INTERVIEW // WITH HOLTER & MOGYORO
Hey Martin and David, great to have you here. We hope you’re doing very well.
Hey guys! Thanks for having us. We are very well.
Your latest release “Déepalma 2017” is a mix-album-collaboration between you guys, Yves Murasca and Rosario Galati. Did you meet eachother personally, yet or is it a typical 21st century relation via the internet?
Martin: We have already met Yves in Austria once and we had a great connection from the beginning but we would say it’s still more a 21st century relation via the internet as this is the way we communicate the most.
David: Unfortunately we have never met Rosario so far as he is living in Sicily. Yves is living in Germany so it’s also not that easy to meet each other frequently. Most things happen online and especially via cloud- and filesharing-programs like Dropbox and Wetransfer. These make our lives and also the production process much easier with these distances.
What has been new within the past few weeks in your lives? Something exciting going on at the moment?
Martin: Yeah, definitely! Our lives are changing pretty much right now. I became a daddy a few weeks ago and so have entered the „parent’s world“ actually. I am also teaching Jazz and Popular piano in a music school two days a week and am working as a music producer and live musician in a few bands. However my father-role consumes most of my time at the moment.
David: I have a full-time-job in a big online marketing company. Our challenge is to manage the little time we have very well so that there is still enough space left for hanging out in the studio and producing music. Unfortunately we can’t work together as much as we did it the year before but we already know that times will change again. Our main goal clearly is returning to make more music in the near future. This period now serves as an excellent occasion to improve our time-management so we are seeing it in a positive way.
How did you guys meet eachother for the first time? Is that when you decided to make music and perform together?
Martin: In 2011 David was resident DJ in a smaller club in Vienna, where he started his dj career. In the years that followed he got booked by more well known House-Clubs in Vienna. Finally, in 2013 he got the chance to play in two of the best-known clubs in Vienna. Accompanying his dj career he also wanted to improve his production skills, so he was looking for somebody who offered workshops in music production. As i offered these workshops as a producer, studio owner and professional musician our paths crossed. So in fact, at the beginning we were teacher and student but from day one we got along with each other like a house on fire.
David: We talked about starting a music-project together. But during that time, Martin also met some other House-DJ’s and DJ Live-Acts and worked with them as a producer and ghost-writer. So he was very busy with these projects and it took two more years until we could finally start our „Holter & Mogyoro“ project. From then on, Martin stopped all other projects to be able to focus on our project for onehundred percent and basically that was the time when our career as a duo started. Of course, the fact that Martin is a professional live musician was a big bonus for us. We knew that the combination of DJ’ing and live performance was the point where we could stand out from other DJ duos.
What are your roles when you perform, produce, and work on a production?
Martin: When we perform as a DJ duo we are playing back to back. When we perform as a DJ Live Act, David mainly mixes the tracks and I am playing the keyboards live and use a second analog mixer to add more effects for spicing up the set. Sometimes we both mix a few tracks together, then I play a few tracks on the keyboards and David does the DJ’ing. It depends on the length of our set and our mood.
David: There is a very special vibe on stage when we play a live-show. People love to see DJ’s performing but if there are live-instruments included, it’s always something totally different. We think also the audience can feel that special „live – Mojo“ (Laughing). It’s quiet more interesting for the crowd – it more feels like a concert. We have to prepare a bit more than for a regular DJ gig and playing live always is a bigger challenge as you never know what happens. But finally this is what makes it so interesting for ourselves, too. Martin is a beast on the keyboards and he has unbelievable great ears. He can jam to everything and every track spontaneously and his timing is very tight! No need to quantize his keyboard-tracks in the studio at all! He’s a real genius!
Martin: Thanks man, love you too! (Laughing) At the beginning there was a clear cast. David was the DJ and I was the keyboard-player. But we had to face the fact, that in many clubs there was not enough space on stage to perform with live-keyboards. So I decided to learn DJ’ing in a few months for being able to be booked as a regular Dj duo, too! So now promotors have the choice how they want us perform: as a DJ-Live Act or a regular DJ duo.
David: When it comes to productions, it’s a bit more difficult to say. Of course roles vary sometimes but since Martin studied Jazz and Popular piano he generally delivers the musical ideas and beats, the so called track-„layouts“. Compared to my full-time-job Martin only teaches two afternoons in school so he spends much more time in the studio. He also works on other projects and is a true sound nerd. He can easily spend one week on creating a new clap or bassdrum-sound! (Laughs)
Martin: Yeah that’s true! I always want to find the ultimate Kickdrum-sound (Both laughing). But i think this kind of pedantism is very important when you are producing music! However it is healthy to have somebody besides me who tells me: Martin, it’s good now! What are you still doing? (Laughing)
David: True! Every week he shows me some new ideas for new tracks. We pick out the best ideas and start to arrange and finish these productions together.
Martin: David is Djing for a much longer time and knows many things which are important to produce music for the dancefloor. His experience and expertise for good house tunes is very helpful. He often knows e.g. which of a few basslines will work best in the club. If David wouldn’t be next to me in the studio I would definitely end up changing sounds all the time. David sometimes really has to tame my musical output for not getting lost in new ideas. Sometimes it’s not that easy for him!
David: True again!! (Both laughing) Of course we listen to a lot of house tunes every day and oh gosh, there are some huge productions out there. So we pick out what we like and use these tracks as references concerning sound and production quality. Of course we do our own stuff but it’s important for us to orientate on the very best productions on the market.
Martin: When a production is finished, we are mixing the tracks. We use analog and digital equipment. We love that „sparkling“ and little „extra life“ which you can get out of your tracks by using analog equipment. It just sounds a bit more magical and organic which is not too bad in a mainly digitally world.
David: When we started our project we spent a lot of money in different Mastering studios around the globe. We thought they would bring our tracks to the next level. But honestly we never were satisfied. Sometimes we were even shocked by the results. We think that mastering is a very personal process. If you know your own music, you always have an idea of how it should sound in the end. Martin officially offers Mastering in his studio, so it was obvious that we decided to master a few of our tracks ourselves. We sent the masters to our labels and they were all very happy with the sound. As this saves us and the labels a lot of time and money we ended up doing all masterings of our tracks on our own.
Of course we know…but for sure our readers and your fans are really interested in knowing as well how you started working together with Déepalma Records – shall mean releasing records under this imprint and counting to the core artists of the label?
Martin: In the first year of our duo’s career, we produced a lot of different tracks. We listened to many records and tried to achieve a really good and international sound quality for our productions. So, the first year was more like a learning process. After this year, we had some tracks ready and decided to send them to several labels. We had one track, in which we sampled a little part of Dune’s „Hardcore Vibes“ from 1995. We were new in the business and a bit naive so we sent it out to labels without knowing the fact that samples have to be cleared 100 % before. A few labels promptly wanted to sign it but when they asked us if the sample was cleared, we realised that we had to ask the copyright owners first. So unfortunately we couldn’t sign any label contract. We contacted Dune’s record company which was Motor music (Universal Music). All producers know how difficult it is to clear an original sample. Especially from a label which belongs to a major company like Universal. We also wrote to the producers of Dune directly. Nobody answered for four months. We were really sad, because we liked the track a lot and definitely wanted to release it. Suddenly, after four months, Dune answered us via facebook and gave us the permission to use the sample at no costs. As we nearly gave up, we were obvisously more than happy about these great news and we finally released the track as a Free Download via Soundcloud.
David: Two weeks before that we had sent out another track called „All Our Mistakes“. We knew that it was very strong and we submitted it as a demo to ten of our favourite labels. As most of you know, sending demos to labels, especially at the beginning, can be a hard and dissappointing process. But surprisingly a few labels answered and liked the track. One of them was Déepalma Records. After double-checking all the labels’ websites and social media channels, as well as their latest releases, we both agreed that Déepalma was the perfect fit for us. It impressed through its professional appearance throughout and also the communication flow worked properly from the beginning. Our desicion was clear and „All Our Mistakes“ was released as our debut single on Déepalma. Thank god we did because due to our experiences today we know that there are extremely many semi-professional and bad people in music business. It is important for us to work with the right people who are loyal and professional. Déepalma has given us the perfect base for our releases, not only on a business level but as well as a kind of music family.
Do you find it easier to come up with new ideas since there are two of you? Or does it make it harder in some ways as there are always two different opinions? How do you handle that?
Martin: Most of the time we share the same point of view. We are glad to have the same musical taste and the most important thing is that we have the same goal and vision about our project. We always have great fun in the studio and always try to keep a good vibe whilst working together.
David: Of course sometimes we have our wranglings or let’s call it „discussions“ but we think that this is totally normal if you spend so much time together. We think it’s like to be married (laughing). But as we are very good friends, too, we can talk about everything and we both think this is the most essential thing if you want your project to persist for a long time.
You are currently living in the beautiful city of Vienna. Which venues could you recommend our readers in your city? Where do you love to hang out and go clubbing or maybe some restaurant recommendations?
Martin: Most of our time we spend in the studio, so there’s not much time to go out. Furthermore we have to face the fact that Austria is not really big when it comes to house music. There exists almost no market for this genre. It’s a beautiful city to live in but honestly, there are only a few clubs where house music is being played. It’s very negligible. Volksgarten, Pratersauna, SASS, Grelle Forelle to name a few. If we go out for clubbing these are the clubs in which we hang out.
David: Regarding our own music, we want to concentrate on releasing in bigger countries on bigger markets like Germany, France, United Kingdom, Netherlands… And regarding the food: there are countless good restaurants in Vienna. We both love asian food. So we could definitely recommend „Mama Liu & Sons“, „Ramien“ or „Shanghai Than“.
Martin: Yes, they are serving great food! But the best „Wiener Schnitzel“ you’ll get at „Figlmüller“.
The best and worst thing about living in Vienna?
Martin: Nearly no crime, clean and green! But the clubbing scene is small and not really up to date.
Everybody can clearly hear that typical Holter & Mogyoro signature sound in your most recent productions. We’d call it a cool Deep Disco vibe. How would you describe your personal style? And what artists have influenced you over all the years to get into this direction?
Martin: Actually ourselves, we’d call it House Music with a deep and athmospheric touch! We always try to walk the line between a deep underground kind of sound and the more commercial style of House music. We simply love real House music. Initially we started producing more Nu-Disco. But as you know producers always develop themselves and due to the fact that we like many different styles of music it’s obvious that our sound is developing, too.
David: Yes. At the moment we are more into rougher House music. A bit tougher and more bpm-driven beats than before (about 122-124 bpm). But still we try to keep our own signature sound by using special instruments and sounds in our studio which we love. We think that many producers use too many different plugins and virtual instruments and try to imitate other producer’s sound. We prefer to use analog hardware synthesizers and instruments.
Martin: Sometimes we even record our own shakers to keep our sounds unique. We also always need harmonic, musical elements and vocals in our tracks. Good vocals and warm harmonies are touching people and, us too. We think that this makes up the typical „Holter & Mogyoro“ sound.
David: When it comes to influences, there are so many awesome artists so it’s a bit difficult to say, but for example Tube & Berger, Milk & Sugar, Sonny Fodera, Dennis Cruz, Mark Knight, Dennis Ferrer, Purple Disco Machine to name a few, are definitely some of them.
Martin: As well there are many great Soul and Pop productions which have a big influence on our sound. We both love Daft Punk, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, Gil Scott Heron, Kool & The Gang, Earth, Wind & Fire, D’Angelo …
What was the first electronic music you discovered?
David: Armand Van Helden – You Don’t Know Me
Martin: I can’t really remember. Maybe „Daft Punk – Around The World“
The biggest record in your boxes this weekend?
David: Dosem – Projection (Original Mix)!
Martin: Massive tune!!
What is the proudest moment of your career to date?
Martin: Well that is easy – the moment when Yves and Rosario asked us to remix their release on Kittball Records „I Don’t Need You“.
David: Oh yes. When we started working together it was one of our goals to release on Tube & Berger’s and Juliet Sikora’s label „Kittball Records“. We never thought that this will happen so fast. A dream came true!
We are really looking forward to your next single release. Can you already say something about it or is it too early? When can we expect a new smasher out of your studio?
We are currently working on several new originals and remixes. But as our time is limited right now, you guys will have to be a bit more patient. We never want to rush and release unfinished tracks, that’s why it takes some time to have a „Holter & Mogyoro“-track really ready. We only want to release unique quality stuff. We promise that we won’t disappoint you guys.
Thanks a lot for the interview guys! Glad to have you at Déepalma Records!
Thanks to you! Glad to be part of the Déepalma family!