Here is the chapter5 of OPEN PORT CLUB monthly mix series featuring an artist seleced from each continent.
Mix of the month is compiled by the selector duo Castro & Nemo. They are running the record store "Sound Metaphors" and organize the party& label "H.A.N.D." based in Berlin. Check out mix and special interview below!
Q1. How and where was the mix recorded? Could you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
This mix was recorded at one of our HAND parties, we recorded it on a Bozak with a 4 band isolator on the master output, no eq per channel…keeping it simple :) we also use some dorrough meters to keep the levels relatively constant.
The idea is to basically capture and hopefully express some of the magic we often experience at Have A Nice Day with the wonderful crowd and vibes. I think there’s something special that will always be felt in a mix if it is recorded at a party with 200 people enjoying themselves and certain freedoms instead of if it's recorded with us alone in a studio or in our living room.
Q2. Tell us more about the HAND parties!
The HAND parties are a regular party we host in Berlin, usually once a month. We (Castro and Nemo) started with party series back in 2017 and have since grown with the help of our new logistics specialist Stephane and also Dyonisios our Drag Queen booker and performer. The idea of HAND is basically to throw our version of a really fun party. H.A.N.D. stands for Have A Nice Day, and that’s more or less the vibe we want to convey, the idea is that after a night of HAND, it will help you have a nicer day when it finishes (usually around 8 or 9 am). We decided to build our own custom sound system so we throw the parties in an empty event space where we can bring the sound system and install our own lights, booth equipment and of course our mirror ball. It’s a lot of work to set up and take apart, but in the end it’s worth it :) we barely ever make any money with it and when we do we invest most of it back into new lights or sound system elements etc, so there’s a lot of love in the whole operation. We try to maintain a fresh stream of interesting bookings of DJs from around the world and we’ve recently also been having some great drag shows, it’s been really fun to see it grow in different ways.
Q3. Tell us a little more about the sound system. Why did you decide to build your own?
A good party needs a good sound system, most standard club systems aren’t made for a specific party, they’re usually just a generically loud “off the shelf” system that could be for any party. We wanted something that would be specific for HAND and become part of the party’s identity. (We also wanted a system that wasn’t painted black like 99% of club systems today.)
Although not specifically a “Disco” party per se, Disco has a very special place in our hearts and we wanted a system that could properly reproduce the beauty of all that pre-MIDI dance floor music and its generous string orchestrations, rich percussion and rhythm sections, the congas, the brass, etc. and at the same time deliver something like Phuture’s “Acid Tracks” with the right amount of kick. So we wanted our sound system to be a powerful PA system but with a HiFi approach, which brings us to Jurgen Pack - our HiFi specialist who helped us design the system. Jurgen Pack is legally blind so his hearing is extremely compensated and he has a very high standard when it comes to sound - the man is a wizard! The current system is already the second sound system we built for HAND. It’s a 4 way system with 4 towers (one on each corner of the dance floor), each tower has 2x18” subs, 2x12” midrange woofers and then a compression driver with a 60cm diameter horn for the higher mid range, then in the middle of the room we employed an old David Mancuso trick: the “birdcage" with 8 bullet tweeters pointing outwards from the center of the dance floor. We’re still learning a lot about sound in general, but it seems to sound really nice so far! It’s a great way to learn about sound systems, the the results will most likely be very rewarding. We recommend it!
Q4. I heard HAND is also a label, tell us more about this.
HAND is also a label, yes, it’s basically just an output for white label releases of very strange DJ tools/edits. The overall vibe of the edits is very much in tune with the atmosphere of the party. Not every orthodox and sometimes not so easy to play on a dance floor. No one knows who makes the edits though…it’s all very weird…basically every 4 months we get a CD in the mail from an unknown sender with these silly tracks and a note. So we just decided to start pressing it on vinyl. They seem to sell pretty well though!
Q5. Wow! Ok…interesting. What are you guys up to in the near future?
Besides DJing and running the shop we’re mostly just working on our re-issue labels (MISSYOU and THANKYOU), we have a few really nice releases coming out soon! We just signed a contract with Philip Michael Thomas (Detective Tubbs in Miami Vice!) to release some beautiful downtempo latin reggae stuff that was never released before. Also working on another release with some great Arabic music. And then some other really cool stuff from Kris Baha’s label - Power Station. Other than that we’re planning a little US and Mexico tour with some fun gigs in November. And of course, the HAND parties :) Come if you’re in town!
Release Detail : September 2019 from OPEN PORT CLUB