Elektronika is a research project that aims to develop a historiography of electronic music in Malta. This project was developed from ongoing collaboration between the M3P Foundation and Electronic Music Malta.
The project was announced on Wednesday 21 October 2020 during Circuits at Spazju Kreattiv. The launch event featured a presentation by Michael Bugeja with a running commentary by Toni Sant, moderated by Edwin Balzan.
Below is a schedule of events linked to the data gathering and processing phases of the project, based primarily on archival research, third party collections, interviews and oral history sessions with key people linked to the electronic music scene in Malta. A good amount of related memorabilia, consisting mostly of flyers and some analogue recordings, has also been gathered. These are currently being evaluated in preparation for digitization and eventual cataloguing within this repository; both these processes fall within the second phase of the project. With reference to the first phase results, there is still a long way to go in terms of obtaining more material and information, particularly that linked to the late 1970s/early 1980s. This is due to the fact that much of this material is to be found in private and/or personal collections, possibly owned by people who are not yet aware of this project's aspirations nor its communal collaborative approach. we have also taken into consideration the significant amount of interest shown by attendees at the oral history sessions, but a more effective mechanism is still being discussed in order to maintain that enthusiasm and convert it into a higher level of actual engagement and participation.
Further down, the working lists of electronic bands and artists from Malta or with a Maltese connection, Maltese record labels, key people and venues have been updated to include data gathered from the events held to date. These lists will continue to be updated and expanded by inviting contributions and suggestions from anyone in possession of information, recordings, newspaper and magazine cuttings, visuals, flyers, posters, etc and/or any other object that can help this project reach its goal.
Saturday 03 February 2021 - Official Elektronika Project Launch
Before Elektronika was formally launched, a visual identity needed to be established, and this was designed by Enrique’ Tabone. This consists of a design which incorporates the name itself and which is also synonymous with a synthesizer knob which is an integral part of the core of electronic music production and sound design.
The project was launched in a live streamed public event held at Spazju Kreattiv. During this event, Michael Bugeja, Dr Toni Sant and Edwin Balzan outlined the aims of the project and also made a call for assistance from the electronic music community. At this stage, this project was already hosted in a webpage as part of the m3p.com.mt website.
As part of this launch, Michael Bugeja interviewed the experimental music artist Kurt Buttigieg about his participation to this project and the electronic music producer, Sonitus Eco who also performed a dj set (consisting entirely of own composed material) after the presentation.
- MaltArti Feature on Elektronika
- Event Page (Facebook)
- Project Launch Presentation (Youtube)
- Sonitus Eco DJ Set (Youtube)
Thursday 22 July 2021 - The Evolution of the Electronic Dance Music Culture in Malta: Session 1 - Evolution (The DJ Era)
This session consisted of an interview with four of Malta’s pioneering DJs in the electronic music scene: Coco Da House Bitch, David Dee, Brian James and Owen Jay. The session was followed by a 1 hour dj set from ‘Tres Moody’ which is a project consisting of David Dee, Brian James and Owen Jay.
Thursday 12 August 2021 - The Evolution of the Electronic Dance Music Culture in Malta: Session 2 - Exploration (Productions)
This session focused on productions featuring DJs, producers, duos, bands and projects. During this session, Michael Bugeja interviewed two of Malta’s pioneering duo/producers in the electronic music scene: Duo Blank and Spooky Monkey. The session was followed by a 1 hour performance from Duo Blank who played a hybrid DJ/live set of original productions culled from a catalogue spanning 25 years.
Thursday 23 September 2021 - The Evolution of the Electronic Dance Music Culture in Malta: Session 3 - Promotion (Radio presence, event promotion & organization)
This session focused on the promotion of homegrown events which gradually took on an international aspect, radio presence and its impact. During this session, Michael Bugeja interviewed three DJs who were active as performers as well as events promoters and organizers, and radio show hosts. All three guests, namely Adrian V, Bryan S and Junior B, were prominent in the electronic music scene from the 1990s onwards. The session was followed by a DJ set from Junior B.
Saturday 23 October 2021 - Maltese Electronic Music in the Eighties: Session held as part of Circuits 2021 Festival Weekend
In the fourth and final oral history session, Michael Bugeja interviewed members from three groups that were formed and were majorly active in the 1980s, namely Art in Glass represented by Simon Psaila, Structure, represented by Pierre Caruana, and X-Tend, represented by three of the band's founding members, Charles Dalli, Eric Calleja and Godwin Debono. Of these three bands, only X-Tend are still active.
Friday 4 March 2022 - Conclusion of the First Phase
The results of the first research phase of Elektronika were presented by Mike Bugeja and Dr Toni Sant from the M3P Foundation. During this event, Salvatore Muscat, also known as Sequenchill was interviewed briefly by Mike Bugeja, following which he performed a one hour dj set.
List of Maltese Electronic Bands and Artists
|Band or Artist||Years active||Official Releases|
|Acidulant||2008 - to date||Y|
|Art in Glass||1984 - 1987||Y|
|Ayn Il Widen||2019 - to date||Y|
|Bark Bark Disco||2013 - to date||Y|
|Bound by Sound||1997 - 1999||N|
|Brian James||1990 - to date||Y|
|Brian Vassallo||1998 - to date||Y|
|Capitol K||1999 - to date||Y|
|Depth||2007 - to date||Y|
|DeeMagic||1995 - 1996||Y|
|Dolls for Idols||2009 - 2013||Y|
|Duo Blank||1998 - to date||Y|
|Ed Blank||1998 - to date||Y|
|Electronic Travellers||2013 - 2017||Y|
|Frank Blank||1998 - to date||Y|
|JOON||2020 - to date||Y|
|Klasterfijld||2013 - to date||Y|
|KNTRL||2014 - to date||Y|
|Koncept M||1998 - to date|
|Kurt Buttigieg||2000 - to date||Y|
|Lords of Bass|
|Malt.Tabulated Sounds||2005 - to date||Y|
|May We Ask You All For Silence||2008 - to date||Y|
|Mood Project||1995 - 1996||N|
|Odyssey Music||2017 - to date|
|Owen Jay||1998 - to date||Y|
|Parallaks||2017 - to date||Y|
|Plato's Dream Machine||2009 - 2018||Y|
|Progeny||1989 - 1990||N|
|Q Factory Incorporated||1991 - 1993||Y|
|RAIM||2014 - to date||Y|
|Ray Buttigieg||1974 - to date||Y|
|Rhythm Masters||1993 - to date||Y|
|Semitic Groove Foundation||1996 - to date||Y|
|Sir Round||2004 - 2006||Y|
|Sinister Cyborgs||1998 - 1999||Y|
|Sonitus Eco||2011 - to date||Y|
|Sound Synthesis||2008 - to date||Y|
|South Central||2005 - 2016||Y|
|Splitting Voices||1985 - 1987||N|
|Stimulus Timbre||2012 - to date||Y|
|Subverts||1984 - 1988||N|
|Tenishia||2004 - to date||Y|
|The Alter||1996 - 1999||N|
|The Joy Circuit||1986 - 1988||N|
|Tim Mason||2011 - to date||Y|
|Twilight Moods (Niki Falzon)||Y|
|U-Bahn||2000 - 2010||Y|
|Web||1994 - 1996||Y|
|Wh0||2017 - to date||Y|
|X-Tend||1984 - to date||Y|
|YEWS||2011 - 2020||Y|
List of Maltese record labels
|Name of Label||Years active||Comments|
|Complex Holiday||2020 - to date|
|Complex Sound Sagacity|
|Glass Republic||2000 - 2001|
|Noise Alliance||1999 - 2013|
|Pinkpube||2005 - 2011|
|Sonic Mecca||1998 -|
List of key people
List of venues
|Name of Venue||Locality||Years Venue Open||Comments|
|Liquid||San Gwann||1999 - today|
|Poxx Bar||St Julian's|
|Pvshka||St Paul's Bay|
|Uno Village / Numero Uno||Ta' Qali|
- Circuits Festival: A melting pot of music, art and history - Times of Malta, 19 October 2021