Thursday, October 28, 2010

city: Bucharest Beat

All the blood, sweat and beers that go in to running events in two cities throughout the year seems to pay off (never financially!) in Autumn time. Last year DO IT! collective were hosted in Helsinki and Bergen for two differing gigs but equally fun trips during August. This year it was just me (Uraki Riddim) on a solo trip to Bucharest via Copenhagen in late October.   Copenhagen opened my ears to an exciting instrumental beats scene which is arguably the strongest right now in Scandinavia, the label Hobby Industries and New Folder collective making up the best of it. Bucharest peeled back my eyes to an otherworldly place.  Hosted by ex-pat DJ and journalist Tom Wilson, I was given the insight needed to map my way through a city that without assistance I would have struggled to grasp.  Full of contrasts, romantic and mysterious historical corners it is a metropolis like none other I have visited. Playing at Ota's minimal looking basement club (complete with kitchen for making hearty soups) alongside Tom was incredible, the crowd were so locked in and ready to dance - someone name checking and asking for a spin back on a Mike Slott tune will surely be a once in a lifetime request! Props to Fresh Good Minimal for press, check them out for a lowdown on the Bucharest scene.     
photo: from the excellent Bucharest based photo blog Revelator//Planet34 by Andrei Mocanca

Sunday, October 10, 2010

music: Oslo Institution Closes

It is with a relative degree of sadness that The Villa closed their doors after one last dance on 2/10/10.  Although the club had sat below pizza institution Hells Kitchen for less than five years, it had won a place in many music aficionados hearts in Oslo and from overseas. From New Wave to old age disco via dubstep, skweee and house - the club was the only spot in town close to rekindling memories of clubs such as Edinburgh's The Venue and old Bongo Club (sadly also both defunct). For readers not familiar with those venues, perhaps the best comparison came from one revered DJ visiting for a set during Oslo Live who compared The Villa to Plastic People in London - only better. The Oslo nightscape maybe changing with the arrival of new venues and rumors of takeovers on the horizon but, in the meantime we salute you The Villa; door and bar staff, regulars, visiting acts and in particular the booking team of Tore Jazztoback (Ost from Ost&Kjex) and Scot Electric Lane (Jen McConachie). It was a pleasure to play there on several occasions and in particular for our DO IT! event during Øya 
video: Oslo Experimental presents: DO IT! Oyafestivalen, The Villa 13.8.10 by Halvor Bodin