If you’re gearing up for Circus X, the tenth anniversary party of Liverpool’s famed Circus club night, chances are you’ll have come across Russ Reid’s work. The graphic designer responsible for the ‘Pudlian party’s distinctive, surreal posters – definitely no clowns – has been its lead illustrator since the night’s inception, creating twisted mashup images around the iconic house names of Circus lineups. Now the night is turning a decade old with dual parties in Liverpool as well as London’s Egg keeping up the Circus motto, “serious music, fun times”.
So they say when something ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And with Melt 5 having taken the night cosmic, ‘more of the same’ was understandably order of the day. After the elation that the guest-slots of Nick Hoeppner and Tama Sumo gifted those present back in May, the 6th of Melt’s bi-monthly parties needed some heavy DJ artillery. Their call to arms was answered once more by a deadly male/female dynamic. First up was Frenchman Zadig, both playing a live set, and making his debut in London clubland. With him in the trenches on a soggy July night was Virginia, the acclaimed Panorama bar virtuoso, in town for her first UK show since rocking Fabric last December.
In just a handful of parties, underground house and techno crew Select*Elect has developed a rep for quality lineups with past trumps including H.O.S.H and Catz and Dogz. So it’s no surprise that even on this chilly, rainy April weekend, the London based Euro outfit of house music lovers has managed to hustle a cool Saturday night crew into its ‘secret warehouse location’.
R20: Renaissance Twentieth Anniversary Part One across two locations…
In 1992 when Renaissance entered the fray dance music in clubs was a completely different experience. Warehouses, reclaimed Ritzys, motorway arches and fields were the terrain for which acid house surged through the speakers, but Renaissance pioneered a new form of clubbing alongside a brand new sound. Utilising stately homes and adding a regal zest to partying, they proved that clubbing need not be an experience in a dingy environment. And they did so by pushing an exciting new genre, a combination of the epic and ethereal trance and techno coming from mainland Europe with the rolling house grooves from over the Atlantic; Progressive House.
The sixth edition of the successful ‘back to back’ compilation series from Berlin club label mobilee is solely ruled by Pan-Pot this time around. With recent catchy tunes such as “Captain My Captain” and “Confronted”, the bustling, ultra-creative duo played, mixed and produced their way into the hearts of countless party people. One-of-a-kind events are defined by burning fans worshiping under the charm and virtuosity from the big stage as Pan-Pot shines through the club music mishmash.
Mobilee’s annual invite-only rooftop parties at Barcelona’s Hotel Silken Diagonal have been a debaucherous staple of the Sonar Festival calendar since 2007. This year will be no exception, as once again they have put together a special 3-day Sonar adventure in co-operation with Resident Advisor. Continue reading “Mobilee celebrate Sonar 2012 high above the rest…” »
fabric… 12 years and counting… unlike so many clubs that start-up with a big bang but then fizzle out just as fast, it simply refuses to be forgotten. Is it luck, persistence or something else entirely? We thought having a look at what makes fabric tick might just provide some insight as to why it’s still one of London’s top venues after all this time and looks set to stay there for the foreseeable future.
You may remember some clubs of the past that started around the same time but have since fallen due to reputation or simply lack of money. All of these clubs ensured a great image, lots had great venues and trendy names. So why is fabric still here where other names have fallen?
Part of the reason is that back in ’99 fabric also gave the masses an alternative to the cheesy pop culture that was being forced upon them, and how they loved it! Couple the fact they only book the hottest DJ’s which offer something really great to give their audiences with its open-plan warehouse/labyrinth feel and you have something a bit different from your standard venue. We caught up with good friends of fabric; Ash Subhan aka Subb-an (Crosstown Rebels), Jonny White of Art Department (Crosstown Rebels) and Lee Foss (Hot Creations).
As Ash Subhan put it: “when I first started going five years ago I was always amazed how you could walk between all three rooms and not walk through any doors but how it worked. I think this is great. The sound sort of fades out from one room as you walk into the new sound from the next room.”
Okay, so the venue is cool, but what gives it that extra something to entice the biggest crowds and the best DJs from around the world?
Lee Foss provides some insight: “I think the things that make fabric great are the sound system and attention to detail/professionalism that put the artists automatically into a comfort zone. I know I’m not myself when things aren’t right or I’m not in my comfort zone, so to be at ease that everything is going to work and sound right, leaves you with only your job to do instead of someone else’s as well. Throw in the fact that it’s in London with the best music fans in the world and it’s got ‘great’ written all over it.”
Jonny White of Art department thinks: “It’s never any one thing that makes a club one of the great ones. There are so many elements that go into creating that environment that make a venue/night magic. from bookings, to lighting, to sound, staff, and decor… fabric‘s one of very few clubs that size with the right vibe… there’s a reason it is what it is and means so much to all of us.”
Everyone has great memories of fabric, if you ask anyone that has been they always smile that knowing smile that tells you they had a great time but aren’t sure how to explain why it was quite as good as it was. Maybe that is the missing link that draws people back time and time again, searching for that feel-good vibe that comes when all the elements are just right; the most capable DJs, a great atmosphere and space to do whatever you want. All that is really needed is to put your hands in the air and enjoy the music.
“…I will always remember the very first time I went around six years ago, I was only seventeen and it was the first time for me to ever experience a venue on the level as Fabric, and it was also the first time I was ‘musically’ introduced to Craig and Terry. To hear what they were doing in Fabric the first time round for me will always stay in my memory.” (Ash Subhan)
“Aside from our first time playing Fabric, which was a monumental moment in our music career, I would say the most recent Rebel Rave we had there in the main room with Damian and Maceo Plex. Had loads of friends with us and ended up partying with Anthony Rother, one of our major influences growing up in this industry… it was a really special night.” (Jonny White)
“My most memorable moment at fabric I guess would be playing there for the first time, just because it was something I’d looked forward to for so long… I’d held myself to a higher standard for that gig. It was memorable to me because playing there excited me and it went well. There aren’t that many things that excite me about work anymore so when they come along its nice to have that fresh feeling again.” (Lee Foss)
No matter what you say about fabric, it has shown time and time again that it is going nowhere, remaining an underground hotbed for some of the best in musical talent around the world.
A clothing brand that is forging with electronic music…
‘workaholic’, for those that don’t know, is a Berlin based project which has grown from years of experience involved in the underground clubbing scene, a strong network of creative people who live and breathe electronic music, pushed by the tiring of work in the ‘normal’ working life society. Carolin and Fabian are the ones behind the project that is bringing both music and stylish clothing into the same mix, forging the two together like bread and butter. It’s something that seems so right yet rarely seen in such a way that that these guys are doing it.
With their strong network of creative minded people, DJs, Producers, graphic designers, they are forming collaborations with Artists and Labels to print their designs on clothing and get it out there. Such great designs as on the Nico Purman “Visions EP” from Vakant. Their collaborations see them teaming up with various artists every few months to release a collection of t-shirts boasting the artist’s designs. They have already released collections of artwork from the distinctively deep Bara Bröst, highly respected German techno DJs Dualton & DJ Emerson, the mysterious Snuff Crew, the Berlin styled Killekill, and of recent the renowned Gregor Tresher. Names that resonate the kind of image ‘workaholic’ has been building towards and seems like they will continue to maintain.
Not only have they been collaborating with some truly amazing artists, but they are entering their second year of featuring at both the “Sonne, Mond & Sterne” festival [Sun, Moon & Stars] and the “Fly Bermuda” festival. A move, which has propelled them even further in to arms of the people, that and their way of socially interacting with people on such an amazing level. “…for us it’s really important to have contact with people during these festivals. You know, we can have fun, drink a beer, celebrate and party with people and interact on the same level…” , Carolin explains.
So where did it all start?…. Carolin: “…We were both use to going dancing quite early on and being touched by electronic music and to staying long, long hours in the club, sometimes even days. So the idea to do something that has to do with the music we love, wasn’t born at that time but the foundation was laid for our project.” Fabian: “Yeah it’s like Carolin said, We’ve been going out from the age of 15 or 16… Carolin experienced all the old clubs here in Berlin…” Carolin: “…like E-Werk, the old Tresor, Bunker and the old Kit-Kat in the Glogauer, the clubs of the late 90′s.” Fabian: “…And I grew up in the center of Germany, experiencing the clubbing scene with the great Stammheim/Aufschwung Ost next door and many trips to Berlin, Frankfurt and Thuringia, before coming to to Berlin around 5 years ago. Since then we have been moving in the party environment and having friends doing music.”
Fabian and Carolin have also experienced more serious working backgrounds, which you wouldn’t really associate to a music related project. Fabian having studied Economics and Caroline Communications and landing a job with a software company. It’s not quite the beginnings of a music orientated project.
So how did the building blocks of ‘workaholic’ form?… Carolin: “Well, I decided to quit my job at SAP and the first month I work for a fashion label run by a friend of mine. You know, sometimes you want to be in a business with friends and you try only to learn that it’s not the best idea. It wasn’t so easy and after a while I realised it wasn’t going to work. I decided to leave with my savings and start my own business. I didn’t want to start a fashion label that was a normal fashion label, because I didn’t study fashion design. So I was thinking how could I create clothes, but without having the typical process of designing and producing them. In the beginning I started with the fashion line but the idea of having the T-Shirts came later…” Fabian: “…it developed by speaking with friends and DJs in our network who were doing music. Like the first collection was done together with musicians. And our ideas always developed from talking to friends and musicians, so it was a gradual progression.” Carolin: “The first collection started just drinking a beer with a couple of guys, one being a graphic designer, and he proposed doing a T-Shirt collection in between the normal fashion collection. I said, ‘Yeah, why not,… show me some drafts’. So it was just a case of trying it out and recognising if it worked better that the fashion thing. And that’s when I kind of said, ‘that’s the thing we’ve been looking for’. It wasn’t easy because we always needed someone to help somewhere along the line.” Fabian: “Then we talked to labels as well and realised that besides doing music they also work a bit with fashion, so the first labels came on board and the idea of the product developed. We knew that they had nice graphical work from record designs and the flyer designs and we developed the idea with these.”
It seems that Carolin and Fabian have really made a leap forward in terms of their own working life style by leaving behind the standard office jobs… Carolin: “…we both think it was a good thing to have experienced the ‘serious working life’ and working environment before starting this project…” Fabian: “…Having this experience has helped us with organising the project and it also helped us to realise that [normal work] it’s not our thing and to move forward with something where our heart belongs.” Carolin: “To work in an environment we belong to.”
And now they have launched into a passion that has them working even more than ever. They say that they have become ‘workaholics’ doing the thing that they truly enjoy. Is that where the name comes from? Carolin: “I think when you’re doing something that you really love, you become a ‘workaholic’, because you put all your time and passion into it…” Fabian: “Yeah, many times we are here 14 hours a day.” Carolin: “…for us we don’t say, ‘we are going to work’, we say ‘we are going to the shop’. So we don’t think of it like work, but we are ‘workaholics’, because we put so much into the project.”
“When you talk about workaholic, you normally think of business people, but even DJs are ‘workaholics’. They put so much into what they do in order to be so successful. And that’s kind of what it’s about… creative people being so passionate about what they do and putting so much into it.” Fabian: “Passionate about the passion.”
Their story can be related to by many people, because many never really starts out their working life fully involved in music or some other form of creative passion, doing what they ‘belong to’. Of course there are those fortunate enough to be immersed in what they love from early on and manage to make a living from the word go, but for many like Carolin and Fabian, it has been a gradual progression stemming from their life experiences, good and bad. A learning curve which has brought them to the point of launching themselves into an idea that still hadn’t formed.
But once having the idea taking shape, was there a particular objective to the whole concept?… Fabian: “…to combine artists active in electronic music, designers, people doing fashion and the creative environment, which is quite active in Berlin… Through this vision or this idea to involve them in this “workaholic” environment. So it’s doing fashion but also attracting people thinking in a similar way. People who know what it’s like to be on the dance floor enjoying the music until 11am and don’t want to leave. Or people who know what it’s like to have this creative passion or moment, people who know what it’s like to think outside of the everyday established mindset society. In Berlin there are still loads of people thinking liberal, thinking freely and creatively.” Carolin: “The social component is also very important.”
After their first collection working so well, they have seen the concept itself receiving tremendous feedback from artists, designers and other creative people. Many people either stumble across the shop [as Guerilla Sounds did] or their products and they seem to be attracting more and more creative people and more interest. Something which is evident in their first five collections and their distinct collaboration with Vakant and Killekill.
One question that does come to mind is weather the whole concept of “workaholic” could have worked in another city or weather it has only worked so well because of being in Berlin? Fabian: “I think it’s possible to do this in another city, but it would have been different. I think there are many people like yourselves, moving from many capitals to Berlin because of its special character. The possibilities to meet someone with a talent in Berlin is much higher in relation to other cities I think, it’s much more condensed.” Carolin: “Creation doesn’t stop in Berlin. Also in Berlin the costs are much lower so it is easier for us to start such a project.”
workaholic has only been running for 2 years, but already they have created a fine array of collaborations, been actively present at the last two ‘Sonne Mond & Sterne’ festival as well as last year’s ‘Fly Bermuda’. workaholic will again be strongly involved in this year’s ‘Fly Bermuda’ at the weekend, but they are also teaming up with labels like Iriedaily, Killekill, Mobilee, Stil vor Talent, Upon.You and Vakant to present their latest fashion creations, collections and all time classics for their “Bumtschick Fashion Bazaar” being held at Watergate on 03 November. Shopping for clothes, records and CDs combined with music performances by Marco Resmann (Upon.You), DeWalta (Vakant), Juli Holz (Stil vor Talent) and Björn Störig (Stil vor Talent).
But with workaholic having been already active and involved in many things,.. which have been the real key moments for workaholic? Carolin: “I remember when we had a product recommendation in Groove magazine. And that’s when we realised that the concept was ready to run as a company, because people saw the product in the magazine and we started receiving frequent orders. The second, was when we first done the ‘Sun, Moon & Stars’ Festival last year.” Fabian: “It’s always really nice when people appreciate what you do. They buy the product and they are really proud to wear it… For me a big moment was when Gregor Tresher did a re-edit of one of his tracks especially dedicated to workaholic, which is, in its self, a huge compliment.”
Gregor Tresher – Through The Shadow Glass (Gregor’s Shadow Edit)
Dedicated to the collaboration with workaholic.
‘workaholic’ is a true clothing label that is not involved in the music for the publicity, but vastly embedded into the scene and is rapidly becoming a key component of the Berlin music scene in particular. Their collaborations with Berlin labels, artists and DJs are fine examples that they are doing something significant for the music environment and are well respected for what they are doing.