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Moguai: New Horizons

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Moguai, AKA André Tegeler, is one of Germany's most successful international DJs. Although more commonly associated with electronic music, he has written music for Sugababes and Girls Aloud, and after recently collaborating wih a band from LA on what he describes as, 'indie, guitar-driven, melodic music', Moguai finds himself moving more in that direction. Headliner digs a little deeper...

So what are you working on at the moment, then?
I am always trying to create something new, and for the next year at least, I am signed to Warner Chappell worldwide to produce three singles, collaborating with pop/rock artists. The first one has an awesome vocal courtesy of Tom Kane, an English guy; for me, it sounds like an Empire of the Sun track in a 2016 Moguai remix! So that's what I am doing right now.

You're not adverse to collaboration work, of course...
Well, I am doing tracks for DJs also, but some tracks are just made for great songwriting; and yes, what I did in the past with bands like Sugababes and Girls Aloud allowed me to combine my music with their lyrics and pop influences. The song I did for Sugababes [which became In The Middle] was my music, a track which I released years ago in the UK, and they then wrote the lyrics; it was the same with Girls Aloud with Something Kind of Ooh – the original was an instrumental single of mine called Get On. It turns out they loved it, took my music, and wrote a pop song over it. That was pretty cool.

So you were doing EDM/pop crossovers before the EDM/pop crossover came about, then..?
[laughs] Yeah, maybe, but it wasn't planned that way! I had my singles out, and they came to me. I grew up with punk rock, as at the time I was very into skateboarding; and then electronic music blew up in Germany. Before that, I was into hip hop, and then I became a mod; I'm very into modern soul and ska. So I love all kinds of music, to be honest.

What's your current production setup?
Well, I had two big studios close to Dusseldorf with lots of hardware, but now I am very comfortable producing in the box. I still have and still use some of the old samplers such as the Akai stuff or the Emulator, and synthesizers like the Roland JD-800 or Kurzweil K2000; then I sample these sounds and put them in the box. It's great to have everything in the box, but I sample lots of stuff from my old machines.

You've recently collaborated with Moby, right? Seems a good fit...
Yes, I did two remixes for him, but I would love to collaborate properly. I played a show with Moby at the end of 2015 in LA, and we had a chat about working together; it will happen, it's just a question of time. And yes I agree, it'd be a perfect match, I think.

How would you describe the electronic scene today?
If you look at the charts over the last five years or so – take iTunes as an example – in the top 20, there will likely be a minimum of 10 electronic tracks made from guys who are out of these electronic scenes – it doesn't matter if it's trip hop or underground. So I do think it's definitely time to honour more of this kind of music.

I love to do both electronic and pop, but it has to make sense. But I am also up for producing nice electronic music influenced by bands like Pink Floyd or other '60s and '70s bands, but with a nice new sound. I am tired when I look on Beatport or when I go to festivals, most DJs play the same, to be sure the party is going on - and to entertain is important, but from the music production side, it's important to try something new; it's what I always did, and what I am always looking to do right now. I am proud of the productions I am working on at the moment, as they're challenging, and there is a mix of old and new school; and it sounds to me like it's a bit of a step ahead, which is very positive.

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