Moullinex, a pleasure to have you with us today. How are things going with you and whereabouts are you speaking to us from at the moment?
Hi! I’m in sunny Lisbon, Portugal, at my studio’s patio. Things are great, just recovering from Discodrama, a big solo show I’ve been preparing for weeks.
What’s a usual day look like for you at the moment?
It starts pretty early, if I haven’t been playing the night before. I love those hours in the morning to myself, before everyone else I work with wakes up. I cycle to the studio in the late morning and start working on whatever projects I have on my hands. Lately besides my own output as Moullinex I’ve been working on commission work for audiovisual installations, helping out fellow artists in our label Discotexas, and producing other people.
October 28th, you make your debut on Damian Lazarus’ Crosstown Rebels imprint with your ‘A Fistful of Stars’ EP. Congrats to you on this. How does it feel to land your EP on the iconic label?
It feels like a dream come true, really. I’ve been following Crosstown’s output for a long time, and it feels great to be included in this amazing family of artists. Damian is one of the nicest people in the industry and kindly welcomed to Crosstown. Moullinex – A Fistful Of Stars (Crosstown Rebels)
You previously shared that your initial inspirations for the EP came whilst you were working in astronomy with the European Southern Observatory. Can you tell us a bit more about that and the inspiration behind the EP?
For a period I was working at ESO on astronomy research and development, part time, alongside music. It was a highly creative period in my life, as I was hanging out with Nobel laureates by day and music geniuses by night. Coexisting with these people made me realise the most inspiring people in science and arts are not that different. They often possess an ability to retain a childlike wonder with the simplest things in life; they often go into rabbit holes to figure out the solution to a problem; they challenge dogmas and the status quo. Of course being exposed to this on a daily basis had to make its way into the music I was making. The first two tracks of the EP are a tribute to those days.
We’d love to hear a bit about the creation process on this EP. Can you run us through how you approached it?
Fisftul of Stars and Atacama Skies were exercises in texturing. For example, there’s something unique about hearing cassette recordings versus pristine digital versions of the same music – I believe it has something to do with my generation’s collective memory, growing up listening to tapes, music recorded onto reel to reel or music for film on VHS. I guess people born in the early 2000’s will have nostalgia for lossy mp3 music in the same way. Music suddenly feels real, it has a time and a physical space. So when I started these two tracks I created the soundstage for the music first, starting with a mood-board based on vintage science documentaries , space travel, Italian film scores, etc. I then worked on the chord progressions and melodies. I don’t usually make very long pieces, but these needed time to develop their narrative, so I decided to let them run longer than usual. This also meant working on the music for months.. So there had to be a contrast: JFC was the exact opposite: started with a basic kit and jammed on the fly, the track took me an afternoon to sketch out and another day to mix.
We hear that the night sky and your work in astronomy has had a huge influence on you as an artist. Is the field of astronomy still something that you are actively involved in and if so, how do you balance this with your artistic work?
Unfortunately these days I’m just following the advances in the field as a fan. Music took over my life and I don’t regret it, I love what I do, but every now and then it feels great to reconnect with the people actively working in the field. The developments at CERN, the James Webb Space Telescope and AI tech being applied to old science data to unveil hidden secrets is very exciting at the moment in the field. And many advances in astronomy later mean advances in other fields, like camera sensors and lenses, CT scans etc.
2022 has been another prolific year for you in terms of musical output, with a number of releases arriving via yours and Xinobi’s Discotexas imprint. How has the year been for you from your point of view as an artist?
It’s been very fulfilling. Like everyone else in the music industry, the pandemic was very dark. We started building a new studio in 2020, which was a huge investment and suddenly there were no gigs to support the label’s operating costs. We almost pulled the plug on our more than 15 year old labor of love, but we managed to brace the storm and right now the studio is fully operational and normality seems to have been restored to a point. So it feels we deserve it.
Thank you for your time Moullinex, it was great to chat with you. Congrats again on the Crosstown release and we look forward to hearing what’s next. To round things off, is there anything else on the horizon that you would like to share with us?
I sincerely hope war in Europe ends soon: it feels like we’re living in a dystopian feudal society governed by madmen and where corporations are the new religion. I hope I can get to keep playing and going to shows, both live and DJ sets, because much like everyone else, we deserve to escape reality sometimes.