Cr ossdr essing Diogenes A ZINE ABOUT THE UNDERGOUND CULTURE OF ELECTRONIC MUSIC IN CYPRUS
27 JUNE 2018
THERE IS A LOT HAPPENING HERE, MAYBE YOU DIDN’T NOTICE. TEXT: NICK HERZBERG DESIGN: NICO STEPHou
COVER LOGO EMBROIDERY: CHRISTOS KYRIAKIDES
XRC presents: RESIST at “Diahroniki” ex “Treno”
Photo: ela mips
Crossdressing Diogenes is a new project by nick herzberg, supported by the art of Nico Stephou. The project is a fanzine (a short run, low budget, DIY magazine) for underground electronic music in Cyprus.
It is common to hear people express the sentiment that nothing happens in Cyprus. As someone seeing things from the outside, I have to disagree. There is, in fact, at least 20 years of electronic music and rave history on this island and, when you turn over this stone, the life you find underneath is stunning.
This zine project attempts to respond to that The main features are an extension of Nick’s Masters Thesis in Ethno- sentiment, and channel some desperately-needed enthusiasm into the Cypriot art world and musicology which also focused on underground. underground electronic music in and around Cyprus. Included in the zine are extracts from interviews conducted with Cypriot artists, DJs and event organisers. These interviews were made between February and May 2017. We, as a community of people, who are bound by a love of dancing, electronic music and counThe intention of the magazine is to terculture, are, whether we know it or not, part of present aspects of this research in a historical and cultural lineage that throws-back a way which is accessible and open, as well as to create excitement to the mid 80s. 1987, the second summer of within the underground electronic love, was arguably the point where underground music scene in Cyprus. electronic dance music came to be what it is today; engineered in North America and realised The zine will follow the format in London. of Techno zines popular in Berlin around the 1990s, by being in the It’s hard to say exactly where Electronic music moment, with promotions for upcomculture came from; House music emerged from ing events, reviews of the precedthe wreckage of Disco’s assassination in North ing month and recommendations for new electronic music that is cirAmerica, and blended with the dystopian, melculating the scene at the current ancholic and industrial vibes of Detroit, as well time. as with European electro-pop, resulting in a vast and varied array of Techno styles. Simultaneously, London’s rave scene mixing with ‘Balearic-beats’ from Amnesia club in Ibiza, saw the birth of Acid House, another extremely important strand of electronic music’s history. The 80’s and 90’s, in terms of Underground electronic music, was a complex web of movement, with influence coming from pioneering people and collectives world-wide.
>“Everyones given up and just wants to go dancing” (Neil Nehring, 2007)
The different flavours of “rave music” were determined by the particular character of those making it, but all of it, including: psychedelic trance, hardcore, Techno and House, came as part of a major countercultural shift from Punk to Rave:
4 While the electronic movement quickly ignited half of the Northern Hemisphere, especially France, Germany and North-eastern USA (Detroit, Chicago, New York), Cyprus was a few years behind. Psychedelic & Trance was the first underground electronic dance movement to reach Cyprus, likely due to the kind of spaces available at that time, combined with the attitude or character of the underground scene at that time.
Psychedelic trance came out of places like Goa, India in the early ‘90s, and evolved out of Acid Rock and the “hippie movement”. After the ‘60s in San Francisco burnt out, there was an exodus of people from North America and Europe to places like Goa. In these locations, the ethos of Woodstock was continued. By 1993, Goa-Trance party and music culture began to spread around the world to places that felt similar; low cost of living, vast open natural spaces, and long empty beaches. By the late ‘90s this music culture had foundCyprus, largely through those such as Johnny Blue and Harmonic Rebel. The latter, Andreas, lived in London around 1998, and first experienced Psy-trance there, amongst the squat scene; he soon had a sound system of his own, and was became very involved in Psy-
trance parties, and of course, began to spread that sound and culture back to Cyprus.
> “When we tried to do the first parties, people tried to discourage us, telling us that Cprus wasn’t ready, but we tried to tell them that everybody deserves a chance. Slowly, slowly, we became more serious, we had our own décor teams, our own sound systems…
> “…we were trying to create an environment where people feel safe, they can come, they can enjoy, they can meet like-minded people, you know, alternative ideas, like, not so much aggression in the parties, nobody feeling threatened; you don’t go to the parties to hit on girls, you just go for the music…” (Harmonic Rebel, 2017)
> …We did one party in 2000, it was in one club called “το τρένο”, and it picked up from there. Then we moved into outdoor locations, on the beach, in the mountains” (Harmonic Rebel, 2017)
By 2002, there were events like “Chakradelic Festival”, and huge gatherings, beach parties and more, eventually attracting international interest from organisations from Israel, Russia and more.
In regard to Techno music and “the at of DJing” in Cyprus, there was a bit of a delay in terms of getting the scene “up and running”; In the late 90s, Tony Kattashis (Cusack) was studying in London, and London during that period was experiencing the decline of Acid House, which to this day is taken as a kind of gold standard for raving, and electronic music parties. There were still the weathered veterans of Acid House running warehouse parties in a ‘traditional’ Acid House fashion, but they were buried deep underground, protecting their vibes and ideals from the mainstream. Cusack found himself at these events, side-by-side and in dialogue with some of these people, and eventually (by 2002) being inspired to bring these ideas to Cyprus.
> “I was living in South-East London... circa ‘97. I lived with some people who were part of the underground party circuit. “Heart N Soul”, “Whoop! Whoop!”, “Kerfuffle”; these were parties put on in an old workers’ pub in Woolwich; you had to know someone to get it in. Very underground, with an older crowd; post-acid house generation. > > ...the music policy was Underground House, Techno and Electro. At the time, I was listening to lots of Aphex Twin, anything on Warp Records, Rephlex and Scam; LeftField electronica. I’d been to a few of the Lost parties and heard Jeff Mills and Steve Bicknell.” (Cusack, 2017)
6 At that time, Cyprus didn’t really have Techno
and House music, or at least there was no organisation of events at which Techno and House music was the centre-piece around which the other aspects gravitated; it was far from refined in terms of understanding the culture that the music came from, and how other people were thinking about it across the world.
denly you had these DJs here playing real cutting-edge dance music; it was very exciting.” (Cusack, 2017)
> “Nobody was playing Underground House or Techno in Cyprus back then. So, with the contacts that I had in the UK, and some friends in Larnaca, we used to put on boat parties. There was a law passed years ago closing nightclubs at 2am, maybe 2-3am max, but that didn’t apply to boat parties! We had people like Terry Francis, Dave Mothersole, Charles Webster, Pure Science (aka ‘the Scientist’ or ‘Phivos Latropoullos’); Pure Science is actually Cypriot in origin, famous in the early 90s rave scene. The music was out of this world! Unlike anyone had heard before [in Cyprus]. People were used to hearing watered down commercial house and sud-
> “It’s true, we used to go out on the boat, throw the anchor, stay there all day and all night and come back at around 10am. Cusack was one of the pioneers who really started DJing here. He came back from London and started playing with records, and having all this electronic music.” (Harmonic Rebel, 2017)
A lot changed in Cyprus, politically and culturally, in the early 2000s, and these shifts had direct effects on the underground scene. In 2003, the border was permeated, and the public could travel across “the green line” for the first time in 40 years. This was a major factor in the repopulation of downtown Nicosia. People didn’t go there before that, the town was the gateway to an active military situation; there were a few squats though, and faneromeni at the time was like a miniature “exarchia”. Interestingly, KlubD first opened its doors around the same time, with a slightly altered name, and it was one of the first places people could go and be part of underground electronic music culture weekly.
> “Basically, it was called “Club D” before it reopened in 2008. I remember having my first gigs in there around 2003. The music those days was mostly dark, progressive house and UK deep house (“Terry Francis”, “Dave Mothersole”, “Peace Division”), but in general anything was played there based on electronic music, trance, progressive trance, Psy-trance, and all kind of house sub genres. There was a lot of ecstasy back then, and people were morefree with expressing themselves; the dress code was insane, anyone could wear whatever they could think of. It felt like the punk or 90s days.” (Alex Tomb, 2017)
> “A key factor in this development are venues that can support the scene. Events and festivals are like a one-night-stand; we need spaces to nurture a scene” (Cusack, 2017)
The metaphorical falling of the Nicosia wall, coinciding with the rise in Berlin-style Techno music culture is almost too romantic to believe. Yet the dates overlap and there is a certain logic to it; with liberation, comes an urge to dance. This shift was not exclusive to Techno either, as the mid 2000’s saw the peak of the psychedelic scene in Cyprus too. After this, in 2004, Cyprus joined the E.U, enabling young Cypriots to study and work abroad much easier. This was a huge influence on underground culture, as huge numbers of young people went to London, Birmingham, Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin; the places where Techno culture had been king of the underground for more than a decade. Exposure to the quality of Tresor, leaves an impression which lasts a life time, and you become aware of the aware of the power of the music.
> “I used to go partying there since 2007 while living in the UK. Then at some point around 2010, when finished my studies, I realised that London and its scene were not interesting anymore, and I couldn’t find parties that would interest me. So, I made the big decision to move to Berlin just for the music… > …Berlin shaped my artistic perception a lot, I always keep to international standards, I don’t care if I’m in Cyprus or not, it doesn’t matter now.” (Alex Tomb, 2017)
> “I got into electronic music around 2007 while I was studying in England. Some of the first events I went to were in Birmingham and Manchester. It was mostly the music...and the vibe, there w e re no s e x ual ten s i o n s bet w e en men a n d wome n, people were there for the music. [In Cyprus] there weren’t that many events happening but there was one club, KlubD, which had the same vibe. This was around 2009.” (Aristodemos, 2017)
The refined standard of Techno in Berlin, and the strong connection to the cultural and symbolic sides of music would have been mind-blowing, and would show people like Alex Tomb the real potential of the music, just like the London Warehouse parties in 1997 blew the mind of Cusack. It requires great sound-systems, appropriate spaces and décor, experienced DJs, and a crowd who “get the vibe”.
> “The very first memory I have of the Cyprus scene was the second time I went to KlubD; not
the first time, but the second. This is because the first time, as a pure rock fan, I did not like it and I was against clubs because of my perception of how clubs worked. But the second time I heard something so big and beautiful and non-stop, exciting, unknown... Alex Tomb; it was the closing party of Season II at KlubD. I still have the set, I still listen to it, and I still enjoy it.” (BillyD, 2017)
It seems that this is essentially how cultural movements happen; people travel, they experience newer or greater things, and take inspiration from that, or feel an urge to bring that experience to their friends. If the conditions are right, culture catches fire. As with Psychedelic music and the abundance of beautiful nature in Cyprus and the appeal of spiritualism and newage philosophy to people living under a conservative orthodoxy. The political shift in 2003, in a symbolic way, brought Berlin and Nicosia into unison, much in the way that major political shifts in Germany in the early ‘90s brought Detroit and Berlin further into unison. If you imagine post-industrial Detroit next to Post-Wall East Berlin, there are some important similarities, including visual aesthetic, as well as the amount of available abandoned spaces, and the political “mood”. Early Detroit groups like Underground Resistance (Jeff Mills & co) were very politically-conscious, and their vibe of revolt
was harmonious with Post-Wall Berlin’s vibe of liberation. There is an old adage which demonstrates the sentiment of this union of these cities: “The sounds that played as the Berlin wall was being torn down, was that of Chicago House and Detroit Techno.” Perhaps, in a figurative way, the same could be said about Nicosia. Then suddenly things dropped off.
could come and play. In many ways, it was the training ground for those who run the show now: everyone behind all the new organisations which emerged between 2010-2015 were influenced by KlubD and the music played there. This was an era of new things, like “I.O.D”, “Xorko”, “Exotica”, “Essoterica” and “Weedo_it”, and these organisers were really pushing the refinement of raves and DJing, feeding off the new energy. Some of the organisers of the Psychedelic scene took time to travel, including Harmonic Rebel, who travelled to India, and attended festivals around the world including “Boom” and “Ozora”, gaining more experience which would influence his vision for potential events in Cyprus. There was even the emergence of a Drum & Bass scene around 2013/14, with Vova and friends in the mix, although it disappeared again fairly quickly. Cyprus was blossoming again.
There was a peak around 2006/7, when organisations were coming to Cyprus from Israel, Russia and more, throwing 1000-person beach parties. But, due to some tragic circumstances, everything dropped off. There was an increased resistance from police and authorities, and in general, the bubble burst. But perhaps this withdrawal was necessary, a time for healing and reconsidering what was important. With the re-opening of KlubD in 2008, there was a huge resurgence, attracting many new people to the scene, and providing that necessary, iconic space; it was Nicosia’s “Tresor”, where major artists and locals alike
Now, in 2018, 10 years after the reopening, KlubD continues to hold the scene together, although now we have some organisations which have been around long enough for the scale of their importance and work to be recognised. Exotica is without a doubt an example of an organisation which really fuels the scene, as Aristodemos has a way of fine-tuning his soundsystem to any environment, whether in a warehouse for Alex Tomb’s “Colazione”, by the beach for Vova’s “Deprivation” or in classic venues like “τρένο” (now Διακρονική). Exotica is even bringing “Radio Slave” to “Nautical Beach n’ Joy”, a booking which is huge; Radio Slave were there in the London era, and his projects were fuelled by the same Acid House movement which caught the attention of Cusack. “Alternadiva” has also become vital for the scene, due to the sheer quality of their events and DJs. The three residents of “Alternadiva” have such matured, interesting music collections, and the chemistry between these collections mean that any alternadiva event has the potential to be exciting, refined and physically arousing. The Low Society events, such as the one on June 2nd, are hitting those international standards which Alex Tomb describes. Manic Maik, who has a legacy of his own in the
10 Underground scene here (through Versus club and Underground market), continues to make incredible bookings, including “James Zabiela”, and in the upcoming July, “Barac”.
Then there is Honest Electronics, an organisation which really testifies to the development of the scene in Cyprus, as it has effectively formed a collective of artists, organisers and ravers who commit to running refined events. The passion that is channeled into Honest Electronics gives the team energy to experiment with the kind of events available in Cyprus. Just like Alex Tomb with “Colazione” (day-time warehouse parties), Honest Electronics run all kind of new events such as ambient sleepovers; amazing, endless raves; and concert style performances. Furthermore, this collective presents itself as a record label, and it is one of the first Cypriot labels with international scope thanks to having one foot in Berlin and one at home. Yet, perhaps the scene in Cyprus is nearing the limit of what can be achieved with the spaces available. It is really time for another venue to compliment KlubD, new record labels to promote local artists; now is the ultimate time to start up that new project as there are so many fans of underground music looking for something to engage with. It’s time to show your commitment to the music, and to get involved with something that promotes excitement and interest in the scene. Whether Techno or Psychedelic, Johnny Blue or Cusack, the history of the underground in Cyprus shows the interconnectedness of the scenes; its a symbiotic relationship.
If you want the electronic underground to thrive, get involved; connect with the historic legacy and feel inspired by it, before our culture and practices are consumed by those who don’t care about it.
Alex Tomb at XORKO Festival, Arminou 2013
Low Society II, Kornos, 2015
Photo: Bambos Demetriou
Photo: Izabela GaĹ‚kowska
Gender “Trash Your Gender: Electronic” (12.05.18) was the third instalment of a series of events run with the intention of providing a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community to celebrate and dance. This time, the event was run after the Pride Parade in the North of Cyprus, and acted as the after party, hosted at “1984”. Many people came, the small place was full up until the close. People were dressing freely, and there were even clothes provided for people to have full access to express themselves; it was a wonderfully queer affair. The DJs were locals from both North and South, and they played well, the selection was varied across the night, sometimes more psychedelic, sometimes more minimal, but consistent in vibe.
Garose came on stage at 2am and treated the room to some deep techno until the end. At some point in the following days, while reflecting on the night, someone said something which struck me as interesting: How often do people, worldwide, cross into “another country” to party? Furthermore, how often does a marginalised community go to somewhere where they are generally more marginalised, in order to access a space where they are more free in expressing themselves. There’s some irony within that inversion. For what it was, running Trash Your Gender was defiant, and due to the actively political nature of Pride and the after party, the event was a reminder of the cultural and social values that made underground electronic music what it was. The warehouses in which Jeff Mills and Frankie Knuckles played in Detroit, Chicago, were spaces dedicated to providing somewhere for marginalised communities to dance and have fun. It was in these political arenas where the ethos behind rave culture fused with the music itself. It is this aspect which many critics suggest is missing today in many clubs and scenes worldwide.
Photo from first TRASH YOUR GENDER, Performance by Garose
Photo: Logan B.
A note to Georgia
As an end note, i hope to extend a ray of Cypriot sunshine to Tsibili and the Georgian techno scene. The horrific images of what happened are reminiscent of personal nightmares that we allshare in the global dance music network. The thousand-strong response, just a day later, was contrarily, one of the most beautiful things Iâ€™ve ever seen; to see so many turn out in such a way was inspiring, and many of us here in Cyprus are so proud to call the ravers of Georgia our family.
never stop resisting,
never stop dancing.
WAIT, WHAT JUST HAPPANED? from melancholic timbres to straight up hardware techno. Pan plays with the traditional model of “a singer on stage singing about love”, inverting and spinning the paradigm in interesting ways. The opening music was pure chaos, never holding still for a second; yet is was a far more detailed and deconstructed representation of “love” than i have ever found classical forms to be, as it was embracing of a certain existential cynicism. Considering how low-energy his stage-presence is, its sometimes easy to forget how technically talented he is. At one point, he simply sat down, picked up a small sampler unit, and started to fuck about with it, creating some really energetic and playful sounds, in a way that felt very purposeful whilst at the same time experimental.
Photo: Raissa Angeli
Unrelease Love Songs Live Performance Panagiotis Mina at DriveDrive (TESTDRIVE), Nicosia 25 MAY 18 Recently, Lover boy Pan treated DriveDrive to a live performance called “unreleased love songs”, and it was a really fun spin on romantic music. It’s hard to decribe, but Pan is such a natural performer onstage that it is hard to tell if he is putting in loads of effort, or none at all. He just potters about the room, making the audience follow him around, bringing attention to different parts of the space, while he drifts
Kataklysm Beach Party Aristos Ioannou at Mazotos Beach, Nicosia 27 MAY 18 Kataklysm was simple, but it reflected something profound about the culture of music altogether. When everything else is said and done, and there is nothing left to do, what happens? Glancing back through human history, the answer to that question is always to dance, to party, to simply be alive and to celebrate it by flooding the senses with stimulation and moving every muscle and joint in the body in every direction it can. To dance the night away is a very powerful expression of liberation and freedom, as it is fundamentally pointless outside of the perspective of human experience. Aristodemos set up some speakers at Mazo-
tos beach, by a large abandonned house, facing out towards the sea and sky, and played until only the mist over the water was visible, luminescent from the moon behind it. As you stare out to see, with the music coming over your shoulders, it even feels as though the music, and the dancing, is being performed for some larger audience, either the gods, or aliens; in a way i can’t put to words, to rave by the sea is to display the most pure form of human expression. “We are here, we are alive, just look at us move”; isn’t it amazing? Low Society 5 Yearly Party Low Society at Mazotos Beach, Nicosia 2 JUNE 18
was some kind of executive decision made to move to the beach stage early, as Janis opened at about 7am and wow, it is great to have him back. Flowing, and flowing, rolling, and rolling. The stage was beautiful, the minimal but simultaneously infinite aesthetic was stunning, and the remaining crowd were as warm as the sun coming up. This time it clicked. The setting and the music aligned. The music and the crowd aligned, too. Those hours were golden, and exactly the kind of standard that Cypriot raves and parties should be aiming for; a party that really
Low Society number 5. It was a good party. The place was beautiful; walking through the palm trees to the entrance was like a dream. There were two stages set up, one hidden in the trees, one by the beach, both very inspired locations. Yet, when i move away from my position as a friend, to a more academic position, i have to admit one thing; something didn’t quite click within the trees. Once the party had moved over to the beach, it was a different story, it was perfect there. I was really enjoying the whole situation, the crowd was a mix between so many ‘scenes’, but people just started to leave at 5am, and by 6am the dancefloor had really thinned out; i didn’t really understand what happened. Something about the combination of the music at that hour, with the crowd and the setting didn’t quite click. I guessed there
utilizes the beauty of Cyprus, and the talent of it’s finest DJs. Photo: Izabela Gałkowska
16 gathering at a nice spot with good DJs. The C’est Demon! Party C’est Demon at DriveDrive (TESTDRIVE), Nicosia 9 JUNE 18
match between the aesthetic of the room and the sound was very complimentary, and the acoustics being a little loose played into that too, making a nice sensory experience.
There was something a bit surreal about C’est Demon. This was the third event by the crew, and was hosted downtown, in the newly openned art’s space DriveDrive, in the bassment; a really nice bassment at that. The walls are gritty and pale, covered in imperfections, and they help to lend an airy looseness to the acoustics of the room. It sounded like a warehouse down there, kind of boomy but this space is surrounded by houses so you can’t be so wildly liberal with the sub. Perhaps it was because DriveDrive is known for being an exhibition space, but for the early hours of the event, it seemed as though we were in a live conceptual art exhibition, and what was on display was a recreation of a Chicago warehouse rave. The music was great, actually, but there seemed to be a small disconnection between the audience and the event; it wasn’t really a Techno rave, and it wasn’t really being framed as one either. So despite the fact that the selections were reeeally good, with some playful mixing, people hadn’t come ready to really interact with the sound in the way that the sound was built for. If this music was being played in the same space, but you moved the space out of downtown and let the music roll till 10am it would have been phenomenal, because the tracks were amazing and the place was very aesthetic. At one point, Joralsky let off a roaring track which was so full of detail and very dominant, and the room was full of the kind of energy that would make a rave explode, but people weren’t really “there” or in that mode. This is fine though, everyone looked like they were having fun; a dance party in an arts space that closes at 3am wont get the dealers out, but it was really cool, down-to-earth
Photo: Izabela Gałkowska
AND, WHAT’S NEXT? THE GATHERING 2018 Part 1: INTRO — 27 June Part 2: EARTHGAZE — 29 June Part 3: STARGAZE —13 July Part 4: RAVE — 14 July Honest Electronics emerged a few years ago, a trio of organisers combined together to bring a new team with a new vision. One of the key components to the success of Honest Electronics was the adoption of Kampia, a visually stunning location full of potential. There had been a couple of parties at Kampia previously, and because of this, the site had been recommended for the location of Honest Electronic’s yearly out-doorevent, The Gathering. The Gathering, first held in 2016 was very special, it had a strong family-DIY vibe and was the perfect arena for saying the first hello to people who you’d been seeing at raves and parties for years; in a place like Kampia, things are very transparent, your character is in full view of everyone else. The success of the first Gathering inspired the changes for the second, where the core principles of Honest Electronics were split up into two halves: one half being the rave, the other being the more artistic or conceptual side. The Gathering II was inspired, the stages were refined and beautiful, and the intentions were clear. Now, in 2018, the situation has become more interesting still.
MINI INTERVIEW WITH OREN MARZAM Headline Israeli DJ of The Gathering III N: Have you ever been to Cyprus? O: I’ve never been to Cyprus before. my friend told me about a shore covered in a pink cloud of flamingos, and I cherish this borrowed memory and intend to make it my own when I’m there. N: How long have you been DJing, and where do you play now, mostly? O: As a teenager I used to force my friends to listen to new music that I was excited about, it took me a few years to realize there’s a platform, where you can force a lot of people to hear that mind
The Gathering at Kampia is now to many of us, a sacred part of the yearly calendar, everyone has expectations of their summer including the ritualistic gathering. In a way, the event has now built up a reputation, and everyone is watching closely to what’s gonna be happening at the reservoir. This year, the program has been split up even further, with 4 events, allowing each aspect of Honest Electronics to have the right setting and space to bloom. The “season” opens June 27th with some media releases including a mixtape, an album, some conceptual instrument design, a talk; it’s an introductory gathering in the city to get everyone in the mood. After this, there is a return to Kampia, for three events called Earthgaze, Stargaze and Rave. Earthgaze & Stargaze build on last year’s Seva Stage project, taking inspiration from Emiddio Vasquez’ stargazing sleepover and the kind of ambient, cerebral music events that are finding success in Berlin. After this, things will conclude in a 24h+ rave on the site, at the pinnacle of the summer, featuring a lot of talent off the Honest Electronic’s roster. Overall, this year is a riskier schedule as there is a lot happening, and it is clear that the organisers are trying to take the “gathering” model to new places and it is going to test the faith of the scene in Cyprus; this year isn’t about having a single wild party, it is about saying “we have established something special here, to what heights can we, as a community, take it?”. Visit www.honestelectronics.info for a full guide of the festival. blowing track you found all at the same time. I started DJing 11 years ago, when I was 19. mainly in bars in Tel Aviv. For the last 7 years I’ve been a resident Dj and curated various liberal and gay-oriented parties in Breakfast Club, Tel aviv - my artistic home in Israel until this day. In the last couple of year i’ve been a recurring guest in various gay club-nights in Berlin, where I live at the moment. N: Third I wanted to ask something like: whats in your mind when you play, what roles do you focus on as a performer? O: When I start making conversations in my head while DJing, it’s usually a lot of disruptions and critisizm. I try as much as I can to be present in the moment and dance, that way I can feel if I want to emphasize the vibe in the room or contredict it in an intriguing way. as a raver - a good set for me is a set that keeps me curious whats going to happen next, so that’s also my goal as a DJ.
TRACK REVIEWS K m.e.d.o. 18
BOTH TRACKS AVAILABLE AT https://honestelectronics.bandcamp.com/
(from his album “Sleeping Shoulders”)
I can’t put my finger on what exactly makes this track stand out from the rest, but for me it does. Throughout the track, there is a relentless metallic wave which rises and falls in a way that feels very dominant; it never fully disappears, just fades, only returns with seemingly increased vigour, in a rhythm which pulls at my body. While there is a sense of simplicity in its design, the track’s delicate, rich texture, and dynamics is very immersive, with each wave pulling the listener underwater, so to speak, with a thick feeling of tension, which fades smoothly into brief resolution, before, unforgivingly rising back. This simple movement is profoundly gripping, if you surrender and submit to it, and it has the energy to dislodge the mind temporarily, slowing and silencing the inner monologue that spins eternally. I highly recommend listening to the album from start to finish, when you have time to unwind; there are 9 tracks before the one under review, and they are important; if you submit to the teleology of the album, the first tracks guide you to a mental space where track 10 is amplified intensely, and feels like a conceptual climax. Thank you for the hard work, as always, Emiddio.
This year you can listen to Emiddio at The Gathering III as DJ with his alias Joralsky for the downtempo event “Earthgaze” and hear him playing live techno as Oswaldo III at the “RAVE” event.
Photo by Nico Stephou of Emiddio Vasquez performing at “4 Years PHASE” party at Griesmuhle, Berlin.
Creating &Destroying (from the compilation “Mutual Ground II”) If there ever needed to be a testament to sonic texture and rich harmonics, it would be this. I heard this pre-mastered, without a name and without any idea who created it. It was kind of a mind-blowing experience, as the frequency spectrum is so … complete; the track feels as though all parts of my music-perception circuits are being tickled and touched, and stimulated from all sides. It is, at the same time powerful, as it is delicate and restrained. Above all, it is the harmonics and the texture which totally bind me into listening, and even as a graduate of Music Technology, I am stumped as to how such a rich texture was made; it could
be modular, which would explain the uniqueness of the sounds. Regardless of how it was constructed, this track is a really mesmerising balance of rhythm and texture, with the lows and highs blended with precision. The feeling of spectral completeness in this track really helps to create a sense of “temporary placeness”, insofar as, listening to this track takes you to somewhere that is not entirely earth, but some other plane of existence – it’s highly immersive. Kris will be performing live at “STARGAZE” his upcoming release “Alquamar” on Honest Electronics. Photo:Hermes Pittakos
HANDS OFF AKAMAS