tech house

[09 BULLETCAST] Miyagi Guest Mix

[09 BULLETCAST] Miyagi Guest Mix

We present to you Miyagi for our 9th installment of BULLETCAST. Sit back and enjoy the melody of this exclusive mix.

Dusky Plays to a Packed House

Dusky Plays to a Packed House

Dusky, from London, begin their set fairly early. Most headliners wait until at least 1 am, but not tonight. Perhaps this was because of the large crowd and its social energy. I even remarked to my friend that this was the most social night I have seen at Jungle.

[02 BULLETCAST] Silky Guest Mix

Silky is up next on [02 BULLETCAST]. We chatted with him last week to see what he's been up to and what the future has in store. 

You have a background in piano that has enhanced your skill as a producer. Can you tell us what got you into piano and how that evolved into producing?

I started playing when I was around nine-years-old. In fact, my parents made my younger brother, sister and I all take piano lessons from a young age. We all continued with it for a few years although funnily enough, at that time, I wasn’t really that into it. I much preferred being outdoors and playing sports. I started dabbling into producing music when I was at university. I studied 3D computer animation and one of the modules was sound design for film. However, I had pretty much forgotten most of music theory and my playing skill was terrible!

Coincidentally, at this time, I had started DJ’ing in local bars and clubs in my university town to earn some extra cash and I met (my now lifelong friend) Jim Sykes who had a passion for producing music. He basically showed me the ropes. I sat for hours watching and learning from him, asking questions and making a lot of horrible sounding music! I then realized I knew what I wanted to play, but it was so difficult for me to get it down, I would fumble around for hours trying to find the right notes in the scales, the correct chords, etc. I decided to take lessons again. I basically started playing from scratch around six years ago and that changed everything. Now I don’t have to think about what I want to play, I just play!

What energy and emotions do you try to communicate when creating tracks or playing a set?

Both writing a song and playing a set go hand in hand with me. I know this will sound cliche, but I do really believe in having a start, middle and end. Like a good book or a three course meal! I like my music to be hypnotic, but that shouldn’t be confused with repetitiveness. Being hypnotic locks you in, being repetitive is boring! The middle for me is always the chunky part. The mix I have recorded for you I believe does just that.

When coming across the challenges that come with producing, running a label, and playing at shows, how do you re-center yourself and maintain a positive state of mind? 

I do copious amounts of Yoga! (laughs). No, laughing aside, i’m a workaholic and I love doing what I do, so I always tend to have a positive state of mind in any case. However, I do say that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is key. This industry can be hard on your mind and body especially when touring and I noticed that a lot during the last few years. I moved to Los Angeles, California about a year ago, and this has helped me greatly. I’m way more active and in turn way more productive. In the last year, I’ve really got into doing Yoga seriously and for me it’s truly amazing as I can do it anywhere without the need of a large space or equipment. It really is a full mind and body medicine. 

What is the story behind the beginnings of Faceless Recordings? What have been your biggest accomplishments with the label?

Faceless was set up about three years ago now. Myself and one of my best friends, Neil Barber (aka Barber - Viva Warriors/Elrow), run it with the help of our label manager Leon Clarkson. We’ve only had 12 releases out so we are super pleased by the support and exposure the label has had considering. I guess our biggest accomplishment was having Frankie Knuckles remix our first release. Frankie was one of my oldest and closest friends and when I told him about the label he offered to do the remix and sadly passed away not soon after. Other than that, we’ve seen some of the artists that we supported at the start of their career really grow and establish themselves like Bambook, Raw District, etc. 

What are some upcoming projects you would like to share with the world?

Well, we have a new Faceless release due out on May 30 by MONITORS from Montreal, Canada. The package has two great originals and remixes from myself, Droog, Stefan Z and OminouS (Jonny Cruz & Ricardo Dominguez). Actually the mix I recorded for you starts off with the OminouS remix of MONITORS “J’Adore”. Our first vinyl release will be ready for later this year also, it’s a re-release of Bambook’s "Give It Up" with exclusive vinyl only remixes from Audiofly, Chaim and The Needle.

I also have a number of remix projects i’m finishing up right now. One for Solemn Eye forthcoming on Dilate Records and another for Javier Orduna (Jeudi, Visionquest). I have a 3 track EP featuring Cari Golden I’m finishing for Alex Flatner's Circle Music label. And then I’ve done a number of tracks with my homeboy Nitin from No.19 Records and Matthew Butterworth out of Toronto which I’m super excited about getting on with. Not to mention, a number of unfinished material with my good friend Dadon. Jonny Cruz and I have also decided to produce under our alias DISCERN again after an almost two year hiatus. 2016 is looking pretty busy! 

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Expand showcases Mindshake Records with Paco Osuna & Ebgert (Live).

By Frank Duke

Photos by Teddy Williams

Mindshake perfectly describes what occurred Friday night at Jungle. That night, the Mindshake Records Tour pressed a memorable impact forever laid into the hearts of Atlanta.

After dodging several of the potholes that our city is so well-known for, we arrive safely to the industrial complex where Jungle Warehouse is located. My friend and I walk down the long, curtain enclosed hallway and enter the main room. The venue houses a few people standing around the bar sipping on some brews and mixed drinks. A few others are getting acclimated on the large dance floor grooving to Luis Valencia’s set. The rest are sitting down in the lounge areas, tired from the long work week, saving their energy for the night ahead.

Egbert prepares his live setup. He is using an Ableton Live in session mode with a MaxMSP programming modulation, hardware controllers to manipulate internal effects, and a DJ mixer to EQ separate parts of the configuration. He starts to bring in heavy Latin-infused percussion elements; wooden claves (pitch controlled to create a melodic structure), shimmering hi-hats, and a big, round kick drum.

There are a blend of tracks from many arenas and styles of tech house and techno music mixed in with elements unique to Egbert's style, as well as unique effect routings that glue everything together. He plays a sneaky, sneaky set. As I groove to the tracks, I anticipate the music being carried in one direction - but then, in a sudden rush, the music seamlessly flips upside down and does a 360.  

The venue packs out as the evening carries on. The Pure Groove Sound System makes a huge impact on everyone's mood. Hands are in the air, the music is infectious. Standing towards the back of the room, I see different types of people representing themselves. That’s one thing I truly love about the Expand events. There are so many kinds of people, all together, enjoying incredible music from world-renowned artists.

I see a man, with a lollipop stick hanging out of the side of his mouth, join Egbert on stage. Paco Osuna gets his Traktor setup in place and I begin to hear that bounce he's known for. He approaches the music with a mix of tech house, dark techno, modular experiments, and a touch of acid techno. The bass lines often counter the kick drum to coincide with the hi-hats. The percussion elements are the most prominent. There are rarely any tangible melodies. The breaks are often, short and driving to keep things moving forward.

I am loving every moment of this. Paco's Mindshake Records sound is very well-known and respected worldwide. The lights in the venue are more aggressive than ever with big flashes, spiraling colored tones, and contrasting darkness. Toward the end of the night, there are a few moments where the disco ball descends from the ceiling to the top of the crowd below. It changes the lighting aesthetic throughout the venue. You can see the glowing faces of smiling people and their energy raise as the disco ball makes its way back to the ceiling.

Paco plays his final statements. Dark and driving modular acid techno. The crowd is still standing strong, holding close to every note being played. He finishes his set and the lights over the dance floor shine brightly upon us. Half of the crowd begins to cheer, the other half let out cries of despair because the night is over. We make our way outside and a massive crowd is gathered discussing music and where to go next.

The Liquified project, Expand, is genuinely beginning to make an impact on Atlanta. Offering something different from their normal club approach. These parties bring a more underground, unique, and powerful experience to all kinds of electronic music fans. I have a strong feeling Expand will continue to stay at the forefront of the promoter pack.

Chicago's own, Green Velvet, takes the stage in Atlanta

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By Kristin Gray

Photos by Teddy Williams

This was an event that had been in the bookings for almost a year, and the night had finally arrived. Not only was this a legendary DJ from the infamous city of Chicago, but Green Velvet was named the #6 charting artist on Beatport’s top artists for 2015. We were in for a night of experimental tech house that was about to have the entire venue vibrating.

Arriving at Halo Lounge, I knew immediately this was no underground venue like Music Room or Sound Table, my usual haunts. Halo is an upscale bar and lounge, and though the space is not large by any means, their use of multilevel VIP sections and dance floor have been implemented to capitalize on square footage. When you first walk in, you immediately notice the large lit up marble bar and swanky fashion videos being projected on the wall. The place tends to pack out quickly, so it’s best to head upstairs to the dance floor to claim your spot.

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The sound system this evening was turned up, heavily so on the bass. Even lighter, jungle house tracks were causing the entire floor to vibrate with the deep bass line emitting from the speakers. Bobi Stevkovski’s opening set started out with his signature choice of intricate house tracks, quickly evolving to a tech house set. His energy, though always bouncy, was especially jazzed up tonight. With a smile constantly on his face, his attention to detail and track selection was on point tonight.

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As I look around to observe the crowd’s energy, I notice this is not the usual crowd I often see along my more frequented venues. The crowd is interesting. A mixture of a candy club scene and techno junkies, you can tell who is here for the DJ and who the regulars are that come strictly for the venue. The dance floor is located on the top floor, with a low ceiling and modest lighting. Red strobes unobtrusively scan the floor as free open space becomes a thing of the past. As the man of the hour, Green Velvet, steps up to the booth the crowd fills up the remaining dance floor, leaving no room for stragglers. His set immediately starts out fast and hard, true to his signature experimental reputation. Now the bass amplification really becomes apparent. I can feel it vibrating my entire body, creating what felt like a layer of static electricity over all of us.

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If you listen to Green Velvet’s monthly podcasts with the label "Relief," you can get an idea of the intensity and innovation of his set. His look matched his sound, with his trademark green mohawk and futuristic shades, his set was equally as vibrant and modern. There were no soft, easy points to the set as there often are with house sets, this guy kept up a mind blasting pace that kept his patrons moving non-stop up until the very last note. Though he has been in the production and performance business for quite some time now, his new release of "So What" remixes alongside Carl Craig and a busy touring schedule only prove he still has more to give the world. Green Velvet seems to always be seeking unsought avenues of sound. With DJs like him coming in, Atlanta is only further proving that we are earning ourselves a spot of this underground map.

 
 

[Interview] Felix da Housecat Returns to Atlanta

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By Frank Duke

Photos by Teddy Williams

Felix da Housecat is a mastermind of house music and its development from the very beginning. He joined us in Atlanta to show us what he is all about.

I walk in the EQ nightclub and see they have made some changes for the evening. Afro Acid and Horrible Children teamed up for this night and brought in two projectors. They showed a Valentine’s Day themed visual loop on a big sheet with tears on the bottom creating a cool effect to the screen. The visual loop was provocative and sexual, which I didn’t mind at all. I thought it was an interesting, off the wall, and respectable approach.

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The music playing had a tonality of disco, funk, electro, and house. Comstock and Lunashift warmed the crowd up and had us all dancing, laughing, and socializing. With these two imprints working together, the mix of people was very unique. Everyone was representing themselves and their love for house music. Special shout out to the speedo boy, he was doing his own thing without a care in the world.

As the night progressed, more people arrived and everyone was nice and cozy with one another. Felix makes his way to the booth and starts off building anticipation with a dark and ambient opening statement. The grooves followed with long tailed kick drums, pianos, and open hats that were threaded together with a bit of funk. People were blown away with his tracks. Crowd favorites were when he played an edit of Michael Jackson's “Thriller” and an edit of “In the Beginning (Jacks House)”.

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His range was vast. He played everything from deep house, to techno, and even a bit of progressive house. He was joined by DJ Pierre in the booth throughout most of his set. They were socializing and catching up since it had been a while since they have seen each other. At the end of the set, Felix did something that I thought was very special. He got on his headphones and reversed the polarity of the magnets so that they could be a microphone. He stopped the music, and spoke to the crowd. He started off by thanking everyone for such a good evening. He spoke about how DJ Pierre “Put [him] on”, and about how Pierre truly gave him an avenue for his music. Pierre also talked about how "Felix is like [his] little brother” and about how proud he is of him and everything he is doing.

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Felix then spoke about Pierre’s track “Acid Tracks” and how it changed him holistically. He wrapped up speaking to the crowd a bit about how Felix the Housecat came to be via DJ Pierre. We all conglomerated around the booth and talked for a bit and took pictures with the man of the hour. Once most people made their way home or walked over to Odyssey, Felix and I stepped outside for a bit of an interesting fireside chat.

As we were walking out, Felix said to me, “This is so underground. I love it."

I knew that he was just getting back from Holy Ship, and when I brought it up, he immediately jumped and said, “Holy Ship! Man, Holy Ship changed my life. I met a lot of industry people, they said I was an influencer, and got an intimate experience with my fans. Lots of people from Ohio had some love for Felix the Housecat.”

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Then he changed gears and talked about how he spent some time with producer Dallas Austin here in Atlanta. “I used to live in Atlanta for about six years. Dallas convinced me to move here while I worked on my album. So I came to Atlanta, got on this little rocket ship, Dallas and Bee’s {takes a pause} let me give a shout out to Bee’s! They really helped me rework my life. Then I went to England from here, then Montreal after that, met my girl in Montreal, and now I'm back in the ATL."

I wanted to get a bit more insight into how him and DJ Pierre met, and he was more than happy to oblige. “When I was a freshman in high school, my mama bought me a drum machine. So I would walk around high school telling people ‘I’m the Housecat’. And I made a track called ‘House Beat’. No one knows this story. I gave it to a guy named Jeff and Emit. And they said ‘Yo, I know this guy named DJ Pierre and he made this track called ‘Acid Tracks’. Then Pierre listened to it, and gave me a call, and asked me if I wanted to get together in the studio.”

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He then walked over to Pierre’s car to bring him into the conversation. Pierre tells us, “You know, there’s a lot of people out there with talent. But this kid took it and ran with it. I put them in a place where he could flourish and some people do and some people don’t. You just really got to have the talent, and you have to be an artist. Felix had it.”

We stood around and talked a bit more about their early days in the industry and about all the people helped curate Acid House. You can tell these guys are full with pride of the work that they’ve done and are extremely excited to share it with the world.

 
 

[Interview] Angelo Ferreri: The New Kid on the Block

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By Frank Duke  

Photos by Teddy Williams

A new kid on the block, maybe, but Angelo Ferreri has established himself as a standout curator in the jacking house style. He is without a doubt someone to watch out for.

I get to EQ Nightclub a bit early after having dinner with my friends and family. Walk up to the bar, grab a drink, and catch up with the regulars and staff of EQ. It has been a while since I’ve been here but feels good to be back.

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When I arrived there was a driving, dark, rumbling techno coming from these guys. This sound system is not for the faint of heart. You feel every small detail in your stomach, and I love it. Raskal and Bri are a duo that I have not yet heard, but I was really digging them starting off with some darker techno grooves.

As the night progressed, they started warming up the sound, breaking open the atmosphere, to make room for the funk master himself. Brendon Rosenbaum makes his way onto the decks and starts playing grooves that I haven’t heard in Atlanta for a while. It was great to get something a bit different. People started dancing, laughing, hugging, high-fiving, and enjoying themselves.

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I was sitting on one of the sleek lounge couches they have pressed up a 20ft+ brick wall. I see a friend of mine walk in with Angelo. I heard they were spending time in the studio together all afternoon. We catch up momentarily, talk about how the studio was and make introductions between Angelo and ourselves.

Angelo and I stepped outside to talk about his new record label, his music, his travels and PlayStations. Click play below and take a listen for yourself.

 
 

We stepped back inside, got ourselves a few drinks, and I showed him around to the booth. The room was really grooving when we got back inside. I start feeling that indescribable feeling house music creates. Brendon Rosenbaum finalizes his closing statements with an upbeat, lush bass, shuffling high hat sound. Angelo makes his way onto the decks and starts off with some darker tracks that are a bit more driving. I make my way to the sweet spot on the dance floor.

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He begins to take us all on a house music journey from driving and soulful, to funky and upbeat, to hip hop infused grooves, to laid back, all while making seamless transitions between these styles. There was never a moment where I thought, “Hmm - that was a bit random.” I never felt like the tracks he played didn’t flow. It was Jacking House perfection. If you’re not familiar with jacking house, I suggest you take a listen to some of his stuff he’s pumping out of speakers.

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The night ended and we stayed around and talked a bit more with one another. I told him, "I can't wait to see you really rock it man. I truly hope you get to come back to Atlanta again soon.”

Until then, we just have the memories and the vibes to hold onto.

[Interview] Time Traveling with Clarian at Alley Cat

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By Kristin Gray

Photos by Sara Vogt

I return to Alley Cat after a stint of time, and the changes this venue has made in those few weeks are completely transformative. The DJ booth now sports their feline logo, giving it a legitimate, tasteful look. Ramzi opens up the night, his set begins with a transcendent mixture of desert vibes and instrumental tracks that set a beautiful scene for us early birds. As the set transitions, we begin to hear nice bassy notes that get our heads bobbing and feet tapping. The beat picks up, the bass drops. The enthusiastic little crowd swells, enjoying this wonderful beginning to such a fine night.

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Tocayo steps up to the decks, ready to keep the party going strong. He keeps up a steady beat and the crowd remains pumped. As the venue packs out, I escape the crowd for a bit to have a chat with Clarian, our headliner for the night. His intelligence, desire to find the deeper meaning in things, and love for sci-fi make this conversation a special experience.

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Welcome back to Atlanta! How do you tend to handle the cold winters of snowy Montreal versus your summer getaway city of Berlin?

I think I handle it pretty well (laughs). I’m actually going next week to Berlin. It depends on shows. I try to travel as much as I can to play shows. The world is a big place out there, so it’s hard to jump around all over the place randomly so you try to organize it a bit. But generally speaking, you’re right. I spend most of my summers in Berlin. I like the cold winters though, getting to wear my snow suits.

As a lover of sci-fi, would you say this is a big influence in your music, or is it the other way around?

I like that question. Techno music is like this future dystopian thought of machines, and the sounds of industrialization. I think that they’re intrinsically locked together. I’m really interested in finding the link between the future of sound communication that electronic music seems to have as a platform. Other forms don’t really have as much liberty or freedom to explore future sounds. In my view, and from my experiments, from what’s exciting me in finding the music that I’m finding, a musical sequence can actually open up a portal into another gateway that can create space travel. And as ridiculous and absurd as it sounds, looking for patterns of unlocking the universe, maybe there are connections that we haven't even discovered between music and sound. I like to think about stuff like that.

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What first got you into producing your own music, and how did that effect your life at the time?

I started producing music when I was a teenager. My brother had a studio and I used to steal myself into it when he wasn't around. He had a mixer and guitars, I grew up on instruments. I was just trying to figure it out, and I loved recording so I tried to write songs on the guitar and piano and then take it to the studio. Without formal training, I intuitively would notice that if I took a vocal take, and then I doubled it, and took another one, then I played with the timing, I could create interesting phasing. I was doing all these things not knowing that the hell that I was doing. That whole world of producing is its own universe. That’s generally where I'm most happy, when I'm in the studio.

There is an interesting story to your EP Mission to Bars involving an Astronaut, his voyages, and his longing for whiskey. Can you tell us what inspired it?

I was in South Korea for a week, I was touring in Asia. I was by myself and I was pretty broke. I couldn't afford whiskey at one point at this bar and I was trying to write, I write sci-fi stories as a hobby. I was writing this story and then I got into this idea about this space man, and he was in his space suit. He could be on some strange planet but he could also be a delusional regular schizophrenic dude walking around downtown with a space helmet on, you don’t know. But the whole thing with this character is, he's an alcoholic obviously, and he wants to have a whiskey but he can’t have it. He orders it but he can’t drink it, so he doesn't know what to do with it. He can’t take his helmet off because that’s what is keeping him alive in his mind. So he just pours whiskey over his helmet in this sad attempt. It was so ridiculous and pathetic and amazing. I was laughing about it to myself like an idiot in this bar in Korea. Since then, I have been writing more stories about this space man. I have another story I finished recently where he's in a hydrogen depository, or that could all be in his mind, he could just be at a gas station. He's thinking about whiskey and meanwhile holding up the line. He's just pissing off all these strange creatures because he's so lost. The tracks that go with it are very dreamy and trippy. It’s called Ankh.

 
 

You gifted us with a special mix, NOCTURAMA, a few months back. What was it like bringing to the surface unreleased productions and collaborations from the past eight years?

Oh yes. It was good (laughs). It’s like digging through your journals or diaries, going through old essays from school. I have tons of that stuff in hard drives and disks, on recorded tapes, on floppy disks. Weird recordings and experiments that I try my best to keep track of because I travel so much and things get lost. I think most producers have tons of music that are these gems but for whatever reason the pieces get lost. Maybe they resurface years later or people find the outtakes, or even the demos but the demos are so good that they become hits. So you're always treasure hunting and I was putting all these together to make a mix. It was kind of cool for me, it tells a story, like sketches. If someone wants to see where my heads at and what I’ve been up to and trying different things and ideas. The last track on there I wrote eight years ago, it’s a ballad I made on a synth in this studio. It was the first track I wrote after Utopia. Each track signifies a point in time, they’re like the shadows of my music.

 
 

Your music seeks to explore the edges of space and time in an imaginative way. What have been your biggest challenges and joy with this exploration?

I’m trying to find connections with music as I get older. You know you get into all these scenes when your younger to find yourself, when you have the liberty and freedom to exist in these communities that don't ask to invade upon who you are. That’s what I think is beautiful about electronic music, about the culture of it. This movement that we do, that we've created. It’s a revolution in itself. At my point now as I'm getting a bit older I'm wondering where I'm going with my whole life. If I want to try to keep doing music and traveling, which I like and am so thankful for. Either I have to take some time off and try to make more of a contribution to the world beyond just the fun stuff, or find a way to do something a bit more original that I can provide to this community. It’s a hard question, but it’s a fun question. It’s the shit. I love coming here!

What can we expect from you for 2016?

I made another synth pop album, it’s very spacey. It’s more of a celebration of the style of music that I've been very obsessed with over the past ten years. I've realized it’s kind of like NOCTURAMA. The sound kind of evolves in my mind so when I did this album I did it last summer in Berlin. It’s a lot of Footprintz stuff that I've been doing and it has a lot of newer sounds that I've been patching and working on and creating. It’s very celebratory. Like an ending. Hopefully, I can get it out in a presentable way. That’s what I've been working on to find the right label and find the right way to put it out and make it special. That hasn't been easy yet but hopefully that will come together. Then I have the other Ankh EPs and Tiga’s album, which drops in March. I had the honor and privilege to work for such an amazing legend. That was maybe the most challenging and rewarding experience in the past few years. Working with people on that level. It’s awesome to work with guys like him. His album is called No Fantasy Required and it’s really sick. It’s really amazing.

And as a fellow sci-fi lover, I have to ask - what is your favorite show or movie?

Recently I've been really into the Expanse. I particularly love it because the character’s name is James Holden. I also love Logan’s Run. I love the old classic ones.

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We return to the foray and Clarian takes his place behind the booth setting up his Mac and prepping. Tocayo finishes out his set and welcomes our guest of the night. As Clarian begins, the crowd pauses unsure at first what to do. This music is dark and heavy, a complete mind trip in all the good ways. The dancing becomes vigorous, the crowd is humming with energy - bouncing together in a frenzied wave of movement.

Clarian’s music sends us on a galactic journey through the darkest folds of space, time seems to stop. The sound from his deep notes and other worldly synth create a frenzy in the patrons as we seek to entrance ourselves in this exploration. For a moment I completely forget about the world outside. This is a type of music not often heard in Atlanta and I look around to smiling faces of glee and disbelief that music can have such a guttural affect.

This set was as much of a physical experience as it was a mind experience and we relished in it. Though more of an experimental sound. I witnessed tonight that Atlanta is more than ready for this addition of musical pleasure.

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[Video] Mr. Nice Guy's Jesse Perez

By Liz Turcotte

Video by Carbon Film Studios

Mr. Nice Guy label boss, Jesse Perez, sat down with me Barbara Walters style before the label showcase at The Music Room back in January. We chatted about quite a few topics including the phonies in the underground scene, being a DJ Dad, and how he found his signature sound, Bump N Grind.

 
 
 
 

[Interview] Project B. Wins Our Hearts with yokoO

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By Frank Duke & Kristin Gray

Photos by Kayode Lowo

Ah yes, to be back at the beloved Studio No. 7 on a lovely Sunday afternoon. The perfect place for a fun, day party fix. While this event is historically outdoors, today it was all indoors, it is winter after all.

Adam Hagen is warming the crowd with gentle house melodics that are contrasted with an ever-evolving opaque groove. There is a unique dub tonality in his set that is a standalone staple to Adam’s style.

The crowd is sitting around in the minimal and chic lounge couches, chairs, and ottomans. Having a lazy start to their warm and cloudy Sunday afternoon. We are discussing our experiences of whatever party we went to last night, what we are thinking for lunch, talking about artistic exploration, and sipping on a hangover induced mimosa.

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Once our headliner yokoO arrived, the crowd had already begun to stand and get their feet moving. Julien (yokoO) made his way behind the decks, and a lush projection of clouds is illuminated on the brick wall far behind him. The sun was beginning to fall behind the horizon of the earth. A table holding fragrant candles, lanterns, cloth, garlands, and a goat for good measure, brought the unique atmosphere of “All Day I Dream” together.

yokoO situated himself behind the CDJs and synced his iPad to his computer so that he could have control over multiple effect routings. He began his opening statement. The floors, walls, and speakers were already vibrating, one could not help but move with these grooves. His sound perfectly accentuated the exotic smooth sounds of the All Day I Dream imprint, but the music had evolved much beyond that. Mixed into these dreamy, lush tones, was a bouncy, yet darker energy that was yet to fully reveal itself.

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Then the kick dropped. This was the moment yokoO’s music swayed from energetic and smooth, to a nice night-time bounce. The transition was beautiful, exciting, and seamless. The whole crowd felt this moment, and responded with “woohoos” and “ali-li-lis” heard from every corner of the dance floor. The energy picked up in pace and everyone was found together as these majestic vibes took us all away.

yokoO stepped down from his 3-hour set as Bobi stepped up to continue elaborating the energy with his bass heavy, middle-eastern, ethic and funky tracks. I danced for a moment over by the booth. As I see Bobi and Julien cheers each other, I smile to myself, happy to see camaraderie between these two inspiring men.

After Julien (aka yokoO) finished his set, he took a short break to chat with us. We walked outside the venue, stood on the curb with a small group of friends, smoked cigarettes, laughed, and got to know one another.

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You just finished up on the decks for your show in Atlanta. What steps do you take for your pre-performance process? 

I just go through say about 500 tracks and put about 100 aside. Then I just go from there.

You have been releasing a lot of records recently. Tell us a bit about your newest release on Berlin based label, Save Us, and working with the vocalist Seabourne.

That was done a couple years ago actually. I met Larissa aka Seabourne at Kater Holzig in Berlin. She sent me some of her work and I completely fell in love with what she was doing. From there, we started collaborating. We’ve released two tracks on Musik Gewinnt Freunde, which is Kollektiv Turmstrasse’s label. This one on Save Us is our third single and will be released mid-February.

 
 

I recently heard that you have been working in the studio with Bedouin while stuck in NY during the snowstorm. How did cabin fever connect you three musically and what has the process been like?

We’re pretty good friends and we were staying together while I was New York. We had been talking about working in the studio for quite some time. I guess the fact that we were all stuck in the snowstorm made it easier. We started two tracks together, which are well on their way. I imagine we could work remotely from here on but am hoping to come back to NYC soon so we can continue jamming together.

You are known to have a producer first mindset. What inspires you to make such unique music? How does this mindset coincide with your DJing techniques?

Really?! That’s interesting. Life in general I suppose. My experiences and the emotions they trigger. I don’t ever have anything in mind when I write music. My feelings and emotions direct the way I compose. My music is a true expression of the way I feel at a given time. Some producers will write for the dance floor, I honestly never try to please anyone with my tracks. I only work for myself. As a result, it doesn’t coincide with the way I DJ at all.

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Tell us about the moment that you knew you wanted to make electronic music. Was it a party you went to? An artist you listened to? Or was it the technology that resonated with you?

The very first track I wrote was for my girlfriend at the time. We had just met, and she was going off for a three-week trip to the States. We had just got together, so everything was really fresh between us. I said to her, “Well what am I going to do?" And she said to me, “Well, why don’t you write a track for me.” And this is how it all begun. I wrote a track for her and it turned into an addiction.

What is your life mantra?

Accept what is, let go of what was and have faith in what will be.

What can we expect from you in 2016?

Lots of touring! Besides that, I’ll be releasing a few remixes and EPs throughout the year. Oh, there’s a couple of albums in the making - not sure they will see the light of day in 2016 though. I started collaborating with a vocalist from Australia. We’re working on a side project that’s quite different to what I normally do - a lot less club oriented and more concert vibes. The idea is to maybe release on a major label and then work on a live performance for it. Then in addition to that an album on All Day I Dream as well. But honestly, it’s all a bit early to talk about it.

Thanks for spending time with us Julien, we are all very happy to have you in Atlanta and hearing you do your thing!

Actually, I was having so much fun, I’m going to jump back on the decks with Bobi for a bit!

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His love for the crowd shone through as Julien stepped back into the booth to finish the night B2B with the beloved Bobi. The intense, immense energy these two put together was indescribable. Dancing became more energetic, faces changed into gleeful expression seeking out every nook and cranny of these sounds.

The crowd drawn by Studio No. 7 is a special one. It’s made-up of those most loyal and dedicated to Project B. and the work they put into bringing us musical talent. We all know each other and revel in the time we have to catch up, share hugs, and dance together in shameless passion. It is a family reunion, this is what Project B.runch is all about…and we can’t wait for the next one.

 
 

[Interview] Randall M on producing, vinyl and his family.

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By Clara Goode

Photos by Sara Vogt

My initial impression of the Alley Cat Music Club was one of trepidation. It shares a well-lit street corner with several boarded up buildings and what appears to be a convenience store. I cross paths with a group of young people who are laughing and chatting animatedly and I follow them through the doors. An underlit bar with a green flow immediately to my right, while an open path to my left leads to an outdoor patio.

I walk straight back toward the main room I am struck by how cozy the space is. The room is filled with dry ice which envelopes everyone in a glowing haze and, at times, obscures the DJs themselves completely. There is no stage, which sets the tone for a more intimate show, decreasing the distance between the performer and their fans. The club is still under construction, the hall to the restrooms glows with an eerie red light that highlights the broken concrete and dingy bathrooms, but somehow the grunginess of the exposed beams and unpainted walls adds to the allure of tonight’s show.

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The crowd here is different than what I have previously experienced. The majority of conversations taking place around me are in Spanish and people are more interested in interacting with their companions than they are getting lost in the music. The openers are setting the scene however, with simple, catchy rhythms and people are definitely feeling the music.

There is a very strong sense of community among the patrons of this club. At other shows the crowd has consisted of numerous small groups who seem to isolate themselves and rarely interact through the course of the evening except to fumble past each other as they make their way around the venue. Tonight the place is filled with large groups of people who seem to interact freely and comfortably, even with complete strangers. Each person seems entirely at ease both with the crowd and with the artists playing.

I sat down with Randall M. before his set. A polite young man, very easy to talk to.

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You were classically trained in piano and violin. Was there one instrument you preferred over the other?

I took lessons (as a child), but was not classically trained. Probably piano. I stopped violin lessons when I was four. Really, I prefer drums over anything.

What kind of influence does that training have over the music you produce?

It definitely helps with my ear, mixing things in key and choosing certain songs to go with others, I think it all comes back to that.

Is your family proud of you and your accomplishments?

They’re very supportive of it. I’ve been DJing for twelve years. It’s really all I’ve done and in the beginning they were very supportive. Actually, they’ve been supportive the whole time. There came a point where, you know, they were kind of questioning if I was going to be able to make a sustainable career out of it, but the last three or four years I’ve been able to do that and they’re very proud and supportive of it. I feel really lucky about that.

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Your love for your pups on your IG page is pretty apparent. Tell us about your fur babies.

I have three dogs, two are ten and eleven that I’ve had since the beginning of college. They live with my ex-girlfriend, but I still see them when I come back home and stuff. Then I have like, not a puppy anymore cause she just turned two, but a Cocker Spaniel as well. I’ve always loved dogs. I’ve love animals. I grew up with a Labrador and I just really love dogs. I wish I could have at home in Berlin but with the touring schedule and stuff it's just not practical. But someday I would like to have a little farm and have like five or six dogs on it.

What are some of your favorite albums you own on vinyl?

Well I have to say it’s not an album, but my favorite records, one of my favorite tracks from The Rolling Stones “Miss You” they did like a disco extended edit. It’s quite rare and my dad had it growing up and he bought me a copy a few years ago. So that one is pretty special to me. It’s all pink, it’s like 12 minutes long, and it’s amazing. Then my original hip hop stuff like Tupac’s On Death Row, Outkast, stuff like that. I love my techno records but the others just stick out for me. Also, I guess I’d have to say Efdemin, Chicago as well, one of my favorites.

What are some upcoming projects you have planned for 2016?

I have my own vinyl label called Thirteen. It’s coming out, the first release is in March and it’s something I’ve been working on for about over a year now and it’s like my baby you know? It’s basically my way to really showcase the music I love from people who I’ve come in contact with. Not only making good music, but cool people. It’s kind of like a friend group and we all share music and now I’m finally releasing some.

 
 

As the evening progresses, more and more people are distracted from their socializing and make their way to the dance floor and as Randall takes the stage the main room is packed to overflowing. Randall M uses deep, syncopated rhythms to keep them bouncing then adds a softer, melodic overtone. His lifelong experience with music is made evident by the diversity of sound, multiple instruments can be heard dancing through the layers of percussion in patterns highlighted with timed silences. His underlying rhythm is at a constant tone, not too low to be uncomfortable and not too high to be harsh. The perfect sound for continuous listening.

The ease with which the crowd interacts is evidenced through their relationship with Randall. He is not simply leading them as many DJs do, they are openly connecting with him. Chants spring up during certain sequences, people sing along with repeating melodies, there is a constant interplay between artist and audience. This is an appreciated contrast to many shows in which the DJ seems very separate from the crowd, manipulating them, sometimes in an aggressive way, to feel what they want them to feel.

 
 

 

The number of people on the floor changes constantly. Even with fewer people on the dance floor the ones that are dancing are fully committed. Many stand to the sides, nodding to the music and chatting, but it is not out of boredom. None are eager to leave or disappointed, there is simply an equal desire to socialize as well as dance. He keeps their attention to the very end of the show.

Toward the end of the night, I venture out onto the patio. The air smells sweet with cigars and lighter flames flicker between the faces of those gathered for a cigarette break and small talk. The music is still loud and one must speak loudly to be heard over it. Tomorrow our voices will rasp, and our clothes will smell of smoke and sweat, and we will accept these as fond tokens of an excellent experience.

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[Interview] Carlo Lio talks upcoming releases, kitties and his new label.

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By Frank Duke

Photos by Teddy Williams

Anticipation, hunger, timelessness, power, and restraint. Carlo Lio is known to shred dance floors and bring heat to any city. I have been waiting for this unforgettable moment ever since his last appearance in Atlanta.

I walk down the wooden staircase of The Music Room. Christian Chotro is bringing a warm driving groove that pumps through the speakers. In Atlanta, there is no question that the community of underground electronic music has any unfamiliar faces. We are family. As the crowd socializes, Christian opens up the atmosphere. Showcasing the vastness that is capable for the evening with lush melodics accompanied by ethnic percussions.

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The music evolves into a dense texture. Laughter fills that air. The crowd begins to adhere into one another. Bobi ready’s himself to warm up the room for Carlo. I sense an endearment of passion, culture, and an understanding of the crowd from Bobi. He keeps the groove flowing through the speakers. He begins to warp the tonality and the atmosphere of the music. The bass-lines become more aggressive, the melodies are not so tangible, and the breaks have a strong structure of movement.

The night progresses, the crowd prepares themselves for the man of the hour. Feet are tapping, heads are bobbing, bodies are moving, the music has engulfed the dance floor. Carlo arrives and the crowd awakens with even more excitement. This man carries himself with a humble and sincere demeanor. They start cheering and clapping for him as he sets up. Carlo Lio is no stranger to techno fans from all over the world. He has played some of the most prolific venues, and frequents festivals to the likes of OFFSonar, Lovefest, BPM, Get Wet, and ADE.

I spoke with Carlo Lio briefly before his set. When he arrived to the venue, I greeted him outside with some friends of mine. We walked to an undisclosed location and start talking a bit about his career, music, travels, and personal life.

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How has everything been with the New Year, recent travels, new releases, and with you?

The New Year's been great, I've had a bit of time off. I always take some time off after BPM because it’s just ten days of madness. For the New Year, I just had the release on Suara which is Coyu’s label. I also have an EP release on This and That, which is Davide Squillace's label. Then later, around March, I’ll have an EP on Art Department’s label, No.19. And yeah, that’s it for now.

 
 

How is it living in Toronto during the winter and in Barcelona during the summer? What’s the best part about it, and the not so good stuff about it?

I mean, I kind of get best of both worlds. I love my city. I’m going to live and die there. People always ask why it’s not the opposite. Obviously, in Europe the parties are always in the summer, so I need to be there. But I travel so much that I kind of boycott the winter. During the winters in Toronto is when I do South America, so that way I get to escape it.

How do you balance making music throughout your touring?

When I first started touring, I used to never make music on the road, I had to be in the studio. Lately as its been getting more busy, I had no choice but to figure out how to feel comfortable on a laptop and headphones, and now the tables are turned. It’s kind of hard for me to get comfortable in the studio now that I’m used to the laptop. It’s good, because you get some inspiration, and then you’re instantly banging out some beats. I like it.

You’re known to have a soft spot for kitties. Tell us a bit about your cats and the part they play in your life.

My first pet was a cat. My parents wouldn’t ever let us have pets. When we first got a cat, it was something very special. I found a huge love for them. Now with all the traveling I do; having cats is very convenient. I have two cats. One is named Treble and the other one is Clefy. Treble is the oldest one, and he's kind of psycho, a bit of a Jykell and Hyde personality. The other one, Celfy, is just the nicest cat in the world.

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You started Rawthentic Music back in 2005, last year was your ten year anniversary! How was the journey of building up the imprint, what does the future hold for it?

Rawthentic has been a staple in my life. It actually wasn’t started by me. It was started by Nathan Barato. We’re best friends and we were a DJ duo at one point. He started it in 2005 and I jumped on board in 2006. Rawthentic is now kind of on the back burner. It’s been ten years and I feel like it's kind of ran its course. I have started a new label called On Edge Society. It's only four releases in, and it’s catered to more stripped down, chunky techno. It was vinyl only and then we moved into digital four or five months later after launching. Check it out when you get a chance.

 
 

Can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to make music, and what steps you took to get to where you are now?

It all stemmed from the Toronto rave scene. I was just a partier. Toronto raves were so big and in a blink of an eye they just shut down. DJing and production were just my way to fill that void. I started messing around with them both at the same time. Playing around with vinyl and messing around with any music software I could find. I kept doing that and I wasn’t really releasing anything. I was just making tracks. My friends were telling me “Oh this is good! You should do something with this." If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have thought to send it out. I was super nervous, and in my head it wasn't good enough. It definitely worked out.

So you like sneakers a lot. What are some of your favorite brands? How many pairs do you have?

I stick to Jordan’s. I’m a Jordan guy. I would probably say I have about 100 pairs of shoes. In terms of other brands, I like what Adidas has recently been putting out. They are on point and have turned a new leaf. But I stick to the Jordans mostly.

What are some of your New Year’s Resolutions for yourself and career? What can we expect from you in 2016?

This year I have all those releases that I told you that I have coming up. I want to show another side. In this industry. You’re put into a box very fast, there is more to me than just techno. I love all styles of electronic music. I’m planning to show that with certain labels that I’m releasing on, venture into new styles, and keep attacking new labels that I haven’t been on.

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Carlo begins his journey and I make myself comfortable on the dance floor. I am ready to be swept away. I quickly become lost in the finest driving techno known to man. The room sounds pristine and powerful, a perfect match for Carlo’s style. He begins to elaborate on the dark, tech house vibe filling the air. He showcases Latin percussion elements, pounding basslines and saturated techno elements.

His set pays tribute to the theories of first wave techno with a new age flair. Sequenced melodies with atonal qualities that are contrasted with a vibrant low-end. The crowd is filled with joy as his unique and fresh style takes over. I watch his technique from a far as he utilizes Traktor and corresponding controllers. He has such an original use of effects, mixing, and track manipulation. You rarely see his hands stop moving. He is always working to bring in new track elements, while simultaneously using effects in a subtle but prominent fashion.

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As the night begins to close, the crowd stays strong, soaking up as much music as they can. Carlo closes out his final statement and thanks the crowd for such a great time. We all cheer and shout for giving us an indescribable and timeless evening. After his set I thanked him for everything. He replied, “Frank, this city is really starting to catch on.” I couldn’t agree more with him more. Atlanta is my home, and watching it become on the international map for underground electronic music makes me damn proud.

Matador Slays the Concrete Jungle

By Clara Goode

Photos by Teddy Williams

The crowd that gathered at The Jungle on Saturday night was diverse, as is the case at most underground events. True to form, all types came out to enjoy the deep, intense rhythms of Dublin native Gavin Lynch, known to his avid fans as Matador. The opening set, played by Luis Valencia, set the groundwork for a night full of energy. When I arrived people were already gathering on the dance floor to bounce to Valencia’s consistently upbeat and catchy tunes.

As the night progressed, more and more people filled the club. Jeans and button down shirts mixed with people wearing more eccentric dress, such as the young woman dancing in a black and white version of Alice In Wonderland and the man wearing a tweed suit and a bowler hat. Behind the crowd a dancer plays with LED gloves, accentuating the rhythms in the music with a light show all his own.

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By the time Matador takes the stage, the side conversations and socializing have all but stopped completely in anticipation of his immersive music. Spilled drinks create patterns of light and dark on the floor that reflect the colored lights that move over the crowd. People are now packed onto the dance floor and they cheer as the strobe lights go off in rhythm to his opening bass. There are over 200 people in the club and the lights make silhouettes of the dancing crowd.

Matador’s music is entrancing, a pervasive bass sounds out a deep underbelly and blends with constantly building layers of treble and unique sound effects that varied throughout the evening to include everything from the haunting melodies of an old music box to more exotic sounds such as hand drums, sirens and jungle noises.

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The hammering rhythms make it impossible to be still, and people have come to dance. With each new layer of music, he commands the attention of the crowd. Some people are moving as if they are trying to forget the world they left outside the doors, dancing almost frantically to a deep bass they can feel to their core. While others simply stand, eyes closed basking in the bright lights and nodding in time as if in a trance.

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Matador himself stands on the stage over them, dragging on a cigarette and watching his followers with an air of playful nonchalance. He appears comfortable as he observes them, calm, clapping and smiling when they cheer a particularly good effect. It is easy to see the power he holds over the crowd, though he gives off no air of arrogance as he manipulates their movements with the touch of a button.

The girl in front of me is wearing a hat that says “Live for the Music,” and that is the sentiment shared by artist and audience alike. Matador has used his talent and expression to give the crowd exactly what it wants, a break from day to day monotony and they show him their gratitude by responding with an unrelenting and contagious energy of their own.

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Matthew Dekay Gets Dreamy in Atlanta

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What can I possibly say about the magic that happened at Sound Table Saturday night? Bobi Stevkovski warmed up the crowd with his energetic vibes. Winding my way to the front of the dance floor, I staked my claim for the coming night full of promise and excitement. As we get into the groove and start to feel the music, Bobi’s set took several intoxicating turns throughout the night. From smooth jazzy tracks with a deep, thumping bass, evolving into a desert tempo with a bit of a jungle undertone that put us in a land far away. The sounds emanating from the speakers rooted me to my spot, nobody dared move away from the floor as we danced there, completely and utterly lost in the music.

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Though there was a slight delay in bringing up our headliner due to some technical difficulties, the fine people of Atlanta lent their support as Bobi continued seducing the crowd. You could actually feel the excitement from the people around me as we patiently awaited Matthew Dekay’s debut.

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Matthew Dekay’s infectious smile and joyous energy instantly set the mood for what was to be one of the most beautiful sets I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing. Based in Berlin, Dekay’s sound was tinted with a German grunginess that mixed in perfectly with the ethereal sound that is characteristic of the All Day I Dream label.

I can speak for all the patrons of Sound Table when I say that we were taken on a beautiful journey words cannot possibly describe. As I turn to friends and strangers alike, I can see the emotions playing across their faces. There were many times when all you could do was close your eyes and let his music take you with it on the adventure he was weaving for us. For lack of better words, Dekay’s music hit us right in the feels.

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Talking briefly to Dekay after his set, he expressed to have been able to play longer for us, but was genuinely happy to be in Atlanta and experience the rapidly growing underground scene. This was a man with happy energy and a sweet personality that only added to the already obvious talent and music prowess. We will await your return Mr. Dekay and cherish the magic created that night.

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Photos by Kayode Lowo.

Deep Jesus: Round 2

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By Autumn Coleman

I was excited before I even walked into the party. As a two-time burner who knows the Desert Hearts crew from the Burning Man community, I knew I was walking into nothing but positive vibes and hugs. I spotted my friend, Shayna, wearing her sparkly sequin kimono and looking every bit like the Desert Heart friend that she is. Appropriate attire for a night dancing with Deep Jesus!

The dance floor was already warmed up with the Project B team, Christian Chotro and Bobi, curating the tone for the night. Ryan Orey, aka Deep Jesus, gets behind the decks at 6pm. The room is dark and intimate; full but not too crowded. Everyone is taking in the moment and moving to sexy deep house tunes. I can sense that Deep Jesus felt the love from the Atlanta underground scene and said as much to the crowd. In the middle of his B2B set with Bobi he says, “You guys in Atlanta have really surprised me with your warm welcome and love. You are the best city that I’ve visited on this tour!” It’s clear there was a bond created with Project B and the Atlanta underground music scene. The Atlanta scene has heart and passion for the music. Deep Jesus experienced who we are and embraced our vibe and culture.

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We danced non-stop for several hours. No one wanted the intimate Sunday party to stop. 9 p.m. came and went and finally Studio No. 7 shut the music down around 10 p.m. It was a magical night of hugs and family. I met new people on the dance floor, too. Our scene is growing as more and more people are embracing the music scene and starting to understand the love that comes from it.

We left the night buzzed on good vibes and love. I knew that we’d made a new friend in Ryan Orey. When Ryan left Atlanta to travel home to kick-off the New Year at the Maya Hearts festival in Tulum, Mexico, he posted this in his departure from Atlanta post:

Wow... my heart is so full... as an artist it's very intimidating going into a new market. It's a hope for the best plan for the worse kind of situation... Coming to Atlanta I had absolutely no idea what to expect... but the second I was picked up I was more welcomed and loved then anywhere else I've ever been. I was instantly comfortable, instantly knew that I was with good people who share very similar desires. Once I showed up for my first gig I knew I was in for an amazing experience... everyone I met and connected with was so loving, kind, generous, and true die hards to the underground vibe... I can whole heartedly say that I now have a family here... thank you Bobi Steve for bringing me out and exposing me to your movement and community... absolutely top notch... can not wait to be back! CHEERS ATLANTA!

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Atlanta underground friends, let me say how proud I am of the community that we have built. We’re doing it right. I wish everyone a happy new year filled with magical dance floor moments!