The guy that has been making us go ‘Wow!’ for over 2 decades and owner of, yes, you guessed it, the amazing Wow! Recordings Mar-T took some time out of his busy schedule preparing for the Amnesia 2017 closing party to talk all things music with us here at Decoded. The veteran artist has proven time and time again that hard work, determination and an absolute passion for what you do are the key ingredients to making an incredibly successful career.
We can only be grateful for Mar-T’s innovative style and his forefront leadership of the underground movement, a movement that has changed the lives of everybody it has touched. Every person that has entered Amnesia and experienced one of his mind-blowing sets, every person who has enjoyed one of his finely crafted anthems; Mar-T has created lifelong memories for many, many people, and now we have the great honour of picking his brains and finding out more about the Catalonian musical master.
Hi, thank you very much for speaking with us today, it’s a real honour! Let’s talk about Wow! What were your reasons for setting up the label? Was it an outlet for your own music initially, or did you always plan for the label to have the kind of impact that it has?
I started the label 10 years ago because I found it difficult to release on the labels that I really liked as they didn’t even listen to my demos (which was very frustrating), and also so that no A&R would tell me what to change. The label was initially only focused on releasing music from my friends who’s demos I was playing all the time and were experiencing similar problems releasing their tracks. Now after 10 years, I look back and there is an amazing catalogue with a huge variation of artists, many of them at that time where unknown and now they are important producers.
Can you tell us a bit about the Wow! team? Who is responsible for what role within the label?
2 people handle the artistic part of the label and then there is the accounting department which takes care of the numbers. Luca Donzelli is my partner, he has been working for me for 4 years now and I think that since we’ve been working together there has been great changes. We always take decisions together and only on very few occasions we’ve not be sure about a release. However, when this happens, we normally decide to choose a track each so the release feels good for both of us and IT WORKS!! Hahahaha.
Wow! have released some of the biggest tracks in electronic history, but can you tell us, do you have an absolute favourite release of all time?
Well, in terms of happiness of results it would be Darious Syrossian and Doorly release which was the top Tech House seller of 2016 on Beatport and is still selling good numbers. In terms of been my favourite, there are many but Latmun‘s release was one of my top releases as at that time he was not known and I believed in his work. He is also a really nice guy.
And what about prospect releases? Are there any artists you have your eye on that you are keen to release music from that haven’t yet released on the label?
What are the labels plans for the rest of 2017? Do you have anything major lined up?
As I say there are many cool producers which will release on the next months.
Do you think that being resident at Amnesia has been an essential playing field for testing which promo tracks would fit on the label before signing them?
It’s about being a DJ, you can test tracks in any club or a situation or even try the same demo in different clubs to see if it works everywhere as well. Maybe it works only at a certain party and then suddenly it doesn’t work anywhere else, so it means it was working only on a precise moment so its not a good track.
About your residency, almost 20 years have passed since you first jocked the decks in Amnesia. How did that residency come about?
I was invited to play at Amnesia one night together with another DJ which was the resident of a club in Barcelona. It worked well, and then the year after I started to be the third resident DJ until, after time, I was the main resident.
You must have witnessed some crazy things throughout the years. Can you tell us, what is the craziest thing you have seen someone do at one of your sets?
I’ve seen people get really crazy when they’re drunk in Ibiza - you know, anything can happen! Once I had a couple making sex in front of the DJ booth, people thought it was a performance but it was real.
Did you always know that you were destined for a career in the music industry?
You never know, I always wanted to be part of a rock band until I started to DJ and before I was a graphic designer. So, what I knew is that I had an artist/creative side to me. I like to create music, concepts, ideas…. can’t stop thinking of how to make something new, I get bored very easily and that is a BIG problem for me.
You are just getting ready for Amnesia’s 2017 closing party. How stressful is the preparation with such short time frames between a very busy event schedule at the club?
This year Amnesia closes one week later than usually so we will have time to prepare for the marathon closing. I always look forward for opening and closing parties of Amnesia.
Let’s talk a little about current affairs. Do you think the current age of monetary streaming is good or bad for the industry and why?
I don’t understand….. maybe my English is not working here :-)
What are your thoughts on the ban of DJ’s at beach clubs in Ibiza? Do you think it is a good move?
I think that every time there is a beach club which has a successful day party it always tries to make more an more parties on different days until it creates disloyal competition against clubs which have the proper license and pay taxes for it. In Spain we say “they give them the hand and they take the arm”. If you are not 100% legal you must try to make the best of it but you can’t forget it. One great party is better than a closed party.
What about the political side of things. Do you think the Spanish government could do more to support the underground scene?
Talking about Ibiza, the government here does not care about clubs or electronic music, if they could they would close all clubs.
Your experience speaks for itself. If you compared the nightlife of the 90’s to now, what are the major differences?
For me the major difference is that at that time clubs where respected, they where seen as an income for the island and not a problem. Space was amazing as an after hours, Amnesia closing at 11 in the morning was great. In terms of music there was a better scene and electronic music was more organic with vocals, pianos etc… No mobile phones, more respect for the local DJs and vinyl! Clubbers with more personality and not all dressed in black….. more sex, more friendly… no stupid drugs which make people turn into zombies. All this taking into consideration that I arrived in 1998, as I was too young for the proper 90s, so I already lost the best part!
Thank you very much for talking with us, it was an absolute pleasure! Anything you would like to add?
Thanks for the interview!!!!! GOOD LUCK !!!
Decoded Radio hosted by Ian Dillon presents WOW! Recordings with Mar-T.
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