Happy Friday everyone. For those of you missing ADE this year and wishing you were there we tried to bring a little slice of ADE to you. This week we have Dutch producer and multi faceted musician Mason to the LAMP Weekly Mix series. We have been huge fans of his since the early 2000’s and it is a huge honor to have him create this amazing mix for us. This mix is absolutely on fire and will for sure get you hyped for whatever you have coming up this weekend. It is certain you have heard Masons music at some point in your life if you have are a fan of dance music. There is a lot to unpack from Masons and he was kind enough to answer a few questions and give us some insight to his career and musical process that I highly recommend reading. We will have a link to that below which will also contain the complete tracklist. Get your dancin kicks on and pump this mix on full!
PZB: Hi Mason! Thank you for putting this weeks mix together for us. We have been big fans of yours for quite sometime so it is really special to have you with us on the podcast. For our listeners that may not be familiar with your music what do you have in store for them with your mix?
Mason: Thanks! a whole bunch of new studio bits by myself and whatever else came up on the spot. I tend to play a bit cross genre between house, indie, disco, electro and funk as long as it’s fresh and different sounding to me
PZB: Can you please tell us about your background and culture. Where did you grow up and how has that impacted the music you make today if at all?
Mason: I grew up in and around Amsterdam. It’s a really diverse little city with over 200 different nationalities living there. I suppose it’s no coincidence I’ve been influenced along the way by a lot of different things. But my first real love was west-coast hiphop in the early 90s. I must have listened to Dr Dre ‘The Chronic’ over a thousand times, even though I could hardly understand english back then. And no, I’m not saying that to please you LA lot 😉
PZB: You have had a successful career that has covered the better part of 20 years now. I remember seeing you open for Tiesto way back in the early 2000’s and have been following you closely since “Exceeder” and “The Screetch” came out back in ’07. Have you been a musician since childhood or was it something that came to you later in life? What drew you towards the world of electronic music?
Mason: Yeah since I was very young I’ve been pretty busy with music all around. I started a classical violin training at 6 that lasted for a good two decades, and was a bit of kid singer tv boy I suppose. We have this thing in The Netherlands called ‘Kinderen voor Kinderen’, a sort of Dutch Micky Mouse Club, where I used to sing songs in a time where there was only 1 or 2 tv channels. Because of this I got to hang out at recording studios when I was a little kid and got fascinated by the big SSL desks and tape recorders. I pledged to become a sound engineer when I’d grow up, so I could hang around smokey studios all day. Didn’t know back then that writing music would be even more fun.
PZB: When you sit down to make a track, what are some initial things you always do before getting started? Do you usually have something already in mind before you set out to start crafting the song?
Mason: I just demo a lot and release maybe 1% of it. Creativity is a bit like a muscle and you should keep training. Also, good ideas don’t come around that often – so better to just write a lot and release very little of it. I still think the core of good track is not how it’s produced but the hook itself, as you can make anything sound phat these days.
PZB: Having had such a long career and seeing how technology has changed so much How has the music making process changed for you over the years.
Mason: In the past you either needed to be pretty wealthy to have a decent studio that’s good enough to release music from, or have the financial backing of a record company. Right now any 200 dollar laptop is sufficiant to write a hit record on…. So that changed the playing field. Everyone’s got a shot, and talent (with a good splash of persistence) does tend to come through. However, it also means there’s a LOT of mediocrity out there. The job of us DJ’s to find that needle in the haystack
PZB: Over your career there have been many highlights. You have had several tracks chart at #1 on Beatport and other charts. You have had your music chosen for TV and commercials worked with some of the top vocalists in the world and had one of your tracks picked by BBC as the “hottest record in the world. Are there one or two moments in particular that stick out as being special?
Mason: When releasing Exceeder my life changed pretty drastically. Before I was already playing abroad, but not at that insane hectic level. I also didn’t have a good team yet, so within months I needed to find a manager, bookings agents around the world, publishers etc. Good times though!
PZB: Speaking of highlights this summer saw you release a really cool remix album on your label Animal Language that includes some incredible remix artists along with a new single on Bunny Tiger and and EP on Doorly’s Reptile Dysfuntion. Also have to talk about “Rhythm In My Brain” your release with Toolroom they have been pushing rom early September which is also going out on their massive ADE Sampler. What else do you have coming up you can tell us about?
Mason: I have new music coming up on Another Rhythm, Skint Records, Toolroom, Loulou Records… and a few remixes… and.. well I’m always keeping myself busy.
PZB: How often do you collaborate with others? What is that process like? Do you think it is an important or necessary part of being a musician in the house and techno community?
Mason: I love working with vocalists, as I’m a big pop music lover and think the area between pop and dance music can be done better than a lot of stuff you’d hear on the radio. Also it’s nice to work with fellow dance producers from time to time on a track, as you’re always learning new tricks from each other
PZB: As an artist it is important to surround yourself with other likeminded individuals. Who are a couple of your mentors and what is the best piece of advice you have been given by another artist?
Mason: The biggest advice I ever had was from my former manager Roy Avni (RIP) which is to not give any fuck about trying to be credible.
PZB: What is your favorite thing to listen to when you want to get away from all the house and tech stuff?
Mason: Ohh sooo much. I guess every DJ is a music lover in it’s core so I collect a lot. At my home you’ll hear a lot of jazz, funk and african stuff these days. Having jazz lessons on Rhodes myself at the minute so I’m a bit in that zone, listening to a lot of Monk, Evans etc.
PZB: Is there anything else coming up in your world that we should know or you want to tell us about that we should be keeping an eye/ ear out for?
Mason: If any of you is at the Amsterdam Dance Event, come see me – throwing a party with my label Animal Language, and playing throughout town like a maniac.
PZB: Thank you so much for your time and the incredible mix you put together. Please keep us posted on future releases and we would love to see you in Los Angeles soon.
01. Mighty Mouse – Fleetwood Mac – Big Love (Mighty Mouse Edit)
02. Kolombo – I Represent Banana
03. Dark Arts Club ‘Unbridled Passion In An Electronic World
04. Bruno Furlan – Everybody
05. Domenico Torti – Radar (feat. Afrika Bambaataa) (Dimitri From Paris Remix)
06. Mason – The Colonel
07. Massey & Paulette – Sheroes (Hifi Sean Dub)
08. Mason feat SLANG – Take It Down
09. Mason – Sparta
10. Discoslap – A Dancing
11. Mason – Rhythm In My Brain
12. Sharam Jey – 4 Your Mind
13. Amine Edge & DANCE – Butch Made Us Do It
14. L.O.O.P – Do Do Do
15. Redlight – Fried Eggs
16. Claude VonStroke, KE, ZDS – Comments (Original Mix)
17. The Golden Boy – Pianoloco
Mason on Spotify https://spoti.fi/2OiFpE7
Mason on Beatport https://bit.ly/2sYmkOo