Movements is the forthcoming release from emerging producer Mazoulew, set to drop in October. A well-executed balance and variation of sounds, the record shifts between the shimmering melodic techno sounds of ‘Ditto’ and ‘Ki Lo’; to the lush ambient soundscapes of ‘Overture’, ‘Burnt’ and ‘Tourist’.
Hi Matthew, thank you for taking the time to speak with us. Where are you? How’s your summer been?
Thank you so much for having me, I am currently in Tabernas, the only desert in Europe. After closing the record I’m just taking a little break and just doing a bit of travelling to refresh the mind before getting back to it. The summer has obviously been a bit strange for everyone still dealing with the pandemic but we have to make the most of it.
Could you talk us through your forthcoming EP Movements — how it came about; what it means to you?
So this record actually came around in a bit of a strange way as I had a couple of ideas and sketches laying around from London, and I was starting some new ideas as well at the time, though realised a lot of them had continuity, and were naturally fitting together. I moved to Italy last year for a while so the change of environment had a big impact on my work and my approach to writing. Being in a city which is very loud and fast paced was I think in a way making me write louder compositions, yet when I finally took a break and moved to the quiet countryside for a while I could focus a little bit more on more delicate and intimate compositional ideas and textures. I wanted the record to cover a lot of ground while retaining its theme across the individual songs. It was important for me to tell a story across this record with the electronica tracks being intersected by the more ambient/neoclassical pieces. I feel like ‘Overture’ sets the stage and ‘Tourist’ brings closure to the listener, I hope between these two points everyone enjoys the journey.
Why did you choose to self-release?
I think for this record it made sense as I very much wanted to control every aspect of this release, this includes everything from the actual music to the artwork, the vinyl, the release structure and so on. I have personally felt that with some of these newer labels they have kind of lost track of what their job is, they are purely metrics focused on the DSPs while subsequently neglecting artist development and creating an all round artist. It’s great to get nice results on Spotify and so on, sure. For me though, maybe I am a bit oldskool in this but I believe you should have your fingers in as many pies as possible. Press, radio, live, interviews, features, live shows, sync deals are all part of this. I know some artists that just do Spotify, this is their single focus, and yeah they have good numbers on the platform but take Spotify away, they don’t actually exist in the real world, there isn’t that translation, that real world, 3D tangibility of an artist in my opinion. Again self-releasing allowed me to take full control over my record and do things the way I think they should be done.
So much of the EP is incredibly cinematic — do you draw any influence from film? Have you ever considered writing music for film, or video games?
I draw influence from a lot of different places to be honest, everything from architecture to literature through to nature. I think when it comes to cinematic music something that inspires me is its power and ability to tell a story. Usually the pieces will have a protagonist that melodically leads the story and normally a cyclical motif that gives the listener a sense of familiarity in an otherwise linear and progressive piece. I think when I write I want to bring some of that power and drama from the cinematic world into electronica and have my music give people the same sensation, fill their mind with images and transport them into their own imaginations. Given the appropriate project that I connect with emotionally, I would definitely consider scoring a film or game in the future.
What do you do to relax?
To be honest I try to get as far away from technology as possible, we all spend far too much time either on our computers or phones, so many hours a day just have very high energy information overload. To relax I like to cut myself off from that and get back to nature. Maybe I am simple in this but just taking my dog out in the woods is enough for me to relax my mind and clear my head. I also really enjoy cooking as it’s a very practical, hands on thing to do but requires an artistic taste of balance and combination, learning different cuisine from around the world is really interesting to me.
What else do you have coming up? What’s next for Mazoulew?
So after travelling a bit I will get back to the lab where I will continue slowly putting together this live show I have in my head. Covid pushed all of these plans back but I am kinda happy in a way as it has bought more more time to focus on writing which is where my passion is really. When I get back I will continue to sketch around ideas and start formulating a new record for 2022. It’s been a really fun and productive year for me so I am just hoping to stay on that trajectory and continue making music that you all enjoy.
Mazoulew’s Movements EP is out on October 15. The latest single ‘Ki Lo’ is out now.