A Musical Project In Another European Country


I’m gonna try to make it short but I’d also like to explain it clearly.

I’m studying sound engineering in France with some friends, and we want to leave the country for the next year and mount a musical project, renting a big house in which we’ll live, and which will also be our place to work.

Basically, the idea is :

  • To make music : forming one or two bands (or playing solo) and playing live. That would also allow us to meet people who are involved in the city musical activity.

  • To host some bands / artists for their repetitions.

  • To record and mix some music (we’ll put all our personal equipment together, and that already makes a kind of nice set for starting). Of course we’ll record our music, but we also want to record some local bands whose music will suit our tastes.

The aim is to eventually turn into a label, proposing for the bands or artists a full follow up for their projects, from the firsts repetitions to the release.

We know this is a big and adventurous project but we’re talking about it since several months and we’re now beginning to make some meetings to talk about it more seriously. We still have to find out the better way to handle the project legally, and actually we still have to find out a lot of things, but the fact is we all have decided to do it (on January 2012 I think).

So, finally, here is my questions : do some of you have suggestions about the place we could go ? Right now we’re thinking about Leipzig, Germany, because we heard some cool stuff about this city, but we’re not actually set on that place and are looking for some other places to compare with.

The two main criteria, for the city / country are :

  • The general cultural background of the place (the place has to be very active on that side, and the politic of the country has to be favourable and helpful towards culture in general)
  • The price of life in general. The less it’s expensive, the more we’ll be able to initiate the project with the money we’ll earn before to leave France.

We’d also like to consider some countries from the centre of Europe but we don’t know much about them. Czech Republic for example but we lack of information.

Sooooo, if you have any suggestion, think a place would be good for our project, please tell me, I’d be glad to discuss it with you. The reason I post it here is that internet is international and I think it could be interesting to have some points from different countries.

Thank you if you read that post,
Antape / Lucas

In wich school are you dear french collegue ?
I have almost the same project in my head :) Germany seems great.

Some suggestions…

Gothenburg (Goteborg), Sweden - not the cheapest, but lively music scene
Berlin, Germany - ridiculously cheap, full of artists and musicians. perhaps not as pretty as Leipzig, but still very much worth a look. Lou Reed, David Bowie, and U2 did some of their best work here,
Brussels, Belgium - has a reputation for being ugly, bureaucratic, and boring. But it reminds me of Washington, DC in the 1990s - underneath the government facade is a bustle of creative activity
Prague, Czech Republic - overflowing with expat musicians, still pretty cheap despite rising prices in recent years

And a few non-Europe suggestions. Expand your horizons? :wink:
Austin, Texas, USA - not Europe, but cheap, full of musicians, great culture
Havana, Cuba - ridiculously cheap, full of life
Melbourne, Australia - Sydney has the better beaches, Melbourne has the better culture

For me, my next trip is to South America. Hopefully I will find there some additions to this list.

No questions, I’d go to the Netherlands. I don’t know, it’s just in the air, I get inspired there instantly!
If you need a cheaper stay, I’d pick Rotterdam. Though, i’m not well informed on the prices there.
It’ also pretty much depends on your genre! Germany is a good place for hard rock, techno, gothic, industrial, electronic; Netherlands, again, is the land of dance & electronic (AFAIK).
My homeland: Russia? Bad idea. Canada? Haven’t been there in ages, but the online DJ community seems friendly to me there.

Hey Antape,

seeing that you have Leipzig on your list, i’m gonna give you some of the details you asked for about this beautiful city. I live here since a couple of years and atm i couldn’t think of moving somewhere else again. this city has a such a relaxed vibe about it, i havn’t experienced that in any other german city. Hamburg maybe but that’s super expensive. Also the good parts of Berlin are far from being ridiculously cheap these days - lot’s of yuppies driving the prices upwards…

Leipzig is relatively cheap for living - that goes for renting a flat/house, getting food and going out. Actually there’s a thing that might be interesting for your project - it’s called “Wächter-Häuser” - Watch Houses (Infos here…). There are lots of old rundown houses all across the city that you can live in and do projects for free. it’s because the owners fear these houses degrade even more, are burnt by idiots, used for criminal activities and so on. so they let you stay for free and you just have to look for the house - a bit like legal squatting. might be an option for you and your friends.

as far as the cultural background goes, there’s all kind of shit going on around here. lots of music of course, even for rather obscure sub-scenes you get a healthy number of people interested. also lots of leftfield cinemas and stuff.

one nice thing is that, although there’s so much happening, it pretty much focuses on just a couple of areas in the city. so all is within cycling distance which is a bonus.

can’t really tell you much about how helpful politics will be, but considering there are so many spots of (sub)culture i doubt you get thrown many spanners in your works.

as for the project you want to start, playing gigs, setting up a venue and a label should be easy. as for recording/mixing other people’s music, there are already a couple of semi-pro (and pro) studios around the city. so if you plan to make a living from that, that might be problematic. but in combination with the other aspects of your project you’ll get a lot of contacts so this might work as well after some time.

i hope i could help you somewhat. if you have any specific questions feel free to get in touch.


@ üav

I’m about to finish the Master pro Image et Son à Brest, which takes place in the science faculty but it works more like a school (quite a lot of equipment which we can use whenever we want, night included).

And you, are you studying too or something ?

concerning our project, I wonder if you mean that you’re interested to join us but for the moment eight of us want to record and mix already, and this won’t really be possible (we have to discuss that and find out a solution), so I’m sorry but we can’t plan to take one more musician / sound engineer right now.

Anyway if you have a similar project for the next year don’t hesitate to take some news later, sharing some informations could be nice.

@ Mixtapes For Girls & Irthosis

Thanks for your suggestions. Places like Prague or Brussels could be good too and we should dig it and find some information.

…but, the more we search and the more Leipzig seems to be the place we’ll go to.

@ Hypnoid

I didn’t especially expect to have a reply from a Leipziger himself and am very pleased to do so. The first thing we’ve heard about Leipzig is that Wächter-Häuser thing. That’s how we got interested in that city and then what people told us somewhat tallies with what you just wrote.

I’ll keep in mind what you think about the recording / mixing part of the project, and will try to get some more information about already existing studios. If you have some links that you think could be useful for us, please just let us know !

Also that’s a good thing that you respond, I mean as an electronic musician, because I’m curious to know how that scene is going on in Leipzig ?

I may PM you next if I have some other questions !

Thanks all for your reply