Home Interviews Feature: D.J. MacIntyre [Constellations: Gemini Overview]

Feature: D.J. MacIntyre [Constellations: Gemini Overview]

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"Constellations: Gemini - Compiled and Mixed by D.J. MacIntyre" is the first episode in a mix series from SLC-6 Music.  The compilation is comprised entirely of music released on the label, including a dozen new originals, remixes, and edits commissioned for this release.  D.J. MacIntyre has hand selected the tracks and woven them together into a two-part dj mix that takes the listener on a two and a half hour journey into space and beyond the stars.

Named for the twins Castor and Pollux from Roman Mythology, the constellation Gemini is the third sign of the astrological Zodiac.  The twins, in turn, give their names to the two dj mixes.  Part I: Castor radiates optimism, as we are launched into space and outward on our melodic adventure.  The musical journey takes a darker turn in Part II: Pollux, as we travel toward cold outer planets in the far reaches of the unknown.  NASA's Gemini missions from the 1960s have also given inspiration to the mix, and this can be heard most explicitly in the bookend tracks.

Purchasers of the entire unmixed release may send a copy of their receipt to music@slc6music.com to receive a digital copy of the full length continuous mix.

We asked D.J. MacIntyre for his thoughts on the project and a track by track breakdown for how he programmed the release. Enjoy!

This has been a rewarding project for me to work on. One of the primary goals was to give life to these tracks within the context of a larger piece of work. Most of us fell in love with electronic music through dancing in the crowd at live performance sand by listening to dj mixes, so the continuous mix is essential to understanding this music. Also, in our current world, the pace that music comes at us is so fast, that it is very easy for very good tracks to get lost in the blitz, and it can sometimes feel as if we are making something that is a single-use-disposable, which is a shame. As a producer, I know the hours upon hours that are spent creating and refining each track, and so wanted to give another context for these tracks to shine within apart from their lives as singles. Normally when putting together a dj mix or live set, one theoretically has infinite tracks to choose from. In this case, working within exclusively the SLC-6 catalog, there was a very distinctive constraint to operate within. But, limitation can be a good thing - an enabler of creativity in itself - and I am happy with what it necessitated me to do creatively to tell the story. Of course, I liked all the music enough to have signed it or made it myself in the first place, so that gave me a head start. I've become even closer to the tracks in the mix working with them in this way. The project also caused me to look at the catalog through a different lens, and the thematic lines connecting our releases are more evident to me now. In telling a Space-story, I've become more interested in space itself, and in the history of humankind's exploration of space, astronauts, spacecraft, rockets, and all the rest. I hope the listeners are able to take the time to listen from beginning to end on a long walk or drive, and enjoy the story that's being told.

Constellations: Gemini

I - Castor

1. D.J. MacIntyre & Casper Keys - Helium (Gemini Mix)

Helium is a collaboration I did with Casper Keys. Casper is an artist who I met last year, and we've developed a creative partnership that's proven to be quite fruitful, as is evidenced in this compilation. Through working together, he's become a friend and an important part of SLC-6 Music, and is now collaborating with other SLC-6 artists as well. Helium was one of the last two tracks completed for the compilation. It starts the mix off on an optimistic and emotional note, and introduces the overarching space theme.

2. D.J. MacIntyre - Toreador (Dysco Remix)

Dylan was one of the first artists to remix a track of mine, and we've become friends and frequent musical collaborators since. He's another person who has connected with other label artists, resulting in great collaborations. His remix of Toreador has a throwback progressive character and positivity that I've always liked.

3. Michael St. Patrick - Anhydrous (D.J. MacIntyre Remix)

Michael is another friend who has helped with things behind the scenes for the label, and released a number of tracks on SLC-6. For this remix, I slowed the tempo down quite a bit from Michael's original, and took the existing melodic components in a dreamy, emotional direction.

4. Juan Ibañez & Dr. B - Dystonia (Original Mix)

Juan and Fernando are two young Argentinians whom I've been fortunate enough to discover. They both have a lot of good music brewing in them that is ready to burst out.

5. Astropilot, D.J. MacIntyre, Casper Keys - All the Lovely Things feat. Mellonie Irvine (Original Mix)

All The Lovely things is a case study in perseverance and collaboration. After Astropilot did a remix of my track Love Sine, we wanted to work together again, so he and I got the base started. After being stuck for months, and going down a lot of dead-end roads, I rediscovered some vocal stems that a friend in my hometown had given me. Mellonie's beautiful voice gave life to the track and completed the story. Casper came in and did a wonderful job with the details and made it shimmer.

6. FreakyBro - Entrance (Libertas Remix)

I never tire of listening to this one. Both Libertas and FreakyBro have a knack for melody, and their skills are on full display with this one, which I find uplifting and transcendent.

7. Juan Ibañez - Happiness Factory (Gemini Mix)

This track of Juan's was a bit of a sleeper. I always liked it a lot, but I think it was glossed over when initially released. So I am very glad that it found a natural home in this mix. The synths exude positive energy and when I listen to it, I feel as if I am traveling in a spaceship toward a new adventure. For this compilation we used a mix with a different kick drum that allows more space for the other elements.

8. J Lauda - Antares (Original Mix)

Antares is another one that I can listen to again and again (and have). It's pure progressive with a cosmic flair, and was a lynchpin in our very successful Stage-4 release.

9. FreakyBro - Janus (D.J. MacIntyre & Casper Keys Remix)

Casper and I tackled Janus with the goal of highlighting FreakyBro's intricate synthwork, framing it in our own style, while creating a version that was dancefloor friendly for our dj sets. We've got a lot of groove in there, and a pulsing bassline that keeps the floor rumbling.

10. D.J. MacIntyre - Phoenix Rising (Edvard Hunger Remix)

Edvard is a very experienced and prolific producer of progressive. I thought he would be an ideal person to put a new spin on Phoenix Rising, and he delivered.

11. Hypnotised - Infinity (D.J. MacIntyre Remix)

The Infinity release was nearly done when I decided to start fiddling around with the track myself. I got hooked on all the cool sounds the original had, and before I knew it, I was working on a remix of my own. The final product is something that, to me, feels distinctive and complex. It has both lighter and darker atmospheres, dreamy and vivid moments, and I always get excited when it gives you a shock before the drop.

12. Nomas - Cosmo (Original Mix)

The crystalline synth lead is the element that makes this track so memorable to me. Nomas is just getting rolling as a producer, and we will see more from him later in the mix, and in the future as well.

13. D.J. MacIntyre - Billion Miles of Space (Original Mix)

In Billion Miles of Space we find the organic encountering the robotic. The tension reaches a climax through the dissonant interaction of tribal percussion and overtly synthesized sounds until the satisfying release.

14. Libertas - Space (Original Mix)

Space was one of our first releases from an artist outside of the United States, and it remains a quintessential SLC-6 track in overt and subtle themes. It's been an honor to be the home for Libertas' music.

II - Pollux

1. Dysco & MacIntyre - The Woman He Loves (Vlada D'Shake Remix)

Dylan and I tapped Vlada for this remix, and he knocked it out of the park. Vlada has such a distinctive sound which I really enjoy - part funky, part psychedelic, part progressive. This one got a lot of positive feedback from the larger international dj community as well.

2. Casper Keys - Arrival (Original Mix)

Arrival was sent to me as a demo by Casper, so it's the reason we met, and a darn good track!

3. Nomas - Vesper (Original Mix)

Vesper is the second track from Nomas to be released on the label, and it makes its first appearance here on this compilation. It has a mournful aura, which is quite beautiful, and a driving low-end that pushes the track forward.

4. D.J. MacIntyre - Tandava (Original Mix)

Tandava was the title track of my first album and I still play it frequently in my dj sets, so of course, it has a special place in my heart.

5. Giorgio Phoenix - Laurelin (Original Mix)

Laurelin and its sibling Telperion (which we meet later in the mix) are two melodic monsters with sinister basslines. I can listen to them over and over.

6. D.J. MacIntyre - The Great Simoon (Original Mix)

This track was named for a bizarre Santa Barbara myth - that the hottest day on earth scorched the area for a few hours one afternoon in the 19th century. The tale goes that birds fell from the sky, crops died in the field, and people fled for cover, until it subsided in the evening. There is no actual proof of this happening, but it's a good story at the very least.

7. D.J. MacIntyre & Casper Keys - Quasar (Original Mix)

Quasar was the first track Casper and I worked on together. It was one of those cases where I don't think either one of us would have made this on our own, but it's what emerged from us both, and in this case, the whole is more than the sum of its parts. The track is lean, yet full of intriguing otherworldly sounds. When the horns come in, I imagine an astronaut descending onto a cold, lonely, blue planet.

8. Giorgio Phoenix - Telperion (Original Mix)

Giorgio Phoenix is a Colombian producer who makes these amazing dark tracks, which have been very well received. I am eagerly anticipating his upcoming music!

9. D.J. MacIntyre - Missed My Chance (Gemini Mix)

Missed My Chance is hypnotic with a haunting and mournful vocal. For this mix, I gave it a boomier techno kick to carry more of the low end, and to make it more playable in a club.

10. Hasha Mercy - Cherry (D.J. MacIntyre Gemini Edit)

With a collection of interesting sounds and atypical arrangement, Cherry jumped out at me the first time I heard it. I did an edit for this mix - toughening up the kick, cleaning up the bassline, and bringing down the tempo in order to make it more playable for my own dj sets.

11. Mode - Vault (Original Mix)

This was a case of "right place, right time," as I was 95% finished programming the release when Vault was sent to me, and it dropped into place perfectly. The track has gritty lo-fi darkness, and a broken beat that offers a rhythmic variant to the overall mix.

12. D.J. MacIntyre & Casper Keys - Event Horizon (Original Mix)

Event Horizon sprung from the parts of Quasar that we liked, but which we didn't use. I really liked the gritty bassline we had originally abandoned, and wanted to continue to work with that, so we did and came up with Quasar's misbehaving stepbrother. The blitz of machine-gun-like percussion at the peak of the track makes the dancefloor go off!

13. D.J. MacIntyre, Michael St. Patrick, FreakyBro - 3-Sphere (D.J. MacIntyre Mix)

3-Sphere is a project born from an occasion when Michael, Freaky, and I spent a night making music, and then each took the pieces home to put our own spin on them - this is my own mix. The term 3-Sphere is a mathematical concept which, it's theorized, may describe the shape of the universe. Thanks to Michael for the great name!

14. Trovarsi - Stellar (Original Mix)

Trovarsi's Stellar is probably the most purely "techno" track in the release, and at this point in the mix, we are way out there in deep space where the lean percussive elements are right at home and the pulsing synth beams out unobstructed. With Trovarsi having multiple releases on the label, we simply had to have one of hers on here, and the thematically-appropriate Stellar was exactly the right one.

15. FreakyBro - Enceladus (D.J. MacIntyre Gemini Remix)

I remixed this track specifically for this project, highlighting the beautiful and complex melodic elements that Freaky had in the original, while slowing it down, and stripping down the percussive elements. The vocal samples are from NASA's Gemini IV mission in 1965. The feeling the remix is intended to invoke is the danger, uncertainty, adventure, and beauty of space flight - leaving us with a sense of that while the music is resolved, the mystery continues.

'Constellations: Gemini' is out now on SLC-6 Music, you can purchase the release here: https://bit.ly/33hZvYt

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