Home Featured Feature: M.O.S. [Interview + Premiere]

Feature: M.O.S. [Interview + Premiere]

28 min read

Hi Guys, thanks for joining us. How has your start to the year been so far and please tell us something interesting about your day today?

Hey PA. It's a pleasure to speak with you.
It's a great start to the year. We had a lot of interesting travels and gigs, as well as productive studio work.
Today is a truly beautiful sunny day. It’s a start day of the pre-order of the first part of our new release 'Ask The Universe" and we are very excited about it.

Looking back on 2024 so far, what gigs of yours have stood out and why?

Of course, these are our tours in Australia and India. These are the places where we were for the first time and we are very impressed by both countries.

Let’s also look at tracks released since the beginning of the year. What do you guys think have been some of the standouts so far?

Actually, we didn't really plan to release a lot of music in the first half of the year and the most important release of the first half of 2024 is the release 'Ask The Universe EP' that will be released very soon on our label Melody Of the Soul.
But we are very happy about our collaboration with Krasa Rosa called 'Purple Sky' which is also released on Melody Of the Soul and our remix of Dave Pad & Spieltape track 'Space Chants' that we released on Highway Records.

How did you guys meet and eventually start collaborating?

Oh, it was quite a long time ago on music forums. From that moment our warm communication began, which later led to closer collaboration.

A successful partnership is generally based around balance and compromise; how do you manage these things within your production dynamic?

This is the absolute truth! The ability to find a compromise and sensitively hear and feel your partner is very important. Fortunately, we can do this. In fact, we just try to always share with each other any experience and knowledge that we acquire in the process of our work.

Working as a duo is an interesting dynamic. Do you guys share a studio where all the sessions are together or do you produce separately and pass files back and forth? And if you have done both, what do you prefer and why?

We agree, it's exciting. Unfortunately, we don't often do studio sessions together as we live in different countries, but when we get together it's always becomes something special.
However, we managed to establish successful cooperation online using modern soft. For example we use Audiomovers or Muse to share an audio stream.
Obviously working together in a studio is much more interesting, succersful and it's always fun, but we are happy with both options.

Take us through a typical day when you’re not traveling, what does a day in your life look like?

Paul: To be honest we both work from morning to evening (like a normal work day) on the development of our project and label. This includes: music production, mixing, mastering, social networks, communications with labels, communications with artists on our label and a lot of other work related to your own label, bookings and many other tasks.
Actually, everything, except artworks and motion design. :)
When I have a free time, I do sports. In winter it's a cross-country ski and in summer I ride a bike. And of course I spend time with my dear friends.

Ilia: Yes I agree. We devote a lot of time to musical work. But I have a family and two children, so I try to share my time with my loved ones as much as possible.

You have a new and very special four track EP ‘Ask The Universe’ out now via your Melody Of The Soul imprint. It’s actually part of your four year anniversary celebration. There is a very interesting story as to how this release came to be, and how it showcases somewhat of a shift in sound for you guys, so please tell us about the release.

Yes, exactly. This month we celebrate the 4th anniversary of our label Melody Of the Soul and we prepared a 4 track EP called ‘Ask The Universe’.
Why 'Ask The Universe' ? We have a little story :)
We walked in the magnificent surroundings of Prague and talked a lot about the beauty of the Universe, admiring how incredibly everything works in our Universe, asking many questions. The result of this walk and discussion were several joint studio sessions during which several new compositions were born, one of them we called Ask The Universe. Thus, our emotions and conversations with the universe were embodied in our musical ideas. (we have a wonderful photo from that day that is reflected in the cover of the release).
So when everything was ready, we realized that soon will be our 4th year anniversary and  we decided to dedicate this release in celebration of the 4th year anniversary of our label Melody Of the Soul. 4 years, 4 tracks. 4 + 4 equals 8 which is the symbol of infinity, as infinite as our Universe. We were very surprised by this coincidence, but maybe it’s not a coincidence?

Before the digital release you released this EP on vinyl exclusively. Tell us a bit about the decision to do the release on vinyl first, how it turned out and might this be a more regular thing going forward?

Yes, indeed, we decided to conduct a small experiment and give exclusivity to listeners and connoisseurs of vinyl sound and we were pleasantly surprised that it sold out on the day of release. This is the fifth label record and we will definitely be releasing more records in the future, including exclusive vinyl tracks.

Let our readers inside your studio for a moment, what is your current setup and what studio tools are featured heavily in your recent productions and more specifically your ‘Ask The Universe’ EP?

To be honest, our studio is quite simple. At the moment we mainly use a software. Our daw is Ableton, sometimes we use Logic Pro for any specific tasks. We both work on a powerful Mac studio, we also have several midi controllers (Roland, Akai), and an acoustic guitar from the Fender brand, which we use most often to find inspiration. For monitoring we use Neumann KH 310/Yamaha HS8. In our tracks we use VST's such as Omnisphere, Diva, Blue, M1 and other popular plugins.

You guys have released on very prominent labels such as Anjunadeep and All Day I Dream, along with your own Melody Of The Soul imprint, I’m curious how you decide which tracks to keep for your own imprint as opposed to shopping them elsewhere?

It really all depends on the final musical product. Over the many years of our musical creativity, we have realized what kind of music can suit this or that label, so we make the decision easily. We try not to release a lot of music on different labels, although we do receive a lot of offers for remixes and collaborations, so if we realize that our music is not suitable for the top labels that we have in mind, we simply release tracks in our home Melody Of the Soul.

Staying on the topic of your label, let our readers know how and why it was created in the first place and perhaps also some insight into the name as well.

Our label was created in the first months of the Covid-19 pandemic. It was an absolutely incredible time, but we realized that while we stay in lockdown, we would have a lot of time to work with music, and we decided to launch our label, which fully reveals the abbreviation of our project M.O.S. - Melody Of the Soul.
By that time, we already had enough experience to launch our own catalog, we had certain ideas, unsigned music, and most importantly, we realized that many artists will start to create a lot of new music, due to the lockdown. This is also was an amazing time for collaborations with other artists.
In addition to this, we can say that not all the tracks resonated with the owners and A&R managers of the labels we sent to, but nevertheless we were absolutely confident in our music, began releasing on our own label and achieved high positions in the charts, which inspired us a lot.

As previously mentioned, you’re celebrating the fourth anniversary of Melody Of The Soul with the ‘Ask The Universe’ EP and a second release to go along with it in June, please tell us what we can expect on the second release and also please reflect back on the four year journey thus far, what are some takeaways from running the label the last four years? 

Ask The Universe EP showcases our transition into a more groovy clubby part of Organic House mixed with Progressive House sound.
This release kind of sums up everything that has been done and created over the past 4 years and is a kind of transitional moment to a new stage in the development of the label. This will not mean that we will abandon the Organic sound, we will still release beautiful melodic releases, choosing music with our soul and heart, but we are leaning towards a more dynamic sound in the development of the label.

What is it you look for when signing music to Melody Of The Soul and what advice would you have for artists hoping to appear on the label?

In fact, we only sign music that touches our soul and heart, that really makes us feel emotions. Sometimes it happens that we receive tracks with interesting musical ideas, but we realize that the tracks are missing something or we realize that the tracks need improvement on the technical side, most often it's a mixing. At such moments, we share with the artists a detailed feedback, which very often allows artists to improve their musical product to the label’s standards.
For artists who want to sign music to our label, we have one simple piece of advice: just listen carefully to the label's catalog and there's a good chance you'll know if your music is right for us or not. However, we also ask you not to be shy about sharing your beautiful musical ideas, because we are always open to dialogue and ready to help with advice and feedback, and are also ready to consider musical experiments, the main thing is creativity and uniqueness.

You have a very distinctive look to your artwork, very much on brand for the style of music you release I think. Do you think labels should be putting more time and thought in their artwork? And why did you choose to go with the look you did for your own artwork?

When we launched the label, one of the main ideas was the art component, and we spent a very long time looking for an artist who could realize our ideas. We really wanted the music to be reflected in the release artwork, making each release truly special: artwork that can find a place in every musician’s studio and remind them of the wonderful time spent creating their beautiful compositions.
In addition, we plan to release more and more vinyl records and by purchasing a record, any vinyl connoisseur will be able to add to his collection not only great music but also a real work of art.

Can you tell me a bit about how your work as DJs have influenced your view of music, your way of listening to tracks, and also, your work as producers?

Undoubtedly, the role of a DJ is very important, because you have a great opportunity to test compositions and realize how the music resonates in the hearts of listeners and clubbers. This is also a good chance to see how well your music works on a proper sound system.

How much prep do you put into the tracks you choose to play?

In our sets we try to play unreleased tracks, mainly our compositions, some edits, promos from labels and friendly artists, and of course the demos that we receive on our own label.
Unfortunately, it is not so easy to find music that truly takes your breath away, so usually we spend many hours searching for gems. But this is a real fun and you can find many new talented artists.

If you were not a DJ/Producer what do you think you’d be doing with your life? (ie something completely outside of the music industry)

Paul: I am very close to human psychology and self-knowledge. I think it's very exciting.

Ilia: Obviously it would be something related to the development of video games, this is very close and interesting to me.

Current top five tracks? 

  • Paul Thomas - Emotional Landscapes (Ezequiel Arias Remix)
  • Kasablanca & Lane 8 - Remission (Original Mix)
  • Tali Muss & Vakabular - Solar Focus (Original Mix)
  • Molac, Ilias Katelanos, Plecta - Madagana (Original Mix)
  • Nicolas Rada - Cascadia (Original Mix)

What are some of your favourite TV series? All time and recent.

Paul: True Detective, Vinyl

Ilia: BoJack Horseman, Bron

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

Paul: My family, my beloved friends and of course nature.

Ilia: My family and my children.

What does the remainder of the year hold for you in terms of releases and gigs? Anything you can share with us?

In June we will go for the 3rd time to perform at one of the best festivals in the world, Anjunadeep Explorations. We also plan to debut at the biggest festival in the Czech Republic, Beats For Love, and, of course, in our beloved Budapest with Marsh and 16BL. We have several collaboration releases planned for the summer with our friends: PROFF and Krasa Rosa.

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