Photo: Press (Kasper Marott)
Some producers end up forever defined by their breakout track, others manage to reinvent and redefine themselves. Even if you just half-attentively skip through Kasper Marott’s debut album Full Circle, it should be clear right away into which category the Danish artist falls. In fact, after the initial success of the Keflavik on Modeselektor’s Seilscheibenpfeiler imprint in 2018, the Axces co-founder kept pushing the boundaries – his own as well as those of tried and tested dance music formulas – with releases on the same label or Courtesy’s Kulør. His mix for our Groove podcast however focuses on one thing only: party music. Get ready for one and a half hours chock-full with riveting acid and trance techno.
First off, how have you been doing this past year?
Oh yes! Like so many others, the past year hasn’t been what I expected it to be. But besides being kicked out of my apartment, sleeping on my aunt’s couch for a while and only playing two gigs from March until now, I actually feel like I’ve done a lot of nice stuff. I finished my album and one upcoming EP. I also got rid of my studio and converted it into a set-up with a nice pair of headphones and my computer – it feels good because that’s the only two things I need to produce music, and since the change I’ve actually been quite productive.
You grew up on the Danish countryside and got to know electronic music through the radio. What kind of music was crucial to you as a teenager?
Back then I didn’t have any interest in going to parties with my classmates, so I used to spend most of my Fridays listening to the Danish national radio P3. They used to have this show dedicated to club music and electronic music. The first show I remember listening to was called P3 Klub and then later on the danish DJ Kjeld Tolstrup (RIP) had a show called Unga Bunga, also dedicated to club music. This was around 2006/2008. Back then I loved Deadmau5’s earlier stuff – “Faxing Berlin” was one of my favourites! I also remember Trentemøllers “Rykketid” as one of my big, big finds and I loved it. I also spent a lot of time searching for and listening to early electro-house. Axwell’s remix of C-Mos’s “2 Million Ways” is more a modern disco track really, but still one of the tracks I remember from back then.
You picked up producing at a young age, too. How did your first steps look like and what did your first productions sound like?
Yeah, I started really early. I got completely obsessed with all the Ejay programs around the age of 10 and I could spend hours and weekends making tunes either alone or with old friends! I still have a CD collection of my old Ejay tunes. It was I picked up on more professional software oly later on. I began making Deadmau5 copycat tunes in Fruity Loops back in 2007. It was all about a nice catchy chord progression and a very bouncy kick – which I didn’t really know how to make back then, so I always ended up overloading the master channel so everything distorted – it sounded horrible, but it worked!
As a DJ, you’ve made your proper debut at Copenhagen’s now-closed Dunkel. What led to you playing there – still a teenager at the time – and how was that experience?
Back in 2009 I released my first track on a compilation by Kjeld Tolstrup and Le Gammeltoft called Sound of Copenhagen. Because of that release some people got to know my productions and I got booked to play a live-set and a DJ-set at Dunkel together with Natal Zaks a.k.a. DJ Central of Regelbau. I remember it as a pretty scary experience, but also very exciting and new. At that time, club music wasn’t new for me and neither was DJing , but it was the first time I experienced the music on a nice sound system and with a club full of people. It took me ages to learn how to maintain a vibe on a dance floor and get a nice, fun and fluent coherence in a DJ set. In the beginning, I had no clue on how to read a crowd and I basically just played tunes that I had found on the internet and in record stores without paying attention to the atmosphere in the room. That is something I learned over the years and something I find very important as a DJ. In order to build up an energy on a dancefloor and to go where you want musically, you have to capture the people where they are emotionally and that’s not an easy job.
In 2019, together with Alfredo92 and Martin Gilleshøj you have launched the label Axces. What was your motivation to start the imprint, and what would you say is the philosophy behind it?’
Axces Recordings is a record label, but first and foremost a music and art collective consisting of Alfredo92, Popmix, Søren Kinch, A. Waze, Martin Gilleshøj, and me. We all have a long history and over the years we’ve developed and improved ourselves on many levels together. Axces Recordings was created to manifest the already existing mini-community of like-minded music nerds and showcase what we love to do, whether it’s making music, collecting or producing records, making fun or crazy artwork, playing music out as DJs, hosting parties or simply hanging out. It’s important for us to do this together. Having a collective mindset is a core value of Axces Recordings and we’ve spent a lot of time during the lockdown to look inside and organise our teamwork and forthcoming activity on values that we find important. We think the feedback loop that exists between us brings inspiration and engages us to push ourselves, and last but not least – by working together we can make things happen that we wouldn’t be able to do on our own. We have more releases in the pipeline that we are excited to share.
Your debut album Full Circle will also be released through the imprint, even though its first single came out on Seilenscheibenpfeiler. Why do it in-house?
The album is affected by the connection between us in Axces and therefore it is the right label for the album.
According to a statement quoted in the press release, you’ve “been through a process of pushing [your] own notions within contrasts, musical themes, genres, and composition” with the tracks on this album. What does that mean, exactly – how did the album come together?
The album as a whole is a diverse mix of tracks that challenge my understanding on how wide the diversity can be on a release – and that’s satisfying to me! It was never my goal to make an album. It came together when I realized that the tracks as a whole shaped a bigger narrative, which needed the album format to come into their own. When I look back on the selection of tracks on the album, I hear a lot of different experiments and I get various feelings that I relate to something meaningful. For example “Missing Link” ended up being a track that challenges my own understanding of composition. When I’m working on my music, the outcome is always rather diverse. I don’t have any specific agenda of what the music should do or be. I’m working with a concept I’d describe as controlled coincidence – a jumble of impressions and a subconscious drive. I try to control my artistic process by influencing myself with things I like and don’t like. I make sure to live my life so it fits my temper. I’m not made for 37+ working hours every week; I work quite unorganisedly and impulsively. I always follow my motivation and make sure to respond to it. If I don’t feel like making music, I don’t do it. I’m driven by music and the creation of it, nature, friends, family, home, and a strive to live a simple life. When I’ve made music that feels right, it reflects my life.
What was the idea behind your mix for our Groove podcast?
I’ve been eager to record some proper party mixes for a while now, so that’s what I’m doing at the moment. This is one of them.
Last but not least: What are your plans for the future?
Hopefully I can stay where I live and pay my rent by playing my records really loudly.
Stream: Kasper Marott – Groove Podcast 285
01. Speedy J – Ping Pong
02. Young American Primitive – Pangea
03. HLLW – Gykoro
04. Mindfield – Afterglow
05. Eat Static – Nec Tar
06. Roza Terenzi – Cosmology
07. GTO – Majika Dub
08. Germinating Seeds of Doda -Dervish
09. Taxa – Solenopsis
10. Kasper Marott – Almost Future (Unreleased)
11. Brainstorm – Untitled (B Side)
12. Up Above the World – Straight up Caffeine
13. Confusion A – Back to Roots
14. Peace Division – Peace on Earth
15. Noma – Brötekölserud
16. Elysium – Monzoon
17. Popmix – Giga Stream (Upcoming Axces)
18. Sun Glory – City Slicker