Doubling up on on the Friday Feature: Makin’ Beats this week, we’re starting out with a producer and remixer that first caught my attention earlier this year with his remix of James Blake’s, “Limit to Your Love”, and made it the complete song I always felt it could be. Since that time he’s released two more remix EPs and three original music EPs (Glass Soul EP on Otium, Purity EP on Catnap, and Midnight Love EP on Dusted Wax Kingdom). On top of that, he’s written several articles on time management and self-fulfillment that can be found across the internet including in TIME.com and WiseBread.org. Enjoy the music and the Q&A with San Francisco-based musician, Oleg Mokhov.
GLM: A slogan I’ve read about you is that you’re “the world’s most
mobile musician”. Elaborate on that. I mean, was that your focus to
be such, or do you do other work besides music and just make it a
point to record/produce in different cities?
OM: My backpack is my studio, and I move around quite often, so naturally
I’ve become a mobile electronic musician. I didn’t have a focus to
become a mobile musician from the outset – traveling was just
something I wanted to do a lot of in my life, so by extension I
started recording and producing in different cities and locations
(beaches, parks, mountains, etc).
GLM: Your music is often compared to Aphex Twin and Four Tet. Who are
some of your non-electronic music influences on your sound?
OM: This will probably seem weird, but British rock, specifically Beatles,
Rolling Stones, Jam, Stone Roses, Oasis. The instrumentation is meh,
but the songwriting and especially melodies are really
emotionally-hitting and catchy without being sugar-y. That’s what
influenced me to make music that’s melodic and hummable.
GLM: What are the necessary elements that spark your interest in a
OM: The tune has to hit me emotionally but sound unfinished to my ears.
This is because I actually see my remixing as completing a tune that I
think is great but not yet finished – my producer side comes out as I
remix to “finish” it. I’ll add a cool beat, a more naturally-flowing
arrangement, additional melodies, and so forth.
GLM: Since you’re the co-founder of the BlueRize collective, talk about
its purpose and mission.
OM: The electronic music version of Wu-Tang Clan. But seriously, it’s a
loose collective of like-minded artists who create and/or love
energizing and emotionally-hitting electronic music. The purpose and
mission is to be able to help each other out (music collaborations,
production, visual artists creating for musicians and vice versa) and
also help the artists get more opportunities. Say, I’m working with
somebody and I’ll recommend a fellow BlueRize-associated artist for
some other cool work.
GLM: You’ve made three original EPs so far. Any plans for a full-length?
OM: Definitely. I actually have a ridiculously ambitious goal of making
the greatest electronic album of all time. Better than Tangerine
Dream, Massive Attack, Aphex Twin, Prodigy, whatever. I know most
people will roll their eyes or laugh at it, but I figure why not reach
for the stars. And a method I found that’s working great so far is
make a bunch of tunes, then let the best naturally weed out. Once you
have the most impeccable collection of 8 tunes or whatever, you have a
possible insanely great album. Something that’ll hopefully be listened
to 50 years from now.