• Markus Saarländer

Meet The Residents: We Caught Up With Monica


Monica has been a name on many lips this year with dazzling performances, smooth grooves and some impressive eyebrow raising support duties for some of the biggest names in the business. Monica made their debut in November last year at our 3rd Birthday Party and have since become firm residents at our events. It only seemed fitting to put them both under the microscope so that you our lovely readers can get to the men behind those luscious, silky grooves.

Welcome guys. How are you gents?

Owen - Not too shabby thanks. We've had a fabulous couple of busy weekends behind us, and the promise of a good Summer…although with our current view…this seems a fairytale haha.

2018 has certainly been an exciting breakthrough year for you both – Two Fridays ago was another big one as you warmed up at our next event for Timo Maas – What have been the highlights so far?

Owen - Yes it's been a great year so far. Timo was a true gent and we were in awe of his experience but equally just what a top guy he really is. Equally, probably the Brighton Music Conference Berlin-Brighton party with Alex Niggemann last month. We are both a big fan of his work and the label, Aeon, so was a pleasure to meet him and the party was certainly one for the books. Also getting to play at the Missing Peoples' party a few weeks back was great fun. Thanks to Tom Luka for the invite.

Luke - Yes that was a lot of fun, although meeting Daniel Steinberg was an experience too (January 26 at our Berlin Party at the Green Door Store)

The two of you met in the toilets at a gig and from that moment decided to make music together. We love this. Tell us more about that moment and what happened next.

Owen - Hahaha yes this is true. It was at a Pan Pot gig at a club in Brighton. I was there with my friend James (aka Faide), we had only just moved to Brighton. I was drinking and two stepping through the night as usual. I had to go to the little boys room and whilst having a tinkle, started to chat to a guy next to me - this is not something I usually do by the way haha!

Luke - I was clearly special haha.

Owen - Haha yes special is probably a good word to use. For some reason we bonded and Luke introduced me to his posse and then we partied together for the rest of the night. I think Luke asked for my number? Haha

Luke - And then I face-timed him on my way home hahaha

Owen - Hahaha yes James and I were a little taken aback by this move…BUT needless to say - it worked and thats it...the rest is…well we are still writing it…

Love at first sight then! The name Monica is slightly unusual, as first impressions make the audience think that a lady is on the bill rather than a fabulous hunky duo. What was your inspiration behind your name?

Luke - We were playing an after party somewhere and some guy asked us what our Moniker was. We had no idea what that meant at the time but it sounded good. Owen decided to use the female version and after that nothing sounded as good, so it stuck. Now we can't think of another name that would suit.

What was your first gig together and how did it pan out?

Luke - Haha surprisingly well, it was in the basement of an Italian restaurant, dressed as Willy Wonka and an oompaloompa. We were pretty nervous to be honest…but it seemed to be received well.

Owen - That Orange paint took days to come off!!!

We now know that your first encounter was in the gents, no questions asked… But how did the two of you end up in Brighton?

Luke - I have lived in this area all my life.

Owen - I moved here a few years ago…fancied a change of scenery from my home of Devon.

Your sound is very unique, especially in Brighton, which is of course why we love what you do. What sort of style would you describe yourselves as playing to our readers, who are discovering you for the first time?

Luke - Well we both have slightly different taste but 99 times out of 100 we love what the other plays, but the contrast seems to work, so somewhere between beautiful deep house and gnarly melodic techno.

Owen - Haha Gnarly…yes I agree. We always try and put a bit of emotion into our sets, trying to keep the audience engaged. There is a lot of “cut and paste” music out there which gets a bit boring. I remember once Luke leaning over to me and whispering “I’m gonna play a track from The Cure..” I was a little sceptical…but it worked…the boy has incredible taste and timing…shame about his time keeping in everything else in life hahaha!

Your sound very much reminds me of a number of German labels that I love, such as Pampa, Keinemusik and All Day I Dream. Which labels inspire you the most and which labels are your go-to releases right now?

Both - All of the above and also Lossless, Azure, Hippie Dance, Option Trax, Something Happening Somewhere, Hivern Discs, Innervisions, Maeve, AZZUR, Permanent Vacation and Exit Strategy to name a few…we have many more we keep our eyes open on but they are a secret haha.

You guys also have a weekly radio show on Codesouth FM. How long has that been going and when and how can people catch you?

Luke - As a duo we started about 18 months ago. We’re on every Monday 8-10pm. We also live stream from our Facebook page Monica Music…Plug! (hint hint)

Aside from the radio show and your gig schedule. Are the two of you getting any studio time and planning any releases?

Luke - Yes we have a lovely little studio where we spend a couple days a week, We’re getting there…watch this space!

Owen - Indeed…exciting times ahead.

Often DJing and Producing can deliver two different sounds. Without placing yourselves into a genre box, which direction are the two of you heading with your up and coming productions – What flavor can we expect?

Owen - Hmmm yes it's hard to not commit to a “genre” as it were. I think, if I'm honest, all we want to do is make music that entertains us and the listener and sparks some emotion. Think light flickering highs and builds with swishy hats and knee weakening low ends - I think that's the direction we are going for. Not really big drops…more tidal wave of emotions hahaha - thats the dream I guess.

Luke - No pressure then…ffs…hahaha.

Apart from an already exciting first half of the year, what else can we expect from Monica?

Owen - Well we have a few dates coming up that we are very excited about. Playing alongside Timo recently was obviously a 'Maassive' thing in its own right, but we also have a couple of Festival bookings which should be a nice experience. Also expect to see us on and off at the Tempest on Brighton seafront as well as a big Berlin-Brighton event in September, which we can't say too much about yet.

Luke - Yes I think we have a fun rest of the year ahead hopefully with the added excitement of our productions making their way to our parties. Looking forward to it.

Anything else you buys would like to add ?

Both - We want to thank Dene Sonessa and Yianni Meli for the support from day one. A massive thank you to everyone at Codesouth for letting us join the family. A huge VIBEY hug to delightful Miss Sami Kubu for giving us a little trust a couple years back. A sleazy pat on the bum to our friend Tom Luka for inviting us into the Missing People collective and of course ein großes sexy Kissey to Markus…

To hear more from Monica check out their Berlin Mixtape Episode 020 here.

Also see Monica this Friday warming up for Timo Maas - Get your tickets here.

#berlinmixtapes #monica #interview #residents #deephouse #house #techno

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