Almost a year after an amazing show with Alexkid we had in Prague we are happy to bring you interview with mastro himself (yeah, it took a while!). Below is a Sound Cloud player where you can hear Alexe’s mix from that night.
There is a section on your website called Things In My Life with your own photos and pictures. I beleive these are pictures of things that somehow influended or inspired you. Do you always take your camera on road with you?
Things are much more simple than that :) They’re just things that amuse me or indeed things in my life, like my daughter , who happens to be the best thing in my life. So, when my braincell remind me that I actually do have a camera on my phone, I love to take a picture and upload it to Instagram. I love instagram, it is a great way to share moments with your friends!
Besides being multinstumentalist and musician you also do visual arts. Tell us bit more about that. Do you certain days in the week that you draw instead of making music?
My father is a photographer , but as a photographer myself, I think I really suck. And in fact, I love photography, but I’m totally not interested in doing any. I know it is a weird Paradox. I don’t know where you got the info that I was doing visual arts, but I’ll take it , I love urban legends !
Who is your favorite painter and why?
There’s quite a few and for different reasons. As I said, I grew on photography , and to me , the most important thing is the light. The light expresses everything – in most cases – , and for that , one of my favorite painters is Modigliani. I’ve always been fascinated by the way he’d manage to create such an intense light on the portraits. But, to be honest, I’ve always been more interested in street art…
What your opinion on social media and how much time you spend on them? What about SoundCloud/Facebook? Some time you mentioned some funny things about SoundCloud.
I spend waaaaaay to much time. I believe I communicate more through facebook – or at least as much – than with emails. I have to say it is to me a very convenient way of keeping in touch with promoters, or artists. It is good to communicate with people following you. I barely never request anyone. I just use it to share things / moments / random stuff. If I wasn’t using it as a work tool, I would definitely have tried to commit a digital suicide and erase my account, because it can be a bit unreal somehow. On the other side, Soundcloud is great, I’m very happy with the response I get from this thing. I post mixes I’ve recorded for radios or live sets.
You spend a lot of time in Paris as well as Berlin. How often do you travel between these two beautiful cities and why you dont stay at one place?
I go to Paris every 2 months or so… but I try to stay as little as I can. I like to see my friends that I miss, but I somehow started to generate a phobia of Paris. I prefer to live in Berlin, I have a better life here.
You have been involved with Laurent Garnier and F-Comm for a long time. On F Comm you have released your debut album Playground. However F-Comm stopped releasing music in 2008. Was it a sad moment for you and was it hard to find another label to work with?
It wasn’t exactly a sad moment, I knew it was going to happen, and in my humble opinion, they should have stopped before. At the end they were lacking a bit of perspective and motivation. A lot of thing influenced this. Of course, there was part of a comfort I had which disappeared with Fcom, but I like challenge and changes too. So somehow it was pretty motivating. I managed to “score” EPs in labels I really wanted to release on like Cadenza, Rekids, NRK, FreeRange and now Desolat. That would have been impossible with Fcom. They were pretty unhappy when I once released with Ovum.
Are you influenced by the Berlin sound since you live there? French house music is still very different to the tipical Berlin sound. Also I can see a big progress in your music, for example if I compare lets say Beinvenida with your latest Eps which are less melodic and more minimalistic.
Bienvenida was in 2001… I think it’d be a bit sad if I kept on doing the exact same music. It’d be boring to me. I like to explore and try new things… everyone needs an evolution.
Little while ago you have released Shesgottoleave EP on Jimpsters Freerange records. There is a track called Class of 95, song that brings back a lot of memories on the early nineties. Why are these simple analogue patterns coming back? Is it because these old revers like old school sounds or is it because nineties were the best times for house music?
Nineties were NOT the best times for house music, there’s good things now, and in the 2000’s, and I love house from the 80’s… there’s always been good things – and a lot of baaad things – over the decades. I think simple patterns come back , just because dance music is about a groove, it has a physical appeal and a simple beat can be very difficult to make, if you really want to make it right. I mean a real good beat. Like Africa Bambaata says “Looking for the perfect beat” :) We keep on trying , even if it is a variation of something already done… At some point people realized that a guy with a 909 and one synth could put more soul in a track than the overproduced tracks that we’ve been hearing for a while.
You have been remixing quite a lot. But isn’t the Freerange EP some kind of teaser for your new album? Since Dub & Echo tales on Cadenza passed 3 years already.
I’ve been remixing a lot, and when I mean a lot, it is a lot, releasing some ep’s, doing collabs, travelling also intensively, and the problem is that I’ve had many difficulties in saying no to remixing people I knew. But now I only have a couple to finish , and it will be a hard NO, I need to make music for myself. It’s been much too long since I really released a proper album.
You have remixed my favorite George Michael. Was this in important step in your career? Was it financially an intersting project or is it more to do with prestige? How many other pop music remix requests you have received after that?
Well, it is always great to have an artist like George Michael asking for a remix. very surprising in fact … I love this kind of situations… “What??? George Michael knows about my music? reaaaally? he knows I exist???” hahahaha … it is quite random I admit.
I have been in Paris little while ago, unluckyli for me it was the start of the week and there was nothing going on. Rex was shut, Batofar also. Is clubbing popular in Paris only on weekends? For example in London you can party from Monday thought the whole week.
Well, yes, in London they’re just party animals… you can party in Paris for sure, but not the same way. There’s some wild things going on in Paris at the moment, but you really have to know… I sometimes discover them months later, as I don’t really live there anymore. Also, I get my share of partying during the weekend, and during the week I really like to be with my daughter and focus on work. So, yeah, I try not to overdo it and don’t pay so much attention to this. Paris is doing much better than 3 years a go.
You have played in Malajsia recently. How was it? How is the local scene over there? What is the audience like?
I didn’t really enjoy the experience. From the 2 parties , one was quite OK , but nothing from outer space. I don’t know if I played the right parties, or even if they even have the right parties… My knowledge about the Malaysian scene is too little for me to say anything.
You have a saying “Sleep is for the weak“ which is quite funny. Tell us how many hours per week you spend in bed.
I usually sleep about 5/7 hours max a night during the week, and on weekends maybe 3/4 per night… and somehow I can deal with it. I don’t know how, because I know it isn’t much… I think it is just a habit. If I could sleep even less, I think I’d do it ! I’m not very interested in sleeping, though, of course I need a little bit of it and I also I enjoy it when I finally fall asleep :)