Another week and yet another thing many know is true but have kept silent about. Kostas Maskalides stands tall and tells us what some parts of the techno scene are really like!
Hi Kostas, tell us about you and where you’re based?
Kostas Maskalides: I was born in Athens, Greece in 1974. Passion for music was always there I guess. As a teenager I was singing in various music bands which led me to recording studios. That’s where it all started. I became a sound engineer eventually and during the mid-nineties era I started to DJ. Things got serious years later when I was introduced to techno. It was the life changing moment for me, when you know that this is what you’re meant to do. So I focused on techno music production and made it my life’s mission.
Along came Natalie in 2007, a Belgian woman who is my partner in life and strongly supports what I do. We fell in love and decided to live together so we moved to Belgium in 2008. I live here since with most of my time consumed in the studio producing.
What’s been your biggest release/record to date?
Kostas Maskalides: My latest EP on Phobiq called “Furnace”. The original mix was hurled into #11 of Beatport’s top 100 techno tracks and stayed for many weeks in the charts, making “Furnace” the best selling track on Phobiq this year. Plus the release includes a remix from Pleasurekraft which is one of the best techno acts of our times.
So you’re achieving so big results on Beatport and are highly regarded by Sasha Carassi, having had many releases on his label Phobiq. Are you preferring just to release with a small number of labels or is the politics that Christian Smith said was dividing the scene holding you back?
Kostas Maskalides: Nothing holds me back really… I’m very picky when it comes to record labels and I always try to release on those that my sound fits best. But there are many factors. Quality of sound, promotion, artwork… all details count for me.
Phobiq is one of my favourites that fulfils all the above criteria and there’s a special bond with Sasha. He’s a good friend and a great artist who put me on the map (to sort of speak). I was introduced to a whole new audience when I first released on his imprint.
And it’s also true that these days I’m trying to minimize my release schedule within a small circle of quality labels.
politics is the bullshit of this industry. It’s more like an image thing. All the cliques, closed circles or the “exclusivity” some labels want and all that crap… you know the drill. I don’t comply with politics. For me it’s all about the music.
What other things are pissing you off about the scene too?
Kostas Maskalides: The lack of professionalism pisses me off. And that’s too generalized, I know but it perfectly sums up everything wrong in this industry. And that goes for every field. Promoters, clubs, DJs, producers.
Talk to us about social media. Obviously you’re voicing strong opinions with us yet on social media you’re all about the music. A lot of artists say let the music do the talking, but is this actually getting artists anywhere these days?
Kostas Maskalides: Of course it does. Music is the main product. Promotion is just the tool to inform your audience that your product exists. Equally important but if the music doesn’t appeal to audiences, no-one will buy it. I don’t waste much time on social media. I mostly use Facebook to promote my releases. My production schedule is way too heavy and far more important.
You’ve got your release out soon on Anna V’s excellent up and coming label Voltage. What’s your relationship with Anna and where do you see the label heading?
Kostas Maskalides: We’re good friends. Anna is a hard working artist and we talk on a regular basis about techno production and all kinds of stuff. She’s a visionary with great understanding of concept and cause. “Voltage” is her brainchild. It’s a new label on the rise, focusing on energetic techno and it’s definitely heading the right direction so I was pleased to prepare a release.
I’m debuting October 30th on Voltage with a new EP called “One Thousand Volts” which includes remixes from Anna V. and Uakoz. You should definitely check it out.
What other releases and tours do you have coming up?
Kostas Maskalides: Remixes on Phobiq, Funk’n Deep and a Benelux tour are scheduled for the next months.