Artist of the Week: Monogato
As ordinary as his real name might sound, as extraordinary are the sounds he produces under the Monogato, Ecco, Oryon and Marninx guises. Dutch producer Peter Smit delivered some heavy weight remixes and slowly build up an impessive catalogue of his own productions. 'Morning Light', 'Intuition', 'Aire Azul' and 'Skunk' all led to the style we know from him today. Monogato speaks his mind in a mixture of lovely progressive and melodic trance with a housy accent. With 'Miami Vibe' ready to hit the WMC,and his new package 'Climate Change/Zero Compromise' freshly released on the Coldharbour imprint, it's right about time to let him speak his mind a bit more. Let's talk about loops, the future and his passion for trance music. Monogato: 'Music can really determine your mood for the day or the whole week.'
Different but familiarWithin 4 years, Monogato has seen his name rising from new talent to a settled producer amongst the respected producer elite trance has today. Monogato: 'I think it's because I intend to never create the same, though I do try to keep my own sound. From my view, I'd say I do it with success. But opinions may vary.' Well, we certainly agree. Whether it's under his Mannix or Monogato guise, whatever he delivers, it's always fresh. 'My sound is different but familiar. I actually listen to a lot of other productions before jumping in the studio. But I always give it my all when I create my own input.'
Pushing it furtherIt's the remixes that taught Monogato how to develop his own, characteristic sound. Sprinkling it on top of tracks like 'Barent Blue', 'Kalopsia' and Markus Schulz' 'Fly To Colours' made him one of the most requested remixers in the past two years. Monogato: 'I love doing remixes. Sometimes, you hear a tune and you get all kinds of crazy idea's of putting different things together in it. Or to completely turn off the arrangement. The fact is, you already have something, but you can re-create it in your own style. Remixes are not about improving the original, but they're about giving the people a whole different view on the concept of the original.'
Besides various strong remixes, it was Monogato's 'Intuition', under the Ecco guise, that caused his breakthrough. The track, genuinely remixed by Martin Roth, drove the clubbers wild and was heavily supported by the big names. Monogato: 'It has to be 'Intuition', and especially the Martin Roth remix (thanks for that Martin!). It kind of put me in the whole scene as an artist. After that I would say it were 2 remixes that pushed me further: 'Terk Dawn -Barent Blue (Monogato Remix)' and 'Dirty Dot - Heart of Pain (Monogato's Funk 'n Trance Mix)'. '
The reason Peter holds down more than 4 guises, is simple but effective: diversity. Monogato: 'That's basically because I try to create many different styles. Like for example Monogato is more progressive oriented, while Marninx is about uplifting trance and Oryon is the more experimental techy stuff. These three are my main guises.'
From crush to back-up plansBeing the young talent that he is, it's obvious he fell in love with music from an early age. How did it all start? Monogato: 'It actually all started when I got this EDM compilation cd from my cousin. It had some real classic tunes on there. Trance in particular, gives me an incredible feeling. It can really determine your mood for the day or the whole week.'He discovered the beauty of producing only shortly after he fell in love with EDM. Monogato: 'That actually happened when I accidentally came across a demo version of fruitytracks. It taught me all the basics of arrangement. Later I discovered it wasn't just about compiling some pre-made loops together, but you could also create your very own sound. At that point I got my hands on Fruityloops, which I still use today. And don't let anyone fool you about any sequencer software, it's about who's using it, and not about the tools!'
Even though he's got success on his side, he's still wise enough to keep a little back-up plan. Cause working in music business might sound like a dream, to some it will always remain a mirage. Monogato: 'I think you always need a backup plan, these times are uncertain and so is the music business. I'm picking up a new study: Marketing & Communication. While I love being a producer and a DJ, I don't see myself doing this for a living. If I'd get the opportunity, I would take it. But it's not something I'm going after in the first place.'
Progressive medleysOver the past few months, Armada's been lucky to release some of Peter's best tracks so far. 'Skunk/Gearbox' and lush summer tune 'Miami Vibe' on Captivating Sounds, and most recently, a duo pack on Coldharbour Recordings. 'Climate Change' being a laidback, progressive medley of gentle effects and an uplifting melody, and 'Zero Compromise' sticking to the heavier side, with a dark build-up all the way up to the piano minded break. A lovely package, that will surely put Monogato's name on the bigger map. Monogato: 'Climate Change' is a more laidback, yet a bit uplifting piece of trance. The idea for this one was to combine progressive and uplifting. I'd say a perfect tune for the late spring. 'Zero Compromise' is the more 'harder' tune of the package, though the main part is very melodic, summerish and uplifting, the bridge is more peak-time stuff. 'Zero Compromise' is my personal favorite from the two.'
But that's not all, for 2009 marks a new range of quality tracks and follow-ups to these two. Monogato: 'I've got originals and remixes coming up under Monogato, Marninx and my brand new 3rd Oryon EP has just been released. For the summer I've got some great progressive as well as uplifting trance in the pipeline. Also, I'm working on some hot collaborations, with some of today's most influential artists.' Plenty of good stuff ahead, if we may say so.
Exclusive Mix:Listen now
MongatoClimate Change / Zero CompromiseColdharbour Recordingsi>
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For more information about Monogato, check www.myspace.com/monog4to