Matuss Q&A

Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty, Julia. Let’s start with the label you have co-founded with Abe Duque: Absence Seizure. Can you tell us about the meaning behind the name and about the artwork for the labels latest release?

Meaning behind the name is a direct connection between absence seizure symptoms and all the music related process, such as writing for me and in some cases, listening. Point is that you blank out and there is this super excitement from intense brain cells work…
Latest artwork looks to me like an alien from my favorite cartoon Lilo and Stitch, so this one is for me 🙂

Seizure No 10 features two tracks from yourself, along with one by Abe Duque. Can you talk us through how you created Crashing Hard, including any particular pieces of software/ hardware you like to refer to?

Entire track was made from discoveries with Rytm Analog by Elektron, which was the latest addition in a family. I was on a floor pretty much the entire time, while rolling with my back on Lacrosse ball, ahahaha… because hardware piece gives you the ability not to sit in chair (which I get tired from) and not to look on a screen much. Then I threw it in Bitwig, had some cherries and sprinkles on top here and there and voila! Getting creative with names tho is a work in progress for me, so Crashing Hard was an obvious choice in my head, due to the nature of the track.

How many records would you say you owned, and why is vinyl so important to you?

I have my clothes and records pretty much in every part of the world, for various reasons. Even now being in Berlin, I really tried not to buy many records. I was telling myself everyday don’t do it, be reasonable, how you gonna take all this to the airport…didn’t work. Because I went to stores and fairs and the minute I see a good record I almost start shaking. So I have to buy it! It’s already too many and I am gonna have to possibly leave some here���� but the good news is next time I am back to the same place, it’s already there for me! Why vinyl? It’s simple, the feeling. Completely different from anything else and it works in my case. Yesterday I went to record sale and somehow (absolutely have no idea why) Phonique – For the time being (Ripperton remix) starts playing in my head.. and I think – oh, would be great to find it. I go thru couple shelves and here it is. I bought it for 1 euro. I can’t explain, what those moments do to you, it’s beyond me…You don’t need anything else on your life, really. Just 1 euro to buy it, ahahaha.

If you could choose three records to highlight your most significant influences what would they be? (any type of music, old or new)

If we are talking about actual vinyl that I own, 3 records that I will remember for the rest of my life, will always dance to it and will always play it – than it would be the following

Bucketheadz – the Bomb
187 lockdown – Gunman
John Julius Knight – Find a friend

Those are pure magic.

Tell us about your life in New York compared with living in Europe? Do you have a favourite place to buy or hear music?

New York is a very intense city, so I have a much higher pace, I suppose. 2 weeks feel like 2 months 🙂 It is the only place, where I get very emotional when I touch the grounds. Plane lands, I cry. Have no idea why. In Europe, I love that Berlin is very bike friendly…makes me so happy just to bike around.
I like Halcyon store. My friends work there, always great atmosphere and coffee. Especially in summer, you can go right up to the Output’s rooftop right after 🙂

What is your favourite instrument?

Saxophone. I love jazz. Piano would be second choice. I play both and it’s a very different feeling you have, while playing. Maybe breathing have to do something with it for me. I feel like sound comes from my insides and it does in a way… with piano it’s a mental connection. When I went to see “LaLaLand” movie, I came out red with swallen face, because I cried my eyes out and it had nothing to do with the story. Music did that to me. I was kinda mad at the same time, that I couldn’t stop crying 🙂

How would you describe the feeling you get from DJ’ing? And do you think there is a difference communicating though words and song, or just rhythm and instrumentation in Dance Music?

Feeling from dj’ing is the best high for me. You go though all this process of butterflies in your stomach and hands shaking, to connection though the music and all the feelings that come with it. I am very lucky to have that in my life.
Words presence in a track def makes difference. It’s a very complex topic in general. Shitty lyrics can absolutely ruin track for me. Good ones can make it much better. Thing is, what’s good for you, not necessary good for others.. I never was a fan of tits’n’ass lyrics, ahahaha.. Last time I listened to lyrics was Tarantulaz – They forgot it (Marques and Todd’s remix) beautiful vocal by Monique Bingham and very meaningful lyrics, about how people forgot what music is for…makes sense big time…I wish I could write something like that, but it’s def not my strong side – God knows I tried 🙂 I think it’s all another talent to do that. I guess it’s very case by case situation, when we talk about words presence. I do enjoy party with no words whatsoever and I def can get down with soulful house one as well, depends 🙂 Also, if I listen at home – I pay much more attention to words vs. when I am out in a club.

And finally. Tell us about your forthcoming plans?

Making video for Alien is my Boyfriend. Very talented person behind it, so I am super curious about the finished product 🙂

http://www.matuss.com

https://www.facebook.com/missmatuss

https://twitter.com/absenceseizure

http://absenceseizuremusic.com

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Bel Q&A

Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty, Charlie. Can we start by asking what singing and playing guitar means for you personally?

Hi, Thanks for having me. Singing and playing guitar is everything to me, from an early age my outlet has always been music.

Your excellent new single: Ready To Die is due out on Claremont 56 with mixes by Paul Murphy. How did the relationship with the label happen? And what do you feel that the mixes have added to the song?

I sent the demo to a friend and she passed it on to Paul Murphy at Claremont 56, Paul loved the track and asked for the parts so he could remix it, I loved the results and Paul decided to release it.

Can you describe the process of writing the song and how it was actually recorded?

I wrote it pretty quick, sometimes songs can take an age to finish but this song was instant, an honest document of my loved up state at the time! hahaha
I recorded it in a few hours at my studio in Wallasey, I just put a simple beat in then tracked an acoustic guitar and then i played a bass track live, it was a really simple demo to make.

Do you find it better to create a melody and then add music, or the other way round?

I always start with music, just a few chords, create a vibe and then bounce off that for the melody, lyrically i will follow the mood of the music and what i am exposed to at the time.

Tell us about your background and where/ how you learnt to play guitar?

My grandad and my dad and my older brother are musicians so there was always someone who could show me bits and bobs, after that i just went on Youtube to learn riffs and stuff.

What is your favourite guitar? Do you own one?

There is a Martin D-28 ‘John Martyn’ limited edition that I would love, no i don’t own one unfortunately.

Influences. Who are the most important ones both within music and outside of it?

`In terms of music there are many but to name a few, David Byrne, Matt Johnston, John Martyn, Chris Martin, Nina Simone, Patti Smith… Outside of music my family is a huge source of inspiration.

How have you found the process of getting your voice heard in the digital world? Is it more important for you to play ‘live’ to people, or to get your music heard on-line?

Playing live is amazing and can never be replaced by anything and the digital arena is a real bonus providing an extra platform to present your music, I have found it really easy to find an ear so im going to keep on making noise until enough people tell me to shut up!

And finally. What plans to have for the immediate future?

I’ve been working in a cafe on Bold Street in Liverpool for the last six months to save some cash to travel about a bit, take my guitar and write the album…

 

buy: Bel – Ready To Die https://claremont56.bandcamp.com/merch/bel-ready-to-die-mudd-mixes

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Suddi Raval Q&A

Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty, Suddi. How excited are you about the launch of your new book: A Brief History Of Acid House? And what is it about the Acid sound that is so special to you?

Excitement levels are pretty high. I really wanted to get this out this year due to the 30 year thing. The main reason why Acid is so special to me, is because of the impact it had on me when I was just a kid. I discovered it when I was 15 years old and fell in love with it immediately. I was just the right ages to get totally consumed by it. I had hundreds of smiley t-shirts and embraced it like it was the most important thing in the world. I never could have imagined all the controversy surrounding it would have happened after it spread across the UK and then for there to be huge parties revolving around the music just as I was turning 18. It was a wake-up call for me as it was for many others and nothing was ever the same again.

(photo by Paul Husband)

Can you tell us about who are the founding figures in Acid House for you and who would you say were the key electronic music producers before then?

One of the most important figures has to be DJ Ron Hardy. As the legend goes, he played Acid Trax 4 times in one night causing the early House scene to shift in direction. Ron was always more abstract than Frankie Knuckles and after Acid Trax things blew up in Chicago things moved more in Ron’s musical direction. After the first night he played Acid Trax he continued to hammer it without anyone knowing what it was so his followers called it Ron Hardy’s Acid Trax accidentally giving the track and the genre a name. Another great for me is Armando Gallup. He was renowned for his parties in Chicago before he made one of the first Acid House records 151, very shortly after the very first one was made by Phuture.

Obviously Phuture for they created the genre and went to create more absolute gems. Mike Dunn isn’t talked about as much as some of the acid originators but if you listen to tracks such as Face The Nation and Personal Problem, I find his unique take on Acid so beautifully melodic I am amazed he isn’t praised more. Adonis is one of the great unsung heroes of not just Acid but House. Some of his House records were essentially Acid before the genre was even born. I firmly believe that Phuture were listening to Adonis before they created Acid House. Larry Heard, although he has made some of the best Acid House music with tracks such as Sun Don’t Compare, it is his House music that is the most inventive because again, like with Adonis he was making Acid House before it even existed with tracks such as Washing Machine and Ecstasy. I am a firm believer that Acid is both a genre of music and an electronic instrument sound too that can be made on machines other than a TB-303. Larry Heard proves that with some of his Mr. Fingers productions. I never expected Acid House to become as popular as it is again today but the great thing about that is, new music by new producers. Paranoid London are making some blinding new music as is Marquis Hawkes.

Prior to Acid House, I was obsessed with Electro with producers such as Arthur Baker and Juan Atkins with his Model 500 outfit who later went on to give the world Techno.

A Brief History of Acid House Teaser #1

Teaser for the book A Brief History Of Acid House.

Posted by A Brief History Of Acid House on Thursday, September 13, 2018

 

How long has it taken to research the book? And what inspired you to write it?

Research for the book began many years ago, possibly up to around 10 years ago but as I got busy with musical projects and having a day job things got put on hold. The final product has evolved somewhat as I scaled down the original plan of making an “Acid encyclopedia” called Encyclopedia Acidica. Depending on how things go with this, I will look at finishing that rather ambition project again but much of the work I did researching it has resulted in this smaller project.

Tell us about three of your favourite electronic instruments (drum machines, synthesisers etc) and why their sound resonates with you?

The TB-303 is the single greatest machine ever made. Although there are now a million clones and imitation and some of them replicate it very well, nothing else out there has the same depth of bass and more importantly despite boasting being computer controlled, in a way, it sounds so organic and alive. I absolutely love some of the newer machines that have been built to cash in on the demand. I have bought as many as I can afford. I have 6 now I think. I also think the Korg Monologue is one of the most amazing machines I have ever heard. They got Aphex Twin to create some of the patches and he has even included some of his riffs on there. I have played live sets and incorporated them into the sets they are that good! And finally, the Jupiter 8. I used to have one but had to sell it when I got laid off from work to pay the bills. As depressing as that was, it was possibly the first and most mature thing I’d ever done. People say I am mad to have sold it but it really was a question of house or synth.

You have self published the book. Tell us about that process and what’s happening with the books distribution?

I am going to do a limited edition larger version in A4 to offer something to collect as people who love Acid House and 303’s are so fond of their scene I figured a limited edition version would be a good idea then the book will be available in standard A5 on Amazon.

What is your favourite memory from Together?

People assume being in the charts must have been best times. It was great, I am not denying that but for me, the best times of my life were long before Hardcore Uproar got into the charts: it was the period where Hardcore Uproar became the biggest tune at the Hacienda in the summer of 1990. To have shared it with my best friends Jon and Emma means everything to me as I have those memories to hold onto and cherish forever. There was one night when they played the record twice in one night on the 8th Birthday and as it hit midnight Mike Pickering released balloons from the ceiling. It was so un-Hacienda of them but it was possibly the greatest single moment of my life.

How did you first get introduced to House Music? And how would you compare those days with today’s Dance Music culture?

It was really my school friends who introduced me to House Music. I was still into Electro in 1986 and all my friends who were always really ahead of the game were listening to compilation on FFRR/London records. When I heard what they were listening to, my old Electro comps barely got a look in. I always wrote silly raps inspired by my love of Electro so when I got in House I started writing basslines and melodies. I didn’t think any of it would amount to anything until I met Jonathan Donaghy who I formed Together with.

To compare today’s scene to what happened just after 1988 is difficult as the music and the scene was so new back then, it was bound to feel more exciting but having experienced both of them separately I can honestly say some of the best nights today are as good as what was going on back then. There are 2 clubs in London called I Love Acid and Downfall and I feel due to the sincerity of the crowds they pull, the atmosphere is magical. They have such a playful vibe. No idiots. No aggression. Very few camera phones and no pretence, just pure music and dancing. It is just like it used to be and for a while in the 2000’s when things changed quite a bit I never thought it would come back and certainly didn’t think it would get this good again.

And finally. Tell us about The House Sound Of Together series? And any future musical or writing plans you have?

The House Sound of Together EP’s began with the “FFRREE at Last” EP. A celebratory record after getting out of a nightmare record deal I was trapped in. We wanted to sign to Deconstruction but somehow were forced to sign to a label we didn’t want to be on so when I got out of that deal I rushed to release a record after not having had a record out for sometime but the 2nd EP Volume 2, I really took my time with. It featured a few names that have gone on to do big things such as DJ Sasha who produced one track, Phil Kelsey (PKA) produced another and Rohan Heath (who went on to form The Urban Cookie Collective, The Key The Secret) co-wrote 2 tracks on the EP.

I wrote most of this new EP while I was off with a broken leg. Literally itching to get out, I felt inspired and basslines was filling my head whilst I had one leg propped up. The result was this
EP. The House Sound of Together Volume 3. I originally intended to call it the Alkaline EP as I wasn’t planning to have any Acid on it but Matt Sargeant who I co-produced it with in the end, contributed some essential elements to the EP and lots of them ended up being very Acidy so I had to drop the Alkaline tag.

After Together I went on to release some ambient techno under the name The Ultimate Escape Project. I have written new material which will be released under that name soon. I toyed with releasing those tunes under the name Together but I realised they’re just not Together tracks.

Writing-wise, I have been writing a column called One Foot In The Rave for a magazine for sometime and I have been thinking about expanding on those. They are memoirs related to my experiences during the Acid House era. I want to make it clear, this definitely won’t be an autobiography! Nobody would be interested in my personal life but whilst going to the raves I saw and experienced some truly amazing and at times, shocking things so I hope to write a book called something like “Real life stories from the Acid House frontline”. I like the idea of using a war-term like “frontline” as there were tensions at times and it did get quite risky, especially the night there was a riot and someone had the bright idea to blow up a Police van in Blackburn.

http://suddiraval.com

https://www.facebook.com/aftertouchpublications

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Jovonn Q&A

Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty, Jovonn. Your brand new album: Timeless features a total of twelve tracks each capturing soul and inspiration, and is featured on your label Body ‘N Deep. Its been a while since you last artist album, so why does 2018 feel right for the release of this music?

I thought it was time to come back with a series of tracks introducing Body n Deep sound to todays deep house by mixing them up old and new style formula but still keep the true jovonn chords and bassline signature, i feel its the right time this year to cultivate my style by giving what the cool kids want to hear from a pioneer who has been doin this from the begining and still relevant to this day.

buy: Jovonn – Timeless https://www.phonicarecords.com/product/jovonn-timeless-lp-pre-order-body-n-deep/154828

It feels like a long time has passed since you began making records back in the early 1990’s yet you have retained certain essential qualities in your productions. Can you talk us through what’s most important in music for you, and what is about music that has the power to transcend time?

I think structuring making music is important to me ,you have to make scene when you start a track and where you’re going with it from the begining to the end and never be afraid to go beyond creating something different no one has ever done witch makes you different from everyone else. i truly believe being creative experimenting different sounds makes a big difference we have the power to change and continue to be a part of this spiritual feeling we call house, deep house , tech house ,techno and staying on top of your game by introducing yourself to the world .

Who are your most significant influences right now both within and outside of electronic music? Any particular artists, painters, writers etc who like to refer to for inspiration?

I’d say one myself I’m my own inspiration because its like a life journey i like to listen to my own music I’ve created in the 90s to what i achieved to this day .i get my other inspiration from guys like Apollonia ,Kerri Chandler, Dennis Ferrer, Robin Hood, Ricardo Villalobos, Joseph Capriatti, Marco Carola, as for famous painter Leonardo de Vinci for his writing as well as an artist and Vincent Van Gogh because this painting he did called ‘Cafe Terrace at Night’ brilliant painting when i look at it reminds me of the night life going out to eat and to a club afterwards helps me create the music i feel deep within me and as for writer i like James Patterson who is a serious suspense writer if your into that sort of thing 😂.

The vocal that creeps into Affection has a particular emotional charge to it. I was wondering how you felt about the progression of song writing in Dance Music (or the lack of it) since you began producing? And how do you feel about today‘s greater concentration of rhythm rather than song?

Realistically i don’t write any of my songs on paper i first create the track i close my eyes and listen to it i then put my headphones on and listen to it some more i feel the emotion of the track turn on the mic and press record and just sing what im feeling straight of the top of my head , I’ve done that to everything I’ve ever done for almost 30 years and if there’s something i didn’t like after recording i go back and edit as in record over so that it make scene. i think sometime in dance music dose lack vocals maybe because a lot of producers don’t write songs or theres a lack of writers who can write to deep house, techno but you will find loads of writers in soulful house because it has structure what i mean by that is they do full production like an R&B song in the late 90s i use to do that for example the Mary j Blidge Remix i did ( ‘Just Fine’ ) was full production and soulful but i decided to go back with what i am comfortable with and thats Deep House.

Tell us about your studio: BaseRoom. What do you love most about it? And do you have a favourite instrument or piece of software you always use?

Ahhhhh Yessss….my dear wattson my studio is my playground my getaway comfort zone and my private club , i turn out the lights ,click on my mobile laser light unit ,play on my pioneer decks and turntable from USB to Vinyl blast my sound system shaking the house or be creative making music , my now favorite instrument is my Native Instrument is my Komplete USB Keyboard controller connected to Maschine Studio i have Unlimited Sounds and Drum Sounds where i can be as creative as i want , i also use Digital Performer as to where everyone else use Logic i don’t use that software simply because everyone else in House Music uses that i rather be different and stay in my own lane , i also incorporates my hardware KORG, Triton ,Motif ,Mophat,Yamaha CS6x keyboards to make more of my olskool sounds im known for .

Is there a difference between playing in Europe, or elsewhere in the world, and in America? Do people prefer any different styles or is music a universal language?

Its a universal language to me because if you like hiphop and r&b , jazz to neo soul you certainly can get into house because you feel it its undeniable.

How would you describe the Dance Music scene in New York? Is it in a healthy state, are there any Clubs you like to check out?

Yes i think the dance music scene is doing well here in NewYork over in brooklyn williamburg is crazy, Output witch is my second home I’ve played there at lease 8 times ,Schimanski played there, Anolog , Now a days , Black Flamingo played there , Brooklyn Mirage are all awesome clubs ,theres a few i was told thats in development coming soon id like to check out for sure.

And finally. Please share with us your future plans for the remainder of 2018 and beyond?

Looking forward to tour play live keyboards and drum session along side playing the rest of the year and still make new music Looking to bring out new Talent to Body n Deep and do another album mid next year.

http://BodynDeeprecords.com

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An On Bast Q&A

Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty, Anna. Let’s start at the beginning and can you tell us how your alias came about: An On Bast and what it means for you?

Hi and thank you for the invitation. An On Bast is a connection between my name and Bast (or Bastet) – Egyptian goddess half-woman, half-cat, she ruled cats in the ancient Egypt by playing the Sistrum instrument. Well, the story behind my artist name is that I grew up with lots of cats around, I spent most of my time with them. So I feel I’ve learnt a lot from them, they kind of shaped my character. From the other side I wanted it to start with an “A” as my name, so I wrote Anon (because I do snowboarding) but it sounded “too cold” for me so I divided it into An On and added Bast as a “cat element”. All in all I wanted something very mine, something that is significant to me, also 3 parts sounded cool to me as (I am a fan of both!) Boards of Canada and Mouse on Mars.

How would you describe the creative rewards of performing live? Do you feel that if there was more live electronic artists the music would be more experimental, more about future than the past?

It is an individual approach, I can only speak for myself and for me it is essential to play live act, to make music live from very small elements, have such a deep control over every tiny step so I can create this live energy I want in the very moment on stage. I think I perceive myself as a musician to whom electronic music technology nowadays gives the opportunity to create many sounds at the same time, to trigger and control many voices happening.
So for me it is very rewarding as it gives me every time a unique experience of improvising and experimenting, having the ideas that might not appear in a quiet alone studio work. It also contacts me with the audience, as I play completely with interaction not only with myself but energy of the people.

Tell us about your excellent new single: The Ballet Began At Eight and where the title came from for the title track? Plus your relationship with Catz and Dogz, Pets Recordings?

Thank you, the title hit me as I was reading a book about Igor Stravinsky, about his premiere of “Rite of Spring”, how nervous he was and how bad it was received soon after the orchestra started to play. And it hit me because this performance began at eight and it was like a new world opened up, the new chapter of history of music was started – even though the first performance was took by the audience and critics very bad. But there was something significant in the air that has changed the music forever with this ballet.
I like a lot releasing albums and Eps. because they mark some point for me. Every record after release cut off the line from the past and I think I felt that with this title. But I feel it with my every release, however they don’t change the world 🙂 They just make me move on. It is beautiful that every album, EP lives its own life influencing people here and there, giving them good emotions or not at all but the beauty of it is that for me it is done and I’m just an observer of my work and of course I’m very happy that I can spread good feelings and that there are people who are catching them in my music.
We know each other with guys from Catz and Dogz for many years, I remember them as 3 Channels already so the beginnings of their remarkable career. Our paths were cut many times not only by playing the same parties, we also have common friends. I always respected a lot their talent and work but I always thought we have different taste in electronic music. But about two years ago they proposed me an EP making for Pets so that’s was I guess a process of finding the common music language. I’m very glad that we did, as the label heads they are very good in what they like and what they don’t, there are no grey fields, and I stand for the same values so that’s why we are all super happy with the result.

Can you describe the production process involved in creating it, including any favourite pieces of software/ hardware you like to refer to?

I wanted this EP to contain the tracks in different moods. I used modular synthesiser a lot in all of them. Generally my music production attitude is that I like to play and record rather than draw in a software. So as usually I played my instruments in various connections.
The more house tracks are made by playing Korg Minilogue. I used also the samples I recorded with Dave Smith Pro2. Drum parts are made by total fusion of eurorack modules, Elektron’s Analog Rytm drum machine and digital Yamaha gear. I work with Ableton Live and Midas Venice mixer console as a centre of my studio for recording, arranging and mixing. I use Avalon 747 sp a lot and some of my all-time favourite Vsts too with D16 among.

If electricity didn’t exist which acoustic instrument (e.g. guitar, piano etc.) would most appeal to you?

In fact I thought about it a lot. Because it is true that now I’m totally dependant on electricity. So I thought many times what would be my instrument let’s say two centuries ago. And definitely that would be the violin. I can’t play it in this life though but I feel connected somehow to it. I just touched it a few times but usually I have a great respect to the classical instruments and it’s individuality so I stop myself from asking my friends to give it to my hands 🙂 Although I wish to spend some time trying it.
Here and now without electricity? I play the piano and the guitar so yes, definitely both.

Who are you main influences both within and outside of electronic music? Any particular writers, painters, poets, musicians you particularly admire?

Influence for me happens as a trigger, motivation to be, to say, to express. That’s why probably I make music from the start. I guess I’m inspired mostly by non-music world, by people who are talented, hardworking and challenge themselves to be the best. Not to rival but to cross their own borders. That’s why I can surely say that I admire Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Cristiano Ronaldo, Kamil Stoch (polish ski jumper) among many other professional sportsmen, their force inspires me to go to the studio every day and do my search within sounds creation, by philosophers like Henri Bergson, Aristotle, Jiddu Krishnamurti, writers Hermann Hesse and Philip K. Dick. I’m for sure under influence by cognitive science, quantum physics, sci-fi movies, joga, rock climbing and most importantly my everyday life with my family, cats and friends.
From the music world it is still Mozart, Bach, Arvo Pärt and Stravinsky that amaze me.
Lastly the instruments themselves, all about them, are super influential for me.

You have released several albums already. Where does all your creative energy come from to do so and describe a typical working day in the studio?

Yes, well as far as I remember I played instruments, sang in the choir, etc. When I realised I can express through electronic music that I loved in that time the whole world opened for me and I feel this energy to create ever since. I’m grateful for that as I have too many creative ideas than time, so I spend plenty of hours a day in the studio. I start usually after breakfast and work until the evening. I usually have a few projects I work during one day, that’s kind of multitask thinking in me probably. But I also have learnt consciously to keep a good balance between music work and doing other activities that I love like sports which give me distance and support my discipline.
In the studio I work on my own tracks for albums and Eps or I’m a producer for some other artists, musicians, vocalists. Sometimes I sound design films, animations, art installations or I work with dancers and choreographers making music specially for modern dance performance. I compose my special concerts for special occasions (historical, connected with an idea or re-adaptations of classical music). So it depends on my mood but also on deadlines 🙂
I feel a unique connection with my equipment and I experiment with it often. I use a lot of my own technics I developed over the years to use the gear creatively to achieve something new or to figure out some new ways of doing something. That’s what interests me the most – my new methods, new sounds, new possibilities. Probably my energy comes very much from my curiosity, fascination and personal development.

And finally. Besides you busy touring schedule what would be your ideal goal to achieve as an artist for 2019?

Ideal goal would be to write a piece for An On Bast and symphonic orchestra and tour with it around the world. Also I dream about scoring sci-fi movie.
Generally I am on the path that I am grateful for. I think I just would like to continue my way, play a lot of concerts in many places sharing good vibes with different audiences. I just wish to continue this beautiful journey.

Buy: An On Bast – The Ballet Began at Eight – Pets Recordings https://petsrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/an-on-bast-the-ballet-began-at-eight-pets095

www.soundcloud.com/an_on_bast
https://www.facebook.com/AnOnBast
http://www.anonbast.com

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Yulia Niko Q&A

Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty, Yulia. Let’s start by asking how living in and then moving between Russia, America, and Berlin has informed what you do in terms of sound and also your approach to life?

Hello Sixty, and thank you so much for having me. Always cool when a DJ can talk to people instead of just sharing music.

My favorite approach is thinking, “If you want be creative, you need to forget about all fears.” Meaning, fears about moving from place to place, or not being supported by people, or that your art is just not good enough. Just forget about all of it and try to do something. Sometimes it actually might not be good, but there is always time to improve, study, and learn from mistakes.

I’m girl from a very small town in the South of Russia, and somehow I was born with the brain of an international traveler. When I was seven years old and went to school, we had French class, and I loved it when the teacher would call me Juli, because I knew I’d become an adult and go travel around the world someday.

Anyway, music became a lever for my traveling and I made the decision to leave Russia after five years of DJ experience there. With very bad English and almost no savings in my account, I traveled across the ocean to New York, where I started to make serious changes in my life. I went to music production school and met the best artists and people from the industry.  Now I’m in Berlin and all of it is hitting me more and more. I always keep my funky housey sound, but I’m improving it with every move I make from country to country, because each has its own music history, which I study and learn a lot from.

Your excellent new single: Casa en el Agua for Rebellion (Crosstown Rebels) feels like an amalgamation of creative processes. Can you talk us through where the initial ideas came from and about how you then produced them as music, including any favourite pieces of software / hardware you like to refer to?

“Casa en el Agua” is actually a real place that exists in the middle of the Caribbean off of Colombia. It’s an incredibly unique place. I had the chance to be part of an evening with Archie Hamilton, Niklas Stadler, Serdal and many more DJs. We had to travel for three days to get there. I just recorded some sounds of birds during the night on my phone. I record a lot of stuff on my phone that I can sample afterwards and use as inspiration in my music. After almost a year I found this recording and was just playing around with it and some other samples I recorded from machines. It was all super quick. Maybe two hours and the track was finished. I’ve learned that if you sit down and make something quickly, it’s always the best idea. If you spend a lot of time and go back to process again and again, the track will never sound good or be released.

I’m very happy now about the new Ableton 10, still using a lot of Minilogue by Korg, Electron MKII, along with the perfect work of the Apollo interface — it all makes it sound very nice.

Yulia Niko – Casa En El Agua: Buy link https://lnk.to/RBL057

Who are your main influences both within and outside of the world of electronic music? Any particular writers, musicians, painters you admire?

I can’t mention artists like Michael Jackson or Madonna, actually inspiration for all the last tracks I’ve made for Crosstown and Hottrax. I really like to read Paulo Coelho, I do like modern, trippy art, but I can’t point to anyone in particular.

Listening to you DJ, you touch upon many different styles. Can you choose three tracks which highlight that variation for us?

Absolutely. These are three tracks I play all the time. You can see the transaction between disco, techno, and acid minimal. How about that?

  • Nick Minieri – Heat Index (Original Mix) [Soul Clap Records]
  • Moby – Porcelain (Alan Fitzpatrick Remix) [Drumcode]
  • Drose – Acid City [Cosenza]

How important do you think it is for a DJ to keep moving forward with new sounds? And how would you describe the way in which instrumentation is so prevalent now (and how people react to rhythms), as opposed to the song-based sets of the past?

Creating something new has always been important. Our ears react right away to new sounds. I think right now this is the main purpose of the DJ/producer. Before, we were only focused on new records, and making a perfect transition during the set. Now, we’re spending days at the studio trying to create something unique that will make us different from all the others and give us our own sound. Just now a Ukrainian producer, iO (Mulen), comes to mind. I’m so proud of Eastern European artists, and how many quality projects have been released in the last few years. This guy created his own sound and I’m sure everyone can recognize him right away.

You also have a track: Cheap Story forthcoming on Jamie Jones’ Hottrax. How important has it been for you to have music released on such prestigious labels? And can you tell us about how the track came to be signed, and about the Acid influence in there?

It was made together with “Casa en el Agua.” I had a break in January from everything and was just making a little album. Honestly, I sat down and asked myself who I wanted to send tracks to first, after I was done with it all. I was focused on Jamie and his sound, so in the end it was easy. I sent tracks to him and he picked two of them right away. I guess the key is to always focus on something and believe you can get it, no matter what.

I think now’s a time of a new wave of Acid basslines on tracks. I’m really enjoying it and just trying to use it as much as I can.

And finally, besides your busy touring schedule, what are you looking forward to for the remainder of this year and into next?

I’m excited for the little tour with Damian Lazarus for the Spirits 2 album on Crosstown Rebels in November. It will be my debut at Watergate and couple of places around Europe. Very nice EP “Acid Meow” on Get Physical by the end of the year. And I’m just going to spend most of my time at the studio in Berlin after a very intense summer season at Ibiza. Let’s see what happens for me and where my destiny brings me in the end.

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Tibi Dabo Q&A

Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Max. Let’s start with your new single: La Dorada for Rebellion. Tell us about where the inspiration came from for the production and about what the title means for you?

Thank you. La Dorada means “the golden one” in Spanish, it’s the name of a fish, the sea bream, and it’s also the name of the home where I spent most of my childhood, near Barcelona. The track was made in London, while I was living and studying there. It was quite a hectic period for me, the city made it feel even more frenetic. I was meeting a lot of new people, doing lots of new things, so once this track started to exist, I felt it would be nice to join both worlds, where I come from, and what was going on at the time. I had a similar approach with the name Tibi Dabo. There’s a hill in Barcelona, my hometown, called Tibidabo (notice the slight difference), keeping this name for wherever the journey took me felt like a nice idea.

photo by @merlegrain

Buy: Tibi Dabo – La Dorada – Rebellion https://lnk.to/RBL056

La Dorada has a particularly distinctive flavour. Can you talk us through how you produced it, including any favourite pieces of software/ hardware you like to use?

I’m a big fan of happy accidents when working on musical compositions or productions. La Dorada is a good example, it was one of those tracks that came very naturally, I almost feel like it was given to me in a way because the workflow was so natural and spontaneous. I think one of its key points is that it’s quite simple when it comes to layers, as I think it relies on all of its elements. I wanted it to feel quite clean at the start, so I could progressively make it feel more dirty and gritty. A key element of the track is the gliding bass line, which is a heavily processed sound from the Prophet 08 (actually I hadn’t used it for bass yet). One piece of software i really enjoy using is Echoboy, it helps a lot when it comes to adding analog touch to something that might lack warmth, it’s also great with saturation and general space distribution in the mix. It can even make you coffee if you ask nicely.

I love hardware because it’s hands on, it helps me so much creatively when I’m jamming out to a new idea. It also makes you not think about burning out your CPU as much, which was a great feeling for me as I used to fill my projects with very heavy soft synths and that hurt the processor too much, to the point where the creative flow slowed down or even stopped as I had to focus on the technical side.

I’m still figuring out my ideal setup, which I doubt will ever get to a “final form”, some of my favorite toys are of course the Prophet for its versatility and the Elektron Analog Rytm (although its workflow is quite a thing, one’s got to get used to it)

Buy link – https://lnk.to/RBL056

Do you think that it has become harder to hear originality in Dance Music? Or do you think the opposite is the case?

I think we’re definitely at a point in time where it’s harder to filter out the good stuff as it’s easier than ever to put music out there. That doesn’t necessarily mean there is less interesting music.

I think it can get a bit overwhelming though.

Big tracks can’t develop the way they did in the past. The same thing happens with any kind of news, it’s just not “news” for long anymore.

There’s such an enormous variety nowadays. One can go in any direction, therefore you can become very specialized.

I remember having a chat with a friend, we were saying something like the scene feels like a huge and very refined tapestry, where its patterns are hard to distinguish, one has to examine it for a long time to recognize its structure and see the individual colours it has to offer.

Who are your main influences from inside and outside of electronic music: any favourite artists, writers, vocalists etc?

I try to avoid comparing myself to other musicians/producers as it almost always makes me feel bad about what I’m doing. But I’d be lying if I said there’s no inspiration in what I do (obviously). A big influence in my music I think is listening to records that might not have much to do with the styles I work in.

I still feel like I’m in a “baby mode” for plenty of aspects in my life. By that I mean that I’m still absorbing things like a sponge. I’m constantly listening to music and wondering how the artist behind that particular song might have achieved a sound, an arrangement or a particular chord progression. This makes me aware of a constant evolution going on in my “creative process”, I doubt I’ll get stuck in a particular style, there’s just too much to try out.

What does DJ’ing mean for you? What ideas and emotions do you like to translate to the people you play for?

There’s so many ways of approaching a DJ set. Something that i really enjoy when listening to someone DJ is spontaneity and a factor of surprise. I really like it when there’re risky moments that can switch the mood in sometimes a very positive way. But overall I’m very into playing long and slowly evolving sets, with an ideal outcome of making the listener forget where he/she is at that given moment. As cliché as it might sound I don’t think that happens too often. I think carefully selecting each track so there’s a continuous energy is a crucial part of this style, merging tracks so there isn’t a clear notion of where the previous track ends and the next one begins is a big part of what i try to achieve on a DJ set. That’s why extended sets are my favourites, the ones where one can really get lost in.

The flip-side to the release is: No Mantra which feels more musical via its rich, piano chords and captivating vocals. Do you think that music is missing out not having as many great songs around, or is rhythm more important and potent in itself?

Rhythm and dance music have an unquestionable link. Some tracks can immediately be recognized because of its incredible groove. But the musical part is what can really make a track memorable. I like melodies that touch you emotionally, and this is quite a delicate subject, because it can be relatively easy to create something that has an obvious emotional impact if you follow certain rules, but I feel it’s really hard to touch an audience in a subtle and elegant way, where the melodic side of the track is suggested instead of imposed. That’s when a record can have a very powerful message and at the same time be very emotional but not in a cheesy way.

I’m definitely still learning how to achieve this.

And finally. Can you share with us your forthcoming plans for moving into the future?

Right now I just got back from working on a new live music project with some close friends. I’m really looking forward to locking myself in my new studio in Berlin, will try to finish some new ideas I have been collecting during the summer, some of them aren’t much more than voice notes and others are almost done. I want to experiment more and dig deeper, there’s so much one can do it can be overwhelming, so I’m trying as hard as I can to limit myself. There’ll be new music ready soon that’s for sure.

Tibi Dabo – La Dorado. Is out now on Rebellion.

Buy https://lnk.to/RBL056

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https://www.instagram.com/tibi_dabo_

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Made By Pete Q&A

Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty, James. There’s a great picture of you holding a copy of your latest release: So Long (Crosstown Rebels) outside of Phonica Records. How did it feel to have in your hands your first release on vinyl and why for you has the format remained such a potent force?

Hi. Thanks for having me. That was a very special moment for me. Not necessarily because it’s a ‘vinyl’, I’m not a purist in any way and I embrace all formats. It was more the fact that when I started DJing as teenager, I went to record stores to buy music. The guys making those records were heroes to me and inspired me to start making music. To walk into a shop like Phonica and buy my own record bought all those memories back and that was a really nice feeling.

Pete Tong recently premiered the Solomun remix of ‘So Long’. Can you tell us about how the choices for the remixers where made: Solomun and Audiojack?

That was all down to Damian Lazarus. He’s an A&R guru! From FFRR to City Rockers, and now celebrating a landmark 15 years of Crosstown Rebels, he has created such an iconic brand through his musical vision. When I first sent him the original for ‘So Long’, he was very excited by it. That prompted him to invite the likes of Solomun and Audiojack to add their take and the EP took it’s form.

 

And what is it about Pete Tong which has made him such an influential voice on radio for the past three decades?

Well if there was a definitive answer to that then there would be hundred’s of ‘Pete Tong’s’. Who knows? It probably has something to do with the fact that he’s been able to pioneer underground music on a commercial stage, giving a platform to young up and coming artists as well as showcasing the industries most accomplished acts. I think that’s where the longevity comes from.

Can you talk us through how you created So Long. Where the initial ideas came from and how you then produced them as music, your decision on creating a song rather than an instrumental, plus working with Jem Cooke again who delivers such a smouldering vocal.

The initial idea was a to create a track that would work in a club but also translate to something you could add to a playlist and listen to in the car or at work. The track went through many versions. When I sent it to Jem it sounded completely different. Some of the elements were there but it was a different track. When she sent it back to me I loved what she had done but realized the track needed to change to really combine with the vocals. I had another few days on it and the lead pad that comes in from the start pushed forward into the mix, setting the tone for the arrangement. It’s always a pleasure to work with Jem. She’s a pro, and she’s from Twickenham where I grew up.

Who are your main influences both within and outside of electronic music? Any particular artists, painters, writers etc that you like to refer to for inspiration?

I don’t have one in particular. I’m influenced by all sorts of sounds and music. Sometimes it’s house, sometimes it’s rock, hip-hop or electronica. I try to keep my ears open all the time for inspiration. It really can come from anywhere. Then I take those inspirations and try to interpret them in my own way.

How have sounds evolved for you in Dance Music since you started producing. Do you think it is important for the music to keep moving forward rather than revisit the past too much for inspiration?

Music is always changing. It has to otherwise it gets boring. I’m not a huge fan of remixes of classics from years gone by. I think a classic is a classic because it emerged at the right time in the right place. It’s very rare to find a remix that delivers the same emotions as the original, probably because that original conjures up memories of good times. On the other hand, having a good knowledge of what has shaped the scene before you is vital. I like to hear sounds being recycled and reinvented in a new way. If you can combine that with your own unique sound then that, for me, is very exciting.

You have a busy touring schedule as a DJ too. How have you found time on the road? Have you read The Secret DJ?

No I haven’t read that yet but I have been meaning to. I have traveled and toured as a DJ to places like Ibiza, Australia and Asia as well as around the UK, but not to the extent that I would like. Hopefully with continued dedication and a bit of luck that will come, but managing to fit everything else in is hard. You have to be dedicated and also have a good balance between work life and downtime with family and friends.

Can you talk us through your studio set-up? And tell us about any particular favourite piece of software/ hardware you like best?

My studio set up is quite simple. I’m not a huge tech-head. I like to mix organic natural sounds with analogue synthetic elements and I have found Omnisphere to be perfect for that. I like to use U-he Diva as my main synth. I think it’s better to master one or 2 instruments at a time than to fill your hard drive with hundreds of plug-ins that you don’t know how to use. I’m a big fan of the Fabfilter pro bundle. I’m getting great results using their EQ and compressor on my group busses to add an extra punch during the mixing process. Last year I upgrade my monitors to EVE SC207’s and they are really fun to work on whilst staying transparent. I haven’t ventured into the world of hardware much but I have just bought the Moog Sub 37 and can’t wait to get stuck into it.

And finally. What are your plans for the remainder of the year?

To keep making music as much as I can. I have signed an EP to Audiojack’s label Gruuv Records which I have been a fan of for years. The lead track featureds my good friend Penny Foster who I have worked with many times before. I’m working on a collaboration with Habischman, who’s music I really respect. I also have another EP for Crosstown Rebels on the go which is a work in progress but we’re getting there. ☺

Buy: So Long http://classic.beatport.com/release/so-long/2335420

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https://www.facebook.com/madebypeteofficial

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Luuk van Dijk Q&A

Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty, Luuk. You recently celebrated your 22nd birthday at Shelter in Amsterdam. How did it all go? And can you tell us about your connection to the City and to the Club?

Thank you for having me. Well, that was quite a night haha, for me it was such an important night, because I made my debut at the club in December ‘17 with Denis Sulta and I couldn’t believe they offered me to program a night in their massive club at my birthday. For me it’s one of the best clubs on Dutch territory, wicked sound system and party vibes all night long. I invited one of my all-time faves Subb-An B2B Adam Shelton so that was already one of the best gifts I could ever ask for my birthday. Julian Alexander for the warm up, Ash & Adam on peak and me on the closing duties, dancing till the early morning with all my friends and the best crowd. Moving to Amsterdam was a good move, I’ve met the most kind people, got to see the best dj’s play and all that just within 20 mins cycling tops. That’s why this city is so amazing, nightlife=Amsterdam.

You played WOMB in Japan back in May. How do you approach DJ’ing in a different part of the world? Do you believe music is a universal language, or do certain countries (or even cities) have particular nuances?

That was one epic night, I could play everything I wanted and people went nuts. Just what you want and need as a DJ. In Holland you can notice that every city likes something else. For example in Utrecht people dig the more underground groovy house sound a lot and in Rotterdam the crowd loves a bit more techy vibes. In Amsterdam it just depends on the night and club. That’s what I love about DJ’ing, every set is different and 80% of the time you don’t know what to expect. When I’m playing an all-nighter you will hear me playing groovy minimalistic vibes for the first couple of hours, then it’s just House & Tech House, then I could get a little bit more melodic and if I feel like, you could hear me playing techno for the last 1 or 2 hours. I think it’s really important every city, country is different. It keeps DJ’s fresh and sharp.

Your sets encompass a diverse range of sounds. Which artists have been the most important influence to your style? Are there any musicians or artists outside of the world of electronic music which have also informed you?

I’m into a lot of different music, mainly electronic music of course but if I’m listening to music myself you can find me hearing a lot of Hiphop, Disco, Jazz, Funk you name it. The most important thing for me that the music has soul in it or if it makes me just ‘jack my body’ I’m more than okay with it haha. DJ’s who I look up to the most are Jamie Jones, Kerri Chandler, Apollonia and The Martinez Brothers. Musicians who I inspire me are Kendrick Lamar, Biggie Smalls, Billy Cobham and Jamiroquai. As long as it’s good music I’ll love it.

How would you say that your generation of DJ’s and the Clubbers you play to have differed from the previous? Are things the same but different, or have they evolved into something else?

I think this question isn’t relevant to me because I’m just 22 years old and only 5/6 years in the scene now, of course I’ve seen footage about raves from back in the days but I never experienced those in real life. I guess with music it’s just a cycle, every 15 years or so the sound changes back to its roots. I always look back to tracks from 10/20 years ago, I just absolutely love the oldskool sound.

You run your own night PUUR, in Hiversum. Tell us about the philosophy behind the night?

2 years ago a very good friend of mine came to me with the idea to throw parties in my hometown Hilversum. We wanted to give something back to the dance scene in Hilversum because there was no underground scene at all. The concept was a full on experience, theme based. So one edition you were at a supermarket, the next time you were in a car garage. I headlined and I invited local talents and sometimes bigger artists. After doing 12 editions in 3 different cities we thought it was a wrap, we decided to throw one more party and we’ve put all our last money in it, it was one hell of a emotional night but damn it was epic haha. Now it’s just time for something new 😉

Do you ever think watching DJ’s on the internet will ever replace Clubbing?

Never really thought about this to be honest, but I’m sure it will never replace the real deal. Of course it happens a lot now, you see livestreams everywhere and it’s a great way promoting your event or just for fun. Also it’s a cool way to educate kids with good music (depends on which stream of course haha) and see dj’s play although they can’t go to clubs because of their age. But nothing compares to a good dj bringing energy to an ill-lighted club with a massive sound system.

And finally. Please share with us your future plans for yourself both as a Producer and DJ?

Things are going next level now and this summer is looking so good! Playing festivals like Awakenings, Welcome To The Future, Mysteryland, STRAF_WERK and a lot of the top 20 festivals in Holland. Also there’s a lot of new music coming out, which I’m really happy about.

Luuk van Dijk’s Parallax EP (featuring a remix by DJ Skull) is out 20th July via Hot Creations. You can listen/pre-order the EP here

For more information on Luuk, be sure to check out his Facebook, Soundcloud and Resident Advisor pages

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Solarc Q&A

Hello and welcome to Magazine Sixty, Carlos. Let’s start with the alias, Solarc. Can you tell us the meaning behind the name?

Hello, thanks for the invite and for the interview!
About my alias Solarc it comes from a crazy idea I think, actually its an anagram of my name (which is Carlos) besides a secret meaning that I can’t tell you haha.

Your new single for Crosstown Rebels sub-label Rebellion: Dark Wings sounds smoky and hot. Can you talk us through how you produced the track, from where the initial idea came from to any particular pieces of favourite software/ hardware you like to use?

Well actually I never know what will come out from my studio. I try to set up all my ideas but sometimes I get lost in the middle and finish in another way, but this time I can say that I have been focused to produce something deep, dark and modern. I used to work on Studio One but nowadays I am more on Ableton and use hardware like Moog Voyager or Supernova also the access Virus, which for me is an amazing synthesizer.

Buy Dark Wings https://lnk.to/RBL054

Tell us about your relationship with the label and how getting the track signed happened?

I think we have developed a great relationship, I have worked with many labels and I can say that Crosstown Rebels works in a different way and they support the artist in a very special way. I feel really honoured to be part of this family and to get my music signed with them.

How has your Central America / North America tour been going? Any standout moments you would care to share?

Well the tour was great, I went to Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico besides Panama where I am staying part time nowadays. I can say the parties were amazing in every single country, specially in Guatemala, the energy and the crowd there was so special. Unfortunately we’ve experienced a very sad moment in Guatemala Antigua City as I was there when the “Volcan de Fuego” erupted some days ago. It was crazy, I was DJing in the city at an after hour right in front the Volcano that morning and it was magical and beautiful, then a couple of hours later we had to evacuate the city. Unbelievable.

Outside of the world of electronic music who are your biggest influences? Have any artists, authors, poets etc inspired you in relation to creating music?

Of course, I like every single expression of art, I’m a big fan of DaVinci, Salvador Dali, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Michael Murphy to name a few.

You have had music released on a number of major labels including: Toolroom and VIVA Music. How would you describe your journey to that status? And do you think that music is in a good place at the moment regarding how artists can support themselves in today’s climate?

Well it’s difficult, I think the industry goes so fast nowadays and it’s not easy to be on top of the wave full time. It’s not only about music I’m afraid, now you need to take care on your social media and profile, and need to get exposure in different ways. There are lots of tools but for me at the end is your music that matters, you know, that’s why is good to earn attention from big labels that’s the most important thing for me.

You have said that Club Vertigo is one of your favourite clubs in the world. Why?

Well I’ve got a nice connection with the club, starting with the sound system design which is Gary Stewart Audio, and where it’s located. I always enjoy when I play there.

And finally. Can you tell us about any forthcoming plans?

Well I’ve got some important releases coming out after this one on Rebellion, as you said VIVA Music, Toolroom and I am working on some new stuff for Crosstown Rebels and Hot Creations too. Also I am working on my Sample Tools Album and VA mixed Album that will be released before 2019, and hopefully ill keep touring taking my music worldwide.

https://www.facebook.com/SolarcMusic

https://twitter.com/solarcmusic

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