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Mass Digital [Interview]

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Highly regarded in the world of organic house, Serbian artist Mass Digital boasts an impressive discography highlighted by releases via Akbal Music, All Day I Dream, Hoomidaas, Sol Selectas and TRYBESof. As a favourite of Above and Beyond, Lee Burridge and Hernan Cattaneo, Mass Digital now makes his debut on For Senses Records with two remixes of Monojoke's 'Fireflies'.

Progressive Astronaut caught up with Boris to learn more about his remixes of 'Fireflies', his studio process, musical background, future plans, and more. Enjoy.

Hi Boris, thanks for joining us. What is your current mood and what was the last piece of music you listened to?

Hey hey, just enjoying in my home studio at the moment and listening to my newest remix that was finished yesterday.

What are your plans for the coming week?

This week will be exciting, especially friday, as my “Avalon”vremix will be available on Bandcamp.

Tell us about growing up in Serbia, how did it affect your journey into electronic music? And was there anyone from your home country inspired you when you first discovered your love for music?

Serbia is one special country, very beautiful, with an amazing and kind people, but destroyed and poisoned with corrupted politicians.

What are your favourite venues to play or attend events at in Serbia and why?

There are many good festivals and clubs in Serbia, although electronic music scene, especially organic one is not that strong, but I really hope it will be in forthcoming period.

When you were first getting started in production did you have someone help you or are you completely self-taught? And what would you recommend new producers do to help with the learning curve of production?

I can say I’m completely self-taught music producer/dj. Playing my own melodies (piano, strings, bass..). Would say to newcomers, just to be persistent, to learn and watch tutorials. Youtube is incredible source of knowledge at the moment.

You produced what some would call traditional deep house for some time before the current wave of organic house, what is your feeling on the trendiness of the genre at the moment and do you feel the genre is in a good place creatively right now?

I always was a melody guy and always loved that melodic touch, whatever genre it is. I love that deep groove, pads, plucks, strings especially. Organic house is a truly one special hybrid genre and I see many producers/djs transitioned from tech house, techno and other genres.

You’ve achieved a lot of success across your near fifteen-year career, releases on ADID, Akbal Music, Hoomidaas, Melody of the Soul and more, if look back on your career can you pinpoint a track or release which was instrumental in your success today and why?

Of course All Day I Dream was key point in my music career atm. Good things were before of course, but after this one, everything became even better. Mr. Lee Burridge recognized that something special in my music and I’m very thankful for that and always will be.

You have a new remix of Monojoke out this week via For Senses, tell us about the remix and what was it about the track which made you want to take the project?

Yes, few months ago label came to me and requested remix. After listening to original track, I said ok, lets do it, even at that time I was in a complete chaos, mega busy with building my attic.

You’ve actually done two versions of it, a main mix and club version, was this something the label requested? or just something you did on your own? And if so what was it that made you want to create a second version? Did you feel the main version was not really playable in a club?

At first, there was just “Club” version, but I felt that softer, more dreamy one needs to be made too, just to complete that Mass Digital kind of vibe, melodic, melancholic and deep.

What does your set-up look like? Do you favor physical gear over digital? And what studio tools featured heavily in the writing of the Monojoke remixes?

I’m a simple guy, with a simple toys. Using focusrite audio card with Yamaha hs7 (plus m-audio sub) studio monitors. I really think that expensive gear and big studios won’t make your music better, it’s in you bud, your heart, mind and ears.

Let’s talk about production a bit more for a moment, where does the impulse to create something come from for you? What role do often-quoted sources of inspiration like dreams, other forms of art, personal relationships, politics etc play? And was there anything that inspired the Monojoke remixes?

I really do love music production, it’s the way to express my feelings and emotions and current state of mind. Love is the biggest inspiration for me.

Once a piece is finished, how important is it for you to let it lie and evaluate it later on? How much improvement and refinement do you personally allow until you’re satisfied with a piece? What does this process look like in practice? And who is someone you share your new music with first for feedback?

When I finish new music, I like to listen to it for couple of days and to fix some mistakes in arrangement or mix. There are few of my closest dj friends that are usually first to test tracks out.

What is the task you enjoy the most when producing and what would you prefer someone else to do?

I love to make melodies, to listen closely first, to make harmonies that will touch people and warm their hearts. Its all about emotions and gentle vibes.

Tell us about your series of bootlegs, you have a lot of amazing remixes on your soundcloud which can be purchased on Bandcamp as well, what is it that attracts you to remaking all these famous songs and which one would you say you are most proud of and why?

Yeah, everything started with a simple thought to make nice and unique vibe of something that everyone knows. So, after almost 2 years, my Bandcamp series remixes are very popular and I’m so happy to see that and to be able to donate the earnings.

Now let’s talk about DJing for a moment, it’s a unique discipline at the border between presenting great music and creating something new with it, between composition and improvisation to an extent. How would you describe your approach to it?

Today everyone wants to be a DJ, that’s ok with me, but music production is what is important in fact and what moves this music industry. Anyone can be a DJ, but few of them can be a music producer. You must stand out and be different.

Can you tell me a bit about how your work as a DJ has influenced your view of music, your way of listening to tracks and perhaps also, your work as a producer?

So far, I’m more focused on music production to be honest. But getting more and more invitations to play all around the world. This year will be big I feel, the world tour is on my mind.

What would be a musical extravagance for your studio you would pay for, if you were very wealthy?

I really don’t know, I’m a very modest guy and would probably donate big part of that wealth to the people that really needs help, that my mission I can say.
I’m happy and satisfied to have what I have at the moment, not much but enough.

If you could set up an event with a line-up of five artists of your choice, who would you book and what set times would you ascribe to the artists?

Heh, lets say my headliner would be Moby, live, no dj set.

What’s a book you’ve read or film you watched that has left an impact on you, and why?

Recently watched the movie from 1998 I think, called “Deep Impact” with Elijah Wood. It’s a story about possible end of this world and really was touched by emotions and human connection and relationship. When everything ends, its love what remains <3

What is one superpower you would like to have and how would you use it?

That would be to clear this world of hunger, poverty and evil. Only light can drive out darkness.

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?

My family, friends, my 2 dogs, spring time, bicycle ride, love, fast food :D and many many other good things..

What does 2023 hold for you? Anything you can share with us?

Expect many new music, Bandcamp series remixes and good vibes !

Mass Digital's remixes of 'Fireflies' by Monojoke are available for pre-order now via For Senses Records: https://bit.ly/3I4k2FJ

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One Comment

  1. Deb

    25th February 2023 at 04:53

    Always a pleasure to read you Boris 🙂

    Reply

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