Jul 16, 2014



SYNTH PRESENTS: Nightwave
WORDS: Alex Caslano

‘The weather's terrible but nothing a few pints can't fix!’ Speaking about her new base in Glasgow, Maya Medvesek aka Nightwave has an infectiously positive attitude towards life. Producer, promoter, DJ and singer, the Red Bull Music Academy graduate moved here from London in 2012 and has never looked back. ‘I love the people here, the humour, the general energy of the city and the passion for music. It's the most at home I've ever felt in my life!’ she enthuses. It’s a sentiment we share, and with her new label, Heka Trax, going from strength to strength, it’s clear that the less than appealing weather is working in her favour.

Originally from Ljubljana and attracted to dance music from an early age, Maya has already been on an incredible journey. Purchasing her first pair of decks at the age of 15 and making herself known to the city’s clubs, DJ’s and promoters (‘I was a trainspotter with a notepad and pen’ she recalls), she immersed herself in the sounds of Detroit and Chicago, obsessing over Dance Mania and Underground Resistance records. With production being a natural progression, she was able to teach herself the basics, eventually releasing music under the name of 8Bitch on labels such as Slit Jockey and Seed Records.

But it was in 2011 when Red Bull invited her to Madrid for their prestigious Music Academy that things went next level. ‘RBMA was the most wonderful and surreal experience of my life’ she reflects. ‘It really was invaluable to have amazing people like Erykah and (MF) Doom give a little insight into their musical journey.’ Brimming with confidence, skill and passion, she’s clearly taken things in her stride, producing innovative music which blends booty, bass, juke and techno into something entirely fresh. Recently releasing three explosive EPs on her aforementioned label, Heka Trax, as well as promoting hugely popular party, Nightrave at La Cheetah, the term ‘unstoppable’ springs to mind, but then she insists that there’s still much more to learn: ‘I've realised recently that I've based my life on achievements and ambition and that's not necessarily a good thing! My life so far has been fun and exciting, but I now want to really focus on my personal development, as well as learning, sharing and perhaps mentoring.’ It’s a healthy realisation to make, and certainly, if the journey so far is anything to go by we’re sure the next chapter will be just as exciting as the last.

Check out some of Nightwave’s recent productions below, as well as an interview in which we talk more about coming up in Slovenia, her experience at the Red Bull Music Academy and some invaluable advice for aspiring producers:









Synth: So you’re from Slovenia and spent some time in London before moving here to Glasgow; now that you’ve been here a while, is there anything about the city which you really love (or indeed, hate)? Presumably you’ve got used to the weather?

Nightwave: The weather's terrible but nothing a few pints can't fix! I love the people here, the humour, the general energy of the city and the passion for music. It's the most at home I've ever felt in my life!

Synth: You promote a regular party at La Cheetah called Nightrave which seems to get a lot of love; any particular nights or guests which have stood out? Your b2b sessions with Éclair FiFi always to go down well!

Nightwave: Doing Nightrave is a lot of fun and I get so much satisfaction from seeing everyone enjoy themselves! I love playing b2b with Fifi and sadly we've both been a bit too busy for it recently, but we'll be back! I think the launch night with us, Cleoslaptra and Rustie was my favourite - we had no idea what to expect and there was a queue down the block! We have a really special Halloween 'Nightgrave' coming up, watch this space hehe.

Synth: If we rewind a bit and talk about your entry to dance music, what was the scene like in Ljubljana when you were coming up? Did it act as a big influence in terms of sounds and styles or were you looking to other places when you started buying records?

Nightwave: I first got into the rave scene because I was intrigued by the crazy and fun looking clothes when I was about 12 and then got into happy hardcore and slowly started discovering techno and house later on. I bought my first decks when I was 15 which I was super proud of, but then I could hardly afford any records plus we only had one record shop in town that ordered just enough copies for the selected few DJs haha. I was very, very lucky that Ljubljana was heavy into Detroit and Chicago techno back then and I got so obsessed with it; I was a trainspotter with a notepad and pen by the DJs which they must have found endearing as a lot of them helped me out as I was learning to DJ.

Synth: We read a great quote from your TLG interview in which you advise aspiring producers to actually throw themselves into it and not be too proud to ask for help. Looking back, is there anything you’d do differently during your first years of production? And did you find it daunting taking that first step?

Nightwave: I'm still a beginner right now! The more I learn the more I realise that I know nothing! Certainly I would have asked for help and advice instead of self-learning, but that was just an ego thing I guess. There is a big support network out there right now with internet tutorials and all sorts, so make the most out of that! One thing I have learned recently is how important it is to empty your mind when you make tracks; I've wasted a lot of time analysing what I'm making and wondering if it's good enough for a release bla bla…what a load of nonsense!

Synth: Sound advice! You were a student at the Red Bull Music Academy in 2011 studying under the tutelage of Erykah Badu among others; what was it like learning from these legendary figures in music? Were there any moments of which opened your eyes or really resonated with you?

Nightwave: RBMA was the most wonderful and surreal experience of my life and it really was invaluable to have amazing people like Erykah and Doom give a little insight into their musical journey. I think Erykah's lesson was the most powerful, not only because I'm a big fan of her art, but because she is just such an incredible woman and that was very empowering and inspiring.

Nightwave: camouflage

Synth: Your sound has been described as incorporating elements of grime, juke and bass, and you often reference Chicago and Detroit as well as labels like Dance Mania as inspiration; are there any records in particular which you hold dear or you feel really influenced your direction?

Nightwave: Jeff Mills – ‘Berlin’ and Bangalter – ‘Trax On Da Rocks’ are two of my favourite tunes. Numerous UR tracks, Deeon and Paul Johnson tunes, as well as everything DJ Rashad has done - I'll be forever grateful for his work and the legacy he's left behind.

Synth: From what we gather it sounds like you’re very much an advocate of living life to the full, and other than producing and playing music, some of your past achievements and jobs are really quite incredible; do you have certain goals or ambitions that you’re working towards (both musically and otherwise) or are you just happy to take it each day at time?

Nightwave: I've realised recently that I've based my life on achievements and ambition and that's not necessarily a good thing! My life so far has been fun and exciting, but I now want to really focus on my personal development, as well as learning, sharing and perhaps mentoring. I want to get back to singing again and I'll do that as soon as I take these fucking braces off my teeth! I honestly can't wait; it's been an absolute nightmare!

Synth: We’re really hyped we finally to organise a mix with you as we’ve been listening to (and watching) the Overdrive Infinity session a lot recently; can you talk us through some of the big tracks in your mix? Are you one for planning mixes or do you just start with a record and see where it goes?

Nightwave: I did a little techno mix for you guys, slightly nostalgic maybe, with old Mills, Beltram, Drexciya etc in there! I do plan mixes a little bit as I play quite a variety of things, but very vaguely.

Synth: You launched your new label ‘Heka Trax’ last year featuring three EPs from yourself to date; are there any other artists you’ve taken an interest in recently that you’d like to sign?

Nightwave: I've already signed a few new acts but I better not announce anything so I don't jinx it! I'm always looking for more material so please send that through my page www.hekatrax.com! Heavy party music only, haha.

Synth: Looking forward, what plans do you have for the rest of the summer? Any forthcoming releases we should be looking out for? And when can we expect Nightrave to make a return?

Nightwave: I'm finishing off new material, doing a bit more touring, probably back with an EP in September and a few remixes...Nightrave is on holiday until after summer when the dark nights return to Glasgow and we can party all day long :)

Synth: Make no mistake, Nightwave is one of our favourite DJs. Where many dancefloors can slip so easily into a state of predictable monotony, Nightwave will keep you on your toes, mixing forgotten classics, upfront bangers and a few surprises along the way. From DJ Deeon to Tessela, Jeff Mills to Nightwave herself, this is a workout for your entire body. Standing at the bar isn’t an option…



1. DJ Deeon - Butterfly Rx Alternate Version
2. UR - Analog Assassin
3. I-F - Playstation (Instrumental)
4. Dopplereffekt - Voice Activated
5. Serge & Tyrell - House Countdown
6. Gingy & Bordello - All Day (Robert Hood Remix)
5. Jeff Mills - The Hypnotist
8. Joey Beltram - Mentasm
9. E-Dancer - Velocity Funk
10. Tessela - Gateway
11. Strip Steve - The Funktion
12. Nightwave - Grinder
13. Drexciya - Funk Release Valve

Nightwave’s ‘Hit It EP’ is out now on Heka Trax. Check the Heka Trax website for more news on forthcoming releases. Nightwave also plays Bestival in September.

Nightwave on Soundcloud
Nightwave on Facebook
Nightwave on Twitter



Jul 15, 2014



COMPETITION: 02ABC Presents…Public Enemy

This is the big one. Whether it’s hard-hitting social commentary on ‘It Takes A Nation Of Millions…’ or the sample heavy and politically motivated anthem ‘Fight The Power’, Public Enemy are easily one of the most important rap groups of all time; in fact, make that one of the most important groups of all time. The fourth hip hop act to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and famous for their socially conscious lyrics and energetic live performances, there’s no exaggerating Public Enemy’s influence over the last thirty years, with their first four albums all going either gold or platinum.

Of course, countless award nominations and global success speaks for itself, but it’s really the message that the group delivered and how they delivered it which seals their legacy. Using hip hop as a way of addressing some the issues facing black America during the 80s and 90s, they were a voice for those who weren’t being listened to. And it’s a voice which still resonates today.

Check out a video of the last time Public Enemy rolled through town via Tenement TV, as well as a full stream of ‘It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back’:





Ok, so you’ve heard the hype and by now you probably know the deal! We’ve got two tickets to giveaway to see Public Enemy on July 30th courtesy of the guys over at the 02ABC. If you want to be in with a shot, simply head over to the Synth Facebook and type ‘02ABC Presents…Public Enemy’ on the wall - we’ll select a winner at random on Tue 29th. Please be sure to read the terms & conditions below.

Terms & Conditions: Please note that this prize is for two places on the guestlist for 02ABC Presents…Public Enemy on Wednesday 30th July. There will be one winner. The competition closes at 1pm on Tuesday 29th and the winner will be notified via Facebook comment (please check your Facebook entry in the hours following the closure of the competition). The winner must be 14 years or older. After we have passed on the winner’s details to the event organisers we then pass on responsibility for entry on the night.

Public Enemy play the 02ABC on July 30th in Glasgow. Tickets are £28.12 advance from Ticketweb including fees. Support on the night comes from Hector Bizerk and the Mixkings DJs.

Public Enemy Website
Public Enemy on Facebook
Public Enemy on Twitter
02ABC on Facebook



Jul 14, 2014



FEATURE: Moodymanc’s Top5
WORDS: Alex Caslano

It was around this time last year that we had the pleasure of chatting with Mancunian producer Danny Ward, aka Moodymanc. Speaking before his annual gig at DC Sessions, we talked in depth about the new generation of house producers ruling the charts, concluding that ‘the underground will always be underground’, you just need to dig a little deeper to discover the good stuff. Twelve months later and it seems like that sentiment has only grown stronger with a deluge of copy-cat producers flooding the airwaves and cashing in on the ‘deep house’ explosion. During that interview he also suggested that ‘the right people are always there for the right reasons’, and having been involved with music for well over twenty years, he’s certainly proof.

Frazer Devine and Jane ‘Jaya’ Ayres of DC Sessions also fall into this category, having been throwing parties in Glasgow for the last four years with guests ranging from Derrick Carter to Marc Romboy. Like Moodymanc, they only promote quality, original music, serving up underground sounds to those in the know. Having played for them every year since they started, Moodymanc’s appearance is always highly anticipated, sharing impeccable taste and a mutual appreciation for the dancefloor. Ahead of his set at The Berkeley Suite later this month we checked in to catch his top5 tunes of the moment, selecting fine cuts from the likes of Opolopo, Paul Woolford and James Winter:

1. OPOLOPO FT/ SHEA SOUL – BE ENOUGH (Tone Control Music)

“Simon from Tone Control gave me this on a pre-printed cd at a party I played at in Manchester recently. I was immediately impressed by the old school gesture (I'm increasingly addled by digital promos!), but not as much as when I got it home and played it - crisp production but with just the right amount of dirt in there, nice chunky analogue drums, and a great vocal. I'm really picky about vocals but props to Shea and to Opolopo here - really tastefully done. The dubbier versions are great too. I think this will be dropping pretty soon...”

Preview unavailable...listen here

2. CHRISTIAN NIELSEN – CAN YOU HEAR ME (Play it Down)

“I've had an eye on Christian Neilsen for quite a while; not only a talented and prolific producer but also a lovely fella to boot. His last couple of EPs for Play it Down have been great for me - simple but incredibly effective. Great grooves, again with that dirt factor that rolls long and strong; perfect for DJ'ing. ‘Late Checkout’ is an afro-tinged monster with awesome drums and percussion; reminds me a little of some of Kerri Chandler's earlier afro grooves. This one's been out a little while; I'd fully recommend going and grabbing it and checking the rest of the EP too if you haven't already!”



3. PAUL WOOLFORD - PANDEMONIUM (KINK RE-WORK) (Free Download)

“I've been both a fan and a friend of Wooly since we were label mates in his Bobby Peru days on 2020 Vision. It's a real inspiration to have seen him do so well after so many years of sticking to his guns and plugging away. ’Pandemonium’ of course is a no brainer in terms of a room rocker, but with Kink's added twist the energy gets raised even further. Darker than dark, deeper than deep…I LOVE IT, and it's now up for grabs as a free download. What are you waiting for???”



4. JAMES WINTER – ATMOSPHERE (COTTERELL'S PLASTIK CUT) (Plastik People Digital)

“I'm a sucker for the RIGHT kind of spoken word on a house track. If it's political, militant and says something for me I'll rinse it to death. James samples a UR interview here which for me is more than poignant given some of the distortions that I feel are prevalent in certain areas of the music at the moment. Marc Cotterell (Plastik People head honcho) brings an added depth to the release which ties it all together fantastically and allows a lot of options mix wise...I'm all over it!”



5. LENNY MIDDLES V. MOODYMANC – MIRROR (Well Cut Records)

“Despite a slight tinge of shame at the self promotion, I have to include this. It's not often that I play my own tracks out (I've often heard more than enough of them by the time they're finished), but this collaboration with the mysterious Mr. Middles (HE's the moody fucker, NOT me!!!) is one that I have played lots and always provokes a great reaction both on the dancefloor and amongst the booth-hugging 'what's this one mate?' head-nodding crew alike. It's dark and brooding with a techno edge and has a Miles Davis vocal sample asking you to 'take a look in the mirror man'…It's also (now for the shameless plug) on my label Well Cut Records first 12" - a 4 tracker just out on 180g with ridiculously lavish artwork. The digital release will be very much limited to a couple of online stores (mates!) in a couple of weeks...howzat for blag?!”



Moodymanc plays DC Sessions at the Berkeley Suite on July 26th. Entry is £7 on the door. Moodymanc’s ‘Well Cut Records 001’ is out now.

Moodymanc on Soundcloud
Moodymanc on Facebook
Moodymanc on Twitter

Related Article: DC Presents…Moodymanc



Jul 9, 2014



FEATURE: Marco Bernardi – Spaceman
WORDS: Alex Caslano

As many people will concur, one of the best things about Glastonbury is that you never quite know what to expect. You can make plans, but nine times out of ten you’ll end up out your nut at 5am, going ballistic to balls-out techno. Certainly, if you wandered into the Central Processing Unit last weekend, you may well have found yourself stomping to the sound of Marco Bernardi and his bank of flashing hardware. ‘Glasto was one of the best gigs I have done in a while' he tells us during the post-festival recovery. ‘A small 100 capacity club in Shangrila and it was really fuckin’ going off!’ Having already knocked out a string of releases this year, it seems like the Glaswegian producer is now having fun playing them, taking in gigs from Serbia to Scotland.

Having come up during the hedonistic years of legendary Paisley institute, Club 69, Marco is someone who has the sound of Glasgow ingrained within him. Dark, uncompromising beats typify most of his productions, with the city’s notorious weather and thirst to party providing the inspiration and excuse to stay indoors working on beats. Now based in Bristol, another city steeped in underground club culture, he’s arguably producing some of the best music of his career, with last year’s ‘Star Traveller EP’ on Carl Craig’s Planet E imprint providing a summer highlight which fails to fade.

Of course he’s always keen to make the trip back to Glasgow, lined up to play alongside Perseus Traxx at Cymatic Response in August for a hardware extravaganza branded as “just two guys and a gaggle of machines”. This will follow the release of his new EP on Klasse Wrecks, ‘Spacejam’, which sees the producer wig out on three tracks of analogue excess to create something truly hypnotic. ‘My head is very in the sound of my label at the moment’ he confirms, ‘...machines that clash, uncompressed sounds pushed to the max on the gains. Ask me in a month or so though and it will probably be somewhere completely different like Dolly fuckin’ Parton or something’. As we said, you never know what to expect with Glastonbury...

Check out a preview of the Spacejam EP below, as well as an interview in which we talk Belgrade buzz, fun times at Glastonbury and why recording vocals at 4am on a Sunday morning sometimes pays off:





Synth: So lets start by talking about Glasto; we saw you post about the Central Processing Unit which sounded really exciting; can you tell us a little about the concept and how your live set went down?

Marco: Glasto was one of the best gigs I have done in a while to be honest...a small 100 capacity club in Shangrila and it was really fuckin’ going off!! It's nice to play these gigs - makes the hard slog worthwhile. CPU is a new visual concept area within Shangrila that was premiered this year at the festival…weird visuals and underground electronics. If Carling did underground clubs…

Synth: You also seemed pretty chuffed with your gig in Belgrade recently, and Serbia in general; what made it made it so enjoyable? There does seem to be quite a good buzz about Eastern Europe at the moment…

Marco: Serbia is an amazing country; I’ve never been that Far East before. You don't realise how controlled we actually are under these bullshit rules we are all supposed to abide to in the West...there's no rules, anything still goes out there. I like that shit, and to top it all off they’re also all so up for it...the partying that is. The underground may be small out there but the ones that are involved really get it.

Synth: We have to admit that we only discovered you were from Glasgow last year after hearing your EP on Futureboogie; was Glasgow important in getting involved with electronic music? Did you take influence from the city’s club culture?

Marco: To be honest, grey skies, no jobs, shit pills and constant rain will always create good music in any city...not much quality underground music comes from Africa or Australia does it?

Synth: Club 69 seemed to be a particularly important influence for much of Glasgow’s rising talent during that era; what was your experience like of the club?

Marco: Haha you have been digging! Let's just say if it wasn't for 69 I wouldn't be here doing this interview. I cannot big Marty and Wilba up anymore than I have already done over the last 10 years and on every interview I have ever done...but they wouldn't like all the pr and press shit, so I’m going to say no, they had no influence at all on me or the Glasgow scene and they’re all overrated and up there own arses :-)



Synth: You’re based in Bristol now which is arguably one of the UK’s most important cities in terms of electronic music; do you find it to be quite an inspiring place to produce music? Is it quite a close-knit community?

Marco: Yes, there is lots of stuff happening here, but to be honest it's not really genres I listen to, or to be completely honest, I’m that into; that doesn't mean it's shit, just not my bag. The only ones who I personally feel are killing it in the city with their releases (and I have also heard the amazing shit that they have up and coming) are the Kelly Twin’s Happy Skull label…I love their label and there DJ’ing skills are right up there with the best...they’re the boys!!

Synth: You launched your own label, ‘Take The Elevator’, last year with a release from Clover Ground, an alter-ego of another established artist. You’re of course partial to the odd pseudonym too – where would you say Marco Bernardi sits musically at the moment?

Marco: My head is very in the sound of my label at the moment...machines that clash, uncompressed sounds pushed to the max on the gains. I like all that early bunker raw Hague shit, that's where I'm at just now...ask me in a month or so though and it will probably be somewhere completely different like Dolly fuckin’ Parton or something...

Synth: So you’ve got a new EP called ‘Spacejam’ which has just dropped on Klasse Wrecks which is sounding nuts! Can you tell us a little about the inspiration behind it? We really love its raw and live quality – did you use a lot of hardware?

Marco: Hahaha, the title track’s vocal was done at 4am one Sunday morning. I had been out on it somewhere, probably Syndicate, and came home em...pissed and talked shit over that track in one take! I have no idea what I am on about...still don't to be honest.

Synth: Probably for the best! It seems like you’re having a great time making and playing music at the moment with a steady stream of releases over the last few months; what have you got planned for the second half of the year?

Marco: Just put a new 12” into production by an artist going under as Gabicci Bruuner for TTE 003, plus some new stuff on Lux, MOS/Delsin and a few others I can't disclose yet. But yeah, you could call it fun, but you could also call it a road to a shorter life. Until next time…

Marco Bernardi ‘Spacejam’ is out now on Klasse Wrecks. He plays Cymatic Response at The Poetry Club on August 1st.

Marco Bernardi on Soundcloud
Marco Bernardi on Facebook
Marco Bernardi on Twitter



Jul 8, 2014



COMPETITION: 02ABC Presents…Method Man & Redman

It’s hard to really overstate the excitement around this show. With the hype (and controversy) still boiling over super limited edition Wu album, ‘Once Upon A Time In Shaolin’, the appearance of Method Man and his close collaborator Redman at the 02ABC this Saturday has got Glasgow buzzing. And quite rightly so; it’s been a full six years since their last Scottish date together and people are ready. With the announcement of an additional Wu album, ‘A Better Tomorrow’, scheduled for a commercial release this summer, as well as a follow up to Redman's 1996 heater 'Muddy Waters', this is definitely a great time to catch two of Hip Hop’s most revered MCs.

Easily one of the greatest rap groups of all time, Wu Tang Clan have a discography which stretches back over two decades, with Method Man providing hot bars on the likes of ‘Gravel Pit’, ‘Protect Ya Neck’ (The Jump Off) and ‘C.R.E.A.M’, while Redman’s work as a solo artist and part of Def Jam’s rap super-group, Def Squad, has also secured his place in the hall of fame. Individually they’ve also racked up the hits, with classics such as Meth’s 1995 single, ‘I’ll Be There For You/You’re All I Need To Get By’, as well as Red’s club-smashing ‘Let’s Get Dirty’ still doing the business today.

Of course, you can also expect to hear select cuts from their collaborative ‘Blackout!’ albums this Saturday, as rumours of the third instalment were confirmed by Redman earlier this year. With a rich back catalogue to call on and plenty heat in the pipeline, we’re sure this will be a show to remember! Support comes from Profisee, Toy Control, Big Taj and the Mixkings DJs.

Check out Bunty Beats ‘Redmeth’ mixtape below, as well as the classic Blackout! banger ‘Da Rockwilder’:

REDMETH MIXTAPE by Bunty Beats // Dj Bunty on Mixcloud





As always, our generous pals at the 02ABC have provided us with two tickets to giveaway to this weekend’s show, and as much as we’d like to take them ourselves, we feel like you probably deserve them more. All you need to do to be in with a shot of winning is simply head along to the Synth Facebook and type ‘O2ABC Presents…Methodman & Redman’ on the wall and we’ll select a winner at random this Friday afternoon. Please read the full terms & conditions below.

Terms & Conditions: Please note that this prize is for two places on the guestlist for 02ABC Presents…Method Man & Redman on Saturday 12th July. There will be one winner. The competition closes at 1pm on Friday 13th and the winner will be notified via Facebook comment (please check your Facebook entry in the hours following the closure of the competition). The winner must be 14 years or older. After we have passed on the winner’s details to the event organisers we then pass on responsibility for entry on the night.

Method Man and Redman play the 02ABC this Saturday in Glasgow. Tickets are £29.81 advance including fees. Support on the night comes from Profisee, Toy Control, Big Taj and the Mixkings DJs.

Method Man on Twitter
Redman on Facebook
02ABC on Facebook