Myon & Shane 54 complete the puzzle
Enjoying their travels and edging the boundaries of EDM, sees Hungarian duo Myon & Shane 54 living the dream. These guys are masters of feel-good, commanders of melody and the highest chiefs in creating a perfect whole when it comes to making mash-ups. They just released their ‘International Departures Vol.2’ compilation, one of EDM’s first mash-up only album. A perfect whole, a completed puzzle, created with outstanding pieces of music. And that’s exactly what Myon & Shane 54 aimed for. To celebrate the release, we named the boys as are our Artists of the Week, and asked them all about today, the future and of course: mashing things up!
Hey guys! How are you two doing and on which flight can we find you today?
M:”Hello, at this moment we have a weekend off. Nicely enough we have these days in different parts of the world, Shane is in Hungary, I'm in Los Angeles now…”
S:” …and we'll meet in San Francisco on February 4th to play ETD Love alongside Gabriel & Dresden.”
Congratulations on the release of ‘International Departures Vol. 2: Summer of Love’! This was quite a heavy project, huh?
S:“We knew it right from the start it was not gonna be easy. Mash-ups are (officially) still regarded as some sort of ‘orphans’ of dance music. The problem with these is that labels usually don't even think in them, however a great mash-up can be even more successful than their individual tracks were, but not everyone seem to realize this yet.”
M:”We still had to license an awful lot of tracks really. Since it is an organic, evolving thing, one missing element can ruin a whole section if we don't get the rights to use it. Because of this there was a lot of balancing between the tracks. It changed many times as we constantly added more and more material to the mix, we had 4 or 5 different versions before we settled down with the one that's got released. Let’s just say it was a tough thing to do, but in the end we think it worth it - we finally made the album we always wanted.”
It’s one of the first ‘mash-up only’ albums within EDM. What makes you guys so good at creating them? What’s the secret to a good mash-up?
S:”Making mash-up’s is literally playing around with the songs you like. There is always a moment when it all comes together for the first time, and you got goosebumps all over. Coming from a pop background, we love great songs with big choruses, and that's exactly you get from these mash-ups without being cheesy.”
M:”Of course you need as much material as possible. The latest headcount was well over 500 remix kits, stems, parts or acapellas at our disposal. But just because two tracks are in the same key, doesn't necessarily mean they make a great pair, so sometimes it takes a long time to find the perfect track or acapella.”
You guys sometimes combine no less than 3 tracks at a time. Joris Voorn once called it ‘painting with sound’. Does that description fit the way you guys have dealt with the album?
M:”Well said, but we rather compare it to a puzzle, where in the beginning you don't know what you're going to end up with. Building something up from little (or bigger) pieces that originally weren't made to work together, still somehow they make a perfect whole. Who knows where does that come from?”
S:”Technically it's not a big deal to put two tunes together. Finding the right elements is the tricky part. But we enjoy it so much…”
In 2009, when the radio show just launched, you told us: ‘We really feel the progress, and it gives us a lot of stamina to keep on doing what we do.’ Has that changed in any way, or does ‘International Departures’ still help you guys pushing things forward?
S:”Of course not! We get so much from the listeners from all over the world. It is mind-blowing to imagine our show is actually part of people's lives, be it in Asia, South America or however faraway place. I don't think a musician could ask for more.”
M:”Making it week by week makes us having to come up with more mash-ups, chewing ourselves through piles and piles of promos keeps us fresh. We do get a lot of material by now, but only so much makes it to the show. You have to find those. Have no illusions, sometimes it's harder than you'd think…”
Another quote from 2009:“Being Myon & Shane 54 is great, but we have to explore other musical landscapes too.” Have Myon & Shane 54 found those landscapes or is there lots more to explore?
M:”Velvetine (our side project with Aruna) is a more mellow, less upbeat direction. We can go to places where we wouldn't necessarily go with MS54. We constantly trying to take things further, and we enjoy it more than ever.”
S:”And there's the Jessie J remix. It is as pop as possibly can, without sounding too corny. Of course the secret lies in it being a very good song in the first place. If great pop meets dance music, it's always a winning combination.”
We saw that there’s going to be a M&S54 collab with Tom Fall soon? Any other hot news you can share with us?
M:”Oh, he is one of our absolute favorite producers of the moment, and we can't wait to see what we will do together in the studio. When we were mixing the album, he gave us parts or specially rendered versions of his tunes right when we needed it, and it was a great help. This is how the our relationship started. Of course it has to go to a new level by actually getting together and do something.”
S:”We of course have a lot of plans, but we wouldn't necessarily want to share them at this moment. Those are big plans though…”
Which international departures hall to where will you be visiting in these upcoming weeks? Any special gigs ahead?
S:”After San Francisco this weekend we go to India to play 3 gigs, then it is South Africa, and a few US tour dates in March. Our schedule started to become pretty crazy, and we really enjoy it.”
M:”It's still hard to believe that we're doing what we were dreaming about when we started. Way too many of those dreams never actually come true, but ours did. Of course we work hard for it, but doing what you love for a living is priceless.”
Get ‘International Departures Vol.2’ on iTunes now!