Tuesday, April 27th, 2010 | Event Preview | No Comments
Well we’re on the verge of another momentous bank holiday weekend where the usual rule book goes out the window and things are pushed that extra mile. Once again, Friday and Saturday are looking alright, but those promoters have decided to pack in all the exciting stuff on the Sunday… Here are our picks…
Friday › Continue reading
Friday, October 30th, 2009 | Event Reviews | No Comments
Since the mid nineties the DJ turned into the super star DJ. No longer was the DJ some person that happened to be playing records in the background, they were thrust into the limelight, they became centre stage and elevated above the crowd, they became closer to becoming the rock star. Well at the end of September Richie Hawtin and the Contakt bunch stepped DJing that little bit closer from merely playing records to putting on a full blown show. Gone are the dark sweaty dingy small clubs; in are the arena sized live venues. No more will the single sweeping blue light and occasional strobe keep the crowds visually entertained, it must be 30ft high LED screens with intricate graphics. Production values now rival a rock gig. But is that what clubbing and dance music is all about? Had Richie Hawtin pushed the concept too far away from its roots? There had been a lot of apprehension on whether the London Contakt show would be any good founded on some of the issues from last year along with a bit of a Minus backlash with people growing tired of their sound for being too cold and too clinical. There were also qualms about the venue, the ticket price and just a general feeling of tiredness from the whole idea. Leading into the show/gig/party, expectations seemed pretty low with a general feeling of well I’ll pop along to see what its like plus I’ll get to hear a bit of Hawtin.
I happened to pop along too and to answer my questions – it can be; I don’t think so, he’s having a go at trying something new; the venue worked; and finally was it any good – a resounding yes! › Continue reading
Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009 | Event Preview | No Comments
I don’t know why but the last weekend in September always seems to be unnecessarily massive. Maybe because it’s the start of uni and the clubs want to start with a bang to get the kids hooked in? Guess it makes sense. Get em whilst they’re young and all that.
So what does the weekend have installed for all these younguns? Well the question should probably more what doesn’t the weekend have installed.
Contakt with Richie Hawtin
For one more time this year London will be graced with the last Contakt show for the year. It’s been almost a year since they last step foot in London and almost a year and a half since they started doing the show. If you haven’t heard by now the Contakt concept brings the Minus clan together, allowing them to perform as one unit set to the backdrop of some impressive visuals. Basically it’s an elaborate back to back session with all the Minus producers in front of a massive LED display showing some incredible trippy visuals. › Continue reading
Tuesday, August 11th, 2009 | Event Preview | No Comments
Now that summer is already drawing to a close its time for the autumn activities to commence; September through till November is often a juicy period on the clubbing calendar. It’s often the time when people are starting new endeavours in new places, be it students, graduates or just plain new job starters. Either way, people are back from their summer escapades, people have relocated and the clubbing community is back to full strength. Prime pickings for big ass stellar events.
One on the not too distant horizon is Richie Hawtin and his band of merry laptop equipped men (and one girl). The M_nus mob return to the capital city to serve up another helping of their multimedia extravaganza show Contakt. It’s been almost a year since they would have last wowed the crowds in London with their multi tag team dj sound and retina burning visual show, so it should be interesting to see how or if the show has evolved. › Continue reading
Thursday, February 19th, 2009 | Event Preview | No Comments
Don’t know if you’ve heard but much loved Sunday shindig Wet Yourself have moved away from the swimming pool and dried themselves off to relocate to the cavernous depths of Fabric. To help with the move they’ve got some great guests coming up. They’ve already had Miss Kitten and Marc Houle, and Popof and Gaiser complete the February run. Excellent stuff, now the much loved London club can see you right through the weekend nights through to Monday. Sounds alright to me!
Anyways if you haven’t been to Wet Yourself before, we’ve got residents Jacob Husley and Peter Pixzel to give you a taster with a couple of their mixes. › Continue reading
Tuesday, November 11th, 2008 | Album Review, Music | No Comments
Blank Fade is the new long player from the master of the wobbly bassline Gaiser. Out on Richie Hawtin’s Minus label, it is sure to be weird and abstract. Gaiser undoubtedly has his own style. His tracks always have a certain ambience and spaciousness about them where each element is carefully calculated to occupy the audio soundscape. This new album is no exception.
The whole album revolves around Gaiser’s dark and eerie style, using strange electronic noises over clinical percussion and round warm bass, all served up with lashings of echo and delay to give you that vibrating vision feeling. Combine that with Gaiser’s impeccable production quality means it is a great formula. This album definitely has some stand out tracks. Ciliate With, Whether or Not, Comma Fade and Descending Order all have their own specific haunting qualities. However when you listen to the whole of Blank Fade track by track, the style seems to wear thin. All the tracks start to sound very alike causing tracks to lose their identity. Although it’s not until you listen to the album mixed when it all becomes clear.
When mixed, the album makes perfect sense. The tracks which initially seemed filler do actually serve a more meaningful purpose in transitioning between the main tracks. They keep a flow and groove which becomes apparent when you listen to this album like a DJ mix. When mixed, the electronic bleeps and noises flow and transition into one another with progression rather than the initial perception of repetition. This is why Gaiser’s live sets are entertaining because his music is in it for the long haul.
Buy Gaiser’s Blanke Fade on (CD)
1. Volve (4:15)
2. Face Down (4:10)
3. Ground (3:42)
4. Ciliate With (5:29) (CD + Digital Only)
5. Whether Or Not (4:10) (CD + Digital Only)
6. Substance B (4:53)
7. Comma, Fade (6:27)
8. Leave It (5:43)
9. Trunkated (8:07)
10. Descending Order (6:59)
11. One After (6:30)
12. Outline (5:13) (CD + Digital Only)
A1. Leave It (6:19)
A2. Substance B (6:22)
B1. Ground (5:30)
B2. Comma, Fade (6:59)
C. Descending Order (8:19)
D1. One After (6:43)
D2. Volve (4:50)
Digital Bonus Track: Rate 78.17 (6:00)
Saturday, October 4th, 2008 | Event Preview, Events | No Comments
Have you noticed that the evenings have been getting darker a little earlier? You might put that down to winter. Actually the truth is the Berlin juggernaut label Minus is making its way to town. The UK leg of their Contakt tour will be rolling into London on the 18th Oct but not before a quick Minus showcase at the Manchester Warehouse Project on the 17th which I hasten to add we have a delightful competition to win a pair of tickets!
But first let’s talk about Contakt in London. On Saturday 18th October, Richie Hawtin and friends will take over the tunnels of SE One to wow your senses in an orgy of twiste, abstract techno whilst an invigorating, immersive visual display of lights and images will suck you into the dark world of Minus. Together, Richie Hawtin, Magda, Troy Pierce, Marc Houle, Hearththrob and Gaiser will collectively build a journey of music whilst Ali Demirel will interpret this into a visual extravaganza so your eyes don’t feel too left out. It’s quite a spectacle. Those that were at Field Day this year would have seen a glimpse of the visuals to be expected, whilst anyone that made it to Sonar would have seen the whole show in motion. EarPipe saw both and we can say it is visually stunning as the pictures in this post prove. Some of the best visuals we’ve seen at an event. As for the music, expect all kinds of techno and house with each of the djs inputting their mark on things. With their collective minds the possibilities are endless. Tickets are still going at Phonica and on the door, so better get in there early as this one is definitely a road block!
Now on to Manchester. Before their London show, Hawtin along with Troy Pierce, Gaiser and Barem will be commanding the northern masses. This won’t be a full blown Contakt show but it sure will be entertaining. It will be the first time that Hawtin has played the Warehouse in three years it has been going so it is sure to be something special. To make it even better, for one night only those folks from WHP have managed to smooth talk the environmental officers of Manchester to let them stay open till 7am!!!!
As attendees of that infamous ambassador’s party would say, Excellente!
So, how does one win a pair of tickets to Minus Presents… at the Manchester Warehouse Project on the 17th October? All you need to do is answer the simple question below:
Where did EarPipe catch the Contakt show this summer?
Send your answer along with your name and location to email@example.com
Competition closes on the 12th October 2008
Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008 | Event Preview, News | No Comments
Just a quick note to let you know those folks in Manchester are at it again. The third season of the Warehouse Project sees them take over the Store Street car park for the final time. For twelve chilly winter weeks you can see the finest lineups ever to hit Manchester in a stunning urban and underground setting. Co Founder Sam Kandel says,
“The programme for this years series is, we think, the best yet. It has been gradually pieced together since last October. This year there will be a second more intimate room of music, which has allowed us to go even deeper with the line-ups, putting on some really underground breaking talent in addition to the huge main room action you are used to. The preparation for the annual series has become a genuine labour of love for all involved – now everything is set its time to get moving… Welcome back to The Warehouse.”
So which nights are EarPipe looking forward to? Well the first one on our radar has to be the Minus Presents night on the 17th October. You would have thought we’d be sick of Richie and his label mates. But no we keep going back for more. Friday will see the Minus gang roll into Manchester ahead of their main Contakt event in London. Support comes from Troy Pierce, Gaiser and Barem. This will no doubt be a road block event, so get your tickets early!
The next big one has to be the Exhibitionist night on 1st November. The alien from Detroit returns to pummel the north with his space aged techno. Joining Jeff Mills will be three of the hottest heads in house music, Ewan Pearson, Ame and Dixon. Definitely not one to be missed.
Sven Vath does his usual stop off with his Cocoon night on 14th November. He’s joined by Extrawelt and Tobi Neumann, both hot property right now, especially after Tobi’s recent Secretsundaze CD release. They’ve also got all three of those Romanians doing the business right now. Raresh, Rhadoo and Pedro will be playing for six hours as the RPR sound system in the intimate backroom.
Finally if Novembers at home don’t mean anything to you the 21st November sees Resident Advisor host John Digweed and Luciano. The cheeky Chilean has also called in support from his label buddies Thomas Melchior, Alejandro Vivanco and Reboot.
So there the nights we think might be a bit alright. Obviously there are the other twenty odd nights which also look fantastic, there just isn’t enough room on these pages.
Don’t forget to check back for competitions to win free tickets to some of the nights we’ve picked out… .Viva Manchester, Viva Warehouse Project!
Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008 | Event Reviews | 1 Comment
In the first part of EarPipe’s Sonar review we left you at the Soma La Terrazza party with a club full of glamorous people and decadent house music. Fast forward to Friday afternoon and that chic taste of vodka limon in an open air club has been replaced by a sweltering room, a furry mouth and an undying thirst for water. Being only the second day you can’t really whimper at the fact that we’re still in Barcelona, the day is glorious and one of the world’s greatest music festivals is taking place. Why feel hungover and sorry for yourself in some hot box hostel room when you can do the same outside on the fake grass of the Sonar Village whilst sipping that all important sixth mojito.
After a relatively slow crawl to the CCCB, EarPipe pitch up under a tree and relax to the various obscure bands. The first of these being a couple of natives called El Guincho who were described in the guide as a combination of funk, afro beat and African rhythms making them sound quite intriguing on paper. However I was totally confused when they opened with this. Its intro sounded a lot like the Ronette’s Be My Baby and was far from the funk and afro beats that were expected. A few more tracks in and the band edged into the African vibes and got a fair proportion of the Sonar Village on their feet. Quite an achievement considering many of the revellers tend to be struggling from the night before.
El Guincho was to be followed by EarPipe’s highlight of the day Quiet Village. Their ambient/psychedelic down tempo album Silent Movie has been receiving critical acclaim from all over and their recent RA Podcast was one of the most refreshing in recent times. But what’s most interesting is that one half of Quiet Village comes from the dark and pounding depths of Matt Edwards aka Radioslave. Much like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Matt has two guises where Quiet Village is definitely the Dr Jekyll persona. They open their Sonar set with the incredibly beautiful Victoria’s Secret, a long and winding scenic track laden with strings and clichéd wave crashes and cooing birds. They continue through their album dropping the great vintage 70s funk sounds of tracks like Can’t Be Beat and Pillow Talk. Ideal for a chilled sunny afternoon. As you can see by this video it was totally a sit down affair.
Kalabrese had the job of following Quiet Village. He made use of the opportunity to present his Rumpelorchestra from Switzerland. Together as a small three piece band they infused influences from jazz, afro-beat, funk and house. The energy from their performance got the crowd back on their feet. One thing that makes the Rumpelorchestra stand out from other outfits is their use of brass instruments which really brings in that classic jazz feel. Seems like a bit of a brass revival with Ronson and the mainstream getting involved.
For the evening, a trip to the Raum open air party was supposed to happen, but unfortunately it hadn’t started early enough to make it worth the trip. So instead EarPipe watched the surprise defeat of Croatia to Turkey before heading to Sonar by Night. On arrival to the vast venue we were greeted by the two tone sounds of Suggs and Madness. Their blend of pop and ska had the crowd singing along to all their greatest hits like One Step Beyond, Our House and It Must Be Love. Even the younger fans would have been able to join in what with Suggs doing all those fish finger commercials. A quick run over to the Sonar Park and we catch the finishing moments of BC vs JC feat. Darren Emerson. JC is infact Jamie Cullum the floppy haired jazz come easy listening artist that your parents and even your grandparents like. BC is Jamie’s brother Ben on guitar, talk about nepotism. And they’re all backed up by former Underworld brains Darren Emerson. Together they jam out a sort of soulful jazz influenced house come techno sound. Once we start looking past our music snobbery we actually find their performance quite pleasurable and to be fair BC vs JC feat Darren Emerson is a good way of introducing electronic dance music to the kids in a more palatable format, so props for that. However we are still getting over Jamie Cullum bopping his floppy haired head to electronic beats.
Meanwhile in the SonarClub, Diplo our man from Philly is entertaining the crowds with his ghetto tech and Baltimore breaks. There are no rules for this man; he plays whatever whenever so long as its got booty shakin bass riddem and tings, its just fun, unadulterated music which you can just bounce around to. He cuts and mixes everything from hip hop, techno and electro in that mashup raw way that’s currently popular. In the space of an hour I was hearing MIA edits, hip hop classics from Dead Prez, big electro numbers from Justice and even a splash of Plastikman Spastik. Diplo just delivers a whirlwind of music in such an effective manner. It’s not the sort of music we’re into down at EarPipe but it is much fun. And seeing some of the most die hard EDM fans just getting right into it is just proof of that.
Now on to the main event. The performance that was eagerly anticipated by a 10,000 strong crowd outside in the SonarPub was of course Richie Hawtin and his band of merry techno laptop technicians with a cube in tow. It was the Barcelona leg of their Contakt tour where the concept was built around a collective DJ performance creating one set rather than individual ones. Unfortunately the cube was no where to be seen, the reports from other gigs were saying that its lights changed colour but we were unable to give the official EarPipe word on that. Their introduction was very prog rock-esque. A mystical silence fell on the SonarPub before the black curtain was drawn back to reveal quite an impressive LED stage as an eerie soundscape comes in over the speaker. Like an epic prog rock entrance, Richie Hawtin rises from behind the laptops to rapturous applause. He continues to tweak the eerie soundscape whilst slowly bringing on each of the Contakt family one by one. As they do, their names are emblazoned in giant letters on the LED screen. It’s all very Spinal Tap, they probably had the system turned up to 11.
Over the course of the next six hours the Contakt group go through various combinations of DJs. Troy Pierce starts with Gaiser who are then later joined by Heartthrob and Magda. Hawtin comes on and replaces Troy for a bit and plays solo for a while. Marc Houle comes on later on and there is just steady rotation. The overall sound of the set is basically Minus, tripped out techno sounds with abstract noises with a relentless and hypnotic groove. At points there were up to three or four DJs chipping into the combined set. But in all honesty I’m not really sure what they were doing, what they were chipping in or having any effect at all? To us it just sounded like a normal set, with different DJs coming and going. The entire performance seemed like an elaborate back to back session. It was no different to your normal Minus night. Marks for trying to come out with something different and unique but I feel it didn’t push the boundaries obviously enough. Its neither here or there between intricate DJ set or rehearsed live performance.
Despite my grumblings of an elaborate back to back set the whole six hours definitely kept EarPipe entertained. Hawtin did all the usual stuff including those filter out buzzy drops and dropping classics like Yekke Yekke. Gaiser ran through some of the twisted horse music off his new album to great effect. Troy Pierce, Marc Houle and Magda all chipped in to create an amalgamation of sound which saw a crowd stay strong well into Saturday morning as the sun rose. They even finished everyone off with a little blast of Techno Vocals before bringing the curtain down on it all, quite literally. We must also add that the visuals were pretty stunning for the whole event. The way they were worked in across all the LED screens to create one big canvas was quite amazing, and the actual visualisations went hand in hand with the music. Whoever did that I salute you sir.
So to sum up Contakt is an elaborate back to back that doesn’t add anything new. The music is still pretty good to party to and its not really any different from your normal Minus party.
Part 3 coming soon )
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