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Massiande on growing the South American Underground

MassiandeThe Chilean producer stays true to the roots of Deep House while conquering new audiences.

After releases on Housewax and MOS Recordings, Massiande debuts on Phonica White with Freedom, a strong 4-track conceptual record based on the feeling of freedom in life and how it relates to house music.

Massiande was born in Santiago de Chile yet he has lived most of his life alongside US American people and his family has Dutch heritage. Perhaps due to these multicultural roots, his music combines effortlessly elements from diverse scenes and eras, drawing as much influence from the forefathers of US House as from modern deep house and techno, sprinkling his own touch of emotion and soulfulness in the process.

With Freedom Massiande goes one step further, exploring deeper territories and showing an evolution of his sound. Something remarkable given the lack of underground references in his native Chile. We caught up with him ahead of the release to get a better perspective of what means to be a House DJ and producer in the South American underground.

Hey man! How are you doing?

I’m well, thank you! Greetings from Santiago, Chile

We are very excited about your new release Freedom on Phonica White. Tell us about the concept behind the EP.

My music in general is very conceptual, and in my previous records there were songs that managed a concept individually. This time, I wanted to develop the concept of Freedom through all tracks thoroughly as a whole, based on the feeling of freedom in life and how it relates to House music.

The title track “Freedom” attempts to recreate an aural scenery of flying exploration and self-discovery.

“Be With Me” is about the crave for someone you’ve really loved and how hard it is sometimes to let go of situations that have been harmful to each other to love freely again.

“Straight” is a track about the integrating element of House music, where all differences are left behind, going straight to a place where you can allow yourself to be free on the dancefloor. Many ’90s U.S. House and Garage influences go through this track.

“Ode To A Tortured Soul” is a song of mourning, an attempt to represent musically what the inner feelings of that moment are like, how it affects us towards acceptance and how in a way the end of our earthly existence brings us liberation of our battles.

Your productions are rooted in the sounds of ’90s US house. Elements of Chicago house can be found in many of your tracks but this EP seems to explore a deeper territory. What is inspiring this evolution?

It’s inspired by artistic need of expression. It’s been a personal challenge to diversify my productions and prove that I can be versatile on making music while still keeping my identity.

I didn’t want to remain stuck only in an “old school” aesthetic to express things I wanted to. I’m hoping to locate myself in a wider context, to show what I am and what I do to the world, and also to reflect more what happens in my DJ sets. My profile is mainly a DJ of the purest and most emotive forms of House, with moments of Disco and Techno also going back and forth, so I want to tell things through all that spectrum.

I imagine this approach also translates into your DJ sets. Your mix for Thump Colombia goes from Deep House to Disco to Techno yet maintains some sort of soulful deepness narrative thorough. Do you picture any specific emotions or places when selecting / producing your tracks?

It does. I feel that soulfulness, depth and narrative go through everything that I love in life. I really mean to say things through music and I’m a man of emotion, not mere rhythm. I got into House music from being a Disco and Soul music fan first, and that will always be with me. It’s got to have heart and spirit. 

How is the scene in South America and in your native Chile in particular? 

As for House music, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia lead the way when it comes to booking great underground DJs to our continent.

Chile has a lot of economic resources, but local promoters mostly book people who are very famous (think DJ Mag top ranked and alike), which means mostly Tech-House, EDM or explosive Techno DJs without much depth, unfortunately. So there’s a lot to be done here in terms of bringing electronic artists of more substance to Chile.

Since the Chilean audience can be very receptive in the right atmopshere, I wish brands like Red Bull or Dekmantel, which have recently organized festivals in Brazil, were more aware of this because they would make good income here and would change people’s minds and transcend to the clubs. I really believe that.

Are there any specific sounds dominating the underground? Any local DJs, producers, labels or events we should keep an eye on?

Local underground producers are currently very inclined to the lo-fi trend that’s going on around the globe. And pretty much everything else here is around minimal techno and things other than House. Chile has a lot of synth-pop bands for example. But for soulful House things, I can count with one hand the people who actually play Deep House here, so I’m a lonesome warrior and have to have my eyes abroad for musical companionship. Hopefully I can inspire more local people into deeper sounds of House, those that actually tell you something, that’s one of my goals.

What can we expect from Massiande in the near future?

Besides the Deep House “Freedom” EP (which I’m very happy with), I’ll release my first straightforward Dance record through Andy Butler (Hercules & Love Affair)’s label Mr. Intl. It will be something less thoughtful than all my previous compositions, and even thinking of approaching the Chilean audience with something closer to what they feel familiarized but in my own way, again hoping that I can prove to be versatile on making music, but still keeping my identity. I’m not leaving behind my passionate and purist vision of House at all!

This EP will also feature a brilliant 15 MINUTE! Remix by John Heckle (MOS / Mathematics), a moving Deep Techno song which will undoubtedly be one of the best works in his career.

Thanks for your time, we look forward to playing the new EP out!

Thank you, I hope people can appreciate the artistic expression of it.

And I dream of playing it in London myself some day 🙂

Freedom is out now on Phonica White, you can order a copy here.

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