Dec 05, 2017
Mantrastic's Back Better Than Ever
Israeli DJ/Producer Mantrastic is no stranger to success in electronic dance music. In the past he’s frequently charted on 1001 and stand out tracks such as “Flux” with John Christian, “Ritual” with Teamworx, and “I Need You” saw massive success on Beatport and incredible DJ support and live plays dominating the stages at Tomorrowland and EDC. However, as electronic music progressed, Mantrastic found himself lost in the world of what became of electro and big room progressive house. After spending the last two years on a path to self discovery, he’s back better than ever. With a renewed drive and inspiration to find a harmonious fusion between organic and electronic sounds, his recent release “About You” has been taking dance music by storm. Played by David Guetta, Nicky Romero, W&W, Robbie Rivera, Curbi, & many more, we caught up with Mantrastic to take a deeper look at his self-reflection and new found sound.
For some of our readers who may be newer to the dance music scene, could you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your musical background?
Hi guys, I’m Matan, born and living in Jerusalem, Israel. I'm a complete tech and arts freak – anything with technology and creativity fascinates me. I have been online for as long as I can remember, trying all facets of the digital world from computing to design, I have had explored them all. Growing up as a 90s kid I’ve always had a special place in my heart for music. I remember chasing after records you heard on the radio or TV like crazy. Once I got the CD or tape I was after, it was pure happiness, probably even more powerful back then too. As electronic music grew, I always had it on in the background, from that old happy dance music boom in Europe and later on to 2009-10's EDX/Axwell progressive style. I have been producing music and teaching myself for about seven years now, sometimes feels like rocket science :)
After having immense success with electro and progressive house tracks, “About You” definitely signals a shift in your production path. Can you discuss some of the driving and influencing factors behind that change?
Making this change was really natural to me if I look back. Over the last 4 years with EDM exploding worldwide and the big sounds taking over, I think many artists and electronic lovers including myself lost their base ground. Things started to get a little boring at some point, I remember sitting in my studio and battling with sounds that weren’t natural to me, and not feeling 100% with anything to release. The music felt like it had its time, and I didn't have something that I could truly call my own sound. I really want to strive to have something I could keep develop from one production to the next.
So that helps explain why you’ve been pretty quiet on the release front over the past year and half. Could you talk a little more about finding your bearings in the current state of electronic music.
Yes, as mentioned I’ve spent the last two years recalculating my path and roots in all of electronic music. Over the years I found that I would always go for what I thought labels wanted and didn’t invest in really finding myself enough. Finding yourself takes a great amount of time and energy. You need a lot of self belief and patience, not to mention the challenge of that self discovery mixed up with your job and life (outside of producing I have been a designer and a webmaster). So, as house music finally got back on track, and the scene has diversified, my passion grew back and I was finally able to build an arsenal of sounds I truly believe in.
And what a production to kick things back off for you with “About You”! What was the inspiration for the track? Can you talk us through the production process going from initial sketch to final production?
Last year I did a remix for Polina's “Little Babylon,” and that groovy vibe worked really well and felt fresh, so I really wanted to keep exploring and developing some of the elements from that track in the more housey world. The idea was clear for me from the start, find that fusion between organic and electronic sounds. So, I set a kind of rule for myself, when you look for a synth – try a guitar first.
Going back to sketch, it all started with the vocals, pianos and marimbas I explored for the drop. I had like 20 chords that I liked and finally set my mind on one I could mix up with guitars and other elements. The key point for me in this production was how to build the whole question-answer ping pong between elements, and still have the summer atmosphere going on around everything. Through the whole track I wanted to keep that organic and groovy vibe going on even in the smaller elements. I built risers and transitions from flutes, trumpets, brass and other instruments while mixing them up with old school drums and effects.
The artist support on “About You” has been massive! While guys like W&W, David Guetta, and Nicky Romero is the normal for you and your productions, is there any support on this track that is especially meaningful?
Yeah, the support and feedback on the track was really amazing and diverse. Seeing Nicky Romero kicking off his show with it was really important for me. But as this support is a great achievement, I think one that I really had my heart set on was Robbie Rivera. He's a house veteran and to have his support really proved to me I had achieved my goal, finding this fusion between worlds, where I can get support from W&W to Robbie.
Building from this release, where do you see your music headed? What elements or hallmarks of “About You” can we expect in future Manstrastic productions?
On my future releases you will see me exploring more of this style, but also pumping stage house, more live instruments, drum oriented tracks, and of course mixing it up with elements I had in “About You” for sure. There are a few sounds from the track I keep throwing around and developing further. That organic vibe has set in my head really well. I can't wait to see where else I can go with this!
What are two goals you’d like to accomplish in 2018?
For 2018 I really want to be more productive and find better efficiency in the studio as I develop my techniques. Bottom line, writing music is about the story, and I really want mine to reach as many people as possible!
Mantrastic – “About You” is available as a free download and on your favorite streaming platforms! https://fanlink.to/about-you
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