MEOKO Newsletter / February 2012
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Meoko News

Basing House Can Do No Wrong - Our Club of Choice

I distinctly remember my first encounters with 25 Kingsland Road. It was 2005, I was 22 and had a collection of fluro leggings that put American Apparel's S/S 2009 collection to shame. I also had an obsession with appargiated bass lines and Miss Kitten style lyrics that saw me prance into Trailer Trash at On The Rocks on a weekly basis. Transvestites to the left, shoulder thrusts to the right, I was in the middle of electro clash heaven. Resident Hannah Holland would take her place in the odd motorway toll style booth while the queues of young, creative freaks that resembled the cast of The Rocky Horror Picture Show trickled through in their masses. Inside, a packed, dark, sweaty room and some of the most horrendous toilets you'll ever have the misfortune of squatting in became a magical playground. The music was a mix between electro, disco, house and techno with a sprinkling of acidic pop for good measure. It was...FABULOUS.

Eventually and inevitably, times moved on and by 2009 my leggings wore away to have the elasticity of an old piece of chewing gum and On The Rocks had lost its charm, crowds and heyday. Instead, I found my forefinger twitching to minimal in darkened warehouses and it appeared that the owners of 25 Kingsland Road may well have written their own fate by calling themselves 'On The Rocks' as that's precisely what the venue became. At some point in 2009 (I think) it became The Sports Bar, a monstrous place with gazillions of flat screen TV's and Shoreditch city boys necking pints of Stella and "oi'oi'oing" at other men running around a football pitch (I can only assume this as I never went inside, but that's what I like to think it was like) - 25 Kingsland Road dropped off our club radar entirely. Whilst The Sports Bar was a cataclysmic error it was also a blessing in disguise for Jason Colbert and Chris Bird who now run the refurbished venue; its insignificance in the underground music scene meaning that when Basing House opened in 2011 - it felt like a brand spanking new venue had arrived. Just in the nick of time too with TBar long gone, Nomad demising by the second and the council getting their evil claws into just about every warehouse space in East London.

Trailer Trash at On The Rocks - 2008 - Photo courtesy of Christopher James for weknowwhatyoudidlastnght.com

In January 2011 Jason Colbert was running a party called Detail and in search of a space to hold his event, he stumbled across the loft area of Basing House. After three parties, Jason and Chris Bird (who used to manage 54 on Commercial Road) managed to convince the owner of Basing House that if the downstairs bar was transformed into the blank canvas dance vibe of the loft, Basing House could reclaim its place as a clubbing venue. "The first few months were really tough" explains Jason, "Sunday mornings when the bar closed we'd be in there working until Thursday's, stripping the walls back to their original brick work - one little corner at a time, week by week." Getting the right promoters to aspire to have their events at Basing House was no easy task either. "You've only got one chance to show promoters round, and showing them a half refurbished venue was tough. In the beginning the parties that we were getting weren't quite what we were aiming for. We really struggled for the first few months to be honest."

Basing House Roof Terrace - 2011

As 2011 entered its summer the transformation of Basing House was complete with brand new lighting, air conditioning, a smoking terrace and the unnecessary cocktail bar stripped back to good old basics. Most importantly though, a Funktion 1 sound system, Allen & Heath mixer, turntables and CDJ 2000's now spanned the entire length of the back wall, emphasizing Jason and Chris's priority and focus for Basing House - the music. Nights began to draw attention with the new music policy bringing a selection of house, disco and techno events run by some of East London's most forward thinking promoters. Nearing the end of last year, that once fabulous venue was finally reliving its calling agrees events manager Jason, "November was a turning point, we started to get the parties we were after and the crowds that we wanted. It's nice to see parties that have been strict warehouse parties for years now holding their events here". Joined by Chris in the role of promotions manager, they have an in-house promotions team and believe in treating events as if they were their own, making sure the promoters and artists receive as much support as they can give. In a recent interview with Club Focus they explained, "We see it as a necessity that we promote the music, artists and labels we love. We are genuine fans and hope this comes across in how we carry ourselves as a venue. We're music lovers so the most important aspect has to be staying true to that. A huge amount of thanks have to be paid to the promoters we work with."

CONTINUED...

 

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Meoko Music


 

Meoko 013 - Ittetsu

After impressing with a string of releases on Metroline and Fuse London's excellent new imprint, Ittetsu delivers with a slick mix of deep and moody underground minimal house.

Click here to listen

 

Meoko 014 - Ana

Harry Klein's Ana mixes our fourteenth installment providing us with a proper house mix fuelled with underground funk.

Click here to listen

 

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Meoko Inverviews


Marc Houle, Magda, and Troy Pierce might have been surprised by the measure of column inches devoted to them 2011, but minimal's biggest break-up was always destined to be one of the stories of the year.

The three longtime friends have been affiliated with Richie Hawtin and his Minus imprint through it all: from the halcyon days of warehouse parties in Detroit and Windsor, to the birth of Minus, through the shift to Berlin and the popular rise of minimal techno, and via their each of individual paths as artists and performers - Houle's wintry minimalism, Pierce's broad techno palette, and Magda's oft-quoted position as the most popular female DJ and producer in electronic music today. Then there were the celebrated releases and the accolades, the tours and arena shows, the 'cube' and the documentary, followed by rumbles of a growing backlash. Yet even as the lustre of minimal techno was fading, no-one anticipated the next move: in August Marc, Magda, and Troy unexpectedly announced that they were leaving the Minus family, amicably, to focus their attentions on their joint-yet-dormant imprint, Items & Things.

In the five months since, the trio have proven to be as wholly committed to their mission - to "pursue our own unique musical styles even further" - as stated at that time. Items & Things has been on a hot streak of momentum unearthing new newcomers Danny Benedettini and Madato, releasing new music by its founders, and hosting a number of purposefully intimate parties that take the focus of the label back to its underground club roots.

2011 was a watershed year for the Items & Things trio, so in the pause between that year and this one we fired over some email questions to Marc Houle and Troy Pierce, to get their take on everything that's happened in the past year, and clue us in on their moves for the future.

If you had to describe Items & Things in one sentence to someone with no background knowledge of the label, what would that sentence be?Troy: Items & Things is run by three close friends who all share a similar aesthetic when it comes to dance music. Think stripped down spacey disco with a splash of techno funk.

Marc: It's a label making fun, strange and interesting techno and house tracks.

Were you surprised by the amount of press attention you received when you announced that you were leaving Minus and reviving Items & Things?Troy: Yeah i was very surprised, I wasn't really sure anyone would care.

Troy Pierce - Photo by Robert Bellamy

After Jimmy Edgar's Funktion Of Your Love EP in 2009 things went quiet with Items & Things for a couple of years. What was that lull due to? And was it always your intention to revive the label at some point?Troy: After that EP Minus decided to focus on their own projects (they were handling the business end of our label). The three of us were really busy with touring and all of that so we put it to rest for a while. Magda was the first to bring up the idea to relaunch the label and once we found a proper label manager it all made sense.

2011 was a busy year for Items & Things, what were some of the highlights?Troy: The first Down & Out party we did in Berlin was really special. Cool people into cool music and having a blast.

INTERVIEW CONTINUED...

Words – Christine Kakaire

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Meoko Inverviews


T. Williams may be a new name to most of us, a seemingly tender musician after just a few releases on labels Local Action and Pattern in the last 48 months. All is not as it seems though for the 28 year old Londoner who at just 17, was signed to Jon E Cash's Black Op's Collective as Dread D; proceeding to sell thousands of records within the UK grime scene. After a ten year reign, Williams found himself veering towards the world of house music and has since forged a sound signature that blends his grime days, dubstep, bass music and what he says was a natural evolution into house. With a style that undoubtedly impacts, T.Williams crossover sound has been the catalyst for his success. Disparate and alluring amidst typical house vibes, his Uk funky sound strikes a note that immediately draws you're ear. Fascinated by how and what caused the crossover, Meoko caught up with the man who was once a school teacher, admits to thinking Ashley Beedle was a girl and at one point hated house music...

Excuse the cliché question, but how did you first get into music and DJ'ing?I was really young when I first got into music and started learning how to mix. One of my friends at school had a deck for sale and he asked me if I wanted to buy it for £20. So I went and asked my Dad if I could have it and he said yeah, so I bought this one deck and that was the start of it.

Hang on - how were you learning to mix with one deck?I had the one turntable I had bought and my Dad's one which was the house turntable but had no pitch on it! I was only about 12 or 13, it's quite funny because I was just messing around and I actually thought that I'd stumbled across something new! Hahaha! When I first started mixing I didn't realise what DJ's did, or that people were mixing records because I came from a household full of reggae and dub which of course didn't involve mixing. In those genres you just change the record from one to another as quickly as possible. Then a bit later I started getting into jungle and seeing what a DJ actually did. Production wise I was about the same age, they had a studio room at school and I had a PC at home. A friend of mine who was a bit of a computer geek got me a copy of Cubase. I was messing around, doing things but I don't think I realized at that point I was ever gonna make any use of in the long term...

So the realisation that this was something worth pursuing came about when? I went to college with another DJ called DJ Dice and we were, and still are really good friends. He knew Jon E Cash (who started the Black Ops Collective) and had a show on Lush fm. I used to go and cut dubs for thirty quid a pop and give them to him to play. Via the show Jon E must have heard him play one of my dubs and 'Invasion' under my Dread D name went from there.

INTERVIEW CONTINUED...

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Meoko Recommened Events

October / November 2011

Excuse The Mess w/ Ittetsu and Louis Guilhem

Friday 10th Fenruary @ Secret East London Warehouse. More Info

Select*elect w/ H.O.S.H, Elon & more

Saturday 25th February @ TBA - London. More Info

Rhythmatic Intimate Sessions w/ Herodot

Saturday 3rd March @ TBA - East London. More Info

Poker Flat London w/ Steve Bug, Josh Wink, MANIK & more

Saturday 25th February @ TBA - London. More Info

Cocoon Heroes Warehouse Party w/ Cassy, Raresh & more

Saturday 10th March @ TBA - London. More Info

Playmoon with Gescu & Piticu, Mihai Amatti & Alex Baciu

Friday 24th February @ 7-9 Crucifix Lane. More Info

Gaiser presents... Void

Friday 24th February @ Red Gallery, 3 Rivington St, Shoreditch. More Info

Down Under with Rhadoo [a:rpia:r]

Friday 2nd March @ TBA - East London. More Info

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Meoko Inverviews

We caught up with Louis Guilham ahead of his upcoming set at Excuse The Mess.

How long have you been DJ'ing for?I started djing soon after arriving in London about 6 years ago - it kept me going when times were rough.

What's your most memorable gig?There have been so many great moments that it would be difficult, unfair or plain impossible to just pick one. Only 3 weeks ago i played a gig in Naples for the NICE TO BE party- i went there with an extraordinary team and had such an unforgettable response from the Napolitano crowd.. The energy and passion on the dancefloor were truly inspirational. The legendary Lokee parties and Club Renate in Berlin should also be mentioned- the former being one of the key (sic) London underground nights that are truly special. I played an unforgettable 5 hour set at their NYE party and the family-like intimacy blew me away.

Then again, the 1st time i ve played in fabric room 1 on a Saturday night more than 1 year ago, could perhaps claim the title of my most memorable gig. Fabric is more than a musical institution for me and its so far my favourite club, so playing there was a dream come true. Suffice to say that we celebrated with friends before, in between and, of course, after.

From the other side of the DJ booth, what's been your most memorable clubbing experience?So far I owe Fabric for most of my mindblowing clubbing experiences - at least music wise.. Especially Craig Richards at the last fabric birthday, we were spoilt with a totaly unexpected unplanned set. they were suppose to close and like always at the end the fabric staff and close friends were there to have one more last drinks to debrief together, i think its isis who was responsible for it (thx to her and craig and everybody else involved) but we were chatting sitting on the stage in room 1 have and having a drink with light on when the music started to play, at that time nobody expected anything until 6 hours after everyone of us were still there blown away by the musical talent of Mr Richards, epic!

Also on top of the list, Carsten Klemann playing for Cesare Merveilles birthday,two years ago at lo*kee in the Leather Factory, this set really impressed me, he also has the ability to go anywhere with his music while is djing and he will always be right.

The last 3 years of Sunday's I owe to Lo*kee for one of my best clubbing experiences. I'm now proud to say i've been a resident dj with there. They're top guys with lot's of passion and you can feel it every time you go, and kubicle for my favorite after party of course :)

INTERVIEW CONTINUED...

Words – Nick Maleedy

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Reviews

'Classic Through The Eyes Of...Matt Tolfrey' CompilationWhen Luke Solomon and Derrick Carter's The Classic Music Company re-mastered and re-released their epic back catalogue in 2010 there were whoops of joy heard across the globe; from every DJ who had missed the opportunity the first time around through to every classic house music fan who simply wanted to enjoy the decade long discography through the comfort of their own stereos. Whilst the re-release and subsequent re-launch of the label was welcomed with open arms, it came amidst speculation on how the label were going to move forward and re-instate their legacy as one of the most respected and dare I say it, 'classic' imprints out there. Re-releasing what they already knew worked was one thing, but moving on and making new waves was another. With the promise of fresh blood injected into the label and a successful European tour proving they were still as popular as ever, The Classic Music Company made their next move - the first edition of a compilation mix CD entitled 'Through The Eyes Of...'

The compilation's concept invites friends to explore the Classic catalogue with free reign to create a mix of "the forgotten gems, the overlooked cuts, the head scratchers, missing links and secret weapons." With the intention of steering clear from the labels obvious biggest hits, the Classic Music Company's vaults are opened, showcasing the depths of the catalogue and encouraging a less obvious result. First friend to rise to the challenge was Leftroom head honcho Matt Tolfrey. Introducing the mix with his own 'Classic Collage' featuring elements of Black Box's 'Caterpillar', Derrick L Carter's 'Where U At?' and Oneiro's 'Oneiro Say – Shhh!', not only does Tolfrey begin with intrigue but displays dedication to the job, seizing the opportunity to really make this his own.

Perusing through the best part of the late nineties, Tolfrey's chosen additions of Herbert's deep, balmy 'Love & Happiness' remix of Rednail Kidz + 1 and Jean Caffeine's upbeat and funk ridden 'Jean's Afterthought' divulge the truly timeless character of the imprint; their sound and transitions into one another sitting as comfortably in 2011 as they did back then. US duo Home and Garden make two stand out appearances, most notably with 'The Count Of 3' – possibly their finest ever output with its long drawn out synth chords and tinkling key melodies that lull you into some subdued state of mind. Contrasted with the bellowing bass lines and crisp hats of Nail's '(I Don't Wanna) Hurt U'; Tolfrey's arrangement has you happily fist punching the air at times too.

Taking the compilation duties even further, there are three exclusive remixes from Tolfrey himself. 2002's epic 'Fantasize' from Rob Mello featuring Cecille's sultry and electro tinged vocal see's the bass line pitched down and the arrangement stripped back; allowing the wiggling b-line it's now deserved and selfish moment. Brett Johnson and Dave Barker's dirty acidic techno track 'Stucco Homes' from 2003 has the acid bled out and replaced with cutting hats and a thoroughly modern tech house demeanour that make the creepy "I can't see my face" vocal suddenly less disturbing. Tolfrey's final remix doesn't quite cut it, but in saying that – I'm unconvinced that any remix could top DJ Ali's 'You Don't Know'? Tim Fullers prince-esque vocal fused with tight crunchy beats are of the quality that in my opinion, should be left alone. Radio Slave and Jacob London's remixes back in 2003 couldn't match the original and sadly, neither does Tolfrey's attempt. What all three modern interpretations do effortlessly though, is sit side by side Classic tracks from over a decade ago showing a real understanding of what elements stand the test of time.

Going out on a belting high, Lo Soul's 'Lies (Watch Your Lift)' closes the mix with a perfect funk fuelled slap around the face, proving why Tolfrey's programming make him the stand out DJ that he is. It's a shame that the 'Through The Eyes Of...' series is digital only; its concept and content deserve to be part of a less disposable attitude than that of the 'digital only' realm. Whilst I can't keep it in the case I would like, this compilation certainly won't be leaving my playlist, much like the imprints entire output itself...simply timeless.

Words – Hannah Briley

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Reviews

Wolf + Lamb - New Years Eve - The Pickle, Miami - 31-12-11When one thinks of Miami, one does not think underground clubbing hotspot. Those visiting Miami are more likely to be confronted with the 'super clubs' such as LIV or Mansion, filled with girls dolled up to the nines, guys dropping tens of thousands of dollars for a table and the 'Electronic Dance Music' that is sweeping across the States thanks to acts like David Guetta and the Swedish House Mafia. But there is one club, tucked away Downtown that brings the type of atmosphere and music that the discerning music lover and clubber craves. That club is the Electric Pickle, affectionately referred to as The Pickle, and it's pretty much the only club in Miami dedicated to bringing underground talent from all over the world to in-the-know underground house and techno aficionados.

I was lucky enough to be in Miami for New Year's Eve and headed down to The Pickle for Wolf + Lamb's New Year bash featuring both Zev and Gadi, Soul Clap, Deniz Kurtel, Tanner Ross and Baba from Voices of Black. My night didn't start off brilliantly when I get in to a cab and the cab driver shouts, "There's no way I'm driving downtown." Unperturbed, I persevered and eventually found a taxi willing to take me to North Miami from South Beach. Arriving in what looked like a sketchy area, I hurried inside and was confronted with nothing. Nothing but music and darkness – good music albeit. Groping my way around, I headed straight for a door at the back of the club, which led to an outside area that made me realise this type of club could never exist in the UK.

All that was hanging between the night sky and myself was some camouflage netting and a large disco ball. There was an outside bar, some seating, an art installation and international graffiti artists, 2Square, who were spray-painting a disused van in beautiful bright colours. 2Square are a couple of young guys that travel the world and paint, I had a quick chat with them and their laid-back attitude truly reflected the vibe of the party. Everything was so chilled - from the music to everyone's outfits. None of the glitz, mini skirts and suits so prevalent in South Beach, but people dressed comfortably to party the night away. Running from 10PM - 5AM, I arrived just after 1AM to see Deniz Kurtel take over on the decks outside. It was emptier than I thought it would be and the music was flatter than I've heard Deniz play before. Plenty of the slo-mo house that the Wolf + Lamb crew are famous for but it was just a little too slow, which combined with the dispersed crowd, doesn't make for the most electrifying atmosphere. It just never really got going on the patio.

I decided to head upstairs where there was a second dance floor. Wow. What a totally different vibe. It was wall to wall packed with people, with Zev and William, the owner of The Pickle, going back to back and playing deeper than I had expected. It was here that the real party was taking place and everyone seemed to be loving it. With another huge disco ball and an intimate house party vibe, I could see why the Wolf + Lamb crew refer to The Pickle as their new Marcy. Speaking to Zev, he explained that they have been lucky to find Miami's "middle class, somewhere between the trashy and the flashy" and it's this crowd along with the perfect venue that keeps Wolf + Lamb coming back to The Pickle at least once a month.

Zev and William

As downstairs remained in the capable hands of Soul Clap and Gadi, upstairs was left to Zev, Tanner Ross, Baba and William. Like with many Wolf + Lamb events, there was no strict set timing and all the DJ's muscled in on each others sets, playing together and having fun, which made for entertaining viewing. The way the DJ's interacted and laughed with each other was reflected in the crowd, and as tracks like Michael J Collins' "I Just Wanna Be Your Disco Bitch" was played out, you couldn't have wanted for a better atmosphere upstairs at The Electric Pickle. Hands in the air, New Year's Eve paraphernalia and smiles all round.

Shutting the doors at a relatively early 5AM, I was quickly in a taxi and heading back to South Beach after an unforgettable New Year's Eve. Following my time in Miami, I realised that it might not be the greatest spot for underground clubbing in the world, but as long as The Electric Pickle exists, Miami is a city worth visiting.

Words - Simone De La Fuente

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Competitions

Win two tickets to the Cocoon Heroes Warehouse Party.The 10th March sees the return of the mighty Cocoon brand, this time Cassy, Raresh, Tobi Neumann and Onur Ozer
take over deck duties. For your opportunity to win two tickets to this huge event, simply email
hello_competitions@meoko.net with 'Cocoon' in the subject title...
Event info HERE

 

Win two tickets to Excuse The Mess Secret Warehouse Party.Excuse The Mess returns this Friday the 10th February for their first event since the sellout end of summer boat party
with Laura Jones and Matthew Burton. This time around Ittetsu (Metroline, Fuse London and Louis Guilhem (Lo*kee)
are playing alongside ETM residents Alex Nagshineh, Jordi Mas and Nick Maleedy. To win free entry for you and a
friend please email hello_competitions@meoko.net with 'Let's get messy' in the subject title...
Event info HERE

 

Win FREE ENTRY to Chris Liebing's CLR Warehouse Party.For a chance to win free entry to Chris Liebing's CLR Warehouse event on the 3rd March, send an email to
hello_competitions@meoko.net with 'Techno Bang Bang' in the subject title...
Event info HERE

 

Win 3 tickets to the Select*elect party featuring HOSH and Elon and the next Select*elect party with Frivolous from Cadenza.We have a two for one giveaway up next. We're giving away 3 tickets to the Select*elect party featuring HOSH and
Elon AND the same winners will also win 3 tickets to the next Select*elect event on the 28th of April with Frivolous
from Cadenza.
Question: What is HOSH's real name? Please send your answers to hello_competitions@meoko.net
Event info HERE

 

Win 2 tickets for Rhythmatic's Intimate Session with Heredot.Win 2 tickets for Rhythmatic's Intimate Session with the wonderful Heredot, who will be bringing his Romanian mastery
behind the decks. Simply email hello_competitions@meoko.net with 'Rhythm' in the subject title...
Event info HERE


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