receive an invite to an aforementioned fundraiser in aid of Oxfam, courtesy of Boxjam over in Leeds. Only this time, looking at the entertainment on offer, flights and logistics were being booked before you could say “Trance is Pants”. Added to this was the chance to hook up with friends and peers for shits and giggles and quite possibly a dance-off at some point in the proceedings (8th Runner up in the Humberside “Give it up mate” 1986).
Between two rooms, one hosting Live hardware, the other a selection of DJs, I crammed in as much audio as I could. Good friend & 3 am Records boss Al Bradley was the first artist on the menu on entering and always a pleasure to hear behind the booth and to spend time with. Always enjoyed his work. As cogs were oiled and palms crossed it was over to Room 1 for Perseus Traxx who laid out a beautifully educated set littered with graceful nuances from across genres. Thoroughly enjoyed.
Now show me an artist in a mask and I’ll show you my heels just about every time but kicking a live Old School Electro hardware set was a chap playing under the moniker CYBEREIGN and man alive was he dropping. Sharing this jam in the company Manchester’s Dammo B, we nodded to each other and for the want of Lino, it could have been yet another night in A&E.
As the midnight bells pealed it was time to enter into the realm of the 303 as downright filth laced duo Auto Sound City launched their machines for a mesmerizing hour of corrosive goodness. At this point, the superlatives would start to flow describing the closing act but we’ll keep it simple. Edzy & Gez Varley / Unique 3&LFO, wrapping the proceedings up with a B2B set encompassing the wide range that Techno offers when two Legends of the game come together. Quality ensured. Big Love to Boxjam crew for the invite (was Tony Hadley on early doors?) and everyone that gave their time and craft for free on a great night and apologies to those I missed…next time.
Words Jeff Dobson, Page Design, Editing Mike Mannix
Mitch Davis Filters To Crack You Up
The Worst Techno Memes Ever Group Page
Mitch Davis - TWTMEGP
Mike Mannix: Nice one geezer good to finally have a natter. So before we hit on TWTMEGP what was the young Mitch up to? What were your influences, your interests, and how did your natural piss-taking ability develop?
Mitch Davis: It’s that usual story. In 1987/88, I left school and went straight into the whole Acid House thing and was lucky enough to be getting into Shroom, Spectrum, Trip, Sin. I lived 20 miles north of London on a little council estate and we just walked into the whole scene because we already had the love for all the electronic stuff in the charts and whatnot, and needed to go and listen to this in the right environment ya know.
We began going to Soul weekenders, watching Nicky Holloway, Paul Oakenfold, Pete Tong they were doing smaller sorta gigs in them days. Then it was Spectrum on a Monday Shoom on a Wednesday, and madness at the weekends, what a trip you know, that massive House thing just blew up and I’ve been just absolutely obsessed with it ever since just lived and breathed that whole culture really.
Then this strange phenomenon started with social media, like watching my favorite DJs arguing with each other about where Dance music started in the UK whether it was in Manchester, London and all that, with all these 55-year-old blokes arguing like teenagers, about who played such and such first you know what I mean. I was always a natural piss taker and this just took off with music. My dad’s a piss-taker, and my brother, obviously just something in the genes.
MM: So the whole phenomenon about TWTMEGP (The Worst Techno Memes Ever Group Page), give us a bit of background about it. Did you expect this popularity?
MD: That was started by Allen Aubrey and Lee Dixon about 3 years ago. and it was just them sending really contrived cheesy Techno to each other taking the piss by saying ‘love Techno’ etc. Then I started posting on it about 2 years ago, I was quite prolific, and I was also doing stuff for Ransom Note magazine. They put on events based in East London and I was doing something called ‘Asking for a friend’ where I was asking inappropriate questions, which I have on my facebook as well, and that took off, I got 100 weeks worth of those, and I got archives.
Before that, I was doing serious music reviews in my own a digital magazine, similar to yours actually, called Numb Magazine, I was gonna have a comedic angle in there as well because you can’t compete with and Resident Advisor but with a different blend of online bullshit from me. When I first joined TWTMEGP it was like 1000/2000 members and now it's over 130.000…
MM: When I landed on that page I think it was already 60.000. I think you just brought something fresh to the whole social media bullshit, no one else did it as well as you lads.
MD: A lot of people are normally too scared to say what they think because they want to further their own careers and it’s all really ass licking and back-slapping. But on this page, we try toç keep it totally irrelevant and silly slightly taking the piss but without being completely nasty and there’s a thin line, especially with the comments. Sometimes I have had to remove some or even block people. It’s quite difficult policing it, it’s a 1000 new requests a day.
MM: Where do you see it going? Are you just gonna roll with it or make club nights promotion or do something with the brand?
MD: It’s definitely gonna happen, Lee and Allen were looking a monetizing it a while ago and then every now and then they were like ‘fuck that, it’s too much to handle’, it’s just a constant growing massive monster with all the comments and blablabla. So now we’ve got Cinthie, she played on the Essential Mix and she’s a moderator with another girl called Katy. We were getting accused of being sexist, but from day 1 there have been girls moderating on the page and it’s normally them that accept the more inappropriate ones. That’s another sort of difficult one to handle when you take the piss and post a picture of Solomon and then a picture of Nina; not being bad you know and people are like that’s sexist simply because it’s a picture of a woman, so it’s a very difficult sort of line to walkalong. So yeh, I reckon if we did a couple of club nights that it would become quite successful, there are so many people that are into it that we’d book Solomun, & Paris Hilton, that’d be a right one wouldn’t it haha?
MM: Hahaha yeah, so how do you manage all that? Where’s the line crossed as regards to the artist themselves?
MD: We haven't had a single complaint from any management team, if anything they seem to love us, as they are constantly reposting things on Instagram. And over the years, even just on my facebook alone, most of the people in the scene are aware of the stupid things I do, from Techno and House all the different little subgenres, they’ re all aware of my kind of brand, so they know where it’s coming from, but it’s not in a malicious sort of way.
MM: You love having a go at Resident Advisor as well?
MD: Yea, buts all meant to be tongue in cheek as well. I’ve got massive respect for that magazine, it’s been healthy for the scene over the last 10 years, and again, they do take themselves incredibly seriously don’t they haha. It’s a target really, some of their reviews have been incredibly pretentious. I was running a record label, 10/12 years ago, we had like 10 or 15 release, and I use to review the music myself making these really pompous press releases, always the same, I used to grab bits from art reviews in the Guardian with all these 16 syllable words and copy-paste it in our own press releases, just taking the piss.
MM: The T-shirts would be something else eh, they would fly out the door.
MD: It’s what I was thinking. Maybe doing something like Techno dust or Electro pellets making it into a meme and all of a sudden it becomes a thing overnight.
MM: It’s becoming this whole subculture thing now?
MD: Yes, and it's all organic growth, there was no plan to create it like that in the beginning because it was supposed to be this silly Facebook group, and now there are 10’s of thousands commenting every day so it's grown into this massive authentic community and that’s one of the main reasons why we’re taking the piss on that as well, as there is this ‘buy for likes’ thing online and obviously it’s quite fake, unfortunately, so we highlight it.
MM: Nice one Mitch it's all about keeping it real!
MD: Cheers Mike!
Live Interview, Page Design, Editing, Mike Mannix
Transxription, Raphaela Pauwels
Page Admin Public Figure Satirist
TWTMEGP CAN CAUSE SERIOUS LAUGHTER UNLESS YOUR A BORING GIT
dublins longest running underground dance music station
'' It was the start of the ’90s and Manchester seemed to be the centre of the Universe at the time. The Jupiter 8 in question that I used belonged to Acid House pioneers 808 State.''
Article - Suddi Raval
Page Design - Editing - Mike Mannix
The Mighty Jupiter 8.
With its superior build quality and exceptional sound, Roland carved itself a piece of synthesizer history with the Jupiter 8 or as its catalogue number states, the JP-8. If you’ve ever tried to carry a Jupiter 8, it’ll give you an indication that there is some serious internal circuitry going on inside this innovation of its time.
A thing of beauty
The first thing that grabs your attention when using the Jupiter 8, prior to touching it, before you’ve even switched it on, is the flawless design. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, black and white. It was a rainbow of multi-coloured buttons and impeccable graphical design. It truly is a thing of beauty in every sense and it pretty much bombards all your senses.
A Front panel of switches and knobs and sliders.
One of the stands out features of the Jupiter 8 is its incredibly practical front panel. Not only did it make the JP8 a thing of beauty, but it’s also exceptionally well designed, packed full of features many other synths only dreamed about. Across a huge façade, it boasts a series of knobs, sliders and switches that give the user a huge amount of control.
A flagship of the Roland product line, it was the favourite synthesizer of all time for keyboard legend Howard Jones who said about it “I’m still discovering new sounds, new things about it, even now. It’s so reliable. I’ve taken it everywhere. Trashed it all around the world, and it’s never gone wrong on me. It’s got lovely smooth sounds, and I also like it for lead work. Piling oscillators on top of each other.”
Beverly Hill Pops
Another synth pioneer who claims it is his favourite synth is Harold Faltermeyer who talked about it fondly to the Red Bull Academy “The Jupiter 8’s particular sound comes from the structure of the two oscillators of each bank [in] each voice. So you can actually layer them. This makes for a very fat, good sound. The Jupiter 8 was my main instrument for melodies, all the Axel F melodies were made on it.”
Jupiter pop classics
It made its way onto some of the biggest pop records of the 80’s such as Michael Jacksons Thriller and Duran Duran’s Hungry Like a Wolf.
Commercial success for Roland
It didn’t look or sound like anything else on the market at the time. With sales well in excess of 3000, Roland had a hit machine on their hands that would see levels of success and critical acclaim they would rarely match in their colourful history.
We design the future
It’s incredible their tagline for the company was “we design the future” because it couldn’t have been more apt. Always the innovators they, didn’t disappoint with the Jupiter 8. It had the ability to store patches in its memory and a variety of unique features including a precursor to MIDI called DCB, this was a synthesizer light years ahead of its time.
The first Jupiter 8 I ever used was in a, now legendary, recording studio in the Northern Quarter/Ancoats area of Manchester called Out Of The Blue. It was the start of the ’90s and Manchester seemed to be the centre of the Universe at the time. The Jupiter 8 in question that I used belonged to Acid House pioneers 808 State.
I was smitten and I went on a mission to find one. Luckily I managed to find someone selling a pristine model in Sheffield. I loved and cherished in for many, many years, using it on a stack of vinyl releases. I remember being blown away by the depth of the sound and the beauty of the sequence it would emit if you played a chord on it whilst in arpeggio mode.
Two oscillators per note.
Built between 1981 and 1985 it possessed 16 oscillators and was 8 note poly, given each note played 2 VCO’s (voltage controlled oscillators) each oscillator ensuring the extremely rich and fat sound the Jupiter 8 is known for. VCO1 has 4 waveforms – triangle, sawtooth, pulse and square waves – which can be moved across 4 octaves.
The square wave of VCO2 is replaced by a noise generator and comes with an additional LOW FREQ switch. The LFO gave the user the option of a triangle, a square, sawtooth and random oscillation options.
The Jupiter 8 offered the user 3 “key modes” this was 3 different ways that the keyboard was configured. You accessed the different modes using the blue buttons, Whole, Dual and Split. In the Whole mode, the user had the option to play the JP-8 so there was a single patch spread across the entire keyboard with 8 note polyphony.
In Dual mode, you could layer any 2 of the JP-8’s patches but the polyphony was reduced to 4 and in Split mode, the Jupiter 8 gave you the option the split the keyboard in half. As far as synths go, it was a revolution at the time that gave the user the option to split the keyboard in 2, giving them 2 different sounds at the same time so they could play a chord or melody with one hand and bass with the other.
The JP-8 Filter section
The filter section contained a switch to offer the user 12 dB (2-pole) or 24 dB (4 poles)/octave with a resonant low pass and a non-resonant high pass. There were 2 separate envelopes sections. One controlled the volume and the other controlled the filter section providing the user with some extremely resourceful sound shaping options. The first envelope section also had the option to invert the polarity.
Also included on the front panel was a switch to sync the 2 oscillators and a cross-modulation slider so you couldn’t just modulate between the 2 oscillators but had the option to choose how much cross-modulation you required.
From the fears of bankruptcy to global success
The Jupiter 8 wasn’t just a godsend for the synthesizer community, it was also the saviour of Roland, for prior to its release they experienced some financial difficulties and the future of the company was uncertain for a short time. Some extremely clever business moves by Roland ensured their future was secure by striking a deal with suppliers of their mechanisms where the components were received on credit as opposed to the usual method of securing finances via the banks who failed to see Roland's vision.
Incredibly it was so popular following its release that it became so difficult to get hold of, even synth legends such as Harold Faltermeyer struggled to get his hands on one and only did so due to his industry contacts.
The boutique ticks every box
Whist software versions of the Jupiter 8 had existed for some time, in 2016 Roland announced the release of a new scaled-down version of the Jupiter 8 as part of their boutique range with the Roland Boutique JP-08. Smaller than the size of a VHS videocassette, it has all the controls the original gave you with the addition of tiny LED lights on each slider so you could operate it in the dark.
It also included an advance 16 note sequencer so you can use it in your live set up with a variety of memory banks. The sound was almost indistinguishable from the original and whilst there is nothing quite like the real thing at around 30 times less than the cost of a second hand Jupiter 8 its worth getting your hands on the boutique version if you wanted to experience a hardware Jupiter.
Words - Suddi Raval
Page Design, Editing, Mike Mannix
Hardware Software Technology
Album Review Special
Review: Raphaela Pauwels
Artist - Suddi Raval - Title - The Ultimate Project Escape ‘Otherism’ LP - Label - T-Wax - Release date - 22-11-2019
We don’t know how to qualify Suddi Raval anymore. DJ, music producer, member of the band Together, writer, has many different hats and excels in all of them. He is one of the pioneers of Acid House in the late 80’s and helped push the UK club culture into the international scene with his hit song ‘Hardcore Uproar’. He just released his last LP that is an escape from reality to end up being emerged in a world full of dreams and relaxation.
Suddi Raval - Introduction
The 50-second track is a vocal of a man with this very deep voice on a dramatic, dark and intense instrumental background to prepare the listener to what is coming next: an uncharted territory that has yet to be discovered going through the album.
Suddi Raval - Astray Astray
This track is interesting as it is progressive and starts on a mood and ends with a completely different one. Between the superposition of the different synths, the rumbling bass and the different grooves that come into the place, this track is vibrant and catchy. Very dreamy this tune will take you on a musical journey.
Suddi Raval - Xyloid
This song is like getting lost in a forest and you hear it vibrates with all the life it inhabits. It’s like hearing birds, grasshoppers and so ongoing through their daily life. When the drums come into the place, the tune ends up having more structure and more ground, coupled with the very ethereal synth and the ‘nature noises’, it creates a great contrast and makes you want to get lost in this imaginary forest.
Suddi Raval - Orbit
The layered sounds give a very vibrant and ethereal aspect to the track. There’s a sense of being left aside out of the ever-running river of time, which gives you the ability to take a step back and a deep breath. There’s so much happening in the track and yet it calms you down.
Suddi Raval - Incounters
The beginning is very intriguing, you don’t really understand what is coming next and when the drums and the hi-hats kick in, everything starts making sense. The bassline follows quickly becoming like the cherry on the cake to give a robust structure to the track. And the synth build on top of them just creates a contrast that will keep you interested until the last minute.
Suddi Raval - Akwizishun
Still very chilled, this track uses more industrial sonorities and is moodier. A bit like the kind of music you could find in a movie for a key moment: emotional pads, a subtle piano drown in melancholy, hidden by a more powerful synth. Like in most of the tracks in the album there’s a very wide range of sounds creating a unique universe proper to each track.
Suddi Raval - Make Sense Not War
More aggressive and abrasive than the previous tracks, this tune is glitchy, loud and powerful. More footed in the 90’s vibe, the snare and bassline are the most prominent components of the track until they completely stop towards the end letting you discover a whole other array of sounds, like if the war ended on the last 40 second of the track to let place to peace and calm.
Suddi Raval - Peng Win
Once again, like in Xyloid, this tune is like getting lost in a tropical jungle. Playful, joyful, and faster than expected, this tune will stir your senses and take you on an inner journey. The soothing synth melody merged with the subtle bass and the marimba, this track is full of life and a refreshing.
Suddi Raval - Laser Beams & Mirror Balls
That track is much more vocal centered than any other piece in the album and plays with the notion of echo, adding a vibrant aspect. The sensual synth merged with the vocals and the hi-hats create a whole world that will carry, alongside as the tune progress, all your wildest thoughts away.
Suddi Raval - Quark
The only Acid House track of the album will not disappoint you. The vocal working as an intro set the tone of what vibe the track is going to be anchored in: ravy yet joyful. Between the eclectic synth coupled with the bassline, this track is ingenious, effervescent and vigorous.
Suddi Raval - Blue Tuesday
The different percussions with what sounds like a didgeridoo, the triangle, the arp and the violin create a nearly orchestral effect and coupled with more electronic elements like the bassline or the synth is just genius. Morose at the first, the track opens up to let the place to more joyful and dreamful notes.
Suddi Raval - Aqua Noir
The track opens up with a battery quickly followed by a piano and a drowning like a synth. Definitely downtempo, the association of more organic sounds such as the light jazzy groove of the piano or the violin with the mumbly synth and the high freq can be a bit confusing at first yet soothing to the ear.
Suddi Raval - Acetone
The muffled synth is quickly taken over by a high pitched one. Definitely, the most eclectic one as the track is driven by high notes and not bass or more grounded elements to it. Hard to understand, this track will certainly tickle your curiosity and makes you want to dive into its universe.
Suddi Raval - Eggmobile
Full of percussions from different instruments and maracas, coupled with the vocal, this track is unequivocally the most exotic of the LP. At first, it can seem tense and inquisitive but then it becomes this track full of life and happiness.
Suddi Raval - Peng Win (Matt Sargeant Remix)
This darker version of Peng Win is mesmerizing and more club-oriented. Real late-night groove, the track is louder in itself. The superposition of the different synths with the bassline, the subtle marimba groove, the ‘nature noises’; everything’s perfectly layered and will make you wanna dance and get lost in this imaginary world.
Overall this is a serious collection of well thought out and constructed tunes than you may have expected from such an Acid House aficionado. It's deep, moving and embraces you for an inner journey. Fantastic work!
1- My ilok
This one will be a bone of contention with the turds that don't pay anything for their software, but whinge like bitches when someone downloads their piss poor shoddily produced audio abomination to which they want to aurally assault the world with, yes you Macbook boy!!
In this day and age copy protection shouldn't be considered a hindrance, sort you piratey arse out and purchase the stuff you use daily. I've had one or two issues with ilok over a ten year period, most iLok issues I've seen on people's systems are over the use of pirated software.
In a world where most things can be acquired on a subscription basis for the price of a couple of pints - It really does come down to the fact that you're a cheap ass.
2 - Apogee 800 converters
I absolutely love this, it just makes everything sound like a record. Obviously, that's only true if you know what the fuck your doing and not running some lame-ass Soundblaster 16 into Ableton as its what all the new kids are doing, fuck the kids, they're deaf!!
3 - My Subscriptions
Having spent a fucking truckload of cash over the years on software that pretty much becomes valueless the minute you purchase it. I absolutely welcome the new model of spending fuck all per month and getting a shed load of great plug-ins that would otherwise run you into the tens of thousands, Slate Digital Everything Bundle, McDsp Everything Bundle to name but a few and can be had for about £13 per month.
If you can't make a record with either one of these bundles, it's probably time to go back to work in The Carphone Warehouse.
4 - Pre-amp Spl Channel One Digi
What can I say about this, lots!!! Its a one-stop-shop for getting a great vocal sound going into your daw, tube goodness all the way please. It can make most sound utterly brilliant, again that's if you can actually fucking sing. It's particularly good at making angst-ridden men sound even more pathetic then they are, this has made it a favourite of a number of singers who insist on polluting our airwaves with their tsunami of misery, you know who you are fuckers!!
5 - Outboard fx
I have a good number of plug-in reverbs, but nothing manages to sound as good as My Lexicon Pcm 91, Pcm 81 or my Sony M7 Modulator, they just do something special. I normally use these with Cubase external fx routing and have the choice of using them as a Vst plug-ins.
I use a number of Dsp based reverbs by Tc Electronics Vss3, Non lin being absolute favourites and on the Uad platform I use the Emt140, Emt 250, Lexicon 480L and whilst these are great emulations of some of the best reverbs ever made. I find I can get a very different sense of space from the outboard boxes. I don't really have anything plugin wise that doesn't do what the Sony M7 does, Eventide and Sound Toys do similar things, but again sometimes a unit has one use and that's it, so the solution to that, is to buy more units.
Page, Design, Editing Mike Mannix
Spookys Top 5 Favourite Toys in The Studio
I have so many things that I use in the studio daily, having been chained to plugins for such a long time. I've started to integrate hardware Fx and various other external boxes to make things sound different as I feel a balance between both will give you a far greater sonic pallette, routing soft synths out to external processors like tubes and re-recording seems to give the audio picture a very different result, better imaging and Eq curves that just sound a bit more in your face, without the harshness associated with digital Eq's. I'm in the process of setting up a hybrid system, patch bays and all that other ball bag you associate with doing things right, not the normal bag of shit cables plugged into 47 plug boards lark, and if it all goes well I shall reside in audio heaven and never have to visit the back of a rack case ever again.
Top 5 Studio Essentials
Mike Mannix: Stephen Mahoney of Delinquent Delivery great to have a chat over a few pints, so what was the spark for you back in the day? Your inspirations and background?
Stephen Mahoney: I don’t know, I always loved music, I don’t come from a very musical family at all actually, and I just grew up listening normal stuff from the ’80s with MTV and Top of the Pops and things like that. And one day on the Top the Pop, The Prodigy Charly came up and it just blew my mind, and as soon as it was finished I wanted to listen to it again. So that was the beginning, and then, later on, I was always listening to the many pirate radio stations we had in Dublin like Sunset, Club FM and Power FM, they were great stations, 24/7. And hearing all the advertisements about Sides Tin Pan Alley and the Asylum but I was too young to go you know but I was dying to go you know what I mean but it wouldn’t be till I was 17, that was the Kitchen and it blew my mind.
And then on Fridays we would be there for Jay D B night, and Françoise, a resident there at the time and he blew my mind, he used to play the B sides of records so nobody knew what he was playing, but he was just a craft it in such a way, but like I just kept going there, and over the course of the year I would see Surgeon, Sasha, and the list went on.
And this went on, so I started to go clubbing and then like bigger events for my 18th birthday like Eurodance and around the same time I was starting to go to the Kitchen and saw Dave Clark and also this guy from Belfast can’t remember his name but anyway he played the Bells from Jeff Mills and it was the first time I heard that in my life and I thought “why every record can’t be like this?”.
Then I start studying in the Sound Training Centre and people were into more rock and metal bands back then, and it kind of put me off a bit but I just kept on collecting records and spending my wages. I would spend most of my time searching for new things, in the likes of Tag records. I was addicted you know to crate-digging and then I started getting gigs and at the time it wasn’t like on a Friday or Saturday night thing, anytime you had a day off on the next day, no matter what day of the week I’d play.
It was exciting with the after-parties and all and then, I was kinda partying a little bit too much at that point, I had the opportunity to go to Australia so I just went there which calmed me down for a year. But the addiction for records was still there, going to shops in Melbourne, buying records, I didn’t stop, you know what I mean. Then I came back and the landscape had changed, the bars could be open later and the clubs could go later, a lot of people were starting to listen to electronic music just very different than let’s say Homelands or Cream fields. The Red Box (POD) was finished as well so it was a tricky landscape to come back to!
Also smaller collectives started to show up, a new crew kinda formed again, maybe we weren’t going out every day of the week but on the weekends for sure and I was still collecting records but I wasn’t really doing anything at that point. I felt a bit dissatisfied with Dublin and wanted to travel, so with one of my mates we hit the road again. Another year or two goes and then I came back, and it’s was tough mental health-wise so I kinda got myself together through music again. Also, I was studying visual art at the time and I wanted a visual art component into making music. Then I bought Ableton to mess around and really started to be dedicated to it, just to see what I could do.
The visual art angle really helped because I was still doing sound isolation in college and doing photography, video and matching it with the tracks I was making. Then I finished my degree got a bit of backing from my family for money and I just started producing at the same level I was doing with the art. And over the course of the years, I had some great releases, my first release ‘Coincidence’ Ben Sims picked it up and he is like my all-time hero, so to have that happen was just a huge thing and to hear it on this radio show I just felt really proud you know. So it is like that now, doing my solo stuff and I also started flesher with Jamie and got a good few tours on the go in Ireland then we played in Tresor! And we got a good few tours. We played in Tresor (Germany), I played solo in Croatia in a club called Epic and that was such a giving crowd and would go back in a heartbeat.
MM: When did the idea drop to set up a label?
SM: Well after the Coincidence Record I just mentioned, I was talking to Al from Vision Collector and we were having some pints in Berlin bar and we were chatting at the back and I was just like I want to put this record out there and they told me why I didn’t do it myself, and it put me on the path.
And the first release we did with Readymade was Volster and that record did very well for me and I took a risk with Lars Husiman, that I met in Berlin a year before at a Lobster Theramin Night in the Prince Charles, an amazing little club, I think it’s gone now. The DJ faces the sound system so you didn’t know where to look with the bar going around it was in an old swimming pool, just very nice. So we got on and asked him for an EP, did my own afterward with Lee Homan on remix duty. I started to get a lot of demos, one of them was from Mary Velo which I have huge respect for and I have a good few of her records. which is the thing is my label, nearly everyone that signed up in my label is already on the records and that’s not like a statement, it’s just how it worked out.
When I got Ben Gibson on board to do the B side, myself and Jamie Behan were all over him thinking that that’s gonna be the one that would soar, and to this day it is the best release I’ve had. After that Flexure with Jamie Behan, we had previously released on his label Bastardo Electrico which is a fantastic label, I was so delighted to be on his label, so I decided to cut the follow-up. It was at this time Shelter Records in New York City took issue with the name and I had to change the Name to Delinquent Delivery, which in its own time took off again. To be honest, I look at this as a new label, so in three years I have had two successful labels. So far on Delinquent Delivery I’ve hosted Lockertmatik and Nathan Jones, had two solo records which is a two-part EP, one was released last September and the next one is out January 20th, 2020. The next release is a VA coming out later in the year and features a host of Irish talent I love and respect.
MM: What's your plan for your label?
SM: At the moment I am doing 2 five tracks EPs by myself, Detroit, ambient and full-on techno stompers, just to have a bit of a range. A friend of mine Conor he writes for Monument and he suggested to me that you need variations in your EPs it is more of a versatile thing that is gonna stay in the bag longer. This has been liberating writing Ambient, Breaks and Techno. I love listening to 4 tracks EPs with different producers too, so the follow on will be an all Irish affair, New, Old and established producers which should give the record a really good range.
MM: What're your thoughts on the scene in Ireland today?
SM: I can imagine that you know like me before, younger guys collecting records that want to play with their friends and for their friends. I wouldn’t be too afraid to have a young guy book a room and bring his mates in, just do it. If you make a bit of noise with promoting, people are going to hear about it and come down. I would suggest to go to different gigs and making friends with the organizers in a way rather than just sending mixes, just be friendly and put a face on a name. What would be nice also is that smaller venues stop being scared of hosting techno events? Some already do it and it is working like Tengu, Berlin bar, Pygmalion. There’s a handful of little clubs and that good enough innit? I like the vibe in the Berlin bar for example. I met my fiancée in the old Berlin bar actually, the one that was next to Pyg.
SM: I think it busy with the likes of festivals like Higher Vision, Life, Fuinneamh, etc I think it is just going to bring more people into it……… But club wise with the closing of The Bernard Shaw the powers that be are eroding every part of what makes this city great. They need to be stopped, it's incredible greed all over again. I’m furious with them brown envelope c*nts and developers building sites with no soul for its only purpose to generate income with little or no regard for culture. I really feel like leaving here, I always try to feel positive but it’s getting harder and harder to feel anything for this city anymore. I don’t see the point as an artist, producer or DJ to live here much longer. I try to stay positive but it is getting harder and harder to see a future here.
MM: Passionate words man thanks, man!
SM: Always, nice one Mike.
Live Interview, Page Design, Editing, Mike Mannix
Transxription, Raphaela Pauwels
Photographer, Marcin Lewandowsk Soundofphotography
'' my first release ‘Coincidence’ Ben Sims picked it up and he is like my all-time hero, so to have that happen was just a huge thing and to hear it on this radio show I just felt really proud ''
Irish DJ Producer Label Boss
'' what I experienced was unbelievable, you had 20/30 years old and 45/60-year-olds that were present and supporting every gig and it was fantastic. It wasn’t a competition, everyone was doing their own thing supporting each other and that’s what kept me there because it is so special ''
Mike Mannix: When you were growing up, tell us about your initial inspirations? What led you to electronic music and becoming a DJ?
Jay Hill: It’s quite an interesting story actually. I grew up a church kid (my folks worked in the church and my Mom was a women's leader). I was made to go to Christian school most my life so from about 13 to 18 as most kids, became rebellious. I was a bit of punk goth kid with 1/2 shaved head asymmetrically and snuck into my backpack white face makeup and black lipstick to wear at school - doing all that was forbidden, but it's what made it so attractive.
At that time for me it was more about the image than getting drunk or doing drugs or anything. I was still a pretty good kid on the inside, but was drawn to the mystique of nightlife culture, the vibe, and the music.. . I grew up on the outskirts of LA in a pretty rural part so all us kids wanted to do was to be in Hollywood where everything was happening. Being that in my younger years there was certain music I was forbidden to listen to (because it was satanic) for some reason I was allowed to listen to Depeche Mode — yet not old enough to drive to Hollywood and go to a concert. So one night snuck out with my brother and his friends to a DM show at Universal Studios just because I fucking loved the music so much. I remember even when the Rodney King riots were happening in LA -- me and my friends borrowed fake ID’s to go clubbing because we did not have a senior prom due to the riots! So yeah I came up through a pretty influential time and space in music history. . .
MM: When was the spark, that made you want to start music or was it something gradual?
JH: it was gradual, I started pretty late and my life went in a bit of the opposite direction as many people. I got married very very young and after a series of tragic events was left on my own for the first time in over 10 years at 28. for me it was like a new birth as I had to grow up so fast I hadn't had the normal experiences of college/party age. . .
1997 I moved to San Francisco to finish college and through trying to process everything happening in my life met a guy (friend) who was a guitarist in a metal hair band (Jetboy) and played for Depeche Mode as well. For the next 3 years I absorbed everything he taught me sing/write and play guitar as my outlet. During that time I got really into hybrid of more Indie folk/ electronica & trip hop stuff as well. Also around that time ended up meeting a guy on Myspace was from LA that I started dating - who, as it turns was a very advanced ambient music producer and assistant engineer for Pink’s producer (Bernd Bergdorf) as well.
Fast forward to 2009, and he asked me to move to LA with him which I did reluctantly as I really loved SF. However was one of those things I just went followed my heart where it was leading. That guy was an old school raver and took me to these trance parties (mostly at Giant club) - and back then it was SO freaking good! So that’s really when my emergence into dance music transpired and have to be honest, me and that guy did a lot of drugs & partied together. Being that I lived in his studio, was surrounded by his influence of being quite the musical genius he was. During that time he was learning to DJ so it was a collective of things I picked up from him. Undoubtedly if it wasn’t for that time and all those dots connecting, I wouldn’t be here right now.
As any relationship comprised of a lot of drugs and partying winds up in destruction - we split up whilst I was bartending at restaurant /bar in Hollywood. We were in a recession at that time so the bar I was working at was really slow. There was a promoter that came in every week and asked me if I wanted to learn how to spin records. He had a Serato set up so I could also record myself and those early DJ mixes taught me production basics in Logic. Also around that time, I started a copywriting business (http://thewritingstudio.us/) through connections of my ex ended up getting offers to write some bios for really big music producers (Kenny Larkin, Shonky, Surgeon to name a few). As word of mouth traveled with my writing style - other DJ’s and booking agents started contacting me asking me to write their bios - granted this is back when people actually READ bios haha. With the DJ lessons and my writing company I really wanted to understand the language of DJ’s and producers and so initially that was my reason to learn to DJ. Then I discovered I was actually good at it.
At the time my family all moved east coast to New York and decided it was time for me to leave LA to be in a place I could get off the ground on my own outside the shadows of my ex. For the next 4 years immersed myself into nightlife in every way possible - I mean I paid my dues in the NYC scene -- I affectionally call "NYC DJ boot camp.” Which comprised of hustling, throwing parties, DJing every gig / after-hours party I was offered meanwhile working my butt off in an intense day job at Sony Music. Part of the job that comes with the NYC DJ hustle was running to every party showing face and after several years of that I crashed and burned. I woke up one day and was like “all I’m doing is running around this city and not making music and I wanna make music, I need to”. So I started to rent a studio with the some guys in Brooklyn who were throwing parties and they had all this amazing equipment, I didn’t know how to use any of it. So I decided to go back to school and did the whole engineering program in SAE in NYC.
After the crash & burn came, I had an opportunity to move to Philly just 2 hours from NYC where I could have my own studio to really build something on my own & be in a chiller place where I could focus on my output. Again finding myself in a place where my heart was leading and went with it. And after I moved here what I experienced was unbelievable, you had 20/30 years old and 45/60-year-olds that were present and supporting every gig and it was fantastic. I met a bunch of folks in the record shop that wanted to go to dinner and actually hang out with you - it wasn’t a competition, everyone was doing their own thing supporting each other and that’s what kept me there because it is so special.
MM: Once you got stuck into production what DAWS etc did you lean into?
JH: I use both Ableton and Logic. I use Logic for very specific things, like percussions or weird instruments/sounds. At this stage in my career, I feel like my productions are improving and while I’m getting faster when things are flowing but the music I create in truth isn't very trendy or popular. Sometimes I think my sound is too underground for clubs these days as it's very emotional!
MM: Any word of encouragement for the new up and coming in this world of madness?
JH: My mantra is finish what you start! Don’t move on into anything else before you finished it, even if it sucks, do it! Because otherwise you will have nothing but 32 bar loops sitting on your hard drive and it is useless. You also have to learn to be comfortable with saying no and I really struggled with this because I would take any gig I could, I would do it, and run and run and run. But at some point, you have to set boundaries and take gigs that are going to be worth the effort.
MM: How do you idealistically see the scene today for all of us?
JH: I would like to see really good DJs that have put in the time and work getting good gigs and actually getting paid for what they do. Secondly, for people to not look at you and because you have a certain appearance make assumptions. Sometimes people want to believe that we are just are cheating our way up the music ladder (we hired ghost producers etc.) but they have no fucking clue - they don’t see you in the background or come to your studio and hang out with you for a night to see you working. Last, it would be nice to have more people sincerely interested in our work, asking questions, being curious. And this is what I struggle with social media because a lot of people are nauseated by money and just want to be famous at any cost. If you take Instagram away from them what are they going to do next?
MM: Thank you Jay.
JH: Anytime Mike.
Live Interview, Page Design, Editing, Mike Mannix
Transcription, Raphaela Pauwels. Photographer khadija bhuiyan
American DJ Producer
Mike Mannix: Here listening to the slammin hot debut EP from dance music icons Frankie Bones & Phutek who have been working together closely for the last couple of years on various projects one of which has produced this Acid Techno monster ‘Acid Souls’ which is getting released on the titan Carl Coxs Intec digital label in January.
Cheers Frankie & Phutek, seriously what a banger!? First, off give us some background on how you both met and how that led you both into the studio?
Frankie Bones: Craig is a highly animated character and we met at Ultra in Miami. We both were backstage with Carl Cox and instantly shared the same bond with the music and history. We had connected already online, but in reality, we realised were made of the same Techno Soul.
Phutek: Me and Frankie had connected online originally through mutual respect for each others music, we both had releases one release apart on Coxy's Intec label the summer before we met in Miami WMC in 2017 ...I grew up worshipping Frankie from his rise and influence on the Rave Scene in the UK and especially in my hometown via rave pioneers Amnesia House. Who were 'one' of the first promoters to bring Frankie out to the UK shores.
It was not planned, but we knew we were both gonna be at Miami that spring, all of a sudden I was orchestrating a dance off between Carl Cox and Bradley Gunn Raver backstage of Ultra under Carl's hospitality and there was Frankie waving a purple glittered vinyl over Coxys shoulder. We connected from the off musically and socially to the core.
1 hour later I had sorted out for him to return to the UK for Amnesia House 30th Birthday ...you could say that day (and lots of special things happened that day in Miami) the Rave planets were aligned 100% for sure.
6 weeks after Miami I had my first ever New York Tour....we hooked up again on Frankie's stomping ground and discussed that when he came to my Town for Amnesia's 30th we should get some beats down in my studio. And we did ...and in short, this was how the Acid Souls EP came about.
MM: Track 1, Acid Souls is a straight-up bona fide Acid Techno carnivore that's a yearning on carving up the dance floor. What was the initial inspiration, and how did you piece it all up in the studio from the DAW and hardware and plugins?
Frankie: I tagged along at Phuteks NYC tour a couple of months after Miami and heard a distinct sound in his sets that were also evident in his productions also... which was a precursor to today's Techno which was attached to the legacy of Tony Di Vit. I mean I see this guy as the musical Godson of Carl Cox ....and its evident to the core how much of Phutek's soundtracks are in Carl's monster sets over the last 10 years especially.
Phutek: Before we got together in my studio in Coventry...we bounced ideas back and forth ...and as with all tracks ...something triggers the idea from the first few pieces of arsenal thrown around the sequencer...Frankie started off with showing me a vocal he had been hanging onto and if I remember correctly, I didn't entirely attach to his original scroll of lyrics in the sample...but did to the 'I just can't get enough' & 'you're in my soul' samples.
These two samples hit me like a road train.....I passionately said to Frankie...' this first one has to be an Acid Laced Techno track.
Neither of us could ever 'get enough' of Acid House /Techno for over 3 decades. And it was deeply etched into 'Our Souls' ...da daaaaa....Lead Track 'Acid Souls' triggered by these 2 vox samples, was perfect we both agreed.
I had been working on lots of mid range bass driven patterns on the 303 around that time for individual projects. I shown Frankie a few of these, until we both hand picked a couple of sequences that excited us.
We passed these back and forth online a few times before we got together in Coventry and after we got the Spine down and an Acid Techno vibe that was halfway between my powerful driving Techno sound and Frankie's rolling Techno 'story based' excellence.
Acid Souls really came together in one short session quite easily once we got together in person, using a few layers of 303, VPS Phanlanx for the Drums and Perc, Trillain for some extra deep edges and Sylenth for and synth splashes. Lots were done pre studio ...we spent time together on the exciting part 'Automating the acid story line into the heavy Techno bass. Frankie road tested it 48 hours later at the 30th Birthday party...and we knew straight away it was a winner.
Reaction was big from the crowd! And we passed it to Coxy few days later and he played it first on his next streamed set. Job Done ...he wanted it straight away.
MM: Track 2 ‘Killer Custard’ is a formidable big kick 4 AM stomper, a natural fit with the A-side that’ll keep the dance floor driving. What was the initial inspiration, and how did you piece it all up in the studio from the DAW and hardware and plugins?
Frankie: And that sound had also shaped Carl's legacy over the last few decades to now. 30 years ago I was Carl's favorite DJ, so that being said I had no problem working with Phutek. I had to be a cheerleader in awe in co-productions. So Phutek and I meshed well. I heard the tracks in my head before we made them. And he sucked them so simply out of my brain man, and put that awesome Phutek energy into two monster big room Techno Tracks.
Phutek: Killer Custard came sometime after Acid Souls ...because a lot of time went by before Intec Digitals team asked us to make the 2nd track. Frankie was not with me to make this 2nd track originally and was going through a house move right when the label wanted a 2nd track to be sent.
We believed we needed to stay true to the first track and it needed to be another Acid laced Big RoomTechno number ... To start with I flew an 80% complete idea down, which was very Phutek esq with a lot more drive and power, and then boom Amnesia House booked Frankie again. Which allowed us to have another one 2 one at my studio in UK.
I expected Frankie to wanna slow this second track idea down a lot once we got our heads together and predicted he would want to change 'the driving' Phutek signature down a peg and make it more rolling ...But he landed at my house and I pressed play...instead he said 'fuck yeah, that's fire'
So again sat down like with the 1st track , and had an enjoyable evening automating and sequencing another Acid Techno Story. Both tracks were done on Cubase using pretty much the same main instruments mentioned in Acid Souls.
Killer Custard though is special in that we cleverly made the mid bass and its automation rule the track.
Acid is a little more starter and desert in this angry little track...Bass is the ruler. I named the first track so passed the honor to @Frankie Mitchell for track number 2 ...It took him 3.5 seconds to come up with a name ...I'll let him explain how that came about.
MM: Did you face any challenges with the EP?
Frankie: I had played two Amnesia House events in 2018 which brought me to Coventry which is Phutek's stomping ground and we never had any problem working our magic in the studio. All homegrown UK sounds. I learned this from people like Mark Archer & Dave Clarke early in the '90s, and Phutek just lay that shit from the same pea pod.
Phutek: I suppose the only challenges we faced in this EP ..were firstly... If we lived nearer than Coventry UK - New York we would of wrapped this project up within a week's worth of studio sessions instead of two tracks done afar over a few months.
And Secondly (As you get with all the big labels these days) How long it has taken to come through the labels schedule system. Carl Cox has hammered both these tracks across the globe at the very biggest parties known to our scene across two seasons, so I suppose we could have lost our 'sweet spot' some would say ....however, good music is good music and me and Frankie are confident these tracks are gonna rock. After seeing Coxys fully endorsed support and their reactions .
MM: Whats are your thoughts on the current state of Techno?
Phutek: This could of been a long answer...but I am just gonna say this ....it hurts me to say that these days (not just in Techno may I add) how important having large amounts of money for social media (fake followers) , employing big PR and marketing companies, ghostwriters and falling lucky with one of the top management representatives out there, comes before real natural Talented artists these days.
So many X Factor, hand-picked, manufactured artists are appearing more and more. And it certainly don't suit Techno. And to us older heads...It's so obvious....yet the powerful music press and social engines train the punter's brain so easily. It's a shame, and certainly not right! But it's just observation and knowledge we have to suck up. We just crack on, for the love of music.
MM: You’re both very busy guys collectively and individually, what projects you both got coming up?
Frankie: 2020 for me will be me writing my book and I have solid proof Carl Cox is The Wizard Of Oz. It's not the selling point of the book itself but when I helped Carl escape Scotland Yard landing Helicopters at a 10,000 person rave outside of Glasgow in 1991, it makes a good story. But of course, it all starts with our new EP which lands fresh in 2020 on the 17th January on 'Mac Daddy' Carl Cox's Intec Digital.
Phutek: 2020 I will be showcasing a new Phutek Techno Sound. 2019 I have been working hard behind the scene building a pile of projects, I am around 11/12 tracks of new sound ...yet to decide whether to introduce this sound as an album or spread it around a selection of labels.
I will be using the quiet month of January to think deeply about this. Other than that ..I am returning to Miami and NYC for a consecutive 3rd year in the first half of 2020 ... and already have some great headline dates at UK festivals for the Summer. I have had a break from Ibiza for 2 years and aspire to get back out there in 2020...so get in touch if you are a Techno outfit that can make this happen. Peace Out Phutek.
Live Interview, Page Design, Editing, Mike Mannix
Phutek & Frankie Bones
Frankie Bones & Phutek
UK & American DJ Producers
Spanish DJ Producer
'' I think we’re all in a consistent learning process and we never stop doing it. I feel competition gave me intensity, discipline, attitude, faith, strength, and most importantly persistence. All these values are definitely my own religion nowadays''
MM: Hey Jaime, great to chat to you! For those of you who may not be familiar with your sound yet, how would you describe the music that you make?
S: Hi! My pleasure. It’s hard to describe my own sound as I would be describing myself too! I would say it’s soft, hypnotic and romantic… deep feelings and emotions mixed together to point out.
MM: You used to race in Formula One, and at one point had the record as the youngest F1 racer in history – that’s an incredible achievement at such a young age too. How did you manage to stay motivated and keep self-belief in such an intense and demanding career path?
S: Sports are very demanding and especially elite sports. I had the chance to dedicate all my life to racing and it was a great ride of course. I think it’s crucial to have fun, all in all, you have to enjoy and feel privileged for what you do, in every aspect of your life. This helped me very much to improve as a driver, as an athlete. If you don't enjoy it, you don't really improve and reach the next level. Of course, you always depend on technology and the car is probably 80% of the total performance but you really want to make sure you have a smile on your face every time and are enjoying yourself.
MM: Do you think that you learnt life lessons that you could then apply to a new venture in music? If so, what were they?
S: I think we’re all in a consistent learning process and we never stop doing it. I feel competition gave me intensity, discipline, attitude, faith, strength, and most importantly persistence. All these values are definitely my own religion nowadays. I never felt I’ve got any special talent for anything, it’s just in your head, and how you deal with it.
MM: Your sets are always something special; do you have much of a plan for preparing for a set? Any pre-gig rituals? And how do you decide what you’re going to play, do you just go with the vibe or have an idea beforehand?
S: Not really… I mean I’m always ready with a library of music pre-worked for the venue but sometimes it just doesn't work. The best for me is to feel the energy of the place, the lights, the crowd and especially the sound… Whenever I feel it then I improvise the whole way. Playing records it’s crazy, the same track can work very well in one place but not in another one, it’s definitely something magical and beautiful.
MM: You’ve talked in other interviews about your love for crate-digging back in the day and how that (and a sense of competition to find the best records with your mates) was a big part of what got you on this path as an artist. Can you name a couple of records that inspired you in the early days, and what it was about them you loved? Do you still get to play vinyl much now?
S: Oh yes! We were buying records to show them to our friends and surprise them! I have great memories from then. When I was 15, I loved X-Press 2- “Muzik Xpress”, “Sandcastles” from Jerome Sydenham and “ Doppelwhipper” from Gabriel Ananda to name a few. I have all these records at home, but I don't play vinyl anymore, unfortunately. I do research some old records once in a while though…
MM: You’ve just dropped a new release on trueColors, the 7 trackers ‘Find Me On Fire’ with Raw Distratic and Jonas Rathsman remixes. This follows a successful EP on Mobilee which has been getting love from the likes of Dixon. When you’re writing music, are you writing music purely from the heart and then see what labels they might fit, or do you have an idea of a label in mind and work towards it?
S: I normally work on what I feel at the moment and then see where that takes me. I find this way more challenging and fun when it comes to making music.
MM: You’re based in Barcelona. What do you love most about the city? Any favourite culture spots and cafes you can share with us?
S: The weather and the sea. I love them both! I really enjoy walking around El Born, it’s a very cool and young neighbourhood in Barcelona. There’s a fish tacos place called Costa Pacifico which is amazing and also I love a sight-seeing spot up in Tibidabo called Mirabeau. It’s a wonderful city!
MM: And finally, what have you got coming up next? We’ve heard rumours of another release in the new year…
S: My next release is on Get Physical next February. Really looking forward to it!
Squire ‘Find Me On Fire’ is out now on trueColors. Watch out for his Get Physical EP in the new year…
Interview, Page, Design Mike Mannix
Austrailian DJ Producer
Mike Mannix: Nice one Jay, so just kicking off then when you lived in Australia. What's your musical background, and early influences?
Jay:I probably had a broad spectrum of music. My Dad was always listening to blues, soul and grassroots style of music. When I started listening to music myself as a teenager I'd listen to Led Zeppelin or The Doors. Eventually, I moved to Sydney from where I was living in The Blue Mountains (2-hour drive away) which was a real eye-opener in relation to the clubs and the music, etc. That's when I really started to listen to House and electronic music.
MM: Do you remember a pivotal moment or was it gradual?
J:There wasn't one particular moment but I remember one time about ten of us went to the city to one of the most exclusive clubs at the time called Soho. We were around 18 years and the sounds in this club were really underground and we just thought, there's such a big scene there. We just started going out more and got progressively more into the dance music scene. House and techno were huge but it was the funky house music in particular that I liked, you know the good time vibes. That was 98/99 in Sydney. I really enjoyed the good vibes that were in those clubs.
I went travelling in 2000 and ended up in Dublin. When I landed myself and a mate bought a set of decks and we just started messing around DJing and clubbing and listening to the great music on the pirate radio stations in Dublin. When I began learning how to mix it was mostly Techno, House and Progressive House like Steve Lawler and Danny Tenaglia. They were my early influences. I have a lot of percussion featured in my sets and productions because I love that element so much.
MM: The prominence of pirate radio back in the day can't be underestimated?
J:Yes definitely. The pirate stations were brilliant for promoting alternative music. I had a radio show on the Pirate station,Radio Novafor 2 1/2 years which was brilliant but I didn't appreciate it for what it was at the time. When they shut down it left a big hole. It was great to be part of that iconic moment in time with the pirate radio stations.
MM: What do you use and what's your usual workflow and set up in the studio?
J:I use Ableton Live in conjunction with VSTs. I also have an analogue synth called Arturia Microbrute which has a really rich sound. I try to program my own bass lines and lead riffs using midi and VST's as much as possible to try and keep an original sound. I also use some sample packs for percussion, hats and drum elements as it speeds up the initial development of the track.
Once I have a simple beat laid down then I will focus on the bassline and develop the groove of the track. From there I will work on the lead melodies and pad sounds to further develop the track. Most of the focus is on the bass riff though, as I find this is the fundamental element of dance music that I love. I think of most my riffs when I'm either driving or do doing something random like having a shower and I would have to hum or sing the riff into the voice recorder on my phone ASAP so I don't forget it and I will return to it when I'm in the studio. The bassline is the main element that I love in electronic music as it's what catches me and then everything else bubbles around it and it's the same when I'm making music.
When working on the various sound design for bass or lead synth sounds I like to experiment with the synth settings and start pushing the sounds through various FX processes and bounce down a bunch of audio recordings as I go. I would then go through the various sounds and melodies I created and choose the best ones to incorporate into the track. Sometimes I would find awesome sound and think, how did I create that and then spend ages trying to figure out how to re-create it. It's all about trying to be creative and having fun with the music.
MM It's funny when you release a track and you listen to it and think fuck, I didn't hear that mistake because your ears were so saturated from the sound.
J: Definitely yes, but if that happens you just have to run with it. That's why I enjoyed producing music with Barry (other half of Dirty Dubsters). We'd bounce elements of tracks off each other and would say if we thought it was shit. It was one thing that we were good at, being honest. It's hard to find someone to give you an honest opinion.
MM: And you have been busy with the new project Koncrete Kids?
J: Yes, it’s been good. This past year the creative juices have been flowing because previously to that I was stagnating and I knew I had to switch it up and get back to my House music roots. I've been collaborating with lots of musicians and vocalists and am really looking forward to putting out new music this year. I have a good few tracks ready to go and am looking forward to making more. So that's the plan for 2020, start dropping tracks and getting Koncrete Kids out there.
MM: Cheers Jay for the track you've given us to share with our readers.
J: Sound, enjoy Mike.
Live Interview Page Design, Editing Mike Mannix
Transcription, Raphaela Pauwels
Although super excited, to say Robbie and I were a little apprehensive on the drive up the M6 to Manchester was an understatement. Could The WHP-FAC51 really be able to recreate the halcyon days and a Haçienda Revival, 20 years after its doors closed and 17 since the original building was demolished? The venue, The Depot Mayfield was where old and new faces were to meet on the dance floor, to relive the experience…Haçienda style!
Most times the Old Skool events we’ve travelled to see, have not quite captured the authenticity of the original nights, and we were eager to see if tonight would be any different.
As a frequent visitor to The Haçienda back in the day Robbie knew how hard it would be to recreate that buzz, the atmosphere and the general love that exuded through that one building, which at the time seemed to be the heartbeat of an entire city. The huge movement of people who were breathing and living for the sounds that would one day shape the future of Manchester’s house music scene.
One building and one dance floor that instilled One love in so many people who walked through the doors. One of the most iconic music venues renowned worldwide, its legacy is now written in history - the infamous Haçienda.
Arriving outside, we could hear the usual thump of the music pumping through the walls from inside the venue. It was our first time at The Depot so we didn’t know what to expect. Standing inside a cold, dirty foyer, we were given our VIP bands and directed down a long, dark walkway, heading ever closer to the enticing sound of music pumping through the walls beside us.
Once through security, we were faced with one of my favourite features of the venue that night, no... Not amazing lasers, or something that cost thousands of pounds to install - for me it was the thick plastic sheeting hanging for doors at the entrance, the authenticity these added to the venue was the perfect touch. Too steamy to see through it looked more like the entrance to an abattoir and it was difficult not to feel apprehensive at what awaited behind them, however, once we pushed our way through there was no mistaking we were in the right place as the preponderance of bass hit us, forcing a deep intake of breath, one of those that forces a rush while you stop for a few seconds to take it all in.
This place was DARK! Dark and Dirty, with wet concrete floors and raw exposed brickwork surrounding you
Yet the smiles and excitement of the people rushing around making their way from dancefloor to dancefloor reassured you that regardless of your surroundings you were in a safe place. I saw nothing but smiles from everyone I looked at, everyone I accidentally bumped into and everyone who’s toes I stood On by mistake - no Attitude ... just love!
Behind another set of plastic sheeted drapes you could hear the unmistakable, iconic beats and vocals of none other than Soul ll Soul performing live on stage, this must have been a concert worth the ticket price in itself and sounded unreal. I turned to see Robbie beckoning me to listen to what was coming from ‘The Concourse, an area situated to the side of the entrance. l asked what it was I was listening for, his answer was simply –
That's the sound of The HAC - that’s how I remember it sounding all those years ago.
That’s the sound I’ve been waiting to hear again since the last time I stood in that place’! We had arrived, and I had a feeling that we weren’t going to be disappointed.
‘The Concourse’ was unreal, I can only describe it as like a scene from a movie, the cast perfectly orchestrated so that every single person in eyesight was dancing beneath a perfect lighting sequence, streaming and lighting up the entire dance floor, yellow and blue, showing clearly -
| every single person in view, all-dancing like no one was watching, all smiling with their hands in the air
They all looked worry-free with no inhibitions like paid actors on a film set and giving it their best until the director shouts cut, except there was no shout of cut here, no actors, and they most definitely were not about to stop for anything other than to take a breath for a second or to close their eyes and take in the feeling of the infectious atmosphere which filled the long and narrow jam-packed dance floor.
It was hot, there was water dripping from the high industrial warehouse roofs, wet floors and a dancefloor enclosed by a dirty exposed brick wall on one side and the darkness of the raised VIP area to the other, a sea of people placed in between, bouncing to the beats being played through a huge flawless sound system.
We decided to Make use of our VIP passes and head up to the allocated section raised alongside the dancefloor to see what was going on, VIP areas are not my favourite places, standing around looking perfect with the cool kids isn’t my style, and expecting to be greeted by the usual VIP people in an atmosphere I’m not easy with, I was pleasantly surprised, as I couldn’t have been more wrong! There were people up on the barriers, arms in the air, stomping away, and podiums with people not caring who was watching them dance, not one person thinking they were better than another, just a whole other level of people moving together to the beats.
After desperately trying to get a glimpse of who it was that could possibly be controlling that dancefloor, we managed to make our way to the side of the DJ box, where it became obvious as to why the crowd was under such a spell, all mesmerised by the skills of Two DJ’s working a set together, a well-oiled partnership fused perfectly and delivering exactly what the ravers were asking for, two of Manchester’s finest pioneers of the original iconic House Music scene, Graeme Park (Parky) and Mike Pickering. It was obvious they were enjoying their set as much as we were, dancing around for the crowd as they played some timeless classics such as Kariya - let me love you for tonight and FPI Project -Going Back to My Roots.
Shortly before the end of the set, we see Mr. Parks take his bow and showing his appreciation of the energy the crowd have shown so far, and he is whisked away to get to the main stage in time to start his classical set due to start next door, leaving Mike Pickering to work the crowd alone, which didn’t disappoint, by moving forward a decade or two he teases the crowd with the shapeshifters Lola’s theme, looping over and over again and building up to the beat dropping and the dance floor erupting and the walls begin to shake.
We decided we should at least go and have a look at the other room and what it had to offer, we were quite sure after spending an hour in the Concourse that it was more than likely that the other room would be the less busy of the two as it seemed to us the majority of the ravers must have been in that room we were in as it was just rammed full.... how wrong were we!
Walking towards the next set of thick plastic sheeting doors hanging from the brick archways between the two rooms, it was hard to see much ahead and as we slipped through the drapes we couldn’t quite get our breath at what we found! When I say big, I don’t mean there were a few hundred crammed onto the dancefloor, I’m talking a sea of thousands of ravers facing towards a stage, stood in between huge steel girders lined along the length of the entire building with strips of lights streaming down in lines along the dance floor. I can honestly say I have never been to a venue as big as the depot, there were thousands of people, simply thousands I’m sure.
We walked around the outside of the dance floor towards the back of the venue to attempt to take it all in, you could hear the fantastic orchestra of The Manchester Camerata pumping out music as if it were being played by a DJ, note for note perfect and true to the original recordings with pitch-perfect vocals to accompany and a definite crowd-pleaser The highlight for me was the goosebump moment of hearing the piano riff of Alison Limericks ‘where love lives’- and the crowd going crazy, just Wow!
Justin Robertson was next in the ‘Concourse’ and another hour on the dance-floor lost in the music for the two of us! This set was definitely my personal favourite of the night, the highlights for me being the classic Energy Flash by Joey Beltram, 4 for the money- A moment in time and the one and only House Nation.
There were so many other DJ’s playing that night, and as always it’s hard to get to see everyone when there is more than one room! We missed out on Peter Hook taking to the stage to the surprise of the crowd and perform New Order’s - Blue Monday during the classical set, whilst Morales handed over to Louie Vega and taking the opportunity to play back to back as a special treat for the crowd whilst Marshall Jefferson closed the ‘Concourse’ in true Grandmaster style.
Our original reservations as to their ability to deliver a night that could reignite an atmosphere even remotely similar to the original Haçienda club were quashed as The WHP19 - FAC51 truly delivered and in serious style too. The Depot as a venue in itself is faultless - if it’s dirty, dark and true oldskool style you like that is. With the production, performances, DJ’s and the general love and energy that flowed through the warehouse all night long It’s safe to say that The Haçienda spirit truly did come alive once more
Review, Kathryn & Robbie Page Design, Editing Mike Mannix
Rondo: Can you give us some background about yourself, origin, years in the industry, what drives you to succeed in the music industry?
Josh PoweIson: I was born and raised in Central Illinois and probably have a musical background longer than many kids in today’s scene have been alive. I just hit 20 years in the electronic music industry as I got my start in 1999 (attended my first underground warehouse rave in Chicago around this time). In the early-mid 90’s I spent a considerable amount of time in my father's (Denver) recording studio which led to my interest in music production.
I am driven by pure passion for house and techno music – giving up has not been an option. It’s not about being the next big thing, or capitalizing on our brand to make loads of money – it’s about presenting music that you love to an unsuspecting crowd and leaving their jaw dropped – that is the ultimate feeling. I also spend a lot of time developing young artists with a likeminded passion. It’s a great feeling to be able to give them their first big break in the industry and share what they love.
R: Life and work, with the hours required, is it a challenge and how do you navigate to find your ideal balance.
JP: It’s very challenging at times – I am raising a family, and work in the IT industry. I only gig on weekends and spend a lot of time traveling to my destination, where I usually only have a few hours to grab some food or a speed nap before hitting play. But it’s worth it.
R: Where did the inspiration for your label come from?
JP: The label is something that just kind of happened. JourneyDeep was a collective that I founded around 2005 in Florida. As a collective, we were managing artists and hosting music events, so it’s something that just fit. It was my publicist who reached out one day and suggested I have a meet with Peter from Symphonic Distribution and maybe consider forming the label. After that meet – it seemed only natural that we would evolve into a bigger entity – so JourneyDeep Records was born.
R: Is there any development of talent in the Denver underground music scene and who are some of the new up and coming producers to watch out for?
JP: Yes, absolutely. We are always searching for artists that fit our brand and vision. We are quickly becoming a global brand, but Denver has some amazing talent. We are currently working with Astronoize, Eli Spiral, Dynohunter, and Kareem Martin from Denver.
R: Tell us, for new and upcoming DJ/Producers what should they focus on most?
JP: Focus on creating your own sound and be original.
R: What projects do you have in the pipeline for 2020?
JP: We are kicking off the New Year with our first label compilation which will feature local Denver artists, as well as quite a few established industry names. Then we roll into 2020 with music from Julian Rodriguez, Francesco Cardenas, Sean McClellan, Hair Band Drop-Out and Rudiment.
R: How do you think Social media has impacted the future of brand awareness and distribution for music?
JP: It’s definitely easier for feature placement and brand awareness, however, I would say that social media has made it easy to get drowned out in the mix of things. Everyone has artist/band/label pages which makes it tougher to break the surface.
R: Have you ever been to Amsterdam Music Conference aka ADE?
JP: Unfortunately, I have not. There is a large group from Denver that attends ADE annually so it’s definitely on my bucket list.
R: Do you believe that Cryptocurrencies for artists as a means of payment with borderless transactions and lower fees, could be a positive move for the music industry?
JP: I believe that cryptocurrency will completely reshape our industry. From ticket sales, collecting royalties, to paying artists, promoters, and more. Adopting a feasible ecosystem will not only cut out the middle-men but also reduce overhead operational costs and fees.
Page Design, Editing Mike Mannix
Letters From The Scene
Dedication: to Sankeys Soap Manchester
I dedicate this writing to everyone that played a hand in the music I love, the places that played those songs at a very high volume & the people I enjoyed them with!! Without all this, I would have much better hearing... ;-) BIG LOVE!! X Matthew Haworth
NOT JUST A BIG DISCO
Travelling through the badlands, rough brick & wire gates.
This dark & derelict Ancoats maze, does anyone know the way?
I’m certain we’ve missed a turning, there’s hookers on every street.
The Sanky’s Mill unveils itself, a safe and welcome retreat!!!
We’re gathered on the cobbles, feel the Phazon sonic boom!
Got goosebumps, full of energy, what is that thumping tune?
Anticipation grips us, there’s a queue right down the road.
Outside this underground institution, the bangin’ beats explode!
We’re close to getting in now, my heart pounds in my chest.
I hope I pass the pat down, getting in with all the rest.
The door men full on grill me, don’t let me wander in!
Is it my nervous disposition? Or my clearly gurning grin?
It’s now or never, I’m praying, so close to the entrance door.
I smell the smoke of the fog machine, feel the bounce of the dance floor!
He eyeballs me, and pats me down, he lingers on my crotch,
I hold my breath, and pray to god, stare nervously and watch.
Thank fuck I passed the pat-down, kept my nervousness at bay.
I’m here, I’m home and dry now. Superb! It’s time to play!
I get the nod, I hold my shit, feeling totally alive!!
The speaker cabs are shaking, the lights they set the vibe!
An industrial dance fuelled wonderland, a sweaty uplifting place.
Where DJ’s mix in magical ways, we dance, we love it, it’s ACE!
We moved to the Groove Armada, Holroyd, Vickers & The Chems!
Daft punk playing, ‘one more time’. Never wanted the night to end!
The soaps long gone, the factories closed, the doors are firmly shut.
There’s no more dirty bass lines, or club kids off their nut!
A club that fuelled friendships, where we could all escape.
It’s given us life long memories! A Mancunian musical GREAT!!
The team at Rondo passionately believes that more education is required in the music industry about blockchain tech, decentralized platforms, and cryptocurrencies. So we constantly look for applications and platforms that can provide opportunities for wealth creation or at the very least new revenue streams to benefit artists as they navigate the waterways of the music industry. If you do not try how can you say something will not work, and if you do not take advantage of available opportunities how can one form an opinion about the use case.
The number one challenge to user adoption of cryptocurrencies in the music industry or in general is the perceived barriers to entry and multiple difficulties associated with the initial first steps, where, what and how do I as an artist get started. What can I as an artist benefit from cryptocurrencies and how do we get our hands on some Bitcoin to save and or spend it.
Traditional methods to support artists with vertical revenue streams rely on centralized platforms such as Banks, Credit Card providers and PayPal with clearance delays from 2 to 7 days as well as high transaction fees for the 3rd party platforms and this translates to less money in the pockets of artists.
Along with comes cryptocurrencies that do not rely on banks and ensures custody of the value remains in the hands of the holder as well as 24/7 access and self custodianship. The future of money as we know it already has more than 47 million people in the ecosystem and while this is just a drop in the ocean of 7 billion people, it is a growing ecosystem that is transforming the way we think about money in general.
This issue we re-visit “Viberate” to provide an update and some recent highlights from the world's number 1 service that joins artists, places, events and festivals in the first truly global music network, all using Blockchain tech to manage and verify their massive industry database.
With numerous new features available on Viberate.com, thousands of artists have joined in to claim their profiles and check out new gig opportunities at nearby venues. Easy filtering by location, multiple genres, and capacity has proved to be among the most popular features.
As we know some talent needs just a little boost to get noticed, we decided to go the extra mile: they check every single musician who claims their profile and regularly pick 5 aspiring artists who get featured in Viberate Instagram and Facebook Stories. If you’re wondering who made their most recent list, check the Music Friday Highlights.
When it comes to their platform, good word travels fast and by the end of November, they were thrilled to see the result of those travels: as their community grew to 20,000 contributors worldwide. United by a passion for music and armed with loads of music facts, every single contributor is able to share their knowledge and help artists breakthrough on a global platform. If you know your way around the music scene and are curious about joining their community, don’t miss these 3 reasons to become a contributor yourself:
1. Support your local bands?
Help your local community of musicians and make sure they’re represented on a global music platform. Getting exposure is the first step. A lot of artists don’t have the means to create their own website, but on Viberate, they get their own ID with links to all their social media channels and streaming sites, top-performing content, and events. They can also use the ID link as a one-pager for pitching new gigs and getting to a new level.
2. Be a part of your favorite artists’ success
Make sure your favorite artists stand out with a full profile. The more people get to know them, the more likely it is they’ll be noticed by the right people and blow up. And imagine telling your children how you were among the first who recognized the potential of a future superstar.
3. Are you a smartass?
Are you the one in your group of friends who’s always ready to jump in with a music fact? Do you know how to solve a mystery in the realm of: “Which genre is Peggy Gou or Robert Babicz, anyway?” Do people turn to you when they’re looking for fresh music and you’ve got a batch of promising up-and-comers ready to go? Can you assist with top music venues off the cuff?
Viberate is the place for you. Whenever your friends and family get fed up with listening to your music wisdom, you can turn to Viberate.
They know how to spice it up. While adding and editing profiles on Viberate.com, you’ll collect points and badges all the way to the “master” level. The best contributors will be rewarded and recognized on a monthly chart of Top 10 contributors.
Going Viral with Carl Cox & Charlotte de Witte
The Good times just kept on rolling and ultimately brought about another reason for the festive season: Carl Cox and Charlotte de Witte, two of the hottest techno artists right now, saw the “Techno Invasion” article and shared it with their fans. Charlotte’s fan community even joked about naming her next album “Techno Invasion” — how cool is that?!
We hope you enjoyed this little update and please do visit their website over the holidays and see all the fantastic work they are doing in the music industry, to support emerging talent across multiple genres, worldwide.
Jonathan Finberg, Founder - Rondo
Page design - Editing - Mike Mannix
Its All A Bit Crypto
Opinion - Article
Review of John Digweed / Sasha B2B District 8 (Dublin)
After being nearly the first to arrive and the last to leave the venue when John Digweed & Sasha came to Manchester, I arrived up to district 8 with my hopes of a night 1/10th of that what was in Manchester and I knew I would be in for a good night. And I Was..
Leaving right where they left off in Manchester, attracting the perfect crowd – all who arrived knew exactly what they were coming for. Music.
All through the night Everybody who I had met had come far and wide to see their beloved heroes, whether it be Sasha or John Digweed, each played the perfect complementary track selection to the other.. Sasha would typically play a hard melodic tracks with hypnotic synths and arpeggios backed by a rolling base what would cause Tsunamis.
Then as the man himself, John Digweed would begin to mix a tune, you would unmistakably know that it's his track choice being mixed in. John’s tracks focussed on the nuances, subtleties and stunning atmospheric sounds and samples what would give each of his track a distinct identity from the rest. This set was absolutely perfect. There were some tracks that you just did not want to end not at one point in the night was my body not moving on its own. I brought 4 people to that gig, 2 friends, my body and my mind!
This like the Manchester night, went too quick.
A Night I had stamped on my calendar for months felt like it lasted only an Hour. Truly Inspiring eyes closed mind open journey into the minds of 2 of the greatest DJ’s ever to grace the decks. Everything about this night was perfect, visuals warm up crowd, sound and acoustics! 10/10.
Lastly, I’d like to give a huge shout out to Iconic Underground Magazine who time and time again have given me this great platform to Scream and Shout so much about the music I love and the person it’s made me become!
Review, Benjamin Rice
Sarah Lennox - Blown away by the whole night. First time seeinJampark and hadn't seen these legends in Dublin in so long. Their whole set felt like such a journey Amazing! Played one of my favourite classics too #perfectmotion
Vinzeno Marino - What a place, What a show, it was like stepping into a sound bubble, those 2 guys kept the megahertz vibrant to put a signature on their 2nd night at District 8, where the sound wins.
Review of Inhalt Der Nacht & Under Black Helmet Index (Dublin)
Once again Inhalt Der Nacht and Under Black Helmet smashed everything in Index
Index is the place to be for all the music lovers that wants to listen to vibrant techno grooves, and it was again the case this weekend. Hosted by Research Label, the night of the 22nd of November, was all about heavy techno with some heavy metal and rock influences for our biggest delight.
The night opened up with Luke Xander. We saw him a few times playing at District 8, Fuinneamh or Life and we know why he keeps getting booked. Loud, raw and powerful, his set put everyone in the right mood for what was following. As soon as started he went straight to the point, the room got quickly packed and all the components for a good night were reunited.
The second set of the night was Under Black Helmet, and he wasn’t here to mess around. After 20 mins he was already around 120/140 bpm! The Lithuanian artist is known for his heavy techno/industrial sets and he did not disappoint us this weekend. Even though sometimes the drop would take a bit too much time to arrive, everyone was furiously dancing on those infernal beats and got more than ready for the final act of the night: Inhalt Der Nacht.
The Berlin-based DJ and music producer always delivers amazing performances and didn’t hold back that night! Once the very epic dramatic opening passed, he started straight away with some slamming techno, and we didn’t expect less from him. The temperature quickly rose in the club as everyone frenetically danced on those fast-paced beats and went crazy when he played Dirty Rocking Bass of Darc Mark. He finished his set on a lighter note with some rock influence to maybe attempt to calm the crowd as 3 am is far too early to finish.
The night was overall amazing, slamming techno was in rigor and you could see the happiness on everyone’s face when listening to those heavenly beats. The crowd and the working team were amazing, and the energy in the club was incredible. Looking forward to another night hosted by Research Label, and to see some of those DJ come back quickly!
Review, Raphaela Pauwels
Its All A Bit Crypto
Review Charlotte de Witte District 8 (Dublin)
District hosted what seems to be one of the most promising nights of this end of the year and we were not disappointed.
On the night of December 19th, D8 welcomed the uncompromising DJs and music producers Charlotte De Witte and Sunil Sharpe and the young DJ Shampain, into their premises for a night that turned out to be crazy and full of emotions.
The night opened up with the Galway native DJ Shampain. Despite how new he is in the scene, as soon as you arrived in the club you could hear this pumping bass that was just amazing and powerful. How to properly start a night of madness! His set was without any question the most eclectic one. He would go from Rap to Breakbeat passing by Grim and Techno, the mix of all these genres really created a dynamic and the crowd loved and got blown by his performance. Really catchy and effervescent, his set got everyone in the right spirit for the rest of the night and we hope to see more of him soon!
The second act of the night was from the well-known Irish DJ Sunil Sharpe and no surprise there when saying that he delivered a remarkable performance. After a little intro of less than a minute, he drove straight into it with heavy bass. During the first part of the set, different vocals and beats were used such as oriental or Brazilian vibes coupled with some Breakbeat and Techno. The crowd responded very well as the vocals would create a sense of motion, so you didn’t have time to get bored and were hooked, nearly enchanted, by those different tonalities. The second part of his performance got darker and louder with some heavy metal influences and deeper kinda a bass, and it was for our biggest delight! Logic continuation for the set following Charlotte De Witte.
The Belgian DJ finished unleashing the crowd’s passion with her mind-melting synths and heavy basslines. Her set was very dynamic with lots of ‘ups and down’ keeping you hooked throughout the whole thing! Her style can be hard to pinpoint as she obviously plays a lot of Acid but as well as a darker type of techno or a more emotional kind. But by going through these different stages, she creates an emotion that the whole room experienced that night. When she played her tunes such as ‘Form’ or ‘Selected’ people went into total madness and started to furiously dance on those fast-paced beats. The temperature quickly rose and everyone was massively enjoying the moment. At the end of her set, she played with different types of bass (some deeper, another dryer if it makes sense etc) which really caught my attention and was the cherry on the cake to finish this night that was just insane.
Once again thanks to District 8 to organize this kind of night where everything’s perfect going from the working team to the light system, sound system and of course the crazy line ups. We couldn't ask for more and be happier with it.
Review, Raphaela Pauwels
Artist: Ninna V
Track: Echoes EP
Released October 2019 - Bandcamp
Mike Mannix: We have just heard your latest work your brand new EP Echoes, it’s a 4 AM stomper! Tell us about the vibe that it means to you and the production process involved?
Ninna V: Well the vibe intended as its name is to see it as Echoes, the perc synth that rolls throughout the track, with its delays and pan work describes exactly that, our longing for answers, what we ask ourselves but wish they were Echoed and heard not just by us but by the world that surrounds us all.... the process of production was pretty simple even though there is a whole lot of automation work done, delay and pan, along with variations and diff dynamics to give it life.....
Echo 2 is quite different, it tells a story of a more aggressive approach, the will to tell a statement and be heard! It's progressive bass rolls through the track giving it rhythm and continuation, along with the perc work giving it different ways to escalate the story till reaching the low strong synths, stating a message that means the Echo is here, is not going away, you can't escape it and is here to stay! The track reaches its peak after the big break taking that statement to a level it can't be ignored. This 2nd track demanded a whole lot more focus and thought through it, as it is a continuation of Echo 1
You can find out more about Ninna in her last indepth interview with us.
Album - Track - Reviews
Artist: Various Artists
Title: Ministry of Sound - The Annual XXV
Label: Ministry of Sound
Release: 29th November 2019
Cat No: MOSCD549
The most iconic compilation series in dance music celebrates its 25th edition with a stunning 60-track, three-CD release this November.
‘Ministry of Sound - The Annual XXV’ embodies the sound of the world’s most famous club, and dance music at large, over the last quarter of a century. It features huge tracks from global stars like Faithless, Underworld, Todd Terry, Fatboy Slim, David Morales, Roger Sanchez, Eric Prydz, Groove Armada and many more and reminds us once again of the huge impact Ministry of Sound has had on the musical landscape.
The first ever edition of The Annual was mixed by Pete Tong and Boy George back in 1995 and was a true statement of British dance culture. Since then, the series has consistently joined the dots between the underground and the more mainstream sides of house, trance and dance with its own iconic adverts and a unique mix of music from global superstars. More than ten million copies of The Annual have been sold worldwide over the years, and its careful curation has always shone a light on all corners of the dance spectrum.
The Ministry of Sound club itself is now more than 28 years old, but still sets the agenda thanks to its forward thinking programming. From diverse, inclusive nights like Glitterbox and He.She.They to legendary trance parties like The Gallery and special residencies from royalty like DJ Harvey via a rotating cast of exciting, game changing headline DJs, the multi-roomed club and its world famous sound system are as talked about as ever, for all the right reasons.
‘Ministry of Sound - The Annual XXV’ is a truly historic celebration of all that has happened over the intervening years, touching on eras of dance music that it has been involved in shaping, from euro-dance to deep house, big beat to disco. It is jam packed with classics: music that defined an era and shaped the tastes of a generation of electronic music lovers.
Without The Annual, many artists’ careers would have taken very different paths and countless dancers would have missed out on these vital annual snapshots of the global state of club music.
Event - Artist - Reviews
Album - Track - Reviews
Reviews Raphaela Pauwels
Artist - 808 State - Title - Transmission Suite - Label - 808 State - Release date - 11-10-2019 - Cat - BOBSTATE006
After a long absence of 17 years, 808 State comes back with a 15 track album, ‘Transmission Suite’. Recorded in the former nerve center of Manchester in the Granada Studios, where they performed on TV in 1989, the duo Graham Massey and Andy Barker created an album that effortlessly makes you go back and forth between the past, present and future. They perfectly merge the 80’s Detroit, Chicago and Manchester vibe with new Manucian influences taken from the Swing Thing and Eyes Down. Their 7th album was logically described as an immersion “in their home City Manchester, and the ghosts that swirl around it.”
808 State - Tokyo Tokyo
The album starts on a retro vibe, with the TB-303 showing its face halfway through, it’s like going straight back to the ’80s with acid house. The melting acid breaks combined to the ghostly-like vocal, the claps and the synth, takes you a real journey. It is like hearing the whirrs of old machinery on a fresh acid beat.
808 State - Skylon
The jumpy beats combined by longer synth lines and a bell-like sound gives a vibrant and cheerful dynamic to the track. It is like a fusion of Detroit and Chicago without really conforming to either. The sound range and changes in frequencies keep you hooked throughout the whole thing.
808 State - Cannonball Waltz
The ‘I was wrong’ hook reminds some traits of their Ex:El album released in the early 1990s. Being polyrhythmic, the track becomes like a perpetual chase scene. It is like different stories were told at the same time and they take over each other in their respective moments. The harsh changes of bit and instrumental creates a sense of perpetual change and movement.
808 State - The Ludwig Question
The broken beats with the high hats and the cymbal gives a vibrant texture to the track, combined to the softened vocals, it creates a very out of space mood. The Rian Treanor kind of style with the energetic bass cut creates real energy taking you on a music trip.
808 State - Huronic
The mix starts with a melodic synth coupled with a background of the breakbeat-like pad, very retro, there’s nearly an alien mood to it. The very vibrant elements all put together with the pad and the long arching synth creates a very ethereal dimension to the track, however, it’s not the most interesting one of the album.
808 State - Landau
The layered sounds give a very vibrant texture to the mix. The intentionally off-putting flavours and the off-kilter bassline with the percussions create a whole universe hard to understand but still intriguing.
808 State - Westland
The build-up of this track with the hard-hitting synth with what seems to be 3 tracks in one is just amazing. You can hear a techno track with an orchestral-like stabs all together on an offbeat and off-kilter rhythm.
808 State - Trinity
This track takes you right back in the raves in the ’90s. The association of this energetic kick drum with the semi-orchestral synth is brilliant. It’s loud and full of optimism. A real flashback of the era in which the band was born.
808 State - Ujala
There’s a more exotic/tribal aspect to this track with the percussion and the drums. The nearly Balearic style and the different progressions added to the vocal will make you dance. This track was definitely made for the dancefloor.
808 State - Carbonade
On a more urban note, the track is clean, transparent and perfectly layered. The perfect drums added to the synth gives a real late 80’s/beginning 90’s kinda vibe. The pulsing that goes back and force gives a feeling of respiration, retro yet fresh.
808 State - Pulcenta
Very tweaked out, ‘Pulcenta’, sound electronic, like some toys of the 90’s ready to give up. The off-tune harmonica and the xylophone are intriguing. Offbeat and brain-mangling this tune will grab your attention until the end.
808 State - Angol Argol
Taking you back straight to the late 1980s where everything was a bit more experimental. The fusion of the different synths with the mid freq creates a very ethereal dimension and yet stay quite grounded with the mumbly bass.
808 State - Bushy Bushy
This track goes more on a spooky groove. The drum machines and the synth on this spooky mid give a really interesting aspect to it. A bit clunky but intriguing.
808 State - 13 13
Definitely full of energy, this tune is interesting in its entirety. The combination of the synth and the variations of freq give a more dramatic aspect and amplifies its impact.
808 State - Crab Claw
Maybe a more futuristic attempt was made for this track, mixing very eclectic synths with hints of drums, it’s certainly something we don’t hear often. It is abrasive and hard-hitting but in an intriguing way.
Artist - Jonno & Gibson - Title - Running Man EP - Label - Pornographic Recordings - Release Date - 29-11-1019
The Irish duo, Jonno Brien and Tommy Gibson, gave us in exclusivity their latest EP: Running Man. Hard to find anything on the duo specifically, the two producers worked on this EP for Pornographic Recordings, and are starting to make a name for themselves.
Jonno & Gibson - Running Man
The intro sets the tone on what the track is going to be, festive and dynamic. Once the intro past, we found ourselves surrounded by a warm bassline quickly followed by a catchy vocal. The tune is like a loop, there’s no progression in it but it is nice when tracks go straight to the point, and this one does.
Jonno & Gibson - One Night
More warehouse kinda vibe, this track will put you straight away in the mood. Perfectly layered, the closed hats coupled with the Acid-like synth gives some vibrancy to the mix while the association of the different bass creates a very grounded aspect, which makes a great contrast!
Reviews - GL0WKiD glowkidmusic.blogspot.com
Artist – InnerCore
Title – Innercore Project Vol.3
Label – Music Preservation Society/Innercore Project
Release Date – January 2020
Cat. – ICP003
Matt Wilkins is the main man behind the InnerCore Project, releasing his third personal (and yet, tougher than the previous volumes) EP. His new work is comprised of four new oldskool-holic tunes all written in order to pay homage and a big tribute to the iconic frontman Keith Flint by The Prodigy. Basically, the aim of this release is to capture the spirit of the early-mid 90s Prodigy vibe as the producer has stated since The Prodigy is his top band of all the time. For instance, the A2 tune ‘Fodder’ is InnerCore’s favourite tune and maybe the strongest highlight of this EP in terms of being a proper Oldskool Hardcore anthemic vibe with all useful elements of the genre. From darkness to a euphoric breakdown of uplifting strings and then taking off with the pianos. inner core has achieved creating his own stable with this ultimate record maintaining the classic Hardcore/Jungle Techno sound. All four tunes are sublime and in overall a good pack for your ears, feet & soul.
Fasten your seatbelts and enjoy a totally recommended trip from 147-155 bpm range full of darkness, constant breakbeats, rave noise, and absolute Hardcore mentality!
Artist – Zensation feat. AmeliA X
Title – Feels Good/Good Energy
Label – Return Of The Vibe
Release Date – 15th November 2019
Cat. – ROTV002
Return Of The Vibe is the marvelous sub-label of the legendary Stormtrooper Recordings from the UK, aiming to push out the ’92 ethos, thus achieving that with its super second offering in a row during 2019. Zensation isn’t a new addition within the scene. The man, who has already released tunes on labels like Next Generation Records and Blatant Beats under the V.A.G.A.B.O.N.D. moniker, is getting back dominating the world with two fresh ’92 hands-in-the-air driven vibes that will surely lift you up. In a few words, this is how he sees Breakbeat nowadays and that fact is vinylized in two incredible tracks printed on 500 12” Vinyl copies, coming along with the digital format too.
Kicking off with ‘Feels Good’, a 145 bpm piano-driven Hardcore Breaks tune.
A totally manic track that is ideally accompanied with ‘Good Energy’, the second installment that spits a full ecstatic excitement with its attractive vocals again and its uplifting euphoric piano character. All in all, this is a serious banging 2-track dish and proud addition to the 2019 Nuskool Hardcore massiveness. Apparently, you should keep your eyes peeled for more in the near future in regards with this label.
Artist – DJ Force & Evolution
Title – Scream EP
Label – Kniteforce Records
Release Date – 9th December 2019
Cat. – KF107
The longest living Hardcore label, Kniteforce Records, has been running an insane period of quality releases, kind of like reborn itself, especially the last 3 years, emphasizing on limited Vinyl output, while striving simultaneously to create even more outstanding highlights on their remarkable history. One of them is certainly the big return of DJ Force and Evolution with a brand new personal EP. The real Hardcore heads wouldn’t ever forget their KF debut with the classic ‘Fall Down On Me’, so the mightier of the mightiest have arrived again on the KF land although it took a couple of years to scream about this return; they’ve now managed to unveil it with three fresh tracks. Firstly, with the ideal and strong Breakbeat driven ‘Scream’ along with ‘Runaway’ which offers a sensational euphoric twist up to heaven and closing with a bit of an unexpected tune titled ‘All Of Our Soul’ with catchy vocals, tough breaks and a proper bass-killer inside as well.
Your trip ends originally at 160 bpm for a record that means a lot to the producers themselves, Luna-C and all KF devotees. Anything else? To be continued…
Artist – Various
Title – Rave Era 03
Label – Rewindback Records
Release Date – 27th October 2019
Cat. – RBCS0006
Japan’s fifth-largest city, Sapporo, has certainly a noteworthy Oldskool Rave aficionado that is Yudaidhun. This 30-year-old producer runs his own label called Rewindback Records for the last two years, putting out various releases (mainly from Japanese artists at first point) coming out via limited Cassette and Vinyl format.
‘Rave Era 03’ is one of the latest, including 8 new tunes out on Cassette format, that eventually drives it more Oldskool than you’d ever expected!
If you reverse the year ’19 it goes ’91 doesn’t it? Additionally, a good chance getting familiar with six bright Japanese minds in, that keep the flag up, moreover rira who’s the youngest from there and one of the juvenile producers within the scene in overall (23 years old).
Exquisite Hardcore Breaks and Rave Techno-ish vibes throughout the third chapter of ‘Rave Era’ reloading the early 90s illicit spirit, moreover a good personal gift to yourselves, since we are living the Cassette revival again. On top of that, tunes like ‘Night Street’ by AmoShiren and ‘Got It’ by Yudaidhun are the big hits of this release printed on a seductive Cassette format. Proper killer tunes that will retrieve and refresh your obsolete stereos. Yes, this is the right time to press the ‘Play’ button again on your Cassette player.
Artist – Sweenee & Ezee Tee
Title – Leave The World Behind You EP
Label – HOH Recordings
Release Date – 6th December 2019
Cat. – HOH008
Let’s take it clearly into digital now. It’s the almighty History of Hardcore (HOH) Recordings and their 8th digi release introducing Madchester duet Sweenee & Ezee Tee, well known to the Hardcore Breaks crew from their underground radio show. The EP is comprised of 2 exquisite remixes credited to DJ Absolute and the Hardcore brothers in crime, Insane & Mind. Absolute’s remix is a modern mixture of piano breaks and housey progression, giving a pass to a faster version made from the experts of uplifting joy, Insane & Mind who are switching it into a slamming piano roller that guarantees you’ll be sweating on the dancefloor. Top-notch vibes right here with a good taste of…HOHarmony! Out digitally for the modern Skool of ravers, namely the Nuskool posse.
Review, Raphaela Pauwels
Artist – COYU – Title – You Don’t Know – Label – Suara – Release date – 23-09-2019 – Cat – SALBUM003
‘The Big Cat’ better known as COYU, has finally released the long-awaited album “You Don’t Know” on his more than famous label Suara. The album, that represents 7 years of work, will shatter every preconception we have towards him. The Spanish DJ, producer and label owner display a wide range of genres throughout the 16 tracks going from techno and drum n bass to garage and house. Throughout the album, you can find many fantastic collaborators such as Lazarusman, The Black 80s, Mike Leary, Thomas Gandey, Moby, The Horrorist and Gabriella Vergilov.
COYU ft Lazarusman – You Don’t Know (Intro)
The album starts off on a dark note with an epic narrative from the legend vocalist Lazarusman. It makes you question your behavior as a mere consumer, music-wise, and what you assume to know. It represents perfectly the main idea of the album, that you don’t know anyone and anything 100% and that it is time to stop thinking that way. All of that accompanied by constant distortions on the background emphasizing the dramatic mood of this track.
COYU ft The Black 80s – The Three Chimneys
This downtempo track with trip-hop influences has a real sleazy groove with the drums and the vibrant bass working on a perfect harmony throughout the whole mix. The voice is very grounded and ‘earthy’ gives a great contrast with the very light and dreamy melody which takes you on a real journey.
COYU – Out Of The Pain
This is more of an ethereal melodic type of track. Very dreamy, its sonar sounds add some texture and the subtle drums on the background give some structure and unite the whole mix together. The few notes of piano-like synth add an even softer aspect to the track, definitely a tune for those moments when you want to disconnect yourself from the world and dream.
COYU ft Mike Leary – We All Try
This track is the perfect continuation of the previous one as it is a deep house track that is more club-oriented but as dreamy and light as Out Of The Pain. The vocal adds some dimension to the tune and the combination of the hitting hats with the synth and the gently kicking bass creates a perfect harmony and work actively together throughout the whole thing.
COYU – Fear Is Gonna Be A Player In Your Life
Oh Yes! This mix is a pure techno track with a background of tribal that will make you dance the whole night with its sonar-like synths! The powerful baseline from the very beginning shows you how it is going to go. The wide range of sound and the variations of frequencies keep you hooked and make you pay attention to the whole track.
COYU ft Thomas Gandey – 1+1
This track shows a beautiful work on the piano with hints of jazz which gives a vibrant and catchy aspect to the tune and makes you want to party. The closed hats with the base and the mid-work in perfect harmony to let the piano be the main element and still have a good kick to it.
COYU – Wanna Do Right, Wanna Do Wrong
This a brilliant techno track with perfect vocal and energetic drum programming. This track is bouncy and is one of that tune that brings you this idiotic joy you can’t always explain while listening to it. The mid being catchy combined to the hats gives some structure and the different layered sounds make the mix really attractive and are vibrant.
COYU ft Moby – I May Be Dead, But One Day The World Will Be Beautiful Again
This track shows a real ability to merge very eclectic elements together such as sheep bleating combined with a distorted organ on a drum n bass breakbeat. The angelic melody throughout the whole track ties everything together to deliver this mix that can be confusing at first but captivating.
COYU – Waking Up From Anxious Dreams (Metamorphosis)
This track starts off on a frenetic hi-hat sample which makes the pressure go up and wonder what is going to happen during the mix. This liquid drum & bass track is very ambient but still has a real kick and energy, the synth actively works with the hats for the vocal to sound more powerful and really stand out when it comes. All of this tied together with this enigmatic melody, which goes perfectly with the title of the tune.
COYU – Dia Uno (The Beginning Of A New Era)
The tune starts off on a soft melody and vocal, followed by the kick drums showing you things are going to get serious. The pluck during the breakdown, adds a very spooky aspect to the mix emphasized by the snare. The fact that the tune starts on a light note and then goes on a deeper level creates a very attractive dynamic and a sense of motion.
COYU – La Coherencia De No Ser Coherente
This one can be a bit confusing as well in the sense that some sound effect is pretty unusual like a synth that sound like someone’s breathing in rhythm, combined to the very distorted vocals, the tune has a stratospheric spacy mood. Being very calm, but at the same time catchy with the soft bassline, that arrives in the second part of the track, adds some structure and energy to the mix
COYU – Happiness? Go Ahead
This tune is much more grounded into an industrial mood, a dark, loud and raw techno track. It starts off on a strong bassline and the vocal that at first is clear becomes distorted giving a sense of movement. The combination of industrial that reminds the late 90’s beginning 2000’s and the vocal makes this tune stand out from the other techno tracks of the album.
COYU – Volare
The tune starts off on a solid bassline with a melting Acid synth, and it works! Sounding like it is straight from the ’90s this progressive mix will make you dance all night. When the hi-hats arrive combined with the synth the mix takes upon texture and is tied everything. Even though it is very progressive the drops have a real impact and are very appealing, overall the whole mix will make your soul shiver on those mind-melting acidy beats.
COYU ft The Horrorist – My First Pill
This high-paced techno track would be perfect for a warehouse kind of party. The bassline goes straight to the point, combined to the highs, the claps and the different vocals everything is just perfect. It is like the track is divided into 3 parts in a continuous flow, like perhaps the different stages of a trip. When the synth comes into the place the tunes take on a whole other dimension, like when the pill hits as the title suggest it and it’s total madness and joy! On the third part, the synth stops to be replaced with the hi-hats and you see a shift from a very dry and dark thing to a very vibrant mix even though the bass is the same. The reference to the underground scene is irrefutable and you couldn’t have a better tune to describe the title.
COYU ft Gabriella Vergilov – Unite
On a logical continuity of the previous mix this tune starts off on a strong bassline, that sounds a bit more ‘Drumcody’; coupled with the synth and the mid, it sets the tone on how heavy the track is going to be. The hits of groovy acid synth and the vocal gives a nice kick and add some structure to the track. This progressive tune with layers of textured sounds gives a vibrant structure to the mix. This track is definitely made for the big room.
COYU – Insania
This last tune is definitely the most experimental piece of the whole album. The pounding ambient track is the perfect mix to close the album with. The layered vibrant sound gives a dimension and a dynamic to the track. Between the mad church bells, the manic percussions and the short vocal, it ends up being very modular and glitchy and I think it is the best way to finish this album that is a real journey into electronic music and COYU’s world
Artist - Jay Potter & Rowetta
Track - The Game
Label - Clueless
Release Date - Jan 24th
This is the latest pumping House track for Manchester icon Rowetta (Happy Mondays) where she layers her powerful vocal over the top of this classic upbeat House number that’s punctuated throughout with the iconic piano riff that reigned supreme back in the day, belted out from producer Jay Potter. Great release smiles all round!
VELOCITY PRESS TO PUBLISH CLASSIC RAVE ART BOOK
Velocity Press today announced the 1 June 2020 release of its third book,Junior Tomlin: Flyer & Cover Art. The title showcases the work of the mastermind behind some of the most iconic rave flyers and record covers from the 80s/90s and is a comprehensive insight into Junior’s incredible back catalogue.
Junior Tomlin’s visionary capabilities led to a long-running career as a flyer artist. His fantastical projections of the future and often surreal imagery earned him the title ‘The Salvador Dali of Rave’. Tomlin’s iconic work was highly sought after, with ravers collecting his remarkable work and promoters queuing up to commission him to produce imagery for their flyers.
About Velocity Press
Velocity Press is a new independent book publisher specializing in electronic music and club culture non-fiction operating from London. Learn more athttps://velocitypress.uk
Colin Steven:07595 firstname.lastname@example.org