Mario Basanov has risen to the forefront of electronic music over recent years, delivering a host stunning remixes and productions along the way. It is not only Mario’s outstanding technical production that makes people take note but his scope and versatility. His musicality is clear; he is just as comfortable working on a pop-infused vocal track, as creating tasteful underground House and Techno. If there is one thing we can be sure of when it comes to Mario’s music, it’s that he will always surprise and innovate. Mario was gracious enough to answer a few questions we had for him.
Who first introduced you to electronic music?
Music was all around me since I was a kid. I used to play bassoon and I am graduated from music school and music academy. After those long years of study, I have finally understood that I don't want to play classical music, but to become a music producer and song writer. My taste of music was changing through the years. 18 years ago I started to compose electronic music. I remember the feeling when my father brought home our first synthesizer and I couldn’t believe what I saw. I think that since that moment I started to love electronic music, so from then until now I am in love with it.
What/who gave you that initial push to become a producer/DJ?
It just happened. I became a producer after I understood that creating music is the thing I love the most. It didn't take a long period of time to find out what type and kind of music I would like to create. After working together with VIDIS, I felt the need to perform and promote my music to the world and the listeners not only through the records, but live performances as well. Vidis was the one who gave me idea of starting to work as DJ and it seemed interesting for me - I thought that it was a great opportunity to express myself through music. Since the very beginning, I knew that it wouldn't be too hard for me, because I was familiar with creating music. I have always wanted to play the music I create.
Of course, when I perform, I can play not only my own compositions, but also the tracks of other DJ's and producers. It is very interesting. In my opinion, the thing that is most important to be a great DJ is to feel the crowd. It comes with time and experience. Audiences inspire to experience sensations that give me new ideas for the creation of productions. So it all works together.
How much of a struggle was it to reach the success that you're having right now?
It is hard to answer this question. I did nothing on purpose, all the things in my life just happen. I am slowly reaching my destination, achieving my goals step by step, without forcing anything and anybody. I personally think that meeting right people on a right time was highly important for a success that I have today. I am talking about my agents - Sean (Needwant) and Alex ( Backroom entertainment). They helped me a lot and they still do, because there is plenty of stuff that I cannot manage and do alone by my self, so I am extremely grateful for destiny that I have them by my side.
Together we work a lot and reach our ultimate destinations.
Can you tell us some artists that inspire you in your music?
Stevie Wonder because of his soul; Michael Jackson because of the groove he had; Jazzanova because of its broken beat; Plastikman because of minimal Techno. I have a wide range of influences.
What does your studio consist of? What hardware/software do you use most and why?
I have a lot of hardware. Davesmith Prophet-08, Moog-Voyager, Vermona-M.A.R.S., Waldorf-Pulse and Microwave, my favorite Arp-Odyssey, Aelita, Polyvox. Currently I use Quested S7 monitoring. They are the best. The rest I leave to my ears. Unfortunately technique is not as perfect as human ears. Ears not only tell you how much and what you need, but also shows what is given to man by nature. Musical intuition as well as hearing never disappoints me. I use waves plug-ins. It helps to process sounds well. I also like fxpansions dcam synth squad synthesizer. Now I'm working on my new studio. I will be able to tell you more by the time my new studio is built. Most of the hardwares that I have will be moved to my new studio, but I am going to have a new monitoring that is being made special for me.
When producing a track from scratch what’s your first move? How long does a track usually take you to make?
Sometimes it seems that I am the idea itself. I do not stick at new work too long. The most important thing is to catch the right mood and then the work runs free. Often I can make a track through the night, but next day I listen to it with fresh head and make corrections. Sometimes after I hear some song or melody, I already know what my next track will be. I'm not talking about plagiarism, but somehow my senses are aroused, and that makes the music flow freely. For how long, it is very difficult to answer. I'm very emotional, so my work in studio depends on my emotions, mood and feelings as well. I am often inspired by some sort of things that motivates and makes me keep on working. After all, I am fast in my job, but also very precise, meticulous and pedantic. If I start one composition I won't stop until it is completed. Just mastering and mixing can be left for tomorrow, because these two things must be done with "clear ears".
Can you tell us about your collaboration you do with Vidis and how you guys first met?
When I was working as a producer, my friends suggested to collaborating with Vidis. He was also looking for somebody who might help him to make music. So we started right away, it was all quite spontaneous. After meeting at the studio we started working and understood that we match and complement each other. We are constantly looking for new solutions and ideas for implementation into the music.
Do you have a different mindset when doing a remix vs your own track?
No. It's the same. The only difference is that when I am making remix I already have material to work with. But sometimes I compose a new track and add some elements from other existing track when my own track is almost finished.
Do you master your own tracks or use someone else to do it for you?
I've read that you're a big Xbox 360 fan, have you bought the new Xbox One? Is video games one of your biggest vice?
Unfortunately I don't have the newest Xbox yet. Actually I am planning to buy the new PlayStation this time. I am a little bit crazy about the video games, thats true, its my passion. When I have a free time, I let myself to run away from reality and feel lost in the game. But my priorities are very clear. I don't waste too much time playing video games. My work and family are the most important for me.
Any upcoming productions and or release you can talk about?
I have a few remixes that are all due to come out in the first half of 2014. One for Suol records of Chasing Kurt, another of a South African band called Liquid Deep. I’m also pleased about the remix I just finished for WhoMadeWho. Original productions also will come out soon, maybe another album over the next year. I have some weeks booked into the studio so I’m hoping to get really creative and make a lot of music.