Interview with Jus Damien from Music Collective-Momentum Musik.
Interview By Leanne Brady
How did Momentum Musik form? What is the concept behind it?
Well, Momentum Musik is run by Santos and myself but I will answer the questions today as Santos is away recording his new EP.
Initially, I met Santos about four years ago when I was playing in Moxie Studios for H&G. He came up with our mutual friend Pato and we had a short chat about music and the productions he was working on. We talked about different artists we liked and decided to put on a night. We kept in contact but kept putting it off until May 20th this year when we booked Marc Piñon to play at The Tara Buildings. We are working on a lot of projects for next year and are planning lots of gigs in Dublin and hopefully Barcelona. We are also working on self-releasing an EP under our own label also.
How has Dublin’s club scene changed over the years? In your opinion has it progressed or not?
I think it has progressed, there are more clubs and options for credible electronic music now. You had the legendary nineties clubs like Sides and The Olympic which I was a little too young for unfortunately but still, hear about. Then the Celtic Tiger happened and money became more important than culture to anybody that had the money to make a difference. People went to clubs to get a kiss and a slow dance to the sound of Drops Of Jupiter. I mean you still had The Pod and a few other good clubs but not as many as today. Then the recession hit and people that otherwise would have been working regular 9 to 5s but couldn’t get a job, started using their creative instincts and the big cities in Ireland started to blossom with alternative bars/clubs, Street art, people opening small Galleries, creative business and also having sneaky raves.
The promotion aspect has changed also due to the Internet. You can promote a gig from your phone for ten euro and it will reach 6,000 people. Gigs would have relied on word of mouth and street promotions with flyers and posters instead of FB and Instagram. Dj’s making a mix and putting it on a tape and it is passed around and played at sessions.
What elements would you change about it if you could and why?
The Social Media aspect. I had a Nokia until we started Momentum. The only time I had the phone in my hand was when It rang. Now I find myself looking at Instagram for no positive reason other than seeing what my friends are up to. I’ve never signed up to Facebook, so I was left behind as far as keeping in contact with people I met abroad and wouldn’t normally bump into on the street, which I kinda regret. But #likeforlikes, kill me.
What were the biggest challenges starting Momentum Musik and how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge for me was knowing where to start. Luckily we have a lot of friends in the Industry like yourselves that helped us out a lot with advice and contacts.
What have been your favorite gigs recently?
My three favorite sets this year have all been by Woman. Paula Temple on the Index stage at Life Festival, Helena Hauff at Dekmantel and Volvox in Panorama Bar. Woman are raising the bar in Techno without a doubt. The energy in Paula Temples sets is incredible. Helena Hauff is playing some banging EBM and Electro mixed in with Techno from the likes of Umwelt and Morebeck. The Acid Volvox plays is always amazing.
Who would be your biggest musical influences?
I take influence from the likes of The Fall, Light Asylum, Bob Dylan, Laurie Anderson, Leonard Cohen. The whole idea of The Chelsea Hotel in New York with musicians and painters in every room of the hotel and the creative energy that place must have had, gives me goosebumps. I’m influenced by Drone and Ambient music, soundtracks like The Life Aquatic by Steve Zissou and The Mission. I’m influenced by the output of the artist and not the person. People are just people and some have more to do and say than others but are just people at the end of the day.
Can you tell us about your creative process, how would you begin creating a mix, producing and organizing a gig?
I listen to Electronic music and search for new music at least 3hrs a day and more on weekends. I don’t really put out many mixes on the internet and when I do they are just rough and improvised and usually full of mistakes. I don’t really care or have the time to run them through DAWs or redo them to correct mistakes. I’ll be halfway through a decent mix and I’ll get a brainwave to put in a record that just came to mind and it really doesn’t belong at all in the mix, but I’ll put it in any way and fuck it up. When I play out I put a lot of time into preparation and track progression. I’ll usually have combinations of new tracks in mind and know where I want to go. Most of my tracks will be less than a month old when I play out. Anybody can play classics and get people dancing. it’s the Dj’s that take a chance and play new music that makes a difference to me. Organising a gig is a little difficult if you don’t have your own club night but we are plucking away and trying to bring over artists we would actually go to see if they were in town. And then bringing them to venues we think they will fit into.
We’re really looking forward to the gig in D-light studios with Essaie pas! Can you tell us a little about what to expect? Any other upcoming gigs?
The Essaie pas gig is a collaborative effort with District Magazine and D-Light. The work Agata and Stace have done at D-light is amazing. It’s like stepping into a New York warehouse. I only had the pleasure of talking to Stace when I approached them about hosting Essaie pas. Stace is a well respected electronic artist in her own right so they were 100% behind the gig from the start. I’ve been to a couple of Homebeat events in there and they looked and sounded amazing so we are D-LIGHTed to have it there(sorry). District magazine is run by a group of very talented people with a lot of experience in the industry. Eric the editor of District sent a couple of Essaie pas tracks to me about 3 years ago and when the opportunity came to book them we jumped at it. District has been leading the line when it comes to supporting local political issues and are always helping expose local artists. They have programmed the support acts for Essaie pas and we are really looking forward to seeing it come together. We are expecting a full house so get your tickets early!
We also have Tall Tales which, to be honest, is the highlight of my year. Last year was so much fun. Music only plays a small part at any H&G event. There are performances from Spooky Beor and art installations from H&G in incredible surroundings. People really up their game when it comes to dressing up for H&G events.