Everyone loves a new party playground and this weekend we get one, and it’s here to stay. This Easter weekend you can get a sneak peak at the brand new permanent east end club, Oval Space. Oval Space officially open their doors for Layo & Bushwacka’sShake It on Thursday, but it is their in-house night that we’re most excited about, Behind the Hay Bales. Behind the Hay Bales will showcase both the Soulfooled label and the sounds of Berlin super-space, Watergate. Marco Resmann, Fritz Zander and Superlounge will take you through the night like only the Germans can.
The club itself offers you 800 square feet of dancing space, huge windows overlooking the east end of London, full scale lighting, acoustically treated ceilings, a coffee stop, fruit and veg bar, a large smoking area and, coming soon, a roof garden… What more could you want?!
To join us in welcoming a place that promises to now play a huge role in London’s clubbing scene, head over to RA or Ransom Note. Grab your ticket while you can and we’ll see you down the front…
I’ve sat on this for long enough now, and the prospect of an eagerly anticipated London appearance is probably enough to get some of these wonderful German exports on to the blog. For those of you who haven’t yet experienced the musical talents of the Suol family, you are in for a treat. For those who have, perhaps you can join me in showing them the appreciation they deserve here.
The Suol label was set up by Chi-Thien Nguyen (Chopstick), John B. Muder (JohnJon) and Nicole Grimm earlier this year. With 22 EPs and an album already doing the rounds, these guys mean business. Techno is at the heart of it all, but as the website blurb informs us it’s ‘sophisticated musical continuity’ that they strive for, with the mission being to ‘release deep, grounded and organic music with great emotions’.
So far Suol provides a platform for artists such as Aera, Fritz Kalkbrenner, Fritz Zander, Till Von Sein, Tigerskin, Trickski, Hatikvah, Zander VT and, working together, label bosses Chopstick & JohnJon. As any decent independent label does these days, Suol possesses that trustworthy you like one you like them all quality. There’s far too much to cover here even for just a year in business, so I’m going to pick out a couple of my favourites and throw in some mixes I’ve stumbled across as a little taster ahead of their forthcoming visit to London town.
Chopstick is a veteran in the game with a hugely musical upbringing. He has remixed the likes of Madonna, Britney and LL Cool J and worked for major labels such as Ministry of Sound Germany. As well as remixing and producing he built his career as a reputable DJ alongside working with Voidcom and Silly Spider Records. Eventually he teamed up with JohnJon in 2004/2005 (Berlin based with a residency at Hamburg’s Baalsaal and signed to Oliver Koletski’s label Stil vor Talent) to set up Criminal Records, releasing minimal tech and tech house. In 2007 the pair teamed up with André Stubbs and formed another label, Baalsaal; recognised for its underground sounds. Baalsaal then became the name of Stubbs’ successful Hamburg club (aforementioned) where they all honed their DJ skills. Suol was essentially a relaunch for Baalsaal. Together the trio created the Suol’s first releases Ohrwerk (Suol 001) and Maskcatcher (Suol 002), but it’s their fifth cut Beaver Rose that sets the tone for things to come. This was really just the beginning. Personally, I think it just gets better and better from here on in.
This was the first release I bought from Suol. It’s incredibly catchy and a perfect introduction to the quality of the artists in question. Working independently and together they produce exactly what their label brief lays out. Till Von Sein spent 2009 putting out records that represented the Berlin tech house sound with other rising stars like Catz ‘n Dogz. Check out You Don’t See, a collaboration with main man Chopstick and Till Von Sein’s solo work on one of the latest Suol releases Injoy from The 61 Jamz EP (Suol 022)
Berlin born and bred, Fritz Kalkbrenner has the voice. Raised in Lichtenberg, he was heavily influenced by brother Paul Kalkbrenner and friend Sascha Funke. Laying down the vocals on tracks for Chopstick and JohnJon and producing the 14th release on the label The Dead End EP, he was all set to become the first album release on Suol with Here Today Gone Tomorrow.
Put so eloquently in a review by Tobias Thomas on the label’s blog he is described here: “Fritz Kalkbrenner knows how to mediate between the various musical poles that are in constant need of reconciliation. The instrumental pieces, like the vocal numbers, come across as well-structured little stories, whilst the vocal tracks adeptly avoid drowning the dancefloor in a flood of self-pitying melancholy tears”. For me, Facing the Sun is the one. Remixes, of course, come from Paul Kalkbrenner and Sascha Funke. Simply stunning: Fritz Kalkbrenner – Facing The Sun by suol
Fritz Zander – For Your Love EP (Suol 020)
Last but not least is Fritz Zander’s For Your Love. Fritz Zander is one half of Zander VT and this is only his second ever solo EP. By the sounds of things, this will be the first of many. This is set to be everywhere:
There is no doubt in my mind this is the start of a very successful partnership. Suol are certainly my label of the moment and Londoners are lucky to have them in town on Friday 10th December at The Star of Kings on York Way. It’s the UK live exclusive of Fritz Kalkbrenner, the launch of The Star of Kings and Volume 1 of Junkette“a party born out of a desire to expose under-appreciated overseas artists and to marry them with the old and new sounds of London, while keeping our party shoes firmly on…”. Wolf + Lamb‘s London boy Jozif will be joining the Suol boys as well… Not to be missed!