Blanc (insert number here) is a mystery project, taking place on John Talabot’s Hivern Discs label. With unnamed producers taking place behind the moniker, creating tracks that are released only on handstamped vinyls, single sided with only 1 track, of which only 100 are made. As you can imagine, prices for these much wanted objects soared, and the cheapest on Discogs can be bought for €199.

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Info
Artist: Blanc 1
Title: It’s All Over (Pional’s Fosc Version)
Label: Hivern Discs
Catalog#: HVN023
Releasedate: 2014-08-04

Buy: BP

Social
Pional: FB | SC
Hivern Discs: FB | SC | BC

Artwork: 
Laurens Corijn: WEB

Blanc (insert number here) is a mystery project, taking place on John Talabot’s Hivern Discs label. With unnamed producers taking place behind the moniker, creating tracks that are released only on handstamped vinyls, single sided with only 1 track, of which only 100 are made. As you can imagine, prices for these much wanted objects soared, and the cheapest on Discogs can be bought for €199.

Turns out Pional himself is behind this first release, even re-editing his own track for the digital package next to remixes of Locked Groove and mister Talabot himself. And what an edit he did. A great rendition of melancholic positivity layered on this slightly pushing groove. A groove that makes you want to move your head to the music, but just in the slightest way. Halfway through it’s 7:30 minute time span, the track picks up momentum and evolves in something darker, something that will work well when dropped on a full dancefloor. After that mean break though, it doesn’t drop. It elegantly starts over with building up elements, until culminating into all the themes it started off with. That Pional is able to pull this off shows his phenomenal skill as a producer. Awesome.

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A lot of repetition, not a whole lot of melodic variation and still never a dull moment in ARP3 by Floating Points. You can kind of view it as the Farnsworth House of house music compositions: at a first glance it might seem too simplistic and kind of boring, yet the longer you look at it, the more you notice the intricacies. Not coincidentally, the architect that created the Farnsworth House (Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, a pioneer of modern architecture) is credited for the very familiar phrases “Less is more” and “God is in the details”.

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Info
Artist: Floating Points
Title: ARP3
Label: Eglo Records
Catalog#: EGLO22
Releasedate: 2011-11-21

Buy: BP

Social
Floating Points: FB | SC
Eglo Records: WEB

Artwork: 
Laurens Corijn: WEB

 

A lot of repetition, not a whole lot of melodic variation and still never a dull moment in ARP3 by Floating Points. You can kind of view it as the Farnsworth House of house music compositions: at a first glance it might seem too simplistic and kind of boring, yet the longer you look at it, the more you notice the intricacies. Not coincidentally, the architect that created the Farnsworth House (Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, a pioneer of modern architecture) is credited for the very familiar phrases “Less is more” and “God is in the details”.

It’s those details that set this track apart from every other track: the rhythm section in the opening bars is overly filtered and slightly off beat. Then Floating Points chose to fade this short rhythm section out entirely to make room for a different one. Subsequently – about one and a half minute into the track – the ‘real’ kick drum starts playing, as if a DJ forgot to turn on the bass after mixing in a new record. Finally at the 2 minute mark the track really starts playing at high quality.

Still, this isn’t the moment where the track fully comes to fruition. That point comes when the five minute mark has already passed. It’s that very simple crescendo – decrescendo bassline that gives ARP3 an oomph that is unique and very lovely. We’re pretty sure that we keep discovering new contrivances with every spin of this record. – C.

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Even though Nuno dos Santos is one of the most celebrated DJ’s of the Netherlands, far less people know him from his productions. Which is a shame, as his remix of Dual Shaman’s ‘Ocean Breeze’ (released in 2010 on Darko Esser’s Wolfskuil label) definitively proves.

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Info
Artist: Dual Shaman
Title: Ocean Breeze (TJ Kong & Nuno Dos Santos Remix)
Label: Wolfskuil Records
Catalog#: WLTD011
Releasedate: 2010-09-13

Buy: BP

Social
Dual Shaman: FB | SC
Nuno dos Santos: WEB | FB | SC
Wolskuil Records: WEB | FB

Artwork: 
Paul Jarvis: WEB

Even though Nuno dos Santos is one of the most celebrated DJ’s of the Netherlands, far less people know him from his productions. Which is a shame, as his remix of Dual Shaman’s ‘Ocean Breeze’ (released in 2010 on Darko Esser’s Wolfskuil label) definitively proves.

His version can perhaps best be described as an ‘anthem’, although we detest the connotations that the word ‘anthem’ might have in a house music context. In fact, it’s just a very smart and uplifting track that’s made to play prime time and cause armageddon on a dance floor. We’re happy that Nuno is spending a lot of time in the studio again and hopeful that he will release some more great music in the future.

He’s also going to play at HYTE Warehouse presents: Welcome to the Future, alongside Laurent Garnier, Maetrik, Scan X, Recondite, Dennis Williams, Chymera, Tsepo and Florinsz Janvier. Remember to buy your tickets right here at SEKOIA.

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Nick Holder always dances around along the boundaries of garage, hiphop, Detroit/Chicago house and disco. He hasn’t been very active lately, even though his music has become more and more en vogue. To us, that’s what sets apart really talented producers from true artists: making music that is kind of peculiar, sticking to it and having patience until someone eventually picks up on it.

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Info
Artist: Nick Holder
Title: Feelin’ Sad
Label: DNH Records
Catalog#: DNH-048
Releasedate: 1998

Buy: DC | BP

Social
Mike Simonetti: TW
DNH Records: RA

Artwork: 
Laurice Solomon: WEB

Nick Holder always dances around along the boundaries of garage, hiphop, Detroit/Chicago house and disco. He hasn’t been very active lately, even though his music has become more and more en vogue. To us, that’s what sets apart really talented producers from true artists: making music that is kind of peculiar, sticking to it and having patience until someone eventually picks up on it.

We’d like you to enjoy this melancholic jam from 1998 that’s fit for home listening as well as festival settings. The main hook gets stuck in your head very easily and even though it’s repeated throughout the track, the sparse jazzy elements and vocals prevent it from getting stale or repetitive. The end result is a song that you can listen to on repeat, over and over, time and again.

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This is the kind of song that captures our imagination. We picture ourselves in space, since we’re definitely floating. Floating and continuously astonished by our surroundings. To make a hypothesis: The imagination would be similar to how someone with only abstract knowledge of the universe, who never had an impression at all, would feel all the time. Something like an enhanced new born baby.

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Info
Artist: Mike Simonetti
Title: Capricorn Rising
Label: Italians Do It Better
Catalog#: IDIB029
Releasedate: 07-2011

Buy: BK

Social
Mike Simonetti: SC
Italians do it Better: WEB | FB

Artwork: 
Aleksandra Boguslawska: WEB

This is the kind of song that captures our imagination. We picture ourselves in space, since we’re definitely floating. Floating and continuously astonished by our surroundings. To make a hypothesis: The imagination would be similar to how someone with only abstract knowledge of the universe, who never had an impression at all, would feel all the time. Something like an enhanced new born baby.

After childhood you won’t get amazed that much anymore. And since we outgrew our childhood a long time ago, we would definitely sign for a chance to partly clear our minds for a short period of time. Just to get those experiences back. The heck, we wouldn’t even have to travel deep into space anymore. Everything would be overwhelming. Of course, there are ways to simulate these kinds of circumstances.

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With all of SEKOIA’s recent activities in Utrecht and Amsterdam, we’ve shamefully turned a blind eye to Rotterdam in recent years. Unfairly we might say, since Rotterdam is one of the most interesting cities in the Netherlands when it comes to club culture. That stops today, because we had a talk with Frankie Dros. He’s one half of Nino & Frankie, a duo of DJ’s and club promoters who’ve been active for five years and counting. After the success of Blijdorp Festival, he has now turned his attention to a new club concept called Contra in a new venue (Las Palmas). Reason for us to get updated on the status of club life in Rotterdam.

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Info:
COИTRA
27-09-2014
Las Palmas (Rotterdam)
Netherlands

Facebook-event
Tickets

Social:
Contra: WEB | FB
Nino & Frankie: WEBFB  | SC

With all of SEKOIA’s recent activities in Utrecht and Amsterdam, we’ve shamefully turned a blind eye to Rotterdam in recent years. Unfairly we might say, since Rotterdam is one of the most interesting cities in the Netherlands when it comes to club culture. That stops today, because we had a talk with Frankie Dros. He’s one half of Nino & Frankie, a duo of DJ’s and club promoters who’ve been active for five years and counting. After the success of Blijdorp Festival, he has now turned his attention to a new club concept called Contra in a new venue (Las Palmas). Reason for us to get updated on the status of club life in Rotterdam.

Schermafbeelding 2014-09-24 om 21.46.45

There’s been a lot going on in Rotterdam lately, especially in clubs like Toffler, Perron and to some extent Bar. Why did you choose Las Palmas as the venue for Contra? Isn’t that a seafood restaurant?
Well, the seafood restaurant that goes by the same name is actually located right next to the club. The venue where we’re hosting the party hasn’t been used for that purpose in quite some time. It used to be a club a while back, but then there was a period when Rotterdam’s club culture got stuck in a rut, so Las Palmas closed like many other clubs did in that period.

Now for the last few years there’s been an upswing with the clubs you mentioned. In the meantime, Las Palmas has mainly been used for art exhibitions. Recently we contacted the owner and luckily we had a personal connection and he liked our ideas. He was willing to give us a chance. That put us in a fortunate position, since hosting a party in a new location in Rotterdam has almost the same marketing value as booking a couple of great headliners.

Is that a trend in Rotterdam? Hosting parties in unexplored locations?
Lately, the city of Rotterdam is discovering the value of a vibrant nightlife, so they have been doing a lot to facilitate initiatives like ours. However, there’s always the same problems that every municipality has: they have to take into considerations affairs like zoning plans, sound disturbances and nuisances in general. For the last few years though, the tendency has shifted from a ‘no, because…’ to a ‘yes, provided that…’ mentality. They’d rather explore possibilities than see only issues with a certain plan.

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Is that why you chose the name Contra? To show that you oppose the policies of your municipality?
The name Contra is chosen because we try to offer people things that haven’t been done in Rotterdam before. We want to do things that aren’t standard, because we want people to have a special night they will always remember. Now that we’re growing, the possibilities expand as well. We started out in Toffler, where we tried out certain themes for a party, but Toffler – even though it’s a great club – is limited in its possibilities. Later, we moved to Perron, where we had room to experiment more with certain crazy elements like a slip-and-slide into the club, a mechanical bull, a thousand plants or even jacuzzis. Still, we felt that those elements were not distinguishing enough.

Recently we organized Preach, which was a party in a church to celebrate our fifth anniversary. We’re looking to continue that concept, but for that we are going to need a bigger church. Furthermore you already mentioned Blijdorp Festival, a festival next to the big zoo of Rotterdam.

With this next step with Contra we try to take it to a whole new level. The location in itself is already very distinguishing, since we’re the first to host parties over there since a long time. Also, since it has a history of artisticness, we can try to explore a new field of experiment to carry over to the clubbing experience.

Nino & Frankie started out as a DJ duo, but now you’re also growing as party promoters. Where do you see your main focus in the future?
Presently, this party promoting is a full time job. The two of us work in our office daily, so when I get home I’d much rather watch a movie and relax. We still make music and find much joy in doing so, but our time is very scarce. We’re thinking about taking a small break from organizing events and focussing on music for a while. The thing for me is, I’m still trying to learn to shift quickly between the artistic and the business side of things. If I’m busy making music and someone calls me to make a deal on a sound system, it’s very hard for me to get back into my artistic flow. I look up to artists like A-Trak and Diplo – even though that’s not my kind of music – because they seem to have all their ducks in a row when it comes to the artistic side of things and the business side. Maybe that’s the future of music: the hybrid creative businessman.

Contra Office

The line up for Contra next friday is very diverse, from the deep and slow Lake People to the more techno oriented Dekmantel Soundsystem. How do you keep those styles from clashing?
When we book an event, we always try to look at two things: what we like personally and what would work in Rotterdam. We’re not too concerned about matching styles, because we like to put people together that you wouldn’t expect in the same place, just to see what happens and how they adapt to one another. Of course, we look at the running order. We’re not going to let Lake People close off the party, that would be lethal. But we do like to frame all DJ sets by stopping the music when one set ends and starting the other one after a few moments. This gives every DJ set the attention they deserve and it provides a nice contrast throughout the night, keeping things interesting for quite some hours.

What more can we expect this saturday?
We’re having Magic Tools come over to install a very cool, huge, artsy lighting installation above the crowd. Furthermore, Jeisson (SEKOIA’s graphic designer, red.) is going to do a cult movie project and we have a led screen positioned in front of the DJ. Plus, there’s a lighting plan that’s designed by the original light technician of the old Las Palmas, which should be pretty cool. So expect a lot of light art. This is the old ‘Contra’ raised to a whole other level!

If this sparks your interest, there are still some tickets available here. Full lineup and information can be found by visiting this Facebook-event.

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About a month ago Dark Sky released their debut album ‘Imagin’ on the illustrious Monkeytown Records. Although this record is mandatory material that needs to be in your collection for sure, we’ll dig a bit deeper and reach back to 2013 when Dark Sky released their 4-track EP ‘In Brackets’ on Mister Saturday Night Records. ‘Rare Bloom’ is the beautiful closer of this 12″ and the track (and the whole EP for that matter) lives up to its name.

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Info
Artist: Dark Sky
Title: Rare Bloom
Label: Mister Saturday night
Catalog#: MSNCD001
Releasdate: 2014-06-23

Buy: BP

Social
Dark Sky: SC | FB
Mister Saturday Night: WEB | FB

Artwork: 
Aleksi Tappura: WEB

About a month ago Dark Sky released their debut album ‘Imagin’ on the illustrious Monkeytown Records. Although this record is mandatory material that needs to be in your collection for sure, we’ll dig a bit deeper and reach back to 2013 when Dark Sky released their 4-track EP ‘In Brackets’ on Mister Saturday Night Records. ‘Rare Bloom’ is the beautiful closer of this 12″ and the track (and the whole EP for that matter) lives up to its name.

This tune is mainly driven by a crazy synth jam that goes left to right and back and forth. It’s a basic chord scheme, but by playing with the dynamics of the melody, Dark Sky was able to create a new rhythm section in and on itself. By doing this, the track is given a new level of depth that we haven’t heard often before. Feel free to jump on the Dark Sky bandwagon, it’s one hell of a ride.

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It’s seems that the title of this track refers to the elixir of dream visions from the popular video game World of Warcraft. It is described as a potion that gives the player a vision that lets them explore areas that are too dangerous to explore in person. The title is quite aptly chosen, since the track is in fact dreamy and it has an elvish quality, because of its repetitive nature and the ethereal synth hooks.

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Artist: Xosar
Title: Elixir of Dreams
Label: Rush Hour
Catalog#: RHX2
Releasdate: 2012-10-01

Buy: BP

Social
Xosar: WEB | SC | FB
Rush Hour: WEB | SC | FB

Artwork: 
Laurens Corijn: WEB

It’s seems that the title of this track refers to the elixir of dream visions from the popular video game World of Warcraft. It is described as a potion that gives the player a vision that lets them explore areas that are too dangerous to explore in person. The title is quite aptly chosen, since the track is in fact dreamy and it has an elvish quality, because of its repetitive nature and the ethereal synth hooks.

To many people, video games in themselves are in a way elixirs of dreams as well, since they offer people a way to explore fantasies that are outside of the realm of human possibilities. This theme of fantasizing seems to be a pattern in Xosar’s works, with titles like ‘Zephyr’, ‘Tropical Cruize’ and ‘Retreat to Rapture’ all having a distinct quality of escapism. Now with that in mind listen to this track. Tilt back your head, clear your mind and let it take you to places that you have never dared to think of before.

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Calling Michael Mayer one of the most important people currently active in the electronic music industry would be far from a stretch. He’s the co-founder of Kompakt, one of the biggest record labels and distribution agencies in the world (being home to over 50 independent record labels). Besides that, he’s a very busy DJ and also a more than prolific producer, whose total number of remixes has surpassed the 140 mark already for instance.

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Info
Artist: Michael Mayer
Label: Kompakt
Based: Cologne (GER)

Social:
Michael Mayer: FB
Kompakt: WEB | FB | SC

Artwork:
Go Wild: WEB

Calling Michael Mayer one of the most important people currently active in the electronic music industry would be far from a stretch. He’s the co-founder of Kompakt, one of the biggest record labels and distribution agencies in the world (being home to over 50 independent record labels). Besides that, he’s a very busy DJ and also a more than prolific producer, whose total number of remixes has surpassed the 140 mark already for instance.

To be able to be active and competent in so many fields, he maintains a tight and very regular schedule. We spoke to him about that, Amsterdam Dance Event and his family life and you can read all about that in the latest issue of DJ Mag NL. In the meantime, enjoy this podcast (a cut from his set at Voltt Loves Summer 2014) and get your head into weekend mode.

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We seem to be unable to help ourselves. Recondite has become the artist that we’ve featured the most on our channel and today we’re adding another track to that already impressive list. Why bother, you ask? Because we feel you need to hear this one as well.

His ‘Caldera’ EP seems to be a statement of his artistic progress since bursting onto the scene with ‘DRGN’. The b-side on ‘Caldera’ is fittingly called ‘DRGN2′ and features elements of ‘DRGN’ (melody) and ‘Cleric’ (rhythm), yet with some newer elements. It’s as if he’s saying: “I’m closing the book on that chapter now, and I’m moving forward with ‘Caldera’”. Melodically it’s still very mysterious and captivating, yet somehow Caldera is a little bit more accessible.

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Info
Artist: Recondite
Title: Caldera
Label: Hotflush Recordings
Catalog#: HFT035
Releasedate: 2014-09-01

Buy: BP

Social
Recondite: FBSC | TW
Hotflush Recordings: WEBSC | FB 

Artwork:
Orlova Maria: WEB

We seem to be unable to help ourselves. Recondite has become the artist that we’ve featured the most on our channel and today we’re adding another track to that already impressive list. Why bother, you ask? Because we feel you need to hear this one as well.

His ‘Caldera’ EP seems to be a statement of his artistic progress since bursting onto the scene with ‘DRGN’. The b-side on ‘Caldera’ is fittingly called ‘DRGN2′ and features elements of ‘DRGN’ (melody) and ‘Cleric’ (rhythm), yet with some newer elements. It’s as if he’s saying: “I’m closing the book on that chapter now, and I’m moving forward with ‘Caldera’”. Melodically it’s still very mysterious and captivating, yet somehow Caldera is a little bit more accessible.

On October 16th at ADE, Recondite will be playing in the other room at HYTE Warehouse (hosted by Welcome to the Future). We’ll surely be skipping over every once in a while to check him out again. Tickets (at a special discount for all of you SEKOIA-fans) are available here.

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