Monday, September 7, 2009

The Refuge Label Focus: ANDES MUSIC + Refuge.cast 004: FRANCISCO ALLENDES

A few weeks ago now I received a message from a like-minded DJ friend of mine: "new Tapesh on Defected = ethno-house is so dead. so, so, so dead." Immediately I went to investigate this Tapesh record on Beatport. I've never been much of a fan of the Defected label, in fact, most of what I've heard on that label I found to be quite tacky. The first thing to comes to my mind: plastic titty girls and sunburned dude-bros 'into house music' wearing sunglasses (inside the club) in Miami. Maybe I'm uninformed.

So. I click play on the Beatport player, almost with a bit of excitement because the track title 'Boya Chile' sounds like it's gonna be hot, like it's gonna rip the floor like some crazy savage sped up re-edited cumbia track over a tech-house beat (I'm sure you know what track I'm talking about) that Luciano will be hammering out at some exotic club/abandoned airplane hangar with a bunch of barely clothed women dancing to it. Nah man. Nah. What came out of my speakers sounded like a really cheap, poor man's version of that one song about el pescador or the mysterious song about a turtle or most recently- that one about the magical flute.

These tracks all may be quite prevalent on dancefloors across the globe. Many of them are really smokin' hot tracks with a lot of substance that reduce us to a baser nature; a savage on the dancefloor ready to get down, but could it just be a passing trend? Ethno-house? What does that even mean?

Since we were kind of talking about Chile earlier, let's investigate what's going on down there. Villalobos, Pier Bucci, Argenis Brito (aka SENOR COCONUT), Dandy Jack, Luciano, or what is otherwise known as La Armada Chilena. They're all great producers/DJs with ties to Chile, and you can hear a number of parallels in their sound, perhaps almost 'indigenous' to the region. What if Santiago became the next Berlin?

A few months back a really strong track 'Espiritu,' came out of Chile from a Francisco Allendes and Felipe Venegas on the German KLING KLONG label. Instantly intrigued by this, I had to research things further.

The Refuge. presents you ANDES MUSIC from capitol city Santiago, Chile.

This interview was conducted via email with FRANCISCO ALLENDES, label boss of ANDES MUSIC.

First and foremost, where and when was ANDES MUSIC conceived? Were you or your label partner working on any other record labels prior to the foundation of ANDES MUSIC?
Primero lo principal, donde y cuando fue concebido ANDES MUSIC? Tu o tu companero estaban trabajando con otra compania de discos antes de fundar ANDES MUSIC?

We created Andes Music in January of 2007 with Marcelo Rosselot. We had tried to create our own labels, each of us doing it their own separate way but it didn't work out. So then we got together, had a long conversation and when we realized that adding up the contacts and the work of both of us combined in a single project we could achieve success-- we decided to start Andes Music. We both had released tracks on other labels (Immigrant, Weave, Paradigma, Catwash), and we still do it, we never thought of Andes Music as the only home label where we would release our music.

Creamos Andes Music en Enero del 2007 junto a Marcelo Rosselot. Habiamos tratado de crear un sello cada uno por separado en ocasiones anteriores pero no nos habia resultado. Entonces nos reunimos, tuvimos una larga charla y cuando nos dimos cuenta que sumando los contactos y el trabajo de cada uno en un proyecto comun podriamos lograrlo, decidimos dar inicio a Andes Music. Habiamos editado los 2 antes por otros sellos (Immigrant, Weave, Paradigma, Catwash), y aun lo seguimos haciendo, nunca pensamos en Andes Music como la unica casa discografica donde editar nuestra musica.

What is the mission statement of ANDES MUSIC?
Cual es la mision de ANDES MUSIC?

Andes Music is the first Chilean label with world distribution in digital and vinyl formats. We want to be a platform for new artists (primarily South American) , and to connect with important artists far (and wide) of the planet.

Andes Music es el primer sello Chileno con distribución mundial en formatos vinilo y digital. Queremos ser una plataforma para nuevos artistas (principalmente sudamericanos), y poder conectarlos con artistas importantes a lo largo (y ancho) del planeta.

What producers/DJs are part of the label?
Que productores/DJs son parte de la compania?

We have edited records of Francisco Allendes, Marcelo Rosselot, Alejandro Vivanco, Gustavo Ferrante, Mariano DC, Dani Casarano, and Felipe Valenzuela. We've remixed artists such as Xpansul, Anthony Collins, Digitaline, Martin Eyerer, John Selway, and Felipe Venegas.
Next we will open a new digital division and the first releases will be from Rodrigo Laffert, Manuel Muñoz, and David Herrero.

Hemos editado discos de Francisco Allendes, Marcelo Rosselot, Alejandro Vivanco, Gustavo Ferrante, Mariano DC, Dani Casarano, y Felipe Valenzuela.
Hemos tenido remezclas de Xpansul, Anthony Collins, Digitaline, Martin Eyerer, John Selway, y Felipe Venegas.
Proximamente abriremos una nueva division digital y los primeros releases seran de Rodrigo Laffert, Manuel Muñoz, y David Herrero.

Is Andes Music exclusively Chilean or are there other South American artists involved?
Andes Music es esclusivamente Chilena o hay otros aritistas sur americanos participando?

There are Chilean, South American, gringos, and Europeans. The major contact that we have is with Chilean artists, but that's normal due to the fact that they are our friends and people that we see regularly at partys or on the street, but that doesn't mean that we are closed to only edit music from our country. We get a lot of demos from Italy, Spain, Brazil and we are open to receive all/any music that any person in any part of the world wants to send us-- if we like it, we would release it.

Hay artistas Chilenos, Sudamericanos, gringos y Europeos. El mayor contacto que tenemos es con artistas Chilenos, pero eso es normal ya que son nuestros amigos y gente que vemos regularmente en las fiestas o en la calle, pero eso no significa que estemos cerrados a editar musica de nuestro pais. Nos llegan muchas demos desde Italia, España, Brasil, y estamos abiertos a recibir toda la musica que cualquier persona en cualquier lugar del mundo nos quiera mandar; si nos gusta, la editaremos.

In addition to the record label, do you guys organize any parties? How often are they occurring?
Aparte de la compania de discos, ustedes organizan fiestas? Que tan seguido las hacen?

To be honest it's not that we organize partys; what happens is that we have a monthly residency of Andes Music in a club called Grancentral. We do this party once a month, Marcelo and I pinch and we invite any friend(s) to play music with us.

La verdad no es que organicemos fiestas, lo que pasa es que tenemos una residencia mensual de Andes Music en un club llamado Grancentral. Hacemos estas fiestas una vez al mes, pinchamos Marcelo y yo e invitamos a algun amigo mas a tocar con nosotros.

How is the response at these parties?
Que tal ah respondido el publico en las fiestas?

Very good! And each month the parties get better!
Muy bien! Y cada mes las fiestas estan mejores!

Colombia has the cumbia, Argentina, the tango, Brasil, the samba. What is the traditional sound of Chile? The cueca? Do any traditional forms of Latin music find their way into the sound of the music being produced by the artists on Andes Music?
Colombia tiene la cumbia, Argentina , el tango, Brasil, la samba. Cuales son los sonidos tradicionales de Chile? La cueca? Acaso algunas de las formas de musica tradicional latina se cuelan en el sonido de la musica producida por los artistas de Andes Music?

Besides the cueca (that is very complicated to make it match with the electronic beat) in Chile there are many ethnicities with its own songs, instruments, and sounds. This, and the forms of Latin music mix the sound of Andes Music, but also, these sounds are infiltrating into many labels of the world-- currently ethnic music is infiltrating electronic music, but it wouldn't be fair to attribute it to Andes Music.

Aparte de la cueca (que es muy complicado de hacerla calzar con el beat de la electronica) existen dentro de Chile muchas etnias con sus propios cantos, instrumentos y sonidos. Estos, y las formas de musica latina s mezclan en el sonido de Andes Music, pero tambien se cuelan en muchos sellos del mundo, en la actualidad la musica etnica se esta metiendo dentro de la musica electronica, no seria justo atribuirselo a Andes Music.

What do you think of the current 'ethno-house' trend?
Que piensan hacerca de la actual tendencia de " house-ethno"?

I like it, I think the humanization of electronic music is something good. An evolution of the electronic music that is cold and absolutely robotic. But it is like any other music trend in electronic music, we see that excellent themes appear in this style-- but also the market gets ridiculously full of ethno house, like what happened before with minimal.

Me gusta, creo que la humanizacion de la musica electronica es algo bueno, una evlucion de la musica electronica mas fria y absolutamente robotica. Lo que si, como con todas las modas en la musica electronica , vemos que aparecen excelentes temas de este estilo, pero tambien el mercado se llena de house-ethno sin sentido, asi como paso antes con el minimal.

You guys are pressing vinyl, as well as distributing digitally. How is that working out? It seems that so many DJs these days are gearing themselves more towards the digital format. Does this affect the sales of the label's release on vinyl or do you still manage to move the vinyl without any problems?
Ustedes estan produciones discos de vinyl, al igual que distribucion digital. Que tal les esta funcionando eso? Parece que muchos Djs estos dias estan dirigiendose mas al formato digital. Esto afecta las ventas de la compania en cuanto a discos de vinyl o todavia alcanzan a vender los vinyles sin problemas?

Vinyl has been dying for years-- now more than ever with the internet. The pirates that download from the internet cause a great bit of damage to the industry and to the artists that are trying to live off of selling music, but it's something that is hard to repair so we are going to have to live with it and focus the business in another format. We have a hard time trying to sell 500 copys of vinyl and I think is more because of _____________

I think that the aparition of digital sales is something very good, because it brings the music to people who are far from Europe or the USA. I use to buy vinyl before, and when I ordered music it would take a month for it to get here, and it was super expensive, so it was impossible to compete. Today, in comparison, I can buy music from an internet portal the same day that the release views the world, download it in 10 minutes, pay an adequate price for it, and play it at a party all in the same day.

El disco de vinilo viene muriendo hace años, sobre todo desde la aparicion de internet. La pirateria y las descargas de Internet le hacen un daño enorme a la industria y a los artistas que estamos tratando de vivir de la venta de musica, pero es algo que muy difícilmente se podra arreglar asi que tenemos que aprender a vivir con eso y enfocar el negocio de otra forma. A nosotros nos cuesta mucho vender 500 copias de vinil, y creo que es mas por a pirateria que por la venta en digital.

Creo que la aparicion de la venta digital de musica es algo bueno ya que acerca la musica a quienes estan lejos de Europa o USA. Yo compraba vinilos antes, y cuando encargaba musica esta me llegaba 1 mes despues y carisima, entonces era imposible competir. Hoy, en cambio, puedo comprar la musica desde un portal de Internet el mismo dia que se lanza en todo el mundo, descargarla en 10 minutos, pagar el precio adecuado por ella y usarla en una fiesta hoy mismo.

Are there any upcoming releases for the label? What about releases from artists on other labels?
Hay lanzamientos proximamente ? Que tal lanzamientos de artistas de otras compañias?

The next Andes record will be the first solo record of my life! Yellow Fever, with remixes by Marcelo Rosselot and Anthony Collins-- should be in stores by mid-October. Besides that, Cadenza 40 is in stores (Francisco Allendes & Felipe Venegas - "Llovizna") soon a limonade with Allendes-Cadiz with a remix from Marcelo Rosselot. We are working on a new record with Marcelo but we don't have a label for it yet.

El siguiente disco de Andes sera mi primer disco en solitario de la vida! Fiebre Amarilla, con remixes de Marcelo Rosselot y Anthony Collins, y deberia estar en tiendas a mediados de Octubre. Aparte de eso, ya esta en tiendas Cadenza 40 (Allendes-Venegas), saldra pronto un limonada Allendes-Cadiz con remix de Rosselot y estamos trabajando en un nuevo disco con Marcelo pero que aun no tiene sello.

What lies ahead for Andes Music?
Que viene en el futuro para Andes Music?

We are opening a new digital division that will permit us to edit much more music, and we're starting to thin in the internationalization of our artists through South America and Europe.

Estamos abriendo una nueva division digital que nos permitira editar mucho mas musica, y estamos empezando con la internacionalizacion de nuestros artistas por Sudamerica y Europa.

Well, that about wraps it up, thanks!
Bueno, con esto concluimos. Gracias!


In addition to this interview, Allendes provided us with a rather hot mix session recorded August 22nd of this year that will certainly give you a feel for the Andes Music sound not to mention is it a prime example of the talent coming out of Chile today.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

refuge.cast 003: EGGBOX

This episode of the refuge.cast is for the real freaks only. EGGBOX, hailing from France is a producer I just recently discovered and was very intrigued with. This is some really dark, moody minimalist techno, not too far off from, well, you know what powerhouse label I'm talking about...

In addition to producing techno from another dimension, EGGBOX is also the co-founder of a rather interesting and obscure label, AL DENTE RECORDS, that is certainly worth checking out. These guys also seem to be into all that creative commons stuff. Give it a hot minute and I'm sure there will be some big guys Tweeting from their Traktor application: " now playing from________." ;)

This mix EGGBOX that has submitted for The Refuge. was recorded at a small house party on 8-19-09 in St. Victor City.

Enjoy the trip.

Friday, August 14, 2009

making moves #2

If you don't know by now, then maybe you shouldn't show up. We're having a party. It's on the 28th of August, at Zeppelin, kinda near downtown, but more like midtown. GLASNOST DJs will be the special guest DJs of the night, as well as Mr. I.P. Freely, beating the decks. Ceeplus Bad Knives, Dan Castillo, G Wizz, and myself will also be wrecking the boards up and downstairs. There will be art, as well. Do that shit.

RSVP on facebook here:

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

refuge.cast 002: BARBARA KLEIN

Summer drags on and on. The heat; oppressive at times, but this week the lovely Barbara Klein supplies us with a crisp, dare I say, relaxing mix inspired by the summer rains. Sit back and hang out with us here on The Refuge. . . .

-So, who are you Ms. Klein? Where'd you come from and what do you do? Tell us about your background in music.

BK: I'm a nomad born in Poland. The last year I've spent in Paris, next year I will spend in Berlin.
There is a little girl inside me that has a strong interest in changing reality; I follow her using all possible medias - music, photography, video. . . .
It's hard to name any specific background in music for me-- I played classical music as a child, reggae and punk as a teenager, was terribly in love with Jim Morrison and always enjoyed Depeche Mode. I turned to electronic music as soon as I started to go out. The first gig I played as a DJ was in 2004.

-Are you producing music as well as DJing?

BK: I have some tracks uploaded on my myspace and I'm working on some more, but despite the good feedback of them, I've never sent out any demos. I can still feel learning mode for this.

-Do you play out very often? Any big dates this season?

BK: I used to play a lot when I was living in Poland. Last year my interests moved into the visual sphere and I played very few parties. Big dates this season are connected to finishing my video projects.

-What tracks are really grabbing you lately?

BK: It's summertime-- time to funk :)

-In a few words describe for us what this mix is 'about'...

BK: A sketch of this rainy summer moods?

-What's next, Barbara?

BK: Next is promoting some good parties in Poland this winter, finishing video clips for some lovely minimal producers, shooting more pictures, and trying to go to bed earlier.

Here's one of the videos Ms. Klein put together:

You can visit Barbara's Myspace page HERE.
In addition to her Myspace page, you can check out some of her amazing videos and photography HERE.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

reverse + crossroads present: shaun reeves

It's only on those rare, blue moon kind of nights that Houston gets the treat of having a special event like this one. I can count on my hand the number of DJs/artists that have come through in the past year that were ACTUALLY WORTH going to check out.

If you don't do prog-house, dubstep (*yawn*), or even more worse-- the mythical 'electro-house' thing, well, then this should be a party where your attendance is mandatory!

Also, it goes till 4 a.m. - the way things should be done. To quote Mr. Callix on this event: "Bring a'll need it to carry you out."

pre-sale tickets are here:

Shaun Reeves & Seth Troxler beatin' it up in Miami a little over a year ago:

Sunday, July 19, 2009

refuge.cast 001: FRANKLIN DE COSTA

Mixes/podcasts will be regularly occurring here on The Refuge., so come back often or consider ending your life, as some of the refuge.casts will be exclusive and/or available for a limited time only!

.....and so for the grand opening of The Refuge., we'll start off with a rather deep session by Franklin De Costa from Berlin.

You can ALSO get the mix HERE.

-So, you've informed us that this mix was recorded live somewhere off the coast of France? Where and when was this?

Franklin: This was recorded in a bar in St. Nazaire. A small city close to Nantes. Pretty nice. :)

-The mix seems very, very deep. Tell us how the vibe was at the party.

Franklin: That part was the beginning of the set. I played the whole night and had a lot room to build up my set.

-When you play out do you decide which way you want the mix to go based on how you're feeling that night or do you 'read' the crowd's reactions and go from there?

Franklin: Of course I look where I play and adjust my general set but of course I also play how I feel. So if I start harder I normally end up deeper in the night to get people into a musical journey and not only playing tool after tool.

-What's your schedule looking like this season? Are there any really big events you're excited about playing?

Franklin: I'm going again on a small North America tour which I'm looking forward to. Maybe also Mexico. Last time it got canceled at the beginning of the flu panic so I hope this time it works out.

-It looks like you've got a handful of releases about to come out. When can we expect the goods? :D

Franklin: Well the next one will be a new release on the German label Einmaleins called "Redazz ep". Really looking forward to this one to hit the streets.

-What's next for The Green Empire? Does The Green Empire function as a label in addition to an outlet for organizing events?

Green Empire restructuring a bit at the moment. I did parties with my buddies as well as one special vinyl release but I haven't had time to bring this thing further. This will happen next year. More parties and some special releases. . .

Franklin De Costa Myspace
The Green Empire
Leena Music


ref⋅uge [ref-yooj]

1. shelter or protection from danger, trouble, etc.: to take refuge from a storm.
2. a place of shelter, protection, or safety.
3. anything to which one has recourse for aid, relief, or escape.
–verb (used with object)
4. Archaic. to afford refuge to.
–verb (used without object)
5. Archaic. to take refuge.

1350–1400; ME < class="ital-inline">refugium, equiv. to refug(ere) to turn and flee, run away (re- re- + fugere to flee; see fugitive ) + -ium -ium

1. security, safety. 2. asylum, retreat, sanctuary, haven, stronghold.