Animaux | UK

Zutekh Presents: Ricardo Villalobos, at Gorilla

Mar
14

It’s the first time since 2012 that Ricardo Villalobos has graced the damp streets of Manchester with his world-renowned minimal magic. So it’s with heavy anticipation that I approach the entrance to Gorilla and descend into it’s dark steamy underbelly. It’s about half eleven and already the place is being filled with an eager looking crowd. A lively warm up set from Zutekh’s, Daniel ‘Quixano’ Henriques fuels the building energy, as the room steels itself for a night that many have waited too long for . As the floor begins to fill up the atmosphere is one of anxious anticipation, it’s tight but there is space to manoeuvre. Space which is being utilised to the full by the white leather jacket in front of me, who seems intent on teaching anyone who will listen how to slut drop.

Photo by Gemma Parker Photography

In what seemed like no time fellow Chilean DJ Umho, with a face dominated by a wide cheeky grin, takes over the decks. Since playing alongside Villalobos at Cocoon, Amnesia in 2009 Umho has spent the last six years spreading his spellbinding minimal tech sets all over the world, in a style he calls “groove travelling”. He warms up the scene well, moving away from the more hard-hitting tech house, settling the show into a much more subtle, elegant sound, caressing the amassed with warm kicks and euphoric melodies. The set continues to maraud through the night, gathering a steady momentum that charges the room. The strip lighting and well refined sound system – kudos to Zutekh – start to come into their own, delivering an enthralling and engaging wave of atmospheric bliss.

The scene is set perfectly, as a blast of appreciation from the crowd heralds the return of the maestro himself, the four-year wait is quickly forgotten as the humid energy reaches fever pitch. The intimacy of the night takes hold, an international headliner playing to 700 people, as the four to the floor techno kicks whip the crowd into a cluster bomb. Villalobos floats the vocals from C’hantal ‘The Realm’ over the driving melody of ‘Hows Your Evening So Far?’ Josh Wink & Lil Louis, masterfully moulding the crowd into one giant restless wave. Constantly keeping the crowd in limbo between recognition and uncertainty, unable to identify seemingly familiar tracks I was never really certain of what I was hearing.

The effect was completely hypnotic, I found myself craving each change in bassline or key, just desperate to hear what he was going to do next. Momentarily the trance was broken as the crowd respond to Josh Wink’s ‘Higher State of Consciousness’ with outstretched arms and a bellow of appreciation. A spectacle which, over three and a half hours became something a ritual, as Villalobos with a deep, devious grin on his face filled the room with resounding, unrestrained techno, from all corners of the globe.

Photo by Gemma Parker Photography

Heading home, out in the inky early morning dampness, I was more than impressed with everything the night had to offer. Both of the Chilean spinners held nothing back, and looked like they were genuinely enjoying themselves as much as everyone else. Zutekh didn’t put a foot wrong either, providing a good sound system and creating a captivating atmosphere, without overfilling the venue. Lets just not leave it another four years ey?

Check out Zutekh’s Facebook page for more events!

Second Line-Up Announcement from Dimensions Festival

Mar
09

Dimensions announced their 2016 line-up with the likes of Larry “Mr. Fingers” Heard, Octave One, Richie Hawtin, our past guests Zenker Brothers and many more! Check the video and the poster below for full listings!

[fbvideo link=”https://www.facebook.com/DimensionsFestival/videos/802651473174775/” width=”1000″ height=”500″ onlyvideo=”1″]

You can find Dimensions tickets here or more info here.

Dekmantel Reveal Colossal Lineup For 2016

Feb
23

If you weren’t already dribbling with excitement over the prospect of another year of Amsterdam’s Dekmantel festival, then, well.. what’s wrong with you? Even a quick glance at the lineup announcement should be enough to make you look like you need treatment for rabies. It’s an absolute monster.

Set in the idyllic ­ and enormous ­ Amsterdamse Bos forest, about 20 minutes outside the city centre, Dekmantel is thought of as one of the best techno and house festivals on the European calendar and its a reputation which has been snowballing year on year. Ever since more humble beginnings as a series of events and parties (not all legal) in and around Amsterdam, curators Thomas Martojo, Casper Tielrooij ­ and more recently Matthijs Theben Terville ­have faithfully nurtured their concept with an unwavering and inherently simple philosophy “we’re not a festival that changes the lineup year on year” “We’d rather focus on quality.”

Just by taking a quick glance at the latest lineup release you can see what they mean, a good number of this year’s artists and selectors are tried and tested Dekmantel veterans. Theo Parrish, Robert Hood, and Moodymann return, harking back to 2007/8, when Thomas and Casper brought Detroit’s uniquely industrial stylings to Amsterdam’s ­ at the time­ minimal house focused scene. Ben UFO, San Proper and Juju & Jordash also represent a significant part of Dekmantel history, the latter pair being the first to put out EPs on Dekmantel’s own label. The more recent release of EPs from New Jersey master Joey Anderson, and accomplished Ukrainian producer Vakula, not to mention an ongoing partnership with Robert Hood really bolt down a flourishing feeling of trust surrounding the label. Both working on the basis that they “need to release it, because it needs to be heard” the pair further established the Dekmatnel name as a bustling hive of raw talent.

With a long line of successful events and a contact list that would be any promoter’s wet dream it’s no wonder the Dekmantel name has become synonymous with excellence, and looking at the list of djs gracing the selector stage this year you can see why: Ricardo Villalobos, Dixon, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Jackmaster, Nina Kraviz, The Black Madonna, Tale of Us, Fatima Yamaha, Rødhad and Ben Klock all make up just a glimpse of what an utter dream of lineup the trio of music devotees have put together, putting pay to the strong Dekmantel ethos ­celebrating artists that simply need to be heard.

Also on the bill are a number of scintillating partnerships which are not to be missed. 808 state’s Graham Massey and ‘Voodoo Ray’ creator A Guy Called Gerald reunite to showcase a live all-­analogue acid house set. Ben UFO and Joy Orbison also team up again, spinning anything that falls between house and techno, as well as local boys Antal and Hunee putting together what is sure to be a lively and soulful collaboration.

For those who just don’t know when to go to bed, the festivities will continue well after the sun goes down at the long-established Melkweg (Milky Way) club, which will play host to the likes of, Jackmaster, Legowelt (live) and a dizzying swathe of exciting up and coming talent. The festival will kick off on the 4th of August with a series of opening events dotted around the city, all connected by a free ferry, neat huh?

The full line up can be found here, tickets here. Dekmantel will run from the 4th – 7th of August.

Tessellate: Konstantin Sibold @ The Pickle Factory, London

Feb
16

It would have been hard to find The Pickle Factory if we weren’t looking for it. Its anonymous façade artfully conceals the many wonders that lie beyond the sound-proof doors, squeezed between the street and a modest tower of stacked shipping containers. The Pickle Factory, I am told, used to be an actual pickle factory back in the days, stoking the wild fantasies of many pickle enthusiasts. It’s glorious pickle days came to an end some time later when the building was converted into a medical supply storage. Eventually, the building found its true calling when Oval Space — the iconic East London music venue — carved out of a derelict storage facility the slick and intimate venue that it has now become.

The Pickle Factory

Sometime in 2013, Oval Space took over the neighbouring used-to-be pickle factory envisioning a polished, fresh, and cosy environment; a welcoming nook in the grimy, punchy skyline, dominated by the towering gasometers of Bethnal Green. The venue was specifically designed to deliver unrivalled sound quality and clarity. Stripped of visual tinsel of any sort, at The Pickle Factory the spotlight shines on the sound system as warm, curvy bass lines and limpid highs wash through the minimalist room. The unrivalled sound quality is complemented by the venue’s impressive booking policy. Indeed, The Pickle Factory can boast amongst its guests some of the most interesting names in contemporary electronic music. Up-and-coming event brand ‘Tessellate’, brings to The Pickle Factory, London non other than Konstantin Sibold of Innervisions.

Konstantin Sibold

“Konstantin Sibold (Innervisions/Caramelo) [All nacht long]” read the RA event description. And indeed, as commanded by a longstanding German tradition, Konstantin Sibold thumped the dance floor for seven long hours until the crack of dawn. Known for becoming Stuttgart’s club Rocker 33 youngest resident in 2009, Konstantin Sibold was newcomer of 2013 for Groove Magazine and is widely appreciated as an innovating force across the spectre of electronic music. With Mr. Sibold, techno and house meet as if for the first time; brushed by indie and disco, his sets reinterpret the intersection of these genres in a distinctively fresh, full-of-life way.

The format at The Pickle Factory, seven hours of Sibold and only Sibold, met exceedingly well with his style, allowing for a thorough induction to the sounds that define Konstantin Sibold as an artist and a music lover. The marathon-set allowed for a nuanced understanding of Konstantin Sibold’s work, highlighting the unity of his style: eclectic, one could say, when contrasted with some of his colleagues’ lengthy sets. Heavily indie-influenced, the set alternated fuzzy, dazing tunes and thumping beats: and the crowd faded into a subsided lull, only to rise in frenzy again, as if rhythmically breathing with the set. Disco also made occasional appearances, much to the audience’s delight. Indeed, if you needed further proof of disco’s resurgence, Konstantin Sibold at The Pickle Factory would probably have convinced you. Masterfully weaved into the fabric of the set, its joyfully forceful entrances stoked boys and girls alike, and the crowd devoured any tune that would only just hint a 70s resemblance.

Leaving our beloved Pickle Factory, the clear blue sky slowly drifts from a deeply intense blue to a glowing pastel azure, against the suggestive post-industrial relics of East London. Bathed in the dawn’s chilly wind, I make my way back through the shuttered gentrified streets leading to Shoreditch. All in all a fantastic night! Special thanks to Konstantin Sibold and the guys at Tessellate!

Konstantin Sibold will next play in his hometown, Stuttgart, on the 23rd of February at Kraftwerk Rottweil. Check out his schedule HERE.

Tessellate returns to Corsica Studios in London with: Space Dimension Controller (Clone / R&S), Murat Tepeli (Potion/OstGut Ton), Dorisburg (Aniara / Bossmusik), and residents on the 12th of March. Check it out HERE.

Boomtown Releases Its 2016 Mainstage Line­ups

Feb
07

So it’s coming to the time of year when everyone starts crawling out of the gym wondering what the hell happened to January. We’ve just spent a month trying to reverse what a couple of weeks binging on Aldi’s finest booze, and sugar riddled treats can do to our otherwise, I’m sure, trim and sculpted bodies. Nevertheless memories of sunnier and happier days start to filter through, hazy flickering memories of a time when being outside didn’t mean wearing more layers than a family sized lasagna and when sitting in a field listening to music was not only possible, but a pleasurable experience at that.

Yep you guessed it, it’s time to think about festivals, and Boomtown is one I have been itching to see a line­up for. It’s a festival which is well-known for its rich atmosphere and freedom of expression. It even comes with its own warped dystopian storyline, one that develops year on year, with last years saga seeing the union of the brainwashed ‘Comrade Jose’ (formally Mayor Burrita José) and ‘The Sheriff’. A move that led to the building of the ‘Bang High Palace’, a huge, nine story fire-breathing behemoth of a main stage. Erupting with vicious drum and bass, the palace was erected as a monument to the strength of the new totalitarian alliance, and it worked, right up until the end of the four days, when a speech by ‘Comrade José’ was hijacked by a masked figure heralding the beginning of a new uprising and a new revolution, the tantalising cliffhanger for the next chapter in the Boomtown legend.

Never pinning itself down to any specific genre, Boomtown really rewards the wanderer, you can find yourself raving in a hidden wood one second then skanking on a sun drenched amphitheatre of a hillside the next. Quite literally, the nine different districts making up this brilliantly peculiar pop up city each boast its own flavour of musical delights, from the Latino carnival mood of ‘Barrio Loco’ to the futuristic neon drenched buildings of ‘DSTRKT 5’, a stroll around boomtown is as spicy and unpredictable as a liger (Editor’s Note: Liger) in a curry house. So all in all I don’t think I can be blamed for my, let’s be honest, childish anticipation for the “immersive audio­visual joyride” that is Boomtown. Especially when you look at the wide variety of well known names hitting the many stages this year.

Damian Marley, reggae legend in his own right, returns to the UK’s biggest reggae stage ‘Lion’s Den’, alongside the Kiwi seven ­piece Fat Freddy’s drop and classic skank merchants Madness. In the centre Boomtown’s self proclaimed musical “melting pot” ‘Town Center’ looks to be living up to its reputation this year, setting up to host electronic dignitaries Leftfield and Parov Stelar alongside the ‘Fun Lovin’ Criminals’’ eclectic mix of hip-­hop, funk. Over in ‘DSTRKT 5’ ‘Bang Hai Palace’ is back and immense as ever, looking ready to blast its drum and bass propaganda to the masses with Roni Size and DJ Krust reuniting to mark 20 years of Full Cycle Records, as well as a b2b from DJ Hype and DJ Hazard. Boomtown wouldn’t Boomtown without it’s vast menagerie of hidden spaces and secret stages, and this year looks to be no different. Names like the unpredictable Glaswegian house, disco (and.. well, everything else) connoisseur Jackmaster, renowned for being “one of the most talented and versatile DJs there is” lining up alongside Radio 6 funk and soul stalwart Craig Charles to grace some of the more enigmatic stages sprinkled around Boomtown, the spirit of exploration is clearly still alive.

But anyway, here it is, the first major line­up announcement for Boomtown Chapter 8.

Gottwood Festival Announce Even More Names

Feb
03

Festival news all around but here’s one that actually excites me. Gottwood have just added even more names to the list!

Joining the Gottwood Family will be the Barcelona based Hivern Discs Label owner John Talabot, known for his slow moving and ebullient house. Alongside John Talabot, Gottwood welcomes the return of Rush Hour records (and York favorite) Hunee, a Gottwood favourite following an epic set in the Gottwood Forest during the 2015 event.

Gottwood are also excited to announce rising star John Dimas, who will bring his stripped back avante-garde house and techno sound to a Gottwood stage, whilst hotly tipped Manchester grime collective LEVELZ take over an intimate corner of the welsh woodland.

Ensuring all musical bases are covered jazz, funk and fusion band The Expansions, who are best known as Andrew Ashongs session band, will play Live on the Lawn Stage as will the enthused raw groove, funk and hip-hop sounds of The Max Graef Band and the afro edit sounds of Sheffield’s Al Zander aka Lodger.

Futureboogie’s Maxxi Soundsystem, twin duo The Menendez Brothers and One Records head honcho Subb-An will be bringing more up front party attitude to the forest, along with the well respected Leicester based club night and label collective City Fly. Manchester based crowd-loving crate-digger Neil Diablo will also be onboard, playing solo and also alongside Crazy P original member Jim Baron as their Ron & Neil collaboration.

127 days left to go!

Tickets and more info at http://www.gottwood.co.uk/

 

Love International Reveal Full Lineup

Jan
19

In 2016 Love International continues the legacy left by The Garden Festival in Croatia, the region’s founding event and the one which inspired the now burgeoning scene of electronic music along the country’s stunning coast.

Making its debut on June 29th, Love International’s ethos might already feel a little familiar, curated by Dave Harvey and Tom Paine who have many years of experience working with The Garden Festival’s crew and shaping its artist bookings. Now they are realising their full vision, bringing back some old friends who have graced Tisno over the years and also introducing many of the world’s most revered DJs and producers for the first time to Tisno.

Five of the just revealed names are all amazing artists in their own right, each bringing something different to Love International. Eats Everything is quite simply one of the world’s biggest DJs and for the last three years he has blown Tisno away; for pure electric party vibes it doesn’t get any better. Bicep had a huge 2015 and the duo are all set to make this year even bigger, sculpting sublime sets across disco, house and techno, whilst Jackmaster played arguably one of the defining sets of last year with Armand Van Helden, their Boiler Room show skipping between French touch to garage and everything good in between. Roman Flugel is a Teutonic legend from the early 1990s crossing ambient, house, techno, electro and leftfield, and prime Swedish export Axel Boman is a bit of a young legend already; his Studio Barnhus label is a source of great material, and he has released and remixed on Permanent Vacation, Moodmusic and Hypercolour. The guys are joined by the already announced Dixon, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Ben UFO, Gerd Janson, Craig Richards, Joy Orbison, Midland, Horse Meat Disco, Prosumer, Hunee and Job Jobse.

Check this handy poster for all of the names:

Tickets and more info at http://loveinternationalfestival.com/

Animaux presents: Chris I’Anson

Jan
07

Vous êtes tous des Animaux.

We are taking over The Falcon Tap‘s bunker for this and bringing our good friend Chris I’Anson back – who can forget his blinding set at our second birthday?! For those uninitiated, Chris is the man behind Slipstone Records as well as wildly successful night in Leeds – On Rotation. This man knows his stuff so do come and experience some quality music with us.

The Falcon Tap is a proper pub so expect a variety of beers, ales, ciders as well as a new cocktail menu. We will, as always, be showcasing visuals and are bringing a massive rig to the tiny bunker.

We are also running a like & share competition to win a pair of tickets which you can find here. 

Here’s a podcast that Chris did a while back for us:

Animaux Podcast 04 – Chris I’Anson by Animaux on Mixcloud

You can find the event over at Animaux presents: Chris I’Anson. Tickets are £4 via Resident Advisor, Earworm Records, The Nook, Bison Coffee Shop, The Falcon Tap or directly from our reps (numbers are on the event page).

See you on the dancefloor! 🙂

Gottwood Festival Announces Line-up [2016]

Dec
02

Gottwood are rolling out their line-up for 2016 and it is looking massive!

Artists on this year’s bill include techno royalty, DJ and producer Andrew Weatherall, Ostgut Ton former label manager and long-serving electronic music figure Nick Höppner and Simple Record’s founder and the man behind AUS Music, Will Saul. Also joining this years line-up will be Robert Johnson family member Roman Flügel, the highly regarded Joy Orbison, former Life and Death label manager Job Jobse, Drone Logic artist Daniel Avery and the much sought after Geneva based DJ Sonja Mooner.

Other names on the bill include Berghain and Panorama bar resident Tama Sumo, the timeless house and techno producer Prosumer, music ambassadors Psychemagik and Scottish Sub Club residents Optimo. Axel Boman will also bring his distinctive yet dance floor friendly sound to a Gottwood stage, along with Balearic disco king Felix Dickinson and US based African cassette collector, blogger and DJ Awesome Tapes From Africa.

Gottwood044

Live Acts this year come in the form of a Crazy P full band performance, who fuse slinky underground disco, deep electronic throbs and shimmering pop moments produce dance music with a voice, heart, and soul. Ostgut Ton’s Virginia will play a live PA set and Frankfurt based Lauer will also perform live. Live house stalwart Mr G will play a rare set, as will fast rising 22a records homestay Reginald Omas Mamode IV.

Local, Anglesey world music heroes Drymbago will bring their blend of afro, funk and cumbria to the live stage, along with Texan three-piece guitar band Khruangbin, who’s sound has been described as Thai funk, crafting hypnotic, spacious, drifting soulmusic with a cinematic dreaminess.

Gottwood059

Gottwood has become a Festival favourite, with many artists on the bill returning year on year to play, and party, in the enchanting Welsh woodland. Acts returning include micro house pioneer and Perlon founder Zip and Germany’s much beloved electronic soul Move D and leader of the gang, tINI this time bringing her gang to the forest. Futureboogie label regulars PBR Streetgang, 2020 Vision head honcho Ralph Lawson, One Records Adam Shelton and Boiler Room host and Rhythm Section label owner Bradley Zero also return. Fabric’s Craig Richards will be once again joined by Hessle Audio co-founder Ben UFO for a marathon b2b set, a memorable moment that closed Gottwood’s Walled Garden area during last years event.

Incredible as per with even more names to come as we get closer to the festival.

Tickets and more info: http://www.gottwood.co.uk/

The Warehouse Project, unique every time.

Nov
17

For the past few years, since my interest directed itself towards the clubbing scene, there has been one event everyone around me has been talking about. The annual line-up announcements are preceded by weeks of chatter; booking speculations and defiant statements of intent, swearing attendance to this apparently momentous occasion. I never quite understood the hype, the cynic that I am, associating excitement with inevitable let-down; and so with mixed emotions I made my way to Manchester, home of the Warehouse Project, to see what the fuss was about.

One of the most historic Warehouse Projects yet, showcasing the final stand of the 50Weapons label, with Rødhåd, Siriusmodeselektor, Truncate, Dark Sky, Clark, Addison Groove, and the rest testing British build quality. The label’s end has been lamented as the biggest tragedy of dance music this year, as saying goodbye to ten years of service and an all-star roster can be, but there were no tears shed at this event.

The venue is hidden away near Manchester Piccadilly station, the entrance a gap in a wall under a bridge. I say hidden, but it was hard to miss with the amount of security set up outside – from pat-downs to dogs – methodically ushering the crowds into the dark innards of the bridge. There was a feeling that I wasn’t supposed to be seeing this location, hidden in plain sight, that hundreds of people unknowingly walk past every day. Upon entering the structure I was immediately lost in cavernous red-brick (as if you can tell in the dark) rooms full of bustling ravers, all facing two stages at opposite ends of the venue. The light shows were impressive and unique to every artist, each performance is clearly separated from the last, making it seem like a kind of honour for the artist to be present. Surprisingly, I found gourmet food being served in the smoking area and a variety of affordable cocktails at the bar. This is an event that is prepared for anything its patrons might desire, leaving it hard to not have a good time. After a short wander around the space the fuss friends, strangers and acquaintances had been making was explained.

Even more impressive was the religious following of this event, as it seemed people had travelled from around the world for this night. These were not just students or young professionals living in Manchester, they were people who had travelled from France, Switzerland, Spain, even Germany (a Berghain regular proclaimed his love of the event to me) just for the weekend, or even the night. If this is the crowd that attends every Warehouse Project, then it is a crowd that has invested hundreds of pounds to live it up on this one night, undoubtedly contributing to the unique atmosphere.

Of course, the system and the music did not disappoint. I was particularly surprised by Clark’s live set, beginning with the somber melodies that define him before ramping up into, what must have been over, a 140 bpm marathon set. From this Truncate made his appearance on the main stage, delving into what a bystander announced to be “sounds of scratching metal”, in a set showcasing the best of 50weapons techno. From the gloom of Truncate, Modeselektor built up to a live-set with Siriusmo. The performance was unbelievably varied, moving from left-field house to dub before the crux of German Clap and Evil Twin. The level of interaction with the crowd was incredible, Gernot Bronsert grabbed the microphone and began cheering “modeselektor” before breaking out the deep vocals of Evil Twin, joining the crowd’s cheers. Last but not least, I enjoyed Rødhåd’s militant thumping, that I’m sure we are all acquainted with by now, adequately placed in the closing slot. I remember the bitter-sweet, minor-key synths escorting me to my 4.50 am train.

Needless to say, I will be attending the Warehouse Project again. If you haven’t been you should go, there aren’t really any excuses especially if you live in England and enjoy dance music. This is the closest you can get to a festival in the winter months, without the inconvenience (to some) of having to camp out. Those Europeans were having the best time, and you could be too.

More info on the rest of WHP shows: https://www.thewarehouseproject.com/