His recently released Balance 008 compilation on EQ integrates his eclectic and difficult to categorize style. The Balance mix CD is his second compilation for 2005 and the third of his career, after the previous OS_01 on Bedrock and 'In House We Trust 3' on Yoshitoshi. What makes Desyn Masiello so distinctive? We try to find out the answer to that question while having a chat on a cranky phone line on a Monday evening.
Desyn Masiello: Yeah, Im on a day off traveling, but in my life there is no time off. It's work from the second I wake up to the second I sleep.
BF: You never sleep, do you?
DM: (Laughing)... You got me, I actually never sleep. I cheat, I never sleep, I work all the time. No it's a myth, I do sleep. Actually last week I slept 40 hours in 2 days. I think that's more then any human normally sleep, I was very tired.
BF: Your new label Symphonic is gonna launch soon, your third label alongside SexOnWax and Alternative Route. What are your plans with it? Why another label?
DM: Why another label... because this is a little bit different then any other label I know. This label is run and operated by five DJs. Most labels have one or two music A&R people working. We're five. And this five people are like myself, we listen non-stop from the moment we wake up to the moment we sleep. We're looking and listening to new music, so we have in a way like five brains working on the music side and this also benefits not only with the quantity of music we can listen to and the amount of work we can do without commitment but the bif difference is the fact that the quality control is so high because to get five people to agree that we all like one track is very difficult. So the track must be really high quality for all five of us to say yes. The quality control is extremely high and the amount of work we can do is much more then a normal label could get with one A&R. So I think this is the difference and also the five people are located in different countries around the world, we have a good spread.
BF: So who are the four other people?
DM: The four other people are Paul Wiseman, he's located in London, I'm located in the south of England, in Brighton; there is another guy called Mike James – Mike James is another Dj, he's located in Belgium; there is another person called DJ Rollo from Israel - he's located in Jerusalem – and the final member is Shueml Ram, he's located in Tel Aviv. We're all minded people and music addicts and that's how we met, through the Internet.
BF: Let's concentrate on the two CDs for a bit from your latest compilation – Balance 008 which is out now on EQ. They are both compiled different, each one has a different sound. Do you remember how long it took you to find the tracks and mix them?
DM: Yeah, it took me I think about 2 or 3 years to find the music. In general... because if I have to put the amount of time I spent looking for records, I would probably say 2 or 3 years of non-stop going to record shops because the main selection of records from the Balance CDs is from the past 2 or 3 years. You There's records from 2001, there is a record from 1992 which is the Orbital. And the entire full time spent on different records I'd say it's a few years of looking. To do the CDs I think it took me about 2 and a half hour.
BF: So you're touring the world to promote it. How's the feedback so far?
DM: Most people like it, some people don't like it but that's to be expected because music to me is as much a reflection upon the listener as is on what I put down as well. There's two people involved so if somebody tells me he doesn't like my music I don't take that personally at all.
BF: You can't please everybody...
DM: No, but I believe there's a good reason why you can not please everybody. And that's because I see music as a reflection of your soul. When you listen to music there's music that I find I don't like and I think perhaps that's maybe because there's something in myself, that I don't like about myself. And of course when you look in the mirror sometimes you gonna see things that you don't like.
BF: Is there any particular track or tracks that have a special meaning and you wanted from the start to include on the album?
DM: Actually no, because one thing I did not want to do with the album was have any logical thoughts put into this album. The album is a kind of representation of how I feel when I play in a club. It's not music that I would play in a club but it's the same process. When I did the CDs I spent about 2 months ago deciding on my favorite records. That was easy. But I was also thinking about putting the records together and I ended up with a lot of mess. Because I had pieces of paper with hundreds of tracks, one good with another track, this one sounds good with this one and at the end of that I should not know what to do, like a jigsaw puzzle and I said to myself: 'This is not how I dj when I go to a club'.
When you go to a club, you go from your feelings, you react to the crowd and energy. So the way I mixed the CDs is I invited one of my best friends to my house and we stayed up and I did one CD in one go, one straight line, and when I finished I took an hour break and relaxed and then I did the next CD. And the only logical though I put into the CDs was the first track on each CD. I decided "Ok, this is gonna be the openener" and I wanted the first tracks to be selected because they had a special feeling and I though this is a nice way of introducing the CDs. Apart from that I never knew what record is gonna come next, so I think some people would not like the CDs because of this. It might not have a flow that they expect.
I think it has a flow and the flow is the fact that I wasn't thinking. It's purely natural, that's how it came out, without any thought. In my mind I had to turn off Desyn Masiello. He would had to be turned off and then something else did the CDs (laughing).
The Balance CD is not ment to sound like really me in a club; it's ment to be a more personal experience, a personal journey.
BF: Can you compare the Balance mix to the one you did for Bedrock, OS_01?
DM: Yes, I can compare the CDs. Bedrock was a massive struggle. Struggle because it was my first CD, I was scared; I was really scared because it was my first impression to people. For many people this is the first they hear of me so I was very scared of what people would think, quite insecure about my selection and my flow. And it was a struggle because of that, that's how I felt inside.
BF: You were also under the pressure of time, right?
DM: I was massively under the pressure of time and there was another pressure as well. And that is I love a lot of different types of music – vocal house, techno, deep house – and Bedrock is a very progressive label. John Digweed is known as the No.1 progressive dj in the world so I was a little uncomfortable because I didn't feel like the people who'll buy the CD would like it if I was trully expressing myself. Like on the Balance CD, there like a track like Chelonis Jones – it's a very vocal record, it's quite like electro-house. This type of record I though it may be a little too much for people who love progressive records and it was all my own insecurity. These things didn't really exist. It was only in my mind. I put a lot of obstacles and barriers so I found the Bedrock CD very difficult to do in a nice flow. But one thing I would say about the Bedrock CD is that I love every single track on there and I choosed the records because I love them, but the actual process was very hard and I think when you listen to the CD you can hear maybe that is not such a nice flow.
- [a:rpia:r] - A successful story
- Simian Mobile Disco - New Future Electro Disco Heroes
- Luciano: I'm Still the Same Guy
- The Model - A Special Man With Special Needs
- Me and You is M.A.N.D.Y.
- Carl Craig: I'm Not A Fortune Teller!
- Audio: In Between with Paul Van Dyk
- Audio: Steve Bug - 'I Don't Make Music for Bugs!'
- Ricardo Villalobos - from South America with love
- Lee Burridge: Balance, drugs and Tyrant
- Audio: Ricky Stone, a busy combination
- Hook N Sling - a Fat Australian Export
- Break-Beat lessons with Krafty Kuts
- Ewan Pearson, the lucky guy
- The other side of Ellen Allien
November 21, 2005 at 12:00 AM CET
DM: Uhmm... How do I feel... I don't feel anything. I feel nothing
BF: Really? Nothing?
DM: No. It's not important, because I only do what I do because I love it. I don't do it for any recognition. The only thing that is good is that it acknowledges that all the hard work that I've done is gone to a purpose, there's a purpose of my work.
BF: Tell me about your recently opened digital download site, magneticgrooves.com.
DM: It's besically run, designed and operated every day by five Djs. We want to cut the time of finding the best music and we're gonna use our own skills and our own selection to present the best music to the Djs. So even though we're selling music, in the background we're spending hundreds of hours of listening to all the music to select the best one. Obviously in our minds and our styles, but we have friends that are also djs, many of the big djs are gonna do selections with our website, to help all djs around the world to find the best music quickly.
BF: You need to face some real competition from Beatport and the other download sites.
DM: There's a lot of competition but people at the end of the day want the best music, that's all they want. And they don't want to spend a lot of time looking for it. Our focus with our site is bringing the best music to the people as quick as possible. And also there's so many record labels in the world, not every single site will have every record label, we have many exclusive labels as well. It's such a big market I think, anyway. So we're not worried about competition, we're happy to supply our service to our people. We're not looking to be a multi-bilionair dollar (laughing). We don't want to take over the world, we just want to supply the music we love to the djs and get it out there.
BF: Not so long ago you had a gig in Bucharest at a clubbing magazine launch party. What do you think about the Romanian nightlife?
DM: I love Romania! Honestly I love La Mania in Constanta, at the beach. This club is special. The 2 times I played there it has not been busy, but still I had amazing time there. Bucharest – the club and the atmosphere for me were not quite the same as special as down there, however, Kristal I think is an amazing club, very good atmosphere in there too. I have lots of fans in Romania. I always have an incredible experience when I go to La Mania to play. I play 15 or 20 times in one month. If I go to La Mania, normally is the best of the month
BF: How many records do you carry around with you on a gig? Do you prefer CDs or vinyl?
DM: At the moment I'm starting to take records again. I miss records, I really missed them, they are like little friends. Because they're there, you feel them, you see them they represent something in your mind. When you look at a record you feel the record, you feel the sound, it's an association in your brain. Every record looks different, different label, different colour. The CD is text, it's just a piece of writing on a paper, it's nothing. Like for me, I have 10 tracks on each CD and in my CD wallet I have hundreds and hundreds of names looking at me and that's all they are, names. You have more of a connection with a vinyl then with a CD, in my opinion. So I started to take records again, because I miss them. Not all records, but maybe 50, cause I'm very lazy, I don't like to carry.
BF: What would you do if you had to give up dj-ing someday?
DM: Well, the first though that came into my mind when you said that was "I'd kill myself" (laughing). But I would probably do something to help the people, less fortunate people, in one way or another.
BF: What's your advice for a young dj to get out there? What would you suggest?
DM: I would suggest, most important thing is to always do everything from the heart and the soul and to do it because they love to do music and they love to listen to music and they love to communicate with people through music. And only concentrate on that, never ever I would suggest never desire to be somebody. The biggest problem I say for djs coming up is the ego when people think that they are better then another dj or people think that they have to keep the records secret from other djs because the records make them special in one way.
Never think that they are different or special from anyone else. Do not be jealous of anyone else. I think these are the most important things now because these are the ways that the human mind works and the ego work. You have jealously or discontent, people around you, this will shadow your music. I think you must havea a clear and pure mind because for me dj-ing is about communication between souls and the music is just a medium. So if you have in your head bad thoughts for other people or you're jealous of another djs or you think that another dj is bad or your better then somebody else, all these thoughts will affect your music, they will affect your sound and your message. I think if somebody wants to be djs they got to be pure. Now times have changed, maybe in the past it was different, but people are more wise, they listen to music for many years now. So that's my advice to just concentrate on the music and don't think of anything else and I think most important is to not care of what other djs are doing.