Joe Bryl has been sited as Chicago’s most interesting DJ. He’s been working in the entertainment industry for over 20 years. A true pioneer, with the aim to push international sounds as a DJ, and as the artistic director of Sonotheque he has come to present internationally renowned DJs. He also holds the monthly ‘Braziliance’ night showcasing the best Brazilain, soulful Samba and funky favela. Find out more about the man behind one of Chicago's most diverse and forward thinking clubs. Read the interview
Name: Joe Bryl
What do you do?
I am co-owner and also co-book the talent at Sonotheque.
How did you become involved at Sonotheque?
My business partners, Donnie Madia and Terry Alexander, where looking to open up a music venue in Chicago over 7 years ago that specialized in left-field DJ driven sounds (somewhat similar to the vibe featured in Straight No Chaser magazine at the time). Donnie and myself had collaborated before in other venues but wanted to showcase our own expertise without having to answer to another persons demands.
Describe Sonothequer in one sentence.
See this link information: http://www.sonotheque.net/aboutus.html
What can we expect to hear there?
Sonotheque still promotes a mixture of left-field dance music with some live performances and art/film events. Music ranges here from minimal techno, African coupe-calle and afrobeat, mash-ups, electronic, Brazilian, jazz, funk, reggae and more. It's sound changes daily and is very eclectic.
How would you describe Sonotheque regulars?
Regulars normally support the type of music they like. In that case a regular who likes minimal German techno will come specifically to those events and not to the African ones and vice-versa.
Whats the best thing about the city of Chicago?
Chicago is a melting pot of all races and creeds and the music here reflects that diversity.
And the worst?
Chicago still is racially divided (the current election not-standing).
If you could invite anyone (dead or alive) to come and perform, who would it be and why?
Sun-Ra. We have luckily had performers here who had worked with Sun-Ra here at Sonotheque. Plus, he had a close connection to Chicago and a great influence on its musical heritage.
Who's set to be hot in Chicago in 2009?
More experimentation in expanding the options available for listeners.
Some advice to anyone visiting the city for the first time?
See the whole city. That means checking out the Southside with its expanding culture.
What's the secret to behind the popularity of Sonotheque?
We are still taking chances where often musical venues play it safe. We're willing to take a chance with emerging artists before their emergence in the popular conscious.
Most memorable experience at the club?
The last memorable experience (there have been too many in the past) was in 2008 when we screened a rare print of Mario Peixoto's Brazilian silent masterpiece "Limite" (1931) with music composed and performed by Poi Dog Pondering. The film had only previously been screened less than 10 times and we were lucky to get a print of it through the Chicago Cinema Forum.
A moment you would rather forget?
Having to still clean up most nights after the customers have left. We still run the club like a mom & dad shop; so we are very hand's on.
What are you listening to on repeat at the moment?
A lot of Brazilian releases both old and new.
Your hopes and fears for the music industry for 2009?
Too many DJs who have no musical knowledge outside of what they download and too much reliance on Serato while forgeting about vinyl.
What's the most exciting thing in your life right now?
Having good friends and some free time to spend with them
Listen to Sonotheque live on Awdio
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The legendary drum n’ bass party, Movement will be hosting its final bash at Bar Rumba (London) on Thursday night (Jan 29th). After 13 years at the club they have decided to go out with a bang by inviting a sterling line up including the drum n’bass heavyweights Roni Size, Shy FX, Fabio, Jumping Jack Frost, Ray Keith, Andy C and of course the resident Bryan Gee. MCs Dynamite, Skibadee, Darrison and many more will be providing the running commentary on the night ahead. D&B fans all over the world will be listening in without fail. Listen to the show live!
Over the past 5 years the Qwartz Electronic Music Awards has become an important reference point for the more alternative electronic music labels to showcase their artists, artwork and experimental releases. This year's president of honor is New York based sound artist and photographer Taylor Dupree, with jury members including Chloé Delaume and French singer Christophe. They've already made their selection and now it’s up to you to cast your vote (votes close in March), so get listening on www.qwartz.org. The ceremony and closing party will be broadcast live on Awdio on April 3rd. Find out more..
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Celebrate Chinese New Year (the year of the Ox) on Tuesday 27th Jan with the sound of Yumla DJs; Wendy Wenn, Basil Tam, Kerri Monk, Yiannis Frafus and The Prawn & Ocean Lam. If you’re in Hong Kong and want to celebrate in the flesh, then take note that it’s a fancy dress party with a movie/TV character theme, so get creative! The Ox represents fortitude and hard work so as the saying goes, those who work hard will be free to play hard!
It’s all about fashion darling, be it good humored and unpretentious, but fashion none-the-less. The Boombox Sunday parties held in a small London east-end club have helped bring London’s homegrown style back to the forefront by attracting the right people wearing the right clothes. The popularity of these events can also be attributed to the attractive photos featured on photographer Alistair Alan’s website dirtydirtydancing.com. Their newest venture are the Ponystep parties in liaison with the fashion website ponystep.com. Tonight the crew is in Paris to show the locals how to do things the London way.
Starting on Thursday (22 Jan) night, Lausanne’s Loft Club (Switzerland) will be blowing out 11 candles and celebrating in style for three nights of non stop music. The bonanza begins with resident DJs Spoony & V Kee spinning diverse club sounds across the board. On Friday (23rd) Cedrik & Wild Pich take over with the best of R&B and hip-hop, and on Saturday (24th) it’s the cherry on the icing with special guests Extrawelt- the minimal house duo hailing from Hamburg.
The famous Parisian brasserie L’Alcazar and it’s classy upstairs DJ bar and restaurant La Mezzanine were built in what once was a local cabaret. In 1998 the manager Michael Besmond and British designer Terence Conran took up the challenge of creating a modern space with a traditional feel. Ten years later L’Alcazar isn’t dated at all, they remain forward thinking with original ideas to keep their clientele on their toes. As well as a full on program of DJs spinning upstairs with special guests performing live music, they also invite opera singers to sing for their supper on Mondays! Check out the sounds of Alcazar LIVE on Awdio.
Jennifer Maerz from The San Francisco Weekly speaks to Alland Byallo, resident DJ of Kontrol at The Endup.
When it comes to great techno, is San Francisco the next Berlin? That's a question bouncing around inside the beat-focused noggin of DJ/producer/label owner Alland Byallo. Byallo is part of the highly respected [Kontrol] crew, who bring minimal techno and "avant-house" to places like the Endup on a regular basis. He's hit the decks in cities ranging from Moscow to London and Berlin and has been invited to such prestigious festivals as Decibel, Lovefest, and Detroit's Electronic Music Festival. He's warmed up the turntables for such heavies as Superpitcher, Trentemoller, and Modeselektor...but he doesn't just spin other people's records. He releases them on his Nightlife Music label, and creates his own tracks for labels here and abroad...Read The Interview
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The Midem Party organized by the French label Pschent with headline DJs British duo Groove Armada and UK house producer Ashley Beedle. Other acts include French house producer Shazz, due for a new album release in February including the soulful single ‘Mirage’ featured on the Hotel Costes 11 compilation. Tonight Shazz will be performing his uplifting jazz-inspired house featuring Chicago vocalist Michael Robinson. Another group who are no strangers to Costes compilations are French lounge-pop producers with an easy listening twist, Variety Lab. They will be performing tracks from their forthcoming album ‘Team Up’. If this isn’t tempting enough, José Maria Ramon, Mister Mike, Cannibal Kiss and Masemenos will all be part of the party.