Alejandro Mosso’s ability to traverse genre lines makes him a pillar of XYZ’s artistic vision. With releases on industry titans such as Cocoon, Third Ear, and Hivern Discs propelling his career, Mosso has recently found footing in the deep and melodic scene. His Amatista EP on Behrouz’s Do No Sit label is flush with quality, and his remixes for Esteble and Robbie Akbal further display the impressive recent output for Mosso.
As we step into Autumn, we are thrilled to welcome the return of Mosso to the XYZ imprint in the form of his Promenader EP. With January’s Sirocco project as a building block, the latest collection from Alejandro fosters his irresistible percussion work and groove-forward arrangements; immensely intelligent, easy-riding, and cohesive music coming your way.
Promenader leads the way in stunning fashion. The A-side comes as one of the label’s most anticipated tracks to date. Flying out of the gate, a warm and boastful bassline captures a retro vibe as light percussion and melodic keys round out an amazing tune. It feels like a track made in the heyday of house, with timeless character and undeniable dance-ability.
The B-side takes things in a psychedelic direction, with tripped out vocals toying with the brain from the start. Classic drums act as the backbone for Parlante, a tune dripping in mind-melting magic. Expect to hear this one functioning as a wicked ‘DJ tool’, bringing innovation to any late night set.
Coralia propels us into a soothing glide, letting the melody float between sturdy kicks while maintaining a warm overtone. Seeker brings mellow notes, as we ease into the EP’s finale with melancholic synths.
We caught up with Mosso to touch base on how he’s adjusted to the crazy world we’re living in, and to recap how the stellar Promenader EP came to fruition.
WWD – Ale, huge congrats on the new project – we’ve felt for a long time that this has the makings of an instant classic.
Mosso – Thank you! I am very happy with this release. It has a more classic vibe indeed. Slightly simpler and more straight forward than my usual output.
WWD – How has life been for you over the last couple months?
Mosso – In terms of touring, it has been disastrous as it has for everyone in this industry. In Berlin,we are lucky enough to have a government that has reasonably helped freelancers during these times and has kept us afloat for the time being. However, I am not sure how this will develop in the near future though. Despite that, it has been a very productive time. I have released a lot of music and finished many projects for the coming months.
WWD – What’s the current status of Berlin – are you able to get out and enjoy yourself at all?
Mosso – In Berlin we were never really under a strict quarantine, so even during the peak of the pandemic you could still go out for a walk, see one or two friends, etc. The government relied on people behaving respectfully and not overcrowding spaces, which was successful to a certain degree. Today almost all businesses are up and running with special restrictions, except for the entertainment and events industries which are still on hold.
WWD – You’ve played a gig in Switzerland recently as well. What’s it like to experience such different ways of handling the pandemic between the European countries?
Mosso – Yes, I played at the lovely Folklor Club in Lausanne back in August. It was extremely exciting to be in a club again after so long and share that moment with an eager audience. It was a truly great night! Switzerland is a small country and back in summer the situation was sort of under control, but they have now closed the clubs again in some regions because of a recent increase in cases. I guess every country is handling the pandemic the way they think is best for their population, culture, etc… but it’s not an easy task.
WWD – On to warmer subjects… you’ve used the extra studio time to terrific effect, as we see in the Promenader EP. How does this project differ from the Sirocco project which we released earlier this year?
Mosso – Promenader has sort of a classic deep house feeling to it. It shows of course some of my usual percussive work, but is more sparse and straight forward than Sirocco, which was a dense and rather complex record.
WWD – What are your go-to synths for the old-school house feel that is present throughout the EP?
Mosso – In this EP I have used my Nord Wave quite a bit. It is a fantastic synth full of possibilities. In order to give it some old-school vibe I used many modulation effects and texture processors in the DAW.
WWD – What’s a unique production tool that you use in every single project?
Mosso – There are many tools I use regularly, like 606, 707 and 909 hats and claps, Nord Drum percussions and a few more. In terms of mixing I recently discovered Soothe2 by Oeksound, a very unique plugin I have been using in every mix since I bought it. It’s pure magic!
WWD – You recently released a binaural project – Other Worlds. Tell us about how you came to experiment with new types of sound on this EP.
Mosso – Other Worlds is sort of a side project for home listening. Musically, it is inspired by Jon Hassell’s Fourth World series. It is quite meditative and slow. The binaural format is something I have been experimenting with for a while in my Sound Art studies, where I had the chance to work with different 3D audio systems. The record was well received by the specialised media, and I think the quarantine was the perfect time for releasing it.
WWD – You are also involved in other forms of audio/visual production. Can you give us an overview on your latest exhibition?
Mosso – Over the last years I have been involved in many sound art exhibitions here in Berlin and occasionally abroad. It is something that has considerably broadened my artistic practice beyond music. Bringing my expertise in sound production to a different artistic setting like art galleries and museums has been very inspiring and rewarding. I am still new in this field, but is something I will definitely continue working on besides music.
My latest installation called NECERTA PERCEPTO was on show at a Berlin gallery in June. It could be described as a modulating and ever changing immersive light and sound space, playing with auditory and visual illusions through complex mathematical mappings between colour and pitch.
WWD – We hear you also just finished up presenting your thesis – huge congratulations! What inspired you to pursue a new degree at this juncture in your career?
Mosso – Thanks! I have a degree in Political Sciences and now I just finished a Masters in Sound Studies and Sonic Arts at the Universität der Künste Berlin. I guess in a way I have always kept this “academic” aspect of my life alive. Over the last years I was feeling the need to learn new things and adventure myself beyond my career in music, so getting into sound art through a university was a way for me to learn new things, renew my inspiration and expand my influences.
WWD – What new projects are in the works as we look towards the last couple months of 2020?
Mosso – I have a few very exciting remixes coming out soon and another EP in the works. I am also working on a new sound and light installation to exhibit here in Berlin in November.
WWD – How do you see the music industry adapting and rebounding to the pandemic as we set sights on 2021?
Mosso – That is the million dollar question! I have been talking with many colleagues about it, but no one really knows. Regarding clubs and festivals, I think some will unfortunately disappear, especially those who were in a precarious situation already. But even when things will be up and running again, a lot will have changed and I think the panorama will never be the same.
In some regards this might be seen as an opportunity, a sort of second chance to get this business right. We should aim for a more fair distribution of profits between the actors in the scene, get rid of some unhealthy mainstream practices and go back to a proper music culture instead of the massive and shallow entertainment show business that it had become recently. When business is bad, the system auto cleanses itself of parasites: only people ridiculously obstinate and truly passionate about electronic music will remain… and those are the only ones we actually need!
WWD – We thoroughly enjoyed your set for Dip Day earlier this summer. Do you think streaming will continue its popular start as a replacement for ‘live’ music?
Mosso – Thanks! It was a strange and fun experience to play in my living room! For the moment, it is indeed functioning as a sort of replacement for “live” music, but I don’t think it will remain so for long. From the point of view of a live performer, much of the value and quality of the show depends on the real interaction with people. For things to be truly “live”, you must be able to react in real time to a situation where you can see people moving, dancing, talking, etc.
From the point of view of the audience, I think it could never replace the interaction with other people and the experience of being part of something bigger than yourself. In any case, I hope that some of this enthusiasm for live streaming events will remain. It has helped many artists and audiences meet for the first time, and that is a good thing.
WWD – What ‘silver linings’ have you taken from this summer and its extreme circumstances?
Mosso – 2020 has clearly shown the unsustainable inequalities our world suffers and that we urgently need to change. For those of us lucky to be living in developed countries, I think it has made us aware of how much we have and how little we actually need.
WWD – We’re starting to build quite a roster of Argentinian-bred artists across the When We Dip labels – Facundo Mohrr and Hernan Cattaneo, as well as Lisandro in the coming weeks. How has your motherland developed such a strong taste for electronic and melodic grooves?
Mosso – Argentina had a very active progressive house scene in the 90s, then came our generation of minimal house and techno in the 00-10s, and lately there has been a new wave of “deep house” or more melodic shades of electronic music alongside a certain return to progressive house as well. Argentina has a very lively and passionate audience, a fact that I believe has played a key role in keeping these different scenes afloat despite the recurrent economic crises.
WWD – Do you have any plans for the rest of the warmer days in Berlin before winter comes around?
Mosso – The warm days are over and long grey months lie ahead. But Berlin can be very inspiring during winter. Personally, I expect a productive time in the studio getting more material ready for 2021 and the return to dance floors!
WWD – Ale, thanks again for the stupendous Promenader EP. It’ll certainly be a favorite of ours for years to come, and we couldn’t be happier with how the release came together. Thanks for the wise words 🙂
Mosso – Thanks for having me! I am very happy the way it turned out and hope the people will enjoy it.
Alejandro Mosso – Promenader EP [XYZ022]
Release Date – 9.25.20
Stream & Purchase – ampl.ink/1loYR