Bassline. Syncopation. Funk. Are three word which readily fit the description of Argy & Ernest & Frank’s remix of Alex Niggemann’s exquisite gem from last year. The sparkle of captivating keys remains intact as does the exhilarating sense of melody they provide but it’s the unadulterated brute force supplied by the drums and bass that really drive this. Breathless.
Welcome to Magazine Sixty, Marco Mollo. Let’s start by asking aboutyour tack: Marechiaro which has been included on Alex Niggemann’s AEON 5 Years Compilation (released Dec. 7). Tell us about how your relationship with the label was first established and how you got this particular track signed to the compilation?
In 2016 we sent some demos to Alex and after few months they were released on Soulfooled, since then our collaboration became more frequent and we noticed that our projects were matching quite wellwith Alex musical ideas and his label Aeon. I met Alex for the first time 2 years ago in London, we really have a good friendship now which goes beyond music. It’s always fun whenever I’m with him and the rest of the Aeon team. I was really happy when Alex and Simone (Speaking Minds) asked me to participate with a track to this celebrative compilation and this is when I decided to start working on an intro track.
Can you talk us through how the initial idea for the track was conceived, and then how those ideas were produced as music? Do you have a favourite piece of software/ hardware that you always like to use?
In general I’ve been always passionate about intro tracks, electronic and chillout music. It’s not the first time that Alex uses a TVA track as intro (Balance CD and Lost Tapes Vol.2). “Marechiaro” was created to be a smooth and soft intro track, with few notes and many layers. The instrument I use more often is the Prophet 12 and I try to change drum machines quite frequently, at the moment I’m also enjoying the Analog Rhythm.
What I love about your music is the sense of freedom when it comes tousing different moods and settings to realise your sound. Which artists have most influenced you in achieving this, both within and outside of Dance Music?
I love any kind of moody music, this can be happy or sad but it must have a character. I find very hard to create music or play a dj set without setting a mood. Periodically I discover new techno/electronic artists who can inspire my production style and also bands like The National, the Interpol and of course the Depeche Mode influence me a lot and I always like listening to their music.
I have been listening a lot to your recent podcast 01 and was struckby the blend of House, Techno and Ambience. What are the common elements which attract you most to these genres? And what is the mostimportant thing that music has to contain to resonate with you?
All these genres have an energetic groove and I usually have fun while mixing them creating a sort of journey. Music must be always original and not a copy of a copy of what can be trendy in the musical market, many people play some tracks for a season and then immediately after they change completely their taste…this is not my style!
Tell us about the photographs which accompany the podcast and how youchoose them to reflect the music playing? Why do you prefer black and white?
I’m an art director and I always worked in advertising. Photography is a big passion, I personally took those pictures around London and I thought it was a good idea to use some of them for my podcast on YouTube. Black and White Stills are my favourite but maybe next time I will also add some colour.
How would you describe the difference between creating music in the studio and DJ’ing live in front of people?
In studio I’m usually more free, when I’m DJ’ing live I try to be myself but I also consider the contest trying to adapt my style.
Do you have a favourite Synth? Do you own one?
I love my Prophet 12 but I also use some ableton max for live instruments and various drum machines, at the moment I’m working with samples as well.
And finally. Tell us about your forthcoming plans for 2019?
Nextyear I will be quite busy because my first daughter is on the way, but I’m working with my brother (le visionnaire) on an album which will hopefully be signed on Aeon, Alex is helping us a lot with this big production. A more techno EP could be another interesting project to release in the next few months.
Alex Niggemann recording undercover as fresh alias C’est Moi hits the spot with this effortless combination of deep bass, shuffling beats and lush Detroit tones. When a song won’t satisfy the age tested addition of timely spoken words always suffices, which in this case adds that authentic human touch to the energised electronics. Dario D’Attis supplies the remix of This Song with rougher drums alongside a simpler arrangement of notes complimenting the voiceover nicely, leaving second track From A Bird’s Eye View to delve deeper with undulating keys and soulful vocals.
Oliver Fritsche & Alex Bach aka Superlounge latest release for Motek is a blissful piece of music that no doubt stand the test of time. The words deep and moody apply here with the breathily spoken vocals only adding emotion to the equation; however the music is richly rewarding in its own right complimented by an excellent production of enticing, hypnotic sounds. A set of striking remixes come via Eric Volta’s sizzling electronics, Maher Daniel’s darker interpretation and from Hands Free & Kosmas progressive feeling tones.
The EP’s title track is a provocative amalgamation of electronic sounds that all at once unnerves your sense of time and space via its clash of striking effects and creative rhythms. Thinking outside of the box results in an irresistible, if unsettling, listen from the producer and that theme is continued through to Pendulum featuring Heral, and again imaginative percussion keeps you guessing alongside an insistent vocal loop plus vibrating synths. Detlef then delivers a rough and tough remix that employs fierce hi-hats against unforgiving, pounding beats and bass for full dancefloor effect. To end the first-rate Metaloop adds a funkier sequence of plucked guitar and abrupt basslines completing the standout track on the EP for me with more a musical flair.
Matusoiu Alexandru’s pseudo name gives the game away somewhat with spacey, far reaching rhythms feeling explorative and engaging as on the opening, certainly apt Cinema. The wordplay continues next with Paradox which again develops dark themes across moody electronics, as indeed does the proceeding Shamanism. The rhythmatic, Un Mit ends this captivating set of instrumentals which all succeed in their mission of creating intoxicating atmospheres and as such score high.
Brutal House Music, just the way we like it, sees Breslau-based producer Jacob B deliver three equally unrelenting tracks plus a remix from JMF. The self-explanatory ‘The Weapon’ kicks things off via heavy duty beats, cutting techno bass and a rave-era hoover stab that works surprisingly well. The aptly titled From The Underground follows with more harsh drums and staccato organ stabs on JMF’s addictive Fatty Rub, with the original version again hitting you with moody synths and classic House vocals. The Warehouse Stomp finishes with yet more uncompromising kicks alongside ‘muthafucker’ vocals just in case you were left in any doubt!
Taking a sideway step from Dance music production Emika has thankfully taken the time to share her keyboard skills with us. I say thankfully because this haunting selection of works is rather beautiful, in a melancholy sense, and also goes to prove that people who create Dance tracks can be real artists/ musicians too. The lone piano passages simply ooze with emotion and slightly remind me of the exquisite compositions of Erik Satie. That said, you can also hear modern motifs played but either it’s a definite pleasure to listen to. Try for yourself below – play loud or quiet.