Tune in to the very first spoken word Killa Podcast. I sat down on an Austrian Spring morning with Amadeus (NYC) and Mo’Fiyah (Graz AT) and we discuss such topics as jungle, dubwise, producers, releases, vinyl, the party scene in Europe and North America, as well as try to figure out dubstep while battling wind and planes overhead.
Every saga has its beginning and it is my hopes that I can keep this going with new guests & discussions in my travels and as artists pass through. There is so much more to be discussed in our scene so let’s get the ball rollin with the first edition!
Friday, May 6th 2011 – Graz (Austria)
I arrived in beautiful Graz on a sunny friday afternoon, accompanied by my fiance B., having traveled there by bus from another town in Austria. We took the tram downtown to the Hauptplatz, where we met up with Niko “Mo’Fyah”, the promoter of Bombaclub and our host for the weekend. He runs the record store InAndOut Records downtown, so we walked over there, dropped off our bags and since Niko still had to work, B. and I used the afternoon to explore this lovely town in the state of Styria. Great old buildings and small little nooks and alleys make up most of the old downtown, surrounding the Schlossberg (Castle Hill), towering over the city. We decided to explore that on saturday and stuck to the downtown area, doing some shopping, feasting on massive pizzas and enjoying the sunshine.
Outside The Schlossberg
Inside the Schlossberg
Once Niko got off work, his friend Florian drove us all to his house, where we met Niko’s friendly australian wife Emma, who made us feel comfortable right off the bat. Once settled we hung out in the garden for a bit, then got ready for dinner with some of my family who live in the area, and got picked up around 8, with a promise to link up with everyone later on at a party on top of the Schlossberg. After we got dropped off near said location around midnight, we took the elevator in the center of the mountain, straight to the top (a 10 second ride) where we met Niko and checked out the first room of the party. It took place in a room cut into the mountain, where the promoter had set up a makeshift bar, and set up a stage with DJ’s playing some sort of tribal house and breaks.
Into the egyptian tomb:
Though the location was impressive the ground was pretty sandy and dusty which, combined with the fog machine made breathing a little of an endeavor. So we settled right outside the entrance, where a small stone veranda offered a really nice panorama of the northern part of Graz.
After chatting it up out there for a while we decided to check out the second room which was further down, near the famous clocktower. This room was a sort of catacomb that you descended into down a steep staircase, which ended in a large almost square room with high ceilings. Musical direction courtesy of Salamander sound system, one of the most popular in Austria whose dj’s ran the dance oldschool stylee, one turntable, one mic and one big rack. Once each dubby reggae tune dropped, the selecta had his hand on the amp, and when the baseline kicked in, he cranked the subs which made the catacomb explode with deep grumbling goodness.
It was almost a bit too much, as the bass hit you in your chest with unexpected ferocity, but the good vibes and sweet selection all but made up for that. We stuck around for another 20 minutes or so, then went outside to collect the crew and make our way down the Schlossberg on the backside, then a quick walk towards the Hauptplatz (Main Plaza) where we said good bye to Florian and hopped into a cab taking us back to Niko’s crib, where we crashed out pretty quickly.
Saturday, May 7th 2011 – Graz (Austria)
Saturday was another bright and sunny day. Emma and I went to the supermarket to get a few items for breakfast and that afternoon’s bbq and upon our return we ate and got ready for the day. Andrew (DJ K) was set to arrive that afternoon, and B. and I made it our mission to explore the Schlossberg that day. Niko and Emma were so kind as to drop us off downtown, and we were on our way to the top of the famous castle hill. Very nicely maintained this symbol of Graz is definitely worth taking a coupla hours to check out. Amazing views, a nice cafe / restaurant on the top and the gardens featuring many benches in secluded areas make for the perfect chilling spot, especially on a nice day.
The 30 second train to the top of the Schlossberg:
Exploring the Schlossberg:
The shield of Styria:
Eventually we made our way back into town, where we met up with Florian to go back to Niko’s where Andrew was already sitting in the garden and the bbq was getting fired up. It was nice to catch up with DJ K, who, alongside Mighty Melody, had stayed with B. and I in Brooklyn on their North American Tour and has been a friend for a bit. Lots of laughs were shared during the bbq which was nothing short of a feast – hats off to Niko and Emma for killin it on that one! We relaxed until the evening hours and then it was time to pack up the gear, shower and get ready for a long night at Bombaclub hosted at the P.P.C. right in the heart of Graz. We took a cab into town and walked the rest of the way from the Hauptplatz. There was some sort of party in the streets near the venue so we had to make sure to not get lost as we fought our way through masses of people drinking and celebrating who knows what in the streets. Good times seemed to be had by everyone. We finally made it to the PPC and settled in the backstage, to wait for our sets, hang and chat and listen to the tunes dropped by the bombaclub crew. A nice selection of Dubstep, Drum n’ bass and Jungle was slowly heating up the room as it filled up pretty steadily with a dance happy crowd. Around 1am it was time for my set. After my intro dropped i kicked off the set with some deep ragga dnb and i was off. I played for about 1.5 hours, and the crowd eagerly danced to everything from dubwize to jungle, peppered with some classic tunes and my latest dubs sent to me shortly before the tour. The crowd was definitely into it and i was really enjoying this tour kickoff, even hyped the crowd a bit on the mic. Great reception and a wicked reception on my first time in Graz. Thank you Styria! You rocked! When i finished with a nice dubwize roller, DJ K was already set to go. The MC took out 5 minutes to showcase his impressive beatboxing skills (no wonder he’d made the top three at the world championships), showering the crowd with some surprisingly real sounding dubstep and dnb baselines. People were really feeling it, and then DJ K was ready to kick off his set. Though there seemed to be some technical difficulties, he remained all professional and did not hesitate to roll right into what he does best: an hour and a half of pure raving madness, covering jungle, ragga jungle, drum step, hardcore, techno and of course his classics. The crowd was dancing their asses off, and as it thinned out a little towards the end of the night, the remaining people more than made up for it by going bananas. B and I joined everyone on the dancefloor and got down as well. All in all this was a great night and an amazing way to launch this year’s tour. After taking a cab home to Niko’s, we cooled down a little and hit the hay soon thereafter.
Here is the night in pictures:
Pong on the art museum:
Interesting “art” on a food cart:
Inside the club:
Niko at the controls!
DJ K gettin loose:
Here I, Here I go:
DJ K and Emma dancing to my tunes:
DJ K conjuring up some Ragga Mojo:
Sunday, May 8th 2011 – Graz (Austria) – Berlin (Germany)
We pretty much spent all day at Niko’s place, hanging out, sharing last night’s pics and videos, as well as some of our latest tunes. A movie was running in the background and everyone kept themselves busy with whatever they preferred to relax with. In the afternoon though, Andrew, Niko and I sat down in the garden together for about an hour to record a spoken podcast for Andrew’s series of podcasts, which ended up being a very interesting discussion and exchange of ideas about music and the scene. Definitely take some time and listen to it here: ……….. Andrew was on the same flight as B and I, so after we said our good bye’s we took a cab together to the airport, ate an early dinner and caught the flight to Berlin, which was B’s and mine final destination. Andrew continued on to Leipzig, where i’ll be meeting him when i play there with Mightly Melody on May …… , interestingly the final gig of my tour. Definitely looking forward to that one! But first: a couple of days of relaxing with friends and family in Berlin, Germany. More news from the trenches on friday!
Friday, May 13th – Chemnitz (Germany)
I left Berlin by train around lunch time and arrived in Chemnitz at 3:30pm, where i was picked up by promoter Manu (D.I.S.), who took me to his place, where we hung out and chatted it up for a couple of hours. Jay (Capital J from Canada) was also currently on his europe tour and currently staying with Manu, so it was nice to link up and hang out with him as well. In the early evening, Manu, Becks (Manu’s buddy and the photographer for the night) went to a tasty dinner at a spot that had a spanish / north african / middle eastern theme, but great food. On the way back to the crib we stopped by Chemnitz’s famous statue of Karl Marx’s head, the largest one in the world (i couldn’t name one other place where to find one, but hey, why bother, i was at the largest one on the planet!) where we took some sick pics.
After hitting up a supermarket on the way home it was time for Manu to get to the club and start setting up, so i kicked it with Jay and we had few beers and chatted about music and past events. Becks came by around 11pm, i made some coffee, we hung out some more in the kitchen (see a theme here ? no rush i guess!) and we then made our way to the club around 11:30 / midnight. The Sanitaetsstelle is a small but comfy spot, with a great sound system, and i like places where the stage is close to the people anyways. We hung back, Manu did his thing on the decks and the spot started filling up. The sound guy gave me and J some shots called “Bloody Brains” and though tasty, the looked more like phlegm or a similar well known male secretion. But hey, who’s gonna turn down a friendly shot ? Then ……. went on to get the crowd nice and toasty with some dope drum n’ bass and around 2am it was my turn. After kicking it off with some Ragga Dnb, which got the crowd moving i dropped a little jungle and raga jungle, which didn’t have the same impact, same when i dropped a dancefloor burnin (i guess not always) drum n’ bass tune, so i settled back on the high energy ragga dnb and the crowd followed right along, showing me much love and excitement! Big up also do Dubweiser MC who supported my set very nicely. When i finished my set around 4am i handed out a stack of cd’s while Manu (D.I.S.) went back on to rinse out the rest of the night with some wicked, but hard ragga jungle and a little breakcore. If you know his energy, you know how he likes to go buckwild!
Capital J and I:
D.I.S. having a good time:
Starting to fill up:
And we’re off:
Dubweiser MC pon de mic:
D.I.S. killin dem:
I cooled out for an hour and then it was time to say good bye and make my way to the train station to get the early morning train to Berlin. Manu’s girlfriend and Becks were so kind as to get me to the train station, where we chatted for a bit and i hopped the train north. I got to sleep about 45 mins on one train, then had to switch in Leipzig and slept another 45 mins before pulling into Berlin’s main train station. I had about 1.5 hours before I had to make it to the airport in Berlin so i went to my family’s place in Berlin, took a shower, made some breakfast and then it was on and upward, back to the train station, taking the Airport Express to Schoenefeld Airport and onto my plane to Brussels.
Saturday, May 14th – Belgium & Heerlen (Netherlands)
Once i made it through security in Berlin, a glance onto the Departures screen got me worried: All flights before mine had been delayed. And not just by like 20 minutes, but by up to 5 hours. Yet my flight was still did not have a gate, and when it came to be time to depart and still no update had been made i got worried. I was exhausted, which didn’t help me be less nervous. Just as i picked up my cell phone to text my friend in Belgium, my flight got posted and assigned a gate. Phew! Of course they just let us into a waiting room, but hey, one step closer to the plane. We finally left Berlin about 45 minutes late, but i was relieved i didn’t have to sit around for 5 hours like some other easyjet customers. I was out like a light for the 1.5 hour flight. In Brussels, my good friend Jan (MC D.O.C.) awaited me and we drove on to Hasselt. I have stayed with Jan pretty much every year for the past 6 that i’d been on european tours and we’ve become good friends so it was nice to catch up and chill. Once at his place in Hasselt i was greeted by his super nice girlfriend whom i’ve met 2 years prior, and i drank some water and passed out for another hour. Woke up around 6, ate a quick dinner and we were on our way to the Heerlen in the Netherlands after picking up Jan’s friend MIke, who brought two cameras and was gonna document the night. Since old school rapper Rakim was going to have a show in the same venue, the same night, and Jan was hosting it, we had to get there so early. It was a bit of a pain to find a parking spot, but that was solved fairly quickly and Maurice, the promoter and production manager of Nieuwe Nor, the club, awaited us at the entrance. I’ve played here before in 2008 and it was a great party, and since it didn’t really work out last year, i was excited to be back and mash up the Netherlands again. We chatted a bit and then made our way to the backstage, which was crammed with members of the two hip hop groups who were going to open up the show, and all their peeps, so all the snacks, beer and water was gobbled up in no time! Once they were on stage though, Maurice came by and snuck me and Jan a stack of drink tickets and a 12 pack of water, which was awesome and definitely helped out. Rakim started about 45 mins late, but delivered an amazing show, his dj “Technician The DJ” warmed up the crowd with some slam mixing of famous hip hop instrumentals and great showmanship on the mic as well as scratching and once Rakim kicked off his set the crowd was going nuts. Especially his classics made people wile out and even mosh, i don’t think Rakim had seen that yet on his tour. Good times were had by all, and once the show was over, Rakim was real cool and posed with pics with everyone backstage and signed a bunch of stuff, really connecting with people. Very unusual and much appreciated, especially by all the hip hop heads and acts. Around midnight it was time for the Jungle party to start, and Dublogic, whom i’ve known for a few years as well, opened up with some dope ragga jungle. He had opened up the show i played here in 2008 and had rolled out to Belgium when i played at Rave Our Souls in Hasselt there in 2009. The place had emptied out once the hip hop heads danced through Rakim’s encore, and a few had remained to check out the Jungle party happening right after, but once Dublogic got rolling the place started filling up with people who came just for the Jungle show and the dancefloor started moving. I got on around 12:45am and jumped right in with some dancefloor bangin’ ragga dnb and big bassline jungle, and the people responded well. MC D.O.C. killed it on the mic, always great to play with him since he really knows how to get a crowd hype and get things moving when the energy levels out too much. Around an 50 minutes into the set i mixed in the instrumental to his hip hop tune “Danger” and he rocked it throughout the tune getting a great crowd response and once he spit his last lyric i mixed in a deep rollin’ drum n’ bass tune and off we were again to finish out the set with some high energy ragga jungle. As usual, during the last tune i was handing out a bunch of cd’s and even the people from the bar came running to snag their copy. The last hour of the night was held down by Riot, another friend from Belgium who had hosted me a few times over the years, and whose Rave Our Souls DJ Team and events of the same name are hugely popular all over the country and neighboring ones as well. He’d had just drove in from London, so he was a bit tired but dropped his usual jungle madness to finish up the night and people loved it. The rest of us hung out in the other backstage room, previously reserved for Rakim and left well equipped with food and drink, and soon it was time to hit the road as the drive to Hasselt was another 30 minutes and we were all pretty beat. Me especially since i hadn’t really slept at all since thursday night. Once back in Hasselt, we had a little scotch on ice as a nightcap, and it was time for bed. I passed out before my head hit the pillow and slept till about 2pm on Sunday.
Sunday, May 15th – Hasselt, Belgium
It was great catching up on some sleep, and two coffees and some breakfast later i felt refreshed and ready for the next adventure. Which was snowboarding. On my tour in 2009, Jan had taken me to a local indoor ski and snowboard spot, and we had a blast there, so he arranged it so we could go again on this visit. Thanks to his friend who owns a skate / snow shop, i was able to borrow a dope board and some pants. The rest of the needed gear i got from Jan and Koen who had joined us last time and was part of this session as well. After picking up John and driving by Koen’s place, the four of us made our way to Snow World, where we hit the slopes for a good hour and a half, racing down the main slope and even hitting up the snowboard park. I did notice that they had made the obstacles quite a bit bigger since my last visit, but i did manage to hit up the large box at the top of the park a few times, a first for me, so i had to have some video taken of it.
After the session we returned home, had some traditional belgian food for dinner (fries and meat sauce) and were joined by the skateshop owner, his girlfriend, john, riot (kurt) and his girlfriend for a small chill gathering in the living room. It was real nice catching up with Kurt and chatting it up with the rest of the people, who were all super nice and friendly. Many laughs were had, stories swapped and jokes cracked until 1am or so and once the last person had left, the scotch nightcap made it’s reappearance and we went to bed.
Monday, May 16th – Hasselt, Belgium
Today was a day to relax and kick back. Jan had taken off work, and we started the day off with a nice bike ride around town, and i got to see some cool parts of Hasselt i had not yet seen.
When we got back home, elke (jan’s girlfriend) had returned from her morning pool session and we hit the town for a nice stroll, doing a little shopping, getting the mandatory Belgian chocolate (thank you Jan!!!) which is incredible, and made a quick trip out to say hi to Jan’s parents whom i’ve known for years now.
Upon our return to Hasselt, we settled at our usual spot downtown for a few beers and to link up with Jan’s business partner. We bounced a few ideas back and forth and after he had left, jan, elke and i had another beer at the watering hole Gambrinus, which was the afterparty spot we had gone to after Rave Our Souls in 2008. I set a new record in flipping coasters, make sure to check the video:
Then it was time to hit the Greek restaurant we had been looking forward to all day. The seafood platter was amazing and the lamb was just right! I wanted to take out my hosts for a nice dinner and this was definitely a great choice for a spot. We ate till we couldn’t move and then (literally) rolled out to he car to cruise home and round out the night with some idle chatter and, you guessed it, the traditional nightcap, haha. Time to hit the hay, it was already after midnight and had to get up at 5:15 to make it to the train to Brussels!
Put the dookie in the bag:
You want it, they got it:
Tuesday, May 17th – Hasselt – Brussels – Berlin
Besides having to get up early, and Jan being so kind to drive me to the train station at this early hour, the trip back to Berlin wasn’t too eventful. We said our goodbye’s at the train station, i hopped the train and mostly just read, had to switch trains in Leuven, and got to Brussels airport in time to have a little breakfast and start typing this blog, before my plane to Berlin took off. Time for some relaxation for a few days, before returning to Austria next weekend. Here are some dope flicks from Berlin:
Friday, May 20th – Berlin – Vienna
It was a beautiful day and an easy early afternoon flight to vienna. Though running late a bit, the timing was ideal as david, one of the promoters, arrived at the exit gate almost right as i walked out of it in vienna, and we just had to walk across the street to be picked up by XXX who drove us into town. On the way there, david and i got to know each other, discussing music, the scene and mutual people we know. I was introduced to vienna and it’s scene and got to see quite a bit of the city on the drive in. Not necessarily any tourist spots but i like seeing a city as it is for people who live there every day. We drove to David’s friend’s apartment, a student named Julian who welcomed me and showed me his room which i’d be taking over during my stay in vienna. I don’t mind staying with people as long as i have my own room, as it can be a great experience and this was no different: Julian and his roommates where extremely forthcoming and went above and beyond to make me feel at home. We chilled in J’s room for a while and when David and XXX left to run some errands i stuck around, checked my email and Facebook and then it was already time for dinner. A delicious home cooked meal and fun conversation, what more could i ask for ? After dinner, David and XXX returned alongside Constantin, the other promoter of tomorrow’s event and we took off to explore the city a little. We walked through the 7th district, down to the Natural History Museum where Queen Maria Theresia had two huge buildings constructed across from each other and one a mirror image of the other. In the middle a giant statue of herself. It was quite impressive. As we crossed the street we walked through a long gate with multiple openings to enter the courtyard of the Hofburg, the main castle in town, a very impressive structure which now houses the National Library. From there we walked to the Museumsquartier, a group of buildings housing a number of museums facing an inner courtyard which featured great cafes and restaurants and was overrun by young people and students – apparently it’s the pre-party meeting spot for the locals, but even david said he’d never seen it that crowded. We picked one of the restaurants and sat down for some food (not me, i was still full from dinner) and radlers (beer with lemon juice, which were great. perfect for a mild pre-summer evening. often a radler is a lazily put together concoction of sprite and beer, which is ok but austrian’s famous goesser bier company actually mixes their beer with pure natural lemon juice, which makes this drink just awesome. refreshing without making you stagger around after three of them, i definitely indulged. highly recommended to anyone who visits austria! they also come mixed with grapefruit (stiegl bier) and black currant (ottakringer bier). i have not tried the latter, next time though!). We headed home at about 10pm, and hung out at Julian’s place for a bit before everyone left to stock up on some sleep for tomorrow night, and left me to my own devices, which were sending emails and watching Tron – Legacy (yikes).
Impressions of Vienna at Dusk:
Natural History Museum:
Entering the Hofburg:
Inside the Museumsquartier:
People chillin everywhere:
Space Invader in Vienna:
Saturday, May 18th – Vienna
I woke up earlier than the rest of the apartment, so i just relaxed as the sun was flooding the room, promising a beautiful day. I watched “The Green Hornet” (yawners) and finished “Tron-Legacy” (snoozers), just passing time, mildly entertained and as everyone rose, the smell of fresh coffee started filling the place. Another friend of Julian’s came over and all of us, including J’s girlfriend sat down for a great breakfast – i really treated so well at this place, and had what was probably some of the best coffees i ever had, anywhere. So i had to slam down three of them, and once we hit the shopping area to get some new swim shorts i was proper wired. It wasn’t even lunch time and it was already getting hot! The plan was to go for a swim someplace, so we had to get the necessary gear! After about an hour of checking various stores we all got set and we headed back to J’ s place where i got picked up by David and we walked to the nearby main street where we met David’s girlfriend, including her very cute dog and then got picked up by Constantin and XXX. The plan was to chill by the Danube and link up with J and crew. Once we got there, huge clouds drifted across the city and within 20 minutes of throwing around David’s crooked frisbee, we got pelted with thick rain and what seemed like hail. What the hell ? We fled to the car, made our way back into town, ran some errands and made our way to constantin’s crib, which is an large industrial loft, converted to a sick modern living space. I was impressed! He cooked up some homemade wiener schnitzel and delicious potato salad, and we filled our bellies and sank into his couches, lazily staring at his TV. Once the schnitzels were settling, it was time to get the evening started. I was dropped off at J’s crib and the rest of the crew rolled on to the venue. I organized my stuff, took a shower, watched some silly internet videos and had a coffee. As the clock neared midnight, J was so kind as to walk me to the venue, which was about ten minutes away. Interestingly enough we passed two places which had hookers in windows. Now, i have never been to Amsterdam so i had only seen this phenomenon in pictures, so it was quite a surprise as i looked into some random windows and saw some scantily clad women writhing under dimmed lights and knocking on the window to invite me in when i glanced over. Pretty funny. And two minutes later we were at “The Loft”, tonight’s venue. This spot was a nice club, featuring three levels, a bar and dancefloor on the top, a bar on the ground level, and the main dancefloor with bar downstairs. Two things hit me when i entered the downstairs: the heat and the smoke. I am not a smoker and since the ventilation wasn’t the best in there it took me a bit to get used to it, and i noticed the room heating up quickly, which i don’t mind too much. Makes performing a workout, no problem there. The room was filling up quickly, so i grabbed a glass full of ice from the backstage, poured a whiskey soda and hung back to start soaking up the vibe. David was opening, playing a nice selection of dubstep and dubwize, followed by constantin rocking some raga dnb. People were definitely feeling it, already dancing with smiles on their faces. Upstairs the reggae room was pretty chill too, but the action was definitely downstairs. Then Double Trouble took the stage and started heating up the crowd with some fun drum n’ bass mashed up with some of their dubplates, very danceable stuff that got more and more people dancing and drawing the crowd forward. At 2am it was my turn, and i started setting up. My serato never gives me trouble but i wasn’t paying attention and had a wrong button highlighted which made it run only one channel, but after my intro and the first tune i got that settled as well, had to reverse the turntable rca’s and everything was set for me to really hit the people with some ragga dnb goodness. Ragga Jungle wasn’t really their thing so i stuck to the dubwize and ragga dnb, occasionally hyping the crowd on the mic as there was no MC, which was fun and got the people throwing up their hands and hollering. Especially the remixes of old roots tunes made a splash, drawing in some of the jamaicans from the reggae room, who listened and danced curiously. It was hot! Very hot! I sweated my way through the first hour but then got used to it and didn’t even notice the heat anymore. Instead i just threw on one burner after another and the crowd responded very well. Gotta love those sweatbox places, people do get excited. I finished off my set by introducing my last tune and then went to the front of the dj booth, standing on a slim ledge to hand out a stack of CD’s, then dance the rest of the tune behind the decks as miss shina and miss katinka were getting ready. I thanked the crowd on the mic, introduced the two lady tag team and then packed my stuff to go and cool down in the backstage. Constantin chatted it up, took care of biz, and once i had cooled down, we poured fresh drinks and went back into the main room to listen to the two miss’s and playing hard ragga jungle and techno to the remaining crowd who loved it and still danced hard. Only 45 later though, the club decided to shut down, and the lights went on, much to the dismay of the remaining crowd, the dj’s and the partying crew with promoters. Oh well. I just felt bad, because Julian was supposed to close and i had heard him prepare some of his set at home, which featured some wicked rootsy dubstep and reggae influenced baseline tunes, which would have been the perfect ending to this great night. But we got “kicked” out. J and i walked back to the crib, chatting it up, and we passed the previously mentioned men’s establishment. By now it was almost 6am, it was getting bright outside and the ladies were not that concerned with their jobs anymore. They were half asleep in the windows, reading or checking their phones, remainders of their mcdonald’s breakfast still strewn about, which i found hilarious. But then again, whoever would still decide to frequent said establishment would probably be too drunk to care or to tired to notice. One hooker saw us walking by and banged on the glass door, opening it after we had passed and yelling behind us to come back. Hey at least she was still eager to make a buck, whereas the other ones couldn’t have cared less it seemed. About ten minutes later we were back at J’s, we said our good bye’s as he’d be sleeping when i’ll be getting picked up, and crashed in our respective rooms (he slept in his gf’s room as i had taken over his).
Constantin & David warming up the place:
Double Trouble hittin the decks:
And heeere we go:
Amadeus pon de mic:
Time to spread some CD love:
Constantin, one of the promoters:
Miss Shina & Miss Katinka gettin ready for di ride:
The promoters having a blast:
Sunday, May 22nd – Vienna – Berlin
I got up around 10:30 to pack my stuff, brush my teeth and in generally wake up. Constantin rang the door bell right at 11 and we walked downstairs where XXX was waiting in the car. The ride to the airport took about half an hour during which we chatted a little but in general everyone was still too dazed from the lack of sleep and the partying from the night before that we just focused on staying awake. I was dropped off, we thanked each other for the wicked time, and i made my way to the check in for my flight back to berlin. Thank you vienna, for an awesome time, a crazy good party and the excellent hospitality. I’d love to return on my next tour, and cannot wait to chill with you guys again!
Thursday, May 26th – Berlin – Kiev
It was a chill afternoon flight to Kiev, via Riga (Latvia). I was worried that there would be problems at customs in Kiev, me coming in with an american passport, but the lady behind the counter barely even looked up as she was chatting with her coworker and a breezed on through. After picking up my bag i exited the baggage claim and was immediately hit up by a mass of taxi drivers, which i had to resolutely deny (i’m used to it from JFK airport in NYC, lol) and was picked up by Daniel, aka DJ / Producer Mindfreak, shortly thereafter and we drove into town. First we stopped by the apartment the BSF crew was so kinda as to rent out for me for my whole stay there, i dropped off my stuff and we started on an exploration of Kiev. Daniel was a very gracious guide and host, patiently showing me the town and making sure i was always taken care of, whether it’d be drink, food or sightseeing. First stop: a ukrainian restaurant which also brews their own beer. I of course had the Borscht (a soup made from beetroot and other vegetables, with meat) and Varenyky, aka the ukrainian pierogi, (i had to google that one since i forgot the name, so, Daniel, forgive me if i got it wrong) which are stuffed dumplings. An excellent welcome in Ukraine! Next, Daniel showed me around the city center, so here are some impressions:
After a first initial run around town, we went back to “my” apartment and Daniel had to bounce out to run some errands why i took a minute to relax. Upon Daniel’s return we walked back to the center of town and met up with Alex (SHK), a producer / dj i’ve known via instant message for a while but never met in person, and we made our way toward and then up this big hill overlooking Kiev:
And up we go:
Old Soviet Remnants:
Awesome panorama of Kiev:
Notice the Most bridge under which the party took place the next day:
I saw this in Austria, Czech Republic and here (seems to be a popular european thing): Lovers writing their names on locks and attaching them to bridges:
An old armory, still shot up from WWII:
Victims of wars:
Amazing old churches and frescos:
And here we go up to see the soviet war memorial:
what the what ?
Oh yeah and along the way our group just kept growing:
This statue is MASSIVE:
Apparently there is an elevator inside of it that goes up the arm to the shield:
Amazing Soviet “Art”:
This is crazy stuff for american eyes, i was blown away:
After a huge hike, we finally ended up taking a cab downtown and got some dinner at this pretty authentic place, that had a buffet style open kitchen. We ate here a few times during my stay as the food is always changing. Awesome spot:
Note the sinks to wash your hands before entering the restaurant…pretty smart, eh?:
After dinner, the few remaining heads walked me home and i crashed fairly quickly as i had a pounding headache and had forgotten my advil. Good night, Kiev!
Friday, May 27th – Kiev
I woke up fairly early and took a stroll around town:
The new statdium being built for the euro cup 2012:
These little statues were everywhere in Kiev, not sure what they represent but they were pretty popular and hence also in my kitchen:
Daniel picked me up later that morning, we met up with his girlfriend and we were off to see more of Kiev:
A Tartar King:
After all this exploring, Daniel took me to a steep road the had all the souvenir vendors and i got gifts and mementos from Kiev, including a mace, which is a “ukrainian symbol of power” and was sold by the hundreds down there. It was pretty awesome and the mace has a nice spot hanging on the wall in my brooklyn apartment right now. After all this shopping and walking, we met up with Anya, who runs BSF and was the one who initially booked me and we all had lunch with the other two international acts playing that night: Counterstrike and Raiden. Both super nice dudes, we had a chill conversation and enjoyed some more ukrainian cuisine and vodka (of course!). After our meal, they all went to explore the stuff i had seen the day before, and Daniel walked me back to my apartment where i took a few hours to relax, shower, change and get ready for the evening. Daniel picked me up for a last stroll around town, wherei snapped some of these shots:
Lenin statue with communist party tents:
The (pink) university:
A movie theater:
We made our way back to the apartment, i picked up my gear and we were off in a cab to the Most Open Air:
This venue is situated under a highway bridge and even features a beach by the river. The main floor is a skate park during the day, but at night this place holds over a 1000 electronic music lovers, and trust me when i tell you: ukrainians love to dance and go wild! The place filled up pretty quickly, and as i got loose with a drink, i chatted with Stepkillah, another person i’ve had contact with only online for a while but finally got around to meeting in person. By midnight it was his turn to warm up the crowd:
And then i hit the decks at 1am. The place was already packed and people were really into it. I was able to shoot some video from behind the decks, excuse the terrible sound, but enjoy the madness that is Kiev at a party:
What madness! I had a blast and the hour felt like 5 minutes. I blasted through ragga jungle and ragga dnb, and even some dnb bangers as the crowd stomped their feet and screamed their lungs out. It was wicked!!! I cannot wait to return! After my slot, we hung out for a little bit longer and i even enjoyed the dubstep tent where Alex (SHK) was about to go on:
Since i was getting picked up by 6am, we bounced out shortly thereafter, Daniel bringing me back to the apartment in a cab, and he decided to go back to the party while i crashed out for two hours or so, still high on the ride that was The Most.
Saturday, May 28th, Kiev – Leipzig
I got up at 5:30am, packed my bags and in general tried to wake up and stay awake somehow, as i was getting picked up at 6am. Right on the dot, Anya was downstairs with a cab, and we made our way to the airport, picking up Counterstrike on the way, who also had an early flight. We chatted it up on the ride, mostly to stay awake i believe, lol, and said our goodbyes at the airport, where anya walked me to the right terminal, and i was off through security. Thank you so much BSF crew, i had a BLAST, and i’m super stoked to come back to Kiev! At that point though i felt everything but elated, as i checked in and went to the nearest bar / restaurant to get some (awful, unfortunately) breakfast and sit by the gate. I was so ready to fall asleep, i almost had to slap myself to not nod off and miss my flight, as i had to make it back to germany for tonight’s event in Leipzig. Finally we were carted onto the plane and i of course slept until we touched ground in Riga, where i had three hours overlay. I did feel a little better though and the great thing about Riga airport is the free wifi, so i chilled in the cafe there, had a sandwich and surfed the web, while watching a movie (scott pilgrim vs the world…i thought it’d be worse, but it wasn’t so bad at all, especially for my slowly moving brain at the time). Flight back to berlin was uneventful as once again i was tuckered out. Two house in berlin, enough time to get showered up and eat a hot meal, before rushing off to the train station and hopping onto the train to Leipzig. Catching a few more z’s, i finally arrived in Leipzig in the early evening, somewhat in decent shape to get ready for another party! Andrew (DJ K) and ….. were at the station to pick me up and we drove to the apartment i was going to stay at, where the inhabitants welcomed me warmly and i instantly felt at home. Since i am writing this last part some weeks after the tour, i am not remembering everyone’s name, so i hope i’m forgiven by those who i’m leaving out. My apologies Andrew was excited to show me his newly adopted home, so the two of us took off to explore Leipzig a bit as he showed me the downtown area:
Beautiful Suedvorstadt, the area where Andrew lives:
Hm, looks like a cool party
Loco warming up the crowd with some wicked nice dubwize:
Sunday, May 29th – Leipzig – Berlin
I just posted up the full Euro Tour 2010 Blog with many pictures and two videos, as well as bit of my ramblings. Make sure to check it out here or simply click the tour flyer below:
Great times were had by all, and people wiled out! Read all about it! Many many thanks to the amazing promoters and people who came out and had a blast with me! Boh!
Here is a first glimpse of the Euro Tour 2010 that went down in september. The blog will be updated soon and more videos and pics featured. In the meantime, here is a glimpse of the craziness that went down. Awesome times!
On May 28th of this year i played this event at Southpaw in Brooklyn, NY. Rocked it with a special reggae / dancehall set for a few hours and then filmed the rest, upstairs and downstairs. So here is the video i shot, featuring Iron Myke, Marcus Visionary, Pinch, Silvacat Sound and Livity Movements with Human? on the mic. Though not as packed as the previous two, this party still had rockin’ vibes, Marcus just destroyed the place, and people were dancing like crazy. Sickness all around! Enjoy!
This was a show i went to on April 13th, and i was excited for weeks prior. The legendary Skatalites! Here in NYC! It was of course an amazing show. This group has carried the tradition of the original Skatalites through the decades, with ever changing line-ups but never decreasing quality. Hearing the old riddims and tunes in perfect clarity and volume was incredible! I took some video and a bunch of pics. Enjoy!
This was the second installment of this new party series in Brooklyn that brings together the sounds of reggae, dancehall, dubstep, drum n’ bass, jungle and ragga jungle. Headlined by my boy Tester from Atlanta, it featured a great line up all around! I shot a bunch of video, edited and posted it up. Check them out below and get a feel of the fun vibes and sick beats that were dropped at this event. Next one coming in May, and i’ll be playing it! Much respect to KJ NYC and Liondub for putting this on. Rinse out!
This was a wicked night at Konkrete Jungle NYC at Club Pyramid. I opened up the night until about 1am, and then Aries went back to back with Tuffist, dropping one sick tune after another. The crowd was really feeling it! I was not able to stick around to see Miztah Lex close up the night, but altogether the vibes were dope! Check the below videos and pics. Enjoy!