Artikal is no newcomer to the capital’s music scene. With a career spanning over 15 years he’s now part of London’s exciting ABODE crew.
We had the chance to talk with Artikal ahead of the summer season.
Electronic Groove: Hi Artikal, thanks for the time to chat with us. How did you get involved with electronic music?
Artikal: Always a pleasure, I was born and bred in North West London and electronic dance music was everywhere when I was growing up. My journey started back when I was 11 listening to hardcore tape packs like Dance Planet and Dreamscape that my pals older brother had, I also spent a lot of time listening to London’s pirate radio stations like Kool, Rinse and Dream FM. It was a very exciting time as new genres of electronic music were being born in the 90’s including jungle, drum & bass & garage. At this time, I was still a bit young to go raving but used to collect the flyers when I bought records in shops such as Pure Groove and Black Market Records. I could not wait to go raving because the scene had an allure to it that I found exciting and unknown, and back then it was all a bit more of a secret. My first rave was at a party called Labyrinth in Dalston in 1997 and this opened my eyes. 20 years later I’m still in love with the music and the scene.
EG: Back in 2002 you travelled to Ibiza and ‘discovered’ house and techno. What did this experience meant to you?
Artikal: I was spending a lot of time in drum and bass and garage raves like Telepathy, Innovation and Slammin Vinyl to name a few and I also used to MC on pirate radio, which led me to travel around the country with DJ Luck and MC Neat, so house and techno was not on my radar. The scene started taking a turn for the worst and there was a lot of negative and bad attitudes in the parties, I felt like I needed a change so my trip to Ibiza came at the perfect time. I always remember going to Manumission which blew my mind, I had never seen anything like this! Dancing naked midgets and circus acts in a club with 10000 people, it was crazy! I then carried on the party at the Famous Manumission Space carry on which was a game changer. It was dancing in the sand and the sun at Bora Bora, listening to house music was the thing that made me realize this is a special place. My first Ibiza experience opened my mind to amazing music, great people and good vibes. The white island changed my life for sure and I have been going every year since and played at some of my favorite clubs.
EG: Can you name some of your main music influences?
Artikal: I love the sound of Berlin, artists like Booka Shade, Steve Bug and DJ T. have the perfect amalgamation of house, techno, soul and disco which is a hard task, they are masters of their art. I get inspired by going back in time, for me disco has a massive part in everything we do today, the parties and the energy has lived on through modern electronic music, which I also find influence in and spend hours hunting for new artists and searching for that new fresh sound, it’s been an obsession for 25 years!
EG: How would you define your current music style?
Artikal: In my sets at the moment I like playing the big beats, rolling bass lines and loads of vintage style drums. Beats from Latmun, Solardo, Eli Brown and Max Chapman are always bangers. I’m always hunting for the specials tracks, hidden gems that time has forgotten, or bringing back the classics at the right time in the right place. But I love all music so it’s whatever suits myself and the crowd at that particular moment in time.
“Doing radio is something I have done since the late 90’s and is a massive part of London’s rave culture”
EG: Winter is about to end. How did you spend the last couple of months?
Artikal: I have 2 small children that keep me busy and spending every spare moment. I have a studio with music planned for release later in the year. I have been preparing for the summer ahead in Ibiza and the UK, and enjoying the cozy English winter but ready for some sun and dancing now.
EG: You are part of ABODE crew, a successful group of musicians in London. How did you get linked with them?
Artikal: It started when I sent a mixtape into one of the owners of ABODE before the party had started. They liked my mix then I recorded another a few months later. ABODE was about to start and they asked me to host their radio show on a station called BLOOP to run alongside the event. A couple of parties in and I was invited to play at our spiritual home Sstudio 338, I was elated and since then I have become a proud resident DJ for the brand in London and Ibiza.
EG: Whats ABODE’s concept?
Artikal: It started as a Sunday party where people can come together, dance and have fun without the negativity of other parties at the time in London. It’s all about house music and smiling faces. A proper family party with good vibes all day long and into the night.
EG: You usually attend to ABODE’s Rinse FM sessions. Is doing radio something you are interested at the moment?
Artikal: Doing radio is something I have done since the late 90’s and is a massive part of London’s rave culture. It was how the music got to the people before Internet, and it was the best way to listen to fresh rave music. As I mentioned earlier I used to play on pirate radio and it’s something I’m very passionate about. I was running ABODE’S Ibiza Sonica show last summer which was a great opportunity to play some nice deep house music. Rinse FM has a special place in my heart as I have been listening to it for over 20 years, so to host a show for ABODE is an honor. I love the buzz of live radio, connecting straight to the listener with fresh sounds, is what it’s all about for me.
EG: In terms of gigs how your agenda looks like? Any particular one you are looking forward?
Artikal: My agenda for the coming months is looking really busy, it’s an exciting time for me. I have gigs all across the UK including a massive festival in Birmingham called Chapter and Lovebox here in my hometown of London. I will be flying back and forth to Ibiza throughout the summer. On the past weekend, a special event took place, ABODE at Printworks. The party was insane and the venue is what London needed at a time where it seemed we didn’t have the vibrant scene we once did, this is a breath of fresh air. ABODE also has its own festival in Finsbury Park on September 24th. ABODE in the park will be a game changer for the brand and the team.
EG: To finish, is there any special achievement you are looking forward to completing in 2017?
Artikal: I’m really looking forward to getting some music out there and perfecting my sound. ABODE has some massive plans for the future. I feel blessed to be one of the resident DJs, and to be part of such an amazing team of artists. I feel blessed to have been part of the scene for over 20 years and hope to continue for many more.
For Artikal’s bookings click here.