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070 VENUE


Monte Carlo Beach Club


AN EM-TEC TONIC Dubai, UAE EUROPE/MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA


While words may disappear in the breeze, and most ideas dissipate over days, philosophies can transcend time, geography and notion. Custodians come in all shapes and sizes, but, in terms of belief and understanding, the good ones don’t fall far from the fruit tree. In Em-Tec, Funktion One has found itself a believer. The Dubai- based integrator has just completed a feverishly busy summer, and it seems its reputation is snowballing with each project that comes online. Em-Tec is led by Alex Bracken and Andy Williams. Alex has been established in Dubai for almost a decade, running several entertainment-related businesses, whereas Andy is a much more recent addition to the 200,000-strong, ex-pat population, arriving three years ago. He brought with him almost 20 years of music production experience, gained with house legends K-Klass, a group he formed in the late 1980s that enjoyed underground acclaim and commercial success. They hail from the same hometown. “We’re from Wrexham. When Andy was in K-Klass, being a local Wrexham lad - supporting your hometown and its faces - I would end up on the guest list. We were mutual friends with someone who ran the Cotton Club in Wrexham, which was the first house club in North Wales,” reveals Alex. Fast-forward two decades, and the pair are firm friends. Each has particular skills that merge into a formidable partnership - Alex’s business-sense and knowledge of the local market and Andy’s ear and dedication to his art. “Andy’s got the best ears. He truly understands the stuff that I’m okay at,” explains Alex.


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Both are disciples of the Tony Andrews school of audio appreciation. More than that, they are fans of Funktion One. Alex continues: “We work with the best, really. We didn’t want to get involved and become a normal distributor with five or six different manufacturers, and just selling. It comes from a passion because we’re both from that background. There’s stuff we’ve said ‘no’ to, it’s not about the money. It’s about whether people are really interested in doing it right. If we get that quality of people, then we move forward with it.” For Em-Tec, ‘doing it right’ means supplying the right products, the correct quantities, meaningful technical support and a responsive after sales service. A certain level of education is involved too. Andy and Alex have picked up the Tony Andrews-endorsed ‘No MP3s!’ banner, and they’re flying it with vigour. “The philosophy of Funktion One is that they want to work with someone who knows what they are doing, they don’t just want an outlet for selling boxes. And that’s why they’ve got a good reputation,” says Alex. The relationship that Em-Tec has with the Funktion One HQ in the UK has been vital to the company’s development. Andy regularly talks to Tony, John Newsham and the rest of the technical team to discuss the specifications for current projects and bids. The strength of this relationship was especially valuable in the lead up to, and during Ramadan (1 August - 31 August 2011), when the integration specialists completed six venues - Jules Bar, Warehouse, One Up, Horizon, Monte Carlo Beach Club, and Alex’s own venture, The Stables. Over two days, we visit each of them, as well as 360° Bar,


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