HigherFrequency  DJ Interview


Desyn Masiello

Dance music seems to be about crossing all generic barriers these days, but few artists embrace the concept with quite so much enthusiam as Desyn Masiello. Leaving no stone unturned in his quest to track down the most cutting edge music around, Desyn has not only been pushing the envelope when it comes to original sounds, he's also been redefining the meaning of insomnia.

After acquiring his first set of turntables in 1990, and going full throttle on the DJing in 2000 with a residency at London's The Big Mojo, Desyn's career really kicked off in 2001 when he was signed to Bullitt, Deep Dish's prestigious booking agency. That set the stage for a superhuman touring schedule throughout 2003 to support his much acclaimed Yoshitoshi 3 "In House We Trust" cd. He now handles two labels (Alternative Route, and the darker, edgier Sex on Wax), he recently pioneered the first mix cd in the Bedrock Original Series, and his tour dates are still in overdrive. With the endorsement of pretty much all the biggest names in dance music under his belt, Desyn is living proof that blood, sweat, tears, no sleep whatsoever (and considerable musical talent) can pay off.

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> Interview : Matt Cotterill _ Translation : Kei Tajima (HigherFrequency) _ Photo : Mark Oxley (HigherFrequency)


HigherFrequency (ȉ HRFQ) : Desyn, we were here a year ago, we saw you on the 30th of January, I think it was, how does it feel to be back ?

Desyn Masiello : Probably two things, very excited, and quite honored to be back as well and grateful to be here.... I can't believe I am being paid to come here! It's like a holiday to come here, It's a shame I have to leave in......I'm not going to get any sleep, I literally came to the club from the airport.......but still it's nice to come and you know interact with some people.......

HRFQ : I mean it's quite prolific.. the schedule, and what you have been doing with the 2 main labels you do, Alternative Route and Sex on Wax, I mean we were looking at the stuff coming out from Sex on Wax.........er, Amazing!

Desyn : Yeah...Mr C, Danny Howells.

HRFQ : Can you talk about anything that's in the pipeline for that ?

Desyn : Alternative Route, we've got about ten releases, and we have already got next year's releases done! I've been told by my label manager.....I mean it's my label but my label manager has said that we are not allowed to sign anymore records.

Desyn Masiello Interview

HRFQ : Who's in charge then?!

Desyn : Well....you know....I asked her the same question... Well she has actually been in the business a long time, she manages the books and the money, so I trust her. She tells me, "look, stop signing records." So.....It's hard though, you keep coming across amazing stuff so you want to sign it. We actually got a record by Osamu, who is a resident here at Womb

HRFQ : Osamu M

Desyn : Yeah yeah, Osamu M.

HRFQ : 'Waterdrop' was it ?

Desyn : Yeah 'Waterdrop', a beautiful record, it's like a......lush, atmospheric, deep, progressive feel, then out of nowhere this big orchestral breakdown comes in, it's a really really beautiful record, and that's why I signed it, because it doesn't sound like any other progressive record, it's got a lot of soul in it, and I really liked it, and it's quite different from the norm.

Which is what we always try to do on Alternative Route - is sign anything - we are not 'pigeon-holed' to just progressive, you know, we can sign House, techno, tribal, so thats why we signed it, because I thought it 'stood out' a bit.

And we've got some er...erm....interesting, quite big records coming out, there's an old rave anthem called N-joy, Anthem(track name) from the early nineties in the UK, which we have signed and picked up and we are doing remixes of. So we have put that out along with lots of..........one thing we do with Alternative Route is look for the artists, we don't just go for whoever is hot, especially on the remixes, I try and go for who was there, the 'hot' that is unknown, very very new unknown artists, same thing again this year, we always kind of try to have a few big hits, last year we had 'Ride', so this year hopefully we can pick a couple as well, but most of our releases will be new unknown artists.

The same with Sex on Wax, we are going to put Danny Howells singles out, more Mr C stuff, you know, Sex on Wax is like a label for us and our friends and Omid 16B, who puts most of his original stuff out on the label.

HRFQ : That's great, I mean you're recognized as a DJ who really does scour every sort of corner ....

Desyn : Yeah I am a little bit obsessed, a music freak... that's why I've got these bags under my eyes, no matter how much sleep I get, It doesn't really matter because I'm stuck in front of the computer most of my life. On the internet now you have got so many amazing records, I thank God everyday for the internet , 'cos I don't have to move my arse anymore, I can download records, or you know like, I can just sit there and go(say) "right.....Dj.deals......it's a German receord site and it is unbelievable, the Germans of course, as they always do, when they do something they do it properly.

This record shop, you can click on 'Benelux' like Netherlands regions, Italy, France, you can click by region and see all the releases from that week; you know, a hundred releases from France, it's like whoa...!! It's a DJ's dream, so I never leave my house.....

Desyn Masiello Interview

HRFQ : So whats the longest you have gone without daylight ?

Desyn : oh...Weeks !!...without daylight....weeks !! ha ha.... No, I do look after myself now and again......... you can get....I get......er there are a thousand new releases every week of dance music, on average throughout the world, a thousand new dance singles released, and if I haven't listened to 500 of those in a week I start to think, shit, I am missing out, you know...I need to listen to them all ..ha ha........I have got lots of friends and we all listen to the stuff together, we try and cover everything, I try and cover everything.

The weird thing about House music I find as well, it's not very nice to say so, but the truth is, most of the music is shit, because, we've got to the stage in technology now where literally anyone can make house music with a computer that sounds ok, you know stick a beat on loop so you've got your beat, I mean computers have gotten to the stage where they make making music very easy, so the human creativity side is being lost a lot now, so I find that the really special stuff is still out there but it is very hard to find, that's why I look so hard, it's not because I'm obsessed and want to listen to everything, it's because I want to find those really good ones that's all, and they are just so hard to find.

HRFQ : Because it was something that you said about when you find the esoteric tracks and finding these things is very difficult, and you take them, yourself, and you tweak them, and put the beats in and make them how you want them to be, and you have been quoted as saying something to the tune of, " I don't think the people in the club scene, the new generation, would be very receptive to the things that you find. What did you mean by that, what made you think so ?

No what I think was saying was that a lot of music that is out there isn't instantly ready for the clubs, it needs re-editing, I think, that is what that quote was meant to be saying. You know just things like, you could take a Brazilian carnival record, you can't just play that as is, in a club, mainly because it's impossible to mix, so I might put it some extra kick over it, to give it more of a punch and time it so it is mixable, thats what I was saying you know, there's lots of records outside of what you buy in record shops and dance music shops that you can still play in clubs if you look around, you know.

HRFQ : How about the technology you use when you are re-editing the tracks, Ableton Live.....

Desyn : Ableton Live is the only thing you need now, honestly, it is the only thing you need now. Like I have many friends who have been using, Pro Tools or Logic, Cu-Base, all these tools to do edits, and myself as well I have used all of these, and now I have been using 'Live' for a year and I don't ever have to open any other application, it is the king, it is the king, maybe not as far as fuctionality goes, because Pro Tools and Logic these have like plug -in's and effects that you can't get in any other package that are far superior, but what 'Live' is amazing at is the speed that you can get from A to B, you know you want to get a track perfectly timed, it could be a track from the 70's which was played live, you know like, something by The Clash or something, a completely live thing, you want to get that in Pro Tools and do an edit of it, you will be three days none stop getting the beats perfectly timed. in 'Live' you could probably do the whole thing in an hour, it is literally 50, 100 times faster than most other packages, in getting the tracks 'in time', which is the main thing when you want to do edits, it is designed for speed and ease of use so anyone looking to get into DJing or getting into edits, that's your package ! Learn that !

HRFQ : Desyn it's been great to talk to you, it's been very short, but we look forward to your set and best of luck for the future.

Desyn : Cheers mate

End of the interview

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