This week we catch up with one of the hottest new names in melodic electronica: Mondkrater. The Ukrainian producer first came to our attention with his Mode B production moniker. The now defunct alias appeared on Particles, Manual and Mesmeric amongst others. Now working solo Alexander has created the Mondkrater alias to further his studio work and explore fresh exciting sounds. A new label in conjunction with Indieveed and Makson was also recently formed by the name of Ideological. The cutting edge imprint has just released its fourth offering and we had a chance to sit down and chat with Mondkrater about it and variety of other topics. A transcription of the interview is below and we hope you enjoy it.
1. How old are you and how long have you been producing / DJing?
Mondkrater: I’m 22 years old and I’ve been producing and DJing since 17 years.
2. What are your earliest memories of music, what did you listen to growing up? How did you get involved in electronic music and what made you decide to pursue it seriously?
Mondkrater: Ok, let’s start^ It has been started after my mate took me to the club. First time I’ve been in such crowded place where was so dark and all I could see through all this lights was a DJ who was the head of the party. That’s was my first meet with a night lifestyle. Meantime I listened to Chemical Brothers, Thomas Schumacher and his “Mad Robot” and some other artists which I don’t remember for sure. Actually it was a time of my a musical discoveries. After I decided to try it and successfully passed DJ school which were run by one of the most popular Dj in my native town. So that’s how it all started.
3. You are from the Ukraine, have you lived there your whole life? and what is the progressive house and melodic techno scene like there? Are there events and clubs that you can go to and here good music? if so where?
Mondkrater: Yes, I’ve been living here all my life. As for melodic techno scene I cant say it does not exist, better to use “hiding”, somewhere and somehow. It isn’t a secret that in nowdays trance & pop music is the most popular and this is the main reason why melodic techno & electronic music is hiding around the country. Just a few clubs really trying to follow these genre. So can’t say that I’m taking my inspiration from loud parties like Fabric or others, as it is almost impossible given the fact that melodic music isn’t popular here.
4. Most diehard melodic techno fans will know you from your Mode B alias, what was it that made you want to branch off and start Mondkrater? and is Mode B no more?
Mondkrater: Actually the idea to start a solo project was planned by me since 2012 year. The main feature of our duo was a clear understanding about our music, so to speak a common vision of our joint work. After we released “Phantom’s and Ghost’s” we lost it. Too much misunderstandings became too complicated to discuss. So that’s why I started my solo career. And yes, Mode B is no longer exist.
5. Mondkrater is quite a unique artist name, much better than most. What does it mean and how did you come to decide on that for your new alias?
Mondkrater: Thanks for this question Mitch. Actually I didn’t thinking too much time on my new artist name as it always has been around my music. Cosmos has been always my main inspiration since long time ago. To the truth, when I was trying to find a right name which should describe who I am and which music I do, my label mate asked me why I don’t use something from moon terminology. So this is how I found Mondkrater.
6. Tell us a bit about Ideological Records, who is behind it and how did the formation of it come about?
Mondkrater: Yes, I’ve been waiting on this question :). Ideological Records is not just a label it’s really welcoming community which is consist of 3 founders: Me, Makson and Indieveed. Those guys are my musical brothers that’s why we often called Ideological as a family label. If you listen to their sound you will see that our musical tasted are similar. The main policy of our “baby label” are a unique sound, spacy rhythms, deep feelings and a special mood. Every artist that we invite became an important part of our friendly community.
7. So the fourth release on your label is out this week, It’s features a production duo from Denmark by the name of MVTE. How did you discover them? and tell us a little bit about the release.
Mondkrater: After we successfully released Walkboy’s EP, we started to think who will be the next. As I told you about our main preferences, this EP should be no less interesting than the previous. And we decided to ask MVTE to try it, moreover I knew them from my last EP on Back Home called “Antwerpen”. Guys did an outstanding electronic remix on it, with their special light atmosphere. Now we all looking forward on their upcoming EP called “NOT” which means a number of contradictions between America, Prisma, Pills and Replies. Remixes from Danny Lo Scippo & Robottino and Warmth are best completed the EP. Guys did a great interpretation of each original track and at the same time kept the main idea of it. Electronic and Melodic fans will be satisfied for sure!
8. What do you think about the current state of melodic techno / electronica? It seemed to peak with the popularity of Max Cooper and Ryan Davis a year or two ago. Do you feel the music is still as strong and as cutting edge as it was?
Mondkrater: Hard to say that it lost it positions, can agree with you that those guys helped to hold it on top and make it more popular than it was before. Music is a good business now, a lot of Dj’s who has a nice financial start-up could become a popular artist. I think 5 or 7 years ago we had less DJ’s and producers and music had much more quality than today. But anyway Ryan & Max are both did a great job to promote this genre. In fact, it is Ryan Davis who first found Mode B :). So till this days his is like my step father in music, the best teacher I ever had, thanks to him!
9. What is ‘Lunar Podcast”? and where can we hear it?
Mondkrater: Lunar Podcast is something very special to me. It started few months ago when I was searching some tracks on my Pc for upcoming gig. I discovered that I have a huge number of different music from the beginning of Mode B career It would be a crime not to use this rich library. And I decided to make a short mix of it. When I finished it sounded much interesting than I expected. I’m not chasing the freshest sounds or rarity in this podcast there is no stylistic boundaries, the expiration date or madness’s of trend. This podcast made for a person who loves music without the end date of relevance. You can hear it and grab from my soundcloud & others musical pages.
10. What sounds are currently influencing you? What artists are constantly impressing you and who would you love to see on Ideological in the future?
Mondkrater: I’m a fan of wide ranges of music, from Ambient to 2-step Electronica. I think every respectable artist should be in touch with musical trends he works with. As for Ideological actually I have no idea who must be it :). As I said before we have a vision about genres and ideas that should fit us, so they are the most important I think. But any case we won’t denied any requests from such top artists like Ryan Davis or Max Cooper.
11. So a lot of our readers are probably wondering what your studio setup is like, can you tell us a bit about that?
Mondkrater: It’s simple, I use my pc and my headphones, if I need to try my tracks in studio I can send it to my label mates or even to Ryan who can give me some useful tips to fix any parts of my track.
12. What parts of the production process do you find the toughest? and what comes easiest for you?
Mondkrater: I think the hardest is to find the right inspiration and to start mixing, after goes final mixing of each drum part and whole track. Those things are the most difficult. The easiest is sloth to follow the previous steps.
13. Where does your studio inspiration come from?
Mondkrater: It comes from nowhere but it is important to bring it to somewhere. Usually it comes from music and I try to catch it as fastest as I can.
14. Production wise what are you working on right now, anything you can tell us about?
Mondkrater: Right now I am working on my new EP and also spending much time on a new remix for our next Ideological artist. He’s a top artist and I’m full of ideas about my future remix. 14. What artist or track would you love to remix in the future? I’m always able to remix any track that can inspire me. As for the artists would be great to remix anything from James Holden, Ryan Davis, Extrawelt, Minilogue…They are my top!
15. What do you like to do for fun outside of the music? and do you have a regular job?
Mondkrater: As I’m still studying in university now it’s a bit difficult to find much time for a regular job, but I’m not worried about that, my future speciality will helps me I hope :). As for a fun sometimes I and my friends make small home parties with a nice mood where we can relax from our routine life.
16. Apart from electronic music what other genres do you listen and who are your favourite artists outside of electronic?
Mondkrater: I love Bon Iver, Coldplay, The Cinematic Orchestra and many more. I’m also often listen to some “Swag” music I like those beats like Jay-Z is doing. Justin Timberlake for example produced a nice album this year. Make sure I have a huge playlist on my Ipod
17. Mondkrater Current Favourites (you can list more than one per category if you like)
Food: Ukrainian borsch
Drink: Apple Juice
TV Show: Champions League (football)
Movie: a lot of
Video Game: PES, FiFa.
Album: James Holden – Idiots Are Winning, Stephan Bodzin – Liebe Ist , Extrawelt – Schone Neue Extrawelt
Track / Song: Nathan Fake – The Sky Was Pink (James Holden Remix)
Producer / Band: James Holden, Extrawelt, Ryan Davis, Stephan Bodzin.
Record Label: Ideological, Traum, Klangwelt, Kompakt, Cocoon, Border Community.
18. What can we expect to see from Mondkrater and Ideological in 2014?
Mondkrater: What can I answer for sure is “music”. 2014 will be a year of Ideological! Follow us :).
MVTE’s ‘Not’ EP is out now on Ideological, you can purchase the release: here