Refuge Worldwide is a community radio station based in Berlin, working in solidarity with grassroots and non-profit organisations.
To mark the hugely significant May Day protests in Berlin this year, 3’Hi have come together with the fast-growing broadcast platform Refuge Worldwide to host a day of programming in support of Kreuzberger Himmel, a Berlin-based charity that employs refugees to produce quality meals for the Berlin homeless community.
To contribute to such a great cause, EDWIN have created a limited edition T-Shirt adorned with the illustrations of the amazing artists taking part in the day’s broadcast including Byrell the Great, Bianca Oblivion, Bok Bok, :3ION (LIVE), Eyrah, Dr. Gabber, Kush Jones, Bae Bae, Neana, Cities Aviv (LIVE), Omaar, Chippy Nonstop and DJ Polo all scribbled by the talented Sean Ryan aka 'Badly Drawn DJ’s'.
To get your hands on one of these Tees, you can register your interest by emailing Refuge Worldwide with 50% of all sales going to The Kreuzberger Himmel project.
Before the May Day Takeover, Leila Roble took the chance to catch up with George Patrick (founder of Refuge) to find out a bit more about the project and the significance of International Workers Day as well as being introduced to :3ION, Bok Bok and Eyrah, three of the artists involved in the live event.
Q. What motivated you to start Refuge and why did you decide to launch the Refuge Worldwide in 2021
A. We originally started the project as a series of soli-parties, fundraising for refugee shelters in Berlin. A year or so after I moved here, the Syrian refugee crisis was peaking and as a club promoter it felt like the easiest way to help was with fundraising. Soon after we were fundraising for various projects across the city, involving various non-profit and grassroots groups working with the homeless, young people and people fleeing domestic violence. Since the first lockdown, our events are obviously cancelled, and this meant more energy was available to put into online work. The radio station idea evolved and eventually, we were able to find enough time and resources to launch in January 2021, creating a platform to amplify the music, people, and issues that we care about.
Q. What’s the significance behind May Day for people who may not be aware of it and why did you decide to air this project on this day?
A. Officially, May Day or May 1st, is International Workers’ Day. More broadly, it is a day of solidarity and unit between many left-wing and socialist groups involving demonstrations, protests, events and festivals. May Day to me is inherently anti-fascist, it is a day to voice concerns about the direction that capitalist interests are taking us, and it is a day to come together under common banners to preserve the rights of workers everywhere.
Our live broadcast is a celebration of music, but in addition, we will have a collaborative t-shirt on sale (designed by Badly Drawn DJs), with proceeds going to Kreuzberger Himmel. Kreuzberger Himmel is a Berlin-based restaurant run by refugees, producing high-quality meals for the Berlin homeless community.
Q. How did this collab with 3’Hi come about?
A. 3’Hi have an excellent roster of artist and share our principles of unity in the community.
Q. Who is :3ION?
A. :3ION is a cyborg hacker renegade extraterrestrial witch kitty that was spawned by the dark web and chose to live in this realm and hide behind a pop star persona.
I'm a human. A self taught singer/songwriter/producer/aspiring 3D artist from Baltimore Maryland.
Q. You have been described as creating “Dystopian / robot type worlds” in your music. What inspires you when you explore these imagined spaces through your music.
A. The Universe inspires me. Earth and everything and everyone that inhabits it. The nuance of the human condition. Naïveté. Metaphysical concepts. Futurism concepts.
Q. How has your artistry been affected by the pandemic?
A. Surprisingly I managed to get a lot of work done during the pandemic. I made so many songs as well as some music videos. Zoom call performances replaced actual face to face interactions with humans which kinda sucked but overall things have been pretty productive.
Q. Was teaching yourself how to write and produce something that came about quite naturally for you or was it a long process ?
A. The writing aspect was a more natural process. I started with angsty poetry when I was 12 then moved onto songwriting shortly after. It took a few years to understand how chords work and should progress. I always wanted to experiment with different percussive ideas so that evolved a lot over time.. still evolving.
Q. Any artists our producers out there you'd love to collaborate with?
A. There are so many!
I'm trying to get LSDXOXO to finish something with me! *wink wink*
I just got into Bicep, I like their vibe. I'm a big Kelela fan so I'm trying to manifest a collaboration. Danja Handz, Disclosure, Kaytranada, Preditah I could go on forever!
Q. Why is it so important for artists to contribute towards projects such as this one by 3’Hi and Refuge Worldwide?
A. Music is one of the most powerful forces in this realm. It can be both activism and healing, we have to keep that energy alive and pay homage to the people that paved the way for us today.
Q. AP’s first release was in March 2021, was the idea to create this new record label something you had in mind pre-pandemic or was it brought about by the forced stillness of the lockdowns.
A. Yea it's something I was considering pre-pandemic because I'd been making all this material that felt like it needed a new home outside of my other label Night Slugs. Felt like the new material was starting to tell a new story and I just wanted to separate it out and give it a chance to develop. Originally I was just gonna do this for myself as a side project. However when the pandemic struck I started thinking more along the lines of how to cultivate community. Also, it didn't feel right focusing on club music which is what Night Slugs mostly does. A little prior to that I was already speaking to Nammy Wams about potentially working on something. When he sent me the pack of tunes cooked up during lockdown that eventually became 'Paradise South', all the pieces just fell into place and I started talking to Nammy and Joh000 (AP's art director) about concepts, and it just grew from there.
Q. Who are some of the artists you plan to release on AP Life next?
A. Soo - I'm up next with my new project which I'm doing under the name One Bok. We have more Nammy Wams material lined up too. There are a few other plans as well but I prefer not to talk too much ahead of letting people hear the music - so you'll see basically ;)
Q. You’ll be releasing a new project sometime this year, what should listeners expect and how will it compare to your previous releases?
A. Yep I got a new double EP lined up to drop next on AP Life. It's gonna be out soon! I have been teasing some of the tracks on radio and mixes so some listeners might already be aware of the sound. It's definitely in line with the AP aesthetic - emo, moonlit, grimey, drilly, beats. It's not a total departure from certain other Bok material (such as Silo Pass and my Salvage EP from 2017 for example) but there's a different feel about them. They're more about exploring solitude and pain, more personal in a way that I haven't let myself be before in my production. At 10 tracks it's also my longest release to date.
Q. If you were to be stuck in one era of club music past or present, what would it be?
A. Don't make me do favouritism. I just don't do it. For me, it's always been about multiplicity and how different genres and eras overlap. So part of me wants to say '03-04 grime and the early days of the FWD>> club night. Another part of me wants to say mid-80s House music in Chicago, something I can only imagine and wish I was present for. But really too much nostalgia causes stagnation so while I love those things, it's all about the continued evolution>>>>
Q. Why is it so important for artists to contribute towards projects such as this one by 3’Hi & Refuge Worldwide?
A. The system wants music like all our creative endeavours to be an individualistic place, keeping in line with our wider society. Way too often we go with that flow, because to disrupt that, to cultivate enough hope to try to enact a change, requires real energy, which after trying to make enough money to survive many of us just don't feel we have. So it's genuinely not easy to function in a new way, but collectively as artists, we do have the power to organise, to re-structure how capital flows through our work.
Q. What are some of your favourite cities that you’ve played in and is there a venue or city that you would love to play in the future?
A. For me, Paris is really a city that holds a special energy where going out is an evident piece in the way of life here, and I absolutely love playing here. For the future, Berlin is an obvious number 1 for cities I would love to play but I have also been very drawn to South America, especially Argentina and Chile.
Q. You started your residency at Rinse France last September, how has that been going so far and do you think that your music style has evolved since your first show?
A. My residency has been one of the few things during this long and uncertain period that really kept me going. Both in terms of pushing myself to be inspired and look for inspiration, but also the way in which it has enabled me to really be able to sit back and look at my process, my set of skills and the direction in which the style of music is going. The style of music has definitely evolved, and I thank Rinse France a million times for providing the best platform for exploring new genres, but also giving me the tools to do so in the best environment with people whos knowledge are covering so many different areas of music.
Q. You originally moved to Paris for your bachelor in Fine Art, so as a creative person what was it about DJing that drew you in?
A. I have always been a little geek spending hours on my laptop, in between homework or assessments, digging and digging for music. Before I even understood it was a real thing to be a DJ, I was somehow already hooked on the satisfaction of finding that little gem no one else seems to have found yet. Finding myself many years later with endless storage used up, with music that I had downloaded for the previous 10 years, I realised that learning or attempting to mix them all together was the best way to put all that music to use. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I have made, and I am often encouraging people to start learning djing/mixing even just for what I call "therapeutic purposes" ahaha. It is really true for me, I have always relied on music for whatever is going on my life, and then adding the possibility of putting your music together and telling a story or creating a mood, can really allow you to drop or alleviate whatever was weighing you down before.
Q. If you had to pick one track to play in every set that you did, what would it be?
A. Pheeeeew super hard one, it impossible to pick just one, but the choice would for sure be towards a very rhytmic track. For the moment I would have to say "Alegria- Heavisiteschicht", absolutely love putting this track, trancey but still goes well with almost anything and it is a perfect track to start bringing up the energy with.
Product Photos by @shaunasummers_
Modelled by @isiiiwayne
Produced by @zoeduffy___