Between releasing music on a multitude of record labels and relaunching his self-started imprint Punx and, Moguai is keeping busy this 2013. Joonbug had a chance to sit down with the German producer during Winter Music Conference and hear all about his upcoming projects.
With the recent explosion of electronic dance music in America, did you as an artist notice a big difference between this year’s WMC events as opposed to past ones?
I’ve toured America a lot during the last two years. During the last one and a half years I played over 80 shows here without even living here, just coming for one or two weekends at a time. And right now it feels to me that everybody wants to be here, they want to be a part of what’s going on here. You see it especially in this year’s lineup. Everybody’s trying to jump on this big EDM train, but in a good way.
One aspect of the dance music genre which is worlds apart from other genres is how artists are able to release music on different labels as opposed to being signed to just one. Personally, you’ve released tracks on mau5trap, Size Records, Spinnin’ Records, and even your self-started label PUNX. Do you feel this free-agent situation gives you more versatility with your songs, allowing you to produce different types of sounds for different labels?
Back in the day when I started DJing, if you signed with a label then you released only on that label. It makes sense for a pop artist, when you're Pink or Lady Gaga you need one major company who works on your album and releases it. But what I'm doing is producing electronic music and I always want to release on different labels. And it's not because I want to spread it out, it's because some records make more sense in the right surrounding.
For example, mau5trap started because I said to myself, "If they won't pick my music up, then I won't release those tracks anywhere else." They ended up giving me the quickest response I've ever received; in two days they said, "Okay, let's do this." and in ten days we had a banner on Beatport, placing in the top ten after ten days. That's basically my philosophy for what I'm doing, and that's why I'm also relaunching my label Punx in April.
So you're back in the label game?
Yes, after a long break. But I decided to pick it up once again and I'm producing more and more in the Punx direction like I did in the past. I'm making a little bit more harder stuff, more rocky stuff, more punk-electro stuff. This really suits Punx, and what I release on mau5trap or Size is different. It's still me, and it still has my stamp and brand, but it's a little bit different.
Let's talk more about that hard-hitting sound. It's the sound that really rings through my favorite track of yours, your collaboration with Tommy Trash “In n Out.” You both have similarly hard-hitting, gritty electro sounds so I was curious as to what you each individually brought to the song.
It's very interesting that you're asking about this track because it goes back to what we were talking about before with delayed releases. We produced this track five years ago in my studio in my little hometown, and at that time he was just well-known in Australia. Once we produced it, the Swedes—An21, Max Vangeli, and Angello—played a bootleg of what I had produced with Tommy and it never came out. Then I did my second album on mau5trap and thought, "Okay, now is the right time to bring out this record because it suits this label more than others." That's why it took so long.
And to answer your question, we worked together in the studio, he played the synthesizer, I checked out the tones and that's how it always should be. It was a very nice collaboration because we worked together in one room over two or three days. Nowadays, it's not always easy to work like that because of tour schedules. But that's what I love the most, to do it side-by-side.
What’s been going on for you in the recent months and what can we expect from you in 2013?