PLAYY. Mix #154 – Malanda Jr.
You can tell that DJ and producer Malandra is a romantic. He has that sort of red, hot blooded Italian passion coursing through his veins. He speaks in sonnets, and looks back fondly on memories of growing up surrounded by an eclectic mix of musical influences. It’s these influences that he has transposed into his unique take on dance music. His latest single, Shock To The Beat, out now on Dubfire’s sci+tec, pulls from motorik italo, funk, and techno for a surprisingly delicious, groove focussed cocktail. With upcoming releases expected on major player labels including Watergate and Renaissance, there’s no doubt that people are falling in love with whatever Malandra is cooking up. We had the pleasure of speaking with him about his journey in music so far, and Malandra provides us with an exclusive mix to put this journey into focus. Listen and read below.
Set the tone for us. Why music?
Maybe strange genes that I carry inside my code …. Music, she chose me, a lasting relationship, tough, beautiful. Since I was a child my attention was fixed on objects that emitted sounds, at the age of 5 I made my first piano essay.
Who are some of your major influences, and how did they help develop your style?
You know, I don’t know if I have a particular style. But if you say so, this makes me very happy. I have a whole range of incredible influences, from great classics, to Conrad Schnitzler, but also DJs and producers like Lucien Luciano, Villalobos, Dubfire, and Marco Carola. They have undoubtedly marked my style. I’ve always loved the social side too. The fun, getting to know new places and people. Not only the purely artistic, technical side.
How do you approach the creative process? What comes first, the sound, the idea, or both?
I think I basically have a little idea… I try to give direction. Then comes the music. But basically I don’t have a set process. I feel this deep desire to create something….everything can come from nothing.
Tell us about your new single, Shock To The Beat? How did this track come about?
Can you believe that I took the microphone and started saying things? I speak a little in a “trap” way about my travels, I try to make you feel the joy of taking a flight, staying here today, staying there tomorrow.
There’s loads of influences, from acid to funk, on the single. What drove you toward these sounds for Shock To The Beat?
I think I have them inside. I also really like playing the drums. I love drummers who have the “pull behind”, a sort of delay that gives you a gut reaction. The groove, for me, is fundamental. The bass must give me goosebumps. My father is a jazz fusion saxophonist with a brilliant career in the 90’s. I was raised ad nauseum with D.C Corea, GRP All Star Big Band, Yellow Jackets… Something acid funk fusion is built into me.
What was the experience of working with Dubfire’s sci+tec like for you?
Incredible. I believe that this label is gold for all producers, for all those who want to say something. And you can understand the emotion in receiving messages of esteem from Ali, a legend.
Tell us about the direction of this mix?
There’s some “wow” stuff, and there’s some me. That funk part, but also that part that makes me more of a musician… Where I cradle on the melody, look for neutral colors, and I’m a little less interested in the dance floor.
What’s next for you? Any upcoming releases that you are particularly excited about?
Yes, after a long wait, I will have two EPs dropping soon, one on Renaissance and one on Watergate.
If you had the opportunity to write one of the greatest songs in history, what would it sound like?
The title would be, ‘Nothing Is Born From Diamonds, But Flowers Are Born From Manure’ (but maybe they would accuse me of plagiarism). But that would be a good story. The story of a child born inside a radio, of an exuberant child who became a man, who studied, with an incredible apprenticeship, who ate pasta and salt, born and raised in parts where many enjoy seeing failure. Where I hear a fucking death knell every day…. But it’s the story of who he chose to become, that he fought and believed in a dream. That he has loved many women, that he has become a father, and that yes, today I can say, he is a DJ and lives on his music.
Why this story? To inspire a new generation.