When did you start working on the new EP?
Around three months ago. I decided to go out of my comfort zone and go a step further using different techniques and equipment which I wasn’t used to.
I approached a good friend of mine, who is the engineer of this EP, Edwin Balzan (he is also doing great things to support the local scene with EMM) and asked to start working on some music on just analogue equipment, the computer was only used to record. I have tried to go with a similar approach in the past in some studios in Berlin, but I was never in the right mindset to let myself go in the process.
Surprisingly enough, we recorded the most essential sounds of the EP in just one day. It was a fantastic feeling and a fascinating venture which I’m sticking to for all my future projects.
Is there a specific mood or theme to the works?
Both Grey Game and Seeds are more dancefloor-oriented tracks. I wanted to portray the emotions I get when travelling around the world and playing to various kinds of audiences.
How would you describe the music?
The tracks are between Tech House and Electronic, with some African elements. This specific sound has defined me as an artist and it is also the music I perform in the clubs.
What made you decide to opt for vinyl?
I have been releasing digital music since the start, but it was always a target of mine to release on vinyl since it’s more of a tangible product and there is an audience who likes just music on vinyl. This EP will be catering for all electronic music fans. My team and I have been building our following for years now, and our fans have bought thousands of tracks since the start, we needed to give our audience that extra plus with this limited edition vinyl.
The music scene in Malta has changed drastically, I think it has come to a terrible point where creativity is overlooked, and money and power have taken over
What has been the reaction to this EP so far?
Overwhelming. It was picked by DJ Mag Uk as one of best tracks for January 2018, saying that the tracks “will hold crowds to breaking point for days”.
iTunes picked me as an artist, along with the EP, to be one of the most vital electronic musicians of 2018, getting around 700 streams per day.
It was also picked by International DJ Magazine and Deephouse Sweden for features and premiers for the digital audience.
Apart from that, the EP got support from Maceo Plex, Kollektive Trumstrasse, Steve Lawler, Richie Hawtin, Pig&Dan, Riva Starr and more.
Why Grey Game?
The music scene in Malta has changed drastically, I think it has come to a terrible point where creativity is overlooked, and money and power have taken over. It’s a grey area and no one can give the right explanation to what’s going on. So it was easy to come up with the name, since a lot of businessmen are treating music as their playing field.
The B side of the EP is called Seeds. Since I’ve come back from Berlin, I have been nurturing the people around me and I’ve seen really great results from them since then. Seeds gives hope, for something new and beautiful to grow.
What has been the biggest challenge making this happen?
The most significant challenge was to picture the right mindset and get into the new direction of producing the tracks in an entirely analogue studio. I couldn’t do any of this without my team.
And the biggest satisfaction?
The response to the vinyl. We sold half of the stock on presale, so I think it will be sold out very fast. We kept some stock aside for the local audience, and we will stock some shops like D’Amato in Valletta, Sunset Records in Sliema and Exotique, since they were really responsive to it and wanted to stock it immediately.
What is next for Dean Demanuele?
This year will mark the biggest year to date with shows in the best clubs in Berlin, Zurich, Prague, Erfurt, Amsterdam, Brno and also Las Vegas. We will launch the Grey Game tour dates shortly, and we will keep updating it until the end of the year.
Apart from the personal side, I’m also really excited to open our new offices in Malta, which will include a music label, studio, agency with DJ room and live streaming premises. It will be a revolutionary thing in Malta which will represent the Maltese music community of artists and enthusiasts.
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