Materia interviewed ahead of Architects III – free tickets up for grabs
In terms of a ‘bucket list interview’ I struck gold, having the privilege of delving into the mind of one of the great producers of Psytrance, Andreas Moser, aka Materia.
With over 20 years of production under his belt he is revered for his tantalising percussion, deep bass lines and mechanical synth work that shines throughout his multiple projects, including Mindfold and Quadrasonic, both of which are on the cutting edge of the Psytrance scene.
From music to family, rock climbing and breakfast, get inside the mind of Materia; who will be gracing us with a two-hour set at Reset for OMNI Presents: The Producer Series – Architects III happening on 7 July in Cape Town.
Andreas ‘Materia’ Moser, you are a very busy man at the moment with the Quadrasonic project as well as new releases from Mindfold. What are you most excited for right now?
Materia: Most of my attention goes to Quadrasonic at the moment because the admin alone is eating up a lot of time. But my heart is still with all the projects I’m involved with. It is just hard to give them all equal attention. But every time the vibe and energy kicks in at the studio or a great party, no matter if in a collaboration or solo project, I am still in love with Psy-trance as much as when I first started to go to parties.
No stranger to South African shores, you will be returning to Cape Town to play at Reset for Architects: The Producer Series happening on July 7. You’re playing for 2 hours (Yay!) which is still too short but it will do. What can we expect musically in terms of Materia, Mindfold and maybe stereo edits of Quadrasonic? =D
Materia: I have been booked for a Materia show and that is almost purely what i will present though sometimes I can’t help to drop 1 or 2 Mindfold tracks that are just in the making to test them on solid dancefloor ground!
You have released music for over 10 years. At what moment did you realise your destiny was to produce PsyTrance and not any other genres of electronic music?
Materia: Starting my first explorations with my Roland MC505 around 1999; I really enjoyed Drum n Bass and harder Techno at the time and was already trying to find a way to make my own tunes in those genres; but that was not far away from having my first taste of psychedelic trance served by an old friend and co-label founder of 24/7 Records: Dj Astralex. I turned on… tuned in… and never stopped loving it!
Who are your biggest influences musically, from when you started out until now, any genre?
Materia: I always fantasize about making more harmonic based music like modern classic or film score and have also been fascinated by artists like trentemøller in his early days or fever ray but most of my own attempts have never been finished so I am happy just trying those soundscapes and eventually bringing back some of that taste into my psytrance tracks.
What is your daily routine? What is your favourite breakfast meal and how much of your day is spent in the studio?
Materia: Starting off with a Greek style yogurt with cinnamon, honey, apple pieces and muesli mixed together- absolutely my favourite breakfast these days! Studio time is a big part of my day although it is quite a mix in between creating music, making calls, cutting videos, editing graphics and photos or admin for the label so it is hard to give it an average number of hours that I am blasting psychedelic beats.
From your solo work as Materia, to the mind-bending duo that is Mindfold, to the Power Triangle and now Quadrasonic, you take collaboration to a whole new level. What is your favourite part about producing with others?
Materia: After doing music for almost 2 decades I found it is hard to expand your horizons on your own. I have always enjoyed growing in experience by working with others in every aspect. Most of the time I give more attention to collaborations because I want to show my best skills and respect to the other artist involved, so some of my favourite tunes from “myself” are produced together with others.
I’m going to go slightly fan girl quickly; Modulators is my favourite track of all time and pretty much cemented my devotion to Psytrance as a genre. Coming from the early days of your musical partnership with Phil Brainiac, tell me about that magical time and when you knew you struck gold Mindfold-wise and when we can expect a Mindfold album?
Materia: We met around 10 years ago after chatting a bit on MySpace and he was living in Munich at the time. That is only 1, 5 hours away of my hometown Salzburg so we decided to meet in his studio. From the first track we did together I could see we are a great combination and we know how to extract the best out of each other while making music. We are both trying to bring the craziest idea to the page and that is what is pushing the project to a higher level.
When we started Modulators we had been on tour in Mexico for the Aeon gathering and while bored in the hotel waiting for the pick-up we did some voice recordings that ended up being most of the psychedelic FX in the tune.
We love to write music together much more than sending files back and forth. These days he is living in the UK. We try to meet as much as possible but it’s not always easy in between tours and our personal lives. I wish I could say we have an album coming but I am very happy with the few releases that are already waiting to be unleashed with some surprises in store.
Your bio mentions your love for graphic design. Is it something you’re still interested in/ do apart from making music and are you the one behind those epic Mindfold skits?
Materia: I studied graphic design when I was younger but as the years went by music took the forefront. I do however still make some of the artwork for the label; it’s definitely a skill that comes in handy as a music artist.
As for the video skits we fell in love with the concept from the first one. It is a collaborative effort between Phil and me and only goes to show our real lives. We aren’t quite sure why people are finding them so funny!
You’re also an avid climber, right? What was your most memorable climb and have you climbed any mountains here in SA? We have quite a selection!
Materia: Been climbing for over 10 years and of course I could not miss out on putting my hands on South African rock. The Cederberg area and also the Cape Peninsula already bore witness to my presence! I have not been so lucky in one of my trips when the Montagu area was flooded the day I arrived there so I will have to come back for that some time.
The music/festival/psytrance scene is quite something. Have your family members ever been to a festival with you to watch you play, like your parents or grandparents?
Materia: Most of my family members have visited either a party or festival to see me playing but never outside Austria. Not sure if all of them were honest with their comments about what they experienced, but most important is they are proud of what I do.
I know you’re busy with many projects at the moment, but do you have any plans to write a new Materia album for us? Or do you already have material?
Materia: I wanted to have a 3rd album ready by the end of the year, although I can already feel all the projects taking too much time away from reaching this goal. So, I will have to get some of the destined tunes out after the summer so they don’t get too old and focus the European winter season on making the album; I promise it will be worth the wait.
A lot of artists release many tracks throughout the year, but you and your collaborations keep the gold for yourselves. Why don’t you release often?
Materia: I have to admit it has not been easy since it seems to be mandatory of getting a lot of releases out per year. I always try to keep the artistic and production quality as high as possible, therefor my process is slow and I believe a few tunes a year that are “the cream” is worth more for my own conscience then pushing out a string of soulless tracks.
Let’s talk about 24/7 Records, home to some of the most talented Producers in the Psytrance game, yourself included. What is it about 24/7 that has made you call it home since you first started releasing?
Materia: Where else would i want to release my music?! It is a collective of friends and people who love psytrance to the core and 3 of my besties started the label.
You have a real talent regarding percussion and overall production. What is the key to successful production?
Materia: In my early years of getting into electronic music production there was no YouTube and there weren’t many people around in my hometown that could teach me but I think these years taught me the most; trial and error is the basis of my skills. I believe the copy and paste generation is not blessed with all the information available it’s rather a curse for the creative process.
After 2 years of working on Quadrasonic, how are you feeling about it and when can we get you guys to South Africa for our summer season of outdoor parties? =D
Materia: We have had some crews showing interest but we are quite picky with who we are going to work with. This project is far beyond the “just for fun” factor and we want to make sure the show is presented in the very best way possible. Adding this extra layer to the music has made the quality and setup of the sound system even more important and we want everyone on the floor to experience the full impact. We will keep you up to date!
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