The winner of our October Unsigned Competition, DJ Mood talks us through the making of his winning track, the influence of his home of Sardinia on his music, and his ambitions as a producer who is currently trying to make a name for himself in a competitive electronic music scene.
Please introduce yourself...
Hi all, I am DJ Mood and I was born near Turin, but I have origins in Sardinia. I took my first steps as a percussionist in a multicultural band that I played with for about two years.
Then I started to move towards purely electronic sounds thanks to the introduction from my dear friend Aure DJ, with whom I later formed the band Mood of Love.
The Mood of Love participated in a number of Arezzo Waves [an Italian music festival], reaching the finals in the top 10 throughout Italy. We also opened concerts for the likes of 'Frankie HI-NRG' and 'PGR's' Giovanni Lindo Feretti, and the former keyboard player for Bjork, Leila.
Since 2011, I've been living in Rome which has a larger music scene. In fact, I have recently become involved with a group called 'Spacedrome' which aims to bring more deep bass music in to the capital.
I have recently performed in events with distinguished guests, such as Aphrodite, Prolix, Culprate, MC Coppa, MC Junior Red and MC Maksim.
How would you describe your production style?
I would say my name is a good indicator of my work. I express the ambient side of my production in my dub and dubstep, and the much more aggressive sounds are represented in my drum & bass productions.
How did you lay down the different element of your winning track, 'Mimetic Wormhall'?
'Mimetic Wormhall' is a track that I kept in the drawer for some time. It was going to be released on a small Sardinian digital label who asked me to represent (in sound) the beautiful scenery that my home island offers, but I decided to stop working with the label.
The initial structure was far more experimental – the total absence of rhythm gave way to the sound layers created to describe the natural elements. Later, I decided to leave the atmospheric unchanged and add the vocals.
An element that is definitely close to my heart is the sound of water, obtained by mixing samples found online and live recordings made with a DAT recorder.
As a producer who has been making music for a few years now, what are your ambitions?
Indeed, I have been involved in music for a few years, but unfortunately in the past I have not been able to commit fully to this activity. Now, thanks to the collaboration with the promising Roman crew 'Spacedrome' – of whom I fully agree with their objectives. I am preparing an ambient dub EP which is to be featured on a free release. This is a policy that we look to adopt at Spacedrome – releasing free tracks to spread our sound.
I'm also finishing up a drum & bass EP that I hope comes out soon on some labels. I'm not a good promoter of myself, so I'm working hard to improve this situation. I'd really love to see my work published and take advantage of promotional platform that a label of a certain type has and to play live in many more places than I am now. It would be a good injection of self-esteem.
What is your studio set-up like?
For some time I have been using Ableton, which I find to be the most versatile production platform in recent years. I have a Presonus soundcard of which I am happy with, an Edirol midi-controller and I use a lot of Rob Papen VST's, as well as Massive, Absynth and Reaktor.
A few years ago I used many different types of analogue machines like Roland, Yamaha synth and Nord Modular, but for logistical reasons (because of many house changes), I gave up everything that was too cumbersome.
Words: Jake Salter
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