Huff Post Interview – September 2017

Exclusive Premiere + Interview : YokoO & Retza share “Tarantism” from their Euneirophrenia EP

 Photo: Valya Karchevskaya

Euneirophrenia, the title of the new YokoO & Retza EP, means the peaceful state of mind after a long dream. This lucid feeling is a signature of both the All Day I Dream party and label, on which the duo previously released another EP, Magnetic Souls, in 2016. From the opening notes of this collaborative project between French producer YokoO and Australian producer Retza, you are lured into a layered and continually evolving soundscape. Each track name also holds a deeper meaning, with inspiration drawing from Native American spiritual beliefs (”Orenda”) , and fundamental principles of Japanese aesthetics (”Yügen”). Premiered below is “Tarantism,” which according to wikipedia is “a psychological illness characterized by an extreme impulse to dance, prevalent in southern Italy from the 15th to the 17th century, and widely believed at the time to be caused by the bite of a tarantula.” Listen to the premiere below, as well as an interview and specially curated playlist from YokoO & Retza.

How did the EP come about?

YokoO: After the positive response we got from our first ADID EP, “Magnetic Souls”, it only made sense for us to follow up with another one. Retza sent me a fairly rough version of the title track which I instantly fell in love with the vibe of and asked him to send me the project to arrange and perfect. Patience being one of my virtues, I enjoy spending time delving into details, working on structuring as well as adding finishing touches. Staying aligned with the label name, I called the piece “Euneirophrenia”, referring to the peace of mind that comes after having pleasant dreams. Once the piece was finalised and tested out on the dance floor (more than a year ago now), I knew we had to work on a follow up EP together. I originally sent it to Lee who didn’t quite vibe to it. 6 months later, most certainly after testing it out and realising how great of a response it was getting from the crowds across the globe, he asked to sign it. The three other tracks were made in my Berlin home studio during the summer of 2016 as Retza was visiting town. We managed to nail the main ideas within a week, and finalise the tracks remotely.

What is the meaning behind it?

YokoO: I trust that each track, specifically named after personal experiences are pretty self-explanatory. Furthermore, I encourage the listeners to let their imagination run wild and connect with the music. There is a meaning to be found for everyone who is willing.Euneirophrenia: The peaceful state of mind after having a pleasant dream. Orenda: A mystical force present in all people that can empower them to affect the world, or to effect change in their own lives. Tarantism: Overcoming melancholy by dancing; the uncontrollable urge to dance. Yügen: An awareness of the universe that triggers emotional responses too deep, mysterious and powerful for words.

What is your producing style?

YokoO: Retza and I either compose together, or remotely. Since we are both based on different continents, Retza works other jobs and I have a very busy touring schedule, it is never easy for us to get together. We both have our respective home studios and usually swap project ideas back and forth via the internet.

What do you want to communicate with your music?

YokoO: I mainly do this to express myself by means other than with words. I see my music as a release of energy through creation of harmonic or disharmonic vibrations. I like to think of it as a healing tool evoking emotions and inner exploration. Every piece I write corresponds to the way I feel at a given time as a result of my experiences. In other words, my music is the translation and reflection of my experiences and therefore the story of my life, or at least some of its key moments.

Euneirophrenia is out everywhere September 29th. Buy on Beatport via the link below.

ADID023 | YokoO & Retza – Euneirophrenia EP (Out now on ADID)

KD115 | YokoO & Retza – Pachamama EP (Out now on Kindisch)

Live at White Ocean | Burning Man 2016

Godzilla Disco – Tour Chronicles – July 2017

 

THE #TOURCHRONICLES FT. YOKOO

Yokoo

With the abundance of festivals, club nights and pop-up parties, it can be a bit overwhelming when trying to plan your party-calendar. But if there’s one event that trumps them all, it’s definitely the All Day I Dream series. What began on a Brooklyn rooftop back in 2011, has flourished into an internationally acclaimed party series and community. Bursting with technicolour emotionalism, each event provides a unique atmosphere, backed by an incredible roster of artists to guide you through the day. One of those acts who requires little introduction is Julien Beltzung, better known as YokoO. On Saturday, July 15, join YokoO alongside Lee Burridge and Gorje Hewek & Izhevski at All Day I Dream of Sunshine Divine in Toronto for one of the most anticipated parties of the summer. But first, we called upon YokoO to lead us through this latest edition of the #TourChronicles.

The biggest myth about ‘life on tour’ is…

That us DJs are partying everywhere we go. Life on tour is truly physical, and very much comparable to a marathon. If you do not pace yourself, you will burn out pretty quick.

One of my worst airport experiences was…

Whilst traveling from Sydney to Berlin via LA and Chicago, stand by. It was in 2011 if my memory serves me right. I barely had any money back then and wanted to go build my profile in Europe during the summer. I had a few minor gigs lined up. A friend of mine who worked for United Airlines offered to hook me up with a stand-by “buddy” ticket. I got stuck in Los Angeles airport for about a day. All flights were full and I kept on getting bumped to the next one. I was beyond exhausted and desperate to talk with my partner at the time. My phone was not working. Additionally, I was told there was no WIFI in the airport for security reasons, nor any computers to use. I had no money and felt stranded. Following this experience, I promised myself I would never travel stand-by again.

The best airport for a long lay-over is …

Amsterdam Schipol. I love resting there in the bin bags, listening to the sound of the birds chirping.

One of the most ‘surprising’ gigs within the past 6 months was… 

Wonderfruit Festival in Thailand. It was comparable to a mini Burning Man, with lots of dust, workshops and remarkable staging & art structures.

wonderfruit1

Wonderfruit Festival, Thailand

Wonderfruit Festival, Thailand

Wonderfruit Festival, Thailand

Name one new city that you haven’t played, but would like to visit/perform in 2017…

Tokyo, in 2018 maybe. Not sure I’ll ever break through the Japanese market with a DJ name as such though.

One of my favourite venues in the world to play is… why?

That’s a tough one. I could cite very many. In fact, I am blessed enough to honestly say there hasn’t been many venues/parties I did not LOVE playing throughout the last couple of years. I’ll just name a few here . . .

Parties: All Day I Dream – the decoration, the people, the vibe, the costumes and the music mixed together all make the events unprecedentedly magical;

The Tripping Tel Aviv – beachfront Israeli vibes, the overall quality blew my mind.

yokoo-tripping

YokoO at The Tripping, Tel Aviv

Clubs: Flash DC – the acoustic of the room is impeccable and gives me the impression of being in full control, it inspires me to take risks whilst spinning;

DNSF Miami – it’s like having a party in my living room, with my extended family;

Members Only NYC – it’s usually afterhours and complete non-sense.

The Gärten Beirut – fantastic crowd, team, and production, and I get to eat the best hummus in the world before hand.

One of my favourite festivals in the world to play is… why?

Besides Burning Man which is so much more than just a music festival, I would say that SXM in St Martin comes first. The festival is intimate, the line up incredibly solid and the location paradisiac.

This hotel has the BEST food/ room service…

The Plaza Athenee in Paris by far the best French food I ever ate.

Where is the weirdest place you’ve been given a demo?

The US custom waiting line.

One of my favourite local promoters to work with is…

Toronto? I love them all, but Sherry should get a special mention. I am sure we would all agree on that

Spill Magazine – ADID Toronto Feature – July 2017

ALL DAY I DREAM

YOKOO TALKS ABOUT HEADLINING THE FORT YORK SHOWCASE

A music event at Fort York has a certain magic to it.  On July 15, 2017, YokoO will be headlining the All Day I Dream showcase. Coming off of a sold out off-Sonar show, Lee Burridge’s All Day I Dream showcase will feature another day of electronic music designed to captivate and elevate their audience. Talent like YokoO, whose dreamy sensibilities and lush electronic compositions, are worth the ticket price alone.

“Every piece I write corresponds to the way I feel at a given time,” YokoO shares. “In other words, my music is the translation/reflection of my experiences and therefore the story of my life, or at least some of its key moments.”

The Berlin-based artist takes inspiration from his travels, but prefers to compose in nature, by the ocean and mountains where he can enjoy “peace and a healthy routine as well as the company of my lover who truly inspires me and helps me compose with a critical approach.” He lists the Maschine by Native Instrument as his “go to” for gear of choice right now.

YokoO recently retreated into a quiet phase of music listening, taking in soundscapes, binaural tones and melancholic classical pieces. “Right now, I seem to be going through a more nostalgic phase,” YokoO continues. “At home, I enjoy all kinds of music I grew up listening to – Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Bjork, The Cure, Smashing Pumpkins, Massive Attack, Noir Desire and the list goes on.”

Listing the Red Hot Chili Peppers as an influence recalls YokoO’s skater background, the inspiration for his DJ moniker. “YokoO is a nickname I was given by my friends as a teen. It originated from a Yoplait TV commercial. Before following a path in the music industry, I was skating every single day. The original cartoon character Yoko de Yoplait was skating too, and we looked alike, hence why my friends named me after him. I added a capital O for aesthetic.”

When asked what is in store for Toronto audiences on Saturday, YokoO remains mum, “I like to think of this as a surprise,” he says.

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