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Steppin' Into Lago Lago: Sunday

Updated: Jun 3

It’s an exciting year for the Steppin’ family. After our hosting at Motel Mozaïque, another festival collaboration is coming up. On the 28th, 29th and 30th of June, we are hosting a stage at Lago Lago! The festival takes place in the middle of nature park Stroombroek and is centered around an idyllic lake surrounded by a beach and a forest, perfect for those warm summer days. At Lago Lago, we will celebrate the summer and bring you the freshest sounds. Amongst the packed line-up, with artists like Antal, CARISTA, KC The Funkaholic, SIEM, Coloray, David Vunk, Elias Mazian, Suze Ijo, Ineffect, Weval and many more, you can find a handful of artists from the Steppin’ family, who we will introduce to you in this three-part series. After introducing you to the artists of the Friday (Lucas Benjamin B2B Kay Tee, LEnTO, Marcos Tocae, Sons of Jumira and Razzmic) and Saturday (HEAZ, Ava Lavá, Pelanoir, Beau Zwart & Sykes and Kofi the Unknown) we have arrived at the final day of what will be our adventure at Lago Lago.



Jef Hecker

A set by Maastricht-based heavy vinyl collector (see proof of this on his Instagram, it’s glorious) and DJ Jef Hecker means being taken through a range of emotions: Love, inspiration, joy, warmth, gratitude, passion, optimism, admiration, motivation and so on. There’s no room for negativity. His message is: “Jam with peace, hope and security. It's a reference to one of my all-time favourite gospel albums produced by Joe Mitchell.”


Jef tells us: "I've been DJing for about 15 years and am currently based in Maastricht. Before this, I spent some time in Brussels where I worked at Crevette Records. My passion for music ignited when I was just 7 years old, as a passenger in my mother’s car while Miles Davis' 'Kind of Blue' played. This album had a profound impact on me, captivating me for days on end. Over time, I began seeking out similar elements in various kinds of music. I don't restrict myself to specific genres; I connect with music that resonates with me. This philosophy shapes my record collection, which is curated not just for collecting, but for listening and sharing with fellow music lovers. I believe this sets me apart from many collectors. If a record has been sitting on my shelf for too long without being played, I pass it on to someone else who might draw new energy from it."


Pictures by @derdeoog


"Reflecting on the music I play, drums often take a central role, shaping the foundation of my sets. The majority of the music I play is rooted in black music traditions, which I deeply respect. As a DJ, I am conscious of the cultural heritage and significance of the music I share. It’s my duty to handle this music with the utmost respect and integrity. My goal is to bridge cultures through the language of music, offering more than just a celebration of sound but also an acknowledgment of the history and the people behind the music."



Johnny Biner

With RADIOHOP member Johnny Biners's newest solo project, he channels his emotions through the vessel of his beloved guitar, crafting abstract yet uplifting melodies with a spiritual mission. His music is a fusion, blending elements of Herbie Hancock's jazz-funk, old-school blues guitar solos reminiscent of B.B. King, Tribe Called Quest-inspired beats and Brazilian harmonies echoing Toninho Horta and Ivan Lins. Pictures by Tijmen de Nooy


Last year, in an interview with Steppin' Johnny told us some more about this new project. "I would describe my music as neo soul jazz, because there's strong influences from, neo soul, jazz, and also soul music, soulful jazz, which I'm all really into. And yeah, we're trying to have a jazzy approach, I would say, on more modern music. Groove-based music. It's also based on Afro American culture, mainly. That's what we love to do, and it's fun to play."


After finishing his bachelor's at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, Johnny started working on his first album. "This is my first project where I've put all of my influences, all of my experiences, and everything. For me, it feels like starting out as an artist myself, and to not just play guitar and also have an album, a concept, and a story, so to say." The album, A Way Out, is a commentary on how society forces us to work all the time, which is rooted down in capitalism. For Johnny, music is his 'way out', his escape, a way to find freedom, happiness and luck. With this project, he aims to encourage other people to "find freedom in art" too.



Ditte

Ditte’s musical journey started at the tender age of 10 when she was gifted a drum kit. Her penchant for percussion and a collector’s ear for global sounds eventually brought her to the world of DJing.


Ditte’s sound fuses funk, house, jazz, and broken beat, to ignite the dance floor with endless groove and energy. The motto? Talk no more, hit the floor!










RADIOHOP

Exploring the merge between grooves and jazz, RADIOHOP is an Amsterdam-based fusion/hip-hop group with members (there he is again!) Johnny Biner (Guitar), Joshua Lutz (Keys), Joel F Svedberg (Bass) and Euan Jenkins (Drums). They look to push and explore new sonic areas, whilst maintaining the legacy and feel of the greats, gaining inspiration across

the spectrum from Herbie Hancock to Kaidi Tatham to Azymuth. The group are currently touring for the release of their debut solo album titled ‘All We Do’.



Back in November, we spoke to RADIOHOP about what they stand for as a band and as individual musicians (see here). About RADIOHOP they said: "We stand for exploring different sounds and personal connections through our music. We always look to push the quality of both our live and recorded songs, finding the right blend of emotions and musical complexity that an audience can relate to and enjoy listening to. Whilst performing, we hope to take you on a journey with our sound and share with you our personalities and friendship."



Mo Wrights & Lucas Benjamin

We end the festival with the two founders of Steppin' Into Tomorrow: Mo Wrights & Lucas Benjamin (who we introduced in part one of this series).


Picture by Tijmen de Nooy

Jazz cat, House Head and music lover Mo Wrights channels the soul in his veins through narrative-driven mixes and productions blending the young with the old, the clean with the dirty and affixing the riddim with the radiance of balmy jazz chords.


Pictures by James Gallagher


The deep appreciation for and knowledge of music (culture) shines through all the different ventures of the producer, DJ, curator and co-founder of Steppin’ Into Tomorrow. He centralises story and narrative; genres are just chapters which, when taken together, are greater than the sum of their parts. Don’t act surprised if the energy on a dancefloor pulsates the same rhythm while the rhythm of the record traverses from House gems to Broken Beat, from Rap to Jazz-Funk, Punjabi Garage or Chutney-Soca and from Future Beats to Jazz Rave.


Mo seeks connections through music. Without any family or likeminds guiding his taste, he

was destined to explore by himself. Early piano lessons planted the seed in him to branch

out and grow, connecting him to Acid Jazz and Hip-Hop. Later, he matured in the clubs of

Amsterdam and so House music is the focal point of Mo’s musical landscape. Not the genre,

but as a timeless spirit accompanying him in the studio, in the booths of Amsterdam clubs,

and when he’s on the dance floor himself.



 

Steppin' Into Tomorrow stands with artists & labels and encourages listeners to support them by buying their music directly from Bandcamp. If you've enjoyed this article, please consider subscribing to our monthly newsletter to stay in the loop.

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