Following the remarkable international success of Elif’s emphatic Medusa EP back in September, recently-formed Barcelona-based imprint Marginalia now looks to double its burgeoning release tally with the announcement of the label’s eagerly anticipated sophomore offering, Call Out EP. Another exquisite three-part package bearing all the hallmarks of the label’s flourishing sound palate – and with early support from industry heavyweights Oostil and Mira amongst others – Marginalia’s second release sees label boss Elif invite hotly-tipped LA-based, Iranian producer MANTi to the imprint for her eagerly-anticipated label debut. We caught up with MANTi to find out more.
Hi MANTi, welcome to Techno Mood. How are you?
Hey guys! I’m great, thanks for having me today!
What’s life like in LA these days?
Busy…juggling between my day job, making music, and organizing events has been challenging but immensely rewarding. Other than that, enjoying the lovely sunny weather here while everyone else is freezing in Europe LOL #sorrynotsorry
For those of our readers who don’t know you, how would you introduce yourself?
I’m a DJ/Producer based out of LA. I was born and raised in Tehran, Iran and moved to California in 2009. I have a corporate day job which keeps me busy during the day so it’s usually not until later at night where I get to work on music. I’m also a promoter and event organizer. My business partner and I have an event series called ‘Koncept’ which is a Live audio visual experience with regular shows in LA and Austin.
What have been some of the highlights of 2023 for you so far?
Releasing on Marginalia, Akumandra, and Einmusika + playing at Kater Blau (which is one of my favorite clubs) and Burning Man!
Does your Iranian heritage manifest itself in your artistic output? If so, how?
Absolutely! My Iranian heritage influences the musical elements I incorporate into my sound. There are always hints of Middle Eastern and Persian traditional instruments and rhythmic patterns in my productions.
You’ve just released your brand new Call Out EP on Elif’s Marginalia imprint. Can you talk to us about this project and the creative process that went into making it?
I wanted to make an EP with various musical influences and styles while staying true to my own artistic vision. Each track tells a unique story and draws influences from different styles of electronic music. For me it was very important to make tracks which can be played by a wide range of artists, at any BPM, and in any setting. With the support I have received from various artists so far, I think I was able to achieve this goal.
How did you connect with Elif for this?
I have been following Elif for years and was very familiar with her music but it wasn’t until late June this year that we met. I booked her to play one of our shows in LA. She was closing the outdoor stage and while listening to her set I thought she might like some of my recent productions. So I texted her the next day and asked if I could send her music and she said yes. I wasn’t expecting her to get back to me so quickly as I know touring DJs are super busy and usually need more time to listen to demos, but to my surprise, she responded quickly and told me that she’s launching her label and would like to release some of my tracks. It was one of the best days ever!
What was your technical approach? What gear did you use, what hardware, what software?
I work in Ableton and for this EP, I used various plugins and synths such as DIVA and Serum in making both tracks along with a few samples I got from Audiotent and Splice.
How do you think the music industry has changed most significantly since you started out as an artist?
There is definitely more focus on marketing and promotion and getting hype vs. the music these days. There is no doubt in the benefits of social media in helping up and coming artists reach a wider audience, however the number of followers on Instagram should not be a key deciding factor in an artist’s success.
What are your thoughts on the proliferation of AI in the music industry? Do you think it will have a big impact on the scene?
Proliferation of AI in the music industry is very intriguing as it can help artists experiment with new sounds and ideas. It can also streamline the music production process by automating repetitive tasks, allowing artists to focus more on creative aspects. However, relying too much on AI can diminish the role of human artistry and the authenticity of music. I believe it will have a significant impact on the scene but the extent of its impact and how it’s embraced by artists likely vary.
What’s next for you in 2023? Anything exciting you can share?
I have 2 more releases coming out this year on Borders of Light and LSF21+ and they are very different in sound design.
Last but not least, do you have any final words for our Techno Mood readers?
Taking the first step, even when it feels like your chances of success are slim, is far more valuable than not doing anything. Putting in the effort not only increases your odds of reaching your goals but also sets you on the path to getting what you want.