All posts by Georgia

Tunes and Trends

Labels to Watch: Craigie Knowes

I discovered the Glasgow label Craigie Knowes via ‘Les Yeux Orange’ a few months ago now and they have quickly become the gift that just keeps on giving.

The first track I heard was Voiron – Vironizer and was instantly hooked on the rave, acid and hardcore hybrid. This tune is one you can play even in a heavier club setting but it still has that emotional element to it so there is no divide in the feelings felt from club listening to headphone listening. Listen to the EP below.

 

 

After scrolling through their social media for a while I discovered DJ Overdose, another producer doing special things to my ears. His Mindstorms EP consists of four upbeat and emotional electro tracks perfect easy listening for any situation. Check it out below.

 

It seems Craigie Knowes really do know their tunes and I’m looking forward to future releases, the future is nigh for this label, enjoy it before it’s cool.

Why do some tunes bring back such vivid memories?

I’ve just managed to pull my shit back together.

I managed to recover the tune and all the music that I found throughout the summer before my laptop broke and I stupidly didn’t backup the majority of my music.

95 tunes that I downloaded to play out over the summer… I forgot about some of them and now my emotions are running high, it’s pretty amazing how music can move you in different ways. I’m pretty positive I could never get this same emotion from death metal or opera but that’s my personal preference and I’m sure intense emotions have been felt by different people over every genre out there.

Suddenly, there it was… Long gone by Al Zanders. I don’t know what it is about this song considering the first 2/3 minutes are actually pretty boring. It’s just a certain memory I have listening to it.

It was around 9am at Love International, a few people left dancing, the sun beaming on my face… I was actually feeling pretty weird and emotional at the time but anyways I was DJ’ing but I really wasn’t feeling it, then I played this by accident, I was feeling shady about it because like I said the start of it is relatively boring.

One of my friends was running round in a technicolor dream coat and an Irish woman I really wish I’d stayed friends with was sticking post it notes on her head… good times.

I don’t even remember when I downloaded it… but it worked and the tune picked up and the sun was out and everyone around me was dancing and I felt amazing and I’d forgotten anything bad that had happened in the world.

Over three months have gone by now and I have listened to so much music since that I’d completely forgotten about it, I heard it earlier in one of my recovered files and it took me back to that exact moment… I had never really thought about that morning before, but I just started crying. It was so weird. What a feeling?

As it turns out there has been A LOT of research done on the topic.

What amazed me the most was a study done by Baird & Sampson on people who had suffered traumatic brain injuries and as a result had suffered from memory loss.

They played popular number one hits to patients and amazingly patients were able to recite a certain time period in their lives that they weren’t able to remember before. Not necessarily the time that it was number one but a time period that the song reminded them of.

I’m not a neuroscience expert so I’m not sure exactly what this means but I do think its amazing how certain memories can be pulled out of the back of your brain down to a certain melody.

So in some way I’m recovering files from the depths of my mind as well as inside my computer.

Can someone get an external hard drive for my head?

I wonder which other tunes bring out super strong memories to different people?

 

 

 

Book Your Flight and Leave: Why You Won’t Regret Travelling

Here’s the biggest cliche ever, but it’s true.

I have learnt more in seven months travelling than I have in my entire life. I have learnt about different cultures, languages, perspectives and had the realisation that all the first world problems that I was bothered about before don’t mean a single thing. When I was living in Manchester I had it pretty good but I was in this bubble that no one wants to admit they are a part of – it’s not a bad thing but I just don’t want to be a part of it anymore.

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Creativity

I have always been a highly creative person but at home I was working 40 hour weeks and was stuck in a rut where I told myself that I had no time to work on the things I was passionate about. It’s been a real eye opener for me and during my time away I have learnt how to make money online by picking up freelance writing jobs, started a degree and got involved with various projects in which I have made a difference to other peoples lives rather than working 40 hours for some rich people that don’t care if you’re dead or alive.

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It’s easier than you think

Planning a basic  holiday to an unknown place can be a stressful experience. For example, you and a few  friends want to get away for a long weekend… there is usually a small hassle over who gets paid when, who book the flights, what to visit when you’re there and basically just making the most of your time.

The benefits of long term travel is that you book your flight and the rest comes together on its own. You don’t need to rush into the details and can let everything flow together nicely. It seems awful to me that some people will never experience some of the things I have and in this day and age there are plenty of ways to travel for little to nothing. If I can do it then anyone can!

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Perspective

The way I used to see the word is much different than how I do now. I used to see life so black and white. I feel like a much more open person, I used to think too much about everything  so would rarely step out of my comfort zone and had so many misconceptions about the world. Meeting new people the same age as me from other countries has made me realise how lucky and different we all are! This is something I can’t explain but you must find out for yourself.

You soon realise that the stereotypes we are so accustomed to from the media and films are not even close to being true.

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Accomplishment and Improvising

Every day is different and you can never be certain how your day will go. Sometimes you will find places you have never even heard of but are amazing. Some days you will find out the bus stopped running at 5pm and you have no 4g to find out how or the route home… but it always works out! Other days you will try a new food that you’ve never heard of. It might not always be perfect but it proves you can do most things without relying on all the luxuries that we are used to I love it because it’s new, different and exciting.

 

Most people dream of travelling so what is stopping you?

Book a flight and make it work! You can make this a reality.

 

 

 

 

Things To Consider When Backpacking Around Europe

There are an unbelievable amount of countries in Europe to visit and with the current freedom to travel to them all with no visa (I’m British) I can’t picture a better time to go to see it all!

Don’t plan too far ahead

Going to any country without a plan may seem intimidating at first but it is the best way to travel. It’s easy for anyone to go online and pick out the most popular places to go to but then you risk falling into tourist traps, how can your trip be special if you just do the same as everyone else? Don’t get me wrong, the main attractions of places are popular for a reason but be prepared to step out of your comfort zone if you want to experience something different! I planned to stay in Montenegro for 2 weeks but ended up staying for a month because we heard about cool places to go after speaking to locals, friends and realising there is so much to see and do that isn’t always highly rated online.

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You will discover places you never knew existed

Before I took this trip I never realised how big the world is, I always knew it was big but when you travel and realise you only have a certain amount of time to see things it becomes over whelming! Sure, you will have heard of the Eiffel Tower and other famous monuments, but for me it has been all about finding amazing places that no one else I know has been to…  learning about other ways of life that you haven’t heard about in the media. It’s very hard to explain what I mean but everyone everywhere is so similar, we are all human. We just accept different ways of life because that’s what we are born into so we never question anything despite the possibilities being endless.

Flixbus 

If you are trying to budget, Flixbus is the cheapest way to travel around. I bought a pass for 99 euros and that gives you 5 trips pretty much anywhere in Europe over a period of three months. Some journeys can be over 10 hours but you get toilets, wifi, plug sockets and the occasional favourable view.

Language

As a native English speaker I have been brought up with this ignorant mind-set that everyone speaks English- they don’t. When visiting new countries learn basic words such as ‘Hello’ ‘Thank you’ and ‘toilet’ it makes life easier and shows respect to locals who then may try and interact with you (unless they’re moody.) Download Duolingo to learn the basics! It’s also good to learn ‘sorry’ if you’re always bumping into people and clumsy like me or ‘wine’ because sometimes you can’t find it on the menu.

Visit off season

Visiting well-known hotspots in summer can be exhausting! Queues can be ridiculous and if its summer holidays there may be kids everywhere. I visited a Greek island out of season and it was amazing, super chilled and quiet. Unless you are after a super busy, more expensive trip then definitely check out quieter times, you are much less likely to get ripped off.

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Travel to Countries that use their own currency

Usually very Cheap!

Go to remote places

If you are a backpacker then you know that flashy stuff, paying for tours and spending 50 euros on a meal is simply not an option (I honestly can’t believe I ever bought into that stuff!) Get a random train somewhere slightly out of the city – or walk! And you will find cheaper places, REAL places, bustling with life and often much cheaper prices. For example, in Germany just outside of Berlin there is Potsdam or in Italy next to Florence there is Lucca. So many nice and underrated places out there… go and find them! I trust that you travel to learn about new places and not listen to anything the crappy rip off tours tell you. TOURIST TRAP ALERT!

Surviving camping at your first festival in Croatia

It’s almost the most beautiful time of the year… festival season! If you are jetting off to a festival in Croatia this year you are probably in two minds about whether to get an apartment or camp… camp camp camp! I cannot advise it enough, if you don’t camp you end up missing over half of the festival. And who wants to miss out? Yes in an apartment you get 8 hours sleep a night and a comfy bed but what’s the point of that? It’s a festival!

 

Camping is the ultimate way to immerse yourself in the full vibe of the festival. You’re constantly meeting new people, making new friends and always having fun, plus you don’t have the dreaded walk or taxi ride home.

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Camping Essential Items

Solar Charger or Portable Charger 

At most festivals there is a fee to charge your phone and then you have to leave it there for hours and then go back and collect it. The best thing to do is get a solar charger, it’s usually scorching all day you can leave it charging and then use that to charge your portable charger. For free!

Refillable water bottle

It’s essential to keep hydrated but there’s nothing more annoying than paying £1.50 every time you need a drink. If you get a proper plastic bottle you know its yours and can always stay hydrated.

Ear Plugs

One day or night you will inevitably need to catch up on some sleep. As music is only off for a few hours in the morning you need some earplugs to block out the music and probably your mates for a few hours too.

Portable speaker

Chances are you will be spending lots of your time at the camp site. Having some early morning sunrise tunes are essential for when everyone is chilling out. Also this is good to leave playing in your tent when you are elsewhere, it sounds as if someones in your tent to keep other people out!

Pillowcase

You tried to pack light for festival season but ended up bringing loads of clothes right? Well use this to your advantage! Fill your pillowcase with clothes and you have somewhere comfy to lie down.

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Double use as a mattress – enough said!

Footwear

You need a pair of slip on flip flops for the beach and roaming around the campsite and a pair of old trainers for the arenas. Don’t bother taking any nice footwear with you – you were warned!

Fairy Lights

From camping to glamping! At around 9pm before the music starts again most people drink at their campsite and there is nothing more annoying than not being able to see your drinks, pick up some cheap battery powered fairy lights before hand, this also draws new people to your camp too.

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The best way to stay out of the sun in the morning is to try and camp under a tree but the chances are you will wake up due to your tent becoming a sauna. A not so essential item is a hammock but getting one makes it much easier to sleep throughout the day.

See you in Croatia!

 

 

Insider Tips: Things to do in Skopje

Why visit Skopje, Macedonia?

Skopje is a small city and unlike any other place that I have ever visited. The people are extremely friendly, the cost of living is cheap and it’s almost as if they are living in the past and the future. One minute you can feel as if you are in ancient ruins and the next minute you are walking over a golden bridge surrounded by overly modern towering buildings.

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What to do in Skopje

The main and central part of Skopje is called Macedonia Square, a large open space surrounded with places to eat and drink. It is a bright and cheerful area filled with large statues and fountains – a typical tourist haven. This part of Skopje feels extremely modern but there was the constant tourist vibe as people are continuously hassling you to buy sunglasses, beggars asking for change and people posing in groups with selfie sticks. At night (when it is clear) they set up a telescope in the square so you can look up into the sky and identify stars and planets, I was upset that it was too cloudy whilst I was there but you can message the Facebook page to ask daily when and if they are setting up that evening!

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You can understand why there has been an uproar in the country – the government has spent so much money on huge buildings and statues to make the country more ‘touristy’ but when you’re there you witness a lot of poverty through the residents.

In Skopje the only form of public transport I used was taxis, the average taxi ride is around 100 DNR (about £1.50) and that can get you more or less anywhere.

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From wherever you are in Skopje you can see the famous ‘Millennium Cross’ we ventured up to the top via cable car as it is so high – just remember if you buy a return ticket for the cable car to keep it with you as you will need it to get back down! If it’s a sunny day the ideal thing is to take up a picnic and some beers and enjoy the view. If you are slightly crazy you can also take the 2 hour uphill trek to the top to see the cross, the cross itself is bigger than expected but the views of Macedonia and Albania were breathtaking.

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Food and Drink

If you want to buy alcohol from the shop in Skopje you should try their local wine which costs around 100 DNR and is delicious, just be warned you cannot buy alcohol in shops after 7pm.

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We visited the Old Bazaar which is as if you have stepped into the past and entered Turkey, the smell of shisha and people sat around drinking Turkish tea is a very relaxed vibe. At the top of Old Bazaar is Old Town Brewery, there was a live band on in the day and we drank locally brewed IPA and lemon and ginger beers. This is supposed to be a tourist hot spot but we weren’t huge fans of the beer as we all got a headache after drinking it… slightly overrated in my opinion. However we did eat some really nice food there including the ‘cheese bowl’ which was just a bowl of 4 different melted cheeses… heaven.

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Other places I’d recommend going to is Radio Bar for drinks as they had good electronic music on in the evening and also Brooklynski Jazz Bistro, for amazing salads, good customer service and live jazz 7 days a week. Coffee Factory for a delicious iced coffee and Sushi co for food!

Krampnitz

The surrounding areas of Berlin are full of hidden history mainly from WW2 unexplored by the average tourist.Being me, I discovered that an old military complex used during WW2 was still in tact so I sneaked in to get some photos, it’s so in tact that they shot a few scenes from Inglorious Basterds here. This place is amazing. Unfortunately we got kicked out by an annoyed security guard before we could explore the whole place but next time I’m in Berlin I’ll be going back.

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The complex was used by the Germans between 1938 and they left in 1945. The Russian Soviets took over a day later and stayed until 1992, where they left behind 5o buildings, most of which remain abandoned today. Even seeing the place completely abandoned and derelict we could tell that this had been a serious place that meant business. I doubt the Nazis or the Russians ever liked unwanted guests here, hopefully none of them could see us…

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Russian newspapers remain in good condition, over 40 years later. I began to wonder what the lifestyle and day to day lives were like of the soldiers that lived here… During the war were they just asked to go and fight in Berlin? Brainwashed by propaganda, following their leader? Or did the people here really know what was going on? Curious of things I will never know for sure I could really feel a strange presence, mysteries of the past waiting to be discovered.

For about an hour we assured ourselves that we were the only ones here… our footprints brand new on a blanket of snow, going down into the basement into the darkness in the first building I couldn’t help but feel that we were not alone.

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Upstairs in one of the bigger buildings we found a small door inside a room, which lead upstairs to an attic that possibly hadn’t had any one else inside it until 1992. Unfortunately the floor had almost completely crumbled so I didn’t go much further due to it seeming so unsafe. Overall this place is a must see for anyone interested in seeing authentic things from the war, just be wary of security and careful of some of the rotting floorboards.

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