Saturday, March 2, 2013

Moduloktopus - FutureClassics MIXTopus Mix and a Look Into the Imagination of the Electronic Music Chameleon

MODULOKTOPUS is officially a producer to watch. This Dominican Electronic Music Chameleon is creating amazing remixes and original beats in Boston, making waves around the country and via many blogs, like EarMilk and - where he recently created the first in a Mix Series called MIXTopus. 

Moduloktopus has amazing range, which is what I look for when I write about and promote music. This guy and his sounds really caught my ear. His remixes are extremely creative and vivid, and pull from various electronic genres. Many are dance oriented, several of which are in various downtempo styles, fusing hip hop, trap, DnB, jazz, international flavors, and electronic sounds. I reached out to Moduloktopus to have a "discussion" about his music. I was excited to hear he's soon releasing new collaborations with rising stars NOMS and BRITE LITE BRITE. Like I said, Moduloktopus is someone to watch - he's got an amazing attitude, philosophy, sound and approach and that's what creates memorable music experiences. Read the interview with Moduloktopus below, listen to the MIXTopus and watch "Formless"!

DOWNBEATSCAPE: What's in a name...Moduloktopus?
MODULOKTOPUS: Suggested by my best friend Jose Gil Bernabe, the name is inspired from He-Man villain Modulok, whose powers included the ability to shape shift his body parts into weapons and plan complex schemes. I decided to infuse the name with the mythical reference of the Kraken and the Camouflage skills of cuttlefish. From those sources I created the name Moduloktopus. My interpretation behind the name is an Electronic Music Chameleon on a mission to adapt his imagination to any style he touches.
DBS: Tell me more about the set MIXTOPUS you just released with
MOD: Since I began uploading music on Soundcloud, Gabriel Pitman who runs the blog Future Classics, has always provided support for my releases. He wanted to start a mix series for his blog and I used it as an opportunity to start a new series of my own. MIXTOPUS consists of originals and remixes from my body of work. It also includes a lot of unreleased productions to make it special. This first one goes through 32 tracks in 50min. My goal is to make one every month or two for a specific blog, and include as much music as I can.

DBS: When did you get into music production and what does the future hold for you?
MOD: I got into production in my teens after my CDJs broke down. I had no money to fix them so I learned beat-making instead with Reason 2.5. Since those days I tried imitating my influences, but my real voice in production developed when I made the duo Dice Motion with Joel Friedman. We experimented so much and learned to piece together songs from start to finish. The future for me is uncertain, but I'm looking forward to playing more shows, artist collaborations, weekly releases, monthly releases, remixes, videos, and an undying effort to spread my diversity to various scenes in electronic music. I only want people to always expect something new from me every week.
DBS: What type of song do you look for when doing a remix?
MOD: I can pretty much play around with any essential element of a song to make a remix. What I look for is something easy to sample and to improvise with melodic or rhythmic twists. Most of the time I'll just recreate the original with a different flavor or experiment making my own dance floor hybrid version. My vision is to always find an uplifting feature to develop cause that's what the original song will initially do for me.
DBS: You collaborate with video artists and other producers when creating tracks, how do you connect with other artists and what is your collab process like?
MOD: Collabs happen naturally. Mostly because I come from a background of being in a band and acquainting with musicians on a daily basis. Always grateful to have musicians I am a fan of be my friends (Noms, M Constant, Jonathan Hoard, etc.. to name a few). It's a growing experience to have them add their musical strengths to your songs and push what you do in ways you never thought possible. When I was approached by videographer Michael Gold, we became fans of each other's style and the energy to work was seamless. He is such a chill guy to collab with cause he'll take my tracks and visually flip them inside out regardless of genre. Being a fan, having flexibility and staying inspiredly committed are the best qualities for a successful collab.
DBS: What producer, DJ or artist would you love to collaborate with?
MOD: I'd love to collab with so many, but to keep it simple I'd like to use the soulful side of my sound to go with: Sid Siriam, Jesse Boykins, Dvnny Seth, Hiatus Kayote, Erykah Badu, Lapalux, The Underachievers, Saul Williams, Sonnymoon, Bjork, Thriftworks, and Prefuse 73 to name a few...  On the Dance Music side I'd love to collab with Ookay, Willy Joy, DJ Sliink, M|O|D crew, Cashmere Cat, RL Grime, Herobust, DJ Rashad, Obey City, MikeQ, Brenmar, Hucci, Freddy Todd, Flosstradamus, gLAdiator, and many more... For the most part I'm pretty open when it comes to collaborating with anyone as long as the music serves its elevating purpose and reaches people. I encourage anyone out there who wants to collab to hit me up. At the moment I can announce you I'm collabing with Noms, Brite Lite Brite, and Jonathan Hoard for some releases in the upcoming month.
DBS: What's your take on the whole "trap" music explosion?
MOD: I have my personal view on it. To me Dance music will be Dance music regardless what tag we apply thru the ages. Whenever I see a genre being overgeneralized or overexposed, I like to use that opportunity to mix it around with other genres or ideas that could give it a different character and add diversity. For example in “Bessie's Bounce” I mix Baltimore Clap with my twisted trap style, “Wiggizm” trap with DnB, or on “Fckn Dance Flow” I infuse trap with Juke.
As long as producers can create music with an honest voice and authentic personality, any generalized music term can begin to diversify. Which is the situation when we look at the word Hip Hop for instance. I even believe trap is just another shade of Hip Hop, which for me is liberating when you think of the places to draw inspiration from.
In terms of the current hype cycle it's going thru, I'm pretty happy the dubstep lazer blasts have calmed down, and that 808 style beats with minimal elements can create the same effect on people. It has also made the entry level for producers easier to access, but the ones who thrive are the ones that stay connected supporting each other, refining their craft and share their authenticity with other artists. Now a days everyone who makes it big in “EDM” starts by remixing or collaborating with others. It's safe to say that when genre names explode it's that much easier to find people with a common taste, but you need to bring something different to the table that can stand out inside the genre. The best way for me to do this is mixing different genres or composing without thinking of genres at all.
DBS: "Formless" is a track that really caught my ear and eye, but it has a different feel from many of your tracks - how would you describe your musical range and what influences you to work with certain sounds and styles?
MOD: Good question. “Formless” is one of those situations where I didn't bound myself to genres, I was looking to simply piece together my sonic interpretation of Bruce Lee's words. That is what actually led to its diversity. As iconic as Bruce is, he resembles a wholehearted way of life and a big reminder that you gotta put your best up front. When a motivation like this is the key what drives the song, the results will always astonish you. It really gives me a confidence to leave my comfort zone and question how far can I take the music. The downside might be that I can't play this at a club, but the wisdom in its challenges can transfer unto the next club track.
DBS: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
MOD: Yes, Big Thank You to Downbeatscape for allowing me to express my views, and supporting my music. I'm currently looking to book more shows, so I encourage anyone out there to hit me up if you like what I offer. Also pay attention for new Souncloud releases and feel free to tell me what you Like, cause I love having fans be part of my creative output.

Formless - Moduloktopus from Michael Gold on Vimeo.

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