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Exclusive Interview with Electronic Dance Music Legend – Meri

Meri’s myriad recordings under the names like DJ Meri or Rules Of The Deep encompass numerous styles all deeply rooted in the grooves of early dance music and old school rave roots.

By the end of 90’s he had already released music on seminal labels like Defected, Ovum, Cr2, Hooj Choons, Peppermint Jam, NRK Music, and Record Union among many others. His extensive gig schedule had taken him to such legendary venues like Pacha in Ibiza, Mambo Cafe in the same balearic Island, Ministry Of Sound in London, Discotheque in New York, Crobar in Miami, Parke Extremo in Equador, Turnmills in UK, the list goes on and on.

It’s no understatement to say that Meri has been there since the inception of electronic music culture to the present day, always keeping himself active and his ear to the pulse. Whether it has been doing his 20-years- and-running radio show, producing music for his own project or for dance music legends like Crystal Waters or accepting awards for the best production/composition work.

Now coming armed with new music which faithfully emulates his early breakbeat, acid and electro influences (and those already mentioned very important warehouse rave roots), he’s once again fresh as ever and enthusiastic to present his current sound of breaky drums, pop leaning vocals and keys as well as club rumbling bass.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

1. Tell us about the first track that put you on the map in the electronic scene and the journey since. How did you get started?
For me, it was a very lucky opportunity,  my first release came out on Ovum Recordings with my house music project Rulers of the Deep back in 2001. The label is run by Josh Wink and is one of the most iconic labels even today. After that came releases on Defected, Stealth, NRK Music and I haven’t looked back since.

2. Tell us about your latest project Magical Haze

Magical Haze is actually a bit of a pop breakbeat track with lovely vocals and collaboration with Annahoji from the local I Wear Experiment band. I started making music and playing out in clubs early 90’s and in that time breakbeat was a big thing, It was just before jungle and drum’n’bass came into the picture… and as the 90’s sound is back, I feel very secure working with breakbeat again. Magical Haze is surely influenced by the sound of the early day of electronic music, plus it will come with a massive Meri Ravers Remix as well, which is more suitable for clubbers.

Listen to Magical Haze on Spotify!
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3. Tell us something we wouldn’t normally find out about you?

I’m actually a former pianist and choir conductor from my school days, but moved very quickly to studio engineering, radio broadcasting, producing TV/Radio jingles, editing, making the original score for TV series and motion pictures. It’s work which I still do and love.

4. What single night out has been most memorable for you as a dj and producer?

There’s been many of them of course:) In one of the many Ovum Recording parties we performed was during Miami WMC back in 2003 I think… Me and my partner were playing the second floor and it was at the end of the set when Madonna (with Dennis Rodman and entourage) came close to the DJ booth and asked (shouted) to play Daft Punk immediately! At first, I was thinking that this is one kind of a joke or something but she was pretty serious. At that time Daft Punk just hit the charts and was a bit commercial for the party so I didn’t have it (don’t get me wrong, I love Daft Punk but it just didn’t fit it to the set), so I said that I don’t have it and then she started to shout again.. thanks to great monitoring in the booth I turner that very loud and showed her that I can’t hear what she says, of course, what I recognised from her lips wasn’t very pleasant, lol.

5. Give us the name of one track that never gets old for you no matter how many times you listen to it?


Future Sound of London – Papua New Guinea
6. Dream collaboration and why?
I’ve had many great collabs with many cool artists and few dream collabs have already happened but there are few very talented blokes – Totally Enourmous Extinct Dinosaurs and Boys Noize!

7. If you could play any festival, which would it be?

I like small clubs where you can immediately connect with the crowd.

8. How do you get a track started? Tell us about your production process
Usually, I start playing keys or listening to some samples, beats, vocals.. looping everything to 16 bars, adding layers to the max and when it’s full of energy and sound is fat, I start the arrangement. It’s very very normal that you start with one idea but in the end, it’s turned into something else completely. Then the next day when your ears are rested – is the moment of the truth – is this track working or not? Sometimes it needs more work but there’s always a chance to overproduce it which is good to avoid.

9. Latest project? What are you currently working on?

I’m working on new singles, as well on a collab with a local friend Bert On Beats which is coming out at the end of the year.

10. The relationship between a DJ and the audience is crucial, and yet is seems to be a fragile one – how do you see the balance between giving the crowd what they want and treating them to something new?

It’s a tricky one for sure. Of course, it depends on what club or crowd you are dealing with, but there are a few things you have to remember; Don’t underestimate your audience! To me, it doesn’t make a difference if there’s one person or thousands in the club or festival, you give 100% of yourself. Listen to a few tracks of a DJ before you, what he or she plays. Don’t start your set with an ultimate banger or hit everyone knows, start gently but not too long, and feel the crowd to give them a memorable trip through the night.