Andrew Barton, aka M3SA, straddles the fine line between four on the floor and U.K. bass music. As a producer and DJ, he pays homage to the various sides of floor-friendly club music without being allegiant to any one in particular. M3SA approaches electronic from more of a producer's point of view, creating soulful vibes with an experimental edge. This approach often leads to a disconnect between what sounds good and what actually works in the hands of a DJ, but Barton manages to escape this trap.
For this week's mix he delivers a forward-thinking, techno-heavy set that is deep, banging and perfect for a long nighttime drive or a late-night dance party. In the Q&A Barton informs us about his promising journey as an electronic producer and DJ.
How did you get started DJing, and how long have you been at it?
It started from an Ableton mix that I had made for fun. I showed some friends of mine that were DJs and not too long after that I started playing with them at clubs and house parties in Denton. This was around 2010. Since then music has gradually become more a part of my daily life and a way to introduce some of my original tracks. Production is where my heart is.
How was this mix made? Is there a particular theme for this track selection?
This mix was made in Traktor using a cmd mm-1 controller. I sometimes use Serato, but lately it's been mainly Traktor. I wouldn't say that there is a "conceptual" theme per se, but I guess my approach was more a stream-of-consciousness type of approach, the way that one track flows into another, seamlessly. Most of the tracks are technically techno, but I tried to focus on varying styles and decades.
Where do you dig for tracks for sets?
On the Internet. Without getting too specific, I'll sometimes pull a track that I like from a mix or come across a song and search the label on Discogs. From there the label serves as a starting point that I branch out from, and Discogs is an important tool in that search. I really enjoy landing on something I've never heard of before.
Do you have a preference as far as genres go?
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As you can tell from the mix I'm a fan of techno, but I would mix everything from house to garage to rap and R&B. I try to focus more on the songs themselves than what they're classified as. I don't want be a genre evangelist or anything. For me it's all about discovery. I want to keep an open mind.
What is your relationship with techno, house and bass music?
I just really enjoyed learning the history of these genres, how they've changed and influenced newer genres over the years. [It's fascinating] how the Internet has influenced proliferation and melding with other genres and cultures.
Do have a preference for DJing versus production?
I prefer producing. DJing is really fun and has made me a much better producer in many ways. [But] I just love the feeling of making something from scratch and having a certain connection with your creation.
How did you get started making your own music?
I used to play around on my friends' guitars running them through a lot of pedals, making crazy noises and recording weird stuff on a four-track. When I moved away from them, I started messing around on Ableton. I found that I really enjoyed the modular nature of making electronic music, using tools like software and synthesizers. I just liked the level of control I had over production.
What's your relation to noise and experimental music?
I like to keep an open mind and give most genres a chance. I heard a lot of noise type of music at house shows and would definitely say that it has influenced my growth as a listener.
Do you play any instruments?
I like to make noise with guitars or synths run through pedals. I also play the melodica, but for the most part I stick with my keyboard, MPD and computer.
What gigs do you have coming up?
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I'm playing one of the DC9 Mixtape showcases at Off the Record in Deep Ellum. I'm not really sure when it is yet, but it should be coming up pretty soon.
Tracklist: 1. Experiential Awakening - Legowelt 2. Less Is Mass - Fer BR 3. Domina (Maurizio mix) - Maurizio 4. Move - DeFeKt 5. Circa 1937 - M3SA 6. Kraut - KAAP 7. Protocol - Matrixxman 8. Megatrap (4F Mix) 9. Put your weight on it (Frankfurt Mix) - Todd Osborn 10. Energy Flash - Joey Beltram 11. Rave on - Roman Lindau 12. Zombie Machine(Acid) - Gesloten Cirkel 13. Domain Specific (Legowelt Remix) - youANDTHE:MACHINS 14. RATS (SCB Remix) - Wraetlic 15. Yamagic - Gesloten Crikel 16. Now - Roman Lindau 17. When Doves Cry - Prince
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