Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your collaboration and how the partnership between Moderna and Theus Mago came about? How and when did you meet and how did you decide to start making music together?
As the Legend goes… June 2015 in Mexico City, there were several of us Djs in town not able to play due to “Ley Seca ”, a.k.a Dry Law, which is when the Mexican government shuts down all bars and clubs for voting purposes. But that didn’t stop us from organizing an impromptu “illegal” house party. The party was dubbed LEY SECA, – the roster included Mijo, Sanfuentes, Andre VIII, Max Schmitt, Soni Ceron, Bufi a.k.a. Theus Mago, and Moderna. Each DJ got to play 30 mins. it was streamed live (which was rare at the time) and the party was packed. We met after playing there and we connected. A few days later we decided to meet up in the studio, and it was there that ‘Dog is Calling You’, our first ever track, took shape. Later came ‘Papa En Roy’ and ‘Asesino Sicotico’ – it was all inspired by the incidents that took place during that weekend. Sometimes when things happen out of your control good things come of it. So we owe it all to Ley Seca.
Your recent EP on Duro “Give Chance A Trance” received significant attention and positive feedback. What was the creative process like while working on this project together?
Moderna: We have always had a very easy, and fun time together on tour and in the studio. Luckily we are able to get together in the studio once in a while whether it be me in Mexico City or Mateo in Berlin. We also work together remotely on occasion, which is how we started ‘Give Chance a Trance’ and then we finished it together in the studio in Berlin . It’s always been a mutual vision and a very inspiring process. We are absolutely thrilled with all the amazing feedback and support we are getting after the release. For me it’s a testament to our creative talent, humor and knowing what will compliment our set and sound for the dancefloor.
The reissue of your past release on Lumière Noire, now with new remixes, is generating excitement among fans. What motivated you to revisit this particular release, how did you select the artists to remix your work, and what do you feel they have added to the overall release?
Moderna: We had been talking about the re-release for a while now it was always something we wanted to do as all the tracks were so significant to us and since we only had a remix for Dog is Calling You’ we decided that we really wanted remixes for Papa En Roy and Asesino Sicotico, luckily we were able to get some of our favorite artists interested, i.e Alinka, Mijo, Macaulay, Peter Invasion and Gregor Habicht. So we felt it was time to do it and DURO couldn’t have been a more perfect fit to put it out.
Can you share some insights and inspirations into your individual production styles and how you merged them for this collaborative effort? Did you encounter any challenges during the creative process? What gear or plugins did you use?
Theus Mago: I started the songs in my studio in Mexico City. I mostly used modular synths and a MFB Tanzbar to make the beats. A few months later, after choosing from a bunch of ideas I had available, Moderna and I recorded vocals using a Roland VT4 in Berlin. It was pretty straightforward and no special plugins were used, mostly hardware and Ableton stock plugins.
Moderna: A lot of my inspirations come from post-punk and sci-fi. I have a more minimalistic approach to writing tracks. The main challenge for us in collaborating is time, location, and us both having busy lives so it’s a great feat that we managed to finish this ep that we are both really happy with.
Your collaboration is receiving praise for its unique blend of genres and styles. Can you shed some light on the influences and musical elements that contributed to the distinct sound of your releases?
There was some interest in exploring slightly faster tempos with this EP. Differently to our usual 120 bpm, this one revolves more around 130 bpm. It’s good to walk out of your comfort zone; it makes you try new, unexpected things. We had fun pouring some acid, punk wave, breaks, tech-house and even goa trance sounds into the mix.
Moderna, you reside in Berlin, while Theus Mago you are based in Mexico. Could you both share your insights on the current state of the music scene in your respective cities?
Moderna: Berlin is a mecca of non-stop creativity. The city foster’s art, music and culture like no other and as an artist it really becomes the norm. For me it’s a part of life, a part of our community and I love living here because of that. There are so many little pockets of music scenes here I’m happy that we created one that speaks to us and our sound which is created by a group of us like Local Suicide, Curses, Franz Scala of Slow Motion and The Milk Me crew of Urban Spree, and so many more creating a very significant scene of our sound here in Berlin.
Theus Mago: Mexico City is constantly bringing new DJs and producers to the worldwide scene, but it cannot be seen as an isolated thing. There is a national electronic scene which in some cities is what people mostly consume. More than having local scenes by city, I’d say we have a few niche national scenes that are strongly rooted with artistic collaborations and friendship. Having a good balance between these and international bookings has helped a lot keeping the ecosystem relatively fair for locals and up and comers.
As artists, you have both built a strong presence in the electronic music scene. How do you navigate the balance between staying true to your artistic vision and meeting the expectations of your audience or the industry?
That’s the trick right, I think once an artist knows themselves well enough then knowing the audience comes naturally. Our sound is particular and for me very special. There will always be industry expectations that you don’t fit into but I feel that is also part of it. Not everyone will see you as you want but some will and that is what will give you the drive to continue and be you as an artist.
What are your plans for future collaborations or solo projects? Do you have any upcoming releases or performances that you can share with us?
We definitely plan to make more music in the future and are both always working on other projects, collaborations and touring quite a bit. There will be a new single out from Theus Mago and Adam Port at the end of July. And I will have my first album release as Moderna on Brave New Rave out in November of this year.