U.R. Art Festival
Los Angeles (United States)
Circolo Degli Illuminati
BEIRUT IN THE MIX
Here are some facts and a few gentle observations about a fiercely important presence in modern music.
As both Dj and producer Ricardo Villalobos has always travelled to the sound of a different drum. Born in Chile in 1970 the travels began at the age of three because Pinochet’s Chile was no place for family Villalobos.
So in 1973 they left for Germany taking the percussive language of South America with them, the young Villalobos was still surrounded by music, musicians and performance. Mr and Mrs V always included and even to a young boy it was quite clear. Get some percussion and some vocals and you can have a party – a party that perhaps might never stop.
Aged 10 he was joining these gatherings playing the congas and hoovering up the mix tapes that some older Dj’s were playing or even leaving behind.
Aged 12 he was making his own mix tapes and selling them at school to be able to afford to buy records and then more records. This mania, 30 something years later shows no sign of stopping.
Back to the pasture. Aged 15 and the first gig request, the school disco and the young collection gets played and before long University studies were being punctuated by the first proper gigs in Darmstadt. Inevitably the studies stopped, all these records needed a home.
1988 ish and there was also music to be made, the drum machine had been purchased.
2015 and Ricardo is based in Berlin and has developed a studio that feels like it might take off at any moment, just launch itself somewhere. There is a sense on a daily basis, and he is there every day when not playing, that anything could happen. In this cluttered almost claustrophobic place a staggering body of work continues to evolve, emerge and then park itself. Only he knows for how long.
The search for the right frequencies. When they seem elusive build them, generate them yourself. Work with people, share with people, listen to people. A bigger studio means more tools but nothing else has changed, the approach remains the same as with that first Roland drum machine.
Find yourself on the dancefloor and this same sense of purity and possibility applies. Across the globe anything might happen and when you stir fry this with the anticipation that hovers over any Villalobos show it probably will.
Clubs. From Dorian Gray to Robert Johnson to Fabric and of course the terrace of Amnesia Ibiza – some places that are now synonymous with Ricardo shows. Happenings. Playing to 300,000 at Love Parade 2006 Berlin an example of the other end of the scale.
Music. The unbelievable Alcachofa album of 2003 was followed by another stunner. Thé Au Harem D'Archimède. Fabric 37, Dependent and Happy from 2012. A wealth of singles, EP’s and compilations
Music that keeps giving, that somehow stays relevant. Remixes that resounded and keep rebounding. The Sinner in Me from perhaps his biggest influence, Depeche Mode. At almost the beginning of dubstep the amazing Shackleton remix of Blood on My Hands. The majestic Beck remix of Cellphone’s Dead .. and so on and so on ..take your pick
In fact Ricardo would not approve of picking out highlights in any area. What you see or feel is always his best.
From the start he waved off the normal promotional adventures and mediums and it is the party that persists, the freedom to create. Sharing music and thoughts where it matters and pushing for the parties and people that can come together under an umbrella that has harmony and connection as the goal.
Charts, listings, best and worsts and any other competitions do not register in this world. Nor does all the chatter.
If it is arrogance it is a beautiful arrogance.
Less words would actually be better. The music does the talking, that is the way it should be. It is a unique approach from a major artist
Be responsible and protect irresponsibility.
Ricardo Villalobos is a caring sharing vital presence in modern music.
After studying classical music in her youth, Sonja Moonear set aside the piano in favour of the turntables and bought a Roland R8.
Surrounded by the Swiss mountains, Sonja immersed herself in the Geneva underground before finally infiltrating the ranks of the Weetamix residents in 2002. From that point on, participating in ever more ambitious projects, she was tapped by an international agency and started the road trip.
Moonear slowly began collaborating with artists - friends and crews - like Luciano or Cosmic Chile Zürich, along with Dandy Jack as Junction SM. She has acquired an impressive international reputation, playing in clubs and festivals worldwide.
In the last couple of years she’s been releasing her own tracks and remixes on renowned international labels such as Karat and Perlon. She runs the label Ruta5 and organises various events in Switzerland aswell as the ever growing Kiss Me festival. On top of that, she is a sound designer for the swiss-french TV.
This artist from Geneva evades easy categorisation however: her sets reflect an enormous wealth of ideas and creativity and lead her to perpetually redefine her style. Her musical background, eclectic tastes and enviable record collection have made miss Moonear a much sought-after DJ.
Since a relocation to Germany circa 1990 it has been hard to keep track of his paw prints.
Musician, DJ, producer, event curator always colliding along the way with key artists and some familiar fellow travellers.
A handful of collaborative highlights that have surfed the electronic spectrum. Gon with Uwe Schmidt from Atom Heart, Amp with Pete Namlook, Sieg über die Sonne with Tobias, Gonzalo Martinez with Jorge Gonzales, Ric y Martin with Ricardo Villalobos, Carabina 30:30 with Luciano – a list that could ramble on. As could a label list headed by Perlon, Rather Interesting and his own very special Ruta 5.
Other collaborations are actually with himself hiding behind some choice nom de plumes – the Cosmic Trousers, The Boiled Eggs, The Twin Pigs, The Third Leg, another list that could go on - and in this interesting typically playful way he has charted his very own musical journey over the last years. Taking in ambient work, techno, house and more almost always with some South American sauce and salsa somewhere in the mix that helps reflect his endless curiousity and taste.
This is never more apparent than when he saddles up all his gear for one of those rumbustious live gigs that have become signature Dandy Jack occasions. Either alone or morphing out even more sound and substance with another it is inevitably compelling captivating stuff and so very live. Chopping away at the edits, sneaking in some vocals and punctuating the rhythms and loops in his own unique way that will in the end create a rounded knee trembler of a show.
A sort of restless percussive organic farmer who is always growing something new.
A fixture in the ripe and rich electronic landscape of Chile Umho has a history littered with names that reverberate and it is hardly a surprise. Back in 2004 he began a memorable residency at fabled Chilean landmark “Club la Feria” in
Santiago where he was joined by Ricardo Villalobos, Luciano, Richie Hawtin and the namedropping could go on. Assorted frisky relationships were formed and nowadays the Umho hunting ground stretches here there and everywhere. Festival appearances in and around Europe and some of the juiciest club locations around the globe.
An absolute melting pot of influences power an Umho set. From home comes the salsa, the bolero, the tango and more but when you start liberally stirring in the breaks and shakes, the disco and the house and more you get a distinctive confection that is terribly hard to resist.Job done for someone who is at his very best when his mind is dancing along with you. A relentless search for the frequencies, colours and triggers that make you lose yourself at the same time as picking up your sweet feet is the raison d’etre for Umho.
A clever joyous approach from a proper music lover.
We’re fast approaching 4PM on a crisp but sunny Sunday afternoon in Romania. We’re at Sunwaves Festival. “For a DJ, it really doesn’t get better than this” says Amir with a genuine smile, nearing his 13th hour in the mix. The crowd is very much into it. I’m told by a mutual friend that he had won them over since the early hours of the morning when he dropped Gemini’s “Swimming with Sharks”.
Montreal-based Amir Javasoul is somewhat of a DJ’s DJ. Having grown up in Iran, he moved to Canada at the age of 10 where he learned the ropes of DJing after a Derrick Carter set in the mid-nineties sparked a long- standing affinity with the profession. Since then, and for the past 20 years, he’s been balancing his work as a computer engineer and music selector, maintaining an active touring schedule, both in North America and Europe. He’s a regular mainstay at some of the world’s finest clubs and festivals (Fabric, Stereo, SXM Festival, Output, Uberhaus, Piknik Electronik, Sunwaves, Igloofest to name a few)
It’s important to point out that Amir’s profile has not been supported by a release on a well-known label; rather, he has taken the organic route, finding acclaim through his skills in the DJ booth alone. “I’m finally at a point where I’m happy with the results in the studio as a producer. Maher Daniel and I formed Creatures of Habit a few years ago, and since then we’ve put out a few tracks that are getting heavy play by some of our friends and colleagues”. He’s referring to Ricardo Villalobos, Raresh, Rhadoo or Apollonia, who all have been supporting the music released by the duo.
“But don’t get me wrong. I will always be a DJ first. That’s what I love to do the most, and I know I can make a difference when I walk into the booth. Passion creates love and love creates confidence. For me the feeling of knowing that I can have an impact when I DJ is just priceless. I don’t take it for granted of course and I stay grounded, but being able to share my passion with the crowd, live and instantly is really something special. It never gets old
After a ten-year stint living in Paris where he held residencies at all the main venues in the city, Amir moved back to Montreal, Canada. Today he splits his time between Berlin and Montreal, regularly collaborating on tours with Ricardo Villalobos.
“Ricardo, alongside Derrick Carter, are the reason why I do this today. I’m extremely lucky to have met them both and to be able to call them friends. Rici and I have spent a good amount of time lately, playing many shows and festivals together. We have a super energy when it comes to DJing together but I can only dream of ever getting close to his all-around musical genius in the studio. But I learn from him every day. And what I learn the most, is to always stay humble no matter what, and to always have fun in the process. This is very important”.
Amir wraps up 2017 with upcoming tours in Europe and South America.
He queues The Mentor’s remake of - Rosie Gaines “Closer than close” wrapping up a 17-hour mix marathon alongside Villalobos and Pricu on this Sunday evening in Romania. The crowd is unanimous and the smile says it all. We’re already looking forward to next year. Amir is here to stay.
It is really a very scary telepathy that exists between the two of them and which now expresses itself both from the otherworldly place that is their unbelievably cluttered blinking studio as well as live on stage.
As Vilod they now have licence to relentlessly pursue modular melodies and much more besides. It is an exciting unpredictable proposition (even for them) as they tinker and trawl their way through the frequencies and an astonishing array of sounds and colours.
What is guaranteed with these two mellow open minds is that somehow it will all come together. This is not exploration for the sake of it, this is blending and harmonising these sounds and textures and then letting them fly. Marriages made in a matrix of possibilities.
There was a pre Vilod taste when the duo released Re : ECM, a reimagining of selected tracks from the almighty ECM portfolio and then 2015’s “Safe in Harbour” issued on the magical Perlon label which was perhaps the green light for all that follows.
We just have to strap on their seductive seat belt and enjoy the ride.
FRRC @ Fabric - London / UK 18.02.2017
FRRC BY Ricardo Villalobos
Ricardo Villalobos and his manipulation of our Martin Audio sound system make an overdue return to Room One for another marathon session. Compelling and at times bewildering, Villalobos has been the soundtrack to some of our most memorable moments of the last 17 years.
For this night, he’ll be inviting along a string of his closest cohorts in his very first Frequence Resonance Remote Control show with us. He’ll be stepping up alongside one of his closest friends and DJ partners (and our long time resident): Craig Richards in another extended morning affair that regularly sees the pair going head-to-head. Also joining the bill is Berlin-based digger and Raum…musik manager Dorian Paic. Heading up the esteemed Frankfurt label with which Villalobos is strongly affiliated, Paic is also known for his collection of overlooked and often unknown minimal house weapons. He joins FRRC as one of Villalobos' closest contemporaries. The bill is finally rounded with an appearance from Berlin resident and one half of fledgling Perlon duo Alter Mahnn: Franky Greiner.
FRRC @ Cry d´er - Crans Montana / Switzerland 08.04.2017
FRRC @ Poble Espanyol - Barcelona / Spain 18.06.2017
16:00 - 18:00 Nerone Bb2b Solimano
18:00 - 20:00 Dorian Paic
20:00 - 22:00 Sonja Moonear
22:00 - 01:00 Ricardo Villalobos
FRRC @ HYTE Warehouse - Amsterdam / The Netherlands 20.10.2017
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