Many of you may already know him and some of you may not, but nonetheless we’re delighted to introduce you to Mario Basanov. His work, together with fellow Lithuanian Vidis, put him on the map and he has since galloped to the foremost front of the deep house game.
Recently he’s had releases on the likes of Innervisions, Future Classic & Needwant and is often supported by Dixon, Tale of Us and Mano Le Tough. Having had a stellar couple of years, we thought it was about time that we caught up with him…
First off, we would like to hear about the start of your career. We’ve read in past interviews that you come from a musical family and are classically trained. What was it that made you want to make electronic music?
I never thought about prospects in music. I was just creating and living with music. Music was all around me since I was kid. I was playing bassoon and I graduated from music school and music academy. After those long years of studies I understood that I didn’t want to play classical music anymore but to become a music producer and song writer. My taste of music was changing over the years. 15 years ago I started my first attempts to create some electronic music. I remember when my father brought home our first synthesizer it was a special moment. From that moment I started to love electronic music.
You have been producing with Vidis since 2007 and have been very successful as a duo. You also recently released a new EP with him on Silence Music and had an album out in 2012. Can you tell us about your plans together for the future? Is there another album in the works?
At the moment, excluding the EP we did a few months ago, we are working on solo projects. For me personally it’s been very busy with many projects right now so in the immediate future no plan, but 2015 lets see. Things change and opportunities arise, also it may feel the right time for both of us to be in the studio again.
There is a lot of talent coming from your hometown of Vilnius. Acts like yourself, Vidis and Downtown Party Network are releasing some great music and we can’t help but wonder if it’s something in the water. Do you all work together and help each other out?
We all know each other so I guess when one producer makes a great record then the other is pushing themselves some more with the production techniques, vocalists etc. We are all professional producers and our scene is small but well formed. I think this is just the beginning and you will see much more of the Lithuanian producers start to emerge.
You’ve carved out a very unique sound in your music and have won producer of the year two years running in Lithuania. Where do you get your inspiration and how do you get such unique sounds?
For me it’s taken a very long time to achieve the quality of producer, no one can rush this process. For 15 years I worked and tried different things, learnt techniques and new machines. Also working with musicians and learning instrumentation myself. Making truly great music takes a lot of time and I was very pleased to be recognised in my own country for my works.
For inspiration it can come from many places, my computer games, my gigs, drawing…it’s hard to say, sometimes the world is full of colour and I can be inspired everywhere I turn, other days it takes longer. Like any artist you work when the waves come.
‘Red Line’ was released on Dixons Innervisions imprint this time last year and we know that they’re big fans of yours. Have you got anything planned for them in the coming months?
There is nothing planned at the moment. I was playing with Dixon and, on the journey as we caught the train together, I played him ‘Redline’ and he signed it there and then. Maybe we will meet again soon and it will happen again. Innervisions is a great label and one of my favorites so it was a great pleasure to be part of this.
You’ve released a lot of music on Best Kept Secret, their first release having been yours and Vidis’ Staar Wars EP. Can you tell us a bit about your relationship with the label? Have you any plans to start your own label?
Best Kept Secret is part of Silence music and so my more instrumental music I release on there. I have worked with Vidis for many years and the label releases are an extension of this. I’m not sure if I will do more or not, I will see in the future. As for my own label, watch this space 😉
Your last EP on Best Kept Secret was titled ‘Machinarium’, no doubt a nod to the futuristic puzzle game. We read recently that you’re an avid gamer and would like to write music for games and film. Have you any plans to work on that side of your music?
I would love to work on computer games, it’s my dream. Right now I’m quite busy with tours but I hope to find some time soon to make this a reality with the right opportunity.
You seem to be doing a lot of touring all over the world and we know that makes it hard to get into the studio. How do you find the balance between the two and also your personal life? What rules do you make for yourself?
It can be difficult especially with so many flights from Vilnuis but I make sure I get a lot of sleep. I’m always getting sleep where I can and two years ago I stopped drinking alcohol, it was essential with so many gigs.
There’s a lot of talk recently about dance music sounding too similar. What do you think about the current trends and who do you think is exciting right now?
Dance music always sounds similar to some people, to others its completely different each track. Trends come and go, I try not to check them or follow just listen to the music. For me producers like DJ Koze are exciting.
What can we expect from Mario Basanov in the coming months and years?
New realeases are coming, but I still can’t talk about it… It’s always like this but you need to keep it silent sometimes. And actually I have so many gigs that I can’t think about a future. I just want to create good dance music and be good on a dance floor as a DJ.
Last but certainly not least, can you name your top 3 games and top 3 tunes right now?
My favorite games are:
Castelavia: Symphony of the Night, Assassin’s Cread III & State of Decay.
My top 3 tunes:
Few Nolder – Clouds
Rampa – AY
Johannes Brecht – What’s About