Knowing me, Knowing You… Baha!

Just before death the late great Conny Plank was quoted to say of his work, “I’m not a musician. I’m a medium between musicians, sounds, and tape. I’m like a conductor or traffic policeman.”. It’s a self assessment that is far too modest and underplays Plank’s skill as a musician on both instruments and studio technology,  but usefully however it does introduce the notion of the message often being in the medium when it comes to one’s utility in music.

Arguably it is the skill to maneuver between different positions that is the imperative for anybody existing within the transient and amorphous sand dune that is modern dance music.

The Pool’s most recent recruit is a figure who embodies this flexibility perfectly. A musical polymath who exists as producer, dj, promoter, engineer and remixer:

Kris Baha is the perfect example of the energetic, resourceful and creatively enlightened individual who can be both the medium and the message. This flexibility extends to the sound palette of Kris’s productions. Occupying a broad range of tempos Kris’s back catalogue includes searing mechanised drum workouts, twisted cosmic synth doodles and sludgey midtempo bruisers.




After 6 months in Europe we caught up with Kris to find out a little more about his beginnings and something on his future…

So you had an early introduction to music as you started out making industrial music in your early teens. Tell us some more?

A funny story – I became obsessed with German band Rammstein around the age of 12, in which I then formed a Rammstein cover band with 2 school friends – we were not that popular after performing at a few school assembly’s. We did start to write original music shortly after sticking to the formulae of guitars, electronic sequences and some kind of early un-educated idea of Danceable music.

From there I got into outfits like Throbbing Gristle, NIN and delved into Acid Jazz territories, Trance / Electronics/ Synthesizers and so on – I guess that was a plus from doing the cover band.

To come into the present a little bit more we heard you are supporting Australian Industrial legends Severed Heads soon. Aside from them and SPK any more Australian Industrial or Goth music that we should look out for?

A lot of my music is influenced by Severed Heads so I am extremely chuffed to be opening for them in November in my hometown for Melbourne Music Week – Plug!

The Informatics, Ash Wednesday/ Modern Jazz, David Chestworth, Asphixiation are just but a start of some great Australian artists/ bands worth checking.

As well as industrial music your music has quite a live rockist element to it. Some of it reminiscent of Factory sounding dance rock, is that something you have consciously tried to incorporate?

Most Certainly, that era and expression resonates with me…alot. It is definitely a theme I have consciously thought about incorporating with my music, for now at least. I like exploring unconventionality and maybe the naivety in doing that shines through in some of my music – I know it isn’t for everybody.

Who are your production heroes? When did you start DJing?

I started to become interested with dejaying when I was 14. I would not say I have particular heroes as I am still discovering music that inspires me just as it did earlier on but I do love the production and sonic aesthetics of 1979 through to 1986 and it’s respective ‘proto eras’ of new genres – Notably the production styles of Severed Heads, Meccanica Popular, Adrian Sherwood, Conrad Schnitzler, Hard Corps, Daniel Miller, Chris & Cosey, 400 Blows – within those years.

The Power Station night that you run with your brother is now legendary, you’ve had everyone from Carl Craig to Mr G. Tell us about how that all started?

Carl Craig and Mr G played for us at our previous party, Survivor! Club of Legends along with other guests such as Mark Flash from Underground Resistance, DJ Hell, Pachanga Boys and some other Legends. I co-ran this party with my brother, Dan and our friend Michael Delany.

The venue was split into 3 levels to make one large pantheon playground which all interconnected. The top level, a LGBT club named Poof Doof –Survivor! A mixed-raver crowd on the middle and lower floor – aptly titled ‘The Bottom End’. This floor would also turn into a recovery once the top and middle floors finished up and both crowds would merge until last person standing – hence the term ‘legendary’. That only ran for 2 years but fell victim to the adage of nightclub owners greed and in turn became defunct so we changed gears almost 3 years ago to an intimate / renewable energy, Power Station. It has been equally as fun and a lot more rewarding.

We run every Saturday night and have had acts like Discodromo, Mr Ties, Paranoid London & Barnt play but we do reserve a lot of our bookings to locals rather then big names like we did in our previous lives. Aside from the satisfaction of seeing locals develop and grow, this path allows us to focus on the music, hospitality and cultivate a weekly community in Melbourne. To add, we have been able to develop our own record label spawning of the party’s identity. We are up to our third release now with another 3 ready to go along with our sub edits-label, Power Cuts.

You are regarded as the go to man for engineering. What makes a good engineer for dance music? Any engineering heroes?

That is a flattering comment – I would say that I have helped a lot of respected friends express what they were trying to say within in their own pieces of works. Sometimes you find yourself running up against a sonic wall and need to borrow your friends ladder to help get over it.

Firstly I do believe that Sound Engineering is an art form. Not to get too nerdy here but following tradition, a good sound engineer will be able to (without bias) embellish an artist’s work and sigh… ‘Bring it to life’ – When it comes to Dance music I feel perplexed… I don’t personally think the role of an engineer is needed so much as Dance music’s beginnings were formed off a DIY approach and this is still very much the process today. In dance music the Artist is, the Producer, the Engineer, the Marketing team, the Coffee runner etc. Albeit sonic possibilities open up when you know you’re way around the plains of Dynamics, EQ, Width, Depth and so on but really its all subjective – Instant sounds are available to you whether it be via hardware or in the box (DAW / Computer) – You can get the mix sitting right from the start if you choose your source sounds based of frequency range (no frequency double ups/ clashes), transients (sampled drums) etc. Further to that the “Happy Accidents” we all wait for whilst experimenting may not entirely happen if you know the plains (mentioned above) too well.

I think it’s an exciting time right now because there is no certain way records need to ‘sound’ or major labels dictating how music should sound. You can be quite open and let artistic integrity dictate a sonic / production decision – that being said I am not opposed to things sounding nice and equally appreciate well recorded/ engineered music but I guess my sonic palette leans to a DIY approach. Steve Albini’s techniques are simple and effective.

Since coming to Europe you have forged a strong alliance with Cocktail D’Amore. What makes playing those parties special? A little bird tell us you may have a record lined up with these guy?

I have been a fan of Discodromo and their Cocktail D’Amore label for some time and actually tried to book DD about 2 years ago for Power Station but could not make the tour happen at that time. We then crossed paths 6 months later when I moved to berlin and a Demo of mine was passed on to them – I guess I stayed on their radar until we finally met in person at CDA. From there the boys asked me to submit an EP which (ironically enough) I had already written and was going to submit before they asked so I guess everything happened quite naturally – We then had DD play at Power Station in 2015 and have them booked again for later this year.

As for the party – The guys have been running it long enough to know what’s needed to create something special. For starters You are always welcomed when attending as a punter – There is no pretentiousness at all and if you are dejaying there, musically you are open to take it wherever you want to go – It is my favorite party in Berlin… actually I even flew straight from a gig in Lithuania direct to CDA just to hang out and dance, until close the following day…

I have an EP and LP coming with them end of 2016/ 2017 😉

As well as Cocktail you have forged a strong alliance with the Multi Culti crew, how did that come about?

Both Thomas and Angus (Dreems) have been good friends of mine for years. Things started to form when the guys approached me to give the Red Axes ‘Waiting for a Surprise’ remix a go. Angus, Thomas and the Axes loved the remix and so it appeared on the Digital release.

From there I also submitted a collaboration track with Nick Murray of Otologic/ Animals Dancing, whom I write a lot of music with aswell. The track we submitted is titled ‘Say Something’ and appeared on the crazy 3x Moon/ Sun Faze compilation tin box set with custom record sleeves, zine and sarong – hand made in Bali! Last I checked it is going for some crazy sum on Discogs.



Kris Baha, Music, Press

Andy Blake joins The Pool Agency

The Pool are very pleased to welcome ANDY BLAKE to the family…  We had a chat with the man himself, and he’s dropped a killer hour of music for us..


Hello Andy and welcome to to Pool family! Hows your day going?

Thank you, i’m really pleased this has happened, I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. Today’s miniature heatwave has been dictating a very slow pace to my productivity. working out precisely where and in what way I’m going to finally rebuild my studio and reading books has been my main distraction from feeling like i’m melting like a cheap ice cream.

What was the first record/ file you listened to today?

For me digital is pretty much only skimming thru online clips like i’m in the world’s biggest record shop with a massive wedge to listen through and only a few minutes til closing time. Until i’ve actually got the record in my hand I can never remember the names and even then i’m more likely to remember what the sleeve feels like or a fingerprint on the label. I’ve been sorting out a mix for you today and the first thing i listened to properly was what turned out to be the final track on that – wise man by el prevost. it’s one of my favourite new releases in ages.

What makes you still excited about music?

For many years now it’s often about the end result when it’s the sonic glue that brings a group of people together in some way. That bit where the total is far more than the sum of the parts. I also really love how music from many different times and places can be combined in a way that’s totally here, totally now and feels like it could only have happened at that moment.

Could you tell me about the party as a sacred experience?

It seems to me that it’s a pretty big deal when it all lands in the right spot, a good one when it all clicks into place lives on in the people there for ages after. I often find it hard to put into words beyond all the usual clichés and I guess that’s at least part of the point, it’s not something that’s meant to be rationalised and described, it’s there to be felt and absorbed on a whole different level to everyday awareness and taken back out into the world with you to be used in whatever way you want.

What was the last great party you went to?

We drove up to Gottwood a few weeks back on a complete whim and that was a pretty amazing 24 hours. It’s such a beautiful environment and once it got dark it became really magical, intense and exciting but also relaxed and playful. The last big club thing I went to that really blew me away was the Trade 25th birthday, I love how it’s something completely separate in many ways to the larger music and club industry despite having influenced it massively and been an innovative forerunner on so many levels. I’d not been for years and i forgot how good it is, looking around the dancefloor and seeing the relaxed and supremely contented look on people’s faces that said they knew they were in exactly the right place at that moment was brilliant. I guess that look on a bunch of faces at a party is one of the signals that it’s turning from good into great.

What do you predict music to sound like in the year 3016?

By then we’ll either be out in space in some form or other or will have bombed ourselves back to the stone age, or maybe both. Presumably that’ll have a fair amount to do with the directions it goes in. Something like traditional indian music could be a biggish part of it, chorded drones, interlocking rhythms and percussion and a sense of it being more than just entertainment, more part of a ritual with some kind of functional aspect – which I guess is also what some forms of techno are currently. there will no doubt be a chipmunk playground chant advertising jingle side to it too if there’s still pop music in any form and i don’t suppose there’s any reason to assume there won’t be. There will probably be at least as many different kinds of folk and roots music as there are recognisably different cultures around then. it’ll likely be as broad and diverse as it is now advanced by whatever the current technology is and has been between now and then, most likely with some emphasis on modernism and futurism and some on a roots/retro/nostalgic tip and no doubt some new elements and aspects that we can’t even guess at now.

What transcends DJing from simply playing music into an art form?

I’m not sure that it is an art form when it’s done as well as it can be, I think it’s something bigger than that and taps into something that art is only the beginning stages of. I guess it stops being just playing music when the boundaries that are normally perceived to exist between individuals, and also within individuals, start to disappear and a far bigger picture becomes visible for a moment, and that can happen in many different ways and in many different kinds of places.

Different djs have their own ways of achieving that transcendence and I think that’s whats so exciting about it as a practice despite the relative simplicity of its execution. It’s always developing, there’s always something new to experiment with either musically or technology-wise and it’s virtually limitless in its scope. Those occasions when it’s clear that a significant proportion of those in attendance are collectively engaged in the moment are when the real magic starts and after that anything can happen.


For all bookings contact




Andy Blake, Music, Press


The Pool are delighted to announce that we have started working with Gilb’r.

Here we introduce the man to you via a brief potted history, a fascinating q&a and a stellar mix…..

There are parts of the story of Gilb’r aka Gilbert Cohen that have all comforting familiarity of conformity. This is because, in parts, the story of Gilb’r adheres to the archetypal narrative of the DJ/label owner story. Growing up in the sedate milieu of the French Riviera the young Cohen found solace in the Nice annual jazz festival. A move to the more cosmopolitan surroundings of Paris coincided with a career move that would galvanise this early fondness of music as Cohen was enlisted as a radio DJ and music programmer for Radio Nova. When a demo tape landed from I:Cube in 1995 Cohen launched a label and 20 years later we are still listening to the output of the much loved Versatile Records. For more on the fascinating history of the label you should delve into the illuminating article from RA’s Aaron Coultate.

However what is very unique and edifying about the story of Cohen is his continuing enthusiasm for dance music and it’s evolutions and newcomers. Both as a label owner and a DJ Gilb’r continues to forge new relationships with artists and DJs whether it be by releasing their music, buying their music or collaborating with them in the studio or back to back sets. Gilb’r is a name that you now see very often with a b2b suffix alongside the brothers Fett (Burger and Soto), Young Marco and Jan Schulte. In recent years he has collaborated on records with Acid Arab, DJ Sotofett and Jorge Velez amongst others. Indeed if you want ample demonstration of how much Cohen is a musical spirit that is not beholden to inertia and the ‘old days were the best days’ mantra then look to February this year when Cohen flogged a large part of his collection, a ceremonial act of dispensing with any sentimental musical detritus cluttering his psychic record box. Now based in the flourishing underground dance scene of Amsterdam Cohen is finally at a point where his label is at it’s most liberated and vital whilst his DJing has reached a place where his encyclopaedic knowledge is offset with the ceaseless verve and passion that was forged in the mind of a young Cohen at the Nice jazz festivals.

So in many ways Cohen has an early story that is characterised by elements that can be seen in the story of others growing up in the nadir of the pre-Napster era. The freedoms, the inspirations and the rise to success have been enjoyed by many others. Where Cohen is unique and divergent though is that his label is still around and he is still a DJ and producer that dance music enthusiasts, young and old, engage with not as a retro act but in pure terms. His is not a story of naff t-shirt collaborations, rock dance collaboration vanity projects and duff tech-house mix cds that have marred the career trajectories of some of his contemporaries attempting to circumvent the problems of a shifting production base within the dance music economy. Cohen’s story is guided by his own avidity for new musical experiences and a zest for meaningful collaboration. As a result he is now in a position where all of his choices, past and present, appear organic and never contrived. When it comes to musical expression Cohen is versatile…

Cohen kindly agreed to answer some questions for us…..


You started with a keen interest in jazz music? Has this interest stayed with you and what did jazz teach you?

Absolutely, that was my first musical real emotion/shock. It stayed with me,even though I don’t listen to much jazz anymore,just when i need to clean my head and go back to basics. It made me feel how powerful it is to have musicians improvising together, how deep you can get using a medium (an instrument here) as an extension of the self to express feelings, and how free you can be with the music….and of course,the shuffle.

One of your first roles was as a radio programmer and DJ for Radio Nova. How did this occupation influence your approach to being a label owner and club DJ? Do we see a clue in your label title?

Actually one of the reasons I left Radio Nova (in 1996),was because I was getting more and more into new music. We were checking almost everything that was released. But when you program a radio station it is not about your own taste (even though i have to say ,we had a freedom that allowed us to program very underground tunes for the time – 1992/1996) But at some point, that passion I had for new music and DJ’ing took over the will to be “middle of the road”.

But the name of my label is definitely after my Nova experience. I had some mentors that totally opened my mind, I couldn’t imagine then to do a label with only type of music. I was exposed to so much music and met such incredible people,from techno and house people,to African and Maghrebian artists to main hip-hop artists as well as avant-garde..

That was possible cause the owner Jean-François Bizot (rip) was a rich eccentric visionnaire,who had a passion for music,and had decided to play the most upfront music,with no adverts (at the time).

Nova was really famous worldwide and people often made k7 when in Paris.

As well as releasing lots of different styles of music you’re a man who makes a broad array of music, located in various dance music styles. What is the key to being so Versatile?

Well, I don’t know…What I learned (and still do) over the years,is that the music it’s all connected, all started from the same primary thing, all talking to different parts of the mind and the body.

It’s frequencies. So my aim as a DJ is to make the connection between different styles,through my own taste of course and in a way people can dance to it(ideally).

There is so much good music, why be so restrictive?



Collaboration seems very important to you when you DJ or produce music, do you work better in collaboration?

Yes. When alone in the studio I can lose myself in sounds, ideas and time. Even though it’s very pleasant, it sometimes gets me away from the point:doing a track. I also like very much to share those intimate studio vibes, some exchanges/dialogue, some jams, some fun.

I was very lucky to work with I:Cube. That tought me so much, sometimes when producing together, a track could take 6/7 very different directions (I wish I recorded those!) in the making. You kind of never know where you gonna arrive at the end & it’s more difficult to have this on my own as there is no one to say stop at some point.

Dance music is in a strange state of progression; whilst some new music is hyper-modern in its production and therefore alien sounding, some new producers are still using the same drum machines and samplers that were used in 1996 and have a familar sound. With over 20 years as a dance music producer are you surprised to see the current state of dance music?

Somehow not really, as those old machines have something special and unique: a personality. For example, in every production I made (solo or not) I always used my Juno 60. Even after 20 years of using it it still surprises me with some sounds, I think it has to do with the components themselves. How a filter resonates, how you can combine oscillators etc.. The computer is amazing, and managed to get music production accessible to much more people, but you can also easily get lost,trying presets of new software forever.I also have issues with the midi of the computer.

With a real TR808 a sequence is gonna groove instantly, but with the computer there someting cold and ungroovy that is somehow not very musical.

What’s coming up for Versatile records? Should we expect any more collaboration with i:Cube under Chateau Flight?

Well,this year I think will be the year where we will release the most: A new Zombie Zombie record (Slow future) was released just last month, and already sold out. Now we have the King Ghazi double 12″. Some music i recorded in Jordan a few years back, with mixes from I:Cube and DJ Sotofett. Then my own 12″(Cham EP) is coming out in the first week of June.

Also,we’ll have a double CD compilation to celebrate the 20 years of the label: 1 x CD (older stuff) selected by I:Cube,and another CD where I did the selection (more recent stuff) A 12″ will also come out of this,with exclusive jams by I:Cube, Sotofett and me, plus a New Order cover by Zombie Zombie. Then we’ll come in September with John Cravache,a very special record which will be number 100 of the label. Pretty special record..and some represses also..and more!

How are you finding Amsterdam after your recent move?

Fantastic. Amsterdam has been amazing to me.I met great people, great club, great record stores, great online radio. It’s much more “human” than Paris, and less aggressive. It’s like a village, but only with the best sides.

My only issue there is …the food! (I’m not super croquette lover)


In February this year we saw that you sold a big section of your records? Was this to make space for new music or for other reasons?

The main reason was space. Then,over the years I accumulated many records in a lot of different styles. And now my aim is to get rid of what I’m not related to anymore. I started as a hip-hop DJ so I had pretty much most records of that time. Same with Drum and bass and so on. I was never a collector, I just bought music I liked. And today, I finally buy records that sound very special to me. My taste is now more accurate (to myself) Even though I still like a lot of different stuff..


What is your dream Pool party line up?

Grill Chef: Young Marco

Cocktail Waiter: Cosmic Neman from Zombie Zombie

DJ: Vladimir Ivkovic.


Gilb'r, Music, Press

Invisible City

10-02-2016 10-37-34

The Pool welcome our newest addition: Invisible City aka Gary Abugan and Brandon Hocura….

Amidst the seemingly endless flow of reissued and re-edited music that moves at the core of the great vinyl resurgence it is all too easy to become disillusioned. A piece that has sat patiently on your wantslist for years can suddenly become very available via a fortuitous re-issue. In your hands, at last, you pop it on your platter and all your initial joy is flattened; rather than being the faithful sonic reproduction you had hoped for in reality you have your beloved track recorded on to what sounds like a stale quiche. Yet amongst the vulture capitalists brutalising your beloved music there is a healthy flock of labels doing it right and Toronto based Invisible City Editions can be considered to be at the forefront of this honorable breed.

Operated by Brandon Hocura and Gary Abugan ICE have, over it’s three year history, reissued some of the key pieces that have come to feature in the bags of what RA’s Matt McDermott has christened the new “breed” of “digger dj”.

Perhaps dissatisfied with the beige palette of synth dribble that often constitutes the beatfart top 20, DJs have started to look backwards for dancefloor fodder. Thus when rare Trinidadian disco from Stephen Encinas and Haitian electro boogie from Jeancy emerged from the ICE stable it was unsurprising that the singles were quickly consumed by the likes of Hunee, Antal, Four Tet and Caribou amongst many others.

On reading the outstanding interview with team IC courtesy of Juno Plus and Brendon Arnott you learn a lot about the dedication and passion for music that undergirds the ceaseless worldwide quest for these rare records. What you also learn is that a love of film bonds Gary and Brandon, a fact reflected most vividly in the cinematic trajectory that each of the ICE releases seem to have. Encinas’s Disco Illusion was discovered by Gary and Brandon at a record warehouse in Trinidad and to accompany its release a heartfelt exposition from Encinas himself on the substance of the record was posted on the ICE website. Plucked from obscurity after languishing in a damp box and given a new lease of life, Disco Illusion and it’s timeless call to dance can be enjoyed and understood by a new generation.

In the hands of a more fiscally motivated label the message of Disco Illusion may not have been transmitted or at least not with the clarity that ICE achieved. Like the best directors Gary and Brandon are masterful in what Arnott describes as “redefining how we interact with the past”.

This communication extends beyond label ownership as team IC have got pedigree as a DJ duo. Whether it be slaying a festival crowd with a robust set of soundsystem primed island reggae and disco or playing to the more intimate crowd at their second home London’s Brilliant Corners,  team IC take dancefloor communication very seriously.

As witnessed on their recent Dekmantel podcast offering they are not averse to letting the well aged fruits of their digging labours rest up alongside newer tackle, so we see 90s zouk from Erick Cosaque in the same mix as a brand new tribal zinger from Randomer.

High demand has seen them play across the world and 2016 is set to be a globe trotting year for the duo with a performances confirmed at the Selectors Festival in Croatia and European tours lined up.

To welcome the guys on to the roster we thought it would be good to pick their brains via an interview which you can read below. They have also recorded us a gorgeous poolside mix which you can find on our soundcloud…


Gary and Brandon welcome to the Pool, it’s great to have you working with us. Brendan Arnott gave a really comprehensive profile of you guys for Juno Plus last year so I’m going to skirt around a lot of the biographical stuff. Can we start on a discussion of the name Invisible City? Is it taken from the Calvino novel?

It is, we are both big Italo Calvino fans. Invisible City started almost ten years ago as a Monday night ‘listening session’ at a local bar. It was totally free format, sometimes it would evolve into a dance party, other times people just sat around listening to weird records. It was basically just an excuse to hang out and share music.

We thought the name was appropriate since we’ve always thought about music as geography, and the idea that mixing records transports you between all these strange places and times periods is something we think about a lot.

The act of reissuing music has morphed from being salvage anthropology to become a many headed beast, some seeking profit and others seeking something else. It feels like you guys fall very much in to the latter category. Can you give us your view of how Invisible City Editions works as a reissue label?

Well it definitely is something other than simply profit for us, but it’s our livelihood now, so we hope our records sell haha. I mean it really isn’t an easy thing to do, and we could be making a living doing some stable clock-in clock-out type thing, but we’re kind of obsessed and love most of what we do. We’re crazy enough to take all of our savings and travel to a country we’ve never been to because we have a lead on some interesting music or artist. I mean it really doesn’t seem like the most rational decision, but we’ve been lucky so far.

We do strike out a lot though when we find artists and they don’t want anything to do with the music they made years ago. Other times we can’t even find artists and so we have to abandon dream releases. Really for each release, so many factors need to come together; obsession, timing, luck, perseverance and just a good vibe about the whole project

In the age of discogs naysayers and other vociferous online critics running a reissue label can be a tricky thing to get right. In my eyes the label seems to get it very right, can you tell us about some of the most positive experiences and feedback you’ve had since starting the label? And how do you respond to any critics?

The best responses for us always come from the artists, when they are excited about their music having another life. Also, it’s always an amazing feeling seeing a crowd of people dancing and singing along to a song that we helped revive. In that moment you think about the artist, all the stories we heard about their lives and music, and the crazy journey the song took to get played in a club in 2015.

Do we have any critics? haha! Honestly I think we’re our worst critics, we’re kind of obsessive perfectionists, which is why our releases sometimes take ages to come out.

Let’s talk about your dj work. Like all good shaolin masters you guys are skilled with and have widespread knowledge on lots of different music. Can you tell us about the different sets that we could hear from Invisible City?

We both grew up listening to all kinds of music; punk, disco, house, hip hop, no wave, industrial, heavy metal, krautrock, shoegaze, all kinds of stuff. And I think we’re both really impressed when a DJ plays something unexpected, like when Richie Hawtin played a Wackies record in the middle of a minimal techno set. So that’s definitely something we’ve taken to heart and try and incorporate in our sets, an element of surprise, surprises that draw unexpected parallels between different types of music.

Since we’ve been DJing a lot more over the last couple years we have kind of developed sets based on rooms and crowds. In a big room with a “doof-doof” vibe we can have fun playing house and techno and sneaking in some Gwada track that sounds like latin house or something.

It’s always fun to play smaller rooms too with more adventurous crowds, so we can stretch out more, play slower, wider and weirder stuff and not stick strictly to the 4-on-the-floor thing. We’ve been lucky enough to play on some really killer klipsch systems recently and that was really fun because we brought records that we thought reflected our IC version of the Loft; african, caribbean, disco and electronic stuff that we knew would sound ace on such a high end system. In any given night we love the last hour the most, once a crowd is really feeling it, then we can slow things down and play melters (modern soul, lovers, weird electronic and even new age) and float people home.

Who do you see as like minded within the world of djing?

We have become super close friends with the Red Light/Rush Hour crew (Tako, Jamie Tiller, Abel, James, Marco, Orpheu, Hunee & Antal) and definitely share a sensibility for music and DJing with those guys. And we like to party too, but those RLR guys are next level. A friend of ours in London JM Gomez is also super fun to play with, a great collector and super nice guy. Aussi DJs too Steele Bonus, Mike NIMH, and Jamie Bennett. Dan Snaith is a friend of ours from childhood and we all grew up on the same music together, he’s a great DJ and is great at stitching together all kinds of music in his sets.

You’ll be coming over to Europe in the spring of 2016. How have you found your tours in Europe so far and is there any places that you really want to visit?

We’ve loved Europe so far, really great scenes and really eye-opening to play all these cities and meet all these like-minded heads who like weird records and good food. It’s pretty amazing to hear the DJ playing before us in Moscow playing a record we discovered in a warehouse in Trinidad!

We’ll go anywhere haha, but I think we’re both pretty stoked at the possibility of playing Kazakhstan.

As well as being music aficionados you are both authorities on cinema. What film would you say the Invisible City nightclub experience is equivocal to? (not sure if we should use this)

B and me are huge movies nerds. before there was internet and bit torrents there was a crazy underground movie scene.You could only see stuff in the theatres or some 4th generation VHS tape. For some reason movies have lost their edge but we still like weird stuff like Kenneth Anger, Peckinpah, Cassavettes, Fassbinder, Charles Atlas, Jodorowsky, Daren, Iranian films, Ackerman, Shaw Brothers, Skate videos . . Joshua Oppenheimer is a new director to watch.

Going back to the label you guys have some interesting releases in the pipeline. The Pool have clocked some proto Hindustani electronics and cosmic funk from a Bryan Adams affiliate waiting in the wings. Let us know more…..

Yep, those two are coming up soon. We’re going to put out or first artist comps next year, Ahmed Fakroun and Shadow are the 2 big ones. We’ve also got a New Age artist from Mexico we’re doing a comp with and another Boothman 12”. We’ve been working hard, but we’ll see how much we can do in a year.

And finally the question we ask every one. Can you tell us your dream pool party?

Infinity pool party on a beach in Tobago. Amsterdam crew, Aussie crew. Klipsch system. Live performance from Shadow. BBQ, roti, bake and shark. Aged rum, nice wine and Johnny Walker Black (for Shadow).



Invisible City, Music, Press

Africaine 808

We caught up with the mysterious Africaine 808, to understand a little more about who they are, where they’re coming from and where they’re at..

808 sticker

Hello Gentlemen how’s it going?

Both : Good. We´re in the studio and almost done for today. Another track ready to be mastered.

What are your musical backgrounds?

Dirk: I started playing instruments at an early age (guitar and piano) Big thanks to my parents who spent there money on the lessons I could take.

When I was 14 I played electric guitar in local rock&funk bands, got writing and composing lessons and got more and more interested in Jazz music.

Being 18 years old I moved to cologne and got deeply interested in electronic music. I was working for Groove Attack distribution back than and would spend more money on records than actually earning money at the end of the month. Returning some records filled up the fridge.

A few years later I met Matias Aguayo with whom I formed the group Closer Musik.

We released 2 12″‘s and an Album on Kompakt. After our time in South America we closed the chapter Closer Musik and I moved to Berlin where I did lots of collaborations with Nerk, Khan, Justus Kohncke, Eric D. Clark, Satch Hoyt and many more. Nowadays my main focus is on Africaine 808 alongside Nomad.

There are other more techno and house oriented projects alongside Mirko Hecktor under the moniker Project01 and Markus Wegner as STNH. I am also working for the public radio since 15 years, being in involved in radio features and radio play productions.

Nomad : I started collecting dance music very early on, taping top of the pops together with my Sister every Friday.  Got my first vinyl LP (Blondie -Parallel lines) at my tenth Birthday and fell in love with collecting records. Making music started in my parents Basement  in the mid 80’s with glueing Tape loops and doing Industrial, Avantgarde stuff. In that phase i discovered Brian Eno and David Byrne’s work when they where messing with African music, which was the first memory i have on getting into polyrhythms and african percussion .

Also  Skateboarding influenced my musical taste through my entire youth because i got to hang out with a lot of other subcultures like punk , Hip Hop ,Rave and Psychedelic Rock stuff and didn’t have to stick to only one scene.  This also got me into the Cosmic music and Breakbeat scene of the early nineties- late eighties. I got to see Beppe (Loda) , Mozart and Baldelli play at some Afro/Cosmic Parties in the Alpes which really inspired me to become a DJ.Later when i got into Jungle and Drum* Bass i would still be mainly dig/ produce more Percussive/ African grooves.

After that came a phase where i produced more abstract electronic beat stuff as a part of ” White Dolemite” (Bpitch Control) and started mixing West London Broken Beat Styles with classic Blockparty and Afro Sounds with Hunee as Triple A Soundsystem. After some years it was evident that i would go more into the Afro Direction and i started VULKANDANCE as a partyseries for Afro and Tropical music.

Could you tell us about Africaine 808, how and why it came into being?

Dirk: Because of me getting on Nomads nerves to start making music together.

Nomad: True. We knew each other since the time we worked for competing labels – Dirk for Kompakt and me for BPitch Control , and we had a lot of mutual respect for our Sound design , i guess. Dirk always asked me when we would start something together – and after ten years i finally gave in and we started working on some remixes of Afro and Islands tunes. It was really just more of an Experiment. And it still is.

What is message of the band?

Dirk : “broken glass everywhere…”

Nomad : If there is any message than its ” Freedom ” . A Freedom you can reach , by breaking barriers, combining different cultural backgrounds , musical inspirations, production methods and relying on willpower, hard work and the laws of harmony and rhythm. We are a Transcultural listening music project that likes to make people dance.
What music is really doing it for you at the moment, old or new?

Dirk: It doesn´t matter. It´s got to be good music.

Nomad: Same here. I am a mean music collector when it comes to African and Tropical music. The stuff i spend most time looking for comes from the 70’s and 80’s … but that is mainly because that stuff is disappearing right now and i need to spend a lot of time digging for those records. The modern stuff is much easier to get by via download or record stores or mail order. I don’t dig as much Disco and Modern Soul as i used to , but that’s ok , because i am still not done with digitizing what i have at home.

So you have a new EP coming up on Golf Channel, then an album next year. What was your process for recording this new work?

Africaine 808 – Everybody Wants to (Golf Channel US)

Dirk: Recording Arranging EQing Mixing!

Nomad : Most of the stuff you are going to hear is all music we, or some friends played

(Dodo NKishi plays Drums on some tracks, Eric Owusu plays Percussion, Ofrin, Nova Campanelli and Alex Voices added vocals)  and that we recorded, engineered and arranged.

The use of Samples is reduced to a minimum on the Album and is mostly just novelty samples, pet sounds, ambiance, field recordings or spoken words. How we start the process is different each time. Sometimes I come to the studio and Dirk has already laid down some harmonies and I start putting a beat over it. Sometimes we find an idea for a drum pattern or a certain instrumentation together and we start with that. It’s always a growing experiment.

We never know where the journey will take us until we have almost arrived.

Current EP on Golf Channel

New LP coming early 2016 – get in touch for bookings….


Music, Press

The Pool Podcast #002

We’re back with the second installment of our Pool Podcast.

Again hosted by Matty & Ben, this outing features an exclusive guest Selection from Nenad Markovic, a chat with Faze Action’s Simon Lee, and new music from Todd Terje, Richard Sen, MMT, Faze Action & more..

Have a listen, and let us know what you think via twitter…


The Pool Podcast – TP001

We’re kicking off a new series of recordings featuring chat, tracks from the roster and selected guest mixes.

The first installment is now live, and features an excellent guest mix courtesy of Michael from Noise in My Head

Hope you enjoy…

Andras Fox & Oscar: Live

 The Pool is very pleased to announce we are now taking booking requests for the debut UK & European tour of the Andras Fox & Oscar Key Sung Live show.

So far the acclaimed duo have released two well received LP’s : 2013’s ‘Embassy Cafe’ on Dopeness Galore and the most recent outing ‘Cafe Romantica’.

If you aren’t familiar with the duo or would like to see them in action please follow the links below.

We have dates available on request between July 1st and September 28.

For any more information please contact :


Events, Music, Press

Welcome to Zanzibar Chanel….

Australian imports are at an all time high around  The Pool HQ. We’ve fallen for the bright and breezy aural tapestries of Andras Fox and have become sold on the lithe dance gymnastics of Bell Towers. Now we’ve found ourselves getting in full lather over the fierce and funky output of Melbourne’s own Zanzibar Chanel. To explain the ZC aesthetic would require one to consider watching a cross pollination between Ru Paul and William Onyeabor, or maybe think to think of a show that dabbles in the transgressive stage antics of GG Allin with a Jump Street bounce.

Their record label Ruff Records was touted by Dazed Digital as one of their 10 labels to push things forward whilst the guys managed to inject Boiler Room with a unique sense of the sublime and the absurd that can be viewed on their infamous performance in 2013. Part Sid Vicious, part Sandy Ninja the guys can be described almost continually it seems with neat juxtapositions.

However as is always the case it’s best for The Pool to stop its yacking and get the guys to tell all in one of our question and answer sessions…

Before we dive in to that we thought it would be nice for us to share some of ZC’s top moments from the web…

We kick off with a rolling slab of piano drenched house that chops you harder than a ruffled Chuck Norris. The video features the guys getting intimate with their instruments….

Nice live piece conducted for Wunce magazine, it’s hot and wet don’t forget…

The infamous Boiler Room…


1. Hi Zac! Welcome to The Pool. To the uninitiated bystander tell us what Zanzibar Chanel is currently?

Two Australians making tracks in a grandma house by the side of a highway…

2. And what was Zanzibar Chanel when it started? Has there been any movement away from this?

An outlet for suburban boredom and the frustration of being trapped at the end of the earth. I think if it had been a different decade we would have been a punk band, but we already had synths, an MPC and were obsessed with house. Melbourne is renowned for being a place where people are painfully self aware, pretentious and stand still at gigs.. but the club scene was the one place that seemed a bit more free and expressive. it also happened that there were some really amazing DJs and producers using the club platform to push interesting stuff, it felt exciting, vibrant and open to participation.

We started making simple beats with the same sense of urgency as a garage band, making 4 tracks in one sitting and performing them at art galleries and our friends parties. I would scream at the crowd to dance and not give a fuck, and they would… the more i screamed the more everyone would go crazy, even those who thought it absurd to have a fat person in drag screaming over funky tracks would eventually let loose and join in. dance is a pretty powerful tool of freedom and expression, it can break down social boundaries and create an inclusive space for people to engage with each other physically and spiritually….

Nothing much has changed, although the music has gone way further and reached way more people than we ever thought it would, we thought we were just making music for our friends and for our city.. we never thought anyone in the rest of the world would even hear it!

3. The production aesthetic of ZC- talk us through it. We’re feeling it’s one take machine music with keys and knobs…..

Yeh,  its about distilling melody and vibe into something thats tangible and not washed out with bullshit effects. We are just trying to create something unique and interesting with the tools we have, which are mostly crappy digital synths, keyboards and an MPC. its all about pressing the buttons and seeing what happens, feeling the vibe and being too lazy to over-do it…

4. Maybe this was a tongue in cheek reference but in a previous interview ZC mentioned GG Allin as a source of inspiration? Does ZC take inspiration from Mr Allin’s raw and visceral performances? Can we expect dung and fighting at ZC gigs?

Haha!! The only thing i like about GG Allin is that he had a micro-penis and still got naked on stage (see any live video for proof)… I’m into poo, but not into violence….

5. Aside from this can you pick out some other sources of inspiration for us?

for Luis i would say weed is the main inspiration.. for me its more about a vibe than any specific reference points, when there is a certain energy or feeling I want to create something and attempt to articulate it..

6. Zac we saw that you spent some time in Europe this year. What did you get up to in this time?

Yeh! i was trying to get into this European art academy but i didn’t get in! so i just spent alot of time reflecting and chilling.. I played some shows towards the end of the trip which were great, with my German pal Arthur Rieger filling in for Luis… It was pretty important for me to get some perspective on Australia and what is happening here creatively. It made me realise what rich creative communities we have and how great it is to be so far away from everything, its a really intense cultural microcosm… Looking forward to getting back to Europe and showing the world what we got!!

7. We’ve really loved both of the ZC EP’s released thus far and the recent remix on UTU was rather fine. Tell us what more we can expect from ZC in the future?

I’m running a record label called RUFF RECORDS, which has just had its 4th release and will be continuing with plenty of unheard Australian stuff and collaborations/ spin-offs of Zanzibar (of which there are many)… we also have a concept LP in the works called ‘Australian Graffiti’, an homage to this great photography book by Rennie Ellis… And a bunch of stuff that has yet to be properly released, which will hopefully make it out this year! so lots to look forward too…


So there it is….We are happy to announce that the guys will be touring Europe in April…. for all enquiries….


Press, Zanzibar Chanel

Greg Wilson – Australian Tour

Greg Wilson heads down under shortly for a series of shows in later December/early January, don’t miss if you’re in the area!