Thursday, December 9, 2010

CJ Bolland and Frank De Wulf in Dublin (28.1.11)

It has been a little while since our last gig and we were keen to come back with something special, so upcoming on Friday January 28th we welcome two legends of the scene to The Button Factory - CJ Bolland and Frank De Wulf - playing strictly old skool sets. As two people who laid the foundation of Europe’s exploding scene in the ‘90s, there are literally no better men to represent this period of time, when they get together to play many key tunes that define these essential years.

Besides being one of the producers of a generation – kicked off by a slew of outstanding releases on Ghent’s legendary R&S Records - English-born but Belgian based CJ Bolland was one of the pivotal figures in Europe’s rave and burgeoning techno scene from the early ‘90s. Working under various names like Ravesignal, Sonic Solution, The Project, Space Opera, and of course his own, CJ’s skills in the studio made him both an underground and overground superstar, while as a DJ he became one of the most widely renowned performers around. One of the few high profile names to regularly incorporate different styles into his sets, despite the growing sub-genre purism that seeped into the scene, CJ Bolland has played some of the best dj sets we have witnessed in Dublin over the years. Expect this performance to be no different, as he digs into his crates for a special selection of retro gems.

Frank De Wulf is an originator, a pioneer, a living legend. Making his name originally during the Belgian new beat era of the late ‘80s, De Wulf set the scene alight through classic tracks like ‘Acid Rock’ (as Rhythm Device) and most notably the ‘B-Sides’ series on Music Man - a collection of eps that displayed the unusual splicing of elements from well known records of the time, made into killer dj-friendly tracks. Casual fans will recognise much of De Wulf’s own music and remixes (The Orb, The Shamen, Jam & Spoon, N-Joi, Human Resource, Paul Hartnoll all benefited from De Wulf’s remixing talent) while hardcore fans will tell you of how their lives changed when they first heard Frank’s music or saw him play back in the day. After a long-term hiatus from the dance scene, Frank De Wulf is back, and back to play in Ireland for one night only!

Appearing on the night also is Pierce Rooney. Better known for his ongoing achievements as a dj/producer on the global hardhouse scene, Pierce leads a double life as one of Dublin’s old skool vinyl overlords. Pick a random label of the past - like for instance Network, R&S or Jumpin’ & Pumpin’ - and there’s a good chance that Pierce owns their whole catalogue; if there’s an ultra rare house track you heard on an old mixtape but never knew the name, there’s a good chance Pierce has double copies. Pierce is one of the true soldiers out there and we are delighted to have him warming up on the night.

Friday January 28th 2011
The Button Factory, Curved Street, Dublin 2

A Night of Strictly Old-Skool with:

CJ Bolland (R&S Records – Belgium)
Frank De Wulf (The B-Sides – Belgium)
+ Pierce Rooney

Doors: 11pm
Early bird tickets: €10 (until January 7th) at Event Elephant

CJ Bolland on
Frank De Wulf on
Pierce Rooney on

Friday, April 30, 2010

Cari Lekebusch Interview

Few would have thought that Stockholm, proud home to pop idols like Abba, would eventually become one of world's most productive bases for underground techno. Many early rave enthusiasts knew Sweden only for its euro-dance act Leila K; but in the background producers like The Source Experience (Robert Leiner) were bringing the standard of Swedish electronic music in a more serious direction via pioneering labels of the early nineties like R&S. Emerging at this time also, and soon orchestrating a Stockholm techno explosion through his advanced beatmaking and spaced out sound design, was a young Cari Lekebusch - a man who has since built up one of the largest and most impressive discographies in the history of the genre. Taking time out from unpacking boxes at his new home as well rewiring his studio setup, Cari kindly answered some questions for us in advance of his '90s techno themed set in Dublin this coming Sunday:

Where would you originally trace your interest or discovery of techno - Detroit, Chicago, the European sound?

C: My first WOW experiences were around 8 years of age, and mainly from electronic sound scapes. Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Ralph Lundsten but also James Brown for examples. This lead onwards through Breakdancing, and the sounds of Electro/Hip-Hop. Around that time I also started to experiment with creating my own tracks, that could be somewhat categorized into early Electro/Techno. And soon after started collect vinyl seriously, Chicago, New York, Detroit, European styles of House and Techno.

Can you describe the kind of influence Robert Leiner had on your early career?

C: Yes Robert was very handy with the machines; I always tried to listen carefully back then when I had the chances to be in the same studio as him. Back then it was much harder to get tutorial help and advice. Its not like having a nice chill afternoon with tea watching manuals and tutorials on YouTube :D

From your early releases, the Fred material perhaps stands out most. Would you agree? And what made you end the project in the end?

C: Yes you’re right the Fred projects are quite defined in sound and purpose. Lot of it is in Tim Taylor’s taste/pick of tracks, but towards the end of that story I started to create tracks with the Fred character in mind as well of course. The thing with pseudonyms kinda died out a bit in the 2000-2010. It doesn’t make that much sense trying to fight your way through the artist mega population jungle of today with 10 small scissors. Better have one huge very reliable well-made machete. CHOP! CHOP! like vegetables =D

Speaking of Freds, do you miss the presence of prominent guys from that time like Freddie Fresh in techno today?

C: Wow yes Freddie made some super Techno tracks, I still play some of them - and hey! Who knows - eventually cats come back to the house to drink some milk - if it tasted good that is :D

Whatever happened to Dan Zamani do you know? His discogs entries seem to end at the end of the nineties.

C: Ah yes Dan Zamani, well I’d love to be able to tell you something but I haven’t spoken to him since 1995 I think =S So I have no clue what so ever =/

Following the first era of trance and trance-influenced techno in Europe, next came the ‘Swedish sound’. Can you shed some light on what started it?

C : I still try to figure out what would define the "Swedish sound" LOL. My own productions used to vary a lot especially back in those days. I did an Electro track on the Sunday, Monday a Deep House track with Alexi Delano, Tuesday a Techno roller Drumcode with Adam Beyer, etc.

Many associate you solely with this hard, looped techno sound of the mid-late nineties. Is/was this frustrating considering the wide range of music you have actually made?

C: Yes I guess it’s all a matter of what tracks get the most attention, nowadays I’ve "learned" and I’m aiming towards a more balanced out type of sound in my releases. Focusing more towards one type of sound - at least for a MUCH longer time period. It’s no use trying to race ahead too much, since there are no witnesses to see you cross the finish line LOL

Running label operations from a young age, did you find that you had to learn about business very fast, and did you have much help from people around you?

C: Mostly learning the hard way sadly, I would have chosen many other routings if I had the knowledge of at least 10 years on the scene. I’ve had some much appreciated help from only a very few people, but in this case I don’t think its how many, but rather how much each "put into it" so to speak :)

You must have been annoyed when you had to change your label name from Hybrid to H-Productions. With more money, could you have won in court? Or was it like that?

C: I haven’t got the slightest clue about that. The only thing I wanted to do is continue making tracks, tons of records and tour non-stop. So changing to H-Productions from Hybrid Productions was easy. Gotta stay flexible, would be dreadful to realize your survival would depend upon a brand name o.O

Distributors are often either heroes or villains. What are/were Prime Distribution to you?

C: I would say both hero and villain in this case.

Running Sentinel appeared to be a good business move for you all in Sweden. Did it work out as you hoped it would?

C: Well Sentinel was a vinyl distributor only, and it was towards the "end" period of the vinyl market - when we realized it was not going to be much more vinyl for that long is when I started to take that company down.

What kinds of changes have taken place in your studio over the last, say, 5 years?

C: Hmmm good question. More inboard Computer software etc. I combine analog and digital nowadays and slowly start to find a good balance where I’m satisfied with what comes out. A bigger and badder sound card, and more attention to acoustics in the work room for better monitoring. But most of the changes have been taking place inside my head =D Which I think is where it’s at mainly, not in the studio gear. Needless to say though, it’s very important during the creation process.

Presumably some newer machines have taken over from much of your classic gear too. Any pieces of recent year equipment that you have found particularly useful or important?

C: I use a mix of digital and analog ... I still route lots of stuff through my outboard gear towards the end and during post production. New toys are usually always software based or some sort of controller unit :) I think I have to join a design team and build a machine or 2, because I usually only find 2 out of 20 functions interesting. Manufacturers of music machinery are usually always aiming for a large customer base, hence all the orthodox stuff in there slowing the evolution down for Techno producers especially.

With many still yearning the rawness of older techno, do you ever feel like revisiting or reworking any of the styles that you used to make?

C: Absolutely I do that now and then, but usually I rework them with today's tools and mind. Trying to make it sound exactly the same like it did back then would probably not be my first choice of studio session.

Have you thought of releasing more electro again?

C: Yes I will probably release some more Electro type of sounds in the future, I'm 99% sure of that =) It will probably be various types of Electro blended into an album project, and I would utilize full vocals on some tracks even.

You’ve recently converted a lot of your vinyl collection to digital. Did it take long?

C: I only digitalize tracks from vinyl whenever I need them. Doing that with the whole collection would be to much work yes :)

Does that mean that you’re ditching vinyl or just making yourself more adaptable?

C: Yes for me it's to stay in the main focus of the standards on the scene. Adapt myself to the use of new ways and technology. I still have my Technics turntables at home, but they just can't compete with using CD players in clubs and on events. No more mistakes, sub bass feedback, or jumping stylus so you get more bass to the people and don't have to stand totally still during your DJ set. I can sort my records better creating a more refined experience in arrangement and have a bigger range of tracks. Of course with CD & Digital you'll need to watch out so you get good quality files or you'll lose ALOT! Vinyl tends to "sound" better compared to many digital releases because of the mastering. People that master vinyl usually have quite significant knowledge of how to make stuff sound better that they did before :) Then of course there's a whole debate around the warmness, analogness of sound carriers, agents, vibrations, materials and take it to the moon and mars. BUT compare the situation between a perfect mastered track, put it on vinyl and on CD/DIGI, then compare its usability and sound in the club.

Finally, what is in store for Dublin when you play here on May 2nd?

C: I have a really good sound demonstration on my soundcloud page. Set is called Techno Archeology and is a pilot of a DJ mix CD project I will start later on in 2010.

Many thanks to Cari for his answers. Witness him rocking the walls of Andrew's Lane Theatre for his first Dublin appearance since The Kitchen in 2001!

Cari Lekebusch Myspace
Cari Lekebusch Website

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


This Sunday’s gig sees the meeting of three techno giants, all headliners in their own right. Cari Lekebusch and Adam X’s records speak for themselves: releasing music through almost forty combined years at the helm, from the hedonistic rave days through to today’s Berghain influenced techno scene - of which Adam’s Traversable Wormhole releases are a defining symbol, and incidentally, where Cari is playing this Saturday in Berlin as a warm-up to Sunday in Dublin!

A man with far less of a head start, but with an equally revered production output is Juan Rico aka Reeko, who plays live on the night. Originally hailed as Spain’s young techno prodigy following a string of mind blowing early releases, Reeko has lived up to his early promise by building up a catalogue of superlative deep, dark and industrial dancefloor grooves, with the trademark swing of his beloved Roland 909 and shuffle of his killer rhythms. Reeko’s live sets have been the toast of practically all events and festivals he has played at in recent years. Unfortunately trying to track down some of these sets online is not particularly easy though. For now, we have selected some of our favourite tracks by Reeko to give you a flavour of what he is going to bring to the party on Sunday!

Other web links:
Reeko Discog
Reeko on Myspace
Reeko on Soundcloud

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cari Lekebusch, Adam X, Reeko in Dublin (02.05.10)

After two cracking gigs in The Underground @ Kennedy’s, we’re moving things back up a level and back to the scene of our first show last October at Andrew’s Lane Theatre. This time we’ve booked three international guests, each one a true master of their craft…

Cari Lekebusch is the almighty king of Swedish techno. Treading a glorious path from the early ‘90s under names like Braincell, Mr Barth and Fred, and on labels like R&S, Harthouse, Missile and Planet Rhythm; by the time the mid nineties had arrived, so too had a powerful Swedish techno movement – spearheaded by Lekebusch and soon backed up by other new talent like Adam Beyer and Joel Mull. While recording on an endless amount of labels over the years, Cari’s mainstay has been his own H-Productions - home to an enormous body of pioneering work, both aural and visual. Cari will be treating us to a special 1990-97 style techno set, which takes in the golden years of techno’s explosion in Europe and some of the many tracks and hidden gems that he associates with this time. Like Planetary Assault Systems’ live set last year, this special set from Cari is another first in Ireland that we felt necessary to put right, and is going to be an historic experience for techno lovers in Dublin, as he lays it down proper on the ones and twos.

Adam X is one of New York’s last standing techno heroes – a man who ran the city’s legendary ‘Sonic Groove’ record shop with brother Frankie Bones and Heather Heart, and who still runs the label of the same name, a label which continues to stay true in today’s ever challenging market. In recent years Adam forged his sound into an EBM/industrial techno hybrid, which has recently morphed into the more stripped back style of his ‘Traversable Wormhole’ releases that are amongst the most essential of 2009/10. Currently a Berlin resident, Adam has been organising some of the city’s best one off parties at Club Maria, as well as regularly playing at other local meccas like Berghain and Tresor. Since his re-location to Germany Adam’s services have been in large demand around Europe both as a dj and live act; and during a colourful career that has included releases on labels like Peacefrog, Sativae, Drop Bass Network, Things To Come, MNX and many more, Adam finally comes to Dublin to lay down the law.

Spanish producer Reeko’s star first rose is 2003 when he dropped the fifth release on Grovskopa’s Emergence label – which became something of a modern classic through the dark, crunching broken beats that soon became his signature sound. While appearing on many labels, it has been his own Mental Disorder imprint that has been the backbone to his growing success and reputation. Also hosting marvels of the techno scene like Gennaro Le Fosse, MD has been at the forefront of an increasing Spanish label stronghold on the harder techno sound - lead by Reeko and countrymen like Oscar Mulero and Exium. A regular guest at events all over the world, Reeko is one of the few ‘next generation’ techno producers to have now positioned himself at the top of the ladder – and it is something he has done with considerable aplomb for a man still markedly younger than many of his peers. This is also Reeko’s debut Irish appearance, and it’s a live set sure to deliver fireworks.

Defekt (aka Matthew Flanagan) has been a tireless advocate of true electro over the last number of years, steadily honing his hardware based sound that has earned him a devoted domestic fanbase, and admirers all through the electro community including Monotone’s Larry McCormick aka Exzact, who features Defekt on an upcoming Bass Frequency Productions release. Also watch out for a double vinyl release on Takeover Recordings –which also promises some big, big remixes. Matt makes up one part of live improv electronic group ‘Push, Move, Click’ - whose eager abuse of drum boxes and modular synths is a breath of fresh air in today’s laptop dominated scene. Also appearing on the night, and opening up this special show, is talented upcoming dj Nathan Jones. Nathan has quickly been making a name for himself in Dublin, last year appearing at Electric Picnic as well as playing some great recent club gigs alongside names like Neil Landstrumm amongst others. Completing our list of performers for the show will be visuals extraordinaire Coolhandloop, who is developing some extra special suprises for the night.

Admission is €15. Tickets are available at €15 (+ booking fee) from All-City, City Discs and Spindizzy, and online at at and The venue is Andrew’s Lane Theatre, 9-17 St Andrew’s Lane, Dublin 2. Doors open from 9pm – late.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ed Devane – Molten Membrane album launch (06.03.2010)

Following the mentalism of Forshaw, Mustard Gunn and Redmonk, next up we’re returning to The Underground @ Kennedy’s on Saturday, March 6th for more of the same. It marks the launch of Ed Devane’s debut album ‘Molten Membrane’, which we’re really charged up about! Ed is a supreme talent, and has appeared on a plethora of edgy bass-enthused labels like Touchin’ Bass, Spacebar Sentiments, !Kaboogie and Mantrap Recordings – the latter being home to this, his debut longplayer.

Joining Ed on stage for parts of his set will be Scurvy Lass, who has contributed to three of the tracks on the album, providing some of its most memorable moments. Also phattening up the lineup are Kachanski (live), Thatboytim, Eomac and Noid The Droid. Doors are at 10.30pm, admission is €10, and we’re also throwing in a free copy of the cd album (a month in advance of its full release!) for your troubles.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Michael Forshaw & DJ Mustard Gunn in Dublin

After a memorable debut event at last October’s DEAF, we decided that we couldn’t just leave it there – and moving to the smaller, sweatier surroundings of The Underground @ Kennedy’s for our next gig, we welcome Michael Forshaw and DJ Mustard Gunn as our international guests on February 6th.

Michael Forshaw is a legend in his field. His label Chan ‘n’ Mikes has fashioned some of the craziest techno and electro of the last ten or so years - track and release titles like ‘I Love Horses’, ‘Cheerleaders’ or ‘Boyzone Make Me Wanna Smoke Crack’ have always demonstrated his humorous approach, but it’s the ruthless nature of his production that has set him apart. This is a long overdue return for Forshaw to play live in Dublin and a perfect way to kick off 2010 for us.

Making his Irish debut on the night is Coin Operated label head DJ Mustard Gunn. Coin Operated has been one of the best new labels of the last few years – showcasing a daring mix of UK bass styles from producers like Kanji Kinetic, 3d!t, Spaceface, The Squires Of Gothos and many others, with a friendly nod to the old skool. Mustard Gunn knows how to tear up the club and that’s exactly what he’s going to do when he gets here.

Completing the lineup is Redmonk, one of the craftiest DJs in the Dublin area,
as well as one of the masterminds behind the !Kaboogie collective, who have recently been pushing some sick new slabs of black plastic by some of the city’s best and most depraved producers.

Doors to The Underground @ Kennedy’s are at 10.30pm, with admission being a cool €10.