Rhythmatic Interview

TIP have great admiration for dedicated people, and we value people and artists who promote, play and party for the right reasons, so in our first monthly feature of a promotions team, we talk to the brothers behind ‘rythmatic’.

“The twins” as they are nicknamed, or Double Trouble Promotions as their professional promotional name is, are twin brothers Kiri and Kostas, and they are ‘rhythmatic’. Relocated to London in early 2000 from Greece, they brought with them a vision of a memorable party and an unforgettable promotions agency. Showcasing some of the greatest talents and brining superstar Dj’s to play in the UK, some for the first time, at their events, they have really created a buzz for their venture ‘rhythmatic’. But needless to say this has only been possible through hard work and dedication- right? Maybe faith and a bit of luck on the way didn’t hurt, but at the end of the day we all knows that it takes hardcode determination and passion to establish yourself in a market that feeds on “here today, gone tomorrow”.

With so many new promotions and parties emerging in London, all brining super talent and offering dance floors made of the coolest concrete warehouses, the clubbing scene in our musically over-floated capital, and the whole industry, have really taken a turn for the worst. Everyone is introducing themselves as a Dj or a promoter and there is no laws, structure or rules to whom can do so. rhythmatic had the benefit of entering the game five years back, and they were one of the first strong promotions agency’s not tied to an permanent venue, they establish themselves in a hot new market, so called “underground parties”, and by doing so they were on the scene from the start and have today grown to become a well mentioned name when talking about London based parties. But not stopping there, the agency have (alongside running their parties) launched a website offering interviews, news and event information and all things ‘rhythmatic’, and judging by the online buzz following the information and line up release for their 5th birthday coming up in October, we’re pretty sure this is only the first chapter of the rhythmatic story.

TIP have great admiration for dedicated people, and we value people and artists who promote, play and party for the right reasons, so having a chat with the twins about the journey they been on gave us great opportunity to pick the brains of two guys with the hearts in the right places and ide filled heads tightly screwed on…

Why promotions and music, why not sales, restaurants or accounting?

Kiri: well I finished electrical engineering and my bother finished medicine, but we got into events purely because we love the whole scene. We obviously never thought that things would get to this stage, however Kostas does still work as a Doctor and I work as an Operations Manager and run our business at the same time.

Tell us a little about rhythmatic, what’s your vision?

rhythmatic started just like any other night, but we knew where and what we wanted to do. You see, in our day people were doing it purely for the hype – to make quick money and the glam party life and not because they care about putting on a good night. We’re not saying everyone, but the majority yes. Our events range from small intimate nights to the big warehouse parties; we always pay attention to production, line ups etc. Our vision for rhythmatic, is for it to be one great event that people go to, to have a great night out and to enjoy the raw warehouse feeling.

So you have been running parties in London over the last five years, can you tell us a little about that journey, how it started and where you are today?
rhythmatic’s launch was at EGG back in 2007. A good friend of ours called Lee Raphael introduced us to the club, and it was a big success for us. After that, we just started growing and growing, throwing parties every month for the next 5 years. We’ve had some ups and downs on the way, but generally it’s been great, and to this day rhythmatic is recognised among the best underground parties in London still putting together some great projects – we really couldn’t be happier.

Which party has been the greatest to date, and why?

It has to be our first warehouse party back in 2010, it was on the 12 June, and we stepped out from our comfort zone of nightclub venues, to throw our first warehouse party with Matthias Tanzmann and Davide Squillace at Hewett Car Park. Such a great crowd – it is still one of the most talked about parties we’ve done!

What is to expect if I was to attend a rhythmatic party?

Friendly crowd, great sound from our residents and guests, and some great event production at some of the best warehouse locations London has to offer. Come down on the 19th of October and you will see why!

You have your 6th birthday party coming up, and it’s looking to be a great event – what will be special for the celebration?
6 years is a long time for any promoter, and of course our party on the 19th will be one big step for us. You hardly see any night reaching their 3rd-4th year, so to have got to this stage is a real achievement for us. Our line-up has been thought over many many months, and we feel it’s one of the best we have put together since we have started our project and we would like to believe it will be one of the highlights in 2013. Moritz von Oswald and Petre Inspirescu 3hrs coming together for one night only, with their only Warehouse London show in 2013 – we’re really excited. On top of this, we are putting together a lot of time and effort in to the production, bringing great VJ show from our friends in France ‘Dead Pixels’, our Red and Purple room to our finest Sound system to our new location, and so many surprises on the night. This is going to be one exciting gathering for sure.

Have the game of promoting changed; is it harder to trough a good party today due to the competition and pressure from councils etc.?

Over the last months the council has stepped up the game and has been cracking down on parties and venues. In our experience, since we have managed venues in the past, everyone started putting on warehouse parties without taking the necessary precautions and measures to ensure the smooth running of their events. Too many people not focusing on safety (of course not all of them), who only care to cash in and as a result the promoters and warehouse owners have created all these issues with the residents around the spaces. As a result, the council has stepped up their effort to close down the spaces and it has been more difficult for good promoters to find new locations and venues. A year ago you had something like 30-40 warehouse spaces to choose from, week in week out. And now? Now maybe 5-10, so you can appreciate the issues good promoters are facing. The council doesn’t care who is a good promoter and who is bad. As far as they are concerned, we are all on the same list and the good promoters who put many hours into their projects are facing many obstacles as a result.

What’s your personal opinion of the club scene in London is all getting a bit too much with new promotions and parties popping up to left and right?

London is a great place to party and it’s always good to have competition. Competition makes you try harder to push your brand even further. But the last 15 months we have seen the scene growing so much that even for us, we are finding it hard to recognise it. So many promoters pop up every week, that over the last few months things have become very difficult, to find available spaces. We have noticed venues, artists, suppliers, promoters – all charging crazy money, etc., that even for established nights are finding it hard to adjust. The scene has been saturated a bit, and people go out to nights that offer that X factor… I think the number of promoters who will be able to afford to put on warehouse parties will decline just because of the overheads and promoters will move to clubs to run their events, or put on less events. One way or other things will change a lot in the next few months.

Does the behind the scenes politics sometimes taking away focus for the reason behind it all, it’s all for the love of music right?

The days where people were doing it for the love of music according to our opinion have certainly changed. Things are so difficult in our days that there is no way where you can do events just for the love of music (definitely important factor to start with), but the financial aspect of the project is so high that even if you put on an event for 300 people you need to budget for £3-5K. You might do it once, twice, but if you don’t make money or have the funds, for how long can you do it for? Unless if you do a house party or your mum/dad has thousands of pounds to throw at you, and you can do it for the love of music… it’s just not honest! How can you say that I play for the love of music and when a DJ’s price tag is £7000 pounds?

We haven’t seen “rhythmatic in Ibiza” or on tour for the Off Sonar – is there a special reason for you not traveling with the promotional name?

Ibiza we feel the big boys have taken over the island, everything has been glamorised and become so big that it would be very hard to get something to do well there, every day you are going against big players (NOT promoters but DJs). Every big DJ is doing their own party and is difficult for any promoter to get established, you hardly see any UK night doing anything out there, maybe one or two. Regarding Sonar, we got our first taste this year when our residents played there for various parties and yes, it is in our plans for 2014. Also, rhythmatic this summer put events in various cities throughout Europe as part of the 5th Anniversary Tour…

With a great roster of residents; Stathis Lazarides (rhythmatic, Cavo Paradiso), Wesley Razzy (rhythmatic), Archie Hamilton (rhythmatic, Moscow records) – why did you choose these dj’s to be your chosen few?
Our residents have been with us for many many years, Stathis Lazarides 6 years, Wesley Razzy 4 and Archie Hamilton 3. The guys have been working relentless the last few years and you will see their effort at last is being rewarded by putting out some great productions and supporting the rhythmatic project.

Stathis Lazaride is one of the most intelligent and talented DJs we have ever come across. We were invited by a good friend of ours (Satoshi Tommie) to go and see him at the Cross. On the night I (Kiri) can recall that he was chatting to my girlfriend but at the time I didn’t realize he was Greek. Then we got introduced by Satoshi and the rest is history! Stathis Lazarides has been a member of the Rhythmatic collective since day one, he has been there for us and continuously helps us mature the sound of Rhythmatic and direct the project musically.

Where can we start on Wesley Razzy, what a great character, the cheeky boy with the great smile. He reminded us of ourselves when we started putting events together almost 16 years ago… I remember it was 3 years ago and I (Kiri) was travelling away on business and I was so bored at the time, so I decided to listen to this mix that Wesley has been sending me. Back then we were receiving so many requests from over confident djs that promised to smash it but luckily we weren’t looking for smashing anything hahaha… But Wesley’s approach was different and we warmed up to him quite fast so he became our resident.

In regards to Archie Hamilton, he is one of the most humble DJs anyone could meet, so talented and so down to the earth… His friends have been to a few of our events and it was the year we put on some of the most talked about parties with the likes of Marco Carola, Tanzmann and Squillace, Rhadoo, Petre Inspirescu and the Moon Harbour 24 hour party. At the Moon Harbour party, he came with his friends to the day party at Cargo and we ended up partying together… So after spending the whole day, night and after’s together Archie invited us back to his house, were he played us one of his tracks and coincidently, it was one of our favourite tracks at the time! So we asked him to send us a mix and it was only natural to offer him a slot and become part of the Rhythmatic collective as his mix was as good as his own productions. Archie and Stathis have been making tracks for more than a year together now and the music they produce is absolute quality so we are double happy to have created this collaboration between them!

Dream guest DJ?

We don’t have one specific, over the years every DJ we wanted has passed over the rhythmatic decks. Our guests are booked based on the quality of the music they play.

Where do you think the general EDM scene is going, is dance music events dying?

EDM – well where can we start… America coined the phrase and we can see the phenomenon is taking over our city and Ibiza. There’s big money to be made certainly in America & Ibiza, and there is a very overwhelming response. DJs cashing in big time and promoters doing the same thing. Big players in house and Techno music, when they are going across the pond, are making 3-4 times the money they make in Europe!

Will it last I don’t know, but it has an effect on us as promoters, by the extraordinary fees these artists are now charging and as a result we have to pass the charges to our punters by increasing the door entrance. Dance events are not dying of course, but the scene is definelty changing and I think there is generally a bit of a confusion in terms of music – what is underground, what is mainstream, maybe the scene has lost a bit of its identity, the love of music, the reason we started all these parties, you know?

Where do you prefer to hold your events, warehouse or club parties? Do you think the ambience of the party changes with the location?
We have done events in clubs and warehouses, and over the last 3 years we have been doing events only in warehouse spaces. I guess doing events in warehouse spaces means you have full autonomy of the space and you are your own boss. From our experience doing an event in a warehouse is always exciting, through putting the production together and transforming that raw space into a fully functional club, and that’s where the beauty is. Warehouse spaces definitely gives us a buzz, and our crowd agree, from space to space there is always something new to discover and make the party even more exciting. Wait and see at the Anniversary party!

What’s your plan for ‘rhythmatic’ for the next coming years?

Let’s say rhythmatic will be back next year with very exciting projects – details coming very soon.