That's Audio Tonic!
Dubai is definitely the city of superlatives and the people we’re featuring, definitely fit right in. They are a team that have kept their place at the top of Dubai’s nightlife mantle for six years now and from the looks of it, will stay there for time to come. The venue they call home is ranked in the Top 60 Best Bars and Clubs in the world. Time Out magazine has named them ‘Best House Night’ in Dubai. The record label they’ve just launched is gaining international attention and support from some of the most respected names in club land and the accolades seem to keep on coming! They are Michael Robert Bufton (MrMr) and Ahmed Raxon (Raxon).
We sat down with team Audio Tonic and this is what they had to say about where they are headed.
Six years on…how is team Audio Tonic feeling?
MrMr: I know, where does the time go? The team is feeling great, as always optimistic and looking forward to our seventh season at 360 commencing post summer. It's always exciting this time of year as bookings are being confirmed and we have some rather big names planned, stay tuned.
Raxon: Still can’t believe its been that long? Its been great so far musically and we’ve made great friends and family over the years and also having launched the record label makes it that much more special!
Audio Tonic records seems to be moving full-steam ahead! Please tell us more about the label and where you plan to take it?
MrMr: Yes it is, 12 releases in now and we've picked up support from a diverse spectrum of artists and DJs including Groove Armada, Luciano, Hernan Cattaneo, John Digweed, Xpress 2, Gorge, The Timewriter and many more. We release music that fits with our 10-hour party ethos, music across the genres, not just confined to one sound. I'll let Raxon explain more about our future plans.
Raxon: Its been going great so far, and we’re now coming closer to our first year of Audio Tonic records with 12 releases in the catalogue! The idea of the label is to reflect on our ten hour weekly party and music that we would all play at 360; the music ranges from chillout and downtempo going through deep, tech and house from all different artists that have played at 360 over the years.
Dubai has become a more respected clubbing destination due to the hundreds of DJ bookings you've made over the past 6 years, what does the brand have in store for next season?
MrMr: As I mentioned briefly earlier, the line up is taking shape nicely and we have a bunch of new names that will be debuting the Middle East. Next season we have 2 floors of music at 360 so we have the chance to further educate with more varied sounds across the venue. We won't lose our core values, especially upstairs, downstairs will probably take more of a disco route with some interesting guests thrown in for good measure.
Raxon: As you may already know, 360 is undergoing a major overhaul and that will host and extra floor, below the rooftop, but don’t worry we will still have the same formula on the rooftop as we’ve always had in the past years but with new artists debuting Dubai. Downstairs will probably have more of a disco vibe to it...really excited about this one!
I believe the team was in Barcelona for Sonar 2012? How would you compare the two scenes musically?
MrMr: Yes it was amazing! To be honest Barcelona only benefits from our kind of sound over the Sonar festival week. All the Off Sonar events attract a pure musically savvy crowd, with record labels like Freerange, Hot Creations, Diynamic and Get Physical all showcasing their artists and DJs. The music was off the rails, but it’s not always like that in Barcelona apparently, and come to think of it most destinations aren't. Ibiza for example, people go there to party, and because its 'Ibiza'. The music we play (and these labels push) have a relatively small following compared to other styles of house, but people are slowly coming round to the fact that it’s the way forward.
Raxon: Its just refreshing to be out there where are all the labels come down and showcase what they are about and its great to meet those guys in person, always great to put faces to names and make good contacts for future projects. In my opinion, there is not much of a scene in Barcelona except when its Sonar week; that’s when all the labels come down and feed off the Sonar crowds by hosting the off-Sonar events. I have to say, it’s one of the greatest cities I’ve been to…we just belong next to the beach.
Audio Tonic is back at 360 Degrees in September 2012 and you can catch them doing their thing every Friday afternoon till late.