With a night program boasting 300 music events over five days, ADE goers looking to mix business with pleasure are once more spoilt for choice. But what happens at 6.00am when the clubs close and parties start to wind down? Why, you carry on of course – and who better to steer the weekend’s afterhours than one of Holland’s most popular techno franchises?
It has been a standout summer for Jochem Paap, AKA Speedy J, and his small but dedicated Electric Deluxe team. After scooping Best DJ and Best Label in Radio XT3’s first Dutch Techno Awards back in June, the crew verified the credentials with a stellar third appearance at this year’s Mysteryland. Add an expanding roster and a worldwide facing events series that most recently touched down in Medelin, Columbia, Electric Deluxe Presents returned for the second time to ADE with a trio of showcases, promising to satiate even the most ravenous of ravers.
We hooked up with Hans Bouffmyhre on the eve of his debut release on Electric Deluxe. Steven is a young man from Paisley with a healthy obsession for techno music. He started off his career in 2006 when he began to promote his own party in Glasgow called ‘Sleaze’, he booked and played alongside some of the worlds best techno acts including the likes of Andrew Weatherall, Funk D’ Void, Chloe, Radio Slave, Johannes Heil, Extrawelt, Phil Kieran, Len Faki & Par Grindvik!”
He now boasts releases on many recognised labels including Perc Trax, Viva Music, Soma, Synewave, Harthouse, 8 Sided Dice, Analytictrail aswell as recently starting his own label Sleaze Records.
So far Hans’ tracks have gained huge support & plays from some of the biggest names in Techno, including Speedy J, Richie Hawtin, Dubfire, Adam Beyer, Len Faki, Marco Carola, Steve Lawler, Laurent Garnier, Stephan Bodzin, Joris Voorn and many more!
At only 24 years of age and with a list of releases as long as his arm, the future looks bright for future star Hans Bouffmyhre.. So onto the Q’s (more…)
The Light EP is the globetrotting DJ’s first release of the year and it features three superb new tracks. He started Phil Kieran Recordings 14 months ago, and already has 12 releases under his belt with remixes from esteemed artists such as Adam Beyer, Green Velvet and Jamie Jones.
We hooked up with Kieran as he toils away on his as yet untitled second album project. Having released tunes on some of the world’s finest labels, how does it feel being your own boss?
“It’s been great, I am so glad I followed through with it, it is one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done in music. I have my own freedom musically for the first time.
I don’t have to convince label bosses that my music is up to scratch anymore; if it feels good to me I have a place to put it out.
“I also find myself being more creative than before. And regarding all the remix names I’ve as a result had the pleasure of working with – it is a dream come true for me.”
You seem to be enjoying collaborating with artists like Green Velvet and Speedy J, and you reworked a Gary Numan track I Can’t Stop recently. How did these projects come about?
“Each one has a different story. I’ve just been working really hard in the studio, and in the last year I’ve had more output than ever before and it all feels good. Green Velvet and Speedy J are both people I have got friendly with from traveling and DJing. I first knew their music as a teenager and a huge fan, so it’s a really great to be working with some heroes of mine.
“The Gary Numan connection came about from me sampling one of his first releases. I know a guy in his band called Ade Fenton who is also a DJ, so it was easier to clear the sample. Gary likes the track I made so that’s a bonus.”
Japanese Popstars, Psycatron, Cashier No9 and David Holmes are just some of the Northern artists who have been creating a big noise internationally. Can you explain why the Belfast scene is so healthy? (more…)
We hook up with Sian to talk turkey with the octopus recordings boss…..
When you have interests ranging from entomology,cosmology and marine biology, to the social impact of the rave generation,you tend to make unusual art.Sian stands out as a little more bohemian than the average electronic talent.Born in Dublin,Ireland,raised in southern Spain,he chose early to drop out of normal society and engage in the extraordinary.Adhering more to the avant-garde side of club culture,his tracks show an otherworldly,slow and hypnotic slant on techno.Quickly developing an oeuvre of work that has appeared on Bedrock,Sci&Tec,Soma Pokerflat,plus his own white hot new Octopus label…
Quickly stacking up 24 releases of quality electronic music as well as playing out at the weekend and still releasing your own productions, what your secret to running a label?
I have really bad attention deficit disorder,which is so useful nowadays i guess right? i jump from one thing to another and am very hyper,so this enables me to be A and R,producer,DJ and still have a “social” life..i must say lately i have been really swamped with travel and the label,its my main focus now,i got burned up a while back,was partying doing unreasonable amounts of drugs and trying to stay ontop of everything,which i managed,but at a cost to my brains health.Im a typical autodidact so also a bit hard to deligate,i try to do everything inhouse,and its tough,i aint lying.The label is so young and we are already getting some nice attention so it feels like i gotta stay behind the wheel 24/7.In short i really feel I need a clone!!! (more…)
Hes the one to watch at the moment expect big things from Richie G.
With his debut EP released on Hacienda records, a label owned by Peter Hook from legendary bands Joy Division and New Order, Richie G has many djs and producers exited including John Digweed, who said;
“There’s a young kiddee called Richie G from Montreal in Canada who I feel is going to do very well.” (more…)
We hook up with our good friend Chris Finke [atomic Jam] to chat music and see whats going on at Finke HQ….
Hey Chris, what have you been doing recently?
Things have been good – I’ve done some great gigs and been working really hard in the studio so its all coming together in these tough times so It’s all positive.
We hooked up with ‘Surgeon’ who is playing firefly on the 11th June for the 11th birthday ’11.
*please note due to the cost of internet bandwidth in Germany Surgeon was limited to 20 words or less for answers*
[HIVE] Tell us about your releases and what’s happening at the moment?
I just released and album- Breaking The Frame on my Dynamic Tension label,
my first album in ten years.
[HIVE] What can we expect from Surgeon in 2011? What have you been up to
That’s a secret.
[HIVE] What have been your best shows of the last 12 months?
My recent Japanese live Audio / Visual tour.
[HIVE] For people who don’t know you can you give them an idea of your
No. If they are interested, then they can find out for themselves.
[HIVE] What was your first vinyl/Ep bought?
Adam & The Antz – Antmusic (more…)
We hooked up with Gary Beck for a chat…
[HIVE] Tell us about Bek Audio and what’s happening at the moment?
[Beck] I set up Bek Audio in the winter of 2009. Initially, the idea was to use the label as an output for my own original productions, however over time, other artists such as Mark Broom have been welcomed onboard with some fantastic productions. I don’t put myself under any pressure with the label, and I also don’t have a particular ‘genre’ either. If its good, then I will release it.
[HIVE] How have your sessions been working with Speedy J, how do you build the tracks up are you working remotely and who does what.
[Beck] It was a fantastic experience working with Jochem. His studio was very impressive, and I found it really interesting to see how he works. We had a couple of ideas already there, so we just tried a few things and gradually the sounds came together. Hopefully in the near future we can work on a few more projects together.
[HIVE] Your releases seem to be dropping all the time, how are you finding it keeping your output up while being in such demand for dj sets?
[Beck] It’s not a problem. I set aside different times during the week to produce. I love producing so if anything, the traveling only inspires me even more.
[HIVE] What can we expect from Gary Beck in 2011? What have you been up to recently?
[Beck] It’s been a great year so far. I’ve traveled more than ever and seen some wonderful places! Production wise I have been busy working on various E.P’s along with my forthcoming album on Soma. I’ve been busy and I’m really enjoying it. (more…)
Still in party mode after their VA BDAY BASH! release to celebrate Snatch! 1st Birthday, we hook up with Snatch! label manager Michele to talk about this last year and the showcase in Ibiza for the IMS coming up this month.
So it has been a big year for Riva Starr and Snatch! 1 year in and a huge amount of music has been dropped on the label! How are you feeling?
Wow. I just feel so busy! J Apart from that, I have to say that it’s really exciting to collaborate with such talented artists that I experience something new everyday! Thanks also to Stef (Riva) who gave me the opportunity to be on board! The label seems to be going in the right direction, we are shaping it and we are working really hard to build it as a brand for quality house music.
We hook up with Moe Espinosa [Drumcell]. Founder of Droid Recordings, one part of the events ‘Droid Behavior’, Moe has been one of techno’s greatest allies in Southern California.
[HIVE] Compared to Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Argentina et al, America can seem like a hard place for Fledgling and established Techno acts alike? apart from the obvious pocket scenes, where can people listen to Techno/Electronica?
[Drumcell] There are several cities in the US that in my opinion have vibrant techno scenes. At the end of the day it’s all still very underground in the US compared to Europe. For instance Minneapolis is a city that has never disappointed me with great gigs and amazing people, and there is such a strong set of producers coming from that city like Dustin Zahn, DVS1, and so on. New York, Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, Madison, Knoxville, Des Moines, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland are all cities that have a small but dedicated techno community . I’ve played gigs in all these cities and have always been pleasantly surprised by how active and relevant their scenes are. Of course I can’t forget to mention my own city of LA, which is ALWAYS growing. So many producers coming out of LA are making waves on an international scale, such as Audio Injection, Raíz, Silent Servant, Santiago Salazar, Developer and so many more that I can’t even name them all.
How was 2010 for Psycatron?
We have had an amazing year with some incredible shows, from playing at Movement 2010 Festival in Detroit back in May to the Amsterdam Dance Event in October, it’s been quite a year for us in terms of the shows we’ve done. Release wise we squeezed in singles on Planet E and Tronic plus remixes for the likes of UNKLE, Secret Cinema and Timo Maas along the way so far. Still more to come roll on 2011.
What does it feel from having a residence back in Belfast to be a recognized international techno duo?
It’s only when we go abroad i guess that it becomes apparent through meeting people at our shows how far our music has travelled. It’s easy to forget when you are back in Belfast on a tiny little island the impact our releases have had around the world, i guess that’s a lot to do with working with truly global labels like Planet E, but it’s a lovely feeling having strangers come up to us at gig to talk about our music.
So what’s the Psycatron schedule looking like at the moment?
Release wise, our next single is going to be a collaboration we’ve done with fellow Planet E artist Paul Woolford which will appear on Cocoon in November, which we’re really excited about. We have remixes of our Celestial Symphony track on Tronic due form Secret Cinema and Supernova in November too. We’ve an ep on Skryptom Records out of France due in December, plus another collaboration this time with fellow Irishman Sian which is due on his Octopus label in the new year. Also due out our remixes of Jerome & Jamie Anderson ‘Sketches’ on Outland in Holland, remixes of Wehbba on Tronic plus our current Planet E single with Blake Baxter will see remixes in the new year and we’ve also remixed one of Blake’s back catalogue which will come out soon. We’ve also dine a remix of Funk D’void’s classic ‘Diabla’ too. Gig-wise we’ve just come back from Amsterdam Dance Event and the next few weeks we’ll be doing our Shine residency with Vitalic, Josh Wink, Aeroplane, Steffi and Phil Kieran (it’s the clubs 15th Anniversary) before playing Dublin, Derry, Helsinki, Naples and the legendary Rex Club in Paris all before Xmas, so a busy time ahead.
Where do you come from musically?
Paul: I’ve been into electronic music since i was a kid, from hearing eighties electro-pop on the radio i became a huge Depeche Mode fan (and still am) and their influence creeps into a lot of our music. I played piano for a few years as a kid, but never followed through on it as i what i really wanted to play was synths and DJ. I’ve been producing on and off for around 10 years and DJing nearly 20, but only went full-time in 2008, not exactly overnight
Dave: I’ve been producing for nearly 20 years, working with hundred of different people along the way and engineering from RnB acts to TV adverts. I’ve probably worked on upwards of 2000 records at this stage. Even though i’ve played in bands over the years electronica has always been in my blood.
What’s the difference between your djset and you live act?
When we play live, it’s all our own music which we perform live using a couple of laptops and controllers and some keyboards. We also throw in some loops and samples from people who have influenced us over the years and little surprises along the way. When we DJ we also use Ableton but play a mixture of our own material and other peoples songs, but try to be as creative as possible instead of just pressing play. We break tracks down into sections and layer them back up again on the fly, almost like live remixing and generally have four or five channels running at once. It’s a lot of fun. We come from a vinyl backgrounds so need to be busy behind the decks otherwise it’s no fun.
Which artists are currently supporting your music, and how do you feel about it?
Obviously people like Carl Craig and Christian Smith who have been releasing our tracks for the past few years, but Dave Clarke has also been a huge supporter – he plays all our stuff on his White Noise radio show and recently booked us for his show at Amsterdam Dance Event so he’s been really supportive of Psycatron and all this kind of stuff is invaluable as an artist. The feedback we get on our tracks speaks for itself too, we’ve had everyone from Francois K to Derrick May, Adam Beyer and Sasha and Digweed getting behind us, it’s great to see our music being appreciated by such a wide cross-section of the electronic community.
You guys are an active members of legendary Detroit label based PLANET E COMMUNICATION from Carl Craig, how this make you feel?
I think Planet E are one of the most revered labels in the world and it never ceases to amaze us when we meet other well established producers who tell us how much they’d love to release a record on the label and how jealous they are of us! We went from a position where nobody knew about us to releasing on Planet E and all of a sudden lots of doors begin to open and people start taking notice. We never set out to make Detroit records in the first instance, but i guess when you’re making music your influences only become apparent as you go through the process of putting a track together and we both grew up listening to a lot of Detroit techno in Belfast when all the big DJS would visit and we were also buying Planet E records when we were teenagers so it’s funny how things come full circle. Planet E will be 20 years old next year so it;s a good time to be on board..
What are you up to next?
Putting together loads of tour dates for 2011 and doing a follow-up record with Paul Woolford for Cocoon is next on the horizon. We’ll also be working on something for our good friend Secret Cinema and his label Gem in Holland. Beyond that, who knows, watch this space…
Any advice you have for the newcomer producers?
Follow your own path.
Any last comments, anything you wish to promote or plug?
I think we’ve said enough, thank you very much
more info http://www.facebook.com/psycatron
We can’t wait for Riva Starr – one of the biggest movers and shakers in the game currently – to grace the decks of the Garvey.
His album If Life Gives you Lemons, Make Lemonade killed it at the beginning of the year, and he is also going from strength to strength as head of his own label Snatch!
We caught up with him to ask him what we can expect come Saturday evening at firefly…
Firefly: Hey Stefano, hope you’re well. Could you briefly describe where you are and what is around you?
Riva Starr: Kitchen, cooking right now… Got basil, parmesan and spaghetti on the table. They are ready to jump into a tomato sauce I m cooking right in front of me
FF: At Firefly we are hyped about you coming to play at the Garvey next month, what springs to mind when you think of the UK and how do you rate the crowds?
RS: I live in the UK – have been here for a few years now – London to be precise.. And I love uk crowd, propa rave-heads!
FF: What memories of Nottingham and its people do you have?
RS: I really love Nottingham – been there a few times and its been a massive night each time.. Still looking for Robin Hood though…
FF: What sort of a set can we expect at Firefly, or does it really depend on how the night takes you?
RS: It all depends on my set time. I could play a bit deeper, or totally rave it up. I never plan my sets too much – I like my record box to be like a magicians hat, you never know what I am going to pull out.
FF: You’re dates appear rammed up until the new year, playing across Europe and going to Asia before starting 2011 at the Australian festivals – when is the next time you are going to find time to get back in the studio and get some new productions out?
RS: Tell me about it! Thank God I can work on my laptop while I m travelling but I really need to make mixdowns in the studio as I am an analog freak… Got plenty coming thru my label plus a few remixes so it’s all sorted till the end of the year!
FF: How much involvement do you have with your label Snatch!, and what can we expect from that?
RS: I’m the boss, A&R, make coffe and clean toilets in the office sometimes… I can even pretend to be a voicemail if needed.
FF: The Italian electronic dance scene has thrown up some pretty massive names in recent years such as yourself, Crookers and Congorock – who is the next set of DJ/producers we should be looking out for?
FF: If you were booking a festival and you had three spaces on the mainstage to fill, who would you have playing alongside you who?
RS: Oh gosh! I would say Led Zeppelin, Genesis and Doors (on their golden age)… I could do a prog/rock set!
Raving / roving reporter Will Gilgrass hooks up with Gerald Simpson to chat about Firefly’s next show on 13th March in Nottingham and also to find out about the claims by certain magazines that he has announced the reformation of 808 state…
Sharing a passion of innovation in electronic music, Jeet and Max Cooper created Thrash Jelly, the mainstay of Firefly’s infamous raves. Together they have broken the boundaries of what’s expected from anyone standing behind the decks through their mysterious ways of manipulating sounds, making clubbers weak at the knees. Famous for bending as many genres as the amount of decks they use, they fashion a truly unique dancefloor experience. That’s why at six in the morning, when the lights come on at The Garvey, everyone is still there, gagging for more. Their productions are impressive too, with their latest offering, The Bloom EP (out on Firefly Recordings), garnering acclaim and support from the likes of Laurent Garnier, Riva Starr and more.
Now, their show continues as Cirkus…
Formally known and admired as Thrash Jelly you’re now under the new moniker of Cirkus; hopefully you’re not changing your formula too much!?
We’re not changing the formula, just tweaking it a little bit. We had been thinking of changing the name of our act for a while (Thrash Jelly was always a bit of a mouthful!), and when we recently signed our new productions to some big labels it seemed like the right time to make the swap.
Finding time for you to produce together must be difficult. When it happens, do you binge for days on end or spread your creative sessions out over several months?
Usually it’s a binge at the conception of a track, and then spread out over months for the fine tuning. Both of us are busy as a turnip so it’s hard to find the time sometimes (turnips are particularly busy vegetables).
If we take Womp in this instance with its bassline groove and shuffling melody, who typically brings which sound into being?
We both throw a load of ideas into the mix, and out pops a womp. Or out pops a granny. It’s hard to say where each element comes from. One key thing with our work is a concept for each track, which we discuss and decide on before making the music. This means that when we’re throwing out ideas we’re working on the same page.
And in your sets, who does what and how does that amalgamate to become the sound of Cirkus?
We both mix, sometimes throwing tracks in very quickly. Other times we will build more slowly, layering tracks on top of one another. Then in terms of additional foolery, Jeet is responsible for the ridiculum of effects, and Max for the scratching. This part of the show allows us to create original elements and builds which are one time only additions to the tracks being played for that crowd – we’ve always tried to put an emphasis on this sort of interaction with the audience.
Is that all down to meticulous preparation or does spontaneity play just as big a part?
When we first started, we would arrange who did what, and when, but after so many years doing the show together it’s turned into more of an instinctive thing, which is more fluid and responsive to what’s happening at a given event.
How would a raver’s experience differ if they heard you play for a 2-hour set versus a 6-hour marathon?
More time means more flexibility to vary the sound smoothly, and mould the peaks and troughs to their greatest effect. Longer sets means more mind bendage.
Have there been any big influences on either of you, which you wanted to incorporate into your production or DJ sets?
We have both been influenced by too many people to mention, but don’t try to incorporate anything specific into our music. Originality is what we admire in some of our favorite acts. So maybe we’re trying to incorporate being original. If that’s possible!
How has Firefly Recordings developed since you started it?
Very nicely! We’ve been working hard building it up step by step, and now it is getting a lot of attention internationally, and from the biggest acts. It’s a great platform for pushing Firefly’s sound globally.
Have you been able to team up for any studio time lately? What can we look forward to from you?
Certainly, the formation of Cirkus, is also the launch of a new production project, the first release of which you will be able to hear on one of the world’s finest techno labels, Trapez, from Germany.
In the last few years Format: B has gone from strength to strength. With a full length LP now under their belt, what started as two like-minded enthusiasts getting together to play some records, is now a global force to be reckoned with. Peers and Format: B aficionados a-like, wait eagerly anytime Jakob Hildenbrand and Franziskus Sell hide themselves in the lab to add to their already super-standard back catalogue. The outcome of time spent producing, usually spends it’s first months atop various Beatport charts and can be heard played during sets in any country with a club worth going to. Their sets are raw techno, moulded to explore the depths of the genre and used it to create an unparalleled thumping atmosphere. Just ask anyone who’s seen them before… After a busy summer of touring, they are popping by the Garvey to perform a Live set for the Firefly fanatics.
What were you doing before forming Format:B? Well, I’ve been Dj’ing since 1998. I started studying Audio Engineering in 2001 and met Jakob there.
In the last four years you have been unstoppable. What were the most important milestones along the way: first releases or bookings etc? Our first big milestone was the Fusion Festival in 2006. We were the last Live act to play the Turm-stage at 18.00 on Sunday evening, that was very exciting for us.
Where do you find inspiration for your production and motivation for your relentless work ethic? That has to do with playing live, its always a great feeling to try something new out on the audience.
Congratulations on a fantastic LP last year. What would’ve been a typical day while Steam Circuit was being made? Coffee, cigarette, coffee…cigarette…beer…cigarette etc..
How do you blow off steam? Is there Jägermeister involved?! 100%
You’ve had a busy year so far, are there any places you can’t get enough of? Panoramabar…
How do you select tracks suitable for your sets from all the demos and promos you receive? The most important thing for us is the groove of the tracks
Can you tell us a bit about the direction and ethos of your label Formatic? We founded Formatik to give our music the proper platform. We like to be able to dowhat we want when we want and its also pretty nice to be able to approach artists whose music we like…
What would you be doing if you hadn’t met and created Format:B? Probably be drinking just as much Jägermeister
What can we expect from your Live set at FireFly? A lot of new tracks and hopefully a sweating, screaming crowd…
Few people can draw on as much experience as Fergie. Growing up in Northern Ireland and still wet behind the ears, he threw himself into raves as soon as he was a teenager. From there the chronology of the events that propelled him into the mainstream (via Radio 1 and international bookings) are but a blur. What is known, however is that someone who was at the top of his game playing hard house to sleepless crowds, and host on his own show, walked away from it all because his calling was elsewhere. Being unable to find the grooves that had once allured him to DJ-ing, Robert Ferguson became Techno’s newest member at the turn of the millennium, seduced by the minimal du jour.
Almost ten years on, and its safe to say the gamble has paid off. His bountiful back catalogue of productions and remixes are recurrent crowd smashers, found in crates belonging to the likes of Dubfire, Miss Kitten and Sasha. Firefly has also been witness to the uncompromising delivery of his sets and reeled in awe. So, in anticipation of another out-and-out session at the Garvey, here’s what Fergie has to say…
Could you summarize your rapid ascension in your teens as a DJ to becoming a presenter on BBC Radio 1?
Hi… Ummm, hard question as back then I was just going with the flow and just living in the moment to be honest, every thing seemed to just happen around me it was a great time in my life. I was 16 when I first came over to the UK I was meant to be over for one week with Tony as he wanted to show me all the clubs I had only read about in the music mags back in N. Ireland. It was a great experience and when it was time to go home Tony said to me if you want to stay you can stay here and I’ll look out for you…. so that was that I was staying! I ended up there for 10 years. Sadly I only got to spend a few more years with Tony as he passed on in 1998… it was very hard for me. On the day of his funeral he was booked to play a gig in Birmingham and his family really wanted me to step in it was a very very strange thing to be doing but it felt rite as all his family were there so yeah I had to just get on with it. It was for a few years later I was contacted by Radio regarding the Essential Mix…. I had actually been pestering Judge Jules to see if he could get me one and true to form he did. I done my first essential mix and they asked me if I would be up for doing a residency type thing with them. It was the first time Radio1 had ever done any thing like this and the other resident was to be non other than Mr Carl Cox so this was just incredible thing that was happening as when I was younger the first rave I went to was to see Carl Cox play, I was about 13 so yeah it was pretty crazy time. Then they offered me a weekly show, they took me to do a pilot and they went away to listen to it and came back and said, well we thing you speak like you have a coat hanger stuck in your mouth, but we like it.. The show ran for nearly 6 years and the rest of that story is history
How did you deal with putting everything on the line to follow your passion for techno in the early noughties?
Well for me, I was really enjoying myself in the early to mid 90s it was a great time the music was fresh and exciting it had got the name hard house and I was just playing gigs every wknd around the UK mainly with some international gigs also so it was a good mix. But it was in about 2000 when I started thinking that this was all getting very samey and a bit boring… the same old producers making the same old tunes with the same old brake downs. It had become very formatted and apart from that there was an influx of this really badly made hardhouse and the general format was that the harder and faster you make it the better the record. Of course this wasn’t true and to be honest it all started sounding like a mix between bob the builder meets fisherprice so for me I had to go and find something new.. Just go and explore different styles. As I was had been pigeon holed as a hard house DJ I didn’t want to just jump into another sound so over the next few years I dipped my finger in a few different styles from trance to house to a bit of tech house and some techno. It’s was the deeper side of the music that grabbed me as it did when I first came over to UK.. Like when I first went to Trade with Tony, so for me it was a natural progression really it just felt right. I think that comes across in my sets that I’ve been playing the best music I ever have. I have also been constantly in the studio working with my partner (Dave Robertson). I did do traks in the studio in the early days but I think that you can see the passion is stronger for what I am doing now. Its been great getting all the crazy madness out of my head and down on a record.
Tony de Vit guided you in the early days, who do you think you could learn from the most now?
Yes it was great having Tony as a sort of mentor I leant so much from him, from watching the crowd to making sure you speak to people who come to see you, this was something that Tony just done naturally. I remember when I first came over to Tonys he asked me to do a mix for our journey in the car; I dun the mix and if one of the records would jump out of time I would use my finger to touch the record deck platter to push it back into time and Tony heard this and just opened the window of the car and slung it straight out. ha.. This kept happening until I got used to just using the pitch control, this was a very good lesson and one I have kept with me. But the person I look to for advice now is myself as I feel I have been on my second outing in the DJing world. I’ve been very lucky in that I was very young the first time around so with what I do now I just look at the way I use to do things and take the good and try and make it better and try and leave the bad, these days I might stay up for 2 days partying the odd time not for the week like before… I’m sure that will change when I hook up with the rest of the firefly posse
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to step out of their comfort zone?
I think its great to look at other types of music, I play techno and some good house at the moment and I’ll stay with in this to certain degree but I will keep moving and try to push my sound further, but I cant understand why people seem to think that you have to play one style of music all your life, there are so many great producers out there and so many new ones coming thro, we have the internet and access to lots more music than ever, so to me it’s a bit daft putting a barrier up an saying I’m not going to try this or that. My advice to new DJs or producers out there go out and do what you want and keep trying its important be a bit different but its also important to remember its a rave at the end of the day. Yes people want to hear new music but people also have memories and dropping the odd old tune here and there is good also. There are so many DJs now and with all the new technology anyone can DJ. So it is more down to the music the track selection the edits you do. I have been using my computer for the past
3 odd years from serato through to traktor and traktor pro but over the last few months I have gone back to just using cds and I have been really enjoying it. After using the computer and the software it feels quite raw to be out there with the cds. For DJs its important to be persistent and to find the clubs they want to crack and really go and meet the promoter give them a mix and just keep going to the club, maybe get involved with them in some shape or form in the PR side of things… whatever it takes really. I think whatever you do with a club it all helps as down the line when you have been DJing for a while you will want to try and put your own nites on so it all works hand in hand.
What are the pros and cons of working in the studio versus playing a set? Do you have a preference?
Well I am a DJ first and foremost. I have been in the studio over the years here and there but never really consistently in there or that interested. It’s only been in the last 3 or 4 years that I have wanted to make music… I suppose I have had some thing to say for the past few years when I got in to the studio. When I came away from Radio1 I decided to give the DJing side of it a back seat as I had just had a mad 10 years and wanted to step back and do some thing different so it was a breath of fresh air for me really. We made so many traks that I was itching to get out and play them, so yeah its the playing out at the raves that does it for me, but I wanted to take my sets to the next level and that was to add some exclusive music to it that no one else had.
Was your label, Excentric, a way of solidifying your new direction in terms of the genre of releases from it?
Yes it was the next step really, as I said we were making a lot of music so it was logical that I stated a label to release the music on, we already had the club nites and the agency so the label was the next step that would help every one that was involved with Excentric, we use it to get the younger lads on the same records with some of the bigger guys like Slam, Gregor Tresher, King Unique, Umek and so on so it works well.
Who should we be keeping an eye on?
There are lots of great talents out there at the mo, Reset Robot is making some serious music at the mo and also Mr. Henry Von who has played at firefly before, Max Cooper has had his head stuck in the studio for the past few years so we are starting to see the fruits of that, Alan Fitzpatrick I think will really take the techno side of things by storm this year and next. Last but not least a home grown girl from Nottingham called Laura Heath she been playing fabric and has started her own night at uber new club in London called Cable she runs the Sunday night called Mute. So yeah lots of new peeps to keep your ear on.
What venues or crowds are most up-for-it? Any recent highlights?
Its always great when I go back home to play if you put a foot out of place they aren’t to slow of letting you know mind you. But apart from that I have been lucky enough to have had some great gigs just this week I was in Thailand, China and Korea so yeah its great to be out there seeing different DJs from different countries do there thing and just awesome to be out there and taking the vibe from amazing places around the world and sticking bits into your own set.
What would you be doing if you weren’t playing FireFly on the 3rd Oct?
Partying at firefly
Words by: David de Pater
John Burgerman is a great artist that created the fantastic Bugs for Firefly last year. Here is an interview with the legend that is Jon Burgerman.
Some people ask me are you a designer or an illustrator? It does come into the work that I do – I’m not a cartoonist – I prefer artist, so I ask people not to call me any of the above as it suggests I only work in one discipline.
At the end of 2008 you visited Japan and this year has seen you already exhibiting in New York, Milan, and Barcelona, where next?
I’m off to the US, Los Angeles, I’m a bit scared of the heat, it gets very hot in the summer!
It just happens that at the moment I do get to travel with exhibitions and work, but it’s nice because people do know me through my work, the world is getting smaller. Then possibly to China in October / November for an exhibition in Beijing, I have exhibited there before, but I just sent the work and didn’t get to go, although it’s not 100% it’s looking very likely. I don’t really like talking about stuff until it’s confirmed, but it is nice now having a choice. I have learned not to try and do everything, I’d get too stressed, so I do now try and space out the big trips.
How does it feel having a ‘global’ following?
It feels strange – but why not? I like bands and artists from other places. I am getting used to it, it’s nice to get e-mails and it’s nice that people pay attention and recognise my work. Sometimes my own parents don’t recognise my work, so it’s good that someone in Taiwan does!
Yet you still return to Nottingham – why is this city so important to you?
It does feel like home but it is a question that does raise its head when I’m in New York or Japan, I never decided to stay here for 10 years after graduating from NTU, but Nottingham is easy to get to London and other cities, plus I have friends here. I don’t think I’ll always live here, as people move away. Sometimes it does get frustrating, events here do start to feel like it’s just Art for the Art crowd. The loss of independent shops in the city is a bad thing at present; it takes the heart out of the city, particularly in Hockley. It’s time for a regeneration, if young people are supported, then it can happen – rise like a Phoenix from the flames (!) or maybe that’s because I’m starting to feel like an outsider, just visiting and observing.
Your work has been commissioned by some pretty big household names recently, including: Nike, Pepsi, Sky and IKEA – what is it like working for these companies?
Big companies can be good, it’s the same as doing work for someone local but it reaches a bigger audience. The process is generally okay, some can be more shambolic than the small companies! I generally do get a lot of freedom but although there will be more reviews and panels for it to go through. The really good ones allow me total freedom and I won’t take on work if they just want me to draw someone on a skateboard. It was actually good at Pepsi, a lot of freedom for such a big company, but I’m still waiting for my samples over a year on. I had to go out to my local shop and buy one of the bottles to photograph!
I don’t go out of my way to seek out these companies, they come to me. I like to experiment with products, in my degree show I stuck a sticker on a Pepsi can, so maybe I’ve lost my way and things have gone full circle! It still feels like a novelty when a big company asks you to do stuff for them. I do turn stuff down if I don’t want to do it. The worst thing is if they’ve seen something that you’ve done for someone else and they just want you to do a version for them. It takes a long time. They often want your full attention too, which is hard for me when I’m trying to work on other projects and my own stuff.
Apart from these and other big corporates, your work is also available through (and supports) smaller independent companies – why is this important?
With the local stuff it’s no different really, they are usually just nice people I like working with. I did some art work for some shoes recently for a Nottingham band Swound as a favour. I know them, they’re four brothers, I think, and they came around one day to buy stuff, we got on, so I just helped them out. It was simple and fun, I kind of befriended them.
I judge things by the project, not if it’s big or small, corporate or indie. It’s nice when people ask; it’s the people that are involved that’s important. It’s also about the time, will I enjoy it or will it drag on and become a stressful nightmare? It seems ridiculous that if I give someone a drawing I can help them – but people do genuinely want me involved. I’m not trying to say I’m doing it to make me feel good but it’s not just because their ‘small and local’. If it’s interesting I’ll get involved, big or small.
The book ‘Pens are my Friends’ has been really well received, are there plans for another one?
Yes, but not the same. There’s seven years of work in ‘Pens’, so maybe in seven years time! It was a proper hard nightmare for 6 months to get it finished. I did do a smaller book ‘Grubba Grubs’ for a Spanish publisher ROJO and I’d like to do more smaller books. I’m currently working in on a ‘colouring in book’ , I recently did the colouring in wallpaper, made by a company called Nineteenseventythree, so now if people ask me to draw on their walls I can say buy the paper instead! The wallpaper has been really successful, it’s been featured regularly in design magazines, websites, designer blogs, etc. it’s gone really well and is in really high demand.
So what’s next?
JB: I’ve just started my own company called Burger. I’m working with two business partners and trying out new things, things I can’t or don’t want to do for others. ‘No talent, just gimmicks’ was a tagline for products when I was a student and had a ‘pretend’ company. I’m thinking of using it again and it’s worrying that no one disagrees! It’s important that I’ve got some control, instead of just handing everything over to someone else.
It’s probably not the best time to be starting a new company, with people being a lot more cautious with finance but it gives me the opportunity to try some different products, like laptop and iPhone cases, not just t-shirts and prints. Interesting things that take time to develop, maybe a year and you won’t find them anywhere else.
It’s been good to do more exhibitions recently; it’s time also to do some of my own non-commercial stuff.
At the Scope Art Fair in New York was really good to be at alongside ‘proper’ galleries. The piece Lossy Data Lab developed from an idea to do something live there, it was like my studio space, held together with cardboard and tape, very different to the other exhibitors. Some people liked it – some didn’t. The whole thing was very tiring as I generated work every day, some new stuff and some that was suggested by questionnaires filled in by people visiting the space and experiments they partook in. I’d like to do more stuff like this, not exactly like this, but doing it in different places, broadening my own experience and opportunities to work in different ways. I’ve also just done my first font, I was asked by Hype for Type, I think he just expected my hand writing but I designed the whole thing, a whole new font, I’m not sure who’ll actually use it though? I don’t think I’ll be doing many more in the future!
I’ve always been a fan of Jon’s work (my kids are too) and I can guarantee Jon Burgerman is genuinely “a very nice person”.
Jon’s work can be seen and purchased via his website http://www.jonburgerman.com alongside video clips and photos of recent events.
Paul Hough managed the Nottingham Creative Network until 2008 and now runs the Creative Greenhouse http://www.creativegreenhouse.org.uk a network for creative businesses across North Nottinghamshire and North Derbyshire. When he’s not doing that he is an honorary associate of the National Review of Live Art festival, live art documentary maker, writer and nice person too.
All images in this article are © Jon Burgerman.
What came first the chicken or the egg? DJ or producer?
Who inspires you? Why?
Do you psych up for your gigs?
Tell us about your new album H3?
You have been nominated for best techno artist in the 2009 beatport awards how do you feel about this?
Once you’ve finished playing a gig do you leave or stay for while?
What’s the most valuable advice you’ve been given in music?
How do you pick out songs which you think will sound good in your sets?
I always have a somewhat idea of what I would like to play. Of course, I react to the audience. But in general in order to get the good mix that I want, I think of a collection of tracks that I turn into a finished piece of music. There are always some surprises to excite the listener and I make sure that my mix sounds good no matter where or from what medium you are listening to it.
I rode out to leeds on with my best trotting pony to meet the legend that is Paul Woolford
[Tom] Do you like my pony Paul?
[Paul]Lovely mate! nice trap.
[Tom] So what came first the chicken or the egg? dj or producer?
[Paul] Well for me it was dj’ing first officially as I started playing in clubs when I was 17. My first record came out when I was 21, which was something I recorded with Tony Senghore from Sweden. We had 2 years of recording and partying hard, and that came through in the music we made. Derrick Carter, Mark Farina and Sneak were playing our tracks and that was what set our world alight at the time. Sneak ended up sampling some beats from one of our records much later on his Magnetic label. I had started composing things early doors with basic equipment, this is when I was 15, just trying to re-create tracks I was hearing at the time, so it felt like it was overdue when finally my collaboration with Tony “This Last Week” came out on his Anonym label.
[Tom] Who inspires you? Why?
[Paul] I take inspiration from everywhere. Music, art, architecture, films, books, you name it. I pretty much try and devour as much information as I can and then things trigger off ideas. Pretty much anything that combines beauty with innovation will inspire me. Musically, I love the work of Steve Reich in particular.
[Tom] Do you psych up for your gigs?
[Paul] I always do, in terms of getting my mind in the right place. Sometimes it can be difficult to find a moment alone just before you play but this is something I try and do before every set. I suppose it’s like being an athlete or somebody that plays sport in some ways – you need to give your best performance so you ensure you are in the right frame of mind beforehand.
[Tom] tell us about your most recent release?
[Paul] It was last week, a track called “Pandemonium” on my Intimacy label. I’ve had some excellent reactions from people like Francois K, Laurent Garnier, John Digweed, Slam, James Lavelle, Ivan Smagghe, Jesse Rose and loads more and it seems to be building into something more substantial from the messages I keep getting about it. I am currently putting together a remix package and Oscar G from Murk and Norman Nodge from Berghain in Berlin are going to mix it, and possibly a couple more people, maybe some dubstep versions too for later in the year. The next release is called “Timebomb” and is out in 4 weeks.
[Tom] Once you’ve finished playing a gig do you leave or stay for while?
[Paul] Depends on the night, if you’ve closed it then of course you’ll leave but if you play in the middle then it depends on how the music is afterwards. If I’m into it then mostly I’ll stay for a while, But sometimes you need to be somewhere quiet after the intensity of a lot of clubs.
[Tom] What’s the most valuable advice you’ve been given in music?
[Paul] Trust your own instincts and don’t do anything you don’t REALLY want to do.
[Tom] How do you pick out songs which you think will sound good in your sets?
[Paul]Every day online on various record shops, forums, download sites, and also in magazines, from tips from friends. It’s a neverending process which over the years you can get down to a fine art, so now I pretty much know how to find the sounds I want. You have times when you’re mind is open so you just listen to everything and then you have moments when you want a particular sound and I’ve honed it so I know where to get that from, depending on what it is. Neverending.
[Tom] Are you looking forward to the firefly birthday
[Paul] I can’t wait !
Catch Paul at the 9th Birthday with Oliver Hunteman 13th June @ the Marcus Garvey Ballroom.
Paul has very kindly given us a mix which is now up on the firefly podcast for download.
download the podcast here http://www.ilovefirefly.net/podcast/firefly.xml
or search firefly radio on the ITUNES STORE
More info here
Mason, of ‘Exceeder’ fame and ubiquitous love from
clubbers around the world, has had one of his finest years ever. With a
Japanese tour wrapped-up, residency in Amsterdam and wide-spread
bookings throughout the summer, Iason Chronis is fast becoming a name
heard more and more on the global stage. He, along with his studio
partner, Coen Berrier, are completing the finishing touches to an album
which promises new pop-esque sounds, resuscitating an over-looked niche
in dance music.
Taking time-out from his busy domestic schedule,
Mason comes to play for us at BedBug. The next day we catch up with him
to ask a few questions to find out what ‘Mason’ is all about.
How did you evolve to becoming a DJ?
I had always been involved with music, from six years old I was playing
the violin and singing. When I was fourteen me and my mates decided
that we sucked at sports etc, so I started playing with the turntables
at home. I was too young to go out, so to be in a club I had to be the
DJ, some of those places were awful, but that’s how it started.
When did you meet Coen Berrier and decide to start creating music together?
We met while both studying Music Technology at University in Utrecht.
He and I have a very similar musical background so we got into the
studio and created Mason (previously know as Mason and the Makers). We
started doing festivals, I’d DJ and we make the music together, that’s
still how it is.
Who inspires you? Why?
I appreciate artists who can keep the music of their genre original and
of course the pioneers whose music and performances have lead to what
we have today, such as Daft Punk and Jacques lu Cont.
What happened to ‘Mason’ when the mash-up of ‘Perfect Exceeder’ came out?
It was a shock because we had enjoyed its success as a club
instrumental and now it was getting huge commercially as a mash-up with
Princess Superstar. We had a great opportunity to play to a much
broader audience, although it was important to show that Mason is not
all about music for the radio.
Do you psych up for your gigs?
I like to get to the venue a little while before I start playing, it’s
good to feel the vibe of the crowd. I don’t start drinking until I
start playing either!
Once you’ve finished playing do you leave or stay for while?
I’m not much of a dancer, but unfortunately I don’t get as much time as
I’d like to see other DJ’s perform, so normally I’ll stay and listen
for a while.
What’s the most valuable advice you’ve been given?
The people I grew up around always said that there was no need to copy
anyone’s sound or try and conform to how genres should sound. So I’ve
always done my own thing, when I DJ and when Coen and I produce.
How do you pick out songs which you think will sound good in your sets?
I think it’s really important to listen to what other people are
making, I get hundreds of demos every week and it excites me to listen
to them. Lots of what I play in every set are songs which people won’t
have heard yet. I ignore the name of the artists and pick out the songs
which sound big to me.
What was it like playing Bed Bug?
I love to play at small venues, it takes me back. The crowd there were
really lively and open-minded with their music taste, I got a lot of
requests for some really underground songs! There was a great
atmosphere I was really impressed!
Mason’s as-yet-untitled album should be released early next year.
Brodinski is the most exciting dj and producer to explode onto the scene in recent years. Yes, he may hail from France (Reims, Lille) but he is quite unlike any of his Parisian peers. His taste in music is broad and this is reflected in his own productions and dj sets which may encompass noisy techno, bass heavy house through to more melodic minimal.
For people that don’t know, can you please give us a brief introduction to Brodinski. When did you start djing and producing, and how did you meet (your production partner) Yuksek?
Hello, I’m Brodinski, 21, i’m a DJ (Sorry mom) & Producer (with the precious help of my friend Yuksek). I started DJing 5 years ago, and i started producing 3 years ago with my Boy Yuksek, we Live in the Same city, Reims. It’s not a big city, so it’s really easy to make contact
After remixing high profile artists such as Tiga,
Peaches and Klaxons, who is next? Or who would you love to remix?
Next, not so much Remixes with the name of Brodinski,
we just created a new project with Yuksek, called ‘The KRAYS’. We work on it since long time, but now we have some good opportunity to remix bands like Ebony Bones or Peaches. I would love to remix Somebody like Flying lotus, or someone like Crystal Fighters, really good music.
My Current Top 5 Tunes :
1. The New Twin Boyz – You’re a Jerk
2. Gucci Vump – CasaBlanco
3. Feadz – Lisborg Error
4. Crystal Fighters – Xstatic Truth
5. Yuksek – Tell Me More
We are really looking forward to hearing the Tiga remix and the collaborations with Noob & Mumdance – can you let us know what else you have coming up?
The Tiga rmx is not for now…the Mumdance collab is going out in August, and the Noob one In September…I’m preparing for some other collaborations with Mowgli for Example. I Just have a new Side Project too, For a Label Called Sound Pellegrino. a lot of exciting things
Are there any new bands/labels/producers that you think we should look out for?
Yes For Sure. Crystal Fighters, Iron Curtis, Renaissance Man, Noob, Minimow, Solo, Mikix The Cat AKA Momma’s Boy, Kenton Slash Demon, Martyn, Duke Dumont….and i forget some for sure… I love Labels like Snork Enterprise, Sound Pellegrino, Made To Play or the new Turbo stuff…really exciting stuff for the future of the music..
On a break from last year’s 10 Days of Techno festival in Ghent, Belgium, disc jockey Matthew Dear decided to go sight-seeing. Making his way through a local park, Dear noticed crowds of 40- to 50-year-old Belgians drinking and carousing to the thump of techno beats. The scene struck Dear, a Texas native, as utterly European.
“This whole openness and relaxed state of club culture has really allowed [Europeans] to embrace music that helps you stay up late,” Dear said. “Here, it’s always been seen as a dirty thing, as a subculture that never really caught on.”
A current resident of Brooklyn, Dear attended the University of Michigan and got his start using the Sound Blaster program to mix Madonna and comedy bits on an antiquated PC. Now he has a contract with Ghostly International, an Ann Arbor-based record label. At this Sunday’s Minitek Electronic Music Festival, he’ll perform as his alias “Audion,” an identity constructed for Ghostly’s sister label, Spectral Sound. It’s a set he describes as an energetic affair, sampling and looping “techno psychedelia.”
Dear has released three albums under his own name: “Leave Luck To Heaven,” “Backstroke” and 2007’s “Asa Breed.” Currently, he is bridging the chasm between the dance scene and indie-rock dives, DJing parties as well as touring with Matthew Dear’s Big Hands, his full band.
Though the shift from DJ to frontman has been jarring, Dear sees it as a natural, if unnerving, progression.
“In techno clubs, people just like to disappear, and it’s always very dark,” Dear said. “When you’re a performer on stage, you have the spotlight and a microphone. People like to refocus their attention and stare at you. It’s really an awkward shift.”
Despite his interest in creating original material, Dear still appreciates remixing the work of others, including the Postal Service, Hot Chip and Spoon.
“I was really lucky to do a remix for Spoon,” Dear said. “I ended up taking a vocal outtake from one of the guys talking on the studio talkback and just twisted and looped guitar sounds. I’m so honored to have access to people’s music for that and just play with it.”
The crossover enables Dear to have a presence beyond the insulated techno scene.
“It’s tough. Every scene right now is small,” Dear said. “When I got into it at 18, you had the giant American rave scene, which was a recruiting ground for people to get into electronic music.”
But the culture has endured, if only on the periphery. Ghostly and Spectral Sound are home to a diverse palette of artists, including the classically-trained pianist-turned-DJ Kate Simko and shoegaze electronica of Tycho.
Dear’s early original work was mostly an effort to master his equipment, primarily computer programs and cheap microphones. He has since amassed electric and acoustic guitars and synthesizers that make the recording process more organic, hoping to concentrate his original work on “atmosphere and bigger soundscapes.”
“It’s a search for perfection that you’ll never reach,” he said.
His goals as Audion may seem simpler but are no less ambitious.
“It’s the search for the perfect loop and the perfect groove,” Dear said. “With technology becoming so accessible and programs being so easy to use, there are a lot more people doing techno music. Before all you heard was hard techno and house music. Now there’s a lot of detail being put into dance music. A lot of it is very evolved and elaborate, which I think is great.”