Decoded Radio hosted by Luke Brancaccio presents Monica

It was Luke Brancaccio whose attention Monica caught on NYE at a Berlin-Brighton event run by Markus Saarlander. Luke was so impressed with their warm up for him he invited the guy along to be guests on the show as his ones to watch as new upcoming talent. The guys spoke to me about the night and their intentions if any for the direction of their set that night at The Tempest Inn, Brighton.

They explained “well if you know Markus, then you know he is a man who loves to try something new, and that was definitely something he achieved with this party. We have played the venue quite a bit, but that set up was the best to date and it felt like somewhere brand new.”

Owen – Markus gave us the ‘challenge’ of the Midnight drop…
Luke – by the challenge he means anxiety attack hahaha
Owen – hahaha too true. The only track we planned was Four Tet’s remix of Eric Prydz ‘Opus’. That magical 6 minute (or there about) build up which I practised at home, multiple times, to have it drop at midnight. We ended up being 4 seconds off!
Luke – next year we will have that nailed.
Owen – it’s our new mission!

Luke went onto explain “when we met Luke in the booth and he commented on how much he liked the set, and mentioned the slot on the radio show, we were kind of nonchalant to the idea as we thought it was just nice DJ handover talk, so we were stoked when we received the email from Luke a few days later…”

The guys joked that they started planning the set there and then and said a huge thank you to Luke for the link up. When Monica first started out playing in Brighton, The Berlin party was always something they aspired to get on board with as they felt, musically, its somewhere that best suited their sound. It took a while for them to get Markus’s attention, but luckily, in their own words they said they are quite annoying when they need to be, so finally beat him down to give them a chance.

Since then they became residents and this has allowed them to cultivate their sound more confidently, to a crowd that is really receptive to new directions of music. It has been a fundamental part in their development being able to play regularly and they owe a lot to Markus and the team, and to the crowds who dance with them month in month out. Berlin is one of the best crowds they have had the pleasure to play for.

With heavy influence from music played to them such as Marvin Gaye, Gloria Estefan, Duran Duran, The Eagles, Depeche Mode, Joy Division by their respective parents its no question as to why their hearts have guided them to this genre of music. “My Mother blasting Pavarotti every Saturday morning must have had some influence” Owen commented, followed by Luke remarking “I had a combo of Phil Collins and Simply Red. How could you not get into music after that.”

It’s a funny story how Luke and Owen met (in a toilet at a Pan-Pot gig back in 2015). “Not like meeting in a Berghain toilet or anything haha” Owen laughed. “No it was just a massive case of perfect timing/joint stage fright” Luke added. To be honest they recall it was kind of hazy but Luke did FaceTime Owen on his walk home.

Luke and Owen are very different people personality wise, this helps massively in regards to track selection and direction in their sets. On many occasions they kind of trip each other up into making each other dig deeper for the next track. They explained if they were too alike they feel their sets would get a little safe at times.

Luke – haha yes for sure, Owen is a massive extrovert and I just want to hide away in a dark room twiddling with knobs.
Owen – but this does change right after we play a set as I turn into the dark room knob twiddler and Luke peacocks around the smoking area.
Luke – T**t

The guys recently played a warm up set for John Digweed at Concorde 2 in Brighton. “It was a surreal moment. I kept looking over my shoulder towards the end of our set and he was nowhere to be seen, and then boom he was just stood behind us. Very surreal having such a legend share the booth with us” said Owen.

Bedrock is definitely one of the labels that has stood the test of time and we regularly are checking what’s coming out. He certainly knows his music that man. And is a proper Gent”

We actually played one of our new tracks at the end of the set, un planned, but he needed more time to set up and then he actually said he really liked it. We did give him a USB with our latest stuff on it so you never know.”

Monica are throwing their own party on the 15th June. They are very excited to host their second edition of Foucault at Tempest Inn (Brighton seafront) and have invited their friends Faide, Rudy and Berlin boss, Markus Saarlander, to help soundscape the evening.

“We really try and push the idea to our artists to play what they want, no holds barred, a true musical journey so we all work together and make it a memorable evening.” they said

I asked them about their guest mix for Decoded Radio and their approach. “A mix for us is always different to something we do in a club. I mean obviously you get infinite do-overs if you mess up, but we do try and make sure each track has its purpose and its place. We wanted to tip the hat to our favourite producers at the time (Fango gets a double nod) without just choosing their top tracks or brand-new stuff.” they explained.

Luke – There’s a lot of B sides on there and a personal edit of one of our favourite DJ Tennis tracks.
Owen – B sides that we would give everything to be our A sides.
Luke – true, but we also wanted to include one (could have been greedy) of our latest tracks, Contemporary Sniper, as a personal milestone in our career.
Owen – it’s quite nerving to know that this mix, going out on Decoded’s pages, could be heard by ALOT of people.
Luke – and it’s nice to know our track doesn’t sound out of place among the rest.
Owen – at least we don’t think so hahaha

As we started to bring our chat to a close we quickly touched on their production and releases. They spent the winter in the studio and managed to finalise a few tracks which they have started playing out and sending to people, so that’s a case of watching this space. “We have had some nice “bites” already but more news when we have it” said Luke. “Yeah things are starting to feel a little more real and we have to say this mix and interview adds to that slightly overwhelming feeling of “real” Owen added.

I’ll now leave the guys to round up their thank you’s and say goodbye. Head on over to soundcloud and enjoy the show.

“We want to thank Dene Sonessa, our number 1 fan, Alex, our soon to be full time manager Mitch Little, the party hungry Europeans that attend all of our gigs, and of course Markus Saarlander for making all this happen.”

We owe you all…

Stay safe kids!

Follow Monica Music on Facebook here

Decoded Radio hosted by Luke Brancaccio presents Monica.


Luke Brancaccio

01. HVOB – Panama
02. HVOB – Sync
03. Monolink – Frozen (Rodriguez Jnr remix)
04. John Monkman – Warp [LNOE]
05. La Fleur – Aphelion
06. Joel Jungell – These Places
07. Damian Lazarus – All I Need [Crosstown Rebels]
08. John Monkman – Delta Ray [LNOE]
09. Roland Leesker – Believe
10. Alyne – No One Saves You


01. Fango – Aguja
02. Whitesquare – Understand
03. Kianni & His Legion – I can take you there (if you let me take you)
04. Red Axes – Shabak Shalom
05. Konvex & The Shadow, FRAG – Shining Like Haloes (The Drifter remix)
06. Fango – Nervum
07. Night Talk – To a Skylark…
08. Monica – Contemporary Sniper
09. Trikk – Return to Order (N.Y Dub)
10. Ivory Ivory – What About Yellow
11. DJ Tennis – I can Tell (Monica Lounge edit)

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Every Thursday 1300hrs Central European Time

Daz Pearson
About the Author

UK based former DJ and promoter, co-owner, director, writer & creative at Decoded Magazine. Studied at the University of Wolverhampton graduating in Graphic Communication & Typography (BA Hons). In house video editor and avid MMA follower with a keen ear for dark, twisted, hypnotic, tribal progressive house and techno.