We drop into Number 90 Bar in Hackney Wick later this month for an afternoon/evening of spring sounds…
Free Entry & music from friends of the family & Pool DJ’s
We drop into Number 90 Bar in Hackney Wick later this month for an afternoon/evening of spring sounds…
Free Entry & music from friends of the family & Pool DJ’s
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).
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..
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?
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.
New LP coming early 2016 – get in touch for bookings….
The Crucial & Fresh boys have kindly dug into their not insubstantial boxes and come up with 5 tracks that are doing the business for them this winter..
1. Instant House – Awade (Joe’s Jungle Sounds Dub)
Joaquin “Joe” Claussell was a totally new one for us this year. This record is a great way to open a set. Who doesn’t love the sound of a rain stick? It possesses that tribal / shamanistic aesthetic we’ve been hunting for in our tracks this year. Couple that with the sound of a sax solo and some wooshing sounds and you might as well not play anything else ever again. More of the same over on Joe Claussell’s ‘Sacred Rhythms Music’. Shouts to DJ Dreamcatcher, on what ever spiritual plane he currently resides on .
2. Michal Turtle – Astral Decoy
This brilliant record fulfills all those cosmic cravings. Its part of a wonderful series of 12’s released on the fantastic, Music from Memory label, which releases records from way back when. This was originally recorded in 1980’s by a young Michal Turtle in his parents living room, but still sounds so relevant today. Fumix played this on our radio show a while back and we’ve been hooked ever since.
3. Pan Solo – Jungle Falls
Our close friend Ben Mansfield runs the fantastic Cosmic Pint Glass record label, and this little beauty is out very soon on the new ep. Hot Tropics. We have been lucky enough to have access to this track for a few months now, and it never disappoints. It’s maybe a bit weird, which is probably why we like it. The pan pipes stay strong throughout and hold it all together very nicely, and the results are always the same, a general chorus of heads asking “who on earth is this?”, fantastic stuff.
4. José Roboter – Amazonia
This is a weird one. We have a penchant for anything rain forest related at the moment so we searched ‘Amazonian house’ on google. This wee number popped up and that was it, love at first sight / listen. It sounds wet, like a rainforest. I cant seem to find out much about Jose Roboter other than he hasn’t got many soundcloud followers and that he was “born in the 70s from the unexpected love between a famous spanish flamenco dancer and a tattooed Berliner w*nker.” His output is high and if you like raw gear driven house then check him out.
5. Jack Pattern – Blackout
This is a winner every time. 100% builder and gets the floor lit! This one never leaves the bag and it’s usually a race between the two of us as to who plays it first. We also love any record that has dolphins on it. The ‘Another Language’ ep it features on has a nice Ruf Dug rework on it as well. Keep your eye out for the Swiss based Jack Pattern boys, we love their work and are expecting great things from them in the future.
Todd Terje does his solo live show in London before Christmas, it will be great!
Tickets on sale right now, go get
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… https://twitter.com/thepool_london
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…
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 : email@example.com
Couple of big shows this weekend…
Greg Wilson appears at Howard Marks & Friends, tonight at Kentish Town Forum:
While tomorrow Todd Terje drops his all conquering live show on Elephant & Castle, for Rinse FM at Ministry of Sound
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….
firstname.lastname@example.org for all enquiries….