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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Nov-16 > MASON

MASON

From touring with Tiesto to getting his music featured in high-profile games and TV shows, Mason has made a career in the dance genre where others haven’t lasted. MusicTech talks to the Dutch über producer who reveals a lot of tips for us all…

MT Interview Mason

Scoring a huge hit across the globe in dance-music circles doesn’t necessarily mean you will maintain a long career after it. Such are the fashions of the genre – or its multiple sub-genres – you could be No. 1 one month and no one the next – without a hit to your name ever again.

Fortunately for Mason, this is not the case. The Dutch-born DJ and producer had just such a hit with Perfect (Exceeder) back in 2007, a track that featured vocalist Princess Superstar and a single that got to No. 3 in the UK charts – it was successful around the world, making Mason a production name overnight. But far from being a one-hit wonder, he followed it up with more success with the tracks Runaway and Boadicea, featuring Roisin Murphy.

Since then, Mason hasn’t stopped and has filled the intervening years with releases on labels including Island, Tool room, Fool’s Gold, Boys Noize and his own label, Animal Language. He has toured with Tiesto, played festivals including Global Gathering and Cream fields, clubs like Ministry and Space, and remixed everyone from Moby to Mylo.

Like we said, this isn’t someone content with an initial spark of success and Mason is certainly making his mark on the world of dance music. After 10 years of doing just that, MusicTech caught up with him to discuss his production philosophy and to glean some tips on how to maintain such a high profile and musical output…

MusicTech: Tell us about how you got into music?

Mason: I started to play violin when I was about six years old, and when I was eight, I started to sing in a famous Dutch children’s choir. We were singing songs on TV and recorded in these giant analogue recording studios. I totally fell in love with all that impressive music equipment. During breaks, when everyone would play outside, I would stay indoors around those tape recorders and giant mixers with the engineers (think ponytail, black shirt, old sweat). I then decided I wanted to become like them when I grew up. I sort of have, although without the ponytail and sweaty shirt (or at least most of the time). However, I didn’t know that writing music could be fun, too. When I was 15, I borrowed my grand parents’ turntables and started to combine hip-hop records for my mix tapes, and record those at a higher volume than my parents would appreciate. From that point onwards, DJing has been my biggest love.

MT: Tell us about the first time you realised you’d made it…

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About MusicTech

The idea of this month’s MusicTech is to give you a flavour of what it’s like to record a band, with all the technical know-how that goes with it. We asked MT expert Mike Hillier to imagine you are sitting watching him prepare the studio and mic the band up and in doing so, Mike offers a hell of a lot of advice. Like I say, it’s like you’re with him... At the other end of the scale we have the new Pioneer Toraiz, a unit that, on the face of it, is packed with DJ appeal. Yet dig beneath the surface and you’ll find an incredibly powerful piece of hardware for the music producer. Talking of scales, we go from dance music remixing and production with Mason (p34) to mastering it with Label Worx. So we cover the complete process of recording to release which, quite handily, brings us right back to our cover feature! The November issue of MusicTech is out now!
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