51st State Festival is near…

Not enough festivals celebrate the roots of house music nowadays, don’t you think?

The creators of 51st State Festival certainly think so, which is why their debut last year sold out and went out with a bang at London’s beautiful Trent Park. The all-dayer is hosted by Found Series who have been ruling the circuit for years now with Ceremony, Born & Bred, and of course Found Festival.

The lineup (and the crowd that will inevitably follow it) is what makes the festival so special. Embracing the trail blazers of house, soul, disco + more makes for a pretty special day.


Some highlights this year include Kings Of House (aka David Morales, Louie Vega and Tony Humphries). For many, these three are the epitomy of NYC cool, paving the way for the US house music scene today. Alongside them on the mainstage will be Todd Terry and the mesmeric Barbara Tucker (Precious Love, Stop Playing With My Mind).

It’s not just a US takeover though. Homeboy Jazzie B from Soul II Soul will be playing the We Love Soul stage, whilst local favourites Horse Meat Disco takeover the Studio 51 stage alongside Joey Negro.

Keep your eyes peeled over on their Facebook page – there will be an afterparty happening, but who knows where it’ll be…

51st State Festival
Tickets HERE.

[REVIEW] Ostgut Ton Zehn @ The Hydra (12th Dec)

12th December saw the arrival of one of the most hotly anticipated events of The Hydra’s fourth season – Ostgut Ton Zehn – marking the label’s tenth anniversary. The line-up featured exclusively Ostgut artists across all three rooms at Studio Spaces – a first for the venue – with The Warehouse & Black Studio echoing the sort of programming typical of Klubnacht at Berghain/Panorama Bar combined with the welcome addition of an Ambient Floor (the White Studio), inviting some of the label mainstays to experiment with something more down-tempo than they might play during their regular sets. As the night rolled around, we headed down to the sold out venue in Wapping to check it out…


On our arrival, Boris was warming up the crowd in the Ambient Room. We’d been inside for less than half an hour but already had the feeling that we were in safe hands – the sound quality was excellent, the music fresh and interesting as Boris displayed the depth of his knowledge. We moved through to The Warehouse where Anthony Parasole was putting the system through its paces in one of the hardest sets I’ve heard him play. It feels unfair to compare Studio Spaces to Berghain, but with the high ceiling of the main room and unrelenting techno hammering down on an enthusiastic crowd, it didn’t feel a million miles away.

Keen not to miss Steffi, we rolled through into the Black Studio. She had been programmed to play a live set alongside Virginia but the plan seemed to have changed and she was DJing solo. Any initial disappointment quickly subsided after a moment on the dance floor; she killed it… dancing between genres with complete command over her crowd. Then it was back to The Warehouse for Answer Code Request, who began his live set with droning atmospherics that gradually made way into blistering highs – completely resetting the dance floor. This wasn’t just another night to dance and forget about; everything felt so expertly crafted that it really did feel special, and that’s the thing about these guys I guess. It’s a lofty statement but the label definitely transcends the music alone and at that moment, when the sound was pulled back to a few filtered cymbals and the lights beamed down, everyone seemed to recognise that. The feeling of community was so fiercely strong all night; no space invaders barging into people, no aggro… exactly what you look for in a night.

Marcel Fengler followed in the main room for what was to be my highlight that evening. Thick-set yet intricate, it was perfect for both the room and time of night, and this resonated on the dance floor where the crowd showed no signs of slowing.

We spent the rest of the evening flitting between watching Nick Hoppner in the Black Studio and Dettmann followed by Klock in The Warehouse. The music throughout was phenomenal, but after a while it felt as though the smaller room had become a sort of purgatory for those unable to leave but who really outta be in bed. As Hoppner dropped the Blunt edit of The Chant by R.I.P Productions in what felt like an ode to the city for which he was playing host, a drip of sweat fell from the ceiling to my face and I accepted that the time had probably come to head off.

An unfortunate reality of clubbing in London is that, despite the best intensions from clubs & promoters, a solid line up alone just doesn’t always equal a good night. Put it down to the club, the promoters, the crowd… whatever. Sometimes it just doesn’t work, but this did. Big up The Hydra & long live Ostgut Ton.

words by James Ellis

Bugged Out NYE lineup revealed!

NYE is approaching, which can only mean one thing: battle of the clubs in London. There are some pretty mean events happening, from Horse Meat Disco’s famous NYE party, to Percolate at Shapes. The Hydra’s Bugged Out NYE party is looking like one of the main contenders from the bunch though, with a diverse mix of commercial big hitters, local heroes, veteran legends, and up and comers.

Say what you want about Julio Bashmore, but his latest album got rave reviews. Derrick Carter is a well-known crowd pleaser with his years of experience, whilst Dan Beaumont brings with him the local knowledge that is required to rock London venues. And then you have Heidi, who will no doubt bring with her an onslaught of exclusives.

This is a night not to be missed.

James Ellis

Tickets HERE.

Julio Bashmore | Heidi | Derrick Carter
Marquis Hawkes | Shanti Celest
Dan Beaumont | Lemmy Ashton
22:00 – 06:00 | £15 / £25 + BF

E1 – Pennington St

An interview with VENICE CALYPSO

London-based Sebastian Barz aka VENICE CALYPSO is one of the most exciting techno DJ/Producers in the city right now. Read this exclusive interview with him, below…

You just launched your own label Four On Four – tell us a bit about how it all started.

I was contacted by some really talented DJs and producers, sending me their music, and I really wanted to get their music out there. I was also annoyed by the long waiting times with distribution and I really wanted to create a more dynamic platform for music. We are just scheduling the releases for next year and we are working also more on the visual side. See you in 2016!

What producers do you have your eye on at the moment?

First, Jack France, my long time collaborator. We just received his first vinyl release and it will be up very soon. It’s Totally on fire and I premiered his track “Techno Cut 2206” on Rinse France, then: Cindy, Aoud, Rawkorder, TITE, Raw Ambasador, AZF, Marc Laforce

What other labels do you think are doing great things at the moment?

Mord, Neo Violence, RAAR, The Revera Corporation, VENT, Tronic Soundz.

Your video for Malibu was greeted with lots of positive comments. What was the idea behind the video?

I’ve been directing videos for a while and I wanted to create something special for the new beginning of my career. The visual side of techno is always quite conservative which amazes me. I want to change that by aesthetic with my almost clinical visual concepts. We shot the video in Mi7 Studio in west London. I loved the alien look of Gina Harrison and it was amazing to work with her.

You run a night – INFERNO – at Dalston Superstore. How did this start, and what does the future hold for the event?

Inferno is my collaboration project with Lewis G. Burton. I always wanted to create unique club experience that will mix the craziness of the london club culture with great underground and dark music. You don’t need to choose between cool crowd or good music it’s all there. We have amazing DJs in performance artist including Coco Cole, Jim Warboy, AZF, TWANG, Jack France, Alex Wolf, Hotbox resident Raro and some great performance artist like House Of Health, Synth, Victor Ivanov.

If you had friends over for the weekend, what night would you tell them to go to in London and why?

I will definitely try to invite them to my own party INFERNO. HOTBOX by squat the sun, it’s very exclusive and unique experience. Also Blanc, Legion and Jaded at Corsica Studios will be an obvious choice.

You have quite a distinctive haircut and style. Who influences your style?

My style evolved naturally over time. I’m always 50 percent goth no matter if it’s in fashion or not. I also never wanted to hide behind my music.

What track sums up your mood right now?

Vainqueur – Lyot (Maurizio Mix). I got into listening to techno almost everyday. I can’t listen to anything trivial during the day. I always expect to be surrounded by sounds with depth. I always prefer to listen to tribal and religious sounds rather then music that was created to entertain the average consumer without challenging their taste.

Interview by Danny Ingham
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